Declassified CIA documents entitled Operation Northwoods were a planned series of terrorist attacks to be carried out by CIA operatives in various major US cities and military bases in 1962. It was designed to sway public support against the recently created communist regime in Cuba under Fidel Castro. The attacks included hijackings and bombings followed by the introduction of phony evidence that would implicate the Cuban government.
The amount of thought and planning for these attacks labeled as “real or simulated” is disturbing. The thought that we could be so blatantly lied to by our own government is even more unnerving.
Operation Northwoods, 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 on 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.
Continuous anti-Communist action, particularly against Cuba, by elements of the U.S. military and intelligence communities (Bay of Pigs Invasion and the Cuban Project) prompted President John F. Kennedy to control proactive, aggressive action against communist movements around the globe.
After the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy fired CIA director Allen W. Dulles, Deputy Director Charles P. Cabell, and Deputy Director Richard Bissell, and stripped the CIA of responsibility for paramilitary operations. The responsibility was given to the U.S. Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and therefore, more directly under his influence.
Kennedy was outraged about the CIA’s growing influence on civilians and government inside America, and his attempt to curtail the extensive Cold War and paramilitary operations was a direct expression of this concern. One year later he was assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. His alleged killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, was charged with the crime, but shot and killed two days later before a trial could take place.
What is truly terrifying about documents like these is the justification of senior intelligence and military personnel that for the greater good, they would willingly sacrifice portions of a civilian population so that the remainder could be deceived into entering yet another war. Who is to say that we have ever really progressed beyond this point? Could not another notable terrorist attack have been the work of our own government as justification to enter into the never-ending “War on Terror”?