The Creation of the Central Intelligence Group

By Michael Warner


January 1996 marked the 50th anniversary of President Truman’s appointment of the first Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) and the

creation of the Central Intelligence Group (CIG), CIA’s institutional predecessor. The office diary of the President’s chief military adviser, FIeet

Admiral William D. Leahy, records a rather unexpected event on 24 January 1946:

At lunch today in the White House, with only members of the Staff present, RAdm. Sidney

Souers and I were presented by President Truman] with black cloaks, black hats, and wooden daggers, and the President read an amusing directive to us outlining some of our duties in the Central Intelligence Agency [sic],

“Cloak and Dagger Group of Snoopers.”

With this whimsical ceremony, President Truman christened Admiral Souers as the first DCI.

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