Truman Was Right, the CIA Shouldn’t Be Conducting Operations

In December 1963, Harry Truman wrote an article in the Washington Post to say the CIA should only be collecting intelligence and not conducting operations. He never thought “that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations” and that “the last thing we needed was for the CIA to be seized upon as something akin to a subverting influence in the affairs of other people.” He wanted to see the CIA’s “operational duties be terminated.” He concluded: “There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position and I feel that we need to correct it.”

The CIA attempted in 1993 to refute Truman’s claims, drumming his viewpoint up to ignorance of the events in 1947 that led to the CIA’s establishment. They even make the argument that the article wasn’t written by Truman himself. How convenient.

Map for Bay of Pigs invasion plans, one of many operations that should never have happened
But let’s be real – Truman got it. Unfortunately his words were not heeded. The CIA only went further down the road of covert operations that subvert the affairs of other countries. Today, the CIA is a full-blown shadow government with a black budget funded with front companies and illegal commerce. It’s insane to think that the current U.S. government could be a true republic with organizations like the CIA operating with impunity.

We need a president and a Congress that will dissolve the CIA and replace it with a pure intelligence agency – collecting and reporting intelligence, not assassinating foreign nationals and intervening in foreign elections. No operations. That is for the military in conflicts resulting from a Congressional declaration of war. Do I expect the CIA to go away in my lifetime? No. But I will not complacently accept the state of our republic with its CIA shadow government.

Side note: I do have to wonder if the timing of Truman’s article, exactly a month after Kennedy’s assassination, was due to his fear that the CIA was involved.


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