Organized Crime Related Intelligence Essay

Length: 8 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Corrections/Police  (general) Type: Essay Paper: #92951106
Excerpt from Essay :

Organized Crime Related Intelligence

Those interested in global intelligence would recognize acronyms like CIA, KGB and MSS however for the sake of those who have no knowledge in this area, they mean Central Intelligence Agency -- United States, KGB (Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti) -- Soviet Union/Russia, and the Ministry for State Security (MSS) -- China and their activities are covered well by contemporary media. However, here we consider the less famous and covert intelligence agencies that operate currently or used to exist. A number of these agencies had specific job descriptions while the function of the rest were quite vague, however, all these agencies fulfilled their common responsibility of giving their superiors in-depth knowledge of a situation to aid their decisions (Powell, 2014)

The Frumentarii

The Frumentarii, who bear close similarities to the contemporary "secret police" like the SAVAK of Iran and the Kempeitai who existed in Japan during World War II, served the Roman Empire during the 100 -- 200 AD. The Frumentarii were initially wheat plantation workers, and the knowledge gathered on their customs and actions have been obtained from text on tombstones and from historian diaries. Their job was to monitor the resources of a particular unit and their management. The agents did this openly, even wearing special costume so that they could easily identified during battles.

Early Greek Spies and the Krypteia

Secret operations were quite commonplace and yet much disliked of all the strategies available to ancient Greek rulers according to Dr. John M. Nomikos, director of the Research Institute for European and American Studies. No country ever acknowledges their involvement due to the knowledge that if they do, they would be ruthlessly condemned. Of the many rules governing selection of spies, natives of the state where the operation was to take place were recruited instead of those from the home state. These selected men are the pioneers of the modern-day spies and they conveyed details about covert attacks alongside their regular assigned instructions in the Peloponnesian Wars.

World Wars

On 18 June 1914, Austria's Archduke Ferdinand and Sophie his wife were assassinated by a Serbian hitman. This singular action brought about a temporary peace as countries such as Germany, Russia, Britain and France put an end to all hostilities and decided to adhere to the previously enacted allied and truce agreements. However, when Austria and Hungary on the 28th of July, 1914, commenced hostilities against Serbia for obvious reasons, many other countries were already involved one way or the other in a conflict commonly described as 'The Great War' and 'The War to End All Wars'. During the course of this war, there were 16 million fatalities and over 20 million were injured. One of the noticeable aspects of this war was the rather poor or inexistent intelligence and spy groups before the war began. Most of the countries of the world had very poor intelligence agencies during these years, a trend continuing found also among the world's stronger nations when battles break out. the czar of Russia, for example, employed covert operators as well as special spies who worked for internal state control, but did not have a framework for gathering overseas intelligence. France were a step ahead as the armed forces and the administration at that time had trained spies who were quite effective but they had no main organization to breakdown and communicate important intelligence. However, the United States possessed impressive undercover intelligence units within their Navy and marine forces and they also had the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

World War I

President Woodrow Wilson hated spies and what they represent and was not comfortable with any form of intelligence due to his inclinations and preference for honest negotiations. Due to this, when the United States entered the war, there was no intelligence gathering system among their ranks. President Wilson's stance however started to weaken due to his friendship with the head of British Intelligence in Washington and in June 1917, the U.S. launched its first official intelligence agency within its armed forces. Christened "MI-8," its job was to decipher enemy communication and develop encryptions for use in transferring messages by the U.S. military. When the war ended in 1919,...


The Black Chamber recorded a very significant achievement in 1921 when it deciphered Japanese political communication. The information gathered from this was exploited by the United States ambassadors at a conference on reduction of naval arms in Washington. Despite these remarkable strides, President Hoover considered the State Department's deciphering of political communication as improper, a perception also held by his Secretary of State who made his infamous yet unconfirmed statement, "Gentlemen do not read each other's mail." Hoover then reestablished the agency to its original purpose under the Army Signal Corps. The other intelligence agencies that were formed during the war continued to exist after it was over but received much lesser funding. A major exemption from this was the Justice Department's Bureau of Investigation that enjoyed a significant growth in its employees and tasks. J. Edgar Hoover was appointed in 1924 as the Director of the Bureau, whose name was changed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1935. The FBI's responsibilities widened in the years preceding the Second World War due to rising worries over the safety of the United States as a result of German violence in Europe. The FBI was tasked with examining intelligence, counterintelligence, attacks, and infringement on the neutrality stance of the United States. Also during this period, pioneer efforts were made towards bringing together the various intelligence units operating under the Government. A committee called the Interdepartmental Intelligence Coordinating Committee was developed to tackle this but due to problems like the absence of a permanent head and hoarding of information on the part of the participating intelligence units, the committee could not achieve much.

World War II & Its Aftermath

For some time before the United States made its first foray into World War II, its interest in the events taking place in Europe and the across the Pacific increased, leading to official and unofficial attempts to procure and study intelligence. The POTUS, Franklin Roosevelt put much of his faith in U.S. and British close companions who were going overseas for supply of information on the actions planned by hostile nations. William J. Donovan was one of the men tasked with this job by the President. He was a committed intelligence gatherer and a World War I vet and he was sent by Roosevelt to Europe to gather intelligence on the state of Britain in 1940 and later in 1941 to gather intelligence on Mussolini, the Italian Dictator among others. When Donovan returned from his assignments, with Roosevelt he created a central non-military intelligence organization to balance the agency run by the military. Eventually, Roosevelt named Donovan the Coordinator of Information and charged him with creating a civilian intelligence agency. The mission statement for the Coordinator of Information read "to collect and analyze all information and data which may bear upon the national security" and present these to the President or those in charge. The Coordinator of Information was allowed (by Roosevelt's approval) to ask for information from other internal intelligence agencies and offices, but could not intrude into the functions and responsibilities of the President top military officials. J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI Chief was worried about losing power to the new office and thus ensured he got the President's assurance of the FBI's supremacy across the nation.

Plagiarizing the British template, COI Donovan put together a specific group tasked with compiling and examining all internal security data. He also created a board of eight people with extensive academic experience and tasked them with evaluation of findings and drawing of inferences. Together with the Librarian of Congress, COI Donovan created the Division of Special Information with their meeting point being the Library and tasked them with working closely with the intelligence examiners and organizing grants for those related to the library and outsiders as well. The written plan of operation was that the Division would supply Donovan's workers with generic information and they would mix this up with covert intelligence and produce a result that is assessed by the board. This information is then submitted to the President. However, though the practice did not fully conform to these directions, the aim of a central organization for analyzing gathered intelligence was achieved.

The entry of American forces into World War II brought about a need for crucial information to help direct the soldiers. Although the Army and Navy had the resources to satisfy this need, they were not willing to commit these to the collective need. To help enhance the readiness of the parties involved, a new organization was created in 1942 called the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and it was meant…

Sources Used in Documents:


Greenberg, M. R., & Haass, R. (1996). Making Intelligence smarter. Council on Foreign Relations.

Juul, P. (2013, july 23). Adapting to the Future of Intelligence Gathering. Retrieved from American Progress:

Nomikos, J. M. (2008). Greek Intelligence Service: A Brief Description. European Journal of Intelligence Studies.

Powell, J. (2014, July 11). A Historical View of Intelligence Gathering: From the Kryptia to the CIA. Retrieved from

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