The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence


The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence is a 1974 controversial non-fiction political book written by Victor Marchetti, a former special assistant to the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, & John D. Marks, a former officer of the United States Department of State. The authors claim to expose how the CIA actually works & how its original purpose (i.e. collecting & analyzing information about foreign governments, corporations, & persons in order to advise public policymakers) had been subverted by its obsession with clandestine operations. It’s the first book the federal government of the USA ever went to court to censor before its publication. The CIA demanded the authors remove 399 passages but they stood firm & only 168 passages were censored. The publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, chose to publish the book with blanks for censored passages & with boldface type for passages that were challenged but later uncensored. The book was a critically-acclaimed bestseller whose publication contributed to the establishment of the Church Committee, a Senate select committee to study governmental operations with respect to intelligence activities, in 1975. The book was published in paperback by Dell Publishing in 1975


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