Hand-wringers and bed-wetters who use government secrecy to hide incompetence and errors will sleep less easy tonight.
All Five Volumes of Bay of Pigs History Released and Together at Last: FRINFORMSUM 11/3/2016 by Lauren Harper.
From the post:
After more than twenty years, it appears that fear of exposing the Agency’s dirty linen, rather than any significant security information, is what prompts continued denial of requests for release of these records. Although this volume may do nothing to modify that position, hopefully it does put one of the nastiest internal power struggles into proper perspective for the Agency’s own record.” This is according to Agency historian Jack Pfeiffer, author of the CIA’s long-contested Volume V of its official history of the Bay of Pigs invasion that was released after years of work by the National Security Archive to win the volume’s release. Chief CIA Historian David Robarge states in the cover letter announcing the document’s release that the agency is “releasing this draft volume today because recent 2016 changes in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires us to release some drafts that are responsive to FOIA requests if they are more than 25 years old.” This improvement – codified by the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 – came directly from the National Security Archive’s years of litigation.
The CIA argued in court for years – backed by Department of Justice lawyers – that the release of this volume would “confuse the public.” National Security Archive Director Tom Blanton says, “Now the public gets to decide for itself how confusing the CIA can be. How many thousands of taxpayer dollars were wasted trying to hide a CIA historian’s opinion that the Bay of Pigs aftermath degenerated into a nasty internal power struggle?”
To read all five volumes of the CIA’s Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation – together at last – visit the National Security Archive’s website.
Even the CIA’s own retelling of the story, The Bay of Pigs Invasion, ends with a chilling reminder for all “rebels” being presently supported by the United States.
Brigade 2506’s pleas for air and naval support were refused at the highest US Government levels, although several CIA contract pilots dropped munitions and supplies, resulting in the deaths of four of them: Pete Ray, Leo Baker, Riley Shamburger, and Wade Gray.
Kennedy refused to authorize any extension beyond the hour granted. To this day, there has been no resolution as to what caused this discrepancy in timing.
Without direct air support—no artillery and no weapons—and completely outnumbered by Castro’s forces, members of the Brigade either surrendered or returned to the turquoise water from which they had come.
Two American destroyers attempted to move into the Bay of Pigs to evacuate these members, but gunfire from Cuban forces made that impossible.
In the following days, US entities continued to monitor the waters surrounding the bay in search of survivors, with only a handful being rescued. A few members of the Brigade managed to escape and went into hiding, but soon surrendered due to a lack of food and water. When all was said and done, more than seventy-five percent of Brigade 2506 ended up in Cuban prisons.
100% captured or killed. There’s an example of US support.
In a less media savvy time, the US did pay $53 million (in 1962 dollars, about $424 million today) for the release of 1113 members of Brigade 2506.
Another important fact is that fifty-seven (57) years of delay enabled the participants to escape censure and/or a trip to the gallows for their misdeeds and crimes.
Let’s not let that happen with the full CIA Torture Report. Even the sanitized 6,700 page version would be useful. More so the documents upon which it was based.
All of that exists somewhere. We lack a person with access and moral courage to inform their fellow citizens of the full truth about the CIA torture program. So far.
Update: Michael Best, NatSecGeek advises CIA Histories has the most complete CIA history collection. Thanks Michael!