108. Memorandurn for the Record1

SUBJECT

  • Meeting with Seekford
1.
At 1910 on 28 February, I picked Seekford up in my car at the corner of Massachusetts and Wisconsin. We drove for about an hour out River Road and I am certain were not observed.
2.
Seekford expressed his regrets for the compromise of the five paraphrased cables, and in a manner which appeared to be entirely sincere. I asked him how it was possible, with all of the security indoctrination which he had had, plus the great emphasis on secrecy based on all phases of PBSUCCESS, to have done such an unpardonable thing as to leave sensitive papers in a hotel room. He replied that he had no explanation, that it was a stupid, unpardonable thing to do, but that it was an act of thoughtlessness and carelessness. He expressed himself as [Page 207]most concerned over the effects on the operation and the OAS Conference.2
3.
I told Seekford that while it was impossible to undo the past, it was his obligation and duty to remain under [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] for a long while to come. He said that he realized how important this was during the OAS Conference. I told him it was equally important for a much longer period, because the enemy might time their disclosures to coincide with expected paramilitary action on our part, and that this might be many months in the future. To this he agreed.
4.
It was agreed that for the next month Seekford will remain in Chicago. We discussed two general areas where he could bury himself after that date—Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. While he is willing to go to Alaska, he prefers the Northwest [2 lines of source text not declassified]. He has never been in the Northwest and suggested as a possibility that he get a job until Fall as a fire watcher on a mountain top where he would meet very few people. Another possibility would be to get him a job as an engineer on one of the many construction projects that must be under way in that region. He believes that the Northwest would be more secure than Alaska, [2 lines of source text not declassified].
5.
It is my impression that Seekford will be amenable and cooperative to any reasonable request on our part.
J.C. King

Chief, WHD
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79-01025A, Box 151, Folder 4. Secret.
  2. Reference is to the Tenth Inter-American Conference held in Caracas, Venezuela, March 1–28, 1954; see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. IV, pp. 264 ff.