Jul 5, 2008

The Value Of Intelligence

Ingrid Betancourt was kissed by her daughter, Mélanie, as her son, Lorenzo, looked on at the airport in Bogota, Colombia, on Wednesday.

This scene would not have happened without the actions of Colombia's intelligence agencies (with a bit of help from a friend or two we suspect)

At 5 a.m. on Wednesday, the sun had yet to peek through the jungle canopy in this country’s Guaviare Department when the guerrillas told their captives to gather their belongings. A call had come in from a top adviser to Alfonso Cano, their new supreme commander. He said to move. Immediately.
Or so the guerrillas thought. In fact, the gravelly voice that sounded so full of authority belonged not to a grizzled leader of Latin America’s most feared insurgent group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, but rather to a government officer.
The fighters had been duped. With the help of satellite telephone intercepts and a spy who infiltrated the FARC’s upper echelons, the Colombian military had managed to plan and execute an operation that ended a long-running international hostage saga and upended Colombia’s four-decade civil war.

The rest of this article from the New York Times is here.

Meanwhile, as Green and other groups (such as us here at The Hive) celebrate this dramatic rescue success we might reflect on attitudes to our own intelligence agencies and their friends offshore. Did we not have a sabotage at Waihopai a few months ago? Do we not see regular protests there? Don't we see regular written attacks and conspiracy theories concocted about the role of our services? Which political party is most actively involved in this criticism?