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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 21, 2007


Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs Release of Foreign Relations, 1950-1955, The Intelligence Community

The Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State, released today a retrospective intelligence volume in the Foreign Relations of the United States series, documenting the development and consolidation of the intelligence community. This volume, The Intelligence Community, 1950–1955, is the sequel to The Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment, 1945–1950, published in 1996. This new volume, which is organized chronologically from January 1950 to December 1955, documents the institutional growth of the intelligence community during its heyday under Directors Walter Bedell Smith and Allen W. Dulles, and demonstrates how Smith, through his prestige, ability to obtain national security directives from a supportive President Truman, and bureaucratic acumen, truly transformed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It closes with a collection of relevant National Security Council Intelligence Directives (NSCIDs) issued during the years 1950–1955 as approved by the National Security Council and the President, as well as revisions to earlier NSCIDs published in the Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment, 1945–1950.

During Walter Bedell Smith’s tenure as Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), he established the Agency as the central coordinating institution for intelligence in the U.S. Government. Smith reorganized the CIA into directorates and began to shape the position of the DCI into the ideal of a real coordinator for all U.S. intelligence. Smith also oversaw the initial production of National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs)—analyses that are still used today. Moreover, Smith wrestled the capability for clandestine operations away from the Office of Policy Coordination (which had been under the authority, at least in part, of the Department of State) and cemented that function firmly within the Directorate for Plans.

In 1953, President Eisenhower appointed Allen Dulles to replace Smith as DCI and increasingly called upon the CIA to expand and use its clandestine capability to support U.S. foreign policy. While Dulles was hailed as the successful facilitator of the CIA’s clandestine service, his reputation, along with that of the CIA, was challenged by two reports produced in 1955 by the Hoover Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch. The first study was conducted by a group led by General James Doolittle, which looked at the CIA’s covert operations and noted that the exponential growth of the CIA did not come without some significant growing pains. The report charged that these experiences resulted in poor administration, management, and security, and suggested a bias towards clandestine operations at the expense of intelligence collection, which the report stated should focus on the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and China. The second study, put together by a more general task force on intelligence led by General Mark Clark, examined the entire intelligence community (a term that it coined), and called upon the DCI to concentrate more on intelligence issues facing that larger community and pay less attention to the day-to-day administration of the CIA. The study also called for bipartisan congressional and public oversight, improving counter-intelligence security measures, and better benefits for CIA employees. While both of these reports highlighted important problems facing the CIA, neither undermined the support of President Eisenhower for Allen Dulles as DCI. Dulles continued to direct the CIA and serve as Director of Central Intelligence until the first year of the Kennedy administration.

The volume and this press release are available on the Office of the Historian website at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/truman/c24687.htm. Copies of the volume will be available for purchase from the U.S. Government Printing Office online at http://bookstore.gpo.gov (GPO S/N 044–000–02605–8; ISBN 978–0–16–076468–4). For further information contact Edward Keefer, General Editor of the Foreign Relations series, at (202) 663–1131 or by e-mail to history@state.gov.

2007/1159


Released on December 21, 2007

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