93. Editorial Note
At 3:24 p.m. September 15, 1970, President Richard M. Nixon met with the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Henry A. Kissinger, Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms, and Attorney General John N. Mitchell at the White House to discuss Chile. The meeting lasted until 3:44 p.m. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Central Files, President’s Daily Diary) During the meeting, Helms took the following notes:
“MEETING WITH PRESIDENT
ON CHILE AT 1525 SEPT 15, ’70
PRESENT: JOHN MITCHELL + HENRY KISSINGER
1 in 10 chance perhaps, but save Chile!
not concerned risks involved
no involvement of embassy
$10,000,000 available, more if necessary
full-time job—best men we have
make the economy scream
48 hours for plan of action” (Central Intelligence Agency, Job 80B01285A, DCI Helms Files, DCI Misc Papers on Chile, 1 January 70–31 December 72.
A facsimile of the notes is in Hearings Before the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities of the United States Senate, p. 96. Further information regarding this meeting was provided by Helms in his 1975 testimony to the Church Committee; see Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders, pp. 227–228. In Kissinger’s August 12, 1975, testimony before the Church Committee, he gave the following account of this meeting: “Now, at that meeting with President Nixon, to my recollection President Nixon did almost all of the talking. He indicated that he wanted the CIA to take an active role in carrying out this general consensus, to see what it could do to get the military to move. I don’t think he expressed it that clearly, but that was the gist of what he was saying, and he used the figure of $10 million. Now, I want to be perfectly candid about this. Anyone who worked with President Nixon day after day as I did wouldn’t have paid the slightest attention to that figure of $10 million. That simply indicated that he wanted the project to be given high priority and, in any event, no such sum was ever spent, budgeted, used.” (National Archives, RG 59, Chile–ITT–CIA 1963–1977, Lot 81D121, Chile ITT (Testimony)). Kissinger offers a similar account in The White House Years, pp. 673–674.