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On September 7th, 1978, Georgi Markov was walking along a crowded sidewalk on the Waterloo Bridge over the River Thames. Suddenly feeling a sharp pain in his right thigh, he turned to see a man picking up an umbrella off the sidewalk. A taxi pulled up beside the stranger, who entered it and immediately departed the area.

In May 2013, the Central Intelligence Agency suffered one of its most embarrassing fiascoes in recent memory. Not embarrassing in the sense that illegal or immoral activities were brought to light before a Congressional committee. Rather, embarrassing in the sense that one of their case officers looked like a complete fool on the international stage.

Why did you find your way here? Because you are fascinated by the world of espionage. It’s been romanticized in film and literature for decades, most notably by the James Bond films. Wearing a tuxedo, loaded down with gadgets, driving a fast car with a beautiful girl in the passenger seat. You’ve seen it a dozen times.