66. Contact Report1
PLACE: DCI’s Office
PERSONS PRESENT: DCI, D/DCI, DD/P, DD/P/COps, CWH, [2 names not declassified]
COVER USED: None
- The conference was opened by the DCI with the statement: “This is a top priority operation for the whole agency and is the most important thing we are doing. I am under pressure by others to get on with this.” The DCI then discussed the procedures involved in applying economic pressure through the coffee buyers in the U.S., suggesting that perhaps through the proper agencies in the U.S. a rumor could be circulated that current Guatemalan coffee contained harmful fungi and therefore would have to be barred from the U.S. [name not declassified] commented that although the idea would be excellent, the danger existed that the coffee buyers, already having been approached and cognizant of our interest would “smell a rat,” and possibly embarrass us through the press as certain buyers have already evidenced a lack of cooperation. Further, such action as denying shipment of coffee already paid for would constitute heavy financial losses to these buyers who, lacking proper motivation, might set up hue and cry, thus injuring the program. Based upon these latter comments, the DCI telephoned an unidentified person and informed him to “lay off that coffee idea until further notice.” [name not declassified] further commented that perhaps more effective economic measures could be brought about through economic sabotage rather than through direct participation by American businessmen and that such action was contemplated within the proposed program.
- The DCI reiterated the importance of this project and requested that the briefing proceed, at which time [name not declassified] led off by reviewing briefly the situation report prepared on 29 October 1953.2 Upon conclusion of the latter, [name not declassified] presented his concept of how the program should be conceived, as embodying the economic, psychological, political warfare and para-military aspects within [Page 141]a concerted, well-integrated, operational plan, proceeding to explain the program of 9 November.3 The DCI stated that no instructions or other information should be sent to the field on this project which would reveal details of the program—this included official stations. He asked whether the FBI should be informed of our plans for [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] and was told that it should be. Accordingly, the DCI said that he would handle the matter personally with the Director, FBI, at the proper time. Regarding the status of the military negotiations in the three neighboring countries it was explained that the State Dept. could take no further action until a certain letter, requesting such action, had been received from the Dept. of Defense. The DCI then telephoned Mr. Kyes, Under Secretary of Defense, and asked him if he would be kind enough to expedite the dispatch of this letter to the Dept. of State. The question of T/O was discussed and it was explained that more personnel were required than had originally been contemplated in view of the enlargement of the program. DCI said that he did not want any red tape to interfere with this project and he wanted to make certain that we had the best brains, ability and technical assets of the agency employed on this project to ensure its success.
Decisions: The DCI took the draft of the projected program of 9 November 1953 and gave it to the DD/P for his review and consideration with approval to be announced after it has been studied.
Comments: It was the impression of the writer that the DCI, D/DCI DD/P and DDP/COps were favorably impressed with the program and voiced no objection on any phase except one. The DCI questioned whether or not an ultimatum should be issued to the incumbent regime as he thought that might tip our hand to our disadvantage while he was assured that that matter would be given carefully worked out in subsequent plans and that he would be given an opportunity to review same before such action would be taken.
Recommendations: That the foregoing be followed closely for approval of the program of 9 November in order to serve as a basic Letter of Authority for the conduct of this operation and the assignment of personnel requested therein.