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Humor left on the editing floor

June 4, 2016
Posted at 5:57 pm

Some actual things that happened, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the setting of "Tomorrow is another Day", are funny but didn't really lend themselves to much content in the story.

The CIA Director, John McCone, got married in mid-September 1962, at a time when the Soviets were beginning their buildup. McCone, although not an intelligence professional but a long-time government adviser, was one of the "Wise Men" of the conflict, consistently making accurate predictions.

He and his wife went off on a honeymoon in France, accompanied by a CIA communications team and presumably some security people. Nowhere have I seen a writeup of what the new bride thought of this entourage. The accounts do mention that they were traveling in France, not staying in one location, and I keep trying to picture a secret circus caravan.

Later, during the most tense parts of the crisis, a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft, flying out of Alaska, accidentally entered Siberia, and was desperately called back. President Kennedy observed "some son-of-a-bitch always fails to get the word." The Soviets could have misinterpreted that as the first move of an attack, but apparently they recognized that stupidity and incompetence are among the elemental forces of the universe.

Years later, when President Johnson, for reasons of making news deadlines, came on TV and announced the first airstrikes on North Viet Nam while they were still inbound, the Russian advisers heard through their intelligence channels, and tried to get the North Vietnamese to go to full air defense readiness. The North Vietnamese declined, saying the Americans couldn't possibly be that stupid.