The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was created in 1947 at the direction of President Truman. It had “evolved” from the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) used to perform clandestine military and espionage operations during World War II. The legal framework used to justify the CIA’s operations took several forms. The National Security Act of 1947 allowed the CIA special exemptions from the normal Congressional oversight.
The 1947 Act contained a provision that allowed the CIA “to perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence…as the National Security Council may from time to time direct.” This was followed (and expanded upon) by the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949, and subsequent charters and Presidential Directives that eventually enabled it to operate (almost unrestricted) at the direction of the President while effectively bypassing accountability to Congress.
The FBI saw a similar evolution and a “revision” in its mission following the end of World War II. The FBI agent was always viewed as a type of “top cop” in the U.S., however, domestic law enforcement is a secondary role to its primary function: the conduct of counterintelligence operations on American soil. Specifically, this meant to track down and nullify/capture foreign operatives such as KGB (Komitet Gosudostvenoy Bezopaznosti) agents, the (then) Soviet Union’s intelligence operatives.
The CIA’s role is similar, but for foreign/non-domestic operations: the conduct of intelligence and counterintelligence operations outside of the U.S. For missions either partially or entirely carried out in the United States (that must be demonstrably in the interests of national security), the CIA is not permitted to conduct operations without a domestic law enforcement agency attached to it at the time of execution.
In the 1950’s, the United States realized that the “Iron Curtain” of nations held by the Soviet Union was not going to be pushed back or neutralized. There was another change in the operations of the CIA that led to covert military operations, either by their operatives or forces (recruited foreign mercenaries or soldiers handpicked from U.S. military personnel) led by operatives. This has not ceased up until the present day.
There was a hiatus in this practice with the Church Committee, formed January 27, 1975 and headed by Senator Frank Church, (D-ID). The final report by this committee was released April 26, 1976 and it put a huge damper on the conduct of CIA operations worldwide. Concurrently, the FBI was being “nipped” away domestically when the details of its COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) procedures during the 1960’s to 1970’s came to light. The ones who protested it most vehemently were the ones who were (justifiably) within its crosshairs.
Under COINTELPRO, techniques developed during the Cold War for use in counterintelligence against foreign agents by the FBI were employed against Black Militant and White Supremacy groups, as well as groups deemed subversive and destructive, such as the Weather Underground. Note: this last organization “spawned” Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, criminal communist revolutionaries who mentored and sponsored Barack Hussein Obama II. COINTELPRO was actually employed between 1956 and 1971 before liberals and other communists labeled it as an infringement on First Amendment rights and attacked the FBI for employing it.
During those years, we experienced a plethora of domestic agents in foreign employ. The Rosenbergs had just been executed in 1953 for selling the secrets of the hydrogen bomb to the Soviets, and the rise of student radicalism during the 60’s followed on the heels of Eisenhower’s failed policies that allowed communists access to public schools and universities to mold the minds of youth. Contemporary politicians of today, such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are all the direct resultant creations of communist indoctrinators at the secondary school and university level.
The FBI subsequently “morphed” into an organization that took care of “domestic terrorists” and worked to ensure the existing social and political order was not overthrown. The 1980’s saw a great change in the CIA’s activities, as the agency began to recover from the Church Committee and the tying of its hands by the Carter administration. That change was fostered by Reagan, but it came to a standstill with the Iran-Contra scandals, in which funds from one theater of operations were diverted toward another without Congressional approval or oversight.
With the 9-11 attacks, the CIA was then utilized to gather intelligence more, while the DoD (Department of Defense) was tasked with covert paramilitary operations as well as intelligence gathering. Over the past 15 years there has been a delineation and a “blending” of Special Forces assets and the CIA’s operators…where each have relied more heavily upon the other. Emphasis has been more on covert strike missions and assassinations rather than intelligence-gathering.
The Obama administration embraced the use of the CIA and the improved drone-strike capabilities to kill its targets in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen. Obama’s main focus, however, was in utilizing case officers and field operatives in destabilization operations in order to successfully overthrow governments and institute coup d’etats, with cover provided by the embassies and state department offices in the target nations. This is where we currently are.
The problem facing the new administration is there are a tremendous amount of operations that have been initiated under Obama that will have to be curtailed and/or reversed under President Trump. Some are simple, such as with Ukraine, where operatives will need to continue gathering intelligence about the changing situation without continuing their destabilization efforts initiated under the prior administration. Other “inherited” operations are more complex, such as those taking place in the Baltic states such as Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, or where we have recently deployed capabilities for nuclear weapons launching, such as Romania.
Regarding these last: the intelligence provided by these stations is still critical, but the operational tempo has changed due to the President desiring a newfound “détente” and reset with Russia. This is a 180-degree change from what Obama wanted: a war with Russia. The important consideration is this: all operations are approved either directly or indirectly from the level of the Commander-in-Chief.
The FBI (under Obama) has turned into an instrument of the State, capable of ignoring heinous crimes, such as the release of classified documents by the former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, or the sale of guns in Operation Fast and Furious resulting in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent. The FBI is more interested in combatting domestic terrorism (making it a de-facto instrument of suppression by the government) than it is with protecting U.S. citizens from the ever-present threat of foreign agents and foreign terrorists entering the country and carrying out operations.
This is where we stand today. These two agencies have a specific function; however, those missions cannot be fulfilled in a manner beneficial to the defense of the United States when an administration twists them to serve its own ends. We have a new President…an American President…who can set the standards and ensure that they are met while not tying the hands of either agency behind their backs. The important thing is to return them to basics and the service of the Constitution and the American people. Wars cannot be fought by “Marquis of Queensbury” rules; however, the President can make policies that govern agency actions and return them to their original mission…an honored one our country depends upon.
Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson is also a Gunsmith, a Certified Master Herbalist, a Montana Master Food Preserver, and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape). He lives in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with his wife and three cats. You can follow Jeremiah’s regular writings at SHTFplan.com or contact him here.
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