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tv   Lectures in History National Intelligence Under President Kennedy  CSPAN  December 23, 2018 12:00am-1:11am EST

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she said i thought she was a later when he was asked, what did you see? he said, i thought she was a queen. >> american artifacts, only on american history tv on c-span 3. >> next on lectures in history, catholic university professor and former cia historian nicholas dujmovic teaches a class about national intelligence during president kennedy's administration. he talks about the bay of pigs, the cuban missile crisis, and other covert operations during the cold war. his class is just over one hour. now we come to be presidency of
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john f. kennedy. january 1961 to november 1963. kennedy was a former naval officer, so he thought he knew something about intelligence. he was also a big fan of the james bond novels. i have pictured him with his brother robert kennedy, because the brothers together had great influence on u.s. intelligence. there's a lot to say about u.s. intelligence under kennedy. even though he served less than a full term because he was assassinated by a pro-cuban american leftist, a disturbed former marine named lee harvey oswald. i want to mention a couple other developments that are not as spectacular, but still they deserve to be remembered as important milestones in u.s. intelligence history and they leave a legacy to this day. one is the president's daily brief, which was created as the president's intelligence
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checklist. when i first came to the cia in 1990, i learned one of the nicknames insiders used was the pickle factory. they never used the company, but we used the pickle factory. i could never figure out what it was until i became a cia historian and heard about pickle, the president's intelligence checklist. it continues to this day. every president has used it, and most have benefited from it. it was new in the sense that -- well, president truman started the tradition of cia presenting to him a daily intelligence summary, but the pickle, and later the pbd was the first specifically presidential product that was tailored to the president's agenda, his style, and interests, with extremely limited distribution.
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this is a major intelligence legacy from the kennedy administration. another important development was the creation of the defense intelligence agency, further expanding this constellation of agencies we know of as the intelligence community. as we have learned in a previous class, that community around the time of the end of world war ii comprised just the state department, fbi and the military intelligence organizations. with the cia's creation in 1947, the cia becomes central. president truman added the national security agency in 1952. president eisenhower added the national reconnaissance office to coordinate cia and air force activities regarding imagery from the spy planes and satellites that were coming online. under kennedy, the defense department gets its own intelligence agency.
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dia today is a major national agency of the intelligence immunity. as we discussed, doing important work in human intelligence and specialized technical intelligence. i have those important developments out of the way, and i will focus on the two biggest intelligence subjects of the kennedy administration, which often are the two major historical episodes that people remember from this period, the bay of pigs fiasco and the cuban missile crisis. we have a fiasco and a crisis. both big problems. what they have in common is obviously cuba. otherwise, they are vastly different problems. the bay of pigs fiasco was a cia covert paramilitary operation, specifically a regime change operation that went very badly. the cuban missile crisis, by contrast, was a confrontation of
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superpowers, the united states and the ussr, over nuclear weapons. what the two big problems have in common, other than cuba, is that both were largely the result of shortcomings in american intelligence. in both situations, bad intelligence analysis was at work. the bay of pigs operation was an example of faulty planning to be sure, but that includes seriously flawed analysis. likewise, the cuban missile crisis begins with bad analysis, but in the context of intelligence collection both human and technical. in both situations, the intelligence shortcomings were made worse by executive decisions. the two crises are also alike in that the ic learned a lot from the mistakes of both. let's turn to the bay of pigs.
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revolutionary leader fidel castro turned his insurgency against the cuban dictator batista into a government when he ousted him during the eisenhower administration. castro quickly declared himself a communist, aligned with the soviet union, and this presented to the eisenhower administration a more dire situation than what they faced in guatemala a few years before. eisenhower wanted something done about castro. the cia proposed covert action to destabilize the cuban economy with economic sabotage. eisenhower said he wanted something more drastic. historians disagree on whether eisenhower meant that the cia should assassinate castro. to cia officials at the time, it seemed clear that eisenhower, who clearly would not use words out loud like assassinate, it is
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still cling to these cia eisenhower wanted castro removed from the scene by whatever means necessary. just as they believed that eisenhower had expressed the desire that an african leader be removed and killed if necessary to prevent the congo from going communist. there is no smoking gun on either, on whether eisenhower really wanted them assassinated. eisenhower was concerned about castro for the same reasons he had authorized the cia to topple the elected government of guatemala in 1954. he believed that once communism was established in the western hemisphere, it would spread by soviet supported subversion and revolution. this is what communist governments do. i did my dissertation on the revolutionary government of grenada 1979-1993.
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there, you have the communists grenadians being helped by the communist cubans in order to spread communist revolution to other island nations in the caribbean. that example from the shows that 1980's in the 1950's, eisenhower was onto something. he was right. this was a threat. eisenhower authorized the cia to plan covert actions to remove castro from power. at this point, i want to remind you of our discussion in this class about covert action as an intelligence function. the purpose of u.s. covert action is to influence political, economic, military conditions abroad in such a way that the hand of the united states is not apparent. the involvement of the u.s. government is not evident to people, or it can be plausibly denied. the original cia plan for cuba under eisenhower was to infiltrate some 30 cuban agents,
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cia trained agents, to create resistance groups within cuba. i think someone noticed that cuba is a big place. it doesn't stretch from washington past chicago, it is obviously located south of florida, but you can see how big it is. the plan quickly grew from 30 to about 500 cia trained cuban exiles who would infiltrate the country and link up with anti-castro forces believed to be operating in cuba. based onganda efforts the guatemala model would help build internal support opposing castro, and this is where it helps to have a knowledge of history, even when you are planning covert action. essentially cia was using the example of its predecessor, the
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office of strategic services, sending agents into nazi occupied france, where the population did not like the nazis and was willing to take risks to support these commandos, these covert action operatives. remember the positive aspects of the 1954 guatemala operation. in your reading, professor christopher andrew points out that eisenhower and the cia ignored other relevant historical precedents, including the negative lessons of guatemala. guatemala barely succeeded, even against a weakened government. it basically lost its nerve and allowed a success for covert action there. they ignored the lessons of the operation in indonesia, where
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the people we work helping in their military rebellion turned out to be weak and ineffectual. i would add that they also ignored the lessons of many covert action operations involving the insertion of ethnic agent teams trained by the cia to places like china and the ussr. fully three that quarters of these teams were caught. the principle was established but not really acted on that you are to lose three quarters of your agents if you send them into denied areas. they also demonstrated that estimates of local opposition to communists was usually overinflated. the cia started infiltrating and by the way, on the bottom right
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there, those are cia trained tibetan commandos getting ready for an airlift into chinese occupied tibet. the cia started infiltrating a few cuban agents into cuba and found out there was not really an underground resistance and most of their penetration agents were caught, which again, history might have taught them, if they had been paying attention. instead of recalculating or rethinking the whole plan, the cia shifted its plan instead to an amphibious landing of some 700. notice the mission creep. we start with 30, now we are up to 700 trained exiles who we are going to land by landing craft and paratroop penetrations, establish a beachhead, relocate to the mountains, become a resistance force, attract
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anti-castro cubans, declare themselves to be the legitimate government, and wait for u.s. support. sounds pretty neat. as the planning went on for the end of the eisenhower administration, the force kept getting bigger to ensure that when the landing happened, they could actually seize and hold the beachhead. when kennedy came into office, he planned a cuban invasion nned cuban invasion force and doubled to about 1500. they would be supported by a rebel air force, again trained cuban exiles. pilots of b-26 bombers that were in the cuban inventory. cia had its own b-26's that were painted to look like cuban air force bombers. the story would be that these
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were cuban air force officers who defected and joined the rebellion. they were trained in bases in nicaragua and guatemala. the invasion was planned to land at the beach at trinidad. this was considered an anti-castro town. again, looking for that local support. a had a good port, it had defensible beach with good maritime approaches. it was close to the mountains. the key mistake in planning for this covert action was for operational security, the cia's own intelligence analysts were kept in the dark. the current experts on the state of cuba had no input. the directorate of operations did its own analysis. it based its optimistic
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assessments of internal cuban resistance on the initial opposition to castro when he came to power in 1959. it is two years later in the -- and the analysts of the directorate of intelligence would have told them that things had changed. castro had a lot more support. that the internal security was ruthlessly efficient and there iwas essentially no opposition to him. even the head of the office of intelligence was not informed. he knew what was going on, but he was not consulted, even though he personally had participated in the pacific campaign in world war ii with more than two dozen amphibious landings of this scale. a lot more than the u.s. marine they had brought in to plan the operation.
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he and all of his analysts were simply cut out for security reasons. some security. this is a january 10, 1961 front page above the fold new york times article. u.s. helps to train an anti-castro force at secret guatemalan air-ground base. not secret anymore. another mistake was this covert action was no longer covert with this kind of publicity. cuban exiles, now, the world knows, are being trained, probably by the u.s., in guatemala for an attack on cuba. yes? >> [indiscernible] prof. dujmovic: various sources. when you engage in a large operation, unless you have
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operational security that is very tight, people talk. this happened in the albanian operations in the late 1940's and 1950's. various chinese operations we mounted in the early 1950's. when you get people together, they will talk. castro knows something is up even before this. he is trying to penetrate these operations with his own people. you hire a bunch of cuban exiles, how many of them -- are 100% anti-castro, or has castro sent one or two agents? it is good counterintelligence. a very good question. so, multiple sources. and it gets worse. another factor in the planning that turned out to be mistake was a requirement that castro's air force be destroyed first. that the cuban exile pilots b-26'sr cia provided
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pretending to be cuban air force would have command of the air. that was prerequisite for the success of this operation. the cia recruited pilots from the alabama national guard. there was to be one air attack two days before the amphibious landing, allegedly by these cuban air force pilots who were disgruntled and decided to shoot up their own planes. that is why the cia's b-26s were painted to look like cuban air force planes. the day before the invasion, the b-26 exile force would come back to cuban air base to destroy any planes that remained. two airstrikes, command of the air was essential, and this was one of several things that had to go well for the success of this operation. yet another problem came from president kennedy's desire to
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maintain deniability that the u.s. had nothing to do with us. we didn't like castro, but these are independent, patriotic cubans acting on their own. one month before the invasion, he ordered another landing site be found, away from trinidad, a populated center. people will find out early. this was long before the internet, but they might take pictures, it would be too noisy. the cia had four days to shift all of its planning to another location. they found it at the fairly remote bay of pigs, away from populated centers, but closer to havana, closer to the cuban military and air force. also, it was surrounded by swamps. let me go to that slide.
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this peninsula gave the relocated operation its name. zapata.ame operation the bay of pigs was surrounded by this swamp, far from the mountains where you hoped the exile force would be able to melt away to become that beacon of freedom for large numbers of disaffected anti-castro cubans. that is the theory. unknown to the planners was the fact that the bay of pigs was castro's favorite place to go fishing, snorkeling, vacationing. he knew it very well. which really helped when he arrived on scene to lead the defenders. also unknown was that there were coral reefs and rocks that complicated navigation. the operation's planners looked at the imagery and concluded that the darker water was seaweed. no, they were coral reefs.
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that is why castro liked to go snorkeling there. it was a good place to go. let me read you a couple newspaper reports. his dateline new york, april 10. this is a week before the invasion. guardian of the united kingdom, "mystery of coming invasion. another three-hour harangue from castro has failed to clear up the mystery of the coming invasion. who is training it, where will it be mounted? who is the dominant power in exile, and what will the united states administration do about it?" also in the guardian that day was an editorial, since president kennedy came to power, he has done much to restore american prestige in the uncommitted world. but if recent reports of a projected invasion of cuba launched from american soil and carried out with the connivance of the american intelligence service come true, then much of
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president kennedy's labor will have been in vain. no one will believe that a group of cuban exiles however burning their grievances could assemble a force of sufficient size and equipment unless they had the backing of the united states government. an official denying central intelligence planning, but reports from authoritative american sources suggest that it is not. the head planner for the operation said in a few years 1967 later, we did not realize the extent to which it was believed by everyone else that this was a u.s. government operation. apparently, cia was not reading the newspapers. i am being critical of my former agency because it deserves to be
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criticized on this. on april 15, 1961, two days before the invasion, the first wave of air attacks by six b -26's, fewer than planned for damaged many cuban planes, but failed to destroy them all. the attack alerted cubans, got the attention of the united nations, where the u.s. u.n. ambassador found himself to be lying about u.s. noninvolvement in this operation. president kennedy had ordered the first airstrike to be smaller than planned for, then he canceled the second planned airstrike. the cia was afraid to recommend at that point that the invasion be canceled. even though everyone on the cia side knew that without command of the air, the invasion was
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doomed. they were afraid to get bad news isgive bad news, which uncharacteristic. intelligence is in the bad news business, but this is a case where they call it falling in love with your operation. they had all fallen in love with it and were not willing to end it. when the invasion force arrived on april 17, it faced a fully mobilized cuban military with command of the air as well. castro on scene effectively directing the defenses. his forces disabled the two supply ships, put a small exile force on the beach where they fought valiantly for three days. kennedy refused the cia's request to have u.s. aircraft provide combat air support. two cia chartered airplanes from the alabama national guard
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dropped munitions and supplies on the beach for the rebels. but those were shot down. the four pilots between the two aircraft died. cia'sre stars on memorial wall. others were taken prisoner. debacle afterwards. this was humiliating for the united states government and personally for president kennedy. it was a great victory for fidel castro. there was a lot of bitter recriminations and finger-pointing going on. kennedy's advisers and pro-kennedy historians have placed the blame on the cia. for its mistaken assumptions in planning, for deceiving the president about chances for success. on the other hand, cia defenders at the time and ever since, but not me, have admitted they were
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planning errors, but insists the invasion could have been successful if it had been allowed to work as planned. its failure, they say, is kennedy's fault, for canceling the second airstrike, for refusing u.s. military support. he is blamed for moving the landing site and for liking covert action too much. the chief cia planner was a brilliant man who was also the project manager for the u2 aircraft and the follow-on, the a12. he and the director had to resign. in his memoirs, he said, i sincerely believe that even with as long as welts, were able to destroy castro's air force, the plan would have won the day, at least in establishing a beachhead. it is also possible, he wrote, that we in the agency were not as frank with the president as
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about further deficiencies as we could have been. there is a telling admission. there was an internal report by the inspector general of the cia saying that if the cia had been more careful in its planning, it would have realized there was no effective organized resistance to the castro regime that could have rallied to help the invaders. pastors forces were formal -- y inro's forces were firml control of cuban society. they vastly outnumbered any invasion force, and the terrain offered no help at all. he said the cia should've canceled the operation, even though it would have been embarrassing to the agency. he said cancellation would have been embarrassing, but it would have averted failure, which brought even more embarrassment, carried death and misery to hundreds, destroyed millions of dollars of u.s. property and seriously damaged he was prestige. he was right about that.
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there was an internal rebuttal to the inspector general's report. the directorate of operations said the airstrikes were crucial. without them, they could be no success. the defeat was attributable to a long series of washington policy decisions. commonou have a fairly situation. something bank goes wrong, the intelligence folks blame the policy makers, the policymakers blame the intelligence folks. thus was fulfilled the engine saying in washington, there are no policy failures, there are only policy successes and intelligence failures. my view is that there is plenty of blame to go around. i think the historical record shows there were plenty of failures on both sides. for intelligence people, there are clear lessons from the bay of pigs. the policy people can come up with their own, but for intelligence people, one lesson learned is do not plan for a
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covert action or any kind of intelligence operation that requires every part of it to go perfectly for any of it to succeed. secondly, do not undertake covert operations that have already been described in the new york times. third, make sure your agency's experts are involved in the planning. the ones who know most about the area you are going into. if they are not cleared for the project, you should clear them. do not be afraid of communicating clearly to the policy people the risks and consequences of failure of every part of the plan. this takes courage, but intelligence people should be prepared to stand down and walk away from any operation that does not make sense operationally or even politically. remember, the policymaker may
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want deniability more than the conditions you have established for success. on the policy side, there were huge implications. the soviet union tried to take advantage. concluded premier kennedy was weak and indecisive and berlin was divided into the east and west between the soviet union and the western allied powers. prof. dujmovic: khrushchev said that west berlin was a threat to east germany. kennedy blamed the cia for putting him into that position. he briefly considered breaking up cia into various missions or business areas and distributing
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it throughout the government. that was justifiable anger on his part. he also considered replacing alan dulles with his own brother, robert. robert kennedy liked working with the agency. but he was a savvy enough politician to realize that what would not work very well. it is not really career enhancing for politicians to be cia director. so he turned it down. just a few months after the bay of pigs debacle, kennedy is meeting with the soviets premier indiana at their summit. khrushchev buried to kennedy for american imperialism. he said the soviets we get tough regarding berlin. in august, four months after the bay of pigs, the east germans,
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acting on orders from moscow, directed the berlin wall, cutting off east and west berlin. the commonest called it the anti-fascists protective wall. it was meant to prevent escaping east germans. it is what communist communists do. kennedy renewed american commitment to the freedom of west berlin. this became another cold war standoff. khrushchev was looking for a way to advance the soviet position and the cold war. some surprise move that would change the strategic balance in moscow's favor. as we all know, and this is the accelerated history of that, he did that by putting soviet missiles in cuba, secretly believing by the time that americans would discover them,
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it would be too late. but the american government did discover them. early. kennedy told him to take them out or else. after some tense days, khrushchev backed down. nuclear war was diverted. kennedy was a hero. this dramatic story is largely an intelligent story. it begins with a soviet military intelligence officer who volunteered to work and provide intelligence for cia and the bridges service, mi six. his intelligence began as the bay of pigs was beginning. he was a well-placed colonel in the soviet military organization the gru. he reports on what he learns in meetings.
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he photographs secret soviet military documents. including probably the most helpful one, this are two missile manual. -- r-2 missile. the r2 is a medium-range ballistic missile. he passes these things to cia and and by six case officers. he provides high-level soviet policy papers. he even strike to one the u.s. ahead of time about the berlin wall going up, but he cannot do so in time. above all, he conveys his impressions that the soviet leadership is not as confident as they appear. they are blustering from a position of weakness, and they
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know it. they know they do not have strategic superiority and nuclear weapons. the national intelligence estimates at the time assessed that the soviets had far fewer nuclear missiles than they were claiming. it was bluster. khrushchev backstab number land. that seems to confirm this. but he was worried that khrushchev might do something desperate. the cia give multiple codenames to him to mask the source of the intelligence. meanwhile, the kennedy brothers are pressuring cia to do something about the castro regime.
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bay of pigs was embarrassing. they do not like being humiliated. they liked covert action. kennedy approved more covert action operations than eisenhower. they especially liked covert action against castro. propaganda, sabotage, and though it was never mentioned out loud, assassination plots. the codename for all of these efforts was mongoose. it included some ideas for how to kill castro. there is a leadership change at the cia. the fallout from the bay of pigs
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fall squarely on the cia. kennedy told dulles that if this was a parliamentary system, i would have to resign in my government would fall. but it is not so you have to leave. dulles was allowed to retire with bay of pigs some dignity a few months after in november of 61. his replacement is john mccone. the agency is monitoring soviets shipments of weapons to cuba. u2 flights over cuba began in february of 1962. mccone first raises the possibility that moscow might send missiles to cuba. he grasps that moscow might make this bold move in order to put ballistic missiles into cuba to
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overcome it strategic inferiority in missiles and bombers. at the end of august, the u2 imagery shows there are surface-to-air missile sites in cuba. missiles meant to bring down aircraft. mccone is alone in the u.s. government and believing that they would not do this unless they are defending something important from aerial attack. perhaps that something would be ballistic missile sites.
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and also to shoot them or, since aircraft so the americans will find out. so what does the kennedy white house to? the sam sites spooked them. the organization orders a moratorium on flights. it allows only three flights in september. all of them over eastern cuba, away from the known sam sites. there is a special national intelligence estimate. we talked about analytic products. authored by sherman kent, the head analyst. he says it would not make sense for the soviets to place strategic missiles in cuba because it is too risky. we discussed cognitive biases and challenges to analysis. a big one among them is mirror imaging. the idea that the other side is going to reason and figure out things like we would. this is an example of mirror imaging. at the same time, director mccone goes on wave.
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he was a widower and he was recently remarried and he took his honeymoon in the south of france. whenever a cia director, you have communications with you. he is sending cables back to cia saying you have to press the white house for permission to send u2s over those sam sites. figure out what is going on. what they are protecting. he has no evidence. it just makes sense to him. there is a five-week. in which practically no u2s fly. the ones that do stay away from the sam sites. even though mccone is making these appeals, meanwhile, there
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is human intelligence and espionage assets in cuba. they are telling the cia that they cease a mysterious, secret work going on in western cuba. some of them see long, cylindrical objects being towed by military trucks. mccone insists and kennedy allows a single u-2 flight over the san cristobal area. a flight discovers a missile site. kennedy then authorizes unlimited u-2 flights. some have blamed the cia or the bad weather for this five-week gap and overhead imagery collection.
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it in fact was due to white house policymakers. the u-2 sees what is there. the analysts are able to warn kennedy about the situation. i want to point out to you that on the previous slide, this is a soviet sam site that has a distinctive pattern and it. over the next week, u-2 flights provide imagery that identify 24 medium-range ballistic missile sites. they have a range of about 1000 miles. and also intermediate-range ballistic missile sites. they have about the 2000 mile
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range. the intelligence gives the president some indication of how long it would take to make these things operational. kennedy has the time to deliberate instead of simply reacting. the initial impulse on everyone's part is that we have
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to take these things out with a strike. but upon the liberation, he decides to impose a naval blockade. and use hard-nosed diplomacy to tell the soviets to get the muscles out. it was a good thing he decided on this rather than attacking cuba. it was revealed years later that soviet forces in cuba had tactical nuclear weapons that they would have used against an american attack. thankfully, the washington post got it wrong about the invasion
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of cuba. the new york times got it right regarding a naval blockade. kennedy goes on national tv on october 22 and announces the situation. declares the blockade. makes it clear that any missile attack from cuba would be considered an attack from the ussr and would be answered. the naval blockade over the next 12 days of the crisis works. nsa intercept confirmed that soviet ships are turning back. u-2 is used publicly at the u.n. to embarrass moscow, who denies that such work was going on. the soviets back down. imagery and signals intelligence monitor the removal of soviet missiles from cuba. during the crisis, a u-2 was shot down. kennedy refuses to escalate. instead, he responds to curse s proposal that in exchange for removing the missiles, the u.s. pledges not to invade cuba. so, the cuban missile crisis comes to a satisfactory ending. but the kennedy brothers of session with castro continues.
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the momentum continues to pressure the cia to get rid of castro. so senior cia officials meet in paris. this was a plot to kill castro. this is also the day kennedy was in dallas and got killed. i want to address the all too popular story that kennedy's assassination in dallas was the result of a cia operation or conspiracy to kill the president. my bottom line opinion, it is a myth. a canard. a lie. it is logically almost impossible to prove a negative. but i'm quite confident that the cia did not kill kennedy. it is quite a widespread story. i do not know how many books are
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out there making this assertion. probably hundreds. maybe a lot more. if you google it, you almost get 3 million hits. it has its own wikipedia article. i am not going to go into all of the aspects and variance of the theory. it is too complicated and not worth our consideration. the idea that the cia would murder an american president, to me as a citizen is unimaginable. and as a career cia officer, if this monstrous and abstain in this is -- it is monstrous and abstain in the highest degree. this is an extraordinary claim that requires a burden of proof based on persuasive evidence.
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the so-called evidence i have seen is all inferential, highly speculative, not persuasive. i am sure i will hear from the conspiracy theorists about this. the allegedly does do not convince me either. as a cia staff historian for 11 years, i find it implausible in the extreme. good scholarship over the years has shown that cia has always considered itself to be the president's agency and has done his bidding. yes, robert? >> what would lead people to say it was cia? as much support as it was. why would people believe it was obviously the cia? it seems like a ludicrous idea.
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prof. dujmovic: i am not a psychologist. certainly not a popular psychologist. i think people want to believe that there had to have been a conspiracy. that this punk could not kill the president of the united states without help. we could go more in depth as to some of the milestones of this theory. one of which was the movie by oliver stone. it was done very skillfully. to show a cia conspiracy. after that some comes out, you have at one point the majority of americans believing the cia did it. based on a movie. it had political implications. congress passes the jfk act that requires the cia to declassify everything it has that could be related to the assassination. the agency is always considering
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itself the president and chairman, no matter what is going on. whether there are intelligence failures. the buckles like the bay of pigs. all of these are allegedly motives. one of the silliest is that the cia killed kennedy because he planned to pull out of vietnam. the reality is that the cia was not enamored with the war in vietnam. even sillier was that johnson was involved. that he was controlled by the cia. that is nuts. another is that kennedy wanted
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to stop trying to kill castro in the cia did not want to stop. the agency i know from years of study of internal documents, world history interviews, memoirs, memoranda is literally the last group of men and women on the planet who would even consider doing such a thing. the most insulting thing i have seen is a claim that the cia put a star on the memorial wall for lee harvey oswald. i was the historian responsible for the memorial wall. i find that funny and frustrating all at the same time. on the internet, you can find youtube interviews with men claiming to be the cia assassin. you can also find claims about the cia's coverup of extraterrestrials, experiments of time travel and teleportation. none of those are real either. sorry to disappoint.
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the people who believe these things are sadly mistaken. many of them are nuts. the sad thing that is the true believers and the conspiracy theory would say i am part of the conspiracy. which would come as a surprise to anyone who knows me. we live in an age where logic and evidence gives way, is trumped by, assertion and identity. if you want a reliable source that refutes this theory, look up max holland, an independent researcher who has been following this for years. i exhort all of my students to treat everything with due skepticism, including what they teach you in class. check everything. for your own sanity, ignore this cacophony of loud voices to make assertions and say they must be
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true because there are a lot of them. or because of the identity of the person making the assertion. i fully admit that i can be accused of hypocrisy here because i am making an assertion. i do not have persuasive evidence because you cannot prove a negative. and i am asking you to believe me because of who i am. i am asking you to trust me. because that is all week and there. this brings us to the end of our treatment of kennedy and
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intelligence. any other questions? >> you mentioned the presidential finding. was any of that in place at the time of the bay of pigs? prof. dujmovic: our discussion about covert action as a function of intelligence was, as of now, the recent developments, the requirement for a finding comes from the late 1970's. the most recent law on this, which was one of the intelligence authorization acts, i think it was 1997, all of that goes into title 50 of the u.s. code. at the time of the kennedy administration, there was no such process. there is an executive branch process. but there is no reporting requirement to the congress. such reporting that was done was in formal. in the case of the development
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of the u-2 spy plane, the cia notified one of the houses. i think it was the senate. and did not inform the house. so when francis gary powers was shot down, at least half of the congress did not know we had a u-2. so things have changed. so we will talk about that when we get to accountability and the reforms of the 1970's. >> did the russian asset not inform us about the missiles coming into cuba? prof. dujmovic: not specifically, but he gave us the evidence manuals that we were able to use during the crisis. i am told that when we received it, we would thought it was great, the there was no need for it. but the cuban missile crisis happens, and all of a sudden there is a need for it. this is why intelligence officers gather everything. they knew what they had that they did not know how relevant it was.
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for a missile system that we do not expect to get close to but it becomes goes to us, then it is relevant. >> was there any objection made to choosing bay of pigs as a landing site? prof. dujmovic: i don't believe they had any input into that planning. as i understand covert action planning now, we would ask cubans and locals about the conditions of that place. the shortcomings there probably could have been easily remedied if they just brought in the director of intelligence analysts. that is one reform that mccone had. he made it a requirement that the analysts be brought in for operational planning of that sort.
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>> does anyone think that the cubans bombed their own air force? prof. dujmovic: no. the requirements of covert the requirements of covert action is that the hand of the united states is not a parent or can be denied plausibly. what is plausible is sometimes a matter of opinion. i don't think, given the publicity, that anybody doubted, once the shooting started, who was behind it. >> if bombing the air force was so crucial and it wasn't finished the first time, why was it not done? prof. dujmovic: like i said, you fall in love with your operation. and you make dumb decisions. i think it is true that cia was afraid to tell the president. also, there was an unstated
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assumption on the cia's part that if they did knock it these airstrikes, it would not succeed. but they thought the president was not allowed to fail. so they assumed he would involve the u.s. military. kennedy was not willing to go that far. so what we have here is a failure to communicate. [laughter] to coin a phrase. >> what made mccone such a good director of the cia? prof. dujmovic: he had been a founder of what became u.s. steel. he was a corporate manager. much more efficient. clearheaded. a bit of a visionary. he had created the directorate of science and technology.
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which had not existed at that point. there is a long biography on him that was done by my boss. it has been largely declassified and is available to you. a good popular biography of mccone i don't think is ever been on. he was only there for four years. but he did a lot of good things. try to get the place to clean up -- he tried to get the place to clean up its act. >> you said that director dulles got three months to resign. was bissell just kicked out? prof. dujmovic: i think he left at the same time that dulles did. he was offered a another job within cia but he thought it would be a step down.
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>> was at the fear of communism? he was offered another job at the cia but he thought it would be a step down, so he was not interested in staying. we had a question right behind. >> what was with the obsession with castro from jfk and the attorney general? was it the closeness to the united states or was that the fear of communism? prof. dujmovic: all that. the cold war was the deeply serious thing by the participants and the leaders involved. there was a fear of communism, and advance of communism anywhere is a defeat for freedom everywhere. just as eisenhower says we are not going to tolerate a country going communist, guatemala, whatever the merits of the argument work, and castro seemed to be worse.
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