64. Message From the Ambassador to Chile (Korry) to the Central Intelligence Agency1
1. CAS has just presented your message.2 I have directed him to take no action for the following reasons:
A. Key Chileans including Frei who is currently meeting with his closest advisors are in a state of shock. It is not an easy thing to lose one’s country and we should not lose our heads before they recover theirs.
B. Most of the questions you have posed we have been actively considering during the night and today. We are formulating ideas that we shall present to you when we are more certain that there is at least a modicum of reality involved. After having lost on one psychiatric problem, if only because of his refusal to entertain the PDC proposal many months ago for a popular run-off vote, I do not intend to cater to anyone’s neuroses at this point in time.
C. I have taken steps already to “condition” Frei, to persuade Alessandri not to issue any cession statement re Allende (which he has not [Page 182] yet done), to hear [name not declassified] views and to keep Viaux from precipitating ill-calculated actions. These are minimal steps preparatory to clearer later assessments.
D. I have no realistic hopes that there will be a Phase II along the lines originally conceived. I am willing to consider carefully any scheme that will fit the circumstances but I would guess that we would probably be dependent on an entirely new Phase I and II cycle that we are turning over in our minds currently. We have already engaged in so much useless paper spinning of possible contingencies that I am not amenable to more such exercises.
2. I would strongly urge that the Committee of Forty postpone their meeting for several days until the situation is more clearly perceived. There is no risk in waiting; there is risk in half-baked ideas that could be self-deluding. In the interim we shall continue to operate within the understood guidelines.
3. In that connection I wish to state emphatically that despite our profound disappointment we have worked at maximum effectiveness and without any risk to the USG or to the person of the President. I take great pride in the fact that our coordinated efforts have produced the encomium of Frei’s cited in my cable of 24 hours ago3 and of Allende’s statement to a US newsman as reported in another Embtel.4 We did all possible. There is nothing I regret having done or not having done. And I would ask only that you now give us the time to locate our current bearings and to set our course.