The MH/CHAOS program was a worldwide program for clandestine collection abroad of information on foreign efforts to support / encourage / exploit / manipulate domestic U.S. extremism, especially by Cuba, Communist China, North Vietnam, the Soviet Union, North Korea and the Arab fedayeen. The MH/CHAOS program was not conducting efforts domestically for internal domestic collection purposes. Agency efforts were foreign.
Foreign-oriented activity in the United States has been of two types. Selected FBI domestic sources who traveled abroad in connection with their extremist activity and/or affiliations to make contact with hostile foreign powers or with foreign extremist groups were briefed and debriefed by CIA Headquarters officers. The briefing has included appropriate operational guidance, inc1uding defensive advice. Americans with existing extremist credentials were assessed, recruited, tested and dispatched abroad for PCS assignments as contract agents, primarily sources offered for such use by the FBI. When abroad they collect information responsive to MH/CHAOS program requirements, as well as other Agency requirements. They were thus used primarily for targeting against Cubans, Chinese Communists, the North Vietnamese, etc., as their background and their particular access permits.
MH/CHAOS was a foreign program, conducted overseas, except for these limited activities. The program was managed so as to achieve the maximum feasible utilization of existing resources of the OŁerations Directorate. No assets were recruited and run exclusively for the MH/CHAOS program. Instead, emphasis waas been placed on the exploitation of new and old Agency assets who had a by-product capability or a concurrent capability for provision of information responsive to the program's requirements.
This involved the provision of custom-tailored collection requirements and operational guidance. This collection program was viewed as an integral part of the recruitment and collection programs of China Operations, Vietftam Operations, Cuhan Operations, Soviet Bloc Operations, and Korean Branch Operations. Agents who had an American "Movement" background or had known connections with the American "Movement" were useful as access agents to obtain biographic and personality data, to discern possible vulnerabilities and susceptibilities, and to develop operationally exploitable relatjonships with recruitment targets of the above programs. These assets were of interest to CIA targets because of their connections with and/or knowldege of the American "Movement."
Over the course of the MH/CHAOS program, there had been approximately 20 important areas of operational interest, which were later reduced to about ten: Paris, Stockholm, Brussels, Dar es'Salaam, Conakry, Algiers, Mexico City, Santiago, Ottawa and Hong Kong. MH/CHAOS reporting from abroad relating to the program originated in two ways: Individuals who were noted in contact with Cubans, the Chinese Communists, etc., and who appeared to have extremist connections, interests or background were reported upon. Other individuals were reported upon in response to specific Headquarters requirements received from the FBI because such individuals were of active investigatory security interest to the FBI.
All cable and dispatch traffic related to the MH/CHAOS program was sent via restricted channels. It was not processed by either the Cable Secretariat or the Information Services Division. The control and retrievability of information obtained, including information received from the FBI, wss the responsibilIty of the Special Operations Group. Information responsive to specific FBI requirements was disseminated to the FBI via special controlled dissemination channels, i.e., by restricted handling cable traffic or via special pouch and specially numbered blind memoranda.
Information of particular significance, when collected, was disseminated by special memorandum over the signature of the Director of Central Intelligence to the White House (Dr. Kissinger and John Dean), as well as to the Attorney General, the Secretary of State and the Director of the FBI.
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