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Sophomoric strategy to sink Fidel



Just when you think the federal government doesn't have a sense of humor, along come those wild and wacky guys at the Pentagon clowning it up and making you laugh ... until you cry. The latest Laugh-A-Rama comes courtesy of old memos just released from the Defense Department -- 1,500 pages from 1962, written at the highest level of the Pentagon, the Joint Chiefs of Staff. All of these memos were part of a covert scheme to "Provoke, Harass or Disrupt Cuba" -- a scheme code-named "Operation Mongoose." "Goosey" would be a more accurate description. We are talking sophomoric pranks that would embarrass the most-drunken college fraternity. The Joint Chiefs even gave sub-code names to each of their hare-brained schemes, which were meant to depose Fidel Castro. There was "Operation Bingo." The idea here was to fake an attack on our own military base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The memo reads, "We could blow up a U.S. warship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," providing a rationale for launching an all-out U.S. military attack on Fidel's fiefdom. If that didn't work, the memo suggested killing Cuban refugees and blaming Castro: "We could sink a boatload of Cubans en route to Florida." So, check out another Pentagon plot called "Operation Dirty Trick." This involved the 1962 launch of Astronaut John Glenn into space, the first American to orbit Earth. But what if that launch went wrong and maybe Glenn died? Hey, said our Pentagon geniuses, blame Castro! Cuba's just 90 miles from Cape Canaveral, so let's claim Castro killed Glenn and then nuke him. Unfortunately for these war-provoking clowns in the Pentagon, Glenn's launch was successful. But, hey, it's the thought that counts.

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