The Creation of the Central Intelligence Group
Editor's Note: This article is an expanded version of one that appeared under the same title in the fall 1995 edition of Studies in Intelligence.
January 1996 marked the 50th anniversary of President Truman's
appointment of the first Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) and the
creation of the Central Intelligence Group (CIG), CIA's institutional
predecessor. The office diary of the President's chief military
adviser, Flt. Admr. William D. Leahy, records a rather unexpected event
on 24 January 1946:
At lunch today in the White
House, with only members of the Staff present, RAdm. Sidney Souers and
I were presented [by President Truman] with black cloaks, black hats,
and wooden daggers, and the President read an amusing directive to us
outlining some of our duties in the Central Intelligence Agency [sic],
"Cloak and Dagger Group of Snoopers."(1)
With this whimsical ceremony, President Truman christened Admiral Souers as the first DCI.
The humor and symbolism of this inauguration would have been lost on
many veterans of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the big
intelligence and covert action agency that Truman had suddenly
dismantled at the end of World War II, only four months earlier. CIG
inevitably suffered (and still suffers) from comparisons with OSS. The
Group began its brief existence with a phony cape and a wooden dagger.
It was a bureaucratic anomaly with no independent budget, no statutory
mandate, and staffers assigned from the permanent departments of the
government. Nevertheless, CIG grew rapidly and soon gained a fair
measure of organizational autonomy. The Truman administration invested
it with the two basic missions of strategic warning and coordination of
clandestine activities abroad, although interdepartmental rivalries
prevented the Group from performing either mission to the fullest.
Strategic warning and clandestine activities are the two basic missions
of today's CIA.(2)
Historical accounts of Truman's dissolution of OSS and creation of CIG
have concentrated on assigning credit to certain actors and blame to
their opponents and rivals.(3)
The passage of time and the gradually expanding availability of
sources, however, promise to foster more holistic approaches to this
The problem for the Truman administration that fall of
1945 was that no one, including the President, knew just what he
wanted, while each department and intelligence service knew fully what
sorts of results it wanted to avoid. With this context in mind, it is
informative to view the formation of CIG with an eye toward the way
administration officials preserved certain essential functions of OSS
and brought them together again in a centralized, peacetime foreign
intelligence agency. Those decisions created a permanent intelligence
structure that, while still incomplete, preserved some of the most
useful capabilities of the old OSS while resting on a firmer
From War to Peace
War II, the US Government had not seen fit to centralize either
strategic warning or clandestine activities, let alone combine both
missions in a single organization. The exigencies of global conflict
persuaded Washington to build a formidable intelligence apparatus in
Maj. Gen. William J. Donovan's Office of the Coordinator of Information
(renamed OSS in 1942), America's first nondepartmental intelligence
arm. As such, it encountered resentment from such established services
as the FBI and the Military Intelligence Division of the War Department
General Staff (better known as the G-2).
General Donovan advocated the creation of a limited but
permanent foreign intelligence service after victory, mentioning the
idea at several points during the war.(4)
President Roosevelt made no promises, however, and, after Roosevelt's
death in April 1945 and the German surrender that May, President Truman
felt no compulsion to keep OSS alive. He disliked Donovan (perhaps
fearing that Donovan's proposed intelligence establishment might one
day be used against Americans).(5)
The President and his top military advisers also knew that America's
wartime intelligence success had been built on cryptologic successes,
in which OSS had played only a supporting role. Signals intelligence
was the province of the Army and Navy, two jealous rivals that only
barely cooperated; not even General Donovan contemplated centralized,
civilian control of this field.
Major-General William J. Donovan
Truman could have tried to transform OSS into a central intelligence
service conducting clandestine collection, analysis, and operations
abroad. He declined the opportunity and dismantled OSS instead. Within
three years, however, Truman had overseen the creation of a central
intelligence service conducting clandestine collection, analysis, and
operations abroad. Several authors have concluded from the
juxtaposition of these facts that Truman dissolved OSS out of
ignorance, haste, and pique, and that he tacitly admitted his mistake
when he endorsed the reassembly of many OSS functions in the new CIA.
Even Presidential aide Clark Clifford has complained that Truman
"prematurely, abruptly, and unwisely disbanded the OSS."(6)
A look at the mood in Washington, however, places Truman's decision in
a more favorable light. At the onset of the postwar era, the nation and
Congress wanted demobilization--fast. OSS was already marked for huge
reductions because so many of its personnel served with guerrilla,
commando, and propaganda units considered extraneous in peacetime.
Congress regarded OSS as a temporary "war agency," one of many
bureaucratic hybrids raised for the national emergency that would have
to be weeded out after victory.(7) Indeed,
early in 1945 Congress passed a law requiring the White House to seek a
specific Congressional appropriation for any new agency operating for
longer than 12 months.(8)
This obstacle impeded any Presidential wish to preserve OSS or to
create a permanent peacetime intelligence agency along the lines of
General Donovan's plan--a path made even slicker by innuendo, spread by
Donovan's rivals, that the General was urging the creation of an
Truman had barely moved into the Oval Office when he received a
scathing report on OSS. (Indeed, this same report might well have been
the primary source for the abovementioned innuendo) A few months before
he died, President Roosevelt had asked an aide, Col. Richard Park, Jr.,
to conduct an informal investigation of OSS and General Donovan.
Colonel Park completed his report in March, but apparently Roosevelt
never read it. The day after Roosevelt's death, Park attended an Oval
Office meeting with President Truman. Although no minutes of their
discussion survived, Park probably summarized his findings for the new
President; in any event, he sent Truman a copy of his report on OSS at
about that time. That document castigated OSS for bumbling and lax
security, and complained that Donovan's proposed intelligence reform
had ''all the earmarks of a Gestapo system.'' Park recommended
abolishing OSS, although he conceded that some of the Office's
personnel and activities were worth preserving in other agencies. OSS's
Research and Analysis Branch in particular could be ''salvaged'' and
given to the State Department.(10)
Donovan himself hardly helped his own cause. OSS was attached to the
Executive Office of the President but technically drew its orders and
pay from the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). Donovan refused to compromise
on his proposals with JCS representatives delegated to study postwar
intelligence needs. He insisted that a permanent intelligence arm ought
to answer directly to the President and not to his advisers.(11)
The Joint Chiefs had already rescued Donovan once, when the G-2 had
tried to subsume OSS in 1943. This time the White House did not ask the
Joint Chiefs' opinion. The JCS stood aside and let the Office meet its
Taking the Initiative
House evidently concluded that the problem was how to create a new
peacetime intelligence organization without Donovan and his Office.
Many senior advisers in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations
believed that the nation needed some sort of permanent intelligence
establishment. The Bureau of the Budget took up this issue shortly
before President Roosevelt's death, presenting itself to Roosevelt as a
disinterested observer and creating a small team to study the
government's intelligence requirements and recommend possible reforms.
Soon after he took office, Truman endorsed the Budget Bureau's effort.(12)
Donald C. Stone, Bureau of the Budget
In August, the Budget Bureau began drafting liquidation plans for OSS
and other war agencies, but initially the Bureau assumed that
liquidation could be stretched over a period of time sufficient to
preserve OSS's most valuable assets while the Office liquidated
functions and released personnel no longer needed in peacetime. On 27
or 28 August, however, the President or his principal "reconversion"
advisers--Budget Director Harold D. Smith, Special Counsel Samuel
Rosenman, and Director of War Mobilization and Reconversion John W.
Snyder--suddenly recommended dissolving OSS almost immediately.(13)
Bureau staffers had already conceived the idea of giving a part of OSS,
the Research and Analysis Branch (R&A), to the State Department as
"a going concern." The imminent dissolution of OSS meant that something
had to be done fast about the rest of the Office; someone in the Budget
Bureau (probably the Assistant Director for Administrative Management,
Donald C. Stone) quickly decided that the War Department could receive
the remainder of OSS "for salvage and liquidation.''(14) Stone told frustrated OSS officers on 29 August that important functions of the Office might survive:
stated that he felt that the secret and counterintelligence activities
of OSS should probably be continued at a fairly high level for probably
another year. He said he would support such a program.(15)
Snyder and Rosenman endorsedthe Budget Bureau's general plan for
intelligence reorganization and passed it to Truman on 4 September 1945.(16)
Donovan predictably exploded when he learned of the plan, but the
President ignored Donovan's protests, telling Harold Smith on 13
September to "recommend the dissolution of Donovan's outfit even if
Donovan did not like it."(17)
Within a week, the Budget Bureau had the requisite papers ready for the
President's signature. Executive Order 9621 on 20 September dissolved
OSS as of 1 October 1945, sending R&A to State and everything else
to the War Department. The Order also directed the Secretary of War to
liquidate OSS activities "whenever he deems it compatible with the
national interest."(18) That same day, Truman sent a letter of appreciation (drafted by Donald Stone) to General Donovan.(19)
The transfer of OSS's R&A Branch to the State Department, the
President told Donovan, marked "the beginning of the development of a
coordinated system of foreign intelligence within the permanent
framework of the Government." The President also implicitly repeated
Stone's earlier assurances to OSS, informing Donovan that the War
Department would maintain certain OSS components providing "services of
a military nature the need for which will continue for some time."(20)
OSS was through, but what would survive the wreck? The President
probably gave little thought to those necessary "services of a military
nature" that would somehow continue under War Department auspices.
Truman shared the widespread feeling that the government needed better
intelligence, although he provided little positive guidance on the
matter and said even less about intelligence collection (as opposed to
its collation). He commented to Budget Director Harold Smith in
September 1945 that he had in mind "a different kind of intelligence
service from what this country has had in the past," a "broad
intelligence service attached to the President's office."(21)
Later remarks clarified these comments slightly. Speaking to an
audience of CIA employees in 1952, Truman reminisced that, when he
first took office, there had been:
...no concentration of
information for the benefit of the President. Each Department and each
organization had its own information service, and that information
service was walled off from every other service.(22)
Truman's memoirs subsequently expanded on this point, explaining what was at stake:
have often thought that if there had been something like coordination
of information in the government it would have been more difficult, if
not impossible, for the Japanese to succeed in the sneak attack at
Pearl Harbor. In those days  the military did not know everything
the State Department knew, and the diplomats did not have access to all
the Army and Navy knew.(23)
John J. McCloy, Asst Secretary of War
These comments suggest that Truman viewed strategic warning as the
primary mission of his new intelligence establishment, and as a
function that had to be handled centrally. His remarks also suggest
that he innocently viewed intelligence analysis as largely a matter of
collation; the facts would speak for themselves, if only they could
only be gathered in one place. That is what he wanted his new
intelligence service to do.
The Budget Bureau itself had not proposed anything that
looked much clearer than the President's vague notions. Bureau staffers
wanted the State Department to serve as the President's "principal
staff agency" in developing "high-level intelligence," after taking the
lead in establishing the "integrated Government-wide Program.''(24)
At the same time, however, Budget Bureau officers wanted the
departments to continue to conduct their own intelligence functions,
rather than relegating this duty to "any single central agency." A
small interagency group, "under the leadership of the State
Department," could coordinate departmental intelligence operations.(25)
This proposed program rested on two assumptions that would soon be
tested: that the State Department was ready to take the lead, and that
the armed services were willing to follow.
In the meantime, Donovan fumed about the President's
decision yet again to Budget Bureau staffers who met with him on 22
September to arrange the details of the OSS's dissolution. An oversight
in the drafting of EO 9621 had left the originally proposed termination
date of 1 October unchanged in the final signed version, and now
Donovan had less than two weeks to dismantle his sprawling agency. One
official of the Budget Bureau subsequently suggested to Donald Stone
that the War Department might ease the transition by keeping its
portion of OSS functioning "for the time being," perhaps even with
Donovan in charge. Stone preferred someone other than Donovan for this
job and promised to discuss the idea with Assistant Secretary of War
John J. McCloy on 24 September.(26)
Two days later, McCloy stepped into the breach. He glimpsed an
opportunity to save OSS components as the nucleus of a peacetime
intelligence service. A friend of Donovan's, McCloy had long promoted
an improved national intelligence capability.(27)
He interpreted the President's directive as broadly as possible by
ordering OSS's Deputy Director for Intelligence, Brig. Gen. John
Magruder, to preserve his Secret Intelligence (SI) and Counterespionage
(X-2) Branches "as a going operation" in a new office that McCloy
dubbed the "Strategic Services Unit" (SSU):
This assignment of the OSS
activities...is a method of carrying out the desire of the President,
as indicated by representatives of the Bureau of the Budget, that these
facilities of OSS be examined over the next three months with a view to
determining their appropriate disposition. Obviously, this will demand
close liaison with the Bureau of the Budget, the State Department, and
other agencies of the War Department, to insure that the facilities and
assets of OSS are preserved for any possible future use....The
situation is one in which the facilities of an organization, normally
shrinking in size as a result of the end of fighting, must be preserved
so far as potentially of future usefulness to the country.(28)
The following day, the new Secretary of War, Robert P. Patterson,
confirmed this directive and implicitly endorsed McCloy's
interpretation, formally ordering Magruder to "preserve as a unit such of these functions and facilities as are valuable for permanent peacetime purposes" [emphasis added].(29)
With this order, Patterson postponed indefinitely any assimilation of
OSS's records and personnel into the War Department's G-2.
Brig. Gen. John Magruder, OSS Dep. Director
General Magruder soon had to explain this unorthodox arrangement to
sharp-eyed Congressmen and staff. Rep. Clarence Cannon, chairman of the
House Appropriations Committee, asked the general on 2 October about
the OSS contingents sent to the State and War Departments and the plans
for disposing of OSS's unspent funds (roughly $4.5 million). Magruder
explained that he did not quite know what State would do with R&A;
when Cannon asked about the War Department's contingent, the general
read aloud from the Secretary of War's order to preserve OSS's more
valuable functions "as a unit."(30)
Two weeks later, staffers from the House Military Affairs Committee
asked why the War Department suddenly needed both SSU and the G-2:
General Magruder explained
that he had no orders to liquidate OSS (other than, of course, those
functions without any peacetime significance) and that only the
Assistant Secretary of War [McCloy] could explain why OSS had been
absorbed into the War Department on the basis indicated. He said he
felt, however,...that the objective was to retain SSU intact until the
Secretary of State had surveyed the intelligence field and made
recommendations to the President.
staff implicitly conceded that the arrangement made sense, but hinted
that both SSU and the remnant of R&A in the State Department ought
to be "considerably reduced in size."(31)
Reducing SSU is just what was occupying the unit's new Executive Officer, Col. William W. Quinn:
orders that General Magruder received from the Secretary of War were
very simple. He was charged with preserving the intelligence assets
created and held by OSS during its existence and the disbandment of
paramilitary units, which included the 101 Detachment in Burma and
Southeast Asia and other forms of intelligence units, like the Jedburgh
teams, and morale operations, et cetera. My initial business was
primarily liquidation. The main problem was the discharge of literally
thousands of people. Consequently, the intelligence collection effort
more or less came to a standstill....(32)
Magruder did his best to sustain morale in the Unit, keeping his
deputies informed about high-level debates over "the holy cause of
central intelligence," as he jocularly dubbed it. He suggested
optimistically that SSU would survive its current exile:
In the meantime I can
assure you there is a great deal of serious thinking in high places
regarding the solution that will be made for OSS [SSU]. I hope it will
prove fruitful. There is a very serious movement under way to
reconstruct some of the more fortunate aspects of our work.(33)
Despite Magruder's and Quinn's efforts, the House of Representatives on
17 October lopped $2 million from the OSS terminal budget that SSU
shared with the Interim Research and Intelligence Service (IRIS), its
erstwhile sister branch now set in the Department of State. The cut
directly threatened both SSU and IRIS. The Truman administration
eventually convinced Congress to drop the House's recision and even
increase funding for both pieces of OSS, but not until after several
anxious weeks in SSU and the War Department.(34)
Institutional enemies closer to hand also seemed to threaten SSU's
independence that fall. Just before Thanksgiving, McCloy warned
Secretary Patterson that only "close supervision" could prevent the War
Department bureaucracy from taking "the course of least resistance by
merely putting [SSU] into what I think is a very unimaginative section
of G-2 and thus los[ing] a very valuable and necessary military asset."(35)
General Magruder told his lieutenants that SSU was quietly winning
friends in high places, but repeatedly reminded staffers of the need
for discretion, noting that "some people" did not like SSU "and the
less said about [the Unit] the better."(36)
Controversy and Compromise
McCloy (with Stone's help) had precipitated an inspired bureaucratic
initiative that would eventually expand the Truman administration's
options in creating a new intelligence establishment. Amid all the
subsequent interagency debates over the new intelligence establishment
that autumn, SSU preserved OSS's foreign intelligence assets for
eventual transfer to whichever agency received this responsibility. The
Truman administration waged a heated internal argument over which
powers to be given to the new central intelligence service. The
Secretaries of State, War, and Navy, who quickly agreed that they
should oversee the proposed office, stood together against rival plans
proposed by the Bureau of the Budget and the FBI. The Army and Navy,
however, would not accept the State Department's insistence that the
new office's director be selected by and accountable to the Secretary
of State. The armed services instead preferred a plan outlined by the
JCS back in September, which proposed lifting the new intelligence
agency outside the Cabinet departments by placing it under a proposed
National Intelligence Authority.(37)
President Truman and Sidney Souers
This was the plan that would soon settle the question of where to place
SSU. The JCS had been working on this plan for months, having been
spurred to action by Donovan's 1944 campaigning for a permanent
peacetime intelligence agency. In September, JCS Chairman William Leahy
had transmitted the plan (JCS 1181/5) to the Secretary of the Navy and
the Secretary of War, who sent it on to the State Department, where it
languished for several weeks. The plan proposed, among other things,
that a new "Central Intelligence Agency" should, among its duties,
...such services of common
concern as the National Intelligence Authority determines can be more
efficiently accomplished by a common agency, including the direct
procurement of intelligence.(38)
This artful ambiguity--"services of common concern"--meant espionage
and liaison with foreign intelligence services, the core of clandestine
foreign intelligence. Everyone involved with the draft knew this, but
no one in the administration or the military wanted to say such things
out loud; hence, the obfuscation.(39)
In any case, here was another function that the drafters of the JCS
plan felt had to be performed, or at least coordinated, ''centrally.''
In December 1945, an impatient President Truman asked to
see both the State Department and the JCS proposals and decided that
the latter looked simpler and more workable. This decision dashed the
Budget Bureau's original hope that the State Department would lead the
government's foreign intelligence program. Early in the new year,
Truman created the CIG, implementing what was in essence a modification
of the JCS 1181/5 proposal. He persuaded Capt. (soon to be Rear
Admiral) Sidney Souers, the Assistant Chief of Naval Intelligence and a
friend of Navy Secretary Forrestal (and Presidential aide Clark
Clifford) who had advised the White House on the intelligence debate,
to serve for a few months as the first DCI.(40)The
CIG formally came into being with the President's directive of 22
January 1946. Cribbing text from JCS 1181/5, the President authorized
...perform, for the benefit
of said intelligence agencies, such services of common concern as the
National Intelligence Authority determines can be more efficiently
Here was the loaded phrase "services of common concern" again, only
this time the telltale clause "including the direct procurement of
intelligence" had discreetly disappeared. (With minor editing, the
phrase would appear yet again in the CIA's enabling legislation, the
National Security Act of 1947.)
Two days later, on 24 January, Truman invited Admiral
Souers to the White House to award him his black cape and wooden
dagger. Thanks in part to McCloy's order to preserve OSS's SI and X-2
Branches, the "cloak and dagger" capability--the "services of common
concern" mentioned in the President's directive--was waiting in the War
Department for transfer to the new CIG. General Magruder quietly
applauded Souers's appointment as DCI, explaining to his deputies that
SSU might soon be moving:
With respect to SSU, we and
the War Department are thinking along the same lines: that at such time
as the Director [of Central Intelligence] is ready to start operating,
this Unit, its activities, personnel, and facilities will become
available to the Director, but as you know, the intent of the
President's [22 January] directive was to avoid setting up an
independent agency. Therefore, the Central Intelligence Group,
purposely called the Group, will utilize the facilities of several
Departments. This Unit will become something in the way of a
contribution furnished by the War Department.(42)
Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy had saved the foreign
intelligence core of OSS in the SSU; all that was required was for the
National Intelligence Authority to approve a method for transferring
it. This the NIA did at its third meeting, on 2 April 1946.(43)
The actual transfer of SSU personnel began almost as soon as CIG had
acquired a new DCI, Lt. Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, in June 1946.
Vandenberg a month later was able to report matter of factly to the
National Intelligence Authority that the tiny CIG had begun to take
over "all clandestine foreign intelligence activities," meaning the
much larger SSU. At that same meeting, Admiral Leahy also reminded
participants (in a different context) that "it was always understood
that CIG eventually would broaden its scope.(44)
From Small Beginnings
An eminent historian once remarked that the crowning achievement of
historical research is to attain an understanding of how things do not
happen. To put it simply, history rarely offers up tidy events and
clear motivations. President Truman did not follow a neat plan in
founding the CIG. He implicitly imposed two broad requirements on his
advisers and departments in the fall of 1945: to create a structure
that could collate the best intelligence held by the various
departments, and to make that structure operate, at least initially, on
funds derived from the established agencies. Indeed, the friction and
waste in the process that resulted from this vague guidance prompted
complaints that the President had acted rashly in dissolving OSS and
ignoring the advice of intelligence professionals like Donovan.
In the fall of 1945, the President vaguely wanted a new
kind of centralized intelligence service, but his Cabinet departments
and existing services knew fairly specifically what kinds of central
intelligence they did not want.
Between these two realities lay the gray area in which the CIG was
founded and grew in 1946. Truman always took credit for assigning CIG
the task of providing timely strategic warning and guarding against
another Pearl Harbor. CIG acquired its second mission--the conduct of
clandestine activities abroad--in large part through the foresight of
Donald Stone and John J. McCloy. These two appointees ensured that
trained OSS personnel stayed together as a unit ready to join the new
peacetime intelligence service. Within months of its creation, CIG had
become the nation's primary agency for strategic warning and the
management of clandestine activities abroad, and within two years the
Group would bequeath both missions to its successor, the CIA.
The relationship--and tension--between the two missions
(strategic warning and clandestine activities) formed the central
dynamic in the unfolding early history of CIA. Many officials thought
the two should be handled ''centrally'', although not necessarily by a
single agency. That they ultimately were combined under one
organization (CIG and then CIA) was due largely to the efforts of
McCloy and Magruder. Nevertheless, it is clear from the history of the
SSU that high-level Truman administration officials acted with the
tacit assent of the White House in preserving OSS's most valuable
components to become the nucleus of the nation's foreign intelligence
capability. The President's actions do not deserve the charge of
incompetence that has been leveled against them, but it does seem
justified to conclude that Truman's military advisers deserve most of
the credit for the creation of a CIG that could collect as well as
collate foreign intelligence.
Diary of William D. Leahy, 24 January 1946, Library of Congress.
Admiral Leahy was simultaneously designated the President's
representative to the new, four-member National Intelligence Authority
(CIG's oversight body). The other members were the Secretaries of
State, War, and Navy.
A recent unclassified statement to CIA employees entitled ''Vision,
Mission, and Values of the Central Intelligence Agency'' identified the
following as CIA's basic missions:''
We support the President, the National Security Council, and all who make and execute US national security policy by:
Providing accurate, evidence-based comprehensive and timely foreign intelligence related to national security; and
Conducting counterintelligence activities, special activities, and
other functions related to foreign intelligence and national security
as directed by the President.''
Several authors describe the founding and institutional arrangements of
CIG. Three CIA officers had wide access to the relevant records in
writing their accounts; see Arthur B. Darling, The Central Intelligence Agency: An Instrument of Government, to 1950 (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1990); Thomas F. Troy, Donovan and the CIA: A History of the Establishment of the Central Intelligence Agency (Washington, DC: CIA Center for the Study of Intelligence, 1981); and Ludwell Lee Montague, General Walter Bedell Smith as Director of Central Intelligence: October 1950-February 1953 (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992), pp. 15-35. See also Bradley F. Smith, The Shadow Warriors: OSS and the Origins of the CIA (New York: Basic Books, 1983). B. Nelson MacPherson offers thoughtful commentary in "CIA Origins as Viewed from Within," Intelligence and National Security, 10 April 1995, pp. 353-359.
(4) Donovan's "Memorandum for the President," 18 November 1944, is reprinted in Troy, Donovan and the CIA, pp. 445-447.
(5) Richard Dunlop, Donovan: America's Master Spy (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1982), pp. 467-468. See also Troy, Donovan and the CIA, p. 267.
(6) Clark Clifford, it bears noting, played little if any role in the dissolution of OSS; see Counsel to the President: A Memoir (New
York: Random House, 1991, p. 165). William R. Corson calls the affair a
"sorry display of presidential bad manners and shortsightedness"; The Armies of Ignorance: The Rise of the American Intelligence Empire (New York: Dial Press, 1977), p. 247.
The Bureau of the Budget had warned Donovan in September 1944 that OSS
would be treated as a war agency to be liquidated after the end of
hostilities. See Troy, Donovan and the CIA, pp. 219-220.
(8) The legislation was titled the "Independent Offices Appropriation Act of 1945," Public Law 358, 78th Congress, Second Session.
(9) For an indication of the mixed Congressional attitudes toward OSS, see Smith, The Shadow Warriors, pp. 404-405.
The Park report resides in the Rose A. Conway Files at the Harry S.
Truman Library, ''OSS/Donovan'' folder; see especially pp. 1-3 and
Appendix III. Thomas F. Troy has pointed to strong similarities between
the Park report and Walter Trohan's ''Gestapo'' stories in the Chicago Tribune; see Donovan and the CIA, pp. 267, 282.
(11) Montague, General Walter Bedell Smith, pp. 19-21. For more on Donovan's refusal to compromise, see Troy, Donovan and the CIA, pp. 270-271.
George F. Schwarzwalder, Division of Administrative Management, Bureau
of the Budget, project completion report, "Intelligence and Internal
Security Program of the Government" [Project 217], 28 November 1947,
National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 51 (Bureau
of the Budget), Series 39.35, "Progress Reports," Box 181, p. 5.
George Schwarzwalder recorded several years later that the Budget
Bureau learned on 24 August that OSS would be dissolved; see his 1947
progress report on Project 217, cited above, p. 9.
Donald C. Stone, Assistant Director for Administrative Management,
Bureau of the Budget, to Harold Smith, Director, "Termination of the
Office of Strategic Services and the Transfer of its Activities to the
State and War Departments," 27 August 1945, reproduced in C. Thomas
Thorne, Jr. and David S. Patterson, editors Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment, US Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States series (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1996), pp. 22-23. Hereinafter cited as FRUS.
G.E. Ramsey, Jr., Bureau of the Budget, to Deputy Comptroller
McCandless, "Conference on OSS with Don Stone and OSS representatives,
Aug. 29," 29 August 1945, National Archives and Records Administration,
Record Group 51 (Bureau of the Budget), Series 39.19, "OSS Organization
and Functions," Box 67.
Smith, Rosenman, and Snyder to Truman, "Termination of the Office of
Strategic Services and the Transfer of its Activities to the State and
War Departments," 4 September 1945, Official File, Papers of Harry S.
Truman, Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, Missouri.
The quoted phrase comes from Harold Smith's office diary for 13
September 1945, in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, Hyde
Park, New York.
(18) Executive Order 9621, 20 September 1945, FRUS pp. 44-46
(19) Stone's authorship is noted in Corson, Armies of Ignorance, p. 246.
(20) Harry S. Truman to William J. Donovan, 20 September 1945; Document 4 in Michael Warner, The CIA under Harry Truman (Washington, DC: CIA, 1994) p. 15. See also Troy, Donovan and the CIA, pp. 302-303.
(21) Harold Smith's office diary entries for 13 and 20 September 1945, Roosevelt Library.
(22) Truman's speech is reprinted as Document 81 in Warner, The CIA under Harry Truman, p. 471.
(23) Harry S. Truman, Memoirs, Volume II, Years of Trial and Hope (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1956), p. 56.
(24) Quoted phrases are in Snyder, Rosenman, and Smith to Truman, 4 September 1945.
Harold D. Smith to Harry S. Truman, "Transfer of Functions of the
Office of Strategic Services," 18 September 1945, Official File, Papers
of Harry S. Truman, Harry S. Truman Library.
(26) G.E. Ramsey, Jr., Bureau of the Budget, to the Assistant Director for Estimates, Bureau of the Budget, "Disposition of OSS," 24 September 1945, FRUS, pp. 51-52.
(27) For McCloy's advocacy of a centralized intelligence capability, see Kai Bird, The Chairman: John J. McCloy, the Making of the American Establishment (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992), pp. 129-130.
John J. McCloy to John Magruder, OSS, "Transfer of OSS Personnel and
Activities to the War Department and Creation of Strategic Services
Unit," 26 September 1945, FRUS, pp 235-236.
Robert P. Patterson to John Magruder, 27 September 1945, National
Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 319 (Army
Intelligence), Decimal File 1941-48, 334 OSS, box 649, "Strategic
Services Unit" folder.
US House of Representatives, House Appropriations Committee, "First
Supplemental Surplus Appropriation Recision Bill, 1946," 79th Cong.,
First Sess., 1945, pp. 615-625.
John R. Schoemer, Jr., Acting General Counsel, Strategic Services Unit,
memorandum for the record, "Conference with representatives of House
Military Affairs Committee," 19 October 1945, CIA History Staff
HS/CSG-1400, item 14, unclassified.
(32) William W. Quinn, Buffalo Bill Remembers: Truth and Courage (Fowlerville, MI: Wilderness Adventure Books, 1991), p. 240.
SSU Staff Meeting Minutes, 23 October 1945, National Archives and
Records Administration, Record Group 226 (OSS), Entry 190,
WASH-DIR-OP-266 (microfilm M1642), Roll 112, folder 1268. General
Magruder made his "holy cause" quip at the 29 November meeting.
SSU Staff Meeting Minutes for 19 October, 30 October, and 20 December
1945. Harry S. Truman to Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House of
Representatives, 7 November 1945, reprinted in US House of
Representatives, "House Miscellaneous Documents II," 79th Cong., 1st
Sess., serial set volume 10970, document 372, with attached letter from
Harold D. Smith, Director of the Bureau of the Budget, to President
Truman, dated 6 November 1945. First Supplemental Surplus Appropriation
Recession Act, 1946, Public Law 79-301, Title 1, 60 Stat. 6, 7, (1946).
McCloy to Patterson, "Central Intelligence Agency," 13 November 1945,
National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 107 (War
Department), Entry 180, Files of the Assistant Secretary of War, box 5,
(36) SSU Staff Meeting Minutes for 1 November, 6 November, and 29 November 1945.
(37) Troy, Donovan and the CIA, pp. 297-300, 315, 322.
JCS 1181/5 is attached to William D. Leahy, memorandum for the
Secretary of War and Secretary of the Navy, "Establishment of a central
intelligence service upon liquidation of OSS," 19 September 1945;
Document 2 in Warner, The CIA under Harry Truman, p. 5.
The term "services of common concern" apparently originated with OSS's
General Magruder and was adopted by a JCS study group; Troy, Donovan and the CIA, p. 233.
(40) Truman, Memoirs, pp. 55-58. See also William Henhoeffer and James Hanrahan, "Notes on the Early DCIs," Studies in Intelligence (spring 1989), p. 29; also Clifford, Counsel to the President, p. 166.
(41) President Truman to the Secretaries of State, War, and Navy, 22 January 1946; FRUS, pp. 179-179
(42) SSU Staff Meeting Minutes, 29 January 1946; Magruder praised Souers's appointment at the 24 January meeting.
National Intelligence Authority, minutes of the NIA's third meeting, 2
April 1946, CIA History Staff HS/HC-245, National Archives and Records
Administration, Record Group 263 (CIA), History Staff Source
(44) National Intelligence Authority, minutes of the NIA's fourth meeting, 17 July 1946; Document 13 in Warner, The CIA under Harry Truman, pp. 56-59.
Michael Warner is on CIA's History Staff.