Ifferences in the accounts of the Cuban Missile Crisis

This assignment is designed to allow you do investigate further a single difference in interpretation between the Andrew and Weiner texts. You will select on event or issue upon which the two authors differ in the readings of weeks 5-8 and examine it critically with the help of alternative sources. There will be no fewer that four (4) additional sources and no more than five (5). No more than one source will be journalistic (newspaper, news magazine, etc.). The others should be scholarly works.

The 2 Andrew and Weiner texts are:
For the Presidents Eyes Only: Secret Intelligence and the American Presidency from Washington to Bush by Christopher Andrew
Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner

A topic the authors differed on is the Cuban Missile Crisis, which is what the paper is to be about.

Here are some of the differences between these 2 authors, with the goal being to greatly expand upon this with at least 4 other sources:

Andrew s account of the Cuban Missile Crisis:

-put greater focus on the use of the U2 in establishing that pivotal pre-emptive proof that the soviets had nuclear missiles on the island of Cuba.

-Range of the missiles between 700-1000 miles.

-Russian COL Penkovsky mentioned as being an important spy for the US in intelligence, however not focused on the importance to his last information being pivotal in the US being able to identify the size type and transport means of the nuclear warheads.

-Stevenson s great show of ability in wooing the UN on camera regarding proof that the Soviets had placed missiles on Cuba.

-Kennedy s using the first of the two transmissions from the Kremlin (hoping that they were the lenient words of Khrushchev, than the second communique) to respond to in order to broker a deal with the Soviets in avoiding WWIII.

-The use of ELINT in the blockade as well as the blockade itself being a huge success in stopping the transport ships from making it to cuba. 


Weiner s account of the Cuban Missile Crisis:

-Put greater focus on the lack of the consistent us of the U-2 in the fall in establishing a lack of pre-emptive ability in warning Kennedy that the soviets had been emplacing and fortifying nuclear missiles on the island of Cuba. Weiner placed emphasis on Kennedy being the one to limit the use of the U2 that fall due to losing another U2 over China, fear of another Gary Powers scenario, greater impulse to carry out covert actions to eliminate Castro. Kennedy admits complete failure on his tapes declassified much later than Andrew s publication.

-Range of the missiles could reach all of the US major cities except Seattle.

-Stevenson s ability to woo the UN with intelligence not as strong with a prior failure in phony intelligence (paralleled Colin Powell of more recent times).

-COL Penkovsky given credit for the importance of his spying in helping ID the trafficking of missiles to cuba, as well as the type, and transport means.

-The Kremlin communiques not seen as important as in Andrews accounts.

-the Blockade, and the forwarning of the Cuban missile crisis as an event that would occur all attributed strongly to John McCone. Kennedy portrayed as a non-event maker in any of this policy, McCone displayed as the real decision point maker based on declassified information.

Weiner s account plays strongly on recently declassified information. This use of information makes for a very different account compared to Andrew s research nearly a decade prior. This serves as an example of how the public may not always have all of the facts when analyzing major events like the Cuban missile crisis there is often classified information that will tip the argument or perspective greatly in these instances. While McCone s involvement is greater than history had given him credit, Weiner seems to exploit this situation to further an argument that Kennedy really did not influence the outcome of the crisis as much as history portrayed for some time. Furthermore, Weiner has established a trend at the end of almost every anecdotal description of covert failure to tie it to another 9/11 like paradigm. This convenient technique is usually called coincidental correlation while he has good points, tying every failure of the US IC s history to that of 9/11 is dangerous and demonstrates a slanted agenda; this technique usually sets off warning bells in my gut as I read further. I really do appreciate Weiner s application of declassified information; however, there are many covert operations and strategic endeavors that the US IC and Presidential office have pursued that are success stories.

Sorry for so much info, but I figure too much is better than not enough.