Dec 21, 78 • 1217 • Georgetown-State • 4402

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978GEORGE04402_d.html.]

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GEORGE 04402 211238Z
ACTION L-01
INFO OCT-01 SS-14 ISO-00 ARA-10 NSCE-00 INR-05 CIAE-00 NSAE-00 H-01 CA-01 SCS-01 SSO-00 INRE-00 /034 W
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O 211217Z DEC 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8522
C O N F I D E N T I A L GEORGETOWN 4402
LIMDIS

E.O. 12065: GDS 12/21/78 (BURKE, JOHN R.) OR-M
TAGS: CASC, OREP (RYAN, LEO), GY
SUBJ: REQUEST BY FBI TO REMOVE FROM GUYANA MATERIALS TAKEN BY CONSULAR OFFICERS FROM JONESTOWN.
REF: A. STATE 319334 B. GEORGETOWN 4315

1. DURING HIS MEETING DECEMBER 20 WITH FOREIGN MINISTER RASHLEGH JACKSON AMBASSADOR STRONGLY REITERATED USG INTEREST IN REMOVING EVIDENTIARY MATERIAL NOW IN THE HANDS OF THE GOG AND THE CONSULATE FROM GUYANA TO WASHINGTON FOR THE PURPOSES OF EXPEDITIOUS PROCESSING. DRAWING ON REFTEL, HE POINTED OUT TO THE FOREIGN MINISTER THE OVVIOUS SAVINGS IN TERMS OF TIME IF MATERIAL CAN BE TAKEN TO WASHINGTON. JACKSON LISTENED CAREFULLY TO THE ARGUMENTS AND PROMISED TO DISCUSS THE MATTER FURTHER WITH HIS COLLEAGUE, THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, AND THE POLICE. AMBASSADOR THEN LAID SPECIAL STRESS ON THE POINT THAT IF THE GOG PERCEIVED A PROBLEM IN PROTECTING THE CHAIN OF CUSTODY THEY MIGHT SEND AN OFFICIAL TO WASHINGTON TO BE PRESENT WHILE THE MATERIALS ARE BEING REVIEWED AND REPRODUCED. JACKSON TOOK NOTE AND PROMISED TO HAVE AN ANSWER SHORTLY.

2. COMMENT: JACKSON APPEARS TO BE VERY SENSITIVE ABOUT

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TAKING A DECISION ON THIS SUBJECT, DUE, WE SUSPECT, TO HIS LACK OF SELF-CONFIDENCE IN HANDLING A MATTER WHICH IS MORE DOMESTIC THAN FOREIGN. OBVIOUSLY, HE, AND PROBABLY THE POLICE, TOO, ARE FEARFUL THAT THE TAPES IN THEIR POSSESSION WHICH THEY LACK THE TIME AND MANPOWER TO SEEDILY REVIEW THEMSELVES MAY CONTAIN POTENTIALLY EMBARRASSING REVELATIONS WHICH COULD LEAK IF THEY ARE REMOVED FORM THEIR CONTROL EVEN TEMPORARILY. FOR THE MOMENT THERE SEEMS NOTHING MORE TO DO OTHER THAN TO KEEP PRESSING THE GOG FOR A FAVORABLE RESPONSE ON THIS QUESTION. PERHAPS WHEN MINISTER GREEN RETURNS (HE IS DUE BACK TOMORROW), HE MAY BE ABLE TO GET US A PROMPT DECISION GIVEN HIS GREATER STATURE IN THE CABINET.

BURKE

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Originally posted on March 25th, 2020.

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