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Kennedy Spokesman: Anyone Who Attacks U.S. Will Be Destroyed

Oct. 21, 1961 - The U.S. is so strong and its power so well-deployed that an aggressor making a sneak nuclear attack would invite self-destruction, an Administration spokesman said today. Roswell Gilpatric (pictured between President Kennedy and Robert McNamara), Deputy Secretary of Defense, said the Government’s confidence in its ability to deter Communist action was based on an appreciation of the military power of each side. Mr. Gilpatric’s remarks were cleared at the highest level. “Their Iron Curtain is not so impenetrable as to force us to accept, at face value, the Kremlin boasts,” said Mr. Gilpatric. “The fact is that this nation has a nuclear retaliatory force of such lethal power that an enemy move which brought it into play would be an act of self-destruction on his part. The U.S. has today hundreds of manned intercontinental bombers capable of reaching the Soviet Union,” he said.


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