46. Memorandum for the Record1
- PBFORTUNE—Meeting with Principal Agent (KS),2 3 September 1953
- At noon, 3 September 1953, Col. King, [name not declassified] and the undersigned met the principal Agency field case officer assigned to PBFORTUNE who has spent 15 months with principal indigenous agent (R).3
- KS gave his personal impressions of the circumstances surrounding PBFORTUNE and commented on a variety of interesting aspects relative to the proposed operation including the military action plan. This was done primarily for the benefit of [name not declassified] and Tofte who have just been assigned to some special work on the project.
- It was evident that KS’s thinking, planning and liaison with the P/A, (R), have so far been based on estimates of relatively limited support primarily on the part of “the Company.” Hence his points of view up to now are somewhat restricted. Furthermore, it should be noted for the sake of order that KS’s views are somewhat colored by the fact that he has had to identify himself very closely with the P/A and his cause over a period of time.
There is no doubt that KS believes strongly in PBFORTUNE, the principal agent (R) and his overt as well as covert organization. KS admits, however, that there is no tangible proof to date as to the scope and potential of the covert setup inside the country. This is partly due to the fact that KS has avoided any kind of pressure on R to “test” internal capabilities or deliver “proof” in the form of names, locations and numbers of covert elements and their leaders.
Considering that the operation now will be Government (U.S.) sponsored rather than supported by “the Company” as heretofore, KS would assist in devising means of evaluating, at least to a degree, the P/A’s capabilities particularly inside the target country.
It is interesting to note that the entire available striking force of R in the neighboring country (H)4 is 250–300 men. Some of these are reportedly good troops including a number of officers with professional military background.
It is further noteworthy that another neighbor country (N)5 has promised to place a military installation at the disposal of R for training and staging of his force. KS believes that R should take advantage of this offer without delay for reasons of morale and expediency.
KS pointed out with some emphasis that he (and his indigenous associates) were considerably worried about the time element!
According to KS, the population of the target country was showing “increasing soft spots”—meaning that the spirit of opposition to the Government as well as possibly available active resistance potential were rapidly dwindling. KS stated, as his personal conviction: …“that unless the operation was implemented and completed within 90 to 120 days, it would be too late”!6
(It should again be noted that KS’s frame of mind is based on close association abroad with the indigenous P/A and the military plan calling for militant border crossings, a landing from the sea, and a cross-country advance towards the capital.)
After a general discussion, Col. King and KS agreed on plans for a visit with Mr. [initials not declassified]7 who is due to arrive in New York over Labor Day weekend. [initials not declassified] is the alleged leader of the present underground movement inside the target country from where he was expelled not too long ago.[Page 96]
The presence of KS and [initials not declassified] here at this particular time is very significant in connection with reviewing and evaluating the current status and possibilities of PBFORTUNE.
- Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01025A, Box 76, Folder 2. Secret. Prepared on September 4.↩
- Not further identified.↩
- RUFUS, i.e. Castillo Armas.↩
- The following phrase was added by hand: “Sounds like RUFUS himself talking”.↩
- Regarding this meeting, see Document 48.↩
- Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.↩