[Many thanks to Teo Freytes for bringing this item to our attention.] In “ CIA Considered Bombing Miami and Killing Refugees to Blame Castro,” Tim Elfrink (The Miami New Times) writes that Operation Mongoose has hardly been a secret. “The covert project, which for a time was headquartered in a secret base in Opa-locka, has long been studied by Cold War scholars and JFK conspiracy buffs.” Now, National Archives declassified part of the JFK secret documents. Elfrink writes:
This might come as a grave shock, but Donald Trump’s bold promises earlier this week to finally blow the lid off the JFK assassination mystery by declassifying reams of secret documents turned out to be a gigantic tease. The National Archives ended up declassifying only a fraction of the JFK documents last night and mostly released details that had already been revealed. Still, the 2,800 papers included in the new document dump confirm some salacious details of America’s decades-long quest to kill or depose Fidel Castro — including a fairly shocking plan by the CIA to sow terror in Miami.
After Castro’s revolution succeeded and thousands of Cubans fled to South Florida, the agency actually considered murdering a boatload of refugees, assassinating exile leaders, and planting bombs in Miami — all so Castro could be blamed for the whole massacre.
The basic idea was to turn world opinion — and perhaps opinion inside Cuba — against Castro and possibly justifying a U.S. military invasion by pinning the atrocities on him. The details of the sinister plot are included in a summary about Operation Mongoose, a 1960 covert op hatched by the CIA under President Dwight Eisenhower with the aim of toppling Communist Cuba.
The campaign was included in a report on “pretexts” the U.S. could conjure up to justify a military intervention in Cuba. The paper was sent by Gen. Edward Landsdale, a top Cold War officer who worked with the CIA to plot out Operation Mongoose; he sent the report, which included nine other “pretexts,” on April 12, 1962, to Gen. Maxwell Taylor, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Here’s how the report described the plan:
Just to reiterate how crazy this idea is: The CIA thought about blowing stuff up in Florida and murdering innocent refugees simply to make Castro look bad.
Thankfully, that plot was apparently never carried out. The Mongoose doc includes other frightening plots hatched by the spooks in Washington, including an idea to use biological weapons to ruin Cuba’s crops, possibly leading to famine and an uprising against Castro. [. . .]