216. Memorandum From President Nixon to his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

While I believe your recommendation that we keep Helms should be accepted, I will do so only on condition that there be a thorough housecleaning at other levels at CIA.2 I want you to get him in and tell him the people you want changed and work out the situation. Also I want a good thinning down of the whole CIA personnel situation, as well as our Intelligence activities generally.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 208, CIA, Vol. III, 1 Jul 70–31 Dec 70. Eyes Only.
  2. In a November 25 memorandum to Kissinger, Haig, in reference to the CIA, stated: “I believe you need a complete house-cleaning over there. Smith and Carver are tops on my list,” Smith “because he is not on the President’s wavelength.” Haig stated further that he agreed with Kissinger “that Helms will play whatever role the President wants him to play and, therefore, should be kept on but only if the key left-wing dominated slots under Helms are changed. Actually, as you look at the CIA organization, Helms is being asked to do too much. He becomes at once the overall manager, a role which he cannot play, the President’s Number One briefer, which he does very well and the President’s Number One evaluator, a role which he can do and should do as the Director but only if he has a sound team player to manager the Agency for him. This means Smith must go.” (Ibid., Kissinger Office Files, Box 148, WH/State Relationship Vol. 3)