A volley of U.S. cruise missiles had barely been launched into Syria before the Internet filled up with fact-free theories about the real reason for an international crisis.
A popular one on the right-most fringes: The U.S. government actually carried out the chemical weapons massacre in Syria last week — a “false flag” to trick President Trump into retaliating, thus entangling himself in a foreign war.
A slightly more convoluted strain on the left: Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the chemical weapons massacre to help Trump — distracting Americans from an investigation into Trump’s campaign ties to Russia by provoking the missile strike.
That theory — evidence-free — was laid out on a small anti-Trump website shortly after the missile strike.
But it went mainstream Friday night, when Lawrence O’Donnell advanced similar speculation on his MSNBC show, “The Last Word.”