Break the CIA in Two By Ray McGovern

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By Ray McGovern
December 22, 2009

Editor’s Note: Exactly 46 years ago, President Harry Truman looked back on the still-young CIA, which he had helped create, and was alarmed at how its original purpose – to provide unvarnished information to top policymakers – was being perverted by the agency’s growing role in covert operations.

Nearly a half century since Truman’s warning, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern marvels at Truman’s prescience and suggests that the only answer today is to separate out – and protect – the agency’s core analytical function:

After the CIA-led fiasco at the Bay of Pigs in April 1961, President John Kennedy was quoted as saying he wanted to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds.” I can understand his anger, but a thousand is probably too many.

Better is a Solomon solution; divide the CIA in two. That way we can throw out the bath water and keep the baby.

Covert action and analysis do not belong together in the same agency — never have, never will. That these two very different tasks were thrown together is an accident of history, one that it is high time to acknowledge and to fix.




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8 thoughts on “Break the CIA in Two By Ray McGovern

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  6. Yes. We need the analytical and the information gathering of the CIA; however it does not need to be split in two. The covert actions need to be axed, and permanently removed, ad a full disclosure of all their illegal activities go back to the beginning needs to be made.

    The other commenter is correct about the Department of Hopeless Insecurity. It should be noted that most of its activities are unconstitutional.

  7. Good (and well informed) thoughts, but if there is to be a redux of intelligence in this country, another thing that needs to happen is the Department of Hopeless Insecurity – a mindless, wasteful boondoggle created for military/industrial complex cronies and fearmongers to facilitate going around established laws, checks and balances – needs to be completely disbanded. Their resources repurposed, their deadwood axed, their corruption rooted out. The Department of Hopeless Insecurity is at best a boondoggle, and at worst the establishment of a national fascist secret police force. They do absolutely nothing that the other three agencies, working in concert and appropriately policing each other for abuses, didn’t do SUCCESSFULLY before.

    My signature file on Docudharma and in my email says it all:

    Anyone who fails to see the historical parallels between Blackwater & the Nazi SS, or the DHS & the Gestapo, needs a serious reality check.

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