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Sources

Sources for the Foreign Relations Series

The 1991 Foreign Relations statute requires that the published record in the Foreign Relations series include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation on major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant U.S. diplomatic activity. It further requires that government agencies, departments, and other entities of the U.S. Government engaged in foreign policy formulation, execution, or support cooperate with the Department of State Historian by providing full and complete access to records pertinent to foreign policy decisions and actions and by providing copies of selected records. Most of the sources consulted in the preparation of this volume have been declassified and are available for review at the National Archives and Records Administration.

The editors of the Foreign Relations series have complete access to all the retired records and papers of the Department of State: the central files of the Department; the special decentralized files (“lot files”) of the Department at the bureau, office, and division levels; the files of the Department’s Executive Secretariat, which contain the records of international conferences and high-level official visits, correspondence with foreign leaders by the President and Secretary of State, and memoranda of conversations between the President and Secretary of State and foreign officials; and the files of overseas diplomatic posts. All the Department’s indexed central files through July 1973 have been permanently transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration at College Park, Maryland (Archives II). Many of the Department’s decentralized office files covering the 1969–1976 period, which the National Archives deems worthy of permanent retention, have been transferred or are in the process of being transferred from the Department’s custody to Archives II.

The editors of the Foreign Relations series also have full access to the papers of Presidents Nixon and Ford as well as other White House foreign policy records. Presidential papers maintained and preserved at the Presidential libraries include some of the most significant foreign affairs-related documentation from the Department of State and other Federal agencies including the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dr. Henry Kissinger has approved access to his papers at the Library of Congress. These papers are a key source for the Nixon-Ford subseries of the Foreign Relations series.

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Research for this volume was completed through special access to restricted documents at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project, the Ford Presidential Library, the Library of Congress, and other agencies. While all the material printed in this volume has been declassified, some of it is extracted from still classified documents. In the time since the research for this volume was completed, the Nixon Presidential Materials have been transferred to the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California. The Nixon Presidential Library staff is processing and declassifying many of the documents used in this volume, but they may not be available in their entirety at the time of publication.

Sources for Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Volume E–16

In preparing this volume, the editors thoroughly mined the Presidential Papers and other White House records from the Nixon Presidential Materials Project at the National Archives. This research was conducted when the project was still housed at the facility in College Park (Archives II); both the project and the collection were subsequently moved in 2010 to its permanent home at the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda. Whether in Maryland or California, these materials proved the most valuable source of documentation on the Nixon administration’s conduct of relations with Chile. Some of the most important records for this volume were found in the National Security Council Files, in particular, the Country Files on Chile. These files document basic day-to-day decision making within the White House and National Security Council staff, including memoranda to Kissinger and Nixon, records of meetings, copies of telegrams, and backchannel messages. Two folders within the National Security Files are also worth mentioning here with similar, if more specialized, documentation: one, entitled Korry File, is part of the Country Files on Chile; and the other, entitled Chile Wrap and Post-Mortem, is part of the Country Files in the Kissinger Office Files. Ambassador Korry played a central role in U.S.-Chilean relations—particularly during the pivotal events of September and October 1970 (between Allende’s election and subsequent inauguration as President)—until Korry’s replacement in October 1971. His lengthy backchannel messages are not only concentrated in the sources cited above but also scattered throughout other repositories. In the midst of other, more bureaucratic, documents, these “‘Korrygrams,” as they were called at the time, are as entertaining to read as they are essential for following developments in Chile on a daily basis.

The formal policy-making process on Chile is documented in the National Security Files (H-Files) at the Nixon Library. These files contain minutes, memoranda, and related documentation on the deliberations of the National Security Council itself, the Senior Review Group, the Washington Special Actions Group, and other interagency com[Page XV]mittees; also included are records relating to National Security Council Study and Decision Memoranda (NSSMs and NSDMs), as well as similar decision-making documents. The H-Files are most useful in documenting interagency discussions on Chile, either before Allende’s election in September 1970 or after his inauguration in November 1970. Rather than rely on formal decision papers, Nixon and Kissinger made many decisions on Chile outside normal bureaucratic channels, in particular, through a series of one-on-meetings and telephone conversations. The editors, therefore, consulted two other crucial sources: the Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts; and the Nixon White House Tape Recordings. The Kissinger transcripts provide a rare glimpse into the role played by the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs in regard to Chile, in particular, before Allende’s inauguration but also at the time of his overthrow in September 1973. Installed in February 1971 and removed in July 1973, the White House taping system was unfortunately not in operation during either period. The Nixon tapes, nonetheless, include a number of important deliberations on Chile, notably on Nixon’s policy to adopt a “cool and correct” posture in relations with Allende; transcripts of these conversations, as transcribed by the editors, are printed in this online supplement.

Given the level of U.S. involvement in Chilean political affairs during the Nixon administration, intelligence records were essential in compiling this volume. The editors had access to the records at the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense. The Nixon Intelligence Files at the National Security Council constitute the most authoritative record of the meetings of the 303 Committee and its successor, the 40 Committee, which were responsible for decisions on covert operations. The files of the Central Intelligence Agency, particularly the National Intelligence Council Registry of NIEs and SNIEs (Job 79R01012A), were essential for intelligence reports and assessments on which the Nixon administration based its policy decisions. Although many of its most important records on covert operations were also found in other repositories, several collections (or “Jobs”) were invaluable at the Central Intelligence Agency, including the 1970 Chile Task Force files (Job 80–00012A) and the White House Correspondence Files on Chile (Job 80B01086A). The Bureau of Intelligence and Research in the Department of State was also an active participant on intelligence matters, whether in assessing developments in Chile or in developing options for U.S. policymakers. The “historical files” of the Bureau’s Office of Intelligence Coordination (INR/IL) and the files of James Gardner, who served first as Deputy Director for Coordination and then as Chief of the Operations Policy Staff, were particularly useful in this regard, notably the memoranda of regular ARA/CIA meetings on intelligence.

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U.S. involvement in Chile was the subject of several congressional investigations in the 1970s, most notably two chaired by Senator Frank Church (D-Idaho), the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, which investigated U.S. covert operations in Chile, and the Subcommittee on Multinational Corporations, which investigated allegations against the involvement of the International Telegraph and Telephone Company (ITT) in Chile; and the House Select Committee on Intelligence, chaired by Congressman Otis Pike (D-New York). Materials related to these investigations, including copies of the original documents collected, were found in at least two archival sources. The most valuable of these was a retired Department of State office or “lot” file, 81D121, held for reference purposes in the Foreign Affairs Information Management Center (as it was called at the time) until its transferal to the National Archives in 2004 as part of Record Group 59 (RG 59). Since the investigations largely took place during the Ford administration, the records held at the Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan, are also useful, in particular, the Intelligence Subject File in the collection of Philip Buchen, who served as Counsel to the President.

As important as covert operations in Chile may have been, however, the United States still conducted most of its Chilean policy through normal channels of diplomacy, in particular, through the Department of State. This role is well reflected in the Department’s records, including the central and retired lot files (both RG 59) accessioned and maintained at the National Archives. A number of records in the central files’ subject numeric system were useful, including those filed under POL 7 CHILE (visits and meetings concerning Chile), POL 14 CHILE (elections in Chile), POL 15 CHILE (Chilean government), POL CHILE–US (relations between Chile and the United States), and POL 1 CHILE–US (general policy and background on relations between Chile and the United States); INCO COPPER CHILE (copper in Chile), and INCO 15–2 CHILE (nationalization/expropriation in Chile). Starting in January 1973, the Department of State switched its central files to an electronic system; the telegrams for 1973 are available online in the Access to Archival Databases on the National Archives website.

The Kissinger Papers at the Library of Congress largely replicate documentation found in other collections. Since this volume was compiled, copies of the most important original source—the Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts (see above)—were initially deposited at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project; they were then relocated to the Nixon Presidential Library in 2010. Although the citations in this volume refer to the Kissinger Papers, copies of the transcripts as organized in the original collection are available to the public at the Nixon Presidential Library.

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The following list identifies the particular files and collections used in the preparation of the volume. The declassification and transfer to the National Archives of the Department of State records is in process, and many of these records are already available for public review at the National Archives.

Unpublished Sources

  • Department of State
    • Central Files. See Record Group 59 under National Archives and Records Administration below
    • Lot Files. See Record Group 59 under National Archives and Records Administration below
      • Bureau of Intelligence and Research, INR/IL Historical Files
        • Chile Chronology 1970
        • Chile, 40 Committee Action after September 1970
        • Chile, Jan–June 1972
        • Chile, July–December 1972
        • Chile 1973–1975
  • National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland
    • Record Group 59, General Records of the Department of State
      • Central Files
        • 1967–69, POL 1 CHILE–US
        • 1967–1969 POL 15 CHILE
        • 1970–1973, POL 1 CHILE
        • 1970–1973, POL CHILE–US
        • 1970–1973, POL 2 CHILE
        • 1970–1973, POL 2–2 CHILE
        • 1970–1973, POL 7 CHILE
        • 1970–1973, POL 14 CHILE
        • 1970–1973, POL 15 CHILE
        • 1970–1973, POL 15–1 CHILE
        • 1970–1973, INCO COPPER CHILE
        • 1970–1973, INCO 15–2 CHILE
      • Central Foreign Policy File, 1973–1976
        • Part of the online Access to Archival Databases; Electronic Telegrams, P-Reel Index, P-Reel microfilm
      • Lot Files
        • Lot 73D115, ARA/LA-Meyer
        • Lot 80D43, Senate Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs
        • Lot 81D121, Chile– ITT –CIA 1963–1977
        • Chile Papers-Church Committee-August 12, 1975
        • Lot 94D565, INR/IL, James Gardner Chronological File
    • Nixon Presidential Materials Project, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland (now at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda, California)
      • National Security Council (NSC) Files
        • Country Files, Latin America
        • Nixon Intelligence Files
      • Henry A. Kissinger Office Files
        • Country Files
      • National Security Council, Institutional Files (H-Files)
        • Meeting Files
        • Senior Review Group Meetings
        • Washington Special Action Group Meetings
        • National Security Council Meetings
        • Minutes Of Meetings
        • NSC Meeting Minutes
        • Senior Review Group
        • Policy Papers
        • NSDM 93
        • Study Memorandums
        • National Security Study Memorandums
    • Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library
      • National Security Adviser
        • NSC Staff Secretary Files
    • Central Intelligence Agency
      • Deputy Director for Operations Registry Files
        • Job 80–00012A
        • Job 79R01121A
      • Executive Registry Subject Files
        • Job 80M01066A
      • National Intelligence Council
        • Job 79R01012A
        • Job 80B01046A
      • White House Correspondence Files
        • Job 80B01086A
    • National Security Council
      • Nixon Intelligence Files

Published Sources

Kissinger, Henry. The White House Years. Boston: Little, Brown, 1979.