25/10/2013 07:30 BST | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

How To Be A Spy - An Eight Point Guide for Presidents

He may be the 044 President of the United States, but Obama is proving to be a piss-poor 007 when it comes to the spying game.

So here's a handy cut-out-and-keep guide on surveillance that even a president could follow.

Know Your Enemies

No really. The very least you should do is to understand who is or isn't on your side before deciding who your 'marks' should be. Here's a quick guide. Anyone with whom you are unlikely to go to war in the next ten years can probably be classed as allies. As a further guide, these will generally be countries without large reserves of oil.

Create A Plausible Back Story

You're going to need an alias. One that no-one would possibly question. Why not try 'African-American kid from a broken home with a background in civil rights' for starters and see where that gets you?

Be Subtle

It is vitally important that you don't draw attention to yourself. People will soon start to be suspicious of grand gestures such as health care reform and gun control, so quickly downplay these in favour of reckless war and screwing over the environment.

Manipulate Your Appearance

The art of disguise is one of the most powerful tools in your armoury. You will need to be able to transform yourself from swarthy man-about-town to greying, sunken-eyed wreck faster than you can say 'second term.' You could also try wearing short-sleeved shirts occasionally or talking in an increasingly odd speech pattern.

Gaining Secret Messages

The simplest way to learn really important secrets is by running a soft pencil over the writing pad of the person on whom you are spying. Don't be too disheartened if all you reveal is a picture of a dancing penis with your face on it.

Stealing Evidence Undetected

Before you start rifling through people's personal items, make sure you remember where everything is positioned so that you leave no trace of your presence. Like taking a mental note of what America looked like before you came in and then returning it to exactly the same state in which you found it.

Be Prepared To Travel

Being a good operative may mean going to places you normally wouldn't. Like Benjamin Netanyahu's office.

If Your Cover Is Blown

If you are caught in the act, why not try sticking your fingers in your ears, shutting your eyes, and going 'lalalalalalalalala' ad nauseum? Then when forced into some kind of confession, whine like a scolded child and say that everyone else was doing it, so you don't see why you should be made an example of.