EISENHOWER COUNSELS JFK ON BAY OF PIGS FAILURE
Camp David, Maryland (JFK+50) Fifty-six years ago this morning, Saturday, April 22, 1961, President John F. Kennedy met with former President Dwight D. Eisenhower at Aspen Cottage here at Camp David*, Maryland
Mr. Eisenhower asked President Kennedy if he had "made sure to air all opposing views in his meetings" prior to the invasion. Kennedy had to admit he had simply taken the advice of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Ike, sounding like a General who had experience planning invasions, asked why JFK had called off the second bombing mission. The young president answered "to keep our hands from showing." Mr. Eisenhower replied...
"How could you expect the world to believe that we had nothing to do with it?"
In his book "Brilliant Disaster", Jim Rasenberger describes the meeting as being "like a trip to the woodshed" for the youngest elected President of the United States in history.
After their lunch had been taken, the two POTUS walked around the grounds for a quarter of an hour. Before he boarded a helicopter to return to his home at Gettysburg, the General said to reporters...
"I am all in favor of the United States supporting the man who has to carry the responsibility for our foreign affairs."
In the privacy of his Journal, however, Ike was more than candid about his impressions. He wrote that "the story of the invasion was 'a very dreary account of mismanagement, indecision and timidity at the wrong time.'"
*Camp David is located 62 miles NW of Washington, D.C. in Frederick County, MD. Built by the WPA in the mid 1930s, it was converted into a presidential retreat by FDR. He named it Shangri-La. The name was changed by President Eisenhower who renamed it after his father & grandson.
"Brilliant Disaster: JFK, Castro and America's Doomed Invasion of Cuba's Bay of Pigs," by Jim Rasenberger, Scribner, New York, 2011.