The President The White House Washington, D. C.
My dear Mr. President:
I am much concerned with le|ialation now under consideration in the Congreas because of Its potential impact on the security of the Central Intelligence Agency and on the departments and agencies forming the intelligence community. ersion of this legislation was passed by the Senate last year as It Is now to be considered in the House where hearings areche doled before the Subcommittee onand Civil Service of the Committee on Post Office and Civil
Service. Tha bill Is dealgnad to protect the civilian employees of the Executive Branch of. Government in the enjoyment of their constitutional rights and to prevent unwarranted Government invasion of their privacy. m in agreement with these aims but
not with some of the proviaions which, ln my opinion, would be
detrimental to the national security.
Some of these provisions would prevent ua from inquiring into
the personal associations, activities, finances, and habita of employees
or applicants. Our experience over theodd years demonstrates
that it ia essential to consider these matters carefully In order to assure an adequate pereonnel security program and to counter tha efforts of hostile intelligence operations of which oar Intelligence community is the prime target. emptions erere given to this Agency, the Federal Bureau of Invaetigation, and the National Security Agency to enable partial utilisation of polygraph examinations and psychological testing which are alao an integral part of our pereonnel security program and Senator Ervin, the apaneor of the Senate bill, le said to have taken the position that those partial exemptions are adequate for our purposes. isagree, but more important and of the greatest concern are provisions of the bill which authorise any employeepplicant who considers himself affected or aggrieved by the Tiolation f any of the above restrictions to bring salt. S. "District Court to prevent the threatened violation or to obtain redressagainst the
consequences of the violations without regard to whether the aggrieve* perflon shall have exhausted any administrative remedies provided by law. Aside from the administrative and legal problems Involved euch
would inevitably entail
Wcurity problems and could open
door to legal harraesment of significant proportions
Equally troublesosne le the establishmentoard on Employees
Rights which would havo thend mvaetigate written complaints on behalf of any person claiming to be affected or aggrieved
by any violation of the Act and to hold hearing! en the complaint. If the Board foundiolation had been committed or threatened they would hava authority to suspend the officer they considered guilty of the violation or, in the caseecond offense, could order the removal of the offending officer. Again the Board proceedlnga would present formidable security problems particularly as the Board is required to raport to Congress annually concerning the nature of all complaints, the Board'a determinations and orders resulting therefrom, and the names of all officers or employees with respect to whom aay penalties have been imposed.
In my opinion the only assurance of ado qua to protectionintelligence information relating to the national security is complete exemption from any such bill for tho FBI, CIA, NSA,other agencies of the intelligence community. We arean exemption but we are reliably informed that there areto have the bill enacted in its present form. m sufficientlyto recommend that tha fall weight of the Executivebehind such an
A more detailed analysia of this legislation Is contained in tho enclosed letter, the original of which was sent to Mr. Rivers, the Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services and of the CIA
Subcommittee, ont hie request. The Department of Defense shares my concern and has written to the Director of the Bureau of the Budget stating their objections. Since the Department of Staterincipal recipient of most highly classified intelligenceould assume that the effect of the bill on its personnel programs wouldatter of concern as well.
Richard Helms Director
Letter to Chairman Rivers from the Director of Central Intelligence, dated75
cc: Secretary of State
Secretary of Defense Director, Bureau of the Budget ^jSfiairman. President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board Chairman, Civil Service CommissionOriginal document.