It’s Columbus Day in the state of Ohio which means I absolutely got the day off. It also means that if you work in DC at the CIA, FBI, DEA, ICE, ATF, Congress, Senate, or White House, you probably have the day off as well. So this AMA, and the all-day KUWTK marathon, are especially for you.

If you’ve seen some of my other AMA’s, you may know that I started my adult life in sales, then I worked for the USG, then I wrote a book and did some tv shows, and now I sorta still do that but also teach elementary school. “You mean you eat other people’s lunches?”

Since my last AMA in 2017, I’ve received a lot of messages almost entirely about how to work for the CIA and occasionally about my cat. I also get asked a lot about cryptograms and ciphers so here's a short video I made for those of you who are into that sort of thing. Feel free to share the answer if you figure it out.

This will be my third AMA, and since many of my students have told me I’m too old to be on Reddit, it may just be my last.





Comments: 2561 • Responses: 99  • Date: 

Kyrian10023317 karma

How many Kindergarten Cop jokes do you get in a week?

AgencyAgent2322 karma

They might as well be on a loop.

TheWeaponShop1053 karma

Can you ask Carl from the NSA to stop stealing my runescape password?

AgencyAgent729 karma

I can ask but I can't guarantee.

OftheSorrowfulFace925 karma

Who is your daddy and what does he do?

AgencyAgent716 karma

I'm happy to go down this road if you like.

bluemitersaw104 karma

Oohh. I definitely want to watch this one play out.

Gets chair and popcorn

Don't mind me. Game on!

expresidentmasks863 karma

Do you know of any CIA agent ever lying to a news organization?

AgencyAgent1533 karma

Yes. All the fucking time. Especially with regards to their background and expertise. This also happens regularly on really, really, really popular tv shows and daytime talk shows.

expresidentmasks321 karma

In your opinion, how can a regular citizen analyze CIA statements, to determine the validity?

edgar__allan__bro929 karma

Pretty much anyone who makes themselves out to be some kind of big deal or well-respected person in their field probably isn't. If they actually had that type of reputation, they wouldn't feel compelled to talk about it.

Source: Life.

AgencyAgent907 karma


SunshineBlind792 karma

Do you know any secret projects or such that would cause an uproar if it came out?

AgencyAgent1040 karma

A lot. A lot a lot.

Grizzant607 karma

how old is "too old to be on reddit?"

asking for a friend

AgencyAgent704 karma

Keep in mind I start every analogy or reference to my students with, "Hey have you guys ever heard of...?"

And even though I'm one of the youngest teachers in the building, I'm hovering around a 98% "NO" response rate.

rcc737133 karma

Have you been to /r/AskOldPeople ? If not, when do you plan on becoming a young kid in our eyes?

AgencyAgent158 karma

Can I be a young punk instead?

DepartmentofNothing532 karma

  • What do you think are the best (open) news sources these days? Any particular bylines you follow?

  • Did local operations officers on the ground have a good sense of the big strategic picture? How in your experience does bias affect what/how people report to Langley?

  • Where do you fall on the CIA militarization vs intel-gathering spectrum? Too much militarization or too little?

  • Can you talk about your opinions of foreign intelligence services you've worked with? Any foreign services of which you think highly?

AgencyAgent918 karma

  1. Not really. I see most of it as click bait. To be completely honest with you, I read all of the major news outlets because I want to see what they are pumping into the mainstream. For anything else, I read that area's local news or locate an expert and read what they have to say about it.
  2. No. I always understood the how, I very rarely understood the why.
  3. I think it has been undulating for the past 18 years.
  4. Sadly, and this is not me ignoring you or avoiding the question, but I cannot talk about the other services with which I worked. Some were great. Some were good. Some sucked ass. Others were enemies.

AgencyAgent524 karma

Ummmm...did anyone else's Reddit just automatically switch to Chinese?

JoeDurp243 karma

hope you're on a VPN

AgencyAgent266 karma

Did 61398 just steal my personal photos of Bubbins?

spr0798476 karma

Can you tell us about your most exciting day in work?

LieutenantKotler370 karma

You’re just the funniest fuckin guy alive aren’t you? I’m getting you a beer.

AgencyAgent267 karma

Thanks, LT!

EaterOfFood450 karma

Are there any spy novels that really capture what the life of a case officer in the foreign field is like?

AgencyAgent1065 karma

Yep. And the author needs to start paying me royalties because I stump for him so much.

The Billion Dollar Spy by David Hoffman

jbswu404 karma

What keeps you up at night, or alternatively, what are you most afraid of?

Also, I don’t know how old you are, but whatever the number is, you are NOT too old to be on reddit.

AgencyAgent919 karma

What keeps me up at night? Let me preface by saying I split my time between LA, NY, and Ohio. I work in Hollywood and the NY publishing industry and I teach in the state of Ohio. My house in Ohio is surrounded by a bean field. I vacation in Florida. With that said, what bothers me most is having conversations with people who have zero perspective outside of their chosen bubble. That's on the coasts. That's in the midwest. That's here in the US, that's overseas. I ruminate about it and think regularly about how to change it because it wears me out.

What am I most afraid of? Outliving Bubbins.

Thanks for the compliment. I'm 36 years old. To my students, I am ancient.

tribble0001338 karma

Bit late to the party but how secretive do you need to be to friends & family about being in the CIA?

I have a friend who used to be in MI5. Now he's similarly an analyst for the Metropolitan Police he can be more open about where he works, just not what he's doing.

AgencyAgent791 karma

I did not tell my parents what I did for a living until a few days before my book came out. Prior to that they thought I had an office job and worked in Hawaii which is why I was never home. I didn't tell my girlfriend or close friends either. The only person I told was my brother and that was on a superficial basis in the event I was killed in the field.

Deeyennay324 karma

  1. How is your cat doing?

  2. What do you make of the Lonnie Zamora incident? On the same note, what about that more recent case of the seemingly unexplainable acceleration in the USS Nimitz incident?

AgencyAgent508 karma

A question for you, how do I pin your question to the top for being most important?

  1. He's perfect.
  2. I have heard, and I'm not drumming up conspiracy shit here, but I have heard that a major announcement is coming at the top of 2020. And no, I don't know what it is but I have heard that the USG plans to publicly address all of the UFO allegations. Honestly, I think the "Storm A51" shit got their attention and now they want to address it.

dcwalker727224 karma

To your knowledge is the cia still selling coke?

AgencyAgent523 karma

Let me call my plug and ask.

veroniponi667223 karma

  1. How is working for a Federal agency compare to detective work?
  2. Does CIA have equivalent of FBI Special Agent?

Outsidetheloop142 karma

Officer would be the CIA equivalent, I believe.

AgencyAgent269 karma

Yes, Case Officer or Operations Officer. Or to make it crystal clear, CIA Operative. Just never Agent. Thanks for the question!

PaulaNancyMillstoneJ215 karma

Would you say that the dynamics between coworkers were different from what you might find in, say, a large office or corporation? How did coworkers interact outside of work?

AgencyAgent405 karma

Great question, Ms. Millstone.

I've worked in both environments and they were entirely similar in the office, which is to say people work at desks and wish they were outside or doing anything else but sitting at a desk. Interactions between coworkers were pretty similar as well, in that you spoke most with those in your division who did similar work as you. And because it was an office setting, you were trained to be incredibly PC and not do anything to offend anyone. The further you got from the flag pole, the more relaxed it became -- but if you were in DC, woahhhh. Don't go above PG. Ever.

Outside of the office, in a social setting, it was pretty suburbian and boring in both the private sector and government. Mostly because no one wanted to say or do anything that might get back to the boss. So, I had my friends outside of work that I could be myself with and go unfiltered. The real fun happened when those two groups intersected, like at a house party, and I had to operate in the middle...

Can I call you Paula now?

CmdrNorthpaw201 karma

Don't know if you already knew this, but OP has named themselves after Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings, a woman who in Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is described as writing the worst poetry in the Universe. She was based on a schoolmate of Douglas's named Paul Neil Milne Johnstone, who really did write horrible poetry (I'll post some here if you want). The real man's name was written in the original edition of the book but changed after he objected to its inclusion.

Illegalalias41922 karma

I didn’t know this! Thanks for sharing!

AgencyAgent34 karma

Now you see...

Smbap204 karma

Has there ever been a case where you saw something you weren’t ready for and had to just walk away for a second ? What was it ?

AgencyAgent278 karma

Do you mean while in the field for the CIA? Or in the classroom? I've seen a lot of shocking shit in both.

ManyIdeasNoProgress118 karma

One from each

AgencyAgent539 karma

"...something I wasn't ready for and had to walk away for a second."

Warzones: Walking onto foreign compounds in a capital city in the middle of a war (regardless of the country) and seeing visiting officials & journalists partying like it was a frat house. Tina Fey made a movie about this called Whisky Tango Foxtrot which was about Kim Barker's book, The Taliban Shuffle. Both were pretty spot on.

Classrooms: Noticing how quickly a child can see an opportunity to take advantage and capitalizing on it -- and if/when their plan backfires, how to pivot into an airtight complaint they know the teacher doesn't want to touch.

CIA__192 karma

Are CIA members familiars with the character of Bill Wilson a.k.a. "CIA" from the classic film "The Dark Knight Rises"? Do you ever greet each other with "Dr Pavel, I'm CIA" or "You're a big guy"?

AgencyAgent290 karma

No. But we do congratulate each other on getting caught and asking what the next step is in the master plan.

diab0lus156 karma

In your work with the CIA, did you ever observe "spin" on a situation or series of events that you were aware of internally compared to the information about it that was provided to journalists? If so, what are your thoughts about that?

AgencyAgent417 karma

Every. Fucking. Day.

In fact, I talk about how on my very last day at the Agency I was walking through the cafeteria and saw that the US Embassy in Ankara had been bombed. I stopped and watched the news report. Then I went up to my office and realized the culprits were the exact opposite of who the news were reporting responsible.

You might imagine, that now, if I watch or read the news, I always wonder what really happened.

LBJustice153 karma

Do you know what is at Area 51 and, if so, why aren’t the jet packs available for sale yet?

AgencyAgent297 karma

Probably a better question for Tom DeLonge.

combustablegoeduck101 karma

Hold up, is Tom Delonge taken seriously in any of your circles? I always assumed they entertain him because of his fame, fortune, and willingness to pay 35k for metal waste.

AgencyAgent388 karma

No, he's not taken seriously. In fact, I would wager that less than 5% of the Agency even know his name or about Blink182 for that matter.

Some may wish to say here, "That's because what he does is so super top secret, Doug!" But no, actually, it's not...annnnd for what it's worth, and I know this will probably piss a lot of people off, but if you see someone on JRE talking about the Agency or their connections to top secret information (Alex Jones, Tom DeLonge, Bob Lazar) they are one of two things: 1) Liars or 2) Gullible idiots who have been lied to

Proof: If you actually knew what was going on at Area 51, Groom Lake, S-4 and you revealed it, you would not be on Joe Rogan. You would be in prison. I refer you to the following:

Azsun7767745 karma

What about Mike Baker? He seems legit to me.

AgencyAgent179 karma

He is legit. Just take this into context -- if you ask me about Afghanistan or terrorism I can speak with authority and personal experience. If you ask me about North Korea I can only speak from what I have read and osmosis. So, if any intel folks out there are offering their opinions on current affairs and they're out of the game, which they would have to be in order to talk, then it's not firsthand. Trust me, everything I say about Afghanistan is coming up on being a decade old...

atseasheiscalm130 karma

So you're the real life Tom Keen? 😁👐

AgencyAgent171 karma

Yes, but Liz and I have not adopted the baby yet.

Vertuhcle128 karma

Think this is the first time I’ve ever asked anything on an AMA.

How was your process of being hired and how long did the process take? We’re you recruited or did you apply?

AgencyAgent174 karma

Well thanks for asking. Here's my answer.

The process was long and arduous as you might imagine. If you're going to do it, get your ducks (and lies) in a row beforehand and know what you are going to say to family and friends when the big black SUV rolls up their driveway to talk about YOU.

I applied online. Just like everyone does. This is mandatory even though no one ever believes me.

Here's a question for you, what does Vertuhcle represent? Just a cool way of letting me know you can jump high?

rcc737119 karma

Have you had any involvement with the Utah Data center? Any idea what goes on there? There's a ton of conjecture surrounding that place. I know it's primarily a NSA thing but rumors abound among the tin foil hat community that the CIA and FBI are also heavily involved with the inner workings of that place. Any truth to these rumors?

AgencyAgent134 karma

I wish I knew. My friend Walter Kirn was telling me about a story he worked on regarding this. I honestly have never been there or know anything about it. It does scare me though. Or maybe not scare me, but it does concern me.

ehgray113 karma

Did you get to read all the MKUltra files?

AgencyAgent126 karma


NeverEnufWTF112 karma

Did you and your brother ever catch the one-armed man?

AgencyAgent102 karma

Man, I really wish more people saw what you did here. Brilliant.

guitarnoir103 karma

There was a Los Angeles broadcaster, a restaurant critic named Elmer Dills who claimed as part of his resume that he had served in the US Diplomatic service.

After a couple of decades on the air, near the end of his career he said that enough time had passed that he was now able say that as part of his work in the Diplomatic service he worked for the CIA.

These days it seems that people leave the CIA and immediately start talking about it. Are there no rules on how long one must wait to speak about their service?

AgencyAgent160 karma

Well that applies to me specifically and especially.

If you did field work, and aren't just inflating your job as a guard or cook, and actually handled sensitive material, then you will have to go through the Publications Review Board and you will officially have to get it cleared by the Agency to talk about your previous career and they will tell you what you can and absolutely cannot say. If you've flipped through my book, you will see it has a ton of black lines in it.

two_fish99 karma

Does the CIA still assassinate people overseas?

AgencyAgent283 karma

Only on the dance floor.

TCtrain98 karma

How often do you solve cases ? Is it really discouraging when you can't solve a case?

AgencyAgent161 karma

Normally here I would point out that I'm not really a detective, but because I refuse to believe in the death of irony and satire, I won't.

volslut94 karma

A long, long time ago I drunkenly hit on you right in front of my boyfriend at one of your house parties. Like, all night. You smartly treated me like shit and then pulled me aside later to let me know what a jackass I was being. Just wanted to say thanks. And sorry about that.

This thread requires me to ask a question so, hey how you doing?

AgencyAgent111 karma

I let your boyfriend into one of my parties?

modularpeak255288 karma

Hi! I read your book last year and really enjoyed it (ill be honest i only got it because the cover looked cool) i have 2 questions

1: lets say i know somebody who says at one point on their life they worked for the cia as an analyst, is there any telltale signs that they did or didn't?

And 2 what would you say your favorite country you have visited/worked in? The way you described mongolia in your book made it sound really interesting


AgencyAgent160 karma

Thanks for judging my book by its cover. I actually fought with my publisher about that. And truth be told, a few major outlets didn't want to carry it because they thought it would appear like they were advertising a book about terrorism.

  1. If they're an analyst they can probably show you their badge and aren't undercover. Also, if they told you at all that they used to work there then they either A) weren't undercover or B) are lying
  2. Definitely Mongolia. Go in the spring and try the Airag!

Kevin-N80 karma

Thoughts on Trump?

AgencyAgent349 karma

Thoughts on avoiding landmines?

Zoobkillerninja73 karma

Was outside of work communication between coworkers encouraged or something people avoided? Do you still keep in contact with past coworkers/assets you met in field from your time at the CIA? If so to both questions, to what extent.

AgencyAgent154 karma

Outside contact happened but it was limited and large gatherings were highly discouraged. I do not keep in touch with any previous coworkers nor would that be a good idea for either of us. Some of them I was very close to and it wasn't easy to part ways.

famousaj70 karma

How many languages do you fluently speak? Doug Laux said in his AMA, that if you speak one, learn two...if you know two, learn three. And so on....

AgencyAgent121 karma

I fucking love Doug Laux. My advice would be to take his advice.

I think Doug and I both speak four.

amarubud70 karma

Best tap water experience? Do carry a water container with you? If so what's your container of choice?

AgencyAgent193 karma

Solid question. I like the ones that make the most noise when you unscrew them to take a drink and then screw them back on...and then unscrew them again five minutes later...and then screw them back on. Especially during a test.

wunderbreadv263 karma

Have you ever watched the cia based tv show, American Dad? If so what’s your take on the show.

AgencyAgent220 karma

They got the fish correct.

immolated_61 karma

Did you ever park in the "reserved before 9am" spots when it wasn't quite 9am yet?

AgencyAgent74 karma

Depended on the temperature.

Nipperkid57 karma

What kind of cell phone do you use for personal use and why?

AgencyAgent129 karma

An iPhone. If you ask nicely I can also provide you with the IMSI and IMEI.

HallowedBeThyVeins52 karma

How easy is it to transition from military to agency? I'm currently with NSA under the Army but would like to branch to FBI/CIA in cyber security once I ETS in a few years. I'll still have active clearance etc. Any big obstacles you can immediately think of?

AgencyAgent97 karma

No. You would definitely have a leg up from your prior experiences and there is nothing the Agency likes more than a candidate coming in the door with prior training.

EthosPathosLegos52 karma

I've read that cell companies can't sell geolocation data directly to government agencies, but they can sell it to third party data aggregators who then sell access to law enforcement, including private detectives. Apparently, there is an underground market for buying access to these web portals detectives use to spy on families, girlfriends, etc. Have you had any personal experience or know how prevalant this "Credentials for sale" activity is?

AgencyAgent145 karma

Yes that is absolutely a thing. And if you really want to collect the credentials and get something off the shelf that's legal, just download BeenVerified on your phone, pay for a month of service, run it on everyone you've ever met, and there you go. All of their personal data that's been collected legally since they were 18.

Did I mention that social media is a slippery slope?

peanut_peanutbutter50 karma

Hopefully you're still here answering questions, I know I'm super late to the game.

Do you find that lying to people on a regular basis about what you do and the things that you work on has a negative affect on your psyche, and how do you deal with that?

AgencyAgent156 karma

Tremendously. And as a result, I'm going to take this question seriously and not give you the Kansas City Shuffle.

If you are actually doing work in the field. Stealing secrets. Running sources. Covert action. Then you will have a cover and along with that a cover story. Or many. Same thing goes with undercover cops and we've all seen it in the movies but rarely do we experience it ourselves. And why would we? If you're a solid person, then you don't lie for a living. If you're an undercover cop or a CIA field operative, then thats absolutely what you do not just for an occupation, but also as a lifestyle. And that's not just to targets in the field or the "bad guys" but to the people you love the most in your life as well. To protect yourself and to protect them. Because if they know your secret, then the burden is now also on them to protect it. That's not only unfair to them, since they didnt choose this lifestyle, it's incredibly unsafe.

But seriously imagine knowing before you go out for the evening, that whoever you meet, you will absolutely 100% be lying to them about who you are, what you do for a living, and what you plan to do in the future. And realizing, that if you meet someone you like, you have now lied to them from the jump off, and will have to continue to lie to them into perpetuity. Sure, you can get married but you're still not going to open up to your spouse about all of the black magic you were doing before you met. Or while you were dating. Or, for that matter, what you'll be doing that you think your spouse might have a problem with that???

So without getting too woe is me, because I absolutely chose the career and I'm glad I did and I wouldn't trade it for the world, but the effects it has on you psychologically are pretty unparalleled in terms of other occupations. I've heard stories of how some guys lead double lives and have families in other cities and all that and I honestly don't know why they do it. I know how they do it, and in knowing how much goes into it, can't imagine wanting to be in that type of situation other than that they are most likely sociopaths.

Whew. Ok. I need to have a chat with Bubbz now.

pangolinolin50 karma

This question might not really be relevant but I’d love to know your thoughts on the matter. After reading the unbelievable article about the FBI and Billy Reilly titled The FBI Lost Our Son, I started thinking to myself is there truly a safe way to exit a position such that he decided to take on, whether it be for the FBI, CIA, or any convert government agency for that matter?

AgencyAgent75 karma

Are you asking, "Is there a way to quit being a spy after you started working as a spy for a government agency?"

snarfi48 karma

Do you also believe that 90% of the most powerful people on earth are being blackmailed?

AgencyAgent138 karma

That would make a lot of sense. I can tell you that most famous people owe a ton of fucking favors to people you have never heard of...until, you know, they get exposed.

Speedymon1243 karma

Is there anyone you suspect being a reptilian?

AgencyAgent87 karma

As far as I know, only Bob Hope.

Criffton38 karma

Do you wanna be on a watchlist? because thi...

AgencyAgent68 karma

...s is how you end up on a watchlist, Lana!

CodeBreaker_66635 karma

How does your agency react to you posting this on Reddit?

AgencyAgent133 karma

Generally, I have a rule of not responding to satanic cryptanalysts but will make an exception just this once.

I think they have bigger fish to fry in Langley than to worry about a former officer making alliteration jokes on Reddit. But I base that entirely on experience. So who knows?

JWWBurger33 karma

Did you ever watch Cop and a Half or Turner and Hooch? What did you think of Dolph Lundgren’s performance in Kindergarten Cop 2?

AgencyAgent39 karma

  1. Yes.
  2. Duh.
  3. Meh.

Kyberite33 karma

What was your scariest experience on the field?

AgencyAgent87 karma

Landing in an Afghan desert for the first time without NVG's. Sadly, there were not any street lamps.

WooPig4531 karma

Why do major news networks make up fake stories to lie to the American people? Like last night ABC News showed footage of Turkey rebels firing on innocent civilians but turns out the footage was from a shooting range from 2016. Why is the fake news trying so desperately to feed us false information?

AgencyAgent68 karma

Because it makes uneducated people watch and easily manipulated people angry.

asadwit29 karma

Is there anything CIA could learn from other agencies?

AgencyAgent59 karma

Yes. L'Agence. Because who doesn't like the California lifestyle with a French attitude?

PiratusInteruptus28 karma

What are your thoughts on privacy issues we face post 9/11, post Snowden?

AgencyAgent60 karma

Social media selling our information to collecting companies who in turn can hand it over to governments. Someone explained this earlier in the post if you find it please repost it here.

KDamage20 karma

Honestly, this answer you mention here was something hard to read. Like, y'know, Santa-level hard to hear. You know its true for a long time, you suspected it from the very beginning, but the truth is simply too big to admit society wise.

Zuckerberg senate hearing was a first step, but without clear laws, it still feel like just an attempt at getting tv time. I'm glad to live in Europe. In the most râleur country of it, actually.

Awesome AMA btw ! Thanks :)

AgencyAgent30 karma

Notice how that didn't get a lot of comments though? It's a hard pill to swallow...

TheWeaponShop26 karma

If they offered, would you go back to working for the CIA?
I doubt it was really "exciting" but was it interesting enough?

AgencyAgent99 karma

No I wouldn't and they wouldn't offer either. It's kind of like my relationship with Natty Ice. There's just no going back once you leave it behind.

jaybay83023 karma

Been a long time mate. Hope all is well on your end.

Look me up next time you are in Philly.

Give Ry-bo my regards!

Given the choice, $50 socks or Thousand-dollar shoes??

AgencyAgent32 karma

Man, I'm givin' blues to these sucka MC's

snowsnoot23 karma

When travelling internationally, do you have to check the box that says you have military training and if so what kind of grief do the receiving countries give you at the immigration desk? Or do you just avoid international travel to non-friendly countries now?

AgencyAgent51 karma

What countries have you traveled to recently that asked this question?

Advice2Anyone20 karma

So how did you get your start with the CIA? Figure most start out military through a 35 series MOS usually 35M human intel. But I have to assume some get a masters degree in counter terrorism and can join right up assuming the can get the TS and pass the SCI poly. But as someone with a TS and military background who would love to be the guy working the loading dock at the CIA am curious how you got your foot in there.

AgencyAgent49 karma

I also would love to work at the Agency loading dock. Or the DOD loading dock. I actually applied to be a janitor there through and was told I was overqualified for the position.

As for the Agency, its a civilian organization and I would say the majority of Case Officers do not have a military background. More ivy than camo if you know what I mean.

VictorKutepov19 karma

  1. What are your political views
  2. What do you think about the CIA’s intervention in other countries? (Brazil, Chile, etc..)

AgencyAgent35 karma

  1. Nice.
  2. Try.
  3. Victor.

foooood4thought19 karma

I want to ask about the CIA raping people. Here is one example:

Another question is, how about the massive number of Mormons in the CIA? Could this be a national security issue, to have CIA agents believing complete nonsense?

AgencyAgent29 karma

Bold questions fooooood4thought but I'll not ignore them like I often get accused.

  1. Obviously I think what happened with that story was atrocious. I don't know of anyone who would think otherwise.
  2. There are a lot of religious people in the CIA. Do you think following any religion is nonsense if you're a CIA officer?

SFOD-D12418 karma

Hey Doug, thanks for doing another AMA! Your journey continues to be a source of inspiration; one that is equal to, in my opinion, that of Bob Baer and other officers, or any of the senior leaders on the 7th floor. Left of Boom needed to be written. Period. A few quick questions:

1) Do you think the intelligence community does a well enough job of assisting in the preparation of an officer who wishes to leave? Regardless, how would you improve that transition?

2) Knowing what you know of the company now vs before you had been hired, if you were told that the position of Operations Officer was unavailable to you, what other position would you have gone after, if any? Why?

3) What is your critical reading list for those wishing to find themselves working within the umbrella of the DO?

Thank you for your time.

AgencyAgent29 karma

Thanks SFOD. I think you would find a lot of people that disagree with you across the Key Bridge but I'll take the kudos. Appreciate it.

  1. If they are retiring? Yes, they do a splendid job. If they are quitting? Not so much. I got asked this question in a forum recently and responded the same. A woman in the back stood up and said she worked for the Agency and that I was wrong. I asked her if she retired or quit? She retired. I said, "Ok. Great. So for you, it was good. Terrific." As far as how to improve the transition for someone who leaves before retirement? Probably the simplest thing to do would be providing potential new-hires with the information on what happens if you quit. It's available, but you have to ask for it -- and why would you ask for it on your first day, right?
  2. Well, that statement was made to me while I went through the hiring process and I told them I would only do OO so if it was unavailable I would like to withdraw from the application process. But you asked knowing what I know now -- hmmm...probably still only OO. It's really the only position that has the primary role of spying in the field regardless of what an analyst on television might tell you. It's kinda also the only job title that lets you be slightly, just slightly, not-PC 24/ it's likely the only job I could have held and not been fired honestly.
  3. Probably not anything written by a CIA officer. I try to read the Booker longlist every year. I generally dislike the majority of the books on the list but, hey, it helps me win at Scrabble.

ThreeSilentFilms10 karma

Thoughts on Burn Notice when it comes to the accuracy of depicting the work a CIA officer does? (Obviously not the running around just blowing stuff up around Miami part) I always heard they had a CIA consultant on the show.

Also, are burn notices real? Do they really just completely cut you off?

AgencyAgent5 karma

I have not seen the show but I have been asked about it A LOT. It must have been good. How would I go about watching it now if I wanted to see it? I don't, but in a world where I did, how would I do that?

amispurs8 karma

How was morale/general emotion at the CIA the week when Mrs. Plames’ identity was blown?

What’s the absolute worst and best countries you’ve had to be in?

AgencyAgent26 karma

  1. I don't know because I was still in college when that happened.
  2. My favorite country to visit was Mongolia. The worst country, well, I don't think that's fair because the one I would choose would be based upon my job and having to deal with some horrible shit that wasn't that countries' civilians fault. So, no answer for worst.

sPOUStEe8 karma

How late do you think is too late to get into agency operations work, and what sort of background do they generally look for?

AgencyAgent12 karma

I did an interview on this recently which is up on youtube. I believe the Agency also publicly lists the cut-off in terms of age.

zerg_rush_lol7 karma

How do you deal with your bioluminescence frightening children and schizophrenics?

AgencyAgent6 karma


Worldatmyfingertips6 karma

So what’s your favorite moment working for the agency? As someone who is familiar with the IC, I know there’s gotta be tons of hilarious stories.

AgencyAgent15 karma

One of my favorite things to do was to dress up like one of the Agency's "hall monitors" who escort non-cleared people around the lobby or museum. I kept an identical jacket at my desk and would often walk around the lobby whenever back at HQ. On picture day (for my badge) I also wore this outfit which was always a mid-sentence stopper whenever someone I was speaking with saw the photo on my badge.

Merbel5 karma

Did you do field work? If so, what did you find exciting/enjoyable about it? What did you find terrifying about it - if you were in those sort of situations.

AgencyAgent20 karma

I did do field work. I was a case officer which Hollywood likes to call a "CIA Agent". If it's easier for you, then you can just call me a "Carrie Mathison." We'll both know what you mean.

villlabizz5 karma

What directorate did you work within the CIA? Operations, Clandestine, Analysis, STEM? anything within OPSEC of course.

AgencyAgent8 karma

Directorate of Operations. I was a Case Officer. (aka Operations Officer)

sowreckd25 karma

Can we please shatter the CIA into a million pieces, pretty please?

AgencyAgent4 karma

You first.

bam_a_lam4 karma

With advancements in technology I assume comes an increase in capabilities for the agency. How much of a hinderance is it with a parallel increase in adversary tech? Also, what was your must have piece of gear to bring with you on assignment overseas?

AgencyAgent10 karma

You are absolutely right. And this is why I say all the time, the second I walked out the door I was obsolete. So, you know, if you want you can just ignore everything I'm saying because I truly do believe that. Tech changes daily and so does espionage which is at the forefront of tech.

The biggest hinderance FAR AND AWAY is biotech used at borders and advancements in cameras. Did you see the new/new that the Chinese government just revealed????

My must have piece of gear was a small rock with a heart painted on it that someone very close to me gave me once.

Onlyonequestion13 karma

John Kimble huh....

Who is your daddy and what does he do?

AgencyAgent4 karma

If I only had one question1, that is exactly the question I would ask.

nic3tryguy3 karma

Do you have a family and if so what is family life like? (Meaning kids and a wife)

AgencyAgent10 karma

I didn't have a wife or children. I did have a gf for several years and what I learned (the hard way) is that lying to those you love is tougher than you think...when you actually really care. I can't imagine doing that to my wife or kids. Yowsa.

immolated_3 karma

How is the new Panda Express in the food court?

AgencyAgent8 karma

Greasy, but comforting.

Skalywag3 karma

Can you say, "Rubber baby buggy bumpers"?

AgencyAgent4 karma

I can but I prefer when a big black bug bites a boisterous black bear.

poonjazzler2 karma

What kind of tumor do you have?

AgencyAgent1 karma

Too easy.

Killa2dahead2 karma

Any intelligence secrets to share?

AgencyAgent12 karma

Yes. I posted them in the Classified section of your local newspaper.

shrkh942 karma

Usually in Hollywood they show us how evil FBI and CIA can be doing some bad things hiding from citizen, sacrificing and killing innocent, protecting the ones in power doing bad things in order to protect the elite. How real is that? Is that just reality, should we accept it?!

AgencyAgent4 karma

It's fake and dumb but it sells tickets and is entertaining (I guess) so it's not going to stop. I work in Hollywood now and it's strange. Very strange. I'll say no more because I like the people I work with currently but there have been a ton of fucking weirdos I have encountered along the way.

When you think CIA, think more Doctor Scholl's over Doctor Doom.

tangerinesqueeze2 karma

How do you think you would have taken this presidency? Trump craps all over the intelligence community. No trust for the FBI or CIA. Would it have just been an internal joke that you'd have to laugh off for hopefully no longer than 4 years? I don't know how anyone does it...

AgencyAgent18 karma

Ultimately, if you're going to work at the CIA you have to be apolitical. Some aren't, but most subscribe to keeping their political views completely separate from their work. Which can be pretty difficult when your ultimate boss is in fact the President. But it is also still very much a civilian organization, and you can quit whenever you like. Was it Maya Angelou or a classroom motivational poster that said if you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Probably both.

sockpuppets2 karma

What's the best way to find a job at the agency?

AgencyAgent1 karma

Their website. This isn't me being a smart ass. Seriously, go to their official website. They even have a "JOBCART" now.

NutellaGood1 karma

Would you ever have considered the code phrase: "When does the narwhal bacon?"

AgencyAgent10 karma

I prefer to ask about boathouses in Hereford.

tribble00011 karma

As long as Hereford is pronounced correctly and not like in Ronin.

AgencyAgent2 karma

I think we found the SAS guy...

ProphetOfServer1 karma

How many democratically elected foreign leaders have you personally shot?

AgencyAgent1 karma

Me personally?

noisylettuce-1 karma

Where does the CIA and ICE get new employees? Are they hired straight from plea deals when people are arrested? How could any decent person ever consider joining one of those inhuman agencies of human suffering and destroying foreign democracies?

Did you think the CIA was a good thing when you were very young?

AgencyAgent3 karma

Indeed and Monster, mostly.

wavemists-1 karma

when you go to other countries and rally support for regime change do you feel responsible for the people you gained the trust of you know are going to be used as human sacrifice to further the goals of the u.s ?

AgencyAgent4 karma

Which countries? Which regimes? Or do you just want an excuse to make yourself feel better for selecting the down arrow instead of the one pointing up?

TheHealadin-5 karma

Back to sell more books while ignoring questions? This isn't the forum for you.

AgencyAgent5 karma

Nope. When it comes to selling books, the only week anyone gives a shit about is the first week. After that, no one in the publishing industry cares.

Did you have a question I ignored?