BOOK REVIEW: THE BAY OF PIGS

Created: 9/1/1964

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

OA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE IN

STUDIES IN

INTELLIGENCE

Acolteclionofarlicleson the historical, operational, doctrinal, and theoretical aspects ol intelligence.

. opimon or analysis expressed in Studies in Intelligence are those of do not necessanly reflect official positionsws of the Central or any other US Government entity, past or present. Nothing in the nstrued as asserting or implying US Government endorsement of anaciual slatements and interpretations.

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THE BAY OF PIGS. By Haynes Johnson with Manuel Axlime Jose Perer San Roman. Erneido OUva and Enrique Ruiz-William. (New York W. W. Notion, p.

HaynesSlory of" told from the viewpoint of the Cubans who fought at the Bay of Pigs and survived Castro's

with the four leaders, be says he consulted many otherd Cuban Families Committee, used

and'otriet'doeurrrent^ material rVoli^^

vulged." To the best of this reviewer's knowledge he did not get

The passages that reflect badly on CIA range from ArtUne'sat having toolygraph test and Olfva's adverse comments on the training program ina Joint Chiefs of Staff assessment team gave the training favorablecharges that the leaders were deceived about. support and given faulty intelligence for the operation.

San Roman and Oliva say they were toldysterious 'Frank* that the Brigade would not be the onfy unit Involved in tbe landing, that their air force would include fighter planes as well, and that the Marines, though not going In with tbem, "would be dose to us when we neededhe Brigade leaders learned that they were to establish andeachhead until tho civil government arrived, set itself up, and asked for help from the United States and Latin American countries.Is said to havo told them that there were forces in the Admtolstration trying to block the Invasion, and that If ihey received an order to stop they were to ignore it and go ahead with tbe plan.

Infiltration teams sent la by the Brigade, ft is claimed, felt that CIA didn't trust them because many messages sent from Cuba were never acted upon The Brigade commanders are reported to have been told that Castro would not be able to react for seventy-two hours (anpresumably based on theawn air raid would have on histhe raid washey were told that Castro's communications were poor, that there would be few tanks anpVno

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Recent Booltfi Vriffa/e

planes In the defending foTces. and that In the firit two daysCubani would [oln the BrigadeoluntaryOliva, who had defected from Caitro'i army, is quotedsaying: Tbey asked meuerriUa force couldFidd,aid no,new the regular army.been too long in power and was toosked whathadas answered, "We have all the backing necessary.'what the United States was golngto do and'to douoWlft Intel-

ligence Information when his iagsJilp arrived at Ptaya Ctrdn.the deserted resort bouses the CIA had said he would findwas ablaze with bgbts.' And so

^Tnethe Brigade's Iearlers*vfere^tolrR

orders from Washington to cancel the operation is serious enough to have required refutation^ and that.has Jspjp. given under oath by the officer Involved ButV^ould rJe^fW

ment the Cubans claim was made to them. With respect to those. support, eipUdtry or by Implication, tbe question Is what other approach the sponsors could or should have taken You don't send men into battleegative attitude. Nearly everybody. American and Cuban alike, was convinced that victory was assured and that the United States would be solidly behind tho Invaders. Partly for this reason no disaster plan had beenprecious little about the covert operation was put Into writing at all And to those who take at face value the stories of Saps in theouldtudy of the after-action reports done byin any battle: there will be little consistency among them about what happened before and during the fighting. No two human beings see or bear alike, particularly under conditions of stress.

So much in defense of CIA. More generally. The Bay ofell done,easonable bookisaster. Considering what happened to them, the Cuban leaders show remarkably littleThe book is especially goed, and probably quite accurate, about the efforts made to free the prisoners and their eventual release. It is weak and sketchy, for obvious reasons, about (he pUnning and ei-ecution of the operation from. viewpoint It takes its place on the shelf of literatureattle that may one day be as well covered as Gettysburg.

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