126. Telegram From Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida to the Central Intelligence Agency1

1776. Ref: A. DIR 44842; B. LINC 1777; C. [telegram indicator not declassified] 126, para 4; D. LINC 1778.2

Following summation situation represents LINC’s views based upon debriefing Ontrich who arrived 0000 April 11:
Galvez weakened and equivocated [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] to degree that required firm action to establish definite cooperation. Latter action taken by SKILLET who, while keeping Skimmer version and stressing ODYOKE non-intervention, kept Galvez in line while using Iden A and Ontrich to press for firm operational details.
SKILLET demonstrated exceptional political skill in keeping Vice Pres from resigning thus holding govt together for PBSUCCESS. This action endeared SKILLET to Galvez. Latter apparently now leaning on SKILLET as source of strength during current politically unstable period preceding elections.
Excellent security appears present despite above maneuvering. Only Galvez, Vice Pres, ForMin and Chief Air Force cut in within WSHOOFS. No documentary evidence nor witnesses to SKILLET talks. Plausible denial remains intact.
Galvez has general understanding with Osorio3 to act against WSBURNT together. SAFFRON-1, firm Calligeris supporter, due see Osorio next few days. More Galvez becomes committed in interim, stronger will SAFFRON-1’s pressure on Osorio be. Osorio’s support also requires ODACID approach in manner believed in progress at HQs level.
Removal MinDefense is essential earliest but is not a prerequisite for running initial flights. Time factor important as security weakens with every day’s delay once flights initiated. Need HQs action.
LINC withdraws objections to intermediate storage at [name not declassified] as recent reports indicate increased enemy activity both sides of border. Thus gear would be moved from [name not declassified] direct with minimum delay into target areas.
Objectives re evidence of ODYOKE participation withdrawn view above clarification as now evident WSHOOFS would be thoroughly implicated once permitting arms enter country. Re-affirmation Skillet’s role would prove extremely important to sustain Galvez’s courage follow through. Believe Galvez’s position too unstable vis-à-vis Carias to double-cross Calligeris. Thus conclusion is that Galvez will be most anxious move gear into target country rapidly as possible.
Test flight already laid on for 1730 April 11, per ref C. LINC strongly believes that Galvez must not be allowed to falter now that he has authorized flights and once gear arrives he has little choice but to follow through. He very anti-Communist and desires elimination WSBURNT but recognizes his own weakness to act, PBSUCCESS provides his answer.
Certain essential factors appear more firmly established than ever, namely:
Situation developing rapidly and favorably in WSBURNT. Archbishop’s call for national crusade against Communism. Friction, distrust and uneasiness apparent in govt. People fully expecting change in government. Thus greatest time problem is to hold off abortive action and real action must not be delayed beyond present schedule.
Political instability in WSHOOFS dictates adherence to schedule as any delay will only jeopardize this ally. Loss of WSHOOFS could mean loss of DTFROGS as above.
Failure continue maximum effort to meet present ops plans which still intact and capable fulfillment unquestionably means loss of current year and possibly last chance overthrow Communists short direct military intervention.
View above factors and ref C LINC acting within authority ref A has determined to run a test black flight on schedule 11 April per ref D.
If HQs desires further explanation of foregoing, it is requested Dunbar be contacted by telephone soonest.
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79-01025A, Box 3, Folder 4. Secret; Operational Immediate; RYBAT; PBSUCCESS.
  2. References A and B are ibid., Box 142, Folder 4. Reference C is ibid., Box 13, Folder 2. Reference D has not been found.
  3. President of El Salvador.