April 19, 2019

Understanding False Flag Conspiracies

“Within minutes of news breaking that explosive devices were sent to prominent critics of President Donald Trump, including Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and former CIA Director John Brennan (via CNN’s New York headquarters), many on the far right and even some people with close ties to the White House had a theory of the case: The bombing attempts on prominent liberals were ginned up by the left to help them win the midterms.

Rush Limbaugh said on his show that Democrats must be behind the bombs because “Republicans just don’t do this kind of thing.” Frank Gaffney, a prominent conservative security adviser to Republicans including Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, argued on Twitter that it was a leftist plot.

The Twitter account for the social networking site Gab (a favorite of the alt-right), and Alex Jones’s conspiracy theory site Infowars, are making their claim clearer: The bombing attempts are a “false flag” — an attack committed under false pretenses used to drive public perception in a certain direction. Under this scenario, some on the right argue, the goal of the left is to “frame” conservatives for the mailings and drive Democrats to the polls in November.”

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