The year was nineteen-sixty-two. The President was John F. Kennedy. The Cuban missile crisis began on 15 October and continued on for thirteen days after an American U2 aircraft took photographs of missile sites under construction on the communist island of Cuba. The Soviet Union was about to place medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic nuclear missiles just ninety-four miles off the Florida Keys. It is generally regarded as the closest the world has ever come to total annihilation.
For thirteen tense days the world balanced on the apex of the knife. Fall to the left – we die. Fall to the right – we’re enslaved. President Kennedy didn’t flinch. Premier Khrushchev backed down and nuclear war was averted. But the strategy of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) was born.
Fast forward to January 9, 2013. Vice President Joe Biden bangs his shoe on the table and says: “The president is going to act … There are executive orders, there’s executive action that can be taken. We haven’t decided what that is yet. But we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action that we believe is required.”
The full version of this column is now only available in Doug Giles’ book, “Sandy Hook Massacre: When Seconds Count, The Police Are Minutes Away”.