490. Editorial Note

The Special Coordination Committee (Intelligence), chaired by Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Zbigniew Brzezinski, met on April 7, 1980, and reviewed the Central Intelligence Agency’s proposed covert action options for Central America. (See Document 489) Brzezinski forwarded the summary of conclusions of the April 7 meeting, along with a draft Presidential Finding for Honduras, in an April 11 memorandum to President Jimmy Carter. The summary of conclusions stated that that the “CIA presented status reports on its incipient covert action programs in Nicaragua and El Salvador and proposals for inauguration of programs in Guatemala and Honduras, stressing the need to do preparatory work in good time if efforts are to have any impact as situations become more critical. An expanded media and agent-of-influence program for Honduras, [dollar amount not declassified] was endorsed as well as [dollar amount not declassified] for working with Honduran liaison to develop improved capabilities to counter terrorism and internal intelligence collection. A draft Finding for Honduras was approved. At State’s request, consideration of the proposals for Guatemala was deferred for a week to permit conclusion of a field assessment which is currently under way.” For additional information on the covert action proposal for Guatemala, see Document 43.

On April 29, National Security Council Staff member Paul Henze prepared a memorandum for the record, noting that the summary of conclusions of the April 7 SCC–I meeting “omitted mention in the paragraph on Central America that endorsement of agent-of-influence operations included endorsement of the [dollar amount not declassified] estimated cost of such operations. This cost estimate was an integral part of the Honduran program which the SCC endorsed and which was subsequently approved by the President.” (National Security Council, Carter Administration Intelligence Files, Box I022, SSC–I Meeting, 7 April 1978) For the approved Presidential Finding on Honduras, see Document 355.