Dec 6, 78 • 1339 • Georgetown-State • 4120

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978GEORGE04120_d.html.]

CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 01
GEORGE 04120 061441Z
ACTION ARA-10
INFO OCT-01 SS-14 ISO-00 NSCE-00 SP-02 L-01 PA-01 ICA-01 INR-05 CIAE-00 NSAE-00 CA-01 /036 W
——————035064 061446Z /46

P 061339Z DEC 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4348
C O N F I D E N T I A L GEORGETOWN 4120
LIMDIS

E.O. 12065: GDS 12/6/1984 (BURKE, JOHN R.) OR-M
TAGS: CACS, OREP
SUBJ: NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE DATELINED WASHINGTON 11/30/78.

1. I HAVE JUST SEEN THE TEXT OF THE NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE DATELINED WASHINGTON NOV. 30 WHICH DEALS WITH CERTAIN ASPECTS OF THE JONESTOWN AFFAIR. IN THE BODY OF THE ARTICLE THERE IS THE FOLLOWIG QUOTATION: QUOTE: THE GOVERNMENT SOURCES AND INTELLIGENCE SOURCES ALSO MADE THESE DISCLOSURES IN INTERVIEWS: THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY RELAYED THE FIRST WORD TO WASHINGTON THAT THERE HAD BEEN MASS DEATHS AT JONESTOWN. IN THE PRE-DAWN HOURS OF SUNDAY, NOV. 19, SURVIVORS REACHED THE GUYANESE ARMY-POLICE POST AT MATTHEW’S RIDGE, A FEW MILES FROM THE JONESTOWN CAMP, WITH THE STORY OF THE DEATHS. A POLICE OFFICER RELAYED THIS IMMEDIATELY TO HIS SUPERIORS IN GEORGETOWN, THE CAPITAL, THE SOURCES SAID. A GUYANESE POLICE OFFICIAL WHO ACTS AS AN AGENT FOR THE CIA IN TURN REPORTED IT TO AGENCY PERSONNEL. UNQUOTE.

2. OBVIOUSLY THIS QUOTATION IS VERY DISTURBING AND IT IS QUITE LIKELY THAT SOMEONE IN THE GOVERNMENT HERE WILL RAISE IT WITH ME AS SOON AS IT IS BROUGHT TO THE GOG’S ATTENTION. IF THE STATEMENT WERE TRUE IT WOULD BE BAD

CONFIDENTIAL
CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 02 GEORGE 04120 061441Z

ENOUGH; THE FACT THAT IT IS ABSOLUTELY FALSE MAKES IT DOUBLY DAMAGING. AS THE DEPARTMENT SHOULD BE AWARE, I REQUESTED THE PERMISSION OF THE PRIME MINISTER TO HAVE ONE OF MY POLITICAL OFFICERS AT POLICE HEADQUARTERS DURING THE NIGHT SATURDAY/SUNDAY (NOV. 18/19). THIS WAS TO ENABLE THE POLICE TO SHARE WITH US AS EXPEDITOUSLY AS POSSIBLE WHATEVER INFORMATION THEY WERE GETTING FROM MATTHEWS RIDGE AND PORT KAITUMA. WHEN ONE OF THE FIRST SURVIVORS OF THE MASS MURDERS/SUICIDES AT JONESTOWN STRAGGLED IN TO THE POLICE POST AT MATTHEWS RIDGE, HE WAS PERMITTED TO TELEPHONE HIS STORY DIRECTLY TO THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE. IN THE SPIRIT OF COOPERATION THAT HAS CHARACTERIZED THE JOINT GOG/US EFFORT SINCE THE ASSASSINATION OF CONGRESSMAN RYAN AND THE INCIDENT AT JONESTOWN, COMMISSIONER BARKER THEN PERMITTED MY POLITICAL OFFICER TO SPEAK DIRECTLY WITH THE SURVIVOR AND THE INFORMATION HE PROVIDED WAS COMMUNICATED TO THE EMBASSY AND WASHINGTON.

3. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, THE GUYANESE ARE LIKELY TO BE HIGHLY EXERCISED WHEN THEY READ THIS NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE WHICH IS SO PATENTLY IN ERROR. WHOEVER THE “GOVERNMENT SOURCE” WAS WHO MADE THIS DISCLOSURE IN AN INTERVIEW, HE WAS OBVIOUSLY SOMEBODY UNAWARE OF THE DETAILS AND SOMEONE WHO HAD NO BUSINESS BRIEFING THE PRESS IN THE FIRST PLACE.

BURKE

CONFIDENTIAL
NNN

Originally posted on March 23rd, 2020.

Skip to main content