By Robert F. Kennedy (auth.)
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Extra resources for 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis October 1962
No committee was going to make this decision. He canceled his trip and returned to Washington. As he was returning to Washington, our Armed Forces across the world were put on alert. Telephoning from our meeting in the State Department, Secretary McNamara ordered four tactical air squadrons placed at readiness for an air strike, in case the President decided to accept that recommendation. M. and went for a swim. I sat on the side of the pool, and we talked. At 2:30 we walked up to the Oval Room.
Convened as a formal meeting of the National Security Council, it was a larger group of people who met, some of whom had not participated in the deliberations up to that time. Bob McNamara presented the arguments for the blockade; others presented the arguments for the military attack. The discussion, for the most part, was able so and organized, although, like all meetings of this kind, certain statements were made as accepted truisms, which I, at least, thought were of questionable validity. One member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for example, argued that we could use nuclear weapons, on the basis that our adversaries would use theirs against us in an attack.
General de Gaulle said, 'It is exactly what I would have done,' adding that it was not necessary to see the photographs, as 'a great government such as yours does not act without evidence'.
13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis October 1962 by Robert F. Kennedy (auth.)