Event Title

Operation Northwoods: JFK’s Desperate Bid

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Gregory Crider

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

History

Location

DiGorgio Campus Center, Room 222

Start Date

22-4-2016 2:30 PM

End Date

22-4-2016 2:45 PM

Description

After the Bay of Pigs debacle in 1961, President John F. Kennedy was desperate to rectify what could be considered the greatest failure of his presidency. To that end, Kennedy gave his brother, Robert, the United States Attorney General, oversight of a plan called Operation Mongoose, which was designed to overthrow Fidel Castro through psychological operations and sabotage. Operation Mongoose was an interdepartmental plan that included the Department of Defense, the State Department, and the CIA. Within Operation Mongoose, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were responsible for creating a plan that would give the United States a seemingly legitimate reason to invade Cuba, called Operation Northwoods. Documents declassified in 2000 by the CIA and the Department of Defense show the Kennedy administration was so anxious to create an excuse to invade Cuba, they entertained the idea of allowing terrorist acts to be committed on American soil and American citizens, while creating the perception that Cuba was behind the attacks, in order justify an attack on Castro’s government. An extensive examination of the New York Times historical archives, along with an examination of speeches given by President Kennedy and Robert Kennedy show a shift in the perception of Cuba, and the Castro regime, as part of the overarching Operation Mongoose, which provides the framework in which Operation Northwoods was examined.

Course Assignment

History Capstone, HIST 590, Dr. Gregory Crider

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Apr 22nd, 2:30 PM Apr 22nd, 2:45 PM

Operation Northwoods: JFK’s Desperate Bid

DiGorgio Campus Center, Room 222

After the Bay of Pigs debacle in 1961, President John F. Kennedy was desperate to rectify what could be considered the greatest failure of his presidency. To that end, Kennedy gave his brother, Robert, the United States Attorney General, oversight of a plan called Operation Mongoose, which was designed to overthrow Fidel Castro through psychological operations and sabotage. Operation Mongoose was an interdepartmental plan that included the Department of Defense, the State Department, and the CIA. Within Operation Mongoose, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were responsible for creating a plan that would give the United States a seemingly legitimate reason to invade Cuba, called Operation Northwoods. Documents declassified in 2000 by the CIA and the Department of Defense show the Kennedy administration was so anxious to create an excuse to invade Cuba, they entertained the idea of allowing terrorist acts to be committed on American soil and American citizens, while creating the perception that Cuba was behind the attacks, in order justify an attack on Castro’s government. An extensive examination of the New York Times historical archives, along with an examination of speeches given by President Kennedy and Robert Kennedy show a shift in the perception of Cuba, and the Castro regime, as part of the overarching Operation Mongoose, which provides the framework in which Operation Northwoods was examined.