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November 20, 1975
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Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 94TH CONGRESS 1st Session J REPORT No. 94-465 ALLEGED ASSASSINATION PLOTS INVOLVING FOREIGN LEADERS AN INTERIM REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE TO STUDY GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS WITH RESPECT TO INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES UNITED STATES SENATE TOGETHER WITH ADDITIONAL, SUPPLEMENTAL, AND SEPARATE VIEWS Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE TO STUDY GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS WITH RESPECT TO INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIE,9 FRANK CHURCH, Idaho, Chairman JOHN G. TOWER, Texas, Vice Chairman PHILIP A. HART, Michigan HOWARD H. BAKER, JR., Tennessee WALTER F. MONDALE, Minnesota BARRY GOLDWATER, Arizona WALTER D. HUDDLESTON, Kentucky CHARLES McC. MATHIAS, JR., Maryland ROBERT MORGAN, North Carolina RICHARD S. SCHWEIKER, Pennnsylvania GARY HART, Colorado WILLIAM G. MILLER, Staff Director FREDERICK A. O. SCHWARZ, Jr., Chief Counsel CURTIS R. SMOTHERS, Counsel to the Minority AUDREY HATRY, Clerk of the Committee Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 CONTENTS Page Prologue--------------------------------------------------------- xIII 1. Introduction and Summary_____________________________________ 1 A. Committee's Mandate______________________________________ 1 B. Committee Decision To Make Report Public------------------ 2 C. Scope of Committee's Investigation --------------------------- 2 D. Summary of Findings and Conclusions-----------------------. 4 1. The Questions Presented__________________________________ 4 2. Summary of Findings and Conclusions on the Plots---------- 4 3. Summary of Findings and Conclusions on The Issues of Author- ity and Control_____________ 6 II. Covert Action as a Vehicle for Foreign Policy Implementation ------ 9 A. Policy Development and Approval Mechanism----------------- 9 B. The Concept of "Plausible Denial"_ ---------------------- 11 III. Assassination Planning and Plots________________________________ 13 A. Congo --------------------------------------------------13 1. Introduction-------------------------------------------- 13 2. Dulles Cable to Leopoldville: August 26, 1960--------------- 14 3. CIA Encouragement of Congolese Efforts to "Eliminate" Lumumba-------------------------------------------- 16 4. The Plot to Assassinate Lumumba------------------------- 19 (a) Bissell/Tweedy Meetings on Feasibility of Assassinating Lumumba----------------------------------------- 19 (b) Bissell/Scheider Meetings on Preparations for Assassinating 20 "An African Leader"------------------------------- (c) Scheider Mission to the Congo on an Assassination Operation----------------------------------------- 21 (d) Congo Station Officer Told to Expect Scheider: Dulles Cables About "Elimination" of Lumumba------------- 22 (e) Assassination Instructions Issued to Station Officer and Lethal Substances Delivered: September 26, 1960------ 24 (f) Hedgman's Impression That President Eisenhower Ordered Lumumba's Assassination--------------------------- 25 (g) Steps in Furtherance of the Assassination Operation------ 26 (i) Hedgman's Testimony About Confirmation from Headquarters of the Assassination Plan ----------- 26 (ii) "Exploratory Steps" _ - _ _ _ - _ _ - _ ._ - - 27 (iii) The Assassination Operation Moves Forward After Scheider's Return to Headquarters: October 5--7, 1960------------------- -- 29 (iv) Headquarters Continues to Place "Highest Priority" on the Assassination Operation------------------ 30 (h) Tweedy/Bissell Testimony: Extent of Implementation; Extent of Authorization----------------------------- 33 (i) Tweedy's Testimony About the Scope of the Assassi- Operation------------------------------- nation 33 (ii) Bissell's Testimony About Moving the Assassination Operation From Planning to Implementation-_-_-_ 36 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 IV III Assassination Planning and Plots-Continued A. Congo--Continued 5. The Question of a Connection Between the Assassination Plot and Other Actions of CIA Officers and Their Agents in the Psge Congo------------------------------------------------ 37 (a) Mulroney's Assignment in the Congo -------------------- 37 (i) Mulroney's Testimony That He Went to the Congo After Refusing an Assassination Assignment From Bissell---------------------------------------- 37 (ii) Bissell's Testimony About the Assignment to Mulroney------------------------------------ 40 (iii) Mulroney Informed of Virus in Station Safe Upon Ar- riving in Congo: November 3, 1960______________ 41 6 v) Mulroney's Plan to "Neutralize" Lumumba--------- 42 (b) QJ/WIN's Mission in the Congo: November-December 1960--------------------------------------------- 43 (c) WI/ROGUE Asks QJ/WIN to Join "Execution Squad": December 1960------------------------------------ 45 6. The Question of Whether the CIA Was Involved in Bringing About Lumumba's Death in Katanga Province ------------ 48 (a) Lumumba's Imprisonment After Leaving U.N. Custody: November 27-December 3, 1960- ------------------- 48 (b) Lumumba's Death----------------------------------- 49 7. The Question of the Level at Which the Assassination Plot Was Authorized---------------------------------------- 51 (a) High-Level Meetings at Which "Getting Rid of Lumumba" Was Discussed ------------------------------------ .. 53 (1) Dillon's Testimony About Pentagon Meeting: Summer 1960--------------------- 53 (ii) Robert Johnson's Testimony That He Understood the President to Order Lumumba's Assassination at an NSC Meeting---------------------------- 55 (iii) Special Group Agrees to Consider Anything That Might Get Rid of Lumumba: August 25, 1960----- 60 (iv) Dulles Reminded by Gray of "Top-Level Feeling" That "Vigorous Action" was Necessary in the Congo: September 7-8, 1960___________________________ 62 (v) Dulles Tells NSC That Lumumba Remains a Grave Danger Until "Disposed Of": September 21, 1960__ 62 (b) Testimony of Eisenhower White House Officials ---------- 64 (c) Bissell's Assumptions About Authorization by President Eisenhower and Allen Dulles________________________ 65 (d) The Impression of Scheider and Hedgman That the Assassination Operation Had Presidential Authorization- 67 B. Cuba ------------------------------------------------------ 71 1. The Assassination Plots ------------------------------------- 71 (a) Plots: Early 1960------------------------------------- 72 ) Plots to Destroy Castro's Public Image______________ 72 (ii) Accident Plot----------------------------------- 72 {ii) Poison Cigars----------------------------------- 73 (b) Use of Underworld Figures-Phase I (Pre-Bay of Pigs) - _ _ _ 74 (i) The Initial Plan--------------------------------- 74 (ii) Contact with the Syndicate ------------------------- 75 (iii) Las Vegas Wiretap-------- _ _ _ _ _ (1) CIA Involvement in the Wiretap_______________ 77 (2) Consequences of the Wiretap___________________ -79 (iv) Poison is Prepared and Delivered to Cuba---------- 79 (c) Use of Underworld Figures: Phase II (Post-Bay of Pigs) - - 82 (i) Change in Leadership ----------------------------- 82 (n) The Operation is Reactivated--- _______________ 83 (d) Plans in Early 1963---------- ------------------------ 85 (e) AM/LASH -----------------------------------------86 (z) Origin of the Project ______------------------------ 86 (ii) The Poison Pen Device ------------------------ 88 (iii) Providing AM/LASH with;Arms___________________ 89 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042ROO0200090002-0 V III. Assassination Planning and Plots-Continued B. Cuba-Continued 2. At What Level Were the Castro Plots Known About or Author- Page ized Within the Central Intelligence Agency?______________ 91 (a) The Question Presented_______________________________ 91 (i) Dulles------------------------------------------ 92 (ii) McCone---------------------------------------- 92 (b) Did Allen Dulles Know of or Authorize the Initial Plots Against Castro?____________________________________ 92 (i) Dulles' Approval of J.C. King's December 1959 Mem- orandum-------------------------------------- 92 (ii) Dulles' January 1960 Statement to the Special Group- 93 (iii) Meetings in March 1960__________________________ 93 (iv) Recision of Accident Plot in July 1960_____________ 94 (v) Briefing of Dulles on Use of Underworld Figures in September 1960-------------------------------- 94 (1) Evidence Concerning What Dulles Was Told ----- 94 (2) Evidence Concerning When the Briefing Occurred- 97 (vi) Edwards' Communications to the Justice Department in 1961 and 1962_______________________________ 97 (vii) General Cabell's Remarks to the Special Group in November 1960 --------------------------------- 98 (c) Did John McCone Know of or Authorize Assassination Plots During His Tenure as D CI?-------------------- 99 (i) McCone's Testimony_____________________________ 99 (ii) Testimony of Helms, Bissell and Other Subordinate Agency Employees_____________________________ 100 (iii) Helms and Harvey Did Not Brief McCone About the Assassination Plots_____________________________ 102 (iv) The Question of Whether General Carter, McCone's Deputy Director, Learned About the Underworld Plot and Informed McCone_____________________ 106 (v) The August 1963 Briefing of McCone--------------- 107 3. At What Level Were the Castro Plots Known About or Au- thorized Outside of the Central Intelligence Agency? ------ 108 (a) The Question of Knowledge and Authorization Outside the Central Intelligence Agency in the Eisenhower Admin- istration------------------------------------------ 109 (i) Summary--------------------------------------- 109 (ii) Richard Bissell's Testimony_______________________ 110 (1) Lack of Personal Knowledge___________________ 110 (2) Assumptions Concerning Dulles---------------- 111 (iii) Testimony of White House Officials---------------- 111 (1) Gordon Gray________________________________ 111 (2) Andrew Goodpaster__________________________ 112 (3) Thomas Parrott______________________________ 113 (4) John Eisenhower----------------------------- 113 (iv) Documentary Evidence___________________________ 114 (1) Inspector General's Report____________________ 114 (2) Contemporaneous Documents ------------------ 114 (b) The Question of Knowledge and Authorization Outside the Central Intelligence Agency During the Kennedy Administration____________________________________ 116 (i) Pre-Bay of Pigs Assassination Plot----------------- 117 (1) Bissell's Testimony Concerning His Assumption That Dulles Told the President______________ 117 (2) Bissell's Testimony Regarding His Own Actions_ 118 (3) Kennedy Administration Officials' Testimony-_-- 119 (4) The Question of Whether Assassination Efforts Were Disclosed in Various Briefings of Adminis- tration Officials____________________________ 120 a. Briefing of the President-Elect --------------- 120 b. Discussion with Bundy on "Executive Action Capability',----------------------------- 121 c. Taylor/Kennedy Bay of Pigs Inquiry-------- 121 (5) Conversation Between President Kennedy and Senator George Smathers____________________ 123 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042ROO0200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 vI III- Assassination Planning and Plots-Continued B. Cuba-Continued 3. At What Level Were the Castro Plots Known About or Au- thorized Outside of the Central Intelligence Agency?-Con. (b) The Question of Knowledge and Authorization Outside of the Central Intelligence Agency During the Kennedy Administration-Continued (i) Pre-Bay of Pigs Assassination Plot-Continued (6) The Question of Whether the President or the Attorney General Might Have Learned of the Assassination Effort from the Cuban Partici- Page pants------------------------------------- 124 (7) The Question of Whether the Assassination Opera- tion Involving Underworld Figures Was Known About by Attorney General Kennedy or President Kennedy as Revealed by Investiga- tions of Giancana and Rosselli--------------- 125 a. 1960------------------------------------- 125 b. 1961 ------------------------------------- 126 c. 1962------------------------------------- 129 (1) Did President Kennedy Learn Anything About Assassination Plots as a Result of the FBI Investigation of Giancana and Rosselli?---------------------------- 129 (2) The Formal Decision to Forego Prosecution- 131 (a) Events Leading Up to a Formal Brief- ing of the Attorney General____ __ 131 (b) Briefing of the Attorney General on May 7, 1962--------------------- 131 (aa) The Attorney General Was Told That the Operation Had Involved an Assassination Attempt____________________ 132 (bb) Evidence Concerning Whether The Attorney General Was Told That the Operation Had Been Terminated------------- 132 (ii) Post-Bay of Pigs Underworld Plot-MONGOOSE Period---------------------------------------- 134 (1) Events Preceding the Establishment of MON- GOOSE-- -------------------------------- 135 a. The Taylor/Kennedy Board of Inquiry ------- 135 b. National Security Action Memorandum 100 of October 5, 1961, and the CIA Intelligence Estimate-------------------------------- 136 c. President Kennedy's November 9, 1961. Con- versation with Tad Szule ----------------- 138 d. President Kennedy's Speech of November 16, 1961 ----------------------------------- 139 (2) Operation MONGOOSE______________________ 139 a. The Creation of Operation MONGOOSE--__. 139 (1) The Special Group (Augmented) (SGA)_-- 140 (2) General Lansdale Named Chief-of-Oper- ations of MONGOOSE-------------- 140 (3) CIA Organization for MONGOOSE----_- 140 b. Lansdale's Theory and Objective for MON. GOOSE--.------------------------------ 140 c. Bissell's Testimony Concerning Presidential Instructions to Act More Vigorously- ------ 141 d. The January 19, 1962 Special Group Meeting- 141 e. General Lansdale's MONGOOSE Planning Tasks---------------------------------- 142 f. Lansdale's Rejection of a Suggestion that a Prop- aganda Campaign Including Rewards for Assassination, Be Explored---------------- 144 g. The control System MONGOOSE Operations_ 144 h. The Pattern of MONGOOSE Action --------- 146 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 VII III. Assassination Planning and Plots-Continued B. Cuba-Continued 3. At What Level Were the Castro Plots Known About or Au- thorized Outside of the Central Intelligence Agency?-Con. (b) The Question of Knowledge and Authorization Outside of the Central Intelligence Agency During the Kennedy Administration-Continued (ii) Post-Bay of Pigs Underworld Plot-MONGOOSE Period-Continued (3) Evidence Bearing on Knowledge of and Author- Page ization for the Assassination Plot, Phase II - - - _ 148 a. Helms' Testimony Concerning Authority----- 148 (1) Helms' Perception of Authority---------- 148 (2) Helms' Testimony Concerning the Absence of a Direct Order and Why He Did Not Inform Administration Officials-------- 150 (3) Helms' Perception of Robert Kennedy's Position on Assassination-------------- 150 (4) Helms' Testimony as to Why He Did Not Obtain a Direct Order________________ 151 (5) Helms' Perception of the Relation of Special Group Controls to Assassination Activity----------------------------- 152 b. Harvey's Testimony Concerning Authority--__ 153 (1) Harvey's Perception of Authority-------- 153 (2) Harvey and the Special Group (Aug- mented) ----------------------------- 153 c. Testimony of Kennedy Administration Of- ficials ----------------------------------- 154 (4) The August 10, 1962 Special Group (Augmented) Meeting----------------------------------- 161 a. The ContemVoraneous Documents ----------- 161 1) Lansdale s August 13, 1962 Memorandum-_ 161 (2) Harvey's August 14, 1962 Memorandum____ 162 (3) The Minutes of the August 10, 1962 Meeting- 162 (4) The August 10 Meeting----------------- 163 b. The Testimony---------------------------- 164 (1) Testimony About the August 10 Meeting-_ _ 164 ?) McCone------------------------- 164 b) Harvey -------------------------- 164 c) Goodwin------------------------- 164 d) McNamara---------------- ---- 165 (9) Testimony About Events After the August 10 1962 Meeting___________________ 165 a) lcCone------------------------- 165 b) Harvey-------------------------- 165 c) Elder----------------------------- - 165 d) Lansdale------------------------- 165 (3) Testimony of Reporters About Lansdale's Comments on the August 10 Meeting__ _ 167 M The Martin Report_______________ 168 The O'Leary Report______________ 169 (iii) The Question of Whether the AM/LASH Plot (1963- 1965) Was Known About or Authorized by Admin- istration Officials Outside the CIA --------------- 170 (1) Kennedy Administration's Policy Toward Cuba in 1963------------------------------------ 170 a. Organizational Changes ---------------------- 170 b. Discussion of the Contingency of Castro's Death---------------------------------- 170 e. The Standing Group's Discussion of United States Policy Toward Cuba--------------- 172 d. The Special Group's Authorization of a Sabo- tage Program Against Cuba--------------- 173 e. The Diplomatic Effort to Explore an Accom- modation with Castro____________________ 173 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042ROO0200090002-0 VIII 111. Assassination Planning and Plots--Continued B. Cuba-Continued 3. At What Level Were the Castro Plots Known About or Au- thorized Outside of the Central Intelligence Agency?-Con. (b) The Question of Knowledge and Authorization Outside of the Central Intelligence Agency During the Kennedy Administration-Continued (iii) The Question of Whether the AM/LASH Plot (1963- 1965) Was Known About or Authorized by Admin- istration Officials Outside the CIA--Continued (2) Testimony on the Question of Authorization for Page the AM/LASH Poison Pen Device ------------ 174 a. The October Meeting with AM/LASH and the Use of Robert Kennedy's Name Without Obtaining His Approval_________________.. 174 b. The Delivery of the Poison Pen on November 22, 1963---------------- ----------------- 175 (3) The Question of Authorization in the Johnson Administration_____________________________ 176 a. Summary of the Assassination Activity------- 176 b. The Issue of Authorization---. ---------------- 176 c. The Covert Action Program Against Cuba in 1964-1965------------------------------ 177 d. The Special Group Investigation of Reported Castro Assassination Plots by Cuban Exiles- 177 e. Helms' Report to Rusk_____________________ 178 f. Helms' Briefing of President Johnson on the 1967 Inspector General's Report ----------- 179 (4) Helms' Testimony on Authorization in the Johnson Administration---------------- ---- 179 C. Institutionalizing Assassination: The "Executive Action" Capa- bility,_..------------------------------------------------- 181 1. Introduction----__ -------------------------------- 181 2. The Question of White House Initiation, Authorization, or Knowledge of the Executive Action Project_______________ 182 3. The Question of Authorization or Knowledge of the Executive Action Project by the DCI----------------------------- 187 4. The Question of Whether Project ZR/RIFLE Was Connected to Any Actual Assassination Plots----------------------- 187 (a) Conversation Between Bissell and Bundy--------------- 188 (b) Bissell's Instruction to Harvey to Take Over Responsibility for Underworld Contact : November 1961- - - - - - - - - - - - - 188 (c) Use of QJ/WIN in Africa______________________________ 189 D. Trujillo _.-------------------------------------------------- - 191 1. Summary----------------------------------------------- 191 2. Background--------------------------------------------- 191 3. Initial Contact With Dissidents and Request for Arms------- 192 (a) Dissident Contacts_____________ ----------------------------------- 192 (b) The Request for Sniper Rifles_________________________ 193 4. Summer and Fall of 1.960--------------------------------- 194 (a) Diplomatic Development-Withdrawal of United States Personnel ----------------------------------------- (b) Dearborn Reports Assassination May Be Only Way To Overthrow Trujillo Regime__________________________ (c) Efforts to Convince Trujillo to Abdicate---------------- (d) CIA Plans of October 1960____________________________ (e) December 1960 Special Group Plan of Covert Actions---_ 5. January 12, 1961 Special Group Approval of "Limited Supplies of Small Arms and Other Material"_____________________ (a) Memorandum Underlying the Special Group Action 197 6. January 20, 1961-April 17, 1961 (the Kennedy Administration through the Bay of Pigs)_______________________________ 197 (a) Specific Events Indirectly Linking United States to Dissi- dents' Assassination Plans__________________________ 198 (i) Assassination Discussions and Requests for Ex- plosives --------------------------------------- 198 194 195 196 196 196 196 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042ROO0200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 IX III. Assassination Planning and Plots-Continued D. Trujillo-Continued 6. January 20, 1961-April 17, 1961 (the Kennedy Administration through the Bay of Pigs-Continued (a) Specific Events Indirectly Linking United States to Dissi- dent's Page Assassination Plans-Continued (ii) The Passage of Pistols---------------------------- 199 (1) Pouching to the Dominican Republic------------ 199 (2) Reason for the CIA Instruction Not To Tell Dear- born 199 -------------------------------------- (3) Were the Pistols Related to Assassination?-___-- 2(iii) Passing of the Carbines-------------------------- 200 (1) Request by the Station and by Dearborn and Ap- proval 200 by CIA---------------------------- (2) Were the Carbines Related to Assassination? _ - _ _ 200 (3) Failure to Disclose to State Department Officials 201 in Washington--------------------------- (iv) Requests for and Pouching of the Machine Guns------ 201 (1) Requests for Machine Guns___________________ 201 (2) Pouching of Machine Guns Approved by Bissell__ 202 (Bay Officials 31, 1961 American (b) Knowledge of . April 17, 1961 May Senior of 1 Pigs Throughf Trujillo 202 7 ___________ __- - ------ 205 Assassination)----------------------------------------- (a) Decision Not` to Pass the Machine Guns and Unsuccessful United States Attempt to Stop Assassination Effort - - - _ 205 (b) Further Consideration of Passing' Machine Guns --------- 207 - (c) Special Group Meetings of May 4 and May 18, 1961- _ - - _ 208 (d) Final Requests by Dissidents for Machine Guns --------- (e) Dearborn in Washington for Consultation-Drafting of 209 Contingency Plans--------------------------------- (f) Cable of May 29, 1961-------------------------------- 212 8. May 30, 1961 and Immediately Thereafter__________________ 213 (a) Trujillo Assassinated--------------------------------- 213 ------ --- ------------------- 213 (b) Cables to Washington-------------------------------- (c) Immediate Post-Assassination Period------------------- 214 217 E. Diem ----------------------------------------------------- --__---__ _-- 217 Summary ----------------------------------------------- -------------------------------- - 2. The Abortive Coup of August 1963________________________ 217 3. The November 1963 Coup------------------------------ F. Schneider-------------------------- --- 225 1. Summary----------------------------------------------- ---------- ------------- ----- ---------- 225 2. The President's Initial Instruction and Background --------- 227 (a) September 15 White House Meeting____________________ 227 _ _ _ _ _ - _ _ _ _ 229 b) Background: Tracks I and II -------------------------- (c~ CIA Views of Difficulty of Project_____________________ 232 3. CIA's Implementation of Track II_________________________ 233 (a) Evolution of CIA Strategy---------------------------- 233 (i) The "Constitutional Coup" Approach -------------- 233 (ii) Military Solution________________________________ 234 (b) The Chile Task Force_______________________ ------ 235 (c) Use of the U.S. Military Attache and Interagency Relations- 235 (d Agents Who Posed as Third Country Nationals ---------- 238 (e Chief of Station-------------------------------------- 239 4. C A Efforts to Promote a Coup --------------------------- 239 (a) The Chilean Conspirators_____________________________ 239 (b) Contacts Prior to October 15_________________________ 240 242 (c) October 15 Decision Decision---------------------------------- (d) Coup Planning and Attempts After October15 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _- _ 243 (e) The Shooting of General Schneider--------------------- 245 (f) Post October 22 Events----------------------------- 246 5. CIA/White House Communication During Track 11 ---------- 246 (a) September----------------------------------------- (b) October ------------ 248 (d) Did Track II End?--- ------------ ---------------------- 253 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 x Page IV.. Findings and Conclusions______________________________________ 255 A. Findings Concerning the Plots Themselves -------------------- 255 1. Officials of the United States Government Initiated Plots t Assassinate Fidel Castro and Patrice Lumumba _ - _ _ _ _ - _ _ -- 255 2. No Foreign Leaders Were Killed as a Result of Assassinatic n Plots Initiated by Officials of the United States----------- 256 3. American Officials ncouraged or Were Privy to Coup Plots Whk 4 Resulted in the Deaths of Trujillo, Diem, and Schneider__.. - 256 4. The Plots Occurred in a Cold War Atmosphere Perceived to be of Crisis Proportions------------------------------------ 256 5. American Officials Had Exaggerated Notions About Their Ability to Control the Actions of Coup Leaders ------------ 256 6. CIA Officials Made Use of Known Underworld Figures in Assassination Efforts___________________________________ 257 B. Conclusions Concernin the Plots Themselves----------------- - _ 257 1. The United States Should Not Engage in Assassination------ 257 (a) Distinction Between Targeted Assassinations Instigated 1)y the United States and Support for Dissidents Seeking I , Overthrow Local Governments ----------------------- 257 (b) The Setting In Which the Assassination Plots Occurred Explains, But Does Not Justify Them _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 258 2. The United States Should Not Make Use of Underworld Figures for Their Criminal Talents_______________________ 259 C. Findings and Conclusions Relating to Authorization and Contro" _ 260 1. The Apparent Lack of Accountability in the Command and Control System Was Such That the Assassination Plots Could Have Been Undertaken Without Express Authorization- _ - _ 261 2. Findings Relating to the Level at Which the Plots Wer Authorized--------------------------------------------- 261 (a) Diem----------------------------------------------. 261 (b) Schneider----------------------- ------------------- 262 (c) Trujillo--------------------------------------------- 262 (d) Lumumba ------------------------------------------ . 263 (e) Castro---------------------------------------------- 263 3. CIA Officials Involved in the Assassination, Operations Per ceived Assassination to Have Been a Permissible Course of Action------------------------------------------------. 264 4. The Failure in Communication Between Agency Officials its Charge of the Assassination Operations and their Superiors io the Agency and in the Administration was Due to: (a) Thc+ Failure of Subordinates to Disclose Their Plans and Opera tions to Their Superiors; and (b) The Failure of Superiors ii= the Climate of Violence and Aggressive Covert Actions Sana - tioned by the Administrations to Rule Out Assassination as :,, Tool of Foreign Policy; To Make Clear to Their Subordinat+: , That Assassination Was Impermissible; Or To Inquire Fur ther After Receiving Indications That It Was Being Coi - sidered ----------------------------------------------- 267 (a) Agency Officials Failed on Several Occasions to Reveal this Plots to Their Superiors, Or To Do So With Sufflcien Detail and Clarity__________________________________ 267 (i) Castro-----------------------------------------. 267 (ii) Trujillo ----------------------------------------- 270 (iii) Schneider--------------------------------------- 272 (b) Administration Officials Failed to Rule Out Assassination As a Tool of Foreign Policy, To Make Clear to The,.- Subordinates That Assassination Was Impermissible i w To Inquire Further After Receiving Indications Tho', Assassination Was Being Considered------------------ 273 (i) Trujillo-------------------------------------- - 273 (ii) Schneider --------------------------------------- 273 (iii) Lumumba --------------------------------------- 273 (iv) Castro----------------------------------------- 274 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 XI .IV. Findings and Conclusions-Continued C. Findings and Conclusions Relating to Authorization and Control-Continued 5. Practices Current at the Time in Which the Assassination Plots Occurred Were Revealed by the Record To Create the Risk of Confusion, Rashness and Irresponsibility in the Page Very Areas Where Clarity and Sober Judgment Were Most Page Necessary --------------------------------------------- The Danger Inherent in Overextending the Doctrine of Plausible Denial---------------------- -- ------- 277 (b) The Danger of Using" Circumlocution" and "Euphemism"- 2278 78 (c) The Danger of Generalized Instructions--------------- 278 (d) The Danger of "Floating Authorization------------------ (e) The Problems Connected With Creating New Covert 279 Capabilities-------------------------------------- V. Recommendations--------------------------------------------- 281 A. General Agreement That the United States Must Not Engage in 281 Assassination-------------------------------------------- --_____ --------- - ------------------------ - B. CIA Directives Banning Assassination________________________ 282 C. The Need for a Statute------------------------------------- 282 ------------------------ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- Epilogue-------------- 285 Statement of Joinder ----------------------------------------------286 Appendix A---------------------------------------------------- 289 Appendix B----- 291 --------------- - - - A.- Hart------------------------------ 297 Separate Views of Senator Philip- Additional Views of Senator Robert Morgan-------------------------- 299 Additional Views of Senator Howard II. Baker, Jr--------------------- 303 Additional Views of Senator Barry Goldwater_________________________ 341 Supplemental Views of Senator Charles McC. Mathias, Jr--------------- 345 Abbreviations of Citations------------------------------------------ 347 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 PROLOGUE The events discussed in this Interim Report must be viewed in the context of United States policy and actions designed to counter the threat of spreading Communism. Following the end of World War II, many nations in Eastern Europe and elsewhere fell under Communist influence or control. The defeat of the Axis powers was accompanied by rapid disintegration of the Western colonial empires. The Second World War had no sooner ended than a new struggle began. The Communist threat, emanating from what came to be called the "Sino- Soviet bloc," led to a policy of containment intended to prevent fur- ther encroachment into the "Free World." United States strategy for conducting the Cold War called for the establishment of interlocking treaty arrangements and military bases throughout the world. Concern over the expansion of an aggres- sive Communist monolith led the United States to fight two major wars in Asia. In addition, it was considered necessary to wage a relent- less cold war against Communist expansion wherever it appeared in the "back alleys of the world." This called for a full range of covert activities in response to the operations of Communist clandestine services. The fear of Communist expansion was particularly acute in the United States when Fidel Castro emerged as Cuba's leader in the late 1950's. His takeover was seen as the first significant penetration by the Communists into the Western Hemisphere. United States leaders, including most Members of Congress, called for vigorous action to stem the Communist infection in this hemisphere. These policies rested on widespread popular support and encouragement. Throughout this period, the United States felt impelled to respond to threats which were, or seemed to be, skirmishes in a global Cold War against Communism. Castro's Cuba raised the spectre of a Soviet outpost at America's doorstep. Events in the Dominican Republic appeared to offer an additional opportunity for the Russians and their allies. The Congo, freed from Belgian rule, occupied the stra- tegic center of the African continent, and the prospect of Communist penetration there was viewed as a threat to American interests in emerging African nations. There was great concern that a Communist takeover in Indochina would have a "domino effect" throughout Asia. Even the election in 1970 of a Marxist president in Chile was seen by some as a threat similar to that of Castro's takeover in Cuba. The Committee regards the unfortunate events dealt with in this Interim Report as an aberration, explainable at least in part, but not justified, by the pressures of the time. The Committee believes that it is still in the national interest of the United States to help nations achieve self-determination and resist Communist domination. How- ever, it is clear that this interest cannot justify resorting to the kind of abuses covered in this report. Indeed, the Committee has resolved that steps must be taken to prevent those abuses from happening again. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 I. INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY This interim report covers allegations of United States involvement in assassination plots against foreign political leaders. The report also examines certain other instances in which foreign political leaders in fact were killed and the United States was in some manner involved in activity leading up to the killing, but in which it would be incorrect to say that the purpose of United States involvement had been to encourage assassination. . The evidence establishes that the United States was implicated in several assassination plots. The Committee believes that, short of war, assassination is incompatible with American principles, international order, and morality. It should be rejected 'as a tool of foreign policy. Our inquiry also reveals serious problems with respect to United States involvement in coups directed against foreign governments. Some of these problems are addressed here on the basis of our investi- gation to date; others we raise as questions to be answered after our investigation into covert action has been completed. We stress the interim nature of this report. In the course of the Committee's continuing work, other alleged assassination plots may surface, and new evidence concerning the cases covered herein may come to light. However, it is the Committee's view that these cases have been developed in sufficient detail to clarify the issues which are at the heart of the Committee's mandate to recommend legislative and other reforms. Thorough treatment of the assassination question has lengthened the Committee's schedule, but has greatly increased the Committee's awareness of the hard issues it must face in the months ahead. These issues include problems of domestic and foreign intelligence collection, counterintelligence, foreign covert operations, mechanisms of com- mand and control, and assessment of the effectiveness of the total United States intelligence effort. The Committee intends, nevertheless, to complete, by February 1976, its main job of undertaking the first comprehensive review of the intelligence community. A. COMMITTEE'S MANDATE Senate Resolution 21 instructs the Committee to investigate the full range of governmental intelligence activities and the extent, if any, to which such activities were "illegal, improper or unethical." In addition to that broad general mandate, the Committee is required to investigate, study and make recommendations concerning various specific matters, several of which relate to the assassination issue.' I Por example, S. Res. 21 requires the Committee to study and investigate the following : The extent and necessity of * * * covert intelligence activities * * * abroad ; [Thel nature and extent of executive branch oversight of all United States intel- ligence activities ; The need for improved, strengthened, or consolidated oversight of United States Intelligence activities by the Congress (* * * and the need for new legislation. Approved For Release 2002/08/1: CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 2 Although the Rockefeller Commission initiated an inquiry into re- ported assassination plots, the Commission declared it was unable, for a variety of reasons, to complete its inquiry. At the direction of the President, the Executive Branch turned over to the Select Committee the work the Commission had done, along with certain other documents relating to assassination. B. COMMITTEE DECISION TO MAKE REPORT PUBLIC This report raises important questions of national policy. We believe that the public is entitled to know what instrumentalities of their Gov- ernment have done., Further, our recommendations can only be judged in light of the factual record. Therefore, this interim report should be made public. The Committee believes the truth about the assassination allegations should be told because democracy depends upon a well-informed elec- torate. We reject any contention that the facts disclosed in this report should be kept secret because they are embarrassing to the United States. Despite the temporary injury to our national reputation, the Committee believes that foreign peoples will, upon sober reflection, respect the United States more for keeping faith with its democratic ideal than they will condemn us for the misconduct revealed. We doubt that any other country would have the courage to make such disclosures. The fact that portions of the story have already been made public only accentuates the need for full disclosure. Innuendo and misleading partial disclosures are not fair to the individuals involved. Nor are they a responsible way to lay the groundwork for informed public policy judgments. C. SCOPE OF COMMITTEES INVESTIGATION Investigating the assassination issue has been an unpleasant duty, but one that the Committee had to meet. The Committee has compiled a massive record in the months that the inquiry has been underway. The record comprises over 8,000 pages of sworn testimony taken from over 75 witnesses during 00 hearing days and numerous staff inter- views. The documents which the Committee has obtained include raw files from agencies and departments, the White House, and the Presi- dential libraries of the Administrations of former Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.2 We have obtained two types of evidence : first, evidence relating to the general setting in which the events occurred, the national policy of the time, and the normal operating procedures, including channels of command and control ; and second, evidence relating to the specific events. A Senate Committee is not a court. It looks to the past, not to deter- mine guilt or innocence, but in order to make recommendations for the future. When we found the evidence to be ambiguous-as we did on i When the name of a participant in the plot did not add to the presentation and its inclusion may have placed in 1eopardy his life or livelihood. the Committee. on oee9siOn. resorted, on balance, to the use of an alms or a general description of the individual or his position. s The Committee has served both general and specific document remiests upon the Executive Branch. The Administration represented to the Committee that it has pro- duced all the relevant documents. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 3 some issues-we have set out both sides, in order that the evidence may speak for itself. Despite the number of witnesses and documents examined by the Committee, the available evidence has certain shortcomings. Many of the events considered occurred as long as fifteen years ago. With one exception, they occurred during the administra- tions of Presidents now dead. Other high officials whose testimony might have shed additional light on the thorny issues of authori- zation and control are also dead. Moreover, with the passage of time, the memories of those still alive have dimmed. The Committee has often faced the difficult task of distinguishing refreshed recollection from speculation. In many instances, wit- nesses were unable to testify from independent recollection and had to rely on documents contemporaneous with the events to refresh their recollections. While informed speculation is of some assistance, it can only be assigned limited weight in judging spe- cific events. Although assassination is not a subject on which one would expect many records or documents to be made or retained, there were, in fact, more relevant contemporaneous documents than expected. In addition, in 1967 the Central Intelligence Agency had made an internal study of the Castro, Trujillo and Diem assassination allegations.' That study was quite useful, particularly in suggest- ing leads for uncovering the story of the actual assassination activity. Unfortunately, the working papers relating to that in- vestigation were destroyed upon the completion of the Report, pursuant to instructions from CIA Director Richard Helms. (Memorandum for the Record, 5/23/67) These notes were de- stroyed because of their sensitivity and because the information they contained had already been incorporated into the Report. In fairness to Director Helms, it should be added, however, that he was responsible for requesting the preparation of the Inspector General's Report and for preserving the Report. Some ambiguities in the evidence result from the practice of concealing CIA covert operations from the world and perform- ing them in such a. way that if discovered, the role of the United States could be plausibly denied. An extension of the doctrine of "plausible deniability" had the result that communications be- tween the Agency and high Administration officials were often convoluted and imprecise.2 The evidence contains sharp conflicts, some of which relate to basic facts. But the most important conflicts relate not so much to basic facts as to differing perceptions and opinions based upon relatively undisputed facts. With respect to both kinds of conflicts, the Com- mittee has attempted to set forth the evidence extensively so that it may speak for itself, and in our section on findings and conclusions, we suggest resolutions for some of the conflicts. However, because 1 Those studies were made at the direction of CIA Director Richard Helms to provide him with information to answer questions from President Johnson. The President's ques- tions concerning Castro were provoked by a Drew Pearson newspaper column in March 1967. The column alleged that the CIA had attempted to kill Castro using the Mafia. The President also asked Helms for information concerning possible United States involvement in the assassinations of Trujillo and Diem. 2 For a full discussion of this doctrine, see pages 11-12. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 4 the Committee's main task is to find lessons for the future, resolving conflicts in the evidence may be less important than making certain that the system which produced the ambiguities is corrected. D. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS 1. THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED The Committee sought to answer four broad questions : Assassination plots.-Did United States officials instigate, attempt, aid and abet, or acquiesce in plots to assassinate foreign leaders? Involvement in other killings.-Did United States officials assist foreign dissidents in a way which significantly contributed to the killing of foreign leaders? Authorization.-Where there was involvement by United States officials in assassination plots or other killings, were such activities authorized and if so, at what levels of our Government? Communication and control.-Even if not authorized in fact, were the assassination activities perceived by those involved to be within the scope of their lawful authority? If they were so perceived, was there inadequate control exercised by higher authorities over the agencies to prevent such misinterpretation? 2. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS ON THE PLOTS The Committee investigated alleged United States involvement in assassination plots in five foreign countries : 1 Country Individual involved 2 Cuba ----------------------------------------- Fidel Castro. Congo (Zaire) --------------------------------- Patrice Lumumba. Dominican Republic---------------------------- Rafael Trujillo. Chile ----------------------------------------- General Rene Schneider. South Vietnam--------------------------------- Ngo Dinh Diem. The evidence concerning each alleged assassination can be sum- marized as follows : 3 Patrice Lumumba (Congo/Zaire).-In the Fall of 1960, two CIA officials were asked by superiors to assassinate Lumumba. Poisons were sent to the Congo and some exploratory steps were taken toward gaining access to Lumumba. Subsequently, in early 1961, Lumumba was killed by Congolese rivals. It does not appear from the evidence that the United States was in any way involved in the killing. Fidel Castro (Cuba).-United States Government personnel plotted to kill Castro from 1960 to 1965. American underworld figures and , In addition to the plots discussed in the body of this report, the Committee received some evidence of CIA Involvement in plans to assassinate President Sukarno of Indonesia and "Papa Doe" Duvalier of Haiti. Former Deputy Director for Plans Richard Bissell testi- fied that the assassination of Sukarno had been "contemplated" by the CIA, but that plan- ning had proceeded no farther than identifying an "asset" whom it was believed might be recruited to kill Sukarno. Arms were supplied to dissident groups in Indonesia, but, accord- ing to Bissell, those arms were not intended for assassination. (Bissell, 6/11/75, p. 89) Walter Elder, Executive Assistant to CIA Director John McCone, testified that the Di- rector authorized the CIA to furnish arms to dissidents planning the overthrow of Haiti's dictator, Duvalier. Elder told the Committee that while the assassination of Duvalier was not contemplated by the CIA, the arms were furnished "to help [the dissidents] take what measures were deemed necessary to replace the government," and it was realized that Duvalier might be killed in the course of the overthrow. (Elder, 8/13/75, p. 79) 2 Assassination plots against the Cuban leadership sometimes contemplated action against Raul Castro and Che Guevarra. In South Vietnam Diem'4 brother Ngo Dinh Nhu was killed at the same time as Diem. , Section III contains a detailed treatment of the evidence ap .each county . Approved For Release 2002/08/15: CIA-RDP83-010428000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 5 Cubans hostile to Castro were used in these plots, and were provided encouragement and material support by the United States. Rafael Trujillo (Dominican Republic).-Trujillo was shot by Do- minican dissidents on May 31,1961. From early in 1960 and continuing to the time of the assassination, the United States Government gen- erally supported these dissidents. Some Government personnel were aware that the dissidents intended to kill Trujillo. Three pistols and three carbines were furnished by American officials, although a request for machine guns was later refused. There is conflicting evidence con- cerning whether the weapons were knowingly supplied for use in the assassination and whether any of them were present at the scene. Ngo Dinh Diem (South Vietnam).-Diem and his brother, Nhu, were killed on November 2, 1963, in the course of a South Vietnamese Generals' coup. Although the United States Government supported the coup, there is no evidence that American officials favored the assassination. Indeed, it appears that the assassination of Diem was not part of the Generals' pre-coup planning but was instead a spontaneous act which occurred during the coup and was carried out without I T sited States involvement or support. General Rene Schneider (Chile).-On October 25, 1970, General Schneider died of gunshot wounds inflicted three days earlier while re- sisting a kidnap attempt. Schneider, as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and a constitutionalist opposed to military coups, was considered an obstacle in efforts to prevent Salvador Allende from assuming the office of President of Chile. The United States Government supported, and sought to instigate a military coup to block Allende. U.S. offi- cials supplied financial aid, machine guns and other equipment to various military figures who opposed Allende. Although the CIA con- tinued to support coup plotters up to Schneider's shooting, the record indicates that the. CIA had withdrawn active support of the group which carried out the actual kidnap attempt on October 22, which resulted in Schneider's death. Further, it does not appear that any of the equipment supplied by the CIA to coup plotters in Chile was used in the kidnapping. There is no evidence of a plan to kill Schneider or that United States officials specifically anticipated that Schneider would be shot during the abduction. Assassination capability (Executive action).-In addition to these five cases, the Committee has received evidence that ranking Govern- ment officials discussed, and may have authorized, the establishment within the CIA of a generalized assassination capability. During these discussions, the concept of assassination was not affirmatively dis- avowed. Similarities and differences among the plots.-The assassination plots all involved Third World countries, most of which were rela- tively small and none of which possessed great nol?tical or military strength. Apart from that similarity, there were significant differences among the plots : (1) Whether United States officials initiated the plot, or were responding to requests of local dissidents for aid. (2) Whether the plot was specifically intended to kill a forewn leader, or whether the leader's death was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of an attempt to overthrow the government. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 6 The Castro and Lumumba cases are examples of plots conceived by United States officials to kill foreign leaders. In the Trujillo case, although the United States Government cer- tainly opposed his regime, it did not initiate the plot. Rather, United States officials responded to requests for aid from local dissidents whose aim clearly was to assassinate Trujillo. By aiding them, this country was implicated in the assassination, regardless of whether the weapons actually supplied were meant to kill Trujillo or were only intended as symbols of support for the dissidents. The Schneider case differs from the Castro and Trujillo cases. The United States Government, with full knowledge that Chilean dis- sidents considered General Schneider an obstacle to their plans, sought a coup and provided support to the dissidents. However, even though the support included weapons, it appears that the intention of both the dissidents and the United States officials was to abduct General Schneider, not to kill him. Similarly, in the Diem case, some United States officials wanted Diem removed and supported a coup to accomplish his removal, but there is no evidence that any of those officials sought the death of Diem himself. 3. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS ON TIIE ISSUES OF AUTIIORITY AND CONTROL To put the inquiry into assassination allegations in context, two points must be made clear. First, there is no doubt that the United States Government opposed the various leaders in question. Officials at the highest levels objected to the Castro and 'Trujillo regimes, believed the accession of Allende to power in Chile would be harmful to American interests, and thought of Lumumba as a dangerous force in the heart of Africa. Second, the evidence on assassinations has to be viewed in the context of other, more massive activities against the regimes in question. For example, the plots against Fidel Castro personally cannot be understood without considering the fully au- thorized, comprehensive assaults upon his regime, such as the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and Operation MONGOOSE in 1962. Once methods of coercion and violence are chosen, the probability of loss of life is always present. There is, however, a significant differ- ence between a coldblooded, targeted, intentional killing of an indi- vidual foreign leader and other forms of intervening in the affairs of foreign nations. Therefore, the Committee has endeavored to explore as fully as possible the questions of how and why the plots happened, whether they were authorized, and if so, at what level. The picture that emerges from the evidence is not a clear one. This may be due to the system of deniability and the consequent state of the evidence which, even after our long investigation, remains con- flicting and inconclusive. Or it may be that there were in fact serious shortcomings in the system of authorization so that an activity such as assassination could have been undertaken by an agency of the United States Government without express authority. The Committee finds that the system of executive command and con- trol was so ambiguous that it is difficult to be certain at what levels assassination activity was known and authorized. This situation creates the disturbing prospect that Government officials might have undertaken the assassination plots without it having been uncon- Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 7 trovertibly clear that there was explicit authorization from the Presi- dents. It is also possible that there might have been a successful "plaus- ible denial" in which Presidential authorization was issued but is now obscured. Whether or not the respective Presidents knew of or author- ized the plots, as chief executive officer of the United States, each must bear the ultimate responsibility for the activities of his subordinates. The Committee makes four other major findings.' The first relates to the Committee's inability to make a finding that the assassination plots were authorized by the Presidents or other persons above the governmental agency or agencies involved. The second explains why certain officials may have perceived that, according to their judgment and experience, assassination was an acceptable course of action. The third criticizes agency officials for failing on several occasions to dis- close their plans and activities to superior authorities, or for failing to do so with sufficient detail and clarity. The fourth criticizes Adminis- tration officials for not ruling out assassination, particularly after cer- tain Administration officials had become aware of prior assassination plans and the establishment of a general assassination capability. There is admittedly a tension among the findings. This tension re- flects a basic conflict in the evidence. While there are some conflicts over facts, it may be more important that there appeared to have been two differing perceptions of the same facts. This distinction may be the result of the differing backgrounds of those persons experienced in covert operations as distinguished from those who were not. Words of urgency which may have meant killing to the former, may have meant nothing of the sort to the latter. While we are critical of certain individual actions, the 'Committee is also mindful of the inherent problems in a system which relies on secrecy, compartmentation, circumlocution, and the avoidance of clear responsibility. This system creates the risk of confusion and rash- ness in the very areas where clarity and sober judgment are most nec- essary. Hence, before reviewing the evidence relating to the cases, we briefly deal with the general subject of covert action. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 II. COVERT ACTION AS A VEHICLE FOR FOREIGN POLICY IMPLEMENTATION Covert action is activity which is meant to further the sponsoring nation's foreign policy objectives, and to be concealed in order to per- mit that nation to plausibly deny responsibility. The National Security Act of 19471 which established the Central Intelligence Agency did not include specific authority for covert opera- tions. However, it created the National Security Council, and gave that body authority to direct the CIA to "perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security as the National Security Council may from time to time direct." At its first meeting in December 1947, the NSC issued a top secret directive grant- ing the CIA authority to conduct covert operations. From 1955 to 1970, the basic authority for covert operations was a directive of the National Security Council, NSC 5412/2.2 This directive instructed the CIA to counter, reduce and discredit "International Communism" throughout the world in a manner con- sistent with United States foreign and military policies. It also directed the CIA to undertake covert operations to achieve this end and de- fined covert operations as any covert activities related to propaganda, economic warfare, political action (including sabotage, demolition and assistance to resistance movements) and all activities compatible with the directive.3 In 1962, the CIA's General Counsel rendered the opin- ion that the Agency's activities were "not inhibited by any limitations other than those broadly set forth in NSC 5412/2." (CIA General Counsel Memorandum 4/6/62) A. POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND APPROVAL MECHANISM In his 1962 memorandum, CIA's General Counsel made it clear that the CIA considered itself responsible for developing proposals and plans to implement the objectives of NSC 5412/2 4 The memorandum also stated that even in developing ideas or plans it was incumbent on the Agency not only to coordinate with other executive departments and agencies, but also to "obtain necessary policy approval." The Com- mittee has been faced with determining whether CIA officials thought 1 (P.L. 80-253). 2 Today the basic authority for CIA covert action operations is National Security Decision Memorandum 40, which superseded NSC 5412/2 on February 17, 1970. 8 By contrast NSDM 40 of 1970 described covert actions as those secret activities designed to further official United States programs and policies abroad. It made no reference to communism. a The memorandum stated : "CIA must necessarily be responsible for planning. Occasionally suggestions for action will come from outside sources but, to depend entirely on such requirements would be an evasion of the Agency's responsibilities. Also, the average person, both in government and outside, is thinking along normal lines and to develop clandestine cold war activities properly, persons knowing both the capabilities and limitations of clandestine action must be studying and devising how such actions can be undertaken effectively." With respect to policy approval. the General Counsel said : "Both in developing ideas or plans for action it is incumbent upon the Agency to obtain necessary policy approval, and for this purpose these matters should be explored with proper officials in other departments and agencies, particularly in the Departments of State and Defense, so the determination can be made as to whether any one proposal should go to the Special Group or higher for policy determination." Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 10 it was "necessary" to obtain express approval for assassination plans and, if so, whet her such approval was in fact either sought or granted. Beginning iii 1955, the responsibility for authorizing CIA covert action operations lay with the Special Group, a subcommittee o t the National Security Council composed of the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs, the Director of Central Intelligence. the Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Today this group is known as the 40 Committee, and its membership has been expanded to include the Chairman o p" the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During 1962 another NSC subcommittee was established to oversee covert operations in Cuba. This subcomni atee was the Special Group (Augmented) ; its membership included the Special Group, the Attorney General, and certain other high oft c ials. In exercising control over covert operations, the 7 activities, Group was charged with considering the objectives of proposedpactivities, deter- mining whether the activities would accomplish the objectives, as-,ess- ing the likelihood of success, and deciding whether the activities v ould be ``proper" and in the national interest. The Chairman of the Spee.cial Group was usually responsible for determining which project . re- quired Presidential consideration and for keeping him abrewn.r, of developments. Authorization procedures, however, have not always been clear and tidy, nor have t hey always been followed. Prior to 1955, there were few formal procedures. Procedures from 1955 through 1963 were c.Jiar- acterized in an internal CIA memorandum as "somewhat cloudj' and * * * based on value judgments by the DCI." (Memorandum for' the Record, C/CA/PEG, "Policy Coordination of CIA's Covert A+aion Operations", 2/21/67) The existence of formal procedures for planning and implementing covert actions does not necessarily rule out the possibility that of her, in ore informal procedures might be used. The granting of authori ? y to an executive agency to plan covert action does not preempt Pres den- tial authority to develop and mandate foreign policy. Formal pro- cedures may be. disregarded by either high Administration officio Is or officers in the (.,'IA. In the Schneider incident., for example, President Nixon instructed CIA officials not to consult with the 40 Committee or other policy-making bodies.' In the plot to assassinate Castro using underworld figures, CIA officials decided not to inform the S ecial Group of their activities. One CIA operation, an aspect of which was to develop an assassination capability, was assigned to a senior case officer as a sper.rial task. His responsibility to develop this capability did not fall within the Sppecial Group's review of covert operations, even though this same officer was responsible to the Special G !'oup (Augmented) on other matters. The Central Intelligence Agency also has a formal. chain of "em- inand. At the top of the structure of the CIA is the Director of Central Intelligence (3 )CI) and his immediate subordinate, the Deputq Di- rector of Central Intelligence (DDCI). Together they are respoltBible for I: he administration and supervision of the Agency. Beneatl the DC I:, and directly responsible to him, are the four operational 'am- polients of the agency. During the period covered by this report .. the L The special Gr*Irp was renamed the 303 Committee in 1e64. In 1970 its nan= was changed again-th9:; time to the 40 Committee. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 11 component responsible for clandestine operations was the Directorate of Plans, headed by the Deputy Director for Plans (DDP) 1 The Directorate of Plans was organized around regional geographic divi- sions. These divisions worked with their respective overseas stations (headed by a Chief of Station (COS)) in planning and implementing the Directorate's operations. The divisions which played a part in the events considered in this report were the Western Hemisphere Divi- sion (WH) which was responsible for Latin America, the African Division (AF), and the Far Eastern Division IFE). In addition to the regional divisions, the Directorate of Plans also included three staff level units which provided some oversight and coordination of division projects. The staff units had no approval authority over the divisions. However, they could criticize and suggest modifications of projects sponsored by divisions. The three staffs were : Foreign Intelligence, Counterintelligence, and Covert Action. When functioning in accordance with stated organizational pro- cedures, the Directorate of Plans operated under a graduated approval process. Individual project proposals generally originated either from the field stations or from the divisions and were approved at varying levels within the Directorate, depending on the estimated cost and risk of the operation. Low-cost, low-risk projects could be approved at the Deputy Director for Plans level; extremely high-cost, high- risk projects required the approval of the DCI. Covert action pro- posals also required approval of the Special Group. Also within the Directorate of Plans was a Technical Services Division (TSD) which developed and provided technical and support material required in the execution of operations. A separate Direc- torate, the Directorate of Support, handled financial and adminis- trative matters. The 'Office of Security, a component of the Directorate of Support, was largely responsible for providing protection for clandestine installations and, as discussed at length in the Castro study, was occasionally called on for operational assistance. B. TiiE CONCEPT of "PLAUSIBLE DENIAL" Non-attribution to the United States for covert operations was the original and principal purpose of the so-called doctrine of "plausible denial." Evidence before the Committee clearly demonstrates that this con- cept, designed to protect the United States and its operatives from the consequences of disclosures, has been expanded to mask decisions of the President and his senior staff members. A further consequence of the expansion of this doctrine is that subordinates, in an effort to permit their superiors to "plausibly deny" operations, fail to fully inform them about those operations. "Plausible denial" has shaped the processes for approving and eval- uating covert actions. For example, the 40 Committee and its predeces- sor, the Special Group, have served as "circuit breakers" for Presi- dents, thus avoiding consideration of covert action by the Oval office. "Plausible denial" can also lead to the use of euphemism and cir- cumlocution, which are designed to allow the President and other i The Directorate of Plans is presently called the Directorate of Operations, and is headed by the Deputy Director for Operations (DDO). Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 12 senior officials to deny knowledge of an operation should it dis- closed. The converse may also occur; a President could commit ucate his desire for it sensitive operation in an indirect, circumlocutioui man- ner. An additional possibility is that the President may, in fact, Pot be fully and accurately informed about a sensitive operation becaI se he failed to rec:cive the "circumlocutious" message. The evidenr?~l dis- cussed below reveals that serious problems of assessing intent as d en- suring both control and accountability may result from the k se of "Plausible denial." Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 III. ASSASSINATION PLANNING AND THE PLOTS A. CONGO 1. INTRODUCTION The Committee has received solid evidence of a plot to assassinate Patrice Lumumba. Strong hostility to Lumumba, voiced at the very highest levels of government may have been intended to initiate an assassination operation; at the least it engendered such an operation. The evidence indicates that it is likely that President Eisenhower's expression of strong concern about Lumumba at a meeting of the Na- tional Security Council on August 18, 1960, was taken by Allen Dulles as authority to assassinate Lumumba.' There is, however, testimony by Eisenhower Administration officials, and ambiguity and lack of clarity in the records of high-level policy meetings, which tends to contradict the evidence that the President intended an assassination effort against Lumumba. The week after the August 18 NSC meeting, a presidential advisor reminded the Special Group of the "necessity for very straight- forward action" against Lumumba and prompted a decision not to rule out consideration of "any particular kind of activity which might contribute to getting rid of Lumumba." The following day, Dulles cabled a CIA Station Officer in Leopoldville, Republic of the Congo,2 that "in high quarters" the "removal" of Lumumba was "an urgent and prime objective." Shorty thereafter the CIA's clandestine serv- ice formulated a plot to assassinate Lumumba. The plot proceeded to the point that lethal substances and instruments specifically intended for use in an assassination were delivered by the CIA to the Congo Station. There is no evidence that these instruments of assassination were actually used against Lumumba. A thread of historical 'background is necessary to weave these broad questions together with the documents and testimony received by the Committee. In the summer of 1960, there was great concern at the highest levels in the United States government about the role of Patrice Lumumba in the Congo. Lumumba, who served briefly as Premier of the newly independent nation, was viewed with alarm by United States policymakers because of what they perceived as his magnetic public appeal and his leanings toward the Soviet Union. Under the leadership of Lumumba and the new President, Joseph Kasavubu, the Congo declared its independence from Belgium on June 30, 1960.3 In the turbulent month that followed, Lumumba 'Indeed, one NSC staff member present at the August 18 meeting, believed that he witnessed a presidential order to assassinate Lumumba. 2 Since the period in which the events under examination occurred, the names of many geographical units and governmental institutions have changed. For instance, the nation formerly known as the Republic of the Congo is now the Republic of Zaire and the present capital city, Kinshasa, was known then as Leopoldville. For the sake of clarity in dealing with many of the documents involved in this section, the names used in this report are those which applied in the early 1960's. s For detailed reporting of the events in the Congo during this period, see the New York Times, especially July 7, 1960, 7 :3 ; July 14, 1960, 1 :1 ; July 16, 1980, 1 :1 and 3 :2 ; July 28, 1960, 3 :7 ; September 3, 19603 :2 ; September 6, 1960, 1 :8 ; December 3, 1960, 1 :8 ; January 18, 1961, 3 :1 ; February 14, 1961, 1 :1. (13) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 14 threatened to invite Soviet troops to hasten the withdrawal of Belgian armed forces. The United Nations Security Council requested Bel- gium's withdrawal and dispatched a neutraIVfor_ce to the Congo to pre- serve order. In late July, Lumumba visited Washington and received pledges of economic aid from Secretary of State Christian Herter. By the beginning of September, Soviet airplanes, trucks, and technvians were arriving in the province where Lnmumba's support was strongest. hi mid-September, after losing a struggle for the leadership of the government to Kasavubu and Joseph Mobutu, Chief of Staff .r ~ I' the Congolese armed forces, Lumumba sought protection from the t-sited ?\Nations force; in Leopoldville. Early in December, Mobutu 's l3 oops captured Lull umba. while he was traveling toward his stronghold at Stauleyville 1'+ud imprisoned him. On January 17, 1961, the evatral government of the Congo transferred Lumumba to the custoi .y of authorities in Katanga province, which was then asserting ih-, own independence from the Congo. Several weeks later, Katanga and hori- ties announced Lunnlmba's death. Accounts 0L1 the circumstances and timing of Lumumba's death ~,ary. The United Nations investigation concluded that Lumumba was killed on January 17, 1961.1 2. DI)1.LES CABLE TO LEOPOIAVILLE: AUGUST 26, 1960 The Congo declared its independence from Belgium on June 30, 1960. Shortly thereafter, the. CIA assigned a new officer to its Leopcslilville Station. The "Station Officer" 2 said that assassinating Lunlumba was not discu sed during his CIA briefings prior to departing for the Congo, nor during his brief return to Headquarters in connection with Luiumba's visit to Washington in late July. (Hedgman, S/:11/7.5), pp. 8-9) During Ai gust, there was increasing concern about Lumusnba's political strength in the Congo among the national security policy makers of the Eisenhower Administration.3 This concern wa:; nur- tured by intelligence reports such as that cabled to CIA Headqu; by the Station Officer : EMBASSY ANI) STATION BELIEVE CONGO EXPERIENCING CI,:SSIC COMMUNIST EFFORT TAKEOVER GOVERNMENT. MANY FtaRCES AT WORE HERE : SOVIETS * * * COMMUNIST PARTY, ETC. AL- THOUGH l)IFFICUT,T DETERMINE MAJOR INFLUENCING FAt'1`ORS TO PREDICT OUTCOME STRUGGLE FOR POWER, DECISIVE PFCRIOD NOT FAR OFF. WHETHER OR NOT LUMUMBA ACTUALLY CO t[MIE OR JUST PLAYING COMMIE GAME TO ASSIST HIS SOLIDIFYING POWER, ANTI-WEST FORCES RAPIDLY INCREASING POWER ( )NGO AND THERE MAY BE LITTLE TIME LEFT IN WHICH TAKE A;TION TO AVOID ANOTHER CUBA. (CIA Cable. Leopoldville to Director, 8/18/60) Report of thr Commission of Investigation. U.N. Security Council, Official lhecords. Supplement for }lctober, November, and December, 11/11/61, p. 117. (Cited hereinafter as ',U.N. Renort, 11/11/61.'t Victor Redgg~aurn was one of the CIA officers in Leopoldville attached to tr +? Congo Station and Wirt 1 - referred to hereinafter as "Station Officer." "See Section T, infra, for a full discussion of the prevailing anti-Lumumba 'ttitude in the United ill. tee government as shown by minutes of the National Security 'ouncil and Special Group and the testimony of high Administration officials. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 15 This cable stated the Station's operational "objective [of] replacing Lumumba with pro Western Group." Bronson Tweedy, who was Chief of the Africa Division of CIA's clandestine services, replied that he was seeking State Department approval for the proposed operation based u on "your and our belief Lumumba must be removed if pos- sible." CIA Cable, Tweedy to Leopoldville, 8/18/60) On August 19, DDP Richard Bissell, Director of CIA's covert operations branch, signed a follow up cable to Leopoldville, saying : "You are authorized proceed with operation." (CIA Cable, Director to Leopoldville, 8/19/60) Several days later, the Station Officer reported : ANTI-LUMUMBA LEADERS APPROACHED KASAVUBU WITH PLAN ASSASSINATE LUMUMBA * * * KASAVUBU REFUSED AGREE SAY- ING HE RELUCTANT RESORT VIOLENCE AND NO OTHER LEADER SUFFICIENT STATURE REPLACE LUMUMBA. (CIA Cable, Leopold- ville to Director, 8/24/60) On August 25, Director of Central Intelligence, Allen Dulles at- tended a meeting of the Special Group-the National Security Coun- cil subcommittee responsible for the planning of covert operations.' In response to the outline of some CIA plans for political actions against Lumumba, such as arranging a vote of no confidence by the Congolese Parliament, Gordon Gray, the Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs reported that the President "had expressed extremely strong feelings on the necessity for very straightforward action in this situation, and he wondered whether the plans as outlined were sufficient to accomplish this." (Special Group Minutes, 8/25/60) The Special Group "finally agreed that planning for the Congo would not necessarily rule out `consideration' of any particular kind of activ- ity which might contribute to getting rid of Lumumba.11 (Special Group Minutes, 8/25/60) The next day, Allen Dulles signed a cable 2 to the Leopoldville Station Officer stating : IN HIGH QUARTERS HERE IT IS THE CLEAR-CUT CONCLUSION THAT IF [LUMUMBAI CONTINUES TO HOLD HIGH OFFICE, THE INEVITABLE WILL AT BEST BE CHAOS AND AT WORST PAVE THE WAY TOICOMMUN ST TAKEOVER OF THE CONGO WITH DISASTROUS CONSEQUENCES FOR THE PRESTIGE OF THE UN AND FOR THE INTERESTS OF THE FREE WORLD GENERALLY. CONSEQUENTLY WE CONCLUDE THAT HIS REMOVAL MUST BE AN URGENT AND PRIME OBJECTIVE AND THAT UNDER EXISTING CONDITIONS THIS SHOULD BE A HIGH PRIORITY OF OUR COVERT ACTION. (CIA Cable, Dulles to Station Officer, 8/26/60) S detail In the Section testimony 7 (a) (ii), infraigntflcance for Is discussed moeting and The Issue August 2Zth authorization Special the i That meeting was preceded by an NSC meeting on August 18, at which an NSC staff executive heard the President make a statement that impressed him as an order for the assassination of Lumumba. (Johnson, 6/18/75, pp. 6-7) The testimony about this NSC meeting is set forth in detail at Section 7 (a) (it), intra. Cables issued under the personal signature of the DCI are a relative rarity In CIA communications and call attention to the importance and sensitivity of the r. atte^ dis cussed. By contrast, cable traffic to and from CIA field stations ro,itinely refers to the sender or recipient as "Director" which simply denotes "CIA Headquarters." 'The bracketed words in cables throughout this section signify that a cryptonym. pseudonym, or other coded reference has been translated in order to maintain the security werel provided to the Committee bytthe CIACReview aStaff and by various Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 16 The cable said that the Station Officer was to be given "wider t uthor- itv"-along the lines of the previously authorized operation to ,(',place, Lumumba with a pro-Western group--"including even more ,.ygres- sive action if it can remain covert . . . we realize that tar,: ets of opportunity may present themselves to you." Dulles' cable al,, o au- tllorize(I the expenditure of up to $100,000 "to carry out an,', crash programs ozi which you do not, have the opportunity to consultk tIQS," and assured !lie Station Officer that the message had been "see it and approved at competent level" in the State Department. (CIA Cable, 8/26/60) The cable continued: TO THE EXTENT THAT AMBASSADOR MAY DESIRE TO Bl, CON- SULTED. YOU SHOULD SEEK HIS CONCURRENCE. IF IN AN";' PAR- TICULAR CASE, HE DOES NOT WISH TO BE CONSULTED Yt =F CAN ACT ON YOUR OWN AUTHORITY WHERE TIME DOES NOT 141RMIT REFERR,A L HERE. This cable raises the question of whether the DCI was conteml,lating action against; Lumumba for which the United States would ),ant to be in a position to "plausibly deny" responsibility. On its fi14?e, the cable could have been read as authorizing only the "remno,, tl" of Lumumba from office. DDP Richard Bissell was "almost certaii "that }ri+ was info ?iried about the Dulles cable shortly after its transti fission. file testified that it was his "belief" that the' cable was a cii, umlo- cutious means of indicating that the President wanted Lurrrumba killed.' (Bissel1, 9/10/75, pp. 12, 33, 64-65) Bronson Tweedy testified that he may have seen Dulles' cl. We of August 26, before it was transmitted and that he "might eve!! have drafted it." Tweedy called this cable the "most. authoritative state- inent" on the "policy consensus in Washington about the need for the removal of Lumumba" by any means, including assassination. I f e said that he "never knew" specifically who was involved in formulatiiiti this policy. But lw believed that the cable indicated that Dulles Lid re- ceived authorization at the "policy level" which "certainly * * * would have involved the National Security Council." Tweedy tc:4tified that the $16),000 was probably intended for "political operations against Lumumba * * * not assassination-type programs." (Tweedy, 101/9/75 I, p. 5, II, pp. 5-7,24,26) 3. CIA ENCOURAGEMENT OF CONGOLESE EFFORTS TO "ELIMINA? Ell LXTMUMBA On September 5, 1960, President Kasavubu dismissed Premix; r Lu- nmumba from the government despite the strong support for Lumumba in the Congolese Parliament. After losing the ensuing power sti iiggle with Kasavubii and Mobutu, who seized power by a military c+,tp on September 11. Lumumba asked the United Nations peace-keeping force for protection. The evidence indicates that the ouster of Lumumba did not all:.viate the concern about him in the United States government. Rather. CIA and high Administration officials 2 continued to view him as a t'ireat. See Section 7(c), infra for additional testimony by Bissell on the question of au- ihr,rizgtion for the assassination effort against Lumumba. Bissell testified, inl, - aria, that Dulles would have used the phrase "highest quarters" to refer to the Preside,:r. 2A detailed treatment of the expressions of continued concern over Lumumba it the National Security Council level is set forth in Section 7, infra. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/0 X15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 During this period, CIA officers in the Congo advised and aided Congolese contacts known to have an intent to assassinate Lumumba. The officers also urged the "permanent disposal" of Lumumba by some of these Congolese contacts. Moreover, the CIA opposed reopening Parliament after the coup because of the likelihood that Parliament would return Lumumba to power. The day after Kasavubu deposed Lumumba, two CIA officers met with a high-level Congolese politician who was in close contact with the Leopoldville Station. The Station reported to CIA Headquarters : TO [STATION OFFICER] COMMENT THAT LUMUMBA IN OPPOSI- TION IS ALMOST AS DANGEROUS AS IN OFFICE, [THE CONGOLESE, POLITICIAN] INDICATED UNDERSTOOD AND IMPLIED MIGHT PHYSICALLY ELIMINATE LUMUMBA. (CIA Cable, Leopoldville to Director, 9/7/60) The cable also stated that the Station Officer had offered to assist this politician "in preparation new government program" and as- sured him that the United States would supply technicians. (CIA Cable, 9/7/60) As the struggle for power raged, Bronson Tweedy summarized the prevalent apprehension of the United States about Lumumba's ability to influence events in the Congo by virtue of his personality, irrespective of his official position : LUMUMBA TALENTS AND DYNAMISM APPEAR OVERRIDING FAC- TOR IN REESTABLISHING HIS POSITION EACH TIME IT SEEMS HALF LOST. IN OTHER WORDS EACH TIME LUMUMBA HAS OPPOR- TUNITY HAVE LAST WORD HE CAN SWAY EVENTS TO HIS ADVAN- TAGE. (CIA Cable, Director to Leopoldville, 9/13/60) The day after Mobutu's coup, the Station Officer reported that he was serving as an advisor to a Congolese effort to "eliminate" Lumumba due to his "fear" that Lumumba might, in fact, have been strengthened by placing himself in U.N. custody, which afforded a safe base of operations. Hedgman concluded : "Only solution is remove him from scene soonest." (CIA Cable, Leopoldville to Director, 9/15/60) On September 17, another CIA operative in the Congo met with a leading Congolese senator. The cable to CIA Headquarters concern- ing the meeting reported : !CONGOLESE SENATOR] REQUESTED CLANDESTINE SUPPLY SMALL ARMS TO EQUIP * * * TROOPS RECENTLY ARRIVED [LEO- POLDVILLE] AREA * * * [THE SENATOR] SAYS THIS WOULD PRO- VIDE CORE ARMED MEN WILLING AND ABLE TAKE DIRECT ACTION * * * [SENATOR] RELUCTANTLY AGREES LUMUMBA MUST GO PERMANENTLY. DISTRUSTS [ANOTHER CONGOLESE LEADER] BUT WILLING MAKE PEACE WITH HIM FOR PURPOSES ELIMINA- TION LUMUMBA. (CIA Cable, Leopoldville to Director, 9/17/60) The CIA operative told the Congolese senator that "he would ex- plore possibility obtaining arms" and he recommended to CIA head- quarters that they should : HAVE [ARMS] SUPPLIES READY TO GO AT NEAREST BASE PEND- Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 18 ING [UNITED STATES] DECISION THAT SUPPLY `VARIL.INTED AND NECESSARY. (CIA Cable, 9/17/60)1 Several days later, the Station Officer warned a key Congolese leader about coup plots led by Lumumba and two of his supporter;, and : "Urged arrc t or other more permanent disposal of Lurnuin )a, Gi- zaenga, and Mulele." (CIA Cable, Leopoldville to Director, 9;'20/61) (,iizenga and Mulele were Lumumba's lieutenants who led his sup- porters while Lumumba was in U.N. custody. Throughout the fall of 1960, while Lumumba remained,a.ii U.N. protective custody,3 the CIA continued to view him as a seriou ; polit- ucal threat. One concern was that if Parliament were re-open and the moderatos failed to obtain a majority vote, the "pressures for [Lumumba'.,] return will be almost irresistible." (CIA Cable', Leo- poldville to Director, 10/26/60).3 Another concern at CIA Head- quarters wa:; that foreign powers would intervene in the Corr:.~o and bring Lumiilnba to power. (CIA Cable, Director to Leopoldville, 1i ) / 17/60) Lnmumba was also viewed by the CIA and the Aci rninis- t:ration as a -talking horse for "what appeared to be a Soviet effort to teke over tl,' Congo." (Hedgrnan, 8/21/75, pp. 10, 45)' After Lumumba was in U.N. custody, the Leopoldville Static;e con- ti titled to ma 1 ntain close contact with Congolese who expressed -I desire to assassinate Lumumba.' CIA officers encouraged and offered to aid these Congolese in their efforts against Lumumba, although t?kiere is t This recommendation proved to be in line with large scale planning at CIA ii adquar- terrr for clandestine paramilitary support to anti-Lumumba elements. On October 4, 1960, Richard Bissell acid Bronson Tweedy signed a cable concerning plans which th, Station Officer was instroated not to discuss with State Department representatives or opr-rational contacts : [IN] VIEW UNCERTAIN OUTCOME CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS [CL1 ] CON- DUCTING ('c)NTINGENCY PLANNING FOR CONGO AT REQUEST FOLIC) ECIIE- LONS. TH PLANNING DESIGNED TO PREPARE FOR SITUATION 1N WAY rIJNITED STATES] WOULD PROVIDE CLANDESTINE SUPPORT TO Er,,l tIENTS IN ARMED OPPOSITION TO LUMUMBA. CONTEMPLATED ACTION INc LUDES PROVISION ARMS, SUPPLIES AND PERHAPS SOME TRAINING Tc ; ANTI- LUMUMBA RESISTANCE GROUPS. (CIA Cable, Director In Leopoldville, 10/6/60) Roth Richard Bissell and Bronson Tweedy confirmed that the CIA continued to view Lnmumba as a threat even after he placed himself in U.N. custody. (Bissell, 9/10,75, pp. 6.5-69. 79: Tweedy, 9/9/73, pp. 48-50) Two factors were mentioned consistently in testi- mony by governpnent officials to substantiate this view : first, Lumumba was a sp I hinding orator with the ability to stir masses of people to action; and second, the U.N. forces di no+ restrain Lui3ou nba's freedom of movement and the Congolese army surroundi?:g them wc-rc often lax In maintaining their vigil. (Mulroney, 9/11,175, pp. 22-24; Dillon. 1/2/75, n. 49) As CIA officer Michael J. Mulroney put it, the fact that Lumumba was it United Ni,tions custody "slid not result in a cessation of his political activity." (Mulroney, 111/75, p. 23) A CIA Cable from Leopoldville to the Director on November 3, 1960 returnoI to this th"me : the opening of the Congolese Parliament by the United Nations is opposed recause it 'WOULD PROBABLY RETURN LUMUMBA TO POWER." See Section 7. infra, for a treatment of the expression of this viewpoint at h'i:h-level policy meetings. weedy expres>;rd an even broader "domino theory" about the impact of Lrinntmba's II.'Ilir-hir) in the f'ongo noon events In the rest of Africa "I'he concern v; ith Lumumba was not really the concern with Lumumba as a person. It was concern At this very pregnant point in the new African development rwithl rh+ effect on thc~ balance of the Continent of a disintegration of the Congo. [ I It was the .'enerat feelit-, that Lumumba had it within his power to bring about this dissolu- tion. r+nd this wnr the fear that It would merely be the start-the Congo, after all .vas the lar_est geographi_t] expression. Contained in it were enormously important men~ral re- sonroes * * * . The Congo itself, is adjacent to Nigeria, which at that point ens con- Ad -,red to he ono of the main hones of the future stability of Africa. [I]f tiro Congo hind fallen, then tine chances were Nigeria would be seized with the same infection, This was why Washington * * * was so concerned about Lumumba, not becaii there w . something ttbique about Lumumba. but It was the Congo." (Tweedy. 10/9/75 11 o. 42) Congolese In contact with the CIA "IMPLIED HE TRYING HAVE [LU-11trMBA1 );,[,PD BUT A]IDFD THIS MOST DIFFICULT AS TOR WOULD HAVE BE DC 'r B'' A1i'RICAN WITII \O APPARENT INVOLVEMENT WHIT]' MAN." (CIA Cable, I eopold- sille to Director, 0)/28/60) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08115 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 no evidence that aid was ever provided for the specific purpose of assassination. Summary In the Summer of 1960, DDP Richard Bissell asked the Chief of the Africa Division, Bronson Tweedy, to explore the feasibility of assassinating Patrice Lumumba. Bissell also asked a CIA scientist, Joseph Scheider, to make preparations to assassinate or incapacitate an unspecified "African leader." According to Scheider, Bissell said that the assignment had the "highest authority." Scheider procured toxic biological materials in response to Bissell's request, and was then ordered by Tweedy to take these materials to the Station Officer in Leopoldville. According to Scheider, there was no explicit require- ment that the Station check back with Headquarters for final approval before proceeding to assassinate Lumumba. Tweedy maintained, how- ever, that whether or not he had explicitly levied such a requirement, the Station Officer was not authorized to move from exploring means of assassination to actually attempting to kill Lumumba without re- ferring the matter to Headquarters for a policy decision. In late September, Scheider delivered the lethal substances to the Station Officer in Leopoldville and instructed him to assassinate Pa- trice Lumumba. The Station Officer testified that after requesting and receiving confirmation from CIA Headquarters that he was to carry out Scheider's instructions, he proceeded to take "exploratory steps" in furtherance of the assassination plot. The Station Officer also testified that he was told by Scheider that President Eisenhower had ordered the assassination of Lumumba. Scheider's testimony generally sub- stantiated this account, although he acknowledged that his meetings with Bissell and Tweedy were the only bases for his impression about Presidential authorization. Scheider's mission to the Congo was pre- ceded and followed by cables from Headquarters urging the "elimi- nation" of Lumumba transmitted through an extraordinarily restricted "Eyes Only" channel-including two messages bearing the personal signature of Allen Dulles. The toxic substances were never used. But there is no evidence that the assassination operation was terminated before Lumumba's death. There is, however, no suggestion of a connection between the assassi- nation plot and the events which actually led to Lumumba,'s death.' (a) Bissell/Tweedy Meetings on Feasibility of Assassinating Lumumba Bronson Tweedy testified that Richard Bissell initiated a discussion with him in the summer of 1960 about the feasibility of assassinating Patrice Lumumba, and that they discussed the subject "more than once" during the following fall. Tweedy said the first such conversa- tion probably took place shortly before Dulles' cable of August 26, instructing the Station Officer that Lumumba's "removal" was a "high priority of our covert action." 2 Whether his talk with Bissell was 1 See Section 6, infra, for a discussion of the evidence about the circumstances surround- ing Lumumba's death in Katanga. See Section 2, supra. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CI -RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 20 "shortly before or shortly after" the Dulles cable, it was clear to Tweedy that the two events "were totally in tandem." (Tweedy, 9/9/75, pp. 14-15; 10/9/75 II, p. 6) Tweedy testified that he did not recall the exact exchange but the point of the conversation was clear : What Mr. Bissell was saying to me was that there was agreement, policy agreement, In Washington that Lumumba must be removed from tike position of control and influence in the Congo * * * and that among the possibilities of that elimination was indeed assassination. * * * The purpose of his conversation with me was to initiate correspondence with the Station for them to explore with Headquarters the possibility of * * * assassination, or indeed any other means of removing Lumumba from power * * * to have the Station start reviewing possibilities, a'?,sets, and discussing them with Headquarters in detail in the same way we would with any operation. (Tweedy, 10/9/75 II, pp. 6, 8) Tweedy was "sure" that in his discussions with Bissell poisoning "must have" been mentioned as one means of assassination that was being considered and which the Station Officer should explore. (Tweedy, 9/9/75, pp. 26-27) Tweedy testified that Bissell assigned him the task of working out the "operational details," such as assessing possible agents and the security of the operation, and of finding "some solution that looked as if it made sense, and had a promise of success." Tweedy stilted that Bissell "never said * * * go ahead and do it in your own good time without any further reference to me." Rather, Tweedy operated under the impression that if a feasible means of assassinating Lumumba were developed, the decision on proceeding with an assassination attem)t was to be referred to Bissell. (Tweedy, 10/9/75 1, pp. 7, 17-18 Tweedy stated that he did not know whether Bissell had : onsulted with any "higher authority" about exploring the possibilities for as- sassinating Lumumba. Tweedy said, that generally, when he received an instruction from Bissell : I would proceed with it on the basis that he was authorized to give me in- structions and it was up to him to bloody well know what he was empowered to tell me to do. (Tweedy, 9/9/75, p. 13)' (b) Bisseti/.Scheider Meetings on Preparations for Assassinating "An African. Leader" Joseph Scheider 2 testified that he had "two or three conversations" with Richard Bissell in 1960 about the Agency's technical capability to assassinate foreign leaders. In the late spring or early summer, Bissell asked Scheider generally about technical means of assassina- tion or incapacitation that could be developed or procured by the CIA. 1 When asked whether be considered declining Bissell's assignment to move coward the assassination of Lumumba, Tweedy responded : TWEEDY : I certainly did not attempt to decline it, and I felt, in view of the position of the government on the thing, that at least the exploration of this. or possibility >f removing Lumumba from power in the Congo was an objective worth pursuing. Q : Including killing him? TwaEDY: yes. I suspect I was ready to consider this * * * Gettingrid of him was an objective worth pursuing, and if the government and my betters wished to pursue it, pro- fessionally, I was perfectly willing to play my role in it, yes * * * Having to ?1 it all over again, it would be my strong-recommendation that we not get into it. (Tweedy, 110/9/75, II, pp. 39-41) 'During the events discussed in the Lumumba case. Joseph Scheider served as Special Assistant to the DDP (Bissell) for Scientific Matters. Scheider holds a degree in bio- organic chemistry. (Scheider, 10/7/75, pp. 13, 25-29) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/ : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Scheider informed Bissell that the CIA had access to lethal or poten- tially lethal biological materials that could be used in this manner. Following their intial "general discussion," Scheider said he discussed assassination capabilities with Bissell in the context of "one or two meetings about Africa." (Scheider, 10/7/75, pp. 6-7, 41) Scheider testified that in the late summer or early fall, Bissell asked him to make all preparations necessary for having biological materials ready on short notice for use in the assassination of an unspecified African leader, "in case the decision was to go ahead." 1 Scheider testified that Bissell told him that "he had direction from the highest authority * * * for getting into that kind of operation." Scheider stated that the reference to "highest authority" by Bissell "signified to me. that he meant the President." 2 (Scheider, 10/7/75, pp. 51-55, 58; 10/9/75, p. 8) Scheider said that he "must have" outlined to Bissell the steps he planned to take to execute Bissell's orders. (Scheider, 10/7/75, R. 58) After the meeting, Scheider reviewed a list of biological mate- rials available at the Army Chemical Corps installation at Fort Detrick, Maryland which would produce diseases that would "either kill the individual or incapacitate him so severely that he would be out of action." (Scheider, 10/7/75, pp. 63-64; 10/9/75, pp. 8-9, 12)3 Scheider selected one material from the list which "was supposed to produce a disease that was * * * indigenous to that area [of Africa] and that could be fatal." (Scheider, 10/7/75, p. 63) Scheider testified that he obtained this material and made preparation for its use : We had to get it bottled and packaged in a way that it could pass for some- thing else and I needed to have a second material that could absolutely in- activate it in case that is what I desired to do for some contingency. (Scheider, 10/7/75, p. 64) Scheider also "prepared a packet of * * * accessory materials," such as hypodermic needles, rubber gloves, and gauze masks, "that would be used in the handling of this pretty dangerous material." (Scheider, 10/7/75, p. 59) (c) Scheider Mission to the Congo on an Assassination Operation Scheider testified that he remembered "very clearly" a conversation with Tweedy and the Deputy Chief of the Africa Division in Sep- tember 1960 which "triggered" his trip to the Congo after he had pre- pared toxic biological materials and accessories for use in an assassi- nation operation. (Scheider, 10/7/75, pp. 41, 65) According to Scheider, Tweedy and his Deputy asked him to take the toxic materials to the Congo and deliver instructions from Headquarters to the Sta- tion Officer : "to mount an operation, if he could do it securely * * * to either seriously incapacitate or eliminate Lumumba." (Scheider, 10/7/75, p. 66) 1 Schelder said it was possible that Bissell subsequently gave him the "go signal" for his trip to the Congo and specified Lumumba as the target of the assassination operation. (Scheider, 10/7/75, pp. 65, 113-114; 10/7/75, p. 8) Scheider had a clearer memory, how- ever of another meeting, where the top officers of CIA's Africa Division, acting under Bissell's authority, actually dispatched to the Congo. (See Section 4(c), infra) 9 See Section 7(d), infra for additional testimony by Scheider about the question of Presidential authorization for the assassination of Lumumba. 3 Sehieder said that there were "seven or eight materials" on the list, including tularemia ("rabbit fever"), brucellosis (undulant fever), tuberculosis, anthrax, smallpox, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis ('sleeping sickness"). (Scheider, 10/7/75, p. 64 ; 10/9/75. P. 9) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : % -RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Scheider said that lie was directed to provide technical support to the Station Officer's attempt to find a feasible means of carrying out the assassination operation : They urged me to be sure that * * * if these technical material; were used * * * I was to make the technical judgments if there were any reasons the things shouldn't, go, that was my responsibility. (Scheider, 10/7/75, p. C1)1 According to Scheider, the Station Officer was to be responsible for "the operations aspects, what assets to use and other non-technical con- siderations." Scheider said that in the course of directing him to carry instructions to the Station Officer in the Congo, Tweedy and his Dep- uty "referred to the previous conversation I had with Bissell," aliil left Scheider witl>, "the impression that Bissell's statements to me in our previous meeting held and that they were carrying this message from l issell to me." (Scheider, 10/9/75, pp.13,15, 69) Although he did not have a specific recollection, Scheider stated that it, was "probable" that he would have "checked with Bissell" to vali- date the extraordinary assignment he received from Tweedy and his Deputy, if indeed he had not actually received the initial iusign- ment itself from Bissell. (Scheider, 10/7/75, pp. 113-114) After being informed of Scheider's testimony about their meeting, and reviewing the contemporaneous cable traffic, Tweedy stated that it was "perfectly clear" that he had met with Scheider. He assumed that he had ordered Scheider to deliver lethal materials to the Lirt?pold- ville Station Officer and to serve as a technical adviser to the Station Officer's attempts to find a feasible means of assassinating Lumumba. (Tweedy, 1.0;99/75 I, pp. 18-21; 10/9/75 II, D. 9) Tweedy said that his Deputy Chief was the only other person in the Africa Division who would have known that the assassination of Lumumba Bias being considered. (Tweedy, 9/9/75. p. 64) Tweedy as- sumed Scheider had "already been given his marching orders to go to the Congo by Mr. Bissell, not by Inc." (Tweedy, 10/9/75 II, p. 11) Scheider testified that he departed for the Congo within a woek of his meeting with Tweedy and his Deputy (Scheider, 10/9/75, p. 15) (d) Congo k' ration Ofli'cer 7'o7id To Expect Scheider: Dulles !fables About "Is limination" of Lumumba On September 19, 1960, several days after Lumumba placed himself in the protective custody of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Leopoldville, Richard Bissell and Bronson Tweedy sent a cryptic cable to Leopoldville to arrange a clandestine meeting between the Station Officer and "Joseph Braun," who was traveling to the Congo When asked if he had considered declining to undertake the assignment to provide technical support 1o an assassination operation, Scheider stated : , , I think that my view of the job at the time and the responsibilities I had way in the context of a silent war that was being waged, although I realize that one of my stances co aid have been * * * as a conscientious oblector to this war. That was not my view. I felt that a decision had been made * * * at the highest level that this be done and that as unnleno_ant a responsibility as it was, it was my responsibility to carry out my part r,,` that." (Scheider, 10/9/75, p. 63) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/085: CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 on an unspecified assignment. Joseph Scheider testified that "Joseph Braun" was his alias and was used because this was "an extremely sensitive operation." (Scheider, 10/7/75, pp. 78, 80) The cable in- formed the Station Officer : ["JOE"] SHOULD ARRIVE APPROX 27 SEPT * * * WILL ANNOUNCE HIMSELF AS "JOE FROM PARIS" * * * IT URGENT YOU SHOULD SEE ["JOE"] SOONEST POSSIBLE AFTER HE PHONES YOU. HE WILL FULLY IDENTIFY HIMSELF AND EXPLAIN HIS ASSIGNMENT TO YOU. (CIA Cable, Bissell, Tweedy to the Station Officer, 9/19/60) The cable bore the codeword "PROP," which indicated extraordi- nary sensitivity and restricted circulation at CIA headquarters to Dulles, Bissell, Tweedy, and Tweedy's Deputy. The PROP designator restricted circulation in the Congo to the Station Officer. (Tweedy, 10/9/75 I, pp. 14-15; II, pp. 9, 37) Tweedy testified that the PROP channel was established and used exclusively for the assassination operation. (Tweedy, 10/9/75 II, p. 37; 10/9/75 I, pp. 48-49) The Bissell/Tweedy cable informed the Sta- tion Officer that the PROP channel was to be used for : ALL [CABLE] TRAFFIC THIS OF, WHICH YOU INSTRUCTED HOLD ENTIRELY TO YOURSELF. (CIA Cable, 9/19/60) Tweedy testified that the fact that he and Bissell both signed the cable indicated that authorization for Scheider's trip to the Congo had come from Bissell. Tweedy stated that Bissell "signed off" on cables originated by a Division Chief "on matters of particular sensitivity or so important that the DDP wished to be constantly informed about correspondence." Tweedy said that Bissell read much of the cable traffic on this operation and was "generally briefed on the progress of the planning." (Tweedy, 10/9/75 I, pp.14, 54) The Station Officer, Victor Hedgman testified ton clear, independent recollection of receiving the Tweedy/Bissell cable. He stated that in September of 1960 he received a "most unusual" cable from CIA Head- quarters which advised that : someone who I would have recognized would arrive with instructions for me * * * I believe the message was also marked for my eyes only * * *and contained instructions that I was not to discuss the message with anyone. He said that the cable did not specify the kind of instructions he was to receive, and it "did not refer to Lumumba in any way." (Hedgman, 8/21/75, pp. 11-13,43) Three days after the Bissell/Tweedy cable, Tweedy sent another cable through the PROP channel which stated that if it was decided that "support for prop objectives [was] essential" a third country na- tional should be used as an agent in the assassination operation to completely conceal the American role.' (CIA Cable, 9/22/60) Tweedy testified that "PROP objectives" referred to an assassination attempt. (Tweedy, 10/9/75 I, p. 30) Tweedy also indicated to the Station Officer and his "colleague" -Scheider : 1 Tweedy also expressed reservations about two agents that the Station Officer was considering for this operation and said "WE ARE CONSIDERING A THIRD NATIONAL CUTOUT CONTACT CANDIDATE AVAILABLE HERE WHO MIGHT FILL BILL." (CIA Cable, 9/22/00) This is probably a reference to agent OJ/WIN, who was later dispatched to the Congo. His mission is discussed in Sections 5(b)-5(c), infra. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 24 YOU AND COLLEAGUE 1 UNDERSTAND WE CANNOT READ OVER YOUR SIIOULDER AS YOU PLAN AND ASSESS OPPORTU? ITIES. OUR PRIMARY CONCERN MUST BE CONCEALMENT [AMERICAN] ROLE, UNLESS OUTSTANDING OPPORTUNITY EMERGES WHICH MAKES CALCULATED RISK FIRST CLASS BET. READY ENTERTAIN ANY SERIOUS PROPOSALS YOU MAKE BASED OUR HIGH R1IGARD BOTH YOUR PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENTS. (CIA Cable, 9/22/~S0) On September 24, the DCI personally sent a cable to Leopoldville stating : WE WISI GIVE EVERY POSSIBLE SUPPORT IN ELIMINATING LU- MUMBA FRONT ANY POSSIBILITY RESUMING GOVERNM'^1NTAL POSITION OR IF HE FAILS IN LEOPOLDVILLE, SETTINE HIM- SELF IN TANLEYVILLE OR ELSEWHERE. (CIA Cable, Dulles to Leo- poldville, 51/24/60) Dulles had expressed a similar view three days before in Pre sident Eisenhower's presence at an NSC meeting.' Scheider recalled that Tweedy and his Deputy had told him that the Station Officer would receive a communication assuring him that there was support at CIA Headquarters for the assignment Scheider was to give him. (Scheider, 10/7/75, pp. 88-90) (c) Assassiiuition Instructions Issued to Station Officer and lethal Substa? lies Delivered: September 26,1960 Station Officer Hed man reported through the PROP chann 4 that he had contacted Scheider on September 26. (CIA Cable, Leopo dville to Tweedy, 9/27/60) According to Hedgman : ITEDGMAN: It is my recollection that he advised me, or my instructions were, to eliminate LmnumLa. Q : By eliminate, do you mean assassinate? HEDGMAN : Yos, I would say that was * * * my understanding of the primary means. I don't think it was probably limited to that, if there was some other way of * * * removing him from a position of political threat. (Hedgman, 5 /21/75, pp. 17-18) Fledgman said that he and. Scheider also may have discussed non- lethal means of removing Lumumba as a "political threat". 1 tut he could not "recall with certainty on that." (Hedgman, 8/21/75, l). 28) Scheider testified: I explained to him [Station Officer] what Tweedy and his Deputy had 1 Ad me, that Headquarters wanted him to see if he could use this [biological] capability I brought against Lumumba [and] to caution him that it had to be dole * * * without attribution to the USA. (Scheider, 10/9/75, p. 16) The Station Officer testified that he received "rubber gloves, a mask, and a syringe" along with lethal biological material from Scheider, who also instructed him in their use.3 Hedgman indicated thA this I Tweedy Identified Schelder as the "colleague" referred to in this cable. (Tweedy, 10/ 9/75 I, p. 32) Scheider was en route to the Congo at this point. z Dulles' statezi,ent at the NSC meeting of September 21, 1960 is discussed in retail at Section 7(a)(v),in.tra. 3 Scheider testified that he sent the medical paraphernalia via diplomatia, pouch. (Scheider, 10/7/75, pp. 59, 99) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 25 paraphernalia was for administering the poison to Lumumba for the purpose of assassination. (Hedgman, 8/21/75, pp. 18-21, 24) Scheider explained that the toxic material was to be injected into some substance that Lumumba would ingest : "it had to do with anything he could get to his mouth, whether it was food or a toothbrush, * * * [so] that some of the material could get to his mouth." (Scheider, 10/7/75, p. 100) Hedgman said that the means of assassination was not restricted to use of the toxic material provided by Scheider. (Hedgman, 8/21/75, p19 He testified that he may have "suggested" shooting Lumumba to Scheider as an alternative to poisoning. (Hedgman, 8/21/75, pp. 19, 27-29) Scheider said it was his "impression" that Tweedy and his Deputy empowered him to tell the Station Officer that he could pursue other means of assassination. (Scheider, 10/7/75, pp. 100-101) Sta- tion Officer Hedgman testified that, although the selection of a mode of assassination was left to his judgment, there was a firm requirement that: [I]f I implemented these instructions * * * it had to be a way which could not be traced back * * * either to an American or the United States govern- ment. (Hedgman, 8/21/75, p. 19) Hedgman said Scheider assured him that the poisons were produced to : [leave] normal traces found in people that die of certain diseases." (Hedgman, 8/21/75, p. 23.) Hedgman said that he had an "emotional reaction of great surprise" when it first became clear that Scheider had come to discuss an assas- sination plan. (Hedgman, 8/21/75, p. 30) He told Scheider he "would explore this." (Hedgman, 8/21/75, p. 46) and left Scheider with the impression "that I was going to look into it and try and figure if there was a way * * * I believe I stressed the difficulty of trying to carry out such an operation." (Hedgman, 8/21/75, p. 47) Scheider said that the Station Officer was "sober [and] grim" but willing to proceed with the operation. (Scheider, 10/7/75, pp. 98,121) The Station Officer's report of his initial contact with Scheider was clearly an affirmative response to the assignment and said that he and Scheider were "on same wavelength." (CIA Cable, Leopoldville to Tweedy, 9/27/60) Hedgman was "afraid" that the central govern- ment was "weakening under" foreign pressure to effect a reconciliation with Lumumba, and said : HENCE BELIEVE MOST RAPID ACTION CONSISTENT WITH SECU- RITY INDICATED. (CIA Cable, 9/27/60)' (f) Hedgman's Impression That President Eisenhower Ordered Lumumba's Assassination Station Officer Hedgman testified that Scheider indicated to him that President Eisenhower had authorized the assassination of Lumumba.2 i Scheider interpreted this cable to mean that Hedgman was informing Headquarters : "that he has talked to me and that he is going to go ahead and see if he could mount the operation * * * [H]oe believes we ought to do it, if it is going to be done, as quickly as we can." (Scheider, 10/7/75, p. 121) a See Section 7(d), infra, for a more detailed treatment of the testimony of the Station Officer and Scheider on the question of Presidential authorization for the assassination of Lumumba. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 26 Hedgman had it "quite strong recollection" of asking about the source of authority far the assignment : IIFDoMAN : I must have * * * pointed out that this was not a common or usual Agency tactic * * * never in my training or previous work in the Agencti had 1 ever heard any references to such methods. And it is my recollection I asked on whose authority these instructions were Issued. Q : And what did Mr. Scheider reply? IIEDOMAN : It is my recollection that he identified the 'President * * *' and I cannot recall whether he said "the President," or whether he identified him by name. (Hedgman, 8/21/75, pp. 30-31) Hodgman explained that Scheider told him "something to the ^ffect that the President had instructed the Director" to assassinate Luiaium- ba. (Hedgman, 8/21/75, pp. 32, 34~ Scheider stated that he had an `independent recollection" of tolling the Station Officer about his meetings with Bissell, Tweedy, and Tweedy's Deputy, including Bissell's reference to "the highest, au- thority." (Sclieider, 10/7/75, p. 102) Scheider believed that he let the Station Officer with the impression that there was presidential aut hori- zation for an assassination attempt against Lumumba. (Scliaider, 10/7/75, pp. 190, 102-103) (g) Steps in Furtherance of the Assassination Operation (i) Hedgman's Testimony About Confirmation From Headquarters of the Assassination Plan. Hedgman's testimony, taken fifteen years after the events in ques- tion and without the benefit of reviewing the cables discussed above, was compatible with the picture presented by the cables of a fully authorized and tightly restricted assassination operation. The only variance is that the cables portray Hedgman as taking an affirmative, aggressive attitude toward the assignment, while he testified that his pursuit of the operation was less vigorous. The Station Officer testified that soon after cabling his request for confirmation that he was to carry out the assassination assign vent, he received a reply from Headquarters, which he characterizt,d as follows: I believe I re4aeived a reply which I interpreted to mean yes, that he was the messenger and his Instructions were * * * duly authorized. (Hedgman, 8/'211/75, pp. 37-38) Despite the ca .yptic nature of the cables, Hedgman said "I was con- vinced that yc:s, it was right," but he had no "desire to carry out these instructions." (Hedgman, 8/21/75, pp. 44, 50, 106) Hedgman stated: "I think probably that I would have gone back and advised that I intended to carry out and suught final approval before carrying it out had I been going to do it, had there been a way to do It. I did not see It as * * * a matter vhich could be accomplished practically, certainly. (Hedgman, 8/21/75, pp. 51-52) Hedgman said that his reason for seeking a final approval would have been to receive, assurances about the practicality of the specific made of assassination that he planned to use. (Hedgman, 8/21/75, p. 53) All CIA officers involved in the plot to kill Lumumba testified that, by virtue of the standard operating procedure of the clandestine ,erv- ices, there wa:s;: an implicit requirement that a field officer check back Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/0: CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 with Headquarters for approval of any major operational plan., More- over, Hedgman's cable communications with Headquarters indicate that lie consistently informed Tweedy of each significant step in the formulation of assassination plans, thus allowing Headquarters the opportunity to amend or disapprove the plans. The personal cable from Dulles to the Station Officer on August 26, made it clear, how- ever, that if Lumumba appeared as a "target of opportunity" in a situation where time did not permit referral to headquarters, Hedge- man was authorized to proceed with the assassination. The Station Officer testified that for several months after receiv- ing Scheider's instructions lie took "exploratory steps in furtherance of the assassination plot." He sent several cables to CIA Headquarters which "probably reflected further steps I had taken," and stated that his cables to Headquarters were essentially "progress reports" on his attempts to find access to Lumumba. (Hedgman, 8/21/75, pp. 50, 59-60) The cable traffic conforms to the Station Officer's recollection. For two months after Scheider's arrival in the Congo, a regular stream of messages assessing prospects for the assassination operation flowed through the PROP channel between Headquarters and Leopoldville. (ii) "Exploratory Steps" On the basis of his talks with Scheider, Station Officer Hedgman listed a number of "possibilities" for covert action against Lumumba. At the top of the list was the suggestion that a particular agent be used in the following manner : HAVE HIM TAKE REFUGE WITH BIG BROTHER. WOULD THUS ACT AS INSIDE MAN TO BRUSH UP DETAILS TO RAZOR EDGE. (CIA Cable, 9/27/60) Tweedy testified that "Big Brother" referred to Lumumba. (Tweedy, 10/9/75 II, p. 13) Tweedy and Scheider both said that this cable indicated that Hedgman's top priority plan was to instruct his agent to infiltrate Lumumba's entourage to explore means of poison- ing Lumumba. (Tweedy, 10/9/75 I, p. 38, II, pp. 13-14; Scheider, 10/7/75, pp. 124-125) The Station Officer reported that lie would begin to follow this course by recalling the agent to Leopoldville, and in- formed Headquarters : BELIEVE MOST RAPID ACTION CONSISTENT WITH SECURITY INDICATED * * * PLAN PROCEED ON BASIS PRIORITIES AS LISTED ABOVE, UNLESS INSTRUCTED TO CONTRARY. (CIA Cable, 9/27/60) Scheider testified that at this point the Station Officer was reporting to Headquarters that he was proceeding to "go ahead" to carry out Scheider's instructions as quickly as possible. (Scheider, 10/7/75, pp. 121-123) Tweedy's Deputy stated that the form of the Station Officer's request would have satisfied the standard requirement for confirmation of an operational plan : * * * it is my professional opinion that, under normal operational procedure at that time, the Station Officer would have been expected to advise .Head- quarters that he was preparing to implement the plan unless advised to the contrary. (Deputy Chief, Africa Division, affidavit, 10/17/75, p. 5) 1 See Tweedy, 1D/9/75, I, pp. 10, 24-27 ; Hedgman, 8/21/75, pp. 39, 51-53 ; Scheider, 10/7/75, p. 92; Deputy Chief, Africa Division, affidavit, 10/17/75, p. 5. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 On September 30, the Station Officer specifically urged Headquarters t o authorize "exploratory conversations" to launch his top priority plan : NO REALLY AIRTIGHT OP POSSIBLE WITH ASSETS NOW AVAIL- ABLE. ii11ST CHOOSE BETWEEN CANCELLING OP OR ACU1 PIING CALCULATED RISKS OF VARYING DEGREES. * * * (IN] VIEW NECESSITY ACT IMMEDIATELY, IF AT AL'!,, URGE HQS AUTHORIZE EXPLORATORY CONVERSATIONS TO 'i)ETER- MINE 114' [AGENT] WILLING TAKE ROLE AS ACTIVE AC`INT OR CUT-OUT THIS OP. (WOULD APPROACH ON HYPOTHETICA ! , BASIS AND NUT REVEAL PLANS.) IF HE APPEARS WILLING iCCEPT ROLE, WE BELIEVE IT NECESSARY REVEAL OBJECTIVE OP TO HIM. * * * REQUEST HQS REPLY [IMMEDIATELY]. (CIA Cable, Leopold- ville to Tweedy, 9/30/60) Headquai ters replied: YOU ARE AUTHORIZED HAVE EXPLORATORY TALK` WITH [AGENTI TO ASSESS HIS ATTITUDE TOWARD POSSIBLE kCTIVE AGENT OR CUTOUT ROLE * * * IT DOES APPEAR FR I t HERE THAT OF POSSIBILITIES AVAILABLE [THIS AGENT] IS Bt].T * * * WE WILL WEIGH VERY CAREFULLY YOUR INITIAL ASS1 SMENT HIS ATTITUDE AS WELL AS ANY SPECIFIC APPROACH'4 THAT MAY EMERGE * * * APPRECIATE MANNER YOUR APPRO i.CH TO PROBLEM. "HOPE * * * FOR MODERATE HASTE" (CIA Cabl(-, Deputy Chief, Africa Division to Leopoldville, 9/30/60) Tweedy and his Deputy made it clear that the agent w,`s being viewed as it potential assassin. (Tweedy, 10/9/75 I, p. 41; Deputy Chief, Africa Division, affidavit, 10/17/75, p. 4) Tweedy State! l that it would have been proper for his Deputy to issue this cable aul I iorizing the Station Officer to take the assassination operation "one s+ep fur- ther" and it was "quite possible" that Richard Bissell was informed of this directive. (Tweedy,10/9/ 15 I, pp. 42-43) On October 7, the Station Officer reported to Headquarters on his meeting with the agent who was his best candidate for gainili access to Lumumba : CONDUCTED EXPLORATORY CONVERSATION WITH [AGh T] * * AFTER EXPLORING ALL POSSIBILITIES [AGENT] SUGG~E'TED SO- LUTION RECOMMENDED BY IIQS. ALTHOUGH DID NOT PICK UP BALL, BELIEVE HE PREPARED TAKE ANY ROLE NECESSARY WITHIN LIMITS SECURITY ACCOMPLISH OBJECTIVE. (('A Cable, Station Officer to Tweedy, 10/7/60) The Station Officer testified that the subject "explored" was tht; agent's ability to find a means to inject the toxic material into Lumumla's food or toothpa:4 e : I believe t7at I queried the agent who had access to Lumumba, arnd his en- tourage, in d(,tall about just what access he actually had, as opposed to speaking to people. In other words, did he have access to the bathroom, did he bu, ve access to the kitchen, things of that sort. I have a recollection of having queried him on that without specifyiiig why I wanted to know this. (Hedgman, 8/21/75, pp. 48,60) The Stal ion Officer said that he was left with doubts about the wis- dom or practicality of the assassination plot : [Certainly I looked on it as a pretty wild scheme professionally, a did not think that it * * * was practical professionally, certainly, in a short tL ae, if you Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08[5 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 were going to keep the U.S. out of it * * * I explored it, but I doubt that I ever really expected to carry it out. (Hedgman, 8/21/75, p. 11) (iii) The Assassination Operation Moves Forward After Scheider's Return to Headquarters : October 5-7,1960 Despite the Station Officer's testimony about the dubious practicality of the assassination operation, the cables indicate that he planned to continue his efforts to implement the operation and sought the re- sources to do so successfully. For example, he urged Headquarters to send an alternate agent : IF HQS BELIEVE [AGENT'S CIRCUMSTANCES] BAR HIS PARTICI- PATION, WISH STRESS NECESSITY PROVIDE STATION WITH QUALIFIED THIRD COUNTRY NATIONAL. (CIA Cable, Leopoldville to Tweedy, 10/7/60) Tweedy cabled the Station Officer that he "had god discussion your colleague 7 Oct"-referring to a debriefing of Scheider upon his return to the United States. Tweedy indicated that he continued to support the assassination operation and advised (Tweedy, 10/9/75 II, pp. 48-49) : BE ASSURED DID NOT EXPECT PROP OBJECTIVES BE REACHED IN SHORT PERIOD * * * CONSIDERING DISPATCHING THIRD COUNTRY NATIONAL OPERATIVE WHO, WHEN HE ARRIVES, SHOULD BE ASSESSED BY YOU OVER PERIOD TO SEE WHETHER HE MIGHT PLAY ACTIVE OR CUTOUT ROLE ON FULL TIME BASIS. IF YOU CONCLUDE HE SUITABLE AND BEARING IN MIND HEAVY EXTRA LOAD THIS PLACES ON YOU, WOULD EXPECT DISPATCH [TEMPORARY DUTY] SENIOR CASE OFFICER RUN THIS OP * * * UNDER YOUR DIRECTION. (CIA Cable, Tweedy to Station Officer, 10/7/60) 1, According to the report of the Station Officer, Joseph Scheider left the Congo to return to Headquarters on October 5 in view of the "expiration date his material" (CIA Cable, Leopoldville to Tweedy, 10/7/60)-a reference to the date beyond which the substances would no longer have lethal strength. (Scheider, 10/7/75, pp. 132-133) The cable from the Station Officer further stated that : [JOE] LEFT CERTAIN ITEMS OF CONTINUING USEFULNESS. [STATION OFFICER] PLANS CONTINUE TRY IMPLEMENT OP. (CIA Cable, Leopoldville to Tweedy, 10/7/60) Notwithstanding the influence of the Station Officer's October 7 cable that some toxic substances were left with Hedgman, Scheider specifi- cally recalled that he had. "destroyed the viability" of the biological material and disposed of it in the Congo River before he departed for the United States on October 5, 1960. (Scheider, 10/7/75, pp. 133, 117, 135-136; 10/9/75, p. 20) In the only real conflict between his testi- mony and Schieder's, Hedgman testified that the toxic material was 'see Sections 5(b)-5(c), infra, for a detailed account of the activities in the Congo of two "third country national" agents: QJ/WIN and WI/ROGUE. See Section 5(a), infra, for discussion of the temporary duty assignment in the Congo of senior case officer" Michael Mulroney. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 30 not disposed of until after Lumumba was imprisoned by the (Jongo- .lese in early December. (Hedgman, 8/21/75, pp. 85-86) 1 The central point remains that the Station Officer planned o con- tinue the assassination effort, by whatever means, even after Scleider's departure. (Scheider?,. 10/7/75, p. 143) Scheider was under the 'enpres- sion that the Station Officer was still authorized to move ahead with an assassination attempt against Lumumba at that point., alth+ dy said that he never had occasion to doubt Hedgman's veracity or integrity, adding, "I would trust his memory and I certainly trust his integrity." (Tweedy, 9/9/75, p. 311) ' Tweedy explained his difficulty in recalling the assassination operation : "[T]he things that I recall the-most vividly about all my African experiences v- re * the things I was basically concerned with all the time. which was putting this )ivision together and tree' rest of It. When it comes to operational detail I start getting fuzzy and you would have thought with something like thinking about 'Air. Lumumba in these terms that I would have gone to bed and got up thinking about Lumumba, I cai assure yin this wasn't the case." (Tweedy, 9/9/75, p. 34) For a detailca treatment of Tweedy's testimony on Scheider's assignment to the Congo and the assassination operation against Lumumba, see Sections 4(a)-(g), sup,-a. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 35 Tweedy characterized the entire assassination operation as "explor- atory": This involved the launching of the idea with the field so they could make the proper operational explorations into the feasibility of this, reporting back to Headquarters for guidance. At no point was the field given carte blanche if they thought they had found a way to do the job, just to carry it out with no further reference. (Tweedy, 10/9/75 II, p. 22) He testified that the period of exploration of access to Lumumba re- mained "a planning interval and at no point can I recall that I ever felt it was imminent that somebody would say `go'." (Tweedy, 9/9/75, pp. 18-19) Tweedy stated that, despite his inability to specifically recall his directive to Scheider, lie would not have given the Station Officer an instruction "to use this [toxic] material and go ahead and assassinate Lumumba, as if * * * that is all the authority that was necessary." He said that : Under no circumstances would that instruction have been given by me without reference to higher authority up through the chain of command * * * my higher authority, in the first instance, would be Mr. Bissell * * * and I know Mr. Bissell would have talked to Mr Dulles. (Tweedy, 10/9/76 I, pp. 17-18; 10/9/75 II, pp. 25,33) It is difficult to reconcile some of the cables and the testimony of Scheider and Hedgman with Tweedy's testimony that there was "no misunderstanding' that the PROP operation was purely exploratory "continency planning" and that no authorization was granted for attempting an assassination without checking back with headquarters. For example, Dulles' August 26 directive appeared to indicate wide latitude for making operational decisions in the field "where time does not permit referral" to Headquarters. Tweedy testified that sending a potentially lethal biological ma- terial with a short period of toxicity to the Congo did not mean that the Station Officer was empowered to take action without seeking final approval from Headquarters. TWEEDY : If, as a result of the Station focusing on the problem for the first time, as a result of Headquarters' request, they had come up with a plan that they thought was exceedingly solid and which Headquarters approved, it is not surprising, perhaps, that we wanted the materials there to take advantage of such * * * an unlikely event. Q : Because Scheider took lethal materials to the Congo with him that had such a short period of lethality, were you not contemplating at that time that the operation might well move from the exploration phase to the implementation phase just as soon as Scheider and Hedgman determined that it was feasible? TWEEDY : I think I would put it quite differently. I think that I would say that we would have been remiss in not being in a position to exploit, if we reached the point where we all agreed that the thing was possible. (Tweedy, 10/9/75 I, pp. 49-50) The dispatch of toxic material and medical paraphernalia to the Congo certainly demonstrates that the "exploration" of the feasibility of assassinating Lumumba had progressed beyond mere "assessment" and "contingency planning." Tweedy further disagreed that the Station Officer's October 7 mes- ,sage that he would "continue try implement op[eration]" signified Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 36 Ihat the Officer was prepared to proceed to "implement" an as.rissina- I ion attempt : He would continue to explore the possibilities of this operation and ontinue to report to Headquarters. That is all this means. It does not mean that * * * lie would try lo pull off the operation without further reference to Head uarters * * * [H]e was to continue to explore it'to determine whether or not tL re was vi feasible meatus. (Tweedy, 10/9/75 11, pp. 14-15) Finally, Tweedy's recollection that a "go ahead" on the assays nation operation was never imminent is brought into question by thw, cable he sent for Hedgman's "Eyes Only" on October 15 to assure him that there .Nwas a policy-level consensus that Lumumba's "disli,osition spontaneously becomes number one consideration" and that the a'ROP operation "remains highest priority." (CIA Cable, Tweedy to ation, ]0/15/60) 0i) Bissell'., Testimony About Moving the Assassination Operation From Planning to Implementation Richard Bissell testified that lie did not remember discussing the feasibility of assassinating Lumunlba with Bronson Tweedy. but it seemed "entirely- probable" to him that such discussions took place. Bissell, who did not review the cable traffic, said he "may have given Tweedy specific instructions about steps to -further an assassination plan, but he did not remember doing so. He said that seeking infor- mation from the Station Officer about access for poisoning oIr assas- sinating Lumumba by other means would "almost certainly"` have been a "major part" of his "planning and preparatory activil.but ho had no specific recollection of cable communications on this st;bject. Ile did recall that the Station Officer had all agent who suplp xsedly had direct access to Lumumba. (Bissell, 9/10/75, pp. 3, 4, 6-8, s0) Bissell testified that lie "most certainly" approved any cable ; that Tweedy sent. to the Station Officer seeking information abou9: gain- ing access to Lumumba because in "a matter of this sensit. vity," Tweedy probably would have referred cables to him for final dis; )itch. But Bissell added : I think Mr. Tweedy, on the basis of an oral authorization from me. would have had the authority to send such a cable without my signing off on it. (Rl:issell, 9/10/75, p. 8) Bissell's failure to recall discussing his assignment to Michael Mulroney t v` ith Tweedy provided a basis for his speculatiot : that Tweedy might also have been unaware of the true purpr.;e of Scheider's vi it. (Bissell, 9/10/75, pp. 20-22) Bissell did not recall cables concerning Scheider's mission, am con- firming that Scheider's instructions were to be followed ; but h r; said "this sounds highly likely * * * I would expect, given the "lack- ground, that t lie confirmation would have been forthcoming." (Bissell, 9/10/75, p. 48) Bissell said that it was "very probable" that he discusses the assassination of Lumumba with Scheider, who was then his fence advisor. On a number of occasions he and Scheider had discussed "the availability of means of incapacitation, including assassination." Al- though he had no "specific recollection," Bissell assumed thit, if I Bissell's assignment to Mulroney is discussed in Sections 5 (a) (1) and 5(a)(ii), infra. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 37 Scheider went to the Congo, Bissell would have approved the mission, which "might very well" have dealt with the assassination of Lu- mumba. (Bissell, 9/10/75, pp. 14, 60, 18, 20, 44) Bissell testified that it would not have been against CIA policy in the fall of 1960 to send poisons to the Congo. He characterized "the act of taking the kit to the Congo * * * as still in the planning stage." (Bissell, 9/10/75, pp. 35, 49). He acknowledged, however, that: It would indeed have been rather unusual to send such materials--a specific kit * * * of this sort-out to a relatively small Station, unless planning for their use was quite far along. (Bissell, 9/10/7, p. 37) Nonetheless, Bissell said that he "probably believed" that he had sufficient authority at that point to direct CIA officers to move from the stage of planning to implementation. (Bissell, 9/10/75, pp. 60-61) Although he did not have a specific recollection, Bissell assumed that if Scheider had instructed Hedgman to assassinate Lumumba, Scheider would not have been acting beyond the mandate given to him by Bis- sell and the assassination plot would then have "passed into an imple- mentation phase." (Bissell, 9/10/75, pp. 39, 41, 49) 5. THE QUESTION OF A CONNECTION BETWEEN TIIE ASSASSINATION PLOT AND OTHER ACTIONS OF CIA OFFICERS AND THEIR AGENTS IN THE CONGO Michael Mulroney, a senior CIA officer in the Directorate for Plans, testified that in October 1960 he had been asked by Richard Bissell to go to the. Congo to carry out the assassination of Lumumba. Mulroney said that he refused to participate in an assassination operation, but proceeded to the Congo to attempt to draw Lumumba away from the protective custody of the U.N. guard and place him in the hands of Congolese authorities. (Mulroney, 6/9/75, pp. 11-14) Shortly after Mulroney's arrival in the Congo, he was joined by QJ/WIN, a CIA agent with a criminal background.' Late in 1960, WI/ROGUE, one of Hedgman's operatives approached QJ/WIN with a proposition to join an "execution squad." (CIA Cable, Leo- poldville to Director, 12/7,/60) It is unlikely that Mulroney was actually involved in implementing the assassination assignment. Whether there was any connection be- tween the assassination plot and either of the two operatives-QJ/ WIN and WI/ROGUE-is less clear. (a) Mulroney's Assignment in the Congo (i) Mulroney's Testimony That Ile Went to the Congo After Refus- ing an Assassination Assignment From Bissell In early October, 1960, several PROP cables discussed a plan to send a "senior case officer" to the Congo to aid the overburdened Sta- tion Officer with the assassination operation.2 Shortly after the Sta- I See Part III, Section c, of this Report for a discussion of the CIA's use of QJ/WIN In developing a stand-by assassination capability in the Executive Action project. 2 See Section 4(g), supra, for full treatment of these cables. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : Ct-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 tion Officer's request on October 17, for a senior case officer to concen- trate on the assassination operation. Bissell broached the subject with Mulroney. At the time, Mulroney was the Deputy Chief of an e ctraor- dinarlly secret unit within the Directorate of Plans. (Mu.]?oney, 6/9/75, p. 8) Mulroney testified that in October of 1960, Bissell asked Lim to undertake tic mission of assassinating Patrice Lumumba : MULRONEY :lie called me in and told me he wanted to go down to the. elgian Congo, the former Belgian Congo, and to eliminate Lumumba * * *. Q : What did you understand him to mean by eliminate? MuLRONEY : To kill him and thereby eliminate his influence. Q : What wa i the basis for your interpreting his remarks, whatever his pre- cise language, as meaning that he was talking about assassination ratbo'r than merely neutral zing him through some other means? MULRONEY; It, was not neutralization * * * clearly the context of our t,aik was to kill him. (Mulroney, 6/9/M, pp. 11-12, 19, 43) Mulroney testified : I told him that I would absolutely not have any part of killing Lumu1stla. He said, I want you to go over and talk to Joseph Scheider. (Mulroney, 6/9/76, P. 12) Mulroney ::aid that it was "inconceivable that Bissell would :direct suwh a mission without the personal permission of Allen Dulles" I assumed that he had authority from Mr. Dulles in such' an important issue, but it was not discussed [with me], nor did he purport to have higher authority to (lo it. (Mulroney, 9/9/75, pp. 15, 44) Mulroney then met promptly with Scheider and testified that l e was "sure that W. Bissell had called Scheider and told him I was cii ming over" to his office. Scheider told Mulroney "that there were for or fire * * * lethal means of disposing of Lumumba * * *. One 44 the methods was a virus and the others included poison." Mulroney said that, Scheider "didn't even hint * * * that he had been in the ('ongo and that he had transported any lethal agent to the Congo." (Mul- roney, 6/9/75, pp. 12-13; 9/11/T5, pp. 7-7A) Mulroney testified that after speaking with Scheider : I then left his office, and I went back to Mr. Bissell's office, and I told aim in no way would I have any part in the assassination of Lumumba * * * and reasserted in absolute terms that I would not be involved in a murder R ,,tempt. (Mulroney, 9/11/75, p. 43) ' Mulroney ~.,tid that in one of his two conversations with 1,issell about Lumumba, he raised the prospect "that conspiracy to commit murder being done in the District of Columbia might be in vio'ation when asked uI the conclusion of his testimony to add anything to the record hat he felt was necessary to present a full picture of the operation against Lumumba, Mulroney volunteered a statement about the moral climate in which it took place: .All the people that I knew acted in good faith. I think they acted In the light maybe not their consciences, but in the light of their concept of patriotism. [T]hey i It that this was in the best interests of the U.S. I think that we have to much of tt; ' 'good German' in us, in that we do something because the boss says it is okay. And t:aey are not essentially evil people. But you can do an awful lot of wrong in this. "? * * This is such a dishonest business that only honest people can be in it. Thy t Is the only thing that will save the Agency and make you trust the integrity of wlot they report * * *. An intelligence officer * * * must be scrupulous and he must bo moral * * * he must iiave personal Integrity * * *. They must be particularly cons. ous of the moral element in Intelligence operations." (Mulroney, 9/11/75, pp. 57, 61) l.arlier in his testimony, Mulroney succinctly summarized his philosophical 01r?osition to assassinating Lumumba: "murder corrupts." (Mulroney, 9/11/75, p. 9) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 of federal law." He said that Bissell "airily dismissed" this prospect. (Mulroney, 6/9/75,1).14) Although he refused to participate in assassination, Mulroney agreed to go to the Congo on a general mission to "neutralize" Lumumba "as a political factor" (Mulroney, 9/11/75, pp. 43-44) I said I would go down and I would have no compunction about operating to draw Lumumba out [of UN custody], to run an operation to neutralize his operations which were against Western interests, against, I thought, American interests. (Mulroney, 6/9/75, p. 13)' Although Mulroney did not formulate a precise plan until he reached the Congo, he discussed a general strategy with Bissell: MULRONEY : I told Mr. Bissell that I would be willing to go down to neu- tralize his activities and operations and try to bring him out [of UN custody] and turn him over to the Congolese authorities. Senator MONDALE : Was it discussed then that his life might be taken by the Congolese authorities? MULRONEY : It was, I think, considered * * * not to have him killed, but then it would have been a Congolese being judged by Congolese for Congolese crimes. Yes, I think it was discussed. (Mulroney, 6/9/75, p. 38) According to Mulroney there was a "very, very high probability" that Lumumba would receive capital punishment at the hands of the Congolese authorities. But he "had no compunction about bringing him out and then having him tried by a jury of his peers." (Mulroney, 6/9/75, pp. 24, 14) Despite Mulroney's expressed aversion to assassination and his agreement to undertake it more general mission to "neutralize" Lumumba's influence, Bissell continued pressing him to consider an ilssassina*ion operation : In leaving at the conclusion of our second discussion * * * he said, well, I wouldn't rule out that possibility-meaning the possibility of the elimination or the killing of Lumumba * * *. In other words, even though you have said this, don't rule it out * * *. There is no question about it, he said, I wouldn't rule this other out, meaning the elimination or the assassination. (Mulroney, 9/11/75, p. 45) Mulroney distinctly recalled that after his second discussion with Bissell, he met with Richard Helms, who was then Deputy to the DDP and Chief of Operations in the clandestine services division, in order to make his opposition to assassinating Lumumba a matter of record (Mulroney, 9/11/75, pp. 44-45) : [I]n the Agency, since you don't .gave documents, you have to be awfully canny and you have to get things on record, and I went into Mr. Helms' office, and I said, hick, here is what Mr. Bissell proposed to me, and I told him that I would under no conditions do it, and Helms said, `you're absolutely right.' (Mulroney 6/9/75, pp. 15-16) Helms testified that it was "likely" that he had such a conversation with Mulroney and he assumed that Mulroney's version of their con- versation was correct. (Helms, 9/16/75, pp. 22-23) 2 1 Bissell also recalled that, after discussing assassination with Mulroney, Mulroney went to the Congo "with the assignment * * * of looking at other ways of neutralizing Lumumba." (Bissell, 9/10/75, p. 53) helms testified that he did not inquire further into the subject of this conversation in any way. He did not recall why Mulroney had gone to the Congo or what his mission was. (Helms, 9/16/75, pp. 32-33) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CI-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 William Harvey was Mulroney's immediate superior at that time He testified . Mr. Mulroney came to me and said that he had been approached by Richard Bissell * * * to undertake an operation in the Congo, one of the objectives= 4 which was the elimination of Patrice Lumumba. He also told me that he had declined to undertake this assignment. (Harvey, 6/25/75, p. 9) Harvey said that in a later conversation with Bissell, Bissell tld him that he had asked Mulroney to undertake such an operation. (1 larvey, 6/25/75, p. 9) Tweedy's Deputy, who aided in making preparations for Mulroney's trip to the Congo, recalled that Mulroney had "reacted negatively" to Bissell's request to undertake an assassination operation. ( Deputy Chief, Africa Division affidavit, 10/17/75, p. 2) He stated: Despite the fact that Mulroney had expressed a negative reaction t+z this as- signment, it vvas clear to me that when Mulroney went to the Congo, exploration of the feasibility of assassinating Lumumba was part of his assignment from Bissell. As far as I know, Mulroney was not under assignment to attempt to assas- sinate Lumumba, but rather merely to make plans for such an operation. (Deputy Chief, Africa Division affidavit, 10/17/75, p. 2) In Tweedy's mind, Mulroney's eventual mission to the Coi go was also linked to assessing the possibility for assassinating Lumumba rather than to a general plan to draw Luinumba out of U.N. custody. (Tweedy, 9/9/75, pp. 24, 26) Mulroney testified, however, that because he was "morally ropposed to assassination" he would "absolutely not" have explored the weans by which such access could be gained, nor would he have undertaken a mission to the Congo to assess an assassination operation ev en if it were directM. by someone else. (Mulroney, 9/11/75, p. 26) Mulronev~ said that he departed for the Congo within foray-eight hours of his second discussion with Bissell. (Mulroney, 9/11,15, pp. 4556) (ii) Bissell's Testimony About the Assignment to Mulroney Bissell remembered "very clearly" that he and Mulroney discussed the assassination of Lumumba in the fall of 1960 (Bissell, 6/9/75, pp. 74-75) and that Mulroney reacted negatively. (Bissell, 9/11/75, p. 18) Accordingly to Bissell, Mulroney said that assassination "was an inappropriate action and that the desired object could be accom- plished better in other ways." (Bissell, 6/11/75, p. 54) Bissell's testimony differs from Mulroney's account on only one important point-the degree to which Bissell's initial assig) tnent to Mulroney contemplated the mounting of an operation as opposed to contingency planning. Mulroney flatly testified. that Bissell requested him to attempt to kill Lumumba. In his first testimony on the subject, l3issell said that he asked Mulroney "to investigate the possi}tility of killing Lumumba." (Bissell, 6/11/75, p. 54; see also pp. 55,. 75) In a later appearance, however, Bissell stated that. Mulroney "1.!ad been asked to plan and prepare for" the assassination of Lumumba. Bissell, (1/10/75. p. 24) 1 Harvey wow later centrally involved in the Castro case and the Executive Acf,,n project. See Parts III (TI) and Part IlI(C), {njra. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/145 CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Bissell said that after his conversations with Mulroney, he con- sidered "postponing" the assassination operation : I seem to recollect that after this conversation with him, I wanted this put very much on the back burner and inactivated for quite some time. Now that doesn't rule out the possibility that some action through completely different channels might have gone forward. But the best of my recollection is, I viewed this not only as terminating the assignment for him, but also as reason for at least postponing anything further along that line. (Bissell, 9/10/75, pp. 25-26) (iii) Mulroney Informed of Virus in Station Safe Upon Arriving in Congo : November 3, 1960 On October 29, the Station Officer was informed that Michael Mul- roney would soon arrive in Leopoldville "in furtherance this project." (CIA Cable, Deputy Chief, Africa Division, to Station Officer 10/29/60) On November 3, Mulroney arrived in Leopoldville. (CIA Cable, Leopoldville to Director, 11/4/60) Hedgman said it was "very possible" that he regarded the dispatch to the Congo of a senior officer as a signal that CIA Headquarters was "dissatisfied with my han- dling" of Scheider's instructions. (Hedgman, 8/21/75, p. 42) Hedgman had only a general picture of Mulroney's assignment : I understood it to be that-similar to mine, that is, the removal or neutraliza- tion of Lumumba * * * I have no clear recollection of his discussing the assas- sination. (Hedgman, 8/21/75, p. 54) Station Officer Iledgman said that he did not recall if Mulroney indicated whether he was considering assassination as a means of "neutralizing" Lumumba. Hedgman said, "in view of my instructions, I may have assumed that he was" considering assassination. Generally, however, the Station Officer perceived Mulroney as unenthusiastic about his assignment. (Hedgman, 8/21/75, pp. 55, 56, 88-89) When Mulroney arrived in the Congo, he met with the Station Of- ficer, who informed him that there was "a virus in the safe." (Mul- roney, 9/11/75, p. 7-A; 6/9/75, p. 16) Mulroney said he assumed it was a "lethal agent," although the Station Officer was not explicit : I knew it wasn't for somebody to get his polio shot up to date. (Mulroney, 6/9/75, pp. 16, 37)' Mulroney said that he did not recall the Station Officer's mention- ing the source of the virus, but : It would have had to have come from Washington, in my estimation, and I would think, since it had been discussed with Scheider that it probably would have emanated from his office. (Mulroney, 6/9/75, p. 28)2 Hedgman did not recall discussing Scheider's trip to the Con o with Mulroney, but "assumed" that he did so. (Hedgman, 8/21/5, pp. 60-61) I Mulroney added that if the virus was to be used for medical purposes. "It would have been in the custody of the State Department" personnel, not the CIA Station. (Mulroney, 6/9/75, p. 36) 2 When Mulroney was informed about Hedgman's testimony concerning Scheider's trip to the Congo and the plot to poison Lumumba, he said, "I believe absolutely in its credi- bility. Mulroney found nothing in the facts as he knew them nor in Hedgman's character, to raise a question about that testimony. He regarded Iiedgman as "an honest and a decent man-a totally truthful man." (Mulroney, 9/11/75, pp: 19, 53, 56) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : C4 -RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Mulroney was "certain" that the virus had arrived before be did. (Mulroney, +3/9/75, p. 24) He was surprised to learn that such ,I: virus Was at the Leopoldville Station because he had refused an assassina- tion mission before departing for the Congo. (Mulroney, 6/9/75.? p. 17) Mulroney, stated that he knew of no other instance where L CIA Station had possessed lethal biological substances. He assumed that its purpose was assassination, probably targeted againt Lumumba (Mulroney, 9/11/75, p. 50) My feeling ieflnitely is that it was for a specific purpose, and was jus not an all-purpose capability there, being held for targets of opportunity, unspecified targets. (Mulroney. 9/11/75. p. 49) Mulroney said that the Station Officer never indicated that 1Z1.1 'coney was to employ the virus, that he "never discussed his assass i kiation effort, he never even indicated that this was one." (Mulroney, 9/ 11/75, pp. 52, 54) While Station Officer Hedgman had no direct recollection ,rf dis- cussing the assassination operation with Mulroney, he "assumed" that he haT at least mentioned the problem of gaining access to Lui raumba for the purpose of assassinating him. (Hedgman., 8/21/75, pp. t5, 60) Mulroney was "sure" that he "related everything" to Hei lgman about his ccanversations with Bissell concerning the assassination of Lumumba. (11 fulroney, 9/11/75, p. 46) Hedgman, however, O id not recall learning this from Mulroney. (Hedgman, 8/21/75, p. 56) Mulroney said that his discussions of assassination with HeJgman were general and philosophical, dealing with "the morality of assassi- nations." (Mulroney, 9111/75, pp: 46, 54) From my ppint of view I told him I had moral objections to it, not just qualms, but objections. I didn't think it was the right thing to do. (Mulroney, it/11/75, p. 9) When asked to characterize Hedgman's attitude toward ass;tssina- tion based oil those discussions, Mulroney said : He would not have been opposed in principle to assassination in the lr terests of national security * * *. I know that he is a man of great moral perception and decency and honor * * *. And that it would disturb him to be ,engaged in something like that. But I think I would have to say that in our conver';ations, my memory of those, at no time would he rule it out as being a possibility. (Mulroney, 9/11/71 5, p. 18) (b)) Mulraney's Plan to "Neutralize" Lumumba After Mulroney arrived in the Congo, he formulated a plrin for "neutralizing" Lumumba by drawing him away from the custody of the U.N. force which was guarding his residence : Mulroney : j Sv] hat I wanted to do was to get him out, to trick him out, if I could, and then turn him over * * * to the legal authorities and let hii i stand trial. Because lie had atrocity attributed to him for which he could yi?ry well stand trial. Q : And for which he could very well have received capital punishlgetit? Mulroney: Yes. And I am not opposed to capital punishment. (1[^.,lroney, 9/11/75, pp. 20 .21)1 I When Mulr ncy's mission to draw Lumumba out of the hands of the U.N. was +'lescribed to C. Douglas 1UIllon, who was Undersecretary of State at that time, Dillon testl4ed that ii conformed to United States policy toward Lumumba. (Dillon, 9/21/75, p. 50) According to an earlier report from the Station Officer, it was the view of tim Special l.epresentative of the Secretary General of the United Nations that arrest by C,,ngolese authorities was "JUST A TRICK TO ASSASSINATE LUMUMBA." (CIA Cable, Station Officer to Direc]or, 10/11/60) The Station Officer proceeded to recommend Lu+numba's arrest in the sane cable: STATION HAS CONSISTENTLY URGED [CONGOLESE] LEADERS ^~RREST LUMUMBA IN BELIEF LUMUMBA WILL CONTINUE BE THREAT TO ST.BILITY CONGO UNTIL REMOVED FROM SCENE. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 43 To implement his plan, Mulroney made arrangements to rent "an observation post over the palace in which Lumumba was safely en- sconced." He also made the acquaintance of a U.N. guard to recruit him for an attempt to lure Lumumba outside U.N. protective custody. (Mulroney, 6/9/75, p. 20; 9/11/75, p. 21) Mulroney said that he cabled progress reports to CIA Headquarters, and kept the Station Officer informed about his activities. (Mulroney, 9/11/75, pp. 26-27, 56) Mulroney arranged for CIA agent QJ/WIN, to come to the Congo to work with him : What I wanted to use him for was * * * counter-espionage. * * * I had to screen the U.S. participation in this * * * by using a foreign national whom we knew, trusted, and had worked with * * * the idea was for me to use him as an alter ego. (Mulroney, 6/9/75, pp. 19-20) In mid-November two cables from Leopoldville urged CIA Head- quarters to send QJ/WIN : LOCAL OPERATIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRE IMMEDIATE EX- PEDITION OF QJ/WIN TRAVEL TO LEOPOLDVILLE. (CIA Cable, Leo- poldville to Director, 11/13/60; see also 11/11/60) The cables did not explain the "operational circumstances." (b) QJ/WIN's Mission in the Congo : November-December 1960 QJ/WIN was a foreign citizen with a criminal background, re- cruited in Europe. (Memo to CIA Finance Division, Re : Payments to QJ/WIN, 1/31/61) In November 1960, agent QJ/WIN was dis- patched to the Congo to undertake a mission that "might involve a large element of personal risk." (CIA Cable, 11/2/60)1 A cable from Headquarters to Leopoldville stated : In view of the extreme sensitivity of the objective for which we want [QJ/WIN] to perform his task, he was not told precisely what we want him to do * * *. Instead, he was told * * * that we would like to have him spot, assess, and recommend some dependable, quick-witted persons for our use * * *. It was thought best to withhold our true, specific requirements pending the final decision to use [him]. (CIA Cable, 11/2/60) This message itself was deemed too sensitive to be retained at the station : "this dispatch should be reduced to cryptic necessary notes and destroyed after the first reading." (CIA Cable, 11/2/60) QJ/WIN arrived in Leopoldville on November 21, 1960, and re- turned to Europe in late December 1960. (CIA Cable, 11/29/60; CIA Cable Director to Leopoldville, 12/9/60) Muironey described QJ/WIN as follows : MULEONEY : * * * I would say that he would not be a man of many scruples. Q : So he was a man capable of doing anything? MULRONEY : I would think so, yes. Q : And that would include assassination? MULRONEY : I would think so. (Mulroney, 9/11/75, pp. 35-36) But Mulroney had no knowledge that QJ/WIN was ever used for an assassination operation. (Mulroney, 9/11/75, pp. 36, 42) i An additional purpose in dispatching QJ/WIN was to send him from the Congo to an- other African country for an unspecified mission. QJ/WIN's mission to this country is not explained in the cable traffic between CIA Headquarters and the various stations that dealt with him. There is no indication in CIA files as to whether QJ/WIN completed this operation. Mulroney said he had no knowledge of any assignment that would have taken QJ/WIN to this other country. (Mulroney, 9/11/75, pp. 32-33) William Harvey stated that he recalled that QJ/WIN might have been sent to an African country other than the Congo, but Harvey was "almost certain that this was not connected in any way to an assassina- tion mission." (Harvey affidavit, 9/14/75, p. 5) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 44 Mulroney said that, as far as he knew, he was the only C1.X officer with supertvisory responsibility for QJ/WIN, and QJ/WIN did not report independently to anyone else. When asked if it was possible that QJ/WIN had an assignment independent of his operations for Mulroney, he said : Yes, that Aa possible-or it could have been that somebody contacted him after lie got down there, that they wanted him to do something along the Thies of as- sassination. I don't know. (Mulroney, 9/11/75, pp. 28, 29) Mulroney- discounted this possibility as "highly unlikely" L4~cause it would be a departure from standard CIA practice by placing an agent in a position of knowledge superior to that of his supervisin r officer. (Mulroney, 9,/11/77 5, p. 29) Despite ;1'Culroney's doubt that QJ/WIN had an independent line of responsibility to Station Officer Hedgman, Hedgman's Novs inber 29 cable to Tweedy reported that QJ/WIN had begun implemt~nting a plan to "pierce both Congolese and U.N. guards" to enter Lu iumba's residence and "provide escort out of residence." (CIA Cable., Station Officer to Tweedy, 11/29/60) Mulroney said, that he had directed QJ/WIN to make the acquaintance of the member of U.N. force. (Mulroney, 9/11//75, p. 21) By this point, Lumumba had already left U.N. custody to travel toward his stronghold at Stanleyvi=le. This did not deter QJ/WIN : VIEW CHANGE IN LOCATION TARGET, QJ/WLN ANXIOUS (O 'STAN- LEYVILLE AND EXPRESSED DESIRE EXECUTE PLAN BY IHIMSELF WITHOUT USING ANY APPARAT. (CIA Cable, 11/29/60) It is unclear whether this latter "plan" contemplated assassii ation as well as abduction. Headquarters replied affirmatively the i2a',xt day in language which could have been interpreted as an assa-; ination order: CONCUit QJ/WIN GO STANLEYVILLE WE ARE PIi:,)PARED CONSIDER DIRECT ACTION BY QJ/WIN BUT WOULD LIBi+, YOUR READING ON SECURITY FACTORS. HOW CLOSE WOULi) THIS PLACE [UNITED STATES] TO THE ACTION? (CIA Cable, Chief of Africa Division to Station Officer, 11/30/60) Mulroney said that QJ/WIN's stay in the Congo was "cog r.tensive with my own, allowing for the fact that he came after I did.."' (Mul- roney, 6/g/-45, p. 19) In a memorandum to arrange the accounting for QJ/WIN"; activi- ties in the Congo, William Harvey, Mulroney's immediate sul erior in the Directorate of Plans, noted : "QJ,/WIN was sent on this l,rip for a specific. highly sensitive operational purpose which has ben com- pleted." (Memo for Finance Division from Harvey, 1/11/6 3 ) Mul- roney explained Harvey's reference by saying that once Linnumba was in the hands of the Congolese authorities "the reason for the mounting of the project * * * had become moot." When asked i t he and QT,/WIN were responsible for Lumumba's departure from 1'.N. cus- tody and subsequent capture, Mulroney replied: "Absolut ty not." (Mulroney, 9/11/75, p. 35)1 1 Harvey did not recall the meaning of the memorandum, but be assumed tha. the mere fact that Mulroney had returned from the Congo would have constituted the "cc,npletion" of QJ/WIN's Mission. (Harvey affidavit, 9/14/75, p. 2) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Despite the suggestive language of the cables at, the end of Novem- ber about the prospect of "direct action" by QT/WIN and an indica- tion in the Inspector General's Report that QJ/WIN may have been recruited initially for an assassination mission 1 there is no clear evi- dence that QJ/WIN was actually involved in any assassination plan or attempt. The Inspector General's Report may have accurately re- ported a plan for the use of QJ/WIN which predated Mulroney s re- fusal to accept the assassination assignment from Bissell. But there is no evidence from which to conclude that QJ/WIN was actually used for such an operation. Station Officer Hedgman had a "vague recollection" that QJ/WIN was in the Congo working for Mulroney. But Hedgman did not recall why QJ/WIN was in the Congo and said that QJ/WIN was not one of his major operatives. (Hedgman, 8/21/75, p. 35) Bissell and Tweedy did not recall anything about QJ/WIN's activities in the Congo. (Bis- sell, 9/10/75, pp. 54-57; Tweedy, 9/9/75, pp. 54,61) Harvey, whose division "loaned" QJ/WIN to the Congo Station, testified : I was kept informed of the arrangements for QJ/WIN's trip to the Congo and, subsequently, of his presence in the Congo. I do not know specifically what QJ/WIN did In the Congo. I do not think that I ever had such knowledge * * *. If QJ/WIN were to be used on an assassination mission, it would have been cleared with me. I was never informed that he was to be used for such a mission. (Harvey affidavit, 9/14/75, pp. 3-4)' A 1962 CIA cable indicates the value the CIA accorded QJ/WIN and the inherent difficulty for an intelligence agency in employing criminals. The CIA had learned that QJ/WIN was about to go on trial in Europe on smuggling charges and Headquarters suggested : IF * * * INFOR[MATION] TRUE WE MAY WISH ATTEMPT QUASH CHARGES OR ARRANGE SOMEHOW SALVAGE QJ/WIN FOR OUR PURPOSES. (CIA Cable, 1962) (c) WI/ROGUE Asks QJ/WIN to Join "Execution Squad"; Decem- ber 1960 The only suggestion that QJ,/WIN had any connection with assas- sination was a report that WI/ROGUE, another asset of the Congo Station, once asked QJ/WIN to join an "execution squad." WI/ROGUE was an "essentially stateless" soldier of fortune, "a forger and former bank robber." (Inspector General Memo, 3/14/75) 3 L The CIA Inspector General's Report said that QJ/WIN had been recruited earlier * * * for use In a special operation in the Congo (the assassination of Patrice Lumumba) to be run by Michael Mulroney." (I.G. Report, p. 38) As explained above, Bissell and Mulroney testified that Mulroney had refused to be associated with an assassination operation. See sections 5(a) (ii) and (iii). a Harvey stated that the memoranda concerning QJ/WIN were robably written for his signature by the officer who supervised QJ/WIN's activities in Europe. (Harvey affi- davit, 9/14/75, P. 1, 4) Harvey said that I. later discussions he held with Scheider concerning the develop- ment of a general assassination capabilityi Scheider never mentioned QJ/WIN's activities in the Congo, nor did Scheider refer to hs own trip to Leopoldville. Harvey also stated that before the formation of that project, QJ/WIN's case officer had not previously used him "as an assassination capability or even viewed him as such." (Harvey affidavit, 9/14/ 75. np 7, S) See discussion in Part III. Section C. This information was derived from a report on WI/ROGUE's assignment to the Congo preppared by a former Africa Division officer on March 14, 1975 at the request of the CIA OfRce of the Inspector General. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 The CIA sent him to the Congo after providing him wit I. plastic surgery and a toupee so that Europeans traveling in the Coir ro would not recognize him. (LG. Memo, 3/14/75) The CIA charwcterized 'WI/ROI U E as a man who "learns quickly and carries oua any as- signment without regard for danger." (CIA Cable, Africa Di vision to Leopoldvi;]le, 10/27/60) CIA's Africa Division recommen, 4ed WI/ ROGUE as an agent in the following terms : He is indeed aware of the precepts of right and wrong, but if he l- given an assignment which may be morally wrong in the eyes of the world, but -accessary because his case officer ordered him to carry it out, then it is right, ai~3l he will dutifully undertake appropriate action for its execution without pan ; of con- science. In a word, he can rationalize all actions. Station Officer Hedgman described WI/ROGUE, as "a man with a rather unsavory reputation, who would try anything once, it least." ;Hedgman used him as "a general utility agent" because "I felt we needed surveillance capability, developing new contacts, various things." Hedgman supervised WI/ROGUE directly and did 'tot put him in touch with Mulroney. (Hedgman, 8/21/75, pp. 96-91 A report on agent. WI/ROGUE, prepared for the CIA. Izrypector General's Ollice in 1975, described the training he received : On 19 Septe) raber 1960 two members of Africa Division met with him I discuss "tin operatiox u1 assignment in Africa Division." In connection with thit assign- ntent, WI/ROc.UE was to be trained in demolitions, small arms, and medical i ntmunization. (LG. Memo, 3/14/75)1 The report also outlined WI/ROGUE's assignment to the Congo a:nd recorded no mention of the use to which WI/ROGUE'S "iiiedica] immunization" training would be put : In October J960 a cable to Leopoldville stated that * * * Headquarter ~ [had] * * * intent to use him as utility agent in order to "(a) organize and ct wduct a surveillance team; (b) intercept packages; (c) blow up bridges; and {;;) exe- ciite other assignments requiring positive action. His utilization is not to be restricted to Leopoldville." (I.G. Memo, 3/14/75) WI/ROGI"E made his initial contact with Hedgman in Leopold- ville on DecA'.inber 2, 1960. Hedgman instructed him to "build cover during initial period ;" and to "spot persons for [a] surveillance team" of intelligence agents in the province where Lumumba's support, was strongest. (CIA Cable, 12/17/60) Soon thereu fter Hedgman cabled Headquarters : QJ/WIN WHO RESIDES SAME HOTEL AS WI/ROGUE REPORT- I'D * * * WI/ROGUE SMELLED AS THOUGH HE IN INTEL BUST''rESS. STATION I WNIED ANY INFO ON WI/ROGUE.. 14 DEC QJ/WI RE- PORTED WI/ROGUE HAD OFFERED HIM THREE HUNDRED DOL- LARS PER .MONTH TO PARTICIPATE IN INTEL NET AND BE ,IEM- BER "EX +]CUTION SQUAD." WHEN QJ/WIN SAID HE NO ,' IN- TERESTEIn that would disappear without a trace. (O.C. a, 30/75, p. 116) The Tnspector General's Report cited the Support Cl Fief as stating that the Agency had first considered a "gangland-sty I kill- ing" in which Castro would be gunned down. Giancana reps ltedly opposed the idea because it would be difficult, to recruit sorneouie for such a dank^r'ous operation, and suggested instead the. use of I :,oison. ( I.G. Report, p. 25) Edwards rejected the first batch of pills prepared by TSD i ,.cause they would' not dissolve in water. A second batch, containing toxiiar, "did the job expected of them" when tested on monkeys. (I.G. Report, pp. 25-26; O.C. 5/30/75, p. 43) The Support Chief received the pills from TSD, probably in February 1961, with assur- ances that they were lethal,' and then gave them to Rosselli. (O.C., 5/30/75, p. 13) The recoj'd clearly establishes that the pills were given to a Cuban for delivery to the island some time prior to the Bay of Pigs invasion in mid-Apri11961. There are discrepancies in the record, howev, r, con- cerning whether one or two attempts were made during that period, and the previse date on which the passage[s] occurred. The In pector General's ]Report states that in late February or March 1961, losselli reported to the Support Chief that the pills had been delivere,l to an official close to Castro who may have received kickbacks fl~. 'm the gambling interests. (T.G. Report, p. 23) The Report states t hat the official returned the pills after a few weeks, perhaps because lie had lost his position in the Cuban Government., and thus access to Castro, before he received the pills. (I.G. Report, p. 2S) The Report ce tcludes that yet another attempt was made in April 1961, with the id of a leading figure in the Cuban exile movement. Rosselli )ind the Support Chief testified that the Cuban of inial de- scribed by i rte Inspector General as having made the first attei lpt was indeed involved in the assassination plot, and they ascribed hi,r: failure Co a case of "cold feet." (Rosselli, 6/24/75, p. 24; O.C. 5/8o/175, p. 44) Rosselli was certain, however, that only one attempt to ass bssinate Castro had been made prior to the Bay of Pigs,' (Rosselli, 6,/:l/75, p. `~6) and the Support Chief and Maheu did not clarify the nmtter. It is possible 1 ten, that only one pre-Bay of Pigs attempt was ni ade, and that the Cuban exile leader was the contact in the United Sty fes who n the Inspector General; Report arranged for the. Cuban described in- to administer the poison. In any event, Rosselli told the Support Chief that Traffic.tnte be- lieved a certain leading figure in the Cuban exile movement l tight be able to accomplish the assassination. (I.G. Report, p. 29)' The Inspee- ' Records of the TSD still extant when the I.G. Report was written in 1007 indicate that the pills were tested on February 10 and delivered to the Support Chic' sometime thereafter. 2 The Support Chief testified that he met this Cuban only once, and that after the meeting A. uban told Rosselli : Look, I on't know isic] like the CIA and you can't tell me that this ay isn't a CIA man." he Support Chief recalled, "I don't know whether I showed it or, what, but he suspected that I wasn't what I was represented to be." (O.C., 5/30/75, p. 2L'.) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/015 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 tor General's Report suggests that this Cuban may have been receiving funds from Trafficante and other racketeers interested in securing u ambling, prostitution, and dope monopolies" in Cuba after the over- throw of Castro. The Report speculated that the Cuban was interested in the assassination scheme as a means of financing the purchase of arms and communications equipment. (I.G. Report, p. 31) The Cuban claimed to have a contact inside a restaurant frequented by Castro. (Rosselli, 6/24/75, p. 21) As a prerequisite to the deal, he demanded cash and $1.000 worth of communications equipment. (I.G. Report, pp. 31, 32; O.C., 5/30/75, p. 23) The Support Chief recalled that Colonel J. C. King, head of the Western Hemisphere Division, gave him $50,000 in Bissell's office to pay the Cuban if he successfully assassinated Castro. (O.C., 5/30/75, pp. 17-21) The Support Chief stated that Bissell also authorized him to give the Cuban the requested electronics equipment. (O.C., 5/30/75, pp. 20-24) Bissell testified that he did not doubt that some cash was given to the Support Chief, and that he was aware that the poison pills had been prepared. Bissell did not recall the meeting described above, and considered it unlikely that the Support Chief would have been given the money in his office. (Bissell, 6/11/75, p. 40) The Inspector General's Report, relying on an Office of Security memorandum to the DDCI dated June 24, 1966, as well as on an interview with the person who signed the voucher for the funds, placed the amount passed at $10,000. (I.G. Report, pp. 31-32) If the Inspector General's conclu- sions were correct, the funds which Bissell allegedly authorized were probably the advance payment to the Cuban, and not the $150,000 that was to be paid to him after Castro's death. The record does clearly reflect, however, that communications equip- ment was delivered to the Cuban 1 and that he was paid advance money to cover his expenses, probably in the amount of $10,000. (I.G. Report, p. 32) The money and pills were delivered at a meeting between Maheu, Rosselli, Trafficante, and the Cuban at the Fountainebleau Hotel in Miami. As Rosselli recalled, Maheu : * * * opened his briefcase and dumped a whole lot of money on his lap * * * and also came up with the capsules and he explained how they were going to be used. As far as I remember, they couldn't be used in boiling soups and things like that, but they could be used in water or otherwise, but they couldn't last for- ever. * * * It had to be done as quickly as possible. (Rosselli, 6/24/75, p. 21)2 A different version of the delivery of the pills to the Cuban was given to the Committee by Joseph Shimon, a friend of Rosselli and Giancana who testified that he was present when the passage occurred. Shimon testified that he had accompanied Maheu to Miami to see the third Patterson-Johansson World Heavyweight Championship fight, which took place on March 12, 1961. (Shimon, 9/20/75, -pp. 6-8) According to Shimon, he, Giancana, Rosselli, and Maheu shared a .suite in the Fountainebleau Hotel. During a conversation, Maheu stated that he had a "contract" to assassinate Castro, and had been 1 The Support Chief testified that a man from the communications office delivered the communications equipment that the Cuban had requested to Miami. (O.C., 5/30/7.5. ~pp . 20) Maheu recalled delivering an automobile which he had been told contained commAinic'Rtt0ns equipment to an empty lot. (Maheu, 7/29/75, p. 52) 2 Maheu denied that this dramatic event ever occurred. and did not recall being present at a meeting at which the pills were passed. (Maheu, 7/29/75, pp. 40-41). Maheu did recall that the Support Chief showed him the pills in an envelope and told him that th( pills would be given to a Cuban. (Maheu, 7/29/75, p. 40) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 82 provided with a "liquid" by the CIA to accomplish the task. (?)himon. 9/20/75, p. 9) 1 Shimon testified that Maheu had said the liqu i, l was to be put in Castro's food, that Castro would become ill and die r'ter two or three days, and that an autopsy would not reveal what ha ,l killed him. (Shimon, 9/20/75, pp. 9-10) Shimon testified that the Cuban was contacted outside t17,,; Boom Boom Room of the Fountainebleau Hotel. Shimon said that Rosselli left with the Cuban, and that Maheu said, "Johnny's going ti, handle everything, this is Johnny's contract." (Shimon, 9/20/75, p. 11) Shimon testified that Giancana subsequently told him "I am t of in it, and they are asking me for the names of some guys who used o work in casinos. * * * Maheu's conning the hell out of the CIA." (?'himon, 9/20/75, p. 12) Shimon testified that a few days later, he received a ph'>ne call from Maheu, who said : "* * * did you see the paper? Castro's 11. He's goin to be sick two or three days. Wow, we got him." (Shimon, 9/20/75, p.12)2 Rosselli testified that he did not recall Shimon's having been present when the pills were delivered to the Cuban. (Rosselli, 9/22/%-i, p. 5) Maheu recalled having seen the fight, with Rosselli and Gianc^,:na, but did not recall whether Shimon had been present, and denied that the poison had been delivered in the lobby of the Fountainebleau. Maheu 9/23/75, pp. 14-15) The attempt met with failure. According to the Inspector General's Report, Edwards believed the scheme failed because Castro topped visiting the restaurant where the "asset" was employed. Mal: _~.u sug- gested an alternative reason. He recalled being informed that a s"ter the pills had been delivered to Cuba, "the go signal still had t4 be re- ceived before in fact they were administered." (Maheu, 9/23/75, p. 42) He testified that he was informed by the Support Chief sometiiiie after the operation that the Cubans had an opportunity to admini ter the pills to Fidel Castro and either Che Guevarra or Raul Castro,' ,ut that the "go signal" never came. (Maheu 7/29/75, pp. 43-44, 60-61) Maheu did not know who was responsible for giving the signal. (Mahe;, 9/23/ p 44-45) The Cuban subsequently returned the cash and to e pills. ( O.C., 5/30/75, pp. 19-20; Memo, Osborn to I)CI. 6/24/66) The date of the Cuban operation is unclear. The Inspector Cl oneral's Report places it in March-April 1961, prior to the Bay of Pig (I.G. Report, p. 29) Shimon's testimony puts it around March 1", 1961. Bissell testified that the effort against. Castro was called off a N ter the Bay of Pith, (Bissell, 6/11/75, p. 52) and Maheu testified that he had no involvement in the operation after the Bay of Pigs. ( \laheu, 9/23/75, p. 50) The Support Chief however, was certain that. it oc- cured during early 1962. (O.C., 5/30/751 pp. 47-48) (c) Use of Underworld Figures: Phase II (Post Bay of Pigs) (i) Change h ri Leadership The Inspector General's Report divides the gambling syndicate operation into Phase I, terminating with the Bay of Pigs,- an(! Phase 1 Maheu said that the poison, which he was shown on one occasion by the Supp:-rt Chief, consisted of five or six gelatin capsules filled with a liquid. (Maheu, b/23/75, pf'. 35-36) Rosselli described the poison as "capsules." (Rosselli, 9/22/75, p. 4) ' The Committee has been unable to locate the newspaper account described 43 Shimon. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 83 II, continuing with the transfer of the operation to William Harvey in late 1961.1 The distinction between a clearly demarcated Phase I and Phase II may be an artificial one, as there is considerable evidence that the operation was continuous, perhaps lying dormant for the period immediately following the Bay of Pigs.2 In early 1961, Harvey was assigned the responsibility for establish- ing a general capability within the CIA for disabling foreign leaders, including assassination as a "last resort." (Bissell, 6/9/75, p. 73; Harvey, 6/25/75, pp. 34-35) The capability was called Executive Action and was later included under the cryptonym ZR/RIFLE. Ex- ecutive Action and the evidence relating to its connection to the "White House" and to whether or not it involved action as well as "capability" is discussed extensively infra in Section (III) (c), p. 181. Harvey's notes reflect that Bissell asked him to take over the gambling syndicate operation from Edwards and that they discussed the "application of ZR/RIFLE program to Cuba" on November 16, 1961. (I.G. Report, p. 39) Bissell confirmed that the conversation took place and accepted the November date as accurate. (Bissell, 7/17/75, pp. 12-13) He also testified that the operation "was not reactivated, in other words, no instructions went out to Rosselli or to others * * * to renew the attempt, until after I had left the Agency in February 1962." (Bissell, 6/11/75, pp. 52-53.) Harvey agreed that his conversa- tion with Bissell was limited to exploring the feasibility of using the gambling syndicate against Castro. (Harvey, 7/11/75, p. 60) Richard Helms replaced Bissell as DDP in February 1962. As such, he was Harvey's superior. The degree to which Helms knew about and participated in the assassination plot is discussed in the section of this Report dealing with the level to which the plots were authorized within the Agency. (ii) Tile Operation 18 Reactivated In early April 1962, Harvey, who testified that he was acting on "explicit orders" from Helms, (Harvey, 7/11/75, 18), requested Edwards to put him in touch with Rosselli. (Edwards memo, 5/14/62) The Support Chief first introduced Harvey to Rosselli in Miami, where Harvey told Rosselli to maintain his Cuban contacts, but not to deal with Maheu or Giancana, (O.C., 5/30/75, p. 50; Ros- selli, 6/24/75, pp. 27-30) whom he had decided were "untrustworthy" and "surplus." (Harvey, 6/25/75, p. 65) The Support Chief recalled that initially Rosselli did not trust Harvey although they subse- quently developed a close friendship. (O.C., 5/30/75, p. 52) 1 Harvey had a long background in clandestine activities. At the time the gambling syndicate operation was moved under Harvey's supervision, he was responsible for a number of important activities and soon thereafter was selected to head of Task Force W, the CIA component of the Kennedy Administration's cover effort to oust Castro. 2 Harevy said that he took over a "going operation" from Edwards (I.G. Report, p. 42; Harvey, 6/25/75, p. 67) and emphasized that: "I would like to make as clear as I can that there was no Phase 1. Phase 2 in this. This is an ongoing matter which I was injected into * * *. (Harvey, 6/25/756 p. 90) Continuity was provided by retaining the Support Chief as the case officer for the project well into May 1962. During Interviews for the Inspector General's Report, the Support Chief recalled that there was "something going on" between the Bay of Pigs and Harvey's assumption of control (I.G. Report, p. 43). When testifying before the Com mittee, the Support Chief firmly recalled several trips to Miami in the fall of 1961. an,' "right up to the time I turned it over to Harvey I was in and out of Miami." (O.C. 5/30/75, pp. 89-90) Approved7For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 84 Harvey, the Support Chief and Rosselli met for a second time in New York on April 8-9, 1962. (I.G. Report, p. 43) A notat on made durin this time in the files of the Technical Services Division indi- cates that four poison pills were given to the Support Chief on 1pril 18, 1962. (LG. Report, pp. 46-47) The pills were passed to Hai, ey, who arrived in Miami on April 21, and found Rosselli already n touch with the same Cuban who had been involved in the pre-Ba o of Pigs pill passa~,? e. (I.G. Report, p. 47) He gave the pills to Ro. ,elli, ex- plaining that "these would work anywhere and at any time v' 'th any- thing." (Rosselli, 6/24/75, p. 31) Rosselli testified that he told Harvey that the Cubans intended to use the pills to assassinate Che GMucvara as well as Fidel and Raul Castro. According to Rosselli's to =timony, Harvey approved of the targets, stating "everything is all rig Itt, what they want t o do." (Rosselli, 6/24/75, p. 34) The Cuban requested arms and equipment as a quid pro quo for carrying out the assassination operation. (O.C.. 5/30/75, pl. 53-54) With the help of the CIA's Miami station which ran cover l, opera- tions against Cuba (JM/1VAVE), Harvey procured explosi .'s, deto- nators, rifles, handguns, radios, and boat radar costing abort $5,000. (I.G. Report, p. 49) Harvey and the chief of the JM WAVE station rented a U-Haul truck under an assumed name and delivered the equipment to a pay-king lot. (Harvey, 6/25/75, p. 63) The keys were given to Rosselli, who watched the delivery with the ,4+uppor?t Chief from across the street. (O.C., 5/30/75, pp. 92-93) The talrckload Of equipment was finally picked up by either the Cuban or Iosselli's agent. (I.G. Report, pp. 49-50; Rosselli, 6/24/75, p. 40) Hart v testi- fied that the arms "could" have been for use in the assay ination attempt, but that they were not given to the Cuban solely or that purpose. (I arvey, 7/11/75, p. 9) Rosselli kept Harvey informed of the operation's progressss. Some- I ime in May 1962, he reported that the pills and guns had ar.-ived in Cuba. (Harvey, p. 64; Rosselli, 6/24/75, pp. 34, 42-13) On June 21, he told Harvey that the Cuban had dispatched a three-man team to Cuba. The Inspector General's report described the team's mission as ",ague" and conjectured that the team would kill Crtstro or recruit other:; to do the job, using the poison pills if the oppc f?tunity Lrose. (I.G. Report, 6/2/75, p. 51) Harvey met Rosselli in Miami on September 7 and 11, 19!'&12. The Cuban was reported to be preparing to send in another thrkee: man team to penetrate Castro's bodyguard. Harvey was told that tl e pills, referred to as "the medicine," were still "safe" in Cuba. (1 tarveY, 6/25/75, p. 103 ; I.G. Report. p. 51) Harvey testified that by this time lie had grave doubts about'tchether the operation would ever take place, and told Rosselli that "th( re's not Much likelihood that this is going anyplace, or that it should Ire con- tinued." (Harvey, 6/25/75, p. 104) The second team never -4t for Cuba, claiming that "conditions" in Cuba were not right. (I.G. report, pp. 51-52) During early January 1963, Harvey paid I:,osselli $2,700 to defray the Cuban's expenses. (LG. Report, p. 52). h Iar?vey terminated the operation in mid-February 1963. At a i:, with Rosselli in Los Angeles, it was agreed that Rosselli woul l taper off his communications with the Cubans. (I.G. Report, pp. 52-53) Rosselli testified that he simply broke off contact with the Cubans. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 85 However, he never informed them that the offer of $150,000 for Castro's assassination had been withdrawn? (Rosselli, 6/24/75, p. 45) The agency personnel who dealt with Rosselli attributed his motiva- tion to patriotism 2 and testified that he was not paid for his services. According to the Support Chief, Rosselli "paid his way, he paid his own hotel fees, he paid his own travel. * * * And he never took a nickel, he said, no, as long as it is for the Government of the United States, this is the least I can do, because I owe it a lot." (O.C., 5/30/75, p. 27 Edwards agreed that Rosselli was "never paid a cent," (Edwards, 5/30/75, p. 16) and Maheu testified that "Giancana was paid nothing at all, not even for expenses, and that Mr. Rosselli was given a pittance that did not even begin to cover his expenses." (Maheu, 7/29/75,p.68) It is clear, however, that the CIA did pay Rosselli's hotel bill during his stay in Miami in October 1960.3 The CIA's involvement with Ros- selli caused the Agency some difficulty during Rosselli's subsequent prosecutions for fraudulent gambling activities and living in the country under an assumed name.4 (d) Plans in Early 1963 Two plans to assassinate Castro were explored by Task Force W, the CIA section then concerned with covert Cuban operations, in early 1963. Desmond Fitzgerald (now deceased), Chief of the Task Force, asked his assistant to determine whether an exotic seashell, rigged to explode, could be deposited in an area where Castro commonly went skin diving. (Assistant, 9/18/75, p. 28) The idea was explored by the Technical Services Division and discarded as impractical. (Helms, 6/13/75, p. 135; I.G. Report, p. 77) A second plan involved having James Donovan (who was negotiat- ing with Castro for the release of prisoners taken during the Bay of Pigs operation) present Castro with a contaminated diving suit.' (Colby, 5/21/75, pp. 38-39) I "Q: As far as those Cubans knew, then the offer which they understood from you to come from wall Street was still outstanding? "A : I don't know if they still think so * * * I didn't see them after that to tell them that. (Rosselli, 6/24/75, p. 45)" 2Rosselli claims that he was motivated by "honor and dedication." (Rosselli, 6/24/75, p. 59) In 1943, Rosselli had been convicted of extorting money from motion picture producers to insure studios against labor strikes, and during the period of his contacts with the CIA, Rosselli was deeply involved in hotel and gambling operations in Las Vegas. (File R-505, Summary of FBI Documents) It is possible that he believed cooperating with the govern- ment in the assassination operation might serve him well in the future. s FBI reports reveal that Rosselli's expenses at the Kennilworth Hotel, where he was registered from October 11-30, 1960, under the name of J. A. Rollins, were paid by Maheu. FBI file summary p. 101 Maheu's expenses were reimbursed by the CIA. 4In May 1966, the FBI threatened to deport Rosselli for living in the United States under an assumed name unless he cooperated in an investigation of the Mafia. (Rosselli, whose true name is Filippo Saco, was born in Italy and was allegedly brought illegally into the United States while still a child.) Rosselli contacted Edwards. who informed the FBI that Rosselli wanted to "keep square with the Bureau," but was afraid that gangsters might kill him for "talking." (Memo, Osborn to FBI, 5/27/66) After Rosselli was arrested for fraudulent gambling activities at the Friars Club in Beverly Hills in 1967, he requested Harvey, who had left the Agency, to represent him. (Memo for Record by Osborn, 12/11/67) Harvey contacted the Agency and suggested that it prevent the prosecu- tion. (Osborn Memo, supra) Rosselli was subsequently convicted of violating United States interstate gambling laws. In 1971, the CIA approached the Immigration and Naturaliza- tion Service, Department of Justice, to "forestall public disclosure of Rosselli's past operational activity with CIA" that might occur if deportation proceedings were brought. (Letter. CIA to Select Committee, 7/21/75) It was agreed that CIA would be kept informed of developments in that case. The deportation order is presently being litigated in the courts. 5 Donovan was not aware of the plan. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 86 The Inspector General's Report dates this operation in January 1963, when Fitzgerald replaced Harvey as Chief of Task Fi rce W, although it is unclear whether Harvey or Fitzgerald concei ,,ed the plan. (LG. Report, p. 75) It is likely that the activity took place earlier, sirwe Donovan had completed his negotiations by the middle of January 1963. Helms characterized the plan as "cockeyed." (Helms, 6/13/75, p. 135) The Technical Services Division bought a diving suit, ducted the inside with a fungus that would produce a chronic skin dlsen e (Ma- aura foot), and contaminated the breathing apparatus with a tabercule brcclllus. The Inspector General's Report states that f he plan was abandoned because Donovan gave Castro a different diving: suit on his own initiative. (I.G., Report, p. 75') Helms testified that thc, diving suit never left the laboratory. (Helms, 6/13/75, p. 135) (e) AM/LASH (i) Origin of the Project In early 1961, a CIA official met with a highly-placed Cubant official to determine if the Cuban would cooperate in efforts aga nst the Castro regime. (I.G. Report, p. 78) The Cuban was referred to by the cryptonym AM/LASH.1 The meeting was inconclusive, but led to subsequent meetings at which AM/LASH agreed to cooperate With the CIA. The CIA regarded AM/LASH as an important "asset" inside Cuba. As a? high-ranking leader who enjoyed the confidence of Fidel Castro, AM/LASH could keep the CIA informed of the internal workings of the regime. (Case Officer 2, 8/1/75, pp. 23, 40) It, was also believed thus; he might play a part in fomenting a coup within Cuba. I; Case Officer 2, 8/1/75, p. 431 2 From the first contact with AM/LASH until the latter part of 1963, it was uncertain whether he would defect or remain i a Cuba. IIis initial requests to the CIA and FBI for -aid in defectingwere re- buffed. (I.G. Report, pp. 80, 82-83) When Case Officer 1 1o+ned the operation in. June 1962, his assignment was to ensure that AA1 /LASH would "stay in place and report to us." (Case Officer 1, 8/11/7)), p. 38) At a meeting in the fall of 1963, AM/LASH 1 sta.t-d that he would remain in Cuba if he "could do something really significant for the creation of a new Cuba" and expressed a desire to plan the "execution" of Fidel Castro. (Case Officer 1 Contact Repent) The subject of assassinating Castro was again discussed by AM /LASH and the case officer at another meeting a few days later. The he case officer's contact report states that assassination was raised in dis- cussing Ahl/LASH's role in Cuba, and that AM/LASH we, visibly upset. "It was not the act that he objected to, but merely the choice of 'The Conw,ittee has taken the testimony of the two case officers invoked in the AM/LASH project. Case officer 1 dealt with AM/LASH through September 196.3?; Clime officer 2 continued until mid-1965. (Case Officer 2, 8/1/75. p. 11) The Committee has agreed not to divulge their names as they are still in active service with the : ency. 2 AM/LASH was the major "asset" in the AM/LASH operation. During this. period the CIA also sponsored a separate operation to "penetrate the Cuban military ti, encourage either defections or an -attempt to produce information from dissidents, r perhaps even to forming a group which would be capable of replacing the then pros, nt govern- ment in Cuba, (Case Officer 1, 8/11/75, pp. 18, 22) The case officers for AM/',ASH werr also involved In this second related program. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 87 the word used to describe it. `Eliminate' was acceptable." (Case Officer 1, Contact Report) Each case officer testified that he did not ask AM/LASH to assassi- nate Castro. The record clearly reveals, however, that both officers were aware of his desire to take such action. A cable to Headquarters reporting on a 1963 meeting with AM/LASH stated : Have no intention give AM/LASH physical elimination mission as requirement but recognize this something he could or might try to carry out on his own initiative.' At a meeting late in the fall of 1963, AM/LASH again raised the possibility of defecting, but indicated that he would be willing to continue working against the Castro Regime if he received firm assurances of American support. According to Case Officer 2, AM/ LASH requested military supplies, a device with which to protect himself if his plots against Castro were discovered, and a meeting with Attorney General Robert Kennedy. (Case Officer 2, 8/1/75, pp. 48-49) Desmond Fitzgerald, Chief of the Special Affairs Staff,' agreed to meet AM/LASH and give him the assurances he sought. The Inspec- tor General's Report states that Fitzgerald consulted with the DDP, Helms, who agreed that Fitzgerald should hold himself out as a personal representative of Attorney General Kennedy. (I.G. Report, P. 89 3 Helms testified that he did not recall the conversation with Fitz- gerald. He also said that he had not consulted the Attorney General and speculated that his reason for not having done so might have been because "this was so central to the whole theme of what we had been trying to do * * * (find someone inside Cuba who might head a gov- ernment and have a group to replace Castro). This is obviously what we had been pushing, what everybody had been pushing for us to try to do, and it is in that context that I would have made some remark like this." (Helms, 6/13/75, p. 117) Helms recalled that he told Fitzgerald to "go ahead and say that from the standpoint of political support, the nited States govern- ment will be behind you if you are successful. This had nothing to do with killings. This had only to do with the political action part of it." (Helms, 6/13/75, p. 131) Fitzgerald met AM/LASH in late fall 1963 and promised him that the United States would support a coup against Castro. (Case 1 Case Officer 1 testified that AM/LASH discussed "eliminating" Castro, although he attributed such remarks to AM/LASH's "mercurial" nature, and stated that no specific plans for The Case Officer assassinations over the AM/LASH (project in September/1963 reca recalled being briefed by Case Officer 1 on AM/LASH's belief that Castro's assassination was a necessary first step in a coup. (Case Officer 2, 8/1/75, p. 28.) The second AM/LASH Case Officer described the context in which AM/LASH generally raised the topic of assassination : "You also must recognize that AM/LASH was a rather temperamental man whose tem- perament was of a mercurial nature and whereas he may have said something like this in one fit of pique, be would settle down and talk about organizing a regular military coup in the next breath." (Case Officer 2 8/1/75, p. 29) 2The Special Affairs Staff (SAS) was the name given to Task Force w in early 1963 when Fitzgerald replaced Harvey as head of the covert Cuban operations. The AM/LASH Case Officers reported directly to Fitzgerald. a The contact plan for the proposed meeting stated : "Fitzgerald will represent self as personal representative of Robert F. Kennedy who travelled to (foreign city) for spe- cific purpose meeting AM/LASH and giving him assurances of full support with a change of the present government in Cuba." Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 88 Officer 2, S/1/75, p. 60) 1 When later interviewed for the f isppector General's Report, Fitzgerald recalled that AM/LASH repeatedly re- quested an assassination weapon, particularly a "high-powt fed rifle with telescopic sights that could be used to kill Castro from a dis- tance." Fitzgerald stated that he told AM/LASH that the United States would have "no part of an attempt on Castro's life." (.G. Re- port, p. 90) Case Officer 2 recalled that AM/LASH raised the pros- pect of assassinating Castro, but did not propose an explicit plan. (Case Officer 2, 8/1/75, pp. 62, 85) AM/LASH was, however, "con- vinced than Castro had to be removed frolic power before a coup could be undertWken in Cuba." (Case Officer 2,8/1/75, p. 61) AM/LASH also requested high-powered rifles and grenades:,. (Case Officer 2, 8/1/75, p. 77) A memorandum by Case Officer 2 states : C/SAS [Fitzgerald] approved telling AM/LAS]3 he would be given a cache inside Cuba, Cache could, if he requested it, include * * * high-pow 1115 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 An early reply will be appreciated in order that we may promptly inform the Criminal Division of CIA's position in this matter.` As a result of this request, the CIA did object to the prosecution of those involved in the wiretap case, thereby avoiding exposure of Giancana's and Rosselli's involvement with the Agency in an assassi- nation plot. We now turn to events which occurred during April and May 1962 which culminated in the formal decision to forego prosecution in the wiretap case. (2) The Formal Decision to Forego Prosecution. (a) Events Leading up to a Formal Briefing of the Attorney General. A memorandum for the record of April 4, 1962, reflects that Ed- wards met with Sam Papich, the FBI liaison to the CIA, on March 28 or 29 and told Papich that : Any prosecution in the matter would endanger sensitive sources and methods used in a duly authorized intelligence project and would not be in the national interest. (Edwards' memorandum, 4/4/62) A memorandum for Assistant Attorney General Miller from Hoover dated April ?10,1962, stated that Edwards : Has now advised that he has no desire to impose any restriction which might hinder efforts to prosecute any individual, but he is firmly convinced that prose- cution of Maheu undoubtedly would lead to exposure of most sensitive infor- mation relating to the abortive Cuban invasion in April 1961, and would result in most damaging embarrassment to the U.S. Government. He added that In view of this, his agency objects to the prosecution of Maheu. (Memo, Hoover to Miller, 4/10/62) On April 16, 1962, Lawrence Houston, CIA General Counsel, met with Miller.2 Houston reported to Edwards that Miller envisioned "no major difficulty in stopping action for prosecution." Houston offered to brief the Attorney general, but said that he "doubted if we would want to give the full story to anyone else in the De- partment," and Miller did not desire to know the "operational details." On April 20 Houston told Miller's first assistant that he was request- ing Justice not to prosecute "on grounds of security," and asked to be informed if it was necessary to brief the Attorney General. (Memo, Houston to Edwards, 4/26/62) In the latter half of April 1962 William Harvey, head of the CIA's anti-Castro effort, gave poison pills to Roselli for use in the post-Bay of Pigs assassination effort against Fidel Castro using underworld figures. (b) Briefing of the Attorney General on May 7,1962. An entry in Attorney General Kennedy's calendar for May 7, 1962, states "1:00-Richard Helms." 3 At 4:00 the Attorney General met I This memorandum is peculiar in two respects. First, the CIA had already orally objected to prosecution on two occasions. Second, Hoover was quizzing the CIA on behalf of the Department of Justice, a task that would normally be performed by the Depart- ment's Criminal Division. 2 Houston testified that he did not remember these meetings. (Houston, 8/2/75, p. 3) Miller recalled only that Houston had spoken to him about a wiretap and possible CIA embarrassment. (Miller, 8/11/75, p. 16) aHelms testified that he did not recall meeting with the Attorney General on May 7 and his desk book does not reflect any such meeting. When asked if he had ever met with the Attorney General to set up a knowingly inaccurate briefing, Helms testified that he had not and that if he had, he would certainly remember it because "I would have been coniving or colluding, and I have no recollection of ever having done anything like that." (Helms, 9/16/75, p. 8) App,rpygd,For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : it-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 with Houston and Edwards to be briefed on the CIA operation in- volving Mallon, Rosselli, and Giancana. The briefing was at the At- torney General's request. (I.G. Report, p. 62a) On May 9, 1962, the Attorney General met with Director II cover. Hoover prepared a memorandum for the record dated May 10.. 1962, recounting what was said at that meeting. On May 11 the At!ilorney General requested Edwards to prepare a memorandum of the % fay 7 briefing. Edwards, with Houston's assistance, prepared a lemo- randum dated May 14, 1962, relating what had transpired at the \f ay 7 briefing Also, on the same day, Edwards had a telephone convey. ation with William Harvey. As a result of that conversation, Edwards prepared an internal memorandum for the record dated May 14 1962, which falsely stated that the operation involving Rosselli w l,i then being terminated. (aa) The Attorney General Was Told That the Operation. Had I'ie'olved an .,l ssassination Attempt Houston testified that the operation was described to the Ati orney General as al, assassination attempt.. (Houston, 03/2/75, p. 14) When interviewed for the Inspector General's Report in 1967, Edwards said he briefed Kennedy "all the way." (LG. Report, p. 62a) A riemo- randum by Hoover of a conference with Kennedy on May 9, twi days after the briefing states:* The Attorney General told me he wanted to advise me of a situation in the Giancana case which had considerably disturbed him. He stated a few drys ago he had been advised by CIA that in connection with Giancana, CIA haO hired Robert A. Maheu, a private detective in Washington, D.C., to approach Gh;nncana with a proposition of paying $150,000 to hire some gunmen to go into CA,a and to kill Castro. (Memorandum from Hoover, 4/10/62) (bb) Evidence Concerning Whether the Attorney General Was Told That the Operation Had Been Terminated Houston, who said that he was told about the use of underworld fi gures for the first time by Edwards a few weeks before the briefing of the Attorney General, testified that it was his "understanding.; that the assassination plan aimed at Castro had been terminated com- pl,Aely," and t hat Kennedy was told "the activity had been term, hated as of that time:." (Houston, 6/2/75, pp. 13, 15) Edwards testifie, 1 that he had also believed at the time of the briefing that the operatic r had been concluded and that he had so informed Kennedy. (Edwards, 5/30/75, p. 16) ' The memorandum of the briefing prepared b,, Ed- wards describes the operation as having been "conducted during,, the period approximately August. 1960 to May 1961." It further stags: After the failure of the invasion of Cuba word was sent through Mti;ieu to Rosselli to call off the operation and Rosselli was told to tell his princij) = I that the, proposal to pay one hundred fifty thousand dollars for completion -f the operation had been definitely withdrawn. (Memo from Edwards, 4/14/62 Harvey, who was informed of the briefing by Edwards, could not recall ?-hether Ed wards told him that the Attorney General had been briefed that the operation h.:d been terminated. (rrarvey, 6/25/75, p. 99) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/5 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Based upon interviews with Houston and Edwards, the Inspector General's Report concluded that : The Attorney General was not told that the gambling syndicate operation had already been reactivated, nor, as far as we know, was he ever told that CIA had a continuing involvement with U.S. gangster elements. (I.G. Report, p. 65) 1 Houston and Edwards recalled that Kennedy was upset that the CIA had used Giancana. Houston testified : If you have seen Mr. Kennedy's eyes get steely and his jaw set and his voice get low and precise, you get a definite feeling of unhappiness. (Houston, 6/2/75, p. 14) In his memorandum of the meeting with the Attorney General two days after the briefing, Hoover recalled : I expressed great astonishment at this in view of the bad reputation of Maheu and the horrible judgment In using a man of Giancana's background for such a project. The Attorney General shared the same views. (Memo from Hoover, 5/10/62) Hoover's May 10 memorandum further states that the Attorney Gen- eral said that' CIA admitted that they had assisted Maheu in making this installation and for these reasons CIA was in a position where it could not afford to have any action taken against Giancana and Maheu." 3 According to Edwards, at the end of the briefing, Kennedy said : "I want you to let me know about these things," or words to that effect. (Edwards, 5/30/75, p. 17) Houston recalled that Kennedy said: In very specific terms that if we were going to get involved with Mafia per- sonnel again he wanted to be informed first * * *. I do not remember his com- menting about the operation itself. (Houston, 6/2/75, p. 14) 4 Hoover recorded that two days after the briefing, the Attorney Gen- eral told him that : He had asked CIA whether they had ever cleared their actions in hiring Maheu and Giancana with the Department of Justice before they did so and he was ad- vised by CIA they had not cleared these matters with the Department of Justice. He stated he then issued orders to CIA to never again in the future take such steps without first checking with the Department of Justice. (Memo from Hoover, 5/10/62) Edwards testified that at the time of the Kennedy briefing, he did not know that the CIA was still utilizing its underworld contacts, 1 In a section entitled "The Facts As We Know Them," the I.G. Report stated that Attorney General Kennedy "was briefed on Gambling Syndicate-Phase One after It was over. He as not briefed on Phase Two." (I.G. Report, p. 118) 'The Hoover memorandum indicates two reasons for Attorney General Kennedy's dis- pleasure. First, the CIA had put itself into a position where "it could not afford to have any action taken against Giancana or Maheu." Second. Hoover: "Stated as he [Kennedy] well knew the `gutter gossip' was that the reason nothing had been done against Giancana was because of Giancana's close relationship with Frank Sinatra who, in turn. claimed to be a close friend of the Kennedy family. The Attorney General stated he realized this and it was for that reason that he was quite concerned when he received this information from CIA about Glancana and Maheu." (Sinatra is not the President's friend discussed In the preceding subsection.) Despite the Attorney General's concern that prosecutions of parties involved in the tip might be foreclosed in the future, both Giancana and Rosselli were in fact prosecuted later for crimes unrelated to the tap. I In the CIA memorandum of the briefing prepared by Edwards, Edwards wrote that "at the time of the incident, neither this Agency nor the undersigned knew of the proposed technical installation." 4 Houston testified that Kennedy insisted "There was not to be any contact of the Mafia * * * without prior consultation with him." (Houston. 6/2/75, p.37) When inter- viewed in 1967 for the Inspector General's Report. Houston had recalled Kennedy as 89y- ing: "I trust that if you ever try to do business with organized crime again--with gangsters-you will let the Attorney General know." (L 0. Report, p. 62a) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15": Cog-RDP83-01042RO00200090002-0 (Edwards, 5/30/75, p. 16) even though the operation had been re- activated under the Directorate of Plans, and in early April 1962, poison pills had been given to Rosselli. As concluded by the CIA itself in the Inspector General's 7;w,eport, Edwards' statement that he was not aware of these develop' '.. nts is implausible. In the memorandum of May 14, 1962, prepared Tor the Attorney General, Edwards stated that Harvey had asked him to ar- ra.nge a contact with Rosselli, and that a meeting had been :et for April 9. The Inspector General's Report observed : When the Attorney General was briefed on 7 May, Edwards knew that Harvey had been introduced to Rosselli. He must also have known that his suh+nrdinate, the Support Cbief, was in Miami and roughly for what purpose (altho igh Ed- wards does not now recall this). (I.G. Report, p. 65) 1 Harvey testified that Edwards knew the operation was still iii effect and that Edwards told Harvey about the briefing of. the Attorney General shortly afterwards. (Harvey, 6/25/75, pp. 98-100) In the internal memorandum for the record dated May 1?), 1962, written the same day as the memorandum of the Attorney General's briefing, Edwards stated : On this date Mr. Harvey called me and indicated that he was dropping any plans for the use of Subject (Rosselli) for the future. Harvey testified that the memorandum "was not true, and t'olonel Edwards knew it was not true." (Harvey, 6/25/75, p. 97) Eetwards confirmed that he was aware at that time that Harvey was 'It.rying" to assume control of the operation. (Edwards, 5/30/75, p. 19) Harvey testified that Edwards' entry would cause the record t o show incorrectly that the operation had been terminated, when in fact it had not been. (Harvey, 6/25/75, p. 102) Harvey's reasons explaining the decision to "falsify" the record were : * * * if this ever came up in the future, the file would show that on < :uch and such a date be was advised so and so, and he was no longer chargeahle with this. * * * (Harvey, 6/25/75, p. 100) This was purely an internal document for use in closing out this operation as far as the Office of Security and its Director, that is its Chief, person. fly, was concerned. (Harvey, 6/25/75, p. 102) To bring this operation under some sort of sensible control, determine what it was, and attempt to insulate against what I consider a very definite potential for damage to the agency and to the government. (Harvey, 6/25/75, 1' 101) When questioned about the fact that the Attorney General been i old that the operation had been terminated when in fact it w as con- tinuing, Helms testified : * * * I am not able to tell you whether this operation was ongoing, whether it had really been stopped, whether it had been fairly stopped, whether there was fun and games going on between the officers involved as to, we wll create a fiction that it stopped or go ahead with it. I just don't recall any of those things at all x ' *. (Helms, 6/13/75, p. 109) (ii) Post-Bay Of Pigs Underworld Plot-MONGOOSE P, riod This section discusses evidence bearing on whether the post Bay of zs operation to assassinate Castro involving underworld ti;;,ures- ich began. in April 1962, and continued at least through the Cuban ?apich presumably continued to receive reports from the CIA on Harvey's .nbsequent meetings with Rosselli. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/1': CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 missile crisis in October of that year-was authorized or known about by Administration officials outside of the CIA. This issue must be considered in light of the differing perceptions of Helms and his subordinates, on the one hand, and of other members of the Kennedy Administration, including the Director of the CIA, on the other. While Helms testified that he never received a direct order to assassinate Castro, he fully believed that the CIA was at all times acting within the scope of its authority and that Castro's assassination came within the bounds of the Kennedy Administration's effort to overthow Castro and his regime. Helms said that he inherited the Rosselli program from Bissell, and, due to its sensitive and unsav- ory character, it was not the type of program one would discuss in front of high officials. He stated that he never informed McCone or any other officials of the Kennedy Administration of the assassina- tion plot. However, McCone and the surviving members of the Ken- nedy. Administration testified that they believed a Castro assassination was impermissible without a direct order, that assassination was out- side the parameters of the Administration's anti-Castro program, and each testified that to his knowledge no such order was given to Helms. An understanding of the Kennedy Administration's 1962 covert ac- tion program for Cuba is essential to an evaluation of the testimony on the issue of authorization. That program, which was designed to overthrow the Castro regime, and the events in 1961 leading up to it are discussed below. A detailed exposition of the testimony then follows. (1) EVENTS PRECEDING TILE ESTABLISHMENT OF MONGOOSE A. TIIE TAYLOR/KENNEDY BOARD OF INQUIRY On April 22, 1961, following the Bay of Pigs failure, the President requested General Maxwell Taylor to conduct a reevaluation of "Our practices and programs in the areas of military and paramilitary, guerilla and anti-guerilla activity which fall short of outright war." Taylor was to give special attention to Cuba (Letter to Maxwell Taylor, 4/22/61) and Robert Kennedy was to be his principal col- league in the effort. The resulting review concluded : We have been struck with the general feeling that there can be no long-term living with Castro as a neighbor. His continued presence within the hemispheric community as a dangerously effective exponent of Communism and anti-Amer- icanism constitutes a real menace capable of eventually overthrowing the elected governments in any one or more of weak Latin American republics. * * * It is recommended that the Cuban situation be reappraised in the light of all presently known factors and new guidance be provided for political, military, economic and propaganda action against Castro. (Report to the President, 6/13/61, Memo No. 4, p. 8) It is clear from the record, moreover, that the defeat at the Bay of Pigs had been regarded as a humiliation for the President personally and for the CIA institutionally. By July 1961, the Special Group had agreed that "the basic objec- tive toward Cuba was to provide support to a U.S. program to develop opposition to Castro and to help bring about a regime acceptable to the Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : %-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 U.S." (Mem(o for the Record, 7/21/61) Occasional harassment op- erations were mounted during the summer but there was no + verall strategy and I ittle activity. B. ti ATIONAL Sl:OURITY ACTION MEMORANDUM 1 00 OF OCTOBER 5, 19C, 1 , AND THE CIA INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE In the, fall of 1961 the Kennedy Administration considered the con- sequences of Castro's removal from power and the prospects for I. Tnited States military intervention if that occurred. Two studies wei~e pre- pared. National Security Action Memorandum 100 (NSAM 100) di- rected the State Department to assess the potential courses of action open to the TTnited States should Castro be removed from the Cuban scene, and to prepare a contingency plan with the Department of De- fense for military intervention in that event. The CIA prepo red an "I ntelli rence IA' stimate" on the "situation and prospects" in Cnlra. The focus ofthesc: studies was on the possible courses of action open. to,the United States in a post-Castro Cuba, rather than on the means that might bring about Castro's removal. It does not appear, however, that assassination was excluded from the potential means by which Castro might be removed . On October 5, 1961, McGeorge Bundy issued NSAM 100 e otitled "Contingency Planning for Cuba." It was addressed to the Secretary of State and stated in full : In confirmation of oral instructions conveyed to Assistant Secretary of State Woodward, a plan is desired for the indicated contingency. The Special Group Minutes of October 6, 1961, state that the Group was told that in addition to an overall plan for Cuban covert operations, "a contingency plan in connection with the possible removal of Castro from the Cuban scene" was in preparation. (I'Iemo- randum for the Record of Special Grout) meeting, 10/6/f!6 1) An October .5, 11,461 Memorandum for the Record by Thomas Parrott, Sec- retary to the Special Group, states that Parrott informed the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Latin American Affairs that "what was wanted was a plan ii gainst the contingency that Castro would in some way or other be removed from the Cuban scene." Parrott's memorandum stated that in preparing the plan, "the presence and positions o f Raul (Castro) and Che Guevara must he taken into account," and that General Taylor had told Parrott he preferred "the President' ; inter- est in the matter not be mentioned" to the Assistant Secre.tai v. This memorandum also said that "on the covert side, I talked to Tracy Barnes in CIA and asked that an up-to-date report be furni ;hed as soon as possible an what is going on and what is being planne,a." The CIA's Board of National Estimates (which was not part of the Directorate of Plans) prepared a study entitled "The Situation and Prospects in Cuba." 1 The CIA estimate was pessimistic about the 1The Inspeci,rr General apparently had access to an earlier draft of this 117telligence e.4timate. (LG. Report. n. 4) In reporting that many CIA officers interviewed 'ir, the I.G. investigation stressed that "elimination of the dominant figures in a covernn.rnt * * V" PI not nccessrrily cause the downfall of the government," the Report stated : C'his point was stressed with respect to Castro and Cuba in an internal CTA Araft naner .f October 1,1431, which wp initiated in response to General Maxwell Taylor's desire fora er,'stingency n1nn. The paper took the Position that the demise of Fidel Castro. from* cause, would offer lithe opportunity for the liberation of Cuba from Communist and S?rviet Bloc control." (I.G. 1:eport. p. 4) The CIA has been unable to locate the draft paper referred to in the Inspector General's Report. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 137 success of a Cuban internal revolt, and found that Castro's assassi- nation would probably strengthen the Communist position in Cuba. After reviewing the economic, military, and political situation in Cuba, the CIA estimate concluded that the Castro regime had suffi- cient popular support and repressive capabilities to cope with any internal threat. The concluding paragraph of the estimate, entitled "If Castro Were to Die," noted that : His [Castro's] loss now, by assassination or by natural causes, would have an unsettling effect, but would almost certainly not prove fatal to the re- gime * * * [I]ts principal surviving leaders would probably rally together in the face of a common danger. (Estimate, p. 9) The CIA study predicted that if Castro died, "some sort of power struggle would almost certainly develop eventually," and, regardless of the outcome of such a struggle, the Communist Party's influence would be "significantly" increased.' (Estimate, p. 9) Bundy testified that the contingency referred to in NSAM 100 and the related documents was "what would we do if Castro were no longer there, and that "clearly one of the possibilities would be assassina- tion.; 7/11/75, p. 77) However, Bundy emphasized that NSAM 100 represented an effort to assess the effect should Castro be removed from power by any means (including assassination) but "without going further with the notion [of assassination] itself." 2 (Bundy, 7/11/75, p. 77) Bundy contended that the President was not considering an assassination, but rather "what are things going to be like after Castro?" (Bundyy, 7/11/75, p. 81) 3 Taylor testified that lie had no recollection of NSAM 100 or of the events described in the related documents. (Taylor, 7/9/75, p. 18) Based on his review of the documents, Taylor testified that "it sounds like purely a political consideration of the sequence of power in Cuba" 4 and he emphasized that "never at any time" did lie raise the question of assassination with Parrott, or with anybody else. (Taylor, 7/9/75, p. 19) Special Group Secretary Parrott testified that the request for a plan reflected in his memorandum of October 5, 1961, and the refer- ence in that memorandum to the "contingency that Castro would in some way or another be removed from the Cuban scene", reflected interest in a contingency study for Castro's removal, but by means "short of being killed." (Parrott, 7/10/75, p. 83) 'A cover crit ci zed thememorandum estimate's assessmLansdale ent tthat r "it is highly imeproCIA estimate bable that an to exRobert ensivHopi, a r uprising could be fomented" against Castro as a "conclusion of fact quite outside the area of intelligence." Lansdale stated that the estimate "seems to be the major evidence to he need to oppose your program" (referring to the proposed overall MONGOOSE operation). (Memo, Lansdale to Robert Kennedy, 11/62, p. 1) As discussed in detail at p. 140, Lansdale's basic concept for the MONGOOSE program was to overthrow Castro through an internal revolt of the Cuban people. 2 "If people were suggesting this to you and you were curious about whether it was worth exploring, one way of getting more light on it without going any further with that notion itself would be to ask political people, not intelligence people, what they thought would happen if Castro were not there any longer." (Bundy, 7/11/75, p. 79) 2 Bundy explained : "* * * it was precisely to insulate the President from any false inference that what he was aaking about was assassination. It is easy to confuse the question, what are things going to be like after Castro, with the other question, and we were trying to focus attention on the information he obviously wanted. which is, what would happen if we did do this sort of thing, and not get one into the frame of mind of thinking that he was considering doing it." (Bundy. 7/11/75. n. 81) 4 Taylor said he was puzzled by the wording of NSAM 100 and the related documents and stated, ' I just cannot tie in the language here with a plausible explanation." (Taylor, 7/9/75, p. 18) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 138 C. PRESIDENT KJ N NEDY'S NOVEMBER 9, 1961 CONVERSATION WITH TAD S7ITLC In early November 1961 Tad Szulc 1 was asked by Richard Goodwin, a Special Assistant to President Kennedy, to meet with Attorney General Robed. Kennedy on November 8 to discuss the situation in Cuba. The niei ting was "off-the-record." Szu1c attended as a fried of Goodwin's, .i,ild not as a reporter. (Szulc, 6/10/75, p. 24) During the meeting w i th Robert Kennedy, the discussion centered on "the situation in Cuba following the [Bay of Pigs] invasion [and] the pros and cons of some different possible actions by the United States Government in that context." (Szulc, 6/10/75, p. 25) According to Szulc the subject of assassination was not mentioned during this meeting. (Szuh!, 6/10/75, p. 31) At the close. of the meeting, Robert Kennedy asked Szulc to meet with the President. (Szulc, 6/10/75, p. 25) The next day Szulc, accompanied by Goodwin, met with President Kennedy for over an hour in the Oval Office.2 (Szulc, 6/10/75, p. 25) Szulc recalled that the President discussed "a number of his views on. Cuba in the wake of the Bay of Pigs, asked me a number of questions concerning my conversations with Premier Castro, and * * * what the United States could [or] might do in * * * either a hostile way or in establishing some kind of a dialogue * * *" (Szulc, 6/10/75, pp. 25-26) ;zulc testified that after this general discussion, the President irked "what would you think if I ordered Castro to be assassinated?" 3 (Szulc, 611017i.5, pp. 26, 27; Szulc Notes of conversation with Presi- dent. Kennedy, 11/9/61) Szulc testified that he replied that an as4assi- nation would not necessarily cause a change in the Cuban syst.eni? and that it was Szi:tlc's personal view that the United States should zirrt be party to murders sand political assassinations. (Szulc, 6/10/75, p. 26) Szulc said that the President responded, "I agree with you com- pletely." Szuh' stated : Ile [President Kennedy] then went on for a few minutes to make the point how strongly he and his brother felt that the United States for moral reasons should never be in a situation of having recourse to assassination. (Szulc, 6/10/ 75, p. 27) Szulc's notcr> of the meeting with the President state : ;rFK then said he was testing me, that he felt the same way-he added "I'm glad you feel the same way"-because indeed U.S. morally must not be part [sic] to assassinations. 7FK said he raised question because he was under terrific pressure from advisers (think he said intelligence people, but not positive) to okay a Castro murder. sed [sic] he was resisting pressures. (Szulc note of conversatioe with President Kennedy, 11/9/61) I Tad Szulc wry, a reporter in the Washington Bureau of the New York Time. Szulc hail visited Cuba in May-Tune 1961, following the Bay of Pigs Invasion. During tho' course of that trip, Szulc had a "series of very long conversations" with Castro. (Szulc, 6110/75, p. _14) Goodwin testified that President Kennedy met frequently with members of t'i , press anri others who were experts in various fields, but that it was "possible" that the meeting with Szule may have been an occasion for the President to consider Szulc for a position in the Administration. (Goodwin, 7/18/75, pp. 29-30) On November 2, 1961, Goodwin had addressed an "eyes only" memorandum to the Pr,'sident and t))ue Attorney General outlining a suggested organization for what became tb' MONGOOSE operation. Goodwin proposed five "staff components." including "intelli- gence collection." "guerrilla and underground," and "propaganda." The memorandum stated : "As for propaganda, I thought we might ask Tad Szulc to take a leave of absence from the Times fond work on this one--although we should check with (UTSIA 711rectorl Ea Morrow and Dick Bissell." (Memo, Goodwin to the President and the Attorney (eneral, 11/2/61, p. 2) , Szule made notes of the conversation with President Kennedy as soon as be r+'turned to his office. President Kennedy's question regarding a Castro assassination snpesrs in quotation marks in Szulc's notes, which were made the same day from "reasonably fresh" memory, (Szulc, 6/10/75, p. 30) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/19 CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Szulc stated that it is "possible" and he "believed" that President Kennedy used such words as "someone in the intelligence business," to describe the source of the pressure for a Castro assassination. (Szulc, 6/10/75, p. 29) The President did not specifically identify the source of the pressure. (Szulc, 6/10/75, p. 27) There is no evidence other than Szulc's testimony that the Presi- dent was being pressured. This lack of evidence was particularly troublesome since everyone else questioned by the Committee denied ever having discussed assassination with the President, let alone having pressed him to consider it. Goodwin recalled that, after President Kennedy asked Szulc for his reaction to the suggestion that Castro be assassinated, President Kennedy said, "well, that's the kind of thing I'm never going to do." (Goodwin, 7/18/75, p. 3) Goodwin said that several days after the meeting he referred to the previous discussion of assassination and President Kennedy said "we can't get into that kind of thing, or we would all be targets." (Goodwin, 7/18/75. pp. 4, 11) D. PRESIDENT KENNEDY'S SPEECH OF NOVEMBER 16, 1961 A few days after the meeting with Szulc and Goodwin, and some six weeks after the issuance of NSAM 100, President Kennedy de- livered a speech at the University of Washington, in which he stated : We cannot, as a free nation, compete with our adversaries in tactics of terror, assassination, false promises, counterfeit mobs and crises. (Public Papers of the Presidents, John F. Kennedy, 1961, p. 724) (2) OPERATION MONGOOSE A. THE CREATION OF OPERATION MONGOOSE In November 1962 the proposal for a major new covert action pro- gram to overthrow Castro was developed. The President's Assistant, Richard Goodwin, and General Edward Lansdale, who was exper- ienced in counter-insurgency operations, played major staff roles in creating this program, which was named Operation MONGOOSE. Goodwin and Lansdale worked closely with Robert Kennedy, who took an active interest in this preparatory stage, and Goodwin ad- vised the President that Robert Kennedy "would be the most effective commander" of the proposed operation. (Memo, Goodwin to the Pres- ident, 11/1/61, p. 1) In a memorandum to Robert Kennedy outlining the MONGOOSE proposal, Lansdale stated that a "picture of the situ- ation has emerged clearly enough to indicate what needs to be done and to support your sense of urgency concerning Cuba." (Memo, 11/15/61) At the end of the month, President Kennedy issued a memorandum recording his decision to begin the MONGOOSE project to "use our available assets * * * to help Cuba overthrow the Communist regime." (Memo from the President to the Secretary of State, et a]., 11/30/61) The establishment of Operation MONGOOSE resulted in important organizational changes. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 i4A-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 (1) The Special Group (Augmented) (SGA) A new control group, the Special Group (Augmented) (SGA) was created to oversee Operation MONGOOSE. The SGA comprise the regular Special Group members (i.e., McGeorge Bundy, Alexis John- son of the Department of State, Roswell Gilpatric of the Department of I)efense, John McCone, and General Lyman Lemnitzer of the .l pint Chiefs) augmented by Attorney General Robert Kennedy and t ten- eral Maxwell Taylor. Although Secretary of State Rusk and Secretary of I)efense Me\Tamara were not formal members of the Special G , oup or the Special Group (Augmented), they sometimes attended meetings. (2) General Langdale named Chief-of-Operations of MONGOOSE As a result of the Bay of Pigs failure, President Kennedy distrr sted the CIA and believed that someone from outside the Agency w;:; re- T uired to oversee major covert action programs. Rather than apl point is brother, Robert Kennedy, to head MONGOOSE, as proposed by Goodwin, President Kennedy gave General Edward Lansdale the task of coordinating the CIA's MONGOOSE operations with those oi' the Departments of State and Defense. Lansdale had developed it reputa- tion in the Philippines and Vietnam for having an ability to deal with revolutionary rrsurgencies in less developed countries. Kennet iv ap- pointed General. 'Taylor Chairman of the Special Group Augme lsted. Robert Kennedy played an active role in the MONGOOSE Oper,,tion, a role unrelated to his position as Attorney General. (3) CIA Organization for MONGOOSE In late 1961 or early 1962, William Harvey was put in char -,e. of the CIA's Task Force W, the CIA unit for MONGOOSE (~? ,era- tions. Task Force W operated under guidance from the Special (, coup (Augmented) and employed a total of approximately 400 people at CIA headquarters and its Miami Station. McCone and Harvey were the principal CIA participants in Operation MONGOOSE. Although Helms attended only 7 of the 40 MONGOOSE meetings. he w?u; sig- nificantly involved, and he testified that, he "was as interestet!" in MONGOOSE as were Harvey and McCone. (Helms, 7/18/75, h. 10) B. LA I SDALE'S THEORY AND OBJECTIVE FOR MONGOOSE ]n the fall of 1961, Landale was asked by President Kennedy to examine the Administration's Cuba policy and. to make. recomm nda- tions. Lansdale testified that, he reported to President Kennedy that "Castro * * * had aroused considerable affection for himself' per- sonally with the Cuban population * * 'h" (Lansdale, 7/8/75, p. 4), and that the United 'States "should take a very different course" from the "harassment" operations that had been directed against Castro up to that time. (Lansdale, 7/8/75. p. A) Lansdale informed the President that, these prior United States operations were conceived and led by Americans. (Lansdale, 7/8/75, p. 5) In contrast, Larr:dale proposed in Operation MONGOOSE that the United States work with exiles, particularly professionals, who had opposed Batista and then became disillusioned with Castro. (Lansdale, 7/S/75, pp. 4, 10--11) Lansdale's ultimate objective was to have "the people them- selves overthrow the Castro regime rather than U.S. engineered efforts from outside Cuba." (Lansdale, 7/8/75, p. 41) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/0841k: CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Lansdale's concept for Operation MONGOOSE envisioned a first step involving the development of leadership elements and "a very necessary political basis" among the Cubans opposed to Castro. (Lans- dale, 7/8/75, p. 11) At the. same time, he sought to develop "means to infiltrate Cuba successfully" and to organize "cells and activities in- side Cuba * * * who could work secretly and safely." (Lansdale, 7/8/75, p. 11) Lansdale's plan was designed so as not to "arouse pre- mature actions, not to bring great reprisals on the people there and abort any eventual success." (Lansdale, 7/8/75, p. 11) C. BISSELL'S TESTIMONY CONCERNING PRESIDENTIAL INSTRUCTIONS TO ACT MORE VIGOROUSLY According to the Assistant to the head of Task Force W, sometime early in the fall of 1961, Bissell was "chewed out in the Cabinet Room of the White House by both the President and the Attorney General for, as he put it, sitting on his ass and not doing anything about getting rid of Castro and the Castro regime." (Assistant, 6,/18/75, p. 8) The Assistant said Bissell told him about the meeting and directed him to come up with some plans. (Assistant, 6/18/75, .pp. 8, 36-37) Bissell did not recall the White House meeting described by the As- sistant, but agreed that he had been, in essence, told to "get off your ass about Cuba." (Bissell, 7/25/75, pp. 37-38) Bissell was asked whether he considered that instruction authority for proceeding to assassinate Castro.'He said, no, and that "formal and explicit approval" would be required for assassination activity (id., 38-39). Bissell also said that there was in fact no assassination ac- tivity between the pre-Bay of Pigs/Rosselli operation and his depar- ture from the Agency in February 1962. D. THE JANUARY 1.9, 1962 SPECIAL GROUP MEETING On January 19, 1962, a meeting of principal MONGOOSE partici- pants was held in Attorney General Kennedy's office.' (McManus, 7/22/75, p. 6) Notes taken at the meeting by George McManus, Helms' Executive Assistant, contain the following passages : Conclusion Overthrow of Castro is Possible. "* * * a solution to the Cuban problem today carried top priority in U.S. Gov- [ernmen]t. No time, money, effort-or manpower Is to be spared." "Yesterday * * * the President had indicated to him that the final chapter had not been written-it's got to be done and will be done." (McManus memo 1/19/62, p. 2) McManus attributed the words "the top priority in the U.S. Gov- [ernmen]t-no time, money, effort or manpower is to be spared" to the Attorney General. (McManus, 7/22/75, pp. 8-9) Helms stated that those words reflected the "kind of atmosphere" in which he had perceived that assassination was implicitly authorized. `4Helms, 7/17/75, pp. 60-61) McManus agreed that Robert Kennedy was very vehement in his speech" and "really wanted action," but 1 Those attending included the Attorney General, Lansdale, McManus, General Craig, representing the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Don Wilson of USIA, Major Patchell of the Secretary of Defense's office, and Frank Hand of CIA. It is probable that DDP Helms was also present. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 :IC 4-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 McManus disagreed with Helms' perception, stating that "it Bever occurred to me" that Kennedy's exhortation included permission to assassinate CastroiNor did the spirit of the meeting as a whole leave McManus with the impression that assassination was either contem- plated or authorized. (McManus, 7/22/75, pp. 9-10) 1 E. GENERAL LANSDALE'S MONGOOSE PLANNING TASKS On January 18, 1962, Lansdale assigned 32 planning tasks to the agencies participating in MONGOOSE. In a memorandum to the working group members, Lansdale emphasized that "it is our ;sob to put the American genius to work on this project, quickly and effec- tively. This demands a change from the business as usual and a hard facing of the fact that we are in a combat situation-where we have been given full command." (Lansdale memorandum, 1/20/62) The 32 tasks comprised a variety of activities, ranging fro a in- telligence collection to planning for "use of U.S. military force to support, the Cuban popular movement" and developing an "opera- tional schedule for sabotage actions inside Cuba." 2 In focusi,ig on intelligence collection, propaganda, and various sabotage ae. lions, Lansdale's tasks were consistent with the underlying strate;ry of MONGOOSE to build gradually towards an internal revolt of the Cuban people. Lansdale transmitted a copy of the tasks to Attorney General Ken- nedy on January 18, 1962, with a handwritten note stating : "r iy re- view does not include the sensitive work I have reported to you ; I felt you preferred informing the President privately." Lansdale te^ ~tified that this sensitive work did not refer to assassinations and tl:at he "never took up assassination with either the Attorney General ?sr the President." He said that he could not precisely recall the nature of this "sensitive work" but that it might have involved a special trip he made under cover to meet Cuban leaders in Florida to assess their political strengths. (Lansdale, 7/8/75, p. 30) In a memorandum to the Attorney General on January 27. 1962, Lansdale referred to the possibility that "we might uncork the ouch- down play independently of the institutional program we spur- ring." (Memo, Lansdale to Attorney General, 1/27/62) Lansdale ' There was a great deal of evidence showing that Cuba had a high priorit,r in the Kennedy Adminiastration, and the very existence of a high-level group like the Special Group (Augment,-d) further demonstrated Cuba's Importance. McNamara stated Vint "we were hysterical shout Castro at the time of the Bay of Pigs and thereafter." (In the same context. McNamara stated "I don't believe we contemplated assassination.") (Mr amara. 7/22/75, p. 93) Similarlyy. General Lansdale informed the members of his intt ,agency committee that MONGOOSE "demands a change from business-as-usual and a hart facine of the fact that you're in a combat situation where we have been given full command." (Lansdale Memo 1/20/62) On the other ]rand, Theodore Sorensen testified that "there were lots of top priorities. aid it was the job of some of [us] to continually tell various agencies their t'n:rticular subject was the; trip priority" and althouFb Cuba was "important" it was "fairly y,.ll down on the list of the President's agenda.' (Sorensen. 7/21/75. p. 12) For exam5r when President Kenne,ly was told that his first letter to Khruschev in the secret eorresrondenee which lasted tWr' or three years would be "the single most important document ,on will write durin your Presidency." President Kennedy said, "Yes, we get these story day over here." (Sorensen, 7/21/75, p. 12) 2 Parrott sart,stically characterized Lansdale's plans as follows : "I'll give you ;ine example of Lansdale's perspicacity. Fie had a wonderful plan for get- ting rid of Castro. This plan consisted of spreading the word that the Second Ceollection of the August 10, 1962 meeting. The memorandum was prompted by a telephone call from the newspaper columnist, Jack Anderson, who at that time was pre- paring a column on Castro assassination attempts, implicating President Keti edy and Robert Kennedy. After talking with Anderson on the telephone at Robert Kennedy's request, McCone dictated the April 14, 1967 memorandum, which stated, in hart, several MONGOOSE meetings on August 8. 9, or 10, 1962, "I recall a suggestion being made to liquidat a top people in the Castro regime, including Castro." Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 165 meeting,' but he was unable to say "with any certainty" who raised the subject. (Goodwin, 7/18/75, p. 8) 2 (d) McNamara McNamara testified that although he did not recall assassination being discussed at the SGA meeting, he did remember having ex- pressed-opposition to any assassination attempt or plan when he spoke with McCone several days later. (McNamara, 7/11/75, pp. 7, 8) (2) Testimony about Events After the August 10, 1962 meeting (a) McCone McCone testified that lie called McNamara after receiving Lans- dale's August 13 Memorandum and : * * * insisted that that Memorandum be withdrawn because no decision was made on this subject, and since no decision was made, then Lansdale was quite out of order in tasking the Central Intelligence Agency to consider the matter.i McCone said that McNamara agreed that Lansdale's Memorandum should be withdrawn' for the same reason. (McCone, 6/6/75, p. 39) (b) Harvey Harvey's demand that the words "liquidation of leaders" be excised from Lansdale's memorandum and his further statement that "the Special Group (Augmented) is not expecting any written comments or study on this point," raise an important question. Did Harvey mean that the SGA was not considering assassination or merely that the subject should not be put in writing? When Harvey was asked "was it x In _-staff interview prior to his testimony, Goodwin recalled the date of the meeting at which a Castro assassination was raised as falling in early 1961, after the Bay of Pigs. ndum of Staff M n tesaof the August 10,t 1962wmeeeet Goodwin, L Lansdale and Harvey memoranda the August 13 and 14, respectively, Goodwin testified that he had "misplaced the date of the m eeting in my own memory." (Goodwin, 7/18/75, p. 7.) In placing the incident on August 10, recolle 1962 n Goodwin now have. stated It's a w littof course, le better han the e arlierr aone,obute it'shnot certaint (Goodwin, 7/18/75, p. 8) In a magazine article in June 1975, Goodwin was quoted as stating that at one of the meetings of a white House task force on Cuba it was McNamara who said that "Castro's assassination was the only productive way of dealing with Cuba." (Branch and Crile, "The Kennedy Vendetta," Harpers, July, 1975, p. 61). In his testimony on July 18, 1975, Goodwin said : "that's not an exact quote" in the article, and explained : "I didn't tell [the author of the magazine article] that it was definitely McNamara, that very possibly it was McNamara. He asked me about McNamara's role, and I said it very well could have been McNamara." (Goodwin, 7/18/75, p. 33) Goodwin told the Committee : "It's not a light matter to perhaps destroy a man's career on the basis of a fifteen year old memory of a single sentence that he might have said at a meeting without substantial certainty in your own mind, and I do not have that" (Goodwin, 7/18/75, pp. 34-35). It is difficult to reconcile this testimony with Goodwin's testimony that he told the author of the article that McNamara might very well have made the statement about assassination at the August meeting. 3 McCone's 1967 Memorandum stated : "Immediately after the meeting, I called on Secretary McNamara personally and reemphasized my position, in which he heartily agreed. I did this because Operation MONGOOSE-an interdepartmental affair-was under the operational control of [the Defense Department] ^ * * " 4 McNamara confirmed this plan- ning should be un er aken." (McNamara, 7/11/75, p. 8.) Headed : "I have no knowledge or information about any other plans or preparations for a Castro assassination." (Mc- Namara, 7/11/75, p. 7) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 166 understood in pan unwritten way that [assassination] was to proceed," he replied: in to my ktv,wledge, no * * *. If there was any unwritten understuriding on the part of the members of the Special Group concerning this, other than whit. was said ti1: the meeting, I do not know of it * * *. (Harvey, 7/11/-, 0, pp. :30 31) 1larvey said that shortly after the meeting, McCone informer!; him thief he had told McNamara that assassination should not be disci ssed. M(Cone also t)ld McNamara that involvement in such matters i tight result in his own excommunication. (Harvey, 7/11/75, p. 25) (c) Elder Walter Eldc-r, McCone's Executive Assistant, was present when Mc- Owe telephollc'd McNamara after the August 10 meeting. Elder testi- fied that McCune told McNamara "the subject you just brought =tp, I think it is highly improper. I do not think it should be discussed. It is no- an action t flat should ever be condoned. It is not proper for its to din -uss, and I intend to have it expunged from the record." (Elder, 8i i -1/ 75, p. 23''t l' lder testified that this was the essence of the conversation; but tli i C he distint f ly remembered "several exact phrases, like `would itot be cordoned' an' `improper'." (Elder, 8/13/75, pp. 23, 24) 1 M1feCone spoke with Harvey in Elder's presence after rect';ving Li, nsdale's A rigust 13 memorandum. According to Elder, "AI( Cone rrlttde his views quite clear in the same language and tone * * 'c that he ised with Mr. McNamara." (Elder, 8/13/75, p. 25) Elder te;tified that Harvey did not then tell. McCone that Harvey was engage?l in a Castro assassination effort. (Elder, 8/13/75, p. 25) Elder also described a meeting held in his office with Helms shortly after the Met 'one/Harvey/Elder meeting. Elder stated: told Mr. Helms that Mr. McCone had expressed his feeling to Mr. McNamara aunt Mr. Harve that assassination could not be condoned and would rtot be approved, Fur(hermore, I conveyed Mr. McCone's statement that it w4odd be unthinkable to r,seord in writing any consideration of assassination because' it left th'y impression that the subject had received serious consideration uy ir oerit- mi-i tal policynr>ikers, which it had not. Mr. Helms responded, "I under rand." 'r { - point is theft I made Mr. Helms aware of the strength of Mr. McCone's >pposi- tic n to assassin" Lion. I know that Mr. Helms could not have been under ar..v mis- alittrehension about Mr. Mc-Cone's feelings after this conversation. rElder Atlidavit, 8/26/75, p. 2) Tlelms, after reading Elder's affidavit, told the Committee diet he hid no recollection of the meeting. (Helms, 9/16/75, P. 16) (d) Lansdale Lansdale recalled that the subject. of Castro's assassination hurl sur- f:.ced at. the %ugust 10 meeting. He testified that the "consensus was * * * hell no on. this and there was a very violent reaction." (Lai, dale, Elder said hi- heard the entire telephone conversation via a speaker phone, tFe said th ,r McNamara -lust more or less accepted what Mr. McCone said without con dent or rr- -ender.- (Elder, 8/13/75. p. 24) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 167 7/8/75, p. 20) Lansdale was questioned as to why he subsequently asked Harvey for a Castro assassination plan : Senator BAKER. Why did you, three days later if they all said, hell no, [go] ahead with it? General LANSDALE. * * * the meeting at which they said that was still on a development of my original task, which was a revolt and an overthrow of it regime. At the same time, we were getting intelligence accumulating very quickly of something very different taking place in Cuba than we had expected, which was the Soviet technicians starting to come in and the possibilities of Soviet missiles being placed there * * * At that time, I thought it would be a possibility someplace down the road in which there would be some possible need to take action such as that [assassination]1 (Lansdale, 7/8/75, p. 21) Lansdale stated that he had one brief conversation with Harvey after the August 13 memorandum in which Harvey stated "he would look into it * * * see about developing some plans." Lansdale said 1h that was the last he ever heard of the matter. (Lansdale, 7/8/75, p. 124) Lansdale stated that as the Cuban Missile Crisis developed, MON- GOOSE "was being rapidly shifted out of consideration" and thus "I wasn't pressing for answers * * * it was very obvious that another situation was developing that would be handled quite differently in Cuba." (Lansdale, 7/8/75, p. 124) Lansdale testified that he was "very certain" that lie never discussed a Castro assassination plan or proposal with Robert Kennedy or with President Kennedy. He said that he had asked Harvey for a plan without having discussed the matter with anyone : Senator BAKER: * * * did you originate this idea of laying on the CIA a require- ment to report on the feasibility of the assassination of Castro or did someone else suggest that? General LANSDALE : I did, as far as I recall. Senator BAKER: Who did you discuss it with before you laid on that require- ment? General LANSDALE: I don't believe I discussed it with anyone. Senator BAKER: Only with Harvey? General LANSDALE: Only with Harvey. Senator BAKER: Did you ever discuss it with Helms? General LANSDALE : I might have, and I don't believe that I did. I think it was just with Harvey. Senator BAKER: Did you ever discuss it with Robert Kennedy? General LANSDALE: No, not that I recall. Senator BAKER: With the President? General LANSDALE: No. (Lansdale, 7/8/75, pp. 19-20) (3) Testimony of Reporters About Lansdale's Comments on the Au- gust 10 Meeting During the Committee's investigation, reports concerning the August 10 meeting and Landsdale's request. for a Castro assassination plan appeared in the press. One report was based on statements made by Lansdale to David Martin of the Associated Press and another on Lansdale's statements to Jeremiah O'Leary of the Washington Star-News. Because there was conflict between Lansdale's testimony l' ?Q, * * * Why, if it is true that assassination idea was turned down on August 10, did you send out your memo on A ugust 13? I don't remember the reasons General LANSDALE. I don't recall that thoroughly, why I would. Q. Is it your testimony that the August 10 meeting turned down assassinations as a subject to look into, and that you nevertheless asked 1~r. Harvey to look into it? General LANSDALE. I guess it is, yes. The way you put it to me now has me baffled about why I did it. I don't know." (Lansdale, 7/8/75, pp. 123-124) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 168 to the Cornwittee and what lie was reported to have told Mali in and l )'Lea , tl ie Committee invited both reporters to testify. Nfartin testified under subpoena. O'Leary appeared voluntarily biii stated I hat the policy of his newspaper against disclosing news soul, -es pre- eluded him from elaborating on the contents of a prepared str ement, 'ee hich he read under oath. O'Leary stated that his news reps) t "rep- resents accurately my understanding of the relevant inform z.tion I obtained fiiun news sources." (O'Leary, 9/26/75, p. 5) (a) The Jfl artz:ra Repcrrt The lead paragraph of Martin's report stated : Retired Ma,. Gen. Edward G. Lansdale said Friday that acting or orders from President john F. Kennedy delivered through an intermediary, 1?' devel- oped plans. for, removing Cuban Premier Fidel Castro by any means iirciuding as ssassination. Martin terl ified that this paragraph was an accurate reflec~ ion of }i'ii conclusion based on the totality of his interview with r Tisdale mi. May 30, P175. (Martin, 7/24/75, pp. 19-20) Lansdale testifit~ I that., alter reading Martin's story, lie told the reporter that `?voi:r first a'ratence is n of only completely untrue, but there is not a sing)i thing ill your, stor that says it is true." (Lansdale, 7/8/75, p. 65) in view of Martin's testimony that, the report's lead paragraph was a "Olle usion based on his total interview with Lansdale, it hould ba' noted that the remainder of Martin's story does not state that Lans- daa le was ord 'red by President Kennedy or the Attorney General to develop plan, for Castro's assassination. The report quotes Lt1 isdale at stating "I was working for the highest authority in the land * * * tlla> President." and then states that Lansdale said he did nor deal directly with the. President, but "worked through" an intermi'diary who was more intimate with the President, than. Bundy.' The Com- mittee notes that the phrases "working for" and "working thr-rugh" tie not carry I he same meaning as the lead paragraph's conclusio'i that Lansdale WW "acting on orders" to develop a Castro assassit ition plate. Subsequent paragraphs in the Martin report indicate that Lans- dale told the rl'porter that the decision to undertake assassinatioi. plan- ning was his own; Lansdale so testified before I:he Committee. At cord- in,,: to the. Malin article, Lansdale said that assassination was "aRe, of do, means he considered," that he believed assassination would near; have hoot "incoml I#ible" with his assignment, and that lie just w;rnted to see if the U.S. had any such capabilities." Martin sia3-d he did not ask i,aansdale specifically if Lansdalo had acted on carders 1 e.r~.arding an assassi.nation plan, nor did Lansdale volunteer that ififor- iua l ion. Patlior, Martin asked Lansdale "Who were you we _ king fo12 I.ansdalo refuted to provide Martin the Intermediary's tunic for the record. Pt Conr- n i IEe did not a 1; Martin about Lansdale's off-the-record statements out of resji ',-t for the a?onfide nHall ty of news sources (Martin, 7/24/75, p. 18) 2 tlartin teatifie that his interview with Lansdale involved two questions What wt r' you [Lansdal,'l doing in August 1962?" (Martin, 7/24/75, p. 16), and (2) "Vii:' were you working for?' (Martin 7/24/75. p. 17) Martin stated that in discussing Lan dale's tell ,ties in Augu t 19(12, Lansdale stated, "I just wanted to see if the U.S. had art. such sit Lilities" and a ,it Ihis included "assassination" as well as other means of di'. using of I rstro? As to V if, second question "Who were you working for?" Lansdale repii."l "on ti ai project I wt' working for the highest authority in the land." (Martin, f. :4/75. p. le Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 169 In a subsequent conversation on June 4, 1975, Martin said he asked Lansdale specifically, "Were you ever ordered by President Kennedy or any other Kennedy to draw up plans to assassinate Castro? (Martin, 7/24/75, p. 21) Martin testified that Lansdale replied "no" and that his orders were "very broad." (Martin, 7/24/75, p. 21) Martin further testified that in the June 4 conversation he asked Lans- dale whether "any assassination planning you did was done on your own initiative," and that Lansdale replied "yes." (Martin 7/24/75, p. 21) Martin stated his belief that Lansdale's statements on June 4 were at variance with his prior statements on May 30. (Martin 7/24/75, p. 21) It is, of course, possible that since Martin posed different ques- tions in the two conversations, he and Lansdale may have misunder- stood each other. (b) The O'Leary Report O'Leary's report began : Retired Maj. Gen. Edward G. Lansdale has named Robert F. Kennedy as the administration official who ordered him in 1962 to launch a CIA project to work out all feasible plans for "getting rid of" Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro. Lansdale, in an interview with the Washington Star, never used the word "assassination" and said it was not used by Kennedy, then the attorney general. But he said there could be no doubt that "that project for disposing of Castro envisioned the whole spectrum of plans from overthrowing the Cuban leader to assassinating him." O'Leary's report contained the statement that "Lansdale said lie was contacted by Robert Kennedy in mid-summer of 1962 * * *." O'Leary told the Committee that this reference modified the reference in the lead paragraph of his report. (O'Leary, 9/26/75, p. 13) Lansdale testified that he had submitted a statement to the Wash- ington Star News stating that O'Leary's report was "a distortion of my remarks." (Lansdale, 7/8/75, p. 61) Lansdale said he told the newspaper that: "perhaps someplace in the planning there is some- thing about what to do with a leader who would threaten the lives of millions of Americans [with Soviet Missiles] * * * but I can say I never did receive any order from President Kennedy or from Robert Kennedy about taking action against Castro personally." (Lansdale, 7/18/75, pp. 61-62) Lansdale testified that he told O'Leary that, he did take orders from Robert Kennedy, but made clear that "Kennedy's orders to him were on a very wide-ranging type of thing." (Lansdale, 7/8/75, p. 62) After the story appeared, the * * * Washington Star asked me what wide- ranging things were you talking about? I said there were economic matters and military matters and military things and they were very wide-ranging things. I said perhaps all O'Leary was think- ing of was assassination. I was thinking of far wider than that. (Lansdale, 7/8/75, pp. 62-M) The O'Leary report states : Lansdale said he is certain Robert Kennedy's instructions to him did not in- clude the word "assassination." He said the attorney general, as best he could recall, spoke in more general terms Qf exploring all feasible means and practicali- ties of doing something "to get rid of" Castro. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 1'70 (iii) THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE AM/LASH PLOT (191j3-1965) WAS KNOWN ABOUT OR AUTHORIZED $Y ADMINISTRATION (.OFFICIALS OUTSIDI: THE CIA This section examines evidence relating to whether..officie is in the Kennedy or Johnson Administrations were aware of or authorized the CIA's use of AM/LASH as a potential assassin. The question is examined in light of the policies of those Administration: toward Cuba as well as the evidence bearing more directly on the authoriza- tion issues. The evidence falls into a pattern similar to that described in the discussion of post-Bay of Pigs activity in the. Kennedy Adi ainistra- tion. Administration officials testified that. they had never been in- formed ahaout the plot and that they never intended to r uthorize assassination. Richard Helms, on the other hand, testified thtt he had believed that assassination was permissible in view of the coartinuing pressure to overthrow the Castro regime exerted by the ?i~spective Administrations and the failure of either Administration to place limits on the means that could be used to achieve that end,. (1) KENNEDY ADMINISTRATION'S POLICY TOWARD CUBA IN 196 ."t a. Organ izationa/ Changes The MONGOOSE Operation was disbanded following th Cuban Missile Crisis, and an interagency "Cuban Coordinating Colrrmittee" was established within the State Department with responsibility for developing covert action proposals. (Bundy, 7/11/75, p. 1 C8) The SGA Was rbolished, and the Special Group, chaired by Iti+,George Bundy, re a=sulned responsibility for reviewing and approvui., covert actions in (1aba. (Bundy, 7/11/75, p. 148) United States policy toward Cuba in 1963 was also formulated in the National Security Council's Standing Group, the succe.+ ar to the 14,'xecutive Committee which had been established for the Missile Crisis. Members of the Standing Grou) included Robert 1 ennedy, Robert Mc `~ amara, John McCone, McGeorge Bundy and 9 heodore `.orensen. Four ast,acts of the Kennedy Administration's 1963 CuLt policy are discussed below: (1) the Standing Group's discussion of possible developments in the event of Castro's death; (2) the Standing (Troup s discussion of policy options; (3) the covert action )rogram :rpproved t)y the Special Group; and (4) the diplomatic rifort to explore the possibility of reestablishing relations with Cas! ro. The first three took place in the spring or early summer of i 63; the fourth-titre effort to communicate with Castro--occurred at t he same time the CIA offered AM/LASH the poison pen device for n:7astro's a) ssassination. h. Disco ? on of the Contingency of Ca8tro's Death In the spring of 1963, Bundy submitted to the Standing g lroupp a rnemora.nd) m entitled "Cuba Alternatives" which discusse ' possible new directions" for American policy toward Cuba. (Bundy Memo randu n), 4 "31/63) The memorandum distinguished betweei, events which might occur independently of actions taken by the United Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 171 States, and those which the United States might "initiate." Listed under the first category was the possibility of Castro's death. In May 1963, the Group discussed this contingency and found that the possi- bilities for develo ments favorable to the United States if Castro should die were `singularly unpromising." (Summary Record of Standing Group Meeting, 5/28/63) When Bundy's memorandum was first discussed by the Group in April, Robert Kennedy proposed a study of the "measures we would take following contingencies such as the death of Castro or the shoot- ing down of a U-2." (Summary Record of Standing Group Meeting, 4/23/63) Bundy's follow-up memorandum, an agenda. for a future Standing Group discussion of Cuban policy, listed contingency planning for Castro's death under a category comprising events not initiated by the United States, e.g., "occurrence of revolt or repression in the manner of Hungary," "attributable interference by Castro in other countries," and "the reintroduction of offensive weapons." (Bundy Memorandum, 4/29/63) After the Standing Group's meeting on April 23, 1963, the CIA's Office of National Estimates was assigned the task of assessing pos- sible developments if Castro should die. (Memorandum for Members of the Standing Group, 5/2/63) The resulting ,paper analyzed the forces likely to come into play in Cuba after Castro's death, includ- ing the roles of his top aides, Raul Castro and Che Guevara, and possible Soviet reactions. (Draft Memorandum by Office of National Estimates titled "Developments in Cuba and Possible U.S. Actions in the Event of Castro's Death," pp. 2-5) The paper concluded that "the odds are that upon Castro's death, his brother Raul or some other fig- ure in the regime would, with Soviet backing and help, take over con- trol" 1 The paper warned : "If Castro were to die by other than natural causes the U.S. would be widely charged with complicity, even though it is widely known that Castro has many enemies." The paper also identified several courses of action open to the United States in the event of Castro's death, ranging from no United States initiatives, action to support a government in exile, quarantine and blockade, and outright invasion. On May 28, 1963, the Standing Group discussed this paper. The Group decided that "all of the courses of action were singularly un- promising". (Summary Record of NSC Standing Group Meeting No. 7/63, May 28, 1963 ) Bundy testified that the Standing Group "certainly posed the ques- tion" in the Spring of 1963 of what would happen if Castro died or were killed. (Bundy, 7/11/75, p. 130) However, he said that he had no recollection of Castro's assassination being considered by the Stand- ing Group when that contingency was discussed. (Bundy, 7/11/75, p. 14)2 Bundy said that one reason for having requested the estimate was to make a record establishing that the United States should not be i The paper also saw little chance that a government favorably disposed toward the United States would be able to come to power without extensive United States military support: "Anti-Moscow Cuban nationalists would require extensive U.S. help in order to win, and probably U.S. military intervention." 2 Bundy did recall that over the period 19,61 to 1963 "the subject of a Castro as- sassination was mentioned from time to time by different individuals," but he said that he was not aware of "much discussion in the Spring of 1963 on that subject." (Bundy, 7/11/75, p. 140) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 172 "fussing" with assassination, and that assassination was not a sound policy. (Bundy}-, 7/11/75, p. 142) Bundy said that it was not unusual to assess the implications of a foreign leader's death, and named Stalin and De Gaulle as examples. In the case of Castro, Bundy said he felt it was only prudent i o at- tenlpt to assess a post-Castro Cuba since Castro was such a "dominant figure." (Bundy, 7/11/75, p. 145) c. The Statuldng Group's Discussion of United States Policy Toward Cuba The Standing Group's documents indicate it continued to assume the desirability of harassing Cuba, but recognized that there were few practical measures the United States could take to achieve Cas- tro's overthrow. In his April. 21 memorandum on "Cuban Alternatives" Bundy identified three possible alternatives: (1 forcing "a non-Communist solution in Cuba b all necessary means,' (2) insisting on "major but limited ends," or (3) moving "in the direction of a gradual develop- ment of some form of accommodation with Castro." (Bundy Memo- randum, 4/21/63, p. 3) These alternatives were discussed at the Stand- ing Group meetings on April 23 and May 28,1963. Sorensen participated in these meetings. Ile testified that the "widest possible range of alternatives" was discussed, but that "assassination was not even on the list." (Sorensen, 7/21/75, 1). 4) He said that options such as forcing "a non-Communist solution in Cuba by all necessary means" * * * could not have included or implied assassination. Instead, it expressly referred to the development of pressures and gradual escalation of tho con- frontation in Cuba to produce an overthrow of the regime, including a willing- ness to use military force to invade Cuba. Such a course was obviously not adopted by the ]'resident, and in any event expressed an approach far different from assassination. (Sorensen affidavit, 7/25/75)1 The record. of the first Standing Group discussion of Bundy's memorandum shows that a number of alternatives (none of which involved assassination) were considered but no conclusions were reached. The Standing Group again met on May 28, 1963. McCone argued for steps to "increase economic hardship" in Cuba, supplemented by sabotage to "create a situation in Cuba in which it would be possible to subvert military leaders to the point of their acting to overthrow Castro." (Summary Record of NSC Standing Group Met?tinng, 5/98/63) McNamara said that sabotage would not be "coclu- sive" and suggested that "economic pressures which would. upset Castro" be studied. Robert Kennedy said "the U.S. must do somet hing against Castro, even though we do not believe our actions would bring him down." (id.) Bundy summarized by stating that the task: was "to decide nos what actions we would take against Castro, acknowl- 1'The Bundy memorandum also used the phrase "all necessary measures" to describe the steps the American Government was willing to take to "prevent" a direct military threat to the United States or to the western Hemisphere from Cuba. Sorensen explained the meaning of this phrase in the context of the April 23 discussion of Kennedy Adminis- tration policy. "[this phrase] could not by any stretch of semantics or logic hove in- cluded assassins on or any other initiative. It reflected the purely defensive i sture implemented six months earlier when long-range missiles and other offensive w capons were placed in Cub," (Sorensen affidavit, 7/25/7-5) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 17 edging that the measures practical for us to take will not result in his overthrow." (id.) d. The Special Group's Authorization of a Sabotage Program Against Cuba During the first six months of 1963, little, if any, sabotage activity against Cuba was undertaken.' However, on June 19, 1963, following the Standing Group's discussion of Cuba policy in the spring, Presi- dent Kennedy approved a sabotage program.2 (Memorandum for the Special Group, 6/19/63) In contrast to the MONGOOSE program, which sought to build toward an eventual internal revolt, the 1963 covert action program had a more limited objective, i.e., "to nourish a spirit of resistance and disaffection which could lead to significant defections and other byproducts of unrest." (id) After initial approval, specific intelligence and sabotage operations were submitted to the Special Group for prior authorization. On Octo- ber 3, 1963, the Special Group approved nine operations in Cuba, sev- eral of which involved sabotage. On October 24, 1963, thirteen major sabotage operations, including the sabotage of an electric power plant, an oil refinery, and a sugar mill, were approved for the period from November 1963 through January 1964. (Memorandum, 7/11/75, CIA Review Staff to Select Committee, on "Approved CIA Covert Operations into Cuba") e. The Diplomatic Effort to Explore an Accommodation with Castro As early as January 4, 1963, Bundy proposed to President Kennedy that the possibility of communicating with Castro be explored. (Memorandum, Bundy to the President, 1/4/63) Bundy's memo- randum on "Cuba Alternatives" of April 23, 1963, also listed the "gradual development of some form of accommodation with Castro" among policy alternatives. (Bundy memorandum, 4/21/63) At a meet- ing on June 3, 1963, the Special Group agreed it would be a "useful endeavor" to explore "various possibilities of establishing channels of communication to Castro." (Memorandum of Special Group meet- ing, 6/6/63) In the fall of 1963, William Atwood was a Special Advisor to the United States Delegation to the United Nations with the rank of Ambassador. (Atwood, 7/10/75, p. 3) Atwood testified that from September until November 1963, he held a series of talks with the Cuban Ambassador to the United Nations to discuss opening negotia- tions on an accommodation between Castro and the United States. Atwood said that at the outset he informed Robert Kennedy of these talks and was told that the effort "was worth pursuing." (Atwood, 7/10/75, pp. 5-9) Atwood said he regularly reported on the talks to the White House and to Adlai Stevenson, his superior at the United Nations. (Atwood, 7/10/75, pp. 6-7) Atwood stated that he was told ' At an April 3, 1963 meeting on Cuba, Bundy stated that no sabotage operations were then underway because the Special Group "had decided * * * that such activity is not worth the effort expended on it." (Memorandum of Meeting an Cuba, 4/3/63) The sabotage program was directed at "four major segments of the Cuban economy," (1) electric power; (2) petroleum refineries and storage facilities; (3) railroad and highway transportation and (4) production and manufacturing. (Memorandum for the Special Group, June 19, 1963, p. 1.) Operations under this program were to be conducted by CIA-controlled Cuban agents from a United States island off Florida and were to complement a similar effort designed to "develop internal resistance elements which could carry out sabotage." (id) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 174 be Bundy that; President Kennedy was in favor of "pushing to wards au opening toward Cuba" to take Castro "out of the Soviet fort and pt chaps wiping out the Bay of Pigs and maybe getting b the same cache described above, of an electronic detonating device with remote control features, which could be planted by the dissidents in such manner as to eliminate certain key Trujillo henchmen. This might neces- sitate training and introducing into the country by illegal entry, a trained technican to set the bomb and detonator. (Emphasis added.) (CIA Memo, 10/3/60) (e) December 1960 Special Group plan of covert actions On December 29, 1960, the Special Group considered and approved a broad plan of covert support to anti-Trujillo forces. The plarr, pre- sented by Bis-;ell, envisioned support to both Dominican exile groups and internal dissidents. The exile groups were to be furnished money to organize 'and undertake anti-Trujillo propaganda efforts iliid to refurbish a yacht for use in paramilitary activities, Bissell emphasized to the Special Group that "the proposed actions would not, of them- selves, bring about the desired result in the near future, lacki_n~, some decisive strobe against Trujillo himself." (Special Group Minutes, 12/29/60) 6. JANUARY 12, 1961 SPECIAL GROUP APPROVAL OF "LIMITED SUPPLIES OF SMALL ARMS AND OTHER MATERIAL" On January 12, 1961, with all members present,' the Special Croup met, and, according to its Minutes, took the following action with respect to the Dominican Republic : Mr. Merchant: explained the feeling of the Department of State that limited 'applies of small arms and other material should be made available for dissidents inside the Dominican Republic. Mr. Parrott said that we believe this can be managed securely by CIA, and that the plan would call for final transportation into the country being provided by the dissidents themselves. The Group approved the project. (Special Group Minutes, 1/12/61) % The members of the Special Group were at the time : Livingston Merchant,. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs ; Gordon Gray, Advisor to the President for ~~1*~tional Seeuri~ Affairs ? John N. Irwin, Deputy Secretary of Defense ; and Allen Dulles, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/i1: CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 (a) Memorandums underlying the Special Group action On January 12, 1961, Thomas Mann sent a memorandum to Under Secretary Livingston Merchant. The memorandum, sent through Joseph Scott, Merchant's Special Assistant, reported the disillusion- ment of Dominican dissidents with the United States for its failure to furnish them with any tangible or concrete assistance. Further, it reported : Opposition elements have consistently asked us to supply them with "hard- ware" of various types. This has included quantities of conventional arms and also, rather persistently, they have asked for some of the more exotic items and devices which they associate with revolutionary effort. (Memo, Mann to Merchant, 1/12/61) Mann suggested for Merchant's consideration and, if he approved, for discussion by the Special Group, the provision of token quantities of selected items desired by the dissidents. Mann specifically men- tioned small explosive devices which would place some "sabotage potential" in the hands of dissident elements, but stated that there "would be no thought of toppling the GODR [Government of Do- minican Republic] by any such minor measure." (Memo, Mann to Mer- chant, 1/12/61) This memorandum was drafted on January 11 by Mann's Special Assistant for CIA liaison. A covering memorandum from Scott to Merchant, forwarding Mann's memo, was apparently taken by Merchant to the Special Group meetin. Merchant's handwritten notations indicate that the Special Group `agreed in terms of Tom Mann's memo" and that the Secretary of State was informed of that decision by late afternoon on Janu- ary 12, 1961. (Memo, Scott to Merchant, 1/12/61) 'There is no evidence that any member of the Special Group, other than Allen Dulles, knew that the dissidents had clearly and repeatedly expressed a desire for arms and explosives to be used by them in assas- sination efforts.,, While it is, of course, possible that such information was passed orally to some or all of the members of the Special Group, and perhaps even discussed by them on January 12, 1961, there is no documentary evidence of which the Committee is aware which would establish this to be the case. On January 19, 1961, the last day of the Eisenhower Administration, Consul General Dearborn was advised that approval had been givei1 for supplying arms and other material to the Dominican dissidents. (Cable, HQ. to Station, 1/19/61) Shortly thereafter, Dearborn in. formed the Special Assistant that the dissidents were "delighted" about the decision to deliver "exotic equipment." (Cable, Dearborn tp Special Assistant, 1/31/61) 6. JANUARY 20, 1961-APRIL 17, 1961 (THE KENNEDY ADMINISTRATION THROUGH THE BAY OF PIGS) On January 20, the Kennedy Administration took office. Three of the four members of the Special Group (all except Allen Dulles) retired. 1 Various CIA cables, including those dealing with the sniper rifles, indicate that copies were sent to the DCI, Allen Dulies. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 :1-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Prior to the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion on April 1.7, 1961, a number of significant events occurred. These events included i iee.t- ings with Dominican dissidents in which specific assassination 'lans were discussed, requests by dissidents for explosive devices, the pas- sage by United States officials of pistols and carbines to dissidel t s in- side the Dominican Republic and the pouching to the Dominica, Re- public of machine guns which had been requested by the dissidents for use in connection with an assassination attempt.' These events ar+m dis- cussed below under subheading (a). Evidence reflecting the degree of knowledge of these event. pos- sessed by senior American officials is treated thereafter. As used btnrein, "senior American officials" means individuals in the White House or serving as members of the Special Group. (a) Specific events indirectly linking United States to dissiriients' assassination plans (i) Assassination Discussions and Requests for Explosives At meetings held with dissident leaders in New York City on Feb- ruary 10 and 15, 1961, CIA officials were told repeatedly by disc ident leaders that "the key to the success of the plot. [to overthro+k; the Trujillo regime] would be the assassination of Trujillo." (CIA N1emo for the Record, 2/13/61) Among the requests made of the CIA by dissident leaders were the following : (a) Ex-FBI agents who would plan and execute the death of Trujillo. (b) Cameras and other items that could be used to fire. pro- j ectiles. (c) A slow-working chemical that could be rubbed on tho palm of one's h and and transferred to Trujillo in a handshake, c:i using delayed lethal results. (d) Silencers for rifles that could kill from a distance of sev- eral miles. (Id.) Other methods of assassinating Trujillo proposed by dissidents at the February 10 or February 15 meetings included poisoning Trin_ji lo's food or medicines, ambushing his automobile, and attacking, , him with firearm and grenades. (CIA Memos for the Record, 2/13/61, 2/16/61)2 The dissidents' "latest plot," as described in the February CIA memoranda, was said to involve the planting of a powerful Bomb, which could be detonated from a nearby electric device, along the route of Trujillo's evening walk. (Id.) On March 13 1961, a dissident in the Dominican Republic asked for fragmentation grenades "for use during the next week or so." This request was communicated to CIA Headquarters on Mai oh 14, 1961, and was followed the next day by an additional regw,A for 50 fragmentation grenades, 5 rapid-fire weapons, and 10 64-mm.. anti- guns was denied i,nd the guns were never passed. 2There Is no record that the CIA responded affirmatively to any or these requosts and th" CIA officer drafted the Februa 13 Memorandum the questions raisedoby the dissidents did not require an answertated the view that some of Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/0$/ : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 tank rockets. This further request was also passed on to CIA Head- quarters. (Cable, Station to HQ, 3/15/61) There is no evidence that any of these arms were supplied to the dissidents. The documentary record makes clear that the Special Assistant at the State Department was also advised of related developments in a March 16, 1961, "picnic" letter from Dearborn who complained that his spirits were in the doldrums because : * * * the members of our club are now prepared in their minds to have a picnic but do not have the ingredients for the salad. Lately they have devel- oped a plan for the picnic, which just might work if they could find the proper food. They have asked us for a few sandwiches, hardly more, and we are not prepared to make them available. Last week we were asked to furnish three or four pineapples for a party in the near future, but I could remember noth- ing in my instructions that would have allowed me to contribute this ingredient. Don't think I wasn't tempted. I have rather specific guidelines to the effect that salad ingredients will be delivered outside the picnic grounds and will be brought to the area by another club. (Letter, Dearborn to Special Assistant, 3/16/16) After reviewing his "picnic" letter, together with the requests in the March 14 and 15 cables discussed above, Dearborn concluded dur- ing his testimony before the Committee that the "pineapples" were probably the requested fragmentation grenades and the restriction on delivering salad ingredients outside of the picnic grounds was, al- most certainly, meant to refer to the requirement, of the January 12 Special Group decision that arms be delivered outside the Dominican Republic. (Dearborn, 7/29/75, pp. 25-27) (ii) The Passage of Pistols (1) Pouching to the Dominican Republic In a March 15, 1961 cable, a Station officer reported that Dearborn had asked for three .38 caliber pistols for issue to several dissidents. In reply, Headquarters cabled : "Regret no authorization exists to suspend pouch regulations against shipment of arms," and indicated that their reply had been coordinated with State. (Cable, HQ to Sta- tion, 3/17/61) The Station officer then asked Headquarters to seek the necessary authorization and noted that at his last two posts he had received pistols via the pouch for "worthy purposes" and, there- fore, he knew it could be done. (Cable, Station to HQ, 3/21/61) Two days later, Headquarters cabled that the pistols and ammunition were being pouched. However, the Station was instructed not to advise Dearborn. (Cable, HQ to Station, 3/24/61). 1 (2) Reason for the CIA instruction not to tell Dearborn A Station officer testified that he believed the "don't tell Dearborn the pistol is being pouched" language simply meant that the sending of firearms through the diplomatic pouch was not something to be unnecessarily discussed. (Didier, 7/8/75, pp. 78, 79) Dearborn said he never doubted the pouch was used, since he knew the Station had no other means of receiving weapons. (Dearborn, 7/20/75, p. 33). 1 The Inspector General's Report, issued in connection with a review of these events, concludes that : "There is no indication in the EM/DEED operational files that the pistols were actually pouched. The request for pistols appears to have been overtaken by a subsequent request for submachine guns." (I.G. Report, p. 80) This conclusion is difficult to understand in light of the March 24, 1961, Headquarters to Station cable, which provides : `Pouching revolvers and ammo requested TRUJ 0462 (in 20040) on 28 March. Do not advise (name Dearborn deleted) this material being pouched. Explanation follows." Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : C2IA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 (3) Were the pistols related to assassination? Dearborn testified that he had asked for a single pistol for purposes completely unrelated to any assassination activity. (Dearborn, 7/29/ 75, pp. 29-31) He said he had been approached by a Dominican contact who lived in a remote area and who was concerned for the safety of his family in the event of political reprisals. Dearbol?a testi- fied that he. had believed the man's fears were well-founded a ad had promised to seek a pistol., Although there is no direct evidence linking any of these pistols to the assassination of Trujillo, a June 7, 196:1, CIA memor andum, unsigned and with no attribution as to source, states that twi m of the three pistol;; were passed by a Station officer to it United Stater citizen who was in direct contact with the action element of the dissident group. It should also be noted that the assassination was apparently conducted with almost complete reliance upon hand weapons. Whether one or more of these .38 caliber Smith & Wesson pistols evc-ntually came into the hands of the assassins and, if so, whether they wore used in connection with the assassination, remain open questions. Both Dearborn and the Station officer testified that they i?+,garded the pistols as weapons for self-defense purposes and that they never considered them to be connected, in any way, with the there current assassination plans. (Dearborn 7/29/75, p. 70; Didier, 7/8/75., pp. 38, 73) However, none of the Headquarters cables inquired a: to the purpose fo: which the handguns were sought and the Station's cable stated only that Dearborn wanted them for passage to di sidents. (Cable, Station to HQ, 3/15/61) Indeed, the March 24, 1961, cable ad- vising that the pistols were being pouched was sent in response to a request by the dissidents for machine guns to be used in an w!~assina- tion effort. As with the carbines discussed below, it appears that little, if any, concern was expressed within the Agency over passing these weapons to would-be assassins. (iii) Passing of the Carbines (1) Request by the Station and by Dearborn and approval by CIA In a March 26, 1961, cable to CIA Headquarters, the Stati,n asked for permission to pass to the dissidents three 30 caliber M1 ~ ?arbines. The guns had been left behind in the Consulate by Navy oxsonnel after the United States interrupted formal diplomatic relations in August 1960. Dearborn testified that he knew of and concern ?d in the proposal to supply the carbines to the dissidents. (Dearborn, 7/29/75. pp. 42, 43) On March 31, 1961, CIA Headquarters cabled approval of the request to pass the carbines. (Cable, IIQ to Station, 3/31/61) (2) Were the carbines related to assassination? The carbines were passed to the action group contact on April 7, 1961. (Cable, HQ to Station. 4/8/61) Eventually, they found their way into the hands of one of the assassins. Antonio de la Maza.. (Cable, Station to HQ, 4/26/61; I.G. Reports, pp. 4:6, 49) Both Dearborn I Dearborn lr. clear in his recollection that he asked the station officer to n ,quest only one pistol. (Dearborn, 7/2'0/75, pp. 30, 31) The station officer on the other hand, testified that ifhis cal?les requested three pistols for Dearborn then Dearborn must har ,'' asked for three pistols. (Did-ter 7/8/75, p. 72) The pistols were, however, apparently sent in one package. (Cables, HHQ !o Station, 3/21/81, 3/'24/81) and Dearborn testified that, what he believed to be ttlw one gun, came "wrappitd up" and that he passed it. (Dearborn, 7/29/75, p. 30) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/0814f : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 and a Station officer testified that the carbines were at all times viewed as strictly a token show of support, indicating United States support of the dissidents' efforts to overthrow Trujillo. (Dearborn, 7/29/75, pp. 46-48; Didier, 7/8/75, p. 39) (3) Failure to Disclose to State Department Officials in Washington There is no indication that the request or the passage of the car- bines was disclosed to State Department officials in Washington until several weeks after the passage. In fact, on April 5, Headquarters re- quested its Station to ask Dearborn not to comment in correspondence with State that the carbines and ammunition were being passed to the dissidents. This cable was sent while a Station officer was in Washing- ton, and it indicated that upon his return to the Dominican Republic, he would explain the request. The Station replied that Dearborn had not commented on the carbines and ammunition in his correspondence with State and he realized the necessity not to do so. (Cable, Station to HQ, 4/6/61) Dearborn testified, however, that he believed, at the time of his April 6 cable, that someone in the State Department had been con- sulted in advance and had approved the passage of the carbines. (Dearborn, 7/29/75, p. 44) (iv) Requests for and Pouching of the Machine Guns (1) Requests for Machine Guns The Station suggested that Headquarters consider pouching an M3 machine gun on February 10, 1961. (Didier, 7/8/75, pp. 63, 64; cable, Station to HQ, 3/15/61) The request was raised again in March but no action was taken. On March 20, 19612 the Station cabled a dissident request for five M3 or comparable machine guns specifying their wish that the arms be sent via the diplomatic pouch or similar means. The dissidents were said to feel that delivery by air drop or transfer at sea would overly-tax their resources. (Cable, Station to HQ, 3/20/61) The machine guns sought by the dissidents were clearly identified, in the Station cable, as being sought for use in connection with an attempt to assassinate Trujillo. This plan was to kill Trujillo in the apartment of his mistress and, according to the Station cable : To do they need five M3 or comparable machine guns, and 1500 rounds ammo, for personal defense in event fire fight. Will use quiet weapons for basic job. (Id.) In essence, CIA's response was that the timing for an assassination was wrong. The Station was told that precipitous or uncoordinated action could lead to the emergence of a leftist, Castro-type regime and the "mere disposal of Trujillo may create more problems than solu- tions." It was Headquarters' position that : * * * we should attempt to avoid precipitous action by the internal dissidents until opposition group and HQS are better prepared to support [assassination] 1 effect a change in the regime, and cope with the aftermath, (Cable, HQ, to Station, 3/24/61) The cable also stated that Headquarters was prepared to deliver machine guns and ammunition to the dissidents when they developed 1 Word supplied by CIA previously sanitized cable. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CRDP83-01042R000200090002-0 it capability to receive them, but that security considerations precluded use of United States facilities as a carrier.' Soon, on April 6, 1961, while a station officer was in Washington for coasulta- tion with hleadquarters, he reported on events in the Dominican Republic and : * * * especially on the insistence of the mMOTH (dissident] leaders that they be provided with a limited number of small arms for their own protection (spe- cifically, five M3 .45 SMG's) (CIA Memo for the Record, 4/11/61) (2) Pouching of Machine Gum Approved by Bissell On April 7, 1961 a Pouch Restriction Waiver Request and. Certi- fication was submitted seeking permission to pouch "four 11'13 ma- chine guns and 240 rounds of ammunition on a priority ba for issuance to a small action group to be used for self protection." ( Pouch Restriction 1 '1'aiver Request, 4/7/61) The request, submitted on behalf of the Chief, 'Western Hemisphere Division, _fui. ther provided : A determination has been made that the issuance of this equipment to the action group is desirable if for no other reason than to assure this important group's continued cooperation with and confidence in this Agency's determina- tion to live up to its earlier commitments to the group. These commitments took the form of advising the group in January 1961 that we would provide limited arms and assistance to them provided they develop the capability to ret. ve it. Operational circumstances have prevented this group from developing the assets capable of receiving the above equipment through normal clandestine channels such as air drops or sea infiltration. (Id.) The Waiver Request was approved by Richard Bissell, as D1.)P, on A ril '10, 1961. (Id.) Walter Elder, Assistant to the Director, issued a memorandum, also on April 10, which stated : Mr. Dulles wants no action on drops of leaflets or arms in the Dominicsin Re- public taken without his approval. (Elder Memo, 4/10/61') The Elder memorandum suggests that Dulles did not then know that an air drop of arms was regarded as unfeasible and that conse- quently pouching of the arms had been approved. The machine guns were pouched to the Dominican Republic and were received by the Station on April 19, 1961.3 (LG. Report, p. 42; Cable, Statiol to HQ, 4/19/61) (b) Knowledge of senior American officials (pre-Bay of Pigs) On February 14, 1961, prior to the passage of weapons, but a it month after the generalized approval of the passage of arms by the prior Administration, a meeting of the Special Group was held with Messrs. McNamara, (Ailpatric, Bowles, Bundy, Dulles, Bissell and General Cabell in attendance. The minutes state that : 1 This same cable of March 24, 1961, is the one which advised that the revolvers and ammunition were being pouched. 'Elder testified that this note, sent the weekend before the Bay of Pigsshot i dnvasios-n or on of Cuba, was intends to make sure that there were "no unusual lanes any unnecessary noise in the Dominican Republic" prior to the Cpuba invasion, r Sider, 8/13/75, p. 51) ' Permission to pass the machine guns was never obtained and the guns never passed into the hands of the dissidents. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 203 Mr. Dulles, assisted by Mr. Bissell, then summarized for the benefit of the new members of the Special Group the specific actions taken by.the predeces- sor group during the past year, and also a list of significant projects which antedate the beginning of 1960 and which it is planned to continue. (Special Group Minutes, 2/14/61) In the course of the discussion, the following point, among others, was made : Dominican Republic--Mr. Bundy asked that a memorandum be prepared for higher authority on the subject of what plans can be made for a successor govern- ment to Trujillo. (Id.) The request attributed to Bundy suggests that the Dominican Re- public had been one of the matters on which Dulles and Bissell briefed the new members. What is unclear from the February 14 minutes (just as it is unclear from the January 12 minutes) is the degree to which the Special Group was informed concerning the means by which the 'dissidents planned to 'accomplish the overthrow of the Trujillo regime. Spe- cifically, it is not known if the new members of the Special Group were told that the dissident group had expressed the desire to assas- sinate Trujillo. Nar is it known if the Special Group was advised that the State Department representative in the Dominican Republic had made the assessment that the Dominican government could, ould not be overthrown without the assassination of Trujillo. Bissell testified that he had no clear recollection of the details of the February 14 briefing and he was unable to say whether or not the method of overthrow to be attempted by the dissidents was dis- cussed. (Bissell, 7/22/75, pp. 101, 102) Robert McNamara, one of the new members of the Special Group in attendance for the briefing, had no recollection as to the specificity in which the Dominican Re- public was discussed at the February 14 meeting. He did not recall any mention by either Dulles or Bissell of dissident plans to assassi- nate Trujillo. (McNamara affidavit, 7/11/75) February memoranda The Secretary of State sent the President a memorandum on Feb- ruary 15, 1961, in response to a request concerning progress to assure an orderly takeover "should Trujillo fall." The memorandum advised that: Our representatives in the Dominican Republic have, at considerable risk to those involved, established contacts with numerous leaders of the under- ground opposition * * * [and] * * * the CIA has recently been authorized to arrange for delivery to them outside the Dominican Republic of small arms and sabotage equipment. (Memo, Rusk to President Kennedy, 5/15/61) This reference to recent authorization for delivery of arms indi- cates that Secretary Rusk had received some briefing concerning events in the Dominican Republic and the January 1961 Special Group deci- sion to provide arms to anti-Trujillo elements. Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs, Thomas Mann; Deputy Assistant Secretary William Coerr; and the Special Assistant continued in their respective positions throughout the transition period. The Committee has been furnished no documents indicaatin that Secretary Rusk or Under Secretary Bowles were specifically advised as to the inten- tions of the Dominican dissidents to kill Trujillo; intentions of which Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15IA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs certainly had knowledge. In- deed, Secretary Rusk testified that he was not personally so adv sed. (Rusk 7/10/75, pp. 41,42) On'ebruar , 17 1961, Richard Bissell sent. a briefing paper ofn the Dominican Republic to McGeorge Bundy, President Kennedy's National Security Advisor. The paper, requested by Bundy for "higher authority," made note of the outstanding Special Group.approva for the provision of arms and equipment to Dominican dissidents, and stated that the dissidents had been informed that the United Slates was prepared to provide such arms and equipment as soon as they developed the capability to receive them. The briefing paper also indicated that dissident leaders ha+l in- formed CIA of "their plan of action which theyfelt could be imple- mented if the3 were provided with arms for 300 men, explosives., and remote control detonation devices." Various witnesses have testified, however, that. supplying arms for 300 men would, standing. alone, indicate a "non-targeted" use for the arms (i.e., a paramilitary or revolutionary implementation as opposed to a specifically targeted assassination use). (Bissell, 7/29/75, p. 80) Concerning the briefing paper, Bissell testified that : * * * it is perfectly clear that I was aware at the time of the memorand9im to Mr. Bundy that these dissident groups were, and had for a long time, been hoping they could accomplish the assassination of Trujillo. As a matter o;? fact, the request, sine' some seven or eight months earlier, was a perfectly clee ~ indi- cation of that, 5,) that fact was not new knowledge. (Bissell, 7/22/75, p. 1e2) When asked why the memorandum did not include the fact that the. dissidents,, intended the assassination of Trujillo, Bissell replied: I cannot tell you, Mr. Chairman. I do not remember what considerations !roved me. I don't know whether it was because this was common knowledge rnd it seemed to me unnecessary to include it, or as you are implying, then- was an element of concealment here. I would be very surprised if it were the tatter, in this case. (Bissell, 7/22/75, p. 101) In response to questions concerning the' lack of information in the February 17, 1961 briefing paper concerning the uses to which tlie re- quested arms might likely be put by the dissidents, Bissell stated.: * * * I would say that the Agency's failure, if there be a failure here was; [not] to state in writing that the plans of the dissidents would Include assassination attempts. (Bissell, 7/22/75, p. 99) Bissell's briefing paper for Bundy concluded with the assessment that a violent clash might soon occur between Trujillo and the internal opposition, `which will end either with the liquidation of Trujillo and his cohorts or with a completeroll up of the internal oppo: ition." In this regard, the fear was expressed that existing schedules for the delivery of weapons to the internal opposition might not be sufTh iently timely, and it was therefore recommended that consideration be given to caching the requested arms and other materials. (Memo, Bissell to Bundy, 2/17/61) Thus, by the middle of February 1961, the senior members of the new Administration (and in view of the "for higher authority" !nature of Bundy's request, presumably President Kennedy himself' were aware of the outstanding Special Group approval for the pass ige of arms and other materials to opposition elements within the Domini- Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/1CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 can Republic. There was no modification or recision of the "inherited" Special Group approval and it would seem fair, therefore, to regard the approval as having been at least acquiesced in by the new Administration. During March and early April 1961, operational levels within both the CIA and the State Department learned of increasingly detailed plans by the dissidents to assassinate Trujillo. There is no evidence that this information was passed to the White House or to any member of the Special Group, except Allen Dulles., Similarly, there is no evidence that the passage of the pistols or the carbines or the pouching of the machine guns to the Dominican Republic was dis- closed to anyone outside of the CIA during this period.2 7. APRIL 17, 1961-MAY 31, 1981 (BAY OF PIGS THROUGH TRUJILLO ASSASSINATION) Following the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion, attempts were made by State and CIA representatives in the Dominican Republic to dissuade the dissidents from a precipitous assassination attempt. These efforts to halt the assassination of Trujillo were the result of instruc- tions from CIA Headquarters and were prompted by concern over filling the power vacuum which would result from Trujillo's death. The machine guns arrived in the Dominican Republic but permis- sion to pass them to the dissidents was never given and the guns never left the Consulate. Dearborn returned to Washington for consultation and a contin- gency plan for the Dominican Republic was drafted. The day before Trujillo's assassination, Dearborn received a cable of instructions and guidance from President Kennedy. The cable ad- vised that the United States must not run the risk of association with political assassination, since the United States, as a matter of gen- eral policy, could not condone assassination. The cable further advised Dearborn to continue to hold open offers of material assistance to the dissidents and to advise them of United States support for them if they were successful in overthrowing the Trujillo government. The cable also reconfirmed the decision not to pass the machine guns. (a) Decision not to pass the machine guns and unsuccessful United States attempt to stop assassination effort By April 17, 1961, the Bay of Pigs invasion had failed. As a result, there developed a general realization that precipitous action should be avoided in the Dominican Republic until Washington was able to give further consideration to the consequences of a Trujillo over- throw and the power vacuum which would be created. (Bissell, 6/11/75, p. 113) A cable from Headquarters to the Station, on April 17, 1961, advised that it was most important that the machine guns not be passed without additional Headquarters approval. i Copies of CIA cables, including the March 20, 1961 cable describing the plan to assassinate Trujillo in the apartment of his mistress, were apparently sent to the office of the Director of Central Intelligence. 9 Although a copy of the CIA cable advising that the pistols were being pouched was sent to the Director's office, Dulles apparently did not receive copies of the cables approving passage of the carbines or pouching of the machine guns. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 IA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 The machine guns arrived in the Dominican Republic on April. 19, 1961, and He:dquarters was so advised. The earlier admonition that the machine guns should be held in Station custody until further notice was repeated in a second cable from Headquarters, sent April 20, 1961. This decision was said to have been "based on judgment that filling a vacuum created by assassination now bigger question than ever view un$ettled conditions in Caribbean area." (Cable, H?) to Station, 4/20/(i) The dissidents continued to press for the release of the machine guns and their requests were passed on to Headquarters in cables from Dearborn and from the Station. (Cables, Station to HQ, 4/25/61) On April 25, 1961., the Station advised Headquarters that an AmeF ican living in the Dominican Republic and acting as a cut-out to the +dii.ssi- dents had informed the Station that Antonio de la Maza was going to attempt the assassination between April 29 and May 2. The Station also reported that this attempt would use the three carbines passed from the American Consulate, together with whatever else was avail- able. (Id.) In response to the April 25 cable, Headquarters restated that. there was no approi,al to pass any additional arms to the dissidents re- quested the Station to advise the dissidents that the United States was simply not prepared at that time to cope with the aftermath of the assassination. (See C/S comments. Cable, Station to HQ, 4/27/61) The following day, April 27, 1961, the Station replied that, based +.pon further discussions with the dissidents, "We doubt statement U.S. government not now prepared to cope with aftermath will dissaade them from attempt." (Cable, Station to HQ, 4/27/61) Dearborn recalls receiving instructions that an effort be made to turn off the assassiiation attempt and testified that efforts to carry oi;;d., the instructions were unsuccessful. In effect, the dissidents informed him that this was t heir affair and it could not be turned off to suit the con- venience of the United States government. (Dearborn, 7/29/75, p.. 52) On April 30, 1961, Dearborn advised Headquarters that the dissi- dents had reported to him the assassination attempt was going to take place during the first week of May. The action group was reported to have in its possession three carbines, four to six 12-guage shotgutn, and other small arms. Although they reportedly still wanted the machine guns, Dearborn n advised Headquarters that the group was going t o go ahead with what they had, whether the United States wanted them to or not. (Cable, Station to HQ, 4/30/61) Dearborn's cable set forth the argument of the action group that, since the United States had already- assisted the group to some e ;tent and was therefore implicated, the additional assistance of releasin the machine guns would not change the basic relationship. The cable con- cluded : Owing to far-reaching political implications involved in release or non-rz lease of requested items, Headquarters may wish discuss foregoing with sta? De- partment. (Id.) Beginning with Dearborn's April 30 cable, there was a fi.irly constant stream of cables and reports predicting Trujillo's imminent assassination. Certain of these reports predicted the specific date or dates on which. the assassination would be attempted, while others Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/1CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 spoke of the attempt being made at the first propitious opportunity. In addition to cables sent directly to CIA Headquarters, the substance of these assassination forecasts was circulated throughout the intelli- gence community and the higher echelons of the government in the form of intelligence bulletins. These bulletins did not, however, con- tain references to any United States involvement in the assassination planning. As a result of these reports, Robert Kennedy had a discussion with Allen Dulles, apparently sometime in the early part of May, and thereafter "looked into the matter." (June 1, 1961, dictated notes of Robert F. Kennedy.)' Robert Kennedy reportedly called the Presi- dent and it was "decided at that time that we'd put a task force on the problem and try to work out some kind of alternative course of action in case this event did occur." Robert Kennedy's notes state that at the time he called the President, "He [the President] had known nothing about it [the reports of Trujillo's imminent assassi- tion]." (Id.) There is no record as to the specificity with which Allen Dulles discussed the matter of Trujillo's predicted assassination with Robert Kennedy. Dulles was, of course, fully informed at this time both as to the relationship between State Department and CIA represent- atives in the Dominican Republic and the dissidents planning Tru- jillo's removal, and, also, of the weapons which had been furnished to the dissidents and those which they were then requesting for use in connection with the assassination effort. (b) Further consideration of passing machine guns In response to Dearborn's cable, a cable was drafted at CIA Head- quarters authorizing passage of the machine guns. The cable which was sent to Allen Dulles, with Bissell's recommendation for its dis- patch, provided : Since it appears that opposition group has committed itself to action with or without additional support, coupled with fact ref. C items [the carbines] already made available to them for personal defense ; station authorized pass ref. A items [the machine guns] to opposition member for their additional pro- tection on their proposed endeavor." (Draft Cable, HQ to Station, 5/2/61) The cable was never sent. In his testimony before the Committee, Bissell characterized his reasoning for recommending release of the machine guns as * * * having made already a considerable investment in this dissident group and its plans that we might as well make the additional investment. (Bissell, 7/22/75,p.127) The following day, May 3, 1961, the Deputy Chief of the Western Hemisphere Division of dIA, who frequently acted as liaison with the State Department in matters concerning covert operations in the Dominican Republic, met with Adolph Berle, Chairman of the Inter- agency Task Force on Latin America. A Berle memorandum of the meeting states that the CIA officer informed Berle that a local group in the Dominican Republic wished 1 These notes were dictated by Robert Kennedy on June 1, 1961, after he learned of Trujillo's assassination. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 A-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 to overthrow Trujillo and sought arms for that purpose. The memo- randum continued: on cross examination it developed that the real plan was to assassinate Tru- jillo and they wanted guns for that purpose. [The CIA officer] wanted to :now what the policy should be. I told him I could not care less for Trujillo and that this was the geaieral sentiment. But we did not wish to have anything to do with any assassination plots anywhere, roily time. [The CIA officer] said he felt the same way. (iterle, Memo of Convera! Lion, 5/3/61) Copies of Berle's memorandum were sent. to Wymberly Coerr. the Acting Assistant Secretary for hater-American Affairs, and to the Special Assistatt. Both the CTA officer and the Special Assistant-, who had bera in almost daily contact with each other since August of 1960, had teen advised of the assassination plans of the dissident group. In fact the CIA officer, along with Bissell, had signed off on the proposed cable of May 2, releasing the machine guns for passage. (c) Special group meetings of May 4 and May 18, 1961 On the day following the Berle-CIA officer meeting, the Special Group met and, according to the Minutes : The DCI referred to recent reports of a new anti-Trujillo plot. He sail we never know if one of these is going to work or not, sand asked what is the status of contingency planning should the plot come off. Mr. Bundy said that this Joint is covered in the Cuba paper which will be discussed at a high level in tb very near future. (Special Group Minutes, 5/4/61) Once again, the cryptic reporting of Special Group Minutes crakes subsequent analysis as to the scope. of matters discussed specule t.ive. It is not known to what extent and in what. detail Allen Dulle ; re- ferred to "recent reports" of a new anti-Trujillo plot. Certainly., the most recent report, of such a plot was Dearborn's April 30 cable -dis- closing an imminent assassination attempt potentially utilizing JJi ited States-supplied weapons. On May 18, 1961, the Special Group again considered the situation in the Dominican Republic and, according to the Minutes: . Cabell [Deputy DCI] noted that the internal dissidents were pressing for the release to them of certain small arms now in U.S. hands in the Dominican Re- public. He inquired whether the feeling of the Group remained that these: arms should not be pessed. The members showed no inclinatioh to take a coiatrary position at this time. (Special Group Minutes, 5/18/61)' (d) requests by dissidents for ma.clivne gums On May 16, 1961, Dearborn cabled the State Department (attention Acting Assist.snt Secretary Coerr) with an urgent request from the dissidents for the machine guns. The cable advised that the asses cinn- tion attempt was-scheduled for the night of May 16 and that, while the chances of suc cess were 80 percent, provision of the machine uns would reduce the possibility of failure. The dissidents repo edly 1 There was no meeting of the 8oeefal Group at w itch the Dominican Republ9.k was discussed between :'Siam 4 and May 18. The language attributed to General Cabe]] as to whether the feeltbig of the Qroup remained not to pass the arms. tends to suggest that the question o? passing these arms must have been raised prior to the May is tiroup meeting, perhaps at: the May 4, 1961 meeting, Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/1? CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 stressed to Dearborn that if the effort failed, due to United States re- fusal to supply the machine guns, the United States would be held responsible and would never be forgiven. Dearborn reported that he had informed the dissidents that., based on his recent conversations in Washington, he was reasonably certain that authorization could not be obtained for handing over machine gun. (Cable, Dearborn to De- partment, 5/16/61) A return cable from the State Department to Dearborn, sent the same day, confirmed Dearborn's judgment. It instructed him to con- tinue to take the same line until he received contrary instructions which clearly indicated they had been cleared in advance by the State Department* itself. This cable from State was approved by Under Secretary Bowles. (Cable, Department to Dearborn, 5/16/61) An officer in the CIA's Western Hemisphere Division referred to Dearborn's May 16 request in a memorandum he sent to the Special Assistant on the same date and asked to be advised as to the Depart- ment's policy concerning passage of the machine guns. The CIA officer noted that when this request was last taken to the Department, Berle made the decision that the weapons not be passed. ((Memo to ARA from CIA, 5/16/61) Devine responded to the CIA officer's memorandum on the same day, advising him that the Department's policy continued to be negative on the matter of passing the machine guns.l The CIA officer's atten- tion was directed to the January 12,1961 Special Group limitation con- cerning the passage of arms outside of the Dominican Republic. A copy of the Special Assistant's memorandum to the CIA officer was forwarded to the Office of the Under Secretary of State, to the atten- tion of his personal assistant, Joseph Scott. (Memo, Special Assistant to [CIA officer], 5/16/61) (e) Dearborn in Washington for consultation-drafting of contingency plans At a meeting of the National Security Council on May 5, 1961, the question of United States policy toward the Dominican Republic was considered and it was : Agreed that the Task Force on Cuba would prepare promptly both emergency and long-range plans for anti-communist intervention in the event of crises in Haiti or the Dominican Republican. Noted the President's view that the United States should not initiate the overthrow of Trujillo before we knew what govern- ment would succeed him, and that any action against Trujillo should be multi- lateral. (Record of Actions by National Security Council, 5/5/61) (Approved by the President, 5/16/61)2 Although the precise dates are uncertain, Dearborn was recalled to Washington to participate in drafting of these contingency plans and recommendations. Dearborn was in Washington at least from May 10 through May 13,1961. 1 By May 27, 1961, Dearborn was advising the State Department that the group was no longer requesting the arms and had accepted the fact that it must make do with what it had. (Cable, Dearborn to State, 5/27/61) 2 As noted supra, p. 207, the President. prior to his May 16 approval of the NSC Record of Actions, had been informed by Robert Kennedy of the reports that Trujillo might be assassinated. Richard Goodwin of the White House staff had also received, prior to May 16, a CIA memorandum which disclosed that Dominican die idents, intending to 'neutralize" Trujillo, had been supplied by the U.S. with certaiTt weapons and had sought further weapons. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 tpA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 While in Wrc.shington, Dearborn met with. State Department per- sonnel and with Richard Goodwin and Arthur Schlesinger of the White House 4aff. When testifying before the Committee, he was unable to recall the substance of his discussions with Goodwin and Schlesinger, aside from his general assumption that the current situa- tion in the Dominican Republic was discussed. He did not recall any discussion with Goodwin or Schlesinger concerning arms, either those which had been passed to the dissidents or those which were being sought. (Dearborn, 7/29/75, pp. 58-61) Dearborn left the meeting at the White House, however, with the firm impression that Goodwin had been reviewing cable traffic between Washington and the Domini- can. Republic and was very familiar with events as they then stood. (Dearborn, 7/29/75, p. 62) On May 11, 1961, Dearborn prepared a two-page draft document which set forth ways in which the U.S. could overtly aid and-enc.our- age the opposition to Trujillo. The draft noted that means of stepping up the covert program were considered in separate papers. ('Dearborn draft document of May 11, 1961) This Dearborn. draft of May 11, 19611, was appa rently used as a basis for portions of the "GDominw ican Republic-Contingency Paper" discussed below. Two documents entitled, `Program of Covert Action for the Dornin- ican Republic;' were provided to the Committee staff from State De- partment files. Each appears to be a draft of the covert activities paper describedin Dearborn'sMa 11, 1961 memorandum. One draft recommended en expanded U.S. offer to deliver small explosive devices and arms. (Document indicating it was attached Ito "Dominican Re- public-Contingency," dated 5/12/61 and bearing Nos. 306-308) The other draft is very similar except that it concludes that delivery of arms within the Dominican Republic to members of the underground is not recommended. (Document from State Department files bearing No. 310) Attached to the second draft was a one-page document which the Special Assistantbelieves he wrote. It listed eight numbered points in- eluding the following : 1. The U'SG sh,,uld not lend itself to direct political assassination. 2. U.S. moral posture can ill afford further tarnishing in the eyes of the mrld. 3. We would be encouraging the action, supplying the weapons, effectiras the delivery, and then turning over only the final execution to (unskilled) local triggermen. 4. So far we hti ve seen no real evidence of action capability. Should we entrust ourselves and our reputation to this extent in the absence thereof? 7. Can we afford a precedent which may convince the world that our diplomatic ponnches are used to deliver assassination weapon? (Document from the state Department files bearing No. 313) The other points raised in document No. 313 related to the likelihood that any such involvement by the United States would ultimately be rev aaied. On May 15, 1961, Acting Assistant Secretary Coerr sent to t nder Secretary Bowles a document entitled "Covert Action Programt'. Au- thorized With Respect to the Dominican Republic." That docionent outlined the existing Special Group approvals for covert assistan a to Dominican dissidents and, while making no recommendation as to Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15: CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 2'11 further policy, suggested that the Special Group review the outstand- ing approvals and communicate to interested agencies the status of such authorizations. (State Dept. document from Coerr to Bowles, 5/15/61) During this period a document dated Ma 13, 1961, was prepared at the request of Richard Goodwin and was thereafter circul-ated within the State Department.' This document, entitled "Program of Covert Action for the Dominican Republic" reported : CIA has had in the direct custody of its Station in Ciudad Trujillo, a very limited supply of weapons and grenades. In response to the urgent requests from the internal opposition leaders for personal defense weapons attendant to their projected efforts to neutralize TRUJILLO, three (3) 38 Cal revolvers and three (3) carbines with accompanying ammunition have been passed by secure means to the opposition. The recipients have repeatedly requested additional armed support. This memorandum is the first direct evidence of disclosure to anyone on the White House staff of. the fact that arms had been passed to dis- sidents in the Dominican Republic. The original ribbon copy of the memorandum has the above quoted material circled in pencil and the word "neutralize" is underscored. Goodwin testified before the Committee that he circled the above para- graph when first reading the memorandum because the information concerning passage of the arms was new to him and struck him as significant. (Goodwin, 7/18/75, pp 48, 49) Under the heading of "Possible Covert Actions Which Require Additional Authorization," the memorandum to Goodwin indicated that the CIA had a supply of four.45 caliber machine guns and a small number of grenades currently in the direct custody of the Station in Ciudad Trujillo and that a secure means of passing these weapons to the internal opposition "for their use in personal defense attendant to their projected efforts to remove Trujillo" could be developed by the Station. The memorandum made no recommendation to approve or disapprove passage of these weapons. (Id. On May 15, 1961, Bundy forwarded to Goodwin another memoran- dum. This one, entitled "The Current Situation in and Contingency Plans for the Dominican Republic," had been received by Bundy from the State Department. Attached was an underlying document which began: Recent reports indicate that the internal Dominican dissidents are becoming increasingly determined to oust Trujillo by any means, and their plans in this regard are well advanced. The May 15 memorandum stressed that it was highly desirable for the United States to be identified with and to support the elements seeking to overthrow Trujillo. The attachment recommended that Con- sul General Dearborn inform the dissidents that if they succeed "at their own initiative and on their own responsibility in forming an acceptable provisional government they can be assured that any rea- sonable request for assistance from the U.S. will be promptly and favorably answered." (Documents from State Dept. files bearing Nos. 279-286) 1 See Scott to Bowles memorandum of May 19, 1961, enclosing copy of Goodwin memorandum. Aporoved5 For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 212 (f) Cable of May 29,1961 A copy of Dearborn's cable of May 16, 1961, requesting urgew State Department guidance, was forwarded to Richard Goodwin. :1t the specific request of Goodwin, the State Department replied to Dear- born on May 17, and advised him to keep in mind the President' view, as expressed at the May 5 National Security Council Meeting, ti tat the United States should not initiate the overthrow of Trujillo efore knowing what government would succeed him. (Cable, Departxa gent to Dearborn, 5,/17/61) Dearborn responded on May 21, 1961, Pointing out that for )ver a year State Department representatives in the Dominican Republic had been nurturing the effort to overthrow Trujillo and had iv;sisted the dissidents in numerous ways, all of which were known to the De- partment. It was, Dearborn stated, "too late to consider whether United State's will initiate overthrow of Trujillo." Dearborn invited :fitrther guidance from State. In response to Dearborn's request for guidance, the State Depart- ment drafted a reply on May 24. The draft discussed a conflict b, -tween two objectives : ii) To be so associated with removal Trujillo regime as to derive credit: among DR dissidents n nd liberal elements throughout Latin America ; (2) To disassociate US from any obvious intervention in Dominican Republic and even more so from any political assassination which might occur. It was said to be the Department's considered opinion that "a`ormer objective cannot, repeat not, easily override latter." (Draft Cable, Department to Dearborn, 5/24/61-not sent) This State Department draft was forwarded to Under Secretary Bowles with the comment that Goodwin considered it "too negative" and that he vw ould try his hand on a draft "for Bundy to present omor- row morning." (Memo from Achilles to Bowles, 5/24/61) A May 26, 1961, memorandum from Bowles to Bundy 'begins Following up on our discussion of the Dominican Republic at yesterday's meet- ing of the Spe44al Group, I am forwarding you s draft telegram which wir would like to send to Henry Dearborn, our Consul General in Ciudad Trujillo, supple- menting the guidance he will be receiving on the recently approved coni'angency p) sa ns. The minutes of the Special Group meeting on May 25, 1961, do not, however, reflect any discussion of the Dominican Republic. If, as Bowles' memorandum suggests, a discussion concerning the Damini- can Republic did occur at the May 25 meeting, it is not known wiaat the discussion involved or what decisions, if any, were made. Richard Goodwin personally prepared alternate drafts to the pro- posed State Department cable to Dearborn. Goodwin testified that it was his intent in revising the cable to communicate to Dearborn. Presi- dent Kennedy's personal belief that the United States "* * * didn't want to do anything that would involve us further, the United States further, in ;any effort to assassinate Trujillo." (Goodwin, 7.;10/75, 32) I At the same time, Goodwin's draft raised the issue of further covert action and transfer of arms to the dissidents and advised Dearborn to hold out the arms as being available to the dissidents pending their ability to receive them. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 213 It was the twofold intent of the cable as revised by. Goodwin, (1) to express the desire to remain in the good graces of the dissidents who, it was believed, would constitute the new government following Trujillo's assassination, and (2) to avoid any action which might further involve the United States in the anticipated assassination. This dual purpose is clearly evident in the cable which advised : * * * we must not run risk of U.S. association with political assassination, since U.S. as matter of general policy cannot condone assassination. This last principal is overriding and must prevail in doubtful situation. (Emphasis added) * * * * * * Continue to inform dissident elements of. U.S. support for their position. According to Goodwin, the italicized material was inserted in the cable at the specific direction of President Kennedy. (Goodwin, 7/10/75, pp. 22, 23) With respect to the four machine guns which were in the Consulate and which had been repeatedly requested by the dissidents, the cable advised Dearborn that the United States was unable to transfer these arms to the dissidents. Dearborn was instructed Tell them that this is because of our suspicion that method of transfer may be unsafe. In actual fact, we feel that the transfer of arms would serve very little purpose and expose the United States to great danger of association with assassi- nation attempt. The cable, as revised by Goodwin and approved by President Ken- nedy, was sent to Dearborn on May 29, 1961. (Cable, Department to Dearborn, 5/29/61) (a) Trujillo assassinated Late in the evening of May 30, 1961, Trujillo was ambushed and assassinated near San Cristobal, Dominican Republic. The assassina- tion closely paralleled the plan disclosed by the action group to American representatives in the Dominican Republic and passed on to officials in Washington at both the CIA and the State Department. (Cable, Dearborn to Department, 4/30/61) The assassination was con- ducted by members of the action group, to whom the American car- bines had been passed, and such sketchy information as is available indicates that one or more of the carbines was in the possession of the assassination group when Trujillo was killed. (I.G. Report, pp. 60-61) This evidence indicates, however, that the actual assassination was accomplished by handguns and shotguns. (I.G. Report, p. 61) (b) Cables to Washington After receiving the May 29 cable from Washington, both Consul General Dearborn and the CIA Station sent replies. According to Dearborn's testimony, he did not regard the May 29 cable as a change in U.S. policy concerning support for assassinations. (Dearborn, 7/29/75, p. 74) He interpreted the May 29 cable as saying : * * * we don't care if the Dominicans assassinate Trujillo, that is all right. But we don't want anything to pin this on us, because we aren't doing it, it is the Dominicans who are doing it. (Dearborn, 7/29/75, p. 104) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 214 Dearborn testified that this accorded with what he said had always been his per ,oral belief : that the U.S. should not be involved in an assassination and that if an assassination occurred it would be si rictly a Dominican affair. (Dearborn, 7/29/75, pp. 100--101) In contrast, the CIA Station officer did regard the cable a mani- festing a charge in U.S. policy, particularly on the question of supply- ing arms. (Didier, 7/8/75, p. 120) He believed the May 29 cab'e was the final word in United States policy on this matter and consequently felt that the government had retreated from its prior position, of offering material support to the dissidents, and had adopted c new position of withholding such support. His responsive cable to ![lead- quarters state ed : HQ aware extent to which U.S. government already associated with as! :,tssina- tion. If we are to at least cover up tracks, CIA personnel directly involved in assassination preparation must be withdrawn. (Cable, Station to HQ, 5/30/61) Immediately following the assassination, all CIA personnel in the Dominican Republic were removed from the country and within a few days Consul (eneral Dearborn was back in Washington. The Sta Le De- partment cabled the CIA station in the Dominican Republic to 1, stray all records concerning contacts with dissidents and any related in otters, except not to destroy the contingency plans or the May 29, 1961 cable to Dearborn. (Cable, HQ to Station, 5/31/61) (c) Imarrzdiate post-assassination period The United States Consulate in the Dominican Republic was quick to dispatch its early reports that Trujillo had been assassinated, and the. United States communication's network transmitted the report to President Kennedy in Paris. The President's Press Secretary, Pierre Salinger, rna+le the first public announcement of the assassinatio i, pre- ceeding by se veral hours release of the news in the :Dominican Rel -ublic. Secretary of State Rusk testified that when he learned of Sal nger's announcement he was most concerned. Rusk said that Trujillo's son Ramfis was ,also in Paris and he was afraid that Ramfis, upon first learning of his father's death from the press secretary to the President of the United States, might reason that the United States had l:,een in some way involved and he might therefore try to retaliate a ainst President Kennedy. (Rusk, 7/10/75, pp. 32-33) Following the assassination, there were several high-level meetings in. Washingtan attended by President Kennedy, Vice President John- son, Secretary of State Rusk, Secretary of Defense McNamar n, At- torney General Kennedy, and many lower-level officials who 6 .11 been involved in the Dominican Republic operation. The meetings consid- ered the cris.i in the Dominican Republic, caused by Trujilldti assas- si nation, and attempted to ascertain the facts concerning the de:ree of tU nited States involvement in the assassination. The passage of carbines to the dissidents was discussed at one such meeting. (State Department Memorandum for the files, 6/1/61) On June 1, 1961, Robert Kennedy dictated four pages of personal notes reflecting his contemparaneous thoughts on the situation in the Dominican Republic. A review of these notes evidences considerable concern regarding the lack of information available in Washington Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/1156: CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 21 as to events in the Dominican Republic.'- The notes end with the following statement : The great problem now is that we don't know what to do because we don't (sic) what the situation is and this shouldn't be true, particularly when we have known that this situation waS pending for some period of time. There is no indication or suggestion contained in the record of those post-assassination meetings, or in the Robert Kennedy notes, of concern as to the propriety of the known United States involvement in the assassination. Nor is there any record that anyone took steps following Trujillo's assassination to reprimand or censure any of the American officials involved either on the scene or in Washington, or to otherwise make known any objections or displeasure as to the degree of United States involvement in the events which had tran- spired. Whether this was due to the press of other matters, including concern over Trujillo's successor and the future government of the Dominican Republic, or whether it represented a condonation or rati- fication of the known United States involvement, is uncertain. In any event, when, some years later, the project covering American involvement in changing the government of the Dominican Republic was terminated by the Agency, the project was described in Agency documents as a "success" in that it assisted in moving the Dominican Republic from a totalitarian dictatorship to a Western-style democracy. 1Robert Kennedy's concern, immediately following the assassination, with the Agency's inability to provide first-hand information from the Dominican Republic as to popular support for the anti-Trujillo group the extent of fighting, if any, in the country, and the likelihood of the dissidents seizing control of the country, was also discussed in a 1962 CIA report. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 1. SUMMARY South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, were assassinated during a coup by Vietnamese generals on November 2, 1963. Evidence. before the Committee indicates that the United States government offered encouragement for the coup, but neither desired nor was involved in the assassinations. Rather, Diem's assassination appears to have been a spontaneous act by Vietnamese generals, engendered by anger at Diem for refusing to resign or put himself in the custody of the leaders of the coup. On one occasion, General Duonq Van Minh ("Big Minh") outlined to a CIA officer the possible assassination of Nhu and another brother, Ngo Dinh Can, as one of three methods being considered for changing the government in the near future. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge and Deputy Chief of Mission William Trueheart 1 were informed of this possibility by the Saigon Chief of Station, who recommended that "we do not set ourselves irrevocably against the assassination plot, since the other two alternatives mean either a bloodbath in Saigon or a protracted struggle which would rip the Army and the country assunder." (CIA cable, Saigon Station to DCI. 10/5/63) Upon being informed, Director McCone sent two cables. The first stated "[w]e cannot be in the position of stimulating, approving, or supporting as- sassination," and the second directed that the recommendation be with- drawn because "we cannot be in position actively condoning such course of action and thereby engaging our responsibility therefor." (CIA cable, DCI to Saigon, 10/5/63; CIA cable, DCI to Saigon, 10/6/63) 2. THE ABORTIVE COUP OF AUGUST 1963 On May 8, 1963, South Vietnamese troops in the City of Hue fired on Buddhists celebratinL Buddha's 'birthday (and carrying the Bud- dhist flag contrary to edicts proscribing the flying of religious flags) killing nine and wounding fourteen. This incident triggered a nation- wide Buddhist protest and a sharp loss of popular confidence in the Diem regime.2 On May 18, United States Ambassador Frederick E. Nolting met with Diem and outlined steps which the United States desired him to take to redress the Buddhist grievances and recapture public confi- I'Trueheart is currently a consultant to the Select Committee. 2 Senator Gravel Edition The Pentagon Papers, The Defense Department History of United States Decision-tusking on Vietnam. pp. 207-208. Volume II, Beacon Press. Boston bassy(hereinnafter Meck in, in his book. Mi sion Public Affairs An1Inti ate Account of the U.S. Role in Vietnam. Doubleday and Company, 1965 (hereinafter cited as Mecklin), at pages 158-60 described the vulnerability of the Buddhists to Communist infiltration during this period noting that it "offered a classic opportunity for a Communist sleeper play." (217) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 218 deuce. These steps included admitting responsibility for the Hue in- cident, compensating the victims, and reaffirming religious equality in the country. On June 8, Madame Nhu, the wife of Diem's brother, Nhu, publicly accused the Buddhists of being infiltrated with Com- munist agents. Trueheart, in the absence of Ambassador Nolting; pro- tested her remarks to Diem and threatened to disassociate the T Tnited States from any repressive measures against the Buddhists in the fu- ture. (Pentagon Papers, p. 308) Shortly thereafter, Madame Nh it com- mented on the self-immolation of Quang Due and other Buddhist monks by stating that she would like to furnish mustard for the monks' barbecue. Or June 12, Trueheart told Diem that Quang Due's suicide had shocked the world and again warned that the United States would break with leis government if he did not solve the Buddhist problem. (Pentagon Papers, p. 208) Lucien Conein, a CIA officer in Saigon,' testified that the Buddhist uprisings were the catalyst that ultimately brought down the, Diem regime. (Conein, 6/20/75, pp. 42-44) These events led the United States to apply "direct, relentless, and tablehammering pressure on Diem such as the United States has seldom before attempted with a sovereign friendly government." (Mecklin, p. 169) By July 4, 1963, Generals Minh, Don, Kim, and Khiem had agreed on the necessity for a coup.2 In his final meeting on August 14 with Ambassador Noltin g, Diem agreed to make a public statement offering concessions to the Bud- dhists. This statement took the form of an interview with the eelumn- 1st, Marguerite Higgins, in which Diem asserted that his policy toward the Buddhists had always been conciliatory and asked for harmony and support of the government. Shortly after midnight on August 21, 1963, Nhu ordered forees loyal to him to attack pagodas throughout Vietnam, arresting marl3.s and sacking the sacred buildings. Over thirty monks were incurred and 1,400 arrested. The American Embassy was taken by surprise and viewed the attacks as a shattering repudiation of Diem's promises to Nolting. (Pentagon Papers, p. 210) 3 On August 24, 1963, the State Department sent a cable (Depte1243 ) to the new :ambassador in Vietnam, Henry Cabot Lodge. The tele- gram was prepared by Roger Hilsman, Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, and Under Secretary of State Avere];.l Harri- man, and was approved by President Kennedy. (Pentagon Payers, p. 235) Deptel 243 told Lodge to press Diem to take "prompt dramatic actions" to redress the grievances of the Buddhists : We must at same time also tell key military leaders that US woul?l find it impossible to continue support GVN [South Vietnamese Government] militarily and economically unless above steps are taken immediately which we recognize re- 1 Conein testified that he had known the generalq involved in the coup "f)r many years. Some of them I had known back even in world war II. Some of then: were in powerful positions, and I was able to talk to them on a person to person basis, not as a government official." (Conein, 6/20/75, p. 17.) 2 Conein's After-Action Report stated that : "The majority of the officers including General Minh desired President Diem to have honorable retirement from te political scene in Sout{t Vietnam ar d exile. As to Ngo Dinh Nhu and Ngo Dinh Can, ?ltere was never dissention. The attitude was that their deaths along with Madame Ngo 11+Snh Nhu, would be welcomed." (Clonein After-Action Report, 11/1/63, p. 10.) 3Conein testified thhat the raids might have been timed to occur when no kmerican Ambassador was in Vietnam (Nolting had left a few days before and his replacement, Henry Cabot Lodge, had not yet arrived) (Conein, 6/20/75, p. 21). Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/&: CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 quires removal of the Nhus from the scene. We wish. give Diem reasonable opportunity to remove Nhus but if he remains obdurate, then we are prepared to accept the obvious implication that we can no longer support Diem. You may also tell appropriate military commanders we will give them direct support in any interim period of breakdown central government mechanism * * *. Concurrently with above, Ambassador and country teams should urgently examine all possible alternative leadership and mtake detailed plans as to how we might bring about Diem's replacement if this should be'come necessia ry. A cable on August 25 reported the result of a conference among a station representative, Lodge, Trueheart, General Harkins [Com- mander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) ] and General Weede (Chief of Staff, MACV). They accepted Deptel 243 "as a basic decision from Washington and would proceed to do their best to carry out instructions," (I.G. Report, C, p'p. 7-8) but believed that Diem would refuse to remove his brother from his position in the government. Early in the morning of August 26, 1963, the Voice of America in South Vietnam placed the blame on Nhu for the August 21 raids and absolved the army. The broadcast also reported speculation that the United States contemplated suspending aid to the South Vietnamese Government.' (Pentagon Papers, p. 2112) Later on that same day, Lodge presented his credentials to Diem. CIA officer Cbnein and another CIA officer were told to see Generals Khiem and Khanh, respectively, and to convey to them the substance of Deptel 243, but to remind them that "We cannot be of any help during initial action of assuming power of state. Entirely their own action, win or lose." (DCI to Saigon, 8/2'6/63) . A message from the White House on August 29 authorized Harkins to confirm to the Vietnamese generals that the United States would support a coup if it had a good chance of succeeding, but did not involve United States armed forces. Lodge was authorized to suspend United States aid at his discretion. (Deptel 272, 8/29/63) A cable from the President to Lodge on the same day stated : I have approved all the messages you are receiving from others today, and I emphasize that everything in these messages has my full support. We will do all that we can to help you conclude this operation suveessfully. Untdl the very moinent of the go signal for the operation by the Generals, I must reserve a contingent right to change course and reverse previous inStructionss. While fully aware of your assessment of the consequences of such a reversal, I know from experience that failure is more destructive than an appearance of indecislon. I would, of course, accept full responsibility for any such change as I must also bear the full 'responsibility for this operation and its consequences. (Cable, President Kennedy to Lodge 8/29/63) In a reply cable, Lodge stated : 1. I fully understand that you have the right and responsibility to change course at any time. Of course I will always respect that right. 2. To be successful, this operation must be essentially a Vietnamese affair with a momentum of its own. Should this happen you may not be able to control it, i.e., the "go signal" may be given by the geneiaals. ('Gable, Lodge to President Kennedy, 8/30/63) I In a cable to Harriman, Lodge complained that the VOA broadcast had "complicated our already difficult problem" by eliminating "the possibility of the generals' effort achiev- ing surprise." Lodge further warned that "the US must not appear publicly in the matter, thus giving the kiss of death' to its friends" (Cable, Lodge to Harriman. 8/26/63). Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 220 A cable from Saigon dated August 31,1963, stated : This particular coup is finished. Generals did not feel ready and did not have sufficient 1*14ance of forces. There is little doubt that GVN [South Vie namese Government] aware US role and may have considerable detail. (CIA e able, Sta. ,to Hq. 8/31/63) Deptel 243 and the VOA broadcast set the tone for later relations between the United States representatives and the generals. Bid; Minh, who had initial doubts about the strength of American support, grew in confidenc(,.. 3. THE NOVEMBER 1963 CoiTP American dissatisfaction with the Diem regime became increasingly apparent. On September 8, AID Director David Bell, in a television interview, stated that Congress might cut aid to South Vietnam if the Diem government did not change its course. (Pentagon Papers, p. 214) Lodge suggested a study to determine the most effectii-e. meth- ods of cutting aid to topple the regime. (Pentagon Papers, p. 214) On September 12, with White House, approval, Senator Church introduced a resolution in the Senate condemning the Soulli. Viet- namese Government for its repressive handling of the Buddhist prob- lem and calling for an end to United States aid unless the oppressive measures were curtailed. (Pentagon Papers, pp. 214-215) In mid-September 1963, two proposals for dealing with Diem were considered by the Administration. The first contemplated increasingly severe pressure to bring Diem in. line with American policy; the second involved acquiescing in Diem's actions, recognizing that Diem and Nhu were inseparable, and attempting to salvage as much as possible. It was decided to adopt the first proposal, and to send Secretary of Defense McNamara and General Taylor on a fact-finding mission to Vietnam. (Pentagon Papers, p. 215) On October 2, 13IcNamara and Taylor returned to Washington and presented their findings to the National Security Council. Their re- port confirmed that the military effort was progressing favorably, but warned of the dangers inherent in the political turmoil and recom- mended bringing pressure against Diem. This pressure would include announcing the withdrawal of 1,000 American troops by the end of the year, ending support for the forces responsible for the pagoda raids, and continuing Lodge's policy of remaining aloof from the regime. The report recommended against a coup, but suggested that alternative leadership should be identified and cultivated. The recom- mendations were promptly approved by the :President. (Pentagon Papers, pp. 215-216) On October 3, Conein contacted Minh. Minh explained that a coup was being planned, and requested assurances of American support if it were successful. Minh outlined three courses of action one of which was the assassination of Diem's brothers, Nhu and Can. (Conehn, 6/20/75, p. 25; cable, Saigon to Director, ].0/5/63) The Station cabled on October 5 that it had recommended to Lodge thaf "we do not set ourselves irrevocably against the assassination plot, since the other two alternatives mean either a blood bath in Saigon or a pro- tracted struggle." (Cable, Saigon to Director, 10/5/63) 1 The other courses of action were the encirclement of Saigon by various military units and direct confrontation between military units involved in the coup and loyali~,t units. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/1 1CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 A cable from the CIA Director to Saigon responded that : (W) e certainly cannot be in the position of stimulating, approving, or support- ing assassination, but on the other hand, we are in no way responsible for stop- ping every such threat of which we might receive even partial knowledge. We certainly would not favor assassination of Diem. We believe engaging ourselves by taking position on this matter opens door too easily for probes of our position re others, re support of regime, et cetera. Consequently believe best approach is hands off. "However, we naturally interested in intelligence on any such plan."' McCone testified that he met privately with the President and the Attorney General, taking the position that "our role was to assemble all information on intelligence as to what was going on and to report it to the appropriate authorities, but to not attempt to direct it." (McCone, 6/6/75, p. 62) He believed the United States should main- tain a "hands off attitude." (McCone, 6/6/75, p. 62) McCone testified: I felt that the President agreed with my position, despite the fact that he had great reservations concerning Diem and his conduct. I urged him to try to bring all the pressure we could on Diem to change his ways, to encourage more support throughout, the country. My precise words to the President, and I remember then very clearly, was that "Mr. President, if I was manager of a baseball team, I had one pitcher, I'd keep him in the box whether he was a good pitcher or not." By that I was saying that, if Diem was removed we would have not one coup but we would have a succession of coups and political disorder in Vietnam and it might last several years and indeed it did. (McCone, 6/6/75, pp. 62-M) McCone stated that he did not discuss assassination with the Presi- dent, but rather "whether we should let the coup go or use our influ- ences not to." He left the meeting believing that the President agreed with his "hands-off" recommendation. (McCone, 6/6/75, pp. 62-63) McCone cabled the Station on October 6: McCone directs that you withdraw recommendation to ambassador (concerning assassination plan) under McCone instructions, as we cannot be in position ac- tively condoning such course of action and thereby engaging our responsibility therefore (0aible, CIA to Saigon, 10/6/63) In response, the CIA Station in Saigon cabled Headquarters : Action taken as directed. In addition, since DOM Trueheart was also present when original recommendation was made, specific withdrawal of recommendation at McCone's instruction was also conveyed to Trueheart. Ambassador Lodge com- mented that he shares McCone's opinion. (Cable, Saigon to CIA, 10/7/63) Conein, the 'C'IA official who dealt directly with the Generals,2 testified that he was first told of McCone's response to the assassina- tion alternative by Ambassador Lodge around October 20. (Conein, 6/20,/75, p. 35) Conein testified (but did not so indicate in his detailed After-Action Report) that he then told General Don that the United States opposed assassination, and that the General responded, "Al- right, you don't like it, we won't talk about it anymore." (Conein, 6/20/75, p. 36) 1 Colby, who was then Chief, Far Eastern Division, drafted this cable for McCone. Colby testified : "Q. So you were on notice as of that date that the Director personally opposed any luolvement by the CIA in an assassination? "COLBY. I certainly was." (Colby 6/20/75~ pp. 67) 2 Conein described his role as follows : " My job was to convey the orders from my Am- bassador and the instructions from my Ambassador to the people who were planning the coup, to monitor those individuals who were planning the coup, to get as much information so that our government would not be caught with their pants down." (Conein, 6/20/75, pp. 38-39) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 222 The United States increased pressure on Diem to mend his ways. On October 17, General Richard Stillwell (MACV operations chief) informed Secr?atary Thuan that the United States was suspending aid to t he Special Forces units responsible for the pagoda raids until they were transferred to the field and placed under Joint General Staff (JGS) command. (Pentagon Papers, p. 217) On October 27, Lodge traveled to Dalat with Diem, but did not receive any commitment from Diem to comply with American requests. (Pentagon Papers, p. 219) On October 28, Conein met with General Don, who had recd^.ived assurance from Lodge that Conein spoke for the United States. Don said that he would make the plans for the coup available to the Am- bassador four hours before it took place, and suggested that Lodge not change his plans to go to the United States on October 31. (LCI, Re- port, C p. 37; Pentagon Papers, p. 219) On October 30, Lodge reported to Washington that he was power- less to stop the coup, and that the matter was entirely in Vietna nnese hands. General Harkins disagreed and cabled his opposition try the coup to General Taylor. (Pentagon Papers, p. 220) A cable'rom Bundy to Lodge dated October 30 expressed White House concern and stated that "[w]e cannot accept conclusion that we have no power to delay or discourage a coup." (Cable, Bundy to Lodge, 10/30:/63) A subsequent cable on that same day from Washington instructed Lodge to intercede with the Generals to call off the coup if hroo did not, believe it would succeed. The instructions prescribed "strict, non- involvement and somewhat less strict neutrality." (Pentagon Papers, p. 220) Late in the morning of November 1, the first units involved in the coup began to deploy around Saigon. The Embassy was given only four minutes warning before the coup began. (Cable, MACV to ioint Chiefs of Staff, 11/1/63) An aide to Don told Conein to bring all available money to the Joint General Staff headquarters. Conein brought 3 million piasters (approximately $42,000) to the headquar- ters, which wa,- given to Don to procure food for his troops and to pay death benefits to those killed in the coup. (Conei.n, 6/20/75, p. 72)1 Conein was at the Joint General Staff headquarters during most of the coup. (I.G. Report, C, pp. 41-42) At 1:40 p.m., the Generals pro- posed that Diem resign immediately, and guaranteed him and Nhu safe departure. (Con.ein After-Action Report, p. 15) The palace was sur- rounded shortly afterwards, and at 4 :30 p.m. the Generals annolr aced the coup on thu radio and demanded the resignation of Diem and Nhu. Diehl called Lodge and inquired about the United States' posi i.lon. Lodge responded that the United States did not yet have a view. and expressed concern for Diem's safety. (Pentagon Papers, p. 221) According to Conein's report, Minh told Nhu that if he and Diem did not resign within five minutes, the palace would be bombed. Minh then phoned I-iem. Diem refused to talk with him and Minh ordered the bombing of the palace. Troops moved in on the palace, but Diem still refused to capitulate. Minh offered Diem a second chance to sur- 3Passing money to the coup leaders was considered sometime prior to the coup. On October 29. Lodge abled that a request for funds should be anticipated. (Cables, Lodge to State. 10/29/63, and 10/30/63) Conein received the money on October 24, and kept rt in a safe in his house. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/0 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 render half an hour later, telling him that if he refused he would be "blasted off of the earth." Shortly before nightfall an air assault was launched on the Presidential Guard's barracks. (Conein After-Action Report, 11/1/63, pp. 17-18) At 6:20 on the morning of November 2, Diem called General Don at the Joint General Staff headquarters and offered to surrender if he and Nhu were given safe conduct to an airport. Shortly afterwards, Diem offered to surrender unconditionally and ordered the Presi- dential Guard to cease firing. According to Conein, an escort for Diem appeared in front of the palace at 8 :00 a.m., but Diem and Nhu were not present. (Conein After-Action Report, 11/1/63, p. 24) Conein testified that he left the JGS headquarters amidst prepara- tions by the Vietnamese generals to house Diem and Nhu there under proper security. After his return home he received a telephone call and was told to come to the Embassy. At the Embassy he was told that orders had come from the President of the United States to locate Diem. He -further testified that he returned to JGS headquarters about 10:30 a.m. and asked General Big Minh where Diem was. After some discussion, Conein stated, Minh said that they were behind the General Staff Headquarters, but professed that they had died by their own hand. Minh offered to show the bodies to Conein but Conein declined because he feared that doing so might damage United States interests. (Conein, 6/20/75, pp. 55-57). The details of Diem's and Nhu's deaths are not known.l There is no available evidence to give any indication of direct or indirect in- volvement of the United States.' '? Conein speculated that Diem and Nhu escaped through a tunnel from the palace and fled to a Catholic Church in Cholon. He opined that an informant must have identified them and called the General Staff headquarters. (Conein After-Action Report, 1/11/63, p. 23) A CIA source stated that Diem and Nhu had left the palace the previous evening with a Chinese businessman and arrived at the church at 8:00 on the morning of November 2. Ten minutes later they were picked up by soldiers and forced into an army vehicle. (Cable, Saigon to State, 11/2/63) Minh originally told Conein that Diem and Nhu had committed suicide, but Conein doubted that Catholics would have taken their own lives in a church. (Conein, 8/20/75, p 56) The Inspector General's Report states that on November 16, 1963, a field-grade officer of unknown reliability gave the CIA two photographs of the bodies of Diem and Nhu in which it appeared their hands were tied behind their backs. (LG. Report, C, pp. 43-44) The source reported that Diem and Nhu had been shot and stabbed while being conveyed. to the Joint General Staff headquarters. 2It must be noted that on October 30, 1963. Ambassador Lodge notified Washington that there might be a request by key leaders for evacuation, and suggested Saigon as a point for evacuation. (Cable, Saigon to Washington, 10/30/63) Conein was charged with obtaining the airplane. Between 6 :00 and 7:0 0 on the morning of November 2, Minh and Don asked Conein to procure an aircraft. Conein relayed the request to a Station Officer at the Embassy who replied that it would not be possible to get an aircraft for the next twenty-four hours, since it would have to be flown from Guam. Conein testified that a Station representative told him that Diem could be flown only to a country that offered him asylum and that the plane could not land in any other country. There were no aircraft immediately available that had sufficient range to reach a potential country of asylum. (Conein, 6/20/75, p. 54) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 On September 4, 1970, Dr. Salvador Allende Gossens won a plurality in Chiles Presidential election.' Since no candidate had received A ma- jority of the popular vote, the Chilean constitution required that a joint session of its Congress decide between the first an4second place finishers. This constitutional requirement had, in the past, been pro- forma. The Congress had always selected the candidate who received the highest popular vote. The date set for the Congressional joint ses- sion was October 24, 1970. On September 15, 1970, President Richard Nixon informed CIA Director Richard Helms that an Allende regime in. Chile would not be acceptable to the United States. The CIA was instructed by President Nixon to play a direct role in organizing a military coup d'etat in Chile to prevent Allende's accession to the presidency. The Agency was to take this action without coordination with the Departments of State or Defense and without informing the U.S. Ambassador in Chile. While coup possibilities in general and other means of seeking to pre- vent Allende's accession to power were explored by the 40 Committee throughout this period, the 40 Committee was never informed of this direct CIA role. In practice, the Agency was to report, both for infor- mational and approval purposes, to the President's Assistant for Na- tional Security Affairs, Henry Kissinger, or his deputy. Between October 5 and October 20, 1970, the CIA made 21 contacts with key military and Carabinero (police) officials in Chile. Those Chileans who were inclined to stage a coup were given assurances of strong support at the highest levels of the U.S. Government, both be- fore and after a coup. One of the major obstacles faced by all the military conspirators in Chile was the strong opposition .to a coup by the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, General Rene Schneider, who insisted the constitutional process be followed. As a result of his strong constitutional stand, the removal of General Schneider became a necessary ingredient in the coup plans of all the Chilean conspirators. Unable to have General Schneider retired or reassigned, the conspirators decided to kidnap him. An unsuccessful abduction attempt was made on October 19,1970, by a group of Chilean military officers whom the CIA was actively supporting. A second kidnap attempt was made the following day, ' Dr. Allende, a long-time Senator and founder of the Socialist Party in Chile, was a candidate of the Popular Unity Coalition. The Coalition was made up of Communists, Social- ists, Social Democrats, Radicals, and dissident Christian Democrats. Allende was a self-pro- claimed Marxist and was making his fourth try for the presidency. His opponents were Rodomiro Tomic Romero, candidate of the ruling Christian Democratic Party, and Jorge Alessandri Rodriquez, candidate of the right-wing National Party. Dr. Allende won 36.3% of the popular vote ; Alessandri was second with 35.3% of the vote. Dr. Allende's margin of victory was 39,000 votes out of a total of 3 million votes cast in the election. The incumbent President, Eduardo Frei Montalvo, a Christian Democrat, was ineligible for re- election. Chilean law prohibits Presidents from succeeding themselves. (225) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 226 again unsuccessfully. In the early morning hours of October 22, 1970, machine guns and ammunition were passed by the CIA to the group that had failed on October 19. That same day General Schneider was mortally wounded in an attempted kidnap on his way to work. The attempted kidnap and the shooting were apparently conducted by con- spirators other than those to whom the CIA had provided weapons earlier in the day. A Chilean military court found that high-ranking military officers, both active and retired, conspired to bring about a military coup and to kidnap General Schneider. Several of the officers whom the CIA had contacted and encouraged in their coup conspiracy were convicted of conspiring to kidnap General Schneider. Those convicted of carry- ing out the actual kidnap attempt and the killing of General Schneider were associates of retired General Roberto Viaux, who had initially been thought by the CIA to be the best hope. However, later the CIA discouraged General Viaux because the Agency felt other officers, such as General Camilo Valenzuela, were not sufficiently involved. General Viaux was convicted by the military court and received a twenty-year prison sentence for being the "intellectual author" of the Schneider kidnap attempt. General Valenzuela was sentenced by the military court to three years in exile for taking part in the conspiracy to prevent Allende's assumption of office. The military court found that the two Generals had been in contact throughout the coup plotting. The principal facts leading up to the death of General Schneider (all of which are discussed in more detail below) are as follows: 1. By the end of September 1970, it appeared that the only feasible way for the CIA to implement the Presidential order to prevent Al- lende from coming to power was to foment a coup d'etat. 2. All of the known coup plots developed within the Chilean mili- tary entailed the removal of General Schneider by one means or another. 3. United States officials continued to encourage and support Chil- ean plans for a coup after it became known that the first step would be to kidnap General Schneider. 4. Two unsuccessful kidnap attempts were made, one on October 19, the other on October 20. Following these attempts, and with knowl- edge of their failure, the CIA passed three submachine guns and am- munition to Chilean officers who still planned to kidnap General Schneider. 5. In a third kidnap attempt on October 22, apparently conducted by Chileans other than those to whom weapons had been supplied, General Schneider was shot and subsequently died. The guns used in the abortive kidnapping of General Schneider were, in all probability, not those supplied by the CIA to the conspirators. The Chilean mili- tary court which investigated the Schneider killing determined that Schneider had been murdered by handguns, although one machine gun was at the scene of the killing.1 1 The Committee has not been able to determine whether or not the machine gun at the scene of the Schneider killing was one of the three supplied by the CIA. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 22.7 6. While there is no question that the CIA received a direct instruc- tion from the President on September 15th to attempt to foment a coup, the Committee received sharply conflicting testimony about whether the White House was kept it foi?ned of, and authorized, the coup efforts in Chile after October 15. On one side of the conflict is the testimony of Henry Kissinger and General Alexander Haig; on the other, that of CIA officials. Kissinger testified that the White House stood down CIA efforts to promote a military coup d'etat in Chile on October 15, 1970. After that date, Kissinger testified-and Haig agreed-that the White House neither knew of, nor specifically approved, CIA coup activities in Chile. CIA officials, on the other hand, have testified that their activities in Chile after October 15 were known to and thus authorized by the White House.' This conflict in testimony, which the Committee has been unable to resolve through its hearings or the documentary record, leaves un- answered the most serious question of whether the CIA was acting pursuant to higher authority (the CIA's view) or was pursuing coup activities in Chile without sufficient communication (the Kissinger/ Haig view). 2. THE PRESIDENT'S INITIAL INSTRUCTION AND BACKGROUND (a) September 15 White House meeting On September 15, 1970, President Nixon met with his Assistant for National Security Affairs, Henry Kissinger, CIA Director Richard Helms, and Attorney General John Mitchell at the White House. The topic was Chile. Handwritten notes taken by Director Helms at that meeting reflect both its tenor and the President's instructions : One in 10 chance perhaps, but save Chile ! worth spending not concerned risks involved no involvement of Embassy $10,000,000 available, more if necessary full-time Job-best men we have game plan make the economy scream 48 hours for plan of action. In his testimony before the Select Committee, Director Helms re- called coming away from the meeting on September 15 with : * * * [the] impression * * * that the President came down very hard that he wanted something done, and he didn't much care how and that he was prepared to make money available.* * * This was a pretty all-inclusive order. * * * If I 1 The basic issue is whether or not the CIA informed the white House of its activities. In context, informing was tantamount to being authorized. No one who testified believed that the CIA was required to seek step-by-step authorization for its activities; rather the burden was on the white House to object if a line of activity being pursued by the CIA seemed unwise. Both Kissinger and Haig agreed that if the CIA had proposed a persua- sive plan to them, It almost certainly would have been approved. The CIA did not believe it needed specific white House authorization to transfer weapons to the Chileans ; in fact, CIA Deputy Director (Plans) Thomas Karamessines testified that he did not formally approve the transfer, but rather that in the context of the project it was clear that the Agency had the authority to transfer weapons and that it was clear to Karamessines' subordinates that he would approve their decision to do so. He believed he probably was informed before the weapons actually were sent. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 ::CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 228 ever carried a marshall's baton in my knapsack out of the Oval Office, it was that day.' (Helms, 7/15/75, pp. 6, 10, 11) However, none of the CIA officers believed that assassination was with- in the guidelines Helms had been given. Senator HART of Colorado.... did the kind of carte blanche mandate you carried, the marshall's baton that you carried out in a knapsack to stop Allende from assuming office include physicial elimination? Mr. HELMS. Well, not in my mind, because when I became Director, I had already made up my mind that we weren't going to have any of that business when I was Director, and I had made that clear to my fellows, and I think they will tell you this. The following day, September 16, Director Helms called a meeting at the CIA to discuss the Chilean situation. At this meeting, he related to his colleagues his understanding of the President's in- structions : 2. The Director told the group that President Nixon had decided that an Allende regime in Chile was unacceptable to the United States. The President asked the Agency to prevent Allende from coming to power or to unseat him. The President authorized $10,000,000 for this purpose, if needed. Further, the Agency is to carry out this mission without coordination with the Departments of State or Defense. (Memorandum/Genesis of the Project, 9/16/70) Henry Kissinger's recollection of the September 15 meeting with President Nixon is in accord with that of Richard Helms.2 Although Dr. Kissinger did not recall the President's instructions to be as pre- cise as those related by Director Helms, he did testify that : * * * the primary thrust of the September 15th meeting was to urge Helms to do whatever he could to prevent Allende from being seated. (Kissinger, 8/12/75, p. 13) * * * * * * * It is clear that President Nixon wanted him [Helms] to encourage the Chilean military to cooperate or to take the initiative in preventing Allende from taking office. (Kissinger, 8/12/75, p. 12) Operationally, the CIA set the President's instructions into motion on September 21. On that day two cables were sent from CIA Head- quarters to Santiago informing the CIA Chief of Station (COS) of his new directive : 3. Purpose of exercise is to prevent Allende assumption of power. Parlia- mentary legerdemain has been discarded. Military solution is objective. (Cable 236, Hq. to Sta., 9/21/70) * * * * * * * 1 Director Helms also testified that the September 15th meeting with President Nixon may have been triggered by the presence of Augustin Edwards, the publisher of the Santiago daily El Mercurio, in Washington. That morning, at the request of Donald Ken- dall, President of Pepsi Cola, Henry Kissinger and John Mitchell had met for breakfast with Kendall and Edwards. (Mitchell calendar) The topic of conversation was the political situation in Chile and the plight of El Mercurio and other anti-Allende forces. According to Mr. Helms : I recall that prior to this meeting [with the President] the editor of El Mercurio had come to Washington and I had been asked to go and talk to him at one of the hotels here, this having been arranged through Don Kendall, the head of the Pepsi Cola Com- pany. * * * I have this impression that the President called this meeting where I have my handwritten notes because of Edwards' presence in Washington and what he heard from Kendall about what Edwards was saying about conditions in Chile and what was happening there. (Helms, 7/15/75, pp. 4-5) 2 The documents, and the officials from whom the Committee has heard testimony, are in substantial agreement about what President Nixon authorized on September 15, namely CIA involvement in promoting a military coup d'etat in Chile. There is not, however, agreement about what was communicated between the CIA and the White House-and hence what was authorized by the latter-in the week between October 15 and the shooting of General Schneider on October 22. This matter will be discussed in Part V of this report. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 B. (Track Two)-This is authority granted to CIA only, to work toward a military solution to problem. As part of authority we were explicitly told that 40 Committee, State, Ambassador and Embassy were not to be told of this Track Two nor involved in any matter. (Cable 240, Hq. to Sta., 9/21/70) (b) Background : TrackB I and II United States Government concern over an Allende regime in Chile did not begin with President Nixon's September 15 instruction to the CIA.' For more than a year, Chile had been on the 40 Committee's agenda. At an April 15, 1969, meeting of the 303 Committee (the pred- ecessor of the 40 Committee) the question arose as to whether any- thing should be done with regard to the September 1970 Presidential election in Chile. At that time, Director Helms pointed out that "an election operation will not be effective unless an early enough start is made." 2 On March 25, 1970, the 40 Committee approved a joint Em- bassy/CIA proposal recommending that "spoiling" operations- propaganda and other activities--be undertaken by the CIA in an effort to prevent an election victory by Allende's Popular Unity (UP) Coalition. A total of $135,000 was authorized by the 40 Committee for this anti-Allende activity. On June 18, 1970, the U.S. Ambassador to Chile, Edward Korry, submitted a two-phase proposal to the Depart- ment of State and the CIA for review. The first phase involved an increase in support to the anti-Allende campaign. The second was a contingency plan to make "a $500,000 effort in Congress to persuade certain shifts in voting on 24 October 1970." On June 27, 1970, the 40 Committee increased funding for the anti-Allende "spoiling" opera- tion to $390,000. A decision on Ambassador Korry's second proposal was deferred pending the results of the September 4 election. The 40 Committee met twice between the time Allende received a plurality of the popular vote on September 4 and President Nixon issued his instruction to Director Helms on September 15.3 At both these meetings the question of U.S. involvement in a military coup i Covert U.S. Government involvement in large-scale politioal action programs in Chile began with the 1964 Presidential election. As in 1970, this was, in part, in response to the perceived threat of Salvador Allende. Over $3 million was spent by the CIA In the 1964 effort. (Colby, 7/14/75, p. 5) ' This and other references to 40 Committee discussions and actions regarding Chile are contained in a memorandum provided to the Committee by the CIA entitled Policy Decisions Related to Our Covert Action Involvement in the September 1970 Chilean Presidential Election," dated October 9, 1970. On August 25, 1975 we subpoenaed all White House/National Security Council documents and records relating to the effort b the United States Government to prevent Salvador Allende from assuming office. On september 4, the Committee received 46 documents from the White House relating to Chile covering the period September 5 to October 14, 1970. $ Following the September 4 election, the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence circulated an intelligence community assessment of the impact of an Allende government on U.S. national interests. That assessment, dated September 7, 1970, stated : Regardin_ gg threats to TJS. Interests, we conclude that : 1. The U.S. has no vital national interests within Chile. There would, however. be tangible economic losses. 2. The world military balance of power would not be significantly altered by an Allende government. 3. An Allende victory would, however, create considerable political and psychologi- cal costs : a. Hemispheric cohesion would be threatened by the challenge that an Allende government would pose to the OAS, and by the reactions that it would create in other countries. We do not see, however, any likely threat to the peace of the region. b. An Allende victory would represent a definite psychological set-back to the U.S. and a definite psychological advance for the Marxist Idea. (Intelligence Memorandum/ "Situation Following the Chilean Presidential Election," CIA's Directorate of Intelli- gence, (9/7/70) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 :-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 against Allende was raised. Kissinger stressed the importance of these meetings when he testified before the Committee : I think the meeting of September 15th has to be seen in the context of two previous meetings of the 40 Committee on September 8th and September 14th in which the 40 Committee was asked to look at the'pros and cons and the prob- lems and prospects of a Chilean military coup to beorganized with United States assistance. (Kissinger, 8/12/75, p. 5) According to the summary of the 40 Committee meeting on Septem- ber 8, the following was discussed : * * * all concerned realized that previous plops for a Phase II would have to be drastically redrawn. * * * The DCI made the point, however, that congres- sional action against Allende was not likely to succeed and that once Allende was in office the Chilean opposition to him would disintegrate and collapse rapidly. While not advocating a specific course of action, the Director further observed that a military golpe against Allende would have very little chance of success unless undertaken soon. Both the Chairman and the Attorney General supported this view. * * * At the close of the * * * meeting the Chairman directed the Embassy to prepare a "cold-blooded assessment'! of: (1) the pros and cons and problems and prospects involved should a Chilean military coup be organized now with U.S. assistance, and (2) the pros and cons and problems and prospects involved in organizing an effective future Chilean opposition to Allende. (CIA Memorandum/Policy Deci- sion Related to Our Covert Action Involvement in the September 1970 Chilean Presidential Election, 10/9/70) < Ambassador Korry responded to the 40 Committee's request for a cold-blooded assessment" on September 12. He stated that "We [the Embassy] believe it now clear that Chilean military will not, repeat not, move to prevent Allende's accession, barring unlikely situation of national chaos and widespread violence." The Ambassador went on to say that "Our own military people [are] unanimous in rejecting possibility of meaningful military intervention in political situation." He concluded by stating : "What we are saying in this `cold-blooded assessment' is that opportunities for further significant USG action with the Chilean military are nonexistent.". (Memorandum/Ambas- sador's Response to Request for Analysis of Military Option in Pres- ent Chilean Situation, 9/12/70) The CIA's response was in the same vein. Kissinger's assistant for Latin American affairs on the NSC staff summarized the CIA's "cold-blooded assessment" in a memo to his boss : "Military action is impossible; the military is incapable and unwilling to seize power. We have no capability to motivate or instigate a coup " (Memorandum for Dr. Kissinger/Chile-40 Committee Meeting, Monday-Septem- ber 14, 1970) On September 14, the 40 Committee met to discuss these reports and what action was to be taken : Particular attention was devoted to a CIA prepared review of political and military options in the Chilean electoral situation based on the Embassy and Station's "cold-blooded assessment." The Committee focused on the so-called "Rube Goldberg" gambit which would see Alessandri elected by the Congress on October 24th, resigning thereafter to leave Frei constitutionally free to run in a second election for the presidency. Ambassador Korry was asked to go directly to President Frei to see if he would be willing to commit himself to this line of action. A contingency of $250,000 was approved for "covert support of projects which Frei or his trusted team deem important." It was further agreed that a propaganda campaign be undertaken by the Agency to focus on the damage of an Allende takeover.' usinghit which 0arose--bribing Chilean congressman was never against spent. The only propos for perceived to be unworkable. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 231 (CIA Memo/Policy Decision Related to Our Covert Action Involvement in the September 1970 Chilean Presidential Election, 10/9/70) Following the September 14 Forty Committee meeting and Presi- dent Nixon's September 15 instruction to the CIA, U.S. Government efforts to prevent Allende from assuming office proceeded on two tracks.' Track I comprised all covert activities approved by the 40 Committee, including the $250,000 contingency fund to bribe Chilean congressmen as well as propaganda and economic activities. These activities were designed to induce the opponents to Allende in Chile to prevent his assumption of power, either through political or mili- tary means. Track II activities in Chile were undertaken in response to President Nixon's September 15 order and were directed towards actively promoting and encouraging the Chilean military to move against Allende. In his testimony before the Committee, Kissinger stressed the links between Tracks I and II : * * * There was work by all of the agencies to try to prevent Allende from being seated, and there was work by all of the agencies on the so-called Track I to encourage the military to move against Allende * * * the difference between the September 15th meeting and what was being done in general within the government was that President Nixon was encouraging a more direct role for the CIA in actually organizing such a coup. (Kissinger, 8/12/75, p. 13) Tracks I and II did, in fact, move together in the month after Sep- tember 15. The authorization to Ambassador Korry, who was formally excluded from Track II, to encourage a military coup became broader and broader. In the 40 Committee meeting on September 14, he and other "ap ropriate members of the Embassy Mission" were authorized to intensify their contacts with Chilean military officers to assess their willingness to support the "Frei gambit"-a voluntary turn-over of power to the military by Frei, who would then have been eligible to run for President in a new election. (Memorandum/Policy Decisions Related to Our Covert Action Involvement in the September 1970 Chilean Presidential Election, 10/9/70) In a situation report to Dr. Kissinger and Assistant Secretary Charles Meyer on September 21, Ambassador Korry indicated that in order to make the Frei gambit work, "if necessary, General Schnei- der would have to be neutralized, by displacement if necessary." 2 i The terms Track I and Track II were known only to CIA and White House officials who were knowledgeable about the President's September 15 order to the CIA: The Com- mittee sent letters to various senior officials inquiring if they were, In fact, not'knowledge- able of the Track II activities. Those letters were sent to Secretary of State William Rogers, Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, Deputy Secretary of Defense David Packard, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs U Alexis Johnson, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer, NSC Staff Member for Latin America Viron P. Vaky, Director of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research Ray. S. Cline, and the Deputy Chief of Mission in Santiago Harry W. Shlaudeman. The Commitee has received written responses from Messrs. Moorer, Johnson, Vaky Shlaudeman and Cline. All except Cline have indicated that they had no knowledge of the Track II activity at the time ; Cline indicated he heard of the activities in a general way, from his sub- ordinate who handled 40 Committee work and from former associates at the CIA. In oral communications with Committee staff members, Secretaries Rogers and Laird have indicated they were unaware of Track II. 2 In this same situation report Ambassador Kerry related a message that he had sent to President Frei through his 1 efense Minister indicating the economic pressures that would be brought to bear on Chile should Allende assume office : Frei should know that not a nut or bolt will be allowed to reach Chile under Allende. Once Allende comes to power we shall do all within our power to condemn Chile and the Chileans to utmost deprivation and poverty, a policy designed for a long time to come to accelerate the hard features of a Communist society in Chile. Hence, for Frei to believe that there will be much of an alternative to utter misery, such as seeing Chile muddle through, would be strictly illusory. The use of economic instruments as levers on Frei and the Chilean military was a persistent subject of White House/CIA discussions and of instructions to the field. Helms' notes from the September 15 meeting with the President included the notation "make the economy scream." Economic leverage was the primary topic of a September 18 White House meeting involving Kissinger, Helms and Karamessines. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 232 (Situation Report, Korry to Meyer and Kissinger, 9/21/70) In testi- fying, Kissinger felt the Korry report indicated the degree to which " Track I and Track II were merging, that is to say, that individuals on Track I were workin on exactly the same problem as the CIA was working on Track II.' (Kissinger, 8/12/75, p. 21) Ambassador Korryy's activities in Chile between September 4 and October 24 support Kissinger's view that the line separating Track I and Track II often became blurred. For example, the Ambassador was authorized to make his contacts in the Chilean military aware that if Allende were seated, the military could expect no further military assistance (MAP) from the United States. Later, in response to his own recommendation, Korry was authorized to inform the Chilean military that all MAP and military sales were being held in abeyance pending the outcome of the Congressional election on October 24. On October 7, Ambassador Korry received the following cable from Washington, apparently authorized by the 40 Committee : 2. * * * you are now authorized to inform discreetly the Chilean military through the channels available to you that If a successful effort is made to block Allende from taking office, we would reconsider the cuts we have thus far been forced to make in Chilean MAP and otherwise increase our presently programmed MAP for the Chilean Armed Forces. * * * If any steps the military should take should result in civil disorder, we would also be prepared promptly to deliver support and material that might be immediately required. (Cable 075517, Hq. to Sta., 10/7/70) The essential difference between Tracks I and II, as evidenced by instructions to Ambassador Korry during this period, was not that Track II was coup-oriented and Track I was not. Both had this objec- tive in mind. The difference between the two tracks was, simply, that the CIA's direct contacts with the Chilean military, and its active promotion and support for a coup without President Frei's involve- lent, were to be known only to a small group of individuals in the White House and the CIA. Kissinger testified that Track II matters were to be reported directly to the White House "for reasons of secur- ity." (Kissinger, 8/12/75, p. 14) Thomas Karamessines, the CIA's Deputy Director for Plans at the time and the principal CIA contact with the White House on Track II matters, testified on his understand- ing of why State, Defense, the 40 Committee and Ambassador Korry were excluded from Track II : That was not a decision that we made. But the best I can do is suggest that there was concern about two things. Number one, that there might be serious objections lodged, for example, by the State Department particularly if Track II were to be laid out at a Forty Committee meeting. And the only other thing I can contribute to that is that It was felt that the security of the activity would be better protected if knowledge of it were limited. (Karamessines, 8/6/75, p. 122) (c) CIA views of difficulty of project On one point the testimony of the CIA officials who were involved in Track II is unanimous : they all said they thought Track II was unlikely to succeed. That view ran from the working levels of the Agency to the top. They all said they felt they were being asked to do the impossible, that the risks and potential costs of the project were too great. At the same time, they felt they had been given an explicit Presidential order, and they tried to execute that order. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 A few excerpts from the testimony follow : Richard Helms, CIA Director- * * * my heart sank over this meeting, because * * * the possibility of bringing off something like this seemed to me at that time to be Just as remote as anything could be. In practical terms, the Army was constitutionalist. * * * And when you look here at the time frame in which the man was suddenly asking you to accomplish something, it seemed really almost inconceivable. * * * What I came away from the meeting with the distinct impression that we were being asked to do almost the impossible and trying to indicate this was going to be pretty tough. * * * (Helms, 7/15/75, pp. 6-7) Chief, Chile Task Force? * * * it [was] my feeling that the odds [were] unacceptable, it [was] some- thing that [was] not going to work, and we [were] going to be burned if we [got] into it * * * what [were] the chances of pulling off a coup successfully, or in any way stopping Allende from assuming the presidency? * * * we never even got to two chances out of 20. (Chief, Chile Task Force, 7/31/75, p. 16) * * * I assure you that those people that I was in touch with at the Agency just about universally said, my God, why are we given this assignment? (Chief, Chile Task Force, 7/31/75, p. 53) Deputy Chief, Western Hemisphere Division- There was just no question that we had to make this effort, no matter what the odds were. And I think that most people felt that the odds were just pretty long. (Deputy Chief/WH Division, 7/15/75, p. 20) Further, CIA officials believed their judgment of the project's difficulty was known to the White House. Helms commented on the September 15th meeting: "So realizing all of-these things, I'm rela- tively certain that day that I pointed out this is going to be awfully tough." (Helms, 7/15/75, p. 16) Karamesslnes recalled pointing out to the President that "the Chilean military seemed to be disorganized and unwilling to do anything. And without their wanting to o something, there did not seem to be much hope." (Karamesslnes, 8/6/75, p. 10) 3. CIA'S IMPLEMENTATION. OF TRACE II (a) Evolution of CIA strategy The President's instruction to the CIA on Sgel ember 15 to prevent Allende's assumption of power was given in context of a broad U.S. Government effort to achieve that end. The September 15 in-' struction to the CIA involved from the beginning the promotion of a military coup d'etat in Chile. Although there was talk of a coup in Chilean military circles, there was little indication that it would actu- ally take place without active U.S. encouragement and support. There was much talk among Chilean officers about the possibility of some kind of coup ... but this was not the kind of talk that was being backed by, you know, serious organizational planning. (Karamesslnes, 8/6/75, p. 32) (i) The "Constitutional Coup" Approach Although efforts to achieve a political solution to the Allende victory continued simultaneous with Track II, the Agency premised its ac- tivities on the assumption that the political avenue was a dead end. On September 21, CIA Headquarters cabled its Station in.Santiago: Purpose of exercise is to prevent Allende assumption of power. Paramilitary legerdemain has been discarded. Military solution is objective. (Cable 236, Hq. to Sta., 9/21/70) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 284 The initial strategy attempted to enlist President Frei in promoting a cup to perpetuate his presidency for six more years. The Agency decided to promise "help in any election which was an outgrowth,. of a successful military takeover." (Memo; Helms to Kissinger, 11/1,8/70) TJnder this plan Frei would invite the military to take over, dissolve the Congress, and proclaim a new election. Thomas Karamessines, the Deputy Director for Plans, testified : So this was In a sense not Track II, but in a sense another aspect of a quiet and hopefully non-violent military coup. * * * This was abandoned when the military were reluctant to push Frei publicly * * * and, number two, Frei was reluctant to leave on his own in the absence of pressure from the military. * * * There was left as the only chance of success a straight military coup. (Karamessines S/6/75, p. 6) At the same time, the Station in Santiago reported: Strong reasons for thinking neither Frei nor Schneider will act. For that reason any scenario in which either has to play an active role now appears Bitterly unrealistic. Overtures to lower echelon officers (e.g., Valenzuela) can of course be made. This involves promoting Army split. (Cable 424, Sta. to Ilq., 9/:3/70) (ii) Military Solution President Frei's failure even to attempt to dissuade his own party convention on October 3-4 from reaching a compromise with Ailende ended all hope of using him to prevent an Allende, presidency. (.Memo, Helms to Kissinger, 11/18/70, p. 16) Thus, by the beginning of Octo- ber, it was clear that a vehicle for a military solution would have to be found in the second echelon of Chilean officers, and tliot the top leadership of the Armed Services, particularly General Rene Schneider, constituted a stumbling block. (Cable 424, Sta. to Hq., 9/123/70; Cable 439, Sta. to Hq., 9/30/70) The Agency's task was to ca.use a coup in a highly unpromising situation and to overcome the formidable obstacles represented by Frei's inaction, Schneider's strong constitutionalism, and the absence of organization and enthusiasm among those officers who were interested in a coup. A three-fold program was set into motion : a. Collect intelligence on coup-minded officers ; b. Create a coup climate by propaganda,' disinformation, and terroris activi- ties intended to provoke the left to give a pretext for a coup: (Cable 611, Hq. to Sta., 10/7/70) c. Inform those coup-minded officers that the U.S. Government would give them full support in a coup short of direct U.S. military intervention. (Cable 71112, Hq. to Sta., 10/14/70) 1A cable sent from 'CIA Headquarters to Santiago on October 19 focused on +reating an appropriate ju- tification for a coup. The cable stated : 1. It still ap1 rears that Ref A coup has no pretext or justification that it can offer to make it acceptable in Chile or Latin America. It therefore would seem necessary ro create one to bolster what will probably be their claim to a coup to save Chile from com- munism * * * 'you may wish include variety of themes in justification of coup to military for their use. These could include but are not limited to : (A) Firm Intel. that Cubans planned to reorganize all intelligence services along Soviet/Cuban mold thus creating structure for police state. * * * (B) Economic situation collapsing. * * * (C) Po>y quick recognition of Cuba and Communist countries Allende assumed U.S. would cut off material assistance to Armed Forces thus weakening them as constitutional barriers. Would then empty armories to Communist Peoples Militia with task to run campaign of terror based on alleged labor and economic sabotage. (Use some quotes from Allende on this, 2. Station har written some excellent prop guidances. Using themes at hand an l which best known to you we are now asking you to prepare Intel report based on some well known facts and some fiction to justify coup, split opposition, and gain adher""nts for military group. With appropriate military contact can determine how to "discoroor" Intel report which could even be planted during raids planned by Carabineros. 3. We urge you to get this idea and some concrete suggestions to plotters as soon as you can. Coup should have a justification to prosper. (Cable 882, Hq. to St.. 10/19/70) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 235 (b) The Chile task force Because of the highly sensitive nature of the operation, a special task force was created in the CIA's Western Hemisphere Division to manage it. The task force was placed under the daily direction of the Deputy Director for Plans, Thomas Karamessines, and a. group of the Agency's most experienced and skilled operators were detailed to the task force. One experienced CIA officer was summoned back to Wash ington from an overseas assignment to head the operation. With the exception of the Division Chief, William Broe, his deputy and the head of the Chile Branch, no other officers in the Division were aware of the task force's activities, not even those officers who normally had responsibility for Chile. The task force had a special communications channel to Santiago and Buenos Aires to compartment cable traffic about Track II. (Memo, Helms to Kissinger, 11/18/70, p. 30) Most of the significant operational decisions were made by the Chief of the Chile Task Force, Broe and Karamessines, who met on a daily basis. It should be noted that all those involved with the task force de- scribed the pressure from the White House as intense. Indeed, Kara- messines has said that Kissinger "left no doubt in my mind that he was under the heaviest of pressure to get this accomplished, and he in turn was placing us under the heaviest of pressures to get it accomplished." (Karamessines, 8/6/75, p. 7) The Deputy Chief of the Western Hem= isphere Division testified that pressure was "as tough as I ever saw it in my time there, extreme." (Deputy Chief/WH Division, 7/18/75; p. 20) Broe testified that "I have never gone through a period as we did on the Chilean thing. I mean it was just constant, constant, * * * Just continual pressure. * * * It was coming from the White House." (Broe, 8/4/75, p. 55) (c) Use of the U.S. military attache and interagency relations The CIA Station in Santiago had inadequate contacts within the Chilean military to carry out its task. However, a U.S. military at- tache in Santiago knew the Chilean military very well due to his broad personal contacts among the Chilean officers. Following a pro- posal by the Chief of Station, the CIA decided to enlist the attache in collecting intelligence concerning the possibility of a coup and to use him as a channel to let the interested Chilean military know of U.S. support for a coup. Karamessines described this procedure for the Committee : We also needed contact with a wider segment of the military, the senior mili- tary which we had not maintained and did not have, but which we felt confident that our military representative in Chile had. * * * And we got the approval of the DIA to enlist the cooperation of the attache in our effort to procure intelligence. (Karamessines, 8/6/75, p. 6) To obtain the attache's services, CIA officials prepared a suggested message for the Director of DIA to send to him in Santiago through CIA communications channels. Because the DIA Director, General Donald V. Bennett, was in Europe on official business, the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, General Cushman, invited DIA Deputy Director Lt. General Jamie M. Philpott to his office Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 236 on September 28, 1970.1 During that meeting, General Cushman re- quested the assistance of the attache, and General Philpott signed a letter which authorized transmission of a message directing hurl: * * * to work closely with the CIA chief, or in his absence, his deputy, in contacting and advising the principal military figures who might play a decisive role in any move which might, eventually, deny the presidency to Allende. Do not, repeat not, advise the Ambassador or the Defense Attache of this message, or give them any indication of its portent. In the course of your routine activities, act in accordance with the Ambassador's instructions. Simultaneously, I wish-and now authorize you-to act in a concerted fashion with the CIA chief. This message is for your eyes only, and should not be discussed with oily per- son other than those CIA officers who will be knowledgeable. CIA will identify them. (Cable 380, Iiq. to Sta., 9/28/75) For this and all subsequent messages intended for the ata.ache, the secret CIA communications channel was used. Both General Philpott and Thomas Karamessines testified tlnit ini- tially the attache would be used only to "obtain or procure" in- te,lligence on Chilean military officers.2 (Philpott, 8/5/75, l). 11; Karamessines, 8/6/75, p. 6) The September 28, 1970 message to the attache, however, did in fact trigger his deep involvement in t1w, coup attempt. According to the attache's testimony, he received day-lo-day instructions from the Chief of Station, and on occasion, thsr COS would show him messages, ostensibly from Generals Bennett ind/or Philpott, directing him to take certain actions. The COS also trans- mitted messages from the attache to these Generals. General Bennett testified that he never had knowledge of Track II and that he never received any communication relating therolo, nor did he ever authorize the transmission of any messages to the c L.tache. Cleneral Philpott also testified that he had no recollection of ail?ything connected with Track II after his initial meeting with General Cush- man on September 28. (Philpott, 8/5/75. p. 16) U.S. Army Colonel Robert C. Roth, who in September and October 1970 was the Chief of the Human Resources Division, Director of Col- lection, DIA, testified that he recalled working for Generals Bennett and Philpott on "a priority requirement to identify Chilean personali- ties who might be helpful in preventing the election of Allende as President of Chile." (Roth, 8/14/75, p. 6) Though Roth recalls no mention of Track IT as such, the goal of this mission was identical to that described in the message of September 28 bearing Pli ilpott s signature. Beginning on October 15, Roth kept a chronology of his activities connected with Chile. This chronology reflects that there was a i,leeting on October 21 regarding the preparation of biographic mato,rial on Chilean generals which focused on their willingness to participate in 8 military coup. Generals Bennett, Philpott, and a CIA representa- tive attended. The chronology also shows that on October 21. Roth delivered a. message to Mr. Broe to be sent by CIA chanltels.3 A 1 General Bennett returned to the United States on the evening of October 10, 1970. reneral Philpola was Acting Director in Bennett'- absence. 51n this connection it should be noted that when questioned about this letter, General Philpott testified that he recalled signing an authorization such as that contained in the first paragraph of Headquarters 380 but that he did not recall the authorizations and instructions in paragraphs two and three. 3 Roth believes that General Philpott directed him to deliver this message and also eed him on several er-ens tons to seek a response from Broe to an earlier , n,ssage to the attache. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 237 message was sent to the attache that same day, ostensibly from General Bennett, which authorized : FYI: Suspension temporarily imposed on MAP and FMS has been rescinded. This action does not repeat not imply change in our estimate of situation. On the contrary, it is intended to place us in a posture in which we can formally cut off assistance if Allende elected and situation develops as we anticipate. Request up date on situation. (Cable 446, Sta. to Hq., 10/21/70; Ref.: Cable 762, Hq. to Sta., (Cable 934, Hq. to Sta., 10/21/70) Roth testified that this DIA project ended on October 23 when he followed Philpott's instructions to deliver biographic information on Chilean figures to Mr. Broe at CIA. Philpott also instructed him that "any further action on the subject would henceforth be the respon- sibility of the CIA and that DIA would perform normal support functions." (Roth, 8/14/75, p. 8) 1 Both Bennett and Philpott testified that the activities described by Roth were routine DIA activities. However, Colonel Roth testified : I believe my impression at the time, or my recollection, is that I was informed that there was concern at the highest U.S. Governmental level over the possible election of Allende, that DIA then had a priority responsibility of coming up with the identities of key Chilean personalities that would be helpful, and so forth. I have nothing specific as to'the nature of the instructions or the channels through which they came. Q. It was your sense at the time that you were working on a project that if it had not been initiated by, at least had the attention of or concern of, the highest level? Colonel RoTH. That was my impression at the time. Q. You understand from your work in the Defense Department that the highest level of government usually indicated the President of the United States? Colonel Rovu. I would assume that. The CIA produced copies of several messages which identify Gen- erals Bennett and Philpott as either the sender or recipient. Among these documents is a message relating to Track II which bears Phil- pott's purported signature. (Undated message, 10/14/70) General Philpott admitted that the signature appears to be his but doubted that it was and he could not recall signing it, or having seen it. (Phil- pott, 8/5/75, p. 22) CIA also produced messages of October 14 (Cable 762, Hq. to Sta., 10/14/70) and October 21 (Cable,934, Hq. to Sta., 10/21/70) conveying instructions from General Bennett to the attache. General Bennett testified he did not authorize these messages : It is beyond the responsibilities which I had in the military assistance area. It goes beyond the responsibility which I had in terms that I would have to get the authority or the approval of the Secretary through the Chairman for covert action of this magnitude. This message would not have been signed by me. (Bennett, 8/5/75, p. 21) According to Karamessines, only the White House had the authority to issue the directives contained in those messages. (Karamessines, 8/6/75, p. 84) The Department of Defense was unable to provide any documents bearing on the issue of the attache's Track II instructions or responses. A DOD file search under the direction of General Daniel O. Graham, Director of DIA, produced no copies of communication documents for the September-October 1970 period. (Graham, 8/5/75, p. 6) However, 1 Roth's chronology also indicates that Philpott had asked that Broe be queried on two or three occasions regarding a report from the attache and that Philpott Instructed that only he (Philpott) would communicate with Cushman if the need arose. (Roth. 8/14/75, p. 11) Roth nlso testified that Philpott advised him that communications with the attache would be by CIA channels. (Roth, 8/14/75, p. 41) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 239 Roth testified that detailed memoranda for the record which he pre- pared on his #activities are missing from the files. (Roth, 10/7/75. p. 58) CIA officials maintain that they acted faithfully in transmitting messages to Generals Bennett and/or Philpott and in never sewling a message without proper authorization. Mr. Karamessines wa. - par- ticularly forceful in this regard: "' * * I can recall no instance in my experience at the Central Intelligence Agency in which a message was received for an individual, an officer of the government anywhere, in whatever department, which was not faithfuP{y, di- rectly, promptly and fully and accurately delivered to that officer, or to ijis duly authorized reprr.-entative. (Karamessines, 8/6/75, p. 79) We may have played tricks overseas, but it stopped at the water's edge, and we didn't play tricks among ourselves or among our colleagues within the Agency or in other ageneoes. (Karamessines, 8/6/75, p. 79) We could not remain in business for a day * * * if this had been the practice of the Agency. It would have been no time at all before we would hay, been found out, a single instance of the kind of thing you are suggesting miglhi, have taken place would have put us out of business. (Karamessines, 8/6/75, p. 50) I)r. Kissinger denied he was ever informed of the attache's role or that he authorized any messages to be sent to the attache. (Kissinger, 8/12/75, p. 22) The investigation to date has not resolved the conflict between the statements of the senior CIA, DIA and White House officials. '['here are four possibilities that could explain. the conflict. First, Generals Bennett and Philpott were cognizant of Track II and communicated their general instructions to the attache. This possibility would bt~. con- trary to their sworn testimony. Second, General Bennett was not ;aware of Track II but General Philpott was and communicated general in- structions to the attache. This possibility is supported by I oth's testimony but would be contrary to Philpott's sworn testimony and his duty to keep General Bennett informed. Third, the CIA acted On its own, and, after receiving initial authority from General Philpot t, co- qted and ordered the attache without further informing any member the Department of Defense or the White House. This possibility would be contrary to the sworn testimony of the Chief of the Chile Task Force, W 'illiam Broe, Thomas Karamessines, and William Colby. Fourth, members of the White House staff authorized the CIA to con- vey orders to the attache on the basis of high or highest government authority. Further, that the White House staff directed that the attache's superiors in the Pentagon not be informed. This possibility would contradict the sworn testimony of Dr. Kissinger and General Alexander Ha ig. (d) Agents who posed as third country nationals In order to minimize the risks of making contact with dissident Chilean officers, the task force decided in late September to send four agents to Chile posing as third country nationals to supplement the attache's contacts with Chilean military officers. Headquarters fell' this was necessary because "We don't want to miss a chance." (Cable 363, Hq. to Sta., 9/27/70) The agents were compartmented fron, each other and reported separately on their contacts to an operative in Santiago, who in turn reported to the Station. According to the testi- mony of the Chief of Station, they received their instructions from Washington and not from the Station. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 239 .. (e) Chief of Station Although most of the Station officers in Santiago did 'not know of Track II, the Chief and Deputy Chief of Station were knowledgeable and the Chief of Station initiated contacts on his own with Chilean officers. The COS has testified that he regarded Track II as unrealistic : I had left no doubt in the minds of my colleagues and superiors that I did not consider any kind of intervention in those constitutional processes desirable. * * * And one of the reasons certainly for my last recall [to Washington] was to be read the riot act-which was done in a very pleasant, but very intelligible manner. Specifically, I was told at that time that the Agency was not too m de could continuously executed, butd1 or would th certain be proposals which had (Chief of been interested Station (Felix), 8/1/75, p. 10) The Chief of Station's objection to Track II did not go unnoticed. The following instruction to the COS was sent on October 7: "Report should not contain analysis and argumentation but simply report on action taken." (Cable 612, Hq. to Sta., 10/7/70) Very simply, Head- quarters wanted the Station to take orders quietly as was the Agency itself. Three examples of the Chief of Station's reporting bear out his claim to have dissented : Bear in mind that parameter of action is exceedingly narrow and available options are quite limited and relatively simple. (Cable 424, Sta. to Hq., 9/23/70) Feel necessary to caution against any false optimism. It is essential that we not become victims of our own propaganda. (Cable 441, Sta. to Eq., 10/1/70). Urge you do not convey impression that Station has sure-fire method of halting, let alone triggering coup attempts. (Cable 477, Sta. to Hq., 10/7/70, p. 2) 4. CIA EFFORTS' TO PROMOTE ' A" COUP (a) The Chilean Conspirators Anti-Allende coup plotting in Chile centered around several key individuals. One of these was retired General Roberto Viaux, the General who had led the "Tacnazo" insurrection a year before. Fol- lowing the "Tacnazo" revolt, and his dismissal from the Army, Viaux retained the support of many non-commissioned and junior officers as well as being the recognized leader of several right-wing civilian groups. (CIA Briefing Paper, "Special Mandate from the President on Chile," 7/15/75) Another individual around which plotting cen- tered was General Camilo Valenzuela, Commander of the Santiago Garrison, who was in league with several other Chilean officers. (CIA Report on Chilean Task Force Activities, 11/18/70) These officers, with one possible exception, were in contact with Viaux as well.2 There was considerable communication among the various plotting elements. As Thomas Karamessines testified: * * * I might add here that it seemed that a good dozen or more Chilean senior. officers were privy to what was going on * * * they were all talking to one another 3 This revolt was engineered by Viaux ostensibly for the purposes of dramatizing the military's demand for higher pay, but was widely interpreted as an abortive coup. 9 The record of meetings between Viaux and the active duty military officers is incom- plete. The record does show, however, that several met with Viaux during the Track II period. One. high ranking officer may have been a member of Viaux's inner circle of conspirators. Although a distinction can be made between the Viaux and Valenzuela groups, as CIA witnesses did throughout their testimony before the Committee, the principal dis-e latter offic e d l was two ion gro ups were in ontactawith each other. The red ecord alsio tcy t eeye kwored together in at least two of the three Schneider kidnap attempts. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 240 exchanging views and trying to see how best to mount the kind of coup that they wanted to see take place, (Karamessines, 8/6/75, p. 10.) (b) Contacts prior to October15 The CIA's initial task in Chile was to assess the potential wthin the Chilean military to stage a coup. It recognized quickly t bat anti- Allende currents did exist in the military and the Carl,bineros (police), but, were immobilized by "the tradition of military, respect for the Constitution and "the public and private stance of ':xeneral Schneider, Commander-in-Chief of the Army, who advocated strict adherence to the Constitution." (CIA Report on Chilean Tas'c Force Activities, i 1/18/70), p. 17) The Agency's task, then, was to oi, ercome "the apolitical, constitutional-oriented inertia of the Chilean mili- tary." (Ibid., p. 2) Since the very top of the Chilean military, embodied by General Schneider and his second-in-command, General Prats, were ha.stile to the idea of a coup against Allende, discreet approaches were stade to the second level of general officers. They were to be informed 1 hat the U.S. Government would support a coup both before and after it took place.,, (Cable 611, Hq. to Sta., 10/7/70) This effort began in earnest on October 5 when the attache informed both an Army Ceneral ("Station's priority contact") and an Air Force General of the pro- coup U.S. policy.. (Santiago 469, October 5; Santiago 473, October 6.) 2 Three days later the Chief of Station told a high rankint Cara- binero official that "the U.S. Government favors a military c elution and is willing to support it in any manner short of outright Idlitary intervention." (Task Force Log, 10/9/70) The official inforhtied the COS that there was no chance of a coup by the Chilean Army high command. ('T'ask Force Log, 10/10/70) On October 7, the attache approached members of the War At, tdemy in Santiago who in turn asked him to provide light weapons. Ti,is was the attache's first contact with the Army officer to whom he would ultimately pass three submachine guns on October 22.3 At this meet- ing, the Army officer told the attache that he and his colleagues were : ` * * Trying to exert forces on Frei to eliminate Caen. Schneider to eft her re- place him, send him out of the country. They had even studied plans to kidnap hint. Schneider is the main barrier to all plans for the military to take o er the government to irrevent an Allende presidency. (Cable 483, Sta. to Hq., 10/4/70) The next day, October 8, Headquarters cabled the Station in re- takinge ffice, "Tb,,Chileanprmilitaryf will not he ostht traci eda but Allende aer be coaline from to count on us for MAP support and maintenance of our close relationship." (Cable '075517, 11% to'Sta., 10/7/70) According t the d'IA Station o and tCIheA's wrap-tip attaches for the most part the latter -made 21 contacts c aIto key military and Carabinero officials. (CIA Report on Chilean Task Force Activities, 11 /8/70) In his testimony, the attache indicated that the Army officer was affiliated with an Army bggenoral. (U.S. military attache, 8/91/75, p. 52) Ina cable sent to Headquarters or: octo-rea uest was indicatedn thwhic at th 1af tacche b licer's eved the officer, and h smcomnanion,sa Na maofficere ti ere in leaPue with a Navs admiral. (Cable 562, Sta. to Hq., 10/18/70) At another point in 'n,is tes- timony, the attach,, stated. "There was Valenzuela here and the Navy officer and the Army officer and the Air Force General over here." (The attache, 8/4/75, p. 107) The Con nitee has been unable to determine the exact affiliation of the Army officer. However, as pre lously stated, both the Army general and the Navy admiral were affiliated with General Valen- zuela and the Na',,', admiral was in contact with General Viaux, Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 spouse to the attache-Army officer meeting. Headquarters took note of Schneider's resistance to coup plans and stated : * * * This would make it more important than ever to remove him and to bring this new state of events ... anything we or Station can do to effect removal of Schneider? We know this rhetorical question, but wish inspire thought on both ends on this matter. (Cable 628, Hq. to Sta., 10/8/70) During the first week of intensive efforts chances of success looked bleak. The Chile Task Force Log commented : * * * the highest levels of the armed forces unable to pull themselves together to block Allende. The Chilean military's tradition of non-intervention, Frei's re- luctance to tarnish his historical image, General Schneider's firm constitutional stand, and most importantly, the lack of leadership within the government and military are working against a military takeover. (Task Force Log, 10/8/70) The following day the Station made reference to the "rapid (ly) waning chances for success." (Cable 487, Sta. to Hq., 10/9/70) This pessimism was not dispelled by their simultaneous judgment: "Sta- tion has arrived at Viaux solution by process of elimination." (Cable 504, Sta. to Hq., 10/10/70) Three days later the Task Force agreed: "We continue to focus our attention on General Viaux who now ap- pears to be the only military leader willing to block Allende." (Task Force Log, 10/13/70) If Viaux was the CIA's only hope of staging a coup, things were bleak indeed. His own colleagues, including General Valenzuela, de- scribed him as "a General without an army." (Cable 495, Sta. to Hq., 10/9/70) Yet in the first two weeks of October he came to be regarded as the best hope for carrying out the CIA's Track II mandate. Although the U.S. military attache was instructed not to involve himself with Viaux because of the high risk involved (Cable 461, Sta. to Hq., 10/5/70), he served initially as a contact to Viaux through a military attache of another country. This attache reported on October 5 that Viaux wanted several hundred paralyzing gas grenades to launch a. coup on October 9. (Cable 476, Sta. to Hq., 10/6/70) Headquarters turned down the request, concluding that a "mini-coup at this juncture would be counterproductive" and Viaux should postpone his plans, "while encouraging him in a suitable manner to maintain his posture so that he may join larger movement later if it materializes." (Cable 585, Hq. to Sta., 10/6/70) The primary purpose of the CIA agents who posed as third country nationals was to contact Viaux, and they very rapidly relieved the at- tache of his indirect role in that task. Viaux reiterated his demand for an air drop of weapons to one of these CIA agents, and again the re- sponse was the same: reject the demand for arms, but encourage him to keep planning. In essence the Agency was buying time with Viaux : "We wish to encourage Viaux to expand and refine his coup planning. Gain some influence over his actions." (Cable 689, Hq. to Sta., 10/10/ 70) To achieve this latter purpose, Headquarters authorized passing $20,000 in cash and a promise of $250,000 in life insurance to Viaux and his associates, as a demonstration of U.S. support. (Cable 729, Hq. to Sta., 10/13/70) On October 13, Headquarters again indicated its concern over Schneider by asking: "What is to keep Schneider from making state- ment in early hours which will freeze those military leaders who might Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 otherwise join Viaux?" (Cable 729, Hq. to Sta., 10/13/70.) The ?,ta- tion's response later that same day was "Vials intends to kid tap Generals Schneider and Prats within the next 48 hours in ordi';? to precipitate a coup." (Cable 527, Sta. to Hq., 10/13/70) This Vi;tux kidnapping of Schneider was reported by the Station "as part ,f a coup that included Valenzuela." (Cable 529. Sta. to Hq., 10/18;'70) _,1.t. about t'li, time the Station began to receive encouragement from its other contacts. On October 14, ten (lays before the Chilean Con;., less wa.; to vote, the Task Force Log concluded : Now we are beginning to see signs of increasing coup activity from other mili- tary quarters, al'ecifically, an Army General [deleted] and Admiral [del,,tedl, and the forces in Concepcion and Valdivis * * * (Task Force Log, 10/14;70) (c) October 15 decision, To summarize, by October 15 General Viaux had advertised trl his contact a desire to proceed with a coup, had indicated he would deal with the Schneider obstacle by kidnapping him, had met at least once with General Valenzuela and had once postponed his coup plan ,.l On October 15 Thomas Karamessines met v ith Henry Kissinger and Alexander Haig at the White House to discuss the situation in ,hile. According to the Agency's record of this meeting, Karamessinte : pro- vided a rundown on Viaux, a meeting between two other Chileai mili- tary coup colispirators, and, in some detail, "the general situation in Chile from the coup-possibility viewpoint." (Memorandum of C>>nver- sitt.ion/Kissinger, Karamessines, and Haig, 10/15/TO) A decisica was nude at the meeting "to de-fuse the Viaux coup plot, at least temporarily :" It was decided by those present that the Agency must get a message to Viaux warning him against any precipitate action. In essence the message should state : "We have reviawed your plans and based on your information and ours, ,ve come to the conclusion that your plans for a coup at this time cannot succeed. ~+'ailing, they may reduce your capabilities in the future. Preserve your assets. We will stay in touch. The time will come when you with all your other frien l can do something. You will continue to have our support." (Memorandum of (",nversa- t ion, Kissinger, Karamessines, Haig, 10/15/70) The meet i ng concluded, according to the Agency's record, "on Dr. Kissinger's note that the Agency should continue keeping the pressure on every Allende weak spot in sight-now, after the 24th of October, after 5 Noy, ember, and into the future untit such time as new march- ing orders ore given. Mr. Karamessines stated that the Agency would comply." 2 1 The reaso,, for Viaux postponing his coup plans was the subject of a cable from Santiago to Headquarters : We dis,,ount Vlanx's statement that he had called off his coup attes t because of the Cla agent's Impending visit. Other reporting indicated Viaux probatey not able or intending move this weekend. (Cable 4a9. Sta. to Hq., 10/10/70) There Is also reason to believe that General Valenzuela was instrumental in ;,ersuading Viaux to postpone. According to the Chile Task Force Log : Statioai reported that on 12 October General Valenzuela met with Gai,sral Vlaux and attr npted to persuade him not to attempt a coup. (Chile Task '.+'orce Log, 10/14/701 Secretary 1Zissinger's recollection of the October 15 meeting Is not in ,+ 'cord with that of air. Karamessines or the cable (Headquart(,rs S02) that was sent th! following day to the Station in Santiago. This matter will be discussed In Part V of this report. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 243 The following day CIA Headquarters cabled the results of the White House meeting to the Station in Santiago: 2. It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup.... We are to continue to generate maximum pressure -toward this end utilizing every appropriate resource. 3. After the most careful consideration it was determined that a Viaux coup attempt carried out by him alone with the forces now at his disposal would fail. Thus it would be counterproductive to our Track Two objectives. It was decided that CIA get a message to Viaux warning him against precipitate action, (Cable 802, Hq. to Sta. 10/16/70) The message was supplemented by orders to "continue to encourage .him (Viaux) to amplify his planning; encourage him to join forces with other coup planners." (Cable 802, Hq. to Sta., 10/16/70) The message concluded : "There is great and continuing interest in the ac- tivities of Valenzuela et al and we wish them optimum good fortune." (Ibid) (d) Coup planning and attempts after October 15 The decision to "de-fuse" General Viaux was passed to a Viaux as- sociate on October 17. The associate responded that it did not matter because they had decided to proceed with the coup in any case. (Cable 533, Sta. to Hq., 10/17/70) At the final meeting of the CIA agent and the Viaux associate on October 18, the Agency was informed that the coup would proceed on October 22, "and that the abduction of General Schneider is the first link in chain of events to come." (Cable 568, Sta. to Hq., 10/19/70) An "emergency channel" of communication with Viaux was maintained. (Report on CIA Chilean Task Force Activi- ties, 11/18/70, p 21) As previously stated, by mid-October things suddenly looked brighter for a coup being mounted by the high-level Chilean military contacts.' A CIA overview statement on Track II stated : Coup possibilities afforded by the active duty military group led by General Valenzuela and Admiral [deleted] had always seemed more promising than the capabilities of the Viaux group. These military officers had the ability and re- sources to act providing they decided to move and organized themselves accord- ingly. (CIA Briefing Paper, "Special Mandate from the President on Chile," 7/15/75, p. 5) By mid-October the Chilean military officers appeared to be moving in this direction. On the evening of October 17, the U.S. military attache met with the Chilean Army officer and the Navy officer. They requested 8 to 10 tear gas grenades, three 45-caliber machine guns and 500 rounds of ammu- nition. The Navy officer said lie had three machine guns himself "but can be identified by serial numbers as having been issued to him. There- fore unable to use them." (Cable 562, Sta. to H., 10/18/70) The attache and the Chief of Station have testified that the officers wanted the machine guns for self-protection. The question, of course, is whether _L Two coup plotters, both Chilean generals, made one last attempt to persuade General Schneider to change his anti-coup position on October 15. The Station reported that the meeting turned out to be a "complete fiasco. Schneider refused to listen to their eloquent presentation of Communist action in Chile * * * and (remained] adamant in maintaining his non-involvement stance." (Cable 548, Sta. to Iiq., 10/16/70) Approve-d,For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 244 the arms were intended for use, or were used, in the kidnap ppii of General Schneider. The fact that the weapons were provided the Army officer and the Navy officer and that Viaux associates were con- victed of the Schneider killing suggests that the guns were not involved. The machine gins and ammunition were sent from Washiinr4on by diplomatic pouch on the morning of October 19, although F ead- quarters was puzzled about their purpose: "Will continue maro ef- fort provide them but find our credulity stretched by Navy o facer leading his troops with sterile guns. What is special purpose for these guns? We will try send them whether you can provide explan,iition or not." (Cable 854, Hq. to Sta., 10/18/70) The first installmeri . was delivered to the Army officer and the Navy officer late in the evc Wing of October 18 and consisted of the six tear gas grenades intended originally for Viaux.' That same day, General Valenzuela informed the attache th:i.t he and three other high ranking military officers were prepared to sponsor a coup. (CIA Report on Chilean Task Force Activities, 11/18/70) Tholr plan was to begin with the kidnapping of Getieral Schneider on the following evening, October 19, at a military d uner being given for Schneider,2 after which Schneider would be ;down to Argentina, Frei would resign and leave Chile, one of Valenznnela's colleagues would head the military junta, and dissolve Congress. WATith respect to the kidnapping of Schneider, the cable reported : General Viaux knowledgeable of above operation but not directly 1nc,dved. He has been sent to Vifla to stay with prominent physician. Will be ~t ,on in public places during 19 and 20 October to demonstrate :fact that above 'pera- tion not his doing. Will be allowed to return to Santiago at end of week. Military will not admit involvement in Schneider's abduction which is to be blaxt+od on leftists. (Cable 566, Sta. to Hq., 10/19/70) The kidnapping of the evening of October 19 failed because Gen- eral Schneider left in. a private vehicle, rather than in his officihta car, and his police guard failed to be withdrawn. The Army officer as+.;ured the attache thin another attempt would be made on October 20. (fable 582, Sta. to Ilq., 10/20/70) The attache was authorized to pa,. Va- lenzuela $50,1)00 "which was the price agreed upon between the pi )tters and the unidentified team of abductors," but the attache insisted that the kidnapping be completed before he paid the money. (Task horce As previously ;atated, after October 15 CIA efforts to promote a coup in Chile f ecussed on the active dut military officers-Valenzuela, et al.-rather than Viaux. An eiaople of this shift in foeto was the decision to provide the Army officer and the Navy oil' the tear gas grenade, originally intended for Viauz. A cable from Santiago explained the purpose of this ac? Son : Station plane give -six tear gas grenades to the attache for delivery to Armed Poi 'es offi- cers (deletion) in ,tead of having CIA agents posing as third country nationals dells 'r them to Viaux group. +1ur reasoning is that the attache dealing with active duty office !-s. Also MA. agent leaving evening 18 October, and will not be replaced but the attache Ill stay here. Hence important that the attache credibility with Armed :Forces officers be tirength- ened. (Cable 56'2. Sta. to Hq., 10/18/70.) The CIA agent who was in contact with Viaux at the time the Valenzuela plan n is given to the attache apparently understood that Viaux was involved in the October 19 att':opt. He stated : 0, Were you told any of the details of how the (Viaux) kidnapping would be carried out? Mr. SAnNO. They indicated it was going to be at some sort of a banquet which the General (Schneider) would be attending. ('Sarno, 7/29/75, p. 37) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 245 Log, 10/20/70) At the same time General Valenzuela assured the attache that the military was now prepared to move. (Task Force Log, 10/20/70) The second abduction attempt, on the 20th also failed and the Task Force concluded Since Valenzuela's group is apparently having considerable difficulty execut- ing even the first step of its coup plan, the prospects for a coup succeeding or even occurring before 24 October now appears remote. (Task Force Log, 10/22/70) (e) The Shooting of General Schneider In the early morning hours of October 22 (2 a.m.), the attache delivered the three submachine guns with ammunition to the Army officer in an isolated section of Santiago.' At about 7 am that day the group that intended to kidnap General Schneider met to discuss last-minute instructions. According to the findings of the Chilean Military Court which investigated the Schneider killing, neither the Army officer nor the Navy officer were there. Shortly after 8 am, General Schneider's car was intercepted on his way to work by the abductors and he was mortally ;wounded when he drew his handgun in self-defense. The Military Court determined that hand guns had been used to kill General Schneider, although it also found that one unloaded machine gun was at the scene of the killing.2 The first Station reports following the Schneider shooting said "Military Mission sources claim General Schneider machine gunned on way to work" (Cable 587, Sta. to IIq., 10/22/70) and "Assailants used grease guns. (Cable 589, Sta. to Hq., 10/22/70) The subma- chine guns had previously been described by the Station as "grease guns." Thus the initial reaction of the Station was that Schneider had been shot with the same kind of weapons delivered several hours earlier to the Army officer. Santiago then informed Headquarters "Station has instructed the attache to hand over $50,000 if Gen. Valen- zuela requests" (Cable 592, Sta. to Hq., 10/22/70), thus indicating that the Station thought the kidnapping had been accomplished by Valenzuela's paid abductors. Later that day, the Station cabled Headquarters : Station unaware if assassination was premeditated or whether it constituted bungled abduction attempt. In any case, it important to bear in mind that move ' Although the attache's testimony and the cable traffic do not clearly establish the iden- tity of the group to which the Army officer was affiliated (see page 240 of this report) two CIA statements on Track II tie the weapons and therefore the Army officer, to the Valen- zuela group : * * * The only assistance requested by Valenzuela to set the plan [of October 19] into motion through Schneider's abduction was several submachine guns, ammunition, a few tear gas grenades and gas masks (all of which were provided) plus $50,000 for expenses (which was to be passed upon demand), (CIA Report on Chilean Task Force Activities, 11/18/70, p. 22) * * * Three sub-machine guns. together with six gas cannisters and masks, were passed to the Valenzuela group at 2 a.m. on 22 October. The reason why they still wanted the weapons was because there were two days remaining before the Congress decided the Presidential election and the Valenzuela group maintained some hope they could still carry out their plans. (CIA Briefing Paper, "Special Mandate from President on Chile," 7/15/75. P. 7) s The Military Court determined that those who participated in the shooting of General Schneider on October 22 were part of the Viaux-led conspiracy. The Court also found that this same group had participated in the October 19 and 20 kidnap attempts. In June 1972 General Viaux was convicted for complicity in the plot culminating in the death of General Schneider. He received a 20-year prison sentence for being "author of the crime of kidnapping which resulted in serious injury to the victim," and a five-year exile for conspiring to cause a military coup. General Valenzuela was also convicted on the latter charge. He received a sentence of three years in exile. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 246 against Schneider was conceived by and executed at behest of senior A+med Forces officers. We know that General Valenzuela was involved. We also near certain that Admiral [deleted], Army officer and Navy officer witting and involved. We have reason for believing that General Viaux and nun sous associates fully valued in, but cannot prove or disprove that execution or atr ompt against Schneider was entrusted to dements linked with Viaux. Important factor to boar in mind is that Armed Forces, and not retired officers or extreme righ ( ists, set Schneider up for execution or abduction. * * * All we can say is that attempt against Schneider is affording Armed Forces one last opportunity to prevent Allcnde's election if they are willing to follow Valenzuela's scenario. (Cabls,' 598, Sta. to Hq., 10/22/70) (f) Post October 22 events The shooting of General Schneider resulted immediately in a tl+ecla- rat ion of martial law, the. appointment of General Prats to succeed Schneider as Commander in Chief, and the appointment of General Valenzuela as chief of Santiago province. These measures, and of hers taken, caused the Chile Task Force to make the following initial judgment: With only 24 hours remaining before the Congressional runoff, a coup climate exists in Chile. * * * The attack on General Schneider has produced der-relop- ments which closely follow Valenzuela's plan. * * * Consequently the plriters' positions have been enhanced. (Chile Task Force Log, 10/22/70) On October `, 3Director Helms reviewed and discussed Track [I: 11: was agreed * * * that a maximum effort has been achieved, and tha now only the Chileans themselves can manage a successful coup. The Chileans have been guided to a point where a military solution is at least open to them. ,Task Force Log, 10/24/70) Although it was not immediately clear to CIA observers, the Sta- tion's prediction of October 9 that the shooting of Schneider as a result of an e.bduction attempt) would "rally the Army firm].' Y, be- Mud the flag of constitutionalism" was correct. (Cable 495, Sta. to Hq., 1.0/9/75) On October 24 Dr. Allende was confirmed by the Chilean Congress. General Schneider died the next day. 5. CIA; WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATION DURING TRACK II The testimony given to the Committee by Henry Kissinger and General Haig conflicts with that given by CIA officials. Kissinger and Haig testified that on October 15, 1970, the White House stood down CIA efforts to promote a military coup d'etat in Chile. Both testified that after that date they were neither informed of, nor authorized, CIA Track II activities, including the kidnap flans of General Schneider and the passage. of weapons to the military plotters. By contrast, CIA officials testified that they operated before and afi er October 15 with the knowledge and approval of the White fl ouse. The conflict pertains directly to the period after October 15, i gut it bears on the degree of communication between the White Home' and the CIA in the earlier period as well.. For instance, Henry Kissinger testified that he was informed of no coup plan which began wick the abduction of General Schneider. Ile was aware of General Viaux's plan-which he and Karamessines decided on October 15 to try to Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 247 forestall-but did not know that it was to begin with Schneider's abduction. CIA officials, especially Thomas Karamessines, stated that there was close consultation throughout Track II between the Agency and the White House. Karamessines testified that he met with Kissinger some six to ten times during the five weeks of Track II (Karamessines, 8/6/75, p. 66) ; and that he kept Kissinger generally informed of developments. (Ibid., p. 56) The Committee has records of two meet- ings between Karamessines and Kissinger and of one telephone con- versation between Karamessines and Kissinger's deputy, General Alexander Haig. Karamessines' daily calendar indicates that three other meetings with General Haig took place-but does not establish with certainty that the topic was Track H. The calendar also suggests that Karamessines and Kissinger met on three other occasions and so might have had the opportunity to discuss Track II. Henry Kissinger's testimony before the Committee differs from Karamessines in two respects : he believed Track II was "turned off" on October 15,1 and, after that date, he was informed neither of the coup plans of the Chilean conspirators nor of the passage of weapons to them. He said that Track II was: In the nature of a probe and not in the nature of a plan, * * * no plan for n coup was ever submitted to the White House. So my recollection of events, this was a request by President Nixon for Track II which led to two or three meetings which then on October 15th led to being turned off by the White House, after which Track II was dead as far as my office was concerned, and we never received another report on the subject. (Kissinger, 8/12/75, p. 15) In my mind Track II was finished on October 15th and I never received any further CIA information after October 15th on the basis of any records that I have been able to find. (Ibid., p. 59) General Haig's testimony generally coincided with Kissinger's recollection : I left [the October 15th meeting] with the distinct impression that there was nothing that could be done in this covert area that offered promise or hope for success. I had the distinct impression that was Dr. Kissinger's conclusion, and that in effect these things-and I wasn't even really familiar with what these two groups were to do and how they were to do it, but they were to cease and desist. (Haig, 8/15/75, pp. 26-27) My recollection would be that we had no hope for a viable, covert plan of action. That is the impression I got. (Ibid., p. 29) The following pages present the Committee's record of communica- tion between the White House and the CIA from September 18 through December 21, 1970: (a) September September 18 Helms and Karamessines met with Kissinger at the White House. As Helms' notes of the September 15 meeting indicate, Kissinger wanted a plan within 48 hours. In the meeting on the 18th, according to CIA records, there was little discussion of a military coup. Rather 1 Secretary Kissinger, in a written response to a Committee question, stated that he had not been able to find any "written instruction from the President to discontinue efforts to organize a coup. The President did, however, convey this decision to me orally in mid-October, 1970." To date, the Committee has been unable to question former President Nixon on this point. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 248 the conversation focused on "what economic leverage could be cuxer- cised in the Chilean situation." (Memorandum /Meeting withr )DP, 0/1.8/70) The efficacy of economic pressure continued to be a s? bject of concern during the last days of September. Apparently that iires- sure was viewed as another inducement to Frei to opt for the 'Frei gay tiibit." September 21 The 40 Committee met. The Committee has no confirmation that Chile was on the agenda at this meeting. Karaiessines' cali,ridar confirms that he attended; presumably Kissinger, the 40 Committee chitirman, also attended, although the Committee has not been e ile to ret ew his calendar. All that can be said about this meeting-aiacl the meetings of the Senior Review Group, which Kissinger also chai ; ed- is i.hat the meetings afforded Karamessines and Kissinger an o ipor- tuuity to meet, privately and discuss Track II if they desired., ii all these instances save the 40 Committee meeting on September 2:~, the Committee hies no evidence to confirm that such a, private Kissinger/ Karamessines meeting actually took place. That the CIA prep later years in an :M,ttempt to deter prosecution of him for other unrelated matters. (See (ommlttee Report, p. 85) 2 Whatever the totality of the motivation of all those invol t-ed in the operational end of the plots, the uncontroverted evidence i that they all truly believed the U.S. Government was behind the project. II, The Testimony and Evidence Regarding Authority From Those CIA Officials Knowledgeable of the Plots The Committee's Report discusses the evidence relating to whether the assassination plots were authorized by higher authority outside the CIA. That is, of course, the ultimate issue of our inquiry. To prop- erly address that issue, I feel it is important to note that each of the supervisory officials of the Agency testified that they fully believed that the plots were authorized by the "highest authority.'` 3 Durin the Pre-Bay of Pigs phase Bissell and Edwards were the CIA officials admittedly knowledgeable of the plots. Both felt that the Blots were fully authorized. During the Post-Bay of Pigs phase Bisell turned the project over to William Harvey and his lmmediat?, superior Richard Helms. Both confirmed Bissell's earlier testimony that the plots were authorized both within and without the CIA. PRF.-BAY OF PIGS Bissell testified that the plots were authorized by "highest. authority" which he felt meant knowledge and approval by the Prt+:;ide;it. He testified that it would not have been "consonant with the operations of the CT A" to conduct such highly sensitive activities without the Pres- ident's permission or knowledge. (Bissell, 6/9/75, pp. 37-4,18) Bissell elaborated : 1This was corroborated by the testimony of the Case officer, Maheu, and Harvey. 2 At least Harvey (and perhaps others) recognized that the use of flu. underworld could lead to demands in later years. When he was first apprised of the details of the Roselli proilect he observed that : ?* ? it was a very, or it appeared to be, and in my opinion was, at tbst time, a very real possibility of this government being blackmailed either by Cubans for political purposes or by figures in organized crime for their own self-protection sr aggrandize- ment, which, as it turned out, did not happen, but at that time was a eery pregnant possibility." (Harvey, 6/25/75. pp. 67-68) 3 Our investigation established that "highest authority" was a euphemism, used both at the CIA and cabinet level, for the President of the United States. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 309 Q. * * * (I)n the ordinary course of the operations of the CIA as you know it under their traditions, their rules and regulations, their policies as you knew them, what is your opinion-(w)as the President, President-elect briefed or was he not in the light of all these circumstances? Bissell: I believe at some stage the President and the President-elect both were advised that such an operation had been planned and was being attempted. Q. By whom? Bissell: I would guess through some channel by Allen Dulles. * * * * * Senator Morgan : Mr. Bissell, it's a serious matter to attribute knowledge of this sort to the President of the United States, especially one who cannot speak for himself. Is it fair to assume that out of an abundance of caution you are simply telling us that you have no knowledge unless you are absolutely cer- tain? * * * I gather that you think * * * it (assassination plot information) came out but because of the seriousness of the accusation you are just being extremely cautious * * * Is that a fair assumption to make? Bissell: That is very close to a fair assumption, sir. It's just that I have no direct knowledge, firsthand knowledge of his (the President) being advised but my belief is that he knew of it (assassination plans). (Bissell, 6/9/75, pp. 55-56) Bissell emphasized that because of the Agency's structure, in which he was only DDP and not DCI, Allen Dulles would be the "only per- son" who could have informed the President of the assassination plots. (Bissell, 6/9/75, p. 60). And, he summed up why he felt certain that such authorization was obtained from the President by Dulles : I had no direct evidence that (the President) was advised. I do agree with you that given the practices of the Agency, its relation to the Presidency and to the White House and given also everything I know of Mr. Dulles' character and integrity, I would expect he had perhaps obliquely advised both of the Presi- dents of this auxiliary operation, the assassination attempt. (Bissell, 6/9/75, p. 47) 1 Bissell testified that it was not at all unusual that he, Bissell, did not personally discuss authorization for the project with either the Presi- dent or one of his aides in the White House.2 He stated that he be- lieved that, since his position was that of DDP reporting directly to the DCI, the DCI, and not Bissell, "in a matter of this sensitivity would handle higher-level clearances." (Bissell, 6/9/75, p. 26) On matters of this sort I left the question of advising senior officers of the government and obtaining clearances in Allen Dulles' hands. (Bissell, 6/9/75, p. 29) Bissell concluded his testimony by describing the tight control which was applied to such a project : Assuming for the moment that I am correct (that the President approved the plots), since the effort would have been to minimize the possibility of embarrass- ment to the President, it is, I think, understandable that neither I nor anyone else in the Agency would have discussed this operation on our own initiative with, for instance, members of the White House staff. The effort would have been to hold to the absolute minimum the number of people who knew that the President had been consulted, had been notified and had given, perhaps only tacitly, his authorization. (Bissell, 6/11/75, p. 6) 1 How Bissell felt the President would have been advised, through the method of plausible denial, is treated in Part III of these views. infra. 2 Bissell did discuss assassination canability with a senior White House official and the record is patently clear that at a minimum he received no discouragement and at s maximum was "ordered" to develop an assassination capability. As I discuss in Part IV of these views, these conversations may have contributed to his strong subjective notion that assassination was authorized. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 310 The only other supervisory official who testified about authorization during this Pre-Bay of Pigs period was Col. Sheffield Edwards. Col. Edwards was quite ill at the time of his appearanel before the Committee (and has since died) and was unable to undergo a lengthy inquiry. He was, however, certain in his belief that the assassination plans were approved by the top echelon of the CIA. He testifies: i before. the Committee as follows : * * * (T)his possible project was approved by Allen W. Dulles, Director of CIA, and by. General Cabell, the Deputy Director. They are both dead. The Chairman : How do you know, Colonel, that the project had been approved by these two gentlemen? Edwards: I personally briefed Allen Dulles x * * and Cabell. (N7dwards, 5/30/75, pp.!',.--6) Edwards was also interviewed by the Rockefeller Commission (Ed- wards interview, 4/9/75, p. 5) : Q. Now, who inside the Agency besides Bissell did you have an;rr, contact with on the top echelon? A. Very Important. The plan was approved by Allen W. Dulles and General Cabell. As Director of Security of the CIA, Edwards appeared to have little direct contact with the White House and therefore was unable to en- lighten the Committee on the issue of authorization to the plot, outside the CIA.2 His testimony, however, corroborates the feeling:: of the others involved in the plots that at no time did they view thei actions as beyond the bounds of appropriate authority. The assassination project or activities continued into a second or post-Bay of Pigs phase. As the Committee's Report discusses, Wil- liam Harvey was selected by Bissell to take over the project. Harvey testified that he had no doubt, throughout his involvemeni. in the assassination plots, that the project was authorized by the "highest authority," ' which to him meant the President of the United States. He testified that : I can conceive of it [assassination] being perfectly within the province of an intelligence service, * * * on proper orders from the highest * * * authority (and) the approval [for assassination] * * * must come from the Chief Executive, the President. (Harvey, 6/25/75, pp. 22, 24, 31-32) Harvey emphasized at the outset of his testimony that he as a subor- dinate officer of the CIA did not have direct knowledge concel Ring the source of such authority. He described the. authorization process as nec- essarily being conducted on a higher level : [T]he fact that I say that authority for an assassination must * * * come from the President does not mean that I as an officer in CIA am entitle!1 to know or to inquire exactly as to the where, why, what, when and in what words this authority may have been transmitted. (Harvey, 6/25/75, p. 32) 'See discnsolon regarding knowledge or lack thereof of 1. C. King, then Chief of the CIA's Western Hemisphere Division. infra, Part VTT, 2 He did participate in the May 7, 1962. briefing of Attorney General Kennedy, which I treat in Pare V, infra, and which is described in depth in the Committee's Report, pp. 131- 1'34. ' See ft. 3. pg. 308, supra. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 311 Harvey continually asserted and re-asserted throughout his testimony, at several appearances before the Committee, that I was completely convinced during this entire period, that this operation had the full authority of every pertinent echelon of CIA and had full authority of the White House, either from the President or from someone authorized and known to be authorized to speak for the President. But I won't answer, so this does not get out of context, that I have no personal knowledge whatever of the individual's identities, times, exact words or channels through which such au- thority may have been passed. (Harvey, 6/25/75, p. 31) Harvey was then questioned about (1) whether he had any doubts that the plots were authorized and (2) why he did not personally confirm the authorization by specifically asking high government officials about it. Harvey answered that, "[I]t was my conviction at the time * * * that [the plots] were completely authorized at. every appropriate level within and beyond the Agency." (Harvey, 6/25/ 75, p. 69) He explained that he felt he was always operating under appropriate orders from the top and that it simply was not his place (or purpose, particularly within the framework of plausible denial) in the bureaucracy to go "topside to question the orders of his su- periors." (Harvey, 7/11/75, p. 73) In response to a question by Senator Goldwater, he described his feelings this way : I did not feel that it was up to me, after being requested, instructed, ordered, whichever you want to put it, to assume (control of this operation), and after being told, if you will, by a responsible officer at a senior level who was my immediate superior, that this did have the necessary and requisite approval that you referred to, Senator Goldwater, that it was up to me to go to the Director and say, now what about this? (Harvey, 6/25/75, p. 84) At his final appearance before the Committee, Harvey explained : * * * if I had not been firmly convinced that this had full authority right straight down the chain of command, * * * I (would) have said to Bissell, all right, if I'm going to undertake this, which at best is a damned dicey operation or undertaking, I want to know who authorized it and under what circumstances. But I had every right to believe organizationally, humanly, whatever way you want to put it, that nothing that was being told to me by Bissell had not in fact come to him from the Director of Central Intelligence, or with the knowledge of the Director of Central Intelligence. (Harvey 7/11/75, pp. 73-74) Harvey specifically rejected the idea that he would have entertained the thought of embarking on an assassination project on his own: I think what you are saying is had I not had reason to believe and been firmly convinced that this was an authorized, direct and fully approved and ordered, both operational and policy decision, would I, William Harvey, have gone out on my own and planned anybody's assassination, and the answer to that is a flat no. (Harvey, 7/11/75, p. 72) Harvey best summarized his involvement in the plots as follows : At no time during this entire period we are talking about did I ever personally believe or have any feeling that I was either free-wheeling or end-running or engaging in any activity that was not in response to a considered, decided U.S. policy, properly approved, admittedly ; perhaps through channels and at levels I personally had no involvement in, or firsthand acquaintance with, and did not consider it at that point my province to, if you will, cross examine either the Deputy Director or the Director concerning it. (Harvey, 6/25/75, p. 83) The only other supervisory official of the 'CIA who admittedly was knowledgeable of the plots during the Post-Bay of Pigs phase was Richard Helms, presently U.S. Ambassador to Iran. Helms was at that time DDP (taking over from Bissell in February, 1962) and John Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 312 11cCono was DCI (taking over from Dulles in November. 1961.1 Helms had not been involved in the planning for the abortive Bay of Pigs invasion and had no knowledge of the Pre-Bay of Pigs asuassina- (.ion plots (Helms, 6/13/75, pp. 17-18). Harvey testified that he had "briefed" helms some time in early 1961 regarding Bissell's 4lirective to Harvey to begin working on an assassination capability." (Harvey, (/25/75, pl:). 42-44) 2 Thereafter, Helms said he was not "brought in- to Cuban operations" until after McCone had become Director in "late 1961 or early 1962." (Helms, 6/13/75, p.18) Our evidence established, however, that Helms was not brought into the picture affirmatively until April, 1962, when Harvey discussed with him the contacting of Roselli. Helms explained that : Harvey * * * says he came to me and said he wanted to recruit this n1an * * ? (Roselli) which I didn't like at the time * * * But I decided to go along with it, since (Roselli) had been used in a previous operation, which hadn't worked. He was, therefore, in that sense, around our neck as a possible embarrassr cnt. if he (Roselli) did have some connections and we didn't have very many in'-those days into Cuba someplace, maybe he would turn out to be a useful fellow. (Helms, 7/17/75, p. 8'; Helms testified that he was never convinced that this operation would be successful but since it had already been approved, he felt that "we haven't got very much, why don't we try". Helms, 1/17/75, pp. 23-24) Helms, as our Report demonstrates, was much less involvol in the plots than either Bissell or Harvey and perhaps because of this testi- fied that: * * * [t]here is something about the whole chain of episode in connection with this Roselli business that I am simply not able to bring back in a coherelnl: fashion. And there was something about the ineffectuality of all this, or tit,:, lack of conviction that anything ever happened, that I believe In the end made this thing simply vollapse, disappear. And I don't recall what I was briefed on at the time. You saw the IG Report [which] says that. I was kept currently ?nformed. Maybe I was and maybe I wasn't, and today I don't remember it. * * * But I do not recall ever having been convinced that any attempt was recah made on Castro's life. (Helms, 7/12/75, p. 38) Nevertheless, Helms did recall being advised of the plots by Harvey and indicating his approval. He testified that he felt, the assassination attempts, while he was skeptical as to how far they actually progrressed, were authorized by the White House. Helms, however, like Harvey and Bissell, did not have any personal knowledge as to how or through whom such authorization passed.3 1 McCone denied any knowledge of or authorization for the assassination plots which went on during his tenure as DCI. McCone testified that he learned of the plots for the first time in August 1963 when Helms briefed him. This discussion and the failure of McCone to issue any directive thereafter affirmatively banning such actions (which con- tinued into 11164 and 1965) Is discussed in the Committee's Report. pp. 99-10.w. 2 Harvey testified he told Helms exactly what Bissell told him, i.e., that the white House had twice urged Bissell to set up an 'Executive Action capability. (Ilarve;*, 6/25/75, pp. 42-44) 'Helms, in effect, stepped into the middle of a project run originally by Mssell and passed on in November, 1961, to Harvey. Dulles remained as DCI until Noveml cr, 1961- well long enough to have briefed the incoming Kennedy Administration on whether to continue the :assassination actions. Helms did not know whether Dulles obissined such authorization or for that matter whether McCone did so. As developed hereinafter, every- thing which was transpiring around him led him to believe such authorisation was obtained. See lielms, 6/25/75, pp. 67-69, '34, 90, 101-103. Part VI infra, of these views provides a look at just what kind of environment surrounded Helms and the CIA in 1962. Helms, however, never asked anyone in higher positions if the plots wore In fact authorized even when he had the opportunity to do so--exhibiting, at a minimum, very bad judgment. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 31.3 Helms testified that while no one in the Administration gave him a direct order to assassinate Castro, neither did he expect one., It was, however, made abundantly clear to him by the Kennedy Administra- tion that the CIA's mission was to "get rid of Castro" ; The desire (of the Administration) was "can't you fellows [CIA] find some way to get rid of Castro and the Castro regime?" (Helms, 7/17/75, p. 17) Helms testified that lie had no doubts but that the assassination attempts were within the authorized U.S. policy toward Castro : I believe it was the policy at the time to get rid of Castro and if killing him was one of the things that was to be done in this connection, that was within what was expected. (Helms, 6/13/75, p. 137) Thus, Helms told the Committee that the plot activities were both pre- sented to him in 1962 as an ongoing project previously authorized and that such actions appeared to be clearly within the ambit of authority which he felt existed at the time. The latter concept, stressed by Helms in his testimony, was that assassination plots were consistent with the environment of the time. Helms' view that assassination was within the approved policy during the atmosphere of the time is corroborated by the authors of the CIA's 1967 Inspector General's Report who took pains to point out : We cannot overemphasize the extent to which responsible Agency officers felt themselves subject to the Kennedy Administration's severe pressure to do some- thing about Castro and his regime. The fruitless and, in retrospect, often un- realistic plotting should be viewed in that light. (IG Report, p. 4) Helms testified that during this 1961-1962 period The highest authorities of government were anxious that the Castro govern- ment fall and that in some fashion Castro go away (Helms, 6/13/75, p. 62) and if he (Castro) had disappeared from the scene they would not have been unhappy. (Helms, 6/13/75, pp. 72-73) Helms summed up his testimony, in effect, by stating in colloquy with Senator Mathias that, though no direct order was given to him, "some spark had been transmitted that (assassination) was within the per- missible limits." (Helms, 6/25/75, p. 72) Helms' and Harvey's total understanding of the authorization of assassination plotting together with the ingrained system of deniability present in intelligence opera- tions, I feel, explains, but does not excuse their actions in not directly confronting a superior or a While House official and saying : "By the way, are these assassination plots really authorized." I think it blinks reality to suggest that such a thing would have occurred. True, the system must be changed, but these assassination activities must be viewed in light of the modus operandi which existed at the time. III. The Testimony and Evidence Regarding How Authority Would Have Been Obtained-the Troubling Doctrine of Plausible Denial The Committee received considerable evidence on the manner or modus operandi which would have been employed to advise the Presi- dent of matters of great sensitivity, such as the assassination plots. The i How Bissell, Harvey, and Helms felt the plots would have been authorized is treated in part III of these views. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 314 Committee Report defines and discusses the mode or method of operat- ing which has come to be known as plausible denial. (Committee Report, pp. 11-12) Members of the Committee have given its,[ pplica- i ion to the, assassination plots differing degrees of weight.. ill these iews I assign it substantial weight because of the frequen y with which it wove its way through the evidence concerning the critical issue of authorization. Simply stated, plausible denial is the system which dictates that any acts that are perpetrated shall be done in such a way so as to ensure that the U.S. Government cannot be blamed. In its most common meaning in the intelligence community, plausible denial dictates the rise of "cut?+oiits," or, various levels of knowledge with the low{cst level not being told that the, work that is being (lone is on behalf of t lie U.S. Government. The system is designed to insulate the President from the responsibility for projects which may go awry. We know that, efforts were made to employ this system in the Castro blots through the use of Maheu to initiate the contact with Rosselli .Ind Giancena, the CIA Case Officer assuming the false identity of an employee of Maheii, and the use of the "cover story" of the U.S. busi- ness interests in explaining the plots to the Cubans. The agent (in this case the Cubans) may assume or guess that the person lie was loing the u ork for was a. government representative, but, an admission Of governnent involvement was avoided. Addition;illy. we found the system used in the records of the Special (,roue which avoid direct attribution to the President and refe-r to the President ai,s "higher authority," or "his associate." This was true in almost all the cases we examined.' Moreover, the testimony revealed that the prevailing practice on all sensitive matters was to brief the Iresident without obtaining his express approval. Maxwell Taylor testified that; the President would simply listen to what the person hriefing hint had to say without responding affirmatively o that "the record (did not) say that the President personally appro -.r~d (the project). (Taylor, 7/9/75, p. 25) Thus, whenever we attempted to climb the authority ladder to deter- r Trine the highest level of knowledge and approval of assay' ;nation plots we e.n,:?ountered the use of plausible denial. Indeed, Biss,dl testi- fie(I that he and Edwards used the system to "circunilocutiously" ad- t'ise I)ulles of the assassination plans because "the Director (Dulles) 0refe.rred the use of * * * (that) sort, of (circumlocutions) lan- guage (Bissell, 6/9/75, p. 25) Bissell testified that ii would ho through the use of plausible denial that, he felt approval for the ,assassination plots would have been obtained from the President by Dulles. Bissell testified that Tulles would have advised the Presidei:tt, of the issassination plots by obliquely describing the operation but continu- iriS~r "until the President got the word." (Bissell, 6/11/75, pp. 12-14) lie described how Dulles could have preserved deniability yet obtained approval from the President: I have expressed the opinion and am making it clear, it is not based on hard E'cidence that probably the President knew something of this * * * I very ranch ' See "Guidelines for Operation MONGOOSE" (Draft), March 5. 1962; Memoraandum for he Record, Special Group Augmented, "Discussion of Operation MONGOOSE with the President" of March 16. 1962 and accompanying footnote of March 22, 1962 ; Memorandum Tor the Record, Special Group Meeting, August 25, 1960. Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 31.5 doubt if he at any time was told any of the details. My guess is that indeed who- ever informed him, that is Dulles directly or Dulles through a staff member, would have had the same desire that you referred to to shield the President and to shield him in the sense of intimating or making clear that something of the sort was going forward, but giving the President as little information about it as possible, and the purpose of it would have been to give the President an op- portunity, if he so elected, to cancel it, to order it cancelled, or to allow it to continue but without, in effect, extracting from him an explicit endorsement of the detailed specific plan. Senator MATHIAS. What you're saying is this is a highly subjective kind of operation in which an intimation can be given in which the President can clearly be told what is happening, but be told in, I think the words you used, a circumlocutious way, that lie might not even blink unless he wanted to. Is that right? Mr. BISSELL. That is correct, sir. (Bissell, 6/9/75, pp. 60-61) Bissell made it clear that his perception of what happened at levels of authority above him spanned more than one administration. Indeed, he continually spoke of President Eisenhower and Kennedy together : In the case of an operation of high sensitivity of the sort that we are discuss- ing, there was a further objective that would have been pursued at various levels, and that was specifically with respect to the President to protect the President. And therefore the way in which I believe that Allen Dulles would have attempted to do that was to have indicated to the two successive Presidents the general objective of the operation that was contemplated, to make it sufficiently clear so that the President-either President Eisenhower or President Kennedy- could have ordered the termination of the operation, but to give the President just as little information about it as possible beyond an understanding of its general purpose. Such an approach to the President would have had as its purpose to leave him in the position to deny knowledge of the operation if it should surface. My belief-a belief based, as I have said, only to my knowledge of command relationship, of Allen Dulles as an individual, and of his mode of operations is that authorization was obtained by him in the mariner that I have indicated. I used the word on Monday "circumlocutious," and it was to this approach that I referred. (Bissell, 6/11/75, pp. 5-6) William Harvey and Richard Helms also felt that they doubted that there would ever be a direct written or even oral order communicated to the DCI on a. matter such as the assassination plots. Helms elaborated on why lie felt the plots were authorized even though he was unable to point to a direct written or oral order to carry them out : [Assassination plots would not be] authorized in any formal way * * * These schemes * * * would have taken place in the context of doing what you could to get rid of Castro, and the difficulty with this kind of thing, as you gentle- men are all painfully aware, is that nobody wants to embarrass a President of the United States discussing the assassination of foreign leaders in his presence. This is something that has got to be dealt with in some other fashion. Even though you use euphemisms you've still got a problem * * * Now, when President Eisenhower took responsibility for the U-2 flights that was on his own * * * [h]e wasn't obliged to do that * * * he had his mechanism to blame it on, if he wanted to. (Helms, 6/13/75, p. 29) Helms added that apprising the President of such a matter was no easy or simple task : Senator MATHIAS. When Mr. Bissell was here I think I asked him whether the job of communicating with superior authority was one of protecting superior authority, and specifically the President, protecting him from knowledge and at the same time informing him, which is a difficult and delicate job, and he agreed that that was really the difficulty. And you this morning have said that in advising a President or very high authority of any particular delicate subject, that you resorted to euphemism. Mr. HELMS. Yes, sir. (Helms, 6/13/75, pp. 65-66) Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 Approved For Release 2002/08/15 : CIA-RDP83-01042R000200090002-0 316 Senator MA TITAS. Did Presidents indulge in euphemisms as well as ti: rectors? Mr. HELMS. I don't know. I found in my experience that Presidents used the entire range of the English language from euphemisms on the one ex:ireme to Very explicit talk on the other. Senator M?,THIAS. Let me draw an example from history. When Thomas A. iReckett was proving to be an annoyance, as Castro, the King said who will rid me of this man. He didn't say to somebody go out and murder him. He said who will rid me of this man, and let it go at that * * * Mr. HELMS. That is a warming reference to the problem. Senator M.'THIAS, You feel that spans the generations and the centuries? Mr. HELMS. [ think it does, sir. Senator M ATHIAS. And that is typical of the kind of thing which might be said, which night be taken by the Director or by anybody else as Pre::fdential authorization to go forward? Mr. HEI.M5. That is right. But in answer to that, I realize that orn sort of grows up in tradition of the time and I think that any of us would hn. a found it very difficult to discuss assassinations with a President of the United states. I ;just think we all had the feeling that we were hired out to keep those things out of the Oval Office. Senator M. 'rHIAS. And yet at the same time you felt that some si ark had been transmitted, that that was within the permissible limits? Mr. HELMS. Yes; and if he had disappeared from the scene they would not have been unhappy. (Helms, 8/x13/75, pp. 71-73) The Executive Assistant to Harvey, described what he (houaht the approved process might be in the following exchange with ~ienator Schweiker : Senator Sc awsixER. We keep coming back to this confusing status where we see the assassination plans and plots falling out very prolifically, and we see ghat higher authority as in your case has authorized them, but somewhere along there we lost track. And I guess my question is. would a logical explanation of this very confusing situation be that some of the powers that be 311.?9 decided not to discuss them in the formal sessions, and just verbally passed on instruc- tions through the chain of command, but not in the formal committee special group apparatus? Might that lie a logical explanation of why we are continually confusr d by the kind of testiniony that you have given, and let me say that others htr a given, too? ExECUTIVE 1SSISTANT : I wouldn't expect any President to sign a piece of paper directing an assassination for any reason. I don't think that is done in any government. Senator SCIIWEIKER. So that kind of an explanation would make seise from your experience in government? ExECUTIVE kSSISTANT: Yes, Sir. Senator SCUwETKER. And exnlain the discrepancy that we keep running into in. terms of different situations analogous to yourself? EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: Sure. I don't think you are going to find a piece of paper for everythinv that this Agency or any other Agency has done. There ai a lots of I hings that get done by word of mouth. The CHATS nAN : But does this leave us in a situation where the direr: connec- lion between the President or the Special Group Augmented, the hit.l1 policy snaking authority. with respect to knowledge of and direction to assn: sination of Mr. Crastro must be based upon assumption or speculation? EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT : I think it is based upon the integrity of the pe iple who na.ssod on the orders. And it is all oral. (Executive Assistant to Harvey, 6/18/75, it). Ilarvev, renortino directly to first Bissell and then Heli is, also 'chibited iii. his testimony an ingrained reluctance to even discuss assassination in front of his superiors unless specifically ask( A about it. He was