Tag Archives | Conspiracy Theories

Seymour Hersh, Bin Laden, and Conspiracy Theories

As anyone who watched any kind of news outlet last week already knows, the big story was Seymour Hersh’s article alleging that the Obama administration’s story of the killing of Osama Bin Laden was a calculated lie. The theory has its critics and defenders in the mainstream media – okay, mostly critics.

But to me, the most interesting revelation raised by Hersh’s reporting, which his vociferous critics have written off as a crazy “conspiracy theory,” was not the surface level issues it raised about Middle East policy and torture. It was that the report revealed a fundamental truth about why we as humans, living under the rule of massive and impersonal governmental structures, are so fervently interested in conspiracy theories.

First of all, a bit of a breakdown of Hersh’s report is necessary.… Read the rest

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Conspiracy Theory as a Personality Disorder?

She's protected

Photo: John Allspaw (CC)

“The treatment of ‘conspiracy theories’ by the US intelligentsia is reminiscent of the Soviet commissions that labeled political dissidents mentally ill,” claims Kerry R Bolton at Foreign Policy Journal:

While psychiatry as a means of repressing political dissent was well-known for its use the USSR, this occurred no less and perhaps more so in the West, and particularly in the USA. While the case of Ezra Pound is comparatively well-known now, not so recognized is that during the Kennedy era in particular there were efforts to silence critics through psychiatry. The cases of General Edwin Walker, Fredrick Seelig, and Lucille Miller might come to mind.

As related by Seelig, the treatment meted out to political dissidents in psychiatric wards and institutions could be hellish. Over the past few decades however, such techniques against dissent have become passé, in favor of more subtle methods of social control.

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Pentagon Says Texas Should Not Fear JADE HELM

jade helmThe JADE HELM conspiracy theory keeps running and running, fueled now by the Pentagon insisting that Texas shouldn’t worry about it, reports McLatchy:

The Pentagon has a message for Texas: chill.

Defense officials Monday dismissed as “wild speculation” an Internet-fueled claim that a massive summertime exercise called Jade Helm 15 for special operations commandos is a covert operation by President Barack Obama to take over Texas.

That claim was given legitimacy by Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott’s order last week for the Texas State Guard to monitor the exercises.

“Operation Jade Helm poses no threat to any American’s civil liberties,” Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said Monday. “Operation Jade Helm is being conducted by Americans – by, specifically, American special forces personnel.”

Jade Helm 15 will be one of the biggest peacetime military exercises in six decades. Starting July 15 and lasting two months, thousands of Army Rangers, Green Berets, Navy SEALS and other special operations forces will simulate war missions in mainly remote areas of Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas and Utah.

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Texas Governor Implements Measures Against JADE HELM

Greg Abbott by Gage Skidmore.jpg

Greg Abbott by Gage Skidmore (CC)

The latest on Operation JADE HELM conspiracy nuttiness: Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, is listening to a certain Austin-based radio host and his fans’ fear of a federal government invasion, according to the Daily Beast:

Texas’s governor moved this week to protect his state from an Obama-led military takeover.

Governor Greg Abbott, who decisively beat Wendy Davis in the 2014 to take Rick Perry’s job, announced on Tuesday that he’s going to sic the Texas Rangers on the U.S. military.

Not really. But it sure sounds that way.

What’s actually going on is U.S. troops are doing training exercises—called Jade Helm 15—in several states throughout the Southwest, including Texas.

The mission will involve Special Operations forces moving through the Southwest and training for covert missions. A declassified map posted online in March (whose legitimacy The Washington Post confirmed) identified several of those states as “hostile” and “leaning hostile.” That isn’t particularly unusual, as Dan Lamothe explained at The Washington Post, but it has a small number of Texans—including, apparently, the governor—totally freaking out and (arguably) overreacting.

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Evil Conspiracies

John Michell by Richard Adams.jpg

John Michell by Richard Adams (CC)

When I was at school the history master warned us about conspiracy theories. These, he said, are adopted by weak-minded people who cannot accept that the stupid, unjust way of the world is a result of normal human confusion, and believe that a sinister group of plotters must be behind it all.

This was the first time I had heard of conspiracy theory, and the master’s warning had the natural effect of attracting me to it. Previously I had read that the non-existence of witches was a rumour put around for their own security by witches themselves, and this dubious information led me to suspect that our teacher was up to the same game. Why should he forbid us to seek out conspiracies unless he himself was involved in one?

Freed at last from the influence of academic opinions I went properly into the subject, beginning with the infamous Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, a tract that has been held largely responsible for the persecution and murder of Jews in modern Europe.… Read the rest

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Jade Helm, Wal-Mart Underground Tunnels Conspiracy Theory: Footage Inside ‘Closed Walmart’ — What Are Cops Trying To Hide?

More on the JADE HELM 15 military exercises and Wal-Mart conspiracy theories from the Inquisitr:

Conspiracy theory speculations about the sudden “mysterious” closures of at least five Wal-Mart stores in four states where Jade Helm military training exercises are scheduled to start got a boost in the last few days following release of footage purportedly showing police officers guarding loading docks and entrances at a “closed” Wal-Mart under circumstances that many say are suspicious.

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Photo: Spring Dew (CC)

 

Two “exclusive” videos shot by one of the subscribers of the YouTube conspiracy theorist Dahboo777, inside the closed Pico Rivera Walmart supercenter, California, according to some, show an attempt by police guards helping Walmart maintain security to hide sinister goings-on at the closed store.

In the first footage, guards order the person filming to stop and shelves appeared to have been arranged to conceal goings on in an area inside the store.

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Operation Jade Helm 15, Wal-Mart Closures Over ‘Plumbing Issues’ Spark Martial Law Conspiracy Theories

jade helmRemember the recent fuss over Operation Jade Helm? Well now the same "usual suspects" conspiracy theorists are linking it to a spate of closures of Wal-Mart stores due to some vague plumbing issues. The Inquisitr picks up the story:
The right-leaning conspiracy theory blogosphere has come alive once again with conspiracy theory speculations linking recent reports that several Wal-Mart stores have closed across the U.S. with Jade Helm 15 military training exercises scheduled to begin in July in some selected states, including Texas, California, Utah and Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. According to ABC Action News, more than 2,000 Wal-Mart employees nationwide learned on Monday that they were being laid off because their stores were being closed for reasons that WFLA and KSN-TV, both mainstream news sources, admitted were “weird” plumbing issues...
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Boston Bomber’s Family Claims Charges ‘Fabricated by American Special Services’

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Does the statement from Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s family that the charges against him were “all fabricated by the American special services” fall into the “Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?” category, or could there be something to their claim that he was set up? The family talks to TIME:

Throughout the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 21-year-old who was convicted last week of bombing the Boston Marathon in 2013, his family resisted the urge to speak out publicly in his defense. Tsarnaev’s defense team had advised them not to grant interviews, they say, as it could risk his chances at trial. But when the jury issued its guilty verdict on April 8, convicting him on 17 counts that could each carry the death penalty, some of his relatives decided to go public with their outrage.

On the evening of April 14, three members of the Tsarnaev family met at a café in the city of Grozny, close to their ancestral home in southern Russia, and told a TIME reporter how the trial had torn their family apart, how helpless they felt against what they see as an American conspiracy against them and, above all, how they still hope to convince Tsarnaev to fire his legal team and seek to overturn the verdict on appeal.

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The Fine Line Between Awareness and Fanaticism

Humphrey King (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Humphrey King (CC BY-SA 2.0)

11:32am – I checked the clock on my microwave twice before sitting down in the desk chair with my morning coffee today. It was still steaming so as I began blowing a gentle stream of cool air into the cup, I hopped on YouTube realizing I had some time to kill before beginning my day.

A good headline should be attention grabbing. It should pop out at you amidst a sea of other unrelated clutter. More often than not, if it doesn’t stand out the first time my eyes glaze over it, I won’t even know I missed it, much less give it a second chance. So I begin to skim — typical Vine compilations, foreign music videos, and news segments of world events fill up most of my screen. Then, something along the lines of, ‘How the CIA manufactured Isis.’ Posted by TheAlexJonesNetwork. ‘Oh geez,’ I think to myself, almost rolling my eyes.… Read the rest

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The Hotly Contested Link Between Science Denial and Conspiracy Theories

Interesting link between denial of science and predilection for conspiracy theories via the Washington Post:

In 2013, the University of Bristol psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky and colleagues published two papers containing a provocative claim: A tendency to endorse conspiracy theories, they suggested, makes people more likely to challenge various aspects of science, too. Across the two papers, they linked conspiratorial beliefs to science rejection on no less than five issues: climate change, vaccines, genetically modified organisms, and the ties between HIV and AIDS and smoking and lung cancer.

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Since then, the research has been widely discussed and criticized — particularly the conclusion about climate science rejection — and now, the intensity of the debate seems set to go up yet another notch. The reason is that the journal Psychological Science has just published two papers on the matter: one, a statistical critique of the Lewandowsky papers, and the other a response from Lewandowsky and his co-authors (also discussed in a blog post here).

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