The Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949 and why the CIA basically can keep its finances private

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Previously we talked about the CIA and how it got started, but that article basically finishes with the Central Intelligence Agency being established in 1947. Now, we have to talk about an act that is one of the most important bills for the CIA and how it operates. The short title for this act is the CIA Act of 1949. However, according to the United States government, the full name for this particular law is "
An Act to provide for the administration of the Central Intelligence Agency, established pursuant to section 102, National Security Act of 1947, and for other purposes." - which is a mouthful, I can tell you that!

What is interesting about this Act is that section seen of the act exempts the CIA from having to disclose its "organization, functions, officials, titles, salaries, or numbers of personnel employed." It was passed by the United States Congress on May 27th and as you would expect, it is controversial since it basically allows the CIA to hide a lot of important information including how much the intelligence agency gets in funding. Do not just take our word for it, there was a whole court case to challenge whether this act was constitutional or not!

United States v. Richardson, 418 U.S. 166 was a Supreme Court case that stated the act conflicted with Article 1, Section 9 of the United States Constitution which stated that "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time." since the CIA's finances are not published - not even very accurate estimates. The court ruled that the act was not constitutional, which is why the CIA can keep secret how much money it gets and secretly fund intelligence operations and coups outside of regular US Government regulations.

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