The C.I.A. and its Influence on America
America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was officially established through the National Security Act of 1947, but the concept of intelligence gathering had existed since the days of the Revolutionary War. The CIA is the successor to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which was created in 1942 to help organize espionage activities during World War II. The mission of the CIA is to collect bits of strategic information in order to protect the United States of America from foreign enemies. The intelligence is then given to the President and senior government policy makers. Along with CIA officials, they analyze it and make decisions based upon what they find, in order to protect the country from potential enemies and terrorist plots. The current Director of the CIA is Leon Edward Panetta, who was nominated by President Obama, confirmed by the Senate, and assumed office on February 13, 2009.
The CIA has had many positive effects on the wellbeing of the United States. It has always been extremely important for the agency to have the best and most up-to date technology available. This is of great value to the national security of American citizens. In 1963, the CIA created the “Directorate of Science and Technology” (DS&T), whose job it is to research, create and develop state-of-the-art and secret new technology to help solve the nation’s most challenging intelligence issues. The existence of the CIA is critical to the security of the United States, because its mission is to protect the country against foreign enemies and terrorist plots. To accomplish this, the CIA has both offensive and defensive tactics. Offensively, the agency monitors activities of known or suspected foreign spying organizations to see if any operations are being carried out against the United States. Defensively, the CIA investigates and analyzes intelligence but also uses counterintelligence to sabotage the enemy’s objectives.
Unfortunately, not all of the CIA’s operations goals have been successful, which has had a negative affect on America. One obvious example of this was the failure to protect America’s citizens during the attacks of September 11, 2001. These failures have also sometimes produced a negative affect on the way the rest of the world sees America. The CIA has also gained a bad reputation in recent years because of the abuse of its powers. Under the Bush administration, top CIA officials authorized questionable interrogation methods that were given to imprisoned Al-Qaeda suspects after 9/11. These abuses of power within the CIA are very serious, and do not bode well for reputation of the agency or the reputation of America.
Since the early days of it’s existence, the CIA has played a leading role in researching and investing useful technology that has greatly contributed the security of the United States. Former CIA employee Robert Wallace commented, “If you go back to a period in the 1950s, when the CIA was just getting started, technology was referred to as an aid. Fast-forward 60 years and technology and human operations are so closely intertwined, you can’t speak about one without mentioning the other.” In 1954, the CIA built an airplane called the U-2. The U-2 could fly at an altitude of 65,000 feet. Flying that high meant that enemy ground missiles and other weapons could not hit the aircraft. The U-2 was responsible for taking many secret photographs deep inside the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The A-12 airplane took the place of the U-2 in 1967, and could fly even faster and higher, at an altitude of 90,000 feet. The technology the CIA has created has helped win wars and save lives.
Counterterrorism is used to protect the nation from a potential terrorist attack. The CIA’s job is to analyze military threats and capabilities around the world. The information gathered is investigated and then the CIA determines what actions should be taken to keep our country...
Cited: Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. 2007: xiii, 478-479. Print.
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