281. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Lunch with Helmut Sonnenfeldt of the NSC Staff

At Sonnenfeldt’s suggestion I had lunch with him today at the Federal City Club and we covered the following topics:

To my question as to how many of our TDCS reports he sees, Sonnenfeldt replied that he read all such reports that we slug for the White House. He added that he discusses the most important ones with Kissinger and also writes summaries of a series of reports dealing with a particular subject for Kissinger’s attention. He explained that Tom Latimer also makes a selection from our TDCS reports for Kissinger on a daily basis.
Sonnenfeldt is responsible to Kissinger for keeping up on the Soviet Union, Eastern and Western Europe and Soviet activities elsewhere in the world. As to the value of the CS reporting, he was high in his praise of our coverage of the West German political scene, Japanese/ Soviet relations, and he noted an improvement in the Eastern European coverage. He implied that Kissinger shared his opinion and added that Kissinger finds our reporting more useful than the usual National Intelligence Estimate. He commented that, as Kissinger has come to know personally and negotiate directly with the Soviet leadership and other world leaders, he has naturally come to be less rather than more dependent on the estimates except where they deal with complex technical subjects.
To my question as to how we could be sure that very important reports from completely reliable sources were brought to his attention and to Kissinger’s, he admitted that in the mass of work he has to do he might fail to see the significance of such a report and suggested that I call him directly when we receive such a document.
He suggested we have lunch from time to time in the future.

Cord Meyer, Jr.
Assistant Deputy Director for Plans
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDO Files, Job 80–00037, Subject Files, Box 8, Folder 7, U.S.–6, NSC, 1972. Secret; Eyes Only.