324. Summary of Conclusions of a Special Coordination Committee Meeting1


  • Afghanistan and Grenada (S)


  • The Vice President
  • Major John Matheny
  • State

    • David Newsom, Under Secretary for Political Affairs
    • David Mark, Deputy Dir, INR
  • OSD

    • Admiral Daniel Murphy, Deputy Under Sec. for Policy
  • JCS

    • Lt. Gen. W.Y. Smith, Ass’t. to the Chairman
    • Lt. Gen. John Pustay, Ass’t. to the Chairman
    • * Present for Item 2 only.
  • DCI

    • Admiral Stansfield Turner
    • Frank Carlucci, Deputy Director
    • [name not declassified]
    • *[name not declassified]
  • Justice

    • John Harmon, Ass’t AG, Office of Legal Counsel
  • OMB

    • James McIntyre
    • Randy Jayne, Assoc. Dir. for Nat’l Security & Int’l Affairs
  • White House

    • Zbigniew Brzezinski, Chairman
    • David Aaron
  • NSC

    • Donald Gregg, Notetaker


[Omitted here is discussion of Afghanistan.]

Item II, Grenada

The DCI described a modest program using CIA assets to try to rally democratic elements in opposition to the New Jewel Movement (NJM). Again a series of options was presented. (S)

The Chairman asked what the United Kingdom’s attitude is toward trying to oppose the NJM. CIA replied that the UK is reluctant to do anything against the NJM as it has not yet decided what its policy toward the Caribbean area as a whole will be. The Vice President asked if the attitudes of other neighboring countries such as Venezuela are known. CIA responded that the attitudes of neighboring countries are not clear as yet. (TS)

[Page 797]

Mr. Aaron stated that the real issue in Grenada is whether it will evolve into a Cuban-backed police state or whether a more democratic regime will emerge. Mr. Aaron stated his feelings that if no help is given to those that oppose the NJM, Cuban and Jamaican influence will predominate. (TS)

Secretary Newsom said that State had no problem with CIA’s use of agents of influence but questions whether the thrust of the effort would be to develop a new opposition or split the NJM.2 Mr. Newsom stated that State preferred an effort which will work directly against Mr. Bishop and the NJM. The Chairman supported this, stated that he favored an effort to promote factionalism in the NJM. It was agreed that factions do exist and that some favor a more democratic position which would lead to an election. (TS)

The final consensus was that the CIA effort would include support to those groups opposing the NJM but that no faction would be given exclusive support. Equal emphasis will be placed upon splitting the NJM while encouraging those groups which oppose it. (TS)

Secretary Newsom stated that overt as well as covert means are needed if this operation is to be effective.3 The Chairman agreed and suggested that a SCC meeting be called to discuss broader aspects of United States–Caribbean policy following the Asian Summit meetings. (TS)

CIA was authorized to present a finding to the President which would authorize use of agents of influence throughout the Caribbean and to support those individuals and organizations opposed to the NJM. Given the undecided attitudes of other countries in the area this operational effort is to be entirely unilateral. (TS)

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Office File, Box 17, SCC Meeting #172 Held 6/26/79, 6/79. Top Secret.
  2. On May 21, [name not declassified] circulated a covert action proposal involving Grenada to Pastor and Vaky. [name not declassified] proposed covert support for Winston Whyte, a Grenadian political leader, in order to create a political movement in opposition to the Marxist New Jewel Movement. Whyte would receive $100,000 in U.S. funding to expand his organization, the People’s Action Labor Movement (PALM). (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, North/South, Pastor, Country, Box 23, Grenada, 5/79) In a May 31 memorandum to Aaron, Pastor and Henze expressed disapproval of the proposal, stating, “Not only doesn’t [Whyte] need our money, but even the hint that he is receiving it would put him on the defensive.” Pastor and Henze also criticized the CIA, remarking, “of [the CIA’s proposals] few strike us as particularly useful or likely to be effective.” Their views were not shared by their superiors. In a handwritten note on the memorandum, Brzezinski wrote, “DA, tell—by memo—Carlucci, it needs to be done.” (National Security Council, Carter Intelligence Files, Subject Files, Box 26, Grenada, 31 May 1979–29 Nov. 1979)
  3. In a June 25 memorandum to Newsom, Bowdler outlined a position against covert action, to be used at the June 26 SCC meeting, stating, “We recommend you take a position against implementation of the CIA plan on grounds that it is both too risky and based on a probably unrealistic hope, i.e., that the new Grenada Government will allow free elections.” (Department of State, INR/IL Files, Transfer Identification Number 980643000012, Box 3, Grenada 1979–80)