Operation Northwoods

Date: 
Tuesday, March 13, 1962
Country: 
United States

On this day, the Joint Chiefs of Staff formally submitted to Defense Department Secretary McNamara a series of recommendations to create the conditions necessary to justify a U.S. invasion of Cuba. "Operation Northwoods", as it was termed, outlined suggested clandestine actions, ranging from "harassment" in order to provoke the Cuban military to fire upon Americans . . . to "coordinated incidents" in the form of staged attacks by actors on the Guantanamo naval base. "A 'Remember the Maine' incident could be arranged", the Joint Chiefs postulated. "We could blow up a US ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba." More ominously, they went so far as to suggest fabricating "a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington . . . We could sink a boatload of Cubans enroute to Florida (real or simulated) . . . . Exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spots . . ." This was what the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff was willing to do in the early 1960s: direct a terrorist campaign against Americans and Cubans, while blaming the Cubans government. For more info and to see the full document http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20010430/