For aspiring spies, this is your first step to possibly joining one of the prestigious intelligence services. In this image of a snow-covered city posted on its Twitter account, the CIA asks you to guess what time it is from three choices: 7 a.m., 11 a.m. or 3 p.m.
Several Internet users took part in the game and gave their answers, following their deductions, relevant or not. The purpose of this quiz is to use your observation and analysis skills like a real agent. Have you guessed what time it is?
The Internet users had a field day. The street lights still on, the school buses in motion, and the position of the shadows, all suggest that it is 7:00 a.m. This was confirmed by the CIA, which invites you to review your career prospects if you had found the right answer.
And it doesn’t end there, as other issues are on the agenda. “What season is it?”, “When did it snow?”… You can test your spy skills on the CIA website. In addition to this quiz, other mini-games are available such as code-breaking or a difference game. So, are you more of an“eagle-eyed” or a “gruff spy”, like a James Bond after his third Vesper Martini?
7AM Cars are still parked in front of residence, so it’s before/after work hours. Snow accumulated on cars parked in front of ski resort. No trace of foot traffic. No one on ski slope.
The CIA, founded under the National Security Act which came into force on 18September1947, has had its headquarters since 1961 at the Langley site in the town of McLean, Virginia, in the United States, about 40 km from Washington. Previously it occupied dilapidated buildings known as the Foggy Bottom, located at 2430 E Street in Washington. It has the right to keep most of its characteristics secret: number of employees, budget, etc.
According to a document provided by Edward Snowden, the budget allocated to the CIA for the year 2012 amounts to 15.3 billion dollars. Its budget in 2010 was estimated at US$10 billion, out of a national intelligence programme of US$53 billion. In 2009, theIntelligence Community ‘s sixteen – now seventeen – agencies had an annual budget of $75 billion and employed some 200,000 people worldwide, including private contractors.
The CIA is organized into four main branches:
theDirectorate of Analysis (formerly the Directorateof Intelligence), which is the analytical arm of the CIA and is responsible for the exploitation and dissemination of intelligence;
the Operations Directorate, which is responsible for intelligence gathering. This branch is also responsible for the recruitment, training and monitoring of intelligence officers posted abroad. Its Special Activities Division is responsible for the conduct of clandestine operations;
the Directorate of Support which is responsible for all CIA support (communications, security, logistics, medical and financial services).
Overseas, the branch operations offices are usually based at U.S. diplomatic missions. A distinction is made betweenstations, typically one per country and based in the U.S. embassy in the capital of the host country, and bases, smaller outposts located in other major cities. The CIA station chief has authority over any bases located in the same country.
In addition to officers operating under diplomatic cover, the CIA also uses officers using other covers (e.g. businessmen) known as non-official cover (NOC). Although presented as the ideal type of agent for the post-cold war situation in the press, the CIA’s experience with NOCs has been mixed, as they are not necessarily more effective in approaching its targets, are very expensive, and more exposed, which does not encourage them to be involved in risky operations.
In 2004, the CIA had about 1,100 case officers serving worldwide, including about 160 NOCs and 100 DCOs(diversified cover officers) working overseas.
Presence of the CIA in the United States :
The CIA is not authorized to spy on Americans, but it has been conducting some operations within the United States since at least the 1960s. One type of such operation is the clandestine recruitment of foreign citizens in the United States to provide information about their home countries or third countries. For example, one case was made public around 1983-84 involving an Afghan recruited on American soil. Back in Afghanistan, he was turned over by Afghan and Soviet intelligence. The operation resulted in the expulsion of his case officer, Richard Vandiver. These activities tend to be coordinated with the FBI. In the 1980s, the FBI and the CIA collaborated in the Courtship program, concerning the recruitment and processing of Soviets on American territory. In particular,Aldrich Ames dealt with two Soviet CIA informants in New York, Sergei Fedorenko and Arkady Shevchenko, and then attempted to recruit Soviets in the United States.
Another role on US soil is to “debrief” US citizens who voluntarily provide information to the CIA, typically people returning from a trip to a foreign country.
In 2001, these activities were consolidated into the National Resources (NR) Division, which had approximately 500 officers in 36 major cities. CIA stations have been reported in New York, Washington, Seattle, Dallas, Houston, Pittsburgh and Chicago, among others. Their covers are either commercial or, in New York, under the cover of theUN, diplomatic.
CIA staffing, recruitment and training :
CIA personnel were projected at 22,000 in 2012, up from an estimated 17,000 in 2001. when it was estimated at 17,000.
In 2003, the largest class of new CIA agents in 50 years arrived. Seventy per cent of its members are civilians who have never worked for the government, one third are women, 12 per cent are from ethnic minorities and almost all are fluent in a foreign language.
Trained for a year at the CIA’s Camp Peary training centre, known as “The Farm”, these recruits joined the Langley headquarters with a starting salary of $45,000 to $60,000. These people were chosen from the 300,000 CVs the agency received between 2001 and 2002, a quarter of which came from abroad, mostly from European citizens. Only American citizens can apply to the CIA.
Harvey Point Defense Testing Activity, nicknamed “the Point,” near Hertford, North Carolina.
The CIA has two roles: to provide and analyse information on governments, companies and individuals in all countries of the world on behalf of the US government, and to conduct clandestine operations abroad. The latter, although often cited, would only represent about 3% of the agency’s expenditure.
Its effectiveness in performing these two functions is criticized.
As for the informational function, it can be noted that the CIA was unable to warn the president of many events such as “the first Soviet atomic bomb (1949), the invasion of South Korea (1950), the anti-Soviet uprisings in East Germany (1953) and Hungary (1956), the deployment of Soviet missiles in Cuba (1962), the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, and Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990.” It overestimated Soviet military capabilities in the 1950s and then underestimated them in the 1970s. The record of covert operations is also highly questionable. The “least secret service” was held in low esteem by several presidents, including Richard Nixon, who called his analysts “newspaper-reading clowns. The CIA was also unable to obtain accurate information in the days leading up to the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville.
As for clandestine actions, although they were successful in the 1950s, thanks to specific conditions, in Guatemala with Operation PB Success, and then in Iran to restore the Shah of Iran in order to protect the investments of the oil companies, they showed a serious level of incompetence from the 1960s onwards, particularly during the Bay of Pigs landing, planned under Dwight Eisenhower and executed on the mandate of John F Kennedy, in April 1961, which aimed at neutralizing Fidel Castro’s regime on the island of Cuba. The operation, which was a military, political and diplomatic disaster, was called a “perfect failure”.
Currently the CIA is seriously regulated and monitored by the US executive and legislative branches, although this was not always the case in the past. In 1954, it entered into an agreement with the Department of Justice to prevent the prosecution of officers who had committed crimes and could make confidential disclosures at a potential hearing.
From the creation of the CIA until the mid-1970s, no parliamentary oversight was established over the “agency” (or any other US intelligence service). In 1975, two parliamentary committees of inquiry, known as the Church and Pike committees, were given the right to investigate the past activities of the intelligence services.
Since 1975, Congress has maintained two committees charged with overseeing the activities of the American intelligence services, one, the SSCI(Senate Select Committee on Intelligence) under the authority of the Senate, the other, the HPSCI(House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence), made up of members of the House of Representatives. Since that time, the U.S. executive branch has established a number of laws restricting, among other things, the possibilities of conducting clandestine operations, notably through Executive Orders issued by Presidents Gerald Ford(Executive Order 11,905), Jimmy Carter (E.O. 12,036) and Ronald Reagan (E.O. 12,333). The CIA is currently prohibited from conducting actions within the United States, from conducting clandestine operations without prior notification to congressional committees, and, except by special order of the President of the United States, from conducting or assisting in an assassination.
In 1949, the CIA obtained authorization to use confidential fiscal and administrative procedures and became exempt from the usual limitations on the use of the federal budget. It also obtains permission to conceal its organization, functions, hierarchy, employees and staff size.
Creation of the CIA:
After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the United States must learn the lessons and find that the U.S. secret service was unable to predict the Japanese offensive as a result of negligence. The FBI and its director, J. Edgar Hoover, lose some of their powers: they remain exclusively competent to operate on the territory of the United States, but are withdrawn from foreign espionage, which will be entrusted after the Second World War to the new intelligence agency, the CIA.
The CIA, under the direct authority of the President of the United States, was initially responsible for collecting and evaluating information. It emerged in the context of the Cold War and its sole function was to predict when, how and where the Soviet Union would attack the United States. Initially, all of the agency’s activities (both intelligence and clandestine operations) were directed against theSoviet Union and the Communist bloc, which were considered to be the main adversaries of the United States. The CIA is thus the main element of Harry S. Truman ‘s policy ofcontainingcommunism beyond the Iron Curtain.
The CIA’s actions at the outset focused onEurope, which was seen as the future battleground of the Third World War. The CIA is helped in particular (like several secret services) by former Nazis such as those enlisted by General Reinhard Gehlen, from the Wehrmacht, including war criminals who thus escape prosecution; and Nazi exfiltration networks are formed to make them flee (the British, French and Soviet services did the same, but never revealed their secrets unlike the CIA). Moreover, according to the American academic Christian Parenti: “Since its inception, the CIA has collaborated with mafias involved in drug trafficking with the aim of having these mafias serve the broader purpose of fighting communism. The CIA’s actions often echo the tactics of theOSS during World War II, such as propaganda and links to resistance groups. As war with the USSR appeared possible, the CIA was more interested in operations than in intelligence. His actions against communism are of several types:
the establishment of intelligence networks in communist territories, initially to learn about Soviet military plans for an invasion of Europe. The Americans were also originally largely helped by the Germans with the collaboration of the Gehlen Organization(en)General Reinhard Gehlen ‘s intelligence network, which later became the Federal Intelligence Service.
the formation (in collaboration withNATO) of cells stay-behind (literally: “stay behind”), i.e. resistance networks in Western Europe, to be activated in case of Soviet occupation. Most Western countries will have one; the existence of these networks will be made public in the 1970s. The most famous is the ItalianGladio (linked to the P2 Masonic lodge), revealed in the 1980s, which brought together people close to the Italian far right. In 1952, theUnited States Army added a new component independent of the CIA by creating the Special Forces, or “Green Berets”, a special force intended to act in enemy lines and to supervise the maquis that would form during wartime.
the fight against the West European communist parties, especially in France (financing of the non-communist union Force ouvrière) and in Italy: US$75 million was used to finance the Christian Democracy, for propaganda and logistical support prior to theApril1948, which gave the Christian Democrats 48.5% of the vote and made the Italian Communist Party, financed by the Soviet Communist Party, minority.
infiltration of agents to run anti-communist maquis in Eastern European countries. Among the groups supported are the Albanian resistance to Enver Hoxha who was decimated during an attempt to overthrow the government in April-May1950 (of 500 Albanians sent, about 300 were killed and about 20 were subsequently taken prisoner and executed), theUkrainian insurgent army and groups Germanwerwolf (with whom the organization of Reinhard Gehlen serves as a link). These operations will usually fail for two reasons: at least one mole in the Soviet services, Kim Philby, was informed of these operations, whose intelligence often enabled the Communist military to neutralize these agents as soon as they arrived, and the poor assessment of the situation in these countries generally deprived the maquis of the expected support from the local populations. These maquis were generally wiped out in the late 1940s or early 1950s.
Creation of the CIA seal:
When the CIA was created in 1947, it did not have an official seal; this seems like a trivial detail, but the directors of the young agency were concerned that other US government organizations would question the legitimacy of documents without a seal. On July1, 1949, the CIA issued a notice to its employees asking them to send in seal ideas.