1962 March 13

Joint Chiefs Recommend Outrageous Anti-Castro Terrorist Acts


A memorandum from the Joint Chiefs of Staff on this day recommended a variety of outrageous actions designed to remove Fidel Castro as Prime Minister/President of Cuba. The proposals included sinking a boat carrying refugees from Cuba and blaming it on Castro; and also, detonating bombs in Miami and Washington, D.C., blaming them too on Castro.

The proposals were not accepted, but it was clear that it was consistent with the goal of the Kennedy administration to remove Fidel Castro as leader of Cuba by almost any means. It is equally clear that, while President John Kennedy’s name is never mentioned in the documents published by the State Department, the president had sent a clear signal regarding Castro and expected results. This document is published in the official government publication, Foreign Relations of the United States. Meanwhile, the CIA was secretly concocting plans to assassinate Fidel Castro. Most of their ideas — exploding cigars, an idea for making Castro’s beard to fall out and thereby undermine his respect — were utterly ludicrous and none came even close to being implemented. There is no concrete evidence that either President John Kennedy or his brother Robert, the U.S. Attorney General, ordered the assassination or even knew about any specific plans. They may have, but there is simply no surviving evidence to that effect. The CIA in those years operated under the principle of “deniability,” under which top leaders were insulated from any specific knowledge about many covert actions.

Read the Senate Church Committee report on the CIA’s assassination plots: http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/contents/church/contents_church_reports_ir.htm

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