Operation Northwoods: The Counterfeit

by Carol A. Valentine
Curator, Waco Holocaust Electronic Museum
http://www.Public-Action.com
Copyright, October, 2001
May be reproduced for non-commercial purposes.

Ref:  "Operation 911: NO SUICIDE PILOTS"
          http://www.Public-Action.com/911/robotplane.html

January 24, 2002 -- In "Operation 911: NO SUICIDE PILOTS" I referred to a plan allegedly hatched by Pentagon brass in the 1960s to commit terrorist acts and use them as a pretext for war with Cuba (see above URL).  The plan was called "Operation Northwoods."

Operation Northwoods was unknown to the American public until May, 2001, when details were released in James Bamford's new book, "Body of Secrets" (Doubleday).  Bamford summarizes:
. .. the plan, which had the written approval of the Chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere.  People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war.  (pg. 82).
The mainstream press gave the book, in particular its Operation Northwoods revelations, lots of publicity.  For example, ABCNews.com published a lengthy review with the author.

http://more.abcnews.go.com/sections/us/dailynews/jointchiefs_010501.html
or:
http://www.Public-Action.com/911/abcnorthwds

It seemed remarkable that ABC was willing to show the US military in such a bad light.  Surely the Waco Holocaust was a more contemporaneous US military scandal, yet ABC continues to cover it up.  I wondered at that.

The reviews were well in circulation, but still fresh when 9-11 hit.  In retrospect, Northwoods seemed like an eery premonition.  I thought the release of the Northwoods revelations were indeed a timely coincidence.  Because the Northwoods scenario seemed to fit the facts of 9-11, many writers cited  Bamford and Northwoods.  I was one of them.

But there is just one problem with Northwoods.  Operation Northwoods was not written by Americans.  Put in other words, Operation Northwoods documents were not written by the Pentagon.  They are counterfeits.

First, turn to pg. 85 of "Body of Secrets."   Bamford says: "Among the most elaborate schemes was to ..."

And then he quotes a Northwoods document directly:

... create an incident which will demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civil airliner en route from the United States to Jamaica, Guatemala, Panama or Venezuela.  The destination would be chosen only to cause the flight plan route to cross Cuba.  The passengers could be a group of college students off on a holiday or any grouping of persons with a common interest to support chartering a non-scheduled flight.

(You can download the Operation Northwoods documentation at the George Washington University's National Archive website. http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20010430/
or view it here: http://www.Public-Action.com/911/northwds.pdf .  Look at paragraph 8 in "Annex to Appendix To Enclosure A" to see the words quoted above.)

Study the last sentence in that quote.  "The passengers could be a group of college students off on a holiday ....."  See anything wrong with here?  Well, Americans don't use the expression "off on a holiday."  That is a British expression.  Americans say "on vacation."

Operation Northwoods was allegedly written in 1962.  I don't have a 1960s dictionary to hand, but I have a 1970s dictionary, the American Heritage New College Edition.  Of "holiday," it says: "Often plural. Chiefly British.  A period of time during which one is free from work; a vacation."

Whoever wrote and edited Operation Northwoods used British English.  Remember, Pentagon documents pass through a gauntlet of reviewers, each one examining and weighing the significance of the smallest comma, ironing out idiosyncrasies until the document resembles dull, gray, luke warm bath water.  The process is called "coordination."

Bamford said on p. 82:  " . .. the plan, which had the written approval of the Chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ... "  Half a dozen pairs of eyes, including "the Chairman and every  member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff" would have reviewed the Northwoods documents had they been produced by the Pentagon.  There is no way "off on a holiday" would have survived the first iteration had the writers and reviewers been American.

Nor is the phrase "grouping of persons" idiomatic American English. No, the documents were not generated by the bureaucrats at the Pentagon.  So who wrote Northwoods?  [See Endnote.]

What's a James Bamford?

It's hard to believe the author of a book on intelligence matters went past this obviously questionable documentation.  His alarm bells should have gone off.  Who is James Bamford?

According to the dustjacket, author James Bamford "was until recently Washington Investigative Producer for ABC's "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings."  Impressive!

The dustjacket describes the book as "A no-holds-barred examination of the National Security Agency--packed with startling secrets about its past, newsbreaking revelations about its present-day activities, and chilling predictions about its future power and reach ... The NSA is the largest, most secretive, and most powerful intelligence agency in the world ... it dwarfs the CIA in budget, manpower, and influence ... "

Nor is "Body of Secrets" Bamford's first expose on the NSA.  "James Bamford first penetrated the wall of silence surrounding the NSA in 1982, with the much talked about bestseller 'The Puzzle Palace.'   In 'Body of Secrets' he offers shocking new details about the inner workings of the agency, gathered through unique access to thousands of internal documents and interviews with current and former officials.  Unveiling extremely sensitive information for the first time ...." etc., etc.

Friends, what does all this mean?  If Bamford was truly revealing "shocking" secrets of America's most powerful intelligence agency, do you really believe current and former officials would be talking to him, and that he would be given "unique" access to internal NSA documents?  Of course not.

There's even a photo of the NSA building on the back cover.  The back dustjacket reads: "JACKET PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY."

Bamford is an NSA household pet, the designated unofficial "historian," and their PR flack.  Bamford tells us what his job is. He quotes NSA Director Michael Hayden: "The American people have to trust us [the NSA] and in order to trust us they have to know about us." (Unnumbered and untitled page at beginning of book.) That's Bamford's job: Telling the public exactly what the NSA bosses think the American public should know so the American public trusts the NSA.
Remember what the dustjacket says. "Body of Secrets" is supposed to be an expose of the NSA, right?  So instead of exposing an NSA outrage, the NSA errand boy exposes the Pentagon's.  So much for the "expose."  Bamford is getting the American public to trust the NSA by citing obviously faked documents.  So much for the "trust."

Do your own search on google for reviews of "Body of Secrets." If your results are like mine, you will find that the big news the reviewers featured was Northwoods.  It seems to have been Bamford's sexiest offering.

Whence Operation Northwoods?

ABCNews.com raised the question of how this fascinating Northwoods material came into Bamford's possession:

"Ironically, the documents came to light, says Bamford, in part because of the 1992 Oliver Stone film, 'JFK,' which examined the possibility of a conspiracy behind the assassination of President Kennedy.

"As public interest in the assassination swelled after 'JFK's' release, Congress passed a law designed to increase the public's access to government records related to the assassination.

"The author says a friend on the board [?] tipped him off to the documents.

"Afraid of a congressional investigation, Lemnitzer had ordered all Joint Chiefs documents related to the Bay of Pigs destroyed, says Bamford.  But somehow, these remained."

So it seems that the documents missed the shredder, were stored by mistake, and surfaced after Congress made more JFK assassination documents available, whereupon Bamford's friend tipped him off (above).  Whatever.  All very lucky for Bamford, but with all this luck playing into his hands, you'd think he'd read them more carefully and notice the writers used British English and not American English.  And you'd think his spook buddies at NSA would have noticed.  And his publishers at Doubleday.

More About Bamford

James Bamford tells us more about himself in an article he wrote about his relationship with accused FBI spy Robert Hanssen. See "My friend, the Spy," published by the New York Times Magazine on March 18, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/18/magazine/18LIVES.html

We learn Bamford met Hanssen through a mutual friend, a CIA spook.  " ... we all came together aboard my boat, a 60-foot motor yacht on the Potomac River in Washington."

Bamford tells us his boat was docked just a few slips down from a yacht CIA Director John Deutch used for "quiet meetings." We get a sense that, truly, Bamford is in with the in-crowd.

What was the name of Bamford's yacht?  "It's name, perhaps fittingly, was 'Safehouse,' a hiding place for spies," says Bamford.

It does not sound as though Bamford, the writer of exposes, had an antagonistic relationship with the spy community, does it?  Here we have Bamford's publishers boasting that Bamford is blowing the whistle on all this nasty spying business, while Bamford boasts his boat is a safe place for spies. 

Bamford claims to have maintained a friendship with Robert Hanssen for approximately nine years.  "He and his wife, Bonnie, even attended my wedding," he says.

Yet when Bamford's "friend" Hanssen is accused of treason by the infamously criminal FBI, Bamford swallows every accusation against Hanssen hook, line, and sinker.  Remember, Bamford claims expertise on the world of intelligence, a world where lying, deception, forgery, frame ups, and assassinations are the coin of the realm. Yet he does not question any of the allegations made about his friend of nine years, despite the fact that Hanssen's accusers pulled off every dirty trick in the book to prevent Hanssen from defending himself in open court.

A man in Bamford's business must know that there's at least an even chance Hanssen was the FBI's victim, not a culprit.  He must know how easy it would be to frame a counter-espionage agent.   But what does Bamford do when his friend is publicly stoned?   He takes part in the stoning.

Bamford  paints his "friend" as a crank, a weirdo, and a religious fanatic, calling him "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hanssen.  A man who could leave Sunday Mass and load a dead drop with top-secret documents or march in protest at the killing of 'unborn children' while coolly sending American spies to their deaths."

Bamford does not tell us why he maintained a nine-year friendship with such a weirdo.  Instead, Bamford suggests Hanssen pursued the friendship with Bamford, and that Hanssen had a hidden motive for doing so.  If Bamford was simply an honest investigative journalist, what leaks could Bamford have possibly given to Hanssen?

Who Really Wrote Northwoods?

Here is a professional NSA flack currying favor for the NSA by blowing the whistle on the Pentagon with counterfeit documents.  The documents, presented as authentic, certainly put the Pentagon in a terrible light.

Of course we know that elements with the FAA and the US Air Force worked in cooperation with the terrorists.  The failure of NORAD to intercept the errant planes on September 11, and the continued cover-up, proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

But the Northwoods documents suggest that if 911 was an inside job -- and it had to be -- then the Pentagon was the ARCHITECT.  The Northwoods expose was ready and waiting for the inevitable 9-11 skeptics to show up, seize upon the plan, and point the finger of suspicion at the Pentagon.  However, the Northwoods British-isms show that another hand, not an American hand, was guiding those planes into the WTC towers, and that the Operation Northwoods documents are a misdirector.

Northwoods was doubtlessly hatched by a foreign intelligence service and inserted into US national records.  The discovery of the Northwoods documents reminds one of the incident in "Wag The Dog" when a newly composed song was inserted into the Library of Congress records to give the impression it had been written decades earlier; then the song, "Old Shoe," was conveniently "discovered" and popularized at the right time.  Rent "Wag The Dog" at your local video store and watch it happen.

Let's see now ... What nation is peopled by masters of deception? Who has been using the US military as a cat's paw? Using 9-11 as a pretext, whose enemies is the US annihilating right now?  Lemme think ...

A source has told me that Robert Hanssen found out about the plans of this foreign power to stage a big terrorist event in the US. Hanssen made the mistake of telling the wrong people in the FBI and was framed to keep him quiet. 
Referring to Northwoods, Bamford told ABC: "The scary thing is none of this stuff comes out until 40 years later."  No. 
The scary thing is that the tentacles of a malevolent foreign power are deeply embedded in the most secret and powerful agencies in the US -- that this power is pulling the strings, yanking the chains, crashing airplanes into cities, sending America off to war, and gutting our traditional liberties at home.

End

[Endnote: If you continue to read pgs. 85-86 of "Body of Secrets," you will find these words right after the paragraph in which Americans go "off on a holiday":  

"Lemnitzer and the Joint Chiefs worked out a complex deception."  Then Bamford quotes from the  Northwoods documents:
An aircraft at Elgin AFB would be painted and numbered as an exact duplicate for a civil registered aircraft belonging to a CIA proprietary organization in the Miami area.  At a designated time the duplicate would be substituted for the actual civil aircraft and would be loaded with the selected passengers, all boarded under carefully prepared aliases. The actual registered aircraft would be converted into a drone [a remotely controlled unmanned aircraft.] Take off times of the drone aircraft and the actual aircraft will be scheduled to allow a rendezvous south of Florida.
Interesting plan, isn't it? -- remotely controlled aircraft and phony passengers? ]


911 Lies exposed at http://www.public-action.com/911

Carol A. Valentine President, Public Action, Inc. http://www.Public-Action.com
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