March 13, 1962: Just How Bizarre Could US Policy Get? (Operation Northwoods)

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A Brief History

On March 13, 1962, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Lyman Lemnitzer, proposed a “false flag” operation in Cuba where the US would conduct terrorist acts against our own installations at Guantanamo Bay! That the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff led by the senior military official in the nation would propose hijackings and bombings against US personnel and property is and should be shocking. President Kennedy fired Lemnitzer for making the proposal, so at least the President was thinking! (Of course, perhaps that decision got the president murdered. Any conspiracy theorists out there?

Digging Deeper

Lemnitzer was a West Point graduate and served on Eisenhower’s staff during World War II. During the Korean War he undertook parachute training and commanded a parachute (airborne) division. He became Chief of Staff of the US Army in 1957 and was appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in 1960. Kennedy denied Lemnitzer another stint as COJCOS but sent him to Europe as the Supreme Commander of NATO from 1962 to 1969, after which he retired. He remains the only officer to have served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of State and subsequently assigned another command.

Lyman L. Lemnitzer, who was in charge as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

The diabolical Operation Northwoods plan included such activities by CIA agents and other operatives as sinking ships and boats filled with Cuban refugees and blaming the sinkings on communist Cuba. Cuban emigres would be assassinated ostensibly by the Castro regime of Cuba, and as with all these nefarious activities, false evidence would be planted to implicate the communists. The plans included hijacking passenger planes, sinking a US Navy ship, and various “terrorist acts” in the United States itself! (Remember, these are American military officers planning this stuff!!!)

(Note: On August 31, we ran an article 10 Examples of False Flag Attacks that you may find interesting and see how Operation Northwoods fits into this type of national deception.)

Luckily for the American citizens and other innocent people that may have been killed or injured had Operation Northwoods been accepted and implemented, the plan never was adopted. Revelations about CIA and other covert operations of dubious moral legitimacy makes one wonder just how many other crack pot schemes the US either pulled off or considered. Any time we get to feeling smug about moral superiority, we learn about something like Operation Northwoods! If we are the “good guys,” just how diabolical are the false flag operations of the Russians and Chinese??? (We guess, pretty diabolical!)

Do you think President Trump or another US President would have authorized Operation Northwoods? Should President Kennedy have given the OK? What do you think about US involvement in such operations? Do you have any interesting stories or theories about false flag US operations? If any of the preceding applies, please share your thoughts with us.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Operation Northwoods: A Lesson in Terror: Sometimes terror is closer than you think. Amazon Digital Services, 2016.

Palacek and Healy. Operation Northwoods: … the patsy. CWG Press, 2015.


About Author

Major Dan

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.