Students & Alumni

DIA podcast features discussion of the psychology of the insider spy with IWP alumnus Dr. David Charney

Dr. David CharneyOn February 26, 2021, The Defense Intelligence Agency released a podcast titled “Hiding in Plain Sight.” This episode focused on the career of former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) senior analyst and Cuban spy Ana Montes. David Charney, M.D., an IWP alumnus and psychiatrist specializing in the mind of the insider spy, was interviewed on this episode.

Dr. Charney discussed the motivating factors of Montes’s spy career, briefly touching on the acronym “M.I.C.E.” for determining motivations to spy — Money, Ideology, Coercion, Ego. Charney focused on Montes’s ideological motivations, touching on the behavior and thought process of conducting espionage.

He pointed out that motivations for the insider spy to commit espionage tend to include what Dr. Charney describes as “An intolerable sense of personal failure as privately defined by that person.” People have an innate desire to make it and successfully deal with life. Dr. Charney described the importance of childhood and how these experiences affect the psychology of an individual who is deciding whether to commit espionage.

Prior to his podcast with DIA, Dr. Charney appeared in Netflix’s recent docuseries Spycraft, where he spoke on motivations and methods of spying conducted by the insider spy. Dr. Charney is a psychiatrist and the Founder and Medical Director of Roundhouse Square Counseling Center.

Listen to the episode

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