Topic Page:

Central Intelligence Agency

Get Definition Get Definition

Definition: CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) from

Chambers Dictionary of World History

The official US intelligence-gathering organization responsible for external security, established under the National Security Act (1947) and reporting directly to the President. The CIA was conceived as the coordinator of foreign intelligence and counter-intelligence, but it has also engaged in domestic operations. As a result of abuses of power in both the domestic (notably in the Watergate affair) and foreign arenas, the CIA must now coordinate domestic activities with the FBI and report on covert activities to Congress.

Summary Article: Central Intelligence Agency from The Columbia Encyclopedia
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), independent executive bureau of the U.S. government established by the National Security Act of 1947, replacing the wartime Office of Strategic Services (1942-45), the first U.S. espionage and covert operations agency. While the CIA's covert operations receive the most attention, its major responsibility is to gather intelligence, in which it uses not only covert agents but such technological resources as satellite photos and intercepted telecommunications transmissions. The CIA was given (1949) special powers under the Central Intelligence Act: The CIA director may spend agency funds without accounting for them; the size of its staff is secret; and employees, exempt from civil service procedures, may be hired, investigated, or dismissed as the CIA sees fit. Under the U.S. intelligence agency reorganization enacted in 2004, the CIA reports to the independent director of national intelligence, w...    Continue Reading

Images from Credo

See more images

Create a Mind Map for Central Intelligence Agency