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Ray McGovern (former-CIA) Interview


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It doesn't get any clearer than this. The President unequivocally stated, and those in charge of the operation understood, and the Brigade members themselves agreed: NO US INTERVENTION UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

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I'm going to spell it out for some of you who hang off the hinge of this cable so you fully understand, hopefully, I am, understood. When Col Jack Hawkins received this cable, it went nowhere passed his desk, as members of the CIA did not want to accept it. <period> he was [hired] by the CIA to assist in military planning, when Bissell began to expand the operation from amphibious to guerrilla that is when the CIA appointed Hawkins Chief of Paramilitary operations.

​This was a follow-up cable of reiterating a cable sent to Hawkins that never reached the CIA, and it's true, the only announcement ever made publicly was when Kennedy announced at the press conference about no American military to be used, how many members of the Bay of Pigs do you suppose watched the conference if they were training somewhere off in a remote island in the world?

​Hawkins, was reporting to Jacob Esterline who was branch chief and Esterline was reporting to Grayston Lynch.

See how this works?

Lynch has "admitted" to members of the brigade that no such cable has ever come across, are you getting this now? And, is the reason Lynch [believed] Kennedy would back the fighting Cubans to oust Castro, and later said himself, "I have never been more ashamed of my country".

So, when you post this cable, it doesn't mean a thing if Hawkins never delivered it.

Edited by Scott Kaiser
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This is the pertinent text from a letter I received from Fletcher a very long time ago.

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

Dear Greg,

You ask about Col. Jack Hawkins. I certainly do remember him mostly from the Bay of Pigs days. I have looked in a 1963 Pentagon telephone book and find him listed for that year. He was the tactical man we got from the Marines to plan the landing of the Anti-Castro unit and train them. I knew that he was against the project, as many of us were for purely tactical reasons. These Cubans in the USA were not military trained and the restrictions placed upon the project were too severe.


Actually Bissell's comment to Hawkins about "air support ready to strike, if needed" was accurate. We had provided the rebels with 16 B-26's that I had put through a transition project in Arizona. They had 8 -- 50 Cal. machine guns in each nose. (With this is mind,) Castro had only 10 capable combat aircraft [and] Kennedy ordered them all to be destroyed before the landing. On Sat., a.m., [April] 15th they were attacked and all of 7 were destroyed. We scoured Cuba with U-2 reconnaisance and found that three jets that Castro had left were all that he had; but these armed jets could easily shoot down the B-26's. Therefore Kennedy made it very clear on [April] 16th that the landing could not take place until the Rebel's B-26's had totally destroyed the last three Castro jets...ON THE GROUND. (If this had been done, as ordered by the President then the 16 bombers could have supported the invasion and the Cuban rebels would have had a more than even chance to beat Castro's ground troops and their equipment by bombardment).

Bissell had not lied to JFK; but McGeorge Bundy called Gen. Cabell, then Deputy Director of the CIA, and told him that the bombing must not take place until the invaders had landed at the Bay of Pigs. It was about 3:30 am then and Cabell was having trouble locating Rusk to get his opinion. Of all things, Allen Dulles was out of the country.

That is the basic mistake. I won't carry it further here.

You have printed an interesting line: "there was a high motivation for the Agency to compromise JFK politically." The story is more than that. In late Dec. 1959, when Castro and his rebels were marching into Havana, a group of us in the Special Ops business were ordered into an office. There we were told that if Castro did take over Havana we were going to be ordered to a rebel force. Recall this was under Eisenhower and Nixon.

Well no call came and after midnight when we had the office TV on and were watching the "New Years" celebrations we were told we could go home. Castro was the new ruler of Cuba. Later in the spring of 1960, Castro came to New York City to speak at the United Nations. Following that speech, he went to Washington and had a meeting with Nixon. After that meeting, Nixon commented with reporters saying, more or less, that if Castro was not a Communist he was close to it. That set the tone for the Eisenhower people to order the CIA to prepare to over-throw his Government.

A little later a team from the CIA came to my office in the Pentagon (At that time I was the Special Operations Officer there for the Air Force). They asked me if we had an airfield that could be used for a base to train aircrews and to get aircraft for them for a Cuban anti-Castro rebel group. This started it all.

During this period, the summer of 1960, we were coming up on a presidential election time and JFK was nominated by the Democrats. The Republicans were certain that they would win; so they began to put all the new, and huge appropriations into the next year for "President" Nixon; but in a surprise he was not elected and I never saw such emotional feelings as then. I was working in the office of the Secretary of Defense, in the Office of Special Operations. In the halls of the Pentagon you could hear the dislike of the new President; and the realization of the fact that JFK had inherited billions of dollars of procurement money for high cost items, such as the $6 or $7 billion dollar TFX aircraft buy. In one tactical move the Republicans changed the Anti-Castro plans from small over-the-beach and air drop tactics to a major invasion. In no time they had built up a 3,000 man force that had to be trained and equipped, and dumped it all in JFK's lap.

They did not realize that JFK already knew the Anti-Castro leaders who had been guests of the Kennedy's at their big Florida resort home. One day I was sent to the Senate Office building to a certain room number to pick up four men and have them driven to the Pentagon and to the Secretary of Defense, Gates.

The office turned out to be Senator Kennedy's office and the four men were the leaders of the Cuban Exile group: Artime, Varona, Mendonca and one more. Here it was only early summer of 1959, and JFK had yet be nominated for the Presidency by the Democrats, and he was entertaining them in his family's winter home in West Palm Beach and in his Senate office building. People did not know how well JFK knew them.

The most influential debate he had before the election with Nixon was the third, when they debated the Cuban Problem. Kennedy just made Nixon look ridiculous; and that debate alone perhaps won for JFK his narrow managing in the election.

Shortly after the election a team of top level CIA officials came to my office and requested that I get base facilities for at least 3,000 Cuban exiles, and enough aircraft for them. They built the Cuban force immediately by those numbers and then with Kennedy's inauguration they dumped it all in his lap.

By April 1961 the invasion plan had been worked out under the leadership of Jack Hawkins. It was all predicated on the fact that the Invasion Force would destroy all of Castro's aircraft BEFORE the invasion took place. This was the plan that was briefed to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, approved by them and taken to Kennedy. Kennedy said little about it except on Sunday, April 16th he finally approved the invasion with the strict proviso that all of Castro's jets would be destroyed; or the invasion force would not be landed on the beach. We all understood that.

For some reason, at 9:30PM McGeorge Bundy called Gen. Cabell, Deputy Director of the CIA and told him that the invasion was off until the men were on the beach. B-26 invasion planes that had been put on stand-by in Nicaragua were not to be released until dawn. This of course was against Kennedy's orders, because the three jets that Castro had could easily destroy them.

Gen. Cabell left the office in an attempt to locate Sec. of State Rusk. He knew that order had to be changed. While he was doing that the hours passed, and I got a telephone call from the air commander in Nicaragua who was all upset. He knew if the B-26's were not there by dawn the jets would take off and down them. I could hear the B-26 engines running in the background. I made many calls around Washington to get help with this essential problem. As the clock kept running it became too late for the B-26's to arrive before dawn while the T-33 jets were on the ground. Meanwhile the troops were landing at the Bay of Pigs. The whole thing was a disaster...and it was not Kennedy's fault. The last order he had given that day was "The B-26's must destroy the jets before they take off or the invasion must be cancelled." This was the military approved plan and Kennedy's orders.

You are correct about the Bay of Pigs landing disaster, except for the details that the Cuban rebels were equipped with armed B-26 's; and if used while Castro's jets were still on the ground on the morning of April 17th they would easily have been destroyed. Then the landing force would have had little or no real opposition and they would have defeated Castro.

The JCS and Kennedy had both ordered that if the jets were not destroyed there would be no invasion. Kennedy had ordered that no "active duty USA aircraft would be used in that invasion". This was a firm order that we all understood. You are also correct that Kennedy's NSAM #263 would have had us out of Vietnam for sure. I was one of its writers. I know how determined he was, but that was Oct 11,1963. Kennedy was dead on Nov 22, 1963.


We all can see the connection.

L. Fletcher Prouty

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

Note: We know today that Castro also had a Sea Fury in addition to the T-33 jets.

Edited by Greg Burnham
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The importance of that article is that this later scholar could not find the notes at Princeton.

He had to find Lucien V. Luckily he did before he died, and Lucien had the notes and the library request forms. (All sixty pages.)

What clearly happened is that once Lucien V wrote the article, the CIA saw how devastating it was to Dulles and the Agency.

So they went in and fleeced the files.

If it was not for this guy finding Lucien, and Lucien keeping his request form and notes, people like Scott could say, "What notes?"

people like Scott

Translated, thinking people.

People like Jim, still hasn't rebut the original origin of the debate we had at Deep Politics as pointed out [in this thread], altas, just ignored, as my memory severs me well, and people like Jim's doesn't. The Bay of Pigs was "designed to fail" surely Jim, you must remembered that one, I dragged you through the mud, until I spanked your behind at the end, but God forbid we talk about that.

That is not he way I recall it at all.

You tried to say that the quotes I had in my book were by me.

It became clear that you had never read or heard of the Lucien V article at all.

So I had to show you where Dulles' own quotes were.

In other words he himself admitted they were trying to entrap Kennedy.

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Greg,

I am all too aware of your resume, thank you. Mr. Prouty also makes some good points, if you don't mind, I would like to counter some of what Mr. Prouty says, first off, Mr Prouty points out that (16) planes were given to them, when I have more than a dozen witnesses telling me there were (19) in total that got shot down, why is it that the government doesn't want you to know about the other (3) planes? We'll get back to that later.

Than, Mr. Prouty say, "Therefore Kennedy made it very clear on [April] 16th that the landing could not take place until the Rebel's B-26's had totally destroyed the last three Castro jets...ON THE GROUND."

Why would Kennedy make anything clear about the brigade's landing regarding total annihilation of Fidel Castro's jets if the American government wasn't to get involved? Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black? Did the American government also make those same threats when Fidel Castro preformed his coup against Batista? Tell you what, we'll, get back to that one later.

Mr. Prouty further says;

"Bissell had not lied to JFK; but McGeorge Bundy called Gen. Cabell, then Deputy Director of the CIA, and told him that the bombing must not take place until the invaders had landed at the Bay of Pigs. It was about 3:30 am then and Cabell was having trouble locating Rusk to get his opinion. Of all things, Allen Dulles was out of the country.

That is the basic mistake. I won't carry it further here."

This is all a guess on Mr. Prouty's part, and I'll tell you the reason why. Adlai Stevenson is the one who did in-fact get George McBundy to place that call to the CIA to stand-down, and I detail this in my update and how it came full circle. But, I'll tell you what, we'll get back to that later.

"The office turned out to be Senator Kennedy's office and the four men were the leaders of the Cuban Exile group: Artime, Varona, Mendonca and one more."

​That other person was Masferrer. And, aside from Artime, I'm not sure if he even has the other two correct.

"Kennedy said little about it except on Sunday, April 17th he finally approved the invasion with the strict proviso that all of Castro's jets would be destroyed; or the invasion force would not be landed on the beach. We all understood that."

Again, how can, does, could the president of the United States makes such a pledge when he himself said, no intervention. I believe, although, he didn't want American military to get involved setting off a possible reaction of events involving Russia and perhaps a third world war over Cuba, he, [Kennedy] wanted to be very much apart of the operation, than later appoints his brother in charge of Operation Mongoose after the Bay of Pigs, but, we'll get back to that one later.

The rest is pretty self explanatory, and as I've pointed out in my earlier post that I believe should not be overlooked is the fact that the cable you posted never reached the CIA. This is what's most important here. Any real thinking person can have a field day with the information I just now posted. Why?

As I've said all along, the CIA did want to force Kennedy into American military, they didn't get it, Kennedy reacted, and the CIA took out Kennedy. President Nixon shutdown JMWAVE they were plotting his assassination, though it just seemed more appropriate to gather the funds they needed to re-capture Cuba.

It's probably one of the most easiest reads ever put together. Oh, and I provide as much evidence and facts as I can so it's not just a story.

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Greg,

Prouty makes Bundy sound like the villain in all this. Who told Bundy to call Cabell and delay the B-26s? Surely he didn't just do that on his own.

I agree Ron and that is where I disagree with Fletch on this.

See, not only did Bundy offer to resign after the debacle, but McNamara offered to go on TV and take full blame for it. He admits this in his book In Retrospect. (see pgs 25-27)

Kennedy called in most of his cabinet and advisors. Fulbright happened to be there at the time. He sat them around a large table and he polled them on whether they were for or against Zapata.

The only person who had any reservations was Fulbright. Everybody else thought it was a good idea. (ibid)

So when McNamara and Bundy did their mea culpas after, it was likely over their endorsement of the project. I mean, McNamara admits this in his book.

Neither guy did their job. That is, neither man did a microanalysis. But that was hard to do since Dulles never left the plans at the White House overnight.

But McNamara told Noel Twyman this much: the D Day air strikes were brought back to the White House later. They were not approved in advance. Kennedy really did not like the whole idea of US planes bombing Cuba. And he cut down the number of sorties even flown in advance.

Edited by James DiEugenio
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Greg,

Prouty makes Bundy sound like the villain in all this. Who told Bundy to call Cabell and delay the B-26s? Surely he didn't just do that on his own.

Dean Rusk.

When Bundy spoke with Cabell he specifically told him that any further discussion of the matter (cancellation of the pre-dawn airstrikes) should be taken up with Secretary Rusk (Adlai Stevenson's direct boss).

Edited by Greg Burnham
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How could McNamara resign when he was still in office?

Paul Atkinson became Sun Ship President in 1961 and In 1965 he saw a shipping need and a Navy budgetary impediment under Defense Secretary McNamara.
I'm done with telling the truth here, you all may argue amongst yourselves. I have work to do.
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Why would Kennedy make anything clear about the brigade's landing regarding total annihilation of Fidel Castro's jets if the American government wasn't to get involved? Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black? Did the American government also make those same threats when Fidel Castro preformed his coup against Batista? Tell you what, we'll, get back to that one later.

[...]

Again, how can, does, could the president of the United States makes such a pledge when he himself said, no intervention.

Since there are too many issues for me to cover in one post, I will restrict my response to only a portion of what you wrote above.

The US outfitted RETIRED aircraft -- 16 B-26 bombers -- GAVE THEM to the anti-Castro Cubans and offered training. These aircraft were no longer in the possession of the US military, they bore no American markings, and they were not piloted by American flyers. They were owned by the anti-Castro Cuban forces, stripped of American identifiers as they no longer belonged to us, and were flown by non-US military personnel. We also acted in an advisory capacity, as well. But that is a far cry from DIRECT US MILITARY INTERVENTION.

It was completely legal and in keeping with JFK's "non-direct US intervention policy." -- Emphasis should be placed on the word DIRECT.

The difference is HUGE.

Direct US intervention means that we would "change the outcome" if it did not suit us by engaging Cuba with overwhelming US military force, including the use of active US equipment, aircraft and service personnel. That is a violation of international law. That is what Kennedy prohibited from start to finish.

That Kennedy ordered the mission to be scrubbed if Castro's planes were not destroyed on the ground speaks to his grave concern for the success of the mission and the advice of the best military thinking at the time as to the absolute necessity to control the sky above the BOP. Our best military minds advised that if the Brigade's pre-dawn air attack failed to destroy Castro's planes on the ground, the landing party would have very little chance of success. JFK understood how crucial this phase of the operation was and he issued standing orders based upon it.

As far as the number of planes shot down, I am aware of more than 16. However, Prouty can only speak to the 16 that he himself procured and outfitted to be gifted to the anti-Castro Cuban forces.

Edited by Greg Burnham
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Why would Kennedy make anything clear about the brigade's landing regarding total annihilation of Fidel Castro's jets if the American government wasn't to get involved? Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black? Did the American government also make those same threats when Fidel Castro preformed his coup against Batista? Tell you what, we'll, get back to that one later.

[...]

Again, how can, does, could the president of the United States makes such a pledge when he himself said, no intervention.

Since there are too many issues for me to cover in one post, I will restrict my response to only a portion of what you wrote above.

The US outfitted RETIRED aircraft -- 16 B-26 bombers -- GAVE THEM to the anti-Castro Cubans and offered training. These aircraft were no longer in the possession of the US military, they bore no American markings, and they were not piloted by American flyers. They were owned by the anti-Castro Cuban forces, stripped of American identifiers as they no longer belonged to us, and were flown by non-US military personnel. We also acted in an advisory capacity, as well. But that is a far cry from DIRECT US MILITARY INTERVENTION.

It was completely legal and in keeping with JFK's "non-direct US intervention policy." -- Emphasis should be placed on the word DIRECT.

The difference is HUGE.

Direct US intervention means that we would "change the outcome" if it did not suit us by engaging Cuba with overwhelming US military force, including the use of active US equipment, aircraft and service personnel. That is a violation of international law. That is what Kennedy prohibited from start to finish.

That Kennedy ordered the mission to be scrubbed if Castro's planes were not destroyed on the ground speaks to his grave concern for the success of the mission and the advice of the best military thinking at the time as to the absolute necessity to control the sky above the BOP. Our best military minds advised that if the Brigade's pre-dawn air attack failed to destroy Castro's planes on the ground, the landing party would have very little chance of success. JFK understood how crucial this phase of the operation was and he issued standing orders based upon it.

As far as the number of planes shot down, I am aware of more than 16. However, Prouty can only speak to the 16 that he himself procured and outfitted to be gifted to the anti-Castro Cuban forces.

Greg,

please give up, my phone keeps going off every time I receive an update, I now have bruises on my forehead! Perhaps, you could better relate to a movie.

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