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I'm not sure why Professor Hershberg has taken umbrage at my article on Operation Northwoods. He certainly magnifies the importance of my half-dozen lines pertaining to his article by declaring that I set him up as a "straw man" to knock down, or to "invent a disagreement." Nothing was farther from my mind. In fact, I placed my reference to his 1990 article in the body of the paper rather than relegating it to a footnote because I recognized its importance.

I had no need for a "straw man" since the purpose of my article was to add to the public knowledge of newly released documents from the Defense Department. Hershberg, on the other hand, writing some thirteen years ago, was refuting some of the early scholarship about the years before the Cuban Missile Crisis. His work, therefore, includes material from an early joint conference on the crisis as well as some documents released under FOIA. Thus, in my view, the two articles complement each other.

Both of these articles are available to the readers of this journal, so I see no need to counter Professor Hershberg's selective quotes, especially since his argument seems to concern interpretation (my reference is to the entire article rather than particular sentences). But it is worth noting that more information will ultimately become available on Operation Northwoods and new articles and books will be written. I look forward to reading them, although I will unquestionably disagree with some of the new interpretations. No one "owns" history, which is why it is so interesting. [End Page 198]

Anna Kasten Nelson, Distinguished Historian in Residence
American University

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