Each maître d' goes through a robust interview and background check before they are even told that they will be working at the CIA Starbucks. There are nine baristas working there and whenever they leave their work area, a CIA "minder" escorts them. All are often briefed about security risks and must report if someone is really interested in where they work or asks too many questions about their employment. They can't even blow their own horns about working inside the CIA at nightclubs or parties and, if asked, can only tell friends, family members and acquaintances that they work in a federal building.
And what about the wonderful Starbucks Awards program with those loyalty deals? It would be great to offer America's spy force this great program where they can get free drink and food rewards, custom offers, early access to new Starbuck products and make easy payments with their mobile app. Well, the program is absent at Store Number 1, for CIA clandestine operatives could be potentially exposed if the data on their loyalty cards fell into the wrong hands.
Those working at the CIA need and deserve a break from their windowless cubicles to sip an Espresso with bittersweet mocha sauce and steamed milk topped with whipped cream while munching on a buttery muffin stuffed with seasonal blueberries, yogurt and honey. Hopefully, they can unwind at Store Number 1 and return refreshed to their duties. After all, if they don't remain attentive and vigilant for hours on end as they pour through classified documents...people could die.
Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and publishes the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean". His views are his own and do not represent those of any agency he is a member of. We welcome comments and suggestions- contact OSINT News on the Secure Contact Form.