Tradecraft for Patriots: The Chess Game

In this second installment of our series on Tradecraft for Patriots, we’ll talk about what you’re protecting and what you’re up against. It’s no secret that the government does not agree with what you do. There’s a reason why they want your life open for inspection and your guns taken away. Their objective, of course, is control. Tradecraft makes it that much harder for them to achieve it.

Counterintelligence is the information gathered and activities conducted to protect against espionage, infiltration, surveillance, and other nasty things. It’s used by governments to protect against other state actors, but it’s also become one of the favorite activities of our own government against its citizens—especially us, patriots who stand against tyranny. TOWR, and many other patriot or III% groups, are not anti-government. We are anti-tyranny, and only seek a return to the constitutional form of government that adheres to the limits set by the Founders. That doesn’t matter, however. Patriots stand in the way of their agenda, and that makes us targets.

It all becomes a chess game, where the stakes are far higher than losing a piece on the board. It requires strategy, analysis, and a lot of careful planning and thought.


What Are You Protecting?

You may think, “Hey, my group isn’t doing anything illegal. They can look at us all they want, there’s nothing to find.” Really? Are you stockpiling guns and ammunition? Are you a prepper? Do you have a place where you go to train? Do you have clandestine contacts who help you in various ways with supplies or information? Do you actively collect intelligence on politicians or law enforcement in your area? Do you have a Order of Battle for your area of responsibility? Do you keep track of strategic targets that will be in play if SHTF? None of this is illegal, but it’s all information that you should be keeping to yourself and your group. Under the current government, these things spell domestic terrorist, and if they can make you look like one, they will.

  • Contacts in your group: Who they are, what their capabilities are, what function they perform.
  • Outside contacts: Friends in high (and low) places who are putting themselves at risk to help you.
  • Capabilities: Arms, ammunition, skills, resupply ability, technical ability, etc.
  • Intelligence products: It’s our job to be subject matter experts in our areas of responsibility and control. That means, if you’re doing your job, you will have extensive and intimate information about everything from what equipment your local and state law enforcement has, to what sections of your area have high crime rates or gang activity, to what things you’ll need to defend or keep an eye on if SHTF. You may also have files on known and suspected informants, agents, and inciters, social link analyses of other groups, intelligence profiles of politicians and other leaders, and much more. ALL of this is incredibly important, and all of it needs to be protected.
  • Upcoming actions, such as planned infiltration of anti-gun rallies or groups, specific actions to be taken (such as marching into your state’s legislative gallery with rifles, for instance).

In short, who you are, what you do, and how you do it should be protected, not because it’s wrong or you’re ashamed of it, but because if they can use it against you, or use it to entrap and disrupt your patriot activities, they will.

How Far Will the Government Go to Find Out Your Information?

The government’s control apparatuses are so pervasive that you may not even realize how entrenched you are in the web. They use laws and regulations to install these controls, and in doing so they not only control you, but they control how, when, and under what circumstances you can exercise your rights. In many cases, you will even pay a fee to exercise them. Far too many people succumb to this and think that if a license can be granted for it then it is not infringed upon. That line of thinking is incorrect and dangerous. Let’s look at how invasive this control state is.

  • Movement – There are laws and regulations and limits on almost every facet of your movement. Your license plates are read, vehicles tracked, and if you are able to fly it’s because the government hasn’t added you to its secret no-fly list yet, and you’ve jumped through all of its hoops in the security line.
  • Identity – Birth certificates, ID cards, Social Security numbers, etc.; all of these are exploited for information and used to define and control you.
  • Communication – Free speech areas, surveillance on your phone/laptop, exploitation of your private communications.
  • Action – How many things do you currently pay a fee or buy a license to do that are actually basic rights? Paid for a concealed weapons permit lately?
  • Publications – Censorship, use of the media to spread propaganda and disinformation, retaliation against those who speak out.

The list goes on and on. The list of HOW they do these things is even longer. These things are what tradecraft is designed to thwart.

  • Provocation – We are all aware of the potential and presence of agents provocateur, or the instigators who seek to cause ruckus your group isn’t interested in engaging in. They try to entrap you, sell you items that are considered illegal (or try to buy them from you), post increasingly threatening or violent things in an effort to bring people along with their rhetoric, use false information to push people to actions they would not normally do, and generally incite things that will give them an excuse to arrest you.
  • Interception – This goes back to intrusion into your private life. The Snowden leaks showed a system of communication interception that defies reason in its scope. From taking possession of new computers in transit and installing keyloggers and other tracking software before shipping them to their new owners, to using Stingrays, malware, collecting your emails, taking your metadata, and a thousand other things, the federal government is involved in intercepting every communication you send or receive electronically—and even in the snail mail if they feel like it.
  • Surveillance – License plate readers, GPS trackers, location services on your phone or laptop, and more. They want to know who you talk to, where you are, and what you’re doing.
  • Infiltration – They’re in the patriot movement. They may be in your group. They may be agents undercover, and they may be informants, with secrets or weaknesses that were exploited to get them to play along. Patriots have infiltrated groups like Mothers Demand Action and other anti-rights groups; why do we think the government does not do the same to us? As hard as it is to hear, the person you train next to might not be as trustworthy as you think.
  • Questioning – Sometimes the government might just arrest you and subject you to interrogation. It’s happened to many patriots.
  • Searches – Fourth Amendment? What Fourth Amendment? Everything you own is fair game to a federal agent, and due to the Patriot Act and other control apparatuses, they don’t even have to be that creative to get granted access.

In the next installment, we’ll talk about the other side of who wants your info: Your friends, neighbors, and even extended family.

Author: Kit Perez

Kit Perez is a liberty activist, longtime writer, and intelligence analyst specializing in deception detection and HUMINT. She is prior Air Force, holds a degree with honors in Counterintelligence and has a Master's in Intelligence. She writes at

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