James Knox Polk (1845-1849) was the first commander-in-chief to demand detailed knowledge of his administration's every action. He made audacious use of covert actions and was determined to keep these operations from the Congress. Polk authorised covert operations in both the Republic of Texas and Mexico to bribe and cajole the Texans into voting to join the Union and to cause the Republic of Texas to be at war with Mexico at the time of annexation.
Secret agents were sent to Cuba; spies bribed Mexican officials not to resist the invading Americans. Mexican highwaymen were released from prison, recruited as spies, and known as ""the Mexican Spy Company.