187. Memorandum From Director of Central Intelligence Helms to Secretary of Defense Laird and the Deputy Secretary of Defense (Packard)1
Washington, February 27, 1969.
- Major Intelligence Problems, Particularly in the SIGINT Field
- With further reference to my memorandum of 18 February,2 I am enclosing a paper which outlines my views on the Government’s SIGINT activities.
- In July 1967 the President directed that a special review of these activities be conducted by the Director of Central Intelligence. The purpose of the review was to assess the efficiency of these operations and their responsiveness to national needs at minimum necessary cost. To assist me I appointed a special study group chaired by Mr. Frederick M. Eaton, which submitted its report in August 1968. Since then I have received comments on the report from various elements of the Department of Defense as well as from the Director of the Bureau of the Budget. A copy of the Eaton report is attached.3 The other members of the study group were Mr. Livingston Merchant, General Lauris Norstad, and Mr. Eugene Fubini.
- The annexed memorandum sets forth in rather general terms some of the conclusions which I have reached after considering the Eaton recommendations and the various comments on them. I propose ultimately to transmit my recommendations concerning possible measures to improve the organization and administration of the SIGINT effort to the President through you. Before putting such recommendations in final form, however, I would like to discuss with you personally the broad outlines of the main problem as I see them. In anticipation of such a discussion, the attached paper provides a summary of my views. When you have had a chance to review it, I should appreciate an opportunity to talk to you about specific actions that may be taken.
Richard Helms 4
- Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry Files, Job 80–R01284A, Box 14, Folder 8, DCI Chron 1969. Top Secret; Handle via Byeman Comint Channels.↩
- Not found.↩
- Not attached. Documentation on the Special Study Group (known as the Eaton Group) is in the Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry Files, Job 80–R01580R, Sigint Study Group. Copies of the report are ibid., Job 86–B00269R, Box 8, Folder 39, Eaton Report—16 August 1968; and ibid., Box 14, Folder 125, The Eaton Report, Comint and Elint Program, 16 Aug 68.↩
- Printed from a copy that indicates Helms signed the original.↩
- Reference is to NSCID 6, Communications Intelligence and Electronic Intelligence, September 15, 1958, and January 18, 1961; neither found.↩