298. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Briefing of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board on Vietnam and the Middle East2

[Omitted here is the portion of the briefing concerning Vietnam.]

6. Middle East. Messrs. Parmenter, Eisenbeiss and [name not declassified] briefed on the Middle East situation. All members were present except Dr. Land. The briefers discussed in detail the current political attitudes and maneuvering among the Arabs, the position of several of their leaders, various factors affecting resumption of oil shipments, etc. Mr. Clifford and other members seemed particularly concerned that we have no reliable information on the exact status of the Suez Canal. The Chairman asked with a note of surprise why we had not conducted aerial reconnaissance, to which the reply was that this is perfectly feasible technically but there has been no political approval for overflights.3

7. [6–1/2 lines of source text not declassified]

[Page 500]

8. The members were particularly interested in the details of the information passed by the Soviets to the Arabs before the outbreak of hostilities. Dr. Baker and Mr. Pace inquired at some length as to why the vaunted Soviet intelligence apparatus proved to be so inadequate. Mr. Parmenter and [name not declassified] explained that there is no indication that Soviet intelligence was bad but that it is evident that what they passed to the Arabs was not accurate and was probably not a reliable gauge of what they must have known.

Thomas A. Parrott4
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDI Files: Job 80–R01447R, PFIAB Correspondence, 1967–1968. Secret. Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency. Copies were sent to the Director of Central Intelligence, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, Directorate of Intelligence, Directorate for Plans, Directorate of Science and Technology, and the Special Assistant for Vietnamese Affairs.
  2. The President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board met June 15–16. Also see Document 297.
  3. A photographic interpretation report of satellite photography of the Middle East, “KH–4 Mission 1042–1, 17–22 June 1967, Middle East Edition,” is printed in Corona: America’s First Satellite Program (Central Intelligence Agency: Washington, D.C., 1995), pp. 289–297.
  4. Printed from a copy that indicates Parrott signed the original.