(Image: Private Media)

From the Cold War the CIA is famed for three things: running death squads, promoting modern jazz, and never foreseeing the collapse of communism.

It's a history beginning in crime (that's the death squads, not the jazz, to be clear) and ending in farce. How did it get it so wrong?

The obvious answer is that the entire spy apparatus of the west was filled with idiots, and one gets the same impression from reading the "China sections" in the endless supply of foreign policy websites available today.