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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

Intelligence Cycle.

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.

2. Collection

...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

military forces.

3. Processing

...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 briefÑone 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.

5. Dissemination

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.