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Central Intelligence Agency
Seal of the Central Intelligence Agency with wordmark
Seal of the Central Intelligence Agency with wordmark
Flag of the United States Central Intelligence Agency
Flag of the Central Intelligence Agency
Aerial view of the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters, Langley, Virginia - Corrected and Cropped
CIA headquarters, Langley, Virginia
Agency overview
Formed September 18, 1947; ago (1947-09-18)
Preceding agency
Type Independent (component of the Intelligence Community)
Headquarters George Bush Center for Intelligence
Langley, Virginia, U.S.
38°57′07″N 77°08′46″W / 38.95194°N 77.14611°W / 38.95194; -77.14611Coordinates: 38°57′07″N 77°08′46″W / 38.95194°N 77.14611°W / 38.95194; -77.14611
Motto "The Work of a Nation. The Center of Intelligence."
Unofficial motto: "And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)[2]
Employees 21,575 (estimate)[3]
Annual budget $15 billion (as of 2013)[3][4][5]
Agency executives
Website www.cia.gov

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA; /ˌs.ˈ/), known informally as the Agency[6] and historically as the Company,[7] is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States, officially tasked with gathering, processing, and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence (HUMINT) and performing covert actions. As a principal member of the United States Intelligence Community (IC), the CIA reports to the Director of National Intelligence and is primarily focused on providing intelligence for the President and Cabinet of the United States. President Harry S. Truman had created the Central Intelligence Group under the direction of a Director of Central Intelligence by presidential directive on January 22, 1946,[8] and this group was transformed into the Central Intelligence Agency by implementation of the National Security Act of 1947.

Unlike the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which is a domestic security service, Template:Failed verification span Template:Failed verification span It exerts foreign political influence through its tactical divisions, such as the Special Activities Center.[9] The CIA was instrumental in establishing intelligence services in several countries, such as Germany's BND. It has also provided support to many foreign political groups and governments, including planning, coordinating, training in torture, and technical support. It was involved in carrying out several regime changes, terrorist attacks, and planned assassinations of foreign leaders.[10][3]

Since 2004, the CIA is organized under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Despite having had some of its powers transferred to the DNI, the CIA has grown in size as a response to the September 11 attacks. In 2013, The Washington Post reported that in the fiscal year 2010, the CIA had the largest budget of all IC agencies, exceeding previous estimates.[3][11]

The CIA has increasingly expanded its role, including covert paramilitary operations.[3] One of its largest divisions, the Information Operations Center (IOC), has officially shifted focus from counter-terrorism to offensive cyber-operations.[12]

The agency has been the subject of many controversies, including human rights violations, domestic wiretapping and propaganda, and allegations of drug trafficking. It has also appeared in works of fiction, including books, films and video games.

Purpose[]

When the CIA was created, its purpose was to create a clearinghouse for foreign policy intelligence and analysis. Today, its primary purpose is to collect, analyze, evaluate, and disseminate foreign intelligence, and to carry out covert operations.

According to its fiscal 2013 budget, the CIA has five priorities:[3]

Organizational structure[]

John Brennan CIA official portrait

John Brennan, the current director of the Central Intelligence Agency

CIA ORG Structure

Chart showing the organization of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The CIA has an executive office and five major directorates:

  • The Directorate of Digital Innovation
  • The Directorate of Analysis
  • The Directorate of Operations
  • The Directorate of Support
  • The Directorate of Science and Technology

Executive Office[]

The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (D/CIA) is appointed by the President with Senate confirmation and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI); in practice, the CIA director interfaces with the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Congress, and the White House, while the deputy director (DD/CIA) is the internal executive of the CIA and the Chief Operating Officer (COO/CIA), known as executive director until 2017, leads the day-to-day work[13] as the third highest post of the CIA.[14] The deputy director is formally appointed by the director without Senate confirmation,[14][15] but as the president's opinion plays a great role in the decision,[15] the deputy director is generally considered a political position, making the chief operating officer the most senior non-political position for CIA career officers.[16]

The Executive Office also supports the U.S. military by providing it with information it gathers, receiving information from military intelligence organizations, and cooperates with field activities. The executive director is in charge of the day-to-day operation of the CIA. Each branch of the military service has its own Director.[17] The associate director of military affairs, a senior military officer, manages the relationship between the CIA and the Unified Combatant Commands, who produce and deliver to the CIA regional/operational intelligence and consume national intelligence produced by the CIA.[18][19]

Directorate of Analysis[]

Aerial view of the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters, Langley, Virginia 16449v

Aerial view of the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters, Langley, Virginia

The Directorate of Analysis, through much of its history known as the Directorate of Intelligence (DI), is tasked with helping "the President and other policymakers make informed decisions about our country's national security" by looking "at all the available information on an issue and organiz[ing] it for policymakers".[20] The Directorate has four regional analytic groups, six groups for transnational issues, and three that focus on policy, collection, and staff support.[21] There is an office dedicated to Iraq; regional analytical offices covering the Near East and South Asia, Russia and Europe; and the Asian Pacific, Latin American, and African offices.

Directorate of Operations[]

The Directorate of Operations is responsible for collecting foreign intelligence (mainly from clandestine HUMINT sources), and for covert action. The name reflects its role as the coordinator of human intelligence activities between other elements of the wider U.S. intelligence community with their HUMINT operations. This Directorate was created in an attempt to end years of rivalry over influence, philosophy, and budget between the United States Department of Defense (DOD) and the CIA. In spite of this, the Department of Defense recently organized its own global clandestine intelligence service, the Defense Clandestine Service (DCS),[22] under the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

This Directorate is known to be organized by geographic regions and issues, but its precise organization is classified.[23]

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 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft was done in cooperation with the United States Air Force. The U-2's original mission was clandestine imagery intelligence over denied areas such as the Soviet Union.[24] It was subsequently provided with signals intelligence and measurement and signature intelligence capabilities, and is now operated by the Air Force.

A DS&T organization analyzed imagery intelligence collected by the U-2 and reconnaissance satellites 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 (NGA).

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 (NGA).

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

Directorate of Digital Innovation[]

The Directorate of Digital Innovation (DDI) focuses on accelerating innovation across the Agency's mission activities. It is the Agency's newest directorate. The Langley, Virginia-based office's mission is to streamline and integrate digital and cybersecurity capabilities into the CIA's espionage, counterintelligence, all-source analysis, open-source intelligence collection, and covert action operations.[25] It provides operations personnel with tools and techniques to use in cyber operations. It works with information technology infrastructure and practices cyber tradecraft.[26] This means retrofitting the CIA for cyberwarfare. DDI officers help accelerate the integration of innovative methods and tools to enhance the CIA's cyber and digital capabilities on a global scale and ultimately help safeguard the United States. They also apply technical expertise to exploit clandestine and publicly available information (also known as open source data) using specialized methodologies and digital tools to plan, initiate and support the technical and human-based operations of the CIA.[27] Before the establishment of the new digital directorate, offensive cyber operations were undertaken by the CIA's Information Operations Center.[28] Little is known about how the office specifically functions or if it deploys offensive cyber capabilities.[25]

The directorate had been covertly operating since approximately March 2015 but formally began operations on October 1, 2015.[29] According to classified budget documents, the CIA's computer network operations budget for fiscal year 2013 was $685.4 million. The NSA's budget was roughly $1 billion at the time.[30]

Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who served as the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, endorsed the reorganization. "The director has challenged his workforce, the rest of the intelligence community, and the nation to consider how we conduct the business of intelligence in a world that is profoundly different from 1947 when the CIA was founded," Schiff said.[31]

Training[]

The CIA established its first training facility, the Office of Training and Education, in 1950. Following the end of the Cold War, the CIA's training budget was slashed, which had a negative effect on employee retention.[32][33] In response, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet established CIA University in 2002.[32][20] CIA University holds between 200 and 300 courses each year, training both new hires and experienced intelligence officers, as well as CIA support staff.[32][33] The facility works in partnership with the National Intelligence University, and includes the Sherman Kent School for Intelligence Analysis, the Directorate of Analysis' component of the university.[20][34][35]

For later stage training of student operations officers, there is at least one classified training area at Camp Peary, near Williamsburg, Virginia. 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.[36] Additional mission training is conducted at Harvey Point, North Carolina.[37]

The primary training facility for the Office of Communications is Warrenton Training Center, located near Warrenton, Virginia. The facility was established in 1951 and has been used by the CIA since at least 1955.[38][39]

Budget[]

Details of the overall United States intelligence budget are classified.[3] Under the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949, the Director of Central Intelligence is the only federal government employee who can spend "un-vouchered" government money.[40] The government showed its 1997 budget was $26.6 billion for the fiscal year.[41] The government has disclosed a total figure for all non-military intelligence spending since 2007; the fiscal 2013 figure is $52.6 billion. According to the 2013 mass surveillance disclosures, the CIA's fiscal 2013 budget is $14.7 billion, 28% of the total and almost 50% more than the budget of the National Security Agency. CIA's HUMINT budget is $2.3 billion, the SIGINT budget is $1.7 billion, and spending for security and logistics of CIA missions is $2.5 billion. "Covert action programs," including a variety of activities such as the CIA's drone fleet and anti-Iranian nuclear program activities, accounts for $2.6 billion.[3]

There were numerous previous attempts to obtain general information about the budget.[42] As a result, reports revealed that CIA's annual budget in Fiscal Year 1963 was $550 million (inflation-adjusted US$ 4.2 billion in 2024),[43] and the overall intelligence budget in FY 1997 was US$26.6 billion (inflation-adjusted US$ 39.1 billion in 2024).[44] There have been accidental disclosures; for instance, Mary Margaret Graham, a former CIA official and deputy director of national intelligence for collection in 2005, said that the annual intelligence budget was $44 billion,[45] and in 1994 Congress accidentally published a budget of $43.4 billion (in 2012 dollars) in 1994 for the non-military National Intelligence Program, including $4.8 billion for the CIA.[3]

After the Marshall Plan was approved, appropriating $13.7 billion over five years, 5% of those funds or $685 million were secretly made available to the CIA. A portion of the enormous M-fund, established by the U.S. government during the post-war period for reconstruction of Japan, was secretly steered to the CIA.[46]

Employees[]

Polygraphing[]

Robert Baer, a CNN analyst and former CIA operative, stated that normally a CIA employee undergoes a polygraph examination every three to four years.[47]

Relationship with other intelligence agencies[]

Template:Global surveillance The CIA acts as the primary US HUMINT 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 U.S. government intelligence agencies, commercial information sources, and foreign intelligence services.[citation needed]

U.S. agencies[]

CIA employees form part of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) workforce, created as a joint office of the CIA and US Air Force to operate the spy satellites of the US military.

The Special Collections Service is a joint CIA and National Security Agency (NSA) office that conducts clandestine electronic surveillance in embassies and hostile territory throughout the world.

A dominant feature of political life during that period were the attempts of Congress to assert oversight of the U.S. presidency and the executive branch of the U.S. government. Revelations about past CIA activities, such as assassinations and attempted assassinations of foreign leaders (most notably Fidel Castro and Rafael Trujillo) and illegal domestic spying on U.S. citizens, provided the opportunities to increase Congressional oversight of U.S. intelligence operations.[48] CIA involvement in Contra cocaine trafficking in Nicaragua[49][50] and complicity in the actions of the death squads in El Salvador and Honduras also came to light.[51][52]

Nixon Oval Office meeting with H.R. Haldeman "Smoking Gun" Conversation, June 23, 1972 (full transcript)

Hastening the CIA's fall from grace was the burglary of the Watergate headquarters of the Democratic Party by former CIA officers, and President Richard Nixon'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, to tell the CIA that further investigation of Watergate would "open the whole can of worms about the Bay of Pigs".[53][54] In this way Nixon and Haldeman ensured that the CIA's No. 1 and No. 2 ranking officials, Richard Helms and Vernon Walters, communicated to FBI Director L. Patrick Gray that the FBI should not follow the money trail from the burglars to the Committee to Re-elect the President, 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.[55]

President Ford meets with CIA Director-designate George Bush - NARA - 7141445

President Gerald Ford meets with CIA Director-designate George H. W. Bush, December 17, 1975.

Repercussions from the Iran–Contra affair 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 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."

Iraq War[]

Seventy-two days after the 9/11 attacks, President Bush told Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld to update the US plan for an invasion of Iraq, but not to tell anyone. Rumsfeld asked Bush if he could bring DCI Tenet into the loop, to which Bush agreed.[56]

The CIA had put out feelers to Iraq in the form of eight of their best officers in Kurdish territory in Northern Iraq. These officers hit a goldmine, unprecedented in the famously closed Hussein government. By December 2002, the CIA had close to a dozen functional networks in Iraq[56]:242 and would penetrate Iraq's SSO, tap the encrypted communications of the Deputy Prime Minister, and recruit the bodyguard of Hussein's son[which?] as an agent. As time passed, the CIA would become more and more frantic about the possibility of their networks being compromised. To the CIA, the invasion had to occur before the end of February 2003 if their sources inside Hussein's government were to survive. The rollup would happen as predicted, 37 CIA sources recognized by their Thuraya satellite telephones provided for them by the CIA.[56]:337

Secretary of Defense Leon E

Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell (left) apologized to Colin Powell for the CIA's erroneous assessments of Iraq's WMD programs.[57]

The case Colin Powell presented before the United Nations (purportedly proving an Iraqi WMD program) was inaccurate. DDCI John E. McLaughlin was part of a long discussion in the CIA about equivocation. McLaughlin, who would make, among others, the "slam dunk" presentation to the President, "felt that they had to dare to be wrong to be clearer in their judgments".[56]:197 The Al Qaeda connection, for instance, was from a single source, extracted through torture, and was later denied. Curveball was a known liar, and the sole source for the mobile chemical weapons factories.[58] A postmortem of the intelligence failures in the lead up to Iraq led by former DDCI Richard Kerr would conclude that the CIA had been a casualty of the Cold War, wiped out in a way "analogous to the effect of the meteor strikes on the dinosaurs."[59]

File:US Senate Report on CIA Detention Interrogation Program.pdf The opening days of the invasion of Iraq would see successes and defeats for the CIA. With its Iraq networks compromised, and its strategic and tactical information shallow, and often wrong, the intelligence side of the invasion itself would be a black eye for the agency. The CIA would see some success with its "Scorpion" paramilitary teams composed of CIA Special Activities Division paramilitary officers, along with friendly Iraqi partisans. CIA SAD officers would also help the US 10th Special Forces.[56][60][61] The occupation of Iraq would be a low point in the history of the CIA. At the largest CIA station in the world, officers would rotate through 1–3-month tours. In Iraq, almost 500 transient officers would be trapped inside the Green Zone while Iraq station chiefs would rotate with only a little less frequency.[62]

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. 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 issued Executive Order 13470[63] amending Executive Order 12333 to strengthen the role of the DNI.[64]

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" (D/CIA), serving as head of the CIA.

Currently, the CIA reports to the Director of National Intelligence. Before the establishment of the DNI, the CIA reported to the President, with informational briefings to congressional committees. The National Security Advisor is a permanent member of the National Security Council, responsible for briefing the President with pertinent information collected by all U.S. 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.

Operation Neptune Spear[]

On May 1, 2011, President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden was killed earlier that day by "a small team of Americans" operating in Abbottabad, Pakistan, during a CIA operation.[65][66] 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.[67]

The operation was a result of years of intelligence work that included the CIA's capture and interrogation of Khalid Sheik Mohammad, which led to the identity of a courier of bin Laden's,[68][69][70] the tracking of the courier to the compound by Special Activities Division paramilitary operatives and the establishing of a CIA safe house to provide critical tactical intelligence for the operation.[71][72][73]

The CIA ran a fake vaccination clinic in an attempt to locate Osama bin Laden. This was revealed after bin Laden's death and may have negatively affected the campaign against Polio in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In some rural areas, vaccination workers were banned by the Taliban or chased away by locals.[74][75] There have been many deadly attacks by militants against vaccination workers in Pakistan.[76] Efforts to eradicate polio have furthermore been disrupted by American drone strikes.[74]

Syrian Civil War[]

President Obama and CIA Director Brennan at the GCC-U.S. Summit in Riyadh in April 2016. Saudi Arabia was involved in the CIA-led Timber Sycamore covert operation.

Under the aegis of operation Timber Sycamore and other clandestine activities, CIA operatives and U.S. special operations troops have trained and armed nearly 10,000 rebel fighters at a cost of $1 billion a year.[77] The CIA has been sending weapons to anti-government rebels in Syria since at least 2012.[78] These weapons have been reportedly falling into hands of extremists, such as al-Nusra Front and ISIL.[79][80][81] Around February 2017, the CIA was instructed to halt military aid to Syrian rebels (Free Syrian Army or FSA), which also included training, ammunition, guided missiles, and salaries. Sources state that the hold on aid was not related to the transitions from Obama's administration to Trump's, but rather due to issues faced by the FSA. Based on responses by rebel officials, they believe that the aid freeze is related to concerns that weapons and funds will fall into the hands of ISIL. Based on information obtained by Reuters, five FSA groups have confirmed that they received funding and military support from a source called "MOM operations room."[Clarification needed] Several countries besides the U.S., including Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, had also contributed to the funding of the FSA.[citation needed] On April 6, 2017, Al-Jazeera reported that funding to the FSA was partially restored. Based on the information provided by two FSA sources, the new military operation room will receive its funds from the coalition "Friends of Syria." The coalition consists of members from the U.S., Turkey, Western Europe, and Gulf states, which previously supported the military operation known as MOM.[82]

It was reported in July 2017 that President Donald Trump had ordered a "phasing out" of the CIA's support for anti-Assad rebels.[83]

Reorganization[]

On March 6, 2015, the office of the D/CIA issued an unclassified edition of a statement by the Director, titled "Our Agency's Blueprint for the Future," as a press release for public consumption. The press release announced sweeping plans for the reorganization and reform of the CIA, which the Director believes will bring the CIA more in line with the agency doctrine called the 'Strategic Direction.' Among the key changes disclosed include the establishment of a new directorate, the Directorate of Digital Innovation, which is responsible for designing and crafting the digital technology to be used by the agency, to keep the CIA always ahead of its enemies. The Directorate of Digital Innovation will also train CIA staff in the use of this technology, to prepare the CIA for the future, and it will also use the technological revolution to deal with cyber-terrorism and other perceived threats. The new directorate will be the chief cyber-espionage arm of the agency going forward.[84]

Other changes which were announced include the formation of a Talent Development Center of Excellence, the enhancement and expansion of the CIA University and the creation of the office of the Chancellor to head the CIA University to consolidate and unify recruitment and training efforts. The office of the executive director will be empowered and expanded, and the secretarial offices serving the executive director will be streamlined. The restructuring of the entire Agency is to be revamped according to a new model whereby governance is modeled after the structure and hierarchy of corporations, said to increase the efficiency of workflow and to enable the executive director to manage day-to-day activity significantly. As well, another stated intention was to establish 'Mission Centers', each one to deal with a specific geographic region of the world, which will bring the full collaboration and joint efforts of the five Directorates together under one roof. While the Directorate heads will still retain ultimate authority over their respective Directorate, the Mission Centers will be led by an assistant director who will work with the capabilities and talents of all five Directorates on mission-specific goals for the parts of the world which they are given responsibility for.[84]

The unclassified version of the document ends with the announcement that the National Clandestine Service (NCS) will be reverting to its original Directorate name, the Directorate of Operations. The Directorate of Intelligence is also being renamed. It will now be the Directorate of Analysis.[84]

Drones[]

A new policy introduced by President Barack Obama removed the authority of the CIA to launch drone attacks and allowed these attacks only under Department of Defense command. This change was reversed by President Donald Trump, who authorized CIA drone strikes on suspected terrorists.[85]

Encryption devices sold through front company[]

For decades until 2018, the CIA secretly owned Crypto AG, a small Swiss company that made encryption devices, in association with West German intelligence. The company sold compromised encryption devices to over 120 countries, allowing Western intelligence to eavesdrop on communications that the users believed to be secure.[86][87]

Open source intelligence[]

Until the 2004 reorganization of the intelligence community, one of the "services of common concern" that the CIA provided was open source intelligence from the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS).[88] FBIS, which had absorbed the Joint Publication Research Service, a military organization that translated documents,[89] moved into the National Open Source Enterprise under the Director of National Intelligence.

During the Reagan administration, Michael Sekora (assigned to the DIA), 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 was designed to utilize open source intelligence gathering almost exclusively. The technology-focused Socrates system supported such programs as the Strategic Defense Initiative in addition to private sector projects.[90][91]

As part of its mandate to gather intelligence, the 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 (OSC) at CIA headquarters. "We're looking at chat rooms and things that didn't exist five years ago, and trying to stay ahead."[92] CIA launched a Twitter account in June 2014.[93]

CIA also launched its own .onion website to collect anonymous feedback.[94]

Outsourcing and privatization[]

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 U.S. intelligence agencies, as required by Congress.[95] However, this report was then classified.[96][97] Hillhouse speculates that this report includes requirements for the CIA to report:[96][98]

  • 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:

...what we have today with the intelligence business is something far more systemic: senior officials leaving their national security and counterterrorism jobs for positions where they essentially perform the same jobs they once held at the CIA, the NSA, and other agencies – but for double or triple the salary and profit. It's a privatization of the highest order, in which our collective memory and experience in intelligence – our crown jewels of spying, so to speak – are owned by corporate America. There is essentially no government oversight of this private sector at the heart of our intelligence empire. And the lines between public and private have become so blurred as to be nonexistent.[99][100]

Congress had required an outsourcing report by March 30, 2008.[98]

The Director of National Intelligence has been granted the authority to increase the number of positions (FTEs) on elements in the Intelligence Community by up to 10% should there be a determination that activities performed by a contractor should be done by a U.S. government employee."[98]

The problem is two-fold. Part of the problem, according to Author Tim Weiner, is that political appointees designated by recent presidential administrations have sometimes been under-qualified or over-zealous politically. Large scale purges have taken place in the upper echelons of the CIA, and when those talented individuals are pushed out the door they have frequently gone on to found new independent intelligence companies which can suck up CIA talent.[101] Another part of the contracting problem comes from Congressional restrictions on the number of employees within 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."[98] The number of independent contractors hired by the Federal government across the intelligence community has skyrocketed. So, not only does the CIA have trouble hiring, but those hires will frequently leave their permanent employ for shorter term contract gigs which have much higher pay and allow for more career mobility.[101]

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. The 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. The next-generation satellite Future Imagery Architecture project "how does heaven look," which missed objectives after $4 billion in cost overruns, was the result of this contract.[102][103]

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.[104]

Controversies[]

Throughout its history, the CIA has been the subject of many controversies, both at home and abroad.

See also[]

Notes[]

  1. Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£. "History of the CIA". https://www.cia.gov/about-cia/history-of-the-cia/index.html. 
  2. Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£. "CIA Observes 50th Anniversary of Original Headquarters Building Cornerstone Laying". https://www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/ohb-50th-anniversary.html. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Gellman Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£, Barton; Miller, Greg (August 29, 2013). "U.S. spy network's successes, failures and objectives detailed in 'black budget' summary". https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/black-budget-summary-details-us-spy-networks-successes-failures-and-objectives/2013/08/29/7e57bb78-10ab-11e3-8cdd-bcdc09410972_story.html. 
  4. Kopel, Dave (July 28, 1997). "CIA Budget: An Unnecessary Secret". http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/cia-budget-unnecessary-secret. 
  5. Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£ (November 29, 1999). "Cloak Over the CIA Budget". https://fas.org/sgp/news/1999/11/wp112999.html. 
  6. Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£. "Central Intelligence Agency | Encyclopedia.com". https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences-and-law/political-science-and-government/us-government/central-intelligence-agency. 
  7. Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£. "Appeals: the Company" (in en). https://public.oed.com/appeals/company/. 
  8. Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£ (January 22, 1946). "71. Presidential Directive on Coordination of Foreign Intelligence Activities". U.S. State Department Historian. https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1945-50Intel/d71. 
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