JFK Declassified: Tracking Oswald - Netflix

Wed 26 June 2019

More than two million declassified government files offer new evidence about Lee Harvey Oswald's activities in the weeks, months and years before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy with the last remaining documents scheduled for release later this year. HISTORY's new six-part nonfiction series JFK Declassified: Tracking Oswald follows former CIA agent, Bob Baer and former LAPD police lieutenant, Adam Bercovici, on their independent global investigation into Oswald, and the murder of JFK, asking the questions: did he have accomplices, and if so, who helped him assassinate the President?

JFK Declassified: Tracking Oswald - Netflix

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Running

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2017-04-25

JFK Declassified: Tracking Oswald - Cuban Project - Netflix

The Cuban Project, also known as Operation Mongoose, was a covert operation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that was commissioned in March 1960 during the final year of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's administration. On November 30, 1961, covert operations against Fidel Castro's government in Cuba were officially authorized by President Kennedy and after being given the name Operation Mongoose at a prior White House meeting on November 4, 1961. The operation was led by United States Air Force General Edward Lansdale and went into effect after the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion. Operation Mongoose was a secret program against Cuba aimed at removing the Communists from power, which was a prime focus of the Kennedy administration. A document from the United States Department of State confirms that the project aimed to “help Cuba overthrow the Communist regime”, including its leader Fidel Castro, and it aimed “for a revolt which can take place in Cuba by October 1962”. US policymakers also wanted to see “a new government with which the United States can live in peace”.

JFK Declassified: Tracking Oswald - After - Netflix

After Operation Mongoose was ended, the Kennedy Administration made some attempts to mend relations with the Cuban government. As a number of documents released by the National Security Archive reveal, this happened fairly soon after the project ended. One document comes in the form of an options paper from a Latin American specialist about how to fix relations. The document begins by suggesting that, through the CIA's attempts to off Castro and topple the government, they had “been looking seriously only at one side of the coin” and that they could try the reverse side and try “quietly enticing Castro over to us.” The document goes on to push for further studies into how exactly they would go about improving relations. The document also states the two possible outcomes that would come along with a better relationship with Cuba. The document states, “In the short run, we would probably be able to neutralize at least two of our main worries about Castro: the reintroduction of offensive missiles and Cuban subversion. In the long run, we would be able to work on eliminating Castro at our leisure and from a good vantage point.” The effort to mend the relationships would be framed heavily by the negative relations formed due to Operation Mongoose. One issue that caused distrust between the relations of US supported Cubans and the Agency, was a “shaky” front due to no real agreement among the Cubans and the Agency. “The Cuban leaders wanted something to say about the course of paramilitary operations,” according to an inspection done by Inspector General Pfeiffer,. Questions arose within this inspection that included, “If the project had been better conceived, better organized, better staffed and better managed, would that precise issue ever had to be presented for Presidential decision at all?” According to General Pfeiffer. Further investigation proved that the 1,500 men would not have been enough from the start against Castro's large military forces, as well as Agencies' lack of “top-flight handling,” which altogether led to the complete failure of Operation Mongoose as well as the Bay of Pigs invasion. A commission led by General Maxwell E. Taylor, known as the Taylor Committee, conducted an investigation into the failures of the Bay of Pigs invasion. The objective was to find out who was responsible for the disaster. In one of his volumes of an internal report written between 1974 and 1984, CIA Chief Historian Jack Pfeiffer criticized the Taylor Committee's investigation, as it held the CIA primarily responsible for the Bay of Pigs fiasco. At the end of the fourth volume, Pfeiffer laments that Taylor had a hand in perpetuating the idea that “President Kennedy was a white knight misled by overconfident, if not mischievous, CIA activists”.

JFK Declassified: Tracking Oswald - References - Netflix