White House situation room, 'nerve center' of bin Laden raid, turns 50Breaking News
The famed White House command center is 50 years old Friday.
President Obama marked the anniversary by speaking to situation room staff.
“It’s the President’s eyes and ears. Providing the latest information and alerts, it’s the nerve center for the USgovernment,” said Mr. Obama, in a statement.
The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba by a CIA-trained force of Cuban exiles in April 1961 was a flop, to put it mildly. Fidel Castro’s armed forces crushed the invaders within three days. It was a coup for him and a disastrous defeat for the US president of three months, John Kennedy.
According to historian Arthur Schlesinger, JFK figured that one reason the Bay of Pigs failed was that he got only secondhand updates on the situation. Mr. Schlesinger writes in his book “A Thousand Days” that Kennedy and national security adviser McGeorge Bundy wanted a place where they could get the same real-time info the Pentagon and the CIA got, and where the chief executive and his closest advisers could weigh this data in confidence and come to their own conclusions.
In retrospect, lack of timely updates may have played a minor role in the Bay of Pigs fiasco. But in the weeks between the Bay of Pigs and May 15, Kennedy’s naval aide Tazewell Shepard enlisted a bunch of Seabees and turned part of the West Wing basement “into a facility that some political scientists say changed the fundamental nature of the presidency,” writes Michael Bohn, a former situation room director, in his 2003 book “Nerve Center.”
comments powered by Disqus
- Trump Angled for Soviet Posting In the 1980s
- Places That Are Actually Worth Visiting
- JFK’s last birthday: Gifts, champagne and wandering hands on the presidential yacht
- Bozeman schools prefer kids in class on MLK Day
- Universities across the country are facing up to their past association with slavery
- Historian David Kaiser says the most exciting day of his life was JFK’s election
- Michael Bliss, Historian Who Dispelled Myths of Insulin’s Discovery, Dies at 76
- Jill Lepore: Americans Aren't Just Divided Politically, They're Divided Over History Too
- AHA joins protest of Trump’s plan for drastic cuts to the NEH
- Diane Ravitch says the Democrats paved the way for the education secretary's efforts to privatize our public schools