John Lind to William Jennings Bryan
Vera Cruz, Mexico,
Dated December 9 1913,
Rec'd 7:10 pm.
Secretary of State,
December 9, 1 pm.
The despatches from O’shaughnessy and Admiral Fletcher corroborate my predictions. The end of t the week will see revolutionists in control of virtually everything north of parallel twenty-two. The old Santa Anna combination of the army and the church will try to make a last stand in the City of Mexico but it will be futile. The constitutionalists are giving the places occupied by them excellent civil administration but I am afraid that some of their military commanders are following in the footsteps of the Federals. I have had suspicious reports concerning military commandant of State of Durango; charged that he has been grafting. Carranza should make graft in public position treason subject to summary punishment by court martial. This is a good time to suggest reform of vital character to him. In regard to executions of military and civil offenders, I do not believe it wise to attempt to draw too fine a line. It would be of no avail. There are going to be executions openly or covertly and it is better that they be done openly but it should be insisted upon strenuously that it be done in accordance with the forms of law. I am not a believer in the taking of life except in necessary self defense but I also believe that in this situation the life of the state as well as the lives of individuals justify measures of self defense. There is not the slightest danger that innocent men will be executed but the guilty when executed should be dealt with by the law.
It would enable me to do my work more intelligently if you felt justified in indicating to me in a general way your attitude toward the revolutionists and what suggestions you desire to convey to them. I am liable to be confronted with problems right here at Vera Cruz any hour that cannot be solved properly unless I have some intimiation as to general policy for my guidance.