<B>The spy who didn't love it</B> Lindsay Moran's resignation from the CIA didn't cause the furor that George Tenet's did, but don't let that stop you from reading <B>Blowing My Cover: My Life as a CIA Spy and Other Misadventures</B>. Moran was young, adventurous, fresh from her valedictory speech at Harvard and a little bored when she decided to work for the CIA. She already had several years of training behind her, so why not serve her country while traveling the world? OK, as Moran admits, her training consisted mostly of reading Harriet the Spy books. She rethought her decision.
A few years later, however, Moran again felt herself drawn to the agency, which is where the book's fun begins. Nothing is as she expects it to be: her recruiter's limp is not the result of a shoot-out with opposing agents but was acquired at the hands of the FBI during a softball game. The CIA headquarters is, according to Moran, "a colossal structure that is bafflingly and alarmingly well-marked by large signs reading CIA,' " yet the higher-ups believe the custodial and cafeteria staff to be unaware of their true employer. Armed with a clever sense of humor and an active imagination her field reports must have been masterpieces Moran fills <B>Blowing My Cover</B> with stories of her training at the Farm in Langley, Virginia, and her efforts to cultivate foreign agents in Macedonia. For the most part, her adventures are more "Boris and Natasha" than <I>The Spy Who Came in from the Cold</I>.
This is fine until one realizes that Moran's tenure immediately preceded September 11, 2001. Her growing feelings of futility and her disdain for the agency's old-school mentality lead to her decision to leave "the Company." Her comments about the CIA's inability to foresee and adequately react to terrorist attacks echo conventional wisdom about the need to revamp U.S. intelligence organizations. Though Moran was generally frustrated by her experiences, the overall tone of this memoir is not despair. How could it be with lines like: "I half expected to find a flask of Jack Daniel's in my own butt crack when I went to bed that night."