The absence of any preparations for an organized uprising in Cuba,
and the assurances of military support given to the rebels in the landing force,
led President Kennedy to a bitter conclusion:
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.
JFK & BAY OF PIGS
How else, the President asked us, could the Joint Chiefs approve such a plan?
"They were sure I'd give in to them and send the go-ahead order to the Essex.
They couldn't believe that a new President like me wouldn't panic and try to save his own face.
Well, they had me figured all wrong."
JOHNNY WE HARDLY KNEW YE,
by Kenneth O'Donnell and David Powers, pages 305-320
"...Those of us who were with President Kennedy during the sad night in the White House when he heard the news of the defeat and capture of the Cuban rebels at the Bay of Pigs remember it as one of his most courageous moments. Any other President of the United States, especially one who had been in office for only three months, might have tried to save himself from such a humiliation by sending Marines and Navy jet fighters to beat back Fidel Castro's defending forces and to rescue the outnumbered invaders. Kennedy had made up his mind not to involve any American combat troops or planes in this fight between two Cuban political factions even though the rebels had his approval and the support and direction of his government's Central Intelligence Agency. When the reports of failure came from the beachhead, he refused to give in to his military advisers, who had accepted his earlier order against any American participation in the invasion, but now argured that we had to change the plan and send in American reinforcements to beat Castro and save the prestige of the United States. Kennedy firmly disagreed. As sorry as he felt for the stranded rebels on the beaches, he preferred the embarrassment of defeat to the use of American military force against a small and independent nation."
"'I'll take the defeat,' he said that night to the generals and admirals, 'and I'll take all of the blame for it.'"
"The Bay of Pigs operation, during its planning stages, was the most closely held secret of the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations, and most of us who usually shared the President's confidential problems were not included in the Bay of Pigs discussion meetings. The planning had been done over the previous year by CIA people under the direction of Allen W. Dulles, the highly respected head of that agency, and his deputy, Richard Bissell, with the knowledge and approval of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The President agreed, for security reasons, that the fewer new faces in the government brought into the discussions, the better kept the secret would be. He did not mention the project to me until he had given it his final approval, only a few days before the air strike and the landings."
"The President said then that the plan was so advanced when he came into office in January that it seemed almost impossible to cancel it. The brigade of fourteen hundred anti-Castro Cubans had been in training under CIA officers on a plantation in Guatamala for several months; they were fully armed and eager and ready to go into action. 'If we decided now to call the whole thing off,' the President said, 'I don't know if we could go down there and take the guns away from them.' The President was also under pressure not to postpone the takeoff date of the invasion force any longer. The government of Guatemala was worried about the presence of one thousand four hundred armed foreigners in its country. The President of Guatemala had asked President Kennedy to get the Cubans out of his republic before the end of April, which was then less than two weeks away. Intelligence reports said that Castro was about to receive MIG jets from the Soviet Union, along with Cuban pilots trained in Czechoslovakia to fly those fighter planes. The rebels had to stage their attack before the Russian planes were available for duty in Cuba. The President said he had finally agreed with some reluctance to approve the plan and the date of the landings, Monday, April 17, after the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff accepted his strict stipulation that no American forces could take part in the invasion. He mentioned that Dean Rusk had showed a lack of enthusiasm for the project but was willing to go along with it, provided that the President's insistence on no American military participation was scrupulously observed."
"I asked the President if any top official in the government had spoken against his support of the Cuban rebels in this planned revolt. 'Not one,' he said, 'unless you count Bill Fulbright among our top officials.' Senator Fulbright, in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had been told of the plan, and voiced strong opposition to it as a bad move in foreign relations that would bring discredit on the United States. The President asked Fulbright to repeat his disapproving argument at a meeting attended by Rusk, McNamara and two of the State Department's officers in charge of Latin-American affairs, Thomas C. Mann and Adolf Berle. None of the others at the table agreed with Fulbright."
"On the other hand, all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Allen Dulles were in favor of the expedition. Dulles was a legendary figure in the government, never known to have made a mistake. Kennedy's first move on the day after he was elected was to announce that he would reappoint Dulles as director of the CIA. On the Friday before D-Day, when he first talked to me about the Bay of Pigs invasion, the President showed me a message that he had received that morning from a Marine Corps colonel who had just made an inspection of the Cuban Brigade at its camp in Guatemala. The message glowed with approval. The colonel reported that he was confident that the Cubans in the task force were highly capable of carrying out their combat mission and going on from there to overthrow Castro. It was this impressive message from the colonel, Kennedy told me, that finally prompted him to give the go-ahead."
"On the following Tuesday night, when the confirmed news of the complete failure of the invasion and the capture of the greatly outnumbered rebels reached the White House, President Kennedy had little to say to anybody. Pierre Salinger and I watched him walk out of his office into the Rose Garden. We waited while he stayed in the garden alone for almost an hour. I remember saying to Pierre, 'He must be the loneliest man in the world tonight.'"
"During the next few days he made it plain to all of us that he wanted no blame for the failure placed on anybody except himself. One member of the White House staff planted a story in the newspapers charging President Eisenhower with responsibility for the Bay of Pigs fiasco because the plan had been originally approved and supported by Eisenhower. Stewart Udall, the Secretary of the Interior, made the mistake of echoing the charge in a television interview. The President was incensed. Knowing which staff member had started the original Blame Eisenhower campaign, the President called him and said, 'Tell Stu Udall I don't want to hear any more about Eisenhower.'"
"Arthur Schlesinger, who had acted as an intermediary between the President and the leaders of the exiled Cuban Liberal Revolutionary Council in the United States, also had written a memorandum to Kennedy, endorsing Fulbright's opposition to the invasion on political and diplomatic grounds. In his book on the Kennedy years in the White House, A Thousand Days, Schlesinger recalls a discussion that he attended before Kennedy's first postmortem Bay of Pigs press conference at which the President stressed that all of his senior advisers had backed the expedition but he alone was finally responsible for it. The President said to the group, 'There is only one peson in the clear--that's Bill Fulbright. And he probably would have been converted if he had attended more of the meetings.' Mac Bundy, who was present, reminded the President that Schlesinger was also on the record as having been opposed to the invasion. 'Oh, sure,' Kennedy said with a smile. 'Arthur wrote me a memorandum that will look pretty good when he gets around to writing his book on my administration. Only he better not publish that memorandum while I'm still alive. And I have a title for his book--Kennedy: The Only Years.'"
"At the press conference that followed, the President made his widely quoted remark about the second-guessing on the Bay of Pigs disaster, 'There's an old saying that victory had a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan' Schlesinger asked him later where he had gotten the highly appropriate line. 'Oh, I don't know,' he said. 'It's just an old saying.' But subsequent research showed no evidence that the supposed old saying had ever been said or written by anybody before Kennedy."
"As much as he insisted on taking all of the blame and responsibility for the Bay of Pigs defeat in public statements, President Kennedy felt free in private talks with a few of us to point out the big flaw in the military plan of the operation. He wondered why the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the CIA had expected the small landing force of one thousand four hundred rebels to survive in Cuba without help and reinforcements from one of the only two possible sources--either from inside the island, from internal uprisings, sabotage and armed attacks on the Castro forces by underground revolutionists timed to coordinate with the landings, or from outside military support by American troops and air cover. When the Joint Chiefs and the CIA agreed to the Presiden'ts strict ruling against American military participation in the assault, he assumed that plans had been set for a widespread uprising against the Castro government inside Cuba."
"Soon after the collapse of the invasion attempt, when he began to find out the details, the President was shocked to discover that there had been no plans for a coordinated revolt in Cuba. The leaders of the organized anti-Castro underground movement in Havana did not even know the date of the landings. 'Everybody in Miami knew exactly when those poor fellows were going to hit the beaches,' President Kennedy said to us, 'but the only people in Cuba who knew about it were the ones who were working in Castro's office.' The exiled Cuban leaders in New York and Miami, who were supposed to take over the government in Havana if the invasion succeeded, said that the CIA had discouraged them from alerting their followers in Cuba on the grounds that spreading such information would endanger the secrecy of the expedition."
"At the same time, the CIA officers who were working in Guatamala with the leaders of the invasion force assured them that they would be getting strong American military support. The Cubans were told that the Navy's aircraft carrier Essex would be standing offshore near the Bay of Pigs, as indeed it was, and that U.S. Marines and Navy jets would be available when needed."
"The absence of any preparations for an organized uprising in Cuba, and the assurances of military support given to the rebels in the landing force, led President Kennedy to a bitter conclusion: 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."
"How else, the President asked us, could the Joint Chiefs approve such a plan? 'They were sure I'd give in to them and send the go-ahead order to the Essex,' he said one day to Dave Powers. 'They couldn't believe that a new President like me wouldn't panic and try to save his own face. Well, they had me figured all wrong.'..."
"As General Douglas MacArthur remarked privately to the President, he was lucky to have learned so much about the value of his military advise from an operation like the Bay of Pigs disaster, where the strategic cost was small..."
"The Bay of Pigs experience brought several significant changes in the Kennedy administration. The operations and authority of the CIA which had had a free hand under Eisehnower, were limited and tightened. Allen Dulles retired with Kennedy's sympathetic good wishes, and was replaced by John McCone, a former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. The White House staff became more involved in foreign and defense affairs. McGeorge Bundy's office was moved from the Executive Office building across the stret to the basement of the White House, close to the President's communications center, where he took on more responsibility in military intelligence. General Maxwell Taylor was called out of retirement to be Kennedy's military advisor, and later became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And Bobby Kennedy took on a larger general role as his brother's personal troubleshooter..."
"But nobody told President Kennedy what do do. Bobby knew with a brother's instinct just how far he could go in arguing against the President before running into a cold and final wall of disapproval. The President was much the toughest of the Kennedy brothers..."
"It is often said that the experience of the Bay of Pigs was a blessing because it gave President Kennedy an understanding of the militlary pressures that he had to resist in order to keep the world at peace during the later tensions of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Bay of Pigs disaster also did all of us an invaluable service by serving as the frustration that turned President Kennedy to bringing Bobby into the high councils of the government, where Bobby strengthened and carried out his brother's resistance to a nuclear war as perhaps no other adjutant could have done."
"The Kennedy brothers seldom mentioned or displayed openly their deep feeling for each other. Dave Powers, who was probably closer to the President than anybody outside of the Kennedy family, remembers him speaking warmly of Bobby only once, on the black Saturday of October 27, 1962, at the height of the Cuban missile crisis. Time was running out. The air strike against the Soviet bases in Cuba that the President had been striving to avoid all week could not be postponed much longer. While the President sat with Dave that night in the White House, sharing a dinner of warmed-over broiled chicken, he talked about Bobby's determined stand against such advocates of an air attack as John McCOne, Dean Acheson, Douglas Dillon, Maxwell Taylor, Paul Nitze and Mac Bundy at meetings where the President was absent, about how Bobby later brought Dillon, Taylor and Bundy around to supporting the President's plan for a naval blockade of Cuba instead of a war-provoking bombing strike, about Bobby's repeated meetings with Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin, and about Bobby drafting the President's conciliatory reply to Khruschev's first tentative offer to remove the Soviet missiles from Cuba. Then the President paused thoughtfully for a moment, and said, 'Thank God for Bobby.' It is hard to believe that both of these brothers, who did so much to prevent an outbreak of violence between the world's two great nuclear powers, were later struck down in violent deaths themselves." [end quoting from Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye by O'Donnell/Powers]
JFK fired Allen Dulles (from the CIA in 1961 after discovering his role in the the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Allen Dulles served on the Warren Commission that investigated the assassination of JFK in 1963. Allen Dulles brother was Secretary of State under Eisenhower when the United States did nothing to support anti-communist uprisings in East Germany (1953) and Hungary (1956). See JFK VISITS BERLIN.
CONGO IS LUMUMBA LAND (...There was something about Lumumba which bugged Eisenhower....Lumumba was irreverent about American Presidents, and determined to bring Congolese mineral assets under Congolese, rather than outside, control. He wanted Lumumba out. Who would rid him of this turbulent black? 'It was perfectly clear to me,' said Richard Bissell later, 'reading some of the cables and also some of the minutes of at least one special group meeting, that Eisenhower certainly wanted Lumumba got out of the way. Put on a great deal of pressure to have it done. 'Normally (if that is the word) a request for the assassination of a foreign leader would have been left in the hands of Richard Bissell. But Bissell was away on holiday, yachting peacefully off Connecticut, so Allen Dulles [director of CIA] told the President that he would personally see to the affair and would put Richard Helms in charge of the details. A few days later Helms produced a blueprint for the 'elimination'...). Go to GOMA'S LUMUMBA VOLCAN0 and JFK CRIED FOR CONGO
LSD project at CIA uncovered (administered LSD & electric shock to unwitting human subjects; brainchild of Allen Dulles). Washington Post, Jun 16, 2005
THE MILITARY ARE MAD
USA APPLAUDS CHINA TAKE CARRIBEAN (Beijing's growing economic clout is tipping scales in Western Hempishere). ABC News, Feb 23, 2005.
JFK'S ICH BIN FREE HAVANA and JFK'S ICH BIN EIN BERLINER SPEECH
China, Cuba seek closer ties (behind the scenes it is also expected that military ties will be strengthened). BBC, Nov 23, 2004
PANAMA FALKLAND REVELATIONS (USA gave Panama Canal to Communist Chinese and British ships carried nukes to Falkland War)
JFK & RFK ASSASSINATION DETAILS
JFK TRUTH & UNTRUTH
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