313. Editorial Note

On August 30, 1973, Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger received and subsequently approved a proposal, originally requested by the National Security Council staff, that the U.S. Government secretly monitor the Micronesian independence movement and influence it to support U.S. objectives. (Memorandum from Froebe, August 30; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 209, Agency Files, CIA, Vol. VI.) In January 1975, the Micronesia program began and in April 1975, the U.S. government monitored discussions of the Micronesian negotiating team on Saipan as part of an effort to discover the negotiating position and tactics of the Joint Committee on Future Status of the Congress of Micronesia in its talks with the United States. Monitoring was periodically undertaken until November 1975, but the recorded conversations either possessed no intelligence value or were in a language that could not be translated through secure channels. The resultant audiotapes were returned to Washington in August 1976 and subsequently destroyed. (Memorandum from Bush to Scowcroft, December 15, 1976; Central Intelligence Agency, OPI 10 [Executive Registry], Job 79M00467A, Box 19, Folder 16, Micronesia/Marianas ) On December 12, 1976, the Washington Post published a front page article by Bob Woodward stating that the U.S. Government had been conducting electronic surveillance against Micronesia’s negotiating representatives. Following the Washington Post article, which prompted complaints from the leaders of the Congress of Micronesia, Assistant to the President Brent Scowcroft approved a December 16 memorandum from National Security Council staff member William Gleysteen recommending that the U.S. Government terminate its collection effort in Micronesia and assure the Micronesians that the President would ensure pursuit of the negotiations “on the basis of complete respect for the Micronesian negotiators themselves and their duly authorized responsibility to represent the best interest of all the people of Micronesia.” (Memorandum from Gleysteen to Scowcroft, December 16; Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Box 18, Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands [5])