Conspiracy Theorists Already Suspect Navy Yard Shooting Is a ‘False Flag’

Alex Jones says the shooting may be an attempt to distract from Benghazi.

An aerial view of the Anacostia River with the Washington Navy Yard on the left bank, 01/17/1991.  
National Journal
Alex Seitz Wald
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Alex Seitz-Wald
Sept. 16, 2013, 9:24 a.m.

Be­fore we knew the names of the vic­tims, the motive be­hind the at­tack, or even how many shoot­ers there were, some con­spir­acy the­or­ists thought they figured out what had happened at the Wash­ing­ton Navy Yard on Monday morn­ing.

Alex Jones, the an­ti­gov­ern­ment broad­caster who reaches mil­lions every day through his syn­dic­ated ra­dio show and In­fowars Web em­pire, spec­u­lated the shoot­ing may be a “false flag” op­er­a­tion in­ten­ded to dis­tract Amer­ic­ans from Syr­ia, as well as the an­niversary of the Benghazi at­tack and the sim­mer­ing IRS scan­dal.

“You’ve got all the oth­er scan­dals, so this is a great way to change the sub­ject,” Jones said on his ra­dio show Monday morn­ing, which is broad­cast on more than 80 sta­tions across the coun­try. “It’s a way to di­vert every­one.”

For Jones, the shoot­ing may be the latest in a long line of “false flag” op­er­a­tions, in which the gov­ern­ment al­legedly stages phony ter­ror at­tacks to gin up pop­u­lar sup­port for dis­arm­ing Amer­ic­ans or tak­ing away their civil liber­ties. He con­fid­ently labeled the Bo­ston Mara­thon bomb­ing a hoax with­in hours of the ex­plo­sion, but was more cir­cum­spect Monday.

“It may be real cra­zies, but look at the tim­ing. Obama rolling out a na­tion­al cam­paign against guns yes­ter­day, and then this hap­pens,” he said.

For con­spir­acy the­or­ists, the “why” for such tra­gedies is al­ways the same. “We’ve all got to give up our rights be­cause it’s so scary. It’s all about mind con­trol,” Jones ex­plained.

And he’s not alone. On con­spir­acy mes­sage boards and for­ums, users who see them­selves as cit­izen journ­al­ists have cut to­geth­er You­Tube videos that they claim show pos­sible “act­ors” at the scene. One video shows a near-vic­tim laugh­ing with a loc­al TV re­port­er when the two didn’t real­ize they were on air. “One would think at a mo­ment such as this, a re­port­er and a ‘near vic­tim’ wouldn’t be laugh­ing, es­pe­cially when they didn’t real­ize they’d be caught on cam­era,” the con­spir­acy web­site Be­fore It’s News ex­plained.

On the subRed­dit ded­ic­ated to con­spir­acy the­or­ies, one user wrote, “Thought the Navy Yard shoot­ing was just a shoot­ing un­til I saw this CNN tweet: “CNN: THE ATF HAS SENT SAME SPE­CIAL RE­SPONSE TEAM THAT HELPED TAKE DOWN BO­STON BOMB­ING SUS­PECT IN BOAT.” Oth­ers mur­mured in agree­ment.

After Sandy Hook, Bo­ston, Au­rora, and 9/11, it’s hardly sur­pris­ing that con­spir­acy the­or­ies emerge around such tra­gic in­cid­ents, but the speed is al­ways start­ling.

What We're Following See More »
STAKES ARE HIGH
Debate Could Sway One-Third of Voters
10 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 34% of registered voters think the three presidential debates would be extremely or quite important in helping them decide whom to support for president. About 11% of voters are considered 'debate persuadables'—that is, they think the debates are important and are either third-party voters or only loosely committed to either major-party candidate."

Source:
YOU DON’T BRING ME FLOWERS ANYMORE
Gennifer Flowers May Not Appear After All
10 hours ago
THE LATEST

Will he or won't he? That's the question surrounding Donald Trump and his on-again, off-again threats to bring onetime Bill Clinton paramour Gennifer Flowers to the debate as his guest. An assistant to flowers initially said she'd be there, but Trump campaign chief Kellyanne Conway "said on ABC’s 'This Week' that the Trump campaign had not invited Flowers to the debate, but she didn’t rule out the possibility of Flowers being in the audience."

Source:
HAS BEEN OFF OF NEWSCASTS FOR A WEEK
For First Debate, Holt Called on NBC Experts for Prep
10 hours ago
THE DETAILS

NBC's Lester Holt hasn't hosted the "Nightly News" since Tuesday, as he's prepped for moderating the first presidential debate tonight—and the first of his career. He's called on a host of NBC talent to help him, namely NBC News and MSNBC chairman Andy Lack; NBC News president Deborah Turness; the news division's senior vice president of editorial, Janelle Rodriguez; "Nightly News" producer Sam Singal, "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd, senior political editor Mark Murray and political editor Carrie Dann. But during the debate itself, the only person in Holt's earpiece will be longtime debate producer Marty Slutsky.

Source:
WHITE HOUSE PROMISES VETO
House Votes to Bar Cash Payments to Iran
11 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The House passed legislation late Thursday that would prohibit the federal government from making any cash payments to Iran, in protest of President Obama's recently discovered decision to pay Iran $1.7 billion in cash in January. And while the White House has said Obama would veto the bill, 16 Democrats joined with Republicans to pass the measure, 254-163."

Source:
NO SURPRISE
Trump Eschewing Briefing Materials in Debate Prep
11 hours ago
THE DETAILS

In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shun­ning tra­di­tion­al de­bate pre­par­a­tions, but has been watch­ing video of…Clin­ton’s best and worst de­bate mo­ments, look­ing for her vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies.” Trump “has paid only curs­ory at­ten­tion to brief­ing ma­ter­i­als. He has re­fused to use lecterns in mock de­bate ses­sions des­pite the ur­ging of his ad­visers. He prefers spit­balling ideas with his team rather than hon­ing them in­to crisp, two-minute an­swers.”

Source:
×