General LeMay, who was a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was making reference to the fact that Soviet missile sites had been discovered by US photographic surveillance in Cuba just 90 miles off the coast of Florida.
JFK would have to select from a number of response proposals by the Executive Committee of the National Security Council. These responses included a complete air strike, a surgical or partial air strike and a naval quarantine or blockade of Cuba.
With the possibility that Soviet nuclear missiles could potentially hit directly any one of the 48 continental states, it would be safe to say that it wasn't just the President who found himself "in a pretty bad fix."**
*Curtis E. LeMay (1906-1990) was born in Columbus, Ohio & graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in civil engineering. He designed & implemented a systematic bombing campaign on Japan in WWII & after the war led the Berlin Airlift & reorganized the Strategic Air Command.
**The recordings of the meeting reflect a lesser degree of hostility in the remark than we had first thought from the transcript alone and the scene produced in the movie "13 Days". JFK's voice seems non- confrontational when he responds to LeMay's remark by saying..."Well, you're in there with me. Personally!"