New Documentary | The Final Analysis… that whole Bay of Pigs thing | The rise and fall of a chain of command in American covert activities

This film covers several documents which shaped, and were shaped by, the U.S.-led landing on the Bay of Pigs in 1961.

National Security Council Directive 5412 was passed in March of 1954 which among other things stated that to fight a cold war the US must have a covert objective.  US military forces cannot be seen to be mobilized in opposition to the Soviet Union as war had become synonymous with nuclear escalation.  Thus covert activities were normalized with covert funding channels into Dept. of Defense capabilities, and to handle Central Intelligence Agency program authorization an adjunct group was formed under the National Security Council, called Special Group 5412.

As part of normalizing covert access within the defense establishment the interviewee of this film, Col. L. Fletcher Prouty, was brought into the Pentagon to serve as Chief of Special Operations for the Air Force; as an officer, not as an agent.

In response to the findings of the Taylor commission on the Bay of Pigs disaster President Kennedy made way to assert military command over covert activities using National Security Action Memorandum 55:

“… b.) The Joint Chiefs of Staff have a responsibility for the defense of the nation in the Cold War similar to that which they have in conventional hostilities.  They should know the military and paramilitary forces and resources available to the Department of Defense, verify their readiness, report on their accuracy, and make appropriate recommendations for their expansion and improvement.  I look to the Chiefs to contribute dynamic and imaginative leadership in contributing to the success of the military and paramilitary aspects of Cold War programs.” …(June, 1961).

Handling of covert operations was given to the JCS to assure the president had the same control over covert force as he would overt forces during war.

In Oct. of 1963 NSAM 263 lowered the boom on CIA involvement in Vietnam by removing all American personnel by 1965.  However on Nov. 26 1963 NSAM 273 was signed into law by President Johnson.  The language of which is such:

“… 1. It remains the central object of the United States in South Vietnam to assist the people and Government of that country to win their contest against the externally directed and supported Communist conspiracy.  The test of all U.S. decisions and actions in this area should be the effectiveness of their contribution to this purpose. …”

The documents listed here plus historical film, photographs and audio recordings are featured in this film, The Final Analysis…that whole Bay of Pigs thing.

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