244. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to President Johnson1


  • The CIA

I had a farewell meeting yesterday with the members of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, and this morning Clark Clifford called me [Page 532] simply to thank me and to bring me up to date on the proceedings of the Board. In the course of the conversation, it became very clear that the Board is genuinely and deeply troubled about the leadership problem in CIA. These are men who have learned over the years how to keep their mouths damn well shut—people like Bob Murphy and Bill Langer and Gordon Gray, and Clifford himself. So they are not the source of the gossip. But they see the same things in the Agency that some of the gossips hear about, and they are troubled about their obligation as your advisers.

In this situation, I think it might be wise if you were to get hold of Clark on your own terms and in your own good time, and talk with him about it. He has a good, clear sense of the shape of the problem and the degree of the urgency. (I myself do not think that any catastrophe is imminent, although I do think the situation is serious.) I also believe that if you should wish to execute a change skillfully and silently at any time, Clark is the man who can help most to get it done right. He has been extremely careful to maintain good human relations with all concerned.

McG. B.
  1. Source: Johnson Library, White House Central Files, Subject Files, EX FG 11–2. No classification marking. The memorandum indicates the President saw it.