What is the difference between the CIA and FBI?

11 Feb

If you paid attention to the movies you would probably think there were only two kinds of American intelligence agents – bright-eyed recruits out to make their mark and grizzled veterans teetering on the edge of retirement.

Quite how they get from A to B never seems to be explained, although I guess that’s all part of the mystique. A need to know basis, if you will.

Anyway, in looking at movie options for today, my eyes fell on a listing for J Edgar, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the man who shaped the FBI into the powerhouse it is today. I ultimately decided against it, since I’m going through a phase of avoiding ‘worthy’ movies, but it did inspire today’s question – what is the difference between the CIA and FBI?

It’s a pretty clear delineation, which basically boils down to this …

* The Federal Bureau of Investigation chiefly focuses on domestic security with a primary function of criminal investigation.
* The Central Intelligence Agency does not perform law enforcement duties but instead holds responsiblity for international intelligence.

In theory, of course, the two play nicely together, but as in Mr & Mrs Smith – where Brad and Angelina play spies from opposite sides – things don’t always go according to plan. Enjoy the show.


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