187. Summary of Conclusions of a Special Coordination Committee Meeting1


  • Sensitive Collection and Covert Action Proposals (S)


  • Vice President**

    • Denis Clift
  • State

    • David Newsom, Under Secretary for Political Affairs
    • Amb. William Bowdler, Director Bureau of Intell & Research
  • Defense

    • Charles Duncan, Deputy Secretary
    • Daniel Murphy, Deputy Under Secretary for Policy
  • JCS

    • Lt. Gen. William Smith, Assistant to Chairman
  • CIA

    • Admiral Stansfield Turner
    • Frank Carlucci, Dep. Director
    • John McMahon, Dep. Director for Operations
    • Theodore Shackley, Acting Deputy to DCI for Collection Tasking
    • Alan Wolfe, Chief, NE/DDO


    • Attorney General Griffin Bell*
    • Kenneth Bass, Attorney-Advisor
  • OMB

    • Dr. John White, Deputy Director
  • NSA

    • Admiral Bobby Inman
  • White House

    • David Aaron, Chairman**
  • NSC

    • Paul B. Henze, Notetaker
    • *Not present during first half-hour of the meeting.
    • **Not present during final half-hour of the meeting.

[Omitted here is material unrelated to Saudi Arabia.]

The main portion of the meeting was devoted to discussing CIA’s proposals for intensified intelligence cooperation and covert action with the Saudi Arabian government and related possibilities for action to preserve our interests in the Arabian Peninsula. (S)

As step parallel and complementary to our [less than 1 line not declassified] with the Saudis, establishment of a [1 line not declassified] was endorsed. State’s concern that we not promise so much that we [Page 613] generate exaggerated expectations of returns from the Saudis was noted. It was agreed, however, that [1 line not declassified]. The Ambassador will be kept informed of aspects of the [less than 1 line not declassified] process that have policy implications. The Chairman stressed that a priority concern on our side should be to exploit this intensified relationship [1 line not declassified]. (S)

Provision of counterterrorist training to the Saudis was endorsed. The Attorney-General’s representative said that a new Presidential Finding would be required and concurred in the text [less than 1 line not declassified]. (S)

[1 paragraph (10 lines) not declassified]

The principle of providing defensive training for YAR and Omani personnel to enable them to control infiltration and subversion was endorsed, though the State representative cited several cautions. CIA was asked to provide a more detailed proposal for approval at a forthcoming SCC meeting, [2 lines not declassified]. OMB asked for cost estimates. In light of possible Congressional concerns, the Chairman asked that possibilities for overt U.S. military help in this area, as well as CIA-sponsored help, be examined. The representative of the Joint Chiefs was of the view that CIA is better prepared to assist with this sort of activity than DOD. (S)

The proposal for radio operations produced a great deal of discussion but no agreement that benefits from the activity would be commensurate with all the complications it might entail. CIA will study this question further before determining whether to submit a more concrete proposal. The Chairman asked that further efforts focus on questions of compatibility and control to ensure that an operation of this kind could be kept from working contrary to U.S. interests. (S)

The possibilities of larger-scale paramilitary operations were not discussed in detail. The Attorney General chided the group for being overly concerned about congressional sensitivity and thus, he felt, hesitant about advancing ideas. Other members of the group expressed disagreement with the Attorney General’s assessment that little damage had resulted from leaks and exposures. Discussion of the Arabian Peninsula concluded with agreement that CIA, working with other agencies as appropriate, would attempt to develop more specific action proposals. (S)

[Omitted here is material unrelated to Saudi Arabia.]

  1. Source: National Security Council, Carter Administration Intelligence Files, Box I020, Minutes-SCC 1979. Secret. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room. The minutes are not attached and were not found. Dodson sent the Summary of Conclusions to Mondale, Vance, Brown, Jones, and Turner under a March 19 memorandum signed by Carolyn Cleveland (NSC).