The Cover-Up of the Cuban Missile Crisis by Peter Kornbleu (Le Monde Diplomatic

President John F. Kennedy meets with Soviet Ambassador Anatoly F. Dobrynin and Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko at the White House in October 1962.

Universal History Archive UIG Getty

n October 28, 1962 – On that dramatic day exactly 60 years ago, when Nikita Khrushchev officially ordered the removal of the nuclear ballistic missiles his army had just installed on the island of Cuba – Soviet Prime Minister John・Sent a private letter to President F. Kennedy. The most dangerous superpower conflict in modern history. Officially, the Soviet Union withdrew its missiles in exchange for a vague assurance that the United States would not invade Cuba. Secretly, however, the crisis was resolved when President Kennedy sent his brother Robert to meet with Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin on the night of October 27 and agree to a top-secret deal.

In a personal note to Kennedy, Khrushchev wrote, “I must tell you that I understand your sensitivity to frankly considering the issue of removing American missile bases in Turkey. I think,’ he wrote. (1), seeking to confirm the arrangement in writing. “I consider the complexity of this issue and believe you are correct in not wanting to discuss it publicly.”

Dobrynin delivered a classified letter to Attorney General Robert Kennedy on October 29. But instead of giving it to the president, Kennedy returned the letter to the Soviet ambassador the next day. President Kennedy said the United States would “fulfill our promises, even if they were made orally,” but there is no written record. I don’t want to risk getting involved, because no one knows when or where such a letter will surface or if it will be published in any way.” This is why I ask you to return this letter.

spectacular cover-up

Thus began the epic cover-up of how the crisis actually ended and nuclear war was averted. President Kennedy has resolved to keep his missile swap a secret. It was to protect the US leadership of his NATO alliance, which Turkey is a member of, and to protect his political reputation. We actually negotiated with the USSR to save the world from self-destruction. To hide the payoff, the president took many aggressive steps. Among them, he lied to his White House predecessors, misled the media, and organized a political hatchet job against his own UN ambassador, Adlai Stevenson. But an adviser urging Kennedy to consider a missile exchange to resolve the crisis diplomatically without using military force. After JFK’s assassination, a handful of his former White House aides supported the cover-up. They have maintained a wall of silence for more than 25 years, obscuring the true history and real lessons of the Cold War crisis that brought the world to the brink of nuclear Armageddon.

On the morning of October 28, within hours of Khrushchev’s radio broadcast of the order to dismantle and repatriate the nuclear missiles, President Kennedy released a false account of how the crisis had ended. started to spread. His secret White House recording system captured phone calls about how Kennedy dealt with his three surviving predecessors (Dwight Eisenhower, Harry his Truman, and Herbert his Hoover). He misled Eisenhower, telling him, “We couldn’t get into it.” [Turkey] As missile crisis historian Sheldon Stern reported in his book Averting ‘the Final Failure’ (2).

“We refused it,” he lied to Truman, saying of Khrushchev’s public demands for Turkey’s Jupiter missiles, that “they came back and accepted their earlier proposals on the pledge of non-aggression.” rice field. (3)Kennedy erroneously reported to Hoover that the Soviets had “returned to a more rational position” regarding non-aggression.

The next day, the president consulted with his brother about Khrushchev’s unexpected letter regarding the exchange of missiles and decided not to leave any documentary evidence of the secret agreement. According to a top-secret account of the meeting with President Kennedy, President Robert Kennedy sent a message to Dobrynin saying, “President Kennedy and I have not been very helpful in our correspondence at this time.” “He understood our conversation. In my judgment, nothing more was needed.”

Nurture media stories

The president then set out to promote articles in the media that steered him away from speculation about the payoff. was given the go-ahead to write the inside story of the decision that ended the conflict. Bartlett worked with another Kennedy confidant, Stewart Alsop, to co-author the controversial Saturday Evening Post article, “A Time of Crisis,” which began circulating throughout Washington in early December 1962. . (Four).

An article in the Saturday Evening Post established the official narrative of how the missile crisis was resolved. In fact, the quote at the beginning of this article, “I think we went from eye-to-eye, the others just blinked,” was by Secretary of State Dean Rusk during the crisis, but how the world It became a symbolic summary of how the crisis was avoided. Fate of Atomic Armageddon. Kennedy, who threatened to invade Cuba, decisively won the nuclear chicken game with the Soviet Union. Nikita Khrushchev “blinks” and removes the missile, giving America a major Cold War victory. “Rusk’s words,” said the article’s author, “represent a great moment in American history.”

However, the article also contained a barbaric political slander against United Nations Ambassador Adlai Stevenson, accusing him of being “friendly” to the Soviets for favoring political negotiations over military action. Worse, he was an appeaser. Alsop and Bartlett said, “Adlai wanted Munich. He wanted to trade the U.S. base for a Cuban base. Before it was published, the editors of the Saturday Evening Post said: It began distributing articles to the media in New York and Washington in press releases titled “Controversial and hitherto unrevealed role played by United Nations Ambassador Adlai Stevenson during the Cuban Missile Crisis.” Stevenson The attack on Washington immediately sparked a political uproar, as President Kennedy must have known.

As Kennedy Assistant to the President Arthur Schlesinger Jr. recounted in his widely read memoir “A Thousand Days,” on December 1, the President summoned him to the Oval Office, and the following article read: “Stevenson accuses him of advocating a Caribbean Munich,” he said. Let’s go,” he said. He told Schlesinger, “Please tell Adlai that I have not spoken to Charlie or any other reporter about the Cuban Missile Crisis and that this article does not represent my views.”

In fact, Kennedy was talking to Bartlett when the story was being written. As a way of keeping the White House away from how the missile crisis really ended, he secretly edited the article and coordinated Stevenson’s hatchet work so that it would not reflect his views, or at least his political aims. “In fact, the ‘disrespectful official’ was Kennedy himself,” historian Greg Harken reveals in his book The Georgetown Set: Friends and Rivals in Cold War Washington (Knopf, 2014). made it

Harken cites interviews with members of Stewart Alsop’s family and correspondence between Alsop and The Saturday Evening Post’s executive editor Clay Blair, stating, “The president wrote the typescript for the draft article. I had penciled in the ‘Munich’ line when annotating the . Sixty years after the missile crisis, Jr., first published in full by my organization, the National Security Archives. (Five)Kennedy’s role “must remain top secret, eyes only, burn after reading, etc.,” Allsop wrote to Blair four months after Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Participation in the drafting of articles. Alsop said the manuscript pages containing the president’s handwritten remarks were returned to President Kennedy in 1962 and destroyed. ‘ sent ms to himself through charlie as a christmas gift [Bartlett]It was long ago reduced to ashes,” writes Alsop. “That would have made an interesting footnote in history.”

In the years following Kennedy’s assassination, his top advisers espoused the sacred myth of the Cuban missile crisis despite being involved in secret pacts. refrained from making any reference to the exchange of missiles. Robert Kennedy’s diary on the crisis included his October 27, 1962 detailed account of the climax. However, those passages were omitted when his diary was posthumously published as the best-selling book Thirteen Days in 1969. Twenty years later, at the Moscow conference on the missile crisis, Sorensen made a reference to the missile trade. quietly refused. (6)“I was the editor of Robert Kennedy’s book,” he admitted. “And his diary was very clear. [Turkey] was part of the deal. But at the time it was still a secret even on the American side… so I decided to compile it myself from his diary.

“There were no leaks,” former national security adviser McGeorge Bundy wrote in his book Danger and Survival: Choices for the First 50 Years of the Atomic Bombfinally revealed the cover-up in 1988 (7)“As far as I know, no one… told anyone else what happened. We denied there was a deal on every forum.”

Indeed, it was not until the late 1980s and early 1990s that the full history of diplomacy, negotiations and compromises that resolved the missile crisis was revealed. In 1987, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library began releasing declassified copies of secret tapes recording meetings between President Kennedy and his advisers during the dispute. They got the president considering the merits of the missile trade that might avert nuclear war. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, archives of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs began sharing important documents, including Dobrynin’s telegram to Moscow reporting a meeting with Robert Kennedy. A series of international conferences, including the 30th and 40th anniversary conferences held in Havana, by surviving Kennedy White House official, former Soviet military commander Fidel Castro, discuss how a dangerous nuclear confrontation began and It greatly advanced the historical record of how it actually ended.

Its historical record remains immediately relevant today, as Russia’s threat to use nuclear weapons in its war of aggression against Ukraine created another “time of crisis”. remains unknown.But 60 years ago in his October 28, 1962 letter to President Kennedy (8)Nikita Khrushchev issued a prescient warning about coexistence in a world of nuclear weapons: “Mr President, the crisis we have experienced may be repeated again. It means that problems need to be addressed, but the continuation of this situation is fraught with so many uncertainties and dangers that we cannot delay the resolution of these problems. The Cover-Up of the Cuban Missile Crisis by Peter Kornbleu (Le Monde Diplomatic

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