When the former US President left the room, Marine Corps Commandant General David Shoup said that ‘Kennedy was doing things ‘piecemeal’ and needed a talking to’.
From 1962 onwards, the year it took place, Kennedy had a high tech recording device put into the Oval Office and the Cabinet Room of the White House, in which he recorded a total of 248 hours of meetings and 17 hours of phone conversations, plus his own private reflections until he was shot dead in November 1963, the Daily Mail reports.
According to the paper, the recordings show Kennedy agonising over the situation he was in when Russia deployed nuclear missiles in Cuba.
“We do nothing, they have a missile base there with all the pressure that brings to bear on the United States and damage to our prestige.If we attack Cuban missiles or Cuba … we would be regarded as the trigger-happy Americans who lost Berlin. We would have no support among our allies,” Kennedy had said.
“Which leaves me only one alternative, which is to fire nuclear weapons – which is a hell of an alternative – and begin a nuclear exchange, with all this happening,” he had added. Air Force chief of staff General Curtis LeMay then famously told him, “You’re in a pretty bad fix, Mr President.”
But the tapes reveal that after Kennedy and Defence Secretary Robert McNamara went out the room, General Shoup launched into his own tirade, without realising the tape was still running. ”You pulled the rug right out from under him,” he then told LeMay
“I agree with that answer, General, I just agree with you, I just agree with you a hundred percent. Somebody’s got to keep him from doing the goddamn thing piecemeal. That’s our problem. Go in there and frig around with the missiles. You’re screwed. You go in there and frig around with anything else, you’re screwed,” Shoup had added.
The Cuban missile crisis was a 13-day confrontation between the Soviet Union and Cuba on one side and the United States on the other, which occurred in October 1962, during the Cold War.