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CIA launches first podcast, ‘The Langley Files’: reveals agency work is more boring than it looks in Hollywood

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It seems like everyone launches a podcast these days, and now it’s the Central Intelligence Agency’s turn. Here’s the podcast the CIA has released.

But don’t expect any major revelations from the CIA’s “The Langley Files,” which is really a public information initiative to bolster the agency’s image and dispel notions that it’s a spectacular line of work, as often portrayed in action movies.

As the agency explains, “The mission of The Langley Files: A CIA Podcast is to educate and connect the general public by sharing information about the agency’s core mission, capabilities and agility as an intelligence leader. But also to share some interesting stories along the way!”.

What the CIA podcast is about

The podcast features suspenseful introductory music and a narrator who explains that the CIA will “share what it can” with stories that “exceed those of Hollywood scripts.” CIA Director Bill Burns is the featured guest on episode 1 of The Langley Files.

“We usually operate in the shadows, out of sight and out of mind,” Burns said in the premiere. However, he continued, “in our democracy, where trust in institutions is so lacking, it’s important to try to explain ourselves as best we can and to demystify a little of what we do.”

According to Burns, one of the biggest misconceptions people have about the CIA stems from Hollywood’s depictions of intelligence agencies in the field. Many people think of the CIA as a “glamorous world” of “heroic individuals who drive fast cars and defuse bombs and solve world crises on their own”-Jason Bourne, James Bond, and Jack Ryan. In the podcast, Burns said he drives a 2013 Subaru Outback “at posted speed limits.”

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Burns also took the opportunity to promote the CIA’s recent work, saying the agency’s analysts last fall “painted a pretty clear picture” of Vladimir Putin’s plans for Russia to launch a major invasion of Ukraine.

The CIA says each episode of the podcast will last about 15-30 minutes and will “feature our hosts leading conversations with a range of special guests.” The series is distributed on major audio platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music and Player.fm.

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