False flag (or black flag):
Covert operation designed to deceive in such a way that the operation appears as though it is being carried out by entities, groups, or nations other than those who actually planned and executed them.
– From Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia
Of course, false flag operations do not exist, except as figments of the imagination of crazed conspiracy theorists lingering way out there in the lunatic fringe. Take the following three naval incidents, for instance – how are we really supposed to believe that they may have been fomented by the “powers that be” to forward some shady agendas…
Sinking of the USS Maine
The USS Maine was an American armored cruiser that sunk in Havana harbor (Cuba) after a mysterious explosion on the evening of February 15, 1898. The ship had been deployed to Cuba “to protect U.S. assets” during a Cuban revolt against Spain, of which Cuba was then considered a province.
The cause of the Maine ’s sinking remains the subject of speculation, despite official inquiries and more than a century of investigation. Suggestions have included a fire in one of her coal bunkers, a treacherous Spanish naval mine – and her deliberate sinking to drive the U.S. into war with Spain. The ship exploded suddenly, without warning, and sank quickly, killing nearly three quarters of her crew of 374 officers and men.
While the sinking of the Maine was not a direct cause of the Spanish-American War, the official explanation that it was sunk by a Spanish mine was very useful as a catalyst to inflame American opinion and build support for the war, which broke out in April 1898, barely two months after the sinking – but that’s probably just a coincidence.
The phrase, “Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain”, quickly became a rallying cry for action.
Incidentally, as a result of this ten-week war – in which future President Theodore Roosevelt had a taste of war at the head of the “Rough Riders” – Spain relinquished sovereignty over Cuba, and ceded to the United States the islands of Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as the Philippine Islands – all for the fantastic sum of $20 million. Of course, the United States were never after such gains when they entered this “just war” against the barbarous Spanish aggressors who had struck at hapless American sailors in the dead of the night.
Sinking of the Lusitania
The MS Lusitania was a British ocean liner that was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat on May 7, 1915, off the southern coast of Ireland, causing the deaths of 1,198 passengers and crew, including 128 American citizens.
Built to military specifications and registered with the British Admiralty, the ship was transporting ammunition and other war supplies. The German embassy in the United States attempted to place a newspaper advertisement warning would-be travelers not to sail on the Lusitania. Per chance (…), the State Department was able to prevent publication of this warning, which only appeared in the Des Moines Register…
As Americans citizens were among the dead, the sinking caused a storm of protest in the United States. It also provided Britain with a formidable propaganda opportunity, which it used in its efforts to shift public opinion in the United States against Germany, and influence America’s eventual declaration of war, which came two years later in 1917.
The enduring “conspiracy” theory is that the Lusitania was deliberately placed in danger by the British authorities, so as to entice a U-Boat attack and thereby drag the USA into the war on the side of Britain. Of course, this is all bull, even though a week before the sinking of the Lusitania, Winston Churchill wrote to Walter Runciman, President of the Board of Trade, stating that it is “most important to attract neutral shipping to our shores, in the hope especially of embroiling the United States with Germany.”
It is also of no import whatsoever that the Lusitania belonged to the Cunard Line, the only major shipping lane then not under the control of American financier J.P. Morgan. As official trade agent of Britain, Morgan probably had no interest whatsoever in the U.S. entering the war alongside Britain, even though this would secure the enormous loans he had provided to the British government.
Attack on the USS Maddox
Remember the USS Maddox anyone? On August 2 and 4, 1964, the Maddox was one of two American destroyers that were reputedly attacked by North Vietnamese torpedo boats, allegedly while in international waters off the coast of Vietnam. The event came to be known as the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, and it was used as an excuse to escalate U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
After the alleged incident, shortly before midnight on August 4, President Lyndon B. Johnson interrupted national television to make an announcement in which he denounced this attack by North Vietnamese vessels on two U.S. Navy warships, requesting authority to undertake a military response.
Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Congress adopted the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted President Johnson the authority to assist “any Southeast Asian” country whose government was considered to be jeopardized by “communist aggression”. The resolution served as Johnson’s legal justification for deploying U.S. conventional forces in Vietnam and the commencement of open warfare against North Vietnam.
It was later revealed that the Maddox had itself fired the first shots against the Vietnamese torpedo boats, and that the August 4 incident had in fact never happened. As early as 1965, President Johnson even went so far as to comment privately, “For all I know, our navy was shooting at whales out there.”
So, keep calm and carry on: False flag operations designed and perpetrated by legitimate governments, such as that of the United States of America, simply cannot happen, except in the flights of fancy of some wild conspiracy theorists…
Henri Thibodeau Updated December 26, 2015
This article posted on November 13, 2015 by Washington’s Blog contains a list of over 50 documented false flag events where officials in the government which carried out the attack (or seriously proposed an attack) admit to it, either orally, in writing, or through photographs or videos.
Operation Northwoods, 1962
Operation Northwoods included plans to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate scheme involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. The plan also recommended, “We could blow up a US ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba”. (Remember The Maine anyone?). See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.