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

107632. For: Korry from Meyer. Ref: Santiago 2526.2

1. Thanks for further amplification of local situation and for current political overview.

2. Perhaps I erred on side of frankness and incompleteness in advising you of the fact that we had recommended against the proposal, without explaining the full development of our thought processes.3

3. This can await a better medium of discussion than cable exchange, but I wanted you to know of our pre-decision position directly from me rather than secondhand and indirectly.

4. Most important is that ARA and the Department recognize the 40 Committee decision transmitted to you through CAS channels as binding and as authorizing execution of Phase I just as soon as you received the text of the decision. I count on you to proceed with Phase I.

5. As you know, a decision on Phase 2 was deferred by the Committee, with authorized action confined to detailed planning by CIA toward identifying “persuadables.”4 At the same time, the Committee recognized the risks inherent in Phase 2. My guidance to you on Phase 2 was—and is—intended to emphasize the narrow limits of the action approved by the Committee and to make sure that there was a clear understanding between us concerning the operational effects of those [Page 117] limits, taking into account the special risks Phase 2 represents. We have been in close touch with CAS Headquarters on this matter, and we understand that they too have given parallel guidance to their Station.

6. There is no difference of opinion between us on the adverse consequences of an Allende victory or about the importance of an Allende defeat as an objective. The differences were principally about the degree of risk we should take in an attempt to achieve that objective, considering the adverse consequences to our position in Chile and elsewhere should we be caught out.

7. In any case, do not interpret honest differences in judgement between us in terms of “confidence.” I know that you do not expect me to accept every recommendation on far-reaching issues that comes forth from any Embassy any more than I expect an Ambassador to supress differences with Washington guidance that appears to him to be unsound from the standpoint of his concerns in his host country.

  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. Document 43.
  3. See Document 42.
  4. See Document 41.