PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY - MEMORANDUM SIGNED 07/10/1961 - HFSID 283817
Sale Price $4,462.50
JOHN F. KENNEDY
Signed memo as President to General Maxwell Taylor (July 10, 1961), concerning the search to replace CIA Director Allen Dulles in the wake of the Bay of Pigs fiasco
Memorandum signed: "JFK" as President, 1 page, 6¾x8¾. (Washington), 1961 July 10. Memorandum for General [Maxwell] Taylor, in full: "Would you talk to Allen Dulles about Fowler Hamilton and if he feels he is good would you ask Gilpatric, who comes from New York to check on him. If all of the reports come up good arrange for me to see him towards the end of the week." Pencil note in upper right, possibly in Taylor's hand: "Done. Reported orally 12 July". During the 1960 Presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy had attacked the Eisenhower administration and his opponent, Vice President Richard Nixon, for allowing the emergence of a communist regime in Cuba. Upon becoming President, JFK learned that plans for an invasion of Cuba by CIA-trained Cuban exiles were already underway. That operation, known as the Bay of Pigs invasion (April 17, 1961) was a dismal failure. Many Cuban exiles and CIA officers blamed Kennedy for the failure, because he had refused to sanction air support by US Air Force planes. Kennedy tasked retired General Maxwell Taylor, whose writings on defense policy had greatly influenced him, to head an inquiry. The Taylor report, completed in late June 1961, placed most of the blame on the Central Intelligence Agency for faulty intelligence estimates and inadequate preparations.Allen Dulles, Director of Central Intelligence since 1953 (and the brother of Eisenhower's Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, who had died in 1959) was obliged to resign, as did two key deputy directors involved in the operation. Roswell Gilpatric, who had served as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force under Ike, was Kennedy's new Deputy Secretary of Defense. Kennedy had great confidence in Gilpatric, as in Taylor, whose advisory position would be made official when Kennedy named him Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1962. Fowler Hamilton was not chosen to head the CIA; instead, he was made Director of the Agency for International Development (AID) in September. John McCone became Allen Dulles' replacement as DCI, serving until 1965. The surprise in this signed memo is that JFK still valued Dulles' advice on a successor; perhaps this was just a courtesy. Kennedy had lost confidence in Dulles - as had - according to recent accounts, President Eisenhower before him. Two filing holes at upper margin. Staple holes at upper left corner. Pencil note (unknown hand) at upper right margin. Otherwise, fine condition.
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