Library

 

Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room

Welcome to the Central Intelligence Agency's Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room.

Do UFOs fascinate you? Are you a history buff who wants to learn more about the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam or the A-12 Oxcart? Have stories about spies always fascinated you? You can find information about all of these topics and more in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Electronic Reading Room.

What is the Electronic Reading Room?

CIA Annual FOIA Reports

(Updated April 22, 2019)

The CIA FOIA Annual Report is now available in PDF, and in machine-readable XML formats.

What's New on the Electronic Reading Room?

Current Intelligence Bulletin Collection

CIB

Current Intelligence Bulletin

Harry Truman was the first U.S. president to receive a daily intelligence digest. At his direction, the Daily Summary began production in February 1946, and continued until February 1951. President Truman was pleased with the product, but a survey group commissioned by the National Security Council in 1949 was critical of the Daily Summary and issued several recommendations to improve it. The "new and improved" version, called the Current Intelligence Bulletin, began production on 28 February 1951. This remained the format of the president's daily digest through Dwight Eisenhower's two terms, although it was titled the Central Intelligence Bulletin from 1958-1961. The Current/Central Intelligence Bulletin grew longer than its predecessor over time with the addition of more items and more analysis, and would eventually contain more graphics as printing technology improved.

2 January-30 December 1956

Nikita Khrushchev's efforts to secure political control in the Soviet Union, including his denouncement of the excesses of the Stalin era, was a theme of the reports of 1956. Khrushchev shocked delegates to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in February with a speech attacking the cult of personality of Joseph Stalin. Khrushchev's "softer" approach was put to the test in June with some localized worker uprisings in Poland, which were peaceably resolved. Much more serious was the nation-wide Hungarian uprising in October, which led to a Soviet invasion and deposition of Hungarian leader Imre Nagy. October also saw the culmination of the Suez Crisis, touched off in July by the nationalization of the Suez Canal by Egyptian President Nasser. In October, Israel, the United Kingdom, and France (without US support) attacked Egypt in an unsuccessful effort to oust Nasser and reopen the canal.

This historical release includes: the Current Intelligence Bulletin reports from 2 January-30 December 1956 (3397 pages).

This release is the eighth in a multi-part monthly series. Check back in mid-December to see more reports from the president's digest.

See the Current/Central Intelligence Bulletin Collection


Lunik on Loan: A Space Age Spy Story

Lunik

Lunik on Loan: A Space Age Spy Story

The Cold War and the emerging space race were in full swing in the late 1950s. CIA kept President Eisenhower regularly apprised on the progress of the Soviet space program, which became a subject of worldwide attention following the successful 1957 launch of Sputnik—the first artificial satellite and the first manmade object to be placed into earth's orbit. The Soviets' achievement, which indicated that they had intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of striking the United States, stunned the American public and set off a debate in the United States about the "Missile Gap," and America's competence in science and technology.

In 1959, a Soviet exhibit of the USSR's industrial and economic achievements toured several countries. This exhibit included displays not only from Sputnik but also the Lunik or Luna (Lunar) spacecraft—the Soviet's first lunar probe. In September of that year, the Lunik 2 became the first manmade object on the moon — a feat that only compounded fears in the United States that the USSR was winning the space race. CIA conducted a covert operation to access the Lunik display to learn more about the USSR's moon program. A team of CIA officers gained unrestricted access to the display for 24 hours, which turned out not to be a replica but a fully-operational system comparable to the Lunik 2. The team disassembled the vehicle, photographed all the parts without removing it from its crate before putting everything back in its place, gaining invaluable intelligence on its design and capabilities. And the Soviets were none the wiser. Sound like something from a movie script? It really happened.

Check out the story of a bit of Space Race derring-do. Also included in this release is a sample of CIA's analysis of the Soviet space program at the time. (6 documents/51 pages)


CIA's Animal Partners

Animal PartnersAnimal Partners

Animal Partners Animal Partners

Throughout history, trained animals have been used in security roles to fulfill mission requirements, notably by the armed forces, whether for transport, communication, or threat detection. From carrier pigeons in World War I to today's explosives-detecting dogs, government agencies have turned to animals to do the important jobs humans couldn't do. CIA is no exception, and it once worked on developing ways animals could help with intelligence collection. This collection of declassified documents highlights the diverse programs involving the feasibility of using marine and avian animal capabilities in support of intelligence operations. For a variety of technical and other reasons, none of the programs ever became operational. Yet these documents provide a window into the innovative thinking applied to the intelligence mission aimed at countering increasingly sophisticated foreign adversaries.

Check out the story of the Agency's finned and feathered partners (97 documents/579 pages).


Fall of the Libyan Monarchy

King Idris

Fifty years ago, on 1 September 1969, the first and only King of Libya was deposed. The documents in this collection highlight the bloodless coup by a group of Libyan military officers which removed King Idris I. The group, which called itself the Revolutionary Command Council, was motivated by the ideology of Arab socialism modeled by Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser. Within a short time, a young officer named Muammar Qadhafi emerged as a leader of the group, and he would rule Libya for the next 40 years. These documents cover major developments related to the coup, including US reaction. The Nixon administration believed that Washington need not be overly distressed by the coup and felt the US could have a working relationship with the new regime. Also discussed in the documents is Libya's intention to honor treaty obligations regarding Wheelus Air Base, a major US Air Force installation in Libya that supported Mediterranean operations.

Learn more about the fall of Libya's king (15 documents/90 pages).


Tet Declassified

Tet Declassified Vol. 3

In concert with the DNI's third in a three-part installment on the Vietnam War's Tet Offensive and in recognition of its 50th anniversary, the CIA reviewed and contributed 235 documents associated with the Tet Offensive for the DNI's April 2019 release.


Argentina Declassification Project - The "Dirty War" (1976-83)

During the Argentine government's seven year (1976-83) campaign against suspected dissidents and subversives, often know as the "Dirty War", between 10,000 and 30,000 people were killed, including opponents of the government as well as innocent victims. Responding to a White House directive, the CIA declassified and is now releasing documents relating to the "Dirty War" period in Argentina.

**Note: CIA focused its review on Argentina only information. Anything marked with "Page Denied" and /or "NR" has been deemed not relevant to the Argentina Project, whether or not it has been previously released. Other information can be consulted on the CIA's Electronic Reading Room or by submitting a FOIA request.


Daily Summary Collection

Daily Summary

Do You Know What Came Before the PDB?

You probably know that the CIA provides the President of the United States a summary of critical intelligence issues every day. But did you know that this was happening even before there was a CIA? The Central Intelligence Agency was not formally established until 1947. In January 1946, however, President Harry Truman directed the newly-formed Central Intelligence Group to provide him with a coordinated intelligence report known as the Daily Summary. This report evolved over the years and its name has changed —it’s now called the President’s Daily Brief or PDB— but the tradition begun in 1946 of informing the President with a coordinated daily report continues to this day. Once “for the President’s eyes only” (and those of his most senior advisors), these reports can now be released to the public.

See Daily Summary reports from 1946-1951


President George H. W. Bush's Farewell Visit to CIA

President George H. W. Bush

With gratitude and respect

From the men and women of the Central Intelligence Agency