190. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Director of Central Intelligence McCone and the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Fubini)1

DCI: What is the problem of Wheelon going out…

F: The problem is the fact, in my judgment, this is an internal affair of the person who is running that particular program…

(tape picks up)

…to eliminate that one is one of the reasons for that agreement.

DCI: Well, I tell you, I am getting sick and tired of this kind of thing and I am just about ready to tell the Secretary of Defense and the President they can take NRO and shove it. I am not going to monkey around with this thing any more and I’ll take this thing over and run it. Now, you fellows can have all the rows you want at the Pentagon building, but this is of prime importance to me and I’m responsible and I don’t want anymore monkeying around. I told McMillan what I would do and I told him he could draw up the memorandum and we would finish it before I left tonight.2 I haven’t heard a word from him. He went over to the Clifford Board and fed them the greatest line anybody ever listened to and I am just about fed up with the whole business. So I’ll cancel Wheelon’s trip and I’ll take him out there myself and when I get through with outfit you will know that somebody has moved into it. And I am going to call the Secretary now and I am going to tell him to tell the Pentagon bureaucrats that they had better watch their step or they are going to blow the roof off the building. Now I know all about it. I know about this deployment of all these planes and crews and everything else out in the Philippines. I know everything that has gone on and as far as I am concerned I’m getting pretty well fed up with it.

F: Mr. McCone, may I interrupt.

DCI: Yes you can interrupt.

[Page 421]

F: Let’s separate the Philippine episode, which I think I would prefer not to talk, it’s pretty bad. It has nothing to do with McMillan. McMillan didn’t even know it was going on and I will plead guilty anytime you want. I think you are right. I don’t want to debate it. The fundamental point here is I am trying to establish a position whereby Wheelon, McMillan, McCone and Fubini get along and work together.

DCI: Well, my patience is gone!

F: Well, Mr. McCone, I would like for you to give me a little bit more of your patience, because, frankly, I have as you know gone a long way toward reaching something of an agreement and it is a matter of a very few days before we accomplish that agreement which will help eliminate this friction.

DCI: Well, I think the thing I should do is call up the President and tell him to get a new Director of Central Intelligence, that the bureaucrats in the Pentagon are trying to screw things so that nobody can run the intelligence business. I won’t have any more responsibility for it. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m not going to monkey around with this anymore, Gene. I appreciate your help; I appreciate your friendship-but that one upstairs I’m not going to monkey around with for 5 minutes. Tell the Secretary to get a new man in charge of NRO and I want to be the Executive Agent…

F: Can’t you forget that I have even mentioned this problem…

DCI: What ?

F: Can you not forget that I even mentioned this problem. Do you have to make a big todo about this one? Can’t we just forget about the whole thing?

DCI: Sure. I’m going down to Cat Cay for a few days and I’ll be back.

F: Mr. Mc Cone, let’s forget about this whole episode, please.

DCI: All right. O.K. fine, Gene, anything you want.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DCI (McCone) Files, Job 80–B01285A, DCI (McCone) Telephone Calls-E.O., 04 March–19 May 1964, Box 10. No classification marking; Eyes Only.
  2. According to the transcript of this February 11 meeting (see footnote 1, Document 189), McCone wanted McMillan to draft a memorandum in the next day or two that McMillan, Fubini, McCone, Carter, and Wheelon could approve, but McMillan remarked: “I’m at this point not too sanguine about completing it in two or three days. I haven’t changed my views…since the end of October when I first made my views known.” McCone replied, “Well, my views haven’t been changed either.”