Thursday, October 05, 2006

CIA AD BLITZ CONTINUES: Desperation showing

As noted late in September, the CIA is taking out a television ad blitz for recruitment purposes. In The CIA Wants You! DD noted appearances in the breaks between reruns of King of the Hill between five and six o'clock.

And earlier this week DD saw another during the F/X channel's Nip/Tuck.

Nip/Tuck, in case you've been out, is the drama about two Miami plastic surgeons, Sean and Christian. In addition to regularly showing stomach-turning physical deformity, it amusingly trots out every depravity in the book, from gluttony to greed to the urban legend of an organ-stealing operation in which high-class hookers act as bedroom surgeons, doping their marks, then removing their kidneys for resale. Now one of the characters is into Scientology at the behest of a porn star.

The CIA's ad blitz is remarkable, in places where it seems to be aimed at attracting a new brigade of young analysts, bureaucrats, potential agents, and boffins.

Coincidentally, it comes hot upon the heels of a Los Angeles Times news story that reported it was having to rely on a preponderance of outside contractors to fill its workload, perhaps with negative consequences.

"Largely because of the demands of the war on terrorism and the drawn-out conflict in Iraq, U.S. spy agencies have turned to unprecedented numbers of outside contractors to perform jobs once the domain of government-employed analysts and secret agents," wrote the Times.

One CIA ad, now showing on the Discovery channel, has been uploaded to YouTube here. It is a come-on for scientists and engineers. Work on the development and application of classified technology, it says.

Recruitment at the CIA has, in the past, been a long and Kafka-esque procedure. Having witnessed it first-hand, DD is convinced, along with friends who knew of it, that CIA hiring, in and of itself, was problematical and had (and might still have) some bearing on the many accumulated faults of the agency prior to 9/11.

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