Is Operation Northwoods a hoax? [No, but it's not an "Operation" Either]

Paul Edward

New Member
This is my first time posting here and I'm not sure if this is a valid topic.

My question is about Operation Northwoods. As you know, 9/11 conspiracy people love to tout this as an indication that the US Government would be prepared to kill its own people for the sake of a strategic objective.

The only evidence I've seen presented of this planned operation is a document on a ".edu" server. If this document was genuine it should also be on a ".gov" server, shouldn't. I've never found such a version. Is this evidence the document is bogus or is there any other evidence to prove it's real
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
To restrict search to .gov, add "site:.gov" to your search, eg:

https://www.google.com/search?q=operation+northwoods+site:.gov
Metabunk 2018-02-20 09-57-18.jpg

Operation Northwoods wasn’t really an operation, it was a document. A 1962 report, a few pages long, suggesting a number of possible “false flag” operations that might be carried out in order to justify a US invasion of Cuba.

The two important things to remember about Northwoods are:

1) It was a series of preliminary proposals that never got even got to the initial planning stages.
2) In none of the incidents were American citizens intended to be hurt or killed. Although there was the potential for Cuban nationals to be harmed, and of course any invasion of Cuba would likely cost hundreds or thousands of lives.
 

Paul Edward

New Member
Thanks Mick. I understand it was rejected out of hand by the Kennedy administration. Is there documentary evidence for that?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks Mick. I understand it was rejected out of hand by the Kennedy administration. Is there documentary evidence for that?
Not that I know of. However obviously the US never did invade Cuba, nor were there any reports of anything like this being attributed to Cuba.

And six months later they had all the provocation they needed when Cuba allowed Russian nuclear missiles to be installed and aimed at the East Coast. Northwoods instantly became rather a moot point after that.
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
Also, this is "false flag" in the historical military meaning, not the meaning conspiracy theorists use today. It simply means one country's unit displaying the flag, insignia, or uniform of a different country's military while engaging in military actions. There's a few "cheat codes" in the rules, neither the restrictions nor the protections apply to intelligence operations, for example.

The term does not automatically mean they were going to commit civilian atrocities, domestic or otherwise.
 

SR1419

Senior Member.
the US never did invade Cuba
Don't you mean never did invade Cuba...again? the Bay of Pigs invasion? That was in April of 1961- maybe ONW doc is in response to that failure?

 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Don't you mean never did invade Cuba...again? the Bay of Pigs invasion? That was in April of 1961- maybe ONW doc is in response to that failure?
Northwoods was part of Mongoose, "The Cuban Project", which was a response to the Bay of Pigs.

There's a section on this in the upcoming book "Escaping The Rabbit Hole" :)

 

Tobes

Member
Forgive me if I'm changing the subject, but I think the fact that it never got off the ground kind of proves that the government is not capable to doing what the 9.11 or Sandy Hook truther crowd thinks it could do or that it's above doing such a thing.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I don't think it proves it 100%, but it does give an indication of where the limits are. There's certainly some things on the list that are plausible - like staging fake attacks on Guantanamo bay, which could just be some smoke grenades. But they didn't even do that.

I think it's a valuable piece of perspective to discussing with conspiracist friends. I write in ETRH (draft):
 

MikeG

Senior Member.
I don't think it proves it 100%, but it does give an indication of where the limits are. There's certainly some things on the list that are plausible - like staging fake attacks on Guantanamo bay, which could just be some smoke grenades. But they didn't even do that.

I think it's a valuable piece of perspective to discussing with conspiracist friends. I write in ETRH (draft):
Very well said.

Policy makers constantly evaluate risk. It is a shame that CT proponents resort to tropes about "Psychopaths" in positions of power.
Psychopaths in Power.png
http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/psychopaths-in-power/

Dane Wigington obviously isn't the only promoter of the idea, but he came to mind first.
 

Nada Truther

Active Member
I don't think it proves it 100%, but it does give an indication of where the limits are. There's certainly some things on the list that are plausible - like staging fake attacks on Guantanamo bay, which could just be some smoke grenades. But they didn't even do that.

I think it's a valuable piece of perspective to discussing with conspiracist friends. I write in ETRH (draft):
This has been my argument all along.... No matter what little shred of "evidence" you have, there is no way that this would have been pulled off so well, if it was planned. Something would be found, someone would talk, someone would grow a conscience, someone would slip up, someone would go "exclusive" on the news.... I think the argument stating "what is to gain?" would result in many CTers responding that Bush and crew are "too dumb to think risk vs. reward. He just saw an opportunity to gain something, and has no morals or care for human life, so... DO IT". That is the only way that a person would think that the risk is not greater than the reward. Of course, if Bush and crew were that dumb, then how did they pull this off without a trace for so long?

Answer...They didn't. It was 19 terrorists and their crew.
 

Jedo

Member
However obviously the US never did invade Cuba
Don't you mean never did invade Cuba...again?
Also remember the previous U.S. invasions in Cuba, during:
  1. the Spanish-American war, resulting in the First Occupation of Cuba, 1898–1902,
  2. the Second Occupation of Cuba, 1906 – 1909,
  3. the (so-called) Negro Rebellion, 1912
  4. the Sugar Intervention, 1917, and
  5. finally the Bay of Pigs invasion, 1961, as @SR1419 mentioned before.
So the question is rather: Don't you mean the U.S. never did invade Cuba…time and again? ;)

This historical context is interesting as the Northwoods memo explicitly mentions as third point in the Annex To Appendix to Enclosure A:

The sinking of the USS Maine was the pretext for the Spanish-American war. "Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain" was the propaganda slogan in order to agitate public opinion towards war in the yellow press, lead by such publisher as Pulitzer and Hearst. Here a newspaper front page:



Oddly enough, the President, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Republican party, which held majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, were at first all against a war with Spain, which is, at least to me, a quite remarkable counter example to the common imperialism theories, where business is assumed as the main driving force for imperialistic wars.
 

Jedo

Member
I don't think it proves it 100%, but it does give an indication of where the limits are. There's certainly some things on the list that are plausible - like staging fake attacks on Guantanamo bay, which could just be some smoke grenades. But they didn't even do that.

I think it's a valuable piece of perspective to discussing with conspiracist friends. I write in ETRH (draft):
I like the conclusions you draw from the non-implementation of operation Northwoods. These kind of considerations are quite important, and a powerful argument against crackpot conspiracy theories.

However, it is not clear that the risk consideration, or opposition to use means that reject certain norms, was the deciding motive here. There is not much direct information available when and how the document was furnished either to the Secretary of Defense, McNamara, or President Kennedy, and what their reactions were.

General Landsdale, who was responsible for the Mongoose operation, had taken notes of a meeting with the President, 16 March 1962, in a memo. Here we find some evidence that Gen. Lemnitzer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, mentioned the plans developed in the Northwoods document, to the President, and we get some indication for why it was turned down:

Source: Mary Ferrell Foundation (pages 21-24)
So it seems President Kennedy opposed the end, not the means. He rejected the proposal because he did not want a direct military invasion of Cuba the top military brass was so keen on. So it seems quite likely to me that Operation Northwoods was never presented in detail to the President, but just abandoned as it became clear that the Kennedy administration was not intending to invade Cuba at all.

At least there is no evidence or indication that the proposal was turned down because of risk-reward evaluations or because of a general rejection of using means as such proposed to achieve the desired ends.

------
Landsdale memo, Meeting with the President, 16 March, 1962.
img_236_21_300.png img_236_22_300.png img_236_23_300.png img_236_24_300.png
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
So it seems President Kennedy opposed the end, not the means. He rejected the proposal because he did not want a direct military invasion of Cuba the top military brass was so keen on.
I agree, which is was referring to by "even a successful payoff carried risks of its own." There's risks in carrying out a false flag operation to get a pretext to invade Cuba, but there's also risks in invading Cuba even when you have a valid looking pretext.

A big takeaway from any detailed study of things like Northwoods or Tonkin is that there are a range of opinions. Not everyone is of the same opinions, so it's plausible that some elements might try to push certain things to overcome internal resistance. McNamara withheld or delayed information about Tonkin.
 
Forgive me if I'm changing the subject, but I think the fact that it never got off the ground kind of proves that the government is not capable to doing what the 9.11 or Sandy Hook truther crowd thinks it could do or that it's above doing such a thing.
It certainly proves, to some extent, that the elected officials are unwilling to conduct False Flag ops domestically that would incur loss of American lives.
 
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