Serial 526 • SITREP 23

[Editor’s notes: The full text of this text was taken from https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978STATE300700_d.html.]

[This document appears as Serial 526 in the FBI RYMUR release and as State
Department cable 300700
in the State Department release.]

CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 01
STATE 300700
ORIGIN ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 SS-15 EUR-12 ISO-00 SIG-03 SSO-00 SY-05 SYE-00 L-03 H-01 DODE-00 CA-01 CIAE-00 INR-10 NSAE-00 INRE-00 PA-01 ICA-11 SCS-06 PM-05 NSCE-00 HEW-04 USSS-00 AID-05 /098 R
DRAFTED BY ARA-RBRUCE
APPROVED BY ARA:RBRUCE
S/S – TREYNDERS
——————105665 280853Z /14

O 280733Z NOV 78
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY PANAMA IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY CARACAS IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY PORT OF SPAIN IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY PARAMARIBO IMMEDIATE
FBI IMMEDIATE
JUSTICE IMMEDIATE
USCINCSO QUARRY HTS CZ IMMEDIATE
CINCMAC SCOTT AFB IL IMMEDIATE
UNCINCARRED FT MCPHERSON GA IMMEDIATE
CDR 28TH AIRBORNE CORPS FT BRAGG NC IMMEDIATE
USCINCEUR VAIHINGEN GE ATTN J-2 IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L STATE 300700
LONDON FOR MICHAEL FINLEY

E.O. 11652: GDS
TAGS: CASC, OREP (RYAN, LEO), GY
SUBJECT: SITUATION REPORT NO. 23, 11/27/78, 2400 (EST)
REF: STATE 30009

1. US military retrograde operations have been completed; the Joint Task Force in Guyana and the crisis action team in the pentagon have been disbanded. The remaining CH-53 helicopters (Jolly Green Giants) will depart Guyana at first light Tuesday, November 28, leaving two extended-range Hueys, their crews and an eight-man Air Force security guard to support US Embassy Georgetown.

2. Ambassador Burke met with Prime Minister [Forbes] Burnham to urge him to accept the assistance of either FBI or Department of Justice personnel in the GOG’s [Government of Guyana] investigations. We anticipate the Guyanese cabinet will make a decision on the matter November 28.

3. According to San Francisco police, the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk Monday afternoon appear to be unrelated to the events in Guyana. A disgruntled office seeker and former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (as was Rev. Jones) is being held in connection with the shootings. The event is likely to increase the psychological strains on those Jonestown survivors who are fearful for their personal safety.

4. The Guyanese have authorized seven more members of the Peoples Temple to leave the country. All are over sixty years of age. The embassy plans to offer them departure arrangements on the Wednesday Pan Am flight for the US. There would then be 72 Peoples Temple survivors remaining in Georgetown.

5. We continue to receive follow-up inquiries regarding identification of deceased and the welfare and whereabouts of survivors. Dover AFB has positively identified forty bodies and SCS is in the process of notifying next of kin regarding disposition of remains, but no next of kin have yet been identified in some cases.

6. The State Department Task Force has received many telephone calls from congressional offices and interested public asking: who made the decision to mount the Guyana operation?; what is the legal authority being used to pay for movement of bodies to the US?; and what are the costs involved? Legal and management officers are preparing guidance to respond to these questions.

7. A first draft has been completed of a response to Congressman Zablocki’s letter asking for data concerning the roles of the department and Embassy Georgetown with regard to the activities of the Peoples Temple in Guyana. The draft includes a chronology of embassy/department- Peoples Temple contacts, a memorandum detailing Embassy-GOG contacts and a brief memorandum explaining how the consuls’ visits to Jonestown were conducted.

Vance [Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State]

CONFIDENTIAL