42. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Chile1

106100. For Korry from Meyer. Analysis Note: In accordance with arrangement made by Mr. W. Deary of INR with Mr. T. Eliot of S/S on July 2, 1970 give all copies of this telegram to INR/DDC, on July 3, 1970. The duty officer in INR/DDC (R. Berg) will give a copy to Mr. Eliot. Thank You, A.E. Wellons, INR/DDC on behalf of Amb. W. Coerr.

1. So that you will have full background, I want you to know that we in ARA, and the Dept as a whole, recommended against approval of both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of your proposal for political action.2

2. Among other considerations, we gave more weight than you did to the exposure potential and less weight to the protective attractiveness of being able to say we “had done something.” We also were influenced by the fact that we will be doing something which Chileans, who have ample resources and a great stake in the outcome, should themselves be doing. We also took account in this complex equation of the uncertain effectiveness of the effort; the probability that, from the standpoint of our interests in Chile, all three candidates would be negative sooner or later; and the certainty that exposure would destroy any prospect of mitigating Tomic or Allende post-election attitudes. In brief, we believed that the potential gains were outweighed by the potential costs.

3. Although our negative recommendation covered both phases, we had—and have—particularly strong concerns about Phase 2. I want to reiterate the point at the end of the earlier message through CAS channels.3 Unless and until Phase 2 is authorized, no one in the Em[Page 112]bassy should deal with anyone outside the Embassy, including Frei, on any aspect of Phase 2. This prohibition encompasses the “setting up” or “conditioning” of anyone, including Frei, for an eventual role in carrying out Phase 2. The Phase 2 proposal is just too explosive for any risks to be taken at this time.

  1. Source: Department of State, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, INR/IL Historical Files, Chile Chronology 1970. Secret; Roger Channel. Drafted by Crimmins; approved by Coerr. A stamped notation on the first page reads: “Special Handling.”
  2. For Korry’s proposal, see Documents 35 and 39. In a memorandum to U. Alexis Johnson, June 22, Coerr presented both Korry’s arguments and his own arguments against political action in Chile. “Exposure would have highly negative effects on US interests in Chile,” he explained, “where sensitivities to charges of CIA intervention are already aroused.” In an addendum to the memorandum, Coerr added: “4:45 PM, June 22, 1970—Meyer and Crimmins of ARA joined DDC briefing of Johnson. Johnson said we had been cutting down on this type of U.S. activity and he had considerable concern over Ambassador Korry’s proposal. He asked Meyer and Crimmins if they wished to defend it to him, and they said NO. Unanimous agreement against Phase B. Meyer didn’t like Phase A either, because he thought it would be too noticeable. General, although not definitive, opposition to Phase A.” (Department of State, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, INR/IL Historical Files, Chile Chronology 1970) For the subsequent decision by the 40 Committee on June 27, see Document 41.
  3. Not found.