This article was first published at
Memoryholeblog and GlobalResearch on
August 10, 2012 following the Aurora, Colorado and Oak Creek, Wisconsin mass shootings. It is reposted here in light of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing.-JT

The news media’s readiness to accept official pronouncements and failure to more vigorously analyze and question government authorities in the wake of “domestic terrorist” incidents including mass shootings and bombings contributes to the American public’s already acute case of collective historical amnesia, while further rationalizing the twenty-first century police state and continued demise of civil society.

Some may recall “Bugs Raplin” (Giancarlo Espisito), the resolute investigative journalist depicted in Tim Robbins’ 1992 political mockumentary Bob Roberts. After being framed as the culprit in a false flag assassination attempt by corrupt political huckster Bob Roberts (Robbins), Raplin delivers a perceptive soliloquy that among other things effectively describes the American public’s moribund civic condition and short-circuited democracy. “The reason Iran-Contra happened,” Raplin begins,

is because no one did anything substantial about Watergate. And the reason Watergate happened is because there were no consequences from the Bay of Pigs. They’re all the same operatives—the foot soldiers at the Bay of Pigs, the plumbers that got busted at Watergate, the gunrunners in Iran-Contra—all the same people, same faces. Now it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the connection here: A secret government beyond the control of the people and accountable to no one. And the closer we are to discovering the connection, the more Congress turns a blind eye to it. “We can’t talk about that in open session,” they say. “National security reasons.” The truth lies dormant in their laps and they stay blind out of choice. A conspiracy of silence.

Twenty years later amidst the vast outsourcing of intelligence and military operations many more events may arguably be added to such a shadow government’s achievements—the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1995 Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building bombing, the September 11 terror attacks, the non-existent weapons of mass destruction prompting the occupation of Iraq, the July 7, 2005 London bombings, the shoe and underwear “bombings”—all of which have contributed to the official justification of imperial wars abroad and an ever-expanding police state at home.

Lacking meaningful contexts with which to understand such events in their totality the general public is incapable of recognizing the road it is being forced down. The most recent set of events that give pause are the horrific, military-style shootings in Aurora, Colorado and Oak Creek, Wisconsin that authorities maintain were carried out by “lone wolf” gunmen.

Operation Gladio in America?

A potential backdrop and precursor to the Colorado and Wisconsin events is the oft-forgotten Operation Gladio, a campaign involving US and British intelligence-backed paramilitaries anonymously carrying out mass shootings and bombings of civilian targets throughout Europe. Hundreds of such attacks took place between the late 1960s and early 1980s by “stay behind armies” of right wing and fascist saboteurs in an overall effort to terrorize populations, deploy a “strategy of tension,” and thereby maintain a centrist political status quo.[1] In the uncertain environment the petrified citizenry pled for stepped-up security and stood poised to part with personal freedoms. At the same time the maneuvers allowed for political adversaries—in Gladio’s time socialist and communist groups—to be blamed for the attacks and thereby demonized in the public mind.

The string of still unresolved US political assassinations throughout the 1960s suggest how such practices were not restricted to foreign countries. Nor were they solely the terrain of intelligence agencies. Along lines similar to Gladio, in the early 1960s the US Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed Operation Northwoods, where terrorist attacks would be initiated against US civilians in American cities and the violence blamed on Cuban combatants to justify war against the island nation.[2] The Kennedy administration rejected the proposal. While Northwoods exhibited the capacity for government to conceive and propose such plans, Gladio was demonstrably carried out against Western civilian populations in multiple locations over many years.

Consideration of Gladio and Northwoods might be dismissed were it not for early eyewitness accounts following the Colorado and Wisconsin shootings contending how there were two or more killers present at each incident—testimonies contradicting official government narratives that have accordingly been suppressed in the public mind.[3]

As communications historian Christopher Simpson observes, “the tactics that created the [Gladio] stay behinds in the first place are still in place and continue to be used today. They are standard operating procedure.”[4] Such potential explanations will appear foreign to an American public that is systematically misinformed and easily distracted. And in times of crisis especially that very public is tacitly assured of its safe remove from such practices, looking instead to political authorities and experts to reestablish a stasis to the carefully constructed “reality” major media impose on the mass psyche.

In this alternate reality Gladio has effectively been “memory-holed.” A LexisNexis Academic search for “Operation Gladio” retrieves a mere 31 articles in English language news outlets—most in British newspapers. In fact, only four articles discussing Gladio ever appeared in US publications—three in the New York Times and one brief mention in the Tampa Bay Times. Barring a 2009 BBC documentary [5] no network or cable news broadcasts have ever referenced the maneuver.

Almost all of the articles related to Gladio appeared in 1990 when Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti publicly admitted Italy’s participation in the process. The New York Times downplayed any US involvement, misleadingly calling Gladio “an Italian creation” in a story buried on page A16.[6] In reality, former CIA director William Colby revealed in his memoirs that covert paramilitaries were a significant agency undertaking set up after World War II, including “the smallest possible coterie of the most reliable people, in Washington [and] NATO.”[7]

A Plausible Narrative

Gladio’s successful concealment for so many years demonstrates how mass atrocities can be carried out by a shadow network with complete impunity. Most incidents from the Gladio period remain unsolved by authorities. In the US, however, a plausible narrative appears to be required for public consumption. For example, just a few hours after the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officials swept in and wrested the case from Oak Creek authorities by classifying it as an act of “domestic terrorism.”[8]. Less than twenty four hours later one of the federal government’s foremost de facto propaganda and intelligence-gathering arms—the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)—developed a storyline that was unquestioningly lapped up by major news media.[9]

In an August 6, 2012 Democracy Now interview with SPLC spokesman Mark Potok and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Don Walker, Potok explained in unusual detail how the alleged killer was involved in “white supremacist groups,” “Nazi skinhead rock bands,” and that the SPLC had been “tracking” the groups he was in since 2000. Potok’s remarks, which dominate the exchange and steer clear of the suspect’s experience in psychological operations, contrasted sharply with Walker’s, who more cautiously pointed out that the suspect’s “work in [US Army] PsyOps is still a bit of a mystery to all of us … We talked to a psychiatrist who said that [being promoted to PsyOps is] like going from the lobby to the 20th floor very quickly.”[10]

Like the Aurora Colorado storyline of a crazed shooter who expertly booby-trapped his apartment with exotic explosives, such appealingly sensationalistic narratives serve to sideline the countervailing testimonies of eyewitnesses and are difficult to contest or dislodge once they are driven home by would-be experts through almost every major news outlet.

A similar scenario played out in the wake of the Oklahoma City federal building bombing when the ATF, FBI and SPLC together constructed the dominant frame of Timothy McVeigh as the lone bomber, an account that likewise diverged with the local authorities’ initial findings, early news reports of unexploded ordinance and a mysterious accomplice of McVeigh, and the overall conclusions of the Oklahoma City Bombing Investigation Committee’s Final Report.[11] The narrative nevertheless served to maintain the political status quo while securing the Clinton administration’s second term in office. To this day most Americans believe McVeigh was solely responsible for the bombing despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

For its time Raplin’s prognosis was an accurate description of America’s cascading socio-political nightmare. Elected officials abdicate their responsibility of oversight for personal gain and thus perpetuate “a conspiracy of silence.” Yet over the past two decades, the quickening pace of “terrorist” events suggests how shadow networks have grown in boldness and strength, while each attack has contributed to the steady erosion of civil society and constitutional rights.

With this in mind both the mainstream and “alternative” news media, through their overt censorial practices, their consistent failure to place events in meaningful historical contexts, and their overall deliberate obeisance to dubious and unaccountable authorities, compound this conspiracy by ensnaring the public in questionable realities from which it cannot readily escape.


[1] Daniele Ganser, NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, New York: Routledge, 2005; Richard Cottrell, Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe, Progressive Press, 2012. For a succinct historical overview of false flag terror see Kurt Nimmo,”A Brief History of False Flag Terror Attacks, Or Why Our Government Loves State-Sponsored Terror,”, August 14, 2012. See also the BBC Timewatch documentary, “Operation Gladio.”

[2] James Bamford, Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency, New York: Anchor Books, 2002, 83.  For recent applications see Michel Chossudovsky, Syria: Killing Innocent Civilians as Part of a US Covert Op. Mobilizing Support for a R2P War,”, May 30, 2012, Entire Operation Northwoods document available at

[3] Overall sufficient scrutiny of the Colorado and Wisconsin shootings is entirely lacking save a handful of alternative news media. See Alex Thomas, “Wisconsin Sikh Shooting False Flag: Multiple Shooters, Army Psy-Ops, The FBI, Operation Gladio, and the SPLC,”, August 6, 2012, Jon Rappoport, “Shooting in Sikh Temple: Who Benefits Big Time?” August 5, 2012, Kurt Nimmo, “Sikh Shooter a Former Psyop Soldier Linked to FBI’s National Alliance,”, August 6, 2012,

[4] NATO’s Secret Armies, Andres Pichler, director, 2009. Simpson interview at 46:23,

[5] NATO’s Secret Armies.

[6] Clyde Haberman, “Evolution in Europe: Italy Discloses Its Web of Cold War Guerrillas,” New York Times, November 16, 1990, A16.

[7] Stephen Lendman, “NATO’s Secret Armies” [A Review of Daniele Ganser, NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, op cit.] September 15, 2010,

[8] Steven Yaccino, Michael Schwirtz, and Marc Santora, “Gunman Kills 6 at a Sikh Temple Near Milwaukee,” New York Times, August 6, 2012, A1.

[9] For example, Erica Goode and Serge F. Kovaleski, “Wisconsin Killer Was Fueled by Hate-Driven Music,” New York Times, August 7, 2012,, Madison Gray, “Sikh Temple Shooter Identified, Had Ties to White Supremacist Movement,” Time News Feed, August 6, 2012,, Dinesh Ramde and Todd Richmond, SPLC: ‘Frustrated neo-Nazi Opened Fire on Sikh Temple,” Associated Press, August 6, 2012,

[10] Amy Goodman, “Neo-Nazi Rampage: Army Psy-Ops Vet, White Power Musician ID’d as Gunman in Sikh Temple Shooting,” Democracy Now, August 7, 2012,

[11] Charles Key, The Final Report on the Bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Bombing Investigation Committee, 2001.

-James F. Tracy

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36 thought on “False Flag Terror and Conspiracies of Silence”
  1. twelve years of documented investigation evidence is now readily
    available regarding the false September 11, 2001 official narrative

  2. The “United Criminal cabal of America” has struck again , lets wait and see what pre-written laws,policies, HR`s wil be introduce to the public in the coming weeks or months. To use “Patriot`s Day” for this supposedly terrorist attack was well planned.

  3. Although the snow storms this late in the season are not unusual for my state, the big warnings echoed through the media of massive snow in previous weeks that didn’t pan out (but were touted as if the source of info were God’s own voice) and the persnickety illnesses that make multiple passes through our community and families are on a schedule parallel to the chemtrails that might be tweaking our weather, among other things. Oh, the meddling that they do…

  4. Great article. The most ominous aspect of the Marathon bombing was provided by commenter Regina almost immediately. It was the coincidence of the 26 peple killed at Sandy Hook and the 26 miles of the Marathon, which was emphasizsed at the Marathon in memorializing the Sandy Hook massacre.

    If one were a paranoid Conspiracy Theorist, one might speculate that this bombing was planned previous to the Sandy Hook homicide, for purposes not yet known. The governemnt is now deciding whether the IED bombs had a Foreign or Domestic basis in terrorism.

    If the Bush-Obama regimes are attempting to install a police state in the USA, terror events would increases the fear of the American people and increase the need for people to want the government to protect them from the Terrorists. The standard intent of false flag opeations like Operation Gladio.

    This ov course would be easier if you took the guns away from the American people. And this in turn would be easier if you stopped people from speculating about and critiquing Sandy Hook.

    But a power system would have to be fiendishly clever to work out such a scenario; or the critics paranoid to suspect it. , Or perhaps both. Or perhaps not.

  5. Thank you for re-posting this. Said it before (& I hope I won’t have to too many more times – before more of us start waking up): Many People just absorb & incorporate into their own belief systems whatever the ‘official version’ of these events are. It’s sad, that People can’t ‘see the farce for the treason.’ Those that don’t see it are too afraid of the truth to entertain it. That’s how the human belief systems work – it’s NOT – “I’ll believe it when I see it with my own eyes.” Because neuroscience has PROVEN that you can’t ‘see’ with your ‘eyes’ – you ‘think’ you do, but we ‘see’ with our belief systems. Therefore, you cannot ‘see’ something, anything, any ‘thing’ until you BELIEVE IT, first. Here’s the ‘bright side’ in all of this manufactured ‘darkness & evil’ – aka ‘terror.’ The more that the cabal behind it all keep designing these ‘events’ the more they risk that more and more People will ‘wake up’ and come out from under the ether. Here’s the maxim of belief systems – THE ‘WORD’ (your thoughts) become FLESH (your reality in the material ‘World’) Ever hear that anywhere before? The down side? If you ‘BELIEVE’ whatever the elite’s media tells you, you will BE it & LIVE it. That’s where the word BELIEVE came from. My advice, People? STOP BELIEVING THEM. Here’s the truth – the ONLY time that the GOVERNMENT lies to us is when their lips are moving. It’s actually, MORE than just ‘the truth’ – it’s an Eternal Verity when it comes to any CORPORATE GOVERNMENT who operates and fund those operations, on the blood, sweat & tears of the People it seeks to control.


    Apocalyptic violence — Robert Lifton speaks about his book “Destroying the World to Save It” on C-span:

    Psychiatrist John Woodall’s — Sandy Hook Promise (video): “Compassion or Conflict – Take Your Pick: The Effect of Trauma in the Community and the Resilient Response”

    1. Thank you for the links. The social phenomenon of making private pain public is simply the regulation of private life by those claiming to be professional experts and is a form of social control. Interestingly enough our person of interest wears three hats; psychiatry, ministry and psychology.

      A quote from the following study:

      “The influence of psychology and the increasing attention paid to emotional life has been the subject of considerable analysis (Rieff 1966; Lasch 1977; Gross 1978; Rose 1996; Furedi 2004). Overwhelmingly, and from vastly divergent intellectual traditions, social-theoretical analyses of the cultural shift from reticence and self-reliance to expressiveness and help-seeking has been interpreted as deleterious to social, political, and personal life. Rieff (1966) suggested that in undermining traditional authority, the rise of psychology and the therapeutic portended moral collapse, while Lasch (1977) argued that the retreat inward had led to a culture of narcissism. More recently, Furedi (2004) argued that a pervasive culture of therapy had engendered an excessively emotional, diminished subjectivity and incited the rise of victim culture.”

  7. The commenters on this blog are really good. “we see with our belief systtems” by Zareth. Also we DON’T see with our belief systems, the emotional denial of the people being the consequence of the conspiracy of silence by power.

    My daughter is finishing up at a California university and she says that her friends are offended by any attmept to modify the media truth about Sandy Hook, and now the Boston explosions. They don’t want to know if knowledge subverts the emotional story of power.

    And the proles are so consumed by the struggle for econoimc survival that they usually don’t have the luxury of deviating systematically from the media truth. What they believe in is each other, and what the media or Educated classes say is mostly irrelevant.

    It makes for a lonely life.

  8. Ever since that coup d’ tat on November 22, 1963, we have been terrorized by these shadowy ventriloquists. This Boston bombing resembles their modus operandi. Deductive reasoning begs the question; who benefits? Do we actually believe a lone bomber or a so-called terrorist network benefits by using low end explosives that allegedly killed 3 civilians? Or a government that could beef up Homeland Security, camera’s, draconian legislation and a police state? The very notion of this low impact explosion could kill 3 people while injuring 182 of the rest, 24 critically is highly implausible.

  9. Prof Tracy,

    When I read this at the “Global Research”-site:

    “Indeed, the head cross-country track coach at the University of Mobile – Alastair Stevenson – told Alabama’s Press-Register:
    “At the starting line this morning, they had bomb sniffing dogs and the bomb squad out there,” he said. “They kept announcing to runners not to be alarmed, that they were running a training exercise.” ”

    This witness also said he never saw this much securitypersonnel deployed in a running-event before.

    I immediately remembered your comments on the “exercise-drills-going-live” phenomenon you noted as a common feature in the 9/11, the 7/7, Newtown and other events. Seems we got another one…

    Whats your take on this?



    1. Research suggests that terror events can “piggyback” on law enforcement and emergency response drills. Perhaps now with a complicit news media there needn’t be any real terror event at all. Along similar lines the FBI has frequently been involved in essentially prompting impressionable subjects into carrying our or attempting to carry out acts of terror. As events such as Tonkin Gulf and the USS Liberty instructed so many years ago, if the enemy poses no threat there must be an impression created that a threat indeed exists.

  10. Compare the Boston Marathon bombing with other events. Over the years I’ve noted that most “false flags” involve a “perpetrator” who’s either immediately captured or who is caught within 24 hours. The case is “solved” before it’s even investigated. Examples are JFK, RFK, Oklahoma City, Aurora, Sandy Hook and probably others. Withing 24 hours it was “case closed” and drum beating for a new political objective.

    Boston Bombing is different in that respect. No suspect, no perpetrator and the authorities are calling for people to volunteer their cell phone pic’s, etc. to help solve the case. I get the feeling that this may be a real attack.

    AFter JFK, aurora, etc., there was no call for people to come forward with cell phone pics. In JFK, citizen cameras were confiscated by FBI and never seen again.

    I”m not saying that Boston Marathon is not a false flag, but merely that it’s being treated differently by authorities than Sandy Hook, etc., in that regard.

    1. I think the goal is to induce paranoia and hysteria about white male lone wolves, so not catching the perp and instead, encouraging citizens to constantly be on the lookout for the white male boogeyman is their angle. It’s working. A writer named Sirota even published a piece promulgating this myth of white male lone wolf domestic terror. He and his, uh, ilk, are the creators of the ‘white privelege’ myth.

  11. Once supported the SPLC, in my more rabid liberal phase. Still a llib, but temper opinions with common sense. ‘Shrinking government down to where it can be drowned in a bathtub:–to paraphrase Grover Norquist.

    This philosophy mirrors ‘neoliberalism’s’ desire to nullify the public sector in favor of private control. You will find it playing out in the tenets of the New World Order. Didn’t Wall Street accomplish a coup d’etat, making it plain who actuallly controls the White House, Congress, SCOTUS?

    Follow the bouncing ball and sing along. Or resist–your call.

  12. The Boston bombing occurred on the same day the Supreme Court began their ruling on whether an individual or a corporation (same thing, right?) can own human DNA. Coincidence? Look at the media fall-out: ABC, CBS, CNN–the major networks paraded piece after piece about the bombing, filling entire hours on just that story. The bombing made front page newspaper headlines, not this monumental ruling to determine whether humans can be owned––Legit, by the books, owned.

  13. On Tuesday, “Senate Resolution 65” was endorsed by 79 Senators:

    “The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee adopted on Tuesday a resolution which stipulates that the U.S. will assist Israel if it is forced to take action against Iran.

    It states that the United States has a vital national interest in and unbreakable commitment to, ensuring the existence, survival, and security of the State of Israel; reaffirms the United States support for Israel’s right to self-defense; and urges that if Israel is compelled to take military action in self-defense, the United States will stand with Israel and provide diplomatic, military, and economic support in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.”

    The resolution:

    Article Source:

    I look at the little kids I know & I don’t want their lives drafted into this mess. This would be perpetual war.

  14. The official story here is very suspect and so far there is no apparent evidence of culpability.

    Additionally the younger suspect was a medical student with very favorable remarks from friends from school. Not a likely candidate for a jihad terrorist.

    I discovered this interesting video and the back packs being held by individuals in this organization appear consistent with the destroyed black back pack that apparently contained the bomb.

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