Title: The Central Intelligence Agency
Author: Arthur Darling
Darling, Arthur (1990). The Central Intelligence Agency: An Instrument of Government to 1950. State College, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press
Date Updated: September 24, 2015
A look at the bureaucratic struggles that led to the development of the CIA and the battles that ensued afterward. Pennsylvania State Press says about this book:
“This unique history offers the most detailed and best documented account of the early years of the CIA currently available. It reveals the political and bureaucratic struggles that accompanied the creation of the modern U.S. intelligence community. In addition, it proposes a theory of effective intelligence organization, applied both to the movement to create the CIA and to the form it eventually took. The period covered by this study was crucially important because it was during this time that the main battles over the establishment, responsibilities, and turf of the agency were fought. Many of these disputes framed the forty years, such as the relationship of the CIA to other government agency intelligence operations, the role of covert action, and Congressional oversight of the intelligence community.
The sources upon which Darling drew for this study include the files of the National Security Council, the wartime files of the OSS, and interviews and correspondence with many of the principal players.”
telligence. This limitation conformed to President Truman’s wishes because he was wary of creating a powerful and all-knowing intelligence chief in a democratic society. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress and President Bush decided to alter the position of DCI by creating a new director of national intelligence position with more oversight and coordination of the government’s myriad programs. Thus this book ends with Porter Goss in 2005, the last DCI.
Douglas Garthoff’s book is a unique and important study of the nation’s top intelligence official over a roughly fifty-year period. His work provides the detailed historical framework that is essential for all future studies of how the U.S. intelligence community has been and will be managed.