Has anyone ever met a spy?

This goes along with the recent thread about having top secret access.

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt a coworker or someone else was a spy for either a foreign government or another business trying to steal secrets?

My sisters are convinced my father was a spy. He was a project director for a US agency doing ag outreach work in Vietnam, the Ivory Coast, the Sudan / Sahel region and elsewhere. He could have been given his skillset and background (Decorated Army Major, Cornell Doctorate, fluent French speaker , but I think he was doing exactly what his job description said. We did seem to hit a lot of the commie hot spots in our travels.

We did get kicked out of Khartoum at the point of a tank barrel by the Sudanese communists in 1967-68, but so did all the Americans.

Yes. As a university graduate I interviewed with ASIO. They turned up at my house when I was the only one at home, cool as cuecumbers, and they interviewed me. I also had four later interviews and psych profiles, IQ tests etc. administed by agents and psychologists.

Obviously I was weeded out. :stuck_out_tongue:

Ok, I looked it up. ASIO is the Australian version of the CIA.

Well, I have met/know a couple of people who ‘work for’ spy agencies in a couple of different countries. Both are too cagey to admit they actually ‘spy’. At the same time, it’s never very clear what exactly they actually ‘do’ for those agencies.

So, I’m going with, maybe.

Yeah, back in 1994 my boss was retired CIA. All he ever told me was that they recruited him out of the army and at CIA he was a librarian down in several embassies in Central America.

I never really got beyond ‘Hmmm…’.

Aw, c’mon, if we’ve learned anything from from TV, it’s that spies are *always *“greeting card salesmen.”

Considering some of the places I’ve worked over the years, I expect I’ve met a couple, but I didn’t ask and they didn’t say. In my first engineering job, a coworker was sure I was a spy for the Naval Investigative Service (which I believe morphed into NCIS) because he overheard me telling someone that I used to be in the Navy. I’m not sure how he made the leap to spy, but he was an odd duck anyway. I have a cousin who liked to have people think he was a spy with NSA when, in reality, he was an accountant who had nothing to do with intelligence or investigations - he just managed their accounts in-house.

I’m seeing a lot of confusion over what constitutes a spy. OP is describing the source or informant who actually reports to the handler, while some of the responses here assume any intel agency employee qualifies, whether they actually handle sources or not.

thinking about it, I realise that I know several people who sort of fit that definition.

One was a guy I knew at grad school who admitted having carried out a few missions for the CIA in Nepal in his early 20s.

Another had worked for the South African government carrying out mercenary jobs in Africa and Asia.

And a current colleague had worked in Africa for the French Foreign Legion and is always very cagey when pressed for details.

The last two were not spies exactly, but did the sort of stuff you might expect a spy to do…

A truly excellent spy would be unidentifiable. So, I think I meet them all the time.

Knew a 1% biker who turned out to be an undercover cop sent to infiltrate; closest I’ve ever come. This was ages ago and I found out when there was a massive arrest of club members based on the things he had learned and seen. I never flew colors for anyone and didn’t have any dog in any of it but something always struck me wrong about him - he was almost too perfectly an example of the stereotype. Didn’t think he was a spy; just thought he was freaking nuts.

Yes. One active (in the 1980s), one old CIA guy, one guy who I think was once an intelligence agent but I have no proof, and of course, I could have met many and not known it.

My husband was born overseas because his father was working for the CIA.

My late uncle spent a lot of time in the Middle East as a teacher and was in Iran shortly before the Shah was expelled in the 1970s. Some of his sisters, my aunts but not my mom, were convinced that he was involved in covert operations. If you asked him, he’d just laugh. But I suppose he’d do that whether he was actually a spy or not.

One of my friends was dating and almost married a guy who worked for the CIA, but I have no idea what kind of work he did.

Pretty sure someone in my family is CIA. There’s just too many “coincidences”.

They found out about your posting on the 'Dope. :dubious:

He wasn’t exactly a spy, but he was a courier who carried intormation from actual Cuban spies to the Cuban consulate in Montreal. He was also a grad student in math at McGill. He was expelled from Canada and ended up as math professor at the U. of Havana. I knew him and I was interviewed and the interview shown on TV. The reporter asked me if I had ever seen strange characters in the halls of our building. Anyone who has ever seen a bunch of mathematicians and students will understand how silly that question is. I answered that there were strange looking characters (including heavily bearded me) around the halls all the time.

No, this was 25 years ago. The only dope back then was me. I didn’t really want the job anyway, I just wanted to see the interview process. I saw it, and it was fun. :cool:

I’m about 95% positive that my HS girlfriend’s dad was a spy. He used to go on mysterious trips to mysterious places “doing history research”, while working for the CIA. Oddly, he never took any family members with him, not even my GF’s older brother who was a real life history buff.