225. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Administration (Froehlke) to Secretary of Defense Laird1


  • Organization for Defense Investigative Programs

I have reviewed organizational proposals to insure that DoD investigative programs guarantee constitutional rights. The following are three possible alternatives:

  • Alternative 1: The Director of DIA would assume direct operational control of the investigative activities of the military services, DASA, SHAPE, and the unified commands. He would be directly subordinate to you. The military departments object strongly to this because it separates them from assets requisite to command support.
  • Alternative 2: The Director, DIA would assume supervision and inspection of the investigative activities of the military departments. The chain of command would run from you to the Director, DIA, to the departmental secretaries. This would be an unusual command arrangement not utilized elsewhere in the Department of Defense. It would put a three star officer in a position of line authority over senior presidential appointees.
  • Alternative 3: The Assistant Secretary of Defense (Administration) would direct, supervise and inspect the Defense Investigative Program. To advise him and you, a Review Council would be established (The [Page 484] Assistant Secretary of Defense (Administration) Chairman; the General Counsel; the Under Secretary or an Assistant Secretary of each military department; and the Director, DIA). Director, DIA would continue as program manager for fiscal planning. The chain of command would run from you to the Service Secretaries. (The ASD(A) would be delegated to act for you.) The Service Under Secretary/Assistant Secretary would directly supervise and inspect within his department.

Alternative 1 is the closest approach to the original idea expressed in your 23 December memorandum. Alternative 2 would eliminate the military department’s objections to operational control by an Agency Director of departmental assets. Alternative 3 would back off from the 23 December decision.2 This may or may not be bad. However, it clearly would: (1) Be most palatable to the military departments; (2) Provide direct civilian control through the Service Secretaries; (3) Cause the least disruption of current organizational structures; and (4) Provide to you a workable, highly visible management tool to control these activities and demonstrate your control to Congress and the public.

I recommend Alternative 3. Fred Buzhardt concurs. Alternative 2 could be made to work. I do not recommend Alternative 1.3

  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 330 76 197, 350.09 (Jan–Mar) 1971. No classification marking. A notation on the memorandum indicates that Laird saw it.
  2. See Document 222.
  3. On February 3 Laird approved “Alternative 3.” The decision was announced and explained in two February 18 news releases. (New Releases 145–71 and 146–71; Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 330 76 197, 350.09 (Jan–Mar) 1971)