Author Milt Bearden Milt Bearden spent 30 years in the CIA. He ran the CIA covert operations in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion, and helped train the Afghan freedom fighters. Bearden also was station chief in Pakistan, Moscow, and Khartoum. He received the CIA highest honor, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal. Since the Sept. 11th attacks, Bearden has been a frequent commentator on TV and in print. He is also the author of the novel, The Black Tulip: A Novel of War in Afghanistan (paperback, Random House).