NEW YORK – Was the JFK assassination a revenge killing masterminded by CIA Director Allen Dulles?
The provocative question is raised by WND’s Jerome Corsi in his new book “Who Really Killed Kennedy,” published by WND Books.
Corsi’s extensive research shows JFK may have signed his death warrant the day he fired Dulles, accusing his spy chief of lying and manipulating him in the Bay of Pigs fiasco.
“Who Really Killed Kennedy,” released this week as the 50th anniversary of the assassination approaches, is bolstered by recently declassified documents. Corsi sorted through the mountain of evidence, including tens of thousands of documents, all 26 volumes of the Warren Commission’s report, hundreds of books, several films and countless photographs.
As WND has previously reported, Corsi presents evidence that the Bay of Pigs invasion had been planned by the CIA during the Eisenhower administration as an eleventh-hour “October surprise” designed to catapult Vice President Richard M. Nixon into the White House over his Democratic Party rival, Kennedy. The plan was thwarted, however, after Kennedy learned of the plot in a briefing by Dulles and began suggesting publicly he would employ such a policy if elected. The Eisenhower administration was forced to called off the invasion, and Nixon was pressed into the campaign position of countering Kennedy by denouncing any attempted overthrow as illegal.
Within days of Kennedy taking the oath of office on Jan. 20, 1961, the CIA reminded him of his campaign promise to invade Cuba.
Even though Kennedy had used the invasion idea as a stratagem to thwart Nixon’s October surprise, the CIA was determined to hold JFK to his word.
The downside for Kennedy was political, Corsi writes. Any decision he made as president not to invade Cuba might cause the CIA to leak the story that he had tricked Nixon in the fourth presidential debate in New York City.
Kennedy realized from the beginning that the idea of a U.S. invasion of Cuba was a risky gamble that could trigger a geo-political conflict with the world’s second-ranked superpower, the Soviet Union, a staunch defender of the Castro regime in Cuba.
Rather than face the potential political embarrassment of having his campaign ploy revealed, he approved the Bay of Pigs operation despite having serious reservations the plan had any chance of success.
A risky adventure
Presidential historian Robert Dallek reported that two days after JFK became president, the CIA began pushing him to move against Cuba.
At a Jan. 22, 1961, meeting of Secretary of State Dean Rusk; Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara; Attorney General Robert Kennedy; Army General Lyman Lemnitzer, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and various national security and foreign policy experts, Dulles stressed the U.S. had only two months “before something had to be done about” the Cubans being trained covertly by the CIA in Guatemala.
The CIA knew it had Kennedy over a barrel, with his aggressive statements about Cuba virtually setting him up to be blackmailed by Richard Bissell and Nixon, the top proponents from the beginning of a Cuba invasion plan.
Kennedy was vulnerable to Nixon portraying a decision to abandon the invasion as proof Kennedy was an appeaser of Castro, especially if Nixon went public insisting that no one less than President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the victorious World War II Supreme Allied Commander, had approved the plan that Kennedy decided to drop.
Top confidants and political advisers warned Kennedy that canceling the Bay of Pigs operation would present him with “a major political blowup.”
Besides, if the invasion plans were scrapped what was Kennedy supposed to do with the Cuban exiles that the CIA had trained in Guatemala?
Kennedy’s own military instincts told him Bissell’s plan was harebrained.
None less than Kennedy adviser Arthur Schlesinger and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator William Fulbright seconded that view to Kennedy in very explicit terms.
There was no assurance the invasion would trigger a popular uprising, and there was little likelihood it would succeed with direct and obvious U.S. military support.
Still, Dulles was insistent.
“Mr. President, I know you’re doubtful about this,” Dulles told Kennedy in the Oval Office. “But I stood at this very desk and said to President Eisenhower about a similar operation in Guatemala, ‘I believe it will work.’ And I say to you now, Mr. President, that the prospects for this plan are even better than our prospects were in Guatemala.”
The invasion fails
The invasion that began on Saturday, April 15, 1961, with eight B-26s flying from Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, on a mission to bomb three Cuban airfields was an unmitigated disaster, much as Kennedy feared.
Kennedy blamed the CIA.
Presidential historian Dallek summarized the problem with the invasion as follows: “The willingness of the Cubans, the CIA, and the U.S. military to proceed partly rested on their assumption that once the invasion began, Kennedy would have to use American forces if the attack seemed about to fail.”
That was the crux of why Kennedy ultimately felt the CIA had betrayed him.
In the planning for the invasion, Kennedy had insisted no U.S. forces were to be involved. But the CIA did not believe Kennedy would hold to that resolve once the fighting started.
On Sunday night, April 16, 1961, the last thing Kennedy did before he went to bed was to call Dean Rusk and tell him to order the cancellation of a dawn attack by the entire exile force of sixteen B-26s, leaving Castro with airplanes to strafe the invading exiles, called Brigade 2506, who planned to hit the beach in the Bay of Pigs at dawn.
On Monday morning, April 17, 1961, Kennedy refused to allow U.S. jets to provide air cover by launching from the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Essex 30 miles offshore from Cuba.
When the Bay of Pigs failed, Kennedy felt betrayed by top CIA operatives, including the CIA director, who thought they could force him to provide U.S. military power in an invasion he never enthusiastically endorsed
Kennedy fires Dulles
The Bay of Pigs fiasco scarred Kennedy badly.
Within days of becoming president, Kennedy realized how little power he truly had. The CIA had played him, disregarding his expressed concern the U.S. not be involved in what he would only support as an invasion by Cuban exile patriots trying to take back their country for democracy.
Kennedy fired Bissell and Dulles in a threat to break the CIA up into a thousand pieces.
That impulse to destroy the CIA was one Kennedy never followed to completion, contributing to him losing not only his presidency, but also his life.
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