ABC News Exclusive: Inside CIA Headquarters

A behind the scenes look at the Central Intelligence Agency's top-secret facilities and a 20-year-old agency tradition revealed for the first time.
6:37 | 05/22/19

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Transcript for ABC News Exclusive: Inside CIA Headquarters
I finally today here in return to an ABC news live exclusive. Inside the CIA far away. A from the prying eyes of cameras social media's and cellphones officers at the nation's premier intelligence agency have been carrying on a twenty year tradition. And revealing some surprising details about their personal lots. We're inside CA headquarters in Langley Virginia you see the iconic CIA seal. Over here they pay tribute to the history and legacy of the CIA the agency invited us here today to see the tradition that's been going on for twenty years. But never been seen before by the public. The most sophisticated intelligence gathering operation in the world with a workforce we know little about. It was CIA first on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11 point CIA it was discovered Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan for nine years later. This CIA plot to help American diplomats escaped from Iran in 1980 was even made. It would Oscar winning film since the attention is rarely sought. So most of the CIA officers keep their works under wraps its top secret security see inside the agency headquarters here. What they do in painting an art form. You're displays from artists all around the world. What's called me. Intelligence are clutched. It turns out art is exactly how hundreds of CIA officers for years have been sharing details about their personal lives with colleagues. Now for the first time with all of us truck. What's great. Great to share. What we hire a lot of talented people there are other skills and they get this opportunity can practice their art and and we were good about themselves see you've been the curator of the show for the past three years it's one of the sort of unsung secrets and abrasives secrets have chalked whose last name must be kept secret. Is the volunteer curator of the annual CIA gave art show. It's become a cult classic. Works created by painters sculptors glass blowers and photographers. All from within the CIA's ranks. I am a creative director for the director of science and technology. And I focus on film video and special effects. When I first got into the art show it was really about revealing something about ourselves and in personal. And we have these periods of discovery with their colleagues in which you know I familiar artistry and European here in my daughter's pain in some cases are officers had very stressful jobs in the and they do pretty amazing things that alters. An opportunity for for them to blossom street. The benevolent and humble doctor when we start to get in the piece of like this. We start to you really get into some of the world creative aspects of the within the agency. Are the artists allowed to sign it it really depend on their status I noticed also you. You don't have anybody's last name we want to identify and recognize the artists we really are and the significant work that they do. That same time we got a particular Kennedy. I wanted to stop at this. Particular specimen here Jesus is coming out at us pretty interest and I guess this is 3-D. Charter noticed there's a number of big black spots on your art show here in pieces missing reviews. He's taken down some of the officers undercover cancer because we've got good news crew in we've we've had just after Kennedy's life was taken down. There aren't so we could we couldn't see this keys right here that's Harris person's signature was. Mean my signature or the painting. Would be identifiable. In art circles. And that would be consistent covered but you can't take a close look at the black felt. Yeah. A so you work here at the CIA had to and you have a day job. You're artist on the side and I am so MR can't reveal her name or show us her face but she's making her CA art show debut with a powerful photograph. That's a fan favorite this year. Picture of her best friend's newborn baby taken days after the friend's husband unexpectedly passed away I am. Told her that her daughter Nicole was going to be okay because right before he would pass they were debating the name. We lose an excellent call that cynical so as soon as we brought our group from the hospital. A powerful line and beer newborns section she still had her on hospital tax on. And just wanted to make sure that my friend had something beautiful to remind her of the gift that he left. We went under and together so. I am trying to put on and ask you in front of her. That being able to take pet mascot here at work where usually it's the other way around. Mom was an awesome. Release for me. So this painting the pics what happened on 9/11 you can see the Twin Towers and background. The title is the number and that's the number of souls that were lost on that day. There is huge emotion tied up in this piece and two others others that followed team. Unit that terrorism can really work that you're doing this or have these serious you're carrying that burden. So if it's the burden of 9/11 latest at the Preston business it's serious nature of business and this is a release. From these artists these are artists. He did this artwork on their on their own time. The archers from an all volunteer staff. What do you want people to know about what it means the CIA officer right now coming here you see how old. Real to people are where they're not shadowy big issues other people they have emotions and families and their soccer moms and there. Football that's just like everyone else he's in town and be able to bring our whole cells to work is of benefit of working here because. Outside we know we can't do that but inside we can piece everything that we are. Our salute to all those who work in sacrifice that the CIA would call yesterday about the agency's memorial wall when they recognize those. Who gave their life in the line of duty yesterday at that annual ceremony they headed for stars. I'm recognition of those who died our hats off to MR to chalk. Tore photojournalist pat oak era and our senior producer Cindy Smith who got us inside the CA paints him.

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