182. Memorandum From the Deputy Director for Plans, Central Intelligence Agency (Wisner) to Director of Central Intelligence Dulles1


  • Guatemalan Friendship Societies—Gruson2 piece of 14 June 1954, New York Times
In line with our conversation of this morning about the Gruson piece in today’s Times, I believe you have already received by now a copy of the piece that we have worked up and given to Time Magazine, entitled “The Friends of Guatemala.”
This piece of Gruson reporting is about as harmful as anything he has done. It places the entire emphasis upon the line taken by the (known) Communist-inspired and Communist-organized so-called Guatemalan Friendship Society in Mexico—giving the impression that there is tremendous Mexican sentiment against the US position with respect to Guatemala and implying that the Mexican Government had better watch out if it is thinking about shifting its position in the direction of what the United States wishes.
I don’t know whether you plan to have any further conversations with your friend on the Times, but it has occurred to me that if you do plan any further conversation—or if he should contact you again—you might call his attention to this Gruson piece and tell him how much we know about the Communist origin of this whole friendship society charade. You could then make the obvious conclusion that Gruson, by his [Page 329] writing, is putting a lot of heavy water on the wheels of this Communist operation and that he must be pretty naive if he is not aware of the significance of his action.3 I don’t think you should provide the actual text of the piece entitled “The Friends of Guatemala” to your friend on the Times—since we have already given this to Time Magazine in this precise form and since this would make it all too apparent from where Time got its poop.
Frank G. Wisner4
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01025A, Box 151, Folder 2. Secret.
  2. New York Times reporter Sidney Gruson.
  3. Because of Agency complaints about Gruson’s reporting, DCI Dulles went to Arthur Hays Sulzberger, who soon had Gruson reassigned elsewhere. (Cullather, Operation PBSUCCESS History, pp. 71–72)
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.