Conspiracy theories and all that…

[Note from Steve: Have a safe and happy Halloween. Parents, please take care of your children, and please don’t drink and drive—someone else’s children might be your victims.]

They’ll get a boost with the partial release of the JFK assassination papers (the CIA is holding some back, which will only add to the conspiracy, of course). Here’s the short list: Was someone else involved besides Oswald? I always thought it was suspicious that Jack Ruby silenced Lee Harvey…to keep him from spilling the beans about his Russian backers? They might have wanted some revenge for the Cuban Missile Crisis, after all. The visits to the Cuban consulate and Russian embassy in Mexico are suggestive.

A mob killing? That conspiracy would work better for brother Bobby K. A Castro plot? Add Bay of Pigs to the Cuban Missile Crisis and you can create a conspiracy involving both Russians and Cubans! A CIA plot? Why not? They’re the ones holding back documents. And their hands were already dirty from overthrowing governments (for example, in Iran, with subsequent installation of the Shaw, an American puppet) and possible assassinations in their anti-communist witch hunt (the Dirty War in Argentina and overthrow of Allende came later, but were a continuation of the Dulles brothers’ legacy—and now it seems Neruda’s death in Chile was actually murder, coming only a bit after Allende’s murder).

I have no trouble with conspiracy theories. In general, they’re harmless and created by groups searching for “the truth.” And sometimes, if and when the truth comes out, we’re surprised that the conspiracy theory was correct. There’s so much secrecy now—the executive branch, Congress, the Pentagon, and many government agencies, all under GOP control,  live in a dark world of Washington and international secrets—that one has to wonder all the time about what they’re hiding. Two mantras from X-Files come to mind: “Trust no one” (everyone’s lying!) and “the truth is out there” (but we’ll never find it!).

I’ve never read a sci-fi story about that secret Russian base on the far side of the moon, nor one about the origins of those strange markings in Peru, nor about who actually built the pyramids, nor one about those strange gods some indigenous people came up with (I ran across a few of those in South America).

A conspiracy theory is NOT “fake news”—it’s an explanation for real or fake news when no or few facts are available to prove or disprove the theory. They don’t differ from a scientist’s “I wonder why that happened?” and her or his tentative conjectures about why. It’s also akin to a writer’s what-ifs. What if these markings in Peru were made by ETs? What if ETs built the pyramids? What if the CIA was complicit in the JFK’s assassination? Bobby Kennedy’s? Martin Luther King’s?

The way our current president would have it is that there are leakers everywhere…and they’re out to get him! That’s a conspiracy theory AKA paranoia, especially considering how Washington goes overboard classifying everything to the nth degree so that everyone is kept in the dark. Isn’t Trump’s offer to pay for any legal defense required in the Russian probe suspicious? Maybe that’s a conspiracy theory about a conspiracy theory—we might never know! The great narcissist loves to give a wink and a smile, alluding to what only he knows, especially to the media.

The Pentagon makes everything Top Secret, a neat trick when they’re covering up ineptitude and/or malfeasance. Same for the State Department and government agencies like the CIA, DEA, DHS, and FBI—especially the CIA. As the country becomes more fascist, the secrecy will only increase. Most people consider 1984 a warning; too many current Washington politicos and others in the power structure consider it an operations manual (I think I’m misquoting someone here—I apologize, and readers can help me give credit where credit is due).

Security in this country all too often just means sweeping lots of dirt under the rug to hide it. No wonder there are conspiracy theories! The general public knows dirt is being hidden, though, but they can’t get to the details. Sometimes the media can, but Trump is already talking about cancelling licenses for TV networks who expose his and his cronies’ lies and peccadillos. Going after the free press is lesson #1 in fascism’s how-to books Mein Kamph, The Prince, and Das Capital.

The flip side of conspiracy is transparency, although that often now means just creating another lie. Seems like the more lies that exist about something, the more people believe there’s a conspiracy. That’s my counter to Goebel’s PR mantra. (Of course, there’s truth in both mine and his, but I’ll take the moral high ground compared to that Nazi, thank you.) Of course, we don’t have stats to prove Goebel’s mantra or mine because usually no one knows what the truth is. You can’t prove something is a lie if the truth isn’t known. It’s also a conspiracy, though, when certain people tell us there isn’t one—the Russian collusion, for example. That only makes us think just the opposite, doesn’t it?

What would we do without conspiracy theories? We’d probably be bored, that’s what, maybe more than now where we’re bored with what’s going on in Washington. Without a good, juicy conspiracy theory, DC would be as boring as nachos without salsa, a martini without an olive, and Mick Jagger without Keith Richards.

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And so it goes….

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