Undercover Operations

Hosted byJohn B. Wells

Undercover Operations

About the show

Joining John B. Wells, former CIA undercover operative, Chase Brandon, discussed the life and work of an Agency spy as well as his role as a technical consultant for movies and television shows, including The Bourne Identity, Mission Impossible, Alias, and 24. The general public never knows about the CIA's successes in protecting national security interests, lives and property, he explained, adding that what they learn about the Agency is from failures trumpeted in the press. As an entertainment industry liaison, Brandon said he interacted with the people who make films and TV programs in an effort to give them an authentic feel for the CIA's mission, what its people do, and the sacrifices they make for their nation. The ultimate goal is that entertainment featuring the CIA would also inform the public about the good men and women who work for the organization, as well as the incredible and unique career opportunities there, he noted. According to Brandon, the CBS series The Agency (first six shows) and Showtime's In the Company of Spies are two of the more accurate shows about the CIA.

"[A spy's] two basic job functions abroad are to lie and steal for the U.S. government," he continued. Those who work in the clandestine service area can never speak about where they work and what they do, even to family members, Brandon revealed. The Agency looks for self-reliant, independent thinkers, who can improvise, adapt, overcome, and respond quickly to fluid situations, he said, adding that potential spy candidates must also be risk takers, team players, and view things in shades of gray instead of black and white. Brandon acknowledged the failure of various governmental agencies in preventing the 9-11 tragedy, but blamed legislators for the laws that forbid them from communicating with one another. He lamented the fact that the CIA must do its work in an time where nothing is kept secret. Nonetheless, some secrets from a bygone era remain. For instance, who really shot President Kennedy? Brandon said he does not believe the assassination was carried out by Lee Harvey Oswald, as the evidence points to a gunman in a completely different location. And regarding Roswell, Brandon disclosed: "I have seen inside a box in the Agency... all of this business with Roswell is real."

NDAA Update

In the first hour, independent journalist David Seaman commented on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and apathy among the young. The Millennial Generation thinks that because they voted for Obama and have a smartphone that everything is going well, he opined. While they are distracted with limitless entertainment options and the perceived prosperity of having their basic needs met, Congress and the President have stolen their rights, Seaman added. Under the NDAA, the U.S. military can abduct American citizens (suspected of involvement in terrorism) without charge or trial and imprison them indefinitely, he explained. Seaman mourned the loss of free speech, citing his own recent brush with censorship, and noted that without the right to a trial and freedom to speak one's mind, "We're not too far away from becoming Iran... or China." Seaman also spoke about what he believes is a gag order on the mainstream media covering the NDAA and similar laws, the loss of wealth among American households (down 40% since 2007), and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which he described as a wholesale censorship of internet content.


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