THE plot by America's
military bosses was devilish in both design and intent - to fabricate an
outrage against innocent civilians, fool the world and provide a pretext
for war. In the Pentagon top-secret team drew up a plan to
simultaneously send up two airliners painted and numbered exactly the
same, one from a civil airport in America, the other from a secret
military airbase nearby.
The one from the airport
would have military personnel on board who had checked in as ordinary
passengers under false names. The one from the airbase would
be an empty drone, a remote-controlled unmanned aircraft.
Somewhere along their
joint flight paths, the passengercarrying plane would drop below radar
height and disappear, landing back at the airbase and unloading its
occupants in secret.
Meanwhile, the drone would
have taken up the other plane's designated course. High over
the island of Cuba, it would be exploded in mid-air after broadcasting an
international distress call that it was under attack from enemy fighters.
The world would be told
that a plane-load of blameless American holidaymakers had been
deliberately shot down by Fidel Castro's Communists - and that the U.S.
had no choice but to declare war and topple his regime.
This `agent provocateur'
plan - code-named Operation Northwoods and revealed in official archives -
dates from 1962 when the Cold War was at its height.