Jump to content
The Education Forum

Why didn't JFK fire McGeorge Bundy post-BOP?


Cliff Varnell
 Share

Recommended Posts

Greg Burnham on another thread wrote:

While it is true that JFK did not provide US military air support after Brigade 2506 was already trapped on the beach, it is misleading to fail to mention that such air support was never considered an option going into the operation as it would have been in direct violation of international law. The report of the Cuban Study Group (General Maxwell Taylor, DCI Allen Dulles, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Burke and Attorney General Robert Kennedy, JFK’s brother) cited the cancellation (by McGeorge Bundy) of the pre-dawn anti-Castro Cuban piloted B-29 air strikes from Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua as the immediate cause of failure of the invasion. This is important history. JFK’s Special Advisor on National Security, McGeorge Bundy, cancelled JFK’s last standing order, which was to neutralize the remainder of Castro’s small air force while it was still on the ground BEFORE the invasion brigade had reached the beach. This was to be accomplished by anti-Castro Cuban pilots who were flying ex-US aircraft (modified B-29 bombers) out of Nicaragua to perform pre-dawn air strikes on the small Castro air force. The failure had nothing to do with JFK’s refusal to break international law by launching an air strike from the USS Essex after the brigade was already in trouble, as has been suggested elsewhere. The failure occurred long before then and was unrelated to JFK’s subsequent decision to avoid an international incident potentially much larger and more dangerous than what we already were facing. McGeorge Bundy placed a call to General Charles Cabell of the CIA instructing him to cancel JFK’s pre-dawn air strikes, and instead postpone them until AFTER Brigade 2506 had secured a landing strip on the beach. Without Castro’s T-33 “trainers” having been destroyed on the ground, the B-29′s would be sitting ducks as the T-33′s are “jet aircraft” and are highly maneuverable compared to the lumbering B-29 bombers. Once the anti-Castro Cubans had landed on the beach, Castro's forces were mobilized--including his small, but maneuverable air force--and prepared for the invasion. It appears to be the case that had JFK’s orders been followed and Castro’s planes had been neutralized on the ground, Brigade 2506 would have stood a fair chance of success. As it is, they were doomed--but not because of JFK’s decision-–because of McGeorge Bundy’s. In the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs, JFK fired from the CIA: Allen Dulles, Dick Bissel and General Charles Cabell for their part in the failure. Why he chose to keep McGeorge Bundy in place is perhaps the biggest mystery that remains.

Because Bundy was a Bonesman. He was very well-connected to two US foreign policy "Wise Men" and fellow members of Yale's Skull and Bones -- W. Averell Harriman and Robert A. Lovett. The Jupiter Island Gang, which included the Bush brood.

Harriman had set up shop in the State Department and seems to have been conducting his own foreign policy agenda in SE Asia. Lovett was THE key member of the Kennedy "kitchen cabinet" and a long-time associate of Bundy's father Harvey, another Bonesman.

Bundy was untouchable, just as the Bushes have proven to be untouchable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 62
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

If you read the Taylor report, and also the important interview with McNamara by Noel Twyman, McNamara says that the last air raid was not a part of the original plan.

BTW, this becomes an interesting aspect of the Kirkpatrick Report also. JFK was not going to add anymore air power until the Cubans had secured a beachhead, which they did not do.

This is a very interesting and controversial point. Because JFK's critics have always said that it was his "cancellation" of the last air raid that blew the operation. And some have blamed this on Bundy. But with these new declassified reports, plus the McNamara interview, plus an interview i myself did with Marchetti, its beginning to look like Kennedy never really agreed to that last air raid in the first place.

Therefore, the CIA has been lying about this in order to shift the blame onto JFK.

But beyond that, as Kirkpatirck says in the report, even if the last air raid had flown, the brigade was doomed. They were just simply outnumbered by a factor of over ten to one. Plus Castro was able to call up his reserves very quickly since he was tipped off quickly. And further, for some reason, the bridges to the beach were not blown in advance. Which meant that Castro could get his tanks and heavy mortars there also.

So in reality, the whole thing about the final air raid was actually irrelevant. But it was then used as a red herring to disguise the really key fact that Jim Douglass elucidates so well in his book through Allen Dulles' own coffee stained notes: Dulles knew that the Bay of Pigs could not possibly succeed under any circumstances. Not with that small of an invasion force. He knew it would collapse early, and he was relying on JFK not wanting to embarrass himself. He would then call in the Navy and Marines to save the day. As Nixon would have.

He did not. Instead he fired Dulles, Cabell and Bissell, since he understood they had tried to trick him.

BTW, Kennedy was not in any secret societies at Harvard. So the fact that Bundy was a Bonesman was irrelevant.

Reading reports is one thing, I have talked to several former Brigade members of 2506, first I'd like to say that Kennedy and the CIA knew the Cubans would never secured a beachhead, it was plain suicide sending them in there like that and the CIA knew it, however, they were fighters and had heart to fight, secondly the second air strike was apart of the original plan, the CIA wanted and expected Kennedy to make the call. Prior to the invasion Kennedy made it specifically clear that NO American military would intervene with the invasion.

Therefore, the CIA has been lying about this in order to shift the blame onto JFK.

They didn't have to, he (Kennedy) accepted the failed BOP publicly saving the CIA from there own embarrassment and admitting that the CIA was involved to the American people, of course it would soon all be found out. Don't think that reports you have read can be altered or tampered with, next month I plan on visiting and talking to those who were directly involved, but I don't think your getting all the correct information.

Edited by Scott Kaiser
Link to comment
Share on other sites

He would then call in the Navy and Marines to save the day. As Nixon would have.

No way, no how, would Nixon save anything other then his own ass, now if we were talking about Eisenhower. I would say yes he would have sent in every branch of the military, later the Cuban anti-Castro groups would grow into over 4,000 members but Nixon would soon break them up as they then dwindled down from 4,000 to 30 because of Nixon. The Cubans had hope that it would have been Nixon to work with them in the ousting of Castro sense Nixon was Eisenhower VP. Did he have a change of heart or use the Cubans to get into office?

Thus the reason the plot to assassinate Nixon took place in 1970 and 72. Nixon did not turn out to be the president the Cubans were hoping for. He got lucky he lived a little longer then he did, Kennedy didn't get so lucky.

Edited by Scott Kaiser
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is why he brought in an outsider like McCone and then placed RFK as a kind of ombudsman over the CIA. HE then instructed McNamara to set up an alternative intelligence agency, the DIA.

Hi Jim,

Well said above. Without going too far off topic, I was wondering what you think are the best sources for researching the origins of the Defense Intelligence Agency [DIA] and their founding director, General Joseph Carroll?

I find it a little surprising that there is not much said about the DIA during the Kennedy years on this forum and elsewhere.

Thanks,

Zach

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BTW, Kennedy was not in any secret societies at Harvard. So the fact that Bundy was a Bonesman was irrelevant.

How is the fact that JFK was not in any secret societies in Harvard relevant to the fact that Bonesmen Harriman and Lovett wielded tremendous influence in the Kennedy Administration?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jim,

Well said above. Without going too far off topic, I was wondering what you think are the best sources for researching the origins of the Defense Intelligence Agency [DIA] and their founding director, General Joseph Carroll?

I find it a little surprising that there is not much said about the DIA during the Kennedy years on this forum and elsewhere.

Thanks, Zach

I have found the following to be as revealing a look at the DIA as one will find, also The Invisible Government

as old a book as it is, is also fairly indispensable

google books results

http://www.google.com/search?q=Defense+Intelligence+Agency&btnG=Search+Books&tbm=bks&tbo=1

Church Committee: Book I - Foreign and Military Intelligence

XV. Department of Defense

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?absPageId=148527

below is particularly good

page 159-160 The Spy Book: The Encyclopedia of Espionage

The man who knew too much - Page 142

books.google.comDick Russell - 2003 - 588 pages

Dulles would later write of the possibility "that two such powerful and well- financed agencies as

CIA and DIA will become rivals and competitors ... It was William Quinn who set up

James Angleton as his man in Italy after World War II. ...

First DIA head after creation during JFK Administration

CARROLL, JOSEPH FRANCIS, LT. GEN.

Sources: 1969 Who's Who in America; Brink: Cuban Crisis, Detzer (95); CIA: Myth & Madness, McGarvey (141, 143); Cold Warrior, Tom Mangold (391); Deep Black, Burrows (110); Farewell America, Hepburn (321); Hidden Terrors, Langguth (107); Invisible Government, Wise & Ross (215); JFK, Prouty (228); JFK and Vietnam, J. Newman (280-281, 466); Keeper of the Keys, Prados (204); The Pentagon, Mollenhoff (116); Puzzle Palace, Bamford (190); Widows, Corson & Trento (203); Who's Who in CIA, Mader.

Mary's Comments: DOB: Mar 19, 1910. POB: Chicago, Ill. Son of James Michael and Sara (Kane) Carroll. Married Mary Ann Morrissey, Aug 21, 1937. Children: Joseph Francis, James Michael, Brian Patrick, Dennis Thomas, Kevin Martin. Admitted to Illinois bar 1940. Spl. agt. various field offices FBI 1940-44. Chief of general criminal sect. Washington, asst. div. chief. gen investigations dir. 1944-45. Dir. compliance enforcement div. Surplus Property Administn. and War Assets Administrn., 45-47. insp. in charge of fraud and accounting matters, FBI, May-Dec. 1947. Commd. col., USAF. Re. Jan. 1948. Brig. Gen. U.S. Air Force, Feb. 1948. Called to active duty, May 1948, now Maj. Gen. Dir. Of. of Spl. Investigations, The Insp. Gen., USAF, 1948-50. Dep. Insp. Gen. for security, 1950-59. Dep. comdr. USAFE, (REAR), 1958-60. Lt. Gen. & Dir. of Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), 1966. Recipient Chief Justice White Scholarship award, Loyola Univ. Law Sch., 1940. Legion of Merit, 1949, D.S.M. Mem. Ill. Bar Assn. Roman Catholic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have found the following to be as revealing a look at the DIA as one will find, also The Invisible Government

as old a book as it is, is also fairly indispensable

google books results

http://www.google.com/search?q=Defense+Intelligence+Agency&btnG=Search+Books&tbm=bks&tbo=1

Church Committee: Book I - Foreign and Military Intelligence

XV. Department of Defense

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?absPageId=148527

below is particularly good

page 159-160 The Spy Book: The Encyclopedia of Espionage

The man who knew too much - Page 142

books.google.comDick Russell - 2003 - 588 pages

Dulles would later write of the possibility "that two such powerful and well- financed agencies as

CIA and DIA will become rivals and competitors ... It was William Quinn who set up

James Angleton as his man in Italy after World War II. ...

First DIA head after creation during JFK Administration

CARROLL, JOSEPH FRANCIS, LT. GEN.

Sources: 1969 Who's Who in America; Brink: Cuban Crisis, Detzer (95); CIA: Myth & Madness, McGarvey (141, 143); Cold Warrior, Tom Mangold (391); Deep Black, Burrows (110); Farewell America, Hepburn (321); Hidden Terrors, Langguth (107); Invisible Government, Wise & Ross (215); JFK, Prouty (228); JFK and Vietnam, J. Newman (280-281, 466); Keeper of the Keys, Prados (204); The Pentagon, Mollenhoff (116); Puzzle Palace, Bamford (190); Widows, Corson & Trento (203); Who's Who in CIA, Mader.

Mary's Comments: DOB: Mar 19, 1910. POB: Chicago, Ill. Son of James Michael and Sara (Kane) Carroll. Married Mary Ann Morrissey, Aug 21, 1937. Children: Joseph Francis, James Michael, Brian Patrick, Dennis Thomas, Kevin Martin. Admitted to Illinois bar 1940. Spl. agt. various field offices FBI 1940-44. Chief of general criminal sect. Washington, asst. div. chief. gen investigations dir. 1944-45. Dir. compliance enforcement div. Surplus Property Administn. and War Assets Administrn., 45-47. insp. in charge of fraud and accounting matters, FBI, May-Dec. 1947. Commd. col., USAF. Re. Jan. 1948. Brig. Gen. U.S. Air Force, Feb. 1948. Called to active duty, May 1948, now Maj. Gen. Dir. Of. of Spl. Investigations, The Insp. Gen., USAF, 1948-50. Dep. Insp. Gen. for security, 1950-59. Dep. comdr. USAFE, (REAR), 1958-60. Lt. Gen. & Dir. of Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), 1966. Recipient Chief Justice White Scholarship award, Loyola Univ. Law Sch., 1940. Legion of Merit, 1949, D.S.M. Mem. Ill. Bar Assn. Roman Catholic.

Thank you very much Robert!

I will check out the Invisible Government. Information is few and far between but here is a brief history of the DIA I found that contains some good stuff:

A History of the Defense Intelligence Agency

Zach

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

If you read the Taylor report, and also the important interview with McNamara by Noel Twyman, McNamara says that the last air raid was not a part of the original plan. BTW, this becomes an interesting aspect of the Kirkpatrick Report also. JFK was not going to add anymore air power until the Cubans had secured a beachhead, which they did not do.

Moreover, if you read Prouty's account of this plan, a plan with which he was personally and intimately involved, he asserts that "Everyone in the loop was fully aware that JFK had unequivocally rejected even the idea of such direct involvement of U.S. air support." The Commanding Officer at the CIA's Peurta Cabezas Nicaragua air field from which the B-26's were to be launched called Prouty in the wee hours of the morning asking him what to do because the PRE-DAWN air strikes had been cancelled by Bundy through Cabell (actually postponed until AFTER the rebels had secured the beachhead and established an airstrip). They all knew that without the destruction of Castro's remaining planes the plan would be fundamentally flawed before it had a chance. Prouty said he could literally hear the planes' engines ready to take off in the background. Prouty told the Commander that he would try to reach someone who could help, but he was unable to contact Dulles who was out of the country to give a speech the next day, among others, who could have countermanded the aberrant order. I have a memo here (somewhere) that is dated one week before D-day in which this exact thing is discussed, namely, it was CONFIRMED that Higher Authority reiterated that NO DIRECT U.S. involvement would be employed in the operation under ANY circumstances. The thrust of the memo was to remove all doubt about that issue BEFORE the fact. The memo solicited confirmation that the Operation would succeed WITHOUT such direct U.S. air support. The President required a reply from Colonel Jack Hawkins in which the Colonel CONFIRMED receipt of the directive and in which he assured the President that the mission was well planned and NOT dependent on U.S. support for success AND that "everyone involved is aware of the restrictions on U.S. support" and agrees it is unnecessary for success. [paraphrased] Additionally, once Castro's remaining T-33's were destroyed on the ground, the secondary role of the modified, anti-Castro Cuban B-26's was to return to the beach and provide air support for the Brigade as it landed on the beach, as well as protect the supply ships. Granted, this role was not expected to last for a protracted period of time, just long enough for the rebels to declare their status and receive recognition. So, the air support that Kennedy was blamed for not delivering should NOT even have been needed had his orders been followed according to plan.

This raises another issue here, as well. The rebels didn't need to secure a beachhead just "for the sake of it" in order to receive air support-- Rather, the rebels needed to be able to CREDIBLY declare themselves to be a "government in exile" in order for them to be recognized by the U.S. Government (Department of State). Once a beachhead was established as being in their control, then we could have plausibly recognized them as a Government in Exile and offered them assistance without being in violation of International Law and without causing excessive alarm to other members of the Organization of American States (OAS) whose fears of being dominated by American (United States) imperialism was being fostered by Soviet propaganda. The fear being peddled was similar to the propaganda tactics we used in South East Asia, known as "The Domino Effect", in subsequent years.

This is a very interesting and controversial point. Because JFK's critics have always said that it was his "cancellation" of the last air raid that blew the operation. And some have blamed this on Bundy. But with these new declassified reports, plus the McNamara interview, plus an interview i myself did with Marchetti, its beginning to look like Kennedy never really agreed to that last air raid in the first place. Therefore, the CIA has been lying about this in order to shift the blame onto JFK.

That's a little behind the curve, Jim. It is no longer controversial, it is in BLACK & WHITE. It's like saying the Magic Bullet Theory is controversial. No it is not. The MBT is a lie. Plain and simple. The "last air raid" was never in the plan and it was, in fact, unequivocally REJECTED in writing--and such rejection was confirmed in writing--all the way up to and including the last week of preparation. To characterize this as controversial or that it is just now "beginning to look like" JFK never approved the air strikes is a bit misleading. This information has been available for at least a decade to researchers--even to those who didn't know Prouty. That we now have a more complete record due to the declassification of BOP documents is definitely a plus, but it does little to expand on this subject farther than what was already available to those who researched it thoroughly.

But beyond that, as Kirkpatirck says in the report, even if the last air raid had flown, the brigade was doomed. They were just simply outnumbered by a factor of over ten to one. Plus Castro was able to call up his reserves very quickly since he was tipped off quickly. And further, for some reason, the bridges to the beach were not blown in advance. Which meant that Castro could get his tanks and heavy mortars there also. So in reality, the whole thing about the final air raid was actually irrelevant.

A couple of points: First off, there was no such thing as a "last air raid" -- that is part of revisionist history. Secondly, the reason that Castro was tipped off at all was because he had good intelligence along his coast, including the BOP landing site. Once Castro was alerted that Brigade 2506 had landed on the beach, which was before the B-26's had taken out his remaining Air Force, he was able to launch the T-33's, who then proceeded to shoot them out of the sky. They were sitting ducks. **The reason the bridges were not blown in advance was due to the downing of those B-26's.

[edit] ** Correction: The downing of those B-26's removed the redundancy from that part of the operation. IOW: In the event that the bridges had NOT been blown according to plan the B-26's could have provided resistance to the approach of Castro's ground forces in support of the Brigade's landing party.

Also, IMO, I would add the words "by then" to one of your sentences (Kirkpatrick's) above. IOW: "...even if the last air raid had flown the brigade was doomed...by then". However, had the original JFK plan been followed and Castro's remaining planes been destroyed BEFORE the brigade landed on the beach in the PRE-dawn B-26 air strikes, the brigade very possibly could have secured the beachhead, retained their supply ships, and declared an interim government in exile. This could have allowed a window, albeit brief, for the U.S. to recognize the new government and provide support. As for the relevance...the "last airstrike" was only irrelevant to the outcome of the invasion, but highly relevant to the dynamics of treason against the United States.

In my view, the CIA wished to compromise JFK's authority early on in his administration; wanted him to compromise his Constitutional obligations; and wanted him to remove Castro for them or be embarrassed by failing in that effort.

But it was then used as a red herring to disguise the really key fact that Jim Douglass elucidates so well in his book through Allen Dulles' own coffee stained notes: Dulles knew that the Bay of Pigs could not possibly succeed under any circumstances. Not with that small of an invasion force. He knew it would collapse early, and he was relying on JFK not wanting to embarrass himself. He would then call in the Navy and Marines to save the day. As Nixon would have. He did not. Instead he fired Dulles, Cabell and Bissell, since he understood they had tried to trick him.

I think the key here is this: The CIA wanted Castro gone. They knew we could get that job done, but they wanted it done on their terms, which included compromising JFK in the clutch. The easiest or perhaps most accessible means to that end was insuring that the only way to salvage the operation was by breaking international law and offering direct U.S. military intervention BEFORE or in lieu of there being an Interim Government in exile to recognize. Had the pre-dawn airstrikes been successful and there had been a declaration by the rebels, Kennedy would have been able to launch whatever force was necessary to assist once we had recognized the new government. By dooming the success of the pre-dawn airstrikes through postponing them, the prospect of an interim government being declared and then recognized by the U.S. was sabotaged. This, the CIA hoped, would force Kennedy to still do what they wanted, i.e., remove Castro, but do it by compromising himself, and therefore the Presidency, as well.

As for the firing of Dulles, Bissell, and Cabell... JFK surely understood that Bundy also tried to "trick him" as Bundy was the one who gave the cancellation order to Cabell. So, the question remains, why did he keep Bundy?

BTW, Kennedy was not in any secret societies at Harvard. So the fact that Bundy was a Bonesman was irrelevant.

I tend to stay away from implying too much about secret societies. However, I don't dismiss their relevance either. I simply don't know.

Edited by Greg Burnham
Link to comment
Share on other sites

From Kai Bird:

THE COLOR OF TRUTRH

(Pronto after the fiasco)

---Mac immediately sent Kennedy a handwritten resignation note: "You know that I wish that I had served you better in the Cuban episode, and I hope that you know that I admire your own gallantry under fire in the case. If my departure can assist you in anyway I hope you will send me off." But (his)resignation was no real option. (...for Kennedy -McNamara offered his resignation too, if I remember correctly KK...)

Instead Kennedy rewarded Bundy with an Office closer to the Oval Office, moving his whole operation from the Old Executive Office Building o the base of the West Wing of the With House.---

IMO Kennedy gave Bundy a second chance because he believed that the failure not really belonged on his ledger...

But freshman Bundy was a traitor in the Kennedy administration, if not the traitor...

KK

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...