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Cuban Missile Crisis - the eve of destruction --- almost

cuban missile crisis comm outside St. Dept

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#1 Jim Hackett II

Jim Hackett II

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 04:38 AM

It's The Eve of Destruction…almost


            This amorphous, vague and international assemblage of persons worked still. The character of the "invisible", "secret", and "shadow" correlation of interests is shown by their actions in Operation Mongoose. Any single individual 'member' of the clique needs to be global not national in mindset, it would be likely that they would hold as real the Malthus precepts of population needing controlled and the attending concept of Social Darwinism. Foremost though would be anonymity with connections to many varied power centers.

            Given that Khrushchev had already found common ground with Eisenhower in the decade before, it is no surprise that in one of the most hair triggered times of the cold war he also found a means and method to negotiate the peaceful resolution of the missile crisis. I find believable the concept of a group of statesman all having personal experience in war perceiving a need to find a way out of war in 1962.

All three leaders cited, Khrushchev, Eisenhower and Kennedy were once allies against fascism. All knew war was not as before. All knew that even in 1962 thermonuclear war is not survivable.

            I contrast this to the policy pronouncements of a few other presidents in the 1980s espousing the concept that thermonuclear war was survivable. Sure the fortunate ones would survive. It is always easier for leaders not having known war and death to send other men's sons to war. To don a uniform on a Hollywood backlot as part of a preliminary role is very different from being "on active duty." Being on active duty is a far thing from a "reservist" and favored as some are.

            When Fidel Castro removed the Batista regime, I doubt he thought that within less than half a decade the two leaders of Capitalism and Communism would take the world to the edge of the precipice for Cuba.

            When the C.I.A.'s invasion at the Bay of Pigs even in failure demonstrated the willingness of the Americans to resort to military methods to destroy Castro, the ante on the table of global geopolitics went up. Berlin for Cuba as a trade may have been in the thinking of the Supreme Soviet.

            In the document that follows are the recommendations to Premiere Khrushchev from the General Staff in reply to the Premiere’s desire to support Castro. It is date in May 1962.


"Top Secret
Special Importance
One Copy


To the Chairman of the Defense Council

Comrade N.S. Khrushchev

In accordance with your instructions the Ministry of Defense proposes:

1. To deploy on the island of Cuba a Group of Soviet Forces comprising all branches of the Armed Forces, under a single integrated staff of the Group of Forces headed by a Commander in Chief of Soviet forces in Cuba.

2. To send to Cuba the 43rd Missile Division (commander of the division Major General Statsenko) comprising five missile regiments:
--The 79th, 181st and 664th R-12 [SS-4] missile regiments with eight launchers each, in all 24 launchers.
--The 665th and 668th R-14 [SS-5] missile regiments with eight launchers each, in all 16 launchers.
--In all, 40 R-12 and R-14 launchers.
With the missile units to send 1.5 missiles and 1.5 warheads per each launcher (in all 60 missiles and 60 warheads), with one field missile technical base (PRTB) per regiment for equipping the warheads and rocket fuel in mobile tanks with 1.75 loadings per R-12 missile and 1.5 per R-14 missile at each launcher.
Deployment of the R-12 missiles is planned in the [illegible] variant with the use of SP-6. Prepared assembly-disassembly elements of the SP-6 for equipping the missile pads will be prepared at construction enterprises of the Ministry of Defense by 20 June and shipped together with the regiments. Upon arrival at the designated locations, personnel of the missile regiments will within ten days equip the launch positions by their own efforts, and will be ready to launch missiles.
For deployment of the missile units armed with R-14 missiles, construction on site will last about four months. This work can be handled by the personnel of the units, but it will be necessary to augment them with a group of 25 engineer-construction personnel and 100 construction personnel of basic specialties and up to 100 construction fitters from State Committees of the Council of Ministers of the USSR for defense technology and radioelectronics.
For accomplishing the work it is necessary to send:
--16 complete sets of earth equipment for the R-14 produced by [the machine] industry in the current year;
--machinery and vehicles:
Mobile cranes (5 ton) --10
Bulldozers --20
Mobile graders --10
Excavators --10

Dump trucks --120
Cement mixers (GVSU) --6
Special technical equipment for [illegible] and testing apparatuses
--Basic materials
Cement --2,000 tons
Reinforced concrete --15,000 sq. meters (not counting access roads)
Metal --2,000 tons
SP-6 sets --30
GR-2 Barracks --20
Prefabricated wooden houses --10
Cable, equipment and other materials.
Further accumulation of missile fuel, missiles, and warheads for the units is possible depending on the creation of reserve space and storage in Cuba, inasmuch as it would be possible to include in each missile regiment a third battalion with four launchers.
The staff of the Group and of the missile division can expediently be sent from the Soviet Union in the first days of July 1962 in two echelons: the 1st echelon (R-12 regiments) and the 2nd (R-14 regiments).

3. For air defense of the island of Cuba and protection of the Group of Forces to send 2 antiaircraft divisions, including in their composition 6 antiaircraft missile regiments (24 battalions), 6 technical battalions, one fighter air regiment with MiG-21 F-13 (three squadrons--40 aircraft), and two radar battalions. With the divisions to ship 4 missiles per launcher, in all 576 [SAM] missiles. To send the antiaircraft divisions: one in July, and one in August, 1962.

4. For defense of coasts and bases in the sectors of probable enemy attack on the island of Cuba to send one regiment of Sopka ["little volcano"] comprising three battalions (6 launchers) with three missiles per launcher
--on the coast in the vicinity of Havana, one regiment (4 launchers)
--on the coast in the vicinity of Banes, one battalion (2 launchers)
On the southern coast in the vicinity of Cienfuegos to locate one battalion (2 launchers), [already] planned for delivery to Cuba in 1962. The Sopka complex is capable of destroying surface ships at a range of up to 80 km.

5. To send to Cuba as part of the Group of Forces:
--a brigade of missile patrol boats of the class Project 183-R, comprising two units with 6 patrol boats in each (in all 12 patrol boats), each armed with two P-15 [trans: NATO SS-N-2 Styx] missiles with a range up to 40 km.;
--a detachment of support ships comprising: 1 tanker, 2 dry cargo transports, and 4 repair afloat ships;
--fuel for missiles: fuel for the R-13 [trans: NATO SS-N-4 Sark] and P-15--70 tons, oxidizer for the R-13--180 tons, oxidizer for the P-15--20 tons, kerosene for the S-2 and KSShCh [trans: probably NATO SA-N-1 Goa]--60 tons;
--two combat sets of the P-15 missile (24 missiles) and one for the R-13 (21 missiles).
Shipment of the missile patrol boats Project 183-R class, the battalions of Sopka, technical equipment for the missile patrol boats and technical batteries for the Sopka battalions, and also the missiles, missile fuel, and other equipment for communications to be carried on ships of the Ministry of the Maritime Fleet. Shipment of the warheads, in readiness state 4, will be handled by ships of the Navy.

6. To send as part of the Group of Forces in Cuba in July-August:
--Two regiments of FKR (16 launchers) with PRTB, with their missiles and 5 special [Trans: nuclear] warheads for each launcher. Range of the FKR is up to 180 km.;
--A mine-torpedo aviation regiment with IL-28 aircraft, comprising three squadrons (33 aircraft) with RAT-52 jet torpedoes (150 torpedoes), and air dropped mines (150 mines) for destruction of surface ships;
--An Mi-4 helicopter regiment, two squadrons, 33 helicopters;
--A separate communications [liaison] air squadron (two IL-14, five Li-2, four Yak-12, and two An-2 aircraft).

7. With the objective of combat security of our technical troops, to send to Cuba four separate motorized rifle regiments, with a tank battalion in each, at the expense of the 64th Guards Motorized Rifle Division in the Leningrad Military District, with an overall personnel strength of 7300. The regiments to be sent in June-July 1962.

8. Upon completion of the concentration of Soviet troops planned for Cuba, or in case of necessity, to send to Cuba on a friendly visit, tentatively in September:

A) A squadron of surface ships of the Navy under the command of Vice Admiral G.S. Abashvili (deputy commander of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet) comprising:
--two cruisers, Mikhail Kutuzov (Black Sea Fleet) and Sverdlov (Red Banner Baltic Fleet);
--two missile destroyers of the Project 57-bis class, the Boikii and Gnevny (Black Sea Fleet);
--two destroyers of the Project 76 class, the Skromnyi and Svedushchii (Northern Fleet);
Along with the squadron to send one refueling tanker. On the ships to send one full combat set of standard ammunition (including one combat set of KSShch missiles –
24 missiles) and standard equipment.
Sailing time of the ships 15 days.

B) A squadron of submarines, comprising:
--18th Division of missile submarines of the Project 629 class [Trans: NATO Golf or G-class] (7 submarines each with 3 R-13 [SS-N-4] missiles with range of 540 km.);
--a brigade of torpedo submarines of Project 641 class [NATO: Foxtrot or F-class] (4 submarines with torpedo armament);
--two submarine tenders.
Sailing time for the submarines, 20-22 days. If necessary, the squadrons can be sent separately. Time for preparation to depart, after 1 July, is 10 days. Upon arrival of the squadrons in Cuba, they would be incorporated into the Group of Soviet Forces.

9. For rear area security of the Group of Forces in Cuba to send:
--three hospitals (200 beds each);
--one anti-epidemic sanitary detachment;
--seven warehouses (2 for food, 1 for general storage, 4 for fuel, including two for automotive and aviation fuel and two for liquid fuel for the Navy);
--one company for servicing a trans-shipping base;
--one field bakery factory;
Create reserves:
--in the Group--fuel and provisions for routine maintenance of the troops for three months;
--in the troops--mobile (fuel, ammunition, provisions) by established norms;
--for follow-up secure provisions for 25 days.

10. The overall number of the Group of Soviet Forces in Cuba will be about 44,000 military personnel and 1300 workers and civilians. For transport of the troops and combat equipment in summertime a simultaneous lift of about 70-80 ships of the Ministry of the Maritime Fleet of the USSR will be required.

11. To establish a staff of the Group of Soviet Forces in Cuba to command the Soviet troops. To form the staff of the Group convert the staff of the 49th Missile Army from Vinnitsa, which has a well qualified integrated apparatus with support and service elements. To incorporate into the staff of the Group a naval section, an air force section, and an air defense section. The Commander in Chief of the Group to have four deputies--one for general matters, one for the Navy (VMF), one for Air Defense (PVO), and one for the Air Force (VVS).

12. The form of dress envisioned for the troops sent to Cuba, except for the Navy, is one set of civilian clothes and one tropical uniform (as for troops in the Turkestan Military District).

13. Food for the personnel of the Group of Soviet Forces in Cuba will be arranged from the USSR.

14. Financial support will be paid on the same general basis as for other troops located abroad.

15. Measures for creation of the Group of Soviet Forces in Cuba will proceed under the codename Anadyr.

We request your review.

R. Malinovsky
24 May 1962 M. Zakharov

Prepared in one copy on seven pages, no draft
Attested Colonel General S. P. Ivanov
[signature] "


            A contrast of cultural values may have been a factor in Khrushchev’s decision to deploy nuclear missile equipped advisors is support of the Castro government.

The unique American attitude and experience of isolation of safety behind two oceans never having to tolerate an enemy on the border was under estimated by the Soviet Premiere. To the Soviet perspective and indeed most of european experience of having an enemy separated by only a line on a paper map was all situation normal. The Americans had no experience with an enemy 90 nautical miles away. Indeed the Americans were willing to go to war to rid themselves of the nuclear threat. To have upset the balance of western hemisphere power was a risk but I doubt the Soviet government expected the reaction they were confronted by.

            To be sure, the Kennedy administration was of two approaches toward Castro's Cuba both before and after the Bay of Pigs. While publicly hesitating to invade but as the operation Mongoose shows Cuba had become a thorn to be removed from America's side.

            Soviet policy towards Cuba was likewise double minded in that nuclear missiles were more than a defensive deployment. Cuba was used as another pawn in the global chess match by the Soviets, somewhat as the U.S. was using Laos for a pawn to counter balance the Ho Chi Minh government. Khrushchev’s policy of supporting "wars of liberation" was stretched to include Castro's missiles. Because this was obviously beyond the support of Socialism's "wars of liberation" it was done in secret. Denied by Ambassador to the U.S. until the U.S. confronted the U.N. with the U-2 provided proof of the fact after many days of the public crisis.


            As part of that public I was alerted to the tension by the conduct of a driver of a bus and the fact that the radio in the bus was tuned to an all news station instead of the usual A.M. top 40. When I asked the driver what was wrong, I got the reply that it “looked like we're gonna have a war."

            I was smart enough to be fully aware that a war meant nuclear holocaust. I was frightened but I don't remember a run on the local A&P grocery store. Because I had attended school in Florida, I knew about "duck and cover" exercises that were a repeated part of attending school there along with fire drills. The next day at school when the wool blanket over the wooden desk and hiding under it was familiar to me unlike the other students of rural central Indiana. Worse yet than my fear was the declaration I made to the teacher that I would comply but it was a useless exercise as it offered no real protection to the reality of nuke war. I was promptly sent to the principal's office as I had upset the teacher and some of my fellow students.

            Principal Smith must have wondered what was going on as I truthfully told him what I had said and how I knew that duck and cover was useless. To his credit he didn't insult my intelligence or integrity by lying about the reality, he explained it was a tactic to preserve calm. This made all the difference as I quickly saw the need for calm in crisis and the mistake I had made. In 1962 a school principal had more grasp of a reality even to a nine year old's world than my own government would later display.

            In the 1980s when rumbles of threatened nuclear confrontation again became real, I was forced to endure the presentation as fact that nuclear war was survivable. (I hope for the sanity of our government that it was only a threat.) I flashed back to that day in autumn of 1962 and my own feelings. The largest comfort I had then was the demeanor of my parents and the reassurance of my Pop that war would not happen. Neither side had a desire to die. I had checked on the reality on my own in our 1958 edition of Collier's encyclopedia, I knew the expected and predicted results of a flash/boom war even then.

            The next day odd yellow and black signs were attached to the school and in the basement hallway were stacked boxes of what I now hope were potable water and C-rations. I was not reassured by any of that but I knew my Pop wouldn't lie to me. Little did I know then this was his hope.

Today I hear Ostriches say we should have invaded Cuba the hell with the consequences. Coming from the propaganda deception the Ostriches cling to as part of their chosen denial it is still folly. I secure silence in dumbfounded awe as I ask was Cuba worth the whole planet? A few moments later to cover the ignorance of history the feathered ones pronounce "no not then in the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy if he had any balls would have invaded but he chickened out." OK fine but it would have required a congressional vote to allow the invasion again secures silence as soon as I say it.

Consider for a moment this "discussion" and the critical declaration of the film "13 Days" that "I just can't stand that guy’s accent." Ostriches have as many forms of denial as colors in the spectrum.

History is important as is effective citizenship. Cloaking one's self in feathers or wool is begging to be taken for another ride like Vietnam. If that fate befalls America be sure to thank your local Ostriches and Sheeple. It will be their fault.

I can never apologize for the simple fact that history and the knowledge of it is required for the preservation of our "Republic."

We must show C.I.A. Agent Ed Lansdale wrong when he said,


 "History tells us that there will surely be a next time." [1]


If we do not then it is time to burn the Constitution and admit it was all a lie to enslave the peons for the international elite and the corporations, banks, drug dealers and such that they control.

Off the soapbox and back to the truth of 1962 to show why we as Americans MUST remove the scales from the eyes of the Ostriches and Sheeple so they can see again.

"Mo' than 'Nuff Said!"


Khrushchev must have been frustrated, as the confrontation in Berlin had not gained the withdrawal of the allied forces from Berlin. The third world arena was stalled at the moment and even the socialist alliance with China was not as solid as he might have hoped. The wall in Berlin had gone up and the hemorrhage of people and technically skilled Germans was stopped. No blockade would wrest the Berlin territory from the control of the capitalists as had already been proven by the air transports commanded by General LeMay years before.

Shipping Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles and presumably thermonuclear warheads to Cuba was not a deployment intended to be a defense of Cuba to emplace nuclear weapons there.


"Khrushchev was acting solely in Russian interests and not in Cuban interests." Castro is quoted as saying later. [3]


It was an attempt to solidify the impression of strength of power of the Soviets and a proof of their ability to act as they wished even in the western hemisphere. This would have been a victory of no small importance to the Kremlin. It was done in secret to gain the operational status before the Americans became aware of them.

Missile production was a long-term solution compared to the risk of discovery.

Potentially Khrushchev could have gained prestige globally, secure the Cubans, and picked up a valuable bargaining chip in any future repeat of the Berlin exigency. The risk was in his perspective worth the possible gain at least to him.

To us here the brinksmanship of nuclear war was foolhardy. The Premiere was not afraid of risks or he could not have survived the changes he had endorsed after Stalin died. He went for the whole thing. As the foregoing document shows he sent in quite a lot of equipment.

            The Americans suspected the missiles would be placed on Cuba before they were confirmed by U-2 surveillance. The political actions on Cuba were becoming an issue in the mid-term elections fast approaching. Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana discounted the administration's position that Khrushchev was sending only defensive weapons to Castro. On the 10th of October Senator Keating of New York reported evidence from cuban exiles that nuclear missile bases were under construction. Therefore, it could be no surprise on the 15th when a U-2 completed its task of penetrating hidden secrets revealing the construction of missile sites.


            John Kennedy was "both infuriated by the Soviet deception and alarmed by the Soviet design." [3]


            The president knew it was not a tactic to defend Cuba but a gambit to alter the balance of power. This move had to be dealt with. The missiles had to be removed!

            By a surgical strike as the Joint Chiefs urged? (I ask does such a thing really exist in spite of the propaganda of "desert storm?") The not so hawkish view was to negotiate a settlement involving the removal of the missiles.

            Odd that McGeorge Bundy waffled from dove to hawk and back, begging the question was he waiting for instruction from higher ups? At one point he advocated for a no notice strike. He eventually aligned himself with the strike advocates.

            Secretary of State Dean Rusk was reportedly absent with other duties but no details are offered as to what duties. Initially he too was a hawk on the side of the “surgical strike” option. Dean Acheson was a war hawk from beginning to end. However, by the 18th a Thursday the "Executive Committee" of the National Security Council without Acheson "substantially" agreed to a visit and search blockade. The Joint Chiefs all except Marine Corp Commandant David Shoup dissented from this view. The blockade became known as quarantine as blockades are acts of war.

It is significant to me that on the 19th Bundy again advocated the "surgical strike option." John Kennedy was not present but Dean Acheson was.


            He had spoken with the President that morning, Bundy said, and, now speaking for himself, he favored "decisive action with its advantages of surprise and confronting the world with a fait accompli." [3]


A performance for Dean Acheson? All too familiar when one is aware of his actions in the Bay of Pigs. Not at all in accord with the desires of the President.

Acheson remained an advocate of the war position. A strike on the order of Pearl Harbor by surprise was Acheson's position supported by Mac Bundy.

The Attorney General rebutted the Bundy/Acheson argument with the claim that for 175 years America had not been a country as that would define itself by actions like Pearl Harbor.


            "He [Robert Kennedy] favored action, to make known unmistakably the seriousness of United States determination to get the missiles out of Cuba, but he thought the action should allow the Soviets some room for maneuver to pull back from their over-extended position in Cuba."…


            "I said I just did not believe the President of the United States could order such a military operation. I said we were fighting for something more than just survival and all that in our heritage and our ideals would be repugnant to such a sneak military attack." {RFK} [3]…


"He talked, said Douglas Dillon, "with an intense but quiet passion. As he spoke, I felt that I was at a real turning point in history…The way Bob Kennedy spoke was totally convincing to me. I knew then that we should not undertake a strike without warning…With only one or two possible exceptions, all the members of the Excom were convinced by Bob's argument." Said Alexis Johnson of the State Department: "Bobby Kennedy's good sense and his moral character were perhaps decisive." [3]


The proposed 800-sortie air strike was then still thought to be possible. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara feared that the U.S. might loose control and the events could spiral out of control into escalation to general war. Maxwell Taylor opposed this view.


            "Now was the time to act, because this would be the last chance we would have to destroy these missiles. If we did not act now, the missiles would be camouflaged in such a way as to make it impossible to find them." [3]


            As clear evidence of President John Kennedy's wisdom, I offer the quote that follows. It came in private to his political advisor Kenny O'Donnell shortly after General Curtis LeMay as Chief of the Air Force expounded on the ability of "his boys" to take the missiles out in the Pearl Harbor style air strike.


            "These brass hats have one great advantage in their favor. If we… do what they want us to do, none of us will be alive later to tell them that they were wrong" [3]


            It doesn’t surprise me that the political side of the Kennedy administration saw more clearly the cost of war and that the Joint Chiefs of Stall saw the potential gains of war. The political climate of the John Kennedy administration was a far different environment than exists today. The “Red Scare” was a very concrete aspect of the American electorate’s thinking. The missiles of October 1962 were a very real threat to the security of the United States.

            Contrary to the current “public knowledge” (read as “ostrich knowledge”) the existence of intermediate range ballistic missiles (IRBM) was not an “October surprise”, the title of “October Surprise” event was saved for Bill Casey and Ron Reagan in 1980. The fact of Soviet emplacement of missiles was suspected as early as August of 1962.

            The new administration as we have seen had been further humiliated after the Bay of Pigs debacle by the Soviet orbiting of Yuri Gagarin before the ballistic flight of Alan Shepard in May 1961. In the ostrich view we were beaten again.

            The appearance and public perception of a “technology gap” replaced its’ fore-runner, the provably false “bomber gap” and the equally false “missile gap.”

            I would call to attention the constant theme of the ostrich’s view, that of fear. The constant state of unending fear and/or anxiety was and is one of manipulation of the ostriches even today. Fear has built in reactions, flight or fight. This preprogrammed choice of two options, hard wired into humans biologically, is a tool of the “deep political” operators.

            In one of the greatest blessings for America has been the coincidence of America having been provided good and great leaders in time of need.

            Mutually Assured Destruction had been policy for more than a decade. The “war camp” i.e. the U.S. military and the arms manufacturers were blinded by the mind-set of the cold war warrior. The military men were the veterans of World War II, they had seen and indeed paid the price that appeasement can cost. This cannot excuse the opposition to President John Kennedy that some espoused in this crisis and after.

            The executive branch was placed in authority over the military for good reason. Psychologically absorbing the reality of war as untenable is a threat to the military/industrial mind-set. What other explanation can be found for Operation Control’s attempt to provoke a first strike from the Soviets in the 1950s? Dr. Strangeloves do exist.

            Aggression or submission is the choice presented by the Cuban Missile Crisis to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and, as shown, even some of the “security advisors” from the political side of the Kennedy administration.

            Imagine the shock waves started through the Pentagon when the Joint Chiefs were excluded from the ad hoc “Executive Committee.” However, President John Kennedy was inclined to try something other than the black and white choice of fight or flight. Political consequences were ignored as the electorate’s perception of appeasement and blockade would enflame “rightist” opponents of the “New Frontier,” but the crisis of the moment was more important than the upcoming mid-term elections of November 1962.

            Preparations for war went forward: Arms, troops and equipment were moved to staging areas. Key West Florida took on a more green and gray appearance. John F. Kennedy was no fool but unlike some following Presidents of the United States, he knew war.

            Kennedy as President sought both security and negotiation to end the confrontation. Two leaders of the only real world powers had been trapped by posturing and “cold war” thinking into a dangerous position. The solution agreeable to all sides would not be found by “cold war” thinking!

            Consider the alternate position of what would resulted had Richard Nixon been the President. Watergate, Kent State and Vietnam would never have happened. The world as we know it would have ended the last week of October 1962. Oh to be sure the Joint Chiefs and politicos would have survived to start anew in a fascist world Adolf Hitler would have recognized as “Gotterdammerung.”

            It is a mark of John Kennedy’s leadership that in staring over the edge of the cliff to peer at nuclear destruction he was changed by the experience. As the next year would demonstrate, in John Kennedy’s initiatives, proposals and speeches, a more global view and desire for the best for the world’s people become more pronounced.

            Dean Acheson took the position that he knew the Russians and he knew that the only thing they ever respected was power and strength. 

            Astute observation reveals that Nakita Khrushchev had tried to provide an out for President Eisenhower even in the U-2 affair. Having known from face to face meetings that the Soviet Chairman was no fool, John Kennedy knew Dean Acheson was wrong. The machinations of the military mind sets of both the West’s military/industrial complex and the Supreme Soviet Politburo tried to trap the two leaders into a box having only one exit, that of war.

            Fortunately, both leaders were flexible enough to think outside the box. In doing so, the world lived.

            A high price was to be paid by both men for this repeated denial of a war over Cuba for the Pentagon and the appearance of backing down by withdrawing missiles already in place.

            Impeachment would have resulted if the President had not acted to remove the missiles. In little more than a year Khrushchev would be deposed, in even less time John Kennedy was dead.

            On the American side of the equation the two available choices were immediate attack followed by invasion of Cuba if required to eliminate the missiles or negotiation to secure the removal of the missiles.

Charles Bohlen the newly appointed ambassador to Paris sat in the first few meetings of the Executive Committee of the National Security Council. Bohlen agreed than in any case the missiles had to be removed but advocated attempting to negotiate the crisis to resolution. Early on the two options were called the Bohlen and Rusk methods.

            At the President’s direction the Ex-Com worked on letters to the Kremlin, when two days later on the 20th the President’s speech writer Ted Sorensen and the rest had not come up with a satisfactory response.

            A decision was reached to announce the quarantine before initiating contact with the Kremlin. On the 22nd the President made his speech to the world declaring a blockade of inbound weapons shipments to Cuba.

            The next day the Attorney General met with Ambassador Dobrynin. He told the ambassador that his brother had on the basis of Soviet assurances held a “far less belligerent position [on the arms shipments] than people like Senators Keating and Capehart, and that he had assured the American people that there was nothing to be concerned about. I pointed out, in addition that the President felt he had a very helpful personal relationship with Mr. Khrushchev. Obviously, they did not agree on many issues, but he did feel that there was mutual trust and confidence between them on which he could rely.”[3]

            Dobrynin replied that as far as he knew there were no nuclear missiles in Cuba. Robert Kennedy noted that: “Dobrynin seemed extremely concerned.” [3]

              On the same date, the 23rd Russian ships turned away from crossing the blockade line. This was only partial resolution as the missiles were still in Cuba.

            In the drafts prepared on the Bohlen plan, Ted Sorensen had written that the President would be willing to discuss other problems including the N.A.T.O. bases in Turkey and Italy. On the 20th Adlai Stevenson the Ambassador to the U.N. in an Ex-Com meeting proposed to remove missiles from Turkey and the evacuation of Guantanamo base. The President disagreed that the initial proposal to the U.N. should include the idea of eventual political solution the crisis. He also sharply rejected the thought to surrender the Cuban base.


            “He agreed that at an appropriate time we would have to acknowledge that we were willing to take strategic missiles out of Turkey and Italy if this issue were raised by the Russians...But he was firm in saying we should only make such a proposal in the future.”[3] 


Stevenson persisted in his view, earning the admiration of President Kennedy. John McCloy and Arthur Schlesinger Jr. with Stevenson went to New York to present the position to the U.N.

Of note is the C.I.A. estimate that the intermediate range missiles would be operational by the 23rd. The longer-range missiles would not be launch ready until mid November. This estimate listed four sites fully operational but they were unable to confirm the presence of nuclear warheads.

No consensus was reached about when the warheads would arrive. C.I.A. Director McCone thought the missiles would be operational by the end of the week.

Critics have taken the position that the timetable of the negotiations was another political football in the upcoming elections.

When the stakes were as high as they had become this position makes little sense. The determinant was the schedule of the missiles being both ready to be launched and equipped with the nuclear warheads.


            “The reason for the negotiating deadline was simply the conviction that, once nuclear warheads were in place and pointed at the United States, the terms of trade would undergo drastic change.” [3]


Thursday the 25th Kennedy cabled Khrushchev expressing his desire that the Soviet Union allow a return to the previous status quo. The 26th the Premiere replied not backing down but expressing his personal fears about the slide to catastrophe. Using the knot of war image that became famous later, his reply contained a proposal. If the United States guaranteed no invasion of Cuba, Khrushchev would see no further need for more arms sent to Cuba and no need for Soviet military technicians in Cuba.

The solution was at hand but much tension remained for a time. John Kennedy had never wanted an invasion of Cuba, not in 1961, not in 1962. More about 1963 later.

The Jupiter missiles deployed to Turkey soon to be removed were already obsolete as the President and Khrushchev knew. On the Saturday the 27th a second letter from the Soviet head of state added the Turkish missiles to the Soviet demands.

Only General LeMay thought the Jupiters much use. The Jupiters had been ordered removed from Turkey by the President long before. The Turkish government objected to their removal before the crisis.

Kennedy instructed Gilpatrick the Under Secretary of Defense to work on a plan to enable the early removal of the Turkish Jupiter missiles.

On the same day a U-2 was shot down and the pilot killed. The Ex-Com had earlier decided that in this situation that the most likely surface-to-air missile launching site should be attacked. This event rocked the balance back to air strike thinking. Again the Joint Chiefs advocated the position that they were right in that the blockade response was too weak and that the Soviets only respected military action. All other replies showed weakness to them. Calmer heads prevailed and the President aborted the planned Air Force dawn attack on the S.A.M. site.

Purportedly the Pentagon was disbelieving the news. They must have been shocked deeper when the Commander-In-Chief ordered the dismantling of the Jupiter missiles in Turkey.

Dean Rusk’s State Department rendered its own draft reply to the second cable from Khrushchev. It was not acceptable to some of the Ex-Com members.

In the climate of discord the President asked the opponents of the State Department’s reply to draft one of their own. Robert Kennedy and Sorensen drafted a reply to the first cable and ignoring the second cable. This draft reply would communicate the no-invasion guarantee traded off for the removal of all offensive weapons from Cuba. It made no mention of the Jupiter missiles in Turkey.

            Saturday night at the President’s direction the Attorney General met again with Dobrynin. The details were worked out that became a starting point for agreement, with a “secret” codicil than in some months the missiles would be removed from Turkey but only if the act was secret and a gentlemen’s agreement.

The missiles were coming out as a policy decision rendered long before the crisis, not because of the Soviet pressure. In leaving Dobrynin, I think Robert Kennedy spoke for many people when he said


“Time will not wait, we must not let it slip away.” [3]


            The secrecy extended to N.A.T.O., the U.S. Congress and even the Ex-Com. Schlesinger reported that only the Kennedys, McNamara, Rusk, Ball, and McGeorge Bundy knew what had transpired between Dobrynin and Robert Kennedy.

            This secret deal was a turning point. Congress would have been apoplectic.

The voters and the pentagon likewise. Always the warhawk General Curtis LeMay pronounced “I did not accept the explanation that the missiles had become obsolete...nor did any military man I knew.” [3]

            The military felt betrayed. LeMay said “Why don’t we go in and make a strike on Monday morning anyway.” [3]

Prompting the President to comment to Arthur Schlesinger Jr. that “The military are mad, They wanted to do this. It’s lucky for us we have McNamara over there.” the next day. [3]

            An ironic quote he spoke two weeks later was even more striking to me. “The first advice I am going to give my successor, is to watch the Generals and to avoid feeling that just because they were military men their opinions on military matters were worth a damn.” [3]

On the 29th the following document records what the estimates of Cuban offensive weapons were.


“29 October 1962




SUBJECT:  Soviet Offensive Weapons in Cuba


1. The enclosed table includes a list of Soviet offensive missile weapons and associated equipment in Cuba.


2. Very little equipment has been observed at the three IRBM sites in Cuba.  The only equipment identified, in addition to structure under construction, has been two possible fuel trucks and two possible oxidant trucks.  If the IRBMs and other associated equipment are in Cuba they are probably in an unlocated facility between the port of Mariel and the sites.  A study of Soviet sea shipments to Cuba, however, indicates that it is unlikely that many IRBMs had reached Cuba prior to the institution of the Quarantine.


3. No nuclear weapons or missile nosecones have been identified in Cuba  There are, however, nuclear weapon storage bunkers under construction at each of the MRBM and IRBM sites.  These buildings are about 35 feet in width and are about 80 feet in length at the MRBM sites and 112 feet in length at the IRBM sites.  If nuclear weapons are in Cuba they are probably in an unlocated facility between the entry port of Mariel and the sites.


4. All IL-28 aircraft are at San Julian in western Cuba; three or four appear to be assembled.  An additional 23 or 24 aircraft in crates have also been observed at this airfield.  Each disassembled aircraft consists of 1 fuselage crate 60x8x10 feet; 2 wing crates 9x40x8 feet; and 2 engine crates 9x30x8 feet.


Enclosure:  Table of Special Purpose Missile System Equipment” [2]


            As time passed and it was revealed in the 1990s that the Soviets had deployed tactical nuclear weapons and released the control of them to the field commanders in the event of invasion of Cuba, the wisdom of Kennedy and Khrushchev’s thinking outside the box is clear. It was a very close run thing, and closeness to thermonuclear war is not a good thing.

            If the U.S. had invaded it would have spiraled out of control, as the American people would have demanded a total war if the invasion forces had been attacked with tactical nuclear weapons.

Tensions persisted but the fever had broken and the world lived.


References to Chapter 8

It's The Eve of Destruction…almost


  1. Warren Hinckle and William Turner. "Deadly Secrets – The CIA-Mafia War Against Castro and the Assassination of J.F.K." New York City, New York: 1992, Thunder’s Mouth Press.
  2.  from “The Collected Works of Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty” CD-ROM Vancouver B.C. Canada 1999 Compiled by Len Osanic
  3.  Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. "Robert Kennedy and His Times." Boston Massachusetts 1978 Houghton Mifflin Company

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#2 Barry Keane

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 08:11 AM

When the dust has settled when the revisionists have spoken, it all comes down to one undenialble fact, John and Robert Kennedy saved the world from a nuclear holocaust! They were both were murdered because they were men who possessed humanity and courage. They were men of peace and vision, we must never forget them,I certainly won't. May they both rest in peace.

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#3 Charles Drago

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 09:45 AM

The Kennedys, like King and Gandhi, were ritually crucified.


Many prosaic motives acted upon, many materialistic special interests serviced.


Many False Sponsors, including those who are deluded -- or who delude themselves -- into believing they belong in that group.


One core motive.  One core group of Sponsors.


Dominion over spirit.  The Pharisees.

"[Y]ou can't blame the innocent, they are always guiltless. All you can do is control them or eliminate them. Innocence is a kind of insanity." -- Graham Greene, The Quiet American

"If an individual, through either his own volition or events over which he had no control, found himself taking up residence in a country undefined by flags or physical borders, he could be assured of one immediate and abiding consequence. He was on his own, and solitude and loneliness would probably be his companions unto the grave." -- James Lee Burke, Rain Gods

a wind has blown the rain away and blown
the sky away and all the leaves away,
and the trees stand. i think i too have known
autumn too long
-- e. e. cummings

#4 Greg Burnham

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 11:37 AM

"JFK accomplished an Americanization of the world far deeper & subtler than anything John Foster Dulles ever dreamed of--not a world Americanized in the sense of adopting the platitudes & pomposities of free enterprise--but a world Americanized in the perceptions & rhythms of life. JFK conquered the dream of youth; he penetrated the world as jazz penetrates it, as Bogart and Salinger and Faulkner penetrated it; not the world of the chancellories, but the underground world of fantasy and hope." -- Arthur Schlesinger

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Greg Burnham



"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown



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#5 Barry Keane

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Posted 18 May 2016 - 11:50 AM

Bob Dylan said it all for me.

" How many times must the cannons balls fly before they're forever banned?

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#6 Jim Hackett II

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Posted 21 May 2016 - 10:16 PM

Maybe when mankind pulls the world of hope out from underground?

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#7 Larry Trotter

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 06:20 PM

I try to never underestimate the absolute power of ignorance and narrow mindedness, especially my own, so I keep working on it. Maybe someday, i will overpower it, maybe not. But, I cannot imagine allowing it to overpower me.

As President Kennedy addressed the nation on live TV about the missiles in Cuba, I watched in fear, although I suppose even then, I realized the best person for the job was our elected president at the time.. But, some of that fear was personal, as I watched as a HS student awaiting a ride to visit my Dad in the hospital recovering from a heart attack, and I was concerned about how he might react. The crisis subsided, but Dad's recovery did not go well, and we lost him in mid November, '62. 

Dad's 7th grade education wisdom is still beyond my comprehension, and I often wonder what his take would be on the event(s) of late November, '63. I can only imagine his reaction to the LG and SBT. Certainly, by noon CST on 11/24/'63, he would have had plenty to say.

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#8 Jim Hackett II

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 01:19 AM

Being in grade school 5th grade I knew the Sunday murder by a cop-friend of the accused was a clear bullshit flag.


But the adults of my family gathered that next week for Turkey Day the younguns played as usual,

but the grown-ups could be heard talking about "they got him." when they didn't know the kids were present.


The grown ups were I found later divided on the issue of whether the President "deserved it" for being as "Commie as Eleanor!" or not.

"He" either gave away the store or saved our asses in 62 depending on that issue. Majority? I cannot say.


I was lucky enough to discuss these events decades later with my parents. The 'cover-up' was easy and fell to pieces in two minutes and the WHY question came naturally.

It was agreed that NSAM 263 proved the murder for the war motive as well as other "law and order" interests rising to bear fruit in the Empire vs. War/Draft Resisters war on our streets less than a decade later.

Both Kennedys killed for one war's profit and attending Empire building by the Mil-Int-Industrial Global complex my folks could see.


They drew the line at "Ollie North and RRR/GHWB" complicity in treason. That was on the deep end of the reflecting basin to them.

I hope they understood better where my beliefs came from as a result as they are passed now.

I never experienced 'evangelical' not even then, only relief.


And thanks for reading and any compliments, y'all.

And more specific thanks to Mr. Keane and the UK contingent Welcome and Thanks.

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#9 Phil Dragoo

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Posted 26 May 2016 - 01:59 AM

The exquisite ideal of Thoreau desiring there to be as many individuals as possible was the subject of our English class interrupted by the intercom's announcement.


We boarded buses for the weekend marathon of black and white news babble punctuated by the horn and shot composition for the DPD basement.


Soon it would be phony boats concocting a phony casus belli:  the war would be fought over the peace president's dead body.


Thy could not provoke him to invade as the Bay of Pigs crumbled into its designed pit of despair


Nor could they exhort him to act when all those missiles were suddenly discovered so close


His test ban and detente and peace initiative meant their toy soldiers and cash cows would lie rusting in mothball ports and desert lots


So they took their Kill Fidel Realistic Assassination Kit and turned it inside out to make a Dodge City in Dallas at High Noon movie set


In October '69 SDS ragmen Ayers Son of Wealth and Rudd Speedy Maoist turned Chicago against them


"I think they oughta be in jail--that's what I think!"


And I took the old Econoline to the War Memorial for the skivvies physical end of the 2-S/1-A/4-F ride


with Bobby Darin's rheumatic fever but Ike's cortisone


and the Tab Hunter in khaki was containing rage, "You are exempt from military service except in national emergency"


and today the president poses in front of Ho and chastises Vietnam for its human rights tardiness


Nuclear exchange was only a wing wall, never center stage


The joint effort removed Nikita Sergeyevich and the hawks continued until '89-'91


Terror the new model cools despite destabilitaion through regime decapitation/islamization


So the strategy of tension requires men be sent in their thousands to destroy culture in European nations


hastening the oneness of ISOC Islamic Socialism


to counter Putin's Eurasia and Xi's Eastasia


Iran has the keys to nuclear weapons and Saudi & Co. desires the same


Were they to destroy Israel they would have to deal with each other


Such tribal conflict insures the paralysis of the spirit


imprisoned in the strands of terror


There is a fatwa against posing


in photos with cats as well as


one requiring communal


latrines and viewing


a quantum of





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#10 Chuck Barlow

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Posted 26 May 2016 - 02:54 AM

It's a mad mad mad mad mad mad world and the lunatics are running the asylum.... and if we weren't so crazy, we'd all go insane  (thanx J Buffet)

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#11 Jim Hackett II

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 10:37 PM


Momma We're all crazy now...or ought to be.

Living under the hammer makes the mice weird too.

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