What is the True Price of Freedom: Are You Prepared to Die for Freedom and Democracy?
“Mario, I heard the noises. Branches breaking behind us.” I called the commanding officer and said, “It’s 5:00 AM.” “Radio silence. Wait for my sign.”
What we didn’t know was that enemy was already in the tunnel.
They were everywhere. The ultimate price of freedom is human life. And I wasn’t prepared to die. I was afraid and angry that all I saw was disappointment in the faces of everybody around me, blaming us because we didn’t perform well.
We did inflict damages to the enemy, but we were outnumbered. I don’t know how many, but that enemy was waiting for us. Even today I still see that tunnel, that abyss of darkness trying to swallow us all.
Imagine yourself in my shoes. Imagine being 18-years-old, and in just 24 hours the world you knew stopped existing.
Imagine being a teenager and learning all these skills that were designed for one purpose – to kill others.
Growing up in Communist Croatia (then part of Yugoslavia), Mario Bekes witnessed a lot of social unrest – before finding himself in the middle of the Croatian War of Independence.
Mario’s world quickly turned upside down. One morning he woke to a knock at the door. His family and his girlfriend were gone. His neighbours were packing, fleeing the city. And the military were at his door, saying, “Report at the army barracks in one hour.”
Investigations are part of daily routine, in every aspect of life and there is no certain moment in history which we can use as a starting point to define investigation, however investigations are improving, implementing and evolving since the dawn of humankind.
Our ancestors certainly used intuition and some type of skills to make conclusion about events, how to gain competitive edge or to win over their opponents. They also used some form of evidence or facts. Since then investigation methodology and tactics have evolved immensely, to a scale that ordinary people can only imagine.
Investigation doctrine is not the classic scene where a detective smashes a suspect on the head to get them to admit guilt. It has evolved with the legal and judiciary system by protecting the individual from an abuse of their legal rights.
“The word informant in society has negative connotations, and indeed most people in this position are isolated from society.” (Corporate and Workplace Investigations-Crime Investigative and Interviewing Techniques, 2018, Bekes/Smallman, PP 74).
Defining what or who an informant is, is more complex than previously thought. This is particularly relevant in today’s very turbulent world in which governments collapse overnight, civil wars escalate and markets are unpredictable. The informant can be anyone.
The official definition of informant: person who gives information (Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus, 2011, pp 455). There are different types of informants based on motive and these form part of the intelligence management cycle, falling under the category of Clandestine Information Collection.
How often do we watch Hollywood blockbusters in which a cop flies out of the car and presses some snitch against a wall, demanding information about somebody or something? The reality is far more pervasive than the movies. The history of informants reached a pinnacle during the Cold War and without doubt, the Warsaw Pact (1955 -1991) countries assimilated their entire populations into the informant role.
For as long as there have been people, there has been crime. Certainly, in early human history, much crime would have been violent, but some less so. The first laws aimed at kerbing human venality and rage date back to around 1754 BC, with the Code of Hammurabi noting various punishments for various acts. And where there is law, there must be investigation: to establish facts and provide evidence.
Of course, there are strong links in early history, as well as in some societies in the present day, between religion and crime, with notorious religious investigators such as the Spanish Inquisition. Much of our modern understanding of crime and punishment, and its investigation (through Socratic debate about evidence and its surety) is traced to the writing of the Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle. The Roman Republic of course bequeathed an approach to law that remains influential to this day.
That said, it is unfortunate that the Middle Ages marked a remarkably backward step away from Roman secular law, to a rather more colourful interpretation, often based on what would now be termed religious extremism. However, extremism fortunately gave way to forgiveness and compassion.
In business world intelligence and counterintelligence become more and more important element in creating success and wealth on the market for small, medium and large organisation and companies as well in minimising risks from being take over, fraud, industrial espionage, theft of intellectual property, blue prints, and trade secrets and list goes on.
Regardless if you are just about to start your private business or you are in the sit as decision maker in large organisation you will heavily depend on gathered intelligence about your competitor or their product.
Most of the time organisation will use softwares to analyse collected data or they will use external company (contractor) to analyse their competitor or product
Saying that, did you ask your self how some external company collecting data about your competitor, how this data is stored, who has access to this data and perhaps this data is collected on your behalf and in the end is presented to your client. Do you have control over information? How this data is validated?
Do you believe that giving to your employee or contractor Confidentiality Agreement solve all your problems in preventing industrial espionage or perhaps fraud or in the end theft of your intellectual property? No, it is your liability to protect information and trading secret and in case that intellectual property is stolen, it becomes hard to prove who and when take this information (intellectual property), at the end loss of intellectual property can cause downfall of company, shattered their reputation in the market, confidence in investors or stakeholders.
Perception is reality, and with accurate intelligence your perception will increase and give you benefits in performing better on market, in protecting intellectual property.
In today’s turbulent world we can see how protection becomes essential part of our life, and how important it is to know how and what to protect. We can see in the media how dangerous it can be in the real world and that there are people out there who are ready to harm us, regardless of a motive.
Instead of going over board with information, techniques or quotes we have decided to keep this book as simple as we can. Each chapter in this book can be elaborated to infinity but then this book will become a manual. We have not mentioned all of methods and techniques in this book for one reason, to protect some information and techniques, which can be applied unlawfully. Giving too much information about techniques and methods or the prevention of attacks, could be used as a tool to harm.
Through our working experience we have learned that there is no one person who will need identical protection, you must know how to combine your knowledge, training and experience with the sole purpose to protect the person that you have been assigned to protect.
The book Proximus – Executive Close Personal Protection was designed to be easily read for people who have interest in security or for an insight into how to protect your family, assets or business.
Imagine if you were to awaken one day and, although the world around seems the same at first glance, it actually is not? Imagine that you must stay inside your house day after day without the possibility of watching TV for the news; cut off from all possible information from your area, country or world have fresh water from the tap.
When you need to sleep you are afraid to “abandon your post” as the noise from the street informs you that looting is in progress. You hear gunfire and you know there are no law enforcement bodies to prevent all of the other atrocities that occur when there is anarchy.
Is it possible that this will happen to us? Are there are measures to prevent such a thing happening? For how long will the present society survive without the basics such as electricity or water? Perhaps we will be driven back to the Stone Age and will remain there long before we have the opportunity to re-build or restore our world back to the way we used to live.