Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Former CIA Director Leon Panetta giving new interns a tour at CIA HQ
     This newsletter focuses on the much maligned Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) which was founded under the National Security Act of 1947. Its mission is to gather foreign intelligence to help the president, the National Security Council (NSC), and other officials make superlative policy decisions on national security topics.
     It's role has always remained secret until the 90's, when it increased its openness with the American public. Since then, info about its organizational structure and some of its missions have been revealed. The CIA's four directorates (Administration, Intelligence, Science and Technology, and Operations) are known to all.
   The U.S. intelligence budget, of which CIA comprises but a portion, was $26.6 billion in 1997, the first year in which such figures were reported. (The 1998 budget figures, the only other ones released as of early 2003, showed an increase of $100 million, to $26.7 billion.)
     The CIA still remains tight on some of its functions and stats. For example, a few years back, I was invited to an Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) seminar at CIA headquarters in Langley. I tried to find out about the new employees at the CIA, but didn't get too far as to how many there were, new duties they may be assuming in the battle against radical Islam, etc. However, I did learn about the variety of top-quality personnel it has hired since 9/11 and can assure you that the popular Hollywood image of CIA operatives being cutthroats and assassins is a bankrupt cliché.  The typical employee may be a scientist, engineer, economist, linguist, mathematician, secretary, accountant, or computer specialist.
     Here's some of the latest happenings within the CIA...all declassified, of course!

CIA says two of Clinton's emails contained highly-classified info
The Central Intelligence Agency reports classified info was on Hillary Clinton's emails. Two of her emails appearing on her personal account contained highly classified info. One was about North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

CIA changed it's relationship with Hollywood after
Zero Dark Thirty
The CIA's cooperation in helping make the Zero Dark Thirty movie caused problems within the spy agency. Its cooperation with film  director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal in the making of their Oscar-nominated Osama bin Laden film Zero Dark Thirty led to at least three internal investigations, resulting in an overhaul of the clandestine agency's relationship with Hollywood.

CIA had global prison locations, including Afghanistan, to
conduct Enhanced Interrogation Techniques 
Former senior CIA spymasters partaking in extracting information from al-Qaida prisoners have published a book defending their conduct. The book, titled "Rebuttal," takes aim at the Senate intelligence committee report released last year that revealed gruesome details of the once-secret CIA program while portraying it as ineffective, incompetently run, and rife with misrepresentations.

Enjoy the Caribbean islands? Like spy thrillers? Get the first 3 episodes of "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean" spy series!

German spy Code-named "Markus R."
passed secrets to CIA and Russian spies 
German prosecutors charged "Markus R.", one of their agents, with treason for passing secret documents to CIA and Russian spies. Berlin expelled top U.S. spy official last year due to this type of spying behavior by the U.S. intelligence agencies.  

CIA released thousands of classified documents it gave
to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson
The Central Intelligence Agency is set to release 2,500 previously top-secret briefings it gave to presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960s, a private pro-CIA group announced on Wednesday.

CIA officer Tyler Drumheller recently passed away from pancreatic cancer. He had impeccable credentials and was an intelligence source above reproach. During the Bush administration's resolve to invade Iraq, Drumheller remained steadfast in his efforts to convey the truth that Curveball was an unreliable source to justify to the American public that Saddam Hussein had WMD's.

Former CIA spy chief Hayden says he and others in CIA have been unfairly villainized by the Intelligence Committee. The committee's damning, 6,700-page report on the agency's now-defunct torture program released last December and concludes that the CIA mismanaged and abused its interrogation powers in the wake of 9/11 and lied to Congress and the White House about the harsh techniques it used.

CIA and the U.S. Special Operations forces “launched a secret campaign to hunt terrorism suspects in Syria as part of a targeted killing program that is run separately from the broader U.S. military offensive against the Islamic State.”
Obama OK'd secret drone war in Syria
President Obama keeps CIA in control of secret "Drone War" in Syria.

Is  CIA planning to bring down Ecuador's Correa regime in their 2017 elections? Washington definitely wants a regime change and Correa accused CIA of supporting his political opposition and of trying to drag Ecuador into chaos to weaken his government through a series of nationwide protests.
Original document revised and reveals CIA
culture and rift with FBI
Declassified report titled "Office of Inspector General Report on Central Intelligence Agency Accountability Regarding Findings and Conclusions of the Report of the Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001" released. It describes a corporate culture at the CIA in which backstabbing and turf wars were common. The relationship between the CIA and the FBI described as "troubled at best and dysfunctional at worst." 

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  His comments are his own and do not reflect those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

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