Cuban Missle Crisis
Record of Action of the Fourth Meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Security Council


Washington, October 25, 1962.

1. Mr. McCone presented the intelligence briefing.

2. The President requested Mr. McCone to prepare a careful analysis of the present situation inside Cuba, and he asked for further consideration by USIA of the possibility of dropping propaganda leaflets.

3. The Secretary of Defense reported the current military situation, and on the President's direction instructions were issued for selective investigation and boarding of non-bloc ships, excluding tankers.

4. The Secretary reported that all armed forces in Cuba have been instructed to fire only in response to attack. Many installations are so camouflaged as to be in a low state of readiness. The Secretary recommended a program of low-level reconnaissance for the purpose of improving intelligence, camouflaging the possibility of a later low-level attack, and emphasizing our concern with offensive installations already in Cuba. The President approved an immediate daylight mission of 8 low-level reconnaissance aircraft to cover missile sites, airfields holding IL28's and MIG's, KOMAR naval vessels, coastal installations, nuclear storage sites, and selected SAM sites.

5. The President directed that the tanker Bucharest not be intercepted for the present. Her status as a tanker with no contraband cargo made it desirable to allow her to proceed. He directed further that the Defense Department be prepared to make an intercept of an appropriate bloc ship on Friday in daylight.

6. The President approved a version of an answer to U Thant, but in later discussion a revised version was worked out between New York and Washington and approved by the President at 1:15 p.m.(1)

7. There was preliminary discussion of alternative courses of action in the immediate future, and the President asked the other members of the Committee to make appropriate arrangements for preparing alternative courses of action for discussion with him at a later meeting.

8. The President approved the recommendation of the Secretary of Defense that missile fuel be added to the list of contraband goods under the Proclamation of Interdiction.(2)

McGeorge Bundy

1 For text of this letter and the letter from U Thant, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1962, pp. 422 and 424. Back

2 Following this meeting of the Executive Committee both the Nitze and Rostow subcommittees met to continue their work. Records of these meetings are in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Germany, Berlin; and ibid., Cuba, General Planning Subcommittee, respectively. See the Supplement. Back

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Executive Committee, Vol. I, Meetings 1-5. Top Secret; Sensitive. For McCone's account of this meeting, see Document 70.

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