FW: Operation "Northwoods"; deja vu all over again?

Craven, Jim jcraven at clark.edu
Wed Jul 9 11:51:56 MDT 2003

 From: "Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security
 Agency, From the Cold War Through the Dawn of a New Century" by James
 Bamford, Doubleday, N.Y., 2001

 "According to secret and long-hidden documents obtained for "Body of
 Secrets", the Joint chiefs of Staff drew up and approved plans for
 what may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. Government.
 In the name of anticommunism, they proposed launching a secret and
 bloody war of terrorism against their own country in order to trick
 the American public into supporting an ill-conceived war they intended
 to launch against Cuba.

 Codenamed Operation Northwoods, the plan, which had the written
 approval of the Chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of
 Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for
 boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk in the high seas; for
 a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami
 and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not
 commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it
 would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the
 excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed
 to launch their war.

 ...One idea seriously considered involved the launch of John Glenn,
 the first American to orbit the earth. On February 20, 1962, Glenn was
 to lift off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on his historic journey. The
 flight was to carry the banner of America's virtues of truth, freedom
 and democracy into orbit over the planet. But Lemnitzer and his Chiefs
 had a different idea. They proposed to Lansdale that, should the
 rocket explode and kill Glenn, 'the objective is to provide
 irrevocable proof that...the fault lies with the Communists et al Cuba
 [sic]'. This would be accomplished, Lemnitzer continued, 'by
 manufacturing various pieces of evidence which would prove electronic
 interference on the part of the Cubans.' Thus, as NASA prepared to
 send the first American into space, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were
 preparing to use John Glenn's possible death as a pretext to launch a

 ...Among the actions recommended was 'a series of well coordinated
 incidents to take place in and around' the U.S. Navy base at
 Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This included dressing 'friendly' Cubans in
 Cuban military uniforms and then have them 'start riots near the main
 gate of the base. Others would pretend to be saboteurs inside the
 base. Ammunition would be blown up, fires started, aircraft sabotaged,
 mortars fired at the base with damage to installations.' [Note same
 M.O. as nazis who used concentration camp inmates in polish uniforms
 to create a fake attack against a German radio station on the Polish
 border to 'justify' German attack of Poland in 1939].

 The suggested operations grew progressively more outrageous. Another
 called for an action similar to the infamous incident in February 1898
 when a explosion aboard the battleship Maine in Havana harbor killed
 266 U.S. sailors. Although the exact cause of the explosion remained
 undetermined, it sparked the Spanish-American War with Cuba. Incited
 by the deadly blast, more than a million men volunteered for duty.
 Lemnitzer and his generals came up with a similar plan. 'We could blow
 up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba', they proposed;
 'casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of
 national indignation.

 There seemed to be no limit to their fanaticism: 'We could develop a
 Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida
 cities and even in Washington', they wrote. 'The terror campaign could
 be pointed at Cuban refugees seeking haven in the United States...We
 could sink a boatload of Cubans en route to Florida (real or
 simulated)...We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in
 the United States even to the extent of wounding in instances to be
 widely publicized.'

 Bombings were proposed, false arrests, hijackings:

 *	'Exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spots, the arrest
 of Cuban agents and the release of prepared documents substantiating
 Cuban involvement also would be helpful in projecting the idea of an
 irresponsible government.' '
 *	Advantage can be taken of the sensitivity of the Dominican
 [Republic] Air force to intrusions into their national airspace. Cuban
 B-26 or C-46 type aircraft could make cane-burning raids at night. Soviet
 Bloc incendiaries could be found. This could be coupled with 'Cuban'
 messages to the Communist underground in the Dominican Republic and
 'Cuban' shipments of arms which would be found, or intercepted, on the
 beach. Use of MiG type aircraft by U.S. pilots could provide additional

 *	Hijacking attempts against civil and air surface craft could appear
 to continue as harassing measures condoned by the Government of Cuba.

 Among the most elaborate schemes was to 'create an incident which will
 demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot
 down a chartered civil airliner en route from the United States to
 Jamaica, Guatamala, Panama or Venezuela. The destination would be
 chosen only to cause the flight plan route to cross Cuba. The
 passengers could be a group of college students off on a holiday or
 any grouping of persons with a common interest to support chartering a
 non-scheduled flight.'

 Lemnitzer and the Joint Chiefs worked out a complex deception:

 An aircraft at Elgin AFB would be painted and numbered as an exact
 duplicate for a civil registered aircraft belonging to a CIA
 proprietary organization in the Miami area. At a designated time the
 duplicate would be substituted for the actual civil aircraft and would
 be loaded with selected passengers, all boarded under carefully
 prepared aliases. The actual registered aircraft would be converted to
 a drone [a remotely controlled unmanned aircraft]. Take off times of
 the drone aircraft and the actual aircraft will be scheduled to allow
 a rendezvous south of Florida.

 From the rendezvous point the passenger-carrying aircraft will descend
 to minimum altitude and go directly to an auxiliary field at Elgin AFB
 where arrangements will be made to evacuate the passengers and return
 the aircraft to its original status. The drone aircraft meanwhile will
 continue to fly the filed flight plan. When over Cuba the drone will
 be transmitting on the international distress frequency a 'May Day'
 message stating he is under attack by Cuban MiG aircraft. The
 transmission will be interrupted by destruction of the aircraft, which
 will be triggered, which will be triggered by radio signal. This will
 allow ICAO [International Civil Aviation Organization] radio stations
 in the Western Hemisphere to tell the U.S. what has happened to the
 aircraft instead of the U.S. trying to 'sell' the incident.

 Finally, there was a plan to ' make it appear that Communist Cuban
 MiGs have destroyed a USAF aircraft over international waters in an
 unprovoked attack.' It was a particularly believable operation given
 the decade of shootdowns that had just taken place."

 pp. 82-86

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