The immediate cause of failure was determined by the Cuban Study Group, which consisted of four members:
CIA Director Allen Dulles, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Arleigh Burke, Attorney General Robert Kennedy,
and headed up by General Maxwell Taylor who was brought out of retirement by President Kennedy and who
later became the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (See documents below)
The most serious cause of failure was the decision to cancel the pre-dawn airstrikes scheduled for the morning
of the invasion. The necessity for absolute control of the airspace over Cuba had been an integral part of this
operation from the start. President Kennedy had reserved the right to call off the invasion up to 24 hours prior to
its launch. When he finally green lighted it on Sunday evening, the 16th of April, he confirmed that this essential
proviso was understood by all: All of Castro's remaining air force must be destroyed while still ON THE GROUND.
This was understood by all involved. Our U2 reconnaissance had located Castro's last three T-33 jets, a few
remaining Sea Fury's, and a B-26 bomber. President Kennedy predicated the final "go order" on the requirement
that these aircraft would not be operational.
The President's Special Assistant on National Security, McGeorge Bundy, inappropriately acted on the authority of
the Secretary of State, Dean Rusk--not that of the President--by canceling the pre-dawn airstrikes. Moreover, he
effectively removed the President from the loop by instructing those at CIA who were running the operation, General
Charles Cabell and Dick Bissell, to direct any appeals of that decision to the Secretary of State. As far as I can tell
this amounted to an unprecedented act of gross insubordination at the very least.
Once this cancelation was made the Brigade was doomed since Castro's T-33 jets would be alerted as the Brigade
hit the beach and would then be airborne. Once airborne the T-33 pilots shot down 12 of the anti-Castro Cuban pilot's
B-26 bombers; Castro's Sea Fury's shot down 3 of the B-26's; and one low flying B-26 was shot down by artillery.
The operation was sabotaged from the inside.