Sunday, December 29, 2013

Greg Burnham's COPA presentation proves Peter Kornbluh has it all wrong. JFK did not cancel any airstrikes at all.

Go to about the 15:00 minute mark for his talk on the Bay of Pigs.

Greg does a brilliant job on the Bay of Pigs and the lie that JFK was on the phone with Rusk when the dawn air raids were cancelled.  JFK did not order any cancellation.  And that the great Peter Kornbluh has it completely wrong.

This is the line on Wikipedia, when you put in "Bay of Pigs Invasion," and scroll down a bit till you see Phony War (16 April) [ Ironic title, eh?] 

Late on 16 April, President Kennedy ordered cancellation of further airfield strikes planned for dawn on 17 April, to attempt plausible deniability of US direct involvement.[71]  

This is my summation of Greg's presentation giving the appropriate citations.

Though JFK has been blamed for canceling a second air strike against Castro's remaining planes on April 16th the story simply is not true.  Could the President of the United Staes, while bound by the prohibition of NSC 5412/ 2 U.S. Navy jets to provide air cover? No. Memorandum #1 from the Cuban Study Group to President Kennedy, 19 "From its inception the plan had been developed under the ground rule that it must retain a covert character, that is it should contain no action which, if revealed, could not be plausibly denied by the United States and should look to the world as an operation exclusively conducted by Cubans. This ground rule meant, among other things, that no U.S. military forces or individuals could take part in combat operations." [ See FRUS 1961-1963 Vol X, Cuba, 1961-1962 p. 581-582.  Available online at -  Further, we also know that four days before the invasion, the project chief J.C. King sent an emergency cable to Col. Jack Hawkins from their base in Nicaragua where the Brigade 2506 was going to launch from, we had 16 B-26 bomber aircraft, and the cable reads, "A. Please advise emergency precedents if your experience during the last few days have in any way changed your evaluation of the brigade, and B. For your information the President has stated that under no conditions will U.S. intervene with any U.S. forces." [ FRUS 1961-1963 Vol X, Cuba, 1961-1962 p.221]  Col. Hawkins replies the same day.  He says, "My observations in the last few days have increased my confidence in the ability of this force to accomplish not only initial combat missions but also the ultimate objective of Castro's overthrow." [ IBID ] And the same Hawkins reply states, "The Brigade officers do not expect help from U.S. Armed Forces." [ FRUS 1961-1963 Vol X, Cuba, 1961-1962 p.222. ]

So, JFK has told them he's not going to send in U.S. forces, and they know before going in that they are not going to receive help from U.S. forces.  At a press conference on April 12, 1961 President Kennedy was asked, "How far would the U.S. go to help an uprising against Castro? JFK replied, "First, I want to say that there will not be, under any conditions, an intervention in Cuba by the United States Armed Forces. (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1961, p. 258)   Now, the Cuban Study Group consisted of four people, Gen. Maxwell Taylor, Allen Dulles, Admiral Arliegh Burke, Chief of Naval Operations, and Robert Kennedy.  They created a document [ See FRUS 1961-1963 Vol X, Cuba, 1961-1962 p - Document 232 Memorandum No. 2 From the Cuba Study Group to President Kennedy . Available online at -] titled "Immediate Causes of Failure of the Operation Zapata." Section 8 is crucial. "8. These causes for the ammunition shortage rested in turn on others which lay deeper in the plans and organization of this operation and the attitude toward it on the part of Government officials. The effectiveness of the Castro Air Force over the beach resulted from a failure to destroy the airplanes on the ground (particularly the T-33's whose importance was not fully appreciated in advance) before or concurrently with the landing. This failure was a consequence of the restraints put on the anti-Castro Air Force in planning and executing its strikes, primarily for the purpose of protecting the covert character of the operation. These restraints included: the decision to use only the B-26 as a combat aircraft because it had been distributed widely to foreign countries; the limitation of pre-landing strikes to those which could be flown from non-U.S. controlled airfields under the guise of coming from Cuban strips, thus eliminating the possibility of using jet fighters or even T-33 trainers; the inability to use any non-Cuban base within short turn-around distance from the target area (about nine hours were required to turn around a B-26 for a second mission over the target from Nicaragua); prohibition of use of American contract pilots for tactical air operations; restriction on munitions, notably napalm; and the cancellation of the strikes planned at dawn on D-Day. The last mentioned was probably the most serious as it eliminated the last favorable opportunity to destroy the Castro Air Force on the ground. The cancellation seems to have resulted partly from the failure to make the air strike plan entirely clear in advance to the President and the Secretary of State, but, more importantly, by misgivings as to the effect of the air strikes on the position of the United States in the current UN debate on Cuba. Finally, there was the failure to carry the issue to the President when the opportunity was presented and explain to him with proper force the probable military consequences of a last-minute cancellation."

So, the State Dept was concerned about air strikes into Cuba. The military knew if Castro gets his planes in the air the men are sitting ducks.  The CIA came up with a plan to use the B-26s to hit as many things on the ground as they can two days in advance. The planes would then land in Miami.  One of the pilots would claim to have been a defector from Cuba who blew up as much as he could before he left. The B-26 planes were disguised to look like Castro's planes. But, Castro goes to the U.N. and has a field day with pictures saying my planes look like this, and not what landed in Miami.  Adlai Stevenson  looked like an idiot because he was not briefed on the invasion. So, its Stevenson who pleads with his boss Secretary of State Dean Rusk to call off any second air strike meant to take out the rest of Castro's planes while they are on the ground on the planned day of the invasion.  Rusk calls McGeorge Bundy about this.  Bundy calls Charles Cabell and tells him to cancel the air strikes.  Cabell resists this idea.  Bundy says then you have to take it up with Rusk.  He does so. Cabell and Richard Bissell meet at Dean Rusk's office.  Did the president cancel the D-Day airstrikes? No.  Document 231, Memorandum No. 1 from the Cuban Study Group to President Kennedy [ See FRUS 1961-1963 Vol X, Cuba, 1961-1962 p. 588] section 43 tells us "At about 9:30 P.M. on 16 April, Mr. McGeorge Bundy, Special Assistant to the President, telephoned General C.P. Cabell of CIA to inform him that the dawn air strikes the following morning should not be launched until they could be conducted from a strip within the beachhead. Mr. Bundy indicated that any further consultation with regard to this matter should be with the Secretary of State." Section 44 tells us "General Cabell, accompanied by Mr. Bissell, went at once to Secretary Rusk's office, arriving there about 10:15 P.M./15/ (See Annex 21) There they received a telephone call from Colonel Jack Hawkins who, having learned of the cancellation of the D-Day strikes, called to present his view of the gravity of the decision. General Cabell and Mr. Bissell then tried to persuade the Secretary of State to permit the dawn D-Day strikes. The Secretary indicated that there were policy considerations against air strikes before the beachhead airfield was in the hands of the landing force and completely operational, capable of supporting the raids. The two CIA representatives pointed out the risk of loss to the shipping if the Castro Air Force were not neutralized by the dawn strikes. They also stressed the difficulty which the B-26 airplanes would have in isolating the battlefield after the landing, as well as the heavier scale of air attack to which the disembarked forces would be exposed. The Secretary of State indicated subsequently that their presentation led him to feel that while the air strikes were indeed important, they were not vital. However, he offered them the privilege of telephoning the President in order to present their views to him. They saw no point in speaking personally to the President and so informed the Secretary of State. The order cancelling the D-Day strikes was dispatched to the departure field in Nicaragua, arriving when the pilots were in their cockpits ready for take-off. The Joint Chiefs of Staff learned of the cancellation at varying hours the following morning."

So, no one, not Rusk, not Bissell, not Cabell, not Bundy, no one, no one called President Kennedy and said we want you to cancel the air strike set for D-Day.  Nor, did President Kennedy call anyone late at night on April 16, 1961 and say, about the airstrikes set for D-Day, forget about it.  IT DID NOT HAPPEN.  Yet, the lie is everywhere, the Bay of Pigs was a failure because JFK cancelled the air strikes.

In November of 1984 Dr. Jack B Pfeiffer of the CIA's history staff unsuccessfully tried to get his manuscript, "The Taylor Committee Investigation of the Bay of Pigs," declassified.  it was declassified about two years ago.  And in it we, unfortunately, find the lie about Secretary of State Rusk, General Charles Cabell, and Richard Bissell have JFK on the telephone.  This is a lie.  "Once again the reader is reminded of the comments which General Cabell made to Secretary of State Dean Rusk. during the course of the 16 April discussion on cancellation of the D-Day strikes. When Secretary Rusk had the President on the other end of the telephone line, Rusk accurately transmitted to the President Cabell's fears that if the strike were cancelled the success of the operation was in serious jeopardy--but to no avail.**"

[See - ]

No one from Secretary of State Dean Rusk's office calls and gets President Kennedy on the phone until 4:30 a.m. Thursday, April 17th.  Cabell went to Dean Rusk's home and they try to get jets from the U.S.S. Essex.  On page 242 of Dr. Pfeiffer wrote that "During the meeting General Cabell and Mr. Bissell were being questioned about the events leading up to the cancellation of the D-Day strike. General Taylor commented, "This was the time to take the issue to the President. The situation did not penetrate the Secretarial brain (he is referring to Secretary Rusk). By training, Secretary Rusk
is not prepared to deal with this kind of problem."

So, who cancelled the air strikes? Secretary of State Dean Rusk.  He intervened to cancel the airstrikes.  There never was a call to JFK.  There never was an order from JFK to cancel the air strikes.  It's all a lie to deflect criticism and attention away from the CIA.

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