28. Memorandum From the Deputy to the Director of Central Intelligence for the Intelligence Community (Murphy) to Director of Central Intelligence-Designate Turner 1


  • Redraft of PRM–11 and Comments

1. Fritz Ermarth, my Director of Performance, Evaluation and Improvement, took the lead in preparing the attached proposed draft of PRM/NSC–11.2 It attempts to accomplish three things:

a. It levies a comprehensive review including most of the substance of the earlier (Hoskinson) draft;3

b. It separates in a suitable way what should be separated, namely the management and performance issues from the legal environment issues;

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c. And, most important, it gives you the kind of central leadership role—not dictatorial role—that you should have in this review.

2. There are several reasons why your leadership is crucial: First, the key Community management issue is the balance between responsibilities and authorities. Numerous past studies and directives, dominated by those who did not have to implement them (including the Schlesinger study of 19714 and Executive Order 11905)5 dodged or fuzzed this fundamental issue. They ended up giving the DCI responsibility for rationalizing Community resource allocations that exceeded his authority or power to achieve in an effective and convenient way. This is not to say that the Executive Order was a misstep or that working with it is impossible. It is just very difficult, and probably unnecessarily difficult, to achieve its objectives with the powers it provides. The essential point is this: People who do not have to bear the responsibility for a management result almost always underestimate the problems of achieving them through vague, collegial, committee-like instruments.

3. The second reason why you should be given the charge is that such a role at this time is crucial for your image, your reputation, your standing as the man to whom the President looks for wise and fair stewardship of US national intelligence affairs. As you know, the President has talked about fully relying on his senior officers to manage in their spheres of responsibility. Therefore, not putting you in charge would prejudge the effective outcome of the review, whatever the specific decisions resulting therefrom turned out to be. It would say, in effect, the President does not really want you to manage the national intelligence community.

4. There are several important reasons why it is possible for your leadership of the major portion of this review to be fair and balanced. First, as this draft does, the President can outright tell you to take full account of all options, and all agencies’ views of them.

5. Second, I recall that Secretary Brown told Hank Knoche that the DCI should take the lead in this review. This negates the argument that Defense will never go along with DCI leadership.

6. Following are some additional comments on specific points of the proposed PRM to help explain, justify, and, if necessary, fall back gracefully:

Note 1, Page 1: It may be desirable for the President to sign this PRM, saying “I direct . . .” I have seen one draft PRM (10) which would [Page 112] carry his signature. Fritz Ermarth called Hoskinson to ask, in passing, if they have any ground rules on which ones he personally signs. Evidently they do not. But it would surely add to the credibility of the instructions.

Note 2, Page 1: The charge to the SCC, headed by Brzezinski, is more than a mere bone. It tells the senior working level of the NSC machinery, in effect, to take seriously the task of looking at its intelligence needs and developing some reliable way of conveying them. In part it would be a forced learning process for the new team, but it would also, early in the review, help to set the ultimate substantive goals and priorities of intelligence management that you are supposed to pursue.

Note 3, Page 1: This review of past performance could rely on recent studies such as the IC Staff Semiannual Review for the NSC—which the previous Administration never really came to grips with. And we could feed the second semiannual review into this SCC effort with, hopefully, more substantial results.

Note 4, Page 2: This look at mechanisms is intended to embrace such functions as OAG, WSAG, and it could also include PFIAB.

Note 5, Page 2: Here is the crunch! You will be the chairman of the PRC for the main body of this review. The arguments for this are in the opening paragraphs of this memorandum. But we could retain the essence of your leadership if the chairman were Brzezinski while you were charged to run the study effort and personally report the results to the PRC. If we went this way, we would have to get a clear understanding from Brzezinski that, while chairing the review meeting of the PRC, he would not try to organize the study himself or micro-manage the proceedings. In any case, a senior NSC staffer should be represented in the actual working machinery that produces the study.

Note 6, Pages 3 and 4: The language of the Hoskinson draft PRM makes it clear that the review should not only look at your management responsibilities under present or alternative structures, nor merely at areas outside your responsibilities that directly affect them, but also at how purely departmental intelligence management meets departmental needs. This is supposed to be a national level review of all US foreign intelligence. Thus, for example, the role and control of Foreign Service reporting is a germane topic.

Note 7, Page 4: We include counterintelligence as a major management issue for the DCI. We dropped a bullet on covert action, but it would naturally be addressed under the first bullet on your roles.

Note 8, Page 4: This omnibus item on intelligence planning, evaluation, and improvement is there in part because Hoskinson told Ermarth the study had to go beyond responsibilities, powers, and organization; [Page 113] it had to say something about how, in fact, you would seek to optimize performance and resource allocations; by what tools, methods, and suborganizations. Clearly this would get into, among other things, staff organizations, the role and use of NFIB, data bases and management techniques for controlling resources, zero-base budgeting, the committee structure, etc.

Note 9, Page 5: Assigning the job on the legal environment to the Attorney General seems proper for a number of reasons. He is the lawyer of the President and the Executive Branch. In the matter of legal powers, you might be seen to have credibility problems in an area of greater public concern than resource management. Putting the Attorney General role here would force him, and the subordinates he puts on this job, to take hard looks at the national security imperatives of the subject, which his predecessor seems to have failed to do. “Close collaboration with the DCI” would assure that your interests get a fair shake. Incidentally, if Brzezinski is designated to chair the PRC on intelligence management, it might be wise that he also chair the one on intelligence law, with the Attorney General and yourself as chief rapporteurs.

7. Ultimately, I would expect the President to chair a full meeting of the NSC to make decisions on the whole package. How the PRM process leads from study tasking to Presidential decision, in a procedural sense, is still somewhat confused. Those on the NSC Staff who have been asked about this say they know it is confused now but that it will get sorted out in time.

Daniel J. Murphy 6
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Office of the Director of Central Intelligence, Job 97M00248R: Policy Files, Office Level and Above, Box 1, Folder 12: PRM 11—Intelligence Structure and Mission (Folder 1). Secret.
  2. Not attached.
  3. See Document 27.
  4. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. II, Organization and Management of U.S. Foreign Policy, 1969–1972, Document 229.
  5. See footnote 4, Document 27.
  6. Murphy signed “Dan” above this typed signature.