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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:06 PM
Original message
So-called “Conspiracy Theories” in Perspective
Note to mods: I hope and I believe that I am not going against DU rules by posting this in GD. This post does not tout any specific conspiracy theories, but rather it is, in my opinion, a well reasoned discussion of so-called “conspiracy theories” in general, which I hope will help to clarify some important issues. If I am wrong about that and this post is locked or moved, I will be disappointed, but I apologize for breaking the rules.


I have long been fascinated by so-called “conspiracy theories”, and have subsequently posted about them on DU on a number of occasions. Recent vigorous controversy over this issue on DU, including Skinner’s post requesting us to “stop posting baseless conspiracy stuff about Senator Johnson”, has caused me to think about this issue some more, and I would like to share some of my thoughts.

First I want to say that I understand and respect our administrators’ point of view on this issue. Skinner has pointed out that one reason for asking us not to post baseless conspiracy stuff is that he is afraid that doing so will make it less likely that sensible people will choose to join DU. That is certainly a legitimate issue IMO, since we should always welcome the addition of sensible people to our community.

I can think of at least one other very good reason to discourage “baseless conspiracy stuff” from being posted on DU, and I am not aware whether this has been previously voiced by our DU administrators: DU is a political organization, one of its main purposes being (in addition to providing enjoyment, education, and mental health benefits to its members) to support the Democratic Party. I hope and I DO believe that we have made a significant contribution in that regard. I believe that we have made a contribution because large numbers of articles and discussions that are posted here provide powerful arguments for our beliefs, our values, and our reasons for supporting the Democratic Party. Just as our corporate national news media provides information and arguments that influence people’s opinions, so do we, and people pick up our messages and transmit them to their friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers all over the world.

So, to the extent that DUers post baseless assertions (and I’m sure that we can all agree that that happens from time to time here), that tends to weaken our message by making us seem less credible in the eyes of many Americans, and consequently impedes our goal of supporting the Democratic Party. And I’m sure that that is one very good reason why our administrators exert some control over this issue. Yet at the same time, they recognize that censoring discussion on DU is a two edged sword, since it entails the possibility of censoring useful discussion and argument as well as baseless assertions. So they attempt to strike a balance, which I believe is in general a very good balance.

Having said all that, I also believe that in the United States in general, and even among some DUers, there is an excessive prejudice against so-called “conspiracy theories” and “conspiracy theorists”. I believe that that prejudice is very unhealthy to our country, and that is what I wish to address in the remainder of this post:


Today’s accepted history is often yesterday’s “Conspiracy Theory”

The formal definition of a conspiracy is two or more people getting together to plan a crime. Not only does that happen all the time, but history if full of examples of large conspiracies involving national governments, with monumental consequences. And our country is no exception to that. Moreover, many of those conspiracies, which are today well accepted as historical fact, were at the time of their occurrence and for many years or decades afterwards, considered to be in the realm of so-called “conspiracy theories”, with a pejorative connotation that would invite ridicule of those who voiced them. Here are five brief examples from American history:

The violent disenfranchisement of Blacks in the 19th Century American South
From the end of the American Civil War in 1865, through 1875, three Constitutional amendments and Reconstruction had operated to provide former slaves with voting and other rights, which they used to elect numerous Black men to high public office. As this state of affairs was intolerable to many southern Whites, several White racist organizations were formed, which coordinated efforts with the Democratic Party (Yes, in those days the Democratic Party was the racist Party, and Republicans were considerably less racist) to intimidate and murder politically active Black men and their families, with the main goal of disenfranchising them and regaining political power in the South. The plan was highly successful, and southern Blacks in the United remained mostly disenfranchised for about 90 years, until voting rights legislation in 1965 did much to address the problem. Nicholas Lemann, in “Redemption – The Last Battle of the Civil War”, discusses this issue in great detail.

The CIA overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq in 1953
In 1953, CIA Director Allen Dulles convinced President Eisenhower to accede to a CIA plot to overthrow the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, Mohmmad Mosaddeq. Reasons included Mosaddeq’s recent nationalization of Iran’s oil industry and fear that his leftist leanings would make him susceptible to Communist influence. The CIA-led coup was successful, and Mosaddeq was replaced by the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who ruled Iran with an iron fist for the next 26 years, to the great detriment of the Iranian people. That coup has been a major factor in anti-American feeling in Iran and in the Middle East in general, ever since.

Operation Northwoods
Operation Northwoods was a 1962 plan by the American military, led by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lyman Lemnitzer, to incite a war against Cuba. It involved various false flag actions, including such terrorist activities as the shooting down of an American passenger plane by the U.S. military, which would be blamed on Cuba. Fortunately, the American Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, vetoed the plan. The documentation of this plan was first published in 1998. Prior to public publishing of Operation Northwoods, you can be sure that anyone proclaiming knowledge of it would have been excoriated as a “conspiracy theorist”.

The American invasion of Iraq
It is now fairly well known that the Bush administration, in an effort to drum up public and Congressional support for an invasion of Iraq, concocted a bunch of lies, based on “evidence” that was vigorously contradicted by knowledgeable high level officials. However, prior to the start of the war, Americans who contradicted the Bush administration’s excuses for war were excoriated as unpatriotic or “conspiracy theorists”.

Torture at Guantanamo Bay
It is also now fairly well known that torture of detained prisoners by American military or contracting personnel has been a regular occurrence at Guantanamo Bay and other American detention facilities since the onset of our “War on Terror”. But when Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) gave a straight forward accounting on the Senate floor of eye-witness testimony of such torture, which he had heard from an FBI agent, he was excoriated by the Republican attack machine for doing so. Purportedly, the vicious criticism directed against him was incited by his comparing our torture of Muslims with Nazi torture during World War II. But his description of the torture was accurate, and the comparison that he made was appropriate (He did not say or imply that American and Nazi torture were equivalent in scope). The concentrated attacks against Senator Durbin were due to a fundamental abhorrence that too many Americans have towards hearing their country severely criticized, even when actions by their government warrant severe criticism.


The denigration and marginalization of so-called “conspiracy theorists”

Needless to say, when a national government gets involved in a major conspiracy to commit a serious crime, very powerful interests are often involved. Therefore, it is in their interest to make “conspiracy” and “conspiracy theorist” into pejorative terms and terms of abuse – just as has been done with the word “liberal”.

And not only do they seek to belittle “conspiracy theories” that involve them directly. The wealthy and the powerful have an interest in maintaining the status quo. To the extent that citizens develop an awareness of nefarious acts conducted by their government and other powerful individuals, the status quo is threatened. And with our country’s national news media now being largely in the hands of wealthy and powerful corporations, that means that much of our news media has a vested interest in avoiding issues that shed a bad light on our government. Hence the avoidance of such crucial issues as the Bush lies that led us into war and the objections to the 2004 Presidential election Ohio vote count.

When I see someone like Tucker Carlson talking about “grassy knoll conspiracy theorists” with that contemptuous, snotty attitude of his, I just want to scream. The irony of that is that the medical evidence that JFK’s assassination was planned by a conspiracy (i.e., he was shot twice from the front, in the direction of the grassy knoll, whereas the book depository where Lee Harvey Oswald was allegedly present at the time of the shooting was in back of Kennedy) is overwhelming, and 70% of Americans believe it was a conspiracy. No matter. Anyone who believes that the JFK assassination was a conspiracy is a “conspiracy theorist”.


The importance of “conspiracy theorists”

Given the tendency of government to participate in grave conspiracies, especially with regard to attempts to increase its own power, our country and the world need people who have the capability of being suspicious of government actions. Indeed, that is the main reason why our Founding Fathers created the First Amendment to our Constitution. We need a free and independent press who refuse to take government at its word, but rather who will routinely take what government says with a grain of salt. In short, we need conspiracy theorists in our national press corps. For the first step towards investigation of government malfeasance is to develop an evidence based theory as to what might have occurred. No conspiracy theory, no well guided investigation.

William Rivers Pitt made a similar point in his book, “The Greatest Sedition Is Silence”. In that book he discusses a grave conspiracy theory (not to be discussed in this post) that involves the U.S. government. He notes that people who voice conspiracy theories like that tend to be excoriated as unpatriotic, but in reality it is those who are willing to question our government when it is wrong who are the real patriots. Real patriots want to improve their country when they see their government doing bad things. False patriots would rather sit by silently and maintain the pretense that their country is infallible, rather than challenge it or even admit when it is wrong.

A similar principle applies to police investigations. To investigate a serious crime, police detectives must first look at the evidence available to them and follow certain standard policies. But often, further investigation must be guided by evidence based theories in order to stand the best chance of solving the crime. Without a well developed theory as to why and how the crime was committed, an investigation of the crime has little to guide it.


Motive and capacity

It is a well known principle of police investigative work that “means, motive, and opportunity” are and should be prominently considered in attempts to identify suspects for a crime. That is a major reason why spouses are so frequently considered to be suspects in murder cases; they often have ample opportunity and motive for the murder.

“Capacity” is another important issue to consider. We must ask who has the psychological capacity to have committed a crime. For example, if a person or group of persons who have the motive and opportunity to have committed a crime also have demonstrated serious anti-social behavior in the past (such as rape or lying to Congress to justify a war), then that should justify added suspicion of that person or group of persons.

Now, lets consider Senator Johnson’s recent episode of an arteriovenous malformation bleeding into his brain. I’m a physician, and I can’t even imagine that anyone would have the ability to produce an arteriovenous malformation (or a stroke) in another person, let alone do so without being detected. Therefore, any theory of foul play in this instance would have to involve the Senator’s doctors making up a false diagnosis, which also seems extremely unlikely to me at this time.

But what about people who have no special medical knowledge, who are considering the event at a time when little information is available? What do they have to go on? Number one, they know for a fact that a great many powerful people in our country have great motivation for having a Republican Congress. They also have reason to believe that a certain unknown proportion of those people would be willing to kill to attain that result. And last but not least, they have good reason to believe that our corporate news media might not report evidence of such a crime if it was available to them. After all, much of our corporate news media had evidence of Bush administration lies in leading us into war, and they failed to report on those lies for a very long time.

The motive alone constitutes evidence. It’s not solid evidence, and it’s not evidence that could alone lead to a conviction. But it is evidence nonetheless.

By saying this I am certainly not suggesting that it is right for people to make assertions that aren’t true. Nor am I suggesting that it is wrong of our DU administrators to vigorously discourage discussion on DU of foul play related to Senator Johnson’s illness – for reasons that I discussed at the beginning of this post.

All I am saying is that I understand why people speculate about things like this, and I believe that that kind of speculation is usually neither ill intentioned nor stupid. Rather, I consider it to be a perfectly normal and even admirable reaction to a terrible and scary event of potentially monumental importance, taking place in a nation where the news we get from our national press corps is rightfully considered to be highly suspect.
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:23 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thank you, thank you, thank you
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 11:19 PM by me b zola
I have just completed my own piece (I haven't decided on whether or not to post) on the belittling & berating that I saw occur yesterday. I focused on the response of posters w/o offering opinion about the admin's decision. Unlike my piece, though, your post is informative & well written. You really are a treasure. :)
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RandomKoolzip Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. Bush caused the 2004 tsunami!
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trumad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Well--there's the plausible and then there is the absurd.
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Lerkfish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:48 PM
Original message
at one time, the theory that Bush lied about WMDs in Iraq was considered
absurd by some. The idea that Powell would lie to the UN about mobile laboratories was considered absurd.

The theory that there was a neoconservative group intent on directly influencing american policy was considered absurd at one time.

The only difference between some conspiracy theories and fact is time.

Would we have thought, 15 years ago, we would be approving torture, involved in two failed wars, started by preemption and that our soldiers would be denied basic body armor?

Would we have thought ANY of the things that have come to pass?

the answer is, some of us DID think those things, and some of us DID get accused of being conspiracy theorists and some of us WERE shut down....only to be proven absolutely correct later.


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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 05:19 AM
Response to Reply #2
31. I have it on good authority that Bob Pollard caused the tsunami...
:evilgrin:
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trumad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:28 PM
Response to Original message
3. I'd say that since I've been on DU----
The so-called conspiracy theories have been about 50 percent right and 50 percent wrong--- Meaning...we should never shut them out. mho
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Wonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:31 PM
Response to Original message
5. JFK re: secret societies
http://www.mininova.org/tor/514141
BitTorrent, 11 megs

Nice post, btw. K & R
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:34 PM
Response to Original message
6. Superb
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 10:35 PM by Jcrowley
Everyone should read this.

Anyone who disputes conspiracy should simply go the local law library and look at the massive volumes of Conspiracy Law textbooks and then sit with a prosecutor for an hour and ask he/she what is their most used department of law.

If one dismisses out of hand conspiracy an entire framework of discussion is eliminated that is standard procedure in American, and elsewhere, jurisprudence.

Do we honestly think that the people who are rigging the game don't plan?
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. well, but that involves sitting on the edge of that limb
Which most folk don't find too comfy.

Especially when there are "friends" handy with a chain saw.

sigh....

:hi:
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burythehatchet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
7. kicked, recommeded, buddy listed, journal added
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 10:46 PM by burythehatchet
:thumbsup:

please send this into the NYT and Wash Post. I would also send it to Lappin at Harper's
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nicknameless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Lewis Lapham of Harper's magazine?
If that's who you meant -- good choice. I think he'd appreciate reading it.
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
8. I have been saying these very things for years now on DU and elsewhere
But with nowhere near the eloquence that you have in this thread, and your logical building blocks are impeccable, too.

In spite of the fact that I doubt you could make your, mine, and at least 30% of DUs position any clearer, I do not think that it will help much.

Because, like so much of human endeavor and thought, marginalizing the conspiracy theories (which often become historical fact, as you said) allows two of the most powerful and commonplace of human emotions come to the fore:

1) Our powerful ability and need to deny that which leads down unpleasant roads, no matter how true and bolstered by ironclad facts.

2) Our very human need to feel superior to others (I call it "The Jerry Springer Effect").

And those two things will keep the same pattern of denial followed (occasionally) by slow understanding and awakening when it comes to "conspiracy theories" as has been throughout all of human history.

P.S. Here are some more "conspiracy theroies" later proven to be criminal fact for your arsenal of ideas

The Tuskeegee Experiments
Watergate and the rest of the actions of the Nixon Cabal
The Enron Phony Energy Crisis of 2001
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trumad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. Where the hell have you been man?
Good to see you back.
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
9. in some cases, the most outrageous "conspiracy theories" are those . . .
put forth by the government at their "official" versions of what happened . . . 9/11 comes immediately to mind . . .
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Beam Me Up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:59 PM
Response to Original message
10. What else can we do?
The official "theory" of what happened on 9/11 is strictly impossible. Not merely unlikely, impossible. And yet there is no real investigation into what happened, much less any genuine accountability. What are we supposed to do, NOTHING? Thank goodness there are a few people who ask questions and, in the absence of credible answers, generate plausible alternate explanations.

So far as 9/11 is concerned, I do not claim to know what actually happened or who was responsible. All I know is that what was said to have happened could not possibly have happened. That means to me that the whole edifice of the "War on Terror" is predicated on a wrong reading of the events. Worse that means, since neither government nor media are willing to ask the really tough questions, there is something seriously wrong with our society that can not be 'fixed' simply by electing one party over another. We're now very much beyond "politics as usual" and into the kind of territory only revolutionary change can address.

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HughMoran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:18 AM
Response to Reply #10
22. The official "theory" of what happened on 9/11 is strictly impossible.
Bad move. You are now on ignore for that ridiculous statement.
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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:59 PM
Response to Original message
12. Eloquently stated!
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nicknameless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:02 PM
Response to Original message
14. An excellent, thoughtful piece ... as usual.
:thumbsup:
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
16. I think one thing we all need to do before signing on to any conspiracy
theory is to check out the background facts.

In the specific case of Senator Johnson, it would be a good idea to read up on his condition before declaring that he was the victim of an attempted murder or anything like that. As the OP said, it's hard to believe that someone could induce funky blood vessels in a person's brain.

I've also seen people blaming the earthquake that caused the SE Asian tsunami on nuclear testing. Before making such claims, they should have read up on earthquakes a bit. If they had, they would have known that the difference in force between an earthquake and a nuke is like the difference between a stick of dynamite and a single kernel of popcorn. There are many reasons to be against nuclear testing, but causing earthquakes is not one of them.

On the other hand, people who DO know what they're talking about can and should debate such issues as the Kennedy assassination and election fraud and any others that they know about.
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
17. Conspiracy is a pejorative word, the beauty of the phrase...
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 11:21 PM by teryang
...conspiracy theorist is that it transfers the pejorative connotation of conspiracy to the theorist who posits its existence based upon certain observations. In other words, the rationalist becomes the criminal in the propaganda talking points of the suspected powerful criminal venture or enterprise.

By the way, great article. Thanks for taking the time to write this. It is well needed reminder. I'm saving it for reference.
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Bjorn Against Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:44 PM
Response to Original message
18. Thank you, that was a great post that should be read by all
I made a similar argument in a thread a few monthes back, although I was not nearly as elegant or detailed as your post is.

I think the real nut jobs are those who are so convinced that all "conspiracy theorists" are crazy that they refuse to acknowledge any crimes commited by our government. As you said a conspiracy is nothing more than a crime between two or more people, and if a person were honestly to believe that there is no such thing as a crime between two or more people that is delusional.

So yes, of course there are conspiracies and to dismiss that fact shows a profound ignorance.

Thank you for stating the obvious in such an elegant manner.

(And by the way I do NOT believe there is any conspiracy involved with the Johnson situation, and most of us "conspiracy theorists" think that any suggestion that there was is idiotic at this point.)
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wildflowergardener Donating Member (863 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:56 PM
Response to Original message
19. great post
Edited on Sat Dec-16-06 12:42 AM by mbergen
great post - I think that part of the problem is that for so long there has been no one investigating these people who are in office.

Also, things I would have never believed it possible that our government could have done, have been done again and again lately, so that now, I almost believe anything is possible. It is like, just when you think they won't go any lower, they do.

Hopefully some of this will change with the new house and senate. It is hard when you can't trust what the media is saying, or many of the politicians. Who can you trust anymore?

It is really too bad that I have become so jaded about this administration that sometimes when something bad happens your mind jumps to the worst.

Meg
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OPERATIONMINDCRIME Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:12 AM
Response to Original message
20. I Thought It Was A Brilliant Post Right Up Till About The End. Then I Sighed.
Edited on Sat Dec-16-06 12:15 AM by OPERATIONMINDCRIME
I will not excuse nor give credence to any of the irrational insanity that there could've been foul play with Senator Johnson. There is no understanding in the world that would allow me to grace those supporting such lunacy. The notion is so illogical and baseless that there is no understanding of perception necessary. It just is what it is; pure illogical nonsense brought on by a complete lack of critical thinking skills on behalf of those who would put forth such ridiculousness.

I agreed with the overwhelming majority of the rest of your post and found much intelligence in the words. Though I'm not a supporter of many conspiracy theories, there are quite a few that do in fact have merit. And in general, one of the things we do the most on DU and one of the most valuable aspects of DU is our wonderfully brilliant ability to discuss them and supply facts supporting them. Let's face it; the republicans have been part of so many conspiracies these past years that what we are mainly doing here is in fact unraveling and making people aware to these things. But we do so with merit and substance with at least some logical reasoning present.

But this Johnson thing carries NO logic whatsoever. In fact, to arrive at the starting point of what the plan would've consisted of and what the line of reasoning would've had to been to implement it, one would deduce fairly quickly that it would be complicating something to the nth degree in the most unlikely ways. If they were to want to plan something like this, there'd be a gazillion more ways that would make more sense than what would've needed to occur here. So no, I will give no credence whatsoever to those who put forth such lunacy, as it is every bit ripe for mockery and embarrassment as anything I could imagine.

I don't need to pause and consider the understanding of perception as to why someone would feel that the remote control ended up behind the couch because irradiated ants carried it off in a fit of revenge, if someone declared such. No; I could just dismiss it straight out of hand as the ramblings of a lunatic. So too could I with assertions that there was foul play in regards to Senator Johnson. It just simply is that illogical, irrational and delusional, and that's why I was quite thankful to see Skinner's declaration.

But I wish you hadn't given credence to the theory at the end of your post, because I found much of what you typed previous to it to contain much writing brilliance. But now I was left with a little of a sour taste, in the end of it all. Oh well.

Peace
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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
21. Indisputable in its references. The facts speak for themselves.
Edited on Sat Dec-16-06 12:15 AM by shance
Thank you for taking the time TFC to bring these references to light.

Cheers!

:toast:
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Mist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:43 AM
Response to Original message
23. Thank you for this extrremely well-written and well-reasoned article. Please
submit it to Harper's, as was suggested upthread. As Gore Vidal said, "The expression isn't 'conspiracy theorist,' it's 'conspiracy analyst.'" One of the reasons I'm a "conspiracy analyst" is that I've read a lot of history.
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porkrind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:45 AM
Response to Original message
24. Outstanding post! K&R!
really great post, thanks.
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Lipton64 Donating Member (140 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:47 AM
Response to Original message
25. Of course though....
if you believe the worst attack on American soil in history was planned and carried out by a few Arabs with box cutters then you need help in my opinion.

Or the fact corporate leaders from across the country and world meet in Northern California with major political and foreign policy and judicial officials to put on black Druid outfits with black-hoods and sit there and chant in the middle of the night to a giant owl statue - shit - and they call us nuts and wacked out. lol
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 05:19 AM
Response to Reply #25
30. Of all the arguments
about September 11, that has to be the worst. Of course it's possible for a few men to terrorize and take over a plane, armed only with box cutters. All they have to do is cut one person's throat, and most people would cease resistance. That wouldn't be true after September 11, and it wasn't true of the folks on the plane that crashed in PA- but it's totally believable that the passengers on the planes that crashed into the trade towers and the pentagon would be terrorized by a few determined men with box cutters.

Sorry to the OP. I don't mean to hijack his/her thread. It was, except for the last bit about Johnson, both thoughtful and well written.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 01:35 AM
Response to Original message
26. Brilliant post. Thank you.
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lies and propaganda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 03:54 AM
Response to Original message
27. This is a great thread and i thank you.
K & R because you said it way more eloquently then I could.
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Philosoraptor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 03:58 AM
Response to Original message
28. Here here
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 04:38 AM
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29. "support the Democratic Party" is not a stated goal of DU
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Moderator DU Moderator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:41 AM
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32. locking....
Conspiracy threads about Sen. Johnson are
not permitted. If you have any further
questions about this, please contact
the Administrators.
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