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    The Central Intelligence Agency like many revoluntionary organizations 
(including the Russian KGB) organize their agent networks on a "cell" system, 
with small groups who meet and carry out specific activities.  The small groups 
have very few connections with the rest of the organization.  Typically, the 
connections between cells will involve only one person in each cell.  See 
sample organizational chart prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency for use 
in Nicaragua by the "Freedom Commandos" (reprinted from Psychological 
Operations in Guerrilla Warfare, the CIA's Nicaragua manual).

    When this structure is used and a member of a cell is discovered and forced 
to talk, he can only inform on members of his own cell.  If he was the person 
with a connection to another cell it is possible that other cell will also be 
compromised, but only after the connection is traced.  However, the tracing 
procedure is very slow, giving the organization time to regroup.

    Although the tracing of the cell structure is very slow, intelligence 
information can be passed to the main organization quickly.

    The main problem with such a cell structure is that the messages which pass 
through many cells can get grabled and since the cells have great autonomy they 
sometimes work at cross purposes.

      The CIA extends the cell system to include Police Departments, Labor 
Unions, Student Associations, Medical Associations, Reporters/Editors etc.  
These cells are created by recruiting (or placing) an agent within the 
organization.  The placement of the agent would depend on the main purpose of 
infiltrating the organization: information or control.  Usually, most of the 
people in the "organization" cells don't know that they are working for the 
Central Intelligence Agency.

    In addition, the CIA controls numerous "private" corporations.  Usually, 
only a few of the top officers are aware of the CIA connection.  The 
corporations conduct normal business operations, and are also available to 
provide services for the CIA whenever necessary.

    A top-secret memorandum from Brigadier General Edward Lansdale to General 
Maxwell Taylor published in The Pentagon Papers, described "unconventional 
warfare resources in Southeast Asia" as follows:

                CAT [Civil Air Transport] is a commerical 
            air line engaged in scheduled and nonscheduled 
            air operations throughout the Far East, with 
            headquarters and large maintenance facilities 
            in Taiwan.  CAT, a CIA proprietary 
            [corporation], provides air logistical support 
            under commerical air cover to most CIA and 
            other U.S. Government Agencies' requirements.  
            CAT supports covert and clandestine air 
            operations by providing trained and experienced 
            personnel, procurement of supplies and 
            equipment through covert commerical channels, 
            and the maintenance of a fairly large inventory 
            of transport and other type aircraft under both 
            Chinat [Chinese Nationalist] and U.S. registry.
                CAT has demonstrated its capabilities on 
            numerous occasions to meet all types of 
            contingency or long-term covert air 
            requirements in support of U.S. objectives.  
            During the last ten years, it has had some 
            notable achievements, including support of the 
            Chinese Nationalist withdrawal from the 
            mainland, air drop support to the French at 
            Dien Bien Phu, complete logistical and tactical 
            air support for the Indonesian operation, air 
            lifts of refugees from North Vietnam, more than 
            200 overflights of Mainland China and Tibet, 
            and extensive air support in Laos during the 
            current crisis...
    When the goal is to control the organization, the agent would be in a 
powerful place, like a Sergeant in a Police Department.  This would enable the 
CIA to make use of the Police Department resources, computer data banks, 
officers, etc.

    The police officers might perform surveillance on a target for the 
Sergeant, not knowing that they were really working for the CIA.  According to 
Philip Agee/1, "Thousands of policemen all over the world, for instance, are 
shadowing people for the CIA without knowing it.  They think they're working 
for their own police departments, when, in fact, their chief may be a CIA agent 
who's sending them out on CIA jobs and turning their information over to his 
CIA control".

    Agents in Labor Unions can encourage strikes to cause economic difficulties 
when the CIA wants to stir up political problems in foreign countries.  
Reporters and editors can be used to plant propaganda in the press or have 
information withheld when its in the CIA's best interest not to have it 

    When the goal is information collection the target organization would more 
likely be other intelligence services, medical or technology associations.  The 
agent would be placed so that he would have access to as much information as 
possible.  This could be a communications or mail clerk, etc.

    The CIA also targets banks for infiltration.  They are good organizations 
to provide cover for CIA personnel in foreign countries.  The bank can provide 
necessary accounts in bogus names.  They can also provide faked account 
balances so that background checks would out come out positive.  Banks are also 
used for funding mechanisms.  The Bank of Boston was used for such purposes by 
the CIA in Brazil/1.

    When the cells aren't aware that they're working for the CIA, or think 
they're working for someone else, they can be put to other devious uses.  For 
example, if the CIA controlled a cell which thought it worked for the PLO, they 
could send it on a terrorist mission with the intent that they be caught.  This 
would have a two fold advantage for the CIA, first, the PLO would be blamed 
(providing a good opportunity for the U.S. government to expouse propaganda 
against the PLO), and secondly, it would allow the CIA to commit a terrorist 
attack with extremely little risk of exposure -- to achieve a greater level of
interference in the affairs of foreign governments.

    The CIA can also use cells within an organization which aren't aware of 
their connection to the CIA for less devious purposes.  For examples, they can 
make public statement which have the effect of alienating their supporters.  
When one section makes offensive public statements, major disruptions can occur 
within the organization.

/1 Inside the Company: CIA Diary (by Philip Agee)
/2 See Full Disclosure article "I've Got a Secret"