Friday, October 30, 2009

A Man of Secrets

Since the last post had to do with early CIA activities against the Cuban government, I though I'd add a few things about former CIA Director Richard Helms, the man who became the CIA official in charge of Cuban operations in 1962.

The video excerpt above shows Helms, at the Church Committee in 1975, publicly admitting CIA operations against the Cuban government. He told the committee that the activity "was a government-wide operation supported by the Defense Department, supported by the National Security Council, supported by almost everybody in high position in the government."

Helms mentions various attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro, as well as "task forces striking at Cuba constantly," targeting power plants and sugar mills.

Today we would call that terrorism.

In 1962, Richard Helms was assigned to lead Mongoose, the CIA operation against Cuba. Assessing those activities, Don Bohning quotes from Helms' memoirs:

"Despite our maximum effort we had not inspired any resistance activity worth the name in Cuba; the, in my opinion, ill-advised sabotage operations were but pinpricks."

Nevertheless, Helms described Mongoose as "the largest peacetime secret intelligence operation in history." Juanita Castro, sister of Fidel Castro, formed part of this intelligence community.

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