Finally, A Return to Spying

Imageby Karen Topakian

“C.I.A. Director John Brennan is trying to shift the C.I.A.’s focus back toward traditional spying and strategic analysis, but that is not an easy task.” New York Times, May 23, 2013

Imagine my relief. I don’t know about you but I’ve missed the CIA’s traditional spying activities.

I miss the poison-filled hypodermic syringes aimed at world leaders who’ve “gone soft on Communism,” the threats of military coups against sovereign leaders and the shaken not stirred martinis.

Don’t you miss the CIA’s efforts to subvert international judicial systems by simply offing leaders whom the US doesn’t like? Or who don’t serve our national interests?

When was the last time you heard about an attempt on Castro’s life? About a Russian spy publicly defecting to the US? Or about the CIA testing new psychotropic drugs on unwitting college students?

I, for one, am glad to see the CIA return to their core mission. This agency owes its chops to its clandestine spy vs. spy activities. It’s rich and colorful history of assassinations, kidnappings and overthrows kept us entertained, amused and above all safe.

The drone attacks in Yemen and Pakistan don’t offer the same amount of punch as assassination attempts on democratically elected leaders.

To be honest, I find the whole concept of drone attacks quite boring. Where’s the intrigue, the drama, the deception? The sensor pilot sits in the US killing people in other countries. The job doesn’t even require fake passports or beards.

I feel that drone attacks lack creativity, panache and an adherence to juris prudence.

Once the CIA returns to their core mission will they also return to overthrowing other countries’ presidents? Will they stage fake coups, bankroll and arm political enemies or stab them with a poison-tipped umbrella?

If they do, I’m wondering whom will they overthrow first.

They have so many leaders to choose from. Will they shoot first at the big enchiladas – Vladimir Putin, the new President of China, Xi, Jinping or Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran?

Maybe they have to get warmed up by starting lower on the food chain with Kim Jong-un in North Korea or Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.

We may not even hear about their near misses as they work out the kinks in the system. The unexploding cigars. The deficient amount of poison in the poisoned handkerchief or food.

I wonder if they’ll employ some new high-tech solutions to a low-tech problem such as a leader that doesn’t suit the US’ fancy. Maybe the new Google glasses could shoot small skin piercing darts into the skulls of our “enemies.” Or Apple might create an exploding iPhone.

Whatever happens, I know I’ll be happy when they switch back to original CIA.


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