180. Memorandum From [name not declassified] of the Central Intelligence Agency to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs-Designate (Kissinger)1


  • The Intelligence Community
The National Security Act of 1947 established the Central Intelligence Agency. The authority given the Director of Central Intelligence by the Act was twofold: he is the President’s principal intelligence advisor and also the operating chief of the Central Intelligence [Page 367] Agency. As Director of Central Intelligence, the Director attends NSC meetings as an advisory member.
The United States Intelligence Board was set up to assist the Director of Central Intelligence in discharging his mission as the President’s principal intelligence advisor. In addition to the Director of Central Intelligence, who is its Chairman, United States Intelligence Board consists of the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, as the CIA representative, plus the Directors of Defense Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and deputy directors from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Atomic Energy Commission. Senior military officers attend as advisors to the Director of Defense Intelligence Agency. They have the statutory right of dissent if they do not agree with the Director of Defense Intelligence Agency.
National Intelligence is that intelligence which is produced and fully coordinated by members of the intelligence community for use by high-level policy makers. The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) is the prime example of national intelligence. So, too, is the daily Central Intelligence Bulletin. All concerned members of United States Intelligence Board approve a draft NIE, or dissent in writing if they disagree with any part of the estimate.
Departmental intelligence is that intelligence produced individually and not coordinated with other community members. It is usually produced solely for use within the producing agency or for lower-level policy makers. Examples: INR Studies, DIA Summary, Vietnam Sitrep.
Defense Intelligence Agency was created in 1961 to eliminate the cumbersome and often duplicate efforts of collection and production of intelligence within the Department of Defense. The separate services still produce detailed technical intelligence for use by their operating units. Defense Intelligence Agency produces a single all inclusive daily Department of Defense publications for all the services. Thus, the senior officials, both civilian and military, read the same intelligence and are not being subjected to biases which sometimes were evident when each service produced its own intelligence publication.
The State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research provides policy oriented political intelligence for the Secretary of State and other department officials.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has responsibility for counter-intelligence activities in the United States, therefore, a representative sits in United States Intelligence Board to participate in meetings when the internal security of the United States is discussed.
Atomic Energy Commission has the responsibility for providing information regarding the monitoring and analysis of nuclear detonators of foreign nations.
The President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB), now chaired by General Maxwell Taylor, is comprised of former high ranking government officials and prominent businessmen who agree to monitor in the President’s behalf the caliber of the intelligence community’s performance. PFIAB meets regularly or at the call of its Chairman for the purpose of assessing the intelligence “record” during a crisis (the Tet Offensive in 1968, for example), to receive briefings on emergent crises. It assures the Chief Executive of an impartial, outside evaluation of the intelligence he receives.
In addition to PFIAB, there exist a number of lesser known advisory or consultative boards established for the purpose of coordinating field collection, determining national intelligence priorities, for ensuring that the latest technological advances are exploited for whatever intelligence value they may have, for overseeing security procedures throughout the Federal Government, etc. During your visit to Central Intelligence Agency in Langley on 8 January, R. J. Smith, the Deputy Director for Intelligence, will be prepared to provide you with a “15 minute” briefing on the intelligence community. Between now and Inauguration, I will have brought to New York whatever organizational charts, explanatory texts, etc., you may wish.
[name not declassified]
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 1, HAK Administrative and Staff Files—Transition, Nov. 1968–Jan. 1969,C.I.A. Confidential.