186. Editorial Note

A telephone conversation between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger and Attorney General John Mitchell on February 11, 1969, at 2:40 p.m., began with a discussion of a draft Executive Order proposing changes in the organization of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board:

AG said he was calling about Foreign Intelligence Board on which he seems to be the central clearing house. K said this is not new. AG said both Laird and Helms feel this is upgrading the activity. Laird is concerned that this may be running afoul of comparable setup in the Congress and it should be made clear that the Board is to have advisory functions—should be called the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. K said we took the Advisory out in order to have it new, but that neither he nor the President have any views on it. AG said both Laird and Helms mentioned the fact that the title is being changed to Executive Director and they feel this upgrades the position. K said he would take this up with General Taylor tomorrow when he comes in— he is the source of the recommendation. AG referred to K’s section 1, para 3, Helms has a point on this which seems to have merit—something on the positive side should be said. AG read language which K said sounded good to him.

K said he would talk to Taylor about all of this tomorrow and with the President on Thursday morning—he will let AG know results by Noon Thursday. K asked whether this would have to go back to BOBAG said he thought we could just send them a copy.” (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 359, Telephone Conversations, Chronological Files)

Kissinger and Helms continued the discussion in a telephone conversation the following day at 8:45 a.m.:

“Discussed Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board—K said he is going along with H on this. H said Coyne has tried to get the position upgraded a couple of times before.” (Ibid.)