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In March I960, President Eisenhower of the United States approved a CIA plan to overthrow Castro. The strategy was organised by Richard Bissell. Soon afterwards Bissell drafted a top-secret policy paper entitled: A Program of Covert Action Against the Castro Regime (code-named JMARC). At a meeting on 11th March, 1961, Kennedy rejected Bissell’s proposed scheme. He told him to go away and draft a new plan. He asked for it to be “less spectacular” and with a more remote landing site than Trinidad. It appears that Kennedy had completely misunderstood the report from the JCS. They had only rated it as high as a 30% chance of success because it was going to involve such a large landing force and was going to take place in Trinidad, near to the Escambray Mountains. After all, Fidel Castro had an army and militia of 200,000 men.

Bissell now resubmitted his plan. As requested, the landing was no longer at Trinidad. Instead he selected Bahia de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs). This was 80 miles from the Escambray Mountains. What is more, this journey to the mountains was across an impenetrable swamp. As Bissell explained to Kennedy, this means that the guerrilla fallback option had been removed from the operation.

As Allen W. Dulles recorded at the time: “We felt that when the chips were down, when the crisis arose in reality, any action required for success would be authorized rather than permit the enterprise to fail.” In other words, he knew that the initial invasion would be a disaster, but believed that Kennedy would order a full-scale invasion when he realized that this was the case. According to Evan Thomas (The Very Best Men): “Some old CIA hands believe that Bissell was setting a trap to force U.S. intervention”. Edgar Applewhite, a former deputy inspector general, believed that Bissell and Dulles were “building a tar baby”. Jake Esterline was very unhappy with these developments and on 8th April attempted to resign from the CIA. Bissell convinced him to stay.

On 10th April, 1961, Bissell had a meeting with Robert Kennedy. He told Kennedy that the new plan had a two out of three chance of success. Bissell added that even if the project failed the invasion force could join the guerrillas in the Escambray Mountains. Kennedy was convinced by this scheme and applied pressure on those like Chester Bowles, Theodore Sorenson and Arthur Schlesinger who were urging JFK to abandon the project.

On 14th April, JFK asked Bissell how many B-26s were going to be used. He replied sixteen. JFK told him to use only eight. Bissell knew that the invasion could not succeed without adequate air cover. Yet he accepted this decision based on the idea that he would later change his mind “when the chips were down”.

Within seventy-two hours after the Bay of Pigs operation all the invading troops had been killed, wounded or had surrendered. Bissell had a meeting with JFK, who admitted it was his fault that the operation had been a disaster. Kennedy added: "In a parliamentary government, I'd have to resign. But in this government I can't, so you and Allen (Dulles) have to go."

Some researchers have claimed that Bissell had a good motive to organize the assassination of JFK. As head of DOP he also knew people who could carry it out. However, I believe he had nothing to do with the assassination. What do you think?

This is the Namebase entry for Richard Bissell:

http://www.namebase.org/main4/Richard-Mervin-jr-Bissell.html

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  • 2 months later...

Does anyone know if Bissel had any direct contact w/David Atlee Phillips? Also, re: each, what precisely did they do on their jobs, after eating breakfast. I know Phillips was involved in media/communications work. Does anyone suspect he did some of the actual planning for the "turning" of the special group?

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Does anyone know if Bissel had any direct contact w/David Atlee Phillips? Also, re: each, what precisely did they do on their jobs, after eating breakfast. I know Phillips was involved in media/communications work. Does anyone suspect he did some of the actual planning for the "turning" of the special group?

Richard Bissell does not mention Phillips in his autobiography, Reflections of a Cold Warrior: From Yalta to the Bay of Pigs (1996). However, as head of Directorate for Plans he would have got to know Phillips during the Bay of Pigs operation. Phillips in charge of Radio Swan at the time (broadcasts being made on a small island in the Caribbean calling for the Cuban Army to revolt).

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKbissell.htm

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  • 5 months later...

In The Man Who Knew Too Much, the author states that Oswald was involved in the U-2 Spy plane program, while stationed in Japan. He also states that Oswald may have been involved in an action that left another marine dead. The author of TMWKTM suggests that this could have been used by the CIA to "control" Oswald through blackmail

Richard Bissell was directly involved in the development of the U-2 and later in the Bay of Pigs. Later he was discovered to be an enigmatic part of the problem in that failed operation. He left the CIA in 1962, although he knew many of the people in what became Operation Mongoose.

Does anyone know how directly Bissell was involved in the running of the U-2 program out of Japan? If Oswald was in Japan working on the U-2, would Bissell have known about him as early as 1959?

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In The Man Who Knew Too Much, the author states that Oswald was involved in the U-2 Spy plane program, while stationed in Japan. He also states that Oswald may have been involved in an action that left another marine dead. The author of TMWKTM suggests that this could have been used by the CIA to "control" Oswald through blackmail

Richard Bissell was directly involved in the development of the U-2 and later in the Bay of Pigs. Later he was discovered to be an enigmatic part of the problem in that failed operation. He left the CIA in 1962, although he knew many of the people in what became Operation Mongoose.

Does anyone know how directly Bissell was involved in the running of the U-2 program out of Japan? If Oswald was in Japan working on the U-2, would Bissell have known about him as early as 1959?

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