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Attended by: Gilpatric, Johnson, General Taylor, General Carter, McCone, Scoville, General Lansdale and Colonel Steakley (part of the time).
The Attorney General reported on discussions with the President on Cuba; dissatisfied with lack of action in the sabotage field, went on to stress that nothing was moving forward, commented that one effort attempted had failed, expressed general concern over developing situation.
General Lansdale reviewed operations, pointing out that no sabotage had been attempted and gave general impression that things were all right.
McCone then stated that phase one was principally intelligence gathering, organizing and training, that no sabotage was authorized, that one operation against a powerhouse had been contemplated but was discouraged by group, that he had called a meeting to review matters this morning and that he had observed a lack of forward motion due principally to "hesitancy" in government circles to engage in any activities which would involve attribution to the United States.
AG took sharp exception stating the Special Group had not withheld approval on any specified actions to his knowledge, but to the contrary had urged and insisted upon action by the Lansdale operating organization.
There followed a sharp exchange which finally was clarifying inasmuch as it resulted in a reaffirmation of a determination to move forward. In effect it seemed to be the consensus that phase two as approved on September 6, was now outmoded, that more dynamic action was indicated, that hesitancy about overflights must be reconsidered (this to be commented on later in this memorandum), that actions which could be attributed to indigenous Cubans would not be important or very effective, and that a very considerable amount of attribution and "noise" must be expected.
As a result, General Lansdale was instructed to give consideration to new and more dynamic approaches, the specific items of sabotage should be brought forward immediately and new ones conceived, that a plan for mining harbors should be developed and presented, and the possibility of capturing Castro forces for interrogation should be studied.
With respect to overflights, the NRO and Colonel Steakley were instructed to prepare and present to the Special Group on next Tuesday(1) at a special meeting alternate recommendations for overflights. These to include the use of U-2s on complete sweeps (as contrasted with peripheral or limited missions), the use of firefly drones, the use of 101s or other reconnaissance planes on low level, intermediate level, and high level missions, and other possible reconnaissance operations.
Consideration was given to stating publicly that we propose to overfly Cuba in the interest of our own security and the security of the Western Hemisphere, and then to proceed even though doing so involved risk.
It was the consensus that we could not accept restrictions which would foreclose gaining all reasonable knowledge of military installations in Cuba.
During the meeting McCone reviewed the earlier meeting with General Lansdale, and pointed out to the group that this meeting clarified General Lansdale's authority over the entire Mongoose operation and that the CIA organization was responsive to his policy and operational guidance, and this was thoroughly understood.
Consideration was given to the existing guidelines and it was the consensus that the August 1st guidelines for phase two(2) were inadequate and new guidelines must be considered.
John A. McCone(3)
Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Cuban Files, Job 80-B01676R, Box 17, Folder 12. Secret; Eyes Only. A memorandum for the record of this meeting, by Thomas A. Parrott, is ibid., Walter Elder Recop. Also reproduced in CIA Documents on the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962, pp. 111-113.