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Operation Cuban Freedom - NOT!


Lee Forman
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I wrote to Mr. Fontova, requesting that he possibly join and respond to questions, without reply.

If this violates any Copyright laws, I would request that John remove it. I have read Grayston Lynch's version, as well as David Atlee Phillips, etc. I thought that this perspective should be shared.

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2...16/205039.shtml

Operation Cuban Freedom – NOT!

Humberto Fontova

Thursday, April 17, 2003

April 17 is the 42nd anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion. This article is the first of a two-part article about that debacle.

"Freedom is our GOAL!" Roared Pepe San Roman to the men he commanded. "Cuba is our CAUSE! God is on our SIDE! ON TO VICTORY!!"

Fifteen hundred men crowded before San Roman at their Guatemalan training camps that day. The next day they’d embark for a port in Nicaragua, the following day for a landing site in Cuba named Bahia De Cochinos (Bay of Pigs). Their outfit was known as Brigada 2506, and at their commander’s address the men absolutely ERUPTED.

A scene of total bedlam unfolded. Hats flew. Men hugged. Men sang and cheered. Men wept. The hour of liberation was nigh – and these men were putting their lives on the line to see their dream fulfilled.

Their dream was a Cuba free from the murderous barbarism that tortured it, free from firing squads, torture chambers and the teeming Castroite Gulag. A Cuba where the sickening yell of "PAREDON! PAREDON!" would be forgotten. A Cuba where the chilling command of "FUEGO!" would be a horrible memory and nothing more.

A Cuba where patriots served their nation. Not one where they were beaten, bound, gagged and tied to a stake at dawn, to be riddled by Russian bullets.

In brief, a Cuba freed from the Castro-Soviet yoke.

Bits of truth occasionally slip past Castro’s soul mates and censors in the Beltway press. These portray some Cubans as victims of Castroism. Okay, fine. But the men of Brigada 2506 weren’t having any of that. Victim status wasn’t for them. The Castroites were about to learn a little lesson in victimization themselves – their OWN!!

These Cuban liberators weren’t asking GIs to do their fighting, bleeding and dying, either. All they expected was the promised air cover.

Terms like "liberation" were point-blank and crystal clear to these men. No navel gazing about the merits of "regime change" for them. Babbling foreigners in sandals and strange robes wouldn’t be the ones greeting them. They’d be bashing open prison doors and bulldozing down barbed wire, all right – but their own fathers, uncles, cousins and even sisters, aunts, daughters would be the ones staggering out to suffocate them with hugs and sobs.

One of 19 Cubans was a political prisoner that horrible year. Dozens of American citizens languished in La Cabana’s cells too. Every dawn the clump of boots echoed down the dank hallways of this Spanish fortress in Havana’s harbor. The men who heard them pass breathed a little easier. The ones who heard them stop … steeled themselves.

Most had prepared themselves. "My death is minutes away,” wrote Rogelio Gonzalez Corzo to his parents. "Have strength as I do during this time. Please do not lament. ... Remember that I await you in heaven with my dear grandparents. I want you to know that my last thoughts on earth were about you and my brothers and sisters. ..."

Rogelio was a member of the youth group Catholic Action. In 1970 a Cuban exile group reported that 15,672 heroes had shared Rogelio’s fate in front of Helluva Guy’s* firing squads.

(*Ted Turner’s term for Castro)

"Phooey!" spat the usual pink groups. "More self-serving lies from those Cuban exile crackpots!"

In 1998 "The Black Book of Communism" came out, a scholarly and meticulously researched book by French intellectuals (of all people!) considered the definitive account of Communist crimes in the last century. Their chapter on Cuba mentions 16,000 firing squad executions.

Tragically, their liberators did not arrive in time. But – as we’ll see in a second – by God, they were trying.

Every one of those proud and pumped men (and boys – many were younger than Jessica Lynch) of Brigada 2506 was a volunteer. A good number had wives and children. Some were formerly wealthy.

"SEE?! SEE?!" snivel the Pinks. "We told ya! Only those beastly, slave-driving sugar mill and factory owners opposed Castro!"

Others hailed from humble backgrounds …

"SEE?! SEE?!" they snivel again. "Just like those effete millionaires to sit back and hire their gardeners and foot servants to recoup their mansions for them!"

You can’t respond to Castro groupies. After 40 years of their wholesale idiocy, I expect better logic and more maturity from a Britney Spears fan. So let’s forget them.

Point is, the Brigada included men from every social strata and race in Cuba – from sugar cane planters to sugar cane cutters, from aristocrats to their chauffeurs. But mostly, the folks in between. Victor Triay’s excellent "Bay of Pigs, an Oral History" gives the exact breakdown.

Only a hundred of these volunteers had military backgrounds. They made up for their martial inexperience with a morale and gung-ho attitude, with a passion and spunk, that constantly amazed their American trainers. These had earned their spurs in places like Omaha Beach, Bastogne, Corregidor, Inchon and Iwo Jima. They were excellent judges of morale.

And they got caught up in the emotion of the ceremony, too. As they listened to San Roman, these American officers cheered every bit as lustily as the Cubans. Envisioning Cuba’s liberation and Castro’s comeuppance will do that to honorable men – especially when they have a hand in it.

But had they known what the wizards of the New Frontier were doing to their operational plans, that cheering would have ended – and pronto.

As one of them gasped two days later, when he learned of the canceled air strikes: "WHAT??!! Are they NUTS??!! There goes the whole f***ing war!"

Heard how President Bush handled this last one? He made the final decision, all right. But then he backed off, leaving the operational details to the Defense Department and the military men.

No such humility from the Best and the Brightest: They insisted on sticking their manicured fingers in everything.

First off, they nixed the original landing site at Trinidad. This coastal town 100 miles east of the Bay of Pigs was originally chosen by the CIA and military men because it was a hotbed of anti-Castro sentiment. Rebellions had started there as soon as three months after Castro’s takeover in January ’59.

Also, the nearby Escambray Mountains crawled with anti-communist guerrillas, who were giving the Castroites fits. These would join the invaders.

Also, the local militia were known to be disloyal to the Reds. Most of these would join the invaders. Also, a concentration camp holding 6,000 anti-communist prisoners was located right outside Trinidad. These would link up too. The invasion supplies even included weapons for them.

Just as importantly, only two major roads led to Trinidad from the north, so any Castro troops moving in would have been sitting ducks for the Brigade’s air force.

Alas, landing in a populated area like Trinidad was deemed "too noisy" by the New Frontiersmen. They had a fetish about hiding the U.S. role (this massive secret!). Any hint of such a role might discomfit the Latin American "street," you see.

And, mercy me, what would the U.N. say? The Best and the Brightest suffered a veritable fit of the vapors just thinking about it.

So, back to the drawing board for the planners. They returned with a landing site at the Bay of Pigs, a desolate swamp. This was worse from a military standpoint but had a good chance of success – given total air superiority, given the complete obliteration of Castro’s air force.

This was stressed by the military and CIA planners, just as it’s stressed here by me. Don’t let Camelot’s Press Agency (the Beltway media and academia) feed you any malarkey about this all-important factor, please, friends.

JFK’s civilian wizards further demanded that the invasion take place at night. (That way nobody would notice it, you see.)

The military planners gaped. From Operation Torch in North Africa through Normandy through Saipan and Okinawa through Inchon – nothing like this had ever been attempted. All those took place at dawn.

No matter. The Knights of Camelot had spoken. Good day, gentlemen ... shoo, shoo. Now will you please run along? We have pressing social engagements.

Amazingly, the initial landing went down fairly well. The beachhead and an airstrip were secured in the first few hours. Castro’s soldiers were falling back, others surrendering, many others switching sides.

Fidel and Che got the news and freaked. They went absolutely apes**t. Sure, they knew something was coming. But still ... Remember Prissy in "Gone With the Wind"? "But Miss Scaw-let! I don’t know nutin’ ’bout birthin’ no babies!"

Fidel was running around as frantically. "I don’t know nutin’ ’bout fighting no REAL war! Not when people SHOOT BACK and everything!"

He was blabbing insane and contradictory orders to all and sundry. First he rushed to a sugar mill near the invasion site where his troops were massing, royally fouled things up there, then rushed 300 miles east to Pinar Del Rio where, he assured everyone, the "real" invasion was coming.

He could tell from a huge fleet massing just offshore. He wasn’t falling for that little feint at the Bay of Pigs. No, sir. So he ordered the masterful Che Guevara with thousands of troops to dig in there and brace for the Yankee attack.

"Seguro, mi Commandante!" Che saluted and spent three days there, 300 miles from the battle, without firing a shot. Just offshore from the wily Che were a few rowboats packed with Roman candles, bottle rockets, mirrors and tape recorders. The thing was a CIA ruse.

Che and his soldiers lucked out. Their almost 50,000 comrades at Giron were falling like flies. The Red tank columns and massed infantry reeled and staggered from the tiny Brigada’s massed firepower.

The lethal fury of the Brigadista attack had the Reds thinking they faced 20,000-30,000 "Yankee mercenaries," as they called them. Yes, the Castroites were tasting a little of that "victimization" themselves – and with a glorious vengeance!

Yet their foes were a band of mostly civilian volunteers they outnumbered almost 40 to 1, with an amazing soldier named Erneido Oliva as second in command. No amount of heroism and pluck can offset those odds, however – not without air cover.

Soon some planes roared overhead. The Brigadistas on the beach waved and cheered … they looked closer … Hey, WAIT a minute! Are those …? Run for COVER!!

Then they rocked from a massive blast in the bay behind them. A huge mushroom cloud rose. "Holy S**T!" one gasped. "Fidel’s got the A-Bomb too?!"

No (not at that time anyway). But jet rockets hitting a ship laden with 10 days’ worth of ammo will do that.

So Castro’s air force was NOT obliterated. What WAS obliterated were the Brigade’s ammo ships and control center. They were alone. What the hell was going on!??

Well, 80 per cent of the pre-invasion sorties by the Brigade planes from Nicaragua – the ESSENTIAL component of the plan, the measure to knock out Castro’s air force on the ground – had been canceled at the last moment by JFK. These air strikes were – you guessed it – "too noisy."

Now the Brigade’s lumbering B-26s provided rollicking sport for Castro’s jets, and the troops and supplies below even more. It was a turkey shoot.

Also: 50,000 Communist troops were massing for the counterattack. Squadrons of Stalin and T-34 tanks were revving their engines. A Soviet commander named Ceutah was issuing orders. Castro jets had the skies to themselves.

All these forces were aiming at the abandoned Brigadistas, 1,400 of them, without the slightest hope of reinforcement or air cover.

CIA man Grayston Lynch knew about the canceled air strikes by now and figured the men were doomed. "If things are really rough," he radiod Pepe, "we can come in and evacuate you."

Remember when Col. Anthony Mc Auliffe got the word at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge? "Sir! Were completely surrounded by Panzer divisions!"

Remember his reply? "Those poor bas***ds!"

Pepe San Roman’s reply was close.

"We will NOT be evacuated!" Pepe roared back to Lynch. "We came here to FIGHT! Let it end HERE!"

(Tune in next week, friends. We’ll follow these men through their heroic battlefield ordeal, through their prison ordeal and, later, through their ample contribution to their adopted country.

We’ll see why Grayston Lynch (no slouch in heroism himself: Omaha Beach, the Bulge, two Silver Stars, a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts) later wrote of his comrades: "They fought like TIGERS!"

Why Marine Col. Jack Hawkins wrote: "They fought magnificently!"

And why your humble servant here has written: "They wrote as glorious a chapter in military history and the annals of freedom as any you’d care to read."

Read Part 2.

Bay of Pigs – Part 2

Humberto Fontova

Friday, April 25, 2003

This is the second part of a two-part article on the Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961. Read Part 1.

We left the 1,400 Bay of Pigs invaders abandoned on the beachhead last week, with Castro’s air force unopposed above them and with 51,000 Red troops massing for attack. The Brigada 2506’s lumbering B-26s now provided rollicking sport for Castro’s jets, and the troops and supplies below even more. It was a turkey shoot.

The Brigadistas dug in deeper, counted their meager ammo, tried to treat their wounded comrades. Things looked grim ...

But WAIT! Turns out a few U.S. destroyers and the carrier Essex were just offshore, deadly Skyhawk jets poised on the carrier deck for takeoff! They could clean up Castro’s entire air force with a few cannon bursts, obliterate his troop columns with a few bombing and strafing runs – and be back on deck in time for breakfast.

The Brigade’s own air force could then fly in from its Nicaragua base to the newly captured airfield on the beachhead, bringing ammo, supplies and – most importantly – HOPE!

Then they’d pick up where the Essex jets left off, flying sorties themselves against the Castro infantry and tank columns that blundered down the only three roads to the beachhead. These roads were elevated over the surrounding swamp and completely open. The Brigades’s B-26s would slaughter anything on them, a veritable shooting gallery here, a cakewalk – Castro’s very own "Highway of Death."

From that mission the Brigade planes would refuel, rearm and move on to hammer any more troops coming down Cuba’s Central Highway from Havana. More defeats, more defections. The tide would turn. Cuba might still be free!

Then Washington sent its response to the carrier Essex: "Can’t do it. Too noisy."

So all those jets with their rockets and cannon, those destroyers brimming with artillery, those ace Navy pilots, chomping at the bit, kicking in their stalls, panting for action – all this was hogtied by strict orders from the commander in chief.

"See, Latin ‘street’?" Camelot was saying with wide eyes and a smug little grin, like Eddie Haskell in front of June Cleaver. "See, U.N.? As you can plainly see, we’re not involved in this thing! Gosh, we’re wonderful folks! Gosh, aren’t we good neighbors after all! See?"

This infantile and criminal idiocy had Adm. Arleigh Burke teetering on mutiny. Years before, Adm. Burke had sailed thousands of miles to smash his nation’s enemies at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Now he was chief of naval operations and was aghast as new enemies were being given a sanctuary 90 miles away!

The fighting admiral was livid. They say his face was beet red and his facial veins popping as he faced down his commander in chief that fateful night of April 18, 1961.

"Mr. President, TWO planes from the Essex," His jaw trembled and lips quivered as he sputtered the plea. "That’s all those boys need, Mr. President. Let me ...!"

JFK was in white tails and a bow tie that evening, having just emerged from an elegant social gathering. "Burke," he replied. "We can’t get involved in this."

"WE put those boys there, Mr. President!!" The fighting admiral exploded. "By God, we ARE involved!"

For the bow-tied, white-tailed and manicured New Frontiersmen the thing STILL boiled down to that all-important "image" problem. What would the Latin American "street" and the all-important U.N. think of the Yankee bullies?

A lot more than they ended up thinking of the "Yankee pansies and nincompoops," that’s for sure.

While the wine-sniffing Ivy Leaguers mulled over their image problems, the men on the beachhead had problems of their own ...

"MAYDAY! MAYDAY! Have Castro jet on my tail! Request ... I REPEAT! – Request ...!"

"Sorry," replied the Essex. "Our orders are ..." The Cuban pilot didn’t hear the rest of his death sentence. An explosion and his radio went dead. These messages went on and on, hour after hour, from different pilots – to no avail. By the second day, a third of these almost suicidally brave Cuban exile pilots had met a fiery death from Castro’s jets.

This was too much for their enraged American trainers at the base in Nicaragua. Four of them suited up, gunned the engines and joined the fight. These weren’t pampered Ivy Leaguers. They were Alabama Air Guard officers, men with archaic notions of loyalty and honor.

They were watching the decimation. They knew the odds. They went anyway. All four died on that first mission.

And I wouldn’t call those Alabama pilots "mercenaries" anywhere near Little Havana, especially on the streets named after them. One of their remains was recently returned from Cuba and given an honorable burial in Birmingham. None of the Best and the Brightest were on hand to comfort the surviving family members. Several Cuban-American families were.

JFK had a chance to offset his criminal blunder of canceling the air strikes – by acceding to Adm. Burke’s desperate plea two days later. But Burke’s pleas – "Mr. President! TWO planes!" – were vain.

So the Cuban pilots’ pleas – "MAYDAY!" – were in vain. So Commander San Roman’s pleas from the beachhead – "SEND PLANES! – Repeat: SEND PLANES or we CAN’T SURVIVE!" – were vain.

More correctly, the planes’ combat role was denied. Because , amazingly, JFK did permit some Essex planes over the beachhead. One of these pilots quickly spotted a long column of Castro tanks and infantry making for the Brigade. The Soviet tanks and trucks were sitting ducks. "AHA!" he thought. "NOW we’ll turn this thing around!" The pilot started his dive ...

"Permission to engage denied," came the answer from his commander.

"This is CRAZY!" he bellowed back. "Those guys are getting the hell shot out of them down there! I can SEE it!!"

Another Navy pilot had a Castro jet in his sights. The Red pilot was frantic, trying every evasive maneuver in his book. Dream on, chico. The naval pilot was hot on his tail and preparing to blow him from the skies. One little burst here, a few at his wingmates and he’d change the course of battle – and thus of history. No "shock and awe" needed here.

"Permission to engage denied," crackled his radio.

"WHAT the hell are we here FOR?!" He screamed back. Had the Navy pilot "engaged," this "Fidel Castro" chump would merit less textbook space today than Pancho Villa.

In Peter Wyden’s "Bay of Pigs," he reported that these Navy pilots admit to sobbing openly in their cockpits. They were still choked up when they landed on the Essex. Now they slammed their helmets on the deck, kicked the bulkheads and broke down completely.

"I wanted to resign from the Navy," said Capt. Robert Crutchfield, the decorated naval officer who commanded the fleet off the beachhead. He’d had to relay Washington’s replies to those pilots.

So what on earth were they there for?

To take pictures, it turned out. That’s all JFK authorized. Friends, are you beginning to understand why we get a trifle "worked up" over these things?

Just saw on Fox that we flew THIRTY THOUSAND sorties over Iraq. And sure looks like some Iraqis are grateful. But I’ll admit to a twinge of wistfulness. This because 42 years ago this month – and only 90 miles off our shores – some desperately embattled freedom fighters couldn’t beg two sorties. That’s two. I repeat: T-W-O sorties. And this to knock out a major league swine, thief and mass murderer who a year later confronted the U.S. with the gravest threat in its history.

A close-up glimpse of the heroism on that beachhead might have sent those Essex pilots right over the edge. As JFK adjusted his bow tie in the mirror and Jackie picked lint off his tux, the men of Brigada 2506 faced a few adjustments of their own. To quote Haynes Johnson, "It was a battle when heroes were made." And how!

We call them "men," but Brigadista Felipe Rondon was 16 years old when he grabbed his 57 mm cannon and ran to face one of Castro’s Stalin tanks point-blank. At 10 yards he fired at the clanking, lumbering beast and it exploded, but the momentum kept it going and it rolled over little Felipe.

Gilberto Hernandez was 17 when a round from a Czech burp gun put out his eye. Castro troops were swarming in but he held his ground, firing furiously with his recoilless rifle for another hour until the Reds finally surrounded him and killed him with a shower of grenades.

By then the invaders sensed they’d been abandoned. Ammo was almost gone. Two days of shooting and reloading without sleep, food or water was taking its toll. Many were hallucinating. That’s when Castro’s Soviet Howitzers opened up, huge 122 mm ones, four batteries’ worth. They pounded 2,000 rounds into the Brigada’s ranks over a four-hour period. "It sounded like the end of the world," one said later.

"Rommel’s crack Afrika Corps broke and ran under a similar bombardment," wrote Haynes Johnson. By now the invaders were dazed, delirious with fatigue, thirst and hunger, too deafened by the bombardment to even hear orders. So their commander had to scream.

"THERE IS NO RETREAT, CARAJO!!" Erneido Oliva, second in command, stood and bellowed to his dazed and horribly outnumbered men. "WE STAND AND FIGHT!!!" And so they did. Right after the deadly shower of Soviet shells, more Stalin tanks rumbled up. Another boy named Barberito rushed up to the first one and blasted it repeatedly with his recoilless rifle, which barely dented it, but so rattled the occupants that they opened the hatch and surrendered. In fact, they insisted on shaking hands with their pubescent captor, who an hour later was felled by a machine gun burst to his valiant little heart.

On another front, CIA man Grayston Lynch, from his command post offshore, was talking with Commander Pepe San Roman. Lynch urged, "Hold on, Pepe! We're coming in. If we have to, we can evacuate ..."

"We don’t want EVACUATION!" Pepe bellowed. "We want MORE AMMO!! We want PLANES!"

The Reds had 50,000 men around the beachhead now. Oliva had one tank, manned by Jorge Alvarez, and two rounds. Jorge aimed – BLAM! Reloaded – BLAM! and quickly knocked out two of Castro’s Stalins. But more Stalins and T-34s kept coming. So Alvarez – outgunned, outnumbered and out of ammo – had no choice: He gunned his tank to a horrendous clattering whine and CHARGED!!

He rammed into another Stalin tank. Its driver was stunned, frantic. He couldn’t get a half-second to aim his gun. So Alvarez rammed him again. And AGAIN. And again, finally splitting the Stalin’s barrel and forcing its surrender.

These things went on for three days.

The Brigada’s spent ammo inevitably forced a retreat. Castro’s jets were roaming overhead at will. They long ago had sunk the ammo ships; now they concentrated on strafing the helpless men.

"Can’t continue ..." Lynch’s radio crackled – it was San Roman again. "Have nothing left to fight with ... destroying my equipment ..." The radio went dead.

"Tears flooded my eyes," writes Grayston Lynch. "For the first time in my 37 years I was ashamed of my country." These weren’t the tears of a Bill Clinton on a camera-op, either. Lynch landed on Omaha Beach. He helped throw back Hitler’s Panzers at the Battle of The Bulge. He fought off human wave attacks by Chi-Coms at Korea’s Heartbreak Ridge. Grayston Lynch does not strike me as a whiny fraud and a tear-squeezer.

If you overlook his superb book, "Decision to Disaster," you simply miss out on some of the century’s most momentous history. You rely on Camelot and its press agency version – which is to say on self-serving, sycophantic HOGWASH!!

Lynch takes Camelot’s version and compares it to what he saw – first-hand – on that doomed but heroic beachhead, plus what he heard from CIA and military colleagues in the thick of the planning.

Camelot’s cover-up emerges from his book like a green pepper emerges from my Popeel’s Veg-O-Matic. The man is absolutely merciless with his chopping and mincing. He purees it – demolishes it.

Almost to a man, the American officers involved in the invasion admit to breaking down under the emotional ordeal. And who can blame them? To them, Duty, Honor, Country were not abstract principles. They’d put it on the line – literally.

So imagine a dilemma where that oath to Duty, Honor and Country violated their oath to obey their commander in chief. It was HIS hasty intervention that doomed their plan to defeat, their Cuban comrades to death and prison, and Cuba itself to 44 years of serfdom and horror.

This dilemma agonized them worse than any bombardment at Omaha Beach or Iwo Jima. To read their own accounts is to realize that all the bullets and bombs blasted at them by Nazis and Communists, all the sleeplessness, wounds and mouth-parching terror of trials like Inchon and the Battle of the Bulge – all that stuff was easy compared to watching helplessly as their embattled Cuban comrades were overwhelmed (NOT defeated!) by Soviet arms and slaughtered on the bloody beaches at Playa Giron.

But man, did they ever go down in a blaze of glory. When the smoke cleared, over a hundred of them lay dead and hundreds more were wounded, their very mortars and machine gun barrels melted from their furious rates of fire.

After three days of relentless battle, barely 1,400 of them – without a single supporting shot fired by naval artillery and without air support – had squared off against 51,000 Castro troops, his entire air force and squadrons of Stalin tanks. According to defecting Castroites, the Red forces took casualties of 20 to one against Brigada 2506.

Humberto Fontova holds an M.A. in history from Tulane University. He's the author of "Helldiver's Rodeo," described as "Highly entertaining!" by Publisher's Weekly, "A must-read!" by Booklist, and "Just what the doctor ordered!" by Ted Nugent. You may reach Mr. Fontova by e-mail at hfontova@earthlink.net.

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...and what a lovely bit of propaganda it is. Hits all the right notes. JFK's "criminal idiocy" in "canceling" the air strike, etc. etc.

I don't know Owen. Humberto wrote that in 2003 - seems more likely it was the belief shared by many - whereas in David Atlee Phillips' NightWatch - he appears [unless I read it wrong] to absolve Kennedy of the blame - THAT seems more likely as propoganda - especially given the timeframe. Another factor to consider is that CIA Lynch and CIA Phillips would have both had the censors ripping through their published works and 'fixing' them, as with any former CIA published work.

Humberto's work seems to strike home the feeling of the day, as experienced by those involved. I would like to get an opinion on that by other Forum members.

I still have this weird feeling about why the whole Bayo de Cochinos was such an elaborate failure. Was the planning sabotaged and destined for failure for specific reasons, or was it penetrated by Soviet or G2 moles, or ? In any event, a horrific moment in history.

- lee

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I am sure that Humberto's various articles (hosted on newsmax, no less) and books accurately represent the feelings of the reactionary extreme right-wing sector of the exile community.

Phillips aside (I haven't read his book), JFK "canceling" the air strike has been the standard CIA line. Deadly Secrets has a good discussion on JFK's refusal to authorize the CIA's promised air strike.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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Hi Lee,

Humberto Fontova is certainly a curious character. I remember him being interviewed by Bill O'Reilly some time back. I also remember an appearance he made on Bill Maher's show 'Politically Incorrect', before Maher was sacked for being politically incorrect, and that was interesting to say the least.

He has been described as an anti-Castro wild man with some justification.

James

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I am sure that Humberto's various articles (hosted on newsmax, no less) and books accurately represent the feelings of the reactionary extreme right-wing sector of the exile community.

Phillips aside (I haven't read his book), JFK "canceling" the air strike has been the standard CIA line. Deadly Secrets has a good discussion on JFK's refusal to authorize the CIA's promised air strike.

Good points Owen.

Whatever our perceptions are, and what we have managed to understand concerning the events that unfolded, I think at a minimum there was a large host of folks that placed the blame squarely on Kennedy. Phillips included. I would imagine them extending beyond extreme right-wing sectors of the exile community.

APR 16, 1961: The Airborne battalion moves from base camp in Guatemala to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, during the night of April 15/16. At about midday, the President formally approves the landing plan and the word is passed to all commanders in the operation. Assault shipping moves on separate courses toward the objective area. The ships make their rendezvous at about 1730 hours approximately 40 miles off the coast. They proceed in column and make rendezvous with U.S. Navy LSD (San Marcos) about 5,000 yards from Blue Beach. LCU and LCVP aboard the San Marcos are transferred to Cuban crews between 2300 and 2400 hours. Radio Swan repeatedly broadcasts a message which Phillips and Hunt compose to give the appearance that the station is activating resistance groups in Cuba: “Alert! Alert! Look well at the rainbow. The fish will rise very soon. Chico is in the house. Visit him. The sky is blue. Place notice in the tree. The tree is green and brown. The letters arrived well. The letters are white. The fish will not take much time to rise. The fish is red.” Hunt later writes that these were nonsense messages: “We couched it in terms that could, conceivably, confuse and misdirect Castro's G?2 ... I remember thinking at the time of BBCs wartime broadcasts which used plain texts to communicate with resistance teams in Europe.” (Johnson, p.100; Hunt, p.201)
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I am sure that Humberto's various articles (hosted on newsmax, no less) and books accurately represent the feelings of the reactionary extreme right-wing sector of the exile community.

Phillips aside (I haven't read his book), JFK "canceling" the air strike has been the standard CIA line. Deadly Secrets has a good discussion on JFK's refusal to authorize the CIA's promised air strike.

Good points Owen.

Whatever our perceptions are, and what we have managed to understand concerning the events that unfolded, I think at a minimum there was a large host of folks that placed the blame squarely on Kennedy. Phillips included. I would imagine them extending beyond extreme right-wing sectors of the exile community.

APR 16, 1961: The Airborne battalion moves from base camp in Guatemala to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, during the night of April 15/16. At about midday, the President formally approves the landing plan and the word is passed to all commanders in the operation. Assault shipping moves on separate courses toward the objective area. The ships make their rendezvous at about 1730 hours approximately 40 miles off the coast. They proceed in column and make rendezvous with U.S. Navy LSD (San Marcos) about 5,000 yards from Blue Beach. LCU and LCVP aboard the San Marcos are transferred to Cuban crews between 2300 and 2400 hours. Radio Swan repeatedly broadcasts a message which Phillips and Hunt compose to give the appearance that the station is activating resistance groups in Cuba: “Alert! Alert! Look well at the rainbow. The fish will rise very soon. Chico is in the house. Visit him. The sky is blue. Place notice in the tree. The tree is green and brown. The letters arrived well. The letters are white. The fish will not take much time to rise. The fish is red.” Hunt later writes that these were nonsense messages: “We couched it in terms that could, conceivably, confuse and misdirect Castro's G?2 ... I remember thinking at the time of BBCs wartime broadcasts which used plain texts to communicate with resistance teams in Europe.” (Johnson, p.100; Hunt, p.201)

I read somewhere, (I hate beginning a post like this) it may have been in Pierre Salinger's memoirs, that JFK did not cancel the airstrikes in support of BOP, but his last act (with regards to same) was authorizing the airstrikes, and that afterwards McGeorge Bundy rescinded Kennedy's authorization, which resulted in the famous account of Charles Cabell calling the White House in the pre-dawn hours on X-day urgently trying to get Kennedy to immediately re-authorize the air strikes, I believe the story is that Dean Rusk took Cabell's call (s)? and refused to wake JFK up. I certainly think there are more than one 'version' on the record as to how this event actually went down. I have always felt that the 'official version' was slightly suspect, which, in turn is due to the fact that in the future you have E. Howard Hunt attemping to 'forge Kennedy's signature' on documents authorizing the assassination of Diem, and also the CIA's Regis Blahut attempting to steal material from a safe which contained material being scrutinized by the HSCA. Damn, how the hell anybody would take the CIA's word about anything having to do with JFK is beyond me.

And I also endorse the assertions of some members of the Forum that the BOP was a 'setup' to make Kennedy look like a fool in the same vein (and by the same people?) as Eisenhower's Peace Summit with Khrushchev that imploded because of the 'downing' of Power's U-2. Which by the way, there are also assertions (IMO correct) that the U-2 was not 'shot down by the Sov's,' but was sabotaged by placing explosives on it before it had ever taken off from base.

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I am sure that Humberto's various articles (hosted on newsmax, no less) and books accurately represent the feelings of the reactionary extreme right-wing sector of the exile community.

Phillips aside (I haven't read his book), JFK "canceling" the air strike has been the standard CIA line. Deadly Secrets has a good discussion on JFK's refusal to authorize the CIA's promised air strike.

Good points Owen.

Whatever our perceptions are, and what we have managed to understand concerning the events that unfolded, I think at a minimum there was a large host of folks that placed the blame squarely on Kennedy. Phillips included. I would imagine them extending beyond extreme right-wing sectors of the exile community.

APR 16, 1961: The Airborne battalion moves from base camp in Guatemala to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, during the night of April 15/16. At about midday, the President formally approves the landing plan and the word is passed to all commanders in the operation. Assault shipping moves on separate courses toward the objective area. The ships make their rendezvous at about 1730 hours approximately 40 miles off the coast. They proceed in column and make rendezvous with U.S. Navy LSD (San Marcos) about 5,000 yards from Blue Beach. LCU and LCVP aboard the San Marcos are transferred to Cuban crews between 2300 and 2400 hours. Radio Swan repeatedly broadcasts a message which Phillips and Hunt compose to give the appearance that the station is activating resistance groups in Cuba: “Alert! Alert! Look well at the rainbow. The fish will rise very soon. Chico is in the house. Visit him. The sky is blue. Place notice in the tree. The tree is green and brown. The letters arrived well. The letters are white. The fish will not take much time to rise. The fish is red.” Hunt later writes that these were nonsense messages: “We couched it in terms that could, conceivably, confuse and misdirect Castro's G?2 ... I remember thinking at the time of BBCs wartime broadcasts which used plain texts to communicate with resistance teams in Europe.” (Johnson, p.100; Hunt, p.201)

I read somewhere, (I hate beginning a post like this) it may have been in Pierre Salinger's memoirs, that JFK did not cancel the airstrikes in support of BOP, but his last act (with regards to same) was authorizing the airstrikes, and that afterwards McGeorge Bundy rescinded Kennedy's authorization, which resulted in the famous account of Charles Cabell calling the White House in the pre-dawn hours on X-day urgently trying to get Kennedy to immediately re-authorize the air strikes, I believe the story is that Dean Rusk took Cabell's call (s)? and refused to wake JFK up. I certainly think there are more than one 'version' on the record as to how this event actually went down. I have always felt that the 'official version' was slightly suspect, which, in turn is due to the fact that in the future you have E. Howard Hunt attemping to 'forge Kennedy's signature' on documents authorizing the assassination of Diem, and also the CIA's Regis Blahut attempting to steal material from a safe which contained material being scrutinized by the HSCA. Damn, how the hell anybody would take the CIA's word about anything having to do with JFK is beyond me.

And I also endorse the assertions of some members of the Forum that the BOP was a 'setup' to make Kennedy look like a fool in the same vein (and by the same people?) as Eisenhower's Peace Summit with Khrushchev that imploded because of the 'downing' of Power's U-2. Which by the way, there are also assertions (IMO correct) that the U-2 was not 'shot down by the Sov's,' but was sabotaged by placing explosives on it before it had ever taken off from base.

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The White House had been going under a complete renovation at that time, and the telephone call was made to the leased JFK house in Virginia. The call was NOT made through the WH/PBX system, but was over a secure line to what we called "Rattle-Snake Acres" !!

GPH

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