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On several occasions, believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory have gotten disturbingly close to high-ranking members of the U.S. government.
Past incidents include a conspiracy theorist who goes by “Lionel” posing with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office, a SWAT member wearing a QAnon patch meeting Vice President Mike Pence, and the revelation that a public QAnon believer was working as a pastry chef at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club. The popular right-wing conspiracy theory maintains that high-ranking government officials are working to undermine the president. It is carried out by a supposed secret agent leaking intelligence, however, the predictions and warnings are routinely wrong.
This month appears to have been another high-profile contact between QAnon and the government, as conspiracy theory social media sites began buzzing about a series of pictures depicting three men in civilian clothes holding up QAnon slogans and Pepe the Frog pictures, the cartoon co-opted by the far-right, in front of the entrance sign to the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station.
The pictures appear to have been both taken and posted to Instagram on June 18, nearly a month since the last Q “drops,” or blog posts from Q.
The sign the men are holding reads 2018, but it appears to be a typo, as another picture, taken in what appears to be an office—and after the initial series of photos—has the “8” crossed out and replaced with a “9.”
Another clue to their date is that Command John Fischer didn’t take over the base until late June 2018, and Fischer is on the sign in the photos.
Q followers holding up signs at Guantanamo isn’t surprising, given that the base and prison is a key part of QAnon’s complex iconography as the place where high-level cabal members are to be held or executed.
They appear to have first uploaded to Instagram on the afternoon of the 18th by a prolific right-wing user named HisNameWasSethRich, a handle referencing the conspiracy theory that a Democratic National Committee staffer was murdered by the Clintons after leaking Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s emails to WikiLeaks.
There’s no indication as to who the men are, and the media office at Guantanamo Bay didn’t respond to a request for comment from the Daily Dot. Some social media users and QAnon followers believed them to be tourists, while others saw their clothing, boots, and the military style that the date was written in and judged them to be contractors or off-duty Marines. And naturally, a few thought they were fake.
The reference on the sign, to “Bread #8672,” doesn’t refer to a QAnon post, but to a research thread (linked here, but please use caution) on 8chan, where the Q posts originate.
In Q lingo “bread” is the preferred term for these long and often incredibly racist threads where “crumbs” from Q are decoded. The “bread” in question is merely a series of links to other stories, one of which is a user-generated thread with the three pictures from Guantanamo Bay (one posted twice), essentially meaning the sign-holders pointed to the 8chan thread where they knew they were going to post the pictures.
Without further information, it’s impossible to know who put up the pictures and why. But they’re another indication that the QAnon conspiracy theory continues to thrive, even as its members argue with each other and the Q avatar continues in silence.
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Mike Rothschild is a writer who specializes in researching and debunking conspiracy theories and fringe beliefs. He also writes about politics, history, and breaking news.