One suspects the
president of the
Electoral College is
more interested in
accountability than in
The American Spark
Trump Raid In Syria Shows Why Accountability Matters
By Cliff Montgomery - Oct. 31st, 2019
In recent articles, we at The American Spark have worked to bring readers a series of multi-part
investigations concerning questionable historical actions performed by the U.S. intelligence community.
Those articles have proven breathtakingly unpopular.
We hear you. We’ll drop the intended series, work to ‘stay in our lane’ and keep our focus on current events.
Now and again, we will still use past events to show why a modern action performed by government officials
should not be trusted, or even allowed. But the important thing is to give our readers what they want and need.
Donald Trump admitted on Sunday a failure to brief U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other
congressional leaders about the surprise military attack in Syria leading to the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,
then-head of the Islamic State.
Trump claimed he was concerned about ‘potential leaks’. Yet previous presidents - Republican and Democrat
alike - were able to inform the proper congressional leaders before conducting a sensitive military action and
were able to perform their job just fine.
For instance, President Obama successfully ordered a top-secret raid which apparently killed Osama bin-
Laden ... all while appearing to follow the rules of accountability. So why can’t Trump do it?
One suspects the president of the Electoral College is more interested in ending real accountability than in
ending imaginary leaks.
This is a huge issue. Where there is no accountability, there is no democracy. We then are no longer citizens,
we are subjects living under a tyrant king who may attack whomever he pleases.
History shows the fantastic danger of that scenario. A little-known planned executive action called Operation
Northwoods revealed precisely why people must never place absolute,unquestioned faith in government
On March 13, 1962, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff provided Defense Secretary Robert McNamara with a
document, titled “Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba.” It was the essential plan which later
became known as Operation Northwoods.
“Written in response to a request from the Chief of the Cuba Project, Col. Edward Lansdale,” declared a study
on the matter from the George Washington University-based National Security Archive, “the Top Secret
memorandum describes U.S. plans to covertly engineer various pretexts that would justify a U.S. invasion of
“These proposals - part of a secret anti-Castro program known as Operation Mongoose - included staging the
assassinations of Cubans living in the United States,” continued the Archive, “developing a fake ‘Communist
Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington,’ ” which would have
included “ ‘sink[ing] a boatload of Cuban refugees (real or simulated),’ [and] faking a Cuban airforce attack on
a civilian jetliner.”
The plan also would have created “a ‘Remember the Maine’ incident by blowing up a U.S. ship in Cuban
waters and then blaming the incident on Cuban sabotage.”
In short, Northwoods would have ordered U.S. government operatives to perform terrorist acts on both
American civilians and armed forces targets. U.S. officials then would have falsely attributed those attacks to
the Cuban government, thus providing a justification for a war (and, presumably, a capitalist-friendly regime
change) in Cuba.
Author James Bamford - who wrote Body Of Secrets, a stinging expose of the National Security Agency
(NSA) - declared that Operation Northwoods “may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S.
Regardless, this “most corrupt plan” came quite close to being put into action.
Northwoods was drafted by the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, then actually approved by Chairman Lyman
Lemnitzer. He sent the plan to Robert McNamara, then-Secretary of Defense under President John F.
Kennedy. J.F.K. soundly - and thankfully - rejected the operation.
But what if Kennedy hadn’t been a well-adjusted, confident rich man? What if he was a rich man who lacked
empathy for others, and was perhaps fatally keen to impress his supporters with displays of apparent strength
Would anyone really trust such a man to make the correct decision on such a mad plan? All without a hint of
oversight from other officials or American citizens, no less?
Would you blindly trust a Donald Trump to say ‘no’ to such a plan? We wouldn’t. We think most people would
agree with us.
That’s why accountability matters. That’s why democracy matters.
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