72. Memorandum for the Record1


  • PAID Assessment of Intelligence Production in Support of US Human Rights Initiatives

1. (U) On 2 August 1977 the undersigned met with members of the NSC staff, together with a representative of the Policy Planning Staff, Department of State, to obtain their views concerning the adequacy of Intelligence Community products concerning human rights. Present [Page 223]from the NSC were Robert Pastor, Latin America, Mike Oksenberg, Far East, PRC, Mike Armacost, SEA, and Richard Feinberg from the Policy Planning Staff.

2. (C) As users of Intelligence Community products, these NSC and State Department representatives rated Community output on human rights as good to excellent and of considerable value in the formulation of US foreign policies. While expressing general satisfaction with Community products, suggestions were offered for future production along the following lines:

• Evaluations concerning how foreign leaders, both parties in power and opposition groups, rank the human rights issue in order of importance against other issues pertinent to the relevant geographic area.

• Additional reports to assist in determining the degree to which non-governmental entities may be committing human rights violations on behalf of foreign governments, such as recent allegations involving right wing groups in El Salvador.

• Specific information upon which to base evaluations of allegations of human rights violations received from non-governmental groups such as Amnesty International.

3. Both Messrs. Oksenberg and Armacost expressed concern that the injudicious use of clandestine collection resources could have negative overall effects upon US relations with countries targeted for collection. Both recommend that overt resources be used, to the maximum extent possible, in satisfying national requirements on this topic, although it was recognized that clandestine collection can provide perspective and balance when gaps exist in overt reporting. It was generally agreed that the Intelligence Community and users of intelligence products should identify base line information requirements on human rights with respect to individual geographic areas to conserve clandestine collection capabilities.

4. On the basis of our discussion, there appears to be some disparity in the extent to which NSC and State staff members who support policymakers have become knowledgeable concerning the structure and capabilities of the Community through prior work experience or other means. Selected staff members at the NSC, State, and elsewhere might usefully be provided with an overview.

[name not declassified]
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Community Management Staff, Job 83M00171R: Subject Files (1961–1982), Box 12, Folder 18: 1977 Intelligence Reporting on Human Rights. Confidential. Drafted in DCI/IC on August 9.