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Council on Intelligence Issues

Intel Basics


The Council on Intelligence Issues provides information about how to locate articles, books, reviews, blogs, and other publications of note that may affect or relate to CIA and other intelligence agencies, employees, intelligence issues, or otherwise have national security implications.  These include items availabe through government agencies or private entities.

In addition to those selected items on our Home Page, consider these works:

The Agency and the Hill: CIA's Relationship with Congres
s, 1946-2004 (Center for the Study of Intelligence, CIA, by L. Britt Snider, 2008).  This is a study of the CIA’s relationship with Congress for the period from the creation of the Agency until 2004—the era of the DCIs.

Studies in Intelligence, For more books and monographs of CIA's Center for the Studies of Intelligence

Intelligence Publications
from AFIO Website

Read Here about 9/11 memorial at CIA

Truth to Power: A History of the U.S. National Intelligence Council, edited by Robert Hutchings and Gregory F. Treverson (Oxford University Press, 2019).  The first-ever history of the U.S. National Intelligence Council (NIC) as told through the reflections of its eight Chairs in the period from the end of the Cold War until 2017

For brief highlights, see the Post's 10 sobering quotes from the new National Intelligence Strategy

See publications of The Intelligence and Security Academy for expert insights about the collection and analysis of intelligence and how intelligence community elements carry out their missions.

The Ukraine Situation: Producing Analysis Using the Five Habits of the Master Thinker (The Analytic Insider, 2022)

Security Clearance Reform Overdue Overhaul, April 15, 2019 by Sina Beaghley

"Former CIA Officer Writings About Intelligence, Policy, and Politics, 2016-17"

Secrecy in U.S. National Security: Why a Paradigm Shift is Needed.  (This RAND publication summarizes an examination of the current security classification system, identifies what works and what doesn't, and provides the authors' recommendations for improvement.) 

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IntelAid Assistance


This section contains articles, guidance, and other information to help intelligence officers identify, better appreciate, and deal with complex legal and other challenges arising out of their employment.


Justice Department Regulations for Representation of Government Officials by Department of Justice or Private Counsel


See regulations about serving process and obtaining access to CIA material (CIA Regulations)


For in-depth legal analysis of "How National Security Can Trump Individual Rights" (Read Here)


To view a compilation of laws relating to intelligence, see the ODNI's Intelligence Community Legal Reference Book


Security Clearance Process: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, prepared by Congressional Research Service

Whistleblower Complaint Dispute: Legal Analysis

Read two separate pieces with the analysis of Robert Litt, former General Counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, about the dispute between the ODNI and the House intelligence committee over access to a whistleblower complaint on a matter of "urgent interest."'s 


Whistleblowers in the Intelligence Community:

Basic Information You Should Know


Anthony J. Cipparone


     Whistleblower is a term used to identify those public service employees and contractor employees who lawfully report fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement to those in a position to investigate and review such activity. Whistleblowers in the US Intelligence Community (IC) are those employees and contractor-employees who work in any of the 17 federal executive agencies that constitute the IC. Intelligence Community Whistleblowers play an important role in ensuring that intelligence programs and operations are accountable and conducted in accordance with federal law and regulations. 

     For important national security purposes, the most sensitive Intelligence Community programs and operations are often conducted in secret and, as a result, without the public oversight that occurs in most non-IC federal departments and agencies. The role of the Whistleblower may, therefore, be critically important to ensuring the integrity of important national security activities. The Whistleblower, however, like all federal employees and contractors in the IC, has a legal obligation to safeguard and protect classified information from unauthorized disclosure. That means the IC Whistleblower must ensure that s/he follow the proper security process and procedures within their respective agency when reporting any suspect activity.

Following are seven points that would-be Whistleblowers working in the Intelligence Community need to know:

1.  Can a Whistleblower’s identity be protected?

Yes.  Those charged with the investigation and review of Whistleblower complaints take great steps to ensure the confidentiality of a Whistleblower’s identity in accordance with the law and established regulations. However, there are rare instances when corroboration of the alleged complaint may only be achieved through the Whistleblower. Whistleblowers who are concerned about protecting their identity should make this known when they file their complaint.

2.  To whom may the Whistleblower report their allegation of corruption?

Whistleblowers may report complaints of fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement to their agencies’ Inspector General, the Intelligence Community Inspector General, their agencies’ General Counsel, as well as their government management.

If confidentiality is important, however, would-be Whistleblowers should realize that certain components are better equipped to maintain their confidentiality. Offices of Inspector General can provide the most protections of confidentiality under the law. Government managers, however, may find it more difficult to do so particularly if the agency decides to take action(s) based upon the complaint.

3.  What happens to the Whistleblower’s complaint after it has been reported?

The complaint, which is an allegation of wrongdoing, must now be thoroughly investigated and reviewed by authorized officials to determine whether it has any basis in fact. This process may be lengthy depending upon the nature and scope of the allegation. Offices of Inspector General usually have a staff of professionally trained investigators who handle these matters.

4.  Can you be fired or face reprisal for being a Whistleblower?

No. Whistleblowers are protected from reprisal by federal regulations through a Presidential Policy Directive known as PPD-19, as well as an Intelligence Community Directive, ICD 120. Whistleblower protections for military personnel are separately outlined in a Department of Defense Directive, DoDD 2050.06.

5.  What should you do if you believe you were fired or reprised against for being a Whistleblower?

An employee or contractor who believes they were fired or reprised against because they reported a Whistleblower complaint should immediately contact the entity where they initially reported their allegation to report their concern.

6.  Does the IC Whistleblower have any obligations when reporting allegations of wrongdoing?

Like all employees and contractors of the IC, the Whistleblower is obligated under federal law and regulations to protect classified information from unauthorized disclosure. The Whistleblower should follow his or her specific agency’s process and procedures for reporting allegations of corruption. An Agency’s Office of Inspector General is often a good source of information and guidance in these matters.

7.  Should a Whistleblower hire an attorney to represent him or her?

It is not necessary for a Whistleblower complainant to hire an attorney when reporting their allegation. Anyone considering hiring an attorney, however, must follow their agency guidance since the attorney must be cleared before classified information may be shared and/or discussed.


Whistleblowers have played an important role in the conduct of oversight and accountability in the federal government and the Intelligence Community. Blowing the whistle, in a lawful manner, may result in improving the effectiveness and efficiency of important government operations.

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) public website contains a wealth of information about Whistleblowers, and their role and responsibilities. 

Anthony Cipparone is a retired CIA Senior Intelligence Service Officer. He served as the Deputy and Acting Assistant Inspector General for Investigations

Council on Intelligence Issues Note:  Readers should be aware that the Council, or CII, provides information about legal services and attorneys in the CII legal network to assist IC officers, including whistleblowers, who may be interested in seeking legal counsel.  For information, refer to Legal Resources and Contact Us on this website.





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CII News and Opinion

Articles, letters, opinion pieces, and other publications by or about the Council on Intelligence Issues (CII).  

CII's Co-Founder Bill Murray recently gave a podcast interview to share some of the experiences and challenges he faced during his 38-year career as an intelligence operations officer.  Read Goodstory Transcript and Hear the Podcast excerpts.

To view highlights of CII's June 24 panel Intelligence Operations in a Digital Age as well as Charles Duelfer's commentary on topics raised during the panel discussion posted on July 12 (Quandaries: Deep Fakes and Cyber Conflict), See CII Panel Highlights and Commentary 


May 2018: CII Letter to SSCI on Haspel Nomination [Read Here]


From CII's Archives:

CII's View of Interrogation Report: "CIA Officers and the American Public Deserve More" [Read Here] or link to The Washington Times article 

Hear About CII on Federal News Radio

Listen to Federal News Radio's interview with CII's co-founders about CII (broadcast September 7, 2018, here's how FNR characterized CII: "Occasionally intelligence practitioners find themselves caught in legal trouble not totally of their own making. That’s the idea behind a new legal referral service called Council on Intelligence Issues.").



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About Us

The Council on Intelligence Issues (CII) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2010 to educate intelligence personnel and the public about important intelligence and other national security interests.  CII helps current and former officers, employees, and families of the CIA and other intelligence community agencies who may need legal counseling or other assistance in connection with their intelligence service.

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