Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.


June 14, 2005

 Posted by Hello

Joined some old friends today at the Spy Museum. Upon entry, they told us that we were not allowed to take any photos or make any recordings. Huh? I mean, this is the freaking spy museum, for crying out loud. I figured that was basically an invitation to try our hand at a little innocent subterfuge. So I snapped this shot with my state-of-the-art spycam/camera phone.

It was a really fun time. Neat to see so many gadgets and devices and information. Kind of scary, and fascinating. And it got in your head– I went outside a couple of times to feed the parking meter, and was looking over my shoulder the whole time. It felt very close to home, too, as I recongized many of the parks which spies have used for clandestine meetings and drop-spots as places where I’ve gone for runs. The museum is nicely interactive, with films to watch, tapes to hear, artifacts to handle, and ducts to crawl through. But I left the rectal tool kit on the shelf.

The really fascinating stuff came at the end of the tour, when they described the intricacies of intelligence, counterintelligence, and double-agents. Quite a psychological journey: if you are a good spy/analyst, what can you do? Become a great one. But then what’s next? Well, you might be tempted to mess with some disloyalty or double-dealing, just for the challenge. It works, and you develop even more skills and confidence, until you eventually become a double-agent. Then, as you grow in your trade, you might find yourself as a star spy for two competing interests. This creates a most exciting (and lucrative) existence for awhile, until you realize that no one will ever know just how brilliant you are. So you let yourself be caught; at least then the world will know what you have been able to do. Because in the end, your greatest skill–secrecy– has become a dead-end.

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