Skip to content

New Digital National Security Archive Document Collection Highlights CIA Covert Operations from 1961-1974

June 27, 2018

Explore important historical events, like the epic Bay of Pigs disaster, through the lens of little-known or under-explored covert activities in the National Security Archive’s latest digital collection, CIA Covert Operations, Part III – From Kennedy to Nixon. This Digital National Security Archive (DNSA) collection, the most comprehensive of its kind, is the third of five installments concerning the bread and butter of U.S. intelligence operations – covert operations.

The new collection includes first-hand reporting on Che Guevara as he uttered his dying words in Bolivia, assassination attempts on Fidel Castro and Rafael Trujillo, dealings with secret agents and covert support for Kurdish rebels, and the CIA’s search for funds to bribe African dictator Jean-Bedel Bokassa of the Central African Republic.

Virtually unknown before publication of this collection is the CIA operation against Prime Minister Cheddi Jagan of British Guiana. The documents show how the CIA stirred up economic trouble and labor unrest in Guiana while undertaking political action and propaganda to support an opposing politician handpicked by the U.S during the December 1964 elections.

Documents in this collection depict Cuban operations in particularly stunning detail. They help show that exile raids attacking Soviet merchant ships in the spring and summer of 1963 – as well as embarrassing sallies into Cuba – soured Washington enough to want to further disguise the American hand in Cuba. The documents chart the late 1963 decision by officials to re-orient the CIA’s anti-Cuba program to only support Cuban exile groups operating from outside the United States. After Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963, reporting on the continued infighting among Cuban exile groups, and their lack of impact on Cuba, President Johnson was finally convinced to halt the CIA’s Cuba program.

This set will also provide researchers with unprecedented coverage of deliberations of the CIA’s high command, ranging from minutes of the “Special Group” that approved covert operations throughout the world, to minutes of CIA directors’ daily staff meetings, to the notes of meetings with presidents Kennedy and Johnson that CIA Director John McCone took.

The two previous DNSA collections on CIA covert operations are: CIA Covert Operations: From Carter to Obama, 1977-2010 and CIA Covert Operations II: The Year of Intelligence, 1975.

If you don’t already have DNSA, sign up for a free trial today.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: