My CIA: Memories of a Secret Career
by  Christopher David Costanzo













  For decades a sense has pervaded the American public and our political establishment that there was something louche about the Central Intelligence Agency. The sense went way beyond those misgivings that one would expect in a free society about the necessary evil of an espionage service.

  Many people have written about the follies and achievements of the CIA. I now add the story of my own career in the CIAís clandestine service. It starts from my initial training and continues through my subsequent covert assignments and finally as a chief of clandestine establishments overseas. I describe Americaís clandestine operations bureaucracy and its culture as I saw them from the working levelóthat is, a wormís eye view.

  This book is about me and my career, so in a sense itís a very petty story. It doesnít offer specific revelations about major operations. There are many books on the market that cover those things, and the reader might profit by reading some of them in conjunction with what I have written.















 A book like this tells a great deal about its  author. It is just one manís perspective focused on  his own working-level experiences. It expresses certain biases that I acquired during my career, from which I concluded that, in my time, the service was badly managed and its leadership was ineffectual. Many old-time CIA loyalists will object, but I believe my observations are worth recording.

  There is a moral to my story. In an egalitarian society, any governmental organization that demands elite status must earn and justify that status by continually demonstrating its value to the country.

  If the organization relies solely on reputation without continuous achievement, many others will take note of the organizationís diminished value. The organization will lose its political protection and be a target for further diminishment by self-serving opportunists from within and without.