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Donovan's Original Marching Orders

Coordinator of Information (COI), 1942, establishment of,
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CONFIDENTIAL

Donovan

But there is another element in modern warfare, and that is the psychological attack against the moral and spiritual defenses of a nation. In this attack the most powerful weapon is radio. The use of radio as a weapon, though effectively employed by Germany, is still to be perfected. But this perfection can be realized only by planning, and planning is dependent upon accurate information. From this information action could be carried out by appropriate agencies.
The mechanism of this service to the various departments should be under the direction of a Coordinator of Strategic Information who would be responsible directly to the President. This Coordinator could be assisted by an advisory panel consisting of the Director of FBI, the Directors of the Army and Navy Intelligence Service, with corresponding officials from other governmental departments principally concerned.
The attached chart shows the allocation of and the interrelation between the general duties to be discharged under the appropriate directors. Much of the personnel would be drawn from the Army and Navy and other departments of the government, and it will be seen from the chart that the proposed centralized unit will neither displace nor encroach upon the FBI, Army and Navy Intelligence, or any other department of the government.
The basic purpose of this Service of Strategic Information is to constitute a means by which the President, as Commander-in-Chief, and his Strategic Board would have available accurate and complete enemy intelligence reports upon which military operational decisions could be based.
William J. Donovan
Washington, D.C. June 10, 1941
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Posted: May 08, 2007 08:38 AM
Last Updated: Aug 11, 2011 01:32 PM