59. Backchannel Message From the Ambassador to Chile (Korry) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Meyer)1

1. My promised reply on Phase Two follows. (Assume you have read election perspectives 6 particularly paras 14 and below.)2

2. I see no reason to alter our plans. All that has occurred insofar as Phase Two is concerned is that GOC has employed various means to try to seal off US influence (including Frei as well as other possible targets).

3. The shenanigans of [name not declassified] (who has leaked much of what he talked to me about) and a great deal of similar official innuendoing may reflect some genuine suspicion of US plans for intervention and some sincere nervousness. More likely as I discussed in [less than 1 line not declassified] (internal security and foreign policy) it has to do with GOC motives for keeping left happy, whatever may be the transitional cost in relations with US. GOC wants to be able to say its skirts are clean, that election results were honest, that there is always the traditional possibility of a defeated left doing deals with the PDC in Congress to keep out Alessandri, and so on. It is also convenient to air these rumors about the US since it tends to create climate in which criticism of the govt is muted and responsibility for anyone’s defeat can be shunted off to Anaconda, to the CIA, to anyone with US credentials.

4. The left for doctrinaire and other reasons is delighted to have the GOC accede to its needs to justify future anti-US actions, be they murder, kidnapping or anything else. The Marxist press is concentrating on Americans, unofficial or official. The one new element is that El Siglo today indulges in an attack whose crudity is unusual for that official party organ; because it compares me to Bedell Smith in his days in Moscow,3 it is evident that the Soviets are beginning repayment for Kunakov Archives.

5. The sum of this gamesmanship is that I am theoretically more of a eunuch. But since I never planned any direct dynamic role for myself or for this Mission, nothing in fact has changed. Primary responsibility is with the Chileans and our role should be limited to sound advice and [Page 166] material backing to friendly Chileans. That was and is what Phase Two is all about.

6. I am disturbed by the erratic missile named Gen. Viaux. What is particularly worrisome is that one of the few known and effective influences in his current plotting [3 lines not declassified] we can expect a great deal of unwanted trouble. [2 lines not declassified] has been trying insistently for two weeks to get me together with the [less than 1 line not declassified] before the elections at a “very private” gathering. I am lunching with [name not declassified] at the residence [less than 1 line not declassified] and I intend to give it to him straight, including the knowledge that Alessandri and the Nacionales are extremely concerned by [less than 1 line not declassified] because of its negative effect on the leadership of the Armed Forces.

  1. Source: National Security Council, Nixon Intelligence Files, Subject Files, Chile, 1970. Secret; Eyes Only.
  2. See Document 17 in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. E–16, Documents on Chile, 1969–1973.
  3. Walter Bedell Smith was Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1946 until 1948.