E-Mail received at the web site;
From the Wimberley Village Library,
>Who is Jake Engler in Peter Wyden's BAY OF PIGS,1979 Simon and Schuster.
>In the book,was Project Manager CIA of Bay of Pigs landing.etc.
>Also-does Prouty figure out who organized Landsdale in his theory that
>Ed Lansdale organized Dealy Plaza. The obvious people as Oliver Stone
>desribes in movie? Thank you.
TO: Len Osanic
FROM: Fletch Prouty
FOR: No Name-- E-Mail/wimlibr/Wimberley village Library,
Dated 10 Mar 1997
SUBJECT: "Jake Engler" and Ed Lansdale re Bay of Pigs
Peter Wyden's book "BAY OF PIGS" is a good narrative; but he did not have access to the real facts--such as the name "Jake Engler11 In fact, in the Index, he puts (pseudonym; Bay of Pigs project director.) I knew Jake, a true CIA career man; and, because of that I have not revealed his real name either.
However now, more than 35 years later, I will say that in Thomas Powers book, "THE MAN WHO KEPT THE SECRETS: Richard Helms and the CIA" he does correctly include "Jake Engler's" real name: Jake Esterline, and he does give us a Marine Colonel's name; but it is not the one who was the senior Marine on that project.
The actual man behind the tactical plan of the Bay of Pigs landing was an experienced U.S. Marine Corps Colonel. Wyden never mentioned him, nor did Powers and neither will I.
Also, I had placed an experienced Air Force officer in charge of the aircraft operations, for planning and training purposes only, over the Cuban Exile fleet which was actually a larger and stronger Air Force than existed in Latin America at the time. The failure was that these aircraft were not exploited as President Kennedy had ordered them to be used.
One of the most important results of Wyden's incomplete knowledge of that entire operation is evidenced by reference "President Kennedy's order that no Americans were to participate in Cuban military operations." That was not a Kennedy order. That was an Eisenhower Administration NSC Directive, which was still in force. We all knew that. The air strikes had to be flown by Cubans.
Back when an operation against Castro was first discussed, and the CIA was given directions at the National Security Council level during the Eisenhower term in the Spring of 1960, a few CIA "Fun and Games" i.e. covert operations types came to my office to discuss "Cuban exile force support matters by the U.S. military." (Note "support" not operational.) Their first requirement was a military base for Cuban exile training purposes. I took them to Panama where there was adequate space and the facilities for that task at Ft Gulick until the other bases in Nicaragua and Guatemala were readied.
(For those who may be interested in my book, "JFK, the CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy" ha been re-issued in paperback and is available. It contains the full coverage of the items we are discussing now.)
The important matter, and the one that is rarely in print, is that the Eisenhower order that "No active duty U.S. Military personnel were to be involved in the Bay of Pigs operation" was not exclusively applied to that operation.
In 1954 the Eisenhower, National security Council issued a tap-level directive, number 5412, that prohibited the employment of active duty U.S. military personnel in any covert operation. This directive was in effect during the entire Kennedy administration; and it was not JFK's order that the U.S. Military aircraft could not be used to support the faltering Bay of Pigs operation. He simply reminded the Defense Dept. and the CIA that the Eisenhower policy was still in effect.
In fact it was JFK who ordered that crucial Cuban exile crew and B-26 attack for the morning of the landing in Cuba and it was McGeorge Bundy, the National Security Advisor, who for reasons that have never been made clear, telephoned the Deputy Director, Central Intelligence, General C.P. Cabell directing him to cancel the Cuban Exile force B-26 attack. This was the immediate cause of the failure of that operation as determined by the Cuban study Group established by President Kennedy the day after the Cuban exile brigade surrender.
As for your reference to "who organized Lansdale in his (Prouty's) theory that Ed Lansdale organized Dealey Plaza?" this begins with the evidence that Lansdale appears in the first of the four "Tramps" photos taken shortly after the shots had been fired killing JFK. That photo which is included in Jim Garrison's 1988 book, "On the Trail of the Assassins" clearly shows Lansdale in front of the Text Book building casually walking past the "Tramps" and their escorting "Police Officers".
Because it becomes undeniable that Lansdale was there, at that time; it must follow that he must have had a reason for being there. That type of covert operation had been his specialty since years before I met him first in 1952. By "his specialty" I mean his unequalled ability to plan and effectively carry out the "Cover Story" of such an operation. The "Cover Story" is much more intricate and much more crucial than the technical matter of the fatal shots. Just think: the Dealey Plaza "Cover Story" is as strong or stronger today than it was in 1963. This is the type of work in which Lansdale specialized.
The shots were simply fired by technically competent "Hit Men".
Of course the essential "Top Level" decision was made by others whose names will never be known, for obvious reasons.
Thank you for your good questions. They are still important
L. Fletcher Prouty
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