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Since the House had been prorogued in the summer much work was done in France. The French had shewn themselves the ablest architects of ruin that had hitherto existed in the world. In that very short space of time they had completely pulled down to the ground, their monarchy; their church; their nobility; their law; their revenue; their army; their navy; their commerce; their arts; and their manufactures...[there was a danger of] an imitation of the excesses of an irrational, unprincipled, proscribing, confiscating, plundering, ferocious, bloody and tyrannical democracy...[in religion] the danger of their example is no longer from intolerance, but from Atheism; a foul, unnatural vice, foe to all the dignity and consolation of mankind; which seems in France, for a long time, to have been embodied into a faction, accredited, and almost avowed.
Psychological warfare was prominent in the operation. The CIA planned to make heavy use of rumor, pamphleteering, poster campaigns, and, most of all, radio, which had turned the tide at the critical moment in the Iran operation. Although relatively few Guatemalans personally owned a radio, the radio was considered to be an authoritative source, and the CIA hoped that word of mouth would assist in the dissemination of their propaganda to an audience greatly exceeding those with radios. The radio station, La Voz de la Liberacion (The voice of liberation), was set up in Miami but claimed to be operating from "deep in the jungle" and broadcast a mix of popular music, humor, and anti-government propaganda. While the broadcasts were overtly tailored to the general populace, they were specifically and subversively targeted at "men of action", particularly the officers in the Guatemalan military, whose complicity was essential to the success of the operation. The Guatemalan army, made up of around 5,000 well trained and armed soldiers, was more than a match militarily for Armas's 400 undisciplined rebels. Depending on a strictly military success was not an option, and winning the officer class over, mostly through intimidation, was pivotal to the success of the operation. Immediately preceding the invasion propaganda efforts were intensified with Armas sending warplanes to fly low over the capital, buzzing the presidential palace, and drop leaflets urging the military to disavow their Communist government. Internal propaganda activities were taken up mostly by student groups under direct instruction of CIA experts stationed at the Florida headquarters. Employing many advanced ideas and techniques, they met with immediate success. They started a weekly pamphlet and plastered the number "32" -- for Article 32 in the constitution that prohibited international political parties—on buses and walls across the whole country, garnering much local media attention. Encouraged by this initial success the group began using an increasingly wide variety of ideas and approaches. One scheme was to put stickers saying "A communist lives here" on the homes of Árbenz's supporters. Another was to send out fake death notices for Árbenz or other leading members of his cabinet to local newspapers. These activities reached such a height that Árbenz found it necessary to take harsh measures to stymie them, arresting many members of the student groups, limiting freedom of assembly, and intimidating newspapers into ignoring their activities. These severe clampdowns essentially turned Guatemala into the repressive regime that the Agency was trying to portray it as, which only succeeded in giving ammunition to Agency claims and hastening Árbenz's downfall.