The Central Intelligence Agency: Security under Scrutiny

Overview

Created in 1947, the Central Intelligence Agency plays an important part in the nation's intelligence activities, and is currently playing a vital role in the war on terrorism. While the agency is often in the news and portrayed in television shows and films, it remains one of the most secretive and misunderstood organizations in the United States. This work provides an in-depth look into the Central Intelligence Agency and how its responsibilities affect American life.

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Overview

Created in 1947, the Central Intelligence Agency plays an important part in the nation's intelligence activities, and is currently playing a vital role in the war on terrorism. While the agency is often in the news and portrayed in television shows and films, it remains one of the most secretive and misunderstood organizations in the United States. This work provides an in-depth look into the Central Intelligence Agency and how its responsibilities affect American life.

After a brief history of the agency, chapters describe its organization, intelligence/counterintelligence, covert operations, controversies, key events, and notable people.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Although the CIA is the government agency most often depicted on television and in films, it is probably the least understood. This volume seeks to redress that problem, as much as possible, with a survey of the CIA's programs, personnel and activities. The chapters are arranged by theme, such as liaison arrangements and intelligence and counterintelligence, and are written by experts on those topics. The text includes biographies of important CIA administrators, a chronology of key events, and an annotated bibliography. It is part of the Understanding Our Government Series, which is aimed at high school students."

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Reference & Research Book News

"[T]heoharis provides a good introduction to the history, structure, and operations of the CIA, information required to understand fully what all the heated arguments are about. The chapters cover the agency's origins, foreign and domestic liaison arrangements, covert activities, the work of intelligence and counterintelligence units, and CIA controversies from 1947 to 2004. The chapters are further subdivided and labeled by subtopic, and the indexing and table of contents are helpful in directing one's study. The book's reference value is increased by its 29-page chronology of key events, 20-page annotated bibliography, list of acronyms, and short biographies of 50 important CIA-related individuals. Readers can also examine the CIA's Factbook on Intelligence for the official facts and links to more information from the intelligence community….Theoharis's high-quality publication is suitable for academic and larger public libraries."

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Library Journal

Library Journal
The quality of security provided by the CIA is certainly under investigation as never before. In the new volume in Greenwood's "Understanding Our Government" series, editor Theoharis The FBI & American Democracy provides a good introduction to the history, structure, and operations of the CIA, information required to understand fully what all the heated arguments are about. The chapters cover the agency's origins, foreign and domestic liaison arrangements, covert activities, the work of intelligence and counterintelligence units, and CIA controversies from 1947 to 2004. The chapters are further subdivided and labeled by subtopic, and the indexing and table of contents are helpful in directing one's study. The book's reference value is increased by its 29-page chronology of key events, 20-page annotated bibliography, list of acronyms, and short biographies of 50 important CIA-related individuals. Readers can also examine the CIA's Factbook on Intelligence for the official facts and links to more information from the intelligence community. In 2001, Drumheller was the CIA's European Operations Division chief and very involved in the efforts to verify whether Saddam Hussein was trying to acquire materials for a nuclear weapons program. He claims that the Bush administration used an unreliable Iraqi source to back up its claims but that the White House was so intent on invading Iraq that it ignored any differing viewpoints, forced out anyone who did not toe the official line, offended allies, and outright lied to the American public. None of this is news, but Drumheller supplies an interesting viewpoint as a senior official who was on the inside at a critical time. His sense of betrayal of the CIA and its dedicated personnel, its British counterparts, and the nation is very evident. Monaghan Times, London polishes up the veteran's words and contributes a chapter that reviews Drumheller's time at the agency before 9/11. This work would have benefited from a chronology, a list of important individuals and their positions, some organizational charts, and a bibliography. British journalist Grey has pieced together the controversial story of how the CIA has been quietly flying terrorist prisoners around the world, holding them in secret prisons, and dropping them off in countries that don't hesitate to allow torture in the quest for information. There are descriptions of operational objectives and techniques, official smokescreens, the international news media's investigations of this complicated story, and more. The question remains: Did the CIA really gain enough valuable intelligence to counter the damage done to the country's standing by its actions? The appendixes include a chronology of these so-called renditions, both before and after 9/11, and the flight logs of two alleged CIA planes. Complementing Grey's broader scope is Trevor Paglen and A.C. Thompson's Torture Taxi, which pays more attention to the infrastructure of the air transfer operation. With extensive endnotes. Index and acknowledgments not seen. Theoharis's high-quality publication is suitable for academic and larger public libraries. Drumheller's work belongs on shelves alongside James Bamford's A Pretext for War, James Risen's State of War, and Michael Isikoff and David Corn's Hubris. Grey's book is recommended for all libraries.-Daniel K. Blewett, Coll. of DuPage Lib., Glen Ellyn, IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313332821
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/2005
  • Series: Understanding Our Government Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 396
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

ATHAN THEOHARIS is Professor of History at Marquette University. He is the author of numerous books including The FBI: A Comprehensive Reference Guide.

RICHARD IMMERMAN is Chair of the History Department at Temple University. He has authored books on foreign policy and CIA covert operations.

LOCH JOHNSON is Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia and former counsel, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

KATHRYN OLMSTED is Professor of History at the University of California, Davis and has written books on the CIA.

JOHN PRADOS is a senior analyst of the National Security Archive in Washington, D.C.

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Table of Contents

1 A brief history of the CIA 1
2 The liaison arrangements of the Central Intelligence Agency 85
3 A world of secrets : intelligence and counterintelligence 121
4 A new agency : the origins and expansion of CIA covert operations 155
5 Lapdog or rogue elephant? : CIA controversies from 1947 to 2004 189
6 Biographies of important CIA administrators 231
7 Chronology of key events 307
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