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Historical Intelligence Documents: From COI to CIG

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From COI to CIG

HISTORICAL INTELLIGENCE DOCUMENTS

Editor's Note: With this edition, Studies in Intelligence inaugurates a series of reprints of important documents that help illustrate the evolution of the CIA. The following documents chronicle presidential decisions leading to the eventual creation of the Agency.

 

Document 1

Presidential Order establishing a Coordinator of Information (COI) on 11 July 1941.

In the summer of 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed William J. Donovan as COI to collect and analyze intelligence information for senior policymakers. Donovan reported directly to the President.

 

Document 2

Roosevelt's Military Order of 13 June 1942 creating the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).

The order replaced the COI with the OSS and placed it under the direction of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Donovan remained as Director of the new OSS.

 

Document 3

Roosevelt administration press release announcing the creation of the OSS on 13 June 1942.

 

In announcing the creation of the Office of War Information, the press release stated that the OSS was to continue to collect and analyze intelligence information for senior policymakers.

 

Document 4

Executive Order 9621 of 20 September 1945 abolishing the OSS.

At the end of World War II, President Harry S. Truman ordered the termination of the OSS on 1 October 1945. At the same time, he transferred several of its functions to other departments. He relocated the Research and Analysis Branch in the Department of State and transferred to the War Department the Secret Intelligence and Counterintelligence Branches which became the Strategic Services Unit.

 

Document 5

Presidential Directive of 22 January 1946 establishing the Central Intelligence Group (CIG).

After a considerable policy debate about the nature of future US intelligence, President Truman established the interdepartmental CIG. Responsible for coordination, planning, evaluation, and dissemination of intelligence, CIG was headed by a Director of Central Intelligence appointed by the President. Reflecting the views of the various established intelligence components, the directive ensured that the State Department and military services retained their independent capabilities and autonomy in the intelligence field.

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DESIGNATING A COORDINATOR OF INFORMATION

Document 1

By virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States and as Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, it is ordered as follows:

1. There is hereby established the position of Coordinator of Information, with authority to collect and analyze all information and data, which may bear upon national security; to correlate such information and dates and to make such information and data available to the President and to such departments and officials of the Government as the President may determine; and to carry out, when requested by the President, such supplementary activities as may facilitate the securing of information important for national security not now available to the Government.

2. The several departments and agencies of the Government shall make available to the Coordinator of Information all and any such information and data relating to national security as the Coordinators with the approval of the Presidents may from time to time request.

3. The Coordinator of Information may appoint such committees, consisting of appropriate representatives of the various departments and agencies of the Government, as he may deem necessary to assist him in the performance of his functions.

4. Nothing in the duties end responsibilities of the Coordinator of Information shall in any way interfere with or impair the duties and responsibilities of the regular military and naval advisers of the President as Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy.

5. Within the limits of such funds as may be allocated to the Coordinator of Information by the President, the Coordinator may employ necessary personnel and make provision for the necessary supplies, facilities, and services.

6. William J. Donovan is hereby designated as Coordinator of Information.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

The White House,
July 11, 1941.

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MILITARY ORDER

Document 2

By virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States and as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, it is ordered as follows:

1. The office of Coordinator of Information established by Order of July 11, 1941, exclusive of the foreign information activities transferred to the Office of War Information by Executive Order of June 13, 1942, shall hereafter be known as the Office of Strategic Services, and is hereby transferred to the jurisdiction of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff.

2. The Office of Strategic Services shall perform the following duties:

a. Collect end analyze such strategic information as may be required by the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff.

b. Plan and operate such special services as may be directed by the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff.

3. At the head of the Office of Strategic Services shall be a Director of Strategic Services who shall be appointed by the President and who shall perform his duties under the direction and supervision of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff.

4. William J. Donovan is hereby appointed as Director of Strategic Services.

5. The Order of July 11, 1941 is hereby revoked.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Commander-in-Chief

The White House,
June 13, 1942

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HOLD FOR RELEASE

Document 3

The following statement is for release to editions of all newspapers appearing on the streets NOT EARLIER THAN 8:30 p.m., E.W.T., Saturday, June 13, 1942.

The same release also applies to radio announcers and news commentators.

Care must be exercised to prevent premature publication.

Stephen Early Secretary to the President

The President today signed an Executive Order consolidating in one new agency the information functions of the Government — foreign and domestic.

The new agency will be known as the Office of War Information. It will be divided into two main divisions. The first will deal with the dissemination of information within the United States. The second will deal with the dissemination of information in all foreign countries, except Latin America.

Into the new agency will be consolidated all of the functions and duties of the following existing informational agencies: the Office of Facts and Figures; the Office of Government Reports; the Division of Information in the Office for Emergency Management; the Foreign Information Service of the office of the Coordinator of Information.

In addition, the Director of the new Office of War Information will have authority, subject to policies laid down by the President, to issue directives to all departments and agencies of the Government with respect to their informational services. He will have full authority to eliminate all overlapping and duplication and to discontinue in any department any informational activity which is not necessary or useful to the war effort.

While the actual information service of the different departments and the agencies will continue to remain with such departments and agencies, their informational activities must conform to the directives issued by the Director of the Office of War Information.

The existing Office of Coordinator of Information (exclusive of the Foreign Information Service) is being transferred to the Joint Chiefs of Staff to operate directly under their supervision. Its name is being changed to the Office of Strategic Services, and it will continue to perform its functions of collecting secret and strategic information in foreign countries and performing general miscellaneous strategic services abroad, other than the dissemination of information by radio, leaflets, etc. These information functions in foreign countries will become part of the functions of the new agency — the Office of War Information; and the appropriate staff will be transferred to the new agency for this purpose.

To assist the Director of the Office of War Information, a Committee on War Information Policy will be established. The Director will be the Chairman of this committee; other members of the committee are set forth in the Executive Order. This committee will formulate basic policies and plans on war information; but the Director, after consultation with such committee, will have full power as the executive head of the new agency.

The Director of the new Office of War Information will be Mr. Elmer Davis. An administrative officer to serve under Mr. Davis will be designated. Mr. William J. Donovan will serve as the head of the new Office of Strategic Services, reporting only to the combined Chiefs of Staff and to the President.

The information service for Latin America will continue to be handled by the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs.

The Executive Order prescribes close collaboration between The Director of Censorship, Mr. Byron Price, and the Director of the new Agency, for the purpose of facilitating the prompt and full dissemination of all available information which will not give aid to the enemy.

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EXECUTIVE ORDER

TERMINATION OF THE OFFICE OF STRATEGIC SERVICES AND DISPOSITION OF ITS FUNCTIONS

Document 4

 

By virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes, including Title I of the First War Powers Act, 1941, and as President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the Army and the Navy, it is hereby ordered as follows:

1. There are transferred to and consolidated in an Interim Research and Intelligence Service, which is hereby established in the Department of State, (a) the functions of the Research and Analysis Branch and of the Presentation Branch of the Office of Strategic Services (provided for by the Military Order of June 13, 1942), excluding such functions performed within the countries of Germany " Austria, and (b) those other functions of the office of Strategic Services (hereinafter referred to as the Office) which relate to the functions of the said Branches transferred by this paragraph. The functions of the Director of Strategic Services and of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, relating to the functions transferred to the Service by this paragraph, are transferred to the Secretary of State. The personnel, property, and records of the said Branches, except such thereof as is located in Germany and Austria, and so much of the other personnel, property, and records of the office and of the funds of the Office as the Director of the Bureau of the Budget shall determine to relate primarily to the functions transferred by this paragraph, are transferred to the said Service. Military personnel now on duty in connection with the activities transferred by this paragraph may, subject to applicable law and to the extent mutually agreeable to the Secretary of State and to the Secretary of War or the Secretary of the Navy, as the case may be, continue on such duty in the Department of State.

2. The Interim Research and Intelligence Service shall be abolished as of the close of business December 31, 1945, and the Secretary of State shall provide for winding up its affairs. Pending such abolition, (a) the Secretary of State may transfer from the said Service to such agencies of the Department of State as he shall designate any function of the Service, (b) the Secretary may curtail the activities carried on by the Service, (c) the head of the Service, who shall be designated by the Secretary, shall be responsible to the Secretary or to such other officer of the Department of State as the Secretary shall direct, and (d) the Service shall, except as otherwise provided in this order, be administered as an organizational entity in the Department of State.

3. All functions of the Office not transferred by paragraph 1 of this order, together with all personnel, records, property, and funds of the office not so transferred, are transferred to the Department of War; and the Office, including the office of the Director of Strategic Services, is terminated. The functions of the Director of Strategic Services and of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, relating to the functions transferred by this paragraph, are transferred to the Secretary of Year. Naval personnel on duty with the office it connection with the activities transferred by this paragraph may, subject to applicable law and to the extent mutually agreeable to the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy, continue on such duty in the Department of Year. The Secretary of War shall, whenever he deems it compatible with the national interest, discontinue any activity transferred by this paragraph and wind up all affairs relating thereto.

4. Such further measures and dispositions as may be determined by the Director of the Bureau of the Budget to be necessary to effectuate the transfer or redistribution of functions provided for in this order shall be carried out in such manner as the Director may direct and by such agencies as he may designate.

5. All provisions of prior orders of the President which are in conflict with this order are amended accordingly.

6. This order shall, except as otherwise specifically provided, be effective as of the opening of business October 1, 1945.

Harry Truman

THE WHITE HOUSE,
September 20, 1945

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THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON

Document 5

To The Secretary of State, The Secretary of War, and The Secretary of the Navy.

1. It is my desire, and I hereby direct, that all Federal foreign intelligence activities be planned, developed and coordinated so as to assure the most effective accomplishment of the intelligence mission related to the national security. I hereby designate you, together with another person to be named by me as my personal representative, as the National Intelligence Authority to accomplish this purpose.

2. Within the limits of available appropriations, you shall each from time to time assign persons and facilities from your respective Departments, which persons shall collectively form a Central Intelligence Croup and shall, under the direction of a Director of Central Intelligence, assist the National Intelligence Authority. The Director of Central Intelligence shall be designated by me, shall be responsible to the National Intelligence Authority, and shall sit as a non-voting member thereof.

3. Subject to the existing law, and to the direction and control of the National Intelligence Authority, the Director of Central Intelligence shall:

a. Accomplish the correlation and evaluation of intelligence relating to the national security, and the appropriate dissemination within the Government of the resulting strategic and national policy intelligence. In so doing, full use shall be made of the staff and facilities of the intelligence agencies of your Departments.

b. Plan for the coordination of such of the activities of the intelligence agencies of your Departments as relate to the national security and recommend to the National Intelligence Authority the establishment of such over-all policies and objectives as will assure the most effective accomplishment of the national intelligence mission.

c. Perform, for the benefit of said intelligence agencies, such services of common concern as the National Intelligence authority determines can be more efficiently accomplished centrally.

d. Perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security as the President and the National Intelligence Authority may from time to time direct.

4. No police, law enforcement or internal security functions shall be exercised under this directive.

5. Such intelligence received by the intelligence agencies of your Departments as may be designated by the National Intelligence Authority shall be freely available to the Director of Central Intelligence for correlation, evaluation or dissemination. To the extent approved by the National Intelligence Authority, the operations of said intelligence agencies shall be open to inspection by the Director of Central Intelligence in connection with planning functions.

6. The existing intelligence agencies of your Departments shall continue to collect, evaluate, correlate and disseminate departmental intelligence.

7. The Director of Central Intelligence shall be advised by an Intelligence Advisory Board consisting of the heads (or their representatives) of the principal military and civilian intelligence agencies of the Government having functions related to national security, as determined by the National Intelligence Authority.

8. Within the scope of existing law and Presidential directives, other departments and agencies of the executive branch of the Federal Government shall furnish such intelligence information relating to the national security as is in their possession, and as the Director of Central Intelligence may from time to time request pursuant to regulations of the National Intelligence Authority.

9. Nothing herein shall be construed to authorize the making of investigations inside the continental limits of the United States and its possessions, except as provided by law and Presidential directives.

10. In the conduct of their activities the National Intelligence Authority and the Director of Central Intelligence shall be responsible for fully protecting intelligence sources and methods.

Sincerely yours,

Harry Truman

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Historical Document
Posted: May 08, 2007 08:53 AM
Last Updated: Aug 04, 2011 08:40 AM