The Central Intelligence Agency. There might not be a more interesting organization on the planet.
Typically, there's a general public understanding of any such powerful group. We might not have total transparency on say, the FBI, but we know at least what they get up to, broadly speaking.
But while most of us undoubtedly recognize The Agency for their spying capability... can any of us really say we know what they're up to?
It's hard to know how accurate the information we have about the CIA really is. After all, secrecy is their profession. If they didn't want us to know something, what are the odds we'd ever find it out?
Even the CIA budget is confidential. The exact number is a congressional secret, guarded more closely than the (definitely real) map on the back of the Declaration of Independence. Nicolas Cage himself couldn't find out if he tried.
We do have some idea of what they're allocated though: according to the the whistleblower Edward Snowden (who leaked U.S. intelligence information to journalists in 2013) the annual CIA budget is roughly $14.7 billion. That's enough money to make James Bond look like a toddler with a homemade water gun... And presumably it's only going up.
As for where that money goes, all we have are theories. Given that, it's no wonder the CIA has always been a hot topic for the conspiracy community. After all, we're talking about a multi-billion dollar organization made up of the most brilliant minds in espionage, working all over the world with the explicit backing of the only national superpower on the planet.
- Their work is dark and shadowy.
- Their task (to protect the interests of the United States) is massive.
- And their budget is enormous.
It's like conspiracy theory bingo.
In fact, there's even allegations that the CIA invented the term "conspiracy theory". Why? To create a cover for any CIA actions that might come to the attention of the general public. Proponents of this theory suggest that the CIA uses the confusion caused by conspiracy theorists to "get away" with some activities.
But whether that is true or not, there's no doubt the CIA is a fascinating, if somewhat terrifying, group. We hope this video has given you some information to do more research of your own.