The Central Intelligence Agency for 20 years has made secret annual payments totaling millions of dollars to King Hussein of Jordan, The Washington Post has learned.
The payoffs were reported last year to President Ford as an impropriety by the Intelligence Oversight Board, a three-member panel set up by Ford to curb CIA abuses.
President Ford took no steps to stop the covert payments. Last hear Hussein was paid approximately $750,000 by the CIA.
President Carter learned of the payoffs earlier this week after this newspaper began its investigation. He ordered that the payments be stopped.
The secret arrangement with Hussein had not been disclosed to Carter by the CIA or by any member of the previous administration, including President Ford, former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, or former CIA Director George Bush.
Carter was "distressed" that he had not been told, according to well-placed sources, and sees the solution to CIA abuses as quick confirmation of his nominee as CIA director, Navy Adm. Stansfield Turner.
In addition, the Senate Intelligence Committee created last year to oversee the CIA apparently was not given the full story by the Ford administration of the secret payments to Hussein.
One of the most closely held and sensitive of all CIA covert activities, the payments to Hussein were made under the codeword project name of "No Beef." They were usually delivered in cash to the king by the CIA station chief in Amman.
As justification for the direct cash payments to Hussein, the CIA claimed that Hussein was allowing U.S. intelligence agencies to operate freely in his strategically placed Middle Eastern country.