Blind over Cuba
The Photo Gap and the Missile Crisis
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Texas A&M University Press
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Another book on the Cuban Missile Crisis? Yes and no. Other than outright wars, probably no US foreign policy crisis of the twentieth century has been the subject of more books than this crisis. So, as researchers and writers, our interest has not...
1. The Making of a “Photo Gap”: August 29 to October 14, 1962
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On October 28, 1962, President Kennedy triumphed in the most fearsome and direct clash with Moscow since the 1948 Berlin airlift. Without seeming to have made any meaningful concessions, he both avoided nuclear war and forced Soviet premier...
2. Obscuring the Photo Gap
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From Washington’s perspective, the missile crisis began with the detection of the Soviet weaponry on October 15. But its underlying origins dated back to at least the 1960 presidential campaign, and, perhaps more accurately, the 1959 Cuban revolution...
3. The Struggle over the Postmortems
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While the administration was still busy influencing public perceptions of the crisis, the battle over its history began in earnest. For the most part, it would be in the form of the efforts to influence the secret postmortems conducted by various entities...
4. Stonewalling the House
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When the Eighty-Eighth Congress convened on January 3, 1963, its Republican members were livid about the 1962 election. Precedent had all but guaranteed that the Democrats, as the party in power during a midterm election, would lose around five...
5. The Senate Steps In
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Although the House was generally more aggressive about trying to poke holes in the administration’s account of the Soviet build-up, it was a Senate inquiry that would cause the White House the greatest anxiety.1 This postmortem was conducted by one of that...
6. Tensions within the Kennedy Administration: Fashioning a Unified Story
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With the most sustained and important probe less than halfway through, the administration was jittery.1 Consequently, it focused on the need to speak in unison about aspects of the Cuban problem, especially the photo gap. In the wake of...
7. End of the Trail: The “Interim” Report
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By April 4, two weeks after McCone’s final testimony and after receiving additional answers promised for the record by all the witnesses, James Kendall finished a first draft of the SPIS report.1 Stennis wanted a step-by- step chronological account...
8. The Costs of Managed History
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John McCone’s reputation on Capitol Hill in 1963 was still far better than that of Allen Dulles after the Bay of Pigs. During one of the SPIS Cuba hearings in March, with McCone present, Margaret Chase Smith told her colleagues matter-of-factly, “I think Mr. McCone has been more...
Appendix: A Historiography of the Photo Gap, 1963–2011
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Speculation about an “intelligence” or “photo” gap began to mount as soon as the acute phase of the crisis peaked in October. Chapter 1 addressed media coverage of this issue for the remaining months of 1962. This historiography traces the presentation...
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Page Count: 240
Illustrations: 4 b&w photos. 3 line art. Bib. Index.
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Foreign Relations and the Presidency