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^4th Congress 1 SRNATF / Report 

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April 23 (under authority of the order of April 14), 1976 

70-890 O WASHINGTON : 1976 

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FRANK CHURCH, Idaho, Chairman 
JOHN G. TOWER, Texas, Vice Chairman 

PHILIP A. flART, Michigan HOWARD H. BAKER, Jr., Tennessee 



ROBERT MORGAN, North Carolina RICHARD S. SCHWEIKER, Pennsylvania 

GARY HART, Colorado 

William G. Miller, Staff Director 

Frederick A. O. Schwarz, Jr., Chief C'ounsel 

Curtis R. Smothers, Counsel to the Minority 

Audrey Hatry, Clerk of the Committee 



On behalf of the Senate Select Committee To Study Governmental 
Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, and pursuant to 
the mandate of Senate Resolution 21, I am transmitting herewith to 
the Senate two studies prepared by the Library of Congress which 
supplement the other books of the Committee's Final Report. The pub- 
lication of this book completes the record of the Committee's hearings, 
findings, and reports on the intelligence activities of the United States 

The first study is entitled "The Evolution and Organization of the 
Federal Intelligence Function: A Brief Overview (1776-1975)" and 
was prepared at the Committee's request and under its direction, by 
Dr. Harold C. Relyea of the Congressional Research Service. It is 
published to provide a comprehensive compilation of public, unclassi- 
fied, sources of information on American intelligence activities, and 
includes a full bibliography. 

The second study is entitled "Executive Agreements: A Survey of 
Recent Congressional Interest and Action" and was prepared by 
Marjorie Ann Brown of the Congressional Research Service. This 
survey is published to help the American people understand an im- 
portant means used by our Government in the execution of its foreign 
policy and the efforts made by Congress to ensure that its constitu- 
tional responsibilities in foreign affairs are properly executed through 
the appropriate use of executive agi'eements and treaties. 

On behalf of the Committee and its staff, I would like to express 
our deep appreciation to the staff of the Library of Congress, and par- 
ticularly the Congressional Research Service. Their work has been 
of the highest quality and their prompt response to the Committee's 
numerous and diverse requests deserves a full measure of praise. 

Frank Church, 



Letter of Transmittal III 


1975) 1 

Introduction 1 

I. Research Limitations 2 

II. Intelligence Authority 3 

PART ONE: The SmaU Beginnings (1776-1914) 7 

I. Revolution and Intelligence 9 

II. The New Nation I5 

III. The Mission to Florida I7 


IV. Mexican War 2 

V. Civil War 2 

VI. Pinkerton 2 

VII. Seward 3 

VIII. Baker 3 

IX. Dodge 45 

X. Carrington 4^ 

XI. Signal Services 5q 

XII. Lesser Efforts 5y 

XIII. Secret Service 5g 

XIV. Armed Forces Intelhgence 6j 

XV. Spanish-American War 6^ 

XVI. Post War Developments 6q 

PART TWO: The Middle Years (1914-39) 75 

I. Military Intelligence 76 

II. Naval Intelligence 89 

III. Bureau of Investigation 94 

IV. American Protective League 102 

V. Other Factors 107 

VI. Red Scare 112 

VII. American Black Chamber 115 

VIII. Intelhgence at TwiUght ,119^ 

PART THREE: The National Security Colossus (1939-75) 132 

I. Neutral America 133 

II. Attack 137 

III. Office of Strategic Services 138 

IV. Air Intelligence 156 

V. Military Intelligence 183 

VI. Naval Intelligence 216 

VII. Civihan Intelhgence 222 

VIII. Postwar Adjustment 240 

IX. Atomic Energy Commission 243 

X. National Security Council 244 

XI. Central Intelligence Agency 253 

XII. Defense Intelligence 265 

XIII. State Department 271 

XIV. President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board 273 

XV. Loyalty-Security 274 

XVI. Watergate 277 

XVII. Justice Department 282 

XVIII. Treasury Department 286 

XIX. Overview 290 





APPENDIX I: The Evolution and Organization of Federal Intelligence 

Institutions (1882-1975) 309 

APPENDIX II: Government Information Security Classification Policy. _ 313 

I. National Defense 314 

II. World War I 321 

III. Peacetime Protection 324 

IV. World War II 327 

V. The CooUdge Committee 332 

VI. The Wright Commission 334 

VII. The Moss Committee 337 

VIII. Other Congressional Acts 344 

I X. Overview 348 

Government Information Security Classification Policy: A Select 

Bibliography 350 



I. The Making of Executive Agreements 356 

II. Congressional Interest and Action Before 1967 357 

III. Senate Resolutions: 1969, 1970, and 1972 358 

IV. The Case Act, Public Law 92-403 360 

V. Attempts to Limit Spending Required by Executive Agreements- __ 360 

VI. Disapproval Procedure for Executive Agreements 363 

VII. Future Congressional Concerns 364 

APPENDIX A: Statistics on Executive Agreements and Treaties Entered 

Into by the United States, 1930-45; 1946-73 365 

APPENDIX B: Department of State Revision of Circular 175 Procedure. 367 

APPENDIX C: Legislation Pending in the 93d Congress Relating to the 

Making of International Agreements 375 




Four centuries before the birth of Christ, Sun Tzu, a Chinese mili- 
tary theorist, counseled that : 

The reason the enlightened prince of the wise general con- 
quer the enemy whenever they move and their achievements 
surpass those of ordinary men is foreknowledge. . . . What 
is called "foreknowledge'' cannot be elicited from spirits, nor 
from the gods, nor by analogy with past events, nor from 
calculations. It must be obtained from men who know the 
enemy situation.^ 

In this observation is the essence of what modern civilization refers 
to as "intelligence." As defined by the prestigious and highly respected 
Commission on the Organization of the Executive Branch, chaired 
by former President Herbert C. Hoover : "Intelligence deals with all 
the things which should be known in advance of initiating a course 
action." ^ But the concept is not synonymous with "information." 
Admiral William F. Raborn, Director of the Central Intelligence 
Agency from 1964 to 1966, explained : 

"Intelligence," as we use the term, refers to information which 
has been carefully evaluated as to its accuracy and signifi- 
cance. The difference between "information" and "intel- 
ligence" is the important process of evaluating the accuracy 
and assessing the significance in terms of national security.^ 

Expanding upon the idea of information evaluation preparatory to 
policy development, intelligence may be understood as "the product 
resulting from the collection, evaluation, analysis, integration, and in- 
terpretation of all available information which concerns one or more 
aspects of foreign nations or of areas of operations and which is im- 
mediately or potentially significant to planning." * 

Intelligence activities need not rely upon spies and informers to 
secure "foreknowledge." Information obtained in the open market 
place of ideas and international communications media can, with 

* Prepared for the Select Committee by Dr. Harold C. Relyea, Analyst in 
American National Government, Government and General Research Division, 
Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. 

'Samuel B. Griffith, tr. Sim Tzu: The Art of War. New York and Oxford, 
Oxford University Press, 1963, pp. 144-145; generally, see chapter 13 "Employ- 
ment of Secret Agents." 

^ U.S. Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government. 
Intelligence Activities. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1955, p. 26. 

^Anon. What's CIA? U.S. Neics and World Report, v. 69, July 18, 1966: 74. 

* U.S. Department of the Army, U.S. Department of the Navy, U.S. Department 
of the Air Force. Dictionary of United States Military Terms for Joint Usage. 
Washington, Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, 1955, p. 53. 


proper analysis, significantly contribute to an intelligence product. 
Further, the possible utilization of spies and informers raises both 
the Machiavellian question of ends versus means and a practical ques- 
tion regarding impersonal spying. For some, the righteousness of the 
cause sanctions clandestine information gathering. Others condone 
such activity when it is confined to technological devices such as robot 
spy planes, space satellites, deep sea sensors and listening devices, 
or code breaking machines. 

Intelligence activities were a developed art among the ancients. 
Practice, experience, and technology have contributed to the sophis- 
tication of this pursuit. Today, it may be assumed that every nation, 
regardless of their form of government or guiding political phi- 
losophy, engages in some type of intelligence activity. JNIinimally, the 
intelligence function contributes to the preservation and security of 
the state. Beyond this denominator, the intelligence function variably 
extends to the cultivation of the most grandiose schemes of interna- 
tional relations and world power. 

/. Research Limitations 

Because intelligence activities are generally cloaked in official and 
operational secrecy, research on the evolution, organization, and ac- 
tivities of the Federal intelligence community may be hampered by a 
scarcity of useful resource material and a plague of inaccuracies 
effected by a lack of corroborating evidence or reliance upon a com- 
mon erroneous source.^ 

Other research problems derive from the attitude of Federal officials 
and leaders of the armed services toward the intelligence function 
prior to World War I: within the departments and agencies, intel- 
ligence activities were viewed as neither necessary nor serious concerns. 
The naive view prevailed that the major foreign powers of the day 
made little use of and had little use for intelligence. If this was the 
case, then the United States need not engage in such efforts. When 
World War I introduced America to modern warfare, it also provided 
an opportunity to examine the intelligence activities of the allies. The 
net effect was one of embarassment. Much was learned from the war 
experience with regard to building a useful and effective intelligence 
structure. Nevertheless, the historical record must necessarily reflect 
scant consideration being given to intelligence activities at the Federal 
level prior to the World War. Perhaps as an attempt to compensate 
for the actual circumstances of the pre-war situation, some accounts 
of Federal intelligence activity appear to overstate or overemphasize 
the importance of certain agents or operativeiS and the significance of 
certain accomplishments. Thus, a careful effort must be made to main- 
tain a sense of historical proportion with regard to the exploits of 
individuals and the causation of events in the sphere of intelligence 

It should also be kept in mind that very early intelligence activities 
in the United States were highly sporadic and individualistic. 

^ Official secrecy refers to some type of legal authority establishing the com- 
pulsory withholding of certain types of information from disclosure ; operational 
secrecy refers to nonacknowledgement of actions either by announcement or upon 
open questioning. 

These conditions contribute to research difficulties with the result that 
very few records were produced or continue to exist. 

And one final note must be added regarding the limitations of his- 
torical records in this area of research. Some significant develop- 
ments in the evolution of Federal intelligence operations have escaped 
written account and useful and important documents for this research 
have been destroyed for reasons of political sensitivity, embarrass- 
ment, security, and personal privacy. 

//. Intelligence Authority 

The Constitution of the United States is silent regarding any direct 
reference to intelligence activities. Within Article I, section 8, Con- 
gress is granted certain powers which have an implication for the 
enactment of statues operationalizing the intelligence function. These 
include the authority to "support armies," "maintain a navy," and 
"make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval 
forces." Relying upon these provisions, Congress might have directly 
established armed forces intelligence operations and provided for the 
restriction of intelligence information by enacting appropriate rules 
for Federal civilian employees and regulations for military and naval 
personnel. That the House and Senate did not directly legislate on 
these matters does not eifect the implied constitutional authority. 
What the Legislature did was provide a more ambitious and sophis- 
ticated organizational and administrative stiiicture derivative of these 
powers — the Department of War, created in 1789 (1 Stat. 49), and 
the Department of the Navy, established in 1798 (1 Stat. 553). It 
may be argued that it was within the discretion of the Executive 
authority of these entities to organize intelligence operations in con- 
formity with the constitutional power exercised by Congress in creat- 
ing the departments.^ Modern intelligence operations authority 
continues to rest upon these basic constitutional provisions, interpreted 
by Congress to grant power to legislate for the defense and security of 
the nation.'^ 

The President would appear to derive authority for intelligence 
activities from two constitutional provisions: Article II, section 2, 
names the President the Commander in Chief of the army and navy 
and section 3 directs that the Chief Executive ". . . take care that the 
laws be faithfully executed. . . ." As these are very vague and general 
provisions, reliance upon them alone as authority for intelligence 
activity would depend upon a President's view of his office. A Chief 
Executive adopting Theodore Roosevelt's classic "stewardship theory" 
would, undoubtedly, have little reservation in utilizing such implied 

' A permanent intelligence unit was established in the Navy Department in 1882 
and in the War Department in 1885. Both actions were by internal directive. Ad 
hoc and temporary spy systems of varying sophistication had been utilized by the 
armed forces since the time of the Revolution. 

' The principal contemporary intelligence activities' statutes are the National 
Security Act of 1947 (61 Stat. 495) and the Central Intelligence Act of 1949 (63 
Stat. 208) which establish the National Security Council and the Central Intelli- 
gence Agency (see 50 U.S.C. 401-404 [1970]). Much of the existing intelligence 
structure was created at the direction of the President or other Executive Branch 
officials and therefore has no direct statutory base. 

powers to justify intelligence operations. In his autobiography, Roose- 
velt exemplified his view of the presidency, explaining : 

The most important factor in getting the right spirit in my 
Administration, next to the insistence upon courage, honesty, 
and a genuine democracy of desire to serve the plain people, 
was my insistence upon the theory that the executive power 
was limited only by specific restrictions and prohibitions 
appearing in the Constitution or imposed by the Congress 
under its constitutional powers. My view was that every 
executive officer, and above all every executive officer in high 
position, was a steward of the people, and not to content 
himself with the negative merit of keeping his talents im- 
damaged in a napkin. I declined to adopt the view that what 
was imperatively necessary for the Nation could not be done 
by the President unless he could find some specific authori- 
zation to do it. My belief was that it was not only his right 
but his duty to do anything that the needs of the Nation 
demanded unless such action was forbidden by the Consti- 
tution or by the laws. Under this interpretation of execu- 
tive power I did and caused to be done many things not 
previously done by the President and the heads of the De- 
partments. I did not usurp power, but I did greatly broaden 
the use of executive power. In other words, I acted for the 
public welfare, I acted for the common well-being of all our 
people, whenever and in whatever manner was necessary, 
unless prevented by direct constitutional or legislative pro- 
hibition. I did not care a rap for the mere form and show of 
power ; I cared immensely for the use that could be made of 
the substance.^ 

Just a few months before leaving office in June, 1908, Roosevelt 
told Sir George Otto Trevelyan : 

While President I have been President, emphatically;, I 
have used every ounce of power there was in the office and I 
have not cared a rap for the criticisms of those who spoke of 
my "usurpation of power;" for I know that the talk has been 
all nonsense and that there had been no usurpation. I believe 
that the efficiency of this Government depends upon it pos- 
sessing a strong central executive, and whenever I could 
establish a precedent for strength in the executive, as I did 
for instance as regards external affairs in the case of sending 
the fleet around the world, taking Panama, settling affairs 
of Santo Domingo, and Cuba ; or as I did in internal affairs in 
settling the anthracite coal strike, in keeping order in 
Nevada ... or as I have done in bringing the big corporations 
to book ... in all these cases I have felt not merely that my 
action was right in itself, but that in showing the strength of, 
or in giving strength to, the executive, I was establishing a 
precedent of value. I believe that responsibility should go 

* Theodore Roosevelt. An AutoMoffraphy. New York, Scribners, 1920, pp. 388- 

with power, and that it is not well that the strong executive 
should be a perpetual executive.^ 

Opposed to this view of the presidency was Eoosevelt's former 
Secretary of War (1905-1908), personal choice for and actual suc- 
cessor as Chief Executive, William Howard Taft. According to 
America's twenty-seventh President : 

The true view of the Executive functions is, as I conceive it, 
that the President can exercise no power which cannot be 
fairly and reasonably traced to some specific grant of power 
or justly implied and included within such express grant as 
proper and necessary to its exercise. Such specific grant must 
be either in the Federal Constitution or in an act of Congress 
passed in pursuance thereof. There is no undefined residuum 
of power which he can exercise because it seems to him to be 
in the public interest, and there is nothing in the Neagle case 
[^In re Neagle^ 135 U.S. 1 (1890)] and its definition of a law 
of the United States, or in other precedents, warranting such 
an inference. The grants of Executive power are necessary in 
general terms in order not to embarrass the Executive within 
the field of action plainly marked for him, but his jurisdic- 
tion must be justified and vindicated by affirmative constitu- 
tional or statutory provision, or it does not exist. There have 
not been wanting, however, eminent men in high public office 
holding a different view and who have insisted upon the 
necessity for an undefined residuum of Executive power in 
the public interest. They have not been confined to the present 

Between these two views of the presidency lie various gradations 
of opinion, as many conceptions of the office as there have been holders. 
The argument may be advanced, however, that those holding Roose- 
velt's stewardship theory would be more comfortable with undertaking 
constitutionally ill defined intelligence activities. Also, a President's 
view of his office will change with time and circumstances. Though 
he had argued against the stewardship theory in his Blumenthal 
Lectures at Columbia University in 1915-16, former President Taft, 
writing the majority opinion of the Supreme Court as Chief Justice 
in the Myers case, appealed to the opening clause of Article II of the 
Constitution as a grant of power. He held that the Chief Executive 
had the right to remove executive and administrative officers of the 
United States nominated or appointed by him, without the least 
restraint or limitation by Congress. The Constitution, Taft contended, 
intended such officers to serve only at the President's pleasure." Fol- 
lowing this example, if momentary circumstances suggested such 
action and neither the Constitution or Congress offered any restraints 

'Joseph Bucklin Bishop. Theodore Roosevelt and His Time (Vol. II). New 
York, Scribners, 1920, p. 94. 

"William Howard Taft. Our Chief Magistrate and his Forcers. New York, 
Columbia University Press, 1916, pp. 139-140 ; for a direct response to Theodore 

Roosevelt's expression of presidential power, see . The Presidency. New 

York, Scribners, 1916, pp. 125-130. 

" See Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52, 106-177 (1926) . 

upon same, then a President might enter into intelligence operations 
under the color of the Commander in Chief clause or the faithful 
execution of the laws provision. 

The Founders of the Republic did not have intelligence activities 
in their immediate purview when drafting the Constitution and assign- 
ing powers and functions to the branches of government established 
by this instrument. Nevertheless, implied authority for such pursuits 
appears to have been granted to both the Executive and the Legisla- 
ture. This situation has iDermitted each branch to act independently 
with regard to intelligence organization and policy and has con- 
tributed, as well, to conflicts between them on these matters. What 
follows here is an overview of the evolution and organization of the 
Federal intelligence function with a view to its origins and develop- 
ment within the context of a constitutional, democratic republic. 

Part One 
The Small Beginnings (1776-1914) 

Warfare in Europe during the age of New World discoveries was 
a captive of formalism, an extreme of etiquette and familiarity with 
the foe tempered by a static condition with regard to weapons tech- 
nology. On the Continent, this situation probably was radically 
altered by the increased use of gunpower and the horse. In the Amer- 
icas, it was challenged by a competing strategy — familiarity with and 
utilization of natural surroundings in defeating the enemy. This was 
the technique of the Indian. Devoid of military identification symbols, 
adept in tracking and skillful observation without detection, and 
given to making attacks by surprise from the vantage of protective 
cover, the natives of the Americas constituted a unique and mysterious 
combatant to those daring to venture into the new land. 

Colonists struggling to found permanent settlements along 
the Atlantic seaboard ("past the vast ocean, and a sea of 
troubles before," as William Bradford put it) encountered 
in the Indian what to them was a new kind of foe — a foe 
with a remarkable technique of patient subterfuge and cun- 
ning device, evolved in surroundings quite different from 
those of the Old World. By virtue of his training in the 
Indian mode of war, every brave was also in effect a spy. 
Through inborn capacity for the finesse of prowling and 
scouting, he was, in his own environment, so skillful as to 
make white men seem comparative bunglers. So declared 
Col. Richard I. Dodge, writing in 1882, while still there was 
a frontier, regarding the warriors of the western plains and 
mountains. So said the young Washington, who through 
frontier service became versed in the ways of eastern red- 

By the time colonial rivalries began to flare in the New World, an 
awareness and appreciation of Indian allies, both as warriors and as 
sources of intelligence information, was fairly well established. In 
the area of the St. Lawrence River valley, the French quickly estab- 
lished (1609-1627) trade relations and missionary ties with the fierce 
Iroquois tribes of the region. Occasional reversals were experienced 
in the course of these diplomatic efforts with the Indians, the most 
devastating occurring when the Iroquois, supplied with arms by the 
Dutch, began a decade (1642-1653) of intermittent attacks upon the 
Hurons with whom the French also had trade and political alliances. 
While a treaty ended these hostilities, eventually the Iroquois allied 
themselves with the British. Open conflict between the French and the 

^ George S. Bryan. The Spy In America. Philadelphia, J. B. Lippincott Com- 
pany, 1943, p. 15. 



Iroquois erupted in 1684, reaching as far west as the Mississippi and 
embroiling the territory surrounding Lakes Erie and Ontario. An 
ineffectual campaign by the French in 1687 prompted the Iroquois 
to retaliate the following year in bloody raids throughout the St. 
Lawrence valley. In August of 1689, the Iroquois slaughtered 200 
inhabitants of Lachine (now a suburb of Montreal in Ontario prov- 
ince) and took another 90 as prisoners. 

On the eve of the intercolonial wars (King William's War, 1689- 
1697; Queen Anne's War, 1702-1713; King George's War, 1740-1748; 
French and Indian War or Seven Years' War, 1754-1763), the French 
counted Indian alliances, extending from the Abenakis in Maine to 
the Algonquin in Wisconsin and north toward Hudson Bay, and a 
number of coureurs du hois^ familiar with forests and trails in the 
area of conflict, among their intelligence resources. The English were 
assisted by the powerful Iroquois alliance. That the French were 
resourceful in their use of Indian spies and scouts is evidenced by the 
circumstances surrounding the disastrous expedition to Fort Duquesne 
led by General Edward Braddock in 1755. Himself disdainful of In- 
dians and their services as scouts, Braddock and his forces were sur- 
prised by a smaller but better-positioned French unit a few miles 
away from Duquesne. The battle was one of confusion and terror 
within the British ranks. A great number of officers were killed, add- 
ing to the disorder among the troops. Braddock died three days after 
the battle from wounds he received in the fray.^ And to what may 
the success of the French for this action be attributed ? 

From the "Life and Travels" of Col. James Smith we know 
what the French had been doing. Smith (then a youthful 
Pennsylvania frontiersman), while at work on a military 
road from Fort Loudoun westward, was captured by Indian 
allies of the French and taken to Fort Duquesne. There he 
fell to talking with a Delaware who had a smattering of 
English. "I asked him," Smith wrote, "what news from 
Braddock's army. He said the Indians spied them every day^ 
and he showed me by making marks on the ground with a 
stick that Braddock's army was advancing in very close 
order and that the Indians would surround them, take trees, 
and (as he expressed it) 'shoot um down all one pigeon.' " ^ 

Of course not everyone within the British military forces was ad- 
verse to the utilization of Indians in their cause. In a routine com- 
munique to Colonel Henry Bouquet, dated July 16, 1758, George 
Washington acknowledged the dispatch of certain Indian bands with 
the observation that 

... I must confess, that I think these Scalping Parties of 
Indians we send out, will more effectually harass the Enemy 

- For Washington's account of the events see his letter of July 18, 1775 to Robert 
Dinwiddle in John C. Fitzpatrick, ed. The Writings of Oeorge Washington From 
the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799 (Vol. 1). Washington, U.S. Govt. 
Print. Off., 1931. pp. 148-150. 

^ Bryan, op. oit., p. 16 ; see .lames Smith. A Narrative of the Most Remarkable 
Occurrences in the Life and Travels of Colonel James Smith . . . During His 
Captivity Among the Indians in the Years 1755, '56, '57, d '59 . . . Philadelphia, 
J. Grigg, 1831. 


(by keeping them under continual Alarms) than any Parties 
of white People can do ; because small parties of ours are not 
equal to the undertaking, (not being so dexterous at skulking 
as Indians) ; and large ones will be discovered by their spies 
early enough to give the Enemy time to repell them by a su- 
perior Force ; and at all events, there is a greater probability 
of loosing many of our best men, and fatiguing others before 
the most essential Services are entered upon and am afraid 
not answer the proposed end.* 

The influence of the Indian upon intelligence activity is undeniable, 
effecting both information gathering and interpretation techniques 
as well as troop deployment practices (which were accordingly modi- 
fied to confuse intelligence operatives). The intelligence skills of the 
Indians were continued and refined by the frontier scouts who guided 
wagon trains and cavalry across the plains with the westward migra- 
tion. It may be argued that by the time of the "Jessie Scouts" (a name 
applied to Federal scouts masquerading in Confederate uniforms) 
and their southern counterparts, the Indian tradition of field intel- 
ligence, surprise attack and sabotage had penetrated the Federal 
armed services and, in one form or another, has remained operative 
within that institution through guerrilla units, marauder groups, 
rangers, and special forces. 

/. Revolution and Intelligemce 

With the advent of a revolutionary war against the British, the 
American colonists demonstrated a willingness to utilize certain intel- 
ligence techniques familiar from the intrigues of the Continent. As 
repressive trade and economic measures began to kindle opposition 
to the King's policies in the New World, various secret societies were 
formed, aiding the cause of liberty with both intelligence and mis- 
chievous deeds. The most famous of these clandestine organizations, 
the Sons of Liberty, was formed in the summer of 1765 to oppose the 
Stamp Act. Active through the provincial towns and settlements, they 
constituted an underground information network and resorted to vio- 
lent actions in their protestations. The Sons were thought to be re- 
sponsible, for example, for the burning of the records of the vice- 
admiralty court in Boston and the ransacking of the home of the 
comptroller of the currency there in August. These and lesser feats 
were of sufficient impact that, before the effective date (November 1, 
1765) of the Stamp Act, all of the royal stamp agents in the colonies 
had resigned. 

By the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a 
variety of partisans — revolutionaries and loyalists — were providing 
intelligence for tlie cause.^ Also, at this early date, perhaps as a con- 
sequence of prior exposure to spy activities during the intercolonial 
hostilities or even as a result of some familiaritj'^ with the prevailing 
espionage situation, initial policies regarding defense information 

' Fitzpatrick, o'p. cit. (Vol. 2), p. 237. 

^ Generally, on the activities of British intelligence, operatives, see : Bryan, 
op. cit., pp. 18-50; Allen French. General Gage's Informers. Ann Arbor, Univer- 
sity of Michigan Press, 1932 ; Carl Van Doren. Secret History of the American 
Revolution. New York, Viking Press. 1941; C. H. Van Tyne. The Loyalists in 
the American Revolution. New York, Peter Smith, 1929. 


security appeared.® Articles of war adopted in 1775 forbid any un- 
authorized correspondence with the enemy on the part of the Con- 
tinental armed forces. The following year the Continental Congress 
enacted an ordinance against spying by civilians in time of war. Exe- 
cutions for spying were public affairs, designed to further reinforce 
the legal prohibitions established by the revolutionaries and in inter- 
national law. 

Nevertheless, the Crown recruited and maintained an effective and 
highly important espionage organization in the colonies. 

Had it not been for the clandestine service rendered by loy- 
alists, the British would hardly have been able to prolong the 
struggle for eight years. The Revolution has in that sense to 
be viewed as a domestic war in far greater measure than had 
been perceived until the twentieth century, when research 
threw convincing light on the subject. 

As agents provocateurs^ whose function was that of all- 
round trouble-making ; as informers and sly correspondents ; 
as dispatch-bearers; as military spies, civilian intelligence 
agents, and go-betweens, the Tories labored and dared for the 
side to which in the majority of instances they were honestly 
attached, upon whose victory they confidently reckoned, and 
which had dangled before them the encouragement of final 
reward. To British commanders in America, this aid was 

It is not certain as to when the Continental armed forces began 
utilizing the services of undercover operatives but, with the leaderehip 
of George Washington, they had a strategist well aware of ways to foil 
and enhance the intelligence function. 

No other commander of his time knew better than did Wash- 
ington the necessity of being constantly informed about the 
enemy. If there were a surprise, he chose to spring it, as he did 
at Trenton — not to be the victim of it. He employed light 
horse, mounted and dismounted, for reconnaissance; he had 
"harassing parties" to annoy the enemy and, more impor- 
tant, to return with prisoners, from whom valuable intelli- 
gence might be obtained. He ordered that the north shore of 
Long Island, especially the bays, be constantly watched from 
high ground on the opposite shore by lookouts with good spy- 
glasses, who could note unusual movements of enemy ship- 

One of Washington's first actions after taking command of the army 
in July, 1775, at Cambridge, was to dispatch an agent to Boston to 
establish a secret correspondence network to report on enemy move- 
ments and activities. He preferred intelligence in writing and to safe- 
guard such communiques a variety of codes and an invisible ink were 
utilized at different times. The British had no personnel schooled in 
decoding and reasonably complex ciphers withstood various efforts of 

' The evolution of information security policy and practice is discussed in 
Appendix II. 
' Bryan, op. cit., p. 18. 
' Ibid., p. 51. 


translation. "Washington also established fixed terms of service for 
secret agents and specific matters of importance upon which he sought 
precise details.^ 

Among major topics of intelligence, Washington listed ar- 
rivals, troop movements, signs of expeditions by land or water, 
shifts of position, localities of posts and how fortified, 
strength and distribution of corps, and the state of garrisons. 
In addition to such things there were all kinds of minor par- 
ticulars whose interest and value would, he felt, be obvious to 
a competent agent.^° 

"Washington made regular but guarded use of spies. His caution was 
prompted by the precarious division of allegiance which transversed 
familial, religious, and regional ties and a variety of lesser human 
loyalties. Still, he knew the value of clandestine operatives. 

On the basis of results, he said after some four years of war : 
"The greatest benefits are to be derived from pei-sons who live 
with the other side. It is with such I have endeavored to es- 
tablish a correspondence, and on their reports I shall most 
rely." These people had a chance to examine freely without 
attracting suspicion, and they could report more literally not 
only on factual details but also on the enemy's morale.^^ 

The most sophisticated and enduring spy system — in good running 
order for five years — maintained by Washington was led by Major 
Benjamin Tallmadge and operated in the environs of New York City 
and Long Island. A commissioned officer in the Second Light Dra- 
goons of Connecticut (also known as Sheldon's Dragoons) and the 
Yale classmate, and closest personal friend, of the martj^red Xathan 
Hale, Tallmadge recruited his agents from among his friends. 

Tlie organization consisted of Tallmadge, [Robert] Town- 
send, Abraham Woodhull, Austin Roe, and Caleb Brewster — 
all young men of imagination, daring, and social position. 
Their operations were conducted by a method that was both 
devious and secure. Townsend lived in New York where he 
ran a general store which attracted British customers who 
were adroitly pumped for information. Roe was an active 
horseman who liked to ride from the heart of New York over 
Long Island country roads in all kinds of weather. He carried 
the reports to Woodhull. Woodhull then hurried to a point on 
the north shore of Long Island to look for a black petticoat 
and handkerchiefs on a clothesline. If they were hanging, 
it signaled that the boatman Brewster, who sailed his boat 
from one side of Long Island Sound to the other, had landed 
in a small cove on Long Island. Brewster then took the coded 

' Ibid., pp. 52-53. 

" Ibid., p. 53. 

^ Ibid, p. 52 ; generally on the activities of Washington's intelligence operatives, 
see : John Bakeless. Turncoats, Traitors, and Heroes. Philadelphia, J. B. Lippin- 
cott Company, 1959 ; H. P. Johnston. The Secret Service of the Revolution. Maga- 
zine of American History, v. 8, February, 1882 : 95-105 ; Morton Pennypaeker. 
General Washington's Spies. Brooklyn, Long Island Historical Society, 1939. 


messages across to Connecticut to Tallmadge who transmit- 
ted them to General Washington.^^ 

In this venture, as in all of his spy arrangements, Washington had 
certain particulars of information which were of priority importance. 

It was Washington's request that he be specifically in- 
formed as to : 

The health and spirits of the British army and navy in the 

The number of men allotted to the defense of the city and 
its environs (the corps to be specified, and where posted) ; 

The guarding of transports (whether by armed vessels or 
with chains, booms, etc.) ; 

The works crossing York Island at the rear of the city (the 
redoubts, and the number of gims in each) ; 

The works (if any) between these and Fort Knyphausen 
and Washington ; 

The works (if any) on the Harlem River, near Harlem 
town — also on the East River, facing Hell Gate ; 

The character of the defenses (whether, for example, they 
included pits in which stakes had been fixed) ; 

Existing supplies of forage, provisions, and wood; 
Movements by land or water. 

He also wished intelligence regarding vessels and boats on 
Long Island Sound. Somebody in the vicinity of Brooklyn 
could, he thought, under pretext of marketing obtain daily 
admission to the garrison there. Always he stressed the im- 
portance of concrete details, the value of accuracy, the worth- 
lessness of rumors.^^ 

The employment of spies and informers was an expensive prospect 
which Washington managed quite well. His first appeal for an in- 
telligence fund appears to have been made on August 25, 1978.^^ 

Congress sent 500 guineas, which would, he said, be used 
with discretion as it might be required. He added that the 
American intelligence service had been far from satisfactory, 
either because swift decline in the value of Continental cur- 
rency had rendered the terms of service extravagantly high, 
or because in some instances any offer whatever of paper 
money had been refused. When he accepted his commission, 
it was with the distinct proviso that no salary would attach 
to it, but that he would keep a record of his expenses. On 
July 1, 1783, he drew up in his own handwriting a detailed 
statement of these accounts, from which we learn that in 
eight years the total ex]Denditure for "secret intelligence" 
was £1,982 10s [the Continental Congress had authorized an 

" Monro MacCloskey. The American Intelligence Community. New York, Rich- 
ards Rosen Press, 1967, pp. 33-34 ; a personal account of the activities and opera- 
tion of the Tallmadge organization may be foimd in Benjamin Tallmadge with 
H. P. Johnston, ed. Memoir. New York, Gilliss Press, 1904. 

"Bryan, op, cit., pp. 78-79; see Washington's letter of March 21, 1779, to 
Tallmadge in Fitzpatrick, op. cit. (Vol. 14), pp. 276-277. 

" See Fitzpatrick, op. dt. (Vol. 12) , p. 356. 


amount not to exceed 2000 ^lineas in gold specie to be drawn 
from the Treasury by Washington for secret services]. Here 
is sufficient evidence of how frugally he must have dealt out 
guineas in those pinching times.^^ 

In terms of the development of intelligence techniques, the period 
of the Revolutionary War witnessed two innovations : the introduction 
of special devices — in this case, an invisible ink — and counterintelli- 
gence arrangements. 

This particular ink and its re-agent or counterpart (the for- 
mulas for which remain unknown) were invented by Sir 
James Ja}', John Jaj^'s elder brother, a physician living in 
England, where in 1763 he had been knighted. Sir James, by 
the account he later gave Thomas Jefferson, believed, from 
what he had learned of certain curious experiments, that ''a 
fluid might possibly be discovered for invisible writing which 
would elude the generally known means of detection, and yet 
could be rendered visible by a suitable counterpart." When 
war in America seemed inevitable, he saw that in forwarding 
secret intelligence this method would possess great advan- 
tages. Accordingly he sent from England to his brother John 
in New York "considerable quantities" of the liquids he had 
hit upon.^6 

Counterespionage efforts appear to have begim around July of 1776 
and soon developed into an effective organized effort. However, it fell 
to the sub-national jurisdictions to cultivate these actions. This course 
of initiative created certain problems and confusion for Washington's 
intelligence program. Typical of these frustrations was a case where 
Xew Jerse}^ authorities had mistakenly jailed three of Washington's 
agents working in the Xew York City area. 

"I hope," wrote Washington to the Governor, "you will put 
a stop to the prosecution, unless other matters appear against 
them. You must be well convinced that it is indispensably 
necessary to make use of such means to procure intelligence. 
The persons employed must bear the suspicion of being 
thought inimical ; and it is not in their power to assert tlieir 
innocence, because that would get abroad and destroy the con- 
fidence which the enemy puts in them." 

He later mentioned to the President of Congress the annoy- 
ance occasioned through intermeddling by state officials. 
There had been instances, he said, of prosecution in the civil 
courts when it had been necessary for headquarters to reveal 
the true character of the accused men. "This has served to 
deter others from acting in the same capacity, and to increase 
the dread of detection in our confidential friends." Once in a 
while it happened that a man who undeiixDok to get intelli- 

^^ Bryan, op. cit., p. 74 ; see Washington's letter of September 4, 1778, to the 
President of Congress acknowledging receipt of the 500 guineas, in Fitzpatrick, 
op. cit. (Vol. 12). pp. 399-400; also see Washington's letter of June 11, 1779, 
to Michael Hillegas, Treasurer of the United States, noting the authorization of 
upwards of 2000 guineas for secret service, in Ibid. (Vol. 15), p. 263. 

" Bryan, op. cit., p. 75. 


gence under the subterfuge of trade did seem to devote more 
attention to his own profits than he did to intelligence ; but it 
wasn't best to be too severe with him.^^ 

The most vigorous counterintelligence program was in New York 
where, in May of 1776, the Provincial Congress established a panel on 
"intestine enemies" which is often referred to as the Committee on 
Conspiracies. Under the authority of tliis body, John Jay, future Chief 
Justice, diplomat, and Federalist Papers author, and Nathaniel Sack- 
ett, another leading figure of the time, directed as many as ten agents 
in ferreting out British spys and informers. Among these heroes was 
Enoch Crosby who is generally thought (Cooper's protestations to the 
contrary) to have been the model for James Fenimore Cooper's char- 
acter Harvey Birch in Ths Spy (published in 1821).^^ This network 
was superseded by a more ambitious unit, the Commissioners for De- 
tecting and Defeating Conspiracies, which was created in February, 
1778, and lasted until 1781.^^ Washington was assisted in his counter- 
espionage efforts by such state initiatives and by his own agents oper- 
ating behind British lines. Also, in this regard, it should not be 
forgotten that Washington's intelligence system extended beyond the 
shores of the Americas to England and the Continent. Thus, for ex- 
ample, when Lord Cornwallis returned to his homeland in the waning 
days of 1777 and reported that the conquest of America was impossible, 
a secret agent in London passed this information on to Benjamin 
Franklin at Passy by January 20, 1778.^° Other bits of intelligence and 
counterintelligence made their way across the Atlantic to Washington 
through similar routes. 

With the congressional ratification of the articles of peace on April 
15, 1783, and the subsequent disbanding of the army over the next 
few months, Washington's intelligence corps went out of existence. 
Of those spies employed by the revolutionaries and the British, only 
one is thought to have re-entered such secret activities ever again.^^ 
The vast majority of Washington's operatives settled back into normal 
business pursuits and relative obscurity. Only one or two of these indi- 

" IMd., p. 54; the letter to Governor Livingston appears in Fitzpatrick, op. cit. 
(Vol. 10), p. 329; the letter to the President of Congress appears in Ibid. (Vol. 
15), pp. 42^5. 

^ Generally, on counter-intelligence activity during the Revolution, see Bake- 
less, op. cit., pp. 125-153; on the career of Enoch Crosby, see H. L. Barnum. 
The Spy Unmasked ; or Memoirs of Enoch Crosby. New York. J. J. Harper, 1828. 

" Generally, on the efforts of inquisitorial bodies in New York, see Alexander 
Clarence Flick. Loyalism in New York During the American Revolution. New 
York, Arno Press and The New York Times, 1969 ; originally published 1901 ; 
also see Victor H. Paltsits, ed. Minutes of the Commissioners for Detecting and 
Defeating Conspiracies in the State of New York * * * Albany, State of New York, 

^ Bakeless, op. cit., p. 220 ; also, of general interest is Michael Kammen. A 
Rope of Sand: The Colonial Agents, British Politics, and the American Revolu- 
tion. Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1968 ; a provocative comment upon Frank- 
lin's activities may be found in Cecil B. Currey. Code Number 12 — Benjamin 
Franklin: Patriot or Spy? Englewood Cliffs, Proutice-Hall. 1972. 

'^This was the British agent John Howe who settled in Canada after the 
Revolution and was reactivated during the War of 1812 when he made a tour 
of the United States reporting on military preparations and popular mood. His 
model report was discovered by American historians long after his mission was 


viduals received any special commendation or decoration for their 
service and intelligence officers in the armed services received only their 
regular promotions, nothing more. The prevailing attitude seems to 
have been that the intelligence services rendered by these individuals 
were necessary, were gratefully appreciated by Washington and the 
Nation, but were not to be glorified or publicly discussed. A few — 
Tallmadge and Crosby, among others — had their exploits captured 
in print, but not always in a format with any visibility. Captain David 
Gray, for example, published a pamphlet on his adventures but the 
last copy was destroyed in a fire at the State library in Albany in 1911 ; 
he had also told his story to the Massachusetts legislature but his 
petition there also vanished; however, his pension claim of 1823 did 
survive, complete with his personal account of wartime activities, and 
remains with the National Archives.^^ 

//. The New Nation 

With the conclusion of hostilities with Great Britain, the new nation 
turned its attention to preparing, and then ratifying, a written con- 
stitution establishing a new Federal Government. The document itself, 
as noted previously, contained: provisions which appear to be conducive 
to the cultivation and development of the intelligence function, but, 
with the disbanding of Washington's forces, the nation's leaders would 
actually organize intelligence operations in an ad hoc manner and on 
an extemporaneous basis during the course of the next century.^^ 

Of great importance, as well, for the evolution and operationali- 
zation of the Federal intelligence function are certain of the guaran- 
tees in the Constitution's Bill of Rights. Among these are prohibitions 
against Congress enacting any law abridging the freedom of speech 
or of the press, or of the right of the people to peaceably assemble, 
or of the right of the public to be secure in their persons, houses, 
papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures. These 
strictures on governmental power could have special significance in 
the event an ambitious and zealous intelligence program were at- 
tempted to protect the citizenry from itself (or enemies of the state 
imperceptible to the people). 

Indeed, shortly after the Federal Government was instituted, cir- 
cumstances might well have prompted an enthusiastic intelligence 
endeavor. When France, an old ally of the United States, was seized 
by the winds of revolution, the French Republic, in 1793, dispatched 
an agent, Edward Charles Genet, to Charleston in South Carolina. 
Before presenting his diplomatic credentials, Genet commissioned 
four privateers and dispatched them to prey upon British shipping as 
France had declared war on England. He also sought to recruit an 
expedition to conquer Louisiana which was then controlled by Spain, 
another declared enemy of France. While the United States sought 
to remain neutral in the conflict between France and England, Presi- 
dent Washington was faced with an agent firovocafeur of a foreign 
power recruiting ships and men to engage in hostilities off the Ameri- 
can coast and possibly marching through American territory to engage 

** Generally, on the post-war lifestyles of former spies and intelligence opera- 
tives, see Bakeless, op. cit., pp. 359-365. 
* See Introduction, pp. &-9. 


Spanish authorities. Washington received Genet with cool formality 
and subsequently informed him that his grants of military commis- 
sions on American soil constituted an infringement on the national 
sovereignty of the United States. Notice was also given that Genet's 
privateers would have to leave American waters and that their prizes 
could not be sent to ports of the United States. Although he initially 
agreed to comply with these demands, Genet was soon attempting to 
arm The Little Sarah, a recently captured prize. When warned against 
dispatching the ship, Genet threatened to mobilize opinion against 
Washington. Ultimately, the vessel escaped to sea and efforts were 
made to have Genet recalled. By this time, however, the Jacobins had 
seized power in France and a new minister to the United States had 
been dispatched with orders for Genet's arrest. Washington refused 
to extradite Genet and he subsequently became an American citizen. 
Conditions continued to remain tense with regard to America's rela- 
tions with France. In 1797, with the French Directory in power, 
harassments and seizures were made on American shipping. The 
American ambassador to France, Charles Pinckney, was refused an 
opportunity to present his diplomatic credentials. In an attempt to 
smooth the situation — ^the French were basically disturbed by the 
terms of Jay's Treaty which, in part, granted American ships entry 
to the British East Indies and West Indies while placing British trade 
with the United States on a most- favored nation basis — President 
Adams dispatched a special mission to Paris. Delayed on a pretext 
from beginning official negotiations, the American delegation was ap- 
proached by three agents of the Foreign Ministry. Described in 
diplomatic dispatches as X, Y, and Z, these operatives suggested an 
American loan to France and a bribe of $240,000 to settle matters. 
When this "offer" was refused and the failure of the negotiations 
reached Adams, he informed Congress of the clandestine effort and 
submitted the XYZ correspondence to the Legislature for inspection 
and public disclosure. The dispute with France was settled by an un- 
declared naval war (1798-1800). This incident and the Genet affair 
set off a variety of conspiracy theories and fears of foreign intrigue 
in America. But, rather than creating any countervailing intelligence 
organization, the response of the Federal Government appears to be 
that of restrictive law — the Alien and Sedition Acts. These consisted 
of four statutes enacted by Congress in June and July of 1798 which 
changed the residency period for citizenship from five to fourteen 
years (1 Stat. 566) ; authorized the President to order all aliens re- 
garded as dangerous to the public peace and safety or suspected of 
treasonable or secret activities out of the country (1 Stat. 570) ; 
authorized the President, during a declared war, to arrest, imprison, 
or banish aliens subjected to an enemy power (1 Stat. 577) ; and made 
it a high misdemeanor, punishable bv fine or imprisonment, for citi- 
zens or aliens to enter into unlawful combinations to oppose the 
execution of the national law, or to impede a Federal officer from 
performing his duties, or to aid or attempt any insurrection, riot, or 
unlawful assembly (1 Stat. 596). 

Under these circumstances the spy-fever raffed. Federalist 
Noah Webster said that "in case of any fatal disaster to Eng- 
land, an invasion of America may not be improbable." A 


Coneressional document held that France and her partisans 
in America would unite for "the subversion of religion, 
morality, law, and Government." Her means, the report said, 
"are in wonderful coincidence with her ends ; among these and 
not the least successful is the direction and employment of the 
active and versatile talents of her citizens abroad as emissaries 
and spies." Federalist journals babbled of conspiracy, and 
hurled insults at Anti- Federalists. 

William Cobbett ("Peter Porcupine" of Porcupine^s Ga- 
zette) announced that on May 9th, 1798 (ordained as a 
national fast day) "desperate villains" would set fire to Phila- 
delphia — but nothing happened. When the innocent 
Dr. George Logan of that city went abroad, "Porcupine" 
smelled a rat. "Take care." he raged; "when your blood runs 
down the gutters, don't say you were not forewarned of the 
danger." Volney, the historian, whose journeyings had carried 
him to America, was branded as a French spy darkly ma- 
neuvering to return Louisiana to France. Genet, who settled 
peacefully on Long Island as a naturalized American, was 
said to be in correspondence with "the Tyrants." ^* 

///. Mission- to Florida 

Spy-fever remained rampant in America as Napoleon Bonaparte 
emerged from the political turmoil in France as a new unifying 
force on the Continent. The ambitions of the new French regime soon 
became apparent to President Jefferson. The Treaty of Fontainebleau 
(1762) ceded the Louisiana Territory to Spain but the secret Treaty 
of San Ildefonso (1800) returned the province to France at the behest 
of Napoleon who projected the revival of a colonial empire in North 
America. The Treaty of Madrid (1801) confirmed the retrocession 
and shortly thereafter the matter came to Jefferson's attention, prompt- 
ing him to begin efforts for the purchase of New Orleans and West 
Florida. The result of these actions was the acquisition of the entire 
Louisiana area and a heightened sensitivity to the intrigues of 

The French were not the only threat to the security and sovereignty 
of the infant L^nited States at this time. The phobias about spies and 
espionage within America were kindled anew with the disclosure of 
the so-called Burr Conspiracy. Shortly after the duel in which 
Alexander Hamilton was fatally wounded (July 11, 1804), Aaron 
Burr began his efforts at organizing a movement for separating the 
western territories of the Mississippi region from the United States. 
After being refused financial assistance for his cause by the British, 
Burr obtained a small sum from the Spanish and began focusing upon 
lands of the Southwest and Mexico for establishing a western empire. 
It is still unclear if his intent was treasonable or merely a filibustering 
expedition against his benefactors in the Spanish dominions. Never- 
theless, Burr is known to have made a tour of the Mississippi River 
valley (ISIay-September, 1805) and to have conferred with General 
James Wilkinson, commander of the armed forces in that region. At 
the end of August, 1806, he stayed at Blennerhasset's Island on the 

^ Bryan, op. cit., pp. 106-107. 


Ohio River where he recruited some sixty to eighty men and ten 
boats. In the meantime, Wilkinson warned Jefferson of Burr's activi- 
ties and the President issued a proclamation on November 27, 1806, 
warning citizens against participating in an illegal expedition against 
Spanish territory.^^ Unaware of this declaration, Burr and his com- 
pany began their journey down the Mississippi, passing several Ameri- 
can forts without interference. When they came within thirty miles 
of Natchez, Burr learned that Wilkinson had betrayed him and he 
fled toward Spanish Florida but was captured and arrested in Ala- 
bama. Indicted for treason. Burr's trial l3efore Chief Justice Marshall 
presiding over the U.S. Circuit Court ended in an acquittal. Burr went 
into European exile to escape further prosecutions for murder (in 
New York and New Jersey in the case of his duel with Hamilton) 
and for treason (in Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Louisiana.) 

In spite of the confusion about the exact nature of Burr's expedition 
popular sentiments against France and Spain remained fixed. The 
Louisiana Purchase of 1803 left the status of Spanish ruled East and 
West Florida unsettled. Jefferson supported the view that Louisiana 
included the portion of Florida between the Mississippi River to the 
west and the Perdido River to the east (the most southern portions of 
the current states of Alabama and Mississippi). In 1810 a group of 
expansionists led a revolt in the Spanish dominion, captured the 
fortifications at Baton Rouge, and proclaimed the independent Re- 
public of West Florida. On October 27, a month after its liberation, 
the Republic was proclaimed a U.S. possession and its military occupa- 
tion as part of the Orleans Territory was authorized.^*' There were also 
designs on West Florida (which Congress ultimately incorporated 
[2 Stat. 734] into the Mississippi Territory on May 14, 1812) and 
scattered outbursts of opposition to Spanish authority within the 
Florida peninsula. 

Into this situation President Madison dispatched George Matthews 
as a political emissary and intelligence agent. Ordered to proceed 
"secretly" to Florida, Matthews was to present himself to the Spanish 
authorities as an American commissioner authorized to accept such 
territory as might be turned over to the United States by Spain. 

The Peninsular War was then cauterizing Spain, and the 
colonial office in Madrid had neither funds nor power. A new 
war between Britain and the United States was forseen in 
1811, and President Madison believed that the English would 
probably seize Florida as a base of operations. To prevent 
this, he appointed Matthews and Colonel John McKee, an 
Indian agent, to negotiate with the Spanish governor and 
secure if possible a cession of the provinces. They were to 
"fix a date for their return, if desired." In case the commis- 
sioners were successful, a provisional government was to 
be established; but if unsuccessful, it was understood from 
the beginning that forcible possession was to be taken, should 

^ See James D. Richardson, comp. A Compilation of the Messages and Papers 
of the Presidents (Vol. 1). New York. Bureau of National Literature, 1897, pp. 

* See Ibid., pp. 465-466. 


there be any reason to suppose a foreign Power was moving 
to capture the Floridas. 

McKee seems to have abandoned this enterprise, leaving 
Matthews to carry on alone, which was very much to that 
gentleman's taste. He was a native of Ireland, had fought in 
the Revolutionary War, and had risen to the rank of general. 
No celebrated exploit of that struggle is connected with his 
name, but he was described as a man of "unsurpassed bravery 
and indomitable energy, strong-minded but almost illiterate." 
Moving to Georgia in 1785, his indomitable energy won him 
election as governor the very next year. In 1794-95 he was 
again elected governor of the state, and some time thereafter, 
though entitled to be called both Honorable and General, he 
did not disdain to work for the War Department as a special 
agent on the Florida f rontier.^^ 

As an agent provocateur, Matthews took it upon himself to recruit 
former Americans residing in Spanish Florida to revolt against their 
foreign ruler. When the colonial governor indicated opposition to these 
activities, Matthews returned to Georgia where he gathered a private 
army of sharpshooting frontiersmen and Indian fighters and once 
again entered the Spanish territory on a mission of espionage. 

A number of Georgian frontiersmen, preparing for a de- 
scent upon Florida, assembled on the opposite bank of the St. 
Mary's River. Uniting with the border settlers on the Spanish 
side, they proceeded to organize an independent "Republic of 
Florida," with Colonel John Mcintosh as president and a 
Colonel Ashley as military chief. Ferdandina, on Amelia 
Island, had become in 1808 a port of free entry for foreign 
vessels. On the excuse of protecting American shipping in- 
terests, General Matthews determined to occupy Ferdandina 
and Amelia Island, and to that end sent nine armed vessels 
into the harbor. Forces of the "Republic of Florida" he en- 
listed in his project, and, commanded by Ashley, they ap- 
proached Ferdandina by water and summoned the Spanish 
commander, Don Jose Lopez, to surrender. Lopez was forced 
to sign articles of capitulation March 17, 1812, possibly a deli- 
cate compliment to the Irishman, Matthews. These articles — 
which added to the political apoplexy of the Spanish minis- 
ter in Washington — provided that Ferdandina should re- 
main a free port, but in case of war between Britain and the 
United States, British ships could not enter the harbor after 
May 1, 1813.28 

In Washington the Spanish minister maintained a vehement protest 
of Matthews' activities even though the Ferdandina settlement con- 
stituted something of a compromise of his diplomatic position. Re- 
luctantly President Madison and Secretary of State James Monroe 
announced that Matthews had "misunderstood" his instructions. 

^^ Richard Wilmer Rowan with Robert G. Deindorfer, Secret Service: Thirty- 
three Centuries of Espionage. London, William Kimber, 1969, pp. 241-242. 
*" rbid., p. 705n. 


Governor Mitchell of Georgia was appointed to replace him 
and directed to assist Estrada [the Spanish colonial gov- 
ernor] in enforcing order. Because of his unwanted versa- 
tility Matthews was dismissed; but his successor seems to 
have been given instructions no less opaque. Mitchell, it is 
said, was to obtain safety for the "revolutionists" in Florida, 
aid them as much as possible, and withdraw "troops as slowly 
as might seem feasible." No better way of pursuing Matthews' 
imperial aim could have been contrived; and Mitchell made 
so much of his opportunities that the armed force Matthews 
had organized and commanded did not retire from Florida 
for fourteen months. Then — in May 1813 — it moved to join 
the army of Andrew Jackson, who was himself presently 
ordered to renew the invasion and march upon Pensacola. 
Only a Congressional outcry checked this expeditionary 
thrust, and Old Hickory turned aside to the timely defense 
of New Orleans.^^ 

How far astray had Matthews actually gone in interpreting his in- 
structions? Was he isolated from changing policy developments or the 
architect of a self-styled soldier of fortune escapade ? 

It was known at the time that George Matthews reported 
regularly to Washington. While discussing the necessity of 
occupying Florida to prevent the British from seizing it as a 
base, the American Congress sat in secret session, and many 
precautions were taken to keep the matter from becoming 
known. Matthews was in no sense, therefore, a filibuster or 
private plotter acting from selfish motives. Instead he typi- 
fied the land-hungry American frontiersman of his age, who 
regarded himself as an agent — not a bit secret — of divine 
interposition and looked upon no boundary of the United 
States as final until it vanished into a sea, gulf or ocean. Mat- 
thews' conduct, as a government commissioner, was indefen- 
sible; and it is easy to understand why his project, carried on 
by his successor, has no forward place in the annals of the 
day. A blunt instrument adding one more note of apology to 
the sorry record of events surrounding the War of 1812, he 
has had to be ignored as he was formerly disowned.^*' 

And with regard to the evolution and advancement of the intelli- 
gence function, the following conclusion seems appropriate. 

There was very little secret service of a professional mold 
in the three-year War of 1812 and not much effective work 
of the Intelligence on either side. This is surprising, for there 
were any number of living Americans who had been officers 
in the Revolutionary War, and some of them ought to have 
remembered General Washington's profitable dependence 
upon systematic espionage. And it is all the more surprising 
as a fault of the British, for Napoleon was beaten and exiled 

^ Ibid., pp. 242-243. 

^IMd., p. 243; also see David Hunter Miller. Secret Statutes of the United 
States: A Memorandum. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1918, pp. 4-6. 


to Elba, and in 1814 the government in London could afford 
to train its heaviest guns upon the weaker American ad- 

IV. Mexican War 

Insensitivity to intelligence needs persisted in Washington during 
the next three decades. "\Mien General Zachary Taylor marched into 
the recently annexed Republic of Texas, he had little useful informa- 
tion about the terrain or natural defenses of the territory. When Texas 
was admitted to the union in December, 1845, Taylor advanced to the 
Rio Grande to repel an anticipated Mexican attack. On February' 6, 

1846, the army received notification that field maneuvers might be 
ordered on short notice. 

For six months, while at Corpus Christi, although he had 
engineers, and although traders were streaming through the 
place from beyond the Rio Grande, Taylor did not even know 
the way to Matamoros — so wrote Lieut. Col. E. A. Hitchcock, 
then commanding the 3rd infantry, whose dmvj and papers 
are now in the Library of Congress. It was not until February 
24th that the necessary data were procured, not until March 
8th that the army began to move. A light unit for scouting 
purposes was an obvious need ; and [William L.] Marcy, the 
secretary of war, had given Taylor express orders to call for 
assistance from the Texans, "by whom legs were valued 
chiefly as the means of sticking to a horse." Yet nothing of 
the kind was done. 

There was no intelligence service. Dense ignorance reigned 
at headquarters as to topography or local conditions. Taylor 
had been instructed to learn all he could regarding both, and 
to keep the War Department informed; but in spite of 
Marcy's earnest requests, he appears to have forwarded 
nothing whatever and to have had no useful ideas about the 
campaign. Xapoleon had said that any general who, when 
taking the field in a peopled countrj', neglected intelligence 
service, was a general "ignorant of his trade." ^^ 

Contrary to the advice of General Winfield Scott, who was about 
to enter the field, Taylor made no effort to recruit disgruntled contra- 
handistas — Mexican border-folk skilled in smuggling and otherwise 
unhappy with their own government — as spies or informers. He 
marched to Monterey without utilizing scouts, without almost any pre- 
cautions against surprise attack, and, assuming he would encounter 
no serious resistance in seizing the city, without any real information 
as to the fortifications or defenses he would encounter. 

When General Scott landed at Vera Cruz with his army in March, 

1847, Lieut. -Col. Hitchcock, previously serving with Taylor in the 

^ Rowan and Deindorfer. op. cit., p. 244 ; there is evidence that Andrew Jack- 
son had a secret agent in Pensacola. Florida, who was instrumental in informing 
Jackson of the size and armament of his opposition at the battle of New Orleans 
and it is also thought that Jackson had utilized the services of the notorious 
pirate Jean Lafitte for intelligence purposes but these were very crude and 
elementary endeavors ; see Ibid., pp. 244—246. 

^- Bryan, op. cit., pp. 116-117. 


north, had joined his expedition serving as assistant inspector general. 
By his own account, it would appear that it was Hitchcock who re- 
cruited and organized the spy forces which had been urged on Taylor 
and subsequently served Scott so well. On June 5, 1847, Hitchcock 
noted in his diary that he had taken into service "a very celebrated 
captain of robbers" who "knows the band and the whole country." 
This was Dominguez whom Hitchcock tested with the delivery of a 
communique "and if he performs the service faithfully, I shall further 
employ him." ^^ Two weeks later Hitchcock recorded his return with 
a letter of response — thus was the Mexican Spy Company (or Spy 
Company, or "the Forty Thieves") , as it came to be known, established, 

Dominguez, leader of the Spy Company, had been an honest 
weaver, it was said, but on being robbed by a Mexican officer, 
took to the road and became a brigand chief. When the Ameri- 
cans reached Puebla he was living there quietly with his 
family; but, knowing the insecurity of his position, he ac- 
cepted Hitchcock's offer to become a scout. His band consisted 
at first of five men but rose to about 100, and probably might 
have been increased to 2000. He and men of his even entered 
the capital in disguise. While he was at the head of the com- 
pany, the actual captain was a Virginian named Spooner, who 
had been a member of his band ; and the two lieutenants were 
also foreigners. The men seem to have served and obeyed 
orders faithfully, and their leader refused very advantageous 
terms offered by Santa Ana.^* 

Eventually, Hitchcock obtained the release of some of Dominguez's 
compatriots from local jails, arranged to pay each recruit $20 a month, 
organized the band into companies, and placed them under the direct 
orders of General Scott with Dominguez acting as leader of the 
forces.^^ While the Spy Company was most useful to Scott, its members 
were regarded as loathsome and immoral by many of the officers and 
men of the army. Dr. Albert G. Brackett, a lieutenant with General 
Joseph Lane's forces under Scott's command, has penned the following 
first-hand observation : 

The contra-guerrillas under Dominguez were a rascally set 
of fellows, and I never could look upon them with any degree 
of sympathy. Traitors to their own country in the darkest 
hour of stern trial, they aided the Americans against their 
own countrymen, and covered themselves with lasting infamy. 
There is an old saying "we love the treason but despise the 
traitor," which did not hold good with us. We loathed the 
treason and cursed the traitor. Every man in the company was 
a "jail bird," and a worse body of men could not have been 
collected together. 

^ W. A. Croffut, ed. Fifty Tears In Camp and Field: Diary of Major-Oeneral 
Ethan Allen Hitchcock, U.S.A., New York and London, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 
1909, p. 259. 

** Justin H. Smith. The War imth Mexico (Vol. 2). New York, Macmillan 
Company, 1919, p. 362n. 

"= Croffut, op. oit., pp. 263-265. 


I once rode from the National Bridge to En Cerro with a 
squadron of these chaps, and was the only American with 
them. I had been carrying an order down from En Cerro to 
the Bridge, and was on my return. They rode along singing 
ribald songs, discharging their escopettes [a short rifle or 
carbine] every few minutes, and behaving in the most un- 
soldier-like manner. They had a few women along with them 
who seemed to be as thoroughly steeped in vice as the men. 
Each man carried a lance and wore a wide red band around 
his hat, Mexican treachery is proverbial, and these contra- 
guerrillas were a complete embodiment of it. On first seeing 
them, I thought very much, as one of our Irish soldiers did, 
"may the devil fly away wid'em for a set of ragamuffins." ^^ 

Undoubtedly those in the Spy Company were aware of these re- 
sentments and prejudices and a trace of that feeling can be detected 
in this brief passage in a letter from Captain Robert Anderson, Third 
Artillery, to his mother. 

We have in our pay a Company of Mexicans who are called 
the Forty Thieves; they are, I expect some of the gentlemen 
robbers Thompson mentions. They were asked, the other day, 
if they would not be afraid of being murdered by their coun- 
trymen for acting with us, after we left the Country, and their 
Captain's answer was : "That is our business, we will take care 
of ourselves." They are very useful in getting information, 
etc., and are used individually or collectively, as their services 
are required. The Captain says he can increase his band to 
1500 or 2000, if a greater number be wanted than he now has.^^ 

Indeed, what was the fate of the Spy Company as an American victory 
became apparent? 

As danger diminished so did the need for the irregulars' 
services. Promises of payment remained promises only. Ap- 
parently President Polk had an appropriation he could utilize 
for such things, and it would seem that he drew on it. But 
either the commitments were made by irresponsible people, or 
the political and military machines simply were not set up to 
administer such unorthodox operations despite the official- 
sounding name of Spy Company. Some officers of high per- 
sonal integrity paid out of their own pockets. "^ATien they did, 
it was their own decision, and their own loss, as far as the 
government was concerned. 

With the signing of peace, even these amenities stopped. 
The once sought-after irregulars were bandied about, even 
ordered from camps. Doubtless the qualities which had been 
found useful to the army now posed threats or at least em- 

** Albert G. Brackett. General Lane's Brigade in Central Mexico. New York, 
J. C. Derby, 1854, pp. 186-187. 

^ Eba Anderson Lawton, ed. Ati Artillery Officer in the Mexican War, 1846-7: 
Letters of Robert Atiderson. New York and London, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1911, 
p. 266 ; abbreviated words appearing in the original have been reproduced in 
full in the above quotation. 


barrassment, and their possessors were classed as undesirable. 
Some were ordered to get out of the country. Others still in 
the United States were advised that the best that could be 
done for them was an offer of transportation to the border 
and freedom to cross into Mexico, the one area on the face of 
the globe where they could not live, at least not for long.^^ 

In his diary entry of June 5, 1848, Hitchcock records he was to 
discharge the Spy Company "with their own consent, by paying them 
$20 per man at Vera Cruz — except the chief, Domingues, who will go 
to New Orleans.'' Those electing to remain in service "expect to go to 
Compeachy on an expedition proposed by General Lane 'on his own 
hook . . . ." ^^ As it does not appear that the Compeachy mission was 
realized, the remnants of the Spy Company probably were dispersed 
into the countryside, without any further American payments, to pur- 
sue their old craft as bandits. 

Another account regarding the fate of the Spy Company says simply 
that its members "were offered $20 apiece and a trip to Texas.^° Thus, 
it remains uncertain as to how many in the Mexican Spy Company 
received final compensation for their services and, beyond this, how 
many were left to fend for themselves in their homeland or were 
removed to the United States. While the Spy Company is generally 
thought to have provided useful intelligence .for General Scott, its 
unique nature and the experience of United States armed forces in the 
Mexican hostilities prompt agi'eement with the conclusion that : 

The AVar with Mexico gave many American officers a certain 
practical training for Civil War marches and battlefields. But 
from its extempore secret service little of positive value could 
have been derived.*^ 

V. Oivil War 

In 1860, following the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presi- 
dency, the South Carolina legislature, by a unanimous vote, called 
for a state convention. It assembled at Columbia and passed without 
dissent an ordinance declaring that "the Union now subsisting be- 
tween South Carolina and the other States, under the name of the 
'United States of America,' is hereby dissolved." Seceding on Decem- 
ber 20, 1860, South Carolina was followed by Mississippi (January 19, 
1861), Louisiana (January 26, 1861), and Texas (February 1, 1861). 
Tlie seceding states called for a convention. Meeting in Montgomery, 
Alabama, it framed a constitution resembling the U.S. Constitution, 
and on February 8, 1861, set up a provisional government. Thus was 
the Confederacy born. 

President-elect Lincoln was unable to halt the cataclysm of a dis- 
solving Union and open warfare among the states. By the time of his 

^Allison Ind. A Short History of Espionage. New York, David McKay Com- 
pany, 1963, p. 79. 

^ Croffut, op. cit., p .330. 

*° Smith, op. cit., p. 476n. 

*^ Bryan, op. cit., p. 118 : of passing interest is the diflSculty President Polk had 
in protecting his secret diplomatic efforts and the lack of any intelligence orga- 
nization to assist on this security problem : see Anna Kasten Nelson, Secret Agents 
and Security Leaks : President Polk and the Mexican War. Journalism Quarterly, 
V, 52, Spring, 1975 : 9-14, 98. 


inaugural (March 4, 1861), the Confederate Provisional Government 
had been established (February 8, 1861), Jefferson Davis had been 
elected (February 9, 1861) and inaugurated as President of the Con- 
federacy (Febniary 18, 1861), an army had been assembled by the 
secessionist states, and Federal forts and arsenals within the South had 
been seized, beginning with the Charleston weapons installation 
(December 30, 1860). 

Confronted with a civil war, the Federal Government lacked any 
centralized intelligence organization and, in desperation, scrambled to 
establish a piecemeal makeshift secret service. Efforts in this regard be- 
came imperative when it was soon realized that the territory surround- 
ing Washington — Virginia, eastern Maryland and southern Dela- 
ware — was a hotbed of treason, Confederate agents, and poisonous 
conspiracies against the Union. 

War, Navy, and State departments at first acted independ- 
ently. Seward of the State Department took the lead, sending 
detectives into Canada and the South. The War Department 
was then administered not by the tireless and incorruptible 
Stanton but by that cynical party boss Simon Cameron, to 
whom has been attributed the definition of an honest politi- 
cian as "one that, when he's bought, stays bought." (Lincoln 
dispensed with Cameron in January 1862, and removed him as 
far as possible from the scene by appointing him minister to 
Russia. ) 

Police chiefs of Northern cities — for example, "Uncle 
John" Kennedy, superintendent of the metropolitan police of 
New York — had been called in to assist, not only by trailing 
and arresting suspects but by lending trained operatives. Gen- 
eral [Winfield] Scott appears to have consulted and worked 
with Seward rather than with Cameron, his own superior. 
After a while the military jails at Fort Warren (Boston), 
Fort McHenry (Baltimore), and Fort Lafayette (New 
York) were crowded to the limit ; so in February 1862 Lin- 
coln ordered the release on parole of all political and state 
prisoners except spies or those otherwise inimical to public 
safety. Thenceforth the principal arrests of all suspects of 
that character were by military power.*^ 

VI. Pinkerton 

Among the more famous private detectives recruited by the Federal 
Government was Allan Pinkerton who served as an intelligence orga- 
nizer and coordinator from April, 1861, until the fall of the following 
year. His activities in and around Washington were under the direc- 
tion of the Secretary of War and Colonel Andrew Porter, provost 
marshall responsible for the capital's security while under martial 
law. Pinkerton's field operations were in the service of General George 

*^ Bryan, op. cit., pp. 121-122; generally, on the questions of arrest and incar- 
ceration authority, see James G. Randall. Constitutional Proilems Under LiticoVn. 
Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 1951, pp. 118-186 ; also see Clinton Rossiter. 
Constitutional Dictatorshiw: Crisis Government in Modern Democracies. Prince- 
ton, Princeton University Press, 1948, pp. 223-240. 


B. McClellan during his command of the Ohio forces and the Army 
of the Potomac.*^ 

Pinkerton's involvement in intelligence activity in the Union cause 
actually occurred before the Great Emancipator arrived at the White 
House. Early in 1861, Samuel H. Felton, president of the Philadelphia, 
Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad, secured Pinkerton's services to 
investigate threats of damage to the line "by roughs and secessionists 
of Maryland." ■** The detective dispatched undercover agents to infil- 
trate gangs and secret societies thought to be making the intimidations 
and soon learned of a plot to assassinate President-elect Lincoln.*^ In 
league with members of the Baltimore police force, the conspirators 
planned to kill the Chief Executive when he traveled by open carriage 
from the Northern Central Railroad station to the Washington depot, 
a half mile away.*^ Informing the President-elect's entourage of this 
scheme, Pinkerton set about devising an alternative travel plan for 
the Lincoln party. After finally meeting with the President-elect in 
Philadelphia, agreement was reached that a special train would 
secretly carry Lincoln through Baltimore the night before the official 
caravan was to arrive in that city.*^ Thus eluding the assassins, the 
Chief Executive made his way safely to Washington. For his part in 
these activities, Pinkerton not only had an effective spy force, but 
"fixed" the telegraph to render communication of the ploy impossi- 
ble,''^ detained two journalists by force of arms from immediately 
reporting the plan,*^ and assumed responsibility for the security of 
the tracks which the special train traveled.^" 

Next, in late April, Pinkerton was prevailed upon to provide a 
secure courier service to Washington. "Several gentlemen of promi- 
nence in Chicago, intimate friends of President Lincoln, and men of 
influence and intelligence in the State, desired to communicate with 
the President upon questions connected with the existing condition of 
affairs, and applied to me for the purpose of having letters and dis- 
patches conveyed directly to Washington by the hands of a trusty 
messenger." ^^ For this mission, Pinkerton selected Timothy Webster 
who was destined to become one of the Union's most successful, but 
martyred, spies. When he arrived at the White House with the com- 
muniques, Lincoln thanked him for safely conveying the messages 
and for his role in apprehending a Confederate spy along the way. 
Return dispatches were prepared by the President, one of which sum- 
moned Pinkerton to the capital.^^ A few days later, Pinkerton was in 

^ Allan Pinkerton. The Spy of the Rebellion. New York, G. W. Carleton and 
Company, 1883, p. xxvii. 

"/6i(Z., p. 46.. 

^ See Ibid., pp. 55-64. 

" Ibid., p. 68. 

" See Ibid., pp. 83-87 ; by this time Lincoln had also received word of the plot 
from William Seward's son who had been given the information by General Win- 
field Scott ; see James D. Horan. The Pinkertons: The Detective Dynasty that 
Made History. New York, Crown Publishers, 1967, p. 56. 

"* Pinkerton, op. cit., pp. 89-90. 

" Ibid., pp. 99-100. 

■^ Ibid., p. 96. 

"^ Ibid., p. 110. 

^'Ibid., p. 130. 


Arriving at the capital I found a condition of affairs at once 
peculiar and embarrassing, and the city contained a strange 
admixture of humanity, both patriotic and dangerous. Here 
were gathered the rulers of the nation and those who were 
seeking its destruction. The streets were filled with soldiers, 
armed and eager for the fray ; officers and orderlies were seen 
galloping from place to place ; the tramp of armed men was 
heard on every side, and strains of martial music filled the air. 
Here, too, lurked the secret enemy, who was conveying beyond 
the lines the coveted information of every movement made or 
contemplated. Men who formerly occupied places of dignity, 
power and trust were now regarded as objects of suspicion, 
whose loyalty was impeached and whose actions it was neces- 
sary to watch. Aristocratic ladies, who had previously opened 
the doors of their luxurious residences to those in high office 
and who had hospitably entertained the dignitaries of the 
land, were now believed to be in sympathy with the attempt 
to overthrow the country, and engaged in clandestine corre- 
spondence with Southern leaders. The criminal classes poured 
in from all quarters, and almost every avenue of society was 
penetrated by these lawless and unscrupulous hordes. An 
adequate idea can be formed of the transformation which had 
been effected within a few short weeks in this city of national 

Observant of the conditions which might prompt the enlistment of 
his intelligence services, Pinkerton shortly met with Lincoln and some 
of the members of the Cabinet who informed him "that the object in 
sending for me was that the authorities had for some time entertained 
the idea of organizing a secret-servnce department of the government, 
with the view of ascertaining the social, political and patriotic status 
of the numerous suspected persons in and around the city." ^* No plans 
on this matter had been drawn up. Pinkerton was asked for his ideas, 
which he gave, and then departed with the understanding that further 
communications on the subject would be forthcoming. Not only did 
such discussions fail to materialize, but, it was quite apparent to Pinker- 
ton "that in the confusion and excitement which were necessarily inci- 
dent to the novel and perplexing condition of affairs then existing, 
that anything approaching to a systematized organization or operation 
would be for a time impossible." ^^ The nation needed armed forces : 
too many competing demands for men, money, and the attention of 
Federal officials for this task mitigated against plans for a secret serv- 
ice. A few days after liis meeting with Lincoln, Pinkerton unsuccess- 
fully attempted to obtain additional details regarding the intelligence 
plan, left his address with the President's secretary, and returned to 

In the meantime. Major General George B. INIcClellan, an old friend 
of Pinkerton's who had just been named commander of the Ohio vol- 

^' Ibid., pp. 137-138. 
" Ibid., p. 139. 
^ Ibid. 


unteers, wrote asking for a secret meeting in Cincinnati.^^ Pinkerton 
hastened to the rendezvous, informed McClellan of what had trans- 
pired in Washington and of the conditions he found there. The Gen- 
eral was also interested in establishing a secret service and wanted 
his friend to organize and direct it. An agreement was struck. 

Our business was settled. It arranged that I should assume 
full management and control of this new branch of the serv- 
ice, and that I should at once enter upon the discharge of 
the multifarious duties attending so responsible a position. 
The General then informed me he would write to General 
[Winfield] Scott for permission to organize this department 
under his own personal supervision; and he also agreed to 
submit the project to Governor [William] Dennison, of Ohio, 
with a request to that gentlemen to solicit the co-operation 
of the Governors of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wiscon- 
sin, in sustaining the organization.^^ 

Pinkerton set up offices in Cincinnati and brought a group of his 
detectives to the city for the intelligence mission. It would appear that 
he utilized only his own trained agents for this enterprise. 

The general informed me that he would like observations 
made within the rebel lines, and I resolved to at once send 
some scouts into the disaffected region lying south of us, for 
the purpose of obtaining information concerning the num- 
bers, equipments, movements and intentions of the enemy, 
as well as to ascertain the general feeling of the Southern 
people in regard to the war. I fully realized the delicacy of 
this business, and the necessity of conducting it with the 
greatest care, caution and secrecy. None but good, true, re- 
liable men could be detailed for such service, and knowing 
this, I made my selections accordingly. . . .^^ 

Agents were dispatched singly and in pairs over carefully selected 
and differing routes. Among the first to depart was Timothy Webster 
who traveled to Louisville and Memphis with stops at Bowling Green 
and Clarkesville.^^ Webster was also the first of Pinkerton's opera- 
tives to come into contact with the Confederacy's counter-intelligence 
corps or safety committees.*^° Two other famous Pinkerton agents were 
Pryce Lewis and John Scully .^^ 

In organizing and controlling this secret service, I endeavored 
to conceal my own individual identity so far as my friends 
and the public were concerned. The new field of usefulness 
into which I had ventured was designed to be a secret one 
in every respect, and for obvious reasons I was induced to 
lay aside the name of Allan Pinkerton — a name so well known 
that it had grown to be a sort of synonym for detective. I 

^ See lUd., pp. 140-141. 
^' lUd., pp. 153-154. 
^ Ibid., p. 155. 

^^ See Ibid., p. 157fe; Webster's activities are discussed throughout Pinkerton's 
book ; also see Bryan, op. cit., pp. 123-130, 167-170. 
*" See Pinkerton, op. cit., pp. 160-165, 174-175, 180-181. 
'^ See Ibid., pp. 501-529. 


accordingly adopted the less suggestive one E. J. Allen; a 
Tiom, de guerre which I retained during the entire period of 
my connection with the war. This precautionary measure was 
first proposed by the General himself, and in assenting to it 
I carried out his views as well as my own. This ruse to con- 
ceal my identity was a successful one. My true name was 
known only to General McClellan, and those of my force who 
were in my employ before the breaking out of the rebellion, 
and by them it was sacredly kept.^^ 

When McClellan was given command of the Army of the Potomac 
in November, 1861, Pinkerton moved on to Washington with him. 

Among the first things the General did, after being assigned 
to the command of the troops around that city, was to orga- 
nize a secret ser\dce force, under my management and con- 
trol. I was to have such strength of forces as I might require; 
my headquarters were for the time located in Washington. 
It was arranged that whenever the army moved I was to go 
forward with the General, so that I might always be in close 
communication with him. My corps was to be continually 
occupied in procuring, from all possible sources, information 
regarding the strength, positions and movements of the en- 
emy. All spies, "contrabands," deserters, refugees and pris- 
oners of war, coming into our lines from the front, were to 
be carefully examined by me, and their statements taken in 

It was also at this time that Pinkerton took on added responsibili- 
ties for security within the capital city. This aspect of intelligence 
operations was described by Pinkerton in a letter to General 
McClellan shortly after the Washington command was secured. 

In operating with my detective force, I shall endeavor to 
test all suspected persons in various ways. I shall seek access 
to their houses, clubs, and places of resort, managing that 
among the members of my force shall be ostensible repre- 
sentatives of every grade of society, from the highest to the 
most menial. Some shall have the entree to the gilded salon 
of the suspected aristocratic traitors, and be their honored 
guests, while others will act in the capacity of valets, or do- 
mestics of various kinds, and try the efficacy of such rela- 
tions with the household to gain evidence. Other suspected 
ones will be tracked by the "shadow" detective, who will fol- 
low their every foot-step, and note their every action. 

I also propose to employ a division of my force for the dis- 
covery of any secret traitorous organization which may be 
in existence ; and if any such society is discovered, I will have 
my operatives become members of the same, with a view to 
ascertaining the means employed in transmitting messages 
through the lines, and also for the purpose of learning, if 
possible, the plans of the rebels. All strangers arriving in 

•* lUd., p. 156. 
* lUd., p. 245. 


the city, whose associations or acts may lay them open to 
suspicion, will be subjected to a strict surveillance.®* 

In addition to these security and surveillance activities, Pinkerton's 
operatives cooperated with the Loyal League, a group of southern 
blacks who "had banded themselves together to further the cause 
of freedom, to succor the escaping slave, and to furnish information 
to loyal commanders of the movements of the rebels, as far as they 
could be ascertained."®^ Another intelligence source cultivated by 
Pinkerton was the double agent. As the master detective himself con- 
cluded : 

In war, as in a game of chess, if you know the moves of your 
adversary in advance, it is then an easy matter to shape your 
own plans, and make your moves accordingly, and, of course 
always to your own decided advantage. So in this case, I con- 
cluded that if the information intended for the rebels could 
first be had by us, after that, they were welcome to all the 
benefit they might derive from them.®® 

For all of his efforts, doubts persist as to the capabilities and accom- 
plishments of Pinkerton. To the extent his intelligence activities were 
successful, did they derive from careful planning and evaluation or 
luck? Shortly after the fall of Fort Sumter, Pinkerton offered the 
services of sixteen to eighteen of his agents to serve the Union.®'' By 
the time final arrangements were being made for a spy force to assist 
McClellan's Ohio volunteers, ten agents had been put into the field.®® 
At the height of his career in the capital, it is uncertain as to the 
number of personnel Pinkerton had m his employ.®^ For the most 
part, he hired and utilized his own detectives. "He held the not im- 
plausible notion that a good private detective can, automatically, 
become an expert secret agent in time of war ; and nowhere, either m 
the performance of his duties or in subsequent records dictated by 
him, is there to be discovered any conception of the essentially military 
character of the work he sought to direct." ^° 

The reasons for Pinkerton's deficiency in correctly evaluat- 
ing the military information he received were his blind hero 
worship of McClellan, the investigative methods he had in- 
troduced in the field that had made his agency so remarkable 
in civilian life, and his intense abolitionist fervor. 

In Chicago, when he was on a case, Pinkerton's method was 
to assemble an infinite number of small details, which when 
put together gave a clue to the mystery. Pinkerton's opera- 

** Ihid., pp. 247-248. 

'^lUd., pp. 355-357. 

*/&?■(?., pp. 429-430. 

•^ James D. Horan and Howard Swiggett. The Pinkerton Story. New York, 
Putnam's Sons, 1951, p. 92. 

"* Richard Wilmer Rowan. The Pinkertons: A Detective Dynasty. Boston, 
Little, Brown and Company, 1931, p. 92. 

** Pinkerton was sufficiently secretive about the number and names of those 
in his employ that he apparently was in constant dispute with the Assistant 
Secretary of War who had to approve his bills for service; see Horan and 
Swiggett, opt. cit., p. 120. 

™ Rowan, op. oit., 145. 


tives traditionally sent in reports every day, no matter how 
difficult it was to do so. In Chicago these reports were filed 
in a systematic fashion. This very system, which Pinkerton 
introduced on the battlefields, defeated him : It failed because 
the man making the final report was an amateur at war. Then 
there was Pinkerton's antislavery attitude. For years he had 
been helping slaves who came to him with the most touching 
stories. In the field, Pinkerton, in his sympathy, was uncriti- 
cal of the excited, uneducated slaves who stood before him 
in his tent, twisting a ragged hat, shuffling their feet in the 
excitement of knowing that at last they were incapable of 
giving realistic information about what was happening on 
a grand scale behind Confederate lines, it is evident that 
Pinkerton believed everything they told him.^^ 

Ultimately, Pinkerton's inabilities as an interpreter of intelligence 
information for military purposes contributed to his downfall as head 
of the Washington spy corps. Early in 1862, Lincoln set February 22nd 
for the launching of a general Union offensive. McClellan, who had 
already exhibited a tendency to hesitate in engaging the enemy, did 
not start operations in the offensive until March when he began moving 
on Richmond in the Peninsula Campaign. Advancing over the terri- 
tory^ between the James and York Rivers, he was given an estimate 
of enemy troop strength of 200,000 men. In fact, the Confederate 
forces numbered 86,000 to McClellan's 100,000. Nevertheless, the effect 
of this inflated estimate was sufficient to make the Union commander 
even more hesitant to engage the enemy than he had been in the past. 
After a series of skirmishes, troops under General Robert E. Lee and 
General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson launched a counterattack 
on the McClellan forces in the Seven Days' Battles, resulting in a re- 
treat of the larger L^nion army to the James River and a check on 
the advance toward Richmond. Two months later, in September, Mc- 
Clellan surprised Lee at Antietam but, failing to use his reserves, 
fought the rebels to a bloody draw. Angered at Lee's escape, by Mc- 
Clellan's procrastination, and alarmed by a daring cavalry raid by 
General James E. B. "Jeb" Stuart around the Union forces and into 
Pennsylvania. Lincoln finally replaced McClellan as commander of 
the Army of the Potomac on November 7, 1862. ^^ Thereupon, Pinker- 
ton resigned his position as head of the secret service. 

The detective, as it was to turn out, did not really do much 
more than effect a change of front, for he was active on behalf 
of the government as long as the States were in conflict. There 
were innumerable damage claims being pressed in Washing- 
ton — the deeper into the South the Union armies penetrated, 
the more they multiplied — and these the Pinkerton agents 
investigated, with a high average of success in controlling 
the schemes of imposters and swindlers. For the particular 
purpose of looking after cotton claims, in the spring of '64, 
Allan Pinkerton was transferred to the Department of the 
Mississippi, General Canby commanding. And now his other 

"■ Horan, op. cit., pp. 116-117. 

" See Ibid., pp. 115-137 ; Horan and Swiggett, op. cit., pp. 107-122. 


son Robert was deemed mature enough to join his brother 
in the secret service. Meanwhile, the military espionage de- 
partment which Allan had initiated continued to expand, 
operating under the fairly successful direction of various offi- 
cers — in the East the most noteworthy being Colonel, after- 
ward Brigadier General Lafayette C. Baker, an inventive 
man, one of the few American spymasters in any war who 
seems to compare with the brilliant if throughly unscrupu- 
lous practitioners of Europe. In the West Grenville M. Dodge, 
who also attained a general's rank, capably controlled a hun- 
dred spies, but he was to become far more celebrated subse- 
quently as the indomitable builder of the Union Pacific 

VII. Seumrd 

When the Lincoln Administration suddenly foimd itself faced with 
open hostilities and accompanying espionage and spy intrigues in 
1861, one of the first officials to react to the situation was Secretary 
of State Seward. His organization combined both the police func- 
tion — pursuing individuals with a view to their incarceration and 
prosecution — and the intelligence function — gathering information re- 
garding the loyalty and political views of citizens without any par- 
ticular regard for possible violations of the law. In combining the 
two tasks, of course, their distinction often became lost. One com- 
mentator notes : 

The Government's first efforts to control the civilian popula- 
tion were conducted by the Secretary of State for reasons both 
personal and official. William H. Seward, the "Premier" of the 
Cabinet, had an unquenchable zeal for dabbling in everyone 
else's business. In addition, since the establishment of the 
Federal Government the office of the Secretary of State had 
been somewhat of a catchall for duties no other executive 
agency was designed to handle. With the war, and the new 
problem of subversion on the home front, Seward soon began 
to busy himself about arrests of political prisoners, their in- 
carceration, and then the next step of setting up secret agents 
to ferret them out.'^* 

There are no informative records as to how or why the initial arrests 
of political prisoners and the creation of a secret service fell to Secre- 
tary Seward. It is entirely likely that he requested these duties. The 
more important consideration, however, concerns the extent to which 
he responsibly carried out these obligations. According to one of the 
Secretary's biographers : 

Arrests were made for any one of many reasons : where men 
were suspected of having given, or intending to give, aid or 
comfort to the enemy in any substantial way, — as by helping 
in the organization of troops, by supplying arms or provisions, 
or selling the bonds of the states in secession; by public or 
private communications that opposed United States enlist- 

''^ Rowan, op. cit., pp. 186-187. 

''* George Fort Milton. Abraham Lincoln and the Fifth Column. New York, The 
"Vanguard Press, 1942, p. 48. 


ments or encouraged those of the Confederacy ; by expressing 
sympathy with the South or attacking the administration; 
by belonging to organizations designed to obstruct the prog- 
ress of the war — in fact for almost any act that indicated a 
desire to see the government fail in its effort to conquer 

But the question was not simply one of fact. A number of due proc- 
ess considerations were raised by the manner and nature of the arrest 
and detention of political offenders. 

The person suspected of disloyalty was often seized at 
night, searched, borne off to the nearest fort, deprived of his 
valuables, and locked up in a casemate, or in a battery gen- 
erally crowded with men that had had similar experiences. It 
was not rare for arrests regarded as political to be made by 
order of the Secretary of War or of some military officer; but, 
with only a few exceptions, these prisoners came under the 
control of the Secretary of State just as if he had taken the 
original action. 

For a few days the newcomer usually varied reflection and 
loud denunciation of the administration. But the discomforts 
of his confinement soon led him to seek his freedom. "V\nien he 
resolved to send for friends and an attorney, he was informed 
that the rules forbade visitors, except in rare instances, that 
attorneys were entirely excluded, and the prisoner who sought 
their aid would greatly prejudice his case. Only unsealed let- 
ters would be forwarded, and if they contained objectionable 
statements they were returned to the writer or filed in the De- 
partment of State with other papers relating to the case. 
There still remained a possibility, it was generally assumed, 
of speedy relief by appeal to the Secretary in person. Then a 
long narrative, describing the experiences of a man whose 
innocence was equaled only by his misfortunes, was addressed 
to the nervous, wiry, all-powerful man keeping watch over 
international relations, political offenders, and affairs gen- 
erally. The letter was usually read by the Chief Clerk or As- 
sistant Secretary, and then merely filed. A second, third, and 
fourth petition for liberation and explanations was sent to the 
department — but with no result save that the materials for 
the study of history and human nature were thereby en- 
larged ; the Secretary was calm in the belief that the man was 
a plotter and could do no harm while he remained in 

To rectify this situation, two important steps were taken in Febru- 
ary, 1862. On St. Valentine's Day. an Executive order was issued pro- 
viding for the wholesale release of most political prisoners, excepting 
only "persons detained as spies in the service of the insurgents, or 
others whose release at the present moment may be deemed incom- 
patible with the public safety." '''' In addition, a special review panel. 

■^ Frederick Bancroft. TTie Life of William H. Scica)-d (Vol. 2). New York, Har- 
per and Brothers, 1900, p. 260. 
'^Ibid.. pp. 261-262. 
■" See Richardson, op. cit. (Vol. 7) , pp. 3303-3305. 


consisting of Judge Edwards Pierrepont and General John A. Dix, 
was established to expedite releases under this directiveJ^ 

With regard to intelligence activities, Seward apparently employed 
Allan Pinkerton for such operations during the summer of 1861, "but 
did not keep him long, perhaps because he felt that the detective was 
too close to the President, and Seward wanted his own man, whose 
loyalty would be direct to him." ^^ A listening post was sought in 
Canada for purposes of checking on the activities of Confederate 
agents and to monitor the trend of sentiment in British North America 
during the secession crisis.®" Former Massachusetts Congressman 
George Ashmun was appointed special agent to Canada for three 
months in early 1861 at a salary of $10 a day plus expenses. Seward 
advanced $500 cash on account. Another operative, Charles S. Ogden, 
took residence in Quebec and additional stations were subsequently 
established at Halifax and St. John's, among other seaports.®^ 

A domestic network also came into being while the Canadian group 
struggled to recruit confidential agents. 

Seward's "Secret Service Letter Book" for 1861 was full of 
inquiries dispatched to friends and trusted official associates 
throughout the country asking them to discover persons who 
could be put on important investigating tasks. He wanted "a 
discreet and active man" for the Northern frontier, to arrest 
spies seeking entrance from Canada, and offered to pay such 
a man $100 a month. A little later he appointed a special 
agent at Niagara Falls, to examine the persons coming over 
the Suspension Bridge, and seize and hold any who seemed 
suspicious. He sought, without immediate results, a good man 
for Chicago and another for Detroit. He authorized the 
United States Marshal at Boston to employ two detectives for 
two month's time, each at $150 a month. This was particularly 
urgent ; therefore let the Marshal consult the governor of the 
State, "and take effective measures to break up the business of 
making and sending shoes for the Rebel Army." ®^ 

Almost unnoticed, Seward's intelligence organization began to grow, 
though its agents often proved to be ineffective amateurs. Shortly, 
however, professionalism, discipline, and a careful sense of mission 
came to the Secretary's spy corps in the person of Lafayette Charles 

YIIL Baker 

Born in New York in 1826 and reared in the Michigan wilderness, 
Lafayette Baker engaged in meclianical and mercantile pursuits in the 
state of his birth and in Philadelphia in 1848 before departing, in 

'® The correspondence of this panel and lists of those released at its direction 
may be found in Fred C. Ainsworth and Joseph W. Kirkley, comps. The War of 
the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and 'Confederate 
Armies, Series II (Vol. 2). Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1897. 

™ Milton, op. cit., p. 49. 

^ See John W. Headley. Confederate Operations In Canada and New York. New 
York and Washington, The Neale Publishing Company, 1906 ; also of related in- 
terest is James D. Bulloch. The Secret Service of the Confederate States in 
Europe. New York, Thomas Yoseloff, 1956 ; originally published 1884. 

" Milton, loc. cit. 

^' Ibid., pp. 50-51. 


1853, for California. Three years later he was an active member of the 
Viofilance Committee. This experience and his admiration of Francios 
Vidocq (1775-1857), an infamous Paris detective whom Baker came 
to imitate, whetted his appetite for intrigue and the life of the sleuth. 
AVhen hostilities broke out between the Xorth and the South, Baker 
happened to be heading for Xew York City on business. When he 
became aware of the mischief and misdeeds of Confederate spies and 
saboteurs in and around AVashinfrton, he set out for the capital deter- 
mined to offer his services as a Union agent. ^^ 

Arriving in the District of Columbia, Baker obtained an interview 
with General Winfield Scott, commander of the Army and himself not 
unfamiliar Avith spy services. In need of information about the rebel 
forces at Manassas, Scott, having already lost five previous agents on 
the mission, solicited Baker's assistance. After an adventure of daring 
and dash, the intrepid Baker returned three weeks later with the de- 
tails sought by General Scott. The success of the mission earned Baker 
a pennanent position with the War Department.^^ 

The next assignment given Baker involved ferreting out two Balti- 
more brothers who were running the Union blockade to supply muni- 
tions to the Confederates. This he did, breaking up the smuggling 
operation and earning himself a considerable amount of press 

These activities came to the attention of Secretary Seward who hired 
Baker at the rate of $100 a month plus expenses ^® and sent him off to 
prowl wherever espionage, sabotage, or rebel spy agents were thought 
to be lurking.^^ Assisted by three hundred Indiana cavalrymen. Baker 
was later ordered to probe the Maryland country side for the presence 
of rebel agents and Confederate sympathies. His mission took him to 
Chaptico, Leonardstown, Port Tobacco, Old Factory, and the farni- 
land of St. George's, St. Charles and St. ISIarys counties.^^ As his 
column advanced, they punished the disloyal. As a result, "he left 
behind a trail of burning buildings, frightened men, women, and 
children, terrified informers, [and] bullet -pierced Secesh tobacco 
planters." ^^ 

As a consequence of this campaign. Baker attempted to interest 
Postmaster General Montgomery Blair in a purge of disloyal Mary- 
land postmasters, replacing them with Union stalwarts or closing the 
stations. Blair was well aware of disloyalty among some of the ISIary- 
land postmasters and earlier had ordered their displacement. In a 
report to the Secretarj' of State, Baker claimed he had obtained mi- 
limited authority to conduct the postmaster purge and requested a 
military force of two hundred to three hundred men to police the 
localities in Maryland where these disloyal officials had been dis- 

^ See L. C. Baker. History of the United States Secret Service. Philadelphia, 
Kins: and Baird. 1868, pp. 1,5^20; Jacob Mogelever. neath to Traitors: The Story 
of General Lafayette C. Baker, Lincoln's Forgotten Secret Service Chief. New 
York, Doubleday and Comnanv. 1960. pp. 22-48. 

" Baker, op. eit., pp. 4.5-72; Mogelever. op. cit., pp. 48-62. 

^ Baker, op., cit., pp. 72-84 ; Mogelever, op. oit., pp. 68-72. 

®* Mogelever, op. cit., p. 73. 

*'' See Baker, op. cit., pp. 85-101. 

^' Ibid., pp. 102-111 : Mogelever, op. cit., pp. 74-79. 

** Mogelever, op. cit., p. 79. 


covered. The proposal was ignored but Baker had a variety of other 
tasks to occupy him as Seward's intelligence chief .^° 

With enough endurance for a dozen men, he worked almost 
without rest to educate himself in the ever-spreading opera- 
tions of the rebels and their sympathizers. He traveled to 
Canada to see for himself what the South was doing to build 
a fire in the rear of the Union : he made the acquaintance of 
police chiefs of the big northern cities; he personally took 
prisoners to the harbor forts to look over conditions ; he un- 
covered and jotted down identities of suppliers of war goods 
to the South; he acquired a firethand knowledge of Secesh- 
supporting newspapers, in sedition-ridden New York, New 
Jersey, and the seething West. Only on rare occasions, when 
official duty took him there, did he see his wife Jennie, who 
had gone to the security of her parent's home in Philadel- 

As a consequence of Lincoln's St. Valentine's Day directive regard- 
ing the release of political prisoners and limiting "extraordinary 
arrests" to "the direction of the military authorities alone," Baker 
was recommended to the War Department and its new Secretary, 
Edwin M. Stanton.^- In accepting Baker's services, Stanton warned 
him of the grave and desperate situation facing the government, ad- 
vised him that he would never be permitted to disclose the authority 
for his actions, and gave notice that he would be expected to pursue 
all enemies of the Union, regardless of their station, power, loyalty, 
partisanship, or profession. Baker's detective service was to be the 
terror of the North as well as the South, secretly funded, and account- 
able exclusively and directly to the Secretary of War.^^ 

The enemies of the state took many forms. An enemy could 
be a pretty girl with swaying hips covered by an acre of 
crinoline, carrier of rebellion-sustaining contraband goods. 
Or an enemy could be a contractor selling the Union shoddy 
clothing. Or an enemy could be a Copperhead sapping the 
strength of the Union by discx)uraging enlistments. An enemy 
could also be a Union general with larceny in his soul, 
gambling away the pay of his soldiers. He could be a guerrilla 
with a torch firing a government corral within sight of the 
White House.^* 

For three years, Baker gathered intelligence on the enemies of the 
Union, reporting his findings to Stanton and Lincoln. In addition, 
at their direction or sometimes on his own authority, he functioned 
as an instrument for directly punishing the enemy or for arresting 
and incarcerating them. Utilizing his intelligence sources, Baker 
identified and prejudged the despoilers of the Union; relying upon 
extraordinary military authority and martial law, he seized his foe 
in his capacity as a Federal policeman; and as the custodian of the 

** See Ibid., pp. 79-81. 

'^ Ibid., p. 84. 

*^ See Richardson, op. cit. (Vol. 7), pp. 3003-3005. 

^ See Mogelever, op. cit., pp. 86-88. 

"/bid., p. 89. 


Old Capitol Prison and its nefarious annex, the Carroll Prison, he 
served as jailer of those he captured. 

Of Baker's Commander-in-Chief, one authority has commented: 
"Xo one can ever know just what Lincoln conceived to be limits of 
his powers," ^^ 

In his own words, the Sixteenth President wrote : 

. . . my oath to preserve the Constitution to the best of my 
ability, imposed upon me the duty of preserving, by every 
indispensable means, that government — that nation — of 
which that Constitution was the organic law. Was it possible 
to lose the nation, and yet preserve the constitution? By 
general law life and limb must be protected; yet often a 
limb must be amputated to save a life, but a life is never 
wisely given to save a limb. I felt that measures, otherwise 
unconstitutional, might become lawful, by becoming indis- 
pensable to the preservation of the constitution through the 
preservation of the nation. Right or wrong, I assumed this 
ground, and now avow it. I could not feel that, to the best 
of my ability, I had ever tried to preserve the constitution 
if, to save slavery, or any minor matter, I should permit the 
wreck of government, country, and Constitution all to- 

And in the more contemporary view of Clinton Rossiter: 

. . . Mr. Lincoln subscribed to a theory that in the absence 
of Congress and in the presence of an emergency the Presi- 
dent has the right and duty to adopt measures which would 
ordinarily be illegal, subject to the necessity of subsequent 
congressional approval. He did more than this; he seemed 
to assert that the war powers of the Constitution could upon 
occasion devolve completely upon the President, if their 
exercise was based upon public opinion and an inexorable 
necessity. They were then sufficient to embrace any action 
within the fields of executive or legislative or even judicial 
power essential to the preservation of the Union. [He] . . . 
implied that this government, like all others, possessed an 
absolute power of self-defense, a power to be exerted by the 
President of the United States. And this power extended to 
the breaking of the fundamental laws of the nation, if such 
a step were unavoidable.^^ 

The presence of this operating viewpoint at the highest level of 
the Executive Branch, coupled with his own personal ambitions for 
power and prestige, contributed significantly to Baker's zealous, au- 
thoritarian, and often illegal manner of carrying out his War Depart- 
ment mission. Nevertheless, Baker must be recognized as a professional 

^ Wilfred E. Binkley. President and Congress. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 
1947, p. 126. 

*" Letter to Albert G. Hodges (April 4. 1864) in Roy P. Easier, ed. The Col- 
lected Works of Abraham Lincoln (Vol. 8). New Brunswick, Rutgers University 
Press, 1953, p. 281. 

*' Rossiter, op. cit., p. 229. 


thoroughly familiar with the methods and tactics of his profession. 
Reflecting a classically Machiavellian perspective, he once wrote : 

It may be said that the deception and misstatements resorted 
to, and inseparable from the detective service, are demoraliz- 
ing and prove unsoundness of character in its officers. But it 
must be borne in mind that, in war, no commander fails to 
deceive the enemy when possible, to secure the least advan- 
tage. Spies, scouts, intercepted correspondence, feints in army 
movements, misrepresentations of military strength and posi- 
tion, are regarded as honorable means of securing victory 
over the foe. The work of the detectives is simply deception 
reduced to a science or profession; and whatever objection, 
on ethical grounds, may lie against the secret service, lies 
with equal force against the strategy and tactics of Washing- 
ton, Scott, Grant, and the host of their illustrious associates 
in the wars of the world. War is a last and terrible resort in 
the defense of even a righteous cause, and sets at defiance all 
of the ordinary laws and customs of society, overriding the 
rights of property and the sanctity of the Sabbath. And not 
until the nation learns war no more, will the work of deception 
and waste of morals, men and treasures, cease.^^ 

Establishing offices at 217 Pennsylvania Avenue, in close proximity 
to both the White House and the War Department, Baker began 
gathering recruits and organizing his unit. Operating without official 
status, the group was generally referred to as the Secret Service 
Bureau. Its personnel, known only to Baker in terms of number and 
complete identity, bore no credentials other than a small silver badge.^^ 
Secretly commissioned as a colonel. Baker initially represented him- 
self, when absolutely necessary, as an agent of the War Department. 
Later, he publicly cited his military rank and held the title of 

He initiated the nation's first police dossier system although 
the rebels, the Copperheads, and the misguided among the 
Loyalists in the North charged him with poking his private 
eyes into the homes of the innocent. 

He gathered systematically the first criminal photo file, 
enabling a more efficient pursuit of the enemies of the nation. 

He instituted a policy of seizing suspects in the dead of 
night when their resistance to interrogation and their ability 
to seek help would be at the lowest ebb. 

He made a science of the interrogation of prisoners, using 
teams of detectives to work over a suspect until he was satis- 
fied he either had the full story or he could drag no more 
information from his victim. 

He established a secret fund for building and feeding a 
vast army of informers and unlisted agents. No one except 
he knew the full range of his organization. Even his most 
trusted aides were not allowed to loiow the identity of all of 
his operatives.^"" 

** Mogelever, op. cit., p. 91. 
"* Ibid., pp. 95, 169. 
'~ Ibid., p. 111. 


For reasons of both security and strategy, Baker's agents were di- 
vided into daylight and nighttime units — the men in one group did 
not know the identity of those in the other — and another section 
counted operatives who infiltrated and trafficked in the capital's high 
society.^"^ He cultivated contacts with the police in the nation's major 
cities ^°^ and kept a close watch on Confederate activities in Canada."^ 
By the summer of 1863, a branch office had been set up in New York 
City ^"^ and he succeeded in placing his personnel in the Post Office for 
purposes of inspecting the mails.^"^ 

On two occasions Baker's spy service gathered intelligence which 
probably contributed to the downfall of General McClellan : Baker's 
personal penetration of the Confederate forces at Manassas resulted in 
the discovery that the fortifications and artillery which were sup- 
posedly keeping McClellan's army at ba}' were actually earthen and 
wooden fakes and later Lincoln utilized the services of one of Baker's 
agents to secretly observe McClellan's conduct on the battlefield.^"^ 
With the decline of McClellan, Allan Pinkerton, whom Baker re- 
garded as "sagacious," departed from the scene, leaving some agents 
and the spy field to Baker.^"' The only other threat to Baker's supreme 
command of secret service operations was the reputed organizer of 
the old Mexican Spy Company, Ethan Allen Hitchcock, but he was 
found to be an old man seized with mysticism and pursuits of alchemy 
with no desires for any responsibility in the hostilities.^"* 

In June of 1863, Baker gained an open commission in the army with 
the rank of colonel, the opportunity to wear the Union uniform, and 
command of a military police force he had sought for some time.^°^ The 
exact size of the unit is not known, or its losses, or its complete record 
of action. After much pressuring from Baker, Stanton agreed to es- 
tablish the troop utilizing authority entitling the District of Columbia 
to a battalion of infantry and cavalry for use within its confines.^^" 
Placed under the direct authority of the Secretary of War, the First 
Regiment Cavalry, knoAvn as "Baker's Rangers,'' consisted, ironically, 
of recruits from Robert E. Lee's former command, the Second Dra- 
goons, renamed the Second Regular United States Cavalry at the out- 
break of the war.^^^ 

Hundreds of men sought places in the new regiment ; some 
offered bribes. A^liether the attraction was the promise that 
no soldier in the Baker command would ever be sent outside 
the immediate vicinity of the District of Columbia or whether 

^"^ Ihid., pp. 169-170. 

'"" Ibid., p. 109. 

^'^ Ibid., p. 242 ; also see Baker, op. cit., pp. 174-178. 

'"" Ibid., p. 241. 

^'^ Ibid., p. 164. 

'»• See Ibid., pp. 101-107, 139^140. 

^■^ See Ibid., p. 108. 

"* See Ibid., pp. 107-108. 

"' See Baker, op. cit., pp. 195-203. 

"" Mogelever. op. cit., p. 214 : the District of Columbia had only one cavalry 
unit during the civil war but counted the First and Second Regiment Infantry, 
serving from 1861 until 1865. and several short-lived infantry battalions and 
militia companies which were hastily organized in 1861 and mustered out by the 
end of the year. 

"^/Md., pp. 215-216. 


Baker's fame inspired all types of adventurers to flock to his 
banner was the subject of much conjecture at that time."^ 

In an appeal to the Governor of New York, Baker wrote : 

. . . the duties to be performed by this regiment demand on 
the part of both men and officers qualities of a high order, both 
mental and physical. Among these, I may enumerate intel- 
ligence, sobriety, self-dependence, bodily vigor, the power of 
endurance and, though last not least, that knowledge of the 
horse which results from early practical experience and man- 
agement of that noble animal. ^^^ 

The personal qualifications of Baker's recruits, of course, cannot be 
assessed. By their actions, how-ever, they demonstrated great military 
ability, intense loyalty to their commander, and a complete insensi- 
tivity to the property, liberties and lives of those they encountered as 
enemies. For reasons of high morality and public image, the Rangers 
w^ere unleashed upon the gambling parlors and vice dens of Washing- 
ton."* Soon, however, they began engaging in forays of destruction 
against enemies of the Union beyond the confines of the capital.^^^ 

The Rangers were an auxiliary to Baker's intelligence activities; 
they were his agents of espionage, enforcement, and protection. Secret 
operatives gathered information in both the cities and the countrysides 
of the Potomac region. Baker devoured their reports, conferred with 
Stanton and/or Lincoln, and then set out with enforcements against 
the subversives. 

In addition to ferreting out spies, blockade runners, and locals giv- 
ing aid and comfort to the rebels. Baker engaged in three major intel- 
ligence enterprises : unmasking crimes in the Treasury Department, 
smashing the Northwest conspiracy, and capturing the President's 
assassin."® The opportunity to probe the Treasury Department regard- 
ing allegations that it had become a bawdyhouse and command post 
for certain predatory interests arose around Christmas, 1863, when 
Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase invited Baker to investigate the 

There was growing talk of scandals in the Treasury Depart- 
ment. Newspapers were saying that the hundreds of girls busy 
scissoring the new greenbacks were hussies in the night. There 
were oyster feasts in the bonnet room. Clerks were making off 
with sheets of uncut currency. Counterfeiters were discover- 
ing it was easier to steal a plate and run off bales of money 
rather than go to the trouble of making an imitation engrav- 
ing in some hideaway. The Treasury's own police seemed 
helpless to stem the tide of corruption and debauchery. The 

"' Ibid., p. 220. 

"' Ibid., p. 221. 

"* See Baker, op. cit., pp. 241-253 ; Mogelever, op. cit., pp. 245-248. 

"^ Generally, see Mogelever, op. cit., pp. 213-241. 

^^" Baker's own account of his bureau's activities and his troops' adventures is 
thin and, compared with the Mogelever account which relies on Baker's corre- 
spondence and the letters and diaries of relatives, fails to convey the questionable 
nature of their operations or their possible illegality ; see Baker, op. cit., pp. 147- 
198, 230-241, 253-261, 329-378, 384-452. 


Blair family, avowed enemies of Chase, were giving support 
to the rumors. [Postmaster General] Montgomery Blair's 
brother, Frank, cried out for congressional inquiry.^^" 

The probe was charged and politically explosive. Seward, eyes upon 
the 1864 election and the White House beyond, might well have wanted 
Lincoln's top detective mired in the scandals, defused and defamed 
along with most of the Administration. In Hanson A. Eisley, special 
Treasury agent, Seward had his own source of intelligence. So close 
were the two men that Risley gave over one of his daughters to Seward 
for adoption and, after Mrs. Seward's death, the old man sought her 
for his second wife. 

In detailing Baker to Treasury, Stanton probably thought he would 
be the best man to vindicate the President as untainted, honest, and 
ignorant of the conditions there. Himself a frequent critic of Lincoln, 
the Secretary of War nevertheless realized that public confidence in 
the President must be maintained in the midst of the moment's perils 
and he might well have been aware that Lincoln had no direct involve- 
ment in the Treasury calamities. 

Factions within Congress were ready to intervene to attack Lincoln, 
Chase, and Baker. Ultimately, a committee of investigation was 
formed, probed the situation, and beclouded the facts and the guilt 
of those involved. 

Baker plunged into the Treasury probe with ferocity and determi- 
nation. He temporarily relinquished command of the Raiders and 
established an office in the dark basement of the Treasury building. 
His techniques were direct and dauntless; he stalked the printing 
facilities and subjected clerks and lesser officials to ruthless and mer- 
ciless interrogation. At one juncture he halted a funeral cortege in 
the midst of the city, seized the corpse of a Treasury girl and had an 
examination made to determine if her death had resulted from an 

And what did Baker find ? At the outset he discovered that young 
James Cornwell, who had the function of burning mutilated bonds 
and notes, had pocketed $2,000 worth of notes. Cornwall was convicted 
and sent to jail for this offense, the only individual to be prosecuted 
for crimes against the Treasury in this probe. 

Next, Baker alleged that two printers who had sold the Treasury 
new presses, paper, and a technique for printino; currency were con- 
spiring to sell the government worthless machinery and processes. 
Their presses were weakening the upper floors of the Treasury build- 
ing and their security procedures were viritually non-existent, allow- 
ing ready access to both plates and process. In the midst of the inquiry, 
the new presses began malfunctioning and greater demands were 
placed on the building for "improved" printing devices. 

"^Mogelever, op. at., p. 249; in 1863 (12 Stat. 713 at 726) Congress authorized 
the Secretary of the Treasury to appoint three revenue agents ". . . to aid in the 
prevention, detection, and punishment of fraxids upon the revenue." These were 
the small beginnings of the Treasury Department's intelligence organization and 
the only designated investigative force available to the Secretary at the time 
of the Baker inquiry. 

"* See Mogelever, op. cit., p. 252. 


Baker discovered that the head of the department of printing and 
engraving, Spencer Clark, was involved with a number of young 
women who were cutting and preparing new currency. An associate 
of Clark's was also implicated and both men were named for dis- 
missal by Baker. Eventually it came to pass that it was Secretary 
Chase who was to resign and the great Treasury scandal passed into 
history.^ ^^ 

In mid-November of 1863, a full month before the Treasury in- 
vestigation got underway, rumors of a dangerous conspiracy along 
the Canadian border began circulating. Baker's agents pursued the 
facts of the matter and by late spring of the following year a fairly 
clear image of the attack planned by the Confederates Avas evident. In 
Richmond, Judah P. Benjamin, Secretary of State for the rebel gov- 
ernment, a holder of three cabinet posts in the Confederacy, and a man 
of imagination, conceived a desperate plan of havoc : utilizing secret 
societies reminiscent of the later Ku Klux Klan, guerrilla warriors 
behind Union lines would burn down New York City, free rebel troops 
imprisoned in the North to loot and pillage throughout the industrial 
Northeast, and seize Chicago, Buffalo, and Indianapolis. The plan 
failed to recognize the drift of northern morale : those disenchanted 
with the war still supported Lincoln, sought the Union as was and the 
Constitution as is, and otherwise had no interest in or sympathy for 
a separate Confederate nation. 

In the aftermath of the destructive campaigns of Generals Sheridan 
in the Shenandoah Valley and Sherman in Georgia, the rebels were 
ready for unconventional warfare of their own making. The Copper- 
head firebrand Clement Vallandigham was recruited to obtain support 
for a new nation composed of states adjacent to the Canadian border. 
Army officers in civilian dress were dispatched north to act as terror- 
ists. The first target for revenge was Chicago. Assembled in Toronto, 
the band of insurgents made their plans — all of which were carefully 
recorded by a Baker informer. 

Commanders of military prisons were informed of these develop- 
ments and advised to be prepared for uprisings within or attacks from 
outside of their institutions. Baker advanced a squadron of agents to 
Toronto to maintain surveillance of the conspirators who were followed 
and observed as they straggled into Chicago in the midst of the Demo- 
cratic National Convention. More than 2,000 civilian-clad Confederate 
soldiers were scattered aroinid the city. At the height of the convention 
proceedings, the area would be put to the torch. ^Yhi\e police and fire- 
men fought the flames, an attack would be made on Camp Douglas and 
its prisoners freed. The banks would be looted. City Hall seized, and 
the police headquarters occupied. Thus, the second largest city in the 
land was to fall to rebel control. 

Politics among the conspirators caused a postponement of their 
assault until Election Day. After reassembling in Toronto, burnings 
and attacks on local authorities were scheduled for simultaneous occur- 
rence in Chicago, New York, Cincinnati, and Boston. Still the surveil- 
lance of these preparations continued and still flowed the informer's 
details to Baker. 

' Generally, see Ibid., pp. 252-278 ; Baker, op. oit., pp. 261-287. 


Offensive actions were unleashed against the terrorists. Without 
warning. General Benjamin F. Butler, seasoned in maintaining the 
security and serenity of Xew Orleans, marched into New York with 
10,000 Union troops as the clock moved toward Election Day. Con- 
federate arsonists abandoned their grandiose plan of havoc, set a few 
fires in some hotels (which were quickly extinguished), and fled to 
Canada. Across the border, they soon learned that they had been for- 
tunate in their escape. A Baker spy in Chicago brought about the 
ruination of terrorist activities in that city and a Union operative in 
Indiana gathered enough information to implicate almost the entire 
band of Confederate conspirators in that state. While these elements 
were being rounded up and jailed. Union authorities took an im- 
prisoned Confederate officer into their intelligence corps, swore him 
to loyalt}' to the Union cause, and released him to make contact with 
some of the remaining members of the Xorthwest Conspiracy. Fol- 
lowed by Baker's agents, the man soon met with a group seeking to 
liberate 3,000 rebel officers incarcerated on Johnson's Island in Lake 
Michigan. The intervention of this spy cost the conspirators a cache of 
arms and the loss of a few men in Chicago and indirectly contributed 
to the scuttling of the Johnson's Island mission. 

By late fall, 1864, the Northwest Conspiracy had collapsed and its 
principal leaders and organizers had been jailed.^^" 

The excitement and stimulation of the chase ended. Baker 
found himself in a now familiar situation. He was given no 
public credit for his part in smashing the great conspiracy. 
On the contrary, his enemies increased their efforts to build up 
the ugly image of the bastille master, and he continued to be 
identified in the public mind with unjust arrests and imprison- 
ments, invasions of the rights of private persons and rumored 
profiteering. Baker still knew that, as a secret agent, the 
details of his activities must remain secret. If, however, he 
had hoped that this sensational case would change the attitude 
toward him in Congress and Administration circles, or would 
convince the Copperheads that he put the Union before per- 
sonal gain, he must have been sadly disappointed. His success 
in securing and transmitting information which led to the 
dramatic collaspe of the great conspiracy and the punishment 
of its leaders in the North still brought him no evidence that 
his services were to be fairly judged by the results he achieved 
for the Union cause. ^^^ 

Baker had just completed a successful investigation of fraud and 
deception surrounding the draft, bounty-hunting, defrauding sailors 
out of prize money, and efforts at morally corrupting Union troops in 
the New York City area when he received the news of Lincoln's assassi- 
nation. LTndoubte'dly he felt guilt for not having had advance infor- 
mation about the conspiracy against the President and for not having 
had agents near the Chief Executive when the murderer struck. Upon 

^'' Generally, see Baker, op. cit., pp. 452-476 ; Mogelever, op. cit., pp. 278-292 ; 
John W. Headley. Confederate Operatio-ns in Canada and New York. New York 
and WaBhington, The Neale Publishing Company, 1906, pp. 211-382. 

^ Mogelever, op. cit., pp. 291-292. 


receiving word that Lincoln had been shot and was dead, Baker threw 
himself into the pursuit and capture of those responsible for the crime. 
After producing a handbill, the first to be circulated for a nationally 
wanted criminal, describing John Wilkes Booth in detail, Baker set 
about interrogating everyone and anyone who knew anything about the 
conspirators involved in the assassination.^^ 

Stanton went along with the detective's thinking and sup- 
ported his tigerish moves to stalk his prey. One by one, 
Booth's accomplices were rounded up. Baker's rival police 
agencies did most of the work. But he took charge of the pris- 
oners, dragged incriminating admissions from them, put 
black hoods on their heads, and stuffed them in the hold of a 
monitor in the river.^^^ 

Finally, Baker found Booth's track, pursued him with a command 
of cavalry, and came at last to the Garrett farm where the assassin had 
taken refuge in a barn. His prey cornered. Baker confronted the killer, 
demanded his surrender or the alternative of firing the barn. In the 
midst of negotiations and flames. Booth was shot by either himself or 
by Sergeant Boston Corbett. Baker took charge of the body unci later 
sought a portion of the rewards for capturing Booth. The amount sub- 
sequently awarded Baker was reduced to $3,750 from a potential of 
$17,500 : the secret service chief continued to be unpopular with the 

With the death of Lincoln, Baker became the protector of the new 
President, Andrew Johnson, and set up the first White House secret 
service detail in the history of the Republic.^^^ With the peace of Ap- 
pomattox, however, the career of the spy chief began to rapidly decline. 
The rebel foe of wartime now walked the streets of the capital. Many 
of the prostitutes and gamblers Baker had jailed under military law 
were again free. These, together with political enemies, taunted and 
reproached the once powerful secret service, a vestige of war which 
seemed to have no future mission. Nevertheless, Baker attempted to 
carry on in the old style. His task was to protect the President : his im- 
mediate foe, he surmised, were various female pardon brokers, lately 
sympathetic to the South, who prevailed upon the President to grant 
clemency and forgiveness to all manner of rebels. In attempting to halt 
this traffic in and out of the White House, Baker incurred the wrath of 
President Johnson and a lawsuit which successfully damaged his 
status and role. In the midst of the trial, he was routinely mustered out 
of the army and effectively left without a friend or defender.^^*' He 
departed Washington in disgrace, returned to his wife in Philadelphia, 
wrote his memoirs in lieu of finding other work, contracted spinal 
meningitis and died on the evening of July 3, 1868. 

Lafayette Baker was a zealot who, imbued with a strong sense of 
righteousness and a taste of vigilantism, in the name of a cause became 
oblivious to the ends-means relationship underlying his function. In 

^ See IMd., p. 337. 

^' Hid., p. 339. 

^" Generally, see Baker, op. oit., pp. 476-567 ; Mogelever, op. ait., pp. 342-385. 

^ Mogelever, op. cit., p. 386. 

^Generally, see Baker, op. cit., i>p. 582-693; Mogelever, op. cit., pp. 385-^19. 


his defense of the Union and democratic government, he resorted to 
extreme actions obnoxious to popular rule and, in some instances, in 
violation of constitutional guarantees. He actively sought to exceed 
his intelligence role and became policeman, judge, and jailer. His 
desires in this regard, and his capacity for achievement of same, were 
fostered and fed by the exigencies of the moment and the liberties 
Lincoln took in administering (or not administering) the law. When 
Lincoln died and the war ended. Baker became a political pariah with 
a vestigial function. His activities had annoyed many, frightened 
some, and made bitter enemies of an important and powerful few. 
With the onset of peace in the Nation, he was virtually stripped of 
his organization and official status and left vulnerable to legal, politi- 
cal, and financial reprisals. These forces converged, coalesced, and 
crushed. Due to the secret nature of Baker's operations and his 
tendency to embellish fact, the full account of the activities of this 
spy chief may never be known. In all likelihood, his record of service 
will always be controversial and of debatable value. 

IX. Dodge 

"WTien Allan Pinkerton withdrew from the intelligence field in 1862, 
Lafayette Baker became his heir in the East. In the West, the princi- 
pal l^nefiactor of Pinkerton's legacy was Grenville M. Dodge. Born 
in a Massachusetts farmhouse in 1831, he attended the Durham 
Academy (KH.), Norwich University (Vt.), and matriculated from 
Partridge's private school in 1851 with a degree in civil and military 
engineering. Prior to the Civil War he held various surveying posi- 
tions with western railroad companies. With the outbreak of hostili- 
ties, he served in a military capacitj^ on the Iowa governor's staff 
before becoming a colonel of the 4th Iowa Regiment. He saw heavy 
fighting in the Southwest and distinguished himself in combat 
with the result that in March of 1862 he was advanced to 

Dodge was introduced to intelligence operations in late 1861 when 
General John C. Fremont, the commander of Missouri, ordered him 
to investigate certain rumors regarding rebel activity in the area.^-^ 
It is not evident that he had prior familiarity with this type of duty 
but it is possible that his surveying positions had acquainted him with 
the techniques of frontier scouts and railroad detectives. In response 
to Fremont's order, Dodge sent his cavalry into all parts of the state, 
spent two months in the pursuit, exhausting many horses and riders. 
From this experience, he decided to maintain a few men in the field 
who knew Arkansas and Missouri, paying them with money received 
from fines and licenses. Thus began his spy network, a system subse- 
quently credited with saving the Army of the Southwest in March, 
1862, from advancing Confederate forces.^^* 

l^Tiile rebuilding the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, Dodge 
again sent agents into the field. He concluded that most of 
the rumors he heard were false, but about this time he hit 

^'^ Stanley P. Hirshson. Grenville M. Dodge: Soldier, Politician, Railroad 
Pioneer. Bloomington and London, Indiana University Press, 1967, p. 67. 

^"^Ibid.; J. R. Perliins. Trails, Rails and War: The Life of General G. M. 
Dodge. Indianapolis, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1929, pp. 108-109. 


upon a method by which a spy could estimate the size of any 
enemy force by noting the space it occupied on a road. Be- 
fore long Dodge was receiving detailed descriptions of Con- 
federate troop movements throughout the South.^^^ 

In July, 1862, Major-General Henry W. Halleck became general-in- 
chief of the U.S. Army, opening the way for a major intelligence role 
for Dodge. 

When Halleck went east and Grant succeeded to the com- 
mand in the West the hour had come for guessing and 
blundering through to give way to strategy and even to cun- 
ning. No one knew the strength of the South, and the Con- 
federates fought as if they had plenty of reserve. Moreover, 
rumors were everywhere about the superior strength they 
would bring to bear in the [Vicksburg] campaign at hand. 
It was thought that there were sixty thousand Confederates 
south of Grant and nearly as many to the east of him. A 
loose and inefficient system of secret service in the first eight- 
een months of the war had left the Federal officers in the 
West believing no one. It was to obviate this condition and 
to secure authentic information that General Grant turned 
to General Dodge and gave him the responsibility of reor- 
ganizing the whole system.^^" 

Dodge came to his new assignment at the recommendation of Gen- 
eral John A. Rawlins, Grant's chief of staff, and had not actually met 
with the new commander of the western troops. In his new role, 
Dodge had two forces. He organized the First Tennessee Cavalry, 
a regiment of southern Unionists who served in the regular army. 
By virtue of their relatives and friends in the Confederacy, members 
of this unit contributed to Dodge's clandestine spy network with con- 
tacts and informers. He also utilized many blacks who, disregarded 
by southern pickets and patrols, functioned as messengers. 

Dodge's system brought headaches as well as rewards. Fi- 
nancial troubles were especially severe, for a spy commencing 
a long trip was usually given between $5,000 and $10,000 in 
Confederate money. Moreover, Dodge paid his spies for each 
mission. Those who lived permanently within enemy lines re- 
ceived what they requested, although some of them refused 
compensation because they were Unionists or because their 
sons, brothers, or husbands were in the Federal army.^^^ 

In early 1863 the economic problem was solved when Grant au- 
thorized the use of confiscated Confederate funds to maintain the 
spy network. At its peak, Dodge's intelligence system counted 117 
field agents, known personally only to him and familiar to his most 
trusted aides only by an identifying number. This situation created 
certain accountability problems. Once Dodge's immediate superior 
cut off his funds when the identities of the spies were refused for 
reasons of security but the matter was appealed to Grant who, taking 

"' Hirshson, loc. cit. 

"° Perkins, op. cit., pp. 105-106. 

^'^ Hirshson, op. cit., p. 67. 


time from his Vicksburg campaign, reinstated the funding.^^^ Another 
time Dodge was charged with land cotton speculation for financially 
enhancing his spies and/or himself. The dilemma was such that, in 
refuting the allegation, the identities of certain agents operating be- 
hind Confederate lines might become known, and Dodge decided, at 
Grant's suggestion, to remain silent about the matter. For many years 
thereafter, however, accusations about the charges dogged him.^^^ 

During the war about half of Dodge's spies were captured or 
killed by the enemy. Some were court-martialed and exe- 
cuted by the Confederates, but not one betrayed the North, 
although to save their lives, many pretended to do so. Forced 
to join the Southern army, one agent within a short time was 
made first sergeant of his company. For a year Dodge be- 
lieved he was dead. Late in the war, however, the spy, still 
dressed in his Confederate uniform, slipped through the lines 
and again reported for duty.^^^ 

Dodge proved to be a shrewd spy master, disguising his operations 
and utilizing the information he gained for the best possible military 
advantages. He emphasized geographic data and details regarding 
weapon and troop strength. In his intelligence activities. Dodge was 
Grant's general and, when Grant was given command of all Union 
forces in March, 1864, the secret service force began to be phased out. 
In August, in the battle for Atlanta, Dodge was severely wounded and 
temporarily retired from active duty. During this time, the intelli- 
gence network he had built terminated completely and no directive for 
reinstatement ever revived it. Dodge returned to military service in 
November and finished war duty. He later fought in Indian skirmishes 
before turning his attention to politics and railroad development. In 
1866 he served in the House of Representatives, declining renomination 
in 1868. He subsequently became active in railroad construction, was 
president of the Union Pacific, Denver and Gulf line in 1892, and even 
promoted railroads in Cuba before his death in 1916. In his intelli- 
gence activities, Dodge reflects military professionalism: he sought 
information almost exclusively to enhance army field operations and 
to develop ejffective strategy for pursuing the Confederate fighting 

X. Carrington 

Unlike Dodge, Henry Beebee Carrington conducted intelligence op- 
erations against political enemies — the Copperheads and rebel con- 
spirators attempting to undermine the Union cause. Born in Con- 
necticut in 1824, Carrington became an ardent abolitionist in his youth, 
graduated from Yale in 1845, and taught for a while in the Irving 
Institute at Tarrytown, New York. Under the influence of the school's 
founder, "Washington Irving, he subsequently wrote Battles of the 
American Revolution which appeared in 1876. He was also to write 
seven other major titles. Leaving New York, he taught at the New 
Haven Collegiate Institute while pursuing a law degree at his old 
alma mater. In 1848 he moved to Ohio and entered upon a law prac- 

"' nid., p. 68. 

^ Perkins, op. cit., pp. 112-113. 

^ Hirshon, op. cit., p. 68. 


tice. Over the next dozen years Carrington represented a variety of 
commercial, manufacturing, banking, and railroad interests and be- 
came a pioneer in Republican politics. A close friend and supporter 
of Governor Salmon P. Chase, he was subsequently appointed to a 
position to reorganize the state militia (1857) . He subsequently became 
the adjutant-general for Ohio, mustering nine regiments of militia at 
the outbreak of the Civil War. He then was commissioned a colonel of 
the 18th United States Infantry and took command of an army camp 
near Columbus. 

In neighboring Indiana, Governor Oliver P. Morton had need of 
Carrington's services. For reasons not altogether clear — perhaps it 
was his partisan political past and/or his ardent abolitionism — Car- 
rington was ordered, upon the request of Morton, to organize the 
state's levies for service. 

Wlien Carrington arrived in Indiana, political warfare be- 
tween the adherents of the ladministration and its opponents 
was beginning in earnest. The favorite weapon of the Re- 
publicans was that ephemeral and elusive order, the Knights 
of the Golden Circle. Carrington joined in wholeheartedly. 
On December 22, 1862, he blamed the apalling rate of de- 
sertion on the treasonable secret societies, whose penetration 
of the army was shown by knowledge among soldiers of a 
"battle sign" which would save them from rebel bullets. In a 
long report dated March 19, 1863, he described the situation 
as so alarming that it bordered on open revolt. He claimed 
that the Knights had ninety-two thousand members between 
sixteen and seventy who were drilling constantly. They were 
plotting to seize the arsenals, the railroads, and the telegraph 
in order to revolutionize Indiana and "assert independent 
authority as a state." They communicated with Confederates, 
in particular with General Morgan, whose picture hung in 
many homes and whose name was "daily praised." Thousands 
of them believed the bold raider would shortly appear to 
"raise the standard of revolt in Indiana." If he did, Carring- 
ton was sure Morgan could raise "an army of 20,000 
traitors." ^^^ 

What prompted these comments by Carrington and where did he 
get his information? The answer to these questions appears to derive 
from the activities of Governor Morton. Taking advantage of the 
crisis conditions which the war created, Morton had established him- 
self as virtual dictator of the state. He dealt harshly with rebel 
sympathizers, Copperheads, Democrats, and anyone opposed to his 
rule. Before the end of 1861, a spy system had been inaugurated to 
keep watch of these enemies.^^^ Carrington was given charge of this 
intelligence organization and thus became familiar with the "foes of 
the Union" which it kept under surveillance. There is strong e^ndence 
that Carrington had no desire for combat service and twice Morton 
intervened to prevent his transferral to the front lines. Thus, it was 

^^G. R. Tredway. Democratic Opposition to the Lincoln Administration in 
Indiana. Indianapolis, Indiana Historical Bureau, 1973, pp. 209-210. 
^^/ftid., p. 216. 


important that Carrington cast himself in the role of an intelligence 
chief devoted to maintaining the security of the state, even though 
disaster appeared to be just around the comer. 

In ]\Iarch, 1863, Carrington was promoted to brigadier-general and 
made commander of the District of Indiana of the Department of 
the Ohio, later renamed the Northern Department. By this time, how- 
ever, he had intelligence activities organized and operating under his 
direction. His secret service — 

. . . was composed of spies, informers, betrayers, and outside 
secret agents. Inside officials who were jealous of more impor- 
tant leaders were worked on; the itch for money played a 
part; in quite a few instances, unsuspecting loyal men who 
had joined the castles were amazed at the lengths to which 
love of constitutional rights or Southern sympathies could 
carry the assertion of dissent. From many sources, and for 
almost as many motives, disclosures flowed in to Carrington's 

Claiming to have between two and three thousand men reporting to 
him, Carrington enlisted the services of almost anyone who would 
provide information about an "enemy." Unsolicited reports were grate- 
fully accepted as well. The amateur sleuths and informers were sup- 
plemented with a few choice agents and detectives. Spies apparently 
were paid from state funds at the rate of $100 per month, over six 
times the amount received by a Federal soldier.^^^ 

Early in 1863 Carrington claimed to have emissaries at the 
meetings of the secret societies. In April, 1864, he asked 
Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas for money to organize 
a twelve-man detective force. One of his agents said he had 
eighteen men at such work early in 1864. General Alvin P. 
Hovey, who succeeded Carrington August 25, 1864, continued 
his espionage organization. Colonel Conrad Baker, the state 
provost marshal, also employed informers who reported di- 
rectly to him. At least one of the district provost marshals, 
Colonel Thompson, had an agent who worked for him among 
Democrats of the Seventh District. He signed his reports only 
as "H.," and his identity was not even known to Colonel 
Baker, Thompson's superior. Carrington claimed he partici- 
pated personally in this work, once attendina: "iu disqfuise" a 
meeting of the Sons of Liberty in Indianapolis. Be that as it 
may, the general was probably not exagg^erating when he 
claimed to know every morning what had happened in the 
lodges the night before. Not only did he have his own spies, 
but he kept in close touch with other officials who conducted 

^"Milton, op. cit., pp. 76-77. 

^^Tredway, op. cit., p. 217. 

^^ Ibid., p. 216; also see William Dudley Foiilke. Life of Oliver P. Morgan 
(Vol. 1). Indianapolis-Kansas City. The Bowen-Merrill Company. 1S99, pp. 405- 
407 ; also, for a view of Carrington's spies reporting on each other and otherwise 
over-insratiating themselves with un.suspeeting rebels, see Tredway, op. cit., 
pp. 216-217. 


While Carrington's operatives were effective in breaking up the Sons 
of Liberty, the Knights of the Golden Circle, and elements of the 
Northwest Conspiracy, they also contributed to arbitrary arrests, 
infringements upon the freedom of speech and freedom of association, 
and otherwise maintained a corrupt and despotic regime. The manner 
in which the intelligence organization was recruited — utilizing betray- 
ers, jealous and disgruntled officials, informei"s, and unvalidated 
hearsay from unsolicited sources- — caused it to traffic in unreliable 
information of generally more political than military value. And the 
suspicion prevails that the whole arrangement served to mahitain 
Governor Morton's administration and coincidently counteracted Con- 
federate operatives who happened to count among his foes. 

Carrington was replaced by General Alvin P. Hovey in August, 
1864. With less than a year of warfare ahead of him, Hovey assumed 
control of the espionage organization as the new commander of the 
Indiana District. It is not immediately evident if he made any changes 
in the intelligence operation other than to gain access to the funds 
seized from bomity juinpers to pay his agents.^*° If the spy system did 
noc collapse at the end of the war, it must certainly have been dis- 
carded in 1867 when Governor Morton resigned to enter the United 
States Senate. 

Carrington was first mustered out of service as a brigadier-general 
of volunteers, rejoined his old regiment in the Army of the Cumber- 
land, completed war duty and saw Indian campaigns in the West. He 
built and commanded Fort Phil Keamy but lost the respect of his 
fellow officers due to his reputation as a "political warrior" and his 
demonstrated lack of aggressiveness in several Indian skinnishes. 
Before a decision to remove him from command could be implemented, 
Carrington became further embroiled in controversy. In December, 
1866, a force of eighty officers and men under Captain William J. 
Fetterman was massacred by a force of fifteen hundred to three thou- 
sand Indians. The disaster was attributed to Fetterman's disobeyance 
of Carrington's order to proceed on a certain route of march : instead, 
he had directly engaged the war party from their rear while they 
were attacking a group of woodcutters. The Indians turned on Fetter- 
man's force and annihilated them. Because no one had heard Carring- 
ton's orders to Fetterman, coupled with existing distrast of the 
colonel's leadership, rumors persisted that the men had been ordered 
into tragedy. General Grant moved to court-martial Carrington but, 
at the suggestion of General William T. Sherman, submitted the 
matter to a court of inquiry which subsequently exonerated Carring- 
ton. Nevertheless, Carrington was relieved of command and. with his 
military career ruined, he resia^ied and spent the rest of his life at- 
tempting to convince the public of his innocence in the incident. He 
also wrote a number of books and taught military science at Wabash 
College in Indiana before his death in 1912. 

XI. Signal Services 

The Civil War, which was first in many things, provided the oppor- 
tunity for the extensive use of the telegraph for all possible wartime 

^*°Tredway, op. cit., p. 218. 


purposes. The introduction of this communications device effected 
two important developments in the evolution and organization of the 
Federal intelligence function. One innovation was the utilization of 
sophisticated codes for communication not just among some elite 
groups, but within the entire military system.^" Further, as by- 
products of this phenomenon, the first concerted efforts at code- 
breaking and communications system penetration, or telegraph line 
tapping, were undertaken. 

The other important occurrence was the creation of the United 
States Army Signal Corps. Not only did this organization have in- 
telligence responsibilities during the war, but it became the institu- 
tion, thereafter, which fostered and advanced coding, code-breaking, 
and communications system penetration practices. Prior to the occa- 
sion of the Civil War, no nation, except Germany, had a permanent 
military telegraph unit within its armed forces organization.i'*^ "yyith 
the outbreak of hostilities in the United States in 1861, two signal 
services were pressed into action by the Union. 

The Signal Corps, the pioneering communications unit of the United 
States Army of a century's duration, came into existence largely 
through the efforts of General Albert J. Myer. Born in New York in 
1827, Myer apprenticed as a telegraph operator while preparing for 
his college education. Graduated from Hobart College in 1827, he 
continued his studies at Buffalo Medical College, obtaining his M.D. 
in 1851. During his final year of academic studies he became inter- 
ested in the use of communications signals for military and naval 
purposes. Thus, early in his life, Myer became acquainted with two 
important means of long-distance communication. 

After practicing as a physician for three years, he sought and ob- 
tained a commission as assistant surgeon in the regular army. Ordered 
to New Mexico, his interest in signal communications was renewed in 
observations of the various Comanche practices of this nature. After 
developing his thoughts on the matter, Myer wrote to the War De- 
partment in 1856, asking if the government might be interested in his 
signaling system. No action was taken on the inquiry until 1859 when 
a board of evaluation, headed by Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Lee, 
considered the matter and gave qualified approval to the idea. Field 
tests followed and negotiations were made in the War Department 
for some institutional accommodations for the new communications 
effort. As a consequence, provision was made in legislation enacted (12 
Stat. 64 at 66) in 1860 authorizing the appointment of one signal 

'"It will he recalled that spies in the service of General Washington used 
ciphered messages. The Civil War experience was an elahoration on this situa- 
tion : more sophisticated codes were developed for use within the entire army. A 
cipher system usually substitutes a single symbol (number, letter, or special sign) 
for a single letter of the standard alphabet. A code system substitutes a code term 
(number, number group, letter, letter group, word, sign, or marking) for an item 
of plaintext (a word, phrase, date, general prefix or sufl3x, or some such identifi- 
able language referent). The two systems can, of course, be intertwined and 
otherwise sophisticated by skilled cryptographers. 

'"William R. Plum. The Military Telegraph During the Civil War in the United 
States (Vol. 1). Chicago, Jansen, McClurg and Company, 1882, p. 62. 


officer with the rank of major and $2,000 for signaling equipment. 
Thus, the Signal Corps began to take shape."^ 

Shortly after the initiation of hostilities between the North and 
the South, Myer, in May, 1861, traveled east, arriving at Fort Monroe 
in June where General Benjamin F. Butler ordered details for signal 
duty and Myer proceeded to instruct them. The practical application 
was a signal line between the Fort and Newport News and the direct- 
ing of artillery fire from a battery at Kip Raps. Such direction of gun- 
fire would be a primary Signal Corps responsibility into the Twentieth 

While still assigned to Butler, Myer sought orders by which 
he could control all military telegraphy, asserting that the 
law under which he held his commission gave him "general 
charge of the telegraphic duty of the Army, whether . . . 
by means of signals transmitted by . . . electricity or by 
aerial signals." Although Myer obtained no War Department 
help, Butler ordered all telegraphic duty in his department, 
in which the budding U.S. Military Telegraph was already 
at work, placed under Myer's control. Myer implied that the 
immediate results were quite satisfactory, but the historian 
of the Military Telegraph later revealed that the word went 
out sub rosa to all telegraph operatore to ignore Myer while 
seeming to comply with his orders, and that the Secretary 
of War soon instructed Butler not to interfere with them.^** 

The U.S. Military Telegraph, a quasi-military organization created 
in 1861 to operate the existing commercial telegraph lines, was the 
great rival of the Signal Corps for control of telegraph communica- 
tion during the Civil War. It ceased to exist after the cessation of 
hostilities in 1865 and the telegraph communication field was left 
to the Signal Corps. While it existed, however, it had direct access 
to and favor of the Secretary of War. Its organization and operations 
will be discussed shortly. 

During the Civil War, the Signal Corps had limited responsibility 
for telegraphic communications. It provided some telegraphy services 
for the shifting Union forces, but, generally, its efforts in this field of 
communication were supervised by Military Telegraph officials. The 
Corps apparently developed codes ^^^ and ciphers ""^ but there is some 
question as to their security.^*^ Signal Corps telegraphers were sworn 

"^ While it is ironic that Lee should be the head of the panel approving the 
idea of a Signal Corps, which would be combat tested facing forces subsequently 
under his command, it is also equally ironic that Senator Jefferson Davis (D.- 
Miss. ) opposed the signal oflBcer provision in the 1860 legislation ; the Confed- 
eracy was destined to have a fine Signal Corps of its own, one which Davis 
supported in all ways. See J. Willard Brown. The Signal Corps, U.S.A., in the 
War of the Rebellion. Boston, U.S. Veteran Signal Corps Association, 1896, pp. 
205-224 ; also see Max L. Marshall, ed. The Story of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. 
New York, Franklin Watts, 1965, pp. 63-76. 

"* Paul J. Scheips. Union Signal Communications : Innovation and Conflict. 
Civil War History, v. 9, December, 1963 : 401 ; the reference to the Military 
Telegraph historian is to Plum (Vol. 1), op. dt., pp. 71-73; also see Brown, 
op. cit., pp. 171-172. 

^^ See Brown, op. cit., pp. 91-99. 

"* See Ibid., pp. 83, 99-102, 118-119. 

"' See Scheips, op. cit., p. 407. 


to secrecy regarding both the cipher-codes they utilized and the con- 
tent of their communiques, a condition which sometimes created diffi- 
culties when high-ranking officers were curious about telegraph 

Until 1863, Myer had to rely largely upon detailees for his man- 
power. It was in that year, however, on March 3, that Congress en- 
acted legislation (12 Stat. 744 at 753) creating an organization beyond 
the authority for a single Signal Officer.^*^ 

According to one source, 146 officers were "commissioned in 
the Corps" during the war, or were offered commissions. 
About twenty of this number "declined the appointments of- 
fered them, and some ten or twelve resigned from the army 
soon after the reorganization was effected." In addition, about 
297 acting signal officers served in the wartime Corps, but 
some of them for only very brief periods. The total number of 
enlisted men who served at one time or another was about 
2,500. In October, 1863, 198 officers, besides Myer, and 814 en- 
listed men graced the rolls of the Signal Corps.^^" 

In addition to cryptological activities, Meyer, on the occasion of his 
assignment to General Edward Canby's Military Division of Western 
Mississippi, sought to involve Signal Corps personnel in another as- 
pect of intelligence operations. 

Within a week or two of his reporting to General Canby, 
Colonel Myer proposed a new service which Canby assigned 
at once to the Signal Corps. Canby's order of May 30, 1864 
read : "Deserters, refugees, and other persons coming in at 
any military post in the Division of West Mississippi, or any 
of the spots on the east bank of the Mississippi River, will be 
carefully examined by a discreet officer, and the information 
obtained from them compared and collated with that de- 
rived from scouts and other sources, and reported direct to 
the Chief Signal Officer at these headquarters, Natchez, 
Mississippi. . . ." ^'^ 

It would appear that only this one command utilized a Signal Of- 
ficer to coordinate this intelligence information. Meyer completed his 
war service with General Sherman and sought to continue his military 
career as Chief Signal Officer of the U.S. Army. In November, 1863, 
he had clashed with Secretary of War Stanton over control of the 
telegraph lines and the rivalries between the Signal Corps and the 
Military Telegraph. As a consequence of this dispute, Myer had been 
removed as Chief Signal Officer and he believed that the action was 
illegal. Through litigation and politics, he won his reinstatement on 
October 30, 1866. The victory for Myer was total: his position had 
been made permanent in the recently enacted Armed Forces Act (14 
Stat, 332 at 335-336) ; Stanton was suspended from office; and the 
Signal Corps was granted sole responsibility for telegraphy in com- 
bat zones. The Corps itself depended upon detailees for its manpower 

'*® See Brown, op. dt., pp. 70, 191. 

"' See lUd., pp. 141-169. 

^ Scheips, op. cit, p. 406 ; also see Brown, op. oit., pp. 160-161, 713-902. 

^^ Marshall, op. oit., p. 60. 


under the Armed Forces Act. Myer promoted the visibility of his 
organization by establishing a Department of Practical Military En- 
gineering, Military Signaling, and Telegraphy at West Point, im- 
proved upon the signaling courses at the Naval Academy, and 
instituted signaling curricula at the Artillery School of Practice 
(Fort Monroe, Va.) and the Engineering School of Practice (Willett's 
Point, N.Y.). His achievements on behalf of the Corps and military 
communications were both numerous and continuous until his death in 
August, 1880. 

The great rival of the Signal Corps, and in some regards Myer's 
nemesis, ^Yas the United States Military Telegraph. The organization 
derived from the expediency of Union seizure and control of the com- 
merical telegraph lines. 

In April 1861, the Government took exclusive control of 
the telegraph lines radiating from Washington; and the 
function of censoring the dispatches sent over the wires from 
the national capital was at different times under the charge 
of the Treasury, the State, and the War Departments. 
Operating under the instructions from the Cabinet officer in 
whose department he was placed, the censor excluded com- 
munications giving military information, and also those 
which were deemed to convey too much news concerning the 
activities of the Government. Reports of delicate diplomatic 
questions, criticisms of Cabinet members, comments giving 
the mere opinion of correspondents, advance information of 
contemplated measures, and stories injurious to the reputation 
of officers, were denied the wires.^^^ 

With the onset of hostilities and the seizure of the telegraph lines, 
the government needed some group to operate and maintain the com- 
munications system. Secretary of War Simon Cameron enlisted the 
assistance of Thomas A. Scott of the Pennsylvania Railroad who 
provided four operators to man the telegraph. Their supervisor was 
Andrew Carnegie, shortly followed by David Strouse and others.^^^ 

The U.S. Military Telegraph did not obtain formal sanction 
until Lincoln, in October, 1861, authorized Cameron to act on 
recommendations that had been made by Anson Stager, a 
Western Union official who had been invited to Washington. 
On February 26, 1862, under permissive legislation [12 Stat. 
334—335] of the preceding month, the President took control 
of all telegraph lines in the United States, which meant in 
practice that the Military Telegraph could use them as cir- 
cumstances demanded.^^* 

Stager became head of the organization which counted somewhere 
between 1,200 to 1,500 operators and linesmen.^^^ With the exception 
of a handful of immediate leaders who were given commissions, the 

'^Randall, op. cit., 481-482; also see Plum, op. cit. (Vol. 1), pp. 64-66. 

^" See David Homer Bates Lincoln In The Telegraph Office. New York, The 
Century Company, 1907, pp. 30-32, 35; Plum, op. cit. (Vol. 1), pp. 66-68, 127-134. 

^* Scheips, op. cit., p. 402. 

"^Ibid., p. 403; Bates, op. cit., pp. 26-27; Plum, op. cit. (Vol. 2), pp. 352, 


personnel of the Military Telegraph were denied military status in 
order that field officers could not give them orders regarding com- 
munications cloaked in secrecy. Technically, the group was a segment 
of the Quartermaster's Department and the officers in the Military 
Telegraph could, by these arrangements, disburse funds and property. 
If proper channels of communication were to be used, Stager had to 
send messages to the Secretary of War through Quartermaster Gen- 
eral Montgomerj^ C. Meigs while Myer could speak directly to the 
Secretary on behalf of the Signal Corps. Stager, however, soon gained 
Stanton's favor and "channels" were no barrier to the advancement 
of the cause of the Military Telegraph. 

Generally, operators in the Military Telegraph took an oath of 
secrecy regarding the contents of messages and their work.^^^ On vari- 
ous occasions these personnel were pressured by field officers to breach 
security by revealing the contents of telegraph traffic or cipher-code 
keys but the operators stood f ast.^^" 

The Military Telegraph also developed its own ciphers and codes. 

Anson Stager was the author of the first Federal ciphers, 
which he devised for General McClellan's use in West Vir- 
ginia, in the summer of 1861, before McClellan came to Wash- 
ington. They were very simple, consisting merely of cards, 
about three inches by five, on which was printed a series of 
key- words and arbitraries, the former indicating the number 
of lines and columns and the route or order in which the 
message might be written, the arbitrary words being used to 
represent names of places and persons. When an important 
dispatch was intrusted to a cipher-operator for transmission, 
he first rewrote it carefully in five, six, or seven columns, as the 
case might be, adding extra or blind words on tlie last line, if 
it was not full. A key-word was then selected to indicate the 
number of columns and lines and the order in which the words 
of the message were to be copied for transmission by wire.^^^ 

Stager encouraged his immediate Washington staff to develop new 
cipher-codes and to break those of the rebels.^^^ On the general success 
of the Military Telegraph in regard to this aspect of intelligence, one 
authority has written : 

Copies of cipher messages quite often reached the enemy, and 
some were published in their newspapers, with a general re- 
quest for translation, but all to no purpose. To the statement 
that in no case did an enemy ever succeed in deciphering such 
messages, let us add that neither did any Federal cipher op- 
erator ever prove recreant to his sacred trust, and we have, in 
a sentence, two facts that reflect infinite credit upon the corps. 
Fidelity is an attribute of the business of teleo;raphy. However 
deficient an operator may be in other qualifications, he is in- 
variably to be trusted with any secret that comes to him in the 

^'^ See Plum. op. cit., (Vol. 2), pp. 108-109. 

"'See Bates, op. cit., pp. 49-85; Plum, op. oit. (Vol. 1), pp. 34-61; Plum, op. 
cit. (Vol. 2), pp. 170-174 
"^ Bates, op cit., p. 49. 
"' See Ibid., pp. 68-85. 


line of his employment. To a natural disposition to merit such 
a trust, is added a habit or faculty, acquired by constant, daily 
experience, of keeping the ears open and the mouth shut.^*° 

Friction between Stager and Myer reached a decisive point in the 
autumn of 1863 when the latter attempted, by public advertisements, 
to lure telegraphers away from or out of the Military Telegraph and 
into the Signal Corps where they would "have . . . charge of the . . . 
light field telegraph lines which are under . . . the Signal Corps, and 
which, in battle or at sieges, are run out and worked on the field or 
in the trenches under fire." For this unauthorized and independent 
action, Myer, at the outset, earned Stanton's enmity. 

Events now moved rapidly. Stager, who could not let Myer's 
challenge to the Military Telegraph go unanswered, wrote 
Stanton. He spoke of "the embarrassment already experi- 
enced and the complications likely to arise from the organiz- 
ing of Field Telegraphs by the Signal Corps," and advised 
"the propriety of placing the Field Telegraphs under the 
. . . Military Telegraph Department, and thus avoid . . . 
two organizations in the same grade of service." He explained 
that the Signal Corps "is now making efforts to secure the 
best electricians in the service by offers of rank and increased 
pay, which it is enabled to do through its military organiza- 
tion, an advantage not possessed by the Military Telegraph. 
. . ." He recommended that either the Military Telegraph 
should have all telegraphic responsibility or it should be 
abolished and the entire responsibility given to the Corps. 

Stanton's decision was soon made and apparently imparted 
to Myer in a difficult interview at the War Department. On 
November 10, 1863, Myer was ordered to surrender his re- 
sponsibilities to the next ranking Signal Corps officer . . . 
and to leave for Memphis, Tennessee. At the same time all 
magnetoelectric telegraphic equipment was to be turned over 
to Stager."! 

Thus, for the duration of the war, the Military Telegraph operated 
and controlled virtually all telegraph communication in Union terri- 
tory. Central command was maintained in Washington and notable 
field performances were made under Grant and Meade in Virginia, 
Sherman in Georgia, and Banks in the Red River Expedition. Stager's 
personal office was in Cleveland and it was there that Myer journeyed 
shortly after arriving in Memphis. The two men worked out the ab- 
sorption of Signal Corps' telegraphic resources and Myer indicated 
his regret that the two organizations had not established a formal 
liaison during his command.^''' 

When the Civil War ended the Military Telegraph supervised 
the restoration of commercial telegraph lines in the South, 
but its control was soon relinquished. Meanwhile, operators 
and Stager's commissioned assistants remained at their posts 

*~Plum, op. cit. (Vol. 1), pp. 60-61. 

^^ Scheips, op. cit., p. 410; also see Plum, op. cit. ("Vol. 2), pp. 86-106. 

'" Scheips, op. cit., p. 413. 


until November 30, 1865, when all operators not at work on 
strictly military lines or at assi^ed posts as cipherers in 
major cities were discharged, paid, and, as one operator put 
it, "in most cases given transportation to their homes." In 
1866 the Military Telegraph lines south of the Ohio River 
were turned over to commercial companies in relinquishment 
of claims against the United States, while military lines north 
of the Ohio were sold. The line from Wilmington, Delaware, 
to Richmond, however, was retained to be operated for the 
government by the American Telegraph Company. Of the 
officers, only Stager and [Thomas T.] Eckert, both of whom 
received the brevet rank of brigadier general, remained on 
duty by the end of fiscal year 1866. One operator, Charles 
Almarin Tinker, remained in the "War Department telegraph 
office until 1869.^^=' 

By the fall of 1866, Myer had won his victory of reinstatement to 
Chief Signal Officer of the Army and the added responsibility attached 
to the position at that time for supervision of military telegraph opera- 
tions and related activities. 

XII. Lesser Efforts 

The organizations created by Pinkerton, Seward, Baker, Dodge, 
Carrington, Myer, and Stager were the major sophisticated intelligence 
structures of the Civil War experience within the Union forces. For a 
while a Bureau of Military Information was maintained in the War 
Department under Colonel George H. Sharpe who maintained the unit 
from March of 1863 until the end of the war. He held some investigative 
powers by virtue of his position as deputy provost marshall general 
and coordinated intelligence for General Grant during the final year 
of the war with a high degree of effect. 

We run across a few other spy-chiefs who had some contem- 
porary fame in their own right, and with whom records and 
memoirs often bring us face to face. Among them was "Col." 
William Truesdail (actually a civilian, like Pinkerton), head 
of the Police Office for [General William S.] Rosecrans both 
in the Army of the Mississippi and the Department of the 
Cumberland. Truesdail's host of duties included the employ- 
ment of scouts and spies within and about the enemy's lines to 
furnish intelligence for the commanding general. The men 
were carefully selected, and most of them were well ac- 
quainted with the surrounding country and its inhabitants. 
What in the Revolutionary days would have been styled a 
"channel" of intelligence was said to have been maintained 
"to the extreme limits of the Southern Confederacy." 

Then there was Maj. H[enry] B. Smith, Gen. Lew Wal- 
lace's chief of detectives in the Middle Department (1864— 
1865), whom Wallace called "a man of ability and zeal." In 
that department, whose headquarters were at Baltimore, 
treason flourished and plots grew; and counter-espionage 
needed to be, as it was under Major Smith's direction, adroit 
and unremitting. It was Smith who, at Baltimore, in March 

*" 76i<f ., p. 419. 


1865, administered the oath of allegiance to Lewis Paine 
(Lewis Thornton Powell), later hanged as a party to the 
conspiracy to murder Lincoln. He inserted in the parole a 
clause requiring Paine "to go north of Philadelphia and re- 
main during the war," but Paine was one who honored paroles 
rather in the breach than in the observance. In 1911 Smith 
published "Between the Lines," a decidedly unusual volume 
presenting material from his wartime files and throwing new 
light on conditions in Maryland and northern Virginia.^^* 

Another important intelligence element which should be noted, but 
which attained no degree of organizational sophistication, is the scout 
corps. Common to virtually every LTnion combat command, the scouts 
were often an ad hoc body of changing faces. The most celebrated 
leader of these forces was Major Harry Young, General Sheridan's 
chief of scouts. 

Scouting in the Civil War was something more than touring 
the "no-man's-land" between opposing camps. Young had 
authority to raise a command of a hundred men ; but the roll 
never exceeded sixty, and was usually nearer forty. The men 
were in Confederate uniforms more often than in their own, 
carrying a Spencer carbine and two revolvers. They were the 
aristocrats of the army, much as the men of the airservice 
were in the first World War. Each was allowed four picked 
mounts ; they lived in the best quarters to be had ; they were 
exempt from camp routine ; they were paid in gold according 
to the value of intelligence obtained or services rendered. 

They might go in small details, a few men at a time ; or they 
might sally out in force on some major expedition. They were 
to surprise and capture (or, if necessary, kill) the enemy's 
pickets and vedettes ; to harass enemy patrols ; to pounce upon 
guerrilla bands. Once Young and his little company 
stampeded a cavalry brigade. And they were also to gather 
intelligence. Li any case they wore the enemy's uniform (and 
sometimes other disguises) within the enemy's lines in order 
to deceive. Therefore, under military law, if taken within 
or about the enemy's lines, they were to be treated as spies 
and suffer death.^^^ 

Those serving under General Fremont in this capacity during the 
spring and summer of 1862 were given the name "Jessie Scouts" in 
honor of the commander's wife, Jessie Benton. The name became com- 
monly used by these daring riders after Fremont had departed the 
theater and was applied to any Federal scout who wore the gray in 
the Virginia area. 

Before the Union forces were mustered out, Harry Young was to 
see intelligence service in another field of operations. 

After Lee had surrendered, the Mexican frontier needed 
watching, for the contest between the French invaders and 
the Liberals was still in progress. Therefore Sheridan was 

^ Bryan, op. oit., pp. 135-136 ; also see Henry B. Smith. Between the Lines. New 
York, Boo? Brothers, 1911. 
"'' Bryan, op. oit., pp. 136-137. 

165 ' 


ordered to the Rio Grande with a corps. Colonel Young — he 
was by now bre vetted lieutenant-colonel — went along, taking 
with him four of his old command. Sheridan admits that 
material aid was given the Liberals from United States arse- 
nals; and he also recommended Young as a trusty go- 
between and an agent who could furnish reliable intelligence 
of affairs within Mexico itself; but outwardlj' there was 
adherence to neutrality. Young, however, without first getting 
Sheridan's approval, took Liberal money, raised a band of 
fifty or so, and attempted to cross the river. A fight ensured — 
some were killed, some escaped [Young himself disappearing 

By the end of the Civil War, all military intelligence operations 
virtually ceased to exist. Undoubtedly some scouts were retained for 
immediate observation duties in the "West in the Indian campaigns. 
Beyond this, the intelligence organization (s) created by the Union 
armed forces establishment was totally dismantled with the peace of 
Appomattox and the demise, in the opinion of at least one expert, was 
not necessarily a loss to be bemoaned. 

From beginning to end of the Civil AVar the ordinary hazards 
of professional espionage were doubled and trebled by the in- 
experience or downright incompetence of staff officers assigned 
to Intelligence. The transmitting of information was primi- 
tive and unsystematized ; and where cipher messages were re- 
sorted to, the ciphers were so transparently contrived they 
did little more than guarantee the guilt of the bearer. In 
addition, while men and women fashioned for themselves 
a hairbreath existence to penetrate the secrets of the enemy, 
what they learned and communicated was too seldom inter- 
preted efiFectively. Often spy reports were ignored until all 
their military value and timeliness had subsided into 

XIII. Secret Service 

During the Civil War, the combination of new revenue legislation 
and scandals within the Treasuiy Department prompted congressional 
action with a view to providing the Secretary of the Treasury with 
some investigative authority to deal with fraud. In 1863 legislation 
was enacted (12 Stat. 713 at 726) authorizing the Secretary to "appoint 
not exceeding three revenue agents ... to aid in the prevention, de- 
tection, and punishment of frauds upon the revenue." From these 
statutory origins would evolve the Intelligence Division and Security 
Inspection Division of the current Internal Revenue Service and the 
enforcement branch of the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Division. 
From the experience of this early investigative authority, and the need 
to operationalize prior mandates (11 Stat. 254; 12 Stat. 83; 12 Stat. 
102) regarding the prevention of counterfeiting, a Secret Service 
Division was established within the Treasury Department in July, 
1865, to be initially supervised by the Solicitor of the Treasury and 
later by an Assistant Secretary (and in 1933 came under the direct 

^"7Bi<?., p. 152. 

*" Rowan, op. cit. p. 145. 


authority of the Secretary). The head of the new organization, 
William P. Wood, was sworn in on July 5. A close personal friend 
of Secretary of War Stanton, Wood undoubtedly became acquainted 
with Lafayette Baker while serving as keeper of the Old Capitol 
Prison and he may also have known Pinkerton or his operatives. He 
served as both a detective and as a spy in Stanton's employ and was 
detailed on one occasion to the Treasury Department to probe counter- 
feiting matters. AVhile running the Old Capitol Prison — 

Wood assigned undercover agents to pose as Southern sym- 
pathizers who could smuggle mail from Richmond to Wash- 
ington. The letters were brought to him at the prison, where 
he skillfully opened, read, copied and resealed them for trans- 
mission to their destinations. The information they contained 
was funneled to Stanton's office and served as valuable leads 
for the conduct of the war. Prospective movements of South- 
ern forces were revealed in this way, including plans for 
Lee's northern advances which ended in the Battle of 

As head of the Secret Service, AYood had a force of approximately 
thirty men, some of whom were former private detectives he had 
known while pursuing counterfeiters and others were personal friends 
he had directed in wartime intelligence activities. Six general orders 
guided these personnel. 

1. Each man must recognize that his service belongs to the 
government through 24 hours of every day. 

2. All must agree to assignment to the locations chosen by 
the Chief and respond to whatever mobility of movement the 
work might require. 

3. All must exercise such careful saving of money spent for 
travel, subsistence, and payments for information as can be 
self -evidently justified. 

4. Continuing employment in the Service will depend upon 
demonstrated fitness, ability as investigators, and honesty and 
fidelity in all transactions. 

5. The title of regular employees will be Operative, Secret 
Service. Temporary employees will be Assistant Operatives 
or Liformants. 

6. All employment will be at a daily pay rate; accounts 
submitted monthly. Each operative will be expected to keep 
on hand enough personal reserve funds to carry on Service 
business between paydays.^^^ 

Distributed among eleven cities with a national office in Washington, 
the agents carried no badges or official identification other than hand- 
written letters of appointment. U.S. Marshals and other peace officers 
were notified by circular of the existence of the new organization and 
its purposes. At the end of its first year of operation, the agency had 
captured over 200 counterfeiters and had established a close working 

^•^ Walter S. Bowen and Harry Edward Neal. The IJnUed States Seeret Service, 
Philadelphia and New York, Chilton Company. 1960, p. 13. 
'«" Ibid., p. 16. 


relationship with marshals, local police departments, and United 
States Attorneys in various localities. 

Wood remained in charge of the Secret Service until 1869 when 
he was succeeded by Herman C. Whitley who, like Wood, had been 
an army detective during the war and had later associated himself 
with the Internal Revenue Bureau. Over the next half century, the 
Service would be led by seven other men. 

Secret Service Chiefs 


William P. Wood 1865-1869 

Herman C. Whitley 1869-1874 

Elmer Washburn 1874^1876 

James J. Brooks 1876-1888 

John S. Bell 1888-1890 

A. L. Drummond 1891-1894 

William P. Hazen 1894-1898 

John E. Wilkie 1898-1911 

William J. Flynn 1912-1917 

During this period the Secret Service investigated a variety of mat- 
ters in addition to counterfeiting, including the Mafia, gambling in- 
terests, peonage practices, the security of Treasury Department facili- 
ties concernecT with the production of securities and money, alcohol 
revenue enforcement, and the activities of the Ku Klux Klan.^^° The 
intelligence structures and techniques developed in conjunction with 
these probes are difficult to assess. The Secret Service was a permanent 
structure with regional offices. In pursuing counterfeiters, organized 
crime, and gambling interests, the Service cooperated with various sub- 
national law^ enforcement agencies and informers. Concentrating on 
these subjects, the organization undoubtedly cultivated sources of con- 
tinuing intelligence at the local level. Before the advent of World 
War I, in 1902, in the aftermath of the assassination of President Wil- 
liam McKinley, the Secret Service was assigned the function of pro- 
tecting the President, a mission which would encourage intelligence 
gathering regarding any and all enemies of the Chief Executive. 

XIV, Armed Forces Intelligence 

With the approach of the Twentieth Century, both the Army and 
the Navy took steps to formally establish intelligence institutions with- 
in their organizations. 

Until after the U.S. Civil War, the Navy's intelligence 
efforts and requirements were essentially those within the ca- 
pacity of a ship's commanding officer to conduct and use. Then 
technical developments stimulated not only by the Civil War 
in the United States but also by the Crimean War and the 
Franco-Prussian War in Europe, resulted in improved metals 
and powder which, in turn, led to the progressive develop- 
ment of larger caliber, built-up, rifled ordinance firing elon- 
gated missiles. 

The German development of the sliding wedge breech block 
made muzzle-loading obsolete and permitted fixed gun mounts 

"" Generally, see : lUd., pp. 12-83 ; George P. Burnham. Memoirs of the United 
States Secret Service. Boston, Lee and Shepard, 1872 ; H. C. Whitley. In It. Cam- 
bridge, Riverside Press, 1894, pp. 102-311. 


and more accurate aiming. Armor progressed from wood to 
iron to steel. 

Recognizing the need for keeping in touch with such 
progress in foreign navies, the Secretary of the Navy, on 23 
Mar 1882, signed General Order 292, establishing the "Office 
of Intelligence" in the Bureau of Navigation "to collect and 
record such naval information as may be useful to the De- 
partment in wartime as well as in peace." 

The Navy Department Library was combined with the Of- 
fice of Intelligence. Naval Attache posts were set up in Lon- 
don in 1882, in Paris in 1885 and in Rome in 1888. The attache 
in Paris was also accredited to Berlin and St. Petersburg 
(later Petrograd, then Leningrad) and the attache at Rome 
included Austria in his area of accreditation.^'^^ 

As constituted, the Office of Naval Intelligence collected and dis- 
seminated largely technical information about naval affairs. Un- 
doubtedly some amount of political information was garnered through 
the attache system managed by the Office. It would appear, however, 
that until World War I, the unit, which was attached to the newly 
created Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in 1915, concerned 
itself largely with technical matters. Some of these topics of concern 
to the Office are reflected in the titles of its general information series 
of publications.^^- 

From its inception until June, 1899, the Office had no authorization 
for clerical employees and relied upon detailees from other bureaus 
for staff. The advent of the Spanish-American War not only 
prompted an authorization (30 Stat. 846 at 874) for clerks, but also 
triggered an expansion of the attache system. Officers were assigned 
to Tokyo (1895), Madrid (1897), Caracas (1903), Buenos Aires 
(1910), and The Hague (1911). Commenting on the evolution of the 

^^ W. H. Packard. A Briefing on Naval Intelligence. All Hands, No. 591 April 
1966: 15. 

"- These include the following : 

U.S. Navy Department. Bureau of Navigation. Office of Naval Intelligence. Ob- 
servations Upon The Korean Coast, Japanese-Korean Ports, and Siberia, Made 
During a Journey From The Asiatic Station to The United States Through 
Siberia and Europe by Lieutenant B. H. Buckingham, Ensigns George C. Foulk, 
and Walter McLean, Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1883. 163 p. 

. . . Report on The Exhibits at the Crystal Palace Electrical 

Exhibition, 1882 by Ensign Frank J. Sprague. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 
1883. 169 p. 

. . . Examples, Conclusions, and Maxims of Modem Naval 

Tactics by Commander William Bainbridge-Hoff. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. 
Off., 1884. 149 p. 

. . . Papers on Naval Operations During the Year Ending 

July, 1885. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1885. 135 p. 

. . . Papers on Squadrons of Evolutions: The Recent De- 
velopment of Naval Materiel. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1886. 265 p. 

. . . Recent Naval Progress. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. 

Off, 1887, 346 p. 

. . . Naval Reserves, Training, and Materiel. Washington, 

U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1888. 433 p. 

— . . . Naval Mobilization and Improvement In Materiel. 

Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1889. 485 p. 

. . . A Year's Naval Progress. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. 

Off., 1890. 423 p. 


Xav3''s intelligence unit vis-a-vis the emergence of the Army's counter- 
part structure, one authority, himself a former director of the Office 
of Naval Intelligence, has said : 

... it is well to recognize that [the] Military Information 
Division has much more complex duties, not only in keeping 
track of eneni}^ activities within our own borders and foiling 
them, but in expanding and coordinating all the military re- 
sources of the country. The ^arvj is always ready for war 
or on a tentative war footing with some trained reserves to 
draw upon. It is a comparatively simple matter to pass from a 
peace to a war footing. Intensive target practice, torpedo ex- 
ercises, mine laying exercises and maneuvers keep the person- 
nel deeply interested through the competitive spirit. It is the 
duty of the Xavy to hold the enemy in check while the Army 
mobilizes and deploys. Curiously enough, naval strategy may 
be planned in time of peace by building stations, acquiring 
bases, and studying all the elements of the possible enemy's 
strategy, but an army cannot acquire supply bases or forti- 
fied stations in the same way in time of peace. A navy is not 
efficient unless it is always on a tentative war footing, for 
when war comes you cannot improvise a navy. We have never 
done anything else than impro\dse an army."^ 

The War Department inaugurated its permanent intelligence institu- 
tion three years after the Xavy established the Office of Naval 

In 1885 the Secretary of War had asked the Adjutant Gen- 
eral for information on the armed forces of a certain power — 
it may have been Russia, against whom Germany's Bismarck 

. Office of Naval Intelligence. The Year's Naval Progress. Washington, 

U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1891. 491 p. 

. . Notes on the Year's Naval Progress. Washington, U.S. Govt. 

Print. Off., 1892. 366 p. 

. . The International Colutnbian Naval Rendezvous and Revieiv 

of 1893 and Naval Manoeuvres of 1892. Washingon, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1893. 
238 p. 

. . Notes on the Year's Naval Progress. Washington, U.S. Govt. 

Print. Off., 1894. 458 p. 

The series was continued until at least 1902 under the title Notes on the Year's 
Naval Progress, one volume for each year (1895-1902). 

Another series of four reports were produced during this same period (1888- 
1900) under the title Coaling, Docking, and Repairing Facilities of the Ports of 
the World. Another frequent issuance (188?-1909) was a pamphlet, updated at 
various times, entitled Informatio7i Concerning Some of the Principal Navies of 
the World which was apparently created for public distribution. 

One special report was produced as a consequence of the Spanish- American 
War which was in the format of the general information series but captioned 
"war notes" and entitled: U.S. Navy Department. Office of Naval Intelligence. 
Notes on the Spanish American War. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1899. 

Other specialized studies may have been produced for publication during the 
period in addition to these documents indicated here which are based upon hold- 
ings of the Library of Congress. 

"^U.S. Navy Department. Division of Operations. The History and Aims of 
the Office of Naval Intelligence by Rear Admiral A. P. Niblack. Washington, 
U.S. Govt. Print. Office, 1920. p. 11. Copies of this study bear the marking "Not 
for publication," indicating limited distribution ; the copy utilized in this study 
was supplied by the National Archives and Records Service. 


was busy aligning allies to effect a balance of power. To the 
Secretary's surprise, he learned that no such information was 
readily available in Washington. Furthermore, no govern- 
ment agency existed for collecting and compiling such infor- 
mation. From this frustration was born what would become 
the Military Information Division of the Adjutant General's 
office. The grandiose name did not originally apply to the one 
officer and clerk detailed to "gather and file information con- 
cerning the military organizations of foreign countries in 
which, for one reason or another, the United States might 
become interested." 

Four years later the military attache system was authorized 
[25 Stat. 825 at 827-828] by Congress. It has functioned ever 
since, although sometimes with hardly more than a flicker, 
overtly to gather and forward to the War Department mili- 
tary information on the countries to which attaches were 
assigned. It became a function of the Military Information 
Division to select attaches, to pass them their instructions 
from the War Department, and to receive their reports for the 

The Military Information Division remained small and went un- 
noticed by the Army's officer corps, its attache system almost non- 
existent on the eve of the Spanish-American War. Nevertheless, how- 
ever minute, the United States had a permanent intelligence stnicture 
when once again faced with the prospect of hostilities in 1898. 

XF. Spanish- American War 

The declaration of war against Spain adopted by Congress on 
April 20, 1898, can be attributed to a variety of real and imaginary 
factors : among the real considerations were American sympathy for 
the Cuban revolutionaries waging war against their colonial oppres- 
sors (1868-1878) , sugar interests in Cuba, and outrage over the tactics 
of General Valeriano "Butcher" Weyler and his concentration camps; 
among the imaginary subjects were all of the propaganda targets 
of William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal and Joseph 
Pulitzer's New York WoiM. The sinking of the battleship U.S.S. 
Maine in Havana harbor on February 15 set the wheels in motion for 
a culmination of declared war two months later. The formal resolu- 
tion adopted by Congress (1) recognized the independence of Cuba, 
(2) demanded the withdrawal of the Spanish armed forces from that 
island, (3) authorized the President to utilize the army and navy 
to carry out this policy, and (4) disclaimed any American interest in 
controlling Cuba or its people. The United States entered the hostili- 
ties with a modern "steel navy" of 2,000 officers and 24.000 enlisted 
men ; the army, by contrast, consisted of an ill-equipped 2,100 officers 
and 28,000 enlistees. Colonel Arthur L. Wagner, chief of the Military 
Information Division, counseled the President and the Cabinet against 
an immediate invasion of Cuba for reasons of weather and disease 
control. His advice won him the enmity of his overlord. Secretary 
of War Russell A. Alger, cost him his job, and caused him to be denied 
a promotion in rank until he lay on his deathbed.^ ^^ 

' Ind, op. cit., p. 111. 
• See Ibid., pp. 110-112. 


There were, however, a number of successful intelligence operations 
carried out during the war. Among the first of these was a mission by 
Lieutenant Andrew S. Rowan, a former military attache in Chile and 
once in charge of the Military Information Division's map section, 
who, at the request of the President, was directed to carry a series of 
questions to the elusive rebel leader Calixto Garcia somewhere in 
Cuba. After finding Garcia, Rowan was to determine "the numbers, 
location, and morale of the Spanish troops, the character of their 
officers; the topography, the condition of the roads in all seasons; 
how well each side was armed, and what the insurrectos were most in 
need of until an American force could be mobilized." ^^^ To his great 
credit and the gratitude of the War Department, Rowan completed 
the mission, popularly captioned "a message to Garcia." ^^'' 

A series of similar missions were carried out by Lieutenant Victor 
Blue, the executive officer of the gunboat Suwanee at the time of the 
undertaking. The first venture Blue made into enemy territory was 
prompted by a need to know where a shipment of arms, ammunition, 
and provisions, under escort by the Suicanee and destined for guerrilla 
forces, was to be landed. A second mission came at the urging of 
Admiral William T. Sampson, commander of the Caribbean fleet, who, 
having blocked Santiago harbor, wanted to determine how much of 
the Spanish fleet lay at anchor within the port. Blue was required to 
make a deep penetration of long duration into the Cuban countryside, 
much of which afforded him little protection from detection by patrols. 
In a third trip. Blue returned to observe Santiago harbor for purposes 
of informing Sampson of channel obstructions, port defenses, and ship 
positions relative to an attack on the facility. An unusual officer of 
demonstrated abilities, Blue advanced quickly in rank: by the end 
of World War I he was a rear-admiral, served as chief of staff of 
the Pacific fleet, and was chief of the Bureau of Navigation. Retired 
in 1919, he died in 1928.i^« 

A secret agent using the name "Fernandez del Campo" was dis- 
patched to Spain by the War Department during the hostilities of 

Stopping at the capital's best hotel, he made no advances and 
presented no letters of introduction but let his dislike of the 
"Yankees" be understood and gave it out that his visit to 
Madrid must be brief. Members of fashionable clubs, military 
officers and officials of the government met him, accepted his 
casual invitations, were sumptiously entertained and also en- 
riched by one who lost money at cards with the insouciance of 
inherited manners and income.^^" 

The man carefully and cleverly maneuvered himself into favor with 
Spanish officials and naval personnel, was shown the armaments, muni- 
tions, and stores of their fleet, observed the Cadiz dockyards and 

'™ Brj-an, op. cit., pp. 201-202. 

'" See Ibid., pp. 200-203 ; Ind, op. cit., pp. 113-116. 

''^ See Bryan, op. cit., pp. 203-217. 

"* The atutal identity of this agent supposedly has never been disclosed but the 
source discussing his activities has suggested that he might have been Lieutenant 
Colonel Aristides Moreno, an American intelligence officer of Spanish descent, who 
was in charge of counter-espionage matters on General John J. Pershing's staff 
in France during World War I. See Rowan and Deindorfer, op. cit., p. 719n. 

^ Ibid., p. 399. 


arsenal, and learned both the departure date and destination of the 
armada — the last item being the purpose of his mission. Admiral 
George Dewey and his forces around the Philippine Islands were 
alerted that they were the target of this Spanish flotilla, and the spy 
returned safely to the United States for private honors.^^^ 

The Signal Corps was an established entity within the army when 
the declaration of war against Spain was ratified. At the time, the 
unit's duties were 

... to establish and maintain intercommunication between 
the territorial components of the nation, by submarine or 
overland telegraph and telephone ; with its armies in the field, 
wherever they may be located ; between the subdivisions of its 
armies, in camp, in campaign, and in battle, by visual signals 
and by flying or semi-permanent telegraph and telephone 
lines; and the gathering of such valuable military informa- 
tion as its command of the channels of communication may 
make possible. As its duties indicate, its work embraces the 
construction and operation of all military telegraph and tele- 
phone lines, the manipulation of submarine cables, the opera- 
tion of captive balloons, visual signaling and telegraph cen- 

Immediately prior to entering the war, the Signal Corps consisted 
of approximately eight officers and fifty enlisted men. This was quickly 
expanded to about 150 personnel, pending the organization of a volun- 
teer corps. Congressional approval (30 Stat. 417-418) for a, Volunteer 
Signal Corps occurred in May, 1898, and the regular ranks of the 
unit eventually reached 1,300 men.^^^ 

The Signal Corps performed important intelligence service in three 
instances during the Spanish-American War. The first of these ex- 
ploits involved severing the submarine cables serving Cuba, thereby 
isolating the island for purposes of communication, and utilizing the 
detached lines at other terminals beyond the island for our own pur- 
poses. In 1898, five submarine cables connected Cuba with the conti- 
nents : two ran between Havana to Puntarassa,, Florida, one connected 
Santiago with Haiti and thence to New York or to South America, 
and two linked Santiago with Kingston, Jamaica, where one line con- 
tinued on to the Bahamas and Halifax and the other skirted the coast 
of South America to Pernambuco and ran on to the Canai*y Islands 
and then to Lisbon. The Florida cables presented no problem as the 
United States controlled the terminals and allowed some communica- 
tions of a supposedly non-military nature to flow between Cuba and 

To Colonel James Allen, United States Volunteer Signal 
Corps, was entrusted the task of severing Cuba telegraphi- 
cally from Spain, and rearranging the cables for American 
use. The ship Adria was immediately chartered in New York, 
and the cable machinery of the Mexican Telegraph Company 

'^'iSee Ibid., pp. 399-400. 

"" Howard A. Giddings. Exploits of the Signal Corps in the War with Spain. 
Kansas City, Missouri, Hudson-Kimberly Publishing Company, 1900, p. 10. 
"' Ibid., pp. 15, 16. 


secured and installed in the ship, which proceeded to Boston 
and took on twenty-four miles of deep-sea cable furnished by 
the Western Union Company, and then returning to New 
York took on twenty-nine miles of intermediate type cable 
and fifty miles of insulated but unarmored wire, with instru- 
ments and supplies, and proceeded to Key West, without 
having attracted the attention of the press."* 

After a great deal of difficulty with the ship's crew and his own 
technicians assigned to the mission, Allen could recruit only three sig- 
nal sergeants, a detail of ten artillery volunteers from the garrison at 
Key West Barracks, an assisting Signal Corps officer, and a motley 
ship's chew. Of those under this direct command, only one had been 
to sea previously and none of them had ever seen a submarine cable. 

The Adria arrived off the coast of Santiago on the afternoon of 
June 1 and began dragging for the cable within the three-mile limit 
which was well within the range of Spanish shore batteries. This prox- 
imity was necessary because, the cables not being the property of Spain, 
they could legally be severed only within the jurisdiction of the na- 
tions at war — i.e. within three miles of the coast of their territory. This 
position also contributed technical difficulties to the mission as sub- 
marine cable was armor plated where it became subject to coastal tides, 
currents, and frictional contact with the ocean bottom. The Adria' s 
machinery for lifting the cable almost proved impossible for the task. 
The cable was snared and lost, relocated and finally surfaced by strain- 
ing hoists and coughing motor pulleys. The Adria was fired on by 
shore batteries a few times but the mission was finally completed. 

Allen and his group also assisted in making the cable between San- 
tiago and Haiti operational for United States forces after it was sev- 
ered by a party aboard the St. Louis. These actions not only isolated 
the Spanish forces on Cuba from ready communication with points 
beyond the island, but gave the United States almost total control of 
cable communication around the theater of war.^^^ 

Another important accomplishment of the Signal Corps was the 
reporting of the arrival of Aclmiral Pascual Cervera y Topete's squad- 
ron at Santiago within two hours after it entered the harbor. A^Hiile 
the Spanish fleet was known to have departed for the Caribbean, its 
mission was unknown : would it attack the United States coast, would 
it immediately engage in a sea battle with American ships blockading 
Cuba, would it attempt to refuel and drop supplies at a Cuban port 
and what harbor would it utilize ? Even the army was afraid to dis- 
patch troops to Cuba for fear of having these forces caught in trans- 
ports by the unlocated Spanish flotilla. 

On May 19, after eluding the blockading American forces, Cervera, 
unobserved on the open sea, entered Santiago harbor. One hour after 
the fleet made port, details about its arrival and composition were dis- 
patched to Washington from Key West by Colonel James Allen. 

^** lUd., pp. 30-31. 

^ Generally, see lUd., pp. 23-^6. 


No confidence is violated in now telling that the information 
regarding Cervera's squadron came to Colonel Allen through 
an employee of the cable company at Havana, who was in the 
pay of the Signal Corps. All the information about Cervera 
came from Santiago, over the Cuba submarine cable on the 
south coast, to the Captain-General at Havana, and Colonel 
Allen's agent obtained it from "a Spanish government official 
holding a high position." ^^® 

Ten days after its arrival, the Spanish fleet came under blockade 
in the harbor when ships under Admiral Sampson arrived off San- 
tiago. The situation remained static until July 3 when Cervera at- 
tempted to make a dash for the sea. In a four-hour battle along the 
Cuban coast, the Spanish ships succumbed to superior American fire- 
power. The fleet was destroyed, 474 Spanish seamen were killed, and 
another 1,750 were taken prisoner. American forces counted one dead 
and one w^ounded. On July 17, the Santiago garrison surrendered, re- 
sulting in another 24,000 prisoners. The destruction of the Spanish 
fleet marked the virtual end of the war. 

The Signal Corps' third intelligence effort derived from its mission 
of communications control and duty as censor, "whose purpose was not 
to restrict the press, or to muzzle the people, but m thwart treason, and 
to prevent new^s of military and naval operations from reaching 
Spanish territory, to the injury of the American cause." ^^^ 

The lines constructively seized by the Signal Corps, at the 
order of the President, embraced the land lines of Florida, the 
seven submarine cables to foreign countries having their 
termini in New York city, the French cable on the south coast 
of Cuba, the English cables in Porto Kico and Santiago, and 
the Cuba submarine cables.^^^ 

The Signal Corps did not actually displace any personnel operating 
these lines but, instead, assiuned supervision of operators and messages 
in each case. The signal officer attached to each station assumed some 
responsibilities as a censor while the Chief Signal Officer held final 
authority on such questions. Not all communication was prohibited 
over these cables and, in fact, a certain amount of intelligence de- 
rived from allowing personal and commercial traffic. 

All telegrams in Spanish to and from Spain, Cuba, Hayti, 
Porto Rico, Jamaica, and St. Thomas were prohibited, as 
well as all messages in cipher to any foreign country, except 
that the right to communicate in cipher was allowed the legal 
diplomatic and consular representatives of neutral foreign 

Personal and commercial messages in plain text were ad- 
mitted, when deemed advisable, and when not containing mili- 
tary information, as it was the purpose of the chief signal 
officer to exercise the necessary military censorship with the 
least possible inconvenience to legitimate commercial busi- 

'** JUd., p. 46 ; generally see Tbid., pp. 37-46. 
"' Ibid., p. 113. 
"^^ Ibid., p. 114. 


ness. Thiis it happened that throughout the war messages 
pertaining to domestic or commercial affairs were passed 
freely over the lines to Havana, and even to Santiago. 

Much information of inestimable value was gleaned from 
a perusal of messages which were attempted to be passed by 
Spanish agents, blockade-runners, newspaper correspondents, 
and imf riendly or neutral persons. The movements of Spanish 
ships, the plans of blockade-runners, and the presence and 
doings of Spanish agents were thus discovered and watched. 
By accepting messages of treasonable character and quietly 
dropping them in the wastebasket, the sources of the informa- 
tion were not alamied and repeatedly furnished to the United 
States valuable intelligence.^^^ 

The first efforts at establishing peace were made through the 
French ambassador at "Washington shortly after the defeat of the 
Cervera squadron. A protocol signed on August 12 provided for a 
peace treaty to be concluded in Paris and halted hostilities under the 
terms that (1) Spain was to relinquish Cuba and cede Puerto Rico 
and one of the Ladrone Islands to the United States, (2) American 
forces were to continue to hold Manila, and (3) occupation of Manila 
would continue until a peace treaty was concluded detennining the 
disposition and control of the Philippine Islands. The Paris treaty 
was finalized on December 10, ceding the Philippines, Puerto Eico, 
and Guam to the United States, calling for a payment of $20 million 
for the Philippines, and effectively establishing Cuba as a free nation. 
The treatj^ came to the United States Senate for ratification and a 
close division between imperialist and anti-imperialist factions left 
its adoption in doubt for a few months. Finally, on February 6, 1899, 
it was accepted on a 57-27 vote, a 2-vote confirmation margin. The 
war was over. 

XVI. Post-War Developments 

TMien the Philippines were ceded to the United States, revolutionary 
forces within the islands anticipated independence for their country. 
When they learned that they had merely exchanged colonial overseers, 
agitation and insurrection became their tactic of reprisal. Among 
those leading these assualts was Emilio Aguinaldo, an insurrectionist 
of long-standing whom the United States enlisted in the war against 
Spain only to have him become a foe when peace gave America control 
of the Philippines. By 1901. Aguinaldo was an intelligence interest. 
His pursuer was Frederick Funston, an agent of the ]\Iilitary Infor- 
mation Dix-ision. 

Funston had served with the Cuban revolutionary forces, was 
caught by the Spanish authorities, and obtained release from prison 
throuffh the intervention of American diplomats. I^pon returning to 
the United States, he was debriefed by Colonel Arthur Wagner, head 
of the Military Information Division, wlio recognized his keen eye 
and remembered his abilities when difficulties arose with Aguinaldo. 
Ha\dng ser\^ed in the islands during the Spanish-American War, 
Funston was stationed at San Isidro on Luzon when, in February, 

' lUd., pp. 115-116. 


1901, he received word of the capture of a band of insurrectos, one of 
whom was a courier from Aguinaldo with cipher messages for other 
insurrectionist leaders. It also appeared that Aguinaldo himself was 
encamped in the northern area of Luzon, perhaps in the friendly 
village of Palanan. 

Funston's mind went into action. He knew it would be impos- 
sible to take Aguinaldo by conventional military methods — 
any movement of that kind would be telegraphed far ahead 
by means only the keen-eyed Tagalog guerrillas knew. He 
studied the map. Palanan lay inland from the east coast at the 
northern end of Luzon. A plan began to form in his head. 
A chosen band of Filipinos loval to the United States and 
led by only a cadre of Americans, who would have to be 
disguised somehow, might be taken by sea to the north, then 
disembarked at night for quick penetration of the hinterland. 
By one ruse or another, Aguinaldo's stronghold would have 
to be breached without a fight, or the slippery rebel chief 
would disappear into nothingness as he had so often done 

Funston recruited approximately a hundred Macabebes as "rev- 
olutionaries" and explained the presence of Americans with them as 
being "captives." Their cause and case was strengthened by the addi- 
tion of some forged communiques and lingidstic cramming on the part 
of the Macabebes to learn the Tagalog dialect. Authenticity was added 
to the band with appropriate uniforms and weapons. Tlie gimboat 
Vickshurg landed the group on the northern coast and a grueling 
march inland was begun. After much suffering, the party came in 
contact with one of Aguinaldo's forward observers; the Macabebes 
were taken into the enemy camp while the American "captives" were 
held a short, distance away. At the proper moment, the Macabebes 
seized the rebels, the Americans rushed in, and Aguinaldo was cap- 

Word of the American success spread across wild northern 
Luzon with the rapidity that always has astounded those 
accustomed only to the electric marvels of civilization. Funs- 
ton turned his force about, prepared for the worst. He knew 
that if the trip inland had been rough, the return could be 
all but impossible if the country remained hostile. To his im- 
measurable relief, it did not ; Aguinaldo in captivity seemed 
to paralyze the people. The trip to the coast was made al- 
most without incident and thence by ship to Manila. The 
back of the insurrection was broken."^ 

It was also in 1901 in the Philippines that another intelligence 
actor, Captain Ralph H. Van Deman, made his api^earance. A grad- 
uate of West Point and once an army surgeon. Van Deman cham- 
pioned the fledgling INIilitary Information Division and urged his mili- 
tary superiors to give more consideration to intelligence development. 
In the Philippines, he came to the attention of General Arthur Mac- 

'°° Ind. op. cit., p. 119. 
'" Ibid., p. 123. 


Arthur who asked him to organize a Philippines Military Informa- 
tion Bureau. Although patterned after the Adjutant General's unit, 
Van Deman's office had no official connection with the Washington 
namesake. There was also one major operational difference between 
the two organizations : Van Deman utilized undercover operatives, 
all Filipinos except for one American. Subsequently, the Philippines 
Military Information Bureau would uncover a plot to assassinate 
General MacArthur, apprise the army of Japanese interests and in- 
telligence activity in the Philippines, and make clandestine observa- 
tions in China during the Boxer Rebellion.^^- In 1903. after the Gen- 
eral Staff system was introduced in the army and the intelligence orga- 
nization became the second division (G-2) of the General Staff, the 
Philippines INIilitary Information Bureau was given branch status 
to the new intelligence division. Van Deman returned from Asian 
duty in 1915 and would assume a major leadership role in intelligence 
activities as America prepared for world war. 

When the General Staff of the Army was created by Congress (32 
Stat. 830-831) in 1903, the Military Information Division of the Ad- 
jutant General's office became the second division (G-2) of the new 
entity.^^^ This change in status generally pleased intelligence advo- 
cates within the army. However, General Franklin Bell, a man with 
whom Van Deman had publicly disagreed over intelligence matters 
in the Philippines and an officer not favorably disposed toward the 
intelligence function, became Chief of Staff. When the head of the 
Army War College (G-3) suggested that the intelligence division be 
physically housed with the War College to facilitate use of common 
resources. Bell approved the proposal as being practical. Shortly there- 
after, the War College sought to absorb the intelligence unit : this ac- 
tion Bell also approved but perhaps not merely for reasons of prac- 
ticality alone.^^* Transferred to the War College in 1908, the intelli- 
gence function was administered by an information committee from 
1910 until the dawn of World War I, a panel described by one au- 
thority as "personnel with no knowledge of the intelligence unit's aims 
and functions and no interest in learning them." ^^^ 

The military were not unaware of possible intelligence penetration 
by foreign powers and of the necessity of protecting defense facili- 
ties and information from such scrutiny. New regulations in 1908 on 
this matter said : 

Commanding officers of posts at which are located lake or 
coastal defenses are charged with the responsibility of pre- 
venting as far as practicable, visitors from obtaining infor- 
mation relative to such defenses which would probably be 
communicated to a foreign power, and to this end may pre- 

"' Generally, see Ibid., pp. 124-127. 

"'Generally, on the general staff concept, see: J. D. Hittle. The Military Staff: 
Its History and Development. Harrisburg, The Military Service Publishing Com- 
pany, 1949; Otto L. Nelson, Jr. National Seeurity and the General Staff. Wash- 
ington, Infantry Journal Press, 1^6; Raphael P. Thian. Legislative History of 
the General Staff of the Army of the United States, Washington, U.S. Govt. 
Print. Off., 1901. 

'" See Ind, op. cit, pp. 128-129. 

"^Ibid., p. 130. 


scribe and enforce appropriate regulations governing visitors 
to their posts. 

American citizens whose loyalty to their Government is un- 
questioned may be permitted to visit such portions of the 
defenses as the commanding officer deems proper. 

The taking of photographic or other views of permanent 
works of defense will not be permitted. Neither written nor 
pictorial descriptions of these works will be made for pub- 
lication without the authority of the Secretary of War, nor 
will any information be given concerning them which is not 
contained in the printed reports and documents of the War 

It is thought that this language constitutes the first open admission 
by the War Department of an effort to protect fixed defenses and in- 
formation pertaining to same against foreign intelligence penetra- 

At approximately the same point in time as this security directive 
was issued, efforts at establishing the government's first general in- 
vestigative organization came to fruition, resulting in a force gen- 
erally designed to probe crimes against the Federal establishment 
and to pursue those alleged to have committed such offenses. Inherent 
in this investigative mission was an intelligence function — the sys- 
tematic gathering and interpretation of information with a view to 
crime control and prevention. A point of contention and debate within 
this mission, as will be seen, is whether the "crimes" in question are 
solely those which are prosecutable or whether other potential or ac- 
tual offenses, not stated in law, may be included in the understanding. 

While the Attorney General was one of the original Cabinet officers 
of 1789, a Department of Justice did not exist until (16 Stat. 162) 
June, 1870. The following year. Congress provided (16 Stat. 495 at 
497) the new agency with $50,000 for the "detection and prosecution 
of crimes against the United States." However, because Attorney 
General Amos J. Ackerman had only one "Special Agent" for detec- 
tion work, he utilized the appropriation by employing private detec- 
tives, borrowing Secret Service agents, or otherwise burdening United 
States Attorneys and marshals with investigative tasks. In 1875, At- 
torney General George H. Williams appointed four regional "special 
detectives" and occasionally hired private detectives when the United 
States Attorneys had need of such services for specific duties. A few 
"examiners" were added to the Justice Department's forces in 1878. 
These personnel scrutinized the records of court clerks, marshals, 
commissioners, and district attorneys but, because their appointments 
soon became embroiled in patronage, they rendered what has been 
described as "desultry service." ^^^ During his tenure of office, Attorney 
General Benjamin H. Brewster (1881-1884) declared he was per- 
sonally opposed to utilizing private detectives for Department inves- 
tigatory work but, while he said he wanted to dispose of such oper- 
atives as soon as possible, he was forced to rely on some private 

^■^The evolution of information security policy and practice is discussed in 
Appendix II. 

^"^ Harry and Bonaro Overstreet. The FBI In Our Open Society. New York, 
W. W. Norton and Company, 1969, p. 14. 


assistance and chose the Pinkerton agency. After the Homestead 
Massacre tarnished the Pinkerton name. Congress, in indignation over 
the incident, forbid (27 Stat. 368. 591) the further utilization of these 
agents and effectively ended the use of private detectives by the 
Federal government.^^® 

The Justice Department continued to rely upon the Secret Service 
for investigators after the utilization of private detectives was halted 
and, by 1906, as many as thirty-two of these operatives had been 
detailed from Treasury. The arrangement was a makeshift and rested 
upon congressional sanction through the annual appropriations proc- 
ess. B}' 1907, Attorney" General Charles J. Bonaparte, the American- 
born grandson of Xapoleon's youngest brother, attempted to obtain 
his own investigators but Congress, for various reasons, was uncon- 
vinced of their necessity. 

One factor was an overgeneralized but not unwarranted 
contempt for detectives and their practices. Many persons 
who then went into such work were recommended for it by 
their own criminal records and what these had taught them 
about the underworld, not by any respect for the law. 

To Attorney General Bonaparte, the fact that detectives 
tended not to be a ''high type" signified that Justice should 
have its own force of care full}' chosen and rigorously super- 
vised investigators. But to many members of Congress — 
among them Chairman James A. Tawney of the House Ap- 
proriations Committee — it signified that detectives should, 
to the greatest possible extent, be kept out of the Federal 

The other factor was a state of tension between Congress 
and the President. Its basic cause was the fact that a Congress 
still rooted in the McKinley-Mark Hanna tradition of politics 
had no taste for Roosevelt's many-sided reform program — or 
for his "trust-busting" fervor. 

Speaker Joe Cannon, for example — the most powerful man 
in the House — broke with the President and became one of 
his arch-foes because of the Government's antitrust action 
against Standard Oil. This and other actions of like type 
had. Cannon contended, shaken the confidence of the business 
community and brought on financial panic. 

Secondary causes of tension were, however, soon added to 
the primary cause. In 1905, Senator John Mitchell and Rep- 
resentative John Williamson, both of Oregon, were indicted 
in land- fraud cases. "When Roosevelt said, in terms that 
sounded like a blanket charge of wrongdoing, that he would 
order as many more investigations of members of Congress 

"' On July 6, 1892, strikers at the Carnegie Steel Company plant in Homestead, 
Pennsylvania, fired upon two barges on the Monongahela River containing some 
300 Pinkerton detectives. The Pinkertous were known strike breakers and their 
presence generated hatred among the strikers. After several hours of fighting, 
the Pinkerton forces surrendered and were roughly escorted out of town. In the 
aftermath of the encounter, three guards and ten strikers lay dead and others 
suffered severe injuries. Some 8.000 National Guardsmen restored order in the 
community and subsequently, after holding out for almost five months, the strike 
was given up. No effective steel union was organized in the area until the 1930s. 


as seemed warranted, that body went on the defensive. It 
was kept there by rumormongers, some of whom were in- 
dubitably in the pay of elements that wanted to goad Congress 
into halting Justice's use of Secret Service operatives.^^^ 

Not only did Congress deny Bonaparte's request for an investigative 
force in 1907, it refused to comply again the following year when a 
prohibition (35 Stat. 328 and 968) on the detailing of Secret Service 
agents to the Justice Department was also effected. Faced with the 
prospect of having no avenue for organizing a detection group other 
than on his own authority, the Attorney General, with the President's 
approval and at the suggestion of Henry L. Stimson who was then 
United States Attorney in New York, hired nine Secret Service 
agents who were separated from Treasury on June 30, 1908, 

On July 1, 1908, Attorney General Bonaparte put his nine 
new detectives and such special agents and examiners as 
were already on his payroll under the supervision of his 
Chief Examiner, Stanley W. Finch — and thus gave himself 
a force of twenty-three men. On July 26th, acting on Presi- 
dential instructions, he issued the order which made this 
force a permanent subdivision of the Department, with Finch 
as its Chief .2°° 

Reluctantly, Congress accepted the new investigative unit. At first 
it did not have a strong mission prescribed by existing laws. Soon, 
however, it began operations pursuant to the Constitution's interstate 
commerce clause — tracking down stolen Federal property and thieves 
transvereing State boundaries, pursuing white slavei's violating the 
Mann Act (36 Stat. 825), and scrutinizing the sources of labor unrest 
and revolutionary rhetoric. Soon it, along with the other fledgling 
intelligence institutions, would be confronted with monumental re- 
sponsibilities as war clouds in Europe cast shadows upon America 
and plunged the world into war. 

"® Overstreet, op. cit., pp. 19-20. 
'°° Ibid., p. 27. 

Part Two 
The Middle Years (1914-1939) 

Sometime in 1915 the Japanese warship Asama went aground in 
Turtle Bay in the Gulf of Lower California. The presence of this 
vessel in that part of the world was not a total surprise as Japanese 
fleet units had been previously sighted a few times in the area. Earlier 
the Grand Admiral of Nippon had paid a visit to Mexico, expounding 
a blood brother theme. What appeared to be somewhat incredible 
about this incident was that the formidable veterans of Tsushima 
could be so inept as to allow this accident to happen. Indeed, it sub- 
sequently became questionable that the event was an accident at all. 
According to Sidney Mashbir, an intelligence officer destined to gain 
fame with General Douglas MacArthur's Allied Translator and Inter- 
preter Section during World War II, there were "unquestionable 
proofs that whole companies of Japanese soldiers had traversed a 
part of southern Arizona in 1916 during secret exercises, proceedings 
that could only have been associated with the Asama's wallowing in 
the mud the previous year." 

As an intelligence officer in 1916 with the First Arizona 
Infantry he had been detailed by that General Funston of 
Aguinaldo fame on a mission to seek the truth of rumors 
among Indians of Japanese columns present in northern 
Sonora in Mexico. Mashbir, who later acted as a spy for 
America in Manchuria, tramped across the desert (which he 
knew well enough to make the first map of it our Army 
ever had). His knowledge of the desert told him that even 
the Japanese, incredible marchers that they were, could not 
have made the trip without violating Arizona territory to 
the north for water. He made his estimate and headed for 
the area he believed they would have to touch. There he 
discovered Japanese ideographs written in charcoal upon 
the rock walls of passes of the Tina j as Atlas Mountains. 
They were, he estimated, the notes of column commanders 
who had gone before to those who would follow. His own 
Indian scouts told him that parties of fifty came ashore 
at intervals and made the killing march. 

Mashbir hastened to send a detailed report to Washington. 
But in 1916, a General Staff that had no intelligence section 
for receiving and assessing information, appended a com- 
ment to the report that the ideograph "had no military value." 
Even in retrospe€t, as he was telling the story, Mashbir's 
mustachios bristled. The point completely missed by that com- 
mentator was, of course, that any indication of Japanese 
presence in Arizona or northern [Mexico at that time had the 



highest military implication. One can imagine how a similar 
bit of information indicating the presence of Americans on 
Hokkaido would have been treated by Tokyo intelligence 
analysts at that time.^ 

Although war had been raging in Europe for two years when this 
incident occurred, military intelligence was practically non-existent 
in the United States. The Military Information Division had become 
the second section (G-2) of the new General Staff organization in 
1903. However, because it had no champions among the army's leader- 
ship, it was transferred to the War College in 1908 and fell under an 
unappreciative and insensitive committee leadership within that in- 
stitution in 1910. Its forces and identity dwindled : when the United 
States entered the world war, the new Chief of Staff, General Pey- 
ton C. March, discovered his intelligence personnel consisted of two 
officers and two clerks." 

Returning from Asian duty in 1915 where he had seen intelligence 
service as organizer and head of the Philippines Military Information 
Bureau, Major Ralph H. Van Deman came to the information branch 
of the War College. 

He was delighted but soon found reason to be appalled. He 
discovered that reports had been coming in from all over a 
warring world, gathered by conscientious military attaches 
and from intelligence organizations of belligerents on both 
sides, a treasure trove of information. But these priceless doc- 
uments had never left the War College building. Van Deman 
found them in tall, dusty piles. In other piles were telegrams 
marked urgent filed by an information officer especially as- 
signed to General [John J.] Pershing, then engaged on the 
Villa punitive expedition in the same regions of northern 
Mexico that were giving so much concern to Washington. 
These had never left the room where they had been filed.^ 

Van Deman attempted to correct this situation by appealing first 
to the president of the Army War College, urging that the Military 
Information Division be re-established but correspondence endorsing 
this recommendation was ignored by the Chief of Staff, General Hugh 
Scott. Next, Van Deman sought the relocation of the Division, naming 
the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth as a 
possible site. But shortly after Leavenworth endorsed the plan, offi- 
cials in Washington and London became aware of it and condemned 
the action. General Scott quashed the proposal and almost did the same 
for Van Deman's assignment. America would be at war before the 
revival of the Military Information Division occurred. 

/. Military Intelligence 

The political balance of the Great Powers of Europe in 1914 con- 
stituted a delicate Newtonian system : any weakening or strengthening 
on the part of one resulted in a corresponding oscillation on the part 

^Allison Ind. A Short History of Espionage. New York. David McKay Com- 
pany, 1963, pp. 131-132. 

^Peyton C. March. The Nation At War. New York, Doubleday, Doran and 
Company, 1932, p. 226. 

' Ind, op. cit., p. 133. 


of all the others. A jolt to the arrangements had the potential for un- 
leashing aggressions of enormous magnitude. "With three pistol shots 
at Sarajevo, a match was fiimg into the powder-keg of European poli- 
tics. On August 1, Germany declared war on Russia and on France 
two days later while simultaneously invading Belgium. Britain came 
to war against the Kaiser on the next day. During the rest of the 
month. President Wilson issued a series of neutrality proclamations 
(38 Stat. 1999-2024). American intelligence activities, however, were 
already underway in the war zone. 

Colonel Richard H. "Williams, a captain of coast artillery 
when sent abroad with the group of American military ob- 
servers in the smnmer of 1914, was one who not only exper- 
ienced some of the hazards of a spy inside the enemy's lines — 
being repeatedly bathed in chilling German suspicion — but 
who also was destined to take part in striking and import- 
ant — and officially authenticated — secret service exploit of the 
A.E.F. "Williams observed the war for three years before be- 
coming another of its multitude of combatants. His first duty, 
assisting Americans stranded in Europe, took him to Belgium 
and he was there when the steel-tipped tide of Von Kluck's 
and Von Billow's armies inundated that land, after which he 
was sent to Constantinople aboard the USS North Carolina 
to serve as military attache under Ambassador Henry Mor- 
genthau. He was the only attache with the Turkish forces on 
the Gallipoli peninsula and the only American who saw, 
from the defender's side, the desperate landings and attacks of 
the British and colonial troops of Sir Ian Hamilton. 

After the British, ably commanded by Sir Charles Monro, 
effected their masterly evacuation of the peninsula. Colonel 
"Williams accompanied a Bulgarian army to the Dobrudja 
and watched Bulgars and Germans mopping up strong con- 
tingents of Roumanians and Russians. In January 1917 the 
"War Department in "Washington ordered its widely experi- 
enced attache home.* 

Random observers, however, were no substitute for a continuous and 
mature military intelligence organization. As the war raged on in 
Europe, Major Van Deman became increasingly worried over the 
prospect of the United States entering the hostilities with virtually no 
intelligence arrangements established. "When, on April 6, 1917, a 
declaration of war against Germany was effected (40 Stat. 1), Van 
Deman met personally with the Chief of Staff to plead for an intelli- 
gence unit. General Scott said no. The plea was again made, but to no 
avail. "With his third try. Van Deman was told to cease his efforts and 
to not approach Secretary of War Newton D. Baker with the idea. Van 
Deman circumvented this order. Shortly after his last meeting with 
the Chief of Staff, he found himself' escorting novelist Gertrude 
Atherton on visits to training camps in the Washington area. Con- 
vincing her of the perilousness of the intelligence situation, he asked 
her to put his case before Baker. The next day he planted the same 

* Richard Wilmer Rowan with Robert G. Deindorfer. Secret Service: Thirty- 
three Centuries of Espionage. London, William Kimber, 1969, p. 569. 


story with the District of Columbia police chief who was not only 
Van Deman's friend but also breakfasted regularly with the Secretary 
of War. 

The dual attack brought results. By April 30, Baker was on 
the phone instructing the president of the Army War College 
to have Van Deman report to him at once. After an hour's 
conversation, Baker told Van Deman that within forty-eight 
hours an order would be on its way to the president of the 
War College setting up a new intelligence section. By May 3, 
Van Deman had his intelligence bureau and complete charge 
of it. He also had been promoted from major to lieutenant 

From that time on, the ^Military Intelligence force had 
grown by means of commissioning civilians in the Army 
Reserve and by use of volunteer investigators. Van Deman's 
agents were soon scattered about the country, working under 
cover among the IWW in the Northwest and among the 
enemy aliens in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. In 
July, 1917, Van Deman had started a Plant Protection Sec- 
tion which placed undercover operatives in defense plants. 
By August, his men were so involved in investigating and 
arresting civilians that Attorney General Gregory had to 
complain to Baker, whereupon Baker had ordered Military 
Intelligence agents report all enemy agents to the Justice 
Department instead of pursuing investigations and causing 

Ultimately, Van Deman's ventures into civilian law enforcement 
would cost him his intelligence leadership. In the spring of 1918, while 
Congress was enacting the Sedition Act (40 Stat. 553), Van Deman 
continued to build his network of secret agents, spies, and volunteer 
operatives. From the beginning of America's entry into the war, Van 
Deman had utilized the services of volunteer patriots eager to report 
on their neighbors. Some of this information might have been reli- 
able ; most of it was gossip and some amounted to lies and slurs. 
While the American Protective League, an organization of voluntary 
sleuths, had been established with the encouragement of the Justice 
De])artment as an auxiliary informer-enforcement body. Van Deman 
had eagerly utilized its services and nourished its development. Now 
he cultivated a very select cadre of secret agents in the Midwest. 

He was inclined to avoid going to the state councils of de- 
fense [sub-national affiliates of the Federal Council of Na- 
tional Defense which functioned as an administrative coordi- 
nating body during the world war] . Too likely to be involved 

^Joan M. Jensen. The Price of Vigilance. Chicago, Rand McNally and Com- 
pany, 1968 ; Jensen consistently places an extra letter in Van Deman's name in 
her book, misspelling it "Van Dieman," but there is no doubt as to the actual 
identity of the person she is discussing. The error in spelling has been corrected 
in the above (luotation. Van Deman's effort to have the Military Information 
Division re-established as a separate structure with sufficient manpower and re- 
sources to carry out the military inteUigence function is also recounted in 
Ind. op. cit., pp. 176-180. 


in politics, he thought. He had different men in mind: a 
retired brigadier general in Minnesota, a retired army officer 
in Nashville, Tennessee, members of the Volunteer Medical 
Service Corps, American Federation of Labor informants, 
groups of private detectives from mining and industry. An 
agent of the Norfolk and Western Railway Company vol- 
unteered to supply operatives. A Denver man promised to 
obtain the services of detectives hired by mining and indus- 
trial companies in Colorado. An agent for a railway in Vir- 
ginia promised to do the same. A lawyer from Kansas City 
was to organize Missouri, another from Indianapolis was to 
organize Indiana. Three attorneys from Kansas City, Kansas, 
were to form the nucleus of a group for their state. AJnd all of 
these would be working entirely for the military.^ 

When Secretary of War Baker returned to Washington from a tour 
in Europe, he learned of Van Deman's recruitment efforts and 
promptly attempted to restrain the military sleuths. Van Deman was 
ordered to overseas duty and Lieutenant Colonel Marlborough Chur- 
chill was detailed to head the Military Intelligence Division. The im- 
mediate spy network Van Deman was attempting to establish was aban- 
doned but other operating secret agent arrangements appear to have 
remained in place.^ The effect of Baker's disciplinary action was that 
of driving military intelligence underground. While there would be 
greater caution in the arrest of civilians, surveillance remained active 
and pervasive. 

• Jensen, op. cit., p. 123. 

'' Van Deman's interest in intelligence and concern for internal security remained 
strong after he departed M.I.D. He seemingly retained his ties to old volunteer 
intelligence operatives and, when he retired from the Army in 1929, he was given 
two civilian employees, filing cabinets, and working materials by the military to 
start a private intelligence organization. He apparently built a huge store of files 
on American left-wing political activists, ranging from responsible liberals to 
avowed communists. These files were divided, the major portion being taken over 
by Sixth Army headquarters which maintained them until 1968 when they were 
sent to Fort Holabird in Maryland. In 1970, when the Army was under congres- 
sional investigation for its political surveillance practices, the decision was made 
to give up custody of the papers, to not subject them to the scrutiny of Army 
historians as they were too politically sensitive materials, and to donate them, 
instead, to the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee which had, by prearrange- 
ment, oflicially requested them. These papers are apparently still within the Sub- 
committee's control. 

Tlie portion of Van Deman's files not taken over by the Army remained in Cali- 
fornia at the San Diego Research Library, a private institution created in 1952 
by three of Van Deman's closest associates : Major General George W. Fisher of 
the California National Guard, Colonel Frank C. Forward, commander of intelli- 
gence operations of the California Guard, and Alfred Loveland, a San Diego 
businessman. The files were maintained and built upon until 1962. During this 
time three California Governors utilized the files to check on the backgrounds of 
prospective state appointees. In 1962, California Attorney General Stanley Mosk 
seized the files on tlie grounds that they had been used "by unauthorized persons 
for political purposes." After a threatened court suit by the San Diego Research 
Library, the files were returned and were placed in a vault in the San Diego Trust 
and Insurance Company, of which Colonel Forward was an oflficer. When asked 
in 1971 if the files were still in San Diego. Colonel Forward said yes but "I can't 
tell you where." When asked who was in charge of them, he responded : "I am not 
at liberty to talk about that." See New York Times, July 9, 1971; also Ibid., Sep- 
tember 7, 1971. 


The son of a professor of sacred rhetoric at the Andover Theological 
Seminary, Marlborough Churchill was born in 1878 at Andover, pre- 
pared for college at Phillips Academy there, and was subsequently 
graduated from Harvard in 1900. After teaching English at his alma 
mater for one year, he obtained a commission as a second lieutenant of 
artillery and lamiched on a military career. Having served in various 
artillery commands, Churchill became editor of the Field Artillery 
Journal (1914—1916) while also performing duties as inspector-instruc- 
tor of the national guard field artillery of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and 
the District of Columbia. From January, 1916, to June, 1917, he served 
as a military observer with the French army in the field, next was de- 
tailed to General Pershing's staff until February, 1918, when he be- 
came acting chief of staff of the army artillery. First Army Division. 
In May, 1918, he returned to the United States and became assistant 
chief of staff and director of the ]Military Intelligence Division, hold- 
ing that position until 1922. He retired from active duty in 1930 and 
died in 1947. He appears to have had no intelligence experience before 
assuming command of ]\I.I.D. and to have had no association with in- 
telligence operations after leaving the Division. 

While Churchill inherited and retained Van Deman's private spy 
network and an official structure of regional domestic personnel, de- 
fense plant operatives, overseas attaches and observers, the A.E.F. 
intelligence structure and a variety of "special agents," his tenure of 
office at M.I.D. did have its own unique aspects.^ General Peyton C. 
March was brought back from France to become Chief of Staff in 
March, 1918, and he effected certain changes in Army structure. Under 
General Order No. 80 of August 26, 1918, a variety of organizational 
refinements were made within the Army and certain units of the War 
Department. One of these was the upgrading of the Military Intelli- 
gence Division, "which had previously been a branch first of the War 
Plans Division and later of the Executive Division, as a separate and 
coordinate division of the General Staff.^ Also, because the Wilson 
Administration was unwilling to impose wartime price controls and 
organized labor retaliated with a series of crippling strikes, Federal 
troops were pressed into duty to man facilities or maintain peace 
where labor unrest prevailed. AVhen the Army became interested in 
labor disturbances, INIilitary Intelligence took to the field. A vast 
counter-espionage network resulted and unions became suspicious of 
Churchill's intentions." 

Writing in the Journal of the United States Artillery for April, 
1920, Churchill outlined functions which M.I.D. had performed dur- 

* One of these special agents was Mrs. Arthur M. Blake, a newspaper cor- 
respondent accredited to the New York Evening Post and the Baltimore Sim, who 
was in the employ of Churchill, sending messages and observations out of Mos- 
cow during the war with Jewish refugees fleeing across the border into Finland. 
She later provided similar services while stationed in Japan, Sakhalin, and 
Manchuria. See Ind. op cit., pp. 195-197. 

® Otto L. Nelson. National Seourity and the General Staff. Washington, In- 
fantry Journal Press, 1946, p. 232. 

'" See Jensen, op. cit., pp. 276-277. 


ing the war and armistice.^^ Formally, General Orders 80 of August 
26, 1918, had said that the Military Intelligence Division 

shall have cognizance and control of military intelligence, 
both positive and negative, and shall be in charge of an officer 
designated as the director of military intelligence, who will 
be an assistant to the Chief of Staff. He is also the chief mili- 
tary censor. The duties of this division are to maintain esti- 
mates revised daily of the military situation, the economic 
situation, and of such other matters as the Chief of Staflf may 
direct, and to collect, collate, and disseminate military intelli- 
gence. It will cooperate with the intelligence section of the 
general staffs of allied countries in connection with military 
intelligence; prepare instructions in military intelligence 
work for the use of our forces; supervise the training of per- 
sonnel for intelligence work; organize, direct, and coordinate 
the intelligence service ; supennse the duties of military at- 
taches; communicate direct with department intelligence 
officers and intelligence officers at posts, camps, and stations, 
and with commands in the field in matters relating to military 
intelligence; obtain, reproduce, and issue maps; translate 
foreign documents; disburse and accomit for intelligence 
funds; cooperate with the censorehip board and with intelli- 
gence agencies of other departments of the Government. 

By Churchill's own account, M.I.D. had responsibility for (1) reten- 
tion of combat intelligence experience information. (2) application 
of combat intelligence historical information to training programs, 

(3) awareness of combat intelligence developments in other armies, 

(4) conducting internal ser^-ice loyalty investigations (''... if a state 
of war makes such investigation necessary, we want it done by agencies 
under our own control, and not be unsympathetic civilian bureaus."), 

(5) detection of sabotage, graft, and fraud within the Army, (6) 
foreign map collection, (7) preparation of terrain handbooks, (8) 
supervision of information collection by military^ attaches,^^ (9) pres- 
ervation of the history and experiences of international duty expedi- 
tions," (10) "initiating and sustaining the interest and knowledge of 

^ See Marlborough Churchill. The Military Intelligence Division General 
Journal of the United States ArtiUery, v. 52, April, 1920 : 293-316. 

12 '.fjjg information obtained by Attaches is of two kinds — general and techni- 
cal. The general information is sub-divided into military, economic, political and 
psychological information. . . . The technical information consists of all data 
connected with scientific developments as they relate to the military profession. 
In the large capitals, officers who have specialized in aviation and ordinance 
are assigned as assistants in order that these matters may be handled properly. 
As soon as such information is received, M.I.D. at once makes a distribution 
which aims to place the information in the hands of the technical service or 
the civil official who can best evaluate it and see that it is used." Churchill, 
op. cit., pp. 301-302. 

^^ Examples of such expeditions offered by the author included General Leon- 
ard Wood's administration of Cuba, the China Relief Expedition, the Military 
Government of the Philippine Islands, the Siberian Expeditionary Force, 
United States forces at Archangel, duty at the Paris Peace Conference, General 
Harry Bandholtz' mission to Hungary, and General James Harbord's mission 
to Turkey. 


officers in general in foreign languages, foreign countries and in the 
currents of historical events which produce world situations," ^\(11) 
determining the tactical intelligence duties of the Troop Subsection,^^ 
(12) forecasting international and domestic security situations in 
what was called a "normal product,"^'' (13) making translations,^^ 

" Churchill, op. cit., p. 299. 

^' According to the author, these duties included : 

"1. Preparation of instructions for Intelligence work with troops and methods 
to be used in Intelligence instruction in the Army. (Liaison with W.P.D. [War 
Plans Division], U.S.M.A. [United States Military Academy at West Point], 
Air Service and Garrison Schools and with G-2 of Departments and troop units. ) 

"2. Preparation of Tables of Organization insofar as they concern Intelli- 
gence work with troops, revision of General Orders, Army Regulations, etc., in- 
sofar as they affect troop intelligence work. (Liaison with War Plans Division.) 

"3. Consideration of questions pertaining to troop Intelligence work: (a) Ob- 
.servation, (b) Transmission of information, (c) Location of our own front lines, 
(d) 'Listening in' both of enemy lines and of our own, (e) General subject of 
Wireless Interceptions, (f) General subject of 'Trench Codes,' (g) Information 
to be obtained from Flash and Sound Ranging Services, etc. (Liaison with Equip- 
ment Branch, Operations Division and Artillery and Branch Information 

"4. Consideration of subject of tactical information to be obtained from and 
furnished to Artillery Information Service. (Liaison with Artillery Information 
Service. ) 

"5. General subject of Branch intelligence work. (Liaison with Air Service 
Information Service.) 

"6. General subject of aerial photographic interpretation. 

"7. Consideration of needs for special tactical manuals, handbooks, maps, etc., 
for use of troops or in Intelligence training. (Liaison with Operations and AVar 
Plans Division when necessary. ) 

"8. Consideration of the general question of the use of 'false information' and 
of the methods by which it should be used. (Liaison with Psychologic Section, 

"9. Intelligence personnel for duty with troops ; utilization of trained person- 
nel now in the army and in civil life. 

"10. The 'spotting' of new foreign tactical methods, devices, plans and projects. 

"11. The maintenance of liaison with all American G.H.Q's. that may now or 
hereafter be in existence. 

"12. Study of foreign intelligence .systems." Churchill, op. cit., pp. 302-303. 

^* "This normal product, with the exception of map and terrain handbook 
information, consists of : 

" ( a ) The Current Estimate of the Strategic Situation. 

"(b) The Situation Monographs. 

"(c) The Weekly Summary and, in emergencies. The Daily Summary. 

"(d) The Original Sources, or Supporting Data, upon which (a), (b), and 
(c) are based. 

"(e) The Weekly Survey of the United States. 

"The [Current] Estimate of the [Strategic] Situation is arrived at by the cor- 
rect use of a 'check list' known as the 'Strategic Index' which guides not only 
the oflBcer who collates the information but also the officer or agent who collects 
it. The Strategic Index is based upon the assumption previously stated that the 
situation in any given country may be divided into four main factors : the combat 
factor, the economic factor, the political factor and the psychologic factor. Each 
of these factors is divided, subdivided and redivided until every point from 
which constitute the supporting data upon which rest the summarized statements 
is assigned a number which serves not only as an identification but also as a 
convenient paragraph number when observers' reports are prepared and a page 
number for the 'Situation Monographs' in which information is collated and 
which constitute the supporting data upon which rest the summarized statements 
of the 'Estimate of the Situation.' The method thus briefly outlined constitutes 


(14) developing codes and ciphers/^ and (15) various systematic 
counterintelligence efforts.^^ 

To accomplish these duties, the Military Intelligence Division under 
Churchill, in accordance with General Orders No. 80, was organized 

what may be considered a system of philosophy applied to the gathering and 
presentation of information." Churchill, op. cit., pp. 304-305. 

"Of the Translation Section (MI6), the author writes: "Theoretically, all 
War Department translation is centralized in this section. As a practical neces- 
sity many of the technical bureaus during the war maintained separate trans- 
lation sections. With the reduction of personnel and appropriations in other 
bureaus, MI6 will more and more be called upon to serve the entire Army. During 
the past year this section has translated sixty technical works in seven foreign 
languages, all the 'suspect lists' furnished by the French and Italian intelligence 
services, 1438 letters in thirty-one different languages, as well as 3562 citations 
of American officers and men. In addition, thirty-eight foreign daily papers in 
ten different languages from thirteen different countries are read and the im- 
portant parts extracted for the other sections of the division or for the Histor- 
ical Branch of the War Plans Division. The personnel of this section is compe- 
tent to translate nineteen foreign languages ; and, by utilizing the servicesi off' 
temporary personnel, seventeen additional languages can be translated. Thirty 
nine Government offices habitually make use of the services of this section." 
Churchill, op. cit., p. 307. 

18 ..rpjjg Code and Cipher Section or 'MI8' was a war-time agency which it is 
not practicable to continue in peace. It was secretly maintained after the war 
until 1929 and was to become known as the American Black Chamber and will 
be discussed later in this narrative. Tlie work of this section concerned an impor- 
tant field of endeavor which, before the war with Germany, was almost entirely 
unknown to the War Department or to the Government of the United States as a 
whole. Early in 1917 it was realized not only that secret means of communication 
were essential to the successful prosecution of the war, but also that, in order 
to combat the means employed by a skillful and crafty enemy, a War Depart- 
ment agency was required in order to make an exhaustive study of this com- 
plicated subject and to put to practical use the results of such study. As finally 
developed this section comprised five bureaus, as follows : 

"The Shorthand Bureau — Organized in response to demands which came 
chiefly through cooperation with the postal censorship because of the fact that it 
was almost impossible for examiners to discriminate between unusual shorthand 
systems and cipher, this bureau was in a few months able to transcribe documents 
written in some 300 shorthand systems in seven different languages. 

"Secret Ink Bureau — By direct liaison with the French and British intelligence 
services, this bureau built up a useful fund of knowledge covering this hitherto 
little-known science which is at once so useful and so dangerous. Over fifty impor- 
tant secret-ink spy letters were discovered which led to many arrests and pre- 
vented much enemy activity. Prior to the lifting of the postal censorship an 
average of over 2000 letters per week were tested for secret inks. 

"Code Instruction Bureau — This bureau provided the necessary practical in- 
struction in codes and cipers given to prospective military attaches, their as- 
sistants and clerks, and to officers and clerical personnel designated for duty in 
similar work in the American Expeditionary Forces in France and Siberia. 

"Code Compilation Bureau — The 1915 War Department code soon fell into the 
hands of the enemy, and this bureau was required to compile Military Intelligence 
Code No. 5 which succeeded it, as well as two geographical codes specifically 
adapted to the sending of combat information from France. A casualty code 
designed to save errors and time in connection with the reporting of battle 
casualties was commenced in September, 1918. It was not published on account 
of the signing of the armistice, but the work on it is complete and available for 
future use. 

"Communication Bureau — This bureau was the nerve center of a vast com- 
munication system covering the habitable globe. By special wire connections and 
a twenty-four hour service maintained by skillful and devoted operators excep- 



into an Administrative Section and three branches as detailed below : 2° 

Military Intelligence Division Administrative Section 
(M.L 1) 

(a) Kecords. Accounts, and General Section. 

(b) Interpreters and intelligence police sections. 

(c) Publication (Daily Intelligence Summary, Weekly 
Summary, Activities Report). 

The Positive Branch 

(a) Infonnation Section (M.I. 2 Prepared the strategic 
estimate which attempted to answer the questions, "What is 
the situation today?" and "What will it be tomorrow?" by 
analyzing the situation in each country under the military, 
political, economic, and psychological headings.) 

(b) Collection Section (M.I. 5 Administered the military 
attache system.) 

(c) Translation Section (M.I. 6). 

(d) Code and Cipher Section (M.I. 8). 


tionally fast and confidential communication was established with our forces 
overseas and all important news centers at home and abroad. Messages from 
Paris were received and decoded within twenty minutes after sending ; and the 
average time necessary to communicate with Vladivostok and Archangel was 
less than twenty-four hours. From September 1918 to May 1919 this bureau sent 
and received 25,000 messages containing 1,300,000 words. 

"The only remaining agency of MIS is the present telegraph or code room which 
functions as a part of the Administrative Section or Mill. To a limited extent it 
operates as the Communication Bureau did during the war. [At this time the 
American Black Chamber was operating secretly in New York City but Churchill 
may not have known about its existence or activities.]" 

Churchill, op. cit., pp. 307-309 ; also see Herbert O. Yardley. The American 
Black Chamber. London, Faber and Faber, 1931, pp. 15-166. 

"The counter-intelligence section, titled the Negative Branch, was formally 
organized by Colonel K. C. Masteller in August, 1918. Reduced in size and re- 
organized after the war, the Negative Branch consisted of the following three 
sections by Churchill's description : 

"The Foreign Influence Section (MI4) is the parent Section from which grew 
the Negative Branch. As delimited by the diversion of specialties to other Sec- 
tions, the duty of this Section in general is the study of espionage and propaganda 
directed against the United States or against itvs allies, and also the study of the 
sentiments, publications and other actions of foreign language and revolutionary 
groups both here and abroad, in so far as these matters have a bearing upon the 
military situation. Individuals are not investigated. 

"The News Section (MHO) is a combination of a radio interception section and 
a press summary section. In addition to the frontier stations, it maintains a 
trans-oceanic interception station in Maine which enables the War Department 
to follow promptly foreign events. Under the war-time organization of M.I.D., 
MHO performed such censorship functions as were assigned the War Depart- 

"The Fraud Section (MI13) originated in the Quartermaster Corps in the 
Spring of 1918, when, at the request of the Quartermaster General, an officer of 
Military Intelligence was detailed to organize a force to detect and prevent 
fraud and graft in the purchase and handling of Quartermaster stores. On 
July 13, 1918, this force was transferred to the Military Intelligence Division 
and the scope of its duties enlarged to include the detection of any case of graft 
or fraud in or connected with the Army. At the beginning this group constituted 
a subsection of MI3, but the work developed to such an extent that on Septem- 
ber 24, 1918, it was made a separate section." Churchill, op. cit., pp. 313-314. 

'^ From Nelson, op. cit., pp. 264-265. 


(e) Shorthand Bureau. 

(f ) Secret Ink Bureau. 

(g) Code Instruction Bureau, 
(h) Code Compilation Bureau, 
(i) Communication Bureau. 

(j) Combat Intelligence Instruction Section (M.I. 9). 
The GeograqyMc Brom^-h {maps and military monograpJis of 
all countries) . 

(a) May Section (M.I. 7). 

(b) Monograph and Handbook Section (M.I. 9). 

The Negative Branch (collects and disseminates information 
upon which may be based measures of prevention against 
activities or influences tending to harm military efficiency 
by methods other than armed force) . 

(a) Foreign Influence Section (M.I. 4). 

(b)Army Section (M.I. 3). 

(c) Xews Section (M.I. 10). 

(d) Travel Section (M.I. 11). 

(e) Fraud Section (M.I. 13). 

At the time of the signing of the Armistice in November, 1918, 
M.I.D. consisted of 282 officers, 29 noncommissioned officers, and 948 
civilian employees.-^ It is impossible to estimate how many thousands 
of volunteer and secretly recruited private agents were assisting this 
staff. By August, 1919, M.I.D. had been reduced to 88 officei-s and 143 
civilians.-- Its forces would continue to wane during the next two 

Paralleling this structure of M.I.D. was the intelligence section of 
the General Staff of the American Expeditionary Forces under Gen- 
eral John J. Pershing. Created by General Orders No. 8, of July 5, 
1917, the General Staff was directed b}^ General James G. Harbord, 
Chief of Staff, who has commented : 

The Intelligence Section dealt with a line of work in which 
Americans were less experienced than in any other war activ- 
ity. America had never admittedly indulged in a secret serv- 
ice, in espionage, or in developing the various sources of in- 
formation which furnish what comes under the general 
designation of Military Intelligence. The Military and Naval 
Attaches serving with our legations and embassies abroad, 
while alert for information which might be of advantage to 
the United States, were without funds for procuring such 
matter, and were generally dependent upon military and 
naval publications open to anyone who cared to obtain them. 
Occasionally they were thrown a few crumbs in some for- 
eign capital, under the seal of confidence, and more, perhaps, 
in the hope that some third power would be embarrassed, 
than by the thought that any real use of them would be made 
by the careless and sometimes amusing Americans. Certainly 

^ March, op. eif ., p. 226. 
^ Nelson, op. cxt., p. 265. 


censorship was an unknown activity anywhere under the 
American flag. 

Intelligence services were highly developed by our Associ- 
ates, and by our enemies — especially had Germany before the 
World War maintained a network that spread through many 
countries. Our Intelligence Section endeavored to embody in 
its organization the best that could be borrowed from French 
and British sources. It was responsible for information on the 
enemy order of battle ; his war trade and economic resources ; 
recruiting and man power ; strategical movements and plans. 
The examination of prisoners of war, and of enemy docu- 
ments, situation maps from all sources, and information of 
the theater of war immediately behind the enemy lines, all 
were Intelligence. Compiling information from aerial photo- 
graphs and reconnaissances; the enemy wireless and 
ciphers; signal communication; carrier pigeons; it dissemi- 
nated information on these and kindred subjects of military 
interest. Counterespionage, regulation of passes for travel; 
the preparation of maps of all kinds, surveys, and the person- 
nel and activity of the topographical engineers lay within its 
jurisdiction. Its duties with regard to censorship were very 
comprehensive, touching the censorship of the press, of corre- 
spondence by mail, messenger and telegraph, as well as that 
of official photographs and moving pictures. The visitor's 
bureau, and the intelligence personnel, vehicles, and police, 
besides a multiplicity of detail involved in these and kindred 
matters, came under it.^^ 

The man in charge of the A.E.F. intelligence organization was 
Major Dennis E. Nolan, born in 1872 at Akron, N.Y., of Irish immi- 
grant parents. A West Point graduate, he served in infantry and 
cavalry units prior to general staff duty in 1903, seeing service in 
Cuba, the Philippines, and Alaska. Arriving in France in June, 1917, 
he served as chief of intelligence operations until demobilization. He 
was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in 1918 "for organizing 
and administering the A.E.F. intelligence service" and also various 
combat decorations. After the war Nolan saw duty at the Army War 
College and with the General Staff, becoming a deputy chief of staff in 
1924. In 1926-1927 he was chief of the Army representation with the 
preparatory commission on reduction and limitation of armaments 
meeting at Geneva. He completed his military career as commander of 
the Fifth Corps area (1927-1931) and Second Corps area (1931- 
1936), retiring in 1936. 

Nolan apparently had autonomy of command apart from M.I.D., 
although there seems to have been close cooperation in information ex- 
change and dissemination between the two organizations. It is very 
likely that Nolan and Churchill were personally acquainted as both 
men joined Pershing's staff in France in June, 1917. 

According to Harbord, the A.E.F. intelligence unit was organized 
into five sections with the following areas of supervisory responsi- 
bility specified : ^^ 

^ James G. Harbord. The American Army in France 1917-1919. Boston, Little, 
Brown and Company, 1936, pp. 94-95. 
^ From Ibid., pp. 5&1-585. 



(a) Information 

1. Enemy's order of battle; enemy organization. 

Preparation of diagrams and statements showing dis- 
tribution of enemy's forces. 
War trade and enemy's economic resources. 

2. German recruiting and classes ; man power. 

Examination of prisoners and documents. 
Information on German armament and equipment. 

3. Situation maps, except special maps made by G-3. In- 
formation of theater of war behind enemy's front. 

German lines of defense. 

Strategical movements of enemy and plans. 

Air reconnaissance and photographs. 

4. Preparation and issue of periodical summary. Informa- 
tion concerning railroads, bridges, canals and rivers. 

Road and bridge maps and area books. Summary of 
foreign communiques and wireless press. 

5. Collation of information regarding enemy's artillery. 

Preparation of daily and weekly summaries of enemy's 

artillery activity. 
Preparation of periodical diagrams showing enemy's 

artillery grouping. 

6. Enemy's wireless and ciphers. 

Enemy's signal communications. 

Policy regarding preparation and issue of ciphers and 

trench codes. 
Listening sets. 

Policy as regards carrier pigeons. 
Training of listening set of interpreters. 

7. Dissemination of information. 

Custody and issue of intelligence publications. Infor- 
mation of theater of war (except portion immedi- 
ately in rear of enemy's front) . 

Intelligence Diary. 

(h) Secret Service 

1. Secret service in tactical zone and co-ordination with 
War Department and with French, English and Belgian 

Atrocities and breaches of international law. 
Counter-espionage ; direction and policy. 
Secret service personnel. 

2. Dissemination of information from secret service sources. 

Ciphers, selection and change of. 
Examining of enemy's ciphers. 
Intelligence and secret service accounts. 

3. Counter-espionage; index of suspects; invisible inks 
and codes. 

Dissemination of information from English, French 
and Belarian counter-espionage systems. 

Control of civil population as affecting espionage and 
all correspondence with the missions on the subject. 

Censorship as affecting counter-espionage. 
Counter-espionage personnel. 

Regulations regarding passes in the Zone of the 

((?) Topography 
1. Preparation and issue of maps and charts; all litho- 
graph and photography in connection with map repro- 

Survey and topographical work and topographical 

instruction of engineer troops. 
Topographical organization — Attached from engi- 
Experimental sound and flash ranging section — Liai- 
son with engineer troops. 

{d) Censorship 

1. Press correspondents. 

Press censorship. 

Examination of U.S., British, French and other for- 
eign newspapers. 

2. Compilation and revision of censorship regulations. 

Issue of censor stamps. 

Postal and telegraph censorship. 

Breaches of postal and telegraph censorship rules. 

Cooperation with Allied censorhips. 

Control of censor personnel under A.C. of S. (G-2). 

3. Official photographs and moving pictures. 

Military attaches. 
Press matters. 

(e) Intelligence Corps 

1. Policy with regard to the establishment of the intelli- 
gence corps. 

Records, appointments and promotions of intelligence 

corps officers. 
Intelligence police. 
Intelligence corps, motor-cars. 
Administration of intelligence corps. 

Generally, the organization and structure of A.E.F. intelligence 
operations may be characterized as follows: (1) combat intelligence 
forces attached to ground troop units and whose primary responsi- 
bility was to provide support to the operations of their immediate 
command and forward findings to A.E.F. G-2 headquarters;^^ (2) 
special support agencies, such as the air corps, signal corps, or artil- 
lery intelligence, which provided relevant information to field com- 

^ Generally, on combat intelligence dnring World War I. see : Thomas R. 
Gowenloek with Gny Mnrchie. Jr. Soldiers of Darkness. New York. Donbleday. 
Doran and Company, 1937; Edwin E. Schwien. Combat Intelligence : Its Acquisi- 
tion and Transmission. Washington, The Infantry Journal, 1936; and Shipley 
Thomas. 8-2 In Action. Harrisburg, The Military Service Publishing Company, 


manders and to A.E.F. G-2 headquarters; and (3) special agencies 
directly subordinate to G-2, such as interpreters, cryptographers, and 
secret service-counter-intellioen e forces who supplied some relevant 
information to other special support agencies and to field commanders 
but who also exercised some internal security and crime control pow- 
ers resulting in the collection and maintenance of derivative informa- 
tion which was autonomously held by intelligence headquarters.^*' 
These arrangements seem to have existed until the withdrawal of 
troops from Europe and demobilization of the armed forces at the 
end of the war.^^ 

During the world war, the Signal Corps continued to be a major 
supplier of intelligence support services, though it had little direct 
responsibility for intelligence operations. In April, 1917, just prior to 
the United States' declaration of war on Germany, the Signal Corps 
consisted of 55 officers and 1,570 enlisted men of the Regular Army 
forces.^^ At the time of the Armistice, the strength of the Corps had 
risen to 2,712 officers and 53,277 enlistees divided between the A.E.F. 
and forces in the United States. Their organization at this peak 
strength included 56 field signal battalions (10 Regular Army and 8 
domestically stationed), 33 telegraph battalions (5 Regular Army 
and 7 domestically stationed), 12 depot battalions (1 domestically 
stationed), 6 training battalions (all domestically stationed), and 40 
service companies (21 domestically stationed).^® The support pro- 
vided by the Corps for intelligence operations, though not exclusively 
for these activities in every case, included communications facilities 
and services,^" photographic assistance and products,^^ meteorologic 
information,^^ and code compilation.^ These duties would remain as 
basic intelligence support services provided by the Signal Corps until 
surpassed bv more specialized national security entities in the after- 
math of World War II. 

//. Naval Intelligence 

When war broke out on the Continent in August, 1914, the Office of 
Naval Intelligence had immediate access to situational information 
through the naval attache system begun in 1882. These official observa- 
tion stations existed in London, Paris, St. Petersburg, Berlin, Rome, 
Vienna, Madrid, and The Hague and gave the Xavy a reason for a 
less obtrusive presence amidst the hostilities than the Army's observer 

^See Tnd. op. cit., pp. 181-184. 191-195; C. E. Russell. Adventures of the 
D.G.I. : Department of Criminal Investigation. New York. Doubleday, Page and 
Company, 1925 ; . True Adventures of the Secret Service. New York, Dou- 
bleday. Page and Company, 1923. 

^For an academic overview of military intelligence organization and opera- 
tions during World War I see Walter C. Sweeney. Military IntelUgenee: A New 
Weapon In War. New York. Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1924. 

'^United States Army. Signal Corps. Report of the Chief Signal Officer to the 
Secretary of War: 1919. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1919, p. 23. 

^Itid.. p. 543. 

* See nid., pp. 133-215, 303-338, 542. 

^ See nid.. pp. 341-347. 

"^ See nid.. pp. 347-357. 

^ See nid., pp. 536-539. 


No better work was done in the war than that conducted 
and covered by the offices of some of our naval attaches. Their 
work primarily of course was to acquire purely naval infor- 
mation; secondarily, military, economical and political news 
that could be of any benefit to America or her associates in the 
war. In some cases, however, a great deal of the work was not 
strictly either naval or military, though indirectly of vast 
import to both branches. Affiliations were established with in- 
fluential men in the Country — men in government positions 
or in business — and their sympathy for the Entente and 
America encouraged, and in some cases enlisted — for in Spain 
and the Northern neutral countries there was a strong tide 
of pro-Germanism to fight. In collaboration with the Com- 
mittee on Public Information means were taken through the 
channels of the newspapers, movies, etc., to influence public 
opinion, and give it the Allies' point of view. 

Among the most important things which came under the 
jurisdiction of our Naval attaches were the investigation of 
officers, crews and passengers on ships bound for and com- 
ing from America; the senders and receivers of cablegrams, 
inspections of cargoes and shipments, and investigations of 
firms suspected of trading with the enemy. Under the naval 
attaches too, the coasts were closely watched for the detection 
of enemy vessels or persons who might be giving aid or infor- 
mation to them. In every foreign country to which an Ameri- 
can naval attache was accredited they carried on for the 
Navy in line with her best traditions.^"* 

In the spring of 1915, Congress established (38 Stat. 928 at 929) a 
central administrative structure within the Navy with the creation of 
the Chief of Naval Operations. Shortly after this office was estab- 
lished, the Office of Naval Intelligence was transferred to it and re- 
named the Naval Intelligence Division. This heightened organiza- 
tional status provided Naval Intelligence with continuous access to the 
higher levels of Navy administration and decision-making, extending 
all the way to the Secretary, Josephus Daniels.^^ Unlike Military In- 
telligence, the naval counterpart seems to have enjoyed some degree of 
acceptance with the officer corps and had various leaders, rather than 
one champion, from the inception through the war years. 

^U..S. Navy Department. Office of Naval Records and Library. U.S. Naval In- 
telligence Before and During the War by Captain Edward McCauley, Jr. Undated 
typescript, pp. 1-2. This document is currently on file with, and was made avail- 
able for this study by, the National Archives and Records Service ; with regard 
to the Committee on Public Information, see: George Creel. How We Advertised 
America. New York and London, Harper and Brothers, 1920 ; James R. Mock. 
Censorship 1911. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1941 ; — — . and Cedric 
Larson. Words That Won the War. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1939; 
William Franklin Willoughby. Government Organization In War Time and After. 
New York, D. Appleton and Company, 1919, pp. 33-39. 

^ See, for example, E. David Cronon. ed. The Cabinet Diaries of Josephus 
Daniels, 1913-1921. Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 1963, pp. 117, 209, 
211-12, 246, and 293. 



T. B. M. Mason, 1882-85. 
Raymond P. Rodgers, 1885-89. 
Charles H. Davis, 1889-92. 
French E. Chadwick, 1892-93. 
Frederic Singer, 1893-96. 
Richard Wainwright, 1896-97. 
Richardson Clover, 1897-98. 
John R. Bartlett, 1898-98. 
Richardson Clover, 1898-19C0. 
Charles D. Sigsbee, 1900-03. 

Seaton Schroeder, 1903-06. 
Raymond P. Rodgers, 1906-09. 
Charles E. Vreeland, 1909-09. 
Templin M. Potts, 1909-12. 
Thomas S. Rodgers, 1912-13. 
Henry F. Bryan, 1913-14. 
James H. Oliver, 1914-17. 
Roger Welles, 1917-19. 
Albert P. Niblack, 1919-20. 

At the time of American entry into the world war, Naval Intelli- 
gence consisted of 18 clerks and 8 officers. With the Armistice, the 
division counted 306 reservists, 18 clerks, and over 40 naval attaches 
and assistant attaches. By July, 1920, this force was reduced to a staff 
of 42. During the war years the division was organized into four sec- 
tions: administrative, intelligence (or incoming information), com- 
piling (or processing), and historical (or "by products"). 

In by-products, for instance, we include (1) the naval library ; 
(2) the dead files, which include war diaries of all ships and 
stations and their correspondence during the war; (3) statis- 
tics; and (4) international law questions and cases which 
arose during the war. The compiling section works over a 
good deal of information that comes in to put it in more use- 
ful form. A monthly bulletin of confidential information on 
naval progress is issued and this section also prepares mono- 
graphs of various kinds on various countries and subjects. All 
information that is received is routed out to the various Gov- 
ernment departments to which it is considered it will be of 
use. The State Department and Military Intelligence receive, 
of course, practically all that we get of general value. Special 
information we send to the various departments of the Gov- 
ernment such as the Department of Justice. The attitude of 
the office is that it is its duty to collect and furnish informa- 
tion but not necessarily to advise or suggest.^® 

By this, and other accounts, it would seem that Naval Intelligence 
collected, maintained, and supplied raw data, but engaged in little 
analysis of this material other than the most rudimentary assessments. 
The intelligence product it offered was crude. 

The information collection arrangements instituted by Naval In- 
telligence reflected both ambition and sophistication. 

The home work was divided under fifteen aids for informa- 
tion, one of these aids being attached to the Admiral in 

^U.S. Navy Department. Division of Operations. The History and Aims of the 
Office of Naval Intelliffence by Rear Admiral A. P. Niblack. Washington. U.S. 
Govt. Print. Off.. 1920, pp. 23-24. Copies of this study bear the marking "Not for 
publication," indicating limited distribution ; the copy utilized in this study was 
supplied by the National Archives and Records Service. 


command of each Naval District. Each aid had the super- 
vision of intelligence work in his district, but he worked, of 
course, in conjunction with and under instructions from the 
main office in Washington. His duty included information 
about all shipping and information necessary for its protec- 
tion against possible unfriendly acts of agents or sympa- 
thizers of the Central Powers. He had to arrange for the 
observation of the coast and to establish information services 
for the report of any suspicious vessel or coast activities ; to 
discover the location and establishment, actual or proposed, 
of bases for submarines, and to detect illegal radio stations, 
or the location of enemy goods in storage. Under the Naval 
aids came the duty of detecting and combatting espionage or 
sabotage, incipient or actual, along the water fronts, in the 
navy yards, or in the factories or works connected with the 
yards. That included any investigations that were required 
in connection with the naval personnel of the district. In 
order to prevent damage to ships, guards were placed on every 
ship entering the harbors of the United States and remained 
on board until the ship cleared. In addition to this, all crews 
were inspected in order to see that each member had his 
proper identification papers, and suspicious members of a 
crew or a passenger list were thoroughly searched, together 
with their baggage. All cargoes were inspected and mani- 
fests checked in order to thwart any illegal shipments from 
the Country, and to prevent bombs and incendiary devices 
from being placed on ships. Later this work was taken over 
by the Customs Division of the Treasury Department, and 
controlled by them, though the Navy continued the work with 

While the above account provides some indication of the tasks per- 
formed by Naval Intelligence during the hostilities, "the specific 
orders under which the office operates for war purposes is best given 
in the instructions to naval attaches and others in regard to intelli- 
gence duty, issued in 1917 :" 

( 1 ) The fleets of foreign powers. 

(2) The war material of foreign powers. 

(3) The nautical personnel of foreign powers, and a gen- 
eral record of the strength, organization, and distribution 
of all foreign naval forces. 

(4) The war resources of foreign powers. 

(5) Doctrine of foreign powers. Foreign policies and rela- 

(6) Characteristics of foreign naval officers of command 

(7) Defenses and armaments of foreign ports. 

(8) Time required for the mobilization of foreign navies 
and the probable form and places of mobilization. 

(9) The lines and means of water communication of for- 
eign countries and their facilities for transporting troops 

^ MacCauley, op. cit., pp. 2-3. 


(10) The adaptability of forei^ private-owned vessels to 
war purposes and the routes followed by regular steamer 

(11) The facilities for obtaining coal, fuel, oil, gasoline, 
and supplies, and for having repairs made in all foreign 
ports of the world. 

(12) Climatic, sanitary, and other peculiarities of foreign 
countries which can have a bearing upon naval operations. 

(13) The facilities on foreign coasts for landing men and 
supplies and means for supporting detached bodies of troops 
in the interior. 

(14) The canals and interior waterways of the United 
States and foreign countries available for the passage of 
torpedo boats and other naval craft. 

(15) The collating and keeping up to date of data relating 
to the inspection and assignment of merchant vessels under 
United States registry and of such foreign private-owned 
vessels as may be indicated. 

(16) Through correspondence with owners, consulting 
trade journals, and by any other practical means keeping 
track of the status and location of different United States 
merchant vessels listed as auxiliaries for war ; of sales to other 
lines ; and of changes in trade routes or terminal ports which 
may make necessary a change in the yard designated for war 
preparation; and to report such changes in the list of ships 
to the department for its information, the information of the 
General Board, and the Board of Inspection and Survey, in 
order that a further inspection of particular ships may be 
made, if necessary.^^ 

Another dimension of Naval Intelligence operations was its secret 
service facility. 

In the Fall of 1916 a small branch office had been estab- 
lished under cover in New York. Thus began what was to 
prove one of the largest and most useful phases of the war 
work of Naval Intelligence. The New York office was used 
as a model for the others which it was later found necessary 
to establish in Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, 
Pittsburgh and San Francisco. These branch offices worked 
directly under the control of Washington, covering work 
which could not properly be turned over to the aids for in- 
formation. Their work was of paramount importance and a 
whole job in itself. To them fell the investigation and guard- 
ing of plants having Navy contracts. Over five thousand 
plants were thus surveyed and protected and hundreds of 
aliens and many active energy agents were removed and 
thus prevented from fulfilling their missions. In a district 
such as Pittsburgh for instance, with its large foreign popu- 
lation, that work assumed such proportions that it became 
necessary to establish our Pittsburgh office to handle it.^® 

It would also appear that some of these special undercover agents 
served in overseas duty. One documented example is George F. Zim- 

'^ Niblack, op. Git., pp. 14^15. 
'* MacCauley, op cit., p. 3. 


mer, a Los Angeles attorney who, after secret service in the New 
York and Washington districts, toured in the Middle East and on 
the European Continent. For some portion of these duties he traveled 
on credentials representing him as working for the United States Food 
Administration "for the sole purpose of food relief." After the Armis- 
tice he went on a photographic mission, concentrating on conditions in 
Europe and taking him into portions of Russia.*" It is not immedi- 
ately clear as to how many agents of this type Naval Intelligence spon- 
sored during and shortly after the war, but their number would 
seem to be relatively few. With peace restored in the world, the attaches 
once again assumed their stations in the territory of recent enemies, 
leducing the necessity for roving special operatives. 

///. Bureau of Investigation 

Created on his own administrative authority in 1908 by Attorney 
General Charles J. Bonaparte in the face of congressional opposition 
for reasons of statutory obligations and practical need, the Bureau of 
Investigation had virtually no intelligence mission until European 
hostilities in the summer of 1914 precipitated a necessity for Federal 
detection and pursuance of alleged violations of the neutrality laws, 
enemy activities, dislo3'alty cases, the naturalization of enemy aliens, 
the enforcement of the conscription, espionage, and sedition laws, 
and surveillance of radicals. These duties evolved as the United States 
moved from neutrality to a state of declared war and then, in the 
aftermath of peace, found its domestic tranquility and security threat- 
ened by new ideologies and their practitioners. 

The Bureau's principal function during the war years was that of 
investigation. During this period, agents had no direct statutory au- 
thorization to carrj^ weapons or to make general arrests. In the field, 
they worked with and gathered information for the United States 
Attorneys. Direction came from the Attorney General or the Bureau 
chief. In the frenzy of the wartime spy mania, Washington often lost 
its control over field operations so that agents and U.S. Attorneys, as- 
sisted by cadres of volunteers from the American Protective League 
and other similar patriotic auxiliaries, pursued suspects of disloyalty 
on their own initiative and in their own manner. To the extent that 
their investigative findings underwent analysis with a view toward 
policy development, an intelligence function was served, but for the 
most part this type of contribution appears to have been lost in the 
emotionalism and zealotry of the moment. 


Attorneys General Bureau Chiefs 

Charles J. Bonaparte (1906-09) Stanley W. Finch (1908-12) 

George W. Wickersham (1909-18) A. Bruce Bielaski (1912-19) 

James C. McEeynolds (1913-14) William E. Allen (1919) 

Thomas W. Gregory (1914-19) William J. Flynn (1919-21) 

A. Mitchell Palmer (1919-21) William J. Burns (1921-24) 

Harry M. Daugherty (1921-24) J. Edgar Hoover (1924- 
Harland F. Stone (192^25) 

*" See George F. Zimmer and Burke Boyce. K-1, Spies at War. New York, 
D. Appleton-Century Company, 1934. 


In 1915, the first full year of the war, the Bureau, in the words of 
one sympatlietic chronicler of its development and activities, consisted 
of a "small and inept force of 219 agents" which "was totally im- 
equipped to deal with the clever espionage and sabotage ring of 
World War I which was organized by Gennan Ambassador Johann 
von Bernstorff/^ Two years later, when America entered the hostili- 
ties, the Bureau's agent force was increased from 300 to 400, "a puny 
squad for policing more than 1,000,000 enemy aliens, protecting har- 
bors and war-industry zones barred to enemy aliens, aiding draft 
boards and the Army in locating draft dodgers and deserters, and 
carrying on the regular duties of investigating federal law viola- 
tors." *- This state of affairs was one of the reasons the Justice Depart- 
ment welcomed the assistance of the American Protective League. 

In many of its initial wartime activities, the Bureau was still 
searching for a mission. 

Early in 1917, the Bureau proclaimed that it was in charge 
of spy-catching and the Department's representative called 
it "the eyes and ears" of the Government, 

However, the Army and Xavy were the armed forces endan- 
gered or advanced on the European battlefields by espionage 
operations, and their own detectives necessarily had primary 
control of stopping the movements of enemy spies and of war 
materials and information useful to the enemy, everywhere in 
the world, including the homefront. The military authorities 
associated with their own agents the operatives of the State 
Department, traditionally charged with responsibility for for- 
eign affairs. 

The military departments seemed primarily to want the 
help of the specialized forces of the Treasury, the War Trade 
Board, and the Labor Department for cutting off the flow of 
enemy spies, goods, and information ; those of the Agriculture 
and Interior Departments for safeguarding production of 
food and raw materials; and the local police departments 
throughout America, as well as the Treasury detectives, for 
protecting American war plants, waterfront installations, and 
essential war shipping against sabotage and carelessness. 

This attitude brought the Treasury police to the forefront. 
The Treasury's agents possessed not only vast equipment im- 
mediately convertible to wartime espionage in behalf of the 
United States, but also the necessary experience. They pos- 
sessed the specific techniques that enabled them to find enemy 
agents in ship's crews, among passengers, or stowed away; to 
pick them up at any port in the world where they might em- 
l3ark or drop off the sides of ships ; to foil their mid-ocean sig- 
nals to German submarines. 

Moreover, the Treasury's men knew how to discover, in the 
immense quantities of shipments to our allies and to our neu- 
trals, the minute but vital goods addressed to neutral lands, 
actually destined to reach the enemy. Treasury operatives had 
the right training for uncovering the secret information trans- 

"■ Don Whitehead. The FBI Story. New York, Pocket Books, 1958 ; first pub- 
Ushed 1956, p. 14. 
"7&td., p. 38. 


mitted to the enemy in every medium — in ships' manifests and 
mail, in passengers' and crews' papers, in phonograph records, 
in photographic negatives, and in motion picture fihn. They 
had the experience for the job of protecting the loaded vessels 
in the harbors, the warehouses, and the entire waterfront. 

The Justice Department police were invited to participate 
in various advisory boards. But when invited by the Post Of- 
fice detectives, old hands at inspection of enemy mail, to sit 
on an advisory board, the Justice police spoke with self depre- 
cation ; perhaps after all, there was "no use in littering up the 
board" with one of their men.*^ 

What did evolve as a major wartime Bureau function, and one 
having intelligence implications in light of espionage (40 Stat. 217) 
and sedition (40 Stat. 553) law, was the investigation and cataloging 
of the political opinions, beliefs, and affiliations of the citizenry. This 
Bureau activity also had a menacing aspect to it in terms of guaranteed 
rights of speech and association ; also, it did not come to public notice 
until after the Armistice. 

The disclosure came as an indirect consequence of a politi- 
cal quarrel between ex-Congressman A. Mitchell Palmer (a 
Pennsylvania lawyer and corporation director who became 
Alien Property Custodian, and was soon to become Attorney 
General o,f the United States) and United States Senator 
Boies Penrose of Penns3dvania. Mr. Palmer had accused 
the Senator of receiving political support from the brewers 
and of being a tool for their anti-prohibition propaganda. 
The attack was made while the war was still going on, and 
Mr. Palmer added the charge that the American brewers 
were pro-German and unpatriotic. The "dry" element in the 
United States Senate promptly seized on the publicity thus 
provided and pushed through a resolution to investigate 
both charges, political propaganda and pro-Germanism. In 
the course of the hearings dealing with pro-Germanism, the 
investigating committee turned to A. Bruce Bielaski, war- 
time chief of the Bureau of Investigation, and others con- 
nected with the Bureau. They revealed the fact that the 
Bureau had already been cataloging all kinds of persons 
they suspected of being pro-German, They had found sus- 
pects in all walks of American life. Among those of whose 
"pro-Germanism" the public thus learned, were members 
of the United States Senate, other important officials (e.g., 
William Jennings Bryan, President Wilson's first Secretary 
of State, and Judge John F. Hylan, soon to become mayor of 
New York City), and many persons and organizations not 
connected with the Government (e.g., William Randolph 
Hearst, his International News Sendee and various news- 
papers, his New York American, and the Chicago Tinbune) ; 
Americans agitating for Irish independence (including edi- 

*^Max Lowenthal. The Federal Bureau of Investigation. New York, William 
Sloane Associates, 1950, pp. 22-23; this highly critical account of the Federal 
Bureau of Investigation contains the only detailed discussion of early operations 
of the agency. 


tors of the American Catholic Weekly and the Freeman's 
Journal) ; some of the foremost men in academic life ; politi- 
cal leaders such as Roger Sullivan of Chicago; and men of 
prominence in the financial and business world.** 

During the course of the congressional investigation, the Bureau's 
offerings were found to abound with factual inaccuracies and to have 
resulted in wrong conclusions even when the facts were correct.*^ 
The occasion did not instill much public confidence in the Bureau's 
intelligence acti\4ties or product. 

"Wlien confronted with a series of bombings directed against public 
officials during late 1918 and 1919, the Bureau's analytical skills again 
appeared to be deficient. 

As in the case of the 1918 bombing, the Justice Depart- 
ment detectives made a prompt announcement of who the 
criminals in the 1919 cases were. The bombing jobs, they 
said, were the work of radicals, whose purpose was the assas- 
sination of Federal officials and the overthrow o,f the Gov- 
ernment. To support this deduction, they pointed out that 
some of the bombs arrived at their destination shortly before 
the first of May, 1919, and others shortly after that time, and 
that May Day is the date traditionally chosen by some radi- 
cals to celebrate their doctrines bj' j)arading. However, an- 
other series of bombs was sent in June, posing the question 
how the detectives could attribute these new bomb attempts 
to May Day radicalism. 

The theory that the bombs were sent by radicals was 
beset with further embarrassments. The Government officials 
to whom the bombs were addressed included some men who 
were hostile to radicalism, but prominent public men whom 
the Bureau of Investigation suspected of being themselves 
radicals, and misympathetic with the program against the 
radicals were included among the addressees. Indeed, some 
of the men were targets of denunciation from Capitol Hill 
as dangerous radicals. Critics who disagreed with the detec- 
tives' conclusion asked why radicals with bombs should select 
as victims the very men who might be their friends. Why, 
in particular, should they seek to bomb ex-Senator Hard- 
wick of Georgia, who had asked the Senate to vote against 
the very wartime sedition law under which the I^^IY [Inter- 
national Workers of the World] leaders and other radicals 
had been convicted? 

A further difficulty arose out of the fact that some of the 
bombs were sent to minor businessmen and to relatively 
minor local officeholders, while most of the top Government 
officials whose death would have been of particular im- 
portance to revolutionaries were not included among the 
potential victims selected by the bombers.** 

**Ihid., pp. 36-37. 

*^ See Ihid., pp. 37-43. 

*^IUd., pp. 68-69. 


Radicalism captured the attention of the Bureau in the aftermath 
of the world war. Preoccupation with the ideology, its leadership, 
and organizations became so great that, on August 1, 1919, a General 
Intelligence Division was established within the Bureau to devote 
concentrated scrutiny to the subject. 

There was, however, a difficulty with respect to the expendi- 
ture of the money appropriated for the Bureau's use by 
Congress. It specified that the appropriations were for the 
"detection and prosecution of crimes." A provision for the 
detection of seditious speech and writings, however, might 
some day be passed, and the detectives concluded that prep- 
aration would be useful, in the form of an advance job to 
ascertain which individuals and organizations held beliefs 
that were objectionable. With this information in hand, it 
could go into action without delay, after Congress passed a 
peacetime sedition law, similar to the wartime sedition laws 
enacted in 1917 and 1918. The Bureau notified its agents on 
August 12, 1919, eleven days after the creation of the 
anti-radical Division, to engage in the broadest detection of 
sedition and to secure "evidence which may be of use in 
prosecutions . . . under legislation . . . which may here- 
after be enacted." ^^ 

The new intelligence unit thus appears to have been created and 
financed in anticipation of a valid statutory purpose and seems, as 
well, to have engaged in investigations wherein the derivative infor- 
mation was not gathered in pursuit of Federal prosecution (s). 

Coincident with the creation of the new Division, the Bureau 
selected J. Edgar Hoover as Division chief. He had joined 
the Department of Justice two years earlier, shortly after 
America entered the war, and shortly before Congress en- 
acted the wartime sedition law. He had been on duty at the 
Justice Department during the entire war period, and ob- 
viously he was in a position to obtain a view of the detective 
activities against persons prosecuted or under surveillance 
for their statements. He had also been in a position to note 
the pre-eminence of the military detective services during the 
war and the connotations of success attached to their names — 
Military and Naval Intelligence Services. Besides, the new 
unit at the Department of Justice was in the business of de- 
tecting ideas. He called it an intelligence force, in substitu- 
tion for the names with which it started — "Radical Division" 
and "Anti-Radical Division." Mr. Hoover avoided one action 
of the War and Navy Intelligence agencies; their scope had 
been narrowed by the qualifying prefixes in their titles. He 
named his force the General Intelligence Division — GID.*^ 

In 1920, when "one-third of the detective staff at Bureau head- 
quarters in Washington had been assigned to anti-radical matters, and 
over one-half of the Bureau's field work had been diverted to the 
subject of radicalism, GID reported that "the work of the General 

"Ibid., p. 84. 
"^Ibid., pp. 84-85. 


Intelligence Division . . . has now expanded to cover more general 
intelligence work, including not only ultra-radical activities but also 
to [sic] the study of matters of an international nature, as well a? 
economic and industrial disturbances incident thereto."' *^ And as its 
mission developed, so too did the GID's manner of operation and 
techniques of inquiry. 

The Bureau of Investigation faced and solved one problem 
in the first ten days of the existence of Mr. Hoover's division, 
the problem of the kind of data the detectives should send 
to headquarters. They were going to receive material from 
undercover informers, from neighbors, from personal enemies 
of the pei-sons under iuA'estigation. The detectives were going 
to hear gossip about what people were said to have said or 
were suspected of having done — information derived, in some 
instances, from some unknown person who had told the Bu- 
reau's agents or informers or the latter's informants. Some of 
the information received might relate to people's personal 
habits and life. 

The Bureau's decision was that everything received by the 
special agents and informers should be reported to head- 
quarters ; the agents were specifically directed to send what- 
ever reached them, "of every nature." But they were warned 
that not everything that they gathered could be used in trials 
where men were accused of radicalism. Some items about per- 
sonal lives, however interesting to the detectives, might not 
be regarded as relevant in court proceedings against alleged 
radicals. Furthermore, despite the fact that the Bureau in- 
structed its agents to transmit to headquarters everything 
that they picked up, "whether hearsay or otherwise," it 
warned them that there was a difference between the sources 
from which the GID was willing to receive accusations and 
statements for its permanent dossiers and the evidence which 
trial judges and tribunals would accept as reliable proof. In 
judicial proceedings, the Bureau of Investigation informed 
all its agents, there was an insistence on what it called "tech- 
nical proof," and judges would rule that the rumors and gos- 
sip which the detectives were instructed to supply to GID 
had "no value." ^° 

In order to assess the program and thinking of the radicals, it was 
necessary to study the literature and writings of the ideologues. Gath- 
ering such printed material became a major GID project and acquis- 
itions were made on a mass basis. 

Detectives were sent to local radical publishing houses and 
to take their books. In addition, they were to find every pri- 
vate collection or library in the possession of any radical, and 
to make the arrangements for obtaining them in their en- 
tirety. Thus, when the GID discovered an obscure Italian- 
born philosopher who had a unique collection of books on the 
theory of anarchism, his lodgings were raided by the Bureau 

lUd., p. 85. 
' lUd., pp. 86-87. 


and his valuable collection became one more involuntary con- 
tribution to the huge and ever-growing library of the GID. 

Similar contributions came from others, among them the 
anarchist philosophers who had retired to farms or elsewhere. 
A number of them had, over the years, built up private li- 
braries in pursuit of their studies ; these are discovered by the 
General Intelligence Division, and it was soon able to report 
that "three of the most complete libraries on anarchy were 
seized." The Bureau took over the contents of a school library 
which it discovered in a rural community of radicals. It also 
obtained the library of a boys' club, and assured Congress 
that the library was "in possession of this department. . . ." 
Catalogs of these acquisitions were prepared, including a 
"catalog of the greatest library in the country which contains 
anarchistic books." 

In the search for literature, the Bureau sent many of its 
men to join radical organizations, to attend radical meetings, 
and to bring back whatever they could lay their hands on. 
The book-seekers, and the raiding detectives tipped off by 
them, were directed to find the places where specially valu- 
able books, pamphlets, and documents might be guarded 
against possible burglaiy ; they were to ransack desks, to tap 
ceilings and walls ; carpets and mattresses had to be ripped 
up, and safes opened; everything "hanging on the walls 
should be gathered up" — so the official instructions to the 
detectives read.^^ 

In an attempt to improve upon the wartime surveillance records of 
the Bureau, and to enhance the GID information store. Hoover cre- 
ated a card file system containing "a census of every person and group 
believed by his detectives to hold dangerous ideas." 

The index also had separate cards for "publications," and 
for "special conditions" — a phrase the meaning of which has 
never been made clear. In addition, Mr. Hoover's index sepa- 
rately assembled all radical matters pertaining to each city 
in which there were radicals. Each card recorded full details 
about its subject — material regarded by the detectives as re- 
vealing each man's seditious ideas, and data needed to enable 
the Government's espionage service to find him quickly when 
he was wanted for shadowing or for arrest. The Intelligence 
Division reported that its task was complicated by reason of 
"the fact that one of the main characteristics of the radicals 
in the United States is found in their migratory nature." 

The GID assured Congress that Mr. Hoover had a group of 
experts "especially trained for the purpose." This training 
program was directed to making them "well informed upon 
the general movements in the territory over which they have 
supervision;" they were also trained to manage and develop 
the intricate index ; and they had to keep up with its fabu- 
lous growth. The first disclosure by the GID showed 100,000 
radicals on the index ; the next, a few months later, 200,000 ; 

^ lUd., pp. 87-88. 


the third, a year later, 450,000. Within the first two and one- 
half years of indexing, the General Intelligence Division had 
approximately half a million persons cataloged, inventoried, 
and secretly recorded in Government records as dangerous 
men and women. 

A considerably older unit of the Department of Justice, 
its Bureau of Criminal Identification, had long maintained 
an index of actual criminals. In 1923, after several years of 
trying, the Bureau of Investigation took over the older bureau 
and the 750,000-name index it had developed in the course of 
a quarter of a century. Whether the two indices were merged 
or kept separate has not been announced. Hence, when Mr. 
Hoover stated in 1926 that his Bureau's index contained 
1,500,000 names, it is not clear whether this was the total for 
both indices or for one only.^^ 

Also, in addition to indexing radicals, GID prepared biographical 
profiles of certain of them deemed to be of special importance. 

The writing up of lives and careers proceeded rapidly, so 
that within three and one-half months of the GID's existence 
its biographical writers had written "a more or less complete 
history of over 60,000 radically inclined individuals," accord- 
ing to the official information supplied the Senate. Included 
were biographies of persons "showing any connection with an 
ultra- radical body or movement," in particular "authors, pub- 
lishers, editors, etc." 

Eigorous secrecy has been imposed on the list of names of 
newspapermen, authors, printers, editors, and publishers who 
were made the subjects of GID's biographical section. How 
many additional biographies have been written since the mid- 
dle of November 1919, who were the GID's first or later biog- 
raphers, how they were trained so promptly, and how they 
managed to write 60,000 biographies in 100 days — these ques- 
tions have never been answered.^^ 

Besides all of this activity, the General Intelligence Division pre- 
pared and circulated a special weekly intelligence report. 

For this purpose, the Division first "engaged in the collec- 
tion, examination, and assimilation of all information re- 
ceived from the field force or from other sources." On the ba- 
sis of such preparation, it drafted a report, every week, on the 
state of radicalism in America that week. Only top echelon 
people in the Government of the United States were allowed 
to see these secret reports : their names could not be disclosed, 
nor could the GID describe them to Congress any more 
revealingly than to say that they were "such officials as by the 
nature of their duties are entitled to the information." Every 
copy that left the closely guarded Washington headquarters 
of GID left only "under i^roper protection." Congress was in- 
formed that the weekly GID bulletin covered three classes of 

'Tbid., pp. 90-91. 
* Ibid., p. 91. 


facts : First, "the entire field of national and international op- 
erations;" second, "the latest authoritative statements or def- 
initions of tactics, programs, principles or platforms of 
organizations or movements;" and third, "a bird's eye view 
of all situations at home or abroad which will keep the officials 
properly informed." ^* 

Such were the Bureau of Investigation's efforts at intelligence oper- 
ations and the generation of an intelligence product during World 
War I and the years immediately following. As a consequence of both 
presidential and public displeasure with Attorney General Harry M. 
Daugherty, new leadership came to the Justice Department in 1924 ; 
Harlan F. Stone became Attorney General and J. Edgar Hoover as- 
sumed the leadership of the Bureau of Investigation. Official concern 
with radicals diminished when a more conscientious effort at respon- 
sible law enforcement Avas made by Stone in his attempt to instill 
public confidence in the agency which Daugherty had sullied and 
which had to deal with the bold advances of organized crime and the 
gangsterism brought on by National Prohibition. 

IV. American Protective League 

The understaffed nature of the Federal intelligence institutions and 
mounting fears of internal subversion, disloyalty, and espionage con- 
spiracies among the American public during the world war prompted 
an extraordinary development in intelligence practices : the cultivation 
of a private organization to provide supplementary assistance to gov- 
ernment agencies having responsibilities for the detection surveil- 
lance, and capture of individuals thought to be a threat to the nation's 
security. Just before the eru])tion of hostilities in Europe, the Bureau 
of Investigation had fostered an informer network in efforts to combat 
white slave traffic. 

In 1912, Bureau Chief A. Bruce Bielaski directed his 
agents to ask waiters, socialites, and members of various 
organizations to eavesdrop on private conversations and to 
forward tips to Bureau offices if their suspicions were aroused. 
Many prosecutions had resulted from these tips. From using 
volunteers against organized vice to using them against con- 
spiracy to commit espionage and sabotage was an easy 

What made the espionage-sabotage detection arrangement unique 
was its private organization character : it functioned as an institution 
in parallel to the Federal intelligence agencies. Called the American 
Protective League, the group was a ])roduct of the efforts of Chicago 
advertising executive Albert M. Briggs and two other wealthy busi- 
nessmen, Victor Elting and Charles D. Frey.^*' In late 1916, BrigffS 
became concerned about the inadequate strength and equipment of the 
Bureau of Investigation and subsequently urged Bureau Chief Bie- 
laski and Attorney General Thomas W. Gregory to establish an auxil- 

^ Ibid., p. 92. 
^ Jensen, op. cit., p. 19. 

^ For the authorized, but unreliable, history of the League see Emerson Hough. 
The Web. Chicago, The Reilly and Lee Company, 1919. 


iary force to assist in pursiiino; security risks. As presented to the 
Justice Department, Briggs' proposal gave the following details. 

Its Purpose : A volunteer organization to aid the Bureau 
of Investigation of the Department of Justice. 

The Object : To work with and under the direction of the 
Chief of the Bureau of Investigation, of the Department of 
Justice, or such attorney or persons as he may direct, render- 
ing such service as may be required from time to time. 

Membership : This organization is to be composed of citi- 
zens of good moral character who shall volunteer their service 
and who may be acceptable to your Department. 

Construction : It is proposed that national headquarters 
be established either in Washington, or perhaps, Chicago, be- 
cause of its geograj^hical location, and that branch organiza- 
tions be established in such cities as your Department may 

Finances: It is proposed that headquarters organization 
and branch organizations shall finance themselves either by 
outside subscriptions or by its members. 

Control : It is proposed that each unit of this organization 
shall be under the control of the Government but will report 
to and be under the direction of the nearest Department of 
Justice headquarters.^^ 

Approval of the idea was given on March 20, 1917, and cities with 
high alien populations were targeted as organization centers for the 
A.P.L. "Notices went out the same da^^ to Bureau agents across the 
country announcing that Briggs was forming 'a volunteer committee 
or organization of citizens for the purpose of co-operating with the 
department in securing information of activities of agents of foreign 
governments or persons unfriendly to this Government, for the pro- 
tection of public property, etc' " ^^ The group would supply informa- 
tion upon request and at its own volition, was to operate in a con- 
fidential manner, and could exercise no arrest power "except after 
consultation with the Federal authorities," according to Bielaski's 

APL organizing activities proceeded with great speed and 
amazing secrecy, in view of the method of recruiting and the 
numbers of individuals involved, during the first war months. 
Not until September, 1917, did miniscule newspaper notices 
acknowledge publicly the existence of the league; Justice 
Department requests to publishers for cooperation in retain- 
ing APL anonymity achieved results. In midsummer, 1917, 
the league numbered 90,000 membei-s organized in 600 locals. 
By war's end 350,000 APL agents staffed 1,400 local units 
across the coimtry. By January, 1918, every Federal attorney 
had an APL local at his disposal. From a free taxi service in 
Chicago, the APL developed swiftly into a nationwide 

" Jensen, op. cit., pp. 22-23. 
^Ihld., pp. 24-25. 

^^ Harold M. Hyman. To Try Men's Souls: Loyalty Tests in American History. 
Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1959, p. 273. 


With the national office in Washington, League locals received 
instructions through State directors, who also functioned as internal 
inspectors general for the organizations, and directly from head- 
quarters.^" Out of the capital command post flowed circular instruc- 
tions to locals, manuals of operation, assignments to investigations, 
and the League's weekly journal, the Spy Glass. Funding appears to 
have been entirely private, deriving from contributions and member- 
ship fees. 

At the local level, organization followed a military pattern with 
ranks, badges, and sworn oaths of loyalty. Large factories and 
businesses with many League members in their employ became self- 
contained divisions with a pyramid-structured leadership.^^ But, while 
the A.P.L. was a mass membership group, recruitment was selective 
and class conscious. 

With great acuity the league directors searched among the 
upper social, economic, and political crust of each community 
for local chiefs and members. Bankers, businessmen, mayors, 
police chiefs, postmasters, ministers, attorneys, newspaper 
editors, officers of religious, charitable, fraternal, and 
patriotic societies, factoryowners and foremen, YMCA 
workers and chamber of commerce leaders, insurance com- 
pany executives, and teachers were favored sources of league 
personnel. Such men possessed means and leisure to devote to 
APL work, and opened their professional, business, and 
official records for APL use. Many were also members of 
draft boards, war-bond sale committees, food- and ^u el- 
rationing units, and state defense councils, aifording tho, 
league illicit access to information denied even to commis- 
sioned government investigators.*'^ 

The intelligence mission which most often inspired Leaguers to 
probe privileged files and otherwise private depositories of personal 
information was its responsibility as primary loyalty investigator for 
the civil and military services. 

When the war started no adequate mechanism existed for 
security clearances. The APL, with Gregory's permission, 
assumed this task. APL instruction manuals and special issues 
of the Spy Glass offered neophyte APL investigators advice 
on how to make character investigations. One such article 
suggested that the final success or failure of American arms 
would depend upon the quality of officer leadership. Every 
applicant for a military commission, every civil servant with 
more than clerical responsibilities, all welfare group officials 
who were to do overseas work, rated loyalty investigations. 
The APL newspaper warned leaguers that a loyalty inquiry 
irnplied no guilt, and that unjustified innuendos of disloyalty 
might ruin a career and a life. A confidential APL manual 
warned that "no two oases are exactly alike for the reason 
that no two men are exactly alike." The pamphlet advised 
all APL loyalty testers to examine a substantial cross section 
of the subject's ancestors in enemy countries, his social, po- 

^ See Jensen, op. cit., pp. 130-134. 
*' See Ibid., pp. 25-26. 
*^ Hyman, op. cit., p. 275. 


litical, and church affiliations, his attitude toward the Lusi- 
tania sinking and the rape of Belgium, what he had said 
about war bonds, draft dodgers, and the Espionage Act. Had 
he purchased enough bonds, dug victory gardens, and ap- 
peared at patriotic rallies ? Did neighbors recall untoward 
statements he might have made, did he own stock in enemy- 
held corporations, was his labor union respectable ? But cau- 
tion was the watchword in loyalty-hunting, and the manual 
pleaded for objectivity and fullness in re^^orting. Officials 
would normally put full credence in the decision of the 
loyalty investigator; APL reports received almost complete 
acceptance in Washington. Thus the APL agents became 
the judge, the jury, and sometimes the executioner in the lives 
of many who knew nothing of its existence.^^ 

The League became active in other Federal policy areas apart from 
loyalty investigation, including capturing suspicious immigrants,®* 
enforcing liquor and vice control around military cantonments,®^ 
investigating the background of certain passport applicants,®® and 
probing the qualifications of persons applying for American 

Aside from the Bureau of Investigation, the League's other great 
champion and supporter was Colonel Ralph Van Deman and the Mili- 
tary Intelligence Division of tHe War Department. Van Deman had 
sought League assistance shortly after it was established.®^ Later, 
M.I.D. crushed efforts to create a competitor to the A.P.L. and directed 
that field personnel use only League assistance in civilian investiga- 
tions.®^ In the matter of policing war material production plants under 
strike, the League and Military Intelligence worked closely to control 
labor unrest.'® 

Eventually, both Justice and War would sour on the zealous antics 
of the A.P.L., trampling personnel sanctities, privacy, and civil lib- 
erties. Badges, which bore the legend "Secret Service" for a time, 
were flaunted as official authority to do about anything the bearers 
wanted to do; Treasury Secretary ]\rc ^ doo T^rotested that they gave 
the public the impression that their holders were agents from his De- 
partment, a viewpoint wliich T ea^ruers did little to discourage."^ 
A.P.L. raiders made arrests without proper authorization and many 
carried firearms on their missions. In an e^ort to assist the Justice 
Department, some League locals even tapped and tampered with tele- 
graph and telephone lines."^ 

Even when APL'ers contented themselves with investiga- 
tions, the result was wholesale abuse of civil liberties and in- 
vasions of privacy. An investigation typically began with a 
request forwarded from APL headquarters in Wnshington 
to the city chief, who assigned the case to one of his opera- 

'lUd., pp. 276-277. 

"^IMd., pp. 276-277. 

°^ Jensen, op. cit., p. 127. 

^Ihid., p. 135 ; Hyman, op. cit., pp. 276, 180-185. 

" Jensen, op. cit., pp. 178-179. 

'"Ihid., p. 243. 

** lUd., p. 86. 

*" Ibid., p. 122. 

''"Ibid., pp. 276, 27^-280, 286. 

'^ Ibid., pp. 48-49. 

" Ibid., pp. 149-150. 


tives. Once the operative received this request, he had numer- 
ous investigative weapons from which to choose. Member- 
ship in the APL provided each operative with an entree to 
the records of banks and other financial institutions; of real 
estate transactions, medical records, and, inevitably,^ legal 
records. Any material ordinarily considered confidential by 
private firms or corporations could be made available to 
operatives. Even institutions customarily regarded as reposi- 
tories of confidence and trust compromised their standards. 
Bishop Theodore Henderson helped to spread the APL 
throughout the Methodist Church, with the result that Meth- 
odist ministers could often be approached for information 
about members of their congregations. Liaison was also estab- 
lished with Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant churches. The 
Maryland Casualty Company of Baltimore asked its agents 
throughout the country to join the League so that insurance 
information was readily available. Private detective agencies 
would check old records and disclose their contents. Anti- 
labor and nativistic groups opened their secret files to the 

Official interest in the services of the A.P.L. waned with the arrival 
of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer in the spring of 1919. The 
death knell sounded with the arrival of the Republicans two years 
later. Still the old ties were not easily broken. 

As late as 1924 Military Intelligence officers were being in- 
structed to maintain friendly relations with former APL 
members as well as other counterradical groups who might 
be called upon in time of trouble. Counterespionage investi- 
gations had been discontinued, but questionnaires were being 
sent out to collect information on domestic affairs. A few men 
in the Military Intelligence realized that the MID's roving 
activities among the civilian population had given them an 
"evil reputation" that they must live down by scrupulously 
avoiding civilian investigations in the future. One book on 
Military Intelligence, published in 1924, alarmed some offi- 
cers because it told how the secret service of the general staff 
had operated far beyond military limits. But 1924 marked the 
end of anti-radical activity for both the War Department 
and the Justice Department.'^^ 

No agency of the Federal government would ever again attempt 
to cultivate so ambitious and visible an intelligence auxiliary as the 
American Protective League.^^ 

"^ Ibid., p. 148. 

''^ Ibid., p. 288. 

'^Nevertheless, there are private intelligence organizations in existence today 
which, as part of an anti-communist program, maintain vast flies on the political 
activities of their fellow Americans : prominent among these groups are the 
American Security Council and the Church League of America. See: Harold 
C. Relyea. Hawks Nest: The American Security Council. The Nation, v. 214, 
January 24, 1972 : 113-117 ; George Thayer. The Farther Shores of Polities. New 
York, Simon and Schuster, 1967, pp. 256-262 ; Wallace Turner. Anti-Communist 
Council Prepares A Voting 'Index' on Congress. New York Times, August 17, 
1970 ; William W. Turner. Power On The Right. Berkeley, Ramparts Press, 1971, 
pp. 134-140, 199-215. 


V. Other Factors 

In addition to the War, Navy, and Justice Department intelligence 
organizations, there were also various Federal investigative agencies 
which, during and immediately after the war, engaged in activities 
bearing upon the intelligence function but not clearly resulting in an 
intelligence product. 

By authority of its organic act (22 Stat. 403) of 1883, the Civil 
Service Commission was empowered, indeed, required, to make investi- 
gations in the enforcement of its rules. Trained personnel, however, 
were not immediately available for this task. 

Without a staff of investigators, the Civil Service Com- 
mission couldn't make any personal investigations to deter- 
mine the character or fitness of the job applicants. The 
Commissioners had to rely on questionnaires filled out by the 
job-hunters and vouchers certifying they were of "good moral 

In 1913, however, Congress for the first time allowed [38 
Stat. 465] the Commission to hire investigators. To get 
trained men, the Commission tapped the Postal Inspection 
Service for four investigators who concentrated mainly on 
charges of misconduct. 

In 1917, President Wilson made the first stab at the type 
of investigation that occupies most of the time of the Civil 
Service Commission's sleuths today. He issued an order re- 
quiring the commission to investigate the experience, fitness, 
character, success and adaptability of applicants for the job 
of postmaster where the incumbent was not to be reappointed. 
For the first time, the investigators were to look behind the 
answers on questionnaires and make personal investigations 
into the background of the job-seekers.^'' 

It was also in 1917 that the Chief Executive, by confidential direc- 
ti v^e, instructed the Commission to 

. . . remove any employee when . . . the retention of such 
employee would be inimical to the public welfare by reasons 
of his conduct, sympathies, or utterances, or because of other 
reasons growing out of the war. Such removal may be made 
without other formality than that the reasons shall be made a 
matter of confidential record, subject, however, to inspection 
by the Civil Service Commission. 

Commenting on the Commission's operationalization of this author- 
ity, one expert in this policy area has said : 

The Civil Service Commission assumed the power to refuse all 
applications for employment "if there was a reasonable belief 
that . . . [this] appointment was inimical to the public interest 
owing to . . . lack of loyalty." Its agents conducted 135 loyalty 
investigations in 1917, and 2,537 more in 1918. In the latter 
year 660 applicants were debarred from federal employment 
for questionable loyalty, a tiny percentage of the total of fed- 
eral workers. But there were many agencies not under com- 

" Miriam Ottenberg. The Federal Investigators. Englewood Cliffs, Prentice- 
Hall, 1962, pp. 232-233. 

70-890 O - 76 - 8 


mission control, and thousands of loyalty investigations were 
conducted by other internal security agencies. Despairing of 
slow civil service recuiting practices, federal departments em- 
ployed tens of thousands of workers outside civil service pro- 
cedures, with the result that the established loyalty regula- 
tions were only partially effective in their coverage/^ 

This type of investigation virtually ceased with the end of the war. 
The Commission did, however, continue its inquiries into the fitness 
and character of certain new applicants, such as those seeking postmas- 
ter positions, and loyalty-security checks would not enter consideration 
again until warfare once more engulfed Europe.^^ 

The new kind of investigative work prompted the Commis- 
sion to establish a separate Division of Investigation and Re- 
view in 1920. The following year, the President ordered the 
Civil Service Commission to investigate postmasters for reap- 
pointment as well as for their original appointment. 

Law enforcement officers were the next to come under the 
personal scrutiny of the Civil Service Conunission's investi- 
gators. When Congress, in 1927, brought all positions in the 
Bureau of Prohibition into the classified civil service, the 
Conunission decided the prohibition enforcers should be in- 
vestigated because of the special temptations that came their 
way. To carry out this chore, the Commission hastily recruited 
and trained 40 investigators. 

In two years, the investigators completed more than 3,000 
investigations into the background of Bureau of Prohibition 
employees. The results were startling. About 40 per cent of 
those investigated — including many already working for the 
Bureau of Prohibition — had records which showed them unfit 
for Federal service. 

The Commission, with the blessing of Congress, decided it 
had better take a look into the background of other law en- 
forcement officers. It doubled its investigative staff and started 
making personal investigations of customs inspectors and bor- 
der patrolmen. 

By 1939, the Commission's investigative program required 
investigations of the character and fitness of job applicants 
wdierever practicable. Since its sights were set higher than its 
funds, however, it could only use its authority to check on the 
background of those going into key positions. 

Up to this time, the question of loyalty to the Government 
had been recognized as something to consider, but it hadn't 
played a major part in investigations. Congress and the Com- 
mission had been more concerned with cleaning up political 
favoritism in Federal Jobs and rooting out criminal elements 
and ofrafters."^ 

'^ Hyman, op cit., p. 269; the portion of the Presidenfs confidential directive 
quoted above appears in Ihid., pp. 268-269. 

™ The most ambitious loyalty-security program was established after World 
War II ; see Eleanor Bontecou. The Federal Loyalty-Security Program. Ithaca, 
Cornell Univesrity Press, 1953. 

™ Ottenberg, op. cit., pp. 233-234. 


On the eve of World War II, the Civil Service Commission had 
both the techniques and available loyalty-security files to again screen 
Federal employees. The files could have been scrutinized by other gov- 
ernment agencies in pursuit of an intelligence objective or utilized by 
the Commission itself to contribute to an intelligence product. It 
would seem quite apparent, in any regard, that the Commission's in- 
vestigative files had a potential for intelligence matters. 

The Post Office Department, temporarily established in 1789 (1 
Stat. 70) and given Cabinet status in 1872 (17 Stat. 283), also devel- 
oped the potential for providing an intelligence product with regard 
to both criminal detection and internal security matters. Investiga- 
tions on behalf of this agency trace their origins to the pre-Federal era 
when Benjamin Franklin, appointed Postmaster General by the Con- 
tinental Congress, created the position of "surveyor of the Post Of- 
fice," the predecessor to modern postal inspectors. T\Tien Congress 
created (21 Stat. 177) the Chief Post Office Inspector position in 
1880, a force of ninety men were ready for investigative duties within 
the department.^" Prior to World War I, the inspectors cooperated 
with the Treasury and Justice Departments in preventing frauds 
against the government, robberies of mail, and other crimes within 
the Federal purview and postal service jurisdiction. During the war, 
inspectors assisted the military and naval authorities and the Justice 
Department in monitoring foreign mail traffic and identifying espio- 
nage networks. To the extent that an information store was main- 
tained on these criminal and security matters, such materials would 
seem to have a potential for contributing to an intelligence product. 
As in the case of the Civil Service Commission, these holdings could 
have been examined by other government agencies in pursuit of an 
intelligence objective or utilized by the Post Office Department itself 
for such purpose. 

From the earliest days of the Republic, special care had been taken 
to protect American diplomatic communications through the use of 
codes and ciphers, the creation of secure facilities, and qualification 
tests for all persons entrusted with such communiques. 

It took the twentieth century, however, with its interna- 
tional stresses, its hot and cold wars, to propel the State De- 
partment into establishing a security force. In 1916. Secre- 
tary of State Robert Lansing created a Bureau of Secret 
Intelligence headed by a Chief Special Agent. It was such a 
hush-hush outfit that the Chief Special Agent drew his oper- 
ating funds from a confidential account and even paid his 
agents by personal check. 

The Chief Special Agent's job was to advise the Secretary 
of State on matters of intelligence and security. By 1921, his 
staff amounted to 25 men. 

One of the first problems of these special agents involved 
passports and visas. Beginning in 1914, European nations 
began demanding proof of identity. The XTnited States had 
previously issued passports on request but most people didn't 

*• See IMd., 310-313 ; of related interest, see : E. J. Kahn. Jr. Fraud. New York. 
Harper and Row, 1973 ; P. H. Woodward. The Secret Service of the Post Office 
Department. Hartford, Connecticut, Winter and Company, 1886. 


bother to get them. With the outbreak of World War I, 
United States missions abroad were authorized to issue 
emergency passports but by the end of 1918, Congress passed 
a law [40 Stat. 559] requiring every departing American to 
have a passport from the State Department and every alien 
to show a passport from his homeland and a visa from one 
of our consular offices before he could enter this country. 

The Chief Special Agent's force started sorting out Ameri- 
can Communists seeking passports for trips to Moscow and 
So^aet agents using fraudulent passports. Through the 1920's 
and 1930's, the State Department investigators uncovered 
passport frauds world-wide in scope and involving chains 
of subversive agents on four continents. The investigators 
pinned down the Soviet use of American passports taken 
from American volunteers in the Spanish civil war, exposed 
several elaborate passport frauds to supply traveling Com- 
munists and thwarted at least two N^azi espionage plots cen- 
tering on the use of American passports. 

With the outbreak of World War II, the Chief Special 
Agent's office was expanded to cope with the problem of in- 
terning and exchanging diplomatic officials of enemy powers 
and screening Americans — or those claiming American citi- 
zenship — after they were expatriated from enemy controlled 

Granted authority (12 Stat. 713 at 726) in 1863 to appoint not more 
than three revenue agents, the Treasuiy Department, by the time of 
American entry into World War I, had a variety of investigative 
arms, each with a potential for contributing to the intelligence effort. 
In addition to the Customs Division, the Secret Service gathered in- 
formation pursuant to its mission of protecting the President, con- 
ducted security investigations of government and war production 
facilities, made loyalty checks on the employees of some agencies, 
cooperated with the Food Administration and War Trade Board in 
uncovering violations of the Food and Fuel Control Act (40 Stat. 
276), and uncovered fraudulent activities in connection with war 
risk insurance. Often during the war years the Secret Service and 
Justice Department's Bureau of Investigation duplicated each other's 
efforts and quarreled over jurisdictions.^^ Treasury Secretary McAdoo 
also vigorously protested the use of the "Secret Service" referent on 
American Protective League badges and documents, arguing that 
the Attorney General should halt this practice by his auxiliary allies. 
In his disputes with Justice over these various matters, Secretary 
McAdoo had proposed the creation of a central intelligence agency to 
coordinate the various intelligence activities and operations occurring 
durinj? the war.^^ 

Additional wartime taxes and controls on the production of dis- 
tilled spirits and intoxicating liquors also added to the Treasury De- 
partment's surveillance duties. 

^Ottenberg, op. cit., pp. 26-27. 

^ See Jensen, op. cit., pp. 40-41, 91-93, 95-97. 

^ See ihid., pp. 40-41, 54, 95-96. 


Internal Revenue's Intelligence Division started out more 
as a weapon against corruption within the service than crime 
without. Early in 1919, Commissioner of Internal Revenue 
Daniel C. Roper, who later became Secretary of Commerce, 
began to hear sordid complaints that some of his tax-collect- 
ing employees were taking bribes or extorting money from 
taxpayers. Mr. Roper had previously served as First Assist- 
ant Postmaster General and knew the work of the postal 
inspectors in ferreting out dishonest employees as well as 
mail fraud. He wanted a similar unit in Internal Revenue, 
and he wanted to man it with postal inspectors. 

On July 1, 1919, six postal inspectors were transferred to 
the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Their assignment: to in- 
vestigate serious violations of revenue laws through collusion, 
conspiracy, extortion, bribary or any other manipulation 
aimed at defrauding the government of taxes.^* 

During the war the Justice Department bore the responsibility of 
controlling aliens and alien property. The Bureau of Immigration 
and Naturalization (then located in the Department of Labor) appar- 
ently had no investigators, as such, of its own and seems to have uti- 
lized agents from the Justice Department's Bureau of luA^estigation 
to monitor espionage suspects entering the United States as aliens. 
The Secret Service also was active in alien surveillance. 

Within the Justice Department there was established, under the au- 
thority of the Trading With the Enemy Act (40 Stat. 415) , an Office 
of Alien Property Custodian which was to receive, administer, and 
account for money and property within the United States belonging 
to a declared enemy or ally of such enemy.^^ A. Mitchell Palmer held 
the Custodian's position until he became Attorney General in 1919 and 
Francis P. Garvan took over the duties of the office. The unit had its 
own investigation bureau, created shortly after the agency was estab- 
lished, which lasted until 1921. As noted with other investigatiA'e 
bodies, the Office of Alien Property Custodian had a potential for con- 
tributing to an intelligence product, but it is not known to what 
extent, if any, such actually occurred. 

There is also evidence of some type of intelligence activity on the 
part of the Federal government with regard to foreign trade. After 
the United States formally entered the war, the President, in August, 
1917, created the Exports Administrative Board, which replaced the 
Exports Licenses Division of the Commerce Department, to adminis- 
ter and execute the laws relating to the licensing of exports. The 
Board had a War Trade Intelligence Section which apparently did 
some investigative work. In October, 1917, the War Trade Board was 
created (E.O. 2729- A), succeeding the Exports Administrative Board. 
Three days after this entity came into being, a AYar Trade Intelligence 
Bureau was established to replace the War Trade Intelligence Section 
of the E.A.B. The duties of the Bureau were to determine the enemy 
or non-enemy status or affiliations of persons trading with any indiv- 
idual or firm' in the United States, to supply the Enemy Trade Bureau 

Ottenberg, op. cit., p. 252. 
■ See Willoughby, op. cit. pp. 319-327. 


with information concerning applicants for licenses to trade with the 
enemy, and to act as a clearinghouse for war trade intelligence for the 
United States and its allies.^*' Once again, the intelligence potential 
for such an investigative body is recognized, but its actual contribu- 
tion to an intelligence product cannot be determined. In May of 1919 
the Intelligence Bureau was absorbed by the Enemy Trade Bureau 
and a month later the entire War Trade Board was transferred to the 
State Department. 

VI. Red Scare 

In the closing weeks of World War I, fears of revolutionaries, 
anarchitsts, Bolsheviks, radicals and communists began to mount in 
America. A series of bombings aimed at public officials, labor unrest, 
remnants of wartime hysteria and xenophobia, and zealous govern- 
ment investigators eager to prove their worth in ferreting out the 
despoilers of democracy contributed to the frenzy.^^ Reflective of this 
mood, Congress, in late 1918, enacted (40 Stat. 1012) legislation de- 
signed to exclude and expel from the United States certain aliens 
belonging to anarchistic groups or otherwise found to be in sym- 
pathy with the tenets of anarchism. The opening paragraph of the 
statute stipulated. 

That aliens who are anarchists; aliens who believe in or 
advocate the overthrow by force or violence of the Govern- 
ment of the United States or of all forms of law ; aliens who 
disbelieve in or are opposed to all organized government; 
aliens who advocate or teach the assassination of public offi- 
cials; aliens who advocate or teach the unlawful destruction 
of property; aliens who are members of or affiliated with 
any organization that entertains a belief in, teaches, or ad- 
vocates the overthrow by force or violence of the Government 
of the United States or of all forms of law, or that entertains 
or teaches disbelief in or opposition to all organized govern- 
ment, or that advocates the duty, necessity, or propriety of 
the unlawful assaulting or killing of any officer or officers, 
either of specific individuals or of officers generally, of the 
Government of the United States or of any other organized 
government, because of his or their official character, or that 
advocates or teaches the unlawful destruction of property 
shall be excluded from admission into the United States. 

Although this law was not a criminal statute, did not outlaw speci- 
fied beliefs and actions, and contained no authority for prosecution, it 
soon became a punitve device in the hands of the new Attorney Gen- 
eral, Alexander Mitchell Palmer. A former Democratic Member of 
the House of Representatives from Pennsylvania (1909-1915) and 
recently the Alien Property Custodian (1917-1919), Palmer came to 
the Wilson Cabinet as the country's chief legal officer in March, 1919. 

"' See Ihid., pp. 128-143. 

*' On the mood of the country at this time, see Murray B. Levin. Political 
Hysteria In America. New York, Basic BoolvS, 1971 ; for a concise history of 
this episode, see Robert K. Murray. The Red Scare: A Study in National Hys- 
teria. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1955. 


He rode the tide of prevailing sentiment and launched an attack upon 
radicals of all persuasion, perhaps in an effort to marshal public 
opinion in an eventual bid for the White House. 

The atmosphere which prevailed after World War I was 
such that anti-radicalism and xenophobia became insepar- 
ably fused. Thus, the deportation statute was made to order 
for an Attorney General who combined with his own per- 
son an overdose of the spirit of the times and a will to propel 
himself into the limelight as the very model of a modern 

The anti-radicalism of that period was not much ado about 
nothing. Rather, it was much too much ado about some- 
thing : a gross over-reaction. For a host of Americans, a real 
problem had assumed fictional proportions. 

Radical violence existed. Its adv^ocates were, for the most 
part, members of the Industrial Workers of the World, Bol- 
sheviks, or members of one wing of the anarchist movement — 
the other wing being pacifist. The hopes to which the revolu- 
tionary radicals geared their actions were wildly unrealistic. 
There was no danger of their overthrowing the Government. 
But there was danger of their causing an intolerable destruc- 
tion of life and property.*^ 

The wonder of the episode is that the intelligence agencies failed 
so badly in conveying the reality of the situation; the truth of the 
experience is that accurate intelligence was not sought and political 
expedience otherwise, ruled the day. Palmer gave the Bureau of 
Investigation the primary investigative/enforcement mission. The 
other intelligence units were either incapable or unwilling to temper, 
qualify, or modify the assault which manifested itself in raids, 
harassments, arrests, and expulsions from the land. 

The Labor Department had jurisdiction over the deporta- 
tion statute. Secretary of Labor [William B.] Wilson was 
responsible for deciding which bodies, by reason of their 
beliefs and practices, so clearly fitted the terms of the statute 
that membership in them w^ould be sufficient basis for an 
alien's being deported. He named the Communist Party ; and 
the Department's Solicitor, called upon to make a decision 
when the Secretary was absent, named the Communist Labor 
Party — a decision which Mr. Wilson reversed some months 
later. These two parties were the prime targets of Palmer's 
"Red raids." 

Arrest warrants had to be issued by Labor; but Justice, 
in a cooperating capacity, could request their issuance — and 
did so in wholesale lots. After arrests were made, the evidence 
was turned over to the Secretary of Labor. The Assistant 
Secretary, Louis B. Post, had the task of evaluating the 
evidence to determine whether or not it justified, in individual 
cases, the signing of deportation orders. 

*® Overstreet, op. cit., p. 41. 


These details may seem academic. But one factor which led, 
in the end, to Congressional hearings and an aroused public 
interest was a collision between the Attorney General's policy 
of mass arrests and Post's policy of judging cases on an 
individual basis — and cancelling a host of warrants.®^ 

The first raids on alleged anarchists and radicals occurred in 
November, 1919, but it was in January the following year when 
massive dragnet operations began in earnest. In spite of Post's cautious 
administration, it has been estimated that more than 4,000 suspected 
alien radicals were imprisoned during the winter of 1919-1920 and 
eventually the deportation of "a wretched few hundred aliens, who 
never had the opportunity to plead their innocence and whose guilt 
the government never proved." ^^ 

And what were the techniques of the Bureau of Investigation in 
pursuing the radical quarry? Tactics utilized included reliance on 
undercover informants to identify and locate suspects,^^ keeping State 
and local authorities ignorant of moves against suspects so that 
Federal supremacy in this area of arrests would be assured,''^ and 
engaging in the physical entrapment of suspects. 

The radicals seemed so numerous that GID [Hoover's 
General Intelligence Division] decided to try to herd big 
groups of them into meeting halls on the nights assigned for 
raiding their membership. The way this was done in the case 
of the Communists was revealed in the secret instructions to 
the Bureau's special agents from its headquarters dated 
December 27, 1919 in a document which the Bureau's agents, 
were required to produce in . . . [a] . . . Boston trial. It 

"If possible, you should arrange with your undercover 
informants to have meetings of the Communist Party and 
Communist Labor Party held on the night set. 

"I have been informed by some of the Bureau officers that 
such arrangements will be made. This, of course, would 
facilitate the making of arrest." ^^ 

Other practices included night raids to facilitate obtaining con- 
fessions and to discourage interference by counsel,^* coordination of 
all raids from Washington by communications with intelligence chief 
Hoover,**^ simultaneous arrest of all suspects, whether at the target 
meeting halls or in their homes,^** and a heirarchy of arrest locations. 

The places where the largest hauls might be expected were 
the meeting rooms of the radical organizations. Next in im- 

^^ Ibid., pp. 42-43; for his own account of these matters see Louis F. Post. The 
Deportations Delirium of Nineteen-Ttventy. Chicago, Charles H. Kerr and 
Company, 1923. 

™ Hyman, op. cit., p. 320. 

"^ See Lowenthal, op. cit., pp. 149, 153. 

^ See Ihid., p. 149. 

"= Ibid. 

'* See Ibid., pp. 156, 161. 

"' See Ibid., p. 156. 

^ See Ibid., p. 157. 


portance were the choral societies and the schools for foreign- 
born adults. Here the Bureau's agents picked up both teachers 
and students, including those on their way to class, and others 
on the street suspected of having that destination. 

Next in importance were small shops operated by suspected 
radicals, in which the police picked up the customers as well 
as the businessmen — this was the case at an East St. Louis 
tailor's shop, where men were standing about in the evening 
hours, chatting with the proprietor. In some exceptional 
cases, customers were left behind; thus, when a barber was 
arrested in his Bridgeport, Conn., place of business, and the 
raiders were in too big a hurry to let him get his overcoat and 
to permit him to make his premises secure, they did not bother 
to wait for the half-shaved customer in the chair. 

Other places for arresting customers in considerable num- 
bers were restaurants, cafes, bowling alleys, billiard and pool 
parlors, social rooms for playing checkers and other games, 
and similar points of resort. In cases where concerts or lec- 
tures, no matter on what subject, were being given at halls 
frequented by radicals, the raiders arrested everyone pres- 

The campaign became so enthusiastic that American citizens who 
had spent the war period overseas were seized,''^ raiders engaged in 
violence, the destruction of radical's presses, threatened suspects at 
gunpoint, and made incarcerations without arrest warrants.^^ Those 
imprisoned were harassed, coerced, and otherwise forced into con- 
fessions of guilt which were frequently thrown out by Assistant Secre- 
tary Post or rejected by the courts.^"" Similarly, the Bureau delayed 
and denied bail to jailed suspects or demanded exorbitant bonding.^"^ 

All in all, the episode demonstrated a shameless disregard for 
human rights on the part of the Justice Department, evoked a con- 
temptuous attitude toward the Bureau of Investigation on the part of 
both Congress and the public, and undoubtedly contributed in some 
degree to the failure of the Democrats to retain control of the White 
House in 1920. Better intelligence and/or the proper use of available 
intelligence might have averted the fiasco. But politics was in ascen- 
sion and intelligence activities were in decline in the aftermath of the 
war. Wliat was to follow was the further disintegration of the Justice 
Department under Harry Daugherty, the Teapot Dome scandal, 
crime wars, and the decomposition of the intelligence structure. 

YII. American Black ChmnheT 

Not everyone within the Federal intelligence community, however, 
succumbed to the pronouncements of idyllic world peace in the after- 
math of the European conflagration which witnessed the collapse of 

lUd., pp. 157-158. 

See lUd., pp. 15^160. 

See lUd., pp. 161-168, 18.S-198. 
*> See lUd., pp. 209-223. 
'' See ma., pp. 12^^Z1. 


the Hapsburg, Hohenzollern, the Romanov empires."^ For some with 
intelligence responsibilties, the war had brought their organizations 
into full flower and provided an opportunity to scrutinize the intelli- 
gence capabilities of both ally and enemy. Thus, there was an unwill- 
ingness to return to prewar intelligence infancy. And it was this cli- 
mate of opinion which fostered the creation of the secret crypt analysis 
structure which came to be known as the American Black Chamber. 

Born in April 1889, in Worthington, Indiana, Herbert O. Yardley 
had wanted to become a criminal lawyer but, after learning the skills 
of a telegraph operator, he came to the State Department in 1913 and, 
imbued with a strong sense of history and penchant for deciphering 
masked communications, he soon discovered that existing American 
codes could be easily broken. ^°^ Having attempted, with little effect, 
to encourage improvements in the diplomatic codes, Yardley ob- 
tained a commission in the Army at the time of United States entry 
into world hostilities and went to work for Ralph Van Deman and the 
Military Intelligence Division.^"^ Witliin the War Department he 
organized and directed the Cryptographic Bureau which eventually be- 
came MI-S.^""^ In August, 1918, he sailed for England where he studied 
British cryptographic and decoding methods and then went on to 
Paris to assist the American delegation to the peace conference.^"*' In 
April, 1919, Yardley returned to the United States for the scaling 
down of Military Intelligence for peacetime conditions. 

After several conferences with responsible officials of the 
State, War and Navy Departments, we decided to demobilize 
the Shorthand Subsection ; demobilize the Secret-Ink Subsec- 
tion, transfer the Code Compilation Subsection to the Signal 
Corps (. . . Army regulations required the Signal Corps to 
compile codes) ; and restore Military Intelligence Communi- 
cations to the Adjutant-General of the Army. 

This, then, left only the Code and Cipher Solution Section. 

My estimate for an efficient Cipher Bureau called for one 
hundred thousand dollars per annum. The State Depart- 
ment agreed to turn over to Militarv" Intelligence forty thou- 
sand dollars per annum out of special funds, provided the 
Navy Department was entirely excluded, for they refused to 
share their secrets with the Navy. This left, a deficit of sixty 
thousand dollars, which Military Intelligence managed to ob- 
tain from Congress after taking some of the leaders into their 
confidence. I was told that there was a joker in the Depart- 

102 rpjjg "lust" for world peace was apparent in the organization of tlie League 
of Nations and the treaties resulting from the Washington armament conference 
of 1921-1922. It reached its zenith in 1928 with the curious Kellogg-Briand Pact 
which outlawed war. Simultaneous with these developments were embittering 
encroachments and manipulations of the economics and politics of the recently 
defeated central powers by certain victors in the world war, ambitions of empire 
by the Japanese in the Pacific, and the rise of totalitarian regimes in both Europe 
and Asia. 

^"^ See David Kahn. The Code Breakers, Ret'ised Edition. New York. New 
American Library, 1973, pp. 167-168 ; Herbert O. Yardley. The Ameriean Black 
Chamher. London, Faber and Faber, 1931, pp. 3-11. 

^°* See Yardley, op. cit., pp. 11-15. 

^°» See Kahn, op. cit., pp. 168-172 ; Yardley, op. cit., pp. 15-16, 22-23. 

^°« See Kahn, op. cit., p. 172 ; Yardley, op. cit., pp. 160-166. 


ment of State special funds: they could not legally be ex- 
pended within the District of Columbia. 

Since it seemed that we could not remain in the District of 
Columbia I was commissioned to go back to New York and 
find a suitable place where the famous American Black 
Chamber could bury itself from the prying eyes of foreign 

On the first of October, the unit set up initial operations at 3 East 
38th Street in Manhattan, a former town house owned by T. Suifern 
Tailer, a New York society figure and political leader. 

It stayed there little more than a year, however, before 
moving to new quarters in a four-story brownstone at 141 
East 37th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue. It occupied 
half of the ornate, divided structure, whose high ceilings did 
little to relieve the claustrophobic construction of its twelve- 
foot-wide rooms. Yardley's apartment was on the top floor. 
All external connection with the government was cut. Rent, 
heat, office supplies, light, Yardley's salary of $7,500 a year, 
and the salaries of his staff were paid from secret funds. 
Though the office was a branch of the Military Intelligence 
Division, War Department payments did not begin until 
June 30, 1921.i''« 

All employees were relegated to civilian status. The mission : "We 
were to read the secret code and cipher diplomatic telegrams of for- 
eign governments — by such means as we could. If we were caught, it 
would be just too bad !" ^°^ Materials first came to the unit in the form 
of documents held by the State Department.^^" Japanese secret codes 
were of special interest.^" During the Washino^ton armament confer- 
ence of 1921-1922, the unit made over five thousand decipherments and 
translations.^^^ According to Yardley's own reminiscences : 

We solved over forty-five thousand cryptograms from 1917 
to 1929, and at one time or another we broke the codes of 
Argentine, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, England, 
France, Germany, Japan, Liberia, Mexico, Nicaragua, 
Panama, Peru, Russia, San Salvador, Santo Domingo, 
Soviet Union and Spain. 

We also made preliminary analyses of the codes of many 
other governments. This we did because Ave never knew at 
what moment a crisis would arise which would require quick 
solution of a particular government's diplomatic telegrams. 
Our personnel was limited and we could not hope to read the 
telegrams of all nations. But we drew up ]ilans for an offen- 
sive, in the form of code analyses, even though we anticipated 
no crisis. We never knew at what moment to expect a tele- 
phone call or an urgent letter demanding a prompt solution 

^'" Yardlev, op. cit., pp. 166-167. 
^'^ Kahn. op cit., p. 173. 
^■^ Yardley, op cit., p. 167. 
™ See IMd., p. 168. 

"^ See Ibid., pp. 174-225 : also see Kahn, op. cit., pp. 173-176. 
"^ Yardley, op. cit., p. 225 ; also see IMd., pp. 199-225 and Kahn, op cit., pp. 176- 


of messages which we had never dreamed would interest the 
Department of State.^^^ 

By the late 1920's, the Black Chamber had gained access to diplo- 
matic telegraph traffic through cooperative arrangements with the 
Western Union Telegraph Company and the Postal Telegraph 

In 1929, with the arrival of the new administration, Yardley, upon 
hearing Herbert Hoover's first presidential address to tlie nation, 
sensed a high moralism had gripped government leadership, a moral- 
ism which would not tolerate the continuance of the Black Chamber. 
Shortly after the new Secretary of State, Henry L. Stimson, took 
office, a series of important code messages, deciphered by the Black 
Chamber, was forwarded to acquaint the Secretary with the existence 
and activities of the cryptanalysis operation. The reaction was the one 
anticipated by Yardley.^^^ 

[Stimson] was shocked to learn of the existence of the 
Black Chamber, and totally disapproved of it. He regarded 
it as a low, snooping activity, a sneaking, spying, keyhole- 
peering kind of dirty business, a violation of the principle of 
mutual trust upon which he conducted both his personal 
affairs and his foreign policy. All of this it is, and Stimson 
rejected the view that such means justified even patriotic 
ends. He held to the conviction that liis country should do 
what is right, and, as he said later, "Gentlemen do hot read 
each other's mail."' In an act of pure moral courage, Stimson, 
affirming principle over expediency, withdrew all State De- 
partment funds from the support of the Black Chamber. 
Since these constituted its major income, their loss shuttered 
the office. Hoover's speech had warned Yardley that an ap- 
peal would be fruitless. There was nothing to do but close up 
shop. An unexpended $6,666.66 and the organization's files 
reverted to the Signal Corps, where William Friedman had 
charge of cryptology. The staff quickly dispersed (none went 
to the Army) , and when the books were closed on October 31, 
1929, the American Black Chamber had perished. It had cost 
the State Department $230,404 and the War Department $98,- 
808.49 — just under a third of a million dollars for a decade of 

Yardley could not find work in Washington and returned to his fam- 
ily home in Worthington where the Depression quickly devoured his 
existing resources. Out of financial desperation, he set about writing 
the story of the Black Chamber, serializing portions of tlie account in 
the Saturday Evening Post and then producing a book for Bobbs- 
Merrill in June 1931. Though the volume was an instant success, it was 
denounced by both the State and War Departments. In all, it sold 
17,931 copies in America and appeared in French, Swedish, an un- 
authorized Chinese version, and in Japanese. In the Land of the Ris- 

"^ Yardley, op. cit., p. 235. 

"* Kahn, op. cit., p. 177. 

"^^ See Yardley, op. cit., pp. 262-263. 

"^ Kahn, op. cit., pp. 178-179. 


ing Sun the book quadrupled American sales with 33,119 copies sold 
amidst much outrage over its revelations. Yardley was already at work 
on a second expose entitled Japanese Diploiimtic Secrets^ an account 
utilizing Japanese diplomatic cables transmitted during the 1921-1922 
naval disarmanent conference, when the State Department learned of 
his efforts and, subsequently, "United States marshals seized the manu- 
script on February 20, 1933, at the office of The Macmillan Company, 
to whom Yardley had submitted it after Bobbs-]Merrill had declined 
it, on the grounds that it violated a statute prohibiting agents of the 
United States government from appropriating secret documents." ^^^ 
Yardley next turned his attention to writing fiction, at which he 
proved moderately successful, and some real estate speculation in 
Queens, New York. In 1938 he was hired by Chiang Kai-shek at about 
$10,000 a year to solve the messages of the Japanese who were then 
invading China. Two years later he returned to the United States 
where he made a brief effort at being a Washington resturanteur, at- 
tempted to establish a cryptanalytic bureau in Canada though Stimson 
and/or the British forced the reluctant Canadian government to dis- 
pense with his services, and then served as an enforcement officer in 
the food division of the Office of Price Administration until the end of 
World War 11. After the war he turned to his old card playing talent 
and offered instruction in poker. Out of this experience came another 
book. The Education of a Poker Player^ which appeared in 1957. A 
year later, in August, he died of a stroke at his Silver Spring, Marj^- 
land, home.^^^ 

VIII. Intelligence at Twilight 

While the period between the two world wars was largely one of 
dormancy or disintegration with regard to Federal intelligence activi- 
ties and operations, there were certain exceptions to this situation, 
developments which, due to a few outstanding personalities and/or 
monumental events, marked the continued, but slow, evolution and 
advancement of intelligence capabilities. ^-'— 

In 1920, Marine Corps Commandant John A. Lejeune overhauled 
the headquartere staff in a manner emulating the Army's general staff 
reorganization of 1903 and the Navy's central administrative struc- 
ture of 1915 when the Chief of Naval Operations position came into 
existence. Within the Operations and Training Division, which was 
one of seven administrative entities reporting directly to the Com- 
mandant, an intelligence sedition was instituted."" Little is known 
about the resources or activities of this unit but it appears to have 
developed combat intelligence products for the Corps and to have 
cooperated with Naval Intelligence in preparing war plans and stra- I 
tegic information. „-^ 

One of the Marine officers who was concerned with such 
planning during the early 1920s was Major (later Lieutenant 

"^/&i(i., p. 181. 

^^ lUd., pp. 181-183. 

""Generally, see: U.S. Marine Corps. Headquarters. Historical Division. A 
Brief History of Headquarters Marine Corps Staff Organization by Kenneth V. 
Condit, John H. Johnstone, and Ella W. Nargele. Washington, Historical Divisioii, 
Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, 1971, pp. 12-15; Robert Debs Heinl, Jr. 
Soldiers of the Sea. Annapolis, United States Naval Institute, 1962, pp. 253-2.'r!l 


Colonel) Earl H. Ellis. Like many other military officers, 
Ellis was cognizant of the Japanese threat in the Pacific. In 
1920, the Office of Naval Intelligence prepared a study con- 
cerning the possibility of a transpacific war against Japan, 
and various agencies within the Navy Department were 
directed to implement the study with plans of their own. The 
Marine Corps contributed to what ultimately became known 
as the "Orange Plan," and Ellis made a major contribution 
to that portion of the plan which dealt with advanced base 
operations. The document he wrote, Operation Plan 712 
(Advanced Base Operations in Micronesia), was approved 
by the Commandant on 23 July 1921. 

In his writing, Ellis pointed out : 

". . . it will be necessary for us to project our fleet 
and landing forces across the Pacific and wage war 
in Japanese waters. To effect this requires that we 
have sufficient bases to support the fleet, both during 
its projection and afterwards. 

To effect [an amphibious landing] in the face of 
enemy resistance requires careful training and prep- 
aration to say the least; and this along Marine lines. 
It is not enough that the troops be skilled infantry- 
men or artillerymen of high morale; they must be 
skilled watermen and jungle-men who know it can 
be done — Marines with Marine training."^" 

Though the observations of Earl Ellis were prophetic, he never lived 
to realize their actuality for he was to become a martyr to the intelli- 
gence cause he served so well. A Kansas farm boy born in 1880, Ellis 
joined the Marine Corps at the turn of the century and sufficiently dis- 
tinguished himself that he received a commission before American 
entry into World War I, advanced to major during the conflict and won 
four decorations as well. Closely associated with Lejeune since 1914, 
Ellis was brought to Washington when his superior assumed command 
of the Corps in 1920. He was apparently put to immediate work on 
Orange Plan studies which consumed so much of his time and energy 
that he was rarely seen outside of his office and eventually fell ill 
shortly after completing his paper. During his recovery, his views 
drew harsh criticism from the peace proponents and disarmament ad- 
vocates of the hour. 

Discharged after three months' hospitalization, he returned 
to duty. Two weeks later, with considerable casualness, 
he asked for 90 days leave "to visit France, Belgium and 

There were two curious circumstances connected with his 
request for leave. In the first place the request was approved 
by the Secretary of the Navy the same day it was received. 

^""U.S. Marine Corps. Headquarters. Historical Division. A Concise History of 
the United States Marine Corps 1775-1969 by William D. Parker. Washin^on, 
Historical Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, 1970, p, 46; also see Heinl, 
op. cit., pp. 255-257. 


Returned the following day, the letter set an all-time record 
for prompt handling of official correspondence. 

The second oddity was noticed by Gen Lejeune's secretary. 
Prior to his departure, Ellis called at the Commandant's 
office to say goodbye. During the apparently normal conversa- 
tion between the two officers, the secretary noticed Ellis pass a 
sealed envelope to the General. "Without comment, Lejeune 
unobtrusively slipped it into his desk drawer. 

Having said his goodbyes, LtCol Ellis walked out of the 
front door of Marine Corps headquarters — and vanished.^-^ 

Ellis was never seen in Europe. No communication was received 
from him for almost a year. AVlien his official leave expired and an 
inquiry was made as to how he was to be carried on the muster roll, 
the x^djutant Inspector ordered "Continue to carry on leave." Finally 
a friend received a cryptic cablegram from Ellis who was in Sydney, 
Australia. He had been treated for a kidney infection there and was 
enroute to Japan. Some six weeks later he was in the Philippines where 
he sent a classified and coded dispatch to Marine Corps Headquarters 
inquiring about the extension of his leave. The response, sent "Top 
Priority," was a single sentence : "Leave extension granted for period 
six months." 

In mid- August, the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokohama, Japan, was 
asked to attend to a desperately ill American at the Grand Hotel. The 
man was Ellis, again suffering from nephritis. He identified himself, 
indicating he was a Marine officer touring the Orient on leave. Two 
weeks later he was released, only to be admitted the following week 
with the same acute condition. Believing him to be an alcoholic, Navy 
medical authorities gave Ellis the choice of returning to the United 
States by the next transport or by Mail Steamer to facilitate his re- 
cuperation. Ellis chose the latter, wired his American bank for a 
thousand dollars on October 4, received the money two days later, and 
vanished that night from his hospital bed. 

Nothing was heard about Ellis for six months. Then, on May 23, 1923, 
the State Department re^^eived the following from the American Em- 
bassy in Tokyo : "I am informed by the Governor General of Japanese 
South Sea Islands that E. H. Ellis, representative of Hughes Trading 
Company, #2 Rector Street, New York City, holder of Department 
passport No. 4249, died at Koror, Caroline Islands on May 12th. Re- 
mains and effects in possession of Japanese Government awaiting 

As a matter of standard procedure, the State Department 
checked with the Hughes Trading Company. By a strange 
coincidence, the company's president turned out to be a retired 
Marine colonel. From him, State was surprised to learn that 
E. H. Ellis was not a commercial traveller at all. He was, in 
fact, a Marine Corps officer on an intelligence mission. At that 
point, a lot of Washington telephones began ringing, followed 
by a noticeable increase in Pacific cable traffic.^^^ 

"^P. N. Pierce. The Unsolved Mystery of Pete Ellis. Marine Corps Gazette, 
V. 46, February, 1962 : 36-37. This is the most complete account of the Ellis case 
to date and the material which follows is taken from this story. 

^ Ibid., p. 38. 


In many regards, the phones are still ringing, in need of someone 
to answer. Badgered by reporters, Lejemie reinforced his claim of in- 
nocence regarding Ellis's activities by finally claiming that the officer 
had been AWOL for some time ; he apparently could not bring him- 
self to use the contents of the sealed envelope which Ellis had given 
him — supposedly an undated letter of resignation, which the Com- 
mandant burned. 

From various piecemeal sources it would appear that Ellis was, in- 
deed, on an intelligence mission, surveying Japanese held islands in 
the Pacific, probably with a view to gathering as much information to 
support the Orange Plan suppositions regarding Japanese strategic 
power as he could observe. It would also seem that Ellis did not have a 
credible cover posing as a trader, had too much unaccounted for money 
with him, and was given to drinking bouts during which he very likely 
dropped his guard. In any event, the Japanese were aware of his real 
identity and mission in their territory. Confirmation of his true pur- 
poses for being in the Pacific has yet to be made through documenta- 
tion and records. And, of course, the manner of Ellis's death, the reason 
for his remains being cremated, and the loss of his personal effects all 
still remain a mystery.^-^ 

The Army and the Navy continued their less daring attache arrange- 
ments during the period between the wars, though there was reluctance 
on the part of the United States armed services to appoint air attaches 
during most of these years.^^* There were various tribulations which 
intelligence operatives faced at this time due to the prevailing disarma- 
ment fervor and the inability of defense leaders to appreciate the in- 
telligence product when it was available. Captain Ellis M. Zacharias 
was a career Navy officer who went to Japan in 1920 to study the cul- 
ture and language of the country and to report on strategic develop- 
ments coming to his attention as well. Within the Office of Naval In- 
telligence, however, the whole Far East Section 

. . . occupied just one room, holding one officer and one 
stenographer. ONI itself comprised a handful of officers and 
a few yeomen, filing the occasional reports of naval attaches 
about naval appropriations of the countries to which they 
were attached, a few notes on vessels building or projected, 
most of them clipped from local newspapers, ancl descrip- 
tions of parties given in honor of some visiting American 
celebrity. The last-named usually represented the most illu- 
minating and comprehensive of these so-called intelligence 

After three years and six months in Japan, Zacharias returned to 
Washington filled with trepidation and information regarding the 
plans and activities of imperialist Japan. However, his greeting at 
ONI was not enthusiastic. 

^ See lUd., pp. 39-40. 

^^ Alfred Vagts. The Military Attach^. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 
1967, p. 67. This account surveys the growth and development of the military 
attache system in international politics, tracing its evolution from the 17th 
Century to the modern diplomatic period. 

"^ Ellis M. Zacharias. Secret Missions: The Story of an Intelligence Officer. 
Nevsr York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1946, pp. 20-21. 


The director listened to m}^ report with gentlemanly boredom 
and evident condescension and then suddenly closed the dis- 
cussion without any indication of a folloAv-up job for me. I 
soon found out that no one had given it the slightest thought. 
It was not in the routine. I had spent three years studying a 
forbidding language, penetrating the mind of a strange peo- 
ple, gathering data of vital importance, participating in secret 
missions — and now it was my turn for sea duty. To put it 
bluntly, I was to forget all extraneous matters and refit myself 
into the general routine of a naval career. I went to the Far 
East Section of Naval Intelligence, but there, too, I found but 
yawning indifference and complacency, regardless of the hos- 
tile attitudes then displayed by the Japanese in their vitriolic 
press. My reports were gratifyingly acknowledged but com- 
pletely overlooked. I was concerned and frustrated, a state of 
mind which was hardly conducive to ingratiating myself to 
my superiors, but I could not arouse them to the dangers of 
the day.^^"^ 

While in Japan, Zacharias and his colleagues had also experienced 
this indifference to intelligence operations and products in the limita- 
tion of their resources and number. 

The limited means at our disposal prevented us from ob- 
serving the Japanese in their administration of the mandated 
islands. Neither did we have means or men to find out Jap- 
anese intentions and aggressive plans beyond what we could 
pick up in the open market of peacetime intelligence. Captain 
Watson was concerned about these mandated islands, where 
the Japanese were reliably reported to be going about merrily 
violating the mandate which prohibited their fortification. 
The few reports which reached us from these Pacific islands 
indicated feverish activities : merchantmen discharging mate- 
rial obviously designed for the building of gun emplacements, 
bunkers, and underground passages ; naval vessels calling at 
those islands and delivering heavy-caliber coast guns and 
other equipment — all contraband according to the provisions 
of the mandate. Although greatly concerned, Watson could 
not obtain permission to establish an effective check on these 
activities or to ascertain the accuracy of the numerous reports 
coming to his ears.^^^ 

Concern over the fortification of the mandated islands had also 
apparently prompted the mission of Earl Ellis, whom Zacharias and 
his colleagues scrutinized, but lost, in Yokohama.^^^ Ironically, when 
the islands were seized during World War II, "we discovered that it 
was their weakness rather than strength that the Japanese were so 
anxious to conceal." ^^^ 

Before his second tour of duty in Japan, Zacharias, in 1926, gained 
acquaintence with the Navy's ciyptanalytic organization. 

^ IMd., pp. 71-72. ' 
"' IMd., pp. 40-41. 
^ See Ibid., pp. 42^8. 
"* Ibid., p. 48. 


My days were spent in study and work among people with 
whom security had become second nature. Hours went by 
without any of us saying a word, just sitting in front of piles 
of indexed sheets on which a mumbo jumbo of figures or 
letters was displaced in chaotic disorder, trying to solve the 
puzzle bit by bit like fitting together the pieces of a jigsaw 
puzzle. We were just a few then in Room 2646, young people 
who gave ourselves to cryptography with the same ascetic 
devotion with which young men enter a monastery. It was 
known to everyone that the se<*recy of our work would prevent 
the ordinary recognition accorded to other accomplishments. 
It was then that I first learned that intelligence work, like 
virtue, is its own reward.^^" 

Zacharias had a second tour of duty in Japan, monitored and de- 
ciphered Japanese Navy radio messages from a station in Shanghai, 
headed the Far East Section of ONI at the time of the outbreak of war 
in Europe, became the director of Naval Intelligence in 1942, saw com- 
bat duty, was assigned to the Office of War Infonnation at the time 
of the Japanese surrender, and retired from active duty in 1946 as a 
rear admiral. An author and lecturer on intelligence operations, he 
died in 1961. 

Military Intelligence also had its professional problems during this 
period too, as was graphically demonstrated during the Bonus March. 

In the summer of 1932, President Hoover faced one of the most 
trying problems imaginable, the presence in the nation's capi- 
tal of thousands of needy veterans who were determined to 
force the immediate payment of the soldiers' bonus. From 
every part of the country, by almost every conceivable means 
of transportation, veterans flocked to Washington to demand 
that Congress relieve, by a flood of cash, the economic paraly- 
sis which had settled over the United States. Reminiscent of 
the followers of Coxey 40 years before, the veterans seized 
trains in East St. Louis and Baltimore and took temporary 
possession of the Pennsylvania Railroad yard at Cleveland. 
Their presence in Washington was described as a "supreme 
escape gesture." ^^^ 

Although the House passed a bill allocating the funds sought by 
the marchers, the President let it be known he would not approve the 
measure. The legislation failed in the Senate and Congress, shortly 
thereafter, adjourned. Before leaving Washington, however, the Legis- 
lative Branch, at the Chief Executive's urging, provided $100,000 to 
transport the veterans home. Still they came to the capital and tracing 
their advance was Military Intelligence which had sent the following 
request, in secret code, to all Corps Area commanders : "With refer- 
ence to any movement of veteran bonus marchers to Washington orig- 
inating or passing through your corps area, it is desired that a brief 
radio report in secret code be made to War Department indicating 
presence, if any, of communistic elements and names of leadei-s of 
known communistic leanings." 

^lUd., p. 89. 

^^ Bennett Milton Rich. The Presidents and Civil Disorder. Washington, The 
Brookings Institution, 1941, pp. 167-168. 


Most of the replies to this were reasonably sane, if not too 
astute. Ninth Corps Area for example, could not discover 
when the Oregon contingent left Portland, a fact that was 
reported in the local newspapers. It did correctly evaluate the 
political complexion of Royal W. Robertson's Californians, 
pointing out not only the absence of Communist activity, but 
also that its leader was "firm in stand that [Communists] will 
not be tolerated." In neighboring Eighth Corps, however, an 
almost undiluted paranoia prevailed. The intelligence reports 
emanating from Fort Sam Houston, Texas, are simply in- 
credible, and lend verisimilitude to at least the last proviso of 
the army legend that the brainy go to the engineers, the brave 
to the infantry, the deaf to the artillery, and the stupid to 
intelligence. In any event, the Texas-based intelligence 
experts convinced themselves that the Californians were dan- 
gerous Communists (with a leader named Royal P, Robin- 
son) and that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was financing the whole 
movement. In case Washington didn't know what it was. 
Colonel James Totten told them : 

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Picture Corporation is known to 
be 100 per cent Jewish as to controlling personnel, and 
that high officers of this company are in politics. An un- 
confirmed rumor circulated many months ago, stated that 
agents of U,S.S,R, had contacted motion picture com- 
panies in California, and contributed to some of them 
with a view to inserting propaganda and support of 
U.S.S,R, policies. 
Other reports spoke of machine guns in the hands of bonus 
marchers, forged discharges available for fifty cents from 
"any pawn broker in Chicago" (this from an officer in Phil- 
adelphia), while another report, early in July, claimed that 
[Bonus Army leader Walter W.] Waters had the "assistance 
of gunmen from New York and Washington , , , [and] that 
the first blood shed by the Bonus Army in Washington is to 
be the signal for a communist uprising in all large cities," ^^- 

Of course, there was blood shed in Washington that summer, but 
not necessarily due to the ineptitude of Military Intelligence, The 
communist uprising? Some marchers took advantage of the congres- 
sional funds made available for their return home. But it was esti- 
mated that some 11,000 persons located at 24 separate camps in the 
capital remained behind. As a result of disturbances in and around 
Federal buildings undergoing demolition and a brief riot which fol- 
lowed one eviction scene where one veteran was killed at the scene 
and another fatally wounded, Federal troops, requested by the Dis- 
trict of Columbia government, were brought into the city. A tank 
platoon and a cavalry squadron, together with an infantry battalion, 
were called into action. About 500 troops were located in the District 
with another 1,000 held in reserve at nearby military installations. 

^^^ Roger Daniels. The Bonus March: An Episode of the Great Depression. West- 
port, Connecticut, Greenwood Publishing Company, 1971, pp. 159-160; also see 
Donald J. Lisio. The President and Protest: Hoover, Conspiracy, and the Bonus 
Riot. Columbia, University of Missouri Press, 1974, pp. 87-109. 


On the afternoon of July 28, these forces, under the command of 
General Douglas MacArthur, advanced on the Pennsylvania Avenue 
encampment of the veterans. 

The cavalry led the way, followed by tanks, machine gun- 
ners, and infantry, all headed toward the "fort" of the B.E.F. 
[Bonus Expeditionary Force], a skeletonized building at 
Third Street. After a half hour's wait the troops donned gas 
masks and in a few minutes of tear gas bombing completely 
cleared the "fort". The troops were deployed in such a 
fashion as to drive the Marchers away from the business area 
and toward the encampment at Anacostia. This was accom- 
plished without the troops firing a shot although, apparently, 
there was a considerable display of swinging cavalry sabres 
and prodding bayonets.^^^ 

After a brief halt at the edge of the Anacostia encampment of the 
veterans, the troops moved into the shacktown and, throughout the 
night, completed its destruction. Without any shelter, penniless, and 
unwanted, the veterans fled the District, reportedly "aghast at the 
failure of their confident prediction that no soldier would move into 
action against them." ^^* 

There were, of course, higher plateaus of Army intelligence during 
this time, the pinnacles being held by William F. Friedman and his 
Signal Corps colleagues who broke the intricate and sophisticated 
Japanese cipher known to Americans as the "purple" code. Born in 
Russia in 1891, Friedman emigrated to the United States with his 
parents the following year. He matriculated as one of ten honor stu- 
dents in a class of 300 at Pittsburgh Central High School in 1909 and 
received an undergraduate degree in genetics from Cornell University 
in 1914. Through an interest in the authorship of the plays of 
William Shakespeare and related literary questions, Friedman be- 
came a skilled cryptologist. During 1917 and 1918 he taught crypt- 
analysis to Army officers and produced some writing on the subject. 
In 1921 Friedman and his wife, also a skilled cryptologist, entered 
into a six-month contract with the Signal Corps and continued the 
relationship as civil servants on the War Department payroll until 
1922 when he became Chief Cryptanalyst and head of the Code and 
Cipher Compilation Section, Eesearch and Development Division, 
Office of the Chief Sigiial Officer. 

Meanwhile, the Army had been studying its divided cryp- 
tologic operation and, shortly before the State Department 
withdrew support for Yardley's bureau, had decided to in- 
tegrate both cryptographic and cryptanalytic functions in 
the Signal Corps. The closing of the Black Chamber eased 
the transition, and on May 10, 1929, cryptologic responsibility 
devolved upon the Chief Signal Officer. To better meet these 
new responsibilities, the Signal Corps established a Signal 
Intelligence Service in its War Plans and Training Division, 
with Friedman as director. Its officially stated mission was 
to prepare the Army's codes and ciphers, to intercept and 

"^ Rich, op. cit, p. 172. 

^ New York Times, July 29, 1932 : 1. 


solve enemy communications in war, and in peace to do the 
training and research — a vague enough term — necessary to 
become immediately operational at the outbreak of war. To 
carry out these duties, Friedman hired three junior crypt- 
analysts, all in their early twenties, at $2,000 a year— the 
first of the second generation of American cryptologists. They 
were Frank Rowlett, a Virginian, and Solomon Kullback and 
Abraham Sinkov, close friends who had taught together in 
New York City high schools before coming to Washington 
and who both received their Ph. D.'s in mathematics a few 
years later. It was the beginning of an expansion that led to 
the PURPLE solution, the triumphs of World War II, and 
the massive cryptologic organization of today. At his death 
on November 2, 1969, he was widely regarded as the greatest 
cryptologist that science had ever seen.^^^ 

The breaking of the complicated "purple'' code was part of a con- 
tinous effort by the Army and Navy to decipher and monitor Jap- 
anese communications. Largely under the immediate leadership of 
Friedman since its creation sometime in 1936, the project had been 
dubbed MAGIC. 

The cipher machine that Americans knew as PURPLE 
bore the resounding official Japanese title of 97-shiki 0-bun 
In-ji-ki. This meant Alphabetical Typewriter '97, the '97 an 
abbreviation for the year 2597 of the Japanese calendar, which 
corresponds to 1937. The Japanese usually referred to it sim- 
ply as "the machine" or as "J," the name given it by the 
Imperial Japanese Navy, which had adapted it from the 
German Enigma cipher machine and then had lent it to the 
Foreign Ministry, which, in turn, had further modified it. 
Its operating parts were housed in a drawer-sized box be- 
tween two big black electrically operated Underwood type- 
writers, which were connected to it by 26 wires plugged into a 
row of sockets called a plugboard. To encipher a message, the 
cipher clerk would consult the YU GO book of machine keys, 
plug in the wire connections according to the key for the day, 
turn the four disks in the box so the numbers on their edges 
were those directed by the YU GO, and type out the plain- 
text. His machine would record the plaintext while the other, 
getting the electrical impulses after the coding box had 
twisted them through devious paths, would print out the ci- 
phertext. Deciphering was the same, though the machine ir- 
ritatingly printed the plaintext in the five-letter groups of 
the ciphertext input. 

The Alphabetical Typewriter worked on roman letters, not 
kata kana. Hence it could encipher English as well as ro- 
maji — and also roman-letter codetexts. . . . Since the machine 
could not encipher numerals or punctuation, the code clerk 
first transformed them into three-letter codewords, given in a 
small code list, and enciphered these. The receiving clerk 

' Kahn, op. oit, pp. 191-192. 


would restore the punctuation, paragraphing, and so on, when 
typing up a finished copy of the decode. 

The coding wheels and plugboards produced a cipher of 
great difficulty. The more a cipher deviates from the simple 
form in which one ciphertext letter invariably replaces the 
same plaintext letter, the harder it is to break. A cipher might 
replace a given plaintext letter by five different ciphertext 
letters in rotation, for example. But the Alphabetical Type- 
writer produced a substitution series hundreds of thousands 
of letters long. Its coding wheels, stepping a space — or two, 
or three, or four — after every letter or so, did not return to 
their original positions to re-create the same series of paths, 
and hence the same sequence of substitutes, until hundreds 
of thousands of letters had been enciphered. The task of the 
cryptanalysts consisted primarily of reconstructing the wir- 
ing and switches of the coding wheels — a task made more 
burdensome by the daily change of plugboard connections. 
Once this was done, the cryptanalyst still had to determine 
the starting position at the coding wheels for each day's 
messages. But this was a comparatively simple secondary 

The first complete solution of a "purple" communique was made in 
August, 1940.^^^ By the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, decoded 
Japanese messages were circulating at the highest levels of the Fed- 
eral government. Though this decipherment advantage was not suffi- 
cient, in itself, to prevent the surprise bombing of Hawaii and sim- 
ultaneous aggression against American Pacific outposts, the ability 
to decode Japanese communications served military and naval strate- 
gists well during the war. 

But there was another war, of sorts, fought within the United States 
prior to the outbreak of hostilities once again in Europe and also in 
Asia. This was the war against organized crime. A variety of law 
enforcement agencies were involved in the Federal government's at- 
tack upon the lawless and various intelligence developments occurred 
during this effort. 

With the arrivel of Harlan F. Stone at the Justice Department as 
the new Attorney General in March, 1924, the General Intelligence 
Division of the Bureau of Investigation began to be jDhased out of 
existence. But the interests of G.I.D. did not fail to continue to receive 
attention upon its demise if only because the unit's leader, J. Edgar 
Hoover, ultimately became, on December 10, 1924, the head of the 
entire Bureau. Other intelligence resources which were developed at 
this time included special capabilities with regard to the identifica- 
tion of kidnappers and their victims and a fingerprint data bank. 

On July 1, 1936 the Bureau had on file 6,094,916 fingerprint 
records, consisting of 5,5Yl,995 criminal records and 522,- 
921 personal identification. Civil Service, and miscellaneous 
non-criminal records. On that date, 9,904 law-enforcement 
officials and agencies throughout the United States and for- 
eign countries were contributing 4,700 fingerprint cards daily. 

"^Ihid., pp. 21-22. 
"'/6i(f., p. 25. 


Six months later, that is, on December 31, 1936, the number 
of fingerprint records had increased to 6,682,609; and the 
number of contributing agencies, to 10,229.^^^ 

Not only did this elementary intelligence information prove useful 
in the necessity of establishing a basic positive identification of cer- 
tain individuals, but it also provided a basis for information exchange 
between the Bureau and sub-national law enforcement agencies as well 
as a relationship between the Bureau and international or foreign 
law enforcement units. 

The Bureau also established a technical laboratory during the latter 
part of 1932. While the facility is largely concerned with the applica- 
tion of scientific techniques to criminal evidence, certain aspects of its 
program might be viewed as having a potential for contributing to an 
intelligence product. ^^® 

Increased responsibilities with regard to taxation, narcotics control, 
and National Prohibition during this period brought about various 
intelligence function developments within the units of the Treasury 

Most of the other federal crime-control agencies are in the 
habit of filing identification material on a comparatively 
small scale. The Secret Service maintains an identification file 
of single fingerprints of all known makers of counterfeit 
money and their associates arrested since 1928. The names of 
these offenders and their aliases are arranged alphabetically 
for convenient reference. The Service also maintains an identi- 
fication file of regular fingerprints of persons arrested and 
convicted for counterfeiting, which also contains the photo- 
graphs and previous criminal records of such offenders. The 
Enforcement Division of the Alcohol Tax Unit operates an 
elaborate filing and cross-reference system for identification 
and classification purposes. An identification file is main- 
tained in the Bureau of Narcotics. Included are the finger- 
prints, photographs, and criminal records of persons arrested 
for violation of the federal narcotics laws. The field offices of 
the Customs Agency Service, including the Customs Patrol, 
maintain identification files of individuals and also indexes 
of various known smuggling vessels.^*" 

With regard to its special mission of protecting the President, the 
Secret Service continued, during this time, to "exercise, in general, a 
tactful but effective surveillance over all those who come into contact 
with the Chief Executive.'' "^ 

The United States Coast Guard, created (38 Stat. 800) in 1915 by 
combining the Life-Saving Service and the Revenue Cutter Service, 
had a single intelligence officer attached to the Commandant's staff 
until prohibition era duties prompted the creation of intelligence units 
within field offices. The first such intelligence group was established in 

^^ Arthur C. Millspaugh. Crime Control By The National Goveryiment. "Washing- 
ton, The Brookings Institution, 1937, p. 90; also see Whitehead, op. cit., pp. 

^^ See Millspaugh, op. cit., pp. 94-96 ; Whitehead, op. cit., pp. 166-178. 

^*° Millspaugh, op. cdt., pp. 92-93. 

^"^lUd., p. 116. 


the New York office in 1930 with San Francisco, Mobile, and Boston 
being favored with intelligence personnel during the next four years. 
In 1936 the Coast Guard not only obtained (48 Stat. 1820) general 
criminal law-enforcement powers, but also created an Intelligence 
Division at its Washington headquarters."^ 

The purpose of these special intelligence field units was largely to 
monitor radio communications between ships hovering outside the 12- 
mile limit laden with illegal liquor and distilled spirits and their land- 
based accomplices. 

The operation was directed from clandestine shore radio 
stations, but since the smugglers were aware that the radio 
messages could be intercepted, they communicated the time 
and place of rendezvous between speedboats and supply 
vessels by way of complex codes. Obviously, if the Coast 
Guard could break the ever-changing codes in a hurry, it 
could catch up with the liquor-laden speedboats much more 
effectively than through a blind search of the coast line. 

By the spring of 1927, an enormous number of code 
messages had accumulated on the desk of the one-man intelli- 
gence office at Coast Guard headquarters. The secret com- 
munications had been intercepted on both the Atlantic and 
Pacific coasts and the volume was increasing daily. At that 
point, an expert cryptanalyst, Mrs. Elizabeth Smith Fried- 
man, was brought into the Coast Guard to solve the hundreds 
of messages on file. Within two months, she had reduced the 
mass of coded messages from unknown to known. It was then 
that the Coast Guard decided to launch an intelligence service 
based on fast translation of whatever secret messages fell into 
its hands."^ 

The Coast Guard's expert was the wife of William F. Friedman, 
the man who directed the MAGIC task force destined to break the 
Japanese "purple" code. As a consequence of her efforts, the Coast 
Guard, prior to World War II, maintained an intelligence staff of 
investigators and cryptanalysts which did not exceed 40 individuals 
during the 1930s."* 

And within the Bureau of Internal Revenue there was the Intelli- 
gence Unit which one contemporary account described, saying : 

The Intelligence Unit is located in the immediate office of 
the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. At the end of 1936 the 
Unit consisted of three divisions: (1) the Personnel, Enroll- 
ment, and Records Divisions; (2) the Fraud Division; and 
(3) the Field Districts. The district were fifteen in number; 
and the field force on June 30, 1936 numbered 196 men. 

In addition to the investigation of violations of internal 
revenue laws, the Intelligence Unit is concerned with serious 
infractions of disciplinary rules or regulations on the part of 
officials and employees of the Bureau of Internal Revenue; 
and, when directed by the Secretary of the Treasury, the Unit 
investigates alleged irregularities by officials and employees 

'*^ See Ottenberg, op. cit., pp. 13&-137. 
'*" Ibid., p. 136. 
^**IMd., p. 137. 


of other branches of the Treasury Department. In addition, 
a hiro;e part of the work of the I iiit relates to investifjations 
of applicants for positions in the Bureau and in certain other 
branches of the Department. To the Unit is also assigned the 
investigation of applicants for admission to practice before 
the Treasury Department as attorneys and agents, and the in- 
vestigation of charges against enrolled attorneys and 

These were the intelligence forces engaged in warfare against or- 
ganized crime, racketeers, and gangsterism. But a larger scale and 
far more ominous warfare was in the offering as the 1930s spent them- 
selves and international politics witnessed the arrival of totalitarian- 
ism in Europe and Asia. Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany in 
1933 and in six years led that nation in rearmament, a fanatic belief 
in racial supremacy, dictatorial government, and a territorial expan- 
sion which included portions of Czechoslovakia, all of Austria, and 
threatened the Polish corridor and the Saar region. Japan, in the 
meantime, had colonized Manchuria (renamed Manchukuo) and 
Korea and continued to pressure the Chinese for more territory as 
troops spilled southward toward the Nanyang peninsula. While these 
developments occurred, the United States espoused and continued to 
maintain an official policy of strict neutrality with regard to diplo- 
matic entanglement and brewing overseas hostilities. However, this 
position of international neutrality did not mean that the United 
States would not prepare for its own defense or fail to take steps to 
maintain its own domestic well-being during the period of crisis. If 
conscientious intelligence personnel were not alerted to the gravity 
of the world situation prior to the outbreak of war in Europe, then 
they soon became so informed when, one week later, on September 8, 
1939, President Eoosevelt declared (54 Stat. 2643) a condition of 
"limited'' national emergency, thereby making certain extraordinary 
powers available to the Chief Executive and "limited" only in the 
sense that neither the defense of the country nor its internal economy 
would be placed upon a war footing.^*^ It was a time of watching and 

^^ Millspaugh, op. cit., pp. 205-206. 

**• Such a proclamation had apparently been contemplated in late 1937 at the 
time Japanese aircraft bombed the American gunboat Panay on the Yangtze 
River in China. The desire was to seize Japanese assets and investments in the 
United States and to extract payment for damages. The idea for a national 
emergency proclamation on the matter was outlines by Herman Oliphant, a 
Treasury Department legal expert and close personal assistant to Treasury 
Secretary Henry Morgenthau who was also involved in developing the plan. 
Although a memorandum on the scheme reached President Roosevelt's desk, he 
did not implement it and there is no evidence to indicate it was consulted on the 
occasion of preparing the 1939 proclamation. Oliphant died in January, 1939. 
See John Morton Blum. Roosevelt and Morgenthau. Boston, Houghton Mifflin 
Company, 1970, pp. 225-230. 

For a list of statutory powers granted under a proclamation of national 
emergency at this time see Frank Murphy. Executive Powers Under National 
Emergency. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1939. (76th Congress, 2d session. 
Senate. Document No. 133) : on the evolution and use of emergency powers gen- 
erally, see U.S. Congress. Senate. Special Committee on National Emergencies 
and Delegated Emergency Powers. A Brief History of Emergency Potcers in the 
United States by Harold C. Relyea. Committee print, 93rd Congress, 2d session. 
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1974. 

Part Three 
The National Security Colossus (1939-75) 

The calendar recorded the completion of a decade, but the events of 
1939 would mark the passage of an era. The world stood watching, 
transfixed by what Winston Churchill called "the gathering storm," 
awaiting the final climactic acts in what he described as "another 
Thirty Years' War." ^ Hitler had been tolerated ; Der Fuehrer had 
been appeased ; and then, with the invasion of Poland on the first day 
of September, the aggression of Nazism had to be halted. Wliile Eng- 
land, supported by the British empire, was destined to be Germany's 
primary opponent for two years prior to American entry into the 
European hostilities, His Majesty's Government had only recently 
come to a wartime posture. Production of modern fighter aircraft — 
the Spitfire and Hurricane types — had not gotten underway until 
1937; it has been estimated that, in 1938 and the initial months of 
1939. "Germany manufactured at least double, and possibly triple, the 
munitions of Britain and France put together, and also that her great 
plants for tank production reached full capacity." ^ Conscription was 
not effected in the United Kingdom until April 1939. Churchill did not 
form a government until May 1940, approximately nine months after 
the declaration of war. 

The British did have some advantages, one of them being the devel- 
opment and deployment of radio direction-finding techniques or radar. 
Experimental stations were erected in March 1936, for aircraft detec- 
tion and efforts were also made to track ships at sea utilizing this 
device. According to Churchill : 

By 1939, the Air Ministry, using comparatively long-wave 
radio (ten metres), had constructed the so-called coastal 
chain, which enabled us to detect aircraft approaching over 
the sea at distances up to about sixty miles. An elaborate net- 
work of telephonic communication had been installed under 
Air-Marshall Dowding, of Fighter Command, linking all 
these stations with a central command station at Uxbridge, 
where the movements of all aircraft observed could be plotted 
on large maps and thus the control in action of all our own air 
forces maintained. Apparatus called I.F.F. (Identification 
Friend or Foe) had also been devised which enabled our 
coastal chain radar stations to distinqfuish British aircraft 
which carried it from enemv aircraft. It was found that these 
long- wave stations did not detect aircraft approaching at low 

^For Churchill's own account of events leading to the outbreak of World 
War II see Winston S. Churchill. The Oatherinff Storm. Boston, Houghton Mifflin 
Company, 1948. 

' TMd., p. 336. 



heights over the sea, and as a counter to this danger a supple- 
mentary set of stations called G.H.L. (Chain Stations Home 
Service Low Cover) was constructed, using much shorter 
waves (one and a half metres) but only effective over a short 
In June 1938, Churchill was introduced to another detection tech- 
nique, the Asdics^ "the name which described the system of groping 
for submarines below the surface by means of sound waves through 
the water which echo back from any st^el structure they met." * This 
process also stood ready for application at the time when open warfare 
erupted on the Continent. 

But, while these technological innovations would soon be replicated 
by Germany, Britain obtained one inestimable intelligence advantage 
over the Nazis which has only recently been publicly revealed. In 1938, 
through the intervention of a Polish mechanic just fired from the pro- 
duction facility in eastern Germany, British intelligence learned that 
the Nazis were developing an improved Enigma mechanical cipher 
process. Soon the Polish Secret Seiwice proved successful in purloin- 
ing one of the machines. By the eve of war, the British had mastered 
the operation of the de\nce and its resultant code. Simultaneously, 
Gennany, unaware of the British intelligence advantage, put the new 
Enigma process into sen'ice and utilized it all during the war.^ 

/. N eutral Amenca 

With the outbreak of hostilities on the Continent, the United States 
remained in a state of peace and qualified neutrality. But a policy of 
detachment from international conflict did not signifv^ that American 
officials were unaware that the nation's territory, resources, and politics 
were subject to penetration and exploitation by the European belliger- 
ents. During his first term as President, Franklin D. Roosevelt had 
become sufficiently concerned about the traffickings of Fascists and 
Communists in the country that he had urged Federal Bureau of In- 
vestigation Director J. Edgar Hoover to begin probing the activities 
of these ideologues.^ 

Late in 1938. President Roosevelt had approved a $50,000 
appropriation for the FBI to conduct espionage investiga- 
tions (a sum later raised by Congress to $300,000). Hoover 
regarded this authorization of funds by the President as giv- 
ing primary responsibility in the civilian field to the FBI. No 
similar appropriation was earmarked for any other nonmili- 
tary investigative agency. As a result, the FBI and the War 
Department's Military Intelligence Division worked out a 
cooperative program, with approval of the Office of Naval 
Intellisrence, to exchange information in subversive investiga- 
tions. This arrangement was approved in principle by the new 
Attorney General, Frank Murphy. On February 7, 1939, the 

'/fi/tf.. pp. 1.55-156. 

* n\a., p. 163. 

" Further details on the breaking of the German code and its use during: the 
war may he found in F. W. Winterbotham. The Ultra Secret. New York, Harper 
and Row, 1974. 

• See Don Whitehead. The FBI Story. New York, Pocket Books, 1958 ; first pub- 
lished 1956, pp. 188-197. 


Assistant to the Attorney General, Joseph B. Keenan, in- 
formed other investigative agencies of the agreement. He 
asked that they send any information regarding espionage or 
subversion to the FBI, Hoover advised his special agents that 
Keenan's letter meant "all complaints relating to espionage, 
counterespionage, and sabotage cases should be referred to 
the Bureau, should be considered within the primary juris- 
diction of the Bureau, and should, of course, receive preferred 
and expeditious attention." ^ 

Keenan's letter elicited angry reactions from the other various Fed- 
eral investigative agencies, protesting both the coordination plan and 
the usurpation of aspects of their jurisdiction by the FBI. Assistant 
Secretary of State George S. Messersmith called a conference with 
War, Navy, Treasuiy, Post Office, and Justice Department (but not 
FBI) representatives and announced that the President had selected 
him to coordinate probes of foreign agents. When this assertion could 
not be substantiated, Messersmith reversed his position, advocating 
that espionage investigations be divided among the various agencies.® 

Hoover felt that responsibility should be concentrated and 
a pattern of close cooperation established. War and Navy 
agreed : their intelligence units had already asked the FBI to 
handle "within the United States and its territories" the ci- 
vilian aspects of such espionage investigations as they were 
conducting from the military angle. The State Department, 
however, felt that its Office of Security must keep unshared 
control over "sensitive" information — because of its extreme 
delicacy and its relationship to foreign-policy decisions. 

One fact which appears to have weighted the scales in 
favor of a coordinated plan was that nobody wanted a repeti- 
tion of the bungling which had, during World War I, re- 
sulted from snarled lines of responsibility. Another was that, 
without coordination, various federal bodies might all be 
keeping tabs on the same individual, each from the angle 
of its own work, without the pieces ever being put together to 
form a pattern.^ 

Ultimately, it was the President who concluded that espionage, 
counter-espionage, and sabotage information had to be coordinated. 
Accordingly, the following directive was issued on June 26, 1939, to 
members of the Cabinet. 

It is my desire that the investigation of all espionage, 
counterespionage, and sabotage matters be controlled and 
handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the De- 
partment of Justice, the Military Intelligence Division of the 
War Department, and the Office of Naval Intelligence of the 
Navy Department. The directors of these three agencies are 
to function as a committee to coordinate their activities. 

V&f(Z., p. 198. 
« lUd. 

" Harry and Bonaro Overstreet. The FBI In Our Open Society. New York, 
W. W. Norton and Company, 1969, pp. 85-86. 


No investigations should be conducted by any investigative 
agency of the Government into matters involving actually or 
potentially any espionage, counterespionage, or sabotage, ex- 
cept by the three agencies mentioned above. 

I shall be glad if you will instruct the heads of all other 
investigative agencies than the three named, to refer im- 
mediately to the nearest office of the Federal Bureau of In- 
vestigation any data, information or material that may come 
to their notice bearing directly or indirectly on espionage, 
counterespionage, or sabotage. 

This was subsequently followed by another presidential directive 
pertaining to F.B.I. intelligence responsibilities, issued September 6, 
a few days after formal declarations of war had been made by the 
European powers. It said : 

The Attorney General has been requested by me to in- 
struct the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the Department 
of Justice to take charge of investigative work in matters 
relating to espionage, sabotage, and violations of the neutral- 
ity regulations. 

This task must be conducted in a comprehensive and effec- 
tive manner on a national basis, and all information must be 
carefully sifted out and correlated in order to avoid confusion 
and irresponsibility. 

To this end I request all police officers, sheriffs, and all 
other law enforcement officers in the United States promptly 
to turn over to the nearest representative of the Federal 
Bureau of Investigation any information obtained by them 
relating to espionage, counterespionage, sabotage, subversive 
activities, and violations of the neutrality laws. 

On September 8, President Roosevelt declared (54 Stat. 2643) a 
national emergency within the nation, thereby granting extraordinary 
powers to the Executive short of a condition of war.^° 

Four months later, on January 5, 1940, Hoover told the 
[House] Subcommittee on Appropriations about the steps 
he had taken to ready the Bureau for its intelligence func- 
tion, and also about the consequences of this new assignment 
and the outbreak of war in Europe as measured in terms of 

The field offices which had been requested earlier by Army 
and Navy Intelligence had been opened in the Canal Zone, 
Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, Field offices had been 
opened, also, near six large shipping centers or military 
bases: in Albany, Baltimore, Savannah, Grand Rapids, 
Phoenix, and San Diego. 

With an eye to preventing espionage and sabotage, the 
Army and Navy had asked the FBI to assume jurisdiction 
for them over "plant production activities" in places that 

'" See Frank Murphy. Executive Powers Under National Emergency. Washing- 
ton, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1939. (76th Congress, 2d section. Senate. Document 
No. 133). 


manufactured articles for their use. A procedure which in- 
volved no policing, but which was educational and consulta- 
tive, was currently being applied in 540 plants; and it was 
capable of expanding to reach as many as 12,000 in "a time of 
greater emergency." Most plant owners had welcomed it and 
were giving "excellent cooperation." 

At Washington headquarters, a General Intelligence Divi- 
sion — forerunner of today's Domestic Intelligence Division — 
had been created to coordinate and supervise all work related 
to "espionage, sabotage, and other subversive activities and 
violations of the neutrality regulations." Its Translation Sec- 
tion made available for use the substance of subversive 
foreign-language "communications, documents, and papers." 
Its Code Section broke down codes and decoded intercepted 

Also, special investigations were being made of persons 
reported to be active in "any subversive activity or in move- 
ments detrimental to the internal security." With reference to 
those who might have to be more fully investigated in the 
event of an acute national emergency, the results of the special 
investigations were being kept on file." 

Still, in many other regards, the American intelligence community 
was insufficient to actual needs during the twilight prior to the na- 
tion's entry into the world war. As one authority has observed : 

As late as 1938 army counterintelligence in the United 
States and its possessions abroad consisted of no more than 
three officers and eighteen agents, exactly one of whom spoke 
a foreign language. Even worse, the limited numbers in- 
volved in intelligence and counterintelligence included many 
who had neither the qualifications nor the feel for intrigue. 
Frequently career naval and air officers who demonstrated 
no special aptitude in other branches of service life were 
relegated to intelligence work simply to be got rid of. In 1939, 
despite memories of the substantial American commitment in 
the First World War and an awareness that a new war was 
threatening to follow the earlier pattern, the national secret 
services amounted to very little.^^ 

On May 27, 1941, the President issued (55 Stat. 1647) a second 
proclamation of national emergency, saying, in part : 

I have said on many occasions that the United States is 
mustering its men and its resources only for purposes of 
defense — only to repel attack. I repeat that statement now. 
But we must be realistic when we use the word "attack;" 
we have to relate it to the lightning speed of modern 

Some people seem to think that we are not attacked until 
bombs actually drop in the streets of New York or San Fran- 
cisco or New Orleans or Chicago. But they are simply 

" Overstreet, op. cit., pp. 89-90. 

" Richard Wilmer Rowan with Robert G. Deindorfer. Secret Service: Thirty- 
Three Centuries of Espionage. London. William Kimber, 1969, p. 613. 


shutting their eyes to the lesson that we must learn from the 
fate of every Nation that the Xazis have conquered. 

The attack on Czechoslovakia began with the conquest of 
Austria. The attack on Norway began with the occupation of 
Denmark. The attack on Greece began with occupation of 
Albania and Bulgaria. The attack on the Suez Canal began 
with the invasion of the Balkans and North Africa, and the 
attack on the United States can begin with the domination 
of any base which menaces our security— north or south. 

Nobody can foretell tonight just when the acts of the 
dictators will ripen into attack in this hemisphere and us. 
But we know enough by now to realize that it would be 
suicide to wait until they are in our front yard.^^ 

The watching and waiting were over. America was preparing for 
war. Seven months later war was a reality. 


On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, Japanese aircraft attacked 
American military and naval installations at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. 
The surprise engagement lasted approximately two hours ; resolution 
of the Pacific conflict would occur four years later with the amval 
of the atomic age. Simultaneous with the raid on Oahu, the Japanese 
launched assaults on the Philippines, Guam, and Midway Island. 
These events tragically condemned the pitiful condition of American 
intelligence efforts. The following day Congress declared war on 
Japan. Three days later, the United States extended the declaration 
to Germany and Italy. 

The initial months of the Pacific conflict were desperate and devas- 
tating for American forces. At Pearl Harbor, 19 ships were sunk or 
disabled; about 150 planes were destroyed; 2,335 soldiers and sailors 
were killed and 68 civilians perished. The Japanese seized Guam 
(December 13) and Wake Island (December 22). The Philippine 
invasion (December 10) repelled the American defenders with Manila 
and Cavite soon falling to the Japanese (January 2). After a siege 
of more than three months endurance, Bataan collapsed (April 9) 
and American forces withdrew to Corregidor Island where 11,500 
ultimately were forced to surrender (May 6) to the Japanese, 

The costly Battle of the Java Sea (Februarys 27-]\Iarch 1) traded 
vital naval war material and precious lives for time; having re- 
grouped its forces, the Navy halted the Japanese advance in the 
Battle of the Coral Sea (May 7-8), the first engagement in history 
in which surface ships did not directly destroy each other as all fight- 
ing was done by carrier-based aircraft. A month later, in the Battle 
of INIidway, the Japanese suffered their first major defeat — 4 aircraft 
carriers sunk and 275 planes lost— and the tide of the Pacific war 
began turning against Nippon. 

American forces did not actively join in the offensive aq:ainst Ger- 
many and Italy until 1942. The first independent United States bomb- 

" Samuel T. Rosenman, cnmp. The PuMir Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. 
Roosevelt: 19Ifl Volume, The Call to Battle Stations. New York, Harper and 
Brothers, 1950. pp. 188-189. 


ing raid in Europe was conducted (August 17) by the Eighth Air 
Force from England in an assault upon the railroad yards at Rouen. 
By autumn, British and American troops under the command of 
General Dwight D. Eisenhower executed Operation Torch with 
landings (November 8) in North Africa. By the new year, Eisen- 
hower was appointed (February 6) commander in chief of all allied 
forces in Africa and by the spring (May 13) had succeeded in liberat- 
ing that continent. Out of this campaign came the strategic advantage 
for the invasion of Italy (September 3-9) and recognition of Eisen- 
hower, soon transferred (January 16, 1944) to command of Allied 
Expeditionary Forces in London, as a brilliant organizer and leader 
of the diverse allied armies. Six months after assuming command of 
the European Theater, Eisenhower was executing (June 6) Operation 
Overload, the invasion of France along the Normandy peninsula. It 
was the beginning of the end of the Nazi empire. 

During the spring and summer months of 1945, World War II 
came to a halt. On May 1 the provisional German government an- 
nounced Hitler was dead, a suicide in the ruins of Berlin. An instru- 
ment of surrender was signed at Allied headquarters at Reim on 
May 7; V-E Day, the formal end of the war in Europe, occurred 
the following day ; and the German surrender was ratified in Berlin 
on May 9. Three months later. United States aircraft dropped atomic 
devices on Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 10). Agree- 
ment as to the conditions for Japan's surrender was achieved on 
August 14 ; V-J Day, the formal end of war in the Pacific, occurred 
the following day ; and the Japanese surrender was finalized on Sep- 
tember 2. Official termination of the declaration of war against Ger 
many took place on October 19, 1951 (65 Stat. 451) ; official termina- 
tion of war with Japan came on March 20, 1952, with the Senate 
ratification of the treaty of peace. 

///. Oifice of Strategic Services 

Although various defense and civilian departments and agencies 
of the Federal Government maintained units for intelligence purposes 
during World War II, it was during this period of international 
tumult that the first centralized intelligence structure came into 
existence. The man proposing the new intelligence entity was William 
J. Donovan, a much decorated hero of World War I, an attorney, a 
Republican, an internationalist, and an ardent foe of totalitarianism. 

President Roosevelt welcomed the suggestion of a single 
agency which would serve as a clearinghouse for all intelli- 
gence, as well as an organ of counterpropaganda and a train- 
ing center for what were euphemistically called "special 
operations," and invited Colonel Donovan to be its head. 
At first Donovan was reluctant. His World War I antipathy 
to desk generalship was still strong, and though he was now 
fifty-eight he preferred to lead a combat division; but the 
prospect of organizing a unified intelligence, sabotage and 
subversive warfare unit, the first in American history, was 
most tempting. After a lengthy discussion with the Presi- 


dent, he agreed to form the new agency, under the somewhat 
misleading title of Coordinator of Information.^* 

Born in Buffalo, New York, on New Year's Day, 1883, 
William Joseph Donovan's paternal grandparents had immigrated 
to the United States from Ireland in about 1840. His father sold real 
estate at one time and later operated an insurance business. After 
attending St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute and Niagara University 
(B.A., 1905), William studied at Columbia University (LL.B., 1907) 
and was admitted to the New York bar in 1908. Four years later he 
formed his first law partnership and began his military career, enlist- 
ing in the 1st Cavalry of the New York National Guard. He saw nine 
months of active duty along the Rio Grande during the INIexican 
campaign in 1916. When the United States entered the European 
hostilities the following year, Donovan was assistant chief of staff 
of the 27th Division of the New York National Guard. With the 
formation of the 42nd "Rainbow" Division, he was assigned to the 
165th Infantry and subsequently became a colonel with the Fighting 
69th Regiment. Wounded three times during twenty-one months of 
active service overseas, Donovan became one of the most decorated 
soldiers of the Great War. His own government awarded him the 
Congressional Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, and 
the Distinguished Service INIedal. He was the only member of the 
armed forces to receive these three cherished decorations during 
World War I. 

In the summer of 1919, returned to civilian life and about to resume 
his law practice in Buffalo, Donovan and his wife of five years left 
the United States on a long-deferred honeymoon to Japan. It was 
then that he began his intelligence activities. 

They had relaxed in Tokyo but a few days when the Ameri- 
can ambassador, Roland Morris, called Donovan on urgent 
business. Morris was about to depart for Siberia to evaluate 
the reportedly unstable status of the Wliite Russian govern- 
ment at Omsk, headed by Admiral Alexander Kolchak, and 
advise the State Department whether the Kolchak regime 
should be supported by the United States. He needed some- 
one with Donovan's background and training to accompany 
him on his confidential mission. Ruth Donovan reconciled 
herself to what would become a pattern of similar missions 
over the next forty years.^^ 
A variety of other government positions soon beckoned Donovan. 
He became a U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York 
in 1922. Shortly thereafter he served as a delegate to a Canadian- 
American customs conference held in Ottawa, which produced a 
treaty of cooperation in preventing international criines. In 1924 
Donovan was appointed Assistant Attorney General in charge of 
Federal criminal matters; the following year he became the assistant 

"Corey Ford. Donovan of OSS. Boston, Little, Brown and Company, 1970, 
p. 108. 

" IMd., p. 59. 

70-890 O - 76 - 10 


to Attorney General John G. Sargent, a position he held until 1929. 
Keturning to New York, Donovan acted as counsel for the panel 
revising the state laws pertaining to the Public Service Commission. 
During the 1930's he traveled to Ethiopia as an impartial observer 
of the invasion by Italy; next he was in Spain scrutinizing the 
development of the civil war in that land. Through friends and con- 
tacts in Europe, he kept well informed on the progress of totalitarian- 
ism on the Continent. With the outbreak of war in 1939, Donovan 
became a valuable operative for neutral America. In July, 1940, he 
went to Great Britain to observe the Blitz for Secretary of the Navy 
Frank Knox. Upon his return he made a vigorous effort to publicize 
England's ability to survive the German assault and to secure aid 
for the embattled British. In December he was again on a reconnais- 
sance mission, touring Gibraltar, Malta, Egypt, Greece, Bulgaria, 
Yugoslavia, Turkey, Cyprus, Palestine, Spain, Portugal, and again 
to Great Britain." With his observations on the military, political, 
and economic conditions in these nations he also offered the sugges- 
tion for creating a centralized intelligence agency. The impetus for 
such an organization derived not only from felt need for such an 
entity at the Federal level, but also from a close familiarity with 
the Special Operations structure of the British government.^^ Once 
the American counterpart to the British intelligence office was estab- 
lished, Donovan became its chief, but served from the fall of 1941 
to the spring of 1943 without a government salary or an active duty 
military rank.^^ 

In the summer of 1941, four months before the Japanese struck 
Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt issued a directive (7 F.R. 3422- 
3423) designating a Coordinator of Information which said: 

By virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the 
United States and as Commander in Chief of the Army and 
Navy of the United States, it is ordered as follows : 

1. There is hereby established the position of Coordinator 
of Information, with authority to collect and analyze all 
information and data which may bear upon national secu- 
rity; to correlate such information and data, and to make 
such information and data available to the President and to 
such departments and officials of the Government as the 
President may determine; and to carry out, when requested 
by the President, such supplementary activities as may facili- 
tate the securing of information important for national secu- 
rity not now available to the Government. 

2. The several departments and agencies of the Government 
shall make available to the Coordinator of Information all 
and any such information and data relating to national 
security as the Coordinator, with the approval of the Presi- 
dent, may from time to time request. 

3. The Coordinator of Information may appoint such com- 
mittees, consisting of appropriate representatives of the vari- 

" On Donovan's overseas observation missions see /ft? (7., pp. 78-107. 
" IMd., p. 107. 
"* Ibid., p. 174. 


ous departments and agencies of the Government, as he may 
deem necessary to assist him in the performance of his 

4. Nothing in the duties and responsibilities of the Coordi- 
nator of Information shall in any way interfere with or im- 
pair the duties and responsibilities of the regular military 
and naval advisers of the President as Commander in Chief 
of the Army and Navy. 

5. "Within the limits of such funds as may be allocated to 
the Coordinator of Information by the President, the Co- 
ordinator may employ necessary personnel and make provi- 
sion for the necessary supplies, facilities, and services. 

6. William J. Donovan is hereby designated as Coordinator 
of Information. 

Dated July 11, 1941, this purposely vague directive provided Dono- 
van with an intelligence function, which might include special actions 
requested by the President, and a propaganda mission. After a year of 
operations, it was felt that the propaganda duties of the Coordinator 
were inappropriate to his intelligence activities. Subsequently, on 
June 13, 1942, these propaganda responsibilities were transferred to the 
newly created (E.O. 9182) Office of War Information established 
within the Office for Emergency Management. By military order (7 
F.R. 4469—1470) of the same date, the Coordinator's office was renamed 
the Office of Strategic Services and placed under the jurisdiction of 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Donovan's new charter said : 

By virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the 
United States and as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and 
'NsLVj of the United States, it is ordered as follows : 

1. The office of Coordinator of Information established by 
Order of July 11, 1941, exclusive of the foreign information 
activities transferred to the Office of War Information by 
Executive Order of June 13. 1942, shall hereafter be known as 
the Office of Strategic Services, and is hereby transferred to 
the jurisdiction of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

2. The Office of Strategic Services shall perform the follow- 
ing duties : 

a. Collect and analyze such strategic information as 
mav be required by the United States Joint Chiefs of 

b. Plan and operate such special services as may be 
directed by the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

3. At the head of the Office of Strategic Services shall be a 
Director of Strategic Services who shall be appointed by the 
President and who shall perform his duties under the direc- 
tion and supervision of the United States Joint Chiefs of 

4. William J. Donovan is hereby appointed as Director of 
Strategic Services. 

5. The Order of July 11, 1941 is hereby revoked. 

Although this directive clarified the duties of Donovan's organiza- 
tion, it did not insure the gadfly agency's operational status. 


Executive Order 9182 [divesting Donovan of propaganda 
production responsibilities] had insured, at least for the 
moment, the continuance of Donovan's controvei-sial experi- 
ment in organized intelligence and paramilitary service; but 
the transfer of its jurisdiction from the President to the Joint 
Chiefs of Staif (which Donovan had personally requested) 
posed even more critical problems. Now the struggling COI 
had a new supervisor as well as a new name, and its functions 
and the extent of its authority were entirely dependent upon 
the decision of the JCS. This meant that all funds to operate 
OSS must come from Congress, primarily the House and 
Senate Appropriations Committees, and its budget requests 
must first be submitted to and approved by the gimlet-eyed 
Bureau of the Budget. The immediate problem of maintain- 
ing OSS during the transition period was temporarily 
bridged by instructions from the JCS that it should carry 
on as usual, pending further study of its wartime functions; 
but Donovan and his top staff were keenly aware that OSS 
faced a critical struggle to convince the Joint Chiefs and 
other ranking officials of the government not only that OSS 
should be given adequate written authority and manpower 
and supplies, but in fact that it should exist at all.^^ 

Preparing his own case, Donovan, with staff assistance, drafted and 
redrafted a proposed OSS directive establishing the agency's opera- 
tional authority. He was adamant that OSS should never be absorbed 
by or subject to the control of any other government office or the armed 
forces. In brief, OSS would assist and serve all segments of the Fed- 
eral structure but would be subsei-vient to none. His painstaking effort 
completed, Donovan forwarded the model directive and an explana- 
toiy memorandum to the Joint Chiefs.^*' His time was then consumed 
by preparations for Operation Torch — the invasion of North 
Africa — and the execution of this first assualt asrainst the totalitarian 
forces holding the Old World captive. Among other triumphs deriving 
from the incursion, the 

pre-invasion charts and estimates, and the OSS-pioneered 
technique of keeping commanders informed of conditions 
ashore up to the vei-y moment of landing, had clearly demon- 
strated the new agency's value ; but Donovan's draft directive, 
submitted to the JCS before Torch, was still being debated in 
committee hearings. Early in December Donovan had an in- 
formal chat with his old friend Frank Knox, Secretary of the 
Navy. Knox was surprised to learn that so long a period had 
elapsed without any formal or comprehensive instructions 
from the Joint Chiefs, and he took up the matter with Presi- 
dent Roosevelt, who told General George C. Marshall, chair- 
man of the JCS : "I wish you would give Bill Donovan a little 
elbow room to operate in." Shortly afterward the Joint 
Chiefs appointed committees of high-ranking officers, in- 
cluding Admiral Frederick Home and Generals Joseph T. 
McNarney and Albert Wedemyer, to make a personal inspec- 

' lUd., pp. 128-129. 
• See lUd., p. 131. 


tion of OSS and recommend what should be done. The com- 
mittee promptly rendered reports (which were not made 
available to OSS), and on December 23, 1942, six months 
after it was created, the agency received its long-awaited 
directive, almost word for word the draft which Donovan 
had prepared. 

In the field of intelligence, OSS was given the independent 
status which Donovan sought, climaxing the bitter feud with 
the rival service agencies. The Joint Psychological Warfare 
Board, on which OSS had a minority of members, was 
abolished by the JCS. Henceforth OSS was the sole agency of 
the JCS authorized to operate in the fields of intelligence, 
sabotage, and counterespionage, to conduct guerrilla opera- 
tions, and to direct resistance groups in all enemy-occupied or 
controlled territory. General Marshall stated in a personal 
letter to Colonel Donovan, written on the same day the direc- 
tive was issued : 

"I regret that, after voluntarily coming imder the jurisdic- 
tion of the JCS, your organization has not had smoother 
sailing. Nevertheless, it has rendered invaluable service, 
particularly with reference to the North African Campaign. 
I am hopeful that the new Office of Strategic Services' direc- 
tive will eliminate most, if not all, of your difficulties." ^^ 

Donovan's original idea for a centralized intelligence agency had 
derived from his exposure to the British intelligence structure during 
his 1940 observation missions.^^ Faced with the necessity of quickly 
organizing an effective intelligence operation for the United States, 
Donovan again relied upon the British. 

William Stephenson had developed an undercover organiza- 
tion in the United States, called British Security Coordinator 
(BSC), which was staffed with experienced officers; and they 
supplied the pioneer American agency at the outset with 
much of its secret intelligence. Experts in counterespionage 
and subversive propaganda and special operations were put 
at Donovan's disposal, and he was shown their methods of 
communicating with resistance forces behind the lines. In the 
early days, COI agents were trained at a school near Toronto, 
Canada, later a model for some of the training schools of 
OSS. Donovan said after the war: "Bill Stephenson and the 
British Intelligence Service gave us an enormous head start 
which we could not otherwise have had." ^^ 

With information and expertise being supplied by the British, the 
next task involved structuring the new intelligence entity. 

Colonel Donovan brought a trained legal mind to the task 
of organizing his fast-growing agency — ^OSS was to employ 
some thirty thousand people by the war's end- — and set it 
up as he would prepare a trial case, with research experts to 
analyze the evidence and skilled assistants to conduct the 

'"■ Ibid., pp. 162-163. 
" See Ihid., p. 107. 
»76td., pp. 112-113. 


prosecution. At the top of the chart were Donovan as director 
and [G. Edward] Buxton as [assistant] director, and beside 
them were the Planning Group and the Planning Staff. Under 
Donovan were his three deputy directors, with staff but not 
command status, who were charged with the duty of coordi- 
nating the three main OSS functions: intelligence (research 
and analysis, secret intelligence, counterespionage, and col- 
lateral offices), operations (sabotage, guerrilla warfare, psy- 
chological warfare, and related activities), and schools and 
training. A chief of services supervised the work of the offices 
of budget, procurement, finance, and related problems. In 
addition, there were some eighteen essential offices which 
could not be assigned effectively to any subordinate com- 
mand. Thus the Security Office reported directly to Donovan, 
since security involved all procedures and all personnel re- 
gardless of rank. Other offices which served the entire orga- 
nization were also placed under the director, including 
medical services, special funds, field photographic, communi- 
cations, Navy and Army Commands which handled the 
administrative problems of OSS naval and military person- 
nel, and a liaison office to maintain relations with other gov- 
ernment agencies. The functions of the principal branches 

Research and Analysis (R&A) To produce the eco- 
nomic, military, social and political studies and estimates 
for every strategic area from Europe to the Far East. 
Secret hitelligence (SI) To gather on-the-spot infor- 
mation from within neutral and enemy teriitory. 

Special Operations (SO) To conduct sabotage and 
work with resistance forces. 

Counterespionage (X-2) To protect our own and 
Allied intelligence operations, and to identify enemy 
agents overseas. 

Morale Operations (^10) To create and disseminate 
black [covert] propaganda. 

Operational Groups (OG) To train and supply and 
lead guerrilla forces in enemy territory. 

Maritime Unit (MIT) To conduct maritime sabotage. 
Schools and Training (S«&T) In overall charge of the 
assessment and training of personnel, both in the United 
States and overseas. 
Not only did this departmentalization increase the agency's 
effectiveness, but it helped to maintain security. Each branch 
of OSS had its own secret file of information, which was 
available to members of other branches only on an official 
"need to know" basis. Donovan himself was not told the 
real names of some of his most successful agents, nor did he 
seek to leam them. Complete anonymity was the best safe- 
guard against detection by the enemy.^* 

lUd., pp. 167-68. 


With the establishment of the Office of Coordinator of Information 
a recruitment of new faces into the intelligence system was inaugu- 
rated. Most would continue their service with OSS until the end of 
the war. 

Heading Donovan's early staff was Colonel Edward Buxton, 
a close friend since World War I days, who left his business 
in Rhode Island to become the [assistant] director of the 
COI. James ]\Iurphy, formerly Donovan's secretary when he 
was Assistant Attorney General, was made his personal as- 
sistant. Dr. William L. Danger, distinguished Coolidge pro- 
fessor of history at Harvard, who had seen action as a ser- 
geant in the Argonne and at St.-Mihiel, headed the key Re- 
search and Analysis division, following the resignation of 
Dr. James Phinney Baxter, president of Williams College 
and a brilliant administrator, who served briefly as the first 
chief of R&A. Dr. Edward S. Mason, later director of Har- 
vard's School of Public Administration and a prominent 
economist. Dean Calvin Hoover of Duke University, and the 
late Dr. Edward Meade of Princeton's Institute for iVdvanced 
Study, and Dr. Henry Field, curator of physical anthro- 
pology at Chicago's Field Museum, joined Donovan's ex- 
panding unit. David K. E. Bruce, later to be named U.S. 
ambassador to the Court of St. James's, came to Washington 
to head COI's Special Activities Bruce (SAB), the agency's 
secret intelligence branch; and M. P. Goodfellow left his 
newspaper business to head the sabotage branch (Special 
Activities Goodfellow — or SAG). (Both of these branches 
existed in the training stages only, since the U.S. was not yet 
at war.) Robert E. Sherwood, noted American playwright 
and an intimate of President Roosevelt assumed responsi- 
bility for the Foreign Information Service (FIS) .-^ 

When OSS was created, Sherwood became director of overseas 
operations at the Office of War Information. Most of the personnel 
staying with OSS donned uniforms and held some type of rank in 
the armed forces; nevertheless, they took their direction from Dono- 
van and were not subjected to the command of the Army and Navy. 

From the beginnings of COI before Pearl Harbor to the 
termination of OSS after V-J Day, the Research and Anal- 
ysis branch was the very core of the agency. The cloak-and- 
dagger exploits of agents infiltrated behind the lines captured 
the public imagination ; but the prosaic and colorless grubbing 
of Dr. Danger's scientists, largely overlooked by the press, 
provided far and away the greater contribution to America's 
wartime intelligence. From the files of foreign newspapers, 
from obscure technical journals, from reports of international 
business firms and labor organizations, they extracted perti- 
nent figures and data. With infinite patience, they fitted the 
facts together into a mosaic of information — the raw material 

IMd., pp. 110-111. 


of strategy, Donovan called it — on which the President and 
his Chiefs of Staff could form their operational decisions. ^° 

The R&A branch gained sufficient prestige that other Federal agen- 
cies sought its assistance. The Board of Economic Warfare, for 
example, asked R&A to determine if Soviet requests for American 
goods under lend-lease were justified by the conditions of their 
economy. On this particular matter, OSS findings proved to be more 
accurate than those of British intelligence.^^ 

At the start, Donovan established an R&A Board of Analysts, 
consisting of half a dozen scholars, each of whom took charge 
of some major activity and played an important role in 
recruiting further staff membei^. In this way, he was able to 
secure the high classifications needed to get the very best 
people for a general directorate. (Subsequently this Board 
of Analysts provided the model for the CIA Board of Na- 
tional Estimates, set up in 1950 by Dr. Langer for General 
Bedell Smith.) Due to its many-sided and brilliant staff, 
R&A was credited with producing the most accurate estimates 
made by the Allies in World War 11.^^ 

In addition to its research and analysis achievements, OSS was to 
prove inventive and innovative in another capacity. These were the 
products of the research and development unit (R&D) headed by 
Stanley Lovell. 

Dr. Stanley Lovell, in charge of the agency's calculated mis- 
chief, was a sunny little nihilist, his spectacles twinkling and 
his chubby face creasina: with merriment as he displayed his 
latest diabolic devices. This simple candle could be placed by 
a female acent in the bedroom of an amorous German officer, 
Lovell chuckled, and would burn perfectly until the flame 
touched the high explosive contained in the lower half of the 
candle. This innocent -looking plastic cylinder called the Fire- 
flv, dropped furtivelv into the a:as tank of a car by a Maquis 
filling-station attendant, would explode after the gasoline 
had swelled a rubber retaining ring. If the vehicle were a 
German tank — Lovell had to pause to wipe his spectacles and 
dab the tears of laughter from his eyes — the occupants would 
be cremated before thev could open the escape hatch. This 
anerometer. a barometric fuse attached to a length of hose 
packed with explosive, could be slid into the rear of the fuse- 
lage of an enemy aircraft ; at five thousand feet altitude, he 

^Ibid., p. 148; ponnlar accounts of OSS cloak-and-dagger activities, which 
were often heroic and valiant elforts, may be found in Steward Alsop and Thomas 
Braden. Suh Rosa: Thr O.S!.S^. and American E-ipionapr, New York, Reynal and 
Hitchcock. 1946: and Corey Ford and Alastair McBain : Cloak and Dagger: The 
Secret Story of OSS, Xew York, Random House. 1946. An excellent account of 
OSS field operations may be found in R. Harris Smith. OSS: The Sec>-et Historu 
of America's First Central Intelligence Agency, Berkeley, University of Cali- 
fornia Press, 1972. 

" See Ford, op. oit.. p. 152 ; for an appreciation of the general approach of R&A 
to intelligence anal.vses, see Sherman Kent. Strategic Intelligence for American 
World Policy. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 191^9. 

=* Ford, op. cit., p. 150. 


explained gleefully, the entire tail section would blow off. 
This limpet, fastened by a powerful magnet to the side of a 
ship below waterline, would detonate when the magnesium 
alloy was eroded by salt water, long after the saboteur had 
left the area. It was used elfectively by the Norweign under- 
ground to sink Nazi troop-ships in the narrow fjords of Oslo 
and Narvik — Lovell doubled up and slapped his knees at the 
thought — and sent untold thousands of German soldiers to a 
watery grave.^^ 

In spite of the various intelligence accomplishments of OSS, not 
everyone in Washington was happy about the creation and existence 
ol Donovan's organization. 

J. Edgar Hoover, perhaps fearing that COI would steal the 
spotlight long enjoyed by his FBI, was not satisfied until 
he had Roosevelt's word that Donovan would be expressly 
forbidden to conduct any espionage activities within the 
United States, Nelson Rockefeller, Chairman of the State 
Department's Committee to Coordinate Inter-American Af- 
fairs (once called, even more pretentiously, the Committee on 
Cultural and Commercial Relations Between North and 
South America) echoed the FBI in seeking assurance that 
Donovan would likewise be excluded from his established 
bailiwick in the southern hemisphere. Major General George 
V. Strong, later chief of Army G-2, could not understand 
that G-2 represented tactical military intelligence and COI 
strategic intelligence of all kinds; and Strong therefore felt 
there was a definite conflict of interests. He vigorously fought 
Roosevelt's proposal that Colonel Donovan should be returned 
to active duty with the rank of major general — a grade more 
commensurate with his new duties — and offered the irrele- 
vant arginnent that "Wild Bill" was too independent to be a 
team player. "If there's a loose football on the field," Strong 
protested, "he'll pick it up and run with it." Isolationist sena- 
tors such as Burton Wlieeler and Robert Taft likewise op- 
posed Donovan's advance in rank, and Taft rose on the 
Senate floor to warn his colleagues of the danger of White 
House control of intelligence and investigative units. Realiz- 
ing that the supge-ted promotion minht cause a prolonged 
Congressional fight, Roosevelt yielded, at least for the 
moment, and Donovan took over as head of COI in a civilian 

Though the President granted the FBI exclusive intelligence juris- 
diction over South and Latin America, OSS still made forays into the 
region."'^ Tlie rivalry between the two agencies also exemplified itself 
in other ways. 

^ Ibid., p. 170: R&D also produced or nt least considered a number of bizarre 
and totally Impractical schemes and devices ; see Stanley P. Lovell. Of Spies and 
Sti-atagems. Engelwood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall, 1963. 

"" Ford. op. cit., p. 109. 

^ See Smith, op. cit., p. 20. 


In January 1942 Donovan's officers secretly penetrated the 
Spanish embassy in Washington and began photographing 
the code books and other official documents of Franco's pro- 
Axis government. Hoover learned of this operation and was 
angered because the COI men were invading his operational 
territory. The FBI did not bother to register a formal pro- 
test. While the COI officers were making one of their noc- 
turnal entries into the embassy in April, two FBI squad cars 
followed. When Donovan's men were in the building, the cars 
pulled up outside the embassy and turned on their sirens. The 
entire neighborhood was awakened and the COI interlopers 
were sent scurrving. Donovan protested this incredible FBI 
action to the White House. Instead of reprimanding Hoover, 
Roosevelt's aides ordered the embassy infiltration project 
turned over to tlie Bureau.^^ 

OSS was also restricted from entering the Pacific Theater (but not 
Asia) by General Douglas MacArthur. The agency's intelligence ma- 
terials were utilized by MacArthur in his invasion of and return to the 
Philippines; Admiral Chester Nimitz had a small OSS maritime unit 
for underwater demolition action with his fleet; and another OSS 
force delivered special weapons to the Tenth Army for the Okinawa 
landing, but Donovan's agents were otherwise unauthorized to operate 
in MacArthur's command area.^^ 

General MacArthur's intransiofpnoe is difficult to explain. 
His personal relationship with Donovan was cordial, they 
had served together in the Rainbow Division during the First 
World War, and both were highlv decorated heroes. Donovan 
entertained the deepest regard for MacArthur's brillance as 
a military strategist, and never offered any reason for his ada- 
mant opposition to OSS; but members of the agencv had 
their private theories. Some speculated that [Charlesl Wil- 
louehby TMacArthur's intelligence chief], anxious to insure 
full credit for his intelligence unit, feared that "Wild Bill" 
would irrab the spotliffht. Othei-s held that ]Nfac Arthur, a West 
Pointer and firm believer in the chain of command, obiected 
to the presence of a uniformed civilian acting independently 
in his theater. A few intimates, who knew Donovan's own de- 
termination, suspected that it was the inevitable clash be- 
tween two strong personalities, equally fixed in purpose.^* 

In spite of these jurisdictional limitations placed on OSS by the 
FBI and the Army, the agency gathered its intelligence materials 
from all over the globe by whatever means available. Agreements were 
negotiated regarding "special operations" by OSS at the outset of 
efforts to liberate Europe, beginning with the North African invasion. 

In planning the invasion, political problems posed them- 
selves immediately. Roosevelt secured Churchiirs agreement 

^ lUd. 

^ See Ford, op. cit., p. 253. 

'* Ibid., pp. 253-254 ; as commander of United Nations troops in Korea in 1951, 
MacArthur also refused to allow the Central Intelligence Agency to operate in 
his theater. 


that the landings, code-named TORCH, should be a predomi- 
nantly American operation (with the United States handling 
the diplomatic aspects). The President and his advisors be- 
lieved that anglophoic French commanders in North Africa 
would offer less resistance to a landing led by American 
troops with British forces remaining in the background. 

At the secret service level, a similar agreement had been 
reached in June 1942 as part of a comprehensive operational 
accord with the British SOE [Special Operations Execu- 
tive], negotiated in London by OSS Colonels Preston Good- 
fellow . . . and Garland Williams, an official of the New York 
Narcotics Commission. In the first of several war-time deline- 
ations of "spheres of influence" for clandestine activity, OSS 
took primary responsibility for subversion in North Africa 
(as well as China, Korea, the South Pacific, and Finland). 
The British, in turn, assumed temporary predominance in 
India, West Africa, the Balkans, and the Middle East. West- 
ern Europe was considered joint territory.^^ 

Such agreements, of course, were of momentary importance and re- 
quired renegotiations as new areas came under liberation and when- 
ever the grand strategists shifted their attack objectives and designs 
for routing the enemy. In the midst of such planning, old jealousies 
and new antagonism flared against OSS. 

Back in the early days of COI, London had been most co- 
operative, sharing its training facilities and operational tech- 
niques with the struggling new agency. As OSS grew 
stronger, however, SIS [the British Secret Intelligence Serv- 
ice] showed an increasing reluctance to accept its American 
counterpart as a full and equal partner. 

Britain's position w^as enhanced by the Theater Command's 
lack of sympathy with OSS objectives. Throughout 1942^3, 
the practice of ETOUSA (European Theater of Operations) 
was to rely mainly on British Intelligence and ignore OSS 
offers of assistance, thus inadvertently aiding SIS efforts to 
subordinate the younger American organization. The U.S. 
Theater Command staff based their policy on Britain's 
greater experience in the field; but they overlooked the fact 
that OSS could provide new and different information to 
supplement or even refute the intelligence from other sources, 
and would serve long-range U.S. strategic needs best if it re- 
mained independent. 

The issue came to a head in September of 1943 when 
ETOUSA refused to give OSS authority to conduct es- 
pionage on the European continent unless it operated under 
British supervision. General Donovan insisted that freedom 
from the knowledge and influence of any outside power was 
essential to the success of his Secret Intelligence branch, and 
he strongly opposed the SIS efforts to force an amalgama- 
tion. In an appeal to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he pointed out 
that Britain's proposal "suggests 'coordination' and 'agree- 

^ Smith, op. cit., pp. 51-52. 


ment,' but as employed here the word 'coordination' means 
'control' and 'agreement' means 'dependence.' . . . This at- 
tempt of the British, by reason of their physical control of 
territory and communication, to subordinate the American 
intelligence and counterintelligence service is shortsighted 
and dangerous to the ultimate interests of both countries." 
As a result of his arguments, a new JCS directive on Octo- 
ber 27, 1943 gave OSS full and unqualified authority to op- 
erate on the Continent, ETOIJSA accordingly reversed its 
position, and the independence of American long-range es- 
pionage was assured. Rather than engage in destructive 
competition, the British yielded. OSS Special Operations 
(SO) and Counterintelligence (X-2) greatly strengthened 
their ETO and were given access to the extensive files which 
Britain had taken decades to develop. In turn, OSS provided 
funds, manpower, resistance supplies, three sub-chasers for 
Norweg:ian operations, and a squadron of Liberator bombers 
for airdrops to occupied countries. Thenceforth, throughout 
the war American and British intelligence worked in pro- 
ductive though discreet partnership.^^ 

On occasion, unusual organization schemes facilitated Donovan's 
efforts at maintaining an effective intelligence operation. Early in the 
war, influential German emigres to the United States were recruited 
by Shortwave Research, Inc., a COI front, to broadcast anti-Nazi 
messages to their homeland.^'' To retain an OSS foothold in China, 
Donovan found it necessary to agree to creating the Sino- American 
Cooperative Organization, headed by Chiang Kai-shek's feared and 
hated secret police chief, Tai Li, described by one OSS report as "not 
the Admiral Canaris of China, but the Heinrich Himmler." 

The deputy director of the unit was Captain Milton "Mary" Miles 
who, while chief of OSS Far Eastern operations and commander of 
Navy Group/China, had befriended Tai Li. The scheme was harshly 
criticized by the theater commander. General Joseph Stilwell and his 
highly experienced State Department political advisors, John Paton 
Davies, Jr. and John Service. The new organization soon began to 
disintegrate; Miles became hostile toward OSS headquarters and 
autocratic in terms of controlling OSS field operations in China. 
Eventually, Donovan personally intervened, fired Miles, and chal- 
lenged Tai Li to try and halt OSS agents operating in his country. 
Donovan also enlisted the help of General Claire Chennault in estab- 
lishing independence for OSS operations in China and championing 
the agency's activities.^® 

And in the middle of neutral Switzerland, attached to the American 
Legation at Bern as a Special Assistant to the Minister, was Allen 
Dulles, an OSS master agent literally surrounded by the Nazi regime. 
Dispatched in November 1942, Dulles was instrumental in intelligence 
gathering and directing special operations within enemy territory. 
Froni February to May 1945, he served as the negotiator and concili- 
ator in efforts which led to the unconditional surrender of close to a 

'' Ford. op. cit., pp. 165-166. 

" Smith, op. cit., p. 405n. 

'^See Ford, op. cit., pp. 265-275; Smith, op. cit., pp. 242-285. 


million men occupying Northern Italy and the termination of hostili- 
ties on that f ront.^^ 

In the autumn of 1944, as Allied troops continued to roll across 
Europe and press closer to Japan in the Pacific, President Roosevelt 
sought Donovan's thinking on the matter of a permanent intelligence 
organization for the period after the end of the war. In response to 
the Chief Executive's request, Donovan offered the following classi- 
fied memorandum: 

November 18, 1944. 

Pursuant to your note of 31 October 1944, 1 have given con- 
sideration to the organization of an intelligence service for 
the post-war period. 

In the early days of the war, when the demands upon in- 
telligence services were mainly in and for military operations, 
the OSS was placed under the direction of the JCS. 

Once our enemies are defeated the demand will be equally 
pressing for information that will aid us in solving the prob- 
lems of peace. 

This will require two things : 

1. That intelligence control be returned to the supervision 
of the President. 

2. The establishment of a central authority reporting di- 
rectly to you, with responsibility to frame intelligence objec- 
tives and to collect and coordinate the intelligence material 
required by the Executive Branch in planning and carrying 
out national policy and strategy. 

I attach in the form of a draft directive (Tab A) the 
means by which I think this could be realized without diffi- 
culty or loss of time. You will note that coordination and 
centralization are placed at the policy level but operational 
intelligence (that pertaining primarily to Department action) 
remains within the existing agencies concerned. The creation 
of a central authority thus would not conflict with or limit 
necessary intelligence functions within the Army, Navy, De- 
partment of State and other agencies. 

In accordance with your wish, this is set up as a permanent 
long-range plan. But you may want to consider whether this 
(or part of it) should be done now, by executive or legislative 
action. There are common-sense reasons why you may desire 
to lay the keel of the ship at once. 

The immediate revision and coordination of our present 
intelligence system would effect substantial economies and 
aid in the more efficient and speedy termination of the war. 

Information important to the national defense, being gath- 
ered now by certain Departments and agencies, is not being 
used to full advantage in the war. Coordination at the strat- 
egy level would prevent waste, and avoid the present confu- 
sion that leads to waste and unnecssary duplication. 

Thougli in the midst of war, we are also in a period of 
transition which, before we are aware, will take us into the 

* See Ford. op. cit., pp. 291-295 ; also see Allen Dulles. The Secret Surrender. 
New York, Harper and Row, 1966. 


tumult of rehabilitation. An adequate and orderly intelligence 
system will contribute to informed decisions. 

We have now in the Government the trained and special- 
ized personnel needed for the task. This talent should not be 

William J. Donovan, Director. 


Substantive Authority Necessary in Establishment of a 
Central Intelligence Service 

In order to coordinate and centralize the policies and ac- 
tions of the Government relating to intelligence: 

1. There is established in the Executive Office of the Presi- 
dent a central intelligence service, to be known as the 

, at the head of which shall be a Director appointed 

by the President. The Director shall discharge and perform 
his functions and duties under the direction and supervision 
of the President. Subject to the approval of the President, 
the Director may exercise his powers, authorities and duties 
through such officials or agencies and such manner as he may 

2. There is established in the an Advisory 

Board consisting of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of 
War, the Secretary of the Navy, and such other members as 
the President may subsequently appoint. The Board shall 
advise and assist the Director with respect to the formulation 
of basic policies and plans of the . 

3. Subject to the direction and control of the President, 
and with any necessary advise and assistance from the other 

Departments and agencies of the Government, the 

shall perform the following functions and duties: 

(a) Coordination of the functions of all intelligence agen- 
cies of the Government, and the establishment of such policies 
and objectives as will assure the integration of national 
intelligence efforts ; 

(b) Collection either directly or through existing Govern- 
ment Departments and agencies, of pertinent information, 
including military, economic, political and scientific, concern- 
ing the capabilities, intentions and activities of foreign na- 
tions, with particular reference to the effect such matters may 
have upon the national security, policies and interests of the 
United States; 

(c) Final evaluation, synthesis and dissemination within 
the Government of the intelligence required to enable the 
Government to determine policies with respect to national 
planning and security in peace and war, and the advancement 
of broad national policy ; 

(d) Procurement, training and supervision of its intelli- 
gence personnel; 

( e ) Subversive operations abroad ; 


(f ) Determination of policies for an coordination of facil- 
ities essential to the collection of information under sub- 
paragraph "(b)" hereof ; and 

(g) Such other functions and duties relating to intelli- 
gence as the President from time to time may direct. 

4. The shall have no police or law-enforce- 
ment functions, either at home or abroad. 

5. Subject to Paragraph 3 hereof, existing intelligence 
agencies within the Government shall collect, evaluate, syn- 
thesize and disseminate departmental operating intelligence, 
herein, defined as intelligence required by such agencies in 
the actual performance of their functions and duties. 

6. The Director shall be authorized to call upon Depart- 
ments and agencies of the Government to furnish appropri- 
ate specialists for such supervisory and fimctional positions 
within the as may be required. 

7. All Government Departments and agencies shall make 
available to the Director such intelligence material as the 
Director, with the approval of the President, from time to 
time may request. 

8. The shall operate under an independent 


9. In time of war or unlimited national emergencv, all 

programs of the in areas of actual or projected 

military operations shall be coordinated vnt\\ militai-y plans 
and shall be subject to the approval of the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff. Paits of such programs which are to l^e executed in a 
theater of military operations shall be subject to the control 
of the Theater Commander. 

10. Within the limits of such funds as may be made avail- 
able to the , the Director may employ necessary 

personnel and make provision for necessary supplies, facili- 
ties and services. The Director shall be assigned, upon the 
approval of the President, such military and naval personnel 
as may be required in the performance of the functions and 

duties of the . The Director may provide for the 

internal organization and management of the in 

such manner as he may determine.*" 

Three months later, on February 9, 1945, the isolationist press 
triumvirate — the Chicago TrihvTie, the New York Daily Neios, and 
the Washington Times-HeraM — carried an article by Walter Trohan 
characterizing the proposed agency as an "all-powerful intelligence 
service to spy on the postwar world" and one which "would supercede 
all existing Federal police and intelligence units." The column con- 
tinued with full quotations from the memorandum and draft direc- 
tive prepared by Donovan. The effect of the story was to raise a 
multiplicity of fears about such an entity being established and to 
also unleash a profusion of jealousies among the existing Federal 
intelligence and investigative units. The source of the leak regard- 

*" Ford, op. cit., pp. 340-342. 


inc^ Donovan's communique to the President was thought to be FBI 
Director Hoover.^^ 

A second blow was delivered to OSS in April when the man who 
had urg-ed its creation and had remained appreciative of its mission 
vis-a-vis the other intelligence functionaries died suddenly in Warm 
Springs, Georgia. In many ways, the war, due to end in four months, 
claimed one more fatality in the case of Franklin D. Eoosevelt. Rut 
it also seized a President who understood and championed the unique 
intelligence activities of OSS. The new Chief Executive would be 
far less appreciative. 

It must be conceded, in fairness to Harry Truman, that he 
had never been taken into the full confidence of President 
Roosevelt. Their relationship was less than full or intimate ; 
and, deliberately or due to carelessness, he had failed to brief 
his Vice-President on the dangers of an intelligence gap in the 
dawning atomic age. Whether it would have saved Donovan's 
plan for a centralized and independent postwar intelligence 
ser^nce is questionable. Truman was a practical politician; 
and he saw OSS as a political liability because it gave the 
opposition, both extreme right and extreme left, a chance to 
attack the administration. The cry was on to cut the military 
expenditure, to disarm, to bring the boys home. Roosevelt 
might have refused to yield to public pressure, but Tniman 
could not count on the same support of the American 

Without consulting Donovan or the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Presi- 
dent Truman, on September 20, directed (E.O. 9621) that OSS ter- 
minate operations effective October 1, 191:5. The Bureau of the 
Budget, prompted by Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, insisted 
on relocating the R&A section of OSS within the State Department 
to facilitate research needs there. "At Secretary Byrnes's request. 
Dr. Danger came to State in 1946 for six months, to set up the intel- 
ligence unit, but the regional desks were not particularly interested 
at the time." *^ Established as the Interim Research and Intelligence 
Branch, the unit became the Office of Intelligence Research in 1947 
and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research a decade later. 

The Secret Intelligence (SI) and Counterespionage (X-2) sections 
were transferred to the War Department where they formed the 
Strategic Services Unit which, in one expert's view, "was nothing 
more than a caretaker body formed to preside over the liquidation 
of the OSS espionage network." ** 

Only after the integrated mechanism of OSS had been 
scrapped, and the majority of its trained personnel, who 
would liave liked to continue, had drifted away in disgust, 
did the truth dawn on Truman that he was no longer able to 
obtain overseas information of the type available during 

'' See IMd., pp. 300-305 ; Smith, op. cit., pp. 363-365. 
■ "-" Ford, op. cit., p. 312. 
" Ibid., p. 314n. 
** Smith, op. dt., p. 364. 


TVorld War II. As General Donovan had predicted, a critical 
intelligence gap had developed, leaving the United States far 
behind the other major powers. So urgent was the need for 
knowledge that in January, 1946, at far greater expense and 
effort than would have been necessary if Donovan's advice 
had been followed, Truman set up an intermediate Xational 
Intelligence Authority, made up of the Secretaries of State, 
War and Xavy, and' the Chief of Staff to the President, 
Under this agency was a so-called Central Intelligence Group 
(CIG), headed by Rear Admiral Sidney Souers. an acquaint- 
ance of Truman's from Missouri whose intelligence back- 
groimd consisted of a tour as deputy director of OXI [Office 
of Xaval Intelligence] and who is said to have been instru- 
mental in persuading Truman to set up the XIA and the 
CIG. He was to be succeeded less than six months later by 
Lieutenant General Hoyt Vandenburg, a capable Air Force 
strategist but equally lacking in intelligence experience, who 
in less than a year returned to the Air Force.*^ 

While one authority credits OSS with a wartime budget of $135 
million,**' another expert source has written: "From 1942 thr'ough 
1945, excluding the salaries of membere of the armed forces on active 
duty with the agency, and a substantial part of overseas logistics 
support, the cost of OSS averaged less than thirty-seven million a 
year." " While much of the agency's money was provided in un- 
vouchered funds, there was apparently close accounting of its 

"Donovan was the first man to whom Congress made a grant 
of twenty-five million dollars without requiring an account- 
ing," Dr. Danger notes. 'T recall the morning Avhen the 
General announced this at a staff meeting, and at once turned 
a cold douche on our elation. This does not mean, he said, that 
a single dollar is going to be spent irresponsibly, because I 
know when the war is over this agency will be in a ver\' ex- 
posed position unless its record is spotless. For this reason I 
have asked one of the leading Xew York accountants to join 
the OSS, and he will see to it that all expenditures are ac- 
counted for to me, even though I am under no such obliga- 
tion to Congress." *^ 

However,, the vigilant bookkeeping applied to OSS expenditures 
does not seem to have extended to the maintenance of its member- 
ship list. 

No one can even guess the actual size of OSS at its wartime 
peak. Over thirty thousand names were listed on the agency's 
roster; but there were countless Partisan workers in the oc- 
cupied countries whose identities were never known, who 
were paid OSS money and armed with OSS weapons and 

*^ Ford, op. ait., pp. 314-315. 

•* Rowan and Deindorfer, op. cit., p. 619. 

" Ford, op. cit., p. 173. 

** TMd., p. 173n. 


performed OSS missions, yet for the most part were miaware 
that their direction came from Washino^ton. Each field ao;ent 
employed several local subagents, and they in turn recruited 
anonym'ous friends from the surrounding countryside, some- 
times nmnbering in the thousands. One lone parachutist, 
Ernst Floege of Chicago, who dropped into the Hericourt 
district of France, wound up the war in command of an 
undergi'ound force of thiity-five hundred; another French- 
American agent named Duval organized and personally 
led an estimated seven thousand resistance fighters in the 
Lyons area. Altogether, the Maquis in France, the Kachin 
tribesmen in Burma formed a worldwide shadow anny Avhich 
served under OSS in close support of the Allied military 
effort, and which faded back into obscurity when the fighting 

Once he left the directorship of OSS, Donovan also began fading 
back into obscurity. In the years immediately after the war he devoted 
much of his time to the cause of European federalism as chairman 
of the American Committee on United Europe. He was also a strong 
advocate for wrestling the initiative from the U.S.S.R. in the so-called 
cold war. After serving as ambassador to Thailand during 1953-1954, 
he worked, as national chairman of the International. Rescue Commit- 
tee, to assist refugees coming from North Vietnam to South Vietnam 
and later, in 1956, he organized a campaign to raise a million dollars 
for Hungarian refugee relief. Never again was he called into service 
as an intelligence leader. Speculation ran high in 1947, with the crea- 
tion of the Central Intelligence Agency, that Donovan would be 
selected to direct the new organization, but the positioji went to Rear 
Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, the last head of the Central Intelli- 
gence Group. And again, in 1953, when President Eisenhower was 
searching for a new CIA Director to replace the departing Bedell 
Smith, Donovan's name was prominent among the candidates; but, 
once again, and for the final time, the call went to someone else — on 
this occasion to liis old friend and OSS colleague, Allen Dulles. Six 
years later, on Februai-y 8, 1959, William J. Donovan died in the 
nation's capital. 

IV. Air Intelligence 

The dawning of world war in 1939 found the United States rather 
unprepared in another area of intelligence operations, a relatively new 
field, but, nevertheless, a function which Japan and the principal 
European powers had greatly refined at that time. Air intelligence 
had been inaugurated in the American armed forces at the outbreak 
of the Civil War with balloonists or aeronauts sei'ving both with the 
field armies and with the Signal Corps. ^" The loosely organized bal- 
loon corps of the Union Forces, disbanded in June 1863, did not exceed 
seven balloons and nine trained aeronauts during its period of opera- 

'"/ftif/., pp. 20.3-204. 

^"Generally, see F. Stansbui-y Haydon. Aeronautics in the Union and Confed- 
erate Armies. Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1941. 


tion.^^ Its mission was observation, a most niclimentary intelligence 

During the Spanish-American "War. the Signal Corps dispatched 
its only available balloon and two aeronauts to Cuba where they ap- 
parently saw tAvo brief, but effective days of service in the attack on 
San Juan Hill. Although a second balloon unit was organized at 
Tampa, Florida, to accompany a new expeditionaiy force to Puerto 
Eico, the armistice rendered their departure unnecessary.-^- 

Almost four years after the "Wright brothers successfully demon- 
strated the ability of a machine-powered heavier-than-air apparatus 
to carry man aloft, the Chief Signal Officer of the Army, Brigadier 
General James Allen, established, on August 1, 1907, an Aeronautical 
Division in his office. Two years and one day later, after a number of 
trial tests, approval was granted for the purchase of the first Army 
flying machine from the "Wrights. ^^ 

By the time of the long-delayed recognition of the "Wright 
brothers in 1909, the Army's interest in aviation had been 
primarily for the purpose of improving reconnaissance. The 
first heavier-than-air craft, as well as lighter-than-air craft, 
was evaluated by the militaiy solely in terms of collecting in- 
formation. It took only a few years of Army experimentation 
with airplanes to conclude that there was a greater develop- 
ment potential for military reconnaissance in the airplane 
than in captive or dirigible balloons; therefore, practically 
all available funds for aeronautics in the Signal Corps, begin- 
ning with fiscal year 1912, were devoted to the purchase and 
maintenance of heavier-than-air craft. This was a bold de- 
cision because limited airplane performances by that time had 
not demonstrated any military value other than that the Army 
could extend its range of vision. Airplanes were valued for 
their relatively passive role of spying out the enemy's disposi- 
tion and not as actively aggi'e&sive weapons in themselves. 
Despite experiments made in shooting machine guns, taking 
pictures, and dropping explosives from planes, the Signal 
Corps decided to adopt two types of airplanes and both for 
reconnaissance missions. The "Scout" was desired for service 
with ground troops, for carrying two pilots and radio and 
photographic equipment, and for travelling at least 45 mph 
for four hours. The "Speed Scout" was designed to carry 
only one pilot at a minimum speed of 65 miles fsicl for three 

®^ U.S. Air Force Department. Air University Research Studies Institute. 
"Development of Intelligence Function in the USAF, 1917-1950" by Victor H. 
Cohen. Typescript, January 1, 1957. Chapter I, p. 16. Copies of this study bear 
the marking '"Secret ;" the copy utilized in this study was declassified and sup- 
plied by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. 

" lUd., Chapter I. pp. 24-26. 

^ Ibid., Chapter I, pp. 26-27. 

" Ibid., Chapter I, p. 28. 


In 1913, the House Military Affairs Committee explored the possi- 
bility of creating: an air imit apart from the Signal Corps, but found 
little favor for the idea.^^ 

Three years later. Army airmen were afforded their first oppor- 
tunity to operate under combat conditions when the First Aero Squad- 
ron was deployed in support of Brigadier John J. Pershing's ]\Iexican 
border campaign. While a number of missions were successfully 

the most significant lesson which was brought forcibly to the 
attention of the Government and the people, especially in the 
face of the rapid development of aviation during the Euro- 
pean war, was the need for increasing and properly equipping 
an air force to accomplish the missions assigned to it. Con- 
sequently, Congress appropriated $500,000 and over $13,000,- 
000 in March and August of 1916 to expand the Aviation Sec- 
tion of the Signal Corps, which had been established in 1914. 
The total of these sums was thirteen times gi'eater than all the 
money that hitherto had been appropriated for Army avia- 
tion purposes.'^*^ 

As generous as these appropriations were, they proved insufficient 
to significantly improve the air corps for immediate participation in 
hostilities when the United States entered World War I the following 

[T]he United States entered World War I without a single 
pursuit or combat type airplane ; hardly a single flying officer 
was adequately familiar with aircraft machine guns, bombing 
devices, aerial photogi'aphy, or other aviation instruments 
well known to the aviators of England. In all respects, the 
nation was several years behind European aviation develop- 
ment. In fact, the Director of jNIilitary Aeronautics reported 
that in contrast to European developments "the United States 
at the time of its entry into the war stood very little ahead of 
where it had been before the world war broke out." If the 
United States had a doctrine for aerial employment, it 
centered on the use of the few aircraft for the support of 
ground forces as observation and courier vehicles. At the time 
of America's declaration of war, the Aviation Section con- 
sisted of 65 officers, two flying fields with 224 airplanes, mostly 
training types, "nearly all obsolete in type when compared 
with the machines then in effective service in France. In ad- 
dition, there was little combat experience or knowledge of 
European war lessons upon which to base an adequate state- 
ment of aerial mission and a plan for aerial production to 
implement that mission ; for a long period, European nations 
guarded certain things, especially about airplanes, from 
American observers. Unfortunately, actual American partici- 
pation in war was necessary before the concept of aviation as 

^ See U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Military Affairs. Acrouaiitirs in the 
Army. Hearings, 63rd, 1st session. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 

^^Coiien. op. ci,t.. Chapter I, p. 31. 


a flexible and mobile instrument of war, and not merely as an 
intelligence collecting agent, could be given a preliminary 

Once the declaration of war had been made, efforts got underway to 
organize air intelligence activities. 

Prior to America's entry into World War I, military aviation 
Avas considered nothing more than an information collecting 
service i)erformed by lighter and heavier-than-air craft for 
the use of individual ground commanders. Adequate intelli- 
gence organizations for the systematic collection, collation, 
evaluation, and dissemination of information to all com- 
manders concerned did not exist. It was the prevailing con- 
cept that troop commanders in combat should use their own 
available means and resources for securing information about 
the enemy. Higher commanders would get what they needed 
by means of their own agencies or by direct request to com- 
manders in contact with the enemy.^^ 

At no time during the war did the Military Intelligence Division in 
Washington have a sub-section responsible for air intelligence mat- 
ters.^^ Such was not the case in France. ''Under the general theory of 
intelligence prevailing among the associated powers, intelligence units 
in the AEF [American Expeditionary Force] were established in all 
organizations beginning with the battalion, and each echelon was re- 
sponsible for intelligence on its own front." ^° 

The task of obtaining, assembling, weighing, and distribut- 
ing information on all phases of the enemy's aviation — in- 
cluding its organization, materiel, personnel, operations, and 
the location of its units — was the responsibility of the office 
of air intelligence, G-2-A-7, the [AEF] Military Informa- 
tion Division's seventh sub-section which had been organized 
in March 1918 by Lt. Prentiss M. Terry, who was later suc- 
ceeded by Maj. C. F. Thompson. 

As officers in charge of the air intelligence sub-division, 
they were responsible for furnishing the General Staff on 
GHQ, the staff of armies and corps, and the Air Service, with 
intelligence concerning the enemy air arm. The first three 
months of G-2-A-7's existence were consumed in organizing 
the work of the office, in collecting intelligence infonnation 
from French and British Intelligence Offices, and in visiting 
Air Service Headquarters for the purpose of determining how 
best it could be served.®^ 

The sub-section ultimately established five units for performing its 
duties: an interrogation of prisoners section (staffed by one officer), 
the air order of battle section (responsible for tracking the size, 
organization, markings, location, duties, equipment, and personnel of 

" Ibid., Chapter I. pp. 35-36. 
'" Thid.. Chapter II. p. 1. 
=' Ibid., Chapter II. p. 2. 
^ Ihid.. Chapter II. p. 2A. 
* Ibid., Chapter II. pp. 3-3A. 


enemy air units), a bomb targets section, a technical section (re- 
sponsible for assembling and disseminating information on the pro- 
duction, performance, and maintenance of enemy aircraft), and an 
enemy air activity section (responsible for collecting, assembling, and 
disseminating intelligence on enemy air strategy and tactics, enemy 
aviation training, ancl the effects of Allied air operations.) '^- 

In view of the limited air operations during Woi'ld War I, the 
list of air intelligence functions to be performed by approxi- 
mately 7 officers and 16 enlisted men in G-2's Office of Air 
Intelligence sounded more imposing than they actually were. 
Before the office could gain much experience in the new 
branch of military intelligence dealing with air matters, the 
war ground to a halt. Nevertheless, G-2-A-7 was destined 
to become a prototype of the air intelligence organization of 
the next World War.*'^ 

Liaison between the AEF/MID air intelligence subsection and 
units of the air service was conducted by Branch Intelligence Officers 
who were under the supervision of G-2-A-7 and had staffs consisting 
of a clerk, two draftsmen, and an orderly."^ Sent to air groups and 
squadrons by the Office of Air Intelligence, the Branch Intelligence 
Officers did not merely confine themselves to obtaining intelligence in- 
formation about the enemy air arm, they, in fact, acted as the intelli- 
gence officers of the air unit to which they were assigned. 

But the control over intelligence operations in air units by 
BIO's, who were detached officers from the Military Intelli- 
gence Division of the GHQ, AEF, was objectionable to the 
Air Service and its predecessor organization which had been 
headed by Lt. Colonel William INIitchell, Aeronautical Officer, 
AEF. The work of air intelligence was believed to belong 
properly to the Air Service, and that such intelligence would 
be made available to G-2 at Headquarters AEF through 
channels and liaison activities. The thesis of the supporters 
of this idea was that air intelligence officers required a tech- 
nical knowledge of aviation for the proper performance of 
their duty ; if possible, intelligence officers should be qualified 
aerial observers so that they could better appreciate the prob- 
lems of observation and be better able to interrogate observers 
returning from intelligence gathering missions. It was im- 
possible, they said to get good results from a system which 
gave prominent place to intelligence officers detailed to the 
Air Service as representatives of G-2, but not responsible to 
the Air Service. If squadi'on intelligence officers were integral 
])arts of the air squadrons, they could be selected from among 
candidates for pilots and observers and they could be par- 
tially trained during the squadron's organization and trahi- 
ing period. During that time, the air intelligence officer would 
be able to build up comradeship and a sense of responsibility 
which could not be expected from a General Staff representa- 

*' lUd., Chapter II, pp. 3B-3F, 29-32. 
'" Ihid., Chapter II, p. 3G. 
" Ihid., Chapter II, p. 5A. 


tive who did not join a unit until it was at the front. Inas- 
much as corps and army aviation commanders were re- 
sponsible for the actual collection of air intelligence by 
means of visual and photographic reconnaissance, they should 
be better able to exercise closer supervision over the col- 
lection and dissemination of air intelligence by lower units 
than any Branch Intelligence Officer. Moreover, adherents to 
the doctrine of air force control over air intelligence believed 
that such control would make the Air Service more inde- 
pendent and fieer in its effort to be progressive and effi- 

Because of this sentiment, the flying corps sought some vehicle to 
serve its needs regarding intelligence production and placed its trust 
for this function in the Information Section. 

The Information Section of the Air Service could be con- 
sidered a quasi-air intelligence organization which duplicated 
G-2-A-T operations for the avowed purpose of disseminating 
air intelligence and information more quickly and widely 
throughout the Air Service. ISAS had its origin in General 
Order 21, Headquarters AEF. 13 August 1917. which directed 
departments and corps, including the Air Service, to designate 
an officer specifically charged with the collection and dissemi- 
nation of military information relating to his organization. 
Early in September an Information Department was inau- 
gurated in the Air Service. It was charged with the "collec- 
tion, preparation, and distribution of all information of 
special interest to the Air Service; liaison with the Intelli- 
gence Section. General Staff, A.E.F; and the organization 
and supervision of air information officers attached to Air 
Service units.'* Little information of the personnel and rec- 
ords of that Department are available ; evidently it passed 
through different commands until Februaiw 1918, at which 
time its duties were absorbed by the Intelligence Division of 
the Training Section, Air Service, A.E.F.^'' 

The Training Section's intelligence unit had been inaugurated in 
Paris in December, 1917. A month later efforts were being made by 
the section chief. Captain Ernest L. Jones, to expand his unit from 
training responsibilities to central intelligence operations for the entire 
Air Service. On INIarch 28. 1918. the Intelligence Division was given its 
mandate to serve the intelliirence needs of the entire air corps and was 
renamed Information Section, Air Ser^^Ce. "By the end of the war. 
the ISAS had grown into six subdivisions : Statistics. Library. General 
Information, Editorial and Eesearch, Production, and History: its 
personnel had increased from an original staff of two officers and one 
enlisted man to 10 officers, 30 enlisted men, and three civilians." ^' 

The trials and tribulations of the ISAS in finding its place 
in a new service under wartime conditions were essentially re- 
peated by its comparable organization in America. The genesis 

"^ Ihid.. Chapter II, pp. 8-9. 
^ Ihid., Chapter II, pp. 13-13A. 
^^ Ibid., Chapter II, pp. 13A-15A. 


of the first air intelligence office in the Army Air arm appears 
to be early in March 1917 when Lt. Col. John B. Bennet, offi- 
cer in charge of the Aeronautical Division of the Signal 
Corps, recommended on the basis of a General Staff memoran- 
dum that his division be expanded in functions and personnel ; 
his plans included the establishment of an air intelligence 
unit. The reorganization of the Aeronautical Division, ap- 
proved on 16 March by Gen, George O. Squier, Chief Signal 
Officer, provided for an air intelligence office under the Per- 
sonnel Sub-division which was redesignated Correspondence 
Subdivision shortly after the United States declared war. The 
functions of the small intelligence office, headed by Capt. 
Edgar S. Gorrell, were to collect, codify, and disseminate 
aeronautical information. ®^ 

A few months later, in June, the unit was renamed the Airplane 
Division and a reorganization placed the intelligence section on a par 
with the other three new majoi- sub-divisions for Training, Equipment, 
and Organization. Placed in charge of the new intelligence unit was 
Major Henry H. (''Hap") Arnold, destined to become World War II 
Chief of Staff for Air, assisted by Ernest L. Jones, long time owner, 
editor, and publisher of Aeronautics magazine. 

The duties of the Intelligence Section at this time consisted 
largely of collecting and filling military aeronautical data of 
every nature and from all sources, and making digests of per- 
tinent information for interested officials. Intelligence ma- 
terial from military attaches and other representatives abroad 
had been flowing into the OCSO since the early days of aero- 
nautics in the Signal Corps, but after the United States en- 
tered the war, the British, French, and Italian governments 
released information of greater value and volume. The pres- 
sures of war caused further expansion and changes in the Air- 
plane Division. On 1 October the Air Division succeeded the 
Airplane Division ; Brig. Gen. Benjamin D. Foulois continued 
as Chief, with colonel Arnold as Executive in charge of the 15 
sections constituting the entire Air Division of the Signal 
Corps. The Intelligence Section was redesignated the In- 
formation Section and Capt. Harold C. Candee succeeded 
Lieutenant Jones as officer in charge. Tlie latter was soon 
promoted to captain and order overseas to continue similar 
work in the AEF [Training Section, Intelligence 
Division] .'^^ 

Although further organizational alterations occurred, there was lit- 
tle variation in the Information Section's functions until President 
Wilson, by an Executive order of INIay 20, 1918, designated the Divi- 
sion of Military Aeronautics, which had been created within the Signal 
Corps during the previous month. 

an independent agency with the duty of performing every 
aviation function heretofore discharged by the Signal Corps, 

*' Ihid.. Chapter II, p. 23. 

"^ Ihid., Chapter II, pp. 24-24A. 


except those pertaining to the production of aircraft and air- 
craft equipment. The newly established and independent Bu- 
reau of Aircraft Production (BAP), created on 24 April 
1918, was given complete control over the production of air- 
planes, airplane engines, and aircraft equipment for the use of 
the Army. In August, Mr. John D. Ryan, then 2nd Assistant 
Secretar}^ of War, was appointed Director of Air Service in 
charge of both the BAP and DjNIA. As a result of these reor- 
ganizations, the Information Section on 21 May became the 
Intelligence Branch of the Executive Section of the DMA. 
About two months later it was redesignated the Aeronautical 
Information Branch, which, by the end of August had been 
organized into seven sub-branches: Procurement, Confiden- 
tial Information, Publicity and Censorial, Statistics, Clerical 
Detail, Auxiliary, and Headquarters Bulletin. 

Throughout the war, the functions of the air intelligence or 
information sections in the Signal Corps, and their successor, 
the Aeronautical Information Branch of the DISIA, primarily 
consisted of the collection and dissemination of information 
pertaininc: to domestic and foreign aviation activities, in- 
cluding those of the enemy ; the maintenance of a library and 
complete files, properly cross-indexed, of all information and 
statistics on hand; the continuance of a liaison system with 
the AEF, foreign governments, and other U.S. government 
departments; and the censoring of articles and photographs 
for publication submitted through the Committee on Public 
Information. The American information unit exchanged bul- 
letins and other material with its counterpart in the AEF, the 
Information Section of the Air Service. The general informa- 
tion and technical bulletins published on both sides of the 
ocean pertained to every phase of aviation. Indeed, the Wash- 
ington air information office, like its analogous section over- 
seas, was a quasi-intelligence organization concerned in part 
with knowledge about the enemy.'° 

One other wartime structure is of interest at this juncture, the Re- 
search Information Committee. 

The RIC, with branch committees in Paris and London, 
had been organized in the early part of 1918 by the joint 
action of the Secretaries of War and XaA-y, and with the ap- 
proval of the Council of Xational Defense. In cooperation 
with the offices of military and naval intelligence, the RIC 
was to secure, classify, and disseminate scientific, technical, 
and industrial research information, especially relating to war 
problems, between the United States and its allies. By this 
plan, the Government endeavored to establish a central clear- 
ing exchange information service by means of which the 
Army General Stalf, the various bureaus of the Army and 
Navy, the committees of the Council of National Defense, and 
the scientific organizations in the United States working on 

' Ibid., Chapter II, pp. 26-27. 


war production and inventions, could be kept posted on tech- 
nical and scientific developments at home and abroad. The 
RIC in Washinoton consisted of a civilian member represent- 
ing the National Research Council, a technical assistant, the 
Chief of the Military Intelligence Section (MIS) , and the Di- 
rector of Naval Intellioence. As a result of its membership on 
the RIC, the Military Intelligence Section was made respon- 
sible for securing and disseminating scientific and technical 
research information for all branches of the Army, The MIS 
was assisted in its duties by the liaison representatives to the 
RIC from the DMA, BAP, and other military bureaus. In cer- 
tain instances when information could only be obtained by 
sending ex]:)erts to Europe, the individuals so designated were 
supposed to clear through the RIC, which would check to see 
if the information was available in this country or if the re- 
search was necessary. Those cleared for travel were instructed 
to contact the RIC's Paris or London committee through 
which any information collected would be dispatched to the 
RIC in Washington ; this was to be done even though different 
communication channels were employed at the same time by 
those sent abroad. The overseas committees each consisted of 
the military, naval, and scientific attaches and a technical as- 
sistant. In addition to serving as the clearing house for in- 
formation flowing from both sides of the Atlantic, those 
committees were designated to serve the commander-in-chief 
of the military and naval forces in Europe, and to cooperate 
and render assistance to the offices of the military and naval 
attaches in the collection, analysis, and dissemination of scien- 
tific and industrial research information.^^ 

With the end of World War I came the exhaustive task of reorganiz- 
ing the Air Service for peacetime operations. In January, 1919, the 
Director of the Air Service was made more directly responsible for the 
supervision and direction of the Division of Military Aeronautics and 
the Bureau of Aircraft Production. By mid-March, it was decided that 
the Air Service would adopt the structure of its AEF operation in 

France, thereby causing it to gain direct control over both DMA and 

The Information Group in the ODAS was designated to re- 
ceive its intelligence information primarily through the 
Military Intelligence Division of the WDGS [War Depart- 
ment General Staff] and from foreign missions. Information 
on military and commercial aeronautics in the United States 
came from information officers at military posts and from 
liaison officers with other governmental and civilian air activi- 
ties. A Special Division was added to the Information Group 
toward the latter part of 1919 for the purpose of collecting 
and disseminating meteorological information and for han- 
dling such special activities as publicity, and correspondence 

IMd., Chapter II, pp. 33-35. 
IMd., Chapter IV, pp. 1-2. 


relative to congressmen and municipal landing fields for 
The Army Eeorganization Act of 1920 (41 Stat. 759) had little 
impact upon the intelligence structure of the military organization : 
the Air Service became a coordinate combat branch of the line and 
the Division of ^Military Aeronautics was formally abolished. "The 
Director of Air Senice was hencefortli known as the Chief of Air 
Service (CAS), similar to the title of 'Chief held by the other heads 
of the combatant arms of the Army." ^* 

On May 29, 1919, the Research Information Committee, renamed 
the Research Information Service, was reorganized for peacetime 
operations under the National Research Council. 

It was not until shortly after Maj. Gen. Mason M. Patrick 
succeeded General [C. T.] Menoher as CAS on 5 October 1921 
that another reorganization of the Air Service was adopted. 
The new structure was patterned after General Pershing's 
1921 reorganization of the War Department General Staff 
(WDGS) into the following five divisions: Personnel (G-1), 
Military Intelligence (G-2). Operations and Training (G- 
3), Supply (G-4), and War Plans; it was natural that the 
WDGS be organized along the lines of Pershing's AEF. Gen- 
eral Patrick's reorganization of 1 December 1921 abolished 
the groups and created the Personnel, Information, Training 
and War Plans, Supply, and Engineering Divisions. It was 
not surprising that General Patrick, who had been Pershing's 
Chief of Air Service, AEF, should follow the organizational 
model of his war and peace time commander. 

The new Information Division was assigned a more prac- 
tical mission than its predecessor, the Information Group. 
Instead of trying to collect "every kind of information" on 
aeronautics, the primary function of the Information Divi- 
sion was the collection of "essential aeronautical information 
from all possible sources." Greater concern was shown for the 
collection of information of an intelligence nature by the re- 
quirement that one of the three general classes of information 
should be concerned with "the uses of aircraft in war, includ- 
ing the organization of the Air Forces of the world, tactical 
doctrines, types of aircraft used, organization of the person- 
nel operating and maintaining aircraft." The other two 
classes of information dealt with technical matters and infor- 
mation relative to other phases of military aviation. Because 
of reduced military appropriations and the lack of person- 
nel. Collection and Dissemination Divisions were abolished 
during the reorganization and their duties were assumed by 
the Library and Reproduction Sections, respectively.^^ 

In 1925, the Information Division created a military intelligence 
section which worked in liaison with the Collection Section of the 

■^ Ibid.. Chapter IV, p. 6. 
■"^ Ibid., Chapter IV, p. 7. 
'^ Ibid., Chapter IV, pp. 8-9. 


Military Intelligence Division of the General Staff. This MID unit 
(M.I. 5) administered the military attache system, maintained official 
contact with State, Commerce and other Executive Departments in- 
volved with foreio^i matters, and functioned as adviser to the Foreign 
Liaison Officer on questions concerning the distribution of aeronau- 
tical information to foreign countries. However, very little could be 
accomplished by the understaffed unit.^*^ 

With the passage of the Air Corps Act (40 Stat. 780) on July 2, 
1926, "the Information Division remained on the coordinating staff 
level of the newly designated Office of the Chief of the Air Corps 
(OCAC) as the counterpart to the Military Intelligence Division of 

In placing the Air Corps Act into effect, the organizational 
changes made in December 1926, among other things, divided 
the Information Division of the OCAC into four sections and 
re-named them to indicate their major functions: The Air 
Intelligence Section became the successor to the ]\IID Section 
and inherited the responsibility for maintaining liaison with 
the MID of the War Department General Staff ; the new sec- 
tion was also charged with the procurement, evaluation and 
dissemination of foreign and domestic aeronautical informa- 
tion, and with the maintenance and supervision of the Air 
Corps Library. The Photographic Section was made respon- 
sible for collecting, filing, and distributing all photographs 
taken by the Air Corps; a voluminous file of negatives of 
scientific, historical, and news value was maintained. The 
Publications Section received the duties of printing, repro- 
ducing, and distributing all i:)ublications and documents such 
as Information Circulars, Airport Bulletins, Air Navigation 
maps, etc. The Press Relations Section, replacing the Special 
Section, was charged with the preparation and release of all 
news items, and with Air Corps publicity matters.^^ 

These efforts at reorganization, however, did not necessarily result 
in a better air intelligence capability. 

Functionally . . . the Information Division, in the early 
part of the thirties, had reached a new low. The Plans Divi- 
sion, OCAC, took over part of the Information Division's 
functions of collecting, evaluating, and disseminating intelli- 
gence information because of the latter's failure to send out 
copies of important reports to the Tactical School and to var- 
ious Air Corps instructors and individuals. "When Lt. Col. 
Walter R. Weaver became Chief of the Information Division 
in June of 1933, his first moves were to protest vigorously 
against this usurpation of functions and to strengthen his 
organization. His actions were backed by the Chief of the Air 
Corps who then confirmed the Information Division's respon- 
sibilities for (1) the collection and dissemination of air in- 
telligence information concerning foreign countries; (2) the 

™ IMd., Chapter IV, pp. 9-10. 

"/WfZ., Chapter IV, p. lOA. 

'* IMd., Chapter IV, pp. lOB-11. 


compilation and distribution of information on military avia- 
tion; and (3) the coordination of matters of interest between 
the Air Corps, and the State Department and the Military 
Intelligence Division of the WDGS. 

Under Colonel AYeaver's criiidance, the Information Divi- 
sion increased its effectiveness, and by mid 1934 it had added 
a number of additional duties, including the collection of com- 
parative data on plane and personnel strength, air budgets, 
and general organization of the air arms of England, France, 
Italy, Japan, and the United States. This function was as- 
sumed by the Intelligence Section, which for many years was 
staffed by one officer and from two to five civilian employees. 
Nevertheless, the Section during fiscal year 1935 not only 
made comparative studies of national air forces, but it also 
was able to initiate a digest of foreign aviation information. 
The evaluation and distribution of such air intelligence, the 
Chief of the Air Corps said later "has been of vital impor- 
tance and interest. Owing to the increased aviation activities 
abroad the volume of this particular type of work within the 
Intelligence Section has materially increased." ^^ 

Recalling his thoughts on the eve of war in Europe, General "Hap" 
Arnold, appointed Chief of Air Corps on September 29, 1938, wrote : 

Looking back on it, I think one of the most wasteful weak- 
nesses in our whole setup was our lack of a proper Air Intelli- 
gence Organization. It is silly, in the light of what we came 
to know, that I should still have been so impressed by the 
information given me in Alaska by that casual German who 
called my hotel and told me about their "new bomber." I know 
now there were American journalists and ordinary travelers 
in Germany who knew more about the Luftwaffe's prepara- 
tions than I, [then] the Assistant Chief of the United States 
Army Corps. 

From Spain, where our Army observers watched the actual 
air fighting, reports were not only weak but unimaginative. 
Nobody gave us much useful information about Hitler's air 
force until Lindbergh came home in 1939. Our target intelli- 
gence, the ultimate determinate, the compass on which all 
the priorities of our strategic bombardment campaign against 
Germany would depend, was set up only after we were actu- 
ally at war. Part of this was our own fault ; part was due to 
the lack of cooperation from the War Department General 
Staff's G-2 ; part to a change in the original conception of the 
B-17 as a defensive weapon to a conception of it as a weapon 
of offense against enemy industries.®^' 

And what had Arnold learned from the Lone Eagle which neither 
military nor air intelligence could supply ? 

Lindbergh gave me the most accurate picture of the Luft- 
waffe, its equipment, leaders, apparent plans, training meth- 

"^ Ibid.. Chapter IV. pp. 12-12B. 

^''H. H. Arnold. Global Mission. New York, Harper and Brothers, 1949, pp. 


ods, and present defects that I had so far received. Chief of 
the German Air Force's shortcomings at that time seemed 
to be its hack of sufficient trained personnel to man the equip- 
ment ah'eady on hand, a fact "which might make unlikely 
powerful sustained operations through 1940. 

Goering's neglect of strategic bombardment and logistics 
was not yet apparent. On the contrary, German industrial 
preparations were enormous, and bombers with a range for 
strategic attacks almost anywhere in Europe made up a large 
part of his force, though these same DO-lfs and HE-lll's 
could also be employed for direct support of ground troops. 
Lindbergh felt that Hitler held the destruction of any major 
city on the continent, or in Britain, in his hands.^^ 

Arnold had been made aware of the deficiencies of air intellig:ence 
operations from other quarters, including the chief of his Plans 
Section, Lt. Col. Carl Spaatz. As war plans were developed by the 
"War Department and the strategic employment of air power applied, 
accurate air intelligence became essential for the execution of those 
plans. But, as Spaatz informed Arnold in August of 1939, such intelli- 
gence data was "not being maintained ready for issue in the Office of 
the Air Corps, or elsewhere.'" ^- 

As a result of Spaatz's counsel, an Air Corps Board was 
convened a week before Hitler's attack on Poland to deter- 
mine the nature, scope, and form of intelligence required for 
aerial operations; also, the Board was to make recommenda- 
tions as to the methods and procedures for obtaining and 
processing that intelligence. After meeting daily for several 
days, the Board, composed of intelligence representatives 
from the OCAC, ACTS, and GHQ AF, made what was 
doubtless the most comprehensive analysis for air intelli- 
gence requirements to that time. 

The intelligence needed by the Air Corps, the Board stated, 
fell into three categories: (a) that required by the C/AC for 
strategic planning in connection with the preparation or re- 
vision of Joint Basic "War Plans and the employment of air 
power in any theater, (b) that required for technical plan- 
ning to insure American leadership both in the production of 
planes and equipment and in the development of adequate 
tactics and techniques for aerial operations, (c) that re- 
quired for tactical planning and execution of plans. 

The Board recognized G-2's responsibility for collecting 
and processing all intelligence information. Except for the 
processing required for War Department estimates, however, 
the Board believed the iiir Corps to be better qualified to 
handle intelligence information on certain phases of foreign 
aviation. Accordingly, the Board recommended that the Air 
Corps should continue its current task of preparing air tech- 
nical intelligence and should assume the responsibility for 

^^ Ibid., pp. 188-189; Cp. Leonard Mosley. How the Nazis used Lindbergh. New 
York. V. 9, March 3, 1976 : 32-38. 
'* Cohen, op. cit., Chapter VII. p. 7. 


processing information pertaining to tactical operations and 
to the use of aircraft in antiaircraft defense. For strategic 
intelligence required by the Air Corps, G-2 was considered to 
be in a better position not only to prepare economic, political, 
and combat estimates, but also to determine the vulnerability 
of potential air objectives and systems of objectives, together 
with an estimate of the probable effect of the destruction 

The Board also suggested that General Arnold, as Chief of 
the Air Corps and principal adviser on air matters to the 
Chief of Statf, WDGS. be allowed to establish in his office an 
air intelligence agency considerably larger than the existing 
Information Division's Intelligence Section. . . .^^ 

Never submitted for or otherwise given "War Department approval, 
this report marked the beginning of a controversy, continuing into the 
time of United States entry into the war, between the Military 
Intelligence Division, War Department, and the Air Corp's Intelli- 
gence organization over air intelligence activities and responsibilities. 
When the Information Division, OCAC, started collecting intelli- 
gence information outside of G-2 channels, the MID directed that 
this activity cease and that requests for such data be routed through 
the Military Intelligence Division. This action occurred in the autumn 
of 1939 : relenting somewhat in ^lay of the following year, G -2 per- 
mitted the Air Corps' Information Division to make direct contacts for 
intelligence information with all Federal agencies except the Xavy 
and State Department.^* 

The War Department's G-2 had been cognizant for some 
time of the incompetency of the personnel in his Intelligence 
Branch to maintain digests of aviation information. More- 
over, as the Branch was organized on a geographic basis with 
each geographic section being responsible for all phases of in- 
telligence for the countries assigned, it became obvious that a 
separate unit was needed to evaluate and interj^ret the volum- 
inous amount of air intelligence being received. Shortly after 
Hitler's attack on Poland, a separate Air Section was estab- 
lished in the Intelligence Branch of the ]MID for the purposes 
of coordinating all air intelligence activities, of maintaining 
a current summary of air operations, and of supervising the 
preparation of air intelligence. 

The Air Section, apparently, was not formally established 
until March. 1940 when Maj. Ennis C. Whitehead, who was 
Chief of the Southern European Section of the Intelligence 
Branch and the only Air Corps officer on duty with G-2, was 
named Chief of the new Air Section. For the first four months 
he was assisted only by Lt. ^Marvin L. Harding; in July, ^SIi-s. 
Irma G. Robinson was transferred to the Air Section from the 
Air Corps' intelligence office. When Whitehead, who had been 
promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, was replaced by Lt. Col. 
Jack C. Hodgson in the late summer of 1941, the total person- 

'Ibid., Chapter VII, pp. 8-9. 
' Ibid., Chapter VII, pp. 12-13. 


nel in the Air Section consisted of five officers, three analysts, 
and four clerk-stenographers. Attempts Avere made to en- 
large the Section by acquiring more airmen, but the AAF 
itself had an urgent need for personnel to fill its numerous 
vacancies and made a counterotler for the removal of G-2's 
Air Section to the Intelligence Division of OCAC where it 
would operate on behalf of G-2. Of course, the offer was de- 
clined and the extension of air intelligence activities in the 
MID was retarded. Until Pearl Harbor Day, the Air Section 
could only process the air files for the British Empire, Ger- 
many and satellites, France and Italy ; eventually, as person- 
nel became available, full responsibility was assumed for the 
G-2's air files of all countries.®^ 

Not only were air intelligence activities hampered by jurisdictional 
disputes but the security procedures of MID also impeded operations 
in this sphere. 

In an early effort to clarify one phase of the jurisdictional 
problem relating to [intelligence] dissemination, the War De- 
partment on 15 November 1939 formally stated the func- 
tions of the ]\IID and the arms and services. Unless documents 
were marked "No Objection to Publication in Service Journ- 
als" reproduction and redistribution of G-2 reports by arms 
and services required the consent of the Assistant Chief of 
Staff, G-2. Each document permitted to be reproduced also 
had to contain a statement of sources and its classification 
could not be lower than the original document. 

For the Air Corps, such a policy meant that G-2 informa- 
tion could be circulated, but not reproduced even for dissem- 
ination to the limited number of Air Corps Headquarters 
Agencies. Hence, intelligence was sometimes stale by the time 
it was circulated to an interested user. Security, not economy, 
was the basis for limiting distribution. The MID, highly se- 
curity conscious because of the character of its work, was es- 
pecially desirous that the intelligence currently being supplied 
be carefully safeguarded. 

But the necessity for securing G-2's approval before re- 
producing and distributing each intelligence re]:)ort emanat- 
ing from his office hampered the Air Corp's efforts to keep 
pace with aviation developments arising from the experiences 
in the European war. Consequently, General Arnold secured 
blanket authority on 1 IMarch 1940 to reproduce and dissemi- 
nate one or two copies of G-2 materials to major operating 
Air Corps agencies, but they were prohibited from making 
additional copies. G-2 thought the exception granted Arnold 
was justified so long as Europe was at war and while the Air 
Corps was engaged in an expansion program. Shortly there- 
after, reproduction restrictions were further modified by 
G-2's permission to the OCAC to make as many as five copies 
of any confidential or restricted MID document,^*' 

IMd., Chapter VII, pp. 13-15. 
Ibid., Chapter VII, pp. 17-18. 


Still the intelligence dissemination problems continued in spite of 
G-2's reluctant grants of approval for increased co^D}- distribution 
within the Air Corps. In an effort to further ameliorate intelligence 
dissemination difficulties, a conference of OCAC intelligence repre- 
sentatives and MID personnel was held in the spring of 194:1, Among 
the various views expressed at this meeting, 

Brig. Gen. Sherman Miles, Acting AC/S, G-2, was espe- 
cially fearful that if the C/AC were to determine what MID 
intelligence should be disseminated to his miits then it would 
be possible for the Air Corps to authorize the reproduction of 
verbatim secret reports from military attaches or Executive 
departments of the Government, from strategic studies re- 
quired in war planning, and from papers prepared in compli- 
ance with specific requests of the War Department and other 
government agencies. 

Although the air arm would have been limited in its repro- 
duction and redistribution by regulations on safeguarding 
military information, protecting the source of information, 
and limiting distribution to those Avith a need-to-know. Gen- 
eral Miles refused to permit any excerptions to existing rules, 
^loreover, he advised "intelligence agencies under control of 
the Chief of the Army Air Forces [to] confine their dissemi- 
nation of information to the Air Forces generally to tactical 
and technical matters directly affecting the Air Forces, and 
that no dissemination be made b}' those agencies, without the 
consent of this Division, of any secret or confidential infor- 
mation regarding the present disposition, strength or effec- 
tiveness of foreign forces, ground or air," 

Such a restriction, along with the others requiring ap- 
proval of G-2 prior to reproducing and disseminating intelli- 
gence, hampered air intelligence operations not only at the 
AAF Headquarters level but also down to and including 
the commands. A-2 [Air Force intelligence] obviously knew 
the intelligence needs of air units better than an outside 
agency and he continued his efforts to secure exemptions from 
the irksome prohibition placed upon him by the WDGS. But 
freedom for the AAF to reproduce and redistribute G-2 mate- 
rial did not come until Independence Day in. 1912 when the 
Chief of the Military Intelligence Service, MID, authorized 
the commanding generals of the AAF and the air conunands 
to reproduce and distribute to lower echelons any and all 
classified military information received from G-2 unless the 
document contained a specific prohibition against reproduc- 
tion. Formal "War Department approval of G-2's action came 
the following month,*^ 
Still the major jurisdictional question, the rivalry for control over 
air intelligence between G-2 and A-2, persisted. Seeing no other course 
of action open to him on the matter. Arnold, with AAF intelligence 
needs continuing to mount, placed the issue before the Chief of Staff, 
General George C, ^Marshall, and asked for a command decision on his 

Ibid., Chapter VII, pp. 23-25. 

70-890 O - 76 - 12 


recommendation for the removal of all restrictions thought to limit 
the reliability and efRcienc}- of air intelligence operations,^^ 

On September 10, 1941, Arnold had his decision: the War Depart- 
ment supported G-2's position for continuing the unity of strategic 
intelligence responsibilities, saying: 

The responsibility imposed on the Military Intelligence Divi- 
sion, W.D.G.S., by par. 9, AR 10-15, for the collection, evalu- 
ation and dissemination of military information includes 
that which pertains to the Army Air Forces as well as to 
other Arms. In carrying out this responsibility, the Military 
Intelligence Division is charged with the compilation of all 
information for the purposes of formulation of comprehen- 
sive military studies and estimates; it will prepare those 
studies and estimates. Intelligence agencies of the Chief of 
the Army Air Forces will be maintained for the purpose of 
the compilation and evaluation of technical and tactical in- 
formation, received from the Military Intelligence Division 
and other sources, plus the collection of technical air infor- 
mation (from sources abroad through cooperation with the 
M.I.D.), all or any of which is required by the Air Forces 
for their development and for such operations as they may 
be directed to perform.*^ 

In fact, however, the decision was not as devastating to Air Force 
intelligence objectives as might be presumed. 

As General Arnold stated : "we are getting what we want and that 
we will simply try out the whole scheme." This cryptic remark meant 
that a quiet and amicable settlement between G-2 and A-2 had been 
reached. As recorded in the minutes of an Air Staff meeting on 11 
September 1941 : 

. . . General Scanlon stated that G-2 had agreed to practi- 
cally everything we had asked for. Much of it will not be 
written but is understood. Permits us to obtain information 
ourselves but first, we must check through G-2 to determine 
if they have the information desired. If not, then our person- 
nel can be assigned to obtain it. Personnel, so assigned, will 
work through G-2's organizations. In regard to studies G-2 
has been working on reports received from their sources, 
arrangements have been made that G-2 will furnish us the 
complete report and we will make our own study. We are au- 
thorized to contact direct, foreign military attaches on duty 
in this country and other government departments.^" 

During this particular period of conflict with G-2 over air intelli- 
gence jurisdiction, the Air Corps, of course, continued to undergo 
expansion, administrative adjustment, and reorganization. During 
the autumn of 1940 General Arnold began making some changes, in- 
cluding the re-designation of the Information Division as the Intelli- 
gence Division, eifective December 1, 1940. New components added to 
the unit included a Domestic Intelligence (counter-intelligence) Sec- 

' See Ihid., Chapter VII. pp. 39-il. 
/&)VZ.. Chapter VII, p. 48. 
' lUd., Chapter VII, p. 52. 


tion and an Evaluation Section; continued were the Administrative, 
Foreign Intelligence, Press Kelations, and Maps Sections. The Library 
and Photographic Sections were transferred to a Miscellaneous 

Prior to the creation of a Counter Intelligence [or Domes- 
tic Intelligence] Section, the functions assigned to it, includ- 
ing the collection and dissemination of information concern- 
ing espionage, sabotage, subversion, disloyalty, and 
disaffection, had been performed by the Information Divi- 
sion's Intelligence Section. By January 1940, a separate 
Counter Intelligence Branch had been established, but for 
many months no officer was available to head it and the work 
was supervised by the Chief of Intelligence Section, Maj. 
J. G. Taylor. By the time of the Air Corps reorganization in 
December the volume of counter intelligence operations had 
mounted to [a] point warranting the establishment of a 
Domestic Intelligence Section, with a force of two officers and 
three enlisted men, as one of the principal components of the 
Intelligence Division. 

The establishment of an Evaluation Section grew out of 
the suggestion made to General Arnold on 23 October 1940 
by Col. George E. Stratemeyer. Acting Chief. Plans Division, 
OCAC. Xoting the vast amount on [sic] intelligence material 
flowing into the OCAC and then being reproduced and dis- 
tributed without being digested, Colonel Stratemeyer recom- 
mended the creation of an evaluation unit in the Information 
Division, not only to summarize and analyze the material for 
busy commanders and staff personnel but to dig out lessons 
indicating necessar}^ policy changes and new projects requir- 
ing attention. The then current system for evaluating infor- 
mation and securing the necessary action was in the hands of 
the Air Corps Board at Maxwell Field, Alabama. Within 
personnel limitations, the Board had been evaluating and 
studying wartime lessons in order to prepare and revise air 
tactical doctrine, and to provide educational and training 
material for combat personnel. With the establishment of an 
Evaluation Section, the Board was to continue its past func- 
tions, but in its evaluation of war information it was to report 
any foreign development and trends which might become 
apparent. It was the Evaluation Section, however, which 
was given the primary responsibility for detecting foreign 
developments, and trends and for summarizing all pertinent 
foreign intelligence appearing in periodic air bulletins.^- 

Because of the hostilities in Europe, the Foreign Intelligence Sec- 
tion was the largest and fastest growing unit within the Intelligence 
Division. It consisted of a Current Intelligence Branch, a Foreign 
Liaison Branch, and an Operations Planning Branch. While the first 
of these components was responsible for processing information per- 
taining to current military developments, "very little actual collec- 

* Ibid., Chapter VIII, pp. 1-2. 
'= Ibid., Chapter VIII, pp. 3-5. 


tion, other than from such open sources as the New York Times, was 
involved because the Military Intelligence Division was suppose to do 
all the collecting and then to forward to the OCAC whatever con- 
cerned air intelligence." ^^ 

The Operations Planning Branch of the Foreign Intelli- 
gence Section, created as the result of an Executive directive 
issued in December 1939, had developed into a significant ele- 
ment of the Air Corps, which was emphasizing strategic 
offensive operations against enemy airpower and enemy na- 
tional structures. The Branch had been initially designated 
the Air Force Intelligence Branch of the Information Divi- 
sion's Intelligence Section and it brought to that Section some 
specific duties and planning functions never before assigned 
to the Air Corps. In general, operations planning intelligence 
fell into two categories : first, to provide the C/AC with air 
intelligence upon which he could base air estimates for vari- 
ous war plans; secondly, to compile air intelligence upon 
which to conduct initial air operations under each established 
war plan. Specifically, the duties included such functions as 
analyzing foreign national structures to determine their vul- 
nerability to air attack ; preparing objective folders of specific 
targets in connection with war plans; maintaining current 
data on the strength, organization, and equipment of foreign 
air forces, including detailed technical data on performance 
and construction of foreign airplanes; keeping a complete file 
of airports and flying facilities throughout the world; and 
preparing air route guides for the movement of air units to 
potential theaters of operation. At the time of the OCAC's 
reorganization in December of 1940, the Operations Planning 
Branch was manned by five officers and ten civilians under 
Capt. H. S. Hansen.^* " 

In April, 1941, as a consequence of a formal study conducted by 
the Plans Division of the operations and functions of the Office of the 
Chief of the Air Corps, a Special Assignment Unit was established 
in the Public Relations Section of the Intelligence Division and the 
name of the Foreign Liaison Branch became the Air Corps Liaison 

Further changes were evident in the air arm in August, with three 
sections within the Intelligence Division being renamed : the Domestic 
Intelligence Section again became the Counter Intelligence unit, the 
Foreign Intelligence Section was retitled the Air Intelligence Section, 
and a Foreign Liaison Section was created from the renamed Air 
Corps' Liaison Unit previously located within the old Foreign Intel- 
ligence Section.^*' By the summer of 1941, the Intelligence Division 
consisted of 54 officers and 127 civilians (see Table I regarding 

Una., Chapter VIII, pp. 6-7. 
' Ihid., Chapter VIII, pp. 9-10. 
' ma., Chapter VIII, p. 16. 
' ma., Chapter VIII, p. 18. 
' lUd., Chapter VIII, p. 26. 








On duty 



On duty 



On duty 



Division chief 






1 . 



















Air intelligence 

Foreign liaison.. 


Counter intelligence 

Public relations 














Note: Corrected version adopted from U.S. Air Force Department. Air University Research Studies Institute. "Develop- 
ment of Intelligence Function in the USAF, 1917-50" by Victor H. Cohen. Typescript, ch. VIII, p. 26. 

If air intelligence personnel were able to hnrdle the stum- 
bling blocks imposed by mounting organizational charts and 
changes, and time consuming preparations of budget requests 
and justifications for mone,y and personnel, they were con- 
fronted with jurisdictional obstacles. The delineation of 
intelligence responsibilities between the air arm and the 
]MID was a continuing one. and when the Army Air Force 
(AAF) was created on June 20. 19il the problem of clarify- 
ing responsibilities of the air arm became an internal one as 
well as an external one. 

The AAF had been created to substitute unity for coordi- 
nation of command thus making it superior to both the Air 
Corps, which was the seryice element headed by Maj. Gen. 
George H. Brett, and the Air Force Combat Command 
(AFCC) — formerly the GHQ Air Force — which was the 
combat element headed by Lt. Gen. Delos C. Emmons. Gen- 
eral Arnold had the responsibility for establishing policies 
and plans for all Army ayiation actiyities, and the Chief of 
Staff. "\YDGS, was the person to whom he was accountable. 
Arnold also retained his position as Deputy Chief of Staff 
for Air. and thus in his two positions he was able to pass on 
air matters brought up by the members of the WDGS, as well 
as the commanding generals of the AAF's main components. 

To assist the Chief of the AAF in the formulation of 
policies, an Air Staff was established by using as its core the 
OCAC's Plans Diyision. which had been organized into sec- 
tions corresponding to the diyisions of the WDGS. The air 
sections were renamed A-1, A-2, A-3, A-4, and AWPD (Air 
War Plans Diyision) , Thus, by lifting the Plans Diyision out 
of the Air Corps, the Chief of the AAF had a ready-made 
air staff. All papers, studies, memoranda, etc., pertaining to 
purely air matters, which hitherto had been processed by the 
WDGS, were to be prepared for final War Department action 
by the Chief of the AAF. The exceptions were those papers 
pertaining to the Military Intelligence and War Plans Diyi- 
sions of the WDGS. 

The Air Staff was to assume the air planning functions 
formerly performed by the WDGS. Its operating functions 
were confined to the preparation of policies and instructions 


essential to directing and coordinating the activities of the 
two major AAF elements. Thus, in theory, the Air Staff was 
the policy agency, with the Air Corps and the Combat Com- 
mand performing operating functions.^® 

However, because the relationships between the AAF and the War 
Department were not clearly defined, old difficulties between the air 
arm and the general Staff continued in many instances. In addition, 
friction developed between the AAF Headquarters and the Office of 
the Chief of the Air Corps, which had been the principal administra- 
tive unit of the air arm. Between June of 1941 and March of 1942, 
various activities were withdrawn from OCAC and relocated with the 
Air Staff but with a view to maintaining separate operating and 
policymaking entities.^^ 

The strained relationship between the air staffs of the AAF 
and the OCAC could not endure for long. The crisis created 
by the Pearl Harbor attack, together with the subsequent pro- 
hibition imposed by the OCAC against informal communica- 
tion between its divisions and the Air Staff, undoubtedly ac- 
celerated the transfer of operating activities out of the 
OCAC. Not until the elimination of that office by the War 
Department reorganization of March 1942 was air intelli- 
gence planning and operating completely consolidated into 
one office, that of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff, A-2.^°° 

Until the collapse of France in June, 1940, air intelligence liaison 
with Great Britain was cautious, formal, and conducted with the 
customary restrictions on the release of classified information. As 
German armies overran Denmark, Norway, Belgium, and the Nether- 
lands, traditional military and naval attache contacts were the conduits 
for the exchange of intelligence information between the United States 
and embattled England. Then came the fall of the Fifth French 

All that seemed to stand between Hitler and American se- 
curity was Great Britain. This alarming condition erased all 
pretenses at observing neutrality. The new American policy 
became assistance to the democracies bv "All INIethods Short 
of War." Obviously realizing that "Knowledge is Power," 
especially in warfare. President Roosevelt approved in July 
a British proposal for the interchange of scientific data. In a 
swift follow-up, the British dispatched to Washington a com- 
mission of technical experts headed by Sir Heniy Tizard, 
Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Aircraft Production. 
The mission was authorized to exchange secret data on such 
things as radar, fire control, turrets, rockets, explosives, com- 
munications, etc.. which items obviously interested the Ameri- 
can military services. 

Initially, the British, as they expected, gave more scien- 
tific information than they received, but the general result 
of the conversations of the Tizard Mission with representa- 

' Ibid., Chapter VIII. pp. 27-29. 
Ibid., Chapter VIII. p. 3.S. 
"" Ibid.. Chapter VIII, p. 35. 


lives of the American armed services and the newly created 
American Xational Defense Research Committee (XDRC) 
was "a orreat stimulus to research on new weapons on both 
sides of the Atlantic."' "^ 

By January, 1941, after some British hesitation on the idea, an 
XDRC office was opened in London and, durin^: that month, the 
United States gave the British the means for deciphering the Jap- 
anese code.^°- 

The policy of close collaboration afforded a broad base for the 
exchange of general military- information as well as scientific. 
Early in August 194:0, about the time Hitler began his air 
blitzkrieg on the Island Kingdom, the British and American 
Governments had agreed secretly for a full exchange of mili- 
tary information. The ]MID, as coordinating agency for such 
an exchange desired all requests for military information 
from abroad to be specifically worded and routed through 
G-2 channels. But G-2*s radio and mail requests to England 
did not always secure the information desired, especially on 
technical matters. It was found extremely difficult to phrase 
specific questions, even for technical personnel, when there 
was very little data upon which to base precise queries. Send- 
ing officers to England was considered by G-2 and the Chief 
of the Air Corps' Intelligence Division as the best means for 
gaining information which was not readily available through 
attache channels or not at the disposal of the Tizard JNIission 
or other British delegations sent to the United States.^"^ 

Thus, a bevy of Air Corps officers were dispatched to Great Britain 
during 1940-41 as individual air observers in supplement to the regu- 
lar military attaches. When, in March of 1941, ioint Anglo-American 
war plans were perfected (called ABC-1), they provided for the 
creation of Special Observer Groups of American officers to ostensibly 
function as neutral observers but to also prepare for conversion into 
an advance staff element for a theater of operations should the United 
States enter the war.^"* 

Under ABC-1, the SPOBS [Special Observation Groups] 
was to become the official care of the United States Army 
Forces in the British Isles, which later actually became the 
European Theater of Operations. SPOBS' air staff section 
eventuall}^ evolved into the Air Technical Section, ETO 
Headquarters, and then re-designated Directorate of Tech- 
nical Services of the Air Service Command. United States 
Army Air Forces in Europe, with the functions of providing 
for the inspection and evaluation of captured enemy aircraft 
and directing the activities of air intellio'ence field teams. 

The entire SPOBS irroups wore civilian clothes and to the 
casual observer it would seem that the American Embassy was 
expanding its staff. Each officer in SPOBS had contacts with 

^"^ IbUL, Chapter VIII, pp. 36-37. 
'"= Ibid., Chapter VIII, p. 38. 
'"' Ibid., Chapter VIII, pp. 39-40. 
"" Ibid., Chapter VIII, pp. 43-44. 


a section of the British Army or Royal Air Force which cor- 
responded most nearly to his own. Lt. Col. Homer Case, 
SPOBS G-2, for example, conferred with the British INIinis- 
try on methods of training photo interpreters and then he 
recommended that American personnel be permitted to take 
advantage of the EAF's photo-interpretation school and 
units. Compared to British developments in that field, the 
United States was in the elementary stages. Also, while get- 
ting acquainted with British oj)erations and making war 
plans, the SPOBS "provided the War Department with a 
listening post which relayed intelligence concerning the 
world's war fronts." ^°^ 

Meanwhile, on the homefront, eiforts continued at easing the way for 
the exchange of technical data with the British. 

In the interests of economy, efficiency, and simplicity for all 
arms and services, the Secretary of War designated the AC/S, 
G-2, to coordinate the exchange of information with British 
representatives in America. In matters of aeronautical equip- 
ment and technical information, the Air Corps in the fall of 
1940 was authorized by G-2 to di\iilge data to authorized 
representatives of the British Empire on unclassified, re- 
stricted, or confidential infonnation, but secret documents 
which could not be reclassified to a less restricted category 
had to be cleared by G-2 prior to release. Requests for infor- 
mation from the British Air and Purchasing Commissions 
in America normally were made through the Foreign Liaison 
Branch of the Intelligence Division, OCAC. Directed nego- 
tiations by the Air Corps w^ith the British representatives 
were permitted for the interchange of technical information 
with the understanding that G-2 would be advised in the 
form of receipt copies, of information secured and released.^"^ 

On another matter, when the Air Corps in May, 1941, indicated a 
desire to establish a branch intelligence office in New York, it was 
repulsed by the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, on the basis that such 
a request infringed upon his exclusive responsibility for collecting 
intelligence information and would duplicate an MID effort as that 
agency already maintained a field facility in New York. Since MID 
did not have an air operation expert in the branch office, an OCAC 
Intelligence Division analyst was loaned for this purpose.^"^ 

By 1 August 1941 the branch office's new project of produc- 
ing target folder [sic] for the Air Corps was in progress. The 
original folder program involving single targets was ex- 
tended to cover increasingly large areas until the Air Corps 
sectionalized and numbered the various theater areas: from 
then on area target folders were produced. Air target ma- 
terials were collected from files of trade data, records of fi- 
nancial transactions, engineering; reports, travel diaries, field 
notes of scientists, and other similar items existing in the New 

' Ibid., Chapter VIII, pp. 45-46. 

' lUd., Chapter VIII, p. 49. 

' TUd., Chapter VIII, pp. 59-61. 


York area. This material could not be shipped to Washington 
for processing and had to be examined at the sources. 
Fortunatel}". the Xew York office was located contiguous to 
and worked closely with tlie Army ^lap Service thus enabling 
the office to produce a bonus in the form of topographical and 
geographical intelligence. 

The ]MID proposed to expand its branch in Xew York so 
as to increase the production of objective folders. But in light 
of the current international situation and the great magni- 
tude of the task involved in ferreting out available data exist- 
ing within the Ignited States, General Scanlon on the day 
before Pearl Harbor told G-2 that the proposal was modest 
in the extreme. The outbreak of war of course became the 
signal for accelerating all exj^ansion plans into high gear and 
the branch office, for example, was gradually assigned suf- 
ficient personnel to enable it to ])rovide essential intelligence 
for A-2's targeting operations for German and Japanese 
areas. But it was the San Francisco Branch which concen- 
trated on collecting available intelligence information on 
Japanese industries.^"® 

Then came the debacle of Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. 

A-2 was a madhouse, recalled one of the first officers as- 
signed to air intelligence in AAF Headquarters after Pearl 
Harbor Day. Sitting at a desk cluttered with ringing tele- 
phones connecting important air installations, the intelligence 
officer Avho valiantly attempted to handle the large number of 
incoming calls during the hectic first days of Avar reminded an 
observer of an old fashioned movie. In those days a newly 
assigned officer would see red upon entering an office of A-2 : 
With ever-increasing demands for intelligence, desks in a 
crowded small room were frequently piled high with docu- 
ments, and as almost everything was classified, the prevailing 
red security cover sheets seemed to lend a reddish hue to the 
room. A new officer could see red both literally and figura- 
tively. In one instance, for example, an officer was rushed 
from his pistol patrol of Boiling Field. Washington. D.C., 
to A-2 only to wait days before someone could find time to 
assign him specific duties. Even then the young and inexperi- 
enced intelligence officer had to use his own judoment and 
imagination as to how his tasks should be accomplished.^"^ 

Efforts were soon made to restore order to military operations in 
the aftermath of the Japanese attack. The only truly functional air 
intelligence entity was the Air Corps Intellisfence Division and it 
was quickly sought by A-2 in a centralized intelligence plan. 

After a period of negotiations, the views of the higher 
headquarters finally prevailed and the Chief of the Air Staff 
on 23 January 1942 directed the Chief of the Air Corps to 
transfer to A-2 all the functions, personnel, and equipment 
of the Foreign Liaison Section and the Air Intelligence Sec- 

' Thifl.. Chapter VIII, pp. 62-63. 
' Ibid., Chapter XII, p. 4. 


tion. The latter was the heart and soul of the Air Intelligence 
Division because it was composed of : the Current Unit con- 
taining the file of technical intelligence collected over a 
period of years, the Evaluation Unit charged with correlat- 
ine: and evaluating intelligence, and the Operation's Unit, 
which translated intelligence into air estimate and target 

A small number of officers and civilians of the Air Intelli- 
gence Section were permitted to remain in the Intelligence 
Division so as to allow the CAC to continue his command 
functions and responsibilities. The sections remaining in the 
Intelligence Division were Maps, Counter Intelligence, and 
Air Intelligence School. Furthermore, copies of all intelli- 
gence matters received by A-2 were to be sent to the OCAC. 
A sufficient amount of air intelligence functions remained 
in the OCAC to prevent the attainment of the goal of cen- 
tralization of intelligence authority. Further complication 
and duplications resulted from the operations of an air 
intelligence office in the INlilitarv Intelligence Division of 
the A^T)GS."° 

The importance of the air arm in the prosecution of the war soon 
became evident and, accordingly, 

the War Department throuoh Circular 59, issued on 2 March 
1942 and efl'ective on 9 INIarch, decided that the most effec- 
tive organization wdiich would give the desired freedom of 
action for all services and at the same time ensure the neces- 
sary unity of command, was one having three autonomous 
and co-ordinate commands under the Chief of Staff : Army 
Ground Forces, Army Air Forces, and the Services of Sup- 
ply (later, renamed Anny Service Forces). 

The overall planning, coordinating, and supervisory role 
of the WDGS was reaffirmed, but enough air officers were to 
be assigned to the "War Department to help make strategic 
decisions. The goal of 50 percent air officers on duty with the 
"WDGS was never reached principally because qualified Air 
Corps officers were so scarce. Thus G-2 was not only able to 
enlarge his air imit, but he was reassured of this responsi- 
bility for collecting all intelligence, both air and ground. 
Nevertheless, the reorganized office of A-2 was to make the 
most of the grant of autonomy to the AAF. 

As the result of the reorganization of INIarch 1942, the 
intelligence functions of the OCAC and Comliat Command 
were transferred to A-2, headed by Col. R. L. Walsh who 
had replaced General Scanlon on 21 February 1942. A-2, 
however, lost the activities and personnel of its Foreign 
Liaison Section to G-2's newly established IMilitai-y Intel- 
ligence Service (MIS). About the same time, the Intelligence 
Service (IS), the air intelligence operating agency com- 
parable to the MIS, was established under the supervision 
and control of A-2. The first Director of the IS, Lt. Col. 

' lUd., Chapter XII, pp. 5-6. 


C. E. Henry, was assigned the functions of collecting, 
evaluating, and disseminating technical and other types of 
intelligence, training air intelligence officers, and of)erating 
the security services. To accomplish these duties the Ad- 
ministrative, Operational, Informational Intelligence (less 
the Current Unit), and the Counter Intelligence Sections 
were transferred from the A-2 Division to the IS. 

The Administrative Section served both the IS and A-2. 
With the IS as the major operating agency, the other sec- 
tions under A-2 were Executive and Staff, Combat Intelli- 
gence, and Current Intelligence. A Plans Section was also 
established in A-2 for the purposes of formulating plans 
for collecting and disseminating air intelligence, training 
intelligence officers, establishing air intelligence require- 
ments, coordinating projects with the Air Staff and the 
"\\T!)GS divisions, and establishing liaison with other Ameri- 
can and foreign intelligence agencies. The section was short 
lived as a separate entity as a result of A-2's order for its 
absorption into the Executive and Staff Section.^^^ 

Three months after the IMarch reorganization took place, a formal 
survey was conducted to deal with weaknesses in the new arrange- 
ments. A-2 had little criticism of the scheme except for a clearer 
relationship between the counterintelligence groups of the MID/ 
"WT^GS and those of the Air Intelligence Service.^^^ 

Slight changes were made and in a few instances some 
offices were re-shifted. In A-2, an Office of Technical Infor- 
mation, with a nucleus of four officers transferred from the 
public relations branch, was created as a part of the Current 
Intelligence Section. Col. E. P. Sorensen, who had assumed 
the position of AC/AS, A-2, on 22 June 1942, used the newly 
acquii'ed Office to prepare the weeklv brief for General 
Arnold's use in the meetings of the War Council. By the 
beginning of the following year the Office of Technical In- 
formation had become an independent section in A-2's office. 
In addition to preparing weekly summary reports for Gen- 
eral Arnold, the Office also handled the AAF's public rela- 
tions activities and helped prepare for publication the office 
service journal, .4/;' Force, which on 6 September superseded 
the Ah Force News Letter. 

Other newly established imits included an Intelligence 
Training Unit within the Air Intelligence Service. By early 
1943 training functions had been incorporated into a Train- 
ing Coordination Section and transferred from the AIS to 
the A-2 level. The Special Projects Section in the AIS was 
also moved to A-2 where it was eventually incorporated into 
the Staff Advisors Section. In general the main divisions in 
the Office of the AC/AS, A-2, remained fairly well stalnlized 
from the time of the War Department reorganization of 

Jh\d., Chapter XTI, pp. 9-11. 
'ma., Chapter XII, p. 20. 


March 1942 until the AAF streamlined its own structure in 
the following March by abolishing the Directorates.^^^ 

This was the last major reorganization of the air arm's intelligence 
structure during the period of the war. 

After an adjustment and reconciliation of the various 
plans and ideas that had been presented during the previous 
months, a streamlined organization went into effect on 29 
March 1943, Many offices devoted to the planning or execu- 
tion of specific functions were telescoped into the offices of 
assistant chiefs of staff and special staff. In the Office of the 
Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Intelligence, all the functions 
assigned to air intelligence were divided among five prin- 
cipal divisions: Operational Intelligence, Counter Intelli- 
gence, Intelligence Information, Historical, and Combat 
Liaison and Training. 

The last named Divisions combined the Combat Liaison 
Section of the Air Intelligence Service and the Training 
Coordination Section, which had been on the A-2 staff level. 
The Current Intelligence Section was also removed from its 
A-2 staff status and made part of the Infonnational Intelli- 
gence Division. The only units left, out of the five main 
divisions because of their sei^vice to the entire intelligence 
office were the Office Services, Office of Technical Informa- 
tion (to handle public relations), and Special Projects 
(formerly Staff Advisors). Two sections of Counter Intelli- 
gence, Safeguarding of INIilitary Information and Training 
Clearance, were transferred to the Facilities Security and 
Personnel Security Branches in the Air Provost Marshal's 
Division in AC/AS, Material, Maintenance, and Distribu- 

By June 1943, the Combat Liaison and Training Division 
became the Training Plans Division and given the functions 
of makinc: studies in and formulating policies and practices 
for intelligence training in AAF schools and imits. At about 
the same time, the Operational Intelligence and Intelligence 
Information Divisions were renamed Operational and In- 
formational Divisions, respectively. By October 1943 a few 
minor changes had been made within the divisions and two 
new agencies were added : The Air Intellio-ence School sec- 
tion Avas created to operate the Air Intelligence School at 
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for the training of AAF officers 
in combat and base intelligence, photo interpretation, and 
prisoner of war interrogation.^^* 

"WHiile certain post-war changes would be effected in the air intel- 
ligence institution immediately after the cessation of hostilities in 
1945, the next significant restructuring of this intelligence organi- 
zation would occur with the establishment of the independent United 
States Air Force in 1947. 


lUd., Chapter XIT, pp. 22-23. 
lUd., Chapter XII, pp. 24-25. 


V. MUitary InteUigence 

The militaiT intelligence ortranization of World "War II consisted 
of a variety of field units, ranofincr from groups serving with combat 
commands to the special staffs designed to assist allied combined 
operations councils at the highest levels of armed services leadership. 
The core or hub of this complex of overseas intelligence entities was 
the Military Intelligence Division of the War Department General 
Staff, an agency which, in the twilight peace of 1938, consisted of 20 
officers and 48 civilians.^^^ 

When the United States entered the war, the Military In- 
telligence Division was ill prepared to perform the tasks 
which were to be thrust upon it. The war in Europe and the 
increasing!}' critical world situation had increased the num- 
ber of persons employed in the Division and had added a 
few new activities. Despite the expansion, there were real 
deficiencies, which indicate the condition of the Division at 
the end of 1941. There was no intelligence on enemy air or 
ground order of battle; there was no detailed reference ma- 
terial on enemy army forces such as weapons, insignia, for- 
tifications, and documents; there was no detailed topographic 
intelligence for planning landing operations; there were in- 
sufficient facts — but plenty of opinion — on which to base 
strategic estimates; and there were no trained personnel for 
either strategic or combat intelligence. The production and 
planning of intelligence was proceeding, but on a limited 
scale and to an insignificant degree. Fortunately most of this 
material could be obtained from our allies, but it no more than 
satisfied current intelligence equirements and was completely 
inadequate for long range requirements. Before Y-J Day, 
the Division had developed into a large and efficient intelli- 
gence organization, but this development, like the building 
of Rome, did not take place overnight. Present estimates 
indicate that an efficient intelligence machine was not devel- 
oped until late 1944."^ 

Appointed chief of the Operations Division (successor to the War 
Plans Division) of the War Department General Staff in March, 1942, 
Major General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the man destined to command 
Operation Torch and serve as Supreme Commander of the European 
Tlieater, made the following observation with regard to intelligence 
operations and capabilities during the period of America's entry into 
world war. 

Within the War Department a shocking deficiency that im- 
peded all constructive planning existed in the field of In- 
telligence. The fault was partly within and partly without 

"^ U.S. Army. Military Intelligence Division. "A History of the Military 
Intelligence Division. 7 December 1941-2 September 194.5." Typescript. 1946, 
p. 3. Copies of this study bear the marking "Secret :" the copy utilized in this 
study was declassified and supplied by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. 
[Hereafter referred to as MID History.] 

"' Ihid., p. 2 ; with regard to the staff growth in MID, see Tables II and III 
in this chapter. 


the Army. The American public has always viewed with re- 
pugnance everything that smacks of the spy : during the years 
between the two World Wars no funds were provided with 
which to establish the basic requirement of an Intelligence 
system — a far-flung organization of fact finders. 

Our one feeble gesture in this direction was the maintenance 
of military attaches in most foreign capitals, and since public 
funds were not available to meet the unusual expenses of this 
type of duty, only officers with independent means could 
normally be detailed to these posts. Usually they were esti- 
mable, socially acceptable gentlemen ; few knew the essentials 
of Intelligence work. Results were almost completely negative 
and the situation was not helped by the custom of making 
long service as a military attache, rather than ability, the 
essential qualification for appointment as head of the Intelli- 
gence Division in the War Department. 

The stepchild position of G-2 in our General Staff system 
was emphasized in many ways. For example the number of 
general officers within the War Department was so limited 
by peacetime law that one of the principal divisions had to 
be headed by a colonel. Almost without exception the G-2 
Division got the colonel. This in itself would not necessarily 
have been serious, since it would liave been far prieferable to 
assign to the post a highly qualified colonel than a mediocre 
general, but the practice clearly indicated the Army's failure 
to emphasize the Intelligence function. This was reflected also 
in our schools, where, despite some technical training in battle- 
field reconnaissance and Intelligence, the broader phases of 
the work were almost completely ignored. We had few men 
capable of analyzing intelligently such information as did 
come to the notice of the War Department, and this applied 
particularly to wliat has become the very core of Intelligence 
research and analysis — namely, industry. 

In the first winter of the war these accumulated and glaring 
deficiencies were serious handicaps. Initially the Intelligence 
Division could not even develop a clear plan for its own orga- 
nization nor could it classify the type of information it 
deemed essential in determining the purposes and capabilities 
of our enemies. The chief of the division could do little more 
than come to the planning and operating sections of the staff 
and in a rather pitiful way ask if there was anything he could 
do for us,^^^ 

The chronology of organizational developments in the military 
intelligence structure necessarily focuses upon the Military Intelli- 
gence Division, beginning with the final months before the Pearl Har- 
bor attack. 

"■^ Dwight D. Eisenhower. Crusade in Europe. New York, Doubleday and Com- 
pany, 1948, p. 32. 



Officers in Civilians in Officers Civilians 

Year Washington Washington in field in field Total 



1940 ___ 



19 13 


1945..... _ __ 

Note: Adopted from U.S. Army. iVIilitary Intelligence Division. "A History of the Military Intelligence Division, Dec. 7, 
1941-Sept. 2, 1945." Typescript, p. 380n. 












































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In September 1941 the Military Intelligence Division was 
organized vertically [and] prepared not only to produce in- 
telligence, but also to expand in case war came. The Assistant 
Chief of Staff, G-2, Brigadier General Sherman Miles, was 
chief of the Division and was assisted by an Executive. Re- 
porting directl}' to him was the Special Study Group (later 
the Propaganda Branch). Reporting to him through the Ex- 
ecutive were the chiefs of the Administrative. Intelligence, 
Counterintelligence, Plans and Training, and Censorship 

The Administrative Branch included two types of func- 
tions. Such sections as Finance, Personnel, Records, and Co- 
ordination comprised the first type. By this consolidation 
of administrative functions the remaining branches of the 
Division were free to devote their full energies to their pri- 
mary functions. This branch also was charged with the ad- 
ministrative supervision of the Military Attache system, the 
Foreign Liaison and Translation Sections. 

The heart of [the] iSIilitary Intelligence Division was in 
the Intelligence Branch, the largest of the branches. Orga- 
nized along geographic lines, it controlled, in a large meas- 
ure, all of the processes of intelligence. Information was gath- 
ered and evaluated [and] intelligence produced by the follow- 
ing seven sections: the Balkans and Near East, the British 
Empire, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Far East, Latin 
America, and Western Europe. It will be noted that the lines 
of demarcation were entirely geographical and that there 
was no attempt to separate information and intelligence topi- 
cally according to political, economic, scientific, and so on. 
The Air section and later the Order of Battle Branch were ex- 
ceptions to this rule. Intelligence was disseminated by the 
Dissemination Section and by the G-2 Situation section which 
maintained the G-2 Situation Room. The information gath- 
ering activities of military attaches, observers and others 
working "in the field" were directed by the Field Person- 
nel section. This included directives concerning the types of 
information desired but did not embrace administrative mat- 
ters which were left to the Military Attache Section of the 
Administrative Branch. In other words, the attaches looked 
to the Administrative Branch for their administration, to 
the Intelligence Branch for their directives, and reported 
their findings to the geographic sections. To assist the Chief 
of [the Intelligence] Branch in administrative matters there 
was a small administrative group within the Branch. It will 
be noted that the Branch controlled all of the processes of in- 
telligence, and that it was devoted entirely to positive intelli- 
gence, as opposed to negative or counter-intelligence.^^^ 

Organized functionally, the Counter Intelligence Branch, composed 
of Domestic Intelligence, Investigation, and Plant Intelligence sec- 
tions, probed subversion and disloyalty matters, supervised defense 

^ MID History, op. cit., pp. 6-7. 

70-890 O - 76 - 13 


plant security, produced intelligence relative to the domestic situa- 
tion, was responsible for safeguarding military information, and took 
on such special assignments as were given to it. 

The Plan and Training Branch "prepared plans for intelligence 
requirements and developed policies for military and combat intelli- 
gence" while also being "responsible for the development and su- 
pervision of training doctrine in the fields of military and combat 
intelligence." ^^^ 

Until the United States actually entered the war, the Censorship 
Branch (renamed the Information Control Branch on December 5, 
1941) remained small and confined itself to preparing plans for fu- 
ture censorship. Because national censorship in wartime was not as- 
signed to the War Department, G-2 was responsible only for military 
censorship policy though liaison with the Office of Censorship which 
provided MID with valuable information uncovered by that agency.^'" 

In early 1942, a reorganization occurred within the War Depart- 
ment, a restructuring which would prove functionally troublesome for 

The new organization was announced to the Army in Cir- 
cular #59. As it all'ected the army its changes were far reach- 
ing and fundamental. The most striking feature of the 
proposed reorganization was the distinction made between 
operating and staff functions. The latter were to be retained 
by the general staff division, but the former were to be placed 
in operating agencies. This entailed the separation of the 
larger part of the organization of each staff division from the 
small policy making group who performed truly staff func- 
tions. The policy groups would remain in the General Staff 
as a small policy making and advisory staff divorced from 
the operating functions of their organizations. By ruthlessly 
regrouping many old offices and functions and integrating 
them into the new organization, smoother functioning was 

The language of the Circular did not make a clear distinc- 
tion between the [old policy making] Military Intelligence 
Division and the [newly created operating] Military Intel- 
ligence Service. From the present point of vantage the 
intentions of the circular seem clear. This distinction was not 
made completely clear until Circular 5-2, September 1944, 
was issued, although some progress had been made in the 

""/&?•(?., p 8. 

^° The censorship of communications between the United States and foreign 
nations was authorized by the First War Powers Act (55 Stat. 840) approved 
December 18, 1941. Pursuant to this statute, President Roosevelt, on December 19, 
established (E.G. 8985) the OflBce of Censorship, a civilian agency located within 
the National Defense Program tangentially attached to the Executive Office 
of the President. The director of the Office of Censorship and its program was 
Byron Price, who headed the unit until its demise by a presidential directive 
(E.O. 9631) issued September 28, 1945 and effective on November 15 of that 
year. See Elmer Davis and Byron Price, War Information and Censorship. Wash- 
ington, American Council mi PubMc Affairs, 1943: also see Byron Price, Gov- 
ernmental Censorship in Wartime. American Political Science Review, v. 36, 
October, 1942 : 837-850. 


July 1942 revision of AR 10-15. Circular #59 charged the 
Military Intelligence Division, G-2, ''with those duties of the 
War Department General Staff relating to the collection, 
evaluation and dissemination of military information." The 
Military Intelligence Service was established "under the 
direction of the Assistant Chief of Staff, Military Intelli- 
gence Division, War Department General Staff' . . . [to] 
operate and administer the service of the collection, compila- 
tion and dissemination of military intelligence."' Here was a 
verbal paradox. In the vocabulary of G-2 intelligence is 
based upon the evaluation of information. Information is the 
raw product from which intelligence is produced. [The] Mili- 
tary Intelligence Division was charged, then, with duties 
relating to the evaluation and dissemination of information; 
while [the] Military Intelligence Service was not charged 
with the evaluation but with the dissemination of 

Subsequent discussions and attention to this verbal dilemma con- 
tributed to a clarification of the functions of MID and MIS, but the 
initial confusion and lack of an authoritative decision on the matter 
did little to ameliorate ill feelings over the dichotomous organization 
and subsequent rivalry between the two units. 

A series of office memoranda implemented the reorganiza- 
tion directed by Circular #59. The Military Intelligence 
Service was created and all personnel, except certain com- 
missioned officers, were transferred to it from [the] Military 
Intelligence Division. An examination of the personnel 
assignments in the memoranda and of assignments listed on 
a Chart of 15 January 1942 reveals few essential changes. 
Colonel Hayes A. Kroner, the new chief. Military Intelli- 
gence Service, had been Chief of the Intelligence Branch. 
Col. Ealph C. Smith, the new Executive Officer, Military 
Intelligence Service, had been Executive Officer and Chief, 
Administrative Branch. The latter function was assigned to 
Col. T. E. Roderick, formerly Assistant Executive. He like- 
wise retained his assignment as assistant executive officer. The 
new Chief, Intelligence Group, Col. R. S. Bratton, had for- 
merly been assigned to the Far Eastern section of the Intelli- 
gence Branch. Chief of the Training Branch, Lt. Col. P. H. 
Timothy, had been chief of the Plans and Training Branch. 
Col. Oscar Solbert, now chief of the Psychological Warfare 
Branch, was a past member of that Branch. Col. Black, its 
former chief, had been transferred to the ^Military Intelli- 
gence Division staff section. Other members of the Staff were 
either newh' assigned members of [the] Military Intelligence 
Division, detailed from the AAF, or former members of [the] 
Military Intelligence Division. 

The Military Intelligence Service was divided into four 
groups, each reporting to the Chief, Military Intelligence 
Service, through his executive. The Foreign Liaison Branch 

"^ MID History, op. cit., pp. 12-13. 


and the Military Attache Section reported independently to 
the Chief, Military Intelligence Service, and not through a 
Deputy. The Administrative group was divided into five 
housekeeping sections. The Intelligence group was divided 
into parallel Air and Ground sections, organized according to 
theaters. In addition, an administrative Branch and a Situa- 
tion and Planning Branch assisted in the supervision and 
planning for the group. 

The Counter Intelligence Group was divided into parallel 
air and ground sections, devoted to Domestic. Plant Intelli- 
gence, Military Censorship, and Security of Military Infor- 
mation. They, too, were coordinated by an Administrative 
and a Counter Intelligence Situation and Evaluation Branch. 
Psychological warfare, training and dissemination were as- 
signed to the Operations Group.^" 

Tliree months after Circular #59 was implemented, the new Assist- 
ant Chief of Staff, G-2, Major General George V. Strong, whom 
Eisenhower described as "a senior officer possessed of a keen mind, 
a driving energy, and a ruthless determination," ^-^ indicated his 
dissatisfaction with the reorganization as it affected MID and offered 
an alternate plan of structure to the Chief of Staff.^-* 

It was essentially the same organization as before, except 
that the office of Chief, INIilitary Intelligence Service, had 
been established between most of the branches and the G-2. 
The Military Intelligence Division Staff, aside from [the] 
Military Intelligence Sei'vice, was new. The most apparent 
difference between the old and new plan was the separation 
of ground and air intelligence into parallel sections within 
Intelligence and Counterintelligence. As before, a group was 
established which met in the Situation Room to make the 
final evaluation and to conduct broad planning and policy 
making. Preliminary work of this sort was also done in the 
Situation and Planning sections and the Evaluation section 
of the Intelligence and Counterintelligence groups. Because 
the final evaluation process w^as entrusted to the G-2, General 
Staff, there was no clear break between [the] Military Intelli- 
gence Division and [the] Military Intelligence Service. 

General Strong believed in organizing the Division func- 
tionally and sought therefore to place evaluation in the Intel- 
ligence Group. In July, according to present evidence, the 
Dissemination Branch was combined with certain other func- 

^ IMd., pp. 15-16 ; another account comments that "after March 1942 there 
was a small Military Intelligence Division of the War Department General Staff 
totalling 16 oflficers with 10 clerical assistants, and a Military Intelligence Service 
consisting of 342 officers and 1005 civilian and enlisted assistants. The Service 
was to carry out the operational and administrative activities for the General 
Staff section, and while there were to be two distinct agencies, some of the key 
officers were members of both organizations. This differentiation tended to be 
an artificial distinction and in practice there was but one organization." From 
Otto L. Nelson, Jr. National Security And The General Staff. Washington, 
Infantry Journal Press, 1946, p. 525. 

^^ Eisenhower, op. cit., p. 34. 

'-"^ MID History, op. cit., p. 19. 


tions and desi^iated the Evaluation and Dissemination 
Branch, probably in the Intelligence Group. The date is un- 
certain, but the G-2 telephone directories for June and July 
indicate that this must have been the date. It was an agency 
whicli evaluated the overall information collected within the 
group and disseminated it as intelligence. In October its name 
was changed to the Dissemination Group and it was placed 
in the Intelligence Group. At the same time the Intelligence 
Group was divided into the newly created North American 
and Foreign Intelligence Command and the American Intel- 
ligence Command, The two commands gave [the] Military 
Intelligence Service the means to handle on the one hand all 
intelligence affecting Latin America (American Intelligence 
Command) and all other types of foreign intelligence (North 
American and Foreign Intelligence Command) on the 

Other changes in the intelligence structure were effected, such as 
the decentralizing of the American Intelligence Command and re- 
locating it in Miami. 

By 29 November 1942 arrangements were sufficiently stable 
to issue a chart showing the various changes. Tlie G-2 Staff 
was retained, and the Chief, Military Intelligence Service, 
was also designated as Deputy, G-2. The Executive office now 
appeared to supervise the iNIessage Center. The Chief, Mili- 
tary Intelligence Service, was given four Assistant Chiefs 
for Intelligence, Training, Administration, and Security, 
The Intelligence Group was divided into the two commands 
mentioned above. North American and Foreign Intelligence 
Command was organized geographically with a separate air 
section further subdivided into general geographic sections. 
American Intelligence Command was organized more func- 
tionally with Branches devoted to Special Activities, "Ameri- 
can," Air Control, Communications Control, and Hemisphere 
Studies. The dissemination Group was so placed that its 
Cable, Collection, Theater, Intelligence, and Publications 
Branches received reports from both commands. At the top 
of this pyramid with [sic] the Evaluation Board which re- 
ported to the Assistant Chief, Military Intelligence Service, 
Intelligence, and could receive reports from the aforemen- 
tioned commands and groups. 

The Training agency was divided into two groups : one for 
intelligence schools and the other for liaison with other 
schools and agencies concerned with intelligence training. 
The Assistant Chief, Military Intelligence Service, Adminis- 
tration was given certain operational Branches in addition 
to his housekeeping branches. These included Foreign Liai- 
son, Military Attache, Psychological Warfare, Prisoner of 
War, and Geographic Branches. The latter was announced 
25 November 1942 as the coordinating and policy making 

Ibid., pp. 18-19. 


agency for War Department procurement, preparation, and 
reproduction of maps. The Assistant Chief, INIilitary Intelli- 
gence Service, Security, the old Counterintelligence Group, 
retained the same essential organization, being divided into 
domestic intelligence (counterintelligence) and Safeguard- 
ing Military Information (or Special). 

Not shown on the chart was the Special Branch, which 
handled all matters relating to cryptographic security and 
communications, interception and analysis of cryptographic 
and coded messages, and measures relating to the use and se- 
curity of radar and signal intelligence. This branch reported 
directly to the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, because the 
nature of its activities prevented a wholesale circulation of 
its eft'orts.^^*^ 

The Evaluation Board, established on November 3, 1942, in accord- 
ance with General Strong's particular wishes, was directly responsible 
to the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2. and the Chief of the Military 
Intelligence Ser\'ice. It maintained close liaison with both the North 
American and Foreign Intelligence Command and the American 
Intelligence Command; in addition, foreign country experts were 
added to its membership, indicating increasing importance for coun- 
try specialists.^^^ 

General Strong next proceeded to announce a new organiza- 
tion which more closely met his demands for an intelligence 
division. Although he disapproved of a separate Military 
Intelligence Service, he retained it and attempted to fashion 
his organization to produce the desired effect. The new 
organization was announced 25 January 1943. The General 
Staff section was divided into a Policy Section charged with 
the study and revie^v of policies and tlieir cooi'dination in the 
General Staff and War Department. The remainder of the 
Staff was transferred to the Evaluation and Dissemination 
Staff of the Intelligence Group. This staff was charged with 
evaluation, interpretation, dissemination, and planning of 
intelligence. Specifically, it was charged with the determina- 
tion of the intelligence requirements of the Chief of Staff and 
Operations Division. Current intelligence production and 
planning were, therefore, taken out of the hands of the staff 
where General Strong apparently felt it never should have 
been placed. A policy group was left behind to study and co- 
ordinate policy matters. No mention is made of strategy and 
task force operations, but presumably these problems were 
discussed by the Evaluation and Dissemination Staff. The 
mission of the Staff had been stated even more fully on 
8 January 1943, when an interim organization was an- 
nounced. It was to "control policy on evaluation, supervise 
its execution in the several levels of the Intelligence Group, 
and give final and superior evaluation, from the Operations 
viewpoint to military information for the application of 

'IMd., pp. 20-21. 
Ibid., pp. 21-22. 


intelligence locally and for its dissemination wherever neces- 
sary." Thus, it not only set the policy for evaluation, but re- 
viewed, in its supervisory capacity, the products of the vari- 
ous branches of the Intelligence Group.^-^ 

The four major units of the Military Intelligence Service — 
Administration, Intelligence, Counterintelligence, and Training — 
remained as they were but new subdivision entities were created at 
the discretion of the heads of these offices. The Xorth American and 
Foreign Intelligence Command was abolished at this time and the 
American Intelligence Command became the American Intelligence 
Service, later the Latin American Unit. 

Further alterations in the structure of the organization 
were effected three months later. The Foreign Liaison and 
Prisoner of War Branches were ordered to report directly 
to the Chief, ^Military Intelligence Service. The Administra- 
tive Group was abolished and its sections transferred to the 
Executive. A "Chart of Functions and Personnel" dated 
17 April 1943, reveals that the Chief. INIilitary Intelligence 
Service, was also Deputv G-2. Four sections appear as part 
of the "War Department General Staff, G-2": the Policy 
Section, the Evaluation and Dissemination Section, the 
Administrative Section and the Joint Intelligence Commit- 
tee Section. At the same time, an Evaluation and Dissemina- 
tion Staff is included in the structure of the Intelligence 
Group. A study of its functions and personnel reveals an 
interesting situation. 

As a part of the G-2 General Staff, the Evaluation and 
Dissemination Section's functions are listed first as those 
assigned to the Evaluation and Dissemination Staff, and then 
as a section to study : "physical, economic, political, and 
ethnological geography in order to advise on measures of 
national security and assist in assuring continued peace in 
the post-war world; and . . . conducted studies of a broad 
nature to assist in the prosecution of the war." Its other func- 
tions were to advise the Chief, Intelligence Group, on the 
Intelligence requirements of [the] Military Intelligence Di- 
vision's customers and to assign priority to their requests. 
They would also evaluate and synthesize information and 
intelligence produced, and make sure that there was always 
careful and complete consideration of all information in 
[the] Military Intelligence Service. Finally, they were to 
review and give final evaluation of intelligence before it was 
disseminated, and exercise general supervision over Military 
Intelligence Service publications and reports. Xow the first 
function quoted above is exactly the same, except for slight 
changes in verbiage, as the mission of the Geopolitical Branch 
as stated in June 1942. Xowhere else in the chart is there a 
reference to the Branch, nor had there ever been any mention 
of it on anv chart, because of a desire to keep its activities 

Ibid., pp. 22-23. 


secret. In February or March, the Branch's title had been 
changed to the less alarming "Analysis Branch." ^^^ 

Next came renewed efforts to abolish the Military Intelligence Serv- 
ice and centralize intelligence operations under a new organization. 

On 30 August 1943, it was announced that General Hayes 
Kroner, then Chief, Military Intelligence Service, would 
become Deputy for Administration, G-2. Col. Thomas J. 
Betts was announced as Deputy for Intelligence, G-2. No 
new chief was announced for the jNIilitary Intelligence Serv- 
ice. All of the old agencies of [the] Military Intelligence 
Division and [the] Military Intelligence Service were 
grouped under these two deputies. This was done in recog- 
nition of the fact "that all G-2 — Military Intelligence Serv- 
ice activities, regardless of allocation, are concerned funda- 
mentally with military intelligence and security." It was 
further provided than an intelligence producing agency 
stripped of all administrative and operational functions 
should be established. All other functions were to be handled 
by another agency. Thus two deputies were established, the 
one responsible for administrative and "other" functions, 
while the other was responsible for intelligence.^^'' 

A second stage of the MIS abolition plan came on September 22, 
1943 in a memorandum announcing a furtlier reorganization around 
three deputies, one for Administration, one for Air, and one for 
Intelligence. The first of these remained with General Kroner, who 
was also given responsibility for the operation of the Services Group, 
the Training Group, and the Historical Branch. 

The mission of the Deputy for Intelligence was defined in 
the same terms as in the previous memorandum. He was to 
direct not only the Policy and Strategy Group and Theater 
Group, but also the Collection Group, the Prisoner of War 
Branch, and the Order of Battle Branch. Thus, the function 
of collection was returned to the Deputy for Intelligence. 
The Deputy for Air was made responsible for the reestab- 
lished Air Unit which was charged with the same liaison 
function formerly assigned to the Air Liaison Section. The 
Deputy for Air was also charged with the supervision of 
Air Corps personnel assigned to G-2 and who were to be 
integrated into the various sections of the Theater Group. 
Their functions were not elaborated, but they presumably 
remained the same as before. The "new" organization was not, 
in point of fact, so new as it appeared to be. The memoran- 
dum had merely recalled the earlier one [by General Strong 
protesting the creation of MIS], and then accomplished the 
same purpose. The primary difference was the return of the 
collection function to the Intelligence group. It represents 
General Strong's ideal organization of an intelligence agency. 
He believed the separation of [the] Military Intelligence 
Service from [the] Military Intelligence Division had been 

• lUd., pp. 25-26. 
' lUd., pp. 28-29. 


"imfortiinate," therefore, it was abolished. He believed the 
orjtyanizatioii should rest on functional bases, therefore, in- 
telligence planning and policy, screening and evaluation, and 
dissemination were brought together under one roof. The 
many miscellaneous functions of G-2 (services, training, 
mapping, history, etc.) were left outside the key organiza- 
tion. In a sense, [the] Military Intelligence Service had be- 
come the organization of the Deputy for Intelligence, ex- 
cept that policy and planning was not left in the intelligence 
producing agency. 

Paradoxically, the organization charts of the War Depart- 
ment and the Army continued to show a separate Military 
Intelligence Service, although it had been abolished. The bulk 
of the personnel allotted to the Military Intelligence Division 
were allotted to a Military Intelligence Service. Many 
papers prepared in G-2 continued to carry signatures indi- 
cating that [the] Military Intelligence Service existed and 
functioned. This situation was deliberate. The reorganiza- 
tion memorandum stressed the fact that its details were to 
be retained in [the] Military Intelligence Division. Outside 
the Di\dsion, an effort was made to maintain the appearance 
of a separate Military Intelligence Service.^^^ 

When General Strong's tenure at G-2 came to an end and, on 
February 7, 1944, he was replaced by Major General Clayton Bissell, 
the reinstatement of MIS, in accordance with the Chief of Staff's 
original wishes, was assured. 

The preliminaiy study for another reorganization was 
alreacly in progress. Three days after General Strong was 
relieved as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, the Adjutant Gen- 
eral issued a letter order establishing two boards of officers 
to study, recommend, and supervise the reorganization of the 
Military Intelligence Division. The first board consisted of 
Brigadier General Elliot D. Cooke, the "steering member," 
Col. John H. Stutesman, Lt. Col. Francis H. Brigham, Jr., 
Capt. Jerome Hubbard, and Mr. George Schwarzwalder 
(Bureau of the Budget). This Board was directed to make 
a detailed study and to submit recommendations for the re- 
organization of [the] Military Intelligence Division. They 
were further ordered to supervise the implementation of 
these recommendations under the supervision of a second 
board. It consisted of John J. MeCloy (Assistant Secretary 
of War), Major General John P. Smith, Major General Clay- 
ton L. Bissell. and Brigadier General Otto L. Nelson. Jr. 
They were directed to "consider, approve, and super\nse" the 
implementation of the recommendations submitted by the 
Cooke Committee.^^^ 

The work of these two panels came to a conclusion within two 
months from their creation. 

Ibid., pp. 31-32. 
'■ Ibid., pp. 33-34. 


On 23 March 1944, Mr. McCloy reported to the Chief of 
Staff the proposals of his committee, based upon the study of 
the Cooke Committee. A revision of AR, 10-15 was suggested, 
which would give to [the] Military Intelligence Service the 
responsibility of securing pertinent information and convert- 
ing it into intelligence for the use of the Chief of Staff, 
the General Staff, and the Military Intelligence Service. The 
Policy Staff would state and carry out all policies govern- 
ing intelligence and counter-intelligence within the Army. 
The G-2 was responsible for the interior security of the Army 
and the production of intelligence necessary to the operation 
of the War Department. The purpose of the proposed change 
was clear. It not only separated [the] Military Intelligence 
Service from the Policy Staff and delineated the responsi- 
bilities of each, but it also clarified the relationship between 
the Division and the Service. This recommended revision was 
not adopted. 

McCloy next outlined the proposed reorganization of G-2. 
It emphasized the fact that the Policy Staff must not be 
merged or integrated with [the] Military Intelligence Serv- 
ice. The work of the Policy Staff was divided into four groups 
of related subjects. A later regrouping and rephrasing of 
these subjects integrated and reduced the number of functions. 
The aim of both allocations was to enable a small body of ex- 
perts to prepare policies, each in his particular speciality. 

The broad outlines of [the] Military Intelligence Service 
were likewise sketched, but it was emphasized that within the 
organization, rigid compartmentalization would be avoided. 
The Chief, Military Intelligence Service, was charged with 
two responsibilities: the collection of information from all 
sources, and the production of intelligence. The Director of 
Information was to discharge the first function assisted by a 
supervisor of information, gathering personnel, liaison 
groups, etc., and a supervisor for receiving, classifying and 
distributing information. The Director of Intelligence would 
be assisted by an editorial group, intelligence specialists, and 
a chief of research. Finally, an executive for administration 
was to be created to relieve the Chief, Military Intelligence 
Service, and his two Directors of administrative problems. He 
was not to be a channel of communication between the Di- 
rectors and the Chief of [the] Military Intelligence Service."^ 

Ultimately, there came the implementation of the proposals of the 
Cooke-McCloy panels. 

The Eeorganization Committee had recommended that All 
10-15 be revised so that the distinctions between the Military 
Intelligence Division and the Military Intelligence Service 
would be properly stated and made clear for all. This recom- 
mendation was not accepted. In September, however, a Gen- 
eral Staff Circular, 5-2, 27 September 1944, was issued which 
superseded the Regulation and achieved the desired end. It 

^^ lUd., pp. 35-36. 


carefully listed the responsibilities and functions of the Mili- 
tary Intelligence Division and its subdivisions. The responsi- 
bility of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, was defined and 
the preparation of plans and policies concerning military 
intelligence and counterintelligence. The functions of the 
Division were listed and it was made plain that it was to 
formulate plans and policies and to supervise the execution of 
the eleven functions listed. The Circular was prepared by the 
Policy Staff and there was, therefore, no confusion of lan- 
guage between information and intelligence. One factor, how- 
ever, was added which had not been made explicit before. 
This was the supervisory responsibility of the Division. 

The list of functions is clear and speaks for itself. It is 
therefore quoted in full : 

"The Military Intelligence Division formulates plans 
and policies, and supervises : 

1. Collection of information and intelligence at 
home and abroad, to include interrogation of pris- 
oners of war. 

2. Evaluation and interpretation of information 
and intelligence. 

3. Dissemination of intelligence, 

4. Terrain intelligence, including coordination of 
producing agencies. 

5. Intelligence and counterintelligence training. 

6. Military liaison with representatives of foreign 

7. Safeguarding military information, to include 
censorship and communications security, 

8. Counterintelligence measures, to include eva- 
sion and escape, 

9. Army participation in propaganda and psy- 
chological warfare. 

10. Army historical activities. 

11. The Military Intelligence Service, which is 
charged with appropriate operational functions 
concerning matters within the purview of the Mili- 
tary Intelligence Division." 

For the first time, then, the distinction between the Military 
Intelligence Division and the Military Intelligence Service 
was clearly stated. It made a fact of the efforts of the last few 
years to make the Military Intelligence Service the opera- 
tional agency and the Military Intelligence Division the 
policy and planning agency. The normal staff dutv of super- 
vision was assigned to the Military Intelligence Division. No 
less important was the fact that the Circular provided the 
Division with an up-to-date statement of its mission, respon- 
sibilities, and functions. In effect, it was the statement of 
functions described in the report of the reorganization 

' Ibid., pp. 57-59. 


Before leaving the evolution of the Military Intelligence Division, 
brief attention should be given to its operational units and their gen- 
eral activities. The first consideration in this regard is the intel- 
ligence collection function. 

As of 7 December 1941, the collection of intelligence infor- 
mation was the responsibility of the Intelligence Branch of 
the Military Intelligence Division. This Branch also eval- 
uated and distributed intelligence information; maintained 
digests of information of foreign countries ; prepared combat, 
political, and economic estimates; and prepared special 
studies on foreign countries. Its geographical subsections 
directed and coordinated the collection of information by 
military attaches, by means of Index Guide and direct 

The iTidex Guide was a broad, general outline, covering the 
various aspects of information to be reported on a foreign 
country. It was too general to be considered an Intelligence 
Directive from which timely intelligence information could 
be expected. Specific direction to the military attaches in re- 
gard to collecting intelligence information was spasmodic 
and, therefore, incomplete. The geographic sections tended to 
depend on the ingenuity and clairvoyance of the military at- 
tache to forward desired information. 

The first step toward centralization came in March, 1942, 
when a Collection Section was established in the Situation and 
Planning Branch of the Intelligence Group. Although the 
primary function of collecting information remained with 
the geographic and subsections of the Intelligence Group, 
the Collection Section maintained liaison with other govern- 
ment agencies to secure information. It was essentially a liai- 
son section until in November when the Collection Branch 
was placed in the Dissemination Group. Its new directive 
made it the agency to receive and requisition all information, 
except routine emanating from the Field Services. It ob- 
tained special information for the geographic branches and 
other divisions of the Military Intelligence Service, and from 
time to time it issued such intelligence directives as the Chief 
of the Intelligence Group might direct. The emphasis here 
was on non routine reports; routine reports were still the 
responsibility of the geographic branches. In securing its in- 
formation, the branch used personal interviews, maintained 
contact with governmental and civilian agencies, and con- 
tacted field representatives.^^^ 

Field intelligence was gathered for battle commanders and strat- 
egists with a view to its immediate use bv them and then subsequent 
forwarding to the Military Intelligence Division."^ The intelligence 

'« lUd., pp. 63-65. 

"*0n the collection of field Intelligence for immedate combat purposes, see: 
Robert R. Glass and Phillip B. Davidson. IntelUaence Is For Commanders. 
Harrisburg, Military Service Publishing Company, 1948 ; also see Oscar W. Koch 
with Robert G. Hays. 0-2: Intelligence for Patton. Philadelphia, Whitmore 
Publishing Company, 1971. 


needs of the General Staff in Washington were dictated by global 
strategy; commanders closer to specific operations required detailed 
intelligence of a more particularistic type. In many ways, MID 
sought to collect and maintain information which would serve both 
levels of intelligence need. 

The functions of the Collection Branch were redefined 29 
January 1943 by the Chief Intelligence Group after the re- 
organization outlined in Memorandum #18. The Branch was 
designated as the agency to requisition, receive and allocate 
all material coming into the Intelligence Group. Neverthe- 
less, the individual units of the Group could still correspond 
with the Military Intelligence Service field representatives 
in the area of the special interest, but henceforth, were re- 
quired to keep the Chief of the Collection Branch informed 
of this correspondence. A system of weekly reports to the Col- 
lection Branch were inaugurated, which itemized the types 
of information desired, assigned a priority rating, and dis- 
tinguished new from old or repeated requests. These reports 
helped the branch coordinate collection activities with 
the requirements of other agencies. It did not yet have 
complete control over the collection of information, but a 
procedure by which a large portion of the requests were 
cleared through the Branch was established. The responsi- 
bility for liaison and the development of new sources in- 
creased the degree of its control over the collection of 

On 18 March 1943 the Foreign Branch (actually the Field 
Services Branch at this period) was transferred to the Col- 
lection Branch. By this transfer, the Collection Unit gained 
administrative control of the Military Attache system. On 2 
April 1943 the organization of the unit was described and its 
functions redefined. No new functions were added, except 
those acquired through the incorporation of the Foreign 
Liaison Branch, but the overall statement of responsibility 
designated the unit as the agency to requisition, receive and 
allocate all material coming into the Intelligence Group. The 
regional branches were still authorized to communicate di- 
rectly with our representatives abroad.^^^ 

Next came the reorganization of 1944 and its effects upon the collec- 
tion of intelligence information. 

The reorganization plan of the "McCloy Committee" recog- 
nized the importance of the collection of information to the 
production of intelligence. An agency, separate from the Re- 
search branches, was created to exploit all possible sources 
and to collect timely, useful information. The production of 
information (the raw material of intelligence) was placed 
under the Director of Information and more specifically in 
the Source Control Unit. 

The Supervisor of Source Control processed, trained, and 
assigned information gathering personnel ; it advised them of 

"" MID History, op. oit, pp. 65-66. 


the types of information required; it assured the timely re- 
ceipt of useful information; it weeded out useless informa- 
tion; and developed new sources. As established, it was 
largely an administrative and supervisory office, but it soon 
acquired other functions. 

In October 1944 a War Department Intelligence Collection 
Committee was established under the Supervisor of Source 
Control. It was formed to coordinate and integrate all War 
Department intelligence target objectives for the exploitation 
in Germany and other rehabilitated areas, formerly occupied 
by the Axis. The Committee coordinated and compiled the 
requirements of the research branches of the Military Intelli- 
gence Service, the Technical Services, and the Air Forces into 
Target Objective Folders. The Folders were sent overseas 
to the Combined Intelligence Objectives sub-committee which 
coordinated all allied intelligence requirements so as to pre- 
vent duplication of investigation and to promote the most 
efficient use of specialist personnel. The committee also sent 
out investigative teams from the United States to exploit in- 
telligence targets. In November 1944, the Committee began to 
turn its attention to objectives in Japan and Japanese occu- 
pied territory. The first of these folders was dispatched in 
May 1945. 

The formal charter of the committee was not issued until 
June 9, 1945, but it had already been in operation for some 
time before this. Its secretariat was created September 23, 
1944 to do the actual writing and coordinating of intelligence 
requests. The secretariat worked under the supervision of the 
Supervisor of Source Control who had been performing this 
work. Reports from the theaters were received in the Reading 
Panel which determined the reproduction and distribution to 
be given all incoming material. The secretariat filed new in- 
formation in the Target Objective Folders as received. Docu- 
ments of basic army interest were sent to the Pacific Military 
Intelligence Research Section . . . , Camp Ritchie, Maryland, 
and those of basic navy interest were sent to the Navy Docu- 
ment Center. Both agencies maintained accession lists of 
documents received.^^^ 

This committee marked an important pinnacle in centralized co- 
ordination of intelligence information collection. To further facilitate 
this organizational system, a monitoring control procedure for proc- 
essing information requests was created. This practice allowed the 
Supervisor of Source Control to assign requests to the appropriate 
unit responsible for developing the type of information desired, to 
supervise response time and quality, and to otherwise remain apprised 
of the status of such inquiries. The Source Control United continued 
to issue general directives, as well, regarding the collection of informa- 
tion, thereby setting priorities and establishing a degree of quality 
control as well.^^° 

^"^Ihid., pp. 68-69. 
"*/6id., pp. 70-71. 


Another important entity within MH) was the military attache 

The group which administered this system during the war 
changed its name from time to time. It was known as the 
Military Attache Section (and Branch) until April 17, 1943, 
and thereafter as the Foreign Branch. The function and mis- 
sion of the organization remained about the same through- 
out the period. The relation of the Branch to the military 
attache system was purely administrative. It processed per- 
sonnel assigned to these offices. It brought them to the Mili- 
tary Intelligence Division where passports were arranged, 
innoculations procured, and intelligence indoctrination was 
completed. Thereafter the branch handled all administrative 
correspondence between them and the War Department, and 
supervised the administration of their offices. Finally, it was 
responsible for assisting the collection of intelligence by 
transmitting specific requests and general directives, such as 
the Index Guide. 

In December of 1941 the section was composed of six officers 
and nine civilians under the direction of Captain (later 
Colonel) W. M. Adams. In the field, there were fifty-two 
offices, staffed by 129 officers. Coincident with the reorganiza- 
tion of the War Department, March 9, 1942, an Air Section, 
made up of an increment of officers from the Foreign Liaison 
Section A-2, was added to administer the air attache system. 
In early 1942, there were twelve Assistant Military Attaches 
for Air, each with an airplane and a crew chief. By Dec. 1, 
1945 this number had grown to include 48 Military Air Atta- 
ches and Assistants in 38 Military Attache offices abroad.^*" 

Another mechanism developed for coordinated intelligence collec- 
tion was the Joint Intelligence Collection agencies. 

After the North African invasion, it was found that in 
areas where a theater commander was actually present, the 
flow of intelligence stopped. The Theater intelligence organi- 
zations were interested in combat intelligence, rather than in- 
telligence and information necessary for training and stra- 
tegic planning. The solution was the formation of the Joint 
Intelligence Collection Agency in North Africa (Algiers) by 
an agreement with General Eisenhower, dated Jan. 26, 1943. 
This agency was expanded on May 30, 1943 to include, not 
just Algiers, but all of North Africa and became known as the 
Joint Intelligence Collection Agency North Africa. A second 
Joint Intelligence Collection Agency was established as Joint 
Intelligence Collection Agency Middle East for the Middle 
East Theater, April 23, 1943. On August 5, 1943, the system 
was placed on a world wide basis by direction of the Joint 
Deputy Chiefs of Staff. The third was established in the 
China Burma India Theater, August 19, 1943, and from this 
a separate one was established for China, April 27, 1945, when 

^ 76Mf., pp. 74-75. 


that theater was established. The Pacific Ocean Area was 
served by the Joint Intelligence Collection, Pacific Ocean 
Area, which was operated under the direction of the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff."^ 

In addition to supplying administrative support and guidance for 
the Joint Intelligence Collection agencies, the Foreign Branch of the 
MID Collection Unit also supervised two special missions. Organized 
in the summer of 1943, the first of these entities gathered all informa- 
tion available regarding the latest developments and capabilities of the 
enemy in the field of bacteriological warfare. The second, called the 
ALSOS Mission, was operational by the autumn. It sought scientists 
and scientific information which might reveal the progress of the 
enemy in atomic research and allied subiects.^^^ 

As of June 1944, liaison between MID and other Federal agencies 
was centralized in a Washington Liaison Branch but, even after that 
time, informal liaison persisted beyond the new unit's control. 

The roots of the branch are to be found in the Contact Sec- 
tion, existing in the Intelligence Branch on December 5, 1941. 
It was charged with contacting State, Office of Naval Intelli- 
gence, etc. for Military information. Subsequent charts and 
reorganization memoranda do not mention it, but a chart of 
May 15, 1942, lists one of the functions in the Dissemination 
Branch as interviewing returning observers, a task later as- 
signed to the Washington Liaison Branch. Mention of a Con- 
tact and Liaison Section is made October 23, 1942 in a 
discussion of Intelligence possibilities in the interviews of re- 
turning observers, officers, and civilians by Major Edward F. 
Smith in Oct. and Nov. 1942. As we have seen in the discussion 
of the Collection Branch, this function was included in the 
directive of Dec. 9, 1942. Nevertheless, there seems to have 
been at least three agencies doing this type of work independ- 
ently and without coordination (War Department Liaison, 
State Department Liaison, and Domestic Branch) — all in 
[the] collection unit. In Feb 1944 there were 150 Liaison func- 
tions performed in Military Intelligence Division, but they 
were not coordinated or controlled. Many offices whose func- 
tions were normally liaison acted independently of their 
superiors and on their own initiative. As Col. H. H. Mole, 
Chief of the North American Branch, said, "There were too 
many people running too many contacts for successful 
work." ^*3 

While the coordination of liaison was a persistent and continuous 
problem in Washington for MID, it was less so in field contacts with 
private business enterprises due largely to the good efforts of regional 

At one time there were four such offices in New York, San 
Francisco, Miami and New Orleans. They were established to 

^"- lUd., p. 76 ; for a view of coordinated intelligence operations within General 
Eisenhower's Supreme Headquarters in London, see Kenneth Strong. Intelligence 
At the Top. New York Doubleday and Company, 1969, pp. 72-299. 

'" MID History, op. cit., p. 79. 

"' Ibid., pp. 84-85. 


collect information of intelligence value to the War Depart- 
ment from sources peculiar to their location. In addition, they 
performed such functions as liaison with foreign personnel, 
dictated by the characteristics of the industries and traffic of 
their locations. Only the ^Miami Office survived the war, all of 
the rest having been closed before the end of hostilities. 

The Branch offices originated in 1940. At that time, most of 
the information coming into the division came in the form of 
Military Attache reports. It was recognized that there was a 
considerable amount of information to be had in the principal 
ports of entry and in the metropolitan centers of the nation. 
Files of trade data, insurance maps, and related data, records 
of financial transactions, engineering reports, travel diaries 
and field notes of scientists, and other similar items existed in 
these centers. This material could not be shipped to Washing- 
ton for processing, so that it was necessary to go to the 

The first such field office to be established by MID was in New York. 
Opened on July 8, 1940, it initially concentrated on Latin American 
intelligence but by August, 1941, the product had shifted to target 
folders on Europe and, subsequently, on Japan. Before being closed 
on December 31, 1944, a satellite of the Xew York office was opened 
in Chicago sometime between January and March of 1943. A Xew 
Orleans unit operated between April 17, 1941, and February 2, 1943. 
The San Francisco office was inaugurated on July 31, 1941, and initially 
devoted its attention to interviewing evacuees from the Asiatic and 
Pacific areas of conflict. Later, the intelligence interest of the unit 
shifted to business and educational sources familiar with the Orient. 
While in operation, the office cooperated closely with representatives 
of the Office of Naval Intelligence ; it ceased functioning on June 30, 
1944. The Miami office, the longest lived and last to open, commencing 
operations on April 7, 1942. Its principal focus was upon Latin and 
South American developments and the trafficking of foreign visitors 
to the United States via the ''Miami Gateway." "^ 

The Foreign Liaison Office was created 31 August 1941 to 
facilitate the work of foreign military attaches and other 
foreign officers in this country on official business. It made 
arrangements to see that proper courtesies were extended to 
them and systematized and controlled the military informa- 
tion furnished them. At the beginning of the War it was a 
part of the Administrative Branch. In March of 1942 it was 
directly under the Executive, Military Intelligence Service, 
but later was placed under the G-2. In March it consisted of 
twelve officers and twenty-four civilians, but the same month 
received an increment of personnel from the Foreign Liaison 
Section of the Air Staff. After the reorganization of June 
1944 it was placed in the Washington Liaison Branch where 
it remained for the rest of the war. 

Throughout the war, then, it was concerned with the prob- 
lem of satisfying the needs of the diplomatic military repre- 

^** Ibid., pp. 87-88. 
^*^IMd., pp. 88-89. 



sentatives of foreign governmeiitB. The basic directives and 
decisions which related to the release and exchangee of both 
technical and military information were made outside of the 
section. The results of these decisions flowed through 

The policies adopted in regard to the exchange of informa- 
tion and intelligence with the British and our other allies 
were developed on a higher level than the Military Intelli- 
gence Division, but it took part in the discussions. Once the 
general policy was adopted there then remained the task of 
implementing it and working out the details on the "working 
levels." In general this was done not in broad general agree- 
ments but in a series of specific arrangements, sometimes 
verbal and informal. 

The background of these agreements lies in the pre-war 
period when the military staffs of the two nations met to 
discuss plans for strategy and to prepare for eventualities. 
Beginning in January 1941 Staff conversations were held to 
this end. Throughout the American representatives were care- 
ful not to commit the nation to a line of action which might 
later prove embarrassing. Agreements were made and conver- 
sations held not on the basis of when the United States 
entered the war, but if it should be forced to enter it. After 
7 December 1941 further conversations and meetings were 
held and more definite agreements were made.^*^ 

One of the devices developed to facilitate cooperative intelligence 
arrangements between the United States and Great Britain was a 
special panel called the Combined Intelligence Committee. It was part 
of a progression of intelligence coordinating units created during the 
war. First, a Joint Army and Navy Intelligence Committee was created 
under the Joint Army and Navy Board on December 3, 1941.^*^ Orga- 
nized in 1903, the Joint Board made recommendations to the Secre- 
taries of War and Navy on matters involving cooperation of the two 
armed services. Its subordinate agencies included the Joint Planning 
Committee (established in 1919), the Joint Economy Board (estab- 
lished in 1933), and the intelligence unit. The Joint Board was 
abolished in 1947 with the ipstitution of the Department of Defense. 

Next came the Joint Intelligence Committee organized under the 
Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

This Committee, known also as JIC, was a continuation 
and enlargement of the Joint Board committee of the same 
name, which had been authorized in 1941. It received no 
charter from the Joint Chiefs of Staff until May 1943, but it 
was given a directive and was reorganized early in March 
1942. Even before this, on February 11, 1942, a Combined 
Chiefs of Staff paper had defined the duties and membership 
of the Joint Intelligence Committee. Its primary functions 
throughout the war period were to furnish intelligence in 

'^'' IMd., pp. 88-89. 
^*« lUd., pp. 92-93. 
"■"lUd., p. 94. 


various forms to other agencies of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
and to represent it on the Combined Intelligence Committee. 

As originally constituted, the Joint Intelligence Commit- 
tee was composed of the directors of the intelligence services 
of the Army and Navy and representatives of the State 
Department, the Board of Economic Warfare (later the 
Foreign Economic Administration) and the Ck)ordinator of 
Information (later the Director of Strategic Services'). The 
charter of May 1943 added the director of the Intelligence 
Staff of the Armv Air Forces. This membership remained un- 
changed throughout the remainder of the war. 

The Joint Intelligence Committee was assisted by a full- 
time subcommittee and some ten or more special subcommit- 
tees. The permanent working staff was organized by the Com- 
mittee early in 1942 as the Joint Intelligence Subcommittee 
(JISC). Its status was formalized in the charter of the Com- 
mittee on May 1943. Two months later, the Joint Intelligence 
Subcommittee was renamed the Joint Intelligence Staff 
(JIS). The latter agency was given a charter by the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff in May 1944 and operated under it throughout 
the remainder of the war.^*^ 

Then came the Combined Intelligence Committee. 

Provision for this Committee, known also as CIC, was made 
in the agreement to create the Combined Chiefs of Staff, but 
it does not appear to have met before May 1942. Its working 
subcommittee, however, known first as the Combined Intelli- 
gence Subcommittee (CISC) and from August 1943 as the 
Combined Intelligence Staff (CIS), met as early as Febru- 
ary 19, 1942. This subcommittee was composed of the Joint 
Intelligence Subcommittee, later the Joint Intelligence Staff, 
and the British Joint Intelligence Committee* in Washington. 
The Combined Intelligence Committee consisted of the Joint 
Intelligence Committee and representatives of the British 
Joint Intelligence Subcommittee in London. Both the Com- 
bined Intelligence Committee and the Combined Intelligence 
Staff continued throughout the war. The former was respon- 
sible for collecting and disseminating military intelligence for 
the use of the Combined Chiefs of Staff and the Combined 
Staff Planners."^ 
Other units of the Military Intelligence Division with specialized 

intelligence collection functions included a prisoner interrogation 


The Captured Personnel and Material Branch was orig- 
inally known as the Prisoner of War Branch. It was not es- 
tablished until 22 October 1942, although one of its functions, 
the Interrogation Center, had been established a few months 

^** General Services Administration. National Archives and Record Service. The 
National Archives. Federal Records of World War II: Military Agencies (Vol. 
2). Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1951, p. 9. 



earlier. Thus, the origins of the branch go back almost to the 
beginning of the war. 

The original impetus for the establishment of the interro- 
gation centers came from the Navy. The Office of Naval In- 
telligence had studied an interrogation center near London 
during the period from 25 June to 17 December 1941. It found 
that such a center, where selected prisoners were interrogated, 
offered many advantages over a system of interrogation which 
stopped with the initial questionings at the time of the cap- 
ture. The Navy and War Departments had agreed that the 
Army would be responsible for all captured personnel, and 
that the Navy would turn them over to the Army as soon as 
possible after capture. Upon completion of the study, the 
Secretary of the Navy recommended the idea to the Secretary 
of War. After study by the Military Intelligence Division, 
the plan was agreed to. It was agreed that two interrogation 
centers would be established : one in the East near Washing- 
ton and the other in California. On 15 May 1942, Fort Hunt, 
Virginia, was selected as the east coast center, and construc- 
tion was completed by the end of July."° 

Activated in April, 1942, the Fort Hunt Interrogation Center was 
allotted 68 officers and 61 enlisted men ; in September of the following 
year, these personnel were reduced to 41 officers and 61 enlisted men. 
The West Coast Center, opened at the end of December, 1942, was lo- 
cated at Byron Hot Spring, but had a mailing address of Tracy, Cal- 
ifornia, thereby causing it to be geographically referred to by two 
different names. 

The interrogation centers. Fort Hunt and Tracy, were sub- 
ject to a dual command. They were under the control of the 
Provost Marshal General, who designated the Commanding 
Officers for the two camps. These officers were responsible for 
procurement of equipment and overhead personnel upon req- 
uisition from the Corps areas. Interrogation personnel were 
supplied by the Military Intelligence Division and the Office 
of Naval Intelligence and their activities, coordinated by the 
senior interrogating officer. The camps were classified as Tem- 
porary Detention Centers. Within the compound of the camps, 
the areas known as the interrogation center was operated by, 
and was the responsibility of, the Chief of the Military Intel- 
ligence Service. This arrangement was not satisfactory. G-2 
requested a unified control be established as more efficient and 
conducive to improved morale. The request was disapproved 
as contrary to existing regulations. The Adjutant General was 
then asked to establish a new regulation similar to that gov- 
erning the harbor defenses. This was accomplished and on 
14 April 1943 when the Post Commanders of Fort Hunt and 
Byron Hot Springs were ordered reassigned [sic]. This 
marked the end of the dual control system and the transfer of 
these operations to the Chief, Military Intelligence Service. 

^ MID History, op. cit., pp. 99-100. 


The senior interrogating officer was, thereafter, post com- 

The last of the intelligence collection units of MID was the Map 
and Photograph Branch which began as the Geographic Section of 
the Plans and Training Branch in 1941 before reorganization into a 
separate branch in the spring of the next year. Subunits included a 
Photo Section, Still Picture Section (enemy motion picture film, mili- 
tary technical photography), Photographic Division (processing). 
Terrain Photo Section, Military Technical Photo unit (indexing and 
filing), and Motion Picture Unit. There was, of course, close liaison 
with the Army Map Service and Army Pictorial Service. Materials 
were also drawn from the Aeronautical Chart Service, Navy Hydro- 
graphic Office, Coast and Geodetic Survey, U.S. Geological Survey, 
Office of Strategic Services, and several commercial firms including 
the National Geographic Society.^^^ 

Generally speaking, the Division followed a traditionally 
geographic approach to the problem of intelligence produc- 
tion. There were those who found that the functional divi- 
sions of the McCloy Committee were sound. In certain spe- 
cialized subjects, as Order of Battle, Air, and Topographical 
intelligence, a functional grouping was more desirable. 
Shortly after the war, the Division again embraced the geo- 
graphic arrangement which would seem to settle the matter, 
at least for the moment, but a post war opinion of wartime 
operations states that the Division was not operating effi- 
ciently until the end of 1944 — by which time the geographical 
arrangement had been abandoned.^^^ 

Whichever approach was operative in intelligence production, the 
core element of the research sections was their filing systems. Accord- 
ing to the Basic Intelligence Directive, numbers and subjects served 
to indicate the most probable subdivisions into which information 
might be placed. 

Intelligence was produced by other means than merely filing 
incoming reports. Careful studies were made from minutiate 
collected from the files of business concerns. Thus, a laborious 
study of the organization and production techniques used in 
the manufacture of an essential item might point out those 
places where the disruption of a simple process would halt 
production with only a modest expenditure of bombs. Thus, 
manufacturing, processing, and transportation bottlenecks 
were sought as targets. Captured orders were examined to dis- 
cover the formation of new types of outfits, for clues to future 
plans. The who's who files were especially useful in turning 
up new and special type organizations. All available infor- 
mation on the enemy was studied because eventually it was 
grist for the mill."* 

^ Ibid., pp. 100-101. 
^ See Ibid., pp. 108-113. 
^Ibid.,w- 12^-124. 
^/6id., pp. 125-126. 


Under the geographic arrangement, the principal research units 
were British Empire, Western Europe, Central Europe, Eastern Eu- 
rope, the Far East, and Latin America. This 1941 structure gave way 
the following year to the Eur- African, Far Eastern, and American 
Intelligence Service Groups, the Air Unit, and Special Branch, the 
last named being the larest intelligence producing agency in MID at 
the time.^^^ The 1944 reorganization saw the establishment of the Mili- 
tary, Topographic, Political, Economic, Sociological, Scientific, and 
Who's Who Branches. But this scenario, too, was due for alteration. 

Under the terms of the reorganization of June, 1944, Political 
and Economic intelligence was to be produced by two branches 
devoted to these subjects and working on a world wide basis. 
To this end they were separated and personnel and equipment 
were brought in from the geographic branches and the Special 
Branch. In November the Far Eastern Section of the Political 
Branch was separated and transferred to the Economic 
Branch, and the European functions of the Economic Branch 
were transferred to the Political Branch. Each became, in 
fact, a Political-Economic Branch, responsible for the pro- 
duction of intelligence on these matters, according to a geo- 
graphic area. The old Political Branch being responsible for 
Europe, Latin America, and North America; and the Eco- 
nomic Branch being responsible for the Far East.^^® 

The personalities of leaders and organized gi'oups opposed to the 
Allies' cause were of interest to the War Department and this 
prompted the collection of intelligence material pertaining to such 

Originally, this information had been filed in the Record 
Section by relatively unskilled clerks who composed and filed 
the cross reference sheets. Later, this function was removed 
from the Record Section, and in January, 1943, Counter- 
intelligence was removed from the Military Intelligence Divi- 
sion and decentralized to the Service Commands under the 
direction of the Army Service Forces. It was necessary, then, 
to find a substitute whereby central files could be established 
for the recording of biographical information needed in the 
Military Intelligence Division. It should also be borne in 
mind that the information which was secured by the Counter- 
intelligence Group had been concerned largely with subver- 
sive personnel and, thus, left out a large segment of the 
world's population who did not fall, automatically, into this 
category. The Geographical Branches had maintained files 
of persons of interest to them in their particular area, but 
these files were, of course, decentralized and suffered from the 
limitations of decentralization. Persons shifting from area 
to area could not easily be followed then unless proper in- 
quiries were made between the geographic branches. In Janu- 
ary, 1943, the Special Branch began a name file of persons or 
persons of interest to it, and since it was not bound by geo- 

"^ Ibid., -p. 126. 
^ Ibid., p. 146. 


graphical limitations, a nucleus of a central file was estab- 
lished with trained personnel to operate it.^" 

In June, 1944, the Who's Who Branch became the recipient of 
Name File of the Special Branch and received, as well, the relevant 
personality files of the geographical branches. 

An offshoot of the Geographic Section of the Plans and 
Training Branch (later Map and Photo Branch) was the 
Topographic Branch, which was formed in June, 1944, by 
separating the Map Service, Photo Intelligence, and Inter- 
pretation Reports Sections from the remainder to form the 
Map and Photo Branch. That which remained became the 
Terrain (previously the Geographic Research) Section, the 
Cartographic Section, and the Transportation Section. As a 
result, it became more of a research section. The intelligence 
which it produced was provided not only to the War Depart- 
ment General Staff, but also to such agencies as the Joint 
Intelligence Committee, the Joint War Plans Committee and 
the Joint Logistics Plan Committee. It produced intelligence 
concerning terrain, vegetation, routes of movements and 
drainage, but also supplied intelligence concerning landing 
beaches, climate, and soil trafiicability, which was generally 
produced by other agencies. The Chief of the Branch repre- 
sented the Military Intelligence Division on the Joint Intelli- 
gence Committee to obtain topographic intelligence. He also 
represented the War Department General Staff on the United 
States Board on Geographical Names. The terrain section 
procured, selected, evaluated, and integrated information 
concerning terrain and climate. It also prepared written re- 
ports and manuscript maps which interpreted terrain and 
climate intelligence. 

The Transportation Section was a new function, or a 
specialization, which appeared after the reorganization. It 
was designed to handle the demand for information and in- 
telligence concerning the classifications and locations of rail 
networks and terminals, roads, trains, bridges, and tunnels, 
and the depths, widths, and currents of navigable rivers. It 
also prepared manuscript maps, as directed, of transporta- 
tion networks. By V-J Day, this objective was only partially 
satisfied. The following sections of the Far East were com- 
pleted : Burma, China proper, Netherlands Indies, Indo 
China, Malaya, and Thailand ; with Formosa, Japan, Korea, 
Manchuria, and the Philippines partially completed. The 
Cartographic section produced maps and graphic material 
required by the other sections to present topographic intelli- 
gence in its final form.^^® 

The Scientific Branch maintained liaison with Federal agencies in 
an effort to keep abreast of the latest developments in American and 
Allied war research and also sought to produce intelligence regarding 

^ Ibid., pp. 150-151; on counterintelligence activities in the field see John 
Schwaxzwalder. We Caught Spies. New York, Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1946. 
"*/&td., pp. 156-157. 


enemy progress in such diverse subjects as radar and related elec- 
tronic matters, rocketry, jet propulsion, atomic energy production, 
and conventional weapons improvements. Its subunits consisted of a 
Chemical and Biological Warfare Section, Electronics Section, New 
Weapons Section, and subsequently a Physics Section. 

The Sociological Branch was a new agency in the Military 
Intelligence Service, but its work had been foreshadowed in 
the activities of other Branches. Under the new functional 
organization, most of these dispersed activities were combined 
and enlarged, and coordinated effort provided. The Geo- 
graphic branches had done some of the work which the new 
branch would perform; as well as the Propaganda Branch, 
which had attempted some surveys of morale and propa- 
ganda, which duplicated the later work of the branch. The 
Geopolitical Branch had undertaken some population 
studies during its brief existence and these were now taken 
over by the Sociological Branch. 

The main effort of the Branch was directed toward the dis- 
covery of sociological trends of military importance. Popula- 
tion and manpower data was studied for clues to vital sta- 
tistics as well as the migrations and occupational character- 
istics of groups and types. Manpower and labor problems 
were studied to discover the availability of manpower for 
military and industrial service and the effect of legislation 
and organizations on the availability of manpower. Both 
civilian and military morale was studied in enemy countries. 
Social Groups and classes were studied to discover how their 
cleavages and tensions might be used to serve military ends."® 

Organized in June, 1944, the Military Branch produced intelli- 
gence on all aspects of foreign ground and air forces, with an emphasis 
upon order of battle data but including, as well, weapons, fortifica- 
tions, air industry, and some translation activities assigned to the 
unit. The functions of the branch were not new, but had appeared dur- 
ing the war and had suffered ineffective execution due to dispersed 
administration and treatment. 

At the top of the pyramid of intelligence [production] per- 
sonnel were the Specialists. While the rest of the Division 
was organized functionally [in 1944], the Specialists were 
organized geographically. In theory, they drew upon the re- 
sources of the other branches for the types of information 
which they required. To the material received from the re- 
search sections, they gave the final evaluation and approval 
before it was disseminated, thus inheriting some of the func- 
tions of the Evaluation Staff. By means of the G-2's Morning 
Conference, they presented the latest information from all 
corners of the world with their evaluation of its meaning and 
importance. Thereafter, during the day they sent him such 
other reports as were required. They worked with the Di- 
rector of Intelligence and assisted him in giving directives to 
the Supervisor of Source Control to gather information, 

"»/6td.,p. 161. 


which they required, and gave direction and supervision to 
the research sections for the same purpose.^^" 

This, then, generally describes the MID intelligence production 
organization. But once intelligence information had been collected, 
analyzed, and a product was produced, one general function remained 
to be served — dissemination. 

Throughout the war there were efforts to centralize the dis- 
semination of intelligence. Prior to 1944, the Dissemination 
Unit had achieved the greatest degree of centralization so far 
attained. At no time, however, did it or the Reports Unit es- 
tablish complete control of all phases of this activity. Indeed, 
this would have been impossible. Dissemination included, not 
only the preparation of printed periodical publications of in- 
telligence, but also the means by which intelligence was pre- 
sented to the G-2, the Chief of Staff, and the various Staff 
Division [s]. Intelligence was disseminated by periodic pub- 
lications, special reports, conferences, and so on ; besides the 
usual types of reports and memoranda, maps, photographs, 
charts, and tables were used to present the material at hand. 

The normal dissemination functions were the responsi- 
bility of the Dissemination Unit in early 1944. Its antecedents 
include the Dissemination Section of the Intelligence Branch, 
which became the Dissemination Branch in April, 1942. Mean- 
while, the Situation Branch, created early in 1942, was per- 
forming dissemination functions. In August, 1942, the 
Evaluation and Dissemination Branch was created to include 
the work of the Dissemination and Situation Branches in the 
Dissemination Section, along with other sections devoted to 
Communications, Theater Intelligence, and Order of Battle. 
A Project and Review Board reviewed all completed projects 
before they were sent out. In November, 1942, the designation 
of these sections was changed to Dissemination Group under 
Col. G. S. Smith. It included Cable Branch, Collection 
Branch, Theater Intelligence Branch, and Publications 
Branch. In April, 1943, after a number of minor changes, the 
Dissemination Unit was created to be responsible for the for- 
mat and appearance of any publication produced in the Mili- 
tary Intelligence Service. It also disseminated intelligence 
approved by the Evaluation and Dissemination Staff. This 
last group had been established as the final evaluation and re- 
view authority for intelligence before it was disseminated to 
the Army. It passed on periodical items, monographs, studies, 
and similar reports.^^^ 

This was the pattern of reorganization and growth in the military 
intelligence establishment during World War II. 

In 1941, G-2 was a small organization. Under the impact of 
wartime expansion and development, it grew. In 1942 a new 
factor entered the picture in the form of a separate operat- 

'■"/fttrf., p. 197. 

"^ iJ>id., pp. 2O4r-2l05. 


ing agency, and during the next two years, an effort was made 
to mold the organization into a single intelligence producing 
and policy making agency. In the course of these efforts, the 
Military Intelligence Service tended to lose its identity. In 
1944, it re-emerged as an intelligence operating and producing 
agency with definite functions and responsibilities. At the 
same time there was a struggle over the best method of 
organizing to produce intelligence. Thus, evaluation was, for 
a time, turned over to a Board which had as an additional 
function policy making. In 1944, a new method was devised 
by which intelligence was produced by supervised specialists 
who were aided by the research groups. All of the policy 
making activities were allocated to the Military Intelligence 
Division. But one fact must be borne in mind. This method 
was more easily devised in 194i than at any previous time be- 
cause by then the Military Intelligence Division had lost its 
counterintelligence functions. Prior to that time, the struc- 
ture of the organization must include [sic] a provision for 
counterintelligence. With the loss of this function, it was pos- 
sible to greatly simplify the organization and emphasize the 
importance of teamwork in the new Military Intelligence 

While there was a War Department reorganization effective June 
11, 1946, "the Intelligence Division (G-2) did much the same work as 
always." ^®^ As with the other armed services, the next great revision 
of military intelligence functions and organization would occur in 
1947 with the establishment of the Department of Defense, the National 
Security Council, and the Central Intelligence Agency. 

Two other outstanding units within the military intelligence net- 
work should be examined at this juncture: the Signal Corps' cryp- 
tology group and the Allied Intelligence Bureau. The great impor- 
tance of the former of these entities derived, of course, from the suc- 
cessful decipherment of the Japanese code. 

A trickle of MAGIC in 1936 had become a stream in 1940. 
Credit for this belongs largely to Major General Joseph O. 
Mauborgne, who became Chief Signal Officer in October 

Mauborgne had long been interested in cryptology. In 
1914, as a young first lieutenant, he achieved the first re- 
corded solution of a cipher known as the Playfair, then used 
by the British as their field cipher. He described his technique 
in a 19-page pamphlet that was the first publication on cryp- 
tology issued by the United States Government. In World 
War I, he put together several cryptographic elements to 
create the only theoretically unbreakable cipher, and pro- 
moted the first automatic cipher machine, with which the 
unbreakable cipher was associated. 

^^lUd., pp. 59-60. 

^^Ray S. Cline. U.S. Army in World War TI. The War Department: Washing- 
ton Command Post: The Operations Division. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 
1951, p. 359. 


When he became head of the Signal Corps, he immediately 
set about augmenting: the important cryptanalytic activities. 
He established the S.I.S. [Signal Intelligence Service] as an 
independent division reporting directly to him, enlarged its 
functions, set up branches, started correspondence courses, 
added intercept facilities, increased its budget, and put on 
more men. In 1939, when war broke out in Europe, S.I.S. 
was the first agency in the War Department to receive more 
funds, personnel, and space. Perhaps most important of all, 
Mauborgne's intense interest inspired his men to outstand- 
ing accomplishments. More and more codes were broken, and 
as the international situation stimulated an increasing flow 
of intercepts, the MAGIC intelligence approached flood 

When Mauborgne retired in September, 1941, being succeeded by 
Major General Dawson Olmstead, the cryptanalytic capability he had 
nurtured was commendable but, of course, in need of expansion and 
further refinement when war engulfed the nation two months later. 

It multiplied its communications-intelligence manpower 
thirtyfold from its strength December 7, 1941, of 331 — 44 
officers and 137 enlisted men and civilians in Washington and 
150 officers and men in the field. Ever-growing requirements 
quickly dwarfed early estimates, such as the early one in 1942 
that a staff of 460 would suffice, and kept up a relentless pres- 
sure for more and still more workers. Yet the agency faced 
stiff competition for them in manpower-short Washington. 
Moreover, the necessity for employees to be of unquestion- 
able loyalty and trustworthiness, because of the sensitive na- 
ture of cryptanalytic results, and the importance of their 
being temperamentally suited to the highly specialized na- 
ture of the work, greatly reduced the number of prospects. 
To fill its needs, the agency launched a series of vigorous but 
discreet recruiting drives. It snatched people out of its school 
even though they were only partially trained: during the 
school's entire time at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, not one 
student completed the full 48-week course. It brought in 
members of the Women's Army Corps — almost 1,500 of them. 
These measures enabled the agency to grow to a strength of 
10,609 at its peak on June 1, 1945—5,565 civilians, 4,428 en- 
listed men and W.A.C.'s and 796 officers. (This figure ex- 
cludes cryptologic personnel serving under theater com- 
manders overseas.) Nevertheless, the personnel supply never 
caught up to the demand. In April, 1944, for example, the 
agency had more than 1,000 civilian positions empty. "^ 

Personnel growth, new functions, and the pressures of war also 
dictated new structure of the cryptological unit. 

In June of 1942, owing to a reorganization in the Office of 
the Chief Signal Officer, the outfit shed its old name of Signal 

'"David Kahn. The Codepreakers. New York, New American Library, 1973; 
ori^hally published 1^7, p. 7. 
"* /6itf., p. 316. 


Intelligence Service and gained and lost three new ones with- 
in two months. Then from July, 1942, to July, 1943, it was 
called the Signal Security Service, and from July, 1943, to 
the end of the war, the Signal Security Agency. Lieutenant 
Colonel Rex Minckler, chief since before Pearl Harbor, was 
replaced in April, 1942, by Lieutenant Colonel Frank W. 
Bullock. In February, 1943, Lieutenant Colonel W. Preston 
(Eed) Corderman, tall, husky, quiet, pleasant, who had 
studied and then taught in the S.LS. school in the 1930s, be- 
came chief. He remained in the post to the end of the war, 
rising to a brigadier general in June, 1945. 

Its population explosion and its voluminous output strained 
its administrative structure, and this was realigned several 
times. As of Pearl Harbor it was divided into four sections : 
the A, or administrative; the B, or cryptanalytic ; the C, or 
cryptographic, and the D, or laboratory.^®^ 

While the B section broke ciphers and decoded messages, the C sec- 
tion devised new codes, ciphers, and related materials for the Amer- 
ican military forces. In August of 1942 an E or Communications 
section was created by upgrading the "traffic"' subsection of the crypt- 
analytic unit. In March, 1943, the six sections were elevated to branch 
status and by the following year a Machine Branch (mechanized cod- 
ing/decoding operations) and an Information and Liaison Branch 
were added.^^'^ 

In June of 1942, the Navy ceded all supervision and responsibility 
for Japanese diplomatic code solutions to the Army, surrendering 
both files and machinery at this time.^^^ In addition to its central 
coding/decoding operations in Washington, the Signal Intelligence 
Service established cryptanalytic units in various theaters of the war, 
received tactical, combat-level communications intelligence via the Sig- 
nal Corps radio intelligence companies in the field, and maintained 
an active radio intercept program through the 2nd Signal Service 
Battalion (later the 9420th Technical Service Unit). 

Though this set-up held until the war ended, operational 
control of the agency passed on December 15, 1944, to G-2, 
the military intelligence section of the War Department Gen- 
eral Staff, which was the agency's major customer and which, 
as such, for many months had indirectly giiided its activities. 
The Signal Corps merely retained administrative control. 
This confusing arrangernent — complicated further by the 
agency's having both staff and command functions — ended 
in August, 1945, when the War Department transferred all 
signal intelligence units to agency control. On September 6, 
four days after the war ended, the War Department ordered 
the creation within G-2 of a new cryptologic organization by 
merging the Signal Security Agency, the field cryptanalytic 
units, and Signal Corps cryptology. This was the Army 

^''lUd., p. 317. 
"' Ibid., p. 318. 
^'^ Ibid., p. 315. 


Security Agency, which came into existence September 15, 

The Allied Intelligence Bureau, composed of combined Allied 
forces in the Pacific command zone of General Douglas MacArthur, 
was established at Brisbane, Australia, on July 6, 1942. under the 
auspices of his intelligence staff, headed by Major General Charles A. 
"Willoughby. According to MacArthur's records which Willoughby 
has cited : 

. . . the history of the AIB is a secret, little-publicized but 
highly important chapter in the story of the Southwest Pa- 
cific. From the Solomons to Borneo, from Java to the Philip- 
pines, a small adventurous group of carefully trained spe- 
cialists spread a network of observers and operatives behind 
the enemy lines well in advance of our main body. . . . Op- 
erating in almost total isolation and normally without hope 
of outside support, every expedition was carried out in the 
face of great personal risk. If discovered by the enemy, the 
small parties were doomed to almost certain capture and 
probable death. In that event those who died quickly were 
fortunate. . . . Jungle-wise "coastwatchers," with tiny radio 
transmitter-receiver outfits, remained behind as the Japanese 
invasion wave swept forward. . . . From these few fearless 
men a powerful network of sea, air and ground spotters was 
developed until finally it became impossible for the enemy to 
make a single major move on the surface or in the sky with- 
out intelligence reports being flashed in advance to Allied 
forces. ... At the conclusion of the desperate Gaudalcanal 
campaign, Admiral Halsey publicly stated that it was prob- 
able that the allies could not have retained their hard-won 
initiative on Guadalcanal Island had it not been for the con- 
sistent advance radio warnings by AIB agents of impending 
enemy air attacks.^^" 

The Bureau was headed by Colonel C. G. Roberts, an Australian, 
with Lieutenant Allison Ind, an American, as his deputy. The princi- 
pal structural units included a British Special Operations ("sabotage 
and silent killing") group, a British radio monitoring outfit, the 
Netherlands Indies Forces Intelligence Service, an Australian propa- 
ganda group, and the Australian "Coast Watchers." ^^^ MacArthur's 
records comment : 

... It was found necessary to adjust the organizational 
structure on a "geographic" rather than a purely "functional" 
basis primarily to protect and reconcile political sovereign- 
ties. A very interesting figure emerged in the often delicate 
negotiations, one Mr. Van der Plaas, a former Governor of 
Eastern Java, related to native princes, and a top-flight dip- 

"^ lUd., p. 318-319. 

'™ Charles A. Willoughby and John Chamberlain. MacArthur 19^1-1951. New 
York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1954, pp. 145-146. 

^'* Allison Ind. Allied Intelligence Bureau. New York, David McKay Company, 
pp. 10-11. 


lomat. His persuasive formula was the division of the vast 
Southwest Pacific along colonial lines, preserving the prewar 
status quo. Colonel Van S. Merle-Smith, G-2 Deputy who had 
handled million dollar New York corporations before the 
war, was just the tough hombre to cut his way through 
tropical ambitions. 

The chiefs of the various AIB sections were placed under 
an Australian Comptroller who, in turn, was responsible to 
G-2 headquarters ; an American Deputy Comptroller was in- 
serted as the Finance Officer. Thus we retained a double 
check upon the Bureau and its elusive international com- 
ponents; a coordinating staff, consisting of liaison officers 
from each headquarters, was named to assist the organization. 

Running true to form, though ostensibly under a single di- 
rectorship, each of the sub-sections attempted to remain more 
or less autonomous, and continuous readjustments were neces- 
sary during the lifetime of the Bureau in order to achieve 
centralized control.^^^ 

The total manpower in the service of the AIB has been estimated at 
"several thousand individuals." ^" More concrete statistics indicate 164 
Bureau operatives lost their lives during the war while the fate of 178 
other agents remains a mystery ; 75 Bureau members were captured.^^* 
While a precise date for the termination of the AIB is not available, 
it certainly had ceased operations by V-J Day. 

VI. Naval Intelligence 

Published accounts on the organization and operations of the Office 
of Naval Intelligence and its Marine Corps counterpart during World 
War II reveal very little about the structure and activities of these 
units. Generally, the Marine Corps collected and generated its own 
combat intelligence while ONI, which included Marines on its staff, 
had combat intelligence responsibilities for the Navy and strategic 
intelligence duties for both services. The Office of Naval Intelligence 
was initially organized on a geographic basis, then a functional 
scheme, and maintained units in each of the Naval Districts and 
principal fleet commands. It supervised naval attaches, naval observ- 
ers, and liaison officers abroad. The Office apparently suffered from a 
fast turnover of Directors during the war years and was handicapped, 
as well, by a limited view on the part of the Chief of Naval Operations 
as to its role. According to one official history assessing the agency : 

Arguments as to the scope of Naval Intelligence respon- 
sibility were frequent. The position taken by CNO during 
World War II was that Op>-16 [a Navy acronym identifying 
ONI] was in effect a post office charged with forwarding In- 
telligence reports and other data to the activity in the Navy 
Department most likely to need and make use of the informa- 
tion ; that Op-16 had neither the time nor the qualified per- 
sonnel to search for obscure leads in the reports pointing to 

^■^ Willoughby, op. cit., p. 148. 

^■^ Ind, Allied Intelligence Bureau, p. vli. 

"* lUd. ; Willoughby, op. cit., p. 157. 


enemy intentions with respect, Nfor example, to new weapon 
developments or future operations. . . . 

The process of evaluating and disseminating^ the informa- 
tion contained in Intelligence reports came in for investiga- 
tion and some criticism by the Joint Congressional 
Committee that inquired into the attack on Pearl Harbor. 
It was brought out during the hearings that the Director of 
Naval Intelligence had authority to disseminate technical, 
statistical, and similar information received by his Office, 
but that he had no authority to evaluate certain aspects of 
military intelligence such as developing the enemy's inten- 
tions, nor to disseminate such information and its evaluation. 
These were responsibilities of the War Plans Division. 

The questions asked, the conclusions reached, and the rec- 
ommendations made by the Joint Congressional Committee, 
indicated the belief that the Director of Naval Intelligence 
should have had more authority to evaluate and disseminate 
information of that kind. The Naval authorities held, how- 
ever, that the responsibility for developing enemy inten- 
tions from information gathered and analyzed by the 
intelligence service, and its dissemination must be left to the 
individual in the organization of the CNO responsible for 
war planning. It was in general held by the Navy Depart- 
ment that even the War Plans Officer could not be the final 
arbiter in some cases. The Chief of Naval Operations, the 
Secretary of the Navy, and even the President might have to 
make the final decision. 

A measure of the pressing need for military intelligence 
in modern warfare was the increase in personnel employed 
on such work in CNO and in the field during World War II. 
In June 1938, about 60 officers and some 100 enlisted person- 
nel and civilians were employed in the Naval Intelligence 
Division — Op-16. On 1 July 1945, the numbers stood at 543 
officers, 675 enlisted personnel, and 330 civilians. The increase 
in the field was even greater. At Pearl Harbor, the Naval In- 
telligence unit at the time of the attack consisted of a few 
officers and enlisted personnel. At the peak during the war 
some 4,500 people were engaged on such work at Pearl 

Special activities developed by the Office of Naval Intelligence dur- 
ing the war seem to be security investigation, intelligence training, and 
psychological warfare. 

Three months before war broke out again in Europe in 1939, 
President Roosevelt issued an executive memorandum recog- 
nizing the Security Division as a functioning entity of ONI 
responsible for investigating espionage, counterespionage 
and sabotage. 

Just as ONI's undercover, agents were the first American 
investigators into Latin America in search of GeriiiaA Spies 

** Jiilius Augustus Furer. Admmistration of the Tfavy Department in World 
War il. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off.. 1959, pp. 119-120. 


before this country entered World War I, the ONI was the 
first to deal with Japanese espionage before the FBI took 
over in World War II. At that time, the Navy was the only 
American agency with any degree of knowledge about Japan. 

From the beginning of World War II, the rapidly ex- 
panding corps of investigators literally covered the water- 
front. They checked on the backgrounds of naval civilian 
personnel in jobs involving the national security, investigated 
suspected cases of espionage and subversive activities, 
guarded against sabotage, uncovered fraud in the buying or 
selling of naval materials, traced security leaks and did the 
Navy's detective work on crime. 

Security was their mission and protecting the naval estab- 
lishment their goal. Not all threats to security, they found, 
need be related directly to enemy efforts.^^® 

Development of the intelligence training organization and function 
must be credited to then (1942) Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence 
Ellis M, Zacharias, who later wrote : 

Training of personnel was our primary problem, since we 
had only an inadequate intelligence school chiefly concerned 
with the preparation of officers for investigation duties, known 
as "gumshoe activities" among those in a belittling mood. 
Complaints heard in the field offices decided me to make train- 
ing my number one project. Radical changes had to be made, 
and I took it upon myself to make them immediately. 

The old school was abolished and two new schools were 
created : one in Frederick, Md., called the Basic Intelligence 
School, to introduce newcomers to the elementary principles 
and techniques of intelligence; and another, the Advance In- 
telligence School in New York, to train intelligence officers 
on an operational level. This second school grew out of the 
realization that Naval Intelligence in war has somewhat dif- 
ferent tasks from those of Army Intelligence. The elements 
of ground combat and the problems which it raises are largely 
nonexistent in naval warfare, so that what the Army calls its 
combat intelligence has but limited application in the Navy. 
What we needed was operational intelligence, an activity be- 
tween strategy and tactics providing in intelligence every- 
thing a commander might need to take his ships into combat 
or to conduct amphibious warfare. The immense mobility of 
fleets and the wide expanse of our watery battlefield neces- 
sitated a broadening of intelligence work, too; and we felt 
that our operational intelligence would take all these factors 
into consideration. We planned to train hundreds of opera- 
tional intelligence officers by driving them through a hard 
curriculum compressed into a comparatively short time. We 
actually trained a thousand — and as I now look back upon 
this proiect, and the demands which soon poured in upon us, 
I feel that we were not disappointed in our exDectations. My 
faith in Lieutenant (now Commander) John Mathis, USNR, 

^"Miriam Ottenberg. TTie Federal Investigators. Englewood Cliffs, Prentice- 
Hall, 1962, p. 64. 


who headed this school, was well founded. His legal mind, 
pleasant personality, and keen investigative abilities gave me 
confidence. Ably assisted by an outstanding faculty of men 
high in the educational field, such as Lieutenant Richard W. 
Hatch, Lieutenant Garrett Mattingly, and others, the success 
of this undertaking was assured.^^'^ 

It was also in 1942 that ONI embarked upon its psychological war- 
fare effort, the first undertaking being a carefully programmed prop- 
aganda barrage designed to demoralize the German Navy. This 
was followed by similar campaigns against the Italian Navy and the 
Japanese. Always operating in extreme secrecy, the new unit made its 
initial broadcast on January 8, 1943. 

The establishment of what we called the Special Warfare 
Branch (we feared that calling it Psychological Warfare 
Branch we should engender even greater hostility by oppo- 
nents of everything psychological) was greeted with extreme 
enthusiasm by the Office of War Information, which then 
found cooperation with the armed forces a very difficult task. 
Elmer Davis, director of OWI, became our champion, and 
whenever attempts were made to abolish our branch, he 
pleaded with our highest echelons and borrowed time for us 
so that we could continue our activities. 

We worked in the closest and most harmonious cooperation 
with OWI, which was the sole vehicle for the dissemination 
of our material. The broadcast recordings were prepared for 
OWI in a studio of the Interior Department then under the 
able direction of Shannon Allen, and manned with capable 
technicians. The broadcasts were put on the air by OWI seven 
times a day, three days a week from all outlets OWI then had 
in the United States, North Africa, and Great Britain. In 
addition we prepared for them a program called Prisoner-of- 
War Mail, an arrangement by which German and Italian 
prisoners kept in this country could send greetings to their 
relatives and friends in their homelands. This was the first 
such attempt made in the United States, and it yielded splen- 
did propaganda results. We also worked with OWI in draw- 
ing up propaganda directives insofar as naval warfare was 
concerned, and this close cooperation proved that a military 
and a civilian agency could work together smoothly on what 
was undoubtedly an important military operation.^^^ 

Cryptanalvsis operations were administered by the Office of Naval 
Communications and the information derived from these activities 
was shared with the Office of Naval Intelligence. Created in 1912 as 
the Naval Radio Service of the Bureau of Navigation, Naval Com- 
munications was attached to the newly created Office of the Chief 
of Naval Operations in 1915 as a coequal unit with ONI and was 
named the Communications Division some four years later. In the 
twilight before American entry into the war, an effort was made, in 

^" Ellis M. Zacharias. Secret Missions: The Story of an Intelligence Officer. 
New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1946, pp. 296-297. 
'™ Ibid., pp. 305-306. 


May of 1941, to create a special communications intelligence monitor- 
ing capacity for the Pacific region. 

In the middle of that month, the U.S. Navy took an impor- 
tant step in the radio intelligence field. It detached a 43-year- 
old lieutenant commander from his intelligence berth aboard 
U.S.S. Indianapolis and assigned him to reorganize and 
strengthen the radio intelligence unit at Pearl Harbor. The 
officer was Joseph John Rochefort, the only man in the Navy 
with expertise in three closely related and urgently needed 
fields: cryptanalysis, radio, and the Japanese language. 
Rochefort, who had begun his career as an enlisted man, had 
headed the Navy's cryptographic section from 1925 to 1927. 
Two years later, a married man with a child, he was sent, 
because of his outstanding abilities, as a language student to 
Japan, a hard post to which ordinarily only bachelor officers 
were sent. This three-year tour was followed by half a year 
in naval intelligence ; most of the next eight years were spent 
at sea. 

Finally, in June of 1941 ; Rochefort took over the command 
of what was then known as the Radio Unit of the 14th Naval 
District in Hawaii. To disiruise its functions he renamed it the 
Combat Intelligence Unit. His mission was to find out, 
through communications intelligence, as much as possible 
about the dispositions and operations of the Japanese Navy. 
To this end he was to cryptanalyze all minor and one of the 
two major Japanese naval cryptosystems.^^^ 

Subsequently, the Director of ONI was given an indirect role in the 
operations of this unit by simultaneously holding the position of 
Assistant Chief of Staff for Combat Intelligence in the Headquarters 
of Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, in charge of the Combat 
Intelligence Division. As with all other intelligence agencies, CID 
began to grow after the United States entered the war and struggled 
with the challenges of 1942. 

By the next year, it had changed its name to Fleet Radio 
Unit, Pacific Fleet — FRUPAC, in the Navy's interminable 
list of acronvms. Rochefort had departed in October 1942. for 
two years of noncryptologic duties. He was replaced by Cap- 
tain William B. Goggins, 44, a 1919 Annapolis graduate with 
long communications experience. Goggins, who had been 
wounded in the Battle of the Java Sea, remained as head of 
FRUPAC to January 1945. [Lieutenant Commander Thomas 
H.l Dyer continued to head cryptanalysis. Eventually 
FRUPAC comprised a personnel of more than 1,000. Much 
of the work was done in the new Joint Intelligence Center, 
housed in a long narrow building across Midway Drive from 
[Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester 
W.l Nimitz' headquarters perched atop a cliff overlooking 
Pearl Harbor. [Lieutenant Rudolph J.l Fabian, in Mel- 
bourne, directed a field unit smiliar to FRUPAC. He was on 
the staff of the Commander in Chief, 7th Fleet, which was 

'^^ Kahn, op. dt., p. 8. 


attached to MacArthur's South West Pacific Area command. 
FRUPAC's growth mirrored that of all American crypt- 
analytic agencies. This expansion compelled OP-20-G [a 
Navy acronym identifying the agency] to reorganize as early 
as February 1942. The workload had become too heavy for 
one man ([Commander Laurence F.] Safford). The outfit 
was split up into sections for its three major cryptologic func- 
tions: (1) the development, production, and distribution of 
naval cryptosystems, headed by Safford; (2) policing of 
American naval communications to correct and prevent secu- 
rity violations ; (3) crytanalysis, headed by Commander John 
Redman. In September the development function was sep- 
arated from the production. Safford retained control of the 
development work until the end of the war, devising such new 
devices as call-sign cipher machines, adapters for British and 
other cryptographic devices, and off-line equipment for auto- 
matic operation. About June, the Navy ceded Japanese diplo- 
matic solutions to the Army, giving over its files as well as 
its PURPLE machine."" 

While FRI^PAC dealt with Japanese codes, only Washington — 
Naval communications headquarters — processed foreign diplomatic 
systems and naval ciphers used in the Atlantic theater, these being 
primarily German.^^^ 

The Navy's official designation of OP-20-G indicated that 
the agency was the G section of the 20th division of OPNAV, 
the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, the Navy's head- 
quarters establishment. The 20th division was the Office of 
Naval Communications, and the G section was the Communi- 
cations Security Section. This carefully chosen name masked 
its cryptanalytic activities, though its duties did include U.S. 
Navy cryptography. 

Its chief was Commander Laurence F. Safford, 48, a tall, 
blond Annapolis graduate who was the Navy's chief expert 
in cryptology. In January, 1934, he had become the officer 
in charge of the newly created research desk in the Na\'y's 
Code and Signal Section. Here he founded the Navy's com- 
munication-intelligence organization. After sea duty from 
1926 to 1929, he returned to cryptologic activities for three 
more years, when sea duty was again made necessary by the 
"Manchu" laws, which required officers of the Army and 
Navy to serve in the field or at sea to win promotion. He 
took command of OP-20-G in 1936. One of his principal 
accomplishments before the outbreak of war was the estab- 
lishment of the Mid-Pacific Strategic Direction-Finder Net 
and of a similar net for the Atlantic where it was to play a 
role of immense importance in the Battle of the Atlantic 
against the U-boats. 

Safford's organization enjoyed broad cryptologic func- 
tions. It printed new editions of codes and ciphers and dis- 

"»7&td., pp. 314-515. 
"^ Ibid., p. 12. 


tributed them, and contracted with manufacturers for cipher 
machines. It developed new systems for the Navy. It compre- 
hended such subsections as GI, which wrote reports based on 
radio intelligence from the field units, and GL, a record- 
keeping and historical-research group. But its main interest 
centered on cryptanalysis.^^^ 

Both Naval Intelligence and Naval Communications persisted as 
major agencies within the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in 
the aftermath of World War II. It would appear that in 1972 crypto- 
logic duties were transferred from the Naval Communications Com- 
mand to the Naval Security Group Command, an entity created in 
1970 to manage certain internal physical and operational security 
matters. In 1973, the Naval Communications Command became known 
as the Naval Telecommunications Command. The old Office of Naval 
Intelligence is currently called the Naval Intelligence Command. 

YII. Civilian Intelligence 

During World War II various Federal civilian departments and 
agencies were involved in intelligence activities. Chief among these 
was the Justice Department. Units principally involved in intel- 
ligence included the Criminal Division, the War Division, the Im- 
migration and Naturalization Service, and the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation. Responsible for prosecuting violators of all Federal 
criminal statutes except those within the jurisdiction of the Anti- 
trust and Tax Divisions, the Criminal DiWsion exhibited intelligence 
capability in its General Crimes Section, where cases regarding the 
illegal sale, manufacture, and wearing of armed forces uniforms and 
insignia, the harboring of deserters, the making of threats against 
the President, and the interference with any plant, mine, or facility 
in the possession of the government were prepared ; its Internal Se- 
curity Section, organized as the National Defense Section in the sum- 
mer of 1940, where cases regarding espionage, sabotage, sedition, 
foreign agents, treason, censorship, and other aspects of internal se- 
curity were prepared; and its War Frauds Unit, established on 
February 4, 1942, under the joint jurisdiction of the Antitrust and 
Criminal Divisions, to locate and prosecute persons guilty of frauds 
in the handing of war contracts. 

The War Division, established on May 19, 1942, superseded the 
Special Defense Unit organized in the Office of the Attorney General 
in April, 1940. Ultimately abolished on December 28, 1945, it brought 
together a number of special bodies scattered among the Justice De- 
partment's regular components. Its principal substructures included 
the Special War Policies Unit, responsible 

for directing and coordinating activities of the Department 
of Justice relating to espionage, sabotage, sedition, subversive 
activities, and the registration of foreign agents. The Unit's 
Subversives Administration Section, working with the Fed- 
eral Bureau of Investigation, directed investigations of , and 
organized the evidence relating to, subversive activities car- 
ried on by Nazi, Communist, and Fascist elements in the 

"»/6tU, pp. 11-12. 


United States, and recommended prosecutive and other ac- 
tions. The Latin-American Section assembled information 
about and prepared reports on the control of subversive activ- 
ities in the Latin- American countries. The Organizations and 
Propaganda Analysis Section collected, analyzed, and or- 
ganized information on individuals, organizations, and pub- 
lications in the United States that were considered to be 
seditious or potentially seditious. The Foreign Language 
Press Section made translations from and made reports on 
the foreign-language press of the United States.^®^ 

The Economic Welfare Section, 

which originated as the Economic Section of the Antitrust 
Division in 1942, was transferred to the War Division on 
August 28, 1943. Its chief functions were to collect industrial 
information, prepare reports on enemy or enemy-controlled 
industrial organizations, and aid in making this information 
available for use in the economic warfare efforts of the Allies. 
In the fiscal year 1944 the Bureau of the Budget designated 
the Section as the central agency of the Government to carry 
out research in the field of international cartels. The Eco- 
nomic Warfare Section was dissolved at the end of 1945. 

The objectives of the Section were: (1) To discover and 
analyze important intercompany connections among Euro- 
pean and Far Eastern firms and the control of these firms by 
Germans and Japanese; (2) to analyze the means by which 
German and Japanese control could be eliminated; (3) to 
examine the legal problems that might arise because of the 
use of intercompany connections by the German and Jap- 
anese governments as a means of espionage and economic 
warfare; (4) to analyze intercompany agreements between 
foreign and American companies in order to determine their 
effects on American trade and commerce; and (5) to ex- 
amine the effect of cartel agreements among foreign compa- 
nies upon the trade, commerce, and business structure of 
Latin- American and other countries. 

In carrying out these objectives, the Section made ex- 
tensive investigations concerning bombing objectives and en- 
emy potentials; engaged in studies of particular aspects of 
international cartels with emphasis on the techniques em- 
ployed by the Germans to penetrate the economies of other 
countries, especially the United States and Latin- American 
countries; participated in the formulation of plans and pre- 
pared guides for the investigations of industrial combines 
in enemy or enemy-held countries during the period of occu- 
pation ; and made studies of the efforts of enemy interests to 
obtain control of important assets in conquered areas and to 
screen their efforts in order to avoid the economic conse- 
quences of defeat. 

^General Services Administration. National Archives and Records Service. 
The National Archives. Federal Records of World War II; Civilian Agencies 
(Vol. 1). Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1950, p. 789. 


The Section made analyses of the chemicals, iron and steel, 
nonferrous metals, electrical equipment and electronic devices, 
and the machinery and tools industries of Germany; the 
French, Swedish, Swiss, and other banking institutions that 
might have helped to establish and maintain German eco- 
nomic influence outside of Germany; the international con- 
trol of certain commodities of international importance, such 
as tin, fats oil, and industrial diamonds; and the I. G. 

In the process of reviewing registration statements and analyzing 
the exhibits submitted by agents of foreign governments as required 
by law, the Foreign Agents Registration Section, transferred from 
the State Department on June 1, 1942, prepared reports of intelli- 
gence value on both individuals and organizations that had failed to 
comply with the registration requirement. 

During the war, the Immigration and Naturalization Service "con- 
linued its peacetime function of administering the laws relating to 
the admission, exclusion, and deportation of aliens and the naturali- 
zation of aliens lawfully resident in the United States, and it had a 
special wartime responsibility for the registration and fingerprinting 
of all aliens in the United States." ^®^ The Service had no investigators 
of its own until 1946 so it had to rely upon occasional assistance in 
this area from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.^^® Nevertheless, 
its information holdings served an intelligence need. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation served as the primary inves- 
tigative agency of the Justice Department durins: the war period. Its 
principal components included the Office of the Director, the Identifi- 
cation Division (fingerprints), the Securitv Division (investigation), 
the Technical Laboratory (analysis development and application), 
and the Training Division. In addition to its regular field force of 
agents within the domestic United States, the Bureau also had a spe- 
cial intelligence group in Latin America, South America, the Carib- 
bean, Alaska, and Hawaii. This extension of operational jurisdiction, 
of course, created personnel problems. 

The grave security responsibilities placed on the FBI in war 
forced [Director J. Edgar] Hoover to relax temporarily the 
rule that new agents had to have a law degree or be account- 
ants. The Bureau had 2,602 agents when the United States 
went to war, with a total personnel of 7,420. Hoover immedi- 
ately sent out orders to the field offices to begin interviewing 
graduates of the FBI National Academy who could meet all 
qualifications except legal training. The FBI had to be built 
up to handle the tremendous volume of work, and its agent 
force was increased to 5,072. The total personnel increased to 
13,317 on the active rolls two years after the outbreak of 

"* iMd, p. 791. 
"» nid., p. 795. 
"• Ottenber^r. op. oit, p. 213. 

"* Dor Whitehead. The FBI Story. New York, Pocket Books, 1958 ; originally 
published 1956, p. 223. 


Ways were sought to supplement the Bureau's information gather- 
ing workforce. One innovation was attempted in defense plant pro- 
duction security. 

Even before the United States entered the war, the FBI 
had, at the request of the Army and Navy, developed a system 
of cooperation with workmen in defense plants as a check 
against sabotage and slowdowns in plants with government 
war contracts. In World War I the Navy had initiated a plant 
protection program as a means of reducing the fires, explo- 
sions, accidents and labor frictions which affected war pro- 
duction, and the Navy plan had been adopted by the Army 
and the U.S. Shipping Board's Emergency Fleet Corpora- 
tion. In 1931, the military agreed that in another emergency 
this work should be handled by the FBI. 

It was through these specially designated workmen who 
furnished information to the FBI that it was possible to de- 
termine in hundred of cases that accidents — not enemy sab- 
otage — were responsible for damaged material, machinery 
and plant equipment. The informants were volunteers.^^^ 

Another opportunity to garner supplementary personnel presented 
itself when the American Legion, in 1940, sought to organize an in- 
vestigative force to ferret out subversives and seditionists. (These 
detection efforts were complicated bj the fact that the United States 
was in a state of declared neutrality with regard to international 
hostilities at that time.) When the Legionnaires laid their plan be- 
fore Attorney General Robert Jackson and were dismayed at this 
response that such investigative activities should be. left to profes- 
sional law enforcement agencies, Director Hoover came forth with a 
proposal of his own. 

The FBI plan suggested a liaison arrangement between 
Post Commanders and Special Agents in Charge of field divi- 
sions for discussions of national defense problems. Whenever 
a Legionnaire was in a position to furnish confidential in- 
formation about a particular problem, he would be desig- 
nated to make reports to the FBI; but any investigation 
would be made by the FBI, not the Legionnaire. 

The proposal was accepted by the American Legion at its 
conference in Indianapolis in November, 1940, and this ac- 
ceptance laid the basis for the wartime cooperation between 
the FBI and the Legion. The Legion's cooperation was typi- 
cal of the aid given the FBI by many civic, fraternal and 
professional groups. 

The security program also included local law enforcement 
officers, who were drawn together for courses of instruction on 
such problems as convoy traffic, protection of public utilities, 
civil defense organization and the investigation of espionage, 
sabotage and subversion. The lessons taught were based 
largely on the British wartime experiences. These schools 
were attended by 73,164 law enforcement officers from 1940 
to 1942. 

'/6t<!„ pp. 250-251. 


From this security network the FBI received information 
not only from the military intelligence services, but also from 
workers in industry, the Legion, police officers and others who 
were mobilized for the war effort. Against this alignment, 
saboteurs made little headway.^^^ 

The Bureau jealously guarded its intelligence functions and prerog- 
atives, fought a number of agencies, including the Office of Strategic 
Services, for jurisdiction in these matters, vigorously opposed the con- 
cept of a new centralized intelligence entity during the closing months 
of the war, and otherwise emerged as a major intelligence institution 
in the aftermath of the international hostilities. 

At the Department of the Treasury, three agencies or units had sig- 
nificant intelligence duties. With the entry of the United States into 
the war, the Secret Service took on additional responsibilities regard- 
ing the forgery and counterfeiting of the increased number of govern- 
ment securities and cheques as well as ration stamps and coupons. 
Presidential protection required extensive security plans and intelli- 
gence for the Chief Executive's trips abroad that involved journeys 
through areas subject to enemy air attack and for conferences in places 
where enemy agents and sympathizers were known to be present. In 
addition, the Secret Service also had certain responsibilities for the 
protection of distinguished wartime visitors to the United States, 
necessitating an improved intelligence capability regarding individ- 
uals or organizations of potential danger to the safety of such visiting 

After the entry of the United States into the war, the Customs 
Service performed services with an intelligence potential for both the 
Treasury Department and other Federal agencies. These duties, which 
had a bearing upon intelligence matters, included assistance to "the 
State Department and the Foreign Economic Administration by in- 
v^estigating firms that applied for export licenses and by preventing 
the unlicensed export of any materials subject to export control," pre- 
venting "the entrance and departure of persons whose movements into 
or out of the country would be prejudicial to the interests of the United 
States," intercepting and examining "tangible communications car- 
ried by vessels, vehicles, and persons arriving from and departing to 
foreign countries to determine whether such documents contain matter 
inimical to the interests of the United States or helpful to its enemies," 
participation in certain measures for the protection of domestic ports 
and vessels therein against sabotage and espionage, and furnishing 
"the War Department with statistical information on the import and 
export of strategic war materials." ^^"^ 

The Division of Monetary Research, established on March 25, 1938, 
supplied information and intelligence to assist the Secretary of the 
Treasury and other departmental officials in formulating and execut- 
ing international financial policy. In addition to its analytical units — 
the Foreign Commercial Policy Section, the International Statistics 
Section, and the Foreign Exchange and Controls Section being of pri- 
mary intelligence interest — the Division maintained representatives in 

^^ lUd., pp. 252-253. 

^^^ General Services Administration, op. cit. (Vol. 1), pp. 754-755. 


London, Paris, Rome, Berne, Lisbon, Stockholm, Cairo, Chungking, 
Nanking, Shanghai, and Manila. 

These offices conducted financial studies and participated 
in financial planning in the areas for which they had re- 
sponsibilities, provided representation on combined Allied 
boards and committees and financial advisers to diplomatic 
missions, and represented the Foreign Funds Control 
abroad. In such places as Lisbon and Stockholm the Treas- 
ury offices served also as confidential listening posts for 
gathering information important for the operation of sev- 
eral agencies of the United States Government. All of the 
offices were responsible for collecting financial intelligence. 
The offices of Treasury attaches, which were closely associated 
with the offices of Treasury representatives, were concerned 
only with the collection and analysis of information on 
customs matters. Both classes of offices were administratively 
considered as field offices of the Division of Monetary 

Besides staffing these offices, the Division detailed person- 
nel to the War and Navy Departments to furnish financial 
advice and aid to military authorities outside the United 
States. The officers thus detailed were usually organized into 
"teams" or "missions" that were attached to the military 
headquarters in each theater of action or occupation."^ 

Normally a Treasury Department agency, the United States Coast 
Guard, in accordance with the provisions of its organic act (38 Stat. 
800), was transferred (E.G. 8929) to the Na%'y Department for war- 
time ser\'ice in 1941 and returned (E.G. 9666) to Treasury Depart- 
ment jurisdiction on January 1, 1946. An Intelligence Division had 
been established at Coast Guard Headquarters in 1936. Administra- 
tion of intelligence responsibilities was conducted through fifteen 
district offices and special field units. 

Coast Guard Intelligence, now formally provided for in 
the Coast Guard regulations and organization manual, drew 
additional duties and manpower with the coming of war. It 
was responsible for anti-sabotage and counterespionage on 
the waterfront as well as security screening of merchant ma- 
rine personnel and longshoremen. It became involved in the 
search for the Nazi saboteurs after a Coast Guardsman spot- 
ted them wading ashore with their boxes of dynamite on an 
isolat-ed Long Island beach. It was charged with investigat- 
ing Coast Guard military and civilian personnel for internal 
security and breaches of discipline. The Intelligence Di- 
vision's wartime force grew to 370, of which 160 were 

Its wartime achievements on the home front were in the 
field of prevention. In World War I, Black Tom Island in 
New York harbor, major transfer point for supplies shipped 
to Europe, had been virtually destroyed by dynamite and 
German saboteurs were busy on a dozen fronts. But during 

'*" Ibid., pp. 770-771. 


World War II, there was not a single known instance of 
foreign-inspired sabotage on vessels or waterfront facilities 
which the Coast Guard was responsible for safeguarding. 

Since World War II, the Intelligence Division, reduced 
to a peacetime force of 70 investigators, has been mainly con- 
cerned with port security, keeping subversive elements out 
of the Merchant Marine and off the waterfronts, enforcing 
Coast Guard laws and insuring the internal security of the 
Coast Guard."2 

While the Department of State received a variety of information 
with an intelligence potential from special overseas missions, roam- 
ing diplomats, and foreign service officers during the war, its in- 
telligence production capability was limited by the lack of per- 
sonnel specifically responsible for intelligence collection, a decen- 
tralized organization which dispersed the intelligence function, and 
personal presidential intervention in foreign policy matters which 
prompted the creation of special units serving intelligence functions 
and reporting directly to the Chief Executive on foreign intelligence 
concerns. Organizational problems resulting from dispersed war pro- 
grams administration began in the spring of 1941 with the implemen- 
tation of the Lend-Lease Act ( 55 Stat. 31 ) . 

This act and other acts relating to the importation of stra- 
tegic commodities, the control of financial transactions, the 
establishment of priorities and allocations, and other "for- 
eign economic warfare" programs not only had a profound 
effect on the general direction of United States foreign policy 
and the position of the United States in world affairs but also 
brought about a vast expansion in the Department's foreign 
activities and personnel. This expansion occurred chiefly in 
connection with the following activities : ( 1 ) The operation of 
the lend-lease program, involving the negotiation of lend- 
lease agreements, the supplying of materials under these 
agreements to the Allies and other eligible countries, and the 
procurement of additional foodstuffs and raw materials for 
the manufacture of lend-lease goods; (2) the procurement 
abroad of additional foodstuffs and strategic materials needed 
by the United States for its own war program; (3) the con- 
trol of exports of goods and funds in order to prevent their 
shipment directly or indirectly to the Axis countries and to 
conserve materials needed for the war program of the United 
States; (4) the distribution abroad of information concern- 
ing the United States, its policies, and its military activities 
in order to combat enemy propaganda; (5) the promotion of 
the cultural-relations program of the United States on a 
larger scale, especially in the other American Republic ; and 
(6) the conduct of the political and diplomatic phases of the 
war, especially those phases related to maintaining the Allied 
coalition and developing the United Nations Organization. 

Except for the last-named activity, the Department was 
responsible for supervising and coordinating the programs 
but did not undertake to carry out their operational phases. 

"• Ottenberg, op. cit., pp. 137-138. 


Instead, the following war agencies were established to plan 
and effectuate the programs relating to lend-lease, preclusive 
buying, foreign propaganda, cultural relations, and intelli- 
gence procurement : The Office of Lend-Lease Administration 
and the Board of Economic Warfare (later the Foreign Eco- 
nomic Administration), the Office of War Information, the 
Office of the Coordinator of Inter- American Affairs, and the 
Office of Strategic Services. These new agencies were required 
by the President to conform to the foreign policy of the 
United States as defined by the Secretary of State, and their 
field representatives, except those of the Office of Strategic 
Services, were responsible to the chiefs of the Foreign Service 
establishments in their areas. As the war progressed all 
foreign-relations work tended to be centered in the Depart- 
ment. It absorbed the long-range cultural programs of the 
Office of the Coordinator of Inter- American Affairs in 1943, 
prepared the way for the absorption of the continuing func- 
tions of the above-named war agencies at the close of the war 
by creating offices to perform related activities, assisted in 
the planning that led to the establishment of the United 
Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, and pro- 
vided overseas military commanders with political ad^asers 
to help them govern liberated areas in accordance with the 
foreign policy of the United States.^*^ 

Against this background, the State Department does not appear 
to have been a major intelligence producer during the war. It would 
seem that, in many regards, the Office of Strategic Services, the Office 
of War Information, the Office of Censorship, the Board of Economic 
Warfare, and the armed services intelligence organizations supplanted 
the Department in many areas of intelligence activity. Nevertheless, 
State did have an intelligence capability and those entities involved 
in such operations are profiled. 

On November 22, 1940, a semi-secret Division of Foreign Activity 
Correlation was established, appearing two years later as a unit within 
the Office of the Assistant Secretary of State for Finance, Aviation, 
Canada, and Greenland. A departmental order of October 31, 1941, 
indicated the Division "was directed to interview all foreign political 
leaders promoting movements in the interests of their peoples and com- 
mittees of foreign-bom groups visiting the Department, and to give 
information on their activities and obtain all possible relevant infor- 
mation regarding their purpose, organization, and membership." ^^* 
Such information, when obtained, would seemingly have intelligence 

Within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic 
Affairs (previously the Office of the Assistant Secretary of State for 
Commerce and Trade) two divisions reflected an intelligence po- 
tential in their activities. The Division of World Trade Intelligence 

was established in the Department on July 21, 1941, to handle 
State Department responsibilities pertaining to the Pro- 

^^ General Services Administration, op. cit. (Vol. 1), pp. 691-692. 
^ Graham H. Stuart. The Department of State: A History of Its Orgamzation, 
Procedure and Personnel. New York, The Macmillan Company, 1949, p. 348. 


claimed List of Certain Blocked Nationals. The Division was 
at first under the direct supervision of Assistant Secretary 
Dean Acheson but later became a part of the Board of Eco- 
nomic Operations and successor economic offices. On March 1, 
1945, it was renamed the Division of Economic Security Con- 
trols and as such became a part of the Office of Economic 
Security Policy on October 20 of that year. Its functions re- 
mained substantially the same throughout the war and in- 
cluded the application of the recommendations of the Inter- 
American Conference on Systems of Economic and Financial 
Control (except with respect to the replacement or reorgani- 
zation of Axis firms), and the collection, evaluation, and 
organization of biographic data.^^^ 

The Division of Commercial Policy (previously the Division of 
Commercial Treaties and Agreements, wnen established on July 1, 
1940, and then renamed the Division on Commercial Policy and 
Agreements on October 7, 1941) "included correspondence and con- 
tacts with American export-import interests and making arrange- 
ments with the foreign representative negotiating for supplies." ^^® 
Information derived from these activities would seemingly have in- 
telligence value regarding the structure of the export-import business 
community, its ties to the Axis powers and to the Soviet Union, and 
the determination of strategic materials being commercially imported 
by those regimes. 

One other intelligence unit maintained, in part, by the State De- 
partment was the Economic Warfare Division of the United States 
London Embassy and Consulate General. 

The Economic Warfare Division was established in the 
Embassy in London in March 1942 and remained in existence 
through June 1945. Its professional staff consisted of repre- 
sentatives of various United States military and civilian 
agencies, its top personnel being drawn to a large extent from 
the Foreign Economic Administration and the Office of Stra- 
tegic Services. 

Although the Division was created to serve as a liaison 
channel between agencies of the United States Government 
concerned with economic warfare and the British Ministry of 
Economic Warfare, it soon became an important operational 
organization. Its principal functions during most of the war 
were to restrict trade benefiting the enemy by means of block- 
ade control ( working with the several sections of the Anglo- 
American Blockade Committee) and neutral country trade 
control ; to gather enemy economic intelligence ; and to assist 
in strategic bombing activities. By March 1945 it was con- 
cerned with postwar occupation problems. It began to gather 
data on "Safehaven" operations (the prevention of enemy 
property from finding a safe haven in neutral territory) ; to 
develop plans to recover and restore enemy loot; to prepare 
studies on the German economy; and to collect and exploit 

^^ General Services Administration, op. cit. (Vol. 1) , p. 718. 
"" Stuart, loc. cit. 


captured enemy records through the Combined Intelligence 
Objectives Subcommittee and the United States Technical 
Industrial Intelligence Subcommittee. When the Division 
was abolished in the summer of 1945, its functions relating 
to neutral trade and "Safehaven" objectives were transferred 
to the United States Mission for Economic Affairs in London. 
Certain residual functions were assigned to the Office of the 
Economic Minister Counselor of the Embassy.^®^ 

The Department had its own cryptographic unit, known since 
January of 1931 as the Division of Communications and Records. 
Located within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of State for Ad- 
ministration (previously the Office of the Assistant Secretary of 
State/Fiscal and Budget Officer : Administration of Department and 
Foreign Service), the component's cryptographic responsibilities in- 
cluded code construction, the development of procedures and methods 
for using same, the selection of code equipment, and the maintenance 
of the security of information transmitted by means of cryptographic 
systems. Although the Division had no cryptanalytic function, it was, 
nevertheless, an immense organization at the time of America's entry 
into the war. 

The Division of Communications and Records was now by far 
the largest agency in the Department : its telegraph section 
had a chief, an assistant chief, two supervisors, and 107 
clerks; its telephone section, a chief operator, assistant chief 
operator, and thirteen operators ; the records section, divided 
into seven sections — general, immigration, passport, person- 
nel, political, mail, and wartrade board — numbered, together 
with its supervisor, assistants, chiefs, assistant chiefs, clerks, 
and messengers, 269, making a total personnel of 393. The cost 
of the telegraph messages alone amounted annually to almost 
$500,000. In the fiscal year 1940-1941, about 1,125,000 pieces 
of correspondence passed through the division, and in 1941- 
1942 this was almost doubled. This division, which worked 
twenty-four hours a day and 365 days a year, put in annually 
over 21,000 hours of unpaid overtime.^^^ 

By the end of 1943, however, the Division experienced a severe 
breakdown in its operations. 

The war had almost demoralized the work of this division. 
Owing to the low salaries paid to its personnel and the pres- 
sure of work which constantly necessitated overtime, the 
Division of Communications and Records had long been very 
unpopular with its employees. A survey of salaries indicated 
that from 1936 to 1940 the Department of State personnel had 
received an average salary increase of 5.91 percent, while 
the increase in the Division of Communications and Records 
was only 0.51 percent; in other words, the Department's 
average increase was eleven times greater than that of the 
Division of Communications and Records. As a result of the 

'^^ General Services Administration, op. cit. (Vol. 1), p. 743. 
** Stuart, op. cit., p. 363. 


low morale, the work of the division was unsatisfactory and 
under constant criticism. Incoming communications were 
delayed in distribution, papers were misplaced or lost, and 
inadequate records made it difficult to locate them. Serious 
errors were made in the code room. Backlogs existed in every 
section. It was customary to have approximately 15,000 docu- 
ments in the records branch which were neither indexed nor 
listed on the purport sheets. The vitally important telegraph 
section was on several occasions as much as two days behind 
in the coding and decoding of messages. The first requirement 
insisted upon by Mr, [Raymond H.] Geist [Division Chief] 
was a complete reclassification of positions so that salaries 
commensurate with the work might be available. This was 
begun immediately and resulted in a considerable improve- 
ment in speed and accuracy. The other requirement was an 
improvement of the procedure within the division. 

The huge backlog in the telegraph section required emer- 
gency action. The War Department was asked to help out, 
and twenty enlisted men trained in cryptography were loaned 
temporarily, and within forty-eight hours the backlog of 
200,000 words, or groups of words, was completely eliminated. 
Thereafter, from six to eight code clerks from the War 
Department remained to keep the work current. As soon as 
possible, high-speed equipment was added to eliminate the 
slow, cumbersome manual labor of decoding. For example, 
a machine will decode about 20 words, or word groups, per 
minute as against 2.7 to 3 words manually, and the results are 
more accurate. Workins: conditions were improved. Air con- 
ditioning made it possible to endure the heat generated by the 
mechanical cipher devices. Fluorescent lie:hts reduced the 
percentage of error. The average time required for a massage 
in the code room was reduced from forty-eight to six hours. 
The introduction of airgrams also helped materially in reduc- 
ing the strain in the code room.^^® 

On September 22, 1944, a new Division of Cryptography was estab- 
lished, concentrating entirely upon cryptographic and related com- 
munications functions. 

At the Commerce Department, the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic 
Commerce "provided commercial information to various Government 
agencies, making special studies and reports for them ; it acted as a 
major fact-finding orgnization in the field of foreign commerce for 

the Foreign Economic Administration " 2°" The Coast and Geodetic 

Survey provided charts, maps, tidal data, and geodetic and coastal 
survey services to the intelligence community. The National Bureau of 
Standards "abandoned many of its normal activities in order to handle 
research and testing projects for other Government agencies," some 
of which are thought to have been of intelligence interest. The War 
Division of the Patent Office "directed the search of applications for 
inventions in categories deemed of importance by Government war 

^*» Ibid., pp. 385-386. 

** General Services Administration, op. cit. (Vol. 1) , p. 864. 


[including intelligence] agencies." ^"^ The Weather Bureau, of course, 
made its own unique contribution to intelligence activities when its 
assistance was requested. And at the end of the war, within the Office 
of Technical Services established by a departmental order on Septem- 
ber 18, 1945, the Technical Industrial Intelligence Division 

continued the functions of the Technical Industrial Intelli- 
gence Committee, which was originally set up [under the 
Joint Intelligence Committee] by the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
and was transferred to the Department of Commerce on 
December 18, 1945. It conducted intensive searches in enemy 
and other foreign countries to locate personnel, documents, 
and material from which technical and scientific industrial 
information that was developed especially during World 
War II might be obtained ; it studied processes, methods, and 
techniques useful for obtaining such information; and it 
analyzed and appraised the information obtained to deter- 
mine its possible usefulness to business and industry in the 
United States.^"^ 

At the Department of Agriculture, the Agricultural Research Ad- 
ministration developed infonnation regarding food productiion and 
war-created scarcities within both the United States and enemy held 
territory overseas. The Bureau of Agricultural Economics produced 
similar information pertaining to demand and supply, consumption, 
prices, costs and income, marketing, transportation, labor, agricul- 
tural finance, farm management, credit, taxation, land and water 
utilization, and other aspects of agricultural production and 

In order to unify and consolidate the administration of 
governmental activities relating to foreign economic affairs, 
the Foreign Economic Administration, known also as FEA, 
was established by an Executive order [E.O. 9380] of Sep- 
tember 25, 1943. The functions, personnel, and records of the 
Office of Lend-Lease Administration, the Office of Foreign 
Relief and Rehabilitation Operations of the Department of 
State, and the foreign economic operations of the Office of 
Foreign Economic Coordination of the Department of State 
were transferred to the Administration. By an Executive 
order [E.O. 9385] of October 6, 1943, "the functions of the 
War Food Administration and the Commodity Credit Cor- 
poration with respect to the procurement and development 
of food, food machinery, and other food facilities, in foreign 
countries" were also transferred to the Foreign Economic 
Administration. And as military operations permitted, the 
Administration assumed "responsibility for and control of 
all activities of the United States Government in liberated 
areas with respect to supplying the requirements of and pro- 
curing materials in such areas." 

=^ IMc!., p. 881. 
*='/&id.,p. 202. 


The Foreign Economic Administration was thus responsi- 
ble for the wartime fmictions of export control, foreign 
procurement, lend-lease, reverse lend-lease, participation in 
foreign relief and rehabilitation, and economic warfare, in- 
cluding foreign economic intelligence. Its activities were re- 
quired to be in conformity with the established foreign policy 
of the Government of the United States as determined by the 
Department of State.^"^ 

There were three predecessors to the Foreign Economic Adminis- 
tration which had responsibility for apprising the Chief Executive 
of developments weakening or endangering the international eco- 
nomic status of the United States during the period of world war. 
In July, 1941, the President had created (E.O. 8839) the Economic 
Defense Board "for the purpose of developing and coordinating 
policies, plans, and programs designed to protect and strengthen the 
international economic relations of the United States in the interest 
of national defense.'' Within the Board's four geographic divisions — 
American Hemisphere, British Empire, Europe and Africa, Far 
East — information available to existing government as:encies and 
private commercial enterprises concerning the economic organiza- 
tion capabilities, and requirements of the foreign countries within 
each unit's area of responsibility was obtained and analyzed. 

On December 17, 1941, the name of the agency was changed (E.O. 
8982) to the Board of Economic Warfare and it was subseauently 
given (E.O. 9128), among other added responsibilities, the duty to 
"advise the State Department with respect to the terms and condi- 
tions to be included in the master agreement with each nation receiv- • 
infr lend-lease aid;" to "provide and arrange for the receipt by the 
United States of reciprocal aid and benefits" from the provemment^s 
receivinsr lend-lease ; and to "represent the United States Government 
in dealinpf with the economic warfare agencies of the United Na- 
tions for the purpose of relating the Government's economi'- warfare 
nrosrram and facilities to those of such nations." All of this meant 
that the Board had to develop appropriate information about those 
nations reoupsting- lend-lease aid to determine if the prrant was justi- 
fied by conditions in that country. The agency also had some resnonsi-* 
bilitv for deciding what strategic materials would be imoorted into 
the United States. Such information, of course, had a areat intelli- 
o-ence potential. To assist in these matters, the Board arranged 
throu<?h the State Department to send technical, engineerinqr, and. 
economic representatives abroad. 

Bv a directive (EO. 9361^ of July 15. 1943, an Office of E'^onomic 
Warfare was established within the Office for Emersrencv Manap^e- 
ment. a wartime superstructure agency in close proximity to the 
President, and its director assumed the functions, powers, and duties 
of the Board of Economic Warfare which was terminat>pd bv the same 
order. Lasting about six weeks, the Office of Economic Warfare oper- 
ated and was orflranized in aoproximately the same manner as the old 
Board. A directive ('E.O. 9380) of September 25 consolidated the 
Office and certain other agencies, together with their personnel and 



records, into the Foreign Economic Administration which was cre- 
ated by the same order. 

Foreign economic intelligence was prepared within the Foreign 
Economic Administration by the Bureau of Areas, consisting of an 
Office of the Executive Director and six branches — Pan American, 
British Empire and Middle East, European, U.S.S.R., Far East and 
Other Territories, and Enemy. All but the last were involved in assess- 
ing the economic warfare of Allied nations. The Enemy Branch 

was responsible for planning the economic program to be put 
into effect when the enemy countries should be occupied. It 
prepared studies and reports on the industrial disarmament 
of tne enemy, including analyses of the entire economic struc- 
ture of the Axis countries. Its staff units and divisions were 
functional in nature and gave their attention to problems re- 
lating to the industrial disarmament, external economic 
security, reparations and restitutions, requirements and allo- 
cations, food and agriculture, foreign trade, consumers' 
economy, property control, transportation and communica- 
tions, and industry of the countries to be occupied. The 
Branch cooperated closely with the Technical Industrial In- 
telligence Committee, a subconmiittee of the Joint Intelli- 
gence Committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.^"* 

With the end of hostilities in Europe and Asia, the necessity for 
such an agency ceased to exist. 

By an Executive order [E.O. 9630] of September 27, 1945, 
the Foreign Economic Administration was abolished and its 
remaining functions were divided among five other agencies. 
To the State Department were transferred the functions per- 
taining to lend-lease activities and to liberated areas and oc- 
cupied territories, as well as responsibilities for economic 
and commercial research and analysis and for the partici- 
pation by the United States in the United Nations Relief and 
Rehabilitation Administration. To the Reconstruction Fin- 
ance Corporation were returned three corporations that had 
been taken over from it by the Office of Economic Warfare 
on July 15, 1943, and the functions relating to the procure- 
ment abroad of all commodities except food. The Export-Im- 
port Bank of Washington became again an independent 
agency as provided by an act of July 31, 1945 (59 Stat. 527). 
The Department of Agriculture received the functions per- 
taining to food and to food machinery and other food facili- 
ties, including those of the Office of Food Programs. The func- 
tions pertaining to the control of exports, technical indus- 
trial intelligence, and the facilitation of trade, and all other 
functions not assigned to the other agencies named above, 
were transferred to the Department of Commerce.^"^ 

Two special intelligence units were established at the Federal Com- 
munications Commission. The first of these, the Radio Intelligence 

""/Wd-.p. 637. 


established on July 1, 1940, as the National Defense Opera- 
tions Section of the Field Division of the Enfirineerina: De- 
partment, developed in the early years of the war into the 
largest single part of the Commission's staff. Under its direc- 
tion monitoring stations, strategically located throughout 
the United States and its Territories and possessions, kept all 
radio communication channels under continuous surveillance. 
This surveillance was primarily aimed at preventing radio 
communication with the enemy abroad and the illegal use of 
radio at home. 

In addition to its monitoring stations the Division had 
radio intelligence centers at Honolulu, San Francisco, and 
Washington, D.C., which coordinated the reports in their re- 
spective areas concerning radio surveillance and direction- 
finding activities and enemy and illegal radio operations. It 
also had mobile coast units that supplied a comprehensive mo- 
bile radio surveillance extending throughout the coastal areas 
of the Western, Eastern, and Southern Defense Commands. 
At Washington headquarters, units of the Division prepared 
and distributed abstracts of the intercepted messages for the 
Chief Naval Censor, the Chief Signal Officer, the Weather 
Bureau, and the Coast Guard ; plotted on maps the locations 
of unidentified, clandestine, and illegal stations; translated 
foreign language "intercepts" into English ; and provided full 
investigatory services. 

The Division picked up SOS calls and reports of subma- 
rine attacks and relayed them to naval stations; furnished 
"fixes" to locate lost airplanes, ships in distress, or stations 
causing interference to vital military circuits; intercepted 
enemy radiotelegraph intelligence covering economic condi- 
tions, war production, materials, supplies, morale, and other 
pertinent data ; trained personnel of other Government agen- 
cies in direction-finding, detection and monitoring, and the 
evaluation of "fixes." Its function differed from that of the 
Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service in that it intercepted 
messages that were sent in radiotelegraph code to specific 
points as distinguished from broadcasts of enemy for pur- 
poses of propaganda.^"^ 

In addition, the Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service, 

established as the Foreign Broadcast Monitoring Service in 
February 1941, recorded, translated, analyzed, and reported 
to other agencies of the Government on broadcasts of foreign 
origin. It set up listening posts at Silver Hill, Md., London, 
San Francisco, Portland, Oreg., Kingsville, Tex., San Juan, 
P.K., and other places to intercept broadcasts of foreign news, 
intelligence, or propaganda emanating from authorized sta- 
tions and clandestine transmitters in belligerent, occupied, 
and neutral countries. At the listening posts, translations of 
the intercepted broadcasts were made and immediately tele- 
typed or cabled to Washington headquarters. Some broadcasts 

'/6i<f., pp. 937-938. 


were also recorded on disks. At Washington, incoming wires 
and transcriptions were edited and the more significant parts, 
or the full texts, were teletyped to the Government agencies 
that were waging war on the military, diplomatic, and propa- 
ganda fronts. Special interpretations and daily and weekly 
summaries were prepared at headquarters and distributed to 
appropriate Government agencies and officials. Through co- 
operative arrangements with the Office of War Information, 
the British Ministry of Information, and the British Broad- 
casting Corporation, editors of the Service were assigned to 
overseas posts maintained by those agencies to select ma- 
terial valuable for transmission to Washington. Editors and 
monitors of the Service acted as part of the Army Psycho- 
logical Warfare Branch in North Africa when Allied troops 
were landed there in 1943. On December 30, 1945, the Service 
was transferred to the War Department.^"^ 

The Office of War Information, established within the Office for 
Emergency Management by a director (E.O. 9182) of June 13, 1942, 
consolidated (the Office of Facts and Figures, the Office of Govern- 
ment Reports, the Division of Information of the Office for Emergency 
Management, and the Foreign Information Service's Outpost, Publi- 
cations, and Pictorial Branches of the Office of the Coordinator of 
Information) into one agency war information functions of the Fed- 
eral government, both foreign and domestic. The unit's intelligence 
functions included phychological warfare, both its development and 
effects, and the collection of overseas media — print, film, and radio. 

In general, the Office consisted of two principal branches : Domestic 
Operations and Overseas Operations. A Policy Development Branch 
was established in the initial organization but lasted only until Sep- 
tember when it was absorbed by the Domestic Operations Branch. 
Within the Domestic Operations Branch, in addition to the media 
clearance and production bureaus (Book and Magazine, Graphics, 
Motion Picture, News, and Radio) there were two intelligence entities : 
the Foreign News Bureau and the Special Services Bureau. The 

was established in March 1944, taking over the functions and 
records of the Foreign Sources Division of the News Bureau. 
Its main function was to provide the American press, radio 
commentators, and other news outlets with war information 
obtained from foreign sources available only in a limited 
way, if at all, to nongovernmental agencies. To this end it used 
monitoring services, excerpts from the press of occupied and 
enemy countries, and special reports from overseas. A special 
unit handled releases to the religious and educational press. 
The Bureau served as a receiving and distributing agent for 
all pooled press copy from overseas war theaters. Other 
functions included the analysis of enemy propaganda 
techniques ^"^ 

' Ibid., pp. 938-939. 
'/6td.,p. 554. 


On the other hand, the Special Services Bureau 

continued functions begun in the Office of Facts and Figures 
and the Office of Government Reports. The Bureau was re- 
sponsible for providing specialized informational services to 
all agencies and for providing the general public with a cen- 
tralized source of information concerning Government activi- 
ties, organization, and personnel. Its Division of Educational 
Services, which provided informational material for discus- 
sion groups and helped to coordinate the educational activi- 
ties of war agencies, and its Division of Surveys, which con- 
ducted public opinion and other surveys, were terminated 
early in 1944. The Divisions of Press Intelligence, Public 
Inquiries, and Research continued until August 31, 1945, 
when the Bureau's remaining functions and records were 
transferred to the Bureau of the Budget. The following year 
they were a^ain transferred to the temporarily reconstituted 
Office of Government Reports.'"^ 

Within the Overseas Operations Branch, in addition to its propa- 
ganda and news production, distribution, and analysis bureaus (Com- 
munications Facilities, News and Features, Overseas Motion Picture, 
Overseas Publications, and Radio Program) , there was an adminis- 
trative support unit — the Output Service Bureau — and the Bureau of 
Overseas Intelligence. 

The Bureau of Overseas Intelligence, originally known as 
the Bureau of Research and Analysis, maintained a central 
intelligence file, kept a running audit of the reliability of in- 
telligence sources, and provided all sections of the Overseas 
Operations Branch with information necessary to their activi- 
ties. Until late in the war it functioned through the Current 
Liaison Division, which maintained liaison with the Depart- 
ment of State, the Military Intelligence Service, the Office of 
Naval Intelligence, the Branch's Overseas Planning Board in 
Washington and operational intelligence offices elsewhere, and 
other agencies; the Analysis Division, which classified and 
analyzed intelligence from the foreign press, radio broad- 
casts, intercepted communications, and other sources and 
cooperated closely with the Foreign Broadcast Intelligence 
Service; and the Field Intelligence Division, which directed 
the collection and distribution of intelligence from outposts. 
In 1944 the Bureau was recognized and thereafter functioned 
through the Central Intelligence Division, the Regional 
Analysis Division, and a special research unit known as the 
Foreign Morale Analysis Division. . . .^^° 

The Foreign Morale Analysis Division referred to above 

was established in the spring of 1944 under a cooperative ar- 
rangement with the Military Intelligence Service of the War 
Department General Staff to provide information about the 
morale of the Japanese and social conditions within Japan. Its 

***/&t<f., p. 560. 
^° Ibid., p. 566. 


work was performed by two groups, one in the Office of War 
Information and the other in the "War Department. The first 
group translated and analyzed materials available through 
nonmilitary sources, such as Japanese publications and tran- 
scripts of Japanese broadcasts, while the AVar Department 
group analyzed materials received from military sources, es- 
specially prisoner-of-war interrogation reports and captured 
enemy documents. By the spring of 1945 the cooperative unit 
was also known as the Joint Morale Survey and was divided 
into the Morale Research Unit (OWI) and the Propaganda 
Section (mainly Army) , which was concerned primarily with 
the analysis of Japanese radio propaganda. The results of the 
research weie presented to interested officials by means of for- 
mal reports and special memoranda and in formal and in- 
formal conferences. The reports ranged from over-all studies 
of military morale and the effects of Allied propaganda to 
special studies of subjects investigated upon request.^^^ 

In addition to its central Washington headquarters, the Office of 
War Information maintained offices in Xew York and San Francisco 
for the pe formance of certain of its functions. In addition to various 
shifting outposts overseas, a major control facility was established in 
London. On V-E Day the Office counted 38 outposts in 23 countries ; 
the agency had no jurisdiction in Latin America. And with the termi- 
nation of world hostilities, OWI came to an end. 

The Office of War Information was terminated by an Ex- 
ecutive order [E.O. 9608] of August 31, 1945, to become effec- 
tive September 15, 1945. The Overseas Operations Branch, 
including its executive and security Offices in Xew York and 
San Francisco, the Office of the Assistant Director for Man- 
agement, and the Office of General Counsel, were transferred 
with their records to the Interim International Information 
Service of the Department of State, which was established by 
the same order. On January 1, 1946, these units became a part 
of the Office of International Information and Cultural Af- 
fairs of the Department of State. The functions and records 
of the Special Services Bureau were transferred from the 
Domestic Operations Branch to the Bureau of the Budget, 
where they remained until they were transferred by an Execu- 
tive order of December 12, 1946, to the reconstituted Office of 
Government Reports.^^- 

The Office of Censorship, created by a directive (E.O. 8985) of 
December 19, 1941, had responsibility for censoring communications 
by mail, cable, radio, or other means of transmission passing between 
the United States and any foreign country. Deriving its basic operat- 
ing authority from the First War Powers Act of 1941 (55 Stat. 840), 
the Office conducted its work 

in some 20 postal stations and 17 cable stations throughout 
the country in accordance with standards of censorship estab- 

^ Ibid., pp. 566-567. 
°^ Ibid. 548. 


lished by the Washington office. Commissioned officers of the 
Navy performed cable censorship operations throughout the 
war, but postal censorship, which was at first carried on by 
commissioned officers of the Army, was transferred to civilian 
officials early in 1943.^^^ 

Internally, the Office was organized into seven divisions: Press, 
Broadcasting, Postal, Cable, Administrative, Reports, and Technical 
Operations. With regard to intelligence matters, the Reports Division 
"classified and delivered to interested Government agencies the vari- 
ous types of submission slips made in the process of censorship." ^^ 

The Technical Operation unit 

was created in August 1943 to perform the work of the Office 
of Censorship in the field of counterespionage. It maintained 
close liaison with the intelligence agencies of the Government 
and supervised the work of censorship laboratories in combat- 
ing the use of secret inks and developing techniques for de- 
tecting codes and ciphers. Through its efforts the Office of 
Censorship was able to hinder the effectiveness of the enemies' 
secret communications. On the basis of evidence uncovered by 
the Division the Federal Bureau of Investigation built up 
espionage cases leading to the conviction and punishment of a 
number of Axis agents.^^® 

As with the other temporary wartime agencies, the Office of Censor- 
ship ceased operations with the end of world war. 

A Presidential directive of August 15, 1945, instructed the 
Director of Censorship to declare voluntary press and radio 
censorship at an end and to discontinue the censorship activi- 
ties of the Office of Censorship. An Executive order [E.O. 
9631] of September 28, 1945, provided that the Office should 
continue to function, for purposes of liquidation only, until 
November 15, 1945, at which time it should be terminated. The 
Treasury Department took over responsibility for completing 
the liquidation of the affairs of the Office.^^^ 

These were the principal Federal departments and agencies rec- 
ognized to have exhibited a capacity for intelligence operations during 
World War II. This is not a definitive collection of such intelligence 
entities depicted here. Undoubtedly arguments could be made for the 
inclusion of other units whose intelligence capacity was not immedi- 
ately apparent in this research or which otherwise had secret intel- 
ligence functions. However, such exceptions, in all likelihood, will be 
most unusual omissions. 

VIII. Post-war Adjustment 

In the aftermath of the war, two not indistinct realizations were ex- 
perienced within the Federal intelligence community : the loss of the 
Office of Strategic Services and the need for some type of coordinating 

=" lUd., p. 319. 
'"' Ihid., p. 324. 
=°* lUd. 
^« IMd., p. 319. 


and/or leadership mechanism within the postwar intelligence struc- 
ture. Viewing OSS as a wartime necessity, President Truman, antici- 
pating criticism for the continuation of the agency when world peace 
had been restored, hastily abolished this entity in a directive (E.O. 
9621) of September 20, 1945, effective ten days later. The result was 
that the new Chief Executive and his aides were suddenly denied the 
valuable intelligence produced by this unique and effective organiza- 
tion and experienced this loss at a time when summit conferences 
among the major world powers gave increased impetus for its 

The Greneral Staff, Joint Intelligence Committee, and Combined 
Intelligence Committee experiences during the war prompted interest 
at the highest defense policy and organization levels in an improved 
intelligence coordination mechanism. A centralized intelligence agency 
had been proposed during World War I by Treasury Secretary Wil- 
liam McAdoo.21'^ OSS Director William Donovan had also proposed 
such an entity in 1944.^^^ To serve this intelligence coordination func-. 
tion, the President issued a directive (11 F.R. 1337, 1339) , dated Janu- 
ary 22, 1946, establishing a National Intelligence Authority with a 
support staff called the Central Intelligence Group. Addressed to the 
Secretaries of State, War, and Navy, this instrument said : 

1. It is my desire, and I hereby direct, that all Federal 
foreign intelligence activities be planned, developed and co- 
ordinated so as to assure the most effective accomplishment 
of the intelligence mission related to the national security. 
I hereby designate you, together with another person to be 
named by me as my personal representative, as the National 
Intelligence Authority to accomplish this purpose. 

2. Within the limits of available appropriations, you shall 
each from time to time assign persons and facilities from 
your respective Departments, which persons shall collectively 
form a Central Intelligence Group and shall, under the direc- 
tion of a Director of Central Intelligence assist the National 
Intelligence Authority. The Director of Central Intelligence 
shall be designated by me, shall be responsible to the National 
Intelligence Authority, and shall sit as a non- voting member 

3. Subject to the existing law, and to the direction and 
control of the National Intelligence Authority, the Director 
of Central Intelligence shall : 

a. Accomplish the correlation and evaluation of intelli- 
gence relating to the national security, and the appropriate 
dissemination within the Government of the resulting strate- 
gic and national policy intelligence. In so doing, full use 
shall be made of the staff and facilities of the intelligence 
agencies of your Departments. 

b. Plan for the coordination of such of the activities of 
the intelligence agencies of your Departments as relate to the 
national security and recommend to the National Intelli- 
gence Authority the establishment of such over-all policies 

*' See Chapter 2, [1651. 

*» See Chapter 3, pp. [224-227] . 


and objectives as will assure the most effective accomplish- 
ment of the national intelligence mission. 

c. Perform, for the benefit of said intelligence agencies, 
such services of common concern as the National Intelli- 
gence Authority determines can be more efficiently accomp- 
lished centrally. 

d. Perform such other functions and duties related to in- 
telligence affecting the national security as the President and 
the National Intelligence Authority may from time to time 

4. No police, law enforcement or internal security func- 
tions shall be exercised under this directive. 

5. Such intelligfence received by the intelligence agencies 
of your Departments as may be designated by the National 
Intelligence. Authority shall be freely available to the Direc- 
tor of Central Intelligence for correlation, evaluation or dis- 
semination. To the extent approved by the National Intelli- 
gence Authority, the operations of said intelligence agencies 
shall be open to inspection by the Director of Central Intel- 
ligence in connection with planning functions. 

6. The existing intelligence agencies of your Departments 
shall continue to collect, evaluate, correlate and disseminate 
departmental intelligence. 

7. The Director of Central Intelligence shall be advised by 
an Intelligence Advisory Board consisting of the heads (or 
their representatives) of the principal military and civilian 
intelligence agencies of the Government having functions re- 
lated to national security, as determined by the National 
Intelligence Authority. 

8. Within the scope of existing law and Presidential direc- 
tives, other departments and agencies of the executive branch 
of the Federal Government shall furnish such intelligence 
information relating to the national security as is in their 
possession, and as the Director of Central Intelligence may 
from time to time request pursuant to regulations of the 
National Intelligence Authority. 

9. Nothing herein shall be construed to authorize the mak- 
ing of investigations inside the continental limits of the 
United States and its possessions, except as provided by law 
and Presidential directives. 

10. In the conduct of their activities the National Intelli- 
gence Authority and the Director of Central Intelligence 
shall be responsible for fully protecting intelligence sources 
and methods. 

While this arrangement may have facilitated the coordination of 
intelligence matters, the Central Intelligence Group was incapable 
of ever approaching the scope of operations achieved by the OSS. Not 
only was the staff inadequately small in number and temporary in 
status, but its leadership was not stable: Rear Admiral Sidney W. 
Souers first headed the unit but within six months he was succeeded 
by General Hoyt S. Vandenberg; in May. 1947, Rear Admiral Roscoe 
H. Hillenkoetter became director of the Group and, after the Central 


Intelligence Agency displaced the CIG, made the transition to lead 
the OIA. 

From 1947 (when the armed services were unified and reorganized 
under the Department of Defense superstructure, the National Secu- 
rity Council, the now defunct National Security Resources Board and 
the Central Intelligence Agency was established) to the present, there 
has been a steady growth in intelligence institutions and organization. 
The remaining portion of this study is devoted to the evolution and 
growth of these entities. 

/X. Atoinic Energy CoTrvmission 

Created in 1946 (60 Stat. 755) and further empowered in 1954 (68 
Stat, 919) as the sole agency responsible for atomic energy manage- 
ment, production, and control, the Atomic Energy Commission 
administered nuclear power matters for almost two decades before 
a general reorganization of the Federal government's energy policy 
structure brought about its demise in 1975. The Commission was the 
recipient of the legacy of the Manhattan Project, operated by the 
Army Corps of Engineers for the development of the atomic Jbomb 
during the war. Since 1947 the agency has maintained an intelligence 
unit under various identifications: Director, Office of Security and 
Intelligence (1954-1955), Director, Division of Intelligence (1955- 
1971), and Assistant General Manager for National Security (1972- 
1975). "9 

In the period between 1949, when the first Soviet nuclear 
test was reported, and the end of February 1958, the AEC 
announced some thirty-one nuclear explosions as having been 
detonated by the Soviet Union. Not all Soviet atomic explo- 
sions are publicly announced by the commission, nor are full 
details given. But information about all such tests is quickly 
communicated within the intelligence community. 

Such information is a basic requirement for officials re- 
sponsible for national security plans and programs. For ex- 
ample, if the Soviets were known to be conducting certain 
types of nuclear tests, these might reveal the state of progress 
of hydrogen warheads for ballistic missiles or progress in 
developing defensive nuclear missiles.-^" 

This type of intelligence is gathered through machinery, such as 
seismic devices, and atmospheric sampling procedures. 

The United States has maintained continuous monitoring of 
the earth's atmosphere to detect radioactive particles from 
atomic tests. Samples of atmosphere are collected in special 
containers by U-2 and other aircraft flying at high altitudes. 
AEC is able to determine from these samples and other data 
not only whether an atomic explosion has occurred, but 
also the power and type of weapon detonated. It also con- 

^ The periods indicated for these titles are approximate and are based upon 
the appearance of the referrent in official government organization manuals for 
the years specified. 

^ Harry Howe Ransom. The Intelligence Establishment. Cambridge, Harvard 
University Press, 1970, p. 145. 


ducts extensive research and experimentation to prevent de- 
tection of atomic explosions and methods of penetrating 
any such protedtive shielding as might be devised by another 

The agency also utilizes its own "state of the art" techniques in 
nuclear energy production to assess the status of atomic power devel- 
opments in foreign countries. 

The Atomic Energy Commission is therefore a consumer 
and producer of intelligence in the critical national security 
field of nuclear energy, and is accordingly represented on the 
U.S. Intelligence Board by its director, Division of Intelli- 
gence, The AEC is vitally interested in receiving data on 
foreign atomic energy or nuclear weapons developments and 
provides technical guidance to CIA and the intelligence agen- 
cies of the armed services in collecting these raw data. The 
AEC, in turn, becomes a producer of intelligence when it pro- 
duces information on nuclear energy and develops estimates 
as to the atomic weapons capabilities of foreign powers. This 
processed intelligence is disseminated to the National Secu- 
rity Council, the armed forces, and others in the intelligence 

The specific functions of the AEC Intelligence Division 
are to keep the AEC leadership informed on matters relat- 
ing to atomic energy policy; in formal terms the division 
"formulates intelligence policy and coordinates intelligence 
operations." It sets the intelligence "requirements" of the 
AEC, which may be supplied by the various operating arms 
of the intelligence community. It represents the AEC in the 
interagency boards and committees concerned with foreign 
intelligence and it provides other intelligence agencies with 
technical information in the hope of assuring competency in 
the collection and evaluation of atomic energy intelligence.^^^ 

In accordance with the provisions of the Energy Eeorganization 
Act of 1974 (88 Stat. 1233), the Atomic Energy Commission was 
superceded by the Energy Research and Development Administration 
and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in January 1975. The first 
of these new agencies assumed the old Commission's intelligence func- 
tions, the AEC Assistant General Manager for National Security 
becoming the Assistant Administrator for National Security at 
ERDA. The new Administration is also represented on the United 
States Intelligence Board. 

X. National Security Coiuncil 

The National Security Council evolved from efforts begun in 1944 
for the unification of the armed services and culminating in the 
National Security Act of 1947 (61 Stat. 496). Both the Council and 
its centralized intelligence coordinating sub-agency generally devel- 

^ Monro MacCloskey. The Americcm Intelligence Community. New York, 
Richards Rosen Press, 1967, p. 141. 
^ Ransom, op. cit., p. 146. 


oped from the National Intelligence Authority- Central Intelligence 
Group experience and a principal study of post-war defense organiza- 
tion matters prepared at the suggestion of Senator David I. Walsh 
(D.-Mass.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Naval Affairs, for 
Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal by New York investment 
broker Ferdinand Eberstadt.-^^ "While numerous other reorganization 
ideas would follow, the Eberstadt report 

recommended the maintenance of three departments. War, 
Air and Navy, with each having a civilian secretary, a civil- 
ian under secretary, and a commanding officer. A National 
Security Council, composed of the Secretaries of War, Navy 
and Air, the Chairman of the National Security Resources 
Board, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a perma- 
nent secretariat would be established to facilitate interagency 
clearances. In the absence of the President, the Vice Presi- 
dent or the Secretary of State would preside as Chairman. 
The duties of the Council would be to exercise critical policy- 
forming and advisory functions in the setting up of foreign 
and military policy. A Central Intelligence Agency was to be 
made a constituent part of the Council's organization with 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff serving as the principal coordinat- 
ing unit. The latter would be given statutory authority per- 
mitting it to advise the Council on strategy, budgetary prob- 
lems, and logistics.-^* 

As initially established in 1947, the Council was an independent 
agency with a membership including the President, the Secretaries of 
State, Defense, Army, Air, Navy, and the Chairman of the (now de- 
funct) National Security Resources Board with the option that the 
Chief Executive might also include the heads of two other special de- 
fense units (now expired). Two years later the membership of the 
Council was overhauled (63 Stat. 579) to include the President, the 
Vice President, the Secretaries of State and Defense, the Chairman 
of the National Security Resources Board, and certain other defense 
officials which the Chief Executive might specify as members, subject 
to Senate confirmation. Also, in accordance with Reorganization Plan 
No. 4 of 1949 (63 Stat. 1067) , the Council was formally located within 
the Executive Office of the President. Two aspects of NSC organiza- 
tion and operation are of interest to this study : staff growth and ac- 
tivities and coordination mechanisms developed under the auspices of 
of the Council. 

The general staffing pattern of the NSC would appear to be a move- 
ment from a small secretariat to a large professionalized body compet- 
ing with the bureaucracies of the defense and foreign policy agencies 

*^ See U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Naval Affairs. Unification of the 
War and Navy Departments and Postwar Organization for National Security. 
Committee Print, 79th Congress, 1st session. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 

*^ Edward H. Hobbs. Behind the President: A Study of Executive Office 
Agencies. Washington, Public Affairs Press, 1954. p. 129. 


and departments for access to the President."^ The availability of the 
Chief Executive to the NSC staff has been enhanced by the decline of 
the Council's Executive Secretary and virtual replacement by a pres- 
idential assistant for national security matters ; the creation of various 
coordination mechanisms reporting to the Council, where the Chief 
Executive presides, or directly to the President has also increased the 
influence of this staff with the man in the White House. 

Under President Truman, who did not make extensive use of the 
panel, the NSC staff, 

a small body of permanent Council employees and officers de- 
tailed temporarily from the participating agencies, was 
headed by a nonpolitical civilian executive secretary ap- 
pointed by the President. An "anonymous servant of the 
Council," in the words of the first executive secretary [Sid- 
ney W. Souers] , "a broker of ideas in criss-crossing proposals 
among a team of responsible officials," he carried NSC rec- 
ommendations to the President, briefed the chief executive 
daily on NSC and intelligence matters and maintained his 
NSC files, and served, in effect, as his administrative assistant 
for national security affairs. 

The organization of the NSC staff was flexible and, as the 
Council developed, changed to meet new needs. In general, 
during the pre-Korean period, it consisted of three groups. 
First was the Office of the Executive Secretary and the Sec- 
retariat, composed of permanent NSC employees, which per- 
formed the necessary basic functions of preparing agenda, 
circulating papers, and recording actions. Next was the Staff, 
consisting almost entirely of officials detailed on a full-time 
basis by departments and agencies represented on the Council, 
and headed by coordinator detailed from the State Depart- 
ment who was supported, in turn, by a permanent assistant. 
This body developed studies and policy recommendations for 
NSC consideration. The third group consisted of consultants 
to the executive secretary, the chief policy and operational 
planners for each Council agency. Thus, the head of the 
Policy Planning Staff represented the State Department, the 
Director, Joint Staff, represented the Department of De- 
fense, and so forth.^^® 

Late in July, 1950, President Truman ordered a reorganization and 
strengthening of the Council. Attendance at NSC sessions was lim- 

"^ See : Paul W. Blackstock. The Intelligence Community Under the Nixon 
Administration. Armed Forces and Society, v. 1, February, 1975 : 231-250 ; I. M. 
Destler. Can One Man Do? Foreign Policy, no. 5, Winter, 1971-72 : 28-40; Stanley 
L. Falk. The National Security Council Under Truman, Eisenhower, and Ken- 
nedy. Political Science Quarterly, v. 79, September, 1964: 403-435; Paul Y. 
Hammond. The National Security Council as a Device for Interdepartmental 
Coordination : An Interpretation and Appraisal. American Political Science Re- 
view, V. 54, December, 1960 : 899-911 ; Edward A. Kolodziej. The National Se- 
curity Council : Innovations and Implications. Public Administration Review, 
V. 29, November/December, 1969: 573-585; John P. Leacacos. Kissinger's Ap- 
parat. Foreign Policy, no. 5, Winter, 1971-72 : 3-28 ; Alfred D. Sander. Truman 
and the National Security Council : 1945-1947. The Journal of American History, 
V. 59, September, 1972 : 369-389 ; Frederick C. Thayer. Presidential Policy Proc- 
esses and "New Administration :" A Search for Revised Paradigms. Public Ad- 
ministration Review, v. 31, September/October, 1971 : 552-561. 

^ Falk, op. cit., pp. 408-^09. 


ited to statutory members and five other specifically designated offi- 
cials (the Secretary of the Treasury, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs 
of Staff, the Director of Central Intelligence, a Special Assistant to 
the President [W. Averell Harriman], and a Special Consultant to 
the President [Sidney W. Souers]) together with the Executive Sec- 
retary (James S. Lay, Jr,).^^'' 

The President also directed a reshuffling of the NSC staff. 
The permanent Secretariat remained, but the Staff and con- 
sultants were replaced by a Senior Staff and Staff Assistants. 
The Senior Staff was composed of representatives of State, 
Defense, NSRB, Treasury, JCS, and CIA, and shortly there- 
after of Harriman's office, and headed by the Executive Sec- 
retary, an official without departmental ties. Members were 
generally of Assistant Secretary level or higher and in turn 
designated their Staff Assistants. 

The Senior Staff participated closely and actively in the 
work of the Council. Not only did it continue the functions 
of the Staff, but it also took over responsibility for projects 
formerly assigned to ad hoc NSC committees. It thus pro- 
vided the Council with continuous support by a high-level 
interdepartmental staff group. The Staff Assistants, who did 
most of the basic work for the Senior Staff, spent a large part 
of their time in their respective agencies, where they could 
better absorb agency views and bring them to the fore during 
the developmental phase of NSC papers. The position of the 
executive secretary, moreover, as chairman of the Senior Staff 
and also head of the permanent NSC staff in the White 
House, gave that official an intimate view of the Presi- 
dent's opinions and desires that he could brings to bear quite 
early in the planning process. And finally, JCS and Treasury 
representation on the NSC staff filled needs that had been 
long felt.^28 

With the arrival of the Eisenhower Administration, the Council 
was transformed into a highly organized and enlarged forum for the 
formulation of both national defense and foreign policy. Auxiliary 
coordination units were added to the NSC structure and the panel's 
factual research and policy paper production was supervised by the 
first officially designated presidential assistant for national security 
matters, Robert Cutler (James S. Lay, Jr., continued as the Council's 
Executive Secretary ).22'' Most of this machinery disappeared in 1961, 

^ By this time the Council's statutory membership had been altered by a stat- 
utory amendment (63 Stat. 579) to the National Security Act of 1947 (61 Stat. 
496) and the panel had been officially located (63 Stat. 1067) within the Execu- 
tive Office of the President. 

'^Falk, op. CTf., p. 415. 

^ Cutler's official title, first appearing in the government organization manual 
for 1954, was Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs 
and was listed in both the White House Office staff and National Security Coun- 
cil staff. Stress must be placed upon this being an official title for certainly other 
presidential aides had been regarded as assistants for national security matters. 
Thus one finds, for example. President Truman writing that when Admiral 
William D. Leahy retired as White House Chief of Staff in March, 1941, "... I 
brought Admiral Souers to the White House in the new capacity of Special 
Assistant to the President for Intelligence." Officially, Souers was Executive 
Secretary of the NSC. Truman, op cit., p. 58. 


however, with the arrival of the Kennedy Administration and the 
NSC became but one of several means by which foreign policy and 
defense problems might be scrutinized. 

Normally the President assigned the preparation of a 
study or recommendation to a Cabinet official or one of his 
top subordinates. This official, in turn, was responsible for 
obtaining other departmental views and checking and coor- 
dinating with other responsible individuals. Sometimes he 
did this within small, interdepartmental groups, specially 
created to study the problem, sometimes by arranging for 
subordinates in each interested agency to develop the matter. 
Where appropriate, this included close consultation with the 
Budget Bureau. Fiscal matters were considered during the 
development of a study and in drawing up recommendations 
and proposals; papers no longer had separate financial ap- 
pendices. The completed report included not only the respon- 
sible officials own analysis and recommendations for action, 
but also a full statement of any differing views held by other 
agencies or individuals. This was true whether the report was 
prepared by one person or by a special task force. 

The final version, presented to President Kennedy at a for- 
mal meeting of the NSC or within smaller or larger panel or 
subcommittee meetings, was then discussed and, if necessary, 
debated further before the President made his decision. Once 
the chief executive approved a specific recommendation, the 
responsible agency or department made a written record 
of the decision and the head of that agency, or a 
high-level action officer, was charged with overseeing its 

President Kennedy did not, however, discard the special assistant's 
role in Council operations and national security matters. 

The Special Assistant to the President for National Secu- 
rity Affairs, McGeorge Bundy, also played an important 
role in the national security process. Not only was he a top 
presidential adviser, but as overall director of the NSC staff 
he participated in all Council-related activities. He and his 
assistants had a variety of responsibilities in addition to their 
normal secretariat functions. They suggested areas for con- 
sideration and the mechanisms for handling these and other 
problems; followed studies through the planning stage and 
saw that they were properly coordinated, staffed, and respon- 
sive to the needs and desires of the President ; ensured that 
a written record was made of all decisions, whether they were 
reached at formal NSC meetings or at other top conferences ; 
and kept tabs on the implementation of whatever policy had 
been adopted. In this work, Bundy and the NSC staff coordi- 
nated closely with other parts of the presidential staff and 
the Budget Bureau, performed whatever liaison was neces- 
sary, and met frequently with the President at regular White 
House staff meetings. 

Falk, op. Git., p. 430. 


Formal XSC meetings were held often but irregularly, 
sometimes as frequently as three times a week and usually at 
least once every two weeks. In the first half year of the Ken- 
nedy administration, for example, the Council met sixteen 
times. Many matters that had been considered at regular 
NSC meetings under Eisenhower were now handled in sep- 
arate meetings of the President with Secretaries Rusk and 
McXamara or with a single Cabinet officer, or in committees 
of the NSC that included only some of the statutory members 
but also several of their top deputies or other government offi- 
cials, or at meetings below the presidential level. ^" 

While President Johnson largely continued to operate in much the 
same manner as his predecessor with regard to national security mat- 
ters, President Nixon significantly altered these arrangements by 
vesting a great deal of autonomy in his assistant for national security 
affairs, granting that agent a large staff responsible to his personal 
supervision (the NSC Executive Secretary position remained vacant 
during the Nixon tenure) . 

When Kissinger came to Washington he told a number of 
people of his determination to concentrate on matters of 
general strategy and leave "operations" to the departments. 
Some dismissed this as the typical disclaimer of a new White 
House staff man. Yet much in Kissinger's writings suggests 
that his intention to devote himself to broad "policy was 
real. He had repeatedly criticized our government's tendency 
to treat problems as "isolated cases," and "to identify foreign 
policy with the solution of immediate issues" rather than 
developing an interconnected strategy for coping with the 
world over a period of years. And his emphasis was primarily 
on problems of decision-ma^i/?^. He defined the problem 
basically in terms of how to get the government to settle on 
its major policy priorities and strategy, and had been slow to 
recognize the difficulty of getting the bureaucracy to imple- 
ment such a strategy once set. 

Kissinger found a kindred spirit in a President whose cam- 
paing had denounced the Kennedy-Johnson de-emphasis on 
formal national security planning in favor of "catch-as- 
catch-can talkfests." And the system he put together for 
Nixon is designed above all to facilitate and illuminate major 
Presidential foreign policy choices. Well over 100 "NSSM's" 
(National Security Study Memoranda) have been issued by 
the White House to the various foreign affairs government 
agencies, calling for analysis of major issues and develop- 
ment of realistic alternative policy "options" on them. These 
studies are cleared through a network of general interdepart- 
mental committees responsible to Kissinger, and the most 
important issues they raise are argued out before the Presi- 
dent in the National Security Council. Nixon then makes a 

'^ lUd., p. 432-433. 


decision from among the options, usually "after further pri- 
vate deliberation." '^^"^ 

While the NSC itself may not have met any more frequently imder 
President Nixon than it did during the Kennedy-Jolinson regimes, 
the Council served as an important coordinating mechanism for Dr. 
Kissinger in centralizing and amrming his control over national se- 
curity and intelligence matters. As in the Eisenhower period, a variety 
of auxiliary panels were created for special aspects of security policy ; 
these were chaired by Kissinger and provided staff support by his 
NSC personnel. The principal auxiliary units (not all, for some, un- 
doubtedly, were never publicly acknowledged and a definitive list is 
not otherwise known to exist) associated with the Council since its 
creation are discussed below. 

On May 10, 1949, President Truman announced the creation of two 
panels which would flank the NSC structure. The first of these, the 
interdepartmental Committee on Internal Security, was chaired ini- 
tially by the Special Assistant to the Attorney General with repre- 
sentatives from the Department of State, Defense, and Treasury as 
well as the NSC (the last in an adviser-observer capacity). Largely a 
paper structure, this body has been almost totally inactive during the 
past decade; nevertheless, responsibility for its operations currently 
lies with the head of the internal security section of the Criminal Di- 
vision, Department of Justice. 

The Interdepartmental Intelligence Conference, the other unit estab- 
lished by President Truman, was initially headed by J. Edgar Hoover, 
Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and counted among 
its members the heads of Army, Navy, and Air Force intelligence 
agencies and an NSC representative (the last, again, in an adviser- 
observer capacity). Slightly more active than the counterpart inter- 
nal security panel, the Conference has, since the death of Director 
Hoover, been maintained by a secretariat within the Federal Bureau 
of Investigation. 

Both of these entities, one predominantly military and the other 
largely civilian in scope, are responsible for coordinating certain in- 
vestigations of domestic espionage, counterespionage, sabotage, sub- 
version, and related internal security matters. Because the differentia- 
tion between their jurisdiction is not altogether clear, fundamental 
disagreements between them over such matters are settled by the NSC ; 
however, in view of the inactivity of these units, it would seem that 
few disputes over jurisdiction have been taken to the Council recently 
by these panels.^^^ 

In June, 1951, a Psychological Strategy Board was established by 
presidential directive.^^* Supplanting an earlier board created in the 
Department of State under Assistant Secretary Edward W. Barrett, 
the new panel attempted to determine the psychological objectives of 
the United States and coordinated and evaluated the work of operat- 
ing psychological warfare agencies. Under the terms of its charter, 

^^ Destler, op. cit, pp. 28-29. 
'^ Hobbs, op. cit, p. 150. 

''** See Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry 8. Truman, 
1951. Washington, U.S. Govt, Print. Off., 1965, pp. 341-342. 


the Board was obligated to "report to the National Security Council 
on . . . [its] . . . activities and on its evaluation of the national psycho- 
logical operations, including implementation of approved objectives, 
policies, and programs by the departments and agencies concerned." 
Composed of the Under Secretary of State, the Deputy Secretary of 
Defense, and the Director of Central Intelligence (or their designees), 
and such other representatives as determined by them, the unit was 
ultimately abolished (E.O. 10483) on September 2, 1953, when Reorga- 
nization Plan No. 8 of that year (67 Stat. 642) established the United 
States Information Agency which assumed the functions of the Board. 
Finding a need for improving the manner in which NSC policies 
were carried out. President Eisenhower created (E.O. 10483) the Op- 
erations Coordinating Board in September, 1953, which, after the 
Chief Executive approved a policy submitted by the Council, was 
to consult with the agencies involved as to : 

(a) their detailed operational planning responsibilities re- 
specting such policy, (b) the coordination of the interdepart- 
mental aspects of the detailed operational plans developed 
by the agencies to carry out such policy, (c) the timely and 
coordinated execution of such policy and plans, and (d) the 
execution of each security action or project so that it shall 
make its full contribution to the attainment of national se- 
curity objectives and to the particular climate of opinion the 
United States is seeking to achieve in the world, and (e) ini- 
tiate new proposals for action within the framework of na- 
tional security policies in response to opportunity and changes 
in the situation. 

In addition to the Under Secretary of State, who acted as chair- 
man, the panel consisted of the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the 
Director of Foreign Operations, and the Director of Central Intel- 
ligence. The Special Assistant to the President for National Security 
Affairs might attend any session of the Board on Ms own volition 
and the Director of the United States Information Agency was to 
advise the body upon request. In his efforts at streamlining the na- 
tional security structure. President Kennedy terminated (E.O. 
10920) the Board in February 1961. 

The Forty Committee (also known as the Special Group, the 54/12 
Group, and the 303 Committee) was established by a secret NSC 
order #54/12 and derived from an informal Operations Coordinat- 
ing Board luncheon group. Created sometime in 1955, the panel has 
had a varying membership but has reportedly included the Director 
of Central Intelligence, the Under Secretary of State for Political 
Affairs, the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense and, during 
the past decade, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the 
presidential assistant for national security affairs. During the past 
three administrations the President's national security assistant is 
thought to have chaired the group's sessions. According to one author- 
ity, it is this unit which makes "policies which walk the tightrope 
between peace and war;" ^^^ another source credits the committee with 

** David Wise and Thomas B. Ross. The Invisible Government. New York, 
Vintage Books, 1974; originally published 1964, p. 263. 


holding authority on the execution of CIA clandestine operations."* 
In this latter regard, the group functions as a shield against claims 
that the Chief Executive directly approved some morally question- 
able clandestine activity ; this function of the panel would not, how- 
ever, seem to excuse the President from his constitutional obligation 
to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." ^^^ 

With the arrival of the Nixon Administration in 1969, Dr. Kis- 
singer instituted three new NSC coordinating mechanisms. The 
Under Secretaries Committee, initially headed by Under Secretary 
of State John N. Irwin, was "originally designed as the chief im- 
plementing body to carry out many (but not all) Presidential NSC 
directives" but, according to a 1971 evaluation, the panel's "actual 
importance (never very great) continues to lapse." ^^* 

"Another is the Senior Review Group, now [1971] at an Under 
Secretary level and chaired by Kissinger, which usually gives final 
o,pproval to the NSC study memoranda after making sure that 'all 
realistic alternatives are presented'." ^^® 

The third entity, the Washington Special Actions Group, included 
as members, as of late 1971, the Attorney General, the Director of 
Central Intelligence, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Chairman 
of the Joint Chiefs, and the Under Secretary of State for Political 
Affairs. It functions as "top-level operations center for sudden crises 
and emergencies." ^*° 

On November 5, 1971, the White House announced additional re- 
organization efforts with regard to the intelligence community, the 
net outcome of which was the establishment of three more NSC 
panels : 

. . . a National Security Council Intelligence Committee^ 
chaired by the Assistant to the President for National Secu- 
rity Affairs. Its members . . . include the Attorney General, 
the DCI [Director of Central Intelligence], the Under Sec- 
retary of State, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and the 
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Committee will 
give direction and guidance on national intelligence needs 
and provide for a continuing evaluation of intelligence prod- 
ucts from the viewpoint of the intelligence user. 

. . . a Net Assessment Group within the National Security 
Council staff. The group . . . [is] . . . headed by a senior 
staff member and . . . [is] . . . responsible for reviewing 

•*■ Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks. The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence. 
New York, Alfred A. Knop, 1974, pp. 325-327; this currently controversial 
account of Central Intelligence Agency and foreign intelligence community op- 
erations contains the most recent and detailed publicly available statistical 
estimates regarding Federal Intelligence resources. 

^ See U.S. Congress. Senate. Select Committee to Study Governmental Opera- 
tions With Respect To Intelligence Activities. Allpped Asfassination Pl/yta In- 
volvinn Foreign Leader n. Committee print, 94th Congress, 1st session. Washing- 
ton, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1975, pp. 9-13. [Also, published as S. Rept. 94-465 
with identical pagination.] 

^ Leacacos, op. cit., p. 7. 


^lUd., pp. 7-8. 


and evaluating all intelligence products and for producing 
net assessments. 

. . . an Intelligence Resources Advisory Committee^ 
chaired by the DCI, including as members a senior repre- 
sentative from the Department of State, the Department of 
Defense, the Office of Management and Budget, and the 
Central Intelligence Agency. This Committee , . . advise [s] 
the DCI on the preparation of a consolidated intelligence 
program budget.^^^ 

These units, together with the above named groups and the Verifi- 
cation Panel, which is responsible for monitoring the intelligence 
related to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks and is chaired by Dr. 
Kissinger, constitute the major NSC affiliates of interest to this study. 
Unless otherwise noted, all of these entities are officially operative 
though, in some instances, they exhibit little functional activity. 

XI. Central Intelligence Agency 

Viewed by some as a revitalized model of the Office of Strategic 
Services, the Central Intelligence Agency was established as a sub- 
unit of the National Security Council by the National Security Act 
of 1947 (61 Stat. 496) with responsibilities (1) to advise the NSC 
on intelligence matters related to national security, (2) to make rec- 
ommendations to the Council regarding the coordination of intel- 
ligence activities of the Federal Executive departments and agencies, 
(3) to correlate and evaluate intelligence and provide for its appro- 
priate dissemination, (4^) to perform such additional ser\'ices for the 
benefit of existing intelligence entities as the NSC determines can be 
effectively accomplished by a central organization, and (5) to perform 
such additional functions and duties relating to national security 
intelligence as the Council may direct. 

The Agency's organic statute was amended in 1949 by the Central 
Intelligence Agency Act (63 Stat. 208) which sought to improve 
CIA administration bv stren^^henina: the powers of the director. 
Among other authorities granted, this law exempts the Agency from 
any statutory provisions requiring the publication or disclosure of the 
"organization, functions, names, official titles, salaries or numbers of 
personnel employed" and, further, directs the Office of Management 
and Budget (then identified as the Bureau of the Budget) to make 
no reports on these matters to Congress. Nevertheless, in spite of this 
restrictive lanmiage, some gleanings are available on the organization 
of the CIA.^*2 This scenario necessarily includes not only the evolution 
and current status of the Agency's internal structure, but extends 
as well to entities apart from the Agencv which are headed by the 
Director of Central Intelligence and unofficial affiliates in the service 
of the CIA. 

The head of the Old Central Intelligence Group. Admiral Roscoe H. 
Hillenkoetter, served as the first director of the Central Intelligence 

*" See Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, v. 7, November 8, 1971 : 

*" There are. of <'ourse. various aoconnts of CTA operaMons and exploits 
but these are generally unenliehtenine: with regard to organizational considera- 
tions and are, therefore, outside of the scope of this study. 


Agency. But, while this leadership continuity assured an easy transi- 
tion from one unit to its successor, the Agency was struggling with 
internal organization difficulties and liaison relationships jdurmg its 
first years of operation. These problems diminished with the arrival of 
Lieutenant General Walter Bedell Smith, former Secretary of the 
General Staff under General George C. Marshall and Chief of Staff 
to General Dwight D. Eisenhower in Europe, as Director of Central 
Intelligence in 1950. Former CIA official Lyman B. Kirkpatrick, Jr., 
offers this view of Smith's impact on the Agency. 

Under the persistent prodding of General Smith, the intel- 
ligence community moved toward coordination and centrali- 
zation. He was impatient with jurisdictional arguments, 
whether within the CIA or among the services. His attitude 
was that there was more than enough work for evwybody. 
He had the authority and used it. 

Within the CIA he reorganized the operational arm, estab- 
lished new guidelines for interagency cooperation, and estab- 
lished a support arm to provide the personnel, training, com- 
munication, logistics, and security so necessary in intelligence 
activities. He separated research from the estimating process 
and proposed a division of research responsibilities among 
the intelligence agencies. The Intelligence Advisory Com- 
mittee ^amed stature as the governing body of the 

Perhaps no action more typified the style and personality 
of General Smith than the organization of the operational 
offices of the CIA. The agency had inherited its foreign intel- 
ligence and counter-intelligence offices from the OSS, and in 
the five years since the Second World War these had been 
consolidated, reorganized, and reoriented to peacetime condi- 
tions. By 1948 another office had been added to engage in 
covert operations or political warfare. The new office was in, 
but not of, the CIA. It took its directives from a State- 
Defense committee, not the DCI. One of Smith's first 
actions on becoming director in October 1950 was to an- 
nounce that he would issue the orders to this office. He later 
directed that the two offices (foreign intelligence and covert 
operations) be merged and that the deputy director concerned 
and the two assistant directors in charge of those offices work 
out the details. As one of the assistant directors, I partici- 
pated in what were extended and exhaustive negotiations. In 
the summer of 1952 Smith finally accepted our proposals and 
called a meeting of all of the division and staff chiefs of the 
to-be-merged offices to announce the new organization. Al- 
though everyone present knew that the director was impatient 
to have the merger implemented, there were a couple who 
wanted to argue it. Smith gave them short shrift; his quick 
temper flared and he pcathingly stopped the discussion, an- 
nounced what was to take place, and stalked out. One of my 
colleaofues leaned over and whispered, "]My God, if he is that 
terrifyiiifif now, imagine what he must have been at full 
weight !" During the Second World War, when he was Eisen- 


hower's Chief of Staff, Smith had weighed about 185, but an 
operation for stomach ulcers had reduced his size by fifty 

When Smith departed from the CIA directorship in 1952, he was 
succeeded by a man who was not only his equal in organizational abili- 
ties, but an individual virtually without equal in intelligence opera- 
tions : Allen Welsh Dulles, the OSS master spy in Switzerland during 
World War II, lately head of the CIA's Office of PoKcy Coordination 
which carried out political subversion missions, and brother of the new 
Secretary of State. While Dulles, himself, has written very little about 
his organization and manner of administering the Central Intelligence 
Agency, one close observer of his operating techniques has written : 

. . . one of the first things we did when he became the Di- 
rector was to abolish the office of the Deputy Director of 
Administration [DD/A]. In a city renowned for its bureau- 
cratic administration and its penchant for proving how 
right C. Northcote Parkinson was, Mr. Dulles' first act was 
more heretical to most Washingtonians than one of Walter 
Bedell Smith's first actions — the one in which he told the 
McCarthy [Senate investigation of Communist activity] 
hearings that he thought there might well be Communists in 
the Agency. Washington was not as upset about the Com- 
munists as it was to learn that a major agency of the Govern- 
ment had abolished Administration. Mr. Dulles took the view 
of the intelligence professional, that it was much more 
dangerous and therefore undesirable to have all kinds of 
administratore acquiring more information than they should 
have, than it was to find some way to get along without the 

While the public was mulling over that tidbit from the 
CIA, the real moves were being made inside the organization, 
where no one could see what was going on. The Deputy of 
Intelligence fDD/I], strengthened by the addition of the 
Current Intelligence organization [which prepares the daily 
intelligence report submitted to the President] and other such 
tasks, was to be responsible for everything to do with intelli- 
gence, and more importantly, was to be encumbered by noth- 
ing that had to do with logistics and administration. That was 
the theory. In practice, the DD/I has a lot of administrative 
and support matters to contend with, as does any other large 
office. However, as much of the routine and continuing loads 
as could be was set upon the Deputy Director of Support 

At the same time, the new and growing DD/P [Plans] (the 
special operations shop) was similarly stripped of all en- 
cumbrances and freed to do the operational work that Dulles 
saw developing as his task. This left the DD/S (Support) 
with a major task. He was responsible for the entire support 

^ Lyman B. Kirknatrirk^ Jr. The VS. Tvtelligev/re CnrnmvnUvn Foreign Policy 
and Domestic Activities. New York, Hill and "Wang, 1973, pp. 32-33. 


of the Agency, support of all kinds, at all times, and in all 

As an "intelligence professional," Dulles held strong views as to the 
type of individuals who should lead the Agency and serve it. During 
tile hearings on the proposed National Security Act of 1947, he sent 
a memorandum on the CIA provisions to Senator Chan Gumey (R.- 
S.D.), Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services, indicating his 
view that the new intelligence entity 

. . . should be directed by a relatively small but elite corps 
of men with a passion for anonymity and a willingness to 
stick at that particular job. They must find their reward in 
the work itself, and in the service they render their Govern- 
ment, rather than in public acclaim. 

Elsewhere in his statement he opined that the Agency "must have a 
corps of the most competent men which this country can produce to 
evaluate and correlate the intelligence obtained, and to present it, in 
proper form, to the interested Government departments, in most cases 
to the State Department, and in many cases to the Department of 
National Defense, or to both." "s 

Dulles continued to express this view after he left the directorship, 
offering perhaps his most developed account on this point in a 1963 

From the day of its founding, the CIA has operated on the 
assumption that the majority of its employees are interested 
in a career and need and deserve the same guarantees and 
benefits which they would receive if in the Foreign Service 
or in the military. In turn, the CIA expects most of its career 
employees to enter its service with the intention of durable 
association. No more than other large public or private in- 
stitutions can it afford to invest its resources of time and 
money in the training and apprenticeship of persons who 
separate before they have begun to make a contribution to 
the work at hand. It can, in fact, afford this even less than 
most organizations for one very special reason peculiar to the 
intelligence world — the maintenance of its security. A siz- 
able turnover of short-term employees is dangerous because 
it means that working methods, identities of key personnel 
and certain projects in progress will have been exposed in 
some measure to persons not yet sufficiently indoctrinated in 
the habits of security to judge when they are talking out of 
turn and when they are not. 

The very nature of a professional intelligence organiza- 
tion requires, then, that it recruit its personnel for the long 
pull, that it carefully screen candidates for jobs in order to 
determine ahead of time whether they are the kind of people 
who will be competent, suitable and satisfied, and that once 

"* L. Fletcher Prouty. The Secret Team. Englewood Cliflfs, Prentice-Hall, 1973, 
pp. 245-246. 

^ Spe U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Armed Services. Natinval Defense 
Eastablishment : Unification of the Armed Services. Hearings, SOth Congress, 1st 
session. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1947, pp. 525-528. 


such people are within the fold their careers can be de- 
veloped to the mutual advantage of the government and the 

Yet, regardless of these expressions of personnel policy, the over- 
riding factor in CIA recruitment during Dulles' tenure would seem 
to be security, a condition brought to bear not by the Director's own 
choosing but, rather, by the tirades of the junior Senator from Wis- 
consin, Joseph R. McCarthy. 

The CIA Director told the President he would resign unless 
McCarthy's vituperation was silenced. Eisenhower had been 
reluctant to stand up to the politically powerful (and politi- 
cally useful) senator. But he accepted Dulles' contention that 
McCarthy's attacks on the Agency were damaging to the 
national security. Vice-President Nixon was dispatched to 
pressure McCarthy into dropping Ms plans for a public 
investigation. The senator suddenly became "convinced ' that 
"it would not be in the public interest to hold public hearings 
on the CIA, that that perhaps could be taken care of 

The "administrative" remedy McCarthy demanded as the 
price of his silence was a vast internal purge of the Agency. 
The senator privately brought his charges against CIA "se- 
curity risks" to Dulles' office. He had lists of alleged "homo- 
sexuals" and "rich men'' in CIA employ and provided Dulles 
with voluminous "allegations and denunciations, but no 
facts." To insure, however, that his charges were taken seri- 
ously by CIA, McCarthy continued to threaten a public in- 
vestigation. At his infamous hearings on alleged subversion 
in the Army, the senator frequently spoke of "Communist 
infiltration and corruption and dishonesty" in CIA. He called 
this a "very, very dangerous situation" which disturbs me 
"beyond words." 

The pressure took its toll. Security standards for Agency 
employment were tightened, often to the point of absurdity, 
and many able young men were kept from pursuing intelli- 
gence careers.^*^ 

The author of the above passage suggests that the effect of the 
new security standards were profound for the development of the 
Central Intelligence Agency: in brief, individuals who had been in- 
volved in any type of leftist ideological cause would find it difficult to 
obtain employment with the CIA. Because of the situation, the flow 
of diverse viewpoints through new personnel was restricted and a like- 
minded manner of thinking began to evolve within the agency. 

As a consequence of this state of affairs, and for other reasons, some 
CIA employees abandoned their intelligence careers and sought more 
rewarding positions in the diplomatic and foreign policy establish- 
ment. These shifts also had an interesting effect in terms of the CIA's 
image and impact. 

^ Allen W. Dulles. The Craft of Intelligence. New York, Harper and Row, 
1973. pp. 171-172. 
"' Smith, op. cit., pp. 370-371. 


State Department officials have learned the power of their 
clandestine opposite numbers. In March 1954, a Texas at- 
torney with long business experience in South America was 
named Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Af- 
fairs. At one of his first briefings, the Texan learned that the 
CIA had set aside $20 million to overthrow a leftist regime in 
Guatemala. The Assistant Secretary raised vigorous objec- 
tions to the whole plan until he was silenced by his superior, 
the Undersecretary of State — who happened to be ex-CIA 
Director Walter Bedell Smith. On several other occasions 
during the 1950s, John Foster Dulles felt that his own am- 
bassadors could not be "trusted" and should not be informed 
of CIA operations in their countries. And those operations, 
as often as not, were undertaken by arrogant adventurers who 
had developed operational independence from a relatively 
enlightened staff at CIA's Washington headquarters.^*^ 

At present the Central Intelligence Agency is thought to be or- 
ganised into five entities — the Office of the Director and its satellites 
and four functional directorates.^*^ At the head of the agency are the 
Director and Deputy Director, both of whom serve at the pleasure of 
the President and are appointed subject to confirmation by the United 
States Senate. Either of these officials may be selected from among the 
commissioned officers of the armed services, whether active or retired, 
but one position must always be held by a civilian. There is also a 
Deputy Director of Central Intelligence for the Intelligence Com- 
munity (prior to 1973 this official was known as the Deputy Director 
for Community Relations) who assists the Director of Central In- 
telligence in his administrative responsibilities outside of managing 
the Agency. 

One satellite entity attached to the Office of the Director of Central 
Intelligence is a small group of senior analysts, drawn from the CIA 
and other agencies, who prepare the National Intelligence Estimates 
which are position papers assessing potentiality or capability for the 
benefit of U.S. policy makers — e.g.^ Soviet strategic defense capabil- 
ity, grain production in Communist China, or the political stability 
of Argentina, Chile, Angola, or Jordan. Founded in 1950 as the 
Board of National Estimates and initially headed by OSS veteran 
Dr. William Danger, the unit was reorganized in October, 1973, when 
its name was changed to National Intelligence Officers (NIO). 

Each NIO is either a geographic or functional expert and is 
allotted one staff assistant. "Flexibility" is a frequently used 
word in the CIA under [Director William E.] Colby, who 
has recruited an NIO for economic problems from RAND 
corporation, another for arms control ("Mr. Salt Talks") 
and others for key geographic areas such as Russia, China, 
and the Middle East. Reportedly, the NIOs are to be recruited 
from all agencies within the intelligence community (with a 

"* rwrf.. p. 376. 

"* This general description is taken from Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks. 
The CIA and the Cult of Tntrlligevcc. New York. Alfred A. Knopf, 1974, pp. 67- 
79 ; corroborating information has been compared from other public descriptiona 
of the Agency. 


sprinkling of functional experts from the outside), and the 
military NiOs are to have general officer rank in order to add 
prestige to the position. If so, this provision is suspect, since 
the promotion system within the armed forces does not assure 
that good intelligence estimators will be advanced to general 
officer rank. On the contrary, as experience in Vietnam has 
repeatedly demonstrated, high rank is often associated with 
poor estimating ability and loss of touch with reality. If 
NIO positions are stafied with general officers, the latter will 
have to depend on their staff assistants for credible esti- 
mates. However, the system as envisaged will enable the NIO 
to go outside CIA for expertise and advice, thus playing 
specialists from one government agency (or industry) against 
each other in an adversary process of arriving at balanced 
estimates. It will also enable the NIO to let contracts for the 
study of certain problems to academia.^^" 

The other satellite attached to the Office of the Director of Central 
Intelligence is the Intelligence Resources Advisory Committee, succes- 
sor to the National Intelligence Resources Board created in 1968 by 
CIA Director Richard Helms. Both units were designed to assist in 
the coordination and management of the intelligence community's 
budget. While the old Board consisted of the Director of the Defense 
Intelligence Agency and the Director of the State Department's 
Bureau of Intelligence and Research with the Deputy Director of 
CIA as chairman, the new Committee, established during President 
Nixon's 1971 intelligence reorganization to advise "the DCI on the 
preparation of a consolidated intelligence program budget," added 
a senior representative from the Office of Management and Budget to 
the group and designated the CIA Director, acting in his capacity 
as coordinator of national intelligence, as chairman. 

Another panel which might be mentioned at this juncture is the 
United States Intelligence Board. Established in 1960 by a classified 
National Security Council Intelligence Directive, the Board is the 
successor to the Intelligence Advisory Committee created in 1950 as 
an interdepartmental coordinating forum chaired by the CIA Direc- 
tor and counting representatives from the armed services intelligence 
units, the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, 
the National Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 
and the Atomic Energy Commission as members. The Conmiittee and 
its successor function (ed) as a "board of directors" for the intelligence 
community. At present, USIB reportedly assists and advises the Di- 
rector of Central Intelligence with respect to the issuance of National 
Intelligence Estimates; setting intelligence collection requirements, 
priorities, and objectives; coordinating intelligence community esti- 
mates of future events and of enemy strengths ; controlling the classi- 
fication and security systems for most of the Federal Government and 
protecting intelligence sources and methods; directing research in 
various fields of technical intelliarence ; and deciding what information 
is to be shared with the intelligence services of allied or friendly 
nations."^ The Board consists of a representative from the State 

"* Rlar^kstnck. np. cit.. p. 239. 

"^ Marchetti and Marks, op. cit., pp. 81-S4. 


Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Eesearch, the National Secu- 
rity Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Energy Re- 
search and Development Administration (successor to the Atomic 
Energy Commission on nuclear intelligence matters) , and the Deputy 
Director of CIA. The Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency 
was included in 1961 and three years later the status of the armed 
services representatives — the Army, Navy, and Air Force having been 
represented on the original Board — was downgraded from member to 
observer, on the grounds that the Defense Intelligence Agency mem- 
ber represented all of them. In the 1971 intelligence community reor- 
ganization announced by President Nixon, a Treasury Department 
representative was added to USIB. 

Meeting approximately once a week, the Board's agenda and min- 
utes are classified; when the panel goes into executive session, all 
staff members are excluded from the proceedings. USIB is supported 
by an interdepartmental committee structure which "encompasses 
every aspect of the nation's foreign intelligence requirements, ranging 
from the methods of collection to all areas of research." ^^^ While these 
standing committees have numbered as many as 15,^^^ a recent dis- 
closure indicates a reduction to 11 units in mid-1975.^^* 

The other components of the Office of the Director include 
those traditionally found in governmental bureaucracies: 
press officers, congressional liaison, legal counsel, and so on. 
Only two merit special note: the Cable Secretariat and the 
Historical Staff. The former was established in 1950 at the 
insistence of the Director, General Walter Bedell Smith. 
When Smith, an experienced military staff officer, learned 
that agency communications, especially those between head- 
quarters and the covert field stations and bases, were con- 
trolled by the Clandestine Services, he immediately demanded 
a change in the system. "The operators are not going to decide 
what secret information I will see or not see," he is reported 
to have said. Thus, the Cable Secretariat, or message center, 
was put under the Director's immediate authority. Since then, 
however, the operators have found other ways, when it is 
thought necessary, of keeping their most sensitive communi- 
cations from going outside the Clandestine Services. 

The Historical Staff represents one of the CIA's more 
clever attempts to maintain the secrecy on which the organi- 
zation thrives. Several years ago the agency began to invite 
retiring officers to spend an additional year or two with the 
agency — on contract, at reirnlar pay — writing their official 
memoirs. The product of their effort is, of course, highly clas- 
sified and tightly restricted. In the agency's eyes, this is far 
better than having former officers openly publish what really 
happened during their careers with the CIA.^^^ 

^ Kirkpatrick, op. cit., p. 39. 
^ Marrhetti and Marks, op. cU., p. 81. 

*" U.S. Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States. Report to the 
President. Washingrton. U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1975, p. 70. 
^ Marchetti and Marks, op. cit., p. 70. 


Outside of the Office of the Director, the Agency is organized into 
four functional directorates: Operations, Management and Sendees, 
Science and Technoloir}% and intelligence. The first of these — the 
Directorate of Operations — is the clandestine services unit, reportedly 
consisting of about 6,000 professionals and clerks in a rough two to one 
ratio with approximately 45 percent of this workforce stationed over- 
seas (the "vast majority" in cover positions). ^^^ Composed of some 
fifteen components, the Directorate has most of its personnel ("about 
4,800 people") within the so-called area divisions which correspond 
to the State Department's geographic bureau arrangement. 

The largest area division is the Far East (with about 1,500 
people) followed in order of descending size by Europe 
(Western Europe only). Western Hemisphere (Latin Amer- 
ica plus Canada), Xear East, Soviet Bloc (Eastern Europe), 
and Africa (with only 300 staff). The chain of command goes 
from the head of the Clandestine Services to the chiefs of the 
area divisions, then overseas to the chiefs of stations (COS) 
and their chiefs of bases (COB).^^'' 

There is also a Domestic Operations Division which "is, in essence, 
an area division, but it conducts its mysterious clandestine activities 
in the United States, not overseas." ^^^ 

Grouped with the area divisions, the Special Operations Division's 
"main function is to provide the assets for paramilitary operations, 
largely the contracted manpower (mercenaries or military men on 
loan), the materiel, and the expertise to get the job done." ^^^ 

Apart from the area divisions are three staffs within the Directorate 
of Operations: "Foreign Intelligence (espionage). Counterintelli- 
gence (counterespionage), and Covert Action, which oversee opera- 
tional policy in their respective specialties and provide assistance to 
the area divisions and the field elements." -®*' 

The remaining three components of the Clandestine Serv- 
ices provide technical assistance to the operational compo- 
nents. These three are : the Missions and Programs Staff, 
which does much of the bureaucratic planning and budgeting 
for the Clandestine Services which writes up the justification 
for covert operations submitted for approval to the 40 Com- 
mittee ; the Operational Services Division, which among other 
things sets up cover arrangements for clandestine officers; 
and the Technical Services Division, which produces in its 
own laboratories the gimmicks of the spy trade — the dis- 
guises, miniature cameras, tape recorders, secret writing kits, 
and the like.^®^ 
The Directorate of Management and Services, formerly the Direc- 
torate of Support, is the Agency's administrative and housekeeping 


'" Il>i(l., p. 71. 

**7bt<f., p. 72; certain of these "mysterious clandestine activities" have been 
revealed in U.S. Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States, op. dt., 
pp. 20»-225. 

""Marchetti and Marks, loc. cit. 


»" Ibid., p. 73. 


component but, accordino; to one former insider, "most of its budget 
and personnel is devoted to assistina: the Clandestine Services in car- 
rying out covert operations," contributing "in such areas as commu- 
nications, logistics, and training." 2^2 Within the Directorate : 

The Office of Security provides physical protection for 
clandestine installations at home and abroad and conducts 
polygraph (lie detector) tests for all CIA employees and 
contract personnel and most foreign agents. The Office of 
Medical Services heals the sicknesses and illnesses (both men- 
tal and physical) of CIA personnel by providing "cleared" 
psychiatrists and physicians to treat agency officers; analyzes 
prospective and already recruited agents ; and prepares "psy- 
chological profiles" of foreign leaders (and onc€, in 1971, at ■ 
the request of the Watergate "plumbers," did a "profile" of 
Daniel Ellsberg). The Office of Logistics operates the agen- 
cy's weapons and other warehouses in the United States and 
overseas, supplies normal office equipment and household fur- 
niture, as well as the more esoteric clandestine materiel to 
foreign stations and bases, and performs other housekeeping 
chores. The Office of Communications, employing over 40 
percent of the Directorate of Management and Services' 
more than 5,000 career employees, maintains facilities for 
secret communications between CIA headquarters and the 
hundreds of stations and bases overseas. It also provides the 
same services, on a reimbursable basis, for the State Depart- 
ment and most of its embassies and consulates. The Office of 
Training operates the agency's training facilities at many 
locations around the United States, and a few overseas. . . . 
The Office of Personnel handles the recruitment and record- 
keeping for the CIA's career personnel.^^^ 

The Directorate of Intelligence, counting some 3,500 employees, is 
concerned with the generation of finished intelligence products and 
the provision of certain services of common concern for the benefit 
of the entire intelligence community.^°* The Directorate's principal 
units include an Operations Center (management and coordination), 
a secretariat for the United States Intelligence Board which the CIA 
Director chairs, an Intelligence Requirements Service (collection 
and needs) , a Central Reference Service, a Foreign Broadcast Infor- 
mation Service (a world-wide radio t-ele vision monitoring system), 
an Office of Operations, an Office of Current Intelligence (daily 
developments) , an Office of Strategic Research (long-range planning) , 
an Office of Economic Research, an Office of Basic and Geographical 
Research, an Imagery Analysis Service (photographic analysis), and 
a National Photographic Interpretation Center (run in cooperation 
with the Defense Department for analyzing photographs taken from 
satellites and high altitude spy planes) . 

The fourth and newest of the Agency's directorates. Science and 
Technology, employs about 1,300 people in carrying out basic research 

*«/&f(f., pp. 73-74. 
^lUd., p. 75. 


and development functions, the operation of spy satellites, and intel- 
ligence analysis in highly technical fields. Composed of an Office 
of Scientific Intelligence, an Office of Special Activities, an Office of 
Research and Development, an Office of Electronics, an Office of 
Special Projects, an Office of Computer Services, and a Foreign 
Missiles and Space Activities Center, the Directorate has been credited 
with a leadership role in the development of the U-2 and SR-71 spy 
planes and "several brilliant breakthroughs in the intelligence-satellite 
field." ^^^ In the areas of behavior-influencing drug and communica- 
tions intercept systems development, the Directorate experienced a 
certain amount of controversy with regard to testing these entities 
within the domestic United States.^®® 

Beyond this structuring of the Central Intelligence Agency there 
have been a variety of unofficial affiliates in the service of the CIA — 
front groups, proprietary organizations, and well established social, 
economic, and political institutions which received Agency funds for 
assistance they provided or secretly transmitted such money to a 
third party for services rendered, at least until these practices were 
made public. 

The CIA's best-known proprietaries were Radio Free Europe 
and Radio Liberty, both established in the early 1950s. The 
corporate structures of these two stations served as some- 
thing of a prototype for other agency proprietaries. Each 
functioned under the cover provided by a board of directors 
made up of prominent Americans, who in the case of RFE 
incorporated as the National Committee for a Free Europe 
and in the case of RL as the American Committee for Libera- 
tion. But CIA officers in the key management positions at the 
stations made all the important decisions regarding the pro- 
gramming and operations of the stations.^®^ 

Other CIA "businesses" which became apparent in the 1960s were 
the Agency's airlines — Air America, Air Asia, Civil Air Transport, 
Intermountain Aviation, and Southern Air Transport — and certain 
holding companies involved with these airlines or the Bay of Pigs 
effort, such as the Pacific Corporation and the Double-Chek Corpora- 
tion.^''^ Then, in early 1967, the disclosure was made that the CIA had, 
for fifteen years, subsidized the nation's largest student organiza- 
tion, the National Student Association.^*^^ This revelation heightened 
press interest in CIA fronts and conduits. Eventually it became known 
that the Agency channeled money directly or indirectly into a panoply 
of business, labor, and church groups, the universities, charitable 
organizations, and educational and cultural groups, including : ^'° 

African American Institute 

^ Ibid., pp. 76-77. 

"* See U.S. Commission or CIA Activities Within the United States, op. cit., 
pp. 225-232. 

'" Ibid., pp. 134-135. 

*" Ibid., pp. 135, 137. 

"* See Sol Stern. A Short Account of International Student Politics & the 
Gold War with Particular Reference to the XSA, CIA, Etc. Ramparts, v. 5, 
March, 1967 : 29-38. 

^"'This list is drawn from Wise and Ross, op. cit., pp. 247n-248n. 


American Council for International Commission of Jurists 
American Federation of State, County and Municipal 

American Friends of the Middle East 
American Newspaper Guild 
American Society of African Culture 
Asia Foundation 

Association of Hungarian Students in North America 
Committee for Self-Determination 
Committee of Correspondence 
Committee on International Relations 
Fund for International Social and Economic Education 
Independent Research Service 
Institute of International Labor Research 
International Development Foundation 
International Marketing Institute 
National Council of Churches 
National Education Association 
National Student Association 
Paderewski Foundation 

Pan American Foundation (University of Miami) 
Frederick A. Praeger, Publishers 
Radio Free Europe 
Radio Liberty 

Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Outside Russia 
United States Youth Council 
Andrew Hamilton Fund 
Beacon Fund 

Benjamin Rosenthal Foundation 
Borden Trust 
Broad-High Foundation 
Catherwood Foundation 
Chesapeake Foundation 

David, Joseph and Winfield Baird Foundation 
Dodge Foundation 
Edsel Fund 
Florence Foundation 
Gotham Fund 
Heights Fund 
Independence Foundation 
J. Frederick Brown Foundation 
J. M. Kaplan Foundation 
Jones-O'Donnell, Kentfield Fund 
Littauer Foundation 
Marshall Foundation 
McGregor Fund 
Michigan Fund 
Monroe Fund 
Norman Fund 
Pappas Charitable Trust 
Price Fund 
Robert E. Smith Fund 


San Miguel Fund 

Sidney and Esther Rabb Charitable Foundation 

Tower Fund 

Vernon Fund 

Warden Trust 

WiUiford-Telford Fund 

In addition to these domestically based entities, a number of foreign 
beneficiaries of CIA funds were revealed as well. Probably others 
have been disclosed which are not recorded here. Undoubtedly per- 
sistent research and investigation will unearth additional entries for 
this roster. However, to the extent that details regarding the organiza- 
tion of the Central Intelligence Agency remain cloaked in secrecy, 
the identity of the unofficial affiliates of the CIA will continue to be 

XII. Defense Intelligence 

Since World War II, the intelligence organization of the Depart- 
ment of Defense and the armed services has been subject to a variety 
of changes which have sought to reduce the independence of the 
nation's fighting forces by unifying their administration with a view 
toward promoting a more effective use of resources. This effort began 
in a grand manner with the creation of the National Military Estab- 
lishment and the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 1947 (61 Stat. 
495) and the institution of the Department of Defense two years later 
(63 Stat. 578). Intelligence was but one common defense function 
which was greeted by the unification trend. 

At the end of World War II the Joint Chiefs of Staff decided to 
continue the Joint Intelligence Committee created in 1942 as a coor- 
dinating mechanism. With the demise of the Office of Strategic Serv- 
ices in 1945, the Joint Chiefs created the Joint Intelligence Group 
(sometimes referred to as J-2) within its Joint Staff authorized by 
the National Security Act of 1947 (61 Stat. 505). In 1961 the Joint 
Intelligence Group was supplanted by the newly created Defense In- 
telligence Agency which assumed the role of principal coordinator 
for intelligence matters among the armed services. 

Until 1961, coordination with the civilian side of the De- 
partment of Defense was maintained through the Defense 
Secretary's Assistant for Special Operations, who served as 
principal aide to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary on all 
matters pertaining to the national intelligence effort. The 
office of Assistant for Special Operations rather suddenly 
disappeared in the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs disaster in 
1961. Another arrangement, never publicized, was made for a 
special assistant to the Defense Secretary to supervise these 
activities. He represented the Secretary on special interde- 
partmental intelligence boards and committees."^ 

Intelligence coordination matters were given a significant impetus 
in 1972 when an Assistant Secretaryship was created to supervise 
"Defense intelligence programs through the entire management cycle, 
from initial research and development through programming, budget- 

"^ Ransom, op. cit., p. 102. 


ing, and the final process of follow-up evaluation . . . [and to pro- 
vide] the principal point for management and policy coordination 
with the Director of Central Intelligence, the CIA, and other intelli- 
gence officials and agencies outside the Department of Defense," ^^^ 

The new Assistant Secretary of Defense (Intelligence) also has 
management overview responsibilities with regard to the Defense In- 
telligence Agency and the National Security Administration in terms 
of coordinating their programs with those of the other Defense De- 
partment intelligence functionaries. Established by a departmental 
directive (DoD 5105.21) dated August 1, 1961, the Defense Intelli- 
gence Agency is responsible for : 

(1) the organization, direction, management, and control 
of all Department of Defense intelligence resources assigned 
to or included within the DIA ; 

(2) review and coordination of those Department of De- 
fense intelligence functions retained by or assigned to the 
military departments. Over-all guidance for the conduct and 
management of such functions will be developed by the Di- 
rector, DIA, for review, approval, and promulgation by the 
Secretary of Defense ; 

(3) supervision of the execution of all approved plans, 
programs policies, and procedures for intelligence functions 
not assigned to DIA ; 

(4) obtaining the maximum economy and efficiency in the 
allocation and management of Department of Defense intelli- 
gence resources. This includes analysis of those DOD intelli- 
gence activities and facilities which can be fully integrated or 
collected with non-DOD intelligence organizations ; 

(5) responding directly to priority requests levied upon 
the Defense Intelligence Agency by USIB [United States 
Intelligence Board] ; 

(6) satisfying the intelligence requirements of the major 
components of the Department of Defense. 

The Agency was a by-product of the post-Sputnik "missile gap" 
controversy of the late 1950s. Faced with disparate estimates of 
Soviet missile strength from each of the armed services which trans- 
lated into what have been called self-serving budget requests for weap- 
ons for defense, the United States Intelligence Board created a Joint 
Study Group in 1959 to study the intelligence producing agencies. In 
1960 this panel returned various recommendations, among which were 
proposals for the consignment of the defense departments to observer, 
rather than member, status on the Intelligence Board and the creation 
of a coordinating Defense Intelligence Agency which would represent 
the armed services as a member of USIB. Defense Secretary Robert 
McNamara adopted these proposals. 

The Director of DIA functions as the principal intelligence staff 
officer to both the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 
reporting to the Secretary through the Joint Chiefs. The Direct<)r is 

^"U.S. Department of Defense. National Security Strategy of Realistic 
Deterrence: Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird's Annual Defense Department 
Report FY 1973. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1972, pp. 134-135. 


also commander of the Defense attache system and chairman of the 
weekly meetings of the Military Intelligence Board, composed of the 
chiefs of the four armed services. In addition to a General Counsel 
office, an Inspector General unit, and a Scientific Advisory Commit- 
tee, the Defense Intelligence Agency presently consists of the follow- 
ing components which i-espond directly to the Director/Deputy Di- 
rector leadership : Chief of Staff/Deputy for Management and Plans 
(policy development and coordination, plans, operations management 
and formulation of requirements for functional management systems) , 
Deputy Director for Intelligence (including responsibility for all- 
source finished military intelligence but not scientific and technical 
intelligence, maintenance of target systems and physical vulnerability 
research, military capabilities, and current intelligence assessments, 
reporting, and warning) , Deputy Director for Collection, Deputy Di- 
rector for Scientific and Technical Intelligence, Deputy Director for 
Estimates, Deputy Director for Attache and Human Resources, Dep- 
uty Director for Support (support activities and administrative serv- 
ices), Deputy Director for Information Systems (intelligence infor- 
mation and telecommunications systems). Deputy Director for Per- 
sonnel, Comptroller, and the Defense Intelligence School created in 
1962 and supervised by a commandant.^"^ 

The National Security Agency, an independently organized entity 
within the Department of Defense, is the product of efforts at unifying 
and coordinating defense cryptologic and communications security 

In the first postwar years, the cryptologic duties of the 
American armed forces reposed in the separate agencies of 
the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. The Army, at least, 
charged its agency with maintaining "liaison with the De- 
partment of the Navy, Department of the Air Force, and 
other appropriate agencies, for the purpose of coordinating 
communication security and communication intelligence 
equipment and procedures." Presumably the Navy and the 
Air Force units were similarly charged. This arrangement, 
which relied on internal desire instead of external direction, 
prolonged the abuses [once] hinted at by [General Douglas 
Mac Arthurs World War II intelligence chief. Major General 
Charles A.] Willoughby. To rectify them and achieve the 
benefits of centralized control, the Defense Department in 
1949 established the Armed Forces Security Agency. The 
A.F.S.A. took over the strategic communications-intelligence 
functions and the coordination responsibilities of the individ- 
ual agencies. It left them with tactical communications in- 
telligence, which can best be performed near the point of 
combat and not at a central location (except for basic system 
solutions), and with low-echelon communications security, 
which differs radically in ground, sea, and air forces. Even 
in these areas, A.F.S.A, backed them up. A.F.S.A. drew its 
personnel from the separate departmental agencies, though 

'"'Earlier organization models for the Defense Intelligence Agency may be 
found in MacCloskey (1967), op. cit., pp. 92-93; Ransom (1970), op. cit., p. 105; 
Kirkpatrick (1973), op. cit., pp. 40-41. 

70-890 O - 76 - 18 


it later hired separately, and housed itself in their build- 

The success of the unified approach to cryptology evidenced by the 
operations of the Armed Forces Security Agency warranted an ex- 
pansion of that institution to include cryptosystems outside of the 
Defense Department, such as those maintained by State, Accordingly, 
President Truman promulgated a classified directive creating the 
National Security Agency on November 4, 1952, abolishing the Armed 
Forces Security Agency, and transferring its assets and personnel to 
the new successor. Such an aura of official secrecy surrounded NSA 
that no acknowledgement of its existence appeared in the government 
organization manuals until 1957 when a brief, but vague, description 
was offered. In brief, according to one expert, NSA "creates and 
supervises the cryptography of all U.S. Government agencies" and 
"it interprets, traffic-analyzes, and cryptanalyzes the messages of all 
other nations, friend as well as foe." ^^^ It is the American Black 
Chamber reincarnated with the most highly sophisticated technology 
available, an estimated staff of 20,000 employees at its home base 
(Fort Meade, Maryland) with between 50,000 to 100,000 persons in 
its service overseas, and an annual budget thought to range between 
$1 and $1.2 billion.^^^ 

According to best estimates, the National Security Agency is orga- 
nized into three operating divisions — the Office of Production (code 
and cipher breaking), the Office of Communications Security (code 
and cipher production), and the Office of Research and Development 
(digital computing and radio propagation research, cryptanalysis, and 
development of communications equipment) — and supporting units 
for recruiting and hiring, training, and the maintenance of both physi- 
cal and personnel security.^^^ 

In November, 1971, President Nixon directed certain changes in the 
organization of the intelligence community, among them the creation 
of a "National Cryptologic Command" under the Director of the Na- 
tional Security Agency.-^^ The result of this announcement was the 
organization of the Central Security Service, comprised of the Army 
Security Agency, the Naval Security Group, and the U.S. Air Force 
Security Service with the NSA Director concurrently serving as the 
Chief/CSS. Apparently established to consolidate the crvptanalytic 
activities of the armed services, the official purpose of CSS, as stated 
in the FY 1973 Annual Defense Department Report to Congress, is to 

provide a unified, more economical, and more effective struc- 
ture for executing cryptologic and related electronic opera- 
tions previously conducted under the Military Departments. 
The Military Departments will retain administrative and lo- 

"*K9hn, op. cit., pp. 379-380. 

"^ lUd., pp. 380-381. 

"'Dousrlas Wafson. NSA: America's Vacuum Cleaner of Intelligence. Wash- 
ington Post, March 2, 1975 : Al. 

^" Kahn, op. cit., pp. 385-388 ; Ransom, op cit., pp. 130-132 ; Wise and Ross, op. 
cit. p. 210. 

"' See Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, v. 7, November 8, 1971 : 


gistic support responsibilities for the military units involved, 
but these units will be managed and controlled by the CSS."** 

The 1971 intelligence community reorganization also called for the 
consolidation of all Defense Department personnel security investiga- 
tions into a single Office of Defense Investigations. From this man- 
date a departmental directive (DoD 5105.42) dated April 18, 1972, 
was issued chartering the Defense Investigative Service. Operational 
as of October 1 of that year, the Service consists of a Director, a head- 
quarters establishment, fourteen district offices and various subordinate 
field offices and resident agencies throughout the United States and 
Puerto Rico. The Service examines allegations of criminal and/or 
subversive behavior attributed to potential and actual Defense De- 
partment employees holding sensitive positions. 

The 1971 reorganization "also directed that a Defense Map Agency 
be created by combining the now separate mapping, charting, and 
geodetic organizations of the military services in order to achieve 
maximum efficiency and economy in production." The result of this 
mandate was the establishment of the Defense Mapping Agency on 
January 1, 1972, under the provisions of the National Security Act 
of 1947, as amended, with a Director responsible to the Secretary of 
Defense through the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

In the afteiTnath of these unification efforts within the defense 
establishment, each of the armed services continues to maintain an 
intelligence organization and their departments control their own 
intelligence production activities, particularly tactical or combat 
intelligence affecting their operations (cryptological, mapping, and 
pertinent personnel security investigation functions having been con- 
solidated for administration as discussed above). 

An Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence (G-2) has continued 
with the Army General Staff since World War 11. This officer super- 
vised the Army Intelligence Corps, which included both collection and 
analysis functions, and the Army Security Agency, established Sep- 
tember 15, 1945 to execute cryptologic duties. In June, 1962, a major 
reorganization of Army intelligence operations brought about the 
merger of these two units into the Army Intelligence and Security 

Prior to January 1, 1965, the Military District of Washing- 
ton and each of the six Armies within the United States were 
responsible for counterintelligence activities throughout 
their geographic areas, and controlled an Intelligence Corps 
Group which carried on these activities. On January 1, 1965, 
the seven Intelligence Corps Groups were consolidated into 
a new major command — U.S. Army Intelligence Corps Com- 
mand. About two months later it was redesignated the U.S. 
Army Intelligence Command.^®" 

This Command, located at Fort Holabird, Maryland, continues to 
function as a primary Army intelligence entity under G-2. The Army 
Security Agency appears to have less direct intelligence production 

^ U.S. Department of Defense. National Security of Realistic Deterencc. . . . , 
op. Git., p. 135. 

"*" MacOloskey, op. (M., p. 100. 


significance for G-2 in the aftermath of the 1971 reorganization when 
it was placed under the control of the Chief of the Central Security 
Service. Other Army agencies, such as the Army Transportation 
Corps, are capable of contributing an intelligence product should 
G-2 consult them regarding some aspect of their expertise. During the 
Army's most recent major commitment of forces in Southeast Asia, a 
combined intelligence organization was maintained in Vietnam. This 
structure was headed by an Assistant Chief of StafP, Military Assist- 
ance Command/ Vietnam (J-2) who was responsible for exercising 
general staff supervision over all Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine 
Corps intelligence activities as well as serving as Assistant Chief of 
Staff for Intelligence (G-2) to General William Westmoreland, Com- 
manding General, U.S. Army/Vietnam.^*^ 

The Office of Naval Intelligence is currently called the Naval In- 
telligence Command and continues to report to the Chief of Naval Op- 
erations through the Command Support Programs Office. 

The field organization for carrying out ONI's missions 
has three major components: (1) Naval District Intelligence 
officers, under the management control of ONI and operat- 
ing in the United States and certain outlying areas; (2) 
intelligence organizations with the forces afloat, which are 
directly under unit commanders with over-all ONI super- 
vision; and (3) naval attache's functioning under ONI direc- 
tion as well as State Department and Defense Intelligence 
Agency supervisions. 

District intelligence officers operate primarily in counter- 
intelligence and security fields. The District Intelligence Of- 
fice (DIO) is directly responsible to the Naval District Com- 
mandant, with additional duty in some areas on the staff of 
the commander of the sea frontier of his district. Civilian 
agents usually are assigned to the district intelligence officers 
along with naval intelligence officers, and the former con- 
duct security and major criminal investigations involving 
naval personnel or material. 

With the forces afloat or in overseas bases, flag officers in 
command of each area, fleet, or task force have staff intelli- 
gence sections functioning primarily in the operational or 
tactical intelligence field. The intelligence officer who heads 
this staff section works not only for the unit commander, 
but also performs some collection missions for ONI. 

Naval attaches, trained by ONI in intelligence and lan- 
guages, collect naval intelligence for ONI as well as serve 
the diplomatic chief at the post to which they are assigned.^*^ 

While ONI serves certain of its intelligence needs, the Marine Corps 
"maintains a small intelligence staff in its headquarters, and intelli- 
gence officers are billeted throughout the corps" and these personnel 

'^ See U.S. Department of the Army. Vietnam Studies: The Role of Military 
Intelligence, 1965-1967 by Major General Joseph A McChristian. Washington 
U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1974, pp. 4-6, 8, 11, 13-20, 24, 27-28. 41^2, 47-57, 71-78, 
148. and 157. 

^ Ransom, op. cit., pp. 119-120. 


"are concerned primarily with tactical, or operational, rather than 
national intelligence." ^®^ 

Transferred to the Navy Department for wartime service in 1941 
(E.O. 8929), the Coast Guard was returned to the Treasury Depart- 
ment in 1946 (E.O. 9666) and has maintained a very small intelli- 
gence unit "mainly concerned with port security, keeping subversive 
elements out of the Merchant Marine and off the waterfronts, enforc- 
ing Coast Guard laws and insuring the internal security of the Coast 
Guard." -«* 

A\Tien the United States Air Force became a separate service apart 
from the Army in 1947, a general staff directorate — called the Air 
Staff — was instituted with an Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence 
(ACS/I and sometimes still unofficially referred to as A-2). This offi- 
cer supervises an immediate office organized into a Special Advisory 
Group (a "brains trust" designed to keep the ASC/I abreast of sci- 
entific, technical, and strategic matters of prime concern to the air 
arm), a data-handling systems group, a policy and programs unit, a 
resources management component, a collection directorate, and a stra- 
tegic estimates directorate. The ASC/I has also held staff supervision 
authority of the USAF Security Service (personnel and physical 
security) and the Aeronautical Chart and Information Center (aero- 
nautical charts, graphic air target materials, flight information publi- 
cations and documents, terrain models, maps, evaluated intelligence 
on air facilities, geodetic and geophysical data, and related carto- 
graphic services) . Overseas attaches are administered through the col- 
lection directorate which at one time included a Reconnaissance Divi- 
sion, acknowledged to be "charged with overseeing the development of 
the latest 'spy-in-the-sky' equipment, some of it exotic." -^^ This entity 
may have been displaced by the National Reconnaissance Office, an Air 
Force intelligence agency only recently disclosed to exist, which re- 
portedly operates satellite intelligence programs for the entire intel- 
ligence community on a budget estimated at more than $1.5 billion a 

XIII. State Department 

The formal intelligence organization of the Department of State 
began with the liquidation of the Office of Strategic Services. 

By an Executive order [E.O. 9621] of September 20, 1945, 
President Truman terminated the Office of Strategic Serv- 
ices and transferred its research and analysis branch and 
presentation branch to an Interim Research and Intelligence 
Service in the Department of State. At the same time there 
was established the position of Special Assistant to the Secre- 
tary of State in charge of Research and Intelligence. Acting 
Secretary [Dean] Acheson announced on September 27 the 
appointment of Colonel Alfred McCormack, Director of Mili- 
tary Intelligence in the War Department, as Special Assistant 
to set up the new agency. 

=*" Ihid., p. 119. 

'*" Ottenberg, op. cit., p. 138. 

=^ Ransom, op oit., pp. 123-125 ; also See MacCloskey, op. cit., pp. 102-103. 

"• Marchetti and Marks, op. cit., p. 90. 


Colonel McCormack explained the work of the Depart- 
ment's agency as mainly a research program. "The intelli- 
gence needed by the State Department" he declared, "is pri- 
marily information on the political and economic factors op- 
erating in other countries of the world, and on the potential 
effect of those factors in relations with this Government." He 
estimated that approximately 1,600 OSS personnel were 
transferred to State, a number soon reduced by about 50 per- 
cent. Two offices were created, an Office of Research and 
Intelligence under Dr. Sherman Kent, with five geographical 
intelligence divisions corresponding roughly to the Depart- 
ment's geographic organization, and the Office of Intelli- 
gence Collection and Dissemination under Colonel George R. 
Fearing, who had served with distinction as an intelligence 
officer with the army. Colonel McCormack indicated that 
most of the work would be done in Washington, but that 
from fifty to seventy-five representatives with special train- 
ing would be attached to embassies overseas to do particular 
types of work. As examples of the work done. Colonel Mc- 
Cormack cited the report made on the transportation system 
of North Africa, which was invaluable to the American forces 
of invasion, and a study of the industrial organization and 
capacity of Germany. 

Once created, the intelligence program underwent a series 
of revisions and modifications. For example, established as 
a self-sufficient intelligence unit on a geographic basis, the 
service was changed in April, 1946, in accordance with the so- 
called Russell Plan, so that the geographic intelligence func- 
tions were transferred to the political offices, thereby limiting 
the functions of the Office of Intelligence and Research to 
matters which cut across geographic lines. At the same time 
an Office of Intelligence Coordination and Liaison was estab- 
lished to formulate, in consultation with the geographic and 
economic offices, a Departmental program for basic research. 
The day after the Departmental regulations making this radi- 
cal change were issued. Colonel McCormack resigned on the 
ground that he regarded the new organization as unworkable 
and unsound and felt that it would make impossible the es- 
tablishment of a real intelligence unit within the Depart- 
ment. On February 6, 1947, the original type of organization 
was reinstituted when the Office of Intelligence and Liaison 
was changed to the Office of Intelligence Research and the 
geographical divisions were restored to its jurisdiction.^*^ 

While a variety of reorganizations have shaped the unit during the 
succeeding years, the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, which the 
component has been designated since 1957, is the principal intelligence 
agency of the State Department. This status, however, should be quali- 
fied : the State Department does not engage in intelligence collection 
other than the normal reporting from diplomatic posts in foreign coun- 
tries, though it has provided cover for CIA staff attached to U.S. diplo- 

'^ Stuart, op. cit., pp. 429-430. 


matic posts. As one authority has commented : "The Department of 
State since World War II serves as a minor producer and major con- 
sumer within the new intelligence community."^*^ 

Holding: status equivalent to that of an Assistant Secretary, the Di- 
rector of the Bureau functions as senior intelligence adviser to the Sec- 
retary of State, departmental representative on the U.S. Intelligence 
Board, and chief of the intelligence staff at State. Recently reorganized 
in 1975, the Bureau is composed of two directorates and three support- 
ing oflEices. These are : 

The Directorate for Research, organized into five regional 
units (Africa, American Republics, East Asia and Pacific, 
Europe and the Soviet Union, Near East and South Asia), 
three functional components (Economic Research and Analy- 
sis, Strategic Affairs, Political/Military and Theater Forces) , 
and the Office of the Geographer. The Direx^torate is respon- 
sible for finished intelligence products ; 

The Directorate for Coordination, consisting of an Office 
of Intelligence Liaison, Office of Operations Policy, and Office 
of Resources Policy, conducts liaison and clearances with 
other agencies of the Federal government on matters of de- 
partmental intelligence interest, activity, policy impact, and 
resource allocation ; 

The Office of the Executive Director, a support unit respon- 
sible for administrative functions. 

The Office of External Research another support entity 
which encourages and contracts for non-governmental re- 
search in the behavioral and social agencies; and 

The Office of Communications and Information handling 
which, in its support role, manages sensitive intelligence docu- 
ments (security) and operates the Department's wateh center 
for monitoring international crisis developments.^*^ 

XIV. President's Foreign InteUige7hce Advisory Board 

Established as an impartial group of distinguished citizens who 
would meet periodically to review the activities and operations of the 
intelligence community, the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory 
Board is officially mandated to : 

(1) advise the President concerning the objectives, conduct, 
management and coordination of the various activities mak- 
ing up the overall national intelligence effort; 

(2) conduct a continuing review and assessment of foreign 
intelligence and related activities in which the Central In- 
telligence Agency and other Government departments and 
agencies are engaged ; 

(3) receive, consider and take appropriate action with re- 
spect to matters identified to the Board, by the Central Intel- 
ligence Agency and other Government departments and 
agencies of the intelligence community, in which the support 

** Ransom, op. cit., p. 135. 

** See U.S. Department of State. INK: Intelligence and Research in the Depart- 
ment of State. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1973, pp. 13-19. 


of the Board will further the effectiveness of the national in- 
telligence effort ; and 

(4) report to the President concerning the Board's findings 
and appraisals, and make appropriate recommendations for 
actions to achieve increased effectiveness of the Government's 
foreign intelligence effort in meeting national intelligence 

The current PFIAB is the successor to the President's Board of 
Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities created (E.O. 10656) 
in early 1956 out of a mixed motivation which sought to respond to a 
recommendation of the (Hoover) Commission on Organization of the 
Executive Branch of Government calling for "a committee of experi- 
enced private citizens, who shall have the responsibility to examine 
and report to [the President] periodically on the work of Government 
foreign intelligence activities." '^^ The PBCFIA was also established 
out of concern over congressional efforts then underway to institute a 
joint committee on the CIA to carry out oversight duties with regard 
to the intelligence community.^'^^ 

Composed of eight members, the Board of Consultants met a total 
of nineteen times during its tenure under President Eisenhower, five 
sessions being held with Chief Executive, and submitted over forty- 
two major recommendations regarding the functioning of the intelli- 
gence community. As a matter of formality, the panel submitted resig- 
nations on January 7, 1961, in anticipation of the new Kennedy 

Inactive during the next four months, the unit was revitalized 
(E.O. 10938) in the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs fiasco and given 
its present designation, the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory 
Board. Provision was also made for the payment of compensation to 
the PFIAB members, in addition to expenses incurred in connection 
with the work of the panel. While President Johnson maintained the 
Board under its 1961 mandate. President Nixon prescribed (E.O. 
11460) specific functions for the group during his first year in office. 
President Ford has continued the operations of the PFIAB under this 
directive. The unit currently meets on the first Thursday and Friday 
of every other month, is assisted by a small staff, and utilizes occa- 
sional ad hoc committees or work groups to organize some aspects of 
its work. 

XV. Loyalty-Secui^ty 

While domestic loyalty and security matters with regard to poten- 
tial and actual Federal employees had been treated with concern dur- 
ing World War II, investigations in pursuit of these ends became 
more vigorous with the onset of the Cold War and the "Communist 
menace" perceived in the late 1940s and 1950s.^^^ The signal for this 

'^ E.O. 11460, March 20, 1969 (34 F.R. 5'35) . 

^ See U.S. Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Govern- 
ment. Intellig'^nce Activities: A Report to the Congress. Washington, U.S. Govt. 
Print. Off., 1955, pp. 1, 59-65, 71. [References also include the recommendations 
of the Commission's Task Force on Intelligence Activities which are included in 
the cited document.] 

^^ Kirkpatrick, op. oit., pp. 34, 61 . 

^ See Eleanor Bontecou. The Federal Loyalty-Security Program. Ithaca, 
Cornell University Press, 1953, pp. 1-30. 


heightened probing of public employee political sentiments, generally- 
conducted by the Civil Service Commission's Bureau of Personnel 
Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (some agen- 
cies, such as the Atomic Energy Commission and the armed service 
departments, had their own personnel investigative services), was 
probably President Truman's March 21, 1947 directive (E.O. 9835) 
establishing a government-wide loyalty-security program and an 
organizational framework for its administration. 

When President Truman issued his 1947 executive order 
initiating the loyalty-security program for federal em- 
ployees, he struck a new note in the expanded concept of exec- 
utive powers. In all previous peacetime loyalty-testing ex- 
perience. Congress rather than President had taken the lead. 

Controversy greeted the order. Some critics condemned it 
as totally unnecessary, others as needful but excessively rig- 
orous, and still others as too mild. Truman may well have 
headed off more stringent congressional action in this arena, 
but [Former Interior Secretary Harold] Ickes insisted that 
the order resulted from cabinet hysteria engendered by At- 
torney General Tom C. Clark's pressures upon the President. 
The listing of alleged subversive organizations, association 
with which equated "disloyalty" for a federal official, by the 
Attorney General has been one of the most fertile sources of 
disagreement. Xever before in American history, even during 
war crises, had the government officially established public 
black lists for security purposes. 

The vast literature supporting and condemning the execu- 
tive loyalty order has searched deeply into complex and 
contradictory aspects of contemporary^ American life, Ameri- 
can liberals had long crusaded for the kind of executive initi- 
ative that Truman exhibited, but exempted the field of civil 
rights from governmental interference even in the cause of 
security. Conservatives, who decried extensions of federal 
functions, demanded that the security program increase in 
rigor, scope, and effectiveness. Disagreement centers upon the 
means the program used rather than the ends it sought. The 
nation's servants, it seemed, could not have their positions and 
at the same time enjoy traditional privileges of citizenship.^^* 

In brief, the president's order required a loyalty investigation of 
every individual entering Federal employment ; this inquire was to 
be conducted by the Civil Service Commission in most cases ; sources 
to be consulted in such a probe included FBI, Civil Service, armed 
forces intelligence, and House Committee on Un-American Activities 
Committees files as well as those of "any other appropriate govern- 
ment investigative or intelligence agency," pertinent local law-enforce- 
ment holdings, the applicant's school, college, and prior employment 
records, and references given by the prospective employee. Depart- 
ment and agency heads were responsible for removing disloyal em- 
ployees and appointed loyalty boards composed of not less than three 
representatives from their unit to hear loyalty cases. A Loyalty Re- 

'^ Harold M. Hyman. To Try Men's Souls: Loyalty Tests in American History. 
Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1959, p. 334. 


view Board within the Civil Service Commission examined cases 
where an employee was being dismissed from the Federal government 
for reason of disloyalty. 

Activities and associations of an applicant or employee which might 
be considered in connection with the determination of disloyalty in- 
clude one or more of the following : 

a. Sabotage, espionage, or attempts or preparations there- 
for, or knowingly associating with spies or saboteurs ; 

b. Treason or sedition or advocacy thereof ; 

c. Advocacy of revolution or force or violence to alter the 
constitutional form of government of the United States; 

d. Intentional, unauthorized disclosure to any person, 
under circumstances which may indicate disloyalty to the 
United States, of documents or information of a confidential 
or non-public character obtained by the pei-son making the 
disclosure as a result of his employment by the Government 
of the United States ; 

e. Performing or attempting to perform his duties, or 
otherwise acting so as to serve the interests of another gov- 
ment in preference to the interests of the United States; 

f. Membership in, affiliation with or sympathetic associa- 
tion with any foreign or domestic organization, association, 
movement, group or combination of persons, designated by 
the Attorney General as totalitarian, fascist, communist, or 
subversive, or as having adopted a policy of advocating or ap- 
proving the commission of acts of force or violence to deny 
other persons their rights under the Constitution of the 
United States, or as seeking to alter the form of government 
of the United States by unconstitutional means.^^^ 

l^^ile the program raised a variety of questions regarding the civil 
rights of Federal employees, it also generated a cache of information 
of intelligence interest (but of questionable quality). 

The loyalty-testing problem remained to face Republican 
President Dwight Eisenhower. Soon after he assumed office, 
Eisenhower modified the loyalty-testing program. His 1953 
directive [E.O. 10450] decentralized the security apparatus 
to the agency level and altered the criteria for dismissal to 
include categories of security risks — homosexuals, alcoholics, 
persons undergoing psychiatric treatment — without refer- 
ence to subversion. But security risk and disloyalty had al- 
ready become a fixed duo in the public mind. The Eisenhower 
modification [which eliminated the Loyalty Review Board] 
did not basically alter the loyalty -testing structure. 

Other executive orders and legislative requirements have 
extended loyalty-security processes to passport applicants, 
port employees, industrial workers, American officials in the 
United Nations, recipients of government research grants, 
and scientists engaged in official research and development 
programs. The military services and the Atomic Energy Com- 
mission [recently dissolved to form the Energy Research 

«» See 12 F.R. 1935. 


and Development Administration and the Nuclear Regula- 
tory Commission] conduct their own clearance procedures. 
The American national government, in short, has been in- 
volved in an unending, [almost two] dozen-year-long search 
for subversives. How effective this drive has been no one has 
yet satisfactorily proved.'^° 

The Civil Service Commission continues to conduct most of these 
investigations for the majority of Federal agencies; the Defense In- 
vestigative Service performs the personnel clearance function for De- 
fense Department employees and may provide assistance to other en- 
tities in these matters at the direction of the Secretary of Defense. 

XVI. Watergate 

In the early morning hours of June 17, 1972, Washington, D.C., 
Metropolitan Police, responding to a request for assistance from a 
security guard, apprehended and arrested five men who had illegally 
entered the headquarters suite of the Democratic National Committee 
located in the Watergate Hotel complex. Approximately three months 
later these individuals, and two others who had escaped detection at 
the arrest scene, were indicted. These were, as is now known, burglars 
with an intelligence mission, authorized by some of the most powerful 
officials in the Federal government. Inquiries into this incident by law 
enforcement and congressional investigators subsequently revealed a 
most unusual and legally questionable intelligence organization.^®^ 

^ Hyman, op. eit., pp. 335-356. 

^"^ The major congressional investigators of Watergate matters were the Senate 
Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities and the House Judiciary 
Committee. The most useful materials produced by these panels regarding orga- 
nizational considerations were : 

U.S. Congress. Senate. Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities. 
The Final Report of the Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities. 
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1974. (93rd Congress, 2d Session. Senate. 
Report No. 93-981) ; 

. House. Committee on the Judiciary. Statement of Information: White 

House Surveillance Activities (Book VII). Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 

. . . Statement of Information: Internal Revenue Service 

(Book VIII). Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1974. 

. . . Testimony of Witnesses. Hearings, 93rd Congress, 2d 

Session. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1974. 

Other relevant published congressional materials generated by other committees 
include the following : 

U.S. Congress, Joint Committee on Internal Revenue Taxation, Investigation 
of the Special Service Staff of the Internal Revenue Service. Committee print, 
94th Congress, 1st session. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1975. 

. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations. CIA Foreign and Domestic 

Activities. Hearings, 94th Congress, 1st session. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. 
Off., 1975. 

. . . Dr. Kissinger's Role in Wiretapping. Hearings, 93rd 

Congress, 2d session. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1974. 

— ^ . . . Report on the Inquiry Concerning Dr. Kissinger's Role 

in Wiretapping, 1969-1971. Committee print, 93rd Congress, 2d session. Wash- 
ington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1974. 

. . Committee on the Judiciary. Electronic Surveillance for Na- 
tional Security Purposes. Hearings, 93rd Congress, 2d session. Washington, U.S. 
Govt. Print. Off, 1974. 



Sometime in 1970, the White House, concerned, in part, about in- 
creasing domestic protests and acts of violence as well as recent leak- 
ages of national security information embarrassing to the Admin- 
istration, produced a top secret study entitled "Operational Restraints 
on Intelligence Collection." Authored by Tom Charles Huston, assist- 
ant counsel to the President and White House project officer on 
security programs, this paper (commonly referred to as the "Huston 
Plan") suggested techniques for making domestic intelligence opera- 
tions, more effective, perhaps to curtail violent protests or to identify 
those responsible for or otherwise trafficking in leaked national secu- 
rity materials. Among the recommendations offered in the document 
were increased use of electronic surveillances and penetrations ("exist- 
ing coverage is grossly inadequate"), mail coverage, and surreptitious 
entries (break-ins) . Huston was quite candid about the implications of 
these undertakings, saying : 

Covert [mail] coverage is illegal and there are serious risks 
involved. However, the advantages to be derived from its use 
outweigh the risks. This technique is particularly valuable 
in identifying espionage agents and other contacts of foreign 
intelligence services. 

And with regard to break-ins : 

Use of this technique is clearly illegal : it amounts to burglary. 
It is also highly risky and could result in great embarrass- 
ment if exposed. However, it is also the most fruitful tool 
and can produce the type of intelligence which cannot be ob- 
tained in any other fashion.^^^ 

When his report was completed, Huston, apparently forwarded it 
for scrutiny by the President. 

On July 14, 1970, [White House Chief of Staff H. R.] 
Haldeman sent a top secret memorandum to Huston, notify- 
ing him of the President's approval of the use of burglaries, 


. . . Political Intelligence in the Internal Revenue Service: 

The Speoixil Service Staff. Committee print, 93rd Congress, 2d session. Washing- 
ton, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1974. 

■ . . . and the Committee on Foreign Relations. Warrantless 

Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance — 1974. Hearings, 93rd Congress, 2d ses- 
sion. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1974. 

. . . Warrantless Wiretapping and Electronic Surveilla/nce: 

Report. Committee print, 94th Congress, 1st session. Washington, U.S. Govt. 
Print. Off., 1975. 

. House. Committee on Armed Services. Inquiry into the Alleged Involve- 
ment of the Central InteUigenx;e Agenoy in the Watergate and Ellsberg Matters. 
Hearings, 94th Congress, 1st session. Washington. U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1974. 

. . . Inquiry into the Alleged Involvement of the Central 

Intelligence Agency in the Watergate and Ellsberg Matters: Report. Committee 
print, 93rd Congress, 1st session. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1973. 

. . Committee on the Judiciary. Wiretapping and Electronic Sur- 
veillance. Hearings, 93rd Congress, 2d session. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. 
Off., 1974. 

^The Huston Plan continues to be a highly classified document; quotations 
utilized here are extracted from sanitized segments of the paper appearing in 
U.S. Congress. Senate. Select Committee on Presidential Camnaien Activities. 
Presidential Campaign Activities of 1972: Watergate and Related Activities 
(Book 3). Hearings, 93rd Congress, 1st session. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. 
Off.. 1973, pp. 1319-1324. 


illegal wiretaps and illegal mail covers for domestic intelli- 
gence. In the memorandum, Haldeman stated : 

The recommendations you have proposed as a result of 
the review, have been approved by the President. He does 
not, however, want to follow the procedure you outlined 
on page 4 of your memorandum regarding implementa- 
tion. He would prefer that the thing siinply he put into 
motion on the basis of this approval. The formal official 
memorandum should, of course, be prepared and that 
should be the device by which to carry it out. . . . [em- 
phasis added] 
It appears that the next day, July 15, 1970, Huston pre- 
pared a decision memorandum, based on the President's ap- 
proval, for distribution to the Federal intelligence agencies 
involved in the plan — the FBI, the CIA, the National Secu- 
rity Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. In his May 
22, 1973, public statement, the President reported that the 
decision memorandum was circulated to the agencies involved 
on July 23, 1970. However, the decision memorandum is dated 
July 15, 1970, indicating that it was forwarded to the agencies 
on that day or shortly thereafter. 

Huston's recommendations were opposed by J. Edgar 
Hoover, Director of the FBI. Hoover had served as the chair- 
man of a group comprised of the heads of the Federal intelli- 
gence agencies formed to study the problems of intelligence- 
gathering and cooperation among the various intelligence 
agencies. In his public statement of May 22, 1973, President 
Nixon stated: 

After reconsideration, however, prompted by the op- 
position of Director Hoover, the agencies were notified 
5 days later, on July 28, that the approval had been 
Haldeman's testimony [before the Senate Select Committee 
on Presidential Campaign Activities] is to the same effect. 
[White House Counsel John] Dean, however, testified that he 
was not aware of any recision of approval for the plan and 
there apparently is no written record of a recision on July 28 
or any other date. There is, however, clear evidence that, after 
receipt of the decision memorandum of July 15, 1970, Mr. 
Hoover did present strong objections concerning the plan to 
Attorney General Mitchell.^^^ 

Huston attempted to counter Hoover's argimients in a memoran- 
dum to Haldeman dated August 5, eight days after the President 
allegedly ordered the recision, in which he indicated "that the NSA, 
DIA, CIA and the military services basically supported the Huston 
recommendations." ^°° 

Later, on September 18, 1970 (almost 2 months after the 
President claims the plan was rescinded), Dean sent a top 

*" U.S. Congress. Senate. Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activity. 
The Final Report . . . , op. oit., p. 4. 
*»/6t<Z, p. 5. 


secret memorandum to the Attorney General suggesting cer- 
tain procedures to ''^com/mence our donnestic intelligence opera- 
tion as quickly as possible.'''' [emphasis added] This memoran- 
dum specifically called for the creation of an Inter- Agency 
Domestic Intelligence Unit which had been an integral part 
of the Huston plan. Dean's memorandum to the Attorney Gen- 
eral observed that Hoover was strongly opposed to the crea- 
tion of such a unit and that it was important "to bring the 
FBI fully on board." Far from indicating that the President's 
approval of Huston's recommendation to remove restraints on 
illegal intelligence-gathering had been withdrawn, Dean, in 
his memorandum, suggested to the Attorney General : 

I believe we agreed that it would be inappropriate to 
have any blanket removal of restrictions ; rather, the most 
appropriate procedure would be to decide on the type of 
intelligence we need, based on an assessment of the recom- 
mendations of this unit, and then proceed to reTnove the 
restraints as necessary to obtain such intelligence, [em- 
phasis added] ^°^ 

The Inter- Agency Domestic Intelligence Unit was never realized 
and it is difficult to determine if any other recommendation from the 
Huston Plan was directly implemented. Nevertheless, the document 
may have functioned as an intellectual stimulant to those high officials 
subsequently involved in the Watergate scandals. Huston left the 
White House sometimes in 1971 and returned to private law practice 
in Indianapolis. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, the principal critic 
and opponent of the Huston Plan, died on May 2, 1972. 

Out of this background, a number of intelligence organizational de- 
velopments began to occur in and around the White House. 

In Jime 1971, the leak of the Pentagon Papers prompted 
the President to create a special investigations unit (later 
known as the Plumbers) inside the "White House under the 
direction of Egil Krogh. Krogh, in turn, was directly super- 
vised by [Assistant to the President] John Ehrlichman. 
Krogh was soon joined by David Young and in July the unit, 
staffing up for a broader role, added G. Gordon Liddy and E. 
Howard Hunt, both known to the White House as persons 
with investigative experience. Liddy was a former FBI agent ; 
Hunt, a former CIA agent.^"^ 

Probably the first such White House intelligence component in his- 
tory, the special investigations unit planned and executed the burarlary 
of the office of Dr. Daniel Ellsberg's psvchiatrist, Dr. Lewis J. Field- 
ing. Liddy. Himt, and two of their Cuban- American recruits later 
broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the 
Watergate Hotel complex.^"^ 

The Co'^imittee to Re-FJect the President [headed bv for- 
mer Attorney General John Mitchell and, together with the 
Finance Committee for the Re-Election of the President, 

^ Ihid., pp. 5-6. 

^ Ibid., p. 12. 

^ IMd., pp. 12-13. 


counting some 35 former White House aides among its per- 
sonnel] was gearing up for its own political intelligence- 
gathering program around the same time as the Ellsberg 
break-m. In September 1971, John Dean asked [former Spe- 
cial Assistant to the President] Jeb Stuart ]Magruder to join 
him for lunch with Jack Caulfield. Caulfield, a White House 
investigator who had conducted numerous political investiga- 
tions, some with [former New York City policeman] Anthony 
Ulasewicz [who had conducted investigations for Ehrlich- 
man] , wanted to sell Magruder his political intelligence plan, 
"Project Sandwedge," for use by CRP. Magruder had been 
organizing the campaign effort since May 1971, having re- 
ceived this assignment from Mitchell and Haldeman. In es- 
sence, the Sandwedge plan proposed a private corporation 
operating like a Kepublican "InterteP' [a private inter- 
national detective agency] to serve the President's campaign. 
In addition to normal investigative activities, the Sandwedge 
plan also included the use of bagmen and other covert intelli- 
gence gathering operations.^"* 

"\Miile Caulfield had proposed Sandwedge to the White House in 
the spring of 1971 and later had proposed its adoption by the Com- 
mittee to Re-Elect the President, the plan was rejected in both in- 

With Sandwedge rebuffed, Magruder and Gordon Strachan 
of Haldeman's staff asked Dean to find a lawyer to serve as 
CRP general counsel who could also direct an intelligence- 
gathering program. Magruder stated [before the Senate Se- 
lect Committee on Presidential Campaign Activity] that he 
and Dean had, on previous occasions, discussed the need for 
such a program with Attorney General Mitchell. The man 
Dean recruited was G. Gordon Liddy, who moved from the 
special investigations unit in the White House to CRP. Ma- 
gruder testified that, when Dean sent Liddy to the Commit- 
tee To Re-Elect the President in 1971, he (Magruder) was 
unaware of Liddy 's activities for the Plumbers, particularly 
his participation in the break-in of Dr. Fielding's office.^°^ 

Once in place at CRP headquarters, Liddy's principal efforts were 
devoted to developing, advocating and implementing a comprehensive 
political intelligence-gathering program for CRP under the code name 
"Gemstone.'' ^"^ Ultimately a version of this plan — calling for surrepti- 
tious entry and bugging of Democratic National Committee head- 
quarters in Washington and later, if sufficient funds were available, 
penetration of the headquarters of Democratic presidential contenders 
and the Democratic convention facilities in Miami — was executed with 
the Watergate break-in on May 28, 1972.'"'^ 

Other intelligence activities were directly undertaken by members of 
the White House staff during the period of the first Nixon Administra- 
tion. These operations included electronic surveillance matters, moni- 

"^Thid.. p. 17. 
"^ Ibid., V. IS. 
"^ Tbid.. p. 20. 
'^ See Ibid., pp. 21-25, 27-29. 


toring and investigating the behavior of Senator Edward Kennedy 
(D.-Mass.) and Dr. Daniel Ellsberg with a view to causing them 
public discredit, burglarizing and possibly damaging the Brookings 
Institution, and probing individuals both within and outside of the 
government in a clandestine manner to determine their involvement in 
the disclosure of a memorandum written by ITT lobbyist Dita Beard 
(columnist Jack Anderson had alleged that a $400,000 contribution to 
the Nixon campaign was linked by the document to a favorable ruling 
by the Justice Department on ITT's antitrust difficulties).^"^ 

In addition, White House staff, in pursuit of political intelligence, 
enlisted the assistance of certain government agencies. These actions 
resulted in what has been described as "attempts to abuse governmental 
process." ^°^ Agencies utilized in this manner by White House person- 
nel included the Internal Revenue Service (harassment of political 
enemies, identification of sensitive cases, and supplying privileged in- 
formation from taxpayer returns) , the Federal Bureau of Investiga- 
tion (supplying derogatory information about individuals from raw 
investigative files) , the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department 
(supplying sensitive or derogatory information about individuals or 
groups), the Secret Service (wiretaps, surveillance information, and 
sensitive political information), and the Federal Communication 
Commission (media harassment). ^^" 

This, in general, was an important part of the organization of the 
White House intelligence forces during the Nixon tenure in the presi- 
dency. A portion of it was lost with the arrest of the Watergate bur- 
glars ; the remaining portion slowly crumbled with investigations into 
its existence and operations by Congress and Federal prosecutors. 

XVII. Justice Department 

The Justice Department is presently organized into eight offices 
(legislative affairs, management and finance, legal counsel, policy and 
planning, public information, the community relations service, the 
pardon attorney, and the executive office for the U.S. attorneys), two 
boards (parole and immigration appeals), six prosecutorial divisions 
(civil, criminal, antitrust, tax, land and natural resources, and civil 
rights) , and six bureaus (FBI, Law Enforcement Assistance Adminis- 
tration, Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Nat- 
uralization Service, the United States Marshals Service, and the Bu- 
reau of Prisons/Federal Prison Industries). Certain of these units 
have the potential for intelligence production, perhaps in the course 
of developing materials (in the case of the divisions) or by virtue of 
their particular information holdings (such as the files of the Immi- 
gration and Naturalization Service). The principal intelligence (and 
investigative) component within the Justice Department, however, 
is the FBI.311 

Both the Attorney General and the Director of the FBI have respon- 
sibilities for the coordination of intelligence activities within the De- 

** See lUa.. pp. 111-113, 117-129. 

^ IMd., p. 130. 

^'' Thid., pp. 130-1.50. 

*" It should also be noted that the mandate of the Drug Enforcement Adminis- 
tration provides that agency with a specified intelligence function (Reorganiza- 
tion Plan No. 2 of 1973 [87 Stat. 1091] and E.0. 11727). 


partment and with other Federal agencievS. Organizational efforts in 
service to this duty exhibited themselves in 1967 when Attorney Gen- 
eral Ramsey Clark created the Interdivision Information Unit for 
"reviewing and reducing to quickly retrievable form all information 
that may come to this Department relating to organizations and indi- 
viduals throughout the country who may play a role, whether pur- 
posefully or not, either in instigating or spreading civil disorders or 
in preventing or checking them." ^^^ While this entity received and 
indexed information from a variety of sources (Federal poverty pro- 
grams, the Labor and Post Office Departments, the Internal Revenue 
Service, and the neighborhood legal services offices), an Intelligence 
Evaluation Committee, composed of representatives from Justice, 
Defense, and the Service, was supposed to coordinate and evaluate 
the information but proved to be a rather inactive entity.^^^ 

In July of 1969, Attorney General John Mitchell established the 
Civil Disturbance Group to coordinate intelligence, policy, and opera- 
tions within the Justice Department with regard to domestic civil dis- 
turbances. Both the Interdivision Information Unit and the Intelli- 
gence Evaluation Committee were placed under the new panel's juris- 
diction and Mitchell asked the CIA to "investigate the adequacy of 
the FBI's collection efforts in dissident matters and to persuade the 
FBI to turn over its material to the CDG." "'* 

In 1970 the moribund Intelligence Evaluation Committee was re- 
constituted with representatives from Justice, FBI, CIA, Defense, 
Secret Service, NSA, and late in its activities, a Treasury member. 
Technically, Robert Mardian, Assistant Attorney General for Internal 
Security, was chairman of the reconstituted panel but White House 
Counsel John Dean also played a leadership role with the group and 
meetings were held at his office on various occasions. 

The lEC was not established by Executive Order. In 
fact, according to minutes of the lEC meeting on February 1, 
1971, Dean said he favored avoiding any written directive 
concerning the lEC because a directive "might create prob- 
lems of Congressional oversight and disclosure." Several at- 
tempts were nevertheless made to draft a charter for the 
Committee, although none appears to have been accepted by 
all of the lEC members. The last draft which could be lo- 
cated, dated February 10, 1971, specified the "authority" for 
the lEC as "the Interdepartmental Actional Plan for Civil 
Disturbances," something which had been issued in April 
1969 as the result of an agreement between the Attorney 
General and the Secretary of Defense. Dean thought it was 
sufficient just to say that the lEC existed "by authority of 
the President." ^^^ 

By the end of January, 1971, a staff had been organized for the 
Committee and did "the work of coordination, evaluation and prepara- 
tion of estimates for issuance by the Committee." ^^® For cover pur- 

^TT.S. Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States, op. oit., p. 118. 
■" TMd. p. 119. 
**/6id., p. 121. 
^ lUd., I). 126. 
'"Ibid., p. 127. 


poses, the lES was attached to the Interdivision Information Unit, 
even though the Unit was not actually involved in the operations of 
the Staff. 

The Intelligence Evaluation Committee met on only seven 
occasions; the last occasion was in July 1971. The Intelli- 
gence Evaluation Staff, on the other hand, met a total of one 
hundred and seventeen times between January 29, 1971, and 
May 4, 1973. 

The lES prepared an aggregate of approximately thirty 
studies or evaluations for dissemination. It also published a 
total of fifty-five summaries called intelligence calendars of 
significant events. The preparation of these studies, estimates 
or calendars was directed by John Dean from the White 
House or by Robert Mardian as Chairman of the lEC.^^^ 

Both the lEC and the lES were terminated in July, 1973, by As- 
sistant Attorney General Henry Petersen.^^^ 

The Department's principal intelligence (and investigative) agency, 
the FBI, currently employs over 8,400 special agents. 

All operations of the FBI are directed and coordinated 
through 13 headquarters divisions. Each of the headquarters 
divisions reports to either the Assistant to the Director- 
Deputy Associate Director (Administration) or the Assistant 
to the Director-Deputy Associate Director (Investigation) 
except for the Inspection Division and the Office of Planning 
and Evaluation which report directly to the Associate Direc- 
tor. The field operations are carried out by 59 field offices lo- 
cated throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.^^^ 

Other special unit facilities of the Bureau include the FBI Labora- 
tory, established in 1932, the FBI Academy for training new agents, 
created in 1935, and the National Crime Information Center, a com- 
puterized criminal information system operated by the FBI since 
December, 1970. 

Although the FBI relinquished overseas operations, in 
1946, the bureau still maintains overseas liaison agents with 
other security and intelligence agencies to insure a link be- 
tween cases or leads which develop overseas but which come 
to rest in the continental United States. In the aftermath of 
the American intervention in the Dominican Republic crisis 
in 1965, there were reports that President Johnson had as- 
signed FBI agents to certain missions on that island. If so — 
and the reports were never confirmed — such a mission was 
limited and temporary.^^" 

At present the Bureau maintains liaison posts in sixteen foreign 
countries.^-^ There has also been a recent disclosure that the FBI 

^^ Ihid. 

"^ IMd., p. 128. 

"' U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Appropriations. Departments of State, 
Justice, and Commerce, The Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations for 
1976: Department of Justice. Hearings, 94th Congress, 1st session. Washington, 
U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1975. p. 190. 

^ Ransom, op. cit., p. 145. 

^ U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Appropriations, op. dt., p. 192. 


periodically dispatches private citizens on intelligence-gathering mis- 
sions outside of the United States.^^^ 

In January, 1973, the Bureau re-established its Liaison Section 
which keeps in constant communication with other agencies of the in- 
telligence community, Director Hoover had abolished the unit in Sep- 
tember, 1970, reportedly due to a dispute with the Central Intelligence 
Agency over a refusal to disclose an intelligence source.^^^ 

Responsible for criminal, civil, and internal security investigations, 
the FBI conducted 745,840 such probes in FY 1974 and 774,579 such in- 
quiries the previous fiscal year.^^* 

Until his death on May 2, 1972, the Bureau was headed by J. Edgar 
Hoover. L. Patrick Gray III was named Acting Director the following 
day and ultimately nominated for the permanent position on Febru- 
ary 17, 1973. Controversy over Gray's involvement in Watergate- 
related matters caused him to request the withdrawal of his nomination 
on April 5 and he resigned as Acting Director on April 27. He was suc- 
ceeded by William D. Ruckelshaus, Administrator of the Environ- 
mental Protection Agency, who served as Acting Director until Kansas 
City (Mo.) Police Chief Clarence M. Kelley, nominated June 7, was 
confirmed to head the FBI on June 27, 1973. 

One other Justice Department unit which has exhibited increasing 
intelligence importance is the Drug Enforcement Administration. 
Created by reorganization plan (87 Stat. 1091) in 1973, the agency is 
only beginning its intelligence operations and recently provided the 
following account regarding this aspect of its activities. 

Our objectives with respect to the intelligence program have 
been to begin the routine production of strategic intelligence 
reports, to design and implement regional intelligence units, 
to build an intelligence oriented data base through the pro- 
duction of finished tactical intelligence reports, and to sup- 
port our operations on the Southwest Border with a 24 
hour-a-day intelligence center covering several regions and 
including several agencies. Results in these areas are indicated 
by the following facts : 

DEA has taken the lead in developing a set of national nar- 
cotic indicators which can be used by DEA, NIDA [National 
Institute on Drug Abuse] and SAODAP [Special Action 
Office for Drug Abuse Prevention] to monitor drug abuse 
trends. These national narcotics indicators include data from 
STRIDE (System to Retrieve Information from Drug Evi- 
dence) on the price, availability and sources of heroin; data 
from DAWN (Drug Abuse Warning Network) on emer- 
gency room visits of drug users ; and data on serum hepatitis 
throughout the United States. When these systems are forged 
together with the NIDA systems, and general surveys, they 
become a very powerful set of indicators on the drug abuse 

*^See John M. Crewdson. U.S. Citizens Used By F.B.I. Abroad. New York 
Timest, February 16, 1975 : Ifif. 

^' See Jeremiah O'Leary. Gray Re-establishes Intelligence Link to Units. 
Washington Star-News, January 10, 1973 ; also appears in Neio York Times, Janu- 
ary 11. 1973. 

^ U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Appropriations, op. cit., p. 233. 


Regional intelligence units have been established in every 
DEA regional office. These units have responsibilities not only 
for collecting intelligence information, but also for produc- 
ing tactical intelligence products to be used at the regional 
level. Personnel in these units are being trained in the collec- 
tion and analysis of intelligence information by DEA's train- 
ing program. 

Through the first 6 months of fiscal year 1975, 160 analyses 
of drug networks, 1,877 profiles of specific traffickers and 9,386 
enforcement taro-ets have been produced. These analvses repre- 
sent the foundation of the national narcotics intelligence 

In the development of a National Narcotics Intelligence 
System it is mandatory on DEA that a high level of liaison 
with other enforcement agencies, Federal, State and local be 
maintained : and interchange of information with these agen- 
cies be developed. In terms of this requirement I am particu- 
larly encouraged with the operation we call the Unified 
Intelligence Division of the New York Joint Task Force. This 
is a true interagency operation utilizing DEA agents. New 
York City and State Police and funded in part by an LEAA 
grant. The program succeeds in brin<?ing combined drug in- 
formation to bear on the traffickers in our most populous city 
and greatest area of drug abuse.^^^ 

XVIII. Treasury Department 

The Treasury Department has long contained components with an 
intelligence potential. Treasury attaches serving with American em- 
bassies provide valuable foreign economic intelligence for depart- 
mental units within the jurisdiction of the Under Secretary for Mone- 
tary Policy as well as for other units, such as the State Department 
and other agencies represented on the United States Intelligence 
Board and the National Security Council. The Treasury Department 
is also developing and expanding its Federal Law Enforcement Train- 
ing Center which will be utilized by a variety of agencies for training 
investigative personnel as well as State Department security agents, 
Internal Revenue Service intelligence special agents and internal 
security inspectors, Secret Service agents, and Alcohol, Tobacco, and 
Firearms Bureau special agents.^^^ 

Among the intelligence units within the Treasury Department, the 
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has primary responsibili- 
ties for monitoring and pursuing illegal trafficking in and/or sale of 
distilled spirits, tobacco, and firearms (including explosives). The 
Bureau utilizes some 1,600 special agents, conducts electronic surveil- 
lance operations, and has both undercover personnel and paid in- 
formers in its service. In addition to maintaining intelligence activities 
in support of its regular duties, the Bureau undoubtedly has an intelli- 

'"From the statement of DEA Administrator John R. Bartels, Jr., in IMd., 
pp. 847-848. 

"•See U.S. Consrress. Senate. Committee on Appropriations. Treasury, Postal 
Service, and General Government Appropriations: Fiscal Tear 1976. Hearings, 
94th Congress, 1st session. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1975, pp. 2309- 


gence capacity rej2:arding political candidate and forei^ dignitary 
protection obligations which must be met on occasion.^" 

The U.S. Secret Service engages in intelligence operations in sup- 
port of its responsibilities for protecting the President, presidential 
candidates, and certain foreign dignitaries, pursuing counterfeiters, 
and, in cooperation with its police auxiliaries (Executive Protective 
Service, White House Police, and Treasury Security Force), the 
maintenance of security at certain Federal and diplomatic facilities. 
The Secret Service presently consists of slightly more than 1,200 
special agents plus administrative personnel. During FY 1974 some 
segment of this workforce completed 15,403 protective intelligence 
cases and anticipated completing 16,000 such cases during the next 
fiscal year.^2^ 

The U.S. Customs Service, while largely a law enforcement agency, 
has an intelligence potential in such matters as narcotics and muni- 
tions control, prevention and detection of terrorism in international 
transportation facilities, and enforcement of Federal regulations af- 
fecting articles in international trade.^-^ 

The Internal Revenue Service, responsible for administering and 
enforcing the internal revenue laws other than those relating to alco- 
hol, tobacco, firearms, explosives, and wagering, consists of a national 
office and a decentralized field staff organized into seven regions con- 
taining 58 districts. The Intelligence Division, staff with over 2,600 
special agents, is the principal IRS intelligence component and is 
responsible for identifying willful noncompliance with the tax laws 
as well as devious and complex methods utilized to avoid tax obliga- 
tions. In addition to the use of informants, undercover operatives, and 
electronic surveillance, the Intelligence Division, until recently, main- 
tained an Intelligence Gathering and Retrieval System. Inaugurated 
in May, 1969, this computerized data bank of personal information 
was suspended in January, 1975, after criticism was made that the 
system contained information of non-germane interest to a tax-collec- 
tion and enforcement agency and that holdings constituted an inva- 
sion of privacy.^^" This matter, certain surveillance activities involving 
the IRS office in Miami (Operation Leprechaun), and related spying 
operations have recently brought the agency's intelligence program 
under congressional scrutiny.^^^ 

Another controversial aspect of IRS intelligence operations in- 
volves the now defunct Special Service Staff established within the 
Compliance Division. Initially created in July, 1969, as the Activist 
Organizations Committee, the unit came into existence. 

. . . apparently in response to pressures emanating from the 
White House and from Congress to insure that dissident 
groups were complying with the tax laws. 

'*' Thid., pp. 157-160, 16.5-166. 

^ See Ihid , pp. 704, 707 ; also see U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Appro- 
priation.?. Revieic of Secret Service Protective Measures. Hearings, 94th Con- 
gress, 1st session. Washington. U.S. Govt, Print. Off., 1975. 

"^See U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Appropriations. Treasury, Postal 
Service, and General Government Appropriations . . ., op. cit., pp. 613-617. 

'"'See Ihid., pp. 457-464. 

^ See U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Ways and Means. Subcommittee on 
Oversight. Internal Revenue Service Intelligence Operations. Hearings, 94th 
Congress, 1st session. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1975. 


Several weeks before, at hearings before the Permanent 
Subcommittee on Investigations of the Senate Committee 
on Government Operations on June 18, 1969, a former mem- 
ber of the Black Panthers had testified that it was his belief 
that the organization had never filed tax returns and had 
never been audited by IRS. Similarly, an IRS official had 
raised the question of whether certain politically-active 
groups, then tax-exempt, should continue to qualify for this 

In the aftermath of these events. Dr. Arthur Burns. Counselor to 
the President, and Tom Charles Huston, a White House staffer con- 
cerned with security programs, began urging IRS to establish a spe- 
cial political intelligence component to deal with these tax matters.^^^ 

The SSS was established in several organizational meet- 
ings held in the IRS during July, 1969. During this time, the 
initial SSS personnel were chosen and the functions of the 
SSS were set out. The SSS was to "coordinate activities in 
all Compliance Divisions involving ideological, militant, sub- 
versive, radical, and similar type organizations; to collect 
basic intelligence data ; and to insure that the requirements 
of the Interna] Revenue Code concerning such organizations 
have been complied with.'' Also, some people associated with 
the SSS indicated that they believed the SSS was to play a 
role in controlling "an insidious threat to the internal secu- 
rity of this country." 

The people involved with the SSS had a difficult time de- 
termining precisely what organizations and individuals to 
focus on. It appears from the staff's examination that the 
day-to-day focus of the SSS was largely determined by in- 
formation it received from other agencies, as the FBI and 
the Inter-Divisional Information Unit of the Justice 

The SSS generally operated by receiving information from 
other investigative agencies and congressional committees, 
establishing files on organizations and individuals of inter- 
est, checking IRS records on file subjects, and referring cases 
to the field for audit or collection action. Also the SSS pro- 
vided information to the Exempt Organization Branch 
(Technical) with respect to organizations whose exempt 
status was in question. This method of operation was estab- 
lished by late 1969.^^* 

With a staff which apparently never exceeded eight individuals, 
the Special Service unit "began with the names of 77 organizations 
and by the time it was disbanded in 1973 there was a total of 11,458 
SSS files on 8,585 individuals and 2,873 organizations . . . with 

^ U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Political Intelligence in 
the Internal Revenue Service: The Special Service Staff. Committee print, 98rd 
Congress, 2d session. Wasliington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1074, p. 9. 

^^ U.S. Congress. Joint Committee on Internal Revenue Taxation. Investigation 
of the Special Service Staff of the Internal Revenue Service. Committee print, 
94th Congress, 1st session. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1975, p. 5. 

'^ IMd., pp. 6-7. 


widely varying points of view, from all parts of the country and from 
many vocational and economic groups." -"^^ In addition to identifying 
subjects for IKS scrutiny, the SSS also functioned as a reference 
source for White House intelligence actors.^^*' 

Assessing the experience of such special intelligence entities, one 
congressional scrutinizer of the Special Service Staff observed: 

The Constitution guarantees every American the right to 
think and speak as he pleases without having to fear that the 
Government is listening. There can be little doubt that politi- 
cal surveillance and intelligence-gathering, aimed at the 
beliefs, views, opinions and political associations of Ameri- 
cans only inhibits the free expression which the First Amend- 
ment seeks to protect. Yet the formation of governmental 
surveillance units is not a new occurrence. Throughout our 
Nation's history such programs have been instituted to pro- 
tect "national security ' interests which were perceived to be 

It is apparent, however, that the extraordinary political 
unrest of the late sixties had a powerful effect on those at the 
governmental helm. Using this as justification, they under- 
took to use the powers at their disposal to stifle and control 
the growing political dissidence and protest they were wit- 
nessing. The plain words of the Constitution were ignored. 

There is no evidence to indicate that the creation of so many 
"secret" intelligence units as well as the expansion of exist- 
ing units throughout the government at roughly tTle same 
time was the result of any conscious conspiracy. But the fact 
remains that the contemporaneous creation of these units per- 
mitted an incipient arrangement whereby the special talents 
of investigation, prosecution arrangement whereby the special 
talents of investigation, prosecution, and administrative 
penalties (tax actions) — most of the powers at the govern- 
ment's disposal — were levelled against those who chose to 
dissent, whether lawfully or otherwise. Although each agency 
may not have known specifically of another's intelligence pro- 
gram, the fruits of such units were freely exchanged so that 
each agency knew that another was also "doing something." ^^'^ 

Ultimately, the Special Service Staff operation came under ques- 
tion at the highest level of the Internal Kevenue Service. 

In May 1973 (one day after he was sworn in). Commissioner 
Donald C. Alexander met with top IRS personnel with re- 
spect to the SSS and directed that the SSS actions were to 
relate only to tax resisters. This was reemphasized in a second 
meeting held at the end of June 1973. In early August 1973, 
the Commissioner learned of National Office responsibility 
for an IRS memorandum relating to the SSS published in 
Time magazine. The Commissioner felt that this memo- 

"" Ibid., p. 7. 
"^ Ibid., p. 9. 

^ U.S. Confess. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Politioal Intelligence in 
the Internal Revenue Service . . ., op. cit., pp. 49-o0. 

randum described activities that were "antithetical to the 
proper conduct of . . . tax administration" and he announced 
(on August 9, 1973) that the SSS would be disbanded.^^s 

XIX. Overview 

This is the organizational status of the Federal intelligence func- 
tion on the eve of America's bi-centennial.^^'' Institutional permanence 
did not appear within this sphere of government operations until 
almost a decade and a half before the turn of the present century. 
For a variety of reasons — inexperience, scarce resources, lack of use- 
ful methodology, failure to apply available technology, and a leader- 
ship void — a functionally effective intelligence structure probably did 
not exist within the Federal government until the United States was 
plunged into World War II. And what observations might be offered 
regarding the current intelligence community organization? 

An outstanding characteristic of the contemporary intelligence 
structure is its pervasiveness. There are a panoply of Federal agencies 
with clearly prescribed intelligence duties or a reasonable potential 
for such functioning. One authority recently estimated that ten major 
intelligence entities maintain a staff of 153,250 individuals on an 
annual budget of $6,228,000,000.^*° Such statistics provide some indi- 
cation of the size of the immediate intelligence community within the 
Federal government but, of course, ignores the commitment of re- 

'^ U.S. Congress. Joint Committee on Internal Revenue Taxation, op cit., p. 7. 

^™ This study does not purport to present an exhaustive scenario of intelli- 
gence agencies but has sought to include the principal entities which have been 
or continue to be involved in intelligence operations. Agencies not discussed here 
but which do conceivably contribute information relevant to the intelligence 
matters include the United States Information Agency, which maintains numer- 
ous overseas offices, the Agency for International Development, with missions 
in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, and the Department of 
Agriculture, which has attache's in United States embassies. 

For an overview of the chronological development of the principal Federal 
inteUigence entities, see Appendix I. 

**" The following estimate is taken from Marchetti and Marks, op. cit., p. 80 : 
certain comparative data is supplied from Federal budget and U.S. Civil Service 
Commission sources. The statistics appear to be for FY 72 or FY 73. 





Central InteUigence Agency .-. .-. -. 16,500 $750,000,030 

National Security Agency - 24,000 1,200,000,000 

Defense Intelligence Agency 5,000 200,000,000 

Army Intelligence _ - 35,000 700,000,000 

Air Force Intelligence (including National Reconaissance Office) 56, 000 2, 700, 000, 000 

State Department (Bureau of Intelligence and Research)... 350 8,000,000 

Federal Bureau of Investigation (Internal Security Division) 800 40, 000, 000 

Atomic Energy Commission (Intelligence Division) 300 20,000,000 

Treasury Department _._ 300 10,000,000 

Total 153,250 6,228,000,000 



Fiscal year 

Fiscal year 

Budget outlay, actual (billions). 
Federal employees (civilian) 

2, 811, 779 

$246. 5 
2, 824, 242 


sources to intelligence efforts, on one hand, by front groups, pro- 
prietary organizations, and informers, and, on the other hand, by 
sub-national government agencies, and other Federal entities (such 
as Department of Agriculture overseas attaches, National Aeronautics 
and Space Administration satellite launching systems, and the prod- 
ucts of the National Weather Service). With these additional com- 
ponents identified, the pervasive nature of the intelligence organization 
begins to become more apparent. 

It might also be argued that the intelligence community exhibits an 
organizational tendency toward clusters of centralized leadership. 
Overseas intelligence operations leadership has been concentrated in 
the Director of Central Intelligence ; armed forces intelligence leader- 
ship has been concentrated in the chief of the Defense Intelligence 
Agency ; armed forces cryptological leadership has been concentrated 
in the head of the National Security Agency /Central Security Service. 
A propensity for further unifying these leadership capacities may be 
seen in the example of Dr. Henry Kissinger (when serving as Assist- 
ant to the President for National Security Affairs/chief of staff. Na- 
tional Security Council) and, to some degree, in the case of the White 
House intelligence functionaries during the Nixon Administration. 
While the coordination of intelligence activities is a desirable goal in 
government efficiency, the centralization of intelligence leadership can 
pose threats to civil liberties. 

Finally, as the Federal intelligence organization has grown, there 
appears to be a tendency toward the confusion of the purposes of 
intelligence operations. Many intelligence institutions, past and pres- 
ent, function (ed) without an explicit statutory mandate for their 
activities. More consideration might be given to the relationship be- 
tween domestic intelligence and law enforcement responsibilities : in- 
telligence units have been organized to spy on citizens (and sometimes 
harass them) seemingly without any regard as to whether or not 
illegal behavior might be detected. Also, entities established to enforce 
the laws domestically have become enamored on occasion with intelli- 
gence pursuits which bear little significance to their primary law en- 
forcement duty. 

The Constitution of the United States continues to guarantee "the 
right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and 
effects, against unreasonable searchers and seizures. . . ." The Federal 
intelligence organization has the capacity to significantly enhance and 
support that right or to manifest itself as one of the crudest detractors 
of that tenet of American government. Vigilance on the part of the 
citizenry as to encroachments upon its rights and liberties is an utmost 
necessity for the preservation of a meaningful democracy. Yet, public 
confidence in the state tolerates a condition of official secrecy with re- 
gard to almost every aspect of intelligence activity. Institutional reli- 
ance upon the fullest commitment of the intelligence community to 
the preservation and realization of the constitutionally guaranteed 
rights of the people is the necessary consequence. Endowed with its 
special privilege of operational secrecy, the Federal intelligence orga- 
nization, in any violation of its pledge of service to the citizenry, can 
expect to elicit a prohibitive punishment from the polity, for it has, 
of course, a unique potential to execute the ultimate breach of trust, 
the demise of the demos itself. 

January 1, 1976. 
Washington, D.C. 


The bibliography that follows is intended as a reference for those 
that may wish to study the subject of the evolution and organization 
of the Federal intelligence function more completely. The following 
books are a useful beginning to the subject: George S. Bryan. The 
Spy in America (1943) ; Allison Ind, A Short History of Espionage 
(1%3); David Kahn, The Codehreakers (1967), Lyman B. Kirk- 
patrick, Jr., The U.S. Intelligence Community (1973) ; Victor Mar- 
chetti and John D. Marks, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence 
(1974) ; Harry Howe Ransom, The Intelligence Establishment (1970) ; 
R. Harris Smith, OSS (1972) ; David Wise and Thomas B. Ross, TU 
Invisible Government (1974). In addition, there are the hearings of 
the House Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select 
Committee To Study Governmental Operations With Respect to In- 
telligence Activities. The latter panel has produced two special studies : 

Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders 
(Senate Report No. 94-465) ; and Covert Action In Chile., 
1963-1973 (a Senate Committee print). 

The full citations of these works, together with their Library of 
Congress catalog numbers, will be found below. 

Abel, Elie. The Missile Crisis. Philadelphia, Lippincott, 1966. 220 p. 

Agee, Philip. Inside the Company : CIA Diary. New York, Stonehill 
Publishing Company, 1975. 640 p. JK468.I6A75 

Alsop, Stewart and Thomas Braden. Subrosa: The O.S.S. and Ameri- 
ican EspioTiage. New York, Reynal and Hitchcock, 1946. 237 p. 

Anon. Foreign Security Surveillance and the Fourth Amendment. 
Harvard Law Review., v. 87, March, 1974 : 976-1000. Law 

Anon. Judicial Review of Military Surveillance of Civilians: Big 
Brother Wears Modern Army Green. Columbia Law Review., v. 72, 
October, 1972 : 1009-1047. Law 

Ariel (pseud.). The Stupidity of Intelligence. The Washington 
Monthly, V. 1, September, 1969: 23-24. E838.W37 

Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Committee on Civil 
Rights. Military Surveillance of Civilian Political Activities: Re- 
port and Recommendations for Congressional Action. Record of 
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1973 : 651-676. Law 

. Committee on Federal Legislation. Judicial Procedures for 

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774. Law 

Bakeless, John. Spies of the Confederacy. Philadelphia and New York, 
J. B. Lippincott Company, 1970. 456 p. E608.B13 



. Turrwoat^ Traitors cmd Heroes. Philadelphia, J. B. Lippincott 

Company, 1959. 406 p. E279.B3 
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Philadelphia, King and Baird, 1868. E806.B16 
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Society, v. 12, March/ April, 1975 : 52-57. H1.T72 
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York, J. J. Harper, 1828. 206 p. E208.C95B6 
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Surveillance. Indiana Law Journal, v. 49, Summer, 1974 : 618-653. 

Bates, David Homer. Lincoln in the Telegraph Office. New York, The 

Century Company, 1907. 432 p. E457.15.B32 
Becker, Jerrold L. The Supreme Court's Recent "National Security" 

Decisions: Which Interests Are Being Protected? Tennessee Law 

Review, v. 40, Fall, 1972 : 1-27. Law 
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Brothers, 1912. 286 p. E608.B57 
Blackstock, Paul W. Agents of Deceit. Chicago, Quadrangle Books, 

1966. 315 p. DK61.B55 
. Counterintelligence and the Constitutional Order. Society, 

V. 12, March/ April, 1975 : 8-10. H1.T72 

The Intelligence Community Under the Nixon Administra- 

tion. Armed Forces and Society, v. 1, February, 1975: 231-250. 

The Strategy of Subversion. Chicago, Quadrangle Books, 1964. 

351 p. JK468.I6B56 
Bobb, Merrick John. Preventive Intelligence Systems and the Courts. 

California Law Review, v. 58, June, 1970 : 914-940. Law 
Bopp, William J. and Donald O. Shultz. A Short History of American 

Law Enforcement. Springfield, Illinois, Charles C. Thomas, 1972. 

174 p. JV8138.B58 
Borosage, Robert. Secrecy vs. the Constitution. Society, v. 12, March/ 

April, 1975 : 71-75. H1.T72 
Bowen, Walter S. and Harry Edward Neal. The United States Secret 

Service. Philadelphia and New York, Chilton Company, 1960. 205 p. 

Boyd, Belle. Belle Boyd in Camp and Prison. New York, Blelock and 

Company, 1865. 464 p. E608.B783 
Brandt, Ed. The Last Voyage of USS Pueblo. New York, W. W. 

Norton and Company, 1969. 248 p. VB230.B7 
Braunstein, Michael. Constitutional law — Jurisdiction of Federal 

Courts — First Amendment Chill Resulting From Army Surveillance 

Non-justicable. Tulane Law Review, v. 47, February, 1973 : 426-436. 

Brown, J. Willard. Th£, Signal Corps, U.S.A., in the War of the 

Rebellion. Boston, U.S. Veteran Signal Corps Association, 1896. 

711 p. E608.B87 
Brownell, Herbert, Jr. The Public Security and Wiretapping. Cornell 

Law Quarterly, v. 39, Winter, 1954 : 195-213. Law 
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Company, 1943. 256 p. UB270.B7 


Bulloch, James D. The Secret Service of the Confederate States in 

Europe. New York, Thomas Yoseloff, 1959; originally published 

1884. 2 V. E488.B93 
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October, 1974 : 26, 28-32, 36-37. AP2.H3 
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Shepard, 1872. 436 p. HV7914.B8 
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dom: A Proposed Statutory Response to Laird v. Tatum and the 

Broader Problem of Government Surveillance of the Individual. 

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Churchill, Marlborough. The Military Intelligence Division General 

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316. UF1.J86 
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. The Confession of an FBI Informer. Harper's Magazine^ v. 

245, December, 1972 : 54-58, 61-65. AP2.H3 
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678-700. AP2.N2 
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Press, 1967. 275 p. HV7961.D6 
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North Carolina Press, 1940. 401 p. E470.D68 
Dulles, Allen. The Craft of Intelligence. New York, Harper and Row, 

1963. 277 p. UB270.D8 
. The Secret Surrender. New York, Harper and Row, 1966. 268 

p. D810.S7D8 
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V. 10, December, 1964: whole issue. E461.C5 
Editors. Developments in the Law: The National Security Interest 

and Civil Liberties. Harvard Lata Review^ v. 85, April, 1972 : 1133- 

1327. Law. 
Editors. The Complete Collection of Political Documents Ripped-Off 

from the FBI Office in Media, Pa. Win, v. 8, March, 1972 : entire 

Edmonds, S. Emma E. Nurse and Spy in the Union Army. Hartford, 

W. S. Williams, 1865. 384 p. E608.E24 
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ing — Rights, Wronofs, and Remedies. Wisconsin Law Review, v. 

1972, No. 1, 1972 : 175-199. Law 
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and Company, 1948. 559 p. D743.E35. 
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. The President and the FBI: Dependence or Independence. 

Bureaucrat, v. 3, April, 1974 :42-59. JQ3092.Z1B86 
Falk, Richard A. CIA Covert Action and International Law, Society, 

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Washington McmthZy, v. 5, June, 1973 :6-18. E838.W37. 
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Fishbein, Leslie. Federal Suppression of Leftwing Dissidence in 

World War I. Potomac Review, v. 6, Summer, 1974:47-68. 

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The Evolution and Organization of Federal Intelligence 
Institutions 1882-1975 

1882 Office of Intelligence established within the Bureau of Naviga- 
tion, Department of the Navy, by administrative directive ; first 
permanent intelligence unit within the Navy. 

1885 Military Intelligence Division established within the Adjutant 
General's Office, Department of War, by administrative direc- 
tive ; first permanent intelligence unit within the Army. 

1901 Philippine Militaiy Information Bureau established within 
the United States Army by administrative directive; special 
intelligence unit developed for use in the Philippine Islands 
relying upon both overt information collection techniques and 
undercover operatives. 

1902 Department of the Treasury^ Secret Serv'ice staff increased by 
appropriation act (32 Stat. 120 at 140) for purposes of provid- 
ing protection to the President ; origin of Secret Service intel- 
ligence activities. 

1903 General Staff of the United States Army created (32 Stat. 830) ; 
intelligence section (G-2) organized by administrative direc- 

1908 Intelligence section (G-2) of the General Staff, United States 
Armv, absorbed by the Army War College at the direction of 
the Chief of Staff. 

Bureau of Investigation established within the Department 
of Justice by administrative directive; efforts to create such a 
unit by statute had been rejected by Congress earlier in the 
year and also during the previous year. 

1917 War Department Cipher Bureau (MI-8) created by adminis- 
trative directive; first permanent cryptology, code development 
and code breaking unit within the armed services. 

General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Ex- 
peditionary Forces, establishes an intelligence section (G-2) 
within his General Staff in Europe. 

1918 Intelligence section (G-2) of the General Staff, United States 
Army, reconstituted and developed. 

1919 Code and Cipher Solution Section. Department of War, secretly 
established, secretly funded, and maintained in New York City ; 
the unit became popularly known as the American Black Cham- 
ber and was responsible for developing and breaking a variety 
of codes, ciphers and cryptological messages for the War and 
State Departments. 

Intelligence Division, Bureau of Revenue, Department of the 
Treasury established by administrative directive. 



1920 United States Marine Corps undergoes reorganization of head- 
quarters staff with the result that an Intelligence Section is 
established within the Operations and Training Division. 

1929 American Black Chamber is dissolved at the direction of the 
Secretary of State, Henry Stimson; the Department of State 
was the principal financier, user, and beneficiary of the services 
of the unit but Stimson, newly appointed, disapproved of its 
activities, saying "Gentlemen do not read each other's mail." 

1936 Intelligence Division, United States Coast Guard, Department 
of the Treasury, established by administrative directive ; while 
the Coast Guard had maintained a single intelligence officer 
prior to this time, additional law enforcement duties and pro- 
hibition era responsibilities prompted a major intelligence staff 
increase at this time. 

1940 Intelligence Staff section (A-2) established within the United 
States Army Air Corps by administrative directive. 

1941 Office of the Coordinator of Information established by a presi- 
dential directive of July 11, 1941 ; the authority of the Coordina- 
tor was "to collect and analyze all information and data which 
may bear upon national security,'' to correlate such data and to 
make it available in various ways to the President. 

1942 Office of Strategic Services establish. ed by military order of 
June 13, 1942; the presidential directive of July 11, 1941 was 
simultaneously cancelled. 

Allied Intelligence Bureau established at the direction of Gen- 
eral Douglas MacArthur; the Bureau functioned during the 
war as a coordinating and planning device for allied armed 
forces in the Pacific Theater. 

1945 Office of Strategic Services terminated by E.O. 9621 of Septem- 
ber 20, 1945 ; functions transferred to the Departments of War 
and State. 

1946 National Intelligence Authority and its staff arm, the Central 
Intelligence Group, created by a presidential directive of Jan- 
uary 22, 1946, for purposes of coordinating intelligence activi- 
ties and advising the President regarding same. 

Atomic Energy Commission established (60 Stat. 755) ; re- 
sponsible for atomic energy intelligence regarding detection 
and aspessment of worldwide atomic detonations and assess- 
ments of the use of atomic energy. 

1947 National Security Council, National Security Resources Board 
(abolished 1953), and Central Intelligence Agency established 
by National Security Act (61 Stat. 497). 

Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence established within the 
newly created Department of the Air Force (61 Stat. 497). 
Office of Intelligence Research established within the Depart- 
ment of State by administrative directive ; renamed the Bureau 
of Intelligence and Research in 1957. 

1948 Office of Policy Coordination established by secret National 
Security Council directive NSC 10/2; responsible for covert- 
action programs, the unit was abolished in 1951 and its func- 
tions and personnel were transferred to the Central Intelligence 


Office of Special Operations established by action of the Presi- 
dent (possibly by secret directive) ; responsible for covert in- 
telligence collection, the unit was abolished in 1951 and its func- 
tions were transferred to the Central Intelligency Agency. 

1949 Armed Forces Security Agency established by a Department of 
Defense directive for purposes of administering strategic com- 
munications-intelligence functions, cryptology, code develop- 
ment and code breaking, and coordination of similar activities 
by other defense agencies ; reorganized as the National Security 
Agency in 1952. 

1950 Intelligence Advisory Committee established (authority un- 
clear) ; created at the urging of the Director of the Central In- 
telligence Agency and functioned as an interdepartmental 
panel composed of representatives of the major agencies having 
intelligence responsibilities ; absorbed by the United States In- 
telligence Board in 1960. 

1952 National Security Agency created by a classified presidential 
directive of November 4, 1952; largely unacknowleged as a 
government agency until 1957, NSA functions under the di- 
rection, authority and control of the Secretary of Defense and 
is responsible for coordinating, developing, and advancing 
cryptological, code breaking, code development, and communi- 
cations intelligence activities. 

1956 President's Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Ac- 
tivities established by E.O. 10656 of February 6, 1956, for pur- 
poses of a civilian review of the foreign intelligence activities 
of the Federal government; established in the wake of a 
Hoover Commission report of 1955 recommending a joint con- 
gressional oversight committee on intelligence activities which 
was being considered by Congress. 

1960 United States Intelligence Board established by a classified Na- 
tional Security Council directive, assuming the functions of 
the Intelligence Advisory Committee ; the Board makes admin- 
istrative recommendations concerning the structure of the Fed- 
eral intelligence organization and prepares National Intelli- 
gence Estimates for the National Security Council on specific 
foreign situations of national security concern or a general in- 
ternational matter. 

1961 President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board established 
by E.O. 10938 of May 4, 1961; successor to the President's 
Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities, the 
panel advises the President on the objectives and conduct of 
foreign intelligence and related activity by the United States. 
Defense Intelligence Agency established by Department of De- 
fense Directive 5105.21 of August 1, 1961; coordinates armed 
forces intelligence activities and provides direct intelligence as- 
sistance to the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of 

1968 National Intelligence Resources Board created at direction of 
the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; interagency 
committee created to bring about economy within intelligence 
activities and operations. 


1971 Intelligence Resources Advisory Committee created by the Di- 
rector of the Central Intelligence Agency ; successor to the Na- 
tional Intelligence Resources Board, the panel advises the 
CIA Director on the preparation of a consolidated intelli- 
gence program budget. 

1971 Net Assessments Group established by presidential announce- 
ment of November 5, 1971; responsible for analyzing United 
States defense capabilities vis-a-vis those of the Soviet Union 
and the People's Republic of China. 

Verification Panel established by presidential announcement of 
November 5, 1971 ; responsible for intelligence pertaining to 
the SALT talks. 

Intelligence Committee, National Security Council, established 
by presidential announcement of November 5, 1971 ; advises on 
intelligence needs and provides for a continuing evaluation of 
intelligence products from the viewpoint of the intelligence 

Forty Committee (also called the Special Group, the 54—12 
Group, and the 303 Committee) continued (authority uncer- 
tain) ; in existence since the earliest years of the Central In- 
telligence Agency, the panel's membership varies but its func- 
tion remains that of reviewing proposals for covert action. 
Central Security Service proposed (established in 1972) in 
presidential announcement of November 5, 1971 ; functions 
under the direction of the head of the National Security 
Agency who serves concurrently as Chief of the Service. 
Defense Investigative Serv^ice proposed (established by DoD 
5105.42 of April 18, 1972) in presidential announcement of 
November 5, 1971 ; new agency consolidates armed service and 
Defense Department personnel investigation functions into 
single entity. 

Defense Mapping Agency proposed (established under the pro- 
visions of the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, on 
January 1, 1972) in presidential announcement of November 5, 
1971; new agency consolidates armed service mapping activi- 
ties and operations. 


Government Information Securitt Classlfication Policy 

A democratic system of government, based upon popular power 
and popular trust, may both respect privacy, "the voluntary with- 
holding of information reinforced by a willing indifference," and 
practice secrecy, "the compulsory withholding of knowledge, rein- 
forced by the prospect of sanctions for disclosure." Qualifications are 
attached to these two conditions by legislatures, officers of govern- 
ment, and the courts. 

Both are enemies, in principle, of publicity. The tradition 
of liberal, individualistic democracy maintained an equi- 
librium of publicity, privacy, and secrecy. The equilibrium 
was enabled to exist as long as the beneficiaries and pro- 
tagonists of each sector of this tripartite system of barriers 
respected the legitimacy of the other two and were confident 
that they would not use their power and opportunities to 
disrupt the equilibrium. The principles of privacy, secrecy 
and publicity are not harmonious among themselves. The 
existence of each rests on a self-restrictive tendency in each 
of the others. The balance in which they co-exist, although 
it is elastic, can be severly disrupted ; when the pressure for 
publicity becomes distrustful of privacy, a disequilibrium re- 
sults. Respect for privacy gives way to an insistence on pub- 
licity coupled with secrecy, a fascination which is at once an 
abhorrence and a dependent clinging.^ 

The abuse of secrecy in matters of government can be attributed to 
no one particular realm. Public servants, beyond the reach of the 
electorate, however, may tend to misuse secrecy simply because they 
are immune to any direct citizen reprisal. In this regard, one of the 
first serious analysts of social organization, the sociologist Max Weber 
(1864-1920), has commented: "Every bureaucracy seeks to increase 
the superiority of the professionally informed by keeping their knowl- 
edge and intentions secret." Perhaps a more important observation 
for the American democratic experience is provided by Weber when 
he notes: 

The pure interest of the bureaucracy in power, however, is 
efficacious far beyond those areas where purely functional 
interests makes for secrecy. The concept of the "official 
secret" is the specific invention of bureaucracy, and nothing 
is so fanatically defended by the bureaucracy as this attitude, 

* Edward A. Shils. The Torment of Secrecy: The Background and Conse- 
quences of American Security Policies. New York, The Free Press, 1956, pp. 



which cannot be justified beyond . . . specifically qualified 
areas. In facing a parliament, the bureaucracy, out of a sheer 
power instinct, fights every attempt of the parliament to gain 
knowledge by means of its own experts or from interest 
groups. The so-called right of parliamentary investigation 
is one of the means by which parliament seeks such knowledge. 
Bureaucracy naturally welcomes a poorly informed and hence 
a powerless parliament — at least in so far as ignorance some- 
how agrees with the bureaucracy's interests.^ 

The extent to which a sovereign legislature allows a bureaucracy to 
create "state secrets" on its own initiative and authority also con- 
tributes to the abuse of government secrecy. In a democracy, the elected 
representatives of the people must bear the responsibility of fixing the 
basis for and creation of official secrets. As an extension of its law- 
making power, the legislature must exercise authority to determine 
that its information protection statutes are faithfully administered. 
Under a constitutional arrangement such as that found in the Ameri- 
can Federal Government, care must be taken to divorce the use of 
stn.te secrecy from the separation of powers doctrine. Because infor- 
mation has been designated an official secret, this condition should not 
necessarily serve to justify the Executive's withholding- of the data 
from Congress. (See United States vs. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683, 706 

Ideally, all information held by a democratic government belongs 
to the citizenry. However, for reasons of national defense, foreign re- 
lations, commercial advantage, and personal privacy, some informa- 
tion may require protection and, therefore, becomes a secret. Such a 
limitation is not absolute: Congress, the Executive, and the courts 
might, when circumstances so require, have access to official secrets and, 
in time, efforts should be made to remove the secrecy restriction and 
release the information in question to the public. 

In addition, there are certain types of information which, in accord- 
ance with the constitutional doctrine of the separation of powers, might 
justifiably be retained exclusively within one branch of the Federal 
Government. (See United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. at 706.) Such a 
class of information should be kept to a minimum and be withheld with 
a considerate attitude. In brief, there are types of information which 
may be protected from inspection by ot>er branches of government as 
well as from general public scrutiny. Again, such a restriction need not 
be an absolute matter of policy ; considerations of accountability, pub- 
lic trust, criminal wrongdoing, or scholarly research needs may prompt 
occasional exceptions to the rule. A type of information which may be 
permissively protected is specified at present in the Freedom of In- 
formation Act (5 U.S.C. 552) . 

/. National Defense 

Although members of the United States armed forces were, from 
the time of the Revolution, prohibited from communicating with the 

enemy and spying during war had similarly been condemned since 


^ H. H. Gerth and C. "Wright Mills, pds. From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology 
New York, Oxford University Press, 1946, pp. 233-234. 


that time, no directives regarding the protection of information or 
guarding against foreign military intelligence were issued until after 
the Civil War. During the time of the rebellion, President Lincoln 
placed strict governmental control over communications — the tele- 
graph, the mails, and, to a considerable extent, the press. The military 
controlled communications and civilians within the shifting war zones/ 

A few years after the cessation of hostilities, the AVar Department 
turned its attention to security procedures for peacetime. General 
Orders Xo. 35, Headquarters of the Army, Adjutant General's Office, 
issued April 13, 1869 read : "Commanding officers of troops occupying 
the regular forts built by the Engineer Department will permit no 
photographic or other views of the same to be taken without the per- 
mission of the War Department." Such language thus placed limited 
information control at the disposal of the War Department. The sub- 
stance of this order was continued in compiled Army regulations of 
1881, 1889, and 1895.^^ 

Deteriorating relations with Spain and the possibility of open 
warfare subsequently prompted more stringent security precautions. 
A portion of General Orders No, 9, Hdq. Army, A.G.O., issued 
March 1, 1897, directed : 

No persons, except officers of the Army and Navy of the 
United States, and persons in the service of the United States 
employed in direct connection with the use, construction or 
care of these works, will be allowed to visit any portion of the 
lake and coast defenses of the United States without the writ- 
ten authority of the Commanding Officer in charge. 

Neither written nor pictorial descriptions of these works 
will be made for publication without the authority of the 
Secretary of AVar, nor will any information be given concern- 
ing them which is not contained in the printed reports and 
documents of the AA^ar Department. 

Revised for inclusion in General Orders No. 52, War Department, 
issued August 24, 1 897, "the principal change was insertion of a para- 
graph indicating that the Secretary of AA^ar would grant special per- 
mission to visit these defenses only to the United States Senators and 
Representatives in Congress ivho loere officially concerned thereicith 
and to the Governor or Adjutant General of the State where such 
defenses were located" [emphasis added] .^ That the AVar Department 
did not want to extend special defense facilities visitation permission 
to any or all Members of Congress is evident. This policy of selective 
congressional access to secret defense matters has continued, in various 
forms, into the present period. 

In 1898 there was the passage of a statute (30 Stat. 717) "to protect 
the harbor defenses and fortifications constructed or used by the 

' See James G. Randall. Constitutional Problems Under Lincoln, Revised Edi- 
tion. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 1951, chapters III, IV, VII and XIX. 

* Dallas Irvine. "The Origin of Defense-Information Markings in the Army 
and former War Department" rtvpescript.l Washington, National Archives and 
Records Service, General Services Administration, 1964 ; under revision 1972, p. 3. 
All references from revision type.script ; military orders, regulations, and direc- 
tives referred to may be found in the annexes of this study. 

" lUd., p. 4. 


United States from malicious injury, and for other purposes." The 
sanctions of this law provided that "any person who . . . shall know- 
ingly, willfully or wantonly violate any regulation of the War Depart- 
ment that has been made for the protection of such mine, torpedo, for- 
tification or harbor-defense system shall be punished ... by a fine of 
not less than one hundred nor more than five thousand dollars, or 
with imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or with both, 
in the discretion of the court." The effect of this statute was that it not 
only sanctioned War Department directives regarding the protection 
of information, but also gave increased force to such orders by pro- 
viding criminal penalties for violations. The statute was published for 
the information of the military in General Orders No. 96, War De- 
partment, A.G.O., July 13, 1898. 

Army regulations of 1901 continued the language of the 1897 order 
with its provision for granting certain Members of Congress special 
access to the coastal and lake defenses. New regulations in 1908 omitted 
specific mention of congressional visitors and said: 

CJommanding officers of posts at which are Ibcated lake or 
coastal defenses are charged with the responsibility of pre- 
venting, as far as practicable, visitors from obtaining infor- 
mation relative to such defenses which would probably be 
communicated to a foreign power, and to this end may pre- 
scribe and enforce appropriate regulations governing visitors 
to their posts. 

American citizens whose loyalty to their Government is 
unquestioned may be permitted to visit such portions of the 
defenses as the commanding officer deems proper. 

The taking of photographic or other views of permanent 
works of defense will not be permitted. Neither written nor 
pictorial descriptions of these works will be made for publica- 
tion without the authority of the Secretary of War, nor will 
any information be given concerning them which is not con- 
tained in the printed reports and documents of the War 

These portions of the 1908 regulations (pars. 355 and 356) were con- 
tinued in regulations books of 1910 (pars. 358 and 359), (pars. 347 and 
348), and 1917 (pars. 347 and 348). The language constitutes the first 
open admission by the War Department of an effort to protect fixed 
defenses against foreign military intelligence.® 

Criminal sanctions for unlawful entry upon military property were 
extended in a codification statute (35 Stat. 1088-1159 at 1097) of 
March 4, 1909. Whi^e the penalty provisions of the Act of July 7, 1898 
(30 Stat. 717) were included in the law, another provision was added, 
reading : 

Whoever shall go upon any military reservation, army post, 
fort, or arsenal, for any purpose prohibited by law or military 
regulation made in pursuance of law. or whoever shall reenter 
or be found within any such reservation, post, fort, or arsenal, 
after having been removed therefrom or ordered not to re- 
enter by any officer or person in command or charge thereof, 

'Ibid., p. 7. 


shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or im- 
prisoned not more than six months, or both. 

Although supposedly based upon the provisions of the 1898 statute, 
in the words of one expert in this policy sphere, 

this language was so amplified as to amount virtually to new 
legislation. The new language tends to divert attention to what 
the earlier act had referred to by means of the word "tres- 
pass." Attention therefore needs to be called to the fact that 
the new language as well as the old effectively gave the force 
of law, with imposed penalty for violation, to the provisions 
of current Army regulations about photographs and written 
or pictorial descriptions of seacoast defenses and about local 
regulations to prevent visitors from obtaining information 
for a foreign power. 

In view of the pertinent content of current Army regula- 
tions [this] section . . . from the Criminal Code of 1909 may 
be regarded as the first very good approximation of legisla- 
tion against espionage in time of peace. The act of 1898, even 
in the light of then current Army regulations, can be argued, 
from its text, to be directed more against sabotage than 
against espionage.^ 

The provision was also incorporated, without change, in the United 
States Code of 1925. 

The first complete system for the protection of national defense in- 
formation, devoid of special markings, was promulgated in General 
Orders Xo. 3, AVar Department, of February 16, 1912. This directive 
set forth certain classes of records which were to be regarded as "con- 
fidential" and, therefore, kept under lock, "accessible only to the officer 
to whom intrusted." Those materials falling into this category in- 
cluded submarine mine projects and land defense plans. "Trusted em- 
ployees" of the War Department, as well as "the officer to whom in- 
trusted," might have access to "maps and charts showing locations on 
the ground of the elements of defense, of the number of guns, and of 
the character of the armament" and "tables giving data with reference 
to the number of guns, the character of the armament, and the war 
supply of ammunition." 

Serial numbers were to be issued for all such "confidential" informa- 
tion with the number marked on the document (s) and lists of the 
records kept at the office from which they emanated. Within one year's 
time officers responsible for the safekeeping of these materials were to 
check on their location and existence. While available to all commis- 
sioned officers at all times, "confidential" information was not to be 
copied except at the office of issue. 

The language of [these] instructions . . . was incorporated 
(par. 94, p. 216) in the Compilation of General Orders^ Cir- 
cul^rSj and Bulletins of the War Department Issued Betiveen 
February 15^ 1881, and December 31, 1915 (Washington, 
1916). The paragraph of this compilation in which the in- 
structions were carried was rescinded by Changes in Com- 

'lUd., p. 8. 


pilation of Orders No. 35, October 1, 1922, which referred to 
superseding pamphlet Army Regulations 90-40. The latter 
had been issued on May 2, 1922 under the headings "Coast 
Artillery Corps. Coast defense Command." The comparable 
language appeared in Paragraph 17, "Safe-keeping of mili- 
tai-y records concerning seacoast defenses." It was generally 
similar to the language previously in effect, but specified that 
the two major categories of records involved should be classed 
as SECRET and CONFIDENTIAL, respectively. These 
markings by that time had special meanings elsewhere 

Until the turn of the century, policy directives concerned with the 
protection of national defense information were confined to coastal 
and lake fortifications material. This should not necessarily indicate 
that only documents having to do with these matters were protected 
under such regulations. 

On October 3, 1907 the Chief of Artillery invited the at- 
tention of The Adjutant General ... to the fact that the 
word "confidential" was being used without any prescribed 
meaning as a marking on communications and printed issu- 
ances. He pointed out the ridiculousness of the situation by 
citing examples, including one issuance marked "Confiden- 
tial" that contained merely formulas for making whitewash. 
In his stated opinion there should be some way of indicating 
degree of confidentiality, some time limit on the effect of a 
marking whenever practicable, and requirement of an annual 
return of confidential materials in the possession of particular 
officers. He proposed the establishment of four degrees of con- 
fidentiality that can be approximated by the following 
expressions : 

1. For your eyes only 

2. For the information of commissioned officers only 

3. For official use only 

4. Not for publication ^ 

Additional communication on this matter elicited a response from 
the Chief Signal Officer that printed issuances, such as manuals and 
instruction books, contained instructions on their dissemination. An 
example of this type of control prescription was cited from a Signal 
Corps manual : "This Manual is intended for the sole personal use of 
the one to whom it is issued, and should not under any circumstances 
be transferred, loaned, or its contents imparted to unauthorized 

The matter was subsequently referred to the Chief of Staff who 
presented the suggestions to the Acting Secretary of War. In a memo- 
randum of November 12, 1907, Major General William P. Duvall, 
Assistant to the Chief of Staff 

indicated that the idea of setting time limits on the confiden- 
tiality of particular items was hardly practicable and that 

^IWd., p. 11. 

' Ibid., pp. 11-12 ; original letter contained in Annex E of Ibid. 


the idea of having returns made of specially protected mate- 
rial was undesirable because it would be too complicated in 
application. The memorandum agreed that the marking 
"Confidential" should have a prescribed meaning equivalent 
to "For your eyes only" but went along with the remarks to 
the Chief Signal Officer in proposing that materials intended 
to be available only to a certain class or classes of individuals 
should be "marked so as to indicate to whom the contents may 
be communicated." ^° 

As a consequence of this memorandum and an attached draft circular 
on the whole matter, Circular No. 78, War Department, of November 
21, 1907, in part, addressed itself to altering policy on this area. 

The first paragraph prohibited further indiscriminant use 
of the marking "Confidential" on communications from the 
War Department and permitted its use on such communica- 
tions only "where the subject-matter is intended for the sole 
information of the person to whom addressed." The second 
paragraph, dealing with internal issuances, required that 
they be accompanied by a statement indicating the class or 
classes of individuals to whom the contents might be dis- 
closed. The third paragraph listed five internal issuances that 
were not to be considered confidential any longer. The fourth 
paragraph indicated that internal serial issuance marked 
"Confidential" in the past were for the use of Army officers 
and enlisted men and Government employees "when necessary 
in connection with their work." ^^ 

It has been observed that this circular was not actually concerned 
explicitly with defense information, but rather with internal com- 
munications and publications of the military. As the first such direc- 
tive addressed to these matters, it marks the beginning of a policy of 
protecting internal documents for reasons of national defense. 

"Second, it placed reliance for any necessary protection of the con- 
tent of internal issuances, not on jargonized stamped words or expres- 
sions, but on an accompanying statement of what was intended in the 
case of a particular issuance." In brief, the authority of a protective 
label was not acceptable for safeguarding internal documents. The 
technique of utilizing an explanatory statement on these materials 
served to maintain a rational and self-evident policy for safeguarding 
internal information. 

Third, the provision pertaining to use of the marking "Confiden- 
tial" was unclear in that it did not identify any class of information 
to which the label might be applied. The directive only served notice 
that this marking could not be used on internal documents. No mean- 
ing was prescribed for the term "Confidential" as used in written 
and/or verbal discourse. And the thrust of the circular with regard to 
the proper use of the marking related not to the content or origin of 
the information in question but rather to the intended recipient.^^ 

• Ibid., p. 13. 
Ihid., p. 14. 
' Ibid., p. 17 ; original memorandum contained in Annex H of Ibid. 


The provisions of Circular No. 78 were not included in Army regu- 
lations of 1908, 1910, 1913, or 1917. It did appear in the Compilation 
of General Orders^ Ciraalars^ and Bulletins . . . issued in 1916 (par. 
176). This anonymity, together with the confusion already noted with 
regard to the use of the marking "Confidential", would tend to reflect 
that the directive had little impact in curtailing the improper use of 
the "Confidential" label. 

On May 19, 1913, the Judge Advocate General sent a communique 
to the Chief of Staff wherein he proposed additional regulations for 
the handling of confidential communications, saying : 

Telegrams are inherently confidential. Outside of officials 
of a telegraph company, no one has authority to see a tele- 
gram, other than the sender and receiver, except on a sub- 
poena duces tecum issued by a proper court, 

A commanding officer of a post where the Signal Corps has 
a station has no right to inspect the files of telegrams, at least 
files other than those sent at government expense. 

The record of the Signal Corps operators is excellent. I 
consider the enlisted personnel of the Signal Corps superior 
to that of any other arm. The leaks that occur through the 
inadvertence or carelessness of enlisted men of the Signal 
Corps are few in number. Those occurring through intention 
on the part of these men are fewer still. In my opinion leaks 
most frequently occur through the fault of officers in leaving 
confidential matters open on their desks where others may 
read as they transact other business.^^ 

The Judge Advocate General's suggestions resulted in Changes in 
Army Regulations No. 30, War Department, issued June 6, 1916, and 
reading : 

In order to reduce the possibility of confidential communi- 
cations falling into the hands of persons other than those for 
whom they are intended, the sender will enclose them in an 
inner and an outer cover; the inner cover to be a sealed en- 
velope or wrapper addressed in the usual way, but marked 
plainly CONFIDENTIAL in such a manner that the nota- 
tion may be most readily seen when the outer cover is re- 
moved. The package thus prepared will then be enclosed in 
another sealed envelope or wrapper addressed in the ordinary 
manner with no notation to indicate the confidential nature 
of the contents. 

The foregoing applies not only to confidential communica- 
tions entrusted to the mails or to telegraph companies, but 
also to such communications entrusted to messengers passing 
between different offices of the same headquarters, including 
the bureaus and offices of the War Department. 

Government telegraph operators will be held responsible 
that all telegrams are carefully guarded. No received tele- 
gram will ever leave an office except in a sealed envelope, 
properly addressed. All files will be carefully guarded and 

" IMd., p. 17 ; original memorandum contained in Annex H I})id. 


access thereto will be denied to all parties except those au- 
thorized by law to see the same. 

An examination of The Code of Laios of the United States of Amer- 
ica in Force December 6, 1926 (44 Stat. 1-2452) does not readily re- 
veal any specification of officials granted the authority to examine tele- 
graph or telegram files. It is possible that this power is indirectly 
conferred by some statutory provision or that the last line of the 
above directive is of a prospective nature. 

It has also been suggested that Changes in Army Kegulations No. 
30 of 1916 was issued in ignorance of Circular No. 78 of 1907 which 
was discussed earlier.^* This situation most likely resulted from the 
somewhat fugitive nature of Circular No. 78. 

//. World War I 

On April 6, 1917 the United States declared war on Germany, (40 
Stat. 1). This action prompted new regulations to protect national 
defense information. Mobilization was begun immediately and the 
first American troops arrived in France in late June. It was also at 
this juncture that the American military, working with their French 
and British allies, had an opportunity to observe the information 
security systems of other armies. 

November 22, 1917, General Orders No. 64, General Headquarters, 
American Expeditionary Force, was issued on the matters of the pro- 
tection of official information. This directive established three mark- 
ings for information, saying : 

"Confidential" matter is restricted for use and knowledge 
to a necessary minimum of persons, either members of this 
Expedition or its employees. 

The word "Secret" on a communication is intended to limit 
the use or sight of it to the officer into whose hands it is de- 
livered by proper authority, and, when necessary, a confiden- 
tial clerk. With such a document no discretion lies with the 
officer or clerk to whom it is delivered, except to guard it as 
SECRET in the most complete understanding of that term. 
There are no degrees of secrecy in the handling of documents 
so marked. Such documents are completely secret. 

Secret matter will be kept under lock and key subject to 
use only by the officers to whom it has been transmitted. Con- 
fidential matter will be similarly cared for unless it be a part 
of officer records, and necessary to the entirety of such rec- 
ords. Papers of this class will be kept in the office files, and 
the confidential clerk responsible for the same shall be given 
definite instructions that they are to be shown to no one but 
his immediate official superiors, and that the file shall be 
locked except during office hours. 

Orders, pamphlets of instructions, maps, diagrams, intelli- 
gence publications, etc., from these headquarters . . . which are 
for ordinary official circulation and not intended for the 
public, but the accidental possession of which by the enemy 
would result in no harm to the Allied cause ; these will have 

^lUd., p. 19. 


printed in the upper left hand corner, "For Official Circula- 
tion Only." 

. . . Where circulation is to be indicated otherwise than 
is indicated . . . [above] . . . there will be added limitation 
in similar type, as : 

Not to be taken into Front Line Trenches. 

Not to be Reproduced. 

Not to go below Division Headquarters. 

Not to go below Regimental Headquarters. 
Commenting on this prescription, one authority has noted: 

This order itself makes clear that the markings "Confi- 
dential" and "Secret" were already in use, for it says "There 
appears to be some carelessness in the indiscriminant use of 
the terms 'Confidential' and 'Secret'." This previous usage 
was undoubtedly taken over from the French, who used these 
two markings, often with added injunctions such as "not to 
be taken into the first line." The British also had a marking 
"For official use only." ^^ 

In early December, 1917, a proposal was advanced by the Acting 
Chief of the War College Division, War Department General Staff, 
Col. P. D. Lockridge, regarding the use of information markings. The 
matter prompting this communique to the Chief of Staff was seem- 
ingly some concern that markings being utilized by the A.E.F. be 
officially authorized and supervised within units of War Department 
jurisdiction outside of the Expeditionary Force command. It would 
also seem that "Secret," "Confidential," and other protective labels 
were already in use among other military divisions. Obtaining quick 
approval from the Acting Chief of Staff, Lockridge's suggestion was 
next acted upon by the Adjutant General's Office which decided to 
incorporate it in Changes in Compilation of Orders No. 6, War 
Department, issued December 14, 1917. "In view of the importance of 
the matter, unnumbered and undated advance copies of the intended 
issuance were distributed, and a printed 'extract' of the regular printed 
issuance was subsequently given wide circulation." ^^ 

The directive outlined the conditions under which "Secret," "Con- 
fidential," and "For Official Use Only" markings were to be utilized. 
Materials designated "Secret" would not have their existence disclosed 
but those labeled "Confidential" might circulate "to persons known to 
be authorized to receive them." The third marking was designed to 
restrict information from communication to the public or the press. 
In addition, the order contained the following proviso : "Publishing 
official documents or information, or using them for personal con- 
troversy, or for private purpose without due authority, will be treated 
as a breach of official trust, and may be punished under the Article 
of War, or under Section I, Title I, of the Espionage Act [40 Stat. 217] 
approved June 15, 1917." 

This reference to both the Articles of War and the Espionage 
Act thoroughly confuses the purpose of the issuance. While 

" IMd., p. 26. 

" See Ibid., pp. 26-27. 


the Articles of War contained provisions against correspond- 
ing with the enemy and against spying, the reference here can 
only be to the provisions of the Articles of War against 
disobedience of orders and miscellaneous misconduct. Sec- 
tion 1, Title I, of the Espionage Act, on the other hand, was 
very comprehensive with respect to any mishandling of 
"information respecting the national defense." If that section 
alone had been referred to, the implication would have been 
that the new issuance related entirely to defense information. 
Inclusion of the reference to the Articles of War makes it 
possible to argue that the marking "For official use only" was 
not intended to apply exclusively to defense information and 
that the intention with respect to the marking "Confidential" 
is hardly clear.^^ 

The thrusts of the Espionage Act of 1917, and the Act of 1911 (36 
Stat. 1084) prohibiting the disclosure of national defense secrets, were 
toward the regulation and punishment of espionage. Neither statute 
specifically sanctioned the information protection practices of the War 
Department or the armed forces, nor were the orders and directives 
of these entities promulgated pursuant to these laws. The markings 
prescribed for the use of the military were designed for utilization 
on internal communications and documents. With the passage of the 
Trading with the Enemy Act (40 Stat. 411) provision was made (40 
Stat. 422 § 10(i) ) for the President to designate patents, the publica- 
tion of which might "be detrimental to the public safety or defense, 
or may assist the enemy or endanger the successful prosecution of the 
war," to be kept secret. No label was devised for this action. Quite the 
contrary, the means provided for maintaining this secrecy was to 
"withhold the grant of a patent until the end of the war." This would 
appear to be the first direct statutory grant of authority to the Execu- 
tive to declare a type of information secret. Also, although the 
provision pertained to defense policy, utilization of this authority was 
placed in civilian, not military hands. 

There is speculation that reference to the Espionage Act was made 
in Compilation of Orders No. 6 to emphasize the precautions for safe- 
guarding defense information upon a wartime army composed of new 
recruits at all ranks. 

There is no indication that there was any realization at this 
time that difficulties could arise in enforcing the Espionage 
Act if official information relating to the national defense was 
not marked as such, insofar as it was intended to be protected 
from unauthorized dissemination. Violation of the first three 
subsections of Section I, Title I, of the act depended in the 
one case on material relating to the national defense having 
been turned over to someone not entitled to receive it" and in 
the other case on such material having been lost or compro- 
mised through "gross negligence." Since the expression "re- 
lating to the national defense" was nowhere defined the possi- 
bility of the public being permitted to have any authenticated 
knowledge whatever about the national defense, even the fact 

" nid., pp. 28-29. 


that Congress had passed certain legislation related thereto, 
depended on application of the expressions "not entitled to re- 
ceive it" and "gross negligence." 

In any prosecution for violation of either of the last two sub- 
sections the burden of proving that one or the other key ex- 
pression had application in the case would rest on the prose- 
cution, and proof would be difficult unless clear evidence could 
be adduced that authority had communicated its intention 
that the specific material involved should be protected or un- 
less that material was of such a nature that common sense 
would indicate that it should be protected. For purposes of 
administering these two subsections of the Espionage Act the 
marking of defense information that is to be protected is al- 
most essential, and its marking can also be of great assistance 
for purposes of administering the preceding three subsections. 

It would be logical to suppose that the marking of defense 
information began out of legal necessities for administering 
the Espionage Act, but the indications are that such was not 
the case. The establishment of three grades of official informa- 
tion to be protected by markings was apparently something 
copied from the A.E.F., which had borrowed the use of such 
markings from the French and British.^^ 

///. Peacetime Protection 

Changes in military regulations governing the protection of sensi- 
tive information did not occur until well after the armistice and return 
of American troops from Europe. On January 22, 1921 the War De- 
partment issued a pamphlet (Army Regulations No. 330-5) entitled 
"DOCUMENTS : 'Secret,' 'Confidential,' and 'For Official Use Only,' " 
which, with slight modification, constituted a compilation of the war- 
time information regulations which were to remain in force during 
peacetime. Its essential provisions, with regard to the utilization of 
the classification markings, were that (1) "Secret" was to be used on 
information "of great importance and when the safeguarding of that 
information from actual or potential enemies is of prime necessity;" 

(2) "Confidential" pertained to material "of less importance and of 
less secret nature than one requiring the mark of 'Secret,' but which 
must, nevertheless, be guarded from hostile or indiscreet persons ;" and 

(3) "For official use only" had reference to "information which is not 
to be communicated to the public or to the press, but which may be 
communicated to any person known to be in the service of the United 
States whose duty it concerns, or to persons of undoubted loyalty and 
discretion who are cooperating with Government work." 

A basic shortcomin*? of these regulations would seem to be the in- 
ferred unspecific qualitative nature of the instruction pertaining to 
the use of "Confidential." The presumption is that regulations per- 
tainingf to the use of the "Secret" marking are sufficiently clear that 
material warranting this desip'nation might be easily distinguished 
from that in the "Confidential" category and that the person affixing 
"Confidential" to a document had some qualitative familiarity with 
"Secret" information. Another fault of this directive 

'/6i<f., pp. 31-32. 


is its failure to relate itself to the Espionage Act of 1917 or to 
limit itself to defense information. It merely provided for the 
continuation of a system of markings that had been estab- 
lished in war time. This system was not a product of any 
thoughtful consideration of the general problem of protect- 
ing defense information and other official information. It was 
a result of reflex response to immediate necessities arising in 
the prosecution of the war.^^ 

Two commendable aspects of the instructions, in terms of subse- 
quent policy developments, were the inclusion of the name, authority, 
and date of the affixing officer classifying a document and provisions 
for the cancellation of a mark at a later time. These points served to 
emphasize that responsibility must be personally borne for restricting 
information, that limitation must be carried out under established 
authority of some type, and that a time might arise when the protec- 
tion was no longer warranted, desirable, or needed. 

Between 1921 and 1937 the regulation underwent various modifi- 
cations and changes. Only two major policy shifts appear to have oc- 
curred during these revisions. A February 12, 1935 edition of the 
pamphlet introduced "Restricted," a fourth marking designed to pro- 
tect "research work or the design, development, test, production, or 
use of a unit of military equipment or a component thereof which it 
is desired to keep secret," The provision further noted that the class 
of information which this new label was designed to safeguard "is con- 
sidered as affecting the national defense of the United States within 
the meaning of the Espionage Act (U.S.C. 59:32)." The instructions 
regarding the other three information markings still contained no 
reference to the Espionage Act. 

The following year. Army regulations of February 11, 1936, omitted 
"For Official Use Only" and redefined the other markings. Of particu- 
lar interest is the broadened understandings of the type of information 
to which these labels miffht be applied, including foreign policy ma- 
terial and what might be properly called "political" data. "Secret" 
referred to information "of such nature that its disclosure might en- 
danger the national security, or cause serious injury to the interests 
or prestige of the Nation, an individual, or any sfovernment activity, 
or be of ereat advantage to a foreign nation." Similarly, "Confiden- 
tial" could be applied to material "of such a nature that its disclosure, 
althoup-h not endangering the national security, migrht be prejudicial 
to the interests or prestige of the Xation, an individual, or any gov- 
ernment activitv, or be of advantage to a foreign nation." And "Re- 
stricted" might be used in instances where information "is for official 
use only or of such a nature that its disclosure should be limited for 
reasons of administrative privacy, or should be denied the general 
Dublic." The outstanding characteristic of these provisions is their 
broad disrretionarv nature with regard to subjects of application. 
While initial regulations were designed to safeguard coastal defense 
facility information, 1936 saw the possibility of information restric- 
tion policv extending to almost anv area of governmental activity. 
Such regulations were promulgated without any clear statutory au- 

"/&tU. p. 34. 


thority. Even the Espionage Act was designed for wartime use. Yet, 
under armed forces directives governing information protection dur- 
ing the late 1930s, "to reveal secret, confidential, or restricted matter 
pertaining to the national defense is a violation of the Espionage Act," 
according to Army regulations of 1937. 

In Changes in Navy Regulations and Naval Instructions No. 7 of 
September 15, 1916, that service had gone so far as to prescribe that 
"Officers resigning are warned of the provision of the national defense 
secrets act," implying that former Naval personnel returned to civilian 
life could not, without subjecting themselves to prosecution, discuss 
information which had been protected under Navy regulations. The 
violation in question would involve the 1911 secrets law (36 Stat. 
1084), not the Navy's directives on the matter. The point is an interest- 
ing one in that it illustrates armed forces regulations pertaining to the 
protection of information, though not promulgated in accordance with 
a statute, enjoyed the color of statutory law for their enforcement. 

The omission of "For official use only" from Army regulations in 
1936 raises another ponderable : to what extent was this referent used 
after that date. Habits are difficult to break, perhaps more so in the 
framework of military regimen. The label had been used since the es- 
tablislunent of the A.E.F. in France. Were the old stamps kept, used, 
obeyed ? To what extent were other markings fabricated and applied : 
"private," "official," "airmen only." No informative response can be 
made to this question. The point is that by the late 1930s, restriction 
labels knew no bounds : they could be applied to virtually any type of 
defense or non-defense information; they pertained to situations in- 
volving "national security," a policy sphere open to definition within 
many quarters of government and by various authorities ; and they car- 
ried sanctions which left few with any desire to question their ap- 
propriateness or intention. 

If, in teiTns of the multiplicity of policy areas to which they could 
be applied, the significance of a system of information control markings 
came to be realized within the higher reaches of government leader- 
ship, it is not surprising that the management of these matters should 
be seized by the very highest level of authority within the Executive 
Branch. There were, of course, political advantages, but the dictates 
of good administration also prompted such action. The first presi- 
dential directive on the matter (E.O. 8381), issued March 22, 1940, 
was purportedly promulgated in accordance with a provision of a 1938 
law (52 Stat. 3) which read: 

Whenever, in the interests of national defense, the President 
defines certain vital military and naval installations or equip- 
ment as requiring protection against the general dissemi- 
nation of information thereto, it shall be unlawful to make 
any photograph, sketch, picture, drawing, map, or graphical 
representation of such vital military and naval installation or 
equipment without first obtaining permission of the com- 
manding officer. 

Utilizing the provision regarding "information relative thereto," the 
President authorized the use of control labels on "all official military 
or naval books, pamphlets, documents, reports, maps, charts, plans, de- 


signs, models, drawings, photographs, contracts or specifications which 
are now marked under the authority of the Secretary of War or the 
Secretary of the Navy as 'secret,' 'confidential,' or 'restricted,' and all 
such articles or equipment which may hereafter be so marked with the 
approval or at the direction of the President." Commenting on this 
situation, one authority has noted : 

Congress, in passing the act of January 12, 1938 [52 Stat. 3], 
can hardly have expected that it would be interpreted 
to be applicable to documentary materials as "equipment." 
. . . The Provisions of the Executive order were probably 
a substitute for equivalent express provisions of law that 
Congress could not be expected to enact. Mention may be 
made in this connection of the refusal of Congress, long after 
the attack on Pearl Harbor, to pass the proposed War Se- 
curity Act submitted to Congress by Attorney General 
Francis Biddle on October 17, 1942 (H.E. 1205, 78th Con- 
gress, 1st Session).^" 

Noteworthy, as well, is the wholesale adoption of the broad defini- 
tions, prescribed by the armed forces, of the types of policy to which 
these markings might be applied. Revision or modification of these 
jurisdictions or the scope of label applications remained, essentially, 
with the officers of the War and Navy Department. No civilian con- 
trol was provided over the frequency or appropriate use of the labels. 
It was apparently presumed that the markings would be utilized only 
by the armed services. 

IV. World War II 

With the advent of the Second World War, more widespread use of 
an information protection system was required. In addition, large 
numbers of civilians would be responsible for its administration and 
operation. Approximately one year after the entry of the United 
States into the hostilities it became necessary to establish government- 
wide regulations regarding security classification procedures. The 
principal instrumentality issuing directives on this matter was the 
Office of War Information. Established (E.O. 9182) on June 13, 1942 
as a unit within the Office for Emergency Management, the War 
Information panel consisted of the consolidated Office of Facts and 
Figures, Office of Government Reports, Division of Information of 
the Office for Emergency Management, and segments of the Foreign 
Information Service. It operated until its abolition (E.O. 9608) on 
August 31, 1945, when its peacetime functions were transferred to the 
Bureau of the Budget and the Department of State.^^ 

On September 28, 1942, the Office of War Information issued Regu- 
lation No. 4 governing the administration and use of security classi- 
fication markings on sensitive documents. It is not known how this 
directive was circulated, but it was not published in the Federal 
Register. The authority under which it was promulgated is also of 

*• /Wd., pp. 48-49. 

*^For general information on the OflSce of War Information see: Harold 
Childs, ed. "The OflBce of War Information. PuUic Opinion quarterly, v. 7, 
Spring, 1943: entire issue; Elmer Davis and Byron Price. War Information and 
Censorship. Washington, American Council on Public Affairs, 1943. 


uncertain origin. Nevertheless, in addition to provisions warning 
against overclassification and the proper identification, handling, and 
dissemination of sensitive information, the instrument defined three 
categories of classification : ^^ 

Secret Information is information the disclosure of which 
might endanger national security, or cause serious injury to 
the Nation or any governmental activity thereof. 

Confidential Injormation is information the disclosure of 
which although not endangering the national security would 
impair the effectiveness of government activity in the prose- 
cution of war. 

Restricted Information is information the disclosure of 
which should be limited for reasons of administrative priv- 
acy, or is information not classified as confidential because the 
benefits to be gained by a lower classification, such as per- 
mitting wider dissemination where necessary to effect the 
expedition's accomplishment of a particular project, outweigh 
the value of the additional security obtainable from the higher 

On May 19, 1943, Office of War Information Supplement No. 1 to 
Regulation No. 4 was issued, prescribing the establishment of the 
Security Advisory Board.^^ Composed of armed services officers, this 
unit according to the directive creating it. functioned as "an advisory 
and coordinating board in all matters relating to carry out the pro- 
visions of OWl Regulations No. 4." Again, the authority for promul- 
gating the supplementary instrument and the operating authority of 
the Board are not clear. 

After the end of World War II, the SAB continued to 
function as a part of the State-War-Navy Coordinating Com- 
mittee — later the State- Army-Navy-Air Force Coordinating 
Committee. On March 21, 1947, provisions of Executive Or- 
der 9835 directed the SAB to draft rules for the handling 
and transmission of documents and information that should 
not be disclosed to the public. A preliminary draft was com- 
pleted by the SAB but were not issued before the SAB and its 
parent coordinating committee went out of existence. 

After enactment of the National Security Act in 1947 [61 
Stat. 495"! which created the National Security Council 
(NSC), the NSC was given responsibility to consider and 
study security matters, which involve many executive depart- 
ments and agencies, and to make recommendations to the 
President in this vital area. The Interdepartmental Com- 
mittee on Internal Security (ICIS) was subsequently created 
and the activity of this committee was, according to the 
Wright Commission [on Government Security established in 

" A copy of the directive is in the files of the House Government Information 
and Individual Rights Subcommittee. 
*» /bid. 


1955] report, responsible for issuance of Executive Order 

10290 in 1951.2* 
Prior to the appearance of the 1951 directive, President Truman 
promulgated, pursuant to the opening provision of the 1938 defense 
installations protection law [52 Stat. 3], E.O. 10104 which replaced 
E.O. 8381 issued by President Roosevelt in accordance with the same 
authority. Authorization for the same three security classification 
markings was continued and the new instrument also "formalized the 
designation 'Top secret,' which had been added to military regula- 
tions during the latter part of World War I to coincide with classi- 
fication levels of our allies." -^ Supel•^asory authority for carrying out 
the provisions of the order was vested in the Secretary of Defense and 
the three armed services secretaries. 

It is important to emphasize that through the historical pe- 
riod of the use of classification markings described thus far 
until 1950, such formal directives, regulations, or Executive 
orders applied to the protection of military secrets, rarely 
extending into either those affecting nonmilitary agencies or 
those involving foreign policy or diplomatic relations. One 
exception is in the area of communications secrecy, governed 
by section 798 of the Espionage Act. This law, which protects 
cryptographic systems, communications intelligence informa- 
tion, and similar matters, applies, of course, to both military 
and nonmilitary Federal agencies such as the State Depart- 
ment. Aside from more restrictive war-time regulations, non- 
military agencies had, until 1958, relied generally on the 
1789 "housekeeping" statute . . . as the basis for withhold- 
ing vast amounts of information from public disclosure.^^ 

On September 24, 1951, through the issuance of E.O. 10290, Presi- 
dent Truman extended the coverage of the classification system to 
nonmilitary agencies which had a role in "national security" matters. 
The directive cited no express constitutional or statutory authority 
for its promulgation. Instead, the Chief Executive seems to have relied 
upon implied powers such as the "faithful execution of the laws" 
clause. Although these postures for the order were generally recog- 
nized and accepted as a legitimate basis for issuing such an instrument, 
the President's role in the matter was felt to have limitations as well.^^ 

Foremost among these is the well settled rule that an Execu- 
tive order, or any other Executive action, whether by formal 
order or by regulation, cannot contravene an act of Congress 
which is constitutional. Thus, when an Executive order col- 
lides with a statute which is enacted pursuant to the constitu- 
tional authority of the Congress, the statute will prevail 

**U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Government Operations. Executive 
Classification of Information — Security Cla^ssiflcation Problems Involving Exem- 
tian (b)(1) of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). Washinprton, 
U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1973. (93rd Congress, 1st Session. House. Report No. 221), 
p. 8. 

" Ibid. 

"Ibid., pp. 8-9. 

" See U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Government Operations. Safeguard- 
ing Official Information in the Interests of the Defense of the United States. 
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1962. (87th Congress, 2d session. House. 
Report no. 2456), pp. 29-31 


[Kendall v. United States, 12 Peters 524 (1838)]. This rule, 
in turn, gives rise to a further limitation which finds its 
source in the power of the Congress to set forth specifically 
the duties of various officers and employees of the executive 
branch. Since the President can control only those duties of 
his subordinates which are discretionary, to the extent that 
the Congress prescribes these duties in detail, these officials 
can exercise no discretion and their actions cannot be con- 
trolled by the President. In other words, if the Congress en- 
acts a statute which is constitutionally within its authority, 
the President cannot lawfully, either by Executive order, reg- 
ulation, or any other means, direct his subordinates to dis- 
obey that statute, regardless of whether it affects third 
persons or whether it is only a directive concerning the man- 
agement of the executive branch of the Government.^^ 

The legal justification for the program does not appear as barren 
as the foregoing seems to imply. Not only have Constitutional grounds 
(Article II) been put forward to justify the power of the President 
to establish a classification program, but statutory authority has been 
inferred from a number of laws, notably the Freedom of Information 
Act (5 U.S.C.A. 552, as amended by Public Law 93-502), the espio- 
nage laws (18 U.S.C.A. 792 et seq., notably sections 795 and 798), the 
Internal Security Act of 1950 (50 U.S.C.A. 783(b)), and the 1947 
National Security Act (61 Stat. 495). ^^^ 

Congress might attempt to overturn an Executive order by rescind- 
ing it or by possibly offering alternative language supplanting or 
amending the directive (though there would seem to be a constitu- 
tional conflict in such a course of action in the case of E.O. 10290).