Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Another WSJ Reich Hack Gets 'Bay of Pigs' Wrong As She Attacks Bernie's Socialism

Wall Street Journal op-ed columnist Mary Anastasia O'Grady I sometimes read on Mondays, if I've nothing else pressing.  I read her usually lurid, anti-socialist tirades to see how far off the beam she is on a given day. That is,  in covering Latin American and Caribbean politics, issues.  Yesterday, her piece 'Bernie Rewrites Cuban History' (p. A15) caught my attention because I wondered how another hack from the WSJ's stable of  neoliberal, capitalist defenders (including Holman Jenkins Jr., Dan Henninger, William McGurn et al) would respond to Bernie Sanders' rise.

All I will say here is that her screed is every bit the indoctrination twaddle and propaganda she accuses Fidel Castro and the Cuban government of.  (A gov't by the way, which was among the few to dispatch medical specialists to Barbados when it desperately needed help in the 70s and 80s owing to a dire shortage of health care workers and medical specialists.)

It was also interesting reading her agitprop how - while she indulged in all the Castro regime's transgressions -  she mentioned none of the atrocities of the U.S.   For example, the well-documented Operation Northwoods plot - conducted outside JFK's purview - to foment a full scale war and invasion of the island. We actually have the documents that confirm  the extent of it, e.g.                                                           

In Operation Northwoods the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. military planned a campaign of terror, to include the sinking of refugee boats (carrying Cuban refugees) on the high seas, as well as the killing of innocent citizens on American cities’ streets, plus random bombings carried out in Washington, DC, Miami and other places. What was the  motivation? Author James Bamford shows (Body Of Secrets, pp. 82-83) it was to incite an invasion and war against Cuba and enable the U.S. to invade and overthrow Fidel Castro.

But the documents to support suspicions of this (failed) conspiracy were only released years later – though many smelled a ‘rat’. When I first heard of Northwoods, I had trouble processing how any U.S. government agency or entity could remotely conceive of such foul deeds, far less carry them out. Then I quickly recalled the blowing up of Cubana Airlines Flight 455 over Barbados, on October 6. 1976 by Luis Posada, Freddie Lugo and other renegades sponsored in the extremist Alpha 66 enclave by the CIA.

 As former federal agents Warren Hinckle and William Turner noted in their excellent book, ‘Deadly Secrets: The CIA-Mafia War Against Castro and the Assassination of JFK’ (p. 384, Thunders Mouth Press, 1992):

Two men who had deplaned in Barbados, Freddy Lugo and Hernan Ricardo Lusano, were interrogated after joking about the bombing in a Barbados taxicab. The two were employed by Luis Posada…and confessed that Posada and (Orlando) Bosch had supplied them with two bombs, which they planted on the Cubana aircraft.”

Luis Posada  Carriles - state-sponsored  (by the U.S.) Venezuealan terrorist, who was allowed U.S. sanctuary by George Bush Jr. and never extradited for trial in Venezuela.

According to a secret CIA cable dated Oct. 14, 1976, intelligence sources in Venezuela relayed information about the Cubana Airlines Flt. 455 bombing that tied in  Alpha 66 terrorist Orlando Bosch, who had been visiting Venezuela, and Posada, who then served as a senior officer in Venezuela’s intelligence agency, DISIP. On his arrival, Bosch was met by a CIA operative and Posada, according to the report. Later, a fundraising dinner was held in Bosch’s honor. “A few days following the fund-raising dinner, Posada was overheard to say that, ‘we are going to hit a Cuban airplane,’ and that ‘Orlando has the details,’” the CIA report said.

Those of us living in Barbados at the time had no remote notion of the bloody act to come, nor of the U.S. complicity in it, or that the same right wing Cuban renegades - whose associates conspired in the JFK assassination -  were part of it.  The CIA Report went on to read:

Following the 6 October [1976] Cubana Airline crash off the coast of Barbados, Bosch, Garcia and Posada agreed that it would be best for Bosch to leave Venezuela. Therefore, on 9 October, Posada and Garcia escorted Bosch to the Colombian border, where he crossed into Colombian territory.”

Meanwhile, Venezuelan police began rounding up suspects. Two right wing Cuban exiles, Hernan Ricardo Lusano and Freddy Lugo, who got off the Cubana plane (Flight 455) in Barbados, confessed that they had planted the bomb and they named Bosch and Posada as the architects of the attack. A search of Posada’s apartment in Venezuela turned up bomb-making instructions, some materials as well as Cubana Airlines timetables and other incriminating documents.

Posada and Bosch were charged in Venezuela for the Cubana Airlines bombing, but the case soon became a political tug-of-war, since the suspects were in possession of sensitive Venezuelan government secrets that could embarrass President Andres Perez. Posada escaped from a Venezuelan prison where he was awaiting trial in 1985. In his autobiography, Posada thanked Miami-based Cuban activist Jorge Mas Canosa for the $25,000 that was used to bribe guards who allowed Posada to walk out of prison. Another Cuban exile who aided Posada was former CIA officer Felix Rodriguez, who was close to then-Vice President Bush.  More details on the worst  terrorist act in the hemisphere to that date are provided below:



In the last link we learn that Right wing Cuban exiles, the lot Ms. O'Grady extols, were responsible.  Subsequent documents have confirmed the role of these terrorists and U.S. CIA complicity (via Luis Posada) as well. So in the midst all her outrage about Bernie Sanders and Fidel Castro ("a megalomaniac"), O'Grady mentions none of this.  Convenient memory lapse or selective attention to rewrite Cuban history?  I.e. rewriting the history of the Bay of Pigs, and JFK's involvement:

"Around 2,800 Cuban men trained for the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. They had been promised U.S. air cover but President Kennedy reneged at the last minute and the Communists easily defeated them."

Now the truthLittle known by Americans, “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). Awed by the conviction and national security patter of an elder president with 8 years in the Oval office, (while he himself was a new-be), JFK took Ike at his word and paid the price.   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.  The results were released under ‘The Bay of Pigs Declassified’.  It was actually based on the agency’s own internal audit and assessment of its behavior in respect of the event.

According to the declassified report, the Agency committed at least four extremely serious mistakes:

i)                Failure to subject the project, especially in its latter, frenzied stages to a cold and objective appraisal by the best talent available before submitting the final plan to Kennedy

ii)              Failure to advise the President, at an appropriate time, that the mission’s success had become dubious- and to recommend the operation therefore be canceled.

iii)            Failure to recognize the project had become overt and that the military effort had become too large to be handled by the Agency alone

iv)             Failure to reduce successive project plans (dating back to 1959) to formal papers and to leave copies with the President and his advisers, to request specific written approval, confirmation thereof.  

The section goes on to note (p. 53):

The timely and objective scrutiny of the operation in the months before the invasion – including study of all available intelligence- would have demonstrated to Agency officials that the clandestine paramilitary preparations had almost totally failed and there was no responsive underground Cuban force ready to ally with the invaders.”

The commentary is even more critical of the CIA after noting (ibid.) that the United States Intelligence Board, the Office of National Estimates, and Office of Current Intelligence all provided clear warning that a careful reappraisal was needed.

RE: Cancellation (p. 55):

Cancellation would have been embarrassing. The Brigade could not have been held any longer in ready status, probably not held any longer at all. Further, its members would have spread their disappointment far and wide. Because of multiple security leaks in the huge operation, the world already knew about the preparations, and the Government’s and nation’s embarrassment would have been public

Re: The Choice (ibid.)

The choice was between retreat without honor and a gamble between ignominious defeat and dubious victory. The Agency chose to gamble, at rapidly decreasing odds.”

The consensus position of the National Archivists is that JFK was misled by the Agency’s hubris and incompetence. Depending on the CIA for guidance as to intelligence about this operation – in preparation for more than two years-  the Agency blew it and big time. JFK took the blame, yes, but the CIA ultimately was responsible for not advising cancellation when they knew the near zero chances of success, had the opportunity to do so.

As per a Baltimore Sun piece on the above named Report findings ('Internal Probe Blamed Bay of Pigs Fiasco on CIA', p. 6A, Feb. 22, 1998), it was noted:

"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'."

In the wake of the Bay  of Pigs fiasco, and learning how badly he’d been played, JFK fired Allan Dulles – the then CIA Director  -  and asserted his willingness tosmash the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.” He also fired Charles Cabell, the deputy CIA director at the time and unwittingly laid the basis for the national security state to act against him.  Indeed, many serious JFK assassination researchers (including me), are convinced that at least one team of mechanics for the Dallas hit were comprised of surviving Bay of Pigs Cubans - with axes to grind against JFK.

Maybe it's time Mary O'Grady take an early retirement and write some children's fantasy books instead.  Especially as she has so much more talent for bunkum and distortion of real world events.  (As well as ignoring many others).  

See also:


Class: The Little Word the Elites Want You to Forget


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