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When U.S. Joint Chiefs Planned Terror Attacks
By Edward Spannaus
|According to documents that were
intended to have been destroyed almost 40 years ago, top levels of the
U.S. military proposed carrying out acts of terrorism against the United
States in the early 1960s, in order to drag the
United States into a war against Cuba.These documents take on added
significance in light of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center
and Pentagon, which were clearly intended, among other things, to drag the
United States into a "Clash of Civilizations" war in the Middle
East. As Lyndon LaRouche has stressed, the Sept. 11 attacks could not have
been carried out without complicity from rogue elements in
military/security circles inside the United States.
The first comprehensive published account of the 1962 documents, is
contained in James Bamford's book on the National Security Agency, Body of
Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency, released in
late Spring of this year. Bamford concluded that the Joint Chiefs of Staff
"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."
Bamford's account is based on documents which were ordered declassified by
the Assassination Records Review Board, and subsequently released by the
National Archives within the past few years. EIR has obtained the relevant
documents and has independently reviewed them, and we can confirm that
there is no exaggeration in Bamford's description of these documents as
containing proposals for U.S. military agencies to carry out terrorist
actions against the United States and attacks on U.S. military facilities.
The time period in question, Winter-Spring of 1962, is bounded by the
CIA's failed Bay of Pigs invasion of April 1961—an operation which had
been set into motion under the previous Eisenhower Administration—and
the Cuba Missile Crisis of October 1962.
The terrorism plan was called "Operation Northwoods," and it was
drawn up after President John F. Kennedy had shifted responsibility for
dealing with Cuba, in late 1961, from the CIA to the Department of Defense
(DOD), in the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs. The overall Pentagon project
was known as "Operation Mongoose," and was the responsibility of
Edward Lansdale (a CIA man who was Deputy Director of the Pentagon's
Office of Special Operations at the time), and the Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff (JSC), Gen. Lyman Lemnitzer, a holdover from the
The military planners led by Lemnitzer wanted to launch a full-scale
invasion of Cuba to overthrow Castro—and perhaps, as well, they were
anxious to show that they could succeed where the CIA had failed.
Lemnitzer and others were also extremely distrustful of the new
administration—especially after the Bay of Pigs, in which there were
allegations that President Kennedy had refused to provide air support at
the last minute (although it has since been documented that this was not
Kennedy's decision). The top military brass were accusing the Kennedy
Administration of "going soft" on Castro, and their plans for a
"pretext" operation to justify an attack on Cuba must be seen in
Pretexts for Military Invasion
The planning culminated in a series of memoranda and recommendations which
were addressed in their final form by Lemnitzer to Secretary of Defense
Robert McNamara, on March 13, 1962—although it is not certain McNamara
ever received them. (Last April, the Baltimore Sun quoted McNamara saying,
"I never heard of it. I can't believe the Chiefs were talking about
or engaged in what I would call CIA-type operations.")
Lemnitzer's covering memorandum states that the Joint Chiefs of Staff
"have considered" an attached memorandum, which is a
"description of pretexts which would provide justification for
military intervention in Cuba." He says that he assumed "that a
single agency will be given primary responsibility for developing military
and para-military aspects of the basis plan," and he recommends that
this responsibility be assigned to the Joint Chiefs.
The attached memorandum, entitled "Justification for U.S. Military
Intervention in Cuba," says that it is assumed that a political
decision for a U.S. military intervention "will result from a period
of heightened U.S.-Cuban tensions which place the United States in the
position of suffering justifiable grievances." World opinion and the
United Nations "should be favorably affected by developing the image
of the Cuban government as rash and irresponsible, and as an alarming and
unpredictable threat to the peace of the Western Hemisphere."
The proposed pretext actions should take place within the next few months,
while it is still likely that the Soviet Union would not intervene, the
memorandum declares, noting that there is "as of yet no bilateral
mutual support agreement binding the U.S.S.R. to the defense of
Cuba," that Cuba is not yet a member of the Warsaw Pact, and that the
Soviets have not yet established major bases in Cuba. What then follows,
is a series of proposals for actions which would be used to provide the
justification for U.S. military intervention.
`Blow Up A Ship ...'
The first proposal is for "a series of well-coordinated
incidents" to take place in and around the U.S. Navy base at
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; these were to include having friendly Cubans dress
in Cuban military uniforms to start riots at the base, blow up ammunition
inside the base, to start fires, to burn aircraft on the air base, to
sabotage a ship in the harbor, and to sink a ship near the harbor
That was just the start. The next proposal elaborated: "A 'Remember
the Maine' incident could be arranged.... We could blow up a U.S. ship in
Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," or blow up a drone ship in Cuban
waters. The memorandum coldly predicted: "Casualty lists in U.S.
newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation."
The memorandum continues: "We could develop a Communist Cuba terror
campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in
Washington. 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 the lives of
Cuban refugees in the United States...."
"Exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spots, the arrests
of Cuban agents and the release of prepared documents also would be
Among other actions proposed were to use fake Soviet MiG aircraft to
harass civil aircraft, to attack surface shipping, and to destroy U.S.
military drone aircraft. "Hijacking attempts against civil air and
surface craft" were also suggested, and then—the most elaborated
plan of all—to simulate the shooting down of a chartered civil airliner
in Cuban airspace.
President Kennedy rejected the plan, and Lemnitzer directed that all the
pertinent documents be destroyed. Nevertheless, some of the documents did
survive, although hidden by heavy classification for decades.To the astute
reader, the potential parallels with recent events should be chilling.
(Source: Executive Intelligence Review, 12 October 2001) q
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