An informed citizenry being central to a working democracy, we were never informed of Northwoods; neither Lemnitzer nor McNamara burst Americans’ bubble by publicizing this in any way and it remained a dirty little secret at the time and for decades to come. The memo was in fact ordered destroyed and erased, but somehow one copy survived in an archive somewhere. It was finally declassified in the mid-1990s, apparently part of the post-Oliver Stone “JFK” conspiracy craze that forced Clinton’s hand to release a number of Kennedy-era secret papers.
In April 2001 this copy made it to the eyes of the public in the pages of the massive Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency. Its author James Bamford has worked for ABC World News Tonight as senior Washington Investigative Reporter, and had already written his groundbreaking The Puzzle Palace (1982), the first book published about the hitherto top-secret National Security Agency. Worried about the NSA’s unveiling to the eyes of the world, the Reagan administration initially blocked the book’s publication. But it was finally published and Bamford was in fact invited back for more, with Body of Secrets again primarily about the now less-secret NSA. The chapters are named after parts of the body, with the Northwoods-related chapter being “Fists.” Bamford included this JCS plot, not even part of the NSA anatomy, to illustrate tensions between Lemnitzer’s military plan for Cuba and the slicker approach of NSA and CIA-types, which was more favored by Kennedy.
So clearly the JCS had “quietly slipped over the edge,” but the sole existing evidence of that slippage, the one salvaged copy of Operation Northwoods, sat just as quietly for decades until April 2001, just five months before the September 11 attacks, offering a strangely-timed glimpse into the dark machinations of Lemnitzer’s Joint Chiefs.
Submitted for your approval (props to Serling): On the morning of September 11 2001, Vice-Chairman Richard Myers was standing-in as JCS Chairman, his boss having departed that very morning for pre-arranged business in Europe. Myers took the helm in the same post once held by Lemnitzer just as the day’s Joint Chiefs-NORAD war game “Vigilant Warrior,” and the first hijacking of the morning, began. As Mike Ruppert explains in his 2004 Crossing the Rubicon, it seems any war game with the word “warrior” attached involved “live-fly” planes, possibly drones, feigning hijack symptoms. Two days after this curious confluence of events, Myers was promoted to permanent JCS Chairman, as previously scheduled.
This doesn’t necessarily prove anything, but it’s interesting to note that McNamara and Rumsfeld are two very different people. And clearly, Myers will now be on board to defend the official story of 9/11. He found himself in a curious spot (an integral part of the chain of command in emergencies like 9/11) at a curious time (five months after Northwoods was first publicized and minutes before the attacks began). Thus whether he was involved with the operation or not, he may be the first to go down if the official story should collapse; so far he has done nothing to upset that official story.
But Northwoods proposed limited and tightly-controlled fake attacks, mostly in remote military installations, along the lines of a scaled-down Pearl Harbor. It did not promote multiple simultaneous fake attacks ranging over the northeastern U.S. mainland, nor planes flying into the military’s own headquarters, nor skyscrapers imploding and blanketing Manhattan in concrete and bone dust. Lemnitzer probably did not envision the “helpful” casualty lists to take seven to ten pages of U.S. papers, nor for the “wave of national indignation” to be of such tsunami proportions. Northwoods provides just a hint of Shadow 9/11 – bigger, uglier thinking and better technology would be required to pull off such a spectacular brand of inside job, and the stakes would have to be bigger than Cuba.