222. Memorandum for the Record1

On Friday afternoon, 2 April, at my request. I met with the Honorable Robert Murphy.2 During the course of the conversation, Mr. Murphy asked me what I knew about Mr. McCone’s plans and a replacement for him. I told Mr. Murphy that I knew Mr. McCone would be leaving very shortly and that, to the best of my knowledge, no replacement had yet been selected. I told him that I had been Acting Director for an appreciable part of the time during the past three years, and that there would really be no problem in maintaining continuity if a Director was not selected prior to Mr. McCone’s departure although this would create a sizable morale problem within the Agency because of uncertainties, and certainly would present the President with more problems than it would solve. I told him that I had made my position abundantly clear to Mr. McCone and to others (specifically Mr. McGeorge Bundy) that it would be a grave error to put a military man in as Director, either retired or active, regardless of his competence and regardless of his stature. I told him that the Agency was more than 17 [Page 495] years old and that if it had not by now developed an in-house competence to provide a Director from its own resources, then they had best close up the place and turn it back to the Indians. I told him that there was within the Agency a competence for the position greater than in any of the names I had heard mentioned from outside. I told him that if the President had to have a name which would light up public lights, then the Agency would certainly be prepared to fall in line and support this selection, and live with it regardless of the competence of the individual chosen. I reiterated, however, that any selection from the Washington community (unless it were of the stature of Cy Vance or George Ball or McGeorge Bundy) would be a disaster, and particularly if it were someone who had been formerly employed by the CIA or the FBI or the military services. Upon questioning, I stated that there were at least three people in the Agency whom I considered qualified to perform the job in an outstanding manner and for whom I would be perfectly prepared to stay on as Deputy for as long as they might wish. Specifically, I listed Mr. Kirkpatrick, Mr. Helms, and Mr. Bross.
Mr. Murphy, commented that Mr. Kirkpatrick had probably been around the world more times as Inspector General of the Agency for eight years than any other officer in the Agency, and had probably visited more Stations and Bases on these trips than anyone in the entire history of the Agency.
There was no substantive discussion of qualifications of any of the officers mentioned, nor did Mr. Murphy express any views other than as indicated. He did, however, seem to be sympathetic to the proposition that the selection criteria enumerated above were the best in the long run for the Agency and the national interest.
Lieutenant General, USA
Deputy Director
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry, Job 80–B01676R, Memoranda Prepared in O/DCCI for MSC Signature. Secret; Eyes Only. Prepared by Carter on April 5.
  2. In a separate memorandum for the record regarding the same meeting, Carter noted that Murphy indicated that “he was greatly dissatisfied with the operations of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. He felt that the agendas prepared for these meetings were sterile, reviewed over and over again the same bureaucratic jungle of NRO and the highly technical aspects of NSA, and inadequately covered the problems or classical intelligence collection and classical intelligence analysis. He felt that everybody was carried away with exotic collection and analysis means and was losing sight of the tried and true systems that had been so successful for so long.” (Ibid.)