Counter-Intelligence: Beyond the Deep State

Kim Petersen

This is the continuation of an interview (see Part 1) with filmmaker Scott Noble based on his documentary series Counter-Intelligence. Noble’s films can be viewed for free online at


Kim Petersen: Part III of the series, “Strategy of Tension” gives an extensive listing of false flags from Israel’s Susannah, Gladio in Italy, and Phoenix in Viet Nam. False flags serve the function of allowing aggressor states to portray themselves as victims. Explain the false flag.

Scott Noble: “False flag” has basically come to mean any event in which group A poses as group B in order to affect policy. However, in cases not involving direct conflict between states (flags), the military literature tends to use the term “pseudo operation” (or if it just involves media, “black propaganda”). Doppleganger operations are a related subset, and involve the impersonation of specific individuals. Regardless of the words we use, it is encouraging that more and more people are becoming aware of these tactics.

The most well known form of false flag is when a government stages an attack and blames it on a designated enemy to justify a military invasion. For example, before the Nazis invaded Poland, they dressed up a number of concentration camp victims in Polish uniforms, took them to a German radio station in Gleiwitz, and executed them; the radio station was then vandalized by the Gestapo with the goal of creating the illusion of an attack by Polish soldiers and subsequent firefight. The “Gleiwitz incident” created a casus belli(or war pretext) for the Nazis to invade Poland.

A more elaborate form of false flag is when a group made up of intelligence assets poses as the enemy and commits an atrocity or series of atrocities. These groups are described in the military literature as “pseudo teams” (see for example Lawerence E. Cline, “Pseudo Operations and Counterinsurgency”). Cline justifies the use of pseudo teams due to their utility in intelligence gathering, but they can also be used for more nefarious purposes. During France’s brutal occupation of Algeria, French intelligence created a pseudo-team called the “Organization of the French Algerian Resistance” whose mission was to carry out terrorist attacks with the aim of “quashing any hopes of political compromise.”

At the other end of the spectrum are acts of provocation. An informant working for an intelligence agency or the police will infiltrate an “enemy” group and encourage members to carry out destructive actions. The patsies are usually overzealous, immature, easily influenced, cash-strapped or mentally ill. After the contrived plot is foiled, the “protector” agency holds a press conference to congratulate themselves and justify their bloated budgets/state policy.

The more one studies these “terror plots” the more it becomes apparent that they tend to be manufactured by the very organizations claiming to protect the citizenry from terrorism. In the case of Operation Gladio, for example (seePart 1 of the interview), a 1969 memo from Aginter Press, a fascist group in Portugal, states:

“Acts of terrorism will seem to have emanated from our adversaries, and pressure brought to bear on people in whom power is invested at every level. That will create a feeling of hostility; at the same time we must rise up as defender of the citizenry against the disintegration brought about by terrorism and subversion.”

The FBI is infamous for using these methods. Even some mainstream commentators have written on the phenomenon (see e.g., The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism). A study by the Muslim advocacy group SALAM entitled “Inventing Terrorists: The Lawfare of Preemptive Prosecution” analyzed 399 individuals in DOJ “terror” cases from 2001 to 2010 and determined that 94.2 percent resulted from the FBI foiling its own contrived plots. Following the ridiculous “Sears Tower” plot in 2006, in which the patsies were actually offered cash to take part, Jon Stewart referred to the unfortunate fellows as “7 dipshits in a warehouse.”

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