Although whispered about in some conspiracy circles, it is actually a fact that the government conducted studies from 1972 to 1995 related to psychics ability to gather information for the government. Yes, the government did try psychic spying and the program was called Project Stargate.
Edwin C May was one of the leading researchers of this program, and in his article provides firsthand details of what actually occurred in the additional details about the program. May states that the often publicized conclusion that Project Stargate was not successful was, frankly, untrue. May proceeds to provide several first-hand accounts and a review of the scientific analysis of the psychics involved in this government research. Although too many details are provided to summarize here, two major points come to light.
First, when looked at fairly, some psychics using scientific evaluation produced a 15 to 20% accuracy rate with over 200 cases in which all means of conventional intelligence were useless. May claims this is the closest to an intelligence miracle one could ask for. Second, the formal reviews conducted by scientists into the effectiveness of the program were politically biased and did not formally review all of the information and data. In other words, the program was shut down for political and belief reasons, and not as a function of the actual success of the program.
In conclusion, May has spent time in recent years talking with Russians to author a book on both American and Soviet psychic spying during the cold war. Despite its conspiracy status, both American and Soviet governments did have a psychic program. The actual evidence supports that it worked.
May E. C. (2014). Invited Article: Stargate: The U.S. government’s psychic spying program. Journal of Parapsychology, 78, 5-18.