Library

Central Intelligence Agency Brochure

History

HISTORY

“It is now three days since I have received any intelligence… It is of such importance to me to be regularly informed that I must request you send expresses daily. “

--George Washington

The United States Government has carried out intelligence activities since the days of George Washington, but only since World War II have they been coordinated on a government-wide basis.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed New York lawyer and war hero, General William J. Donovan, to head the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) after the US entered World War II in 1942. The OSS—the forerunner to the CIA—collected and analyzed strategic information. After World War II the OSS was abolished along with many other war agencies and its functions were transferred to the State and War Departments.

Donovan Close UpIt did not take long before President Harry S. Truman recognized the need for a postwar, centralized intelligence organization. To make a fully functional intelligence office, Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 establishing the CIA. The National Security Act charged the CIA with coordinating the nation’s intelligence activities and correlating, evaluating and disseminating intelligence affecting national security.

On December 17, 2004, President George W. Bush signed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act which restructured the Intelligence Community by abolishing the position of Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (DDCI) and creating the position the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (D/CIA). The Act also created the position of Director of National Intelligence (DNI), which oversees the Intelligence Community and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).


Historical Document
Posted: Apr 29, 2013 01:00 PM
Last Updated: Jul 08, 2013 02:09 PM