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Cryptonym: MONGOOSE

Definition:
A major covert action program aimed at overthrowing the Castro regime in Cuba from November 1961 to October 1962. The Chief of Operations was Gen. Edward Lansdale, who coordinated the activities among the CIA, the State Department, and the Defense Department.
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
HSCA Report, Volume X Current Section: I. The Ingredients of an Anti-Castro Cuban Conspiracy: One of the MONGOOSE goals was to enlist 2000 Cuban exiles and dissidents. Lansdale was virtually persona non grata with the CIA by late 1962, due to his conduct in MONGOOSE. https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=16174&search=Lansdale#relPageId=3&tab=page Sam Halpern says that MONGOOSE was a national operation by all agencies designed to overthrow the Cuban government. He claims he chose the name itself at the request of Ed Lansdale, an using a digraph from the other side of the world to confuse the Soviets as much as possible. https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=189412&search=sas_AND+TFW#relPageId=7&tab=page Sam Halpern claims the teams sent into Cuba by Harvey during October 1962 were not sabotage teams but reconnaissance teams. https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=189412&search=mongoose#relPageId=31&tab=page Halpern also states that when FitzGerald took over from Harvey, he changed the name from TFW to SAS: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=189412&relPageId=35&search=sas_AND%20TFW 202-10001-10172, The Cuba Project: "State has explored, with negative results, the feasibility of pre-emptive action with respect to tanker charters (most Bloc shipments to Cuba are carried in Western bottoms). CIA has initiated action to contaminate POL supplies to Cuba, although visible results (stoppage of some Cuban transport) is not expected until mid-1962. CIA is introducing 'lubzol', a corrosive additive, to Cuban locomotive diesel fuel oil through commercial suppliers in REDACTED. It will be 4 months before the first locomotives break down. CIA expects to have at least one agent recruited by 28 February to attempt introduction of a corrosive additive to jet fuel storage tanks in Cuba."
Sources:

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968, Volume XXXII: Dominican Republic; Cuba; Haiti; Guyana Current Section: Note on U.S. Covert Actions

Source of definition provided above. "CIA units in Washington and Miami had primary responsibility for implementing MONGOOSE operations, which included military, sabotage, and political propaganda programs."

104-10301-10000: Excerpts, Draft History: John A. McCone, the Sixth Director of Central Intelligence

In late November, 1961, the President announced at a White House meeting that Edwards Lansdale had begun to study possible actions to overthrow the Castro regime. See 104-10301-10001, page 5: David Phillips writes that Task Force W was formed on 3/8/62.

32202043:Operation Mongoose Sabotage Proposals

A list of sabotage operations and proposed targets in Cuba under Operation Mongoose offered to the Special Group Augmented in 1962. http://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/jfk/NARA-July2017/JFK-July_2017_Release-Formerly_released_in_part/DOCID-32202043.PDF

32204642:Operation Mongoose-Sabotage Actions

A second more extensive list of sabotage operations and proposed targets in Cuba under Operation Mongoose sent from William K. Harvey to Edward G. Lansdale. http://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/jfk/NARA-July2017/JFK-July_2017_Release-Formerly_released_in_part/DOCID-32204642.PDF

Church Committee: Interim Report - Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders Current Section: 3. At What Level Were the Castro Plots Authorized or Known About Outside the CIA?

Lansdale testified that he "never took up assassination with either the Attorney General or the President." Helms testified (at p. 148) that "he believed the assassination activity was permissible and that it was within the scope of authority given to the Agency. McCone and other Kennedy Administration officials disagreed..."

32281942: Minutes of the Mtg. of the Special Group on Operation Mongoose

A portion of a President's Special Group meeting that discussed Operation Mongoose. http://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/jfk/NARA-July2017/JFK-July_2017_Release-Formerly_released_in_part/DOCID-32281942.PDF

124-90092-10010: No Title

10/30/62 memo from D. J. Brennan to William Sullivan, re info given confidentially to the "liaison agent": "On Friday, October 26, 1962, the Attorney General, in a meeting with John McCone and other officials, very strongly expressed his displeasure concerning ineffective U.S. intelligence operations against Cuba. He particularly 'chewed out' William K. Harvey, CIA official who has been directing that agency's operations against Cuba. In view of this development and because McCone has also been critical, several CIA officials expect that Harvey eventually will be removed from his present position. The tirade directed against him by the Attorney General was so severe that McCone felt it would appropriate to remove Harvey from Washington D.C. for a few days. As of October 30, 1962, Harvey was absent and the Liaison Agent was informed that he was at Fort Bragg conferring with military officials. The above is particularly significant since CIA again may be a target of criticism for not producing adequate intelligence information on Cuba."

HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (staff notes)/NARA Record Number: 180-10142-10036

Harvey orders agent teams into Cuba during the missile crisis. RFK takes "a great deal of exception" and McCone orders the mission halted. On October 30, the Special Group Augmented orders an end to all sabotage operations, which effectively marks the end of Operation MONGOOSE. Also see 157-10014-10242, p. 525: "October 30, 1962: Memo to DDCI outlining Presidential Directive to CIA; no provocative actions by refugee groups; estop Alpha-66; stop Mongoose ops; no contact with Press. MISSING." - Apparently, this document could not be found.

32204714:CIA, Operation Mongoose, NSC, Anti-Castro Activities

A letter from Edward Lansdale reporting the phasing out of Operation Mongoose and in which he commends some of the CIA Officers related to the operation. http://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/jfk/NARA-July2017/JFK-July_2017_Release-Formerly_released_in_part/DOCID-32204714.PDF

104-10102-10224: OPERATIONAL PLAN FOR CONTINUING OPERATIONS AGAINST CUBA

11/27/62 memo from C/TFW William K. Harvey to DDP Richard Helms: Harvey proposed "a gradual but substantial reduction in the expenditures and personnel of Task Force W. Consideration of the re-positioning of Task Force W within the Clandestine Service, possibly as a major component of the WH Division under different direction. The abolition of the operational Mongoose mechanism."

HSCA Report, Volume V Current Section: Narration by G. Robert Blakey, Chief Counsel and Staff Director

MONGOOSE relied "on the use of Cuban exiles and dissidents in Cuba" to overthrow the government. The work of the agents infiltrated or recruited before or during MOONGOOSE did not cease at the end of that operation. "Rather, it continued until it was eliminated by Cuban security organizations."

https://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/RFKOH-MDT-01.aspx

Interview with General Maxwell Taylor, 10/22/69, page 5: "One of the conclusions that came out of the Bay of Pigs was that the Executive Departments were just not able to organize anything as complex as the invasion of Cuba. We had no idea that invasions like that were going to become commonplace..."

See Also:
Contributors:
Bill Simpich • Carmine Savastano

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