LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT FROM GEORGE BUSH RE: 1977 DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGE

Created: 1/19/1977

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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urnherewith7 Director or? CAntral Intelligence Report on the Intelligence Coraiunity, copies of which are alsoent va certain Committees of ths Congress, members oi theoreign Intalliacnrc Advisory Board, and other key elements of the Government concerned with the intelligence function.

' In this letter of transmittal toant to set forth some of vy own views on those issue* which have most concerned nehis past year. First'Is my firat conviction thatc^trvtrong Intelligencetrong Central intttUifjtncc gency, clear recognition of their essentiality, andfor thenthe Government and in the Nation at large.

This conviction is supported by the Issues poseduncertain and complex international environmentincreasing Soviet military capabilities,such as nuclear proliferation andfor critical raw materials upon nationswhere increasing'instabillties ore present,political, military, and economicfor difficult interdisciplinary assessments on

My involvement with this whole rango of Issues, and

many more, has given ae deep oride in the dedication of

the intelligence professionals who do so well all that we

have asked of them. They have struggled successfully

through some turbulent times, end their effectiveness has held

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HMD FIA ntlLASE9

iDespite the inevitable impact of continual bad

publicity on morale, people have carried on and given us really magnificent support. They deserve our thanks

our respect. ave been especially gratified that

during these traumatic times there hasrowing sense of commity among the various elements

;.departments that make up our intelligence effoic.

have enjoyed the excellent personal relationships

with the cabinet secretaries snd other senior officials

and tho enhanced sense of shared purpose on

the part of our organizations.

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An important part of my ability to do my job has been the access you have granted me and the support you have provided. m convinced that no Director ol Central Intelligence can do his job properly without that kind of relationship with the President. Hot only has it made it possible for me to be more effective in providing overall direction to the Community, but it has also helped grettly in improving thef the Intelligence Community on the part of the public.

Our relations with the Congress, and the forthcoming and cooperative response of elements of the Community to oversight and guidance from both Executive and Legislative Branches, have also helped greatly to modify unfavorable attitudes. We must keep up the momentum in thus improving public and Congressional perceptions.

Your Executive Order of last February enhancedto manage thereat deal. .on Foreign Intelligence which it established,

the only mechanism we have ever had for overseeingCommunity budget and resource allocations,

us to carry out our responsibilities in this

But it needs strengthening to provide the DCI,

Chairman of the CFI, and his Intelligence Community

Deputy when he so designates, more direct access tomanagers on resource natters. The current require-

ment that everything relating tofunnel through the Deputy Secretary of Defense

Vgetting to the program managers within DoD has

to be barely workable. Ne were able to get the

job done in spite of this, but itostand unnecessarily ,

The job we did was to provide for the firstresource control oF the overallIntelligence Program. The resultantmeet the nation's needs for good and timely Thiselieve, an Dollars spent on sound intelligenceto use our national resources nore wisely,only for the national security forces we really

need, and toore creative and responsible role inetter world.

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I stronglytrenp.chened role forof Contra! Intelligence as unof maintaining the continued effectiveness,

accountability, and economical operation of the Intelligence Community.

Inish to note the specialthe nultiplo role of the DCI as principaladvisor to the President,the Intelligence Community, Bud Director of the

Central Intelligence Agency. Thisole is,view, an essential element of his capability toin tho other two, providing hio withanalyticalorldwidewhich enhances his currency and value asthe President, and an institutional base of theprevents his becoming isolated frem the realconcerns of elements of the Community. To ensuremultiple roles remain advantages ratherould very much like to see enacted intolegislative proposal previously forwardedprovision for the Deputy DCI for the

As for the question of legislation in am wary of opening reconsideration of theAct7 and the Central Intelligence Agency

. Act In the currentelievevery well lead to placing of additional restric-

tions on intelligence operations, restrictionsseriously hamper the effectiveness of oureffort. ecognize that the Congress naycharter legislation anyway, and of course weprepared to respond constructively toould not at this time seeknor encourage those who favor it.

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- Ir. dealing with thenow you are aware of the-heavy burden on executive time and concern which has been the result of interacting with seven separate Congressional Committees. ope that we will be able to look forward in the future to dealingingle Joint select committee. Nat only will this prove more efficient and manageable in terms of responding to legitimate Congressional concerns, but it will also greatly enhance the prospects fci avoiding inadvertent leaks of classified material.

I am extremely concerned about tltfj whole matterof classified information and ;ho; impact it hasability to protect sensitive intelligencem charged to do by law. eelthe need for legitimate At presentalmost impotent in the face of damaging leaks. to face up to that, and to try to find wayc toit. We badly need legislation that will makefor us to meet our responsibilities in.

We also must act to strengthen our capabilities and performance in the matter of counterintallisence. We have, in my view, gone too far in restricting counterintelligence activities wo need for our own protection. Legitimate functions of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in particular have been dangerously hampered.

I also favor reconsideration of the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act to provide relief for some agenciesegitimate need for greater secrecy, notably the CIA. The numerous effectivemechanisms now functioning provide the protection for rights of our citizens which are essential; we should not find it necessary to go further and in so doing deprive ourselves of vital intelligence..

One aspect of our business which appears likely to continue to be contentious is that of covert action. ant to record my strong feeling that our country must have^this capability when it needs it, given the world we live in. The control and review mechanisms which yo have provided are the most stringent and responsible we have ever had, and provide strong guarantees that the capability will be employed only when necessarycarefully controlled. Youraralleled by the support of the great majority of legislative ind publicas been critical to the maintenance of tlii* capability.

' In sending you this annualaveeemphasize to you personally my views on these key aspectsour intelligence effort. And finally,ant to express my appreciation of the trust you have placed in mo and the support you have provided to ne and the entirety of the Intelligence Community. rfcr your leadership bas been an uncommon privilege and pleasure.

Respectfully,

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