70. Memorandum From A. Denis Clift of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft)1

The CIA has submitted at our request an assessment of recent reports of coup plotting in Greece (Tab A).2 The assessment concludes that:

  • —coup plotting against Caramanlis has been endemic since 1974 but must now be taken more seriously because Caramanlis’ Aegean policy is seen by many as being too soft on Turkey;
  • —two normally disparate factions—the monarchists and junta loyalists—may be conspiring together;
  • —leftists under Papandreou have contacted the plotters but of the three factions Papandreou’s group represents the least threat;
  • —King Constantine has been contacted by the monarchists and apparently has approved a plot tentatively set for October or November;
  • —the Caramanlis government in general is alert to coup possibilities, does not believe an attempt is likely soon, [2 lines not declassified];
  • —the plotters do not appear to have the capability, organization, coordination, or proper political circumstances to attempt a coup now and the odds appear against such action;3
  • —the chances of success for an attempted coup now would be minimal because plotters lack the support of the rest of the officer corps; and
  • —Caramanlis is sensitive to the danger and will avoid extreme concessions to the Turks.
  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Middle East and South Asia, Box 10, Greece 6. Secret. Sent for information. A notation on the memorandum indicates Scowcroft saw it.
  2. Dated September 30; attached but not printed.
  3. Scowcroft underlined and highlighted this section.