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double agents

Why do intelligence agents (like Carrie Carrie Mathison, Allison Carr) and spies (like Anna Pomerantseva, Nicholas Brody) become double agents?

In the intelligence community, there is a popular acronym regarding what motivates a person to secretly work for the other side — C.R.I.M.E.A. It breaks down like this:

Season 1 of HOMƎLAND shows us something different about post-9/11 remnants.

Money:

Pretty self-explanatory — it’s greed pure and simple although, if you want that money in order to provide a better life for your family (rather than to blow it on drugs and hookers), it’s perhaps a bit less selfish.

Ex: Allison Carr (S5) and Aldrich Ames

Ideology:

If you are a North Korean official who believes his country would be better off if its totalitarian leadership were toppled, you might work to undermine it.

Ex: Simone Martin (S7) and Ana Montes

Coercion:

If the opposition presented you with indisputable evidence of some moral or financial transgression that would destroy your career/marriage/reputation were it revealed, you might be persuaded to cooperate. Some call this, “blackmail”. The CIA refers to it as, “biographic leverage”.

Ex.: Majid Javadi (S3) and John Vassall

Ego:

If you think you are smarter or better than those around you (and perhaps underappreciated / underestimated by them), successfully playing the spy game behind their backs would be one way to prove your superiority.

Ex: Denis Body (S4), Dante Allen (S7) and Robert Hannssen

Some are in it just for the thrill... To these four - M.I.C.E. - , I would add:

Adventure: Carrie (S8); and

Revenge*: Brody (S1) and Anna (S8).

And some want to get back at their supervisor (or organization or government) if they feel they have been wronged.

Ex: Ivan Krupin (S5).

From the CIA's experience, over years of recruiting people, of all these possible motivations, in 9 out of 10 instances, it was “all about the Benjamins”. With very few exceptions, even if their primary reason for “turning” was not financial, they also wanted the money or at least never turned down the envelopes of cash that I handed them.

Lynne Reed (season 1) and Nicholas Brody (in Seasons 2 and 3) is on the same level as Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden: CONSCIOUSNESS.

Comments

* Revenge is good. As good a fire to move forward as any. Remember those who stood on your fingers as you climbed the craggy cliffs. Remember their faces.

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