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Central Intelligence Agency

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"CIA" redirects here. For other uses, see CIA (disambiguation).
Central Intelligence Agency
CIA.svg
Seal of the Central Intelligence Agency
Flag of the United States Central Intelligence Agency.svg
Flag of the Central Intelligence Agency
Agency overview
Formed September 18, 1947; 67 years ago (1947-09-18)
Preceding Agency Office of Strategic Services[1]
Headquarters George Bush Center for Intelligence
Langley, Fairfax County, Virginia, U.S.
Motto "The Work of a Nation. The Center of Intelligence."
Unofficial motto: "And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)[2]
Employees

Classified[3]

21,575[4]
Annual budget Classified ($15 billion, as of 2013)[4][5][6]
Agency executives John O. Brennan, Director
Avril Haines, Deputy Director
Parent agency None (independent)
Website www.CIA.gov
The entrance of the CIA New Headquarters Building (NHB) of the George Bush Center for Intelligence.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an external intelligence service of the U.S. Government, tasked with gathering, processing and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence (HUMINT). A component of the 17-member U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), CIA reports to the Director of National Intelligence.

Unlike the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which is an internal intelligence and security service, CIA has no domestic law enforcement function and is focused on overseas intelligence collection. As one of several IC members specializing in HUMINT operations, CIA serves as the national manager for coordination and deconfliction for HUMINT activities. Moreover, it is the only agency authorized to carry out and oversee covert action, unless the President finds that another agency is better suited for such operations.[7][8][9][10] It can, for example, exert foreign political influence through its tactical divisions, such as the Special Activities Division.[11]

In 2013, The Washington Post reported that CIA had the largest budget in the Intelligence Community, exceeding previous estimates.[4][12] The CIA has increasingly taken on offensive roles, including covert paramilitary operations.[4] One of its largest divisions, the Information Operations Center (IOC), has shifted focus from counter-terrorism to offensive cyber-operations.[13]

Several CIA activities have attracted criticism. They include nonconsensual human experiments, extraordinary rendition, enhanced interrogation techniques (torture), targeted killings, assassinations and the funding and training of militants who would go on to kill civilians and non-combatants.[14][15][16]

Purpose

When the CIA was created, its purpose was to create a clearinghouse for foreign policy intelligence and analysis. Today it's primary purpose is to collect, analyze, evaluate, and disseminate foreign intelligence, and to perform covert actions.

According to its fiscal 2013 budget, the CIA has five priorities:[4]

Organizational structure

Chart showing the organization of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The CIA has an executive office and five major directorates:

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

Executive Office

The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (D/CIA) reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI); in practice, the director deals with the DNI, Congress, and the White House, while the Deputy Director is the internal executive.

The Executive Office also support the U.S. military by providing it with information it gathers, receiving information from military intelligence organizations, and cooperating on field activities. The Executive Director is in charge of the day to day operation of the CIA, and each branch of the service has it's own Director.[17] The Associate Director of military affairs, a senior military officer, manages the relationship between the CIA and the Unified Combatant Commands, who produce regional/operational intelligence and consume national intelligence.[18][19]

Directorate of Intelligence

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

The Directorate of Intelligence produces all-source intelligence investigation on key foreign and intercontinental issues relating to powerful and sometimes anti-government sensitive topics.[20] It has four regional analytic groups, six groups for transnational issues, and three focus on policy, collection, and staff support.[21] There is an office dedicated to Iraq, and regional analytical Offices covering the Near Eastern and South Asian Analysis, the Office of Russian and European Analysis, and the Office of Asian Pacific, Asian Pacific, Latin American, and African Analysis and African Analysis.

Directorate of Operations

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

The Service is organized by geographic regions and issues, but the precise present organization of this Directorate is classified.[23]

Directorate of Science and Technology

The Directorate of Science & Technology was established to research, create, and manage technical collection disciplines and equipment. Many of its innovations were transferred to other intelligence organizations, or, as they became more overt, to the military services.

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

Imagery intelligence collected by the U-2 and reconnaissance satellites was analyzed by a DS&T organization called the National Photointerpretation Center (NPIC), which had analysts from both the CIA and the military services. Subsequently, NPIC was transferred to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).

Directorate of Support

The Directorate of Support has organizational and administrative functions to significant units including:

  • The Office of Security
  • The Office of Communications
  • The Office of Information Technology

Training

The CIA established its first training facility, the Office of Training and Education, in 1950. Following the end of the Cold War, the CIA's training budget was slashed, which had a negative effect on employee retention.[25][26] In response, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet established CIA University in 2002.[25][27] CIA University holds between 200 and 300 courses each year, training both new hires and experienced intelligence officers, as well as CIA support staff.[25][26] The facility works in partnership with the National Intelligence University, and includes the Sherman Kent School for Intelligence Analysis, the Directorate of Analysis' component of the university.[27][28][29]

For later stage training of student operations officers, there is at least one classified training area at Camp Peary, near Williamsburg, Virginia. Students are selected, and their progress evaluated, in ways derived from the OSS, published as the book Assessment of Men, Selection of Personnel for the Office of Strategic Services.[30] Additional mission training is conducted at Harvey Point, North Carolina.[31]

The primary training facility for the Office of Communications is Warrenton Training Center, located near Warrenton, Virginia. The facility was established in 1951 and has been used by the CIA since at least 1955.[32][33]

Budget

Details of the overall United States intelligence budget are classified.[4] Under the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949, the Director of Central Intelligence is the only federal government employee who can spend "un-vouchered" government money.[34] The government has disclosed a total figure for all non-military intelligence spending since 2007; the fiscal 2013 figure is $52.6 billion. According to the 2013 mass surveillance disclosures, the CIA's fiscal 2013 budget is $14.7 billion, 28% of the total and almost 50% more than the budget of the National Security Agency. CIA's HUMINT budget is $2.3 billion, the SIGINT budget is $1.7 billion, and spending for security and logistics of CIA missions is $2.5 billion. "Covert action programs", including a variety of activities such as the CIA's drone fleet and anti-Iranian nuclear program activities, accounts for $2.6 billion.[4]

There were numerous previous attempts to obtain general information about the budget.[35] As a result, it was revealed that CIA's annual budget in Fiscal Year 1963 was US $550 million (inflation-adjusted US$ 4.2 billion in 2015),[36] and the overall intelligence budget in FY 1997 was US $26.6 billion (inflation-adjusted US$ 39.1 billion in 2015).[37] There have been accidental disclosures; for instance, Mary Margaret Graham, a former CIA official and deputy director of national intelligence for collection in 2005, said that the annual intelligence budget was $44 billion,[38] and in 1994 Congress accidentally published a budget of $43.4 billion (in 2012 dollars) in 1994 for the non-military National Intelligence Program, including $4.8 billion for the CIA.[4] After the Marshall Plan was approved, appropriating $13.7 billion over five years, 5% of those funds or $685 million were made available to the CIA.[39]

Employees

Polygraphing

Robert Baer, a CNN analyst and former CIA operative, stated that normally a CIA employee undergoes a polygraph examination every three to four years.[40]

Relationship with other intelligence agencies

The CIA acts as the primary US HUMINT and general analytic agency, under the Director of National Intelligence, who directs or coordinates the 16 member organizations of the United States Intelligence Community. In addition, it obtains information from other U.S. government intelligence agencies, commercial information sources, and foreign intelligence services.[citation needed]

U.S. agencies

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

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

Foreign intelligence services

The role and functions of the CIA are roughly equivalent to those of the United Kingdom's Secret Intelligence Service (the SIS or MI6), the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), the Egyptian General Intelligence Service, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki) (SVR), the Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the French foreign intelligence service Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE) and Israel's Mossad. While the preceding agencies both collect and analyze information, some like the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research are purely analytical agencies.[citation needed]

The closest links of the U.S. IC to other foreign intelligence agencies are to Anglophone countries: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. There is a special communications marking that signals that intelligence-related messages can be shared with these four countries.[41] An indication of the United States' close operational cooperation is the creation of a new message distribution label within the main U.S. military communications network. Previously, the marking of NOFORN (i.e., No Foreign Nationals) required the originator to specify which, if any, non-U.S. countries could receive the information. A new handling caveat, USA/AUS/CAN/GBR/NZL Five Eyes, used primarily on intelligence messages, gives an easier way to indicate that the material can be shared with Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

The task of the division called "Verbindungsstelle 61" of the German Bundesnachrichtendienst is keeping contact to the CIA office in Wiesbaden.[42] Ireland's military Directorate of Intelligence (G2) liaises with the CIA, although it is not a member of the Five Eyes.[43]

History

The Central Intelligence Agency was created on July 26, when Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 into law. A major impetus that would be cited over the years for the creation of the CIA was the unforeseen attack on Pearl Harbor, but whatever Pearl Harbor's role, in the twilight of World War II it was clear in government circles that there was a need for a group to coordinate government intelligence efforts, and the FBI, the State Department, and the War Department, and even the Post Office were all jockeying for that new power.

Open Source Intelligence

Until the 2004 reorganization of the intelligence community, one of the "services of common concern" that the CIA provided was Open Source Intelligence from the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS).[44] FBIS, which had absorbed the Joint Publication Research Service, a military organization that translated documents,[45] moved into the National Open Source Enterprise under the Director of National Intelligence.

During the Reagan administration, Michael Sekora (assigned to the DIA), worked with agencies across the intelligence community, including the CIA, to develop and deploy a technology-based competitive strategy system called Project Socrates. Project Socrates was designed to utilize open source intelligence gathering almost exclusively. The technology-focused Socrates system supported such programs as the Strategic Defense Initiative in addition to private sector projects.[46][47]

As part of its mandate to gather intelligence, the CIA is looking increasingly online for information, and has become a major consumer of social media. "We're looking at YouTube, which carries some unique and honest-to-goodness intelligence," said Doug Naquin, director of the DNI Open Source Center (OSC) at CIA headquarters. "We're looking at chat rooms and things that didn't exist five years ago, and trying to stay ahead."[48] CIA launched a Twitter account in June 2014.[49]

Outsourcing and privatization

Many of the duties and functions of Intelligence Community activities, not the CIA alone, are being outsourced and privatized. Mike McConnell, former Director of National Intelligence, was about to publicize an investigation report of outsourcing by U.S. intelligence agencies, as required by Congress.[50] However, this report was then classified.[51][52] Hillhouse speculates that this report includes requirements for the CIA to report:[51][53]

  • different standards for government employees and contractors;
  • contractors providing similar services to government workers;
  • analysis of costs of contractors vs. employees;
  • an assessment of the appropriateness of outsourced activities;
  • an estimate of the number of contracts and contractors;
  • comparison of compensation for contractors and government employees;
  • attrition analysis of government employees;
  • descriptions of positions to be converted back to the employee model;
  • an evaluation of accountability mechanisms;
  • an evaluation of procedures for "conducting oversight of contractors to ensure identification and prosecution of criminal violations, financial waste, fraud, or other abuses committed by contractors or contract personnel"; and
  • an "identification of best practices of accountability mechanisms within service contracts."

According to investigative journalist Tim Shorrock:

...what we have today with the intelligence business is something far more systemic: senior officials leaving their national security and counterterrorism jobs for positions where they are basically doing the same jobs they once held at the CIA, the NSA and other agencies — but for double or triple the salary, and for profit. It's a privatization of the highest order, in which our collective memory and experience in intelligence — our crown jewels of spying, so to speak — are owned by corporate America. Yet, there is essentially no government oversight of this private sector at the heart of our intelligence empire. And the lines between public and private have become so blurred as to be nonexistent.[54][55]

Congress has required an outsourcing report by March 30, 2008.[53]

The Director of National Intelligence has been granted the authority to increase the number of positions (FTEs) on elements in the Intelligence Community by up to 10% should there be a determination that activities performed by a contractor should be done by a US government employee."[53]

Part of the contracting problem comes from Congressional restrictions on the number of employees in the IC. According to Hillhouse, this resulted in 70% of the de facto workforce of the CIA's National Clandestine Service being made up of contractors. "After years of contributing to the increasing reliance upon contractors, Congress is now providing a framework for the conversion of contractors into federal government employees—more or less."[53]

As with most government agencies, building equipment often is contracted. The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), responsible for the development and operation of airborne and spaceborne sensors, long was a joint operation of the CIA and the United States Department of Defense. NRO had been significantly involved in the design of such sensors, but the NRO, then under DCI authority, contracted more of the design that had been their tradition, and to a contractor without extensive reconnaissance experience, Boeing. The next-generation satellite Future Imagery Architecture project "how does heaven look", which missed objectives after $4 billion in cost overruns, was the result of this contract.[56][57]

Some of the cost problems associated with intelligence come from one agency, or even a group within an agency, not accepting the compartmented security practices for individual projects, requiring expensive duplication.[58]

Controversies

Supplemental material used in Maxwell Taylor's report on the Bay of Pigs invasion

The CIA: A Forgotten History, by William Blum[59] and Legacy of Ashes by Tim Weiner.[60] have accused the CIA of various covert actions, and human rights abuses. The CIA has responded to the claims made in Weiner's book,[61] and that Jeffrey Richelson of the National Security Archive has also been critical of it.[62]

Extraordinary rendition

The US Senate Report on CIA Detention Interrogation Program that details the use of torture during CIA detention and interrogation.

Extraordinary rendition is the apprehension and extrajudicial transfer of a person from one country to another.[63]

The term "torture by proxy" is used by some critics to describe situations in which the CIA[64][65][66][67] and other US agencies have transferred suspected terrorists to countries known to employ torture, whether they meant to enable torture or not. It has been claimed, though, that torture has been employed with the knowledge or acquiescence of US agencies (a transfer of anyone to anywhere for the purpose of torture is a violation of US law), although Condoleezza Rice (then the United States Secretary of State) stated that:

the United States has not transported anyone, and will not transport anyone, to a country when we believe he will be tortured. Where appropriate, the United States seeks assurances that transferred persons will not be tortured.[68]

Whilst the Obama administration has tried to distance itself from some of the harshest counterterrorism techniques, it has also said that at least some forms of renditions will continue.[69] Currently the administration continues to allow rendition only "to a country with jurisdiction over that individual (for prosecution of that individual)" when there is a diplomatic assurance "that they will not be treated inhumanely."[70][71]

The US programme has also prompted several official investigations in Europe into alleged secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers involving Council of Europe member states. A June 2006 report from the Council of Europe estimated 100 people had been kidnapped by the CIA on EU territory (with the cooperation of Council of Europe members), and rendered to other countries, often after having transited through secret detention centres ("black sites") used by the CIA, some located in Europe. According to the separate European Parliament report of February 2007, the CIA has conducted 1,245 flights, many of them to destinations where suspects could face torture, in violation of article 3 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture.[14]

Following the 11 September 2001 attacks the United States, in particular the CIA, has been accused of rendering hundreds of people suspected by the government of being terrorists—or of aiding and abetting terrorist organisations—to third-party states such as Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Uzbekistan. Such "ghost detainees" are kept outside judicial oversight, often without ever entering US territory, and may or may not ultimately be devolved to the custody of the United States.[72][73]

On October 4, 2001, a secret arrangement is made in Brussels, by all members of NATO. Lord George Robertson, British defence secretary and later NATO's secretary-general, will later explain NATO members agree to provide "blanket overflight clearances for the United States and other allies' aircraft for military flights related to operations against terrorism."[74]

Security failures

Critics assert that funding the Afghan mujahideen (Operation Cyclone) played a role in causing the September 11 attacks.

On December 30, 2009, a suicide attack occurred in the Forward Operating Base Chapman attack in the province of Khost, Afghanistan. Seven CIA officers, including the chief of the base, were killed and six others seriously wounded in the attack.[75]

Counterintelligence failures

Perhaps the most disruptive period involving counterintelligence was James Jesus Angleton's search for a mole,[76] based on the statements of a Soviet defector, Anatoliy Golitsyn. A second defector, Yuri Nosenko, challenged Golitsyn's claims, with the two calling one another Soviet double agents.[77] Many CIA officers fell under career-ending suspicion; the details of the relative truths and untruths from Nosenko and Golitsyn may never be released, or, in fact, may not be fully understood. The accusations also crossed the Atlantic to the British intelligence services, who also were damaged by molehunts.[78]

Edward Lee Howard, David Henry Barnett, both field operations officers sold secrets to Russia, and William Kampiles, a low-level worker in the CIA 24-hour Operations Center. Kampiles sold the Soviets the detailed operational manual for the KH-11 reconnaissance satellite.[79]

Human rights concerns

The CIA has been called into question for, at times, using torture, funding and training of groups and organizations that would later participate in killing of civilians and other non-combatants and would try or succeed in overthrowing democratically elected governments, human experimentation, and targeted killings and assassinations. The CIA has also been accused of a lack of financial and whistleblower controls which has led to waste and fraud.[80]

The Institute on Medicine as a Profession and the non-profit organization Open Society Foundations reviewed public records into the medical professions alleging complicity in the abuse of prisoners suspected of terrorism who were held in U.S. custody during the years after 9/11."[81][82] The reports found that health professionals "Aided cruel and degrading interrogations; Helped devise and implement practices designed to maximize disorientation and anxiety so as to make detainees more malleable for interrogation; and Participated in the application of excruciatingly painful methods of force-feeding of mentally competent detainees carrying out hunger strikes" are not all that surprising.[81] Medical professionals were sometimes used at black sites to monitor detainee health.[83] Whether or not the physicians were compelled is an open question.

External investigations and document releases

Several investigations (e.g., the Church Committee, Rockefeller Commission, Pike Committee, etc.) have been conducted about the CIA, and many documents have been declassified.[84]

Influencing public opinion and law enforcement

The CIA sometimes finds itself in conflict with other parts of the government when there is disagreement over the legality of specific covert programs. There is always the risk that one part of the government may make the covert operations of another part of the government public.[85]

Drug trafficking

Two offices of CIA Directorate of Analysis have analytical responsibilities in this area. The Office of Transnational Issues[86] applies unique functional expertise to assess existing and emerging threats to U.S. national security and provides the most senior U.S. policymakers, military planners, and law enforcement with analysis, warning, and crisis support.

CIA Crime and Narcotics Center[87] researches information on international narcotics trafficking and organized crime for policymakers and the law enforcement community. Since CIA has no domestic police authority, it sends its analytic information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other law enforcement organizations, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the United States Department of the Treasury (OFAC).

Another part of CIA, the Directorate of Operations, collects human intelligence (HUMINT) in these areas.

Research by Dr. Alfred W. McCoy, Gary Webb, and others has pointed to CIA involvement in narcotics trafficking across the globe, although the CIA officially denies such allegations.[88][89] During the Cold War, when numerous soldiers participated in transport of Southeast Asian heroin to the United States by the airline Air America[citation needed], the CIA's role in such traffic was reportedly rationalized as "recapture" of related profits to prevent possible enemy control of such assets.

Alleged lying to Congress

Former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has stated that the CIA repeatedly misled the Congress since 2001 about waterboarding and other torture, though Pelosi admitted to being told about the programs.[90][91] Six members of Congress have claimed that Director of the CIA Leon Panetta admitted that over a period of several years since 2001 the CIA deceived Congress, including affirmatively lying to Congress. Some congressmen believe that these "lies" to Congress are similar to CIA lies to Congress from earlier periods.[92]

Covert programs hidden from Congress

On July 10, 2009, House Intelligence subcommittee Chairwoman Representative Jan Schakowsky (D, IL) announced the termination of an unnamed CIA covert program described as "very serious" in nature which had been kept secret from Congress for eight years.[93]

It's not as if this was an oversight and over the years it just got buried. There was a decision under several directors of the CIA and administration not to tell the Congress.

Jan Schakowsky, Chairwoman, U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Subcommittee

CIA Director Panetta had ordered an internal investigation to determine why Congress had not been informed about the covert program. Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Representative Silvestre Reyes announced that he is considering an investigation into alleged CIA violations of the National Security Act, which requires with limited exception that Congress be informed of covert activities. Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Chairwoman Schakowsky indicated that she would forward a request for congressional investigation to HPSCI Chairman Silvestre Reyes.

"Director Panetta did brief us two weeks ago—I believe it was on the 24th of June—... and, as had been reported, did tell us that he was told that the vice president had ordered that the program not be briefed to the Congress."

Dianne Feinstein, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

As mandated by Title 50 of the United States Code Chapter 15, Subchapter III, when it becomes necessary to limit access to covert operations findings that could affect vital interests of the U.S., as soon as possible the President must report at a minimum to the Gang of Eight (the leaders of each of the two parties from both the Senate and House of Representatives, and the chairs and ranking members of both the Senate Committee and House Committee for intelligence).[94] The House is expected to support the 2010 Intelligence Authorization Bill including a provision that would require the President to inform more than 40 members of Congress about covert operations. The Obama administration threatened to veto the final version of a bill that included such a provision.[95][96] On July 16, 2008 the fiscal 2009 Intelligence Authorization Bill was approved by House majority containing stipulations that 75% of money sought for covert actions would be held until all members of the House Intelligence panel were briefed on sensitive covert actions. Under the George W. Bush administration, senior advisers to the President issued a statement indicating that if a bill containing this provision reached the President, they would recommend that he veto the bill.[97]

The program was rumored vis-à-vis leaks made by anonymous government officials on July 23, to be an assassinations program,[98][99] but this remains unconfirmed. "The whole committee was stunned....I think this is as serious as it gets," stated Anna Eshoo, Chairman, Subcommittee on Intelligence Community Management, U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).

Allegations by Director Panetta indicate that details of a secret counterterrorism program were withheld from Congress under orders from former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney. This prompted Senator Feinstein and Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to insist that no one should go outside the law.[100] "The agency hasn't discussed publicly the nature of the effort, which remains classified," said agency spokesman Paul Gimigliano.[101]

The Wall Street Journal reported, citing former intelligence officials familiar with the matter, that the program was an attempt to carry out a 2001 presidential authorization to capture or kill al-Qaeda operatives.[102]

Intelligence Committee investigation

On July 17, 2009, the House Intelligence Committee said it was launching a formal investigation into the secret program.[103] Representative Silvestre Reyes announced the probe will look into "whether there was any past decision or direction to withhold information from the committee".

"Is giving your kid a test in school an inhibition on his free learning?" Holt said. "Sure, there are some people who are happy to let intelligence agencies go about their business unexamined. But I think most people when they think about it will say that you will get better intelligence if the intelligence agencies don't operate in an unexamined fashion."

Rush Holt, Chairman, House Select Intelligence Oversight Panel, Committee on Appropriations[104]

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D, IL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, who called for the investigation, stated that the investigation was intended to address CIA failures to inform Congress fully or accurately about four issues: C.I.A. involvement in the downing of a missionary plane mistaken for a narcotics flight in Peru in 2001, and two "matters that remain classified", as well as the rumored-assassinations question. In addition, the inquiry is likely to look at the Bush administration's program of eavesdropping without warrants and its detention and interrogation program.[105] U.S. Intelligence Chief Dennis Blair testified before the House Intelligence Committee on February 3, 2010 that the U.S. intelligence community is prepared to kill U.S. citizens if they threaten other Americans or the United States.[106] The American Civil Liberties Union has said this policy is "particularly troubling" because U.S. citizens "retain their constitutional right to due process even when abroad." The ACLU also "expressed serious concern about the lack of public information about the policy and the potential for abuse of unchecked executive power."[107]

Improper search of computers used by Senate investigators

In July 2014 CIA Director John O. Brennan had to apologize to lawmakers because five CIA employees (two lawyers and three computer specialists) had surreptitiously searched Senate Intelligence Committee files and reviewed some committee staff members' e-mail on computers that were supposed to be exclusively for congressional investigators. Brennan ordered the creation of an internal personnel board, led by former senator Evan Bayh, to review the agency employees' conduct and determine "potential disciplinary measures."[108] However, according to some reports, Brennan didn't apologize for spying or doing anything wrong at all, even though his agency had been improperly accessing computers of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee (SSCI) and then, in the words of investigative reporter Dan Froomkin, "speaking a lie". This accusation was based on the CIA Director's earlier denials of Senator Dianne Feinstein's claims that the surreptitious CIA search of the SSCI computers occurred, was inappropriate, or "violated the separation of powers principles embodied in the United States Constitution, including the Speech and Debate clause" or other laws.[109][110][111]

See also

References

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Further reading

External links