213. Telegram From the Central Intelligence Agency to the CIA Station in Guatemala1

05707. Refs A. GUAT 906;2 B. GUAT 908.3

We are ready authorize use of bombs moment we are convinced would substantially increase likelihood of success without disastrous damage interests of PBPRIME.
You already familiar our views concerning damage likely to be done our cause by ill directed or premature attacks. We fear bombing of military installations more likely to solidify army against the rebellion than to induce defection and we are convinced attacks against civilian targets, which would shed blood of innocent people, would fit perfectly into Communist propaganda line and tend to alienate all elements of population.
As to effect of bombing on [name not declassified] decision, we will not repeat argument that his plea for bombing is irrational now that capability to deliver has been convincingly demonstrated. Agree question is not whether his request is rational or moral but whether granting it will actually induce him to move. Must rely heavily your judgment on this point but disturbed report ref B that you have had no contact [name not declassified] since 1500 hours 18 June.
Ref A does not recommend any specific target. Implies palace might be decisive target but this seems to us open to second objection para 2 above. Earlier suggestion of racetrack might avoid both objections para 2 above but by same token bombing would not directly affect capabilities of regime. Would facilitate our further consideration final decision this issue if you would recommend specific targets.
Pending receipt your recommendations and further assessment capabilities for accurate bombing must withhold authorization.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01025A, Box 9, Folder 2. Secret; Operational Immediate; RYBAT; PBSUCCESS. Drafted by Bissell and cleared by Wisner. Repeated to PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida.
  2. Document 208.
  3. Not printed. (Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01025A, Box 11, Folder 5)