370. Paper Prepared in the Department of State0

THOUGHTS FOR 2:30 MEETING1

1. Dirty Tricks

I believe the Agency is under the impression that under present policy, it is not permitted to engage in such. This is not my reading of [Page 922]present policy. Although the Secretary indicated he thought he ought not to mention this subject, I think the question should be clarified—along the lines of Alexʼs distinction on sabotage, with the Agency given a free hand on the irritant, harassment type. In this connection, the Agency is prone to select individual exiles whom it controls and exclusively supply them with sabotage materiel. Control, security, and a sense of professionalism probably account for this practice. I should think that for this low-level type of sabotage, every exile group (except the Batistianos) that we have reason to believe has followers in Cuba, should be given a supply of materiel and turned loose. I should be inclined to give priority to the CRC but certainly not a monopoly.

2. Secretaryʼs Approach

If the Secretaryʼs suggested approach is adopted, we could undertake, together with the Agency, a careful scrutiny of all the “new” communists in the ORI directorate (who outnumber the veteran communists) in an effort to determine who among them have significant influence on Castro. Perhaps in working with Manolo Ray and other MRP leaders (the MRP is virtually the 26th July in exile) methods of approach to the selected directorate members could be evolved. This would of course have to be very discreet, with cut-outs, etc. I am not sanguine about success, but see this as an additional approach to those discussed yesterday.2

If the Secretaryʼs approach is adopted, I should think we would continue operations at about the present level: actions short of those reasonably calculated to inspire a revolt. In this connection, the question of resistance symbols and declarations arises. The Agency is pushing ahead with its “Gusano Libre” theme (see attached).3 I doubt whether “worms of the world unite” will cause people to revolt; I should put it in the nuisance category at this stage. However, as indicated in the attached paper, the program may escalate considerably, and it is extremely difficult to know where to draw the line. The “Gusano Libre” theme will be carried on the submarine radio next week, and Castroʼs 26th of July declaration that overthrow of the despotism is legitimate will be quoted. I have approved the script, primarily on the basis that this radio broadcast has little listenership as yet.

3. Soviet Base in Cuba

General Lansdale called this morning to inquire whether we had done a paper on policy toward the establishment of a Soviet Base in [Page 923]Cuba. I told him not yet. He may bring this up. You will recall that it was decided that the possibility was too remote to waste time on. General Craig was supposed to bring in new evidence. The only “evidence” that General Lansdale circulated is the photostated intelligence report4 in the attached package. Paragraph 3 of the report speaks of a rumored submarine base.

  1. Source: Department of State, ARA/CCA Files: Lot 66 D 501, Mongoose Operations. Top Secret. The drafter of this paper is not identified on the source text. It is evident from internal evidence, however, that it was prepared in the Department of State. The only representatives of the Department of State who were privy to Mongoose planning were Rusk, Ball, Johnson, Martin, Goodwin, and Hurwitch. Since Rusk and Johnson are cited in the third person in the text, the paper was apparently drafted by Ball, Goodwin, Martin, or Hurwitch. The style suggests that of Hurwitch and the paper was probably sent to Martin.
  2. Reference is to the August 10 meeting of the Special Group (Augmented); see Document 371.
  3. Secretary Rusk met off-the-record with Goodwin, Hurwitch, and Martin on August 9 at 5:11 p.m. to discuss the August 10 2:30 meeting. (Johnson Library, Rusk Appointment Book)
  4. Not found attached. An apparent reference to Document 365.
  5. Not found attached.