Essay by iamgenius September 2004

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The Central Intelligence Agency has remained on the front lines of American foreign policy for more than 50 years. The CIA's mission is to provide accurate and timely intelligence to the President and other leaders to prevent terrorism as well as to protect national security. Over the past few years the CIA has received some negative attention for both September 11th and the war in Iraq. While its failures are harshly criticized, many of the successes are never known. They work behind closed doors of our government, and the truth is, we don't know all that much about them (Wiki).

The United States has been involved with espionage since its creation, the revolutionary war was known for having hundreds of spies. However, a espionage organization was never created, because the Army had always handled intelligence gathering. When Pearl Harbor was attacked in December 1941, and the country entered World War II, government officials soon realized that wars were won by those with the best information.

The government then created the department was the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). By end of the war the Soviet Union emerged as its rival and the Cold War got underway. The need for foreign intelligence was greater than ever. "Donovan, the creator of the OSS, proposed that the OSS be demilitarized and become an independent central agency responsible for all matters of intelligence gathering. (Wiki)" In 1947, President Truman signed the National Security Act, which creating the CIA.

"The CIA is the United States foreign intelligence agency, responsible for obtaining and analyzing information about foreign governments, corporations, and individuals, and reporting such information to various branches of the U.S. government. (Wiki)" They gather information and conduct secret operations to protect national security. It is there job to analyze information from all U.S. intelligence agencies,