81. Telegram from the Department of State to All Diplomatic Posts1

90943. For Amb and Chief of Station from Secretary and DCI. Subject: Relations with CIA. Refs: (A) State 257648 (1977) (B) Director [message indicator not declassified] (1977).2

1. It has been six months since we issued the joint instructions contained in Reference A. It seems appropriate to review with you, in [Page 376] general terms, issues that have arisen under that instruction and to issue some clarification.

2. Since the instruction was issued, we believe that State and CIA have worked more closely to develop the kind of information which our government needs in order to face the dangerous situations in the world today. You are to be commended for your efforts in this matter. However, some uncertainty remains. A story appeared in the press which led the Congress to make inquiries about how P.L. 93–475,3 the President’s letter,4 and the joint instructions have been implemented. In particular, questions have arisen about the relationship of P.L. 93–475 to the DCI’s responsibility to protect sources and methods as discussed in paragraph 4 of the joint instruction; and about the meaning of the term “administrative communications” in interpreting paragraph 7. Those paragraphs are clarified below.

3. As indicated in Ref B, the DCI recognizes the need for the Chief of Mission to be fully and currently informed and it is his policy that the Chief of Mission never be surprised. The DCI has sent a cable to all Stations reaffirming this and his intent to abide by the letter and spirit of the joint State/CIA instruction.

4. The following comments are furnished to amplify paragraph 4 of Ref A:

It is vital that such sources and methods be protected. Whenever the circle of persons with knowledge about a particular source or method is widened, the risk of compromise increases. Thus it is incumbent on Chiefs of Mission to be certain that there is a genuine need for them to have detailed information on sources and methods before they ask for it; and, once they know, to give that information adequate protection. The DCI is charged by statute, “under the direction of the NSC” with the responsibility “for protecting intelligence sources and methods from unauthorized disclosure”. Such disclosure in order to keep a Chief of Mission fully and currently informed pursuant to PL 93–475 is authorized as prescribed in paragraphs 6 and 7 of the State/CIA instruction.

5. For the purposes of interpreting paragraph 7 of Ref A administrative communications are defined as communications which consist entirely of information relating to the routine administration and internal management of CIA, its officers, employees and Stations. Included are such matters as personnel matters (pay, allowances and leave, fitness reports, travel of employees and dependents subject to the provisions of paragraph 6 F., training, etc.), medical and other personal information on officers, employees and dependents, logistical support [Page 377] for CIA Stations, CIA inspector general reports and related traffic, and physical security information. Administrative messages may also include certain information concerning a United States person, the dissemination of which is affected by E.O. 12036,5 guidelines issued by the Attorney General to implement E.O. 12036, or the Privacy Act. An example of such information would be information about a United States person acquired overseas by electronic surveillance which is being referred to CIA Headquarters for a determination as to whether it must be “minimized” (i.e. destroyed) or whether it may be retained or disseminated. Any information contained in any administrative message which has implications for foreign policy, relations with the host country, or management of the Mission (as distinguished from internal management of the Station) may be reviewed by the Chief of Mission.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Secretary of State, 1977–1980, Lot 84D241, Executive Order on Intelligence, 1978. Secret; Roger Channel; Special Handling. Drafted by Read (M), Mason (M), and Carlucci (CIA); cleared by Jeffrey Smith (L/PM), McAfee (INR), and Turner (CIA); approved by Vance. The telegram bears a stamp that reads “CV.”
  2. See Documents 65 and 62, respectively.
  3. See footnote 13, Document 77. The relevant section of P.L. 93–475 is quoted in Document 65.
  4. See footnote 2, Document 65.
  5. See Document 76.