Recently I've noticed some alarming pessimism among Slashdotters about the state of science
So, you are going to make career decisions based on the mindset of a subset of the slashdot readership? For actual advice I would say do what you love and the rest will work itself out.
It's not like the average person can moderate the amount of advertising that rapes their eyeballs and subconcious every day.
US intelligence services have ALWAYS been fucking awful. I don't care how many Jason Bourne movies you have watched, US intel has been shit since the day it started as the OSS. Please take the time to read the book, Legacy Of Ashes and you can begin to see what a clownshow US intelligence services have been for the past 60+ years.