Monday, October 15, 2012

50th anniversary of Cuban missile crisis

CBS Evening News on Oct. 15, 2012 ended with a clip on the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

On Oct. 16,1962, the CIA warned President Kennedy of missiles in Cuba. Sidney Graybeal was asked questions by Kennedy.

Pysch profiles of Krushchev and Castro were done . Castro was deemed highly neurotic and unstable.
Kruschev: Let us therefore display statesmanlike wisdom.

When Russian ships were turned back by the US Naval blockage, Kennedy wrote down: Euphoria.

***Graybeal text at

It [missile in Cuba] had the very difficulty, it had to back up and this source was describing both this long telephone-like missile,... canvas-covered object, he didn't call it a missile, but it couldn't get around the corner. If this had been a surface to air missile, they would have had no trouble, so this report and others like that were the basis on which, when the U-2 started flying, these five reports were used to target the U-2 where to go to look and that was the mission on the fifteenth of October, which actually discovered offensive missiles. So my role was looking at all of these reports, trying to find out if there was any evidence of offensive missiles in Cuba and then to explain the import and then to participate in the preparation of the estimate, which we did, which we did not believe the Soviets would deploy offensive missiles in Cuba to which McCone differed with us and McCone turned out to be right.

***On the Jupiter missiles, from Anatomy of a Controversy

Sorensen's "Confession":

...the president [Kennedy] recognized that, for Chairman Khrushchev to withdraw the missiles from Cuba, it would be undoubtedly helpful to him if he could say at the same time to his colleagues on the Presidium, "And we have been assured that the missiles will be coming out of Turkey." And so, after the ExComm meeting [on the evening of 27 October 1962], as I'm sure almost all of you know, a small group met in President Kennedy's office, and he instructed Robert Kennedy—at the suggestion of Secretary of State [Dean] Rusk—to deliver the letter to Ambassador Dobrynin for referral to Chairman Khrushchev, but to add orally what was not in the letter: that the missiles would come out of Turkey.

Ambassador Dobrynin felt that Robert Kennedy's book did not adequately express that the "deal" on the Turkish missiles was part of the resolution of the crisis. And here I have a confession to make to my colleagues on the American side, as well as to others who are present. I was the editor of Robert Kennedy's book. It was, in fact, a diary of those thirteen days. And his diary was very explicit that this was part of the deal; but at that time it was still a secret even on the American side, except for the six of us who had been present at that meeting. So I took it upon myself to edit that out of his diaries, and that is why the Ambassador is somewhat justified in saying that the diaries are not as explicit as his conversation.

[Sorensen comments, in Bruce J. Allyn, James G. Blight, and David A. Welch, eds., Back to the Brink: Proceedings of the Moscow Conference on the Cuban Missile Crisis, January 27-28, 1989 (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1992), pp. 92-93]


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