24 February 1998: National Security Archives has withdrawn the JPEG images of the CIA Cuban Operation documents and is in the process of preparing HTML versions. The 25 images of the pages transcribed below are offered here in Zipped format: http://jya.com/cia-co.zip (1.5MB)

23 February 1998
Source: National Security Archives images of CIA documents

Special thanks to the National Security Archives

JYA Note: the following documents are the opening memorandum and index and the concluding letters and memorandum addressing two CIA 1962 Top Secret critiques of the "Cuban Operation", more popularly known as the failed Bay of Pigs operation of April 1961. The first critique, "Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation," by the CIA Inspector General, provided a detailed, highly critical assessment of CIA performance in the operation. The second, "An Analysis of the Cuban Operation," by the CIA Deputy Director (Plans), strongly disagreed with the IG survey. These declassified documents were obtained recently by the National Security Archives and are available at: http://www.seas.gwu.edu/nsarchives

See related news report: http://jya.com/cia-pigs.htm

John McCone, Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) in 1962, replaced Allen Dulles, who was DCI during the Cuban Operation.

Richard Bissell was Deputy Director (Plans) or DD/P. Tracy Barnes was Bissell's associate.

Lyman Kirkpatrick was CIA Inspector General.

WH designates the Western Hemisphere Division. WH/4 was the branch set up to run the Cuban Operation.

The President was Dwight Eisenhower when the operation was initiated and John Kennedy when it was executed. The Attorney General was Robert Kennedy.





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16 February 1962 MEMORANDUM FOR: Director of Central Intelligence SUBJECT : Inspector General Survey of the Cuban Operation (dated October 1961) It is my understanding that you have requested information con- cerning the distribution of the IG Survey of the Cuban Operation and the DD/P comments on it. At the time the report was written it was understood that copies of the report would be sent to the President's Board and consequently 20 copies were made. However, the only distribution made of the report is as follows: Copy 1 - Mr. McCone - 21 November 1961 2 - DCI (then Mr. Dulles) - 24 November 3 - DDCI (then Gen. Cabell) - 24 November 4 - DD/P (then Mr. Bissell) - 24 November 5 - IG (Mr. Kirkpatrick) 6 - On file in the office of Acting IG (Mr. McLean) 7 - C/WH (Col King) - 24 November 8 - Mr. Esterline (WH Division) via Col. King - 24 November 9 - On file in my office 10 - President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, via Mr. Earman at request of DCI, 18 January 1962 11 through 20 - On file in my office S/ Lyman B. Kirkpatrick rcm chrono [by hand; with check] simling [by hand; illegible] SECRET
C O P Y T O P S E C R E T INDEX NOTE This document contains the items listed below and should not be broken up. This is at the direction of Mr. John A. McCone, Director of Central Intelligence. Tab: 1. Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation; October 1961. 2. Memorandum of Transmittal of IG Survey of the Cuban Operation to Mr. John McCone from Inspector General; 20 November 1961. 3. Memorandum of Transmittal of IG Survey of the Cuban Operation to DCI from Inspector General; 24 November 1961. 4. DDCI Memorandum for the Record concerning restricted distribution of IG's Report on Cuba; 28 November 1961. 5. Memorandum for the DCI from IG, subject: Report on the Cuban Operation; 1 December 1961. 6. Memorandum prepared by DDCI, subject: The Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation; 15 December 1961. 7. An Analysis of the Cuban Operation by the Deputy Director (Plans), Central Intelligence Agency; 18 January 1962. 8. Letter to Dr. James Killian, Jr., Chairman, President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, from DCI, transmitting the IG Survey and the DD/P Analysis of the Cuban Operation; 19 January 1962. 9. Memorandum for Deputy Director (Plans), from C. Tracy Barnes, subject: Survey of the Cuban Operation; 19 January 1962. 10. Memorandum fro Mr. C. Tracy Barnes from Lyman B. Kirkpatrick referencing Barnes' 19 January memorandum: 22 January 1962. 11. Memorandum for DCI from DD(P) transmitting Mr. Barnes' 19 January memorandum; 27 January 1962. T O P S E C R E T TS 173160
[XXXXXX indicates document redaction.] T O P S E C R E T 12. Memorandum to Mr. Kirkpatrick from Messrs. XXXXXXX, XXXXXXX and XXXX (IG Staff officers), subject: The IG's Survey and the DD/P's Analysis of the Cuban Operation; 26 January 1962. 13. Memorandum for Mr. John McCone, DCI, from Allen W. Dulles, subject: The Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation; 15 February 1962. 14. DCI's letter of acknowledgement of Mr. Dulles' 15 February memorandum; 19 February 1962. T O P S E C R E T
[Some 400 intervening pages omitted]

C O P Y T O P S E C R E T 19 January 1962 Dr. James R. Killian, Jr. Chairman, President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board 297 Executive Office Building Washington 25, D.C. Dear Dr. Killian: Attached is a copy of the CIA Inspector General's "Survey Of Cuban Operations" together with comments thereon by General C. P. Cabell, Deputy Director of CIA and "Analysis Of The Cuban Operation" by Deputy Director (Plans). This latter report is intended as a comment on the Inspector General's report. As you readily understand, I am not in a position to render a personal opinion concerning the validity of the IG's report or the statements by the DDCI and the DDP because I was not in CIA at the time. However it is my personal opinion as a result of examinations I have made of this operation after the fact that both the report and the rebuttals are extreme. I believe an accurate appraisal of the Cuban effort and the reasons for failure rest some place in between the two points of view expressed in the reports. I believe it is safe to say the failure of the Cuban operation was Government-wide and in this respect the Agency must bear its full share (though not the entire) responsibility. For this reason I would recommend that your board, in review- ing the Inspector General's Survey also review the comments and analysis of the DDCI and the DD/P. Yours very truly /s/ John A. McCone John A. McCone Director Attachments As stated T O P S E C R E T
[Tab] 9 [Balance of page blank]
SECRET EYES ONLY 19 January 1962 MEMORANDUM FOR: Deputy Director (Plans) SUBJECT : Survey of Cuban Operation 1. My work in support of your "Analysis of the Cuban Operation" gave me an unusual opportunity to study with care the document which caused the Analysis to be written, namely, the "Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation, October 1961". 2. My consideration of the Survey has forced me to reach certain conclusions which I feel that I must record. I do so in writing because these conclusions are, in my opinion, of sufficient significance to demand the discipline of a written expression. Moreover, I feel that those who disagree with me should have the opportunity to direct any replies that they may choose to make to specific identifiable comments. 3. I may say that my decision to write this memorandum was reached with considerable reluctance and only after long deliberation. The deciding factor was my belief that the suggestions for action in paragraph 6 below are worthwhile and should be submitted. They would have been meaningless without the reasons set forth in earlier paragraphs. The views expressed are, needless to say, exclusively mine. 4. In my opinion the I.G. Survey is most unfortunate for three reasons: a. It is an incompetent job. The authors never understood the problems with which they were deal- ing and failed to express their views with any precision or proper use of relevant facts. b. It is biased. Basically relevant evidence on vital issues was not only left out but never even mentioned. The Survey undertook only to present those items which suggested failures or inadequacies. These items, however, were not fully depicted so that a false picture was given. Admittedly, an I.G. must expose fault but it is also his job to do accurately. SECRET EYES ONLY
SECRET EYES ONLY -2- c. It is malicious, or, to put it alternatively, it is intentionally biased. Admittedly, this is a serious charge and is, at best, merely a statement of opinion. I can only say that I hold such opinion firmly. In my view it could be supported solely on the basis of the Survey's total omission in many places of significantly relevant evidence. Such omissions are so excessive and one-sided as to substantiate the conclusion that they must have been intentional. In addition, however, I would like to mention four other points: 1) The fact that the inspectors, in making their investigation, omitted any discussions of their findings with the senior officers responsible for the project. Although, techni- cally, the I.G. can accurately state that he talked to the DD/P and the then A/DDP/A about the Survey, the fact is that these discussion[sic] were exceedingly brief and covered none of the real issues of the Survey. The AC/DPD was not spoken to at all. The Security Officer of WH/4 was not spoken to at all. Other senior officers, such as C/WH and C/WH/4, were never given an opportunity to express their views in relation to statements in the Survey. 2) Some officers with whom the inspectors had discussions felt after they had a chance to see the Survey, that it did not impartially ex- press the information which they had provided and left out much of the relevant information given. Moreover, some officers have reported that the attitude of the inspectors and their line of questioning indicated a desire to obtain facts or views to support judgments already formed. Opinions contrary to these judgments were not only disregarded but resisted. 3) The distribution of the final Survey was so peculiar and contrary to normal practice that it raises an inference of intended partiality. The method of distribution is known and will not be repeated here. It might be added that there SECRET EYES ONLY
SECRET EYES ONLY -3- were other facts with respect to the distribution of the Survey worthy of mention. C/WH/4 was called one day and asked if he wanted to read the Survey. He said that he would like to do so but since both C/WH and DC/WH were away he could not leave since he was Acting Chief of the Division. Particularly, he could not meet the requirements of the offer which were that he would only have an hour from the time of the telephone call to see the Survey (including travel time) since it then had to be sent to the printer. Why the urgency was so great is not clear. As far as is known, only one individual outside of the I.G. Staff saw the Survey in final or substantially final form before it was distributed, namely, an officer who was the Chief of Operations for WH/4 during the project. Why he was selected instead of one of his superiors who was connected with the project is not known. 4) Since this particular operation, without question, involved more political interest and dynamite than any in which the Agency has ever participated, there was every reason for following regular procedures meticulously. In addition to the distribution point mentioned above, it seems relevant to wonder how Dr. Killian and the Attorney General knew of the Survey's existence so as to request a copy. 5. I should say that, whatever the appearance of the fore- going, I have not been trying to I.G. the I.G. The information reported came to me unsolicited and in the normal course of my work with you and your Analysis. Maybe there is additional evidence of importance, but I have not looked for it and do not plan to do so. 6. The significance of the foregoing is to provide the reasons for the main purpose of this memorandum, i.e., the sub- mission of the following recommendations for action. SECRET EYES ONLY
SECRET EYES ONLY -4- a. The DCI should resolve to his own satisfaction the conflicts on major issues between the I.G.'s Survey and your Analysis. Since both these documents are internal to the Agency, there is no Agency position on the Cuban opera- tion unless the conflicts are resolved. In view of the importance of and the continuing interest in the operation at high levels of the Government, an Agency position seems essential. Such a position is also important for the future. The operation is bound to be studied for various reasons and there should be an Agency position at least as to what happened, what were the mistakes and what were the lessons. Moreover, the DCI, having assumed office after the operation was thoroughly finished, has every reason for wanting to have some definitive findings and conclusions. b. If the DCI agrees with a. above each recipient of the Survey and Analysis (and it is understood that they will only be distributed together) should be advised of the fact that such an Agency position is being sought. This might help to avoid independent conclusions outside of the Agency being reached first. c. The following requirements should be imposed on all future I.G. surveys at least on any aspects of the DD/P area of responsibility. 1) No survey shall be undertaken without specific written terms of reference approved by the DCI. 2) The DD/P shall be satisfied that in each future survey covering any portion of his area of responsibility the I.G. or his stall will inter- view at least all officers having had responsibility for any part of the activity inspected by the I.G. and prior to the distribution of the survey the DD/P and each such officer will be given an opportunity to express his views on points in- cluded in the Survey. Obviously the I.G. need not accept these views. Such procedure, however, will save an enormous amount of time required to answer SECRET EYES ONLY
SECRET EYES ONLY -5- surveys such as the Cuban one which fail to present a full factual picture regardless of the conclu- sions reached. 7. I am addressing this memorandum to you as my immediate superior. I hope, however, that you will agree with my request that the memorandum be passed to the DCI for his consideration. I do not, of course, ask that you associate yourself with it or any part of it merely because you transmit it. /S/C.T.B. C. TRACY BARNES Original & 1 - DD/P SECRET EYES ONLY
[Tab] 10 [Balance of page blank]
C O P Y S E C R E T 22 January 1962 PERSONAL & CONFIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM FOR: Mr. C. Tracy Barnes Dear Tracy: Thank you for your courtesy in sending me a copy of your memorandum of 19 January concerning the Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation. I do hope that Dick forwards it to the DCI, and I am enclosing a copy of this note to you in case you wish to send a copy to Dick. I have not had time to study your memorandum, or even in fact do more than glance at the DD/P analysis in view of the meeting with the President's Board all day Friday and the fact that I am going to be away all this week. However, I will make the following comments. Needless to say, I completely disagree with your statement that it is an incompetent job. I feel that it is competent and I believe that the more than one file cabinet drawer full of background documents will prove its competence. I do not believe that it is biased. We made it very clear at the start of the report that it would only deal with inadequacies and failures and would not purport to be a thorough analysis of the operation. Most of all I object most strongly to your third observa- tion, namely that it is malicious and intentionally biased. I have asked the men who did this survey to review your memorandum and comment on the reasons you believe it is biased. I should perhaps acknowledge that more time should have been spent with you or Bissell, but inasmuch as this devolved on me, if there is a fault, it is mine personally. But to imply that for some reason, unknown to me, that we would slant this report is an unfair comment. You apparently feel there was something unusual in the distribution of the final report. The only thing unusual in it was that we had two Directors at the time, and Mr. McCone having asked for it received it as he was leaving for the West Coast on the day before Thanksgiving and everybody else got their copies on the day after Thanksgiving. Your concern as to how the President's Board and the Attorney General knew of the survey's existence can be answered very simply. In 1956 the President's Board in writing advised all agencies that all S E C R E T
S E C R E T inspector general reports should be forwarded to them automat- ically. I don't believe it was a week after the Cuban operation that the direct question came from that Board as to whether an inspection was going to be done to which an affirmative reply was given. The Attorney General's source I do not know. Finally, as far as to what should be done next, you and Dick should know that at the conclusion of my discussion with the President's Board I urged that a group, or individual, who had not in any way been associated with the operation be charged with taking the Taylor Report, our report and your comments and all background material and writing a truly national and detailed report. I believe that would be a far better solution than trying to develop a CIA position, which really is not very practical inasmuch as there were so many outside factors affecting this operation. /s/ Kirk Lyman B. Kirkpatrick S E C R E T
[Tab] 11 [Balance of page blank]
C O P Y S E C R E T 27 January 1962 EYES ONLY MEMORANDUM FOR: Director of Central Intelligence SUBJECT : Mr. Barnes' Memorandum on the IG Survey of the Cuban Operation 1. As you are aware, Mr. Tracy Barnes did a major part of the work in preparing our comments on Mr. Kirkpatrick's Survey of the Cuban Operation. At the conclusion of the task, Mr. Barnes wrote me the attached memorandum which I hereby pass on to you. 2. I may say that I am in agreement with Mr. Barnes that the Survey, largely by reason of the omission of material relevant to its conclusions, constitutes a highly biased document and that the bias is of such a character that it must have been intentional. 3. I will be glad to discuss this with you is you so desire. /s/ Richard M. Bissell, Jr. RICHARD M. BISSELL, JR. Deputy Director (plans) Attachments 1. Barnes' Memo 2. IG Memo to Mr. Barnes S E C R E T
[Tab] 12 [Balance of page blank]
C O P Y S E C R E T 26 January 1962 MEMORANDUM FOR: Mr. Kirkpatrick SUBJECT : The IG's Cuban Survey and the DD/P's Analysis of the Cuban Operation 1. The scope of the IG Survey is briefly and clearly stated in the Introduction. The Survey's intent was to identify and describe weaknesses within the Agency which contributed to the final result and to make recommendations for their future avoidance. The IG had no authority to conduct a survey of the machinery for making decisions and policy at other levels of government. This field was covered by the group headed by Gen. Taylor. The Survey expressly avoided detailed analysis of the purely military phase of the operation. 2. Much of the DD/P's Analysis is devoted, however to a discussion of governmental decision-making and to a rehash of the military operation. It criticizes the Survey for insufficient attention to these matters, putting the major blame for the opera- tion's failure on factors beyond the control of the Agency. 3. The Analysis attempts to refute most of the weaknesses described by the Survey. The few which it admits were, it contends, not significant to the final result. It rejects the Survey's statements that intelligence was inadequate and misused and that staffing was inadequate. It blames the failure of the air drops on the Cuban reception crews and air crews. It states that small boat operations could not well have been handled in any other way. And it states that other weaknesses were not important because they were not the decisive reason for failure. 4. There is a fundamental difference of approach between the two documents. While the Analysis is preoccupied with interdepart- mental policy-making and military strategy, the Survey is mainly concerned with the failure to build up internal resistance in Cuba through clandestine operations. The Analysis fails to shed any further significant light on this fundamental issue. S E C R E T
S E C R E T 5. The Analysis shows a poorer grasp of what was going on at the case-officer level than of events in policy-making circles. This is apparent in a number of inaccuracies in the Analysis. For example, the discussion of activities in Miami is inaccurate and misleading. Conduct of training in Miami is defended although it was not criticized by the Survey. The 178 trainees alluded to in the Analysis as trained in Miami were in fact trained in Guatemala. The PM section in Miami was being built up beginning in November 1960, rather than being de-emphasized. These and other inaccuracies suggest that the Analysis should be read with caution where it deals with events on the working level of the project. 6. The IG investigators centered their inquiry on certain phases which are significant to the success or failure of any operation and of the Agency's over-all mission itself. They cannot be ignored or argued away just because of policy decisions made outside the Agency. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX /s/ XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX /s/ XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX /s/ XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX S E C R E T
[Tab] 13 [Balance of page blank]
C O P Y T O P S E C R E T 15 February 1962 MEMORANDUM FOR: Mr. John McCone Director of Central Intelligence SUBJECT: The Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation 1. Upon receipt of the Inspector General's report of October 1961, on the Cuban Operation, which reached my desk prior to my resignation as Director of Central Intelligence, I immediately transmitted a copy to the Deputy Director (Plans) for his comment. This was in line with the practice I had consistently followed in dealing with the reports of the Inspector General: namely, the Office which is the subject of the inspection is given an opportunity to comment on the I.G. report before the Director determines the action to be taken thereon. The reply of the Deputy Director (Plans), dated 18 January 1962, of which I have received a copy, was submitted to you following my resignation. 2. Meanwhile, I have also received and considered the comments of the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, General Cabell. 3. I remain at your disposal for any comments you may wish me to submit on any phases of this matter relating to C.I.A. responsibilities. Hence I will not submit detailed written comment on the Inspector General's report. 4. At this time, however, I wish to make certain general comments: a. As a member of the Taylor Committee appointed by the President, I participated fully in the work of his Committee and joined in his Memorandum and oral reports to the President on this subject. While I do not now have a copy of these documents, I made only one or two reservations to the general conclusions and recommendations of these reports. I consider them to be sound and believe they should be accepted as the best available Survey of this particular operation. T O P S E C R E T
T O P S E C R E T b. The Inspector General's report suffers from the fact that his investigation was limited to the activities of one segment of one agency, namely, the C.I.A. Opinions based on such a partial review fail to give the true story or to provide a sound basis for the sweeping conclusions reached by him. c. Judgments could not properly be rendered in this matter without a full analysis, as was made by the Taylor Committee, of actions of all the participating elements in the operation and the influences brought to bear outside of the Agency which affected the operation. This applies partic- ularly to the participation of the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to certain elements of the Executive Department of the Government. d. At no time during the preparation of his report did the Inspector General request any information from me and he makes certain serious errors in areas where my direct responsibility was clearly involved. 5. Two major area of criticism in the I.G. report cover (1) the operational arrangements for the organization, training, transportation and deployment of the Brigade and, (2) the relations of Agency personnel to the Cuban emigration and their political organization. As to these points, I submit the following: a. First, while certain organizational matters, in the light of developments, may be open to some criticism, the Brigade with its entire complement of men and equipment reached the landing area on schedule and under circumstances which achieved complete surprise. The situation in the landing area was substantially as predicted. The enemy battle order intelli- gence was essentially correct. The failure to get the ammunition and supplies ashore was due to circumstances beyond the control of the Brigade commander or its personnel. b. Second, with respect to the organization of a Cuban emigre political committee in support of the operations, I would point out that prior to engaging in the operation a broad coalition of Cuban leaders, and one acceptable to our State Department, was realized. These two important achievements covered major areas of C.I.A. responsibility. T O P S E C R E T
T O P S E C R E T 6. As Director, I deemed it desirable and necessary in view of my other duties to delegate certain responsibilities within the Agency for the day-to-day management of the operation, and on military matters and judgments I relied heavily on military personnel assigned to C.I.A. and on Department of Defense personnel and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. However, I assumed throughout full responsibility for the Agency's participation and actions and kept currently advised of all important developments. During the con- cluding days of the operation, I was particularly influenced by the judgments in Col. Hawkins dispatch, dated April 13, 1961, relating to the high state of readiness of the Brigade (Annex A to Chapter IV of DDP report). 7. Whether or not the operation would have succeeded if the Brigade had landed with its entire personnel and equipment is a matter which can be debated and on which even today military experts differ. Certainly, the responsibility for failure does not lie primarily in the main areas of criticism stressed in the Inspector General's report. 8. Of course, there are lessons to be learned as pointed out in the Taylor Reports. These Reports, I believe, should be taken as the main basis for any review of the Agency's actions in support of the operation. /s/ Allen W. Dulles Allen W. Dulles T O P S E C R E T
[Tab] 14 [Balance of page blank]
C O P Y S E C R E T 19 February 1962 The Honorable Allen W. Dulles Washington, D. C. Dear Allen: I have received your memorandum of 15 February 1962 containing your comments on the Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation. Copies of this memorandum, together with the DD/P analysis of the survey, the comments made by General Cabell, Mr. Kirkpatrick, and the personal views expressed by Mr. Tracy Barnes, will be bound in the report -- and therefore will be known to anyone who might have occasion to read it. Sincerely, signed John A. McCone Director S E C R E T

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