[Editor’s note: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 602 of the FBI’s RYMUR release. Names which were withheld by the FBI in the original serial are denoted by red type.
[The text for this document was released in 2014 by the now-defunct Wikileaks website at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978STATE302465_d.html. This URL may be available through the Wayback Machine.]
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 SSO-00 /026 R
DRAFTED BY L/ARA:M.KOZAK:JV
APPROVED BY ARA: J. BUSHNELL
L – J. MICHEL
FBI – D. GOW
S/S-O – J. THYDEN
——————018859 300652Z /11
O 300336Z NOV 78
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN IMMEDIATE
INFO AMEMBASSY PORT OF SPAIN IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L STATE 302465
E.O. 11652: GDS
TAGS: CASC, GY
SUBJECT: TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
REFS: (A) GEORGETOWN 3992; (B) GEORGETOWN 3999
1. Please inform Minister [Hamilton] Green and other appropriate GOG [Government of Guyana] officials that we are gratified by favorable response to our offer of technical assistance with investigations. Team of four experts can arrive Georgetown 30 November on PA [PanAm] flight 227. We shall proceed with this travel unless advised to contrary. (Team could debark plane in Trinidad and await instructions if there is a hang-up in obtaining final GOG clearance.) Names and description of technical expertise of each member of team are set forth in para 6
PAGE 02 STATE 302465
below. As indicated, team includes a ballistics expert per the request of the GOG. With respect to request for a pathologist, justice does not employ any personnel with such expertise. Normally FBI contracts with military to provide pathologist when needed. Please advise as to role GOG envisions for pathological expert, and we will meet request with right expertise. You may also inform minister that team will work in full cooperation with GOG authorities under your direction and supervision.
2. With respect to publicity, we have instructed all agencies to reveal no information on this matter until we have coordinated public posture with GOG. Of course, it is important that we have coordinated guidance available ASAP in event of leaks.
3. We would propose contingency statement along following lines to be used by both governments if asked: “four technical experts from the Department of Justice are travelling to Georgetown, Guyana, this week to assist the government of Guyana in their on-going investigation of the recent events surrounding the People’s Temple agricultural community there. They will work closely with their counterparts in Guyana. The four experts are specialists in the fields of ballistics, photography, and engineering.”
4. FYI. All four members of team are employed by FBI. While suggested guidance is accurate in referring to Department of Justice of which FBI is a component part, we can anticipate follow on questions regarding FBI involvement in investigation. We would propose that such questions be answered along the following lines: “all relevant com-
PAGE 03 STATE 302465
ponents of the Department of Justice including the FBI are providing assistance in the case. With respect to the team of experts, the four individuals were selected by the DOJ on the basis of their technical expertise and are travelling to Guyana as representatives of the Department of Justice, and not of any particular section of that department.” if asked if they are FBI employees, justice would respond in the affirmative but again emphasize technical nature of their function and fact that they are representing justice department as a whole.
5. Pursuant to request of GOG (para 2 ref b), justice is ordering autopsy of Jone’s [Jones’] body and we will provide GOG with results as soon as autopsy can be completed.
6. Members of team follow:
A) Evan E. Hodge, laboratory division, scientific analysis section, fire arms–tool marks unit (ballistics expert)
B) Edward B. O’Brien, chief, photographic operations unit, laboratory division, special projects section (expertise in photographing of evidentiary documents and scene of crime)
C) Barry L. Mones, photographic operations unit (assistant to Mr. O’Brien)
D) James E. Kiel [names withheld by FBI], technical services division, engineering section, operational support unit (engineering expertise, including background in audio matters).
Justice is providing us with more detailed description on expertise of these individuals tomorrow morning which we will forward septel for use with GOG.
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7. In letter to embassy of Guyana requesting visas for members of team, we will refer to them as “representatives of the DOJ.”
Vance (Secretary of State Cyrus Vance)