The National Declassification Center announced yesterday the release of long-classified records on General Edward Lansdale and Cuba that may help complete the historical record of the end of the Kennedy administration.
The records include:
* The strategic planning files of the Deputy of Special Operations, Edward G. Landsdale,
In late 1961, President Kennedy put Lansdale in charge of Operation Mongoose, his administration’s secret effort to overthrow Fidel Castro’s government in Cuba. Mongoose was a failure, and Lansdale was relieved of his duties in late 1962.
The late Col. Fletcher Prouty, briefing officer for the Secretary of Defense in 1960-61, claimed that Lansdale was in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963. The man Prouty claims was Lansdale can only be seen from behind. A colleague of Lansdale’s, Gen. Victor Krulak, said the man’s hand, gait, and ring resemble those of Lansdale. I am not aware of any evidence that corroborates Prouty and Krulak’s claim.
Conspiracy theories aside, Lansdale played a leading role in JFK’s Cuba policy for a year. HIs plans may shed light on the struggle for power over Cuba policy that continued until the day JFK died.
* Department of State, Records Relating to Cuba.
The NDC does not identify is these records are related to Cuba in the 1950 and 1960s, but if they are, they may be relevant to the JFK story.
The records can be viewed at the Archives 2 facility in College Park, Maryland.
Requests to access the newly released records or to order copies should be directed to Archives 2 Reference at 301-837-3510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.