Welcome, Fortean Times readers! (and welcome back readers who predate my brief claim to fame, ala having written an article for the February 2105 issue of FT). If you liked that article you might like to buy (or suggest your library buy) my book, The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories. You might also be interested in the podcast I co-host, The Podcaster’s Guide to the Conspiracy
Meanwhile, in conspiracy news…
In local news the big question of the week is “When did the PM find out about the Mike Sabin allegations?” This question follows on from other such questions like “When did the PM find out that a dirty politics operation was being run from his office?” and “When did the PM find out that the person he appointed run the GCSB was a close, childhood friend?” When the PM doesn’t know things you think the PM ought to know, it’s fair to ask whether the denials are actually the product of a conspiracy to deceive.
Sticking with politics and deceitful Prime Ministers, the ongoing investigation into pedophilia in the UK just keeps getting worse. Margaret Thatcher, beloved on the Right, might well have had a part in trying to keep secret the allegations against Peter Morrison and Peter Hayman. Unlike the John Key situation, where it seems at least possible that the Government is just incompetent, these cases seem to show that there existed an active conspiracy to hide abhorrent behaviour on the part of people who supported or were in the government of the day.
Moving on, or rather backwards, when it comes to 9/11 conspiracy theories, the notion that someone in the US Establishment had prior knowledge of the attacks or helped foment them is a common thread to some 9/11 Truth/Inside Job hypotheses. When Bush was in power everyone pointed towards the New American Century document; now that Obama is the President of the United States people are looking at his appointees and working out whether they had something to do with the September 11th attacks. Ashton Carter, Secretary of Defense nominee, is the latest person to be vetted. Why? Well, because, like many people in the establishment, Carter has written on American foreign policy and imagined just how a terrorist attack might change or motivate that policy. It’s claims like this which, for certain elements of the Truther community, signals that people like Ashton Carter were in on 9/11. This particular article, however, gets bonus points for its probability estimates that Al-Qaeda hijackers could really have been able to pull of 9/11. As they say, “ONE IN A QUINTILLION”.
“I think privacy is actually overvalued!” says Court of Appeals judge in the US. Well, Judge Richard Posner, the Government of the United States would tend to agree with you. Seriously, though, there is a debate going on in the US at the moment about the NSA’s data collection policies and opposite attempts by people and corporations to keep their privacy, and it seems that the old policy of “Deny that its happening” (the “It turned out to be warranted!” conspiracy theory about America spying on everyone) is going to turn into “Business as usual!”
Week before last Josh and I talked about the conspiracy theories of Naomi Wolf (Season Two, Episode Two). Here’s the motivation for that podcast, her article on the FBI crackdown on the Occupy Movement. And her article suggesting the ISIS beheading videos were faked. And her claim that Edward Snowden might be a plant, because he’s too smooth a talker. Which nicely leads into this New Statesmen article that suggests Naomi Wolf has always been a conspiracy theorist, one who happened to get it right with respect to The Beauty Myth.
Here’s a tale of two competing conspiracy theories. According to local conspiracy theorist celebrity, Trevor Loudon (who mostly writes about how Marxists control America), John McCain is working behind the scenes to remove Tea Partiers from crucial positions in the GOP, particularly in Arizona. This wouldn’t surprise me at all, given how toxic the Tea Party seems to be in relationship to the more moderate Republicans. Still, if true, it probably does count as a conspiracy against the Tea Party.
Meanwhile, rumours abound that the Koch Brothers, who previously helped fund presidential hopeful Mitt Romney not only asked Romney not to run for president again but are deliberately thinning out the potential pool of candidates so they don’t get another string of problematic failures, like Romney and Palin, in 2016. This rumour all started after Romney didn’t get an invite to a Koch Brothers donor retreat. The Koch Brothers plan to spend 900 million dollars promoting candidates for the 2016 election. Which is to say:
However, if they chose to do so, the Koch brothers have enough wealth to buy the total advertising time of every television and radio station in America—meaning they could exercise their right to “free speech” by silencing every other voice in the country. [WSWS]
Now, some political scientists will happily claim that there’s precious little evidence that money actually buys elections. Still, 900 million…