Rogue operatives. Off the books programs. Hood-sliding CIA officers single-handedly saving the world. Is there any fact behind the spy fiction we see all the time? For this, The Langley Files’ season one finale, Dee and Walter sit down with none other than CIA Deputy Director David Cohen to break down recurring scenes in spy fiction—and reveal that, behind some of them, is a surprising degree of CIA truth.
*Nothing in this podcast should be construed to be an endorsement by the CIA or the US Government of any particular company, product, or service.
What is The Langley Files: CIA's Podcast?
You might have heard a thing or two about the CIA, but have you ever heard from the CIA? In the Central Intelligence Agency's first public podcast, you will. Let us be your guides around the corridors of CIA Headquarters in Langley, as you step beyond the Hollywood scripts and shadowed whispers to hear directly from the people serving each day as America's first line of defense. These are their stories. This is The Langley Files.
Narrator: Decades ago, a quote was carved into a marble wall at headquarters. “And ye shall know the truth,” it reads, “and the truth shall make you free.” At CIA, there are truths we can share and stories we can tell. Stories of duty and dedication. Stories of ingenuity and mission. Stories beyond those of Hollywood scripts and shadowed whispers. Today we're taking a step out from behind those shadows, sharing what we can, and offering a glimpse into the world of the Central Intelligence Agency. This is The Langley Files.
Deputy Director: We do have officers who find themselves in difficult situations where they need to get away from somebody who is looking to do them harm. The motto is, you know, we do hard things in hard places. Um, and that sometimes means that we find ourselves in situations where you've got to get out of the situation, get off the X as they say in the business.
Walter: Welcome back everyone to this very special edition of The Langley Files. I'm Walter.
Dee: And I'm Dee.
Walter: And over the course of this CIA’s first ever podcast, one of the themes that has come up again and again has been the number of myths and misconceptions that surround CIA. Now, here at Langley, Virginia, winter is very much in full swing, which for many of us here and around the world, means more time spent gathering inside with friends and family, often watching movies and binging TV shows, many of which, whether they take place during the Cold War or in a world where dinosaurs again roam the Earth feature the CIA.
Dee: But how many of those CIA storylines bear any resemblance to reality? And how many are the kind of misconceptions that so many of our guests have brought up? Well for this season finale of the inaugural season of The Langley Files, we thought we'd tackle that subject head-on for a full episode of “Reel vs. Real.”
Walter: That always works better written out doesn't it?
Dee: It really does. So we'll be putting spy fiction to the test, calling out those recurring scenes in spy movies, shows, books, and even video games and seeing how they stack up against the reality of what CIA does every day. Along the way, we'll see that many of those moments in spy fiction that we know all so well are, well, just patently false. But some do kind of hit the mark.
Walter: And to help us separate those facts from the fiction we've brought in a very special guest. We have with us here today CIA’s Deputy Director, David Cohen, someone who served in the senior most ranks of CIA not once but twice. He was previously CIA Deputy Director from 2015 to 2017, and who prior to that, served as a top official at the Treasury Department, where he specialized in tracking and blocking terrorist finances.
Dee: Tracking terrorist finances, rising up the ranks to Deputy Director of the CIA? I think that sounds like a certain CIA analyst that many folks know from the fictional world.
Walter: And that's just the stuff we're allowed to say on the podcast.
Dee: So true.
Walter: And there might also be another reason that Deputy Director Cohen is the perfect person to have this conversation with when it comes to knowing not just the national security world, but also the entertainment industry. But we'll get to that.
Dee: We will. But for now, Walter and I are thrilled and honored to welcome CIA Deputy Director David Cohen to The Langley Files. Sir, welcome. Thank you for joining us today.
Deputy Director: Thanks, Dee. Thanks, Walter. It's a pleasure to be here.
Walter: So, Deputy Director Cohen let's start by asking you this. For anyone wondering plenty of people here at CIA do watch spy films and TV shows. Director Burns said on our very first episode that he loves spy movies. Well, many others have told me that, at the end of the day, they really just want to get all that out of their mind, especially when so much of Hollywood gets it so wrong. So where do you come down this issue? Do you like spy movies?
Deputy Director: Oh for sure, for sure. You know when I leave work, I do like to find my way to you know something that takes my mind away from what we do here all day. But that doesn't mean that I don't do spy shows and spy movies. It's good entertainment. I think as we will talk about, some of it’s, some of it's real. Some of it's not so real. Um, I will say the one thing that I have found in watching spy movies over the years that I think is not real, is that the deputy director of the CIA is often the bad guy.
Dee: Good point.
Deputy Director: In lots of movies. In lots of movies, it seems like the the deputy director is, uh, is up to no good. So I, I like to watch the spy movies just to know how my position is being portrayed. That's not real.
Dee: That’s fair.
Deputy Director: I hope.
Dee: We hope not either. Um, but since we're kind of talking about that, the concept of real and what is shown on TV or in the films, um, we thought maybe we'd go over some scenarios with you about what might be the difference between reality and that make-believe world. Um, so maybe we'll just kick things off a bit and talk about a scene we see a lot in television and movies. There's always some shadowy room where these top key CIA officials are getting some kind of high level briefing somewhere, right? And in this very dark room, they're getting a briefing on some kind of unfolding crisis that's somewhere in the world. At the heart of that is a CIA officer who's gone rogue and is now threatening to expose a, quote, off the books, CIA operation. But to stop them, those CIA officials in that very dark, shadowy room have decided to deploy a team of assassins that's been prepositioned and lying in wait. So for you, sir, is that spy fact or fiction?
Deputy Director: I think I have to go with fiction on that one. Um, first of all, we've got very good lighting.
Dee: Ok, I would concur with that.
Deputy Director: Yeah. Um, so not so many dark conference rooms. But I think uh, like, more importantly, the rogue CIA officer doing the off books operation - that's not really a thing. You know, one of the one of the things I think we do pride ourselves in in the Agency, is that you know, although we are operating around the world, we are operating consistent with US law and the US Constitution and the sort of and the the regulations that govern the CIA. We are, as I think the American people would expect uh, an agency that takes quite seriously adherence to the law. So we don't, we don't have a whole bunch of rogue officers running around.
I think the other piece of that also, for what it's worth, is if we had an officer going rogue, if we had somebody out violating the law in some fashion, we don't do law enforcement. We are not a law enforcement agency. We are an intelligence agency. So we would we would call our friends at the FBI. I hope that they would not send out a team of assassins to, uh, to corral this rogue officer, but we would ask them to go and pick the guy up. The FBI has the lead in obviously in arresting and then Justice Department prosecuting.
Walter: I think it's also worth saying that this kind of sending the team of assassins is very much the kind of thing a nefarious deputy director of the CIA would do.
Dee: I was just going to say that as well.
Deputy Director: Yeah, right. And I will say with 100% confidence that I have never done that.
Walter: So here's another one for you. You've got a CIA officer, often an analyst, but not always who's based at headquarters here in Langley. And one day they're sitting at their desk, immersed in a project they've been working on, confident they know what tomorrow holds. The next day, they're being plucked from their desk, driven to an airfield, told there's, uh, you know, an urgent operation they're needed in, in a faraway location, and they have to leave this very moment. So, Deputy Director Cohen uh, spy fact or fiction?
Deputy Director: There's a little bit of fact, mostly fiction, but there's probably a little bit of fact in there. And I think that the fact part of it is that the the officers that we have working overseas are not just operations officers. They are, you know, for your listeners who I, I, I'm sure are have been paying attention to the prior episodes understand the difference between an ops officer and an analyst and a tech officer and a support officer. A lot of what we have in the field and a lot of what's portrayed in books and movies and TV shows are ops officers, the case officers on the street. Um, but we do have other officers who who work overseas. Some are posted overseas. Some go on temporary assignments and travel overseas. And, you know, some of that can come up quickly. Uh, I think you know, the reality is, most of it's quite preplanned. And you gotta get your travel voucher in in advance and and all the rest. Um, but but occasionally, you know there is the the tap on the shoulder and you gotta go do something. And that is that can be true for an analyst as well as for an ops officer as well as you know, for a for a tech officer or support officer as well.
Dee: What about the tagline that we always hear, you know, “I can't do that. I'm only an analyst.” Is that something that would ever?
Deputy Director: No analyst has ever said to me.
Dee: Ever. I thought as much…
Deputy Director: But look, I mean, but we do have, you know, we have um, different jobs in this Agency. Um, and we ask our ops officers to do things differently than what we ask our analysts to do. Um, you know, we have people specialize, and they have unique skills that they that they develop. And so there are some things that we do not ask analysts to do. And there are some things we don't ask our ops officers to do, and I think everybody is happy about that to be honest.
Dee: I can imagine so. All right, we're going to follow the same fictional CIA officer overseas for a moment. They are on the trail of a dangerous individual or a nefarious plot or a shadowy organization. And they recruit a human source who passes them some vital information on some kind of password protected device that was stolen from the villains. So our CIA officer cracks that password themselves.
Deputy Director: He’s a good officer.
Dee: Right? I mean, he's supreme right here.
Deputy Director: This guy’s getting a promotion.
Dee: Um, so he is now kind of to see what the truth really is. It’s coming to focus for him. So he himself gears up and raids that organization's headquarters all by himself. Spy fact or fiction?
Deputy Director: Yeah. I'm gonna have to go with fiction on that one. I mean, there are elements of that, each element in there, I think is something that, uh, that a CIA officer, uh, could do. But I don't think there's any officer who we would ask to do all of that. Right? So I mean, recruiting the source. You know, what we ask our our officers, our ops officers to do, is to, you know, spot assess, develop, recruit and and run sources. That's core to the officer’s mission. So, in this in this scenario, pretty good work here - they've got a, they've got a problem. They've managed to recruit a source quickly. That's great. But then you know the follow on of, you know, they could get the the password protected. What did they get a thumb drive or something?
Dee: Yeah. Some device that has a password on it.
Deputy Director: Um, I think, they would then hand that off to one of our officers, perhaps from our Directorate of Digital Innovation, who would figure out how to crack that password. You know, and they've got they've got those skills. So we we’d bring in some of our, our other officers to do that work. And then, once they figure out what's going on here, they want to go and …
Dee: All by themselves.
Deputy Director: And all by themselves, raid the compound? Again, I don't know that, that we would have our, you know either the gal who figured out how to crack the password or the person who recruited the source be the one who then goes and, you know, storms the compound. They, frankly, we don't do much compound storming. So I'm not exactly sure who would be involved in doing that. But the one thing I'm pretty sure of is that would not be the same officer all the way through.
Walter: That’s a lot of overtime.
Deputy Director: It’s a lot of overtime.
Dee: It is a lot of overtime and a lot of lack of oversight as well.
Deputy Director: So yeah, just yeah, I would hope at some point there was, like a cable back to headquarters, where where somebody said - can you just, like, slow down?
Dee: I doubt that happened in this particular scenario.
Deputy Director: No.
Walter: So I have another one for you. Let's say then that it's a small team of CIA officers trained in various skills, endeavoring on this kind of very unique operation and they've come fully prepared for whatever might be thrown at them. They've got this fully stocked room or bunker or train compartment even filled with futuristic technology. Um, one officer dons a mask that's so realistic it almost fools themselves.
Dee: And then there's the other officer that grabs some kind of compound that can, you know, disable any lock and any kind of mechanism and then always packs some kind of gadget that lets them scale walls in any type of environment.
Walter: So, Deputy Director Cohen, spy fact or fiction?
Deputy Director: You know, kind of a little bit of both. I think. Um, so on the disguise part, I will tell you a true story. Our Directorate of Science and Technology. One of the things that it does is disguises, all sorts of different kinds of disguises. When I was actually doing this job the first time around, I went out to a DS&T facility where they do, um, disguises. And I was getting a tour around the facility. They had other things that were going on there as well. And they introduced me to this woman who was gonna give me the tour and introduced herself and, you know, we had a little chit chat, and then we spent about a half hour walking around looking at different things, and she was explaining various things to me. And then at the end of this like, half hour tour, you know, went back to the room that we had started in, and she, like, took off the glasses that she was wearing. You know, took off the scarf that she had, um, you know, wrapped around her hair, um, I don't know, took off some jewelry, and I realized I knew her. I knew her well, and I had no idea it was her. She had put on a disguise before I got in there and I had spent a half hour with her, um, doing the tour. Did not know it was her. So, so the first part of this, the disguise, we do really, really exquisite disguises.
Dee: So can I ask, was she doing that just to see if you would know?
Deputy Director: 100%, Yeah, she was. She was, she was quite happy with my surprise.
Dee: She fooled you.
Deputy Director: She did. It was great. Um, and then you know, the, you know, compound that that unlocks the …
Dee: Yeah. Just dismantles any lock.
Deputy Director: So, again in in Directorate of Science and Technology, we've got folks who have all sorts of cool gadgets. We’ll probably want to leave it at that. So we don't have to - we don't have to hit the bleep out button. Um, but, uh sure, we've got lots of technologies that allow us to, uh, to, get our work done.
Dee: Well, let me ask you then, um, so you have a good scenario there about somebody faking you out and then talking about our tech people. Um, is there a particular maybe declassified mission that you might be able to to tell a little bit about some of the tech that we've used previously?
Deputy Director: Some of the cool tech? Um, sure. Um so one thing I think, as your listeners know, we have recently reopened our, or refurbished CIA museum, which has a whole host of really good things in it.
Dee: It is really cool.
Deputy Director: Um, one of the, one of the displays there um, is something called the Skyhook. For those who are as old as me, this is not the Kareem Abdul Jabbar skyhook. This is the Skyhook that, uh, that the Agency devised, um, and it goes back to, I think 1961. And the scenario was that the Soviets had some facility in the Arctic, on, you know on some ice in the Arctic. And then the ice broke off into an ice island and was floating away. And the Soviets skedaddled out of there and left it abandoned. And so we knew it was there. But it was kind of isolated and difficult to get to, and so we devised a way to drop a couple of I think Navy pilots onto the onto this ice island out in the middle of the Arctic. They spent some time in this you know, these big, you know, polar suits to keep them warm. Collected up a whole bunch of really interesting information. But they, you know, it's easy to get them there. You can drop them there and they can parachute in, but they wanted to come home as well. And we also wanted the intelligence that they were collecting. Um, so, what we what we devised as, you know, we they parachuted in. And then we had specially devised, um, Skyhook, which was attached to an aircraft that flew and dropped a big hook. And they had, uh, something that hooked onto the hook. Uh, and it picked them up off the off the ice, in a way that did not also kill them at the same time, um, as the airplane was flying by, you know, hundreds of miles an hour, and then winched him up into the aircraft. And I think that has that, um operation has been repeated in in, I think in the James Bond. I think Batman did this, it that makes its way into into spy literature and spy movies.
Dee: Absolutely, absolutely does. And to that point, I think it just kind of resonates the fact that, um even though there are stark differences between what we do and what you see on screen and some situations, it really is the fact that, um, some of the things you see on screen really do have roots in CIA history and some of the things that we have the ability to do here.
Walter: And actually listeners want to see representation of the Skyhook, they can go to CIA.gov.
Dee: Absolutely. It's a great, um, particular mission, and it's a great artifact to look at as well.
Deputy Director: Very cool.
Dee: We're going to continue on now with the classic spy scenarios. So let's just go back to those officers that have all those cool gadgets, gizmos. Um, they now have found themselves in a position where it's a mad dash to try to outrun the antagonist of the story. So they grab keys to a vehicle that was, you know, obviously offscreen until this very moment that it was needed. Um, one officer slides across the hood and another one jumps in the backseat and kicks out two of the windows.
Walter: For defensive purposes. There will be gunfire.
Dee: There will obviously be gunfire here. Um, so the hood-sliding officer jumps in the car and they take off at unimaginable speeds. They're traversing through narrow nooks and crannies and driving both forward and reverse at times. And shots are being fired all around in different directions until the officers find themselves safe from the pursuers.
Deputy Director: Phew.
Dee: Right? So, sir.
Deputy Director: Yes.
Dee: Spy fact or fiction?
Deputy Director: You know, unfortunately is a little bit of fact to that. I mean, we do have officers who find themselves in difficult situations where they need to get away from somebody who is looking to do them harm. The motto is, you know, we do hard things in hard places. And that sometimes means that we find ourselves in situations where you've got to get out of the situation, get off the X as they, as they say in the business. And you know because of that, we train our officers. Before any officer goes overseas and pretty much any post, they need to get qualified for handling a firearm, um, for defensive purposes, truly, for defensive purposes. But, you know, it is just a reality of our business that if you're going to be out on the street, out, and you know you can name the country, uh, it's basically any country in the world where you could find yourself in a tight situation and need to be able to defend yourself. Um, and you know, one of the things we take, you know, obviously uh, extremely seriously is the safety and security of our officers. And so, so there's some, there's some fact to that that scenario where we would have officers who who would, you know, find themselves in a, in a shootout and get themselves out of it. And and you know, the other piece of that the defensive driving.
Dee: Is there hood-sliding? I mean …
Deputy Director: I think you come to the Agency knowing how to do hood-sliding.
Dee: What was I thinking? Of course. I did that first. You’re right.
Deputy Director: I think we I think we recruit for that.
Dee: Yeah, you’re right.
Deputy Director: Um uh, but the defensive driving we also train. Um, that's uh, as part of the the core training that goes for folks who are going overseas is to to know how to drive a car in a tight situation and get yourself, get yourself to safety. We plan very, very carefully all of our operations to try to avoid finding ourselves in a situation where we need to, you know, have, you know, some sort of effort to get off the X quickly.
Walter: Well, sir, you've been doing an awesome job at helping to differentiate between fact and fiction for us. But can we ask you a couple of personal questions while we have you here?
Deputy Director: I suppose so. Captive audience. But go ahead.
Dee: Um, for starters, would you have any advice for a particular would-be screenwriter? Or if you yourself maybe wanted to dabble in some spy thriller fiction or screenwriting? What would it be about or where would it take place?
Deputy Director: Well, I'm a little bit reluctant to go down this path. I have a screenwriter in the family. And, uh, I am quite certain that he would not think that I knew the first thing about writing a screenplay. Um, but look, I think that the best spy fiction, uh, you know spy movies, spy books, whatever it may be, are not the scenario that you just described before about the shootout and the car chase and what have you. That's, you know. You can do that. That's kind of, uh, that's like an easy one to do. I think the interesting story, and if I were to write a story and I'm not going to tell anybody the plotline of the story I'm going to write. I'm going to keep that to myself.
Dee: That’s fair. That’s fair. I mean, it is the CIA, we keep secrets. That’s ok.
Deputy Director: Yeah but it would be about, it would be about the, you know interesting characters in interesting places finding themselves in, you know, in difficult situations where they need to, um, you know, use their their moxie to uh, to figure out how to get out of it. And, you know, and one of the things that is that I love about my job to be honest is I I do get to travel quite a lot. Uh, and in my travels, I get to visit the stations, uh, that we have all around the world. You know, some of them are big stations and you know, in, you know, big cities. But we also have, we have stations, smaller stations, in places around the world. And in those stations you have, you know just a small, you know, handful of officers doing everything the Agency needs to do in that in that country often quite young. You know, first, second tour officers who are being asked to recruit sources, run assets, engage with foreign partners. Do a whole host of really interesting things. And so, if I, if I were to be, uh writing a spy story, I think I would set it in one of these, you know, small stations with the young officers, who, you know, find themselves all of a sudden in some really tricky situation that they've got to use their, you know, their ingenuity to get themselves out of.
Dee: I feel like he does have something that he's been working on there.
Walter: Yeah. Mm hmm.
Deputy Director: Perhaps.
Walter: Um so it's funny, you say that. I think there have been now shows, books, movies, even video games about CIA operations officers or case officers, CIA paramilitary officers, CIA analysts, of course, we talked about, even now, CIA lawyers. Um, what CIA profession in particular would you like to see chronicled next? There are so many left.
Deputy Director: There are a ton left.
Dee: So many left.
Walter: A ton left.
Deputy Director: Boy, I don't, you know, it's that's interesting because I think what's you know, a real sort of essential fact of the way we do our business is that none of those individual, jobs, whether it's in an ops officer or an analyst or a lawyer or technologist or, you know, the, you know, security at the gate, like none of us can do this mission on our own. So I think, you know, to go back to my to my story that I really have not started writing the screen plan on. Um, but like in that scenario, I would have you know, I would have an ops officer, I’d have an analyst, I’d have someone with some technological skill. You know, maybe there's there's also, you know, a lawyer in there. There's, you know, someone from our Directorate of Support, who do amazing things about getting what we need to where we need it when we need it. So it isn't. I actually think it's not about the particular job category so much is what the magic is is sort of how folks in the Agency work together to get things done. So, yeah, so I don't know who the protagonist in the story would be, what their job would be, but they would be working with others to get it done.
Walter: It would be the team. The team would be the protagonist.
Deputy Director: The team. For sure.
Walter: Um, well, I think we should also take a moment to mention here that you are also technically something of an actor yourself.
Deputy Director: Only, only, very, very technically.
Walter: It was a very popular TV show. Are you willing to speak a little bit about that with us here?
Deputy Director: Sure. What's the story?
Walter: So. What's the story?
Dee: I mean can you tell us what the show was?
Deputy Director: So I, I had a very brief appearance in the final season of Game of Thrones a few years ago. And, uh, I had mentioned earlier, my relation, who's a screenwriter. So my brother-in-law was one of them, was one of the showrunners of Game of Thrones. And when I left the Agency in 2017, you know, I was kicking around trying to figure out what to do. No.
Dee: Dreams and ambition.
Deputy Director: Um, yeah, I did not. I did not go to Hollywood and try and be an actor. But I did hit up my brother-in-law and say, hey, you know, if if you could find a way for me to get a brief little cameo on Game of Thrones, you know, I'm game. And he did. And so I, um, I was a peasant, coming in out of the wilderness into Winterfell as the as the battle was starting to, uh, to brew. Um, I'm, I was in one, I don't know, minute long, minute and half long scene of getting soup. I got some soup, although it didn't actually continue, I am quite sure I got killed in the next episode.
Dee: I feel like everybody got killed in that season.
Deputy Director: Yeah, I don't think it was personal.
Dee: Um, aside from the connection you had there personally speaking was there another reason you wanted to be on that particular show? Or was it just because of the interest of?
Deputy Director: It was just a target of opportunity.
Dee: Fair enough Fair enough.
Walter: Uh, do you have any future plans, maybe after your time here at CIA, for subsequent big or small screen appearances?
Deputy Director: Yeah, well, so for my enormous fan base for my acting career, which consists, I think of, um, just me, um there is a, I'm sure it is not my family or anyone else, for that matter.
Dee: I would say Walter and I would be fans.
Walter: Uh, I thought that was a great minute.
Deputy Director: I appreciate that. Yeah, there there may be something else coming up, but it's gonna, it's gonna be a couple of years yet before it hits the screen.
Walter: We'll stay tuned.
Dee: In the meantime, sir, we will anxiously await that. Um but we wanted just to thank you very much for taking the time to sit down with us to give us a little insight on spy fact versus fiction. And really to help us kind of round out our first season here of The Langley Files.
Deputy Director: It was my great pleasure. Thanks so much.
Dee: Absolutely, and hopefully we'll have you back.
Deputy Director: Sure. You know where to find me.
Dee: We do.
Walter: Wow, well, I'm still thinking about Skyhook.
Dee: Right? Well, I hope this conversation gets people intrigued about the work that we actually do here at the CIA while also demonstrating that there are similarities but also some very big differences between what they see on the screen or read in books versus what is done at CIA on a daily basis.
Walter: Absolutely. So Dee and I wanted to take a moment here to thank you - all of our listeners who have tuned in to some or all of these episodes of The Langley Files … so far.
Dee: And we will stress the words “so far,” because even though we're wrapping up season one, Walter and I will be back to bring you a whole new season of The Langley Files in the next couple of months. And we'll be featuring a new round of guests and a host of new subject matters.
Walter: And we don't want to give anything away, but we said at the launch of this podcast that we hope to give you a unique look behind the curtain here at CIA, and we're aiming for a season two that does just that in exciting new ways.
Dee: So stay tuned for future episodes.
Walter: But before we sign off on this episode, we need to do a little trivia.
Dee: As listeners may remember, last episode we asked a question that came from our friends at CIA's World Factbook. The question was - this capital city is a UNESCO World Heritage site, with some 320 monuments within just over 0.2 square miles, making it one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world. And all of this resides in what is also the smallest capital city in the European Union. The question is - what city is it?
Walter: And for those of you who know a lot about world geography, or a little, pun intended, you may know that the answer is Valetta, Malta.
Dee: That was actually a really good question. And now to our next trivia question.
Walter: So we know it's going to be a few months before you come back with the answer, but fittingly for this episode, we thought a nice little cliffhanger was in order.
Dee: So here it goes. While on the topic of movies, many of our listeners may be familiar with the movie Argo starring Ben Affleck. Now the true story behind CIA’s operation to rescue a group of American hostages being held in Iran had a true life tie-in to a very well-known artist. This artist created the artwork for a fake film project in order to provide cover for the real CIA rescue operation being worked behind the scenes. The question is - who was the artist? And for those of you who are not a fan of cliffhangers, the answer is actually mentioned somewhere in this first season of The Langley Files.
Walter: And that does it for the season. We thank all of our guests over the past six episodes for their participation, and again thank all of you for tuning in. We hope you learned a bit about what CIA actually does, the people here, and how they work to help keep America, as well as others around the world, safe.
Dee: And we look forward to bringing you more content and conversation very soon. But until then.
Walter: From all of us here at Langley, we'll be seeing you.
Walter: Do you think there's a reason Hollywood and other fiction writers really like using names that start with “J” for the CIA and other spy characters?
Dee: Jack, James, Jason … um, that's a very good question.
Walter: Maybe we'll have to ask a future guest?
Dee: Definitely make a note of that, but let's head out of here. Season one … done.