Incredibly, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other Washington security officials once proposed secretly staging fake Cuban attacks on Americans, to stampede U.S. public wrath in favor of an invasion of Cuba.It happened in 1962, at the height of the Cold War, and it was called Operation Northwoods.The covert "false flag" plot was drafted behind closed Pentagon doors by top U.S. military "hawks" after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion -- but President Kennedy rejected it, rebuking the plotters. The conspiracy became public in 1997 when the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board released it among 1,521 pages of formerly secret government files. The Northwoods files were published online in 1998 by the National Security Archive, but the U.S. press hardly noticed the disclosure.In Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency, James Bamford wrote:"The plan, which had the written approval of the chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami and elsewhere.People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving [JCS Chairman Lyman] Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war."Astounding. It boggles the mind to realize that top-level U.S. military leaders actually conspired to kill or maim Americans -- using attackers disguised as Cuban communists -- to trick the nation into patriotic fervor against the island 90 miles south of Florida. Thank heaven, President Kennedy renounced this treasonous scheme.Next time right-wing warmongers beat the drum for a U.S. assault on some "enemy" nation, remember Operation Northwoods. The sobering example may make you wonder who's the real enemy.