Tracy Barnes

Tracy Barnes

Tracy Barnes was born in 1911. He worked as a lawyer with Frank Wisner at the Carter Ledyard, law firm in New York. The day after Pearl Harbor Barnes joined the U.S. Army. He served at the air intelligence school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Later he was recruited into the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Barnes was sent to London where he served under David Bruce, the head of SOS operations in England. While in London he spent time with his old friend Paul Nitze.

Barnes parachuted into France on 5th August, 1944. According to his Silver Star citation: The liquidation of a detachment of several hundred of the enemy waslargely attributable to his courage and initiative, when, after unsuccessful attempts to effect a surrender, he and a French officer, armed with only with carbines, opened fire, constantly changing firing position to convey the impression of a large force."

On 3rd December, 1944, Allen W. Dulles wrote to David Bruce: "I have met Tracy Barnes here today and am anxious to get him to Switzerland as soon as possible... We can find useful work for him." Barnes worked under Dulles until the end of the war.

Barnes returned to work for the Carter Ledyard, law firm inNew York. In June 1950, Barnes was recruited by Frank Wisner to join the Central Intelligence Agency. His first job was as deputy director of the Psychological Strategy Board. Later Barnes was involved in clandestine operations in Guatemala against President Jacobo Arbenz. The plot against Arbenz became part of Executive Action (a plan to remove unfriendly foreign leaders from power).

Barnes was eventually placed in charge of what became known as Operation Success. David Atlee Phillips was appointed to run the propaganda campaign against Arbenz's government. According to Phillips he initially questioned the right of the CIA to interfere in Guatemala: In his autobiography Phillips claims he said to Barnes: "But Arbenz became President in a free election. What right do we have to help someone topple his government and throw him out of office?" However, Barnes convinced him that it was vital important that the Soviets did not establish a "beachhead in Central America".

The CIA propaganda campaign included the distribution of 100,000 copies of a pamphlet entitled Chronology of Communism in Guatemala. They also produced three films on Guatemala for showing free in cinemas. David Atlee Phillips, along with E.Howard Hunt, was responsible for running the CIA's Voice of Liberation radio station. Faked photographs were distributed that claimed to show the mutilated bodies of opponents of Arbenz. William (Rip) Robertson was also involved in the campaign against Arbenz.

The CIA began providing financial and logistic support for Colonel Carlos Castillo. With the help of President Anastasio Somoza, Castillo had formed a rebel army in Nicaragua. It has been estimated that between January and June, 1954, the CIA spent about $20 million on Castillo's army.

On 18th June 1954 aircraft dropped leaflets over Guatemala demanding that Arbenz resign immediately or else the county would be bombed. CIA's Voice of Liberation also put out similar radio broadcasts. This was followed by a week of bombing ports, ammunition dumps, military barracks and the international airport.

Carlos Castillo's collection of soldiers now crossed the Honduran-Guatemalan border. His army was outnumbered by the Guatemalan Army. However, the CIA Voice of Liberation successfully convinced Arbenz's supporters that two large and heavily armed columns of invaders were moving towards Guatemala City.

The CIA was also busy bribing Arbenz's military commanders. It was later discovered that one commander accepted $60,000 to surrender his troops. Ernesto Guevara attempted to organize some civil militias but senior army officers blocked the distribution of weapons. Jacobo Arbenz now believed he stood little chance of preventing Castillo gaining power. Accepting that further resistance would only bring more deaths he announced his resignation over the radio.

Castillo's new government was immediately recognised by President Dwight Eisenhower. Castillo now reversed the Arbenz reforms. In July 19, 1954, he created the National Committee of Defense Against Communism and decreed the Preventive Penal Law Against Communism to fight against those who supported Arbenz when he was in power. Over the next few weeks thousands were arrested on suspicion of communist activity. A large number of these prisoners were tortured or killed.

The removal of Jacobo Arbenz resulted in several decades of repression. Later, several of the people involved in Operation Success, including Barnes and Richard Bissell regretted the outcome of the Guatemala Coup.

In November, 1954, Barnes replaced General Lucian Truscott as head of CIA headquarters in Frankfurt. Several other CIA agents worked in Germany at this time including William Harvey, Ted Shackley, David Morales and Tom Parrott.

After working in Germany (1954-1956) Barnes was made CIA station chief in London (1957-1959). He returned to the United States in 1960 to serve with the Directorate for Plans (the CIA's clandestine service and covert action arm) and helped Richard Bissell organize the Bay of Pigs operation. Within seventy-two hours all the invading troops had been killed, wounded or had surrendered. Bissell had a meeting with John F. Kennedy about the operation. Kennedy admitted it was his fault that the operation had been a disaster. Kennedy added: "In a parliamentary government, I'd have to resign. But in this government I can't, so you and Allen (Dulles) have to go."

As Evan Thomas points out in The Very Best Men: "Bissell had been caught in his own web. "Plausible deniability" was intended to protect the president, but as he had used it, it was a tool to gain and maintain control over an operation... Without plausible deniability, the Cuba project would have turned over to the Pentagon, and Bissell would have have become a supporting actor."

John F. Kennedy asked Maxwell Taylor to investigate what went wrong during the Bay of Pigs operation. Taylor asked Lyman Kirkpatrick, the CIA's inspector general, to write a report on the failed project. Kirkpatrick was highly critical of both Bissell and Barnes. He claimed that they had misled the president and that "plausible deniability was a pathetic illusion".

In 1962 Barnes was placed in charge of Domestic Operations Division. Robert Morrow later claimed that Barnes recruited Richard Case Nagell and sent him to New Orleans in the summer of 1963. Barnes also asked Morrow to purchase several weapons: "I was told specially to get good ones, 7.35mm Mannlicher-Carcanos. A 6.5mm was not an accurate rifle at all, and not to be considered. I remember going to Sunny's Surplus up in Towson, Maryland. They had a whole wall of Mannlichers, Mausers, and other rifles. I picked out four, which I felt were pretty good." Morrow claimed that the rifles were picked up by David Ferrie in a private plane and taken to New Orleans.

Richard Helms became director of the Central Intelligence Agency in June, 1966. He immediately put Desmond FitzGerald under pressure to sack Barnes. The following month FitzGerald told Barnes his CIA career was over. FitzGerald told his friend, Thomas Parrott: "It was the hardest thing I ever did".

Kingman Brewster, the president of Yale University, employed Barnes as his personal assistant. His work involved trying to improve race relations at the university. He also worked behind the scenes to try and get Yale to admit women graduates.

In June, 1970, Tracy Barnes suffered a serious stroke. He made a slow recovery but on 18th February, 1972, he had a heart-attack and died at his home at Saunderstown, Rhode Island.

© , September 1997 - April 2014

Primary Sources

(1) Andrew St George, The Attempt to Assassinate Castro (12th April, 1964)

This week will mark the anniversary of the ill-fated disaster at the Bay of Pigs. It is exactly three years since Fidel Castro's regime threw back an exile-manned, U.S.-supported attempt to invade Cuba.

The story of that debacle has been repeatedly discussed since. It has been the subject of Congressional and executive investigations and of partisan political recrimination.

Yet one of the most important details of that Cuban defeat has not previously been revealed. It is an event that may have been the whole key to the Bay of Pigs tragedy, and its occurrence - or failure to occur - had a profound effect on the invasion itself and on subsequent history. And although it has not publicly been acknowledged, long and painstaking investigation by this reporter has documented this event.

Carried out on the highest levels of Cuba's revolutionary government, it was an attempt to assassinate Fidel Castro. And it came within a cat's whisker of success.

This plot, of course, was not the first against Castro's life, nor has it been the last. One of the records of which the bearded revolutionary leader is least proud is the number of times he has been the target of nearly successful assassination attempts.

Before detailing the most important plot, let's look at a few others. The most recent try came just before the celebrations in Havana last January commemorating the victory over Batista. U.S. security boats intercepted two speedboats crammed with anti-Castro conspirators and hundreds of petacas, plastic bombs to blast Castro from his reviewing stand.

The U.S. government, worried about the Caribbean aftermath of a successful assassination, is not happy about such attempts. But American nervousness has not been able to do too much about it. Some of the attempts have come so close to success that Castro has been left with the apprehensive wariness of a lone fox in a hunting preserve.

An early try at an ambush was engineered by the sinister Col. Johnny Abbes, formerly intelligence chief of the Dominican Republic. Abbes, working on orders of Dominican strongman Rafael Trujillo - himself the victim of assassination - hired a swashbuckling American adventurer, Alex Rorke, son-in-law of New York's famed restauranteur, Sherman Billingsley, to pilot a speedboat that landed eight men before dawn in eastern Cuba. The plan was to ambush Castro on his way to speak at a service at the Santiago cemetery.

Through a pouring rain, Trujillo's Tommy gun team spotted Castro's chief bodyguard, Capt. Alfredo Gamonal, in the second jeep of a caravan. The killers assumed Castro was in the back seat, and their bullets chewed up Gamonal, the superintendent of cemeteries and the jeep driver. Castro, riding in the next-to-the-last jeep, was unhurt.

"He may have nine lives," Abess told Rorke, who returned to Ciudad Trujillo complaining of Castro's charmed life. "But if so, I'll try a tenth time."

Abbes acquired an apartment in Havana overlooking the CMQ television studios, where Castro appeared frequently to deliver his nation-wide harangues. Another American adventurer, a one-time top competition sharpshooter, was retained by Trujillo on a down payment of $25,000 and the promise of a cool million if he managed to score a clean hit on his moving target.

The marksman said he could do it, but demanded a special weapon-a bench-adjusted telescopic carbine with a nondeflecting muzzle silencer.

"Dominican ordnance experts immediately went to work to produce the rifle," former Dominican State Security Minister General Arturo Espaillat recalls. "The weapon was completed and en route to Cuba when Trujillo canceled the project... He was afraid of Washington's fury. I really think that Fidel would be dead today if the plot had not been called off."

Prior to that attempt, another American, Alan Robert Nye, a 31-year-old Chicagoan, was convicted in Havana for conspiring to kill Castro. Fee: $100,000. Although a Cuban court had signed, sealed and delivered the order for his execution, Nye was allowed to leave the country for the U.S.

There have been far too many of these attempts to detail here; although men like Alex Rorke, and Paul Hughes, a former American Navy jet pilot, have lost their lives because of them, Castro cannot rest easy.

Before embarking on an airplane trip, he usually inspects the plane from tip to tail. During the warm-up, he once spotted flames belching from the engine exhaust. Castro ordered the ignition cut and both pilots back into the cabin, where they explained for a half-hour that burning exhaust was normal and that it did not prove the plane booby-trapped.

During his visit to New York to attend the United Nations in 1960, Castro's food problems were magnified by his methods of selecting restaurants. A brace of bodyguards was ordered to go out and buy food from a restaurant - but never from the hotel kitchen or from the restaurant nearest the hotel. On each occasion, Castro would call out a number, say, "Three!" or "Five!" which meant they had to count off three or five restaurants before they could enter the next one, thus having presumably eluded the potential poisoners.

His security chief also carried sensitive white mice "to detect assassination attempts by radiation or nerve gas," chief body guard Gamonal explained.

But the only security measure Castro really has faith in is the one he learned in his two years of guerrilla warfare: never let anyone know where you'll show up next. In the Sierra Maestra, when Castro and his little band were making their revolution against Batista, no one but Fidel knew exactly where the day's march route would end.

The habit persists. When he made his first visit to Moscow, he left Havana and returned to it as secretly as an enemy infiltrator. No one in Cuba knew when to expect the Premier home. When his Russian airliner finally landed, there was nobody to welcome him except some startled airplane mechanics. Grinning, Castro borrowed a coin, dropped it into the nearest pay phone to let Cuban President Osvaldo Dorticos know he was back.

But is was the assassination attempt just before the Bay of Pigs that was the most significant of all. It involved several senior commanders of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces as well as key civilian leaders.

The Central Intelligence Agency, which had received absolutely reliable reports that a conspiracy to assassinate Castro was developing among his top lieutenants, decided to contact the plotters, because the U.S. was already training its own anti-Castro force in Guatemala. CIA agents discovered the conspiracy had a wealthy contact man in Miami, a former sugar cane grower, Alberto Fernandez.

With CIA's tacit approval, Fernandez bought a converted subchaser, the Texana III, and had it outfitted with concealed deck armaments, 50-cal. machine guns, two 57 mm. recoilless rifles and a pair of small speedboats with muffled interceptor engines.

Now began one of the most daring and extraordinary secret intelligence operations ever attempted. Shuttling in the dark of night between Marathon Key and the north coast of Cuba, the Texana III was the link between the Cuban conspirators and the U.S.

Its two deck boats skimmered up to shore less than a dozen miles from Havana to pick up their unusual passengers: Cuban rebel comandantes in full uniform and governmental functionaries carrying brief cases.

Before the sun came up, the travelers were in U.S. waters, where they held quick conferences with American agents, sped back to Cuba the next night.

The tricky and hazardous process went on for a couple of months, and the U.S. learned more and more about the murder conspiracy beaded by cool, brainy Comandante Humberto Sori Marin, a hero of the Castro revolution. Other top-level men involved astounded the Americans: Secret Police Chief Aldo Vera; Comandante Julio Rodriguez, deputy commandant of the San Antonio de los Banos air base; several Navy flag officers; the military superintendent of Camagüey Province; the president of the Cuban Sugar Institute; and the undersecretary of finance. They were determined to act early in 1961. The plot was to kill both Castros and touch off a general uprising.

Convinced that, regardless of what the U.S. did, the conspirators meant business, the CIA decided to capitalize on the plot without actually participating in it. Officials readied the landing forces to go ashore at the same time. Agents began a series of secret meetings in Havana with the conspirators to coordinate their plans.

Then, just before the target date, there occurred one of those impossible mistakes nobody ever believes. A crucially important secret conference was being held with most of the top conspirators. They met in a house of known safety in Havana's Miramar suburb on a tranquil street, Calle Once. It was a large, yellow, somnolent building, lived in and owned by a respectable retired sugar engineer and his wife.

In the front patio, the engineer played gin rummy with his wife and led by many points. In the back of the house, the plotters gathered around a heavy refectory table covered with street maps, pinpointing the massive incendiary attack against the crowded downtown district of "Old Havana," which was to touch off the uprising. The Texana III had already shipped in hundreds of petacas.

Several blocks away, a militia security patrol stopped in front of another house, then entered to search it. A nervous woman in a back room fled from a rear door with her small daughter. She ran beneath garden walls and ducked into the rear entrance of the large yellow house of the engineer, an old friend.

The street was deserted. But one militiaman watched as she ran to the yellow house. So, under the blazing sky of a spring afternoon, in Miramar, the security unit walked down the street to that yellow house, that sleepy yellow house . . . .

The pity of it was that the nervous woman who ran did not have to. The security police were on a routine search. She was suspected of nothing; if she had remained, nothing would have gone wrong.

The 11 key figures of the Sori Marin conspiracy were caught in a single sweep. The four men who had been sent in by the CIA might have gotten away; they were all Cubans and carried such perfectly forged papers that two were subsequently shot under their assumed names.

But Sori Marin had no chance whatever. As the milicianos burst into the room, his pistol leaped into his hand. But the security men's snub-nosed Czech Tommy guns chattered and Sori Martin crumpled as he tried to crash though a window.

And it was all a mistake. The militia walked in by mistake. The woman ran away by mistake.

Washington working with fragmented information, decided it was too late to halt the invasion troops staging for departure in Guatemala. There was no way to know just how badly the conspiracy had been crippled; there was a possibility that many of its members had not been identified and would thus be able to carry out the plans.

It was a forlorn hope. April 17, at dawn, the first of the invasion troops splashed through the surf onto Giron Beach. April 17, at dawn, the seven top conspirators, led by Sori Martin, wounded and supported by his guards, but still wearing his uniform, were executed in Havana. Within the next few hours they were followed to the wall by the captured CIA men. The rest, the slaughter at the Bay of Pigs, is history.

U.S. security and intelligence agencies are now more worried about the possibility of a successful assassination. For Washington - which once gave tacit support to Sori Marin - now feels that a real explosion involving Castro could trigger the most unpredictable chain reaction of the coming year, a chain reaction that conceivably could turn into World War III.

The current approach was pointed up in a quiet sort of way the day Allen Dulles - whose own job as head of the CIA ended a short time after that ill starred invasion-appeared in public for the first time to talk about it on Meet the Press.

"Mr. Dulles," the moderator asked, "in launching the Bay of Pigs invasion, you were obviously expecting a popular uprising to support it. Yet none occurred. How could you have been so wrong?"

"A popular uprising?" Mr. Dulles puffed on his pipe. "That's a popular misconception - but no, I wouldn't say we expected a popular uprising. We were expecting something else to happen in Cuba... something that didn't materialize."

As this is written, U.S. intelligence is still expecting it to happen, but the expectation has now turned to a nervous and gnawing worry.

(2) Jake Esterline was interviewed by Jack Pfeiffer about the Bay of Pigs operation (10th November, 1975)

Jack Pfeiffer: I have a question, and it is what was Pawley's relation to this whole operation... and your relation with Pawley seems to have been quite close, too.

Jake Esterline: I think it was a hangover relationship from the things that Bill Pawley had done as quite a wheel with a number of very senior people during the Guatemalan operation ... that they felt that Bill, who had been very closely tied into Cuba ... that he was a very prominent man in Florida... that there were a lot of things that he might be able to do, in the sense of getting things lined up in Florida for us... and also his ties with Nixon and with other republican politicos. I used to deal with him quite a bit before.... From my point of view, we never let Bill Pawley know any of the intimacies about our operations, or what we were doing. He never knew where our bases were, or things of that sort. He never knew anything specific about our operations, but he was doing an awful lot of things on his own with the exiles. Some of the people that he had known in Cuba, in the sugar business, etc. I guess he actually was instrumental in running boats and things in and out of Cuba, getting people out and what not, and a variety of things that were not connected with us in any way. He was a political factor from the standpoint from J.C.'s standpoint. I don't know whether Tommy Corcoran entered in at this point... I think Tommy Corcoran was strictly in Guatemala. I guess Corcoran didn't come into this thing, at least not very much.

Jack Pfeiffer: His name turns up once or twice.

Jake Esterline: Yes, I met him once, in connection with Cuba, but I don't remember who... for J.C King, but I don't remember why, at this point. It wasn't anything of any significance. My feeling with Pawley... he was such a hawk, and he was every second week... he wanted to kill somebody inside... . It was from my standpoint - we were trying to keep him from doing things to cause problems for us. This was almost a standing operation.

Jack Pfeiffer: This is what I was wondering, because Tracy Barnes, I know on a number of occasions, seemed to make it quite clear that what the Agency had to be careful of was getting hung with a reactionary label, and then at the same time that was going on, here is all of this conversation back and forth with Pawley and his visits...

Jake Esterline: Really to keep him from doing something to upset the applecart from our standpoint. In that sense, I did fill that role in part for a long time; and the net result of the thing is that Bill thinks I am a dangerous leftist today. If I hadn't been a foot dragger, or hadn't taken all these dissenting opinions of this, things in Cuba would have been a lot better...

Jack Pfeiffer: That is beyond my period of interest. He was involved in a great amount of fund raising activity, in the New York area apparently - pushing or raising funds in the New York area - wasn't Droller involved in this too? What was

your relation with Droller... were you directing Droller's activities, or was Dave Phillips running Droller...

Jake Esterline: Oh, I sort of ran Droller, except I never knew what Tracy Barnes was going to do next, when I turned my back. Droller was such.an ambitious fellow trying to run in... trying to run circles around everybody for his own aggrandizement that you never knew... but Droller would never have had any continuing contact with Pawley, because they had met only once, and I recall Pawley saying that he never wanted to talk to that "you know what" again. He was very unhappy that somebody like Gerry... he just didn't like Gerry's looks, he didn't like his accent. He was very unfair about Gerry, and I don't mean to be unfair about Gerry - the only thing is that Gerry was insanely ambitious. He was his own worst enemy, that was all.... We just didn't think that Tracy really understood it that well, or if Tracy did, he coudn't articulate... he wouldn't articulate it that well. Tracy was one of the sweetest guys that ever lived, but he coudn't ever draw a straight line between two points.

(3) Edward G. Shirley, Atlantic Monthly (February, 1998)

In the 1950s and early 1960s the CIA's top leaders - men like Allen Dulles, Frank Wisner, Richard Bissell, Tracy Barnes, and Desmond Fitzgerald - were profoundly devoted to covert action. Covert action (orchestrating coups, anti-Communist insurgencies, academic conferences, labor unions, political parties, publishing houses, and shipping companies) required considerable manpower, and it drew the intellectual crème de la crème. It compelled a higher degree of intellectual curiosity, accomplishment, and operational savior faire than did espionage ("espionage" referring specifically to the recruitment of foreign intelligence agents). With so many talented officers working in covert action, and with most of the foreigners involved being friendly collaborators and not "recruited" assets, the do could scarcely base promotions on the number of recruitments a case officer made each year.

(4) David Atlee Phillips, The Night Watch: 25 Years of Peculiar Service (1977)

"Tomorrow morning, gentlemen," Dulles said, "we will go to the White House to brief the President. Let's run over your presentations." It was a warm summer night. We drank iced tea as we sat around a garden table in Dulles' back yard. The lighted shaft of the Washington Monument could be seen through the trees. . . . Finally Brad (Colonel Albert Haney) rehearsed his speech. When he finished Alien Dulles said, "Brad, I've never heard such crap." It was the nearest thing to an expletive I ever heard Dulles use. The Director turned to me "They tell me you know how to write. Work out a new speech for Brad...

We went to the White House in the morning. Gathered in the theater in the East Wing were more notables than I had ever seen: the President, his Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of State - Alien Dulles's brother, Foster - the Attorney General, and perhaps two dozen other members of the President's Cabinet and household staff....

The lights were turned off while Brad used slides during his report. A door opened near me. In the darkness I could see only a silhouette of the person entering the room; when the door closed it was dark again, and I could not make out the features of the man standing next to me. He whispered a number of questions: "Who is that? Who made that decision?"

I was vaguely uncomfortable. The questions from the unknown man next to me were very insistent, furtive. Brad finished and the lights went up. The man moved away. He was Richard Nixon, the Vice President.

Eisenhower's first question was to Hector (Rip Robertson): "How many men did Castillo Armas lose?" Hector (Rip Robertson) said only one, a courier... . Eisenhower shook his head, perhaps thinking of the thousands who had died in France. "Incredible..."

Nixon asked a number of questions, concise and to the point, and demonstrated a thorough knowledge of the Guatemalan political situation. He was impressive - not at all the disturbing man he was in the shadows.

Eisenhower turned to his Chief of the Joint Chiefs. "What about the Russians? Any reaction?"

General Ridgeway answered. "They don't seem to be up to anything. But the navy is watching a Soviet sub in the area; it could be there to evacuate some of Arbenz's friends, or to supply arms to any resisters."

Eisenhower shook hands all around. "Great," he said to Brad, "that was a good briefing." Hector and I smiled at each other as Brad flushed with pleasure. The President's final handshake was with Alien Dulles. "Thanks Allen, and thanks to all of you. You've averted a Soviet beachhead in our hemisphere." Eisenhower spoke to his Chief of Naval Operations "Watch that sub. Admiral. If it gets near the coast of Guatemala we'll sink the son-of-a-bitch. ' The President strode from the room.

(5) Robert D. Morrow, First Hand Knowledge (1992)

My involvement with the plans to assassinate John F. Kennedy commenced at the end of June, 1963. On July 1, I was contacted by (CIA head of Domestic Operations Officer) Tracy Barnes. He requested that I purchase four Mannlicher 7.35 mm surplus rifles. According to Barnes, the rifles were available in the Baltimore area from Sunny's Supply Stores. Upon my agreement to make the purchase, Barnes requested that I alter the forepiece of each rifle so that the rifles could be dismantled, hidden and reassembled quickly. I thought this last request odd until I was informed that the rifles were to be used for a clandestine operation.

One day later I received a second phone call. It was Eladio del Valle calling from, I assumed, Miami. He asked me to supply him with four transceivers which were not detectable by any communications equipment then available on the market. Although his request seemed impossible, I told him that I had an idea which might fulfill his requirement. I could provide him with sub-miniaturized units whose operation would be confined to a range of fifty or one hundred kilohertz. To operate any sizable distance, the units would require an antenna at least several feet in length. A wire taped to the user's leg would easily suffice for this purpose. The set-up would not be pretty, but I could assure him that no one would be monitoring these low frequencies.

Del Valle then requested that I deliver the transceivers and the rifles to David Ferrie. I was surprised by Ferrie's involvement in the transaction. Barnes, in our previous conversation, had neither informed me that the rifles were being made for Clay Shaw in New Orleans nor that David Ferrie would be the person responsible for picking them up once I had completed the required alterations. Del Valle explained to me that the rifles and communications equipment were for his Free Cuba Committee, and that Clay and Ferrie were assisting him in the operation. I assured him that the equipment would be ready on time as I would immediately order the Motorola-made special transceiver units. Motorola was manufacturing the units for railroad communications equipment; they were relatively easy to secure.

The radio transceivers for del Valle were more difficult to create than I had originally thought they'd be. An unusual amount of power was required for them to transmit over any significant distance. To solve this dilemma, I included an extra pack of four "D" type battery cells to be used for transmitting purposes only. The pack was plugged into the transceiver unit and could easily be carried in the user's pocket. Ironically, I later learned from del Valle that the transmission time was to be limited to five minutes, which meant my additional adjustments had been unnecessary.

(6) John Ranelagh, The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA (1986)

The nature of Arbenz's government, however, meant that Operation Success launched both the CIA and the United States on a new path. Mussadegh in Iran was left-wing and had indulged in talks with Russian diplomats about possible alliances and treaties. Arbenz, on the other hand, had simply been trying to reform his country and had not sought foreign help in this. Thus by overthrowing him, America was in effect making a new decision in the cold war. No longer would the Monroe Doctrine, which was directed against foreign imperial ambitions in the Americas from across the Atlantic or the Pacific, suffice. Now internal subversion communism from within - was an additional cause for direct action. What was not said, but what was already clear after the events in East Germany the previous year, was that the exercise of American power, even clandestinely through the CIA, would not be undertaken where Soviet power was already established. In addition, regardless of the principles being professed, when direct action was taken (whether clandestine or not), the interests of American business would be a consideration: if the flag was to follow, it would quite definitely follow trade.

The whole arrangement of American power in the world from the nineteenth century was based on commercial concerns and methods of operation his had given America a material empire through the ownership of foreign transport systems, oil fields, estancias, stocks, and shares. It had also given America resources and experience (concentrated in private hands) with the world outside the Americas, used effectively by the OSS during World War II American government, however, had stayed in America, lending its influence to business but never trying to overthrow other governments for commercial purposes. After World War II, American governments were more willing to use their influence and strength all over the world for the first time and to see an ideological implication in the "persecution" of U.S. business interests.

(7) Michael Warner, The CIA's Internal Probe of the Bay of Pigs Affair (1998)

The Bay of Pigs invasion met its ignominious end on the afternoon of 19 April 1961. Three days after the force of Cuban émigrés had hit the beach, the CIA officers who planned the assault gathered around a radio in their Washington war room while the Cuban Brigade's commander transmitted his last signal. He had been pleading all day for supplies and air cover, but nothing could be done for him and his men. Now he could see Fidel Castro's tanks approaching. "I have nothing left to fight with," he shouted. "Am taking to the woods. I can't wait for you." Then the radio went dead, leaving the drained and horrified CIA men holding back nausea.

Within days the postmortems began. President Kennedy assigned Gen. Maxwell Taylor to head the main inquiry into the government's handling of the operation. Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Allen Dulles asked the CIA's Inspector General (IG), Lyman B. Kirkpatrick, Jr., to conduct an internal audit. A humiliated President Kennedy did not wait for either report before cleaning house at CIA. He accepted resignations from both Dulles and Deputy Director for Plans Richard Bissell (although both stayed at their posts until their successors were selected a few months later).

Lyman Kirkpatrick subsequently acknowledged that his Survey of the Cuban Operation had angered the handful of senior Agency officers permitted to read it, particularly in the Directorate for Plans (the Agency's clandestine service and covert action arm, referred to here as the DDP). The IG's Survey elicited a formal rejoinder from the DDP, written by one of Bissell's aides who was closely associated with all phases of the project. These two lengthy briefs, written when the memories and documentation were fresh, were intended to be seen by only a handful of officials within the CIA. They shed light on the ways in which the CIA learned from both success and failure at a milestone in the Cold War.

Did Kirkpatrick build a fair case against the Bay of Pigs operation? If he did, what can be inferred about the rejection of his Survey by Dulles, Bissell, and other Agency principals? Historian Piero Gleijeses has noted that the White House and the CIA were like ships passing in the night during the planning for the Bay of Pigs invasion; they assumed they spoke the same language with regard to Cuba, but they actually were imprisoned by mutually exclusive misconceptions about the invasion's likely outcome. The Kennedy administration believed the assault brigade would be able to escape destruction by melting into the countryside to wage guerrilla warfare. According to Gleijeses, CIA officials, from Dulles on down to the branch chief who ran the operation, professed this same belief but tacitly assumed President Kennedy would commit US troops rather than let the Brigade be overrun. A close reading of the IG's Survey and the DDP's response supports Gleijeses's thesis and hints that an analogous misunderstanding within CIA itself hampered planning for the invasion and contributed to the communications breakdown with the White House...

Bissell's assistant, C. Tracy Barnes, drafted the DDP's response, completing it in January 1962. Barnes was well qualified to present the DDP's case, although hardly an objective observer. One of the Directorate's two Assistant Deputy Directors (Richard Helms was the other), Barnes had set aside his usual duties for a year to concentrate on the Cuban operation. Although he rarely imposed operational direction himself, he often reviewed and approved decisions in Bissell's name. Barnes thus had gained a comprehensive view of (and significant responsibility for) the project, obtaining wide knowledge of its details as well as working with many of the policymakers involved.

(8) How Yale Serves the Corporations (1970)

Tracy Barnes has moved to Yale from his position as CIA agent go between to Adlai Stevenson during the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. Barnes and his other CIA Yalies appear to have changed...but have they? Barnes now serves as Yale's counter-insurgency expert in the university's invasion of the black community. As an imperialist agent in the Black Colony, he is an enemy of the people, and sees the existence of the Black Panther Party as a direct threat to the continued domination of the community by the corporation.