This is the "Introduction" page of the "The Central Intelligence Agency - "The Work of a Nation. The Center of Intelligence."" guide.
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The Central Intelligence Agency - "The Work of a Nation. The Center of Intelligence."   Tags: agency, central, central intelligence agency, cia, intelligence  

This LibGuide provides an introduction to information regarding the history and development of the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of America.
Last Updated: Mar 17, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Introduction Print Page

Official Seal

To view a larger version, click here.

This seal was provided for by Section 2 of the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949, and the final design was approved by President Harry Truman's Executive Order 1011 on February 17th, 1950.

For an explanation of the design and an interpretation of the meaning of the seal, follow this link.

In addition, the "Kids' Zone" of the official CIA website offers an interactive look at the various components that make up the seal, which can be viewed here.


Official Flag

For a larger version, click here.



To view a larger version, click here.

The official motto of the CIA is inscribed on a wall in the lobby of the Original Headquarters Building (OHB), and it reads as follows:

 "And Ye Shall Know the Truth and the Truth Shall Make You Free."  (John 8:32)


Welcome to the Central Intelligence Agency


Mission Statement

The mission of the CIA, as taken from the official CIA website, is as follows:

"Preempt threats and further US national security objectives by collecting intelligence that matters, producing objective all-source analysis, conducting effective covert action as directed by the President, and safeguarding the secrets that help keep our Nation safe."


The CIA on the Internet

There are several websites on the Internet that provide a wealth of information regarding the CIA.  Below you will find but a few such websites, several of which were instrumental in the creation of this LibGuide.

Official Website of the Central Intelligence Agency - Few websites on the Internet provide as vast a wealth of information of the CIA's own website.  This website, in particular, offers numerous resources for anyone interested in learning more about the history, organization, and mission of the CIA.  It even has a designated "Kids' Zone" for children and young adults who are interested in learning more about the CIA.  It can be found here, and it provides resources for parents and teachers, as well as interactive games and media.

Official Facebook Page of the Central Intelligence Agency - Perhaps not surprisingly, the CIA has even taken to social media.  On its official Facebook page, you will find photos, news updates, and even weekly "CIA Museum Artifact" entries which shine a light on various artifacts found in the museum at CIA headquarters.

Official Twitter Page of the Central Intelligence Agency - Continuing with social media, the CIA's official Twitter account provides access to much of the same information as its official Facebook page, albeit in bite-sized doses of 140 characters or less.  It also includes various facts, quotes, and historical anecdotes about the CIA and its operations.

Official YouTube Channel of the Central Intelligence Agency - The CIA has also posted several educational videos, collections of historical footage, interviews, and even advertisements on its official YouTube channel.  Several of the videos in this LibGuide were linked from this channel.

Official Flickr Page of the Central Intelligence Agency - The official Flickr page of the CIA includes countless photos from the past and present of the CIA, and each photo includes a brief description of its significance. - provides resources and information about various United States government agencies, including the CIA, as well as how to contact these agencies and many government officials.



John Owen Brennan (pictured above) is the current director of the CIA.  He was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate on March 7th, 2013.  He was officially sworn in as CIA director the next day, March 8th, 2013. 

To learn more about Director Brennan's life and career prior to being appointed director of the CIA, click here and here for some brief biological sketches.

In addition, the New York Times has an article describing the circumstances surrounding Director Brennan's appointment and confirmation, which can be read here.  To read a copy of the hearing, follow this link.



For a larger version, click here.

Pictured above is the front entrance to the new headquarters of the CIA, the George Bush Center for Intelligence, located in Langley, Virginia.  The groundbreaking ceremony for the new building took place on May 24th, 1984, and a video commemorating the event can be found at the following link.

The official CIA website provide an interactive, virtual tour of the headquarters, which can be found here.

In addition, a video tour of the building, shown through the eyes of CIA K-9 "Bradley," can be viewed here.


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