Posted by almostnews (#8) 381 days ago (Editorial)
Is Iran really developing nuclear weapons? Will Israel really bomb Iran, or are they bluffing? Are America and Europe really doing F-all or do they have something special up their collective sleeves? Is Syria really planning to fold in the face or democracy protests, or are they just underplaying their hand to get through this round of betting? Is Europe bust or is austerity holding on to a winning hand for the end game? Will I ever stop asking questions and get on with the article?
If it sometimes seem like global politics is like a giant game of poker, that’s because (according to secret government documents revealed on WikiLeaks today) it basically is. Top secret recruitment files from multiple Secret Service departments in America, UK and several other countries suggest that Secret Service agents across the world are recruiting the next generation of spies – from the world’s top poker tournaments.
“People think of spies as being like James Bond” one intelligence source told The Daily Satire “They think we spend our time running around the world driving fast cars and having sex with beautiful women. I mean, obviously we do that, as recent news stories have clearly shown. That’s why most of us got into this kind of work in the first place. But it’s not what we are supposed to be doing. It’s just like our version of spending the afternoon on Facebook when you’re supposed to be doing some boring spread sheet or something; or having a sneaky five finger shuffle in the work toilets.
“The work of a spy, and actually most global diplomacy, basically comes down to three things: Being able to lie, being able to guess who else is probably lying and what they are lying about, and pure blind luck. When we set out to find that highly specialised skill set we were surprised to find out that best place to find it is at poker tournaments. Since then we have been scouring the poker listings looking for dirt on the top poker players that we could use to blackmail them into working for us.”
When asked why the Secret Service doesn’t just pay their recruits instead of blackmailing them our inside source looked surprised, and told me “Interesting idea. Like we do with women you mean? We didn’t think of that.”
Questioning the man further we asked whether recruits found at poker tournaments would have the necessary dedication to patriotic duty and upstanding moral character for such important work. At this point our source looked at us with squinty eyes, laughed, then blushed, then said “oh, you’re serious”. At this point he lost interest in the interview and went to talk to a leggy blonde woman at the bar.
The public has reacted angrily to the latest revelations from a beleaguered Secret Service, with campaigns across social media platforms calling for a more honest approach to international relations that doesn’t involve lying and manipulating people. But government has been quick to respond with a strong defense, issued in a press release today:
“Sensitive international negotiations have to take place in secret, everybody knows that and it is a commonly accepted fact. And if we were to start going around being honest and up front about what we are trying to do then it wouldn’t be secret anymore would it? So it stands to reason that we have to be deceitful and manipulative – it’s the only way to maintain secrecy.”
President Obama is also thought to be a strong supporter of the initiative. As James McManus says in Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker:
“Poker skill didn't vault Barack Obama into the presidency. No cool-eyed read of a Hillary Clinton tell made it obvious he should reraise her claims to be an agent of change. Nor did he shrewdly calculate the pot odds necessary to call John McCain on his commitment to the Bush economic policies or extending the war in Iraq. At least not literally, he didn't. But when Senator Obama was asked by the Associated Press in 2007 to list a hidden talent, he said, 'I'm a pretty good poker player.' He seemed to be talking about the tabletop card game, but the evidence also suggests he was right in the much larger sense.”
Unfortunately for Obama, however, it seems that the latest government recruits do not seem to agree that his poker skills are up to scratch. In a Daily Satire exclusive we have managed to interview one of the new government recruits drawn from the poker tournaments.
“It never ceases to amaze me how liberals look at reality” says Mike Ryan, from South Riding. “The proper poker analogy would be that, so far, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called President Obama's bluff on every hand played and has won every time. Mr. Ahmadinejad has all the time in the world to play this amateur game. As long as Mr. Obama keeps playing penny ante hands against a guy who holds all the chips, he will not win the world poker championship. Mr. Ahmadinejad can just sit back and say: 'Is that all you got?' ”
If Mike is right, and I for one think he may well be, then it seems that the government may have nothing to lose and everything to gain from being honest about what it takes to succeed in global politics, and by sacking the diplomats, spies and political advisors in favour of a few good poker players.
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