Until World War II, the conduct of foreign intelligence activities by the United States Government was sporadic, and most Americans were not aware of them. Presidents of the United States, who have always borne the responsibility for the national security, have made statements, particularly in recent years, that have both acknowledged the existence of US intelligence activities and revealed their importance in support of governmental policies and functions.
Selected Presidential statements dealing with US intelligence activities have been extracted for presentation in this pamphlet. Scott A. Koch of the CIA History Staff and Brian D. Fila of the Defense Intelligence Agency's Policy Support Directorate compiled the pamphlet, updating an earlier pamphlet the CIA's Office of Training produced. Teresa Purcell and Mark Hernandez of CIA's Cartography, Design, and Publishing Division provided invaluable support. Ms. Purcell edited and polished the text, and Mr. Hernandez designed the cover and layout.
Although the statements of George Washington were written while he was the commanding general during the American Revolution, they are significant enough to warrant inclusion here. Major wars marked the terms of both Presidents Lincoln and Wilson, but neither appears to have addressed intelligence. President Wilson limited his comments to the presence of German spies in the United States.