30. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • President Ford
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

[Omitted here is discussion of issues unrelated to intelligence.]

[Kissinger:] We had a 40 Committee meeting.2 We can’t conduct covert operations. Colby is a disaster and really should be replaced. Colby is shellshocked—he wanted to testify on Azorian because it was [Page 65]a domestic operation.3 He said he would work it out with the VP—I said it was none of the VP’s business.

The President: That’s stupid.

Kissinger: There are now so many people who have to be briefed on covert operations, it is bound to leak.

There is no one with guts left. All of yesterday they were making a record to protect themselves about Azorian. It was a discouraging meeting. I wonder if we shouldn’t get the leadership in and discuss it. Maybe there should be a Joint Committee.

The President: I have always fought that, but maybe we have to. It would have to be a tight group, not a big broad one.

Kissinger: I am really worried. We are paralyzed. We have delayed a long time [less than 1 line not declassified] even though our capacity may not be too great.

[Omitted here is discussion of topics unrelated to intelligence.]

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Box 8, January 23, 1975, Ford, Kissinger. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in the Oval Office.
  2. No record of the meeting has been found.
  3. AZORIAN was the codename for the Glomar Explorer project to raise a sunken Soviet submarine. For documentation, see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. XXXV, National Security Policy, 1973–1976, Documents 182208.