The Role Of Bobby Kennedy Throughout The

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The Role Of Bobby Kennedy Throughout The Cuban Missile Crisis Essay, Research Paper Introduction On the morning of Tuesday October 16, 1962, President John F. Kennedy was reading the Tuesday morning newspapers in his bed at the Whitehouse. Not twenty fours hours before, McGeorge Bundy, Kennedy’s national security adviser, received the results of Major Richard S. Heyser’s U-2 mission over San Cristobal Cuba. In light of recent mysterious Soviet and Cuban activities developing in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, the president’s administration had given the order to conduct reconnaissance missions over the island of Cuba. In particular a fifty-mile trapezoidal swath of territory in western Cuba was to be looked upon under intense scrutiny. A CIA agent reported in the

second week of September that this stretch of land was being guarded closely by Peruvian, Colombian, and actual Soviet soldiers. There was a real reason to be suspicious of the activity in western Cuba. The first of this U-2 reconnaissance mission would reveal a shocking discovery.(Chang & William p.33-47) The U-2 reconnaissance reports that Bundy received in full detail two 70-foot-long MRBMs at San Cristobal. The news that Bundy would eventually have to expose to President Kennedy would sound alarms not just in his administration or in the United States of America, but throughout the entire world. Bundy did not tell the president that night. He opted to allow him a good night’s rest, the last he would have for some time, as it turned out. Bundy felt there was nothing the

president could do about the missiles that night anyway, and he would need to be sharp the next morning.(Brugioni p.68) Besides Bundy and the leadership of the U.S. intelligence community, Dean Rusk and his team at State, as well as McNamara and the deputy secretary of defense, Roswell Gilpatric, received word of the U-2’s discovery before going to bed on October 15. Kennedy’s discovery of the missiles could wait till the next morning.(May & Zelikow p.24) Thus on the morning of October 16, while Kennedy was lying in bed, Bundy informed that the U-2 mission that flew over Cuba had spotted two nuclear missiles and six missile transports southwest of Havana. Before the summer of that same year had ended, Khrushchev had made the twin promise that “nothing will be undertaken

before the American Congressional elections that could complicate the international situation or aggravate the tension in the relations between our two countries,” and ensured the president through his own brother Robert F. Kennedy, the attorney general of the United States and the president’s closet advisor by means of a back channel, that only defensive weapons were to be placed in Cuba.(Brugioni p56) This last and final statement left the young attorney general and the entire administration to believe that no offensive nuclear missiles, and certainly no weapons that were capable of hitting any target in the continental United States were being placed in Cuba at this time.(Chang & William p67) The news brought to the Kennedy administration in the form of the U-2’s

telltale photographs made nonsense of both of Khrushchev’s pledges. But most importantly the Soviet Union had equipped Cuba with an arsenal of Soviet nuclear missiles despite a presidential statement only a month early that the United States would not tolerate such a situation in the Western Hemisphere. Kennedy felt personally insulted by the deployment of these missiles.(Fursenko & Naftali p.193) He thought that he had done everything possible to defuse and smooth over tense relations with the Soviet Union even before he took office in 1960. This devastating news from Cuba would result in the tense period in Cold War history to date and perhaps its tensest period in the entire history of the war. Kennedy decided limit the information regarding the devastating news from