Operation Northwoods

Juan Gonzalez exposed me to the ruthlessness of American imperialism with his book, Harvest of Empire. For centuries, corporations and the U.S. government alike exercised little to no consideration for the economic and social well-being of Latin Americans as they proceeded with their imperial conquest. I was naive to think that the imperialists’ apparent lack of empathy applied only to those individuals who were not U.S. citizens.

Operation Northwoods was a plan devised in the 1960’s by America’s top military leaders to stage terrorist attacks in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba. “The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba’s then new leader, communist Fidel Castro.” The plan was signed by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, Lyman L. Lemnitzer. Obviously the plans never reached fruition, but to me, they serve as a chilling reminder of our need as citizens to continuously and vigorously question authority.

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