December 7, 2015
‘It’s Time to Stop Saying that JFK Inherited the Bay of Pigs Operation from Ike’
In offering essentially the standard narrative, Jones cites only documents at the Kennedy Library and none from the Eisenhower Library. One can sympathize with—if not quite excuse—Schlesinger and Sorensen’s attempt to deflect blame from a slain leader whom they had both worked for, but Jones’s refusal to examine critical documents at the Eisenhower Library four decades later is troubling, especially since those records tell a very different story.
Documents at the Eisenhower Library show that the president allocated approximately $13,000,000 to the CIA in March 1960 to explore options to remove Castro from power. He also approved the training of around 500 Cuban exiles in Guatemala. But as I have shown in The President and the Apprentice, he never ordered, or approved plans for, an amphibious assault on Cuba. Kennedy did not inherit the Bay of Pigs from Eisenhower; the idea and the planning came from within his own administration.