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Vandenberg as DCI

CONFIDENTIAL

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Latin America
As his lieutenants were negotiating XXXXXXXXXXXX General Vandenberg himself undertook to settle with J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI the matter of operations in this hemisphere. OSS had been excluded from operating in the western hemisphere and the area reserved for the FBI on the grounds that the primary concern there had been protection of the United States against subversive activities. It was a field for counterespionage and security intelligence. XXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX Counterespionage was thought of as a defensive measure quite distinct from aggressive positive intelligence, a safety device rather than a weapon of attack.   To those accustomed to think of it in such terms, counterespionage or security intelligence should continue to be the business of the FBI, especially in geographical areas where it already had agents established.
General Vandenberg did not think so.   It was his conviction that he could not do his job as head of the national intelligence agency if other organizations were engaged in the same work. One was likely to expose the other. Hitler's system of intelligence had been easy to penetrate, he believed, because the parts of it so often interfered with each other.   Either he or Hoover should withdraw from the field, and since the fifth NIA directive had assigned the DCI all organized federal espionage and counterespionage abroad, the Bureau should give way.
Mr. Hoover yielded to the request that the Bureau withdraw from Latin America. It would confine its activities to security intelligence within the United States and possessions, in line with the fifth directive of the National Intelligence Authority issued on July 8. In order to insure continuity in the takeover the NIA, meeting on August 7 with Acting Secretary of State Dean Acheson in the chair, decided that a letter should be sent to the Attorney General asking him to keep the personnel of the Bureau on duty in Latin America until replaced by CIG representatives, and such a letter went out over the signatures of the four NIA members.   Hoover complied, insisting only that CIG could not employ the Bureau's Latin American staff.

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Posted: May 08, 2007 08:18 AM
Last Updated: Aug 05, 2011 01:56 PM