In a bizarre case of Orwellian doublespeak, the CIA director today announced that he was going to investigate… the man in charge of investigating the CIA director. Inspector General John L. Helgerson and his office are responsible for oversight and internal investigation of the intelligence agency. Over the last few years a series of intelligence blunders has led the office to take a higher profile than usual, including work on extraordinary rendition, unauthorised wiretapping, torture methods at Abu Graib and Guantanamo Bay as well as the calamity of the Plame Affair and criticism of the agency in the lead up to 9/11.
This story is so bizarre it leads my head in circles, making me feel like I’m in a Phillip K. Dick novel. So the director is investigating the inspector general who is investigating the director… Now we just need the news tomorrow that the inspector is mounting a counter investigation into the investigation of his investigating and besides, what is Ubik?
8 thoughts on “CIA director investigates his own investigator, may start using doublethink”
Well, it was Bob Arctor who spied on himself as ‘Agent Fred’ in PKD’s “A Scanner Darkly”. “Ubik” has rather different themes.
A good point Jetse, I just had the hypospray of Ubik on my mind. Loving the idea for the new Mundane SF issue of Interzone, btw.
Hey there, Tomas. I don’t usually leave comments anywhere that are complaints, because I don’t see the point most of the time–people do what they want to do–but you strike me as a reasonable and intelligent guy, so I’m going to leave a suggestion. Futurismic is one of my favorite sites, when you all stick to tech news and science fiction, but I recommend you leave the politics out of it. Not everyone sees things the same way on that front, and it detracts from what you do best. One of the things which I love about Futurismic is that it’s a refuge from the constant political drumbeat. Don’t get me wrong; I’m fond of political discourse too, but there is a part of me that would love to stay naive and believe that the future won’t be so partisan. How can I maintain my illusions of future harmony if the site I turn to most for news of what’s to come muddies itself in the slime of the mundane? Just my two cents. 🙂
Fair enough Kat, I appreciate the advice. I thought this one was a pretty mad one that reminded me a lot of some great SF plots but I’ll try toning down some of the political stuff. I’m mainly a Mundane SF writer so a lot of what I think is interesting in the genre tends to be closer to the modern day than some… things like climate change, peak oil is going to stay but I can appreciate that stuff like this is perhaps a little close to the wire. Thanks for your comments.
On the other hand, this is a site about the future, and it would be silly of us, if not irresponsible, to pretend that politics have no effect on the future. New technologies and scientific advancements often come with potential political ramifications. I think it’s perfectly within our purview to speculate on those things. After all: speculation!
There was a good discussion about this between Ellen Datlow’ and Lucius Shepard on the inferior4 livejournal this week about Political fiction.
Lucius thought there weren’t as many political writers as in the past whilst Ellen Datlow thought there were a decent amount of writers like Paolo Bacigalupi, China Mieville and Lavie Tidhar are writing SF with a political edge but that there could be more. Neither thought it was a bad thing.
Some of the best SF from The Forever War to Brave New World has been highly political. Whilst I don’t want to stray from my remit I do think we need to understand the way the world works today to create a world of tomorrow. The dual facets of peak oil and climate change means the likelihood of a space opera -style future is growing more unlikely and I think SF should be changing to reflect that. My work certainly is.
In agreement with both Chris and Tomas, I’m not saying that I think politics should be off limits to science fiction writers–far from it. What would The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress be without Heinlein’s libertarianism written all over it? I’m just saying that with this particular post it felt like quite a stretch to make the SF link–a fair bit closer to political punditry than science/science fiction. Now, if you’d mentioned that Helgerson was using Second Life avatars, or robot dragonfly spies to conduct his counter-investigation, well that would have been a whole different story… 🙂
Fair play Kat, point taken.
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