317. Memorandum from McGeorge Bundy to the Deputy Secretary of Defense and Acting DCI Carter, October 131

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In the light of the extensive discussions which have been conducted in recent days with respect to the responsibility for a particular reconnaissance operation authorized by higher authority on October 9th, I wish to record my own view of the present situation and of appropriate further procedures. In the light of the views of those with direct recollection of opinions of higher authority who are present in Washington, it seems to me right that responsibility for this particular operation which has been authorized should now be vested in the Department of Defense, and it is the understanding of all concerned that this responsibility now rests with that department. I have been assured by the Acting Director of CIA that all of his people are being instructed to cooperate in every way. At the same time, we must all recognize that there is here a deep and honest difference of opinion not only about the wisdom of this particular decision but also in the best way of proceeding in the future. Accordingly, it is my judgment that the assignment of responsibility for this operation should not be regarded as a binding precedent and that the whole question of roles and responsibilities in this area should be reviewed by the appropriate special group and presented to higher authority for decision when further authorizations are requested.

McGeorge Bundy
  1. Bundy’s view of situation involving Donovan project and further responsibilities therefore. Top Secret. 1 p. CIA Files: Job 80–B1676R, Walter Elder, Recop.