431. National Security Council Intelligence Directive No. 120
AVOIDANCE OF PUBLICITY CONCERNING THE INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT
Pursuant to the provisions of Sections 101 and 102 of the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, and in accordance with Section 7 of NSC 50,1 the National Security Council hereby authorizes and directs that the following policy be established, since any publicity, factual or fictional, concerning intelligence is potentially detrimental to the effectiveness of an intelligence activity and to the national security:
- All departments and agencies represented by membership on the Intelligence Advisory Committee shall take steps to prevent the unauthorized disclosure for written or oral publication of any information concerning intelligence or intelligence activities. The head of each department or agency will determine his channel for granting such authorization as may be necessary.
- The sense of the above directive shall be communicated to all other executive departments and agencies as an expression of policy of the National Security Council.2
- In cases where the disclosure of classified information is sought from the Director of Central Intelligence, and he has doubt as to whether he should comply, the question will be referred to the National Security Council.
- Source: Truman Library, Papers of Harry S. Truman, President’s Secretary’s Files, Subject File, Current Policies of the Government of the United States of America Relating to the National Security. Top Secret.↩
- Not reproduced herein. [Footnote in the source text; Document 384.]↩
- See communication which follows. [Footnote in the source text. Attached to NSCID No. 12 (and apparently approved at the same time) was a memorandum dated January 6 signed by Souers and addressed “To the Heads of Executive Departments and Establishments,” conveying the substance of the directive. Not printed.]↩