152. Memorandum of Conversation1

1. [1 paragraph (13½ lines) not declassified]

2. Then Mr. Karamessines provided a run-down on Viaux, the Canales meeting with Tirado, the latter’s new position (after Porta was relieved of command “for health reasons”) and, in some detail, the general situation in Chile from the coup possibility viewpoint.

3. A certain amount of information was available to us concerning Viaux’s alleged support throughout the Chilean military. We had assessed Viaux’s claims carefully, basing our analysis on good intelligence from a number of sources. Our conclusion was clear: Viaux did not have more than one chance in twenty—perhaps less—to launch a successful coup.

4. The unfortunate repercussions, in Chile and internationally, of an unsuccessful coup were discussed. Dr. Kissinger ticked off his list of these negative possibilities. His items were remarkably similar to the ones Mr. Karamessines had prepared.

5. It was decided by those present that the Agency must get a message to Viaux warning him against any precipitate action. In essence our message was to state: “We have reviewed your plans, and based on your information and ours, we come to the conclusion that your plans for a coup at this time cannot succeed. Failing, they may reduce your capabilities for the future. Preserve your assets. We will stay in touch. The time will come when you with all your other friends can do something. You will continue to have our support.’”2

6. After the decision to de-fuse the Viaux coup plot, at least temporarily, Dr. Kissinger instructed Mr. Karamessines to preserve Agency assets in Chile, working clandestinely and securely to maintain the capability for Agency operations against Allende in the future.

[Page 372]

7. Dr. Kissinger discussed his desire that the word of our encouragement to the Chilean military in recent weeks be kept as secret as possible. Mr. Karamessines stated emphatically that we had been doing everything possible in this connection, including the use of false flag officers, car meetings and every conceivable precaution. But we and others had done a great deal of talking recently with a number of persons. For example, Ambassador Korry’s wide ranging discussions with numerous people urging a coup “cannot be put back into the bottle.” [2½ lines not declassified] (Dr. Kissinger requested that copy of the message be sent to him on 16 October.)3

8. The meeting concluded on Dr. Kissinger’s note that the Agency should continue keeping the pressure on every Allende weak spot in sight—now, after the 24th of October, after 5 November, and into the future until such time as new marching orders are given. Mr. Karamessines stated that the Agency would comply.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Chile–ITTCIA 1963–1977, Lot 81D121, Chile Papers, Church Committee, August 12, 1975. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Kissinger, Karamessines, and Haig were present. The meeting took place at the White House. There is no drafting information, but the memorandum is consistent in format with others produced by Karamessines. The original is in the Central Intelligence Agency, Job 80–000012A, Chile Task Force Files.
  2. According to an October 19 report on Track II: “Station false flag officer met with a leader of the Viaux group and attempted to discourage him from undertaking any premature coup move. Although the Viaux group had met on 16 October and decided to attempt a coup on 21 or 22 October, they are probably not irrevocably committed to going ahead with this plan.” (“Track II,” October 19; ibid., Job 80–000012A, Box 12, D/DP Task Force Files)
  3. Reference is presumably to Document 144.