William Cummings, "New York Times Reactions to the
Election of Salvador Allende"

14

American media "only partial returns show 726 articles, broadcasts, editorials, and similar items as a direct result of agency activity," and that the "multiplier effect" of such items must have been "substantial and significant."46"Special intelligence and 'inside' briefings were given to U.S. journalists," the report continued, "in deference to the international influence of the U.S. media." According to the CIA, the chief correspondent for a cover article on the Allende election for Time, initially took "Allende's protestations of moderation and constitutionality at face value," but "CIA briefings in Washington changed the basic thrust of the story."47 Indeed, the October 19, 1970, edition of Time, whose cover featured a leftward looking Allende under the banner "Marxist Threat in the Americas," presented a very pessimistic picture of Chile's future under Allende and relied heavily on U.S. government information sources. For example, the article stated that "two months ago the National Security Council received a report that if Allende won a Communist takeover would inevitably follow," and "Washington intelligence sources believe that [Allende] can gain effective control of the military within six months."48

The most often cited example of such "inside briefings" was given by then National Security Council chief, Henry Kissinger, on September 16, 1970, in Chicago. Kissinger stated:
 

have yet to meet somebody who firmly believes that if Allende wins, there is likely to be another free election in Chile... Now it is fairly easy for one to predict that if Allende wins, there is a good chance that he will establish over a period of years some sort of communist government. In that case, we would have one not on an island off the coast (Cuba) which has not a traditional relationship and impact on Latin America, but in a major Latin American country you would have a communist government, joining, for example, Argentine... Peru... and Bolivia... So I don't think we should delude ourselves that an Allende takeover in Chile would not present massive problems for us, and for democratic forces and for pro-U.S. forces in Latin America, and indeed to the whole Western Hemisphere.49   


46. Ibid., 10.
47. Ibid., 10-11. The correspondent referred to by the CIA was probably David Lee.
48. "Chile: The Expanding Left," Time, October 19, 1970, 19-24.
49. Henry Kissinger, as quoted in Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities.
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