What is the most famous covert operation? by Tony Garcia
Answer by Tony Garcia:
Covert operations, by definition, remain unknown(1). Those that have been revealed either pose no threat to ongoing sources and methods or they have become infamous through exposure.
An example of the former are CIA operations conducted in the newly-formed Republic of the Congo that helped “minimize communist influence in a strategically vital, resource-rich location in central Africa.”(2) [Emphasis mine.]
With regard to the latter, much has already been written about the Bay of Pigs, the early 1960’s paramilitary operation intended to overthrow Cuba’s premier, Fidel Castro. It’s failure was an embarrassment to the newly-elected President, John Kennedy.
Coincidentally, another operation, MILLPOND, was scheduled for the same week as the Bay of Pigs invasion. MILLPOND was “a joint CIA-Pentagon plan to attack Soviet-supplied military stores and antigovernment forces in neutral Laos.” The air assault over Laos was cancelled at the same time the Bay of Pigs invasion failed.(3)
(1) For further reading on covert operations, here is my short list of recommended books still in print: Dirty Tricks or Trump Cards: U.S. Covert Action and Counterintelligence by Roy Godson, Washington: Brassey's, 1996; The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet by Kenneth J. Conboy and James Morrison, Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2002; Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA by John Prados, Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2006; Feet to the Fire: CIA Covert Operations in Indonesia, 1957-1958 by Kenneth J. Conboy, Annapolis MD: Naval Institute Press, 1999.