Recently I finished Norman Mailer’s Harlot’s Ghost. Harlot Ghost is a very long novel about the CIA, 1286 pages. Of course the CIA was a conspiratorial organization. Some of their conspiracies were successful, the coups in Iran and Guatemala for example. Most were not, the Bay of PIgs for example. The failed conspiracies often caused great harm. Many countries in Africa and Latin America still have not recovered from their adventures with the CIA.
Norman Mailer wrote in exhaustive detail about the CIA of the years 1954-1963, the early Cold War years. The CIA of that era was full of legendary characters, most of them children of the old upper-class prep school America. These men were rich and did want to protect their wealth. More important than their desire to Protect United Fruit and Gulf Oil was their almost theological hatred of communism.
Looking back 50 years at the era, many of their schemes seem completely crazy. Why would any rational person believe the Bay of Pigs would be successful or that the Mafia would be able to kill Castro.
Looking back nine years why would any rational person believe that the invasion of Iraq could be successful. Looking back 18 months, how could any rational person believe that selling guns to Mexican criminals would not end in disaster.
I think the answer is this for people in power, the game itself becomes the thing. Adventure itself becomes the purpose. Operation Fast and Furious is well named. The adrelin rush of organizing a conspiracy is the purpose of the conspiracy