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Competing Daily. But papers are a CIA staple. Each day the agency provides two classified intelligence summaries. One, called the "President's Daily Brief," goes to only five people: Carter, Vice President Walter Mondale, Vance, Secretary of Defense Harold Brown and National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski. The other, the "National Intelligence Daily," omits a few supersecret items and circulates to about 100 high officials. Yet at the White House, a competing daily intelligence summary from the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) is considered superior. The INR staff was shaped and honed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and is described by one White House staff member as "leaner and more self-confident" than the CIA.
The CIA also contributes heavily to periodic papers called "National Intelligence Estimates," which attempt to pull together the expertise of all the U.S. intelligence-gathering agencies, including those in the military services, on specific topics. The agencies' main aim has been to assess Soviet strategic capabilities and, more significant, Russia's intentions. These reports were read critically by Kissinger, who sometimes penciled in the margin "flabby" or "bureaucratic bullshit." They are still held in low esteem at the White House.
Aware of these failings. Turner, whose two-hat job as CIA chief and director of Central Intelligence gives him leadership of the entire intelligence community, has recruited two top assistants for tough assignments:
> Robert Bowie, a Harvard political scientist and director of State Department policy planning under President Eisenhower, will concentrate on overhauling and improving the "National Intelligence Estimates."
> Robert ("Rusty") Williams, a management consultant and longtime friend of Turner's, will review and recommend changes in the agency's directorate of operations, the much criticized unit that carries out covert operations.
Yet it is Turner's promise to make greater public use of CIA expertise that is the most striking change. The first such move was the declassification of the CIA's assessment of worldwide oil and gas reserves. Agency veterans fear that making studies public may reveal their secret information-gathering techniques and sources. But Deputy Director Henry Knoche, a CIA career man and its second-ranking official, argues that "there are ways of more adroitly writing our reports so we don't give away sources and methods, but can impart our conclusions." Turner believes too much secrecy makes it harder to keep the significant secrets. Says he: "The less we classify, the better off we are in protecting what we have to protect."