Archer Wiki
Archer Wiki

Real Life[]

From wikipedia:

"The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the United States federal government, tasked with gathering, processing and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence (HUMINT). As one of the principal members of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), the CIA reports to the Director of National Intelligence and is primarily focused on providing intelligence for the President and Cabinet.

Unlike the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which is a domestic security service, CIA has no law enforcement function and is mainly focused on overseas intelligence gathering, with only limited domestic collection. Though it is not the only U.S. government agency specializing in HUMINT, CIA serves as the national manager for coordination and deconfliction of HUMINT activities across the entire intelligence community. Moreover, CIA is the only agency authorized by law to carry out and oversee covert action on behalf of the President, unless the President determines that another agency is better suited for carrying out such action. It can, for example, exert foreign political influence through its tactical divisions, such as the Special Activities Division.

Before the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, CIA Director concurrently served as the head of the Intelligence Community; today these functions and authorities reside with the Director of National Intelligence. Despite transferring some of its powers to the DNI, the CIA has grown in size as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks. In 2013, The Washington Post reported that in the fiscal year 2010, the CIA had the largest budget of all IC agencies, exceeding previous estimates.

The CIA has increasingly expanded its roles, including covert paramilitary operations. One of its largest divisions, the Information Operations Center (IOC), has shifted focus from counter-terrorism to offensive cyber-operations. While the CIA has had some recent accomplishments, such as locating Osama bin Laden and taking part in the successful Operation Neptune Spear, it has also been involved in controversial programs such as extraordinary rendition and enhanced interrogation techniques."

Role In Archer[]

The CIA appear in Archer on a number of occasions and for different reasons. Usually it is to parody their most extreme activities, such as their controversial interrogation techniques (waterboarding) or scandalous secret projects (MK Ultra). Agents Slater and Hawley are the go-to CIA men in the show.

Season 5[]

The first episode of Season 5 Archer Vice, White Elephant (s5e1), sees the dissolution of ISIS, after which it's former members attempt to form a cocaine cartel with a literal tonne of cocaine which mysteriously appears in the ISIS HQ. In Archer Vice: Smugglers' Blues (s5e7), Archer decides to fly to Colombia to try and get the Cali cartel interested in buying their cocaine - since it is already in the USA. This doesn't work out well. After stealing a plane to fly back to the US in Archer Vice: On The Carpet (s5e9), Archer, Ray and Cyril are forced by Slater to fly weapons to San Marcos for the military leader / President Gustavo Calderon. By the season finale Archer Vice: Arrival/Departure (s5e13), it is revealed that Special Agent Hawley was CIA all along, and the events of the whole season were just a ruse for the CIA to get the agency-formerly-known-as-ISIS to smuggle cocaine and weapons for them.  The season thus parodies the real life events of the CIA's role in the Iran-Contra affair and accusations of their involvement in drug-trafficking. (see below)

Iran Contra[]

From wikipedia:

"Under President Carter, the CIA was conducting covertly funding pro-American opposition against the Sandinista. In March, 1981, Reagan told Congress that the CIA would protect El Salvador by preventing the shipment of Nicaraguan arms into the country to arm Communist rebels. This was a ruse. The CIA was actually arming and training Nicaraguans Contras in Honduras in hopes that they could depose the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Through William J. Casey's tenure as DI little of what he said in the National Security Planning Group, or to President Reagan was supported by the intelligence branch of the CIA, so Casey formed the Central American Task Force, staffed with yes men from Covert Action. On December 21, 1982, Congress passed a law restricting the CIA to its stated mission, restricting the flow of arms from Nicaragua to El Salvador, prohibiting the use of funds to oust the Sandinistas. Reagan testified before Congress, assuring them that the CIA was not trying to topple the Nicaraguan government."

Drug Trafficking[]

From wikipedia:

"The United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been accused of involvement in drug trafficking. Books and investigations on the subject that have received general notice include works by historian Alfred McCoy; professor and diplomat Peter Dale Scott; and journalists Gary Webb, Michael C. Ruppert and Alexander Cockburn, as well as by writer Larry Collins. These claims have led to investigations by the United States government, including hearings and reports by the United States House of Representatives, Senate, Department of Justice, and the CIA's Office of the Inspector General. The subject remains controversial."

Season 6[]

  • After Malory's skilful negotiation at the end of season 5, season 6 sees the agency-formerly-known-as-ISIS acting as an external contractor for the CIA.
  • Nellis (s6e7) sees Archer and the gang do an emergency landing in Nellis airbase. Archer poses as CIA Agent Slater and heavily hints that the Colonel of the arbase was involved in Project MK Ultra - a top secret and, at times, illegal experimental mind control (MK) project which involved drugging unsuspecting US and Canadian citizens as well army personnel with, amongst other things, LSD.

Season 7[]

  • Liquid Lunch (s7e8) sees Archer get waterboarded by Slater as he had missed that day of training.