The world's premier podcast on U.S. intelligence.


We explore the history of the Central Intelligence Agency by telling the stories of the individuals who lived through it. We'll discuss the villains, the victims, and the heroes. We'll uncover the motivations and the ideals of the people who set into motion world-changing events that have steered global politics along the course that has led us to where we are today.

About the Hosts

Topher M. FordProfile Photo

Topher M. Ford

Creator, Host

With about 90% of a journalism degree, I've bounced from one word-related job to the next, including freelance blogging, a little time reporting for Tallahassee NPR affiliate WFSU, a handful of years as a writing tutor at Florida A&M, and most recently, two years at Black News Channel. My primary worldly passion is telling stories.

I read, and I write, and sometimes I talk -- typically too much. I have a habit of fixating on subjects and then info-dumping on whoever's nearby. Since I became fixated on the CIA, I decided to start this podcast to save my marriage from my habit of bombarding my wife with random facts and odd ramblings.

Brandon GivensProfile Photo

Brandon Givens


Do you ever wonder who the people are that teach the children of diplomats and international aid workers when they’re assigned to developing nations overseas? Well, I’m one of them. I’ve spent over 14 years in education and 6 of them internationally. 

My students are quite literally the future senators, prime ministers and ambassadors of tomorrow. As a Government and History teacher my focus has been on teaching these future leaders to think critically and question everything. 

As a student of History, languages, and culture I’ve not been content to learn vicariously. I’ve studied in 4 countries, worked in 5 and visited 32. 

For the show, I bring first-hand observations of the consequences of C.I.A. actions to the rest of the world, as well as the ability to explain nuances within complex situations.

Joshua C. TravisProfile Photo

Joshua C. Travis

Audio Editor, Voice Actor

Joshua C. Travis is a musician, voice actor, composer, songwriter and audio producer working out of Hot Springs, Arkansas.
He is a 1999 graduate of the Conservatory for Recording Arts and Sciences and a 2005 graduate of Arkansas State University.
Since 2019 he has hosted and produced the weekly two hour radio program The Kudzu Conservationist League Radio Hour which can be heard on KUHS 102.5FM and is distributed digitally by the Back to the Light Podcast Network.
He also produces, contributes voice work, and composes music for the podcast CIA Files: True Stories of U.S. Intelligence.