‘Essentially, it is a critical history of the [CIA] inspector general’s critical report, which mainly blamed CIA incompetence for the failure of the Bay of Pigs,’ said Barrett, who demanded the declassification of that part of the document for years.
For over 30 years, the CIA resisted to publish Volume V of the investigation, despite repeated lawsuits and requests by virtue of the Freedom of Information Act.
Volume V was written by Jack B. Pfeiffer, a CIA staff historian, and submitted to the CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence on April 18, 1984.
. Pfeiffer suggests the reason the documents were held so closely was ‘fear of exposing the agency’s dirty linen, rather than any significant security information.’
‘Pfeiffer blamed the Kennedy White House’ and contended the report by Inspector General Lyman Kirkpatrick was itself ‘biased and incompetent,’ said Barrett.
The historian insists that the Kirkpatrick report ‘was a thinly veiled attempt to lay full blame for the failure’ on Richard M. Bissell, the CIA’s deputy director of plans and chief architect of the Bay of Pigs operation, and on CIA Director Allen Dulles.’
It also reveals the names of the three CIA officers who did the main collection of the information and preparation of the material for the CIA inspector general’s report: William Gibson Dildine, Robert D. Shea and Robert B. Shaffer.
It also contains the statements by Richard D. Drain, chief of operations for the invasion, who strongly criticized Shea and Shaffer, and suggested that Inspector General Kirkpatrick ‘appeared to be gunning for Bissell’s job and wanted to lay as much blame as possible on his department.’
The debate in the United States over who is responsible for the defeat in Playa Giron in April 1961 has lasted more than five decades, and deals about an alleged ‘bad political decision’ by President Kennedy, who did not provide air military support to the mercenary forces of Brigade 2506.
At the time, joint forces from the Rebel Army, the National Revolutionary Police and the people’s militias of Cuba, led by Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro defeated the invasion attempt in just 72 hours, killing 114 mercenaries and capturing 1,100, who were brought to Cuban justice.
In addition, the recently-declassified report confirms the participation and responsibility of the United States in aggressive plans against Cuba.