Central Intelligence Agency

Central Intelligence Agency

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The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a civilian intelligence agency
Intelligence agency
An intelligence agency is a governmental agency that is devoted to information gathering for purposes of national security and defence. Means of information gathering may include espionage, communication interception, cryptanalysis, cooperation with other institutions, and evaluation of public...

 of the United States government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security
National security
National security is the requirement to maintain the survival of the state through the use of economic, diplomacy, power projection and political power. The concept developed mostly in the United States of America after World War II...

 intelligence assessment to senior United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 policymakers
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

 through means of covert psychological, cyber
Cyber
Cyber may refer to:* Cyber-, a common prefix* Cybergoth* CDC Cyber, a range of mainframe computers* Cyber Acoustics, a brand of computer hardware* Cyber Missionary* Cybersex * Cyberitis * Cyber...

, and social
Social
The term social refers to a characteristic of living organisms...

 warfare using non-military commissioned civilian Intelligence Agents to carry out these intelligence-gathering operations; many of whom are trained to avoid tactical situations. The CIA also oversees and sometimes engages in tactical and covert activities
Covert operation
A covert operation is a military, intelligence or law enforcement operation that is carried clandestinely and, often, outside of official channels. Covert operations aim to fulfill their mission objectives without any parties knowing who sponsored or carried out the operation...

 at the request of the President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

.. Often, when such field operations are organized, the US military or other warfare tacticians carry these tactical operations out on behalf of the agency while the CIA oversees them. Although intelligence-gathering is the agency's main agenda, tactical divisions were established in the agency to carry out emergency field operations that require immediate suppression or dismantlement of a threat or weapon. The CIA is often used for intelligence-gathering instead of the U.S military to avoid a declaration of war
Declaration of war
A declaration of war is a formal act by which one nation goes to war against another. The declaration is a performative speech act by an authorized party of a national government in order to create a state of war between two or more states.The legality of who is competent to declare war varies...

.

It is the successor of the Office of Strategic Services
Office of Strategic Services
The Office of Strategic Services was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II. It was the wartime intelligence agency, and it was a predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency...

 (OSS) formed during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 to coordinate espionage
Espionage
Espionage or spying involves an individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, lest the legitimate holder of the information change plans or take other countermeasures once it...

 activities against the Axis Powers
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

 for the branches of the United States Armed Forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

. The National Security Act of 1947
National Security Act of 1947
The National Security Act of 1947 was signed by United States President Harry S. Truman on July 26, 1947, and realigned and reorganized the U.S. Armed Forces, foreign policy, and Intelligence Community apparatus in the aftermath of World War II...

 established the CIA, affording it "no police or law enforcement functions, either at home or abroad". Through interagency cooperation, the CIA has Cooperative Security Location
Cooperative Security Location
A Cooperative Security Location is a U.S. military term for facilities used for regional training in counterterrorism and interdiction of drug trafficking, and also to provide contingency access to the continent. "A CSL is a host-nation facility with little or no permanent U.S...

s at its disposal. These locations are called "lily pads" by the Air Force.

The primary function of the CIA is to collect information about foreign governments, corporation
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

s, and individuals, and to advise public policymakers, but it does conduct emergency tactical operations, covert operations , and exerts foreign political influence through its tactical divisions, such as the elite Special Activities Division
Special Activities Division
The Special Activities Division is a division in the United States Central Intelligence Agency's National Clandestine Service responsible for covert operations known as "special activities"...

. The CIA and its responsibilities changed markedly in 2004. Before December 2004, the CIA was the main intelligence organization of the US government; it was responsible for coordinating the activities of the US Intelligence Community
United States Intelligence Community
The United States Intelligence Community is a cooperative federation of 16 separate United States government agencies that work separately and together to conduct intelligence activities considered necessary for the conduct of foreign relations and the protection of the national security of the...

 (IC) as a whole. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004
Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act
The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 , , is a 236-page Act of Congress, signed by President George W. Bush, that broadly affects US federal terrorism laws. In juxtaposition with the single-subject rule, the act is composed of several separate titles with varying subject...

 created the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), which took over management and leadership of the IC.

Today, the CIA still has a number of functions in common with other countries' intelligence agencies (see Relationships with foreign intelligence agencies). The CIA's headquarters
George Bush Center for Intelligence
The George Bush Center for Intelligence is the headquarters compound of the Central Intelligence Agency, located in the unincorporated community of Langley in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. The headquarters, officially named in the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999 for...

 is in Langley
Langley, Virginia
Langley is an unincorporated community in the census-designated place of McLean in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States.The community was essentially absorbed into McLean many years ago, although there is still a Langley High School...

 in McLean
McLean, Virginia
McLean is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Fairfax County in Northern Virginia. The community had a total population of 48,115 as of the 2010 census....

, unincorporated
Unincorporated area
In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not a part of any municipality.To "incorporate" in this context means to form a municipal corporation, a city, town, or village with its own government. An unincorporated community is usually not subject to or taxed by a municipal government...

 Fairfax County, Virginia
Fairfax County, Virginia
Fairfax County is a county in Virginia, in the United States. Per the 2010 Census, the population of the county is 1,081,726, making it the most populous jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with 13.5% of Virginia's population...

, a few miles west of Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 along the Potomac River
Potomac River
The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. The river is approximately long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles...

.

Sometimes, the CIA is referred to euphemistically
Euphemism
A euphemism is the substitution of a mild, inoffensive, relatively uncontroversial phrase for another more frank expression that might offend or otherwise suggest something unpleasant to the audience...

 in government and military parlance as Other Government Agencies (OGA), particularly when its operations in a particular area are an open secret
Open secret
An open secret is a concept or idea that is "officially" secret or restricted in knowledge, but is actually widely known; or refers to something which is widely known to be true, but which none of the people most intimately concerned are willing to categorically acknowledge in public.Examples of...

. Other terms include The Company, Langley
Langley
Langley is often used as a metonym in U.S. government and military parlance to refer to the Central Intelligence Agency, whose headquarters is located in Langley, Virginia.Langley may also refer to:-Persons:...

and The Agency.

Organization



The CIA has an executive office and several agency-wide functions, and four major directorates:
  • The Directorate of Intelligence, responsible for all-source intelligence research and analysis
  • The National Clandestine Service
    National Clandestine Service
    The National Clandestine Service is one of the four main components of the Central Intelligence Agency...

    , formerly the Directorate of Operations, which does clandestine intelligence collection and covert action
  • The Directorate of Support
  • The Directorate of Science and Technology

Budget


The overall US intelligence budget has been considered classified until recently. There have been numerous attempts to obtain general information about the budget. As a result, it was revealed that CIA's annual budget in Fiscal Year 1963 was US $ 550 million (inflation adjusted US$ billion in ), and the overall intelligence budget in FY 1997 was US $ 26.6 billion (inflation adjusted US$ billion in ).
There have also been accidental disclosures: for instance, Mary Margaret Graham
Mary Margaret Graham
Mary Margaret Graham was the United States Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Collection .-Education:Mrs. Graham is a graduate of Marywood College in Scranton, Pennsylvania and obtained a Masters degree in Russian Studies at The Maxwell School of Syracuse University.-Honors and Awards:Ms...

, a former CIA official and deputy director of national intelligence for collection in 2005, said the annual intelligence budget was $44 billion.

In Legacy of Ashes-The History of the CIA
Legacy of Ashes
Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA is a 2007 book by Tim Weiner. Legacy of Ashes is a detailed history of the Central Intelligence Agency from its creation after World War II, through the Cold War years and the War on Terror, to its near-collapse after 9/11...

, Tim Weiner
Tim Weiner
Tim Weiner is a New York Times reporter, author of two books and co-author of a third, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award...

 claims early funding was solicited by James Forrestal
James Forrestal
James Vincent Forrestal was the last Cabinet-level United States Secretary of the Navy and the first United States Secretary of Defense....

 and Allen Dulles from private Wall Street
Wall Street
Wall Street refers to the financial district of New York City, named after and centered on the eight-block-long street running from Broadway to South Street on the East River in Lower Manhattan. Over time, the term has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, or...

 and Washington DC sources. Next Forrestal convinced "an old chum", John W. Snyder
John W. Snyder
John Wesley Snyder was an American businessman and Cabinet Secretary.-Biography:Born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, he studied at Vanderbilt University's engineering school for one year before joining in the Army during World War I.Snyder came to Washington in the early 1930s with a broad background in...

, the US Secretary of the Treasury and one of Harry's closest allies to allow the use of the $200 million Exchange Stabilization Fund
Exchange Stabilization Fund
The Exchange Stabilization Fund is an emergency reserve fund of the United States Treasury Department, normally used for foreign exchange intervention...

 by CIA fronts to influence European elections, beginning with Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...


After the Marshall Plan
Marshall Plan
The Marshall Plan was the large-scale American program to aid Europe where the United States gave monetary support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II in order to combat the spread of Soviet communism. The plan was in operation for four years beginning in April 1948...

 was approved, appropriating $13.7 billion over five years, 5% of those funds or $685 million were made available to the CIA.

Executive Office


The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency serves as the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, which is part of the United States Intelligence Community. The Director reports to the Director of National Intelligence . The Director is assisted by the Deputy Director of the Central...

 (DCIA) reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI); in practice, he deals with the DNI, Congress (usually via the Office of Congressional Affairs), and the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

, while the Deputy Director is the internal executive. The CIA has varying amounts of Congressional oversight, although that is principally a guidance role.

The Executive Office also facilitates the CIA's support of the US military by providing it with information it gathers, receiving information from military intelligence
Military intelligence
Military intelligence is a military discipline that exploits a number of information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to commanders in support of their decisions....

 organizations, and cooperating on field activities. Two senior executives have responsibility, one CIA-wide and one for the National Clandestine Service
National Clandestine Service
The National Clandestine Service is one of the four main components of the Central Intelligence Agency...

. The Associate Director for Military Support, a senior military officer, manages the relationship between the CIA and the Unified Combatant Command
Unified Combatant Command
A Unified Combatant Command is a United States Department of Defense command that is composed of forces from at least two Military Departments and has a broad and continuing mission. These commands are established to provide effective command and control of U.S. military forces, regardless of...

s, who produce regional/operational intelligence and consume national intelligence; he is assisted by the Office of Military Affairs in providing support to all branches of the military.

In the National Clandestine Services, an Associate Deputy Director for Operations for Military Affairs deals with specific clandestine human-source intelligence
Clandestine HUMINT
Clandestine HUMINT includes a wide range of espionage sources. This includes the classic spy who collects intelligence, but also couriers and other personnel, who handle their secure communications...

 and covert action in support of military operations.

The CIA also makes national-level intelligence available to tactical organizations, usually to their all-source intelligence group.

Executive staff


Staff offices with several general responsibilities report to the Executive Office. The staff also gather information and then report such information to the Executive Office.

General publications


The CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence maintains the Agency's historical materials and promotes the study of intelligence as a legitimate discipline.

In 2002, the CIA's Sherman Kent
Sherman Kent
Sherman Kent, , was a Yale University history professor who, during World War II and through 17 years of Cold War-era service in the Central Intelligence Agency, pioneered many of the methods of intelligence analysis...

 School for Intelligence Analysis began publishing the unclassified Kent Center Occasional Papers, aiming to offer "an opportunity for intelligence professionals and interested colleagues—in an unofficial and unfettered vehicle—to debate and advance the theory and practice of intelligence analysis."

General Counsel and Inspector General


Two offices advise the Director on legality and proper operations. The Office of General Counsel advises the Director of the CIA on all legal matters relating to his role as CIA director and is the principal source of legal counsel for the CIA.

The Office of Inspector General promotes efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability in the administration of Agency activities, and seeks to prevent and detect fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement. The Inspector General, whose activities are independent of those of any other component in the Agency, reports directly to the Director of the CIA.

Influencing public opinion


The Office of Public Affairs advises the Director of the CIA on all media, public policy, and employee communications issues relating to this person's role. This office, among other functions, works with the entertainment industry.

Directorate of Intelligence


The Directorate of Intelligence produces all-source intelligence analysis on key foreign issues. It has four regional analytic groups, six groups for transnational issues, and two support units.

Regional groups


There is an Office dedicated to Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, and regional analytical Offices covering:
  • The Office of Middle East and North Africa Analysis
    CIA activities in the Near East, North Africa, South and Southwest Asia
    The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency conducts activities in the areas commonly called the "Middle East", or more precisely, North Africa, the Near/Middle East, and South and Southwest Asia.-North Africa:-1966 National Intelligence Estimate on the Maghreb:...

     (MENA)
  • The Office of South Asia Analysis (OSA)
  • The Office of Russian and European Analysis
    CIA activities in Russia and Europe
    This article deals with the activities of the United States Central Intelligence Agency in Russia and Europe.-Radio Free Europe :...

     (OREA)
  • The Office of Asian Pacific
    CIA activities in Asia and the Pacific
    This article deals with activities of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in the Asia/Pacific geopolitical area.In this region, East Asia, Central Asia , Southeast Asia , and Oceania are included....

    , Latin American
    CIA activities in the Americas
    Drug issues, and CIA involvement in them, have often been raised about the Americas, as well as in other areas such as Southeast Asia. The consensus of several sources is that once proprietary airlines and other support had been set up for covert supply of irregular troops, even though drug...

     and African Analysis
    CIA activities in Africa
    This article deals with activities of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in Africa. Be advised this list may be incomplete due to the clandestine nature of the activities described.-Subsaharan region:...

     (APLAA)

Transnational groups


The Office of Terrorism Analysis supports the National Counterterrorism Center in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. See CIA transnational anti-terrorism activities
CIA transnational anti-terrorism activities
This article deals with activities of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency related to terrorism. Especially after the CIA lost its coordinating role over the entire Intelligence Community , it is impossible to understand US counterterrorism by looking at the CIA alone...

.

The Office of Transnational Issues assesses perceived existing and emerging threats to US national security and provides the most senior policymakers, military planners, and law enforcement with analysis, warning, and crisis support.

The CIA Crime and Narcotics Center researches information on international crime for policymakers and the law enforcement community. As the CIA has no legal domestic police authority, it usually sends its analyses to the FBI and other law enforcement organizations, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration
Drug Enforcement Administration
The Drug Enforcement Administration is a federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Justice, tasked with combating drug smuggling and use within the United States...

 and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

The Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation
Counter-proliferation
Counter-proliferation refers to diplomatic, intelligence, and military efforts to combat the proliferation of weapons, including both conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction...

, and Arms Control Center
provides intelligence support related to national and non-national threats, as well as supporting threat reduction and arms control. It receives the output of national technical means of verification
National technical means of verification
National technical means of verification is a phrase that first appeared, but was not detailed, in the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty between the US and USSR. At first, the phrase reflected a concern that the "Soviet Union could be particularly disturbed by public recognition of this capability...

.

The Counterintelligence Center Analysis Group identifies, monitors, and analyzes the efforts of foreign intelligence entities, both national and non-national, against US government interests. It works with FBI personnel in the National Counterintelligence Executive of the Director of National Intelligence.

The Information Operations Center Analysis Group. deals with threats to US computer systems. This unit supports DNI activities.

Support and general units


The Office of Collection Strategies and Analysis provides comprehensive intelligence collection expertise to the Directorate of Intelligence, to senior Agency and Intelligence Community officials, and to key national policymakers.

The Office of Policy Support customizes Directorate of Intelligence analysis and presents it to a wide variety of policy, law enforcement, military, and foreign liaison recipients.

National Clandestine Service



The National Clandestine Service (NCS; formerly the Directorate of Operations) is responsible for collecting foreign intelligence, mainly from clandestine HUMINT sources, and covert action. The new name reflects its having absorbed some Department of Defense HUMINT assets. The NCS was created in an attempt to end years of rivalry over influence, philosophy and budget between the United States Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 and the CIA. The Department of Defense had organized the Defense HUMINT Service, under the Defense Intelligence Agency
Defense Intelligence Agency
The Defense Intelligence Agency is a member of the Intelligence Community of the United States, and is the central producer and manager of military intelligence for the United States Department of Defense, employing over 16,500 U.S. military and civilian employees worldwide...

 which, with the Presidential decision, became part of the NCS.

The precise present organization of the NCS is classified.

Directorate of Science and Technology



The Directorate of Science & Technology was established to research, create, and manage technical collection disciplines and equipment. Many of its innovations were transferred to other intelligence organizations, or, as they became more overt, to the military services.

For example, the development of the U-2
Lockheed U-2
The Lockheed U-2, nicknamed "Dragon Lady", is a single-engine, very high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft operated by the United States Air Force and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency . It provides day and night, very high-altitude , all-weather intelligence gathering...

 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft was done in cooperation with the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

. The U-2's original mission was clandestine imagery intelligence
IMINT
Imagery Intelligence , is an intelligence gathering discipline which collects information via satellite and aerial photography. As a means of collecting intelligence, IMINT is a subset of intelligence collection management, which, in turn, is a subset of intelligence cycle management...

 over denied areas such as the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. It was subsequently provided with signals intelligence and measurement and signature intelligence
Measurement and Signature Intelligence
Measurement and signature intelligence is a branch of intelligence gathering activities.MASINT, may have aspects of intelligence analysis management, since certain aspects of MASINT, such as the analysis of electromagnetic radiation received by signals intelligence are more of an analysis...

 capabilities, and is now operated by the Air Force.

Imagery intelligence collected by the U-2 and reconnaissance satellites was analyzed by a DS&T organization called the National Photointerpretation Center (NPIC), which had analysts from both the CIA and the military services. Subsequently, NPIC was transferred to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is an agency of the federal government of the United States with the primary mission of collecting, analyzing and distributing geospatial intelligence in support of national security. NGA was formerly known as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency ...

 (NGA).

The CIA has always shown a strong interest in how to use advances in technology to enhance its effectiveness. This interest has historically had two primary goals:
  • harnessing techniques for its own use
  • countering any new intelligence technologies the Soviets might develop.


In 1999, the CIA created the venture capital
Venture capital
Venture capital is financial capital provided to early-stage, high-potential, high risk, growth startup companies. The venture capital fund makes money by owning equity in the companies it invests in, which usually have a novel technology or business model in high technology industries, such as...

 firm In-Q-Tel
In-Q-Tel
In-Q-Tel of Arlington, Virginia, United States is a not-for-profit venture capital firm that invests in high-tech companies for the sole purpose of keeping the Central Intelligence Agency equipped with the latest in information technology in support of United States intelligence capability...

 to help fund and develop technologies of interest to the agency. It has long been the IC practice to contract for major development, such as reconnaissance aircraft and satellites.

Directorate of Support



The Directorate of Support has organizational and administrative functions to significant units including:
  • The Office of Security
  • The Office of Communications
  • The Office of Information Technology

Training


The Office of Training begins with the Junior Officer Training program for new employees before going on to conducting courses in a wide range of specialized professional disciplines. So that the initial course might be taken by employees who had not received final security clearance and thus were not permitted unescorted access to the Headquarters building, a good deal of basic training has been given at office buildings in the urban areas of Arlington, Virginia.

For a later stage of training of student operations officers, there is at least one classified training area at Camp Peary
Camp Peary
Camp Peary is a military reservation in York County near Williamsburg, Virginia. Officially it is referred to as the Armed Forces Experimental Training Activity under the auspices of the Department of Defense, but it is widely believed to be the location of a covert CIA training facility known...

, near Williamsburg, Virginia
Williamsburg, Virginia
Williamsburg is an independent city located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, USA. As of the 2010 Census, the city had an estimated population of 14,068. It is bordered by James City County and York County, and is an independent city...

. Students are selected, and their progress evaluated, in ways derived from the OSS, published as the book Assessment of Men, Selection of Personnel for the Office of Strategic Services."or the obituaries ref name=AOM CIA Operative"

Relationship with other sources of intelligence


The CIA acts as the primary US HUMINT, HUMan INTelligence, and general analytic agency, under the Director of National Intelligence, who directs or coordinates the 16 member organizations of the United States Intelligence Community. In addition, it obtains information from other US government intelligence agencies, commercial information sources, and foreign intelligence services.

Other US intelligence agencies


A number of intelligence organizations are fully or partially under the budgetary control of the United States Secretary of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

 or other cabinet officers such as the United States Attorney General
United States Attorney General
The United States Attorney General is the head of the United States Department of Justice concerned with legal affairs and is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States government. The attorney general is considered to be the chief lawyer of the U.S. government...

.

As do other analytic members of the US intelligence community, such as the Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research
Bureau of Intelligence and Research
The Bureau of Intelligence and Research is an intelligence bureau in the U.S. State Department tasked with analyzing information. Originally founded as the Research and Analysis Branch of the Office of Strategic Services , it was transferred to the State Department at the end of World War II...

 and the analytic division of the Defense Intelligence Agency
Defense Intelligence Agency
The Defense Intelligence Agency is a member of the Intelligence Community of the United States, and is the central producer and manager of military intelligence for the United States Department of Defense, employing over 16,500 U.S. military and civilian employees worldwide...

 (DIA), CIA's raw input includes imagery intelligence (IMINT) collected by the air and space systems of the National Reconnaissance Office
National Reconnaissance Office
The National Reconnaissance Office , located in Chantilly, Virginia, is one of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. It designs, builds, and operates the spy satellites of the United States government.-Mission:...

 (NRO), processed by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is an agency of the federal government of the United States with the primary mission of collecting, analyzing and distributing geospatial intelligence in support of national security. NGA was formerly known as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency ...

 (NGA), signals intelligence (SIGINT) of the National Security Agency
National Security Agency
The National Security Agency/Central Security Service is a cryptologic intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence, as well as protecting U.S...

 (NSA), and measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT) from the DIA MASINT center.

Open Source Intelligence


Until the 2004 reorganization of the intelligence community, one of the "services of common concern" that CIA provided was Open Source Intelligence
Open source intelligence
Open-source intelligence is a form of intelligence collection management that involves finding, selecting, and acquiring information from publicly available sources and analyzing it to produce actionable intelligence...

 from the Foreign Broadcast Information Service
Foreign Broadcast Information Service
Foreign Broadcast Information Service was an open source intelligence component of the Central Intelligence Agency's Directorate of Science and Technology. It monitored, translated, and disseminated within the U.S. government openly available news and information from media sources outside the...

 (FBIS).
FBIS, which had absorbed the Joint Publication Research Service, a military organization that translated documents, which moved into the National Open Source Enterprise
National Open Source Enterprise
The National Open Source Enterprise is a United States Government organization that was established by Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Open Source , Eliot A...

 under the Director of National Intelligence.

CIA still provides a variety of unclassified maps and reference documents both to the intelligence community and the public.

During the Reagan administration
Reagan Administration
The United States presidency of Ronald Reagan, also known as the Reagan administration, was a Republican administration headed by Ronald Reagan from January 20, 1981, to January 20, 1989....

, Michael Sekora (assigned to the DIA
Defense Intelligence Agency
The Defense Intelligence Agency is a member of the Intelligence Community of the United States, and is the central producer and manager of military intelligence for the United States Department of Defense, employing over 16,500 U.S. military and civilian employees worldwide...

), worked with agencies across the intelligence community, including the CIA, to develop and deploy a technology-based competitive strategy system called Project Socrates
Project Socrates
Project Socrates was a US Defense Intelligence Agency program established in 1983 within the Reagan administration. This classified program, founded and directed by physicist Michael Sekora, was designed for the purpose of identifying the root cause of the United States' declining ability to...

. Project Socrates was designed to utilize open source intelligence gathering almost exclusively. The technology-focused Socrates system supported such programs as the Strategic Defense Initiative
Strategic Defense Initiative
The Strategic Defense Initiative was proposed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan on March 23, 1983 to use ground and space-based systems to protect the United States from attack by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles. The initiative focused on strategic defense rather than the prior strategic...

 in addition to private sector projects.
As part of its mandate to gather intelligence, CIA is looking increasingly online for information, and has become a major consumer of social media. "We're looking at YouTube, which carries some unique and honest-to-goodness intelligence," said Doug Naquin, director of the DNI Open Source Center
Open Source Center
The Director of National Intelligence Open Source Center is a United States government intelligence center that provides analysis of open source materials, including gray literature, through OSC's headquarters and overseas bureaus...

 (OSC) at CIA headquarters. "We're looking at chat rooms and things that didn't exist five years ago, and trying to stay ahead."

Outsourcing


Many of the duties and functions of Intelligence Community activities, not the CIA alone, are being outsourced and privatized. Mike McConnell, former Director of National Intelligence, was about to publicize an investigation report of outsourcing by US intelligence agencies, as required by Congress.
However, this report was then classified. Hillhouse speculates that this report includes requirements for the CIA to report:
  • different standards for government employees and contractors;
  • contractors providing similar services to government workers;
  • analysis of costs of contractors vs. employees;
  • an assessment of the appropriateness of outsourced activities;
  • an estimate of the number of contracts and contractors;
  • comparison of compensation for contractors and government employees,
  • attrition analysis of government employees;
  • descriptions of positions to be converted back to the employee model;
  • an evaluation of accountability mechanisms;
  • an evaluation of procedures for "conducting oversight of contractors to ensure identification and prosecution of criminal violations, financial waste, fraud, or other abuses committed by contractors or contract personnel"; and
  • an "identification of best practices of accountability mechanisms within service contracts."


According to investigative journalist Tim Shorrock
Tim Shorrock
Tim Shorrock is a writer and commentator on US foreign policy, on US national security and intelligence, and East Asian politics.The son of missionary parents, Shorrock grew up Japan shortly after the US occupation following the Second World War. He has written articles for several notable...

:
Congress has required an outsourcing report by March 30, 2008.
Part of the contracting problem comes from Congressional restrictions on the number of employees in the IC. According to Hillhouse, this resulted in 70% of the de facto workforce of the CIA's National Clandestine Service being made up of contractors. "After years of contributing to the increasing reliance upon contractors, Congress is now providing a framework for the conversion of contractors into federal government employees—more or less."

As with most government agencies, building equipment often is contracted. The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), responsible for the development and operation of airborne and spaceborne sensors, long was a joint operation of the CIA and the United States Department of Defense. NRO had been significantly involved in the design of such sensors, but the NRO, then under DCI authority, contracted more of the design that had been their tradition, and to a contractor without extensive reconnaissance experience, Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

. The next-generation satellite Future Imagery Architecture
Future Imagery Architecture
Future Imagery Architecture was a program to design a new generation of optical and radar imaging US reconnaissance satellites for the National Reconnaissance Office . In 2005 NRO director Donald Kerr recommended the project's termination, and the optical component of the program was finally...

 project "how does heaven look", which missed objectives after $4 billion in cost overruns, was the result of this contract.

Some of the cost problems associated with intelligence come from one agency, or even a group within an agency, not accepting the compartmented security practices for individual projects, requiring expensive duplication.

Foreign intelligence services


Many intelligence services cooperate. There may even be a deniable communications channel with ostensibly hostile nations.

The role and functions of the CIA are roughly equivalent to those of the United Kingdom's Secret Intelligence Service
Secret Intelligence Service
The Secret Intelligence Service is responsible for supplying the British Government with foreign intelligence. Alongside the internal Security Service , the Government Communications Headquarters and the Defence Intelligence , it operates under the formal direction of the Joint Intelligence...

 (the SIS or MI6), the Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Canadian Security Intelligence Service
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service is Canada's national intelligence service. It is responsible for collecting, analyzing, reporting and disseminating intelligence on threats to Canada's national security, and conducting operations, covert and overt, within Canada and abroad.Its...

 (CSIS), the Australian Secret Intelligence Service
Australian Secret Intelligence Service
The Australian Secret Intelligence Service is the Australian government intelligence agency responsible for collecting foreign intelligence, undertaking counter-intelligence activities and cooperation with other intelligence agencies overseas...

 (ASIS), the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki)
Foreign Intelligence Service (Russia)
The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service is Russia's primary external intelligence agency. The SVR is the successor of the First Chief Directorate of the KGB since December 1991...

 (SVR), the Indian Research and Analysis Wing
Research and Analysis Wing
The Research and Analysis Wing is India's external intelligence agency. It was formed in September 1968 after the poor performance of the Intelligence Bureau in the Sino-Indian war of 1962 and the India-Pakistani war of 1965 convinced the then government of India that a specialized, independent...

 (RAW), the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence
Inter-Services Intelligence
The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence , is Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, responsible for providing critical national security intelligence assessment to the Government of Pakistan...

 (ISI), the French foreign intelligence service Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE) and Israel's Mossad
Mossad
The Mossad , short for HaMossad leModi'in uleTafkidim Meyuchadim , is the national intelligence agency of Israel....

. While the preceding agencies both collect and analyze information, some like the US State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research
Bureau of Intelligence and Research
The Bureau of Intelligence and Research is an intelligence bureau in the U.S. State Department tasked with analyzing information. Originally founded as the Research and Analysis Branch of the Office of Strategic Services , it was transferred to the State Department at the end of World War II...

 are purely analytical agencies.

The closest links of the US IC to other foreign intelligence agencies are to Anglophone countries: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. There is a special communications marking that signals that intelligence-related messages can be shared with these four countries. An indication of the United States' close operational cooperation is the creation of a new message distribution label within the main US military communications network. Previously, the marking of NOFORN (i.e., No Foreign Nationals) required the originator to specify which, if any, non-US countries could receive the information. A new handling caveat, USA/AUS/CAN/GBR/NZL Eyes Only, used primarily on intelligence messages, gives an easier way to indicate that the material can be shared with Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

Organizational history


The Central Intelligence Agency was created by Congress with the passage of the National Security Act of 1947
National Security Act of 1947
The National Security Act of 1947 was signed by United States President Harry S. Truman on July 26, 1947, and realigned and reorganized the U.S. Armed Forces, foreign policy, and Intelligence Community apparatus in the aftermath of World War II...

, signed into law by President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

. It is the descendant of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) of World War II, which was dissolved in October 1945 and its functions transferred to the State and War Departments. Eleven months earlier, in 1944, William J. Donovan
William Joseph Donovan
William Joseph Donovan was a United States soldier, lawyer and intelligence officer, best remembered as the wartime head of the Office of Strategic Services...

, the OSS's creator, proposed to President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 to create a new organization directly supervised by the President: "which will procure intelligence both by overt and covert methods and will at the same time provide intelligence guidance, determine national intelligence objectives, and correlate the intelligence material collected by all government agencies." Under his plan, a powerful, centralized civilian agency would have coordinated all the intelligence services. He also proposed that this agency have authority to conduct "subversive operations abroad," but "no police or law enforcement functions, either at home or abroad."

CIA personnel have died on duty, some in accidents and some by deliberate hostile action. On the memorial wall at CIA headquarters, some of the stars have no name attached, because it would reveal the identity of a clandestine officer. Both the OSS and its British counterparts, as do other agencies worldwide, struggle with finding the right organizational balance among clandestine intelligence collection, counterintelligence, and covert action.

Immediate predecessors, 1946–47


The Office of Strategic Services
Office of Strategic Services
The Office of Strategic Services was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II. It was the wartime intelligence agency, and it was a predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency...

, which was the first independent US intelligence agency, created for World War II, was broken up shortly after the end of the war, by President Harry S. Truman, on September 20, 1945 when he signed an Executive Order which made the breakup 'official' as of October 1, 1945. The rapid reorganizations that followed reflected the routine sort of bureaucratic competition for resources, but also trying to deal with the proper relationships of clandestine intelligence collection and covert action (i.e., paramilitary and psychological operations). In October 1945, the functions of the OSS were split between the Departments of State and War:
New Unit Oversight OSS Functions Absorbed
Strategic Services Unit
Strategic Services Unit
The Strategic Services Unit was an intelligence agency of the United States government which existed in the immediate post-World War II period. It was created from the Secret Intelligence and Counter-Espionage branches of the wartime Office of Strategic Services.Assistant Secretary of War John J...

 (SSU)
War Department Secret Intelligence (SI) (i.e., clandestine intelligence collection) and Counter-espionage (X-2)
Interim Research and Intelligence Service (IRIS) State Department Research and Analysis Branch (i.e., intelligence analysis)
Psychological Warfare Division (PWD) (not uniquely for former OSS) War Department, Army General Staff Staff officers from Operational Groups, Operation Jedburgh
Operation Jedburgh
Operation Jedburgh was a clandestine operation during World War II, in which personnel of the British Special Operations Executive, the U.S...

, Morale Operations (black propaganda)

This division lasted only a few months. The first mention of the “Central Intelligence Agency” concept and term appeared on a US Army and Navy command-restructuring proposal presented by Jim Forrestal and Arthur Radford to the U.S. Senate Military Affairs Committee at the end of 1945. Despite opposition from the military establishment, the United States Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), President Truman established the Central Intelligence Group (CIG) in January 1946 which was the direct predecessor to the CIA. The CIG was an interim authority established under Presidential authority. The assets of the SSU, which now constituted a streamlined "nucleus" of clandestine intelligence was transferred to the CIG in mid-1946 and reconstituted as the Office of Special Operations (OSO).

Early CIA, 1947–1952


In September 1947, the National Security Act of 1947 established both the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency. Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter
Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter
Roscoe Henry Hillenkoetter , born in St. Louis, Missouri, was the third director of the post-World War II U.S. Central Intelligence Group , the third Director of Central Intelligence , and the first director of the Central Intelligence Agency created by the National Security Act of 1947...

 was appointed as the first Director of Central Intelligence, and one of the first secret operations under him was the successful support of the Christian Democrats in Italy.


The National Security Council Directive on Office of Special Projects, June 18, 1948 (NSC 10/2) further gave the CIA the authority to carry out covert operations "against hostile foreign states or groups or in support of friendly foreign states or groups but which are so planned and conducted that any US Government responsibility for them is not evident to unauthorized persons."

In 1949, the Central Intelligence Agency Act
Central Intelligence Agency Act
The Central Intelligence Agency Act, , is a United States federal law enacted in 1949.The Act, also called the "CIA Act of 1949" or "Public Law 110" permitted the Central Intelligence Agency to use confidential fiscal and administrative procedures and exempting it from many of the usual limitations...

 (Public law
Public law
Public law is a theory of law governing the relationship between individuals and the state. Under this theory, constitutional law, administrative law and criminal law are sub-divisions of public law...

 81-110) authorized the agency to use confidential fiscal and administrative procedures, and exempting it from most of the usual limitations on the use of Federal funds. It also exempted the CIA from having to disclose its "organization, functions, officials, titles, salaries, or numbers of personnel employed." It also created the program "PL-110", to handle defectors and other "essential aliens" who fall outside normal immigration procedures, as well as giving those persons cover stories
Undercover
Being undercover is disguising one's own identity or using an assumed identity for the purposes of gaining the trust of an individual or organization to learn secret information or to gain the trust of targeted individuals in order to gain information or evidence...

 and economic support.

The structure stabilizes, 1952


Then-DCI Walter Bedell Smith
Walter Bedell Smith
Walter Bedell "Beetle" Smith was a senior United States Army general who served as General Dwight D. Eisenhower's chief of staff at Allied Forces Headquarters during the Tunisia Campaign and the Allied invasion of Italy...

, who enjoyed a special degree of Presidential trust, having been Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

's primary Chief of Staff during World War II, insisted that the CIA or at least only one department had to direct the OPC and OSO. Those organizations, as well as some minor functions, formed the euphemistically named Directorate of Plans
National Clandestine Service
The National Clandestine Service is one of the four main components of the Central Intelligence Agency...

 in 1952.

Also in 1952, United States Army Special Forces were created, with some missions overlapping those of the Department of Plans. In general, the pattern emerged that the CIA could borrow resources from Special Forces, although it had its own special operators.

Early Cold War, 1953–1966




Allen Dulles
Allen Welsh Dulles
Allen Welsh Dulles was an American diplomat, lawyer, banker, and public official who became the first civilian and the longest-serving Director of Central Intelligence and a member of the Warren Commission...

, who had been a key OSS operations officer in Switzerland during World War II, took over from Smith, at a time where US policy was dominated by intense anticommunism
Anti-communism
Anti-communism is opposition to communism. Organized anti-communism developed in reaction to the rise of communism, especially after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and the beginning of the Cold War in 1947.-Objections to communist theory:...

. Various sources existed, the most visible being the investigations and abuses of Senator Joseph McCarthy
Joseph McCarthy
Joseph Raymond "Joe" McCarthy was an American politician who served as a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957...

, and the more quiet but systematic containment
Containment
Containment was a United States policy using military, economic, and diplomatic strategies to stall the spread of communism, enhance America’s security and influence abroad, and prevent a "domino effect". A component of the Cold War, this policy was a response to a series of moves by the Soviet...

 doctrine developed by George Kennan
George F. Kennan
George Frost Kennan was an American adviser, diplomat, political scientist and historian, best known as "the father of containment" and as a key figure in the emergence of the Cold War...

, the Berlin Blockade
Berlin Blockade
The Berlin Blockade was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War and the first resulting in casualties. During the multinational occupation of post-World War II Germany, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies' railway and road access to the sectors of Berlin under Allied...

 and the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

. Dulles enjoyed a high degree of flexibility, as his brother, John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles served as U.S. Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, advocating an aggressive stance against communism throughout the world...

, was simultaneously Secretary of State.

Concern regarding the Soviet Union and the difficulty of getting information from its closed society, which few agents could penetrate, led to solutions based on advanced technology. Among the first success was with the Lockheed U-2 aircraft, which could take pictures and collect electronic signals from an altitude thought to be above Soviet air defenses' reach. After Gary Powers
Gary Powers
Francis Gary Powers was an American pilot whose Central Intelligence Agency U-2 spy plane was shot down while flying a reconnaissance mission over Soviet Union airspace, causing the 1960 U-2 incident.- Early life :...

 was shot down by an SA-2 surface to air missile in 1960, causing an international incident, the SR-71 was developed to take over this role.
During this period, there were numerous covert actions against nationalization of oil supplies
Nationalization of oil supplies
The nationalization of oil supplies refers to the process of deprivatization of oil production operations, generally in the purpose of obtaining more revenue from oil for oil producing countries. This process, which should not be confused with restrictions on crude oil exports, represents a...

 and socialism
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

. The CIA overthrew a democratically elected government for the first time during the 1953 Iranian coup d'état, after Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 moved to take control of its petroleum reserves. Some of the largest operations were aimed at Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 after the overthrow of the Batista
Fulgencio Batista
Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar was the United States-aligned Cuban President, dictator and military leader who served as the leader of Cuba from 1933 to 1944 and from 1952 to 1959, before being overthrown as a result of the Cuban Revolution....

 dictatorship, including assassination attempts against Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

 and the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion
Bay of Pigs Invasion
The Bay of Pigs Invasion was an unsuccessful action by a CIA-trained force of Cuban exiles to invade southern Cuba, with support and encouragement from the US government, in an attempt to overthrow the Cuban government of Fidel Castro. The invasion was launched in April 1961, less than three months...

. There have been suggestions that the Soviet attempt to put missiles into Cuba came, indirectly, when they realized how badly they had been compromised by a US-UK defector in place, Oleg Penkovsky
Oleg Penkovsky
Oleg Vladimirovich Penkovsky, codenamed HERO ; April 23, 1919, Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia, Soviet Russia, – May 16, 1963, Soviet Union), was a colonel with Soviet military intelligence in the late 1950s and early 1960s who informed the United Kingdom and the United States about the Soviet Union...

.

The CIA, working with the military, formed the joint National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) to operate reconnaissance aircraft such as the SR-71 and later satellites. "The fact of" the United States operating reconnaissance satellites, like "the fact of" the existence of NRO, was highly classified for many years.

Indochina and the Vietnam War (1954–1975)

See also: Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 and Phoenix Program
Phoenix Program
The Phoenix Program |phoenix]]) was a controversial counterinsurgency program designed, coordinated, and executed by the United States Central Intelligence Agency , United States special operations forces, and the Republic of Vietnam's security apparatus during the Vietnam War that operated...


The OSS Patti mission arrived in Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 near the end of World War II, and had significant interaction with the leaders of many Vietnamese factions, including Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Hồ Chí Minh , born Nguyễn Sinh Cung and also known as Nguyễn Ái Quốc, was a Vietnamese Marxist-Leninist revolutionary leader who was prime minister and president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam...

. While the Patti mission forwarded Ho's proposals for phased independence, with the French or even the United States as the transition partner, the US policy of containment
Containment
Containment was a United States policy using military, economic, and diplomatic strategies to stall the spread of communism, enhance America’s security and influence abroad, and prevent a "domino effect". A component of the Cold War, this policy was a response to a series of moves by the Soviet...

 opposed forming any government that was communist in nature.

The first CIA mission to Indochina
Indochina
The Indochinese peninsula, is a region in Southeast Asia. It lies roughly southwest of China, and east of India. The name has its origins in the French, Indochine, as a combination of the names of "China" and "India", and was adopted when French colonizers in Vietnam began expanding their territory...

, under the code name Saigon Military Mission arrived in 1954, under Edward Lansdale
Edward Lansdale
Edward Geary Lansdale was a United States Air Force officer who served in the Office of Strategic Services and the Central Intelligence Agency. He rose to the rank of Major General and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in 1963. He was an early proponent of more aggressive US actions in...

. US-based analysts were simultaneously trying to project the evolution of political power, both if the scheduled referendum chose merger of the North and South, or if the South, the US client, stayed independent. Initially, the US focus in Southeast Asia was on Laos
Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

, not Vietnam.

During the period of US combat involvement in the Vietnam War, there was considerable argument about progress among the Department of Defense under Robert McNamara
Robert McNamara
Robert Strange McNamara was an American business executive and the eighth Secretary of Defense, serving under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to 1968, during which time he played a large role in escalating the United States involvement in the Vietnam War...

, the CIA, and, to some extent, the intelligence staff of Military Assistance Command Vietnam
Military Assistance Command, Vietnam
The U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, MACV, , was the United States' unified command structure for all of its military forces in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.-History:...

. In general, the military was consistently more optimistic than the CIA. Sam Adams
Samuel A. Adams
Samuel A. Adams was an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency who is best known for discovering underestimated Vietcong and North Vietnamese Army troop numbers during the Vietnam War. He eventually retired from the CIA after claiming there was a conspiracy among officials within U.S....

, a junior CIA analyst with responsibilities for estimating the actual damage to the enemy, eventually resigned from the CIA, after expressing concern to Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms
Richard Helms
Richard McGarrah Helms was the Director of Central Intelligence from 1966 to 1973. He was the only director to have been convicted of lying to the United States Congress over Central Intelligence Agency undercover activities. In 1977, he was sentenced to the maximum fine and received a suspended...

 with estimates that were changed for interagency and White House political reasons. Adams afterward wrote the book ar of Numbers].

Abuses of CIA authority, 1970s–1990s



Things came to a head in the mid-1970s, around the time of Watergate
Watergate scandal
The Watergate scandal was a political scandal during the 1970s in the United States resulting from the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and the Nixon administration's attempted cover-up of its involvement...

. A dominant feature of political life during that period were the attempts of Congress to assert oversight of the US Presidency and the executive branch of the US Government. Revelations about past CIA activities, such as assassinations and attempted assassinations of foreign leaders (most notably Fidel Castro) and illegal domestic spying on US citizens, provided the opportunities to execute Congressional oversight of US intelligence operations.

Hastening the CIA's fall from grace were the burglary of the Watergate headquarters of the Democratic Party by ex-CIA agents, and President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

's subsequent attempt to use the CIA to impede the FBI's investigation of the burglary. In the famous "smoking gun" recording that led to President Nixon's resignation, Nixon ordered his chief of staff, H. R. Haldeman
H. R. Haldeman
Harry Robbins "Bob" Haldeman was an American political aide and businessman, best known for his service as White House Chief of Staff to President Richard Nixon and for his role in events leading to the Watergate burglaries and the Watergate scandal – for which he was found guilty of conspiracy...

, to tell the CIA that further investigation of Watergate would "open the whole can of worms" about the Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba. In this way Nixon and Haldemann ensured that the CIA's #1 and #2 ranking officials, Richard Helms
Richard Helms
Richard McGarrah Helms was the Director of Central Intelligence from 1966 to 1973. He was the only director to have been convicted of lying to the United States Congress over Central Intelligence Agency undercover activities. In 1977, he was sentenced to the maximum fine and received a suspended...

 and Vernon Walters
Vernon A. Walters
Vernon A. Walters was a United States Army officer and a diplomat. Most notably, he served from 1972 to 1976 as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, from 1985 to 1989 as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations and from 1989 to 1991 as Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany...

, communicated to FBI Director L. Patrick Gray
L. Patrick Gray
Louis Patrick Gray III was acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from May 2, 1972 to April 27, 1973. During this time, the FBI was in charge of the initial investigation into the burglaries that sparked the Watergate scandal, which eventually led to the resignation of President...

 that the FBI should not follow the money trail from the burglars to the Committee to Re-elect the President
Committee to Re-elect the President
The Committee for the Re-Election of the President, abbreviated CRP but often mocked by the acronym CREEP, was a fundraising organization of United States President Richard Nixon's administration...

, as it would uncover CIA informants in Mexico. The FBI initially agreed to this due to a long standing agreement between the FBI and CIA not to uncover each other's sources of information. Though within a couple of weeks the FBI demanded this request in writing, and when no such formal request came, the FBI resumed its investigation into the money trail. Nonetheless, when the smoking gun tapes were made public, damage to the public's perception of CIA's top officials, and thus to the CIA as a whole, could not be avoided.

In 1973, then-DCI James R. Schlesinger
James R. Schlesinger
Dr. James Rodney Schlesinger is an American politician. He is best known for serving as Secretary of Defense from 1973 to 1975 under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford...

 commissioned reports known as the "Family Jewels
Family Jewels (Central Intelligence Agency)
The Family Jewels is the informal name used to refer to a set of reports that detail activities conducted by the United States Central Intelligence Agency. Considered illegal or inappropriate, these actions were conducted over the span of decades, from the 1950s to the mid-1970s...

" on illegal activities by the Agency. In December 1974, Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh
Seymour Hersh
Seymour Myron Hersh is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author based in Washington, D.C. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine on military and security matters...

 broke the news of the "Family Jewels" in a front-page article in The New York Times, claiming that the CIA had assassinated foreign leaders, and had illegally conducted surveillance on some 7,000 US citizens involved in the antiwar movement (Operation CHAOS
Operation CHAOS
]Operation CHAOS or Operation MHCHAOS was the code name for a domestic espionage project conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency. A department within the CIA was established in 1967 on orders from President of the United States Lyndon B. Johnson and later expanded under President Richard Nixon...

). The CIA had also experimented on people, who unknowingly took LSD (among other things).

Congress responded to the disturbing charges in 1975, investigating the CIA in the Senate via the Church Committee
Church Committee
The Church Committee is the common term referring to the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, a U.S. Senate committee chaired by Senator Frank Church in 1975. A precursor to the U.S...

, chaired by Senator Frank Church
Frank Church
Frank Forrester Church III was an American lawyer and politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as a United States Senator from Idaho from 1957 to 1981....

 (D-Idaho), and in the House of Representatives via the Pike Committee
United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
The United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is a committee of the United States House of Representatives, currently chaired by Mike Rogers. It is the primary committee in the U.S...

, chaired by Congressman Otis Pike
Otis G. Pike
Otis Grey Pike is a retired Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from New York.-Early life:...

 (D-NY). In addition, President Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

 created the Rockefeller Commission
United States President's Commission on CIA activities within the United States
The U.S. President's Commission on CIA activities within the United States was set up under President Gerald Ford in 1975 to investigate the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies within the United States...

, and issued an executive order prohibiting the assassination of foreign leaders.

During the investigation, Schlesinger's successor as DCI, William Colby
William Colby
William Egan Colby spent a career in intelligence for the United States, culminating in holding the post of Director of Central Intelligence from September 1973, to January 1976....

, testified before Congress on 32 occasions in 1975, including about the "Family Jewels". Colby later stated that he believed that providing Congress with this information was the correct thing to do, and ultimately in the CIA's own interests. As the CIA fell out of favor with the public, Ford assured Americans that his administration was not involved: "There are no people presently employed in the White House who have a relationship with the CIA of which I am personally unaware."

Repercussions from the Iran-Contra affair
Iran-Contra Affair
The Iran–Contra affair , also referred to as Irangate, Contragate or Iran-Contra-Gate, was a political scandal in the United States that came to light in November 1986. During the Reagan administration, senior Reagan administration officials and President Reagan secretly facilitated the sale of...

 arms smuggling scandal included the creation of the Intelligence Authorization Act
Intelligence Authorization Act
The Intelligence Authorization Act was implemented in order to codify covert, clandestine operations and defines requirements for reporting such operations to the Congress...

 in 1991. It defined covert operations as secret missions in geopolitical areas where the US is neither openly nor apparently engaged. This also required an authorizing chain of command, including an official, presidential finding report and the informing of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, which, in emergencies, requires only "timely notification".

2004, DNI takes over CIA top-level functions


The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 created the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), who took over some of the government and intelligence community (IC)-wide functions that had previously been the CIA's. The DNI manages the United States Intelligence Community and in so doing it manages the intelligence cycle
Intelligence cycle management
The intelligence cycle is a investigation process used by end users , which allows that user to gather specific information, understand the possibilities of that information, and the limitations of the intelligence process.Within the context of government, military and business affairs,...

. Among the functions that moved to the DNI were the preparation of estimates reflecting the consolidated opinion of the 16 IC agencies, and preparation of briefings for the president. On July 30, 2008, President Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 issued Executive Order 13470
Executive Order 13470
On July 30, 2008, President Bush issued Executive Order 13470 amending Executive Order 12333 to strengthen the role of the Director of National Intelligence.- See also :*Executive order*List of United States federal executive orders...

 amending Executive Order 12333
Executive Order 12333
On December 4, 1981 President Ronald Reagan signedExecutive Order 12333,an Executive Order intended toextend powers and responsibilities of US intelligence agencies and direct the leaders of U.S...

 to strengthen the role of the DNI.

Previously, the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) oversaw the Intelligence Community, serving as the president's principal intelligence advisor, additionally serving as head of the CIA. The DCI's title now is "Director of the Central Intelligence Agency" (DCIA), serving as head of the CIA.

Currently, the CIA reports to the Director of National Intelligence. Prior to the establishment of the DNI, the CIA reported to the President, with informational briefings to congressional committees. The National Security Advisor
National Security Advisor (United States)
The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor , serves as the chief advisor to the President of the United States on national security issues...

 is a permanent member of the National Security Council, responsible for briefing the President with pertinent information collected by all US intelligence agencies, including the National Security Agency, the Drug Enforcement Administration, etc. All 16 Intelligence Community agencies are under the authority of the Director of National Intelligence.

Mission-related issues and controversies



The history of CIA deals with several things, certainly including covert action, but also clandestine and overt intelligence collection, intelligence analysis and reporting, and logistical and technical support of its activities. Prior to the December 2004 reorganization of the intelligence community (IC), it also was responsible for coordinations of IC-wide intelligence estimates.

These articles are organized in two different ways: By geographical region (for state actors or non-state actors limited to a country
Country
A country is a region legally identified as a distinct entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign state or one that is occupied by another state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with a previously...

 or region
Region
Region is most commonly found as a term used in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences also an area, notably among the different sub-disciplines of geography, studied by regional geographers. Regions consist of subregions that contain clusters of like areas that are distinctive by their uniformity...

) and by transnational
Transnationality
Transnationality is a principle of carrying out an action across national borders, so as to have effects at a more general level. It is commonly referred to with reference to the actions of the European Union , in distinction to 'international' or 'supranational' Transnationality is a principle of...

 topic (for non-state actors).

CIA operations by region, country and date are discussed in detail in the following articles:
  • CIA activities in Africa
    CIA activities in Africa
    This article deals with activities of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in Africa. Be advised this list may be incomplete due to the clandestine nature of the activities described.-Subsaharan region:...

  • CIA activities in Asia and the Pacific
    CIA activities in Asia and the Pacific
    This article deals with activities of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in the Asia/Pacific geopolitical area.In this region, East Asia, Central Asia , Southeast Asia , and Oceania are included....

  • CIA activities in Russia and Europe
    CIA activities in Russia and Europe
    This article deals with the activities of the United States Central Intelligence Agency in Russia and Europe.-Radio Free Europe :...

  • CIA activities in the Americas
    CIA activities in the Americas
    Drug issues, and CIA involvement in them, have often been raised about the Americas, as well as in other areas such as Southeast Asia. The consensus of several sources is that once proprietary airlines and other support had been set up for covert supply of irregular troops, even though drug...

  • CIA activities in the Near East, North Africa, South and Southwest Asia
    CIA activities in the Near East, North Africa, South and Southwest Asia
    The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency conducts activities in the areas commonly called the "Middle East", or more precisely, North Africa, the Near/Middle East, and South and Southwest Asia.-North Africa:-1966 National Intelligence Estimate on the Maghreb:...



CIA analyses of issues such as the effect of emerging infectious diseases, and the detection of Weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

, are inherently transnational, and are discussed in the following articles. CIA operations and, where appropriate, authorizations for covert operations (for example, NSDD 138
CIA transnational anti-terrorism activities
This article deals with activities of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency related to terrorism. Especially after the CIA lost its coordinating role over the entire Intelligence Community , it is impossible to understand US counterterrorism by looking at the CIA alone...

 authorizing direct action against opponents) by transnational topic are discussed in the following Wikipedia articles:
  • CIA transnational activities in counterproliferation
    CIA transnational activities in counterproliferation
    This article deals with activities of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, specifically dealing with arms control, weapons of mass destruction and weapons proliferation. It attempts to look at the process of tasking and analyzing, rather than the problem itself, other than whether the CIA's...

  • CIA transnational anti-crime and anti-drug activities
    CIA transnational anti-crime and anti-drug activities
    This article deals with activities of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency related to transnational crime, including the illicit drug trade.Two offices of the CIA Directorate of Intelligence have analytical responsibilities in this area...

  • CIA transnational anti-terrorism activities
    CIA transnational anti-terrorism activities
    This article deals with activities of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency related to terrorism. Especially after the CIA lost its coordinating role over the entire Intelligence Community , it is impossible to understand US counterterrorism by looking at the CIA alone...

  • CIA transnational health and economic activities
    CIA transnational health and economic activities
    This article deals with activities of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency related to human survival issues, emphasizing disease and basic needs such as water and agriculture.CIA activities in this area include the preparation of National Intelligence Estimates...

  • CIA transnational human rights actions
    CIA transnational human rights actions
    This article deals with those activities of the Central Intelligence Agency that preserve or violate human rights.-General principles:In 2003, Patricia Derian, who served as Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights in the Carter Administration wrote, "Through these U.S. military and...



In addition, a view of covert US activity specifically oriented towards regime change actions is given in the following Wikipedia article:
  • CIA sponsored regime change


Major sources for this section include the Council on Foreign Relations
Council on Foreign Relations
The Council on Foreign Relations is an American nonprofit nonpartisan membership organization, publisher, and think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs...

 of the United States series, the National Security Archive
National Security Archive
The National Security Archive is a 501 non-governmental, non-profit research and archival institution located in the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.. Founded in 1985 by Scott Armstrong, it archives and publishes declassified U.S. government files concerning selected topics of US...

 and George Washington University
George Washington University
The George Washington University is a private, coeducational comprehensive university located in Washington, D.C. in the United States...

, the Freedom of Information Act
Freedom of Information Act (United States)
The Freedom of Information Act is a federal freedom of information law that allows for the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government. The Act defines agency records subject to disclosure, outlines mandatory disclosure...

 Reading Room at the CIA, US Congressional hearings, Blum's book and Weiner's book Note that the CIA has responded to the claims made in Weiner's book, and that Jeffrey Richelson of the National Security Archive has also been critical of it.

Areas of controversy about inappropriate, often illegal actions include experiments, without consent, on human beings to explore chemical means of eliciting information or disabling people. Another area involved torture and clandestine imprisonment. There have been attempted assassinations under CIA orders and support for assassinations of foreign leaders by citizens of the leader's country, and, in a somewhat different legal category that may fall under the customary laws of war, assassinations of militant leaders.

Security and counterintelligence failures


While the names change periodically, there are two basic security functions to protect the CIA and its operations. There is an Office of Security in the Directorate for Support, which is responsible for physical security of the CIA buildings, secure storage of information, and personnel security clearance
Security clearance
A security clearance is a status granted to individuals allowing them access to classified information, i.e., state secrets, or to restricted areas after completion of a thorough background check. The term "security clearance" is also sometimes used in private organizations that have a formal...

s. These are directed inwardly to the agency itself.

In what is now the National Clandestine Service, there is a counter-intelligence
Counter-intelligence
Counterintelligence or counter-intelligence refers to efforts made by intelligence organizations to prevent hostile or enemy intelligence organizations from successfully gathering and collecting intelligence against them. National intelligence programs, and, by extension, the overall defenses of...

 function, called the Counterintelligence Staff under its most controversial chief, James Jesus Angleton
James Jesus Angleton
James Jesus Angleton was chief of the Central Intelligence Agency's counterintelligence staff from 1954 to 1975...

. This function has roles including looking for staff members that are providing information to foreign intelligence services (FIS) as moles. Another role is to check proposals for recruiting foreign HUMINT assets, to see if these people have any known ties to FIS and thus may be attempts to penetrate CIA to learn its personnel and practices, or as a provocateur, or other form of double agent.

This agency component may also launch offensive counterespionage, where it attempts to interfere with FIS operations. CIA officers in the field often have assignments in offensive counterespionage as well as clandestine intelligence collection.

Security failures


The "Family Jewels" and other documents reveal that the Office of Security violated the prohibition of CIA involvement in domestic law enforcement, sometimes with the intention of assisting police organizations local to CIA buildings.

On December 30, 2009, a suicide attack occurred in the Forward Operating Base Chapman attack, a major CIA base in the province of Khost
Khost
Khost or Khowst is a city in eastern Afghanistan. It is the capital of Khost province, which is a mountainous region near Afghanistan's border with Pakistan...

, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. Seven CIA officers, including the chief of the base, were killed and six others seriously wounded in the attack. The CIA is consequently conducting an investigation into how the suicide bomber managed to avoid the base's security measures.

Counterintelligence failures


Perhaps the most disruptive period involving counterintelligence was James Jesus Angleton's search for a mole, based on the statements of a Soviet defector, Anatoliy Golitsyn
Anatoliy Golitsyn
Anatoliy Mikhaylovich Golitsyn CBE is a Soviet KGB defector and author of two books about the long-term deception strategy of the KGB leadership. He was born in Piryatin, Ukrainian SSR...

. A second defector, Yuri Nosenko
Yuri Nosenko
Lt. Col. Yuri Ivanovich Nosenko was a KGB defector and a figure of significant controversy within the U.S. intelligence community, since his claims contradicted another defector, Anatoliy Golitsyn, who believed he was a KGB plant...

, challenged Golitsyn's claims, with the two calling one another Soviet double agents. Many CIA officers fell under career-ending suspicion; the details of the relative truths and untruths from Nosenko and Golitsyn may never be released, or, in fact, may not be fully understood. The accusations also crossed the Atlantic to the British intelligence services, who also were damaged by molehunts.

On February 24, 1994, the agency was rocked by the arrest of 31-year veteran case officer Aldrich Ames
Aldrich Ames
Aldrich Hazen Ames is a former Central Intelligence Agency counter-intelligence officer and analyst, who, in 1994, was convicted of spying for the Soviet Union and Russia...

 on charges of spying for the Soviet Union since 1985.

Other defectors have included Edward Lee Howard
Edward Lee Howard
Edward Lee Victor Howard was a CIA case officer who defected to the Soviet Union....

, David Henry Barnett
David Henry Barnett
David Henry Barnett , was a CIA officer who was convicted of espionage for the Soviet Union in 1980, becoming only the second CIA officer to such a fate after Edwin Moore II, a retired CIA employee who was arrested by the FBI in 1976 after attempting to sell classified documents to Soviet...

, both field operations officers, and William Kampiles
William Kampiles
William Peter Kampiles was a Central Intelligence Agency employee during the Cold War.-Biography:Bored with his low-ranking status as a CIA clerk, in 1977, he stole a top-secret KH-11 spy satellite manual. Afterwards, he resigned from his job, flew to Greece, and sold the manual to the Russian...

, a low-level worker in the CIA 24-hour Operations Center. Kampiles sold the Soviets the detailed operational manual for the KH-11
KH-11
The KH-11 KENNAN, renamed CRYSTAL in 1982 and also referenced by the codenames 1010, and "Key Hole", is a type of reconnaissance satellite launched by the American National Reconnaissance Office since December 1976...

 reconnaissance satellite.

Failures in intelligence analysis


The agency has also been criticized by some for ineffectiveness as an intelligence gathering agency. Former DCI Richard Helms commented, after the end of the Cold War, "The only remaining superpower doesn't have enough interest in what's going on in the world to organize and run an espionage service." The CIA has come under particular criticism for failing to predict the collapse of the Soviet Union.

See the information technology section of the intelligence analysis management for discussion of possible failures to provide adequate automation support to analysts, and A-Space
A-Space
A-Space is a collectively run anarchist community center and art gallery located at 47th St & Baltimore Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....

 for a IC-wide program to collect some of them. Cognitive traps for intelligence analysis
Cognitive traps for intelligence analysis
Intelligence analysis is plagued by many of the cognitive traps also encountered in other disciplines. The first systematic study of the specific pitfalls lying between an intelligence analyst and clear thinking was carried out by Dick Heuer....

 also goes into areas where CIA has examined why analysis can fail.

Agency veterans, such as John McLaughlin
John E. McLaughlin
John Edward McLaughlin is the former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence and former Acting Director of Central Intelligence. McLaughlin is an accomplished magician and lectured on magic at the 2006 International Brotherhood of Magicians Annual Convention in Miami, Florida...

, who was deputy director and acting director of central intelligence from October 2000 to September 2004 have lamented CIA's inability to produce the kind of long-range strategic intelligence that it once did in order to guide policymakers. McLaughlin notes that CIA is drowned by demands from the White House and Pentagon for instant information, and said, "intelligence analysts end up being the Wikipedia
Wikipedia
Wikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 20 million articles have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site,...

 of Washington." In the intelligence analysis article, orienting oneself to the consumers deals with some of ways in which intelligence can become more responsive to the needs of policymakers.

For the media, the failures are most newsworthy. A number of declassified National Intelligence Estimates do predict the behavior of various countries, but not in a manner attractive to news, or, most significantly, not public at the time of the event. In its operational role, some successes for the CIA include the U-2 and SR-71 programs, and anti-Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 operations in Afghanistan in the mid-1980s.

Among the first analytic failures, before the CIA had its own collection capabilities, it assured President Harry S Truman on October 13, 1950 that the Chinese would not send troops to Korea. Six days later, over one million Chinese troops arrived. See an analysis of the failure
CIA activities in Asia and the Pacific
This article deals with activities of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in the Asia/Pacific geopolitical area.In this region, East Asia, Central Asia , Southeast Asia , and Oceania are included....

; also see surrounding text for the two Koreas and China, and the time period before the Korean War. Earlier, the intelligence community failed to detect the North Korean invasion, in part because resources were not allocated to SIGINT coverage
Signals intelligence in modern history
SIGINT is a contraction of SIGnals INTelligence. Before the development of radar and other electronics techniques, signals intelligence and communications intelligence were essentially synonymous...

 of the Korean peninsula.

The history of US intelligence, with respect to French Indochina and then the two Vietnams, is long and complex. The Pentagon Papers
Pentagon Papers
The Pentagon Papers, officially titled United States – Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, is a United States Department of Defense history of the United States' political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967...

 often contain pessimistic CIA analyses that conflicted with White House positions. It does appear that some estimates were changed to reflect Pentagon and White House views. See CIA activities in Asia and the Pacific
CIA activities in Asia and the Pacific
This article deals with activities of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in the Asia/Pacific geopolitical area.In this region, East Asia, Central Asia , Southeast Asia , and Oceania are included....

 for detailed discussions of intelligence and covert operations from 1945 (i.e., before the CIA) onwards.

Another criticism is the failure to predict India's nuclear tests
Pokhran-II
Pokharan-II refers to test explosions of five nuclear devices, three on 11 May and two on 13 May 1998, conducted by India at the Pokhran test range. These nuclear tests resulted in a variety of sanctions against India by a number of major states....

 in 1974. A review of the various analyses of India's nuclear program did predict some aspects of the test, such as a 1965 report saying, correctly, that if India did develop a bomb, it would be explained as "for peaceful purposes".

A major criticism is failure to forestall the September 11 attacks. The 9/11 Commission Report
9/11 Commission Report
The 9/11 Commission Report, formally named Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, is the official report of the events leading up to the September 11, 2001 attacks...

 identifies failures in the IC as a whole. One problem, for example, was the FBI failing to "connect the dots" by sharing information among its decentralized field offices. The report, however, criticizes both CIA analysis, and impeding their investigation.

The executive summary of a report which was released by the office of CIA Inspector General John Helgerson on August 21, 2007 concluded that former DCI George Tenet
George Tenet
George John Tenet was the Director of Central Intelligence for the United States Central Intelligence Agency, and is Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University....

 failed to adequately prepare the agency to deal with the danger posed by Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 prior to the attacks of September 11, 2001. The report had been completed in June, 2005 and was partially released to the public in an agreement with Congress, over the objections of current DCI General Michael Hayden. Hayden said its publication would "consume time and attention revisiting ground that is already well plowed.” Tenet disagreed with the report's conclusions, citing his planning efforts vis-a-vis al-Qaeda, particularly from 1999.

Criticism/Controversy


The CIA has been called into question on several occasions for some of the tactics it employs to carry out its missions. At times these tactics have included torture, funding and training of groups and organizations that would later participate in killing of civilians and other non-combatants and would try or succeed in overthrowing democratically elected governments, human experimentation, and targeted killing
Targeted killing
Targeted killing is the deliberate, specific targeting and killing, by a government or its agents, of a supposed terrorist or of a supposed "unlawful combatant" who is not in that government's custody...

s and assassinations.

In understanding the CIA's role in human rights, there are challenging problems of ethics. John Stockwell, a CIA officer who left the Agency and became a public critic, said of the CIA field officers: "They don't meet the death squads on the streets where they're actually chopping up people or laying them down on the street and running trucks over their heads. The CIA people in San Salvador meet the police chiefs, and the people who run the death squads, and they do liaise with them, they meet them beside the swimming pool of the villas. And it's a sophisticated, civilized kind of relationship. And they talk about their children, who are going to school at UCLA or Harvard and other schools, and they don't talk about the horrors of what's being done. They pretend like it isn't true".

The CIA has been criticized for ineffectiveness in its basic mission of intelligence gathering. A variant of this criticism is that allegations of misconduct are symptomatic of lack of attention to basic mission in the sense that controversial actions, such as assassination attempts and human rights violations, tend to be carried out in operations that have little to do with intelligence gathering. The CIA has been charged with having more than 90% of its employees living and working within the United States, rather than in foreign countries, which is in violation of its charter. The CIA has also been accused of a lack of financial and whistleblower controls which has led to waste and fraud.

External investigations and document releases



At various times since the creation of the CIA, the US Government has produced comprehensive reports on CIA actions that marked historical watersheds in how CIA went about trying to fulfill its vague charter purposes from 1947. These reports were the result of internal/presidential studies, external investigations by Congressional committees or other arms of the US Government, or even the simple releases and declassification of large quantities of documents by the CIA.

Several investigations (e.g., the Church Committee, Rockefeller Commission, Pike Committee, etc.), as well as released declassified documents, reveal that the CIA, at times, operated outside its charter. In some cases, such as during Watergate, this may have been due to inappropriate requests by White House staff. In other cases, there was a violation of Congressional intent, such as the Iran-Contra affair. In many cases, these reports provide the only official discussion of these actions available to the public.

Influencing public opinion and law enforcement



This is an area with many shades of gray. The CIA has much popular agreement in a set few instances wherein it has acted inappropriately, such as in providing technical support to White House operatives conducting both political and security investigations, with no reputed legal authority to do so. In many cases, ambiguity existing between law enforcement and intelligence agencies may expose a clandestine operation. This is a problem not unique to intelligence but also seen among different law enforcement organizations, where one wants to prosecute and another to continue investigations, perhaps reaching higher levels in a conspiracy.

Al-Qaeda and the War on Terror


The CIA had long been dealing with terrorism originating from abroad, and in 1986 had set up a Counterterrorist Center
Counterterrorist Center
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's Counterterrorism Center was established in 1986. It is not to be confused with the National Counterterrorism Center, a separate entity.-Foundation and early years:...

 to deal specifically with the problem. At first confronted with secular terrorism, the Agency found Islamist
Islamism
Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

 terrorism looming increasingly large on its scope.

The network that became known as al-Qaeda (The Base) grew out of Arab volunteers who fought the Soviets and their puppet regimes in Afghanistan in the 1980s. In 1984 Abdullah Azzam and Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 set up an organization known as the Office of Services in Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

, Pakistan, to coordinate and finance the "Afghan Arabs", as the volunteers became known.

The CIA also channeled US aid to Afghan resistance fighters via Pakistan in a covert operation known as Operation Cyclone
Operation Cyclone
Operation Cyclone was the code name for the United States Central Intelligence Agency program to arm, train, and finance the Afghan mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, 1979 to 1989...

. It denied dealing with non-Afghan fighters, or having direct contact with bin Laden. However, various authorities relate that the Agency brought both Afghans and Arabs to the United States for military training. Azzam and Bin Laden set up recruitment offices in the US, under the name "Al-Khifah
Al Kifah Refugee Center
The Al Kifah Refugee Center is a charity that was active in the United Statesand was based in the Faruq Mosque in Brooklyn.-Overview:Al Kifah Refugee Center had clandestine links to forces fighting in Afghanistan dating to the late 1980s, when the fighters enjoyed American support in their struggle...

", the hub of which was the Farouq Mosque in Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue. This was "a place of pivotal importance for Operation Cyclone".

Among notable figures at the Brooklyn center was the Egyptian "double agent" Ali Mohamed
Ali Mohamed
Ali Abdul Saoud Mohamed, is a double agent who worked for both the CIA and Egyptian Islamic Jihad simultaneously, reporting on the workings of each for the benefit of the other....

, who worked for the CIA, the Green Berets, Egyptian Islamic Jihad and al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 at various times in the 1980s and 1990s. FBI special agent Jack Cloonan called him "bin Laden's first trainer". Another was "Blind Sheikh" Abdel Rahman
Abdul Rahman Yasin
Abdul Rahman Yasin helped make the bombs used in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing attack. Yasin is of Iraqi heritage and grew up in Baghdad...

, a leading recruiter of mujaheddin, who obtained US entry visas with the help of the CIA in 1987 and 1990.

Around 1988, Bin Laden set up al-Qaeda from the more extreme elements of the Services Office. But it was not a large organization. When Jamal al-Fadl
Jamal al-Fadl
Jamal Ahmed Mohamed al-Fadl is a Sudanese militant and former associate of Osama bin Laden in the early 1990s. Al-Fadl was recruited for the Afghan war through the Farouq mosque in Brooklyn. In 1988, he joined al Qaeda and took an oath of fealty to Bin Laden...

 (who had been recruited through the Brooklyn center in the mid 1980s) joined in 1989, he was described as Qaeda's "third member".

In January 1996 the CIA created an experimental "virtual station", the Bin Laden Issue Station
Bin Laden Issue Station
The Bin Laden Issue Station was a unit of the Central Intelligence Agency dedicated to tracking Osama bin Laden.Soon after its creation the Station developed a new, deadlier vision of bin Laden's activities. In 1999 the CIA inaugurated a grand "Plan" against al-Qaeda, but struggled to find the...

, under the Counterterrorist Center, to track Bin Laden's developing activities. Al-Fadl, who defected to the CIA in spring 1996, began to provide the Station with a new image of the Qaeda leader: he was not only a terrorist financier, but a terrorist organizer too. FBI special agent Dan Coleman (who together with his partner Jack Cloonan had been "seconded" to the Bin Laden Station) called him Qaeda's "Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone
The Rosetta Stone is an ancient Egyptian granodiorite stele inscribed with a decree issued at Memphis in 196 BC on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The decree appears in three scripts: the upper text is Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the middle portion Demotic script, and the lowest Ancient Greek...

".

In 1999 CIA chief George Tenet launched a grand "Plan" to deal with al-Qaeda. The Counterterrorist Center, its new chief Cofer Black
Cofer Black
Joseph Cofer Black is an American counter-terrorism expert and consultant. He had a 28-year career in the Directorate of Operations at the Central Intelligence Agency, culminating in his appointment as Director of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center in June 1999...

 and the center's Bin Laden unit
Bin Laden Issue Station
The Bin Laden Issue Station was a unit of the Central Intelligence Agency dedicated to tracking Osama bin Laden.Soon after its creation the Station developed a new, deadlier vision of bin Laden's activities. In 1999 the CIA inaugurated a grand "Plan" against al-Qaeda, but struggled to find the...

 were the Plan's developers and executors. Once it was prepared Tenet assigned CIA intelligence chief Charles E. Allen
Charles E. Allen
Charles E. Allen is an American public servant, notable for his roles at the United States Department of Homeland Security's Office of Intelligence and Analysis and, before that, the Central Intelligence Agency.-Department of Homeland Security:...

 to set up a "Qaeda cell" to oversee its tactical execution. In 2000 the CIA and USAF
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 jointly ran a series of flights over Afghanistan with a small remote-controlled reconnaissance drone, the Predator; they obtained probable photos of Bin Laden. Cofer Black and others became advocates of arming the Predator with missiles to try to assassinate Bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders. After the Cabinet-level Principals Committee meeting on terrorism of September 4, 2001, the CIA resumed reconnaissance flights, the drones now being weapons-capable.

The CIA set up a Strategic Assessments Branch
Strategic Assessments Branch
The strategic assessments branch of the Counterterrorist Center of the United States Central Intelligence Agency was established in 2001 to plug a gap in strategic analysis of the terrorism threat, particularly that due to al-Qaeda....

 in 2001 to remedy the deficit of "big-picture" analysis of al-Qaeda, and apparently to develop targeting strategies. The branch was formally set up in July 2001, but it struggled to find personnel. The branch's head took up his job on September 10, 2001.

After 9/11, the CIA came under criticism for not having done enough to prevent the attacks. Tenet rejected the criticism, citing the Agency's planning efforts especially over the preceding two years. He also considered that the CIA's efforts had put the Agency in a position to respond rapidly and effectively to the attacks, both in the "Afghan sanctuary" and in "ninety-two countries around the world". The new strategy was called the "Worldwide Attack Matrix
Worldwide Attack Matrix
The Worldwide Attack Matrix is a document describing covert counter-terrorism operations in 80 countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa created in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It was presented by Central Intelligence Agency director George J. Tenet in a briefing held...

".

Anwar al-Aulaki, a Yemeni-American U.S. citizen and al-Qaeda member, was killed on September 30, 2011 by an air attack carried out by the Joint Special Operations Command. After several days of surveillance of Mr. Aulaki by the Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

, armed drone
Unmanned aerial vehicle
An unmanned aerial vehicle , also known as a unmanned aircraft system , remotely piloted aircraft or unmanned aircraft, is a machine which functions either by the remote control of a navigator or pilot or autonomously, that is, as a self-directing entity...

s took off from a new, secret American base in the Arabian Peninsula, crossed into northern Yemen and unleashed a barrage of Hellfire missiles at al-Aulaki's vehicle. Samir Khan
Samir Khan
Samir ibn Zafar Khan was the Pakistani American editor and publisher of Inspire magazine, an English language online magazine reported to be published by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula , in which he authored articles such as "Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom"...

, a Pakistani-American al-Qaeda member and editor of the jihadist Inspire
Inspire (magazine)
Inspire is an English language online magazine reported to be published by the organization al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula . The use of the magazine is to increase the availability of their message without challenges to their value system. The magazine is one of the many ways AQAP uses the...

 magazine, also reportedly died in the attack. The combined CIA/JSOC drone strike was the first in Yemen since 2002 — there have been others by the military’s Special Operations forces — and was part of an effort by the spy agency to duplicate in Yemen the covert war which has been running in Afghanistan and Pakistan. .

Operation Neptune's Spear


On May 1, 2011, President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 was killed earlier that day
Death of Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden, then head of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1 a.m. local time by a United States special forces military unit....

 by "a small team of Americans" acting under his direct orders in Abbottabad
Abbottabad
Abbottabad is a city located in the Hazara region of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, in Pakistan. The city is situated in the Orash Valley, northeast of the capital Islamabad and east of Peshawar at an altitude of and is the capital of the Abbottabad District...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, during a CIA operation. The raid was executed from a CIA forward base in Afghanistan by elements of the U.S. Navy's Naval Special Warfare Development Group and CIA paramilitary operatives.

It resulted in the acquisition of extensive intelligence on the future attack plans of al-Qaeda.
The operation was a result of years of intelligence work that included the CIA's capture and interrogation Khalid Sheik Mohammad (KSM) leading to the identity of a courier of Bin Laden's, the tracking of the courier to the compound by Special Activities Division
Special Activities Division
The Special Activities Division is a division in the United States Central Intelligence Agency's National Clandestine Service responsible for covert operations known as "special activities"...

 paramilitary operatives and the establishing of a CIA safe house to provide critical tactical intelligence for the operation.

Palestine Liberation Organization


Between the 1970s and 1980s, the CIA forged a relationship with individual members of the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

. The CIA secretly brought Hanan Ashrawi
Hanan Ashrawi
Hanan Daoud Khalil Ashrawi is a Palestinian legislator, activist, and scholar. She was a protégé and later colleague and close friend of Edward Said. Ashrawi was an important leader during the First Intifada, served as the official spokesperson for the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East...

, Hanna Seniora, Saeb Erakat, and Sari Nusseibeh
Sari Nusseibeh
Sari Nusseibeh , and raised in Jerusalem, is a Palestinian professor of philosophy and president of the Al-Quds University in Jerusalem...

 to the United States for intensive briefings on integrating their politics with the United States.
Israeli intelligence did not know part of the PLO was being funded and trained by the CIA at the same time that the Agency was pretending to work with Israel against the PLO. According to agents involved in the operation: "One of the PLO leaders argued that unless his fighters....were allowed to commit some actions against Israel, they would not be taken seriously. The CIA encouraged attacks on non-civilian targets in Israel." John Loftus
John Loftus
John Joseph Loftus is an American author, former US government prosecutor and former Army intelligence officer. He is a president of The Intelligence Summit and, although he is not Jewish, a president of the Florida Holocaust Museum. Loftus also serves on the Board of Advisers to Public...

 argues the CIA was doing "everything possible to destroy the Mossad's counter-terrorist network." Loftus says, by the 1980s, oil company policy was CIA policy. Oil companies could bribe the PLO, but they could not bribe the Mossad
Mossad
The Mossad , short for HaMossad leModi'in uleTafkidim Meyuchadim , is the national intelligence agency of Israel....

.

2003 War in Iraq


Whether or not the intelligence available, or presented by the Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 Administration justified the 2003 invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

 or allowed proper planning, especially for the occupation, is quite controversial. However, there were more than one CIA employee that asserted the sense that Bush administration officials placed undue pressure on CIA analysts to reach certain conclusions that would support their stated policy positions with regard to Iraq.

CIA Special Activities Division
Special Activities Division
The Special Activities Division is a division in the United States Central Intelligence Agency's National Clandestine Service responsible for covert operations known as "special activities"...

 paramilitary teams were the first teams in Iraq arriving in July 2002. Once on the ground they prepared the battle space for the subsequent arrival of US military forces. SAD teams then combined with US Army Special Forces (on a team called the Northern Iraq Liaison Element or NILE). This team organized the Kurdish
Kurdish people
The Kurdish people, or Kurds , are an Iranian people native to the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan, which includes adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey...

 Peshmerga
Peshmerga
Peshmerga or Peshmerge is the term used by Kurds to refer to armed Kurdish fighters. Literally meaning "those who face death" the Peshmerga forces of Kurdistan have been in existence since the advent of the Kurdish independence movement in the early 1920s, following the collapse of the Ottoman...

 for the subsequent US-led invasion. They combined to defeat Ansar al-Islam
Ansar al-Islam
Ansar al-Islam is a Sunni Islamist group of Iraqis, promoting a radical interpretation of Islam, close to the official Saudi ideology of Wahhabism with strict application of Sharia. The group was formed in the northern provinces of Iraq near the Iranian border, and previously had established...

, an ally of Al-Qaeda. If this battle had not been as successful as it was, there would have been a considerable hostile force behind the US/Kurdish force in the subsequent assault on Saddam's Army. The US side was carried out by Paramilitary Operations Officers from SAD/SOG and the Army's 10th Special Forces Group
10th Special Forces Group (United States)
The 10th Special Forces Group is an Active Duty United States Army Special Forces group. The 10th Special Forces Group is responsible for operations within the EUCOM area of responsibility, as part of the Special Operations Command, Europe , as well as parts of Africa and the Middle East.10th SFG...

.

SAD teams also conducted high risk special reconnaissance missions behind Iraqi lines to identify senior leadership targets. These missions led to the initial strikes against Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 and his key generals. Although the initial strike against Hussein was unsuccessful in killing the dictator, it was successful in effectively ending his ability to command and control his forces. Other strikes against key generals were successful and significantly degraded the command's ability to react to and maneuver against the US-led invasion force.

NATO member Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 refused to allow its territory to be used by the US Army's 4th Infantry Division for the invasion. As a result, the SAD, US Army Special Forces joint teams and the Kurdish Peshmerga were the entire northern force against Saddam's Army during the invasion. Their efforts kept the 1st and 5th Corps of the Iraqi Army in place to defend against the Kurds rather than their moving to contest the coalition force coming from the south. This combined US Special Operations and Kurdish force soundly defeated Saddam's Army, a major military success, similar to the victory over the Taliban in Afghanistan. Four members of the SAD/SOG team received CIA's rare Intelligence Star
Intelligence Star
The Intelligence Star is an award given by the Central Intelligence Agency for a "voluntary act or acts of courage performed under hazardous conditions or for outstanding achievements or services rendered with distinction under conditions of grave risk." The award citation is from the Director...

 for their "heroic actions."

Drug trafficking


Two offices of CIA Directorate of Intelligence have analytical responsibilities in this area. The Office of Transnational Issues applies unique functional expertise to assess existing and emerging threats to US national security and provides the most senior US policymakers, military planners, and law enforcement with analysis, warning, and crisis support.

CIA Crime and Narcotics Center researches information on international narcotics trafficking
Illegal drug trade
The illegal drug trade is a global black market, dedicated to cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of those substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws. Most jurisdictions prohibit trade, except under license, of many types of drugs by drug prohibition laws.A UN report said the...

 and organized crime for policymakers and the law enforcement community. Since CIA has no domestic police authority, it sends its analytic information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other law enforcement organizations, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Office of Foreign Assets Control
Office of Foreign Assets Control
The Office of Foreign Assets Control is an agency of the United States Department of the Treasury under the auspices of the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. OFAC administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on U.S...

 of the United States Department of the Treasury
United States Department of the Treasury
The Department of the Treasury is an executive department and the treasury of the United States federal government. It was established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue...

 (OFAC).

Another part of CIA, the National Clandestine Service, collects human intelligence (HUMINT) in these areas.

Research by Dr. Alfred W. McCoy
Alfred W. McCoy
Alfred William McCoy is a historian of Southeast Asia. He is the J.R.W. Smail Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. McCoy graduated from the Kent School in 1964. He earned his B.A...

, Gary Webb
Gary Webb
Gary Webb was a Pulitzer prize-winning American investigative journalist.Webb was best known for his 1996 "Dark Alliance" series of articles written for the San Jose Mercury News and later published as a book...

, and others has pointed to CIA involvement in narcotics trafficking across the globe, although the CIA officially denies such allegations. During the Cold War, when numerous soldiers participated in transport of Southeast Asian heroin to the United States by the airline Air America, the CIA's role in such traffic was reportedly rationalized as "recapture" of related profits to prevent possible enemy control of such assets. Gary
Webb and other researchers have reported about similar operations during Reagan's Contra War against the democratically elected government of Nicaragua, US involvement in Afghanistan during the Cold War, and current CIA involvement with Pakistan's ISI
Inter-Services Intelligence
The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence , is Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, responsible for providing critical national security intelligence assessment to the Government of Pakistan...

 intelligence agency, which allegedly has links to the refining of Afghan heroin in Pakistan.

Lying to Congress


Former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi is the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives and served as the 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011...

 has stated that the CIA repeatedly misled the Congress since 2001 about waterboarding
Waterboarding
Waterboarding is a form of torture in which water is poured over the face of an immobilized captive, thus causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning...

 and other torture, though Pelosi admitted to being told about the programs. Six members of Congress have claimed that Director of CIA Leon Panetta admitted that over a period of several years since 2001 the CIA deceived Congress, including affirmatively lying to Congress. Some congressmen believe that these "lies" to Congress are similar to CIA lies to Congress from earlier periods.

Covert programs hidden from Congress


On July 10, 2009, House Intelligence subcommittee Chairwoman Representative Jan Schakowsky
Jan Schakowsky
Janice D. "Jan" Schakowsky is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1999. She is a member of the Democratic Party.The district includes many of Chicago's northern suburbs, including Evanston, Skokie, Wilmette, Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Rosemont...

 (D, IL) announced the termination of an unnamed CIA covert program described as "very serious" in nature which had been kept secret from Congress for eight years.
CIA Director Panetta had ordered an internal investigation to determine why Congress had not been informed about the covert program. Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Representative Silvestre Reyes
Silvestre Reyes
Silvestre "Silver" Reyes is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1997, and the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the primary Committee in the U.S...

 announced that he is considering an investigation into alleged CIA violations of the National Security Act
National Security Act of 1947
The National Security Act of 1947 was signed by United States President Harry S. Truman on July 26, 1947, and realigned and reorganized the U.S. Armed Forces, foreign policy, and Intelligence Community apparatus in the aftermath of World War II...

, which requires with limited exception that Congress be informed of covert activities. Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Chairwoman Schakowsky indicated that she would forward a request for congressional investigation to HPSCI Chairman Silvestre Reyes.
As mandated by Title 50 of the United States Code
Title 50 of the United States Code
Title 50 of the United States Code outlines the role of War and National Defense in the United States Code.-External links:*, via United States Government Printing Office*, via Cornell University* Appendix to Title 50, via Cornell University...

 Chapter 15, Subchapter III, when it becomes necessary to limit access to covert operations findings that could affect vital interests of the US, as soon as possible the President must report at a minimum to the Gang of Eight
Gang of Eight
The Gang of Eight is a common colloquial term for a set of eight leaders within the United States Congress. Specifically, the Gang of Eight includes the leaders of each of the two parties from both the Senate and House of Representatives, and the chairs and ranking minority members of both the...

 (the leaders of each of the two parties from both the Senate and House of Representatives, and the chairs and ranking members of both the Senate Committee and House Committee for intelligence). The House is expected to support the 2010 Intelligence Authorization Bill including a provision that would require the President to inform more than 40 members of Congress about covert operations. The Obama administration threatened to veto the final version of a bill that included such a provision. On July 16, 2008 the fiscal 2009 Intelligence Authorization Bill was approved by House majority containing stipulations that 75% of money sought for covert actions would be held until all members of the House Intelligence panel were briefed on sensitive covert actions. Under the George W. Bush administration, senior advisers to the President issued a statement indicating that if a bill containing this provision reached the President, they would recommend that he veto the bill.

The program was rumored vis-a-vis leaks made by anonymous government officials on July 23, to be an assassinations program, but this remains unconfirmed. "The whole committee was stunned....I think this is as serious as it gets," stated Anna Eshoo
Anna Eshoo
Anna Georges Eshoo is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1993. She is a member of the Democratic Party. The district, which includes part of Silicon Valley, includes the cities of Redwood City, Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Palo Alto...

, Chairman, Subcommittee on Intelligence Community Management, U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).

Allegations by Director Panetta indicate that details of a secret counterterrorism program were withheld from Congress under orders from former US Vice President Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney
Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney served as the 46th Vice President of the United States , under George W. Bush....

. This prompted Senator Feinstein and Senator Patrick Leahy
Patrick Leahy
Patrick Joseph Leahy is the senior United States Senator from Vermont and member of the Democratic Party. He is the first and only elected Democratic United States Senator in Vermont's history. He is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Leahy is the second most senior U.S. Senator,...

, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to insist that no one should go outside the law. "The agency hasn't discussed publicly the nature of the effort, which remains classified," said agency spokesman Paul Gimigliano.

The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....

 reported, citing former intelligence officials familiar with the matter, that the program was an attempt to carry out a 2001 presidential authorization to capture or kill al Qaeda operatives.

Intelligence Committee investigation


On July 17, 2009, the House Intelligence Committee said it was launching a formal investigation into the secret program. Representative Silvestre Reyes announced the probe will look into "whether there was any past decision or direction to withhold information from the committee".
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky
Jan Schakowsky
Janice D. "Jan" Schakowsky is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1999. She is a member of the Democratic Party.The district includes many of Chicago's northern suburbs, including Evanston, Skokie, Wilmette, Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Rosemont...

 (D, IL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, who called for the investigation, stated that the investigation was intended to address CIA failures to inform Congress fully or accurately about four issues: C.I.A. involvement in the downing of a missionary plane mistaken for a narcotics flight in Peru in 2001, and two "matters that remain classified", as well as the rumored-assassinations question. In addition, the inquiry is likely to look at the Bush administration's program of eavesdropping without warrants and its detention and interrogation program. U.S. Intelligence Chief Dennis Blair testified before the House Intelligence Committee on February 3, 2010 that the U.S. intelligence community is prepared to kill U.S. citizens if they threaten other Americans or the United States. The American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

 has said this policy is "particularly troubling" because U.S. citizens "retain their constitutional right to due process even when abroad." The ACLU also "expressed serious concern about the lack of public information about the policy and the potential for abuse of unchecked executive power."

Disbandment


Threats to disband the agency date back to the Kennedy administration, and following the Ames scandal Congress intensified the calls. As recently as 2004, senators have repeated the need to end the agency (although this was for purposes of reorganization, rather than of eliminating or diminishing the agency).

See also


  • CIA in fiction
  • National Intelligence Board
    National Intelligence Board
    The National Intelligence Board is a body of senior U.S. intelligence community leaders led by the Director of National Intelligence...

  • Reagan Doctrine
    Reagan Doctrine
    The Reagan Doctrine was a strategy orchestrated and implemented by the United States under the Reagan Administration to oppose the global influence of the Soviet Union during the final years of the Cold War...

  • The World Factbook
    The World Factbook
    The World Factbook is a reference resource produced by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States with almanac-style information about the countries of the world. The official paper copy version is available from the National Technical Information Service and the Government Printing Office...

    , published by the CIA
  • Canadian Security Intelligence Service
    Canadian Security Intelligence Service
    The Canadian Security Intelligence Service is Canada's national intelligence service. It is responsible for collecting, analyzing, reporting and disseminating intelligence on threats to Canada's national security, and conducting operations, covert and overt, within Canada and abroad.Its...

  • Covert United States foreign regime change actions

External links




Other links