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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 released on December 9, 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. President Bush, who defended the CIA's tactics, was not originally informed of the interrogation methods until 2006.[9] 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."[10] The release of the report detailed numerous incidents where the CIA used interrogation techniques that fell outside the scope of the U.S. Department of Justice. The techniques used included: slapping, humiliation, confinement, stress positions, sleep deprivation and waterboarding.[11]

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?"[12] After the official release of the document, President Obama emphasized that the techniques previously used must not be condoned. He however remained ambiguous as to whether the CIA should be held accountable for having potentially mislead outsiders.“Rather than another reason to refight old arguments, I hope that today’s report can help us leave these techniques where they belong — in the past,” Obama said in the White House statement.[13]

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.[14] Feinstein however pushed for the report to be released after the general election on November 4, 2014. The International Business Times reported that Feinstein was pressured to release the report since her position as chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Intelligence was likely to diminish when Republicans would gain senate majority.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17]

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."[16] Others seeking his resignation included Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Rand Paul (R-KY).[18][19]



Obama administration

Central Intelligence Agency**[20] 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:[20]

  • $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

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Central + Intelligence + Agency

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

CIA News Feed

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See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Central Intelligence Agency, "CIA Vision, Mission, Ethos and Challenges," accessed February 13, 2014
  2. Central Intelligence Agency, "About CIA," accessed February 13, 2014
  3. Washington Post, "John Brennan's confirmation: How they voted," March 7, 2013
  4. Washington Post, "U.S. spy network’s successes, failures and objectives detailed in ‘black budget’ summary," August 29, 2013
  5., "Key Events in CIA's History," accessed February 13, 2014
  6. Central Intelligence Agency, "History of the CIA," accessed February 13, 2014
  7. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  8. Politico, "Senate report: CIA misled public, Bush on use of torture," December 9, 2014
  9. Politico, "Senate report: CIA misled public, Bush on use of torture," December 9, 2014
  10. Politico, "Obama: 'We tortured some folks'," August 1, 2014
  11. Politico, "Senate report: CIA misled public, Bush on use of torture," December 9, 2014
  12. Associated Press, "Topline Messages (as proposed by State)," accessed August 1, 2014
  13. Politico, "Senate report: CIA misled public, Bush on use of torture," December 9, 2014
  14. The Washington Post, "Senate, CIA clash over redactions in interrogation report," August 5, 2014
  15. International Business Times, "Why The CIA Torture Report Release Took Years of Wrangling And Negotiations," December 9, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 Wall Street Journal, "Investigation Finds CIA Improperly Accessed Senate Computers," July 31, 2014
  17. Christian-Science Monitor, CIA admits to spying on Senate Intelligence Committee," July 31, 2014
  18. The Hill, "Senators call for CIA chief's resignation," July 31, 2014
  19. The Atlantic, "Senator Rand Paul: CIA Director John Brennan Should Be Fired," August 1, 2014
  20. 20.0 20.1 Washington Post, "The Black Budget," August 29, 2013