Why the CIA makes a good subject for a thriller

If the C.I.A.’s human spy arm was operating as a private business, it would be running at a loss. Think Detroit, not 007. Why? First, the agency is simply too insular. It does not sufficiently tap into the expertise that exists across the breadth of America. The human spy components of the C.I.A. live in a cocoon of secrecy that breeds distrust of outsiders. This is one reason very few officers have BlackBerrys, and those few who do usually leave them in their cars when they go to work. Despite their reputation as plugged-in experts on other countries, many C.I.A. officers do not even have Internet access at their desks. Worse yet, they don’t think they need it.  MORE

What makes writing about the spy world so exciting? The human element, so imperfect, so flawed, so close to one's own mirror (well, perhaps a funny mirror) image.

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