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Director McCone reported that incomplete interpretation of pictures from yesterday's reconnaissance mission did not reveal whether work on the missile sites had halted or whether dismantlement of the missiles had begun. Construction at the nuclear sites appears to be continuing. Some of the missile launchers have been removed to cover areas.(1)
Secretary McNamara called attention to the reported activities of Alpha 66. The President stated that insofar as we had any control over the actions of Alpha 66, we should try to keep them from doing something that might upset the deal with the Russians. The President noted that anti-Castro groups did have a stake in continuing the struggle, and, therefore, might make an effort to cause difficulties during the period when it appeared we would be reaching some kind of a solution with the Russians.
The President authorized a public statement to the effect that it was too early to judge whether the missiles were being dismantled and construction at missile sites halted.
Secretary McNamara said he had directed that no U-2 planes fly anywhere until he was satisfied that a system had been developed to safeguard against navigational errors resulting in overflights of Soviet territory. He felt it was important to avoid another incident.
Secretary Rusk reported that U Thant had told our people in New York that he would not go to Havana if we conducted air reconnaissance during the two days he is expected to be in Cuba.
The President agreed that no air reconnaissance missions would be flown over Cuba today or tomorrow, but he directed that every effort be made to get UN surveillance under way as soon as possible. Secretary McNamara said that there were ten or twelve issues connected with the Cuban crisis which were being reviewed and would be ready for Presidential consideration tomorrow.
Turning to the question of guidance for the press, the President directed that no one on the Executive Committee should personally see any reporter and that nobody in the group should say anything except Mr. Bundy, Mr. Salinger, and Mr. Sorensen, who were authorized to talk to reporters. The President said we were not dealing with a finished episode, and, therefore, information going to the press needed to reflect the solidity of the Committee.
Mr. Salinger said that three sanitized versions of the crisis, all of them to be approved by the President, were being prepared by Defense, State, and White House press officers.
The President agreed not to issue the draft Executive Order covering ships engaged in the Cuba trade, but requested the State Department to explain to reporters that the reason for not issuing the order was because it was aimed at a situation which had been radically altered by the discovery of Soviet strategic missiles in Cuba.
Acting Director of USIA Wilson reported that Cuban exiles were seeking to buy time on U.S. radio stations. It was expected that if they succeeded, they would make inflammatory statements about present U.S. policy toward Cuba. The President authorized Mr. Wilson to talk to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission about some way of blocking these broadcasts without appearing to be imposing censorship of the radio stations.
1 A copy of the CIA memorandum, SC No. 11155/62, with information as of 6 a.m. October 30, from which McCone briefed the Executive Committee, is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Executive Committee, Vol. II, Meetings 11-16. Back
Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Executive Committee, Vol. II, Meetings, 11-16. Top Secret; Sensitive. The Record of Action of this meeting (ibid.) is in the Supplement.