Sunday, November 22, 2009

Involvement in Domestic Affairs

7 May 1973


1. This memorandum responds to the DDI's request for a listing of any questionable involvements in domestic affairs. I do not believe that CRS is doing anything that a reasonable man could construe as improper.

2. CRS does, of course, have several programs to acquire still pictures, movies, videotapes [...]

3. CRS files do not generally bear on U.S. citizens or organizations. The biographic file-building criteria specifically excludes U.S. nationals unless the person has become of such major importance in the political life of a foreign country that the file is essential. (To my knowledge, only 2 persons so qualify. Our Cuban files probably include some persons who are now U.S. citizens but we have no way to separate them; we have files on U.S. defectors to Cuba.)

4. The CIA Library has several informal snag files intended to aid the librarians in answering the kinds of questions that they know they will get on a continuing basis. An appointments file is a collection of clippings on appointed federal officials: who holds what job when and what is his background? The extremist files are a collection of folders on a variety of organizations and a few people with intricate organizational links. Any sort of extremism is grist for these particular files. And a few persons, e.g., Rap Brown and Eldridge Cleaver, have dossiers consisting almost exclusively of clippings from public media. These files are unclassified and consist mostly of clippings from the public press: U.S., foreign, underground, scholarly.

5. I am not aware of any other kind of involvement in domestic activities that is not related to development of techniques or logistics or legitimate training of CRS personnel.

Director, Central Reference Service

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