Back in the bad old days of the Cold War, there were all kinds of espionage novels and movies, ranging from Ian Fleming’s James Bond series to Robert Ludlam’s Jason Bourne adventures. Authors from Len Deighton, Ken Follett, Tom Clancy, and John le Carré’s wrote bracing novels about the spy game, including Le Carré’s excellent Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
I gobbled up these books; I never missed a good spy movie. It was all very exciting, thrilling, scary. And distant.
Not so distant anymore, though.
The news these days is full of stories about spies, foreign agents colluding (allegedly, for you Trumpettes out there) with Americans, and other shall we say nefarious goings on.
Today’s espionage activities have gone cyber, with the hacking of emails, voting machines, and potentially critical infrastructure systems. But there is no doubt it exists and there’s no doubt where it’s coming from. (Hint: Russia — or some 400 pound guy on his bed in New Jersey,. No one can know for sure.)
Our POTUS, though, has doubts. He doesn’t want to put a cloud over his historic (he claims) election victory. But now even his eldest son, his namesake, has been implicated.
And where does that leave us? Well, these tales of espionage from the “bad old days” are no longer exciting, thrilling, and distant. The bad old days are back with us. In real life.
And it’s “very, very frightening me.”