Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wanted: Double-Naught Spies

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In these tough economic times, many people are looking for a career change. Having been canned from jobs they’d previously found tedious and unfulfilling, they hunger for new challenges in different fields.

If you’re one of those people, maybe you should consider a career in international espionage and counterterrorism!

But how can I find a job in a field like that, you ask. I don’t have any military or CIA experience! How can I, an average Joe, even find out about jobs in the competitive, one might even say cutthroat, field of covert operations?

Well, average Joe, these are the days of the Internet. You don’t need contacts in the black ops world, because we have Craigslist.

Recent news stories might give you the impression that the premier online advertising site was just for people looking for what are euphemistically referred to as “adult services.” Not so. The vast bulk of the advertising on Craigslist is actually for legitimate commerce, including extensive want ads. And according to a recent article in the online version of Wired magazine, some advertisers on Craigslist are looking for people in the intelligence and cybersecurity fields.

The article notes that an Ohio-based company with “$750 million in national security contracts” posted an ad (now apparently removed) for an “intelligence analyst and ‘targeting’ officer to work in its Arlington, Va., office.” I’m not sure what a “targeting officer” is, but if it’s what it sounds like, I want in. I’ve got a little list, my friends, I’ve got a little list...

Even the U.S. Army has gotten into the act, posting an ad to entice veterans back for a variety of postings, including military intelligence.

According to the article, there were a couple of job fairs held in the last couple of weeks “for a smörgåsbord of intelligence, defense and homeland security companies.” This may sound like a great place to meet some really bad-ass looking people, but unfortunately, I’ve met some actual intelligence agents in my time. They all look like accountants, which makes sense when you think about it.

Anyway, with the spook community getting into the online groove, how long will it be, do you think, before we start seeing ads like this:

— Overseas “export company” (wink, wink) seeks dynamic, energetic field representative with wide-ranging skill set. Must be able to drive fast, shoot straight, bed exotic and beautiful women and ski down steep slopes before parachuting off cliffs. British accent a plus, but will train. Must have own tuxedo. Flexible hours. Car provided. Send resume and salary requirements to the local British Consulate, addressed to “M.” No phone calls.

— Beautiful female Russian nationals sought for vaguely defined intelligence activities in NYC. Duties may include going to nightclubs, eating in trendy restaurants, establishing Facebook pages with hot profile pictures, and dating men who are maybe kinda sorta peripherally involved in politics. Compensation may vary, but will almost certainly include a one-way ticket back to Mother Russia when, we mean if, you get caught. Call Yuri at 555-XKGB.

— Sexual libertine with bad teeth needed for ongoing assignments as International Man of Mystery. Duties to include thwarting bald super-villain and his team of grotesque and amusingly named henchmen. Knowledge of obscure ’60s fashion a must. Call the British Ministry of Defense and use the code phrase, “Yeah, baby, yeah!”

— Dedicated, ruthless, yet extremely cool agent needed to repeatedly save the United States from terrorist attacks at great personal expense to himself. Must be able to work on tight (often 24-hour) deadlines. Willingness to commit terrible acts for the greater good an absolute requirement; great resistance to torture a plus. Must be able to handle repeated betrayals and plot twists. Call 555-4CTU.

On the old TV show “The Beverly Hillbillies,” people used to laugh at the hapless Jethro Bodine, whose career aspirations included becoming a “double-naught” spy. Jethro’s efforts all came to, well, naught.

Too bad he never had Craigslist.