Did Allen Dulles know the Bay of Pigs invasion would fail?

In response to the trailer for the CIA movie, “The Good Shepherd,” Dan asks:

Did the Soviets and Cubans know the date and time of the invasion in advance? If yes, is it also true Allen Dulles knew the mission was compromised and went ahead regardless?

Answer: The Cubans knew the invasion was coming but they did not know the date and time. There was no high-level leak, as the movie implies. And, no, Allen Dulles did not know the Bay of Pigs invasion was going to fail.

The Cubans knew the CIA was coming because they paid attention. Che Guevara had lived in Guatemala City in 1954. He knew what a CIA psychological warfare operation looked like. He and Castro did not repeat the mistakes that doomed Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz.

The Bay of Pigs invasion was not compromised by some spy. It was compromised by Cuban realities. The CIA underestimated Castro, the appeal of Cuban nationalism, and the skills of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, which had battlefield experience from the rebellion against Batista.

Dulles was more complacent than cynical (not that he wasn’t a cynical man). He simply assumed JFK would do what Eisenhower did in1954: authorize  U.S. air strikes if/when the coup plotters got in trouble.

JFK wasn’t interested.



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  1. Jesse Hemingway says:

    Why did Allen Dulles order the U-2 flight on May 1, 1960 when President Eisenhower had a no fly order in place?

    Bay of Pigs was sold to the Kennedy Administration as a lock a for sure success by Allen Dulles. When President John F. Kennedy would not order additional military support to the Bay of Pigs operations; other then what requested by Allen Dulles at the initial operation plan that was sold to Kennedy’s NSC
    The Bay of Pigs was a failed operation from its conception under Vice President Richard Nixon.
    During the Presidential news conference #22 January 31, 1962 President John F. Kennedy ordered the Stockpile investigation which was the intended blow back at Allen Dulles and company. Not a word about this investigation in the Warren commission report. Many of the people under investigation in Stockpile investigation were involved in both of Allen of Dulles delusions.

  2. Dan clark says:

    My follow-up question then is: was maxwell Taylor lying about a leak or did he not ever refer to a leak and some readers got overzealous with regard tobyaylor’s notes released about 15 years ago?

    I haven’t read them but would love to for edification.

  3. Dan Clark says:

    Follow-up to my last post…if researchers or readers misinterpret max Taylor’s notes that’s one thing but if people have intentionally spun his words to bolster a fallacy that’s just as disturbing in my view as the actual facts of this case as we know them.

  4. Arnaldo M. Fernandez says:

    Castro knew in advance that an invasion was coming even with intel directly furnished from Guatemala. And Dulles did know that the operation was compromised, as Jack Esterline and Hawkins also knew. That´s why Dulles, at the March 11 meeting about changing the landing site, facing the requests of calling of the operation, was ready to reply: “Don´t forget that we have a disposal problem.” What Dulles really didn´t know was how to get rid of the exiles training in Central America. And Bissell insisted in the operation because his bet was —likely— that Juan Orta will be killing Castro with a pill previous to or during the invasion.

  5. theNewDanger says:

    Did Allen Dulles know the Bay of Pigs invasion would fail?

    Read the Cuba Study Group memorandums ( https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1961-63v10/d231 ). Not only did Dulles know, nearly everyone near JFK knew this was a bad idea, but they also knew the one terrorist group they’d already got hyped up (the anti-Castros) knew it could blackmail another terrorist group (the CIA) at any given point if both sides did not follow through. The CIA terrorist organization made bad-faith promises to the anti-Castro rebels that they’d have a chance instead of recognizing the humility it had already gained in the eyes of its parent, the banking-oiligarchy families’ United Nations Security Council.

    Dulles and friends were humiliated and wanted to eliminate anyone responsible for the dysfunction that was brewing from JFK’s influence that was fracturing the order that the globalist banking family oiligarchy expected from the CIA. For them, there is no better way to do better so as to eliminate the influence itself than to cut off (i.e. cavitate) the head and blame it on a “lone nut” without a motive … who was at “work” LOL.

    Not only did Dulles know his terrorist plan would fail, EVERYONE KNEW … except for the anti-Castros, who would realize their promise to fight, only, they would fight and die alone.

  6. Bob Holden says:

    Did Dulles ever state, “We knew that wouldn’t happen” in regard to a previous assertion he made, that the Cuban people would rise up and support an anti-Castro invasion?

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