Friday, March 22, 2013
STATEMENT OF JACQUELINE SPEIER
LEGAL COUNSEL TO THE LATE CONGRESSMAN LEO J. RYAN
BEFORE THE INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS COMMITTEE
HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
OF STATE DEPARTMENT IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS FOLLOWING
THE ASSASSINATION OF LEO J. RYAN AND THE JONESTOWN TRAGEDY
February 20, 1980
Contact: (202) 225-3531 - (415) 872-1077
MR. CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE:
A little more than a year ago, I sat in the Chairman of this Committee's office and together we grieved because we had lost a friend and a colleague in the man of the late Congressman Leo J. Ryan. During our meeting together, Chairman Fascell promised me that he would do whatever was necessary to get the answers to the questions that had gone unanswered. I urged him to hold public hearings on the tragedy. He said he would call hearings if they were warranted. I am grateful to him for calling this hearing today. As a Congressional Assistant for five years, I sat in this room many times and marvelled at the Chairman's depth of perception and extensive knowledge regarding foreign policy. I thank him, the members of this committee, and the staff for the opportunity to speak before you today.
I would also like to express my appreciation to Congressman Bill Royer who has shown a responsiveness to his constituents in his efforts to arrange these hearings.
Since the tragic events of November 18, 1978, forums all across the country, and in fact around the world have challenged spokespersons to speculate as to why Jonestown happened. The Washington community has not been excluded from this discussion. Rather, both the Congress and the Executive Branch conducted investigations into the Jonestown tragedy. I have read the documents prepared by the State Department and the House Foreign Affairs Committee and cooperated fully with both inquiries. Without question, the efforts of these groups were genuine. Both investigative teams took their mandate seriously and conducted the inquiries in a highly professional manner. The recommendations offered were adequate, but I respectfully submit that they address the symptoms and not the ailment.
The focus of this hearing is to monitor and evaluate the extent to which the State Department has effectuated the recommendations enumerated in the Foreign Affairs Committee Report and the State Department report. I am not prepared, nor am I qualified, to respond to that line of questioning. Certainly State Department officials are the only persons who can address that question. What's more, I find such questioning somewhat premature.
We still have not received plausible explanations regarding the performance of State before, during and after the tragedy. A U.S. Congressman, and over 900 people lost their lives in Guyana and the conclusions reached indicate that the:
U.S. Embassy in Guyana did not demonstrate adequate initiative, sensitive reaction and appreciation of highly irregular and illegal activities in Jonestown. (House Foreign Affairs Committee Report, page 29.)
There was a laxness in State Department procedures for distributing certain important documents relative to People's Temple thereby inhibiting the opportunity for taking appropriate action. (House Foreign Affairs Committee Report, page 31.)
We lost a U.S. Congressman and 900 Americans and all we say is that our Embassy did not "demonstrate initiative or sensitivity" and the State Department was "lax". Such an evaluation of State Department's performance is incomplete and oversimplified. And yet, with these inconclusive results, recommendations have been made which State Department has taken steps to implement. In my mind it is a classic case of the cart before the horse.
In my estimation State Department failed in three respects regarding the Codel trip. The Department failed in its duty to warn, its duty to investigate, and its duty to inform.
The ramifications of these hearings far exceed whether or not we will ultimately find out why the Jonestown tragedy occurred. The issue here cuts to the quick of what kind of relationship exists between the State Department and the Congress.
Is full disclosure by State Department to the Congress presumed or even anticipated? (Duty to warn.)
Is our Embassy's allegiance in a foreign country first to the foreign country or to the Congress and the American people? (Duty to investigate.)
Is the relationship between Congress and the State Department cooperative or adversative? (Duty to inform)
DUTY TO WARN
In the letter from Mathew Nimetz to Chairman Rodino of the Judiciary Committee on November 21, 1979, Nimetz outlines the steps which have been implemented in the aftermath of the Guyana Tragedy and the recommendations of the various reports. I quote:
We have made it a standard practice to request a threat assessment from our posts describing the current security situation in a country to be visited.... The contents (of the threat assessments) are shared with the members of the delegation before their departure.
Had this guideline been in effect when we made the trip to Guyana, I am certain the threat assessment would have been reported as "benign" by State Department. State never shared with the Congressional delegation any of the information and reports which they had in their files for over one year before our trip which pointed to a possible illegal export of up to 170 guns from California to Jonestown. (U.S. Customs Service, August 26, 1977. Received by State Department Bureau of Inter-American Affairs on September 6, 1977.) I must presume State Department did not consider such gun running to be "threatening". Further, we were not even given the opportunity to make our own threat assessment on a personal level because we were not privy to the vital information. AState Department spokesman in December 1978, one month after the tragedy, still maintained there was no potential violence in State'sview and was quoted as saying:
We did not specifically advise Congressman Ryan with respect to potential violence.... There was no prior instance - known or alleged - of use of physical violence against a visitor. (Redwood City Tribune, Redwood City, California, December 16, 1978.)
At this time I would like to show a visual example of the violence that State Department did not expect - because there was no prior history. This bullet was removed from my arm two months ago. The FBI has subsequently run ballistics tests on it.
State Department did not anticipate violence although they were put on notice not just once (by the Customs Service report), but at least twice about the armed camp environment at Jonestown.
The second instance refers to an affidavit received in June 1978 by State Department from Deborah Layton Blakey in which she testifies the "settlement swarming with armed guards", "persons approximately fifty in number would arm themselves with rifles". The affidavit also described white night suicide trials, brutality and severe working and subsistence conditions. Not only were these charges made in a formal affidavit to State Department in June 1978, they were also communicated firsthand to the Consular Officer in Guyana. He suggested Blakey contact the Justice Department.
Had the Consular Officer no responsibility to make an inquiry regarding the charges leveled?
Had he no responsibility to inform the Justice Department himself?
DUTY TO INVESTIGATE
The Foreign Affairs Committee report makes the statement "The Embassy did not have an investigative or judidial function." I submit that the treaty we signed with the United Kingdom on June 6, 1951, andwhich continues to be the controlling document regarding our relationship with the government of Guyana today specifically provides that our Consular Officers have investigative powers. In 3 UST 3439, Part V-Protection of Nationals, Article 15, it states:
(1) A consular officer shall be entitled within his district to:
(a) Interview, communicate with and advise any national of the sending state;
(b) Inquire into any incidents (emphasis added) which have occurred affecting the interests of any such national.
Proper interpretation of this section by our Embassy officials in Guyana could have provided them with persuasive authority to investigate the charges made by Deborah Layton Blakey and others about the conditions in Jonestown and the potential for violence.
At every junction within the State Department framework in Washington and in Guyana, officials failed to act. They failed to act not out of ignorance but with full knowledge of possible significant criminal activity by Jim Jones. The failure of State Department in performing its reponsibilities is not the result of any lack of power to act. The treaty clearly provides for such action. I do not believe the unresponsiveness of State to make inquiries regarding the Blakey affidavit or the numerous letters from concerned relatives, is the result of a bureaucratic foul up of the documents never reaching that appropriate officials in State. We have the admission of the Consular Officer in charge at Georgetown, who accompanied Blakey to New York, that he was aware of her concerns and charges. The Blakey defection occurred in May, the Blakey affidavit was filed in June. The Codel departed in November. No action was ever taken by State Department or the Embassy to verify the charges made by Blakey. It was assumed, erroneously by both Congressman Ryan and myself that the affidavit had been reviewed and no evidence found to support the charges. We presumed, what a Congressional delegation relying on assistance from State would have presumed, that State Department was doing its job. We still do not know today why the affidavit did not prompt a full investigation. I can only speculate that:
(1) The charges were already known to be true.
(2) The Jonestown "problem" did not merit priority consideration by State.
(3) An investigation would somehow jeopardize the U.S. economic or political relationship with Guyana.
Until we can determine what the motivation was for the "non-action", making recommendations in an attempt to avert another tragedy such as Jonestown is an exercise in futility.
DUTY TO INFORM
Whether or not a cooperative relationship exists between the State Department and Congress must be assessed more specifically.
Congressman Ryan and I met with Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs, Viron P. Vaky and other State Department officials in September 1978 to discuss the Congressman's interest in visiting Jonestown in November 1978. State Department was kept advised on an almost daily basis as the trip became more defined. During October and the first two weeks of November, the Guyana Desk Officer was consulted daily and informed by me regarding every new development of the trip including the possible media coverage. My relationship with State could only be described as cooperative and candid.
On the other hand, the Congressman's efforts as well as mine to obtain information and assistance were consistently thwarted or frustrated.
In the days that followed the tragedy, State Department complied with the Foreign Affairs Committee requests and handed over 900 documents regarding the People's Temple in Guyana - I repeat 900 documents. In our requests for information from State we were nver once told of the 900 documents the Department had on the Temple and furthermore we were never given access to those documents.
Had we the opportunity to review the documents, even a limited number of them, we might have "located" the U.S. Customs Service report regarding the suspected 170 guns in Jonestown - A report State had "misplaced" prior to the Congressional trip.
Had we been afforded a cursory review, we would have realized that the Blakey affidavit of June 1978 was never acted upon.
The question still haunts me today. Why was critical, life and death information regarding the People's Temple hidden from the view of the Congressional delegation before the trip? Was State Department fearful that we would discover that it had been wantonly negligent in protecting American citizens abroad in Guyana?
If the relationship between the Congress and State Department is indeed cooperative and not adversative, I implore this committee to seek the answers to these unanswered questions.
The late Congressman Leo Ryan was eulogized by many of his colleagues after his death for his courage and tenacious spirit in seeking out the truth regardless of the obstacles or political ramifications. I trust that the members of the International Operations Subcommittee will continue in his spirit of leadership and representation of the American people by seeking the whole truth about the Jonestown tragedy.
It is my firm belief that the State Department must share heavily in the responsibility for the deaths of Leo Ryan and the 900 Americans in Guyana. I cannot be confident in our government's protection of Americans abroad or in our State Department until the whole truth about the Jonestown tragedy is exposed. Our lives depend on it.
STATEMENT OF JOE HOLSINGER
ADMIN. ASST. TO THE LATE REP. LEO J. RYAN
INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE
GUYANA TRAGEDY HEARING
FEBRUARY 20, 1980
I would like to express my appreciation to Chairman Fascell for convening these oversight hearings. I know that Leo Ryan had the highest personal regard for Mr. Fascell. He considered him to be his mentor on this committee and his friend.
I also want to thank Rep. Bill Royer for his role in pressing for these hearings. His efforts have earned him the respect of everyone who was touched by the tragedy in Guyana in November 1978. It is an irony of fate that this subcommittee is one on which Leo Ryan served and worked closely with members who are here today.
The conduct of the open Congressional hearing can help to determine if our government withheld vital information from Rep. Leo Ryan, and if his death and the death of over 900 persons could have been averted.
Leo went to Guyana in a last ditch effort to determine the validity of serious charges made about Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple in Jonestown. Rep. Ryan had received detailed allegations that at least some of the more than 900 Americans there were being held against their will under brutal, inhuman circumstances. He would not have led a Congressional delegation there if the facts could have been determined any other way.
Rep. Royer's office has informed me that the purpose of these oversight hearings is "to determine what the State Department has done to implement the recommendations contained in the Foreign Affairs Committee staff report and the State Department report on the performance of the State Department in the Jonestown matter".
The recommendations appear to be useful and, if implemented properly, they should improve the quality of State Department performance overseas. One of the most difficult areas is that of review of exemption provisions under the Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information Act. It is clear that the Privacy Act was interpreted by the State Department to deny Representative Ryan access to pertinent information concerning Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple in Guyana.
It is also clear that the Freedom of Information Act was interpreted by State Department personnel in such a way as to provide complete access to Jim Jones about inquiries or actions concerning Jones and the Peoples Temple. Our experience in the Ryan office in that regard is detailed in the attached news story in the San Mateo Times of 12/6/78, "Somehow the Word Would Get to Peoples Temple" (Exhibit A). That free flow of information to Jones from the State Department, and the reasons for it, have never been properly addressed. Was it de-facto State Department policy or was it the work of a few key officials with close ties to Jim Jones?
A major issue that has escaped scrutiny is the emphasis placed by the state Department on promoting American Commercial interests overseas as its first priority, to the detriment of the problems of individual U.S. citizen's abroad. That issue was raised by Rep. Paul McCloskey in an interview published in the San Mateo Times on 12/8/78, "McCloskey Slams State Department (Exhibit B).
The following is an excerpt from that news story:
"A congressional investigation of the Jonestown massacre is likely to show that the U.S. State Department was more concerned with promoting exportation of natural resources from Guyana than exposing injustices within Peoples Temple or protecting Americans visiting that country, Rep. Paul McCloskey told The Times Thursday.
The Republican congressman from Menlo Park who had worked with his slain colleague, Rep. Leo J. Ryan, for State Department intervention in the Jonestown commune, stated:
"I think an investigation will bring out that the Guyanese government had a relationship with (the Rev. Jim) Jones and that the U.S. Embassy (in Georgetown) knew about it, accepted it and didn't try to intrude.
"Based on my dealings with the State Department, I think it is apparent that the department was more concerned with getting along with the Guyanese...and promoting exports from that country than it was in protecting U.S. Citizens."
The most important mineral resources in Guyana are bauxite and manganese. Gold and diamonds also are mined. Bauxite is the principal source of aluminum.
McCloskey said it is the "inherent mission" of all U.S. embassies, as representatives of the president, to place more emphasis on maintaining an amiable relationship with a host country and promoting exports than looking after the interests of citizens abroad.
He said it is his hope that the investigation will result in an order by the House International Relations Committee that embassies take a "stronger position" on the well-being of Americans."
I find nothing in the State Department recommendations that remotely touches on this matter.
One of the State Department recommendations most pertinent to the Guyana tragedy was Item G (1) which stated:
"G. The Department should strengthen its support for Congressional delegations travelling overseas. We endorse the current efforts of the Department to provide: (1) more definitive threat assessments in areas to be visited by Congressional groups;"
Threat assessments, to be effective, must necessarily include current intelligence data from the area involved. The question is whether the results of such intelligence data will be shared with Congressional delegations or withheld from them. The record shows that no such intelligence data was made available to Leo Ryan concerning Guyana. In fact, the State Department denied knowledge of any intelligence data concerning the Peoples Temple in Guyana in its report of 12/13/78 from Douglas Bennet, Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations, to Rep. Clement Zablocki, Chairman of the International Relations Committee. Question #8 from Chairman Zablocki asked:
"Were the activities of the Peoples' Temple Church investigated by the FBI and/or other U.S. Government agencies and, if so, were their findings made available to the Department of State?"
The State response was:
"The Department of Justice has informed the Department that it conducted no investigations of the Peoples' Temple prior to the death of Congressman Ryan. We have been informed that the Federal Communications Commission investigated use of amateur radio stations by the Peoples' Temple to determine whether that use violated the Federal Communications Act of 1934.
The Department is unaware of any other investigations that may have been conducted by other U.S. Government agencies of the Peoples' Temple or its activities other than the single report of the Customs investigation noted in our response to Question 7 above."
That response can be true only if you believe that U.S. government intelligence operations in Guyana were completely shielded from the State Department. Our government did have an intelligence presence in Guyana prior to Leo Ryan's trip there. I know that an agent of the Central Intelligence Agency witnessed his death. On the afternoon of November 18, 1978, I received two phone calls in California from Washington, D.C. The first was from the Caribbean Desk at the State Department. I had been in touch with them several times that day because of my concern over Leo's presence at Jonestown and the potential danger there.
The State Department caller told me that they had just received a report from the American Embassy in Georgetown of a shooting incident at the Port Kaituma airstrip. The report said that three people had been killed and fifteen wounded, and that Rep. Ryan may have been one of those killed.
Within fifteen minutes, I had a second phone call, this time from a member of the White House staff whom I know personally. He told me that five people had been killed, including Leo. When I said that his information differed from that which I just received from the State Department, he responded, "Joe, our information is correct. We have a CIA report from the scene".
The White House aide then asked my assistance in identifying the other four persons by describing their rolls. Because of my familiarity with the mission, I was able to identify Don Harris as the TV newscaster, Bob Brown as the TV cameraman and Greg Robinson as the still photographer.
Since a CIA agent was present at the assassination of Congressman Ryan, it seems reasonable to assume that our government had received prior reports on the Peoples Temple.
Further confirmation of CIA activities in Guyana are contained in a San Mateo Times new story of 12/14/79, "CIA Agent Witnessed Jonestown Mass Suicide" (Exhibit C). I have been informed that House rules forbid specific charges against named individuals in open session, but I am ready to discuss such charges against more than one individual in Executive Session if this Committee chooses to hear them.
I believe that the tragic consequences of withholding intelligence data from Leo Ryan in Guyana should serve as a warning to all future Congressional delegations abroad. Unless the Congress insists on the inclusion of such data in State Department threat assessments, the ability of Congress to fulfill its fact-finding and investigative responsibilities will be at the mercy of the Executive Branch of the government.
It also appears that existing law may have been broken by the Central Intelligence Agency in failing to report to the appropriate Committees in Congress on its covert activities in Guyana. In December of 1974, as an amendment to the Foreign Aid Act, Congress approved a provision sponsored by Harold Hughes of Iowa in the Senate and by Leo Ryan of California in the House. This is what it said:
"No funds appropriated under the authority of this or any other act may be expended by or on behalf of the CIA for operations in foreign countries, other than activities intended solely for obtaining necessary intelligence, unless and until the president finds that each such operation is important to the national security and report, in a timely fashion, a description and scope of such operation to the appropriate committees of the Congress."
The CIA did have an operation in Guyana, in addition to the obtaining of necessary intelligence. That operation was specifically designed to support the government of Prime Minister Forbes Burnham, and there are credible reports that it included covert support for Jim Jones as an ally of Forbes Burnham. Specifically, the Peoples' Temple provided funds to the Burnham group and also acted as a terrorist organization to intimidate the opponents of the Burnham regime. And the Burnham government was cooperative with our commercial interests and with the policy of the U.S. State Department in promoting the exportation of natural resources from Guyana.
It seems almost certain now that our intelligence sources were aware that charges that American citizens were being held in bondage were true, and that they allowed that condition to continue in the interests of their mission. They also withheld that information from member of Congress, including Leo Ryan, and from desperate relatives who pleaded for government assistance for their loved ones. The Department of State consistently reassured such relatives that all was well at Jonestown. A typical example is the State Department response of 6/16/78 to Sherwin Harris of Lafayette, California (Exhibit D). By the time that Leo Ryan led the Congressional delegation to Guyana in November, 1978, the difficult question posed for our government was whether or not it should admit to Ryan that:
1. A covert intelligence operation existed I Guyana that had not been reported to appropriate committees in Congress as required by law;
2. American citizens were being held in Jonestown against their will;
3. Our government was using Jim Jones as an ally of the Burnham government to maintain its control of Guyana.
Someone, or some group, made the decision to "stonewall" the Ryan delegation. That was a fatal mistake, although at the time it must have appeared that Leo's mission would fail since it was obvious that neither our government, the government of Guyana nor Jim Jones wanted him in Guyana, or especially in Jonestown. Under those circumstances, it appeared very unlikely that one lone congressman would be able to "kick down the doors", to use one of Leo's pet phrases. On the other hand, it was likely that if Leo Ryan had been given intelligence data indicating that American citizens were being held against their will under brutal circumstances, he would have used that information with the appropriate committee in Congress to force our government to free those people. Leo would not have had to go to Guyana. And all those deaths would have been averted.
News accounts from Georgetown at the time of the Ryan mission there said that Leo was winning the media or public-opinion battle against Jim Jones. Before Leo's departure for Guyana, he and I discussed his plan to go up to the gates of Jonestown, in the presence of the media, and request permission to enter. If such permission were refused, Leo would the return to Congress with proof that Jonestown was a closed settlement. If he was allowed to enter, he intended to assess the situation there fairly, but to insist on talking alone to specific people and to personally escort any one out who wished to leave.
When it became obvious that Leo Ryan was going to Jonestown even without prior agreement by Jim Jones, our government had its last chance to disclose the true nature of the situation there to Leo. Someone decided at this juncture to take the chance that Jones would be able to put on a show that would convince the Ryan group that all was well in Jonestown. It seems incredible to me that our government, knowing what it did about the situation inside Jonestown and the potential for violence there, would take that chance. It is a terribly harsh question to ask, but is it possible that even the terrible tragedy that occurred was preferred over disclosure of out covert operation in Guyana?
In reviewing the adequacy of the recommendations from the State Department, the most significant omission is that of the presence of CIA personnel in key roles within the State Department. Their existence is known to our allies and to our potential enemies alike. It is a secret only from the American public. I believe that the CIA serves a vital and essential purpose in our national interest. I also understand that its personnel operate under orders from the National Security Agency and the President. Their work is often dangerous and they must be protected. It may be necessary under some circumstances for CIA personnel to use the cover of the State Department employees. However, such usage should be kept to an absolute minimum since it can obviously create radical mutations in policy and endanger the lives of American citizen's abroad unless great care is taken.
If, as seems probable, our State Department policy towards the Peoples Temple and Guyana was dominated by the CIA operation there, the Department's laxness and indifference to petitions and complaints form refugees (or defectors) and from concerned relatives becomes more understandable. Some of the major petitions and affidavits which were ignored or "lost" included:
1. The Concerned Relatives' petition of may 10, 1978 to the Secretary of State; which included sworn notarized affidavits concerning the abuse of human rights by Jones.
2. The April 10, 1978 affidavit of Yolanda D.A. Crawford, a People's Temple defector, describing beatings and abuses in Jonestown.
3. The affidavits of May and June, 1978, by Debbie Blakey describing suicide rehearsals and other serious charges.
The State Department's response of June 26, 1978, to Ambassador Burke's telegram of June 6, 1978, was a clear rejection of Burke's request for permission to discuss the Jonestown situation with the Government of Guyana. It seems quite possible, in retrospect, that this rejection was influenced by intelligence agency considerations.
Some knowledgeable observers may argue that the deaths of Leo Ryan, the media members and over 900 American residents of Jonestown may be the price we had to pay to keep control of Guyana. Sort of a "that's war, folks; that's the way it is" attitude. But what if Guyana falls anyway, and soon? That specter was raised in a news article from London and published in the San Francisco Chronicle on December 9, 1979, "Guyana May Be the Next to Fall" (Exhibit E).
That article detailed the desperate economic plight of the Guyanese people and their growing opposition, now estimated at 75 to 80 percent, to the Burnham government. It also discussed the use of violence by another U.S. based pseudo-religious group. This group, "The House of Israel", appears to be the strong-arm successor to the People's Temple in support of Burnham. If the tragedy at Jonestown was in fact allowed to happen to protect the secrecy of our intelligence operations in Guyana, the ultimate tragedy when Guyana falls will be that it was in vain.
I submit that our government policy in the underdeveloped countries in the Caribbean is fatally flawed if it is based solely on the protection of U.S. commercial interests. We must be more supportive to the native economies in the Caribbean if we are to maintain our sphere of influence against Cuba and Russia.
Grenada, a small island nation near Guyana, has already been taken into the Communist sphere of influence, despite our support for the government of Sir Eric Gairy, which fell in March, 1979. It is of interest to note that Gairy and Jim Jones were close enough for Gairy to visit Jones at the Peoples Temple in San Francisco prior to Jones' departure to Guyana. A photograph of the two together appears in a book "The Suicide Cult" written by a San Francisco Chronicle reporter, Ron Javers.
It has been reported that Jim Jones had planned to escape to Grenada with a select group of supporters following the mass murders in Jonestown. Jones did not intend to die in Jonestown. No paraffin tests were ever made on his hands to determine if he had fired a gun. It is now known that more than one million dollars of Peoples' Temple money was deposited in a Grenada bank. It should also be noted here that the pathology report by the Guyanese coroner showed that a high percentage of the victims examined were injected in the back with the poison. The proof was the blisters on the backs at the point of injection. We also know that an undetermined number of the Jonestown residents showed up in Grenada following the Jonestown tragedy.
My reason for going beyond a discussion of the recommendations by the State Department is that the fault may be with government policy rather that with the day-to-day conduct of State Department employees. When a tragedy of this magnitude occurs, we should do more, much more, than be content with a surface examination of individual conduct.
I realize that may of the matters I have discussed today are beyond the purview of this subcommittee, or of any standing committee of the Congress. For that reason, I ask now for the formation of a Special House Committee with full power to investigate all aspects of the Jonestown tragedy, including its impact on our foreign policy and our relations with neighboring nations in the Caribbean.
Some of the questions to be addressed by such a Select Committee would include the following:
1. Is it State Department policy to make protection of American commercial interests abroad its top priority at the expense of the safety of American citizens?
2. To what extent is the CIA used to promote and protect American commercial interests abroad, in addition to its normal functions of gathering intelligence? Does such protection result in the creation of animosity toward our country by citizens of these nations?
3. Did our government use Jones and the Peoples Temple to support the Burnham government? If so, was the purpose to protect the commercial export of raw materials such a bauxite and manganese?
4. Were members of our intelligence agencies serving in key positions in our Embassy in Guyana and in the State Department in Washington, D.C., and were they directed by our government to use those positions to control State Department conduct regarding complaints against the Peoples Temple?
5. Did our government knowingly acquiesce in the intolerable conditions of bondage at Jonestown in order to maintain control of the Guyanese government?
6. Was our government, through its intelligence operation, fully aware of the arms in Jonestown and the potential for violence there? If so, why did it fail to insist on armed protection by the Guyanese government for the Ryan mission? Was Leo Ryan set up for murder?
7. Did a member of the CIA, who was also a State Department official, go back into Jonestown after the killings at Port Kaituma and witness the mass murder/suicide scene there? If so, why?
8. Who killed Jim Jones and why?
9. Has the Administration used "National Security" as an excuse to cover up the monumental error of withholding vital information from Leo Ryan concerning Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple in Jonestown, an error that led directly to the tragedy?
I thank you for the opportunity to present this statement in an open hearing before this committee. My personal feelings about the tragic death of my good friend, Leo Ryan, are obvious. He is gone, but I believe that we should now proceed to examine fully the causes of this tragedy and to ensure that the errors leading to it are corrected for the good of our nation.