Of course conspiracies exist. Merriam-Webster says a conspiracy is ‘a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act.’ If two or more people plot to do something corrupt, criminal or not, it’s a conspiracy. The world is teeming with them.
But conspiracy theorists are assumed to fear something much larger and more insidious than run of the mill nastiness; their suspicions focus on vast schemes and secret societies that control the levers of government. Conventional wisdom calls these people crackpots, nut jobs, tin foil hatters. Wikipedia states that ‘conspiracy theorist is a pejorative term, used to dismiss claims that are considered paranoid, unfounded, outlandish, irrational, or otherwise unworthy of serious consideration.’
It seems that conspiracy theorists have all the credibility of members of the Flat Earth Society.
Are we to assume then that no governmental conspiracies exist? That the idea of the Bush administration lying to us, or pressuring other agencies such as the State Department, CIA, or Justice Department to lie to us is unthinkable? That it wouldn’t be possible, for example, for them to cook up a case for war against a country that never attacked us, using information they know to be false? That they might claim that we are invading to spread democracy, when they really have their eye on the $30 trillion in oil under Iraqi sands? That they are willing to be thought of as incompetent because they invaded without an exit strategy when not leaving is exactly what those double-dealing conspirators had in mind?
Me neither, that could never happen.
Who are these wild-eyed conspiracy theorists? One was JFK. In a 1961 speech to the American Newspaper Publishers Association he said:
‘We are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence-on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day.’
Another was Hilary Clinton. In an interview on The Today Show in 1998, she referred to a ‘vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband.’
JFK and Hilary Clinton, two deranged, delusional denizens of the lunatic fringe, trying to undermine the country no doubt.
Conspiracy theorists are getting a lot of press these days, because they keep popping up in unexpected places. When several members of We Are Change infiltrated Real Time with Bill Maher last month to shout out their half-baked theories about 9/11 being an inside job, the incident was shown by Bill O’Reilly on Fox News and Jeanne Moos and Glenn Beck on CNN. O’Reilly and Beck roundly denounced the mush-for-brains radicals, and Beck posted a poll on his website, asking if viewers didn’t agree that anyone who thinks our government planned 9/11 is ‘insane.’
Unfortunately for Beck, 66% said no, they’re not. Is it possible that two-thirds of his viewers are insane as well?
They’re not the only crackpots. A September 2007 Zogby poll found that 51% of Americans want Congress to probe Bush and Cheney regarding the 9/11 attacks. A New York Times/CBS News poll from October 2006 found that only 16% of adults fully believe the official story about 9/11, while 84% believe the Bush administration is either hiding something or is lying.
Apparently large numbers of paranoid Americans doubt the story put forth by our esteemed leaders, the one about 19 hijackers from caves overcoming all the defenses of our $500 billion/year military while armed with nothing but box cutters. Many otherwise normal people wonder how a steel-framed skyscraper could crumble to the ground at free-fall speed because of damage at its top floors. Other no-good degenerates question why an airplane that crashed in Pennsylvania would leave wreckage over eight square miles. So be careful out there. Wear your seatbelt. These looney-tunes are everywhere.
Unfortunately the 9/11 Truth virus has infected the highest levels of society. Pilots, engineers, physicists, architects, CIA veterans and former government officials are among those raving about WTC 7, molten metal and Bush’s unusual absorption in ‘My Pet Goat.’ Can we trust them? Of course not, they’re conspiracy theorists.
But, just for arguments sake, consider if there were a vast conspiracy to cover up the truth about 9/11. Don’t you think they’d need an equally vast PR campaign to portray any conspiracy theorists in the worst possible light, so all 84% of us would keep our suspicions to ourselves, lest we be mocked mercilessly?