I did a book event with a former colleague, Bob Bauer, and was so relieved that he said I got all the CIA stuff right.
Hollywood does tend to portray CIA officers as totally the honey trap. Looks matter as they do in any profession. But the most important thing for me when I was working was blending into my environment.
Joe and I are still very aware of the fact that we live in a country where he criticised the government and lived another day. That trumps all. To paraphrase Churchill, democracy is the worst form of government apart from all the other forms of government. You constantly have to fight for it; you have to keep your government honest.
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.
The entire intelligence community is so bloated and so reliant on contractors. There's no question there's many tasks that make sense to outsource, and yet, we have followed blindly this dogma that if it's private contracting, it must be better.
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.