Executive actions of the CIA

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Executive actions of the CIA are directives issued to the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States.


The CIA was created under the National Security Act of 1947, which Harry S. Truman signed on July 26, 1947.[1] Richard Bissell was in charge of Directorate for plans to contain Communism around the world. These operations were called "Black Operations", later known as Executive Actions. It refers to assassination operations.[2] Executive Actions get their power from Article II of the Constitution.[3] Here are different edicts giving power to the president; presidential proclamations to presidential directives. The main ones are executive orders and presidential memoranda. Executive orders have the most power. "It's a document that orders the executive branch officials to do something"[3] A memorandum is a "proposal to persuade", and the president uses these for a more general scope of policy.[3] Executive orders must by law be published in the Federal Register.

Assassination orders[edit]

Political leaders deposed as a result of 'executive action' include:

In March 1960, President Dwight Eisenhower of the United States approved a CIA plan to overthrow Fidel Castro who had established a socialist government in Cuba.[4]

The CIA started to use drone strikes for targeted killing under President George W. Bush in 2001, during the War on Terror.[5] It lost authority to do so by order of President Barack Obama, but regained it again under President Donald Trump.[6]

Executive Order 11905[edit]

The Ford administration forbade assassination in 1976 with Executive Order 11905. A 1989 article in The Washington Post[citation needed] reported that a "secret" ruling of the U.S. Department of State's Office of Legal Advisor had interpreted that Ford's Executive Order only banned intentional killings of foreign leaders, thus clearing the way for "accidental" killings of foreign leaders; for example, during the confusion of a coup d'état or invasion. Since this ruling was one of at least four preceding the U.S. invasion of Panama, some who saw the ruling as giving a green light (approval) for Manuel Noriega to be killed "accidentally". Noriega survived the invasion, and surrendered to US forces.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Central Intelligence Agency (October 6, 2020). "History of the CIA". cia.gov. Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on July 6, 2010. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  2. ^ Escalante Font, Fabián. Executive Action: 634 Ways to Kill Fidel Castro. Melbourne: Ocean Press, 2006.
  3. ^ a b c Perry, Tim (January 26, 2017). "What are executive actions?". cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  4. ^ Lyman B. Kirkpatrick (October 1961). Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation (PDF) (Report). p. 3. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  5. ^ The Story of America's Very First Drone Strike
  6. ^ Trump Restores CIA Power To Launch Drone Strikes