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December 15, 2016
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December 4, 2003
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Approved For 2003/12/09: CIA-RDP83-0076480000300097 MEMORANDUM FOR . Deputy Director for Intelligence Deputy Director for Plans Deputy Director for Science & Technology Deputy Director for Support SUBJECT Archives, Historym and Records 1. Considerable study and discussion has taken place of the Agency Historical Program, and the Records Management and Archives Programs. This memorandum will outline a basic approach to the interrelationship of these three subjects in-an effort to improve the Agency's performance in all these fields. 2. In essence, the three subjects all record our experience to make it available for future use as required. This use includes file searches for current operational support, briefing and training new personnel, answering press or Congressional questions as to the Agency's role in earlier events; etc. The problem is to design a system which will satisfactorily answer the needs of the future in these fields with a minimum expenditure of man hours and funds at present. In these days o~ declining personnel ceilings, we obviously cannot dedicate large amounts of current manpower to making imme- diately available detailed answers to all contingent questions. On the other hand, some records have direct value to future operations and certainly our need to handle press or' Congressional questions warns us of the need to devote an appropriate effort in this direction. 3. In our approach to this problem in this internally compart- mented Agency, it is essential to decentralize much of the responsibil- ity and most of the actual effort. At the same time, this decentraliza- tion needs to be matched by a reporting system which will indicate the degree to which minimum standards are met by all units, and a mecha- nism by which units can profit by interchange of experience and by shar- ing solutions. 4. In our analysis, we must clearly recognize different kinds of records material and the different purposes we expect them to serve. Some of our records are important basic reference tools, e. g. , CI, files. ,Approved For Release 2003/12/09 : CIA-RDP83-00764R000400030009-7 Approved For Reese 2003/12/09 : CIA-RDP83-00764RDW400030009-7 ;:~, ~;;i. c), the A,;cncy piartiCjpation in any (,r,(; anti\'ity. 1i1w'1'C will lie occa;;1Gn;; also when i;cri:,iti'/ity:hill roc;uirc that any analytical review of an operation 1 e con- ducted in a most restricted fashion. This will apply to many Clandestine Services histories. Priority will be given to establishing the basic Agency history'of the more prominent operations and activities in which the Agency has been engaged, c. g. , Cuban Missile Crisis, Bay of Pigs, War in Vietnam,, War in Laos, Congo Operations, U-2 Operations, etc. , with particular attention to lessons derived from these experiences and establishing a convenient method of immediate response to public or congressional inquiries on these prominent events. Histories will in the future depend upon the Annual Reports; for much raw material and identification of key documents through the Archives Program. The Agency Historian will be an ex-officio member of the Records Management. Board, will report directly to the Executive Director, and will work in close coordination with the Agency Archivist ,end the Agency Records Management Officer. 6. Interim Period. In many areas it will be essential to produce one-time reports to cover the years from 1965 (or the most recent history) to the current Annual Report. This will be undertaken by each unit identified to submit future Annual Reports. In those situations in which an over-all Agency history to be produced will cover the period in question, a separate Annual Report need not be developed, (e. g. , the War in Laos, the War in Vietnam), as the necessary chronicle and Archives can be developed at the same time as the analytical history. In other cases, however, a one-time effort to catch up to the current annual report system will be necessary and this \ will be undertaken by the unit in question. This activity will be er- vised by the Agency Historian and Archivist. W. E. Colby Executive Director-Comptroller Approved For Release 2003/12/09 : CIA-RDP83 00764R000400030009-7 Approved Fq&Release 2003/FF2kk91fdIAI-RDP83-007000400030009-7 MEMORANDUM FOR: Deputy Director for Plans SUBJECT Comments on the Executive Director- Comptroller's Memorandum, undated, Subject: Archives, History, and Records 1. The following are the main points in Mr.Colby's memorandum which affect the CS historical program, together with comment on each point: a. Office or organizational histories are no longer to be the main focus of the Agency historical program. Comment: This is in accordance with the views of the CS Historical Board. The total listing of published CS'histories shows a preponderance of non-organizational studies. Area divisions, however, tend to focus on station histories and find them most useful. The CS should continue efforts to complete work under way on OPC, OSO, and DDP histories. Of the staffs and divisions, SB, AF, WH, and CCS have published or completed drafts of their overall histories. Most of . the major station histories are only partially written or not started. We would need a judgment from the CSHB and the DDP as to which, if any, of the uncompleted staff, division and major stations histories should be continued in the program. We continue to believe that, where divisions, such as AF, WH and FE, are inclined to continue preparation of station histories without an additional T/O or budget, they should be encouraged to do so. b. Future histories will cover major Agency activity and analyze the contributions of various Agency elements to overall Agency operations. Thus: The Cuban Missile Crisis, The Bay of Pigs, The Vietnam War, The War in. Laos, Congo Operations and U-2 Operations. Approved For Release 2003/1,S/r-DP83-00764R000400030009-7 Approved ForRoIease 2003/12/09,', CJkA Ri'P83-0076448 00400030009-7 25X1 C Continent : Of the titles cited above, NPIC has published a paper on the Cuban missile crisis; WH, 0 and DDS/OL have published papers on the Bay of Pigs; FE, 0 TSD, and DDS/OL have published twenty some odd papers on various aspects of the Vietnam war )ublished what is very goo paper on U-2 operations. More comprehensive Agency papers on these and other major operational programs might in some instances be useful but in others would not appear to be justified. c. Some histories will involve a single element of the Agency. Analytical reviews of highly sensitive operations will be conducted in a most restricted fashion. This will apply to many CS histories. Comment: The DDS is involved in practically every CS operational program of any size or significance. Communications, Finance, Logistics, and Training most frequently provide support. Histories prepared and controlled by the DDS often describe CS operations in detail. The statement that "reviews of highly sensitive operations will be conducted in a most restrict- ed fashion:" presumably means that access will be appropriately controlled, and that the CS will continue to exercise control over sensitive CS information. d. In the future there will be an emphasis on annual reports to provide chronicles of Agency activity. The PPB and the deputy directors will formulate and direct the reporting procedure. Comment: We see no problem here. It would be useful, however, to know which units are to be called on to submit these annual reports, and what they will cover. 25X1 25X1 C Approved For Release 2003/DP83-00764R000400030009-7 Approved For Release 2003/12/09: CIA-RDP83-007000400030009-7 .. SJ CR e. Catch-up histories will be written bringing unit chronicles up to the beginning of the annual reporting system. The Agency historian and the Agency archivist will super- vist the filling in of these gaps in unit historical records. Comment: Does this mean direct and detailed involvement of the Chief, CIA Historical Staff in the management of the CS historical program, as during the past two years? If so, the in- cumbent should be carefully chosen and bring to the position a good understanding of CIA and CS structures, policies, and problems, in addition to scholarly qualifications. f. The histories will serve to provide a convenient method of immediate response to public or congressional queries. Comment: This has always been among the potential and intended uses of the histories, when such use is properly cleared and authorized. From the CS point of view, however, it is secondary to other intended uses. The CS historical papers are primarily intended (1) to brief CIA and CS management and operational personnel; (2) for use in training CS operations officers; and (3) for other miscellaneous uses within the CS and, as appropriate, within the Agency as a whole. The concept that the papers are primarily a source of information for answers to public and congressional queries would severely inhibit the preparation of CS histories and would result in the dilution of significant information from the drafts submitted for publication. 2. There are several other points which will probably be clarified in due course. Who will determine the.content and scheduling of the continuing CS historical program? Who will pass on the acceptability of draft Approved For Release 2003/ 9':iCI ' DP83-00764R000400030009-7 Approved Fctelease 2003/1 2(Op:;Ik; fDP83-0076'000400030009-7 histories and other historical papers for inclusion in the CSHP series? How will access to consolidated analytical papers be controlled to protect sensitive CS information? Who will determine what information is to be released to members of Congress, and to the press? To what extent will we be able to rehire annuitants to write histories, etc.? 25X1A9A Executive Secretary CS Historical Board Approved For Release 2003/1 Jff DP83-00764R000400030009-7