Dec 8, 78 • 2159 • State-Georgetown • 310202

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978STATE310202_d.html.]

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STATE 310202
ORIGIN ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 IO-15 SSO-00 ISO-00 INRE-00 ICAE-00 PA-02 SS-15 INR-10 NSAE-00 SCS-06 H-02 PM-05 L-03 /074 R
DRAFTED BY ARA/CAR:RWZIMMERMANN:LB
APPROVED BY ARA/CAR:RWZIMMERMANN
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P 082159Z DEC 78
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN IMMEDIATE
INFO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY
JCS WASHDC 0000
CIA WASHDC 0000
WHITE HOUSE 0000
UNCLAS STATE 310202
USUN FOR JOHN BLACKEN

E.O. 12065: ‘ N/A
TAGS: GY, OREP (RYAN, LEO), CASC.
SUBJECT: NOON PRESS BRIEFING, WEDNESDAY, DEC. 6, 1978.

1. THERE FOLLOWS THE TRANSCRIPT OF THOSE PORTIONS OF THE NOON PRESS BRIEFING ON WEDNESDAY, DEC. 6 PERTAINING TO GUYANA.

2. Q. HODDING, IN A DECEMBER THE 1ST LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE WASHINGTON POST FROM A VETERAN JOURNALIST, WHO IS THE MOTHER OF CONGRESSMAN LEO RYAN, WHICH THAT NEWSPAPER HAS NOT SEEN FIT TO PUBLISH, THERE IS ONE BRIEF QUOTE WHICH DEALS WITH THE STATE DEPARTMENT, WHICH I WOULD LIKE TO POSE AS A QUESTION FOR YOUR COMMENT.

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“WE NOW KNOW THAT MY SON’S INFORMATION ABOUT THE NUMBER OF AMERICANS INCARCERATED IN JONESTOWN IN THE MAGNITUDE OF THE COAST CRIMINALITY WAS CORRECT AND THAT THE DENIALS OF MARK LANE AND CHARLES GARRY WERE BOTH WORTHLESS AND VENIAL. HAD THE APPROPRIATE GOVERNMENT OFFICERS RESPONDDED RESPONSIBLY RATHER THAN BY ASININE INTERROGATIONS ‘IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FIELD’ FOR EXAMPLE, TO LEO’S LEGITIMATE REQUESTS FOR HELP IN VERIFYING CHARGES OF SERIOUS CRIMES AGAINST OUR CITIZENS, HE WOULD BE ALIVE TODAY AS WOULD SO MANY OTHERS.”

THAT IS THE QUOTE AND I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT IS THE STATE DEPARTMENT’S COMMENT, PARTICULARLY ABOUT THE ASININE INTERROGATIONS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FIELD.

A. I DON’T HAVE ANY COMMENT ON IT.

Q. AND COULD I FOLLOW THAT UP BY JUST SAYING THE ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORTS FROM GUYANA THAT MEMO DISCOVERED IN JIM JONES’ PERSONAL PAPERS –

A. I WENT THROUGH THIS YESTERDAY.

Q. WELL, MY QUESTION BASICALLY: ARE THESE REPORTS WHY MR. MCCOY IS REPORTEDLY NOT AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT OR COULD WE BE PROVIDED WITH A BRIEFING WITH MR. MCCOY HIMSELF?

A. LES, YOU WEREN’T HERE YESTERDAY.

Q. I KNOW.

A. I WENT DOWN THOSE ENTIRE SET OF QUESTIONS AND THE ANSWERS ARE AS I GAVE THEM, INCLUDING THAT QUESTION.

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Q. HODDING, A QUESTION ON GUYANA, IF I MIGHT. YOU POSTED A RESPONSE TO A QUESTION TAKEN YESTERDAY, AND I AM NOT REALLY CONCERNED WITH THE SUBSTANCE OF THAT, BUT IN THE RESPONE IT WAS NOTED THAT MR. MCCOY HAD SOME CONVERSATIONS WITH SOME PEOPLE APPARENTLY DURING THE TIME OF THE CUSTODY PROCEEDING IN GUYANA, AND THAT ONE WOMAN WAS REPORTED TO HAVE THREATENED THAT THEY WOULD ALL COMMIT SUICIDE. MR. MCCOY’S REACTION, ACCORDING TO YOUR POSTED ANSWER, WAS THAT THE REMARK WAS A PSYCHOLOGICAL PLOY DESIGNED TO INFLUENCE THE OUTCOME OF THE TRIAL.

A. THAT WAS HIS REACTION, YES.

Q. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT MADE HIM THINK THAT AND WHY HAD HE NOT TAKEN IT SERIOUSLY?

A. I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS IN THE MAN’S MIND I KNOW WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN IN MINE AT THE TIME. I, GIVEN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WOULDN’T HAVE BELIEVED IT WAS REAL AND I DON’T THINK THAT MOST PEOPLE WOULD; THE THREAT OF MASS SUICIDE.

Q. HODDING, ON GUYANA. YESTERDAY YOU SPOKE OF MCCOY’S SUSPICION OF THE PEOPLES TEMPLE THERE AS IT APPEARS, AND PARTIALLY BECAUSE OF HIS CONTACTS WITH THE GUYANESE POLICE REGARDING THE PEOPLES TEMPLE. CAN YOU ADD ANYTHING TO THAT? WHAT WAS HE TALKING TO THE GUYANESE POLICE ABOUT IN REGARDS TO THE PEOPLES TEMPLE? MORE ABOUT THIS SUSPICION? BECAUSE TO MY KNOWLEDGE,

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YESTERDAY WAS THE FIRST DAY ANYONE AT STATE STARTED TALKING ABOUT RICHARD MCCOY’S SUSPICION. I MEAN UP TO NOW HE HAD NO SUSPICIONS.

A. NO. AS A MATTER OF FACT, I AM NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO GO INTO THE CONTACTS OR REPORTS THAT WE MADE ON THE BASIS OF OUR CONTACTS WITH FOREIGN OFFICIALS. THERE IS A PREMISE –

Q. IN OTHER WORDS –

A. THAT IS RIGHT. I AM NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO AT THIS POINT.

OTHER VOICE: IT’S IN THE GUIDANCE

A. I SAW IT. I MEAN I KNOW IT IS IN THERE. I CAN’T GO BEYOND THAT.

OTHER VOICE: I DON’T THINK HE IS AWARE OF THAT.

A. YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE GUIDANCE LAST NIGHT?

OTHER VOICE: SINCE THE BRIEFING?

A. I’M SORRY, I THOUGHT YOU ASKED ME TO GO BEYOND THAT.

Q. ON THE POSTED ANSWER ON WHETHER THERE WAS ANY POLITLICAL REPORTING DONE FROM THE EMBASSY IN GEORGETOWN, IT SAYS THERE WAS, BUT THE REPORTING CONTAINED INFORMATION PROVIDED, BUT IN CONFIDENCE BY GUYANESE OFFICIALS, AND IT IS THEREFORE CLASSIFIED. DOES THIS MEAN THAT WHATEVER POLITICAL ACTIVITIES THERE WERE BY THE JONESTOWN COLONY

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WENT BEYOND WHAT FOREIGNERS CAME TO GUYANA, AND WHY IS IT CLASSIFIED?

A. WHAT IT MEANS IS SORT OF A MORE BASIC PRINCIPLE OF REPORTING CONVERSATIONS WITH FOREIGN OFFICIALS OR FOREIGN SOURCES, WHICH IS THAT THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF THOSE IS IMPORTANT, AS LITTLE AS THAT MAY BE BELIEVED BY THE STORIES THAT I SEE REPORTING THE CONVERSATIONS. IT IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE IF YOU ONCE START REVEALING YOUR CONVERSATIONS YOU START DRAWING UP YOUR SOURCES. A PRINCIPLES WELL KNOWN BY JOURNALISTS, BUT NOT WELL UNDERSTOOD BY JOURNALISTS ABOUT DIPLOMACY.

Q. LET ME START IT THIS WAY: WAS THE DEPARTMENT IN ANY WAY EVER CONCERNED REGARDLESS OF THE GUYANESE OFFICIALS ABOUT THE NON-RELIGION, NON-AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES OF THE JONESTOWN PEOPLE IN GUYANA AND HOW THIS COULD AFFECT U.S.-GUYANESE RELATIONS?

A. I DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION.

Q. GUYANA. HODDING, I JUST CHECKED THE TRANSCRIPT SINCE I WASN’T HERE YESTERDAY AND THIS IS NOT REFERRED TO YESTERDAY. JACKIE SPIRES, CONGRESSMAN RYAN’S AIDE, WAS QUOTED IN THE TIMES AS SAYING THAT AMBASSADOR BURKE HAD NO RECOLLECTION OF HAVING SEEN AFFIDAVITS FROM THE PEOPLES TEMPLE DEFECTORS THAT HAD BEEN SENT TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT OR TO THE EMBASSY, INCLUDING THE BLAKEY AFFIDAVIT. HAS THE DEPARTMENT ASCERTAINED WHY THESE AFFIDAVITS DID NOT COME TO THE ATTENTION THE AMBASSADOR?

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A. REED, I AM BACK AGAIN HERE TO SOMETHING THAT I AM GOING TO HAVE TO SAY ABOUT A GREAT DEAL IN CONNECTION WITH THIS CASE. A VERY FULL REPORT IS BEING PUT TOGETHER ON ALL ASPECTS OF IT FOR THE HOUSE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE. INVESTIGATIONS ARE GOING FORWARD IN ANOTHER AGENCY OF GOVERNMENT. THE GUYANESE ARE CONDUCTIONG THEIRS. I AM NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO DEAL WITH EACH ASSERTION BY WITNESSES OR THEIR RECOLLECTIONS OF EVENTS OR ANY PART OF IT IN THIS KIND OF PIECEMEAL FASHION. I APPRECIATE THE QUESTIONS, LEGITIMATE AS THEY ARE. THEY ARE ALL, I BELIEVE, BEING ADDRESSED AND WILL UNDOUBTEDLY BE MADE A PART OF A RATHER VOLUMINOUS RECORD WHICH IS GOING TO BE PUT TOGETHER IN WHOLE, IN TOTO, IN RESPONSE TO THE CONCERNS BOTH OF CONGRESS AND OF OTHER AGENCIES. Sheryl P. Walter Declassified/Released US Department of State EO Systematic Review 20 Mar 2014 Sheryl P. Walter Declassified/Released US Department of State EO Systematic Review 20 Mar 2014

Q. WHEN WILL THAT BE AVAILABLE?

A. I DON’T KNOW. WHAT IS THE DATE THAT THEY HAVE ASKED FOR IT?

Q. THEY ASKED FOR IT LAST FRIDAY.

A. OBVIOUSLY, SINCE WE ARE SOMETHING LESS THAN FINISHED WITH THIS THING, LAST FRIDAY WAS NOT GOING TO BE A MET DATE.

Q. SINCE YOU DIDN’T ANSWER THAT, HODDING, ON A RELATED QUESTION: MISS SPIER ALSO REVEALED THAT SOME OF THESE INTERVIEWS THAT HAD ALLEGEDLY BEEN CONDUCTED IN THE FIELD

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WHERE THERE COULD BE NO CONTAMINATION BY PRESSURE FROM JONES WERE ACTUALLY CONDUCTED IN THE RADIO SHACK WHICH WAS PROBABLY BUGGED.

A. NO, AS A MATTER –

Q. SINCE WE WERE TOLD HERE BY JOHN BUSHNELL ABOUT THE CARE THAT WAS TAKEN AT ALL THESE INTERVIEWS IN THE FIELD –

A. THAT ISN’T WHAT HE SAID.

Q. MOST OF THEM.

A. REED, HE DIDN’T SAY MOST. HE SAID THAT HE CONDUCTED MANY OF THOSE INTERVIEWS IN THE FIELD.

Q. WELL, WE CAN CHECK THAT.

A. BUT IN FACT, HE NEVER SUGGESTED THAT ALL OF THEM –

Q. I DON’T RECALL HIM MENTIONING THAT ANY WERE CONDUCTED IN THE RADIO SHACK.

A. REED, I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER WHAT HE DID. ALL I AM SAYING IS THAT HE DID NOT SUGGEST THAT THEY WERE ALL CONDUCTED OUT IN THE FIELD.

Q. I WILL ACCEPT THAT. BUT MY QUESTION IS THIS: WHEN WE WERE TOLD LAST FRIDAY THAT THE STATE DEPARTMENT WAS SATISFIED THAT ITS INVESTIGATIONS HAD BEEN THOROUGH AND ADEQUATE, AND SO ON, DID THE DEPARTMENT THEN KNOW THAT (A), THE LISTS OF THE PEOPLE TO BE INTERVIEWED WERE IN PART AT LEAST PROVIDED IN ADVANCE BY THE EMBASSY?

A. YES.

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Q. AND DID THEY KNOW THAT MANY OF THESE INTERVIEWS WERE CONDUCTED IN THE RADIO SHACK?

A. YES. OR WERE CONDUCTED IN PLACES, IN BUILDINGS.

Q. IN THE RADIO SHACK, SPECIFICALLY.

A. OR, REED, TO GET TO YOUR QUESTION, IN PLACES WHERE THE BUGGING MIGHT BE POSSIBLE, YES.

Q. WERE THESE FACTS REVEALSED TO THE PRESS AT ANY TIME PRIOR TO THESE STORIES THAT APPEARED IN THE TIMES ON MONDAY?

A. REED, YES. THE FACT THAT WE HAD NOTIFIED THEM IN ADVANCE ON OUR COMING?

Q. YES.

A. AND THEY KNEW WHO SOME OF THEM WERE, BUT THEY ALWAYS HELD BACK? YES.

Q. THAT WAS TOLD.

A. YES.

Q. EXCUSE ME, HODDING. WHEN WAS THAT? I DON’T RECALL IT HERE, AND I DID AN INTERVIEW — PARDON ME — WITH RICHARD MCCOY ONE FIRST TUESDAY ON THIS.

A. YES, I REMEMBER.

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Q. IN WHICH HE WENT THROUGH, WITH JOHN BUSHNELL SITTING THERE, HOW CLEAN THESE INTERVIEWS HAD BEEN. AND, MY SHORTCOMING AS A REPORTER, I NEVER ASKED ABOUT LISTS; BUT THEY CERTAINLY KNEW IT THEN AND NEVER VOLUNTEERED IT. SO, WHEN DID THEY, ON THE RECORD, SAY THAT –

A. THERE IS A GREAT DEAL OF INFORMATION, IN FACT, WHICH IS COMING OUT PIECEMEAL. IT WILL CONTINUE TO COME OUT PIECEMEAL. THE PEOPLE WHO WERE INVOLVED, SUCH AS MR. MCCOY AND OTHERS, WERE ALSO INVOLVED IN TRYING TO DEAL WITH THE FACT OF THE TRAGEDY ITSELF.

NOW, I WOULD JUST SIMPLY REPEAT SOMETHING I SAID YESTERDAY: THAT WHILE THE DEPARTMENT’S INVESTIGATION OF THE ENTIRE MATTER IS OBVIOUSLY ONGOING, AND A COMPILATION OF INFORMATION IS ONGOING, AND THE CHANGES THAT HAVE BEEN MADE BOTH IN THE ESTIMATES OF DEATHS AND MANY OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING IT HAVE CHANGED AS INFORMATION HAS COME IN, MUCH AS YOUR STORIES ON ALMOST ANYTHING CHANGE AS MORE INFORMATION COMES IN, THERE HAS BEEN NO WITHHOLDING OF SOMETHING WHICH IS DELIBERATELY WITHHELD TO TRY TO GIVE A BETTER FLAVOR TO WHAT WE DID OR DIDN’T DO PRECEDIDNG THAT TRAGEDY. AND WE INTEND TO CONTINUE A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION AND COMPILATION OF THIS –

Q. IS IT YOUR BELIEF THAT THE TRANSCRIPT WILL SHOW THAT THE BRIEFER TOLD THIS GROUP –

A. I HAVE NO IDEA, REED.

Q. YOU SAID THAT THIS INFORMATION WAS GIVEN OUT.

A. THAT INFORMATION HAS IN FACT BEEN GIVEN OUT. WHETHER IT WAS GIVEN OUT IN THE TRANSCRIPT OR WHETHER IT WAS GIVEN OUT IN SEPARATE INTERVIEWS, WHETHER IT –

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Q. IT WAS POSTED FRIDAY AFTERNOON.

A. I UNDERSTAND THAT. BUT HOW IT CAME OUT, REED –

Q. COULD YOU FIND THE RECORD OF THAT FOR US, BECAUSE I DON’T RECALL. I FOLLOWED THIS VERY CAREFULLY, AND I HAVEN’T SEEN IT.

A. I UNDERSTAND, BUT WHAT I AM NOT SURE I CAN FIND IS ALL THE SEPARATE INTERVIEWS AND CONVERSATIONS THAT REPORTERS HAD WITH VARIOUS PARTICIPANTS OR ALLEGED KNOWLEDGEABLE PEOPLE.

Q. I MEAN, ON-THE-RECORD INTERVIEWS.

A. I HAVE NO IDEA, BUT YOU HAVE THAT RECORD AS WELL AS I DO.

Q. I WOULD LIKE TO ADD MY NAME TO REED’S REQUEST THAT YOUR OFFICE TRY, PLEASE, BECAUSE –

A. YOU KNOW, IF IT IS ON THE RECORD, YOU CAN GET IT.

Q. WHERE?

A. OTHERWISE, I AM AFRAID –

Q. WHERE DO WE LOOK, HODDING?

A. YOU LOOK IN THE PLACES IN WHICH RECORDS ARE KEPT.

Q. WELL, WE LOOK AT THE BRIEFING. I AM SURE IT ISN’T

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THERE.

A. THAT’S RIGHT.

Q. IT ISN’T IN THE BRIEFING. WHERE ELSE WOULD WE LOOK, THEN?

A. YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO LOOK IN ALL THE PRESS REPORTS.

Q. WE HAVE LOOKED IN THOSE.

A. WELL, THAT IS FINE.

Q. THEN WHERE IS IT?

Q. IT WOULD SEEM TO ME THAT IN THE COURSE OF YOUR INSISTENCE ABOUT HOW FORTHCOMING THE STATE DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN AND YOU SAY WILL CONTINUE TO BE, THAT IS A VERY IMPORTANT ITEM AS FAR AS HOW THESE –

A. LEM, THAT IS A PROSECUTORIAL QUESTION, AND I APPRECIATE YOUR CONCERN –

Q. IT MAY BE, BUT IT WOULD SEEM TO ME THAT YOU WOULD BE ABLE TO PROVE YOUR STATEMENT THAT THIS WAS ON THE RECORD BEFORE –

A. YOU KNOW SOMETHING? I DON’T HAVE TO PROVE ANYTHING, TO BEGIN WITH.

Q. OKAY. FINE.

A. THE SECOND THING IS THAT WE HAVE ONGOING AT LEAST TWO MAJOR INVESTIGATIONS IN THIS COUNTRY AND ONE IN GUYANA. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I THINK THAT THE PRESS — THAT I’VE FELT FOR 18 YEARS ON THE OTHER SIDE, AND I CERTAINLY FEEL

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ON THIS SIDE, AS WELL — IS PARTICULARLY NOT EQUIPPED TO DO IS PLAY JUDGE AND JURY. AND WHILE I APPRECIATE YOUR DESIRE TO DO IT, THAT ISN’T THE FUNCTION THAT THE CONSTITUTION ESTABLISHES FOR YOU. AND I AM SIMPLY NOT GOING TO ENGAGE IN THIS KIND OF THING ALL THE WAY THROUGH.

Q. HODDING, HE ASKED A GOOD QUESTION, IT IS A DARN GOOD QUESTION, AND YOU ARE GETTING TIGHT.

A. I APPRECIATE THAT MANY QUESTIONS ARE GOOD QUESTIONS. YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO APPRECIATE THAT MANY QUESTIONS –

Q. IT IS UNCHARACTERISTIC OF YOU TO EVADE.

A. — MANY QUESTIONS ARE NOT GOING TO HAVE ANSWERS IN THIS FORUM. THAT IS THE WAY IT IS.

Q. HODDING, THE NEW CHINA NEWS AGENCY REPORTS THAT FROM TUESDAY TO FRIDAY OF LAST WEEK, THERE WAS A CAMBODIAN DELEGATION IN GUYANA. DO YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION WHETHER THEY WERE THERE INVESTIGATING NEW AND MORE EFFICIENT WAYS OF KILLING LARGE MASSES OF PEOPLE? (LAUGHTER.)

A. I DON’T KNOW.

Q. HODDING –

A. YES, I HAVE AN ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION ABOUT THE EUROPEAN MONETARY SYSTEM.

Q. THAT IS NOT WHAT I WAS GOING TO ASK, HODDING. MAY I ASK ONE ON GUYANA?

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A. YES.

Q. ALTHOUGH ACTUALLY THE OTHER ONE IS MUCH MORE INTERESTING.

YOU MENTIONED ALL THESE DIFFERENT INVESTIGATIONS. SINCE SO MUCH ILLEGAL ACTIVITY HAS NOW BEEN UNCOVERED ON THE PART OF THIS PARTICULAR CULT, WILL ANY OF THESE INVESTIGATIONS START LOOKING AT ANY OTHER CULT? I MEAN, YOU CAN’T HIDE BEHIND THIS THING, THAT THEY ARE SUPPOSEDLY RELIGIONS, IF WE HAVE INDICATIONS THAT THEY ARE INVOLVED IN THINGS LIKE GUN AND DRUG RUNNING, RUNNING MERCENARIES TO AFRICA, ALL THESE DIFFERENT THINGS WE CAN NOW DEMONSTRATE IN REGARD TO THIS CULT. THERE ARE SO MANY INDICATIONS FOR OTHER CULTS. WILL ANY OF THESE INVESTIGATIONS OPEN UP ANY OF THAT AREA?

A. I THINK THAT IS A QUESTION YOU WILL HAVE TO ASK INVESTIGATORY AGENCIES. I DON’T KNOW.

Q. HODDING, WITH RESPECT TO MR. MCCOY’S PERCEPTIONS ABOUT WHETHER A MASS SUICIDE WAS LIKELY OR NOT, ONE OF YOUR POSTED RESPONSES WHICH HAS BEEN REFERRED TO PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED THE FACT THAT HE HAD BEEN IN CONTACT WITH THE GUYANESE AUTHORITIES, THE POLICE, BEFORE HE WENT TO JONESTOWN IN ’77, AND THAT PART OF WHAT HE TALKED TO THEM ABOUT WERE RUMORS ABOUT FIREARMS SMUGGLING AND OTHER ACTIVITIES AND RUMORS ABOUT PLANS FOR MASS SUICIDE. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW, IN VIEW OF THAT, DOESN’T THAT SPEAK CONTRARY TO YOUR STATEMENT EARLIER THAT HE SHOULD NOT HAVE NECESSARILY TAKEN THE THREAT SERIOUSLY IN ’78?

A. NO, IT DOESN’T, IN MY OWN MIND. AND I WOULD JUST HAVE TO SAY, AGAIN, I CAN ONLY SPEAK FOR MYSELF; YOU ARE ASKING

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ME A QUESTION WHICH IS NOT REALLY A POLICY QUESTION; AND I AM HAVING TO ANSWER IT THE WAY I WOULD ANSWER FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE. THE NUMBER OF ALLEGATIONS, OF POSSIBILITIES, WHICH ARE FRANKLY UNTHINKABLE — THAT IS, MASS SUICIDE — IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO ABSORB AND BELIEVE.

Q. WILL MR. MCCOY BE MADE AVAILABLE TO SPEAK PERHAPS TO WHAT WAS ON HIS MIND?

A. I THINK THAT HE MAY.

Q. HODDING, TO FOLLOW UP LAURA’S QUESTION. WHEN PRESIDENT CARTER, WHO IS, OF COURSE, AT THE HEAD OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT, SAID THAT WE SHOULD NOT — QUOTE -OVER-REACT TO THE GUYANA TRAGEDY BUT SHOULD REMEMBER THAT THE CONSTITUTION PROTECTS RELIGION.

IN REGARD TO THAT, MRS. RYAN’S LETTER ASKS THIS QUESTION: WHEN CLOSE TO A THOUSAND PEOPLE DIE BY MURDER AND FORCED SUICIDE IN A PSEUDO-RELIGIOUS ENTRAPMENT, CAN THIS CULT BE REGARDED AS CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED?

A. I AM NOT A CONSTITUTIONAL LAW EXPERT. THERE ARE OBVIOUSLY APPLICATIONS OF THE LAW. RONALD GOLDFARB HAD A VERY GOOD ARTICLE ON THIS IN WHICH THE PRACTICES AND ACTIONS OF RELIGION MAY –

Q. WHO DID?

A. RONALD GOLDFARB, WHO IS A LAWYER HERE, HAD A VERY GOOD ARTICLE ON THIS AS TO WHAT THE CONSTITUTION DOES OR DOES NOT PROTECT WHEN IT COMES TO THE QUESTION OF RELIGION. BUT I AM NOT THE GUY TO ASK THOSE QUESTIONS.

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Q. JUST ONE FOLLOW-UP: IS THE STATE DEPARTMENT AWARE OF THE FIVE PAGE-ONE STORIES FILED BY THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR IN 1972 AND THE FOUR FILED BY THE SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER IN 1972, OR NOT?

A. I DON’T KNOW, BUT I THOUGHT YOU HAD BROUGHT AT LEAST THE EXAMINER ONES TO OUR ATTENTION. I CAN’T REMEMBER.

Q. WELL, IT IS TWO MAJOR NEWSPAPERS, AND I JUST WONDERED IF THE STATE DEPARTMENT IS AWARE OF THIS. IT IS NOT BEING MENTIONED –

A. THIS WAS ON THE –

Q. ON JONES.

A. ON JONES. I WOULD SAY, OFF-HAND, PROBABLY NOT, THAT EVEN THE CLIPPING SERVICES WE HAVE USUALLY DEAL WITH FOREIGN POLICY MATTERS AND VERY RARELY ON DOMESTIC.

Q. WHEN YOU DO THIS VOLUMINOUS REPORT, WILL WHOEVER IS FORMULATING THE REPORT SEEK TO FIND OUT WHAT WAS REPORTED SIX YEARS AGO AND IGNORED?

A. I HAVE A FEELING THAT THE INVESTIGATION INSOFAR AS JUSTICE IS CONCERNED WILL PROBABLY TRY TO FOCUS ON THE FULL RANGE OF THAT, BUT I CAN’T SAY.

Q. HODDING, ON GUYANA, YOU KEEP INSISTING THAT YOU DIDN’T INFORM, OR THE EMBASSY DIDN’T INFORM, THE JONESTOWN PEOPLE OF ALL OF THE NAMES. THE MEMO THAT WAS QUOTED IN THE STAR, THE AP STORY YESTERDAY, SAID THAT THE JONESTOWN PEOPLE SENT A MEMO TO ELLIS SAYING THAT MCCOY GAVE THEM THE NAMES. HE DIDN’T SAY PART OF THE NAMES; HE SAID MCCOY WOULD TELL US WHO HE WOULD WANT TO SEE.

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NOW, WHAT IS YOUR EVIDENCE THAT MCCOY DIDN’T GIVE THE COMPLETE LIST, AND WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE NAMES, IF YOU DO HAVE THAT EVIDENCE, DID HE GIVE?

A. I RAN THROUGH THAT YESTERDAY.

Q. WELL, I READ THE TRANSCRIPT.

A. REED, I WILL JUST SAY, PARENTHETICALLY, THAT IT IS AMAZING TO ME THAT YOU, WHO HAVE DECIDED THAT THIS IS A CERTAIN KIND OF A GROUP, THAT ANYTHING THAT THEY SAY IS TRUE IN THEIR MEMOS AND THAT ANYTHING THEY ALLEGE IS TRUE AND THE RESPONSE OF THE PERSON ABOUT WHOM THEY ARE ALLEGING IT IS CALLED INTO QUESTION. I’M TELLING YOU THE PERSON CONCERNED SAYS HE DIDN’T DO IT. THE ALLEGATION IS MADE BY SOME PEOPLE WHO AREN’T HERE, WHO MAY BE DEAD OR WHO ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR QUESTIONING. BUT I’M SAYING HE SAID HE DIDN’T DO IT THAT WAY.

Q. LET ME ASK YOU THIS: HOW WAS THIS INFORMATION COMMUNICATED TO JONESTOWN? BY WRITTEN MEMO? BY TELEPHONE?

A. I DON’T KNOW.

Q. WERE THERE ANY RECORDS?

A. HOW DID YOU DO IT, JEFF?

MR. DIETERICH: I THINK THE LISTS WERE TRANSMITTED TO THE PEOPLES TEMPLE REPRESENTATIVES IN GEORGETOWN. HOW THEY THEN TRANSMITTED THEM TO JONESTOWN, I DON”T KNOW.

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Q. SO THE EMBASSY ALWAYS KEEPS RECORDS OF MEMOS, WE KNOW THAT — COMMUNICATIONS. SO THE EMBASSY FILES MUST SHOW WHAT NAMES, WHAT COMMUNICATIONS, WENT TO THE PEOPLES TEMPLE. RIGHT?

A. I CAN’T EVEN TAKE THE ASSERTION, BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW THAT IT WORKS THAT WAY.

Q. IT WOULDN’T NECESSARILY BE TRUE.

Q. WILL THE EMBASSY FILES BE MADE AVAILABLE, OR WILL THERE BE THAT FAMILIAR EXPLANATION THAT WE CANNOT DISCUSS REPORTS BETWEEN GOVERNMENTS? I MEAN, TO TRY TO CLEAR IT UP, HODDING. YOU SAY THAT WE HAVE HOPES OF MCCOY BEING AVAILABLE. THAT WILL BE COMMENDABLE, HODDING. NOW IF WE CAN JUST SEE THE EMBASSY FILES. AND IF THEY MATCH JONES’ REPORTS, THEN I THINK IT ESTABLISHES PRETTY WELL WHAT THE STAR HAS BEEN REPORTING, DON’T YOU?

A. I HAVE NO IDEA.

Q. YOU DON’T KNOW?

A. NO.

Q. HODDING, ON NUMBERS, THEN. COULD YOU TELL US WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE PEOPLE HE INTERVIEWED IN THE OPEN FIELD, VERSUS THE RADIO SHACK?

A. I WILL SEE IF I CAN GET THAT.

Q. YOU SAID 40 TO 45 EARLIER.

Q. IT’S ALREADY BEEN STATED.

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A. YOU KNOW, YOU ARE TAKING ME BACK OVER A GREAT DEAL OF GROUND.

Q. I WISH WE COULD GET OUR COLLEAGUES TO LOOK AT THE POSTED ANSWERS. THEY MIGHT FIND SOME OF THEM THERE.

Q. HODDING, FOLLOWING YOUR POSTED ANSWER YESTERDAY ON GUYANA, ABOUT MCCOY AND WHEN HE WENT TO THE POLICE IT SAID HE WENT TO THE POLICE FIRST IN ’77 AND WAS CONCERNED ABOUT BEATINGS AND GUN SMUGGLING AND SOME OTHER THINGS. WERE THOSE CONCERNS TOLD TO RYAN IN PREPARATION FOR THIS TRIP? UP TO NOW MY RECOLLECTION IS THAT THE BRIEFERS HAVE SAID THAT THEY TOLD RYAN THIS WAS A REMOTE PLACE AND THAT THERE WOULD NOT BE POLICE PROTECTION AVAILABLE. BUT IT COMES DOWN TO HOW MUCH OF A WARNING WAS RYAN GIVEN THAT IT MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN DANGEROUS FOR HIM TO GO THERE.

A. WHAT HAS BEEN MADE VERY CLEAR IS THAT MR. RYAN HIMSELF KNEW THAT THERE WERE DANGERS WHEN HE WENT THERE. THAT HAS BEEN STATED BY ALL OF THOSE, INCLUDING THOSE WHO ACCUSED US OF NOT HAVING GIVEN HIM ENOUGH INFORMATION -THAT HE WAS AWARE OF ALL THE DANGERS THAT WERE THERE -HE PERHAPS MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE, BECAUSE OF THE INVESTIGATION THAT HAD BEEN GOING ON. IN FACT, CONGRESSMAN RYAN WAS IN A POSITION OFTEN OF BEING ABLE TO GIVE US SOME INFORMATION BECAUSE OF HIS CONTACTS IN SAN FRANCISCO. THE PROBLEM WAS NOT MR. RYAN NOT KNOWING WHAT THE SITUATION WAS.

Q. BUT WAS THE INFORMATION RELAYED TO RYAN’S PEOPLE THAT

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WAS RELAYED TO THE GUYANA POLICE?

A. WHAT?

Q. THE INFORMATION THAT MCCOY RELAYED TO THE GUYANA POLICE — WAS THAT ALSO GIVEN TO RYAN IN THE BRIEFINGS.

A. FRED, WILL YOU ANSWER THAT?

MR. HENNEKE: YES, BECAUSE THE INFORMATION WHICH MR. MCCOY HAD WAS BASICALLY BASED UPON REPORTS FROM THE FAMILIES AND RELATIVES OF PEOPLES TEMPLE MEMBERS BACK HERE IN THE COUNTRY. THAT WAS THE INFORMATION WHICH CONGRESSMAN RYAN FIRST HAD AND WHICH INITIATED HIS INVESTIGATION. I MIGHT ALSO SAY THAT, AS PART OF MR. MCCOY’S INVESTIGATIGATIONS INTO THE ALLEGATIONS, HE DIDN’T JUST BASE HIS REPORT UPON HIS PERSONAL INTERVIEWS; HE ALSO TALKED TO GUYANESE OFFICIALS WHO WERE FAMILIAR WITH THE PEOPLES TEMPLE, INCLUDING THE OFFICIALS AT PORT KAITUMA, WITH REGARD TO THE ACTIVITIES THAT THEY WERE AWARE OF AT THE PEOPLES TEMPLE.

Q. DID HE REPORT THOSE CONVERSATIONS TO THE DEPARTMENT?

MR. HENNEKE: IN HIS REPORTS BACK HE WOULD INDICATE THAT HE HAD ALSO MADE CONTACT WITH THE APPROPRIATE GUYANESE OFFICIALS, AND THAT THEY INDEED HAD NO INFORMATION TO THE CONTRARY TO HIS OBSERVATIONS AT THE PEOPLES TEMPLE. Q. MR. KRAUS OF THE WASHINGTON POST SAID YESTERDAY AT THE PRESS CLUB THAT JUST TALKING TO THE POLICE AND OTHERS AT THE AIRSTRIP, IT WAS VERY EVIDENT THAT THEY KNEW A GREAT DEAL ABOUT THESE DUBIOUS OR DANGEROUS ACTIVITIES AT JONESTOWN, INCLUDING THE ARMS. AND MR. KRAUS WONDERED WHY THE EMBASSY HAD NOT BEEN ABLE TO BECOME AWARE OF THAT.

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MR. HENNEKE: I’D HAVE TO THROW THAT BACK TO THE AUTHORITIES AT PORT KAITUMA, SINCE MR. MCCOY WAS THERE SEVERAL TIMES AND EVERY TIME HE WENT TO JONESTOWN HE HAD TO PASS THROUGH THERE. AND IT IS INDEED REPORTED THAT THE EMBASSY OFFICIALS, AT LEAST ON ONE OCCASION, WHEN THEY WENT TO JONESTOWN WOULD CALL UPON THE AUTHORITIES AT PORT KAITUMA AS A COURTESY. MY QUESTION WOULD BE: IF THEY HAD THIS INFORMATION, WHY INDEED DID THEY NOT RELATE IT TO OUR OFFICIALS WHEN THEY VISITED UP THERE?

Q. THE QUESTION MIGHT BE: DID THE OFFICIALS OF THE U.S. EMBASSY EVER ASK THEM?

MR. HENNEKE: AND MY INFORMATION IS THAT, YES, THEY DID.

MR. CARTER: THAT’S WHAT HE SAID AT THE BEGINNING, REED, TO ANSWER THE QUESTION.

Q. ONE LAST QUESTION. YOU MIGHT POSSIBLY HAVE COVERED THIS SOME TIME AGO. HAVE WE EXPRESSED ANY DEEP CONCERN TO THE GUYANESE GOVERNMENT THAT THEIR SOLDIERS ON THE AIRSTRIP SIMPLY SAT AND WATCHED RYAN AND OTHERS GET MURDERED?

A. I DON’T KNOW.

Q. COULD I ASK YOUR EXPERT ON GUYANA? HAVE WE ASKED THE GUYANESE GOVERNMENT WHY THEY SAT THERE WHEN THESE MEN

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WERE BEING MURDERED?

A. LET ME JUST SAY, AGAIN, THAT YOU ARE DEALING WITH A NUMBER OF EYE-WITNESS REPORTS, AND OBVIOUSLY ALL OF THAT IS BEING SIFTED AS WELL. I DO NOT KNOW ABOUT AN EXPRESSION OF CONCERN, TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION.

Q. IN OTHER WORDS, YOU DON’T KNOW THAT WE’VE EVER SAID ANYTHING TO THE GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA AS TO WHY THEIR SOLDIERS SAT THERE WHILE THESE MURDERS WERE GOING ON.

A. I DON’T KNOW.

VANCE

UNCLASSIFIED

<< END OF DOCUMENT >>

Originally posted on March 24th, 2020.

Last modified on December 26th, 2020.
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