As readers of this blog know, I don't have a lot of time for the whacky conspricy types. But on the other hand, that's not to say the there are no conspiracies -- in fact politics is often about people secretly agreeing to do things to promote their joint interest, aka conspiracies. And god knows that there are enough historical examples of this sort of thing. While everyone is in a tizzy about the sinking of the Titanic, no one pays much attention to the sinking of the Lusitania, which as it turns out was in fact secretly loaded up with arms from the US to be delivered to the UK, thus making the ship a target just as the Germans had warned (and deliberately placing the lives of the civilians onboard in danger.) Then there's the whole Operation Northwoods document thing too.
So I was not very surprised at all to read that according to Seymour Hersh, officials in the Bush administration including Cheney had considered to create an incident in the Persian Gulf, which appeared as if the Iranians had attacked US ships, in order to justify a US attack on Iran. Specifically, according to Hersh, Cheney wanted some US Navy Seals to dress up as Iranians, and to get into the sort of patrol boats that the Iranians used, in order to get shot at by the US Navy. The idea was not carried out, which is why Hersh says he was not allowed to reference it in his articles published by the New Yorker.
This incidentally gives more credence to the idea that the captain of the USS Vincennes was acting not as a 'rogue' when he ended up shooting down an Iranian civilian airliner whilst his ship was illegally inside Iranian territorial waters (a fact that the US Navy lied about for 4 years until a joint Nightline/Newsweek expose came out) but was in fact acting his role in a similar type of arranged incident which was intended to draw out the Iranian navy and to justify a direct US attack on Iran, to aid the forces of then-US allied Saddam Hussein who was feeling the heat when Iranian forces had successfully turned the tide of the war against his invading forces.