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The Executive Committee of the National Security Council (commonly referred to as simply the Executive Committee or ExComm) was a body of United States
United States
government officials that convened to advise President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
during the Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
in 1962. It was composed of the regular members of the National Security Council, along with other men whose advice the President deemed useful during the crisis. EXCOMM
EXCOMM
was formally established by National Security Action Memorandum 196 on October 22, 1962. It was made up of twelve full members in addition to the president. Advisers frequently sat in on the meetings, which were held in the Cabinet Room of the White House's West Wing
West Wing
and secretly recorded by tape machines activated by Kennedy. None of the other committee members knew the meetings were being recorded, save for probably the president's brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.[1]

Contents

1 Declassifying the tapes 2 Decision-making 3 Membership

3.1 National Security Council 3.2 Other members 3.3 Advisers

4 References 5 External links

Declassifying the tapes[edit] The original tape recordings of EXCOMM's meetings are currently held at the John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
Presidential Library and Museum in Dorchester, Boston. Great strides have been made in declassifying and publishing the tapes.[2] Excerpts from the first meeting, which took place on October 16, 1962, document the reactions of the committee members upon initially hearing the news that medium and long-range ballistic missiles might be stationed in Cuba. In the summer of 1985, McGeorge Bundy, who served as EXCOMM's Special
Special
Assistant for National Security, transcribed the tapes from the October 27, 1962 meeting. James G. Blight, while Executive Director of the Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, edited and annotated Bundy's transcriptions. Authorities in Washington and at the library granted Bundy access to the tape recordings given his role with EXCOMM.[3] Bundy considered the October 27th meeting especially important, as it was the meeting which immediately preceded EXCOMM's resolution of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Bundy believed the tape recordings included important historical information that should be shared with the public; notably, how political decisions are carried out when involving matters pertaining to nuclear weaponry. In the mid-1990s, the audio tapes were systematically declassified (with a modest number of excisions) and released, first as published transcripts[4][5] and later as downloadable audio files. Decision-making[edit] The ExComm's deliberations are a favorite topic of social scientists. Irving Janis argued that they were relatively free of the "groupthink" that plagued discussions leading up to the Bay of Pigs. Allison and Zelikow make frequent reference to them in the second edition of Essence of Decision, in connection with the "bureaucratic politics" perspective.[6] One political theorist, James Blight, has analyzed the behavior of EXCOMM's members in the midst of the impending crisis with the Soviet Union. He suggests that the thought of war with the Soviet Union instilled a sense of fear in the committee members so that their deliberations became more productive as they reacted to this emotion.[7] Blight argues that EXCOMM's focus of attention shifted: as the possibility of war with the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
became more probable, the committee members became less concerned with removing the missiles from Cuba
Cuba
and instead focused their energy on avoiding a nuclear war. Sociologist David Gibson has explored the ExComm's deliberations from a discourse-analytic, or conversation-analytic, perspective. He argues that inasmuch as Kennedy's decisions were shaped by the ExComm's deliberations, they hinged on the group not talking about the dangers that awaited around every corner—such as the danger that the U.S. would have to bomb operational nuclear missiles were the blockade to fail to force Khrushchev to remove the missiles.[8] Membership[edit] National Security Council[edit]

John F. Kennedy, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Vice President Dean Rusk, Secretary of State C. Douglas Dillon, Secretary of the Treasury Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense Robert F. Kennedy, Attorney General McGeorge Bundy, National Security Advisor John McCone, Director of Central Intelligence General Maxwell D. Taylor, U.S. Army, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Other members[edit]

George Ball, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs Llewellyn Thompson, Ambassador to the Soviet Union Roswell Gilpatric, Deputy Secretary of Defense Dean Acheson, Former United States
United States
Secretary of State. Sent by President Kennedy to France
France
to garner support from Charles de Gaulle for the U.S. during the Cuban Missile Crisis

Advisers[edit] Central Intelligence Agency

Ray S. Cline, head of the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence Arthur Lundahl, Director of the National Photographic Interpretation Center

Department of Defense

Paul Nitze, Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs

Office of Emergency Planning

Edward A. McDermott, Director

Department of State

U. Alexis Johnson, Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Adlai Stevenson, Ambassador to the United Nations Edwin M. Martin, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs

Information Agency

Donald Wilson

White House

Kenneth O'Donnell, Special
Special
Assistant to the President David Powers, Special
Special
Assistant to the President Theodore Sorensen, Special
Special
Counsel to the President Bromley Smith, Executive Secretary of the National Security Council

References[edit]

^ Welch, David A., and James Blight. “The Eleventh Hour of the Cuban Missile Crisis: An Introduction to the ExComm Transcripts.” International Security 12.3 (1987-1988): 5-29. ^ McKeown, Timothy J. “The Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
and Politics as Usual.” The Journal of Politics 62.1 (2000): 70-87. ^ Welch, David A., and James Blight. 5-29. ^ May, Ernest R., and Philip D. Zelikow, Eds. (1997) The Kennedy Tapes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University
Harvard University
Press. ^ Zelikow, Philip D., and Ernest R. May, Eds. (2001) The Presidential Recordings: John F. Kennedy, The Great Crises. Vol. 2-3. New York: Norton. ^ Allison, Graham and Philip Zelikow (1999). Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis. New York: Addison Wesley Longman. ISBN 0321013492. ^ Blight, James. The Shattered Crystal Ball: Fear and Learning in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Savage, MD, Rowman & Littlefield, 1990. ^ Gibson, David R. (2012) Talk
Talk
at the Brink: Deliberation and Decision during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

External links[edit]

List of all NSC ExComm Meetings, 1962-1963

v t e

John F. Kennedy

35th President of the United States
United States
(1961–1963) U.S. Senator from Massachusetts (1953–1960) U.S. Representative for MA-11 (1947–1953)

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Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

Flexible response Kennedy Doctrine Peace Corps Trade Expansion Act USAID Vietnam War Cuba: Bay of Pigs Invasion Cuban Project Cuban Missile Crisis

ExComm

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A Nation of Immigrants
(1958)

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John F. Kennedy
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John F. Kennedy
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John F. Kennedy
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John F. Kennedy
Special
Special
Warfare Center and School (Fort Bragg, North Carolina) John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
University (California) John Kennedy College (Mauritius) Kennedy Expressway
Kennedy Expressway
(Chicago) MV John F. Kennedy USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) Yad Kennedy
Yad Kennedy
(Jerusalem)

Family

Jacqueline Bouvier (wife) Caroline Kennedy
Caroline Kennedy
(daughter) John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
Jr.

son plane crash

Patrick Bouvier Kennedy
Patrick Bouvier Kennedy
(son) Jack Schlossberg
Jack Schlossberg
(grandson) Rose Schlossberg
Rose Schlossberg
(granddaughter) Tatiana Schlossberg (granddaughter) Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.
Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.
(father) Rose Fitzgerald (mother) Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.
Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.
(brother) Rosemary Kennedy
Rosemary Kennedy
(sister) Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington
Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington
(sister) Eunice Kennedy Shriver
Eunice Kennedy Shriver
(sister) Patricia Kennedy Lawford
Patricia Kennedy Lawford
(sister) Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
(brother) Jean Kennedy Smith
Jean Kennedy Smith
(sister) Ted Kennedy
Ted Kennedy
(brother) P. J. Kennedy
P. J. Kennedy
(grandfather) John F. Fitzgerald
John F. Fitzgerald
(grandfather)

← Dwight D. Eisenhower Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson

Category

v t e

Robert F. Kennedy

November 20, 1925 – June 6, 1968

United States
United States
Senator from New York, 1965–1968 64th United States
United States
Attorney General, 1961–1964

Life

1948 Palestine visit Senate Committee investigation of Labor and Management Cuban Missile Crisis

ExComm

Civil rights

Freedom Riders Voter Education Project

Baldwin–Kennedy meeting 1964 Democratic National Convention Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation Mississippi Delta tour Kennedy Compound Hickory Hill home

Electoral

1964 U.S. Senate election 1968 presidential campaign

primaries Boiler Room Girls

Speeches

Law Day Address (1961) Day of Affirmation Address
Day of Affirmation Address
(1966) Conflict in Vietnam and at Home (1968) University of Kansas (1968) Ball State (1968) On the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. (1968) "On the Mindless Menace of Violence" (1968)

Books

The Enemy Within (1960) The Pursuit of Justice
The Pursuit of Justice
(1964) To Seek a Newer World (1967) Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
(1969)

Assassination

Sirhan Sirhan Ambassador Hotel Conspiracy theories Gravesite

Legacy and memorials

Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
Department of Justice Building Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
Center for Justice and Human Rights

Human Rights Award Journalism Award Book Award

Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
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Robert F. Kennedy
Community Schools Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
Bridge

Popular culture

Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment (1963 documentary) Robert Kennedy Remembered (1968 documentary) "Abraham, Martin and John" (1968 song) The Missiles of October
The Missiles of October
(1974 docudrama) Kennedy (1983 miniseries) Blood Feud (1983 film) Prince Jack
Prince Jack
(1985 film) Robert Kennedy and His Times
Robert Kennedy and His Times
(1985 miniseries) Hoover vs. The Kennedys (1987 miniseries) Thirteen Days (2000 film) RFK (2002 film) Bobby (2006 film) RFK Must Die (2007 documentary) The Kennedys (2011 miniseries) Ethel (2012 documentary) Jackie (2016 film)

Family, family tree

Ethel Skakel (wife) Kathleen Kennedy (daughter) Joseph P. Kennedy (son) Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
Jr. (son) David Kennedy (son) Courtney Kennedy (daughter) Michael Kennedy (son) Kerry Kennedy
Kerry Kennedy
(daughter) Chris Kennedy (son) Max Kennedy
Max Kennedy
(son) Doug Kennedy (son) Rory Kennedy
Rory Kennedy
(daughter) Joseph P. Kennedy III (grandson) Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.
Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.
(father) Rose Kennedy
Rose Kennedy
(mother) Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.
Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.
(brother) John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
(brother presidency) Rosemary Kennedy
Rosemary Kennedy
(sister) Kathleen Kennedy Cavendish (sister) Eunice Kennedy Shriver
Eunice Kennedy Shriver
(sister) Patricia Kennedy Lawford
Patricia Kennedy Lawford
(sister) Jean Kennedy Smith
Jean Kennedy Smith
(sister) Ted Kennedy
Ted Kennedy
(brother) Patrick J. Kennedy (grandfather) John F. Fitzgerald
John F. Fitzgerald
(

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