Operation Northwoods: Fake terrorism as a pretext for war

Operation Northwoods: Fake terrorism as a pretext for war

It was called Operation Northwoods and it is no conspiracy theory. In order to justify a military attack on Fidel Castro in 1962, the highest military officials under John F. Kennedy considered generating fake terrorism in the United States and abroad as a pretext for war with Cuba as a part of “Operation Mongoose.”

The Top Secret plan was endorsed by all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and offered various scenarios that would build public support for a war against the Communist regime.  Forty years later, the report was finally declassified. The sickening suggestions included “the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities,” as reported at ABC News in 2001.

“We could blow up a US ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba,” the report suggests in Appendix A. “Casualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.”

While ABC clearly took major leaps in labeling the act as a right wing plot, all of the Joint Chiefs signed off on the Operation, and submitted it to Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, who served under both John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

It would not be a stretch to consider that Robert Kennedy Jr. was keen on the idea.

“As attorney general, Bobby Kennedy’s focus was supposed to be legal issues,” as revealed in a report by historian Mark J. White posted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “But ever since the Bay of Pigs debacle in April 1961, JFK had brought him into discussions on foreign policy. Robert Kennedy went on to play a key role in Operation Mongoose, the program approved by the president in November 1961 to use covert pressure to topple Fidel Castro.”

Consider this government report from 2011 titled, “History of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” which does not mention Operation Northwoods, but does go into some detail about Operation Mongoose:


What is known for sure is that all of the Joint Chiefs at the time approved this plan and sent it to President John F. Kennedy, who struck it down. After JFK was assassinated, however, Lyndon B. Johnson led America to war with Vietnam, based on an alleged attack on U.S. warships in the Gulf of Tonkin. The controversy over whether that attack actually occurred has always been a source of heated debate.  In 2003, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara discusses the attack in the documentary, the Fog of War.

Watch his comments here:

When the United States federal government engages in such deception, it makes one question everything. Was Operation Northwoods unprecedented? The general rule of thumb for the federal government should be that if they cannot sell a military action to Americans, the military action should not take place.

Renee Nal

Renee Nal

Renee Nal is a co-founder of TavernKeepers.com, a news and political commentary site founded by former Glenn Beck interns. She is also the National Conservative Examiner. Renee is an associate producer for Trevor Loudon's political documentary, 'The Enemies Within.'


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