CYNTHIA CHUNG—From the moment Kissinger assumed the post of National Security Advisor to Nixon, he set out to centralize all intelligence estimates, diplomatic initiatives, and covert operations over figuratively and sometimes literal dead bodies of members of the CIA, Joint Chiefs of Staff, State Department and Congress.
According to John Ranelagh in his book The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA:
“Very early in the Nixon administration, it became clear that the President wanted Henry Kissinger to run intelligence for him and that the NSC staff in the White House under Kissinger would control the intelligence community. This was the beginning of a shift of power away from the CIA to a new center: the growing NSC staff.”
Kissinger would use the Watergate scandal, where the CIA was caught by Congress directly implicated in treasonous activities, as the impetus needed to form a new CIA, a secret branch away from the scrutiny of Congress.
In 1978, Kissinger would launch the Intelligence Reorganization and Reform Act, which essentially worked to “clean house” of the intelligence community.