A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 07, 2011
Pickle Factory (Central Intelligence Agency or CIA nickname)

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the successor to World War II’s Office of Strategic Services (OSS). The CIA has been nicknamed the “Pickle Factory” since at least 1965, when that name was cited in print. The precise meaning of “Pickle Factory” is not known. The CIA’s intelligence briefings sent to the president were called “pickles,” but it’s not known if this term preceded the “Pickle Factory” nickname.
The State Department has been called the “Fudge Factory” since 1965-1966.
The CIA has also been nicknamed “The Agency,” “The Company” (since at least 1972), “Christians In Action” (since at least 1978), “Capitalism’s Invisible Army” (by R. Buckminster Fuller in 1981), “Cocaine Importing Agency” (since at least 1988), “Capitalism’s International Army” (since at least 1995), “Virginia Farm Boys” (after its headquarters in Langley, Virginia, as used in the 1996 film Mission: Impossible), “Certified Idiots of America” (since at least 1996), “Clowns In America” (since at least 2010), “Crooks In Action” (since at least 2010) and “Catholic Intelligence Agency” (since at least 2012).
Wikipedia: Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a central intelligence agency of the United States government, reporting to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers. The CIA also engages in covert activities at the request of the President of the United States.
It is the successor of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) formed during World War II to coordinate espionage activities against the Axis Powers for the branches of the United States Armed Forces. The National Security Act of 1947 established the CIA, affording it “no police or law enforcement functions, either at home or abroad”. One year later, this mandate was expanded to include[clarification needed] “sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures…subversion [and] assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrillas and refugee liberation movements, and support of indigenous anti-communist elements in threatened countries of the free world”. Through interagency cooperation, the CIA has Cooperative Security Locations at its disposal. These locations are called “lily pads” by the Air Force.
The primary function of the CIA is to collect information about foreign governments, corporations, and individuals, and to advise public policymakers. The agency conducts covert operations and paramilitary actions, and exerts foreign political influence through its Special Activities Division. The CIA and its responsibilities changed markedly in 2004. Before December 2004, the CIA was the main intelligence organization of the US government; it was responsible for coordinating the activities of the US Intelligence Community (IC) as a whole. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 created the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), which took over management and leadership of the IC.
Today, the CIA still has a number of functions in common with other countries’ intelligence agencies (see Relationships with foreign intelligence agencies). The CIA’s headquarters is in Langley in McLean, unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, a few miles west of Washington, D.C. along the Potomac River.
Sometimes, the CIA is referred to euphemistically in government and military parlance as Other Government Agencies (OGA), particularly when its operations in a particular area are an open secret. Other terms include The Company, Langley and The Agency.
Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
pick·le noun \ˈpi-kəl\
Definition of PICKLE
1: a solution or bath for preserving or cleaning: as a : a brine or vinegar solution in which foods are preserved b : any of various baths used in industrial cleaning or processing
2: a difficult situation : plight (could see no way out of the pickle I was in — R. L. Stevenson)
3: an article of food that has been preserved in brine or in vinegar; specifically : a cucumber that has been so preserved
Google News Archive
20 October 1965, Reading (PA) Eagle, “National Whirligig” by Andrew Tully, pg. 20, col. 5:
Or the hometown civilian who took you for $5 worth of eggs benedict can be identified with a meaning lift of the eyebrow as “a spook from Central Intelligence.” Or, better, “one of the hands out at the Pickle Factory.”
Google Books
The Time of the Hawk
By Andrew Tully
New York, NY: Morrow
Pg. 135:
The CIA was very chic these days, except it was not the CIA at Gertrude Middleton’s parties, but the Pickle Factory. Someone had heard Evans call it that once, and it had at once become the innest of in terms, to be dropped as soon as too many people knew about it.
14 May 1967, New York (NY) Times, “Foreign Afairs: There Oughta Be a Law” by C L. Sulzberger, pg. E10:
One can hardly blame Tom Braden, who retired from the C.I.A. “pickle factory” to a California newspaper, or Bill Atwood, who traded Nairobi for Mike Cowles’s pocket, if they opted for indiscretion.
Google Books
The Super Spies
By Andrew Tully
New York, NY: Morrow
Pg. 6:
(From “across the street,” members of this second half of the nation’s espionage network like to refer to the CIA as the “Pickle Factory.”)
Google Books
The Politics of Lying:
Government deception, secrecy, and power

By David Wise
New York, NY: Random House
Pg. 77:
Some employees refer to CIA as “the Pickle Factory.”

Time magazine
THE CIA: An Old Salt Opens Up the Pickle Factory
Monday, June 20, 1977
No one knows whether CIA spooks wind up in heaven or hell when they die, but wherever they are, they must be rattling their bones in protest. Barely a decade ago, almost no high officials in Washington talked directly about the Central Intelligence Agency. It was obliquely referred to as “the pickle factory” or “our friends” or “across the river” or, more openly, “the agency” or “the company.”
Google Books
America’s Secret Power:
The CIA in a democratic society

By Loch K. Johnson
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
Pg. 43:
The “Pickle Factory,” the “Company,” or simply the “Agency” — as CIA Headquarters is variously called by insiders — rises seven stories high and is topped by elaborate radio antennae for worldwide communications.
Rumor Mill News
CIA Dictionary
Posted By: My2Cents
Date: Tuesday, 15-Oct-2002 00:25:34
COOKIE FACTORY - an in-house slang name for the Agency (see Pickle factory)
PICKLE FACTORY - a slang term for the CIA used by Company employees.
Google Books
Lucky In Cyprus:
A True Story About A Boy, A Teacher, An Earthquake, Some Terrorist and the CIA

By Allan “Lucky” Cole
Pg. 7:
His father disappeared for days at a time for more training at “The Pickle Factory,” – CIA slang for facilities in the Foggy Bottom area of D.C.—or at “The Farm,” which was a secret base in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Google Books
Stephen Coonts’ Deep Black: Sea of Terror
By Stephen Coonts and William H. Keith
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press
Pp. 200-201:
The system had changed over the years and was now an internal Web page supposedly routed through the NCTC, but insiders still referred to the Agency’s intelligence briefs as “pickles” and to the CIA itself as “the pickle factory.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Military/Religion /Health • Wednesday, September 07, 2011 • Permalink

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