links to the speech:http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Archives/Reference+Desk/Speeches/JFK/003POF03NewspaperPublishers04271961.htm
The President and the Press: Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association
President John F. Kennedy Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
New York City, April 27, 1961
Copyright: Public domainListen to this speech
You may remember that in 1851 the New York Herald Tribune under the sponsorship and publishing of Horace Greeley, employed as its London correspondent an obscure journalist by the name of Karl Marx.
We are told that foreign correspondent Marx, stone broke, and with a family ill and undernourished, constantly appealed to Greeley and managing editor Charles Dana for an increase in his munificent salary of $5 per installment, a salary which he and Engels ungratefully labeled as the "lousiest petty bourgeois cheating."
But when all his financial appeals were refused, Marx looked around for other means of livelihood and fame, eventually terminating his relationship with the Tribune and devoting his talents full time to the cause that would bequeath the world the seeds of Leninism, Stalinism, revolution and the cold war.
If only this capitalistic New York newspaper had treated him more kindly; if only Marx had remained a foreign correspondent, history might have been different. And I hope all publishers will bear this lesson in mind the next time they receive a poverty-stricken appeal for a small increase in the expense account from an obscure newspaper man.
I want to talk about our common responsibilities in the face of a common danger. The events of recent weeks may have helped to illuminate that challenge for some; but the dimensions of its threat have loomed large on the horizon for many years.
Whatever our hopes may be for the future--for reducing this threat or living with it--there is no escaping either the gravity or the totality of its challenge to our survival and to our security--a challenge that confronts us in unaccustomed ways in every sphere of human activity.
This deadly challenge imposes upon our society two requirements of direct concern both to the press and to the President--two requirements that may seem almost contradictory in tone, but which must be reconciled and fulfilled if we are to meet this national peril. I refer, first, to the need for a far greater public information; and, second, to the need for far greater official secrecy.
The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings."The events of recent weeks" :http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/JFK+in+History/JFK+and+the+Bay+of+Pigs.htmOn April 17, 1961, 1400 Cuban exiles launched what became a botched invasion at the Bay of Pigs on the south coast of Cuba.
Shortly after his inauguration, in February of 1961
, Kennedy authorized the Cuban invasion plans on the condition that US support be sufficiently disguised. As a result of this decision, the landing point for the invasion was moved to the Bay of Pigs, an obscure area on the southern coast of Cuba, more than 80 miles from possible refuge in Cuba's Escambray mountains
What Went Wrong
The first major error occurred on April 15, 1961
, when eight B-26 bombers left Nicaragua to bomb Cuban airfields. The operation failed to destroy the entire arsenal of planes, leaving most of Castro's air force intact. The CIA had used obsolete World War II B-26 bombers, and painted them to look like Cuban air force planes. As news broke of the attack and American complicity became apparent after photos of the repainted planes became public, President Kennedy cancelled the second air strike.
On April 17, the Cuban-exile invasion force, or Brigade 2506, landed at beaches along the Bay of Pigs and immediately came under heavy fire. The planes left unharmed in the earlier air attack strafed the invaders, sank two escort ships, and destroyed half of the exile's air support. Bad weather hampered the ground force, which had to work with soggy equipment and low stores of ammunition.
During the next 24 hours, Castro had 20,000 troops advancing on the beach and the Cuban Air Force continued to control the skies. As the situation grew increasingly grim, President Kennedy authorized an “air-umbrella” at dawn on April 19, which called for six unmarked American fighter planes to help defend the Brigade's B-26 aircraft flying from Nicaragua
. But the B-26s arrived an hour late (most likely due to time zone confusion) and were shot down by the Cubans. The invasion was crushed later that day. Some exiles escaped to the sea, while the rest were killed or rounded up and imprisoned by Castro’s forces. Almost 1200 Brigade members had surrendered and more than 100 had been killed.