104. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to President Carter1


  • SCC on Covert Action

The Summary of Conclusions of an SCC on four covert action proposals which I chaired on April 7, 1980, is attached at TAB A for your review.2 Considering the urgency of the problems they address, these proposals are all modest, entail little risk and no great expense. If we are to put ourselves in a position to have greater impact on these [Page 284] areas in the future, we must nevertheless begin to work on them now. I therefore recommend strongly that you approve the recommendations which the SCC endorsed. Findings covering the programs for Ethiopia, [less than 1 line not declassified] are ready for your signature at TAB B. The Soviet Nationalities program is in effect, an extension of the longstanding Eastern Europe/USSR publication and mailing project and does not require a new Finding.3

I would also like to have your approval of the position I have taken on continuation of our present ambassador in Ethiopia and maintenance of our relations there at Ambassadorial level.4

Tab B

Presidential Finding5

Finding Pursuant to Section 662 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, As Amended, Concerning Operations Undertaken by the Central Intelligence Agency in Foreign Countries, Other Than Those Intended Solely for the Purpose of Intelligence Collection

I hereby find that the following operation in a foreign country (including all support necessary to such operation) is important to the national security of the United States, and direct the Director of Central Intelligence, or his designee, to report this Finding to the concerned committees of the Congress pursuant to Section 662, and to provide such briefings as necessary.

Ethiopia Unilaterally or through foreign governments foster opposition to the pro-Soviet character of the present Ethiopian regime and encourage pro-Western attitudes in Ethiopia by contacting and supporting appropriate elements in the Ethiopian Government, political opposition and other pertinent sectors in Ethiopia and abroad. Utilize covert propaganda, disseminated internally and externally, in furtherance of these objectives.
Jimmy Carter
  1. Source: Carter Library, Plains File, Subject File, Box 30, NSC/SCC Minutes, 3/1/80–4/15/80. Secret; Sensitive; Outside the System. The President wrote in the upper right corner, “Zbig—I need either Cy or Warren to comment. One of them should be present. J.” In an undated note to Carter, Christopher wrote, “Mr. President, I approve the findings on Ethiopia, [less than 1 line not declassified]. Warren Christopher.” (Ibid.)
  2. Attached; printed as Document 103.
  3. Carter checked the Agree option.
  4. Carter checked the Agree option and initialed at the bottom of the page.
  5. Secret; Sensitive.