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CIA Blamed for Bay of Pigs Debacle

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Good Day.... A reminder to some attempting to revise history....

From the "Associated Press"....


CIA Blamed for Bay of Pigs Debacle

February 22, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) -- One of the Cold War's most secret documents --- the CIA's scathing internal investigation into the 1961 Bay of Pigs debacle --- is finally out, and there is little wonder why the spy agency has guarded it so jealously.

The 150-page report, released after sitting in the CIA director's safe for more than three decades, blamed the disastrous attempt to oust Fidel Castro not on President John F. Kennedy's failure to call in air strikes, but on the agency itself.

The CIA's ignorance, incompetence, as well at its arrogance toward the 1,400 Cuban exiles it trained and equipped to mount the invasion, was responsible for the fiasco, said the report.

"The choice was between retreat without honor and a gamble between ignominious defeat and dubious victory. The agency chose to gamble, at rapidly decreasing odds," the report said.

The document, released by the agency last week, criticized almost every aspect of the CIA's handling of the invasion: misinforming Kennedy administration officials, planning poorly, using faulty intelligence and conducting an overt military operation beyond "agency responsibility as well as agency capability."

Few of the CIA personnel helping train the exiles for the invasion spoke Spanish, yet "the agency reduced the exiled leaders to the status of puppets."

Despite U.S. news articles linking the United States with a plan to invade Cuba, the project went forward under the "pathetic illusion" of deniability, the report said.

Castro's forces easily turned back the April 1961 assault at the Bay of Pigs, killing 200 rebel soldiers and capturing 1,197 others, who were later turned over to U.S. authorities.

The fiasco at the swampy, mosquito-ridden inlet on Cuba's southern coast was a watershed for the CIA, puncturing the air of invincibility it had acquired with its successes in helping topple Iran's president in 1953 and Guatemala's leader in 1954.

It was also a major foreign policy disaster for the Kennedy administration, tarnishing its "Camelot" sheen and frustrating its young president. Yet it also hardened his determination to get rid of Castro, evident in subsequent assassination plots that became subject of congressional investigations.

CIA officials and Cuban exiles believed Kennedy's failure to approve air strikes to back up the seaborne invaders doomed the plan.

But the report, by CIA Inspector General Lyman Kirkpatrick, placed the blame directly on CIA leaders, saying they had "failed to advise the president, at an appropriate time, that success had become dubious and to recommend that the operation therefore be canceled."

The report so outraged CIA officials that all but one of the 20 copies produced was destroyed.

CIA officials feared that if the document leaked, it could provoke crippling public criticism of the agency. "In unfriendly hands, it can become a weapon unjustifiably (used) to attack the entire mission, organization, and functioning of the agency," CIA deputy director C.P. Cabell wrote in a December 15, 1961, memorandum.

The sole remaining copy of the report remained in the CIA director's safe until last week, when it was released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the National Security Archive, a non-profit group in Washington.


Best Regards in Research. Honored to be yours in the pursuit of The Truth,


Don Roberdeau

U.S.S. John F. Kennedy, CV-67, "Big John," Plank Walker

Sooner, or later, the Truth emerges Clearly






T ogether

E veryone

A chieves

M ore



"It is inconceivable that a secret intelligence arm of the government has to comply with all the overt orders of the government?"

- the C.I.A.'s JAMES J. ANGLETON in executive session testimony to the "Church Committee," as repeated to ANGLETON by Senator SCHWEIKER; Church Committee, Hearings, Vol. II

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The declassification that Don refers to in 1998 spurred a new round of revisionism, one of the most glaring of these attempts was by former Col. Jack Hawkins, who was assigned to the CIA in early 1961. His story is revealing of the disingenuous manipulations of the CIA before, during and after the Bay of Pigs.

Kennedy never gave up on his prohibition of American military forces. The president was therefore strongly influenced by a telegram he received from Col. Jack Hawkins, who, after inspecting the Cuban exile force, wrote that they “do not expect help from the U.S. armed forces.” Ken O’Donnell, the president’s Chief of Staff, recalled that the colonel’s report “glowed with approval, and that Kennedy told him it was “this impressive message . . . that finally prompted him to give the go-ahead.” Interestingly, Hawkins himself recorded after 35 years of silence (in 1998), following the declassification of his information, that he had quite a different story to tell. He claimed that he and the Chief of the Cuba Project went to the CIA’s Richard Bissell, “to attempt to dissuade him from continuing with the operation.” He asserted that their motive was that they “did not want to be parties to the disaster believed lay ahead.” Hawkins’ appraisal was that “it had become obvious that the military requirements for a successful operation and the President’s insistence on plausible deniability were in irreconcilable conflict.” Nowhere in his 1998 article did Col. Hawkins seek to address the discrepancy between his glowing telegram to the president and his warning to the Deputy Director for Plans of the CIA. The contradictory versions of people such as Hawkins, who were responsible for the information upon which Kennedy had to rely, are indicative of the kind of the duplicity practice by the CIA, both then and now.

Ken O'Donnell said this: ". . . the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the CIA must have been assuming all along that the President would become so worried at the last minute about the loss of his own prestige that he would drop his restriction against the use of U.S. forces and send the Marines and the Navy jets into the action."

I understand that many felt betrayed by Kennedy, but a great deal of that is nonsensical, given the findings of the Taylor Report, including the part I've mentioned about the CIA encouraging the Cubans to launch the invasion, even if Kennedy ordered otherwise. But these Cubans, like Luis Posada Carilles and his decades of resentment, were well described by Michael Moore:

"A quick look at their efforts resembles an old Keystone Kops movie. The Bay of Pigs is their best-known fiasco. It had all the elements of a great farce—wrong boats, wrong beach, no ammo for the guns, no one shows up to meet them, and finally, they are left for dead, wandering around a part of their island completely unfamiliar to them (their limo drivers, I guess, had never taken them there in the good old days). This embarrassment was so monumental the world hasn’t stopped laughing—and the Miami Cubans have never forgotten or forgiven this. Say “Bay of Pigs” to any of them, and you might as well be a dentist with a drill on a raw, decaying nerve."

In remarkable contrast to recent assertions on another forum that over 2,000 men involved in the Bay of Pigs were "all ultimately murdered by Castro's assassination squads," only 114 of the men in the Brigade died. That's about five percent of the exaggerated figure. 1,189 men were captured and later freed. 150 were unable to land or were never shipped out or were able to make their way back.


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