During these early years the United States Air Force and the CIA exercised complete control over the ‘Alien Secret’. In fact, the CIA was formed by a Presidential Executive Order, first as the ‘Central Intelligence Group’ whose express purpose was to handle the ‘alien presence’. Subsequently, the National Security Act (NSA) was established to oversee the intelligence community, especially THE alien endeavor. A series of National Security Council Memos and Executive Orders removed the CIA from the sole task of gathering foreign intelligence information, and slowly but thoroughly legalized the direct action in the form of covert activities at home and abroad. On December 9, 1947, President Truman approved issuance of memo NSC-4, entitled “Coordination of Foreign Intelligence Information Measures” at the urging of Secretaries Marshall, Forrestal, Patterson, as well as the Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, Kennan.
Directive Defines CIA Authority
Under NSC-4 The Foreign and Military Intelligence Book 1, “Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental operations with respect to Intelligence Activities”, U.S. Senate, 94th Congress, 2nd Session, Report No. 94-755, April 26, 1976, page 49, stated: “This directive empowers the Secretary of State to coordinate overseas information activities designed to counter communism.” A top secret annex to NSC-4, is NSC-4A which instructed the Director of Central Intelligence to undertake covert psychological activities in pursuit of the aims set forth in NSC-4. The initial authority given the CIA for covert operations under NSC-4A did not establish formal procedures for either coordination or approving these operations. It simply directed the Director (of the CIA) “to undertake covert actions and to ensure, through liaison with the Departments of State and Defense, that the resulting operations were consistent with American Policy.”
Covert Abilities Expanded
Later NSC-10/1 and NSC-10/2 were to supersede NSC-4 and NSC-4A and expand their covert abilities even further. The Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) was chartered to carry out an expanded program of convert activities. NSC-10/1 and NSC10/2 validated illegal and extra- legal practices and procedures as being agreeable to the national security leadership. The reaction was swift. In the eyes of the intelligence community “no holds were barred”. Under NSC-10/1, an Executive Coordination Group, was established to review (but not approve) covert project proposals. The ECG was secretly tasked only to coordinate alien projects. NSC-10/1 and NSC-10/2 were interpreted to mean that no one at the top wanted to know about anything until a project was over and successful. These actions established an effective buffer between the President and the information they gathered. It was intended that this buffer serve as a means for the President to deny knowledge of such activities to the public if leaks divulged the true state of affairs. This buffer was used in later years for the purpose of effectively isolating succeeding Presidents from any knowledge whatever of the alien presence other than what the Secret Government and the Intelligence Community wanted him to know. NSC-10/2 established a study panel which met secretly and was made up of scientific minds of the day. The study panel was NOT called MJ-12. Another NSC memo, NSC-10-5 further outlined the duties of the study panel. These NSC memos and secret Executive Orders set the stage for the creation of MJ-12 which would come along 4 years later.
Secretary of Defense Forrestal Objects to Alien Secrecy
Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal began to object to the secrecy since he was a very idealistic and religious man who believed that the public should be told. President Truman asked him to resign his position for divulging to leaders of the opposition party and to leaders of the Congress the alien problem. He expressed his fears to many other people and rightfully believed that he was being watched. His actions were interpreted by those who were ignorant of the facts as paranoia. Forrestal later was said to have suffered a mental breakdown and was admitted to Bethesda Naval Hospital. In fact it was feared that Forrestal would begin to talk again and he had to be isolated and discredited. Sometime in the early morning of May 22, 1949 agents of the CIA tied a sheet around his neck, fastened the other end to a fixture in his room and threw James Forrestal out the window. The sheet tore and he plummeted to his death becoming one of the first victims of a cover-up.