Operation Northwoods was a Pentagon plan to provoke a U.S. invasion of Cuba in 1963 through the use of deception operations. First disclosed by the Assassination Records Review Board in 1997, the Northwoods plans are among the most significant new JFK documents to emerge since Oliver Stone’s “JFK” movie.
Operation Northwoods envisioned U.S. intelligence operatives staging violent attacks on U.S. targets and arranging for the blame for the mayhem to fall on Fidel Castro and his communist government. The idea, wrote one planner, was to creates a “justification for U.S. intervention in Cuba,” by orchestrating a crime that placed the U.S. government “in the apparent position of suffering defensible grievances from a rash and irresponsible government” in Cuba.
These plans included the use of violence on American soil against American citizens.
John R. Tunheim, the federal judge in Minnesota who served from 1994 to 1998 as the chairman of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), says in a television program to be aired this month that while the Warren Commission “did a thorough job,” the investigation of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 was “somewhat primitive” and riddled with “too many holes.”
As general counsel for the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) in the mid-1990s, Jeremy Gunn had unparalleled access to the government’s records on the JFK assassination. Last year he gave an interesting talk about “Seeking the Truth in the Kennedy Assassination” at the Center for Global Humanities at the University of New England in Portland, Maine.
As a person who was hired by Jeremy Gunn in 1995, and who worked closely under him (and with him) from August of 1995 until his abrupt resignation from the Assassination Records Review Board in July of 1998, I watched his presentation with great interest.
Warren Commission Exhibit 903. Arlen Specter demonstrates the single-bullet theory in May 1964.
When young journalist Gaeton Fonzi interviewed former Warren Commission staff lawyer Arlen Specter in 1966, he expected the talented Specter to have ready answers to the questions which were then swirling around the medical aspects of the JFK case. Specter’s “single bullet theory” was under attack in such books as Edward Epstein’s Inquest, and in scholarly articles by Vincent Salandria in a legal journal (see here and here).
Fonzi would later write in his memoir The Last Investigation: “After those interviews with Arlen Specter, my belief in that Government would never be the same.” Read more
The implementation of the law, mandating the review and release of all records related to the assassination of President John Kennedy in 1963, was overseen by the Assassination Records Review Board, a forgotten federal agency that did a remarkable job uncovering what former New York Times reporter Phil Shenon has called “the hidden history of the Kennedy assassination.”
But the ARRB was stymied on one key group of records.
In this balanced, if breathless, 1998 History Channel video entitled “Missing Files,” we learn what the government sought to hide from public view. The approach is skeptical without crazy conspiracy mongering.
In yesterday’s Boston Globe, Bryan Bender reported that Judge John Tunheim, former chair of a civilian review panel in charge of declassifying the government’s JFK assassination records, has called on the CIA to release all of its files on the late George Joannides, a deceased CIA officer involved in the events of 1963 and its confused investigatory aftermath. Read more
Amid the glut of 50th anniversary JFK coverage, NPR’s interview with Jeremy Gunn, former general counsel for the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) from 1994 to 1998, stands out as one of the best recent pieces of journalism on the case of the murdered president.
Gunn is a quality witness. While largely unknown to both mainstream reporters and JFK conspiracy theorists, he was among the first people to see the vast body of JFK records made public by the ARRB in the mid-1990s.