Central Intelligence Agency

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Change you can believe in: In addition to meddling in US elections, by 2023 the CIA was celebrating Pride Month in DC and CIA stations worldwide.[1]

The Central Intelligence Agency, (or CIA in more recent times known as the LGBTCIA[2]) is an intelligence-gathering agency in the United States government. As the U.S.'s primary intelligence agency, it is responsible for obtaining and analyzing information about foreign governments, corporations, entities, and persons, and reporting such information to the branches of the U.S. government. The head is the "Director of Central Intelligence" (DCI).

It is also involved in covert espionage and paramilitary operations in support of its mission to protect the national security of the United States.

Based in Langley, Virginia, the CIA is a widespread organization spanning the globe.

Image and Reputation

Cloak and dagger stories became part of the popular culture of the Cold War in both East and West, with innumerable novels and movies that showed how polarized and dangerous the world was. Soviet audiences thrilled at spy stories showing how their KGB agents protected the motherland by foiling dirty work by America's nefarious CIA, Britain's devious MI6, and Israel's devilish Mossad. After 1963, Hollywood increasingly depicted the CIA as clowns (as in the comedy TV series Get Smart) or villains (as in Oliver Stone's JFK [1992]). In the genre of spy thrillers, the films Three Days of the Condor (1975) and Spy Game (2001) have been among the top box office attractions in American cinema. They both star Robert Redford and both portray the CIA as a wicked organization.[3] The plotlines of Robert Ludlum's novel The Bourne Identity (1980) and the 2002 film based on the novel mix truth and fiction. Some topics are distorted while others stick very closely to the truth. Congressional oversight, ethical dilemmas tied to assassination, and real-life antagonists play significant roles in both the novel and the film. In the book the antagonists are terrorists, particularly Carlos the Jackal, but in the movie version the "bad people" are CIA officials. Although the antagonist changes between the novel and the film, they both are realistic aspects that draw the audience in.[4]

CIA culture places a premium on high-IQs of recruits, and ignores their patriotism and loyalty to the United States. Questioning a person's loyalty is regarded as McCarthyism. This has led to the predominance of leftist ideology and intellectual elitism in the organization. The CIA lost influence after 1963. President Lyndon B. Johnson disliked its pessimistic forecasts about Vietnam; President Richard M. Nixon and his national security advisor Henry Kissinger did not seek its advice. After Watergate (1974) it came under heavy attack for its secrecy and lack of accountability. Was it needed in an age of détente? With 15,000 employees in 1973, it had a budget of about $740 million, of which $440 went to clandestine operations. Congressional committees began to monitor the agency closely. Employment and budgets were cut sharply (the totals are secret), and most covert operations were abandoned. Morale plummeted as the agency retreated to a mission of collecting and interpreting information about the Soviets.

In the Obama era, the CIA suffered damage to its reputation under Dir. John Brennan for its role in media manipulation, trying to influence domestic public opinion, and tampering with U.S. elections - all in violation of the National Security Act of 1947 which created the Agency.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

Under the Obama and Biden administrations' diversity, equity, and inclusion mandates, the CIA switched from hiring personnel based upon language skills and knowledge of a particular country or culture to hiring based upon sexual preference and gender. This led to a bevy of transgender case officers in the CIA's HUMINT programs overseas attempting to recruit spies in foreign cultures where the general reaction of the local population was revulsion.

Amazon/Washington Post deal

In March 2013, the CIA awarded a $600 million contract to Amazon Web Services for a computing cloud system which would allow all 17 agencies of the US intelligence community to coordinate and share information.[5] The General Accounting Office found the deal violated the open bidding process, but a federal court stood by the CIA's decision.

In October of the same year Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com and the 6th richest billionaire on the planet worth $66 billion, purchased the Washington Post with proceeds of the deal.[6] Elements within the CIA then began using the Washington Post to promote Hillary Rodham Clinton as their preferred candidate for president in 2016.[7] After the election but before taking office, the CIA in collusion with the White House, the DNC and Clinton campaign, fraudulently claimed Vladimir Putin and Russian intelligence agencies had rigged Donald Trump's election to the presidency. The CIA and its government and media surrogates put out the false claim that Russian intelligence agencies had delivered embarrassing emails from the Democrats and the Clinton campaign to Wikileaks. In fact, the sources of the compromised information came from disgruntled whistleblowers within the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.[8] DNC insiders delivered information to Wikileaks.[9]

Russiagate hoax

See also: Russiagate

During and immediately after the 2016 Presidential election CIA director John Brennan, along with the Department of Justice and the FBI, targeted Donald Trump. This covert disinformation campaign became widely known in the fake news mainstream media as Trump-Russia, alleging collusion between Trump and associates with Russia. The side that actually colluded with foreign powers was that of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party.[10]

2020 presidential election interference

See also: United States Presidential Election, 2020 and Ukrainian collusion

An axis of the CIA, Big Tech and the DNC-allied mainstream media spread an absolute lie in the weeks before the 2020 presidential election. Glenn Greenwald reported that on October 14, 2020, and then October 15, 2020, The New York Post, the nation's oldest newspaper, published two news reports on Joe Biden's activities in Ukraine and China that raised serious questions about his integrity and ethics: specifically, whether he and his family were trading on his name and influence to generate profit for themselves. The Post said that the documents were obtained from a laptop left by Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, at a repair shop.

From the start, the evidence of authenticity was overwhelming. The Post published genuine photos of Hunter that were taken from the laptop. Investigations from media outlets found people who had received the emails in real-time and they compared the emails in their possession to the ones in the Post's archive, and they matched word-for-word.[11] One of Hunter Biden's own business associates involved in many of these deals, Tony Bobulinski,[11] confirmed publicly and in interviews that the key emails were genuine and that they referenced Joe Biden's profit participation in one deal being pursued in China. A forensics analyst issued a report concluding the archive had all the earmarks of authenticity.[12] Not even the Bidens denied that the emails were real. It was clear early on that all the key metrics demonstrated that these documents were real.

Intelligence officials, such as Obama's CIA Director John Brennan and his Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, led a group of dozens of CIA operatives in issuing a public statement that disseminated an outright lie: namely, that the laptop was "Russian disinformation.” Note that this phrase contains two separate assertions: 1) the documents came from Russia and 2) they are fake ("disinformation").[13]

But the complete lack of evidence for these claims did not stop the corporate media or Big Tech from repeating this lie over and over, and, far worse, using this lie to censor the reporting from the internet. One of the first to spread this lie was, Natasha Bertrand, then of Politico and as of 2021 CNN.[14] “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say,” blared her headline in Politico on October 19, 2020, just five days after the Post began its reporting.[15] From there, virtually every media outlet[16] — CNN, NBC News, PBS, Huffington Post, The Intercept,[17] and too many others to count[18] — began completely ignoring the substance of the reporting and instead spread the lie over and over that these documents were the by-product of Russian disinformation.[19]

21st Century

The CIA Headquarters in earlier times.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the "end of history" as it was called, some questioned why the need for an organization with a such a checkered history.[20] Global warming as a strategic threat to national security became the new boogeyman to justify continued funding.[21]


A major criticism is failure to forestall the 9-11 Attack in 2001 because of three organizational deficiencies: the inability of multiple American intelligence agencies to work together, organizational incentives to take the wrong analytical actions, and resistance to new technologies and ideas.[22] The 9/11 Commission Report identifies failures in the intelligence community as a whole. One problem, for example, was the FBI failing to "connect the dots" by sharing information among its decentralized field offices. The report, however, criticizes both CIA analysis and impedance of their investigation. The CIA Inspector General in 2007 concluded that former DCI George Tenet failed to adequately prepare the agency to deal with the danger posed by Al Qaeda prior to the 9-11 Attack.

Afghanistan 2001

See also: Afghan war

In 2001, the CIA's Special Activities Division units were the first U.S. forces to enter Afghanistan. Their efforts organized the Afghan Northern Alliance for the subsequent arrival of United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) (United States Special Operations Command) forces. The plan for the invasion of Afghanistan was developed by the CIA, the first time in United States history that such a large-scale military operation was planned by the CIA.[23] SAD, U.S. Army Special Forces and the Northern Alliance combined to overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan with minimal loss of U.S. lives. They did this without the need for U.S. military conventional ground forces.[24][25][26]

The Washington Post stated in an editorial by John Lehman in 2006:

"What made the Afghan campaign a landmark in the U.S. Military's history is that it was prosecuted by Special Operations forces from all the services, along with Navy and Air Force tactical power, operations by the Afghan Northern Alliance and the CIA were equally important and fully integrated. No large Army or Marine force was employed".[27]

In a 2008 New York Times book review of Horse Soldiers, a book by Doug Stanton about the invasion of Afghanistan, Bruce Barcott wrote:

"The valor exhibited by Afghan and American soldiers, fighting to free Afghanistan from a horribly cruel regime, will inspire even the most jaded reader. The stunning victory of the horse soldiers—350 Special Forces soldiers, 100 C.I.A. officers and 15,000 Northern Alliance fighters routing a Taliban army 50,000 strong—deserves a hallowed place in American military history".[28]

Iraq war 2003

See also: Iraq war

The mission that captured Saddam Hussein was called "Operation Red Dawn". It was planned and carried out by the JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command under USSOCOM)'s Delta Force and SAD/SOG (Special Activities Division Special Operations Group) teams (together called Task Force 121). The operation eventually included around 600 soldiers from the 1st Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division.[29][30] Special operations troops probably numbered around 40. Much of the publicity and credit for the capture went to the 4th Infantry Division soldiers, but CIA and JSOC were the driving force. "Task Force 121 were actually the ones who pulled Saddam out of the hole" said Robert Andrews, former deputy assistant Secretary of Defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict. "They can't be denied a role anymore."[29]

CIA paramilitary units continued to team up with the JSOC in Iraq and in 2007 the combination created a lethal force many credit with having a major impact in the success of "the Surge". They did this by killing or capturing many of the key al-Qaeda leaders in Iraq.[31][32] In a CBS 60 Minutes interview, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward described a new special operations capability that allowed for this success. This capability was developed by the joint teams of CIA and JSOC.[33] Several senior U.S. officials stated that the "joint efforts of JSOC and CIA paramilitary units was the most significant contributor to the defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq".[31][34] The CIA-assisted "Phoenix" Program played a similar role in decimating Viet Cong insurgents during the Vietnam war.

Libya 2011

See also: Libyan war

After the so-called Arab Spring overthrow of the rulers of Tunisia and Egypt, the neighbours of Libya to the west and east respectively, Libya had a major revolt beginning in February 2011.[35][36] In response, the Obama administration sent in CIA Special Activities Division paramilitary operatives to assess the situation and gather information on the opposition forces.[37][38][39]

During the early phases of the Libyan air strike offensive, paramilitary operatives assisted in the recovery of a U.S. Air Force pilot who had crashed due to mechanical problems.[40] There was also speculation in The Washington Post that President Obama issued a covert action finding in March 2011 that authorized the CIA to carry out a clandestine effort to provide arms and support to the Libyan opposition.[41]

Muammar Gaddafi was ultimately overthrown in the Libyan War.

Drone war in Pakistan

Analysis by the RAND Corporation suggests that "drone strikes are associated with decreases in both the frequency and the lethality of militant attacks overall and in IED and suicide attacks specifically."[42] Civilian deaths from drone strikes fell to 1-2% of the total in 2012.

Ukrainian Nazis

The Postil reported that in 2007, the CIA put together a “conference” of various anti-Russian factions in Ukraine whose purpose was nothing other than to groom neo-Nazis and jihadists, both groups being solidly anti-Russian. Overseeing the conference was Dmytro Yarosh, who led the Trident and the Pravy Sektor, both neo-Nazi organizations.[43]

These various neo-Nazi units, trained by the West, were integrated into the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU). After 2014 Maidan coup, the West actively protected these neo-Nazi groups. Victoria Nuland, in 2021, told Volodymyr Zelensky to appoint Dmytro Yarosh as adviser to the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian army—because no one can fight Russians better than Nazis. Here are the larger units of neo-Nazis, or Banderites which fought Russians in Ukraine:

  • Members of Svoboda (formerly the “Nation-Social Party of Ukraine,” which curiously rhymes with Hitler's “National-Socialist German Workers Party”)
  • The AZOV Battalion (based in Mariupol)
  • C14 of Kyiv
  • The Aidar Battalion (in Luhansk)
  • The Wotanjugend (who are actually Russian in origin)
  • Ukraine Patriot (co-founded by Parliament Speaker Andriy Parubiy)
  • The National Militia
  • Karpatska Sich
  • Freikorps

There are also many other smaller units (more than 30) that have merged with the larger ones, and all have been integrated into the Armed Forces of Ukraine. And the various symbols of these organizations are common-place in Ukraine (i.e., the Sonnenrad, the Totenkopf, the Wolfsangel). After 2014, Ukraine also became the main “exporter” of Nazi ideology throughout the world.

Fighting alongside the neo-Nazis and the Ukrainian army are a slew of jihadis and mercenaries, many of whom are from other Western neo-Nazi groups like the Misanthropic Division. These mercenaries are known as the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine.

Maidan regime

See also: Maidan regime

In October 2023 The Washington Post revealed how the CIA had used the Ukrainian intelligence services to initiate war with Russia since 2014.[44] With the US-backed Maidan coup, the CIA spent tens of millions of dollars to transform Ukraine’s Soviet-formed services into allies against Moscow. The agency provided Ukraine with advanced surveillance systems, trained recruits at sites in Ukraine and the United States, built new headquarters for departments in Ukraine’s military intelligence agency. Given concerns that Ukraine’s services were still heavily penetrated by the FSB — the Russian agency that is the main successor to the KGB, the CIA worked with the SBU to create an entirely new directorate that would focus on so-called “active measures” operations against Russia and be insulated from other SBU departments. The new unit was dubbed the “Fifth Directorate” to distinguish it from the four long-standing units of the SBU. A sixth directorate has since been added to work with the UK's MI6 spy agency.

The SBU and its military counterpart, the GUR, have carried out dozens of assassinations against Russian officials, alleged Ukrainian collaborators, military officers behind the front lines and civilians inside Russia. Training sites were located outside Kyiv where handpicked recruits were instructed by CIA personnel to form units capable of operating as covert groups. The SBU began mounting sabotage operations and missions to capture separatist leaders and collaborators, some of whom were taken to secret detention sites. Over a three-year period, at least half a dozen Russian operatives, high-ranking separatist commanders or collaborators were killed in violence that was often attributed to internal disputes but in reality was the work of the SBU. Among those killed was Yevgeny Zhilin who was gunned down in 2016 in a Moscow restaurant. In 2017 a rebel commander known as ‘Givi’ was killed in Donetsk.[45] In July 2023, a former Russian submarine commander, Stanislav Rzhitsky, was killed while jogging in a park in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar. A popular war correspondent and blogger, Vladlen Tatarsky, was killed in a blast in a cafe in St. Petersburg. 32 innocent bystanders were injured in the targeted assassination.


See also: Moscow Concert Hall terror attack
Crocus terror attack, March 22, 2024.

While building the SBU’s new directorate, the CIA embarked on a far more ambitious project with the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine. From 2015 on, the CIA embarked on an extensive transformation of the GUR. With fewer than 5,000 employees, the GUR was a fraction of the size of the SBU and had a narrower focus on espionage and active measures operations against Russia. It also had a younger workforce with fewer holdovers from Soviet times, while the SBU was still perceived as penetrated by Russian intelligence. Some of the GUR’s new recruits were transfers from the SBU. Among them was Vasyl Burba, who had managed SBU Fifth Directorate operations before joining the GUR and serving as agency director from 2016 to 2020. Burba became such a close ally of the CIA that the CIA provided him an armored vehicle.

The CIA helped the GUR acquire state-of-the-art surveillance and electronic eavesdropping systems, including mobile equipment that could be placed along Russian-controlled lines in eastern Ukraine, but also software tools used to exploit the cellphones of Kremlin officials visiting outside of Moscow. Ukrainian officers operated the systems but everything gleaned was shared with the Americans.

Concerned that the GUR’s aging facilities were likely compromised by Russian intelligence, the CIA paid for new headquarters buildings for the GUR’s “spetsnaz” paramilitary division and a separate directorate responsible for electronic espionage. Troves of data were relayed through the new CIA-built facility back to Washington, where they were scrutinized by CIA and NSA analysts.

The GUR had also developed networks of sources in Russia’s security apparatus. The CIA was permitted to have direct contact with agents recruited and run by Ukrainian intelligence.

For the SBU, no target has been a higher priority than the Kerch Bridge that connects the Russian mainland to the Crimean Peninsula. The SBU hit the bridge twice during the NATO war in Ukraine, including an October 2022 bombing that killed five people and put a gaping hole in westbound traffic lanes. SBU director Vasyl Malyuk acknowledged that his service had placed a powerful explosive inside a truck hauling industrial-size rolls of cellophane. Like other SBU plots, the operation involved unwitting accomplices, including the truck driver killed in the explosion.[46] The SBU launched a second strike on the bridge nine months later using naval drones that were developed as part of a top secret operation involving the CIA and other Western intelligence services.

"Peacemaker" kill list

The Myrotovets ("Peacemaker") website, a kill list authorizing on the spot execution of journalists and anyone deemed a "Russian sympathizer", shows Langley, Virgina, home of the CIA as its headquarters.[47]

Myrotvorets (Peacemaker) is an online database of what its owner declares as “enemies of Ukraine,” containing personal doxxing information and addresses. The website's mainpage lists Langley, Virginia, home of the CIA, and Warsaw, Poland as its official home. Journalists who depart from the CIA and Kyiv party line are added to the list. Anyone captured in Ukraine whose name appears in the websites online searchable database can be executed on the spot.[48] The “Peacemaker" kill list has nearly 200,000 names, including Americans, threatening them with extrajudicial killings. American filmmaker Oliver Stone and British rock star Roger Waters of Pink Floyd appear on the "Peacemaker kill list".

Ukrop Deathsquads

The CIA reportedly operates an entire floor in the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) headquarters at 33 Volodymyrska Street in Kyiv,[49] in a building originally used as the Bolshevik headquarters of Ukraine, later the Gestapo during the Nazi occupation, then the NKVD of the USSR, and as of 2022 serves as the torture chambers for Russian POWs and Ukrainians accused of having ties to Russia. Following the 2014 Maidan coup, the security service was headed by Valentin Nalyvaichenko, who was recruited by the CIA when he was the Consul General of Ukraine in the United States.[50]

Dr. Darya Dugina marked as "eliminated".[51] Dugina's murder in Moscow marked a significant escalation of terrorist attacks against non-combatants and civilians outside of Ukraine.

Vassily Prozorov, a former SBU officer who defected to Russia following the Maidan coup, detailed the post-Maidan security services’ systemic reliance on torture to crush political opposition and intimidate citizens accused of Russian sympathies.[52] According to Prozorov, the SBU have been directly advised by the CIA since 2014. “CIA employees have been present in Kiev since 2014. They are residing in clandestine apartments and suburban houses,” he said. “However, they frequently come to the SBU’s central office for holding, for example, specific meetings or plotting secret operations.”

Murder of Darya Dugina

Journalist and political scientist Darya Dugina was assassinated in Moscow on August 20, 2022.[53] Dugina is the daughter of the Russian political scientist and philosopher Alexander Dugin.

Darya's killer was identified as Natalia Pavlovna Vovk, a Ukrainian citizen and member of the Azov Regiment.[54][55] The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation and the Federal Security Service (or counterintelligence service) established the SBU as responsible for the killing.[56]

On August 21, 2022, the day after the killing, Ukrainian Ambassador to Kazakhstan Petro Vrublevskyi explained to an interviewer "We are trying to kill as many of them [Russians] as possible. The more Russians we kill now, the fewer our children will have to kill," according to Yahoo News.[57]

Dugina visited Azovstal after the siege ended in May 2022 and reported on social media on the Nazi paraphernalia and books discovered in the Azov Nazis' bunker and living quarters. She was placed on Western sanctions lists shortly thereafter. Dugina issued a public statement in response:

"I am honored to be in the same boat as my father. The fact that we are under sanctions from the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom is a symbol that we, the Dugins, are on the path of truth in the fight against globalism.

For eight years in Ukraine, Russophobia was cultivated by various programmes, and history was rewritten, up to the physical massacre of Russians, in those eight terrible years for Donbass, with daily shelling."[58]

Ukraine missile attack on Poland

The Associated Press tried to ignite World War III with a fake news story sourced to a "senior U.S. intelligence official."[59]

On November 15, 2022, two Ukrainian S-300 missiles, alleged to have been launched to shoot down a Russian cruise missile, were fired westward and hit a Polish grain storage facility, killing two civilians. The Polish government, Ukrainian government, the Associated Press,[60] most of all Western propaganda media and so-called national security and intelligence experts called for invoking NATO Article 5.[61] Zelensky advisor Mykhailo Podolyak declared that the strikes came from Russia. Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba claimed Russian denials were a conspiracy theory and that “No one should buy Russian propaganda or amplify its messages."[62] Ukrainian dictator Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted that the “Russian attack on collective security in the Euro-Atlantic is a significant escalation” of the conflict.[63]

However an AWAC radar plane and other ISR aircraft (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) aircraft regularly flying in the region, and ground radar, tracked the missiles' trajectory and determined the Kyiv regime had launched the missiles. That did not prevent an anonymous "senior U.S. intelligence official" from reporting to the Associated Press that Russia had fired the missiles at Poland. The fake news story was disseminated globally, as all fake news stories emanating from Kyiv, and its CIA counterparts in Kyiv, have been disseminated globally to world media for the entirety of 2022 and late 2021.

When called out on the lies, Ukrainian dictator Volodymyr Zelensky doubled down. Both socialist premier Joe Biden and NATO chief warlord Jens Stoltenberg blamed Ukraine for the attack. Zelensky refuted the Western leaders' statements that the missile which killed two innocent civilians in Poland was Ukrainian. "I have no doubt that it was not our missile or our missile strike." Zelensky insisted that he received reports from the corrupt Armed Forces of Ukraine command that told him the missile attacks did not come from Ukraine," he told the people in a live nationwide address on Ukrainian state-controlled media.[64]


In a February 2024 commentary by former CIA analyst Larry Johnson entitled The Delusions of CIA Director William Burns, Johnson reviewed "Burns’ January 30, 2024 article in Foreign AffairsSpycraft and Statecraft: Transforming the CIA for an Age of Competition – is a shocking display of ignorance and misinformation about Russia, the state of the war in Ukraine and NATO's military capabilities...Although Burn’s is an educated man and experienced diplomat, this article displays a profound arrogance seasoned with provably false claims...The so-called vision he presents for “transforming the CIA” is a childish fantasy and signals that the CIA is drifting towards being irrelevant as well as incompetent".[65]


See also: History of the CIA
The CIA Seal

In 1974, former President Harry S. Truman spoke to his biographer Merle Miller about the CIA: “I think it was a mistake…if I’d known what was going to happen, I never would have done it… They’ve become … it’s become a government all of its own and all secret. They don’t have to account to anybody.”

OSS in World War II

In 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt was relying on intelligence information provided by British intelligence (and slanted by them to favor their position.) In 1941 he created the OSS Office of Strategic Services, which was the first independent U.S. intelligence agency. Due to extensive penetration by the Soviet Union and the Communist Party,[66] the OSS was disbanded after the war and its functions were split between the Departments of State and War. A Central Intelligence Group was reorganized in January 1946.[67]

Every U.S. president since George Washington has used covert action as a part of their broader foreign policy, whether Republican or Democratic, liberal or conservative.[68] The majority of these covert action operations were successful.[69] Most of the operations that were not successful were directed by the President over the objections of the CIA.[69] Some of the most controversial "covert action" programs, such as the Iran-Contra affair, were not primarily the work of the CIA.[70] Covert action programs are also much less expensive than overt political or military actions. The Pentagon commissioned a study to determine whether the CIA or the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) should conduct covert action paramilitary operations. Their study determined that the CIA should maintain this capability and be the "sole government agency conducting covert action." The DoD found that, even under U.S. law, it does not have the legal authority to conduct covert action, nor the operational agility to carry out these types of missions.[71] The operation in May 2011 that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden was a covert action under the authority of the CIA.[72][73]

The OSS produced a sabotage manual in 1944. The introduction reads: “Sabotage varies from highly technical coup de main acts that require detailed planning and the use of specially trained operatives, to innumerable simple acts which the ordinary individual citizen-saboteur can perform.”[74]

CIA established 1947

in 1944, William J. Donovan, the OSS's head, proposed a new organization directly supervised by the President: "which will procure intelligence both by overt and covert methods and will at the same time provide intelligence guidance, determine national intelligence objectives, and correlate the intelligence material collected by all government agencies." Under Donovan's plan, a powerful, centralized civilian agency would have coordinated all the intelligence services, including those run by the military. He also proposed that this agency have authority to conduct "subversive operations abroad," but "no police or law enforcement functions, either at home or abroad."

President Truman appointed Clark Clifford as White House general counsel. In this post Clifford drafted the National Security Act of 1947 which established both the "National Security Council" and the Central Intelligence Agency. Americans, still mesmerized by the intelligence failure at Pearl Harbor, welcomed the new spy agency because it seemed to promise the nation would always stay on alert. The CIA's Ivy League intellectuals and scions of high society contrasted sharply with the Pentagon brass; an adversarial relationship was born that still sours relations between the two. The CIA's budget was minuscule ($5 million) until NSC-68 in 1950 provided blueprints for an active Cold War. Clifford went on to head up the American branch of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International which was heavily involved in money laundering for illegal dope smuggling and intelligence agencies, and weapons transfers including nuclear weapons technology.


From the start isolationists warned of the danger that the CIA might become an out-of-control "American Gestapo" like the Nazi secret police, which could trample American civil liberties. On the other side was fear of a nuclear Pearl Harbor without warning.

In general Congress deferred to the White House until the 1970s on intelligence matters. Only a few members of a few select committees had any legislative oversight; they kept floor debate and written records to a minimum. Congress supported covert action, even though Roscoe Hillenkoetter (DCI 1947–50) and Walter Bedell Smith (DCI 1950–53), both military men, showed little interest. President Eisenhower, by contrast, demanded more covert activities and Allen Dulles (DCI 1953–61) obliged.

Congressional support for more aggressive policies increased throughout the 1950s. Congress took its oversight responsibilities seriously and even challenged the CIA when an alarming intelligence failure, such as when the CIA failed to predict the Soviet acquisition of the atomic bomb (1950), the Korean War (1953), the Hungarian uprising (1956), or the U-2 downing (1960). Eisenhower discouraged Congressional probes of agency activities, but Dulles, sometimes gained Congressional support by leaking bits of information to influential congressmen.[75]

The CIA often functions as a resource to both individual legislators and congressional committees supplying related background and assessment for congressional decision. An example of this is the 1991 referral to the agency by Senator Jesse Helms, ranking member of Minority Staff of the Committee on Foreign Relations, requesting information and verification of information coming from Israel concerning the survival of the passsengers and crew (including Cong. Larry McDonald) of Korean Airlines Flight 007, shot down by the Soviets in 1983. Helms wrote his letter [2] to Boris Yeltsin requesting the military communications of the shootdown and locations of camps holding survivors based on the CIA response to his request [3].

Soviet Estimates

The CIA began systematic estimates of the Soviet Union economy during Max Millikan's tenure as the founding director of the Office of Research and Reports (1951-1952). The strategy was to start with an "inventory of ignorance" and then reduce the list of unknowns through successive approximations. Soviet military expenditures were estimated by the "building-block method," which began by estimating the number ships, planes, jeeps, barracks and even soldiers in use, then estimating the procurement and operating costs of each, and adding them up using estimated prices. The building blocks had advantages in that published data on physical units seemed accurate and in any case were easier to verify through covert means. The elaborate reports of the 1990s included almost 1800 such categories. Since the Soviets lacked computers and had rudimentary accounting procedures, the CIA had a better overall picture of Soviet military spending than did the Kremlin. The reports emphasized physical units, realizing that expenditures alone could not predict what sort of military threat in the future would be presented by the Red Army. To estimate costs the CIA used analogs—using Soviet trucks or American tanks, for instance, to estimate the costs of Soviet tanks—and then adjusted for differences in weight and performance. Analog-based data, far shakier than direct-cost data, accounted for over half of earlier estimates, dropping to about one-third by the late 1980s. In the 1960s the CIA increasingly used quantitative techniques, of the sort promoted in American business schools. A crisis in the mid-1970s was caused by as a combination of external pressures, new data (some from a key Russian who defected to the West) and internal works forced a major revision of the defense burden, showing the proportion of the overall Soviet economy devoted to the military. The crisis sparked heated public debate when the CIA announced that their earlier estimates of Soviet defense spending at 6-8% of GNP was too low by as much as half; the revised estimated burden ranged 11-13%, indicating a severe economic burden that slowed Soviet growth.[76]

Directorate of Science & 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. Albert D. "Bud" Wheeler (1963–66) and Carl E. Duckett (1966–76) built the directorate into a strong component of the CIA and then guided it through its golden age of technical innovation. In contrast, decisions by Ruth David (1995–98) contributed, Richelson (2001) argues, to a decline in the importance and status of the directorate as it lost control over key responsibilities, including the analysis of satellite photography.

Richelson (2001) explains the major DS&T's achievements, especially reconnaissance airplanes and a series of increasingly sophisticated surveillance satellites, with cameras that could photograph Soviet bomber bases and missile sites with startling clarity from orbits deep in space. In 1960, the first effective satellite produced coverage of more than one million square miles, surpassing all previous U-2 photography combined. This imagery revealed that the Soviets had far fewer bombers and (later) ICBMs than the Pentagon expected. The worst-case estimates of the U.S. Air Force proved wildly exaggerated, and the myths of the bomber and missile "gaps" were punctured by empirical data.

Dulles years 1953-61

Allen Dulles, who had been a key OSS operations officer in Switzerland during the Second World War, took over from Smith, at a time where U.S. policy was dominated by a containment policy, with serious discussions of roll-back policies going on, especially in the State Department. Dulles enjoyed a high degree of flexibility, as his brother, John Foster Dulles, was simultaneously Secretary of State. Allen Dulles was head of CIA 1953–61.

Allen Dulles became the trusted advisor on what was going to happen in the world to President Eisenhower and to his brother John Foster Dulles. The CIA gathered information and provided written assessments of the capabilities and intentions of all world leaders. Its regular briefings gave each president the sense that he knew exactly what was happening across the globe. Like ingenious prognosticators through the ages, the CIA's predictions seemed highly explicit yet never could quite be pinned down. They failed to predict any of the major surprises of the postwar era. On the other hand, estimates of the performance of the Soviet economy proved much more accurate than the information Moscow itself possessed, and forecast the failure of that economy in the 1980s.

Numerous covert actions were launched to neutralize perceived Communist expansion in Iran and Guatemala. Some of the largest operations were aimed at Cuba after the coming to power of the communists in early 1960. In 1960-61 the CIA organized Cuban exiles, whose invasion of Cuba failed totally at the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Dulles devoted 80% of his much enlarged budget ($82 million) to covert (secret) operations to contain Communism. On the other side was the Soviet KGB. The head of the KGB's first chief directorate, Leonid Shabarshin later explained, "The essence of the KGB's active undertakings was to inflict political and moral damage on our basic opponent, the United States. . . . [so] We compromised political figures, organs of the press, and Americans whose activities were in some way unwelcome [to the Soviets]." The KGB veteran revealed that every "active measure" against the enemies of the Soviet Union abroad was submitted by KGB to the Politburo “and was implemented only with its permission. The results of the action were also reported to the Politburo."[77] Which side performed better remains an open question. CIA money subsidized anti-communist intellectuals and strengthened liberal political parties across Europe and the Third World. Striking low-cost successes early on reinforced the CIA's mastermind image. CIA-supported parties defeated the Communists in Italy and France in the late 1940s. A handful of agents provided assistance to opposition groups which forced anti-American prime ministers out of office in Iran (1953) and Guatemala (1954). CIA counterintelligence tried to neutralize the KGB and other hostile agencies, like the GRU (Soviet military intelligence), Communist East Germany's Stasi and Cuba's DGI.

Early Operations

The principal problem facing the first generation of covert operators was murky objectives. Was covert action designed merely to "contain" the Soviet Union or to "roll it back?" Covert operations were handled by the CIA's "Office of Policy Coordination" (OPC).[78] There was confusion on its mission OPC—was it merely to stir up trouble behind the Iron Curtain or to "liberate" and rollback the Kremlin's Eastern European satellites? One early covert operation was a total failure in Albania, where the OPC worked with Britain's MI6 to train and deploy anti-communist commandos committed to overthrowing the Soviet-backed regime of Enver Hoxha. Frank Wisner, the first OPC director, regarded the Albanian operation as "a clinical experiment to see whether larger rollback operations would be feasible elsewhere," but Kim Philby, a Soviet mole inside MI6, leaked the details to the Kremlin, with ghastly results for the anti-Hoxha forces.

The CIA supported resistance movements and dissidents in the communist regimes of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. One example is the counterespionage operations following the discovery of the Farewell dossier which some argue contributed to the fall of the Soviet regime.[79][80]

Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists 1947-1954

See also: Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists

President Harry Truman approved the creation of a guerrilla army code-named “Nightingale” in Ukraine. Originally setup by the Nazis in 1941, it was made up of ultra-nationalists. They would, as Oliver Stone described in his documentary Untold History,[81] wreak havoc on the “famine-wrecked region where Soviet control was loose, carrying out the murder of thousands of Jews, Soviets and Poles, who opposed a separate Ukrainian state.” The CIA would parachute “infiltrators” into the country as well to further “dislodge Soviet control.”

American historian and former Under Secretary of the Air Force Townsend Hoopes and Rice University history professor Douglas Brinkely confirm:

One group that particularly attracted CIA attention and support was the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), a political-military underground movement that had long fought for Ukrainian independence—first against the Poles in the 1920s when Poland controlled the Ukraine and after 1939 against the Soviets. ‘Though violently anti-Russian, the OUN was itself totalitarian and Fascist in character. as well as anti-Semitic. The Nazis poured money into the OUN after the German invasion of Russia and pretended to support the goal of Ukrainian national independence. In return, a large OUN militia, code-named Nachtigall, or Nightingale, provided local administrators, informers, and killers for the German invaders. Nazi-sponsored OUN police and militia formations were involved in “thousands of instances of mass murders of Jews and of families suspected of aiding Red Army partisans.”[82]

When the Germans were driven out of the Ukraine, many OUN members who had served the Nazis’ police formations and execution squads fled with them, but several thousand retreated into the Carpathian Mountains to fight another day. This remaining Nightingale group fascinated the CIA and was recruited essentially en bloc. Its leaders were brought to the United States for training. Nightingale leaders were then parachuted into the Ukraine to link up with their compatriots and to carry out measures of subversion, agitation, and sabotage, including assassination. The leader of the Nightingale group was the notorious Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera.


The CIA sponsored a variety of activities during the Korean War. These activities included maritime operations behind North Korean lines. Yong Do Island, connected by a rugged isthmus to Pusan, served as the base for those operations. These operations were carried out by well-trained Korean guerrillas. The four principal U.S. advisers responsible for the training and operational planning of those special missions were Dutch Kramer, Tom Curtis, George Atcheson and Joe Pagnella. All of these Paramilitary Operations Officers operated through a CIA front organization called the Joint Advisory Commission, Korea (JACK), headquartered at Tongnae, a village near Pusan, on the peninsula's southeast coast.[83] These paramilitary teams were responsible for numerous maritime raids and ambushes behind North Korean lines, as well as prisoner of war rescue operations. These were the first maritime unconventional warfare units that trained indigenous forces as surrogates. They also provided a model, along with the other CIA-sponsored ground based paramilitary Korean operations, for the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam-Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG) activities conducted by the U.S. military and the CIA/SAD in Vietnam. In addition, CIA paramilitary ground-based teams worked directly for U.S. military commanders, specifically with the 8th Army, on the "White Tiger" initiative. This initiative included inserting South Korean commandos and CIA Paramilitary Operations Officers prior to the two major amphibious assaults on North Korea, including the landing at Inchon.

Iran 1953

Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, originally elected in one of the Shah's elections, had driven out the Shah and become the de facto dictator of Iran, as he dissolved the Parliament and abolished free elections with a secret ballot, after declaring victory in a referendum where he claimed 99.9% of the vote.[84] He gained power through organized terrorism and received funding from the KGB.[85] Suppressing widespread discontent, as recounted in a 2003 Time magazine report, he ordered police to violently massacre more than 300 unarmed protestors.[86] Under his rule, Iran became the first Middle Eastern country to simply steal and nationalize Western oil fields—even though the Iranians did not know how to use them on their own.[87] The result was the total collapse of the Iranian economy. Iranian oil supplies were taken off the world market.[86][88] This doomed all future economic development in Iran, a "basket-case" nation plagued with rampant disease, illiteracy, and religious fanaticism. President Truman had met with Mossadegh and pledged U.S. support against the English, expressing admiration for his efforts at economic justice. His administration concluded that England sought "a rule or ruin" policy on Iran. The Eisenhower administration saw things rather differently.

When Mossadegh delayed settling with Anglo-Iranian Oil on the takeover of the company, the British, under Winston Churchill, approached the CIA with a plan to remove the Premier. The British could not do it alone. Allen Dulles, the CIA director, and his brother John Foster Dulles, the Secretary of State, agreed. The Dulles brothers assigned the task of overseeing the clandestine venture to intelligence operative Kermit Roosevelt.[89] According to Time:

The CIA's fingerprints were everywhere. Operatives paid off Iranian newspaper editors to print pro-Shah and anti-Mossadegh stories. They produced their own stories and editorial cartoons and published fabricated interviews. They secured the cooperation of the Iranian military. They spread antigovernment rumors. They prepared phony documents to show secret agreements between Mossadegh and the local Communist Party. They masqueraded as communists, threatened conservative Muslim clerics and even staged a sham fire-bombing of the home of a religious leader. They incited rioters to set fire to a pro-Mossadegh newspaper. They stage-managed the appearance of Mossadegh's successor, General Zahedi, whose personal bank account they fattened.

Mossadegh was overthrown, and the ousted Shah returned to Iran in triumph. Cheering crowds trumpeted his return, as he promptly launched new electoral reforms introducing voting to all members of society—including women. Iran was praised in the West as a beacon of stability, and maintained close relations with the United States until 1979.

The administration of Bill Clinton formally apologized to Iran for the CIA-supported coup in a speech made in 2000.[90] President Barack Obama also made a separate apology.[91]

Conrad Black, arguing that the CIA role was minimal as compared to the efforts of the Iranian army and the internal fighting in Iran, mocked Obama over "his apology for President Eisenhower’s approval of the overthrow of the deranged Iranian demagogue Mohammed Mossadegh."[91]

Guatemala 1954

The CIA helped overthrow the government of Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán in Guatemala in 1954. This was one of its most controversial operations, its model for subsequent covert action against countries like Cuba, and its first attempt at regime change in Latin America.

Arbenz was elected without a secret ballot. He considered himself a communist and joined the Communist Party in 1957. His land reform, designed by the Communist Party, was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, which he then purged. His regime openly praised Stalin, relied on the communists for key decisions, and received arms from the Soviet bloc.[92] He killed hundreds of his opponents.[93] The CIA intervened because it feared that a communist dictatorship would become a Soviet beachhead in the Western Hemisphere.[94]

The Truman administration began developing contingency plans to remove Arbenz in 1952, in the event that he became a threat to American interests in the region. In the face of widespread popular discontent in Guatemala and mass protests organized by the Catholic Church, the CIA used black propaganda to spread panic among the population. In the midst of a low-level internal civil war, the Eisenhower administration mobilized disaffected Guatemalan exiles to invade the country from neighboring Honduras. Arbenz, a fighter until the end, donned his colonel's uniform and prepared himself for war with the United States. Ultimately, however, there was very little fighting at all; the military failed to support Arbenz due to its own concerns over his perceived radicalism. The U.S.-armed rebellion quickly took over the country, to the surprise of the CIA, which had expected much fiercer resistance. With the army promptly joining the revolt, Arbenz fled the country in a panic. He was allowed exile by the new regime.

Vice-president Richard Nixon praised the new elections held by the military regime, declaring that Guatemala represented "the first time in history that a Communist government has ever been overthrown and replaced by a free one." However, Guatemala would be plagued with instability for decades. A series of military coups rocked the country, as Soviet and Cuban support for Communist violence caused bloody civil strife. After a 1982 coup, Guatemala was placed under a U.S. arms embargo imposed on human rights grounds. A vicious genocide reminiscent of the mass killing of the Hmong in Laos was then carried out against the Mayan Indians, in which scores of thousands were massacred.

In Guatemala in 1954, the CIA operation was marked by chronic lapses in security, the failure to plan beyond the operation's first stages, the Agency's poor understanding of the intentions of the Guatemalan Army, the local communist party (the Guatemalan Labor Party), and the government, the hopeless weakness of invasion leader Carlos Castillo Armas's troops, and the failure to make provisions for the possibility of defeat. Just as the entire operation seemed hopeless, and before there were any significant violent attacks against it, the leftist Guatemalan government suddenly, inexplicably collapsed and a pro-American government took over.[95]


The Eisenhower and Kennedy Administrations approved initiatives for CIA-trained Cuban anti-communist exiles and refugees to land in Cuba and attempt to overthrow the government of Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Plans originally formed under Eisenhower were scaled back in the early days of the Kennedy administration. The largest and most complicated coup effort, approved at White House level, was the disastrous Bay of Pigs failure.

After the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy revived efforts to assassinate or overthrow Castro with Operation Mongoose.

Dominican Republic 1961

The CIA supported the overthrow of Rafael Trujillo, dictator of the Dominican Republic, on 30 May 1961.[96] In a report to the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, CIA officials described the agency as having "no active part" in the assassination and only a "faint connection" with the groups that planned the killing,[97] but the internal CIA investigation, by its Inspector General, "disclosed quite extensive Agency involvement with the plotters."[98] Trujillo had killed 50,000 of his own people.

Congo Crisis

Humberto Fontova has written with his characteristic wit and élan:

Later, many of these Cuban-American BOP [Bay of Pigs] vets itched to get back into the fight (but with ammo and air cover this time). The CIA obliged and sent them with ex-marine Rip Robertson to the Congo in ‘65. There they linked up with the legendary mercenary "Mad Mike" Hoare and his "Wild Geese."

Together Mad Mike, Rip and the Cubans made short work of the alternately Chinese-and Soviet-backed "Simbas" of Laurent Kabila, who were murdering, raping and munching (many were cannibals) their way through the defenseless Europeans still left in the recently abandoned Belgian colony.

Forget Frank Church and the Clintonites. Ask the hundreds of Europeans rescued from butchery (literally!) by these men. You'll hear a different song, believe me. You can read about their exploits in Hoare's book, Congo Mercenary, and in Enrique Ros' Cubanos Combatientes (sadly, available only in Spanish).

Kabila made Idi Amin look like Gandhi. Castro, itching to be rid of this nuisance, sent Che [Guevara] (code-named "Tatu") and a force of his rebel army "veterans" to help these cannibals. The Congolese reds, unfamiliar with Che's true record, accepted Tatu gratefully.

The masterful "Tatu's" first order of business was plotting an attack on a garrison guarding a hydroelectric plant in a place called Front Bendela on the Kimbi River in Eastern Congo. His masterstroke was to be an elaborate ambush of the garrison.

The wily Tatu was stealthily leading his force into position when they heard shots. Whoops! ... Hey?! WHAT THE?! Ambushers became ambushed—and by the same garrison he thought was guarding the plant. Che lost half his men and barely escaped with his life....

Thing was, any teen gang member in East L.A. or south Bronx has 10 times the battle experience and savvy of any of these strutting Fidelista "Comandantes." Imagine the Germans atop Monte Cassino outnumbering and outgunning the Allies 10 to 1 in early ‘44. Hell, they'd STILL be there. It was a defender's dream.

Well, the brilliant Tatu and his comandantes had that very set-up in a place called Fizi-Baraka in Eastern Congo for their second clash with the mad dogs of imperialism. Mad Mike and his CIA allies sized the place up and attacked. Within one day the mighty Che's entire force was scrambling away in panic, throwing away their arms, running and screaming like old ladies with rats running up their legs.[99]


The CIA organized Hmong tribes to fight against the North Vietnamese-backed Pathet Lao communists in Laos, and used Air America to "drop 46 million pounds of foodstuffs....transport tens of thousands of troops, conduct a highly successful photoreconnaissance program, and engage in numerous clandestine missions using night-vision glasses and state-of-the-art electronic equipment."[100]

Chile 1970-3

Main article: Salvador Allende

As the historian Sebastián Hurtado summarizes it "The United States had no direct participation in the coup (itself), neither in its planning nor in its coordination, and I would dare to say that not even in its incitement [...] but it did want Allende to fall (and did actions to promote that with no relation with the successful coup itself)."[101]

The election of Marxist candidate Salvador Allende as President of Chile in September 1970 led President Richard Nixon to order that Allende not be allowed to take office.[102] Nixon pursued a vigorous campaign of covert resistance to Allende, first designed to convince the Chilean congress to confirm Jorge Alessandri as the winner of the election. When this failed, false flag operatives approached senior Chilean military officers, in "some two dozen contacts", with the message that "the U.S. desired....a coup."[102] Once Allende took office, extensive covert efforts continued with U.S.-funded black propaganda placed in El Mercurio, strikes organized against Allende, and funding for Allende opponents. When El Mercurio requested significant funds for covert support in September 1971, “...in a rare example of presidential micromanagement of a covert operation, Nixon personally authorized the $700,000—and more if necessary—in covert funds to El Mercurio.[102] Following an extended period of social, political, and economic unrest, a Military Junta assumed power after a military intervention on September 11, 1973, positioning General Augusto Pinochet as the Head of State and Government; among the dead was Allende who commited suicide.

The Chilean Chamber of Deputies accused Allende of support of armed groups, torture, illegal arrests, muzzling the press, confiscating private property, and not allowing people to leave the country.[103] Mark Falcoff credits the CIA with preserving democratic opposition to Allende and preventing the "consolidation" of his supposed "totalitarian project".[104] However, Peter Kornbluh asserts that the CIA destabilized Chile and helped create the conditions for the 1973 Chilean coup d'état, which led to years of Military rule under Augusto Pinochet.[102]

The CIA had no direct involvement in the 1973 military intervention itself, the CIA interference was centered on the killing of General René Schneider in 1970.

There was a nationalist small group called Patria y Libertad, they were definitely financed by CIA. And somehow, they got the idea to kidnap the commander-in-chief of the Chilean Armed Forces, General René Schneider.

He was and a man who was extremely well-respected throughout Chilean society, especially in the military. After the 1970 election, there were calls to ignore the democratic process and prevent Allende from taking power. Gen. Schneider publicly articulated what became known as the Schneider doctrine: The armed forces would always support and protect institutional democratic authority, and would never go against a legal outcome duly passed by Congress or the courts. In other words, Schneider was refusing to stand in the way of an Allende presidency. This enraged Allende's hardest opposition, so Patria y Libertad came up with the idea of kidnapping Schneider, possibly, at the instigation of the CIA. This has never been very clear.

The kidnapping was botched, Schneider defended himself with his side arm and in the process was killed by the kidnappers. This led to the accession of Carlos Prats to the post of commander-in-chief. It was also deeply traumatic to the Chilean military as a whole. A few senior officers outright blamed the Americans for the Schneider killing. Most took a more nuanced view. But the net effect was the same, no one in the Chilean Armed Forces would have anything to do with the CIA or the people from the US Embassy after this incident. Outcasts from the Chilean military, like Roberto Viaux, or marginal people in Chilean politics, gravitated to US Embassy personnel and the CIA, who gave them money.

But their involvement with the Americans made them even more suspect, and marginal, in Chilean society. Later, the CIA in order to justify itself and show that they had been effective in Chile, elevated these marginal or unimportant people as “key to the successful removal of Allende!” Leftists and historians ran with this notion. But it was just to hide CIA incompetence.

Because of the trauma of the Schneider killing, it's absurd to think that the Chilean armed forces would cooperate with the US Deep State for the 1973 military intervention, especially when they didn't need them to pull it off successfully. It was only after the military intervention, and only out of national economic necessity, that the Military Government got closer to the Americans.

But institutionally, the Chilean military never trusted the Americans, and never allowed themselves to be dependent on them. The American government was never happy with the Pinochet government, because it never gave back the lucrative copper mines that Allende had expropriated.[105]

The book "La CIA en Chile" published in 2013, also demystifies the role played by the agency in the preparation of the military intervention plan. In a CIA document from 1973, it is pointed out that the CIA office in Santiago was proposing to encourage the military to carry out a coup d'état against Allende, an option that seemed difficult since the commander in chief of the army, Carlos Prats, did not seem willing to move forward with such an objective.

Ray Warren, the CIA director of the Chilean office, insisted to Washington about the possibility, but the CIA headquarters closed the door: "let's see how history develops, let's not do it", he was told. The US situation was no longer the same as it had been in 1970. The CIA interference had already come to light before Allende's inauguration, the Watergate affair had already broken out and the Vietnam War was culminating.

According to the book, "the CIA was so aware of the eyes on it that in a report from its Directorate of Operations, dated September 1972, it said that 'the temptation to assume a positive role in support of the military coup is great', but that they should restrain themselves, since they would be accused of 'engineering the collapse of the Allende government'". [106]

(l to r) Associate Justice Potter Stewart, Barbara Bush, deputy dir. Vernon Walters, George H.W. Bush, Pres. Gerald Ford.

Spain 1973-8

Luis Carrero Blanco, was designed by Franco to be the successor as the Head of Government, while Juan Carlos was designed as King and therefore, Head of State. In 1973 Carrero Blanco was assassinated by the terrorist organization ETA by blowing out his car after he attended Holy Mass, investigations claim that it happened with the help of the CIA[107][108] by commandment of Kissinger,[109] since Carrero Blanco wanted Spain to have Nuclear Weapons, maintain its system without a liberal democracy and to not join NATO, after the assassination, the destiny of Spain was changed forever. The 1978 constitution established Spain as a parliamentary monarchy, with the prime minister responsible to the bicameral Cortes, also, the text disestablished the Catholic Church as the official state religion.

The CIA shaped Spain as a liberal democracy with the help of King Juan Carlos who changed the political system that he was supposed to continue, Spain also joined NATO in 1982.

Iraq 1973-5

The CIA armed Kurdish rebels fighting Ba'athist tyranny.

Chile 1974-7

Main article: Orlando Letelier, Carlos Prats & Bernardo Leighton Cases
Michael Townley, the CIA agent who attacked Chilean Citizens and an American one to discredit Pinochet's Administration worldwide by commandment of the CIA.
Orlando Letelier's car after CIA's Michael Townley attack. Letelier and his American secretary, Ronnie Moffit were killed, Pinochet is falsely accused of ordering the attack.

The U.S. government used the Chileans and the DINA as scapegoats in the Orlando Letelier, Carlos Prat & Bernardo Leighton cases that were perpetrated by the CIA agent Michael Vernon Townley Welch who used more than 15 false names, carried out three attacks against Chilean citizens: He assassinated the Prats couple in Buenos Aires; he made a criminal attempt against the Leighton couple in Rome, through the Italian neo-Nazi movement Avanguardia Nazionale; and he assassinated Orlando Letelier and his secretary, Ronnie Moffit, in Washington D.C.

Three attacks in a row, in the first three years of the Military Government, and immediately prior to the Annual meeting of the United Nations in New York.

Carlos Prats's car after CIA's Michael Townley attack in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In the first of them, against the Prats couple, he had not yet established contacts with the DINA, according to his own statements, recorded in seven declarations statements collected by Minister Jorge Rodriguez Ariztía and existing in the file of the in the file of the Argentine extradition request.[110]

Today the Chilean Raúl Eduardo Iturriaga Neumann is falsely accused of being the author of the assassination of Letelier, the leftist judges try to link the DINA with the assassination and Iturriaga as part of the DINA to the incident, but nor the DINA was the author, and Iturriaga Neumann was not on the DINA in 1976 since he left in December 1975 to study.[111] Iturriaga is in the Punta Peuco Jail for this kind of accusations and is one of the Military Political Prisoners of Chile.

After Townley's asylum in the U.S. following his plea bargain, he stated that, upon learning from General Contreras that nothing had been reported to President Pinochet about the attack, he would have replied: "Such a decision should not have been taken without his knowledge".

What will never be clarified is the role of the American Deep State in that attack and in that of General Carlos Prats. It will never be clarified, because there is no interest or means to investigate it and because the main witness and protagonist of the events has died, the American General Vernon Walters, a notorious secret agent who was a close friend of General Contreras.

Letelier was an active and uncomfortable (for the U.S.) agent of Fidel Castro in Washington. And the contents of his briefcase, recovered by the Americans after the attack, have never been found out.

It is reported by the fake news that CIA information has been "declassified" blaming Pinochet for having supposedly ordered the attack. President Michelle Bachelet while in Washington lay a wreath at the site of the attack and "thanked" the CIA for the "declassification". The media published that "Pinochet ordered Letelier's assassination". This is another set-up, because the CIA did not investigate the case and its "declassified" documents are mere opinions of fourth level US officials, which do not provide any proof of Pinochet's responsibility.

"La Tercera", the only local newspaper that, apart from publishing the headline, went into a little more detail about the alleged "declassifications", only presents the opinions of subordinate officials. Among them there is only one direct testimony, that of former Chilean lieutenant and deserter, Armando Fernandez Larios, who is in asylum in the U.S. in exchange for a "compensated confession", that is to say, in exchange for revealing everything he knew about the "Letelier case". He contradicted the headline of "Pinochet Ordered Letelier's Assassination", since he affirmed that "he did not know if Pinochet was involved in the preparation of the assassination".[112] Then, the only valid witness that appears in the "declassification" denies the title of the information.[113]

Very revealing was what was expressed by the defense attorney, Goldberger, and which was incorporated in the respective file in Volume XXI A, at pages 4,576 to 4,577, in 1981: "The U.S. government used the Chileans and the DINA as scapegoats in this case".

Angola 1975

In the Angolan Civil War, the Communist MPLA (People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola) government was pitted against various right-wing insurgencies as well as an invasion from South Africa. The CIA covertly attempted to overthrow the MPLA dictatorship in 1975,[114] but Cuba militarily intervened to save the regime from certain collapse. The Communist government subsequently killed up to one million people through massacre and forced starvation.[115] The U.S., advised by Kissinger, supported the rebels FNLA (National Front for the Liberation of Angola), led by Holden Roberto, and UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola), led by Jonas Savimbi, as well as the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO), and the invasion of Angola by South African troops. The FNLA was defeated and UNITA was forced to take its fight into the bush. Only under Reagan's presidency would U.S. support for UNITA return. (See Reagan Doctrine)

The Democrats in Congress cut off aid to UNITA under President Ford, just as they abandoned South Vietnam and Cambodia to murderous Communist bloodbath. "A great nation cannot escape its responsibilities," Ford admonished them. Emboldened, Cuba would soon militarily intervene on behalf of the Communist dictatorship in Ethiopia, which killed 1.25 million people through massacre and forced starvation.[116]


John Kennedy threatened to disband the agency and cast it to the four winds after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, but attacks on the CIA 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 was the attempts of Congress to assert oversight of U.S. presidency, take control of war-making, and more closely supervise the executive agencies.[117] 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 the burglary of the Watergate headquarters of the Democratic Party by ex-CIA agents, and President Richard Nixon's attempt to deceive the FBI into believing the Watergate burglary was a CIA operation.[118]

The CIA sent hundreds of agents to Vietnam and Laos to build up anticommunist guerrilla groups. The CIA assisted (but did not actually operate) the "Phoenix" program by which South Vietnamese police forces identified and arrested Viet Cong leaders (torturing many and killing several thousand of them). In the Eisenhower and Kennedy years, it planned several assassinations, with Fidel Castro a target of "Operation Mongoose." Castro was never harmed. Indeed, as a hostile Senate committee concluded, the agency did not in fact assassinate anyone. Congress has never passed a law forbidding assassinations, but every president since Ford has issued executive orders that prohibit direct (or indirect) attempts at assassination without Presidential authorization.

Revival under Reagan

In 1981 President Reagan appointed his campaign manager Bill Casey to run the CIA; Casey, a dynamic veteran of O.S.S. espionage, revived the CIA into a powerful instrument of rollback policy. With nuclear deterrence tying the Kremlin's hands, Casey used the CIA to attack the weak links in the Soviet empire. In Afghanistan, it funded and trained Mujahideen guerrillas who deliberately created "another Vietnam" to weaken the Soviet invaders, and indeed finally did defeat the Soviet invasion. Anti-Soviet operations in Afghanistan and Cambodia received strong support from Congress, but operations in Angola and especially Nicaragua became the focus of intense political controversy. When Congress one year prohibited the CIA from operating in Nicaragua, Reagan's White House exploited a loophole by sending its own staffer, Oliver North, to funnel arms and money to the Contra guerrillas.

Afghanistan 1978-89

From 1950 to 1979, U.S. foreign assistance provided Afghanistan with more than $500 million in loans, grants, and surplus agricultural commodities to develop transportation facilities, increase agricultural production, expand the educational system, stimulate industry, and improve government administration. The Peace Corps was active in Afghanistan between 1962 and 1979.

After the April 1978 Saur Revolution, relations between the two nations deteriorated. In February 1979, U.S. Ambassador Adolph "Spike" Dubs was murdered in Kabul after Afghan security forces burst in on his kidnappers. The U.S. then reduced bilateral assistance and terminated a small military training program. All remaining assistance agreements were ended after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

One of the CIA's longest and most expensive covert operations was the supplying of billions of dollars in arms to the Afghan mujahideen militants.[119] About $3 billion were sent to equip them through the Pakistani secret service, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), in a program called Operation Cyclone.

With U.S. and other funding, the ISI armed and trained over 100,000 insurgents. On July 20, 1987, the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the country was announced pursuant to the negotiations that led to the Geneva Accords of 1988,[120] with the last Soviets leaving on February 15, 1989.

No Americans trained or had direct contact with the mujahideen.[121] The skittish CIA had fewer than 10 operatives in the region.[122] The ISI was used as an intermediary for most of these activities to disguise the sources of support for the resistance.

The early foundations of al-Qaida were allegedly built in part on relationships and weaponry that came from the billions of dollars in U.S. support for the Afghan mujahideen during the war to expel Soviet forces from that country.[123] However, scholars such as Jason Burke, Steve Coll, Peter Bergen, Christopher Andrew, and Vasily Mitrokhin have argued that bin Laden was "outside of CIA eyesight" and that there is "no support" in any "reliable source" for "the claim that the CIA funded bin Laden or any of the other Arab volunteers who came to support the mujahideen."[124][125][126][127]

Michael Johns, the former Heritage Foundation foreign policy analyst and White House speechwriter to President George H. W. Bush, argued that "the Reagan-led effort to support freedom fighters resisting Soviet oppression led successfully to the first major military defeat of the Soviet Union... Sending the Red Army packing from Afghanistan proved one of the single most important contributing factors in one of history's most profoundly positive and important developments."[128]

Poland 1980-81

The U.S. supported the Solidarity movement in Poland, and—based on CIA intelligence—waged a public relations campaign to deter what the Carter administration felt was "an imminent move by large Soviet military forces into Poland." When the Polish government launched a crackdown of its own in 1981, however, Solidarity was not alerted. Potential explanations for this vary; some believe that the CIA was caught off guard, while others suggest that American policy-makers viewed an internal crackdown as preferable to an "inevitable Soviet intervention."[129]

Cambodia 1979-95

The Reagan Administration sought to apply the Reagan Doctrine of aiding anti-Soviet resistance movements abroad to Cambodia, which was under Vietnamese occupation following the Cambodian genocide carried out by the Communist Khmer Rouge. The Vietnamese had installed a Communist dictatorship led by a Khmer Rouge dissident. According to R.J. Rummel; the Vietnamese invasion, occupation, puppet regime, ongoing guerilla warfare, and ensuing famine killed over one million Cambodians in addition to the roughly 2.2 million who had been killed by the Khmer Rouge.[130] Ironically; the largest resistance movement fighting Cambodia's communist government was largely made up of members of the former Khmer Rouge regime, whose human rights record was among the worst of the 20th century. Therefore; Reagan authorized the provision of aid to a smaller Cambodian resistance movement, a coalition called the Khmer People's National Liberation Front, known as the KPNLF and then run by Son Sann; in an effort to force an end to the Vietnamese occupation. Eventually, the Vietnamese withdrew.

El Salvador 1980-92

In the Salvadoran Civil War between the military-led government of El Salvador and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), a coalition or umbrella organization of five left-wing militias; the U.S. supported the Salvadoran military government.[131][132] America also supported the centrist Christian Democrats, who were targets of death squads. The security forces were split between reformists and right-wing extremists, who used death squads to stop political and economic change. The Carter Administration repeatedly intervened to prevent right-wing coups. The Reagan Administration repeatedly threatened aid suspensions to halt right-wing atrocities. As a result, the death squads made plans to kill the American Ambassador.[133] After years of bloody fighting; the rebels were forced, in part due to U.S. involvement, to concede defeat. The U.S. then threatened to cut off aid to the Salvadoran regime unless it made democratic reforms, which might have let the rebels regroup. The regime accepted. As a result; a new Constitution was promulgated, the Armed Forces regulated, a civilian police force established, the FMLN metamorphosed from a guerrilla army to a political party that competed in free and fair elections, and an amnesty law was legislated in 1993.[134] El Salvador is today a prosperous and democratic nation. In 2002, a BBC article about President George W. Bush's visit to El Salvador reported that U.S. officials say that President George H.W. Bush's policies set the stage for peace, turning El Salvador into a democratic success story.[135]

Nicaragua 1981-90

See also: Mena Arkansas

After seizing power in Nicaragua, the Sandinista regime instituted dictatorial rule as early as December 1979, and formally announced a State of Emergency in 1982.

Under the new "Law for the Maintenance of Order and Public Security" the "Tribunales Populares Anti-Somozistas" allowed for the indefinite holding of suspected counter-revolutionaries without trial. The State of Emergency, however, most notably affected rights and guarantees contained in the "Statute on Rights and Guarantees of Nicaraguans. Many civil liberties were curtailed or canceled such as the freedom to organize demonstrations, the inviolability of the home, freedom of the press, freedom of speech and, the freedom to strike.[136]

All independent news program broadcasts were suspended. In total, twenty-four programs were cancelled. In addition, Sandinista censor Nelba Cecilia Blandón issued a decree ordering all radio stations to hook up every six hours to government radio station, La Voz de La Defensa de La Patria.[137]

The rights affected also included certain procedural guarantees in the case of detention including habeas corpus.[138] The State of Emergency was not lifted during the 1984 elections. There were many instances where rallies of opposition parties were physically broken up by Sandinsta youth or pro-Sandinista mobs. Opponents to the State of Emergency argued its intent was to crush resistance to the FSLN. James Wheelock justified the actions of the Directorate by saying "We are annulling the license of the false prophets and the oligarchs to attack the revolution.” [139]

Jamie Glazov describes human rights under this government as follows: "All Nicaraguans had to take part in the Marxist experiment. Thus, in perfect Khmer Rouge style, the Sandinistas inflicted a ruthless forcible relocation of tens of thousands of Indians from their land. Like Stalin, they used state-created famine as a weapon against these "enemies of the people." The Sandinista army committed myriad atrocities against the Indian population, killing and imprisoning approximately 15,000 innocent people. The crimes included not only mass murders of innocent natives themselves, but a calculated liquidation of their entire leadership—as the Soviet army had perpetrated against the Poles in Katyń in 1943. According to the Nicaraguan Commission of Jurists, the Sandinistas carried out over 8,000 political executions within three years of the revolution. The number of "anti-revolutionary" Nicaraguans who had "disappeared" in Sanadinista hands or had died "trying to escape" were numbered in the thousands. By 1983, the number of political prisoners in the Sandinistas' ruthless tyranny were estimated at 20,000. Torture was institutionalized. Numerous human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and the United Nations Human Rights Commission, have documented the atrocious record of Sandinista human rights abuses, which stood as the worst in Latin America. Political prisoners in Sandinista prisons, such as in Las Tejas, were consistently beaten, deprived of sleep and tortured with electric shocks. They were routinely denied food and water and kept in dark cubicles that had a surface of less than one square meter, known as chiquitas (little ones). These cubicles were too small to sit up in, were completely dark and had no sanitation and almost no ventilation.”[140]

The Sandinistas sent Soviet helicopter gunships and elite army units to attack the Indians; carried out mass arrests, jailings and torture; burned down 65 Indian communities; inflicted ethnic cleansing on 70,000 indigenous people; and tried to starve the indigenous people by cutting off food supplies. The Sandinistas boasted that they were “ready to eliminate the last Miskito Indian to take Sandinism to the Atlantic Coast.” [141]

For decades, Nicaragua had experienced some of the fastest economic growth in the hemisphere. Within a few years of Sandinista rule, wages had been fixed below poverty level and there was mass unemployment. There were shortages of nearly all basic goods, with inflation at 30,000%. Government studies found that three-quarters of schoolchildren suffered from malnutrition, while living standards were lower than Haiti. The World Bank found that Nicaragua was on the economic level of Somalia.

From 1981 to 1990, the CIA aids the Contra revolution, plants harbor mines and sinks civilian ships to overthrow the Sandinista government of Nicaragua. After the Boland Amendment was enacted, it became illegal under U.S. law to fund the Contras; National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, Deputy National Security Adviser Admiral John Poindexter, National Security Council staffer Col. Oliver North and others continued an illegal operation to fund the Contras, leading to the Iran-Contra affair. The U.S. argued that:[142]

The United States initially provided substantial economic assistance to the Sandinista-dominated regime. We were largely instrumental in the OAS action delegitimizing the Somoza regime and laying the groundwork for installation for the new junta. Later, when the Sandinista role in the Salvadoran conflict became clear, we sought through a combination of private diplomatic contacts and suspension of assistance to convince Nicaragua to halt its subversion. Later still, economic measures and further diplomatic efforts were employed to try to effect changes in Sandinista behavior.

Nicaragua's neighbors have asked for assistance against Nicaraguan aggression, and the United States has responded. Those countries have repeatedly and publicly made clear that they consider themselves to be the victims of aggression from Nicaragua, and that they desire United States assistance in meeting both subversive attacks and the conventional threat posed by the relatively immense Nicaraguan Armed Forces.

Due to U.S. pressure, the Sandinistas held a blatantly rigged[143] election in 1984. On October 5, 1985, the Sandinistas broadened the 1982 State of Emergency and suspended many more civil rights. A new regulation also forced any organization outside of the government to first submit any statement it wanted to make public to the censorship bureau for prior censorship.[144]

As the Contras continued to advance due to U.S. aid, the Sandinistas struggled to maintain power. They were overthrown in 1990, when they ended the SOE and held an election that all the main opposition parties were allowed to compete in. According to P.J. O'Rourke, the Sandinistas were forced to agree to the elections by the U.S. and the Contras, and lost them despite "the unfair advantages of using state resources for party ends, the Sandinista control of the transit system that prevented UNO [United Nicaraguan Opposition] supporters from attending rallies, the Sandinista domination of the army that forced soldiers to vote for Daniel Ortega and the Sandinista bureaucracy keeping $3.3 million of U.S. campaign aid from getting to UNO while Ortega spent millions donated by overseas people and millions and millions more from the Nicaraguan treasury.”[145]

The Contras and the United States were accused of war crimes[Citation Needed] for fighting against the brutal dictatorship. Nicaraguan voters in the 1990 elections, however, thought otherwise, thanking the U.S. for liberating them from Communist slavery: "The longer they were in power, the worse things became. It was all lies, what they promised us" (unemployed person); "I thought it was going to be just like 1984, when the vote was not secret and there was not all these observers around" (market vendor); "Don’t you believe those lies [about fraud], I voted my conscience and my principles, and so did everyone else I know" (young mother); "the Sandinistas have mocked and abused the people, and now we have given our vote to [the opposition] UNO" (ex-Sandinista officer).[146]

Angola 1980s

War between the Cuban-backed MPLA government in Angola and South African-backed UNITA forces led to decades of civil war that may have cost as many as 1 million lives.[147] The Reagan administration offered covert aid to the anti-communist UNITA rebels, led by Jonas Savimbi. Dr. Peter Hammond, a Christian missionary who lived in Angola at the time, recalled:

"There were over 50,000 Cuban troops in the country. The communists had attacked and destroyed many churches. MiG-23s and Mi-24 Hind helicopter gun ships were terrorising villagers in Angola. I documented numerous atrocities, including the strafing of villages, schools and churches. In 1986, I remember hearing Ronald Reagan's speech—carried on the BBC Africa service—by short wave radio: "We are going to send stinger missiles to the UNITA Freedom Fighters in Angola!" Those who were listening to the SW radio with me looked at one another in stunned amazement. After a long silence as we wondered if our ears had actually heard what we thought we heard, one of us said: "That would be nice!" We scarcely dared believe that it would happen. But it did. Not long afterwards the stinger missiles began to arrive in UNITA controlled Free Angola. Soviet aircraft were shot down. The bombing and strafing of villagers, schools and churches came to an end. Without any doubt, Ronald Reagan's policies saved many tens of thousands of lives in Angola."[148]

Human rights observers have accused the MPLA of "genocidal atrocities," "systematic extermination," "war crimes" and "crimes against humanity."[149] The MPLA held blatantly rigged elections in 1992, which were rejected by eight opposition parties. An official observer wrote that there was little UN supervision, that 500,000 UNITA voters were disenfranchised and that there were 100 clandestine polling stations. UNITA sent peace negotiators to the capital, where the MPLA murdered them, along with 20,000 UNITA members. Savimbi was still ready to continue the elections. The MPLA then massacred tens of thousands of UNITA and FNLA voters nationwide.[150][151]

See also

External links



  • Jeffreys-Jones, Rhodri and Andrew, Christopher, eds. Eternal Vigilance? 50 Years of the CIA. (1997). 246 pp.
  • Powers, Thomas. Intelligence Wars: American Secret History from Hitler to Al-Qaeda (2004) excerpt and text search
  • Ranelagh, John. The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA. From Wild Bill Donovan to William Casey. (1986). 847 pp
  • Rositzke, Harry. The CIA's Secret Operations: Espionage, Counterespionage, and Covert Action (1988) 290 pp. online edition
  • Trahair, Richard C. S. Encyclopedia of Cold War Espionage, Spies, and Secret Operations (2004) online edition
  • Weiner, Tim. Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (2008) excerpt and text search

Special topics

  • Arbel, David, and Ran Edelist. Western Intelligence and the Collapse of the Soviet Union, 1980-1990: Ten Years That Did Not Shake the World (2003) online edition
  • Barrett, David M. The CIA and Congress: The Untold Story from Truman to Kennedy. (2005). 542 pp.
  • Coll, Steve. Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001. (2004) 695 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Conboy, Kenneth and Morrison, James. The CIA's Secret War in Tibet. (2002). 301 pp. Covers the entire history of CIA support for armed Tibetan opposition to Chinese rule: from the seizure of Lhasa in August 1951 and subsequent flight of the Dalai Lama, to the rout of the last Tibetan guerrilla redoubt by the Royal Nepalese Army in 1974. It is a record of almost unmitigated failure. excerpt and text search
  • Darling, Arthur B. The Central Intelligence Agency: An Instrument of Government, to 1950 (1990) online edition
  • Firth, Noel E. and Noren, James H. Soviet Defense Spending: A History of CIA Estimates, 1950-1990. (1998). 291 pp. online edition
  • Grant, Zalin. Facing the Phoenix: The CIA and the Political Defeat of the United States in Vietnam. (1991). 395 pp.
  • Haines, Gerald K. "An Emerging New Field of Study: U.S. Intelligence." Diplomatic History, June 2004, Vol. 28 Issue 3, pp 441–449, in EBSCO
  • Higgins, Trumbull. The Perfect Failure: Kennedy, Eisenhower, and the CIA at the Bay of Pigs. (1987). 224 pp. online edition
  • Jeffreys-Jones, Rhodri. The CIA and American Democracy. (1989). 338 pp
  • Johnston, Rob. Analytic Culture in the US Intelligence Community: An Ethnographic Study. (2005) online edition
  • Kent, Sherman. Strategic Intelligence for American World Policy. (1947) (2000 reprint). Seminal work on CIA intelligence analysis, especially the estimative process.
  • Kessler, Ronald. The CIA at War: Inside the Secret Campaign Against Terror, (2003), 496 pp excerpt and text search
  • Moyar, Mark. Phoenix and the Birds of Prey: The CIA's Secret Campaign to Destroy the Viet Cong. (1997). 416 pp
  • Olmsted, Kathryn S. Challenging the Secret Government: The Post-Watergate Investigations of the CIA and FBI. (1996). 255 pp. online edition
  • Powers, Thomas. The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA. (1979). 393 pp.
  • Prados, John. Lost Crusader: The Secret Wars of CIA Director William Colby. (2003). 380 pp. online edition
  • Prados, John. Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA. (2006). 696 pp
  • Richelson, Jeffrey T. The Wizards of Langley: Inside the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology. (2001). 386 pp.
  • Richelson, Jeffrey T. The U.S. Intelligence Community (1999) online edition
  • Russell, Richard L. Sharpening Strategic Intelligence: Why the CIA Gets It Wrong and What Needs to Be Done to Get It Right. (2007). 232 pp.
  • Saunders, Francis Stonor. The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters. (2000). 509 pp.
  • Scott-Smith, Giles. The Politics of Apolitical Culture: The Congress for Cultural Freedom, the CIA, and Post-War American Hegemony. (2002). 233 pp.
  • Taubman, Philip. Secret Empire: Eisenhower, the CIA, and the Hidden Story of America's Space Espionage. (2003). 441 pp
  • Thomas, Evan. The Very Best Men. Four Who Dared: The Early Years of the CIA. (1995). 427 pp.
  • Troy, Thomas F. Wild Bill and Intrepid: Donovan, Stephenson, and the Origin of CIA. (1996). 259 pp.
  • Wise, David. Molehunt: The Secret Search for Traitors That Shattered the CIA. (1992). Source on James Jesus Angleton's searches inside the CIA, and on the Golitsyn-Nosenko controversy.
  • Woodward, Bob. Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA, 1981-1987 (2005)
  • Zegart, Amy B. Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC. (1999). 317 pp. online edition

Primary sources and memoirs

  • Central Intelligence Agency. A Compendium of Analytic Tradecraft Notes (1997) http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/cia/tradecraft_notes/contents.htm. The basic training guide for CIA analysts.
  • Cullather, Nick. Secret History: The CIA's Classified Account of Its Operations in Guatemala, 1952-1954. (1999). 142 pp. online edition
  • Gates, Robert. From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War, (1997).
  • McAuliffe, Mary S., ed. CIA Documents on the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962. (1992). 376 pp.
  • Murphy, David E.; Kondrashev, Sergei A.; and Bailey, George. Battleground Berlin: CIA vs. KGB in the Cold War. (1997). 530 pp. brings together personal recollections from CIA and KGB officers, and previously unpublished documents.
  • Tenet, George. At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA (2007), DCI 1997 to 2004
  • Turner, Stansfield. Secrecy and Democracy: The CIA in Transition. (1985). 304 pp.
  • Westerfield, H. Bradford, ed. Inside CIA's Private World: Declassified Articles from the Agency's Internal Journal, 1955-1992. (1995). 489 pp.


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