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Briefing for RFK on Cuba


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5 hours ago, David Boylan said:

Doesn't say who authored this. I assume it came from CIA.

http://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/jfk/NARA-Oct2017/docid-32977068.pdf

Some of the observations are of strategic military planning. The document also speaks of the CIA in the third person. I am thinking it is a DOD document. I am also looking for a means to date it squarely.

P. 12 definition of CSG?

          - Questioning of priority of Op. Mongoose (speaks to it being a DOD doc)

          - mention of USAF "sanitized" aircraft with "sheepdipped" crew.

P.13 "We are assisting CIA with it's maritime needs ( speaks to a non CIA doc.)

 

 

 

    

Edited by Michael Clark
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To: Robert Kennedy

Title: Briefing for Robert Kennedy

Subjects: Program review

Plans to Assist Cubans in Overthrowing the Communist Regime.

 

Briefing for Mr. Robert Kennedy

Concerning the status of DOD plans and activities to date – our first completed action was to obtain a DOD/JCS position as to the military's stake and proposed role in the ousting of the Castro Communist regime. Basically, the policy reflected in this paper establishes that the military will support State and CIA as necessary during the preparatory phase of Operation Mongoose in terms of supplies, transportation, personnel and bases.It also establishes the point that the military believes it continued existence of the Castro Communist regime is incompatible with the minimum security requirements of the United States and the entire Western Hemisphere. It further makes the point that the military could intervene overtly in Cuba without serious offense to national or world public opinion If:

A: We moved in response to a humanitarian requirement to restore order withinn Cuba;

B. If we announced incident to going in; that we were moving in to restore order and hold free elections; and that we would withdraw from Cuba as soon as the new government advised that they had the capability to maintain order without further assistance from OAS nations;

C. If the operation was conducted as quickly as possible and with sufficient force so that the Communist Bloc's ability to take affective counter-measures was reduced to the minimum.

D. We feel very strongly that without damage to their international position and simply by making the decision to do so, the Soviets can take a page from our book and establish an overseas military base or bases in Cuba. This would greatly increase our national vulnerability and our defense costs as forces would have to be developed or shifted to meet this threat from the south. It would also provide the Communists with a secure base for espionage, sabotage and subversion throughout the entire Western Hemisphere.

 

 The Soviets have an option on which they can foreclose at any time. They can make the decision to establish military bases in Cuba at their will and pleasure, and if they exercise this option, we would likely be unable to remove them without initiating World War III. Consequently we feel that it is mandatory that we face the facts squarely now, and determine as early as possible whether we can rid Cuba of Communism by covert support of Cubans within Cuba; and it is equally mandatory, for logistics and planning purposes, that we have an early decision as to whether we definitely intend to use military force, if covert means fail.

We also feel strongly that the United States should intervene to preserve Cuban nationals identified as being essential to the establishment of a friendly Cuban government if they are in danger of being exterminated by a widespread Hungarian type blood purge.

In furtherance of the DOD/JCS  policy that any military intervention should be conducted as quickly as possible, and with sufficient force to minimize the Communist Bloc's capability to react, we are working with CINCLANT in attempting to reduce the reaction time of his contingency plans for moving into Cuba, but at the same time to beef up his capability so that there will be no doubt as to the US ability to move in and take over rapidly regardless of the opposition we may meet.

Our primary plan can be activated from a condition of no warning in 18 days, and provides for confronting Cuban forces with sufficient strength to be clearly beyond Cuban capability to resist, to induce early capitulation of their units and to avoid needless loss of life.

A secondary plan can be activated from a condition of no warning in five days although this plan involves a degree of risk by a piecemeal commitment of forces.

CINCLANT  is planning to reduce these reaction times through pre-positioning of forces and material. This planning effort should soon provide us a basis for decision concerning the extent we wish to go in pre-positioning without endangering security and the element of surprise to an unacceptable degree. 

We feel that there is an alarming lack of appreciation that time is running out - that we cannot let this operation drag on for an indefinite number of years, hoping to develop a massive resistance capability with in Cuba. We are concerned that the new proposal d-emphasizes the time factor by waiting until July before a decision is made as to what to do next. This would permit the Soviets (Communist regime in Cuba) additional time to foreclose on the options open to them, viz., entry of Cuba into the Warsaw Pact, and/or the establishment of Soviet bases in Cuba. Either one of these actions would add new dimensions to our problems, and introduce considerations which would postpone positive action indefinitely if not preclude for the foreseeable future elimination of the Communist regime.

 In the event that the coming months may disapprove the feasibility of initiating an internal revolt in Cuba, it is suggested that phase 2 might be sparked with the execution of a Cover and Deception plan. Normal training of US forces would be the primary cover, the deception would be concurrent efforts to convince the Communist Cuban government that we were in fact invading Cuba. This course of action could provide adequate provocation for US intervention depending, of course, on Cuban rashneis in their reaction. If successful, we might not have to engage in the more difficult and dangerous game of developing pretext, although we should include this requirement as a final resort to ensure successful initiation of phase 2.

As I previously mentioned, one of our primary responsibilities is supporting CIA. To date, CIA has submitted several request for support. In each case, action was initiated immediately and the request processed expeditiously. These requests included: 

A. Use of Avon Park, USAF bombing range in Southern Florida, as an exercise area for training agents. (DOD has approved this request provided national policy permitted training of Cubans on US military bases).

B. Assignment of the Navy commander experienced in small boat operations to handle their maritime small boat activities. (The following day, the Chief of Naval Operations approved the request and directed the Navy Bureau of Personnel to procure and assign a qualified officer without delay.

C. Advice and assistance from BJ Unit No. 2 in testing certain simulation devices. (Direct contact with BJ No. 2 and appropriate CIA personnel was authorized).

D. CIA has in formally requested the Navy to obtain 6 PT boats for their use. (staffing today indicates that the Navy does not have six PT boat in their inventory. They have two in mothballs, one designated as a presidential escapeboat, and one hull without a motor. The leadtime required to place mothballed PT boats in operation is 30 days at a minimum, at a cost of $200,000 each. The purchase of additional PT's requires an estimated 3 to 6 months after signing the contract. The cost per unit for new PT boats is estimated at 1 million. The Navy is currently waiting CIA's formal request.)

E. CIA submitted a request to DOD for use of certain personnel, supplies, equipment, facilities and bases including but not limited to aircraft, boats, submarines and landing ships dock (LSD's), plus the use of US Armed Forces the furnish air cover for CIA sponsors activities. This request raised several national policy decisions necessary to permit  fulfillment of the request. These policy decisions are:

1. Weather, and/or to what extent a policy of non-attribution to the US government will apply to projects in connection with the activities of the CSG.

2. Weather, and/or to what extent US bases and facilities should be utilized for training Cuban refugees.

3. Whether, and/or to what extent US Armed Forces personnel will be employed on CSG projects and if so, whether, and/or to what extent they will be non-attributable.

4. Whether, and/or to what extent US Armed Forces personnel will be employed within the territorial boundaries of Cuba.

5. Whether, and/or to what extent over-flights of Cuba for purposes of leaflet drops, resupply and diversion will be permitted.

6. Whether, and/or to what extent Guantánamo will be used as a base for agents, black flights and black broadcast.

7. Whether, and/or to what extent use of British controlled and other foreign areas for staging areas will be permitted.

8. What is the priority of Operation Mongoose, as compared to other projects and operations.

We have also prepared an assessment of the risk involved in air resupply missions over Cuba. We are readying two USAF sanitized aircraft and "sheep-dipped" crews for air resupply missions to agents within Cuba, and we are assisting CIA with its maritime needs, including help in obtaining PT types boats from foreign sources, readying "sheep-dipped" crews and equipment as deemed necessary, and providing operational concepts on disrupting or destroying Cuban capability of maritime coastal patrols.

In order to accomplish our assigned tasks, I have a working group with full-time representatives from the joint Chiefs of staff,  DIA and the service who serve, as representatives of their respective directors and as points of contact dealing directly with their respective Chiefs.

Furrther, I have representatives of each of the services who also served full-time on the working group. They work directly with the people on the service desk; the operations deputy, the deputy for plans, and one action officer.

Obviously, my working group cannot staff all the tasks placed upon us, consequently, whenever possible, we sanitize the tasks and have them accomplished by a Joint Staff or the regular Service Staffs. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Michael Clark
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14 hours ago, Michael Clark said:

Some of the observations are of strategic military planning. The document also speaks of the CIA in the third person. I am thinking it is a DOD document. I am also looking for a means to date it squarely.

P. 12 definition of CSG?

          - Questioning of priority of Op. Mongoose (speaks to it being a DOD doc)

          - mention of USAF "sanitized" aircraft with "sheepdipped" crew.

P.13 "We are assisting CIA with it's maritime needs ( speaks to a non CIA doc.)

 

 

 

    

Thanks Michael, I believe you are correct! 🙂

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8 hours ago, Paul Brancato said:

Is there a date anywhere? If not are there clues as to when? 

Paul, On the cover page, in the "Agency Information" section, on the "Agency" line it reads... "NSC". The National Security Council was formed in 1947 and is a White House entity, answering to the President. As to the document heading I am not sure if we can take that to be an indicator of the originating body. Under "Document Information"  the lines "Originator" and "From" are left blank, so comparisons of these document header sections with other documents can tell us if we can rely on the "Agency Information" section as an indicator of ownership or originator. This will be something I will be looking at as I dig deeper.

It is interesting that it is addressed to the Attorney General rather than the President. I am seeing this as a message to the CIA, DOD and other interested entities that JFK was making it clear that he would be considering the legality of any forthcoming action as a matter of first importance. Indeed, it is a message that these intenties should consider the plan through a legal lense prior to expecting executive action on the subject at hand.

Edited by Michael Clark
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5 hours ago, Paz Marverde said:

Can't wait

Paz, 

After some more thought I am beginning to see this as a primer for the new administration as to what the CIA and DOD were planning to do. It is an indication that they intended to put immense pressure on the new President, and lay-out a plan, already in motion, that far exceeded the intentions of the prior administration. 

I have to read it some more, correct some typo's, and pull some contextual clues to see if it can indeed be isolated to the period of planning prior to the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Two things of interest.

- The document speaks of two PT boats in inventory, one without a motor, and one reserved as a Presidantial escape craft. This, I am musing, served as a knurple to the Presidents ego. 

- Towards the end, the author speaks in the first person, so it will be part of the challenge to see if we can identify that individual through contextual clues.

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Right now, I am thinking that this was written by Lyman Lemnitzer.

 

From Wikipedia...

"Lyman Louis Lemnitzer (August 29, 1899 – November 12, 1988) was a United States Army general, who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1960 to 1962.........

............

In 1975, President Ford appointed Lemnitzer to the Commission on CIA Activities within the United States (aka the Rockefeller Commission) to investigate whether the Central Intelligence Agency had committed acts that violated US laws, and allegations that E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis (of Watergate fame) were involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy."

 

 

Edited by Michael Clark
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Some Wiki-notes On the NSC under JFK.

 

President John F. Kennedy, who was strongly influenced by the report of the Jackson Subcommittee and its severe critique of the Eisenhower NSC system, moved quickly at the beginning of his administration to deconstruct the NSC process and simplify the foreign policy-making process and make it more intimate. In a very short period after taking office, the new President moved to reduce the NSC staff from 74 to 49, limit the substantive officers to 12, and hold NSC meetings much less frequently while sharply curtailing the number of officers attending. The Operation Coordination Board was abolished, and the NSC was, at the President's insistence, pulled back from monitoring the implementation of policies. The coordination of foreign policy decisions was ostensibly left to the State Department (and other agencies as necessary).

McGeorge Bundy's appointment as the President's National Security Advisor inaugurated this position as it has essentially continued down to the present. The definition of Bundy's responsibilities and authority unfolded and grew during the Kennedy presidency. Bundy's considerable intellectual and bureaucratic abilities as well as close personal relationship with the new President contributed much to evolution of the National Security Advisor position and the new role of the NSC. In a letter to Senator Jackson in September 1961 Bundy sought to define the early relationship sought with the State Department.

. . . the President has made it very clear that he does not want a large, separate organization between him and his Secretary of State. Neither does he wish any question to arise as to the clear authority and responsibility of the Secretary of State, not only in his own Department, and not only in such large-scale related areas as foreign aid and information policy, but also as the agent of coordination in all our major policies toward other nations.

The Department of State's apparent failure effectively to coordinate the administration's response to the Bay of Pigs Invasion crisis in early 1961 led to a series of measures aimed at providing the President with better independent advice from the government. It also sparked the NSC process to reenter the arena of monitoring the implementation of policy. The most important step in this direction was the establishment of the Situation Room in the White House in May 1961. The Sit Room, located next to Bundy's office in the basement of the West Wing of the White House, was directly linked to all the communication channels of the State Department and the Department of Defense, as well as to some of the channels of the CIA. The Sit Room allowed the President and his foreign affairs advisers to keep abreast of all the cable traffic from overseas posts. More than anything else, the Sit Room allowed Bundy and his NSC staff to expand their involvement in the international activities of foreign affairs community and become, in essence, "a little State Department."

 

 

 

 

Edited by Michael Clark
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The above document mentions Operation Mongoose. Wikipedia states that it was not given that name until November of 1961, which means, if correct, that our document would have to have penned afterwards. The plan itself was being was being formed under Eisenhower. 

From Wikipedia...

 

"The Cuban Project, also known as Operation Mongoose, was a covert operation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that was commissioned in March 1960 during the final year of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's administration. On November 30, 1961, covert operations against Fidel Castro's government in Cuba were officially authorized by President Kennedy and after being given the name Operation Mongoose at a prior White House meeting on November 4, 1961. The operation was led by United States Air Force General Edward Lansdale and went into effect after the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion."

Now, that's a classic Wikipedia entry, it leaves you scratching your head. But, it highlights reasons to get Wikipedia updated properly. Also, I find confusing and possibly incorrect information, such as this, a big motivator to dig-in.

 

 

Edited by Michael Clark
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