118. Memorandum From [name not declassified] to the Chief of the Western Hemisphere Division, Central Intelligence Agency (King)1

SUBJECT

  • K-Program Plan
1.

Background

Within the purview of PBSUCCESS and designed to further the attainment of its immediate ends, it is planned to assign Page for a period of approximately 90 days to Guatemala, where he will be charged with the [Page 223]execution of a defection program, targeted to bring important segments of the Guatemalan executive apparatus under American control.

2.

Relation to PBSUCCESS

K-Program is not conceived as a practicable alternative to the basic plan, envisaging the overthrow of the Arbenz regime through the instigation of an internal uprising engineered by the indigenous resistance organization from the outside. Rather, the program is designed to render a material contribution to the accomplishment of PBSUCCESS by a harnessing to its purpose important elements of the Army command and of the executive branch of the Guatemalan government.

3.

Labor Program

Under K-Program it is contemplated to defect leading trade union officials and to activate those elements in the Guatemalan trade union movement not yet under Communist sway. For the purpose of this program Page will be provided with the services of an operational assistant who has bona fide labor organization and cover.

4.

Personnel

[name not declassified] will be assigned to Guatemala as Page’s field assistant. He will serve as communications clerk, interpreter, bodyguard, and discharge all housekeeping chores incidental to K-Program.

5.

Schedule

Page and [name not declassified] will proceed to Guatemala on or about 15 April 1954. The labor assistant should become available not later than 20 April.

6.

Official Position

For the duration of the program, Page will be stationed in Guatemala as a senior official of the Central Intell. Agency serving as the personal representative of [name not declassified] in his capacity as Chief of the Project. Although Page will operate independently of the Guatemala station, it is understood that the station’s overt and covert assets will be committed to the support of K-Program. This arrangement is not meant to derogate from [name not declassified]’s status as Chief of Station. It is anticipated that he and Page will work in closest harmony toward the implementation of the program.

7.

Accreditation

Ambassador Peurifoy will be apprised of Page’s mission in broad outline and be requested to render him the necessary support within bounds of diplomatic propriety. It will be intimated to Peurifoy that Page is a ranking and responsible official of the C.I.A. and that he is operating independently of the local station. Mr. Frank Wisner has offered to write Amb. Peurifoy a personal letter along those lines. (This letter should refer to Page under his assumed identity.)

8.

Personal Cover

Page will represent himself and live the cover of an American of independent means, spending a prolonged period of time as a tourist recuperating from the rigors of idleness. His standing will be backed by a New York investment counselor, Mr. [name not declassified] notionally entrusted with the administration of Page’s account. In Page’s name Mr. [name not declassified] will open a checking account with the [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] New York, with an initial deposit of approximately $30,000. The foregoing arrangement has been designed to protect Page against untoward leakage as the result of perfunctory checks, but is unlikely to stand up to severe scrutiny. It may lend surface credence to Page’s disassociation from any official connection with the United States Govt.

9.

Operational Cover

Inducement approaches and contacts of an operational nature will be executed in a manner adaptable to the over-all cover of PBSUCCESS. The foregoing notwithstanding, it may in some instances become necessary to imply that the United States Govt. does not disapprove of the underlying purpose of this program and that, even without official cognizance, all commitments will be met. Where success or failure of the whole program may hinge upon a “plausible admission” of government backing, the circumstances will be presented to higher headquarters for their decision. In a case of overriding importance, the legitimization of Page should require official backstopping, and since time is of the essence, Page will be authorized to attempt at resolving the issue locally in consultation with Ambassador Peurifoy.

10.

Personal Security

According to Mr. [name not declassified], acting chief of the Guatemala Station, the Guatemalan authorities, in case of compromise, are unlikely to go beyond expelling Page. This, however, should not be taken for granted and their resort to more drastic means, such as interrogation under duress, should not be ruled out altogether. All reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent surreptitious detention unbeknownst to the American Embassy.

11.

Communications

In order to communicate with LINCOLN, Page will be authorized to avail himself of the pouching and cabling facilities of Guatemala Station. In addition Page will be authorized the use of one-time pads for the encipherment and decipherment of communications whose contents he wishes to withhold from local station personnel. For emergency purposes, such as a breakdown of communications via [3-1/2 lines of source text not declassified] Page and his field assistant have been trained.

12.

Equipment

In addition to one-time pads and carbon system, Page will be issued a Leica camera with a document reproduction attachment. He will further be provided with strip film and a few of the elementary concealment devices in which to hide strip film. ([name not declassified] will be trained in document photography and the developing of strip film.) If operationally necessary, the equipment may be loaned out to indigenous agents and a replacement will be provided upon request.

13.

Transportation

For the duration of his stay in Guatemala, Page and the labor assistant, will each be authorized the full-time use of an American-make car to be purchased locally. Locally available means of transportation, including commercial aircraft, railway, ships and taxis are authorized.

14.

Entertainment

A representation allowance not to exceed $1,000 during a period of thirty days will be provided for purposes set forth in AFR 30–6, paragraph 2. The style of entertainment will be dictated by local standards and by the nature of Page’s cover.

15.

Operational Expenditures

Page will be authorized to expend without prior approval up to and including $1,000 for developmental purposes in each case, with a maximum of $10,000 per month set aside to cover such expenditures. One-time expenditures over and beyond $1,000, and any expenditures in fulfillment of a commitment providing for recurrent payments extending over a period of more than one month shall require prior headquarters approval.

16.

Finances

Expenses other than those directly related to the conduct of clandestine operations (e.g. payment of agents) will be paid by draft against Page’s account with the [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] whenever this is considered appropriate. In addition, a letter of credit will be opened with a Guatemalan Bank, preferably a [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] correspondent in that country, in the amount of $5,000. Other expenditures will be defrayed from funds made available by Guatemala Station.

17.

Accounting

All operational expenditures will be accounted for by voucher, setting forth the nature of the transaction in as much detail as compatible with local security conditions. Whenever possible receipts will be submitted, but in lieu thereof a written statement to the effect that a receipt was not obtainable will be accepted. Personal expenditures incurred by personnel connected with K-Program, if Agency funds are involved, [Page 226]will be accounted for as soon as possible, and reimbursement will be effected as soon as compatible with local security.

[name not declassified]
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79-01025A, Box 134, Folder 1. Secret; Eyes Only.