YOU CAN'T SIT BACK AND LET DEMOCRACY RUN ITSELF
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Fifty-six years ago today, January 28, 1961, President John F. Kennedy met with Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, CIA Director Allen Dulles*, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The meeting, coming just eight days after JFK was inaugurated, took place in the Cabinet Room in the West Wing of the White House. The subject of the day was Cuba.
Mr. Dulles reported that Cuba was a communist-controlled state which Fidel Castro was in the process of building up militarily. The CIA director also reported that there was increasing opposition to the Castro regime on the island and that his agency was in the process of giving military training to anti-Castro Cuban exiles.
As the meeting ended, it was agreed that the CIA would continue its activities in regard to Cuba while the Department of Defense would review proposals for the active deployment of anti-Castro Cuban forces in Cuban territory.
Allen W. Dulles remains to date the longest serving CIA director (1953-1961). The day after President Kennedy presented him with the National Security Medal, Mr. Dulles resigned as a result of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.
In 1938, Mr. Dulles said...
"Democracy only works if the so-called intelligent people make it work. You can't sit back and let democracy run itself."
John Schwarz of the Intercept describes the CIA Director as "the star of the Devil's Chessboard."**
*Allen Welsh Dulles (1893-1969) was born in Watertown, NY. His older brother, John Foster Dulles, was Ike's Secretary of State. His grandfather had been Secretary of State for Benjamin Harrison.
AD graduated from Princeton & became a diplomat. He was chief adviser to NY Governor Thomas E. Dewey in his 1948 presidential campaign against Harry Truman.
In 1953, Dulles was appointed by President Eisenhower as director of the CIA, a position he held until JFK forced his resignation after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. LBJ appointed Dulles to serve on the President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
**Schwarz description is based on the book by David Talbot titled "The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America's Secret Government."
"A New Biography Traces the Pathology of Allen Dulles and His Appalling Cabal," by John Schwarz, November 2, 2015, The Intercept, www.theintercept.com/
"White House Document (declassified)," issued by McGeorge Bundy, National Security Advisor.
JFK Awards Allen Dulles