Mimi Alford certainly has cause to regret her handling by President Kennedy. But while fornicating with the U.S. President in the White House and while publicly fellating the U.S. President’s friends in the White House swimming pool, this teen-ager was never deceived by the President who remains the most popular in modern U.S. history.
And Mrs Alford admits as much. “It’s hard to say that it felt really good to be considered special — but it did,” she tells an interviewer. “I was 19 years old. He was just magnetic.”
Many widows living in south Florida feel differently about Kennedy’s magnetism. You’ll often find these ladies, with itchy noses and red-rimmed eyes, ambling amidst the long rows of white crosses at the Cuban Memorial in Miami. It’s a mini-Arlington, in honor of Castro’s murder victims and those who fell trying to free Cuba from the Stalinism he imposed with his Soviet overlords while the “Leader of the Free World” seemed oddly distracted.
But the tombs are symbolic. Most of the bodies still lie in mass graves dug by bulldozers on the orders of Ted Turner’s fishing buddy, Jimmy Carter and George Mc Govern’s “old friend,” and Barbara Walter’s and Diane Sawyer’s cuddle-bunny. Never heard of this Cuban Memorial in the mainstream media? Well, it honors the tens of thousands of Fidel Castro’s and Che Guevara’s victims. Need I say more about the media blackout?…didn’t think so.
Some of these ladies will be kneeling, others walking slowly, looking for a name. You remember a similar scene from the opening frames of Saving Private Ryan. Many clutch rosaries. Many of the ladies will be pressing their faces into the breast of a relative who drove them there, a relative who wraps his arms around her spastically heaving shoulders.
Try as he might not to cry himself, he usually finds that the sobs wracking his mother, grandmother, sister or aunt are contagious. Yet he’s often too young to remember the face of his martyred uncle or cousin – the name they just recognized on the white cross.
“Killed in Action, Bay of Pigs April 18th 1961.”
Another woman will go home after placing flowers under her father’s cross – a father she never knew. “Killed in action, Bay of Pigs, April 18th, 1961” also reads his cross. She was two at the time.
“Where are the PLANES?” her father’s commander yelled into his radio from the blood-soaked beachhead. “Send planes or we can’t last!” he yelled while Soviet Howitzers decimated his horribly outnumbered men, Soviet tanks closed-in, and his casualties piled up.
Meanwhile, “The Leader of the Free World” seemed oddly distracted. “
We must support anti-Castro fighters,” these ladies had heard (candidate) Kennedy implore short months earlier during his debates with Richard Nixon. “So far these freedom fighters have received no help from our government,” (candidate) Kennedy complained.
Short weeks before the debates, CIA chief Allen Dulles (on Ike’s orders) had briefed Kennedy about Cuban invasion plans. And since the plans were secret, Kennedy knew Nixon couldn’t rebut. And indeed, Vice President Nixon (the invasion’s main booster, in fact) bit his tongue. He could easily have stomped Kennedy on it. But to some candidates, national security trumps debating points.
“We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty!” these ladies heard from Kennedy mere minutes after he was elected “Leader of the Free World.”
Four months later, 1,500 of those very Cuban freedom-fighters that “we must support” were slugging it out 90 miles from U.S. shores against 31,000 Soviet-armed troops, squadrons of Stalin tanks and Castro’s entire air force. The beachhead is now known as the Bay of Pigs.
“We will NOT be evacuated!” yelled the commander of these ladies’ dads and husbands into his radio. “We came here to fight!” He was responding to the enraged and heartsick CIA man who – upon realizing the magnitude of the betrayal from “The Leader of the Free World.’–was offering to evacuate the Cuban freedom-fighters from the doomed beachhead.
“We don’t want evacuation!” roared San Roman back into his radio. “Send planes! Send ammo! We came here to FIGHT!”
The pleas made it to Navy Chief Admiral Arleigh Burke in Washington, D.C., who conveyed them in person to his commander-in-chief.
“Two planes, Mr. President!” Admiral Burke sputtered into his commander-in-chief’s face. The fighting admiral was livid, pleading for permission to allow just two of his jets to blaze off a U.S. carrier just offshore from the beachhead and support the desperately embattled freedom-fighters.
“Burke, we can’t get involved in this,” replied Kennedy, who’d just emerged in a white tux from an elegant ball where he’d twirled a smiling Jackie around the dance floor to the coos, claps and twitters of the enchanted crowd.
“WE put those Cuban boys there, Mr. President!” the fighting admiral exploded. “By God, we ARE involved!”‘ But Admiral Burke could not budge The Leader of the Free World from betraying his pledge to the freedom-fighters desperately battling Soviet Imperialism 90 miles from U.S. shores.
The freedom-fighters were expending their last bullets as Lynch again offered to evacuate them. But San Roman again responded: “No!–This ends here!”, his response was barely audible over the deafening blasts from the storm of Soviet artillery.
“Can’t continue,” crackled the final message from San Roman a day later. For three days his force of mostly volunteer civilians had battled savagely against a Soviet-trained-and-led force 10 times theirs’ size, inflicting casualties of 20 to 1. To this day their feat of arms amazes professional military men. “They fought magnificently–and they were NOT defeated!” stressed their trainer Marine Col. Jack Hawkins, a multi-decorated veteran of Bataan, Iwo Jima and Inchon. “They simply ran out of ammunition after being abandoned by their sponsor the U.S. Government.”
Morale will do that to a fighting force. And there’s no morale booster like watching Soviet proxies Fidel Castro and Che Guevara ravage your homeland and families, believe me.
Ammo finally ran out. “Russian tanks overrunning my position,” reported San Roman on his radio… “destroying my equipment.” Finally the radio went dead.
“Tears filled my eyes,” writes CIA man Grayston Lynch, a multi-decorated WWII and Korea vet who trained and befriended the Cuban freedom-fighters–and took their final message. “I broke down completely,” writes the Silver Star-winner who carried scars from Omaha Beach, Bastogne and Korea’s Heartbreak Ridge. “For the first time in my 37 years I was ashamed of my country.”
If, instead of the above, it requires Mimi Alford’s tabloid-gossip for some to finally feel ashamed of their nation’s “leader” of the time… well, better (half-a-century) late than never.