Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
Release Decision: 
Original Classification: 
Document Page Count: 
Document Creation Date: 
December 9, 2016
Document Release Date: 
November 8, 2000
Sequence Number: 
Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
June 1, 1976
Content Type: 
PDF icon CIA-RDP91-00901R000500020005-9.pdf602.18 KB
NUMBER 2?. STATINTL SUIv BR 1976 Approved For Release 2001/03/06 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R RE'JORGANIZING THE CIA: WHO AND HOW In FOREIGN POLICY 22, Peter Szan- ton and Graham Allison wrote that the time had come to "seize the opportunity" and restructure the American intelligence community. In the exchange that follows, William E. Colby and Walter F. Mondale comment on their proposals and Stanton and Allison reply.- -The Editors. William E. Colby: Indeed we have an opportunity to rethink arid restructure American intelligence. A year of intensive investigation by a presidential and two congressional committees, world- wide concern over sensational accounts of CIA deeds and misdeeds, and a series of Con- stitutional confrontations between the ex- ecutive and legislative branches cannot dis- appear into our history books without changes in American intelligence. The first and easiest action would be to tinker with the organizational structure of intelligence. When in doubt, or under pres- sure, reorganize; this is an old bureaucratic ploy. It is also a tempting panacea for infi- nite problems. With due respect for the ideas suggested by Peter Szanton and Graham Allison, but without agreement with many of them, I believe this opportunity should be seized in more important fields. The fundamental lesson of the year of investigation is that American intelligence is a part of and must operate under the Amer- ican constitutional system. This perhaps ob- vious fact for Americans is a stunning nov- elty in the long history of intelligence. It is as startling an idea to many developed de- mocracies as it is incongruous to totalitarians. It does not reverse any early American Approved For Release 2001/03/06 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000500020005-9 Approved For Release 2001/03/06 : C.IA-RDP91-00901 R000500020005-9 doctrine to the contrary, but it does over- turn longstanding and comfortable practices which grew up before the question was squarely faced. Three conclusions stem from this new status of intelligence. First, the place of in- telligence in the governmental structure must be established and understood in open stat- utes and directives. The National Security r\ct of 1947' made a start in this direction, and the cm, Act of 1949 provided statutory authority for many of the essential attributes of our intelligence service. Both contain several vague and encompassing clauses,, however. The resulting ambiguities led to actions which in retrospect fall below to. day's standards. President Ford's executive order of Feb. ruary 18 makes a major stride in the direc- tion of providing a public charter for Amer- ican intelligence, describing its structure and functions and clearly delimiting areas of au- thorized, and unauthorized, activity. Sub- stantial parts of this order, however, should be enacted into law, our constitutional pro- cess of establishing and recording our na- tional consensus on matters of public import. George Washington once said that upon secrecy, success depends in most enterprises" of intelligence. The past year has shown al- most a total lack of consensus and even un- derstanding of the role and limits of secrecy in American intelligence. What were leaks rose at times to flood stage proportions. Strong voices are beard advocating almost every variation on the spectrum from a mod- ern version of "open intelligence openly ar- rived at" to the contention that an Official Secrets Act should protect an intelligence structure totality hidden in the recesses of the executive branch. President Ford has recom- mended legislation which will impose the es- sential discipline on intelligence personnel to keep the secrets they learn but leave untram- meled the First Amendment's guarantee of a free press. 'Vi'e have laws and sanctions to protect many secrets necessary to the preservation U.otby and operation of our free society. The se- cret ballot box, the confidence between at- torney and client, advance crop figures which might upset the market, all are protected by crirmmi::ial sanctions against individuals who might disclose them. Intelligence secrets. however, are in effect only protected against the foreign spy. But their disclosure to our free society makes them available to the for- eigner as well, and can cut our nation off from sources and information which are es- sential to its safety in a world which has not yet been made safe for democracy.. Better protection of our sources through law woulc' apply to the intelligence profession the s.' discipline that journalism has found essei tial to its functioning- "The photographs must be pub- lished, the backgrounders attrib- uted, the publications edited to protect the sources but circulate the substance of their reports .. . regularly to all iiieiiibers of Con- gress...." -William E. Colby The second conclusion from the new sta- tus of intelligence under the Constitution is that it must be responsible and accountable. This burden must rest not only on those in intelligence: it lies with equal weight on. all three branches of our constitutional struc- ture. President Ford has moved to strengthen executive control and responsibility for intel- ligence. The stronger position of the director of central intelligence. the interagency corn- mince structure for the review of the policies and programs of national intelligence, and independent review and supervision by the private citizens of The President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, all will increase the control and accountability of intelligence to the president himself and to the senior members of the executive branch. Congress has an equal duty to arrange it- self to exercise its constitutional role with respect to intelligence. It must assume its full Approved For Release 2001/03/06 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000500020005-9 .. _7 p 1 '' .',r. tq F Ui`^9.if ~' F-r^a?, t .~ ,+ .+s i:; y ., 'S ie _ ...~., :. s s is,d'a A . . e 1 &.. s , I #, >., .?.`S.'~b a;-. ~tt'ar l ". . -.r~ __F. San Approved For Release 2001/03/06 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000500020005-9(-.,ti,.// .tondnte responsibilities in all senses of the word. It must organize and carry out full and cur- rent reviews of the intelligence community, assuring that it not only remains within the guidelines set for it, but also that it is effi- ciently and comprehensively accomplishing the tasks assigned. Congress' other respon- sibility, however, is to do this without de- stroying the ability of intelligence to carry out its duties. Thus the secrets of intelligence must be protected on Capitol Hill as well as at the CIA's Langley headquarters. The min- imum number of people, congressmen as well as staff, who truly "need to know should be informed and should be subject to sanc- tions for improper disclosure. A single com- mittee, in each House if necessary, should represent their colleagues in this function, ending the present requirement to brief at least six committees. The third conclusion which derives from intelligence's advent to constitutional status is that it must serve the constitutional pro- cess. Traditionally and in other lands the servant only of the executive, it must now demonstrate its value to the Congress and to the public. It must earn the large invest- ment needed by modern intelligence, the risks and inevitable occasional failures and embarrassments incurred, and respect for its professional discipline and secrecy. This must be accomplished by sharing the fruits of the enterprise with all participants in the Amer- ican decision-making process. Perhaps this is the most challenging task ahead for intelligence. It must develop the distinctions between protecting the secrecy of its sources and techniques and making available the substance of its information and conclusions. It must face public criti- cism and political challenge of its assess- ments. It must maintain the independence and objectivity of its judgments apart from the policies and programs they may sup- port or question. Internationally, we must insist that an intelligence judgment is a step toward policy, not a reflection of it, wheth- er relating to ally or adversary. In a political debate where knowledge can be power., in- telligence judgments must be supplied im- partially to all factions, to help 11W best so- lution to emerge. rather than a favored one. This vAll require many changes in intel- ligence habits and concepts. The photo- graphs must be published, the background- ers attributed, the publications edited to protect the sources but circulate the sub- stance of their reports. With these changes, intelligence can be distributed regularly to all members of Con- gress. not held under such high classifica- tions that it cannot be circulated and made conveniently available- The estimates will be debated and the sage unanimity of the intelligence cloister challenged by those close to the struggle and fearful of ii rational and foolhardy. but real, surprises. Out of the process, however, will cone a better under- standing of the role and value of modern in- telligence, as well as better intelligence itself. "Seizing the opportunity" to implement these conclusions will mark a major turning point in the discipline and profession of in- telligence. In its wake may come some of the structural changes suggested by Szanton and Allison and by others joining in. the close examination of intelligence sparked by I975's investigations. Some of their and others` ideas will not be adopted, and ad- ditional ones will arise for consideration. But the coming of age of intelligence as a full participant and contributor to the con- stitutional process will start a continual re-- view and renewal of intelligence to meet the challenges of the future. Among more sub- stantial substantive benefits to the nation and to American intelligence, this will make unnecessary another sensational and shat- tering updating of American intelligence. N alter E 1M' .nnd ale: Like most Americans. I have strongly sup- ported the necessity of our government's conducting intelligence activities. But after continua Approved For Release 2001/03/06 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000500020005-9 witnessing :hundreds of hours of testimony before the Senate Select Committee on In- reIligence, I am also convinced that basic reform is necessary. The committee heard respected former of- ficials of our nation talk about institutional- ring an assassination capability in tl,e CIA as though it were just another option. We studied how the United States has used brib- ery, corruption, and violence in almost ev- ery quarter of the globe, and saw how es- pionage is aimed at our friends as well as at our foes. The committee reviewed how our academic institutions, press, and religious institutions have been exploited for clan- destine purposes, despite the special place these institutions must have in our dem- ocratic society, "... there must be some firnda- mental chair-es in America's intel- ligence activities or they will fun- damentally change America." -Walter F. Moirdale It is clear to me that we have paid an ex- tremely high price for any resulting secret success. American covert intervention often undermined the very democratic institutions we sought to promote. Because of our clan- destine activities, the United States is re- grettably regarded less and less as an example of democracy to be admired and emulated. Almost anything bad that happens in this world is attributed to the CIA--including the murder of King Faisal. And at home, the confidence of Americans in their gov- ernment is weakened when our leaders use covert intelligence operations to mislead the public and short-circuit our democratic pro- cess. I have come to believe that there must be some fundamental changes in America's intelligence activities or they will fundarnen- tally change America. The proposals of Peter Szanton and Gra ham Allison in the spring issue of IOR- I:1GN POLICY go in the right direction. They improve upon simiIar recommenda- tions I made last fall. I recognize the costs in such a reorganization, and George A. Carver, Jr., in his cuinm nt on the Szanton- Alli;o,r article, also in the spring issue, has pointed to certain aspects of them- But in- sofar as substantive problems can be met by structural change in the executive branch, I believe that the gains would outweigh the costs. The problem, however, is deeper. As the committee took testimony day af- ter day on assassination plots, my first im- pression was that we were grappling with some of the darker forces of human nature: the undertaking of acts which would b: un- thinkable if not clone in secret; the enthu- siasm with which we emulated. our enemy; how patriotism and loyalty could be per- verted to the point of dishonoring thr na- tion; the spectacle of men of great respect offering explanations and excuses at the rear gin of credibility. My initial conclusion was that the an- swer lay in better accountability--vigorous congressional oversight plus a system in which officials cannot hide responsibility for their actions. To this end, I have supported a new Senate oversight committee with the power to authorize all national intelligence budgets. But the problem, I am afraid, lies deeper still.. It is not just a problem of means, it iS a question of ends. When A.rnerica saw itself as primarily re- sponsible for countering the Soviets and Communists throughout the world, our in- telligence services responded. Since Vietnam, I believe America's view of its responsibil- ities has changed. However, there has been no redefinition of our role in the world, no; of the policies to be served by our intelli- gence activities. As a start, I would suggest the following-- Avoiding nuclear war is most important. It requires the best possible intelligence. The continuing suspicion and antagonism be- tween the United States and the Soviet continued Approved For Release 2001/03/06 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R0005000200 Approved For Release 2001/03/06 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000500020005-9 Union and the levels of nuclear weapons on each side, place a premium on the most ac- curate assessment of Soviet military capa- bilities and political intentions. Agreements to control nuclear and conventional arms need a strong intelligence base to ensure both sound agreements and compliance. To this end, I believe the Soviet Union and its allies must remain our Number One intelligence priority. > Containing Soviet adventurism is the re- sponsibility of all free countries. Each na- tion must look to its own resources first. If U.S. help is needed, covert action could prove vital. But, in general, I see little rea- son why U.S. aid should go through covert intelligence channels. Except in extraordi- nary circumstances, nations wishing Amer- ican support should be prepared to admit it. The American people and the Congress must not be left in the &.rk about new commit- men ts. > Support for democracy. America remains the greatest friend of liberty in the world, if no longer the sole defender of every regime that calls itself anti-Communist. But help- ing the shattered democratic parties of West- ern Europe survive in the late 1940s is one thing, and seeking to overthrow a democrat- ically elected government in Chile in the 1970s is quite another. Moreover, despite possible short-term success, covert action can be the enemy of democracy. It often amounts to corruption and nothing is more destruc- tive of a democratic political system than corruption, in particular from a foreign source. If American aid to democracy is es- sential to offset Soviet subversion, we should find a way to do this openly. Perhaps our political parties can assume some of this re- sponsibility, much as European Social Dem- ocratic parties have in Portugal. > Meeting the problems of hunger and dep- rivation and building a more equitable world economic system are urgent tasks un- suited to clandestine activity. A foreign pol- icy which relies heavily on covert interven- tion and espionage will be self-defeating in ,11w Ida Ie this area, for it will cps: do>ubt c?n the le- gitimacy of our cc>'>per