In the many years of conversations with my father about his exploits in the CIA from its founding through the Middle East years, perhaps the most interesting observations surrounded the directives the CIA wanted its people to look out for. Part of this came from what the CIA learned the KGB was doing as well as Israeli Mossad. Even though operatives may have been on opposite sides there was still begrudging admiration for things they got right and concepts that all intelligence agencies used.
Recruitment of spies every agency soon learned that if you pay people and that is the motivation, you end up getting information they think you want to hear. Better is to look out for”useful idiots” that will do your bidding perhaps without even knowing they were doing so. In other words support those that push your agenda for their own reasons, not yours.
I remember in Lebanon funneling CIA money to a politician that was vocal about his opposition to US interests and asking why the CIA would give money to someone like that. My father’s reply was; “he may hate us but he hates the USSR even more”. It was also imperative that the politician did not know where the money was coming from as that would have hurt his credibility. So secret front organizations were set up to hide the source. At the same time I learned that theBritish, French and Soviets were doing exactly the same thing with other politicians. That’s the game of espionage. Nowadays the game is made far easier because of the internet and the willingness of media people to think more about the personal money they make more than any larger “moral” or “patriotic” duty. The lessons of Hitler, appeasement, and the like have faded from memory. The US becoming a dictatorship? Who believes that, never going to happen, so just give me the cash.
I cannot escape from my conversations with my father so am programmed to look for today’s useful idiots. Who is working for the interests of say China or Russia today – most likely not even realizing they are doing so? Worse, that perhaps they are being secretly funded or supported by outside interests just like we used to do (and probably still do) when my father was in the CIA. When I heard Tucker Carlson on FOX asking why the US should care about Ukraine I saw an obvious “useful idiot.” If he is not a Russian plant than he is missing out on some serious bucks. But then again, I am sure FOX is paying him well.
Unfortunately, FOX seems to have cornered the market for “useful Idiots”. As a matter of habit I watch FOX, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, France 24 but have to admit that watching FOX is becoming harder and harder as the useful idiots have taken over the place and have no idea where it can lead. Mark Levin? He was always crazy so I always wondered how FOX would put him on the air. And he is not the only one spouting crazy stuff they know little about and oblivious of what the effect can be. I keep hoping that someone there will realize that encouraging the division of Americans only aids the Chinese aims re Taiwan, Putin and whatever his aims are. But alas. It’s about the money and FOX gets ratings the more outrageous their people are. Long term damage? Just give me the cash!