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Bay of Pigs survivors today: "Two American presidents betrayed us"


Douglas Caddy
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The first article said:

"More than five decades after the three-day conflict, which resulted in almost 120 of the invaders dying and 1,200 captured by Castro’s forces when the United States failed to deliver promised air support, the veterans are no longer the youthful and idealistic alliance of students, lawyers, bankers, former Cuban army soldiers and assorted others they once were." [emphasis added]

You have got to be kidding me! It is truly a sad state of affairs when it is possible for a researcher or ANY interested party, like an investigative journalist, for instance, to obtain PROOF that the United States made no such promise in the first place, yet they instead open the article with embedded disinformation from the very first line.

Some people would prefer to hold on to their hate even when it is ill founded. I am not speaking to Obama's policy here. I am speaking about the Bay of Pigs and the Agency's penchant for post-mortem character assassination.

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I covered this topic in Dallas for COPA on the 50th Anniversary (2013). The Bay of Pigs portion starts--just after the rather emotional part of my presentation--at the 14:45 mark.

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I also covered it much more thoroughly, without time constraints thanks to Len Osanic, on Black Op Radio. I received dozens of emails from listeners who expressed appreciation to me for "finally clearing

up" this mis-reported history. The documents I refer to during the radio interview can be viewed in the Dallas COPA presentation [above] or at my website under the Bay of Pigs heading.

Edited by Greg Burnham
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The first article said:

"More than five decades after the three-day conflict, which resulted in almost 120 of the invaders dying and 1,200 captured by Castro’s forces when the United States failed to deliver promised air support, the veterans are no longer the youthful and idealistic alliance of students, lawyers, bankers, former Cuban army soldiers and assorted others they once were." [emphasis added]

You have got to be kidding me! It is truly a sad state of affairs when it is possible for a researcher or ANY interested party, like an investigative journalist, for instance, to obtain PROOF that the United States made no such promise in the first place, yet they instead open the article with embedded disinformation from the very first line.

Some people would prefer to hold on to their hate even when it is ill founded. I am not speaking to Obama's policy here. I am speaking about the Bay of Pigs and the Agency's penchant for post-mortem character assassination.

[...]

Thanks Greg,

This is what Larry Hancock says about it.

http://www.larry-hancock.com/Bay%20of%20Pigs%20Revisited.htm

This part is particularly interesting (sorry about the weird graphics):

It took decades and the ongoing release of key documents before Esterline and Hawkins reached the conclusions they shared with Bohning. At the time of the invasion they simply had no idea of the situation, no suspicion that Bissell had gone his own way, made his own agreements, and in the end possibly bet the lives of the Brigade on a last ditch secret effort to kill Fidel Castro.

They also didn't know that both Bissell and Air Force General Cabell had declined a last minute invitation from the President to present the case for more air support, another strike, to state flat out that without it the invasion was doomed. What Esterline found “most unacceptable about the whole thing was that even while the Brigade was going in, Kennedy offered Bissell and Cabell an opportunity to talk with him about additional air support – and “they elected not to." In fact, at that point Bissell did not even personally communicate with the task force officers, he sent General Cabell to deliver the bad news and greet the firestorm it generated. [x]

--Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves
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And I would point out that the point about a last ditch effort to kill Castro was indeed true, it is speculation that relying on it was Bissell's primary motive. What we know at this point in time is what Greg states in his material is corrected and documented - and it removes the blame that the exiles and media still wrongly point at JFK. Whether Bissell was gambling on a successful Castro assassination, whether he was inept or whether their was some more covert plan between Dulles and Bissell in regard to JFK is certainly a mystery to me and I don't know how it would ever be resolved.

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And I would point out that although the point about a last ditch effort to kill Castro was indeed true, it is speculation that relying on it was Bissell's primary motive. What we know at this point in time is what Greg states in his material is corrected and documented - and it removes the blame that the exiles and media still wrongly point at JFK. Whether Bissell was gambling on a successful Castro assassination, whether he was inept or whether there was some more covert plan between Dulles and Bissell in regard to JFK is certainly a mystery to me and I don't know how it would ever be resolved.

That Bissell sounds like a real weasel, Larry.

--Tommy :sun

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Well there is little doubt that Easterline and Hawkins came to that conclusion, the strange thing is that he fooled them for the better part of two decades and until they were shown actual documents a good deal of what had come down around them was totally beyond them. The sad part of it was that they had taken him at his word and they and other operational folks sincerely felt Kennedy was to blame; people like Lynch felt even more strongly, considering JFK a traitor. And Bissell apparently encouraged dumping all the blame on JFK; either because he was in denial or because he was protecting the assassination plot, or Alan Dulles, whatever. But if Bissell was a weasel, Alan Dulles's behavior was equally objectionable......do we really believe that he left the country during the operation and did not even use the available communications in Puerto Rico to monitor progress, that he had no operational contact with Bissell over some three days, that he totally removed himself from acting as an intermediary with JFK. If true and if he had been in the military he should have been court marshaled for dereliction of duty, convicted and served prison time.

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Well there is little doubt that Easterline and Hawkins came to that conclusion, the strange thing is that he fooled them for the better part of two decades and until they were shown actual documents a good deal of what had come down around them was totally beyond them. The sad part of it was that they had taken him at his word and they and other operational folks sincerely felt Kennedy was to blame; people like Lynch felt even more strongly, considering JFK a traitor. And Bissell apparently encouraged dumping all the blame on JFK; either because he was in denial or because he was protecting the assassination plot, or Alan Dulles, whatever. But if Bissell was a weasel, Alan Dulles's behavior was equally objectionable......do we really believe that he left the country during the operation and did not even use the available communications in Puerto Rico to monitor progress, that he had no operational contact with Bissell over some three days, that he totally removed himself from acting as an intermediary with JFK. If true and if he had been in the military he should have been court marshaled for dereliction of duty, convicted and served prison time.

In November of 2012, a "freelance writer" by the name of Jim Evans quoted then 96-year-old Colonel Hawkins as saying he blamed JFK for cancelling the air support at the BOP.

The invasion failed as Hawkins and Esterline had predicted and was a major embarrassment for U.S. foreign policy. All of the invading troops were killed, wounded, or had surrendered within 72 hours.

"Our president let us down,' laments Hawkins. 'He reduced our air support, and our bombers and ground troops didn't have a chance against the Cuban fighter planes. We had more than 1000 anti-Castro guerillas waiting in the foothills to join with us, but we couldn’t even make it past the beach. I still feel that we would have accomplished our mission with the proper air support."

Kennedy ultimately admitted it was his fault that the operation had been a disaster but added, '"n a parliamentary government, I'd have to resign. But in this government I can't, so you (Bissell) and (CIA Director) Allen (Dulles) have to go." Both were subsequently forced to resign.

http://www.examiner.com/article/colonel-jack-hawkins-quiet-american-unsung-marine

Hopefully the anti-Kennedy "quote" wasn't from November, 2012, but was a much older one (pre Don Bohning's interactions with Hawkins) which in the article was made to look like it was from 2012.

--Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves
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Tommy, in a literal sense Hawkins might be said to be speaking correctly. Based on his conversations with Bissell, JFK did limit the overall air commitment and never restored it as Bissell promised Easterline and Hawkins. I don't know where the 1,000 in the foothills comes from, if anything that was from the earlier Trinidad site much close to the mountains. And it is possible that with unlimited air support and no Cuban aircraft attacking during the landing, the Brigade might have - just might have - had at least some success. Lynch gives a detailed view of how that could have happened, it would have required total air superiority over the island and a series of ongoing Brigade B-26 strikes staged and supplied from the landing field at adjacent to the beach. There was no way such an air offensive could have operated on an ongoing basis out of Nicaragua. But of course Kennedy had never approved unlimited air support before or during the landing.....and with the machine gun equipped Cuban jet trainers more B-26's in the air might just have meant more Brigade B-26's lost over the Beach head. The only other option would have been full scale tactical Navy air cover which had never been in the plan. Its hard to know what was inside Hawkins head during the interview with Evans or for that matter what sticks in the mind of a 96 year old....I know I sometimes make mistakes off the top of my head these days and I'm still shy of 70. It may also be that Evans was just inserting Hawkins into the standard "JFK was responsible" storyline that appeared in so many articles on the 50th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs, I saw that in lots of articles, especially out of Florida and Miami papers.

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In early March of 1961, the Essex was at its homeport in Quonset, Rhode Island, when strange things started happening. Sailors were dispatched for rifle squad practice with a Marine leading the team. Old timers (salts) stated that this had not happened since WWII; something was up. The Essex sailed to the Norfolk Virginia Navy Shipyards. On Sunday morning, all liberty and leaves were cancelled. Train cars loaded with supplies pulled up next to the ship and the supplies were loaded onto the Essex. The word was that the Essex was going to Nova Scotia for special operations.

On Monday morning, as the Essex set sail, Rothstein was ordered to Winch #2 to prepare to take on cargo. Rothstein was the winch operator with his assistant, J.C. Adams. Armed Marines and sailors were posted everywhere; only authorized personnel were allowed on deck. The Essex pulled alongside a heavily guarded barge with two long cylinders on the deck. Rothstein loaded both cylinders on board and watched as they were sent below deck in the bomb elevator. They were “special” bombs. The Essex then headed for the open sea in due haste. When the Essex reached the Atlantic Ocean, it made a sharp turn to starboard (right). We were going south. If the Essex was going to Nova Scotia, it would have made a turn to port (left). Something big was up.

As the Essex began to near the coast of Florida, a squadron of US Navy jets was seen approaching the Essex; they did a fly-by and prepared to land. The Essex was not designed for jets; now it had been modified to have jets land and take-off. We knew for sure something out of the ordinary was going on. When it got dark, the Captain of the Essex, Captain Searcy, advised the crew that they were on a special mission. The Capt. ordered “Darken Ship and No Communication” was in effect until further notice. We were advised we were going to Cuba. General Quarters was sounded. We were going to war.

Every day after that, till three days before the Bay of Pigs invasion, we practiced for the invasion. The jets were painted white; the only markings were numbers on the planes. The numbers on the ships were painted over. The flags were taken down. When refueling and replenishing occurred, the flags would be raised as the ships started their approach and lowered again immediately.

Three days before the invasion of the Bay of Pigs, the bombing, to soften up the beach at the Bay of Pigs, started. At night we headed to the beach. The Destroyers would go closer and bombard the beach. During the day, we would head out to sea and re-supply. On the day of the invasion, at approximately 0315 hours, Rothstein was manning the helm of the Essex when Capt. Searcy came out of his quarters. The Captain’s Quarters are on the Bridge during operations. Captain Searcy informed the crew on the Quarter Deck that the President of the United States, John F Kennedy, had just ordered him to stop bombing the beach. Capt. Searcy knew that the revolutionaries would be killed. He was pissed but, “Orders were Orders.”

The next three days were spent bringing survivors and bodies on board. Rothstein again manned Winch #2 and the bodies were brought aboard in cargo nets and put in boxes and then taken to reefers. There were many cargo nets of bodies; it was a gruesome sight to behold. The Bay of Pigs was lost and it would seal the fate of John Kennedy. You do not double-cross the OP40 operatives.

One of the leaders of the revolution was CIA Operative Frank Sturgis of OP40. He was one of the operatives left behind in Cuba and was imprisoned. Sturgis and Rothstein would meet again years later. Detective Rothstein, of the New York City Police Department, would arrest Frank Sturgis when he came to New York to kill Marita Lorenz.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=20008&page=3

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The above is excerpted from a topic on the Forum concerning retired NYPD Detective James Rothstein.

Rothstein, as a young man, was a sailor in the U.S. Navy was assigned to the Essex. He describes above the "special" bombs, actually nuclear bombs, that were hoisted onto the ship and then into the area below. He helped hoist them aboard. That was how serious the U.S. considered the Bay of Pigs operation.

He also maintains that from the Essex U.S. planes took off and dropped bombs on Cuba for three days. There was significant U.S. air power exercised before the Bay of Pigs operation was aborted. He says the pilots of our planes were the elite. They wore white uniforms, instead of the usual color, but refused the request from their commander that they leave their dog tags behind before taking off.

He is willing to talk to any forum member about this. He has a wealth of information about the Bay of Pigs and is friend of others who were actually involved in the military operation and who are willing to disclose what they know. Please contact me if you want to talk to Detective Rothstein on the phone and I shall supply his phone number.

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FWIW, I've always thought JFK was ambiguous toward his underlings in the lead-up to the BOP about how far he'd go to support the invasion. I'm not deeply knowledgable of the lead-up, but one thing is clear to me: JFK had the power to prevent the invasion, and he did not exercise that power. I've always taken this failure as a failure of leadership. JFK appears to me to have acknowledged his failure.

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Here is additional information on the Bay of Pigs supplied by retired Detective Rothstein:



In 2008, Don Roberts of Noblesville, Indiana, tells the local newspaper reporter, William Fouts, that he was an aircraft maintenance technician aboard the Essex in 1961. On April 2, 1961, the Essex sets sail from Norfolk Virginia. He recalls that in the pre-dawn hours of April 15, jets began launching from the Essex deck. “By sunrise, bodies were spotted in the water. Smoke could be seen rising over the horizon from Cuba. Over the next several days, the crew listened as CIA operatives stationed on the Isle of Pines pleaded for more air support. .” He stated, “He watched in horror as dead and wounded U.S. and Cuban personnel were brought aboard ship. He listened on the radio as CIA operatives pleaded for help, and like the rest of his shipmates, he felt anguish as the Essex headed for home leaving the invasion forces to their fate on the beaches.” But, President Kennedy had suspended air operations in support of the invasion. Even as more dead and wounded men, including Marines, arrived aboard the Essex, the crew heard U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson, as well as the Navy’s Chief of Operations deny news reports that U.S. ships were off the Cuban coast.


On April 22, 2011, the Bangor Daily News wrote a story about Torrey Sylvester of Houlton, Maine. Torrey had served on board the USS Conway 507 and was part of the invasion group with the Essex. Rothstein had met Torrey when he lived in Maine and had many conversations about the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Fifteen years earlier, Torrey had written a story about the Bay of Pigs Invasion and had sent it to the Naval Institute Proceedings for publishing. They wouldn’t print it because it was too sensitive.


In May of 2011, Rothstein went to the local American Legion Club in Paynesville, Minnesota. As he entered, his old classmate from Paynesville High School, Billy Quarfot, greeted Rothstein saying, “Hey, after fifty years, you are not a xxxx anymore. Look at the story in the VFW magazine of April, 2011. It verifies that the Essex was involved in the Bay of Pigs Invasion.” The story was written by Tim Dyhouse and gave a brief description of the ships and personnel involved in the attack. Rothstein smiled; he had known the truth for fifty years.


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I would recommend anyone seriously interested in this read the initial CIA IG report, the one which was so critical that Bissell was allowed to write a rebuttal. It contains a number of extremely interesting points about the extent to which both the President and JCS were briefed (only orally) and is probably the most objective assessment of the CIA's internal failures with the project:

http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/document_conversions/89801/DOC_0000129914.pdf

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And I would point out that the point about a last ditch effort to kill Castro was indeed true, it is speculation that relying on it was Bissell's primary motive. What we know at this point in time is what Greg states in his material is corrected and documented - and it removes the blame that the exiles and media still wrongly point at JFK. Whether Bissell was gambling on a successful Castro assassination, whether he was inept or whether their was some more covert plan between Dulles and Bissell in regard to JFK is certainly a mystery to me and I don't know how it would ever be resolved.

History is no mystery. Main dread of the British Foreign Office // AMERICAN ISOLATIONISM // (GAAL)

==========================

DULLES family represented ,at times, British interests who wanted the survival of a Communist Cuba. The existence of Cuba is like the sand and the oyster, it's a creative irritant,creating a militant interventionist globalist USA. If at one time Dulles wanted Cuba gone he changed his mind as his Anglo betters directed. (see above thread post - # 49 - John Dulles creates CFR). As to anti-Castro rhetoric post assassination by Dulles ,thats all in the play/manipulation of elites to the masses.In the same fashion JFK did the same thing (though for better, IMHO, reasons). JFK researchers have shown JFK pro-Vietnam War rhetoric was designuous and that he was planing a withdrawal. see http://www.history-m...vietnam1963.htm and http://www.thenation...not-speculation
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###0o0o0###
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Main dread of the British Foreign Office // AMERICAN ISOLATIONISM //

solution communist Cuba // There were many opinions about sending arms to Castro but arms were sent by the British. If the British would threaten JFK not to help ****when British Guiana might go communist when the British were asking for Polaris technology,then why then is it a stretch to think that the BAY OF PIGS OPERATION WAS sabotaged on purpose for British interests ??

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ((( Skull & Bones = British )))

Richard M. Bissell, Jr. was a very important man to the denizens of Jupiter Island.

He graduated from Yale in 1932, the year after the Harrimanites bought the island. Though not in Skull and Bones, Bissell was the younger brother of William Truesdale Bissell, a Bonesman from the class of 1925. Their father, Connecticut insurance executive Richard M. Bissell, Sr., had put the U.S. insurance industry's inside knowledge of all fire-insured industrial plants at the disposal of government planners during World War I.

The senior Bissell, a powerful Yale alumnus, was also the director of the Neuro-Psychiatric Institute of the Hartford Retreat for the Insane; there, in 1904, Yale graduate Clifford Beers underwent mind-destroying treatment which led this mental patient to found the Mental Hygiene Society, a major Yale-based Skull and Bones project. This would evolve into the CIA's cultural engineering effort of the 1950s, the drugs and brainwashing adventure known as ``MK-Ultra.''

Richard M. Bissell, Jr. studied at the London School of Economics in 1932 and 1933, and taught at Yale from 1935 to 1941. He then joined Harriman's entourage in the U.S. government. Bissell was an economist for the Combined Shipping Adjustment Board in 1942-43, while Averell Harriman was the U.S. leader of that board in London.

In 1947 and 1948, Bissell was executive secretary of the ``Harriman Commission,'' otherwise known as the President's Commission on Foreign Aid. When Harriman was the administrator of the Marshall Plan, Bissell was assistant administrator.

Harriman was director of Mutual Security (1951-53), while Bissell was consultant to the director of Mutual Security 1952.

Bissell then joined F. Trubee Davison at the Central Intelligence Agency. When Allen Dulles became CIA Director, Bissell was one of his three aides.

Why could this be of interest to our Floridians? We saw in Chapter 4, that the great anti-Castro covert initiative of 1959-61 was supervised by an awesome array of Harriman agents. We need now add to that assessment only the fact that the detailed management of the invasion of Cuba, and of the assassination planning, and the training of the squads for these jobs, was given into the hands of Richard M. Bissell, Jr.

This 1961 invasion failed. Fidel Castro survived the widely-discussed assassination plots against him. But the initiative succeeded in what was probably its core purpose: to organize a force of multi-use professional assassins. (AND CREATED LOCAL COMMUNIST THREAT TO USA FOREVER CHANGING FOREIGN POLICY AS AGGESSIVELY NON ISOLATIONALIST,GAAL)

The Florida-trained killers stayed in business under the leadership of Ted Shackley. They were all around the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963. They kept going with the Operation Phoenix mass murder of Vietnamese civilians, with Middle East drug and terrorist programs, and with George Bush's Contra wars in Central America.

Harvey Hollister Bundy (S&B 1909) was Henry L. Stimson's Assistant Secretary of State (1931-33); then he was Stimson's Special Assistant Secretary of War, alongside Assistant Secretary Robert Lovett of Skull and Bones and Brown Brothers Harriman.

Harvey's son William P. Bundy (S&B 1939) was a CIA officer from 1951 to 1961; as a 1960s defense official, he pushed the Harriman-Dulles scheme for a Vietnam war. Harvey's other son, McGeorge Bundy (S&B 1940), co-authored Stimson's memoirs in 1948. As President John Kennedy's Director of National Security, McGeorge Bundy organized the whitewash of the Kennedy assassination, and immediately switched the U.S. policy away from the Kennedy pullout and back toward war in Vietnam.

+++++++++++++++

****as I stated in my posted interview with William Weston

Edited by Steven Gaal
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