Do not mistake only he who does nothing. So there is nothing surprising in the fact that us intelligence agencies, primarily the Central intelligence Agency, attracted attention, mainly when you find yourself involved in any scandals. I must say that the CIA is neither the largest nor the most well-funded intelligence Agency, whose mission includes ensuring U.S. security.
So, the National Security Agency (NSA), the worldwide tracking and communications, has nearly three times more employees and a much larger budget to purchase required extremely expensive equipment. The FBI is responsible for counterintelligence and intelligence service of the US army also have significantly more staff.
Nevertheless, it is associated with the CIA covert operations in the interests of the United States. Perhaps, in the world there is no organization that is hated and feared more than him. And only after the alleged disclosures had fled to Moscow of the traitor Edward Snowden to the number of hate also joined the NSA.
70 years ago, on 26 July 1946, US President Harry Truman signed a decree on the creation of the American intelligence services, as an independent institution. Its predecessor was founded in 1942 the Office of strategic services — was subordinated to the then military Ministry. In contrast, the CIA since its formal founding on September 18, 1947, reports directly to the President.
Over the past seven decades, the CIA was undoubtedly achieved a great success. But it turns out that the wide public about them usually knows nothing — in contrast to failures, often resulting in large scandals. Listed below are nine failures caused serious damage to American politics. And the tenth case was the prototype of the so-called successful failure.
1. Soviet atomic bomb in 1949
On the explosion of the first Soviet atomic bomb on 29 August 1949, the CIA didn’t learn anything until the very moment of his accomplishments — as well as extensive information leak by a few employees who participated in the nuclear program of the United States. Only four days later, American intelligence gathered on the Pacific coast of the USSR, radioactive particles, pointing to the explosion of the atomic bomb. And only nearly three weeks later, President Truman announced that the Soviet Union has indeed broken the US monopoly on nuclear weapons.
2. The landing at the Bay of Pigs in 1961
No other CIA operation turned into so shameful a failure as the invasion opposed the Communist regime of Cuban immigrants in the Bay of Pigs in April 1961. It does not get almost everything that could fail: on haphazardly recruited from Cuban immigrants “group invasion” a few months in the papers. The members of the group were poorly trained, poorly armed and mistakenly believed that the Cuban population will go on their way. The result was 200 dead and 1,300 captured the attackers, the victory of the Cuban leader Fidel Castro and anger of President John F. Kennedy.
3. Medium-range missiles in Cuba in 1962
After the failure to get information in Cuba became for the CIA is almost impossible. Therefore, a great surprise to U.S. intelligence became the news about the deployment of Soviet medium-range missiles equipped with nuclear warheads in Cuba. Evidence of this, in fact, accidentally discovered October 15, 1962 when decrypting the data collected by the spy plane U-2. Only thanks to his composure and the skillful negotiations of the Kennedy managed to prevent a severe crisis for all time of the cold war.
4. The Yom Kippur war of 1973
In the autumn of 1973 the CIA had enough information about the impending invasion of the armies of Egypt and Syria to Israel. However, analysts at Langley were not able to make this information a logical conclusion about what will soon follow spontaneous attack. In fairness I must add that the “Mossad”, being directly on the ground, “overlooked” the Arab attack of October 6, 1973, which threatened its entire existence. Thus, on the eve of the Yom Kippur War goof, two leading intelligence agencies of the West.
5. The Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979
A few months before the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979, the Tehran branch of the CIA believed that the Shah’s regime was not threatened, at least within the next ten years. And when the fundamentalist-Ayatollah after violent street battles took power, the head of the CIA, Admiral Stansfield Turner (Stansfield Turner) just sadly said, “We all overslept.”
6. Gamble with Iranian rebels in 1985-1986
This, however, did not prevent the successor to Turner, William Casey (William J. Casey) and military adviser to the national security Council Oliver North (Oliver North) to get involved in as complicated as it is illegal fraud. As the U.S. Congress refused to even secretly provide money to support anti-Communist rebels in Nicaragua, the CIA, despite sanctions, has supplied weapons to Iran, whose army received us weapons during the time of the Shah, the needed ammunition and spare parts.
Intended for this means in the mass, was heading to Central America and was on the Finance are extremely “dirty” war; another part of the money went to Islamic terrorists in Lebanon to release trapped there captured American soldiers. The truth was revealed in late 1986, after which the North was arrested and brought to justice, but blames Casey, who at that time was in serious condition and could not be questioned, and died in 1987.
7. The collapse of the Eastern bloc in 1989
The collapse of the Eastern bloc and the peaceful revolution in the GDR and Czechoslovakia became for the CIA by surprise. You can even say that the information transmitted by CNN, was more meaningful than the reports of intelligence agencies. However, to blame the agents that Langley did not foresee the fall of the Berlin wall, it is not necessary — didn’t plan that one, but it was the result of a misunderstanding and bold response from the residents of East Berlin.
8. The attacks of September 11, 2001
In fact, the CIA had all the necessary information about the preparation of the attacks of 11 September 2001 on new York and Washington to prevent them. However, no one has managed to collect separate pieces of information together. After the attack it was done very quickly — and this gave rise to fantasies of the followers of various conspiracy theories.
9. The war in Iraq, 2002-2003
Outright failure of the intelligence agencies led to the beginning of the war in Iraq, 2002-2003. Because in the end it turned out that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction (which was the immediate reason for the invasion), no mobile labs for chemical weapons production. All this was an invention of the informant of the German intelligence service BND named Curveball, which, despite all the warnings, the CIA believed, because this information was consistent with his assumptions.
The above nine cases, the failures of the CIA, of course, is not the end this is just the most loud and had the biggest impact on the failure of American spies. But there is another “defeat”, which, however, recently turned into a success: a spy tunnel in Berlin.
10. Spy tunnel in Berlin, 1956
In late April 1956, the USSR and its “satellite state” of the GDR staged a public relations campaign with the purpose to accuse the US and its allies in the “war-mongering”. On 22 April, the builders found in the most South-Eastern part of West Berlin tunnel leading to the Eastern sector of the divided after the war between the victorious powers of the city, full of all sorts of equipment the CIA for wiretapping command of the red army.
Caught spies, however, did not show the slightest sadness. Although the CIA certainly wouldn’t have anything against the continuation of the so-called operation Gold, but by exposing it, in fact, only won. Because during the previous eleven months of his agents managed to listen to about 440 thousand of secret of telephone negotiations the Soviet side, and even the skeptics among us parliamentarians had to admit that the CIA was worth the money that was received from the budget.
By the way, in 1997 for the 50th anniversary of the CIA in its Museum in Langley opened the exhibition, the centerpiece of which was a model of the Berlin tunnel: in spite of the exposure by the Soviet enemies, the American spy was proud. As such they remain to this day.