21. Memorandum From Viron P. Vaky of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • CIA Press Comments on Chilean Situation

In the morning’s Washington Post account of the Chilean events, a CIA spokesman was cited as saying that “CIA was aware of the situation for six weeks.”2 Yesterday’s AP dispatches also carried the same statement.

The Chilean Embassy has already reacted and asked what this means.

This kind of statement is bound to create severe problems for us in Chile. It is fair to assume that the Communists at least will use this statement to charge U.S. connivance with General Viaux. The Chilean Government may also become suspicious of CIA involvement.

I have already expressed my concern to Bill Broe, the Western Hemisphere Office Director, over the CIA’s commenting to the press on events such as this. I think this is a very bad policy and will give us nothing but headaches.

You may wish to speak to Helms about the practice of CIA comments to the press on foreign events.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 773, Country Files, Latin America, Chile, Vol. I. Confidential. Sent for information.
  2. See Josh Goshko, “2 Units Revolt in Chile: Frei Claims Army Support Against Rebels,” Washington Post, October 22, 1969, p. A1.