Agent Pay

This article is based on a discussion which began with the question of if and how individual Delta Green Agents could and should be compensated with money, but also contains some notes bordering on Operational Security and dealing with the proper use of Delta Green Friendlies. Specifically, this article is based on material from Agent Remuneration and Covert Financing Discussion, as well as Operational Accountability Discussion. See also the Joseph Camp Letter of 31 July 1998 for "official" confirmation on funding.

Christian Conkle reported the following on the DGML:

One of the agents in T-Cell brought up an interesting question the other day and I was wondering how other Keepers have handled it.

She asked her cell-leader if there was any renumeration for agents of Delta Green. Not that she was greedy, but because her position as a Marine 2nd Lt., the only female in 2nd Force Recon, gives her little opportunity for advancement. Upon graduating from USMC Sniper School, she was farmed out as an FBI markmanship instructor at Quantico. Filed away by commanding officers who'd like to see nothing more than her failure. She explained her predicament to her cell leader one hot August afternoon in D.C. at a local restaurant.

Agent Todd, her cell leader, felt uncomfortable for a moment, adjusting himself in his chair and clearing his throat. "Well, you see, that's part of the nature of the job. Delta Green agents are all volunteer. You do this work for the defense of your nation. There isn't any recognition or renumeration, only the feeling of accomplishment when you blah blah blah blah blah patriotic bullshit blah blah blah.."

"In addition," he continued, "The nature of our work precludes any kind of formal distribution of traceable renumeration. In order to maintain the integrity of the secrecy of our organization, we must blah blah blah blah legal-techno-babble blah blah blah…"

2nd Lt. Brisk thanked her cell leader for hearing her out, and walked away from the neutral restaurant meeting location thinking, "Well shit, that didn't go well."

Agent Todd then sent an encrypted message to Agent Andrea informing her of a possible security risk and to alert the cleaning crew in the event Agent Thorn (Brisk) sells out.

Potential sources of income

  • Seized cult assets. (Jay and Mikiko Noyes)
    • Several friendlies might be in a position to launder money stolen from cultists, or stolen from anyone that DG can get it from. (G. Wyckoff)
    • In DG's many exploits, they have been able to sell apparently harmless artefacts to museums or something along those lines. They must be paying for the organization's network of high-tech encrypted communication systems somehow. (Duran Goodyear)
  • Senior agents may have access to special funds, to provide expensive equipment and services, such as flights, fake identities, stolen weaponry, etc. Providing this gear makes it more difficult for agents or friendlies to refuse ops. (Phil Ward)
    • The CIA and NSA, among others, can have very large "black operations" funds available for Delta Green use. Just keep track of what the agents get and, more importantly, what they do with it. Exposure ought to be a constant threat, which can itself form the basis of a mission. (moc.loa|rJrekaorC#moc.loa|rJrekaorC)
    • Some NSA, CIA, and DIA budgets are not subject to item by item oversight and may be accessible by Delta Green. (G. Wyckoff)
  • Due to the very nature of their work, Delta Green agents are going to have to associate with various less-than-savoury elements, including organized crime. A contact in the mafia could supply DG with illegal weaponry, unregistered vehicles and inside information in return for the privilege of not getting snitchjacketed, arrested or beaten the hell out of. Of course, this has many risks. (Olly)
    • Where does all that money from drug cartels go? Hundreds of millions of dollars in various pharms each year goes missing from evidence rooms and captured freighters, into the hands of mysterious men in black, who then hand it over to shady friendlies at a discount. (Eric Brennan)
  • On the really big projects like HAARP, Star Wars or the Space Shuttle, so many divergent departments are diverting funds to black projects that the chances are good that if the one department's auditor finds funds diverted to a "Project Maximillion" he'll just assume it's another agency's project that he's not cleared for and ignore it. Bureaucracy and compartmentalization are our friends. (Josh Shaw)
  • The CIA has been running drugs and weapons for decades to fund black operations. The KGB attempted to destabilize our culture with drugs while funding terrorist organizations with the profits (even Readers Digest reported on that). (Charles O. Baucum Jr.)
  • Friendlies in the IRS help. (M-Zodiac)

$200, $250 and $500 hammers

Consider the legendary expense logs of government agencies. NASA says that it cost them $2.5 billion to erect a 20” x 40” storage shed for fire-fighting equipment. They had nails to be used during the building of the storage shed priced at $3.00 a nail, hammers at $250.00. (Chris Strong)

  • In the "real world" a certain amount of the $500 hammer is actually cover for various "black budget" items. How much of it? Who knows? Probably not all, as contractor greed is a mighty thing. One guy in accounting who can move a tiny fraction of all such money off the books (the recipient thinks it really went for the hammers, the covering agency thinks it went to non-DG covert projects) can free up a lot for a small group like Delta Green. (Josh Shaw) (a modern example of “contractor greed”)
  • When this first came up as front page news (that XXX agency was paying <insert ungodly sum of money here> for <common item>, one of the explanations bandied about was that the $500 was for one unit of "Hammer", not one hammer. So, maybe the hammers only cost $50 and were sold in units of ten, or something. It does sound like something that a bureaucracy would do. It also sounds like a great de facto explanation for a government cover-up. (G. Wyckoff)
  • According to the Dateline report on this, the price was $200 per hammer, $3 per nail, which is why the box of nails cost a noteworthy few thousand dollars. The government's reply was that the price includes the price of inspections for each item, each nail must go through a five-point inspection, and it also included shipping, buyer costs, <add in bureaucrat crap>. (Chris Strong)


The hard part about embezzlement is always accounting for where you got the cash. Audits usually start when somebody notices that the bookkeeper is wearing Armani suits and driving a Rolls. (Josh Shaw)

  • Chase Manhattan figures or figured interest on all its checking accounts daily. Most accounts of course came out to so many dollars and so many point-something cents. A programmer working there wrote a routine to transfer all those fractional cents to his account. A fraction of a cent times literally millions of accounts every day, it adds up fast. The guy was doing fine until somebody decided they ought to check up on the alleged bequest from his dead aunt. No Aunt. No bequest. And where did you get the money for that Bentley outside? (Josh Shaw)
  • The danger to Delta Green in all this is that the friendly manning the books somewhere might be tempted to start playing "a dollar for Delta, a dollar for me, a dollar for Delta, a dollar for me". When the friendly gets caught and the inquisitors start asking "What did you do with the other half of the money", there's a problem. Many DG agents are in fact federal law enforcement officers sworn to prevent and punish exactly this sort of thing. (Josh Shaw)

Personal compensation for agents

  • Each surviving agent or friendly at the end of an investigation could file an expense report with the agent in charge, to be forwarded to Cell A. No incriminating evidence should be present on these reports. (Alan L. Krause)
    • Alternately and far more safely, the agents or friendlies could be expected to provide their own gear, and take care of their own expenses. The salary from their day job should take care of any expenses they incur. We shouldn't be in this for the money people, we do this because it matters. (Phil Ward)
  • Clever things can be done inexpensively with modern technology. (moc.loa|rJrekaorC#moc.loa|rJrekaorC)
  • The question is especially relevant with regard to the legal status and secretive nature of Delta Green. Inexperienced agents may be counting on considerable funding in an emergency, which is not necessarily available. (Allan Goodall)
  • Keep in mind that ample funding can take the challenge and improvisation out of simulations. (Duran Goodyear)
    • The key to solving this is compromise, avoiding luxury. Allow a suitably "connected" team to borrow a minor Learjet (probably a Lear 24, the USAF C-21, not one of the modern Lear 45 or 55 Longhorns), or — somewhat more likely — a turboprop such as a Beech King Air (better for short fields anyway) from the GSA or the AF Reserve. Sometimes, with the right connections, you can travel space-available on an Air Mobility Command transport headed the right direction, or even requisition a helicopter. In a recent mission, two of our personnel were able to use a rugged and serviceable UH-1F Huey from Offutt AFB. Offutt may be a little wary of repeating this kindness, as the Huey was later blown up on the ground by "unknown saboteurs". (The Man in Black)

Financial operational security

Hotel credit card receipts, hire care records, airline seat allocations etc. would be the first thing that sophisticated enemies would be looking for to find out who's been snooping around their black operations. (Graeme Price)

  • Skimming money from other government operations would also put DG in a really precarious position. Good forensic accounting might dig the group up before its enemies do. On the other hand, there should be some sort of emergency slush fund for financing certain out-of-agency efforts. (Allan Goodall)
  • This would realistically lead to a short service life in Delta Green, as eventual discovery becomes inevitable. (G. Wyckoff)
  • The travel expenses of some federal employees may be open to public access. If this is the case it gives lots of potential leads to ufologists, the media, cultists and others to bug the investigators with. (Graeme Price)
  • There could be a “DG car pool” and other ways of sharing money and equipment. (Graeme Price)
  • For airline tickets and such, DG may have obtained "blanks" from travel agencies. In 1998, several travel agents in the Chicagoland area got ripped off for "blank" tickets. At the time, the airlines had almost no way of knowing which tickets that came to them from travel agents were valid or not. (G. Wyckoff)
  • The government has repossessed vehicles that they auction off all of the time. Several of them could be reported "destroyed in an accident" and never get to market, or the auction could be rigged for a friendly front company to buy a few things cheap. (G. Wyckoff)
  • Maybe DG has a few hackers who have backdoors into car rental agency computers. (G. Wyckoff)
    • Don't rule out stealing a car, the police would have to trip over a stolen car to find it. (Charles O. Baucum Jr.)
  • Even if you have to show ID to rent a car, a room, a video etc., if you pay cash, nobody runs the card. Almost no one ever checks to see if your signature matches the back of the card. A fair number of people never bother to sign the back of their cards anyway. Pay cash and nobody will notice that the card was reported stolen six months ago. (Josh Shaw)
  • Payments to the accounts of fake identities might simplify the issue. (M-Zodiac)
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