In this age of reality television (or televised unreality), the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency was not going to miss out. Unlike other chief spies who operate in habitual darkness and moving shadows, Mike Pompeo was very keen to get his voice and opinion across on the British Broadcasting Service.
Pompeo specialises in seeing enemies everywhere, and to be fair, he is remunerated to do so. But he has taken his brief all too enthusiastically, seeing challenges to US hegemony at every corner, contenders for supreme power behind many an action. This, in one respect, is a re-enforcing phenomenon: the need for an intelligence service has been questioned at stages of US history, so its chiefs need to find reasons, however plausible.
It was only with the foundation of the US national security state and the arrival of the American imperium that a central intelligence agency was deemed necessary. The occasionally brutal mother of necessity dealt with the rest.
More has to be done, Pompeo insists, on combating covert Chinese influence through the world. (Shades of the Red Menace creep through the dialogue.) No animosity is intended, merely that they need to be combated. And when required, the CIA will still supply, in an old age fraternal manner, assistance that might foil a plot. St. Petersburg is cited as an example, but that hardly means that all is well with the Russian services. “I haven’t seen a significant decrease in their…