William (aka Bill the Godfather)

William (aka Bill the Godfather)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Real Life Spying Aint James Bond

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.

... While occasionally I found myself in a Bond-like setting during my spying career, the story inevitably unfolded with a lot less panache.

One time, in pursuit of an elusive informant, the agency sent me to Monaco to troll the Casino de Monte-Carlo. The problems started before I even got on the plane. The CIA scoffed at the idea of buying me a tuxedo, and the dragon lady who did our accounting refused to give me a cent to put on the roulette table. Not surprisingly, as soon as I walked into the casino in my penny loafers, the security goons spotted me as an impostor and pulled me over for a polite interrogation. I never found our would-be informant, but I did come away with the certainty that I wasn’t James Bond.
Read the rest here.

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