False Flag Attacks: Myth and Reality

One of the terms most commonly used by conspiracy theorists when discussing “the real story” behind incidents like the September 11th attacks or the recent Sandy Hook shooting is “false flag,” meaning that it was caused or staged deliberately to use as an excuse to perpetrate something nefarious. A quick Google search of the phrase brings up an astonishing 42 million hits, with page after page of posts at conspiracy hotbeds like Infowars/Prison Planet, Natural News, Before It’s News, etc. If one were to work solely from this, it would be easy to get the impression that our recent history is jammed with prefabricated incidents designed to enable our government to grab more power, take away the rights of the common people and/or line their already fattened pockets.

Further complicating matters, false flags are a very real phenomenon. Unlike, say, free energy machines or alien abductions, which people claim to exist, yet don’t, false flag attacks have happened, many times for many different reasons. The United States has even been involved in some. In order to debunk the conspiracy theories, it’s important to define what a false flag actually is, and have historical examples of when they’ve actually happened, in order to better define when they haven’t.

In military terms, a false flag is any act of deception designed to make your opponent think you’re someone else. The term “false flag” originated with naval warfare, when a ship would run up a flag other than its designated battle ensign for the purposes of drawing an enemy ship closer. When the target got close enough, the deceiving ship would run up the real battle flag and open fire. This tactic has long been recognized as an acceptable use of deception, and has been used in numerous forms, by both naval and ground forces, for centuries. Both World Wars feature numerous uses of false flag strategies, from ships disguising themselves as other ships to soldiers wearing enemy uniforms.

False flags also have political uses, usually to justify aggression. Japan kicked off its 1931 invasion of Manchuria with a false flag, a staged bombing of a railway known as the Mukden Incident. The “bombing” of the Japanese-owned South Manchuria Railway was so ineffective that a train went over the railroad minutes after the explosion, but it was all the justification Japan needed to begin its long-planned conquest of China.

The German invasion of Poland was also preceded by a series of false flags, known collectively as Operation Himmler, and designed to manufacture the appearance of Polish belligerence toward Germany. Over the course of August 31, 1939, the night before the planned German invasion, nearly two dozen incidents took place involving German troops dressed in Polish uniforms carrying out random acts of vandalism, destruction and terror against towns and installations along the Germany/Poland border. To emphasize the ruse, dead bodies in Polish uniforms (usually concentration camp prisoners) were left behind. Operation Himmler was a paper-thin propaganda ruse, but it did its job, giving Germany the pretense it needed to do what it was going to do anyway.

False flags have also been a staple of terrorism and state-sponsored actions, especially during the Cold War. But for every real false flag involving deliberate deception, there are just as many historical incidents called false flags where the evidence could go either way. The Reichstag Fire, set in 1933 and used by the Nazis to justify their seizure of power, may have been the work of a Dutch Communist, whose conviction was posthumously overturned by a German court in 2008, or might have been set by the Nazis themselves. The Russian apartment bombings of 1999 are often called a false flag staged by Russian intelligence as an excuse to invade Chechnya, despite conflicting evidence. And the explosion and sinking of the USS Maine in 1898 is long thought to have been caused by US agents planting a mine on the ship as a pretense for war with Spain, though recent evidence points to Maine being sunk by an internal coal explosion. In these cases, we don’t know enough, and likely never will, to say whether the incidents happened organically or were set up for nefarious purposes.

One false flag operation that’s long fired the imagination of conspiracy theorists never even took place. Operation Northwoods was a proposed plot by the Department of Defense to fabricate a pretext for an invasion of Cuba and overthrow of the Castro regime. Acts such as shooting down a passenger plane, sinking a US Navy ship or even attacks on Miami were suggested by the document, which was classified until 1997. The plan made it all the way to President Kennedy’s desk, who wisely vetoed it. But just the existence of such a plan is enough to convince some that the US government, no matter who is in charge, is capable of brazen deception and false flag techniques to justify anything it wants. And of course, the conspiracy theorists add, President Kennedy was assassinated less than a year after scuttling Northwoods.

Finally, we come to events that involved no deliberate deception, and therefore aren’t false flag attacks, but simply attacks. Everything from Pearl Harbor to the Liberty Incident have been called government-staged false flags, with virtually nothing to back up the accusations. The one most often cited as a false flag is 1964’s Gulf of Tonkin Incident, where a US destroyer was the victim of two attacks by North Vietnamese torpedo boats, one real and the other probably only jittery sailors firing at shadows. Despite there being ample evidence that the first attack happened, and no evidence that the second involved any deliberate deception on the part of the US, conspiracy theorists seized on the subsequent passing of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution as proof that the incident was staged to justify sweeping war powers for President Johnson and an escalation of hostilities in Vietnam. But even as early as a few days after the second incident, Johnson already doubted whether it had taken place, which is not the action of someone cooking up a fake attack to justify his policies.

Of course, the September 11th attacks are considered the granddaddy of all false flags, with a legion of truthers accusing the government of bombing the World Trade Center as an excuse to curtail our rights, give more power to the global elite and kick off any number of wars. But after the truther theories are debunked, we’re left with one inescapable fact: unless and until definitive proof of the government’s involvement in 9/11 ever surfaces, the attacks can’t be called a false flag.

Which brings us to Sandy Hook. In the past few years, every time one of these tragedies takes place, be it in Arizona, Aurora, Milwaukee or now Newtown, conspiracy theorists instantly take to the internet, with cries of “false flag!” and accusations that the Obama administration either caused or staged the shootings as an excuse to grab our guns and curtail our rights. They offer manufactured “proof” and use the historical examples of other false flag attacks, both real and imagined, as “evidence” that “they” did it before, and will do it again.

And just like 9/11, and the other imagined false flags, these theories hold about as much water as a colander. Some directly contradict each other. Most can easily be explained away. All of them are made up. There’s no confusion about who committed these crimes and how they did it. And the supposed measures that the shootings were an excuse to enact, be they wide-ranging gun bans, repeal of the 2nd Amendment or mass arrests of gun owners, have come to little. Even the much ballyhooed executive orders signed by the President in the wake of Sandy Hook were mostly cosmetic measures, dismissed by many as window dressing.

To put it bluntly, if Sandy Hook actually was a false flag, perpetrated in secret by the government, it was easily discovered and poorly followed-up. Which leaves only the sad reality of 26 victims who died not at the hands of the New World Order, but of a psychotic killer.

Yes, false flag incidents are real. Real people have died because of them. But to see them lurking around every corner at every tragedy is paranoia at its worst.

About Mike Rothschild

Mike Rothschild is a writer and editor based in Pasadena. He writes about scams, conspiracy theories, hoaxes and pop culture fads. He's also a playwright and screenwriter. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/rothschildmd.
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100 Responses to False Flag Attacks: Myth and Reality

  1. Anonymous says:

    Good piece, however the author’s last name is Rothschild, so I dont think it will do much to cure the pigheaded paranoia that’s out there..

    Those guys just want to feel like vigilantes and look for stuff that agrees with them. In the process they are making an artform of propaganda and disinformation campaigns and can be easily manipulated by any ill-intended, say, gun-selling industrialist for their own purposes.

    Also I think they cannot handle reality is absurd at times, but not as exciting as video games.

    • FACTUAL INTELLIGENCE says:

      Sooooo, All the DHS trucks, Ammo, UN Trucks, Gun Confiscation, Military Cuts, Sequester, Food Stamp & Homeless Climbs, 89 Million out of work, the booming market right now, Gas Prices soaring, Iran, North Korea, Russia Threats, Drone Attacks on American Soil (If THEY feel it necessary), The rising of American Militia, Venezuela, Muslim Uprising, Homegrown Muslim Terrorists (to name a few) are all of us just being a bit crazy? It all comes down to one thing, you look at the world in your own eyes. You watch the news, listen and dont listen to what attracts you.EVERYTHING and yes EVERYTHING I have just stated is FACT and going on right now. These are OPINION columns which you have taken for FACT because once again, IT FITS YOUR NEEDS just as you accuse the latter. You leftists (Once again, I am am sure that is a FACT) will be the FIRST in the FEMA camps and thank goodness the FIRST to die. Ohhhhh, I know, they dont exist.

      • Will you be my friend?

      • WhatMeWorry says:

        The lure of conspiracies is that it makes the believer special, in his own eyes and the eyes of many. He knows the secret, he has the inside scoop. It’s a matter of having inside information nobody else has, unless they are wise enough to be in on the matter. You sir, are special indeed.

        • Matt R says:

          The lure of labeling people as Conspiracy Theorist / Tinfoil Hats is that it makes the believer feel special, In his own eyes, he is morally and mentally superior to these people. He takes comfort in a full trust relationship he has with the establishment because he is to intellectually lazy to any look deeper into matters than listening to the news.

          I’d like to think I remain in the middle. I think most people should.

      • CE says:

        Epic strawman is epic. Stop giving us right wingers a bad name please. I grant that there might be some merit your laundry list here, but none of that entails that Sandy Hook, 9/11 or Boston were false flags.

  2. Shirley Rieven says:

    Rah! Rah! Well said!

  3. Mesocosm says:

    I think you’re quite right to question the speed with which citizen activists will raise the cry of “False flag!” with respect to everything from the 9/11 attacks to “Fast and Furious.”

    However, in my opinion you may be minimizing the degree to which false flag attacks are in fact used by the US, both at home and abroad. Many of the substantiated false flag examples you presented are instances from foreign powers, but the US government has an extremely ignominious track record of these operations that has been well established. Many of the awful examples of which we have public evidence involve the Cold War, but that surely has more to do with the fact that material from that era has come to light.

    Two particularly noteworthy examples that bear consideration in this discussion are the FBI’s COINTELPRO operation, which infiltrated a number of nonviolent protest and civil rights groups in the sixties and seventies, and sewed discord and even violence through false flag operations and disinformation. It’s worth noting that in at least one case, that of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, there is overwhelming evidence of blatant political assassinations on US soil.

    Here is the official Church Committee report on the FBI attempts to destroy the Black Panthers:
    http://www.icdc.com/~paulwolf/cointelpro/churchfinalreportIIIc.htm

    Another case worth reviewing is that of Operation Gladio, a clandestine CIA operation in Europe throughout the Cold War. Operation Gladio began as an OSS operation to leave caches of arms in the event of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe post World War II, but it morphed into a shadowy ultra-right-wing anti-Communist network that has been credibly linked to several acts of terrorism, such as high-profile assassinations of paramilitary troops in Italy carried out by right-wing neo-fascists in order to blame and discredit Communists. See, for example, this article, which contains testimony of an Italian head of counter-intelligence alleging direct CIA involvement in assassinations:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/mar/26/terrorism

    I do not mean to imply that Sandy Hook or 9/11 were false flag operations – far from it. I simply want to emphasize the degree to which they are a real and demonstrable part of the US playbook.

    • This is great stuff, thanks for the info. I started writing more about Gladio, but realized it was way too much to squeeze into one paragraph, and it was taking me off the path I wanted to stay on. I have no doubt the US has been involved in its share of underhanded business involving deception, but not the incidents that are popularly thought of as “staged” by conspiracy theorists.

      • Jay504702 says:

        Just a few quick questions.. Because i am just going down the comments.. But, at the times of these “now known” False flag operations.. Would it be safe to assume there were individuals like yourself, who pointed out those operations were not false flag ops.. just because they may or may not have happen before? and until years later, it becomes fact…

        I am perplexed by your well composed article. Just another know it all who wants to label anyone who wants to question their government? It isn’t as if they have cause? It is simple to just accept whatever story the government gives for each case. Regardless of some inconsistencies that are not important.. But the facts remain the same. They can, have and will do them again. Despite what you or I believe. What say you to those realities? Instead of using your voice to condemn those who do not trust their government?

        • Rob Struble says:

          ” Would it be safe to assume there were individuals like yourself, who pointed out those operations were not false flag ops.. ”

          Logical fallacy. Because something existed or happened in the past is not proof it exists or happens now.

          “I am perplexed by your well composed article. Just another know it all who wants to label anyone who wants to question their government?”

          Ad hominum prefaced by a compliment.

          “It isn’t as if they have cause? It is simple to just accept whatever story the government gives for each case. Regardless of some inconsistencies that are not important.”

          Begging the question.

          “But the facts remain the same. They can, have and will do them again. Despite what you or I believe. What say you to those realities? Instead of using your voice to condemn those who do not trust their government?”

          Fallacy followed by ad hominum.

          • argumenttologic says:

            Your entire comment: Argument from Fallacy Fallacy. Just because the argument contains a fallacy doesn’t make the conclusion incorrect.
            You are stupid; ad hominem (correctly spelled) but it’s still true.

          • Matt R says:

            Oh look it’s another ‘skeptic’ with his logic handbook trying to deconstruct a point because he doesn’t like it. How to appear intelligent 101.

      • Matt R says:

        “it was taking me off the path I wanted to stay on.”

        You mean actual examples of the things your article said didn’t exist would derail the point of your argument.

        Maybe stick to writing plays.

        • Except that I specifically said false flags do exist, and gave examples of historical events that either definitely or possibly are false flags. It’s impossible to summarize every single event that might or might not be a false flag in 1,500 words. You’re welcome to try, though.

  4. Mesocosm says:

    Ack! Sorry that comment wasn’t edited a bit better!

  5. gregm91436 says:

    Many kudos to Mescocosm for a well-reasoned and historically accurate reply.

  6. Wordwizard says:

    One comment, one question:

    “In military terms, a false flag is any act of deception designed to make your opponent think you’re someone else.”

    In a number of your examples, where “incidents” were staged to justify wars, the deception was designed to make their OWN country, rather than their opponents, think it was done by someone else.

    I have one niggling question, which I could not find addressed by the link you provided to Popular Mechanics’ debunking of 9/11 conspiracy theorists:

    Claim: The Twin Towers’ collapses, each of which was caught on film live, showed each of them falling at free-fall speed, which is impossible when a building “pancakes” (as it takes time for each floor to collapse from the weight of the ones above), but only possible when controlled demolition causes collapse from the ground floor up.

    I have never found ANY of the conspiracy theorists’ “explanations” of this phenomenon the least bit convincing, but it still raises the unanswered question of how that could be so. Could someone help set me straight?

    • …and two planes taking down three buildings! 9/11 has been proved scientifically on many platforms that it is an inside job! I watched live on TV: a woman face covered with dust running away, said to the reporter ” I heard explosions coming from the basement…”

      We have a lot of documented incidents of US forces from Incirlik/Adana AFB, dropping ammunition and supplies to PKK rebels in northern Iraq, which when brought to the attention of US General Staff by Turkish General Staff, they kept a low profile!

      One of the many CIA trained young Americans disguised as “Peace Corps” teaching English in Anatolian schools, were caught on phone-cam putting his hand on the photo of Ataturk on the wall and saying: “What does this man mean to you? What good has he done to you?” trying to wipe out Ataturks’ image from the young generation!

      If the writer and any reader of this article has enough unbiased will, please read The Protocols: http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/przion1.htm .

    • Brian B says:

      Quite simply, they didn’t collapse at free-fall speed. It’s a popular misconception. The latter part of the collapses happened at free-fall speed, but that is easily explained by the fact that lower floors were demolished by air pressure after the collapses started. However, the entirety of the collapses did NOT occur at free-fall speed. They began more slowly and accelerated to free-fall speed as the lower floors were weakened.

      • What about “…explosions coming from the basement”? Weeks before the incident, some people worked for many days in the below ground level, and the activity was explained to other witnesses as “…fire drill”. And of course the hasty removal of debris by the order of Gulliany not leaving any physical clues behind! Wake up America :))

        • paul w says:

          You cannot help yourself, can you?
          Your question was answered, so you ignored it and went onto another ‘just asking questions’.
          Truther 101.

          • More truther 202
            Here is an excerpt from one of my writings:

            “…There are various documents proving that the Jewish business men during WWII took part with Nazis to scare the Jews out of Europe to settle in will be Israel country! So Illuminati and hereditary elite is a minor point.

            They have done a lot of harm dismantling former Yugoslavia into 6 “independent” colonies, also they are doing the same in ME, and trying to do the same to Turkey.

            There are well documented incidents of US forces dropping arms and supplies to Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, and US generals insisted on keeping a low profile on the subject when Turkish General Staff brought the incident to their attention.”

            Why does US have more than 180 military bases all around the world? Home land security? Or feed the US arms industry more $$$$?

            Care to read The Protocols: http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/przion1.htm ???

            And later we may laugh together on more conspiracy theories :))))))))))

        • They did their best to cover up, Kemal, but traces of super-thermite has indeed been found in the debris. And, that IS an irrefutable proof of your train of thoughts being correct. Apart from that, the subsequent collapse of tower 7. leaves no question in this respect (It also puts Brian B’s opinion and his opinion on this in a most suspicious light! :-))

          • Mark says:

            There was never any thermite found in any of the legitimate samples tested by reputable laboratories. The claims of thermite never passed peer review. Those samples came from erroneous sources many years later, and the author of the thermite conspiracy refused to have his “samples” independently tested and verified. Nevermind that it takes tons of thermite to even cut one ton of aluminum in the form of a shaped charge that no one saw installed. How was all this unburned highly reactive thermite left over. Looking at the spectrum analysis of the alleged “red chips”, it appears to be primer paint, and not explosives.

          • End Time Boogie says:

            “There was never any thermite found in any of the legitimate samples tested by reputable laboratories. “, cite your sources, I am genuinly interested as to my understanding NIST never entertained the possibilty of any pyrotechnic agents being involved, so they never did the forensics.

        • Rob Struble says:

          Anyone who cites “Operation Northwoods” as evidence of anything other than the government *not* being willing to engage in such actions is lying to themselves. A plan which was rejected is not evidence of anything other than THE PLAN WAS REJECTED.

        • Rob Struble says:

          You ignoring tons of wreckage not to mention the obvious “wing scars on the facade” makes me more than a little suspicious of the rest of your claims.

      • Doug Wagner says:

        If you believe the official story, that tells me everything I need to know about your intellect, and/or, your agenda

  7. Sean says:

    If you think that because one guy at Popular Mechanics whose neither a demolitions expert, nor an architect is proof that something is debunked, then you have more problems than just a lack of ability to connect the dots. On the other side you have organizations like Architects and Engineers for Truth who actually are experts in their respective fields that say unequivocally that planes did not bring down those buildings, moreover they say it by the thousands. And if that still isn’t enough for you then explain building number 7 that wasn’t hit by a plane and came down in it’s own footprint at free fall speed. And in addition was reported to have fallen before it ever fell. Explain that way.

    It’s truly shocking to me to hear people like you who actually think they’re smart when they can’t even see something that is right in front of their face.

    • Leigh says:

      Pot/kettle much? Here’s the problem I see with conspiracy theorists. You don’t actually look at the evidence or research your questions. You look for answers that support your pre-existing conclusion. A demolition expert or an architect is not metallurgist nor a physicist. There is abundant rebuttals to be found for your arguments, up to and including an actual explanation for the BBC (and other news agencies) having reported things incorrectly (in the confusion at some point it was claimed that as many as 8 planes may had been hijacked, for example). ,

    • Wordwizard says:

      The Popular Mechanics link (not done by “one guy”) leads to the explanation for building 7, which is why I didn’t ask about it.

    • paul w says:

      More Truther 101.
      Architects and Engineers? A laughing stock to all professional architects and engineers.
      Also, if you use their numbers (“in the thousands”) as proof of authority, what about the MILLIONS of experts who think they are completely deluded?
      Also, there are not ‘thousands’, but 1,700. Do the math.
      Also, one debunker enrolled his dog as an engineer. I still think it’s on the list.
      Also, the experts on the reports say the planes DID bring the towers down, and explain why.
      Wtc7? Read the report. Massive damage from the collapse of the towers (you lot always fail to remember that…wonder why?), massive, unchecked fires (which you lot call ‘insignificant fires’), and an inspection by firefighters who saw the building was leaning alarmingly, and inside, could hear the thing actually groaning. They got out quickly, and cleared the area.
      Nor did it fall at free-fall speed.
      The truth? You lot cannot handle the truth.

      • Rozza says:

        & that explains why it accelerates to free-fall after the ‘penthouse’ area initiates the collapse and yet another WTC building collapsed into it’s own foot print symmetrical. Oh & NIST cannot release its physics engine so under that level of scrutiny I saw CGI evidence that New York was swamped by a giant tsunami.

    • Stephen Propatier says:

      Anomaly hunting does not support your conclusion. It takes hundreds of people to do a controlled demolition, and thousands to suppress the evidence left behind at the scene of the crime. Plus all evidence had to be removed from ground zero as it was excavated years later. Despite an opposing party in office that would live to expose the bush administration. 10 years later no reproducible evidence just anomaly’s. Major news networks that hate the bush administration foreign governments that would love to expose the US and somehow no direct evidence. Not one witness has come forward. Really really lucky they all died in all the explosions., So “they” whomever they are have silenced everyone involved. Yet somehow you haven’t had a black bag put over your head and taken away in the night despite the vast conspiracy. Interesting… and just very very implausible. In this group extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    • Freke1 says:

      I’m not sure Mike knows that 9/11 testimonies that didn’t agree with the official story was left out of the final report. Like the story about explosions in the basement. I don’t think Mike has seen Judy Wood’s videos on Youtube. If he had he wouldn’t close this case in his mind with the Popular Mechanics link. There is also the Cheney timeline (also on Youtube) that’s weird. I donno what happend, but at least he should investigate these weird anomalies especially when he knows that the military has no problem with false flag operations (Northwoods).

      Yeah kinda shocking or Oh noes wtf. If You want to investigate 9/11 You should also click on links that You don’t agree with. Check it out Mike, I would love to hear what You think.

      • The existence of Operation Northwoods proves only that the US military has planned false flag operations. It doesn’t prove that any of what I wrote about actually WAS a false flag, including 9/11.

        And I’ve read plenty of questioning of “the official story” of 9/11. I haven’t found any of it to be convincing in the least.

        • Freke1 says:

          ok fair enough – personally I don’t know how 2 planes can cause explosions in the basement, but who knows? I don’t however think these people are lying, crazy or part of a conspiracy:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAJa8eu-6_g
          (just one of many videos one can find if one bothers with 9/11 – I don’t)

          • Stephen Propatier says:

            That is a logical fallacy called argument from ignorance( I am not calling you ignorant). Because you cannot explain how something happens does not mean in reality that it did not happen. “personally I don’t know how 2 planes can cause explosions in the basement, but who knows?” Arguments that appeal to ignorance rely merely on the fact that the veracity of the proposition is not disproven to arrive at a definite conclusion. These arguments fail to appreciate that the limits of one’s understanding or certainty do not change what is true.

            Anomaly’s are not logical proof of anything. With my erector set knowledge of engineering. Open a empty milk carton, put it upside down in the dust on the ground. Step on it and watch the dust fly. I think that is at least one plausible explanation for how the basement exploded out when the building fell. Elevator shafts run top to bottom in the center of the WTC. I mean how do you get around that all the air trapped in the world trade center forced out everywhere I mean. I’m just askin questions?

        • Rob Struble says:

          Actually it proves that a two page “white paper” was shot down by the admin before it ever left the building. OPERATION NORTHWOODS was about as real as a Hollywood screenplay which never got into development.

    • Rob Struble says:

      So a well researched and documented article is hand waved off but an internet group (Architects and Engineers for Truth) consisting of a handful of people (none f whom have ever built anything over four stories) is accepted whole cloth?

  8. There was a shooting today at Lone Star College in Houston, and already the “false flag!” cries have started. Sigh…

    • Jay504702 says:

      another question before i leave this page for the night.. Soo it isn’t that conspiracies exist right? Because their are many of them that are facts.. So what is your position, knowing they exist? Because if you understand and can admit to that fact, there are conspiracy facts (not theory). What makes you different?

      Also, most people like myself do not claim each shooting is some false flag.. However, the media sensationalism is being used in a way to warrant a gun ban. Just like in Britain and Australia.. Almost exactly like them i might add.. Funny how things work?

      • Conspiracy theories are just that. Theories. Usually supported by misinterpreted, debunked and/or made up evidence. Case in point: the Sandy Hook “hoax.”

        And I don’t believe there’s any support, media or otherwise, for a wide-ranging gun ban. Firearm ownership is simply too ingrained into the American character. But I do think people are just fed up with the shootings. There was another one in Atlanta today. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s already a video on YouTube calling it a false flag.

        • Jay504702 says:

          So as far as you know.. all of the bill of rights are intact? And the gun debate has not been put back on the table from these actions? There are countless gun related deaths year after year. Yet, with this crappy production of sandy hoax.. It is just funny how that works out. That is the over all point. It isnt as if the PAT act is real and can remove your rights as a US citizen..
          Or other bills or related laws after 9/11 have changed the discourse on how individuals can be seen as terrorists.. where proven or unproven.

          Yet your complaint is that they arent supported or they are debunked? I am willing to bet you with enough time.. a person with enough resources could debunk and dispute that you and I were ever born.. Yet countless people who knew you and I would be labeled mental.. Many debunkers have been double debunked or whatever..

          You will have to pardon me sir.. There is too much going on.. from that fast and furious crap to those actors and crap media for the Sandy hoax just to start.. By the way.. there is nothing wrong with theories.. Even if unproven.. Einstein, Darwin, and newton had a few.. But maybe they were nuts too? lol

      • Rob Struble says:

        “However, the media sensationalism is being used in a way to warrant a gun ban. Just like in Britain and Australia.. Almost exactly like them i might add.. Funny how things work?”

        Since a public outcry and calls for banning weapons would be the logical response to a mass murder, you find the logical results “suspicious?” Or are you just asking questions?

  9. Rubygirl says:

    Thank you Mike. I depend on people like you to give me ammunition to use when I have “intelligent discourse” with conspiracy theorists.

  10. Christopher says:

    Truthers love arbitrary and unnecessary details. A three plane attack was just enough to put the fear of government into us, and to force two wars and the Patriot Act on us.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Is there a big difference when you want to rob a house to wait patiently for the owners to go on vacation or to send them free vacation tickets from a false sweepstakes because you’re tired of waiting? I know there’s a semantic difference but….

  12. Mike NZ says:

    “Of course, the September 11th attacks are considered the granddaddy of all false flags, with a legion of truthers accusing the government of bombing the World Trade Center as an excuse to curtail our rights, give more power to the global elite and kick off any number of wars”…

    Huh? Isn’t that EXACTLY what has occurred in the intervening 10+ years? So, while the facts of recent history agreeing with the predictions of the ‘truthers’, I agree it is not PROOF or evidence of any kind, sure, BUT – it sure looks like this viewpoint is a plausible explanation.

    • Stephen Propatier says:

      You hardly need the 9/11 attacks to start a war. The united states struggles to go 10 years without a war. The world is in constant conflict. It is not a ground breaking conclusion amazing prediction by truthers. The accepted story is still less complicated and more plausible than any wast conspiracy, by far. It is very implausible to believe that the “power elite wanted a war in Afghanistan. I mean if you want to take over Iraq and you have this vast complicated plan, just blame Saddam in the first place. Trump up evidence and attack Iraq. Why even bother with bin-laden and Afghanistan which is a stone age penniless, heroin factory? Again great big piles of implausible hidden, complicated and contradictory conspiracy. Please. Some intelligent well funded Islamic extremists got a little lucky, and had a good plan. Did the power elite take advantage of the situation? Yes. Why would this war be any different from the last 20? Answer: it isn’t..

      • Another question: why no airplane parts found in Pentagon incident??????

        • Stephen Propatier says:

          Really and when you in the pentagon, because carlton burkhammer eyewitness fireman reported finding a cockpit seat with floor attached inside the building. 8 documented witnesses report different aircraft parts at different parts of the building through the impact hole.

          • Freke1 says:

            which was 16 feet. Does the official report say anything about what caused the explosions in the basement?

          • Stephen Propatier says:

            Again, anomaly hunting is not proof of anything. But at least get the anomaly correct. The 8 eyewitnesses found airplane debris at the c ring two rings inside external ring.
            You have not answered my questions where are the witnesses? the people who planted the explosives? The hundreds that would be needed to hide the evidence? Where is the piece of un-detonated primer cord?
            Explain this: I’m just asking questions?
            If 4500 degree nanothermites were used to pulverize almost every inch of every concrete floor, then how could there have been millions of sheets of paper with an ignition temperature of only 451° raining down on the sidewalks?
            If 4500 degree nanothermites were used extensively even at the top to cause a supposed upward explosion, then why were first responders able to walk over the wreckage less than an hour after the Tower collapses?
            If there were 2800 degree rivers of molten steel in the debris, then why do NASA thermal images show maximum temperatures in the rubble of only 1400°?
            If the debris pile had 2800 degree temperatures, then why were firefighters able to pour millions of gallons of water all over it and not trigger the deadly thermal explosions that are caused when water comes in contact with molten steel or iron?
            If nanothermites pulverized everything, then why did the debris pile include a 13-story high facade?
            If classic controlled demolitions create minimal damage to adjacent structures, then why did the Verizon Building suffer $1.4 billion in damages?
            If the lateral ejection of beams were caused by explosive nanothermites, then there would have been deafening 140 db sounds that can’t be muffled by more than a few db or you lose the explosive force of the shock wave itself.
            If the South Tower tilted 22° at first, then controlled demolition experts could not have righted it mid-collapse.
            If nanothermites were used, then they would have spontaneously detonated at well under 1000° F. and would not have been controllable; no signal receiving device could have survived the fires and continued to receive the destruct command.
            If there had been large explosions prior to the collapse, then they would have been a part of the seismic record, and they were not.

          • Freke1 says:

            so I guess the plane slipped through that tiny 16 feet hole (seems a bit magic to me but hey I no expert I can accept that). I looks to me like the towers pancaked down because of the planes. I’m just curious about what some eyewitnesses describe as explosions in the basement ok? People had to have reconstructive surgery because they were injured by these “explosions”. So that is why I asked if there were an official explanation as to what caused these “explosions” in the basement.
            If You don’t think there was “explosions” in the basement You can watch:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAJa8eu-6_g
            and if You want to see some strange stuff from 9/11 go watch: (start at 2:55, just watch a few seconds)
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkvmS53QVv0

            I believe an official explanation should explain these things or what are we to believe. That also applies to anyone claiming they know the truth about 9/11. At least they should say that: “we don’t know how that happend” or “looks strange, most likely this is what happend: …”

            or this debate can continue forevar ;-)

      • Anonymous says:

        Afghanistan gave the US the majority of our heroin until the Taliban band it. We lost out main heroin connection until we kicked them out. now we get Afgan Heroin again. There is big money in drugs and you better believe the US government and the government’s owners get their cut.

  13. Adam V. says:

    Great piece Mike! Tweeted and Facebooked… And that’s a true endorsement coming from a guy who’s children affectionately refer too as “Dale Gribble”!

  14. Allen Miller says:

    Great article and lots of interesting links for further reading. Thanks!

  15. There is no evidence a plane hit the Pentagon; no wreckage, no wing scars on the facade nothing.
    No bodies in the field in Pennsylvania.
    I almost joined the marines after 9-11 and after doing hours of my own research did the evidence reveal a overwhelming truth; it was a fraud.

    • Jay504702 says:

      I don’t really talk 9/11 anymore.. but this one is hard not to reply to. It is amazing that the Pentagon’s video footage has never showed a plane. Not many people question what hit the towers.. yet being that what is said to have happen in Pennsylvania and at the Pent.. yet no real evidence or video is out.. that adds to the questions. But for some I am afraid.. Still not enough to question the official story.

    • John Holotko says:

      actually there was a considerable amount of wreckage found at the Pentagon

  16. Hampron_West says:

    I’d like to leave a comment but I!m afraid the men in the black suits will trace it back to me.

  17. Ken says:

    So your article is based on your opinion. Do you or can you offer some kind of proof that legitimizes your claims that false flags have never been committed by the US government? I wish you could because I want to trust in my government more than anything. With the conspiracy theories and the lies we are told by our government I don’t know who or what to believe anymore. Reading this article was a waste of time. Reason being you gave your opinion. I want 100% undenielable facts and all I see is opinion after opinion. Proof!!!!

    • Ken says:

      You can’t mix a little fact with a little opinion and get the truth! That’s what you did in this article. If I am wrong then please give me a site that can offer me some peace of mind. What about the future of an economic collapse? Is that going to happen or are what? I think it’s inevitable(opinion)!

    • Ken, I’ve never claimed that “false flags have never been committed by the US government.” So you’re asking me to defend a position I never took.

      In terms of proof, we have overwhelming evidence that the September 11th attacks were perpetrated by 19 hijackers, and no proof that they weren’t. We have overwhelming evidence that the second Gulf of Tonkin Incident was a mistake stemming from the fog of war, and nothing concrete that it was engineered by the Johnson administration. And we have proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the shooters in the tragedies of Arizona, Aurora, Sandy Hook, etc, were acting of their own volition.

      We have undeniable facts that these events happened exactly as we know them to have happened. Do you have evidence to the contrary?

    • Rob Struble says:

      “Do you or can you offer some kind of proof that legitimizes your claims that false flags have never been committed by the US government?”

      Strawman.

      “I wish you could because I want to trust in my government more than anything. With the conspiracy theories and the lies we are told by our government I don’t know who or what to believe anymore.”

      Begging the question.

      “Reading this article was a waste of time.”

      Ad hominum.

      “Reason being you gave your opinion. I want 100% undenielable facts and all I see is opinion after opinion. Proof!!!!”

      Demanding he prove a negative?

  18. C says:

    Very well written! Thank you! I question and mistrust many things in this world, but I am sick of “everything” being a conspiracy. As if any entity would be so transparent ALL of the time. Duh. So, thanks for this article.

  19. Doug Diggler says:

    The author is this piece has a lot of facts wrong. First off, wearing the uniform of an opposing nation was not an acceptable practice in 1939, in fact being caught in the enemy’s uniform in either world war was a sure-fire path to being executed in the spot as a spy. It was only after the war when the British tried to nail Otto Skorzeny for this act during war crimes trials that his defense team pointed out that this ruse was repeatedly used by the British. Also the actual operation of Operation Northwoods was indeed vetoed by JFK, but it is clear that the methods were wholeheartedly adopted in the phony Gulf of Tonkin Incident and the [NATO directed] Italian Years of Lead as well as by French right wing factions during the Algerian War of Independence. All of this is well documented and a matter of public record.

  20. Tanya says:

    I have my own questions about the Sandy Hook event, and was looking here to see if you had some answers. You say: “To put it bluntly, if Sandy Hook actually was a false flag, perpetrated in secret by the government, it was easily discovered and poorly followed-up. Which leaves only the sad reality of 26 victims who died not at the hands of the New World Order, but of a psychotic killer.”

    So, you accept the MSM’s story on the event, because it was “eaily discovered and pooly followed-up?” There are no stupid spooks in your world-view?

    Robert Fisk said, suspect any attribution by “officials” in the media. If someone isn’t named as an official source, then what you’re hearing is someone’s propaganda. In the Sandy Hook event, if you followed the flow of information, there seems to be dueling propaganda. The “official version” is still full of contradictions, beginning with how many and what kind of guns were used.

    http://www.today.com/video/today/50208495#50208495

    The timeline compiled by a professor of media studies is of interest, if you haven’t seen it:

    http://memoryholeblog.com/2013/01/06/sandy-hook-school-massacre-timeline/

    Thank you for the info on the Mukden Incident. I look forward to reading about it.

    • Hi, Tanya. I “accept” the “MSM’s” story because I haven’t seen anything that satisfactorily falsifies it. The contradictions you speak of are easily written off as errors in early reporting. Don’t assume conspiracy when simple incompetence will do.

      As for the idea of “stupid spooks”, I can’t imagine any secret agent or government operative being so bad at their job as to perpetrate a massacre and blame it on someone else, and have that fakery be discovered within hours by people who had no access to the crime scene.

      That strains credulity far more than a psychopath with a gun, which is a scenario we’ve seen time and time again.

  21. P.S. Wright says:

    Thank you for the article. I linked it for additional information on one of my pinterest boards. I hope that’s ok with you guys. I use Snopes so often, people are starting to think I work for them.

  22. Justin Kies says:

    I trust no one with the name Rothschild, sorry…

  23. robbes says:

    Nicely put, Mike. I think your article provides a well-balanced overview of this phenomenon, particularly in light of recent events.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Although you claim the latest incidents are not actual false flags you give no evidence of your own to support your theory, just restating whats been said by conspiracy skeptics. Although you are well spoken (written) you lack substance and mainly evidence. Your words mean as much as a Chili’s menu…

  25. Rohan Donald says:

    So no attempt to actually explain the physical evidence most notably the free fall of WTC7. No attempt to analyse the NIST report, which by the way states that WTC7 did in fact free fall Pg46. No critical eye is passed over that NIST claims that ‘column 79′ led to collapse. No scepticism in regards to NIST’s refusal to release the computer model they used to calculate WTC7 collapse. No questions in regards as to why no government inquiry actually bothered to do any forensic tests to see if explosives were involved. No mention of the publication in The Open Chemical Physics Journal as to the presence of pyrotechnic residues, see the link. Just an meandering editorial. http://www.nist.gov/manuscript-publication-search.cfm?pub_id=861610 http://www.benthamscience.com/open/tocpj/articles/V002/7TOCPJ.htm?TOCPJ/2009/00000002/00000001/7TOCPJ.SGM

  26. Sigma says:

    Thank you, Rohan. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Why did Building 7 collapse on the BBC news, 7 minutes before it did on our news stations? Also jet fuel wouldn’t burn hot enough to melt steel for more than a few seconds not minutes. The melting point for steel is between 2600-2800 Degrees Fahrenheit or 1425-1540 Degrees Celcius.

  27. Mattew says:

    “because he is to intellectually lazy to any look deeper into matters than listening to the news.”

    Or you can punch the name of the conspiracy into Google and get the REAL story from a bunch of fringe sites…because that’s not intellectually lazy at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or you could do your own simple analysis of the collapses of WTC1&2 using documentary video and realise that both towers colapsed at a constant rate of acceleration, not free-fall acceleration, just a constant rate of acceleration, then you could set about comprehending quite what that means.

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