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Steve Thomas

Strategy of tension

48 posts in this topic

Steve, I know I'm not going to make any friends with this but just as Northwoods was simply a contingency planning study by a staff group with no operational connections to anything. It was really just one more set of sensational plans that came of the Lansdale era psychological warfare approach and got no traction at all. Its very possible that something similar may have been generated in December of 1960 when President Eisenhower requested that the CIA give him some provocations that might be used immediately to kick off the Cuba project because it was falling way behind schedule. Northwoods is written about as if it were something very special while in reality its just one in a long line of psych warfare measures which were floated over time with almost all of them  going absolutely nowhere.

What I was trying to say in my post is that things like the provocation options called out in Northwoods are standard tactics - as much as we might dislike them - and have been in use for generations. As to the Gulf of Tonkin, we know so much more about that now - and studies have been made of the actual NSA intercepts and the cover up that Johnson and McNamara conducted that we know the second incident was a total mistake and Johnson just seized on the opportunity for political purposes. And then the cover up and reality alteration began, only confirmed decades later.

If you really start studying covert and deniable operations outside the JFK focus, you see these practices - deniable provocations, false flags and a host of others - as being tactics and tradecraft, used by many agencies and groups and by most major nations....the British were adept at them and so were the Russians (even before the Soviet Union). But the problem is that they are all designed to be deniable which means they look like something they are not...and if you read them into any particular real world incident its just speculation without some corroboration. 

The risk with the JFK assassination is that looking at fingerprints of intelligence is a lot like looking at motive...its almost always possible to find a motive (actually dozens in this case) and with any major historical incident you can find patterns that suggest various types of conspiracies including intelligence involvement. Your world view and political outlook tends to drive which  you pick - as we can see on this forum. Given that I am a CT and do see the involvement of intelligence officers and assets in the assassination I hope expressing these cautions will be taken as friendly input rather than debunking for the sake of being a devout skeptic (which I am, but not devout)

All of which is my irritating way of saying that that there is a real risk in approaching this case - and any major historical event - at the level Sanandria does rather than at the level a criminal investigator would. If you start at a very high level and with a pretty strong idea of what you are going to find, you are very likely to find traces of what you expected. Heaven only knows we see enough of that in political views these days.  

So now I'll go away and stop being annoying... 

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44 minutes ago, Larry Hancock said:

Steve, I know I'm not going to make any friends with this but just as Northwoods was simply a contingency planning study by a staff group with no operational connections to anything. It was really just one more set of sensational plans that came of the Lansdale era psychological warfare approach and got no traction at all. Its very possible that something similar may have been generated in December of 1960 when President Eisenhower requested that the CIA give him some provocations that might be used immediately to kick off the Cuba project because it was falling way behind schedule. Northwoods is written about as if it were something very special while in reality its just one in a long line of psych warfare measures which were floated over time with almost all of them  going absolutely nowhere.

What I was trying to say in my post is that things like the provocation options called out in Northwoods are standard tactics - as much as we might dislike them - and have been in use for generations. As to the Gulf of Tonkin, we know so much more about that now - and studies have been made of the actual NSA intercepts and the cover up that Johnson and McNamara conducted that we know the second incident was a total mistake and Johnson just seized on the opportunity for political purposes. And then the cover up and reality alteration began, only confirmed decades later.

If you really start studying covert and deniable operations outside the JFK focus, you see these practices - deniable provocations, false flags and a host of others - as being tactics and tradecraft, used by many agencies and groups and by most major nations....the British were adept at them and so were the Russians (even before the Soviet Union). But the problem is that they are all designed to be deniable which means they look like something they are not...and if you read them into any particular real world incident its just speculation without some corroboration. 

The risk with the JFK assassination is that looking at fingerprints of intelligence is a lot like looking at motive...its almost always possible to find a motive (actually dozens in this case) and with any major historical incident you can find patterns that suggest various types of conspiracies including intelligence involvement. Your world view and political outlook tends to drive which  you pick - as we can see on this forum. Given that I am a CT and do see the involvement of intelligence officers and assets in the assassination I hope expressing these cautions will be taken as friendly input rather than debunking for the sake of being a devout skeptic (which I am, but not devout)

All of which is my irritating way of saying that that there is a real risk in approaching this case - and any major historical event - at the level Sanandria does rather than at the level a criminal investigator would. If you start at a very high level and with a pretty strong idea of what you are going to find, you are very likely to find traces of what you expected. Heaven only knows we see enough of that in political views these days.  

So now I'll go away and stop being annoying... 

Larry,

 

I'm going to do something that I don't very often do.

I'm going to quote you in full, so that it gets repeated twice.

What you said is that important.

 

Steve Thomas

 

 

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49 minutes ago, Larry Hancock said:

Northwoods was simply a contingency planning study by a staff group with no operational connections to anything. It was really just one more set of sensational plans...

 

If you really start studying covert and deniable operations outside the JFK focus, you see these practices - deniable provocations, false flags and a host of others - as being tactics and tradecraft, used by many agencies and groups and by most major nations....the British were adept at them and so were the Russians (even before the Soviet Union). But the problem is that they are all designed to be deniable which means they look like something they are not...and if you read them into any particular real world incident its just speculation without some corroboration. 

 

So now I'll go away and stop being annoying... 

 

Larry,

 

I have sometimes thought that Northwoods was so over the top that it reads like satire sometimes.

 

"speculation without some corroboration."

 

Ah yes. The Holy Grail.  

 

The problem, as you well know, is that we are never going to find a set of written orders that say, "Go out and do this", (JFK's murder) and you can see later that it was done. 

Who was it that famously asked, "Who will remove this stone from my shoe"? I thought it was in relation to Sir Thomas More, but now I can't find that reference.

That's how I think Kennedy's assassination was finalized.

With a wink and a nod.

 

Vince Salandria challenged us to stop asking how Kennedy was assassinated, and start asking why.

 

I sent a text message to Jim DiEugenio congratulating him the other day. I had seen a youtube video of Jim. His premise was that JFK was killed because as far back as 1961 he was attempting to allow smaller countries like Algeria and the Congo to keep their own natural resources. I thought that Jim was right on the money.

 

From me: forget communism - that's just a means to an end. Fascism, communism - they're just tools.  It's really about the control of natural resources and raw materials, e.g. oil.

 

"So now I'll go away and stop being annoying... "

 

Don't.

 

Steve Thomas

 

don't stop being annoying, just...     hahaha 

 

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Posted (edited)

OK, so I won't ...grin.  Actually I suspect that there was a head nod, but in studying a number of very real CIA assassination operations, it didn't even have to be that definitive.  Eisenhower made a statement that Lemumba (sp) had to go and the CIA director took that to mean assassination.  It was so confusing that when the poison showed up in the Congo the station chief was totally befuddled, he had gotten a telegram about removal but he thought it meant political action.  I write about this at length in NEXUS in terms of how subtle things were in constant pursuit of deniability.   But its important to note that in operations we do know about such directions also occurred way down the CIA chain of command, far below the Director, Assistant Director, Directorate head etc....and when the instruction was delivered everyone assumed it was backed up all the way to the top because names were never mentioned and nothing ever appeared in writing. In NEXUS I speculate on where the talk occurred and how it flowed downhill, pretty specifically....and really all that had to be expressed was that there was a national security issue and something had to be done.  I will say though that in the assassination projects we know about, none of them were terribly complex, nothing more than described in Harvey's own notes on practices. 

Beyond that I have to say that Northwoods is not all that over the top, especially compared to other Lansdale era proposals like Celia Fantasma (sp?), the cigar stuff etc.  Eisenhower  clearly was talking about a pretext attack on Guantanamo or a Navy vessel back in 1960, with no limits set and a demand that it be quick and convincing.

I don't bean to sound blase about it but when you start looking at these sorts of practices, not just by the US but by Britain and especially Russia - especially Russia - its not long before nothing sounds over the top. 

 

Edited by Larry Hancock

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On 4/18/2017 at 6:39 AM, Steve Thomas said:

I can't believe this.

 

As far as this thread title goes,

Strategy is spelled strategy, not stragedy.

This isn't a Bee Gees song.

sheesh

 

Steve Thomas

 

 

It's a weal trategy, isn't it.

--  Tommy :sun

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This From Douglas Caddys recent post.

Oliver stone speaking to "The Strategy of Tension"

 

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A proposal presented to the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States of America to murder their own citizens to gin up a war is "...simply a contingency planning study by a staff group with no operational connections to anything. "

"Other than that, Mrs. Kennedy, how did you enjoy your visit to Texas?"

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If you take a close look at the actual document and proposal you will see it proposes simulations, mock attacks and a variety of dirty tricks to make it appear that Cuban forces had performed attacks however in no way does it call for actual assaults on US personnel either military or civilian - see the reference to mock bodies. And there were a host of different options in the proposals:  http://www.wanttoknow.info/010501operationnorthwoods

Beyond that I could show you many instances of similar studies and proposals including plans for provocation attacks in conjunction with the Cuba project - for example David Morales went to Guantanamo for discussions with Naval intelligence officers for their proposals for staging a variety of provocations which would trigger US military action. As I said earlier Ike ordered a provocation plan in Dec 1960, either he was ignored he there was a response we have never even seen.  I'm sure there were a number of similar proposals we don't know about because they were not documented as precisely as the staff studies in Northwoods.

I'm sorry that folks see Northwoods as so unique, its not, we just happened to have it as part of the JFK assassination inquiry...but then I knew my bringing it up would be annoying.

 

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Larry - It would be annoying if what you were saying was that there is no there there. Strategy of tension and operation Gladio are real enough. Are you saying we should not take seriously Lemnitzer's brain child? Or just saying it was and is business as usual?

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Business as usual Paul, I was trying to point out that everything from contingency planning (including provocations and false flag tension and destabilization programs) are very real practices and occur constantly.  And the US is not the only nation that practices them. All these things are quite serious and is important to know about them; however in my view just because they exist does not mean that they were associated with Dallas. On the other hand, we also know a great deal about assassination practices and in particular deniable practices - we have Harvey's exec action notes, we have examples of several CIA projects and for that matter a number of Russian deniable assassinations including some recent ones. The practices are laid out for us and pretty consistent.  And in the case of Dallas its possible to connect the dots showing that CIA folks and for that matter exiles involved in assassination projects were involved in the JFK assassination.  I know it sounds like I'm being repetitive but I fail to understand why when we have solid leads to people who were doing assassinations then and who considered JFK an imminent national security threat (the CIA types) and/or a traitor to their country (CIA assets and exiles) we continue to look further afield and wrestle around at the concept level when we already have well defined motives, people and timelines that connect everything together.  But that's just me.

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Posted (edited)

Larry - I know what you mean. And if I had read your earlier posts on this thread more carefully I wouldn't have worded my post the way I did. I think it's interesting that Steve started this thread, and a few days later Doug posted the interview with Oliver Stone which touches on the same subject. I watched the video that Michael posted here and on Doug's thread. It's tedious, but very interesting. I've read much of this before, but there are apparently new documents which lay out the connections between CIA and P-2. The theory that Garrison was pursuing is I think the same one you did, and not a distraction. After all, there is no denying Angleton's connections with Italian fascists, and likewise no getting around William Harvey as a prime suspect.

Edited by Paul Brancato

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Larry

Don't forget, one of the proposals was to blow up an airplane in which travelled astronaut John Glenn. No mention of mocks.

It was Eisenhower who set the tone for Operation Northwoods. He said he wanted to get rid of Castro but Castro hadn't given him a pretext for taking him out.

I believe the Kennedy assassination was Operation Northwoods. Kill an american president, blame it on Cuba, and then pulverize them. It would have worked but LBJ stopped it.

 

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Posted (edited)

George, actually the particular scenario you mention was based in the accidental explosion of a booster, in other words if Glen's launch did turn tragic then the scenario would have involved pointing figures and in that instance blaming the Russians since they had covert electronics ships stationed to monitor the flight. I don't find any of the Northwoods scenarios that involved American personnel intentionally causing injury or murder. Somebody correct me and give me a link if I'm wrong about that.

 My real point is that you don't need Northwoods to give you a conspiracy scenario; one of my purposes in researching and writing NEXUS was to look at real life CIA assassination projects and what their practices were. The common factor is that they either had to involve special poison and not be detected as murder or if they were more obvious...like a shooting...there had to be a patsy and the patsy would be linked to Communists and there would be a very  solid back story, with documents, photos, etc showing how the patsy had been connected.  All that was part of the operation and for that matter you can see it all in Harvey's notes on ZR/RIFLE.  We also have other assassination plots against Castro later in Latin America, apparently carried out as rogue actions by Phillips using Cuban exiles that were part of his own private network.  And they all involved sophisticated patsy linkages - they failed for various reasons.

So, as everyone knows my own assessment is that an operation very much like several that had been organized against Castro - at least one involving shooting him while he traveled in an open vehicle - was organized by the same people who had been working on such operations for over two years.  They didn't need any Joint Chief study, they were familiar with such practices and a couple of them them had been involved with writing manuals including assassination practices and  and training assassination teams as far back as 1954.

Edited by Larry Hancock

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Northwoods was a set of hypothetical planning scenarios only as they related to Cuba.

However, state-sponsored terrorist actions to sway public opinion was nothing new.

Remember the Maine! (cried the newspapers). (If you believe that the Spanish ship didn't blow up the ship).

(Which also happened to involve Cuba, but that's just a coincidence).


I think the assassination attempt against DeGaulle in August, 1962 and JFK's assassination in November, 1963 are related. Aside from trying to keep Algeria as one of France's Departments, talk of DeGaulle being a communist and French Intelligence being infiltrated by Communists was one of the major reasons behind the General's Putsch in April, 1961.

I think that the 1961 frustrations over the failed April, 1961 General's Putsch, the failed April, 1961 Bay of Pigs, and the failed April, 1961 coup in Laos boiled over and led to some serious planning for assassination as the only remedy left. With DeGaulle, there were attempts in 1961 and 1962. With Kennedy, it came in 1963.

 

Steve Thomas

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Posted (edited)

Larry

Some actions of Northwoods

Simulate attack on Guantanamo, by starting fires ( incendiary bombs ???), lobbing mortars, causing explosion of ammo storage sites - casualties among US personnel likely

Sink Cuban refugee boat, real or simulate

Plastic bombs in Miami, Wash DC - how can casualties among innocent Americans be avoided

If Kennedy had signed the document, he was on the hook. Once the document was signed, the joint chiefs of staff was blameless. You can bet they would have done anything, including blowing up Glenn's ship or cause massive casualties among innocent Americans to start a war with Cuba.Since Russia up the that point had not signed a treaty with Castro to protect the island from attack, the joint chiefs of staff said they only had a few months to employ Northwoods before the Russians and Cuba signed a treaty. 

Edited by George Sawtelle

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