In January of 2012, the United States Army responded to my second request for information regarding the whereabouts of the Special Operations groups operating in Guyana in 1978. The first request, sent just over a year before, appears to have been lost in the shuffle. At the time, the silence seemed rather odd. I could have assigned the silence with malicious intent since no reply was forthcoming. Clearly, they (the government) were hiding something, right? What was behind the silence? What were they hiding? Maybe what I had read about the Jonestown tragedy was true. Maybe the Army and the Green Berets were somehow involved in the deaths of over 900 Americans and this was part of the cover up? Maybe those crazy stories I had read about the MK-ULTRA Program and the guards with machine guns rounding up the Temple members in the jungle around Jonestown were true! I could not help but entertain the wild thoughts of all those accounts I had read about Jonestown. Then, as if, struck by brick, I thought, “Maybe they didn’t get my first request. I did mail it, but maybe it just got lost?” I then decided to send a second request and within a few weeks, and to my surprise, I had a reply.
The second request arrived in late January, and with bated breath I opened the envelope. I was expecting a reply akin to “These documents are to remain classified under the Privacy Act of 1974” to prevent the disclosure of private information for those still living. The truth, however, was much less dramatic. They had done exactly what I had asked. In my second request, I asked for “…any documentation regarding the deployment of any United States Army Special Operations Forces (SOF) to Guyana in 1978.” In other words, I wanted to see if the Army’s Green Berets had been in Guyana that year and if so, why? The country had been struggling with its own identity and the political waves were still tossing the country around twelve years after its independence from the British. Surely this country on the South American continent was ripe for an American backed coup d’état and maybe the Green Berets were there to help push them over the edge. Instead, the only information that came back matched all the facts I had uncovered.
The letter from the Department of the Army Special Operations Command located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina dated January 18, 2012, stated that after “conducting a thorough search for documents responsive to [my] request” they found nothing. The search yielded “no records.” This means that it is not a denial of my request since if they had found something, anything, but could not share information for whatever reason, then I would have been informed. The Army found nothing during the FOIA search, which as it turns out, was exactly what I found when I researched the same claim. Sadly, the conspiracy theorists assert with vacuous ease that the Green Berets were in Guyana in 1978. They weren’t. Lastly, and more importantly, this singular FOIA request (#12-031) is only one piece of evidence against this claim, but it’s one piece more than is held by the conspiracy theorists.
(Chris Knight-Griffin is a regular contributor to the jonestown report. His other article in this edition is Green Berets and the Black Hole: Examining John Judge’s Jonestown Conspiracy. His earlier writings appear here. He may be reached at email@example.com.)