If Government Doesn’t Want “Conspiracy Theories” Maybe They Should Stop Lying
Between the Capitol Hill storming, Q-Anon, and Marjorie Taylor Greene (just in general), you’ve likely been hearing quite a bit about the term “conspiracy theory” or “conspiracy theorists.” The term has become an insult, although many have realized just how nonsensical the term actually is. I myself have been called a “conspiracy theorist” once to twice for my own skepticism of what the government tells me.
So “conspiracy theories” are out there, and after the storming of the capitol on 1/6/2021, we know they can become rather dangerous. On 2/2/2021, New York Times columnist Kevin Roost told us what he thinks the solution should be, a reality Tsar! (I wonder how he would feel if Donald Trump proposed such a thing.) On 1/13/2021, The New York Post reported that Alexandra Ocasio Cortez was talking about Congress forming a commission to deal with “fake news.” Lillith Lovett, like normally, had the perfect reply:
Yes, they should maybe establish a ministry of a sort, a ministry of truth if you will. That is a great idea.
Mind you, this isn’t the first time the government has called for such a thing. During his 2020 Presidental Campaign, Andrew Yang seriously talked about creating a government agency to counter “fake news.” However, the idea has gained new traction since then, now becoming something that’s seriously being considered.
Now I’m all for reality, truth, and all that other good stuff, but it’s obviously a bad idea to put the United States government in control of it. According to The Washington Post, Donald Trump — who was President less than a month ago — made 30,573 false or misleading claims during his four years as President. (That equals almost twenty-two false or misleading claims every day — or just under one every hour — for four years straight.) Trump loyalists have even used the term “conspiracy theories” regarding things that contradict the narrative of Donald Trump. Take this headline The Federalist ran on 12/30/2020:
Wannabe ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Ken Jennings Is A Brett Kavanaugh Rape Truther Who Hates Republicans
What is a “Brett Kavanaugh rape truther” I hear you ask? Well, The Federalist expands on this later in the article:
While his range of offensive content is wide, Jennings has made plenty of political jabs in the past, pushing false claims about now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, advocating for the murder of babies in the womb, and insulting people who aren’t left-wing Democrats like he is.
For the record, the only tweet on Kavanaugh they show is Jennings making fun of a guy who compared Kavanaugh to Jesus. Is him not being Jesus a “conspiracy theory” now?
Of course, what they really mean is that Jennings believes Christine Ford’s claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her back in High School. The claims that, you might remember, were not properly investigated, and Senate Republicans did everything possible to stop the investigation of.
Also, I love how believing Ford’s claims against Kavanaugh is a “conspiracy theory” but believing this, which Kavanaugh said during his hearings, is not:
This allegation was unleashed, and public deployed, over Dr. Ford’s wishes and then — and then, as no doubt was expected, if not planned, came a long series of false, last-minute smears, designed to scare me and drive me out of the process before any hearing had occured.
“If not planned”? That sounds a bit like a conspiracy theory to me — of course, it’s one that The Federalist believes so they aren’t going to call Kavanaugh a “Ford truther” or something along those lines.
These same people have also called Biden’s planned Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl a “Steele Dossier Truther,” and Republican Senator Richard Burr a “Russia Hoax Truther.” (Side note: Since the Steele Dossier accused Trump of coordinating with Putin, a “Steele Dossier Truther” literally means “someone who believes the Steele Dossier is true.”)
But that’s how the game works now: If you believe Ford, the Steele Dossier, or the “Russia Hoax,” you’re a “truther” no different than that crazy person Ken Jennings. (Side note: I never got how the “truther” thing became an insult. What exactly is the alternative to wanting “truth” about a major event?)
Of course, if you actually analyze what these people believe, you know they’d likely be called “conspiracy theorists” no different than those they go after. David Ray Griffin, a well-known member of the 9/11 Truth Movement and author of The New Pearl Harbor in 2004, even coined the term “official conspiracy theory” in his 2007 book Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory, which response to a Popular Mechanics article which claimed to debunk his work. The term refers to official narratives that, if you were to just tell someone, would get you called a conspiracy theorist if said by anyone except the United States government. Griffin believed that the 9/11 official story fell under that category, and he was far from alone. In 2011, ten years to the day after 9/11, James Corbitt released a video titled “9/11: A Conspiracy Theory” where he tells you the official story of 9/11 — and it sounds ridiculous. Here is just a snippet:
On the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 men armed with boxcutters directed by a man on dialysis in a cave fortress halfway around the world using a satellite phone and a laptop directed the most sophisticated penetration of the most heavily-defended airspace in the world, overpowering the passengers and the military combat-trained pilots on 4 commercial aircraft before flying those planes wildly off course for over an hour without being molested by a single fighter interceptor.
These 19 hijackers, devout religious fundamentalists who liked to drink alcohol, snort cocaine, and live with pink-haired strippers, managed to knock down 3 buildings with 2 planes in New York, while in Washington a pilot who couldn’t handle a single engine Cessna was able to fly a 757 in an 8,000 foot descending 270 degree corskscrew turn to come exactly level with the ground, hitting the Pentagon in the budget analyst office where DoD staffers were working on the mystery of the 2.3 trillion dollars that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had announced “missing” from the Pentagon’s coffers in a press conference the day before, on September 10, 2001.
Luckily, the news anchors knew who did it within minutes, the pundits knew within hours, the Administration knew within the day, and the evidence literally fell into the FBI’s lap. But for some reason a bunch of crazy conspiracy theorists demanded an investigation into the greatest attack on American soil in history.
Last year alone we had many of these about China. Everything from them coming to you through TikTok (no evidence was ever presented of this) to them created super-soldiers in order to take on Americans. (Fun fact about that one: The man who first reported on the “Chinese Super-Soldiers” story for NBC, Ken Dilanian, has been a known CIA asset since at least 2014.) And that’s ignoring the “official conspiracy theory” that China created COVID-19, which if you deny you will get a communist by Senator Tom Cotton. If I told you that any other government was watching me through an app, I would be seen as one of those “crazy conspiracy theorists” I’ve heard so much about — but because it’s China it’s seen as perfectly normal and acceptable.
Of course, this is being told to us by the same people who told us George Floyd died of a Fenteyal overdose and not from being kneeled on for eight-minutes. Just as the officer who shot Jacob Blake thought Blake was going to kidnap the kids in his car — and only told us this after a month of rioting in his hometown and him being the most hated man in America. (Also, can we start using the term “Jacob Blake rape truther” to describe people who bring up the fact he was accused of rape to justify him getting shot seven times?) Just as Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend knew he was shooting at the police despite him calling the police afterward, and just as she wasn’t shot in her sleep and I guess just walked into the line of fire for the police officer.
I myself did the same game Corbett did in one of my articles on Breonna Taylor to show how nonsense the official story was:
On 3/13/2020, a woman by the name of Breonna Taylor was shot in her sleep during a no-knock raid while sleeping in Louisville, Kentucky. Those were the consistent facts of the case for around the first four in a half months after her death. Then, suddenly, we started finding out that everything we knew was wrong.
Now we know the truth, Breonna Taylor was actually a criminal kingpin — like the main character of an all-female remake of Scarface, which is already evil enough. The police did announce themselves, hence why her boyfriend, who is actually involved in drug trafficking, started shooting at the police without any understanding that they weren’t a competing gang (by the way, Kentucky is a stand your ground state). And she wasn’t asleep when that happened, she just walked into the line of fire like a normal woman does every now and again.
Do you want to know how to actually get rid of conspiracy theories? Actually have an honest government that is transparent about what it’s doing. Trust in government has fallen massively since the 1960s, with the two inciting events typically being seen as the Vietnam War and the John F. Kennedy assassination. Both were questionable events with various examples of government lying that one could point to, causing people to doubt future claims.
In the case of Vietnam, it became revealed in October 2005 that the Gulf Of Tonkin incident, which had a massive impact in the United States getting more involved in Vietnam, was “deliberately skewed” by the intelligence agencies when they described it to President Johnson. Of course, the failure of Vietnam was one of the major factors that stopped Johnson from running for a second term in 1968, especially after Senators Eugenie McCarthy and Robert Kennedy ran as Democrats specifically against it. And even going back to Johnson’s Administration, many believed something was up. In 1967, John White, a former Naval officer, said the following:
I maintain that President Johnson, Secretary McNamara, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff gave false information to Congress in their report about US destroyers being attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin
Historians debate exactly how much information Johnson had regarding this, although many believe he came to know he was lied to near the end of his administration. Remember, this is the man who slammed Federal Reserves Chairman William Martin against a wall to stop him from raising interest rates. It seems highly out of character that a man like Johnson wouldn’t stand up and defend his most controversial policy, even against his own party if needed. (Remember, this is the man who got the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed through Congress at a time where much of the Democratic Party were open-segregationists and racists.)
As for the JFK assassination, well take a guess who said this:
The committee conducted a three-pronged investigation of conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination. On the basis of extensive scientific analysis and an analysis of the testimony of Dealey Plaza witnesses, the committee found there was a high probability that two gunmen fired at President Kennedy.
That was the House Select Committee on Assassinations, who investigated both the deaths of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. between 1976 and 1978. In the case of the Kennedy Assassination, they conclude that there were likely four shots fired, one by an assassin in the famous grassy knolls, although that shot missed. This committee was not staffed with conspiracy theorists, but by members of the United States Congress (including a young Chris Dodd).
Now, this is not me saying that their word is Gospel, or even more valid than the word of the Warren Commission, but it is me saying that the ideas seen as “crazy” are not as far fetched as some would think. G. Robert Blakey, one of the members of the committee, even said in 2003 that the work this commission did was incomplete due to the federal government hiding evidence from them:
I no longer believe that we were able to conduct an appropriate investigation of the [Central Intelligence] Agency and its relationship to Oswald…. We now know that the Agency withheld from the Warren Commission the CIA–Mafia plots to kill Castro. Had the commission known of the plots, it would have followed a different path in its investigation. The Agency unilaterally deprived the commission of a chance to obtain the full truth, which will now never be known. Significantly, the Warren Commission’s conclusion that the agencies of the government co-operated with it is, in retrospect, not the truth. We also now know that the Agency set up a process that could only have been designed to frustrate the ability of the committee in 1976–79 to obtain any information that might adversely affect the Agency. Many have told me that the culture of the Agency is one of prevarication and dissimulation and that you cannot trust it or its people. Period. End of story. I am now in that camp.
Speaking of the Warren Commission, four out of its seven main members did not agree with what became the conclusion, specifically regarding the idea that both President Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connally were damaged by the same bullet. (For those unaware, Oswell fired three shots at Kennedy. The first missed, the second grazed Kennedy and damaged Governor Connally, and the third killed Kennedy. The second bullet has since become known as the “magic bullet” among critics of the official story due to its rather odd pattern.)
Again, does that mean they’re right: Of course not. It would be rather odd for me to use the Warren Commission’s words in order to prove we shouldn’t trust the word of the Warren Commission, remember. However, it does show that, if even the Warren Commission had doubts about their findings, we should be able to openly debate what’s going on and not having the skeptics derided as “conspiracy theorists.”
The way to stop such a thing is not with a “reality Tsar” but with an actual honest government. Luckily, the latter seems to be what President Biden is actually interested in, and he’s not even considering giving in to the nonsense solutions of those who want the government to tell them what to think.