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John S. McCain POW CIA-Defense Department Documents

 Kennedy Administration Cuba Policy Papers


The Califano Papers, 1,300 pages of Kennedy Administration papers dealing with Cuba policy..

In 1963, Joseph Califano served both as the General Counsel to Secretary of the Army Cyrus Vance and as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. At that time, Secretary Vance was the "DOD Executive Agent" for all meetings of the governmental task force, the "Interdepartmental Coordinating Committee on Cuban Affairs," (ICCCA). As Vance's special assistant, Califano often represented him at meetings of the ICCCA, and was part of all ICCCA policy deliberations. The Califano Papers shows the interagency planning activities related to Cuba during 1963.

Documents include:

A draft of the State and Defense Departments contingency plan for a Coup in Cuba.

A Joint Chiefs of Staff composite document, code name Northwoods, containing memorandums and reports relating to the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommendation to invade Cuba and pretexts to justify U.S. military intervention. The report contains comment and recommendation concerning the requirements for and the desirability of fomenting a revolt in Cuba, giving consideration to the advantage of engineering an incident as an alternate cause for invasion.

Details of a psychological leaflet campaign to accompany the Cuban Surveillance Program. On October 26, 1962, President John Kennedy approved the text of a psychological leaflet to be dropped over Cuba in quantity for the purpose of "presenting the truth to the Cuban people."

The institutional planning of Operation Mongoose. A memorandum from Brigadier General Lansdale outlines the responsibility of each department and agency involved in Operation Mongoose. These responsibilities are listed by specific activity, including the purpose of the activity and the factors that must be considered in carrying out each activity. The period of time is March through July 1962. Almost all activities concern the collection of intelligence and the infiltration of agents into Cuba, all the responsibility of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Sabotage operations against Cuba. A memorandum from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of Defense analyses the pros and cons of a program of externally mounted sabotage raids on Cuban targets. CIA requested approval of eighteen sabotage operations; eight were approved; three were aborted; five were carried out. The effects of these operations are discussed in light of the overall U.S. policy towards Cuba and the Soviet Union. The Chairman recommended that the sabotage operations be continued and increased to three to four per month.

A narrative of the Anti-Castro Operation Zapata. In a memorandum Gen. L.L. Lemnitzer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recommends changes and clarifications to the draft of General Maxwell Taylor's report on the failure of Operation Zapata. He assesses the chances of the Cuban Expeditionary Force's success in overthrowing the Castro regime even if the initial landing had not failed.


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