The Spy Devils, by Joe Goldberg

From pioneering an emergent mode of intel collection and dissemination in the 1980s with video to shredding his CIA employee file and going corporate at Motorola, Joe draws from his time on the front “spy” lines in his books dedicated to fellow intel practitioners, adding a little fiction and anonymity to cover his tracks with entertaining tales.

While he admits that “truth is stranger than fiction,” Joe uses his fictitious characters and plots to metaphorically, and directly, share important and timeless truths applicable to those in intelligence today.

Tune into this week’s episode of Running into the Fog for a conversation with Joe Goldberg and the Jo Bros about Joe’s new book The Spy Devils and its grounding in Joe’s own life experiences. Learn how a masters degree in broadcast and film got Joe into the CIA, why Joe got rid of almost 1,000 pages of his first draft, and where Joe sprinkled surprise Easter eggs throughout his book for Iowa readers.

• “As I say early on, truth is stranger than fiction. That was sort of a motto throughout the entire book.” (14:21-14:28)

• “If you have something to say, say it. Whether you think other people are interested or not, that’s irrelevant. Put that away. Put that fog of self-doubt in a box and put that away. Because some people are going to hate it…but that’s irrelevant!” (20:25-20:45)

• “Everything is connected. The stuff that you’re doing is connected to the people who did it before you. The people that are going to follow you and learn from you – they’re connected to you….We must remember that nothing was just made for us.” (39:13-39:41)

• “It’s up to the intelligence people of today….who are figuring out what’s the best way to do intelligence and communicate it and collect it…to our decision makers?…What’s the next YouTube?” (48:51-50:05)

• “I put it to the people who are in the fog…the people who are in intelligence today or related fields, the ethical issues are immense. They aren’t to be discarded…Ethics are you.” (50:25-51:08)

• “What types of warfare will corporations have to equip themselves for in the decade ahead?” (53:13-53:26)

• “I think there’s a back-to-the-basics world that we’re going to go back to. We’re going to have tools, whatever those tools are, and we’re going to have smart people, because there’s always smart people… but I believe there’s going to be a move toward making the complex simple to get things done.” (55:14-58:32)

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