Friday, November 9, 2012

A former spy on life in the CIA: It’s like Bond, with more boredom

In the new James Bond thriller, “Skyfall,” the villain is a cyberterrorist named Raoul Silva, a disgruntled former British agent who’s trying to crash the known digital universe. It’s a nice touch, creating a very real, very terrifying scenario that “could paralyze the nation,” as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned just last month.

And that is about the only aspect of the movie that is likely to be accurate.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m a fan of the Bond movies. I go to see them for the same reasons everyone else does: the gorgeous women, the most beautiful places on Earth and, of course, the roller-coaster ride of a plot. I delight in Bond’s complete defiance of gravity. His suits never wrinkle, his Aston Martin is never in the garage for repairs, the girls never say no.

But as a former spy, what I like most about the Bond movies is the way good always triumphs over evil. His cases end neatly, with the villain dispatched and the world safe for the good guys.

Real-life espionage is a lot less sexy — and a lot messier.

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