Thursday, December 24, 2009

a presidential operations management moment...,

Truthout | For those of you who may have forgotten, Dec. 22 was the 46th anniversary of the most important op-ed of all the 381,659 written about the CIA since its founding. Do not feel bad if you missed it; the op-ed garnered little attention — either at the time or subsequently.

The draft came from Independence, Missouri, and was published in the Washington Post early edition on Dec. 22, 1963.

The first and the last two sentences of Harry Truman’s unusual contribution bear repeating:

“I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency….

“We have grown up as a nation, respected for our free institutions and for our ability to maintain a free and open society. There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position and I feel that we need to correct it.”

Truman began by describing what he saw as CIA’s raison d’ĂȘtre, emphasizing that a President needs “the most accurate and up-to-the-minute information on what is going on everywhere in the world, and particularly of the trends and developments in all the danger spots.”

He stressed that he wanted to create a “special kind of an intelligence facility” charged with the collection of “all intelligence reports from every available source, and to have these reports reach me as President without “treatment or interpretations” by departments that have their own agendas.

A Warning
The “most important thing,” he said, “was to guard against the chance of intelligence being used to influence or to lead the President into unwise decisions.”

Fist tap my man Rembom.