The History and Mission of the CIA

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The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), while on the surface appearing as dissimilar as the ideas of Karl Marx and the Founding Fathers, have at their heart a very similar idea behind them. Both of these federal bureaucracies are federal agencies, with the heads appointed by the President, and responsible to Congress. The CIA is a rather young federal agency, with its earliest predecessor dating back to only 1941 (Wallace 482). On July 11, 1941, the first official, national intelligence agency, the Office of the Coordinator of Information (COI), was established, about six months before the U.S. joined World War II (Wallace 482). The COI’s name was changed to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) on June 13, 1942 (“History of the CIA” [1] CIA.gov). Colonel William “Wild Bill” Donovan was appointed the head of the COI, and then became the head of the OSS when the name was changed (Wallace 3). The main goal of the OSS was to “collect and analyze strategic information required by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to conduct special operations not assigned to other agencies” (“History of the CIA” [2] CIA.gov). The OSS was later disbanded in 1945, with the crucial functions being transferred to various Defense and State agencies (“History of the CIA” [1] CIA.gov). In 1944, Donovan was hoping for a postwar civilian central intelligence service to be created, as stated in a memo to President Roosevelt (Wallace 16). Truman soon realized the need for a central repository of intelligence with the advent of the Cold War immediately following the end of World War II, and established the Central Intelligence Group (CIG) in 1946 with the input of the former OSS director and assistant director, attem... ... middle of paper ... ...Intelligence Agency, 26 Jun 2008. Web. 14 Mar. 2010. csi-studies/studies/vol51no3/legacy-of-ashes-the-history-of-cia.html>. Horton, Scott. “CIA Misled Congress, Schakowsky Charges”. Harpers.org. The Harper’s Magazine Foundation, 29 Oct. 2009. Web. 14 Mar. 2010. . “What We Do”. FDA.gov. Food & Drug Administration, 22 May 2009. Web. 14 Mar. 2010. . “History”. FDA.gov. Food & Drug Administration, 18 June 2009. Web. 14 Mar. 2010. . Swann, John P. “FDA’s Origin and History”. FDA.gov. Food & Drug Administration, 18 June 2009. Web. 14 Mar. 2010. ucm124403.htm>.

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