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Operation Northwoods and the 9/11 Truthers


Writing about the recent resignation of Van Jones, President Obama’s appointee to be green-jobs czar, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer says good riddance.

What set Krauthammer off was not that Jones had once used profanity to describe Republicans or even that he might have been a self-proclaimed communist. What made Krauthammer angry and outraged was that Jones had had the audacity to suggest that the federal government might have had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks and knowingly let the attacks go forward.

There could be two possible reasons for Krauthammer’s reaction to those people in the so-called 9/11 Truth movement, people who believe either that the 9/11 attacks were an inside job masterminded by U.S. officials or that federal officials knew that such attacks were going to take place and did nothing to prevent them.

One possible reason for Krauthammer’s reaction is that he simply isn’t convinced by the evidence that the Truthers have produced to make their case.

Personally, this is the category I fall into. I have no doubts that the 9/11 attacks were no different in principle from the 1993 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center: that is, that the attacks were motivated by deep anger and hatred arising from the bad things that the U.S. government has done (and continues to do) to people in the Middle East. Or to use the term that Chalmers Johnson used in his book that makes the same contention, the 9/11 attacks were “blowback” from U.S. foreign policy. The 9/11 Truthers have not convinced me otherwise.

My hunch, however, is that that’s not the reason for Krauthammer’s reaction to the 9/11 Truth movement. My hunch is that he falls within the other possible reason — that it is simply inconceivable that federal officials would ever do such a dastardly thing.

Here’s what Krauthammer says: “Unlike the other stuff (see above), this is no trivial matter. It’s beyond radicalism, beyond partisanship. It takes us into the realm of political psychosis, a malignant paranoia that, unlike the Marxist posturing, is not amusing. It’s dangerous.”

Unfortunately, however, in his article Krauthammer failed to address what is a very discomforting fact, one that unequivocally confirms that U.S. officials are indeed capable of committing such a dastardly act. I’m referring, of course, to Operation Northwoods, the plan conceived in 1962 by a unanimous Joint Chiefs of Staff to implement fake hijackings and fake terrorist attacks, with the objective of serving as a pretext for a U.S. military invasion of Cuba.

Click here for the Wikipedia entry on Operation Northwoods.

Here’s what author James Bamford stated about Operation Northwoods in his book Body of Secrets:

Operation Northwoods, 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 and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war.

Now, there’s always the possibility that Krauthammer has never heard of Operation Northwoods. But really, how likely is that? He’s a well-educated and well-read man who serves as a regular columnist for one of the most prominent newspapers in the world.

So, why wouldn’t Krauthammer address the Operation Northwoods problem in the context of his outrage over people in the 9/11 Truth movement?

My hunch is that the problem is psychological. Operation Northwoods is a reality that conflicts with Krauthammer’s innocent but false reality about the federal government. Therefore, he simply chooses, consciously or subconsciously, to ignore the Northwoods reality in order to maintain his own naïve and false reality about how the federal government operates.

How about it, Krauthammer? How about explaining your shock and outrage about the 9/11 Truthers to the Washington Post’s readers in the context of a discussion about Operation Northwoods? I’m sure lots of people (including me) — would love to read your explanation.

Fortunately, President Kennedy, to whom the Pentagon proposed Operation Northwoods, rejected it.

Ever since then, has the Pentagon denounced, apologized, or expressed any remorse or embarrassment for Operation Northwoods?

No, not in the least!

Thus, while the case made by the 9/11 Truthers might fall for lack of evidence, given Operation Northwoods how can anyone, especially the Pentagon, be surprised that there are people willing to believe that the federal government is capable of such things? Doesn’t the Pentagon bear some responsibility here?

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.