Official History of the Bay of Pigs

The Official History of the Bay of Pigs

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OHBP Vol 1 Part 3 PDF

This Volume focuses on Air Operations. The author is obviously a CIA historian, who was in their employ. Pfeiffer gets a lot of this right as far as reportage goes. However, he continues to obfuscate the record by drawing erroneous conclusions based on faulty, unsupported assertions in key areas. He “almost” gets it right. Unfortunately, he would apparently prefer to miss the mark rather than allow the real blame to fall where it should: CIA screwed the pooch.

When the opportunity to speak to the president was offered to Cabell and Bissell in order to prevent an imminent disaster that a misconceived instruction from the Secretary of State was about to cause–they declined. The President never cancelled any planned airstrikes nor was he made aware that such was even being contemplated. The record is clear on this.

According to Cabell and Bissell’s own account of the events as they unfolded, which was memorialized in a letter to General Maxwell Taylor of the Cuban Study Group immediately following the fiasco, the President was not made aware of the cancellation of the airstrikes (planned to depart Nicaragua at about midnight) until the following morning long after it was too late.

The only time that Cabell spoke to JFK on the phone was at Secretary of State Dean Rusk’s residence on the morning of the invasion.

There was NO contingency plan that would have employed any US military personnel or equipment in this operation. Quite the contrary–it was PROHIBITED from its inception as per the restrictions imposed under National Security Council Directive 5412 /2.  So when Cabell idiotically requests jet fighter cover from the USS Essex, JFK refused. It was not a viable option.

That Cabell and Bissell refused Rusk’s offer for them to speak with the President the night before, but not the morning after, remains suspect. History has often placed the blame for the disaster on JFK’s refusal to provide “promised air support” presumably from the USS Essex when requested to do so by Cabell. The only problem with that “history” is that it is false. US air support had never been promised.  Indeed, it was made clear that there would not–under any circumstances–be any US military involvement in the operation.

OHBP Vol 2  PDF
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