Beneath Contempt and Stupid as Well,
I am a former spy, with three clandestine tours and three Headquarters tours behind me, and I consider this book to be beneath contempt. Indeed, I believe that individuals such as this author do the Nation a grave dis-service, and should be shunned.
Being a spy is both challenging and enervating. It is not a game and it is not for diletantes who quit when the going gets tough. This is an immature book, an opportunistic book, and it is largely worthless…beneath contempt (as is the similar book by that silly little girl with a cartoon book cover).
The book has many inaccuracies. The one that stands out is the class size. The class size was NOT an increase over the norm, but rather a return to the norm from the period before a series of Directors of Central Intelligence including Woolsey, Deutch, and Tenet, destroyed the clandestine service, finishing the job started by Stanfield Turner.
For those who wish to consider applying for the clandestine service I continue to recommend Miles Copeland’s “Without Cloak or Dagger,” and Allen Dulles timeless “The Craft of Intelligence.” See my two lists for serious books about intelligence as a global craft focused on decision support and the health and death of Nations.
Books like this dishonor the brave men and women who are actually good enough to make it to the field where they risk their lives as well as their marriages to serve the Nation. The author is not among them for very good reasons, and should be ignored on this topic about which he knows nothing. CIA “training” actually starts in the field, the “farm” is simply a means of weeding out the mis-fits.
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