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Saturday At The Movies: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Chapter 3, Smiley Tracks The Mole.

by Flyovercountry Comments Off on Saturday At The Movies: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Chapter 3, Smiley Tracks The Mole.
Filed under Headlines at November 24th, 2012 - 1:46 pm

In Chapter 3, we pick up the action with Peter Guillam’s operation to break into a Circus safe in order to procure the file which should contain Ricky Tarr’s communications concerning Irina. At the same time George is visiting one of the mothers who got fired as a result of Operation Witchcraft. Connie draws the connection between Victorov, (work name Polyakov,) and source Merlin, though not enough for it to be sufficiently proven to Lacon, the government oversight for whom he is working. Something else to notice in this chapter, which will be important later on, particularly in Chapter 6. During Smiley’s flashback, when pressed about source Merlin, Percy Alleline’s answer to the question as to where he obtained his seemingly golden intelligence product, his answer is akin to, “I just got this from the boys,” a sudden, and by no means gradual increase in information. The overwhelming message delivered by Control and Smiley over decades of Cold War intelligence work to their political overlords, and the message which was summarily dismissed by those same bureaucrats, was that good intelligence work is a gradual and slow process. Any sudden piece of information gleaned should considered suspect, merely for the fact that it was suddenly gained.


Agent – A spy recruited by a foreign government to spy on their own country. This term should not be confused with a case officer, the intelligence service member who recruited and then handled the spy.

Babysitters – Bodyguards

Circus – MI6, the British intelligence service.

The Competition – MI5, British counter espionage service. Also referred to as the, “security mob.”

The Cousins – The CIA or any American intelligence service.

Distress Rocket – An emergency signal to a logistical support structure that a crash meeting or other prearranged measures are necessary, often involving new identities and emergency legends.

Ferrets – Tech people who find and remove bugs, cameras, or an attempt to spy on the good guys.

Honey Trap – A sexual trap intended for black mail or murder.

Housekeepers – Internal auditors or accountants who are used to insure discipline within the service.

Inquisitors – Interrogators who debrief agents or defectors.

Janitors – Headquarters staff and guards of internal secure areas.

Lamplighters – Watchers, surveillance staff, couriers.

Legend – A false biography and accompanying documents for a covert operative, be they a control officer or a mole.

Mole – A recruited agent who does not begin spying on his target for a long period of time. Usually they have worked their way up through an organization until such time as a preset target has been reached, and then activated after a period of years. In, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” for instance, Gerald was recruited in 1955 and not activated until 1972.

Mothers – Secretaries, researchers, clerical staff, most trusted by case officers.

Nuts and Bolts – Logistical support.

Pavement Artists – Specialized surveillance teams who can follow without getting caught.

Priests – The Legislative overseers of MI6. (Intelligence oversight committees etc.)

Scalp hunters – Professional thugs, handling assassinations, bribery, break ins, beatings, kidnappings etc.

Shoemakers – Forgers, they provide false identities in the form of passports, drivers licenses, etc.

Wranglers – Intelligence analysts, cryptographers, the people who look at raw reports, documents, photos, etc., and pass on authenticity, meaning, scope, etc.


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