Far from James Bond, the CIA wants to demystify espionage with a podcast

Popular films depict “a world of heroes who drive luxury cars very fast, defuse bombs and solve global crises single-handedly on a daily basis“, he says.

I can tell you that it is a source of constant amusement for my wife and my daughters.“, he adds.

I’m most comfortable driving my 2013 Subaru within the speed limit, and for me, the height of technological feat is when I finally get the (TV) remote to work at home“.

Bill Burns, a 66-year-old former diplomat who has headed the CIA since 2021, made these comments in the first edition of the podcast “The Langley Files“, which the very secretive American intelligence agency launched on Thursday.

The CIA director says that while the agency sends many agents on clandestine missions around the world, they don’t operate solo like James Bond, Jason Bourne or Jack Ryan do in the movies.

The fact is, intelligence is a team sport. It’s a profession where you do hard collective work and where you share the risks“, he explains, before noting that this does not only involve field agents, but also scientists, computer specialists and analysts who work in offices.

Among the CIA’s successes, he cites the elimination of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in July in Kabul and the revelations of the United States about Russia’s intentions before its invasion of Ukraine in February.

Our successes are often hidden, our failures are often visible, and our sacrifices are often unrecognized. But it’s our lot to keep a certain discretion“, he concludes.

The podcast is presented by a certain “Dee“and a certain”Walter“. Asked by AFP, a CIA spokesman refrained from specifying their name and even confirming whether it was their real first name.

Asked about the planned frequency of the podcast, the spokesperson replied that it would be “periodic“.

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