Bay Of Pigs Essay Research Paper What

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Bay Of Pigs Essay, Research Paper What was the Bay of Pigs fiasco? The failure of the invasion of Cuba in April, 1961 by 1500 CIA-trained anti-Castro expatriates. This event is generally attributed to President Kennedy’s loss of nerve at the critical moment, when he cancelled the air strikes which were supposed to incapacitate Castro’s air force. As a result, more than a hundred men were killed, the rest surrendered, and Cuban refugees and exiles in America never forgave Kennedy for the event. Did President Kennedy take responsibility for what happenned? Kennedy did assume full public responsibility for what he too considered a disaster, as he should have. Privately, though, he blamed the CIA, and fired the three top men in the agency responsible for the operation:

Director Allen Dulles, Deputy Director Gen. Pearr Cabell, and Deputy Director for Plans (now called Operations) Richard Bissell. Immediately after the failed invasion, on April 22, Kennedy ordered Gen. Maxwell Taylor, the President’s special military representative, Admiral Arleigh Burke, the Chief of Naval Operations, Dulles, and Robert Kennedy, the Attorney General, to conduct a full investigation of why the invasion had failed. This was submitted on June 13, 1961, but did not become available to the public until twenty years later, when a transcript of the report was published as a book called Operation Zapata (University Publications of America, 1981). “Operation Zapata” was the code name for the invasion. The first thing to keep in mind is that Kennedy would not have

ordered this investigation if he felt he were truly responsible. He knew what he had and had not done, and obviously that did not go very far toward explaining how things had gone so wrong. What about the air strikes? Two air strikes were planned. The first one, on D-2 (Sat., April 15), was to be a bombing raid on two airfields (at Santiago and San Antonio de Los Banos), accompanied by a “diversionary” landing of 160 men 30 miles east of Guantanamo. The landing did not take place, which is a good thing for the 160 men, who would obviously have been quickly captured or killed. The bombing raids did take place and destroyed a small number of Castro’s planes. But the logic behind this first strike was never clear. The B-26s, which were actually flown from Nicaragua, were meant

to look like Castro’s own planes, flown by defectors who shot up their own air field and then hightailed it for parts unknown, whence they would return in two days to carry out the definitive D-Day strike and provide air cover for the invasion. This would preserve “plausible deniability” from the U.S. point of view, i.e. the fiction that it was solely a Cuban exile operation. The ploy didn’t work, of course. Two of the bombers landed in Key West with their machine guns obviously not having been fired, and the Cuban ambassador denounced the attack as a U.S. plot in the U.N. the same day. Why did the CIA bother with this subterfuge? Who did they think would be fooled? How would it explain the 1500 men who would storm the beach? Why not hold the air strikes until D-Day? The

“defectors” story would have been just as convincing, or unconvincing, then as two days earlier. As it was, all the D-2 strike did was embarrass the U.S. and tip Castro and the whole world off to the likelihood of another attack. Taylor summarizes the controversy surrounding the D-2 strikes as follows: These strikes were for the purpose of giving the impression of being the action of Cuban pilots defecting from the Cuban Air Force and thus support the ficton that the D-Day landing was receiving its air support from within Cuba. The Joint Chiefs of Staff did not favor these D-2 air strikes because of their indecisive nature and the danger of alerting prematurely the Castro force. Mr. Bissell of CIA also later stated at a meeting on April 6 that CIA would prefer to conduct an