Timing is everything. When Admiral Arleigh A. Burke stated, "I don't think Russia will dare start a general nuclear war, because she would be destroyed," Dwight D. Eisenhower was still President. When this and other provocative quotes appeared in print around the world, however, John F. Kennedy was President and Commander-in-Chief, which put a new complexion on a single newspaper interview.
The facts are fairly simple. In January 1961, I was a reporter for several Greek newspapers and Athens correspondent for the North American Newspaper Alliance (NANA), and I had come to Washington to cover the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. During the days before and after the inauguration, I scheduled a series of interviews, including one with Admiral Burke, then the Chief of Naval Operations. 1