Saturday, November 7, 2009

CIA Payment to the White House

Mr. Magnusson's phone conversation with Mr. John Brown at approximately 10:20 on 26 May 1970:

B: Guess we're back together again!

M: Got more problems?

B: Yes, don't know how much Watts told you.

M: I didn't talk to Watts. Think he called Colonel White.

B: Let me explain background. As a result of the Cambodia speech, we're getting relatively inundated with correspondence and normally all of this is sent to the Department of State for answering. What we're doing -- we're continuing to send all cons correspondence to State. However, the President made determination he'd like to answer support over his signature here and we asked the Department of State to support us on this effort. They're in a position where they can provide only limited support at this time. They're committed for $10,000 which would probably handle in the area of maybe 60,000 responses.

M: How many responses altogether counting pros and cons?

B: The cons are quite a large group that they're handling themselves also.

M: Are they going to be handling pros too?

B: $10,000 is for pros. They're doign cons. On pros they can pick up only $10,000 worth. We estimate it will be around $8,000 per 50,000 and it looks like at present time we've got over 100,000 responses in and it could go upwards of 150,000 or greater. Looks like we'll need a minimum of another $10,000, probably in area of $15,000, additional. This covers cost of printing, postage and addressing.

M: Just printing, postage and addressing? Not any overtime for any salaries or anything like that?

B: No, the posting of the things we'll do ourselves -- by hand. No problem. We're talking about physical costs of job -- cost of stamps, cost of envelopes and cards, and cost of having them addressed by outside firm. We'll handle putting stamp on, inserting, and sealing and mailing. Only talking about cost associated with three aspects of the operation.

M: Postage, addressing and printing.

B: Yes, reason I asked NSC to see if they could arrange -- depending on how volume goes -- probably another $10,000 to $15,000.

M: These are just pros? State is handling all cons themselves?

B: Yes, this is just portion of pros we're talking about. My understanding get in touch with you to work out mechanics of how we would handle the billing to make sure it's straight and we do it properly so it fits in with your accounting system.

M: This is only portion of pros. State doing some too?

B: They're contributing $10,000 to the pros as well as doing all the cons. They're picking up quite a load as a result of this. One hell of a lot of response coming in on this.

M: Bound to be. Tell you, John, let me give you a call back later today if I may. Have to take a look about where I would fit this stuff in. Are you going to be in this afternoon?

B: I'll be around. If I'm not in my office I'll get back to you as soon as I come back.

M: I'll give you a call then.

B: Can't be real definite -- not sure how we're going to peak out. Not sure what backlog is. I'll check into that so when we talk this afternoon I can be little more definite. Probably run into that area, I think.

M: Okay, I'll get back in touch with you.

B: Okay, thank you, Warren.

End of Conversation

Mr. Magnusson's phone conversation with Col. White at 15:40 on 26 May 1970:

M: I talked with John Brown today and it seems like -- as you mentioned -- as a result of Cambodia, inquiries going into White House. The State Department is doing all the work on the cons -- there are pros and cons. The State Department is going to answer all the cons and the President has determined that he wants to answer personally all the pros. However, the State has agreed to pick up some of those too in the amount of $10,000. That will cover maybe 60,000 of the answers. They estimate there's going to be from 100,000 to 150,000 answers that will have to be put out by the White House. Estimate it's going to cost about $8,000 per 50,000. Think it might go to 150,000. $10,000 to $15,000 additional which the White House will have to pay for. The charges are only going to be for printing, postage and addressing by an outside firm. No salaries for overtime or anything like that. They're going to lick the stamps in the White House, paste the stamps on and insert the message into the envelopes. John Brown said he had requested NSC to see if they could arrange, presumably with us, I guess, for another $10,000 to $15,000 depending on volume. He was talking as more or less foregone conclusion we would do it. I made no commitment. Told him I'd look into it.

W: How would we do this?

M: We would do it by asking them to pay amount and then send over 1080 to us with bill for the postage, bill for the addressing of the envelopes and bill for the printing accompanying this and we would just send check back. They would send short memorandum with it certifying these are the charges.

W: I think we want to know what we spend our money for but I don't think we want the public records to show that we paid for it.

M: What we can do, Sir -- I can ask them to send over a 1080 with certification that these are the charges for classified services per our conversation, and if you're willing to take that we can certainly do it that way.

W: Will this be an outside firm? Couldn't we just pay the firm? What would be better? I'm not sure.

M: I think a short memo just saying attached 1080 is for charges previously agreed to between this Agency and themselves and that's all and then we send them check for that. Otherwise, there's always chance that an outside firm might realize it was us paying for it.

W: I guess it's the best way to do it. I'd like to have in our records -- nobody else has access to -- exactly what it was for -- all about it; their records, which are audited by the General Accounting Office, as little as possible.

M: Think I can talk to them and arrange that so he just sends unclassified 1080.

W: Go ahead and do it. I'll have to sign off on it, I suppose. You go ahead and arrange it in way that will give us full record. As far as any records of their's are concerned, I would prefer to have minimum.

M: I can write memo and John Brown can refer to this and our phone conversation in a memo accompanying the 1080.

W: Okay, go ahead and do it. Put limit on it. When they talked to me they said $10,000.

M: He said $10,000 to $15,000 because they're just pouring in. Might run above $10,000.

W: Approximately $10,000 but in no case will it exceed $15,000 -- something like that. Okay.

M: All right, Sir.

W: Thank you, Warren.

End of Conversation

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