A former CIA case officer who married into the Kennedy family could be in hot water with the government because she may have published a book about her time with the spy agency before getting official permission.
Amaryllis Fox, 38, is the author of Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA, a book published by Random House. It is on sale beginning October 15.
The book is described as a ‘riveting memoir [that] tells the story of her ten years in the most elite clandestine ops unit of the CIA, hunting the world’s most dangerous terrorists in sixteen countries while marrying and giving birth to a daughter.’
While the book is not available for sale to the public just yet, copies have been sent to media outlets.
Amaryllis Fox, 38, has written a book about her time as an undercover spy for the Central Intelligence Agency
Fox writes that she posed as an international art dealer while infiltrating the illegal nuclear arms trade in Europe and the Middle East during her time in the CIA
Since the CIA has not officially approved the book, it could mean that Fox is breaking federal law, according to journalist Yashar Ali.
Last month, an excerpt from the book appeared in Vogue, but it is unclear if any information that appears in the story is classified.
CIA employees are required to sign a lifetime nondisclosure agreement requiring them to seek approval from the agency’s Publication Review Board for any book or other project which may reveal classified information.
Fox’s book, Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA, is due out in October
While Fox is reported to have submitted the manuscript to the CIA board for approval, it is not believed to have been formally approved for publication, according to NBC News.
Fox told NBC News that she has yet to obtain formal approval for the book, but added that the agency has so far recommended minor changes, which she has agreed to.
If the CIA asks for more redactions, she will gladly oblige, she said.
‘They know where to find me,’ she said.
‘They have had a copy for over a year, and they have never identified a single sentence or section they wanted to redact.’
Fox’s book has drawn even more attention after Apple bought the television rights to it.
The tech giant will produce a dramatic series based on the story which will be produced by Captain Marvel star Brie Larson.
Larson is also scheduled to star in the drama.
Aside from the questions about the legality of the book’s release, there are also those who say that Fox’s claims in the memoir may not be accurate.
A number of CIA officers who learned of the book’s contents say that one particular scene from the memoir is unlikely to have taken place as described.
The excerpt in question describes a dramatic meeting that Fox claims to have had with al-Qaeda-linked extremists in the Pakistani city of Karachi.
According to the book, Fox met with the extremists after learning of a supposed plan to set off a radiation bomb in Karachi.
She writes that the extremists agreed to stop their colleagues from carrying out the threat after giving one of them clove oil in order to help treat his baby daughter’s asthma.
NBC News says that four former CIA case officers doubt the veracity of the claims. They say that the CIA would never send an American case officer alone to meet with dangerous jihadists in Pakistan.
Normally, CIA operations involving jihadists in Pakistan are coordinated with Pakistani intelligence services, according to NBC News.
But Fox says that while she may have changed some details to protect identities, the events described are largely true.
‘There is nothing in here that is a surprise to anyone who follows this,’ she said.
Fox is married to Robert F Kennedy III (seen right with Fox), the eldest son of Robert F Kennedy Jr
The couple married last year. They are seen above at their wedding at the Kennedy family compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts on July 7, 2018
In January, the couple welcomed their first child, a baby girl
‘I wrote this book to share the lessons I learned in the field about peacemaking and finding common ground.
‘Many think of CIA as adversarial and war-mongering. My experience was very different.
‘At its best, it’s an organization dedicated to the subtle and challenging art of building trust and nurturing relationships to save lives and prevent attacks.’
Fox also writes that during her eight years in the CIA, she posed as an international art dealer.
She also claims to have tried to infiltrate nuclear weapons procurement networks in Europe and the Middle East.
Fox’s book also includes operational details that the CIA may not want the public to know, including the agency’s use of ‘covcom’ – or ‘cover communications’ – which is a secret software that enables sending messages to sources in foreign countries.
Excerpts of the book also include information about disguises, surveillance avoidance techniques, and methods in which CIA spies obtain fake driver licenses and passports.
Apple has bought the rights to Fox’s book, which will be the basis of a dramatic series that will star Brie Larson (seen above in Toronto on Saturday)
Fox, however, denies that she is divulging secrets. She said she changed a number of details, including the names of some of the people she interacted with, so as to protect national security interests.
But the changes were only minor. She said the book accurately conveys an ‘emotional journey.’
‘My aim was really to capture the kind of “Capital T” Truth, the emotional truth of going through this transformation,’ she said.
‘And that is something you can do and still maintain accuracy by not only changing names and places but by having compelling characters and situations I met along the way without identifying them directly.’
Fox told NBC News that she gave two of the characters in the book ‘composite characteristics to mask their identities.’
Fox says she served in the CIA from 2002 until 2010.
According to her book, she was inspired to join the agency after the kidnapping and beheading of her writing mentor, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
In February 2002, just months after the September 11 attacks, Pearl was killed by terrorists in Pakistan while on a reporting assignment.
Fox writes that she was recruited by the CIA after attending Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
After rigorous training, she says she was sent into the field as a spy under ‘non-official cover’ – meaning she posed as a regular civilian rather than as a diplomat.
Part of her assignment was to live in Shanghai, where she posed as an art dealer. Fox lived there with her husband at the time, Dean Fox, a CIA case officer who served in Afghanistan.
Fox’s book deals with the stress that her career as a spy placed on her marriage and other relationships.
Former CIA officials told NBC News that elements of Fox’s book don’t ring true. The above stock image shows the lobby of CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia
Last year, Fox married Robert F Kennedy III, the oldest son of Robert F Kennedy Jr.
Their wedding was held at the Kennedy family compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
She has a 9-year-old daughter, whom she gave birth to shortly before leaving her post at the CIA.
The couple welcomed a baby girl into the world this past January.
Her mother Lalage is married to billionaire Steven Rales, who heads up the science and technology conglomerete Danaher.
Rales has also recently entered the film business with much success, producing all of Wes Anderson’s films since his 2007 work The Darjeeling Limited.
He even earned an Oscar nomination for his work on The Grand Budapest Hotel, and voiced a role in The Fantastic Mr Fox.
Fox’s mother and Rales spend a good portion on their time in the $7 million home he built on a remote Maine island whose residents include fellow billionaire David Rockefeller, actress Susan Sarandon and celebrity Martha Stewart.
Rales also owns a $3.5million home in Nantucket and a floor-through apartment on Fifth Avenue in New York that is worth at least $30million.