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Washington (AFP) – CIA Director Bill Burns said in the US spy agency’s first ever podcast on Thursday that his life had nothing to do with Jason Bourne and James Bond tearing up burning cars in crowded cities and deploying unimaginable deadly gadgets.
Popular spy movies show “a world of heroic individuals driving fast cars, defusing bombs and solving global crises all on their own every day,” Burns said.
“That, I must tell you, is a constant source of amusement to my wife and my daughters.”
“I’m more comfortable driving our 2013 Subaru Outback at posted speed limits and, for me at least, the pinnacle of tech savvy is when I can finally operate the Roku remote at home” , he admitted.
Burns, 66, a veteran diplomat who has headed the Central Intelligence Agency since March 2021, made the comments on the first episode of “The Langley Files,” a podcast that is committed to demystifying the super-secret agency.
Burns’ main point was to point out that while the CIA has many undercover officers in the field, they are not dramatic solo operators like Bond, Bourne, or Hollywood-renowned Jack Ryan.
“The truth is, intelligence really is a team sport. It’s a profession of collective hard work and shared risk,” Burns said.
And in addition to field operators, it involves teams of people – scientists, digital specialists and other analysts – sifting through information in offices.
He held back the operation that found and killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in July, as well as CIA intelligence in December and January showing that Russia planned to invade Ukraine, as significant successes.
“Our successes are often obscured, our failures are often painfully visible, and our sacrifices are often unknown. But some discretion certainly comes with territory,” Burns said.
The podcast is hosted by “Dee” and “Walter,” but a CIA spokesperson wouldn’t give their last names or even say if the first names were genuine.
Asked how often the podcast appears, the spokesperson replied, “Periodically.”
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