Counterintelligence in the Office
of Strategic Services
Office of Coordinator of Information (COI) was established on
11 July 1941. It was announced to the public as an agency for
the collection and analysis of information and data. Actually,
through COI and its successor, the Office of Strategic Services
(OSS), the United States was beginning its first organized venture
into the fields of espionage, propaganda, subversion and related
activities under the aegis of a centralized intelligence agency.
In themselves, these various functions were not new. Every war
in American history has produced different examples of the use
of spies, saboteurs, and propagandists. Every major power, except
the United States, has used espionage, for example, in peace as
well as in war, for centuries. The significance of
COI/OSS was in the concept of the relationship between these
varied activities and their combined effect as one of the most
potent weapons in modern warfare.
The concept evolved from two missions performed for President
Roosevelt in 1940 and 1941 by the man who guided COI/OSS throughout
its existenceWilliam Joseph Donovan.
The establishment of the COI met particularly vigorous opposition
from the Army and Navy on the ground that the new agency might
usurp some of their functions. Therefore, it was decided to establish
COI as a part of the Executive Office of the President. The new
order was not designated as either a military or an executive
order; it referred to Roosevelt's position as President, as well
as commander in chief, and expressly reserved the duties of his
military and naval advisors. It deleted the previous reference
to the Army in appointing Donovan as Coordinator.
COI was renamed OSS in June 1942 with its directior reporting
to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The British asked FBI Director J.
Edgar Hoover to appoint a Bureau officer to run a new counterintelligence
(CI) organization to handle foreign CI, which Donovan had agreed
to house within OSS. When Hoover rejected this request, the British
asked Donovan to set up a CI section. On 1 March 1943, Donovan
created the CI section, known as X-2, and placed James R. Murphy
in charge. Murphy and X-2 were given access to ULTRA, Magic and
ICE. ICE was the OSS cryptonym for the British MI6 cryptonym ISOS,
the decoded and translated German Abwehr (Military Intelligence)
This chapter provides the written correspondence by Donovan,
President Roosevelt, and others on the creation of COI/OSS, its
eventual dissolution after the war, and reports on X-2.
The Coordinator of Information
The White House
July 11, 1941
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 security, to correlate 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 facilitate the securing of information important
for national security 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 President, may from time to time request.
3. The Coordinator of Information may appoint such committees consisting
of appropriate representatives of the various departments and agencies
of the Government, as he may deem necessary to assist him in the
performance of his functions.
4. Nothing in the duties and responsibilities of the Coordinator
of Information shall in any way interfere with or impair 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 Coordinator may employ necessary
personnel and make provision for the necessary supplies, facilities,
6. William J. Donovan is hereby designated as Coordinator of Information.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Memorandum for the Chief of
Subject: Undercover Intelligence Service
1. The military and naval intelligence services have gone into
the field of undercover intelligence to a limited extent. In the
view of the appointment of the Coordinator of Information and the
work which it is understood the President desires him to undertake,
it is believed that the undercover intelligence of the two services
should be consolidated under the Coordinator of Information. The
reasons for this are that an undercover intelligence service is
much more effective if under one head rather than three, and that
a civilian agency, such as the Coordinator of Information, has distinct
advantages over any military or naval agency in the administration
of such a service.
2. In the event or the immediate prospect of any military or naval
operations by United States forces in any part of the world, however,
the armed forces should have full power to organize and operate
such undercover intelligence services as they may deem necessary.
3. The Coordinator of Information has indicated in conference that
he is prepared to assume the responsibilities indicated in Paragraph
4. A memorandum similar to this is being submitted to the Chief
of Naval Operations by the Director of Naval Intelligence.
5. Action recommended:
That the Secretary of War approve the recommendations contained
in Paragraphs 1 and 2, above, so far as the War Department is concerned.
September 6, 1941
By order of the Secretary of War
Chief of Staff
by/S/ W.B. Smith
Col., G.S.C., Sec. W.D.G.S.
Noted-Chief of Staff
/S/ SHERMAN MILES
Brigadier General, U.S. Army
Acting Assistant Chief of Staff
G-2, noted by Sec. War 9/9/41
Memorandum for the President
From: The Coordinator of Information
October 10, 1941
By joint action of the Military and Naval Intelligence Services
there was consolidated under the Coordinator of Information the
undercover intelligence of the two services. In their memorandum
the reasons stated for the action are:
1. That such a service is much more effective under one head rather
than three, and
2. A civilian agency has distinct advantages over any military
or naval agency in the administration of such a service.
This consolidation has been approved by the Secretary of War and
the Secretary of the Navy.
In making this consolidation effective, it is necessary to do the
Send to a given country a man who is essentially an organizer.
The function of this man would be to set up agents of information
who would be able to supply him with information.
(a) During the period our diplomatic corps is accredited to that
(b) To be in a position to continue sending reports in event diplomatic
relations are severed.
Vital considerations in making this plan effective are security
and communications. Therefore, it will be necessary for our representatives
(a) Status for his protection;
(b) Use of the diplomatic pouch;
(c) Establishment of a line of communi-cations, both by radio and
other means, that will endure after the particular country has been
closed to us diplomatically.
Contents of a Letter From
Attorney Gen. Francis Biddle to Col. Donovan
9 March 1942
I have been advised that you have appointed General David P. Barrows
as Coordinator of Intelligence and Information on the West Coast.
I am further advised that the Directors of Military and Naval Intelligence
have not been informed of the purpose or reason for General Barrows
designation to this post.
The intelligence services have been carrying on a carefully coordinated
program built upon a complete exchange of pertinent information
and the carrying out of mutual undertakings in carefully defined
fields of responsibility. Close personal liaison is constantly maintained.
Therefore, there would be no reason for the designation of a Coordinator.
I would appreciate if you would let me know your purpose in designating
General Barrows and your intentions and program with reference to
this Coordination. I am somewhat surprised that this appointment
was made without prior discussion with the regularly constituted
Donovan's Reply to the Attorney
16 March 1942
1. No one has been designated as (your quote) Coordinator of Intelligence
and Information on the West Coast.
2. Some weeks ago we did designate, as one of our representatives
on the West Coast, General David P. Barrows, a distinguished and
respected citizen of San Francisco.
3. The whole question of the selection of representatives on the
West Coast was discussed with General Miles, Admiral Wilkinson,
and Mr. Hoover, by Colonel Buxton and myself at lunch on the 2nd
of December 1941. Colonel Buxton went immediately to the West Coast
for the purpose of selecting a representative. While there, he told
the Army and Navy officials, and also Mr. Pieper, the F.B.I. representative,
that Barrows was under consideration.
4. Colonel Buxton, upon his return from the West Coast, discussed
the matter with Colonel T.B. Bissell, General Lee's assistant.
5. Admiral Wilkinson sent a message to San Francisco informing
his people of the designation.
6. No attempt of any kind has been made to have any representative
of ours there invested with authority over other services or to
coordinate their activities, interfere with them, or impinge upon
their prerogatives. Our written instructions to General Barrows,
as to all others, concerning your department relate only to the
duty of turning over to your office any information concerning subversive
activities which might come to his attention. This is a duty incumbent
upon him not only as our representative but as a private citizen.
7. There has never been any misunderstanding regarding
General Barrows on the part of either ONI or MID in San Francisco,
and there is no reason for any misunderstanding on the part of your
William Donovan, Head of the OSS.
Memorandum (No. 360) for
From William J. Donovan
March 30, 1942
There has been submitted to you by the Joint Chiefs of Staff a
proposed order which would bring more closely together the office
at the Joint Chiefs of Staff and our agency. They have told me that
this matter has been taken up with Harry Hopkins for submission
I hope you will approve the order. It exactly conforms to your
original directive to me, both in name and functionbut which
was finally modified at the instance of the Army and Navy. The present
proposal comes at their instance. The services now seem to have
confidence in our organization and feel that we have in motion certain
instrumentalities of war useful to them. For these reasons, and
in order more closely to integrate with the armed forces the various
elements that we have been developing, they recommend the signing
of the order.
On March 16 (my memorandum No. 334) I briefly tried to describe
to you how our principal units supplement and support one another.
I think it essential that both chiefs of Staff, under your direction
as Commander-in-Chief, should have these services at their disposal.
These would be welded into one fighting force every essential element
in modern warfare. You will note that they have even provided for
I am glad to concur in the recommendation at the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, because I believe this is a sensible and necessary step toward
the more effective use of all modern war weapons.
Donovan Letter to the President
The White House
April 14, 1942
My dear Mr. President:
I talked with Sam Rosenman yesterday and was disturbed as well
as surprised by the conversation. Disturbed because it indicates
that since you have not signed the order pertaining to our alignment
with the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as a supporting agency,
it must be that you have not yet become convinced, as I am, of the
necessity for some such alignment. The conversation was further
disturbing because of my strong feeling that the preparation of
any plan involving political and subversive warfare must heavily
involve those entrusted with the protection of subsequent forms
If this war has taught us anything, it has taught us the need for
unification of all efforts__some new__which play a part in modern
warfare. It was for this reason that I wrote you on March 4th outlining
fully the reasons for leaving the present efforts of our office
coordinated into one effective whole. I would particularly call
your attention to this paragraph:
Now that we are at war, foreign propaganda must be employed as
a weapons of war. It must march with events. It is primarily an
attack weapon. It must be identified with specific strategic movements
often having effectively it must be allied with the military services.
It must be to a degree informed as to possible movements. The more
closely it is knit with the intelligence and the physically subversive
activities of the Army and the Navy, the more effective it can be.
All of these necessitates security. In point of fact the use of
propaganda is the arrow of initial penetration in coordinating and
preparing the people and the territory in which invasion is contemplated.
It is the first stepthen Fifth Column work, then militarized
raiders (or "Commandos") and then divisions.
William Egan Colby, Director
of CI who served in
OSS 1943-1945. DCI, 4 September 1973 - 30 January 1976.
It was for these same reasons that I concurred with the Joint Chiefs
of Staff in their request for aligning our office with them Further
deliberation, far from causing me to change my mind, has only served
to make me more convinced that the successful prosecution of this
war demands such unification of all the forces of war.
Let me add on this: at the very outset of our present relationship,
it was agreed that I would deal directly with you. Due to your continued
support and confidence, we have been able to set up for you an instrument
of modern warfare, which, if left unimpaired, will mean for you
a weapon of combined operations which will be able to stand against
any similar weapon of the Axis. In doing this we have not usurped
the function of or encroached upon the domain of the Army, Navy,
or State Department. I am sure you believe that I have no such intention.
But I feel it is now my duty respectfully to urge that this weapon
which has been so carefully prepared over the last eight months,
which has already begun to demonstrate its usefulness, and which
has won the respect of some who were skeptical at the outset, shall
not be disturbed at home before it shall be put to its really crucial
/s/ William J. Dovovan
Presidential Military Order
the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)
12 June, 1942,
By virtue of the authority of the 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. The Office of the 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
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 following
a. Collect and analyze such strategic information as may be required
by the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff
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 direction and supervision
of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff.
4. William J Donovan is hereby appointed as Director of Strategic
The order of July 11, 1941 is hereby revoked.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Commander in Chief
Allen Welsh Dulles, Director
of CI who served in
OSS office in Bern, Switzerland, 1942-1945. DCI,
26 February 1953 - 29 November 1961.
General Order 13 Establishing
Division in the Secret Intelligence
Branch of the OSS
1 March 1943
There is hereby created a Counterintelligence Division in the SI
branch of intelligence service of OSS.
James R. Murphy is designated as the head of this division. The
functions of the Counterintelligence Division shall be:
1. To collect from every authorized source appropriate intelligence
concerning espionage activities of the enemy.
2. To take such action with respect thereto as may be appropriate,
and to evaluate and disseminate such intelligence within OSS as
may be necessary, and to exchange such information with other agencies
as may be appropriate.
The Counterintelligence Section shall be provided with such personnel
and facilities as may be required. All geographic functional desks,
sections, and branches of OSS are directed to cooperate in all respects
with the CI Division and to furnish it with all information or material
relating to its field of activity.
William J. Donovan
General Order Establishing
Espionage Branch of the Intelligence Branch
of the Intelligence Service of OSS
15 June, 1943
The provisions of General Order number 13, issued 1 March 1943,
are hereby rescinded and there is established under the Deputy Director,
Intelligence Service a Counter Espionage Branch which should be
referred to by members in conversation and in communication of OSS
as X-2 branch.
The functions of the Counter Espionage Branch shall be...
1. To collect from every authorized source appropriate intelligence
data concerning espionage and subversive activities of the enemy.
2. To analyze and process such intelligence in order to take appropriate
action, and to exchange such intelligence with appropriate authorized
3. To institute such measures as may be necessary to protect the
operational security of OSS, and to prevent the penetration of our
espionage and other secret activities.
4. To cooperate with the counterintelligence agencies of the United
States and our allies, and afford them timely information of enemy
attempts at penetration or subversive action from areas in which
X-2 is authorized to operate.
5. To prepare secret lists of subversive personalities in foreign
areas for the theater commanders and other such government agencies
as the director may prescribe. The X-2 branch shall be provided
with such personnel and facilities as may be authorized. All geographic
and functional desks, sections and branches of OSS are directed
to cooperate in all respects with the X-2 branch and to furnish
it with all information or material relating to its field of activity.
There should be close coordination between S.I. and X-2 branches.
The chiefs of the S.I. and X-2 branches will exchange operational
information to the extent necessary to affect coordination of the
operation of both branches.
The X-2 branch shall furnish to the S.I. branch any intelligence
which is not exclusively of X-2 interest, and the S.I. branch shall
refer promptly to the X-2 branch intelligence of interest to the
X-2 officers operating in foreign areas shall be under either a
SSU officer or an OSS mission chief. The X-2 branch may, with the
permission of the chief of S.I. employ S.I. field representatives
in connection with its work in the field. In such event X-2 activities
so conducted shall be kept separate by such field representatives
and communications with respect thereto will be subject to examination
of the chief of S.I. and the appropriate desk head.
Practices and procedures with respect to the working arrangements
between the S.I. and the X-2 branches shall be adopted in consideration
between the chiefs of these branches and approved by the Deputy
The X-2 branch shall maintain its own separate liaison and separate
channels of communication within existing OSS facilities.
The X-2 branch shall establish and maintain its own files and records
and shall locate its registry functions in close proximity to those
of the S.I. branch in order that there may be a central area for
S.I. and X-2 information.
James Murphy is designated chief of the Counterespionage branch.
William J. Donovan
Extract of Memorandum from
William J. Donovan to Maj. Gen. W. B. Smith
17 September 1943
1. The National Interest requires such an organization.
(1) National Policy is formulated in the light of information concerning
the policies and activities of other nations.
(2) Each nation in defense of its institutions and its people,
must have an independent intelligence service to guide its policy
in peace as well as in war.
(3) Reliance cannot be placed either on the continuance or the
impartiality of intelligence voluntarily furnished to one nation
by another, however friendly. Such service may be interrupted and
even if not discontinued, it is found to reflect, in its evaluation,
as ours would, the bias and color of national interest.
2. All major nations other than ours have such agencies.
With the exception of the United States, all of the major nations
have had, prior to the war, intelligence services, including secret,
separate in large measure from their military establishment.
Such agencies are a recognized and accepted part of the machinery
of government. They have kept their respective Governments informed
of current political activities, and long prior to the war, they
recruited and trained personnel, provided them with suitable cover,
and placed them in political enemy countries; established networks
and communications, and laid the groundwork for actual operations
in time of war.
William Joseph Casey, Director
of CI who served in OSS from 1943; Chief of the Special Intelligence
Branch in European Theater of Operations, 1944-1945. DCI,
28 January 1981 - 29 January 1987.
3. Position of the United States in this respect prior to World
(1) The intelligence agencies of the United States were not geared
to the demands of a World War. They had been caught unprepared.
There was no over-all general intelligence service which collected
and analyzed information on which decisions should be made and plans
formulated. There was no coordination of our various agencies of
information, nor of the information itself. There was no Secret
Intelligence nor Counterintelligence Service for working in enemy
territory. There were no plans to meet those needs.
(2) Five months prior to the outbreak of war, a Committee of Cabinet
members was appointed by the President to inquire into the matter.
That committee consulted with the writer of this paper who studied
the problem, and prepared a report with certain recommendations
which were accepted and put into effect by Presidential order.
These recommendations were based upon certain:
4. Requirements for a long-range Strategic Intelligence Service
with Subversive Attributes.
(1) That the intelligence services of one nation should be kept
independent from that of any other nation, each with its own agents,
communications, and transportation__for the following reasons:
(a) Security. The disclosure of one will not necessarily
involve damage to another.
(b) Verification. If networks are truly separate, it is
improvable that information simultaneously received from two chains,
springs from a single source.
(c) Control. The effectiveness of intelligence work is dependent
upon performance_at least insofar as it is not subject to the power
of another to terminate it. The danger that its operation may be
terminated by the act of another means subordination.
(2) That a long range intelligence service should include an overall
collection of political, economic, sociological, and psychological
(3) That a branch of such a service should obtain information by
(4) A Counterintelligence Service is necessary for the protection
of primary services.
(5) That a Research and Analysis Branch should be established,
composed of men of technical and professional competence_ research
specialists with extensive knowledge of areas in question, and trained
to critical appraisal of information.
(6) That it should have access to short-wave radio as a strategic
weapon of attack and exploitation, knit into military plans and
(7) That it should have under its direction morale and physical
(8) That it should have no concern with combat or operational intelligence,
except to furnish information required.
(9) That there should be:
1. Independent communications by pouch and code.
2. A separate budget and unvouchered funds.
3. Passport privileges.
(10) That its Director should be a civilian, and its personnel
should be recruited largely from civilian life. They should be men
whose professional or business training has given them vision, imagination,
alertness, initiative, and experience in organization. The organization
which was set up based on these concepts became known as:
5. The Office of Strategic Services
It is useless to relate the difficulties and vicissitudes of this
organization in finding acceptance of its services by those who
needed it most. For the purposes of this paper it is necessary only
to say that it has been able to realize in large part the above
named requirements, and today is a living organism which can be
adapted to a permanent plan or as a design for a new but similar
Richard McGarrah Helms, Office
of Strategic Services and
its successors 1943-1947. DCI, 30 June 1966 - 2 February 1973.
SHAEF (INT) Directive No.
Special Counterintelligence Units
(With Paragraphs not pertinent to this text omitted)
1. Information relating to enemy secret intelligence services in
enemy, enemy-occupied and neutral territory is available in LONDON
main in Section V or MI 6 X-2 Branch of OSS, but also, in other
departments such as MI-5 and MI-14(d), War Office. Owing to the
special nature of this information and the great discretion required
in its use, it is not suitable for passing to the CI Staffs through
normal intelligence channels. Special CI Units will therefore be
supplied by Section V of MI 6 for attachment to British Army Group
and Army Headquarters and by X-2 Branch of OSS for attachment of
US Army Group and Army Headquarters. These units will act as a channel
for passing information to CI Staff, about enemy secret intelligence
services and will advise them as to its use.
2. All producer departments of information of this type in LONDON
will work in close collaboration and will pass their information
to MI6/OSS for transmission, of necessary, to SCI units.
5. The Duties of SCI units in the planning stage are:
(a) To assist in the preparation of all available information about
enemy secret intelligence services in the form required by the CI
(b) To advise CI Staffs in the selection of the immediate counterintelligence
targets and in the method of dealing with them to ensure the maximum
6. The duties of the SCI units in the field are:
(a) To distribute and interpret to the CI Staffs all counterespionage
information received by them from LONDON and from other SCI units,
and advise as to its most effective and secure use.
(b) To afford the maximum protection to special sources of secret
(c) To advise CI Staffs in the selection of counterespionage targets
whose capture is likely to yield material of value.
(d) To assist CI Staffs in the examination of captured enemy documents
or material of special counterespionage interest.
(e) To assist CI Staffs in the interrogation of captured enemy
(f) To pass to LONDON all information on enemy secret intelligence
services collected in the field, including such captured documents
and other material as is no longer required in the field.
(g) To serve as a direct channel between each Army group HQ for
information on enemy secret intelligence services collected in the
(h) To serve as a channel between the Army Groups and from Army
Groups to LONDON for any other counterintelligence information which
cannot be passed through normal service channels.
Employment of SCI Units
7. SCI Units are normally attached to the CI Staffs of a Headquarters
and are directly responsible to the Chief CI Staff Officers.
8. Although not technically forming part of the CI Staff,
the officers of SCI units will work in closest liaison with the
component subsections of the staff. The functions of the SCI units
are advisory and not executive. Executive action on information
supplied by SCI units is the province of the CI Staffs and CI personnel.
9. SCI units will normally pass their information direct to the
appropriate sub-section of the CI Staff. However, in furtherance
of the responsibility to safeguard special sources (see para 6 (b)
above), they will have the right to withhold any particular item
of information derived from such sources from any but the Chief
CI Officer, and represent to him the necessity for prohibiting or
limiting action upon it, where action or unrestricted action might
prejudice the security of these sources. The ultimate decision as
to whether action is or is not to be taken in the field will rest
with the A C of S (G-2) or the BGS (I) of the Army Group except
when an express prohibition to take action is issued by MI6 or OSS
10. Personnel of SCI units should not be employed in any area where
there is danger of capture and therefore of interrogation by the
enemy. They should normally move with the HQ to which they are attached.
11. It may often be profitable to attach CI personnel to SCI units
for short periods of training for special tasks, e.g., seizure and
inspection of CI documents. Personnel of SCI units may also accompany
CI personnel on such tasks subject to the proviso in the preceding
12. Personnel of SCI units are specially qualified and must not
be employed on any other counterintelligence duties.
13. SCI units are furnished with special communi-cations and codes
and are not normally dependent on Army Signals.
14. Each SCI unit will be in direct communication with its LONDON
Headquarters, and all units within the same Army Group Zone will
be in direct communication with each other. In addition, each unit
with an Army Group Headquarters will be in direct communication
with the unit at the other Army Group Headquarters.
Other paragraphs pertinent to SCI units are cited below:
Section IX: The Handling and Disposal of Known and Suspect Enemy
1. The first responsibility of Counterintelligence staffs in the
theater of operation is the detection and apprehension of enemy
agents. Detailed planning of measures against the Germany Intelligence
Services (GIS) must be undertaken well in advance. Such plans will
be based upon information supplied by SCI units and will be formulated
in consultation with officers of these units. While SCI units will
render advice and furnish information, executive action is the responsibility
of CI Staffs and personnel.
3. Whenever GIS personnel are captured, SCI officers must be notified
and afforded the earliest opportunity to interrogate them. All documents,
records, or equipment of GIS personnel captured will be turned over
to SCI units for examination. SCI units will be consulted as to
the disposal of each individual case. It is only by making the fullest
use in this way of SCI units that the maximum information can be
obtained and the detection and arrest of other agents secured.
8. The field interrogation of arrested enemy agents should be carried
out immediately. The more important cases should, upon advise of
SCI officers, be returned to the U.K. for further and more specialized
interrogation at the MI5 Interrogation Centre in LONDON.
Section X: Counter-Sabotage
5. Enemy Sabotage Agents. Information from
special sources covering the sabotage activities of enemy agents
who will be made available to CI Staffs by SCI units, will advise
on the action to be taken in respect to such agents.
6. Any captured saboteur known or believed to be an enemy agent
will be handled in the same manner as other enemy agents (see Section
7. Liaison With MI5 Counterintelligence Staffs at
Headquarters, Army Groups, will maintain direct liaison with the
counter-sabotage section of MI5. MI5 will furnish the CI Staffs
with all available information of enemy sabotage methods and equipment,
and with advice as to measures for the prevention and detection
of sabotage and interrogation of saboteurs. CI Staffs will similarly
notify MI5 of sabotage developments discovered in the field. Where
necessary such information will be passed through MI6 (V), LONDON,
and the SCI units in the field.
Section XI: Channels of Counterintelligence Information
2. Procedure for handling information collected in the field.
(c) SCI units at Army and Army Groups will pass back direct through
their special communication channels to MI5 (V)/OSS
(X-2) information unsuitable for transmission by Army Signals.
MI6 (V)/OSS (X-2) will undertake the collation and the further distribution
of this information where necessary, to the other departments in
LONDON or WASHINGTON and will pass to the Coordination Section,
SHAEF, such detailed routine information as will be necessary for
maintaining the personality cards up to date, and any summaries
which will be required by SHAEF.
3. Procedure for the distribution of information in the field.
(b) All further information or requests for information addressed
from departments in LONDON and WASHINGTON to formations in the field,
and which are suitable for transmission by normal Army channels,
will be routed through the Coordination Section, SHAEF. Information
concerning the operation of SCI units or which is not suitable for
transmission by normal means, will be routed through MI6 (V)/OSS
7. Channels of Counterintelligence Information.
(a) MI6 (V)/OSS (X-2) pass information relating to hostile secret
intelligence services direct to SCI units attached to Army Groups
in the field through their own special communi-cations.
Contents of Gen. Donovan's
Memorandum to President Roosevelt, Dated 18 November 1944
Pursuant to your note of 31 October 1944, I have given consideration
to the organization of an intelligence service for the post-war
In the early days of the war when the demands upon intelligence
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 problems of peace.
This will require two things:
1. That intelligence control authority reporting directly to you,
with responsibility to frame intelligence objectives and to collect
and coordinate the intelligence material required by Executive Branch
in planning and carrying national policy and strategy.
I attach in form of a draft directive the means by which I think
this could be realized without difficulty 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,
Department 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
2. The immediate revisions 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 national defense, being gathered now by
certain departments and agencies, is not being used to full advantage
in the war. Coordination at the strategy level would prevent waste,
and avoid the present confusion that leads to waste and unnecessary
Though in the midst of war, we are also in a period of transition
which, before we are aware, will take us into the tumult of rehabilitation.
An adequate and orderly intelligence system will contribute to informed
We have now in the Government the trained and specialized personnel
needed to the task. This talent should not be dispersed.
This section was taken from the official history of OSS. The
text has been slightly edited.
Counterespionage (CE) is a distinct and inde-pendent intelligence
function. It embraces not only the protection of the intelligence
interests of the government it serves, but, by control and manipulation
of the intelligence operations of other nations, it performs a dynamic
function in discerning their plans and intentions, as well as in
deceiving them. An effective counterespionage organization is therefore
an intelligence instrument of vital importance to national security.
The development of a secret intelligence organi-zation makes protective
counterintelligence inevitable. However, to confine such activity
to its protective aspects would be to eschew the development of
the affirmative phases of counterespionage, which give it its unique
and distinct value.
A counterespionage organization usually develops slowly. Basic
to it is the vast body of records, which is the key to its operations
and which normally takes years to accumulate. A second requirement,
however, no less vital, is skilled personnel familiar with the intricate
techniques by which the intelligence efforts of other nations may
be controlled and directed.
The United States lacked these basic factors. At the outbreak of
the war, its counterintelligence activities were performed by several
agencies and departments of the government and the armed forces,
principally FBI, G-2, and ONI. Fortunately, the domestic security
problem, most important at that time, was efficiently handled by
the FBI, which kept itself alerted to threats from beyond US borders
by liaison with Allied security services, chiefly those of the British.
With respect to areas outside the Western Hemisphere, however, the
United States had virtually no security protection. Also, the divisions
of interest of the various American organizations concerned with
counterintelligence and the limitations upon their several missions
had resulted in incomplete and duplicative records, which were scattered
and uncoordinated. The lack of complete past and current records
of enemy espionage organizations, their personnel, and activities
made the effective pro-secution of counte-espionage seem impossible.
The development by COI/OSS of a secret intelligence organization
to operate outside the Western Hemisphere made it obvious that it
would be necessary to establish a security organization for its
protection. It is, of course, inevitable that a secret intelligence
agent in a foreign area will attempt to acquaint himself with the
intelligence activities and undercover personnel of other nations
operating in the same area. This, however, provides only localized
and uncoordinated knowledge. Furthermore, it does not take advantage
of the affirmative possibilities inherent in the possession of such
knowledge, if it is coordinated with related data and supported
by an efficient centralized organization.