89. Memorandum From Director of Central Intelligence Turner to the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (Carlucci) and the Deputy Director for Operations (McMahon)1


  • Conversation with Dr. Brzezinski, 6 December 1979 [portion marking not declassified]

1. I discussed the covert action situation and Secretary Vance’s trip and my concerns over it. I made it clear that we were in no position to decide with whom or how we would go about such a covert action. He understood that but will be looking for something more specific if, after Secretary Vance comes back, we decide to go ahead. I worked hard to persuade him there wasn’t much more specific that we could do and we needed flexibility to establish contacts and their confidence in us. We might be thinking, however, of what we could write that would be supposedly more specific, e.g., [less than 1 line not declassified] initial people we would contact until we saw where that led us (that was attached as an annex to the proposal but we could spell it out a little bit more including where they were and something about how we would make contact—[less than 1 line not declassified] with Bakhtiar, for example). In short, Dr. Brzezinski feels he’ll need something with a little more teeth in it to get the President on board.

Among other things, I think we should be very lucid in stating that this is an effort to gain contact with these people so that we can assess what they are doing and what their potential is and so that we can gain their confidence. We should then state quite precisely what level of commitment [Page 234] we are going to give to them so that they will feel it worthwhile talking to us, [1 line not declassified] but indicate we need a lot of latitude on it depending on what turns up. Overall, I think we just need to discuss the art of entering into such a covert action in a tutorial sort of way, interleaving it with the specifics of money and names. [portion marking not declassified]

[Omitted here is information unrelated to the hostage crisis.]

Stansfield Turner 2
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Office of the Director of Central Intelligence, Job 95M01183R: Policy Files (1977–1981), Box 1, Folder 5: DCI Turner—Eyes Only Files—Various Subjects. Secret; [handling restriction not declassified].
  2. Turner signed “Stan” above this typed signature.