165. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (Smith) to President Johnson1


  • Intelligence and Information on National Security Problems
Classified information and intelligence is now being sent to you in the following forms:

Morning Report from the Situation Room is delivered to the Usher in the House at 7:00 A.M. every day.

It is a one-page summary of military developments in Vietnam during our nighttime based on MACV reports from Saigon relayed by the National Military Command Center in the Pentagon.

If there has been a major civil or military development in any foreign area it is summarized in an additional paragraph.


Important cables from Heads of State, Prime Minister, U.S. Ambassadors or U.S. Commanders in the field which we think would be of interest to you.

These include special field reports written for you and substantive messages addressed to you personally.

They are typed here and sent to your office with explanatory notes.


Daily CIA Report for the President2 is reviewed and sent to your office at about 6:30 P.M., Monday through Friday, Saturday at 2:00 P.M.

It is a 3 to 7-page highly classified capsule report based on intelligence from all sources and written especially for you. It includes maps and photographs when appropriate.

Editorial guidance is given here to ensure that it focuses on your interests.


State Department Evening Reading3 is sent to you at about 8:00 P.M., Monday through Friday.

It is a 2-page report from Secretary Rusk summarizing Department actions and policy information received during the day.


National Security information on major problems consisting of selected cables, intelligence documents and reports.

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These are sent to your office throughout each day as they are received here by courier, classified teletype or classified facsimile transmission.

Special reports on critical situations are prepared here during the day on the basis of information from State, Defense, CIA, NASA, etc.

After office hours there is on duty in the White House Situation Room a Watch Officer always on call. He has available to him information and intelligence reports forwarded by teletype and courier from the State Department, the Pentagon, and CIA.

For some time we have not checked with you to find out whether the information and intelligence we send up is meeting your need. Any suggestions or guidance would be very helpful. For example:

Cables—We are sending

  • too many
  • too few4
  • about right

Summaries—We are sending

  • too long
  • too brief
  • about right4

Foreign Situations-We are reporting on

  • too many
  • too few4
  • about right

Intelligence Estimates

  • I want to see the full version of intelligence estimates4
  • I prefer short summaries of them

The Vietnam War

  • Continue to report entirely in writing
  • Schedule a weekly oral briefing4

Evening Reading

  • I prefer more reports during the day4
  • Less for evening reading
  • Continue as now
Bromley Smith
  1. Source: Johnson Library, Bromley Smith Papers, BKS Chron. No classification marking. Smith sent a less detailed memorandum to Bundy on October 6, 1965, outlining national security information sent to the President each day. (Ibid.)
  2. See Document 214.
  3. See Document 1.
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