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Bay of Pigs Declassified: The Secret CIA Report on the Invasion of Cuba (National Security Archive Documents) Paperback – October 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-1565844940 ISBN-10: 1565844947 Edition: 1st

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Bay of Pigs Declassified: The Secret CIA Report on the Invasion of Cuba (National Security Archive Documents) + The Brilliant Disaster: JFK, Castro, and America's Doomed Invasion of Cuba's Bay of Pigs + Decision for Disaster: Betrayal at the Bay of Pigs
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Product Details

  • Series: National Security Archive Documents
  • Paperback: 339 pages
  • Publisher: New Press, The; 1 edition (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565844947
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565844940
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #425,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

If the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis was the most dire event of the Cold War, then the Bay of Pigs invasion of April 1961 was the most absurd. Kornbluh (director, Cuban Documentation Ctr. Project of the National Security Archive; Politics of Illusion: The Bay of Pigs Invasion Reexamined, Lynne Rienner, 1997) includes the tedious but informative report of Inspector General Lyman Kirkpatrick, which largely blames the CIA for misleading President Kennedy. Richard Bissell, the CIA's deputy director for plans, responds with a similarly oppressive rebuttal that attributes the failure to Kennedy's need to ensure plausible deniability?to hide America's obvious role by committing limited, insufficient air support and troops. Additional supporting documents and an interview with the invasion planners show the Bay of Pigs fiasco to be what historian Theodore Draper calls "a perfect failure." For a narrative overview, see Ale Fursenko's One Hell of a Gamble (LJ 3/15/97). Primarily for specialists in the era.?Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

For nearly a year after the CIA-sponsored invasion of Cuba's Bay of Pigs in April 1961, memos flew back and forth challenging the objectivity and appropriateness of criticism of the agency's performance in the official report of its own inspector general, Lyman Kirkpatrick. For nearly 40 years thereafter, the CIA fought to keep the report and responses by operatives involved in the fiasco secret. The Freedom of Information Act, a CIA "openness" campaign, and a 1995 executive order finally made the documents available. It is clear why the report generated controversy: at a time when the agency was trying to shift responsibility to others in government, especially President Kennedy and the Defense and State departments, Kirkpatrick outlined CIA errors, from bad planning, poor staffing, and faulty intelligence to "failure to advise the President that success had become dubious." Most general readers won't care to wallow through either report or responses, yet libraries with special collection and study interests may want these essential historical documents. Mary Carroll

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Harry Pandolfino on February 13, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fascinating post-mortem on the Bay of Pigs operation and all the more so because it was done internally by the CIA Inspector General. Suppressed for three decades because of its remarkably blunt honesty this book will have you shaking your head. A perfect example of why the 'best and the brightest' are not always so. I found it enlightening and humorous at the same time. Not one of the best run CIA operations by any means.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In Bay of Pigs Declassified: The Secret CIA Report of the Invasion of Cuba (National Security Archive Documents) is edited by Peter Kornbluh who has assembled from released documents a detailed picture of the thinking of the period following Fidel Castro's conquest of Cuba and his unexpected turn to a Marxist/Leninist government. America was still smarting from the McCarthy era and communists of any sort were feared and loathed. It was intolerable that a communist government could be installed a mere 90 miles from the United States of America but here it was. The leaders of the Central Intelligence Agency were convinced there was a way to remove Castro without the U.S. appearing to be involved. Here are official documents detailing what was planned and why and the thinking behind the cruel method of cutting the nation's losses when it all went so disastrously wrong. President Kennedy was in many ways brilliant but about being talked into approving the CIA invasions plan he said, "How can I have been so stupid....?" Those who love American History will want to have this book on their shelves.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By PHILIP A. STAHL on May 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
NO, this book is not perfecto, it has a few warts and some may argue it lacks "completeness" - a perception with which I strongly disagree. But overall it is a piece of recent history which the true U.S. citizen, interested in how "past is prologue" needs to have in his or her library.

Start with the fact of how much of the historical record is set straight, even for the intransigent historical revisionists. For example, "Operation Zapata" (aka 'The Cuba Project') was actually initiated and developed during the Eisenhower administration and pushed on Kennedy. (Telling him it was in the "national security interest" to do it) Most of this didn't come to light until the discovery of an internal CIA Report on the "Cuba Project", which had been kept hidden for over 35 years. I first saw it in a Baltimore Sun article(, p. 6A, Feb. 22, 1998.), headlined 'Internal Probe Blamed Bay of Pigs Fiasco on CIA'

The Sun article went on to state:

"The 150-page report, released after sitting in the CIA Director's safe for nearly three decades, blames the disastrous attempt to oust Fidel Castro not on President John F. Kennedy's failure to call airstrikes, but on the agency itself.

The CIA's ignorance, incompetence, and arrogance toward the 1,400 exiles it trained and equipped to mount the invasion was responsible for the fiasco, said the report, obtained by the Associated Press yesterday.

The document criticized almost every aspect of the CIA's handling of the invasion: misinforming Kennedy administration officials, planning poorly, using faulty intelligence and conducting an overt military operation beyond 'agency responsibility as well as agency capability'.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By southasia on February 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
All of this can be explained, once the government releases Dr. Pfeiffer's last volume. Here's the issue: Nobody told Dulles that Kennedy was the President. That memo just didn't get released inside headquarters. He's the ONLY person who can authorize military interventions in foreign countries, not the CIA.

It's just like the Iraqi WMD issue. No one at headquarters circulated the memo that Cheney had become the President and Sec. of State. At least, not everyone got the memo. Some people did, which is why we got that 2002 NIE.

Just wait for volume 5 of the history of the bay of Pigs operation. That'll clear all of this up for the future. Pfeiffer lays blame on Kennedy and other elements of the government. That's similar to Cheney blaming the insurgency in Iraq on the Iraqi people there. Right again, Dick.

That's why sending interoffice memos can be so important. Clarity of communication.
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