200. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 1


  • The Intelligence Information Handling Problem

Your Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board forwarded the memorandum at Tab A2 recommending that you issue a directive which would centralize design and management responsibilities for intelligence information handling systems under the Director of Central Intelligence.

An identical proposal was submitted by the Board in 1967, but the intelligence community resisted it strongly, and the Board’s report was finally sent to the community for information only.3 Since a directive of the type recommended is difficult to enforce, I have asked my staff [Page 413] to try to develop some options in this area for your consideration. I also requested the views of the Director of Central Intelligence on the Board’s recommendation. His views are attached (Tab B).4

Briefly, he feels that adequate progress is being made, that a more expansive approach would have undesirable budgetary implications, and that no Presidential Directive is needed now.

To assure that the senior officials of the intelligence community are fully aware of the potentials of information science and technology, and of its possible impact on the organization of the intelligence community, a seminar has been planned for January 8, 1970. At this seminar, the members of the Board’s Information Handling Panel will discuss opportunities and problems in this area, and the principal invitees will have an opportunity to respond with questions or observations. Invitations are being extended to the head of each intelligence agency; to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Administration, who coordinates these matters for Secretary Laird; and to a representative of the Bureau of the Budget.


I recommend that you postpone any action on this matter until after the seminar, at which time I will let you know the results of the seminar and the options which are available to you.5

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Agency Files, Box 275, President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Vol. III, 1–1–70 through 4–30–70. Confidential. Sent for information. A copy was sent to Lynn.
  2. Memorandum from Taylor to Nixon, September 8, 1969. (Ibid., Vol. II) Not printed.
  3. The July 20, 1967, memorandum from Clark Clifford, PFIAB Chairman, to President Johnson and NSAM 368, February 9, 1968, which requested the DCI to consider the recommendations in the memorandum, are printed in Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, volume XXXIII, Organization and Management of Foreign Policy; United Nations, Documents 268 and 273.
  4. Memorandum from Helms to Kissinger, December 1. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Agency Files, Box 275, President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Vol. II, 7–1–69 through 12–30–69) Not printed.
  5. Haldeman initialed the approval option for the President on January 12.