A false flag operation is any procedure which is carried out by an organization and deceitfully designed to seem as though it has been orchestrated by another entity. The false flag operation gets its name from the military practice of flying another country’s flag for the purpose of deceiving one’s enemies. False flag operations often precede war, and are sometimes carried out for the express purpose of creating the illusion of an outside attack which warrants retaliation. Although the term false flag operation is most often used in the context of war and terrorism, false flag operations also frequently occur in politics, the corporate world, and religious ideology.
In 1953, Britain and the U.S. purportedly utilized false flag tactics and propaganda to encourage a coup d'état of Iran’s then-elected leader, Mohammed Mosaddeq. This incident, known as “Operation Ajax,” resulted in a pro-Western dictator taking Mosaddeq’s place as Prime Minister. In the years following the coup d'état, Operation Ajax was largely perceived by the U.S. as a triumph of proactive measures; however, in 2000, then-U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, denounced the false flag operation as a "setback for [Iran’s] democratic government.”
An organization known as The 9/11 Truth Movement (or individually as “Truthers”) purport that the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon, which are officially attributed to al-Qaeda terrorists led by Osama bin Laden, were actually part of a false flag operation carried out by the U.S. government. Some of the evidence cited by Truthers to support this theory include The Bush administration’s apparent reluctance to organize an official investigation, the fact that steel-framed skyscrapers have never completely collapsed under any other previous circumstances except controlled demolition, and NORAD’s failure to protect the Pentagon and World Trade Center, which are both known terrorist targets. Some Truthers claim that the government had knowledge of the attacks in advance, but allowed them to be carried out in order to justify invading parts of the Middle East. In 2004, author, David Ray Griffin wrote the book, The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9-11, which compares the conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11 to another alleged false flag operation, Pearl Harbor.
The Freedom of Information Act has also brought to light false flag operations which were planned for the purpose of starting a war with Cuba during John F. Kennedy’s presidency, but ultimately never executed by the U.S. Such planned operations included sinking of U.S. ships, burning of U.S. crops, and hijacking a U.S. passenger plane.