274. Memorandum From President Nixon to the Chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (Anderson)1


  • Human Source Intelligence

One of our major requirements in the intelligence field is to obtain better and more timely information on the doctrine, strategy, plans and intentions of so-called “hard” target countries. Human source collection is one of the few ways to acquire such information.

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Accordingly, I would like the Board to study the full capabilities of the U.S. Government in the field of human source collection and related activities in order to advise me whether the prospects for procuring this intelligence can be improved and, if so, how.

Because of the special sensitivity of this method of collection, the study is to be conducted exclusively by the Board with assistance from appropriate consultants as deemed necessary by the Board.

Your report, with its recommendations, should be transmitted to me alone, through my Assistant for National Security Affairs.

I recognize that, in order to conduct this study properly, the Board will have to receive the total cooperation of the senior intelligence officials of the government and that the Board will require full access to the most sensitive kinds of information and documentary data. So that they may be clear as to my interest in this effort, you are authorized to show this memorandum, with appropriate caveats, to the officials involved.

Richard Nixon
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 276, President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Vol. VI. Top Secret; Sensitive. The Board drafted the memorandum for the President at his request following his meeting with the Board on May 5. (Memorandum from Latimer to Haig, May 12; ibid.)