tagged w/ Bay of Pigs
Late last year, the Central Intelligence Agency explained to Judge Kessler of the US District Court in Washington DC that releasing the final volume of its three-decade-old history of the 1961 Bay of Pigs debacle would “confuse the public,” and should be withheld because it is a “predecisional” document. Wow. And I thought that I had heard them all.
On the 50th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion, the National Security Archive filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for the release of a five-volume CIA history of the Bay of Pigs affair. In response to the lawsuit, the CIA negotiated to release three volumes of the history — the JFK Assassination Records Review Board had already released Volume III– with limited redaction, currently available on the National Security Archive’s website. At the time, the Director of the National Security Archive’s Cuba Documentation project, Peter Kornbluh, quipped that getting historic documents released from the CIA was “the bureaucratic equivalent of passing a kidney stone.” He was right. The Agency refused to release the final volume of this history, and the National Security Archive is not giving up on the fight.
Volume five of the history, written by CIA historian Jack Pfeiffer –who sued the CIA himself to release the history in 1987, and lost– is described by the CIA as an “Internal Investigation document” that “is an uncritical defense of the CIA officers who planned and executed the Bay of Pigs operation… It offers a polemic of recriminations against CIA officers who later criticized the operation and against those U.S. officials who its author, Dr. Pfeiffer, contends were responsible for the failure of that operation.”
While Dr. Pfeiffer’s conclusions may or may not be true, FOIA case law appears to be pretty clear that Americans –who funded the operation and Dr. Pfeiffer’s histories– have the right to read this document and decide for themselves its merits. Despite the claims of the CIA’s chief historian David Robarge, the document should not remain in the CIA vaults because its conclusions “could cause scholars, journalists, and others interested in the subject at hand to reach an erroneous or distorted view of the Agency’s role.” Historians, after all, are well trained in treating documents –especially CIA hagiographies sources– skeptically....
https://nsarchive.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/cia-claims-release-of-its-history-of-the-bay-of-pigs-debacle-would-confuse-the-public/Late last year, the Central Intelligence Agency explained to Judge Kessler of the US... more
1 year ago
HAVANA, Cuba, April 18: By Miguel Iturria Savón - Two extraordinary and conflicting events pepper the history of Cuba in the second half of the twentieth century. The first occurred between 17 and 19 April 1961 in the Bay of Pigs, in the south of the island. The second, from April 22 to the 16th of September between the northern port of Mariel and Florida. They were both led by Cubans, but both the 1961 invasion brigade and the mass exodus of 1980, dot the island's bilateral relations with the United States - the refuge used by many in Cuban history as a supply center for our independence of the nineteenth century, and by opponents of the dictatorships of Geraldo Machado, Fulgencio Batista and Castro in the twentieth.
Much has been written about these events to the north and south of Florida. Hundreds of articles, interviews, testimonies, books, documentaries and other media support the communist government's version, the victors of the battle at Playa Giron over the brigade of compatriot exiles trained abroad. The version of the vanquished was, of course, suffocated by the revolutionary fetishism, and is hardly known.
Official propaganda reiterates that Giron (as it is known in Cuba), "was the first defeat of imperialism in Latin America ", which is a distortion, because although the Cuban expedition had the support of the United States government, no American troops took part in the naval operation. The fighters of Brigade 2506, like the guerrillas they were trying to link up with in the Escambray mountains, were fighting against the dictatorship that had taken control of the island after the revolutionary chaos.
The Cubans were less free after the Bay of Pigs. A day earlier, on April 16, 1961 - Fidel Castro declared the socialist character of the revolution. The island was subsequently occupied by thousands of Russian soldiers whose bases were maintained until the mid-eighties. The rest of the story goes through half a century of dictatorship, populist clamor, corruption and the legacy of silence.
The flip side to this was the mass exodus from Mariel and Florida, a popular referendum against authoritarianism. Twenty years of repression, rhetorical contortions, shortages filled with boredom and disappointment to thousands of youths who dreamed of living without instructions.
After the bus that forced the gates of the Embassy of Peru in La Habana, into the embassy entered the flood of the unhappy. To withdraw security to the embassy, the government created the chaos and encouraged the arrival of American vessels to pick up relatives and other "scum." In less than five months left 125,000 people fled to the United States.
Faced with this surge, the leader ordered rallies of repudiation, the throwing of eggs and stones against dissidents, and the introduction of more than three thousand madmen and criminals into the boats of hope in an attempt to destroy the reputation of those who left. Three decades later, the horror and defamation against those who choose another destination remains an official practice.
Accustomed to reliving the past - evoking attacks, revolutionary symbols and involving third parties in the national struggle, the Cuban regime celebrated its victory with another celebration of the Bay of Pigs and the socialist character of the revolution, while its strategists shuffle policies to prevent another mass exodus like the one that created the sea-bridge between Mariel and Florida in the spring of 1980; where bridging the gap between Mariel and Florida represented a leap to freedom.HAVANA, Cuba, April 18: By Miguel Iturria Savón - Two extraordinary and... more
The first 3 games in the Call of Duty series started by covering the world wars, which were very successful in their own right despite the fact that the medal of honor series had already trodden that path, to great success. Modern Warfare’s release in 2007 was a breath of fresh air to the ‘war’ themed fps games of recent years, showing a fresh approach to story telling and weaponry, proving to be hugely successful and spawning a successful sequel two years later. Needless to say the hopes for the next game in the series, (assumed to be simply, Modern Warfare 3), were high, and many people just wanted more of the same, an exciting storyline, high production values and an unparalleled multiplayer experience.
This isn’t Modern Warfare 3.
This isn’t modern.
This is set around the Cold War era in the 1960’s but with a storyline reminiscent of a Jerry Bruckheimer flick. The game follows the character of Alex Mason, a special forces operative who after being kidnapped is subjected to an interrogation Jack Bauer would be proud of. Mason is grilled about a series of numbers that he is the key to decipher and the story is played out in the years in the run up to Mason’s interrogation, having you play through all his important missions.
Starting in April 1961 in Cuba during the Bay of Pigs invasion where a CIA-trained force of Cuban exiles invade southern Cuba with support from US government armed forces, to overthrow the Cuban government of Fidel Castro. The game starts in a Cuban bar where it all kicks off immediately with a police shoot out through the streets at night. The first noticeable thing is the graphics. The player models seem a lot more realistic than in MW2, and everything seems to have a more glossy feel. Unlike MW2, there’s no training section where you get to try out your guns or learn how to jump, this time you get given a gun and the first target in your reticule is a Cuban policeman’s head. The controls are perfectly mapped out as usual, everything is in the right place and veterans of the series will feel instantly at home here.
Where the recent Medal of Honor was like a theme park ride through all the clichés of war, Black Ops is a homage to popular culture. Storming into a room where it switches into slow-mo, enabling you to expertly pick off the soldiers taken by surprise as debris and bullets fly through the air. Very reminiscent of a John Woo movie (minus the white doves). The Vietnam sections with the Vietnam rock soundtrack, the split-screen ‘24’-esque cut scenes. One level sees you riding a motorcycle with a shotgun in your hand, and when you reload, Mason twirls the gun around a la Arnie in Terminator 2. Very cool and bought a smile to my face. Another level sees you with a giant slingshot on the roof with the aim to find the right trajectory to then fire into an enemy structure in the distance. Angry Birds anyone?
It’s full of fantastic moments, some of which I’ve mentioned, but a lot of which I won’t spoil. A harpoon and an enemy helicopter spring to mind.
The game is certainly action-packed, there’s hardly any let up once the mission gets going with constant waves of enemies to mow down, explosions, tanks and vehicle driving sections where you have to dodge debris while taking out potential attackers. When there is a quiet area, this is usually filled with well-scripted dialogue (voiced by veteran Hollywood actors such as Gary Oldman and Ed Harris), or the occasional stealth section where you must take out guards silently usually followed by the guard suffering a grizzly knife-related death of some description. I don’t really have any complaints about the campaign apart from the odd interactive cut scenes which just seemed a bit like an afterthought really, for example on one mission you get into a car and on-screen prompts tell you to press LT which makes the car reverse, and then RT to accelerate the car forwards. No steering is involved, just hold down the RT and enjoy the slow-mo gunfire and shattered windscreen. This is something I noticed quite a bit throughout the game, essentially glorified cut-scenes where you follow an on-screen prompt to move the action forward. For example, being able to steer the car through the streets as you try to escape would have increased player immersion and made it a bit more exciting.
Considering the fact that most people probably won’t even give the campaign a look in, it amazes me how breathtakingly good it actually is, and how much time, effort and production value has gone into what will essentially be, criminally overlooked.
The multiplayer is, as expected, awesome. Most of it is similar to MW2 so I’ll just concentrate on the new additions to the incredible multiplayer model that has already been established.
Wager matches see you betting your hard-earned ‘COD points’(earned alongside XP) against other players, adding something a bit different to the mix, and another incentive to win.
‘Gun Game’ sees you get a weapon upgrade after every kill, which you lose if you get stabbed.
‘One in the Chamber’ each player is given one bullet with three lives. Every stray bullet could mean you losing the match! Incredibly intense.
‘Sticks and Stones’ arms each player with an explosive-tipped crossbow, expect lots of explosions.
These new additions make the multiplayer experience fresh and exciting to keep people coming back day after day. The online experience is second to none, with the additional feature now to be able to record your previous match and play it back and also the ability to take screen shots. This is something the Halo games have done since Halo 3 but it’s a worthy addition and one I’m sure to be used during all those “Did you SEE THAT?!” moments.
As another addition to the package, there is Zombies, a mode which sees you trapped inside an old Nazi building and either alone (or up to three friends) you must fight off the waves of zombies smashing and clawing their way through your barricades. Once the wave has calmed down you have chance rebuild the barricade which earns you credits (as well as killing them) and in turn enable you to buy guns and open new doors to other parts of the level.
To say this addition isn’t as addictive as hell would be a lie. It’s incredible, and anyone with a familiarity of the Zombie mode in COD:World at War will know exactly what I mean. Like a Nazi ‘Left 4 Dead’ – amazing.
I would definitely rate COD: Black Ops as a fantastic package. The single player mode alone, although not massive, (coming in at around seven or eight hours), is intense and exciting enough to leave you feeling satisfied once the credits roll, with the replay-ability that all the COD games have, encouraging you to replay it through again on Veteran mode (if you didn’t first time round) and get those extra achievement points. The multiplayer will keep people playing into the early hours of the morning like MW2 did, probably even more so with the new game modes and the multiplayer zombie mode too.
A game which is hard to fault in single player, with a multiplayer which is also hard to beat, a truly generous package, an essential purchase, and one which was well worth queuing up at midnight for.
Adam KnightThe first 3 games in the Call of Duty series started by covering the world wars, which... more
HAVANA (AP) — Cuba harshly criticized a new video game in which U.S. special operations soldiers try to kill a young Fidel Castro, saying Wednesday that the violent role-playing glorifies assassination and will turn American children into sociopaths."What the United States couldn't accomplish in more than 50 years, they are now trying to do virtually," said an article posted on Cubadebate, a state-run news website.
The brouhaha surrounds one of the most highly anticipated shoot-em-up video games of the year, "Call of Duty: Black Ops," which went on sale in the United States on Tuesday. The game, from California-based Activision Blizzard Inc., takes players on secret missions to American Cold War enemies such as the Soviet Union, Cuba, Vietnam and Laos.
The Cuban operation is one of the first challenges players face in the ultra-realistic game. The mission takes place with John F. Kennedy in the White House in the months leading up to the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion and the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, which brought the world to the brink of nuclear Armageddon.http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i2g9xxfshkOBVItjL1vjT_Vu3VYg?docId=ef86b500f3e541d79942d270ecd9b7ebHAVANA (AP) — Cuba harshly criticized a new video game in which U.S. special... more
Theodore Sorensen, JFK's speechwriter, has died
By the CNN Wire Staff
October 31, 2010 4:54 p.m. EDT
Theodore C. Sorensen (right) was a close adviser to President John F. Kennedy. He's seen here in April 1968 with Robert Kennedy just a couple of months before RFK's death.
* Sorensen was a top aide in John F. Kennedy's White House
* He helped pen some of the most recognizable speeches in U.S. political history
(CNN) -- Theodore C. Sorensen, a close adviser and speechwriter to President John F. Kennedy, has died, the White House said Sunday.
Though he wore a number of hats in his relationship with Kennedy and later in life, he is best known as the wordsmith who helped put Kennedy's ideas to paper in what remain some of the most recognizable speeches in American political history.
Sorensen served as special counsel and speechwriter to Kennedy from 1961 to 1963, and participated in secret White House meetings during the Cuban Missile Crisis, according to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.
Sorensen was a key aide on Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign and had earlier served as a speechwriter and assistant to Kennedy during his Senate years.
"I got to know Ted after he endorsed my campaign early on," President Barack Obama said in a statement Sunday.
"He was just as I hoped he'd be -- just as quick-witted, just as serious of purpose, just as determined to keep America true to our highest ideals."Theodore Sorensen, JFK's speechwriter, has died
By the CNN Wire Staff
Jorge Navarro fronts the Latin-tinged surf rock band the Cuban Cowboys. The son of Cuban exiles, he sings about his parents' longing for their homeland and about what it means to grow up Cuban in the United States -- all with a healthy dose of humor.Jorge Navarro fronts the Latin-tinged surf rock band the Cuban Cowboys. The son of... more
Elliott Abrams rides again! Looks like the Iran-Contra vets convinced Bush to support a bloody-handed Fatah leader in a military move to solidify control of Palestine, but they instead worried Hamas enough that it took over most of the territory and led to the emasculation of Fatah and the PA.
After failing to anticipate Hamas’s victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs. With confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current U.S. officials, David Rose reveals how President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever. Elliott Abrams rides again! Looks like the Iran-Contra vets convinced Bush to support... more
Oct. 22, 1962:President Kennedy goes on television and informs the world that the Soviet Union has placed missile installations in Cuba, only 90 miles from the American mainland.Oct. 22, 1962:President Kennedy goes on television and informs the world that the... more