183. Memorandum From the Deputy Director for Plans of the Central Intelligence Agency (Karamessines) to the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Green)1


  • Executive Action by RTG Forces to Eliminate the Communist Terrorist Threat
Our [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] reports that [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] briefed Ambassador Unger in Bangkok and the Consul in Songkhla on recurrent reports [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] officers in south Thailand have picked up concerning instances of executive action by Thai counterinsurgency forces to eliminate captured Communist terrorists. These reports have not been given any other dissemination.
Ambassador Unger approved the [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]recommendation that the matter be brought up with the Thais by [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] the Consul [1 line [Page 390] of source text not declassified] at the next appropriate occasion taking the line that although summary activity against captured personnel might appear to be temporarily effective in helping to eliminate the terrorist threat, it is illegal, morally indefensible and in the long run discourages terrorist defection. The Thais are to be advised that greater counterinsurgency impact could be achieved by proper and detailed interrogation and follow-up psychological warfare action. A final point to be made to the Thais is that if information on their action came to the attention of sensation-seeking journalists, the matter could be highly embarrassing to the Thai Government internally and internationally and could also embarrass the U.S. Government’s advisory position in south Thailand.
We have advised [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] that we believe the recommended course of action is correct, adding that the approach to the Thais should be pursued vigorously rather than waiting for appropriate opportunities to bring it up.
Ambassador Unger has asked that the information in paragraphs 1 and 2 be brought to your attention.
For the Deputy Director for Plans:
William E. Nelson 2
  1. Source: Department of State, INR Historical Files, Country Files, Thailand 1972–1975. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. A notation on the memorandum indicates that Green saw it.
  2. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.