There is definitely a sense that when you, as a CIA ops officer... are handling assets, they are delivering to you their trust and their well-being. And you feel very protective of them, even if they're not very nice people.
There's no way you can possibly intellectually justify, 'Well, it's okay for the Western Judeo-Christian countries to have nuclear weapons, but not for a country like Iran.' That logic goes nowhere fast.
My father was an air officer in the Second World War. My brother was a marine in Vietnam. When I was given this opportunity, I leapt at the chance because I thought it would be a hell of a lot more interesting than what my friends were doing.
I am angry when I hear things like Cheney whispering into Bush's ear on the way to Obama's inauguration to ask him to pardon 'Scooter' Libby and not to 'leave a soldier on the battlefield'. What kind of metaphor is that for his petty partisan views, when you have men and women giving the ultimate sacrifice? I have nothing but contempt.
Americans want to believe that we are a nation of laws, and no one is above them, including the president. Mr. Trump's and his associates' actions during his campaign and during his brief time in office are extremely troubling.
When you work for the C.I.A. or as a diplomat, or serve in the military, you're not serving as a Democrat or a Republican; you serve as an American, whatever your personal moral compass or political views might be. So that would describe me.
My CIA colleagues were smart, dedicated, funny, and creative. Yes, there was sometimes stifling bureaucracy, boredom, colleagues who never should have been there, and later, deeply disturbing stories of the CIA's involvement in torture. Still, I got to do work I thought was incredibly important and, many times, had fun doing it.
Our critics would love nothing more for us to go away and just be quiet. And we won't give them that satisfaction. We have young children that, one day, when they understand more of what's happened and what's transpired, we wanna be able to say to them, you know, we did our best. And we told the truth.
So many times, genuine health workers and genuine NGO folks are really just trying to help other humans in whatever capacity they can. But they are perceived as being CIA, and therefore, it blocks their effectiveness.
Looking back at my career, I wish I knew then what I know now... that gender bias is built into the system, and it's unconscious in many ways. I wish I had the maturity and courage to have pushed back more. I was always trying to be a 'good girl' and play by the rules.
When I was happily married and found myself pregnant, I just thought that this would be just the next, normal chapter. I was absolutely thrilled. So what a surprise it was when it turned out to be the hardest thing I've ever done.
Of course, when you're a parent, that's your paramount concern, for your children, and there were some very credible and frightening threats, and the agency declined to provide any security, and it felt like a betrayal all over again. It was really painful.
Any time you're a poster child for the CIA, there are a lot of people that are - either have ideological or they are mentally unbalanced - that are going to try to find you and perhaps cause you harm.
Of course the job has a lot of glamour. But it really is about being smarter than your average bear. Your mind is your best weapon. It's great when you're a good shot with an AK-47, but it's about being clever.
How lucky are we to have Naomi Watts and Sean Penn playing us? We've seen the final cut now a couple times, and the scenes with the marriage fraying at the edges are still very difficult to watch. However, our hope was that no matter your political persuasion, you're taken with the idea that it's important to hold power in check.
We have known Hillary Clinton both professionally and personally for close to 20 years, dating back to before President Bill Clinton's first trip to Africa in 1998 - a trip that they both acknowledge changed their lives and gave considerable meaning to their post-White House years and to the activities of the Clinton Foundation.
I think, honestly, my largest concern, there are a lot of unbalanced people out there, and all of a sudden, I'm the CIA poster girl, and our home in Washington, the front door was about 20 feet from the street. I went to the agency at a certain point and asked for security on a residence.
It's lonely. That's why, in many ways, the CIA is the world's biggest dating agency, I think. I imagine it's much like two actors that get married because they understand that universe. You know, I'm pretty sure the agency's divorce rate is rather high.