93. Memorandum From Samuel Hoskinson of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) and the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Aaron)1


  • Intelligence Charters

Stan Turner proposes to disband the special intelligence charter legislation working group2 he created to implement your directive that he assume primary responsibility for development of proposed Administration positions on S.2525 for SCC and Presidential review. In this way he feels there will be no question that the agencies and departments involved are now responsible for supporting the NSC and David’s higher level review group created at the 27 November SCC meeting.3 Turner promises, however, to “be available to perform a central, coordinating role once again should that appear to be necessary.”

On the surface this initiative appears to reflect little more than the obsession of CIA’s lawyers for bureaucratic tidiness. You should also be aware, however, that there is an emerging feeling in some quarters that the real end game on charters has become one of who gets pinned with the blame for failure. At a minimum, there are sure to be a few unhappy scenes ahead under any conditions and I sense a distinct feeling at CIA these days that they want to distance themselves as much as possible from this whole mess.

I suggest that, rather than immortalizing all this in memoranda, you simply inform Stan that in effect the responsibilities you assigned him on charters are in abeyance as long as the Aaron group (which includes Carlucci) is working the problem for the SCC. His only responsibility at this point is to assume CIA’s full cooperation with the Aaron group’s effort.4

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, 1977–1981, Box 101, SCC127 Intelligence Charters, 1/24/79. No classification marking. Sent for action.
  2. See Document 92.
  3. See Document 91.
  4. S. 2525 never made it out of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to which it had been referred in February 1978.