I suppose I should be talking about current stuff -- Ted Cruz, the hopeless fight against Obamacare, the Hillary-for-prez stories, all of that. But my mind keeps going back to the parapolitical past.
Reviewing old stuff may prove useful. What's past is present.
Case in point: Operation BINGO, a 1962 plan to bring down Castro's government. You may have read a bit about it, because it was a sister scheme to the much-ballyhooed Northwoods plan. The author of BINGO was an imaginative fun-seeker named Brig. Gen. William Craig, the covert action officer for Lyman Lemnitzer.
Most reports on BINGO don't describe it in a way designed to turn on all the lights. For example, here's what Wikipedia has to say:
The memorandum outlines Operation Bingo, a plan to; "create an incident which has the appearance of an attack on U.S. facilities (GMO) in Cuba, thus providing an excuse for use of U.S. military might to overthrow the current government of Cuba."
GMO refers to the U.S. military installation at Guantanamo Bay. You remember: Jack Nicholson, torture, detainees held without trial even though they are probably innocent. Gitmo.
If you look at the actual BINGO document, the plan takes on a strange new dimension, one that no-one seems to have discussed. Here it is
If you hit that link, you'll have to scroll down until you see Document 5, titled "Possible Actions to Provoke, Harrass [sic], of Disrupt Cuba." (I suspect that the "of" in that title should be "or.")
The document lists a whole bunch of different really Big Ideas, all of which have cool names like Operation SMASHER and Operation TURNABOUT and Operation COVER-UP and Operation DIRTY TRICK. (I bet when Craig wrote this stuff he kept saying to himself: "Yeah! I am on fucking fire
DIRTY TRICK is particularly memorable:
7. Operation DIRTY TRICK:
a. Objective: The objective is to provide irrevocable proof that, should the MERCURY manned orbit flight fail, the fault lies with the Communists et al Cuba.
b. Concept: This to be accomplished by manufacturing various pieces of evidence which would prove electronic interference on the part of the Cubans.
Mull this one over. You may be able to figure out why this particular Big Idea is not like the other Big Ideas: It's not a plot to disrupt or harass Cuba.
It's a plot to frame
Worse than that. It's a plot to start World War III
. How would the United States respond if the President was told by his top intelligence officials that Cuba had brought down a Mercury space capsule?
We may therefore presume that DIRTY TRICK would work only if kept secret from JFK. In a sense, JFK was to be the chief victim.
Keep DIRTY TRICK in mind as you read about BINGO. Of all the Big Ideas in this document, this is the one into which Craig put the most thought:
10. Operation BINGO:
a. Objective: The objective is to create an incident which has the appearance of an attack on U.S. facilities (GMO) in Cuba, thus providing the excuse for use of U.S. might to overthrow the current government of Cuba.
b. Concept: This to be accomplished by the use of SNAKES outside the confines of the Guantanamo Base. SNAKES simulate an actual fire-fight and upon hearing such a sound it is entirely feasible that the immediate reaction on G'Mo would be that the base is being attacked. This would, with proper preparation, be followed by a counterattack and with adequate planning the base at G'Mo could disgorge military force in sufficient number to sustain itself until other forces, which had been previously alerted, could attack in other areas. It is envisaged that a schedule of operations similar to the following would overwhelm the Cuban military and cause its defeat:
(1) Simulated attack on Guantanamo.
(2) Word flashed to the President.
(3) President orders counterattack to include:
(a) Immediate launch of alerted aircraft whose targets are Cuban airfields.
(b) Immediate launch of counterattack down strategic lines in communication in Cuba.
(c) Fleet force standing by on alert would make way toward pre-selected targets/landing areas.
(d) Immediate embarkation of airborne troops previously alerted to pre-selected targets.
(e) Launch of additional combat aircraft to clear drop areas and further interdict lines of communication.
(f) Ships and aircraft would land/airdrops troops and secure airfields, road/rail terminals, etc.
I'm not sure what SNAKES are. From context, they would appear to be an undercover military unit. (Or maybe paramilitary; the CIA was training deniable anti-Castro mercs during this period.) The basic idea should be clear enough: American forces, pretending to be Cuban forces, would attack Gitmo, and the President would have no choice but to launch a war plan against Castro's government.
The very few people who have discussed BINGO have missed one key point: JFK was never meant to be in on BINGO. As with DIRTY TRICK, the entire purpose of the operation was to pull the wool over the President's eyes -- to force him into doing something he did not want to do.
That's pretty damned important. Even though Lansdale did not approve of either DIRTY TRICK or BINGO, we should never lose sight of the fact that there were people in the government who thought that the President should be deceived into launching a war.
Lemnitzer was later involved with Team B, the fake pseudo-CIA group set up to over-estimate the Soviet Union's military might.
What's past is present. Considered for your approval: The case of Barack Obama and Syria. The president very nearly went to war over a chemical weapons attack ascribed to Bashar Assad, even though this government still
has not presented any hard evidence that Assad did the deed.There may be SNAKES, of a sort, within the rebel alliance.
Ask yourself: Have we seen this strategy before?