White House Statement on the President's Meeting With the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board

July 14, 1987

The President met today with members of his Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board to receive a briefing on the Board's findings and recommendations regarding the procedures and practices to protect classified information and activities at our foreign missions worldwide. The Board's report is classified.

The Advisory Board as well as the panels chaired by former Defense Secretary Laird and former Defense Secretary Schlesinger have together conducted comprehensive, hard-hitting, thorough studies of the serious counterintelligence and security issues that confront our Embassy in Moscow and throughout the world. The studies have underscored the gravity of the challenges we face as a result of Soviet actions against our mission in the U.S.S.R. and the implications for the security of our overseas missions revealed by the discoveries we have made around the world, in Moscow, and in recent espionage investigations. The studies have made clear the need for determined, bold action to continue to meet this problem head on and now.

The recommendations contained in the reports are comprehensive. They address options for providing our mission in the U.S.S.R. with the secure environment our personnel need to conduct our relations with the Soviet Union. They address systemic changes in the way we construct our facilities overseas to assure that we never again face the situation we now confront in Moscow. They also make recommendations regarding the structure and conduct of our security and counterintelligence programs worldwide to attempt to prevent any repetition of the serious breakdown in our defenses to the activities of hostile intelligence services we have recently discovered in our Moscow Embassy.

This administration has given high priority to improving our ability to detect and counter espionage as well as other threats and activities directed by foreign intelligence services against United States Government establishments or persons. Our decisions, which will affect the security of our overseas presence for decades to come, will require the best minds and talent we can muster as a nation. Solutions will also require resources. In the next 2 weeks the President, together with Secretary Shultz and his senior advisers, will review the recommendations these panels have made to determine what measures are required. In this review, the administration will be consulting with Congress, which has a major role to play in meeting this challenge.