L.A. blogger meets the CIA

Aura Bogado, who blogs at To the Curb, was in Chicago for the Unity journalism conference. Newspapers and other media outlets send recruiting teams to make contacts with potential hires — the Los Angeles Times, ironically, sent an editor who has been laid off. Also there was the CIA's "Craig P," and Bogado struck up a conversation.

It took me a couple of days to muster up the courage to approach Craig P - in the meantime, I filled me head with ideas of what the hell the CIA was actually up to attempting to recruit journalists of color. Perhaps extraordinary renditions and increasingly deviant forms of torture (which amount to nothing in terms of so-called national security) just don’t cut it anymore. I began wondering if the CIA wasn’t searching for a nicer, softer interrogator: the journalist of color. After all, we can do our research, ask questions, do more research and come back and ask even more questions…

“We don’t have journalist positions at the CIA,” Craig P tells me with a wide smile, “but we do hire people that have journalism backgrounds as analysts…. And what do analysts do at the CIA? Well, they read. A lot. They read everything we give them, and make sense of it.” He asks me where I’m from, and we exchange small talk about perceptions about the West Coast and East Coast. While we’re on the topic of perceptions, I mutter something about waterboarding, but Craig P either ignores me or the comment flies right over his head. He is still smiling.

She includes a shadowy photo. Via Daniel Hernandez

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