Episode 234 - Lindsay Moran

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May 23 2022 • 2 hrs 38 mins

Lindsay Moran is a former clandestine officer for the Central Intelligence Agency. She is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today. In 2005, she published her memoir Blowing My Cover, My Life As A Spy, in which she wrote about her experiences as a case officer from 1998 to 2003.

After graduating from Harvard and submitting an application that included her language skills and her time living in Eastern Europe as a Fulbright scholar, Moran was recruited to work for the CIA.

She began her orientation in the Directorate of Operations (DO), the clandestine branch of the Agency, after which she was sent to "The Farm", the field academy for clandestine officers. at a base Her year of training included paramilitary exercises, mock ambushes, parachute jumps, car crashes, and driving powerboats.  She completed the training course in December 1999, a year after the CIA's director George Tenet declared war on Al-Qaeda.

After graduating from "The Farm", Moran was deployed under the official cover of a foreign diplomat. As a case officer for the CIA, Moran's primary job was to spot, assess, develop, and recruit foreigners willing to sell secrets, as well as maintaining the agents who were already under her control.

Her interest in spy work gradually diminished because of the pressure her career had put on her personal life, and her growing disillusionment with the CIA's bureaucracy, especially after the September 11th attacks.  She was also disappointed with the agency itself since she felt that her career advancement as a case officer, in general, depended not so much on the quality of agents that she recruited, but rather on the quantity. The more recruits they had, the better. Disapproving of the war in Iraq, she worked on the Iraq desk at headquarters during the Iraq invasion and resigned from the CIA after five years there.