Terror Plan Called Cuba Invasion Pretext 

Review of Body of Secrets, on the NSA Shows US planned Terror Campaign vs Cuba

>Baltimore Sun
>April 24, 2001
>New Book on NSA Sheds Light on Secrets
>U.S. Terror Plan Called Cuba Invasion Pretext
>By Scott Shane and Tom Bowman, Sun Staff
>WASHINGTON - U.S. military leaders proposed in 1962 a secret
>plan to commit terrorist acts against Americans and blame
>Cuba to create a pretext for invasion and the ouster of
>Communist leader Fidel Castro, according to a new book about
>the National Security Agency.
>"We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the
>Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington,"
>said one document reportedly prepared by the Joint Chiefs of
>Staff. "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and
>blame Cuba," the document says. "Casualty lists in U.S.
>newspapers would cause a helpful wave of indignation."
>The plan is laid out in documents signed by the five Joint
>Chiefs but never carried out, according to writer James
>Bamford in "Body of Secrets." The new history of the Fort
>Meade-based eavesdropping agency is being released today by
>NSA regularly picks up the conversations of suspected
>terrorist financier Osama bin Laden, says Bamford, and has
>monitored Chinese and French companies trying to sell
>missiles to Iran. He provides new details about an Israeli
>attack on a Navy eavesdropping ship in 1967, suggesting that
>the sinking was deliberate. And he reveals the loss of an
>"entire warehouse" full of secret cryptographic gear to the
>North Vietnamese in 1975, at the end of the Vietnam War.
>Bamford, a former investigative reporter for ABC News who
>wrote "The Puzzle Palace" about the NSA in 1982, said his
>new book is based mostly on documents obtained through the
>Freedom of Information Act or found in government archives.
>"NSA never handed me any documents," he said. "It was a
>question of digging."
>He said he was most surprised by the anti-Cuba terror plan,
>code-named Operation Northwoods. It "may be the most corrupt
>plan ever created by the U.S. government," he writes.
>The Northwoods plan also proposed that if the 1962 launch of
>John Glenn into orbit were to fail, resulting in the
>astronaut's death, the U.S. government would publicize
>fabricated evidence that Cuba had used electronic
>interference to sabotage the flight, the book says.
>A previously secret document obtained by Bamford offers
>further suggestions for mayhem to be blamed on Cuba.
>"We could sink a boatload of Cubans en route to Florida
>(real or simulated). ... We could foster attempts on lives
>of Cubans in the United States, even to the extent of
>wounding in instances to be widely publicized," the document
>says. Another idea was to shoot down a CIA plane designed to
>replicate a passenger flight and announce that Cuban forces
>shot it down.
>Citing a White House document, Bamford writes that the idea
>of creating a pretext for the invasion of Cuba might have
>started with President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the last
>weeks of his administration, when the plan for an invasion
>by Cuban exiles trained in the United States was hatched.
>Carried out in April 1961, soon after Kennedy became
>president, the Bay of Pigs invasion proved a fiasco.
>Castro's forces quickly killed or rounded up the invaders.
>Army Gen. Lyman L. Lemnitzer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs,
>presented the Operation Northwoods plan to Kennedy early in
>1962, but the president rejected it that March because he
>wanted no overt U.S. military action against Cuba. Lemnitzer
>then sought unsuccessfully to destroy all evidence of the
>plan, according to Bamford.
>Lemnitzer and those who served with him in 1962 as chiefs of
>the nation's military branches are dead. But two former top
>Kennedy administration officials said yesterday that they
>were unaware of Operation Northwoods and questioned whether
>such a plan was ever drafted.
>"I've never heard of Operation Northwoods. Never heard of it
>and don't believe it," said Theodore Sorenson, Kennedy's
>White House special counsel. "Obviously, it would be totally
>illegal as well as totally unwise."
>Robert S. McNamara, Kennedy's defense secretary, said: "I
>never heard of it. I can't believe the chiefs were talking
>about or engaged in what I would call CIA-type operations."
>Bamford writes that besides the Joint Chiefs, then-Assistant
>Secretary of Defense Paul H. Nitze also favored "provoking a
>phony war with Cuba."
>"There may be a piece of paper" on Northwoods, said
>McNamara. "I just cannot conceive of [Nitze] approving
>anything like that or doing it without talking to me."
>The book contains many other revelations in its detailed
>account of NSA, the biggest U.S. intelligence agency and
>Maryland's largest employer, with more than 25,000 personnel
>at Fort Meade, site of its global eavesdropping efforts.
>Among them:
>* In recent years, NSA has regularly listened to bin Laden's
>unencrypted telephone calls. Agency officials have sometimes
>played tapes of bin Laden talking to his mother to impress
>members of Congress and select visitors to the agency.
>* In the late 1990s, NSA tracked efforts by Chinese and
>French companies to sell missile technology to Iran,
>particularly the C-802 anti-ship missile. The eavesdropping
>led to U.S. protests to the Chinese and French governments.
>* When U.S. troops evacuated Vietnam in 1975, "an entire
>warehouse overflowing with NSA's most important
>cryptographic machines and other supersensitive code and
>cipher materials" was left behind. It was the largest
>compromise of such equipment in U.S. history, Bamford
>writes, but the agency still has not acknowledged it.
>* When Israeli fighter jets attacked the NSA eavesdropping
>ship USS Liberty in the Mediterranean in 1967, killing 34
>Americans and wounding 171, an NSA aircraft was listening in
>and heard Israeli pilots referring to the American flag on
>the ship. U.S. officials, including President Lyndon Baines
>Johnson, decided to forget the matter, Bamford writes,
>because they did not want to embarrass Israel. To this day,
>Israeli officials say their forces mistakenly attacked the
>U.S. ship.
>Bamford says the reason for the strike was Israel's
>desperate effort to cover up its attacks on the Egyptian
>town of El Arish in the Sinai. The Liberty was sitting
>offshore and the Israelis feared that the ship would detect
>the operation, which included the shooting of prisoners.
>Yesterday, an NSA spokesperson questioned a point made in
>the book about the USS Liberty.
>"We do not comment on operational matters, alleged or
>otherwise; however, Mr. Bamford's claim that the NSA
>leadership was `virtually unanimous in their belief that the
>attack was deliberate' is simply not true," the spokesperson
>When he wrote "The Puzzle Palace" in 1982, Bamford was
>attacked by some NSA officials, who said his revelations
>gave the Soviet Union and other U.S. adversaries too much
>information on the secret agency. One former director
>referred to him as "an unconvicted felon."
>With the end of the Cold War, the agency has been less
>guarded. NSA's current director, Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael
>V. Hayden, has granted a number of interviews. Hayden
>"cracked the door open a tiny bit," said Bamford, partly to
>burnish NSA's public image and correct misconceptions.

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