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Operation Northwoods


Guest Stephen Turner
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Guest Stephen Turner

As most Forum members will be aware the document "Operation Northwoods" talks in detail about performing terrorist acts for which Castro could be blamed, thus leading to an American invasion of Cuba. RFK, finally brings this madness to an end on Feb 26th 1962, when he tells Gen Lansdale (Operation Mongoose) to drop all plans against Castro.This represented a humiliating defeat for Lansdale, a man not use to humiliation. Now if JFK's assassination had originally been planned to link the assassin to Castro, thereby legitimising retribution via an invasion,is it possible, given the same expected outcome, that the people responsible for northwoods were, at least at the planning stage,responsible for JFK's murder?

Some names linked to northwoods, Joint Chief Lemnitzer, a rabid anti-communist, who was furious with JFK over the BOP fiasco. Brigadier General William H Craig, Lennitzer's right hand man. General Maxwell Taylor, ( yes him again) Asst sec of defence, Paul H Nitze,and of course, Gen Lansdale.

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Guest Stephen Turner

Here's some information on Northwoods, for anyone not familiar with it.

" The BOP broke the dyke, President Kennedy was pilloried by the super patriots as a no win chief" (Leaked report)

Operation Northwoods, which had the written approval of every member of the Joint Chief's of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets, Boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk, a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington DC, Miami, and elsewhere. People to be framed for bombings they did not commit, and Aircraft they did not hijack, using phoney evidence the blame would be layed at Castro's door, Hey-presto, Lansdale, lemnitzer, the Joint chiefs, and United Fruit Co get their invasion.

Edited by Stephen Turner
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Guest Stephen Turner

Hmm interesting lack of interest, has this been covered on another thread? if so someone please point it out to me and i'll stop wasting my time.

It seems to me "Northwoods" is put together by a group of ideologically driven men, men who would go to any lengths to finish Castro,Including the multiple murder of fellow citizens. If they took Kennedys rebuff of their plans badly(And they did) Maybe the same men put together another plan, one which gains them revenge on JFK, and, by a happy coinsidence if all goes well, gives them another reason to push for invasion of cuba. Steve.

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Stephen,

Northwoods was nothing new in the history of statecraft. Nero fiddled while Rome burned, and his Castro was the Christians or the Senate (I forget which). The Nazis had the Reichstag Fire, and their Castro was the Communists. The U.S. had 9/11, and the MIC's Castro was and still is a man in a mythical cave. Northwoods was tried and true practice applied to a particular situation. And I believe you're correct that when it wasn't approved, those who had put the plan together simply shifted targets, from ordinary people to one vexing individual, and went ahead with it.

Ron

Edited by Ron Ecker
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Stephen,

Northwoods was nothing new in the history of statecraft. Nero fiddled while Rome burned, and his Castro was the Christians or the Senate (I forget which).  The Nazis had the Reichstag Fire, and their Castro was the Communists. The U.S. had 9/11, and the MIC's Castro was and still is a man in a mythical cave. Northwoods was tried and true practice applied to a particular situation. And I believe you're correct that when it wasn't approved, those who had put the plan together simply shifted targets, from ordinary people to one vexing individual, and went ahead with it.

Ron

I believe there was a large turnover of the JCS between the BOP and the assassination. How many of the men who signed off on Northwoods were even in the government when Kennedy was killed? While I think Northwoods is important in establishing that a simulated assassination attempt on Kennedy is something the JCS would undoubtedly have contemplated, I don't think it can be used to show that these same men used these tactics to actually kill Kennedy. If you read the Northwoods documents, you'll find that they are mostly bloodless, in that almost all the plans call for faking the deaths of people and blaming Castro, and not actually killing people. The documents are incredibly damaging, in that they reveal an utter lack of conscience by the American military when it comes to deceiving the American people and the world as to the actuall causes of war, but they are not the blueprint of an assassination of an American president.

Of course, this raises the possibility of a scenario whereby there was supposed to be a simulated assassination ATTEMPT, but that someone in the system turned it around. This may have been what Phillips alluded to towards the end.

Edited by Pat Speer
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. Now if JFK's assassination had originally been planned to link the assassin to Castro, thereby legitimising retribution via an invasion,is it possible, given the same expected outcome, that the people responsible for northwoods were, at least at the planning stage,responsible for JFK's murder?

_______________________

I think this is at the root of what happened, (along with all the LBJ stuff). Vietnam and Cuba and JFK's peace plans for both are at the heart of his murder by those who did not desire such a resolution, IMO. Then to pin the murder on Castro was perfect. I do not believe for one second that LBJ actually ever meant the words that JFK was trying to get Castro but Castro got him first. I believe this was said for the tapes. For the cover-up.

Dawn

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Stephen,

Northwoods was nothing new in the history of statecraft. Nero fiddled while Rome burned, and his Castro was the Christians or the Senate (I forget which).  The Nazis had the Reichstag Fire, and their Castro was the Communists. The U.S. had 9/11, and the MIC's Castro was and still is a man in a mythical cave. Northwoods was tried and true practice applied to a particular situation. And I believe you're correct that when it wasn't approved, those who had put the plan together simply shifted targets, from ordinary people to one vexing individual, and went ahead with it.

Ron

If memory serves - and it doesn't always do so, I should stress - there was a plan contiguous with BoP discussions to have US troops at Gitmo dress as Cuban military regulars and launch a mock attack against Gitmo.  The desired outcome was to create a pretext for US military retaliation against Castro for this unprovoked attack on US military in Cuba.  [The equally specious "incident" at the Gulf of Tonkin, one recalls, was subsequently fabricated for precisely the same purpose, and worked on all in the US House and Senate but two lonely, stalwart members who refused to be swept away by the jingoist response.]

The same, as I recall, was planned [and I think was used] in Panama in order to justify US military intervention against Noriega.

Ron's right: there's nothing new under the sun.

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I believe there was a large turnover of the JCS between the BOP and the assassination.  How many of the men who signed off on Northwoods were even in the government when Kennedy was killed?

Pat,

I haven't checked on the individuals, but the only change I'm aware of was in the chairmanship, with Lemnitzer replaced by Taylor. I believe Shoup was there since 1960, and of course we know about Curtis LeMay.

If you read the Northwoods documents, you'll find that they are mostly bloodless, in that almost all the plans call for faking the deaths of people and blaming Castro, and not actually killing people.

"We could blow up a US ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba."

Would the ship just be sitting there, unmanned and unmaintained? No U.S. sailors on board to be killed or maimed?

"We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington."

Just blowing up some empty buildings, I assume.

"We could sink a boatload of Cubans enroute to Florida (real or simulated)."

In other words, we can drown them or not. What difference does it make?

Ron

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Stephen,

Northwoods was nothing new in the history of statecraft. Nero fiddled while Rome burned, and his Castro was the Christians or the Senate (I forget which).  The Nazis had the Reichstag Fire, and their Castro was the Communists. The U.S. had 9/11, and the MIC's Castro was and still is a man in a mythical cave. Northwoods was tried and true practice applied to a particular situation. And I believe you're correct that when it wasn't approved, those who had put the plan together simply shifted targets, from ordinary people to one vexing individual, and went ahead with it.

Ron

I believe there was a large turnover of the JCS between the BOP and the assassination. How many of the men who signed off on Northwoods were even in the government when Kennedy was killed? While I think Northwoods is important in establishing that a simulated assassination attempt on Kennedy is something the JCS would undoubtedly have contemplated, I don't think it can be used to show that these same men used these tactics to actually kill Kennedy. If you read the Northwoods documents, you'll find that they are mostly bloodless, in that almost all the plans call for faking the deaths of people and blaming Castro, and not actually killing people. The documents are incredibly damaging, in that they reveal an utter lack of conscience by the American military when it comes to deceiving the American people and the world as to the actuall causes of war, but they are not the blueprint of an assassination of an American president.

Of course, this raises the possibility of a scenario whereby there was supposed to be a simulated assassination ATTEMPT, but that someone in the system turned it around. This may have been what Phillips alluded to towards the end.

Pat,

This would be what John Tower told Gary Wean ? (not sure if I've got his name right). The theory that the conspirators made a very late change unbeknown to the lower level operatives appeals to me. Tactically it's shrewd because it leaves all the lower level operatives regarding each other with suspicion. Suddenly they're bound by fear--and silence.

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I think that one thing that argues against a planned attempt at assassination, instead of assassination, is the stripping of security (elimination of all motorcycles in front and to the sides of the limo, and filling the open space with nothing). If it was just going to be an attempt, it would be done against normal security. Otherwise what in the hell would they tell JFK afterwards? Hell, he had to be wondering what was going on before he heard the first shot. "Why am I a sitting duck this trip?"

Ron

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"We could blow up a US ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba."

Would the ship just be sitting there, unmanned and unmaintained? No U.S. sailors on board to be killed or maimed?

"We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington."

Just blowing up some empty buildings, I assume.

"We could sink a boatload of Cubans enroute to Florida (real or simulated)."

In other words, we can drown them or not. What difference does it make?

Ron

I agree that the plots were very cold, but I took from the simulated airline crashes proposed, and the details worked out on how to fake such crashes, that there was to be no loss of American life. If a few Cubans drowned that was their problem, and ultimately Castro's responsibility. After all, we were the state sponsoring terrorism at the time so why be hypocrites about it?

You may be right about the JCS. I recall reading that JFK forced many of his Missile Crisis adversaries out over the next year, but I can't recall exactlly who. If someone could post a list of JCS in 61 and compare it to one from 63 it would prove helpful. I'll see if I can find them when I have more time.

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I think that one thing that argues against a planned attempt at assassination, instead of assassination, is the stripping of security (elimination of all motorcycles in front and to the sides of the limo, and filling the open space with nothing). If it was just going to be an attempt, it would be done against normal security. Otherwise what in the hell would they tell JFK afterwards? Hell, he had to be wondering what was going on before he heard the first shot. "Why am I a sitting duck this trip?"

Ron

Ron,

Couldn't the withdrawal of normal security be part of the last minute change of plan ? It was LBJ and his men who made last minute changes at Love Field, including moving the press truck to the back of the motorcade instead of in front of JFK's limo. No need to tell people unconnected with the ultimate purpose (Ruby, LHO etc) about these late changes. I agree that JFK, unless he was totally preoccupied, must have been alarmed at riding around Dallas naked as a baby(security wise). He obviously had faith in the SS. It was Dillon's responsibilty after all, so no need to worry. :ph34r:

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I think that one thing that argues against a planned attempt at assassination, instead of assassination, is the stripping of security (elimination of all motorcycles in front and to the sides of the limo, and filling the open space with nothing). If it was just going to be an attempt, it would be done against normal security. Otherwise what in the hell would they tell JFK afterwards? Hell, he had to be wondering what was going on before he heard the first shot. "Why am I a sitting duck this trip?"

Ron

Ron,

Couldn't the withdrawal of normal security be part of the last minute change of plan ? It was LBJ and his men who made last minute changes at Love Field, including moving the press truck to the back of the motorcade instead of in front of JFK's limo. No need to tell people unconnected with the ultimate purpose (Ruby, LHO etc) about these late changes. I agree that JFK, unless he was totally preoccupied, must have been alarmed at riding around Dallas naked as a baby(security wise). He obviously had faith in the SS. It was Dillon's responsibilty after all, so no need to worry. :ph34r:

Hi guys,

I am far from an expert regarding Presidential security during motorcades, but the Dallas detail didn't seem to be any less than what happened in Tampa only a few days before. Obviously Dallas was scrutinized intensely because that is where the shooting took place.

The B/W image below is from Tampa and show no police motorcycles nearby and JFK right out in the open. The color image is from Seattle and again, no close by police motorcycles. People are even watching from open windows and balconies above the motorcade.

FWIW.

James

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Great photos as always from James, and they certainly make the point.

I have a photo I am unable to post of JFK and Sen. Smathers in an open convertible in Miami on Monday, November 18, 1963. The car is being swarmed by enthusiatic supporters. No sign whatsoever of security. Wish I could post it. It is a great shot.

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