Dec 12, 78 • 2344 • State-Georgetown • 313461

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978STATE313461_d.html.]

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STATE 313461
ORIGIN SCS-06
INFO OCT-01 ARA-11 ISO-00 PER-01 CA-01 L-03 /023 R
DRAFTED BY CA/SCS:RDRY:BB
APPROVED BY CA/SCS:CA DI PLACIDO
M/DG :JLHOGANSON (SUBS PHONE)
CA:BJHARPER (DRAFT)
L/CA – RDALTON (SUBSTANCE PHONE)
SCS-AGISE (SUBS)
L/ARA – TFORTUNE
DESIRED DISTRIBUTION
ARA – JOHN BUSHNELL
——————112823 130019Z /66

O 122344Z DEC 78 ZFF4
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN NIACT IMMEDIATE
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E.O. 12065 N/A
TAGS: CGEN; CDES; (PEOPLE’S TEMPLE)
SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR LIMITED WAIVER OF IMMUNITY
REF: A) GEORGETOWN 4229 B) ELLICE/CLARK TELECON 12/12/78

1. DEPARTMENT AUTHORIZES CONSULAR OFFICER TO APPEAR TO TESTIFY AT CORONER’S INQUEST TO BE HELD ON 12/13 AT MATTHEW’S RIDGE.

2. AS THE EMBASSY KNOWS, AT DOVER AIR FORCE BASE THERE HAS BEEN AND IS A TEAM OF EXPERTS IN IDENTFYING REMAINS OF BODIES IN QUESTION. APPROXIMATELY 100 TECHNICIANS AT ANY ONE TIME HAVE BEEN AND CONTINUE TO WORK ON THE SITE.

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THESE EXPERTS INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO PATHOLOGISTS, FORENSIC PATHOLOGISTS, DENTISTS, FORENSIC DENTISTS, DENTAL X-RAY TECHNICIANS, X-RAY TECHNICIANS AND GRAVES REGISTRATION PERSONNEL. A LARGE NUMBER OF THESE TECHNICIANS ARE FROM THE AIR FORCE INSTITUTE OF PATHOLOGY. IN ADDITION, THE PATHOLOGISTS ARE CERTIFIED UNDER APPROPRIATE UNITED STATES LAW TO PRACTICE PATHOLOGY. (NOTE THAT ALTHOUGH THE PATHOLOGIST HAVE NOT BEEN CONDUCTING AUTOPSIES (SEE SEPTEL), THESE PATHOLOGISTS CONDUCTED EXAMINATION OF THE BODIES NOTING EVIDENCE AND PHYSICAL DESCRIPTIONS).

3. IN ADDITION TO THE DOD TEAM, THE FBI HAS ITS OWN TEAM OF FINGERPRINT EXPERTS (TEAM CONSISTS OF ABOUT TEN EXPERTS) WHO FINGERPRINTED THE BODIES.

4. THE PROCESS OF IDENTIFICATION IS A VERY FORMAL AND EXACTING ONE. FOR EACH BODY A REPORT IS MADE AND CERTIFIED. IDENTIFICATION IS BASED UPON FINGERPRINTS. THESE FINGERPRINTS ARE BASED UPON FINGERPRINTS PROVIDED BY GUYANESE IMMIGRATION AND FBI SOURCES (E.G. IN INSTANCES WHERE THE DECEASED HAVE CRIMINAL RECORDS IN THIS COUNTRY). ONCE THE BODY HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED WITH FINGERPRINTS, THE IDENTIFICATION IS CORROBORATED WITH THE FOLLOWING, IF AVAILABLE, DENTAL X-RAYS, (MATCHING X-RAYS TAKEN AT DOVER AND RECORDS OBTAINED FROM MEDICAL SOURCES OR SUPPLIED BY RELATIVES HERE), MEDICAL X-RAYS, PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS (E.G. DATA SUPPLIED BY RELATIVES, SCARS, HEIGHT, EYE AND HAIR COLOR FROM PASSPORT AND GUYANESE IMMIGRATION RECORDS). ALTHOUGH PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS, PERSONAL EFFECTS AND THE WALK THROUGH IDENTIFICATION AT THE CAMP HAVE BEEN USED IN THE CORROBORATION PROCESS, NEVER IS IDENTIFICATION BASED UPON

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THESE; POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION IS BASED UPON THE MORE EXACT SCIENTIFIC METHODS EMPLOYED BY DOD AND FBI EXPERTS.

5. EMBASSY MAY DRAW UPON ABOVE AS NECESSARY. IF CORONER HAS ANY ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS NOT COVERED BY ABOVE OR WITHIN CONSULAR OFFICERS GENERAL KNOWLEDGE OR QUESTIONS TO WHICH CONSULAR OFFICERS NOT CERTAIN AS TO AN APPROPRIATE REPLY, ADVISE CORONER THAT AIR FORCE AND FBI AUTHORITIES CAN BE CONTACTED BY EMBASSY FOR RESPONSES. IN THAT CASE CONSULAR OFFICER CAN PROVIDE AFFIDAVIT. CONSULAR OFFICER SHOULD USE DISCRETION IN RESPONDING IN AS MUCH AS WE THINK IT WOULD BE COUNTER PRODUCTIVE TO ALLOW GUYANESE TO QUESTION INTEGRITY OF OUR PROCEDURES.

6. CONSULAR OFFICER SHOULD POINT OUT, IF HE IS CALLED UPON TO TESTIFY TO ANY OF THE ABOVE, THAT THE INFORMATION WAS PROVIDED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND THAT THE CONSULAR OFFICER IS NOT IN A POSITION TO TESTIFY ON THE BASIS OF PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE, NOT HAVING BEEN TO DOVER TO WITNESS THE IDENTIFICATION PROCEDURES. 7. PLEASE NOTE, DEPARTMENT CONSIDERING GEORGETOWN 4240 AND WILL REPLY TO THAT SOONEST.

CHRISTOPHER

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Originally posted on March 24th, 2020.

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