Last fall, before President Kennedy admitted the presence of Soviet offensive missiles in Cuba, Senator Kenneth Keating revealed that they were there. And Kennedy claimed they weren't.
Now the Cuban pot is starting to bubble again. Official American estimates place the number of Soviet troops on the island at 17,000. Senator Thurmond rather less calmly, maintains that there are really 30,000 to 40,000 of them.
According to the Administration, the troops currently have no "offensive capability" against the United States or Latin America. The Administration is probably right; surely it is in a position to know the truth. But any lack of confidence in these official reassurances, the slight suspicion that the bellicose Senators may be right once again, is the result of unreliable handling of the news during the first Cuban crisis.
Mr. Kennedy is sounding more and more like the little boy who, once too often, yelled "No wolf!"