Believe it or not...
the CIA answers questions
(from the CIA's Factbook on Intelligence)
What is so distinctive about the Central Intelligence Agency?
The CIA is purely a foreign intelligence organization and
has no domestic security or law enforcement duties. The Agency's
activities are governed by various statutes and Executive Orders
and are overseen by Congressional Committees and executive bodies.
Who works for the Central Intelligence Agency?
CIA carefully selects well-qualified people in nearly all
fields of study. Scientists, engineers, economists, linguists,
mathematicians, secretaries, and computer specialists are but
a few of the disciplines continually in demand. Some are specialists-physical
and social scientists, doctors of medicine, lawyers, etc. Many
are generalists, people who have demonstrated their qualifications
to hold the many varied positions that make up the bulk of the
domestic and overseas staffs. The Agency promotes equal employment
opportunity for all employees including women, members of minority
groups and individuals with disabilities.
How many people work for the Central Intelligence Agency and
what is its budget?
Neither the number of employees nor the size of the Agency's
budget can at present be publicly disclosed. A common misconception
is that the Agency has an unlimited budget, which is far from
true. While classified, the budget and size of the CIA are known
in detail and scrutinized daily by the Office of Management and
Budget and by the Intelligence Oversight and Defense Subcommittees
of the Appropriations Committees in both houses of Congress. The
resources allocated to intelligence are subject to the same rigorous
examination and approval process as are all other government organizations.
Does the Central Intelligence Agency give tours of its headquarters
No. Logistical problems and security considerations prevent
Does the Central Intelligence Agency release publications
to the public?
CIA occasionally issues unclassified publications which provide
additional research aids to the academic and business communities.
The majority of these reports contain foreign or international
economic and political information or are directories of foreign
officials. They are available from the Government Printing Office,
the National Technical Information Service, and the Library of
Congress. CIA cannot, however, release most of its reports because
they are derived from sensitive sources. For additional information,
contact the Office of Public and Agency Information, Central Intelligence
Agency, Washington, D.C. 20505; (703) 351-2053.
Does the CIA spy on Americans? Does it keep a file on me?
No. The Central Intelligence Agency is expressly prohibited
by Executive Order from routinely engaging in the domestic use
of such techniques as electronic, mail, or physical surveillance;
monitoring devices; or unconsented physical search. Such intrusion
into the lives of Americans by any Government agency could take
place only under the most extraordinary conditions of concern
for the national welfare and, even then, only when approved by
the Attorney General. Similarly, CIA does not maintain files on
American citizens. Names of U.S. citizens may appear in various
records as a consequence of routine business they conduct with
the CIA, but they are in no way segregated for surveillance or
special attention. Any citizen has the right to confirm this fact
under the authority of the Privacy Act.
Who decides when CIA should participate in covert actions,
Only the President can direct CIA to undertake a covert action.
Such actions usually are recommended by the National Security
Council. Covert actions are considered when the National Security
Council judges that U.S. foreign policy objectives may not be
fully realized by normal diplomatic means and when military action
is deemed too extreme an option. Therefore, the Agency may be
directed to conduct a special activity abroad in support of foreign
policy such that the role of the U.S. Government is neither apparent
nor publicly acknowledged. Once tasked, the Director of Central
Intelligence must notify the intelligence oversight commit tees
of the Congress.
Does the Central Intelligence Agency engage in assassinations?
Executive Order No. 12333 explicitly prohibits the Central
Intelligence Agency from engaging, either directly or indirectly,
in assassinations. Internal safeguards and the Congressional oversight
process assure compliance.
Does the Central Intelligence Agency engage in drug trafficking?
No. To the contrary, the Central Intelligence Agency assists
the U.S. Government effort to thwart drug trafficking by providing
intelligence information to the Department of Commerce, the Drug
Enforcement Administration, and the State Department.
What is the Central Intelligence Agency's role in combating
The Central Intelligence Agency supports the overall U.S.
Government effort to combat international terrorism by collecting,
analyzing, and disseminating intelligence on foreign terrorist
groups and individuals. It also conducts liaison with the intelligence
and security services of friendly governments, shares counterterrorism
intelligence information with, and, on request, provides advice
and training to these services. The Agency's counterterrorism
specialists participate actively in developing strategies aimed
at combating terrorism, and intelligence resources worldwide provide
significant support to U.S. efforts to solve this grave problem.
and Third World