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  #1  
Old 14 July 2008, 04:38 PM
Tarquin Farquart's Avatar
Tarquin Farquart Tarquin Farquart is offline
 
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Icon27 So, you believe in conspiracy theories, do you?

...You probably also think you're the Emperor of Pluto

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...eptember11.usa
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  #2  
Old 24 July 2008, 05:03 AM
peneshaw
 
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I love the clinching paragraph:
Quote:
The reality - that "the man" is scarcely competent enough to control his own bowels, and doesn't give a toss about you anyway - is depressing and emasculating; just another day in the cardboard box factory.
I also love a couple of the nutty comments at the end.
As has been said a thousand times before... The paranoid Nixon administration couldn’t cover up a lousy third-rate burglary.
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  #3  
Old 24 July 2008, 05:19 AM
Salamander Salamander is offline
 
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Ugh... mixed reactions here. On the whole, he's right... vast Government conspiracies are non-existent purely on the basis of the fact that anyone who has ever been exposed to the workings of any Government realises there is far too much ineptitude to accomplish such things.

Yet, and I hesitate to say this lest I end up sounding like I actually support the conspiracy theorists, it wouldn't have taken hundreds of civil servants to organise 9/11. I very much doubt Osama had the equivalent of several hundred civil servants pushing paperwork around to achieve what he did on that day.
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  #4  
Old 24 July 2008, 05:34 AM
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Silas Sparkhammer Silas Sparkhammer is offline
 
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Whalephant

Let's take a government conspiracy theory in which I do believe: the firing of several U.S. Attorneys, at the direction of Karl Rove, approved of by Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, for the purposes of increasing the partisan politicization of the Attorney General's Office.

Or, another, the deliberate leaking of Valerie Plame's name and position in the CIA, in order to discredit Joseph Wilson, and including the stonewalling by Lewis Libby, for which Libby's conviction for obstruction of justice was overturned by a Presidential pardon.

These conspiracies operate at a fairly low level of operational security -- as evidenced by the fact that we have heard of them at all! -- yet with sufficient security to avoid meaningful legal sanctions.

Is it valid, then, to believe in the "tip of the iceberg" model, such that, if we have heard of these ones, there surely must be others of which we have not?

Or, to take one in which I still have doubts: did the CIA, as part of the Arms for Hostages and Funds for Contras arrangement, complete the "Triangle Trade" by profiting from the sale of cocaine in Los Angeles? That the first two illegal enterprises existed, there is now no doubt; what of the third? We don't have a "smoking gun." We don't have a Hasenfus. The only evidence offered seems to be indirect, and quite suspect. And yet... One is forced to wonder: we only know of Hasenfus because of the contingency of his plane crash... How many CIA operatives, exactly like him, have completed their missions, with us never to know?

Some form of balance is required, some "middle way," excluding the extremes of too much credulity -- and of too little.

Silas
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  #5  
Old 24 July 2008, 05:35 AM
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lord_feldon lord_feldon is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salamander View Post
Yet, and I hesitate to say this lest I end up sounding like I actually support the conspiracy theorists, it wouldn't have taken hundreds of civil servants to organise 9/11.
Not the way it happened, but some of the 9/11 fictionists (I don't like to use the word theorists, the word theory lends too much credibility) have wild stories that would require that. To fill the World Trade Center with explosives would have been a massive undertaking.
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  #6  
Old 24 July 2008, 05:47 AM
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snopes snopes is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salamander View Post
Yet, and I hesitate to say this lest I end up sounding like I actually support the conspiracy theorists, it wouldn't have taken hundreds of civil servants to organise 9/11. I very much doubt Osama had the equivalent of several hundred civil servants pushing paperwork around to achieve what he did on that day.
But Osama bin Laden only had to keep his involvement a secret until the event; he didn't also have to cover it up and disguise it as someone else's handiwork afterwards. The latter part is the much more complex and difficult aspect.

- snopes
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  #7  
Old 24 July 2008, 06:23 AM
Salamander Salamander is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lord_feldon View Post
Not the way it happened, but some of the 9/11 fictionists (I don't like to use the word theorists, the word theory lends too much credibility) have wild stories that would require that. To fill the World Trade Center with explosives would have been a massive undertaking.
Oh yes, I hadn't taken that into account. I guess it is somewhat flattering that these people think their government is so incredibly functional, efficient and ruthless. I think the quickest way to disavow conspiracists of the ability for a government to pull off this kind of thing would be to let them attempt to work for or manage a government department for a few months.
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  #8  
Old 24 July 2008, 07:04 AM
Gadon
 
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Duh guys! If the government didn't pretend to be inefficient, then we'd all know that they were capable of complex, diabolical machinations. The appearance of ineptitude is reserved for the facilities that the public has access to. The REAL government run by the Illuminati has the exactness and cutting precision bestowed by eons of Reptilian training... or so they'd have us believe.

In fact the government is so precise that they allow deceptive stories to be leaked to the public to create the cults of people who seem to be "in the know", recanting the planted stories that are so ludicrous that the average citizen writes off the suspiciousness as paranoia. It's only the very cunning among us that are able to deduce that the apparent leaks that lead the conspiracy theorists to think that the government ineptitude is just a cover to fool the hoi polloi are really diversionary tactics concealing conspiracies even more diabolical than the ones they've deliberately led us to believe.

You think we didn't land on the moon? Open your eyes man! They've orchestrated that controversy to hide the fact that there is no such thing!

"there is no moon"
Gadon,
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  #9  
Old 24 July 2008, 08:39 AM
trlkly
 
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Gadon, you need to stay away from The Mad Revisionist.
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  #10  
Old 24 July 2008, 10:32 AM
Jonny T
 
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Like Silas, there are some conspiracies in which I do believe. Mass surveillance (beyond reasonable necessity), such as COINTELPRO, has happened; false-flag terrorist operations, such as the Strategy of Tension in Italy, have happened; even some of the theories around the Masons, such as P2, are true albeit horribly misunderstood.*

I think one key distinction is between the individual conspiracy and conspiracism as a world view. Individual conspiracies - the Iran-Contra affair, COINTELPRO, whatever - require only the participation of a limited number of people and/or containment within a single organisation with incentives for people not to break ranks.

Conspiracism as a world view requires a disparate group divided across multiple areas - politics, the military, the media, business, banking - acting collectively, often as part of an organisation with a lengthy history. With such a theory in place - the Illuminati, the Jews, the New World Order - world events can't help but be described as the action of the conspiracy.

On occasion, the former can be plausible; the latter often becomes a form of religion.

* Propaganda Due was a Masonic Lodge which was involved in a variety of unpleasant activities, including murder and fraud. It was kicked out of the Masonic movement as a whole in the 1970s when its activities came to light, but continued to exist as an unauthorised lodge of its own. Conspiracists tend not to take this into account, however, and attribute the activities of P2 to Masonry as a whole.
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