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The Cia Essay, Research Paper
CIA: The Black Sheep of the US Government
Thinking in the philosophical terms of “good” and “evil,” nothing purely “good” can survive without the slightest taint of “evil,” and vice-versa. The same standard exists for everything. Just as you cannot always succeed by being purely honest, a government cannot hold itself together without committing it’s own personal rights and wrongs. The United States of America has protected its residents well in the past, and kept the appearance of a mild innocense; well, most of it, anyway. The Covert Intelligence Agency (CIA) is mostly swamped in its wrongs, though many have not even been proven. The CIA has been this country’s “yang” to protect the populace of the USA.
CIA is an agency of the Executive Branch of the United States government. It was created by the National Security Act of 1947, which also unified the three military departments (the Army, Navy and Marines) under a secretary of defense. It replaced the National Intelligence Authority and the Central Intelligence Group. Its purpose is to keep the U.S. government informed of foreign actions affecting our nation’s interests. The agency gathers political, economic, and military information about more than 150 nations and evaluates it for other U.S. government agencies. The CIA employs many foreign agents to supply intelligence about their native countries. It can also gather intelligence by listening to foreign radio and television broadcasts. Other ways include: reading foreign printed material available to the public, using aircraft with cameras, and using satellites to take pictures.
The CIA works mostly by espionage, which is the act of spying on a country, organization, movement, or person. Using this method, the CIA evaluates and interprets information from its agents and researchers. It uses a lot of technical devices such as electronic eavesdropping equipment and also performs counterespionage. This prevents the theft of secret information and detects the presence of spies in the United States. Some think the history of espionage goes back to prehistoric times. The bible tells of Moses sending spies into Canaan. Frederick the Great of Prussia is credited with originating organized espionage. George Washington’s spies obtained intelligence and information during the Revolutionary war.
The CIA’s original job was primarily intelligence gathering, but when Communism started to spread, the National Security Council directed that the agency take part in political, covert, paramilitary, and economic operations. When the Korean War broke out, the CIA performed these operations, it also had additional requirements to support the combat forces.
In 1950 and 1953, the CIA went through several changes. An Office of National Estimates was given the mission of projecting future developments. Overseas operations were placed in one directorate. Another directorate was in charge of all intelligence production and a third directorate included all support activities. During this period, up until 1961, the CIA was at the height of its cold war activity. It carried out continuous foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, political action, and propaganda.3 In 1955, Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill granting $46 million for the construction of a CIA Headquarters Building. The cornerstone of the building was laid on November 3, 1959.2
The CIA has played a big part in the U.S. controversy with Cuba. On April 17, 1961, the CIA, supported by Cuban exiles, invaded Cuba. It was known as the “Bay of Pigs” invasion. On the same day, the first employees moved into the completed CIA Headquarters Building. On Oct. 15, 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis began. The CIA was the organization that discovered the Soviet-made nuclear missiles in Cuba. The missiles were capable of reaching most of the United States.2 Also in 1962, the CIA had a mission in Cuba called MONGOOSE. In this mission the CIA planned to destroy a railroad yard and bridge. It also persuaded a German ball bearing manufacturer to send reject bearings to Cuba so the machines that they were used in would malfunction. It also sabotaged new busses that were ordered by Cuba for its own use. The CIA also assisted others in assassination planning against Cuban President Fidel Castro.6
Cuba is not the only foreign country that the CIA has carried out missions in. In Afghanistan, the CIA responded to the 1979 Soviet invasion. The CIA operated in conjunction with China. In Chile the agency worked to prevent Allende from being elected in 1958 and 1964. Allende was elected in 1970, but the CIA worked to stop his succession of power. In El Salvador a CIA-army unit, known as Seaspray, tried to locate guerillas by tracking radio transmissions. Also in El Salvador, the CIA helped stop people from voting multiple times, making it easy for rebels to identify voters. It also worked between 1982-1984 to stop the election of National Republican Alliance party leader Roberto Aubuissin. In Guatemala the agency assisted in the successful 1954 coup against the government of Jacob Arbenz. In Iran the CIA recovered guided missiles and patrol boats with guided missiles on them. It also ran a mission to overthrow an Iranian leader in Indonesia, PM Mossagegh.6
In 1975, there were several different committees organized for the purpose of investigating the actions of the CIA. All three of the committees were only temporary. They were disestablished after they gave their final report. On May 19, 1976, the Senate established a permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to carry out the oversight of the CIA. On July 14, 1977, the House of Representatives also established a permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. This differed from the committee that the Senate established because this committee had oversight authority over all other intelligence agencies.2
The national intelligent effort is led by the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI). The DCI oversees all of the intelligence programs. The budget for all national intelligence activities is prepared by the DCI and is presented to Congress annually. These activities are focused and intended to support tactical military forces, and are funded separately in two programs within the Department of Defense. These two programs, the Joint Military Intelligence Program and the Tactical Intelligence and Related Activities aggression falls under the Deputy Secretary of Defense.
Under the DCI is the CIA Executive Director. There are four directors under the Executive Director: the Deputy Director for Operations, the Deputy Director for Intelligence, the Deputy Director for Science and Technology, and the Deputy Director for Administration. The Deputy Director for Operations (DO) is also known as the clandestine service. The DO conducts covert operations and includes an estimated 1,800 to 2,000 case officers who oversee several thousand foreign agents overseas. The Deputy Director for Intelligence collects and analyzes information provided by all directorates. This includes all intelligence from CIA officers, satellites, and the world press. His department also tries to predict events in foreign countries and provide the president with a daily briefing. The Deputy Director for Science and Technology has four specific duties. They include: producing the “toys” of the spy trade, such as disguises, false documents, and secret radio transmitters, analyzing satellite photos, intercepting foreign communications, and producing state-of-the-art espionage tools. The Deputy Director for Administration provides supplies and training, launders money, conducts background checks, debugs CIA offices, and analyzes specimens from foreign leaders to determine their health.
The CIA has had problems with double agents. A double agent is an agent who is actually working for a foreign power, usually feeding false information to his case officer.7 In 1990, a CIA team went to Berlin to go through the records of the Stasi, the former East German intelligence service. CIA officers discovered that all but a few of the Stasi’s East German agents had been recruited as double agents by the Communist regime in East Berlin. In 1988, a Cuban named Felix Aspillaga told the Operations Directorate that almost every one of the agents that the CIA had recruited in Cuba was actually working for the Cubans and giving wrong information to the Americans.
One of the more recent cases of a double agent deals with Aldrich Ames. Ames was a spy for the CIA. He had a normal income and it seemed that he lived a normal life. It looked this way from the outside, but on the inside he was really working for the Soviet KGB. He was paid a total of $1.5 million by the Soviets, for his service. He deposited some of the money in his name and some if the money in his wife’s name in banks in Virginia. He sold U.S. secrets to the KGB. He also gave them the names of all of the Soviets that the CIA hired as spies of its own. His actions started in the mid 80’s and he worked undetected for nine years. He and his wife were finally arrested in the spring of 1994. If convicted they would both spend life in prison.
The agency has had other problems and scandals too. In 1960 a Soviet missile shot down a U.S. spy plane that was taking photos of Soviet territory. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev then canceled a summit meeting with President Dwight D. Eisenhower. During the Vietnam War, the CIA illegally spied on thousands of Americans who opposed the war. They did this by opening mail and using wiretaps and other illegal methods to get information.4 Investigations in the mid-1970’s found that several CIA employees took part in the Watergate affair. The CIA has also taken a lot of heat for its many assassination attempts of five foreign leaders.1
Today the CIA has many problems with its agents. It had a problem with an agent named Mark McFarlin. He knowingly allowed several shipments of cocaine enter the United States from Venezuela. In the mid-80’s, agents were buying arms and shipping them back to the United States illegally and putting them up for sale. In Ghana, a CIA secretary betrayed the names of CIA agents to her lover. It cost the CIA $13 million to resettle the agents back in the United States. The CIA also had several agents betray the agency while spying in Iran.7 The latest scandal is the cover-up of papers containing information on the possible exposure of U.S. troops to chemical weapons during the Persian Gulf War. The CIA refused to talk to Gulf War veterans who have evidence of chemical agent detections and exposures. The pentagon is still looking into the investigation. They have named the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Bernard Rostker, as the Gulf Illness “czar.”
Besides all of the technical equipment, the CIA has one unique way of gaining intelligence. It involves the paranormal and is called Operation Stargate. The program was started in the early 1970’s. It consists of Psychics. The psychics predict activity of foreign countries. The program hit its peak in the late 1970’s. Since the program began, the CIA has spent $20 million employing at least 16 psychics. Joe McMoneagle pinpointed the locations of several Soviet submarines and the exact date on which it would emerge from its hiding spot. The CIA wants to discontinue the program, saying it is no longer effective, but supporters of the program say it is beneficial and that it is correct on 20% of its predictions.
During the early 1950s and into the mid 1960s there were a number of unusual activities involving the CIA, The Canadian Government, and the American Government. It was a conspiracy. No one would ever guess that it was being supported by all three groups.
During this time a number of experiments involving hallucinogenic, along with what some might consider inhuman methods of psychiatry, were performed on patients. This wasn’t the end of
the story. After three decades through endless court battles, a mysterious death of one of the world’s most famous psychiatrists/doctor, and numerous investigations, The CIA ended
up being the most dominant player and winner of this international, yet mysterious case.
The MKultra program emerged in 1953. It dealt with drugs and counter-drugs involved in research and development. MKultra immediate inspiration came from confessions made at
Stalin’s show trials and a public confession of Cardinal Mindzenty of Hungary on February 3, 1949. He showed signs that made the impression of being “broken down.” As a result of theses incidents
the CIA was interested in the reason behind all this. Another factor was the Korean War. During the war, US servicemen made radio propaganda which broadcasts for The Soviets. Behind these broadcasts was the plea for an end with US involvement in the war. People were confessing to the most extraordinary charges in the communist courts. These events lead The Senior CIA Staff to suspect that The Soviets had mind control over the people. It was a time that the memory of The Nazi death camps was still in the air, and previously facing massive bombing, the best and brightest of the US Government thought that another totalitarian threat was about to emerge and they were facing new technical evils. From all this paranoia, MKultra was created. It showed that the
CIA was in the context of its time, “sharing the concerns of society, not removed from them” These concerns were reflected in the following CIA analysis:
Since the notorious Moscow trial of 1937, overt Russian judicial procedure has
been noteworthy for the dramatic trials in which the defendants have exhibited
anomalous and incomprehensible behavior and confessions. Characteristics and manner of the defendants, and formulation and delivery of the “confessions” have been so similar in a large number of cases as to suggest factitious origin. Most noteworthy and incredible has been the recent “confession” of His Eminence Cardinal MINDZENTY while on trial in the People’s Court of Hungary….
The evident incongruities prompted this study…It became apparent at the outset of the study that
the style, context and manner of delivery of “confessions were such as to be inexplicable unless
there had been a reorganization and reorientation of the minds of the confessees. There is adequate
historical experience to establish that basic changes in the functional organization of the humanmind cannot be brought about by the traditional methods of physical torture-these, at the most,
achieve a reluctant, temporary yielding and, moreover, leave their mark upon the victim. Newer or
more subtle techniques had, therefore, to be considered . .
a. Psycho surgery: a surgical separation of the frontal lobes of the brain.
b. Shock method: (1) electrical (2) drug: metrazol, cannabis, indica, insulin, cocaine.
c. Psychoanalytic methods: (1) psychoanalysis (2) narcoanalysis and synthesis (3) hypnoanalysis and synthesis.
d. Combinations of the foregoing.
For the next twenty years, under several of names, the CIA began research on controlling human behavior. The first being Project Bluebird. During WWII the military hospitals discovered that soldiers and patients intend to speak freely when they where under the influence
of anesthetics. For this reason the OSS used cannabis in their drug experiments. The first field test was performed on an underworld figure known as August Del Gracio, a member of Charles “Lucky”
Luciano crime family in New York. He was given cigarettes heavily laced with cannabis. As he smoked, they questioned him about underworld activities. Del Gracio and the OSS were also involvedin an attempt to arrange and prepare for an invasion of Sicily, and the protection of the New York docks against enemy sabotage. Directed by Shefields Edwards (head of the CIA’s Office of Security) the project goal was to determine whether a team consisting of psychiatrists, lie detector experts, hypnotists, and technicians could get better results with drugs over other means of interrogation. A month later, during the Korean War, the team worked in Tokyo to investigate four people suspected to be double agents. The results were considered to be successful. In October 1950 the team worked on captured North Koreans.
When Bedell Smith became DCI, Project Bluebird goals were to develop human robots. This experiment was called Project Artichoke. It was carried out by CIA’s Office of Scientific
Intelligence. Its intentions were “to exploit along operational lines, scientific method and knowledge that can be utilized in altering attitudes, beliefs thought process and behavior patterns
of agent personnel” Due to the sensitivity of the techniques carried out and substances used, this was a highly confidential project. Within a short time, there were rumors in the Dictorate
of Plans about double agents that were killed in the prior MKULTRA experiments. Both projects were conducted in Germany, Far East, and the United States.
In April 1953, under the direction of Allen Dulles and Richard Helms, the program began to involve biological and chemical materials. At the time, Dr. Harris Isabell was head of the drug
treatment center in Lexington, Kentucky, where he carried out numerous experiments on drug addicts. The drugs used in the experiments were supplied by the CIA. Here the testees where
informed of what exactly was involved in the research and their consent was obtained ( no where else did this happen). At the time LSD particularly interested the agency. The long
term effect of this drug was not known. There was one case where the doctor kept seven men on LSD for 77 days. It was considered to be even too much for “acid heads” of the 1960’s to handle! The object of the experiments conducted were to see if it was possible to control people for a long period of time, from faraway distances. “The spectacle of people’s behavior being controlled
in Soviet show trials indicated that the Russians had perfected such techniques” The experiment wasn’t usually successful because the patients that were used were previously hardened drug
addicts. So as in 1953 “normal” people were used. Dr. Sidney Gotlieb was currently head of TSS at the time, where he reported to Frank Wisner and Richard helms in the Dictorate of Plans. He was mainly responsible for coordinating the MKultra programs. In 1953 numerous projects under MKULTRA came into existence and were under Gotlieb’s authority. There was Project Chatter (1947), a navy program attempted to test and identify truth drugs, due to the report of the amazing results obtained by the Soviets. MKNaomi (1952), was designed for the production of biological chemical weapons and substances for the agency’s use. MKDelta (1952) was the procedure for governing the use of MKultra material abroad. In all there were 149 MKULTRA subprojects, 33
additional subprojects that were solely funded by MKULTRA itself. The 33 additional subprojects had nothing to do with behavioral modification, toxins, or drugs. By then MKULTRA indicated how the agency was ready, willing and prepared to face the world on a different level.
There was one of the subproject that was considered to be humorous, Subproject #94 involving cats, dogs, and monkeys. These animals were used as guided bombs and microphones for
eavesdropping. An audio device was considered inefficient and didn’t work effectively enough. They acted like cameras and would record what they saw and the results were sometimes incomprehensive. An example would be at cocktail parties where these devices would record everything. Therefore, the outcome was fuzzy. So the CIA began to invest a lot of money and time on training a cat. This cat was cut open and a microphone would be inserted in its cochlea and an antenna in its tail. At first the cat would wander off every time it got hungry, so they split the cat in half once again and wired it in order for it not to have the hunger sensation. Finally when they released it and instructed in to listen into two men talking in the park, it got ran over as it crossed the street.
The CIA is not completely bad. It does a lot of good for our nation. During the Persian Gulf War, it gained intelligence for the UN forces. It gained intelligence with the help of more than 200 Iraqi foes of Saddam Hussein. The CIA helps the United States gain national economic security. It does this by spying on the economic performance of other countries. Today it is looking more at Japanese and German product designs along with the designs of military weapons. Some people think this kind of spying is good and others think it is wrong. In 1995, France accused the United States of gathering economic and political secrets. The CIA responded by relocating these agents. The State department called the French charges unwarranted, this is because the French have been known for their own industrial and economic espionage.
The CIA, despite its downfalls has constantly been helpful to the security of the United States. The information that it has gathered has benefitted us in peace as well as during war. It is a great asset to our national and economic security. It will continue to provide our nation with the intelligence it needs in the future. As long as the United States stands, the CIA will be a necessary “evil” to stabilize “pure” nature of the rest of the Government.
McCurdy, Dave. “Glasnost for the CIA.” Foreign Affairs, Jan/Feb 1995: 125-40
Smowle, Jill. “Double Agent.” Time, 7 March 1994: 28-37
Vistca, Gregory. “Psychics and Spooks.” Newsweek, 11 December 1995: 50.
Walcott, John and Duffy, Brian. “The CIA’s Darkest Secrets.” U.S. News & World
Report, 4 July 1994
Waller, Douglas. “Halt! Friend or Foe?” Time, 6 March 1995: 50.
“Key Events in CIA’s History.” [Online] Available http:
Venzke, Ben. “CIA.” [Online] Available http:
http//alt.politics.org.cia , 1994
Coles, Harry. “CIA.” Encyclopedia Americana. 1983 ed.
Glickman, Harvey. “CIA.” World Book. 1996 ed.
Kirkpatrick, Lyman. “CIA.” Encarta. 1994 ed.
Wheeler, Douglas. “Espionage.” World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia. 1996 ed.
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