The Unexpected Spy: From the CIA to the FBI, My Secret Life Taking Down Some of the World's Most Notorious Terrorists

THE UNEXPECTED SPY                         TRACY WALDER

When Tracy Walder enrolled at the University of Southern California, she never thought that one day she would offer her pink beanbag chair in the Delta Gamma house to a CIA recruiter, or that she'd fly to the Middle East under an alias identity.

The Unexpected Spy is the riveting story of Walder's tenure in the CIA and, later, the FBI. In high-security, steel-walled rooms in Virginia, Walder watched al-Qaeda members with drones as President Bush looked over her shoulder and CIA Director George Tenet brought her donuts. She tracked chemical terrorists and searched the world for Weapons of Mass Destruction. She created a chemical terror chart that someone in the White House altered to convey information she did not have or believe, leading to the Iraq invasion. Driven to stop terrorism, Walder debriefed terrorists--men who swore they'd never speak to a woman--until they gave her leads. She followed trails through North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, shutting down multiple chemical attacks.

Then Walder moved to the FBI, where she worked in counterintelligence. In a single year, she helped take down one of the most notorious foreign spies ever caught on American soil. Catching the bad guys wasn't a problem in the FBI, but rampant sexism was. Walder left the FBI to teach young women, encouraging them to find a place in the FBI, CIA, State Department or the Senate--and thus change the world.


I found this book to be an inspiration to a woman and especially my daughters when I say they can be anything they want. She is a woman who was one day going to school at USC and took a chance on herself to apply and pass all of the different tests for the CIA.
S he goes into when she passed and when she got assigned and how her days normally went until 9-11 happens. Her days are not her own anymore and you begin to see how the world begins to change. Her world changes because her boyfriend cannot handle that she has a higher security clearance than him.
You follow her along when she is making different presentations to world leaders and how she handles the stress of public speaking. Then going from that to being in Afghanistan for questioning a terrorist and then in there somewhere she has to go back and do the training that she was supposed to do when she was hired but because of 9-11 did not happen.
After all of that, she has gotten tired of being home for a while and then sent back out overseas. She decides to apply for the FBI. It is excepted but for some reason maybe because she worked for the CIA, she has it rough. She sticks it out through the academy then is assigned to L.A. office where again she is given less than stellar assignments.
Here really is the sorriest and disappointing part of the book. The way she was treated in the FBI. Some may say it was her perception but I think not. Having worked in law enforcement I can see this happening. That was what was said that a person who wanted to work for them and could help and yet was treated as second class. Maybe because I have daughters anyway it was wrong for them and for us as a Nation in the long run.
You do get to see where she is now and how her life has turned out and she is shaping a new generation for the future. I grew up with a dad in military and government all my life and law enforcement for myself, so I found the sacrifice of her personal life a true blessing for all of us and for me I think her and all of the CIA and others who were fighting that did not get the recognition, not that they were looking for any. This is truly a very, very good book and one I hope many people read. I received this book from I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at

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