Watch this Time interview with Jack Devine, former CIA Deputy Director, for the 10 Questions with series and say whether the statements below are true or false.
1 Jack Devine worked for the CIA for thirty-two years.
2 Jack Devine is unwilling to share the jobs he pretended to be doing during his missions.
3 Jack Devine thinks teenage was not the best age to tell his children about his job.
4 Jack Devine thinks it was better to tell his children about his job when the family was in US.
5 Jack Devine has killed people in his job.
6 A spy always has to do as he/she is told.
7 Jack Devine is willing to pardon Edward Snowden.
8 In the spies' world, yesterday's enemies are today's friends.
9 The way you look is important to be a spy.
I’m Belinda Luscombe from Time. I’m here with Jack Devine, who is a thirty-two-year veteran of the CIA. Mr Devine, welcome.
Thank you for inviting me.
So you have written a book, Good Hunting, Aren’t spies supposed to be kind of covert, especially those who are in operations? Why write a book?
Well, I was covert for virtually all of my career and then at a certain level you’re publicly known because I was an official, appeared in Congress, met every foreign service around the world. So they lift your cover at that point.
When you were overseas in some of your postings, what job did you say you were doing?
Well, I was under cover, I’m just going to leave it at that, and if you look at the record you’ll see that I served in different countries, and in the case of the few places where I became public, in Chile, I was with the American embassy. I have had official titles and they are pretty well documented so I looked like a foreigner and a diplomat.
You take, you write in the book about how you had to do this delicate dance with your kids. You don’t want to tell them too late and you don’t want to tell them too soon.
What is the perfect age to break to your child that you’re actually a spook?
Let me put a marker down. I only learned this the hard way, all right. This is not like a course which tells you, look, when you’re handling your family, you have to do it this way, but I have six children, so I had a chance to practise, I had what I thought was great success. I would only do it in the United States. I would do it in their early teens, thirteen, fourteen, with hindsight, almost the perfect time. They’re not looking at the world in complicated ways and I do it in the United States so that they don’t run out the next day and tell their friends, you won’t believe what my father does, you know? So I’d do it in the United States, and I’d catch them at that point, and I also, we try and catch them on a one-and-one occasion. It might take me weeks during the summer, but invariably one of them had the bad fortune to ride with me from Washington to the Jersey seashore, and when I would get to the Delaware Bridge, I would say,, now I wanna tell you something that’s really important, you know. The first couple of sentences, that’s great, that’s terrific, what time’s dinner?, you know. They took it in stride. But I caught my teenage, mid, middle daughter at sixteen and the response is, you know, one of those stunning things that you’re just not prepared for, my father is an assassin. So it’s not what you expect to hear from your daughter.
Have you, in fact, assassinated anybody?
What did you do when you didn’t, when you doubted the goal of your job, when you were given a task to do and you doubted it?
Well I think there are two things, and I’ll be very candid with you on this. One is you can bureaucratically move. That’s what, look, like a job in Japan. So you move out of the way of the bullet. But that doesn’t always work. And then when you’re confronted with it, and frankly that happened very rarely to me, you then have to stand up and be prepared to say, I’m not gonna do this one, and you can either move me or, you know, I’m gonna have to step down. And I think this is a key to public service. I think all government officials should be in that position that if they don’t feel that something is right and they can do it, they should step, make their position known and step down.
Do you think, on that subject, that Edward Snowden should be pardoned?
Not in your wildest dreams, I didn’t call.
What a shock.
I didn’t call it Good Hunting for nothing. He would be right on my list. He was in this system. He knew what the system was. There are ways to appeal, bring the problem if you’re not satisfied with the Inspector General and the General Council, you go to Congress. I mean, there are a number of things you can do, but he deliberately went in and, and, and drew out information. And what’s his motivation? I mean, I think, every defector I know, Rick Adams, they all have some big story wrapped around it. At the end of the day, it’s usually psychological, they’re usually underperformers, they’re usually well read and they think they’re smarter than everyone else, and they’re just not. They tend to be lazy, and as a result your career doesn’t function, and then you become angry. I don’t know of any government since the beginning of time that hasn’t had secrets in it. I mean, just cannot function, you can’t put your best technology out there. So, if you agree that you will abide by those principles, then you need to stand up and if you want to make this speech, if you want to do damage to it, then you need to face the courts, make your case before the American people. The American people will, if you have a real story, if you can make a convincing case, I believe our justice system will handle you appropriately. He’s afraid to come back, and not physically. He knows that he can’t make that case.
Do you now find yourself working with people who you would have considered enemy operatives when you were an employee of the CIA?
Oh, absolutely. God bless capitalism. There’s a culture, even, and regardless of what country is, if you work in the intelligence business, there’s a, perhaps like journalists, there’s a common language, a common experience, there is a way that you deal with information. There’s a responsible way of dealing with it. So there’s a huge cooperative base there. And the difference is, it’s for non-state matters, it’s about individuals, companies, and sort of the environment they’re operating in. So I’m very comfortable dealing with some of my old adversaries. And I think they’re comfortable with me. We’re not fighting, we, we’re working together to sort of find an answer to a problem that’s mutually beneficial.
Do you understand that might strike heart in the fears of people to think that there is this sort of intelligence brethren around the world whose only uniting force is that they have a client that, that money is what’s oper... driving them now, rather than patriotism?
Well, welcome to the free market. No, I miss it, I believe in patriotism. I staunchly support the CIA. This is one of the strongest books you’re gonna find the important mission that it has in this space. So it’s not that I’m without deep feelings, but I have, I have served as a public figure, my time ran out, and now I’m in the private sector. So I’m commercially, information is part of our life. You’re in the business of information. The newspaper and a CIA operative are almost twin sisters. I mean, because who, what, when, where, how. Reliability, variability.
Are you saying I could be a spy? Is that what you’re saying?
I didn’t doubt it from the first moment I met you.
Right, especially in the quiet outfit.
As I said to you, it’s now how you look, it’s how you move in the darkness.
Right. Mr Devine, thank you so much.
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