Review: Spycraft, a Netflix Original

Do you think there are national security secrets so protected that no one can penetrate the wall of secrecy?

Watch Spycraft, the new documentary series from Netflix, and you'll come to the same conclusion I did.

If another country wants to know our secrets, they'll find a way.

How to Describe Spycraft

Spycraft is, well, let me just list a bunch of adjectives to describe this documentary series: captivating, compelling, eye-opening, frightening, depressing, and downright scary.

Captivating and Compelling because you simply can't look away. You watch with amazement at the things that have gone on in, especially in the last 50 years.

There are tools of the spy trade that you need to know about especially if you're thinking about writing spy thrillers. The things under development are mind-boggling.

It's eye-opening because you may not have any idea that all this stuff is happening behind the scenes. Sure we've heard about spies in the FBI and CIA.

But when you get the details of what they did and how many people were tortured and killed as a result of treason by those trusted agents, it's not just frightening, it's horrifying. 

Our citizens who risked their lives and were sold out for the contemporary equivalent of 30 pieces of silver makes you wonder when treason becames a crime with a prison sentence and the possibility of parole instead of punishable by death.

Depressing and Scary

To find so many people who are happy to sell out for money in positions of trust in the organizations that are supposed to protect our country and its citizens is simply depressing. Doesn't anyone have a moral compass in today's world?

It's scary because if they're the foxes guarding the hen house, then our country has bigger problems than we think.

Authors' Credentials 

Spycraft is based on the 2009 book written by Robert Wallace, H. Keith Melton, and Henry R. Schlesinger with the Foreword written by George J. Tenet.

Audio Cover
Wallace is the former director of the CIA's Office of Technical Service and is a recipient of the CIA's Intelligence Medal of Merit. 

He founded the Artemus Consulting Group in 2004, providing management and intelligence counsel to corporate and government clients. 

He's also a contributor to the oral history program of CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence.

Melton is an internationally recognized author, historian, and expert on clandestine devices and technology.

He's the technical tradecraft historian at the Interagency Training Center in Washington, D.C. As such, he's assembled the world's largest collection of espionage devices. He frequently lectures in the U.S. and abroad.

Schlesinger is an author and journalist who has covered intelligence technologies, counterterrorism, and law enforcement with his work appearing in scientific and tech periodicals including Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Technology Review, and Smithsonian magazine.

The content of Spycraft is the real deal with interviews from scientists, shrinks, retired CIA officers, and other experts. Mixed with archival footage, it's amazing.

If you don't have Netflix, take their free trial or find a friend who has it so you can watch it. Read the book which is available in Kindle, paperback, hardback, and audio. 

Takeaway Truth

To describe this series in one word: brilliant. Watch it. Read or listen to the book.

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