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A Review of Richelson’s the Wizards of Langley: Inside the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology Expository Essay


Introduction

Richelson notes in his writings that within CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), there are four distinguished directorates amongst them being the Science and Technology Directorate (DS & T). The DS&T has since its inauguration been offering amicable maintenance to the operations and revelation of the Central Intelligence Agency via actions, attainment, progress, as well as studying the schemes and systematic abilities.

Besides, DS&T is mandated to offer directions to the NPIC (National Photographic Interpretation Centre) and FBIS (Foreign Broadcast Information Service). Nevertheless, in the most outstanding work of Richelson, DS&T materializes as a ‘spy shop’.

Under this docket and in the entire account of groundbreaking surveillance technology, DS&T has generated the most envisaged scientific developments including the CORONA satellites programs, the KH-11, A-12, as well as the U-2 spy planes.

The development and evolution of the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology

The untimely historical accounts

Since the fiscal 1947, when the Central Intelligence Agency was first launched, the support offered by science and technology appeared to be the central constituent of the mission of this agency. During these early days, Richelson states that the Estimates and Reports Office (ORE) were perceived as the Science and Technology Directorate precursor.

During the financial year 1948 December, ORE amalgamated with the Special Operations Office branch called the Nuclear Energy Group to create OSI also dubbed the Scientific Intelligence Office. However, until the fiscal 1962, OSI remained the prime scientific research laboratory for the Central Intelligence Agency.

In The Wizards of Langley, research manuscript on the DS & T, Richelson also known as the intelligence researcher, managed to access various extremely perceptive documents that are currently declassified.

For instance, Allen Dulles, the Central Intelligence Director (DCI) received a memo on 5th November 1954 from Land Edwin, the chief executive officer of Polaroid wiling Dulles to acquire mega high decree photographs and construct specific airliners which could take off at towering elevations. Thus, given the previous planning and the influence of the letter, the skunk operations facility in Lockheed crafted the U-2 spy plane.

Richelson shows how CIA planned to set up the initial secret agent satellites in the fiscal 1950s. In 1959 for example, CIA inaugurated the triumphant CORONA satellite despite the fact that there was a satellite venture for the Air Force already in progress.

In fact, the CORONA satellite outlasted the SAMOS program owned by the armed forces by approximately one decade. Richelson noted that between 1949 and 1963, amongst the least exultant experimentations conducted by the CIA were the psychotropic drugs such as MKULTRA program as well as the LSD.

The1960s era

The Scientific Intelligence Office replaced the Deputy Research Directorate in the year 1962, but in the fiscal 1963, the directorate was named the Science and Technology Directorate Deputy. However, it was until 1965 when directorate approved the current name DS &T (Richelson, 2002).

Nonetheless, in 1960s, the CIA through DS&T managed to build Oxcart A-2 that emerged victorious though hardly matched the precision observed in the case of U-2 detective airplane. The satellite plans were progressively nonstop although the CIA’s satellite called KH-4 hardly proffered better images compared to the imageries offered by the U-2 spy plane as shown in the 1962 interpreted NPIC photographic report.

Richelson, from a 1967 March memorandum detailed various idiocy illustrations and challenges, which DS&T often encountered while conducting science and technology experiments. For instance, Richelson shows the DS&T venture called ‘Acoustic Kitty’ that was developed by the Directorate though the project never lived up to its missions (Richelson, 2002).

The 1970s period

Richelson indicates that the Science and Technology Directorate got involved in various avant-garde technologies since 1971 following the DS&T’s summit with Overseas Intelligence Advisory Panel comprising of the heads of states including Land and Nixon Richard. During this intelligence community meeting, the presidents discussed numerous views on how synchronized returning images satellites could be developed.

This conception is even recognized in the present day technological applications. However, in 1970s the satellites had to record the imageries on films so that they could be viewed weeks, days, months, or years later.

Richelson noted that during this era, the satellites concepts, which could have relayed imageries directly to the available stations appeared implausible (Richelson, 2002). The development and usage of the KH-11 satellites in 1976 December fulfilled the intelligence community mission as discussed during the summit.

Richelson works show that most of the chosen ideas exemplified the scientific and technological juxtaposition accomplishments that had minimal flourishing events. While KH-11 satellite was being developed, the Science and Technology Directorate conducted laboratory tests in the utilization of the alleged extrasensory expertise also called the ‘remote viewing’ so as to assess the interesting targets which posed problems under ordinary views or using normal means.

The ‘remote viewers’ as indicated in the 1975 Los Alamos scientific lab information managed to see various items which the DS&T photographic satellites specified were hardly incorporated in the questioned sites.

When the Cold War ended, science technicians from the U.S. who visited such locations revealed that the sites were utilized in the development of power-driven space nuclear artillery. This implied that, the subversive nuclear trials that the remote viewers alleged hardly took place in these sites.

The central foundation of today’s intelligence technology

There is scanty information concerning the current Science and Technology Directorate activities. Richelson however, states that the involvement of CIA in science and technology for over forty years clearly shows the intensity of events under which the agency has been be allied to in the previous years.

Richelson (2002) indicates that the central foundation of the current intelligence technology accrued from the tasks assumed by DS&T including the exploitation, appraisals, and collections of data as well as decisive info. This intelligence information helps the CIA to execute the vision through the application of engineering, mechanical, and inventive scientific resolutions that are deemed significant to the intelligence affairs.

The S&T directorate employees tend to contain fifty study areas including language, mechanical, and supercomputer technicians. In fact, most of such professionals set up, appraise, devise, and develop specific gadgets meant to proffer the imperative competitive edge to the U.S. on issues involving particular operations and intelligence (Richelson, 2002).

The science and technology directorate undertakes various tasks supporting the whole cycle of today’s intelligence. Some of the undertaken events are the gathering of the intelligence valuable resources and information from different overseas resources, the deployment, and development of the information gathering systems.

The DS&T also supports the office of national inspection to create proficient satellite schemes, studying and building sophisticated intelligence technologies, as well as offering up to date science and technology for gathering the concealed intelligence information.

Re-writing the history for the organization to be more effective

The science and technology directorate has progressively advanced into a multifaceted corporation offering various services and products to uphold the mission and vision of CIA. Given that the DS&T has an overarching aim of bringing the mechanical proficiency when collecting and analyzing vital intelligence matters, scholars deems it important to rewrite the organizational history for CIA to be very effective.

Who: Rather than having the fifty various disciplines, the CIA should incorporate more than just the engineers, computer programmers, and scientific study analysts.

How: The DS&T executives should be placed all over the universe, side by side with armed recruits as well as case officials. The officials should construct inimitably customized operations apparatus.

This implies that, DS&T should employ both males and females who emerged outstanding in the engineering and scientific applications when CIA was inaugurated. Besides, the organization should only employ various flexible, creative, and experienced employees having hand on technological capabilities in solving different problems.

What: The Science and Technology Directorate needs to press on the high-tech limits, inculcate the avant-garde expertise with useful tradecrafts and objectives. Since the Science and Technology Directorate is a key critical component of the national security, most operations that DS&T produces ought to be confidential.

When: The intelligence information should be classified whenever the science and technology department merge with other community intelligence agencies to draw on the superlative practices needed in upholding and synchronization innovative thoughts. The organization and the agency ought to adapt the science and technology continuously to make sure that the prospective intelligence needs are successfully accomplished.

Where: National intelligence as well as defense force is not just domestic matters, rather they should be viewed and tackled from the national, international, and community perspectives. That is, the science and technology directorate is compelled to invest resources in both the officers and in the prospective national and community technologies.

The organization should take part in the international and local intelligence projects including supporting various minority conferences along with the area college scientific affairs.

Why: Currently the global operations have been continuously changing posing significant problems to the science and technology officials. Thus, the DS&T experts are obliged to be beyond the expertise curves to warrant that researchers and information analysts function appropriately.

Works Cited

Richelson, Jeffrey. The Wizards of Langley: Inside the CIA’S Directorate of Science and Technology. Boulder: Westview Press, 2002. Print

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IvyPanda. (2019, April 22). A Review of Richelson's the Wizards of Langley: Inside the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/a-review-of-richelsons-the-wizards-of-langley-inside-the-cias-directorate-of-science-and-technology-essay/

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"A Review of Richelson's the Wizards of Langley: Inside the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology." IvyPanda, 22 Apr. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/a-review-of-richelsons-the-wizards-of-langley-inside-the-cias-directorate-of-science-and-technology-essay/.

1. IvyPanda. "A Review of Richelson's the Wizards of Langley: Inside the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology." April 22, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/a-review-of-richelsons-the-wizards-of-langley-inside-the-cias-directorate-of-science-and-technology-essay/.


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IvyPanda. "A Review of Richelson's the Wizards of Langley: Inside the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology." April 22, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/a-review-of-richelsons-the-wizards-of-langley-inside-the-cias-directorate-of-science-and-technology-essay/.

References

IvyPanda. 2019. "A Review of Richelson's the Wizards of Langley: Inside the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology." April 22, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/a-review-of-richelsons-the-wizards-of-langley-inside-the-cias-directorate-of-science-and-technology-essay/.

References

IvyPanda. (2019) 'A Review of Richelson's the Wizards of Langley: Inside the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology'. 22 April.

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