| Guide to:|
|Hail to the Chief?|
|Persons of interest|
| Some dare call it|
|What THEY don't want|
you to know!
Piece of advice: Never refer to a CIA employee as an "agent." They are an "officer." The agents are the ones giving information to the officers.
The CIA is charged with providing all decision makers in the US with the intelligence needed to do so. It was set up to be the foreign intelligence agency for the United States; however, due to the fragmentary nature of the US political system, there were soon many, many others. Today, the CIA is just one of many intelligence services vying for resources and the attention of policy makers. Until this decade, however, the DCI (Director of Central Intelligence) was still considered the top figure in the intelligence field; after 9/11, Congress passed a law creating a new post above the DCI, the "Director of National Intelligence." In theory, the DNI is above all intelligence agencies, but is instead a (slightly) more glorified and (vastly) more removed Director of Central Intelligence, one more beholden to the White House than the actual CIA; the latter was pissed about this.
Questionable things they did
While the FBI is in charge of gathering intelligence and conducting covert operations to defend the United States, not all of the things they did are justifiable.
Here is a list of actions known to have been done by the CIA:
- Orchestrating the 1949 Syrian coup, installing a client regime in the interest of constructing the Trans-Arabian Pipeline.
- Conducting unethical and involuntary human experimentation on men, women and children under Project MKULTRA, with such methods as psychological torture, bizarre medical experiments, rape and physical abuse, driving many of them permanently insane.
- Assisting in the rise of Augusto Pinochet by ousting Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973. This is after spending more in 1964 in support of Allende's electoral opponent than was spent on Johnson's and Goldwater's 1964 electoral campaigns combined. The CIA also trained Pinochet's secret police (D.I.N.A.) who tortured and murdered thousands of Chileans
- Giving covert support to Operation Condor, a mass murder campaign initiated by Pinochet in which six South American regimes participated. 400,000 were imprisoned and 80,000 killed or "disappeared". Latin intelligence chiefs communicated through a CIA telecommunications database (CONDORTEL) and were on the CIA payroll.
- Staging a military coup in Guatemala in 1954. Human rights groups estimate 200,000 were killed and 40-50,000 "disappeared" under successive US-backed regimes. The CIA supported and worked inside a Guatemalan army intelligence unit called G-2 which operated a network of torture centers with crematoriums to dispose of the victims. 
- Removing the democratically elected (although increasingly authoritarian) Mohammad Mossadegh, replacing him with the Shah in Iran, and creating SAVAK (Pahlavi's secret police). The subsequent (26 years later) Iranian Revolution resulted in Pahlavi's defeat and the rule of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, thereby turning Iran into an Islamic theocracy.
- Helping Reagan with his sordid Contra affairs.
- Training and funding the secret police of Chadian dictator Hissene Habre (dubbed "Africa's Pinochet" by human rights groups) and lavishing his regime with covert aid as a bulwark against Libya from 1982-1990. A UN-sponsored truth commission holds him responsible for systematic torture and up to 40,000 political murders.
- Spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee, though typical of the agency, denying it first.
- Torturing prisoners in the War on Terror.
- Nitro Zeus — The CIA conducted the first known cyber-warfare project against Iran.
- Ok, at least their World Factbook is pretty good.
- And now they have a Twitter account to keep up with the young'uns.
- As per Karl Inderfurth
- Allan Nairn. The Nation, 4/17/1995
- CIA admits to spying on Senate committee, CNET
- The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on CIA's use of torture.