Information about the CIA...
The Central Intelligence Agency was created in 1947 with the signing of the National Security Act by President Truman.
George J. Tenet is currently Director of Central Intelligence. He was confirmed July 10, 1997.
The Executive Director of the Central Intelligence Agency is David W. Carey. The EXDIR runs the
CIA on a day-to-day basis.
All publicly available information released by the CIA is controlled by the Public Affairs Staff.
The Center for the Study of Intelligence maintains the Agency's historical materials and promotes
the study of intelligence as a legitimate and serious discipline. The current director is Brian Latell.
The Intelligence Cycle
The Intelligence Cycle is the process of developing raw information into finished intelligence for
policymakers to use in decisionmaking and action. There are five steps which constitute the
1. Planning and Direction
This is management of the entire effort, from identifying the need for data to delivering an intelligence
product to a consumer. It is the beginning and the end of the cycle--the beginning because it involves
drawing up specific collection requirements and the end because finished intelligence, which supports
policy decisions, generates new requirements.
The whole process depends on guidance from public officials. Policymakers--the President, his
aides, the National Security Council, and other major departments and agencies of
government--initiate requests for intelligence.
...is the gathering of the raw information needed to produce finished intelligence. There are many
sources of information, including open sources such as foreign broadcasts, newspapers, periodicals,
and books. Open source reporting is integral to CIA's analytical capabilities. There are also secret
sources of information. CIA's operations officers collect such information from agents abroad and
from defectors who provide information obtainable in no other way.
Finally, technical collection--electronics and satellite photography--plays an indispensable role in
modern intelligence, such as monitoring arms control agreements and providing direct support to
...involves converting the vast amount of information collected to a form usable by analysts through
decryption, language translations, and data reduction.
4. All Source Analysis and Production
...is the conversion of basic information into finished intelligence. It includes integrating, evaluating,
and analyzing all available data--which is often fragmentary and even contradictory--and preparing
intelligence products. Analysts, who are subject-matter specialists, consider the information's
reliability, validity, and relevance. They integrate data into a coherent whole, put the evaluated
information in context, and produce finished intelligence that includes assessments of events and
judgments about the implications of the information for the United States.
The CIA devotes the bulk of its resources to providing strategic intelligence to policymakers. It
performs this important function by monitoring events, warning decisionmakers about threats to the
United States, and forecasting developments. The subjects involved may concern different regions,
problems, or personalities in various contexts--political, geographic, economic, military, scientific, or
biographic. Current events, capabilities, and future trends are examined.
The CIA produces numerous written reports, which may be briefÃâone page or less--or lengthy
studies. They may involve current intelligence, which is of immediate importance, or long-range
assessments. The Agency presents some finished intelligence in oral briefings. The CIA also
participates in the drafting and production of National Intelligence Estimates, which reflect the
collective judgments of the Intelligence Community.
The last step, which logically feeds into the first, is the distribution of the finished intelligence to the
consumers, the same policymakers whose needs initiated the intelligence requirements. Finished
intelligence is hand-carried daily to the President and key national security advisers. The
policymakers, the recipients of finished intelligence, then make decisions based on the information,
and these decisions may lead to the levying of more requirements, thus triggering the Intelligence
Cycle. The CIA Seal
Interpretation of the CIA Seal
The American Eagle is the national bird and is a symbol of strength and alertness.
The radiating spokes of the compass rose depict the coverage of intelligence data from all areas of the world to a central point.
Section 2 of the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949 provided for a seal of office for CIA. The
design of the seal was approved and set forth on 17 February 1950 in President Harry Truman's
Executive Order 10111.
In this Order, the CIA seal is described in heraldic terms as follows:
SHIELD: Argent, a compass rose of sixteen points gules.
CREST: On a wreath argent and gules an American bald eagle's head erased proper.
Below the shield on a gold color scroll the inscription "United States of America" in red letters and
encircling the shield and crest at the top the inscription "Central Intelligence Agency" in white letters.
All on a circular blue background with a narrow gold edge.
The Memorial Garden
Situated on the hillside between the Original Headquarters Building and the Auditorium is the
Memorial Garden. Designed in 1995 by Sheila Brady of landscape architects Oehme, Van Sweden
& Associates, the garden makes exceptional use of the natural environment. An inscribed brass
plaque which reads "In remembrance of those whose unheralded efforts served a grateful nation" is
set in fieldstone which surrounds a large pond. The blend of natural and landscaped plantings amid
the stone outcroppings, from which a cascade of water continuously falls, has created a tranquil and
reflective retreat for Agency employees.
The Memorial Stars
The words and stars in the photograph above, carved in the marble facade of the north wall of the
foyer of the CIA Headquarters Building, silently but permanently immortalize those CIA officers who
lost their lives in the service of their country. The glass-encased Book of Honor located below the
stars displays the names of those whose names can, in death, now be revealed.
This simple but starkly elegant memorial was sculpted by Harold Vogel in July 1974, having been
commissioned by the Fine Arts Commission of the Central Intelligence Agency in May 1973.