Who knew we’d have domestic espionage growing right here. 

In fact, what are the odds that out of all the billionaires in this world, one would choose to use his family’s place on the North Fork as a spy school.  

So say the investigative reporters of The New York Times.  

According to the Times, the spy school, hosted by mercenary military services contractor Erik Prince, was run by a former MI-6 officer with a Cody address, Richard Seddon. Apparently, though, it wasn’t a very good school. Either that or it just had some inept students, ones who’ve been making headlines after bungling one of their missions – penetrating the Wyoming Democratic Party with the stated aim of finding and publishing dirt on its leadership.  

Leaving aside the ethics of a billionaire running a private spy school in order to engage in domestic political espionage, I (like many others) had to ask myself why anyone would bother discrediting the Wyoming Democratic Party.

Maybe there’s simply more spy wannabes floating around than common sense.

Or do these rich transplants – the story also involves the Gore-Tex heiress – know something we don’t (besides how to make loads of money).  

What? My guess is that the sign, “Don’t California Our Cody,” is a clue.

In that case it’s about those Californians who are moving here claiming they want to live surrounded by people with conservative values. If so, then what’s the secret our spy wannabes were to expose? That those California transplants are really radical, left-leaning commie bastards – a fifth column – waiting to rise up and take over the state capitol.  

If the clue, however, is the ineptitude of the spies, then I’d look at an old TV series, “Get Smart.” In an equivalent episode, a mad scientist has invented a ray gun and mounted it above the Teton ski slopes. One blast will turn everyone from the high line to the Mexican border into left-leaning, liberal weenies. Only our Wapiti students can stop it. And they failed.     

Still, we shouldn’t judge them too harshly. Their missions seemed to have lacked clear definition, operational planning and sufficient funding, leading to some Keystone Cops-type of bungling by the couple in question. One of them a Cody native.

Which brings me to what I like about this story. Romance. Up in the most love-prone of places – the beautiful Wapiti valley – our couple, while learning all about using bleached cattle skulls as dead drops and other such Wyoming spy stuff, seem to have formed a partnership.  

Or, perhaps, it began in the best Janey Bond tradition with the female agent needing a male partner.  

Whatever its origins, their love has survived more trials and tribulations than is usual. At least, it has if we can judge by their wedding in Big Horn just a few weeks ago. 

Hearing that, I found my mind turning to the many happy endings in James Bond films. Not one beat it.

(6) comments

Schelly Jordan

NEWS FLASH!! NEWS FLASH!! Sorry, had to log in again as I just read that NY Governor Mario "I Didn't Touch Her" Cuomo has declared a state-wide "gun violence emergency", While I might suggest that those crackerjack NYT "investigative reporters" look into why New Yorkers are trying to murder one another but chances are that it will result in discussions of firearm availability, lack of social programs and disparities in policing. The deliberate act of taking a firearm to hand, pointing it at someone and pulling the trigger with intent to kill is a serious problem that gun control and social programs will not solve. The New York political & media establishment ignores the fact that there is a multigenerational culture of violence in their major cities. NYC and Washington DC have had some of the most restrictive gun laws in history and it did not solve the gunshot deaths. People kill people, not guns. Fix the people. If the "investigative reporters" of the NYT really want a Pulitzer, figure out how to fix the people and the culture that encourages, celebrates and perpetuates violence.

Schelly Jordan

Ah, yes "so say the investigative reporters of the New York Times". Nothing more needs to said. The NYT is not exactly the paradigm of journalistic objectivity. The inherent progressive bias of their editorial and investigative staff is reflective of the city, state and elected politicians associated with same. There's nothing more those folks love to do than roll around in right wing conspiracy theories instead of focusing on the disintegrating mess that their elected officials have made of their state and major cities. Meanwhile, the only extremist boogeymen/women I'll be looking for at Walmart today will be one of those so called "investigative reporters" in the souvenir aisle wearing the iconic "I LUV NY" T-Shirt.

Justin Smith

Just a reminder Trump was positive about giving Prince money to privatize United States intelligence operations. Just one out of a billion reasons I cant stand Donald, his supporters or people that think like him.

Tom Conners

Exactly....that "Karma" thing will eventually bite foolish trumpers in the derriere....but it's doubtful it will do much good.

Dewey Vanderhoff

I'm glad you are no longer a top tier CIA agent, Pat. You are missing some obvious tells here.

I doubt these remarkably neophytic Spy Kids were prize students, and far from the only recruits earning their scouting merit badges in various spycrafts . Erik Prince may not have the equivalent of Hogwarts or even Foggy Bottom here in Wyoming - or more likely North Carolina, or Virginia, or some number of foreign fiefdoms on grander scales - but he does think and act globally , strategically above the local horizon and more sinister below it. He draws on quite a roster of seasoned operators.

E.G. his MI-6 comrade in arms Seddon was known to be training folks in Wapiti and elsewhere four years ago on the Dark Arts of infiltration , surveillance, disinformation and propaganda ... who went on to work for that nefarious crew of ambush journalists and deep fake video fabricators Project Veritas whose work fed tons of fake red meat to right wing extremist outlets far and wide , much of which it took on a life of its own. The gullibility of the far right wingnuts cannot be overstated.

All this happened 3-5 years ago. But honestly we have only seen a flyspeck of it. How would we know ?

Scott Conger

How would we know? I'll bet Adam Schiff has irrefutable proof. All we have to do is wait for it to come out. Still waiting for all that other irrefutable proof he had, so this may take awhile.

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