It is an insane conspiracy theory and while I love a good conspiracy even I could not buy into this one. Still, Truthers could point for support to an actual government conspiracy that was eerily similar, Operation Northwoods.
Devised in 1962 following the debacle of the Bay of Pigs, it was to provide the justification for an American invasion and conquest of Cuba. The plan proposed a series of phony provocations that would be the pretext for war. The author of the plan was the then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General L. L. Lemnitzer. The plan's basics were:
- Initiate a series of fake attacks on the US military base at Guantanamo. The culmination would be a "Remember the Maine" incident where a US warship would be blown up in Guantanamo Bay.
- Terrorist attacks would be staged against Cuban refugees. American agents would sink a boatload of Cuban refugees and blame Castro. Attempts would be made on the lives of Cubans living in Florida. To be believable, these attempts would have to frequently succeed.
- Americans, using Cuban-type bombers, would use Soviet incendiaries to burn the crops of other Caribbean nations. The Dominican Republic was specifically mentioned as a possible target. Firebombing farms would kill civilians.
- American pilots flying Soviet MIGs would shoot down a passenger airliner. The suggested target would be a chartered flight of American students on holiday. Gen. Lemnitzer was sensitive enough to suggest substituting an unoccupied drone although his plan does not say how the government would explain the sudden reappearance of all those presumably dead students.
Operation Northwoods was kept secret until it was published in 1997 as part of the Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board.
Secret but not forgotten. A year after it was rejected part of the plan was initiated. John F. Kennedy was murdered and the man framed for the murder was tied to Cuba.
PS About 9-11 Truthers: The reason I haven't believed them is that the Bush Administration just wasn't competent enough to have pulled it off. Although I am willing to reconsider if the Truthers can provide better evidence.