So, we have a very exceptional week in time, one in which the CIA’s largest paramilitary operation to date is being launched into Cuba and one in which one of its largest ever aerial campaigns will be launched against the Plain of Jars in Laos. Both operations involved volunteer U.S. military pilots and both involved immense risks of exposure.
Their were also multiple naval diversions and a considerable U.S. Navy task group off shore in international waters. Obviously the international political ramifications all this were enormous and you would think that a new President was going to need all the best high level counsel possible during the course of that week. Neither was an operation that would be over in a matter of hours, and the Laotian attacks were not scheduled to start before the Cuban landings were well under way.
As General Ven has pointed out on the Lancer forum, the Cuba project leader (Bissell) was later asked about Mr. Dulles’s absence. His reply was brief, suggesting that Dulles had a long scheduled appointment (Puerto Rico?) and that it might have given the Cuba landing away if he had changed his appointment. Now that sounds pretty weak to me, especially having learned about Laos as well as Cuba. And certainly Mr. Dulles was leaving not only the President but the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. swinging in the wind while he kept that appointment.
But remember, both the operations lasted over several days – and it appears that Dulles didn’t call into the office or touch base with the President about either operation? Is that really accurate, if he was in Puerto Rico and Air Force jet from Ramey AFBd could have had him back in hours after the landings started. And the embassy had secure teletype communications with D.C. So was Dulles really totally out of touch, did he make no effort to contact his boss – did JFK not attempt to obtain his advice? Isn’t this all a little casual? Did Dulles mention to his boss he would be out of town at that particular time?
Now that we know that Bissell himself had lots of apparently undocumented evening meetings about the project with JFK (as noted in Nexus) I begin to wonder if Dulles had ever been present and how much he know. And who was running the Laos attacks at the headquarters and White House level?
It just feels like there is some missing history here….we know that the CIA is still refusing to release a substantial part of its own investigation of the BOP operation, perhaps the answer to some of this is there….does someone not want to embarrass not just the Agency but one of its legendary leaders?