639. Memorandum from Gordon Chase to McGeorge Bundy, March 281

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  • Activist Exile Groups

1. Cott gave me some of the recommendations, which are aimed at cutting off the raids and which the Secretary will be sending to the President today. (He was not available last night to sign off on it.)

a. Intelligence community will increase its efforts.

b. Coast Guard and Customs will intensify their search for vessels.

c. CIA, FBI and Customs will inform suspects that we intend to turn on the heat.

d. FCC will locate and close down the radio transmitters used by the raiders.

e. State will inform the British Government of our plans and convey our understanding that they are considering similar action.

There may also be a recommendation for a meeting of high U.S. officials on the subject if inter-agency clearance proves hard to get.

2. My conversation with Justice yesterday indicated that the FBI is not doing a stellar intelligence job; they seem to know remarkably little about the activist exile groups. However, I have been told that the FBI has been shaken up by this episode and that solid FBI contributions will be forthcoming today. (I will needle them.) Attached is an internal Justice memorandum which, inter alia, partly reflects FBI’s resolve to produce more intelligence.

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FBI is apparently not the easiest outfit to deal with. I suspect that Bill Geoghegen, an energetic assistant of Nick Katzenbach, has not been having an easy time in dealing with the Bureau. While Bill is restrained in his comments, I get the impression that the Bureau is set in its ways, lacking in initiative, energy and imagination, and very tough to move.

Gordon Chase
  1. Activist exile groups. Secret. 2 pp. Kennedy Library, NSF, Countries Series, Cuba—Subjects, Exile Activities.