Tag: JFK

The Cuban Project: Is the U.S. Willing to Kill Its Citizens?

Andrew Lepore | United States

How far would the government go in order to convince the American people to go to war? Revelations from a series of Pentagon documents declassified over 20 years ago reveal a willingness on the part of U.S. officials to go to shocking lengths to justify a war in Cuba. Some were even willing to manufacture acts of terrorism on U.S. soil.

In 1997, The JFK Assassination Records Review Board released over 1,800 previously classified records from the Kennedy era. Among these documents was a series of memorandums titled “Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba”. These memorandums detailed possible plans to remove Fidel Castro’s Communist regime, and the means of which to justify this military action to the American people. This series of plans and operations became known as the Cuban Project, which was a prime foreign policy focus for the Kennedy administration.

The Cuban Project

When Fidel Castro took power in 1959, U.S. officials predicted he would have trouble holding on to power. Officials were first wary of his rule. Castro had not yet shown himself to be a communist, though U.S. intelligence knew his brother Raul was. Officials feared that Castro could pose a threat to U.S. assets on the island, or that he could demand a far higher rent for ownership of Guantanamo Bay.

Then, in 1960, Castro severed the once-strong ties between Cuba and the U.S. by nationalizing (government seizure) all American-owned business in the country without compensation. This prompted U.S. officials to end diplomatic relations and place a trade embargo on the island. The move greatly increased tensions between the two countries. Soon after, talks of Castro’s disposition began.

On March 17, 1960, President Eisenhower authorized covert military action against the Cuban government with his signing of a CIA document titled “A Program of Covert Action Against the Castro Regime”. This order authorized the CIA to begin a propaganda offensive against the regime, develop a series of intelligence networks within the country, and Develop a paramilitary force to be introduced into Cuba to organize, train and lead resistance groups against the Castro regime”.

Sabotage against Castro

The agency even had plans to sabotage Castro’s public image through zany schemes. For example, they proposed secretly drugging him with an LSD-like substance before a speech. They hoped this would “cause him to flail into delusional gyrations during a public appearance”. There were also thoughts to line his shoes with toxic thallium salts to make his beard fall out.

Throughout 1960, the CIA carried out these orders, which soon became known as the Cuban Project. Then, following his inauguration, President Kennedy was briefed on the latest plan in the Cuban Project, codenamed Operation Pluto. This plan detailed an amphibious invasion of the island by over 1,000 CIA-trained Cuban exiles. Kennedy approved the operation and ordered active departments to continue and report progress.

On April 17, 1961, the exiles landed on the beach of Playa Giron in the Bay of Pigs, but harsh resistance met the invasion. In only three days, most of the attackers had surrendered to Cuban forces. The Bay of Pigs invasion, thus, was a major failure for American foreign policy and an embarrassment for the Kennedy Administration.

However, the Bay of Pigs failure did not deter American officials from trying to topple the Castro Regime. In a dateless 1962 CIA memoranda, the agency concluded that “The United States cannot tolerate a permanent communist government in Cuba”, and that “Military intervention by the United States will be required to overthrow the Cuban Communist Regime”. (Image #46)

Public Distaste, Manipulation

At this time, following both WWII and Korea, the American public did not want another war. In particular, they opposed one that could lead to greater tensions with the now Cuban-allied Soviet Union. Nobody wanted World War Three. This posed a problem for U.S. officials, as any act of war would require support of the public and of Congress. Nonetheless, they wanted to manipulate the public into supporting and even calling for military action.

Following a meeting at the White House on November 3rd, 1961, American officials determined that the best course of action for the Cuban problem was a centralized effort from senior White House officials. This strategy gained the name Operation Mongoose. The end goal of the project, as the Department of Defense Joint Chiefs of Staff outlined, was to “provide adequate justification for military intervention in Cuba”.

In a dateless 1961 memorandum, the government ordered that “All information output should be designed to reassure the populace that the U.S- supported movement is designed to carry forward the realizations of the social and economic aspirations of the Cuban people”. Previously, the same document gave orders to “Engage in all-out psychological warfare and propaganda stressing the morality of the United States [military] action”. (Image #35)

The John Glenn Experiment

In February 1962, the agency saw a prime opportunity to persuade the American people of Castro’s disposition. On February 20th, NASA planned on sending the First American astronaut, John Glenn, into orbit. The likelihood of success on this mission was fairly unknown. Therefore, if a failure was to occur, officials could seize the opportunity to blame Cuba.

In a February 2nd, 1962 memo, the government outlined a proposal to “provide an irrevocable proof that, should the mercury man to orbit flight fail, the fault lies with Cuba”. They would accomplish this by “manufacturing various pieces of evidence which would prove electronic interference on part of the Cubans. Of course, planners knew that with the whole country watching, the shock and anger of the death of John Glenn at the hands of Cuba would surely result in the American public calling for retaliation against the Cuban government. Luckily, the mission was successful, and the agency was never able to fulfill the proposal.

Operation Northwoods

That October 4th, a special group met at the White House to discuss proceedings in the Cuban Project. At this meeting, the group ordered four new directives. The last of these ordered that “All efforts should be made to develop new and imaginative approaches to the possibility of getting rid of the Castro Regime“. This directive gave birth to a new initiative in the Cuban Project: Operation Northwoods. Declassified Operation Northwoods documents reveal disturbing plots, and the length to which U.S. officials would go to achieve their goal.

An dateless 1962 memo titled “Pretexts to Justify US Military Intervention in Cuba” directed that “A series of well-coordinated incidents will be planned to take place in and around Guantanamo to give genuine appearance of being done by hostile Cuban forces”, and that “Such a plan would enable a logical build-up of incidents to be combined with other seemingly unrelated events to camouflage the ultimate objective and create necessary impression of Cuban rashness and irresponsibility on a large scale”. (Images #136, #138) Planners proposed a series of possible false flag incidents to establish justification for an invasion of the island.

Cuban Project False Flag Ideas

“Incidents to establish a credible attack (Not in chronological order)

Start Rumors (many)” (Image #138)

“Blow up ammunition inside base; start fires.

Burn Aircraft inside base (Sabotage).

Start Riots near gate.

Capture militia group which storms the base.

Lob mortar shells from outside of base, into base.

We could sink a boatload of Cuban en route to Florida (real or simulated).

Sabotage ships in harbour, start fires, — naphthalene.  

Sink ship near harbour entrance. Conduct funerals for mock victims”. (Image 139)

“It is possible to create an incident which will demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civil airliner en route from America to Jamaica, Guatemala, Panama, or Venezuela” (Image #141)

The documents also propose that “A ‘Remember the Maine’ incident could occur in several forms. We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba”. And that “We could blow up a drone (unmanned) vessel anywhere in Cuban waters. We could arrange to cause such an incident in the vicinity of Havana or Santiago as a spectacular result from a Cuban attack from land or sea or both. The presence of Cuban planes or ships merely investigating the intent of the vessel could be fairly compelling evidence that the vessel was taken under attack”.

It then goes on to say “Casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.” (Image #139)

Terrorism from Washington, to Washington

One of the most disturbing pieces of the memo proposes “We could develop a communist Cuban terror plot in the Miami area, other Florida cities, and even in Washington. The terror campaign could be pointed at Cuban refugees seeking haven in the United States”. It goes on to say, “Exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spots, the arrest of Cuban agents, and the release of prepared documents substantiating Cuban involvement would be helpful in projecting the idea of irresponsible government”. (Images #139, #140

In response to any of these possible instances, and with the establishment of a credible attack in the eyes of the American public, the document states “The United States would respond by executing offensive operations to secure water and power supplies, destroying artillery, and mortar emplacements which threaten the base. Commence large scale military operations”.  (Image #139)              

Planners suggested compartmentalization to ensure the covert nature of the operation. This means that only select officials and departments would be aware of the plans. The rest, on the other hand, would only know the “official” story. The same memo directed that “this paper NOT be forwarded to commanders of unified or specified command, this paper NOT be forwarded to U.S. officers assigned to NATO activities, this paper NOT be forwarded to the chairman, U.S. delegation, United Nations staff committee.” (Image #47) If this plan went into action, only a handful of government officials would even have known of the scheme. The majority, contrarily, would receive the same misinformation as the public and the media.

By the People, For the People, Kill the People

Operation Northwoods did, in fact, come frighteningly close to implementation. The President’s Joint Chiefs of Staff suggested both approval and immediate action. After all, it made it all the way up to the president’s desk. In the end, though, President Kennedy rejected the proposal. Had it been a more hawkish President in the Oval Office, the proposal would have likely gone into motion.

Imagine for a second: if the president did sign off on this proposal, how would we know? In short, we wouldn’t; it would simply be another page in the history books. The Cuban Project would not exist to us. The Cuban communist terror attacks would be a day we annually remember. We would also probably say something like “We will always remember the American people who died at the hands of the Communists”.  And if anybody ever did question the possibility that it didn’t happen exactly as the books said? Well, society might view them as un-American conspiracy nuts.

Of course, many find it unfathomable that a government of the people and for the people would kill the people. Sadly, however, the Cuban Project proves it is a reality. I find it highly unlikely this was the first or last time when the state considered false flag operations. Thus, this begs the question: has the government ever implemented such a proposal before?

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Post Malone- Unlikely Libertarian Figure?​

By Ian Brzeski | United States

Post Malone is a rapper, singer, and songwriter who recently blew up in the past few years. His song “Rockstar,” released in 2017, marked his first number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 as a solo artist. The song is considered his most successful song, but he also has numerous other songs that have been just as successful, such as “Congratulations” or “Psycho.” The album which “Rockstar” featured in, “Beerbongs & Bentleys,” broke several records on its way to the Billboard 200 and went platinum in just four days after the album’s release which is a massive achievement in the world of music.

Despite Post Malone being on record that he supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election, the gun-loving government skeptic makes it reasonably safe to say that he is a libertarian. During his time in Canada, he sat down for an interview. The interview was light-hearted in the sense that the questions were about his favorite video games or his plans for the future. However, when asked about what the biggest lie in the world was he said, “The biggest lie in the world the U.S. government.” He does not believe that the government is the same as it used to be in the sense that it is not about freedom anymore and that it has become some massive reality show. The questioning of the government in the way portrayed by Post Malone here really encapsulates the libertarian view on the role of government.

He also believes that the United States government killed president John F. Kennedy for telling the truth. He reasons that just days before Kennedy died, Kennedy had a grand speech explaining how our government focuses solely on being corrupt instead of going around trying to find the truth in all things. Post, who has a JFK tattoo on his arm, is a big fan of his and states that he was “the only President to speak out against the crazy corruption stuff that’s going on in our government nowadays.”

Although he says how the United States government is practically a giant screw-up, he has not once said where he exactly falls on the political spectrum. He did go on to say that he did support Bernie Sanders for president as he was “the realest one.” It is interesting that a man with such a distrust of the United States government would be an advocate for Bernie, as his policies suggest a stronger and more powerful government. One could infer that the reason as to why he would support Bernie is not because of his policies but because he believed that he cared about the country and wanted the best for the people of the United States, unlike Trump and Clinton.

In another interview after the election, he stated that he would not mind performing at Donald Trump’s inauguration for a fixed amount of money despite not supporting Trump and not voting in the election at all. Because he said this, he got much hate from the fans and later said that he was kidding. However, he still didn’t understand why he got so much stick for saying that. He feels that at the end of the day he would just be doing the same job he has always been doing regardless of he was to perform at Trump’s inauguration or any other venue or concert.

“If I do his show, does that mean I’m a supporter of him?” -Post Malone

To answer the question as to why he did not vote in the presidential election is that he feels our votes do not count and are just suggestions to the electoral college. According to Malone, the Electoral College could practically vote for whomever they want, and there is nothing that we [the people] can do about it. It is unclear to say if Post would have voted for Bernie if Bernie did win the primary, but it is safe to say that he would have supported and backed him throughout the entirety of the election process.

On the issue of guns, Post Malone is entirely pro 2nd amendment. He believes that it is an American’s right to own a gun and he is indeed taking advantage of that right. He owns:

  • an M14 – used by the Navy SEALs
  • “James Bond’s gun.”
  • a .44 Desert Eagle hand cannon
  • an M1911 pistol
  • two gold-plated Glocks -used for decoration, not for shooting
  • a Cobalt AR-15 -modified to pass California regulations, his most prized possession
  • a pump-action Mossberg shotgun -“great for home defense.”
  • an FN Five-Seven pistol with a laser sight -to disorient home invaders
  • a Glock 19

He has these because “They’re fun, they’re practical, and bad sh*t happens. If you hurt me, I’m gonna hurt you back.” He has a lot of valuable items, and he wants to protect those along with his friends and family. He acknowledges that it is dreadful that people have to be fearful of going to a concert, but he maintains that there will always be sick people, and if they want to go shoot-up a concert, then they will get the weapons necessary to shoot-up that concert no matter what. He also admits that he does not have all the solutions went it comes to these horrible mass shootings, but that he just believes in what he thinks is right.

“The world is going to shit. They’re taking away a lot of our rights.” -Post Malone

This quote suggests that Post believes we are continuously falling deeper into a tyrannical state, which is another reason as to why he maintains the right to bear arms is just as a necessity now as it ever was. He does not believe that Trump is solely the reason as to why we are going deeper into a tyrannical state, but that there is a much bigger problem going on behind the scenes of our government. Post thinks that the worst of the United States government is yet to come and that it is going to arise after Trump.

From his extensive gun collection to his complete and intrinsic distrust of the government, Post Malone could be a man easily converted to the libertarian movement.

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Libertarians and Neo-Progressives Aren’t That Different

Francis Folz | United States

For the first time in the last three election cycles, Ron Paul was not the old, white man who had the arcane ability to attract the diverse youth vote. In 2016, the role of Ron Paul was played by Bernie Sanders, and boy did Bernie play Ron Paul’s role well. However, once Mr. Sanders was defeated by Ms. Clinton, former Governor Gary Johnson doubled down on his support from millennial voters, stating that he and Mr. Sanders share similar positions close to 70 percent of the time.

I found it quite intriguing that two competing ideologies that, on the surface, couldn’t seem farther apart from each other actually share a plethora of dogmas in common. History is repeating itself, yet very few identify how civil libertarians and these modern-day progressive socialists have been on the same side of history as one another in the past.

In the 1960 presidential election, Americans elected John F. Kennedy by a narrow margin to be the next commander-in-chief. Kennedy, who had many libertarian inklings such as fiscal conservatism, the desire to abolish the Federal Reserve and the CIA, and his opposition to military conflicts. Unfortunately, JFK served only three years as president before he was assassinated and war hawk Lyndon B. Johnson took his place.

Barry Goldwater is often recognized as a man ahead of his time. In 1964, Mr. Goldwater, or should I say Mr. Conservative, defeated the Rockefeller establishment wing of the Republican Party and was nominated to be the next president of the United States. It’s important to note Mr. Goldwater wasn’t a conservative by present day standards, as his positions would be considered libertarian today.

The former senator from Arizona favored personal responsibility, proposed the idea that one must only be able to shoot straight to be in our armed forces, believed foreign entanglements are unnecessary and detrimental to our nation, and that American prosperity starts with laissez-faire approaches to economics. Regrettably, the War Party successfully convinced Americans that a Goldwater presidency would result in nuclear warfare, and as consequence, the Ron Paul of the ’60’s received only 52 electoral votes.

As Lyndon Johnson kicked the Vietnam War into high gear, the youth of the 1960’s became increasingly wary of America’s hunger for military conflict. Countless students defied their military conscription or celebrated Uncle Lyndon’s call to arms by burning their draft cards. Lamentably, the young minds involved in the anti-war movement were led by American communists like Students for a Democratic Society.

What many fail to consider is that libertarians found themselves on the same sides as the hippies, advocating for the end of the disastrous and unconstitutional Vietnam War. In 1969, libertarians were expelled from the conservative Young Americans for Freedom convention after a libertarian member burned his draft card. Although libertarians were not involved with organizations like SDS, their sentiment towards peace was just as strong.

Libertarians and the New Left most likely found themselves sympathizing or supporting the Free Speech movement of the early 1960’s. According to UC Berkeley campus rules at the time, certain political activity was prohibited or restricted to the Democratic and Republican campus clubs.

Students who desired to solicit money for Civil Rights campaigns or to speak out against the Vietnam War were either disbanded or arrested for violating campus laws. Although the Left is predominately considered the champions of the Free Speech movement, 60’s libertarians assumably supported the precepts of free speech, civil rights, and non-aggression.

In addition, the counterculture movement and libertarians shared a relaxed approach to social issues. Both libertarians and the left-leaning youth of the 60’s favored personal responsibility and decriminalization of non-violent offenses. Lastly, hippies and libertarians shared anti-authoritarian attitudes, which is ironic considering communism requires a large, centralized political authority.

Despite the hippies of the anti-war movement and the libertarians of the 60’s belonging to immensely different ideologies and organizations, both espoused similar positions regarding the most critical issues of their time. The similar views both sides formerly held have once again manifested itself in today’s politics, underscored by akin perspectives and, at times, differing solutions from the Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders coalitions.

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