247. Memorandum From the Deputy Director (Wright) to Director of Central Intelligence Hillenkoetter 0

SUBJECT

  • Psychological Warfare
1.
You are aware that I have been keeping in close touch with the subject of Psychological Warfare and the various studies being conducted in connection therewith. It now appears that the latest SANACC conclusions will be aired today in a full committee meeting. You (or your Deputy) have been invited to attend and I urgently recommend that you (or your Deputy) be fully briefed as to the desires of the NSC prior to this meeting.
2.
The subject of Psychological Warfare has been an active issue with SWNCC since 6 June 1946 (see SWNCC 304) and has been under urgent consideration since the formation of SANACC. While techniques and organization of a Psychological Warfare Agency have been argued pro and con, all parties are agreed on the following:
a.
The present world situation requires the U.S. immediately to develop and utilize strong and concerted measures designed to produce psychological situations and effects favorable to the attainment of U.S. national objectives.
b.
The organization to carry out the proposed project should be operated within the framework of the National Security Council.
3.
At one period of the SWNCC (later SANACC) studies there was proposed an organization which, with minor changes, could efficiently carry out the national program envisaged. (See paragraph 31 of SSE 1, 1 August 1947—SWNC Subcommittee Special Studies and Evaluations.) After further studies were conducted, however, it has become apparent to me that thought is being focused on another inter-departmental coordinating committee completely unable to do an efficient job in this important field. The SANACC ad hoc Committee on Psychological Warfare has stated their latest proposal under date of 3 November in SANACC 304/10.1 This proposal would only provide, in my estimation, the following:
a.
An inter-departmental committee to sit over another inter-departmental committee with a “Director” in between.
b.
The nucleus of another national intelligence organization.
4.
As you know, I have recently discussed these matters with General Donovan and other individuals with wartime experience in Psychological Warfare organization and technique. I urgently recommend that, if you and the NSC concur, we present to SANACC our views on this matter as follows:
a.
The immediate development of an organization, within the framework of the NSC, to implement both white and black psychological warfare designed to the attainment of U.S. national objectives.
b.
The proposed organization to be under the control and direction of a “Director” appointed by the President from military or civil life. (See Annex I, herewith.)
c.
“The Director” to be the chairman of a Planning and Policy board composed of representatives of the Departments of State, Army, Navy, Air, the Central Intelligence Agency, and such other government agencies whose participation may be necessary or desirable.
d.
The Organization be so established as to be easily merged into the Military Establishment in the event of war or threat of war.
e.
The necessary authority, guidance, information, and resources of manpower, funds, facilities, and materials be provided to enable the organization its efficient functioning in the achievement of national aims.
f.
The Organization to be authorized to merge into a national effort all activities and operations related to psychological warfare using established agencies where practicable.
g.
The Organization to be fully responsible for the planning, development, and coordination of all phases of the national program of radio, [Page 632] press, publications, and related propaganda activities involving the dissemination of information in the national interests.
E. K. Wright 2

Brigadier General, USA

Annex I

SUBJECT

  • Psychological Warfare

Reference is made to paragraph 4. b., of basic Memorandum, herewith.

1.
You will remember that General Donovan in my recent discussion with him, was positive in his opinion that all Psychological Warfare be conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency. He agreed that it would be desirable if it could be done under proper cover. His recommendation in this regard was as follows:
a.
The “Director” mentioned in my basic memorandum should actually be appointed by the President as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense—with the specific understanding that he was actually under the operational control of the Director of Central Intelligence.
b.
That the knowledge of this operational control be known only to the fewest possible individuals.
2.
General Donovan of course is a firm believer, as are most of those people having operational experience in this field, in the principle that the greatest propaganda success will be found in the field of Black operations. He, therefore, feels the organization must be so operated as to foster the use of Black methods. Since such methods are solely within the jurisdiction of CIA, General Donovan feels the Director of Central Intelligence should be firmly in control of the entire operation, both White and Black.
3.
I submit this separate paper for your consideration since I know you are fully cognizant of the magnitude of the whole project. Personally I would like to see the proposed “Director” appointed as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense with the Director of Central Intelligence [Page 633] and an Assistant Secretary of State designated as Advisory Consultants.
E. K. Wright 3

Brigadier General, USA
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Historical Files, HS/HC–807, Item 4. Secret.
  2. See Document 246.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.