Why and How the CIA Was Created: History, Secret Operations, Myths (2000)





 The CIA succeeded the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), formed during World War II to coordinate secret espionage activities against the Axis Powers for the branches of the United States Armed Forces. The National Security Act of 1947 established the CIA, affording it "no police or law enforcement functions, either at home or abroad".There has been considerable criticism of the CIA relating to security and counterintelligence failures, failures in intelligence analysis, human rights concerns, external investigations and document releases, influencing public opinion and law enforcement, drug trafficking, and lying to Congress. Others, such as Eastern bloc defector Ion Mihai Pacepa, have defended the CIA as "by far the world’s best intelligence organization," and argued that CIA activities are subjected to scrutiny unprecedented among the world's intelligence agencies.

According to its fiscal 2013 budget, the CIA has five priorities: Counterterrorism, the top priority, given the ongoing Global War on Terror. Nonproliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, with North Korea described as perhaps the most difficult target. Warning American leaders of important overseas events, with Pakistan described as an "intractable target". Counterintelligence, with China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, and Israel described as "priority" targets. Cyber intelligence.

In September 1947, the National Security Act of 1947 established both the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency.[75] Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter was appointed as the first Director of Central Intelligence, and one of the first secret operations under him was the successful support of the Christian Democrats in Italy.[76] Critics of the CIA point to the failure to predict the South Korean attack or the subsequent Chinese support in 1950.[77]

The National Security Council Directive on Office of Special Projects, June 18, 1948 (NSC 10/2) further gave the CIA the authority to carry out covert operations "against hostile foreign states or groups or in support of friendly foreign states or groups but which are so planned and conducted that any U.S. government responsibility for them is not evident to unauthorized persons and that if uncovered the US Government can plausibly disclaim any responsibility for them."[78]

In 1949, the Central Intelligence Agency Act (Public law 81-110) authorized the agency to use confidential fiscal and administrative procedures, and exempted it from most of the usual limitations on the use of Federal funds. It also exempted the CIA from having to disclose its "organization, functions, officials, titles, salaries, or numbers of personnel employed." It also created the program "PL-110", to handle defectors and other "essential aliens" who fall outside normal immigration procedures, as well as giving those persons cover stories and economic support.[79]

Then-DCI Walter Bedell Smith, who enjoyed a special degree of Presidential trust because he had been Dwight D. Eisenhower's primary Chief of Staff during World War II, insisted that the CIA – or at least only one department – had to direct the OPC and OSO. Those organizations, as well as some minor functions, formed the euphemistically named Directorate of Plans in 1952.

Also in 1952, United States Army Special Forces were created, with some missions overlapping those of the Department of Plans. In general, the pattern emerged that the CIA could borrow resources from Special Forces, although it had its own special operators.




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