Delve deep into the clandestine world of the CIA and Black Ops with former spy and shadow warrior, Enrique “Ric” Prado. Known for volunteering for life or death espionage missions for the Central Intelligence Agency and his pivotal role in human intelligence (HUMINT) operations during the Contra Wars under Ronald Reagan and tracking Osama Bin Laden pre 9/11, Prado shares stories from his thrilling career as a CIA Officer detailed in his book Black Ops: The Life of a CIA Shadow Warrior.
Buy the Book! https://ricprado.com/
In this episode, we explore why the U.S. needs Black Ops, the importance of human intelligence, and the emotions at play in intelligence gathering. We delve into Black Ops philosophies, discuss foreign counter-intelligence, and the intense strategy that went into the tumultuous period in Regan’s war against communism in Central America. Delving further, Prado shares a harrowing account of his close encounter with death fighting the Sandinistas in the Contra war in Honduras and his role in the Bin Laden task force known as Alec Station. He addresses the controversy around why Bin Laden wasn’t rendered earlier and the important issues of oversight in the agency and respect for enemies.
We also discuss the ethical standards within the agency and the politics that play out behind closed doors. As we wind down, we discuss the decision to retire, the ramifications of operation disruption, his reaction to 9/11, and take a somber moment to reflect on the CIA memorial. We then pick up the pace to discuss the future of military recruitment, the necessity of bravery in leadership, and compare drone assassinations to close quarters operations. In this riveting podcast, our host engages Ric Prado, a former spy for the CIA, in a thought-provoking discussion that spans a range of topics – from the rationale behind black ops to the importance of human intelligence in the world of espionage.
Prado shares insights from his career, addressing various conspiracy theories and recounting his time in Honduras. He also offers a personal account of his close encounter with death and his involvement in the Bin Laden task force. The conversation shifts to the scrutiny of oversight within the agency and the topic of respect for adversaries. A reflection on his decision to retire from the agency is shared, followed by a discussion on the political and ethical climate within intelligence work. The podcast touches on his reaction to the tragic events of 9/11, and the recording resumes with a tribute to the CIA memorial. Ric delves into the logistics of receiving assignments, the comparison of drones and physical altercations, and the value of bravery in leadership.
Four Branches Bourbon: https://www.fourbranches.com/
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0:03:09 Why the U.S. needs Black Ops
0:04:52 Importance of human intelligence
0:06:51 Human emotions in intelligence
0:10:07 Black ops philosophies
0:12:26 Foreign counter-intelligence
0:15:09 Writing a book
0:17:30 Addressing conspiracy
0:18:28 Strategy in Honduras
0:22:27 Who were the Contras?
0:28:20 Close encounter with death
0:33:52 Bin Laden task force
0:38:07 Why wasn’t Bin Laden rendered earlier?
0:40:29 Oversight in the agency
0:42:25 Restraint and respect for enemies
0:47:36 Politics and ethical standards
0:53:32 Decision to retire
1:00:32 Ramifications of operation disruption
1:02:55 Reaction to 9/11
1:08:10 CIA memorial
1:10:34 Receiving assignments
1:14:19 Drones vs. physical altercations
1:16:35 Bravery in leadership
1:21:00 Future of military recruitment
1:26:15 Addressing apathy
1:29:57 Diversity, equity and inclusion
1:34:27 Four Branches Bourbon
1:38:00 Weapon of choice
1:40:48 Who should play Ric Prado in a movie?
1:42:39 The role love plays
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