Feb. 28, 2022

Episode 80: Ric Prado - Black Ops: The Life of a CIA Shadow Warrior

Episode 80: Ric Prado - Black Ops: The Life of a CIA Shadow Warrior

Today’s guest is Ric Prado. Ric is a paramilitary, counter-terrorism, and clandestine operations specialist, with a focus on international training operations and programs. He is a twenty-four year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) where...


Today’s guest is Ric Prado. Ric is a paramilitary, counter-terrorism, and clandestine operations specialist, with a focus on international training operations and programs. He is a twenty-four year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) where he served as an Operations Officer in six overseas posts. He was Deputy Chief of Station and "Plank Owner" of the original Bin Ladin Task Force/Issues Station as well as Chief of Station in a hostile Muslim country. Ric also served as Chief of Operations in the CIA's Counterterrorist Center (CTC) during the September 11th attacks, where he helped coordinate the CTC’s special operations (SPECOPS) activities with the National Security Council and FBI, as well as with elite U.S. military representatives from Delta Force and SEAL-Team Six, then detailed to CTC. He retired as Senior Intel Service-2 (SIS-2, Major General equivalent at CIA). Ric’s new book Black Ops: The Life of a CIA Shadow Warrior hits bookstores on March 1st and details his life and career conducting some of the most important covert wars that America has fought since Vietnam. In this interview, we’ll dive deep into the contents of the book.

 

Timestamps

 

00:02:33 His reasons for writing the book

 

00:10:11 Difference between CIA officers and agents

 

00:11:02 The subtlety of CIA work

 

00:11:44 Enhanced interrogation techniques

 

00:15:47 Growing up in Cuba

 

00:20:54 The sacrifice his parents made to give him a better life

 

00:24:32 Getting in trouble in Miami

 

00:27:16 The impact that martial arts has had throughout his life

 

00:29:36 His time in Air Force Pararescue

 

00:35:16 Transition into the CIA

 

00:39:00 His relationship with his wife Carmen while working in the CIA

 

00:41:02 Helping train the Contras in Honduras

 

00:50:28 Lessons learned about gaining trust

 

00:53:38 His perspective on high performing teams

 

00:57:56 America's engrained sense of fair play

 

01:02:01 Recruiting agents in the field

 

01:06:39 Cooper's Colors

 

01:10:06 What he could share and not share with loved ones while working in the CIA

 

01:12:05 CIA vs. Washington DC politics

 

01:15:16 His perspective on the current Russia-Ukraine situation

 

01:19:15 What he wants to accomplish 10 years from now

 

01:22:06 His daily routine

 

01:23:40 His driving force

 

01:27:56 Parting words for the listeners