35. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Meeting of PRM–11, Task 2 Subcommittee of the Special Coordinating Committee (NSC/SCC), 1 April 1977

1. General. The Subcommittee met at the call of the DCI, to consider a preliminary issue paper prepared by the Working Group secretary.2 Attendees are listed in the attachment.3 The meeting ranged broadly, diffusely, and somewhat inconclusively over the best approach to take to task 2; the perspective represented by the paper on the table; relationship to task 3 (assigned to the NSC/SCC rather than this subcommittee); and the pros and cons of splitting the DCI and the Director CIA roles. The meeting concluded with a new charge to the secretary of the working group to continue with the basic task 2 report (not on the table at this meeting) but to revise the approach therein to reflect the results of the meeting.

2. Approach to Task 2.

The meeting opened with a statement by the DCI that there was a need to ensure PRM–11 efforts paralleled and supported Community responses to Senate Select Committee draft legislation. The secretary then noted the paper on the table was intended to solicit guidance for the conclusions portion of the task 2 report.

General discussion followed, led by State and Defense but with the general support of the DCI, on the need to begin the paper with a general discussion of the purposes of intelligence per se, followed by description of DCI responsibilities and powers. An analysis of the balance between responsibilities and powers would lead to specific issues, optional steps toward improvement, and discussion of the pros and cons of the options.

Defense noted that responsibilities and powers of SECDEF, as well as DCI, were pertinent. A DCI comment, that list of Community responsibilities was ipso facto coincident with DCI responsibilities as head [Page 135] of the Community, was challenged by Defense on grounds that it begged the question of roles within the Community (and how they are to be accomplished) and on grounds that it failed to take account of statutory SECDEF responsibilities. State agreed that the Subcommittee had to define DCI powers, not assume them. D/DCI/IC asserted E.O. 11905 defined the roles clearly and could be the starting point for the paper. Defense rejoined that the E.O. was not universally admired, and that there are other pertinent documents including the National Security Act of 1947 and the Presidential memo of 1971,4 to which some might prefer to revert. This issue was not resolved.

On the theme of diagnosing the status quo, as part of the approach to task 2, the meeting then digressed to discussion of how well the first year of E.O. 11905 worked vis-a-vis DCI budget control. Views were varied. D/DCI/IC thought it went well, although he needed more authority to get information earlier from program managers, and to direct development of options to be costed and evaluated. State said it worked only because INR’s budget was not touched. Defense allowed that it worked because SECDEF chose to accept the CFI decisions. NSC was dubious about the effectiveness of the CFI process.

The meeting then reverted to the outline of the task 2 report, with the DCI directing the purposes-responsibilities-powers-issues-options approach. The secretary noted that this reversed the Subcommittee’s last guidance to the working group to avoid “philosophy” in favor or “hitting the real issues”.

This reference to philosophy led to a brief digression on the “national/tactical” issue, which concluded with D/DCI/IC recommending all read the ICS paper on the subject.5 The DCI then commented that he hoped tasking of even national clandestine human sources for military purposes would not be ignored by the Subcommittee.

3. Perspectives on the Draft Paper. Defense introduced the question of the perspective on the issues embodied in the draft paper. The Defense point was that the paper assumed every-thing from the “national” perspective, and tended to ignore departmental and tactical responsiveness. The DCI agreed that the report must cover all Community responsibilities.

4. Consideration of Substantive Options. The DCI then asked the meeting to consider an actual issue: splitting the DCI and DCIA. General [Page 136] discussion revolved around the advantages/disadvantages of splitting, the sub-options contained in the split options, and elucidation of the possible consequences of various sub-options. It was clear from the discussion that CIA and ICS strongly believe splitting would be disastrous and is not really necessary. The DCI seemed to have an open mind on the subject. Defense saw pluses and minuses, depending on the details. Critical to the question will be determination of how much of a production and analysis capability the DCI should retain, and what to do with the rest of DDI, as well as DDO and DDS&T. Also critical to the question will be determination of the level of resource control to be held by the DCI, with the options being generally review and veto only, or full programming, budgeting and allocation. No decision was reached.

5. Relationship to Task 3. NSC then noted, in support of the secretary, that this consideration of options really was a responsibility of the full NSC/SCC under task three, not a responsibility of the subcommittee under task 2. After some discussion, the DCI concluded the meeting and resolved the issue by directing the secretary to address the pros and cons of options, particularly side-effects, but to avoid resolving the options.

P.J. Doerr
Captain, U.S. Navy Assistant Deputy Director for Special Collection Projects
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Community Management Staff, Job 79M00095A: Official Subject Files (1975–1977), Box 2, Folder 1: PRM–11, Vol. IV. Secret. Drafted on April 4.
  2. Presumably a reference to the paper entitled “Issues for Meeting of SCC Subcommittee on PRM–11, Task 2, 1 April.” A copy is in the Central Intelligence Agency, Office of the Deputy Director for Intelligence, Job 82M00587R: Policy Files, Box 7, PRM/NSC–11 (cont’d).
  3. Attached but not printed.
  4. A reference to President Richard Nixon’s November 5, 1971, memorandum entitled “Organization and Management of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Community.” For the text, see Document 242 in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. II, Organization and Management of U.S. Foreign Policy, 1969–1972.
  5. Not further identified.