258. Memorandum From William E. Odom of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • Instructions on the Bogota Incident

I have prepared a memorandum to State, Defense and CIA which transmits the President’s instructions indicated on the notes of the interagency meeting held Thursday (see Tab A).2 (S)

His wording on the notes on page 4, [4 lines not declassified]

Vance believes not. In his memo to you3 he says that “to volunteer help would get us into the middle of a situation in which we might have to take responsibility for the loss of many Ambassadors lives. We should not involve ourselves in the Colombians’ plans. [3 lines not declassified]

Pastor disagrees with Vance’s position. [3 lines not declassified] He believes we should do that earlier rather than later. I agree.4 (S/S)

The President’s language leaves issues undecided and can be interpreted as promise to approach Turbay. (S/S)


That you sign the memo at Tab A.

  1. Source: Carter Library, NSC Institutional Files, 1977–81, Box 122, SCM 112A, Mini SCC 3/6/80: Colombian Terrorist Incident. Secret; Sensitive. Sent for action. Denend initialed the top right-hand corner of the memorandum.
  2. Tab A, attached, is printed as Document 260. For Carter’s instructions, see Document 257. “Thursday” refers to March 6.
  3. Dated March 7. (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, North/South, Pastor, Country Files, Box 10, Colombia, 1-3/80)
  4. Denend highlighted this paragraph and wrote at the bottom of the memorandum: “ZB: I think you resolved this w/ Pastor on Saturday [March 8].” The comment is dated March 10.