Tom Clancy, Potential Spy

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Tom Clancy wrote spy thrillers, but long maintained that the details came from his research and imagination, not from any actual experience working with the CIA or anything. But when the Baltimore Sun filed a Freedom of Information Act request for any FBI files regarding Clancy, they learned a slightly different story.

According to a story published on Friday, the Sun received 47 pages of documents. They had suspected that they might learn that the FBI investigated the novelist to determine who his sources were; instead, they revealed that the FBI thought Clancy’s books were so good and accurate that they were thinking about hiring him.

So how does the vetting process for a potential gig with the FBI go? In Clancy’s case, 20 of his friends and family were interviewed about him, with any “derogatory information” passed along to Washington. Clancy got a good report: “References favorably recommend. Former neighbors recommend. Credit check satisfactory. Arrest check negative.”

(The Sun does point out that Clancy’s GPA at Loyola was a pathetic 1.93 — another C-student made good!)

While Clancy gave a few lectures to FBI personnel and was invited to the bureau’s Senior Executive Retreat, he apparently never got hired on as a consultant. Blame the bad report card, I guess.



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