Conspiracy Theory in America (Discovering America)
a book by Lance deHaven-Smith
(our site's book review)
Ever since the Warren Commission concluded that a lone gunman assassinated President John F. Kennedy, people who doubt that finding have been widely dismissed as conspiracy theorists, despite credible evidence that right-wing elements in the CIA, FBI, and Secret Service—and possibly even senior government officials—were also involved. Why has suspicion of criminal wrongdoing at the highest levels of government been rejected out-of-hand as paranoid thinking akin to superstition?
President John F. Kennedy
Conspiracy Theory in America investigates how the Founders’ hard-nosed realism about the likelihood of elite political misconduct—articulated in the Declaration of Independence—has been replaced by today’s blanket condemnation of conspiracy beliefs as ludicrous by definition. Lance deHaven-Smith reveals that the term “conspiracy theory” entered the American lexicon of political speech to deflect criticism of the Warren Commission and traces it back to a CIA propaganda campaign to discredit doubters of the commission’s report.
deHaven-Smith asks tough questions and connects the dots among five decades’ worth of suspicious events, including the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, the attempted assassinations of George Wallace and Ronald Reagan, the crimes of Watergate, the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages deal, the disputed presidential elections of 2000 and 2004, the major defense failure of 9/11, and the subsequent anthrax letter attacks.
The Warren Commission presents its report to President Johnson
Sure to spark intense debate about the truthfulness and trustworthiness of our government, Conspiracy Theory in America offers a powerful reminder that a suspicious, even radically suspicious, attitude toward government is crucial to maintaining our democracy. Historians who discuss the Founders' warning that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance have realized that the warning pointed not just outwards at external threats but also inwards at internal threats such as conspiracies, corruption, coups, or demagoguery. (See also Conspiracies of the Ruling Class: How to Break Their Grip Forever.)
"Anyone who invests a few minutes looking at the evidence in the JFK assassination would come to the conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald almost certainly could not have acted alone, and thus that there must be some other explanation – whatever it may be – for the assassination. In fact, a full 61% of Americans believe that others must have been involved, and this is the lowest percentage in decades. Could all of these people just be nutty, raving conspiracy theorists?" (Source: Conspiracy Theory In America)
"Once something has been labeled a conspiracy theory, all rational evaluation of the circumstance in question flies out the window. In fact, the popular conception of conspiracy theories is that they amount to a kind of impaired thinking, analogous to a mental illness or a superstition. A more accurate definition would be that conspiracy theories are any theory of official wrongdoing that have not yet been substantiated by public officials themselves." (Source: Conspiracy Theory In America)
The CIA promoted the term "conspiracy theory," in the 1967 CIA Document 1035-960 entitled Countering Criticism of the Warren Report, as a propaganda device for their media “assets” to use against the many people who rightly recognized that the Warren Report that claimed a lone nut murdered President Kennedy was a huge steaming pile of BS.
Milions of people rightly recognized that the Warren Report that claimed a lone nut murdered President Kennedy was a huge steaming pile of BS
Media shills got the memo from their CIA overlords, and have obediently parroted it ever since. And yet, use of the term "conspiracy theorist" is a proven conspiracy of the CIA!
Media shills got the ludicrous Warren Report from their CIA overlords, and have obediently parroted it ever since
In this book, at last we have a well-reasoned, well-researched argument for paying attention to conspiracy theories. Some effective methods of dot-connecting are described. And the whole book is well grounded in history, much of which we lived through and well remember. With our weakened media, our corrupted pundits, and our corporate-funded "think (propaganda) tanks" we must be skeptical of everything we are told. The author traces the history and politics of how and why we are trained to dismiss conspiracy theory, conspiracy facts, and reality.
The author says that "Most of the criticism directed at conspiracy beliefs is based on sentimentality about America’s political leaders and institutions rather than on unbiased reasoning and objective observation." Due to inconsistencies in the Warren Commission’s report itself, by 1966 public opinion polls started to show that Americans were beginning to reject the report’s conclusions. This is when the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began a campaign mocking people’s doubts, calling them “conspiracy theories.”
Author Lance deHaven-Smith solidly builds in Conspiracy Theory In America a case that many state crimes against democracy have been committed in America. He uses a scholarly analysis of conspiracy denial in the social sciences. See 9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes against Democracy Succeed, The Shadow Government: 9-11 and State Terror, How America Was Lost: From 9/11 to the Police/Welfare State, American Conspiracies: Lies, Lies, and More Dirty Lies That the Government Tells Us, The Medusa File: Secret Crimes and Coverups of the U.S. Government, and The Shadow Factory: The NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America.
"The lesson that Americans, Germans, and others should have drawn from the evidence presented at Nuremberg is that modern liberal democracies are vulnerable to being hijacked by authoritarian leaders willing to carry out ruthless conspiracies," says the author. The modern liberal democracies do have conspiracies within—and not just in the 20th century.
To help with CIA damage control after conspiracy evidence surfaces, the bought-and-paid-for press occasionally publishes "patriotic," conformist, government-ass-kissing articles that one can tell originate from mainstream media sellouts who want to brown-nose the CIA and the periodical by once again towing the party line, and the jist of such articles is that all those not buying the ludicrous lies of the goverment are simply unpatriotic conspiracy theory wackos who need to be put in padded cells or thrown in jail for treason. That is the overt content. The covert content is the implied threat relayed from shadow government to CIA to sell-out journalist to all journalists who refuse to buckle under to the pressures—they face marginalization and blacklisting, with their careers and futures in severe jeopardy.
One has to ask oneself why the CIA finds it necessary to silence "conspiracy theorists" in a free country with a free press and First Amendment protections if these conspiracies are simply delusions of deluded wackos and not true. Perhaps one of the proofs of these theories is the nature of the powers-that-be expending so much energy on cover-ups and anti-conspiracy propaganda and the silencing of dissenting voices. To all logical minds, all this screams that these people have something to hide.
Our government's attitude is that "our party line is the only line that is correct and reasonable and logical, therefore anyone no buying our lies is incorrect, unreasonable and illogical, so he must be either suffering from a mental disease that makes him see aliens and suffer from delusions or he must be a spy trying to destroy our country and our glorious way of life." (This is paranoid thinking and it forgets that our Constitution guarantees protection for dissenters—dissent is essential for a true democracy to thrive!) See Democracy—an American Delusion.
But when the CIA-instigated cover-up pieces once again get published in the mass media's papers and online sites, everyone knows they'll keep their jobs, the CIA won't start oppressing them, and "God is in his heaven and all is right with the world," to quote Robert Browning. This is how things work, and yet since the CIA doesn't publicly admit this, naive minds assume we really do have the free press we Americans are so proud of, and when the flag-waving feel-good piece that ridicules conspiracy theories gets published, said minds are comforted that the government daddies are watching over them lovingly, so they sleep well at night.
"In the minds of the majority of Americans, a conspiracy theory is something so 'out there' that it is too wacky to even contemplate, and is beyond the range of normal, polite discourse. This is odd, because we know for a fact that conspiracies can and do happen: Watergate, Iran-Contra, Fast and Furious, and the systematic lying about the weight of evidence or Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, to name just a few of the confirmed ones. Since clearly some 'conspiracy theories' are true, is it not pure nonsense to dismiss all theories of elite criminality as false? . . . Clearly, the way modern Americans interpret the term “conspiracy theory” is massively out of line with reality. . . . The label of 'conspiracy theorist' (which, remember, was [created and disseminated] by the CIA in order to discredit people who questioned the official narrative of the JFK assassination) is used in order to bypass peoples’ rational and objective appraisal of the evidence."
The CIA would love it if we all thought of conspiracy theorists as nuts
When authors and columnists attempt to publish stories and reporting that goes against the CW (conventional wisdom) and refuses to tow the party line, bad things happen. The writers lose their jobs and their reputations and their salaries and their submissions are no longer welcome. Or the CIA censors, the publisher, or both blacklist these writers and they become personae non gratae, marginalized by the mainstream media so their only recourse is to write for one of the alternative media outfits. The good news is they can now write the truth rather than CW lies. The bad news is that they will have a lot smaller audience and get smaller paychecks.
Alternative news services:
- Common Dreams
- The Intercept
- It's Going Down
- Project Censored
- Raw Story
- The Real News
- US Uncut
The 9/11 Tragedy
People who view videos of building 7 of the world trade center falling straight down as if its steel framing was made out of butter realize that the "office fires" excuse was wrong. The only possibility was that there were controlled demolition charges set off in such a way as to bring the building straight down at nearly freefall speed. Had the "office fires" burned for weeks rather than a few hours, they STILL could not have made the building's steel girders melt so it would fall into its own footprint. The physics are not that challenging, folks.
If you show the video to any engineer or physicist from any country but the USA, ALL of them say "controlled demolition" in a matter of seconds. But in the USA, there are two types of responses from engineers: "controlled demolition" and the parroting of the ludicrous party line about office fires. The same USA engineers, if shown the footage and told the building was in Russia or China or Japan, would ALL say "controlled demolition" in a matter of seconds. The party-line-parroting engineers were not actually giving an objective analysis about the damning video footage at all—they were giving an immature emotional response about the possibility that the daddies and mommies in the government don't really love them after all, do not have their best interests at heart, and are not interested in taking care of them, and, additionally, some of them are filthy, murderous, genocidal fanatics out for their own power and wealth and happy to get these at the cost of 3000 lives. The party-line-parroting engineers were understandably not willing to emotionally accept such a horrid (but obviously true) analysis.
And some of the party-line-parroting engineers were pressured in various ways about parroting the lies if they wanted to keep their jobs. As we all know, if the government wishes to bring a lot of pressure to bear on various people or groups, they know exactly how to do it. This obviously happened. It, plus the emotional response already covered, explains why there are some engineers parroting the party line. Who bought the government lies? Only those whose jobs were threatened directly or indirectly or whose emotional coping mechanisms lacked the strength to handle the idea of government actors behaving homicidally. No objective analyst with a lick of physics or engineering knowledge could ever seriously buy the ridiculous cover-up supplied by government lackies. The pancake theory of the WTC7 collapse is ludicrous, as are all other explanations not involving controlled demolitions.
The original WTC investigators test the official story of neatly pancaking floors—note that because they're blind, they're unable to hit the pancakes—or even melt the butter
The only way the office fires explanation could possibly hold water is if the beams and trusses were made—not of steel—but of balsa wood, Lego blocks, cottage cheese, Jello, ice cream, licorice, Tampax tampons, modeling clay, hot dogs, real dogs, dog doo, or dirty diapers. All these would give way fairly quickly to those confounded "office fires"! But steel beams? They're thick and extremely heavy and dense with very high melting points—not at all like little erector set "beams," for all those that didn't realize that.
The official version of 9/11 stinks as bad as the version where an alien zaps the buildings from a saucer
Okay, follow the logic. The fires did not collapse the buildings. Explosions did. But evidence is removed or destroyed before investigators can examine it, and every single investigator pretended not to see the obvious controlled explosion evidence—including the evidence that controlled explosions simultaneously sent explosion smoke out of over a dozen corner windows at the very same instant, and the evidence that fires do not and cannot make buildings collapse in freefall and pancake downwards neatly. It has never happened in history because it is impossible.
So now we have two facts: fires did not take down these buildings and the commission ignored the most relevant evidence and pretended to conclude that white is black, red is blue, and the Pope is not Catholic. In other words, they pulled a Warren Commission type cover-up. There is no doubt about it at all, and the government hoped to smear everyone who told the truth about WTC7 as a "conspiracy theorist." You, dear reader, have seen the video and you know the truth. Are YOU a conspiracy theorist? The only way this controlled explosion could have been perpetrated is via a horrid shadow government conspiracy run by fanatic neocon thugs like Cheney and Dubya Bush and Rumsfeld and their hired flunkies.
There are growing ranks of professionals who question the official 9/11 story and have joined "truth organizations." This is probably surprising and no doubt troubling to those who committed the crimes. These organizations now include:
- Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.
- Firefighters for 9/11 Truth.
- Lawyers for 9/11 Truth.
- Media Professionals for 9/11 Truth.
- Medical Professionals for 9/11 Truth.
- Patriots Question 9/11.
- Political Leaders for 9/11 Truth.
- Religious Leaders for 9/11 Truth.
- Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice.
- Scientists for 9/11 Truth.
Intelligent people easily drank the Kool-Aid because they simply found themselves unable to emotionally accept that there's a shadow government in the U.S. that is willing to perpetrate the unthinkable to further their own ends
A 2006 Scripps Howard poll found that more than one-third of Americans are convinced that the federal government directed, aided, or took no action to prevent the attacks on 9-11. (Internationally, the statistics are even more dire—world citizens do not like drinking the type of Kool-Aid the USA serves up—although they do like the tasty drink from Kraft Foods. About 15 percent said the U.S. government perpetrated the attacks for the purpose of justifying an impending U.S. invasion of Iraq. And 9/11 Commission actions were part of a coverup, say 42% of people.)
The 9/11 Commission was the same type of lame coverup, with evidence missing that the commission needed to see, and with instructions to ignore anything shady that pointed toward the government or Bush. (The metal wreckage from the towers was immediately shipped to China and India, where it was melted down, and was never examined as forensic evidence. Witnesses were telling everyone about the explosions they heard before the buildings fell, but investigators ignored this critical evidence.) Dubya's action of paralysis from guilt and shame when told of the attacks was more evidence of government conspiracy:
According to Bush, reading stories is more important than terrorists attacking our cities
The Pentagon Attack was an even bigger sham. Everyone examining the site said there was no evidence an airplane hit the building, even though the official lie was that Flight 77's Boeing 757 hit the Pentagon. See American Conspiracies: Lies, Lies, and More Dirty Lies That the Government Tells Us—a book by former governor Jesse Ventura.
Is the war on terror a conspiracy? Yes. But it is also a con game and a sham. It's got criminal behavior planned by two or more people. Its conspirators are the fanatic warmongering empire building neocons. Its goals are threefold: continuing the flow of cash from the middle class Americans to wealthy elite oligarchs, keep the national debt increasing so the big banks can leverage it and keep getting richer, increase their power and control which slowly spreads into other parts of the world until eventually they control everything. (The war on drugs is a similar scam, with the CIA running much of global drug trade while pretending to be fighting it. U.S. backdoor covert foreign policy has been the largest single cause of the illicit drugs flooding the world today. It isn't a war ON drugs, it's a war FOR drugs. Why? Why else? Money, control, and power. At least we're consistent! See American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan.)
Bush and Obama love playing God, swatting to death anyone they don't like the looks of and making the U.S. look like the Great Satan the Islamics see us as
The U.S. has shown that it is a bull in a china shop, having no idea what it is doing in the Middle East, so it needs to leave before its bungling starts WWIII
The U.S. is making everything much worse in the world, and yet the neocons in power will not cease all the killing—they're running a terrorist factory: kill one, create ten more
A shorthand way of understanding how the war on terror enriches the corporatocracy and the neocon oligarchs and the shadow government by continuing the flow of cash from the middle class Americans to wealthy elite oligarchs is to point to an example. Bush and Cheney get us to invade Iraq unprovoked by lying through their teeth to our citizens that Saddam had WTCs and we must act or we will soon be seeing mushroom clouds over Manhattan. We spend a fortune of U.S. taxpayers' money (mostly middle class because the poor pay very few taxes and the rich use loopholes and foundations and offshore banks and write-offs to avoid taxes) invading Iraq, requiring huge amounts of fuel, oil, weapons, food, ammunition, and pay for military personnel, so the military industrial complex gets richer.
Once Iraq is a wreck, Cheney's Halliburton and others rebuild the infrastructure and get rich doing so and lots of private military contractors (who get paid 6 times as much as U.S. military personnel) are hired to protect the builders, the brass, and the Iraqi flunkies we get to help with the work. Many Iraqis loathe us for wrecking their country so they become terrorists and the mercenaries and regular military personnel try to protect all critical work (pipelines, electrical, water) and themselves simultaneously. The whole thing becomes a huge, merciless, money black hole that just cannot stop sucking.
The phoney war on terror farce is a huge, merciless, money black hole that just cannot stop sucking
And the middle class U.S. citizens get the bill for the whole ugly disaster, although most of the bill gets tacked on to the national debt which our banks leverage in various mysterious ways. Who is lending us all this money to conduct all this empire building to enrich oligarchs and neocon fanatics? Mostly China and Japan. See The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals.
When Bush and Obama said their wars on terror may go on indefinitely, you can just imagine these fat cats rolling around in huge money bins laughing just like Scrooge McDuck
In Understanding the F-Word: American Fascism and the Politics of Illusion, we look at Naomi Wolf's claim about a fascist conspiracy hulking ominously on our horizon. and we conclude that:
"Naomi Wolf has for many years now been claiming that a fascist coup in America is imminent. Most recently in The Guardian she alleged, with no substantiation, that the U.S. government and big American banks are conspiring to impose a 'totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent.'" (Source: No, Naomi Wolf, America Is Not Becoming a Fascist State, Mark Nuckols, The Atlantic).
Like author Nuckols, we see no evidence that feminist Wolf's "totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent" is real. We see, instead, that dissent will not be repressed but marginalized. It will be mostly absent from the mainstream media reports and, when present, it will be painted with the brush of "fake news." Dissent will be all over the alternative media in several forms, truth from competent investigative reporting, fake news dissent from many sources, and planted CIA stories that smear everything they don't like, and that make everything in alternative media look like fake news and conspiracy theory. Far from being stamped out—like Wolf says—dissent will be manipulated to play into the hands of mainstream media, the shadow government, our leaders, the neocons in charge, and the Corporatocracy. "Fake democracy" fascism will be much easier to manage if the pretense of democracy is kept up—to keep the sheep pacified. Wolf is wrong about a fascist coup—it will be more like the frog-citizens slowly heated in water, not noticing or protesting until our country is in really hot water. Fascist hot.
Naomi Wolf is wrong about a fascist coup—it will be more like the frog-citizens slowly heated in water, not noticing or protesting until our country is in really hot water—Fascist hot