“After more than twenty years, it appears that fear of exposing the Agency’s dirty linen, rather than any significant security information, is what prompts continued denial of requests for release of these records. Although this volume may do nothing to modify that position, hopefully it does put one of the nastiest internal power struggles into proper perspective for the Agency’s own record.”
Tom Blanton — National Security Archive Director
Washington, D.C. October 31, 2016 – The CIA today released the long-contested Volume V of its official history of the Bay of Pigs invasion, which it had successfully concealed until now by claiming that it was a “draft” and could be withheld from the public under the FOIA’s “deliberative process” privilege. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
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National Security Archive Director Tom Blanton said:
“Now the public gets to decide for itself how confusing the CIA can be. How many thousands of taxpayer dollars were wasted trying to hide a CIA historian’s opinion that the Bay of Pigs aftermath degenerated into a nasty internal power struggle?”
Archive senior analyst and Cuba Project Director Peter Kornbluh notes:
“We know now why the CIA attempted to cover up this document for so long. It is a vivid historical example of what Pfeiffer called ‘the agency’s dirty linen’ that CIA officials never wanted to air in public.”
Bay of Pigs Invasion what really happened?
The Bay of Pigs Invasion, known in Latin America as Invasión de Playa Girón (or Invasión de Bahía de Cochinos or Batalla de Girón), was a failed military invasion of Cuba undertaken by the CIA-sponsored paramilitary group Brigade 2506 on 17 April 1961. A counter-revolutionary military, trained and funded by the United States government’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Brigade 2506 fronted the armed wing of the Democratic Revolutionary Front (DRF) and intended to overthrow the increasingly communist government of Fidel Castro. Launched from Guatemala, the invading force was defeated within three days by the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces, under the direct command of Prime Minister Fidel Castro.
The Cuban Revolution of 1952 to 1959 had forced dictator Fulgencio Batista, an ally of the United States, into exile. He was replaced by the 26th July Movement led by Castro, which severed the country’s formerly strong links with the US after expropriating American economic assets, and developing links with the Soviet Union, with whom, at the time, the United States was engaged in the Cold War. US President Dwight D. Eisenhower was concerned at the direction Castro’s government was taking, and in March 1960, Eisenhower allocated $13.1 million to the CIA to plan Castro’s overthrow. The CIA proceeded to organize the operation with the aid of various Cuban counter-revolutionary forces, training Brigade 2506 in Guatemala.
Over 1,400 paramilitaries, divided into five infantry battalions and one paratrooper battalion, assembled in Guatemala before setting out for Cuba by boat on 13 April 1961. Two days later on 15 April, eight CIA-supplied B-26 bombers attacked Cuban air fields and then returned to the US. On the night of 16 April, the main invasion landed at a beach named Playa Girón in the Bay of Pigs. It initially overwhelmed a local revolutionary militia. The Cuban Army’s counter-offensive was led by José Ramón Fernández, before Castro decided to take personal control of the operation. On 20 April, the invaders finally surrendered, with the majority of troops being publicly interrogated and put into Cuban prisons.
The failed invasion strengthened the position of Castro’s leadership as well as his ties with the USSR. This led eventually to the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
The invasion was a major embarrassment for US foreign policy. US President John F. Kennedy ordered a number of internal investigations across Latin America.
One Year Ago — CIA Releases Controversial “Bay of Pigs” History