273. Memorandum From President Nixon to his Assistant (Haldeman)1

One department which particularly needs a housecleaning is the CIA. The problem in the CIA is muscle-bound bureaucracy which has completely paralyzed its brain and the other is the fact that its personnel, just like the personnel in State, is primarily Ivy League and the Georgetown set rather than the type of people that we get into the services and the FBI.

I want a study made immediately as to how many people in CIA could be removed by Presidential action. I assume that they have themselves frozen in just as is the case with State. If that is the case I want action begun immediately, through Weinberger, for a reduction in force of all positions in the CIA in the executive groups of 50 percent. This reduction in force should be accomplished by the end of the year so [Page 621] that we can then move to get in some better people. Of course, the reduction in force should be accomplished solely on the ground of its being necessary for budget reasons, but you will both know the real reason and I want some action to deal with the problem.

In another area of recruiting I want you to quit recruiting from any of the Ivy League schools or any other universities where either the university president or the university faculties have taken action condemning our efforts to bring the war in Vietnam to an end. We are totally justified in doing this anyway because the government simply has too many Ivy League people in relationship to the percentage of Ivy League graduates compared with the total number of college graduates in the country.

In filling our needs I want you to give first priority to those schools who have presidents or faculty members who have wired us or written us their support of what we have done in Vietnam. Have the mail checked very carefully to see which ones these are. After you get past those you can then go to other schools in the Midwest, in the South, and even possibly some in the far West (not, of course, including Stanford or Cal) where we would have a better chance to come up with people who would be on our side. Retired military people are also good for this purpose.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President’s Personal Files, Box 4, Memoranda from the President, 1969–1974, Memos—May 1972. No classification marking. A copy was sent to Malek.