Specifically, the CIA was formed in September 1947.
A mere 9 months later, the National Security Council issued a directive to the CIA to engage in covert operations:
As used in this directive, "covert operations" are understood to be all activities (except as noted herein) which are conducted or sponsored by this Government against hostile foreign states or groups or in support of friendly foreign states or groups but which are so planned and executed that any US Government responsibility for them is not evident to unauthorized persons and that if uncovered the US Government can plausibly disclaim any responsibility for them. Specifically, such operations shall include any covert activities related to: propaganda, economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrillas and refugee liberation groups, and support of indigenous anti-communist elements in threatened countries of the free world. Such operations shall not include armed conflict by recognized military forces, espionage, counter-espionage, and cover and deception for military operations.
Since then, the CIA has engaged in a variety of unsavory covert options, including:
- Aiding and protecting – according to official government documents – Nazi war criminals
- Overthrowing a democratically-elected leader by carrying out bombings and blaming it on others, as admitted by the CIA itself
- Setting up death squads in Honduras, Iran, El Salvador, Vietnam, Iraq (BBC documentary) and other countries
- Carrying out terror bombings in Italy and other European countries (BBC video) from the 1950′s through the 1990′s, and blaming the communists, in order to rally people's support for their governments in Europe in their fight against communism.
- Supporting with money, arms and logistics the Mujahadeen … precursor to Al Qaeda
- Supporting and protecting many other terrorists
- Torturing numerous innocent people, using specialized Communist technique aimed specifically at producing false confessions. This wasn't just waterboarding, but included sodomy and murder. Indeed, the CIA tortures people at its "black sites" all over the globe
- The Washington Post reported in 2010:
- The head and special agent in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles office said that most terror attacks are committed by our CIA and FBI.
- The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan – Lt. General William Odom - noted:
Odom also said:
By any measure the US has long used terrorism. In '78-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation.