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An Examination of the 9/11 Truth Movement, part three

See also: Part One | Part Two

The Webster Retort
By Stephen Webster
Investigative Reporter
Publication date: May 2, 2006
For: The Lone Star Iconoclast

An Examination of the 9/11 Truth Movement, Part Three

At the height of the Cold War, America was a land cloaked in absolute fear. Arguably the closest we came to all out thermo-nuclear war was during those fateful 13 days, when the Soviets had missiles placed in Cuba, ready to hit American cities at the push of a button. Millions upon millions of lives hung in the balance. Literally moments before the orders were given, at the latest hour possible, Kennedy struck a deal. It was the defining moment of American diplomacy. We avoided Armageddon, and it was not the first time; nor will it be the last.

Most high school students can, with a little prompting, recall the key factors that guided the American plot to overthrow Castro during what our history textbooks call The Bay of Pigs Invasion. We trained rebel Cubans to initiate a coup, similar to our involvements in Iran during Regan’s contra scandal. See also: most South American socialist democracies – the Dominican Republic, Chile, Venezuela, Nicaragua, ET. Al.

But when the Bay of Pigs Invasion failed, Kennedy’s Joint Chiefs devised another plan. They decided it was necessary to find some sort of justification for military intervention in Cuba. Their scheme was called “Operation Northwoods.” The plan was classified for many years, but was finally made public on November 18, 1997. The John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board released it after repeated calls for the veil of secrecy surrounding the murder to be dropped. It is now available on the internet via the National Security Archive.

Drafted by Lyman Lemnitzer, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in conjunction with the Department of Defense, Northwoods suggested several routs of action to justify an invasion of Cuba. The suggestions Lemnitzer made to Kenndy included ...

“Land friendly Cubans in uniform ‘over the fence’ to stage an attack on [the U.S. base at Guantanimo Bay]. Start riots near the base main gate (friendly Cubans). Blow up ammunition inside the base; start fires. Burn aircraft on air base (sabotage). Lob mortar shells from outside of base into base. Some damage to installations. Capture assault teams approaching from the sea or vicinity of Guantanamo city. Capture militia group which storms the base. Sabotage ship in harbor; large fires – naphthalene. Sink ship near harbor entrance. Conduct funerals for mock-victims. “

It gets worse. Much worse. Lemnitzer also wrote ...

“We could blow up a US Ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba. We could blow up a drone (unmanned) vessel anywhere in the Cuban waters. We could arrange to cause such incident in the vicinity of Havana or Santiago as a spectacular result of Cuban attack from the air or sea, or both. The US could follow up with an air/sea rescue operation covered by US fighters to ‘evacuate’ remaining members of the non-existent crew. Casualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation. We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington. The terror campaign could be pointed at Cuban refugees seeking haven in the United States. We could sink a boatload of Cubans enroute to Florida (real or simulated). We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States even to the extend of wounding in instances to be widely publicized. Exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spots. “

Creeped out yet? Now, the freefall ...

“MIG type aircraft by US pilots could provide additional provocation. Harassment of civil air, attacks on surface shipping and destruction of US military drone aircraft by MIG type planes would be useful as complementary actions. An F-86 properly painted would convince air passengers that they saw a Cuban MIG, especially if the pilot of the transport were to announce such a fact. … [R]easonable copies of the MIG could be produced from US resources in about three months.”

And then, the train completely derails.

“Hijacking attempts,” wrote Lemnitzer, “against civil air and surface craft should appear to continue as harassing measures condoned by the government of Cuba. It is possible to create an incident which will demonstrate convincingly that Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civil airliner enroute from the United States to Jamaica, Guatemala, Panama or Venezuela. … 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. An aircraft at Eglin AFB [Air Force Base] 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 actual civil aircraft and would be loaded with the selected passengers, all boarded under carefully prepared aliases. The actual registered aircraft would be converted to a drone.”

“Take off time for the drone aircraft and the actual aircraft will be scheduled to allow a rendezvous south of Florida. From the rendezvous point the passenger-carrying aircraft will descend to minimum altitude and go directly into an auziliary field at Englin AFB where arrangements will have been made to evacuate the passengers and return the aircraft to its original status. The drone aircraft meanwhile will continue to fly the filed flight plan. When over Cuba the drone will being transmitting on the international distress frequency a “MAY DAY” message stating he is under attack by Cuban MIG aircraft. The transmission will be interrupted by destruction of the aircraft which will be triggered by radio signal.”

He goes on for a bit, fleshing out several prior ideas. Then, on page 11 of the 12 page document, he writes …

“It is possible to create an incident which will make it appear that Communist Cuban MIGs have destroyed a USAF aircraft over international waters in an unprovoked attack. … At precisely the same time that the aircraft was presumably shot down a submarine or small surface craft with disburse F-101 parts, parachute, etc., at approximately 15 to 20 miles off the Cuban coast and depart. The pilots returning to Homestead would have a true story as far as they knew. Search ships and aircraft could be dispatched and parts of the aircraft found.”

“It is understood that the Department of State also is preparing suggested courses of action to develop justification for US military intervention in Cuba.”

Operation Northwoods was given to Kennedy on March 13, 1962. Days later, the plan’s author, Lemnitzer, was personally removed from the Joint Chiefs by the president. Before this happened, the Pentagon got in on the action. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara suggested a plan called Operation Mongoose which, among other things, advocated paying someone within Castro’s government to attack America. All of this material and more is discussed at length in the book “Body of Secrets” by James Bamford.

I have taken the liberty of uploading the full Northwoods document to the web, found here in PDF format. Please, don’t take my word for it. Read it for yourself. Operation Northwoods is cited by many among the 9/11 Truth Movement as historical precedent; reason to question the government’s story of what really happened on Sept. 11, 2001. Some go a little further than that. I do not.

However, the Gulf of Tonkin attacks which started the Vietnam War should be taken into consideration under this pretext. Allegedly, Vietnamese gun ships fired on the USS C. Turner Joy and the USS Maddox in what America considered to be international waters. This happened less than one year after Kennedy’s assassination. In November 2005, the National Security Agency released hundreds of documents related to the Gulf of Tonkin attacks. Among them was an article written by agency historian Robert J. Hanyok. The document is titled "Skunks, Bogies, Silent Hounds, and the Flying Fish: The Gulf of Tonkin Mystery, 2-4 August 1964." He claims that, like the Iraq war, evidence denying the attacks had occurred was excluded when it was presented to decision makers.

In 2001, a taped conversation between Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and recently-appointed President Johnson was released to the public. Recorded just weeks after The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was passed (thereby starting the war), McNamara told Johnson he did not think the attacks ever occurred. What followed was, as you likely know, one of the most turbulent times this nation has ever experienced.

As for your Faithful Muckraker, I just don’t know what to think. All of the materials I have been digesting over for the last few months prove quite a bit, but also seem to assume even more. I am not saying that our government attacked us. I am saying that at one point in time, it was considered. And those plans sound an awful lot like what we saw on 9/11. Assumption is not an option, so I am only left with questions.

During the lead-up to our invasion of Iraq, Bush and Blair discussed flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft painted in U.N. colors over Iraq, hoping to provoke Saddam into firing, thereby violating U.N. resolutions and establishing a pretext for war. This was reported by The New York Times on March 27, 2006. Does this sound familiar to you?

Now is the time to question everything (my own writings included). If you believe Bush lied about Iraq’s WMD’s, why would you believe everything his hand-selected committee reported? There must be an independent investigation into these painful, burning questions. If the Democrats regain a majority in the House, Senate or both this November, we must lobby them, hard, for a new investigation.

Prominent minds within the 9/11 Truth Movement have called for American 9/11 skeptics to march with Civil Rights and Anti-War protesters. They ask supporters to wear black shirts or armbands, and carry signs that simply read “Re-Investigate 9/11!” It is time for these questions to be asked from coast to coast.

What really happened on the most important day in America’s history?

I don’t know, but someone does. It is our duty, and within our power as members of this still free nation, to find out.

Stephen Webster is an Investigative Reporter and Syndicated Columnist with The News Connection, a Staff Columnist with George W. Bush’s hometown weekly The Lone Star Iconoclast, and a former Contributor to The Dallas Morning News’ Science & Technology section. For more of Webster’s musings, visit GonzoMuckraker.BlogSpot.com.

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