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Fans of “The Americans” TV series on the FX Network will recognize elements of the show in The CI Desk, Chris Lynch’s account of his thirty years as a counterintelligence analyst at the FBI and CIA. “The Americans” creator Joe Weisberg discovered the now-popular “character,” the “FBI mail robot,” within The CI Desk’s pages, and hired Chris Lynch to be a consultant for the show. Since then, the Writers Guild of America and Peabody Award-winning writers of the show have extracted anecdotes, descriptions, and terms from The CI Desk for episodes of “The Americans,” including “The Bureau does not feel,” “munchkins,” and Lynch’s own experience of being suddenly and inexplicably summoned to the Director’s office. According to Kim Chamberlain of EspionageMagazine.com, “this book lends the personality, depth, and reality to the day-to-day intelligence that seems to be lacking in other works. With a razor-sharp wit, a keen eye for human nature, and a wry sense of humor, The CI Desk is in turn hilarious and saddening. There are some nail-biter moments here (and) a seemingly endless procession of fascinating characters,” including moles (such as FBI agent Robert P. Hansson, Lynch’s supervisor for two years), mole hunters, penetrations of hostile services, defectors, agent handlers, and the unsung people at headquarters desks in FBI and CIA operations that spanned the globe. The C.I. Desk shows the routine, the thrilling, and the sometimes funny or tragic human side of the counterintelligence work of the FBI and CIA.
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Chris Lynch moved from his home town ofKalamazoo, Michigan, to take a three dollar an hour job at the FBI inWashington, D.C., in the Intelligence Division mailroom. He was aneager learner, fascinated by counterintelligence work that sometimesmade the front pages, and sometimes remains secret to this day. As apioneer in the FBI's CI analysis unit, he achieved several firsts thatopened the door for later generations of non-agents in the division.Lynch later moved to the CIA, monitoring operations and tradecraftaround the globe, and working on several closed door "special projects," as an expert in detecting hostile control. Now retired, Lynch lives in Northern Virginia and sleeps late whenever he can. He talks abouttraveling more than he does it, but still has managed to visit everystate and six continents.
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