Thursday, January 24, 2013

“Conspiracy Theory”: Foundations of a Weaponized Term, Subtle and Deceptive Tactics to Discredit Truth in Media and Research

“Conspiracy theory” is a term that at once strikes fear and anxiety in the hearts of most every public figure, particularly journalists and academics. Since the 1960s the label has become a disciplinary device that has been overwhelmingly effective in defining certain events off limits to inquiry or debate. Especially in the United States raising legitimate questions about dubious official narratives destined to inform public opinion (and thereby public policy) is a major thought crime that must be cauterized from the public psyche at all costs.



Conspiracy theory’s acutely negative connotations may be traced to liberal historian Richard Hofstadter’s well-known fusillades against the “New Right.” Yet it was the Central Intelligence Agency that likely played the greatest role in effectively “weaponizing” the term. In the groundswell of public skepticism toward the Warren Commission’s findings on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the CIA sent a detailed directive to all of its bureaus. Titled “Countering Criticism of the Warren Commission Report,” the dispatch played a definitive role in making the “conspiracy theory” term a weapon to be wielded against almost any individual or group calling the government’s increasingly clandestine programs and activities into question.


This important memorandum and its broad implications for American politics and public discourse are detailed in a forthcoming book by Florida State University political scientist Lance de-Haven-Smith, Conspiracy Theory in America. Dr. de-Haven-Smith devised the  state crimes against democracy concept to interpret and explain potential government complicity in events such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the major political assassinations of the 1960s, and 9/11.

“CIA Document 1035-960” was released in response to a 1976 FOIA request by the New York Times. The directive is especially significant because it outlines the CIA’s concern regarding “the whole reputation of the American government” vis-à-vis the Warren Commission Report. The agency was especially interested in maintaining its own image and role as it “contributed information to the [Warren] investigation.”

The memorandum lays out a detailed series of actions and techniques for “countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries.” For example, approaching “friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors)” to remind them of the Warren Commission’s integrity and soundness should be prioritized. “[T]he charges of the critics are without serious foundation,” the document reads, and “further speculative discussion only plays in to the hands of the [Communist] opposition.”


The agency also directed its members “[t]o employ propaganda assets to [negate] and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose.”

1035-960 further delineates specific techniques for countering “conspiratorial” arguments centering on the Warren Commission’s findings. Such responses and their coupling with the pejorative label have been routinely wheeled out in various guises by corporate media outlets, commentators and political leaders to this day against those demanding truth and accountability about momentous public events.
  • No significant new evidence has emerged which the [Warren] Commission did not consider.
  • Critics usually overvalue particular items and ignore others.
  • Conspiracy on the large scale often suggested would be impossible to conceal in the United States.
  • Critics have often been enticed by a form of intellectual pride: they light on some theory and fall in love with it.
  • Oswald would not have been any sensible person’s choice for a co-conspirator.
  • Such vague accusations as that “more than ten people have died mysteriously” [during the Warren Commission’s inquiry] can always be explained in some natural way e.g.: the individuals concerned have for the most part died of natural causes.
Today more so than ever news media personalities and commentators occupy powerful positions for initiating propaganda activities closely resembling those set out in 1035-960 against anyone who might question state-sanctioned narratives of controversial and poorly understood occurrences. Indeed, as the motives and methods encompassed in the document have become fully internalized by intellectual workers and operationalized through such media, the almost uniform public acceptance of official accounts concerning unresolved events such as the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building bombing, 9/11, and most recently the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, is largely guaranteed.

The effect on academic and journalistic inquiry into ambiguous and unexplained events that may in turn mobilize public inquiry, debate and action has been dramatic and far-reaching. One need only look to the rising police state and evisceration of civil liberties and constitutional protections as evidence of how this set of subtle and deceptive intimidation tactics has profoundly encumbered the potential for future independent self-determination and civic empowerment.


For decades, the mainstream media in the United States was accustomed to being able to tell the American people what to think.  Unfortunately for them, a whole lot of Americans are starting to break free from that paradigm and think for themselves.  A Gallup survey from earlier this year found that 60 percent of all Americans “have little or no trust” in the mainstream media.  More people than ever are realizing that the mainstream media is giving them a very distorted version of “the truth” and they are increasingly seeking out alternative sources of information.  In the United States today, just six giant media corporations control the mainstream media.  Those giant media corporations own television networks, cable channels, movie studios, radio stations, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, music labels and even many prominent websites.




But now thanks to the Internet the mainstream media no longer has a complete monopoly on the news.  In recent years the “alternative media” has exploded in popularity.  People want to hear about the things that the mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about.  They want to hear news that is not filtered by corporate bosses and government censors.  They want “the truth” and they know that they are not getting it from the mainstream media.



My office


We are watching a media revolution happen, and many in the mainstream media are totally freaking out about it.  In fact, some in the mainstream media have even begun publishing articles that mock the American people for not trusting them.  For example, a recent CNN article entitled “Still ‘paranoid’ after all these years” portrayed Americans that don’t trust the media as paranoid conspiracy theorists that have left rationality behind…
Ever have the feeling you’re being lied to by the news media, the authorities, the corporate world? That somebody — or something — is out to get you?You’re not alone.
Welcome to 21st-century America.
Look around. Trust is hitting historic lows. Just a third of Americans have a favorable viewof the federal government, a decline of 31% since 2002, according to the Pew Center for People and the Press. Gallup has Congress’ approval rating is in the low 20s, after nearing single digits last summer. And the news media aren’t much better off.
“Negative opinions about the performance of news organizations now equal or surpass all-time highs on nine of 12 core measures the Pew Research Center has been tracking since 1985,” a Pew report said.
The article goes on to make it sound like it is very irrational not to trust the media, but in this day and age it is imperative that we all learn to think for ourselves.  Blindly trusting someone else to do your thinking for you is very dangerous.

Anyone that does not acknowledge that the mainstream media has an agenda is not being honest with themselves.  The mainstream media presents a view of the world that is very favorable to their big corporate owners and the big corporations that spend billions of dollars to advertise on their networks.  The mainstream media is the mouthpiece of the establishment, and the worldview being pushed on the big networks is going to be consistent with the economic, financial, political and social goals of the establishment.  The mainstream media loves to talk about things that fit with that agenda, and they don’t like to talk about things that suggest that there is something wrong with that agenda.


The following are 25 facts that the mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about right now…


#1 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that gun sales are absolutely skyrocketing in the aftermath of the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.


#2 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that disarming the population has resulted in some of the most horrific massacres in human history.


  The following is from the Warrior Times

  • 1911 – Turkey disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1915 – 1917 they murdered 1.5 million Armenians.
  • 1929 – Russia disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1929 – 1953 they murdered 20 million Russians.
  • 1935 – China disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1948 – 1952 they murdered 20 million Chinese.
  • 1938 – Germany disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1939 – 1945 they murdered 16 million Jews.
  • 1956 – Cambodia disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1975 – 1977 they murdered 1 million Educated people.
  • 1964 – Guatamala disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1964 – 1981 they murdered 100,000 Mayan Indians.
  • 1970 – Uganda disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1971 – 1979 they murdered 300,000 Christians.
#3 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that a bill allowing for the “indefinite military detention of US citizens on American soil” was passed by the U.S. Senate on Friday.

#4 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that volcanoes all along the Ring of Fire are roaring to life.  It seems like a new eruption is being reported every few days now.  In fact, a red alert has just been issued for a massive volcano that sits along the border between Chile and Argentina.


#5 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that the use of genetically engineered seeds has caused on explosion of new “super weeds” that are incredibly difficult for farmers to kill.


#6 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that renowned trends forecaster Gerald Celente is predicting a “financial disaster” in 2013.


#7 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that it is easier to get into Harvard than it is to get a job as a flight attendant in America today.


#8 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that nearly 400 TSA employees have been fired for stealing from travelers since 2003.


#9 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that giant corporations such as Facebook are funneling gigantic amounts of money through offshore banking havens such as the Cayman Islands in an effort to avoid taxes.


#10 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that the U.S. dollar is in danger of losing its status as the primary reserve currency of the world.


#11 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that Barack Obama has gone off to vacation in Hawaii while the rest of the nation hopes for a fiscal cliff deal to get done.  Of course the mainstream media has to mention that he is on vacation because they always keep track of what the president does, but they are not making a big deal out of it because they love Obama.  And it sounds like Obama is having quite a good time on his little vacation

The president is expected to indulge in some of his favorite pastimes on the island where he was born and raised: golf, an expedition for the local treat “shave ice,” and an evening out with family and friends. He hit the links at the nearby Marine Corps base under sunny skies on Saturday afternoon.
#12 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that there are government websites that give immigrants instructions about how to come over to our country and apply for welfare.

#13 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that the U.S. economy is losing millions of jobs to nations where it is legal to pay workers slave labor wages.  The mainstream media is totally married to the one world economic agenda that their corporate owners make so much money from, and so they say nothing as a steady stream of businesses and jobs continue to leave the country.


#14 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that the recent tax increase is causing large numbers of wealthy individuals to consider moving out of the state of California.


#15 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that hunger and poverty are absolutely exploding in the United States at the same time that they are telling us that the economy is “recovering”.


#16 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that North Korea now has a three-stage rocket with enough range to potentially hit the western United States.


#17 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that the United States Postal Service is losing 25 million dollars a day and is on the verge of financial collapse.


#18 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that our biggest oil supplier in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, still kills people for changing religions.


#19 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that political correctness is taking over America.  The truth is that the media does not see any problem with that at all.


#20 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that nearly half a million employees of the federal government are making more than $100,000 a year.


#21 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that the birth rate in the United States fallen to an all-time low.  The elite are actually absolutely thrilled that less babies are being born.


#22 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that violent crime in the United States increased by 18 percent in 2011 and that many major U.S. cities are seeing violent crime totally spiral out of control.


#23 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that Barack Obama received more than 99 percent of the vote in more than 100 precincts in Ohio on election day.


#24 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that during the first four years of the Obama administration, the U.S. national debt grew by about as much as it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that George W. Bush took office.


#25 The mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about the fact that the privately owned Federal Reserve created the conditions for the last financial crisis and their mismanagement of the economy has now brought us to the verge of another horrible economic downturn.  According to the mainstream media, the Federal Reserve is “above politics” and should not be criticized.