10 May 2003. One of the Intelligence Community Black Actions series.
See the 1956 Bruce-Lovett Report on CIA covert actions. Information on locating this report welcomed; send to email@example.com.
See related: http://cryptome.org/ic-black5602.htm
Spring 1995 Issue No. 3
In This Issue:
The Historical Review Group is continuing to review and declassify thousands
of documents from CIA records. They include national intelligence topics
ranging from strategic National Intelligence Estimates to covert political
and paramilitary operations.
Dr. J. Kenneth McDonald, after almost 14 years as Chief of the CIA History Staff, became a Senior Fellow of the Center in March and will retire at the end of the summer.
Placed in the Office of the DCI when Dr. McDonald became Chief Historian in 1981, the History Staff has expanded in size and publications during his tenure to attain new prominence both inside and outside of the CIA. In addition to producing classified and unclassified histories, the History Staff now selects records for the Center's Historical Review Group to declassify, publishes a volume of newly released documents for each Center conference, offers expert advice for Agency- wide record searches, and teaches a popular course on CIA history. Dr. McDonald's first project on retiring will be to complete a book on British naval policy in the origins of World War II.
Dr. Kay Oliver assumed the responsibilities as Chief of the History Staff and Chief Historian on 20 March 1995. She comes to the Center following a variety of assignments over more than 20 years as a CIA analyst and senior manager and after sabbaticals at George Washington University and the National War College. Her doctorate is from Indiana University in Russian history.
The History Staff has been involved in a number of outside activities:
CIA's OSS Records at the National Archives
One of the most important declassification projects of the late 20th Century is drawing to a close. In the early 1970s a CIA team reviewed and declassified records of CIA's predecessor organizations, the Coordinator of Information (COI), the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the Strategic Services Unit (SSU), and the Central Intelligence Group (CIG). Together these records provide an official documentary record of US intelligence and its operations during World War II and the early postwar period. In the early 1980s the CIA History Staff, at the request of DCI William Casey, arranged for the transfer of these OSS and other records to the National Archives and Records Administration. To date, CIA has declassified and transferred some 3,800 cubic feet (over 8 million pages) of textual records.
The National Archives has placed all of the OSS records, including those from COI, SSU, and CIG in Record Group 226. This same Record Group includes 1,700 cubic feet of material from the OSS Research and Analysis Branch that the State Department transferred to the Archives following OSS's disbandment in 1945. RG 226 is one of the most frequently used collections at the National Archives, and it was CIA's first grand-scale effort to declassify intelligence records for public use. A team of four former CIA and OSS officers is still working on this declassification project and hopes to finish soon. When they complete this project, NARA will hold 95 percent of the original records from the World War II period that CIA has had in its custody.
The Elusive ``Bruce-Lovett Report''
Judging by the number of presidential and congressional commissions, panels, boards, and committees formed to study CIA's mission and purpose, one could conclude that the Agency is one of the most studied of all federal agencies. The best known studies are closely identified with their principal authors or sponsors. Hence we have the ``Church Committee'' report (1976), the ``Schlesinger'' report (1971), and the ``Dulles-Jackson- Correa'' report (1949). The final product of the ongoing Presidential Commission to study the future of the intelligence community will undoubtedly be remembered as the ``Aspin Commission'' report.
These reports make fascinating reading as well as invaluable sources for the CIA History Staff. The Staff recently ran across a reference to another item, the so- called ``Bruce-Lovett'' report, that it would very much like to read--if we could find it! The report is mentioned in Peter Grose's recent biography Gentleman Spy: The Life of Allen Dulles. According to Grose, two American elder statesmen, David Bruce and Robert Lovett, prepared a report for President Dwight Eisenhower in the fall of 1956 that criticized CIA's alleged fascination with ``kingmaking'' in the Third World and complained that a ``horde of CIA representatives'' was mounting foreign political intrigues at the expense of gathering hard intelligence on the Soviet Union.
The History Staff decided to get a copy of the report and see what the two former diplomats had really said. The first place to look was the CIA files on the President's Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities (PBCFIA). Bruce and Lovett had been charter members of this blue-ribbon panel. There was no reference to such a report. We then checked with the Eisenhower Library and National Archives, which holds the PBCFIA records, but came up emptyhanded. The Virginia Historical Society, the custodian of David Bruce's papers, did not have a copy either.
Having reached a dead end, we consulted the author of the Dulles biography, Peter Grose. Grose told us that he had not seen the report itself but had used notes made from it by historian Arthur M. Schlesinger for Robert F. Kennedy and His Times (1978). Professor Schlesinger informed us that that he had seen the report in Robert Kennedy's papers before they were deposited at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. He had loaned Grose his notes and does not have a copy of these notes or of the report itself.
This raises an interesting question: how did a report on the CIA written for President Eisenhower in 1956 end up in the RFK papers? We think we have the answer. Robert Lovett was asked to testify before Gen. Maxwell Taylor's board of inquiry on the 1961 Bay of Pigs operation. Robert Kennedy was on that board and may have asked Lovett for a copy of the report. But we do not have the answer to another question: where is the ``Bruce-Lovett'' report? The JFK Presidential Library has searched the RFK papers without success. Surely the report will turn up some day, even if one government agency and four separate archives so far haven't been able to find it. But this episode helps to prove one of the few Iron Laws of History: the official who keeps the best records gets to tell the story.
CIA's Historical Intelligence Collection contains 23,000 volumes of books on intelligence ranging from the quite ordinary to the very rare. It also contains 350 books with 2,380 files of press clippings on intelligence subjects. Many of the press clippings are reviews of books on intelligence by some 380 authors. The Curator of the collection was integrated into the Center in 1991, but the collection itself remains part the CIA Library. The collection was started under DCI Allen Dulles's auspices in 1954. Dulles wanted the collection to be both a research resource and a collection of historically important publications on all aspects of intelligence.
Dulles's model was the law library, and it is no accident that the first curator, Walter L. Pforzheimer, was both a lawyer (he also was CIA's first legislative counsel) and a bibliophile. Pforzheimer was designated Special Assistant in 1956, but that title was changed to the more appropriate one of Curator. Under Pforzheimer's guidance the HIC expanded from 1,190 to 22,000 books by 1974, when he retired.
Pforzheimer's mandate from Dulles was to form a collection that had both breadth and depth. He accomplished his mission, and the HIC today reflects the original conception. The HIC includes books on strategic, military, and national intelligence as well as espionage, counterintelligence, and unconventional warfare, including guerrilla movements, terrorism, partisans, and special military and paramilitary forces. Authors range from Sun Tzu to William Colby and chronologically from ancient China through Elizabethan England to the Revolutionary and Civil Wars to the latest memoirs by KGB defectors and former intelligence officers.
The HIC has endured and prospered to become what is probably the finest collection of its type.