"....The nature of their work denies them both security and genuine friendships. If a deepcover agent should be exposed and captured, the source said, he cannot depend on the C.I.A. to secure his return, and the agency, in fact, may be forced to deny knowledge of him.
Moreover, while he is “in place,” or on assignment under cover, the source said, the agent continually presents a fabricated identity to his associates and acquaintances, fending off the ones who attempt to come too close. Even other deep‐cover agents with whom he may work off and on for years are likely to know him only by his “funny,” or cover, name.
The deep‐cover agent's true vocation, the source said, is carefully hidden at the outset of his career from most of his colleagues in other branches of the C.I.A. One such former agent described how, near the end of his espionage training at Camp Peary, a C.I.A. facility in southeast Virginia, he and a handful of classmates were taken aside and asked about their interest in deep‐cover work.
Those who agreed to join that branch of the agency, he said, then became the principal actors in an attempt to convince their fellow trainees, by their casual comments, that they had become disillusioned with the C.I.A.
Their efforts, the source said, accompanied by asides from their professors that cast doubt on their potential for espionage work, culminated in their “resignations” from the six‐month training program.
Fellow trainees who had unsuccessfully urged such friends to stay on perhaps then received letters or telephone calls from a departed colleague reporting that he had taken a job as an overseas executive or sales representative for a wellknown corporation, the source said. Regrets were exchanged, and there were promises to keep in touch, he said. The deep‐cover agent was “in place.”
The agent working tinder a commercial cover abroad has the primary responsibility to create and reinforce his second identity, the source said. He reportedly receives periodic help from the C.I.A., but is left largely to rely on his own resources in convincing business associates and others that he is what he is not..."