Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and Associ

Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:38 am


1. The first attempt at a clandestine air drop over Cuba took place on 28 September 1960. (By coincidence this was the same night as the first maritime operation.) A 100-man arms pack was dropped for an agent rated as having considerable potential as a resistance leader. The crew missed the drop zone by seven miles and dropped the weapons on a dam. Castro forces scooped them up, ringed the area, caught the agent and later shot him. The airplane got lost on the way back to Guatemala and landed in Mexico. It is still there.

2. This operation might have indicated an unpromising future for air drops. In fact, its failure was influential in persuading the chiefs of the project of the futility of trying to build up an internal resistance organization by clandestine means, and within the next few weeks the operational emphasis was beginning its fateful swing toward the overt strike-force concept. To this extent the portent of failure was heeded, but it did not suffice either to halt the air drops or to ensure arrangements for their success. The attempts went on and on with results that were mostly ludicrous or tragic or both.

3. On 26 December 1960, Headquarters received word that a Cuban agent, who had been given Agency training in this country, wanted an air drop of not more than 1,500 pounds of demolition and sabotage materiel and weapons. He clearly specified the layout and the location of the drop zone, and also the amounts and kinds of materiel desired. WH/4 cabled this requirement to the air base in Guatemala, where all the flights originated. However, the Development Projects Division (DPD) then cabled Guatemala that arms and ammunition would be dropped with food to make a maximum load, also 200 pounds of leaflets for a drop elsewhere. This cable was not coordinated with WH/4, which sent a message to the agent the following day stating that a cargo drop would take place as requested and that the weight would be 1,500 pounds.

Rice and Beans

4. A drop was made on 31 December. The 15-man reception team received, not only 1,500 pounds of materiel which was different from the original request because the specific items could not be packed in waterproof containers in time, but also 800 pounds of beans, 800 pounds of rice and 160 pounds of lard.

5. This was the only drop to this Cuban agent. He was so vexed with the drop that he came out of Cuba specifically to make a complaint and to cancel a succeeding drop which had been planned. He stated that he would not accept another drop, no matter what the cargo was. He pointed out that the Agency had endangered his safety by dropping cargo which he had not asked for, did not need, and could not handle. Furthermore, the aircraft had stayed in the vicinity too long, had flown with its landing lights on, had circled around and made numerous U-turns and even dropped propaganda leaflets on his property. He decided the Agency lacked the professional competence to make clandestine air drops.

6. This operation was recorded as "successful" by the Agency
because cargo was actually delivered to the people it was meant for. There were four such "successes" in all, out of 30 missions flown up to 21 April 1961. (The Fiscal Year 1961 budget called for 105 air drops.) The first of these took place on 30 December after numerous attempts beginning in mid-October. There were 13 unsuccessful attempts during January and February. The third success took place on 3 March, when three agents were dropped (previous attempts to drop them had been made on 7 February and 27 February). The fourth successful drop was on 29 March.

The Successful Drops

7. Except for the rice-and-beans drop, the successful drops were all to an agent who had been trained in air reception procedures by staff personnel at Headquarters.

8. The three cargo drops known to be successful were all made in the Pinar del Rio Province. In other words, practically all the supplies went to one small area of western Cuba. Small amounts are thought to have been received in Camaguey and Oriente, but none in Matanzas or Havana. Ten missions were flown into the Escambray at the request of an agent who had no training in air reception. Twice the cargo was not dropped because the drop zone was not located, and once the plane turned back because of bad weather. On the seven occasions cargo was dropped, it was either totally or in large part recovered by the Castro forces. Three times cargo was dropped blind, three times in the wrong place, and once on the drop zone when the reception committee was not there.

9. In all, about 151,000 pounds of arms, ammunition and equipment were transported by air. Not more than 69,000 pounds of this was actually dropped; the rest was returned to base. Of this 69,000 pounds, at least 46,000 pounds were captured by Castro forces, who recovered all or a large part of ten drops, compared with our agents, who recovered three. In other words, out of 75 tons which were air-lifted, paramilitary agents actually got about twelve (about enough to arm 300 men, figuring 7,500 pounds to a hundred-man pack).

10. Except for the one team, there were no clandestine personnel drops made or even attempted during the entire project.

Lack of Procedure

11. The agents on the ground did not have a standard procedure for air reception (most of them had not been trained). The location of drop zones were variously and insufficiently described by coordinates, sketches, or azimuths. In two operations the requesting agents did not even have maps of their areas. In one of these WH/4 headquarters, DPD and Miami Base each arrived at a different set of coordinates from the reference points given. In another case the coordinates given for a drop zone were in the ocean. Reception parties proposed to mark the drop zone with various bizarre and impractical patterns, such as: two red lights and one white light about 15 feet apart moving clockwise; an arrow 50 meters long with lights at two-meter intervals; lights in the form of a straight line with a sign in the middle lit up with Christmas lights (on this one, the crew at one point mistakenly identified cars on a road as the drop-zone signal); two crosses side by side; a triangle of three lights with a fourth light in the center. In some areas there were so many small lights in the vicinity that no pattern could be located. For one drop the agents made four proposals in rapid succession: no lights, a nine-man cross, a line of five bonfires, a 60-meter line of colored flashlights.

12. The standard light patterns taught by paramilitary instructors and generally accepted as best, were (a) an "L" of 4 lights; (b) a "T" of 5 lights; and (c) a cross of 6 lights. All lights should be 15 to 25 yards apart, with one light different from the others.

13. The Cuban air crews must share the blame for the failures, as must their trainers. Policy did not allow American observers to go along on the missions to correct the errors. Pilot discipline was lacking and instructions were not followed in numerous instances.

14. For example, one air crew, under specific orders to abort the mission if the drop zone was missed on the initial run and not to search for it or circle around, made four passes four miles away, according to the ground report (which added, "Pilots drunk or crazy.").

15. Another crew commander, under orders not to drop unless the T pattern was positively identified, elected to drop without seeing the T because he had a "positive feeling" that he was over the drop zone. Another aircraft remained in the drop zone area 41 minutes before dropping cargo.

Headquarters Direction

16. The Headquarters direction of these air drops left much to be desired. DPD, which controlled the crews and planes, never had a representative physically assigned to WH/4, and the two activities were operating in a divided command situation on the basis of mutual cooperation rather than generally accepted management practice and military command principles.

17. Daily consultation proved impossible although there was a requirement of it. There was trouble on cover stories, on funding, on security, and on cables, among other things. It was difficult to determine where the responsibilities of one component ended and those of the other began.

18. The WH/4 paramilitary chief recommended that the DPD unit be assigned to the chief of the task force for integration within his staff. But no action was ever taken, and the situation remained as described for the duration of the project.

19. WH/4 and DPD did not even agree on doctrine and techniques. In addition, all flight plans had to be personally reviewed and approved by the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (DDCI) and by the 5412 Special Group. The requests for air drops came from Cuba by radio, secret writing or telephone to Miami and then were forwarded to WH/4 headquarters, which then put in an operational request to DPD, which in turn directed the Guatemala air base to mount the flight after approval had been given by DDCI. DPD could and did release its own cables, without coordination.

20. This cumbersome system was complicated even more by the scarcity of agent radio operators inside Cuba. Some of the arrangements had to be made by secret writing, which was not only slow but contributed to misunderstanding. Necessary last-minute changes of plan by the reception groups or air crews could not be communicated to each other.

Example of Confusion

21. The drop finally accomplished on 30 December is an outstanding example of the confusion that prevailed.

22. WH/4 informed Havana that the drop would be made from 400 feet. DPD told the Guatemala base that the drop would be at 1,000 feet. Guatemala, on the other hand, felt that 600 feet would be best. WH/4 informed the agents that the aircraft definitely would make only one pass over the drop zone. But DPD authorized one 360° turn in order to make the drop good if the drop zone was not located on the initial run. (Actually, the crew made three passes.) This drop then failed (on 5 December) because the reception group understood that the plane would make only one pass, and turned off the lights when the plane came back for a second try. There was also confusion over the time of the drop and the number of bundles. The difficulties in arriving at an understanding among all parties concerned were so great that this operation, first planned for 22 October, was re-scheduled for 13 November, run on 5 December without dropping, then scheduled for 19 December. Then this had to be changed to 25 December and finally to 30 December.

23. For another operation WH/4 told Guatemala that the cargo should weigh 6,000 pounds, but DPD told Guatemala it could not be more than 4,000 or 5,000 pounds. The DPD message was not coordinated with WH/4, as Guatemala then pointed out.

24. Some of the techniques used by DPD were highly questionable. In one instance DPD told Guatemala that in the event the drop-zone lights were not seen by the crew the pilot should nevertheless drop his cargo on the drop zone as determined by dead reckoning. As it turned out, the reception group had dispersed after an encounter with a Cuban army patrol and was unable to be at the drop zone. The Castro forces then picked up at least half of the bundles dropped.

Supplies for Castro

25. In another case 1,600 pounds of food and materiel were dropped blind (in the dark of the moon) on each of four hilltops to a group which was known to be in such a precarious position that it was not able to stay in place long enough to lay out a drop zone. Again, the Castro forces got most of the load.

26. In still another, DPD told Guatemala that turns were allowed if the plane was not lined up on the initial run over the drop zone. The agents reported that the plane passed over twice without dropping and that this alerted the Castro army to attack the resistance group and to disperse it.

27. Once two planes were sent over the drop zone half an hour apart and allowed to make two passes each. Not surprisingly, 200 militia searched the area the next day and seized the cargo. The drop altitude for another operation was set at 4,000 feet. The pilot reported he had hit the drop zone from 3,500 feet, even though unable to recognize the marker, but there is evidence that the enemy got at least half the drop.

28. One aircraft received heavy fire and was damaged. Its crew thus learned the hard way that dropping leaflets first had helped to alert the area and recommended that in the future the cargo be dropped first. Miami Base pointed out to Headquarters that it was a mistake to drop heavy weapons before a group had a known capability of using them or had specifically requested them.

29. For a long time the results of the drops, as reported by the ground elements, were not forwarded to the air crews, who got no critiques but continued to report successes when in fact they were missing the drop zone by many kilometers.

Handling an Emergency

30. The handling of an emergency also left something to be desired. One of the planes had to land in Jamaica. The commander's phone call to an emergency number in Guatemala produced the reply, "Never heard of you." _____ first heard of this landing from _____, who had assumed (wrongly) that _____ had been advised by Headquarters.

31. In January 1961 Division D of the Agency's FI Staff made a study which raised pertinent questions about the air drops. The project's paramilitary staff made a study in March and concluded that the Cuban crews did not have sufficient experience or supervised training in clandestine paramilitary air operations to meet the project objectives and that they were too undisciplined to obey instructions or to make correct reports. This study recommended that contract American aircraft commanders be used, but it did not receive the approval of the paramilitary chief and went no further.

32. DPD also made an analysis in March and recommended certain overdue corrective action such as obtaining agent reports of drop results for prompt dispatch to the air base in Guatemala, critiques for each mission regarding compliance with instructions, elimination of blind drops, and better identification of drop zones. DPD cabled Guatemala on 7 March that an analysis of the mission results to date would be forwarded shortly to be used as a basis for refinement of tactics and improvement of coordination with the reception teams. And at the end of March a check pilot was included for the first time in a mission crew. He noted discrepancies in pilot procedure and crew coordination.

Tardy Corrective Action

33. These corrective actions came too late. The seeming inability to support resistance elements augmented the growing reliance being placed on the idea of an amphibious strike force to accomplish the objective; then, as the strike idea took over more and more, interest in clandestine drops decreased among officers in charge of the project. On or about 28 March a policy decision was made that there would be no more clandestine drops until after the amphibious assault. Inasmuch as the WH/4 case officers handling these drops were not informed as to the strike plan or the date, this posed a problem for them because 19 drops to specific drop zones were requested between 22 March and 19 April, and it was necessary to stall off the requests with such messages as:

"Don't give up hope. We'll drop as soon as we can."

"Regret unable mount BERTA. Definitely planning support your operation. Beg you understand our problems."

But the agents had their own problems during this time:

Unjust to delay operation so much ... This is not a game."

"How long will I have to wait for the drop. The lives of peasants and students depend on you."

"Dear Allies: Arms urgent. We made a commitment. We have complied. You have not. If you have decided to abandon us, answer."

"We are risking hundreds of peasant families. If you cannot supply us we will have to ... demobilize. Your responsibility. We thought you were sincere."

"All groups demoralized ... They consider themselves deceived because of failure of shipment of arms and money according to promise."

Perhaps the situation was best summed up by this agent message:

"Impossible to fight ... Either the drops increase or we die ... Men without arms or equipment. God help us."

34. The Inspector General reluctantly concludes that the agent who was showered with rice and beans was entirely correct in his finding that the Agency showed no professional competence in its attempts at clandestine air drops into Cuba. Furthermore, these attempts in their over-all effect probably hurt the resistance more than they helped.
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:41 am


1. WH/4 Branch had two separate maritime problems. It needed to transport men and supplies clandestinely to the coast of Cuba by small boats, and it needed ships to transport and support an amphibious landing of a military force, more or less overtly. This section of the report will be mostly concerned with small boat operations.

2. The WH Division had no assets in being; there was no Agency element comparable to DPD to call on; and for obscure reasons the Navy was not asked to provide the help it might have. WH/4 had to start with nothing; there seemed to be very little maritime know-how within the Agency.

3. The original operational plan called for building up a substantial resistance organization, which could be done only if supplies and people were delivered to the right places. During the critical period March-December 1960, WH/4 had one boat, the "Metusa Time," a 54-foot pleasure cruiser which was lent to the Agency by a friend. Two maritime operations officers, more or less under deep cover, labored from March to October to outfit this boat and train its crew.

4. The boat went on its first mission on 28 September, offloading 300 pounds of cargo and picking up two exfiltrees. By January it had made five additional trips and transported about five tons, but only one infiltree.
It had another successful operation in March 1961 and another in April.

_______ Boats

5. In November and December there were six other successful small boat operations conducted with boats owned by various Cubans. The arrangements were made by individual case officers at Miami (there being no maritime section) and mainly in response to requests by the owners. No memoranda of understanding were made and the agreements as to supporting, equipping, and funding these Cuban boats were exceedingly loose, thus causing many problems later.

6. A Cuban would say, "Give me a tank of gas and a machine gun, and you can use our boat and we will help run it." After the operation he was likely to come back and say that the boat needed all sorts of equipment which had been damaged by the operation, and many claims were built up in this way.

7. Although more than twenty of these boats were offered to case officers, most of them were too small and too limited in range to be of much use. Furthermore, the bad weather which lasted from December into March made small boat operations impossible at a time when they were badly needed. In January 1961 there was not a single successful operation.

_____ Boats

8. By December the need for some ______ boats was becoming obvious. The "Sea Gull" (see below) was picked up by Headquarters about this time. It turned out to be a complete "lemon;" one of the most experienced employees in small boats spent most of his time from December to June trying to get it to run, and it never did participate in an infiltration or exfiltration operation. Also, about December a 75-foot yacht, the "Wasp," ______. It had a 17-knot speed and a 600-mile range and ran its first successful mission on 15 February.

9. About February the "Tejana" also became operational. This was a 110-foot yacht which became available through a Cuban contact of a case officer. The arrangements made by the case officer with the Cuban owner were so vague that payment of bills incurred was a continuing problem. However, the "Tejana," in four operations in March, infiltrated 19,000 pounds, as compared with 12,700 pounds which had been infiltrated from September up to February by all available boats.

10. The statistics compiled by WH/4 and by Miami Base on the small boat operations are somewhat confused and inconsistent. However, the general picture is clear. The small boat operations succeeded in getting about 76 people into Cuba clandestinely. Most of these were taken in during March. Up to the middle of February only ten had been successfully infiltrated by this means, the first being in mid-November.

11. In the matter of arms, ammunition and other supplies to the resistance, the boat operations were not an outstanding success. From September to the time of the strike about 70,000 pounds were successfully infiltrated. This was about three times as much as was put in by air drops. The total amount of supplies put into Cuba by air and boat operations amounted to about 93,000 pounds (46-1/2 tons); this would be about enough to equip 1,250 men.

Limited Area

12. There was one successful boat operation in September; two in October; three in November; six in December, none in January; six in February; thirteen in March; and two in April. Up to February only six and a half tons were sent in.

13. One should not get the idea that these supplies were uniformly distributed throughout Cuba. Most of them were placed in one small area, the north coast of Cuba close to Havana. The small boats did not have the range to go farther.

14. In almost all cases the supplies were transferred to a Cuban boat or an offshore key rather than deposited on the shores of Cuba itself. In the fall, boat operations were restricted by policy to offshore rendezvous. By January Miami had begun to plan beach landing operations as a means of overcoming the unreliability of Cuban-based boats. At this time Miami Base did not even have aerial photos of the north coast of Cuba.

15. Of the 33 missions rated as successful only 27 could be considered entirely so since the cargo on the other operations was later recovered by the Castro government or the success was only partial. The reception committees did not seem to have had much training in maritime reception procedures.

16. In sum, a small amount of materiel was put into the Havana area in the period September-December by some ill-suited small boats. Then by using the "Wasp and the "Tejana" a substantially larger amount of supplies was put in during February and March as well as some people, but to a limited area only. At this point the "Barbara J" and the "Blagar" (former LCIs) were used because of their longer range and larger size; however, for various reason they were also unsuccessful in placing anything on the south coast except at the westernmost part.

Lack of a Plan

17. Officers who worked on these operations reported that there was no effective project plan for using small boats to deliver men and equipment to forces inside Cuba who were best suited to use them to build up a powerful underground movement against Castro. According to these officers, WH/4 did not plan small boat operations; the case officers simply responded to requests by individual Cubans and groups. One officer remarked that the Cubans were running the operations.

18. Of all the attempts made to land men and supplies in Cuba clandestinely by water some of the most notable were made by the "Barbara J," a surplus LCI which the Agency bought in October 1960. It was intended that this craft would serve as a mother ship for small boat operations and also provide a long-range lift capability.

19. After a shakedown voyage in December, featured by a mutiny, the ship was scheduled for clandestine maritime infiltration of three paramilitary teams into Cuba. Initially there was some confusion as to who was running the operation since Miami had been handling small boat operations and had made the rendezvous plans for this one, but Headquarters had responsibility for the "Barbara J." WH/4 then sent the chief of its maritime section to Miami to coordinate, to brief the captain, and to dispatch the boat on its mission on 16 January.

20. The "Barbara J" put into Vieques Island on 31 January 1961 after having been unsuccessful in putting anybody ashore in Cuba. The crew's morale continued to deteriorate. Some refused to take direct orders, attempts to discipline the men were ineffective, the engineers refused to stand watch, and all of the crew wanted to return to Miami and resign. Also, nine of the ten agents did not wish to stay on the ship for another mission.

A Sit-down Strike

21. On 4 February the "Barbara J" sailed from Vieques for a rendezvous on the south coast of Cuba, 24 crew members having been left on a Vieques beach, where they staged a sit-down and a hunger strike. On 9 February the "Barbara J" reported that the contact had not shown up at the rendezvous point.

22. After trying again on 10 February, the captain of the "Barbara J" cabled: "Take a message to Garcia: The reluctant heroes in fishing boat again conspicuous by their absence." On 11 February he sent another odd cable: "Last message to Garcia: Your fishing boat still manifesting extreme shyness. Suggest next operation send in varsity." On 13 February he sent: "Cruised without making contact. Picked up small target on radar, tracked it down, and scared hell out of some fishermen who wanted no part of us."

23. The case officer and the team leaders had a different story. They stated that when the "Barbara J" arrived at the rendezvous point it was approached by a small boat that came at the right time and gave the correct signals, but that as the boat came alongside the captain of the "Barbara J" ordered two floodlights turned on the boat which apparently scared it away. On 18 February the reception party sent a message that their boat had been at the right place at the right time and that a patrol boat had showed up. The "Barbara J" arrived at _____ on 14 February without having received arrival instructions. On 15 February Miami sent a message saying that it was setting up facilities at Key West to receive the "Barbara J." Upon landing in Key West the ten paramilitary agents, having been on this trip for a month after spending two months in a safe house, were ready to resign and it took a considerable amount of persuasion to get them to stay with the program. They were then sent to New Orleans for holding.

Earning a Citation

24. Several officers who were associated with the captain of the "Barbara J," a contract employee acquired from Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS), have testified to his drinking on duty, his bullying the Cubans, and his disregard for security. Drew Pearson wrote about the drunken American LCI skipper who scared away Cuban underground leaders with his ship's floodlights, and who threatened to abandon a sabotage team. On 21 March the project's paramilitary chief relieved the captain of his command and requested that he be terminated. However, the captain was retained on duty and eventually received full pay and a bonus for a six-month contract period in the amount of $14,698.

25. WH/4 Branch initiated action to get the captain commended by his parent service for outstanding performance. In July 1961 he was cited "for completing an assignment involving extreme hazards in an outstanding manner, and displaying exceptional skill and courage" and given the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award -- the highest honorary civilian award within the authority of the MSTS commander.

26. The branch had never taken action either to clear him or to convict him of serious charges, and the high commendation he received casts doubt not only on the validity of other WH/4 recommendations for merit citations but also on the quality of personnel management in the project.

Peculiar Organization

27. The organization for controlling clandestine maritime operations was peculiar. The forward operating base in Miami had the responsibility for small boat operations but could not run any without Headquarters approval. It was seldom that Headquarters had any query or refused to give approval.

28. But the Miami Base did not have the equipment and experience that were needed. For a long time the docking facilities were inadequate. The desirability of having a base at Key West was recognized as early as November 1960, but this base was not established until mid-February. It was insufficiently staffed and had a great many cover, security and administrative problems on which it received little assistance. At first it was under the direction of the Miami paramilitary section; eventually it was placed under the chief of the Miami Base.

29. The small staff at Key West not only supported small boat operations; it also had to take whatever action was necessary when disabled black flights came in to the local Naval air station since DPD had no representative in the area. Each unsuccessful maritime operation doubled the work. Boats coming back to a safe haven loaded with arms and explosives, usually crewed by Cubans and sometimes disabled in various ways, had to be unloaded again by whoever was available among paramilitary case officers and security and support people. A few staff employees worked almost around the clock for a month loading and unloading cargo without benefit of even a forklift. Many tons were so handled.

30. It is clear that there was no over-all policy in regard to the small boats. There was no clear directive as to whether to acquire short-range, speedy boats or long-range, slower boats; whether to use fishing craft and crews or special-purpose boats built specifically for our use. There was no policy on the use of a mother craft. There was no control over the amount of money spent on these small boats and their outfitting.

The Maritime Unit

31. WH/4 Headquarters had a staff employee whose job was small boat coordinator. This meant, in effect, checking proposed operations with the intelligence section, extending approvals and keeping records. WH/4 also had a separate maritime unit which handled the technical side of the small boats, approved funds for them, and arranged for personnel for them, but had nothing to do with their operations.

32. This maritime unit also had the responsibility for acquiring and fitting out the larger ships such as the "Barbara J," the "Blagar," the three LCUs and the ships used in the strike. This unit also had the responsibility for training underwater demolition teams, directing raiding operations, and overseeing the Vieques Base.

33. The lack of equipment, the shortage of experienced personnel, the press of time and the problems of coordination are shown by the experience which the maritime unit had with the acquisition and outfitting of the LCIs and the LCUs. The press of time hardly allowed for advertising for specific types of craft or soliciting competitive bids. The two LCIs (the "Barbara J" and the "Blagar") were purchased from a private corporation in Miami for $70,000. About $253,000 was then spent in modifying, repairing and outfitting them.

34. This work, which extended over a period of several months, was directed by officers from Headquarters during short temporary duty tours in the Miami area. The day-to-day supervision of the work was under several Navy chief petty officers (borrowed from the Agency's Office of Training) who had no contact with Miami Base, no authority to spend money or give orders, and no channel to procure parts and equipment. The technical and training abilities of these Navy chiefs were grossly misused by the project; much of their time was spent at stevedore or deckhand labor.

Training on LCUs

35. _____, three LCUs were bought directly from the Navy in September 1960 at $125,000 each. Supposedly in operating condition, these craft had been stripped and were in such bad shape that they could hardly be moved from the dock. The dozen or so Agency employees who went to Little Creek to get them into operational condition were so busy with repairs that there was little time left for learning how to operate the craft, even though some members of the group were not familiar with LCUs, the engineers did not all know engineering and the skippers did not all know navigation. This group got the LCUs to Vieques Island somehow and proceeded to train the Cuban crews, which, however, were given no training in night landing and very little in navigation.

36. In all, about $1,400,000 was spent on boats and ships, and the total cost of the maritime phases of the project was about $2,679,000. Wages were a considerable item. For example, ship's masters on contract were budgeted at $2,500 a month, cooks at $1,000. There seemed to be a general failure at the top to realize how much boats cost to run and to keep in repair. The arrangement whereby officers in Headquarters tried to control the expenditures being made in Florida to repair and operate boats which were urgently needed was highly impractical. The high cost of boats in this project is well illustrated by the dismal case of the "Sea Gull."

Case of the "Sea Gull"

37. _____. It had previously been used to service offshore oil-drilling rigs and was estimated to have a fair market value of $74,500.

38. The request for approval _____ was signed for the chief of the project by a special assistant in the FI section (acting for the acting chief!) and approved by the Deputy Chief of WH Division (acting for his chief). It was _____ christened the "Sea Gull" and transported to Miami, where it broke down 500 yards from the pier on its first trial run. On 6 January 1961 it was estimated that repairs and modifications would cost $10,000; by 30 January, the estimate had grown to $32,000; by 22 February, to $40,000, and on 24 February, the shipyard doing the work submitted a bill for $65,000! In all, the "Sea Gull" cost:

[DELETED] / $ 39,500
Repairs (eventually reduced from $65,000) / 58,000
Communications gear, tools, arms, navigation aids / 14,000
-- / $111,500

39. The "Sea Gull" was not ready to be used until the last week of March; at this time it was commandeered (along with the "Wasp") by a headquarters unit which was staging a deception operation in connection with the amphibious strike, over the strong protests of Miami Base, which never got to use the boat on an infiltration operation.

40. The lack of qualified personnel, the confusion of responsibility, the lack of planning, and the skyrocketing costs in the maritime activity led to a high-level request for the assignment of a qualified senior Naval officer to the project. When a captain reported, no one seemed to know what to do with him and, after he briefly visited Miami and Key West bases, he was assigned to the naval side of the strike planning at Headquarters. He is reported to have been not entirely happy with his brief Agency tour. In any event he was another example of poor handling of people in this project, and he was not given a chance to solve the problem of maritime operations.

41. It is apparent that the Agency had very little capability for maritime operations even of a clandestine nature. It lacked trained personnel, boats, bases, doctrine, and organization. The employees who worked in this sadly slighted activity were well aware of this, and morale was not high. As one of them said, "The lowest kind of operations officer is a paramilitary operations officer, and the lowest kind of PM officer is a maritime operations officer."
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:43 am


1. Early in the project a carefully selected group of Cubans was trained for infiltration into Cuba to organize resistance. The loose management of the project is illustrated by the confusion between the headquarters elements and the training elements over what these men were being trained for, and by the failure to have their missions, means of entry, and reception ready for them.

2. The trained Cubans put into Cuba were too few and too late to do very much, and the strike planners ignored them. The cost of training and holding these men probably ran well over a million dollars, yet most of them were never used for what they were trained to do, and some were not used at all.

3. This particular endeavor began in December 1959 when the WH Division made a decision to pick a small group of Cubans and train them to train other Cubans for infiltration into Cuba in small paramilitary teams to organize resistance forces. Possible training sites in Panama were surveyed at this time, but no further action was taken. The basic policy paper approved by the President in March 1960 included the above proposal.

4. In April 1960, the Cuban leader Manuel Artime, who was in Miami, offered a number of his followers as recruits for this program. Useppa Island was acquired as an assessment and holding site, and a preliminary screening of the candidates for the training program began.

5. During May and June 1960 complete polygraphs, psychological and psychiatric tests, and evaluations were obtained on 66 individuals. Basic Morse code training was begun at the island. In June 29 trainees were sent from Useppa Island to Panama for basic paramilitary training. In July 32 trainees were sent to Guatemala to be trained as radio operators, and Useppa Island was then closed down.

The Training Site

6. A worse training site could hardly have been chosen than the one in Guatemala, it being almost inaccessible, with no training facilities and almost no living facilities. The trainees were put to work building the camp, working during the day and studying at night. This went on for several months.

7. The number of Americans at the camp was held to a bare minimum for security reasons. They were represented to be either tourists or adventurers.
The camp commander was also the chief of training and the project officer for Guatemala. When he arrived, he had to set up the temporary camp, find an area for a permanent camp, contract for buildings, supplies, and equipment; he also had to find sites for a suitable air base, a maritime base, and a prison and contract for these facilities to be built. He had three assistants: a communications officer and two contract employees.

8. The initial group of paramilitary trainees was transferred to the Guatemala Base from Panama after two months of training. By 23 August there were 78 paramilitary trainees, 34 communications trainees, and nine staff and contract employees.

9. By September the training camp had enough facilities and instructors to begin a four-week basic training course. The trainees were sorted into seven-man teams according to their area knowledge and their aptitudes. Sixty were selected to go into Cuba (either legally or illegally) and to contact resistance groups; 60 were selected for action teams to go in illegally and join the resistance groups that had been contacted by the first teams; the remainder of the trainees would be formed into a small conventional strike force. The training base expected the teams to be ready to go in October and asked Headquarters to provide the infiltration plans.

10. The trainers did not realize that Headquarters had changed the plan. Already in July the FRD, the exile political front, had been asked to provide 500 individuals for a paramilitary action cadre, and the training base was asked if it could accommodate this number. Obviously, it could not. Conditions actually got worse. In September the training camp was plagued by torrential tropical rains, shortages of food and supplies, plus trouble with agitators and hoodlums among their recently arrived trainees, who were not being screened and assessed as the first ones had been. The training base chief got into disfavor with Headquarters apparently because of his blunt cables asking for assistance. ("My men are going hungry and barefoot.")

Request for Missions

11. In October the infiltration teams that had been selected from among the trainees worked out detailed operational plans for themselves, complete with maps, propaganda handouts, and resistance operations. When the base announced that about a hundred men were ready to go, Headquarters replied that it was proposing the illegal infiltration of the teams in November by boat. (Actually, the only boat the project had at this time was the 54-foot "Metusa Time.") Headquarters further cabled that it was engaged in preparing a general plan for the employment of the infiltration teams but that the details were not yet ready. The base chief was recalled in October, and thereafter the training base had a new chief each week for five weeks. One trainee was put into Cuba legally at the end of October.

12. In November 1960 (12 months after the original decision had been made to train Cuban teams for resistance organization) ten teams were reported ready to go. But they were still awaiting Headquarters plans for infiltration. In all 178 men (including 23 radio operators) had been trained in security, basic clandestine tradecraft, intelligence collection and reporting, propaganda and agitation, subversive activities, resistance organization, reception operations, explosives and demolitions, guerrilla action, and similar matters.

13. Headquarters approved the use of 60 of these men for the resistance teams; all others were scheduled to begin formal, conventional combat training on 15 November as an element of a strike force of 1,500 men. This drastic change in over-all plan was announced to the training base by a cable on 4 November and led the base to plead for closer coordination in the future between Headquarters planning and the field training. During this month six trainees were moved to a Miami safe house where they stayed for two months, awaiting transportation into Cuba.

Move to Panama

14. In December 1960 Headquarters advised the training base that it was expecting approval of its operational concept, which included internal resistance stimulated by teams as well as the use of a ground and air assault force. It advised the base that a 750-man brigade (instead of 1,500) was being planned and that 80 men (instead of 60) were approved for infiltration teams. During this month the 80 men were moved to Panama where they were held until somebody could find out what to do with them. An offer from DPD to give them jump training was turned down by the project.

15. By January 1961 the morale of the trainees in Panama had declined considerably. There was not even an interpreter available for briefing and debriefing them. Headquarters then had 24 of them brought to safe houses in Miami to be made ready for dispatch. Twelve radio operators were moved from Panama to the Agency's training base in the United States for further training.

16. By February 1961 the 32 trainees still in Panama were described as disillusioned and at the breaking point. They were then transferred to a base in New Orleans to be given additional training sabotage and air-maritime reception. February was actually a red-letter month. Six of the radio operators were infiltrated legally. On 14 February the first resistance team was put into Cuba, and two more teams went in at the end of the month. However, the two teams which had sat in a Miami safe house from mid-November to mid-January returned to Miami in bad humor in mid-February after a month on the "Barbara J" circumnavigating Cuba without being put ashore.

17. An effective infiltration mechanism never was developed. Not one of the paramilitary teams was ever delivered by air. On 29 March the project was able to put four agents into Cuba through Guantanamo Base. It is not clear why this could not have been done earlier. No infiltration was ever tried by submarine.

Morale Problems

18. On 10 March 1961 (16 months after the original decision to train resistance teams) the 90 men who had been trained for this were distributed as follows:

32 infiltrated, including 14 radio operators
5 at sea on a sabotage mission
6 in New Orleans as members of a raider team
28 in New Orleans still awaiting infiltration
19 detached to Miami for various impending operations.

The morale of the remaining trainees was low and their anger high. This caused a great many problems in New Orleans. Some of these men had been held in five different camps over a ten-month period. On 30 March, about three weeks before the invasion, the remainder of the group (about 20) were transferred to Miami and turned loose, being described as a collection of spoiled individuals distinguished by bad conduct. At least 30 of the agents who were recruited between May and September 1960 never got into Cuba at all; among the 30 were eight who came into the project in the original group in May 1960 and who were in training almost continuously from that time up to April 1961.

19. The time spent in training is no measure of the quality of the training, of course, and there was undoubtedly a great waste of time. One of the Cubans trained for infiltration into Cuba wrote that after he arrived in Panama in December 1960: "... during almost three weeks, the only thingh I did ... was cleaning a small dam and the shoting range. after that we just din't do anythingh, just sleep and ate, thats all." When he arrived in Florida on 18 January: "There, the same history, sleep, eat, play card and watch television. The only training I receveid during that time was on secret writting, wich was very good but nothing else." The same agent pointed out serious deficiencies in his weapons training and his final briefing.

20. One of the instructors in Guatemala in the early months later claimed that only two instructors knew their business; the others were chosen from the trainee cadre, who had only a background of two months' training themselves. He included himself among the unqualified.

Training Omission

21. The remoteness of the training site caused additional difficulties. When brigade training started on 29 November there were only two compasses for 405 troops, and these belonged to trainees. Compasses had first been requested on 2 October, but when they were not received the training in their use had to be omitted from the program.

22. More serious, there had never been any definition of training goals, and the base and Headquarters were working at cross-purposes. The chief of the training base in Guatemala never received any letter of instruction.

23. The situation at the New Orleans Base in March 1961 was even more chaotic. The instructors found a training area which was 90% swamp and filled with poisonous snakes. Demolition classes had to be conducted along a footpath leading from a theater to a mess hall, with constant interruptions from passers-by. Nobody seemed able to define the training that was required. A demolitions instructor was assured on arrival that the group he had come to train did not need the instruction; in any case, there were no explosive training materials, no adequate range, and no gear to set one up. Another instructor, sent to New Orleans to train a small raider group, found himself expected to train, organize and equip a 90-man guerrilla force. A week later he found himself training a 160-man assault battalion instead. The training requirement was never spelled out, and the training equipment never showed up.

24. Training activity of various sorts was going on continually; there were requirements for everything from counterintelligence to small boat handling. But there was no full-time chief of training in the project to oversee requirements, define responsibilities, set up facilities and provide support. Consequently, what training was done, was done without control, by individual case officers doing the best they could. How effective this training was cannot be determined. Much of it took place in Miami, where personnel from the base were instructing Cubans in intelligence collection, counterintelligence techniques, psychological warfare activities, or paramilitary subjects, according to need.

25. The training was necessarily conducted in safe houses, and required a considerable expenditure of time on the part of base personnel. Other training was conducted in the Washington area, usually by case officers. One man was trained in a hotel room to make a parachute jump (he made one successfully!) Many requests were levied on the Office of Training for instructors and training materials. But these were uncoordinated and wasteful. Many of the instructors, when made available, were not used in their specialties, ended up in such jobs as stevedoring instead.

26. A well thought-out project would have had a training annex which would have laid specific requirements on the Office of Training, particularly when the training of hundreds of people was an integral part of the venture. Instead, the requirements were met in piecemeal and improvised fashion, under difficult conditions, and with dubious results.
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:45 am


1. The assault on Cuba is generally acknowledged to have been a poorly kept secret. It could hardly have been otherwise, considering the complexity of the operation and the number of people involved, both Cuban and American. The inspection team did not make a detailed study of the security aspects of the operation but came across many weaknesses in the protection of information and activities from those who did not "need to know."

2. In general the Cubans who were in the operation do not seem to have had any real understanding of the need to keep quiet about their activities. Many of them knew much more than they needed to know, and they were not compartmented from each other and from Americans to the extent that was necessary. For example, one wealthy Cuban who was close to the operation was being contacted by at least six different staff employees.

3. Some agents were being handled by two or three different case officers at the same time, with confusing results and lack of control. Many of the agents who were sent into Cuba had known each other during training; for example, a dozen radio operators who had been trained as a group. If one was arrested, he would know who the other ones were. One radio operator inside Cuba was aware of almost every paramilitary operation in Cuba from the beginning of the project.

4. Agents who were supposedly well trained disregarded elementary rules of personal security and were arrested because they needlessly gave away their true identities by visiting relatives who were under surveillance or by carrying identifying documents in their pockets.

Hazard in Miami

5. The Miami area represented a particular hazard because stories and rumors spread rapidly through the large Cuban community, which included Castro agents. Movements of boats and people soon became known. One agent, who had been infiltrated into Cuba by boat, reported later that within three days his family in Miami knew when and how he had landed, because one of the crew members of the boat had told many people in Miami about it. Letters from the training camp, although censored, managed nevertheless to convey information to the Miami Cubans.

6. The Americans on the project in many cases also failed to observe strict security discipline. One senior case officer holding an operational meeting with Cubans in a Miami motel was overheard by a citizen, who reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

7. It has been testified that the security measures at the training camps in Guatemala and at New Orleans were inadequate. Furthermore, the training camps had no adequate counterintelligence capability. Except for an instructor borrowed from the Office of Training for a few weeks, the Agency was unable to provide a counterintelligence officer to the camps. This lack was serious because, in order to obtain a great many recruits for the strike force in a hurry, there was very little screening of the volunteers, and some who were sent to camp had been inadequately checked.

Poor Backstopping

8. Instances were noted of poor backstopping of the cover stories of Agency employees, sketchy briefings on cover, weak cover stories, and faulty documentation. Much of this can be ascribed to lack of attention to detail due to the press of time. Many of the early difficulties in Guatemala stemmed from the inadvisability of providing supplies and support to instructors who were posing as "tourists" and "soldiers of fortune." This pretense eventually had to be dropped because of its impracticality. A serious weakness showed up in the poor arrangements for backstopping overflights (for example, the plane that landed in Jamaica).

9. Somewhat curiously, a strict compartmentation was applied in certain areas of the project which actually denied information to people who needed it. Those who were engaged in running agents into Cuba were never allowed into the War Room or given the plan for the strike.

10. For security reasons, the resistance elements inside Cuba were not advised of the time of the assault, and could hardly have risen up even if there had been 100,000 of them. The entire complement of the Miami Base was likewise uninformed and was unprepared to take action when the strike occurred. Staff employees at the Miami Base, who could have benefited by special clearances, did not get them until much too late.

Use of Guatemala

11. The use of Guatemala for training bases was, in terms of security, unfortunate. It is obvious now that the training could have been done more securely in the United States (as for example, the tank crew training, which got no publicity at all). The Guatemala camps were not easily hidden and not easily explained. The air base was located on a well-traveled road and in view of a railroad where trainloads of Guatemalans frequently halted on a siding.

12. It is strange that the training of the Cubans was undertaken in a foreign country, where the trainees were necessarily exposed to the natives and reporters could pick up information. Presumably this was done on grounds of security and non-attributability; however, the radio operators who were trained in Guatemala were later brought to the United States for further training. The force for the abortive diversionary expedition was trained in New Orleans rather than being sent outside the country. Other Cubans were trained in both paramilitary and espionage subjects in the outskirts of Miami and Washington, and still others were trained on American soil at Vieques Island. Of all these training locations, only the ones in Guatemala became known to the world.

13. It is acknowledged that many Cubans and Americans observed strict security discipline, that the security officers of the project made an outstanding contribution, and that many arrangements and activities are not open to criticism regarding their security. Unfortunately, this was not good enough for a project of this size and importance, conducted by professional intelligence officers.

14. Because of the operation's magnitude, the errors committed resulted in the exposure of Agency personnel and modus operandi to many uncontrolled individuals, both foreign and American.
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:46 am


1. During the invasion landing two Agency contract employees, assigned as operations officers aboard the two LCIs, went ashore to mark two of the beaches and exchanged gunfire with Cuban militia. One of these employees had taken part in a sabotage raid on a Cuban oil refinery a month earlier. Both of them engaged in rescue operations along the Cuban shore after the brigade collapsed.

2. In late 1960 the project leaders were becoming doubtful of the motivation of the Cuban pilots they were training and of their ability to perform tactical missions successfully. In January 1961 the Agency requested the Special Group to authorize the use of American contract pilots. The authorization given was limited to the hiring of the pilots and reserved for later decision the question of their actual use. The Special Group also granted authority to recruit and hire American seamen to serve in the invasion fleet.

3. Three American contract pilots with long Agency experience were made available from another project. A number of other pilots and air-crew technicians, members or ex-members of several Air National Guard units, were recruited especially for the project in early 1961 under cover of a national commercial company.

4. Through the first day of fighting, 17 April, only Cuban air crews were used for combat or drop missions. Of 11 Cuban-manned B-26s which had gone over the beachhead, only three had returned to base, and four of the others had been shot down. That night the available Cuban crews were exhausted and dispirited.

5. On 18 April the hard pressed exile brigade was calling for air support. Two American fliers volunteered to go, and several Cuban crews followed their example. The result was a highly successful attack against a column of Castro's forces moving on Blue Beach. Four American-manned aircraft were in combat over the beachhead the following day, and two of them were shot down by Castro's T-33s. Later the same day two American crews returned for another sortie. Four American fliers were either killed in combat or executed by Castro forces after being shot down.

6. In addition to these actions, an American-manned PBY patrolled the waters south of Cuba for a total of 57 hours during five days on air-sea rescue and communications relay duty.

7. The American pilots lost in combat were aware of United States Government sponsorship and probably also of Agency interest, but had been instructed not to inform their families of this. In spite of wide press coverage of the invasion failure, the story of the American pilots has never gotten into print, although its sensational nature still makes this a possibility. In dealing with the surviving families it has been necessary to conceal connection with the United States Government. This effort has been complicated by the fact that the original cover story was changed and a second notional company substituted.

8. The resolution in a secure manner of the legal and moral claims arising from these four deaths has been costly, complicated and fraught with risk of disclosure of the Government's role. These problems were aggravated by the inclusion in the employment contracts of certain unnecessarily complicated insurance clauses and by the project's failure to prepare in advance an effective plan for dealing with the eventual legal and security problems.
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:57 am


Certain basic conclusions have been drawn from this survey of the Cuban operation:

1. The Central Intelligence Agency, after starting to build up the resistance and guerrilla forces inside Cuba, drastically converted the project into what rapidly became an overt military operation. The Agency failed to recognize that when the project advanced beyond the stage of plausible denial it was going beyond the area of Agency responsibility as well as Agency capability.

2. The Agency became so wrapped up in the military operation that it failed to appraise the chances of success realistically. Furthermore, it failed to keep the national policy-makers adequately and realistically informed of the conditions considered essential for success, and it did not press sufficiently for prompt policy decisions in a fast moving situation.

3. As the project grew, the Agency reduced the exiled leaders to the status of puppets, thereby losing the advantages of their active participation.

4. The Agency failed to build up and supply a resistance organization under rather favorable conditions. Air and boat operations showed up poorly.

5. The Agency failed to collect adequate information on the strengths of the Castro regime and the extent of the opposition to it; and it failed to evaluate the available information correctly.

6. The project was badly organized. Command lines and management controls were ineffective and unclear. Senior Staffs of the Agency were not utilized; air support stayed independent of the project; the role of the large forward base was not clear.

7. The project was not staffed throughout with top-quality people, and a number of people were not used to the best advantage.

8. The Agency entered the project without adequate assets in the way of boats, bases, training facilities, agent nets, Spanish-speakers, and similar essential ingredients of a successful operation. Had these been already in being, much time and effort would have been saved.

9. Agency policies and operational plans were never clearly delineated, with the exception of the plan for the brigade landing; but even this provided no disaster plan, no unconventional warfare annex, and only extremely vague plans for action following a successful landing. In general, Agency plans and policies did not precede the various operations in the project but were drawn up in response to operational needs as they arose. Consequently, the scope of the operation itself and of the support required was constantly shifting.

There were some good things in this project. Much of the support provided was outstanding (for example, logistics and communications). A number of individuals did superior jobs. Many people at all grade levels gave their time and effort without stint, working almost unlimited hours over long periods, under difficult and frustrating conditions, without regard to personal considerations. But this was not enough.

It is assumed that the Agency, because of its experience in this Cuban operation, will never again engage in an operation that is essentially an overt military effort. But before it takes on another major covert political operation it will have to improve its organization and management drastically. It must find a way to set up an actual task force, if necessary, and be able to staff it with the best people. It must govern its operation with clearly defined policies and carefully drawn plans, engaging in full coordination with the Departments of State and Defense as appropriate.

Previous surveys and other papers written by the Inspector General have called attention to many of these problems and deficiencies, and have suggested solutions. For example, in June 1958, a recommendation was made, in a survey of the Far East Division, that a high-level Agency study be made of the extent to which the Agency should be engaged in paramilitary operations, "if any;" and that it include an evaluation of the capabilities of other government departments to assume primary responsibility in this field.

In January 1959 the Inspector General pointed out in a memorandum to the Deputy Director (Plans) that: "A basic problem in the PM field is the delineation of responsibility between the Agency and the military services. In our view, the Clandestine Services tends to assume responsibilities beyond its capabilities and does not give sufficient consideration to the ability of other Departments of the Government to conduct or participate in these operations."

A 1955 survey of the then Psychological and Paramilitary Operations Staff warned against the by-passing of this staff by the operating divisions, who were dealing directly with the Deputy Director (Plans) and the Director of Central Intelligence instead. In March 1961 the survey of the Covert Action Staff again warned against ignoring the staff and failing to utilize its services.

The July 1959 survey of the Deputy Director (Plans) organization again stressed the importance of the functional staffs, particularly in relation to the conduct of complex operations, and advocated the use of a task force for covert operations having major international significance.

"These operations," the survey stated, "may be aimed at the overthrow of a hostile regime and may require extensive paramilitary operations, ... and clandestine logistics and air support of substantial magnitude. Such operations must be coordinated with national policy on a continuing basis, and may require constant high-level liaison with the State Department and the White House. To be successful, major covert operations of this nature require the effective mobilization of all the resources of the DD/P, and are clearly beyond the capabilities of any one area division."

The same survey added that the Caribbean task force located in the WH Division was planning at a great rate, but accomplishing little because it was too low-level to act decisively or to obtain effective policy guidance from other departments of the Government; it did not even inspire confidence among many senior DD/P officers. Such task forces within a single division "represent a woefully inadequate response to a problem of major national significance. Command of such a task force must be a full-time job, and the task force commander must be of sufficient stature to deal directly with the Under Secretary of State or with other senior officials of the government as the need arises."

The same survey also discussed the management problem in the DD/P area at length, and made a number of recommendations which are on record. Among other things, it pointed out the confusion as to the relationship and functions of the three top officers.

The study of the Cuban operation shows that these criticisms and many others discussed in previous Inspector General surveys are still valid and worthy of review. But the Cuban operation, in addition to demonstrating old weaknesses again, also showed Agency weaknesses not clearly discerned before.

The Inspector General, as a result of his study of the Cuban operation, makes the following recommendations regarding future Agency involvement in covert operations which have major international significance and which may profoundly affect the course of world events:

1. Such an operation should be carried out by a carefully selected task force, under the command of a senior official of stature on a full-time basis, and organizationally outside the DD/P structure but drawing upon all the resources of the Clandestine Services.

2. The Agency should request that such projects should be transferred to the Department of Defense when they show signs of becoming overt or beyond Agency capabilities.

3. The Agency should establish a procedure under which the Board of National Estimates or other body similarly divorced from clandestine operations would be required to evaluate all plans for such major covert operations, drawing on all available intelligence and estimating the chances of success from an intelligence point of view.

4. The Agency should establish a high-level board of senior officers from its operational and support components, plus officers detailed from the Pentagon and the Department of State, to make cold, hard appraisals at recurring intervals of the chances of success of major covert projects from an operational point of view.

5. A mechanism should be established for communicating these intelligence and operational appraisals to the makers of national policy.

6. In return, a mechanism should be established to communicate to the Agency the national policy bearing on such projects, and the Agency should not undertake action until clearly defined policy has been received.

7. The Agency should improve its system for the guided collection of information essential to the planning and carrying out of such projects.

8. The Agency should take immediate steps to eliminate the deficiencies in its clandestine air and maritime operations.

9. The Agency should take steps to improve its employees' competence in foreign languages, knowledge of foreign areas, and capability in dealing with foreign people, when such skills are necessary.

10. The Agency should devise a more orderly system for the assignment of employees within the DD/P area than that currently in use.
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:58 am


16 March 1960


1. Objective:

The purpose of the program outlined herein is to bring about the replacement of the Castro regime with one more devoted to the true interests of the Cuban people and more acceptable to the U.S. in such a manner as to avoid any appearance of U.S. intervention. Essentially the method of accomplishing this end will be to induce, support, and so far as possible direct action, both inside and outside of Cuba, by selected groups of Cubans of a sort that they might be expected to and could undertake on their own initiative. Since a crisis inevitably entailing drastic action in or toward Cuba could be provoked by circumstances beyond control of the U.S. before the covert action program has accomplished its objective, every effort will be made to carry it out in such a way as progressively to improve the capability of the U.S. to act in a crisis.

2. Summary Outline:

The program contemplates four major courses of action:

a. The first requirement is the creation of a responsible, appealing and unified Cuban opposition to the Castro regime, publicly declared as much and therefore necessarily located outside of Cuba. It is hoped that within one month a political entity can be formed in the shape of a council or junta, through the merger of three acceptable opposition groups with which the Central Intelligence Agency is already in contact. The council will be encouraged to adopt as its slogan "Restore the Revolution," to develop a political position consistent with that slogan, and to address itself to the Cuban people as an attractive political alternative to Castro. This vocal opposition will: serve as a magnet for the loyalties of the Cubans; in actuality conduct and direct various opposition activities; and provide cover for other compartmented CIA controlled operations. (Tab A)

b. So that the opposition may be heard and Castro's basis of popular support undermined, it is necessary to develop the means for mass communication to the Cuban people so that a powerful propaganda offensive can be initiated in the name of the declared opposition. The major tool proposed to be used for this purpose is a long and short wave gray broadcasting facility, probably to be located on Swan Island. The target date for its completion is two months. This will be supplemented by broadcasting from U.S. commercial facilities paid for by private Cuban groups and by the clandestine distribution of written material inside the country. (Tab B)

c. Work is already in progress in the creation of a covert intelligence and action organization within Cuba which will be responsive to the orders and directions of the "exile" opposition. Such a network must have effective communication and be selectively manned to minimize the risk of penetration. An effective organization can probably be created within 60 days. Its role will be to provide hard intelligence, to arrange for the illegal infiltration and exfiltration of individuals, to assist in the internal distribution of illegal propaganda, and to plan and organize for the defection of key individuals and groups as directed.

d. Preparations have already been made for the development of an adequate paramilitary force outside of Cuba, together with mechanisms for the necessary logistic support of covert military operations on the Island. Initially a cadre of leaders will be recruited after careful screening and trained as paramilitary instructors. In a second phase a number of paramilitary cadres will be trained at secure locations outside of the U.S. so as to be available for immediate deployment into Cuba to organize, train and lead resistance forces recruited there both before and after the establishment of one or more active centers of resistance. The creation of this capability will require a minimum of six months and probably closer to eight. In the meanwhile, a limited air capability for resupply and for infiltration and exfiltration already exists under CIA control and can be rather easily expanded if and when the situation requires. Within two months it is hoped to parallel this with a small air resupply capability under deep cover as a commercial operation in another country.

3. Leadership:

It is important to avoid distracting and divisive rivalry among the outstanding Cuban opposition leaders for the senior role in the opposition. Accordingly, every effort will be made to have an eminent, non-ambitious, politically uncontentious chairman selected. The emergence of a successor to Castro should follow careful assessment of the various personalities active in the opposition to identify the one who can attract, control, and lead the several forces. As the possibility of an overthrow of Castro becomes more imminent, the senior leader must be selected, U.S. support focused upon him, and his build up undertaken.

4. Cover:

All actions undertaken by CIA in support and on behalf of the opposition council will, of course, be explained as activities of that entity (insofar as the actions become publicly known at all). The CIA will, however, have to have direct contacts with a certain number of Cubans and, to protect these, will make use of a carefully screened group of U.S. businessmen with a stated interest in Cuban affairs and desire to support the opposition. They will act as a _____ and channel for guidance and support to the directorate of the opposition under controlled conditions. CIA personnel will be documented as representatives of this group. In order to strengthen the cover it is hoped that substantial funds can be raised from private sources to support the opposition. $100,000 has already been pledged from U.S. sources. At an appropriate time a bond issue will be floated by the council (as an obligation on a future Cuban government) to raise an additional $2,000,000.

5. Budget:

It is anticipated that approximately $4,400,000 of CIA funds will be required for the above program. On the assumption that it will not reach its culmination earlier than 6 to 8 months from now, the estimated requirements for FY-1960 funds is $900,000 with the balance of $3,500,000 required in FY-1961. The distribution of costs between fiscal years could, of course, be greatly altered by policy decisions or unforeseen contingencies which compelled accelerated paramilitary operations. (Tab C)

6. Recommendations:

That the Central Intelligence Agency be authorized to undertake the above outlined program and to withdraw the funds required for this purpose as set forth in paragraph 5. from the Agency's Reserve for contingencies.
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:58 am


1. CIA is already in close touch with three reputable opposition groups (the Montecristi, Autentico Party and the National Democratic Front). These all meet the fundamental criteria conditional to acceptance, i.e. they are for the revolution as originally conceived -- many being former 26th of July members -- and are not identified with either Batista or Trujillo. They are anti-Castro because of his failure to live up to the original 26th of July platform and his apparent willingness to sell out to Communist domination and possible ultimate enslavement. These groups, therefore, fit perfectly the planned opposition slogan of "Restore the Revolution."

2. An opposition Council or Junta will be formed within 30 days from representatives of these groups augmented possibly by representatives of other groups. It is probably premature to have a fixed platform for the Council but the Caracas Manifesto of 20 July 1958 contains a number of exploitable points. Two of the CIA group leaders were signers of the Manifesto. The following points are suggested as a few possibilities:

a. The Castro regime is the new dictatorship of Cuba subject to strong Sino-Soviet influence.
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:06 am


1. Articulation and transmission of opposition views has already begun. Private opposition broadcasts (i.e. purchase of commercial time by private individuals) have occurred in Miami (medium wave) and arrangements have been made with Station WRUL for additional broadcasts from Massachusetts (short wave) and Florida (broadcast band). _____ and _____ have also agreed to the use of commercial stations for short wave broadcasts from _____ and _____. CIA has furnished support to these efforts through encouragement, negotiating help and providing some broadcast material.

2. As the major voice of the opposition, it is proposed to establish at least one "gray" U.S.-controlled station. This will probably be on Swan Island and will employ both high frequency and broadcast band equipment of substantial power. The preparation of scripts will be done in the U.S. and these will be transmitted electronically to the site for broadcasting. After some experience and as the operation progresses, it may be desirable to supplement the Swan Island station with at least one other to ensure fully adequate coverage of all parts of Cuba, most especially the Havana region. Such an additional facility might be installed on a U.S. base in the Bahamas or temporary use might be made of a shipborne station if it is desired to avoid "gray" broadcasting from Florida.

3. Newspapers are also being supported and further support is planned for the future. Avance, a leading Cuban daily (Zayas' paper), has been confiscated as has El Mundo, another Cuban daily. Diario de la Marina, one of the hemisphere's outstanding conservative dailies published in Havana, is having difficulty and may have to close soon. Arrangements have already been made to print Avance weekly in the U.S. for introduction into Cuba clandestinely and mailing throughout the hemisphere on a regular basis. As other leading newspapers are expropriated, publication of "exile" editions will be considered.

4. Inside Cuba, a CIA-controlled action group is producing and distributing anti-Castro and anti-Communist publications regularly. CIA is in contact with groups outside Cuba who will be assisted in producing similar materials for clandestine introduction into Cuba.

5. Two prominent Cubans are on lecture tours in Latin America. They will be followed by others of equal calibre. The mission of these men will be to gain hemisphere support for the opposition to Castro. Controlled Western Hemisphere assets (press, radio, television) will support this mission as will selected American journalists who will be briefed prior to Latin American travel.
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:10 am



I. Political Action / FY-1960 / FY-1961

Support of Opposition Elements and other Group Activities / 150,000 / 800,000

II. Propaganda / FY-1960 / FY-1961

Radio Operations and Programming (including establishment of transmitters) / 400,000 / 700,000

Press and Publications / 100,000 / 500,000

III. Paramilitary / FY-1960 / FY-1961

In-Exfiltration Maritime and Air Support Material and Training / 200,000 / 1,300,000

IV. Intelligence / FY-1960 / FY-1961

Collection / 50,000 / 200,000

Totals / *900,000 / 3,500,000

*These figures are based on the assumption that major action will not occur until FY-1961. If by reason of policy decisions or other contingencies over which the Agency cannot exercise control, the action program should be accelerated, additional funds will be required.
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