Tag Archive for conspiracy theories

Alexandra Zapruder on NPR

Her comment made me wonder what she (and Robert Sigal) think her grandfather’s film shows:

In contrast to the findings of the Warren Report, there are many people who look at the film and believe that it shows evidence that the president was shot from the front.

Source: No Stranger To Conspiracy Theories, Alexandra Zapruder On How They Take Hold : NPR

Secret JFK records will test conspiratorial Trump 

Whatever the contested legitimacy of the Trump presidency, the White House needs to make a decision on JFK secrecy within the year.

Source: Secret JFK Records to Test Conspiratorial Trump | Alternet

 

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The 2016 election and the secret CIA memo targeting ‘conspiracy theorists’

Viewed dispassionately, “conspiracy theories” are controversial political messages about secret power. They purport to tell us how the world really works, as opposed to official accounts of government and experts. At a time when the credibility of federal government and news organizations is low, conspiracy theories flourish at the expense of public authority.

Credible or not, conspiracy theories have shaped the course of the 2016 presidential campaign. Conservative strategists Jerome Corsi and Roger Stone claim that Hillary Clinton has organized a conspiracy to conceal her own dire medical condition. Liberals Ezra Klein and Cass Sunstein warn that conspiracy theories distort our political discourse and endanger the political process. Who’s right?

 

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What Cass Sunstein and the New Yorker get wrong about conspiracy theories

Ezra Klein and Cass Sunstein have some sensible things to say about the disturbing prevalence and power of conspiracy theories  in this Vox video, especially about the toxic combination of conspiracy theories, ignorance, and extremism. So does the New Yorker. But these opinion-makers are wrong–or rather, underinformed–about the JFK story. Read more

RFK: CIA director said two people involved in JFK shooting

“I asked him [RFK], perhaps tactlessly, about Oswald. He said that there could be no serious doubt that he was guilty, but there was still argument whether he did it by himself or as part of a larger plot, whether organized by Castro or by gangsters. He said that the FBI thought he had done it by himself, but that McCone thought there were two people involved in the shooting.”

— Arthur Schlesinger writing about a conversation with Robert Kennedy on Dec. 5, 1963, quoted in Schlesinger’s Journals: 1952-2000, p. 214.

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JFK 2.0: introduction for novices

As for how to improve JFK Facts, a reader writes:

“My suggestion is create a page for novices to the assassination, with basic essays on the evidence. First time visitors would get a primer on the huge amount of evidence, and may be motivated to study further.”

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Trump’s lame conspiracy theories about practically everything

NPR:

Donald Trump’s ceaseless efforts to inject unsubstantiated plots into the American political debate.

 

‘Fear and loathing’ began in Dallas

Bill Kelly points out that Hunter S. Thompson coined his immortal phrase “fear and loathing” on the day of JFK’s assassination. In three words, the gonzo journalist had captured a mood that would never go away.

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Didn’t do It: George H.W. Bush

It is true that former president George H.W. Bush was in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. It is true that Bush became director of the CIA in 1976. And it is true that, as vice president in the 1980s,  Bush was up to his eyebrows in the nexus of criminal activities known as the Iran-contra scandal.

But,rest assured, G H.W. Bush did not supervise gunmen in Dealey Plaza as

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The view from the Triple Underpass

On November 22, 1963, railroad worker S.M. Holland was watching the presidential motorcade approach Dealey Plaza from a perch on top of a bridge known as The Triple Underpass.

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6 Washington insiders who suspected a JFK plot

Jackie Kennedy’s private thoughts about Dallas

Defenders of the semi-official theory of JFK’s assassination sometimes suggest that anyone who disagrees is deluded or dishonest. Dale Myers and Gus Russo have dubbed the benighted souls “the conspirati,” a term intended to convey disdain for those allegedly emotionally needy or intellectually incompetent people who doubt the claim that one man killed JFK for no reason.

The problem with this trope, alas, is the facts. There were plenty of astute observers of American power in 1963 who rejected the official theory of a “lone nut” and concluded President Kennedy had been killed by his enemies.

Here are six six U.S. government insiders in 1963 who suspected a JFK was killed by a conspiracy.

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Trump: ‘find out who really knocked down the Twin Towers’ 

Trump is making a campaign issue of the 28 pages of classified material about the Saudi Royal Family. This is potent stuff coming from a New Yorker, and he’s factually correct that something is being hidden.

you will find out who really knocked down the World Trade Center. Because they have papers in there that are very secret, you may find it’s the Saudis, okay? But you will find out.”

Source: » Alex Jones’ Infowars: 

JFK assassination in the American mind

A New York Times survey:

In his 1988 novel, Don DeLillo weaves together fact and literary invention to create a fictional biography of Oswald. The would-be assassin is not unlike many angry young men of literature: misunderstood, antisocial and emotionally isolated. He becomes a pawn in a plot by ex-C.I.A. operatives to provoke war with Cuba by trying to kill Kennedy.

Source: In Movies, Books and TV, a Rabbit Hole of Kennedy Conspiracies – The New York Times

Want to be marginalized? Talk about your ‘conspiracy theory’

My approach to the JFK assassination is that it was “an operation”.   When I’m feeling down to earth, I refer to myself as an “operations researcher.” When I’m making progress, I might upgrade to “investigator.”If I was looking for employment, I would go with “analyst.”
 David Talbot refers to people like us as “people’s historians”.  That’s good too.
When discussing the events of November 22, 1963, I ted to use terms like “Joint action”, “concerted action”, or “acted in concert.”  Don’t forget the simple word “plan.”
I don’t often use the word “conspiracy.” I think that when talking about the JFK case or similar events, the c-word is counterproductive and marginalizing.  Why describe those of us that challenge the lone gunman story as “conspiracy theorists”?  Or, in reductive bumper sticker terms: CTs?

Those who study the case are “historians”, “researchers” or “students”.  All perfectly good words, unlike “CT,” “LN,” or  “theorist,”  Theory of what?

‘JFK buff’ is an insult

The term “buff” is — how do i say this politely? –repellent.  A buff is a hobbyist.   What we’re doing has great value, but it would be a pretty sick hobby.    Remember how John Kerry did some good work on the contra-cocaine story?  Newsweek labeled him a “randy conspiracy buff”, invoking the trifecta of nudity, sex, and high adventure.  No thanks.

I refer to myself as an “operations researcher.” When I’m making progress, I might upgrade to “investigator.”I

“Lone nut” is also in poor taste, often used in the context of the “LN crowd”.  The terms “Lone wolf” or “single gunman” are respectful ways to refer to one’s adversaries in a case like this.

The people fighting AIDS had to deal with “victim”, “sick”, and similar metaphors.  Those in danger of infection were not “shooters” or “junkies” but “injection drug users”, or IDUs.  The challengers of the anti-immigrant forces have spent many years using the phrase “undocumented worker” rather than “illegal alien”.  Words matter.
The romance of conspiracy

I believe that many of us use the phrase “conspiracy theorist” because it seems practical, romantic, or titillating.

The last two reasons are bad ones.   Real bad.  Two of the many reasons the word has been marginalized.

Those who study the case are “historians”, “researchers” or “students”.  All perfectly good words, unlike “theorist”.  Theory of what?

If we want to not be seen by anyone as “on the margins”, there is a simple fix.  Admit that the phrase has been abused by our adversaries and the mass media.  It is now used as a red flag.  The design is to put the target in a box.  It can no longer be used by us in a practical sense.

I think the romantic and titillating aspects of the word “conspiracy” are enticing.  “They killed the President!  We have to call it what it is – conspiracy!”  It’s fun to be wrapped up in a world of high adventure, fighting the forces of Mordor with the energies of truth and light.

I understand it — I like romantic stuff and have a rebel nature.  But, I have to admit, it makes me blue.  We’re in the midst of an important conflict about how history will be written.  We need to share good stories, not needless drama.  I’d rather win.

‘Suspicious Minds,’ (why we believe conspiracy theories)

David writes:

“I HIGHLY recommend this very accessible, insightful, and well researched book: Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories: Rob Brotherton.