The instructor who tasked this assignment will look at you funny

Sunday, February 28th, 2021

In The Targeter, Nada Bakos explains that she had to take the CIA’s 16-week CAP (Career Analyst Program) course when she switched over to an Analyst role — but she and some of the others who weren’t new to the Agency had trouble taking it seriously:

We also made up our own fake assignment on official letterhead, then dropped it into the bowl from which class teams drew their morning exercises.

The first one read: “A leading radical Islamic cleric is being recruited by the CIA.” Then came the pièce de résistance: “Write a bottom-line assessment of his value to the Agency. Then fold the paper three times, walk to the room with the instructors, stop at their table, and pull on your ear. The instructor who tasked this assignment will look at you funny. Hand said instructor the paper; he will confirm receipt by saying, ‘What’s this?’ To complete the exercise, wink at him and respond, ‘My phone number.’” Soon enough, we watched another analyst fold his paper three times and march straight out of the classroom.

We laughed hysterically — which is how the poor analyst knew whom to yell at when he came back four minutes later looking ready to break things.

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