There is a real temptation among those interested in the JFK assassination to look at the personalities and events – as well as “practices” – of 1963 as being unique. I had hoped that with the research and publication in Shadow Warfare, I could bring a broader perspective and those that have read it generally seem to agree. The frustrating thing is that it has either not come to the attention of or been read by very many people, especially within the JFK community. That may be because increasingly there is a real reliance on internet sources….which can be really a bad thing considering how many myths, legends and misinformation that readily floats on the net. On the other hand, if you focus on actually historical sites and archives there is great material…it takes a bit longer to find it but it’s well worth the trouble. The following is largely derived from such a study, which you can find for yourselves in the following publication:
ww.history.navy.mil/museums/hrnm/files/daybook/pdfs/vol9issueone.pdf
In working on updates to my forthcoming 2015 book on national security, I happened to revisit the Bay of Pigs, with a particular interest in one of the things that has troubled me for some time. It’s something that appears in most JFK books and is stated either without much elaboration or as something to be taken for granted. However, since we have the CIA IG report, the Taylor Commission report and the CIA internal rebuttal to the Taylor Commission all online, the question of why there were Navy jet strike aircraft off Cuba, why there was an aircraft carrier there, and why there was apparently a much larger Navy force including a Marine landing Brigade should come to mind when one reads all those reports.
After all, from the beginning, the Eisenhower era plan had involved landing a guerrilla force and even the altered plan of early 1961 had called for a very low profile, night landing with absolutely no overt involvement by the American military. Captain Jake Scapa had from the beginning been assigned to work with the CIA operation, primarily on its amphibious elements – he was assistant chief of plans and operations at the Navy’s Little Creek Amphibious base.
If you dig into the plans and reports, the only noted assignment of Navy ships was to provide a screening force of destroyers to remotely shadow the smaller landing craft from Nicaragua – to provide aid in case there were mechanical or other problems and to shield the group from vessels that might cross its path. They were to be turned away under cover of a Navy exercise in progress. The basic “shadow” force was designated as Task Force Able, it operated under the operational designation “Bumpy Road” and consisted of an anti-submarine task group including an ASW carrier (with helicopters and propeller driven aircraft capable of using depth charges), ostensibly deployed for exercises. It is not unusual to find such groups accompanied by a submarine and two submarine did deploy with Task Force Alpha operation. The force had been scheduled for exercises off Rhode Island but those exercise were simply moved to the Caribbean.
It appears that Task Force Alpha also contained a Navy element not discussed in any real detail in the post Bay of Pigs inquiries – the ASW carrier USS Essex flew off its normal complement of helicopter and propeller aircraft and was reportedly stocked with a variety of ordinance for land strikes. The carrier was also accompanied by a CIA officer. After debarking and while at sea, the Essex took on board a flight of Navy jet attack aircraft – a dozen of A-4 jets were deployed out of squadron AS-34. The referenced article on the operation suggests that as far as the Navy was concerned the original, Trinidad landing, version of the invasion plan was to be supported by Naval air strikes and combat air patrols over the landing area – yet historically there has never been any suggestion of that in the plans reportedly presented to President’s Eisenhower or Kennedy. Beyond that, the Admirals in charge appear to have taken their own initiative to significantly increase the force by activating a second carrier (the USS Independence), a light cruiser (the USS Galveston), a full Marine Landing Brigade and two full additional squadrons of destroyers.
Once again this seems far beyond the scope of any known plan and was apparently done without the knowledge of the White House or President. This is an area that has never been clear in regard to the Bay of Pigs and some friends have volunteered to help me with a FOIA project that may reveal more. Wish us luck!
This incident is simply one more illustration that there have often been serious disconnects between the Commander in Chief and the military service’s senior officers. Everyone knows about Truman and MacArthur, most do not know that Eisenhower pursued military legal measures against some of his former Chiefs – even after their retirement. Which brings us back to my basic point, which is that we need as much perspective as we can get in historical studies.

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About Larry Hancock

Larry Hancock is a leading historian-researcher in the JFK assassination. Co-author with Connie Kritzberg of November Patriots and author of the 2003 research analysis publication titled also Someone Would Have Talked. In addition, Hancock has published several document collections addressing the 112th Army Intelligence Group, John Martino, and Richard Case Nagell. In 2000, Hancock received the prestigious Mary Ferrell New Frontier Award for the contribution of new evidence in the Kennedy assassination case. In 2001, he was also awarded the Mary Ferrell Legacy Award for his contributions of documents released under the JFK Act.

8 responses »

  1. Ingemar says:

    “The referenced article on the operation ( http://www.history.navy.mil/museums/hrnm/files/daybook/pdfs/vol9issueone.pdf ) suggests that as far as the Navy was concerned the original, Trinidad landing, version of the invasion plan was to be supported by Naval air strikes and combat air patrols over the landing area – yet historically there has never been any suggestion of that in the plans reportedly presented to President’s Eisenhower or Kennedy.” ( My italics – Ingemar )

    That is true, Larry. Eisenhower nor Kennedy ordered this part of the “Trinidad” plan. This operation was part of the amphibious assault. It was Vice-President Nixon who pressured his military aide Robert Cushman and it was he ( having an amphbious warfare background ) who suggested the amphibious assault. That is why Ernest Whetsell Sparks was replaced with Jack Hawkins, who like Cushman, had an amphibious warfare background. Sparks then became the boss of the Chiefs of Base in Guatemala ( the Cubans knew him as “Sitting Bull” ) and the liaison of the Chief of Station Robert K. Davis. Sparks was the one who told Frank Egan to tell the Cubans about this US Navy air cover, mentioned in the referenced article.

    “Once again this seems far beyond the scope of any known plan and was apparently done without the knowledge of the White House or President.”

    I do not completely agree with you. It was done with the knowledge of the White House, but it was VP Nixon who had that knowledge ( the VP – military aide – CIA-connection ).

    “This is an area that has never been clear in regard to the Bay of Pigs [ … ].”

    Well, I tried to shed some light on this matter while commenting on your September 13, 2013 post called “In the Shadows” : https://larryhancock.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/in-the-shadows/

    “Cushman was very much involved in the preparations of the Bay of Pigs operation in 1960, pressured by Richard Nixon. I believe that Cushman was the one who came up with the idea of an amphibious assault and asked David M. Shoup to assign an amphibious warfare expert to the C/WH/4 staff. Cushman also suggested that the US Marines could jump in when necessary. From then on the operation shifted from a guerilla operation into an amphibious assault. Fletcher Prouty believed and has stated that the CIA was responsible for the shift of the operation, but I believe it was Richard Nixon.”

    “I have read Nexus and I do not agree with you about the time frame of the shift and the idea originating with Bissell.
    Hawkins started on 01 September, 1960 which means that the decision for the shift had been taken before that date. I consider the time frame summer 1960.
    Bissell did not have a military background, but Cushman did. Cushman was pressured by Nixon and was his “coordinator among the various government agencies. ” ( Wyden, p. 29 and Trumbull Higgins, The Perfect Failure, p. 51 and p. 63 ). Nixon wanted something to happen very fast and he had Cushman to manage that.

    I do agree with you that Eisenhower did not know what Nixon was up to and as a military man Eisenhower would never have approved an amphibious assault.”
    “Upon his return to the United States in May 1945, Lt. Col. Cushman was stationed at Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, for three years. During that period he completed the Senior School, served as an instructor in the Command and Staff School, and during the latter two years was Supervisory Instructor, Amphibious Warfare School. In June 1948, he was named Head of the Amphibious Warfare Branch, Office of Naval Research, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.” ( Wikipedia ).”

    “I believe that after talking to Nixon, Dulles told Bissell to deal with Cushman, Nixon’s
    “coordinator among the various government agencies. ” ( Wyden, p. 29 and Trumbull Higgins, The Perfect Failure, p. 51 and p. 63 ). I also believe that Dulles told Kennedy that he followed orders from the White House, but he did not tell Kennedy that those orders came from Nixon instead of Eisenhower. So, Kennedy checked with Eisenhower to find out that Eisenhower had not approved an amphibious assault. Then Kennedy knew that Dulles either had not checked whether Eisenhower had approved an amphibious assault or that Dulles did check but ignored Eisenhower.

    Joachim Joesten has written ( back in 1962 ) that Eisenhower had two options : An amphibious assault by the Marines or a covert CIA guerilla-infiltration operation. Eisenhower chose the covert option which also is an indication that he never would have approved an amphibious assault as a second track.
    In the end it was Nixon who was responsible for this shift, not Bissell.
    Additional source : Anthony Summers, The Arrogance of Power, pp. 185 – 186.”

    “Nixon’s Push :

    “As another chapter of the Cold War, in March 1960, President Eisenhower had approved the beginnings of a clandestine campaign against Fidel Castro in Cuba. Later, during the summer of 1960, while Vice President Richard Nixon was stepping up his campaign to succeed Eisenhower, the VP secretly met with the NSC, urging more action against Castro.” ( Fletcher Prouty, JFK, p. 100 ).

    The result of this was track two : the amphibious assault as a second track parallel to the guerilla-infiltration track. To me it seems that the CIA just followed the NSC’s and the VP’s orders. But I also believe that Dulles should have checked with Eisenhower about the results of this secret meeting. It is speculation but it seems possible that Nixon wanted the US Armed Forces to participate in that amphibious assault ( in fact Cushman suggested that the Marines could jump in when necessary ) and that Nixon and Dulles did not want Eisenhower to know that. I mentioned in a previous post that Joachim Joesten has written in 1962 that Eisenhower had two options, the overt one ( US Marines ) and the covert one ( CIA operation ). Eisenhower chose the covert one and it would have been very unlogical that he would have approved the second track, which was in fact the other option that he did not choose a few months before. I believe that Nixon, Dulles, Cushman and the Joint Chiefs knew about Eisenhower’s decision not to choose the overt option and the reasons why he did not choose that option.
    Nixon and Cushman attented dozens of meetings about the Cuban project ( Anthony Summers, Arrogance of Power, p.185 and Lamar Waldron, Watergate, p. 99 ). The minutes and notes from almost all of these meetings with the CIA have still not been declassified. ( Lamar Waldron, Watergate, p. 99 ).
    On page 184 of Arrogance of Power Anthony Summers wrote : “He [ Nixon ] attended two hundred NSC meetings and presided over twenty-six of them. His assistant for NSC affairs, Brigadier General Robert Cushman, brought him a full intelligence briefing every morning.”
    “The agency had come to treat the vice president as its “friend at court” and made certain he received a regular flow of intelligence.”
    This last sentence reminded me of the VP Johnson – Burris – CIA connection described by John Newman ( JFK and Vietnam ) and I believe that this VP – militairy aide – CIA connection could very well have been ( and maybe still is ) one of those “methods and techniques” of the agency.

    If Nixon really wanted the US Armed Forces to participate in the amphibious assault with the necessary air cover and if that was communicated to the Anti-Castro Cubans, then it would explain why many of them believed and still believe that the US Armed Forces would help them. Of course, things changed and I believe that those changes were not communicated to many of them. Maybe because the CIA feared bad morale if they had communicated those changes to them.”

    As we all know : On March 11, 1961 Kennedy rejected the Trinidad plan. He then ordered a quiet landing at night at a remote area with minmal “noise”. On March 15 Kennedy read Bundy’s memo to found out that “Bissell’s militairy brain ( Bundy thinks this is Hawkins – my italics, Ingemar ) thinks that Castro’s Air Force can be removed by six to eight B-26’s”. Bundy did not know that Hawkins was not Bissell’s militairy brain as far as the air operations were concerned. It was Col. Stanley W. Beerli’s air operations staff that was responsible for that ( Lt. Col. George Gaines, Jr and Garfield M. Thorsrud a.o. ).

    • Very nice post as usual Ingemar. I suspect that you are very close to the truth of the matter, even though we have little or no actual primary documentation to prove it. Several things trouble me though and here are a few. 1) If Nixon played the role you describe, how did he do so officially? – he had no military authority as CIC and was not in any chain of command. 2) Officially the authority for JMARC and any operations associated it would have been direct from the President to the CIA director; any military assignments should have gone from the President through the SecDef to the Joint Chiefs or straight to the Joint Chiefs. 3) Normally the NSC principals would have been copied on such directives. As a NSC participant the VP might lobby the NSC members as he certainly had lobbied the NSC and Ike over supporting the French in SE Asia but he had no authority. 4) Nixon meeting with secretly with the NSC without the President’s knowledge on such a subject would have been highly improper unless he had officially been given a liaison role in the operation by the President (as JFK later gave RFK with the SGA and Cuban projects) – is there any sign of that? Also, could you give me the source for Prouty’s page 100 comment, that would be appreciated.

      You say the CIA followed Nixon’s “orders”, but what authority did he have to give any orders and if he did so without Ike’s knowledge would that not be treasonous? The way you describer Dulles, Cushman and the JCS accepting Nixon’s orders without Ike’s knowledge either implies they assumed that a) Nixon was just relaying them, b) IKE had approved them or c) all parties were acting treasonably against the known direction established by the CIC?

      So, all in all I can certainly understand the speculation that the military shift, including the dispatch of Navy ground attack aircraft had been somehow incited by Nixon, that Ike had not known and that when JFK doubled down on the covert option, everybody decided to dance around the overt side of things. But how do we prove that? Certainly the track 2 (overt support) you note shows up nowhere in the released IG report, nor the Taylor Commission report or the CIA’s own 1984 critique of the Taylor report. How does Nixon get off scott free in all of this and all the other parties end up looking like dunces?

      To me this is a big issue. Either we have a large piece of missing history, where JFK ended up taking the fall for an overt military operation that Ike had initiated but not communicated to the new president…in fact an overt track concealed under the aspect of a deniable operation. Or we have Nixon with undocumented authority and an overt track never exposed in any of the follow on BOP investigations. Or we have some sort of collusion to put an overt military operation in place and essentially disguise it up to the point of where JFK either put his foot down and demanded that it be covert and deniable – causing the shift from Trinidad, leaving the Essex at sea with a load of bombs and ordinance and a squadron of ground attack jets as well as a second naval force including a Marine landing group in the lurch. And if its the last option, how did that escape the attention of all the investigations?

      I certainly don’t have the answer but it appears that we have a real historical mystery on our hands. Ingemar, if you could drop me an email at larryjoe@westok.net I would appreciate it. I’d like to discuss this in more detail with you, thanks, Larry

      • I haven’t heard more from Ingemar yet but I remain very interested in documented evidence of Nixon’s involvement in covert or clandestine operations as well as evidence that he might have either taken that role for himself or that he was officially or unofficially assigned such a role by Eisenhower. Any book or other references on those questions would be most appreciated, you can either post or email it to me…thanks, Larry

      • Just a bit of an update, I continue to try and research this subject and at present am searching for Admiral Dennison’s oral history which covers the subject. Unfortunately while portions of his Oral History covering his service in the Truman years is online, the Bay of Pigs interviews are not.

        However, the further I look it appears to me that the real issue jelled on April 5, 1961. Just as the Essex was sailing (after having debarked its ASW aircraft and loading ordnance for attack planes) to covertly take on the attack jets at sea – JFK was requesting the Joint Chiefs to change the Rules of Engagement for the naval action to accompany the CIA operation. If you are interested you can find the document record on this at https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1961-63v10/pg_185

        Its becoming more and more clear that the ROE for the Trindad plan, presented to the Joint Chiefs by Dennison and approved by the Chiefs, involved Naval air support for the Trinadad landing, ranging from protection of the actual landing by Navy destroyers up to and including at least combat air cover by the jet attack planes. Whether or not it included ground attack is still to be determined but I suspect it did, at least in the local area of Trinidad. This begins to make all the sense in the world for the Admirals putting a secondary force on alert, including the Marine landing brigade. With the sort of overt Navy support in the initial rules of engagement, its very likely a base of operations could have been seized and defended long enough for a counter Castro government to call for assistance.

        However, on April 5 JFK made it quite clear that the rules of engagement needed to be changed and directed that the Navy had to go into combat to protect the landing, the operation should be aborted. Now I have to say at that point, it becomes clear that the whole scenario for the B-26 missions needed to be changed and Bissell et al should have made that clear. Since the Joint Chiefs were not running the operation, but only providing support as directed, it was not their place to say too much but from April 5 on it became a necessity that there should be sufficient pre landing strikes to take out the entire Cuban air force. Actually the Joint Chiefs had already gone on record in Feb that one surviving Cuban attack air craft could most likely destroy or disable an unprotected landing force.

        This also implies that at the instant the U-2 photos showed that a good amount of the Cuban air force remained intact either Bissell had to either order major secondary strikes himself or go to the mat with JFK arguing that the only other option was too abort. Now how in the world Dulles escaped entanglement in all this is another good question but right now what seems to emerge is that all the debate over the B-26 strikes is secondary to the April 5 decision to order a changed in the previous rules of engagement. You also begin to see why the Joint Chiefs were so determined not to take the blame (vs the CIA) in the Taylor inquiry; their stand was that they kept taking orders and doing what was requested …and the advice they provided was ignored, including a memorandum advising that the Trinidad plan had a better chance of success than the Zapata plan. Of course that was a bit of a “whiff” since the fundamental difference was in the extent of overt Navy combat support as much as in a relocation of the landing. If the Navy had retained its original ROE and sailed destroyers in to shell incoming Cuban forces, if the Navy attack planes had defended the beachhead and provided CAP it would have been a different story indeed. But the last chance of that had gone away on April 5 – with Bissell and company apparently deciding not to go to the wall on it and just forging ahead with the landing despite any following events.

        Again, if anybody checks the sources I’m linking in and finds I’m missing or misinterpreting something please drop me a note…

  2. I have always contended that the reason a carrier task force, including a Marine Landing Brigade, was standing by at the Bay of Pigs was that the plan had devolved to landing a 1400 man brigade at Playa Giron after a landing of about 150 men at Baracoa, led by Nino Diaz, the day before. The purpose of the smaller landing at Baracoa was to give them a day to position themselves to make an attack against the Guantanamo Naval Station, while wearing the uniforms of the Cuban Revolutionary Forces. A report by the base commander to Washington that they were under attack from Cuban Revolutionary Forces would give the Kennedy White House all the ammunition they needed to call for an invasion of Cuba, led immediately by Task Force Alpha, conveniently in the area on pilot certification exercises. This was intended to be Kennedy’s Gulf of Tonkin moment for Cuba. They had already bombed – albeit ineffectively – Castro’s air force and then presented planes decorated to look like Cuban Revolutionary Air Force craft, landed on US soil – defectors, as it were – and tried to pass them off to the press as such. The US Government would never have admitted the ploy if they had been more careful preparing the planes for Show and Tell with the press. But the press figured out the hustle and called them on it. So, we have ample evidence that things like this were definitely in their bag of tricks.

    It was the same poor planning and intelligence on the part of the US, not to mention the stunning speed with which Castro consolidated power and swept up the opposition, that led them to change the plan from a guerrilla operation in the Escambray Mountains with about 400 to 600 highly trained commandos, to an expat invasion force with a little side show guaranteed to give the President all the rationale he’d need to go before the American people and tell them he was just trying to protect the lives of American service personnel at Guantanamo. If you look at the plan for Operation Northwoods, a false flag operation against Guantanamo was one of the first steps they recommended to provide rationale for an invasion. And on the first day of the Cuban Missile Crisis, one of the first things Bobby Kennedy asked of McCone was if they could attack Guantanamo and make it look like the Cubans had done it.

    It is the Missing Link that explains every inconsistency at the Bay of Pigs.

    There is an evolution in the planning of the Bay of Pigs that runs the course of planning a guerrilla operation to organize the people against Castro, and then an admission that wasn’t going to work and a move to the invasion force plan, which would result in an uprising of the people against Castro, to an admission that there wouldn’t be much of an uprising if there was any at all, and the need for a better plan than dumping them on the beach and hoping for the best, which is the story that we’ve all bought for the last 50 years. But if you ask yourself any of the questions that baffle historians about the Bay of Pigs, consider asking the question with the certain knowledge that there would be a false flag operation against Guantanamo so we could send in the Marines.

    Why send such a small force to attack 20,000 Cuban troops and militia? Because the Marines were on their way, just as soon as Nino Diaz attacked Guantanamo.

    Why decrease and then cancel air raids meant to destroy Castro’s Air Force? Because the Carrier Task Force would assume air superiority after the attack on Guantanamo. Prior to that, more air strikes would have brought more outcry from the international community, like the first one did.

    Why refuse to send in the Marine Landing Brigade that had been embarked for the apparent purpose of a beachhead in Cuba? Because Nino Diaz couldn’t make the landing. And the reason he couldn’t was because the area the CIA had chosen was crawling with Cuban militia, as was the whole coastline in preparation for an invasion that Castro well knew was imminent.

    I think it would have sounded something like this:

    Bissell: Sir, the invasion is falling. We must send in the Marines.

    JFK: Well, I’d love to. But you haven’t given me the rationale you promised me, now, have you?

    You mention that the Carrier Task Force was beefed up without the knowledge of the White House. But the CIA and the JCS weren’t really playing well then, and I find it hard to imagine the JCS adding ships and material to the invasion force without orders. They were already fairly peeved that the CIA was taking on a paramilitary operation of this dimension anyway. So I just don’t see how the White House didn’t know.

    I understand that it’s like the Nino Diaz issue; there’s no document that we can point to showing that authorization. But that is the whole point of verbal orders, and the CIA used them all the time:

    “No assassination instructions should ever be written or recorded.” – CIA Assassination Manual

    • The Nino Diaz scenario is an interesting one, its been discussed a number of times and it certainly makes sense to me. The only problem was that apart from logic I could never find any facts to support it. There were other diversions in play early in the invasion, several of them staged by Navy ships including at least one sub. The thing is though, that if you really slog though all the detail in some three months of give and take about the plans, starting as soon as JFK took office, there is nothing at all like this scenario. What there is instead is JFK forcing them to document their plan and brief him on it and then his totally changing the Rules of Engagement – which would have involved both Navy air cover and destroyer escort as the brigade ships moved into dock at the initial point of insertion. Given that sort of immediate US involvement, there would have been no need for anything else as US and Cuban forces would no doubt have been immediately in combat – which is why the fighter bomber group was covertly deployed on the escort carrier.

      Yet JFK changed all that. Now I admit that it is possible that the CIA or more likely the CIA officers directly in charge may very well have worked up their own Nino Diaz gambit just as they had worked out their assassination project. But I see no sign anybody outside a specific group of officers who knew about that. Now if you want to posit dozens of meetings, tons of correspondence and memos and multiple alternative plans being presented and batted around once JFK became involved as a cover…OK, but it would have been a massive effort for no obvious purpose. And it would have been totally unnecessary under the original Eisenhower plan and rules of engagement.

      So, actually I think there may well have been something similar to what you describe, put into play by the same team of CIA offices that were running the assassination project. It would explain some of the horrendous decisions and outright lies to their staff by the project leader. From that standpoint both elements would make their actions almost look sane. But if true, I think it was totally compartmentalized for deniablity and they just paid the price once JFK actually took charge of things.

      • parkcitiespools says:

        Larry,

        I’ve been meaning to write back to you since shortly after receiving your response to my post on your blog. But things get in the way…

        I agree that there isn’t much to document the use of Nino Diaz’s unit as a false flag operation to enable the follow up invasion by the Marines. At least not on this side of the argument. From what I’ve been able to piece together from Cuban history as told by the Fidelistas, that’s a main plank in their interpretation of what happened then.

        On our side, there is scant evidence, except this excerpt from Mary Ferrell from the HSCA interview with James B. Wilcott; “There was ‘a contrived plot to secure a minimum basis to claim support after it was realized that truly valid minimum popular support could not be had. The original invasion plans were then changed to include the creation of an incident that would call for an all out attack by the US military. Kennedy was not to know of this change…one such plan was to somehow get Castro to attack Guantanamo by making him believe that rebels were attacking from there…’ ”

        The only others I could find on our side were mostly from Warren Hinckley and William Turner’s books, The Fish Is Red and Deadly Secrets. And while they were often laughed at in their time, much of what they uncovered in other areas of government malfeasance has proven to be painfully true.

        Here’s a link to the Mary Farrell page that lists the Wilcott quote and excerpts Hinckley and Turner:

        https://www.maryferrell.org/php/cryptdb.php?id=AMNORM-1

        Nino Diaz has written two books about his war time experiences. The second one deals specifically with the Bay of Pigs and his part in it. I have never seen it and can’t find a copy to buy. It is titled: Cuba, isla crucificada de America: Las experiencias vividas durante la invasion de Playa Mocambo y Playa Giron. I wonder if he talked at all about the supposed attack on Guantanamo.

        Again, I think that the reason that Kennedy changed his mind on the size and number of air strikes had to do with his assumption that they were going to send in the Marines as soon as Diaz finished his assignment.

        From what I’ve gathered in my life, that’s how the US enters conflicts, pretty much. Whether it’s at the Gulf of Tonkin or Colin Powell at the UN, or all the way back to 1844, when the US first offered to buy land on the border with Mexico, and when they were refused, occupied the land with US troops and waited for Mexico to attack. They did, as we had invaded their territory – why else would we have offered to buy it if we thought it was our territory? – and then we used that as our excuse to invade the whole country. False flag ops, and variations of it, seems to be the usual way that we enter conflicts of our choosing.

        Steve Riley

        >

      • Steve, I certainly hold the possibility of a Nino Diaz operation as an option but given the documented, original plan that Eisenhower approved it would not have been necessary. That plan called for sailing the Brigade ships right into the Cuban port and docking them, with Destroyer escort all the way in and a Rules of Engagement plan that called for immediate American combat if the Destroyers were fired upon as well as immediate close air support. You will find the details of that in my blog posts here. With that plan there would have been no need for any other trigger for full scale engagement. And that was the plan up to and beyond JFK’s election. Now having said that, you will also find that the attack was supposed to come off in December at the latest and Ike pushed hard for that, even suggesting some sort of provocation so that the Navy could go into action and move the Cubans in ASAP. As to the air cover thing, basically Bissell just lied to JFK and to his own people, telling JFK that limited air support was sufficient and it could all be deniable, off the strip at the beach selected. Of course Bissell was still holding the assassination hole card – but playing a really bad bet.

        Beyond that, personally I find the false flag thing discussed on occasion but more often I find us stumbling into international engagements rather than entering them in any type of cunning or even planned fashion. The best I can do in that regard is to refer you to Shadow Warfare. I think a reading of that will convince you that enter conflicts more much less in any planned fashion but rather more in the nature of someone looking at the horizon and walking into quicksand…sigh.

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