71. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1

    • Assessment of Soviet Initiative via Mr. Harvey Hament

Last month Harvey Hament, president of the photo processing business with which William Casey is associated, reported that he had again been contacted by Soviet representatives.2 The Soviets were [Page 218] attempting to pinpoint responsibility for the negative U.S. decision on a Ford truck plant for the Soviet Union and to determine whether there was any hope for renegotiating a contract with Ford.3 Hament also reported that he was shown remarkable hospitality during his three week trip to the Soviet Union which resulted in some lucrative commercial contracts for his company.

Upon receiving this report I asked Director Helms for an evaluation of Soviet motives for their contacts with Hament.4 Attached is CIA’s assessment5 which indicates that:

  • —The KGB is cultivating Hament as a tool for future exploitation in Soviet political operations.
  • —The stage is being set for financial commitments sufficient to induce Hament to carry out Soviet bidding in order to protect his investment. The expenses-paid trip to the USSR also was probably designed to place Hament under some sense of obligation.
  • —Hament appears to be shrewd and cautious in his dealings with the Soviets and gives every indication of wanting to cooperate with the U.S. government. Since he has not yet faced any obstacles it is too early to forecast how he will fare with the Soviets in the future.
  • —The Ford decision is a political blow to Soviet plans to exploit the West by obtaining capital investments for technological improvements, particularly U.S. management techniques and computer technology.
  • —The Soviets will use a number of channels to try to reverse the Ford precedent and have already activated a very senior KGB official for the purpose of following-up with Ford.

According to the CIA report the Soviets have attempted for a number of years to use businessmen, scientists, and academicians with the access to the White House as tools for flexible manipulation of dis-information. Information is frequently used to play off one western country against another with the goal of creating misleading impressions that will influence foreign policy makers and reduce government effectiveness.

In attempting to establish channels to the White House the following disinformation themes have been used: (1) one faction of the split Soviet leadership wants to establish direct contact, (2) a younger less rigid liberal Soviet faction wants to deal directly with the White [Page 219] House, (3) the President in office is more reasonable than his predecessor, and (4) the President should visit the USSR for highly confidential discussions with the Soviet leadership. The latter theme is designed to deprive the President of an opportunity to consult with Allies while false reporting of discussions and secret agreements is used to sow confusion and disunity among the Allies.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 66, Country Files, Europe, USSR, Casey/Hament (Soviet Initiative). Secret; Sensitive. According to an attached copy, Kissinger and Howe drafted the memorandum on December 21. A notation on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it.
  2. Attached but not printed is a November 16 memorandum from Haig to Kissinger, reporting on his telephone call from Hament that morning.
  3. On April 20, Henry Ford II, Chairman of Ford Motor Company, announced plans to help the Soviet Union build a large truck manufacturing complex in Naberezhnye Chelny on the Kama River. In response to criticism from Laird and others, Ford withdrew from the project within one month.
  4. Attached but not printed is a November 19 memorandum from Haig to Helms.
  5. Attached but not printed is a December 10 memorandum from Helms to Haig.