Mark Heinrichs: False flag events

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Mark Heinrichs, of Barton. He is pastor of Sutton Freewill Baptist Church in Sutton.

For the average Vermont voter politics is confusing. How is one to see through the fog and come to some sense of reality and truth? Accusations and counter-claims are flung back and forth. An informed sense of history is helpful.

The recent riot at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., was a disturbing sight as protesters with Trump banners and hats broke windows and breached security. Major media outlets claimed that Trump deliberately sent protesters up to the Capitol to riot and cause insurrection. Trump supporters said that the rioters that caused the damage were antifa thugs sent in to cause trouble — “false flag event” they said. Major media fact checking groups (like Newsweek, Jan 7, 2021) went into overdrive, proclaiming a day later that such “false flag” claims were thoroughly debunked — no evidence they were anything but dangerous, unhinged Trump supporters. After all, they were wearing Trump red MAGA hats, weren’t they?

Not to put too fine a point on it, the major media fact checkers were themselves debunked after the FBI began arresting known thugs from Oregon and other places for their involvement in the Capitol Hill riot. In one case a non-antifa BLM thug, John Sullivan, had video shot of him working with a CNN reporter. That is highly disturbing. So, what is a false flag event? Why do they call it that?

History has plenty of examples so I will focus on two: the British Navy Commander Thomas Cochrane and Adolph Hitler. The whole idea of a false flag event is to deceive your opponent into thinking something other than what is really happening.

Lord Thomas Cochrane was a British naval commander who was the real person that Jack Aubrey of the movie “Master and Commander” was based on. Cochrane was a very bold and cunning young commander. In 1801, in the Mediterranean Sea, upon seeing French or Spanish ships, he removed his ship’s (The Speedy) British flag and flew other nations’ flags so they could creep up on an enemy, coming so close, then let loose with a volley of cannon fire, debilitating the opposing ship so it could be captured. The enemy would delay defensive preparations and cannon fire because they thought they were being approached by an allied or neutral ship, thereby giving Cochrane a huge advantage.

Cochrane had so much success with this that he was promoted to the rank of Post Captain of some of the British Navy’s finest ships. However, to some British naval admirals this was dirty pool on Cochrane’s part — unfair to use the false flag method, not quite “the thing to be done.” There was supposed to be honor in war, and using a false flag dishonored the British flag, and by extension, the nation. None of this deterred Cochrane.

The next example comes from late August 1939 on the German/Polish border. Under Hitler, Germany had been building its military for years in violation of the Versailles treaty from World War I. Hitler was spoiling for trouble, ready to flex his military muscle but keen to do it in a way that cost him the least. All he needed was “plausible deniability” to fend off or delay Allied military reaction and counter-moves.

At Hitler’s orders, the German Secret Police kidnapped a Polish Farmer named Franz Honiok, as well as perhaps several others, and on Aug. 31, 1939 staged a raid on their own radio station in Germany (Gleiwitz) near the Polish border. Personnel and several German soldiers at the broadcast center were killed by troops wearing Polish army uniforms using Polish weapons and ammunition, though they were actually German Secret Police. The German Secret Police dressed up their captive Honiok in a Polish army uniform, killed him and left him at the broadcast center as “proof” of the aggression by the unsuspecting Polish government. The Polish Army uniform the hapless Honiok was dressed in was the “false flag” used to deceive the world as to who attacked whom. The German Army invaded Poland within hours of this event, waiting only long enough to let the “false flag” event sink in.

The use of deception in war is not new, but the means and goals of achieving the false flag deception are growing increasingly dark. I think it is fair to assume the CIA has been involved in numerous “false flag events” world wide to overturn foreign governments. The use of thugs wearing Trump banners and hats while breaking windows and pillaging offices in the Capitol building makes for great evening news reports, and it attempts to deceive the nation as to who is at the core of the insurrection. With the FBI arrests of left-wing activists recently, we are beginning to get a clearer picture.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

11 thoughts on “Mark Heinrichs: False flag events

  1. A great discussion on this issue. The place where I am is that it is foolhardy to assume that these “tools” of psychological operations are not being used against our democratic republic. It was customary to use them in the past. It is reasonable to assume that they are being used now. I think of the saying, “Past is prologue.” Also, there are many techniques/tools being used against our democratic republic. “Spoofing”, “cultivated distraction,” and the old, “if you say something often enough, people believe it.” Please be skeptical and well and widely informed. But be willing to embrace the truth when you see it.

    There is a problem with relying on deception. Truth has a substance to it that lies and deception do not.

    • Mr. Johns,

      I believe the rise of “fact checkers” coincided with the change in how the news is presented. Traditionally those writing news stories had to have verified sources and have at least one editor and with controversial stories multiple editors review their work. There was a clear line as well between news stories and editorial commentary. Finally there was a way that mistakes would be publicly recognized and corrections printed. This is still the case for many traditional newspapers.

      While there is now a deluge of sources of news, information and commentary, there is far less editorial review and far more commentary mixed in with what is purported to be news. Hence the rise of “fact checkers”. Our current situation, if we are concerned with getting as factual a story as possible and not simply looking for news stories to reinforce our own prejudices (whether left, right or in the middle), requires a bit more work these days.

      It is fortunate that TNR allows for comments which can be another way of getting points of view. It is unfortunate that the more liberal media in Vermont has closed off this option.

      * full disclosure: I wrote for the Herald of Randolph for 28 years as a local correspondent and at times a feature writer. I had the good fortune to work for M. Dickey Drysdale when he was the publisher and owner of the paper. He was the gold standard of Vermont journalism and a mentor for many including myself.

  2. A very important distiction, but you walk on egg shells to discuss it.

    I watched 5 hours of TV coverage. Acres, half a million, colorfully dressed peaceful republicans. At the first fist fight, or barrior breech, TV naturally left the half million peaceful Republicans to concentrate on the 200/300 rioters – and stayed there the entire time. That is what TV does! A few TV shots showed The Peaceful Republicans looked like a river slowly flowing back to their transportation or hotels.
    The rioters were all clad in drab workmen’s clothing, all with backpacks, similarly drab color, many with helmets. Not a “support Rally gear”! A few had Trump ‘stuff’ to display. A few colorfully dressed civilians, Republicans, got caught up in the excitement – and terribly misbehaved. Lives lost on both sides were terrible. Woman shot to death by a person in plain clothes-an official. The gruesome death of a policeman trapped in a door being pushed, to his death, by the mob.
    A Classic False Flag attack on Congress – taking full advantage of a way to trash
    one political party, for the benefit of highly organized rioters we have seen all over the country – known as left wingers.,

  3. As more and more of the January 6th Capital event timeline rolls out, this is beginning to exhibit the first fine traces of CIA DNA all over it.

  4. I think we have to be careful about what we may consider to be false flag events. Often this is used a a way of deflecting an uncomfortable reality. An extreme case is U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Green, a Q-anon adherent, who has agreed with claims that school shootings in Florida and at Sandy Hook in which dozens of children were killed were “false flag” events in order to increase support for gun control. The anguish of the parents whose children died in these tragedies was heightened by such foolish claims as well as those who said the events were simply staged.

    There were in fact a couple of individuals participating in the capitol riot with left-wing connections just as there were a few right wing agitators in some Black Lives Matter protests. However these were isolated individuals and when you look at who was promoting these protests and who was arrested at the capitol and at the protests this summer, it is clear who was behind each of these demonstrations that turned into riots. To claim they were false flag events seems a sad attempt at shifting responsibility from those who are guilty of encouraging people to use violence to try to get their way.

    • John, I think you need to take your democratic blinders off. Find some real journalism and learn the true about the left. The guy with the fur cape and horns seen in the senate chamber has been photographed at other riots in the country. Other film clips show the police leading people into the capitol and so much more. False flags are used by the left, the CIA and even the media. Instead of try to throw cold water on the truth, do some research.

      • Dano, not a democrat nor do I have blinders. Suggest you look up Jake Angeli, the guy with the fur cape and horns. You will find he is a hardcore Trump supporter who has indeed been photographed and interviewed at other Trump rallies in his home state of Arizona. This included one in which his picture was taken with Rudi Giuliani, though Angeli was not in dressed up at the time. Angeli was by the way deeply disappointed he did not receive a pardon from Trump.

        My other suggestion is to check out the arrest records of the well over one hundred people arrested at the capitol and look at their backgrounds. You will find they almost all are Trump supporters and many are conspiracy adherents.

        Mr. Heinrichs is right there have been false flags in the historical past. The evidence clearly shows the riot at the capitol, while detrimental to the Trump legacy, is not one of these.

          • Mr. Johns,
            There is indeed quite a bit to this event and a whole picture needs to be considered. Hopefully we all will try to look at the totality of this tragedy from what caused it, what happened, who was responsible and learn the lessons needed to make sure it is not repeated. This is the kind of thing that fire departments do especially after an incident that went bad. What would be a loss opportunity is for opposing sides to simply hunker down in their own
            narratives. Thanks for adding this perspective on part of it.

  5. A good commentary that asks some searching questions. Beyond that, we have to ask a simple question: who benefited?

    Even though downtown Washington was boarded up and businesses and streets were closed for fear of violence from White Supremacists and Proud Boys, curiously the Capitol building, where legislators were assembled to confirm what the protesters thought was a stolen election, had a very mild police presence and the flimsiest of barriers. They were, perhaps, expecting no trouble from supposedly violent protesters who believed an election had been stolen from them? The fired Capitol police chief stated the he had been refused National Guard help, ostensibly because of “the optics.” Well then, what were “the optics”? A bare-chested man with Viking horns on who went by the handle of “Q-Shaman,” in the center of the people’s house? How about that for optics?

    So what are we talking about today on the mainstream media? We’re talking about those violent insurrectionists and forgetting the left-wing violence all summer. We’re talking about censoring those folks because … look what happened. Even though those same folks left Washington peacefully and, shame on them, forgot to burn and loot the city. Where were Antifa and BLM when you needed a few torches?

    Who gained from January 6? Not the Trump team, that’s for sure. What a coincidence.

    I gotta hand it to them: it was beautifully played and they caught Trump completely off-guard. There was a light police presence for a reason, and the storming of the Capitol was about the best optics one could hope for.

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