John Alexander McCone (January 4, 1902 – February 14, 1991) was an American businessman and politician who served as Director of Central Intelligence from 1961 to 1965, during the height of the Cold War.
1 Background 2 Atomic Energy Commission 3 Director of Central Intelligence 4 Other 5 Death 6 In fiction 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 External links
John A. McCone was born in San Francisco, California, on January 4,
1902. His father ran iron foundries across California, a business
started in Nevada in 1860 by McCone's grandfather. He graduated from
University of California, Berkeley
In the Dominican Republic, the CIA had armed an assassination plot to take out President Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina. After the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy wanted the project stopped because it was too soon for another debacle. The problem is that once you encourage and arm a group of highly motivated locals, you can't just turn them off. Trujillo's enemies gunned him down dramatically, though technically speaking without U.S. help. In Laos, the CIA backed the Hmong (then known by the derogatory name Meo) people of the highlands to fight a counterinsurgency. This set off a complicated three-way civil war that hit the Hmong hard. In Ecuador, the CIA helped overthrow President José Velasco Ibarra. His replacement didn't last long before the CIA turned on him, looking for greater stability and allegiance. In British Guiana, the CIA stirred up trouble through the labor unions to take down the democratically elected Cheddi Jagan. In Cuba, there was Mongoose, a secret campaign against Castro.
Mccone was also involved in the 1964 Brazilian coup d'état;[citation
needed] he was friends with ITT president
Dear Mr. President: I remain concerned, as I have said before to you, Secretary Rusk and Secretary McNamara, over the limited scale of air action against North Vietnam which we envision for the next few months. Specifically I feel that we must conduct our bombing attacks in a manner that will begin to hurt North Vietnam badly enough to cause the Hanoi regime to seek a political way out through negotiation rather than expose their economy to increasingly serious levels of destruction. By limiting our attacks to targets like bridges, military installations and lines of communication, in effect we signal to the Communists that our determination to win is significantly modified by our fear of widening the war. ... If this situation develops and lasts several months or more, I feel world opinion will turn against us, Communist propaganda will become increasingly effective, and indeed domestic support of our policy may erode. I therefore urge that as we deploy additional troops, which I believe necessary, we concurrently hit the north harder and inflict greater damage. In my opinion, we should strike their petroleum supplies, electric power installations, and air defense installations (including the SAM sites which are now being built). ... I am not talking about bombing centers of population or killing innocent people, though there will of course be some casualties. I am proposing to "tighten the tourniquet" on North Vietnam so as to make the Communists pause to weigh the losses they are taking against their prospects for gains. We should make it hard for the Viet Cong to win in the south and simultaneously hard for Hanoi to endure our attacks in the north. I believe this course of action holds out the greatest promise we can hope for in our effort to attain our ultimate objective of finding a political solution to the Vietnam problem. — John A. McCone, Director of Central Intelligence, (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Vol. XXXII. Top Secret)
Other Throughout his career, McCone served on numerous commissions that made recommendations on issues as diverse as civilian applications of military technology and the Watts riots. In 1987, McCone was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan. Death John A. McCone died on February 14, 1991, of cardiac arrest at his home in Pebble Beach, California. He was 89 years old. In fiction McCone was portrayed by Peter White in the 2000 docudrama about the Cuban Missile Crisis, Thirteen Days and by actor Matt Craven in the 2011 film X-Men: First Class. An unnamed fictionalized version of McCone also appears in the 2004 video game Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. See also
^ a b c Glenn Fowler (February 16, 1991). "John A. McCone, Head of
C.I.A. In Cuban Missile Crisis, Dies at 89". New York Times.
^ "DCI John McCone Creates the Directorate of Science and
^ a b c Burn Before Reading, Stansfield Turner, 2005, Hyperion,
chapter on JFK
^ Halberstam, David (1972). The Best and the Brightest. Random House.
p. 153. ISBN 0394461630.
^ Seymour Hersh, The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and
American Foreign Policy, Random House, 1991, 72-73, 105, 120.
^ Excerpted from Gus Russo, Live by the Sword (Baltimore: Bancroft,
1998), pp. 31- 36., from David A. Reitzes jfk-online.com
^ "Adept New C.I.A. Chief. John Alex McCone". New York Times.
September 28, 1961.
John A. McCone And Mrs. Pigott Marry in Seattle; Director of C.I.A.
Weds University Regent at Sacred Heart Villa". New York Times. August
^ a b David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest, page 152
^ Stansfield Turner, Burn Before Reading: Presidents, CIA Directors,
and Secret Intelligence, 2005, Chapter Four, "John F. Kennedy, Dulles
and McCone: Scandal and Confusion on the New Frontier"
^ "McCone Awarded Hoover Medal". New York Times. December 4,
^ Seymour Hersh, 151.
^ McCone, John (1965). "FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES,
1964–1968, VOLUME II, VIETNAM, JANUARY–JUNE 1965; 234. Letter From
Director of Central Intelligence
McCartney, Laton (1988). Friends in High Places: The Bechtel Story, The Most Secret Corporation and How It Engineered the World. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-47415-4. OCLC 17300223. Andrew, Christopher (1995). For the president's eyes only: secret intelligence and the American presidency from Washington to Bush. New York: Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-06-017037-9. OCLC 31377151. Chapters 7–8, and pp. 321–322. Constructing Cassandra : the Social Construction of Strategic Surprise at the Central Intelligence Agency, 1947- 2001 https://catalogue.kent.ac.uk/Record/764718 Laqueur, Walter (1985). World of Secrets. London: Wiedenfield and Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-78745-4.
Annotated Bibliography for
John A. McCone from the Alsos Digital
Library for Nuclear Issues
Papers of John A. McCone,
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Arthur S. Barrows
Preceded by Lewis Strauss Chair of the Atomic Energy Commission 1958–1961 Succeeded by Glenn T. Seaborg
Preceded by Allen Dulles Director of Central Intelligence 1961–1965 Succeeded by William Raborn
v t e
David E. Lilienthal
v t e
Directors of Central Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency
Souers Vandenberg Hillenkoetter Smith Dulles McCone Raborn Helms Schlesinger Colby Bush Turner Casey Webster Gates Woolsey Deutch Tenet Goss
Central Intelligence Agency
Goss Hayden Panetta Petraeus Brennan Pompeo
WorldCat Identities VIAF: 2348081 LCCN: nr94003670 GND: 1068648988 SN