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tv   Lectures in History National Intelligence Under President Kennedy  CSPAN  December 30, 2018 12:00pm-1:06pm EST

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received. "thanks."id >> saved 1968. the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of apollo eight this tuesday. you're watching american history tv on c-span3. announcer: 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. nicholas: in this introductory course, we are continuing our historical survey of american intelligence under each presidential administration and now we have come to the presidency of john f. kennedy,
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january, 1961 to november, 1963. kennedy was a former naval of his or her. 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. he served less than a full term because he was assassinated of course, by a pro-cuban american leftist, a disturbed former marine named lee harvey oswald. at the end, i will have some reflections about the assassination. i want to mention a couple other developments that are not as spectacular, but they deserve to be remembered. they are important milestones in u.s. intelligence history and they leave a legacy to this day. one of them is the president's daily brief, which was created
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for kennedy as the intelligence 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 they used the pickle factory. i could never figure out what it was until i became a historian and heard about the 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 legacy from the kennedy administration. another important development was the creation of the defense intelligence agency, further expanding this constellation of agencies we know as the intelligence community. as we have learned in a previous class, that community around the time of world war ii comprised just the state department, fbi and the military branch intelligence organizations. with the cia in 1947, the cia becomes central. president truman added the national security agency in president eisenhower added the 1952. national reconnaissance office to coordinate activities regarding imagery from the spy planes and satellites. under kennedy, the defense
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department gets its own intelligence agency. dia is a major national agency of the intelligence immunity. as we discussed, it does important work in human intelligence and specialized technical intelligence. i got those important developments out of the way and twont to focus on the biggest intelligence subjects of the kennedy administration, which are the two major historical episodes that people remember. the bay of pigs fiasco and the cuban missile crisis. we have a fiasco and a crisis. they are both big problems. what they have in common is 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.
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the cuban missile crisis, by contrast, was a confrontation of superpowers, the united states and the ussr, over nuclear weapons. what they 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 dad -- bad analysis but in the context of intelligence collection both human and technical. in both cases, the intelligence shortcomings were made worse by executive decisions. the two crises are also alike in that the ic learned a lot from 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 the dictator during the eisenhower administration. we are dropping back a bit for context. 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 over 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
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out loud like assassinate, it is still clear that he wanted him 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 --prevent the," from going going communist. there is no smoking gun on either. eisenhower was concerned about castro for the same reasons he had authorized the cia to topple the elected government of guatemala. 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.
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there, you have the communists being helped by the cubans in order to spread communist revolution to other island nations in the caribbean. that example shows that 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 discussions 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 exiles who would infiltrate the country and link up with anti-castro forces believed to be operating in cuba. cia propaganda efforts based on 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 a covert action. the cia was using the example of
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its predecessor, the 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 cia remembered that and remembered 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
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operation in indonesia, where the people we were 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 u.s.s.r. these showed that three quarters of these teams were caught. the principle was established but not acted on that you are going 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.
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the cia started infiltrating and by the way, on the bottom right there, those are cia trained tibetan commandos getting ready for an airlift into chinese occupied tibet. the cia started infiltrating a few agents into cuba and found out there was not really an underground resistance and most of their 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 brief. -- 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 a beachhead. when kennedy came into office, plans cuban invasion force had 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. the cia had its own 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. the invasion forces were trained in bases in nicaragua and guatemala. the invasion was planned to land at the beach in trinidad. this was considered an anti-castro town. it had a good port, a defensible beach with good maritime and was close to the mountains. the key mistake was that for operational security, the cia's own intelligence analysts were kept in the dark. the experts on the state of cuba had no input. the directorate of operations did its own analysis.
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it based its optimistic assessments of internal cuban resistance on the initial opposition to castro when he came to power in 1959. it is two years later 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 that there was essentially no opposition to him. of the headectorate of intelligence was not consulted, even though he personally had participated in a campaign in world war ii with more than two dozen amphibious landings of this scale. a lot more than the u.s. marine
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they had brought in to plan the operation. he and all of his analysts were simply cut out for security reasons. some security. this is a january 10, 1961 from nt page above the fold new york times article. u.s. helps to train an anti-castro force at secret guatemalan air-ground base. not secrets anymore. was that thise covert action was no longer covert, with this kind of publicity. cuban exiles, the world knows, they are being trained, probably by the u.s., in guatemala for an attack on cuba. yes? >> [indiscernible] nicholas: sources.
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when you engage in a large operation, unless you have security that is tight, people talk. this happened with the albanian operation, various chinese operations we mounted in the early to mid 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 good question. so, multiple sources. and it gets worse. that turned out to be a mistake was the requirement that castro's air force be destroyed first. so that the cuban exile pilots
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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 airbases to destroy any planes that remained. two airstrikes, command of the air was essential, and this was things that had
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to go well for the success of this operation. yet another problem came from president kennedy's desire to maintain deniability that the u.s. had anything 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 will be too noisy. shifta had four days to planning to another location. they found it at the fairly remote bay of pigs, away from populated centers, but closer to the cubanoser to military and air force. also, it was surrounded by swamps. let me go to that slide.
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here we go. the peninsula gave this relocated operation its name. the bay of pigs was surrounded by the swamps, far away from the mountains where 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. he knew it very well. also a known was -- 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.
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they were coral reefs. that is why castro liked to go snorkeling there. it was a good place to go. let me read you a couple newspaper reports. dateline new york, april 10. this is one week before the invasion. alistair cooke is writing for the 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? whose 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. if recent reports of a projected invasion of cuba launched from american soil and carried out
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with the connivance of the american intelligence service come true, then much of president kennedy's labor will have been in vain. no one will believe that a group of cuban exiles could assemble a force of sufficient size and sufficient equipment unless they had the backing of the united states government. reports from authoritative american sources suggest that this is not true. the head planner for the operation said a few years 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
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agency because it' deserves to e criticized on this. on april 15, 1961, two days before the invasion, the first wave of air attacks by fewer planes than planned for damaged many cuban planes, but failed to destroy them all. the attacks alerted the cubans it was coming, got the intention of the united nations, where the u.s. ambassador found himself to be lying about u.s. noninvolvement. president kennedy had ordered the first airstrike to be smaller than planned for, then he canceled the second. 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
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of the air, the invasion was doomed. 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 they 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. effectively, castro was directing defenses. his forces enabled the supply ships. a landing craft made it a sure= shore and put a small exile force on the beach where they fought for three days. kennedy refused the cia's request to have u.s. aircraft
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provide combat air support. two cia chartered airplanes dropped munitions and supplies on the beach for the rebels. those were shot down. the four pilots between the two aircraft died. they are stars on the cia memorial wall. survivors were taken prisoner. it is a debacle. is humiliatings for the united states government and personally for president kennedy. it was a great victory for fidel castro. there were 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
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not me, have admitted they were planning errors, but insists the invasion could have been successful if it had been allowed to work as planned. its failure, they say, was kennedy's fault, for canceling that 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 its follow-up. he and the director had to resign. in his memoirs, he said, i sincerely believe that even with the plan's faults, but if we have been able to go ahead with the airstrikes, the per grade -- the brigade would still win the day.
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at least in establishing a beachhead. it is also possible, he wrote, that we in the agency were not as frank with the president about 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. castro's forces were securely in 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 invasion 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, and carried death and misery to hundreds, destroyed millions of dollars of u.s. property and damaged u.s. prestige. he was right about that.
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there was an internal rebuttal to the report. the directorate of operations said the airstrikes were crucial to success. without them, there could be no success. the defeat was attributable to a long line of decisions. there you have a common situation. something goes wrong, the intelligence folks blame the policy makers, the policymakers blame the intelligence folks. the ancient saying in washington, there are no policy failures, there are only policies successes and intelligence failures. my view is that there is plenty of blame to go around. 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
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intelligence people, one lesson learned is do not plan for a 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 the 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.
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operationally or even politically. remember, the policymaker may want deniability more than the conditions you have established for success. on the policy side, there were huge implications. u.s. prestige was damaged and the soviet union tried to take advantage. the soviet premier concluded that kennedy was weak and indecisive and amended that western powers abandon berlin. as you know, berlin was divided into east and west. kruschev said west berlin was a threat to east germany. cavity blamed the cia purporting him into that position. forennedy blamed the cia
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putting him into that position. he considered breaking up the cia and distributing it through the government. that was justifiable anger. he considered replacing alan dulles with his brother robert. robert light working with the agency but he was savvy enough to realize that would not work well. it is not career enhancing for politicians to be cia director. he turned that down. just a few months after the bay of pigs, kennedy is meeting with the soviet premier. at their summit, kruschev berated kennedy and said the soviets are going to get tough regarding berlin. germans,, the east
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acting on orders from moscow, directorate -- directed the berlin -- erected the berlin wall. it was meant to prevent east germans from escaping to freedom in the west. it is what communists do. the u.s. considered this illegal but did not risk war to stop it. interest inwed the the freedom. he backed down on further threats. this became another standoff. kruschev was looking for another way to advance the soviet position in the cold war, a surprise move that would change the balance. as we know, this was the accelerated history, he did that by putting soviet missiles in
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cuba, believing that by the time the united states discover them, it would be too late to do anything about it. the u.s. did discover them. kennedy told khrushchev to take them out or else. khrushchev backed down. nuclear war was averted and kennedy was a hero. that is the history people remember. by and large, it is true. it is dramatic. this story is largely an intelligent story. it begins with a soviet military intelligence officer who and provideto work intelligence for the cia and the british service. began as thence bay of pigs operation was ending and he continued as an asset tensions as cold war
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are mounting. he was a well-placed kernel in an area. he reports on what he learns in meetings about soviet strategy. he photographs secret military documents including the most helpful one of this missile manual, it was a medium-range ballistic missile. he passes these things to his case officers, he provides high-level soviet policy papers and tries to warn the u.s. that the berlin wall is going up. above all, he conveys this impression that the soviet leadership is not as confident as they appear. they are blustering from a position of weakness.
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they worry about provoking the u.s. to war. they do not have strategic superiority in weapons. the national intelligence estimates at the time, the u.s. assessesintelligence they have far fewer intelligence and they were claiming buried claiming. -- claiming. the cia gave him the codename hero. the intelligence he provided was marked with the codename iron bark and the oral briefings were named the chickadee briefings. we have multiple codenames to
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mask the source of this intelligence. a colonel who spied for the cia in the 1970's, the intelligence from him was called chrysanthemum. brothers, the kennedy are pressuring the cia to do something about the castro regime. the bay of pigs was embarrassing. they want revenge. they do not like being humiliated. they liked covert action. president kennedy approved more covert actions then eisenhower and they liked covert action against castro. though was never mentioned out love, -- out loud, plots. , plansename is mongoose to destabilize the cuban government but includes some
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ideas of how to kill castro. at the cia, the leadership falloutthe leadership from the bay of pigs falls on the cia. ifsident kennedy told dulles this were parliamentary, i would have to resign. it is not. you have to leave. to retire allowed few months after the bay of pigs. mccone,acement is john one of the great cia directors. the agency at the time is monitoring soviet shipment of cuba cano cuba so defend itself against another invasion. u-2 flights over cuba began in the summer. he raises a possibility that moscow might send missiles to cuba. mccone grasps that moscow might
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make this move in order to put ballistic missiles into cuba to overcome its strategic inferiority in missiles and bombers. august, imagery shows there are service to air , serviceites in cuba to air missiles -- surface to air missiles meant to bring down aircraft. he is alone in the u.s. government in believing they would not do this unless they are defending something important and perhaps that something would be ballistic missile sites and to shoot down reconnaissance aircraft so americans would be blind over cuba. what does the kennedy white house do? ites spooked them.
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the administration orders a moratorium on flights. it allows only three points in -- three flights in september, all of them in eastern cuba. that month of september, two things happen. there is a special national intelligence estimate. we talked about analytic products, authored by the head analyst. he says it would not make sense for the soviets to play strategic missiles in cuba because it is risky. we had talked about cognitive challenges to analysis. we discussed how a big one is mirror imaging, this idea that the other side is going to reason and figure out things likely would.
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this is a classic example of mirror imaging. at the same time, director mccoh ne goes on leave. he was recently remarried and he took his honeymoon. travels, heirector is sending cables back saying you have got to press the white house for permission to send u-2 s over those sites and figure out what is going on. he has no evidence. it made sense to him. from september to october, there is a five-week period in which no u-2s fly. they are largely on the periphery of cuba, even though mccone is making these appeals.
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meanwhile, there is human intelligence assets in cuba, telling the cia there is mysterious work going on in western cuba. some of them see long objects being told by military trucks. cone in sis kennedy allows, a single flight over the western area of cuba going straight across the island from cell to north.- from south to that would be this flight. in plain sight, a site, a medium-range ballistic missile site.
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kennedy authorizes unlimited flights. the recent book "blind over cuba," shows that the administration and friendly historians have blamed the cia for the bad weather for this gap in overhead imagery. it resulted from white house policymakers. the cuban missile crisis begins with an analytical failure and a collection failure, caused by policy. then, you have a success. sees what is there and intelligence, the analysts are able to warn kennedy about the situation.
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thatt to point out to you whichs a soviet sam site has a distinctive pattern in it. , u-2 flights week provide imagery that identified 24 medium-range ballistic missile sites that have a range of about 1000 miles and also, intermediate range ballistic missile sites and they have a range of about 2000 miles. roughly. sovietelligence on the s gives the president some indication of how long it will take to make these operational. kennedy has the time to deliberate instead of react. partmpulse on everyone's
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is we have to take things out with a strike. upon deliberation, he decides to impose a naval blockade and use diplomacy and tell the soviets to get the missiles out. it is good he decided on a blockade rather than attacking cuba because it was revealed that sell me a tactical nuclear weapons they would have used against an american attack. that is good. thankfully, the washington post got it wrong about the invasion of cuba. the new york times got it right regarding a blockade. kennedy goes on national tv on the 22nd of october and declares the blockade and makes it clear that any missile attack from
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cuba would be considered an attack from the ussr and would be answered. works andde intercepts confirm that soviet ships are turning back. imagery is used at the u.n. to embarrass moscow, who denies that such work was going on. the soviets back down. imagery intelligence monitor the removal of missiles from cuba. crisis, candidate he refuses to khrushchev that in exchange for moving the missiles, the u.s. pledges not to invade cuba. cuban missile crisis comes to a satisfactory ending. that is good.
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the kennedy brothers obsession with castro continues. the momentum continues to pressure the cia to get rid of castro. met with aa official cuban agents in paris on the 22nd of november, 1963 to give him poison to kill castro. that was the day kennedy was in dallas and was killed. in the time we have left, i want storyress the popular assassination was the result of a cia operation or conspiracy to kill the president. myth, a lie.t is a it is logically almost impossible to prove a negative. i'm confident the cia did not
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kill kennedy. it is a widespread story. i do know know how many books are out there making this assertion, probably hundreds. if you google kennedy assassination cia, you get almost 3 million hits on google. it has its own wikipedia article. i'm not going to go into all of the aspects of the theory. it is complicated and not worth consideration. the idea that the cia would murder an american president to me, as a citizen, is unimaginable. as a cia officer, it is monstrous in the highest degree. this is a claim that requires a burden of proof based on evidence. the evidence i have seen is
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speculative, not persuasive. i am sure i will hear from the conspiracy theorists about this. the motives do not convince me either. , i find ithistorian implausible, good scholarship has shown that the cia has considered itself to be the president's agency. yes? would lead the natural conclusion for people to say it , with books being released and protests. why would people believe this is cia? this seems ludicrous. >> i am not a psychologist. i'm not a popular psychologist.
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i think people want to believe there had to have been a conspiracy. could not kill the president of the united states without help. as told go more in-depth some of the milestones, one of movie "jfk,"e to show a cia conspiracy and after that film comes out, you have a majority of americans it,ed believing the cia did based on a movie. it had political implications. jfk acts passes the which requires ccia to declassify everything it has related to the assassination. as i was saying, the agency has
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always considered itself to be the president's instrument, no matter what was going on, intelligence failures, the bay of pigs, all of these are motives. the silliest one is that the cia killed kennedy because he planned to remove the u.s. from vietnam. the reality is that the cia was vietnamored of being in m. even sillier is that johnson had it done because he was controlled by the cia. which is nuts. another is that kennedy wanted to stop the cia from killing castro and the cia did not want to stop. time, theia at the years ofknow, from
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study, from internal documents, history interviews, memoirs, is literally the last group of men and women on the planet who would consider doing such a thing. the most insulting thing i have that the cia put a star on the memorial wall for lee harvey oswald. i was the historian responsible for the wall. i find that funny, insulting, frustrating all at the same time. on the internet, you can find interviews with men claiming to be the cia assassin. aboutn also find claims the cia cover-up of 51,aterrestrials, area experiments in time travel and
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none of those are real either. sorry to disappoint you. the people who believe these and many ofistaken them are nuts. that the trueis believers will say i'm part of the conspiracy. of course he would say that. which will come as a surprise to anyone who knows me. we live in a age when logic and dvidence gives way, is trumpe by assertion and identity. if you want a good source that refutes this theory, you can google the name of max collins , an independent researcher that has been following this for years. i ask all my students to treat everything with skepticism. check everything with evidence
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and sound reasoning and for your own sanity, ignore the loud voices who make assertions and say they must be true because there are a lot of them or because of the identity of the person making the assertion. i admit i could be accused of hypocrisy because i making an assertion about cia noninvolvement. i'm asking you to believe it because of who i am. relationships are everything. trust me because that is the best we can do. end of our us to the treatment of kennedy and intelligence. are there any other questions? jeremy? >> you mentioned the finding that is published. was any of that in place at the time of the bay of pigs?
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>> our discussion about covert action is a function -- as a , theion of intelligence requirement for a finding comes from the late 1970's. ,he most recent law on this which was one of the intelligence operation is -- intelligence authorization acts, at the time of the kennedy administration, there is no such process. there is an executive branch process but there is no reporting requirement to the congress. such reporting as was done was informal, off the record. in the case of the development of the spy plane, the cia houses, the of the senate, and did not inform the house.
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when he was shot down, at least half of the congress did not know we had a u-2. things have changed and we are going to get to that one we talk about accountability and reforms. >> you said we had an asset. did he not inform us about the missiles being brought into cuba? >> not specifically. he gave us the documentary evidence, the manuals which we were able to use during the crisis. when we received this information, we thought this is great but we do not have a need for it. the crisis happens and we have a need. this is why intelligence officers try to collect everything, even if it is not relevant at this time. it may be an investment for something in the future.
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they knew what they have but they did not know how relevant it was. system, a comes close to us, it becomes relevant. >> was there any objection made aboutnt to the cia choosing the bay of pigs as their site? >> i do not believe they had any input into that planning. it is a good question. as i understand covert action planning now, we would ask cubans and locals about the conditions of that place. the shortcomings could have been remedied if they brought in the analysts. that is one reform that mccone had, he made it a requirement
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that analysts me brought in for operational planning. joseph? >> does anyone think the cubans did bomb their own air force? did the deception work? >> no. the requirement of covert action is that the hand of the united states is not apparent or can be plausibly denied. what is plausible is a matter of opinion. i do not think given the publicity, that anyone doubted who was behind it. if the air force was so done, thehy wasn't it second airstrike? >> you fall in love with your operation and i will not ask for personal testimony, you make dumb decisions sometimes.
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i think it is true that the cia was afraid to tell the president and also, there was an unstated assumption that if we do not get these airstrikes, the invasion cannot succeed. the president will not allow it to fail so he will involve the u.s. military. that is an assumption on an assumption. kennedy was not willing to go that far. , what we have here is a failure to communicate, to coin a phrase. eric? >> what made director mccone such a good cia director? >> he had been a founder of u.s. steel. he was a manager. he was more efficient, clearheaded.
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he also was a visionary. created, or had created the directorate of science and technology which had not existed at that point. that is a long biography was done by my boss at the cia, the chief historian and that has been declassified and is available. a good biography has not been done. he was only there for four years. he did a lot of good things and try to get the place to clean up its the director got a few months not to resign until it was reasonable. what about the other? >> he left at the same time that
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dulles went. he thought it would be a step down and he was not interested in staying. >> where the question behind. >> what was the session with castro from jfk and the attorney general? to thethe closeness united states or the fear of communist? >> all of that. deeply seriouss by the participants and the leaders involved. there was a fear of communism -- an advanceof of communism is a defeat for freedom anywhere during just like eisenhower said we won't commonly -- tolerate a country going communist, whatever the merits of the argument were, and castro seemed to be worse. he openly declared himself to be an ally of the soviet union.
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that is the main enemy in the country we have to worry the most about and is creating the most trouble force in the world and is threatening our allies and that is the thinking at the time. it became personal. you discussed espionage and assets and the handling of those assets. how did the handling of the case with the soviet colonel and up? end up? go >> not well. caught and executed. andt of the brave soviet citizens who worked turned the , ad war met their fate bullet in the back of the head in moscow.
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have been able to get -- many people were out. some of the most prominent ones were martyrs for the cause. not mistaken, one of the slides it said we had oral debriefs with the kernel. how did the cia receive those. occasionally. there is a book on this called "the spy who saved the world," because of the information he gave. let me get rid of this. world, ito saved the influentialabout an kernel he had some part and was part of a solid -- soviet
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military trade to britain. he would go occasionally to the west and to paris wants and he would get away from his delegation and be met in a safe house by cia and mi six you prefer. there were extensive debriefings. that book which is a great book reveals all of that stuff. story that the spy got to meet with kennedy. that part of the history is not true. he considered himself a soldier for democracy. to the point where he asked, can you dress me up in an american colonel's uniform and then a british colonel's uniform. they did it. the things you will do from your asset to keep them reporting you'll do anything from , reporting. [indiscernible] prof. dujmovic: i think it is a -- it is in that book, but
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typically, you give the money but not enough that they could expose themselves by conspicuous spending. we are always trying to preserve s' lives, telling them they need to dial it back, but we gave him particular gifts to give to his superiors, so they liked him, so they would promote him, so they would give him good jobs. at one point, we gave him a bottle of brandy that was doctored to make it look like the vintage year of the birth of his boss, a soviet general, just love the that you found this for me. we will do these sorts of things. ok. anything else? ok, next week, a quiz on thursday and i will see you next time we meet on tuesday.
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thank you for your attention. >> listen to lectures on history on the go questioning the podcast anywhere, anytime. you are watching american history tv, only on c-span3. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] ♪ >> 2018 marks the centennial of u.s. participation in world war i and the november 11, 1918 armistice that finally ended four years of death and destruction. next, on american artifacts, join us for a tour of a u.s. army exhibit featuring the experiences of the common american soldier in the great war. this is about 50 minutes. kaleb: welcome. i am kaleb dissinger.


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