FBI vs CIA – How Do They Compare?

You may not know the ins and outs of these
two American agencies, but there is little doubt you haven’t spent a significant amount
of time enthralled by their actions, whether that is through the news media, documentary
film, or regular old Hollywood films. Both are, to some extent, shrouded in mystery;
both can be blamed for duplicity at times, bearing the scars of numerous scandals, and
they are still currently the target of conspiracy theorists. Whatever your view, this duo are both catalysts
of excitement, intrigue and apprehension. While we can’t promise you the often secret
workings of the agencies, we can provide you with a few minutes of fascinating facts, in
this episode of the Infographics Show, FBI vs CIA. Don’t forget to subscribe and click the
bell button so that you can be part of our Notification Squad. We will start with an abridged history of
both agencies. The FBI, or the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
was the brainchild of Attorney General Charles Bonaparte. In 1908, he and President Theodore Roosevelt
agreed that the justice department needed a corps of special agents. At the time, it had no name, and it’s said
that the two men were not sure how to recruit agents. According to the FBI website, Bonaparte jokingly
told the president they should have men shoot at each other and whoever survives gets the
job. The Bureau of Investigation (BOI) was created
soon after, and 34 people were hired at first to work as special agents across all of America’s
state borders. In 1935, it officially became known as the
FBI, and prohibition became its raison d’etre. As you well know, this meant investigating
mobsters we still see on the big screen today, and from 1924-1972, the controversial crime-busting
icon known as J. Edgar Hoover was the director. Mobsters weren’t Hoover’s only concern,
and much of the FBI’s resources were spent on investigating political radicals during
the Great Depression, which later included diminishing the impact of Americans with communist
sympathies. The FBI’s historical cases are of course
too many in number to list, but some famous investigations include the stick-up robbing
sweethearts Bonnie and Clyde, the white collar crimes of the company Enron, the JFK Assassination,
the murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi, Watergate, and of course 9/11. The FBI currently has its headquarters in
Washington, D.C, and there are 56 field offices in major US cities, as well as more than 350
smaller offices around the country. It also has about 60 offices in other countries. It employs about 35,000 people in all, which
as well as special agents, include scientists, intelligence analysts, language specialists,
and those with a considerable IT acumen. Contrary to popular belief, the FBI does not
just shoo the police aside during big investigations, because it has no right to. State and local officers work with the FBI. The Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA, was
an intelligence agency focused on national security and not domestic crimes, though the
twain can sometimes overlap. The CIA’s main concerns are terrorism, weapons
of mass destruction, knowing what dangers or political upheavals are happening around
the world – this could be called spying – and more recently cyber-intelligence. It was created on July 26, 1947 when Harry
S. Truman signed off on the National Security Act. One of the main impetuses to create such an
agency was the attack on Pearl Harbor. It has been involved in numerous conflicts,
again too many to recount, but those include the 1953 Iranian coup d’état, attempting
to enact a military coup in Indonesia, trying to quash all kinds of pro-Communist movements
around the world, the Vietnam War, and controversially arming rebel forces when the USA believed
it suited them. The CIA is an intelligence agency, but one
that uses its brains and brawn to manipulate countries, governments, factions outside of
governments, in the interest of American national security. The number of people working for the CIA is
not something the agency discloses, but its employees cover many areas of expertise. It’s a very secret organization, but it
does release millions of pages of its findings, much of that being historical, what we might
call after the fact. Unlike the FBI, the CIA website states that
it never monitors US citizens, although it also states it will if “there is a reason
to believe that an individual is involved in espionage or international terrorist activities.” Many of its workers are in Washington DC,
at its headquarters in Langley, Virginia, but agents are also stationed, often working
undercover, all around the world. Do these two agencies work together? Well, this is also a matter of controversy
and people have written books that delineate a war between the agencies. The CIA’s website states that the relationship
is strong, as threats to national security come in all sorts of guises and so information
can be shared. That information might relate to drug trafficking,
money laundering, organized crime, and terrorism. Nonetheless, after 9/11, a congressional report
stated that because intelligence was not shared responsibly, a possible counter-action did
not happen. The New York Times wrote, “They failed to
counter the threat from Al Qaeda even though they had known for years that its leader,
Osama bin Laden, was determined to attack the United States.” So, yes and no, they work together, but it
seems the relationship may be somewhat difficult at times. The CIA is focused on collecting intelligence
and cannot make arrests, on the other hand, the FBI could technically investigate a CIA
agent and make an arrest if that agent violated federal law. So, what do you have to do to get on one of
these teams? To join the FBI, you must be between the age
of 23 and 37. You need a four year degree, 3 years’ work
experience, and have a driver’s license. You might also have a qualification in one
of the following categories: Language, Law, Accounting, Computer Science/Information Technology,
or it just says “Diversified”. Your skills will then be prioritized, and
this could come under lots of things from accounting to law enforcement to military
expertise to finance. Few applicants are actually selected, and
even after all that, you will have to pass a series of difficult tests. You’ll have to be fairly fit and be able
to sprint 300 meters, do a load of push-ups and run for 1.5 miles. After that you’ve got medical checks, background
checks and polygraphs to pass. Get through that, and you could become anything
from a regular FBI officer to a sniper or a behavioral analyst. You will also need to spend 20 weeks training
at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. In interviews, former agents have said getting
into the FBI is a long, arduous process. Not surprisingly, the CIA is pretty strict
too on who it accepts, and to reiterate, not all workers are covert spies. You could be doing anything from specializing
in math or economics. Most of its clandestine service employees
are aged between 26 and 35. Like the FBI, background and medical checks,
and polygraphs will be part of the interview process. Again you’ll need a university degree, know
your international affairs, and if you have travelled the world and know a few languages,
the CIA states that is a bonus. The CIA says on its website that some of the
skills needed are to be able to analyze data, have strong negotiation skills, discretion,
diplomacy, have criminal investigative experience, and if your degree is in criminology, homeland
security, or emergency management, that helps, too. You’ll have to undertake a 56-day Criminal
Investigation Training Program and train for a further 18 months at its headquarters. If you want to get a taste of what it’s
like working at the CIA, you can work as an intern at any time of the year. This, no doubt, should you prove yourself
useful, will get your proverbial “foot in the door”. It generally lasts 90 days, and you won’t
need to take the polygraph. Which would be the best place to work? That depends on a lot of things. One important matter when working for the
CIA is secrecy if you are an agent. As its website points out in bold as IMPORTANT:
“Friends, family, individuals, or organizations may be interested to learn that you are an
applicant for or an employee of the CIA.” It goes on to say that it is in your best
interests not to tell anyone. It’s very probable this was in bold because
it alludes to what kind of life you are getting into. On the upside, for some people the life of
a covert operator might be very exciting. You may know things that go against your conscience,
you may see things that you never wanted to see. It just depends how deep you go. In one interview, a former CIA agent responded
when asked if all the stress was worth it: “I ask myself the same question every goddamn
day. Was any of it worth it?” The FBI won’t involve the stress of remaining
a kind of mystery to one’s own friends and loved ones. You’ll probably have much more chance of
being killed on the job, as the FBI’s Hall of Honor can show you. You are dealing with criminals and that means
sometimes seeing the aftermath of their destruction. In one interview, a former agent said that
was not the worst part, but the fact that you spend much of your life away from your
family. You can at least tell them about what you
do though. The former agent told Business Insider, “There’s
only a very small amount of information that an FBI agent would not be able to share with
someone… we can usually talk about what we are working on or have worked on in the
past.” As for wages, there are many scales when working
for the FBI. A new agent according to one salary website
receives about $47,000, but a senior agent might earn more than $130,000 a year. A CIA website puts wages for special investigators
anywhere from $74,000-$137,000. Again, it really depends on what capacity
you work for these agencies. Be sure to check out and subscribe to our
new Youtube channel called Fuzzy and Nutz! You’ll learn something new, while trying
to figure out why Nutz is always trying to kill her good buddy Fuzzy! The first episode is called, “What happens
if you drink liquid nitrogen.” Give it a watch and let us know what you think. See ya next time!

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