Former CIA Chief of Counterintelligence Jim Olson delivered a speech about his new book, To Catch a Spy: The Art of Counterintelligence, at Texas A&M’s Bush School of Government and Public Service. The book is dedicated to Bush School students, whom he has taught since the inception of the Bush School in 1997.
During this event, Olson relayed stories about his time in the CIA and current threats from China, Russia, Cuba, and Iran. The book goes into detail about emerging intelligence threats from these countries and argues the United States needs to catch up. Olson served as a CIA spy for over thirty years and discussed his experiences as an intelligence officer as well.
Olson explained why counterintelligence is important and why the United States should conceal its trade and national security secrets. He discussed American citizens that were convicted of spying on the United States. These included Edward Lee Howard, Aldrich Ames, Sgt. Clayton Lonetree, and Felix Bloch.
As a professor of the practice at the Bush School, Olson teaches courses on intelligence, counterintelligence, and international crisis management. He served for over thirty years in the Directorate of Operations of the Central Intelligence Agency, mostly overseas in clandestine operations. In addition to several foreign assignments, he was Chief of Counterintelligence at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Professor Olson has been awarded the Intelligence Medal of Merit, the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, the Donovan Award, and several Distinguished Service Citations.
The former spy ended the evening signing copies of his new book for students, faculty, staff, and local political figures.