Kennedy Library Gets Missile Crisis Map
"A more vital piece of U.S. history would be hard to find, " gushed the Boston Globe last week about a new item in the Kennedy Library and Museum, a map of Cuba. The Library obtained it from the estate of Robert L. White, a collector who had earlier received it from JFK's late secretary, Evelyn Lincoln.
"This map bears the marks of history, " continues the Globe story, "a series of X marks in black ink, crosshatched east and west of Havana by President John F. Kennedy, and two foreboding words scrawled above them: 'missile sites,' This map was used by Kennedy during a Cabinet briefing on the morning of Oct. 16, 1962, as CIA officials described the evidence discovered by spy planes...a priceless artifact."
Equally priceless was the record of irresponsibility, arrogance and stupidity that preceded that "discovery" by the U-2 spy plane, not to mention the bumbling, treachery and deceit that followed it. Camelot's toady press and court scribes rose to the occasion however. So the official version still prevails in the MSM and Hollywood (Thirteen Days)
'This map takes me right to that moment, when he was trying to digest that information,'' enthused Kennedy Museum curator Frank Rigg in the Boston Globe story. "Who knows what was going through his mind?''
I can guess: "Whoops!" for instance, because all of two days before Kennedy unfurled that map, on the October 14 edition of Issues and Answers, a disdainful Mc George Bundy ( JFK's National Security Advisor) made himself very clear on national TV. "Refugee rumors" he called the eye-witness reports from Cuban exiles about those very missiles--reports which they'd been giving the State Department and CIA for months by then, after risking their lives to obtain them. "Nothing in Cuba presents a threat to the United States," continued Bundy, barely masking his scorn. "There's no likelihood that the Soviets or Cubans would try and install an offensive capability in Cuba." (Fidel, p.28.)
Kennedy himself sounded off the following day. "There's fifty odd thousand Cuban refugees in this country," he sneered, "all living for the day when we go to war with Cuba. They're the ones putting out this kind of stuff."
I'll gladly donate another artifact to the Kennedy Museum to be displayed adjacent to that map: a HUGE pot labeled, "Crow Gumbo; Meal served in Camelot headquarters October 16, 1962. "
"'These precious artifacts belong to the American people,'' said Deborah Leff, Kennedy Library director. But not everyone thought the American people should be privy to every Missile Crisis artifact. "We can't say anything public about this agreement," said Robert F Kennedy to Soviet ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin when closing the deal that ended the so-called crisis. "It would be too much of a political embarrassment for us."
Kennedy's secret deal with Khruschev forbad any liberation of Cuba, not just by the U.S. but by any group or nation in the Hemisphere. Indeed it was up to the U.S. to prevent any such liberation attempts. The Best and Brightest not only pulled the rug out from Cuba's freedom-fighters, they also sanctioned the 40,000 Soviet troops and KGB goons already in Cuba coaching and aiding Castro's butchery of these freedom-fighters.
Richard Nixon summed up the the Missile Crisis "resolution" best. "First we goofed and invasion--now we give the Soviets squatters rights in our backyard."
Joint Chiefs member General Curtis Lemay slammed his fist on his desk and bellowed: "The biggest defeat in U.S. history!
Admiral Anderson, in charge of the very naval "blockade' against Cuba got the news of the "resolution" and shouted. "We've been had!"
In his memoirs Nikita Khrushchev himself clarified the matter "It would have been ridiculous for us to go to war over Cuba--for a country 12,000 miles away. For us, war was unthinkable. (so much for all the media and Hollywood hype of those peril-filled Thirteen Days ) We ended up getting exactly what we'd wanted all along, security for Fidel Castro's regime and American missiles removed from Turkey. Until today the U.S. has complied with her promise not to interfere with Castro and not to allow anyone else to interfere with Castro.(italics mine) After Kennedy's death, his successor Lyndon Johnson assured us that he would keep the promise not to invade Cuba."
JFK's "dreary account of mismanagement, timidity and indecision" as Eisenhower described his handling of the Bay of Pigs a year earlier emboldened the Soviets to install Nuclear missiles in Cuba in the first place.
After the "resolution" some of the very Cuban freedom fighters who had smuggled out intelligence on the Soviet Missiles found themselves stranded in a Cuba swarming with Soviet soldiers. Dozens of these young heroes huddled in Mangrove swamps along Cuba's coast, dodging Castro patrols and waiting for their scheduled "exfiltration" by motorboats back to the U.S.
Their wait was vain. Their mission accomplished, their evidence to the New Frontiersmen about Weapons of Mass Destruction 90 miles away and hosted by the most pathologically anti-American regime in history delivered--this done, these heroes promptly fell through the cracks of the Kennedy-Khruschev deal. They were expendable.
"Let's be careful not to let any of these Cuban refugees upset the deal," were JFK's words to his Attorney General brother on the night of October 28th 1962. So the scheduled boat-runs to the Cuban coast by the infiltrator's comrades to carry them back were canceled. Suddenly these runs became impediments to Camelot's delicate diplomacy.
Meanwhile, back in the Cuba's mangroves, "Alto!.....Who Goes there!" Gun bolts slam and the shooting starts. Several of these (now) irksome "Cuban refugees"--completely abandoned-- now died in suicidal firefights against Castro's troops. Several more were captured, tortured and finally bound to the stake in front of the blood and bone flecked paredon ....."VIVA CUBA LIBRE! they yelled.
FUEGO!! yelled the firing squad captain. "Cause of death was internal hemorraghing caused by firearm projectiles," read the official death certificates delivered by Castro's government to thousands of ashen-faced families.
After the Missile Crisis "resolution" the U.S. Coast Guard and even the British Navy (when some intrepid exile freedom-fighters moved their operation to the Bahamas) shielded Castro from exile attacks. In the Florida Keys and Bahamas these were arresting and disarming the very exiles the CIA had been training and arming the month before.
Much of his fame in the Third World, College campuses ( faculties, especially) and in Europe stems from the fable of Castro "defying" a Superpower. In fact, he survived because of a sweetheart deal that allowed him to hide behind the skirts of two Superpowers.
But don't look for details of this deal in the Kennedy Library and Museum.