219. Editorial Note

Director of Central Intelligence Helms had a lengthy meeting with the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board on December 4, 1970, during which they discussed a number of intelligence issues. According to a memorandum for the record prepared by John Bross of the Central Intelligence Agency, the discussion of Laos “provoked a general discussion of the question of the DCI’s responsibility for alerting the President individually and his immediate advisers to situations which may have a serious adverse effect on American policy interests. The Director pointed out that he was not a policy making official of the government and that this had been made particularly clear by the present Administration. He pointed out that at the beginning of this Administration he had been told that he would be excluded from policy making deliberations at the NSC and wondered whether Ambassador Murphy could throw any light on this early decision of the Nixon Administration. Ambassador Murphy expressed himself as completely [Page 476] surprised and unaware that any such policy had been intended by the new Administration.” (Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01440A, DDO Files, Box 8, US 8, President, OPRED/BALPA)