Wednesday, June 06, 2007
This day in history from:

Intelligence Gathering

Asked why the Pope was interested in her relationship with Congress, Ms. Arroyo said: "I can't say why. He knows a lot about what's happening in the Philippines." (from this link)

She can't say why. But I know why.

The Vatican has the one of the best intelligence services in world. Formally, it has diplomatic missions all over the world, with the papal nuncio usually as the head of any given country's diplomatic corps.

Then, it has its informal agents. And with these agents, I think the Vatican knows more than our own government about what is happening in our country.

And we see these agents often and really don't think of them as such. So work with me on this one, folks.

You know these informal agents as the Roman Catholic Clergy. The footsoldiers of the Vatican, priests are more spread out in our country than our own government agents. Our priests can be found in the most isolated places, making the Roman Catholics' finger closer to the Philippines' pulse than Ms. Arroyo's. And that goes for the rest of the world, with the rest of the Clergy around the world.

The priests are more immersed in day-to-day life of the people and less conspicuous than uniformed services. We see them a lot, at least once a week. They are there when we celebrate our births. They are there when we mourn our dead. Heck, we even trust them enough with our secrets when they even hear our confessions in between these times...

Of course, that's why the Pope knows a lot about the Philippines. And I bet, he knows more that we do.

And do you know what other country can match this network? You guessed it, the Americans.

Put in a CIA agent in a third-world country and that white dude will stick out like a sore thumb. So to avoid this, they put Mormon missionaries as they are less conspicuous and hence, more effective (but this is just a wild theory, don't accept this one as gospel truth, pardon the pun).

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