CIA’s Lansdale Writes the “Anti-Pentagon Papers” Tell-All

Edward Lansdale helped lead the development of Bay of Pigs invasion force, bringing the number of soldiers from 300 to 3000, training them in Guatamala. After Bundy’s refusal to destroy the 3 Cuban jets resulted in the decimation of the landing fleet and the failure of Operation Zapata, Lansdale retired from the CIA November 1, 1963. It was speculated that he appears in a photo with the Three Tramps in Dallas.

From 1965 to 1968 Lansdale returned to Vietnam to work in the US Embassy during the negotiations to prolong the war. After Nixon won election and the war was slated to continue for more years, he retired in 1968.

In his memoir “The Midst of Wars”, published in April 1972, Lansdale argued that the United States could still retain control of third-world nations by exporting ”the American way” through a blend of economic aid and efforts at ”winning the hearts and the minds of the people.” The book was written to be the establishment’s push-back against The Pentagon Papers which had just been leaked by Ellsberg to Newspapers and were being published. It quoted extensively from CIA and State Dept. documents related to planning and execution of non-military combat methods, approved for use in the clandestine services. Lansdale knew the CIA’s Family Jewels and probably had copies of those documents as well as documents regarding Kissinger’s 1968 Vietnam treason.

Many of Lansdale’s private papers and effects were destroyed in a fire at his McLean home in Late 1972. In 1981, Lansdale donated most of his remaining papers to Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.