Thursday, February 25, 2016

Rivers of Spies

In The Great Game: The Myths and Reality of Espionage, Frederick P. Hitz notes that one of the requirements of a good intelligence officer is “a profound understanding of human nature”—the ability to get into “the heads and the guts of a recruited spy.” Spy running often involves a carefully choreographed pulling of psychic marionette-strings: threads of desire and ambition, paranoia and greed, ideology and pragmatism—all unique to the individual in question and to the broader cultural and geopolitical context. Vanities and resentments are especially important, and CIA officers must play to these without ever acknowledging them outright (Hitz’s book offers a catalog of spies who were motivated, at least in part, by the most minor of grievances—and won over by the most minor of flatteries). Intelligence failures, like literary ones, tend to stem from failures of empathetic imagination.
What writers and spies have in common: isolation, loss of perspective, grandiosity, alcoholism, and a willingness to lie and call it something else... Media Dragons and Gekos via my old mates at CIA and KGB who bury their mistakes ...

Failure as a Way of Life for Jozef Imrich American Conservative. “Bill Lind is an insightful man on many things, but also holds some, shall we say, idiosyncratic views. e.g., the world went to hell with the fall of the House of Hohenzollern.”
In the clubby world of New York publishing, much has changed since Alfred Knopf published Thomas Mann. But there are constants: ego, insecurity, irrational exuberance Rivers of Words

Do No Evil Google Wants to Save News Sites From Cyberattacks—For Free Wired 

Apple Versus the G-Men Project Syndicate