Thursday, December 01, 2005

Military Intelligence: The Street Price of Information

Military Intelligence: "The Street Price of Information

December 1, 2005: In Iraq, and to a lesser extent Afghanistan, rewards for information have proved very useful. Oddly enough, getting money for the rewards has never been a problem. No, the major problems have been communications, and keeping the identity of the informants secret, as the terrorists and anti-groups often carry out reprisals against those who inform on their murderous activities. Communications, letting people know about the program, and actually getting the information in time for it to be useful, has been the big show-stopper. With millions of cell phone users in Iraq (Saddam did not allow any), the communications problem has finally been solved there. Over the last two years, American intelligence troops have developed workable methods to get informants paid quickly and safely. Speed is important, and the troops try to get their tipsters paid within 24 hours (of the information proving useful.) Rewards range from $100 (for reporting a corrupt Iraqi cop, which may mean he is working for the terrorists as well as himself) to a thousand dollars or more for the capture of a terrorist (the fee goes up with the importance of the guy caught.) Your average weapons cache will bring a few hundred bucks. This is the average monthly wage for an Iraqi, and what the terrorists often pay people to help them out with their attacks."

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