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Jul 06, 2015 Director Brennan Participates in Mount Vernon 4th of July Naturalization Ceremony

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DCIA Brennan delivering keynote at Mount Vernon naturalization ceremony

CIA Director John Brennan was the keynote speaker at Mount Vernon’s special 4th of July Naturalization Ceremony, where 101 new Americans from 45 different countries took the Oath of Allegiance to become American citizens on our country’s 239th Independence Day.

In his speech, Brennan commented on the diverse backgrounds and cultures from which our newest citizens came from. Several even served as members of our armed forces, putting their lives on the line to protect the rights of all Americans before fully enjoying those rights themselves.

“Today,” said Brennan, “in swearing you in as brand-new Americans, we affirm a central tenet of our democracy: that what matters is not where you come from, or

what you look like, or who your parents are. What matters is your commitment to the principles that define us as Americans—the principles of freedom and equality that have guided this Nation since our founding more than two centuries ago. You all entered these beautiful grounds this morning as foreign nationals. You will leave as Americans.”

Here are several photos and a video from the ceremony and the Independence Day festivities, which included daytime fireworks, military reenactments, and a visit from “General George Washington” himself:


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DCIA Brennan shaking hands with new citizens at Mount Vernon 4th of July naturalization ceremony

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DCIA Brennan delivering keynote at Mount Vernon naturalization ceremony

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Reenactors at Mount Vernon during July 4th celebration and naturalization ceremony

See the full video of Director Brennan's speech below:

Jul 02, 2015 Nathan Hale, American Spy... What His Sacrifice Means on Our Independence Day

CIA Director John O. Brennan remembers Nathan Hale and the sacrifices he made in service to freedom and Independence. His statue stands vigilant guard over the Agency and is a continuing reminder to our employees of the duties and sacrifices of an intelligence officer. See the full video and transcript below.

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Full Transcript:

"I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." These are said to be the last words of American hero and patriot Nathan Hale, the first American executed for spying for his country.

DCIA on Camera

I’m John Brennan, Director of CIA and statues of Nathan Hale, like this one here at the headquarters of CIA, stand in Connecticut at Yale University . . .

DCIA off Camera

. . . in Washington DC outside the Justice Department, and at Fort Hale. After graduating from Yale in 1773 and teaching school, Hale was commissioned as a captain in the Continental Army. In 1776, during the Battle of Long Island, Hale bravely volunteered to go behind enemy lines and report on British troop movements, and he would be engaging in an act of spying that was immediately punishable by death. It was a risky mission—he had been given virtually no training. Indeed, Nathan Hale was apprehended by the British on the 21st of September and hanged without trial at 11 a.m. the next morning. These images of Nathan Hale capture his spirit the moment before execution– a 21-year-old man prepared to meet his death for honor and country, hands and feet bound, face resolute and his eyes on the horizon. Following Hale’s gallant attempt, our Nation’s fledgling intelligence effort, overseen by George Washington, would grow in sophistication and contribute to America’s victory. Today, Nathan Hale’s statue stands here at CIA as an enduring reminder of the duties and sacrifices inherent to intelligence work.

DCIA on Camera

Hale's bravery has made him an icon of liberty and patriotism. On this 239th anniversary of American independence, we at CIA pay tribute to him and to all the brave Americans who have served our country, defended our freedoms, and protected our way of life.

Apr 15, 2015 Where Spies Go When They Don't Know

The earthy scent of musty books, men and women talking in hushed voices around large oak tables, librarians scurrying from aisle to aisle carrying tomes both old and new… As mysterious as this sounds, it is not the CIA Library of today.

The library at CIA Headquarters is a cutting edge research and information hub. Upon first glance, it looks like many other modern public libraries. Except here, among the periodicals and stacks of books on history, politics, and science, you will find volumes most Americans will never see. That’s because the Agency’s library is also home to the literature of secrets.

Founded in 1947, the CIA Library is a valuable resource to Agency employees. Although most of the books are unclassified and can be found at many community libraries and bookstores, the library includes many materials that are classified. That, and the library’s location at CIA Headquarters, restrict its use to cleared personnel.

The Library provides all-source reference and research services to the Agency by leveraging access to more than 200 domestic and foreign online databases that together include over 90,000 full-text electronic periodicals, dissertations, photographs, biographical resources, and public records.

The Library's print collection includes journals, newspapers, and approximately 100,000 books. Together, these resources cover the fields of international affairs and political science, business and economics, science and technology, and topics of general and scholarly interest. The Library houses special collections on topics such as denial and deception. The Library also participates in interlibrary loans of circulating items with other government and public libraries.

Unique to the CIA Library is the Historical Intelligence Collection (HIC), which is primarily an open-source library dedicated to the collection, retention, and exploitation of material dealing with the intelligence profession. Currently, there are more than 25,000 books and extensive press clippings in the collection.

The oldest item in the HIC is a book on cryptography bound in vellum and published primarily in Latin in 1606. More recently, the Revolutionary War holdings, in particular those on Nathan Hale and Major John André, are extensive and provide a view of basic intelligence operations when good instincts rather than training were the only prerequisites.

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To learn more about the CIA Library's HIC, see below:

Mar 13, 2015 Director Brennan Speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations- Watch Full Video

Director John O. Brennan spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations on March 13, 2015 at 1:00 pm EST. See the full video below.

 

Nov 04, 2014 444 Days in Tehran: The Story of CIA Officers Held Captive During the Iranian Hostage Crisis

It was a warm, sunny November morning when six CIA officers stationed at the US Embassy in Iran first heard the rumblings of a crowd amassing outside. A small group of mostly nonviolent protesters had been gathering near the Embassy for several weeks to demonstrate against US support for the exiled Iranian leader Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. This protest seemed no different. Then, slowly, the noise from the crowd changed, intensified, and grew closer. By mid-morning, a group of radical Islamist students breached the perimeter of the US Embassy on Takht-e-Jamshid Avenue in Tehran and took sixty-six Americans hostage. Fifty-two of the hostages, including the CIA officers, remained in captivity for 444 days. That was 35 years ago.

The Iranian hostage crisis began on November 4, 1979 and was one of the greatest US foreign policy crises of the last century. While much has been written about the crisis, this week we recount the story of two CIA officers who were held hostage during this critical point in American history.

Read Part 1: Storming of the Embassy: November 4, 1979

Read Part 2: Life in Captivity

Read Part 3: The Release: January 20, 1981

Oct 02, 2014 2014 CIA Trailblazer Awards Presented

Last month, Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan presented this year’s Trailblazer Awards to Donald R. Cryer and another valued employee, whose work remains classified. The Trailblazer Awards were established in 1997 to recognize CIA officers who, by their actions, example, innovations or initiative, have taken the CIA in important new directions and helped shape the Agency’s history. This year’s honorees continue this tradition.

Since 2008, the CIA has recognized officers with an award for outstanding work in promoting diversity and inclusion to enhance the mission. In 2010, that award was officially renamed for Cryer, a 42-year veteran of the Agency and tireless advocate who laid the groundwork for CIA’s diversity and inclusion programs. His concentration on building an inclusive, high-performing workforce through strategic planning, succession planning and success measurement—as well as his emphasis on removing obstacles and barriers that impede employee success—remains in effect today. Cryer attributes the accomplishments recognized by the Trailblazer Award to the host of people who mentored, supported and inspired him throughout his career.

To read about previous Trailblazer Award recipients, follow these links:

Sep 15, 2014 CIA Reaches Deep to Feed Local Families

brennanfedsfeedfamiliesThe "Feds Feed Families" food drive, which began in early June, concluded last month with Central Intelligence Agency officers having donated 11,798 pounds of food to local families at risk of hunger. This year's poundage nearly doubled the 2013 campaign, which accumulated about 6,300 pounds. All of the food donated by CIA was delivered to the Capital Area Food Bank, which distributed it to local families.

During the past five years, federal employees have donated more than 24 million pounds of food. Goods collected through the program are distributed to several hundred food banks, soup kitchens, and other service organizations across the metropolitan area. Food is processed quickly on a first-in, first-out basis and can take as little as two weeks to get to needy families.

Sep 05, 2014 CIA Unveils Portrait of Former Director Leon E. Panetta

Today, CIA honored the legacy of former Director Potrait of Former Director Leon E. PanettaLeon E. Panetta with the unveiling of his portrait, which joins those of his predecessors in the Agency’s Directors’ Gallery. Mr. Panetta served as CIA Director from February 2009 to June 2011, leading the Agency and managing human intelligence and open source collection programs on behalf of the Intelligence Community. At the portrait unveiling ceremony, CIA Director John Brennan spoke of Mr. Panetta’s many achievements during his tenure at CIA, including the operation that killed the world’s most wanted terrorist. In addition, Director Brennan praised the work of the artist, Steven Polson, who also painted the agency’s official portraits of former directors George Tenet and General Michael Hayden.

Aug 29, 2014 #HISTINT: Aug. 29, 1959: Design Selected for Supersonic Successor to the U-2

On August 29, 1959 --55 years ago today-- an interagency panel selected Lockheed’s 12th design for a supersonic successor to the U-2. The research and development program, codenamed OXCART began, and in1962, after arduous work by Lockheed and CIA program managers and technical officers, the first A-12 took flight.  It took another three years for engineering challenges to be surmounted and the fleet to be declared operationally ready.

A-12 evolution

To learn more about the A-12 check out these additional resources:

Archangel: CIA's Supersonic A-12 Reconnaissance Aircraft

A-12 OXCART

A Look Back … OXCART: "The Bird Should Leave Its Nest"

Aug 26, 2014 Project AZORIAN: The Conclusion

glomarimageAlmost immediately after the recovery effort, planning began for a second mission to recover the lost section. A bizarre and totally unforeseen occurrence, however, had already started a chain of events that would ultimately expose the Glomar Explorer’s true purpose and make another mission impossible. In June 1974, just before the Glomar set sail, thieves had broken into the offices of the Summa Corporation and stolen secret documents, one tying Howard Hughes to CIA and the Glomar Explorer. Desperate to recover this document, CIA called in the FBI, which in turn enlisted the Los Angeles Police Department. The search drew attention, and by the autumn of 1974 the media began to pick up rumors of a sensational story.

Director of Central Intelligence William E. Colby personally appealed to those who had learned about AZORIAN not to disclose the project. For a while they cooperated, but on February 18, 1975 the Los Angeles Times published an account that made connections between the robbery, Hughes, CIA, and the recovery operation.  Journalists flooded into the Long Beach area where the Glomar was preparing for its second mission.  The Ford Administration neither confirmed nor denied any of the stories in circulation, but by late June, the Soviets were aware of the Glomar's covert mission and had assigned a ship to monitor and guard the recovery site. With Glomar’s cover blown, the White House canceled further recovery operations.

The Glomar's brief covert career was now over, and it was mothballed for over a quarter century. Then in the late 1990s, a US petroleum company restored the ship and used it for deep-sea oil drilling and exploration.

Although Project AZORIAN  did not meet its full intelligence objectives, CIA considered the operation to be one of the greatest intelligence coups of the Cold War. Project AZORIAN remains an engineering marvel, advancing the state of the art in deep-ocean mining and heavy-lift technology

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3