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Central Intelligence Agency

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Central Intelligence Agency
Director:John Brennan
Deputy Director:Avril D. Haines
Annual budget:$14.7 billion (2013)
Total employed:21,575 (2013)
Year created:1947
Official website:Office website
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a United States agency formed in 1947 to "preempt threats and further US national security objectives."[1] The head of the agency was originally the Director of Central Intelligence, also charged with coordinating all U.S. intelligence efforts. However, in 2004, the position was abolished and replaced by a Director of the CIA and the separate Director of National Intelligence, inheriting some of the DCI's roles.[2] The current Director of the CIA is John Brennan, who was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013.[3]

The CIA employed 21,575 people both in the U.S. and abroad in 2013.[4]


The following are important dates in the CIA's history:[5][6]

  • 1941: Coordinator of Information office formed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a predecessor to the Director of Central Intelligence
  • 1946: Director of Central Intelligence office formed by a Harry Truman Presidential Directive
  • 1947: National Intelligence Act passed, forming the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Council under the Director of Central Intelligence
  • 1959-1961: CIA Headquarters built in Langley, VA
  • 1961: CIA-backed Cuban exiles attempt Bay of Pigs invasion
  • 1962: CIA discovers nuclear weapons in Cuba, leading to Cuban Missile Crisis
  • 1976: U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence formed
  • 1977: U.S. House Select Committee on Intelligence formed
  • 1982: Intelligence Identities Protection Act passed, allowing for prosecution of anyone who reveals identities of intelligence agents
  • 1984: Central Intelligence Agency Information Act passed, blocking the CIA from Freedom of Information Act requests
  • 2004: Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act passed, restructuring the intelligence community under the Director of National Intelligence; Director of the CIA office formed



The official CIA mission statement is as follows:

Preempt threats and further US national security objectives by collecting intelligence that matters, producing objective all-source analysis, conducting effective covert action as directed by the President, and safeguarding the secrets that help keep our Nation safe.[1][7]


John Brennan is currently the Director of the CIA.

Organizational chart

CIA org chart.jpg


Obama administration

CIA interrogation tactics report

Portions of an investigation of the interrogation methods of the CIA after September 11, 2001, were made public on July 30, 2014, while the full report was expected to be released at some point in August 2014.[8] The 6,300 page report found that former Secretary of State Colin Powell and many U.S. ambassadors abroad were not initially told of harsh interrogation tactics being used on potential terrorists at "black sites" in foreign countries. Powell was eventually informed of the tactics and sat in on meetings during which they were discussed.[8] During a weekly press conference on August 1, 2014, prior to the release of the official report, President Barack Obama acknowledged that the U.S. had "tortured some folks."[9]

The White House accidentally released a list of talking points to the Associated Press while preparing for the public release of the report. Among the statements, was one proposed by the State Department, claiming, "This report tells a story of which no American is proud. But it is also part of another story of which we can be proud. America’s democratic system worked just as it was designed to work in bringing an end to actions inconsistent with our democratic values." The talking points also posed questions that the administration might face following the report's release, including, "Will the Justice Department revisit its decision not to prosecute anyone?"[10]

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) wrote a letter to President Barack Obama arguing that too much of the document was redacted by the administration, including key points to the committee's findings. In her letter, she claimed, "I have concluded the redactions eliminate or obscure key facts that support the report’s findings and conclusions. Until these redactions are addressed to the committee’s satisfaction, the report will not be made public." According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the administration redacted about 15 percent of the 6,000 page document.[11]

Senate computer spying

The CIA's inspector general discovered that several CIA employees "improperly accessed or caused access" to the Senate Intelligence Committee computers that were used while investigating the CIA's interrogation tactics.[12] Two lawyers and three computer experts were found to be the culprits of the CIA's snooping. CIA Director John Brennan supposedly put an end to the practice following an internal investigation, but the CIA's office of security opened another investigation, this one unauthorized, that led to the reading of congressional staffers' emails. Brennan apologized to the Senate for the intrusion on July 31, 2014, and followed up, ordering an internal accountability board look into the action of those involved in the spying operation and determine whether discipline was warranted. A summary of the inspector general's report did not reveal who ordered the operation.[13]

A number of lawmakers immediately called for Brennan's resignation upon hearing of the news, with Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) claiming the "CIA unconstitutionally spied on Congress. These offenses, along with other errors in judgment by some at the CIA, demonstrate a tremendous failure of leadership, and there must be consequences."[12] Others seeking his resignation included Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Rand Paul (R-KY).[14][15]



Obama administration

Central Intelligence Agency**[16] Annual Budget
YearBudget (in billions)% Difference from previous year

**Budgets other than 2013 are approximated based on a chart provided by the Washington Post.

Budget breakdown

The Black Budget, the unreleased budget of intelligence agencies, was leaked by ex-government contractor Edward Snowden in 2013. The budget breakdown for the CIA was as follows:[16]

  • $11.5 billion for data collection expenses
  • $1.8 billion for management, building and support
  • $1.1 billion for data analysis
  • 387.3 million for data processing and exploitation

Recent news

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See also

External links