Date:   07-07-03 12:59

Source: The New York Times

Word For Word

The C.I.A.'s Cover Has Been Blown?
Just Make Up Something About UFOs

By Stephen Kinzer

The State Department recently issued a collection of previously
classified documents that shed new light on the Central
Intelligence Agency's role in the June 1954 coup in Guatemala
that ousted the president, Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán. Mr. Arbenz had
clashed with the United Fruit Company, which for many years
exercised decisive influence in Guatemala, and the Eisenhower
administration feared that he was leading his country toward
Communism. The coup brought Col. Carlos Castillo Armas to power
and set off more than three decades of civil conflict and
repression in which hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans were

Here are excerpts from documents related to the coup plot, which
was code-named PBSUCCESS.

Telegram from C.I.A. headquarters to a C.I.A. station, whose
location remains classified, Jan. 26, 1952:

Hq. desires firm list top flight Communists whom new government
would desire to eliminate immediately in event of successful
anti-Communist coup.

Memorandum for the record, Sept. 18, 1953:

At 1500, 18 September 1953, a meeting was held at the office of
[Allen W. Dulles, the Director of Central Intelligence] to
discuss the present status of PBSUCCESS and to consider future
plans for this operation. . . . Cabell [Gen. Charles P. Cabell,
the agency's deputy director] stated that he concurred in
approval of the general plan but felt that the budget estimate
should be increased to $3,000,000 to provide more adequately for
contingencies. Mr. Dulles agreed.

Memorandum from Col. J. C. King, chief of the Western Hemisphere
division, C.I.A. Directorate of Operations, Sept. 25, 1953:

Tasks for Chief of Station, Guatemala

a. Controlled penetration of the Communist Party.

b. Controlled penetrations of the major labor unions.

c. Controlled penetrations in the major anti-Communist

d. Controlled penetrations in the armed forces, or controlled
agents with access to current planning both in senior and junior
officer groups.

e. Controlled agents with access to high-level Guatemalan
Government political propaganda planning. . . .

The station will prepare a list of the 25 most dangerous
Communists and pro-Communists and attempt to gather data re
these targets which could be used for character
assassination..... More pictures of comparisons of living
conditions of the top Commies and the peons will be of special

Memorandum for the record, Oct. 29, 1953:

Station Guatemala has been directed to take the following

1. Transmit all rumors re Arbenz officials, the Guatemalan Army,
revolutionary activities and Communist activities.

2. Prepare a weekly "psychological barometer" report on local

3. Make a continuing study of morale factors among students,
laborers, army officers, enlisted men, government officials,
farm owners, and business and professional men. . . .

Paramilitary Action: An initial shipment of approximately 15
tons of arms and ammunition is now ready for shipment from
[DELETED] and subsequent transshipment to [Colonel Castillo
Armas in] Nicaragua. . . . This material is intended for use by
[Colonel Castillo Armas] in his Nicaraguan training center and
to test facilities for clandestine introduction of arms into

Memorandum from C.I.A. headquarters, Nov. 5, 1953:

Station was instructed to mail "mourning cards" for 30
successive days to Arbenz and top Communist leaders. Cards were
to mourn the purge or execution of various Communists in the
world and to hint forthcoming doom to recipients.

Telegram from PBSUCCESS headquarters in Florida to C.I.A.
headquarters, Jan. 30, 1954:

White Paper [issued by the Guatemalan government] has
effectively exposed certain aspects of PBSUCCESS . . . If
possible, fabricate big human interest story, like flying
saucers, birth sextuplets in remote area to take play away.

Memorandum for the record, March 2, 1954, from Colonel King:

At 1910 on 28 February, I picked [Pseudonym] up in my car at the
corner of Massachusetts and Wisconsin. We drove for about an
hour out River Road and I am certain were not observed.
[Pseudonym] expressed his regrets for the compromise of the five
paraphrased cables, and in a manner which appeared to be
entirely sincere. I asked him how it was possible, with all of
the security indoctrination which he had had, plus the great
emphasis on secrecy based on all phases of PBSUCCESS, to have
done such an unpardonable thing as to leave sensitive papers in
a hotel room. He replied that he had no explanation, that it was
a stupid, unpardonable thing to do, but that it was an act of
thoughtlessness and carelessness. . . . It was agreed that for
the next month [Pseudonym] will remain in Chicago. We discussed
two general areas where he could bury himself after that date _
Alaska and the Pacific Northwest . . . He has never been in the
Northwest and suggested as a possibility that he get a job until
fall as a fire watcher on a mountain top where he would meet
very few people.

Memorandum from PBSUCCESS headquarters to C.I.A. station in
Guatemala, Apr. 28, 1954:

Consider it highly important to mobilize anti-Communist
activities of the Catholic Church dignitaries and of Catholic
lay organizations. . . . This could be done, for instance, by
describing graphically how the local church would be turned into
a meeting hall for the "Fighting Godless," how the reader's
children would have to spend their time with the "Red Pioneers,"
how the pictures of Lenin, Stalin and Malenkov would replace the
pictures of the Saints in every home, and the like.

Dispatch from PBSUCCESS headquarters to all PBSUCCESS stations,
June 13, 1954:

Rumors, combining fact and fiction, which ought to be
circulated, may include the following (not every rumor is
applicable to every group of people and to every situation;
select from the following suggestions whatever is suitable for
given moment and audience):

A group of Soviet commissars, officers and political advisers,
led by a member of the Moscow Politbureau, have landed. . . .
The government has issued an order devaluating the quetzal at
the rate of 1:10. Use your money immediately to buy food and
durable goods. . . . In addition to military conscription, the
Communists will introduce labor conscription. A decree is
already being printed. All boys and girls 16 years old will be
called for one year of labor duty in special camps, mainly for
political indoctrination and to break the influence of family
and church on the young people. . . . Food rationing is about to
be introduced. . . . Arbenz has already left the country. His
announcements from the National Palace are actually made by a
double, provided by Soviet intelligence. . . . An educational
reform is being prepared. There will be no longer any religious
instruction at state expense, but on the contrary lessons in
atheism, Soviet style.

Add rumors of your own, following the day-by-day changes in the

Telegram From C.I.A. headquarters to PBSUCCESS headquarters,
June 24, 1954:

We now prepared authorize bombing specific targets in [Guatemala
City] area since you and [John E. Puerifoy, the American
ambassador to Guatemala] feel this now the most effective move
to achieve success. Targets should be selected with a view to
having desired effect on army and regime morale with minimum
political cost to [the United States].

Telegram from C.I.A. headquarters to PBSUCCESS headquarters,
June 30, 1954:

Heartiest congratulations upon outcome developments past forty-
eight hours. A great victory has been won.