The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was established in 1947 with the signing of National Security Act by President Harry S. Truman. The CIA is responsible for the collection of secret information and national security intelligence. The CIA is also given extensive power to conduct foreign intelligence operations. The main functions of the CIA include collecting information about foreign governments, corporations, and individuals. The CIA conducts military, political and paramilitary activities, and exerts foreign political influence through its Special Activities Division.
The basic components of the CIA are:-
- The Directorate of Intelligence
- The National Clandestine Service
- The Directorate of Science and Technology, and
- The Directorate of Support.
The National Security Act also created a Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) to head the CIA and act as the chief adviser to the President on intelligence matters relating to national security. On February 13, 2009, Leon E. Panetta became the Director of the CIA. The duties of the Director of CIA include:
- Collecting intelligence through human sources without use of police force, subpoena, law enforcement powers or internal security functions.
- Evaluation of national security intelligence and appropriate circulation of such intelligence.
- Providing direction and coordination of collection of national security intelligence outside the United States through authorized human sources, in coordination with other United States departments and agencies which are authorized to undertake such collection, ensuring most effective utilization of resources and taking into account the risks involved in such collection and to United States; and
- Providing other functions on intelligence matters related to national security according to the directions of the President or Director of National Intelligence.