277. Memorandum, November 41

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The following are some tentative recommendations meant to serve as a basis of discussion:

I would recommend that the Cuban operation be organized in five components:

a. Intelligence collection and evaluation

b. Underground and guerilla

c. Propaganda

d. Economic warfare (other than covert activities within Cuba)

e. Diplomatic relations

Although these sections will make use of available agency capabilities the operational authority for each of these aspects of the operation will be in the hands of the section leader who is responsible to the chairman of the group. All of these activities will be compartmentalised as much as possible, i.e., only the chairman will be kept completely informed on all aspects of the operation.

The operation should have its physical headquarters in the Department of Defense, both for maximum security and to detach it as much as possible from identification as a CIA activity.

The first steps are:

1. Designation of section chiefs;

2. A complete survey by each section chief of current operations in his field;

3. The establishment of control over operations by the section chief;

4. The expansion of operations where feasible.

Bob Amory should be asked to designate one of his best men to centralize the intelligence collection and evaluation.

The Defense Department should designate the section chief for underground and guerilla activities.

We should discuss expansion of propaganda operations with Ed Murrow and appropriate CIA officers—not relating it to stepped up operations in other fields. With these people we should select a single person to be the propaganda chief, coordinating CIA and USIA opera [Typeset Page 793] tions. I have suggested that Tad Sulz—if he can be persuaded to take a leave of absence—would be a useful person to advise on this aspect of the operation.

Both economic warfare and diplomatic relations should be handled by a designee of the State Department. It is important to keep the diplomatic relations aspect of this operation under some sort of control so that we can’t involve ourselves in potentially embarrassing situations in the OAS, e.g. voting to send an investigating committee to Cuba when our operations are at a height and Fidel has evidence to present of U.S. participation.

The Deputy should be from CIA.

The President should not talk to the press. It may be that some contacts with a few key newsmen should be made—in the most general way. But if the President approaches them personally and the operation does not succeed it is inevitable that he will become the focus of another Cuban failure. There are two types of newsmen involved here. There is a rather large group which will hear rumors and stories of various kind. There is nothing to be done about them. There are a few newsmen whose contacts in the Cuban community are so extensive that they might be able to put together a coherent story. If any approaches are to be made it should be restricted to these; although they should never be told we are going to wage an all-out operation. In addition, as much contact and operational work as possible should be done outside the Miami area.

Our next step should be to design to section chiefs, establish their authority and have them make a complete survey of present operations. This would include a survey of current covert operations and capacities here and in Miami (and anywhere else they are going on), as the first task of the Defense Department designee with CIA assistance. The physical headquarters should be established.

Although the Attorney General should maintain a general operational supervision, it is probably unwise for him to be the formal chairman of the group because the risk of identification is fairly high.

If such identification is made, and the operation is not successful, another Cuban failure may be directly traceable to the President. I regard this as fairly remote in this type of operation but the danger can be decreased if the operation is formally headed by someone who is not so clearly acting at the direct behest of the President. The Attorney General can give assistance and maintain general supervision on behalf of the President, working with the Chairman alone—rather than extending his contacts to include all the operation chiefs.

  1. Recommendations on subsequent actions in Cuban operation. Secret. 3 pp. CIA, DDO/DDP Files: Job 78–01450R, Box 5, Area Activity—Cuba.