Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is the successor of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) formed, during World War II, to coordinate espionage activities between the branches of the US military services. The National Security Act of 1947 established the CIA, affording it “no police or law enforcement functions, either at home or abroad.” One year later his mandate was expanded to include “sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures…. Subversion (and) assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrillas and refugee liberation movements, and support of indigenous anti-communist elements in threatened countries of the free world” 
Today, the CIA’s primary function is collecting, and analyzing information about foreign governments, corporations, and individuals which it uses to advise public policymakers. The agency conducts covert operations, paramilitary actions and exerts foreign political influence through its Special Activities Division. Prior to December 2004, the CIA was literally the central intelligence organization for the US government, charged with coordinating and overseeing not only its own activities, but also the activities of the intelligence community as a whole.
My Note –
I found this part interesting because I didn’t know it was a “civilian” agency –
What does that mean today? Are they a subcontractor of the US government who is not required to abide by the laws the rest of us must obey? Are they actually accountable to anyone? If they are not required to keep closed door acknowledgment of their activities with specific Intelligence Oversight Committees in the Senate and House – then, does it mean they are either running themselves and their activities, or answering only to whatever king’s advisors of the day are in charge within the executive branch or what?
Why is it commonly thought that the CIA has no domestic authority when many of their operations follow leads and information across the domestic landscape in the United States? Does anyone really believe that the only emails, internet searches information, phone taps, cellphone records and physical tracking of people done by the CIA and its authority over other agencies, was done exclusively concerning Al Qaeda or other known terrorist groups? That isn’t even possible without covering just about everybody else in the process.
But to hear it be “news” that the CIA lied and that they excluded mentioning their domestic activities to Congressional committees specific to them, doesn’t seem to be any real surprise making it worthy of the news as if it is somehow “new” information or “outlandish behavior for them.” To read their wall in entryway about the truth will set you free, etc. – seems ironic considering their stock in trade is to pretense, misleading, lying, pretending to be something other than who they are (in the James Bond sense) and generally, spying to get the information they sell to the federal government.
The real news would be to discover that any of them know how to tell the truth, or what that is, or how to not conceal the truth, or to accurately convey the truth to Congress, to the President and to the American people.
That would be news.
– cricketdiane, 07-13-09