Arthur Goldwag
September 13, 2012

When I began writing this post, no one seemed to know the real identity of the mysterious auteur of “Innocence of Muslims.” After telling the Wall Street Journal that “Islam is a cancer” in a phone interview, he dropped off the face of the earth. The actors and crew say they had no idea what they were getting into and that some of their lines were redubbed. The Christian hate group leader Steve Klein, who was involved in the promotion of the movie, told various people in the media that Bacile was an Israeli Jew and that 100 Jewish donors provided his financing. The Koran-burner Terry Jones says he only spoke to Bacile on the telephone, but he knew that it wasn’t his real name. The anti-Islam activist Morris Sadek, who promoted the movie with an Arabic language blog post, has yet to make a statement.

You’d have to be crazy not to suspect that this is a plot to stir up violence in the Middle East on the eve of the US presidential election, but who put all its pieces together? Karl Popper defined the “conspiracy theory of society” as “the view that an explanation of a social phenomenon consists in the discovery of the men or groups who are interested in the occurrence of this phenomenon…and who have planned and conspired to bring it about.” Much of the speculation about the identity of the plotters is already following those lines. Obviously, there is more than one idea about who stands to gain the most, and thus a real conspiracy is already becoming something of a Rorschach test for conspiracy theorists.

Debbie Schlussel’s virulently anti-Islamic blog points to an Arab plot against Jews, Christians, and the anti-Islamic movement:

This alleged ‘Israeli Jew’–who at the same time is also allegedly a ‘Coptic Christian’–was a fake, a liar, and probably a plant designed to spur some predictable Muslim violence against America (violence that happens on the part of Muslims every single day without an alleged fake movie plot). And, along with that, I felt the plot was meant to spur anti-Semitism and discredit those of us with legitimate concerns about the Islamic threat….I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but as I said earlier today, I wouldn’t be surprised if Muslim money was behind this to discredit Americans, Jews, and Christians in one fell swoop or to unite people against Jews or those who expose the real Islamic threat to America. Could it be Iran? Ya never know.

Cannonfire points instead to Mossad–and sees Iran as the object of the conspiracy, not its mastermind:

You would have to be a child not to understand what’s really going on here. This is the most obvious psyop conspiracy I’ve ever seen.

Neocons in America and Israel concocted this plot long ago. I would stake my life on it.

We can state with the certainty of a geometrical proof that Sam Bacile is a Mossad asset — a “sayan” — and that he did what he did under orders, not of his own initiative. The motive is transparent: Likudniks want the United States to attack Iran, and they know that Obama won’t do it. Romney will. He has made that point very clear. Thus, Israeli war hawks concocted a plan to make sure Romney gets into office.

The conspirators made this film for the express purpose of provoking a violent reaction, which would, in turn give the Republicans a political cudgel to wield against the president.

I do not doubt for a second the presence of provocateurs on the ground in Cairo and Libya. (How did they even know about the YouTube clip?) I also believe that this plan would have remained “on hold” if Romney had attained a comfortable lead.

I’m pretty sure that CIA had nothing to do with this. Only Israeli intelligence is so reckless.

By the time I got to this paragraph, the AP had confirmed Bacile’s real identity. He is a 55-year-old Coptic Christian named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who has been convicted of bank fraud. Whether he is one of the plot’s chief authors or just its front man (or patsy, as some conspiracy theorists are likely to insist), his story is certain to be fascinating.

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