Guide to products of US national intelligence in 1975

In an earlier post on the National Intelligence Dailies, I made passing reference to a 1975 document called “A Guide to the National Intelligence Community’s Production Organizations and Their Products”. For digging into archives now, the document actually provides a handy roadmap to products that should be available – both in the CIA archives as well as elsewhere. As the name implies, the document also provides a handy reference to the intelligence production organizations of the time and their responsibilities.

There are a few different oddly redacted versions of the document available in the CIA online archive, but putting them together you can reconstruct the whole document. The mostly-complete version is only missing Annex A, but another version of the document has it. Even in that version, one row is redacted, but it’s probably a reference to “Trends in Communist Media”, which I’ve written about before. For whatever strange reason, this document version with Annex A has references to Foreign Broadcast Information Service redacted, even though FBIS even publicly sold their Daily Reports. (FBIS references otherwise are in place in the mostly-complete version of the Guide.)

For an overview, below are the organizations that contributed to current intelligence, estimates and warning intelligence products in 1975.




For convenience, I’ve created a spreadsheet of the products listed in Annex A. I also added products which were mentioned in the document itself, but omitted from the table. My additions are visible with a yellow highlight. For more information on the products themselves, take a look at the Guide itself, which has very useful descriptions. The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) for example is described as follows:

The NIE is intended for NSC-level policy-making authorities. Topics selected for treatment in the NIE format are limited to those of high policy concern. The exposition is normally structured in such way as to illuminate policy issues and, when appropriate, the choices which may be open to policy authorities. If back-up material is required, it is often published in separate annexes. NIEs are published by the DCI after approval by USIB.

On CIA, it’s worth noting as previous discussed that the National Intelligence Daily of 1975 was a quite different animal from the NID that became the replacement of the National Intelligence Bulletin.

(Usability note: the horizontal scroll bar for getting all the columns visible is awkwardly located under some empty rows.)

Direct link to the sheet

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