The Cuban Missile Crisis
Editorial Note


On January 8, 1963, President Kennedy, Vice President Johnson, Secretary of State Rusk, Secretary of Defense McNamara, and Director of Central Intelligence McCone met with the bipartisan Congressional leadership from 5:30 to 6:35 p.m. Attending were Senators Mike Mansfield, Hubert H. Humphrey, George Smathers, Richard Russell, Everett Dirkson, Thomas Kuchel, Leverett Saltonstall and Bourke Hickenlooper and from the House of Representatives were Speaker John McCormack, Representatives Carl Albert, Hale Boggs, Carl Vinson, Thomas Morgan, Charles Halleck, Leslie Arends, and Frances Bolton. (Kennedy Library, President's Appointment Book)

McCone drafted a brief memorandum for the record of the meeting, noting that McNamara gave a briefing on South Vietnam "expressing an optimistic point of view"; Rusk briefed the Congressional leaders on the Cuban negotiations at the United Nations and on the Congo; and McCone briefed them on Cuba. McCone noted that there were "no significant questions" from the Congressional leadership.

McCone's January 8 briefing statement was attached to his January 9 memorandum for the record. In it he stated that the Soviet Union had withdrawn 42 strategic missiles, 42 jet bombers and their related equipment and about four or five thousand military personnel associated with the maintenance and operation of this equipment--leaving approximately 17,000 Soviet troops still in Cuba. McCone noted that the Intelligence community believed, but could not prove by aerial recon- naissance, that these withdrawals represent all the strategic weapons placed in Cuba by the Soviet Union. Aerial reconnaissance would reveal if strategic missiles were reintroduced or reactivated. McCone stressed that there was still a substantial Soviet military presence in Cuba. McCone summarized the situation as follows: "Castro remains in control, his attitudes seem unchanged, but the Soviets have retained sufficient military capability in Cuba to give them powerful leverage on Castro should he oppose their policies too actively." McCone finished his briefing with an overview of the current areas in Latin America in danger of subversion directed by Moscow and Havana. (Central Intelligence Agency, DCI/McCone Files, Job 80-B01285A, DCI Meetings with the President, 1 January-31 March 1963) For McCone's briefing paper and memorandum for the record, see the Supplement.

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