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Over the last few days I’ve made some major enhancements to the processing code of the Emailing Module, which now transforms a webpage into fully-emailable HTML several times faster than had previously been the case. Also, our server hosting company has increased our daily limit of outgoing Emails to 10,000 from the 1,000 default, so everyone should be able to use the new emailing feature to their heart’s content. Just as before, the Email button is located near the top of every page and article.

I’ve also made some major enhancements to the internal caching system used by the website, so visitors may notice that the response time is much snappier than before and the website can also bear much greater traffic loads before performance becomes noticeably degraded. These were merely the first set of such caching additions, and they do not even apply to the Mobile version, so as I implement the remainder in the next day or two, visitors may expect further improvements.

Major changes in the code, especially with regard to caching, always risk breaking things, so please notify me in the comments below if you suddenly notice any problems with the system.

 

Next, an entirely different matter. My overwhelming preoccupation with software issues for most of this last year has prevented me from participating in almost any of the ongoing policy debates or doing any significant writing of my own; but with software matters now much better in hand, that may soon change.

A recent topic of heated discussion was the matter of “conspiracy theories” and whether they should be given any consideration by the sober-minded. During nearly my entire life, I paid absolutely no attention to so-called “conspiracy theories,” vaguely assuming that almost all were total nonsense given the treatment they so uniformly received in our elite media. However, I have gradually grown far more cautious in believing those media sources in recent years and consequently am far more willing to consider other possibilities, however outlandish they might seem at first glance.

A crucial turning point in my personal evolution came with my happenstance discovery of Sydney Schanberg’s astonishing expose of the Vietnam POW/MIA issue, and the evidence he uncovered that all the “crazy theories” of Ross Perot and other members of the political fringe were almost certainly true: hundreds of American POWs had indeed been “left behind” in Vietnam with the full knowledge of top American government officials, and afterward the shameful official cover-up of that horrifying betrayal went on for decades.

Schanberg, a Pulitzer Prize winner and former top editor at The New York Times, is often ranked as the greatest American war correspondent of the second half of the twentieth century, and his writings formed the basis for the Oscar-winning film The Killing Fields, regarded as one of the most important cinematic treatments of America’s Indochina involvement. He spent years gathering a mountain of hard evidence both on the betrayal itself and also on the later cover-up, a cover-up in which supposed ultra-patriot Sen. John McCain played the leading role. Schanberg’s conclusions were fully endorsed by two former Republican members of Congress with an Intelligence background, and other top journalists, including additional Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporters have praised the quality of his research. If true, this incident would surely stand as perhaps the single most shameful episode in America’s entire military history, and probably be regarded by the American public as “the story of the Century.” Yet not a single mainstream journalist or media outlet has ever been willing to touch this explosive material. The deafening silence of Our American Pravda continues to reverberate to the this very day.

Recently a dozen years of lies and gross exaggerations by top NBC anchor Brian Williams finally caught up with him, and his career as one of America’s most trusted media figures now lies in ruins. Similar charges, perhaps founded, perhaps not, are now circling around FoxNews star Bill O’Reilly. And previous hints and rumors regarding the sexual misbehavior of Bill Cosby—”America’s Dad”—suddenly exploded into the headlines, with dozens of women coming forward to accuse him of decades of regular rape. Massive cover-ups and stonewalling appears more difficult in our current Age of Twitter.

Therefore, with Sen. John McCain now once again so frequently in the headlines and on television, using his reputation as a super-patriot to demand a military confrontation with Russia. I have exercised my editorial privilege and republished my short article from five years ago, summarizing the work of Sydney Schanberg and providing my own analysis of the likely historical facts. The piece served as one of the major prequels to my later American Pravda series and my considered judgment is that there is at least a 95% chance that the astonishing story is absolutely true.

Furthermore, the implications are devastating for any faith we may retain in our mainstream sources of information. If all American media outlets continue to avert their eyes from such a remarkable story, one involving so many bold-face names and public figures, they cannot be trusted to challenge the powerful or influential on any other matter. Unless and until the American media suitably investigates Schanberg’s facts, I will refuse to believe a single word our journalists write about anything else.

 
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  1. Kiza says:

    On the topic of “conspiracy theories” here is a write up not to miss.
    “The CIA Coined the Term Conspiracy Theorist In 1967
    Specifically, in April 1967, the CIA wrote a dispatch which coined the term “conspiracy theories” … and recommended methods for discrediting such theories. The dispatch was marked “psych” – short for “psychological operations” or disinformation – and “CS” for the CIA’s “Clandestine Services” unit.”
    The entry contains a copy of the disptach.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-23/1967-he-cia-created-phrase-conspiracy-theorists-and-ways-attack-anyone-who-challenge

    The fact that CIA may have been involved in coining of the term “conspiracy theory” as a disinformation tool exceeds the darkest conspiracy theories.

    Read More
    • Replies: @affenkopf
    The fact that CIA may have been involved in coining of the term “conspiracy theory” as a disinformation tool exceeds the darkest conspiracy theories.

    The only problem is that this is absolutely not true and -dare I say it? - just a conspiracy theory. The term is much older than 1967:

    http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/show/nope_it_was_always_already_wrong

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  2. Welcome to the Brotherhood of the Open-minded, Senor Unz! Your “Damascus moment” was the MIA issue in Vietnam; mine was the JFK assassination and the astonishing (yes, astonishing) anomalies and contradictions contained therein.

    Well, I became curious and kept searching. Read Dr. Steven E. Jones’ and Dr. Niels Harrits’ papers on the 9/11 “terrorist attacks”, start to connect the dots in your head, then read a little about the Pentagon “airplane” hit and you, too, shall have that “Eureka!’ experience, its pleasures/pains accessible to so few.

    Go back in history to the “Popish Plot” and thou shalt see, yea, verily, that governments have been weaving very tangled webs for centuries. It’s sad, yes/no? It’s also called “reality”.

    Read More
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  3. Welcome to the Inner Circle of the non-Fools.

    Check out many government operations (the “Popish Plot” of Guy Fawkes fame is a good place to begin), continue through the explosion of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor, take a look at Pearl Harbor and the scapegoating of Admiral Kimmel, watch JFK’s body being illegally removed from Parkland Hospital in Dallas on 11/22/1963 and the “pristine bullet” being “found” on a stretcher by the Secret Service, and things will become crystal clear.

    “Rode a tank, held a general’s rank, when the Blitzkrieg raged and the bodies stank…” Indeed.

    Read More
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  4. affenkopf says:
    @Kiza
    On the topic of "conspiracy theories" here is a write up not to miss.
    "The CIA Coined the Term Conspiracy Theorist In 1967
    Specifically, in April 1967, the CIA wrote a dispatch which coined the term “conspiracy theories” … and recommended methods for discrediting such theories. The dispatch was marked “psych” – short for “psychological operations” or disinformation – and “CS” for the CIA’s “Clandestine Services” unit."
    The entry contains a copy of the disptach.
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-23/1967-he-cia-created-phrase-conspiracy-theorists-and-ways-attack-anyone-who-challenge

    The fact that CIA may have been involved in coining of the term "conspiracy theory" as a disinformation tool exceeds the darkest conspiracy theories.

    The fact that CIA may have been involved in coining of the term “conspiracy theory” as a disinformation tool exceeds the darkest conspiracy theories.

    The only problem is that this is absolutely not true and -dare I say it? – just a conspiracy theory. The term is much older than 1967:

    http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/show/nope_it_was_always_already_wrong

    Read More
    • Replies: @Donald
    Thanks for that!
    , @Kiza
    Is your issue with who invented the term, or who made it into a propaganda tool? I read the article you quote and it is "-dare I say it? – just a conspiracy theory".

    The problem in establishing the frequency of use of the term "conspiracy theory" is that it appears to have been used in the highly functional way together with the Internet (as an alternative medium which the Government have not been able to control yet as it controls the "free media"). Then if we Google for it, there will not be much mention before 1967.

    Yet, thee is no doubt that the term is now used by the MSM in a highly functional way to discredit any non-officially-approved explanation, regardless whether the CIA was or was not involved in creating it. Probably the best example I have personally experienced is what the MSM have done after the downing of MH17:
    1) they have used exclusively the images, videos and similar "proof" from Youtube, Facebook and Twitter (including the famous "boasting of rebels that they shot it down"), never-ever any official material from the US Government, yet
    2) when the Internet population reacted and started creating alternative explanations and analysis, the MSM turned around and now called all this unreliable conspiracy theories coming from the Internet.

    Therefore, when you totally control the discourse in MSM, you can afford to both have your cake and eat it.

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  5. Edward says:

    THANKS FOR THE GREAT WEBSITE, MR UNZ; YOU ARE DOING GOD’S WORK.
    A FEW SUGGESTIONS.

    I want to take this opportunity to thank you for this wonderful website where we can get more honest information and discussion of serious issues from some of the greatest Americans, like Mr. Buchanan, Paul Craig Roberts, Ron Paul, Judge Napalitano, etc.

    I am sick and disgusted of the lies of the MSM and their constant one-sided left-wing propaganda that I wish to avoid them totally.

    Having said that, I would make 2 suggestions:

    1. In your email box, please do not put the words “or fictitious” email as the label of your email box. I believe that as a website owner you are protected and only the commentators are liable for their comments if you collect their email addresses, but you may lose that protection if you do not make a good faith attempt to get their true email address. Many people may not themselves give a real email address, but that is their choice.

    2. One reason people end up on yahoo and google news pages and get abused with the lies of the left-wing rags is because they are checking email or want to see the mundane news (such as train and plane crashes, or other news events) or weather. A conservative website which gives you the mundane news of the day without left-wing propaganda and without links to left-wing rags like Salon, Puffington Post, etc. and where you can have an email account is what conservatives need.

    Once I get that, I would never need to go to yahoo and google news again.

    P.S. About your conspiracy theories, remember George Bernard Shaw: “All professions are conspiracies against the laity.” And the 2 biggest professions in that regard are the govt. and the media.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seneca
    I definitely agree with your point. I too would not go back to using Yahoo or MSM if there was a site which offered email and some general news without left wing cultural propaganda. You make a very good point about what conservatives need (especially paleoconservatives).
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  6. Donald says:
    @affenkopf
    The fact that CIA may have been involved in coining of the term “conspiracy theory” as a disinformation tool exceeds the darkest conspiracy theories.

    The only problem is that this is absolutely not true and -dare I say it? - just a conspiracy theory. The term is much older than 1967:

    http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/show/nope_it_was_always_already_wrong

    Thanks for that!

    Read More
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  7. Old fogey says:

    My “eureka” moment came with the blatant insanity of the “Sandy Hook event” as a news story. The more “evidence” they published, up-to and including the final police dump of photos and interviews, the less likely it seemed that anyone was killed on that day.

    That led me to re-think 9/11 and to doubt everything we’ve been told about the Boston Marathon event. I found Judy Wood’s “Where did the Towers go?” well worth reading. That book contains valuable photographs and charts, and asks interesting questions such as why every building with the initials “WTC” in its name (there were six) was destroyed while adjoining buildings were spared, and how the Towers could come down without affecting the “bathtub” underneath them which protects downtown Manhattan from flooding.

    Anything labeled “conspiracy theory” must be given extra careful review. That’s the state of the world in which we live nowadays.

    Read More
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  8. I think Justin DiRaimondo of antiwar.com was like Ron Unz. I think he does not believe much in “conspiracy theories”. I am not educated but I have been reading a lot for the past 30 years because I am trying to make sense out of an America where the ultraliberals seem to usually get their way in what laws are passed.
    I read as much as I can because what the USA has done over the past 13 years makes little sense to me.
    In the 1960s I read None Dare Call It Treason. “Conspiracy theories ” are not new. I certainly do not approach conspiracy theories as fantasies. It is clear that the mainstream media has been leftist-socialist oriented for a very long time. I am 64 and remember the hate shown on a daily basis in the 60s against anyone in the American military (I was in the Marines-the media really hated us).
    The major media has always attacked the traditional family system and heritage of all except Jewish people. The mainstream media is very savage in its daily verbal attacks against anyone who is against same sex marriage , abortion (murdering of defenseless human beings), gun control, and against anyone who says anything that is not in support of Israel.
    The lefty ultraliberals make smokers appear as more dangerous than warmongers.
    We live in an age where the mainstream media lies on a daily basis and we live in a world of inversions created by these ultraliberals and socialists. (Those familiar with cults and the satanic know especially well what inversions are). I certainly do not trust these neocons who are not real conservatives and have nothing to do with us “populists”.

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  9. Kiza says:
    @affenkopf
    The fact that CIA may have been involved in coining of the term “conspiracy theory” as a disinformation tool exceeds the darkest conspiracy theories.

    The only problem is that this is absolutely not true and -dare I say it? - just a conspiracy theory. The term is much older than 1967:

    http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/show/nope_it_was_always_already_wrong

    Is your issue with who invented the term, or who made it into a propaganda tool? I read the article you quote and it is “-dare I say it? – just a conspiracy theory”.

    The problem in establishing the frequency of use of the term “conspiracy theory” is that it appears to have been used in the highly functional way together with the Internet (as an alternative medium which the Government have not been able to control yet as it controls the “free media”). Then if we Google for it, there will not be much mention before 1967.

    Yet, thee is no doubt that the term is now used by the MSM in a highly functional way to discredit any non-officially-approved explanation, regardless whether the CIA was or was not involved in creating it. Probably the best example I have personally experienced is what the MSM have done after the downing of MH17:
    1) they have used exclusively the images, videos and similar “proof” from Youtube, Facebook and Twitter (including the famous “boasting of rebels that they shot it down”), never-ever any official material from the US Government, yet
    2) when the Internet population reacted and started creating alternative explanations and analysis, the MSM turned around and now called all this unreliable conspiracy theories coming from the Internet.

    Therefore, when you totally control the discourse in MSM, you can afford to both have your cake and eat it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kiza
    I have written before that 99.9% of what MSM write or show are lies. This is not correct. What I meant to write is that 99.9% of the MSM material has a (more or less hidden) agenda which has nothing to do with an aim to be truthful. The problem with calling something a lie is that you then need to be sure what is true. But only fools believe in absolute truths. Therefore, the problem with MSM is not that they lie, the problem is that the MSM almost always push something - either to sell or to manipulate your way of thinking. I did work with a top echelon of US TV executives during one short period of my life. The most interesting experience was how they viewed their viewers - purely as pairs of eyes with money to spend in hands, that is as a statistical numbers of eyes of a certain disposable income. Whether the media are used for selling of goods and services or selling of ideas, made no difference. "News" are just another sales channel of a certain demographic makeup (younger demo does not consume much "news"). One could extend the concept of "pairs-of-eyes with money to spend" to "pairs-of-eyes with votes to cast".

    MSM is about gaining power (spending power and political power), nothing more, nothing less. It is an almost direct channel into your brain and the owners are using it, not to inform you then to use you, be absolutely sure of that. The owners are the same 0.01%-elite which owns the Government. "Conspiracy theory" is just one terminological tool, you are welcome to call my description above the same.

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  10. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Don’t forget the Gulf of Tonkin ‘incident’: the holder of the highest office in the land, the president, looked the American public square in the eye and flat-out lied. As a result millions were killed, wounded or turned into refugees and divisions here at home were opened which continue to this day. Voices questioning the official story were drowned out and people were accused of being unpatriotic or dupes of the communists. From the USS Maine on down to today the government has lied to and manipulated the public and the mainstream media have been cheerleaders all along, with just a few mostly ignored exceptions. The question is what are they lying about today?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Major Problem
    I really hadn't paid much attention to the Tonkin Gulf incident until I was doing research to help improve Navy and Marine Level C Code of Conduct training and came across an extensive interview with Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale, perhaps the most famous PoW of the North Vietnamese, at George Washington University's National Security Archive.
    In this interview, Stockdale, who participated in the incident, makes it clear that there was no attack by the North Vietnamese. The best light that can be put on the incident was that it was a fustercluck that people who should have had more common sense took seriously. Certainly it was nothing that should have led us into a terrible, terrible war. Conspiracy? I don't know, but it was definitely used as an excuse to attack North Vietnam by people who seem to have had an agenda. And a lot of people who pushed the attack-on-us angle to the public had to know it was bogus.
    Here's the link to the interview:
    http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/coldwar/interviews/episode-11/stockdale1.html
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  11. Kiza says:
    @Kiza
    Is your issue with who invented the term, or who made it into a propaganda tool? I read the article you quote and it is "-dare I say it? – just a conspiracy theory".

    The problem in establishing the frequency of use of the term "conspiracy theory" is that it appears to have been used in the highly functional way together with the Internet (as an alternative medium which the Government have not been able to control yet as it controls the "free media"). Then if we Google for it, there will not be much mention before 1967.

    Yet, thee is no doubt that the term is now used by the MSM in a highly functional way to discredit any non-officially-approved explanation, regardless whether the CIA was or was not involved in creating it. Probably the best example I have personally experienced is what the MSM have done after the downing of MH17:
    1) they have used exclusively the images, videos and similar "proof" from Youtube, Facebook and Twitter (including the famous "boasting of rebels that they shot it down"), never-ever any official material from the US Government, yet
    2) when the Internet population reacted and started creating alternative explanations and analysis, the MSM turned around and now called all this unreliable conspiracy theories coming from the Internet.

    Therefore, when you totally control the discourse in MSM, you can afford to both have your cake and eat it.

    I have written before that 99.9% of what MSM write or show are lies. This is not correct. What I meant to write is that 99.9% of the MSM material has a (more or less hidden) agenda which has nothing to do with an aim to be truthful. The problem with calling something a lie is that you then need to be sure what is true. But only fools believe in absolute truths. Therefore, the problem with MSM is not that they lie, the problem is that the MSM almost always push something – either to sell or to manipulate your way of thinking. I did work with a top echelon of US TV executives during one short period of my life. The most interesting experience was how they viewed their viewers – purely as pairs of eyes with money to spend in hands, that is as a statistical numbers of eyes of a certain disposable income. Whether the media are used for selling of goods and services or selling of ideas, made no difference. “News” are just another sales channel of a certain demographic makeup (younger demo does not consume much “news”). One could extend the concept of “pairs-of-eyes with money to spend” to “pairs-of-eyes with votes to cast”.

    MSM is about gaining power (spending power and political power), nothing more, nothing less. It is an almost direct channel into your brain and the owners are using it, not to inform you then to use you, be absolutely sure of that. The owners are the same 0.01%-elite which owns the Government. “Conspiracy theory” is just one terminological tool, you are welcome to call my description above the same.

    Read More
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  12. ic1000 says:

    Mr. Unz,

    The Preview feature hasn’t worked consistently for the last day or so. For instance, on pressing “Preview Comment” just now, I got:

    AMac says:
    Current Date at Time Now

    An earlier, minor bug: blockquote doesn’t handle follow-on paragraphs consistently, be they separated by Returns or by Linefeeds:

    This first blockquoted paragraph will be reliably indented.

    This second blockquoted paragraph might/might not also be indented.

    Overall, the commenting experience at the site is first-rate.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    I've fixed the Comment Preview bug, but I can't seem to replicate the Comment Blockquote problem. Can you point me to an example?
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  13. mindful says:

    For sure, there are real conspiracies and a website like this makes a valuable contribution in presenting less than mainstream points of view.

    But that doesn’t let any writer off the hook for making a cogent argument in clear and concise English.

    I think a lot of Americans are beginning to wonder about the beneficial nature of the capitalism as practiced currently by Wall Street, and its collusion with DC politicians.

    Cronyism, yes. Corruption, yes. Anglo-Zionist nonsense, no thank you.

    Read More
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  14. Ah conspiracy theories.

    It doesn’t bother me if you allow writers of goofy conspiracy theories to publish here. It can be fun to demolish them. However from your standpoint of continuing to raise the bar of thought provoking journalism here at Unz review I would suggest you not publish them.

    However, it isn’t that simple. One man’s retarded conspiracy theory is another man’s important censored story that more people need to know about. I suggested a rule of thumb earlier in identifying conspiracy theories and I think it is worth repeating. Never blame on a conspiracy what could just as easily be attributed to stupidity. Occam’s razor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor cuts right through this problem nine times out of ten.

    1) If a conspiracy theory requires large groups of people to be keeping secrets, it’s bullshit. That simply doesn’t happen and most conspiracy theories require it to happen.

    2)If a conspiracy theory feeds a public perception without any need for evidence, it’s bullshit.

    However it is a complicated world out there and some stories may or may not be conspiracy theories. In these cases all that can be done is to scrub them as clean as possible of ideology and make the writer edit the article to bluntly admit what is uncertain. Personally I just skip past all the blatant political ideologues and head to the data filled science based articles that are sometimes posted here, but that’s just me.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    Your general points are certainly well taken. But let's try to apply them to a particular example, say the POW/MIA issue I just discussed.

    Offhand, it seems to me that "large groups of people" had to be "keeping secrets" for it to have remained hidden, and a good number of those people were journalists or government officials. So shouldn't it be dismissed by your criteria? Or perhaps I'm somehow misunderstanding your argument.
    , @Oscar Peterson
    Oh no--not Occam's Razor again--one of the biggest cliches in use today.

    "Never blame on a conspiracy what could just as easily be attributed to stupidity."

    Why not? (And why would the two necessarily be distinct options--what about Watergate where both were clearly in play?)

    Define "large groups of people."

    "If a conspiracy theory feeds a public perception without any need for evidence, it’s bullshit."

    What does that mean? Any theory unsupported by evidence is inherently less plausible than one that is so supported--conspiratorial or otherwise. But of course, part of the nature of conspiratorial behavior is to use secrecy to provide deniability.

    Conspiracy is perfectly normal human behavior. One should not be biased either for or against the role of conspiracy in explaining phenomena connected to human competition and competitiveness.

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  15. Ron Unz says:
    @ic1000
    Mr. Unz,

    The Preview feature hasn't worked consistently for the last day or so. For instance, on pressing "Preview Comment" just now, I got:

    AMac says:
    Current Date at Time Now
     
    An earlier, minor bug: blockquote doesn't handle follow-on paragraphs consistently, be they separated by Returns or by Linefeeds:

    This first blockquoted paragraph will be reliably indented.

    This second blockquoted paragraph might/might not also be indented.
     
    Overall, the commenting experience at the site is first-rate.

    I’ve fixed the Comment Preview bug, but I can’t seem to replicate the Comment Blockquote problem. Can you point me to an example?

    Read More
    • Replies: @ic1000
    Blockquotes gone awry example in Comment #883954. Funnily, once submitted, it wavered back-and-forth between having only the first paragraph blockquoted, and having all three paragraphs blockquoted, finally setting in on the former. (By "wavering", I mean "sometimes changing upon refresh.").

    The comment's text follows.

    - - - - -

    Fantastic article, Steve. NYT, the gift that keeps on giving.

    Regarding cub reporter Farhad Manjoo {i}not getting his own jokes{/i}, my favorite lines are:{blockquote}Now, after years of ignoring the issue, and some serious prodding by the likes of Rev. Jesse L. Jackson...

    [Wadhwa is] a fixture on the lecture circuit and in the media... [Wadhwa blamed his use of the phrase "token floozies"] on his poor English... [He] frequently deflected criticism of his language by saying that he was an immigrant who did not understand web slang.

    Critics also argued that Mr. Wadhwa’s message to women — that they should become more confident to survive in the tough world of tech — was outdated and could backfire on the women who followed it.{/blockquote}Keep up the good work, Farhad!
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  16. Ron Unz says:
    @dave chamberlin
    Ah conspiracy theories.

    It doesn't bother me if you allow writers of goofy conspiracy theories to publish here. It can be fun to demolish them. However from your standpoint of continuing to raise the bar of thought provoking journalism here at Unz review I would suggest you not publish them.

    However, it isn't that simple. One man's retarded conspiracy theory is another man's important censored story that more people need to know about. I suggested a rule of thumb earlier in identifying conspiracy theories and I think it is worth repeating. Never blame on a conspiracy what could just as easily be attributed to stupidity. Occam's razor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor cuts right through this problem nine times out of ten.

    1) If a conspiracy theory requires large groups of people to be keeping secrets, it's bullshit. That simply doesn't happen and most conspiracy theories require it to happen.

    2)If a conspiracy theory feeds a public perception without any need for evidence, it's bullshit.

    However it is a complicated world out there and some stories may or may not be conspiracy theories. In these cases all that can be done is to scrub them as clean as possible of ideology and make the writer edit the article to bluntly admit what is uncertain. Personally I just skip past all the blatant political ideologues and head to the data filled science based articles that are sometimes posted here, but that's just me.

    Your general points are certainly well taken. But let’s try to apply them to a particular example, say the POW/MIA issue I just discussed.

    Offhand, it seems to me that “large groups of people” had to be “keeping secrets” for it to have remained hidden, and a good number of those people were journalists or government officials. So shouldn’t it be dismissed by your criteria? Or perhaps I’m somehow misunderstanding your argument.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kiza
    Yes, dave chamberlin's general points are valid, but not the specific ones:
    "1) If a conspiracy theory requires large groups of people to be keeping secrets, it’s bullshit. That simply doesn’t happen and most conspiracy theories require it to happen.
    2)If a conspiracy theory feeds a public perception without any need for evidence, it’s bullshit."
    These two are horribly superficial and just show how little he understands the nature of all political regimes. These are two big points from a self-confident young fellow who believes in knowing some absolute "evidence/truths" he obtains from MSM (very funny).

    In general, everyone has the right to have own criteria for deciding what is an unrealistic explanation and what is the most likely explanation, as long as one can resist accepting the authorities' version without questioning. Personally, I will shy-away from using the term "conspiracy theory", because it is heavily loaded with authoritarian disparagement and because of its suspicious origins. But I would like to propose a nice counter-term "the authoritarian theory" for all explanations that MSM promulgate with dave's "evidence" whilst calling all alternatives "the conspiracy theory".

    Therefore, it is the authoritarian theory coming from MSM versus the most likely (alternative) explanation, which can be any personal favorite. Conspiracy theories do not exist, except in the minds of authority and obedient subjects.

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  17. MLK says:

    No one rational disputes the existence of conspiracies. Whatever the propounded theory, 9-11 indisputably was one. All Conspiracy Theories are exercises in Reductionism, is any explanation of events.

    Needless to say, that is a catch-all. Given the common, pejorative understanding of charging someone as a “Conspiracy Theorist,” without regard, often in spite of, what they are asserting, and the evidence they present, inquiring minds should ask how and why this means of dismissal became convention in the US? What purpose is served by labeling someone a “Conspiracy Theorist,” i.e. a Nut? What function is served generally?

    The place to begin is by accepting that if tin-foil hat conspiracy theories didn’t organically crop up from true believers, they would be and are promoted for the function they serve. The functionality is specific — e.g. the USG is secretly building and testing aircraft, and needs a catch-all dismissal of reports of nighttime sitings.

    More dispiritingly, the enduring, as in non-case specific, function is a general conditioning of the citizenry into incuriousness. A cultivated disposition, powered by self-protectiveness, to accept official explanations.

    I have read your terrific article on Schanburg’s allegations. I would quarrel with your characterization of them as “outlandish . . . at first glance.” It is a story of actions and an official cover-up, motivated by sovereign and selfish interest. Indeed, in the face of well-reasoned and substantiated allegations such as Schaumburg’s herein, to say nothing of his well-earned credibility, “outlandish” is the proper label to those who retort “McCain is a patriot who would never do any such thing.”

    Read More
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  18. Kiza says:
    @Ron Unz
    Your general points are certainly well taken. But let's try to apply them to a particular example, say the POW/MIA issue I just discussed.

    Offhand, it seems to me that "large groups of people" had to be "keeping secrets" for it to have remained hidden, and a good number of those people were journalists or government officials. So shouldn't it be dismissed by your criteria? Or perhaps I'm somehow misunderstanding your argument.

    Yes, dave chamberlin’s general points are valid, but not the specific ones:
    “1) If a conspiracy theory requires large groups of people to be keeping secrets, it’s bullshit. That simply doesn’t happen and most conspiracy theories require it to happen.
    2)If a conspiracy theory feeds a public perception without any need for evidence, it’s bullshit.”
    These two are horribly superficial and just show how little he understands the nature of all political regimes. These are two big points from a self-confident young fellow who believes in knowing some absolute “evidence/truths” he obtains from MSM (very funny).

    In general, everyone has the right to have own criteria for deciding what is an unrealistic explanation and what is the most likely explanation, as long as one can resist accepting the authorities’ version without questioning. Personally, I will shy-away from using the term “conspiracy theory”, because it is heavily loaded with authoritarian disparagement and because of its suspicious origins. But I would like to propose a nice counter-term “the authoritarian theory” for all explanations that MSM promulgate with dave’s “evidence” whilst calling all alternatives “the conspiracy theory”.

    Therefore, it is the authoritarian theory coming from MSM versus the most likely (alternative) explanation, which can be any personal favorite. Conspiracy theories do not exist, except in the minds of authority and obedient subjects.

    Read More
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  19. Ba'thist says:

    If the 1980 October Surprise and its offspring, which Abbie Hoffman called Iranscam – the Iran part of Iran-Contra intrigue – had been fully examined and exposed by the intrepid American press and dealt with through the incorruptible US political and legal systems, then the whole chain of disasters that befell Iraq afterward and have now spread to Syria and through the Arab world, to Europe, to America even, would have stopped long ago.

    Go to Robert Parry’s October Surprise archive for the best information.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy
    Parry's book was illuminating. The news about that prompted quite a push-back through obfuscation and disinformation from so many interested parties. Andrew Sullivan was only one of many that piled on.

    On a related topic, how does someone like Ollie North get any airplay at all, given his role in the shameful Iran-Contra episode?
    , @Ba'thist
    Here's a link to one of Abbie's Iranscam articles.

    http://flag.blackened.net/ati/october88playboy.pdf
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  20. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    There’s a new conspiracy theory from one of CNN’s aviation experts that was published in New York Magazine. It says that Putin hijacked the missing Malaysian Airlines plane and had it flown to Kazakhstan to be used for some purpose:

    “One of CNN’s aviation experts thinks Putin stole missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370″

    http://www.businessinsider.com/cnn-aviation-expert-theory-on-mh370-2015-2

    Private pilot and science writer Jeff Wise, one of CNN’s aviation analysts during the network’s wall-to-wall coverage of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, has a wild theory about the plane’s true location.

    Wise has discussed his theory on his blog, published the details in a 95-page Kindle single, and written about it for New York Magazine.

    In short, he thinks that the plane landed on a remote runway in Kazakhstan and might be part of a larger plot Russia orchestrated but has yet to fully play out.

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  21. jb says:

    Here is a suggestion for comment threading. Let’s say I want to look at a thread, so I click on THIS THREAD ONLY. When I’m done, I click on the DISPLAY ALL COMMENTS button in some particular comment, which takes me back to the full comment list.

    The problem is that at this point I’ve lost my place in the full list. My suggestion is that when you click on DISPLAY ALL COMMENTS you either go back to where you were in the full list before you viewed the thread, or, alternatively, you go to the comment whose DISPLAY ALL COMMENTS button you clicked on in the thread view. Having to find my place again among dozens of comments is the one thing I find annoying about thread view, which otherwise is very clever. This would fix that problem.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    My suggestion is that when you click on DISPLAY ALL COMMENTS you...go back to... the comment whose DISPLAY ALL COMMENTS button you clicked on in the thread view. Having to find my place again among dozens of comments is the one thing I find annoying about thread view, which otherwise is very clever. This would fix that problem.
     
    That was a very sensible suggestion and I just added the feature to the website commenting display. However, you'll need to refresh your browser (in order to reload the new Javascript) for it to take effect.
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  22. donut says:

    Yes , thanks for this web site . But why didn’t you stay in physics ? If I’d had the brains Jesus I would have gone into it . It seems like a much more exciting and rewarding field . What was your area of interest ? Just curious .

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  23. @dave chamberlin
    Ah conspiracy theories.

    It doesn't bother me if you allow writers of goofy conspiracy theories to publish here. It can be fun to demolish them. However from your standpoint of continuing to raise the bar of thought provoking journalism here at Unz review I would suggest you not publish them.

    However, it isn't that simple. One man's retarded conspiracy theory is another man's important censored story that more people need to know about. I suggested a rule of thumb earlier in identifying conspiracy theories and I think it is worth repeating. Never blame on a conspiracy what could just as easily be attributed to stupidity. Occam's razor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor cuts right through this problem nine times out of ten.

    1) If a conspiracy theory requires large groups of people to be keeping secrets, it's bullshit. That simply doesn't happen and most conspiracy theories require it to happen.

    2)If a conspiracy theory feeds a public perception without any need for evidence, it's bullshit.

    However it is a complicated world out there and some stories may or may not be conspiracy theories. In these cases all that can be done is to scrub them as clean as possible of ideology and make the writer edit the article to bluntly admit what is uncertain. Personally I just skip past all the blatant political ideologues and head to the data filled science based articles that are sometimes posted here, but that's just me.

    Oh no–not Occam’s Razor again–one of the biggest cliches in use today.

    “Never blame on a conspiracy what could just as easily be attributed to stupidity.”

    Why not? (And why would the two necessarily be distinct options–what about Watergate where both were clearly in play?)

    Define “large groups of people.”

    “If a conspiracy theory feeds a public perception without any need for evidence, it’s bullshit.”

    What does that mean? Any theory unsupported by evidence is inherently less plausible than one that is so supported–conspiratorial or otherwise. But of course, part of the nature of conspiratorial behavior is to use secrecy to provide deniability.

    Conspiracy is perfectly normal human behavior. One should not be biased either for or against the role of conspiracy in explaining phenomena connected to human competition and competitiveness.

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  24. Ron Unz says:
    @jb
    Here is a suggestion for comment threading. Let's say I want to look at a thread, so I click on THIS THREAD ONLY. When I'm done, I click on the DISPLAY ALL COMMENTS button in some particular comment, which takes me back to the full comment list.

    The problem is that at this point I've lost my place in the full list. My suggestion is that when you click on DISPLAY ALL COMMENTS you either go back to where you were in the full list before you viewed the thread, or, alternatively, you go to the comment whose DISPLAY ALL COMMENTS button you clicked on in the thread view. Having to find my place again among dozens of comments is the one thing I find annoying about thread view, which otherwise is very clever. This would fix that problem.

    My suggestion is that when you click on DISPLAY ALL COMMENTS you…go back to… the comment whose DISPLAY ALL COMMENTS button you clicked on in the thread view. Having to find my place again among dozens of comments is the one thing I find annoying about thread view, which otherwise is very clever. This would fix that problem.

    That was a very sensible suggestion and I just added the feature to the website commenting display. However, you’ll need to refresh your browser (in order to reload the new Javascript) for it to take effect.

    Read More
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  25. @anonymous
    Don't forget the Gulf of Tonkin 'incident': the holder of the highest office in the land, the president, looked the American public square in the eye and flat-out lied. As a result millions were killed, wounded or turned into refugees and divisions here at home were opened which continue to this day. Voices questioning the official story were drowned out and people were accused of being unpatriotic or dupes of the communists. From the USS Maine on down to today the government has lied to and manipulated the public and the mainstream media have been cheerleaders all along, with just a few mostly ignored exceptions. The question is what are they lying about today?

    I really hadn’t paid much attention to the Tonkin Gulf incident until I was doing research to help improve Navy and Marine Level C Code of Conduct training and came across an extensive interview with Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale, perhaps the most famous PoW of the North Vietnamese, at George Washington University’s National Security Archive.
    In this interview, Stockdale, who participated in the incident, makes it clear that there was no attack by the North Vietnamese. The best light that can be put on the incident was that it was a fustercluck that people who should have had more common sense took seriously. Certainly it was nothing that should have led us into a terrible, terrible war. Conspiracy? I don’t know, but it was definitely used as an excuse to attack North Vietnam by people who seem to have had an agenda. And a lot of people who pushed the attack-on-us angle to the public had to know it was bogus.
    Here’s the link to the interview:

    http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/coldwar/interviews/episode-11/stockdale1.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    Thanks for the link to the Stockdale interview. I see that there were those such as Maxwell Taylor who already were planning on bigger things to come and were initially unhappy that we 'missed our chance'. In retrospect things that looked at the time as being spontaneous events, action-reaction, were not that at all but had been in the making for some time. My eye did fall upon the part where at some point they were 'trying to kidnap the crew of a N Vietnamese fishing boat'. I sort of wonder what that was about. That would seem to be an act of aggression or just piracy; what would they have done with the crew?
    One problem with trying to sort things out is the average person's lack of insider knowledge, leaving them to try to guess at things. Another is that the waters get muddied by cranks or by those with poor judgement all vying for attention at the same time. Also, 'conspiracy' seems to imply different things to different people. I told one person who fancied himself a skeptic that 9-11 was a conspiracy and he predictably scoffed at that. I told him that the US government said so and he denied that. I informed him the the official US government report on 9-11 stated that nineteen Arab hijackers had all conspired to take over some airplanes and use them as they did. 'Oh, that kind, I thought you meant some other kind', he said. The US government itself says there are conspiracies; it's just that it presents it's own version of them.
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  26. ic1000 says:
    @Ron Unz
    I've fixed the Comment Preview bug, but I can't seem to replicate the Comment Blockquote problem. Can you point me to an example?

    Blockquotes gone awry example in Comment #883954. Funnily, once submitted, it wavered back-and-forth between having only the first paragraph blockquoted, and having all three paragraphs blockquoted, finally setting in on the former. (By “wavering”, I mean “sometimes changing upon refresh.”).

    The comment’s text follows.

    - – – – -

    Fantastic article, Steve. NYT, the gift that keeps on giving.

    Regarding cub reporter Farhad Manjoo {i}not getting his own jokes{/i}, my favorite lines are:{blockquote}Now, after years of ignoring the issue, and some serious prodding by the likes of Rev. Jesse L. Jackson…

    [Wadhwa is] a fixture on the lecture circuit and in the media… [Wadhwa blamed his use of the phrase "token floozies"] on his poor English… [He] frequently deflected criticism of his language by saying that he was an immigrant who did not understand web slang.

    Critics also argued that Mr. Wadhwa’s message to women — that they should become more confident to survive in the tough world of tech — was outdated and could backfire on the women who followed it.{/blockquote}Keep up the good work, Farhad!

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  27. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Major Problem
    I really hadn't paid much attention to the Tonkin Gulf incident until I was doing research to help improve Navy and Marine Level C Code of Conduct training and came across an extensive interview with Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale, perhaps the most famous PoW of the North Vietnamese, at George Washington University's National Security Archive.
    In this interview, Stockdale, who participated in the incident, makes it clear that there was no attack by the North Vietnamese. The best light that can be put on the incident was that it was a fustercluck that people who should have had more common sense took seriously. Certainly it was nothing that should have led us into a terrible, terrible war. Conspiracy? I don't know, but it was definitely used as an excuse to attack North Vietnam by people who seem to have had an agenda. And a lot of people who pushed the attack-on-us angle to the public had to know it was bogus.
    Here's the link to the interview:
    http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/coldwar/interviews/episode-11/stockdale1.html

    Thanks for the link to the Stockdale interview. I see that there were those such as Maxwell Taylor who already were planning on bigger things to come and were initially unhappy that we ‘missed our chance’. In retrospect things that looked at the time as being spontaneous events, action-reaction, were not that at all but had been in the making for some time. My eye did fall upon the part where at some point they were ‘trying to kidnap the crew of a N Vietnamese fishing boat’. I sort of wonder what that was about. That would seem to be an act of aggression or just piracy; what would they have done with the crew?
    One problem with trying to sort things out is the average person’s lack of insider knowledge, leaving them to try to guess at things. Another is that the waters get muddied by cranks or by those with poor judgement all vying for attention at the same time. Also, ‘conspiracy’ seems to imply different things to different people. I told one person who fancied himself a skeptic that 9-11 was a conspiracy and he predictably scoffed at that. I told him that the US government said so and he denied that. I informed him the the official US government report on 9-11 stated that nineteen Arab hijackers had all conspired to take over some airplanes and use them as they did. ‘Oh, that kind, I thought you meant some other kind’, he said. The US government itself says there are conspiracies; it’s just that it presents it’s own version of them.

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  28. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    To me, I have to question the motives of people who like to use the term conspiracy theorists for any idea that goes against the mainstream.

    As Unz mentions, there are lots of conspiracy theories that have proven to be true. From POWs, the Gulf of Tonkin, or the phony weapons of mass destruction that lead us to war with Iraq. You could extend this to any number of fields.

    Drug companies have been convicted and fined for doctoring results from studies to increase sales of drugs. Big companies/ hedge funds routinely use cronyism to manipulate markets and the economy as a whole. What passes for health food at your supermarket is largely artificial ingredients that will will shorten your lifespan.

    I don’t really see things as conspiracy theory vs no conspiracy, but I recognize that there is a lot of bullshit we have to evade to make it in life. Power has shifted from small companies that had owners you could speak with, to big conglomerates that focus on their bottom line. From many small media outlets to just a few large media conglomerates etc etc. So why wouldn’t my default position be one of skepticism?

    To me, a lot of the people who are anti-conspiracy theories are just people who are afraid of fallout or people who want to maintain their engineered position in society. A lot of Jews are anti-conspiracy theory because they are afraid that the masses will turn on them. So Jews will talk about how crooked the world of finance is, but any mention of Jewish involvement will be shot down as a conspiracy theory even if it is absolutely true.

    The same thing with Wasps or any other group in America. We are all supposed to pretend that any benefit people get in America is strictly by chance or earned on merit. And we are supposed to ignore everything that happens behind the scenes to rig the game in certain peoples favor.

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  29. Ivy says:
    @Ba'thist
    If the 1980 October Surprise and its offspring, which Abbie Hoffman called Iranscam - the Iran part of Iran-Contra intrigue - had been fully examined and exposed by the intrepid American press and dealt with through the incorruptible US political and legal systems, then the whole chain of disasters that befell Iraq afterward and have now spread to Syria and through the Arab world, to Europe, to America even, would have stopped long ago.

    Go to Robert Parry's October Surprise archive for the best information.

    Parry’s book was illuminating. The news about that prompted quite a push-back through obfuscation and disinformation from so many interested parties. Andrew Sullivan was only one of many that piled on.

    On a related topic, how does someone like Ollie North get any airplay at all, given his role in the shameful Iran-Contra episode?

    Read More
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  30. Georgina says:

    To Ron Unz,

    Although I appreciate all the work you have put into upgrading your website, do you really think that is the best use of your time? You have not published any major work since August. Upgrading the website is important but the value of this site is the content. So stop the coding and get back to the writing. If the site needs managing from a technical standpoint, why don’t you ask for donations and hire a website administrator.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kiza
    Ha, ha, funny but also valid. To me Ron looks like a perfectionist - when he starts doing something, he will aim to make it the best possible. Thus, this website is now unique in the World, it pushes the Internet envelope, whilst other websites use a few common Content Management Systems. I am sure that when Ron achieves what he has in mind as his goal, he will turn back to his writing. This may not be so far away. In terms of what has been achieved so far, I am very interested to test this web page emailing feature in a few different email client programs, especially in Microsoft Outlook. Thanks Ron.
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  31. Mr. Unz:
    I am fascinated by your courage and by your technical proficiency.
    THANK YOU!!!!!!!
    By the way, where is Anatoli Karlin? What has happen to him?

    Your I.f.f.U.

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  32. Kiza says:
    @Georgina
    To Ron Unz,

    Although I appreciate all the work you have put into upgrading your website, do you really think that is the best use of your time? You have not published any major work since August. Upgrading the website is important but the value of this site is the content. So stop the coding and get back to the writing. If the site needs managing from a technical standpoint, why don't you ask for donations and hire a website administrator.

    Ha, ha, funny but also valid. To me Ron looks like a perfectionist – when he starts doing something, he will aim to make it the best possible. Thus, this website is now unique in the World, it pushes the Internet envelope, whilst other websites use a few common Content Management Systems. I am sure that when Ron achieves what he has in mind as his goal, he will turn back to his writing. This may not be so far away. In terms of what has been achieved so far, I am very interested to test this web page emailing feature in a few different email client programs, especially in Microsoft Outlook. Thanks Ron.

    Read More
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  33. Lot says:

    Ron, I cannot bring myself to care about the Vietnam POW issue.

    After killing over a million of their people, the USA managed to patch up ts relationship with Vietnam very quickly, allowing it to serve as a counterweight to China. Soon afterward Vietnam invaded and deposed Pol Pot, another very good thing.

    I don’t think such outcome could have happened if we had obsessed about every POW/MIA from the war. I also don’t see what the incentive of Vietnam to keep Americans in prison secretly for years after a war ended.

    Finally, the injustice to American soldiers who died by tens of thousands in a foreseeable disaster of a war dwarfs that done to a few dozen who may have been left behind.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RW
    "I also don’t see what the incentive of Vietnam to keep Americans in prison secretly for years after a war ended."

    Vietnamese government officials were hoping for a ransom at some point. Remember Vietnam is an incredibly corrupt country were government officials who would be the beneficiaries of such a payment can order people to be held in such conditions for a very long period of time. And who knows when their relations with the United States might have soured.
    , @Oscar Peterson
    Wow--I think of myself as a realpolitik kind of guy, but you can't bring yourself to care at all that US prisoners were left to be executed (presumably) in Vietnam?

    Yes, of course it was an aggressive, arrogant, and strategically incompetent war killing many more Vietnamese, but taking the attitude that these guys were simply disposable items makes me wonder whom you would care about (if anyone)? Guess we won't put you in charge of military recruitment.

    "the USA managed to patch up ts relationship with Vietnam very quickly, allowing it to serve as a counterweight to China"

    Which dynamic was greatly overshadowed by the patching up of our relationship with China allowing IT to serve as a counterweight to the Soviet Union. That's where we made the money--strategically speaking--although the end of Pol Pot was certainly a good thing. China's invasion of northern Vietnam in 1978 was a response to the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, and although it did not result in an immediate Vietnamese withdrawal and was an operational fiasco, the unwillingness/inability of the USSR to intervene on behalf of its client, Vietnam, was a huge blow to its image in East Asia.

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  34. Lot says:

    Conspiracy theorizing implies that people acting against the public interest would be harmed if their actions were exposed.

    But that’s simply not the case. Completely open graft and corruption is the norm now.

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  35. RW says:
    @Lot
    Ron, I cannot bring myself to care about the Vietnam POW issue.

    After killing over a million of their people, the USA managed to patch up ts relationship with Vietnam very quickly, allowing it to serve as a counterweight to China. Soon afterward Vietnam invaded and deposed Pol Pot, another very good thing.

    I don't think such outcome could have happened if we had obsessed about every POW/MIA from the war. I also don't see what the incentive of Vietnam to keep Americans in prison secretly for years after a war ended.

    Finally, the injustice to American soldiers who died by tens of thousands in a foreseeable disaster of a war dwarfs that done to a few dozen who may have been left behind.

    “I also don’t see what the incentive of Vietnam to keep Americans in prison secretly for years after a war ended.”

    Vietnamese government officials were hoping for a ransom at some point. Remember Vietnam is an incredibly corrupt country were government officials who would be the beneficiaries of such a payment can order people to be held in such conditions for a very long period of time. And who knows when their relations with the United States might have soured.

    Read More
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  36. Ron Unz says:

    @AMac:

    Blockquote rendering bug fixed—you can click on the old comment link and confirm.

    Sure, I’d like to get back to much more extensive writing. But writing without a suitable platform for publication isn’t effective, which was the main reason I originally launched this webzine after I was purged from TAC in 2013. Furthermore, given the ultra-controversial content we regularly publish, I think our effectiveness is enhanced by having a technologically advanced website sporting a very bland design: the former may help to demonstrate our competence at least in certain areas, while the latter serves as the “brown paper wrapper,” sometimes masking highly explosive material.

    That being said, I do think my webzine software development cycle is now very near completion. However, over the last 6-8 months probably 70% of my software time has been on an entirely different and much larger project, and that one still requires quite a bit of work on my part.

    @Immigrant from former USSR

    Thanks for the kind words. Anatoly is fine, but he’s been very preoccupied in the last couple of weeks with a rare visit by his family. Also, since he spent a year mostly away from blogging, it’s naturally taking him a little time to get back in the swing. We should be seeing new material from him within the next few days.

    I’d hope you’re exactly correct. And after making some additional adjustments during the last day or two in the Emailing module, I’d be very interested in any feedback you provide regarding different client systems.

    I don’t really disagree with you regarding the POW/MIA issue. The events happened well over 40 years ago, all the soldiers have been dead for decades, and the numbers were utterly negligible relative to overall American casualties, let alone the millions of Vietnamese who died.

    However, consider that there is massive, even overwhelming evidence on this particular matter, presented by one of our most renowned MSM journalists, which proves almost without doubt that the government committed such a remarkably shameful deed—probably unprecedented in American history—then successfully covered it up for decades, with the full complicity of the entire MSM. Furthermore, the truth was not some dry political scandal or matter of financial corruption, but the sort of astonishing story that provided the plotlines for numerous highly successful Hollywood films even while the cover-up remained in place. Once people admit that the government and the MSM could hide something of such monumental magnitude, it becomes impossible to easily casually dismiss other massive “conspiracy theories” or cover-ups, some of which may be far more relevant to our current situation.

    I think the Sydney Schanberg’s POW/MIA expose might constitute the battering ram that breaks down the American Pravda brick wall that prevents our population from coming face to face with reality in many other topics. Once you knock a large enough hole in that wall, the whole structure would probably collapse.

    And also consider also that Sen. John McCain probably today ranks in the popular mind as America’s greatest national patriot and war hero and he is very energetically using his stature to advocate taking direct American military involvement in the Ukraine/Russia conflict.

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    • Replies: @Kiza
    I have done a quick test in three email clients, emailing unz.com articles with and and without images.

    Netscape/Thunderbird worked perfectly because it is the most HTML compatible email client.
    Gmail also handled your email perfectly.
    Outlook blocked images by default and had a left justification instead of centering. But, once ublocked, the images were showing fine. Security block would not have been any major issue for users.

    It was also a good idea that you added a tiny link to the article/website that the email came from.

    In conclusion - a very nice achievement. As a user, I would hate having any videos embedded in emails for a couple of reasons:
    1) I do not like when things moving without my consent, and
    2) I may be using a mobile device and in some countries videos can cost money.
    Therefore, what you have achieved is as far as one should take email, videos stay on websites (not on unz.com yet).

    I once wrote that I would have used PDF for emailing articles, but it is much better to email information to the public using an approach which does not require any additional software and clicking, no matter how ubiquitous Adobe Reader is. You just open an email and it is all there nicely formatted and ready to be perused.

    I wonder how similar your approach is to the techniques of the positive email marketers and newsletters (not spammers) who for obvious reasons also prefer HTML to PDF. To further investigate, I may go into HTML tags to see how you have achieved such high quality result. I may also try a few less common email clients. If I find anything worth commenting, I will write again.

    , @MLK
    Assume arguendo Schanberg's thesis is correct.

    Conspiracy theories, being exercises in Reductionism, proffer motivations. In other words, why did they do it, including the cover-up itself.

    It isn't hard to divine the sovereign interest throughout. The US could not accede to reparations, yet it needed to end the war and preserve geopolitical options. I don't need to belabor the shared geopolitical interests of both the US and Vietnam in a rapprochement. Nor the interests of other states, principally China and the Soviet Union, in preventing it. Indeed, it isn't at all unreasonable to assume that, at least in part, breadcrumbs were dropped along the way by those with an interest in something other than the truth.

    Both Kiza and Mr. Unz are sorely mistaken if they do not see the direct relevance of this episode today. Consider the Afghan War, and the national furor over Bowe Bergdahl. More broadly, consider the recurring attempts at a rapprochement with Iran, something this magazine and its readership favors. Are you willing to leave it to the wisdom of the American public to hear of the indignities visited upon us by the Islamic Republic of Iran and decide to let it go?
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  37. Kiza says:
    @Ron Unz
    @AMac:

    Blockquote rendering bug fixed---you can click on the old comment link and confirm.

    @Georgina

    Sure, I'd like to get back to much more extensive writing. But writing without a suitable platform for publication isn't effective, which was the main reason I originally launched this webzine after I was purged from TAC in 2013. Furthermore, given the ultra-controversial content we regularly publish, I think our effectiveness is enhanced by having a technologically advanced website sporting a very bland design: the former may help to demonstrate our competence at least in certain areas, while the latter serves as the "brown paper wrapper," sometimes masking highly explosive material.

    That being said, I do think my webzine software development cycle is now very near completion. However, over the last 6-8 months probably 70% of my software time has been on an entirely different and much larger project, and that one still requires quite a bit of work on my part.

    @Immigrant from former USSR

    Thanks for the kind words. Anatoly is fine, but he's been very preoccupied in the last couple of weeks with a rare visit by his family. Also, since he spent a year mostly away from blogging, it's naturally taking him a little time to get back in the swing. We should be seeing new material from him within the next few days.

    @Kiza

    I'd hope you're exactly correct. And after making some additional adjustments during the last day or two in the Emailing module, I'd be very interested in any feedback you provide regarding different client systems.

    @Lot

    I don't really disagree with you regarding the POW/MIA issue. The events happened well over 40 years ago, all the soldiers have been dead for decades, and the numbers were utterly negligible relative to overall American casualties, let alone the millions of Vietnamese who died.

    However, consider that there is massive, even overwhelming evidence on this particular matter, presented by one of our most renowned MSM journalists, which proves almost without doubt that the government committed such a remarkably shameful deed---probably unprecedented in American history---then successfully covered it up for decades, with the full complicity of the entire MSM. Furthermore, the truth was not some dry political scandal or matter of financial corruption, but the sort of astonishing story that provided the plotlines for numerous highly successful Hollywood films even while the cover-up remained in place. Once people admit that the government and the MSM could hide something of such monumental magnitude, it becomes impossible to easily casually dismiss other massive "conspiracy theories" or cover-ups, some of which may be far more relevant to our current situation.

    I think the Sydney Schanberg's POW/MIA expose might constitute the battering ram that breaks down the American Pravda brick wall that prevents our population from coming face to face with reality in many other topics. Once you knock a large enough hole in that wall, the whole structure would probably collapse.

    And also consider also that Sen. John McCain probably today ranks in the popular mind as America's greatest national patriot and war hero and he is very energetically using his stature to advocate taking direct American military involvement in the Ukraine/Russia conflict.

    I have done a quick test in three email clients, emailing unz.com articles with and and without images.

    Netscape/Thunderbird worked perfectly because it is the most HTML compatible email client.
    Gmail also handled your email perfectly.
    Outlook blocked images by default and had a left justification instead of centering. But, once ublocked, the images were showing fine. Security block would not have been any major issue for users.

    It was also a good idea that you added a tiny link to the article/website that the email came from.

    In conclusion – a very nice achievement. As a user, I would hate having any videos embedded in emails for a couple of reasons:
    1) I do not like when things moving without my consent, and
    2) I may be using a mobile device and in some countries videos can cost money.
    Therefore, what you have achieved is as far as one should take email, videos stay on websites (not on unz.com yet).

    I once wrote that I would have used PDF for emailing articles, but it is much better to email information to the public using an approach which does not require any additional software and clicking, no matter how ubiquitous Adobe Reader is. You just open an email and it is all there nicely formatted and ready to be perused.

    I wonder how similar your approach is to the techniques of the positive email marketers and newsletters (not spammers) who for obvious reasons also prefer HTML to PDF. To further investigate, I may go into HTML tags to see how you have achieved such high quality result. I may also try a few less common email clients. If I find anything worth commenting, I will write again.

    Read More
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  38. @Lot
    Ron, I cannot bring myself to care about the Vietnam POW issue.

    After killing over a million of their people, the USA managed to patch up ts relationship with Vietnam very quickly, allowing it to serve as a counterweight to China. Soon afterward Vietnam invaded and deposed Pol Pot, another very good thing.

    I don't think such outcome could have happened if we had obsessed about every POW/MIA from the war. I also don't see what the incentive of Vietnam to keep Americans in prison secretly for years after a war ended.

    Finally, the injustice to American soldiers who died by tens of thousands in a foreseeable disaster of a war dwarfs that done to a few dozen who may have been left behind.

    Wow–I think of myself as a realpolitik kind of guy, but you can’t bring yourself to care at all that US prisoners were left to be executed (presumably) in Vietnam?

    Yes, of course it was an aggressive, arrogant, and strategically incompetent war killing many more Vietnamese, but taking the attitude that these guys were simply disposable items makes me wonder whom you would care about (if anyone)? Guess we won’t put you in charge of military recruitment.

    “the USA managed to patch up ts relationship with Vietnam very quickly, allowing it to serve as a counterweight to China”

    Which dynamic was greatly overshadowed by the patching up of our relationship with China allowing IT to serve as a counterweight to the Soviet Union. That’s where we made the money–strategically speaking–although the end of Pol Pot was certainly a good thing. China’s invasion of northern Vietnam in 1978 was a response to the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, and although it did not result in an immediate Vietnamese withdrawal and was an operational fiasco, the unwillingness/inability of the USSR to intervene on behalf of its client, Vietnam, was a huge blow to its image in East Asia.

    Read More
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  39. MLK says:
    @Ron Unz
    @AMac:

    Blockquote rendering bug fixed---you can click on the old comment link and confirm.

    @Georgina

    Sure, I'd like to get back to much more extensive writing. But writing without a suitable platform for publication isn't effective, which was the main reason I originally launched this webzine after I was purged from TAC in 2013. Furthermore, given the ultra-controversial content we regularly publish, I think our effectiveness is enhanced by having a technologically advanced website sporting a very bland design: the former may help to demonstrate our competence at least in certain areas, while the latter serves as the "brown paper wrapper," sometimes masking highly explosive material.

    That being said, I do think my webzine software development cycle is now very near completion. However, over the last 6-8 months probably 70% of my software time has been on an entirely different and much larger project, and that one still requires quite a bit of work on my part.

    @Immigrant from former USSR

    Thanks for the kind words. Anatoly is fine, but he's been very preoccupied in the last couple of weeks with a rare visit by his family. Also, since he spent a year mostly away from blogging, it's naturally taking him a little time to get back in the swing. We should be seeing new material from him within the next few days.

    @Kiza

    I'd hope you're exactly correct. And after making some additional adjustments during the last day or two in the Emailing module, I'd be very interested in any feedback you provide regarding different client systems.

    @Lot

    I don't really disagree with you regarding the POW/MIA issue. The events happened well over 40 years ago, all the soldiers have been dead for decades, and the numbers were utterly negligible relative to overall American casualties, let alone the millions of Vietnamese who died.

    However, consider that there is massive, even overwhelming evidence on this particular matter, presented by one of our most renowned MSM journalists, which proves almost without doubt that the government committed such a remarkably shameful deed---probably unprecedented in American history---then successfully covered it up for decades, with the full complicity of the entire MSM. Furthermore, the truth was not some dry political scandal or matter of financial corruption, but the sort of astonishing story that provided the plotlines for numerous highly successful Hollywood films even while the cover-up remained in place. Once people admit that the government and the MSM could hide something of such monumental magnitude, it becomes impossible to easily casually dismiss other massive "conspiracy theories" or cover-ups, some of which may be far more relevant to our current situation.

    I think the Sydney Schanberg's POW/MIA expose might constitute the battering ram that breaks down the American Pravda brick wall that prevents our population from coming face to face with reality in many other topics. Once you knock a large enough hole in that wall, the whole structure would probably collapse.

    And also consider also that Sen. John McCain probably today ranks in the popular mind as America's greatest national patriot and war hero and he is very energetically using his stature to advocate taking direct American military involvement in the Ukraine/Russia conflict.

    Assume arguendo Schanberg’s thesis is correct.

    Conspiracy theories, being exercises in Reductionism, proffer motivations. In other words, why did they do it, including the cover-up itself.

    It isn’t hard to divine the sovereign interest throughout. The US could not accede to reparations, yet it needed to end the war and preserve geopolitical options. I don’t need to belabor the shared geopolitical interests of both the US and Vietnam in a rapprochement. Nor the interests of other states, principally China and the Soviet Union, in preventing it. Indeed, it isn’t at all unreasonable to assume that, at least in part, breadcrumbs were dropped along the way by those with an interest in something other than the truth.

    Both Kiza and Mr. Unz are sorely mistaken if they do not see the direct relevance of this episode today. Consider the Afghan War, and the national furor over Bowe Bergdahl. More broadly, consider the recurring attempts at a rapprochement with Iran, something this magazine and its readership favors. Are you willing to leave it to the wisdom of the American public to hear of the indignities visited upon us by the Islamic Republic of Iran and decide to let it go?

    Read More
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  40. Seneca says:
    @Edward
    THANKS FOR THE GREAT WEBSITE, MR UNZ; YOU ARE DOING GOD’S WORK.
    A FEW SUGGESTIONS.

    I want to take this opportunity to thank you for this wonderful website where we can get more honest information and discussion of serious issues from some of the greatest Americans, like Mr. Buchanan, Paul Craig Roberts, Ron Paul, Judge Napalitano, etc.

    I am sick and disgusted of the lies of the MSM and their constant one-sided left-wing propaganda that I wish to avoid them totally.

    Having said that, I would make 2 suggestions:

    1. In your email box, please do not put the words “or fictitious” email as the label of your email box. I believe that as a website owner you are protected and only the commentators are liable for their comments if you collect their email addresses, but you may lose that protection if you do not make a good faith attempt to get their true email address. Many people may not themselves give a real email address, but that is their choice.

    2. One reason people end up on yahoo and google news pages and get abused with the lies of the left-wing rags is because they are checking email or want to see the mundane news (such as train and plane crashes, or other news events) or weather. A conservative website which gives you the mundane news of the day without left-wing propaganda and without links to left-wing rags like Salon, Puffington Post, etc. and where you can have an email account is what conservatives need.

    Once I get that, I would never need to go to yahoo and google news again.

    P.S. About your conspiracy theories, remember George Bernard Shaw: "All professions are conspiracies against the laity." And the 2 biggest professions in that regard are the govt. and the media.

    I definitely agree with your point. I too would not go back to using Yahoo or MSM if there was a site which offered email and some general news without left wing cultural propaganda. You make a very good point about what conservatives need (especially paleoconservatives).

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  41. In general, we Americans believe in our SYSTEM of government, that is, checks and balances. But one by one they have all been tricked-out, like a bugler bypassing an alarm system.

    My main problem was that I assumed that competent people would do their job. It isn’t my job to check for Nanothermite at Ground Zero. The FBI should do that. It has been several years since 911 and the authorities have had plenty of time to figure it out.

    It isn’t just that I don’t trust the Corporate Media. I’m sorry I ever did.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jonathan Revusky
    I don't think the issue is the "competence" of the authorities. The problem with the Warren Commission was not incompetence or that they did not do their job. Actually, they did their job, which was to whitewash what happened. Similarly, the reason that we don't let, say, O.J. investigate himself, really has nothing to do with O.J.'s competence or lack thereof to investigate his own ex-wife's murder. You don't have the principal suspect of a crime conduct the investigation! (Well, if you want to get at the bottom of things, you don't...)

    The way to deal with 9/11 would be an international commission made up of individuals of unimpeachable integrity who do not have any ties to the U.S. power structure. That's what the NATO vassals should have called for before agreeing to go off and attack Afghanistan. (But if they did that, they wouldn't be vassals now, would they???)
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  42. David says:

    The “theory” now proven that Nixon through Kissinger persuaded the Vietnamese delegation at the Paris peace talks not to agree a peace before the US election in 1968, costing many tens of thousands of American lives and hundreds of Vietnamese ones, should have lead to the hanging of Nixon and Kissinger.

    http://freepress.org/article/george-will-confirms-nixons-vietnam-treason

    Read More
    • Replies: @D. K.
    The accusation, even if proved, would not be treasonous. The Constitution itself details what constitutes treason, and the necessary proof thereof; convincing an ally that it is in its own ultimate interest to keep making war upon a common enemy does not fit the bill, even if that were in violation of a 1797 act of Congress. Treason would entail something like recalling Navy fighters-- twice-- that were en route to rescue a Navy spy ship under unprovoked attack in international waters by an alleged ally-- not because those fighters would be put in undue danger, but instead because it would embarrass the hostile ally that was attempting to sink the ship and leave no survivors to testify about the treachery of that alleged ally. The two people who should have been publicly hanged for high treason, after that treason had been proved, were President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert Strange McNamara, in June of 1967.
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  43. D. K. says:
    @David
    The "theory" now proven that Nixon through Kissinger persuaded the Vietnamese delegation at the Paris peace talks not to agree a peace before the US election in 1968, costing many tens of thousands of American lives and hundreds of Vietnamese ones, should have lead to the hanging of Nixon and Kissinger.

    http://freepress.org/article/george-will-confirms-nixons-vietnam-treason

    The accusation, even if proved, would not be treasonous. The Constitution itself details what constitutes treason, and the necessary proof thereof; convincing an ally that it is in its own ultimate interest to keep making war upon a common enemy does not fit the bill, even if that were in violation of a 1797 act of Congress. Treason would entail something like recalling Navy fighters– twice– that were en route to rescue a Navy spy ship under unprovoked attack in international waters by an alleged ally– not because those fighters would be put in undue danger, but instead because it would embarrass the hostile ally that was attempting to sink the ship and leave no survivors to testify about the treachery of that alleged ally. The two people who should have been publicly hanged for high treason, after that treason had been proved, were President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert Strange McNamara, in June of 1967.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    Yes, this is very much my own perspective.

    It may be wrong for someone outside the Administration to "interfere" in foreign policy negotiations and it may even be illegal, but it seems to happen almost all the time, and I can't think of anyone who's ever been seriously prosecuted. Couldn't a case even be made that all sorts of prominent people are doing exactly that right now in broad daylight by inviting the Israeli Prime Minister to address Congress?

    As for the Liberty Incident, the entire behavior of the two governments involved has always been a huge puzzle to me, and I suspect if we ever knew all the exact details, many other riddles would then be resolved.
    , @Jonathan Revusky
    "... hostile ally..."

    LOL. That's a new oxymoron for me. I guess it goes along with "friendly fire". They came under "friendly fire" from their "hostile ally"....

    We should all avoid dark alleys at night so as not to get mugged by those violent pacifists out there...
    , @David
    Thanks for your thoughts. I think your view is more correct. But I feel like the subject of a psychology experiment. To me, it seems terribly wrong to forestall a peace for political gain. If Nixon had an honorable motive -- like he was angling for a better resolution -- he would have made that argument. Instead, when asked about it, he said that he would never have done what he actually did. My moral revulsion is strong and so it seems was Nixon's at his actions. Yet, it's hard to make a good argument for making his actions a crime, you're right.
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  44. Ron Unz says:
    @D. K.
    The accusation, even if proved, would not be treasonous. The Constitution itself details what constitutes treason, and the necessary proof thereof; convincing an ally that it is in its own ultimate interest to keep making war upon a common enemy does not fit the bill, even if that were in violation of a 1797 act of Congress. Treason would entail something like recalling Navy fighters-- twice-- that were en route to rescue a Navy spy ship under unprovoked attack in international waters by an alleged ally-- not because those fighters would be put in undue danger, but instead because it would embarrass the hostile ally that was attempting to sink the ship and leave no survivors to testify about the treachery of that alleged ally. The two people who should have been publicly hanged for high treason, after that treason had been proved, were President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert Strange McNamara, in June of 1967.

    Yes, this is very much my own perspective.

    It may be wrong for someone outside the Administration to “interfere” in foreign policy negotiations and it may even be illegal, but it seems to happen almost all the time, and I can’t think of anyone who’s ever been seriously prosecuted. Couldn’t a case even be made that all sorts of prominent people are doing exactly that right now in broad daylight by inviting the Israeli Prime Minister to address Congress?

    As for the Liberty Incident, the entire behavior of the two governments involved has always been a huge puzzle to me, and I suspect if we ever knew all the exact details, many other riddles would then be resolved.

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  45. @Si1ver1ock
    In general, we Americans believe in our SYSTEM of government, that is, checks and balances. But one by one they have all been tricked-out, like a bugler bypassing an alarm system.


    My main problem was that I assumed that competent people would do their job. It isn't my job to check for Nanothermite at Ground Zero. The FBI should do that. It has been several years since 911 and the authorities have had plenty of time to figure it out.


    It isn't just that I don't trust the Corporate Media. I'm sorry I ever did.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0Q5eZhCPuc

    I don’t think the issue is the “competence” of the authorities. The problem with the Warren Commission was not incompetence or that they did not do their job. Actually, they did their job, which was to whitewash what happened. Similarly, the reason that we don’t let, say, O.J. investigate himself, really has nothing to do with O.J.’s competence or lack thereof to investigate his own ex-wife’s murder. You don’t have the principal suspect of a crime conduct the investigation! (Well, if you want to get at the bottom of things, you don’t…)

    The way to deal with 9/11 would be an international commission made up of individuals of unimpeachable integrity who do not have any ties to the U.S. power structure. That’s what the NATO vassals should have called for before agreeing to go off and attack Afghanistan. (But if they did that, they wouldn’t be vassals now, would they???)

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  46. @D. K.
    The accusation, even if proved, would not be treasonous. The Constitution itself details what constitutes treason, and the necessary proof thereof; convincing an ally that it is in its own ultimate interest to keep making war upon a common enemy does not fit the bill, even if that were in violation of a 1797 act of Congress. Treason would entail something like recalling Navy fighters-- twice-- that were en route to rescue a Navy spy ship under unprovoked attack in international waters by an alleged ally-- not because those fighters would be put in undue danger, but instead because it would embarrass the hostile ally that was attempting to sink the ship and leave no survivors to testify about the treachery of that alleged ally. The two people who should have been publicly hanged for high treason, after that treason had been proved, were President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert Strange McNamara, in June of 1967.

    “… hostile ally…”

    LOL. That’s a new oxymoron for me. I guess it goes along with “friendly fire”. They came under “friendly fire” from their “hostile ally”….

    We should all avoid dark alleys at night so as not to get mugged by those violent pacifists out there…

    Read More
    • Replies: @D. K.
    If you have a more apt term to describe Israel's oft-observed behavior towards its most-pronounced ally, the United States, upon whose generosity and forbearance the Jewish State's very existence arguably depends, then, by all means, please do edify me. From my own fifty-some years of observations, and as one formally trained in English, History, Psychology and Law, inter alia, I find that oxymorons sometimes capture quite nicely the essence of what is observed.
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  47. David says:
    @D. K.
    The accusation, even if proved, would not be treasonous. The Constitution itself details what constitutes treason, and the necessary proof thereof; convincing an ally that it is in its own ultimate interest to keep making war upon a common enemy does not fit the bill, even if that were in violation of a 1797 act of Congress. Treason would entail something like recalling Navy fighters-- twice-- that were en route to rescue a Navy spy ship under unprovoked attack in international waters by an alleged ally-- not because those fighters would be put in undue danger, but instead because it would embarrass the hostile ally that was attempting to sink the ship and leave no survivors to testify about the treachery of that alleged ally. The two people who should have been publicly hanged for high treason, after that treason had been proved, were President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert Strange McNamara, in June of 1967.

    Thanks for your thoughts. I think your view is more correct. But I feel like the subject of a psychology experiment. To me, it seems terribly wrong to forestall a peace for political gain. If Nixon had an honorable motive — like he was angling for a better resolution — he would have made that argument. Instead, when asked about it, he said that he would never have done what he actually did. My moral revulsion is strong and so it seems was Nixon’s at his actions. Yet, it’s hard to make a good argument for making his actions a crime, you’re right.

    Read More
    • Replies: @D. K.
    Believe me, I am not defending Mr. Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign, per se; I was a Nixon-hater myself, back in the day. I am merely defending the Constitution of the United States. As a former English major, as well as an erstwhile officer of the court in one of the Union's fifty sovereign states, I remain quite sensitive to the ways in which people in this country throw around the word "treason" with such reckless abandon-- and always have! (I remember the charge being leveled at the likes of Chief Justice Earl Warren, when I was a boy.)

    As for George Will's column, I have just sought it out and read it, and nothing in it much surprises me. It is, however, still merely hearsay, passing along the unproven conclusions of a professor of History. It sounds (second-hand) quite plausible to me, as someone trained in History. As someone trained in Law, however, it is patently inapt to a charge of treason. Even if Mr. Nixon had signed a notorized confession to interferring in the Paris peace talks, by using a personal emissary to beg, or even to bribe, our South Vietnamese allies to delay agreement with our mutual enemies, that proof still would not constitute treason, under the Constitution's explicit definition.

    (One may even argue, by the way, that the Constitution would require a Congressional declaration of war for any adversary to qualify as an "enemy" in the Constitution's use of that term!?! If I had been required, as a lawyer, to defend President Johnson and Secretary McNamara against the charge of treason, back in 1967, that is certainly one of the defenses that I would have argued-- my personal feelings as an American citizen notwithstanding!)

    I think that Mr. Unz is quite right to suggest, through his rhetorical question, above, that we are witnessing an open interference in our current negotiations with Iran, et al., in the form of the invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu to address the Congress, to rebut explicitly the president's policy regarding Iran, generally, and those ongoing negotiations, specifically. I am all for condemning that invitation; I am opposed, however, to indicting the guilty party, under some 18th-Century act of Congress, let alone for treason, under the explicit terms of the Constitution itself. In the sage advice of one of the Jets (the infamous singing-and-dancing street gang, not the football team): "Stay coolie cool, boy!"

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  48. D. K. says:
    @Jonathan Revusky
    "... hostile ally..."

    LOL. That's a new oxymoron for me. I guess it goes along with "friendly fire". They came under "friendly fire" from their "hostile ally"....

    We should all avoid dark alleys at night so as not to get mugged by those violent pacifists out there...

    If you have a more apt term to describe Israel’s oft-observed behavior towards its most-pronounced ally, the United States, upon whose generosity and forbearance the Jewish State’s very existence arguably depends, then, by all means, please do edify me. From my own fifty-some years of observations, and as one formally trained in English, History, Psychology and Law, inter alia, I find that oxymorons sometimes capture quite nicely the essence of what is observed.

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  49. D. K. says:
    @David
    Thanks for your thoughts. I think your view is more correct. But I feel like the subject of a psychology experiment. To me, it seems terribly wrong to forestall a peace for political gain. If Nixon had an honorable motive -- like he was angling for a better resolution -- he would have made that argument. Instead, when asked about it, he said that he would never have done what he actually did. My moral revulsion is strong and so it seems was Nixon's at his actions. Yet, it's hard to make a good argument for making his actions a crime, you're right.

    Believe me, I am not defending Mr. Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign, per se; I was a Nixon-hater myself, back in the day. I am merely defending the Constitution of the United States. As a former English major, as well as an erstwhile officer of the court in one of the Union’s fifty sovereign states, I remain quite sensitive to the ways in which people in this country throw around the word “treason” with such reckless abandon– and always have! (I remember the charge being leveled at the likes of Chief Justice Earl Warren, when I was a boy.)

    As for George Will’s column, I have just sought it out and read it, and nothing in it much surprises me. It is, however, still merely hearsay, passing along the unproven conclusions of a professor of History. It sounds (second-hand) quite plausible to me, as someone trained in History. As someone trained in Law, however, it is patently inapt to a charge of treason. Even if Mr. Nixon had signed a notorized confession to interferring in the Paris peace talks, by using a personal emissary to beg, or even to bribe, our South Vietnamese allies to delay agreement with our mutual enemies, that proof still would not constitute treason, under the Constitution’s explicit definition.

    (One may even argue, by the way, that the Constitution would require a Congressional declaration of war for any adversary to qualify as an “enemy” in the Constitution’s use of that term!?! If I had been required, as a lawyer, to defend President Johnson and Secretary McNamara against the charge of treason, back in 1967, that is certainly one of the defenses that I would have argued– my personal feelings as an American citizen notwithstanding!)

    I think that Mr. Unz is quite right to suggest, through his rhetorical question, above, that we are witnessing an open interference in our current negotiations with Iran, et al., in the form of the invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu to address the Congress, to rebut explicitly the president’s policy regarding Iran, generally, and those ongoing negotiations, specifically. I am all for condemning that invitation; I am opposed, however, to indicting the guilty party, under some 18th-Century act of Congress, let alone for treason, under the explicit terms of the Constitution itself. In the sage advice of one of the Jets (the infamous singing-and-dancing street gang, not the football team): “Stay coolie cool, boy!”

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  50. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Ron,

    What OS do you do your development on?

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  51. Ba'thist says:
    @Ba'thist
    If the 1980 October Surprise and its offspring, which Abbie Hoffman called Iranscam - the Iran part of Iran-Contra intrigue - had been fully examined and exposed by the intrepid American press and dealt with through the incorruptible US political and legal systems, then the whole chain of disasters that befell Iraq afterward and have now spread to Syria and through the Arab world, to Europe, to America even, would have stopped long ago.

    Go to Robert Parry's October Surprise archive for the best information.

    Here’s a link to one of Abbie’s Iranscam articles.

    http://flag.blackened.net/ati/october88playboy.pdf

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