Tag Archives: CIA

Buildaburger Conference 16 December 2014 – Strategic vs Tactical


First Christmas dinner of the year, dining on a flight case.

Regular readers will know that I do not like to miss a meal, but the work I do for a living often presents me with variable hours, irregular breaks and meal times that are movable feasts. Also, I sometimes have long periods of enforced idleness in locations where I might or might not be able to leave in order to seek sustenance.

Consequently, I favour both a strategic and tactical feeding strategy, although I prefer not to take it anally. Those of you in the United States military or Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) might be unaware of my own definition of strategic and tactical. They are not the same as yours.

I can’t speak for Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) or MI6, but as a rule we British don’t euphemise as much as the Americans. We prefer understatement and sarcasm in a knowing and witheringly ironic fashion. Voila.

My own “core interests” mostly comprise of getting enough sleep and not going more than four hours without eating. And when I say eating, I don’t mean snacking on chocolate and crisps.

This is the strategic bit.

As I am a diurnal mammal, and my working day was due to start at 3pm and probably finishing no less than 12 hours later, I decided on a substantial lunch at 13.30 with a packed meal to last me for the rest of an unnatural working day.


This is a “Mini-Fish Special” from my local chip shop, and I must say, there is nothing miniature about it. The only thing that makes it “mini” is by comparing with the whale, chips and peas that is deemed a full-sized portion.

Moving forward.

Although I knew the event I was about to work on was a Christmas dinner and awards ceremony, there was no guarantee that us workers would get fed on the job. My employer for this particular event is notorious for not feeding his staff and also not communicating all of the details about when the working day will finish. As a result, I had to insert myself into the event zone with incomplete intel.

Torture is not a method I would normally employ in the workplace, and for good reason. According to the recently published report on the CIA by the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), it turns out “tactical questioning” and “enhanced interrogation” are unreliable methods for gaining intelligence. Another priority for me is to attract repeat business from the source, a situation that would not normally be a priority for the spooks of the CIA. So, as a jobbing professional, torture is always a last resort.

As a result, it was important for me to take whatever precautions to safeguard my food-security without resorting to any “extraordinary” methods. However, What you see here is a variation on my favoured packed lunch for such a situation.

This is the tactical bit.


Whereas I generally favour a multi-layered, deli-style sandwich including meat and/or cheese, salad, pickles and relish, such a sandwich does not survive well once battle-stressed by sitting, unrefrigerated, for 10-12 hours. What you see here is a plain cheese sandwich with sweet pickle on a sliced, seeded batch loaf, accompanied by McCoy’s crisps and undressed carrot and celery sticks. This can be picked at over a long period without getting too sad. Also, it can easily be rescued the following day by toasting any leftover sandwiches and dressing the salad.

All that said, we did get fed with some leftover main courses (no starter and no dessert), but the portion was meagre (see above) and we didn’t get it until 8pm.

Just as well I had my strategic fish and chips earlier in the day, and my tactical butty box to supplement it at 2am.


Buildaburger Conference – 11th June 2013 – The William Hague Deniability Double

Although I hesitate to finger a fellow Rotherham lad, I couldn’t resist this. Especially in the light of his masterly question avoidance, even within range of the palpable sexual heat of Sophie Raworth crossing and re-crossing her legs. (The Andrew Marr Show, BBC TV, 9th June 2013)
This is called the William Hague Deniability Double and comprises a vast and featureless domed lid covering the misdirection of two inadequate patties. Between them is sandwiched an artificial veneer of statesmanship in the form of PPE / MBA processed cheese, topped with an over-sweetened smear of “rigorous legal framework” and the often discarded “pickle” of ethical foreign policy. Like so many tempting quick-fix meals, here is a familiar portion of history that will soon be repeating, with not so much as a lettuce leaf to hide it.
A transcript of the interview is here.
Photo: TheDapperDan – public domain c/o Wikimedia Commons.