elvis's konspiracy korner
'better living through ecstatic agnosticism'
as featured on this is hell radio
saturdays 0900-1300 CST
Elvis's Konspiracy Korner appears live on This Is Hell radio approximatley every three months.
An archive of these matters is maintained here.
I am not currently writing up the segments, but plan to edit and link to the individual audio segments in the future. For the time being, entries without an accompanying text are linked to that week's full radio broadcast.
Don't think too hard about it.
posted by elvis
Fast & loose this week, throwing some paint at the ominous outlines that may or may not be converging within and without one's control. I am generally not one to make predictions (it is much more pleasant to simply discuss the ride over a drink as the scenery drifts by), but consider this a bit of a 'gut feeling' edition. The going has indeed gotten weirder since "football season" ended, and with a fresh orgy of corporate gladiators demanding our attentions let us pick our particular American winter feel and turn our eyes thusly:
BACKGROUND, FOREGROUND, KORP NARRATIVE WATCH
I have always been skeptical of the ability (although not the will) of the current civilian administration to take military action against Iran, but along with others am growing increasingly close to the '50/50' line these days. Bush's recent designation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as terrorists certainly doesn't bode well, and the general narrative as typified by the front page of the New York Times seemed to intensify somewhat and notably shift away from the nuclear angle and more toward alleged Iranian involvement in Iraq. The recent shuck-jive by General Petraeus in front of Congress was playing this angle to the hilt, and none of this can be reassuring to anyone born before, say, March 2003.
Israel may have claimed to be targeting fledgling North Korea-sourced nuclear sites in recent air strikes on Syria, but all parties involved (Iran included) seem rather eager to get a full regional shitstorm party started sooner than later. The significant deployment of US carrier strike groups in the Persian Gulf has been maddeningly difficult to confirm and follow over the past 18 months, but some sources are currently chattering about a very ominous deployment of three groups lead by the USS Enterprise, USS Nimitz and USS Truman by the end of this month. I am similarly not in a position to confirm or explain the probable significance of the proposed Iranian Oil Bourse and a withdrawal of its oil trade from the dollar and toward an Euro-based exchange, but it certainly is interesting to note that the last 'brinkman' to pull this move was Saddam Hussein, in 2000.
WARMING YOUR 'MCMANSION', POST-PEAK
All of the above, of course, should not be looked at in isolation from what appears to finally be the simultaneous beginning of the end for: the bullshit mortgage/real estate/credit binge of the past decade; oil that does anything but continue to rise steadily past record levels; and the yanqui dollar itself - the lynchpin of the whole house of cards.
However you view the various factions at the very top of the 'bankster' elites, it is clear that the Fed is frantically defibrillating a corpse - albeit a still warm one. Yesterday's interest rate cut may have lofted a Dow Jones Industrial Average that was already crashing when it was at its recent "record high", but the race toward price inflation felt at very painful & basic levels of contemporary American lives is well on its way. The questions, as always, are: how hard? how fast? and of course but what if?
BUT WHAT IF?
The recently purported billions in "Bin Laden trades" betting on a steep fall in both the S&P 500 and Euro-STOXX indices by 9/21 may have been a case of dim-witted mass hysteria, a psyop of some sort, or just your everyday market-media manipulation. But some other weirdness within and just outside the korp media narratives has my intuition at elevated levels of counterproductive voyeurism. Won't you join me?
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov abruptly resigned last week, with Putin surprisingly replacing him with Viktor Zubkov rather than the perceived heir apparent Sergei Ivanov. Regardless of what the reasons or outcome may be at that level, let us not ignore Fradkov's official reason for his resignation: "approaching significant political events".
What couldn't he stomach? Was it in any way related to what recently absconded Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Shinzo Abe are glimpsing in their crystal balls? Were Karl "MC" Rove and Alberto "Bad Cop" Gonzales just sick and tired of the relentless persecution by the potent and tireless 'journalists' who make up the Washington press corps? Did Rep. Paul Gillmor take a fatal fall down the stairs because he was running too fast toward some semblance of reform in the currently extra-wacko credit markets? Did any of these Minot Air Force Base personnel know something about the following paragraphs weeks, or months ago?
INSERT DIRTY HARRY JOKE HERE
An Army Times report of 9/5 disclosed that on 8/30 a B-52 bomber was armed with five nuclear warheads and flown from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. The above linked story now includes the "correction" that there were in fact six, not five warheads on the plane. Indeed, you can still find multiple korp news accounts of both five and six missiles being temporarily unaccounted for: five, five, five - six, six, six, etc.
Regardless, the incident represented such a serious, thorough, and unprecedented breakdown in protocol that to assume it was an accident would be the more wildly speculative approach. The conservative 'wtf' angle suggests a thwarted move by the Cheney faction to hit Iran. The fact that Barksdale is used as a staging area for fighters on their way to West Asia and the reality of military resistance to Cheney & co's push to attack Iran make this quite plausible.
But what about that half-missing nuke?
NOT NEWS BECOMES VERY STRANGE NEWS
On 9/3 "maverick" millionaire pilot Steve Fossett took off from Barron Hilton's private air strip on his Rhode Island-sized ranch (comprised of leased federal land) southeast of Lake Tahoe. Fossett, who was supposedly scouting for flat land suitable for an attempt to break the land speed record, has not been heard from since. Fossett, who as a Stanford undergrad swam to Alcatraz two years after its closure to hoist a "BEAT CAL" banner upon its walls, had made his millions on the floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange, was no rank amateur in the cockpit, and his disappearance was considered unusual due to his previous adventures and practice of keeping in close contact via satellite phone even when in remote locations.
I had frankly never heard of the guy and was ignoring this story until it was disclosed that the search & rescue team ostensibly combing the Nevada desert for Fossett was composed of two dozen aircraft including Blackhawk and Kiowa helicopters. Thicker still, the search - which has only today been "scaled back" after over two weeks of very active patrol - has been lead by Air Force General Henry C. "Hank" Morrow (no relation!). Morrow is a serious bigwig and is a commander of NORAD and NORTHCOM. He is in charge of defending American airspace from threats - including those from space. In other words, exactly the guy you would expect to conduct a missing person search!
Fossett's projected flight path and the subsequent search area encompass some very heavy and very classified clusters of federal land including - but of course - Area 51. This is "trespassers will be shot on sight" territory. Since the search began they have reportedly recovered at least half a dozen previously undiscovered crash sites, within what is now being referred to as the "Bermuda Triangle" of the states.
What have they been looking for so intently in the Nevada dessert?
THE BOGEYMAN'S ODDS, ENDS
On 9/4 the Pentagon confirmed that China had successfully hacked the network of Defense Secretary Gates. Was a similar security breach involved in the B-52 nuke scenario? Was the B-52 debacle merely a convenient way to shuffle some papers and 'disappear' a nuclear warhead? Does that half-missing warhead have anything to do with the wildly disproportionate "search for Steve Fossett" in the desert of the southwest? Would an attack on Iran be desirable by certain factions within the current administration? Would a well-placed false flag operation get us all there sooner than later? Do you remember the flags on the streets six years ago?
We are currently headed into a period during which multiple high level, large scale, simultaneous war games will be at play domestically. From October 15-20 Operation Vigilant Shield 08, coordinated by the aforementioned NORAD and NORTHCOM, will simulate responses to several radiological weapons detonated in the western US. From October 15-24 the Department of Homeland Security will run TOPOFF 4, a similar exercise testing response across multiple agencies to radiological devices detonated in Guam, Portland and Phoenix. No matter what side of the knives you come down upon (well, unless you believe the 9/11 Commission did its job), it is inarguable that the multiple war games taking place on the morning of 9/11 played a significant role in the lack of response to that morning's events.
The Los Angeles Times recounts U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones attending a FEMA emergency preparedness workshop in August 2001. FEMA discussed three catastrophic events likely to occur within the US: a major terrorist attack on Manhattan, a super-strength hurricane hitting the Gulf coast, and a major earthquake along the San Andreas fault. Seismologists currently disagree as to whether or not an earthquake could be induced by the use of a nuclear device.
I note that many well-trained Blackwater mercenaries may soon be returning from Iraq. As I have discussed previously, Blackwater personnel were quickly on the ground in New Orleans following the flooding, and they have already met with Governor Schwarzenegger. Regardless, the elites will never lack the need for a solid Praetorian guard, no? Indeed, it not difficult to envision the need increasing rapidly in the near future.
No lines drawn this week, my friends, only dots - enjoy.
(special tips o' th' konsp to all the charming doomers at the LATOC Forum for keeping the gears spinning lately)
posted by elvis
Apologies for the delayed post, things have been quite busy in all realms, remunerative and non-. Which reminds me: I know quite a few of you visit this site to read these konsp pieces, which I greatly appreciate. But as both the radio show and this website currently operate on a zero-advertising economic model, prioritization must inevitably occur in order to pay the bills. If you enjoy what you get out of this site, please consider buying our new record, ORIGIN & TECTONICS, or making a donation of any amount via PayPal (you can also email me re: donation via hard moneys). Even modest amounts help to keep things moving forward, as you surely understand (hint: buying the record is a lot more fun than simply donating).
Ahem! In the late 1950s, the newly created Advanced Research Projects Agency (later DARPA) received additional support in the creation of a federally-sponsored research consortium of scientists known as JASON, or the JASON group. Rather than the usual wacky federal acronym approach, JASON was reportedly coined in reference to the Greek myth of the golden fleece, truth playing the role of the mystical fleece and the group of researchers, of course, doing the seeking.
Essentially an attempt by the federal government to maintain the immense WWII braintrust that had birthed the Manhattan Project, the group was originally dominated by physicists, but has evolved over the decades to reflect the general cutting edge of sponsored research fields within US universities. As the group has always drawn its ranks from tenured university professors, they have generally convened during the summer months when teaching and research duties are somewhat less pressing. Composed of 40-50 members at any given time, the group conducts about 15 research studies each year, most of them classified, and all at the behest of the federal government. Although the motivation behind the creation of the JASON group was in part created by the fear that the WWII-era braintrust would return to their university pursuits, it was also, of course, the dawn of WWIII - the Cold War - and the emergent realization of the significance of western vs. commie science was certainly compelling as well.
Initially falling under the umbrella of the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA) at the behest of then Defense Secretary Charles Wilson and Admiral Radford (him again?! - actually, no, a different Radford (same JCS, though)) of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, JASON shifted toward the Stanford Research Institute (them again?!) in the 70s and finally settled at the MITRE Corporation in McLean, VA from the 1980s to the present. Throughout the decades, most of their research has been commissioned by the usual federal suspects: DOE, DOD, DARPA, among others. Their research has not surprisingly tended to trace the bleeding edge of fancy scientific methods for killing a lot of people, whether it was the initial concoction of the electronic battlefield, good ol' nukes, climate change, the human genome, nanotechnology, alife, or the current favorite: securing the fatherland against suicidal musselmen. Essentially their efforts were applied wherever potential applications of emergent technology toward securing military superiority were to be found.
Most members of the JASON group were non-political and truly interested in a career of scientific inquiry, for better of worse. Those who did end up on the political end of things were generally Council on Foreign Relations folks. One particularly remarkable alumnus is Luis W. Alvarez, who developed the detonators for the 'Fat Man' atomic bomb, was on board the Enola Gay when they dropped the other motherfucker, was a part of the 1953 USAF Durant Panel Report that debunked recent UFO paranoia, x-rayed the Great Pyramid of Khafre in 1965, analyzed the Zapruder film in 1967 (and of course concluded that Oswald was the lone assassin), and to top it all off received the Nobel Prize in 1968 and, along with his son, was a prominent proponent of the theory that the extinction of the dinosaurs was due to an asteroid impact. Not all confirmed alumni can match such a magnificent Chris Carter penned-CV, but other notables include Joshua Lederberg, a CFR member who was close to the Rockefeller family and President Jimmy Carter, and headed the 1994 Defense Science Board Task Force on Persian Gulf War Health Effects (and of course concluded that Gulf War Syndrome didn't exist), and Gordon J.F. MacDonald, an apparently influential thinker at the vanguard of weather warfare lauded by none other than Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Despite the above, you may be shocked to discover that the predominant narrative of the JASON group - as exemplified by Ann Finkbeiner in her book The Jasons - is that of a well-intentioned representative of the scientific community that has served to save both countless lives and tax dollars by talking down ignorant politicians from their lofty heights of unscientific bloodthirst. We are asked to believe that their role in such projects as anti-ballistic missile networks and Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative was actually one of rational restraint - not to mention all the 'could have been' scenarios we don't know about. Finkbeiner's concern is that the influence of the consortium is considerably lessened in the current climate, to the detriment of liberty, security, and the beloved & unbesmirchable scientific method.
This narrative allows only questions of the ethical practice of science, as raised most famously by Scientists and Engineers for Social and Political Action (SESPA) in 1972: essentially, does science ever have an ethical role to play in warfare? SESPA was worked up over the involvement of the JASON group in an electronic barrier between north and south Vietnam in 1966 - the so-called "McNamara Fence" - exposed in the Pentagon Papers. The role of the group in the Vietnam War is generally discussed as giving birth to paradigm of the electronic battlefield that we are still grappling with today in our current adventures in the Orient.
On the other end of the narrative spectrum the rather exasperating nut Milton William Cooper muddies the waters between the JASON group (as discussed here) and the JASON Society, a supposed elite faction of the Illuminati. Cooper does deserve note for both his tactic of stating that he knows a great deal more about the JASON Society, but declines to go any further as his bro "Mr. Grant Cameron" is about to spill the whole can of beans and he doesn't want to scoop him; I will have to remember this tactic. Furthermore, he sensibly points out the fact that this semi-secret group has managed to keep a very tight lid on what really happens over several decades, with only several specific leaks (as mentioned above) emerging from their many classified projects. Cooper is correct in noting that this is reason for pause for anyone who maintains that the federal government is composed of a bunch of incompetent warmongers who can barely balance the checkbook let alone pull off vast konspiracies without exposure. As you know, I am agnostic on the whole incompetent malevolence vs. absolute diabolical kontrol paradox, and always welcome juicy bits on either end of the seesaw. Beyond that, you will probably have difficulty following Cooper much further - I certainly did.
The man who really takes the JASON group into interesting territory is Joel van der Reijden, who runs the Project for Exposure of Hidden Institutions website from the Netherlands. I just stumbled upon his work in researching this segment and recommend a look. He takes the mainstream narrative a rational step further, acknowledging that while the JASON group was perhaps on the deep inside of federal war tech in their early Cold War days, they have also always been defined as being utterly distinct from the deepest military, intelligence, and most importantly korporate circles of the federal beast. For at least the past 25 years, this is where the real action has been, and for this reason they are most likely out of the loop of the really nasty stuff that is being cooked up for you & yours. Van der Reijden also astutely notes that the formation of the JASON group in the late 1950s coincides nicely with the point where this division between aboveground defense research and the expensive & extensive depths of the "military-industrial complex" really began to get out of hand.
Van der Reijden does an excellent job in outlining the structure of classification and secrecy within the federal government for dummies like me. Aside from the specifics, the essential component of this post-WWII approach is "need to know" access, in which all access is compartmentalized; even if an individual has a high level of security clearance, it is never across the board, and thus no one (except Them) gets the full bird's-eye view on the deep infrastructure of what really happens. Above classified and top secret access lie the tiers of strictly compartmentalized Special Access Programs (SAP), and above those Unacknowledged Special Access Programs (USAP). A recently publicized example (courtesy Seymour Hersh) of SAPs are the secretly authorized special forces assassins and secret interrogation centers under the current administration. Both SAP and USAP levels are frequently compartmentalized outside of the federal tent itself, falling under the usual korp suspects of Lockheed, Boeing, Bechtel, McDonnell Douglas, et al, and thus are protected by proprietary privilege and exempt from FOIA requests and congressional oversight. You are fighting not only the feds but intellectual property law and its associated hounds if you try to crack those nuts, and that's assuming you can even get an idea of which nuts to crack in the first place. The rational extension of this structure is to hide one USAP behind another SAP or USAP, and thus if things get too hot a secondary SAP can be unveiled while the real dirt is never even suspected (a defensive limited hangout approach).
All of this makes something like the JASON consortium appear almost benign in the face of rampant privatization of significant portions of the military. Only a fool still thinks that the federal government does not consider the military and its myriad subsidiary components to be beyond application toward the domestic populace. You may be aware of Jeremy Scahill's excellent work on the Blackwater Korp, who successfully evade both korporate and congressional accountability by playing one gray area against the other. Blackwater, of course, not only rears their merc heads in Iraq but were also on the ground in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and even met with mine own Gov. Schwarzenegger to discuss potential "disaster preparedness" in CA Republic. After the next earthquake hits here in San Francisco I have a pretty good inkling as to whose barrel I'll be staring down the next day.
But all of the above - whether JASON-related research or hired korp boots on the ground, acceptably heinous or especially repugnant - requires a shit-ton of money to get anything moving anywhere. And as crooked as post-capitalist USA is in both private and federal sectors, funding for things like this is still pretty impossible to keep atop the books without making a stink. So where does all that money come from, and where exactly does it go? That, of course, is a subject for another day.
posted by elvis
Elvis's Konspiracy Korner 23 June 0007
Per my theme song on the radio show, "The Oppression of the Penis", I am pleased to note that 2003 marked the post-war nadir for US male genital mutilation, down to 56% from a peak of 90% in the early '60s. So at least it's moving in the right direction (infant genital mutilation, that is). Did you thank your old man on "Father's Day"?
This week I would like to do a bit of an "heads up" edition, discussing a relatively recent and very interesting event that will likely be receiving renewed attention in the coming months.
I would also like to point out that my research this week relies heavily on everyone's favorite Wikipedia. Although I inevitably refer to the relevant entry in preparing each Konspiracy Korner segment, two entries were especially helpful this week. I of course am a big supporter of the Wikipedia project and highly recommend it as one component of any online research project. However, in my specific usage of the resource for these konsp pieces I have become increasingly struck by the way that it almost outdoes the korp media in its painful pretense of "objectivity" or "anti-bias" when dealing with any subject that is even remotely controversial (i.e. something other than Newtonian physics, etc).
This is inherent in the design of the wiki itself, and of course the big difference between it and the korp media is that it also encourages perpetual dialogue and improvement by design as well. But it strikes me, and so I'm striking you with it. This is also why, even if I sometimes feel at the beginning of my research on one of these bits that I'm merely summarizing an handful of sources, by the end of my notes I am confident that I am offering something that is not quite covered already. I simply find a more human (and biased) discussion to be more stimulating than its faux-objective counterpart, and that is why I offer it here in the hope that someone else does, too.
Anyway, this took me about a million words on the radio this week so hopefully I can knock it down a little here.
On 21 December 1988 Pan American flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, shortly after takeoff from Heathrow airport en route to JFK. All passengers and crew aboard the Boeing 747 were killed, as well as 11 people on the ground, adding up to 270 people from 21 countries. Among the dead were 189 American citizens, and the explosion was the deadliest attack on American civilians prior to 9/11. The attack also marked the worst mass murder in British history, and provoked the largest criminal investigation in the UK performed by its smallest police force, in conjunction, of course, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who were quite interested in the matter.
The three year investigation supposedly yielded 15,000 witness statements and collected 10,000 pieces of evidence, each carefully catalogued and stored (aren't they always?). In 1991 indictments were issued for Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer, and Lamin Kalifah Fhimah, station manager at Luqa airport in Malta. Nearly nine years later, the accused were finally handed over by Libyan premier Muammar al-Gaddafi to be tried in Scotland.
In January 2001 Megrahi was convicted of masterminding the bombing by a panel of three Scottish judges (no trial by peers, whatever!) and sentenced to 27 years. Fhimah was acquitted of his role in planting the suitcase carrying the explosives while the plane passed through Malta on the way to Heathrow.
Megrahi has since seen multiple appeals rejected, but a Scottish criminal cases review commission is considering his case as soon as this week, and anonymous leaks to well-established papers in the UK make it seem highly likely that either his conviction will be overturned, or a new trial will be ordered. If that happens, keep the following strange story in mind...
OFFICIAL NARRATIVE (best by 6/27/07)
The official narrative that locked up Megrahi is that he orchestrated the bombing of PA103 in retaliation for the 1986 US bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi in Libya, a targeted strike intended to assassinate Gaddafi, which instead killed a hundred other Libyans, including Gaddafi's adopted daughter.
Among the aforementioned 10,000 pieces of evidence were fragments of a Samsonite suitcase said to contain the semtex explosives, as well as circuit boards from a Toshiba boombox and timer used to detonate the device that were traced to the Libyan military. Also found were baby clothes purchased in Malta. The suitcase containing all of the above was said to have been routed onto PA103 from Luqa airport through Frankfurt airport to Heathrow (hence the failed indictment of co-conspirator Fhimah). Megrahi's proclivity for Maltese baby stuffs proved to be his undoing, as Maltese merchant Ton Gauci fingered Megrahi at his trial, claiming he clearly recalled selling him the very threads and noticing his distinct Libyan appearance. Guaci's eyewitness testimony and the above bits of evidence were the primary points upon which the judges' conviction hinged.
In 2002 Libya successfully proposed a compensation package for the victims' families as follows: $2.7billion, or $1million for each of the 270 victims (less handsome US lawyer fees, of course!). However, the deal required no admission of guilt on Libya's behalf, and in fact was a pretty sweet move on their part: 40% would be paid when UN sanctions against Libya were lifted, an additional 40% when US trade sanctions were lifted, and the final 20% paid when the US State Department removed Libya from its list of nations sponsoring terrorism. Not too shabby for $2.7B. In fact, Libya never paid the final 20%, as the US refused to remove them from the shitlist by the agreed-upon deadline (they instead removed them in May 2006 - free!).
WHO WAS (AND WASN'T) ON PAN AM FLIGHT 103?
Aboard PA103 were at least four and probably five US intelligence officers, including CIA station personnel from Beirut and Cyprus. Perhaps the most notable passenger was Major Chuck "Tiny" McKee, a senior army office on secondment to the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) in Beirut. We shall return to his role momentarily.
It is also worth noting several individuals who weren't aboard the ill-fated flight. The already interesting list of rock and roll air fatalities was nearly revised to include the Four Tops and John Lydon, all of whom had planned to be on the flight and missed it due to last minute changes in plans.
Another notable 'also-ran' was New York auto mechanic Jaswant Basuta, who got too shitfaced in the Heathrow lounge to take his seat on the plane and was turned away at the gate after the door had been sealed. Devout Sikhs, he and his wife commemorated his near-death by holding a 48 hour prayer session once he returned. His wife was convinced that the divine spoke to her lover through the bottle, stating "on one side of the door was death, on the other, life; it's like something pulled him back" (emphasis added). Take note, fellow booze travelers!
ONE ALTERNATIVE NARRATIVE
The aforementioned Major Chuck "Tiny" McKee was a confirmed career spy for the US with solid CIA ties, and was reportedly the leader of a special forces team preparing an attempt to rescue American hostages being held by Hizbullah in Lebanon at the time.
If this was the case, perhaps it was his plans for the yet-to-be-executed mission that were promptly disappeared by the FBI when discovered by locals amongst the debris of PA103. Or perhaps what was being snatched up was even more interesting, per the two teenagers in Lockerbie who claimed to have found $547,000 in travelers checks and bags containing white powder - also disappeared courtesy the local and US authorities. Other witnesses reported a large brightly colored tarpaulin covering the crash site with a marksman in an white helicopter hovering overhead to ensure the locals kept their distance.
Whatever was and wasn't removed from the crash site, it very likely had something to do with both McKee and Monzer al-Kassar, a notorious international arms & drugs dealer and an Iran-Contra alumnus. There is reason to believe that Kassar was running a heroin pipeline from Syria to the US via Europe, and receiving protection from a rogue CIA faction in exchange for intelligence on Palestinian resistance groups based in Syria. As Kassar regularly used Pan American flights along this route to transport the heroin and its associated mule, perhaps the semtex suitcase was switched at some point for the heroin suitcase. Did the rogue CIA faction, who were monitoring various flights at Heathrow, allow the bomb on board thinking it was the usual drug package? Juval Aviv, the noted Mossad agent who lead the revenge assassinations in response to the murder of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, claims that this is what happened. Then again, Aviv was hired by Pan Am to investigate the attack, and this explanation conveniently absolves the airline security apparatus in letting the bomb aboard. There is a more likely and much more interesting explanation here, which I will return to in the concluding section.
THE (SOON-TO-BE) OFFICAL ALTERNATIVE NARRATIVE
Anyone who digs into the current bogus narrative will find it hard to defend the conviction of Megrahi, and once the Scottish review panel rules in his favor, a new and more plausible narrative will need to be substituted. Watch for something along these lines to become the new official narrative of the bombing of PA103:
Ignore Megrahi, and take a look at a new player: Ahmed Jibril, a former Syrian army captain and head of the Popular National Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command (PFLP-GC). Jibril and his group were noted for numerous ballsy raids against Israel in the '80s, including one assault involving hangliders (!).
In July 1988, the USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air 655 over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 passengers, many of whom were pilgrims on their way to Mecca. Of course it was all claimed to be a mistake, but Ayatollah Khomeini was quite pissed, and vowed that the skies would rain with blood, offering a $10million bounty for anyone who "achieved justice for Iran". Jibril, we are told, took up the offer and set his sights on knocking out an American passenger jet, tooth-for-tooth.
In October 1988, the German FBI equivalent Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) arrested a PFLP-GC cell in West Germany consisting of 17 suspects who had cased the Frankfurt airport and browsed Pan Am timetables, among other things. The cell had semtex explosives and the same Toshiba boomboxes that were used to convict Megrahi. After the 12/21/88 bombing of PA103, one of the Palestinian suspects was even found to have had a calendar in his flat with the date circled (a la Sirhan Sirhan). This thinker, Mohammed Abu Talb, is now known to have been in Malta when the bombing occurred (this is part of the new evidence that Megrahi's defense is prepared to present in the instance of a new trial). In fact, Gauci, the same clothing merchant who fingered Megrahi also identified Abu Talb. In fact, Abu Talb testified for the prosecution in Megrahi's trial, in exchange for lifelong immunity from prosecution in the case. In fact, two days after the bombing of PA103, the Iranian government deposited LB5.9million into an Swiss account belonging to the aforementioned PFLP-GC cell (the above is outlined in this fine article by Hugh Miles).
Essentially, this theory swaps the placement of the bomb on PA103 in Malta (in the current official narrative) with the placement of the bomb occurring at the Frankfurt airport instead. And, you substitute Megrahi-Libya with Jibril-PFLP-GC as the mastermind.
So, if nearly all of the above was known at the time of the investigation, why were Megrahi & Libya inserted in the place of the more likely suspects? This nascent official narrative tells us that in the run-up to the first US invasion of Iraq, Bush I was desperate for arab allies in the coalition. Thus, he chose to finger Libya, ignore the Syrian-based PFLP-GC, and succeeded in getting Syria on board for the festivities. Jibril was off the hook.
MY PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE NARRATIVE
My motto in these pages, other than the one listed upon the mast, is the more tangled the better. Here is the best and most tangled alternative narrative of the PA103 bombing I've found, laid out almost exclusively by Erick Anderson in December 1989 in the pages of the fine local rag San Francisco Bay Guardian:
As mentioned above, a rogue CIA unit (referred to henceforth as "CIA-1" a la Anderson's approach) was conspiring with Monzer al-Kassar to smuggle heroin from Syria to the US via Europe. In addition to obtaining intelligence from Kassar related to Palestinian targets within Syria, CIA-1 was also rewarding him for previous assistance in arms-for-hostages deals. The whole stinking plot was discovered by Major McKee and his team, and after receiving a lukewarm reception from CIA when they reported the rogue faction, they decided to pack up their evidence and fly home to confront the relevant personnel directly. If there was still no will to act, they were prepared to make a big stink about it in the press. The above angle was actually advocated after the bombing by none other than Rep. James Traficant (D-OH), an unusually filthy congressmember who wasn't content to simply fall prey to bribery, racketeering, and tax fraud charges, but also forced his aides to perform manual labor on his Ohio farm and DC houseboat; still, at the time he was an active member of the House.
With the above in mind, consider this: after the BKA raid in October, Kassar facilitates a new bomb shipment to Jibril in West Germany to replace the confiscated gear. Originally the plans were to bomb an American Airlines jet (still, in retaliation for the USS Vincennes shoot-down in '88). The AA target is scrapped after Mossad gets wind and tips off both the BKA and CIA-1. CIA-1 subsequently tightens airline security on all lines except Pan American, as they have at that point established a well-oiled pipeline for the heroin Kassar is smuggling into the states and would prefer to avoid extra scrutiny directed toward their mules.
On 12/18, Kassar, now out of the loop of the specific bombing plans in the hands of the PFLP-GC cell, but well aware that the shit is about to hit the fan, additionally tips BKA to an attack on a Pan Am Frankfurt-London-New York flight within days, with the motive of protecting his drug shipment from a possible assault by Jibril. BKA passes the tip to CIA-1 and CIA, but not directly to Pan Am. Around the same time, Jibril confirms PA103 as the target, deciding that the operation is too advanced to be halted at that stage, and presuming that any disruption in Kassar's drug route would not be blamed on him.
Finally, Jibril co-opts Kassar's usual drug-planting procedure, which involves the drug suitcase being planted in an employee locker area at the Frankfurt airport days ahead of time, which a baggage handler then substitutes for the mule's clean luggage at the last minute after the mule passes through customs.
Multiple warnings continue to arrive at CIA-1 courtesy BKA and Mossad, increasing in specificity and proximity to the actual date of the attack. But they are met with either non-response or non-alarm by CIA-1. BKA surveillance at Frankfurt on the day of the bombing notes an unusual suitcase being loaded onto PA103, different in make, shape and color from Kassar's usual heroin transport (a BKA videotape of the suitcase going on the plane is subsequently "lost"). BKA reports the anomaly to CIA-1, who again reply that all is well, "don't worry about it, don't stop it. Let it go".
Hours later, Pan Am flight 103, Major McKee & co., and everyone and everything else on board go up in a big, bright and thoroughly effective fireball. Multiple factions are pleased. The public is outraged. Things move forward. The Dow Jones rises. Presidents are elected. Business proceeds, as usual.
(special tip o' th' konsp to kevekev.com for alerting me to the impending action on Megrahi's case)
posted by elvis
Elvis's Konspiracy Korner 2 June 0007
I have recently discussed several examples of "false flag" operations, and the topic at hand finds two of them to be immediately relevant: the "Lavon Affair", in which Israeli intelligence was caught initiating terrorist attacks on American targets in Egypt in 1954, and the 1964 "Gulf of Tonkin Incident", in which the Johnson administration falsely alleged that U.S. destroyers were attacked by the North Vietnamese in order to secure domestic support to escalate U.S. aggression in Vietnam.
This Friday June 8 marks the 40th anniversary of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in the midst of the Six Day War, in which Israel succeeded in seizing the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, the Golan Heights from Syria and the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt. Not bad for six days.
On June 8 1967 the Naval Intelligence ship USS Liberty was riding the border between Egyptian and international waters, about 13 miles off the coast of the Sinai Peninsula. At 0600 local time, Israeli Air Force aircraft made repeated flyovers and most likely identified the large ship as belonging to the U.S. Navy. At 0900 there was another flyover, this time at a distance sufficient to prompt Liberty crew members to later recall waving to the IAF pilots.
Nevertheless, at 1400 unmarked Israeli jets attacked the Liberty with no warning or provocation, using cannon, rockets, and
In all, 34 crew members were killed and 172 wounded, the majority of them Naval Intelligence personnel, marking the single greatest loss of life by the U.S. intelligence community.
The role of radio communication in the incident is highly unusual, with Liberty Captain McGonagle reporting that radio jamming was present (on American, rather than Egyptian frequencies, again suggesting positive identification of the ship by the Israelis). IDF Chief of Staff Gen. Yitzhak Rabin reportedly feared that the IAF was attacking a Soviet ship and ordered a halt, an order that was obviously never received. Similarly, U.S. Sec. Defense Robert McNamara recalled two separate rescue attempts from nearby aircraft carriers during the attack, and when his orders were questioned President Johnson himself got on the line, reportedly declaring that he didn't care if every man drowned, he would not embarrass his allies.
(absolutely necessary aside: I recently learned, in a review of Geoffrey Perret's new book "Commander in Chief" by Thomas E. Woods Jr. in the American Conservative, that LBJ "had a habit of pulling out his genitals in the presence of his critics as evidence of his greater manliness", and furthermore "in response to the nagging questions of journalists as to why American men were being sent to fight in Vietnam, LBJ finally showed them his penis and snapped, 'This is why!'", and, the real kicker, I learned of a "member of the Secret Service who, standing next to the president, felt his leg getting wet. 'You're pissing on my leg, Mr. President!' he exclaimed. 'I know I am,' LBJ replied. 'That's my prerogative'")
But enough presidential cock & balls! Why would Israel attack its ally in the midst of a wider war, for no apparent reason? Despite the fact that in 1967 the French were Israel's most powerful supporter, they still had plenty of solidarity in American power circles.
After numerous "investigations" the official narrative from both the U.S. and Israeli sides has been that Israel mistakenly identified the Liberty as the Egyptian destroyer El Quseir, despite the fact that the Liberty was more than twice its size and, of course, bore latin rather than arabic letters and numbers, and was flying a large American flag. Although the U.S. has conducted "investigations" under the auspices of the Congress, CIA, JCS, and NSA, all were actually based upon the initial U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry proceedings, and had no mandate to look further. This initial inquiry, incidentally, was conducted in six days when Court President Admiral Kidd stated that it would take six months for a proper investigation. Court legal counsel Capt. Ward Boston also claimed on the record that he and Kidd were both convinced that the abbreviated investigations amounted to a deliberate coverup of an intentional attack.
In 1987 the whole mess was "officially closed" by agreement of both governments, with Israel forking over $13 million for reparations. To this date there is a very adamant network associated with survivors and their families demanding a proper investigation. Just another faction of the anti-semitic internets, I guess!
Some of the most interesting possible motives for the attack that I've come across are:
Russell Warren Howe asserts that the Liberty was trailed by the Polaris submarine USS Andrew Jackson, whose mission was to take out all Israeli long range missile sites if they attacked Cairo, Damascus or Baghdad, for the sole purpose of preventing the Soviets from having to do the same thing and starting Word War III (shit!).
Peter Hounam claims that LBJ and Israel agreed to completely sink the Liberty to justify U.S. assaults on Egypt, but the plan was aborted and reversed when it became clear that the ship was not going to sink (dead men tell no tales, etc.). Furthermore, a BBC documentary claims that U.S. nuclear-armed planes were already en route toward Cairo from a carrier in the Mediterranean, and were recalled at the last minute when the Liberty didn't sink (fuck!).
Or perhaps LBJ simply struck a deal with the domestic Jewish lobby to back Israel unconditionally in exchange for some breathing room on the increasing protests against the Vietnam War?
As the Liberty was an intelligence vessel, maybe Israel attacked it to prevent U.S. Intelligence from discovering their plans to occupy the Golan Heights (they subsequently did anyway). Or, perhaps intelligence gathered by the crew would have potentially contradicted Israel's narrative of the Six Day War growing out of attacks on Israel by Syria and Egypt, as opposed to Israel's Pearl Harbor-style surprise attacks?
As you know, dear reader, I don't call sides on these things (see motto, above). But I do find it worth your time to consider what really happened forty years ago, and how it was subsequently handled by both the Israeli and U.S. governments. If the current administration decides to invade Iran (and I think it is thankfully unlikely), it will most likely be ostensibly justified by an similar "incident" in the Persian Gulf, and although the aggressor could in fact be Iran, my rapidly devaluing U.S. Dollar is on the U.S. or Israel provoking an incident not unlike some we've seen in the past. We can only hope they'll keep the nukes out of it this time.
Elvis's Konspiracy Korner 5 May 0007
On January 18 1984 Seung-Hui Cho fell into this world, presumably making the usual racket, and for the next 23 years (we are told) he had very little to say. The week of April 16 2007, he suddenly had quite a bit to share with those around him, and some rather effective methods of securing the collective ear. What happened during the intervening 23 years will most likely never be fully understood, but some wide-ranging speculation into the possibilities is worthwhile for reasons other than simply tickling the voyeuristic impulse so profitably & cynically exploited by the usual korp media outlets over the past several weeks.
I find it useful to examine such profound and violent ruptures in the collective psyche in both their immediate materialist realms, and in a broader narrative sense; the construction of the official mythology by the federal government and their korporate media organs should of course never be taken at face value, and if examined with the proper approach, they can end up showing us things that we weren't even searching for.
The official narrative of Cho and the shootings at Virginia Tech is quite minimal - almost insultingly so. He is a lone nut / we should have seen this coming / let's talk about guns / chorus / bridge / chorus. That's about it. Well, on the materialist angle there are much more significant matters that should enter into the discussion, and Mark Ames does an excellent job of doing so in this piece, an expanded excerpt from his recent book on the subject of contemporary American mass murder.
Similarly, Alexander Cockburn properly re-focuses the gun discussion in this piece. The argument that more, not fewer, guns would help reduce the body counts in incidents such as this is equally, if not more, sensible as its anti-constitutional counterpart. It is interesting that each such example of mass murder immediately provokes the pre-scripted "debate" regarding gun rights, but guns aren't the only element shared by nearly all contemporary "spree killers": they are almost inevitably under the influence of prescribed psychotropic drugs, most typically the SSRI dope which psychiatrists & their pharmaceutical masters enjoy prescribing even more than the also very popular methamphetamines. Although both families of drugs are widely recommended to adults, like any good dope a large portion of their market consists of the adolescent set (if not younger).
Cockburn offers a tidy laundry list in the above piece, but an abbreviated rogues' gallery of relevant "users" includes Eric Harris (Columbine), Kip Kinkle (Oregon), Michael Carneal (Kentucky), Ted Kaczinski ("Unabomber"), John Hinckley, Jr. (Reagan), Mark David Chapman (Lennon), Jeff Weise (Red Lake Reservation), etc.
Would they be willing or able to pry the Paxil from the proverbial cold, dead hands? Of course not; removing drugs, legal or prohibited, from the American economy would be a death wish, and the relevant parties understand this better than you or I do.
In any such incident that has massive psychic impact and does not easily fit into readymade explanations, it is always useful to ask: cui bono? If I were to pull for a worst-case kneejerk scenario, it would be something along the lines of facilitating an expanded discussion on gun control that could set the stage (along with subsequent 'events') for further reinforcement of 2001's USA PATRIOT ACT with specific aims toward treating the Second Amendment like it already treats the First and Fourth. That said, I do find it hard to envision either of the two korporate political parties advocating for significant further infringement on gun rights without additional events creating a much more sympathetic climate among the majority of voters. That could certainly happen, perhaps even before the next presidential election, but it doesn't quite 'fit' for me. I think there is much more reason to see Cho as a likely example of one that got away: a subject of mind control tactics at the hands of masters who couldn't quite keep their thumb on him. Just as we have seen the bloody consequences of successful mind controlled assassins in the past, in Cho's case we see the equally foul outcome when things don't proceed quite according to design.
The sheer professionalism and accuracy displayed by Cho in the classroom shootings is itself enough to cause a serious disconnect to those not inclined to swallow the shallow-water hooks provided by the korp media. While most previous school shootings followed the "Columbine" model of heavy firepower and true assault weaponry, Cho was armed only with two semi-automatic handguns: a .22 and a 9mm (as well as enough ammo to take down an elephant). These are not the most efficient weapons for such a task, and the .22 in particular is well-designed for cracking at tin cans and does not easily lend itself to murder. Nonetheless, Cho discharged 170 rounds in nine minutes, resulting in 30 fatalities and a 60% kill ratio. Consider that for a moment; do the maths of how something like this would actually play out in a mid-sized undergraduate lecture hall. That is some John Woo shit, not the work of an average 23 year old lone nut who spent some time at the shooting range and behind a video game console.
In fact, the entire narrative around the actual classroom shootings stinks, and has since the reporting began that morning. As was the case in Columbine, when, as Cockburn points out, the police boldly charged into the school library a full two hours after Harris & Klebold had suicided, there is reason to suspect a federal stand-down order of some sort as the police essentially waited until everything was neatly wrapped up with a bullet in Cho's head before entering the barricaded classrooms. This, of course, was all well after the initial two murders that morning in the dorm, after which the police chose not to post a campus-wide bulletin, despite the fact that there had been several bomb threats in the preceding weeks (presumably originated by Cho to test the security apparatus) and, one would imagine, alert levels would already be running rather high on a relatively quiet campus.
Add in the initial reports of a second shooter, as well as confirmation that the authorities were questioning a second "person of interest", both of which evaporated after the dust settled. The initial suspect was reported to be a specific Chinese national who had arrived in San Francisco from Shanghai last August, and there is actually a photo of police handcuffing an unidentified Asian man that morning; these too apparently warrant no further explanation or investigations by "journalists" such as NBC's Brian Williams or the staff of the New York Times.
The police struggled unsuccessfully to identify or link the gunman (who was later confirmed as Cho) to the initial two victims, and days later had to settle on a single ballistic match of one of his guns, with no other forensic or eyewitness evidence to place him at the dorm that morning. Thanks in part to his peculiar decision to file off the serial numbers on his two handguns only after purchasing them with his credit card and neatly saving the receipts in his backpack, Cho himself was identified posthumously via "forensics and ballistics" after he was found dead in the classroom, six feet tall with part of his face missing. What really went on in those classrooms?
And what really goes on at Virginia Tech? Well, they receive quite a bit of funding from the Department of Defense and are actually located right next door to a rather sophisticated DARPA facility. As Nimmo points out, this facility includes ARDA/DTO projects, suspected by some to be carrying out work initiated under the star-crossed Total Information Awareness project. DARPA, you also may note, is currently working on a project that aims to integrate next-generation binoculars with soldiers' eyes, exploiting neurological progress to essentially allow them to "neutralize" threats prior to conscious recognition or perception. Virginia Tech, like many campuses, is also a prominent recruiting ground for the CIA, which is entirely sensible when you take into account its proximity to the CIA base of operations as well as the fact that it is a rather prestigious engineering school. At which point one may ask, why was Cho paying hard-earned dollars to pursue an English B.A. at such an institution?
Perhaps it had something to do with an influential meeting or two during his high school days in Chantilly, VA, where, incidentally, he shared a campus with another rather inexplicably violent ax-grinder by the name of Michael Kennedy, who in May 2006 chose a significantly harder target in the local Sully police station and was killed after murdering two cops with heavy weaponry in tow. Or perhaps it had something to do with Cho's sister's current employer, McNeil Technologies, a private firm that handles, among other things, human intelligence, information & language services for the Defense Intelligence Agency among "other government agencies". She is currently "assisting reconstruction" in Baghdad, another slaughterhouse far from Virginia where a body count like Cho's is generally what's on the menu for breakfast. Perhaps something else went on in those 23 off-the-record years that would shed some light on the events of April 16.
And with our speculation spidey senses thus warmed up, let's turn to the actual materials that we are told Cho dropped right into the lap of another, respectably incorporated gun nut, NBC News (owned by GE, an arms dealer with a moral history that one could say makes a killer like Cho look rather boy-scoutly). Although it should be obvious, it is still worth pointing out that NBC is utterly repugnant in its attempt to "have it both ways" here: deciding to air a decent amount of Cho's multimedia press kit, but stopping short of releasing the entire body of material into the public domain. Instead, we get the swinish Brian Williams lamely mediating the materials to protect our delicate sensibilities, carefully parsing the "strong anti-rich people theme" in the unreleased "dense text", "laced with profanity" for us. Williams smugly thumbs through the text while smacking his chops and assures us that "no two or three sentences really make sense when viewed together". I am highly suspicious of what in Cho's press kit is being kept from the public record. Indeed, the little that has been released is itself quite interesting.
One common theme found in victims of brainwashing and mind control tactics is that of ritualized abuse, often sexual abuse, as children. The little we see of Cho's work - both in the video statements and in the two plays - focus significantly on paedophilia and punishing sexual predators. His plays deal with these themes bluntly and explicitly, the video clips that we've been shown are more elliptical, discussing apparently esoteric and ritualized abuse, but not specifically mentioning sexual abuse (again, I strongly suspect that the unreleased material tells a much more complicated story). Cho specifically cites recent paedophiliac celebrities John Mark Karr and Debra Lafave.
The korp media has made considerable noise regarding the perceived similarities between an handful of Cho's poses in the videos and the film "Old Boy" (remember, they stick to the straight materialist beat, I'm the one grasping at straws here!). What is less discussed are the themes of forced drugging, psychological torture, and split personality contained in the same film. What else might he reference in those clips that we aren't seeing?
(and under cover of pointing out the less than straight-shooting konsp angles that do regularly show up in "mainstream" coverage of heavy events, I will take the opportunity to throw out a few potential synchronicities of interest: 23 year old murderer, 33 total victims, during a month that is becoming increasingly notorious for such anomalous events, on the anniversary of Hoffmann's discovery of LSD, on the birthday of the
Some of the notable phrases contained in the video clips point to apocryphal Masonic rites, including having one's throat slashed "from ear to ear", being "humiliated and impaled on a cross", and digging one's own grave. From the clips we are permitted to view, Cho also makes it clear that the "blood" is on the hands of his tormenters who "decided to spill [his] blood".
Although MC Brian Williams describes Cho's materials as "railing against Christianity and the affluent", very little in the actual published materials corroborate this. Cho mentions an ax to grind against sippers of "vodka & cognac" and although I am a few years out of my undergraduate career this strikes me as an odd way to characterize the typical undergraduate population in Blacksburg, VA. It is more likely that the unpublished materials that Williams is so reductively describing point to a more complex target, perhaps the ritualized secret society games that affluent minority power structures are wont to play. The strange symbolism and numerology displayed by these two drawings similarly evokes such occult methods at hand. Again, NBC and their federal masters have managed to scrape a new rock bottom in their hypocritical selective publication of such a small amount of Cho's press kit. They, along with the whole korp media apparatus, protest too much.
The very fact that Cho sent these materials to a single corporate news source doesn't quite add up. One would assume that a 23 year old bent on such celebrity would understand the celebrity mechanisms to an sufficient extent that he would carbon-copy multiple "competing" corporate parties, as well as prominent sub-professional internet chattering classes to ensure true posterity. Yet he instead chose to overnight a single comprehensive copy of his manifesto to a single tightly-controlled media outlet as he ran very rapidly around campus while his guns cooled between the first and second shifts of murder that day.
One meme that made the rounds of both the aforementioned media classes was the inscription of "ismael ax" on Cho's forearm, and the return address "A. Ismiel" he used on the press kit mailing. Although I googled slightly harder than the korp media stooges who were content to throw up their collective hands and leave dangling subtle implications of Islamic shades (that would be an additional six minutes, by my estimation) the only decent angle I could find outside of some strange Melville-fixation was an old konspiracy chestnut well-propagated by none other than the late masters R.A. Wilson & W.S. Burroughs: the Hashshashin, Hassan-i Sabbah's crew of hashish-fueled assassins who play a role in many self-respecting konspiracy narratives since the eleventh century, were an Ismaeli sect splitting from the Shi'ia end of the Shi'ia-Sunni split in Islam.
Now that is getting pretty rich. That is one way to wrap the whole bloody mess up into a pretty interesting literary & magickal package. Perhaps, if the official narrative is indeed the beginning and end of it, Cho was a promising English major, and that unfulfilled potential can be tacked atop the 32 needless deaths at his entirely autonomous hands. Right. And to quote the aforementioned M. Ames quoting an lesser author, "maybe I'm a Chinese jet pilot".
(special tips o' th' konsp to all the sources linked above, particularly this clearinghouse of odd bits from the korp media that includes the purported photo of Cho in US Marine gear that I decided not to touch, the diligent Kurt Nimmo, newly discovered righteous 'head Kevin Cryptogon, the oft-besmirched P.J. Watson, the always inspirational Jeff Wells, and Karl once agin for knowing way too much)
posted by elvis
Elvis's Konspiracy Korner 14 April 0007
I have been loathe to spend any time on the "scandal" revolving around an innocuous slur uttered by past-spent and never-entertaining "DJ Imus", but at the point of his double-termination at the hands of both of his korp masters (MSNBC & CBS, in chronological order), the matter has actually nagged its way into illustrative territory to me, and I would like to briefly discuss what is interesting to me about this particular entry in the achingly tedious cyclical clusterfuck that passes for something approaching "dialogue" in post-cultural/post-capitalist USA.
The point of the double-termination is the threshold of interest because it is at this point that it becomes apparent that, regardless of all other variables, we are looking at a relationship between a (morally bankrupt & pig-fucking) publisher and an (morally bankrupt & pig-fucking) artist, and it is quite clear that a modest amount of the proper magickal noise from Sharpton & co. can both: make a lot of people pay attention to a subject they have never previously found a spare synapse for (DJ Imus); and, override rational materialist models that would sensibly influence an ologopolist publisher (the temporary drop in advertising revenue that would have inevitably returned after the aforementioned noise dissipated).
To a modest degree, this is good news, as it would conversely allow room for the near-opposite trajectory of creative works with higher aims over the crass & unsustainable materialist models that dominate the ologopolist korps that overwhelmingly control the publishing interests of all relevant media at this point.
Of course, the good-news degree is modest indeed, as what it more clearly illuminates is the incoherent but very potent confusion related to several significant problems across the current collective psyche:
Aside from the prominent 'boner' of identity-politics-based discussion vs. actual rational discussion, which I, like any other sensible man, will address once there is a decent paycheck behind my time & efforts, two things come to mind as a segueway to the actual konsp-mongering this week:
Scraps like these never fail to elucidate the widely-held misconception that having an fatherly hand slapped across your jaw by your korp master is somehow equivalent to "censorship", when in fact it is important to maintain the proper distinction between the two, regardless of how incestuous the state & korporate interests may be. Trust me, the Federal government may be well-influenced by various korp interests, but when it actually comes down (not for the first time- see Lincoln & FDR for solid previous examples in recent history) to conscientious state-censorship, we'll all know the difference.
Similarly, the "censorship" talk rarely seems to acknowledge the basic aesthetic point that if you pretend that poisonous art does not in fact have poisonous consequences on the viewer then it must logically follow that the most gloriously transcendent & positive art does not have a similarly positive effect on the viewer.
My first point here is far from profound. All of the above is a big incoherent mess: there is nothing rational or materialist about the korp publisher termination of an profitable artist based upon some indefinable threshold of "gotcha" noise being breached, and there is no reason in arguing that the fact that racist & misogynist poison is generally profitable and widely published in post-cultural USA is somehow benign, inconsequential, or somehow miraculously a consequence of a free-market in the absence of any such thing.
My second point is that the pretense that similar examples of korp-muzzling are relevant shrivels in the face of what really happens when the massive korp-media organs actually operate in tandem with the monstrously violent Federal Government in all its various factions (all of whom, let us keep in mind, are actively against all that is just, beautiful, and sustainable in this human world). One case in point: the "Watergate" myth, or as it is commonly referenced in the contemporary American psyche: "Cub Reporters Take Down President, Save Democracy, & Make Some Dollars".
You may be aware of Bob Woodward's recent shameful role in keeping the sordid Plame affair rolling along, but did you know that the millionaire Beltway-insider was a Naval Intelligence Officer prior to his Watergate "muckraking" for the Washington Post?
Woodward's deep involvement in military and White House circles, while not exactly buried, raises many interesting questions related to the popular myth of a "free press" taking down President Nixon by exposing the coverup of the infiltration and surveillance of Democratic party strategists at the Watergate Hotel. Woodward's subsequent ascent to the highest echelons of the White House-friendly press corps and role in the extra-stinky "outing" of the supposed Deep Throat Mark Felt (after Felt was incapable of discussing (confirming) the matter) give further reason to examine what is commonly referred to as the "Moorer-Radford affair", which was most certainly Nixon's first major coverup as President, and very likely a thwarted attempt at a military takeover of the Federal government.
The story in brief is that in 1970 the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led by Admiral Thomas Moorer and Rear Admiral Robert Welander, decided to act on their growing opposition to the perceived engagement with the USSR and China by Nixon and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger by creating a full-fledged spy ring to pilfer the files of the Kissinger-led National Security Council. The JCS were convinced that Kissinger was pursuing a diabolical konspiracy of his own: using the Council on Foreign Relations to ensure the continued control of global currencies by the Rockefellers as the Soviet Union inevitably emerged victorious as the world's only superpower, resulting in favorable positions for Kissinger & Nixon in the eventual one-world government (sound familiar? factions in power are often not too different from factions on the fringes).
The factional espionage lasted for thirteen months, with the lead mole-role played by Navy Yeoman Charles Radford, who successfully snatched a "library" of documents from the desks & briefcases of Kissinger, Alexander Haig, et al, prior to getting busted and breaking down during a polygraph interrogation, spilling the proverbial beans.
But Nixon decided to keep things quiet, afraid that engaging the attempted coup d'etat during an election year and amidst nascent engagement with China especially and the USSR as well (not to mention the Vietnam debacle) would just be a big goddamn headache.
Here's the key: none of this made it out into the press until after the Watergate Hearings in the Senate were well under way and only seven months prior to Nixon's resignation. And it most certainly was not covered in the Washington Post.
Well, actually, the day after the story broke in 1974 (c/o James Squire & Dan Thomasson in the Chicago Tribune & Sun, respectively), Woodward did run a piece in the Post, a front page piece that downplayed the espionage as relatively common D.C. in-fighting with no larger implications. Although there was a large photo of Welander accompanying the story, there was no mention that he was Woodward's Commander on his second ship in the Navy. Also unmentioned was the fact that as a Naval Lieutenant, Woodward was a briefer for Moorer himself, and was routinely sent to the White House to brief high-level officials as well. What did Woodward know, and when?
Many knowledgeable observers have had a difficult time swallowing Woodward's confirmation that FBI second-in-command (under Hoover) Mark Felt was the sole source referred to as "Deep Throat" in Woodward & Bernstein's Watergate investigation. Upon closer examination, it appears far more likely that the pseudonym was used to refer to multiple sources in addition to Felt, the rest of whom remain unconfirmed. One very likely suspect is Robert Bennett, currently a Mormon elder and one of the richest Senators in Congress, and in 1972 the head of the Robert R. Mullen Co., a CIA front that played a key role in the Bay of Pigs operation and employed lead Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt. In addition to feeding Woodward leads, Bennett was charged by the CIA to dissuade the press from pursuing any leads that may point toward the plot by the Joint Chiefs to topple Nixon.
Another likely member of the Deep Throat collective is Alexander Haig, who Woodward briefed in his role as a courier as early as 1969, but Woodward has repeatedly denied meeting Haig prior to 1973. Colodny has three sources on the record confirming Woodward's meeting Haig during his role in Naval Intelligence. One of these is Moorer himself, who confirms that he sent Woodward to brief Haig in 1969. The Post has always denied the existence of this interview, even when it was confirmed once again by Moorer in the Washington Times. Why such secrecy so long after the fact? What is so sensitive about Woodward's history in Naval Intelligence prior to the Watergate saga, and what are the reasons for the continued obfuscation of the Deep Throat gang? Is all of this smoke-screening somehow intended to preserve the Watergate scandal and subsequent myth as a "limited hangout" on a massive scale?
One immediate conclusion to be drawn is that Woodward was simply acting selfishly, remaining silent about the spy-ring to protect his career and his well-placed sources in both the military and civilian wings of the Federal government. But is it too far-fetched to see that one thwarted coup, a bit too unpalatable for mass consumption in the early '70s, was merely replaced by a second, successful coup, this time with the knife placed not in the hands of the Joint Chiefs, but in the righteous grasp of the impeccable free press, c/o Bob Woodward and his publishers at the Post? Allowing some room for this speculation, who is best served - cui bono - by the the popular myth of Nixon as it is currently understood? And how sensible is that myth in light of the subsequent actions of the Federal government, the korporate press, and Woodward himself? Is the role & fate of Woodward and the Post closer to that of a real muckraking journalist such as Gary Webb, or that of Judith Miller and her kin? Don't Sharpton & co. have bigger, more uncomfortable axes to grind?
(special tip o' th' konsp to Karl for pointing me toward the whole sordid mess after we saw Cockburn yak it up recently here in town; and I do again encourage you to dig on the primary sources: Colodny, Hoff & Hougan - they have plenty more where this came from)
posted by elvis
(to glance a blow at the 9/11 elephant, if I may)
The Wikipedia page linked above is, at least as of this sell-by date, a decent definition of the term: an covert operation - usually a violent one - conducted by a government or associated entity that is designed to appear as though it originated from another entity or entities. The non-materialist implications of such a concept are quite interesting in themselves, but let us first turn to some possible materialist illustrations of such tactics in history:
Daniele Ganser, in his recently published book NATO's Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, and in this associated interview with Silvia Cattori, points toward clandestine armed forces across Western Europe, intentionally created by NATO factions in conjunction with the CIA and MI6 to instigate general as-needed nastiness to be blamed on various leftist groups during the Cold War (WWIII). The cover story at the time was that countries such as Norway were interested in sustaining "Stay Behind" groups to conduct defensive guerilla warfare in the instance of a Soviet invasion. The US was wholeheartedly behind such tactics, although I doubt the European countries needed much convincing after their experience with Nazi occupation during WWII. Still, the notion of US-supported guerilla insurgency in the face of foreign aggression is...timely, to say the least.
Such tactics led most notably to the rather gruesome success of Operation Gladio in Italy, as summarized here by Chris Floyd, and here by David Guyatt, who layers some pretty rich Opus Dei frosting on top of everything. Skeptics take note: the US State Department has seen fit to address such konsp-mongering as of January '06. A move like this generally lends additional credence to the alternative narratives, rather than the other way around: convenient half-truths or 'limited hangouts' are most effective when ignored by the state and allowed to bloom, unmolested, in the appropriate petri dishes, whereas somewhat threatening lines of inquiry are ideally choked in the cradle or at least countered in the public record by 'running interference'.
Other prominent examples of "False Flag" tactics include the 1933 Reichstag fire, which was most likely cooked up by by prescient PR hacks Joseph Goebbels & Hermann Goring, and was certainly attributed to the Communists and allowed Hitler to pass an Enabling Act within a month that essentially laid the groundwork for his subsequent dictatorship (clearly such tactics are optional now if you possess sufficient "charisma").
Operation Northwoods is another ominous footnote in history's near-misses (near-hits?) and is oft-cited among those who argue a more cynical view of the US government's role in 9/11. In 1962 the Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed the instigation of terrorist attacks (including highjacking commercial aircraft) to be blamed on Cuba in the interests of conjuring public support for an invasion of Castro's Cuba. You are welcome to do the nuke math yourself speculating that such tactics had been approved by President Kennedy (whatever happened to him, anyway?).
In the abovementioned interview, Ganser rightly calls attention to the importance of understanding the "strategy of tension" behind these operations. The non-materialist implications of such approaches by a powerful state entity should not be easily dismissed: the state is essentially assuming an active role in deflecting its own terroristic capacities & tendencies onto other targets; of course, the most rational targets to choose would be those that pose a threat to the legitimacy & sustainability of the state. Furthermore, the state is shifting the burden of malaise and confusion that it necessarily produces in its citizenry onto more diffuse actors ("the terrorists") and events that are less than easy to explain or understand (9/11, the '01 anthrax attacks, Madrid & London bombings, seemingly chaotic violence in Iraq, etc.).
It is interesting to me that a lot of the legitimate criticism of the 9/11 truth folks is based upon the premise that the state is already inarguably engaged in any number of absolutely reprehensible projects against the human interest that don't require much further investigation or speculation, and that opening up the inquiry to crack such large nuts is counterproductive and even pathological. I certainly don't think this angle to be unsound, but it is worth asking ourselves where exactly the boundaries are drawn re: how far the state will and will not go to put the boot down on what most of us would consider to be sound libertarian principles.
I feel silly pointing anyone to Orwell in such times, but there are good reasons that the vast majority of strong dystopian-authoritarian fiction evoke similar currents in the air. In the absence of a decent warrior culture at your disposal, you can at least get by for a good while by jamming the collective radars in a convenient direction.
Of course, all of the above could just be tinfoil-armchair speculation, with every terrorist event actually opening & closing per the history books, korp media "journalism", official state narratives, and cranky "left gatekeepers" - all well funded and comfy, at least for now.
posted by elvis
Having been not begrudgingly yoked into "book-review" mode by the dumpster-diving Drew Colglazier, I will also happily take this opportunity to perform an 100% 'flip-flop' from my previous high-minded admonishments towards the konsp beat. We are talking comprehensive Jesuit konspiracy here, and it is basically rubbernecking from here on out.
Mr. Colglazier was prescient enough to retrieve a wacky dumpster book that is available in its entirety online: ladies & gentlemen, Bill Hughes presents The Secret Terrorists. Published by the "Pacific Institute", inexplicably spanning the continent with operations out of both San Diego and Eustis, FL, Hughes's text represents what I would casually shmear as the intellectual end of the Jack Chick crowd.
One thing I really appreciate about Hughes's approach (aside from the killer graphic design on the book cover) is that the chapters are the perfect length for this type of material. Walking th' konsp beat I often come across juicy bits that are too superficial to get leads on - all form and no content. Other times I am brick-walled by the sheer volume of a mind affixed, and it is nigh-impenetrable for radio soundbyte purposes. Hughes operates in the perfect middle ground here, gladly offering substantial content to dig into while not repeating himself or pouring it on too-too thick ('too thick' in these cases being the standard modus operandi ). He also charmingly cites many sources, but they are all similar nuts on a similar bent. Refreshingly well played!
Hughes's essential angle is simple: the Jesuits have been behind every major event in US history. Beginning with a "black congress" in Vienna in 1814, they have konspired to destroy democracy wherever it may be found in the aims of establishing a single world order under the yoke of the Vatican. Naturally, they put the nascent democracy in the USA firmly in their sights.
You may be shocked to discover that none other than Thomas Jefferson and William Morse (inventor of the "Morse code") were hip to their plot. In fact, the Monroe Doctrine was actually aimed at defending against Jesuit aggression, despite what you may have learned in your book-learning.
A crucial step in the Jesuits' path toward global domination has been the establishment of a central bank in this country, and when President Jackson briefly obstructed their aims he was duly punished by a close call with an assassin's bullets. Richard Lawrence, the would-be assassin, later bragged about promised protection from "powerful people in Europe". Do the maths!
I now realize that I've been aching for a proper konsp angle on the sinking of the Titanic, and it took Mr. Hughes to make me ache: After the Jesuits' central bank schemes were briefly thwarted by Jackson & co., they quickly got back in the saddle and met (like any proper konspirators) on an island off the coast of Georgia. In 1910 on Jekyll Island, GA, representatives of the key players Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, and Rothschild groups identified a population of super-rich crucial 'movers', 'shakers', & 'gadflies' who would pose a threat to their central banking schemes. They then quickly arranged to entice them all onto to a fantastic cruise. For good measure, they threw into the hull a good amount of emigrating European Catholics (for cover) and Belfast Protestants (to kill them).
Please do read Hughes's chapter for the details, but suffice to say that after hood-winking the veteran Sea-Captain Edward Smith, replacing the red emergency flares with white (red="we're sinking", white="we're having a party"), and sinking that motherfucker in 1912, the Federal Reserve was successfully established in 1913, and within a year the Jesuits had funneled enough moneys to kickstart World War I.
Like I said: all rubbernecking, you can provide the praxis in a "DIY" fashion if you care to. But my principles re: energy in (from the author) and energy out (toward the reader) stand firm. Thank you, Mr. Hughes!
posted by elvis
I would be remiss in failing to note the odd sensations that pass over the frontal lobe when you end up with a motherfucker of a Monday that features not only dozens of birds mysteriously falling from the sky, stone-dead, in Austin TX, but also a pervasive & mysteriously foul odor wafting over Manhattan. The relevant points, as always, lie less in the sheer freak synchronicity waves than in the strange methods with which this information-saturated "citizenry" choose to prioritize their lives post-9/11; such bizarre events easily & quickly pass into the ether-churn without any real expectation of inquiry, let alone explanation. “We’re left with a mystery, although we know it’s not harmful", quoth New York Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Charles Sturcken. Smells like famous last words, to me.
Not that there is necessarily some unanticipated & insidious effect to be observed 'after the gas', but rather that it is an interesting population indeed that clamors for non-stop electronic stimulus with at least the pretense of novelty and yet has no problem with "moving on" past minor loose ends like the sloppiest explanation of a truly paradigm-shifting "terrorist attack" the nation has ever seen, the '01 anthrax attack scare, or even such trivia as a blatantly fraudulent & possibly back-breaking imperial war, the undeniable fact that their government now employs torture for "interrogation purposes", or stolen presidential elections, in roughly that order.
But I digress, and all of the above is surely more than familiar to you anyway, dear reader.
I want to spend a few words on this because I recently realized that despite my recent disrespect toward the classical Yeti-debunking self-proclaimed "skeptic", the global warming noise as it is generally defined actually lands me pretty squarely on the "skeptical" side myself.
The first angle that interests me is whether or not it is even useful at this point in post-capitalist USA to gauge the significance of any given topic by the level of korp-media noise surrounding it. I would say this is open for discussion, but essentially yes, it is useful, simply due to the sheer amount of energy that is generated by these (admittedly painfully predictable) "debates" that cycle through the print-cable-internet-radio bands. Consider, for a moment, the relative seep of such transmissions compared to the theoretical billion small-scale conversations that are most likely not occurring at all. For better or worse, I think it is still worth engaging the larger korp-media narratives and this radio show does it better than most.
As the Drudge-line salivates over warm winter weather in New York and I type with cold feet here in unseasonably cold San Francisco, let us consider the fact that perhaps the human race is "close to putting the climate out of our control" through our insidious fossil-fuel burning tendencies. This planet moves in large and small-scale climate fluctuation cycles (some of which we kind of understand) and I have no doubt that the successful project of the human race extracting & burning up the majority of the fossil fuels in ~250 years has had a bit of an impact on these things, but why not look at some of the finer print.
The "global warming" narrative, while not exactly an red herring, serves well as a "controversial" distraction technique from much more pressing issues related to sustainable human civilization, most significantly the fact that we need to figure out how the hell we're going to support 6+ billion people without the oil that currently plays a frighteningly crucial role in our food, water, economy & transportation infrastructure. Although Mr. Kunstler seems to re-write his "Peak Oil 101" piece over & again as requested, it is really goddamn good every time and I will once again recommend you look at his latest for a nasty crash course. The fact that there is a predominant korp-media "debate" regarding climate change when there isn't even a modest dialogue on rehabilitating the USA rail system - let alone the finite supply of oil and the inability of the half-assed pipe-dream "alternative fuels" to ever come close to sustaining Cheney's infamous "non-negotiable way of life" - is cause for alarm. Prioritization is never an irrelevant criteria for discussion of such matters, and here it is very relevant indeed.
This long-winded Washington Post hatchet piece by Joel Achenbach can serve as an useful example. Achenbach's tortured journalistic prose does the usual disservice to the so-called "global warming skeptics" such as Bill Gray PhD, who dares to question materialist validity of universal allegiance to newly-developed computer modeling systems as opposed to, you know, empirical data. Gray advocates an equal attention to direct observation as well as "doing the numbers" - not a bad approach when you remind yourself that the current hard meteorological data goes back about 100 years and that meteorologists aren't comfortable forecasting two weeks ahead, let alone the recently super-magickal number of "2100" (when the Arctic Ocean is predicted to lose all summer ice coverage).
Gray is mocked as an old man who is really passionate about this kind of thing (questionable science wielded as a powerful media, marketing & policy tool), and he even uses the phrase "it's a big can of worms!" repeatedly. How can you take this guy seriously? He is merely Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University and one of the foremost hurricane nerds alive today.
Achenbach, on the other hand, has a "degree in politics" and his blog reads like an even more obnoxious Dave Barry. He claims the "news media" is "infatuated with doom" (far from it: if this was the case they would at least be trying to hatchet the Peak Oil heads rather than global warming contrarians. As much as "health care" is purported to be an untouchable topic for US Presidential candidates, let's see one bring up the glaringly elephantine spectre of overpopulation of the planet). He also takes the easy road of conflating such legitimate thought-provoking thinkers as Gray and Richard Lindzen with the transparent oil korp & fed think-tank shills that also argue against human-influenced climate change (and there are many). These "everything is cool" punks are of a totally different stripe than the scientists who are sincerely trying to get a decent broad view of the human race relative to the planet, and the "journalists" who conflate the two embarrass themselves as well as any proposed allegiance to the scientific method.
There are also quite a few researchers raising solid questions regarding the extent that the human race can even hope to influence such large-scale shifts in climate. But Achenbach would rather reduce them all to konspiracy-mongering nuts somehow still clinging to tenure. Yes, Achenbach has got it all figured out, you see:
There's a certain kind of skeptic who has no patience for the official consensus, especially if it has the imprimatur of a government, or worse, the United Nations. They focus on ambiguities and mysteries and things that just don't add up. They say the Official Story can't possibly be true, because it doesn't explain the [insert inexplicable data point here]. They set a high standard for reality -- it must never be fuzzy around the edges.
Ahem. I don't usually jump to cite op-ed pieces in the Wall Street Journal, but the nugget at the end of this recent piece by Lindzen (Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT) is worth looking at:
And then there are the peculiar standards in place in scientific journals for articles submitted by those who raise questions about accepted climate wisdom. At Science and Nature, such papers are commonly refused without review as being without interest. However, even when such papers are published, standards shift. When I, with some colleagues at NASA, attempted to determine how clouds behave under varying temperatures, we discovered what we called an "Iris Effect," wherein upper-level cirrus clouds contracted with increased temperature, providing a very strong negative climate feedback sufficient to greatly reduce the response to increasing CO2. Normally, criticism of papers appears in the form of letters to the journal to which the original authors can respond immediately. However, in this case (and others) a flurry of hastily prepared papers appeared, claiming errors in our study, with our responses delayed months and longer. The delay permitted our paper to be commonly referred to as "discredited."
Thus the casual dismissal so readily employed by Achenbach and his ilk can be found at the level of prestigious peer-reviewed journals as well. Frankly, the fact that Gray & Lindzen can maintain their academic positions begins to look like quite a testament to the powerful inertia of tenure in the contemporary university system!
For a quick example of something close to even-handed coverage of the climate change debate, take a look at Reason's Ronald Bailey (full disclosure: Bailey also has a somewhat stoopid take on Peak Oil - stoopid in that it somehow fits Reason's near-inexplicable definition of libertarianism, but I again digress).
One modest jump towards the airport bookstore tenure realm and we find obscenely rich hack Michael Crichton offering some surprisingly enlightening points on the subject. I think his central point questioning the relationship of consensus to science is a nice one to dig into with no clear answer in sight: I am far from a strict materialist, but I still catch the twitch that Crichton alludes to when rational methodology succumbs to consensus notions of "progress" (of course, he brings up the Nazis, which I try not to (it's bad form)). And the piece is worth reading if only for the solid backhand he delivers to uber-skeptic Carl Sagan regarding his hard pimping of "nuclear winter" which quickly ended up about as far away from materialist science as Johnny Carson's career. His notion of a double-blinded source of funding for sponsored research derived from a combination of federal & myriad private sources is certainly worth considering. And of course, he righteously slices at the false-flag "second-hand smoke" propaganda, which will always win my praise, and is perhaps another segment in itself.
It's funny: while I've seen the charges of "neo-malthusianism" frequently hurled at the Peak Oil talkers, the global warming folks don't seem to catch the same flack. It's really mostly the same nut to crack, no?
Th' bottom line: Don't believe anything you hear slide through NPR or CABLE TV. Crichton not only got the Jurassic Park moneys, but also the ER moneys. Bagge's strips for Reason are undeniably strong. Don't readily legitimize a "movement" that includes noted war criminal & Senator's Son Albert Gore, Jr. Profs. Gray & Lindzen are likely scheming their next strikes and not giving a fuck about their tenured salary & benefits, while Achenbach is probably sweating over his suburban Virginia mortgage and trying to figure out something to say about Nancy Pelosi. And I will finish this modest chianti and get some sleep!
The theme music that leads my segment on the radio is a Black Stool composition entitled "The Oppression of the Penis", and it is unfortunately even more relevant than usual this week. I have been highly incensed at the recent declaration by the Federal government, via the National Institutes of Health, supporting the widespread genital mutilation of African babies. Rather than outrage, this story has received tacit endorsement from all the usual korp media outlets. Come on now! You know what else might help stop the spread of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa? Condom distribution! Maybe it would be prudent to start by throwing some money at improving condom distribution, then consider widespread genital mutilation of African babies if that doesn't do the trick.
Wacky fed tricks like this cannot be divorced from the puritan legacy of this country that haunts us whenever the discussion turns even slightly toward sex or religion. Alan Moore has a fantastic history of pornography in the current issue of Arthur, and you can (barely - it's small type) read it via PDF if you can't find a hard copy (Moore's piece begins on the last page of the second PDF). He makes many solid connections relevant to the above & below, generally pointing towards the different consequences and legacies of the more sexually progressive and restrictive cultures through history.
Perhaps an contemporary exhibit of the legacy of our current post-puritan mess can be found in this newsflash from my old stamping grounds of Carroll County MD, as reported in their paper of record:
The Westminster library was evacuated Wednesday when a man brandished a realistic-looking BB gun during an altercation that began when he threatened a pregnant woman with a syringe, according to court records...
The incident began before 4 p.m. when Reidel approached a pregnant 17-year-old who was standing in front of the library at 50 E. Main St. and threatened to stick her with a syringe, said Capt. Randy Barnes, a spokesman for the Westminster Police Department.
According to court records, Reidel approached the 17-year-old, pulled the syringe out of his pocket and said: "Your stomach is so big, can I have [some] of that stomach juice?"
In his "Answer to Job", Jung discussed the contradiction that lies in Christianity's self-identification as a "monotheistic" religion and the central role of Satan in its mythology. How much weight can be given to a "hell" or binary view of the afterlife without the trio upstairs losing their starring role in things?
All of the above is tangentially related to this week's tall thinker, William Edward Hunt. I must begin by applauding Hunt's exceptionally strong work in the realm of konsp HTML design (an aesthetics that I am rather comfortable discussing at this point). Hunt scores marks with the tried & true tactics of organizing the page into an handful of very, very long single-page scrolls, helpfully broken up by different text sizes & colors throughout. But he ups the ante over most of his peers by both adding numerous diagrams & illustrative comicxks from his own pen, and most impressively by center-aligning the whole damn thing, a bold gesture with which others in this game have flirted, but none have executed with the vision and success that Hunt exhibits in delivering us the good news: "THE BIBLE IS A PROVED HOAX".
There is a *lot* to dig into here, and I am sure you will get tangled in Hunt's impressive weavings, but I will point to a few initial highlights that caught my interest alongside his central concern in separating God from the bible, and his tactics revolving around an angle of the bible being a hoax plagiarized from an Egyptian Pharaoh 5,000 years ago.
Hunt is basically discussing an old and very sound argument against organized religion: that it is primarily an instrument designed for the control of the masses by a small minority, and the associated extraction & concentration of wealth toward the minority ("church"). The fact that he does so in a sort of super-theistic manner by beating the bible at its own game (giving the reader an history & understanding of God) sets him apart from the crowd.
Hunt also has a pretty tangled explanation of the actual Christ being Amenophis IV, a cranky Pharaoh's daughter who claimed the sun as her father, but I am half-allergic to Jesus konspiracies due mostly to my lack of perspective on the whole mess. I do appreciate his linking of the sun as an initial inspiration for the idea of an afterlife (via the Phoenix metaphor) and to Moses as the "fire that burns but does not consume".
I like his placement of the idea of "hell" as central in the religion, with "Hell creating a need for Christ" not the other way around. I also applaud his materialist explanation for the origin of the afterlife concept in ancient Egypt (the Pharaoh desiring a reason to reign forever, rather than pass the crown to th' left upon death) only to have this idea borne of base & selfish motivation ripped off and incorporated into the grand moral & theological narrative of Christianity.
He is pretty ruthless on the Hell stuff, identifying it as the supreme terrorist tactic of control, and placing it as the fundamental point of abuse in any Christian church prior to molestation by authority figures. He notes that in the Christian conception, the only power of God that can be vested in man is the power to condemn, and questions an entire human life that is essentially defined as a test to be concluded at the point of death. He turns one of the best pseudo-Marxist pronouncements I've caught in a while: "he who profits from the laborer is the laborers boss", fingering the big man as Satan's boss (I don't remember this bit in "Value, Price and Profit").
All this, much more, and the aforementioned excellent diagrams from the author's hand. None of the above would be very exciting coming from a snotty undergrad, but it's the extent of Hunt's investment (the energy as well as substance) that informs his approach that makes his work so compelling, even if it discusses some familiar ideas. Again, I have barely scratched the surface, and Hunt is still writing (the most recent entry is dated November 06). Take a look for yourself and let me know what you think.
NOTE FOR PROSPECTIVE KONSP JOURNALISTS:
(tip o' th' konsp to kevekev.com for alerting me to both Hunt's work and the "stomach juice" article)
Quick hits this week, because I was too "busy" to not leave the heavy homeworks to you, dear reader.
Dr. John Coleman has the straight shit on the all-powerful Tavistock Institute, and you should take note. After all, they created the CIA, jump-started the Ford Foundation to ensure Left Gatekeeper coverage, and even put the US space program on hold for nine years (to let the Soviets catch up). One of the better points Coleman makes here is the role of small-scale sustainable agriculture as a fly in the vaseline of end-times smooth sailing. Stalin knew how to handle this particular headache with the Kulaks, and ADM, Monsanto & associates have clearly observed the effects.
All this in service of the standard Illuminati goals ("give me the money and the weapons"), as blandly outlined by Coleman here.
One devious prong of the Tavistock campaign sprouted the Stanford Research Institute, which has a fairly-documented poisonous history related to various mind control tactics aimed at procuring superior CIA assassination tools, as discussed by the highly recommended Alex Constantine in this piece.
Now divorced from Stanford University proper, the SRI is still dominating and proudly displays their list of clients on their website, tainting the dreams of all who read the lines of this particularly diabolical rogue's gallery.
Speaking of mind control, "Professor Pan" draws some excellent inferences from the specific "interrogation" techniques being employed at Guantanamo, and wonders if some of the detainees currently being treated in these extra-constitutional venues will re-visit us at some point in the near future as convenient assassins or instigators of false flag "terrorist" events. I say good point.
And while on that topic , I parse this transparent newswire hysteria as a clear sign that there may be some noise on the other side of the Atlantic over the holidays. Not that the Democrats (D) need any excuses to get down to their dirty biz for 07.
BONUS FOR TALL THINKERS ONLY:
Very good cartoonist & powerful role model for alcoholics everywhere, Wood had the oft-quoted motto "never draw anything you can copy, never copy anything you can trace, never trace anything you can cut out and paste up." Sounds like rock and roll to me!
posted by elvis
The rationale behind this semi-regular contribution to the radio show, website, and general internets is sincere, but perhaps not immediately apparent.
I am certainly not the first, last, or best to attend to the 'beat' of konspiracy consolidation, discussion, etc in any medium, but I do perceive a lack of the approach that I attempt to bring to the ideas at hand, and that is what I set my sights upon when preparing these pieces.
This gap lies between what one could consider to be the 'primary' and 'secondary' levels of the game of konspiracy-mongering: those who generate the actual content, and those who discuss the various efforts of these true believers. Both levels of the game certainly lend themselves to the 'for better or worse' criterion, but I think it is important to always defer the benefit of the doubt towards the primary source, rather than to the parasites (this applies to 'legitimate' journalisms as well: journalists of any stripe are easy to loathe for a number of fine reasons, but one of the finest is the fact that they are essentially "ambulance-chasers" waiting, pen in-hand, for the truly bold to act before they are able to produce anything of substance (for better or worse)).
What I hope to contribute to the gap between these two levels is a sincere appreciation for the work of the primary sources. These thinkers truly patrol the trenches of contemporary consciousness, and regardless of how excellent or atrocious their texts are (and they do inevitably span the poles), they deserve more than an open-shut consideration composed of ironic detachment or mockery. Although I don't pretend to avoid either tactic, what they do deserve is an additional sincerity and respect in approaching their ideas, and I try to keep this in mind when preparing these segments.
I strongly believe in the potential to extract substantial meaning from an adequate threshold of energy as well as substance in any given text. The motto I have chosen for this series is entirely sincere, and I don't hesitate to recommend it: 'better living through ecstatic agnosticism' should be equally applicable to the realm of rational discussion as it is to music or any other of the more nebulous & intuitive realms of communication, and I think to deny this is to opt for the lazy way out of such obligations that we are tied to if we aspire to be thinking human beings.
The only thing more obnoxious than the middle-brow self-proclaimed "materialist" is the highest-brow chest-beating "skeptic", that scourge of art, beauty, and orgasm that - despite concerted PR efforts to the contrary - is in fact the same gangster that put the hemlock to Socrates a while back.
These profoundly smug anti-intellectuals protest way too much in their pursuit of "truth", and are in fact concerned only with conserving the simplest of womb-like pseudo-truths that vainly attempt to stamp upon even the most primal and productive capacities for wonder & curiosity that are fundamental to the human race and are perhaps the only things that keep us hanging on at this point (inertia is admittedly also a strong contender).
If you would rather get stuck drinking next to one of these skeptical "killjoys" than a rabid anti-semitic nut with a masonic-royalist theory on 9/11, then you need to actually try it and observe the effects. Heidegger asked: "What is it, to be?" The skeptic asks: "Have we yet debunked the 'big-foot'?"
I've been digging into the "Aquarian Konspiracy" as proposed by one Dr. John Coleman, and it is a useful case study to quickly illustrate my above reductionisms.
I was tipped off to this excerpt from Coleman's book by notorious dark magus Nondor Nevai, and there is a ton of food for thought to be found in this chunk. One of the stranger bits thrown in without elaboration is an assertion that none other than Theodor Adorno was the nefarious ghost-writer behind the Beatles. Of course, I scrambled to try to turn up any non-redundant mention of this on the webs, to little avail. But look at the way this Whitehead Adorno-phile character explains it all away with such ponce. This is the most egregious type of shallow engagement with the primary konsp thinkers that I'm referring to; it's less like picking on the easiest target in the schoolyard, and more like making a fool of yourself by trying to pick on the guy that's actually talking way over your head.
All things being equal, the Coleman piece expands my options for considering a number of very relevant things related to the materialist & magickal history of rock and roll and post-WWII American trajectories, while Whitehead simply makes an ass of himself by foolishly attempting to conjure a meaningless "Religious Right" (sic) cabal that leads nowhere, while at the same time making the nuttiest of konsp nuts look like HTML pros with his asinine web design and predictably name-dropping tired skeptic bogeymen Larouche and Icke for no discernible reason; all this with nary a supportive or interesting hyperlink to be seen. According to his bio, Whitehead "teaches English" in Manchester, and has a "special interest" in the works of Alfred Hitchcock. What a thinker!
Meanwhile, over on the right coast Coleman is busy examining the viral introduction of the Beatles into American culture in interesting terms related to the basic magickal properties of rock and roll: hypnotic repetition of sound forms and the resulting effects upon lyrical magicks; emphasis of potent imagery over substance; the emergence of frighteningly rapid & masterful control over the establishment media monopolies; the subsequent determination of linguistic means among the young in ways that are not easily explained in materialist terms; the chicken-egg relationship of massive media-noise related to contemporary cultural crises; extremely interesting ideas re: threshold levels in large populations related to intensive immersion in novelty over short periods of time, etc.
Of course, Coleman also: assumes common knowledge in the reader of the most arcane levels of his personal highly-developed konsp paradigms; refrains from citing sources when they are dearly needed; makes a big point of asking "where was the DEA" prior to the DEA being created in 1973; expends a great deal of words weakly maligning Ginsberg and mis-spelling his name; appears to be strangely fixated on estimating "dollar amounts" comparable to the "free" advertising given the hippies in their prime; compares the non-response of the corporate media to his personal "expose" of the Federal Reserve to media coverage of 1970 in 1970, etc.
During my undergraduate studies, Adorno was offered up to students as a straw-man with "easily" refutable arguments against cultural evolution and rock and roll righteousness. Aside from being a cruel reduction of a substantial thinker, is this any different from what Coleman does in casually smearing him as some sort of illuminatus super-villain puppeteering the very origins of rock and roll?
This is a lot to work with from one brief and less-than-stellar excerpt from a lesser light in the primary-source konsp circles. As stated above, I certainly appreciate what I absorb from the energy levels of such texts in addition to the substance, and the skeptics offer little of either: they are generally content to wallow in cheap mockery aimed at more adventurous frontal lobes. And they're rude about it, too.
Addenda relevant to Coleman's piece:
This is a much sloppier and more scattershot kitchen-sink piece on the Beatles, but I think it is relevant due to the focus on synchronicity, which I will return to in coming installments. Essentially I propose the same basic question: why is such a synchronistic paradigm not relevant to an examination of contemporary events? What is the danger of employing such an approach? Why does it terrify some and enrapture others?
This 'word to the wise' re: the technical anomalies of Phish's light show is one of the best things I've stumbled upon in a while. All I will add is that as a musician, I tend to attribute any profitable music that I don't like to "mind control".
Next week: Deeper along the same course, examining Coleman's fixations with the Tavistock Institute, Stanford University's research into electromagnetic mind control tactics, and more, I'm sure.
posted by elvis
Elvis's Konspiracy Korner 30 September 0006:
I strongly believe that there are nearly as many 'proper' diets as there are people (i.e. way too fucking many). I think that adopting an intensely conscious approach towards the food one eats is immensely beneficial in both materialist & magickal realms. Any specifics beyond that are righteously diverse and for the most part useless to argue over; there are exceptions.
I think that when you get into the realm of dietary practices that significantly disrupt other human beings' access to food & water, or disrupt the entire fucking ecosystem, there is reason to cry 'foul'.
A lot of the top shelf animal rights folks make a lot of good points, and the ALF offers many valuable lessons to any serious monkey-wrencher, but for the most part I think the animal rights movement misses the most significant angles due to their refusal to operate from a perspective of human chauvinism: essentially, it is ethically indefensible to devote massive amounts of water & grain to cattle rather than human beings. This is because human beings are in every possible sense superior to cows. This is not because cows belong anywhere other than the spot way off the evolutionary map that they would rightfully occupy if they hadn't been 'domesticated' into the "eternal Treblinka" that spits out admittedly good as well as awful food for fat people (this same spot on the map would also be reserved for the post-capitalist "pets" that pour forth glorious "unconditional love" upon millions of people that devote the majority of their waking lives to compromising all that is beautiful, just, and sustainable in this world, but I digress).
One step removed, the cattle-animal rights example fits neatly into the entire agrikorp system that dominates USA and is quickly expanding its horizons: it unfailingly acts to maximize profit over a sustainable diet (or existence) for human beings. I'm not pretending that this is news, just that it is a much more valid point to spend one's energy on relative to the horrors of human beings wearing fur, or quality leather goods that far outlast & out-"green" their petroleum based "vegan" alternatives, or successfully applying brilliant and well-designed scientific knowledge that involves sacrificing a few cute li'l rats and saving/improving many, many human lives.
The good news re: genetically modified organisms (GMO) in the food chain is that it is still relatively contained, at least on the market. The vast majority of GMO food available to the consumer is essentially soybean, corn, and canola oil. So if you avoid all the processed junk that is soaking in the above, and buy organic soy and corn, then you can avoid actually putting it in your belly.
The bad news is pretty awful.
Start with former TIH guest Jeffrey M. Smith. I cannot recommend his book Seeds of Deception highly enough. His website has a lot of free information, but it's well-designed to justly frustrate you into buying the book already. This bit sums it up pretty quickly. There is a lot more to the "controversy" over GMOs in the food chain than the abjectly propagandistic notion that the technology is simply "untested". Smith does an excellent job of explaining to the non-scientist what really happens when you forcefully insert foreign genes into a genetic sequence that has evolved over millions of years.
Smith also does a good job of covering the classic arch-villain Monsanto, but this recent piece by F. William Engdahl is the real konsp angle to dig into. It's the seeds, man. This is not a new beat; Monsanto has been exposed previously for its aim to essentially "patent" basic foodstuffs and then be able to use the US legal system to "protect" the GMO staples that are carried onto non-agrikorp farms by the winds.
But Engdahl digs in and spots a smooth PR move on Monsanto's part, essentially washing its hands of the development of highly valuable & highly evil "suicide seeds" that require the farmer to purchase them anew each season (rather than saving & re-using the seeds, as they have been wont to do since the dawn of agriculture), then waiting a few years and recently purchasing Delta & Pine Land (D&PL), which has been using federal dollars since 1983(!) to develop the exact same "Genetic Use Restriction Technologies" (GURT).
Engdahl also pulls up these gems along the way: D&PL's largest shareholder has an interesting history in Arkansas, including formative ties to Wal-Mart and Tyson (processed 'chicken' tycoon) and BCCI (a subject big enough by itself for another Korner), as well as the Rockefeller Foundation, and Bill Clinton and his Secretary of Agriculture stooge Mike Espy. Of course, they were also tied to the current president, bailing out Harken Energy in 1987.
This earlier article by Engdahl provides some even nastier perspective on how the neoliberal trade institutions are perfectly conducive to this privatization of basic human foodstuffs.
I have not been able to attribute this Henry Kissinger quote outside of fringey sources, but it's a new favorite: "Control the oil and you can control entire continents. Control food and you control people."
No cited sources, whatever!!
posted by elvis
For a little over a year, I've been doing a semi-regular "Konspiracy Korner" segment on Chuck Mertz's top notch radio show This Is Hell. They broadcast live from WNUR 89.3FM Evanston/Chicago every Saturday from 0900-1300CST and do streaming, podcasting, etc. at the site. I go on towards the end of the show, currently around 1240CST.
The show is severely pre-empted during college football season, because even the dummies running WNUR have their priorities in place. Due to the preemption, I'm doing a piece today, and will then be off until the end of November. During the break I'll be filling in some gaps on previous segments, which you can follow here and/or listen to me attempt to awkwardly straddle the line between 'nervous' and 'hungover' at the TIH archives.
Elvis's Konspiracy Korner 23 September 0006:
One of the things I was pleasantly surprised to see upon moving to San Francisco were the antique US streetcars from various cities that MUNI regularly uses for the routes. I was also surprised to see the "zero-emission" buses running on electricity, but both maintain the standard of approx. 50% 'pleasant' relative to personal automobile travel that you see everywhere in the current 'What, Me, Peak Oil?' status of this fake economy. Here is what really happens.
James Howard Kunstler gets a fair amount of shit slung at him, which is probably a testament to him doing his thing well without having much stomach for fitting things into paradigms that are disagreeable at best, and quite problematic at worst. One of his stronger recent pieces had a great bit in it pointing out that during the peak of the US smokestack-style pollution economic model, everyone was smoking cigarettes like crazy; now that we are at or near the peak of global oil production, and consequently the peak of the US personal-automobile 'dream', we see the NASCAR industry rise to a level of rather impressive economic-magickal mania (perhaps an 'SUV' fits in here as well).
Anyway, Kunstler is well on the record re: the horrific collective wrong turn the US took when it moved from a burgeoning national infrastructure based upon a public rail transit system to the current suburb/mid-suburb/far-suburb freeway mess that necessitates massive individual fuel consumption even as the oil supply begins to dwindle into a no-fun MAD MAX twilight.
This 'wrong turn' can be pegged many legitimate places, but one of the most interesting is what is commonly referred to as the "streetcar conspiracy", which oddly will turn up many references to it being a pretty familiar concept, but a relatively small amount of direct discussion. Essentially, US Senate Counsel Bradford Snell blew a big fucking hysterical whistle in front of the Senate in 1974 alleging that General Motors, in collusion with National City Lines, Standard Oil, and Firestone, conspired to gut the substantial rail-based public transit in large cities from Los Angeles to New York. This was achieved (roughly between the Wars, but stretching into the Eisenhower White House) via numerous brilliant mercenary maneuvers on all relevant fronts -- Fed-gangster, Korp-gangster, and gangster -- masterminded by GM godfather Alfred P. Sloan. The nuts and bolts are very briefly & nastily outlined in this article by Snell.
I saw a decent amount of unsubstantiated sniping at Snell, pegging him as a nut that was oblivious to the reality that "the suburbs made the automobile ascend and the rail system decay", which to me is a pretty no-brainer fake 'chicken & egg' with an easy answer. One piece that actually engages Snell is this piece by Guy Span that begins by essentially calling Snell out as a 'limited hangout' type but then proceeds to quibble with a couple small points and actually add quite a bit to the general case of a concerted conspiratorial effort spanning multiple industries and Federal & local government.
I suppose Span effectively casts doubt on any sole responsibility resting upon GM, but to me these are irrelevant questions relative to the probable & sensible collusion among automotive, oil, and associated state interests committed to diverting the eventual evolution of the US transportation infrastructure away from mass rail transit and towards the individual "easy motoring" madness we currently enjoy. It's not that an late-industrial economy based on oil isn't efficient or really fucking profitable - it's both; it's also apocalyptically unsustainable. And observe the effects when you interrupt one pay check, a quick gas-up at the station, or air conditioning in August, let alone the entire non-negotiable way of life 'enjoyed' by many armed and miserable Americans. I don't pretend to be either unbiased or sensible. See above motto & look elsewhere for that.
posted by elvis