CIA Research Paper
The Central Intelligence Agency is the President’s independent foreign intelligence arm, responsible to him through the Director of National Intelligence and the National Security Council, and accountable to the people of the United States by interaction with the intelligence oversight committees of Congress. The CIA has many duties within those boundaries and performs a variety of functions through many forms of intelligence. They employ people from all backgrounds of academic study, from linguists to economists, along with people from varied ethnic backgrounds to work as specialists. It is a large agency with many responsibilities, but most importantly they perform critical work for the President regarding international intelligence. The Central Intelligence Agency’s main responsibility is stated in its Vision statement: “We will provide knowledge and take action to ensure the national security of the United States and the preservation of American life and ideals” (www.cia.gov). The CIA’s job is to provide pertinent, timely, and un-biased foreign intelligence. They also act as an unseen force by conducting undercover action as ordered by the President in order to preempt threats or achieve objectives of the United States. The CIA is the only intelligence organization that is not subject to cabinet prerogative, making it reliable in it is unbiased in its reports, because it has no political agenda. There are six main types of intelligence by which the CIA collects information. Human intelligence (HUMINT) is information gathered by field operatives through overt and covert techniques (www.cia.gov). Communications intelligence (COMINT) is acquired from intercepted foreign communications (www.cia.gov). Electronic intelligence (ELINT) is information collected from foreign electro-magnetic non-communications transmissions by other than intended recipients (www.cia.gov). Imagery intelligence (IMINT) utilizes satellite photography and other imagery (www.cia.gov). Measurement and Signature intelligence (MASINT) is technically derived data, being nuclear, acoustic, seismic, optical, radiofrequential, or scientific in form (www.cia.gov). Signals intelligence (SIGINT) is knowledge attained by intercepted signals, comprising all COMINT, ELINT, and MASINT, however transmitted (www.cia.gov). Open sources are also utilized, being public information such as the internet or news. The function of the CIA body is to assist the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in performing his assigned duties, to be discussed later. It is then essentially an extension of his arm to collect information. This information is collected on order from top U.S. officials in order to monitor a situation or concern. Other governmental agencies frequently provide the CIA with leads or information that it follows up on with its resources. It then processes intelligence by evaluating and associating what it has received or discovered, and then distributes the politically unbiased analysis to proper consumers on a need-to-know basis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Intelligence_Agency). Due to the CIA’s status as independent, they also provide analysis on issues of concern and work with other intelligence entities to provide all intelligence consumers with the best information available. The consumers include the President (who receives the PDB, the President’s Daily Briefing, an entire intelligence community product), the Director of Intelligence, and many officials who work in policy relating to foreign topics, including Congress and the State Department. An especially important recipient of foreign intelligence is the Department of Defense. During any foreign engagements or activity, the CIA works closely with DOD intelligence specialists to provide updated and accurate information to be disseminated down to all the necessary levels. The CIA also works in conjunction with other agencies and departments...
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