184. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Minutes of the Meeting of the 40 Committee, 19 November 1970


  • Mr. Kissinger, Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Packard, Mr. Johnson, Admiral Moorer, and General Cushman.
  • Messrs. John Irwin, Charles A. Meyer, William Broe, Arnold Nachmanoff, and Wymberley Coerr were present for Item 1.
  • Colonel Richard T. Kennedy and Mr. Thomas Karamessines were present for the entire meeting.

1. Chile—Covert Action Program

a. Mr. Kissinger commented that the first item on the agenda was Chile and asked the CIA to provide a briefing on the proposals outlined in the paper dated 17 November 1970.2

b. Mr. Broe stated that, essentially, the program consisted of a number of political actions designed to divide and weaken the Allende government:

(1) [less than 1 line not declassified] one of the smaller Popular Unity (UP) coalition parties has been asked by Allende to unite the smaller parties into a single party as a counterweight to the Communist and/ or Socialist parties, neither of which is under Allende’s specific control. [less than 1 line not declassified] has requested CIA financial support for [less than 1 line not declassified] effort to form a political bloc capable of stopping the Communist Party from eventually gaining complete control of the UP.

(2) Increased efforts are being made to develop intelligence showing specific vulnerabilities or tensions within the UP which can be used on a continuing basis in black operations to create splits within and between UP coalition parties. [3 lines not declassified]

(3) Various subtle efforts are being made to take advantage of Allende’s weaknesses and sensitivity to direct criticism by placing tailored articles in selected major newspapers outside of Chile.

(4) Also being explored is the desirability of stimulating and assisting the exodus of key technicians and professionals from Chile in an [Page 487] effort to weaken the effectiveness of the government. But it is recognized that such action could have negative results in the loss of competent opposition leadership within Chile during a crucial period.

(5) Contacts are being maintained and, where possible, enlarged within the Chilean military forces.

(6) Special briefings are being provided to top Argentine and Brazilian leaders. For example, [name not declassified] has recently been informed of an extremely sensitive report that during a clandestine midnight meeting with [less than 1 line not declassified] guerrilla leaders, Allende had agreed that Chile would become a center of assistance and training for Latin American revolutionary organizations.

(7) CIA is providing financing [1½ lines not declassified] to generate criticism of the Allende government under the guise of [less than 1 line not declassified] studies.

(8) Since the Democratic Radical Party (PDR) seems to be finished politically, Frei’s PDC and the National Party (PN) and their media are the only sources of serious political opposition. Studies are continuing to identify individuals or factions that could provide leadership for an opposition force. The forthcoming PDC Junta and the upcoming senatorial by-elections and the municipal elections should be of help in identifying potential opposition leadership.

(9) While some support is now being provided to certain opposition periodicals, it is recognized this could be short-lived in event of a government crackdown. Therefore, serious consideration is being given to the purchase of a printing press for contingency use. The possibilities of either purchasing or leasing a local radio station and/or propagation of third country radio programming into Chile are also under study.

(10) On the international scene, selected media outlets in Latin America and Europe are continuing [less than 1 line not declassified] to publicize the Cuban and Soviet intelligence services subversive efforts, encroachments on the Chilean constitution and violations of Allende’s “guarantees” of democratic liberties. A worldwide effort has begun to provide selected military and civilian policy-makers in Latin America, Europe and Asia with periodic [less than 1 line not declassified] briefings detailing specific Chilean Government actions to subvert democracy and institute a Marxist state.

(11) For contingency purposes, a [dollar amount not declassified] stockpile of escudos in Chile is planned although it is recognized losses could be incurred through devaluations or change in currency. [2 lines not declassified]

(12) The estimate for funding the above proposed CIA covert action program for Chile is [dollar amount not declassified].

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c. Mr. Broe requested Committee approval in principle for the foregoing program including specifically funds for the sensitive penetration agent referred to in paragraph (1) above, continued funding of the [less than 1 line not declassified] research activity mentioned in paragraph (7) and the general support provided in the periodical and media field. He stated that future specific proposals will be submitted for Committee approval on such expensive items as purchases of printing presses, radios, and funding to individuals and political parties should further study and developments make such actions seem feasible and desirable.

d. Mr. Kissinger referred to the proposed stockpile of [dollar amount not declassified] in escudos and commented that this did not seem to be a very large fund to have on hand if stringent currency controls should be imposed.

e. Mr. Broe responded that CIA was confident that it could work out covert arrangements [less than 1 line not declassified] in Chile to provide escudos for operations within Chile [1½ lines not declassified].

f. Mr. Kissinger stated that he raised this question because he did not wish the problem of a lack of operational funds in Chile to be used later as a justification for not being able to follow through on desirable actions.

g. Mr. Mitchell questioned whether the sensitive penetration agent referred to in paragraph (1) was under CIA control or whether, if he was provided the requested funds, he could operate in any direction he might wish.

h. Mr. Irwin, on the same point, asked if the agent would have proof (other than his own statement) if he elected to go to Allende and say he was working for the CIA.

i. Mr. Broe responded to both questions by noting that while it could not be said the agent was under full CIA control, he has been working with the CIA for a long period of time, [1½ lines not declassified], and would destroy himself should he inform Allende of his CIA relationship.

j. Mr. Irwin asked if the capability really exists to carry out the proposed CIA program or if it is just good general planning. He also questioned just how helpful it would really be to encourage the exodus from Chile of key technical and professional personnel in order to weaken the effectiveness of the government (paragraph (4) above).

k. Mr. Broe pointed out that some of the activities involving local and international media assets and exacerbation among coalition individuals and groups are already under way with a degree of effectiveness indicated. With regard to stimulating the exodus of key personnel, he agreed that this is a most difficult question to decide and clearly one which needs further study.

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l. Mr. Kissinger, in the role of the devil’s advocate, pointed out that the proposed CIA program was aimed at supporting moderates. Since Allende is holding himself out as a moderate, he asked why not support extremists.

m. Mr. Broe answered that the overall objective is to sow dissension within the coalition of parties and individuals supporting Allende, so anything might be done on a selective basis where it appears advantageous to this end.

n. Mr. Kissinger polled the members, all of whom agreed in principle with the CIA program as submitted with the understanding that additional specific proposals involving large expenditures would be presented to the Committee as developed.

o. Mr. Mitchell suggested that the Committee be kept regularly informed on progress and developments under the program.

p. Mr. Kissinger agreed and called for a monthly progress report, or in the alternative, a report on covert action developments for the 40 Committee principals only following each Senior Review Group (SRG) meeting convened for the purpose of discussing Chile.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Chile.]

Frank M. Chapin
  1. Source: National Security Council, Nixon Intelligence Files, Subject Files, Chile, 1970. Secret; Eyes Only. Drafted on December 10. A copy was sent to Mitchell, Packard, Johnson, Moorer, and Helms.
  2. Document 181.