Dec 7, 78 • 1701 • Georgetown-State • 4150

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978GEORGE04150_d.html.]

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GEORGE 04150 071914Z
ACTION NODS-00
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 /001 W
——————053192 071920Z /42

O 071701Z DEC 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8369
C O N F I D E N T I A L GEORGETOWN 4150
NODIS
FOR DEP ASST SEC JOHN BUSHNELL

E.O. 12065: GDS 12/7/1984 (BURKE, JOHN R.) OR-M
TAGS: CASC, OREP (RYAN, LEO) GY
SUBJ: NYTIMES INQUIRY ABOUT TAPES OF LAST HOURS OF JONESTOWN.
REF: GEORGETOWN 4106.

1. NEW YORK TIMES TEAM LEADER HORROCK INFORMED EMBSSY THAT MEMBER OF HIS STAFF HAD REPORT THAT TAPES EXISTED OF LAST HOURS OF JONESTOWN, AND THAT HE EXPECTS TIMES TO CARRY REPORT TOMMORROW [TOMORROW], DECEMBER 8. EMBOFF REPLIED THAT LARGE QUANTITIES OF MATERIAL, INCLUDING MANY TAPES, HAD BEEN RECOVERED BY GUYANESE AND US AUTHORITIES AND THAT TECHNICAL SPECIALISTS OF BOTH GOVERNMENTS ARE REVIEWING THEM FOREVIDENTIARY PURPOSES.

2. AS DEPARTMENT IS AWARE, COPY OF TAPE WAS PROVIDED TO GOG DECEMBER 5. WHETHER LEAK CAME FROM THEIR SIDE OR OURS CANNOT BE DETERMINED AT THIS TIME. HOWEVER, GIVEN THE SUBSTANCE OF THE TAPE, IT EXISTENCE COULD BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL ONLY SO LONG.

3. ASSUMING TIMES DOES INDEED CARRY REPORT OF TAPE’S EXISTENCE DECEMBER 8, BELIEVE IT IMPORTANT THAT CHAIRMAN ZABLOCKI BE INFORMED IMMEDIATELY OF ITS EXISTENCE AND

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THAT COMMITTEE BE FURNISHED COPY, UNLESS THERE ARE OVERRIDING LEGAL OBJECTIONS. IN RESPONSE TO PRESS QUERIES THAT SOTY IS BOUND TO GENERATE, SUGGEST THAT DEPARTMENT TAKE VIEW THAT ALLEGED TAPE EXISTS, THAT IT IS BEING STUDIED BY LEGAL EXPERTS OF BOTH GOVERNMENTS AND THAT IT WILL NOT BE MADE PUBLIC UNTIL SUCH TIME AS ITS EVIDENTIARY VALUE HAS BEEN FULLY EXAMINED.

BURKE

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Originally posted on March 23rd, 2020.

Last modified on December 30th, 2020.
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