Intriguing CIA Facts: 35 Things You Never Knew About the Intelligence Agency

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1John Mulholland

John Mulholland

The CIA hired a magician (John Mulholland) to train agents in sleight of hand techniques for use in their mickey-slipping LSD experiments.

2. In order to obtain the vast amounts of titanium needed for the construction of the SR-71, the CIA created fake companies throughout the world to purchase the metal from the biggest supplier, the USSR.

3. There has been an encrypted sculpture called "Kryptos" that is located on the grounds of the CIA headquarters since 1990 and has yet to be fully decrypted.

4. Economists have discovered that insider knowledge of top-secret CIA coups have been used to make huge financial profits.

5. Operation Northwoods is a plan that called for CIA to commit genuine acts of terrorism in U.S. cities and elsewhere. These acts of terrorism were to be blamed on Cuba in order to create public support for a war against that nation, which had recently become communist under Fidel Castro.

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6Danny Casolaro

Danny Casolaro

Danny Casolaro was an investigative journalist who was working to uncover a secret group controlling the CIA, White House, etc. Despite telling friends and family that if he is found dead, it wouldn't be a suicide, he was found dead after meeting with an unknown source.

7. After George Orwell's death, the CIA secretly bought the rights to 1984 and Animal Farm and clandestinely produced the first film version of 1984 and the critically acclaimed animated film version of Animal Farm.

8. Project Coldfeet is a 1962 operation where two CIA operatives were airdropped onto an abandoned Soviet research station on an ice floe, retrieved information on advanced submarine detection systems, and were extracted via the Fulton Skyhook recovery system to a modified B-17.

9. Several days before the invasion of Afghanistan, a CIA agent made an agreement with the military commander of the Taliban, to kill Osama Bin Laden and capture his top lieutenants. Before the plan could be carried out, the United States began its invasion.

10. The Central Intelligence Agency has a memorial wall at headquarters for employees who are killed while working for the US spy agency. Each year the CIA adds stars for deaths; some with names, some without. There are 125 stars as of 2017, eight more than in 2016 and 46 more than in 2002.

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11Operation Phoenix

Operation Phoenix

The CIA, in South Vietnam, in a program called "Operation Phoenix," secretly, without trial, executed at least 20,000 civilians who were suspected of being members of the Communist Party.

12. CIA agents in Milan botched an operation in 2003 because they gave hotels frequent flier numbers so they could earn miles during their stay in Milan.

13. The CIA once owned dummy corporation, "Air America," that operated as a civilian airline but was used to conduct military operations.

14. In 2013, the CIA publicly acknowledged the existence of Area 51 for the first time.

15. CIA's official motto is "And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."

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16Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama

With the aim of launching guerrilla operations against the Chinese, the CIA gave Dalai Lama $1.7 million a year in the 1960s.

17. Adolf Tolkachev, the Soviet engineer and CIA Asset singlehandedly provided enough information to compromise the MiG-29 and MiG-31, among other advanced avionics before being betrayed by EL Howard and executed by the KGB in 1985.

18. The CIA's own inspector general (Gary Webb) reported that the Reagan administration thwarted federal investigations into drug crimes.

19. The CIA deliberately let the KGB steal control software for a natural gas pipeline that had been modified to malfunction, causing one of the largest non-nuclear blasts ever recorded.

20. In the early 1960s, the CIA coined the term 'Plausible Deniability' to describe the withholding of information from senior officials in order to protect them from repercussions in the event that illegal or unpopular activities by the CIA became public knowledge.



In the 50's, the CIA tried to assassinate Fidel Castro by slipping an exploding cigar into his private supply.

22. The Slim Shady album was used as an official torture tool by the CIA. Detainees were forced to listen to it.

23. During the 'Secret War', the CIA recruited 50% of the Hmong population to fight for the US in the Vietnam War. Afterwards, they were completely abandoned.

24. The CIA uses Amazon cloud services to store sensitive data.

25. CIA Operation Mongoose tried to kill Castro with exploding cigars, shells, poisoned wetsuits, milkshakes, a former lover; character assassination via thallium to make his beard fall out and LSD. Castro said, “If surviving assassination attempts were an Olympic event, I would win the gold medal.”



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  1. The Hmong People were not abandoned by the CIA once the US pulled out of Laos (not Vietnam). Many Hmong were evacuated and resettled to the US.



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