|Established:||September 18, 1947|
|Director:||Gen. Michael V. Hayden, USAF|
|Deputy Director:||Stephen R. Kappes|
|Associate Deputy Director:||Michael J. Morrell|
|Associate Director for Military Support:||MGen. John T. Brennan, USAF|
|Director of the NCS:||Jose A. Rodriguez, Jr.|
|Director of Intelligence:||John A. Kringen|
|Director of S&T:||Stephanie L. O'Sullivan|
|Director of Support:||Stephanie Danes Smith|
|Director of the CSI:||Paul A. Johnson|
|Director of Public Affairs:||Mark Mansfield|
|Inspector General:||John L. Helgerson|
|General Counsel:||John A. Rizzo (Acting)|
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an intelligence agency of the United States Government. Its primary function is obtaining and analyzing information about foreign governments, corporations, and persons, and reporting such information to the branches of the Government. Its secondary function is propaganda or public relations, overt and covert information dissemination, both true and false, and influencing others to decide in favor of the United States Government. The third function of the CIA is as the hidden hand of the U.S. Government, by engaging in covert operations at the direction of the President. This last function has caused most controversy for the CIA, raising questions about the legality, morality, effectiveness, and intelligence of such operations.
Its headquarters are in the community of Langley in the McLean CDP of Fairfax County, Virginia, a few miles up the Potomac River from downtown Washington, D.C. The CIA is part of the American Intelligence Community, led by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The role and functions of the CIA are roughly equivalent to those of the United Kingdom's MI6 and Israel's Mossad.
The Central Intelligence Agency was created in 1947 with the National Security Act of 1947 signed by President Harry S. Truman, and is the descendant of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) of World War II, which was dissolved in October 1945. In 1944, William J. Donovan (a.k.a. Wild Bill Donovan), the OSS's creator, proposed to President Franklin D. Roosevelt creating a new espionage 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."
Despite strong opposition from the military establishment, the State Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), President Truman established the Central Intelligence Group in January 1946. Later, under the National Security Act of 1947 (effective September 18, 1947), the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency were established. Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter was appointed as the first Director of Central Intelligence.
In the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency, many disposed Nazi operational agents were recruited as U.S. secret agents; they were induced financially and promised exemption from criminal prosecution and trial for war crimes committed during World War II, their recruitment was under aegis of Operation Paperclip.
The now declassified National Security Council Directive on Office of Special Projects, June 18, 1948 (NSC 10/2) provided the operating instructions for the CIA:
|Plan and conduct covert operations which are conducted or sponsored by this government 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 unauthorised persons and that if uncovered the US Government can plausibly disclaim any responsibility for them. Covert action shall include any covert activities related to: propaganda; economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition, and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrillas and refugee liberation groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world.|
In 1949, the Central Intelligence Agency Act (a.k.a. Public Law 110) was passed, permitting the agency's using confidential, fiscal, and administrative procedures, and exempting it from most of the usual limitations on the use of federal funds. The act 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 and economic support. By 1949, the West German intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst, under Reinhard Gehlen, was under the CIA's control.
In 1950, the CIA organized the Pacific Corporation, the first of many CIA private enterprises. Director Hillenkoetter approved Project BLUEBIRD, the CIA's first structured, behavioral control program. In 1951, the Columbia Broadcasting System began co-operating with the CIA; President Truman created the Office of Current Intelligence; Project BLUEBIRD was renamed Project ARTICHOKE.
During the first years of its existence, other branches of government did not exercise much control over the Central Intelligence Agency; justified by the desire to match and defeat KGB actions throughout the globe, a task many believed could be accomplished only through an approach as equally ungentlemanly as the KGB's, consequently, few in government closely inquired about the CIA's activity. The rapid expansion of the CIA, and a developed sense of independence under the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Allen Dulles added to this trend.
Things came to a head in the early 1970s, around the time of the Watergate political burglary affair. A dominant feature of political life during that period were the attempts of Congress to assert oversight of U.S. Presidency, the executive branch of the U.S. Government. Revelations about past CIA activities, such as assassinations and attempted assassinations of foreign leaders, illegal domestic spying on U.S. citizens, provided the opportunities to execute Congressional oversight of U.S. intelligence operations. Hastening the Central Intelligence Agency's fall from grace were ex-CIA agents burglarising the Watergate headquarters of the Democratic Party, and President Nixon's subsequent using the CIA to stop the FBI's investigation of the Watergate burglary. In the famous "smoking gun" audio tape provoking President Nixon's resignation, Nixon ordered his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, to tell the CIA that further investigation of Watergate would "open the whole can of worms" about the Bay Of Pigs of Cuba, and, therefore, that the CIA should tell the FBI to cease investigating the Watergate burglary, because of reasons of "national security".
DCI James R. Schlesinger had commissioned reports on past CIA crimes; the reports, known as "The Family Jewels", were kept close to the Agency's chest until Seymour Hersh broke the news in an article, in the New York Times, that the CIA had assassinated foreign leaders, and had kept files on some seven thousand American citizens involved in the peace movement (Operation CHAOS). Congress investigated the CIA in the Senate via the Church committee, named after its chairman, Frank Church (D-Idaho), and in the House of Representatives via the Pike committee, named after its chairman Otis Pike (D-N.Y.); and these investigations provoked further politically embarrassing disclosures. Around Christmas of 1974–5, Congress struck another blow for governmental oversight when they blocked covert military intervention in the civil war in Angola.
Subsequently, the CIA was prohibited from assassinating foreign leaders. Further, the prohibition against domestic spying — always prohibited in the CIA's charter — was again enforced, with the FBI solely responsible for investigating U.S. citizens. Repercussions from the Iran-Contra arms smuggling scandal included the creation of the Intelligence Authorization Act in 1991. It defined covert operations as secret missions in geopolitical areas where the U.S. 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".
In 1988, President George H. W. Bush became the first former spy chief of the CIA to be elected President of the United States.
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 Central Intelligence Agency. The DCI's title now is "Director of the Central Intelligence Agency" (DCIA), serving as head of the CIA.
Currently, the Central Intelligence Agency reports to U.S. Congressional committees, but also answers directly to the President. The National Security Advisor is a permanent member of the cabinet, responsible for briefing the President with pertinent information collected by all U.S. intelligence agencies, including the National Security Agency, the Drug Enforcement Agency, etcetera; all fifteen Intelligence Community agencies are under the authority of the Director of National Intelligence.
Many of the post-Watergate restrictions upon the Central Intelligence Agency were lifted after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the U.S. military headquarters, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C. Some critics charge this violates the requirement in the U.S. Constitution that the federal budget be openly published. However, 52 years earlier, in 1949, Congress and President Harry Truman had approved arrangements that CIA and national intelligence funding could be hidden in the U.S federal budget.
The symbol of the CIA consists of a left-facing bald eagle head atop a shield emblazoned with a compass star (or compass rose). The compass star has sixteen points representing the CIA's world-wide search for intelligence outside the United States, then reported to the Langley, Virginia, headquarters for analysis, reporting, and re-distribution to policy makers. The compass rests upon a shield, symbolic of defence.
The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (DCIA) manages the operations, personnel and budget of the Central Intelligence Agency. The Director is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (DDCIA) assists the Director in his duties as head of the CIA and exercises the powers of the Director when the Director’s position is vacant or in the Director’s absence or disability.
The Associate Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (ADD), a position created July 5, 2006, was delegated all authorities and responsibilities vested previously in the post of Executive Director. The post of Executive Director, which was responsible for managing the CIA on a day-to-day basis, was simultaneously abolished. 
The Associate Director for Military Support (AD/MS) is the DCIA's principal advisor and representative on military issues. The AD/MS coordinates Intelligence Community efforts to provide Joint Force commanders with timely, accurate intelligence. The AD/MS also supports Department of Defense officials who oversee military intelligence training and the acquisition of intelligence systems and technology. A senior general officer, the AD/MS ensures coordination of Intelligence Community policies, plans and requirements relating to support to military forces in the intelligence budget.
The Directorate of Intelligence, the analytical branch of the CIA, is responsible for the production and dissemination of all-source intelligence analysis on key foreign issues.
The National Clandestine Service, a semi-independent service which was formerly the Directorate of Operations, is responsible for the clandestine collection of foreign intelligence and covert action.
The Directorate of Science & Technology creates and applies innovative technology in support of the intelligence collection mission.
The Directorate of Support provides the mission critical elements of the Agency's support foundation: people, security, information, property, and financial operations. Most of this Directorate is sub-structured into smaller offices based on role and purpose, such as the CIA Office of Security.
The Center for the Study of Intelligence maintains the Agency's historical materials and promotes the study of intelligence as a legitimate and serious discipline.
The Office of the General Counsel advises the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency 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. OIG also seeks to prevent and detect fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement. The Inspector General is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The Inspector General, whose activities are independent of those of any other component in the Agency, reports directly to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. OIG conducts inspections, investigations, and audits at Headquarters and in the field, and oversees the Agency-wide grievance-handling system. The OIG provides a semiannual report to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency which the Director is required by law to submit to the Intelligence Committees of Congress within 30 days.
The Office of Public Affairs advises the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency on all media, public policy, and employee communications issues relating to his role as CIA director and is the CIA’s principal communications focal point for the media, the general public and Agency employees.
The CIA acts as the primary American provider of central intelligence estimates. It is believed to make use of the surveillance satellites of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the signal interception capabilities of the National Security Agency (NSA), including the ECHELON system, the surveillance aircraft of the various branches of the U.S. armed forces and the analysts of the State Department and Department of Energy. At one point, the CIA even operated its own fleet of U-2 and SR-71 surveillance aircraft. The agency has also operated alongside regular military forces, and also employs a group of clandestine officers with paramilitary skills in its Special Activities Division. Johnny Micheal "Mike" Spann, a CIA officer killed in November 2001 during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, was one such individual. The CIA also has strong links with other foreign intelligence agencies such as the UK's MI6, Canada's CSIS and Australia's ASIS.
The head of the CIA is given the title of the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (DCIA).
The Central Intelligence Agency was created in 1947 with the signing of the National Security Act by President Harry S. Truman. The act also created a Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) to serve as head of the United States intelligence community; act as the principal adviser to the President for intelligence matters related to the national security; and serve as head of the Central Intelligence Agency. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 amended the National Security Act to provide for a Director of National Intelligence who would assume some of the roles formerly fulfilled by the DCI, with a separate Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
In the 1950's and 60's, the CIA ran a mind-control research program code-named Project MKULTRA in the United States and Canada. The project in Montreal included developing techniques used by Nazi scientists to wipe out the existing personalities of the victims .
In its earliest years the CIA, and its predecessor, the OSS, attempted to rollback communism in eastern Europe by supporting local, anti-Communist political and para-military groups; none of the attempts were particularly successful. Attempts at instigating right-wing counter-revolutions in the Ukraine and Belarus, by infiltrating anti-Communist spies and saboteurs failed. In Poland, the CIA spent years sending money and equipment to an anti-Communist organisation invented and run by Polish intelligence.
Yet, it was successful in limiting native Communist influence in France and Italy, notably in the 1948 Italian election. After WWII, the CIA set up the right-wing Gladio network, a secret government network of organizations, in Italy and other Western European countries. Throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, independent states Gladio operatives, were involved in a series of "false flag" fascist terrorist actions in Italy that were blamed on the "Red Brigades" and other Left-wing political groups in an attempt to politically discredit the Italian Left wing — called the strategy of tension).
In the 1950s, with Europe stabilizing along the Iron Curtain, the CIA then tried limiting the spread of Soviet influence elsewhere around the world, especially in the poor countries of the Third World. Encouraged by DCI Allen Dulles, clandestine operations quickly dominated the organisation's actions. Initially, secret intervention proved very successful: in 1953, they successfully overthrew the Mossadegh Government of Iran, ostensibly removing the perceived anti-Western influence of the strong Iranian Communist Party. In 1954, they executed the anti-democratic coup d'état against the elected government of Guatemala, however, the political and consequent social instability created in Guatemala resulted in a very long civil war and its consequent, destructive impact upon the society, the economy, and the culture of Guatemala.
With relatively little funding, the CIA overthrew these governments, replacing them with right-wing, pro-American military regimes. According to John Stockwell, formerly a high-level CIA operative, no fewer than six million people were killed in America's Secret Wars in many Third World countries.
In 1958, a CIA-backed coup d'état was launched against Indonesia's President Sukarno, despite other U.S. government elements backing Sukarno. The overthrow failed when CIA agent Allen Lawrence Pope, was captured after his aeroplane was shot down by the Indonesian Air Force and the anti-aircraft gun fire of an Indonesian Navy ship; he was found possessing his CIA agent identification card. 
In 1965 Sukarno was overthrown in a coup d'état led by Suharto; much political violence characterised Indonesia under Suharto's rule. In a 1968 report, the CIA estimated there had been 250,000 people killed, and called the carnage "one of the worst mass murders of the twentieth century."
The CIA secretly supplied Suharto's troops with a state-of-the-art field communications network, delivered from the Philippine Islands at night by the US Air Force, its frequencies were known only to the CIA and the National Security Agency.
The limitations of large-scale covert action became apparent during the CIA-organized Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba in 1961. The failed para-military invasion embarrassed the CIA and the United States world-wide, as Cuban leader Fidel Castro used the routed invasion to consolidate his power and strengthen Cuba's ties with the Soviet Union. Later, the CIA several times tried and failed to assassinate Fidel Castro.
CIA operations became less visible after the Bay of Pigs, and shifted to being closely linked to aiding the U.S. military operation in Vietnam. Between 1962 and 1975, the CIA organized a Laotian group known as the Secret Army and ran a fleet of aircraft known as Air America to take part in the Secret War in Laos, part of the Vietnam War.
The CIA's Phoenix Program during the Vietnam War was described by a former official as a "a sterile depersonalized murder program. Equal to Nazi atrocities, the horrors of "Phoenix" must be studied to be believed."
After the election of Socialist President Salvador Allende in 1970, the CIA covertly worked to prevent president-elect Allende from assuming office by bribing Chilean government officials; they failed. Afterwards, fascist anti-Allende politicians, military men and the CIA planned a coup d' état that eventually was aborted.
Three years later, President Allende was overthrown in a military coup d' état led by Army General Augusto Pinochet; no allegation has been proved that it was sponsored by the CIA on the orders of U.S. President R. M. Nixon. The Church Committee, investigating the U.S.'s involvement in the internal affairs of Chile during that time stated: "There is no hard evidence of direct U.S. assistance to the coup, despite frequent allegations of such aid. In 2000 the CIA also denied that it assisted the coup.
The Church Report also revealed the CIA's prominent political, economic, and para-military role in Chile after the 1973 coup d' état: The goal of covert action, immediately following the coup, was to assist the Junta in gaining a more positive image, both at home and abroad, and to maintain access to the command levels of the Chilean government. Another goal, achieved in part through work done at the opposition research organization before the coup, was to help the new government organize and implement new policies. Project files record that CIA collaborators were involved in preparing an initial overall economic plan which has served as the basis for the Junta's most important economic decisions.
Often cited as one of the American intelligence community's biggest mistakes was the Carter administration initiated training, arming, supplying and supporting of the Mujahedeen (Islamist fighters) in Afghanistan as American proxy soldiers against the Marxist regime and later the Soviet intervention/invasion. Part of the Mujahedeen trained by the CIA later became the core cadre of Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda Islamist organisation. Zbigniew Brzezinski, the National Security Advisor under President Carter, has
The CIA also supported the Ba'ath Party's 1968 coup d' état against the Government of Rahman Arif, with Sadam Husein eventually assuming power.
According to former U.S. intelligence officials, the CIA orchestrated a bomb-and-sabotage campaign against civilian and government targets in Baghdad between 1992 and 1995. The civilian targets included, at least, one school bus, killing schoolchildren; a cinema, killing many people. The campaign was directed by CIA-agent Dr. Iyad Allawi, the man later installed as prime minister by the U.S.-led coalition after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, according to at least one official.
In 2002 an anonymous source, quoted in the Washington Post, says the CIA was authorized to execute a covert operation, if necessary with help of the Special Forces, that could serve as a preparation for a full military attack against Iraq.
U.S. intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction have been focus of intense scrutiny in the U.S. In 2004, the continuing armed resistance against the U.S. military occupation of Iraq, and the widely-perceived need for a systematic review of the respective roles of the CIA, the FBI, and the Defense Intelligence Agency are prominent themes. On July 9, 2004, the Senate Report of Pre-war Intelligence on Iraq of the Senate Intelligence Committee reported that the CIA exaggerated the danger presented by weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, largely unsupported by the available intelligence.
The CIA's activities are controversial, both in the United States and abroad, in countries with which the U.S. has a nominal friendship, where the agency has operated (or allegedly operated). Particularly during the Cold War, the CIA supported many dictators, including General Augusto Pinochet of Chile; dictators in Central America, the Shah of Iran, and the religious despots in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Kuwait and Indonesia, who have been friendly to perceived U.S. geopolitical interests (anti-Communism, natural resource access for petroleum companies and multinational corporations, and implementing neo-liberal economics), often-times against elected governments.
Later, the CIA facilitated the Reagan Doctrine, the illegal channelling of weapons and matériel to Jonas Savimbi's right-wing UNITA rebel movement in Angola (in addition to the Afghan Mujahedeen and the Nicaraguan Contras), in response to Cuban military support for the MPLA, converting, thus, an otherwise low-profile African civil war into one of the larger battlegrounds of the U.S.–U.S.S.R. Cold War.
Moreover, the CIA nominaly supported Pol Pot's nativist, communist rule in Cambodia when Vietnam attempted toppling the regime in 1979. Though Communist, Pol Pot's regime was anti-Soviet and anti-Vietnamese; being aided by China during the Sino-Soviet split (at the time, there existed a Sino–American rapprochement), thus gaining the CIA's approval.
On November 5, 2002, newspapers reported that Al-Qaeda operatives in a car travelling through Yemen had been killed by a missile launched from a CIA-controlled Predator drone (a medium-altitude, remote-controlled aircraft). On May 15, 2005, it was reported that another of these drones had been used to assassinate Al-Qaeda figure Haitham al-Yemeni inside Pakistan.
In June 2005, two events occurred that may shape future CIA operations.
Arrest warrants for 22 CIA agents were issued within the European Union (Schengen Agreement members). The agents are alleged to have taken a suspected Egyptian terrorist, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, from Milan on 17 February 2003 for extraordinary rendition to Egypt, where according to relatives of the cleric, he was tortured. The removal of the terrorist was not unusual except that the Italian government has denied having approved the rendition. Similar operations of this sort have occurred worldwide since 9/11, the vast majority with at least tacit approval by the national government. Additionally, it allegedly disrupted Italian attempts to penetrate the terrorist's Al Qaeda network. The New York Times reported soon after that it is highly unlikely that the CIA agents involved would be extradited, despite the US-Italy bilateral treaty regarding extraditions for crimes that carry a penalty of more than a year in prison. 
Soon after, President Bush appointed the CIA to be in charge of all human intelligence and manned spying operations. This was the apparent culmination of a years old turf war regarding influence, philosophy and budget between the Defense Intelligence Agency of The Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency. The Pentagon, through the DIA, wanted to take control of the CIA's paramilitary operations and many of its human assets. The CIA, which has for years held that human intelligence is the core of the agency, successfully argued that the CIA's decades long experience with human resources and civilian oversight made it the ideal choice. Thus, the CIA was given charge of all US human intelligence, but as a compromise, the Pentagon was authorized to include increased paramilitary capabilities in future budget requests.
Despite reforms which have led back to what the CIA considers its traditional principal capacities, the CIA Director position has lost influence in the White House. For years, the Director of the CIA met regularly with the President to issue daily reports on ongoing operations. After the creation of the post of the National Intelligence Director, currently occupied by John Negroponte, that practice has been discontinued in favor of the National Intelligence Director, with oversight of all intelligence, including DIA operations outside of CIA jurisdiction, giving the report. Former CIA Director Porter Goss, himself a former CIA officer, denies this has had a diminishing effect on morale, in favor of promoting his singular mission to reform the CIA into the lean and agile counter-terrorism focused force he believes it should be.
On December 6, 2005, German Khalid El-Masri filed a lawsuit against former CIA Director George Tenet, claiming that he was transported from Macedonia to a prison in Afghanistan and held captive there by the CIA for 5 months on a case of mistaken identity. Two months after his true identity had been found out, he had been taken to Albania and released without funds or an official excuse.
A story by reporter Dana Priest published in The Washington Post of November 2, 2005, reported: "The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important alleged al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement." The reporting of the secret prisons was heavily criticized by members and former members of the Bush Administration. However, Dana Priest states no one in the administration requested that the Washington Post not print the story. Rather they asked they not publish the names of the countries in which the prisons are located. "The Post has not identified the East European countries involved in the secret program at the request of senior U.S. officials who argued that the disclosure could disrupt counter-terrorism efforts". While it was maintained that these prisons did not exist, recently the Bush administration has come forward and admitted their existence.
The US have been funnelling $100,000 a month to warlords fighting Islamist militia in Somalia. It is believed to involve both the CIA and the US military. The US has stated that it will prevent any country from becoming a free haven for terrorists but refuse to comment on Somalia. Although there has not been proven any link between Somalia and al Qaeda, there have been reports of al Qaeda members hiding in the war-torn country. 
In 1996, the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence issued a congressional report estimating that the clandestine service part of the intelligence community "easily" breaks "extremely serious laws" in countries around the world, 100,000 times every year.
The Intelligence Community in the 21st Century, Staff Study, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress:
|Most of the operations of the CS [Clandestine Service] are, by all accounts, the most tricky, politically sensitive, and troublesome of those in the IC [Intelligence Community] and frequently require the DCI's [Director's of Central Intelligence] close personal attention. The [Clandestine Service] is the only part of the [Intelligence Community], indeed of the government, where hundreds of employees on a daily basis are directed to break extremely serious laws in countries around the world in the face of frequently sophisticated efforts by foreign governments to catch them. A safe estimate is that several hundred times every day (easily 100,000 times a year) DO [Directorate of Operations] officers engage in highly illegal activities (according to foreign law) that not only risk political embarrassment to the U.S. but also endanger the freedom if not lives of the participating foreign nationals and, more than occasionally, of the clandestine officer himself. In other words, a typical 28 year old, GS-11 case officer has numerous opportunities every week, by poor tradecraft or inattention, to embarrass his country and President and to get agents imprisoned or executed. Considering these facts and recent history, which has shown that the DCI, whether he wants to or not, is held accountable for overseeing the CS, the DCI must work closely with the Director of the CS and hold him fully and directly responsible to him.|
The agency has also been criticized for ineffectiveness as an intelligence gathering agency. These criticisms included allowing a double agent, Aldrich Ames, to gain high position within the organization, and for focusing on finding informants with information of dubious value rather than on processing the vast amount of open source intelligence. In addition, the CIA has come under particular criticism for failing to predict the collapse of the Soviet Union and India's nuclear tests or to forestall the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Proponents of the CIA respond by stating that only the failures become known to the public, whereas the successes usually cannot be known until decades have passed because release of successful operations would reveal operational methods to foreign intelligence, which could affect future and ongoing missions. Some successes for the CIA include the U-2 and SR-71 programs, anti-Soviet operations in Afghanistan in the mid-1980s (though with the serious downsides noted earlier).
Allegations have repeatedly been made that the CIA has been involved in drug trafficking to fund illegal operations. For example, In 1996, journalist Gary Webb wrote a series of exposés for the San Jose Mercury News, entitled "Dark Alliance", in which he alleged the use of CIA aircraft, which had ferried arms to the Contras, to ship cocaine to the United States during the return flights.
Webb also alleged that Central American narcotics traffickers could import cocaine to U.S. cities in the 1980s without the interference of normal law enforcement agencies. He claimed that this led, in part, to the crack cocaine epidemic, especially in poor neighborhoods of Los Angeles, and that the CIA intervened to prevent the prosecution of drug dealers who were helping to fund the Contras. Faced with Congressional and other media criticism (especially the Los Angeles Times), the San Jose Mercury News retracted Webb's conclusions and Webb was prevented from conducting any more investigative reporting. Webb was transferred to cover non-controversial suburban stories and gave up journalism.
After the Gary Webb report in the Mercury News, the CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz was assigned to investigate these allegations. In 1998 the new CIA director, George Tenet declared that he was releasing the report. 
The report and Hitz's testimony showed that the "CIA did not 'expeditiously' cut off relations with alleged drug traffickers" and "the CIA was aware of allegations that 'dozens of people and a number of companies connected in some fashion to the contra program' were involved in drug trafficking"  
Hitz also said that under an agreement in 1982 between Ronald Reagan's Attorney General William French Smith and the CIA, agency officers were not required to report allegations of drug trafficking involving non-employees, which was defined as meaning paid and non-paid "assets [meaning agents], pilots who ferried supplies to the contras, as well as contra officials and others. 
This agreement, which had not previously been revealed, came at a time when there were allegations that the CIA was using drug dealers in its controversial covert operation to bring down the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Only after Congressional funds were restored in 1986 was the agreement modified to require the CIA to stop paying agents whom it believed were involved in the drug trade.
In 1998 Representative Maxine Waters testified to Congress:
The Kerry Committee report found that the U.S. State Department had paid drug traffickers. Some of these payments were after the traffickers had been indicted by federal law enforcement agencies on drug charges or while traffickers were under active investigation by these same agencies. The report declared, "It is clear that individuals who provided support for the Contras were involved in drug trafficking...and elements of the Contras themselves knowingly received financial and material assistance from drug traffickers." 
It has also been alleged that the CIA was involved in the opium/heroin trade in Asia, which was the focus of Alfred W. McCoy's book, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, an earlier edition of which had already been subjected to an attempted CIA suppression.   The CIA's operation, Air America, has also been accused of transporting drugs.
The United States government has conspired with organized crime figures to assassinate foreign heads of state. In August 1960, Colonel Sheffield Edwards, director of the CIA's Office of Security, proposed the assassination of Cuban head of state Fidel Castro by mafia assassins. Between August 1960, and April 1961, the CIA with the help of the Mafia pursued a series of plots to poison or shoot Castro.
In 1979, the House Select Committee on Assassinations(HSCA) believed there was a link between Lee Oswald and certain persons who purportedly worked in the CIA's anti-Castro projects in New Orleans, Louisiana, and also were linked to the Mafia.
The CIA has been linked to several assassination attempts on foreign leaders, including former leader of Panama Omar Torrijos  and the President of Cuba, Fidel Castro.
On January 13, 2006, the CIA launched an airstrike on Damadola, a Pakistani village near the Afghan border, where they believed Ayman al-Zawahiri was located. The airstrike killed a number of civilians but al-Zawahiri apparently was not among them. The Pakistani government issued a strong protest against the US attack, considered a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty . However, several legal experts argue that this cannot be considered an assassination attempt as al-Zawahiri is named as terrorist and an enemy combatant by the United States, and therefore this targeted killing is not covered under Executive Order 12333, which banned assassinations.   
In 1984, a CIA manual for training the Nicaraguan contras in psychological operations was discovered, entitled "Psychological Operations in Guerrilla War".
The manual recommended “selective use of violence for propagandistic effects” and to “neutralize” (i.e., kill) government officials. Nicaraguan Contras were taught to lead:
|...demonstrators into clashes with the authorities, to provoke riots or shootings, which lead to the killing of one or more persons, who will be seen as the martyrs; this situation should be taken advantage of immediately against the Government to create even bigger conflicts.|
The manual also recommended:
|...selective use of armed force for PSYOP [psychological operations] effect.... Carefully selected, planned targets — judges, police officials, tax collectors, etc. — may be removed for PSYOP effect in a UWOA [unconventional warfare operations area], but extensive precautions must insure that the people “concur” in such an act by thorough explanatory canvassing among the affected populace before and after conduct of the mission.|
Main Article: Torture manuals
On January 24, 1997, two new manuals were declassified in response to a FOIA request filed by the Baltimore Sun in 1994. The first manual, "KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation," dated July 1963, is the source of much of the material in the second manual. The second manual, "Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual - 1983," was used in at least seven U.S. training courses conducted in Latin American countries, including Honduras, between 1982 and 1987.
Both manuals deal exclusively with interrogation.
The manuals advise that coercive techniques can backfire and that the threat of pain is often more effective than pain itself. The manuals describe coercive techniques to be used "to induce psychological regression in the subject by bringing a superior outside force to bear on his will to resist." These techniques include prolonged constraint, prolonged exertion, extremes of heat, cold, or moisture, deprivation of food or sleep, disrupting routines, solitary confinement, threats of pain, deprivation of sensory stimuli, hypnosis, and use of drugs or placebos.  
In 1951 the US Air Force revitalized Project Grudge, a program investigating UFOs between 1948-1949. Captain Edward J. Ruppelt ran the program and recommended that the Battelle Memorial Institute, a Columbus, Ohio think tank, do a statistical analysis of existing UFO reports. The think tank released its report in late 1953. Before the final Battelle report was ready however, the CIA became interested in the UFO issue as a national security (not scientific issue) and arranged to have a secret official committee, the Robertson Panel, look into the compiled UFO data.
The Robertson Panel began in January 1953, and met for a total of twelve hours, studying twenty-three alleged UFO sighting cases. The CIA concluded that UFOs presented little or no interesting scientific data and were only a threat to the United States if sighting reports clogged communications facilities (as had happened in the Washington DC sighting in July 1952) and created a climate of fear among the population which the enemy could exploit before launching an attack. The Robertson Panel therefore suggested, first, an active campaign of public education, perhaps using TV and radio celebrities and the services of Walt Disney Productions. Second the Robertson Panel suggested an active debunking (ridiculing) of sightings in order to de-mystify UFOs in the public mind. Implicit in this education campaign was increased air force secrecy about sighting reports so as not to support public interest. The committee also recommended covert surveillance of civilian UFO groups, in order to monitor those who would promote public interest in UFOs.
The recommendations of the Robertson Panel were implemented by a series of special military regulations. Joint-Army-Navy-Air Force Publication 147 (JANAP 146) of December 1953 made reprinting of any UFO sighting to the public a crime under the Espionage Act, with fines of up to ten thousand dollars and imprisonment ranging from one to ten years. This act was considered binding on all who knew of the act's existence, including commercial airline pilots. A 1954 revision of Air Force Regulation 200-2 (AFR 200-2) made all sighting reports submitted to the air force classified material and prohibited the release of any information about UFO sightings unless the sighting was able to be positively identified. In February 1958 a revision of AFR 200-2 allowed the military to give the FBI the names of people who were "illegally or deceptively bringing the subject [of UFOs] to public attention". Because of the Robertson Panel the air force's Project Blue Book's procedures of investigating UFOs also changed, attempting to find a quick explanation and then file them away. Project Blue Book was a successor of Project Grudge.
In 1956 retired marine Major Donald Keyhoe founded the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), a UFO investigations organization. By 1969 Keyhoe turned his focus away from the military and focused on the CIA as the source of the UFO cover up. NICAP's board, headed by Colonel Jospeph Bryan III, forced Keyhoe to retire as NICAP chief. Bryan was actually a former covert CIA agent who had served the agency as founder and head of its psychological warfare division. Under Bryan's leadership, the NICAP disbanded its local and state affiliate groups, and by 1973 it had been completely closed. 
After the Freedom of Information Act was made law in 1974, Ufologists involved in making FOIA requests reported that more than nine hundred pages of information released for the CIA indicated that the organization was collecting and analyzing sighting reports from as early as 1949. In 1997 the CIA came forward to admit its historical interest in UFOs..
Defectors such as former agent Philip Agee, who later worked with the Soviet KGB and the Cuban intelligence service, have argued that such CIA covert action is extraordinarily widespread, extending to propaganda campaigns within countries allied to the United States.
In a briefing held September 15, 2001, George Tenet presented the Worldwide Attack Matrix: A "top-secret" document describing covert CIA anti-terror operations in eighty countries in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The actions, underway or being recommended, would range from "routine propaganda to lethal covert action in preparation for military attacks." The plans, if carried out, "would give the CIA the broadest and most lethal authority in its history." 
Other Government Agency, or OGA, is the standard military and governmental euphemism for the CIA. It is used when the CIA's presence is an open secret, but cannot be officially confirmed.  Other colloquial names for the CIA are The Agency and The Company.
A pejorative term for people who work for the CIA or other intelligence agencies is often "spook." Another occasionally used phrase to refer to CIA agents, "Virginia farmboys" is incorrectly believed to be in reference to the Langley, VA headquarters. In fact, the term comes from the CIA's training facility, Camp Peary, also known as "The Farm."
One of the CIA's most well-known publications, The World Factbook, is in the public domain and is indeed made freely available without copyright restrictions because it is a work of the United States federal government.
The CIA publishes an in-house professional journal known as Studies in Intelligence. Unclassified articles are made available on a limited basis through Internet and other publishing mechanisms. A recent compilation of unclassified and declassified articles from the Journal was made available through the Sherman Kent School for Intelligence Analysis. A further annotated collection of articles was published through Yale University Press under the title Inside CIA's Private World.