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The CIA Goes Back to the Movies

January 1st, 2013 - 10:20 am

Well, it sure beats talking about Benghazi.  A few days after the (acting) chief spook wrote his review of Zero Dark Thirty, the Agency itself has returned to its new favorite subject, enlightening its readers about their latest deep thinking about Hollywood.  And guess what?  After careful study and analysis, they still think that you shouldn’t believe everything you see on the big screen.

You can get the gist of it from the headline:  “Hollywood Myths vs. the Real CIA.”

Maybe they’re preparing to offer an online course or something.

Meanwhile, your friends in Langley are trying to make you better informed, and, as before, they’re not talking about our enemies, or the global war against American civilization, or the unmentionable “terrorism.”  Nope.  Taking a cue from their leader in the White House, it’s all about themselves.  “CIA.gov wants to share some of the facts with you.”

Really.  Like what?  Well, like the CIA has very small (indeed “insect-sized”) listening devices (I guess that’s why they’re called “bugs,” huh?) and froovy robot fish that can sample water.  But the big “reality” from CIA.gov is that most of the folks who work for our once-secret espionage agency are NOT spies.  They may recruit spies, and run spies, but they are not actually spies themselves (true enough).  Furthermore (although you won’t get this from CIA.gov), most of our important spies have been walk-ins.  We didn’t go out and find them and lure them to betray their country.  They decided to do that, and came to us. And you’ll be pleased to learn that we’re in great shape to deal with them.  CIA’s got “a diverse workforce.”

That’s not always a good thing, by the way.  It prompts a flashback to a  Cold War story, I think when the hapless Stansfield Turner was in charge of CIA.  The wonderful Carter years.  A man in Czechoslovakia who wanted to spy for us arranged to meet a CIA guy at a bistro in Prague.  He was told that the spook would be easily recognizable because he would have the Herald Tribune with him.  So the would-be secret agent goes to the bistro and spots a big black man–six and a half feet tall–wearing cowboy boots, with the Trib on the table in front of him.

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