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Document Creation Date: 
November 16, 2016
Document Release Date: 
April 24, 2000
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Publication Date: 
October 26, 1964
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PDF icon CIA-RDP70-00058R000300030012-2.pdf115.01 KB
WASHINGTON POST AND TIMES HERALD Approved For Release 2000/05/23 : CIA-RDP70-000 OCT 2 6 1964 hese Days ft, nk Before Voting EVERY CITIZEN ought to go to the polls. But be- fore going, the voter ought to look carefully in the look- ing glass,and ponder the state of his own ignor- ance. T h i s might lead to less cock- sureness about certain Issites.,..A humble vote is apt to be sounder' than Qhaitiberlain a vote registered in arro- g;ance. These thoughts are. prompted by an article by Richard Nixon on "Cuba,. Castro and John F. Ken- nedy" that is scheduled for appearance in the forth- coming November issue of The Reader's Digest. Nixon, as he has been reminding Republican audiences in his whirlwind campaign on be- half of the Goldwater can- rlidacy, lost the 1960 election :,y the margin of a gnat's whisker. As he looks back an things in his article, he thinks lie was beaten when John F. Kennedy plastered him With a "soft on Castro" charge just prior to the fourth. and last TV debate between the candidates. There was a tremendous irony in this, for Nixon was powerless to combat the ab- solutely baseless charge for reasons that had to-do with the 'security of a top-secret CIA project for invading Cuba that had already been set In motion by the Eisen- hower Administration. NIXON ADMITS that the controlling elements inside' the Eisenhower Government had goofed in their original estimate of Castro's char- acter, although he himself hltd sent: a memorandum to By " John Chamberlain Allen Dulles, boss of the Central Intelligence Agent, concluding that--l astro is either incredibly naive about communism or is under Communist discipline." Re- gardless of the original mis- take, however, Eisenhower had decided by early 1960 that Castro was a Commu- nist agent. Says Nixon, "In a top-secret 'meeting . . . at which I was present, Eisen- hower authorized the CIA to organize and train Cuban exiles for the eventual pur- pose of freeing their home- land from Castro's Commu- nist rule." It .was ;just six months later that John F. Kennedy leveled an attack on Nixon for being a. member of a "soft-on-Castro" . Administra- tion. Said Kennedy, "We must attempt to strengthen the non-Batista, democratic, anti-Castro forces in exile and in Cuba itself who offer eventual hope of'overthrow- ing Castro. Thus far, these fighters for freedom have had virtually no support from our Government." . The Kennedy charge left Nixon in a "heads-he-wins, tails-I-lose" situation. If, in. the next TV debate, Nixon were to tell the American public about the existence of the program for prepar- ing the Cuban exiles for an invasion of their homeland, pointing out that he was one of its strongest advocates in- side the Administration, it "would pull the rug out from under Kennedy's posi- tion." "But," says Nixon, "if I did so, the project would be doomed, and also the lives of brave men, both in- side and outside of Cuba, who were receiving training and assistance." the air with what could easily be' twisted into a "soft-on- C. a s t r o" position. ' Kennedy proceeded'to reap the advantage, which was probably crucial In view of the fact that "a shift of less than one-half a vote a pre- cinct" would have made Nixon the winner a few days later. Nixon's 1960 agony recalls that of Thomas Dewey in 1044, when the ftepublienns knew practically all the de- tails about the surprise at Pearl Harbor yet were loath to put the issue into the campaign lest they reveal to the Japanese that the U.S. had broken a critical code. This columnist vividly re- calls riding in a car from Elmira to Geneva, N.Y., in August of 1945 with Dewey and listening to his rueful account of the decision to say nothing about Pearl Harbor. The' worst of it, from Dewey's standpoint, is that he had a suspicion that the Japanese had changed their codes long before 1944, ,which would , have' made campaign revelations about Pearl Harbor harmless to the U.S. from a military standpoint. WHEN I talked to Tom Dewey in 1945 he thought he might have been cheated out of a winning, issue in 1944. ! And today we .. have Nixon asking, "Now the question was, did John Ken- nedy know of (the CIA) project?" Well, what the voter doesn't know may be every- thing. Or it may be noth- ing.'But the voter who real- izes his possible ignorance will be a more careful man SO, FACING his own con- when he pulls that lever. science, Nixon had to go on ? 1964, King Features Syndicate, Inc.