I was escorting a congresswoman back some time ago (by escorting, I mean driving her around). During our conversation we talked about some funny stories, like the CIA coming and looking at her new house - bunch of serious looking guys wandering around creeped out the neighbors. Point is, she later told me she became friends with these CIA people through inquiry. Like, literally, if you want to know some obscure fact about some country, you call some researcher at the CIA - that is what they do with a good deal of their time.
Well, YES. Now, asked to kill.. No. However, that is not what I think a proper field agent does on a given day, so... Its not the movies. Its about making connections with people. People from different cultures, different perspectives, and working as partners to get the information WE need. It may be a lopsided relationship... I take information, give only money, but from the other side, it may look very different.
Let's say some government employee wants a Porsche. Well, under any measure, a Porsche is only costs. The info may save lifes, or change politics. I see the "costs" as nothing. On the flip side, he may WANT me to have the info, and gets a Porsche for free, right?