The glamorization of intelligence work began with Ian Fleming’s James Bond series in the later 1950s. Fleming, a veteran of MI6, the British foreign intelligence agency. invented a spy who appealed
The U.S. sales of Bond novels skyrocketed in March 1961 when President John Kennedy disclosed he was a fan. Spies were now seen as cool, dashing, heroic, not, (as conventional morality had it) furtive, treacherous, and untrustworthy.
The Bond movies followed, along with TV shows like “I Spy,” the first prime time TV series with a black male lead (Bill Cosby in his better days) and “Mission Impossible,” Long before Bond had been succeeded by Jason Bourne, the spy had become fixed as a male exemplar. In America, the spy became the spiritual descendant of the cowboy, a loner and force for good in an evil world. The sexualization of espionage made the essence of the secret intelligence profession–dirty tricks for a good cause–more attractive to the general public.
All intelligence agencies have benefitted from this mythology. But the managers of the CIA and Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service have realized the Bond vibe needs updating with nurturing touches, as two recent article show.
In the United Kingdom, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) is recruiting in the tabloids.
In particular, a series of ads reported in The Daily Star, want to attract more diversity including people with disabilities.In particular, they are looking for “contacts” in Russia or China. According to the Daily Mail, the initiative is thought to be the brainchild of the new head of MI6 Richard Moore, known as C for Controller. In the Bond films, the head of the service is known as ‘M’.
[ See the Deep States guide to MI6, the British foreign intelligence agency.]
The Wall Street Journal reports:
The CIA hopes these efforts will convince the millions of millennials and Gen-Zers scrolling through their phones and streaming TV to consider a career in intelligence.
“We had to go where the talent is,” says Sheronda Dorsey, the CIA’s deputy associate director for talent, who is now on LinkedIn herself.
This path can lead a young person to generating excellent research and analysis for elected leaders. It can lead a young person to war crimes like torture, targeted assassination and regime change.