Chatter: CIA Paramilitary Ops in Reality and Fiction

Of all of the Central Intelligence Agency's activities, paramilitary operations might remain the least understood. This, in part, is both a cause and a consequence of inaccurate portrayals of such work in prominent movies; it's also because fewer memoirs come from the CIA's Special Activities Division than from traditional human intelligence collectors and from analysts.

David Priess chatted with former CIA officer Ric Prado about the fiction and the reality of CIA paramilitary operations, including stories Ric tells in his book, “Black Ops: The Life of a CIA Shadow Warrior.” They spoke about what Hollywood gets wrong about intelligence work, Ric's escape as a child from Castro's Cuba, his path to a CIA career, differences between paramilitary operations and intelligence collection, his years of work with the Contras in Central America, the Counterterrorist Center (CTC) at CIA before and on 9/11, the work ethic in CTC after 9/11, why his book has substantial chunks of redacted text, and who he thinks played the best James Bond.

Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced by David Priess with Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo, with additional editing by Cara Shillenn. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad.

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