Foreign Relations of the United States
Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment
Department of State
Psychological and Political Warfare
290. Memorandum From the Director of the Policy Planning Staff (Kennan) to the Under Secretary of State (Lovett) and Secretary of State Marshall
Washington, June 17, 1948.
//Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Policy Planning Staff Files 1947-53: Lot 64 D 563, Box 719, Pol & Psych Warfare. Top Secret.
With further reference to the draft of NSC 10/1/1/ which is on the agenda of today's meeting of the National Security Council, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have now examined this paper and have asked that paragraph 4 be re-drafted as follows:
/1/See the enclosure to Document 288.
"4. In time of war or national emergency or when the President directs, all plans for covert operations shall be coordinated with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the execution of covert operations in military theaters shall be under the control of the Joint Chiefs of Staff."
I find this wording reasonable and appropriate, from the standpoint of this Department.
George F. Kennan/2/
/2/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
291. Memorandum for the President of Discussion at the 13th Meeting of the National Security Council
Washington, June 17, 1948.
//Source: Truman Library, Papers of Harry S. Truman, President's Secretary's Files, Subject File. Top Secret. Prepared on June 18. According to the minutes of the 13th meeting, the following persons were present: Forrestal, Lovett, Royall, Sullivan, Symington, Hill, Hillenkoetter, Souers, and Lay. (Ibid.)
[Here follows discussion of agenda item 1, trade relations with Eastern Europe.]
2. Office of Special Projects (NSC 10/1)/1/
/1/See the enclosure to Document 288.
Mr. Souers read the comments of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,/2/ which proposed a change in paragraph 4 of NSC 10/1.
Secretary Royall said he had the same doubt as at the last meeting concerning paragraph 3d. He said that he still hates to see any part of the National Military Establishment given the responsibility for policy guidance on such activities during peacetime.
Mr. Lovett recalled that at the last meeting the Council had discussed the choice between the Secretary of Defense or the Joint Chiefs of Staff to represent the military point of view. He thought the Council had agreed upon representation by the Secretary of Defense.
Mr. Souers stressed his belief that the State Department must dominate these activities in peacetime.
Mr. Lovett agreed, but also felt that, as long as we have military and naval attaches, the Agency conducting these activities must have military advice on long-range plans.
Secretary Forrestal recalled that the current proposal was based upon the advice of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Secretary Royall said that he would prefer that military representatives merely be kept advised of these activities but not given responsibility for them as the subject paper appears to do.
Mr. Lovett felt that we would only be kidding ourselves if we think that either the political or military agencies can be relieved of the responsibility.
Secretary Symington thought that there was a great deal in what Secretary Royall said. Secretary Symington felt that the wording concerning policy guidance was very broad and tended to give the military broad responsibility in the field in peacetime. He thought that the National Security Council was the place where the State Department tells the military what our foreign policies are.
Mr. Lovett did not agree with this view. He felt that the NSC was a work room to reconcile advice to the President from both political and military points of view.
Secretary Royall thought that the reference to an Operations Advisory Committee should be stricken from the paper and a general paragraph substituted therefor.
Mr. Lovett expressed the firm belief that the National Security Council would be held responsible for these activities regardless of the language in this directive.
Secretary Royall thought that CIA should ask for advice when it needed it and that the military should give this advice only when military questions were involved.
Secretary Forrestal said that this activity must represent a composite of both political and military interests.
Secretary Royall said that in peacetime this is not a proper field for military operation.
Mr. Lovett believed that the military does have responsibility and must, therefore, be tied in.
Secretary Royall felt that to make the military responsible for covert operations gets into a dangerous field.
Secretary Symington agreed with Secretary Royall. Secretary Symington expressed the fear that these activities would be made public and there would be a tendency to discredit the military agencies more than the civilian.
Mr. Lovett pointed out that the military agencies are now involved in the NSC in the relation of four to one. He believed that the military should be represented on a staff planning level even if they were not in the line of authority. Mr. Lovett pointed out that, if any future Pearl Harbor occurs, it cannot be said that State did not tell the military what was going on. There is now complete interchange of advice through the National Security Council and all members thereof will be held responsible if any future Pearl Harbor occurs.
Mr. Lay suggested, and the Council approved, the deletion of paragraph 3d and amendments in paragraphs 3a and e.
The National Security Council:/3/
/3/The following paragraph and note constitute NSC Action No. 65. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 273, Records of the National Security Council, Record of Actions, Box 55)
Approved the directive in NSC 10/1, subject to deletion of paragraph 3d and amendments to paragraphs 3a and e and 4.
Note: Amended directive subsequently issued as NSC 10/2./4/
[Here follows discussion of agenda items 3-6, Turkish arsenal aid, U.N. temporary commission in Korea, review of the world situation as it relates to the security of the United States, and NSC status of projects.]
292. National Security Council Directive on Office of Special Projects
Washington, June 18, 1948.
//Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 273, Records of the National Security Council, NSC 10/2. Top Secret. Although undated, this directive was approved by the National Security Council at its June 17 meeting and the final text, incorporating changes made at the meeting, was circulated to members by the Executive Secretary under a June 18 note. (Ibid.) See the Supplement. NSC 10/2 and the June 18 note are also reproduced in CIA Cold War Records: The CIA under Harry Truman, pp. 213-216.
1. The National Security Council, taking cognizance of the vicious covert activities of the USSR, its satellite countries and Communist groups to discredit and defeat the aims and activities of the United States and other Western powers, has determined that, in the interests of world peace and US national security, the overt foreign activities of the US Government must be supplemented by covert operations.
2. The Central Intelligence Agency is charged by the National Security Council with conducting espionage and counter-espionage operations abroad. It therefore seems desirable, for operational reasons, not to create a new agency for covert operations, but in time of peace to place the responsibility for them within the structure of the Central Intelligence Agency and correlate them with espionage and counter-espionage operations under the over-all control of the Director of Central Intelligence.
3. Therefore, under the authority of Section 102(d)(5) of the National Security Act of 1947, the National Security Council hereby directs that in time of peace:
a. A new Office of Special Projects shall be created within the Central Intelligence Agency to plan and conduct covert operations; and in coordination with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to plan and prepare for the conduct of such operations in wartime.
b. A highly qualified person, nominated by the Secretary of State, acceptable to the Director of Central Intelligence and approved by the National Security Council, shall be appointed as Chief of the Office of Special Projects.
c. The Chief of the Office of Special Projects shall report directly to the Director of Central Intelligence. For purposes of security and of flexibility of operations, and to the maximum degree consistent with efficiency, the Office of Special Projects shall operate independently of other components of Central Intelligence Agency.
d. The Director of Central Intelligence shall be responsible for:
(1) Ensuring, through designated representatives of the Secretary of State/1/ and of the Secretary of Defense, that covert operations are planned and conducted in a manner consistent with US foreign and military policies and with overt activities. In disagreements arising between the Director of Central Intelligence and the representative of the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Defense over such plans, the matter shall be referred to the National Security Council for decision.
/1/According to an August 13 memorandum from Davies to Kennan, Kennan was subsequently appointed as the representative of the Secretary of State. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Policy Planning Staff Files 1947-53: Lot 64 D 563) See the Supplement.
(2) Ensuring that plans for wartime covert operations are also drawn up with the assistance of a representative of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and are accepted by the latter as being consistent with and complementary to approved plans for wartime military operations.
(3) Informing, through appropriate channels, agencies of the US Government, both at home and abroad (including diplomatic and military representatives in each area), of such operations as will affect them.
e. Covert operations pertaining to economic warfare will be conducted by the Office of Special Projects under the guidance of the departments and agencies responsible for the planning of economic warfare.
f. Supplemental funds for the conduct of the proposed operations for fiscal year 1949 shall be immediately requested. Thereafter operational funds for these purposes shall be included in normal Central Intelligence Agency Budget requests.
4. In time of war, or when the President directs, all plans for covert operations shall be coordinated with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In active theaters of war where American forces are engaged, covert operations will be conducted under the direct command of the American Theater Commander and orders therefor will be transmitted through the Joint Chiefs of Staff unless otherwise directed by the President.
5. As used in this directive, "covert operations" are understood to be all activities (except as noted herein) which are conducted or sponsored by this Government against hostile foreign states or groups or in support of friendly foreign states or groups but which are so planned and executed that any US Government responsibility for them is not evident to unauthorized persons and that if uncovered the US Government can plausibly disclaim any responsibility for them. Specifically, such operations shall include any covert activities related to: propaganda, economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrillas and refugee liberation groups, and support of indigenous anti-communist elements in threatened countries of the free world. Such operations shall not include armed conflict by recognized military forces, espionage, counter-espionage, and cover and deception for military operations.
6. This Directive supersedes the directive contained in NSC 4-A, which is hereby cancelled.
293. Memorandum From Director of Central Intelligence Hillenkoetter to the Chief of Naval Operations (Denfeld)
Washington, June 18, 1948.
//Source: Central Intelligence Agency Historical Files, HS/CSG-605, Job 83-0036, Box 4, Folder 10. Top Secret. The source text is a transcript made for the CIA Historian in December 1952.
Project for high level balloon research and development
1. The Central Intelligence Agency has developed an effective method of penetrating the Iron Curtain with the use of high level balloons.
2. Naval officers with special technical training and essential background of upper air conditions are required to effectively carry out this project. It is requested that the Chief of Naval Operations issue the necessary directive to implement this project as discussed and approved verbally between representative of this office and Admiral Denfeld, Vice Admiral Price/1/ and Rear Admirals Cassady/2/ and Inglis. Liaison officers are prepared to furnish detailed information for use in preparation of necessary details.
/1/Probably Vice Admiral J. D. Price, the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air).
/2/Probably Rear Admiral John H. Cassady, the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Air.
3. U.S. Air Force participation will be required and approval for such participation has been given by the Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force. This will include full cooperation with the Navy in implementing the project upon receipt of an official request from the Chief of Naval Operations.
4. You will appreciate the fact that because of the nature of this project this letter should be shown only to those officers who "need to know."
294. Memorandum From the Director of the Policy Planning Staff (Kennan) to the Under Secretary of State (Lovett)
Washington, June 30, 1948.
//Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Policy Planning Staff Files 1947-53: Lot 64 D 563, Box 11A. Top Secret.
The following are my suggestions, in the order named, for persons whom the Secretary could nominate as Chief of the Office of Special Projects under the Central Intelligence Agency:
Mathias F. Correa
Irving Brown (representative of A.F. of L. in Paris and a very able and active citizen)
Norris Chipman (Foreign Service Officer in Paris)
Francis Stevens (now Chief of the Russian Division)
John Davies (member of my Staff)
I am told there is little likelihood of getting Correa. I have no information as to Brown's availability and feel that this would have to be considered a political appointment to be discussed first with William Green.
I have placed Wisner at the head of the list on the recommendations of people who know him. I personally have no knowledge of his ability, but his qualifications seem reasonably good, and I should think that it would be relatively easy to spare him for this purpose.
George F. Kennan
295. Memorandum From the Chief of the Special Procedures Group (Cassady) to Director of Central Intelligence Hillenkoetter
Washington, June 30, 1948.
//Source: Central Intelligence Agency Historical Files, HS/CSG-615, Job 83-00036, Box 4, Folder 10. Secret. Sent to Colonel Donald H. Galloway, the Assistant Director for Special Operations, for Hillenkoetter. The source text is a transcript made for the CIA Historian in December 1952.
Covert Propaganda to Exploit Tito-Cominform Dispute
1. The Cominform denunciation of Marshal Tito, and his firmly defiant stand, constitutes the first major open break in the satellite front which the Soviet Union has established in Central Europe.
2. The situation arising therefrom tends to arouse dissension and confusion in the world structure of Communism and invites exploitation by prompt, effective propaganda measures through every available medium, with the idea of achieving:
a. A lessening of Moscow control over satellite governments.
b. An increase of friction between leading Communist groups and individuals, with consequent decline in the effectiveness of world Communism as an agency of Soviet expansion.
c. Conditions more favorable to the overthrow of Communist governments in satellite nations and to the strengthening of non-Communist governments.
3. The propaganda opportunities of the Cominform-Tito dispute were recognized in the counter-statement issued by the Yugoslav Central Committee.
4. The situation finds the United States and the Marshall Plan nations unable to take full advantage of the propaganda openings which are presented. [4 lines of source text not declassified]
[14 paragraphs of source text (37-1/2 lines of source text) not declassified]
296. Memorandum From Commander Robert Jay Williams to the Chief of the Special Procedures Group (Cassady)
Washington, July 23, 1948.
//Source: Central Intelligence Agency Historical Files, HS/CSG-606, Job 83-00036, Box 4, Folder 10. Secret. The source text is a transcript made for the CIA Historian in December 1952. Williams was the chief of "Project Ultimate," which appears to be the same as the plan discussed in Document 293.
Project Ultimate, Critical Delay in
1. In the original plan for Project Ultimate as submitted to this agency by Captain Orville, it was indicated that it would be desirable to initiate operations in the European theatre as soon as possible. For this reason every effort was made to complete technical development by 1 July and to be prepared for operations not later than 1 August.
2. Continuing delay in implementation of this project is jeopardizing whatever success it might have. A study of weather conditions in the proposed operating area has revealed that many factors will work against the project after 1 November. These factors include increased risk in launching due to unfavorable ground conditions; less favorable wind conditions which may result in depositing the load over neutral territory, and considerably less effect in the target areas due to difficulty of finding the leaflets on snow-covered ground.
3. When all of these factors are considered together, it may be concluded that the value of this project after 1 November may be so little as to argue against its inception during the winter months. It is, therefore, requested that every effort be made to obtain permission to start the project immediately in order that satisfactory weather conditions anticipated in September and October may be taken advantage of to insure an effective operation.
297. Memorandum for the Record by the Chief of the Special Procedures Group (Cassady)
Washington, August 6, 1948.
[Source: Central Intelligence Agency Historical Files, HS/CSG-607, Job 83-00036, Box 4, Folder 10. Secret. 1 page of source text not declassified.]
298. Memorandum of Conversation and Understanding
Washington, August 6, 1948.
//Source: Central Intelligence Agency Historical Files, HS/CSG-771, Job 83-00036, Box 5, Folder 8. Top Secret. The source text is a transcript prepared for the CIA Historian on March 27, 1953.
Implementation of NSC 10/2/1/
The following is a memorandum of conversation had and understanding arrived at at a conference in Mr. Souers' office on the morning of Friday, August 6, 1948. Present at the meeting were Messrs. Souers, Kennan, Blum, Wisner, Admiral Hillenkoetter, and Colonel Yeaton.
1. Mr. Kennan opened the meeting with a statement that the conference had been requested in order to clarify certain points and to make certain that there was general understanding and agreement concerning the manner in which the contemplated implementation of NSC 10/2 would be carried out. He stressed the fact that political warfare is essentially an instrument of foreign policy and accordingly that the activity which serves this aim must function to the fullest extent possible as a direct instrumentality of the Departments of State and of the National Military Establishment. It is recognized that because of certain of its attributes this activity should be placed within the framework of CIA and must therefore be conducted with due deference to the organizational requirements of that body. It must nevertheless be recognized that it must take its policy direction and guidance from the Departments of State and the National Military Establishment and for this purpose the operating chief of the new Office of Special Projects must have the fullest and freest access to representatives of these two Departments who have been designated by them as their respective points of contact. Mr. Kennan further stated that it must be considered that the activity is a major political operation and that it must have special recognition as such, as well as the greatest flexibility and freedom from the regulations and administrative standards governing ordinary operations. Finally, Mr. Kennan made the point that as the State Department's designated representative he would want to have specific knowledge of the objectives of every operation and also of the procedures and methods employed in all cases where those procedures and methods involve political decisions.
2. Mr. Souers indicated his agreement with Mr. Kennan's thesis and stated specifically that it has been the intention of the National Security Council in preparing the document/2/ that it should reflect the recognition of the principle that the Departments of State and National Military Establishment are responsible for the conduct of the activities of the Office of Special Projects. (The Department of State taking pre-eminence in time of peace and the National Military Establishment succeeding to the pre-eminent position in war time.) Mr. Souers expressed the view that this principle is manifest in the document.
/2/Reference is to NSC 10/2.
3. Admiral Hillenkoetter expressed the opinion that the new activity would be given sufficient scope and flexibility to accomplish its objectives by the contemplated setup within the organization of CIA. He pointed to the fact that the present Office of Special Operations also enjoys a large measure of freedom and autonomy within CIA, and that it has many special privileges. Admiral Hillenkoetter agreed with Mr. Kennan's statement that the political warfare activity should be conducted as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy and subject in peacetime to direct guidance by the State Department. He insisted that it was essential for the State Department to accept the political responsibility, giving decisions in regard to individual projects, and he was critical of the fact that at times in the past the handling of individual cases had been turned over to him by the State Department without any political guidance. (Mr. Kennan agreed that it was necessary that the State Department assume responsibility for stating whether or not individual projects are politically desirable and stated that as the State Department's designated representative he would be accountable for providing such decisions.)
4. Admiral Hillenkoetter pointed out that the organization being set up is to some extent parallel to the British arrangement, except that the British Chiefs of Staff have made military units available to their special operations people. There was some discussion as to who would be responsible for organizing and training units for special military operations, and Colonel Yeaton said that a JCS paper on this subject is in proc-ess of completion. It was agreed that the Office of Special Projects should propose and take a continuing interest in the necessary preparation and training of military units.
5. Mr. Wisner said that it would be necessary that the head of the new Office of Special Projects have continuing and direct access to the State Department and the various elements of the military establishment without having to proceed through the CIA administrative hierarchy in each case. Admiral Hillenkoetter agreed to this point, but said that it would be necessary that he be kept informed in regard to all important projects and decisions. Mr. Wisner concurred. It was agreed that the designated representatives of the State Department and the National Military Establishment would be kept informed of all problems and that they would attempt to reconcile any differences between their respective Departments concerning political and military guidance and advice given to the Office of Special Projects. In the event that the two representatives are unable to resolve their differences, the matter would be referred to the Secretaries of State and of the National Military Establishment.
6. Mr. Blum raised the question as to what would happen to Mr. Raymond Murphy under the new arrangement. Mr. Kennan said that he thought Mr. Murphy should come under the Chief of the new office. Admiral Hillenkoetter doubted whether this was desirable, but said that he would be willing to leave that up to the Chief of the new office.
7. The question was raised as to possible difficulties in dealing with foreign nationality groups in the United States for the purpose of developing operations abroad. Mr. Blum said that he had the impression that CIA was experiencing difficulties in its dealings with foreign nationality groups because of the restrictions imposed by the FBI. Admiral Hillenkoetter replied that although it was necessary to secure FBI approval for all contacts, this had not been too difficult a problem for CIA.
8. Mr. Kennan said that it might be desirable for the new operation to be able to work through some kind of public "American freedom committee" in dealing with foreign nationality groups in the United States. It was pointed out that there had been a number of suggestions for setting up some kind of committee of this nature.
9. Mr. Wisner said that the head of the new office would require broad latitude in selecting his methods of operations, for example, as to whether he would use large numbers of Americans working abroad or whether he would work primarily through foreign groups. He did not think the new chief should be committed to any existing methods of operations. Admiral Hillenkoetter agreed to this statement. Mr. Wisner also pointed out that the new position would also require considerable assistance from other Government Departments and agencies, including State and the National Military Establishment, and he raised the question whether the necessary help would be available. Admiral Hillenkoetter said that he felt there was a general spirit of cooperation in all the departments. It was agreed that Mr. Kennan and Colonel Yeaton would be responsible for soliciting the help of the State Department and the National Military Establishment respectively and that if any major troubles arose in obtaining cooperation from other departments, the problem could be referred to the National Security Council.
10. Mr. Wisner stated to Admiral Hillenkoetter that there were a number of internal organizational matters concerning which he felt there should be some discussion and clarification, but that these might be more appropriately discussed in a separate meeting between himself and Admiral Hillenkoetter. Admiral Hillenkoetter agreed that this was important and suggested an early meeting for this purpose.
11. It was agreed that a memorandum of the conference should be prepared and circulated to all who attended for their concurrence. Mr. Wisner undertook to prepare this memorandum in consultation with Mr. Blum and Colonel Yeaton, who had likewise taken notes on the discussion.
Frank G. Wisner/3/
/3/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
August 12, 1948.
The individuals whose names appear below and opposite the spaces provided for their respective initials, being all of the participants in the conversation hereinabove referred to, acknowledge that this memorandum comprises an accurate record of the conversation and further that the views therein set out correspond to their conception of the manner in which the activity shall operate./4/
/4/None of the names has been initialed on the source text.
Rear Adm. R.H. Hillenkoetter
Colonel Ivan D. Yeaton
Mr. Robert Blum
Mr. George Kennan
Mr. Sidney W. Souers
Mr. Frank G. Wisner
299. Memorandum for the President of Discussion at the 18th Meeting of the National Security Council
Washington, August 19, 1948.
//Source: Truman Library, Papers of Harry S. Truman, President's Secretary's Files, Subject File. Top Secret. Prepared on August 20.
[Here follows discussion of agenda items 1-3 regarding Berlin, U.S. internal security and SANACC.]
4. Office of Special Projects (NSC 10/2)/1/
Mr. Souers reported on the action taken in implementation of NSC 10/2. He stated that the Department of State, with the concurrence of the Director of Central Intelligence, had nominated Mr. Frank G. Wisner for the position of Director of the Office of Special Projects. He also reported that, as provided in NSC 10/2, the Secretary of State had designated Mr. George F. Kennan as his representative for NSC 10/2 affairs and the Secretary of Defense had designated Colonel Ivan D. Yeaton both as his and the Joint Chiefs of Staff's representative. Mr. Souers reported further that a method of operation has been agreed upon by the representatives of the Secretary of State, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of Central Intelligence with respect to the initial procedures of the Office of Special Projects.
The National Security Council:/2/
/2/Paragraphs a-c constitute NSC Action No. 95. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 273, Records of the National Security Council, Record of Actions, Box 55)
a. Approved the nomination by the Department of State, with the concurrence of the Director of Central Intelligence, of Mr. Frank G. Wisner as Director of the Office of Special Projects.
b. Noted the designation of representatives of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff as provided in NSC 10/2.
c. Noted that a method of operation has been agreed on by the representatives of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Director of Central Intelligence.
[Here follows discussion of agenda item 5 regarding Palestine.]
300. Central Intelligence Agency General Order No. 10
Washington, August 27, 1948.
//Source: Central Intelligence Agency Historical Files, HS/CSG-2155, Job 83-00739R, Box 3, Folder 20. Secret.
1. The activation of the Office of Policy Coordination, effective 1 September 1948, is hereby announced.
2. Mr. Frank G. Wisner is announced as Assistant Director for Policy Coordination.
3. Detailed directives reference the functions of the Office of Policy Coordination will be the subject of separate orders.
For the Director of Central Intelligence:
E. K. Wright
Brigadier General, USA
Continue with Document 301