A false flag operation is an action that is carried out in such a way as to make it look like it was done by someone other than the real perpetrator. Taking its metaphor from naval warfare, where ships would sometimes fly false flags as a ruse du guerre in order to sneak up on their enemy, its use has been expanded to include military actions, intelligence operations and even political subterfuge.
It is not difficult to see how governments can use this tactic to whip the public into war hysteria against their political enemies. By staging an attack and blaming their opponents, governments can dupe their population into going along with whatever policies they wish to enact in the name of “fighting the enemy.” It’s a childishly simple tactic but, as we shall see, it has worked for hundreds of years to lead populations into war against targeted groups.
For the past twenty years, the world has been in the midst of a so-called “war on terror” set in motion by a false flag attack of spectacular proportions. And now, the stage is being set for a new spectacular attack to usher in the next stage in that war on terror: the war on bioterrorism.
GATES: We can’t predict when, but given the continual emergence of new pathogens, the increasing risk of a bioterror attack, and the ever-increasing connectedness of our world, there is a significant probability that a large and lethal modern-day pandemic will occur in our lifetime.
As the world begins to lose its collective mind over the threat of viruses, the idea that biological agents and infectious pathogens will be the weapon of choice of the terrorists is being seeded in the public imagination. As in every such false flag event, the coming bioterrorist attack will be blamed on a convenient scapegoat: the “invisible enemy” of a deadly new pathogen and the shadowy terror groups who, we will be told, are responsible for releasing it.
But, as history shows, it is the people who are claiming to “predict” this attack in advance, and who are in positions to dictate the world’s response to it, who should be considered the prime suspects in the wake of any such event.
This is an exploration of False Flags and the Dawn of Bioterrorism.
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1. What is a False Flag?
Although the term “false flag” has been used in a figurative sense since the 16th century to refer to some person or group disguising their true nature or intentions, its modern use derives from the annals of naval warfare, where ships would literally fly the flag of a different nation, pretending to be allies in order to slip past enemy defenses.
The ruse was successful enough that it was adopted for land and air warfare. No longer were literal flags necessary in order to carry out these “false flag” operations. Any use of deception in order to conceal the true origins and perpetrators of an attack could, by extension, be counted as a false flag operation.
It’s a simple idea, but, to those not versed in the art of deceit, it can be devastatingly effective. Unsurprisingly, rulers have used the tactic for hundreds of years to rally their own populations for war against an enemy target.
Take the case of Swedish King Gustav III. In 1788 he was looking for a way to unite an increasingly divided nation and raise his own falling political fortunes. Like many a ruler before and after, he decided that launching a war against his old rivals, the Russians, would be the perfect vehicle for rallying the public around his government. But the king had a problem: there was no appetite among the Swedish public for such a war, and he didn’t have the authority to declare war unilaterally. So he arranged a false flag operation. Gustav dressed up his own soldiers as Russian troops (complete with Russian coins in their pockets) and ordered them to attack a Swedish garrison stationed in Finland. The Swedish public, believing it to be a genuine Russian attack, were outraged, and the Russo-Swedish War of 1788-1790 began.
Or take the case of Seishirō Itagaki, a general in the Imperial Japanese Army who, by 1931, had risen through the ranks to become the Chief of Intelligence in the Kwantung Army, Japan’s largest army group. Itagaki had a problem: he wanted to invade Manchuria, but the Japanese Minister of War wouldn’t allow it. So the general took matters into his own hands by organizing a small cadre of rebels within the Japanese Army and launching a false flag attack. They detonated some explosives on a railway track near a Chinese garrison and blamed the incident on the Chinese themselves. The next day, the Japanese began their attack in response to the “Chinese” provocation and Itagaki got his Manchurian invasion.
Or take the case of the Manning memo. This document records the discussions that took place between US President George W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair at the White House on January 31, 2003. They were committed to starting a war with Iraq, but they had a problem: they didn’t have any actual reason for invading Iraq. As the memo reveals, Bush proposed a false flag solution: painting a U2 spy plane in United Nations colours and flying it low over Iraqi airspace in the hopes that it would be shot down by Iraqi air defense. The outrage, it was assumed, would give the leaders the blank check they needed to wage their war. Blair reportedly balked at the idea, but the pair did agree that the invasion would go ahead regardless of whether or not any weapons of mass destruction were ever found, war crimes be damned.
There are many such examples of false flag operations being used throughout history. But the tactic isn’t an old, dusty relic of the distant past. It very much pertains to the world of the 21st century . . .
2. False Flag Terrorism
It seems inevitable, in hindsight, that the idea of a “false flag” attack would be adapted from its literal use in naval warfare to a more general tactic of deception in military engagements. So it’s not surprising at all, then, that the concept was further abstracted from a stratagem of warfare to a tool of spy craft.
With the rise of the age of terrorism came the rise of false flag terrorism: spectacular acts of violence designed to look like they were the acts of shadowy terror groups. Once again, the trick is simple but effective.
In the early 1950s, the Israelis were concerned that the British would withdraw their forces from the Suez Canal zone, strengthening Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and his quest to form an alliance against Israel based on Pan-Arab nationalism. Realizing that the only thing that would keep Britain committed to the region was an ongoing state of emergency, they hit upon a simple solution: a false flag terror operation.
Officially codenamed Operation Susannah (but today known as the Lavon Affair), Israeli military intelligence staged a number of bombings around Egypt, hoping to blame the acts on communists, the Muslim Brotherhood, malcontents, or other convenient scapegoats. But the plan was foiled by Egyptian authorities. Several members of the Israeli cell were captured and the Israeli defence minister was forced to resign over the incident. It was never officially admitted until 2005, when Israel formally honoured nine of the spies that had helped carry out the bombings.
But the era of false flag terrorism kicked off in earnest on September 11, 2001, when the neocons in the Bush administration and their accomplices in the military-industrial complex and the intelligence services of multiple countries found an excuse for their longed-for invasion of Afghanistan and the fulfillment of long-standing Zionist plans for carving out a Greater Israel and redrawing the map of the Middle East.
Prized as a pipeline corridor, Afghanistan was also the linchpin of the global heroin trade and an important base of operations for the forthcoming War on Terror. In fact, so important was the country to the Bush administration that it made the full-scale plan for invading Afghanistan the subject of its first national security directive, NSPD-9. The plan was ready and awaiting presidential approval on September 4, 2001, one week before the events that would supposedly justify such an invasion.
RUMSFELD: By the first week of September, the process had arrived at a strategy that was presented to principals and later became NSPD-9, the President’s first major substantive national security decision directive. It w as presented for a decision by principals on September 4th, 2001, seven days before the 11th, and later signed by the President, with minor changes and a preamble to reflect the events of September 11th, in October.”
9/11 was the foundational event of the 21st century, an excuse for numerous items on the checklist of the neocon cabal at the heart of the Bush administration: The creation of the homeland security state. The murderous wars of aggression to reshape the Middle East. The expansion of the military-industrial complex even beyond its Cold War excesses. The formation of the information-industrial complex. We have all watched these events unfolding like a nightmare over the course of the past two decades.
But now, just as the 9/11 myth has finally begun to relinquish its grasp on the public psyche, another event has come along to send the world back into a state of irrational fear. This time, the emergency is predicated not on the Muslim bogeyman but on the invisible bogeyman: SARS-CoV-2.
As we have already seen, the advent of new forms of warfare inevitably brings with it new opportunities for war planners to adapt the false flag strategy for new battlegrounds. And so it is that we find ourselves on the cusp of a new era of false flag operations.
3. The Anthrax False Flag
As it turns out, 9/11 may not prove to be the most long-lasting and world-changing false flag event to have taken place in the fall of 2001. Although largely forgotten today, the anthrax attacks that followed on the heels of “the day that changed everything” have had a profound effect in shaping public policy and setting the stage for the biosecurity state that is emerging today.
The week after September 11, 2001, a series of letters containing anthrax spores were mailed to various media outlets and, later, to two US Senators, Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, who had raised concerns about the Patriot Act which the Bush regime was attempting to rush through Congress. The anthrax-laced letters—which caused the shut down of Congress and lead to the emergency passage of the Patriot Act before legislators even had a chance to read the bill—would go on to kill five and injure 17 others.
In those first chaotic days of the attack, ABC’s Brian Ross began reporting from his anonymous “well-placed” sources that the anthrax spores contained traces of bentonite, a “troubling chemical additive” that just happened to be a “trademark of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s biological weapons program.”
BRIAN ROSS: Peter, from three well-placed but separate sources tonight ABC News has been told that initial tests on the anthrax sent to Senator Daschle have found a tell-tale chemical additive whose name means a lot to weapons experts. It is called bentonite. It’s possible other countries may be using it, too, but it is a trademark of Saddam Hussein’s biological weapons program.
Of course, this turned out to be a complete lie (a lie that Ross has never clarified or retracted to this day).
As was later confirmed, the spores in question were actually derived from the Ames strain, a strain of anthrax whose virulence makes it the “gold standard” for research into the bacterium by the biological warriors at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. Unsurprisingly, once the anthrax was found to have sourced from the US government’s own biological research labs and not an Iraqi weapons program, coverage of the affair in the mainstream media became less frequent and less detailed.
After years of floating the name of bioweapons expert Steven Hatfill as a “person of interest” in the investigation, the FBI pinned the blame on Bruce Ivins, a “lone wolf” who allegedly orchestrated the entire attack himself because of mental instability. Hatfill successfully sued the FBI for nearly $6 million for undue harassment and Ivins conveniently killed himself before ever being charged with any crime. In the end, not a single person was arrested or indicted for their participation in one of the highest profile attacks in American history.
The anthrax false flag killed multiple birds with one stone:
- It associated the terror attack of 9/11 with a subsequent bioterror attack that was quickly connected to Saddam Hussein and Iraq. That association was still strong in the minds of many Americans (some who may still have erroneously blamed Iraq for the attack) during the build up to the Iraq War in 2002 and 2003.
- As Whitney Webb points out in her exhaustive report on the event, the anthrax attack also saved Bioport, the crony-connected DoD contractor that supplied the US military with the highly controversial anthrax vaccine. Facing growing concerns about the safety and efficacy of its vaccine, Bioport faced financial ruin . . . until the anthrax attacks happened and demand for their questionable product skyrocketed. Later rebranding as Emergent Biosolutions, the company benefited from the largesse of the Gates-backed Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness, and, as Webb notes, the company “is now set to profit from the Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.”
- The anthrax attack also gave an excuse for the creation of a wide-ranging legislative and institutional framework for implementing medical martial law in the event of a subsequent bioterrorist attack, including the wide-scale adoption of the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act authorizing forced quarantines and forced vaccinations in the wake of a declared health emergency.
The anthrax false flag also gave a gigantic shot in the arm to another major wing of the military-industrial complex: the “biodefense” sector. Before anthrax entered the public consciousness as a weapon of terror in the fall of 2001, bioweapons research had been sidelined and shrouded in secrecy. After the attacks, however, the US government—and, indeed, every government in the world—had a perfect excuse to vastly expand its biological weapons programs in the name of “biological security.” As Jonathan King, a professor of microbiology at MIT, explains:
“[The] response to the anthrax attacks and the bioterrorism initiative has been to launch a nationwide, billion-dollar campaign to ‘defend us’ from unknown terrorists. But the character of this program is roughly as follows: You say, ‘Well, what would the terrorists come up with? What’s the nastiest, most dangerous, most difficult-to-diagnose, difficult-to-treat microorganisms that we can think of. Well, let’s go bring that organism into existence so that we can figure out how to defend against it.’ The fact of the matter is, it’s indistinguishable from an offensive program in which you would do the same thing.”
And now, two decades later, that massive billion-dollar campaign made to “defend us” from the anthrax threat has led to the creation of a vast biosecurity infrastructure. From biological labs conducting gain-of-function research to government offices conducting bioterror “simulations” to legislation granting extraordinary powers to unelected health “authorities” in the wake of the next attack, the groundwork has been laid for the next stage of government-sponsored false flag terrorism.
4. False Flag Bioterrorism
Ever since 9/11 and the anthrax attacks of 2001, the public has been told that the next spectacular terror attack would involve biological agents engineered by shadowy terror groups.
REPORTER: At a Tucson gymnasium, people wait their turn for life-saving pills to be taken after an outbreak of a smallpox virus. Scenarios like these are taking place across the United States. Thankfully, they’re only simulations.
SOURCE: RR0304/A USA: Bioterrorism
MR. LYNCH: Although we are fortunate not to have experienced a biological attack here in the United States since the anthrax attacks, post-September 11th the threat remains very real. Foreign adversaries have already demonstrated an interest in developing genetic and biological weaponry.
JEANNE MESERVE: GNN has just learned a group calling itself A Brighter Dawn, or “ABD,” is claiming responsibility for the creation and intentional release of the Clade X virus. In a youtube video, a spokesman for the group says the goal is to reduce the human population to pre-industrial levels. That, he says, will bring the world back into balance and prevent the destruction of the planet.
REPORTER: The Center for Disease Control is one of only two labs in the world which officially holds samples of the smallpox virus. The other is in Moscow. But now, bioterror experts fear many other countries may have the virus, and there are concerns it could be used as a weapon. Bioterrorism experts envisage grim scenarios where a suicide terrorist contagious with smallpox walks through a busy airport, infecting hundreds of others who spread the virus to their destinations.
SOURCE: RR0304/A USA: Bioterrorism
Those warnings have only increased in urgency in this age of COVID.
GATES: We also face a new threat that the next epidemic has good chance of originated [sic] on a computer screen of a terrorist intent on using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the smallpox virus or a contagious contagious and highly deadly strain of flu.
STEPHEN COLBERT: What else are we not listening to that we need to take action on now?
GATES: Well, the idea of a bioterrorist attack is kinda the nightmare scenario because a pathogen with a high death rate would be ???
RICK BRIGHT: There will be likely a resurgence of COVID-19 this fall.
It’ll be greatly compounded by the challenges of seasonal influenza. Without better planning, 2020 could be the darkest winter in modern history.
GATES: So we, you know, we’ll have to prepare for the next one that, you know . . . I’d say will get attention this time,
Statements like these not only implant in the public mind the idea that the next spectacular terror attack is likely to be biological, but that when such an attack occurs, we should immediately pin the blame on the shadowy terrorists who (we will likely be told) cooked the pathogen up in their bioweapons lab in the caves of Tora Bora.
But, just as anyone with national security experience immediately recognized that 9/11 was not the work of 19 men with boxcutters but in fact bore the hallmarks of a precisely coordinated intelligence operation, so, too, should the public be aware that those with the means, motive and opportunity to create and disseminate a globally spreading infectious pathogen are not cave-dwelling terrorists but well-funded government and military researchers.
Although prohibited by the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, the US has, in fact, maintained an illegal and secret germ warfare research program for decades. Long known to insiders but formally denied by the US government, the existence of the program was confirmed in the pages of The New York Times on September 4, 2001, the same day that the invasion orders for Afghanistan were sent to President Bush for authorization, one week before “the day that changed everything” and two weeks before the beginning of the anthrax false flag.
Although the program was downplayed as “foolish, but not illegal” and portrayed as a defensive program that was largely curtailed in the wake of the end of the Cold War, a groundbreaking 2018 investigation by independent journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva found that a network of Pentagon-run biolabs in ex-Soviet bloc states continues to this day to produce deadly bacteria, weaponized viruses and toxins prohibited by the Biological Weapons Convention.
But the US is certainly not alone in its multi-billion dollar quest to develop more deadly—and more precise—biological agents.
Britain’s program, centered around the research at the UK’s secretive Porton Down bioweapon laboratory, included the work of researchers like Vladimir Pasechnik, a microbiologist who had worked on the Soviet germ warfare program weaponizing anthrax and other biological agents before defecting to Britain in 1989. He was hired by the UK government to conduct his own research into anthrax antidotes at Porton Down and died just weeks after the anthrax attacks took place.
Dr. David Kelly, who debriefed Pasechnik after his defection and offered him the job at Porton Down, had told a friend that he was going to write a book exposing what he knew about the bioweapons program—but instead ended up dead on Harrowdown Hill under extremely suspicious circumstances.
The Soviets also had an extensive biological weapons research program. The fruits of that program included the novichok agent that has been blamed for high-profile assassination attempts in recent years, including the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal who were “randomly” discovered by the Chief Nursing Officer of the British Army just ten miles from the Porton Down bioweapons lab.
It was even reported by The Sunday Times over two decades ago that Israel—which is not a signatory to the Biological Weapons Convention—has worked on “developing a biological weapon that would harm Arabs while leaving Jews unaffected.” The Israel Institute for Biological Research where this research was conducted is a continuation of HEMED BEIT, a biowarfare unit in the Israel Defense Force whose founders believed that “if microbiology could help in providing the means to establish the Jewish State, so be it.” The institute made headlines earlier this year for its “groundbreaking research” identifying coronavirus antibodies and its subsequent quest to develop an Israeli COVID-19 vaccine.
But beyond the secret biological weapons programs, there has been a publicly acknowledged and funded program to weaponize viruses and pathogens that has been ongoing for years. And once again, the threat of bioterrorism has been invoked as a reason for funding this admittedly dangerous research to create the perfect bioweapon.
ANTHONY FAUCI: Bioterror is—there’s always the potential of bioterror. And we have a major bio defense research and development effort that spans agencies from the NIH to do the basic research to be able to develop better vaccines, how you counter engineered microbes, how you approach drug resistance, engineered microbes. The CDC has surveillance mechanisms to determine if there’s new microbes or anything out there in society particularly toxic that could be used in a bioterror situation, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense—we do all of that.
SOURCE: Anthony Fauci on Bioterrorism
This work, referred to as gain-of-function research, involves weaponizing biological agents so that scientists can develop vaccines or other defenses against them. Of course, gain-of-function research is, in its key aspects, identical to an offensive biological weapons program, but is simply framed as a defensive and preventative measure.
The work of the researchers in this field has not been without controversy.
In 1995 researchers dug up a victim of the 1918 Spanish flu from the Alaskan permafrost in order to “resurrect” the virus using genetic sequencing.
In 2015, researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology participated in experiments weaponizing bat-derived coronavirus that even other molecular biologists warned were presenting the world with a “clear and present danger.” The research even received funding from USAID, which was illegal at the time, as the US had suspended funding for gain-of-function research in 2014.
Time and again, those looking at the history of biowarfare are confronted by a key fact: those who have dedicated their lives to weaponizing pathogens and dreaming up bioterror scenarios aren’t the shadowy terrorist biologists in their cave fortress compound, but the government-funded researchers at both secret and public biolabs around the world.
We have entered an age where the threat of a bioterror attack is very real. The only questions facing the public now are: Who are the real bioterrorists? And can we rely on government agencies, their appointed health authorities, and the corporate media to accurately identify those terrorists in the wake of the next spectacular terror attack?
Two decades ago, the idea of a false flag attack was incomprehensible to the general public. “Why would the government attack itself?” was the oft-heard question of those who could not imagine such duplicity being used to fool a nation into war.
But this is not the world of 2001. It is 2020, and by now nearly everyone is familiar with false flag operations. What was once an obscure tactic deployed by military and intelligence agencies in the shadowy world of spies and soldiers is now openly discussed and debated in the mainstream news.
Make no mistake: this is a major step. An important tool of control, used to pull the wool over the eyes of the public for centuries, had gone from a laughable fringe “conspiracy theory” to an openly acknowledged (and vigorously denied) conspiracy reality within the space of two decades.
But have we really learnt the lessons of history about false flag terrorism? Do we even really know what that term means? And would we recognize it if that trick were employed again in a different context?
They say forewarned is forearmed. Nowhere is that adage more aptly applied than in the realm of false flag terrorism. The entire reason that these deception operations have been used by country after country for centuries is that they are so effective. But they are only effective because throughout those centuries the general public was unable to wrap their minds around a trick so devious and downright evil.
Now we have to completely break the spell that governments have cast over the public. In the event of any spectacular terror attack (biological or otherwise), we have to take the history of false flag operations into account and put the government at the top of the list of suspects. When enough of the population has adjusted their thinking in this way, the trick will have lost its effectiveness and those seeking to direct society through fear will have to abandon it altogether.
This is a monumental task, but it is not to be taken lightly. Given the infrastructure for full-scale medical martial law that has been carefully laid over the past two decades, and given the lockdowns, forced vaccinations, enforced unemployment, and digital dollars tied to social credit scores that have been promised by those seeking to put us through the Great Reset, the future of humanity may depend on our response to the next bioterror attack.
The only question is: Can we wake up enough of the public to these tricks before the real bioterrorists launch their next false flag operation?
James Corbett has been living and working in Japan since 2004. He started The Corbett Report website in 2007 as an outlet for independent critical analysis of politics, society, history, and economics. Since then he has written, recorded and edited thousands of hours of audio and video media for the website, including a podcast and several regular online video series. He is the lead editorial writer for The International Forecaster, the e-newsletter created by the late Bob Chapman.
His work has been carried online by a wide variety of websites and his videos have garnered over 40,000,000 views on YouTube alone. His satirical piece on the discrepancies in the official account of September 11th, “9/11: A Conspiracy Theory” was posted to the web on September 11, 2011 and has so far been viewed nearly 3 million times.
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