Additional Equipment Issued
Professor Harold Bloom began the code-talking exercise shortly after 16:00, when all the civilian code talkers had arrived. Deputy CIA Director John Alexander Gordon and his administrative assistant, Anne Winchester, sat quietly throughout the exercise. The code-talkers were informed by the agent, upon entering the classroom, that the two were from CIA, but they were not told their names or titles. After a review of the earlier vocabulary lessons, some of the military participants in the operation arrived and the group, sitting in different parts of the room and with the military participants speaking in whispers, relayed messages back and forth. The English spoken was too faint for room microphones to pick up, so almost all the recording is of Akkadian text. The exercise script clearly indicates the content of the communications that were practiced that evening, however.
The code-talkers were escorted after the exercise to a visitor room in the main cafeteria. Agent Virgule summoned another escort and stayed behind to speak briefly to Deputy CIA Director John Alexander Gordon. Their conversation was recorded:
Deputy Director: What are the pay grades for these employees again?
Agent Virgule: Ah, these are contractors, sir, they're from the civilian required service program and they're paid at E3, prorated, because they're in service for less than a month.
DDIR: You'll have to refresh me on that program.
AV: Ah, um, it's the program to employ civilians from outside the agency, under tight control, for limited and specialized roles in the field.
DDIR: They have SCI security clearance?
AV: Ah, yes, provisional, and we keep them accompanied at all times and treat them like cleared contractor visitors here.
DDIR: I see. How do they ... how do these contractors express an interest in working with us?
AV: Ah, it's through provisions of grant and scholarship awards that they're employed, a more limited version of the ROTC model.
DDIR: Ah, I see. Well thank you, we're wrapping up a very full day and we'll be in touch if there are other questions.
AV: Yes, sir. It was really an honor to have you looking in and I hope everything was conducted well here.
DDIR: The whole thing looks well-managed, sure. Thanks.
Packaged dinners for the code-talkers had been prepared before the daytime cafeteria staff departed. The contents were indicated on cafeteria records as Chef's Salad and Chef's Surprise. Coffee was provided by the agency, along with Coke and Diet Coke. The following exchanges, which occurred when the escorting agent left to go to the bathroom, were the only relevant dinnertime conversation from the visitor room:
Ed Fluegel: I wonder whether that computer studies program was worth it ...
Bruce Springsteen: Huh?
EF: I guess it could be worse. I'm sort of at a lull in my work now, so if they are going to call me up it might as well be now, and get it over with.
BS: Yeah. It's sort of like jury duty in some ways ... pain in the ass. Except you don't get shot at on jury duty.
EF: So, have you been ... ah, making music recently? I mean, it's been a while since you put out an album ...
Upon completing dinner the code-talkers were taken to the small barracks (with different quarters for men and women) in the intensive training center. There they found backpacks and foot lockers laid out with their clothing and equipment for the upcoming mission. Each was issued three changes of heavy olive drab trousers and button-down short-sleeve shirts (civilian clothing with only an identifying "USA" patch on the arm, which could be concealed by a pull-down flap), seven undershirts, seven pairs of boxer shorts, seven pairs of underwear briefs, seven pairs of olive drab socks. An olive drab canvas belt was included, along with an olive drab cap.
Each was also issued a survival knife and sheath, with boot attachment, from a limited supply of evaluation equipment not in standard use by the agency at that time. The manufacturer of the knife is not recorded in existing inventory records. The knife issued was of stainless steel, the blade projecting from a dull black guard, below which was a rubberized black grip, shaped to the hand. The blade was double-edged, of medium width at the base, and running straight for two-thirds of the length, at which point it hooked gently to one side, like a beak.
The code-talkers were also provided with survival kits and the Agency's standard, laminated Spanish phrase book. Hope Hearst, a fluent speaker of Spanish, placed her copy in the trash.
As the male civilian code-talkers prepared for bed, the following relevant fragments were recorded:
BS: Last night in the states, huh.
EF: I wish they'd let me get in touch with my brother.
BS: You have any family, Gordon?
Gordon Doe: Big brother. Big brother.
Doe is seen to smile broadly on the video record.
GD: No. No no. No family. Just big brother.
BS: I don't know that I get it, Gordon.
EF: If you're talking about our friends here, I think these guys, for all their supposed efficiency, are more like a bumbling and unpleasant aunt.
EF: Nice knife. I wonder if we get to keep these.
BS: It's a lot more slick than the ... threads ... Clarence would howl with laughter if he saw me in olive.
EF: Yeah, I guess we're supposed to blend in. To each other. And the jungle. And the soldiers. I guess we're going to the jungle, right?
BS: I sort of imagine that.
EF: There's a lot of jungle there, right?
BS: If we were going to be hanging around in the city I bet they'd have checked to see that we knew some Spanish.
EF: Right ... I do know a bit, I guess ... but modern languages aren't my strong point ...
BS: Yo hablo Grigonol ...
"Up, everybody," was recorded in the barracks at 07:26 on Day 4. It was the utterance of Agent Virgule, who came to take the group to the breakfast briefing on agency and military practices, agency terminology, and basic protocols.
The civilian code-talkers arose, showered and dressed, and followed the agent to this briefing.
Harold Bloom's Report
Regarding the use of academics in intelligence training. [Mirror]