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American Pravda: How the CIA Invented "Conspiracy Theories"
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A year or two ago, I saw the much-touted science fiction film Interstellar, and although the plot wasn’t any good, one early scene was quite amusing. For various reasons, the American government of the future claimed that our Moon Landings of the late 1960s had been faked, a trick aimed at winning the Cold War by bankrupting Russia into fruitless space efforts of its own. This inversion of historical reality was accepted as true by nearly everyone, and those few people who claimed that Neil Armstrong had indeed set foot on the Moon were universally ridiculed as “crazy conspiracy theorists.” This seems a realistic portrayal of human nature to me.

Obviously, a large fraction of everything described by our government leaders or presented in the pages of our most respectable newspapers—from the 9/11 attacks to the most insignificant local case of petty urban corruption—could objectively be categorized as a “conspiracy theory” but such words are never applied. Instead, use of that highly loaded phrase is reserved for those theories, whether plausible or fanciful, that do not possess the endorsement stamp of establishmentarian approval.

Put another way, there are good “conspiracy theories” and bad “conspiracy theories,” with the former being the ones promoted by pundits on mainstream television shows and hence never described as such. I’ve sometimes joked with people that if ownership and control of our television stations and other major media outlets suddenly changed, the new information regime would require only a few weeks of concerted effort to totally invert all of our most famous “conspiracy theories” in the minds of the gullible American public. The notion that nineteen Arabs armed with box-cutters hijacked several jetliners, easily evaded our NORAD air defenses, and reduced several landmark buildings to rubble would soon be universally ridiculed as the most preposterous “conspiracy theory” ever to have gone straight from the comic books into the minds of the mentally ill, easily surpassing the absurd “lone gunman” theory of the JFK assassination.

Even without such changes in media control, huge shifts in American public beliefs have frequently occurred in the recent past, merely on the basis of implied association. In the initial weeks and months following the 2001 attacks, every American media organ was enlisted to denounce and vilify Osama Bin Laden, the purported Islamicist master-mind, as our greatest national enemy, with his bearded visage endlessly appearing on television and in print, soon becoming one of the most recognizable faces in the world. But as the Bush Administration and its key media allies prepared a war against Iraq, the images of the Burning Towers were instead regularly juxtaposed with mustachioed photos of dictator Saddam Hussein, Bin Laden’s arch-enemy. As a consequence, by the time we attacked Iraq in 2003, polls revealed that some 70% of the American public believed that Saddam was personally involved in the destruction of our World Trade Center. By that date I don’t doubt that many millions of patriotic but low-information Americans would have angrily denounced and vilified as a “crazy conspiracy theorist” anyone with the temerity to suggest that Saddam had not been behind 9/11, despite almost no one in authority having ever explicitly made such a fallacious claim.

ConspiracyTheory These factors of media manipulation were very much in my mind a couple of years ago when I stumbled across a short but fascinating book published by the University of Texas academic press. The author of Conspiracy Theory in America was Prof. Lance deHaven-Smith, a former president of the Florida Political Science Association.

Based on an important FOIA disclosure, the book’s headline revelation was that the CIA was very likely responsible for the widespread introduction of “conspiracy theory” as a term of political abuse, having orchestrated that development as a deliberate means of influencing public opinion.

During the mid-1960s there had been increasing public skepticism about the Warren Commission findings that a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, had been solely responsible for President Kennedy’s assassination, and growing suspicions that top-ranking American leaders had also been involved. So as a means of damage control, the CIA distributed a secret memo to all its field offices requesting that they enlist their media assets in efforts to ridicule and attack such critics as irrational supporters of “conspiracy theories.” Soon afterward, there suddenly appeared statements in the media making those exact points, with some of the wording, arguments, and patterns of usage closely matching those CIA guidelines. The result was a huge spike in the pejorative use of the phrase, which spread throughout the American media, with the residual impact continueing right down to the present day. Thus, there is considerable evidence in support of this particular “conspiracy theory” explaining the widespread appearance of attacks on “conspiracy theories” in the public media.

But although the CIA appears to have effectively manipulated public opinion in order to transform the phrase “conspiracy theory” into a powerful weapon of ideological combat, the author also describes how the necessary philosophical ground had actually been prepared a couple of decades earlier. Around the time of the Second World War, an important shift in political theory caused a huge decline in the respectability of any “conspiratorial” explanation of historical events.

For decades prior to that conflict, one of our most prominent scholars and public intellectuals had been historian Charles Beard, whose influential writings had heavily focused on the harmful role of various elite conspiracies in shaping American policy for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many, with his examples ranging from the earliest history of the United States down to the nation’s entry into WWI. Obviously, researchers never claimed that all major historical events had hidden causes, but it was widely accepted that some of them did, and attempting to investigate those possibilities was deemed a perfectly acceptable academic enterprise.

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However, Beard was a strong opponent of American entry into the Second World War, and he was marginalized in the years that followed, even prior to his death in 1948. Many younger public intellectuals of a similar bent also suffered the same fate, or were even purged from respectability and denied any access to the mainstream media. At the same time, the totally contrary perspectives of two European political philosophers, Karl Popper and Leo Strauss, gradually gained ascendancy in American intellectual circles, and their ideas became dominant in public life.

Popper, the more widely influential, presented broad, largely theoretical objections to the very possibility of important conspiracies ever existing, suggesting that these would be implausibly difficult to implement given the fallibility of human agents; what might appear a conspiracy actually amounted to individual actors pursuing their narrow aims. Even more importantly, he regarded “conspiratorial beliefs” as an extremely dangerous social malady, a major contributing factor to the rise of Nazism and other deadly totalitarian ideologies. His own background as an individual of Jewish ancestry who had fled Austria in 1937 surely contributed to the depth of his feelings on these philosophical matters.

Meanwhile, Strauss, a founding figure in modern neo-conservative thought, was equally harsh in his attacks upon conspiracy analysis, but for polar-opposite reasons. In his mind, elite conspiracies were absolutely necessary and beneficial, a crucial social defense against anarchy or totalitarianism, but their effectiveness obviously depended upon keeping them hidden from the prying eyes of the ignorant masses. His main problem with “conspiracy theories” was not that they were always false, but they might often be true, and therefore their spread was potentially disruptive to the smooth functioning of society. So as a matter of self-defense, elites needed to actively suppress or otherwise undercut the unauthorized investigation of suspected conspiracies.

Even for most educated Americans, theorists such as Beard, Popper, and Strauss are probably no more than vague names mentioned in textbooks, and that was certainly true in my own case. But while the influence of Beard seems to have largely disappeared in elite circles, the same is hardly true of his rivals. Popper probably ranks as one of the founders of modern liberal thought, with an individual as politically influential as left-liberal financier George Soros claiming to be his intellectual disciple. Meanwhile, the neo-conservative thinkers who have totally dominated the Republican Party and the Conservative Movement for the last couple of decades often proudly trace their ideas back to Strauss.

So, through a mixture of Popperian and Straussian thinking, the traditional American tendency to regard elite conspiracies as a real but harmful aspect of our society was gradually stigmatized as either paranoid or politically dangerous, laying the conditions for its exclusion from respectable discourse.

 

By 1964, this intellectual revolution had largely been completed, as indicated by the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the famous article by political scientist Richard Hofstadter critiquing the so-called “paranoid style” in American politics, which he denounced as the underlying cause of widespread popular belief in implausible conspiracy theories. To a considerable extent, he seemed to be attacking straw men, recounting and ridiculing the most outlandish conspiratorial beliefs, while seeming to ignore the ones that had been proven correct. For example, he described how some of the more hysterical anti-Communists claimed that tens of thousands of Red Chinese troops were hidden in Mexico, preparing an attack on San Diego, while he failed to even acknowledge that for years Communist spies had indeed served near the very top of the U.S. government. Not even the most conspiratorially minded individual suggests that all alleged conspiracies are true, merely that some of them might be.

Most of these shifts in public sentiment occurred before I was born or when I was a very young child, and my own views were shaped by the rather conventional media narratives that I absorbed. Hence, for nearly my entire life, I always automatically dismissed all of the so-called “conspiracy theories” as ridiculous, never once even considering that any of them might possibly be true.

To the extent that I ever thought about the matter, my reasoning was simple and based on what seemed like good, solid common sense. Any conspiracy responsible for some important public event must surely have many separate “moving parts” to it, whether actors or actions taken, let us say numbering at least 100 or more. Now given the imperfect nature of all attempts at concealment, it would surely be impossible for all of these to be kept entirely hidden. So even if a conspiracy were initially 95% successful in remaining undetected, five major clues would still be left in plain sight for investigators to find. And once the buzzing cloud of journalists noticed these, such blatant evidence of conspiracy would certainly attract an additional swarm of energetic investigators, tracing those items back to their origins, with more pieces gradually being uncovered until the entire cover-up likely collapsed. Even if not all the crucial facts were ever determined, at least the simple conclusion that there had indeed been some sort of conspiracy would quickly become established.

However, there was a tacit assumption in my reasoning, one that I have since decided was entirely false. Obviously, many potential conspiracies either involve powerful governmental officials or situations in which their disclosure would represent a source of considerable embarrassment to such individuals. But I had always assumed that even if government failed in its investigatory role, the dedicated bloodhounds of the Fourth Estate would invariably come through, tirelessly seeking truth, ratings, and Pulitzers. However, once I gradually began realizing that the media was merely “Our American Pravda” and perhaps had been so for decades, I suddenly recognized the flaw in my logic. If those five—or ten or twenty or fifty—initial clues were simply ignored by the media, whether through laziness, incompetence, or much less venial sins, then there would be absolutely nothing to prevent successful conspiracies from taking place and remaining undetected, perhaps even the most blatant and careless ones.

In fact, I would extend this notion to a general principle. Substantial control of the media is almost always an absolute prerequisite for any successful conspiracy, the greater the degree of control the better. So when weighing the plausibility of any conspiracy, the first matter to investigate is who controls the local media and to what extent.

Let us consider a simple thought-experiment. For various reasons these days, the entire American media is extraordinarily hostile to Russia, certainly much more so than it ever was toward the Communist Soviet Union during the 1970s and 1980s. Hence I would argue that the likelihood of any large-scale Russian conspiracy taking place within the operative zone of those media organs is virtually nil. Indeed, we are constantly bombarded with stories of alleged Russian conspiracies that appear to be “false positives,” dire allegations seemingly having little factual basis or actually being totally ridiculous. Meanwhile, even the crudest sort of anti-Russian conspiracy might easily occur without receiving any serious mainstream media notice or investigation.

This argument may be more than purely hypothetical. A crucial turning point in America’s renewed Cold War against Russia was the passage of the 2012 Magnitsky Act by Congress, punitively targeting various supposedly corrupt Russian officials for their alleged involvement in the illegal persecution and death of an employee of Bill Browder, an American hedge-fund manager with large Russian holdings. However, there’s actually quite a bit of evidence that it was Browder himself who was actually the mastermind and beneficiary of the gigantic corruption scheme, while his employee was planning to testify against him and was therefore fearful of his life for that reason. Naturally, the American media has provided scarcely a single mention of these remarkable revelations regarding what might amount to a gigantic Magnitsky Hoax of geopolitical significance.

To some extent the creation of the Internet and the vast proliferation of alternative media outlets, including my own small webzine, have somewhat altered this depressing picture. So it is hardly surprising that a very substantial fraction of the discussion dominating these Samizdat-like publications concerns exactly those subjects regularly condemned as “crazy conspiracy theories” by our mainstream media organs. Such unfiltered speculation must surely be a source of considerable irritation and worry to government officials who have long relied upon the complicity of their tame media organs to allow their serious misdeeds to pass unnoticed and unpunished. Indeed, several years ago a senior Obama Administration official argued that the free discussion of various “conspiracy theories” on the Internet was so potentially harmful that government agents should be recruited to “cognitively infiltrate” and disrupt them, essentially proposing a high-tech version of the highly controversial Cointelpro operations undertaken by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI.

Until just a few years ago I’d scarcely even heard of Charles Beard, once ranked among the towering figures of 20th century American intellectual life. But the more I’ve discovered the number of serious crimes and disasters that have completely escaped substantial media scrutiny, the more I wonder what other matters may still remain hidden. So perhaps Beard was correct all along in recognizing the respectability of “conspiracy theories,” and we should return to his traditional American way of thinking, notwithstanding endless conspiratorial propaganda campaigns by the CIA and others to persuade us that we should dismiss such notions without any serious consideration.

 
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  1. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    The moon landings were likely faked. The Apollo footage was done through front screen projection. See Oleg Oleynik’s work on this:

    “A Stereoscopic method of verifying Apollo lunar surface images”

    http://www.aulis.com/stereoparallax.htm

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    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    A bunch of pissed off russian engineers (ostensibly) who exhibit sour grapes that we did a better job than they did.

    By the way, that guy Oleg Oleynik was at one point in the 90s (according to his bio) a "Soros Post Graduate Student". What do you make of that, I wonder?

    , @Olorin
    That's so 1990s.

    Everybody knows that it's the MOON that's faked.

    There isn't any. It's just a transverse parallax asynchronous stereoscopic projection onto the upper atmosphere by the Illuminati.

    So-called lunar eclipses are their way of letting each other know there's going to be a pig roast on Jekyll Island.

    Those so-called "stars" are just bits of light coming out of terrestrial volcanoes, shining off the troposphere.

    We see more of them today because there are also lasers added. People realized something was up when some stars disappeared after Krakatoa blew up, so the powers that be had to work on an invention to replace the stars. They keep coming up with more and more of them--viz. Hubble Space Telescope. But in fact there is nothing but a void up there, and the earth is the center of it.

    "Meteor showers" are just a clever animation. It's all just a ruse to hide the fact that there are underground polar military encampments.

    There's also not really any such thing as penguins. They were genetically engineered to serve as diversions from the other stuff happening at the poles, because, for instance, people will watch cute penguin GIFs for an hour while the Illuminati move people and materiel in the polar background in plain view. But the "penguins" are an instrument of mind control that block perception.

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/the-most-important-penguin-gifs-on-the-internet?utm_term=.sjlo787AJ#.egQnQkQqP

    http://imgur.com/gallery/Ebevb

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  2. Conspiracy is simply a plan or agreement by more than one person to do something evil and then the pursuit of that plan. Secrecy may be needed for the success of a conspiracy, but it is not essential to the definition. Were it essential to the definition, you could never prove the existence of a conspiracy. Either secrecy would be maintained and there would be little or no evidence or secrecy would not be maintained and the plan would become known and by definition not be a conspiracy.

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    • Replies: @Erik Sieven
    "Conspiracy is simply a plan or agreement by more than one person to do something evil and then the pursuit of that plan." but probably everything think that what he does is good, not evil
    , @Greg
    I agree with your definition. Secrecy is important to the extent that people would be in a position to thwart the conspiracy should they come to know about it. To minimize the need for secrecy, the conspirators might try to foster a general, childlike ignorance about public affairs, so that the public would not recognize a conspiracy even if it were being discussed openly. In this regard, the capture of major media (pace Mr. Unz) would be key to achieving this aim. Marginalization is another strategy, so that those few who become aware of a conspiracy do not have enough social capital to muster any significant action against it. Believing that a conspiracy needs secrecy is the perhaps optimistic belief that neither dumbing down the general public nor marginalizing the watchdogs is sufficient: there's still a significant chance that public exposure could derail the conspirators.
  3. “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

    –William Casey, CIA Director, from a first staff meeting in 1981

    You can read the context of that quote according to the person who claims to be its original source here:

    https://www.quora.com/Did-William-Casey-CIA-Director-really-say-Well-know-our-disinformation-program-is-complete-when-everything-the-American-public-believes-is-false

    I think it’s worth pointing out what I’ve never seen explained about that quote, a quote with as much currency in the conspiracy theory fever swamps as any single quote has ever had. The point of the disinformation campaign was not to manipulate the public but to manipulate the soviets. Because our CIA analysts spent so much time unriddling the soviet media, we figured their CIA analysts were doing the same thing with ours.

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    • Replies: @AnotherLover
    People dismiss obviousness and redundancy, yet often both are necessary to fully paint the picture. Where you wrote:

    "The point of the disinformation campaign was not to manipulate the public but to manipulate the soviets"

    you could have been more accurate by continuing:

    "by manipulating the public."

    Ah, redundant and obvious to be sure, but more complete, no? Should it pacify the average prole to know that not even their acquiescence is desired of them, but that they are useful as a disinformation tool? Have things changed since then? Is less intelligence publicly available today? Or more? And what lessons did the CIA learn in manipulating public opinion by domestic propaganda operations in the meantime?

    Sure, the context of the quote adds the realism it's clearly lacking as it floats by itself surrounded by quotation marks, yet the takeaway is the same, is it not? A massive intelligence operation designed to confuse the public with the media is what we've got on the table. Let that sink in good and hard.
  4. Mr. Unz,

    this study/paper might by of interest to you: emilkirkegaard.dk/en/wp-content/uploads/CONSPIRE.doc

    [MORE]

    Note: This paper was published in Political Psychology 15: 733-744, 1994. This is the original typescript sent to the journal, it does not include any editorial changes that may have been made. The journal itself is not available online, to my knowledge.

    Belief in Conspiracy Theories

    Ted Goertzel1

    Running Head: Belief in Conspiracy Theories.

    KEY WORDS: conspiracy theories, anomia, trust

    Table Three
    Means Scores of Racial/Ethnic Groups on Attitude Scales
    White[W] Hispanic[H] Black[B]
    Scale
    Belief in Conspiracies 2.5[W] 2.8[H] 3.3[B]
    Anomia 3.4[W] 3.8[H] 4.1[B]
    Trust 3.7[W] 3.3[H] 3.1[B]
    Note: All scales varied from 1 to 5, with 3 as a neutral score.

    One of the most interesting discussions of the paper:

    It is puzzling that conspiratorial thinking has been overlooked in the extensive research on authoritarianism which has dominated quantitative work in political psychology since the 1950s. One possible explanation is that much of this work focuses on right-wing authoritarianism (Altmeyer, 1988), while conspiratorial thinking is characteristic of alienated thinkers on both the right and the left (Citrin, et al., 1975; Graumann, 1987; Berlet, 1992). Even more surprisingly, however, conspiratorial thinking has not been a focus of the efforts to measure “left-wing authoritarianism” (Stone, 1980; Eysenck, 1981; LeVasseur & Gold, 1993) or of research with the “dogmatism” concept (Rokeach, 1960) which was intended to overcome the ideological bias in authoritarianism measures.
    On a more fundamental level, the difficulty with existing research traditions may be their focus on the content of beliefs rather than the res[p]ondent’s cognitive processes or emotional makeup. As I have argued elsewhere (Goertzel, 1987), most studies of authoritarianism simply ask people what they believe and then assume that these beliefs must be based on underlying psychological processes which go unmeasured. Since these scales ask mostly about beliefs held by those on the right, it is not surprising that they find authoritarianism to be a right-wing phenomenon. Research with projective tests (Rothman and Lichter, 1982) and biographical materials (Goertzel, 1992), on the other hand, has confirmed that many aspects of authoritarian thinking can be found on both the left and the right.

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  5. One of the greatest conspiracy theories of our time is that Osama Bin Laden was responsible for 9-11. This is refuted by the US government, despite occasional suggestions by political leaders. From my blog, that has links:

    May 21, 2016 – Another 9-11 Truther

    [MORE]

    In my April 16th blog post, I mentioned that former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman and 9-11 Commission co-chair Bob Graham had become a “Truther”, i.e. one who openly doubts the official 9-11 story. It seems the powers that be tried to shut him up. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) openly criticized the Obama administration for trying to strong-arm Graham, who is pushing to declassify 28 pages of the 9/11 report dealing with Saudi Arabia. He recounted how Rep. Gwen Graham (D-Fla.) and her father, former Senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.), were detained by the FBI at Dulles International Airport outside Washington. He said the FBI “took a former senator, a former governor, grabbed him in an airport, hustled him into a room with armed force to try to intimidate him into taking different positions on issues of public policy and important national policy.”

    Last week, another Republican member of the 9-11 Commission, former Navy Secretary John F Lehman, said there was clear evidence that Saudi government employees were part of a support network for the 9/11 hijackers – an allegation, congressional officials have confirmed, that is addressed in detail in the 28 pages. Lehman said: “there was an awful lot of participation by Saudi individuals in supporting the hijackers, and some of those people worked in the Saudi government.”Events this past year in Syria highlighted close ties between Saudi Arabia, Israel, and our CIA. The 9-11 attacks generated the “Pearl Harbor” type of anger they needed to rally the American people to support their semi-secret plan to conquer all the Arab world.

    Here is a summary of events for those confused by American corporate media. Al Qaeda is not an organization. It is a CIA computer database of armed Arab nationalists who violently oppose western domination of the Arab world. (Al Qaeda is Arabic for database.) This database was established by the CIA in the 1980s when our CIA trained and armed Arabs to fight the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Osama Bin Laden (OBL) was never an official leader since it has never been a real organization, although he did lead a large group of Arab nationalists who lived in Afghanistan.

    OBL had nothing to do with 9-11, he didn’t even know about it until it was reported in the media. He was never formally accused of the attacks because there is zero evidence. OBL was a wealthy Saudi who is said to have inspired the attacks. Our government blamed a Kuwaiti, Khalid Shaikh Mohammad (pictured), and a dozen Saudis who died in the airplanes. These persons had never been to Afghanistan and are said to have planned and trained for the attacks in the Philippines, Germany, and the USA. Then why was Afghanistan invaded, and later Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen? But we did not invade Saudi Arabia! Instead, recall that days after 9-11 several jets from our federal Justice Department rounded up Saudi suspects in the USA and flew them home before FBI agents could ask them questions. 

    All this explains why the accused mastermind of the attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, has yet to go to trial almost 16 years since 9-11! He has not been allowed to speak to anyone outside the CIA. Even the 9-11 Commission was not allowed to interview him. The U.S. military set up a kangaroo court at Gitmo to hold a trial many years ago, but brave military defense lawyers keep causing delays by insisting on a fair trial. It seems evidence is so “sensitive” that our CIA does not want it revealed. even in a secret military court. Whenever documents are requested by the defense, some are destroyed instead! This included all the CIA interrogations of the accused!

    Our media propaganda is so prevalent that nearly all Americans think OBL was the 9-11 mastermind, and since he is dead the case is closed. However, there is zero evidence of his involvement, something our government has long acknowledged. Americans watched thousands of hours of television coverage of the 9-11 attacks. Ask one if they think the accused mastermind of the attacks should be put on trial, and they’ll have no idea what you are talking about. More Americans are becoming aware and demanding action, who are demeaned as crazy “truthers”, which now include two former members of our government’s official 9-11 Commission once tasked with investigating these crimes. 

    The failed invasion of Syria has revealed that the Saudis, our CIA (with its defense contractor and media allies), and Israel have been working to conquer all the Arab world and control it with corruption and puppet dictators. Over the past couple years the Saudi government has changed hands and this CIA-Saudi-Israeli alliance has frayed, mostly because of failures in Syria and Yemen. Will the Saudis now be blamed for 9-11 to satisfy public demands for the truth, and to protect other conspirators? Will this lead to a CIA-Israeli coup to take over Saudi Arabia? Or will other high-level truthers surface and expose our nation’s darkest secret?

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  6. Given how easy it is to create a conspiracy theory, most of them will be crazy.

    Another problem with elite conspiracies is that elites usually do not have to act in secret because they already are in control. For Kennedy, a centrist cold warrior, his views already reflected those of elites, maybe even more so than Johnson.

    The other problem is that actual criminal conspiracies by elites quite often are discovered, such as Watergate and Iran Contra.

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    • Replies: @Abraham
    Given how easy it is to create a conspiracy theory, most of them will be crazy.

    A statement that appears straight out of the CIA's playbook.

    Another problem with elite conspiracies is that elites usually do not have to act in secret because they already are in control.

    Such control does not imply they have nothing to hide, particularly when exposure of the deed would have damaging repercussions for them.

    For Kennedy, a centrist cold warrior, his views already reflected those of elites, maybe even more so than Johnson.

    It didn't reflect that of Israel's elites.

    After JFK's assassination, American foreign policy vis a vis Israel was completely reversed under Johnson, who hung the crew of the USS Liberty out to dry.

    The other problem is that actual criminal conspiracies by elites quite often are discovered, such as Watergate and Iran Contra.

    How is this a problem?
  7. So, a conspiracy theory is a theory without media backing. There’s no better recent example of this than when the DNC emails were released by wikileaks during their convention. The story put forth was that Russian hackers were responsible, and were trying to throw the election to their buddy Trump. The evidence for this? Zero. And yet it became a plausible explanation in the media, overnight.

    Maybe it’s true, maybe not, but if the roles had been reversed, the media would be telling its proponents to take off their tin foil hats.

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    • Replies: @art guerrilla
    ahhh, but 'Russkie!/squirrel!' worked, didn't it ? ? ?
    virtually NOTHING about the actual content of the emails...
    what was hysterical, was a followup not too long afterwards, where pelosi 'warned' that there might be a whole raft of other emails which said bad stuff and stuff, and, um, they were -like- probably, um, all, uh, fake and stuff...
    it really is a funny tragi-comedy, isn't it ? ? ?
    ...then why am i crying inside...
    , @anti_republocrat
    Note also that the allegations immediately become "fact" because they were reported by someone else. As Business Insider reported, "Amid mounting evidence of Russia's involvement in the hack of the Democratic National Committee...," without any specificity whatsoever as to what that "mounting evidence" was (most likely multiple reports in other media) never mind that the article goes on to quote James Clapper, "...we are not quite ready yet to make a call on attribution." WTF! Here, read it yourself: http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-dnc-hack-black-propaganda-2016-7

    Totally mindless. So not only is Russia hacking, but we know it's intention is to influence US elections!!! And now their hacking voter DBs and will likely hack our vote tabulating machines. You can't make this s**t up.
    , @Ace
    The phenomenon of overnight press saturation is amazing to behold. Pow! Suddenly there's a new script. Barrel bombs, Assad poison gas, fall of Aleppo, violent Trump supporters, disarray in transition team, David Duke/KKK support, Russian aggression/hacking/manipulation.

    Rush Limbaugh's audio montage segments of MSM figures uttering, on one day, slight variations of a particular phrase or thought were strokes of genius, particularly as they established the "Jornolist" transmission mechanism, since gone underground but fully functional.
  8. The British and Americans have been the victims of conspiracies (False Flag operations) for years.

    For example:

    The Irgun bombing of the King David Hotel (headquarters of the British Mandate Government of Palestine) in which Zionist activists dressed as Arabs placed milk churns filled with explosives against the main columns of the building killing 91 people and injuring 44. Israeli prime Minister Netanyahu, attended a celebration to commemorate the event.

    Operation Susannah (Lavon Affair) where Israeli operatives impersonating Arabs bombed British and American cinemas, libraries and educational centers in Egypt to destabilize the country and keep British troops committed to the Middle East.

    Or June 8, 1967, the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty with unmarked aircraft and torpedo boats. 34 men were killed and 171 wounded, with the attack in international waters following over nine hours of close surveillance. When the ship failed to sink, the Israeli government concocted an elaborate story to cover the crime. Original plan to blame the sinking with all lives lost on the Egyptians and draw the US into the war.

    Or Israelis and U.S. Zionists appearing all over the most recent WTC 9/11 “Operation” with Israelis once again impersonating Arabs in a historic deception/terror action of a type that seems to carry a lot of kudos with old Israeli ex-terrorist Likudniks. Israeli agents were sent to film the historic day (as they later admitted on Israeli TV), with the celebrations including photos of themselves with a background of the burning towers where thousands of Americans were being incinerated.

    Iraq was destroyed as a result of 9/11 but unfortunately for the conspirators, the momentum wasn’t sufficient for a general war including Iran. Also the general war would have included the nuclear angle and justified the activation of a neo-con led Emergency Regime (dictatorship) in the US enforced with the newly printed Patriot Act and Homeland Security troops – or maybe that’s just another Conspiracy Theory?

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I accept that your explanation of the attack on USS Liberty is relatively plausible but another which runs it close is that Israel had to ensure that there was no proof left of the true order of events which were not in accordance with the Israeli official version. So I ask what are your sources?

    Likewise, if you are saying that suicidal hijackers flew planes into buildings on 9/11 but that it was organised by Mossad or other Israelis your story needs a lot of filling out and evidence to be credible. Or are you merely saying the Israelis knew what was going to
    happen and let it go ahead because it could be turned to their advantage?
    , @Konga
    So true!
    But you forgot the two missiles shot from a NATO naval and HQ base in Spain towards Damascus, shot down by the Russians (two weeks before the "agreement" on chemical weapons, remember?) and then attributed to Israel's drills turned wrong...
    , @exiled off mainstreet
    The Israelis learned their false flag lesson from the Nazis, who used concentration camp inmates dressed as Polish soldiers as part of a phony attack on the frontier radio station "Sender Gleiwitz" a day or so before they invaded Poland.
    , @WowJustWow
    Come on. If you're going to false-flag 9/11, you hijack one plane. Hijacking four planes is exactly the kind of plan that has too many moving parts to be sensible. And it didn't go according to plan! Only three out of four planes hit their targets. If the hijackers on United 93 had been fully subdued and found to be Israelis in funny clothes, the other three planes would have been for nothing.

    I can see the USS Liberty one though. I've never heard a plausible explanation for it.
  9. I have a DVD that presents a case that the US men on the moon story was indeed faked and never happened. It goes on to allege how various “evidence” for the landing was faked and it makes a pretty convincing case. Nothing is more convincing though than the clear discomfort of the three astronauts on what would normally be an occasion to celebrate.

    Not one person that I’ve loaned it to has ever come back and not been astounded by it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Nothing is more convincing though than the clear discomfort of the three astronauts on what would normally be an occasion to celebrate.
     
    Here is the footage in question:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RcKLAo62Ro
    , @landlubber
    It would be difficult to fake six landings over the span of 3.5 years. Did NASA also fake the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images of Apollo debris and foot trails?
    , @Mr. Anon
    "It goes on to allege how various “evidence” for the landing was faked and it makes a pretty convincing case."

    I have no idea what might convince you of any particular thing. Perhaps you are convinced by irrelevant and idiotic arguments.

    "Not one person that I’ve loaned it to has ever come back and not been astounded by it."

    Perhaps everyone you know is stupid and easily astounded.
    , @Pat Casey

    Nothing is more convincing though than the clear discomfort of the three astronauts on what would normally be an occasion to celebrate.
     
    I know what you mean. I can but believe that you can always trust a tell. For example, this is a hell of a story:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2FyONXh22M

    If that guy is lying, he deserves an academy award. At one point he mentions Ft. Belvoir "in Maryland." Well Ft. Belvoir is in Virginia, and that small mistake strikes me as one he would only make if he was telling the truth. The guy has lots of tells like that that you can trust, I trust.

    , @Wizard of Oz
    From my experience of actors, including amateur actors i have no problem believing Pat Casey's old guy talking about aliens was either a scripted gig maybe for a bet, maybe to see if he could get some money for his family or for medical treatment and the "tells" I totally discount though it might merely be evidence that he's been telling the story for yonks and no one bothers to pull him up on the one mentioned.

    As to the demeanour of the one astronaut that I have now seen from below your comment it does invite questions but yyou seem to be wrong about it being an occasion for celebration. It seems to be much later when they are probably bored out of their minds and quite pissed off at being required to perform yet again as circus ponies.
    , @Sam Shama
    [I have a DVD that presents a case that the US men on the moon story was indeed faked and never happened.]

    [sotto voce] Have you shared it with nahtanoj yksuver yet?
    , @Darin
    If moon landings were fake, why hadn't USSR or China revealed it? This would discredit USA before the whole world and won the Cold War in one stroke.

    If USSR was also part of the plot, then whole Cold War was fake - and in this case there would be no need for the small Apollo fake.

    Sometimes, stupid conspiracy theories are just stupid conspiracy theories - or smart fakes, designed to discredit conspirational thinking and distract them from the real conspiracies. Take your pick.
    , @El Dato
    It's pretty sad that people are so entirely lacking in basic knowledge of engineering, engineering management and history of engineering so as to believe "fake moon landing" crap ("I saw it on DVD". Yeah so what, I saw OJ Simpson in a "fake Mars landing" thriller, big deal) They also probably believe that computers don't really exist and iPhones are created ab initio by dragooned peasants in Chinese factories.

    These are probably the same people that are ready to continue a high-tech, high-capital civilization after a nuclear war.
  10. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @NoseytheDuke
    I have a DVD that presents a case that the US men on the moon story was indeed faked and never happened. It goes on to allege how various "evidence" for the landing was faked and it makes a pretty convincing case. Nothing is more convincing though than the clear discomfort of the three astronauts on what would normally be an occasion to celebrate.

    Not one person that I've loaned it to has ever come back and not been astounded by it.

    Nothing is more convincing though than the clear discomfort of the three astronauts on what would normally be an occasion to celebrate.

    Here is the footage in question:

    Read More
    • Replies: @eD
    "Nothing is more convincing though than the clear discomfort of the three astronauts on what would normally be an occasion to celebrate. "

    This is quite interesting. The clip shown is less than four minutes, if someone wants to take a look at it.

    If the astronauts went to the moon, then the clip is a fascinating study for psychologists to see how humans react after participating in an extraordinary event. If the event was faked, then Neil Armstrong is trying very hard not to lie outright.
    , @olde reb
    Do you think you might be seeing a non-professional speaker wanting to precisely present his experiences ? The speaker obviously did not read a glib speech prepared in advance. To conclude his speech as untrustworthy is not logical.
  11. @NoseytheDuke
    I have a DVD that presents a case that the US men on the moon story was indeed faked and never happened. It goes on to allege how various "evidence" for the landing was faked and it makes a pretty convincing case. Nothing is more convincing though than the clear discomfort of the three astronauts on what would normally be an occasion to celebrate.

    Not one person that I've loaned it to has ever come back and not been astounded by it.

    It would be difficult to fake six landings over the span of 3.5 years. Did NASA also fake the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images of Apollo debris and foot trails?

    Read More
    • Replies: @AnotherLover
    I always have wondered why we don't have high-quality color photos of the moon. When I was a kid I learned we had spy satellites that could read a license plate from orbit. And then I was shown distant images only of the moon. This was 15 years after we had dune-buggied across its surface. It seemed such a fruitful and easy endeavor to send up a satellite that could take some photos. We're talking ancient history here -- 45 years ago we're supposed to have walked the surface, and I still haven't seen what should be a massive library of awesome moon photos taken from satellite. It was strange during the moon-landing era, it was strange for the decade after that, and for the decade after that, and for the decade after that... It's still strange.

    What photos are you referring to? And are there more (I'm not exactly a dedicated researcher on the topic, as you can tell. The lack of photographs just stuck with me since I was a kid)?
  12. This is a good piece which deserved an acceptable level of mental hygiene in the comment section. Unfortunately, two of the first nine comments are from morons spamming their “no lunar landing” drivel. In all probability the “no nuclear weapons” clowns will also be here imminently. Oh well, a delicious sweet dish will attract a fly as much as a gourmet.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    I can see how the competing distractions would be an inconvenience.
    , @John Jeremiah Smith

    This is a good piece which deserved an acceptable level of mental hygiene in the comment section. Unfortunately, two of the first nine comments are from morons spamming their “no lunar landing” drivel.
     
    Indeed, and absolute drivel. During the first two moon landings, I was working as an electronic technician, aligning and tuning the radio communications antennas at one of the monitor sites. Unless the physics of the electromagnetic Universe was altered by the conspirators, the origin of radio transmissions from the landing crew could only have come from the Moon. Either that, or space aliens operating a whole 'nuther conspiracy used "seekrut" technology to make it look like signals received at every monitor station were from the Moon. If so, kudos on a boss fake-out scheme.
    , @Sam Shama
    [Oh well, a delicious sweet dish will attract a fly as much as a gourmet.]

    LOL. I'll compile a mental list of both. Aren't the comments missing someone btw?

    , @ogunsiron
    In all probability the “no nuclear weapons” clowns will also be here imminently
    ----
    The flat earth guys might beat them to it.
  13. @NoseytheDuke
    I have a DVD that presents a case that the US men on the moon story was indeed faked and never happened. It goes on to allege how various "evidence" for the landing was faked and it makes a pretty convincing case. Nothing is more convincing though than the clear discomfort of the three astronauts on what would normally be an occasion to celebrate.

    Not one person that I've loaned it to has ever come back and not been astounded by it.

    “It goes on to allege how various “evidence” for the landing was faked and it makes a pretty convincing case.”

    I have no idea what might convince you of any particular thing. Perhaps you are convinced by irrelevant and idiotic arguments.

    “Not one person that I’ve loaned it to has ever come back and not been astounded by it.”

    Perhaps everyone you know is stupid and easily astounded.

    Read More
  14. @Anonymous
    The moon landings were likely faked. The Apollo footage was done through front screen projection. See Oleg Oleynik’s work on this:

    “A Stereoscopic method of verifying Apollo lunar surface images”

    http://www.aulis.com/stereoparallax.htm

    A bunch of pissed off russian engineers (ostensibly) who exhibit sour grapes that we did a better job than they did.

    By the way, that guy Oleg Oleynik was at one point in the 90s (according to his bio) a “Soros Post Graduate Student”. What do you make of that, I wonder?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Oleynik is Ukrainian. At any rate, attacking his ethnic background is just a cheap ad hominem argument.

    Soros and his foundations funded, and still do presumably, scholarships and education grants in Eastern Europe following the Soviet collapse.
  15. Kinda hinges on how people define conspiracy, doesn’t it? Does a group of powerful people scheming constitute a conspiracy, or does it need to be lizard people in the White House?

    The former assuredly happens all the time. And those conspiracies are likely quite boring.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Nathan Hale
    Correct. Of course conspiracies are real.

    Among the more famous ones include:

    The Watergate break-in and the coverup.

    Operation Valkyrie and other plots against Hitler.

    The overthrow of the Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954.

    In the corporate world, it often seems that upper management spends a bulk of their time conspiring against one another or entering into secret talks to sell the company to a rival, unbeknownst to the employees or shareholders.
  16. @NoseytheDuke
    I have a DVD that presents a case that the US men on the moon story was indeed faked and never happened. It goes on to allege how various "evidence" for the landing was faked and it makes a pretty convincing case. Nothing is more convincing though than the clear discomfort of the three astronauts on what would normally be an occasion to celebrate.

    Not one person that I've loaned it to has ever come back and not been astounded by it.

    Nothing is more convincing though than the clear discomfort of the three astronauts on what would normally be an occasion to celebrate.

    I know what you mean. I can but believe that you can always trust a tell. For example, this is a hell of a story:

    If that guy is lying, he deserves an academy award. At one point he mentions Ft. Belvoir “in Maryland.” Well Ft. Belvoir is in Virginia, and that small mistake strikes me as one he would only make if he was telling the truth. The guy has lots of tells like that that you can trust, I trust.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    See #30
    , @James Charles
    Is this a conspiracy?

    U.F.O DISCLOSURE PROJECT -FULL VERSION

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkswXVmG4xM
  17. I get the sense Ron’s building up to something.

    For those who haven’t seen it, can I recommend Ryan Dawson’s ‘War by Deception’:

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pat Casey

    I get the sense Ron's building up to something.
     
    One can only hope. This time he mentioned 9/11--- so that base is covered; no need to say more about that than that; besides I doubt even he could add to what has already been published and posted on this site re that Big Lie. I would like to see how he weighs all the evidence on RFK's assassination, what he would be willing to call what looks like nothing as much as what MK-Ultra was about.
  18. Simplifying one “contradiction”:

    Our elites have never been primarily anti-Russian or pro-Russian.

    Since 1946 our elites have been purely GLOBALIST, and their secondary feelings toward Russia strictly follow from this primary goal.

    At first Russia was an obstacle to globalism, blocking much of the UN’s efforts. Our elites were anti-Russian. After 1962 or so, Russia became the main driver of the UN, so our elites were pro-Russian. Since 1989, Russia has been the guiding star for ANTI-globalist forces, so our elites are FEROCIOUSLY anti-Russian.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I have a problem with the idea of likeminded elites who all move in srep together.
  19. Mr. Unz’s direct confrontation with this topic leads me to feel a sense of sentimentality or coming full circle as my “red-pilled” experience literally started with his The Myth of American Meritocracy a little over 2 years ago (I finally looked into the “white privilege” I was “highly exposed” to in college).

    Long story short, I was a lazy liberal beforehand, now a highly motivated conservative; nothing helps one get their ish together better than understanding the trajectory at which our society is heading. The Myth of American Meritocracy singularly led me to have a more open mind in understanding how non-congruent the mainstream narrative can be with man’s shared universal reality, and having spent way too much time in school learning research methodology, I finally applied it via whim thereafter to criminal statistics (but we know where this story ends), then WW2, the mainstream narrative of which I grew up worshiping…

    For someone who, when I was naive, hung on to every word one heard or read in the countless amount of hours I’ve spent in American history classes, for me to learn the hard way of Operation Keelhaul, the Haavara Agreement, the disease epidemic, the migrant crisis (before hand), the hand THE banksters probably played (in playing both sides), and so on, it becomes all too clear how amazingly systematically corrupt our academic system has become. Not once did I ever hear one smidgen about those extremely large plot points; they’re so consistently implicitly left out of the script its terrifying.

    Alternating to my freshman year of high school now, when I was still naive, I complained to our just hired 22 year old (conveniently) Jewish teacher (fresh out of the Ivy League but back to sacrifice where he had graduated high school, he had always reminded us) over having to read about the Little Rock 9 and Ann Frank for literally (in my case) the 4th time (each). Point is, even when I was entirely clueless, and had no defensive instinct at all, it still didn’t feel healthy to read over and over again; I was emotionally exhausted already. I accepted their stories at face value, faced the guilt, and just wanted to move on, yet according to my teacher I “lacked empathy” (so if only we were taught about how the Irish were treated in the 17th we’d be fine). It really is this kind of dwelling on the past that has been institutionalized, and its borderline brain-washing, regardless of the said tragedy’s validity.

    There is one such particular event of WW2 that, once naive, I’ve personally cried over more than any other historical event easily (perhaps even more than anything subjectively experienced), much in thanks to programmed televising… So what’s so weird about all of this, is its like a meta-intellectual betrayal, but with all the emotional connotations of a woman who wronged you in all the worse ways (and she’s inevitably waiting in seemingly every dark corner of history you delve into, thus the “endless rabbit hole” you fall through). And its this implicit brand of deceit that is patently feminine which can be inductively read from the MSM to “read the tea leaves”…

    I could go on and on but really I initially just wanted to thank you Mr. Unz, your publication, and your current and past writing staff. I don’t even want to imagine a world where I had never stumbled upon your work!

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  20. That something might be a conspiracy theory doesn’t exclude it from being a conspiracy fact.

    Read More
  21. Perhaps the media tried too hard, were too eager to be complicit, and now they’ve completely lost the plot. The rise of Trump, in the face of a completely and uniformly hostile media, suggests that a large part of the American public, consciously or not, now completely rejects entire media narratives and assumes the exact opposite to be true. And they’re panicking. Not knowing what to do, they double and triple down on the same fail that got them into this mess. Truly interesting times.

    Thanks, Mr. Unz, for your “small webzine”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith

    The rise of Trump, in the face of a completely and uniformly hostile media, suggests that a large part of the American public, consciously or not, now completely rejects entire media narratives and assumes the exact opposite to be true. And they’re panicking.
     
    Are they? Or, have they simply fired the first few rounds of easily-dispatched, easily-targeted artillery? I do note that this is the most massive full-court press in support of the oligarchy that I have ever seen. But, I sense that political wars have moved from the court of public opinion and perception, into the courtyards of the moneyed elite. Inasmuch as no rich person has ever believed that he or she has enough money and power, the national political conflict is now composed solely of issues that affect the wealth and power of the 0.1%, which is itself segmented into areas of economic focus and varying forms of wealth acquisition. For example, if air transport systems threaten the wealth and power of ocean-based shipping, that competition between oligarchs will morph into politically-expressed contexts.

    There is absolutely no concern, anywhere within the dominion of the 0.1%, with human values, human rights, or any of that sort of ethically-principled hoo-hoo.
  22. I’ve often used the argument myself that conspiracies inevitably have short shelf lives in the US because it was so difficult for Americans to keep secrets. The article makes a useful point in suggesting that secret plots, even after being revealed, may nevertheless remain widely ignored. Ideology, group-think, pack journalism etc. are powerful forces, often subconsciously at work, preventing alternative theories from developing legs.

    Though long an admirer of Karl Popper, I hadn’t strongly associated him with attacks on conspiracy theories per se. As an American “outsider” living abroad most of my adult life, I’ve all too often encountered those who assumed my background alone explained an argument of mine that they didn’t like. Popper had hit the nail on the head when he wrote about

    “a widespread and dangerous fashion of our time…of not taking arguments seriously, and at their face value, at least tentatively, but of seeing in them nothing but a way in which deeper irrational motives and tendencies express themselves.” It was “the attitude of looking at once for the unconscious motives and determinants in the social habitat of the thinker, instead of first examining the validity of the argument itself.”

    The powerful nazi and communist ideologies of his day assumed that one’s “blood” or “class” precluded “correct” thinking. Those politically incorrect challengers to their own totalitarian weltanschauung were (to put it mildly) persecuted as conspirators. No doubt, as Ron Unz notes, Popper’s personal experience “contributed the depth of his feelings” — I would say skepticism – about conspiracy claims.

    But the author of the “Open Society” had an open mind and I suspect he’d find the thesis reasonable that real conspiracies can both be uncovered and largely ignored because so many simply opt to ignore them. In such cases, evidence and “not taking arguments seriously” often reflects “intellectual groupieism,” emotions, professional insecurities as well as venal collective interests.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Connecticut Famer
    "But the author of the “Open Society” had an open mind and I suspect he’d find the thesis reasonable that real conspiracies can both be uncovered and largely ignored because so many simply opt to ignore them. In such cases, evidence and “not taking arguments seriously” often reflects “intellectual groupieism,” emotions, professional insecurities as well as venal collective interests."

    Possibly as in the JFK case? I actually watched Lee Harvey Oswald get drilled by the man who was later identified as Jack Ruby (real surname "Rubenstein") live on television. The minute it happened and even at age 16 at the time I smelled a rat. Who was ultimately behind it all is something which I can't answer and care not to speculate upon, but to this day I remain suspicious about the circumstances surrounding Oswald's death and Ruby's subsequent dissembling.
    , @Bill Jones
    Nice try.

    The Manhattan Project was successfully kept secret despite its scope and the fact that it consumed 17% of the electricity production of the entire US.
  23. @5371
    This is a good piece which deserved an acceptable level of mental hygiene in the comment section. Unfortunately, two of the first nine comments are from morons spamming their "no lunar landing" drivel. In all probability the "no nuclear weapons" clowns will also be here imminently. Oh well, a delicious sweet dish will attract a fly as much as a gourmet.

    I can see how the competing distractions would be an inconvenience.

    Read More
  24. There are more so-called “conspiracy theories” claimed by the US government, CIA, and organized Jewry than the Jews may have been killed by the Nazis. The “conspiracy theorists” like the “terrorists” are chosen by the Zionist-controlled mainstream media.

    Like the September 11, 2001 attacks, the lie that Iran’s president Ahmadinejad called, WIPE ISRAEL OFF THE MAP, is still kept alive by the Organized Jewry even though Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor admitted that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad never said Iran wanted to “wipe Israel off the face of the map” in an interview with Al Jazeera in April 2012.

    American investigative writer and author, Robert Parry, claimed on September 19, 2009 that Ahmadinejad never denied Holocaust. He just challenged Israel and the western powers to allow an open debate to find the truth behind the Zionist Holy Cow, “Six Million Died”.

    In reality, the only country that has been ‘wiped off the map’ is the 5,000-year-old Palestine by Europe’s unwanted Jews.

    Iran’s current president Dr. Hassan Rouhani like Dr. Ahmadinejad, is also blamed for denying the Zionist Holy Holocaust as parroted by Wiesel, which he never did, saying it’s up to historians to decide who’s lying.

    https://rehmat1.com/2013/09/28/holocaust-the-word-rouhani-never-uttered/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Moi
    If the Zionists can lie so much about Israeli history (e.g. The Arabs encouraged Palestinians to flee, that the Arabs were about to attack Israel in 1967, land without a people for a people without a land, etc.), one can only wonder about the official holocaust narrative of 6M dead, gas chambers, etc.).

    I've not read Elie Weisel's book Night, but I understand that no where does he mention gas chambers in Auschwitz....
    , @dahoit
    The only conspiracy with legs is the 70 year old Zionist one,and the only one that matters today.
    And only fellow travelers or their duped concern trolls disagree on that obvious truth.
    Today's lying times says latent racism by the Danes is behind their resistance to their nation being inundated by the refugees of the zionists war of terror.
    Coming from the malevolent racist scum in history,it sure wreaks of total hypocrisy,and another nail in divide and conquer.
    Can one point out one synagogue or rabbinical statement condemning the 70 years of CCs and the imprisonment of Gaza?
    The only Jewish opponents(outside of a few dissidents),the ultra Orthodox are considered self haters,as are the dissidents.
  25. I’ll believe in the moon landings as soon as the Mars Rover shows all of us what Congress Woman Shiela Jackson Lee was looking for when she asked if it could see the flags we left on the moon.

    Read More
    • LOL: Ace
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Are you presuming that it should be easy to travel over the entire moon surface and easily arrive at a precisely defined point - and that where the flags are is such a point?
  26. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    One conspiracy theory is that some of the wilder, more incredible notions of what may have taken place are deliberately circulated so as to muddy the waters and discredit those who question the party line. For example, outlandish claims by some that no planes were crashed on 9-11 but were really just holograms are seized upon by supposed debunkers as being representative of all skeptics, overshadowing the more reasonable types who question the narrative. This seems to be quite deliberate.
    The mainstream American press is the freest in the world, we’ve been told endlessly, and at some point I realized that I was reading these accolades to itself in the very same press. Not the most objective source one comes to realize. Now on the internet it seems there are those who appear to fan out everywhere to influence the discussion, spread their slogans and shout down opposing ideas. Paid trolls and others?
    Conspiracies exist. Consider the Gulf of Tonkin fabrication which certainly involved many actors and yet the general public was kept in the dark about the real facts. The results need not be rehashed yet again. There’s a streak of denial in most people. They don’t want to contemplate the idea that FDR may have deliberately allowed American servicemen to die at Pearl Harbor in order to get the war he wanted. Stepping back from it all to get a long distance view one can see the patterns of deceit and manipulation all throughout American political life. It’s not just incidental but rather is built in.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus

    Stepping back from it all to get a long distance view one can see the patterns of deceit and manipulation all throughout American political life. It’s not just incidental but rather is built in.
     
    Is this built-in deceit and manipulation unique to American life, or -- beyond the usual understandings about human nature -- is the systematic or institutionalized "deceit and manipulation" present in all cultures? in western cultures? in some but not all cultures? If the lattermost, in which cultures is "deceit and manipulation" less systematic and institutionalized?

    Was "deceit and manipulation" institutionalized into American life from the beginning -- by the Founders, or did USA deviate from its intended path at some point? If so, at what point? How did it happen?

    Is there the possibility of redemption?
  27. @Emblematic
    I get the sense Ron's building up to something.

    For those who haven't seen it, can I recommend Ryan Dawson's 'War by Deception':

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pK6VLFdWJ4I

    I get the sense Ron’s building up to something.

    One can only hope. This time he mentioned 9/11— so that base is covered; no need to say more about that than that; besides I doubt even he could add to what has already been published and posted on this site re that Big Lie. I would like to see how he weighs all the evidence on RFK’s assassination, what he would be willing to call what looks like nothing as much as what MK-Ultra was about.

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    • Replies: @anonymous
    Pearl Harbor (covered in "Day of Deceit") is good starting point. I strongly encourage Mr. Unz to read Robert Stinnet's book next before moving on.

    FDR never intended that 2,400 Americans would die there. He just thought that if Japan "struck first", he could justify our entry into WWII to the public. What's really fascinating (and almost wholly unknown) is the sequence of events and headlines from December 8 to December 11, 1941, the date Hitler declared war on the USA.

    While Pearl Harbor meant war with Japan, it did not necessarily guarantee war with Nazi Germany. For 72 hours, no one could be sure that Germany would declare war on us. Did FDR manipulate events post-Pearl Harbor to ensure it did happen?
  28. @Miro23
    The British and Americans have been the victims of conspiracies (False Flag operations) for years.

    For example:

    The Irgun bombing of the King David Hotel (headquarters of the British Mandate Government of Palestine) in which Zionist activists dressed as Arabs placed milk churns filled with explosives against the main columns of the building killing 91 people and injuring 44. Israeli prime Minister Netanyahu, attended a celebration to commemorate the event.

    Operation Susannah (Lavon Affair) where Israeli operatives impersonating Arabs bombed British and American cinemas, libraries and educational centers in Egypt to destabilize the country and keep British troops committed to the Middle East.

    Or June 8, 1967, the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty with unmarked aircraft and torpedo boats. 34 men were killed and 171 wounded, with the attack in international waters following over nine hours of close surveillance. When the ship failed to sink, the Israeli government concocted an elaborate story to cover the crime. Original plan to blame the sinking with all lives lost on the Egyptians and draw the US into the war.

    Or Israelis and U.S. Zionists appearing all over the most recent WTC 9/11 "Operation" with Israelis once again impersonating Arabs in a historic deception/terror action of a type that seems to carry a lot of kudos with old Israeli ex-terrorist Likudniks. Israeli agents were sent to film the historic day (as they later admitted on Israeli TV), with the celebrations including photos of themselves with a background of the burning towers where thousands of Americans were being incinerated.

    Iraq was destroyed as a result of 9/11 but unfortunately for the conspirators, the momentum wasn't sufficient for a general war including Iran. Also the general war would have included the nuclear angle and justified the activation of a neo-con led Emergency Regime (dictatorship) in the US enforced with the newly printed Patriot Act and Homeland Security troops - or maybe that's just another Conspiracy Theory?

    I accept that your explanation of the attack on USS Liberty is relatively plausible but another which runs it close is that Israel had to ensure that there was no proof left of the true order of events which were not in accordance with the Israeli official version. So I ask what are your sources?

    Likewise, if you are saying that suicidal hijackers flew planes into buildings on 9/11 but that it was organised by Mossad or other Israelis your story needs a lot of filling out and evidence to be credible. Or are you merely saying the Israelis knew what was going to
    happen and let it go ahead because it could be turned to their advantage?

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    • Replies: @Miro23
    [Sorry, long reply]

    The basic fact about the USS Liberty is that an American navy ship was attacked with the aim of sinking it, which is an Act of War since the ship was clearly marked.

    In contrast, the attacking Israeli jets and torpedo boats were unmarked (i.e. they wanted to hide their identity), so a question is why were they unmarked if this was a standard military interception?

    Whether the Israelis wanted to trigger a US attack on Egypt or hide their communications with regard to their attack on Syria is a secondary question. The main concern of the United States surely had to be to rescue their seamen and respond to the aggression.

    And, this is where the story turns really nasty.

    At least two rescue attempts were launched from US aircraft carriers nearby, but after the (obligatory) communication to Washington, both rescue flights were cancelled within minutes on direct orders of Secretary of Defence, Robert McNamara (source: 6th Fleet Rear Admiral Lawrence Geis speaking in confidence to the senior Liberty survivor, Naval Security Group officer, Lieutenant Commander David Lewis in a meeting requested by Geis).

    Surviving personnel all received strict orders not say anything to anyone about the attack.

    Eyewitness accounts say that 4 nuclear armed aircraft were simultaneously launched from the aircraft carrier America on the instructions of President Johnson only to be recalled when, presumably, the information came through that the Israelis had not succeeded in sinking the Liberty. Nuclear weapons were not needed to defend the Liberty.

    Also there was an oral history report from the American Embassy in Cairo, (now in the LBJ Library), which notes that the Embassy received an urgent message from Washington warning that Cairo was about to be bombed by US forces.

    An investigation led by Thomas Moorer, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff held the opinion that the Israeli motive was to draw the US into war against Egypt , through a false subterfuge of the same type as their King David Hotel bombing and Lavon Affair operations.

    Any rational person has to conclude that Johnson was virtually following Israeli orders, which raises the question of why? Maybe they were blackmailing him with regard to something else that was more important to him than the destruction of Cairo?

    9/11 had some of the same features as other Israeli False Flag attacks against Britain and the US, such as Israelis dressed as Arabs (framed Arabs) motivated towards tricking these countries into military action against Arab states. In fact the Israeli involvement in 9/11 was much deeper and more generalized as shown in investigative reporter Christopher Bollyn's book, "Solving 9-11: The Deception That Changed the World". https://www.amazon.com/Solving-9-11-Deception-Changed-World/dp/0985322586/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

    15 years later his account is supported in multiple ways from investigations in Florida (they didn't sneak in unseen – they were highly visible and got red carpet treatment with regard to visas etc. and they were completely incapable of flying the 9/11 airliners at the speeds and on the trajectories seen on the day + everyone who had contact with them was visited by the F.B.I. and told to shut up) - Source, a detailed and very interesting investigation by Daniel Hopsicker in "Welcome to Terrorland: Mohamed Atta and the 9/11 Cover-Up in Florida. https://www.amazon.com/Welcome-Terrorland-Mohamed-Cover-up-Florida/dp/0975290673/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

    High-rise buildings don't collapse due to fire (reason given by the US government). All high rise fire disasters have been examined in detail, with most of them much more intense than the WTC ones, and no building collapsed - let alone in 7 seconds and three on the same day.

    These Arabs didn't fly the jets and it's now clear that the buildings were taken down by placed explosives - the aim being to trick the US into an Iraq and Iran war and possibly launch an "Emergency" Neo-con regime (dictatorship) in the US led by Cheney and enforced by the Patriot Act/ Homeland security.

    The other aspect here is that a government (and media) which genuinely represented the American people would give top priority to revealing the truth about the USS Liberty and 9/11 rather than engage in the present obfuscation, blocking, threats, smears and hiding of the truth.
    , @Alden
    Re: your first question about the USS Liberty. The media covered it up completely. I was a young adult who read the newspaper every day plus Atlantic. new Republic and sometimes Newsweek.
    And I never, never heard about it until 20 years later when I began reading books about Zionism

    I've read the book written by survivors. They were severely coerced to not say a word about it. I wouldn't be surprised if they were not threatened with death if they talked. They were in the navy remember and subject to the military code of Justice which means no ha rays corpus no access to attorneys until the trial and other nasty things.

    I can't have an opinion about 9/11 because there is no way I can discover the truth. Silverstein's insurance payout is just a version of a standard insurance scam.
  29. @anonymous
    One conspiracy theory is that some of the wilder, more incredible notions of what may have taken place are deliberately circulated so as to muddy the waters and discredit those who question the party line. For example, outlandish claims by some that no planes were crashed on 9-11 but were really just holograms are seized upon by supposed debunkers as being representative of all skeptics, overshadowing the more reasonable types who question the narrative. This seems to be quite deliberate.
    The mainstream American press is the freest in the world, we've been told endlessly, and at some point I realized that I was reading these accolades to itself in the very same press. Not the most objective source one comes to realize. Now on the internet it seems there are those who appear to fan out everywhere to influence the discussion, spread their slogans and shout down opposing ideas. Paid trolls and others?
    Conspiracies exist. Consider the Gulf of Tonkin fabrication which certainly involved many actors and yet the general public was kept in the dark about the real facts. The results need not be rehashed yet again. There's a streak of denial in most people. They don't want to contemplate the idea that FDR may have deliberately allowed American servicemen to die at Pearl Harbor in order to get the war he wanted. Stepping back from it all to get a long distance view one can see the patterns of deceit and manipulation all throughout American political life. It's not just incidental but rather is built in.

    Stepping back from it all to get a long distance view one can see the patterns of deceit and manipulation all throughout American political life. It’s not just incidental but rather is built in.

    Is this built-in deceit and manipulation unique to American life, or — beyond the usual understandings about human nature — is the systematic or institutionalized “deceit and manipulation” present in all cultures? in western cultures? in some but not all cultures? If the lattermost, in which cultures is “deceit and manipulation” less systematic and institutionalized?

    Was “deceit and manipulation” institutionalized into American life from the beginning — by the Founders, or did USA deviate from its intended path at some point? If so, at what point? How did it happen?

    Is there the possibility of redemption?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    It would be worth considering the different contributions to truth telling and also honest scepticism of the Puritan and other Protestant culture, and of the Enlightenment for a start. Some subjects were difficult - like whether there is a God for all Christians and of course the one that must have addled many brains: slavery.
    , @John Jeremiah Smith

    Is there the possibility of redemption?
     
    Of what is "redemption" constituted? Considering that fewer than 20% of American residents during the Revolution were actually involved in the revolt, with an estimated 40% preferring to retain the colony under monarchy, and considering that the ethical and political awareness of the Average American and the Average Illegal Resident Alien have gone downhill from there, can it honestly be said that there's enough true flavor of human rights and equal access/opportunity to redeem?
    , @Mulegino1
    To my mind, the real point of deviation in the history of the United States is the Spanish American War, and the transformation of America from a tellurocratic to a thallasocratic power. America's traditional role had been that of a vast, continental, land based power, eschewing intervention in the affairs of Europe and the rest of the world outside the Western Hemisphere. (This is largely the reason that the Russian Czar allied with the Union in the American Civil War).

    Unfortunately, America's traditional tellurocratic role was abandonded - thanks to the likes of Admiral ("Victory through Sea Power") Mahan, John Hay, and the loopy Teddy Roosevelt, inter alia - and the nation went on to embrace the role of international arbiter and busybody, and became insatiable in the pursuit of empire, with catastrophic results for the world.

  30. @NoseytheDuke
    I have a DVD that presents a case that the US men on the moon story was indeed faked and never happened. It goes on to allege how various "evidence" for the landing was faked and it makes a pretty convincing case. Nothing is more convincing though than the clear discomfort of the three astronauts on what would normally be an occasion to celebrate.

    Not one person that I've loaned it to has ever come back and not been astounded by it.

    From my experience of actors, including amateur actors i have no problem believing Pat Casey’s old guy talking about aliens was either a scripted gig maybe for a bet, maybe to see if he could get some money for his family or for medical treatment and the “tells” I totally discount though it might merely be evidence that he’s been telling the story for yonks and no one bothers to pull him up on the one mentioned.

    As to the demeanour of the one astronaut that I have now seen from below your comment it does invite questions but yyou seem to be wrong about it being an occasion for celebration. It seems to be much later when they are probably bored out of their minds and quite pissed off at being required to perform yet again as circus ponies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pat Casey
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9Jw0pwTtus

    Ok, what about that tell? You should really watch the whole thing here if you haven't:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NlJQJUUqR4

    My friend knows the guy that interviewed the man about Eisenhower and area 51. He's supposed to be the steely-eyed vet in a field full of dupes. It's possible he's a charlatan employing an actor, but that's not what it sounds like. The one that I can't decide on is this disinformation agent Richard Doty from the film Mirage Men. That one is worth watching.

    My education into the likelihood of extraterrestrials took a quantum leap when I watched The Pyramid Codes on netflix. Mind you that is not an idea the series puts forward---the footage of the Pyramid they don't take tourists to see is enough to know those folks had technology we do not have today.

    For the record I believe we landed on the moon. But, the idea that we did not probably comes from the underbelly of our own government.
  31. @Pat Casey

    Nothing is more convincing though than the clear discomfort of the three astronauts on what would normally be an occasion to celebrate.
     
    I know what you mean. I can but believe that you can always trust a tell. For example, this is a hell of a story:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2FyONXh22M

    If that guy is lying, he deserves an academy award. At one point he mentions Ft. Belvoir "in Maryland." Well Ft. Belvoir is in Virginia, and that small mistake strikes me as one he would only make if he was telling the truth. The guy has lots of tells like that that you can trust, I trust.

    See #30

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  32. @polistra
    Simplifying one "contradiction":

    Our elites have never been primarily anti-Russian or pro-Russian.

    Since 1946 our elites have been purely GLOBALIST, and their secondary feelings toward Russia strictly follow from this primary goal.

    At first Russia was an obstacle to globalism, blocking much of the UN's efforts. Our elites were anti-Russian. After 1962 or so, Russia became the main driver of the UN, so our elites were pro-Russian. Since 1989, Russia has been the guiding star for ANTI-globalist forces, so our elites are FEROCIOUSLY anti-Russian.

    I have a problem with the idea of likeminded elites who all move in srep together.

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    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    They don't move in lockstep-(I assume you meant) together.
    They do however have a series of identical interests:

    Lower taxes on Capital Gains and Dividends than on Earned Income.

    No barriers to entry to low-wage unskilled workers for jobs that need to be performed in the US.

    No barriers to goods produced from low-wage countries, no matter what the conditions they are produced in.

    Control of the Federal Reserve.

    Tax-payer bailouts of failing institutions.

    etc, etc.

    If you want to get into it, I'm happy to.
  33. Actually, there is no symmetry in conspiracy theories as you imply.

    The definition of a conspiracy theory is an explanation of events that traces them to a secret network, and when presented with contradictory evidence, simply enlarges the network of supposed conspirators rather than modifying the explanation.

    So, just to cite one example, all of the 9/11 controlled demolition stuff is a conspiracy theory because at first it had the government and maybe the property owners in on the secret, but then the circle of supposed conspirators was enlarged to include the editors of Popular Mechanics after they did their study. Or take the moon landing, which involved ‘only’ thousands of NASA people until you point out that the astronauts left mirrors on the surface of the moon in a precise location, for which astronomers around the world use laser ranging to determine the distance to the moon down to the centimeter level. So then the astronomers who claim to do this had to be added to the list of conspirators and liars for this theory to stand. Then of course the more you point out, the more people who have to get added to the conspiracy, which eventually becomes all of the television industry, and even the Soviets!

    That is the reason why the so-called alternative explanations for 9/11, the moon landing, the various assassinations, the safety of vaccines, etc, are conspiracy theories, while the mainstream explanations are not.

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    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith

    The definition of a conspiracy theory is an explanation of events that traces them to a secret network, and when presented with contradictory evidence, simply enlarges the network of supposed conspirators rather than modifying the explanation.
     
    LOL x 2. I think you're saying that the above is YOUR definition of "conspiracy theory", not to be confused with any real and accurate definition of "conspiracy theory".
    , @zib
    but then the circle of supposed conspirators was enlarged to include the editors of Popular Mechanics after they did their study

    Nice attempt to conflate the planners and executors of the 9/11 attacks with those who run interference for the "official" history of what happened that day. PM editors aren't "conspirators" of the deed, they're just a mouthpiece for NIST.

    Here's a link to Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth's evisceration of Popular Mechanics hit piece against skeptics of the NIST whitewash:

    http://www1.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/604-debunking-the-real-911-myths-why-popular-mechanics-cant-face-up-to-reality-part-1.html

    Let's see how you rationalize this one. If you have the cajones, that is.
    , @Boris

    The definition of a conspiracy theory is an explanation of events that traces them to a secret network, and when presented with contradictory evidence, simply enlarges the network of supposed conspirators rather than modifying the explanation.
     
    This is a fairly useful definition, and certainly highlights some of the pathological reasoning that is associated with conspiracy theories. However, not all conspiracy theories will exhibit this characteristic. Conspiracies like 9/11 that rely on scientific facts are sometimes rationalized this way, but other conspiracies are built on suspect witness testimony or a biased interpretation and don't require an ever-widening conspiracy.
    , @Hippopotamusdrome


    the astronauts left mirrors on the surface of the moon

     

    It could also be a mirror on the roof of an unmanned probe.
  34. @The Alarmist
    I'll believe in the moon landings as soon as the Mars Rover shows all of us what Congress Woman Shiela Jackson Lee was looking for when she asked if it could see the flags we left on the moon.

    Are you presuming that it should be easy to travel over the entire moon surface and easily arrive at a precisely defined point – and that where the flags are is such a point?

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    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    I was having a little fun with the fact that a Congress Critter thought the Mars Rover could drive up to an American flag planted by the Astronauts on the Earth's Moon.
    , @Zzz
    Actually it is. Relatively easy. Time and money consuming but not hard, at least compare to put robot on mars. And you not need to travel over entire surface, you can just land robot at about same place. But such experiment is pointless because have little science value and any evidence from it can be called fake(or be faked)
  35. @SolontoCroesus

    Stepping back from it all to get a long distance view one can see the patterns of deceit and manipulation all throughout American political life. It’s not just incidental but rather is built in.
     
    Is this built-in deceit and manipulation unique to American life, or -- beyond the usual understandings about human nature -- is the systematic or institutionalized "deceit and manipulation" present in all cultures? in western cultures? in some but not all cultures? If the lattermost, in which cultures is "deceit and manipulation" less systematic and institutionalized?

    Was "deceit and manipulation" institutionalized into American life from the beginning -- by the Founders, or did USA deviate from its intended path at some point? If so, at what point? How did it happen?

    Is there the possibility of redemption?

    It would be worth considering the different contributions to truth telling and also honest scepticism of the Puritan and other Protestant culture, and of the Enlightenment for a start. Some subjects were difficult – like whether there is a God for all Christians and of course the one that must have addled many brains: slavery.

    Read More
  36. Agreed. This is an exemplary piece of scholarship and also an enthralling re-telling of our recent past. Highly recommended.

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  37. Your characterization of Strauss on conspiracy has almost no basis in anything Strauss actually wrote. I would bet that you are presenting a dumbed -down and inaccurate version of Shadia Drury’s books on Strauss, which are themselves abysmally inaccurate and libelous about Strauss.

    The only place Strauss discusses conspiracy thematically that I can recall–and I have read all his books several times, and still read them; have/do you?–is on Thoughts on Machiavelli. Strauss does so, first and foremost, because conspiracy is a major theme of Machiavelli’s and the subject of the two longest chapters of his two most important books (Prince 19 and Discourses III 6). Strauss further develops the idea that modern philosophy begins as a conspiracy between Machiavelli and (some of) his readers. Strauss simply never said anything like this:

    Meanwhile, Strauss, a founding figure in modern neo-conservative thought, was equally harsh in his attacks upon conspiracy analysis, but for polar-opposite reasons. In his mind, elite conspiracies were absolutely necessary and beneficial, a crucial social defense against anarchy or totalitarianism, but their effectiveness obviously depended upon keeping them hidden from the prying eyes of the ignorant masses. His main problem with “conspiracy theories” was not that they were always false, but they might often be true, and therefore their spread was potentially disruptive to the smooth functioning of society. So as a matter of self-defense, elites needed to actively suppress or otherwise undercut the unauthorized investigation of suspected conspiracies.

    As for his relationship with neoconservatism, you also overstate that considerably. Yes, there are many neoconservative Straussians. But there are also Straussian paleos, tradcons, liberatarians, liberals, and moderates. There are many who are apolitical and interested only in abstract philosophy. There are Straussian religious conservatives, agnostics and atheists. Christians, Jews and Muslim. Catholic, Protestants and Mormons. The neocons just get all the attention–owing again, in part to Drury and in part to one terrible 2003 article by James Atlas, which no one these days has read, but quickly became THE account of neocon Straussians controlling the Bush administration, which everyone today believes without having read, or even being aware of (have/are you?).

    If “neocon” has any meaning, it means, first, a former intellectual liberal who has drifted right. Second, a domestic policy scholar who focuses on data-driven social science. And third, a foreign policy hawk.

    None of these really apply to Strauss, who spent his who career studying political philosophy, with an intense focus on the Greeks. He voted Dem in every election in which he could vote, until his last, 1972, when he voted for Nixon out of Cold War concerns. You might say that makes him a “hawk” but he never wrote any essays saying so. He simply told a few people privately that McGovern was too naïve about the Soviets. You might also say that is evidence that he “drifted right” but he didn’t think so. He apparently considered himself a Cold War liberal until his death. As for data-driven social science, he famously attacked it in of the very few of his writings that ever got any attention in mainstream political science (“An Epilogue”).

    You may well be right about the CIA’s role in popularizing the phrase “conspiracy theory.” But Leo Strauss had nothing to do with it. Or, if he did, he hid his role exceptionally well, because there is no evidence of such in his writings.

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    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
    C Bradley Thompson was educated/trained as a Straussian neoconservative, then got mugged by reality and started to re-assess his own philosophical orientation.

    One of the most interesting points Thompson makes in this discussion of his book, Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea, occurs in the Q&A segment when he demonstrates that Strauss was, indeed, an acolyte of Nazi philosopher Carl Schmitt

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Oh6DmjQaho
    , @Ron Unz

    Your characterization of Strauss on conspiracy has almost no basis in anything Strauss actually wrote. I would bet that you are presenting a dumbed -down and inaccurate version of Shadia Drury’s books on Strauss, which are themselves abysmally inaccurate and libelous about Strauss. The only place Strauss discusses conspiracy thematically that I can recall–and I have read all his books several times, and still read them; have/do you?....The neocons just get all the attention–owing again, in part to Drury and in part to one terrible 2003 article by James Atlas, which no one these days has read, but quickly became THE account of neocon Straussians controlling the Bush administration...He apparently considered himself a Cold War liberal until his death.
     
    I'll candidly admit I haven't read a single one of Strauss's own books, nor even that very influential James Atlas article you dislike so intensely. Instead, I was merely summarizing the extensive arguments of Prof. deHaven-Smith, who, as a prominent political scientist, is presumably quite familiar with Strauss, though I don't doubt that his views might differ considerably from your own.

    But on your second point, I do remember seeing a very amusing private letter of Strauss that came to light about a decade or so ago. Written shortly after his arrival in America, it was addressed to a fellow ultra-rightwing Jewish exile from Europe, and in it he praised fascism and (I think) Nazism to the skies, arguing that their regrettable deviation into "anti-Semitism" (which had precipitated his own personal exile from Germany) should in no way be considered a refutation of all the other wonderful aspects of those political doctrines. This leads me to wonder if Strauss was truly the "liberal" you suggest, or perhaps was instead engaging in exactly the sort of "ideological crypsis" that seems such an important part of his political philosophy...

    It's likely my faulty memory may have garbled important aspects of the letter I mention, and given your expertise on Straussian issues, I'm sure you should be able to locate it and easily correct me.
    , @Pat Casey
    Actually I don't think Ron is so far off. And I think, at best, you must be overeducated. Strauss held that authentic philosophy is a conspiracy. From there, certain practical advice about how to carry out the philosophy of the true philosopher follows. Such advice would about seem to be how Ron said it was.

    I have not read the essay by Atlas. But for the duration of the Bush Administration I did read the Weekly Standard. I recall in particular one time when the editors recommended what books to bring to the beach, and Bill Kristol said "anything by Leo Strauss." My impression is that the Weekly Standard's brazen propaganda back then was the way certain editors understood themselves to be acting like Strauss's true disciples.

    And of course now Krystol is hocking a former spook to run against Trump in Utah.
  38. @Gene Tuttle
    I’ve often used the argument myself that conspiracies inevitably have short shelf lives in the US because it was so difficult for Americans to keep secrets. The article makes a useful point in suggesting that secret plots, even after being revealed, may nevertheless remain widely ignored. Ideology, group-think, pack journalism etc. are powerful forces, often subconsciously at work, preventing alternative theories from developing legs.

    Though long an admirer of Karl Popper, I hadn’t strongly associated him with attacks on conspiracy theories per se. As an American “outsider” living abroad most of my adult life, I’ve all too often encountered those who assumed my background alone explained an argument of mine that they didn’t like. Popper had hit the nail on the head when he wrote about

    “a widespread and dangerous fashion of our time...of not taking arguments seriously, and at their face value, at least tentatively, but of seeing in them nothing but a way in which deeper irrational motives and tendencies express themselves.” It was “the attitude of looking at once for the unconscious motives and determinants in the social habitat of the thinker, instead of first examining the validity of the argument itself.”
     
    The powerful nazi and communist ideologies of his day assumed that one’s “blood” or “class” precluded “correct” thinking. Those politically incorrect challengers to their own totalitarian weltanschauung were (to put it mildly) persecuted as conspirators. No doubt, as Ron Unz notes, Popper’s personal experience “contributed the depth of his feelings” -- I would say skepticism – about conspiracy claims.

    But the author of the “Open Society” had an open mind and I suspect he’d find the thesis reasonable that real conspiracies can both be uncovered and largely ignored because so many simply opt to ignore them. In such cases, evidence and “not taking arguments seriously” often reflects “intellectual groupieism,” emotions, professional insecurities as well as venal collective interests.

    “But the author of the “Open Society” had an open mind and I suspect he’d find the thesis reasonable that real conspiracies can both be uncovered and largely ignored because so many simply opt to ignore them. In such cases, evidence and “not taking arguments seriously” often reflects “intellectual groupieism,” emotions, professional insecurities as well as venal collective interests.”

    Possibly as in the JFK case? I actually watched Lee Harvey Oswald get drilled by the man who was later identified as Jack Ruby (real surname “Rubenstein”) live on television. The minute it happened and even at age 16 at the time I smelled a rat. Who was ultimately behind it all is something which I can’t answer and care not to speculate upon, but to this day I remain suspicious about the circumstances surrounding Oswald’s death and Ruby’s subsequent dissembling.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I don't dismiss your intuitions as such but you hardly present a great case for affording them much weight. What you immediately felt at age 16 watching a screen? Nope. The fact that Jack Ruby dissembled?
    , @dahoit
    I was 12 and had the same feeling.
    Lanskys mob member shoots down any investigation into just what happened that day.
    And remember Arlen Spector came up with the magic bullet theory,and was rewarded with Congress.
  39. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Pat Casey

    I get the sense Ron's building up to something.
     
    One can only hope. This time he mentioned 9/11--- so that base is covered; no need to say more about that than that; besides I doubt even he could add to what has already been published and posted on this site re that Big Lie. I would like to see how he weighs all the evidence on RFK's assassination, what he would be willing to call what looks like nothing as much as what MK-Ultra was about.

    Pearl Harbor (covered in “Day of Deceit”) is good starting point. I strongly encourage Mr. Unz to read Robert Stinnet’s book next before moving on.

    FDR never intended that 2,400 Americans would die there. He just thought that if Japan “struck first”, he could justify our entry into WWII to the public. What’s really fascinating (and almost wholly unknown) is the sequence of events and headlines from December 8 to December 11, 1941, the date Hitler declared war on the USA.

    While Pearl Harbor meant war with Japan, it did not necessarily guarantee war with Nazi Germany. For 72 hours, no one could be sure that Germany would declare war on us. Did FDR manipulate events post-Pearl Harbor to ensure it did happen?

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    • Replies: @Hibernian
    "FDR never intended that 2,400 Americans would die there."

    Did he think our forces at Pearl, lacking needed intelligence, would limit the losses to a lesser number?
  40. @5371
    This is a good piece which deserved an acceptable level of mental hygiene in the comment section. Unfortunately, two of the first nine comments are from morons spamming their "no lunar landing" drivel. In all probability the "no nuclear weapons" clowns will also be here imminently. Oh well, a delicious sweet dish will attract a fly as much as a gourmet.

    This is a good piece which deserved an acceptable level of mental hygiene in the comment section. Unfortunately, two of the first nine comments are from morons spamming their “no lunar landing” drivel.

    Indeed, and absolute drivel. During the first two moon landings, I was working as an electronic technician, aligning and tuning the radio communications antennas at one of the monitor sites. Unless the physics of the electromagnetic Universe was altered by the conspirators, the origin of radio transmissions from the landing crew could only have come from the Moon. Either that, or space aliens operating a whole ‘nuther conspiracy used “seekrut” technology to make it look like signals received at every monitor station were from the Moon. If so, kudos on a boss fake-out scheme.

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    • Replies: @The most deplorable one
    I was still in my early teens in 1969, and dimly recall hearing a radio broadcast while at school of the event.

    In thinking about whether or not the moon landings were faked I looked at which aspects of the landings represented the most risk to the astronauts because it could not have been realistically practiced beforehand.

    The only thing I could come up with was the descent to the moon phase. Here, the astronauts were sitting on top of an inverted pendulum controlling a bunch of rockets to control their descent in Lunar gravity and once the descent started their was almost nothing the astronauts could do if they could not manage to land.

    Getting to the moon and orbiting the moon presents far less problems, it seems to me than actually landing on it.

    However, once I discovered the Lunar Lander Research Vehicle:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_Landing_Research_Vehicle

    it seemed to me that pretty much all avenues had been thought of.
    , @The Alarmist

    "Unless the physics of the electromagnetic Universe was altered by the conspirators, the origin of radio transmissions from the landing crew could only have come from the Moon. "
     
    I suppose NASA could have sent an S-Band repeater to the Moon.
    , @Buzz Mohawk
    I was a boy watching those transmissions you helped bring us. Thank you, Sir!

    Apollo is one of the greatest human achievements, my absolute favorite historical event. I consider myself lucky to have been alive and old enough to witness and understand it.

    I even built a model of the Saturn V and the attached spacecraft. I used these in lectures my teachers invited me to give to our fifth and sixth grade science classes! I knew the flight plans and hardware backward and forward, and my teachers recognized my enthusiasm and aptitude. At age ten I was making smarter presentations about Apollo missions than Walter Cronkite (seriously).

    I salute you!

    Fake landing nut jobs and idiots are just background noise fuzzing up what you helped bring us. And I believe there has been in fact some conspiratorial effort over the years to promote their idiocy, a conspiracy on the part of those who would weaken American pride and reputation.
  41. @biz
    Actually, there is no symmetry in conspiracy theories as you imply.

    The definition of a conspiracy theory is an explanation of events that traces them to a secret network, and when presented with contradictory evidence, simply enlarges the network of supposed conspirators rather than modifying the explanation.

    So, just to cite one example, all of the 9/11 controlled demolition stuff is a conspiracy theory because at first it had the government and maybe the property owners in on the secret, but then the circle of supposed conspirators was enlarged to include the editors of Popular Mechanics after they did their study. Or take the moon landing, which involved 'only' thousands of NASA people until you point out that the astronauts left mirrors on the surface of the moon in a precise location, for which astronomers around the world use laser ranging to determine the distance to the moon down to the centimeter level. So then the astronomers who claim to do this had to be added to the list of conspirators and liars for this theory to stand. Then of course the more you point out, the more people who have to get added to the conspiracy, which eventually becomes all of the television industry, and even the Soviets!

    That is the reason why the so-called alternative explanations for 9/11, the moon landing, the various assassinations, the safety of vaccines, etc, are conspiracy theories, while the mainstream explanations are not.

    The definition of a conspiracy theory is an explanation of events that traces them to a secret network, and when presented with contradictory evidence, simply enlarges the network of supposed conspirators rather than modifying the explanation.

    LOL x 2. I think you’re saying that the above is YOUR definition of “conspiracy theory”, not to be confused with any real and accurate definition of “conspiracy theory”.

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    • Replies: @biz
    No what I have put is the generally accepted definition used in journalistic and sociological works about conspiracy theory culture, e.g. this book.
  42. Superb article.

    It’s good to see that Mr. Beard is getting some well deserved good press. It’s also good to have people put on alert about Leo Strauss; his name should be a household word, and that of derision.

    I first learned of the fool at LewRockwell.com, and I feel it’s worth investigating him as a source of the goofy neocon outlook that the world’s been suffering under for decades.

    “Strauss, who opposed the idea of individual rights, maintained that neither the ancient world nor the Christian envisioned strict, absolute limits on state power.

    …Straussian neoconservatism is not conservatism as it has ever been understood in America or anywhere else…”

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2004/09/thomas-woods/the-neocon-godfather/

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  43. Mr. Unz,

    Here is a link to Carl Bernstein’s definitive 1977 Rolling Stone article “CIA and the Media” in which he addresses – and confirms – your worst fears. You are very right, and no less a figure than Bernstein has said so for nearly four decades . . .

    http://www.carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php

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    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Here is a link to Carl Bernstein’s definitive 1977 Rolling Stone article “CIA and the Media” in which he addresses – and confirms – your worst fears. You are very right, and no less a figure than Bernstein has said so for nearly four decades...
     
    Thanks so much for the excellent reference to the Bernstein article, of which I hadn't been aware. I found it fascinating, not least because of all the speculations floating around over the last decade or two that Bernstein's famed collaborator, Bob Woodward, had had an intelligence background, and perhaps Watergate represented a plot by elements of the CIA to remove Nixon from the White House. As for the 25,000 word article itself, I'd suggest that people read it. Since quite a lot of this comment-thread is already filled with debates about the supposed liberalism of Leo Strauss and an alleged Moon Landing Hoax, I might as well provide a few of the provocative extracts:

    http://www.carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php

    He was very eager, he loved to cooperate.” On one occasion, according to several CIA officials, Sulzberger was given a briefing paper by the Agency which ran almost verbatim under the columnist’s byline in the Times. “Cycame out and said, ‘I’m thinking of doing a piece, can you give me some background?’” a CIA officer said. “We gave it to Cy as a background piece and Cy gave it to the printers and put his name on it.” Sulzberger denies that any incident occurred. “A lot of baloney,” he said.
     

    Stewart Alsop’s relationship with the Agency was much more extensive than Sulzberger’s. One official who served at the highest levels in the CIA said flatly: “Stew Alsop was a CIA agent.” An equally senior official refused to define Alsop’s relationship with the Agency except to say it was a formal one. Other sources said that Alsop was particularly helpful to the Agency in discussions with, officials of foreign governments—asking questions to which the CIA was seeking answers, planting misinformation advantageous to American policy, assessing opportunities for CIA recruitment of well‑placed foreigners.
     

    The New York Times. The Agency’s relationship with the Times was by far its most valuable among newspapers, according to CIA officials. From 1950 to 1966, about ten CIA employees were provided Times cover under arrangements approved by the newspaper’s late publisher, Arthur Hays Sulzberger. The cover arrangements were part of a general Times policy—set by Sulzberger—to provide assistance to the CIA whenever possible.
     

    When Newsweek waspurchased by the Washington Post Company, publisher Philip L. Graham was informed by Agency officials that the CIA occasionally used the magazine for cover purposes, according to CIA sources. "It was widely known that Phil Graham was somebody you could get help from," said a former deputy director of the Agency. "Frank Wisner dealt with him." Wisner, deputy director of the CIA from 1950 until shortly before his suicide in 1965, was the Agency's premier orchestrator of "black" operations, including many in which journalists were involved. Wisner liked to boast of his "mighty Wurlitzer," a wondrous propaganda instrument he built, and played, with help from the press.) Phil Graham was probably Wisner's closest friend. But Graharn, who committed suicide in 1963, apparently knew little of the specifics of any cover arrangements with Newsweek, CIA sources said.
     

    The Agency played an intriguing numbers game with the committee. Those who prepared the material say it was physically impossible to produce all of the Agency’s files on the use of journalists. “We gave them a broad, representative picture,” said one agency official. “We never pretended it was a total description of the range of activities over 25 years, or of the number of journalists who have done things for us.” A relatively small number of the summaries described the activities of foreign journalists—including those working as stringers for American publications. Those officials most knowledgeable about the subject say that a figure of 400 American journalists is on the low side of the actual number who maintained covert relationships and undertook clandestine tasks.
     

    From the twenty‑five files he got back, according to Senate sources and CIA officials, an unavoidable conclusion emerged: that to a degree never widely suspected, the CIA in the 1950s, ‘60s and even early ‘70s had concentrated its relationships with journalists in the most prominent sectors of the American press corps, including four or five of the largest newspapers in the country, the broadcast networks and the two major newsweekly magazines. Despite the omission of names and affiliations from the twenty‑five detailed files each was between three and eleven inches thick), the information was usually sufficient to tentatively identify either the newsman, his affiliation or both—particularly because so many of them were prominent in the profession.
     
    , @LondonBob
    No coincidence that all the CIA agents involved in the JFK assassination are known to be experts in 'black ops' and news media specialists. Jim Angleton, Cord Meyer, David Atlee Phillips and E. Howard Hunt, who confessed his involvement, all made their names in black propaganda or news management.
  44. Popper and Strauss. Neoliberal thought unites with neoconservative thought. Explicitly different rationales, but the same goals and the same method of achieving those goals. Sounds like target marketing of the two biggest target markets of American exceptionalism – dumb and dumber. Apparently critical thinkers are a minority that they believe can be easily marginalized.

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  45. @JL
    Perhaps the media tried too hard, were too eager to be complicit, and now they've completely lost the plot. The rise of Trump, in the face of a completely and uniformly hostile media, suggests that a large part of the American public, consciously or not, now completely rejects entire media narratives and assumes the exact opposite to be true. And they're panicking. Not knowing what to do, they double and triple down on the same fail that got them into this mess. Truly interesting times.

    Thanks, Mr. Unz, for your "small webzine".

    The rise of Trump, in the face of a completely and uniformly hostile media, suggests that a large part of the American public, consciously or not, now completely rejects entire media narratives and assumes the exact opposite to be true. And they’re panicking.

    Are they? Or, have they simply fired the first few rounds of easily-dispatched, easily-targeted artillery? I do note that this is the most massive full-court press in support of the oligarchy that I have ever seen. But, I sense that political wars have moved from the court of public opinion and perception, into the courtyards of the moneyed elite. Inasmuch as no rich person has ever believed that he or she has enough money and power, the national political conflict is now composed solely of issues that affect the wealth and power of the 0.1%, which is itself segmented into areas of economic focus and varying forms of wealth acquisition. For example, if air transport systems threaten the wealth and power of ocean-based shipping, that competition between oligarchs will morph into politically-expressed contexts.

    There is absolutely no concern, anywhere within the dominion of the 0.1%, with human values, human rights, or any of that sort of ethically-principled hoo-hoo.

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    • Agree: Jacques Sheete
    • Replies: @JL
    I suppose my comment came off somewhat like unbridled, naive optimism. Your points are unquestionably valid, however, and I am disinclined to argue. Of course Trump represents the interests of certain groups of elites and is not merely the essence of a popular movement. I'll be honest, though, I'm having a tough time determining who these groups are, exactly.

    Just like with Brexit, these events don't happen without powerful manipulation from somewhere within the 0.1%. Still, it's tough for me to imagine what a Trump presidency will even look like. Who will be in his cabinet, from what backgrounds will they come?

    There is absolutely no concern, anywhere within the dominion of the 0.1%, with human values, human rights, or any of that sort of ethically-principled hoo-hoo.
     
    Certainly not. What are fundamentally important questions for us are merely means to an end for them.
  46. @SolontoCroesus

    Stepping back from it all to get a long distance view one can see the patterns of deceit and manipulation all throughout American political life. It’s not just incidental but rather is built in.
     
    Is this built-in deceit and manipulation unique to American life, or -- beyond the usual understandings about human nature -- is the systematic or institutionalized "deceit and manipulation" present in all cultures? in western cultures? in some but not all cultures? If the lattermost, in which cultures is "deceit and manipulation" less systematic and institutionalized?

    Was "deceit and manipulation" institutionalized into American life from the beginning -- by the Founders, or did USA deviate from its intended path at some point? If so, at what point? How did it happen?

    Is there the possibility of redemption?

    Is there the possibility of redemption?

    Of what is “redemption” constituted? Considering that fewer than 20% of American residents during the Revolution were actually involved in the revolt, with an estimated 40% preferring to retain the colony under monarchy, and considering that the ethical and political awareness of the Average American and the Average Illegal Resident Alien have gone downhill from there, can it honestly be said that there’s enough true flavor of human rights and equal access/opportunity to redeem?

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  47. @John Jeremiah Smith

    The definition of a conspiracy theory is an explanation of events that traces them to a secret network, and when presented with contradictory evidence, simply enlarges the network of supposed conspirators rather than modifying the explanation.
     
    LOL x 2. I think you're saying that the above is YOUR definition of "conspiracy theory", not to be confused with any real and accurate definition of "conspiracy theory".

    No what I have put is the generally accepted definition used in journalistic and sociological works about conspiracy theory culture, e.g. this book.

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    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith

    No what I have put is the generally accepted definition used in journalistic and sociological works about conspiracy theory culture, e.g. this book.
     
    Journalism? Sociological works? You choose to quote even bigger liars as defining "conspiracy theory"?


    "A conspiracy theory is a belief that a secret conspiracy has actually been decisive in producing a political event or evil outcome which the theorists strongly disapprove of. The conspiracy theory typically identifies the conspirators, provides evidence that supposedly links them together with an evil plan to harm the body politic, and may also point to a supposed cover up by authorities or media who should have stopped the conspiracy. The duty of the theorist is to pick from a myriad of facts and assumptions and reassemble them to form a picture of the conspiracy, as in a jigsaw puzzle. A theorist may publicly identify specific conspirators, and if they deny the allegations that is evidence they have been sworn to secrecy and are probably guilty."

    Similar, agreed, but with noteworthy differences.

  48. Good epistemological analysis.

    The great flaw in the Western system of “democratic” government is that hardly anyone knows the meaning of the word “epistemology”, let alone have any grasp of the underlying challenge of knowing what they know, or rather knowing how little they know beyond what they know from direct personal experience. This is a challenge made vastly more difficult in the modern age when almost everything we know is derived not from personal experience, or from other people of whose character and intellectual competence we have some personal knowledge, but from the arrangement of ink on paper or of pixels on a video screen. To this problem, there is probably no solution, although either a sharp restriction of the franchise to those of some maturity and education, or a division of the franchise according to what each particular individual could be expected to know something about, would be a step in the right direction.

    As it is, we will, inevitably, continue to be the target of high powered manipulation by corporate owned media and other powerful interests.

    Professor Lance Haven de Smith, whose book you mention is an expert on SCADS, or state crimes against democracy. An article by him on this topic is available here. There is some interesting academic material about SCADs here.

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  49. In spook circles, leaving clues is referred to as inoculation….refer to the work of Bill McGuire in the late 50s and early 60s. For example, we here in Langley and Ft. Meade have left intact on the internet the early picture of the 20′ entry hole left by the “757″ in the facade of the pentagon before the explosion and complete collapse of the exterior wall ……..inviting the conspiratorial question ” where are the wings, the mangled cadavers, the tail?”. This is all just too easy………

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  50. Highly reccomend Chris Buckley’s book
    “Little Green Men” The plot is that the entire UFO thing was set up after WW3 by the DOJ to keep the money flowing. Like all Buckley’s books, it’s a great read.

    I stopped believing in anything written in newspapers around 1966 because they were so pro black criminal and anti police

    Have fun on Labor Day

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  51. @biz
    No what I have put is the generally accepted definition used in journalistic and sociological works about conspiracy theory culture, e.g. this book.

    No what I have put is the generally accepted definition used in journalistic and sociological works about conspiracy theory culture, e.g. this book.

    Journalism? Sociological works? You choose to quote even bigger liars as defining “conspiracy theory”?

    “A conspiracy theory is a belief that a secret conspiracy has actually been decisive in producing a political event or evil outcome which the theorists strongly disapprove of. The conspiracy theory typically identifies the conspirators, provides evidence that supposedly links them together with an evil plan to harm the body politic, and may also point to a supposed cover up by authorities or media who should have stopped the conspiracy. The duty of the theorist is to pick from a myriad of facts and assumptions and reassemble them to form a picture of the conspiracy, as in a jigsaw puzzle. A theorist may publicly identify specific conspirators, and if they deny the allegations that is evidence they have been sworn to secrecy and are probably guilty.”

    Similar, agreed, but with noteworthy differences.

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  52. journalistic and sociological works

    Pravda.

    And like your Pravda brethren, you are too quick to conflate 9/11 and the moon landings.

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    • Replies: @biz

    you are too quick to conflate 9/11 and the moon landings
     
    Actually, it was Unz himself who stated a while back that if we admit that one of them is possible, then all are possible, or something more or less to that effect.

    In an case, the 9/11 controlled demolition / missile / flight 93 is in a hangar in Cleveland stuff is just as implausible as faking the moon landings. Too many people and organizations and countries needing to be in on it, etc.

  53. @Decius
    Your characterization of Strauss on conspiracy has almost no basis in anything Strauss actually wrote. I would bet that you are presenting a dumbed -down and inaccurate version of Shadia Drury's books on Strauss, which are themselves abysmally inaccurate and libelous about Strauss.

    The only place Strauss discusses conspiracy thematically that I can recall--and I have read all his books several times, and still read them; have/do you?--is on Thoughts on Machiavelli. Strauss does so, first and foremost, because conspiracy is a major theme of Machiavelli's and the subject of the two longest chapters of his two most important books (Prince 19 and Discourses III 6). Strauss further develops the idea that modern philosophy begins as a conspiracy between Machiavelli and (some of) his readers. Strauss simply never said anything like this:

    Meanwhile, Strauss, a founding figure in modern neo-conservative thought, was equally harsh in his attacks upon conspiracy analysis, but for polar-opposite reasons. In his mind, elite conspiracies were absolutely necessary and beneficial, a crucial social defense against anarchy or totalitarianism, but their effectiveness obviously depended upon keeping them hidden from the prying eyes of the ignorant masses. His main problem with “conspiracy theories” was not that they were always false, but they might often be true, and therefore their spread was potentially disruptive to the smooth functioning of society. So as a matter of self-defense, elites needed to actively suppress or otherwise undercut the unauthorized investigation of suspected conspiracies.
     
    As for his relationship with neoconservatism, you also overstate that considerably. Yes, there are many neoconservative Straussians. But there are also Straussian paleos, tradcons, liberatarians, liberals, and moderates. There are many who are apolitical and interested only in abstract philosophy. There are Straussian religious conservatives, agnostics and atheists. Christians, Jews and Muslim. Catholic, Protestants and Mormons. The neocons just get all the attention--owing again, in part to Drury and in part to one terrible 2003 article by James Atlas, which no one these days has read, but quickly became THE account of neocon Straussians controlling the Bush administration, which everyone today believes without having read, or even being aware of (have/are you?).

    If "neocon" has any meaning, it means, first, a former intellectual liberal who has drifted right. Second, a domestic policy scholar who focuses on data-driven social science. And third, a foreign policy hawk.

    None of these really apply to Strauss, who spent his who career studying political philosophy, with an intense focus on the Greeks. He voted Dem in every election in which he could vote, until his last, 1972, when he voted for Nixon out of Cold War concerns. You might say that makes him a "hawk" but he never wrote any essays saying so. He simply told a few people privately that McGovern was too naïve about the Soviets. You might also say that is evidence that he "drifted right" but he didn't think so. He apparently considered himself a Cold War liberal until his death. As for data-driven social science, he famously attacked it in of the very few of his writings that ever got any attention in mainstream political science ("An Epilogue").

    You may well be right about the CIA's role in popularizing the phrase "conspiracy theory." But Leo Strauss had nothing to do with it. Or, if he did, he hid his role exceptionally well, because there is no evidence of such in his writings.

    C Bradley Thompson was educated/trained as a Straussian neoconservative, then got mugged by reality and started to re-assess his own philosophical orientation.

    One of the most interesting points Thompson makes in this discussion of his book, Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea, occurs in the Q&A segment when he demonstrates that Strauss was, indeed, an acolyte of Nazi philosopher Carl Schmitt

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    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
    @ 12 min, Thompson asserts that "Leo Strauss was the most important influence on Irving Kristol's intellectual development. My book reveals for the first time the importance of Kristol's 1952 review of Strauss's Persecution and the Art of Writing. For me this is the Rosetta Stone . . .for understanding the deepest layer of neoconservative political philosophy."


    ---
    It should also be noted that Irving Kristol was sponsored by- on the payroll of - the CIA while still in Britain. Kristol has acknowledged that CIA support got his movement off the ground.
    , @Decius
    No. Strauss and Schmitt were friendly in the 1930s but Strauss was critical of Schmitt's work even then and said so. Schmitt himself said that Strauss had "seen right through" his arguments. Strauss was no acolyte of Schmitt's, he was a greater and deeper thinker and Schmitt--something Schmitt himself acknowledged.
  54. @Anonymous

    Nothing is more convincing though than the clear discomfort of the three astronauts on what would normally be an occasion to celebrate.
     
    Here is the footage in question:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RcKLAo62Ro

    “Nothing is more convincing though than the clear discomfort of the three astronauts on what would normally be an occasion to celebrate. ”

    This is quite interesting. The clip shown is less than four minutes, if someone wants to take a look at it.

    If the astronauts went to the moon, then the clip is a fascinating study for psychologists to see how humans react after participating in an extraordinary event. If the event was faked, then Neil Armstrong is trying very hard not to lie outright.

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  55. The best strategy is to foster implausible conspiracy theories to create a cloud of disinformation. This technique was used very effectively after 9/11, such that it’s very hard to discuss a coverup without being labeled a truther.

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    • Replies: @Old fogey
    Thank you for inserting the word "truther" into the conversation. It has always fascinated me that someone searching for the truth about a political issue is now automatically considered a conspiracy theorist.
  56. @SolontoCroesus
    C Bradley Thompson was educated/trained as a Straussian neoconservative, then got mugged by reality and started to re-assess his own philosophical orientation.

    One of the most interesting points Thompson makes in this discussion of his book, Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea, occurs in the Q&A segment when he demonstrates that Strauss was, indeed, an acolyte of Nazi philosopher Carl Schmitt

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Oh6DmjQaho

    @ 12 min, Thompson asserts that “Leo Strauss was the most important influence on Irving Kristol’s intellectual development. My book reveals for the first time the importance of Kristol’s 1952 review of Strauss’s Persecution and the Art of Writing. For me this is the Rosetta Stone . . .for understanding the deepest layer of neoconservative political philosophy.”


    It should also be noted that Irving Kristol was sponsored by- on the payroll of – the CIA while still in Britain. Kristol has acknowledged that CIA support got his movement off the ground.

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    • Replies: @Decius
    So what? That's one guy. How do we even know Kristol interpreted Strauss correctly? Kristol's concerns--data-driven social science--were not Strauss's. And so on and on.

    But all that is a re-frame anyway. The charge from Unz is that Strauss is responsible, partly, for the way Americans think about conspiracy today because Strauss advocated for elite conspiracy. That's false and Unz can't back it up.
  57. @SolontoCroesus
    C Bradley Thompson was educated/trained as a Straussian neoconservative, then got mugged by reality and started to re-assess his own philosophical orientation.

    One of the most interesting points Thompson makes in this discussion of his book, Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea, occurs in the Q&A segment when he demonstrates that Strauss was, indeed, an acolyte of Nazi philosopher Carl Schmitt

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Oh6DmjQaho

    No. Strauss and Schmitt were friendly in the 1930s but Strauss was critical of Schmitt’s work even then and said so. Schmitt himself said that Strauss had “seen right through” his arguments. Strauss was no acolyte of Schmitt’s, he was a greater and deeper thinker and Schmitt–something Schmitt himself acknowledged.

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    • Replies: @5371
    This is complete nonsense. Schmitt is a powerful and original thinker, Strauss a weak and derivative one whose real sweet spot was academic politics.
  58. The most deplorable one [AKA "The Fourth Political Theory"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @John Jeremiah Smith

    This is a good piece which deserved an acceptable level of mental hygiene in the comment section. Unfortunately, two of the first nine comments are from morons spamming their “no lunar landing” drivel.
     
    Indeed, and absolute drivel. During the first two moon landings, I was working as an electronic technician, aligning and tuning the radio communications antennas at one of the monitor sites. Unless the physics of the electromagnetic Universe was altered by the conspirators, the origin of radio transmissions from the landing crew could only have come from the Moon. Either that, or space aliens operating a whole 'nuther conspiracy used "seekrut" technology to make it look like signals received at every monitor station were from the Moon. If so, kudos on a boss fake-out scheme.

    I was still in my early teens in 1969, and dimly recall hearing a radio broadcast while at school of the event.

    In thinking about whether or not the moon landings were faked I looked at which aspects of the landings represented the most risk to the astronauts because it could not have been realistically practiced beforehand.

    The only thing I could come up with was the descent to the moon phase. Here, the astronauts were sitting on top of an inverted pendulum controlling a bunch of rockets to control their descent in Lunar gravity and once the descent started their was almost nothing the astronauts could do if they could not manage to land.

    Getting to the moon and orbiting the moon presents far less problems, it seems to me than actually landing on it.

    However, once I discovered the Lunar Lander Research Vehicle:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_Landing_Research_Vehicle

    it seemed to me that pretty much all avenues had been thought of.

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  59. @SolontoCroesus
    @ 12 min, Thompson asserts that "Leo Strauss was the most important influence on Irving Kristol's intellectual development. My book reveals for the first time the importance of Kristol's 1952 review of Strauss's Persecution and the Art of Writing. For me this is the Rosetta Stone . . .for understanding the deepest layer of neoconservative political philosophy."


    ---
    It should also be noted that Irving Kristol was sponsored by- on the payroll of - the CIA while still in Britain. Kristol has acknowledged that CIA support got his movement off the ground.

    So what? That’s one guy. How do we even know Kristol interpreted Strauss correctly? Kristol’s concerns–data-driven social science–were not Strauss’s. And so on and on.

    But all that is a re-frame anyway. The charge from Unz is that Strauss is responsible, partly, for the way Americans think about conspiracy today because Strauss advocated for elite conspiracy. That’s false and Unz can’t back it up.

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    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus

    The charge from Unz is that Strauss is responsible, partly, for the way Americans think about conspiracy today because Strauss advocated for elite conspiracy. That’s false and Unz can’t back it up.
     
    Can't back it up or has not done so, so far?

    The day is young . . . the moon has not yet appeared in the eastern sky.
  60. @Decius
    No. Strauss and Schmitt were friendly in the 1930s but Strauss was critical of Schmitt's work even then and said so. Schmitt himself said that Strauss had "seen right through" his arguments. Strauss was no acolyte of Schmitt's, he was a greater and deeper thinker and Schmitt--something Schmitt himself acknowledged.

    This is complete nonsense. Schmitt is a powerful and original thinker, Strauss a weak and derivative one whose real sweet spot was academic politics.

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    • Agree: SolontoCroesus
    • Replies: @Decius
    Schmitt disagreed with you.
    , @Decius
    At any rate it's sort of absurd to watch you people chase your tails. All that you "know" or think you know is that Strauss is bad. But Schmitt is good. But Strauss is derivative of Schmitt. Doesn't that make Strauss good, or Schmitt bad?

    Schmitt is famous for arguing in favor of the essential particularity of politics--i.e., against alleged neocon universalism. So if Strauss is derivative of Schmitt, how can he be a neocon universalist?

    Strauss in fact agrees with Schmitt on the essential particularity of politics and says so, but finds a deeper source, with deeper arguments, in Plato. Schmitt admitted that his own attempt to fortify his particularism was build on the quick-sandy foundation of modern rationalism, which Strauss taught him to see through.
  61. @Wizard of Oz
    Are you presuming that it should be easy to travel over the entire moon surface and easily arrive at a precisely defined point - and that where the flags are is such a point?

    I was having a little fun with the fact that a Congress Critter thought the Mars Rover could drive up to an American flag planted by the Astronauts on the Earth’s Moon.

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  62. @5371
    This is complete nonsense. Schmitt is a powerful and original thinker, Strauss a weak and derivative one whose real sweet spot was academic politics.

    Schmitt disagreed with you.

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    • Replies: @5371
    This way of arguing, too, is redolent of an academic personality cult, not of actual scholarship.
  63. @5371
    This is complete nonsense. Schmitt is a powerful and original thinker, Strauss a weak and derivative one whose real sweet spot was academic politics.

    At any rate it’s sort of absurd to watch you people chase your tails. All that you “know” or think you know is that Strauss is bad. But Schmitt is good. But Strauss is derivative of Schmitt. Doesn’t that make Strauss good, or Schmitt bad?

    Schmitt is famous for arguing in favor of the essential particularity of politics–i.e., against alleged neocon universalism. So if Strauss is derivative of Schmitt, how can he be a neocon universalist?

    Strauss in fact agrees with Schmitt on the essential particularity of politics and says so, but finds a deeper source, with deeper arguments, in Plato. Schmitt admitted that his own attempt to fortify his particularism was build on the quick-sandy foundation of modern rationalism, which Strauss taught him to see through.

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    • Replies: @5371
    When you can pin Strauss down to a definite meaning, it is false, banal or both. He is usually too obfuscatory to be pinned down. Schmitt is easy to understand and shows you true things you had not thought of before.
  64. @John Jeremiah Smith

    This is a good piece which deserved an acceptable level of mental hygiene in the comment section. Unfortunately, two of the first nine comments are from morons spamming their “no lunar landing” drivel.
     
    Indeed, and absolute drivel. During the first two moon landings, I was working as an electronic technician, aligning and tuning the radio communications antennas at one of the monitor sites. Unless the physics of the electromagnetic Universe was altered by the conspirators, the origin of radio transmissions from the landing crew could only have come from the Moon. Either that, or space aliens operating a whole 'nuther conspiracy used "seekrut" technology to make it look like signals received at every monitor station were from the Moon. If so, kudos on a boss fake-out scheme.

    “Unless the physics of the electromagnetic Universe was altered by the conspirators, the origin of radio transmissions from the landing crew could only have come from the Moon. “

    I suppose NASA could have sent an S-Band repeater to the Moon.

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    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith

    I suppose NASA could have sent an S-Band repeater to the Moon.
     
    There's more than one scenario that can be assembled to explain any one or two conditions that would have to be "covered" in order to carry out a conspiracy of deception regarding the Moon landings. Considering the inferior level of video jiggering available at the time, it seems to me that providing full "evidence" of the low-gravity behavior of objects, and the absolute two-color light/shadow effects in an absence of atmosphere would be the most difficult.

    The principle of parsimony becomes ascendant at some point in that Hall of Mirrors. It was easier to go to the Moon than it was to fake it.

    Not to be arch, but, even with the repeater on the moon, what about the bounce echo from the tight-beam signal coming from Earth carrying the deceptive info? ;-)
  65. @anonymous
    Pearl Harbor (covered in "Day of Deceit") is good starting point. I strongly encourage Mr. Unz to read Robert Stinnet's book next before moving on.

    FDR never intended that 2,400 Americans would die there. He just thought that if Japan "struck first", he could justify our entry into WWII to the public. What's really fascinating (and almost wholly unknown) is the sequence of events and headlines from December 8 to December 11, 1941, the date Hitler declared war on the USA.

    While Pearl Harbor meant war with Japan, it did not necessarily guarantee war with Nazi Germany. For 72 hours, no one could be sure that Germany would declare war on us. Did FDR manipulate events post-Pearl Harbor to ensure it did happen?

    “FDR never intended that 2,400 Americans would die there.”

    Did he think our forces at Pearl, lacking needed intelligence, would limit the losses to a lesser number?

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    • Replies: @anonymous
    So it would seem. That critical intelligence on the Japanese was deliberately kept from Admiral Kimmel and General Short by FDR and his closest military officials is indisputable.

    The question "why?" has never been answered in any meaningful sense.

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/history/item/4742-pearl-harbor-scapegoating-kimmel-and-short
  66. @Decius
    So what? That's one guy. How do we even know Kristol interpreted Strauss correctly? Kristol's concerns--data-driven social science--were not Strauss's. And so on and on.

    But all that is a re-frame anyway. The charge from Unz is that Strauss is responsible, partly, for the way Americans think about conspiracy today because Strauss advocated for elite conspiracy. That's false and Unz can't back it up.

    The charge from Unz is that Strauss is responsible, partly, for the way Americans think about conspiracy today because Strauss advocated for elite conspiracy. That’s false and Unz can’t back it up.

    Can’t back it up or has not done so, so far?

    The day is young . . . the moon has not yet appeared in the eastern sky.

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    • Replies: @Decius
    I know Strauss's books. I am guessing that Unz does not because if he did, he would not attribute to Strauss what he did. At any rate, even if Unz does know the books, I fail to see what passages he could cite to support the paragraph that I highlighted.

    As noted, the claim sounds vaguely derivative of Drury, who hates Strauss (and gets everything wrong) but even she doesn't quite say what Unz says.
  67. @Wizard of Oz
    From my experience of actors, including amateur actors i have no problem believing Pat Casey's old guy talking about aliens was either a scripted gig maybe for a bet, maybe to see if he could get some money for his family or for medical treatment and the "tells" I totally discount though it might merely be evidence that he's been telling the story for yonks and no one bothers to pull him up on the one mentioned.

    As to the demeanour of the one astronaut that I have now seen from below your comment it does invite questions but yyou seem to be wrong about it being an occasion for celebration. It seems to be much later when they are probably bored out of their minds and quite pissed off at being required to perform yet again as circus ponies.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9Jw0pwTtus

    Ok, what about that tell? You should really watch the whole thing here if you haven’t:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NlJQJUUqR4

    My friend knows the guy that interviewed the man about Eisenhower and area 51. He’s supposed to be the steely-eyed vet in a field full of dupes. It’s possible he’s a charlatan employing an actor, but that’s not what it sounds like. The one that I can’t decide on is this disinformation agent Richard Doty from the film Mirage Men. That one is worth watching.

    My education into the likelihood of extraterrestrials took a quantum leap when I watched The Pyramid Codes on netflix. Mind you that is not an idea the series puts forward—the footage of the Pyramid they don’t take tourists to see is enough to know those folks had technology we do not have today.

    For the record I believe we landed on the moon. But, the idea that we did not probably comes from the underbelly of our own government.

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  68. “HANGZHOU, China — The image of a 5-year-old Syrian boy, dazed and bloodied after being rescued from an airstrike on rebel-held Aleppo, reverberated around the world last month, a harrowing reminder that five years after civil war broke out there, Syria remains a charnel house.
    But the reaction was more muted in Washington, where Syria has become a distant disaster rather than an urgent crisis. President Obama’s policy toward Syria has barely budged in the last year and shows no sign of change for the remainder of his term. The White House has faced little pressure over the issue,
    That frustrates many analysts because they believe that a shift in policy will come only when Mr. Obama has left office. “Given the tone of this campaign, I doubt the electorate will be presented with realistic and intelligible options, with respect to Syria,” said Frederic C. Hof, a former adviser on Syria in the administration.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/05/world/middleeast/obama-syria-foreign-policy.html?action=click&contentCollection=Europe&module=RelatedCoverage&region=EndOfArticle&pgtype=article&_r=0

    Spinning by NYT can and will form the base of a conspiracy .

    The world we see are not festooned with the morbid pictures and the world has not one echo chamber among its 7 billions that are reverberating with his sad cry .
    No American taxpayer is piling pressure on Obama.
    Tone of the election doesn’t and shouldn’t provide option on Syria . Electorates are not asking to know what America should do.
    Next president will introduce something that he wont share w and making them known before the voters will destroy his chances.Someone shared and was evisecrated by NYT and other as Putin’s Trojan horse .

    NYT is lying . But this lies can help build the necessarry platform for future wars . Another Sarin gas? Another Harriri death? Another picture of beheadings ? Another story of North Korean supplying nukes ? Wrongful consequences from falsehood will not cost NYT excepting a correction years later somehere in the 5 th page. A conspiracy to hatch is something that has no consequences for the plotters .
    If Dulles were hanged for role in all the illegal things he had done in Guatemala and Iran,may be Kennedy would have survived . But his earlier political escapades were also built on something that were way earlier . Conspiracy keeps on coming back begging for one more round ,for one more time .
    NYT will be there claiming for the right to crow – how it has prepared the ground.

    All are done openly . When resistance is mounted, Bernie Sander supporters are sent home with flowers and a reminder to vote for Clinton because in this age all over the world America is the exception that has heard them . With that satisfaction they can go home and vote as expected. They are not allowed to know how the campaign marginalized Sander’s chances from the get go.
    Neither NYT explains how reckless Trump with nuclear code will start a nuclear war with Putin’s Russia despite being his co conspirator .

    Chalabi s daughter exclaimed in early part of 2004 – We are heroes in mistakes. She won’t say it now . Conspirators would love to get the credit and be recognized . It all depends on the success .
    First Iraq war,if went bad from begining, Lantos wouldn’t have been reelected . But again who knows what media can deliver . They delivered Joe Liberman .

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  69. Some conspiracies are eventually acknowledged. For recent examples, our government finally admitted that our CIA overthrew the government of Iran in the 1950s. The sinking of the Lusitania because it carried tons of munitions and weapons during WW I has been mostly accepted since 1982, after the sunken ship was discovered and searched by divers. For example, Encyclopedia Britannica:

    “The Lusitania was carrying a cargo of rifle ammunition and shells (together about 173 tons), and the Germans, who had circulated warnings that the ship would be sunk, felt themselves fully justified in attacking a vessel that was furthering the war aims of their enemy. The German government also felt that, in view of the vulnerability of U-boats while on the surface and the British announcement of intentions to arm merchant ships, prior warning of potential targets was impractical.”

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Lusitania-British-ship

    One of the newest has got little attention, the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich, who was a computer guy leaking info to Wikileaks.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/08/10/assange-implies-murdered-dnc-staffer-was-wikileaks-source.html

    If we truly had aggressive news competition in the USA, this story would remain in the headlines, but of course its implications are not acceptable. However, stories about Russian hackers persist with no hard evidence.

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  70. @John Jeremiah Smith

    The rise of Trump, in the face of a completely and uniformly hostile media, suggests that a large part of the American public, consciously or not, now completely rejects entire media narratives and assumes the exact opposite to be true. And they’re panicking.
     
    Are they? Or, have they simply fired the first few rounds of easily-dispatched, easily-targeted artillery? I do note that this is the most massive full-court press in support of the oligarchy that I have ever seen. But, I sense that political wars have moved from the court of public opinion and perception, into the courtyards of the moneyed elite. Inasmuch as no rich person has ever believed that he or she has enough money and power, the national political conflict is now composed solely of issues that affect the wealth and power of the 0.1%, which is itself segmented into areas of economic focus and varying forms of wealth acquisition. For example, if air transport systems threaten the wealth and power of ocean-based shipping, that competition between oligarchs will morph into politically-expressed contexts.

    There is absolutely no concern, anywhere within the dominion of the 0.1%, with human values, human rights, or any of that sort of ethically-principled hoo-hoo.

    I suppose my comment came off somewhat like unbridled, naive optimism. Your points are unquestionably valid, however, and I am disinclined to argue. Of course Trump represents the interests of certain groups of elites and is not merely the essence of a popular movement. I’ll be honest, though, I’m having a tough time determining who these groups are, exactly.

    Just like with Brexit, these events don’t happen without powerful manipulation from somewhere within the 0.1%. Still, it’s tough for me to imagine what a Trump presidency will even look like. Who will be in his cabinet, from what backgrounds will they come?

    There is absolutely no concern, anywhere within the dominion of the 0.1%, with human values, human rights, or any of that sort of ethically-principled hoo-hoo.

    Certainly not. What are fundamentally important questions for us are merely means to an end for them.

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    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith

    Of course Trump represents the interests of certain groups of elites and is not merely the essence of a popular movement. I’ll be honest, though, I’m having a tough time determining who these groups are, exactly.
     
    Yes, and how many players, each with what orientation and degree of focus? The 0.1% population contains 10,000 - 50,00o potential players, globally.

    It is my opinion that the extremely-high degree of corruption, within the mighty engine of resource consumption and bribery that is the US government, contributes greatly to the "big picture" of ongoing conflict among the members of the oligarchy.
  71. Beard was an interesting guy, but’s let’s not forget that his central thesis regarding the founding of this country doesn’t hold up to historical scrutiny:

    http://www.libertylawsite.org/2014/10/10/charles-beard-living-legend-or-archaic-icon/

    Meanwhile, I think it helps to think about conspiracies philosophically — rigorous thought can help clear up sloppy thinking (which is found in many such theories):

    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2009/01/trouble-with-conspiracy-theories.html

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  72. With respect to conspiracies, there are two equally absurd extreme views which distract from reality: one is the childish rejection of all conspiracy theories and the other the childish belief that every appreciable newsworthy event with a political, economic or social impact is the result of a nefarious conspiracy. The truth, of course, is to be found in the middle.

    Only a child – or its intellectual equivalent, i.e., a low information infotainment consumer – could believe in the official version of 9/11, or the Manichean narrative of the Second World War and the Myth of the 6 Million.

    On the other hand, there is Hillary Clinton with her “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” and idiots like Glenn Beck who believe that Vladimir Putin is seeking to conquer the world.

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  73. @SolontoCroesus

    The charge from Unz is that Strauss is responsible, partly, for the way Americans think about conspiracy today because Strauss advocated for elite conspiracy. That’s false and Unz can’t back it up.
     
    Can't back it up or has not done so, so far?

    The day is young . . . the moon has not yet appeared in the eastern sky.

    I know Strauss’s books. I am guessing that Unz does not because if he did, he would not attribute to Strauss what he did. At any rate, even if Unz does know the books, I fail to see what passages he could cite to support the paragraph that I highlighted.

    As noted, the claim sounds vaguely derivative of Drury, who hates Strauss (and gets everything wrong) but even she doesn’t quite say what Unz says.

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  74. @Decius
    Your characterization of Strauss on conspiracy has almost no basis in anything Strauss actually wrote. I would bet that you are presenting a dumbed -down and inaccurate version of Shadia Drury's books on Strauss, which are themselves abysmally inaccurate and libelous about Strauss.

    The only place Strauss discusses conspiracy thematically that I can recall--and I have read all his books several times, and still read them; have/do you?--is on Thoughts on Machiavelli. Strauss does so, first and foremost, because conspiracy is a major theme of Machiavelli's and the subject of the two longest chapters of his two most important books (Prince 19 and Discourses III 6). Strauss further develops the idea that modern philosophy begins as a conspiracy between Machiavelli and (some of) his readers. Strauss simply never said anything like this:

    Meanwhile, Strauss, a founding figure in modern neo-conservative thought, was equally harsh in his attacks upon conspiracy analysis, but for polar-opposite reasons. In his mind, elite conspiracies were absolutely necessary and beneficial, a crucial social defense against anarchy or totalitarianism, but their effectiveness obviously depended upon keeping them hidden from the prying eyes of the ignorant masses. His main problem with “conspiracy theories” was not that they were always false, but they might often be true, and therefore their spread was potentially disruptive to the smooth functioning of society. So as a matter of self-defense, elites needed to actively suppress or otherwise undercut the unauthorized investigation of suspected conspiracies.
     
    As for his relationship with neoconservatism, you also overstate that considerably. Yes, there are many neoconservative Straussians. But there are also Straussian paleos, tradcons, liberatarians, liberals, and moderates. There are many who are apolitical and interested only in abstract philosophy. There are Straussian religious conservatives, agnostics and atheists. Christians, Jews and Muslim. Catholic, Protestants and Mormons. The neocons just get all the attention--owing again, in part to Drury and in part to one terrible 2003 article by James Atlas, which no one these days has read, but quickly became THE account of neocon Straussians controlling the Bush administration, which everyone today believes without having read, or even being aware of (have/are you?).

    If "neocon" has any meaning, it means, first, a former intellectual liberal who has drifted right. Second, a domestic policy scholar who focuses on data-driven social science. And third, a foreign policy hawk.

    None of these really apply to Strauss, who spent his who career studying political philosophy, with an intense focus on the Greeks. He voted Dem in every election in which he could vote, until his last, 1972, when he voted for Nixon out of Cold War concerns. You might say that makes him a "hawk" but he never wrote any essays saying so. He simply told a few people privately that McGovern was too naïve about the Soviets. You might also say that is evidence that he "drifted right" but he didn't think so. He apparently considered himself a Cold War liberal until his death. As for data-driven social science, he famously attacked it in of the very few of his writings that ever got any attention in mainstream political science ("An Epilogue").

    You may well be right about the CIA's role in popularizing the phrase "conspiracy theory." But Leo Strauss had nothing to do with it. Or, if he did, he hid his role exceptionally well, because there is no evidence of such in his writings.

    Your characterization of Strauss on conspiracy has almost no basis in anything Strauss actually wrote. I would bet that you are presenting a dumbed -down and inaccurate version of Shadia Drury’s books on Strauss, which are themselves abysmally inaccurate and libelous about Strauss. The only place Strauss discusses conspiracy thematically that I can recall–and I have read all his books several times, and still read them; have/do you?….The neocons just get all the attention–owing again, in part to Drury and in part to one terrible 2003 article by James Atlas, which no one these days has read, but quickly became THE account of neocon Straussians controlling the Bush administration…He apparently considered himself a Cold War liberal until his death.

    I’ll candidly admit I haven’t read a single one of Strauss’s own books, nor even that very influential James Atlas article you dislike so intensely. Instead, I was merely summarizing the extensive arguments of Prof. deHaven-Smith, who, as a prominent political scientist, is presumably quite familiar with Strauss, though I don’t doubt that his views might differ considerably from your own.

    But on your second point, I do remember seeing a very amusing private letter of Strauss that came to light about a decade or so ago. Written shortly after his arrival in America, it was addressed to a fellow ultra-rightwing Jewish exile from Europe, and in it he praised fascism and (I think) Nazism to the skies, arguing that their regrettable deviation into “anti-Semitism” (which had precipitated his own personal exile from Germany) should in no way be considered a refutation of all the other wonderful aspects of those political doctrines. This leads me to wonder if Strauss was truly the “liberal” you suggest, or perhaps was instead engaging in exactly the sort of “ideological crypsis” that seems such an important part of his political philosophy…

    It’s likely my faulty memory may have garbled important aspects of the letter I mention, and given your expertise on Straussian issues, I’m sure you should be able to locate it and easily correct me.

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    • Replies: @Decius
    The letter you are referring to is a letter to Karl Lowith from 1933. The most sustained--not to say serious--attempt to make it say that Strauss is coming out as a fascist has been the work of William Altman. I don't think he even comes close to making his case.

    The letter can more charitably and reasonably read as a frank acknowledgement of the failure of Weimar liberalism and of liberalism generally precisely to take into account nationalist sentiment but instead to "universalize" all particulars without due attention to differing conditions, circumstances, "matter," and so on. In other words, Strauss is defending the "concept of the political" both from liberal universalism and from the simple-minded identification of particularism (or nationalism) with fascism. Sound familiar? All nationalist sentiment is fascism, Trump is a Nazi, and so on. An "argument" as old as hills and which Strauss saw through immediately.

    Once again, though, the tail is chased. How can Strauss be both a universalist neo-con and a particularist-nationalist-fascist at the same time? The only common thread is: Strauss is bad.

    In my view, Strauss is good. More to the point, I find stronger intellectual support in Strauss for my own nationalist leanings and pro-Trumpism than I find in any other intellectual source of any depth. I am in the minority among Straussians in thinking so, but I am not alone. Morevoer, I think in open debate, I have a stronger case for Straussian particularism than others can make for Straussian universalism.

    And, not incidentally, none of this points to any such views on conspiracy as you put into Strauss's mouth.
    , @Jacques Sheete
    While I've read nothing by Prof. deHaven-Smith, from what you've written, he and DiLorenzo would probably agree.

    Here's a short but readable eval of Strauss' ideas, and DiLorenzo is one academician whom I somewhat trust.:


    Moronic Intellectuals
    By Thomas DiLorenzo

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2004/09/thomas-woods/the-neocon-godfather/
  75. @SolontoCroesus

    Stepping back from it all to get a long distance view one can see the patterns of deceit and manipulation all throughout American political life. It’s not just incidental but rather is built in.
     
    Is this built-in deceit and manipulation unique to American life, or -- beyond the usual understandings about human nature -- is the systematic or institutionalized "deceit and manipulation" present in all cultures? in western cultures? in some but not all cultures? If the lattermost, in which cultures is "deceit and manipulation" less systematic and institutionalized?

    Was "deceit and manipulation" institutionalized into American life from the beginning -- by the Founders, or did USA deviate from its intended path at some point? If so, at what point? How did it happen?

    Is there the possibility of redemption?

    To my mind, the real point of deviation in the history of the United States is the Spanish American War, and the transformation of America from a tellurocratic to a thallasocratic power. America’s traditional role had been that of a vast, continental, land based power, eschewing intervention in the affairs of Europe and the rest of the world outside the Western Hemisphere. (This is largely the reason that the Russian Czar allied with the Union in the American Civil War).

    Unfortunately, America’s traditional tellurocratic role was abandonded – thanks to the likes of Admiral (“Victory through Sea Power”) Mahan, John Hay, and the loopy Teddy Roosevelt, inter alia – and the nation went on to embrace the role of international arbiter and busybody, and became insatiable in the pursuit of empire, with catastrophic results for the world.

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  76. @5371
    This is a good piece which deserved an acceptable level of mental hygiene in the comment section. Unfortunately, two of the first nine comments are from morons spamming their "no lunar landing" drivel. In all probability the "no nuclear weapons" clowns will also be here imminently. Oh well, a delicious sweet dish will attract a fly as much as a gourmet.

    [Oh well, a delicious sweet dish will attract a fly as much as a gourmet.]

    LOL. I’ll compile a mental list of both. Aren’t the comments missing someone btw?

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  77. @Ron Unz

    Your characterization of Strauss on conspiracy has almost no basis in anything Strauss actually wrote. I would bet that you are presenting a dumbed -down and inaccurate version of Shadia Drury’s books on Strauss, which are themselves abysmally inaccurate and libelous about Strauss. The only place Strauss discusses conspiracy thematically that I can recall–and I have read all his books several times, and still read them; have/do you?....The neocons just get all the attention–owing again, in part to Drury and in part to one terrible 2003 article by James Atlas, which no one these days has read, but quickly became THE account of neocon Straussians controlling the Bush administration...He apparently considered himself a Cold War liberal until his death.
     
    I'll candidly admit I haven't read a single one of Strauss's own books, nor even that very influential James Atlas article you dislike so intensely. Instead, I was merely summarizing the extensive arguments of Prof. deHaven-Smith, who, as a prominent political scientist, is presumably quite familiar with Strauss, though I don't doubt that his views might differ considerably from your own.

    But on your second point, I do remember seeing a very amusing private letter of Strauss that came to light about a decade or so ago. Written shortly after his arrival in America, it was addressed to a fellow ultra-rightwing Jewish exile from Europe, and in it he praised fascism and (I think) Nazism to the skies, arguing that their regrettable deviation into "anti-Semitism" (which had precipitated his own personal exile from Germany) should in no way be considered a refutation of all the other wonderful aspects of those political doctrines. This leads me to wonder if Strauss was truly the "liberal" you suggest, or perhaps was instead engaging in exactly the sort of "ideological crypsis" that seems such an important part of his political philosophy...

    It's likely my faulty memory may have garbled important aspects of the letter I mention, and given your expertise on Straussian issues, I'm sure you should be able to locate it and easily correct me.

    The letter you are referring to is a letter to Karl Lowith from 1933. The most sustained–not to say serious–attempt to make it say that Strauss is coming out as a fascist has been the work of William Altman. I don’t think he even comes close to making his case.

    The letter can more charitably and reasonably read as a frank acknowledgement of the failure of Weimar liberalism and of liberalism generally precisely to take into account nationalist sentiment but instead to “universalize” all particulars without due attention to differing conditions, circumstances, “matter,” and so on. In other words, Strauss is defending the “concept of the political” both from liberal universalism and from the simple-minded identification of particularism (or nationalism) with fascism. Sound familiar? All nationalist sentiment is fascism, Trump is a Nazi, and so on. An “argument” as old as hills and which Strauss saw through immediately.

    Once again, though, the tail is chased. How can Strauss be both a universalist neo-con and a particularist-nationalist-fascist at the same time? The only common thread is: Strauss is bad.

    In my view, Strauss is good. More to the point, I find stronger intellectual support in Strauss for my own nationalist leanings and pro-Trumpism than I find in any other intellectual source of any depth. I am in the minority among Straussians in thinking so, but I am not alone. Morevoer, I think in open debate, I have a stronger case for Straussian particularism than others can make for Straussian universalism.

    And, not incidentally, none of this points to any such views on conspiracy as you put into Strauss’s mouth.

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    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    The letter you are referring to is a letter to Karl Lowith from 1933. The most sustained–not to say serious–attempt to make it say that Strauss is coming out as a fascist has been the work of William Altman.
     
    Well, I decided I might as well google up the letter, and found this extended discussion in Harpers by someone who clearly dislikes Strauss and the Neocons, with a link to a full translation of Strauss's controversial missive.

    http://harpers.org/blog/2008/01/will-the-real-leo-strauss-please-stand-up/

    Offhand, it does indeed seem like I misremembered some of the details. Strauss apparently didn't seem to like the Nazis very much, but it certainly sounds like he had positive feelings towards the Fascists. In any event, the following excerpt makes me wonder whether he was actually a "liberal," or merely pretended to be since his income probably depended upon liberal donors and institutions...

    And, what concerns this matter: the fact that the new right-wing Germany does not tolerate us says nothing against the principles of the right. To the contrary: only from the principles of the right, that is from fascist, authoritarian and imperial principles, is it possible with seemliness, that is, without resort to the ludicrous and despicable appeal to the droits imprescriptibles de l’homme(5) to protest against the shabby abomination...There is no reason to crawl to the cross, neither to the cross of liberalism, as long as somewhere in the world there is a glimmer of the spark of the Roman thought.
     
  78. If government doesn’t believe in conspiracies, why have secret services in the first place? Either they want to thwart conspiracies or they are creating their own or both.

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  79. belief in the fantastic is way more entertainment than belief in the mundane. that why the history channel prefers clownish, ancient alien astronaut theorists to phd historians.
    still, the unlimited universe of chance & probability assures rare events happen all the time. in other words, improbable events – because there is infinity of them – are bound to happen with regularity.
    for instance, the author highlights the improbability of a bunch of arabs with box cutters as the perpetrators of 9/11. he’s right. taken in isolation, of all the things that might have happened, the occurrence is rare in indeed. but, today, something that’s never happened before will happen. and tomorrow too and the day after that. but, because the occurrences may not be as spectacular as 9/11, few will learn about them.
    we believe what we want to believe. we can’t know everything about anything, so there will always be questions.
    9/11, the kennedy assassination, the lunar landing, aliens built the pyramids.
    what is real and what is not depends on a point of view.

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  80. @The Alarmist

    "Unless the physics of the electromagnetic Universe was altered by the conspirators, the origin of radio transmissions from the landing crew could only have come from the Moon. "
     
    I suppose NASA could have sent an S-Band repeater to the Moon.

    I suppose NASA could have sent an S-Band repeater to the Moon.

    There’s more than one scenario that can be assembled to explain any one or two conditions that would have to be “covered” in order to carry out a conspiracy of deception regarding the Moon landings. Considering the inferior level of video jiggering available at the time, it seems to me that providing full “evidence” of the low-gravity behavior of objects, and the absolute two-color light/shadow effects in an absence of atmosphere would be the most difficult.

    The principle of parsimony becomes ascendant at some point in that Hall of Mirrors. It was easier to go to the Moon than it was to fake it.

    Not to be arch, but, even with the repeater on the moon, what about the bounce echo from the tight-beam signal coming from Earth carrying the deceptive info? ;-)

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    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    I personally think they did land on the moon, but am paying devil's advocate here ....

    "Not to be arch, but, even with the repeater on the moon, what about the bounce echo from the tight-beam signal coming from Earth carrying the deceptive info? "
     
    First, you could transvert from one range to another, so an interested party would have know where to look for the reflection. You could uplink in another range of S-Band, or go lower to L-band if you don't mind a little faraday rotation. Your link-budget would be just sufficient to get a signal from the lunar repeater to Earth, but that would most likely not be enough enough for a full round-trip of the terrestrial signal. Most of your tight beam would still pass fairly wide abeam the moon, and that which was reflected back to Earth would be further degraded by libration fading.

    How do you get Astronauts bouncing and hammers falling in Slo-Mo? Film at 60fps, replay at 30. Ah, but you have to have a really good clean-room to keep dust off the film. Maybe that is why videotape technology took off in the early seventies ;)
  81. @Ron Unz

    Your characterization of Strauss on conspiracy has almost no basis in anything Strauss actually wrote. I would bet that you are presenting a dumbed -down and inaccurate version of Shadia Drury’s books on Strauss, which are themselves abysmally inaccurate and libelous about Strauss. The only place Strauss discusses conspiracy thematically that I can recall–and I have read all his books several times, and still read them; have/do you?....The neocons just get all the attention–owing again, in part to Drury and in part to one terrible 2003 article by James Atlas, which no one these days has read, but quickly became THE account of neocon Straussians controlling the Bush administration...He apparently considered himself a Cold War liberal until his death.
     
    I'll candidly admit I haven't read a single one of Strauss's own books, nor even that very influential James Atlas article you dislike so intensely. Instead, I was merely summarizing the extensive arguments of Prof. deHaven-Smith, who, as a prominent political scientist, is presumably quite familiar with Strauss, though I don't doubt that his views might differ considerably from your own.

    But on your second point, I do remember seeing a very amusing private letter of Strauss that came to light about a decade or so ago. Written shortly after his arrival in America, it was addressed to a fellow ultra-rightwing Jewish exile from Europe, and in it he praised fascism and (I think) Nazism to the skies, arguing that their regrettable deviation into "anti-Semitism" (which had precipitated his own personal exile from Germany) should in no way be considered a refutation of all the other wonderful aspects of those political doctrines. This leads me to wonder if Strauss was truly the "liberal" you suggest, or perhaps was instead engaging in exactly the sort of "ideological crypsis" that seems such an important part of his political philosophy...

    It's likely my faulty memory may have garbled important aspects of the letter I mention, and given your expertise on Straussian issues, I'm sure you should be able to locate it and easily correct me.

    While I’ve read nothing by Prof. deHaven-Smith, from what you’ve written, he and DiLorenzo would probably agree.

    Here’s a short but readable eval of Strauss’ ideas, and DiLorenzo is one academician whom I somewhat trust.:

    Moronic Intellectuals
    By Thomas DiLorenzo

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2004/09/thomas-woods/the-neocon-godfather/

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  82. @NoseytheDuke
    I have a DVD that presents a case that the US men on the moon story was indeed faked and never happened. It goes on to allege how various "evidence" for the landing was faked and it makes a pretty convincing case. Nothing is more convincing though than the clear discomfort of the three astronauts on what would normally be an occasion to celebrate.

    Not one person that I've loaned it to has ever come back and not been astounded by it.

    [I have a DVD that presents a case that the US men on the moon story was indeed faked and never happened.]

    [sotto voce] Have you shared it with nahtanoj yksuver yet?

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  83. @JL
    I suppose my comment came off somewhat like unbridled, naive optimism. Your points are unquestionably valid, however, and I am disinclined to argue. Of course Trump represents the interests of certain groups of elites and is not merely the essence of a popular movement. I'll be honest, though, I'm having a tough time determining who these groups are, exactly.

    Just like with Brexit, these events don't happen without powerful manipulation from somewhere within the 0.1%. Still, it's tough for me to imagine what a Trump presidency will even look like. Who will be in his cabinet, from what backgrounds will they come?

    There is absolutely no concern, anywhere within the dominion of the 0.1%, with human values, human rights, or any of that sort of ethically-principled hoo-hoo.
     
    Certainly not. What are fundamentally important questions for us are merely means to an end for them.

    Of course Trump represents the interests of certain groups of elites and is not merely the essence of a popular movement. I’ll be honest, though, I’m having a tough time determining who these groups are, exactly.

    Yes, and how many players, each with what orientation and degree of focus? The 0.1% population contains 10,000 – 50,00o potential players, globally.

    It is my opinion that the extremely-high degree of corruption, within the mighty engine of resource consumption and bribery that is the US government, contributes greatly to the “big picture” of ongoing conflict among the members of the oligarchy.

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  84. @John Jeremiah Smith

    This is a good piece which deserved an acceptable level of mental hygiene in the comment section. Unfortunately, two of the first nine comments are from morons spamming their “no lunar landing” drivel.
     
    Indeed, and absolute drivel. During the first two moon landings, I was working as an electronic technician, aligning and tuning the radio communications antennas at one of the monitor sites. Unless the physics of the electromagnetic Universe was altered by the conspirators, the origin of radio transmissions from the landing crew could only have come from the Moon. Either that, or space aliens operating a whole 'nuther conspiracy used "seekrut" technology to make it look like signals received at every monitor station were from the Moon. If so, kudos on a boss fake-out scheme.

    I was a boy watching those transmissions you helped bring us. Thank you, Sir!

    Apollo is one of the greatest human achievements, my absolute favorite historical event. I consider myself lucky to have been alive and old enough to witness and understand it.

    I even built a model of the Saturn V and the attached spacecraft. I used these in lectures my teachers invited me to give to our fifth and sixth grade science classes! I knew the flight plans and hardware backward and forward, and my teachers recognized my enthusiasm and aptitude. At age ten I was making smarter presentations about Apollo missions than Walter Cronkite (seriously).

    I salute you!

    Fake landing nut jobs and idiots are just background noise fuzzing up what you helped bring us. And I believe there has been in fact some conspiratorial effort over the years to promote their idiocy, a conspiracy on the part of those who would weaken American pride and reputation.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous

    I was a boy watching those transmissions you helped bring us. Thank you, Sir!

    Apollo is one of the greatest human achievements, my absolute favorite historical event. I consider myself lucky to have been alive and old enough to witness and understand it.

    ...

    And I believe there has been in fact some conspiratorial effort over the years to promote their idiocy, a conspiracy on the part of those who would weaken American pride and reputation.
     
    Sure, it's certainly possible that there's been a conspiracy to promote the notion that the moon landing was a hoax.

    But it's also true that people with deep emotional attachments to things, especially inculcated in childhood, have trouble considering and questioning certain things. And it's well known that propaganda deliberately tries to inculcate these sort of emotional attachments in order to be more effective.
  85. @Decius
    Your characterization of Strauss on conspiracy has almost no basis in anything Strauss actually wrote. I would bet that you are presenting a dumbed -down and inaccurate version of Shadia Drury's books on Strauss, which are themselves abysmally inaccurate and libelous about Strauss.

    The only place Strauss discusses conspiracy thematically that I can recall--and I have read all his books several times, and still read them; have/do you?--is on Thoughts on Machiavelli. Strauss does so, first and foremost, because conspiracy is a major theme of Machiavelli's and the subject of the two longest chapters of his two most important books (Prince 19 and Discourses III 6). Strauss further develops the idea that modern philosophy begins as a conspiracy between Machiavelli and (some of) his readers. Strauss simply never said anything like this:

    Meanwhile, Strauss, a founding figure in modern neo-conservative thought, was equally harsh in his attacks upon conspiracy analysis, but for polar-opposite reasons. In his mind, elite conspiracies were absolutely necessary and beneficial, a crucial social defense against anarchy or totalitarianism, but their effectiveness obviously depended upon keeping them hidden from the prying eyes of the ignorant masses. His main problem with “conspiracy theories” was not that they were always false, but they might often be true, and therefore their spread was potentially disruptive to the smooth functioning of society. So as a matter of self-defense, elites needed to actively suppress or otherwise undercut the unauthorized investigation of suspected conspiracies.
     
    As for his relationship with neoconservatism, you also overstate that considerably. Yes, there are many neoconservative Straussians. But there are also Straussian paleos, tradcons, liberatarians, liberals, and moderates. There are many who are apolitical and interested only in abstract philosophy. There are Straussian religious conservatives, agnostics and atheists. Christians, Jews and Muslim. Catholic, Protestants and Mormons. The neocons just get all the attention--owing again, in part to Drury and in part to one terrible 2003 article by James Atlas, which no one these days has read, but quickly became THE account of neocon Straussians controlling the Bush administration, which everyone today believes without having read, or even being aware of (have/are you?).

    If "neocon" has any meaning, it means, first, a former intellectual liberal who has drifted right. Second, a domestic policy scholar who focuses on data-driven social science. And third, a foreign policy hawk.

    None of these really apply to Strauss, who spent his who career studying political philosophy, with an intense focus on the Greeks. He voted Dem in every election in which he could vote, until his last, 1972, when he voted for Nixon out of Cold War concerns. You might say that makes him a "hawk" but he never wrote any essays saying so. He simply told a few people privately that McGovern was too naïve about the Soviets. You might also say that is evidence that he "drifted right" but he didn't think so. He apparently considered himself a Cold War liberal until his death. As for data-driven social science, he famously attacked it in of the very few of his writings that ever got any attention in mainstream political science ("An Epilogue").

    You may well be right about the CIA's role in popularizing the phrase "conspiracy theory." But Leo Strauss had nothing to do with it. Or, if he did, he hid his role exceptionally well, because there is no evidence of such in his writings.

    Actually I don’t think Ron is so far off. And I think, at best, you must be overeducated. Strauss held that authentic philosophy is a conspiracy. From there, certain practical advice about how to carry out the philosophy of the true philosopher follows. Such advice would about seem to be how Ron said it was.

    I have not read the essay by Atlas. But for the duration of the Bush Administration I did read the Weekly Standard. I recall in particular one time when the editors recommended what books to bring to the beach, and Bill Kristol said “anything by Leo Strauss.” My impression is that the Weekly Standard’s brazen propaganda back then was the way certain editors understood themselves to be acting like Strauss’s true disciples.

    And of course now Krystol is hocking a former spook to run against Trump in Utah.

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    • Replies: @Decius
    The reduction of Strauss and all his concerns to TWS is not serious. Yes, Bill K loves Strauss. That really doesn't prove much about Strauss either way. I believe, though of course cannot prove since Strauss can't speak, that Strauss would have opposed the Iraq War. He would have seen it as imprudent and prudence is the supreme virtue of the statesman.

    You are sort of right about philosophy being a conspiracy, but wrong in the second half. MODERN philosophy attempts to take the conspiracy public, so to speak, to act in the real world. Ancient philosophy did not, or did so in a very limited, mitigating way, always with caution, moderation, prudence, and a lack of messianic hopes or intentions. Strauss argued his whole life for the superiority of the ancients to the moderns on this point (and on other points).
  86. @Decius
    The letter you are referring to is a letter to Karl Lowith from 1933. The most sustained--not to say serious--attempt to make it say that Strauss is coming out as a fascist has been the work of William Altman. I don't think he even comes close to making his case.

    The letter can more charitably and reasonably read as a frank acknowledgement of the failure of Weimar liberalism and of liberalism generally precisely to take into account nationalist sentiment but instead to "universalize" all particulars without due attention to differing conditions, circumstances, "matter," and so on. In other words, Strauss is defending the "concept of the political" both from liberal universalism and from the simple-minded identification of particularism (or nationalism) with fascism. Sound familiar? All nationalist sentiment is fascism, Trump is a Nazi, and so on. An "argument" as old as hills and which Strauss saw through immediately.

    Once again, though, the tail is chased. How can Strauss be both a universalist neo-con and a particularist-nationalist-fascist at the same time? The only common thread is: Strauss is bad.

    In my view, Strauss is good. More to the point, I find stronger intellectual support in Strauss for my own nationalist leanings and pro-Trumpism than I find in any other intellectual source of any depth. I am in the minority among Straussians in thinking so, but I am not alone. Morevoer, I think in open debate, I have a stronger case for Straussian particularism than others can make for Straussian universalism.

    And, not incidentally, none of this points to any such views on conspiracy as you put into Strauss's mouth.

    The letter you are referring to is a letter to Karl Lowith from 1933. The most sustained–not to say serious–attempt to make it say that Strauss is coming out as a fascist has been the work of William Altman.

    Well, I decided I might as well google up the letter, and found this extended discussion in Harpers by someone who clearly dislikes Strauss and the Neocons, with a link to a full translation of Strauss’s controversial missive.

    http://harpers.org/blog/2008/01/will-the-real-leo-strauss-please-stand-up/

    Offhand, it does indeed seem like I misremembered some of the details. Strauss apparently didn’t seem to like the Nazis very much, but it certainly sounds like he had positive feelings towards the Fascists. In any event, the following excerpt makes me wonder whether he was actually a “liberal,” or merely pretended to be since his income probably depended upon liberal donors and institutions…

    And, what concerns this matter: the fact that the new right-wing Germany does not tolerate us says nothing against the principles of the right. To the contrary: only from the principles of the right, that is from fascist, authoritarian and imperial principles, is it possible with seemliness, that is, without resort to the ludicrous and despicable appeal to the droits imprescriptibles de l’homme(5) to protest against the shabby abomination…There is no reason to crawl to the cross, neither to the cross of liberalism, as long as somewhere in the world there is a glimmer of the spark of the Roman thought.

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    • Replies: @Decius
    What is a liberal? That's not a troll question. Strauss was above all a Socratic and Socratic philosophy begins with "what is" questions. One of Strauss's books is entitled Liberalism Ancient and Modern.

    Strauss was apparently a liberal in the US context in that he mostly voted for Dems. He also wrote one acerbically critical letter to National Review.

    However, a mid-20th-century American liberal may have been many things, but unpatriotic or nationalistic they were not. When liberalism turned with McGovern, Strauss looked elsewhere, and then died a year later, so we don't know how his political outlook would, or would not, have changed longer term. But at least in the 40s-60s, he was quite OK with Cold War American liberals. That's perfectly consistent with the nationalist sentiment expressed in the letter to Lowith. Also, Strauss was appalled by the dissoluteness of Weimar--and would become appalled by the dissoluteness of the late 1960s. But America prior was not yet dissolute. And he was appalled by Weimar's weakness. But America pre-Vietnam was not weak. Again, perfectly consistent with the letter.

    Strauss supported the Cold War because he thought the USSR was a real threat in the near term and because he feared, on a higher plane, the imposition of "the universal and homogenous state." He was opposed to that, whereas those to his left were for it. So was he conservative?

    Strauss transcends all these distinctions. That's not to say that they are meaningless. Indeed, he would be the first to say that they are meaningful. But, like Tocqueville, Strauss aimed to see not differently but further than the parties.
  87. By reading Ron’s American Pravda series of columns, I am learning things that otherwise I would not have known. I am developing a clearer understanding of the real truth. This is an important contribution to my understanding of…of…reality!

    And I trust this because of the quality and earnestness of the source.

    This is all very much appreciated.

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  88. @Ron Unz

    The letter you are referring to is a letter to Karl Lowith from 1933. The most sustained–not to say serious–attempt to make it say that Strauss is coming out as a fascist has been the work of William Altman.
     
    Well, I decided I might as well google up the letter, and found this extended discussion in Harpers by someone who clearly dislikes Strauss and the Neocons, with a link to a full translation of Strauss's controversial missive.

    http://harpers.org/blog/2008/01/will-the-real-leo-strauss-please-stand-up/

    Offhand, it does indeed seem like I misremembered some of the details. Strauss apparently didn't seem to like the Nazis very much, but it certainly sounds like he had positive feelings towards the Fascists. In any event, the following excerpt makes me wonder whether he was actually a "liberal," or merely pretended to be since his income probably depended upon liberal donors and institutions...

    And, what concerns this matter: the fact that the new right-wing Germany does not tolerate us says nothing against the principles of the right. To the contrary: only from the principles of the right, that is from fascist, authoritarian and imperial principles, is it possible with seemliness, that is, without resort to the ludicrous and despicable appeal to the droits imprescriptibles de l’homme(5) to protest against the shabby abomination...There is no reason to crawl to the cross, neither to the cross of liberalism, as long as somewhere in the world there is a glimmer of the spark of the Roman thought.
     

    What is a liberal? That’s not a troll question. Strauss was above all a Socratic and Socratic philosophy begins with “what is” questions. One of Strauss’s books is entitled Liberalism Ancient and Modern.

    Strauss was apparently a liberal in the US context in that he mostly voted for Dems. He also wrote one acerbically critical letter to National Review.

    However, a mid-20th-century American liberal may have been many things, but unpatriotic or nationalistic they were not. When liberalism turned with McGovern, Strauss looked elsewhere, and then died a year later, so we don’t know how his political outlook would, or would not, have changed longer term. But at least in the 40s-60s, he was quite OK with Cold War American liberals. That’s perfectly consistent with the nationalist sentiment expressed in the letter to Lowith. Also, Strauss was appalled by the dissoluteness of Weimar–and would become appalled by the dissoluteness of the late 1960s. But America prior was not yet dissolute. And he was appalled by Weimar’s weakness. But America pre-Vietnam was not weak. Again, perfectly consistent with the letter.

    Strauss supported the Cold War because he thought the USSR was a real threat in the near term and because he feared, on a higher plane, the imposition of “the universal and homogenous state.” He was opposed to that, whereas those to his left were for it. So was he conservative?

    Strauss transcends all these distinctions. That’s not to say that they are meaningless. Indeed, he would be the first to say that they are meaningful. But, like Tocqueville, Strauss aimed to see not differently but further than the parties.

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    • Replies: @dahoit
    Liberals used to say,I might not agree with what you say,but I'll defend you right to say it.
    Today they want to implant Citizenchips.
    Moon landings a hoax?I doubt that,but does it matter to today's terrible times other than a sign of American dominance in space race propaganda?
    Today we send up zionist satellites(when they don't explode) and fund their citizens efforts in militarization of space that threatens all,including US.
    Unbelievable but true.
  89. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Hibernian
    "FDR never intended that 2,400 Americans would die there."

    Did he think our forces at Pearl, lacking needed intelligence, would limit the losses to a lesser number?

    So it would seem. That critical intelligence on the Japanese was deliberately kept from Admiral Kimmel and General Short by FDR and his closest military officials is indisputable.

    The question “why?” has never been answered in any meaningful sense.

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/history/item/4742-pearl-harbor-scapegoating-kimmel-and-short

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    • Replies: @Darin
    Yes, why?

    If you want to start a war, would you want to start with great defeat and loss of your fleet?

    In the thirties, there were three cases of false flag attacks created to justify a war.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mukden_Incident
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gleiwitz_incident
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelling_of_Mainila

    In none of these cases the attacker actually killed thousands of his own soldiers, what would be the point?
    , @anonymous
    Here is Admiral Kimmel himself telling us that the FDR administration in Washington deliberately withheld vital intelligence from him, intelligence that would have saved countless lives:

    https://youtu.be/Bo00IcRj_4Y
  90. @Pat Casey
    Actually I don't think Ron is so far off. And I think, at best, you must be overeducated. Strauss held that authentic philosophy is a conspiracy. From there, certain practical advice about how to carry out the philosophy of the true philosopher follows. Such advice would about seem to be how Ron said it was.

    I have not read the essay by Atlas. But for the duration of the Bush Administration I did read the Weekly Standard. I recall in particular one time when the editors recommended what books to bring to the beach, and Bill Kristol said "anything by Leo Strauss." My impression is that the Weekly Standard's brazen propaganda back then was the way certain editors understood themselves to be acting like Strauss's true disciples.

    And of course now Krystol is hocking a former spook to run against Trump in Utah.

    The reduction of Strauss and all his concerns to TWS is not serious. Yes, Bill K loves Strauss. That really doesn’t prove much about Strauss either way. I believe, though of course cannot prove since Strauss can’t speak, that Strauss would have opposed the Iraq War. He would have seen it as imprudent and prudence is the supreme virtue of the statesman.

    You are sort of right about philosophy being a conspiracy, but wrong in the second half. MODERN philosophy attempts to take the conspiracy public, so to speak, to act in the real world. Ancient philosophy did not, or did so in a very limited, mitigating way, always with caution, moderation, prudence, and a lack of messianic hopes or intentions. Strauss argued his whole life for the superiority of the ancients to the moderns on this point (and on other points).

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    • Replies: @utu
    Unless you give some evidence that Strauss was a Reptilian or at least that he was a skeptic about the Moon landing there is no need for further discussion on Strauss here.
    , @Pat Casey

    The reduction of Strauss and all his concerns to TWS is not serious.
     
    That's not what I did. Don't do that. You seemed to be saying the neo-cons do not hail from the school of Strauss as this Atlas fellow said they did. I was saying they do, according to them.

    It was pretty obvious back then that the weekly standard was acting as an organ of the bush administration more than a member of the media. I remember there was even a tepid discussion about how we as journalist should feel about these fellas with one foot in the media and one foot in the politics. Does that have anything to do with the style Strauss bespoke? My understanding is that Strauss addressed his philosophy not to Princes but certain among the reading public. That turns out to first of all mean political journalists who will sacrifice the integrity of their profession for the sake of a particular kind of proud story about the USA polity and its villains. Yes I do think people like Bill Krystol and Michael Ledeen saw themselves in terms as dramatic as that.


    You are sort of right about philosophy being a conspiracy, but wrong in the second half. MODERN philosophy attempts to take the conspiracy public, so to speak, to act in the real world. Ancient philosophy did not, or did so in a very limited, mitigating way, always with caution, moderation, prudence, and a lack of messianic hopes or intentions. Strauss argued his whole life for the superiority of the ancients to the moderns on this point (and on other points).
     
    You mean I was right about Strauss having a conspiracy theory of philosophy. I didn't say anything about the second half. I read Paul Gottfried and I agree Strauss was a ridiculous scholar. Of course I believe you when you say in so many words that Strauss did not like philosophies that license mass movements of true believers. Full stop right there. Now we can count back from all them and make this an exercise in splitting hairs. What audience to be precise did Strauss exactly have in mind? Actually I don't think he deserves that much credit; I don't think he really knew who he was writing for.
  91. @NoseytheDuke
    I have a DVD that presents a case that the US men on the moon story was indeed faked and never happened. It goes on to allege how various "evidence" for the landing was faked and it makes a pretty convincing case. Nothing is more convincing though than the clear discomfort of the three astronauts on what would normally be an occasion to celebrate.

    Not one person that I've loaned it to has ever come back and not been astounded by it.

    If moon landings were fake, why hadn’t USSR or China revealed it? This would discredit USA before the whole world and won the Cold War in one stroke.

    If USSR was also part of the plot, then whole Cold War was fake – and in this case there would be no need for the small Apollo fake.

    Sometimes, stupid conspiracy theories are just stupid conspiracy theories – or smart fakes, designed to discredit conspirational thinking and distract them from the real conspiracies. Take your pick.

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    • Replies: @Konga
    "Take your pick". I take your prick.

    Do you think anyone would care/accept/believe if USSR did "reveal" the fakery? On the contrary, it would be a point in favour of the "reality" of the landing.

    Sometimes "stupid conspiracy theories" deniers are just that: stupid deniers.
    , @Chuck
    Why did the USSR stop at the 38th parallel upon American request?
    , @The Alarmist

    "... then whole Cold War was fake."
     
    Wow, now here's a conspiracy theory to sink one's teeth into. That would make a great Matrix/MI/Bourne sequel.
  92. So as a means of damage control, the CIA distributed a secret memo to all its field offices requesting that they enlist their media assets in efforts to ridicule and attack such critics as irrational supporters of “conspiracy theories.”

    And what do you know, the term “conspiracy theories” was non-existent in books before JFK’s assassination but took off right after, according to Google’s Ngram Viewer: https://is.gd/GYioQZ

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    • Replies: @Peripatetic commenter
    I see that someone has updated a document about that:

    https://infogalactic.com/info/Conspiracy_theory#Pejorative_meaning
  93. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Mr. Anon
    A bunch of pissed off russian engineers (ostensibly) who exhibit sour grapes that we did a better job than they did.

    By the way, that guy Oleg Oleynik was at one point in the 90s (according to his bio) a "Soros Post Graduate Student". What do you make of that, I wonder?

    Oleynik is Ukrainian. At any rate, attacking his ethnic background is just a cheap ad hominem argument.

    Soros and his foundations funded, and still do presumably, scholarships and education grants in Eastern Europe following the Soviet collapse.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    "Oleynik is Ukrainian."

    The Ukrainians were, you know, part of the same Soviet Union which failed to put a man on the Moon.

    "At any rate, attacking his ethnic background is just a cheap ad hominem argument."

    No, it is pointing out what might be real motive for him to do what he is doing.

    "Soros and his foundations funded, and still do presumably, scholarships and education grants in Eastern Europe following the Soviet collapse."

    And what do you think of Soros? Do you think he is a manipulator of peoples, movements, entire governments? If so, what does it say that this guy was once on his payroll? Or do you simply temporarily suspend one part of your world-view when it becomes inconvenient for another part of it?

    In any event, his purported photgraphic analysis is crap. He's talking about parallax exhibited in pairs of images taken from different bearings - but the pictures themselves were not even taken at the same locations, as can easily be seen from the details in the foreground.

  94. @anonymous
    So it would seem. That critical intelligence on the Japanese was deliberately kept from Admiral Kimmel and General Short by FDR and his closest military officials is indisputable.

    The question "why?" has never been answered in any meaningful sense.

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/history/item/4742-pearl-harbor-scapegoating-kimmel-and-short

    Yes, why?

    If you want to start a war, would you want to start with great defeat and loss of your fleet?

    In the thirties, there were three cases of false flag attacks created to justify a war.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mukden_Incident
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gleiwitz_incident
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelling_of_Mainila

    In none of these cases the attacker actually killed thousands of his own soldiers, what would be the point?

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    • Replies: @exiled off mainstreet
    I didn't notice Gleiwitz was mentioned in another posting before I mentioned it. I tend go along with you and suspect incompetence rather than purpose was the cause of the Pearl Harbor disaster, though the incompetence may have included failure to adequately warn those on the ground at Pearl Harbor. Personally, I don't back the "truther" version of the twin towers because that would have required a broader conspiracy than I think could have succeeded. My guess is that the neighboring building was destroyed as part of the cleanup effort. I do think, however, that the authorities knew something was up, didn't believe it could ever succeed and used it as a sort of Reichstag Fire incident to brush aside constitutional democracy in the US. I also suspect that the Mossad knew more than they let on. My guess is that if Gore rather than Bush had been in power that history would have been far different. I suspect that the anthrax thing was more likely started by the yankee regime as a home-grown conspiracy.
    , @Hippopotamusdrome


    If you want to start a war, would you want to start with great defeat and loss of your fleet?

     

    The fleet wasn't lost. The carriers were out at sea and not sunk. Eight battleships, three cruisers and three destroyers were damaged. Battleships were obsolete by that time in the face of aircraft. Battleships were mainly used as AA platforms to protect carriers and to bombard airfields.
    , @Jonathan Revusky

    In none of these cases the attacker actually killed thousands of his own soldiers, what would be the point?
     
    Well, the answer should be obvious, no? You have an existing situation in which eat least 80% of the U.S. population is opposed to the war and you want to mobilize them. If you play chess, there are all these openings called "gambits" where you sacrifice a pawn or two to more rapidly mobilize your forces.

    3000 people is really just peanuts on a national level. If the result is that you get all this outrage and suddenly the majority of the population is screaming for war, well that could be well worth it.
  95. @Wizard of Oz
    I accept that your explanation of the attack on USS Liberty is relatively plausible but another which runs it close is that Israel had to ensure that there was no proof left of the true order of events which were not in accordance with the Israeli official version. So I ask what are your sources?

    Likewise, if you are saying that suicidal hijackers flew planes into buildings on 9/11 but that it was organised by Mossad or other Israelis your story needs a lot of filling out and evidence to be credible. Or are you merely saying the Israelis knew what was going to
    happen and let it go ahead because it could be turned to their advantage?

    [Sorry, long reply]

    The basic fact about the USS Liberty is that an American navy ship was attacked with the aim of sinking it, which is an Act of War since the ship was clearly marked.

    In contrast, the attacking Israeli jets and torpedo boats were unmarked (i.e. they wanted to hide their identity), so a question is why were they unmarked if this was a standard military interception?

    Whether the Israelis wanted to trigger a US attack on Egypt or hide their communications with regard to their attack on Syria is a secondary question. The main concern of the United States surely had to be to rescue their seamen and respond to the aggression.

    And, this is where the story turns really nasty.

    At least two rescue attempts were launched from US aircraft carriers nearby, but after the (obligatory) communication to Washington, both rescue flights were cancelled within minutes on direct orders of Secretary of Defence, Robert McNamara (source: 6th Fleet Rear Admiral Lawrence Geis speaking in confidence to the senior Liberty survivor, Naval Security Group officer, Lieutenant Commander David Lewis in a meeting requested by Geis).

    Surviving personnel all received strict orders not say anything to anyone about the attack.

    Eyewitness accounts say that 4 nuclear armed aircraft were simultaneously launched from the aircraft carrier America on the instructions of President Johnson only to be recalled when, presumably, the information came through that the Israelis had not succeeded in sinking the Liberty. Nuclear weapons were not needed to defend the Liberty.

    Also there was an oral history report from the American Embassy in Cairo, (now in the LBJ Library), which notes that the Embassy received an urgent message from Washington warning that Cairo was about to be bombed by US forces.

    An investigation led by Thomas Moorer, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff held the opinion that the Israeli motive was to draw the US into war against Egypt , through a false subterfuge of the same type as their King David Hotel bombing and Lavon Affair operations.

    Any rational person has to conclude that Johnson was virtually following Israeli orders, which raises the question of why? Maybe they were blackmailing him with regard to something else that was more important to him than the destruction of Cairo?

    9/11 had some of the same features as other Israeli False Flag attacks against Britain and the US, such as Israelis dressed as Arabs (framed Arabs) motivated towards tricking these countries into military action against Arab states. In fact the Israeli involvement in 9/11 was much deeper and more generalized as shown in investigative reporter Christopher Bollyn’s book, “Solving 9-11: The Deception That Changed the World”. https://www.amazon.com/Solving-9-11-Deception-Changed-World/dp/0985322586/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

    15 years later his account is supported in multiple ways from investigations in Florida (they didn’t sneak in unseen – they were highly visible and got red carpet treatment with regard to visas etc. and they were completely incapable of flying the 9/11 airliners at the speeds and on the trajectories seen on the day + everyone who had contact with them was visited by the F.B.I. and told to shut up) – Source, a detailed and very interesting investigation by Daniel Hopsicker in “Welcome to Terrorland: Mohamed Atta and the 9/11 Cover-Up in Florida. https://www.amazon.com/Welcome-Terrorland-Mohamed-Cover-up-Florida/dp/0975290673/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

    High-rise buildings don’t collapse due to fire (reason given by the US government). All high rise fire disasters have been examined in detail, with most of them much more intense than the WTC ones, and no building collapsed – let alone in 7 seconds and three on the same day.

    These Arabs didn’t fly the jets and it’s now clear that the buildings were taken down by placed explosives – the aim being to trick the US into an Iraq and Iran war and possibly launch an “Emergency” Neo-con regime (dictatorship) in the US led by Cheney and enforced by the Patriot Act/ Homeland security.

    The other aspect here is that a government (and media) which genuinely represented the American people would give top priority to revealing the truth about the USS Liberty and 9/11 rather than engage in the present obfuscation, blocking, threats, smears and hiding of the truth.

    Read More
    • Replies: @nsa
    We here in Ft. Meade and Langley, using our vast media assets, have successfully inoculated the public against these deviant 911 ideas. Game over....we have achieved full spectrum dominance and total information awareness throughout 99% of the planet.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    Thanks. I wonder what will happen to Israel's support if and when serious money and research and publicity is put into telling the whole Liberty story and making sure it is drummed in.

    Your 9/11 version I don't buy, not least because someone suicidal/murderous had to be controlling the planes.
  96. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @anonymous
    So it would seem. That critical intelligence on the Japanese was deliberately kept from Admiral Kimmel and General Short by FDR and his closest military officials is indisputable.

    The question "why?" has never been answered in any meaningful sense.

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/history/item/4742-pearl-harbor-scapegoating-kimmel-and-short

    Here is Admiral Kimmel himself telling us that the FDR administration in Washington deliberately withheld vital intelligence from him, intelligence that would have saved countless lives:

    https://youtu.be/Bo00IcRj_4Y

    Read More
  97. @Decius
    The reduction of Strauss and all his concerns to TWS is not serious. Yes, Bill K loves Strauss. That really doesn't prove much about Strauss either way. I believe, though of course cannot prove since Strauss can't speak, that Strauss would have opposed the Iraq War. He would have seen it as imprudent and prudence is the supreme virtue of the statesman.

    You are sort of right about philosophy being a conspiracy, but wrong in the second half. MODERN philosophy attempts to take the conspiracy public, so to speak, to act in the real world. Ancient philosophy did not, or did so in a very limited, mitigating way, always with caution, moderation, prudence, and a lack of messianic hopes or intentions. Strauss argued his whole life for the superiority of the ancients to the moderns on this point (and on other points).

    Unless you give some evidence that Strauss was a Reptilian or at least that he was a skeptic about the Moon landing there is no need for further discussion on Strauss here.

    Read More
  98. @Kirt
    Conspiracy is simply a plan or agreement by more than one person to do something evil and then the pursuit of that plan. Secrecy may be needed for the success of a conspiracy, but it is not essential to the definition. Were it essential to the definition, you could never prove the existence of a conspiracy. Either secrecy would be maintained and there would be little or no evidence or secrecy would not be maintained and the plan would become known and by definition not be a conspiracy.

    “Conspiracy is simply a plan or agreement by more than one person to do something evil and then the pursuit of that plan.” but probably everything think that what he does is good, not evil

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kirt
    "probably everything think that what he does is good, not evil"

    Yeah, that's true. I think that it was Saint Thomas Aquinas who said that evil is always done under an aspect of good. Hence no one will consider himself a conspirator other than perhaps in a legal sense if he is aware that what he is doing is illegal. Apart from that the charge of conspiracy will always come from opponents; e.g. Hilly's charge of "a vast right-wing conspiracy".
  99. Another question to all conspirologists out there: what you think about Trump plant theory?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trump_plant_theory

    https://www.facebook.com/ClintonTrumpConspiracy

    Is Donald Trump paid by Clintons to let Hillary win? This need no big conspiracy, only Donald, Bill, Hill and few of their closest advisors would be on the plot, and it fits the character and modus operandi of the plotters. Any thoughts?

    Read More
    • Replies: @RobinG
    For a while I've wondered if Hillary funded Martin O'Malley, and also Lincoln Chaffee, just to give the illusion that there was some competition, and to give her an excuse to get media exposure in the primaries.

    (Hat-tip to a friend who posits that Virginia Independent Greens are a creation of Va. Repubs. for the same reasons.)
  100. Maybe the CIA used conspiracy theory but ordinary perverse humans invented it. If moon lander deniers (and other conspiracies) were proven wrong the rest of us would be happy to see them in public stocks and a ready supply of tomatoes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    So no freedom of speech in your little world then.
  101. […] I described how the CIA flummoxed insouciant Americans. Ron Unz gives you the intellectual history behind of how two foreign intellectuals, Karl Popper and Leo Strauss, shoved aside the truth-telling American intellectual, Charles Beard, who, like our founding fathers, had his finger on government’s propensity to deceive the people with conspiracies. Popper said that conspiracies couldn’t happen, and Strauss said they were necessary so that the government could pursue its agendas despite the public’s opposition. http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-how-the-cia-invented-conspiracy-theories/ […]

    Read More
  102. @Chief Seattle
    So, a conspiracy theory is a theory without media backing. There's no better recent example of this than when the DNC emails were released by wikileaks during their convention. The story put forth was that Russian hackers were responsible, and were trying to throw the election to their buddy Trump. The evidence for this? Zero. And yet it became a plausible explanation in the media, overnight.

    Maybe it's true, maybe not, but if the roles had been reversed, the media would be telling its proponents to take off their tin foil hats.

    ahhh, but ‘Russkie!/squirrel!’ worked, didn’t it ? ? ?
    virtually NOTHING about the actual content of the emails…
    what was hysterical, was a followup not too long afterwards, where pelosi ‘warned’ that there might be a whole raft of other emails which said bad stuff and stuff, and, um, they were -like- probably, um, all, uh, fake and stuff…
    it really is a funny tragi-comedy, isn’t it ? ? ?
    …then why am i crying inside…

    Read More
  103. @Wizard of Oz
    I accept that your explanation of the attack on USS Liberty is relatively plausible but another which runs it close is that Israel had to ensure that there was no proof left of the true order of events which were not in accordance with the Israeli official version. So I ask what are your sources?

    Likewise, if you are saying that suicidal hijackers flew planes into buildings on 9/11 but that it was organised by Mossad or other Israelis your story needs a lot of filling out and evidence to be credible. Or are you merely saying the Israelis knew what was going to
    happen and let it go ahead because it could be turned to their advantage?

    Re: your first question about the USS Liberty. The media covered it up completely. I was a young adult who read the newspaper every day plus Atlantic. new Republic and sometimes Newsweek.
    And I never, never heard about it until 20 years later when I began reading books about Zionism

    I’ve read the book written by survivors. They were severely coerced to not say a word about it. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were not threatened with death if they talked. They were in the navy remember and subject to the military code of Justice which means no ha rays corpus no access to attorneys until the trial and other nasty things.

    I can’t have an opinion about 9/11 because there is no way I can discover the truth. Silverstein’s insurance payout is just a version of a standard insurance scam.

    Read More
  104. @Miro23
    [Sorry, long reply]

    The basic fact about the USS Liberty is that an American navy ship was attacked with the aim of sinking it, which is an Act of War since the ship was clearly marked.

    In contrast, the attacking Israeli jets and torpedo boats were unmarked (i.e. they wanted to hide their identity), so a question is why were they unmarked if this was a standard military interception?

    Whether the Israelis wanted to trigger a US attack on Egypt or hide their communications with regard to their attack on Syria is a secondary question. The main concern of the United States surely had to be to rescue their seamen and respond to the aggression.

    And, this is where the story turns really nasty.

    At least two rescue attempts were launched from US aircraft carriers nearby, but after the (obligatory) communication to Washington, both rescue flights were cancelled within minutes on direct orders of Secretary of Defence, Robert McNamara (source: 6th Fleet Rear Admiral Lawrence Geis speaking in confidence to the senior Liberty survivor, Naval Security Group officer, Lieutenant Commander David Lewis in a meeting requested by Geis).

    Surviving personnel all received strict orders not say anything to anyone about the attack.

    Eyewitness accounts say that 4 nuclear armed aircraft were simultaneously launched from the aircraft carrier America on the instructions of President Johnson only to be recalled when, presumably, the information came through that the Israelis had not succeeded in sinking the Liberty. Nuclear weapons were not needed to defend the Liberty.

    Also there was an oral history report from the American Embassy in Cairo, (now in the LBJ Library), which notes that the Embassy received an urgent message from Washington warning that Cairo was about to be bombed by US forces.

    An investigation led by Thomas Moorer, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff held the opinion that the Israeli motive was to draw the US into war against Egypt , through a false subterfuge of the same type as their King David Hotel bombing and Lavon Affair operations.

    Any rational person has to conclude that Johnson was virtually following Israeli orders, which raises the question of why? Maybe they were blackmailing him with regard to something else that was more important to him than the destruction of Cairo?

    9/11 had some of the same features as other Israeli False Flag attacks against Britain and the US, such as Israelis dressed as Arabs (framed Arabs) motivated towards tricking these countries into military action against Arab states. In fact the Israeli involvement in 9/11 was much deeper and more generalized as shown in investigative reporter Christopher Bollyn's book, "Solving 9-11: The Deception That Changed the World". https://www.amazon.com/Solving-9-11-Deception-Changed-World/dp/0985322586/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

    15 years later his account is supported in multiple ways from investigations in Florida (they didn't sneak in unseen – they were highly visible and got red carpet treatment with regard to visas etc. and they were completely incapable of flying the 9/11 airliners at the speeds and on the trajectories seen on the day + everyone who had contact with them was visited by the F.B.I. and told to shut up) - Source, a detailed and very interesting investigation by Daniel Hopsicker in "Welcome to Terrorland: Mohamed Atta and the 9/11 Cover-Up in Florida. https://www.amazon.com/Welcome-Terrorland-Mohamed-Cover-up-Florida/dp/0975290673/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

    High-rise buildings don't collapse due to fire (reason given by the US government). All high rise fire disasters have been examined in detail, with most of them much more intense than the WTC ones, and no building collapsed - let alone in 7 seconds and three on the same day.

    These Arabs didn't fly the jets and it's now clear that the buildings were taken down by placed explosives - the aim being to trick the US into an Iraq and Iran war and possibly launch an "Emergency" Neo-con regime (dictatorship) in the US led by Cheney and enforced by the Patriot Act/ Homeland security.

    The other aspect here is that a government (and media) which genuinely represented the American people would give top priority to revealing the truth about the USS Liberty and 9/11 rather than engage in the present obfuscation, blocking, threats, smears and hiding of the truth.

    We here in Ft. Meade and Langley, using our vast media assets, have successfully inoculated the public against these deviant 911 ideas. Game over….we have achieved full spectrum dominance and total information awareness throughout 99% of the planet.

    Read More
  105. @Decius
    The reduction of Strauss and all his concerns to TWS is not serious. Yes, Bill K loves Strauss. That really doesn't prove much about Strauss either way. I believe, though of course cannot prove since Strauss can't speak, that Strauss would have opposed the Iraq War. He would have seen it as imprudent and prudence is the supreme virtue of the statesman.

    You are sort of right about philosophy being a conspiracy, but wrong in the second half. MODERN philosophy attempts to take the conspiracy public, so to speak, to act in the real world. Ancient philosophy did not, or did so in a very limited, mitigating way, always with caution, moderation, prudence, and a lack of messianic hopes or intentions. Strauss argued his whole life for the superiority of the ancients to the moderns on this point (and on other points).

    The reduction of Strauss and all his concerns to TWS is not serious.

    That’s not what I did. Don’t do that. You seemed to be saying the neo-cons do not hail from the school of Strauss as this Atlas fellow said they did. I was saying they do, according to them.

    It was pretty obvious back then that the weekly standard was acting as an organ of the bush administration more than a member of the media. I remember there was even a tepid discussion about how we as journalist should feel about these fellas with one foot in the media and one foot in the politics. Does that have anything to do with the style Strauss bespoke? My understanding is that Strauss addressed his philosophy not to Princes but certain among the reading public. That turns out to first of all mean political journalists who will sacrifice the integrity of their profession for the sake of a particular kind of proud story about the USA polity and its villains. Yes I do think people like Bill Krystol and Michael Ledeen saw themselves in terms as dramatic as that.

    You are sort of right about philosophy being a conspiracy, but wrong in the second half. MODERN philosophy attempts to take the conspiracy public, so to speak, to act in the real world. Ancient philosophy did not, or did so in a very limited, mitigating way, always with caution, moderation, prudence, and a lack of messianic hopes or intentions. Strauss argued his whole life for the superiority of the ancients to the moderns on this point (and on other points).

    You mean I was right about Strauss having a conspiracy theory of philosophy. I didn’t say anything about the second half. I read Paul Gottfried and I agree Strauss was a ridiculous scholar. Of course I believe you when you say in so many words that Strauss did not like philosophies that license mass movements of true believers. Full stop right there. Now we can count back from all them and make this an exercise in splitting hairs. What audience to be precise did Strauss exactly have in mind? Actually I don’t think he deserves that much credit; I don’t think he really knew who he was writing for.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jacques Sheete

    I don’t think he really knew who he was writing for.
     
    Love it.

    My theory is that they basically wrote anything that came to mind so long as no one could pin 'em down to specifics, allowed them to keep paying the bills , afforded them a chance to sound "profound," and to be somebody.

    Pretty much all of the type are frauds and only fools (especially the pompous quasi-scientific, pseudo intellectual, ones) take 'em seriously. I agree that the ancients were much more honest but even they were recognized as BSers of high degree by the likes of Aristophanes and Lucian of Samosata to name only two. (I named them because they make particularly entertaining reading.)

    I think the 20th century should be known as the Age of Pathetic Charlatans and I'm glad it's over. May it and the endless gaggle of cheap morons it spawned never return.

    , @Decius
    Kristol is a Straussian because he got a PhD in PolPhil from Harvard under Mansfield, who is a Straussian. There is no necessary connection between Strauss's thought any of the main tenets of Neo-conservatism. I've said, and you've all ignored, that Strauss attacked data-driven social science, which is the original hallmark of neo-conservatism. A later hallmark (which emerged after Strauss's death) was foreign policy hawkism. Unless you want to say that Strauss's opposition to the USSR makes him a neo-con, in which case every Cold War liberal going back to Truman was a neo-con. At which point the term has no meaning.

    Strauss addresses scholars and potential philosophers. He has almost nothing to say about the transient issues of his age. Based on his comments on what other thinkers had to say about war (Thucydides above all) I believe we can infer that Strauss was generally in favor of preparedness and wariness but otherwise anti-war in the general sense. If we may analogize the Iraq War to the Sicilian Expedition we may say that Strauss probably would have opposed the former as imprudent, just as he tacitly endorses T's judgement that the latter was imprudent.

    Strauss openly characterizes Machiavelli's approach to philosophy as a conspiracy, using that word, but does not say it about any other thinker. However, his teaching that philosophy is an inherently elite and very small enterprise may be fairly characterized as a "conspiracy." however, before modernity, the nature of the conspiracy was to protect the conspirators and the philosophic life, not a reform campaign. that's what it becomes under modernity, which Strauss opposes. One of Strauss's aims in writing was to revive the ancient idea of philosophy, its proper scope, and its proper relationship to society, which he believed modernity had corrupted.

    It is unfortunate that Strauss became a bogey-man to so many who have no idea what he said or why. It happened rather recently and based on some very thin scholarship. Most of the thing people try to pin on him are things that I and my friends oppose too. We just know they don't trace to Strauss. In fact, the opposite is often true.
  106. @Anonymous
    Oleynik is Ukrainian. At any rate, attacking his ethnic background is just a cheap ad hominem argument.

    Soros and his foundations funded, and still do presumably, scholarships and education grants in Eastern Europe following the Soviet collapse.

    “Oleynik is Ukrainian.”

    The Ukrainians were, you know, part of the same Soviet Union which failed to put a man on the Moon.

    “At any rate, attacking his ethnic background is just a cheap ad hominem argument.”

    No, it is pointing out what might be real motive for him to do what he is doing.

    “Soros and his foundations funded, and still do presumably, scholarships and education grants in Eastern Europe following the Soviet collapse.”

    And what do you think of Soros? Do you think he is a manipulator of peoples, movements, entire governments? If so, what does it say that this guy was once on his payroll? Or do you simply temporarily suspend one part of your world-view when it becomes inconvenient for another part of it?

    In any event, his purported photgraphic analysis is crap. He’s talking about parallax exhibited in pairs of images taken from different bearings – but the pictures themselves were not even taken at the same locations, as can easily be seen from the details in the foreground.

    Read More
  107. “Only a child – or its intellectual equivalent, i.e., a low information infotainment consumer – could believe in the official version of 9/11.”

    That is clearly false, as plenty of people who are smart – smarter than you actually – do in fact believe just that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Miro23
    Being smart has nothing to do with it.

    For example the government says that WTC7 completely collapsed in 7 seconds due to fire. You don't need to be smart to see something is wrong here (hint: most of the structural pillars were untouched by fire).
    , @Miro23
    Or maybe a lot of smart people pretend to believe the official 9/11 story because that's where their interest lies. MSM journalists know for sure that articles that deviate from the official line on 9/11 are career ending moves .

    In simple terms, MSM owners have decided that 9/11 is a taboo subject (same as USS Liberty) and they decide what gets published.
  108. @Pat Casey

    The reduction of Strauss and all his concerns to TWS is not serious.
     
    That's not what I did. Don't do that. You seemed to be saying the neo-cons do not hail from the school of Strauss as this Atlas fellow said they did. I was saying they do, according to them.

    It was pretty obvious back then that the weekly standard was acting as an organ of the bush administration more than a member of the media. I remember there was even a tepid discussion about how we as journalist should feel about these fellas with one foot in the media and one foot in the politics. Does that have anything to do with the style Strauss bespoke? My understanding is that Strauss addressed his philosophy not to Princes but certain among the reading public. That turns out to first of all mean political journalists who will sacrifice the integrity of their profession for the sake of a particular kind of proud story about the USA polity and its villains. Yes I do think people like Bill Krystol and Michael Ledeen saw themselves in terms as dramatic as that.


    You are sort of right about philosophy being a conspiracy, but wrong in the second half. MODERN philosophy attempts to take the conspiracy public, so to speak, to act in the real world. Ancient philosophy did not, or did so in a very limited, mitigating way, always with caution, moderation, prudence, and a lack of messianic hopes or intentions. Strauss argued his whole life for the superiority of the ancients to the moderns on this point (and on other points).
     
    You mean I was right about Strauss having a conspiracy theory of philosophy. I didn't say anything about the second half. I read Paul Gottfried and I agree Strauss was a ridiculous scholar. Of course I believe you when you say in so many words that Strauss did not like philosophies that license mass movements of true believers. Full stop right there. Now we can count back from all them and make this an exercise in splitting hairs. What audience to be precise did Strauss exactly have in mind? Actually I don't think he deserves that much credit; I don't think he really knew who he was writing for.

    I don’t think he really knew who he was writing for.

    Love it.

    My theory is that they basically wrote anything that came to mind so long as no one could pin ‘em down to specifics, allowed them to keep paying the bills , afforded them a chance to sound “profound,” and to be somebody.

    Pretty much all of the type are frauds and only fools (especially the pompous quasi-scientific, pseudo intellectual, ones) take ‘em seriously. I agree that the ancients were much more honest but even they were recognized as BSers of high degree by the likes of Aristophanes and Lucian of Samosata to name only two. (I named them because they make particularly entertaining reading.)

    I think the 20th century should be known as the Age of Pathetic Charlatans and I’m glad it’s over. May it and the endless gaggle of cheap morons it spawned never return.

    Read More
  109. @Mr. Anon
    "Only a child – or its intellectual equivalent, i.e., a low information infotainment consumer – could believe in the official version of 9/11."

    That is clearly false, as plenty of people who are smart - smarter than you actually - do in fact believe just that.

    Being smart has nothing to do with it.

    For example the government says that WTC7 completely collapsed in 7 seconds due to fire. You don’t need to be smart to see something is wrong here (hint: most of the structural pillars were untouched by fire).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I see the biggest problem about a conspiratorial explanation for the WTC 7 collapse is motive. How does it make sense for those who wanted the big splash that hitting buildings 1 and 2 would give? The other major difficulty is the video footage of fires burning all day which had to have heated the steel and therefore potentially weakened it to a critical point. Where's the mystery?
    , @Mr. Anon
    "Being smart has nothing to do with it."

    Being smart usually has everything to do with everything. But to people like you, ignorance opens up a world of possibilities, no matter how false or ludicrous they may be.
  110. @Pat Casey

    The reduction of Strauss and all his concerns to TWS is not serious.
     
    That's not what I did. Don't do that. You seemed to be saying the neo-cons do not hail from the school of Strauss as this Atlas fellow said they did. I was saying they do, according to them.

    It was pretty obvious back then that the weekly standard was acting as an organ of the bush administration more than a member of the media. I remember there was even a tepid discussion about how we as journalist should feel about these fellas with one foot in the media and one foot in the politics. Does that have anything to do with the style Strauss bespoke? My understanding is that Strauss addressed his philosophy not to Princes but certain among the reading public. That turns out to first of all mean political journalists who will sacrifice the integrity of their profession for the sake of a particular kind of proud story about the USA polity and its villains. Yes I do think people like Bill Krystol and Michael Ledeen saw themselves in terms as dramatic as that.


    You are sort of right about philosophy being a conspiracy, but wrong in the second half. MODERN philosophy attempts to take the conspiracy public, so to speak, to act in the real world. Ancient philosophy did not, or did so in a very limited, mitigating way, always with caution, moderation, prudence, and a lack of messianic hopes or intentions. Strauss argued his whole life for the superiority of the ancients to the moderns on this point (and on other points).
     
    You mean I was right about Strauss having a conspiracy theory of philosophy. I didn't say anything about the second half. I read Paul Gottfried and I agree Strauss was a ridiculous scholar. Of course I believe you when you say in so many words that Strauss did not like philosophies that license mass movements of true believers. Full stop right there. Now we can count back from all them and make this an exercise in splitting hairs. What audience to be precise did Strauss exactly have in mind? Actually I don't think he deserves that much credit; I don't think he really knew who he was writing for.

    Kristol is a Straussian because he got a PhD in PolPhil from Harvard under Mansfield, who is a Straussian. There is no necessary connection between Strauss’s thought any of the main tenets of Neo-conservatism. I’ve said, and you’ve all ignored, that Strauss attacked data-driven social science, which is the original hallmark of neo-conservatism. A later hallmark (which emerged after Strauss’s death) was foreign policy hawkism. Unless you want to say that Strauss’s opposition to the USSR makes him a neo-con, in which case every Cold War liberal going back to Truman was a neo-con. At which point the term has no meaning.

    Strauss addresses scholars and potential philosophers. He has almost nothing to say about the transient issues of his age. Based on his comments on what other thinkers had to say about war (Thucydides above all) I believe we can infer that Strauss was generally in favor of preparedness and wariness but otherwise anti-war in the general sense. If we may analogize the Iraq War to the Sicilian Expedition we may say that Strauss probably would have opposed the former as imprudent, just as he tacitly endorses T’s judgement that the latter was imprudent.

    Strauss openly characterizes Machiavelli’s approach to philosophy as a conspiracy, using that word, but does not say it about any other thinker. However, his teaching that philosophy is an inherently elite and very small enterprise may be fairly characterized as a “conspiracy.” however, before modernity, the nature of the conspiracy was to protect the conspirators and the philosophic life, not a reform campaign. that’s what it becomes under modernity, which Strauss opposes. One of Strauss’s aims in writing was to revive the ancient idea of philosophy, its proper scope, and its proper relationship to society, which he believed modernity had corrupted.

    It is unfortunate that Strauss became a bogey-man to so many who have no idea what he said or why. It happened rather recently and based on some very thin scholarship. Most of the thing people try to pin on him are things that I and my friends oppose too. We just know they don’t trace to Strauss. In fact, the opposite is often true.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pat Casey
    Thanks for that response, gave me a better perspective of the man. I guess he did know who he was writing for. And I do think the way to write for history is to write history by disregarding topical preoccupations, except to damn them with faint praise. I have a master like that I always go back to on the topic I care about most.

    And actually the one work of Strauss's I have picked up, years ago, is his Machiavelli; it's one of the thousands of books I've read--- not though one of the few I finished. Brushing up just now by way of wikipedia, it doesn't look like Strauss staked his claim strong enough, if an original reading is what he was writing.

    By the way, I know the Irishman John Toland was the first to publish on the esoteric-exoteric distinction, and coined the term pantheist on a related occasion when he named what new beast Spinoza had born. That was when an esoteric mode of writing was really needed, and you will hear The Ethics called esoteric or cryptic, but I know the work well, and it is no more esoteric than any work of genius that teaches you to read closely right at the start.

    Is The Prince an esoteric work? Did it entertain a conspiracy with special readers? I suppose only if Machiavelli had individuals in mind who might wonder were they all the while in mind when he was writing about how to dispose of them. The point is, there's nothing profound about observing that, it's almost common sense if you take into account the first thing about Machiavelli's circumstance.

    I won't be glib and write Strauss's method off as typically paranoid; it's creative, but bound to be too creative by half. I think it might lead readers to have more fun than's good for learning.

    , @Wizard of Oz
    Fascinating. A reminder that one should five lives lived to 120 so one can lots of stories right....
    , @5371
    You are right that Strauss's culpability for the neocons has been vastly exaggerated. You are wrong that he is worth reading.
  111. @Mr. Anon
    "Only a child – or its intellectual equivalent, i.e., a low information infotainment consumer – could believe in the official version of 9/11."

    That is clearly false, as plenty of people who are smart - smarter than you actually - do in fact believe just that.

    Or maybe a lot of smart people pretend to believe the official 9/11 story because that’s where their interest lies. MSM journalists know for sure that articles that deviate from the official line on 9/11 are career ending moves .

    In simple terms, MSM owners have decided that 9/11 is a taboo subject (same as USS Liberty) and they decide what gets published.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Or maybe a lot of smart people pretend to believe the official 9/11 story because that’s where their interest lies. MSM journalists know for sure that articles that deviate from the official line on 9/11 are career ending moves .

    In simple terms, MSM owners have decided that 9/11 is a taboo subject (same as USS Liberty) and they decide what gets published.
     
    Well, I haven't read through all of this enormously long discussion-thread, but I happened to notice this particular comment. Not having been an MSM journalist myself, I can't say whether or not it's true, but a couple of interesting, possibly coincidental, examples come to mind...

    In late July 2010, longtime Canadian journalist Eric Margolis was told his column would be dropped, and just a few weeks later he published a double-length piece expressing strong doubts about 9/11, the first time he'd articulated that position:

    http://www.unz.com/article/911-the-mother-of-all-coincidences/

    In 2007, the parent company of The Chicago Tribune announced it had accepted a leveraged-buyout takeover bid by investor Sam Zell, who planned a massive wave cost-cutting layoffs, which eventually wrecked the company. In late 2007, the Chicago Tribune suddenly ran a very long piece regarding the Liberty Attack, about the only time I've ever seen it discussed in the MSM.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/chi-liberty_tuesoct02-story.html
  112. @Miro23
    The British and Americans have been the victims of conspiracies (False Flag operations) for years.

    For example:

    The Irgun bombing of the King David Hotel (headquarters of the British Mandate Government of Palestine) in which Zionist activists dressed as Arabs placed milk churns filled with explosives against the main columns of the building killing 91 people and injuring 44. Israeli prime Minister Netanyahu, attended a celebration to commemorate the event.

    Operation Susannah (Lavon Affair) where Israeli operatives impersonating Arabs bombed British and American cinemas, libraries and educational centers in Egypt to destabilize the country and keep British troops committed to the Middle East.

    Or June 8, 1967, the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty with unmarked aircraft and torpedo boats. 34 men were killed and 171 wounded, with the attack in international waters following over nine hours of close surveillance. When the ship failed to sink, the Israeli government concocted an elaborate story to cover the crime. Original plan to blame the sinking with all lives lost on the Egyptians and draw the US into the war.

    Or Israelis and U.S. Zionists appearing all over the most recent WTC 9/11 "Operation" with Israelis once again impersonating Arabs in a historic deception/terror action of a type that seems to carry a lot of kudos with old Israeli ex-terrorist Likudniks. Israeli agents were sent to film the historic day (as they later admitted on Israeli TV), with the celebrations including photos of themselves with a background of the burning towers where thousands of Americans were being incinerated.

    Iraq was destroyed as a result of 9/11 but unfortunately for the conspirators, the momentum wasn't sufficient for a general war including Iran. Also the general war would have included the nuclear angle and justified the activation of a neo-con led Emergency Regime (dictatorship) in the US enforced with the newly printed Patriot Act and Homeland Security troops - or maybe that's just another Conspiracy Theory?

    So true!
    But you forgot the two missiles shot from a NATO naval and HQ base in Spain towards Damascus, shot down by the Russians (two weeks before the “agreement” on chemical weapons, remember?) and then attributed to Israel’s drills turned wrong…

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  113. A good book, BTW, is Robert Howse’s Leo Strauss: Man of Peace. Howse is liberal, FWIW.

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  114. One resents (first), and eventually hates whom they have to lie to. In what regard would our elites, in our electoral democracy, hold us voters in (by now)?
    Kinda answers itself doesn’t it?

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  115. How could the godfather of neocon jooies have written so many great waltzes….like the angelic Blue Danube? You see how easy disinfo is for us here in Ft. Meade and Langley?

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  116. @Darin
    If moon landings were fake, why hadn't USSR or China revealed it? This would discredit USA before the whole world and won the Cold War in one stroke.

    If USSR was also part of the plot, then whole Cold War was fake - and in this case there would be no need for the small Apollo fake.

    Sometimes, stupid conspiracy theories are just stupid conspiracy theories - or smart fakes, designed to discredit conspirational thinking and distract them from the real conspiracies. Take your pick.

    “Take your pick”. I take your prick.

    Do you think anyone would care/accept/believe if USSR did “reveal” the fakery? On the contrary, it would be a point in favour of the “reality” of the landing.

    Sometimes “stupid conspiracy theories” deniers are just that: stupid deniers.

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  117. @Darin
    Another question to all conspirologists out there: what you think about Trump plant theory?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trump_plant_theory

    https://www.facebook.com/ClintonTrumpConspiracy

    Is Donald Trump paid by Clintons to let Hillary win? This need no big conspiracy, only Donald, Bill, Hill and few of their closest advisors would be on the plot, and it fits the character and modus operandi of the plotters. Any thoughts?

    For a while I’ve wondered if Hillary funded Martin O’Malley, and also Lincoln Chaffee, just to give the illusion that there was some competition, and to give her an excuse to get media exposure in the primaries.

    (Hat-tip to a friend who posits that Virginia Independent Greens are a creation of Va. Repubs. for the same reasons.)

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    • Replies: @iffen
    just to give the illusion that there was some competition

    I think she funded Bernie as well.
  118. Popper’s point about conspiracy theories really makes no sense. This is the assumption that a conspiracy is like a start-up, one that requires lots of transparency to work because of the need to recruit members for the conspiracy. As soon as one member disagrees, the conspiracy falls apart.

    The problem is that a conspiracy is not like a start-up. The purpose of the start-up is the start-up itself. The purpose of the conspiracy is not the conspiracy itself. Conspiracies are simply vehicles by which like minded people actually find each other. The secrecy is built-in because they are like-minded.

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  119. @Erik Sieven
    "Conspiracy is simply a plan or agreement by more than one person to do something evil and then the pursuit of that plan." but probably everything think that what he does is good, not evil

    “probably everything think that what he does is good, not evil”

    Yeah, that’s true. I think that it was Saint Thomas Aquinas who said that evil is always done under an aspect of good. Hence no one will consider himself a conspirator other than perhaps in a legal sense if he is aware that what he is doing is illegal. Apart from that the charge of conspiracy will always come from opponents; e.g. Hilly’s charge of “a vast right-wing conspiracy”.

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  120. @Darin
    If moon landings were fake, why hadn't USSR or China revealed it? This would discredit USA before the whole world and won the Cold War in one stroke.

    If USSR was also part of the plot, then whole Cold War was fake - and in this case there would be no need for the small Apollo fake.

    Sometimes, stupid conspiracy theories are just stupid conspiracy theories - or smart fakes, designed to discredit conspirational thinking and distract them from the real conspiracies. Take your pick.

    Why did the USSR stop at the 38th parallel upon American request?

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  121. @Paul Jolliffe
    Mr. Unz,

    Here is a link to Carl Bernstein's definitive 1977 Rolling Stone article "CIA and the Media" in which he addresses - and confirms - your worst fears. You are very right, and no less a figure than Bernstein has said so for nearly four decades . . .



    http://www.carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php

    Here is a link to Carl Bernstein’s definitive 1977 Rolling Stone article “CIA and the Media” in which he addresses – and confirms – your worst fears. You are very right, and no less a figure than Bernstein has said so for nearly four decades…

    Thanks so much for the excellent reference to the Bernstein article, of which I hadn’t been aware. I found it fascinating, not least because of all the speculations floating around over the last decade or two that Bernstein’s famed collaborator, Bob Woodward, had had an intelligence background, and perhaps Watergate represented a plot by elements of the CIA to remove Nixon from the White House. As for the 25,000 word article itself, I’d suggest that people read it. Since quite a lot of this comment-thread is already filled with debates about the supposed liberalism of Leo Strauss and an alleged Moon Landing Hoax, I might as well provide a few of the provocative extracts:

    http://www.carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php

    He was very eager, he loved to cooperate.” On one occasion, according to several CIA officials, Sulzberger was given a briefing paper by the Agency which ran almost verbatim under the columnist’s byline in the Times. “Cycame out and said, ‘I’m thinking of doing a piece, can you give me some background?’” a CIA officer said. “We gave it to Cy as a background piece and Cy gave it to the printers and put his name on it.” Sulzberger denies that any incident occurred. “A lot of baloney,” he said.

    [MORE]

    Stewart Alsop’s relationship with the Agency was much more extensive than Sulzberger’s. One official who served at the highest levels in the CIA said flatly: “Stew Alsop was a CIA agent.” An equally senior official refused to define Alsop’s relationship with the Agency except to say it was a formal one. Other sources said that Alsop was particularly helpful to the Agency in discussions with, officials of foreign governments—asking questions to which the CIA was seeking answers, planting misinformation advantageous to American policy, assessing opportunities for CIA recruitment of well‑placed foreigners.

    The New York Times. The Agency’s relationship with the Times was by far its most valuable among newspapers, according to CIA officials. From 1950 to 1966, about ten CIA employees were provided Times cover under arrangements approved by the newspaper’s late publisher, Arthur Hays Sulzberger. The cover arrangements were part of a general Times policy—set by Sulzberger—to provide assistance to the CIA whenever possible.

    When Newsweek waspurchased by the Washington Post Company, publisher Philip L. Graham was informed by Agency officials that the CIA occasionally used the magazine for cover purposes, according to CIA sources. “It was widely known that Phil Graham was somebody you could get help from,” said a former deputy director of the Agency. “Frank Wisner dealt with him.” Wisner, deputy director of the CIA from 1950 until shortly before his suicide in 1965, was the Agency’s premier orchestrator of “black” operations, including many in which journalists were involved. Wisner liked to boast of his “mighty Wurlitzer,” a wondrous propaganda instrument he built, and played, with help from the press.) Phil Graham was probably Wisner’s closest friend. But Graharn, who committed suicide in 1963, apparently knew little of the specifics of any cover arrangements with Newsweek, CIA sources said.

    The Agency played an intriguing numbers game with the committee. Those who prepared the material say it was physically impossible to produce all of the Agency’s files on the use of journalists. “We gave them a broad, representative picture,” said one agency official. “We never pretended it was a total description of the range of activities over 25 years, or of the number of journalists who have done things for us.” A relatively small number of the summaries described the activities of foreign journalists—including those working as stringers for American publications. Those officials most knowledgeable about the subject say that a figure of 400 American journalists is on the low side of the actual number who maintained covert relationships and undertook clandestine tasks.

    From the twenty‑five files he got back, according to Senate sources and CIA officials, an unavoidable conclusion emerged: that to a degree never widely suspected, the CIA in the 1950s, ‘60s and even early ‘70s had concentrated its relationships with journalists in the most prominent sectors of the American press corps, including four or five of the largest newspapers in the country, the broadcast networks and the two major newsweekly magazines. Despite the omission of names and affiliations from the twenty‑five detailed files each was between three and eleven inches thick), the information was usually sufficient to tentatively identify either the newsman, his affiliation or both—particularly because so many of them were prominent in the profession.

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  122. @RobinG
    For a while I've wondered if Hillary funded Martin O'Malley, and also Lincoln Chaffee, just to give the illusion that there was some competition, and to give her an excuse to get media exposure in the primaries.

    (Hat-tip to a friend who posits that Virginia Independent Greens are a creation of Va. Repubs. for the same reasons.)

    just to give the illusion that there was some competition

    I think she funded Bernie as well.

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  123. @John Jeremiah Smith

    I suppose NASA could have sent an S-Band repeater to the Moon.
     
    There's more than one scenario that can be assembled to explain any one or two conditions that would have to be "covered" in order to carry out a conspiracy of deception regarding the Moon landings. Considering the inferior level of video jiggering available at the time, it seems to me that providing full "evidence" of the low-gravity behavior of objects, and the absolute two-color light/shadow effects in an absence of atmosphere would be the most difficult.

    The principle of parsimony becomes ascendant at some point in that Hall of Mirrors. It was easier to go to the Moon than it was to fake it.

    Not to be arch, but, even with the repeater on the moon, what about the bounce echo from the tight-beam signal coming from Earth carrying the deceptive info? ;-)

    I personally think they did land on the moon, but am paying devil’s advocate here ….

    “Not to be arch, but, even with the repeater on the moon, what about the bounce echo from the tight-beam signal coming from Earth carrying the deceptive info? “

    First, you could transvert from one range to another, so an interested party would have know where to look for the reflection. You could uplink in another range of S-Band, or go lower to L-band if you don’t mind a little faraday rotation. Your link-budget would be just sufficient to get a signal from the lunar repeater to Earth, but that would most likely not be enough enough for a full round-trip of the terrestrial signal. Most of your tight beam would still pass fairly wide abeam the moon, and that which was reflected back to Earth would be further degraded by libration fading.

    How do you get Astronauts bouncing and hammers falling in Slo-Mo? Film at 60fps, replay at 30. Ah, but you have to have a really good clean-room to keep dust off the film. Maybe that is why videotape technology took off in the early seventies ;)

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    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith

    How do you get Astronauts bouncing and hammers falling in Slo-Mo?
     
    Yeah, the gravity effects are a BIG job. Just slo-mo-ing won't do it, because you have different curvature of falling profile, and acceleration of gravity is different because moon-mass is less (and non-linear ref 30fps v. 60fps.)

    There would also be additive propagation delay in the radio signals. Pure delay, too -- no compensation would fix that in 1969.
  124. @Darin
    If moon landings were fake, why hadn't USSR or China revealed it? This would discredit USA before the whole world and won the Cold War in one stroke.

    If USSR was also part of the plot, then whole Cold War was fake - and in this case there would be no need for the small Apollo fake.

    Sometimes, stupid conspiracy theories are just stupid conspiracy theories - or smart fakes, designed to discredit conspirational thinking and distract them from the real conspiracies. Take your pick.

    “… then whole Cold War was fake.”

    Wow, now here’s a conspiracy theory to sink one’s teeth into. That would make a great Matrix/MI/Bourne sequel.

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  125. @Decius
    Kristol is a Straussian because he got a PhD in PolPhil from Harvard under Mansfield, who is a Straussian. There is no necessary connection between Strauss's thought any of the main tenets of Neo-conservatism. I've said, and you've all ignored, that Strauss attacked data-driven social science, which is the original hallmark of neo-conservatism. A later hallmark (which emerged after Strauss's death) was foreign policy hawkism. Unless you want to say that Strauss's opposition to the USSR makes him a neo-con, in which case every Cold War liberal going back to Truman was a neo-con. At which point the term has no meaning.

    Strauss addresses scholars and potential philosophers. He has almost nothing to say about the transient issues of his age. Based on his comments on what other thinkers had to say about war (Thucydides above all) I believe we can infer that Strauss was generally in favor of preparedness and wariness but otherwise anti-war in the general sense. If we may analogize the Iraq War to the Sicilian Expedition we may say that Strauss probably would have opposed the former as imprudent, just as he tacitly endorses T's judgement that the latter was imprudent.

    Strauss openly characterizes Machiavelli's approach to philosophy as a conspiracy, using that word, but does not say it about any other thinker. However, his teaching that philosophy is an inherently elite and very small enterprise may be fairly characterized as a "conspiracy." however, before modernity, the nature of the conspiracy was to protect the conspirators and the philosophic life, not a reform campaign. that's what it becomes under modernity, which Strauss opposes. One of Strauss's aims in writing was to revive the ancient idea of philosophy, its proper scope, and its proper relationship to society, which he believed modernity had corrupted.

    It is unfortunate that Strauss became a bogey-man to so many who have no idea what he said or why. It happened rather recently and based on some very thin scholarship. Most of the thing people try to pin on him are things that I and my friends oppose too. We just know they don't trace to Strauss. In fact, the opposite is often true.

    Thanks for that response, gave me a better perspective of the man. I guess he did know who he was writing for. And I do think the way to write for history is to write history by disregarding topical preoccupations, except to damn them with faint praise. I have a master like that I always go back to on the topic I care about most.

    And actually the one work of Strauss’s I have picked up, years ago, is his Machiavelli; it’s one of the thousands of books I’ve read— not though one of the few I finished. Brushing up just now by way of wikipedia, it doesn’t look like Strauss staked his claim strong enough, if an original reading is what he was writing.

    By the way, I know the Irishman John Toland was the first to publish on the esoteric-exoteric distinction, and coined the term pantheist on a related occasion when he named what new beast Spinoza had born. That was when an esoteric mode of writing was really needed, and you will hear The Ethics called esoteric or cryptic, but I know the work well, and it is no more esoteric than any work of genius that teaches you to read closely right at the start.

    Is The Prince an esoteric work? Did it entertain a conspiracy with special readers? I suppose only if Machiavelli had individuals in mind who might wonder were they all the while in mind when he was writing about how to dispose of them. The point is, there’s nothing profound about observing that, it’s almost common sense if you take into account the first thing about Machiavelli’s circumstance.

    I won’t be glib and write Strauss’s method off as typically paranoid; it’s creative, but bound to be too creative by half. I think it might lead readers to have more fun than’s good for learning.

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    • Replies: @Decius
    First, if you are at all interested in esotericism, I cannot recommend highly enough Philosophy Between the Lines by Meltzer. The only thing critical I can say about this book is that, if one is really an expert in one of the thinkers that Meltzer treats, one will read the passages on that thinker that Meltzer cites and say "So what? I've known that for years. He's shed no new light." Which is true. But irrelevant to what he's trying to do. The book presents an unassailable case that philosophy has been esoteric since Plato. Esotericism long predates Spinoza and has been discussed since ancient times. Strauss simply revived a concept that had been forgotten. Toland (who I am not that familiar with) wrote before esotericism as it were "lapsed." Strauss says that Goethe and Lessing were the last to write this way. When Strauss revived knowledge of esotericism in the late 1930s with the first Xenophon article, he was considered nuts.

    Strauss's Machiavelli book is my favorite and I think his best. It is totally "original" in the sense that he took a wildly new path from all previous scholarship. It has basically defined the debate to this day. All subsequent scholarship either follows him, opposes him, or tries to ignore him.

    I would recommend in addition Strauss's book on Spinoza and especially the much later preface that he wrote when he felt he finally understood Spinoza's esotericism.

    Yes, the Prince (and the Discourses, and Art of War, and Florentine Histories) are esoteric. It's too complex to argue in a comment thread. Suffice it to say for now that the outrageous "kill that dude" teachings serve and exoteric purpose.
  126. @Miro23
    [Sorry, long reply]

    The basic fact about the USS Liberty is that an American navy ship was attacked with the aim of sinking it, which is an Act of War since the ship was clearly marked.

    In contrast, the attacking Israeli jets and torpedo boats were unmarked (i.e. they wanted to hide their identity), so a question is why were they unmarked if this was a standard military interception?

    Whether the Israelis wanted to trigger a US attack on Egypt or hide their communications with regard to their attack on Syria is a secondary question. The main concern of the United States surely had to be to rescue their seamen and respond to the aggression.

    And, this is where the story turns really nasty.

    At least two rescue attempts were launched from US aircraft carriers nearby, but after the (obligatory) communication to Washington, both rescue flights were cancelled within minutes on direct orders of Secretary of Defence, Robert McNamara (source: 6th Fleet Rear Admiral Lawrence Geis speaking in confidence to the senior Liberty survivor, Naval Security Group officer, Lieutenant Commander David Lewis in a meeting requested by Geis).

    Surviving personnel all received strict orders not say anything to anyone about the attack.

    Eyewitness accounts say that 4 nuclear armed aircraft were simultaneously launched from the aircraft carrier America on the instructions of President Johnson only to be recalled when, presumably, the information came through that the Israelis had not succeeded in sinking the Liberty. Nuclear weapons were not needed to defend the Liberty.

    Also there was an oral history report from the American Embassy in Cairo, (now in the LBJ Library), which notes that the Embassy received an urgent message from Washington warning that Cairo was about to be bombed by US forces.

    An investigation led by Thomas Moorer, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff held the opinion that the Israeli motive was to draw the US into war against Egypt , through a false subterfuge of the same type as their King David Hotel bombing and Lavon Affair operations.

    Any rational person has to conclude that Johnson was virtually following Israeli orders, which raises the question of why? Maybe they were blackmailing him with regard to something else that was more important to him than the destruction of Cairo?

    9/11 had some of the same features as other Israeli False Flag attacks against Britain and the US, such as Israelis dressed as Arabs (framed Arabs) motivated towards tricking these countries into military action against Arab states. In fact the Israeli involvement in 9/11 was much deeper and more generalized as shown in investigative reporter Christopher Bollyn's book, "Solving 9-11: The Deception That Changed the World". https://www.amazon.com/Solving-9-11-Deception-Changed-World/dp/0985322586/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

    15 years later his account is supported in multiple ways from investigations in Florida (they didn't sneak in unseen – they were highly visible and got red carpet treatment with regard to visas etc. and they were completely incapable of flying the 9/11 airliners at the speeds and on the trajectories seen on the day + everyone who had contact with them was visited by the F.B.I. and told to shut up) - Source, a detailed and very interesting investigation by Daniel Hopsicker in "Welcome to Terrorland: Mohamed Atta and the 9/11 Cover-Up in Florida. https://www.amazon.com/Welcome-Terrorland-Mohamed-Cover-up-Florida/dp/0975290673/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

    High-rise buildings don't collapse due to fire (reason given by the US government). All high rise fire disasters have been examined in detail, with most of them much more intense than the WTC ones, and no building collapsed - let alone in 7 seconds and three on the same day.

    These Arabs didn't fly the jets and it's now clear that the buildings were taken down by placed explosives - the aim being to trick the US into an Iraq and Iran war and possibly launch an "Emergency" Neo-con regime (dictatorship) in the US led by Cheney and enforced by the Patriot Act/ Homeland security.

    The other aspect here is that a government (and media) which genuinely represented the American people would give top priority to revealing the truth about the USS Liberty and 9/11 rather than engage in the present obfuscation, blocking, threats, smears and hiding of the truth.

    Thanks. I wonder what will happen to Israel’s support if and when serious money and research and publicity is put into telling the whole Liberty story and making sure it is drummed in.

    Your 9/11 version I don’t buy, not least because someone suicidal/murderous had to be controlling the planes.

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    • Replies: @CalDre
    Your 9/11 version I don’t buy, not least because someone suicidal/murderous had to be controlling the planes.

    Controlling, yes; but on-board, no. "Coincidentally", all of the planes hijacked on 9/11 were Boeing 767s, which have a sophisticated auto-pilot system and the ability to upload custom modules to control the auto-pilot. Just like a Predator or Reaper drone can be flown from halfway across the planet, a 767 can be flown remotely (and in the case of 9/11, since everything was known in advance, the entire flight pattern could have been pre-programmed into a module and uploaded in to the aircrafts' computers).

    If you look into it you will find reports of a a "mystery" large white jet flying over Washington on the morning of 9/11. Some have identified it as a E-4B (a Boeing E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post), a strategic command and control military aircraft operated by the United States Air Force. We know neither Bush nor Cheney was on that plane.

    While perhaps not necessary, the cockpit could have been filled with a tranquilizing gas to incapacitate all the pilots and (stooge) hijackers so that they would not interfere with the remote-controlled operation of the planes.

    Remember that these "deeply religious" Muslim "hijackers" went out drinking at a strip club the night of 9/10. Both are deep sins in Islam, not something someone is going to do when they are about to meet their Maker. Most likely they thought they were participating in a drill (since, in fact on the date of 9/11, a drill was taking place, having to do with - wait for it - airplanes being hijacked and flown into buildings).

    The precision and extreme competence of the flying maneuvers is readily explained by the auto-pilot feature.

  127. @Decius
    Kristol is a Straussian because he got a PhD in PolPhil from Harvard under Mansfield, who is a Straussian. There is no necessary connection between Strauss's thought any of the main tenets of Neo-conservatism. I've said, and you've all ignored, that Strauss attacked data-driven social science, which is the original hallmark of neo-conservatism. A later hallmark (which emerged after Strauss's death) was foreign policy hawkism. Unless you want to say that Strauss's opposition to the USSR makes him a neo-con, in which case every Cold War liberal going back to Truman was a neo-con. At which point the term has no meaning.

    Strauss addresses scholars and potential philosophers. He has almost nothing to say about the transient issues of his age. Based on his comments on what other thinkers had to say about war (Thucydides above all) I believe we can infer that Strauss was generally in favor of preparedness and wariness but otherwise anti-war in the general sense. If we may analogize the Iraq War to the Sicilian Expedition we may say that Strauss probably would have opposed the former as imprudent, just as he tacitly endorses T's judgement that the latter was imprudent.

    Strauss openly characterizes Machiavelli's approach to philosophy as a conspiracy, using that word, but does not say it about any other thinker. However, his teaching that philosophy is an inherently elite and very small enterprise may be fairly characterized as a "conspiracy." however, before modernity, the nature of the conspiracy was to protect the conspirators and the philosophic life, not a reform campaign. that's what it becomes under modernity, which Strauss opposes. One of Strauss's aims in writing was to revive the ancient idea of philosophy, its proper scope, and its proper relationship to society, which he believed modernity had corrupted.

    It is unfortunate that Strauss became a bogey-man to so many who have no idea what he said or why. It happened rather recently and based on some very thin scholarship. Most of the thing people try to pin on him are things that I and my friends oppose too. We just know they don't trace to Strauss. In fact, the opposite is often true.

    Fascinating. A reminder that one should five lives lived to 120 so one can lots of stories right….

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  128. No Oswald Hypothesis Denier has ever presented a falsifiable alternative hypothesis to Kennedy’s murder.

    The Oswald Hypothesis—as subtly admitted by Oliver Stone—passed the who, what, when, where, why, and how test. It answered all the questions and was plausible according to physics, motive, means, and opportunity. The Deniers try things like “the pristine bullet” and “magic bullet” nonsense, but those criticisms don’t stand up to criticism (for example, the bullet was not pristine at all, and the bullet’s tragectory was not magic at all, but followed a predictable downward path through the elevated Kennedy to Connolly).

    But more tellingly—no alternative plausible falsifiable hypothesis has been offered. No who, what, when, where , why, and how. Lots of speculation and casting aspersions (LBJ! CIA! ), but no one offers a concrete hypothesis that could be tested or researched to see as plausible.

    If you have a falsifiable alternative theory to the Oswald Hypothesis that satisfies the five w’s and h, please offer it here. Until you do so, the only plausible hypothesis is that Oswald acted alone.

    It’s been more than 50 years people. Give us something besides that some people disliked Kennedy (all politicians have enemies) and “eye witnesses” who keep changing their stories.

    *Oh, and the KGB worked to spread Kennedy Conspiracy theories because they undermined faith in the U.S. government and took the heat off communists for the killing. They funded some of the conspiracy theorists and promoted them.

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    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    Hey Whorefinder, are you one of Cass Sunstein's boys, by any chance.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    I ask only because you may have the JFK assassination stuff well organised in your head and up to date. What do you make of the update by Colin McLaren on the humanly plausible conspiracy theory that the bullet which killed Kennedy was fired accidentally by a Secret Service man standing in the car behind? Are there any knock down arguments against it? Or big holes?
    , @Robbie
    Oswald never fired a shot! A hidden witness for over 35 years had proof positive that Oswald was never on the sixth floor, and therefore couldn't be a shooter. Barry Ernest has found Victoria Adams, a witness to Kennedy's murder, on the fourth floor back staircase of the TSBD. She testified to the Warren Commission that she and her co-worker, Sandra Styles saw nobody come down the stairs, after she heard the final shots. Also with them was her supervisor, Dorothy Garner, making three witnesses (or non-witnesses in this case) that totally destroy the lone nut idea that Oswald was doing any shooting there. Adams was badgered and she felt threatened by the Warren Commission and fearing for her life, vanished for decades until Barry Ernest found her.

    So, that ends and totally disproves for all time the formerly plausible hypothesis (theory) that Oswald killed Kennedy.

    The Girl on the Stairs: The Search for a Missing Witness to the JFK Assassination by Barry Ernest (hardcover) April 2, 2013
    https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Stairs-Missing-Witness-Assassination/dp/1455617830

    http://garyrevel.com/jfk/girlonstairs.html
    "The Bob Wilson Interview with Author Barry Ernest 'The Girl on the Stairs: The Search for a Missing Witness to the JFK Assassination' "
    Feb. 18, 2014 (New York, NY)

    #7

    "There is no evidence that definitively places Oswald in the second-floor lunchroom as the shots were being fired. If you believe what Oswald is quoted as telling police during his interrogation sessions (12 hours that went unrecorded and without a stenographer being present), he was eating his lunch in the first-floor domino room when the shots occurred, and then went to the second floor to purchase a drink. This is perhaps why Vicki Adams did not see him on the stairs, why he was so calm during the lunchroom confrontation, and why [Officer Marrion] Baker first described Oswald as entering the lunchroom from a direction other than the back staircase. Certainly Vicki Adams saying she was on the stairs during this critical period presented an obvious problem to the Warren Commission's scenario, which might explain why she was the only person excluded from time tests regarding Oswald's escape, and why corroborating witnesses to her story were ignored."


    #13

    "Lee Harvey Oswald was labeled as a loner, and malcontent. From what you have learned of him, can you describe a bit about who he seems to have actually been?

    He was definitely an odd fellow. But he was also smart, capable, for instance, of beating others more advanced than he was at chess and, if you believe the official record, able to teach himself Russian, one of the most challenging languages to learn, especially on your own. He liked the opera and was a vociferous reader, knowledgeable in a lot of subjects. His actions in both his military and civilian lives seem consistent with someone having a far deeper complexity than what we have been told. Oh, and he was also a rather poor shot!"


    As for the pejorative term conspiracy theory, that was conjured up by the CIA in 1964, to counter the growing threat to the insiders' desire to promote the sole assassin idea, discredit doubters, and shut off debate. https://projectunspeakable.com/conspiracy-theory-invention-of-cia and http://www.jfklancer.com/CIA.html


    https://www.amazon.com/dp/0292757697

    "In 2013 Professor Lance Dehaven-Smith in a peer-reviewed book published by the University of Texas Press showed that the term “conspiracy theory” was developed by the CIA as a means of undercutting critics of the Warren Commission’s report that President Kennedy was killed by Oswald. The use of this term was heavily promoted in the media by the CIA.

    It is ironic that the American left is a major enforcer of the CIA’s strategy to shut up skeptics by branding them conspiracy theorists."



    The public has never believed the official story that Oswald acted alone ever since the first Gallup Poll was taken in early Dec. 1963, and continuing to this very day.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/165893/majority-believe-jfk-killed-conspiracy.aspx
    "Majority in U.S. Still Believe JFK Killed in a Conspiracy" by Art Swift (Nov. 15, 2013)

    Dec. 1963: 52% Conspiracy, 29% One man
    1976: 81% Conspiracy, 11% One man
    1983: 74% Conspiracy, 11% One man
    1992: 77% Conspiracy, 10% One man
    2001: 81% Conspiracy, 13% One man
    2003: 75% Conspiracy, 19% One man
    2013: 61% Conspiracy, 30% One man



    http://22november1963.org.uk/lee-harvey-oswald-marksman-sharpshooter

    "...According to his Marine score card (Commission Exhibit 239), Oswald was tested twice:

    In December 1956, after “a very intensive 3 weeks’ training period” (Warren Commission Hearings, vol.11, p.302), Oswald scored 212: two marks above the minimum for a ‘sharpshooter’.

    In May 1959, he scored 191: one mark above the minimum for a ‘marksman’.

    "...Colonel Allison Folsom interpreted the results for the Warren Commission:
    "The Marine Corps consider that any reasonable application of the instructions given to Marines should permit them to become qualified at least as a marksman. To become qualified as a sharpshooter, the Marine Corps is of the opinion that most Marines with a reasonable amount of adaptability to weapons firing can become so qualified. Consequently, a low marksman qualification indicates a rather poor “shot” and a sharpshooter qualification indicates a fairly good “shot”.(Warren Commission Hearings, vol.19, pp.17f)

    Folsom agreed with his (not her) questioner that Oswald “was not a particularly outstanding shot” (Warren Commission Hearings, vol.8, p.311)."


    Phlilip F. Nelson's hardcover 2011 book, a fascinating insight into LBJ's warped and sociopathic (also suffering from bi-polar disorder) personality hidden from the public, 1960-2011,

    LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination
    https://www.amazon.com/LBJ-Mastermind-Assassination-Phillip-Nelson/dp/1616083778

    His 2013 paperback update:
    https://www.amazon.com/LBJ-Mastermind-Assassination-Phillip-Nelson/dp/1620876108
  129. @Gene Tuttle
    I’ve often used the argument myself that conspiracies inevitably have short shelf lives in the US because it was so difficult for Americans to keep secrets. The article makes a useful point in suggesting that secret plots, even after being revealed, may nevertheless remain widely ignored. Ideology, group-think, pack journalism etc. are powerful forces, often subconsciously at work, preventing alternative theories from developing legs.

    Though long an admirer of Karl Popper, I hadn’t strongly associated him with attacks on conspiracy theories per se. As an American “outsider” living abroad most of my adult life, I’ve all too often encountered those who assumed my background alone explained an argument of mine that they didn’t like. Popper had hit the nail on the head when he wrote about

    “a widespread and dangerous fashion of our time...of not taking arguments seriously, and at their face value, at least tentatively, but of seeing in them nothing but a way in which deeper irrational motives and tendencies express themselves.” It was “the attitude of looking at once for the unconscious motives and determinants in the social habitat of the thinker, instead of first examining the validity of the argument itself.”
     
    The powerful nazi and communist ideologies of his day assumed that one’s “blood” or “class” precluded “correct” thinking. Those politically incorrect challengers to their own totalitarian weltanschauung were (to put it mildly) persecuted as conspirators. No doubt, as Ron Unz notes, Popper’s personal experience “contributed the depth of his feelings” -- I would say skepticism – about conspiracy claims.

    But the author of the “Open Society” had an open mind and I suspect he’d find the thesis reasonable that real conspiracies can both be uncovered and largely ignored because so many simply opt to ignore them. In such cases, evidence and “not taking arguments seriously” often reflects “intellectual groupieism,” emotions, professional insecurities as well as venal collective interests.

    Nice try.

    The Manhattan Project was successfully kept secret despite its scope and the fact that it consumed 17% of the electricity production of the entire US.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    So, there is a counter example - an exception???

    Actually not such a good case. It was wartime in a pre Internet era and keeping their mouths shut was emphasised as a patriotic duty for everyone. The work was carried out at remote locations with vast resources behind it. The work was so new and esoteric that the best outsiders might have managed was that something was going on that they didn't understand. And of course it wasn't kept secret from our Soviet allies thanks to their spies.

    , @Gene Tuttle
    I did not say it was impossible for Americans to keep secrets, just “difficult.”

    The Manhattan Project was in a bygone era -- one in which near total war prevailed. Yet even in that case, the Soviets knew early on what was going on. And stories appeared in the US press early on posing prying questions about Los Alamos, a “forbidden city” where there were reports of “ordnance and explosives” being developed and “tremendous explosions have been heard.”
    http://blog.nuclearsecrecy.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/1944-Cleveland-Press-Forbidden-City.pdf

    Main point however, is that even when conspiracies become obvious they are often largely ignored.
  130. @Miro23
    The British and Americans have been the victims of conspiracies (False Flag operations) for years.

    For example:

    The Irgun bombing of the King David Hotel (headquarters of the British Mandate Government of Palestine) in which Zionist activists dressed as Arabs placed milk churns filled with explosives against the main columns of the building killing 91 people and injuring 44. Israeli prime Minister Netanyahu, attended a celebration to commemorate the event.

    Operation Susannah (Lavon Affair) where Israeli operatives impersonating Arabs bombed British and American cinemas, libraries and educational centers in Egypt to destabilize the country and keep British troops committed to the Middle East.

    Or June 8, 1967, the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty with unmarked aircraft and torpedo boats. 34 men were killed and 171 wounded, with the attack in international waters following over nine hours of close surveillance. When the ship failed to sink, the Israeli government concocted an elaborate story to cover the crime. Original plan to blame the sinking with all lives lost on the Egyptians and draw the US into the war.

    Or Israelis and U.S. Zionists appearing all over the most recent WTC 9/11 "Operation" with Israelis once again impersonating Arabs in a historic deception/terror action of a type that seems to carry a lot of kudos with old Israeli ex-terrorist Likudniks. Israeli agents were sent to film the historic day (as they later admitted on Israeli TV), with the celebrations including photos of themselves with a background of the burning towers where thousands of Americans were being incinerated.

    Iraq was destroyed as a result of 9/11 but unfortunately for the conspirators, the momentum wasn't sufficient for a general war including Iran. Also the general war would have included the nuclear angle and justified the activation of a neo-con led Emergency Regime (dictatorship) in the US enforced with the newly printed Patriot Act and Homeland Security troops - or maybe that's just another Conspiracy Theory?

    The Israelis learned their false flag lesson from the Nazis, who used concentration camp inmates dressed as Polish soldiers as part of a phony attack on the frontier radio station “Sender Gleiwitz” a day or so before they invaded Poland.

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    • Replies: @anonymous
    If Nazis didn't exist zionists would have to invent them -- or maybe they did. Nuland's use of Nazis in Ukraine is sure making it look more and more likely that Hitler was an Osama bin-Laden like creation of Jews and/or the Roosevelt admin.

    1. The British were past masters of all sorts of dirty tricks. Moshe Dayan learned about house demolitions from the British when they were in charge of Mandate Palestine -- pre-1939. http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.657167

    2. Jews in Poland were active participants in killing fellow Poles; from the late 1920s into the mid-1930s Jews in Soviet participated in serious numbers in Stalin's slaughter of several million Russians, Ukrainians, Poles. Some of the killed were Jewish. They didn't need Germans to teach them how to kill on a mass scale, Trotsky, Lenin & Stalin were able tutors.

    3. By early in 1938 The Haganeh had created Mossad al Aliyeh-bet -- zionists planted in Germany and other European cities to shepherd Jews out of their home countries and into Palestine. Francis Nicosia writes about it in Zionism and Anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany
    , @LondonBob
    Not forgetting the Manchurian Incident, staging events to justify a war is nothing new.
    , @Hippopotamusdrome
    There is a conspiracy theory that it was really Poles.
  131. @Dave37
    Maybe the CIA used conspiracy theory but ordinary perverse humans invented it. If moon lander deniers (and other conspiracies) were proven wrong the rest of us would be happy to see them in public stocks and a ready supply of tomatoes.

    So no freedom of speech in your little world then.

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    • Replies: @Dave37
    Sure, if I can have some revenge for annoying AHs.
  132. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Edgar Mitchell, who was an astronaut on Apollo 14 and is purported to have spent 9 hours on the moon, claims that there are aliens who are visiting and observing us, and that this has been covered up by the government for decades going back to Roswell.

    So which is it? Did Mitchell and other astronauts actually make it to the moon, and are there aliens out there and being covered up by the government? Or did Mitchell and other astronauts never even make it to the moon?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhxxHxIEmO4

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    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    There is a much more prosaic explanation of Mitchell's theory than you suppose. He was most likely suffering from schizophrenia, and like the Nobel Prize winner John Nash, came, under the influence of that illness, to believe in little green men, or whatever.

    Incidentally, Anon, you're not the same guy as Whorefinder, are you?

  133. @Darin
    Yes, why?

    If you want to start a war, would you want to start with great defeat and loss of your fleet?

    In the thirties, there were three cases of false flag attacks created to justify a war.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mukden_Incident
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gleiwitz_incident
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelling_of_Mainila

    In none of these cases the attacker actually killed thousands of his own soldiers, what would be the point?

    I didn’t notice Gleiwitz was mentioned in another posting before I mentioned it. I tend go along with you and suspect incompetence rather than purpose was the cause of the Pearl Harbor disaster, though the incompetence may have included failure to adequately warn those on the ground at Pearl Harbor. Personally, I don’t back the “truther” version of the twin towers because that would have required a broader conspiracy than I think could have succeeded. My guess is that the neighboring building was destroyed as part of the cleanup effort. I do think, however, that the authorities knew something was up, didn’t believe it could ever succeed and used it as a sort of Reichstag Fire incident to brush aside constitutional democracy in the US. I also suspect that the Mossad knew more than they let on. My guess is that if Gore rather than Bush had been in power that history would have been far different. I suspect that the anthrax thing was more likely started by the yankee regime as a home-grown conspiracy.

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    • Replies: @anonymous

    My guess is that if Gore rather than Bush had been in power that history would have been far different.
     
    Joe Lieberman was Gore's running mate.
    Lieberman had the Patriot Act on a shelf waiting for an opportunity ---

    While holding the chair of the “Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs,” Lieberman introduced on October 11, 2001, Senate Bill 1534, to establish the US Department of Homeland Security.

    Anticipating the bill’s certain passage, Lieberman gave himself automatic chairmanship after he changed the name of his committee to, “The Senate Committee of Homeland Security and Government Affairs.”

    Since then, Lieberman has been the main force behind legislation such as:
    -1- The USA Patriot Act
    -2- Protect America Act
    -3- National Emergency Centers Establishment Act
    -4- The Enemy Belligerent Interrogation Act
    -5- The Terrorist Expatriation Act, and the proposed
    -6- Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act.
     
    , @dahoit
    Gore chose a likudnik as VP.Anyone thinks the response to 9-11 would have significantly different under those 2 needs further education.
    I notice the Wiz always deflects Israeli involvement.Of course they were aware,the dancing Israelis knew it was a terror attack by dancing before the 2nd plane hit.
    And what govt has been the only beneficiary of 9-11?
    If one can't see that answer,they have been ziocained and lobotomized.
  134. @landlubber

    journalistic and sociological works
     
    Pravda.

    And like your Pravda brethren, you are too quick to conflate 9/11 and the moon landings.

    you are too quick to conflate 9/11 and the moon landings

    Actually, it was Unz himself who stated a while back that if we admit that one of them is possible, then all are possible, or something more or less to that effect.

    In an case, the 9/11 controlled demolition / missile / flight 93 is in a hangar in Cleveland stuff is just as implausible as faking the moon landings. Too many people and organizations and countries needing to be in on it, etc.

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    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    biz, you obviously missed it. Bill Jones, above, debunked your argument even before you made it.
    , @AnonCrimethink2016
    Conflating the two is indeed absurd. Regarding 9/11, the government's own conspiracy theory, that the twin towers were demolished by office fires started by the two planes (not to mention Building 7, which fell without being struck by a plane later that day) does not hold up under any real scrutiny; any child with a decent high school education in chemistry and physics can see that those buildings did not and could not have collapsed due to the official explanation, but rather, they fell due to a prepared demolition. While it is not, and may never be clear exactly who was behind the event, the fact that key aspects of the government's narrative are demonstrably false, and many others unsupported by independent evidence, should give any thinking person considerable pause for thought about the events of that day, and all that has inexorably followed in U.S. foreign policy to this very day. It is a technique of distraction frequently used by supporters of the official conspiracy theory to raise all kinds of broad questions about "How could such a vast conspiracy ever be kept?" etc. (Well, look at the Manhattan Project for starters...) rather than engaging in the particulars of physical evidence and reliable eye witness accounts that attest to the utter nonsense of the lie we've been sold lo these many years.
  135. @Pat Casey
    Thanks for that response, gave me a better perspective of the man. I guess he did know who he was writing for. And I do think the way to write for history is to write history by disregarding topical preoccupations, except to damn them with faint praise. I have a master like that I always go back to on the topic I care about most.

    And actually the one work of Strauss's I have picked up, years ago, is his Machiavelli; it's one of the thousands of books I've read--- not though one of the few I finished. Brushing up just now by way of wikipedia, it doesn't look like Strauss staked his claim strong enough, if an original reading is what he was writing.

    By the way, I know the Irishman John Toland was the first to publish on the esoteric-exoteric distinction, and coined the term pantheist on a related occasion when he named what new beast Spinoza had born. That was when an esoteric mode of writing was really needed, and you will hear The Ethics called esoteric or cryptic, but I know the work well, and it is no more esoteric than any work of genius that teaches you to read closely right at the start.

    Is The Prince an esoteric work? Did it entertain a conspiracy with special readers? I suppose only if Machiavelli had individuals in mind who might wonder were they all the while in mind when he was writing about how to dispose of them. The point is, there's nothing profound about observing that, it's almost common sense if you take into account the first thing about Machiavelli's circumstance.

    I won't be glib and write Strauss's method off as typically paranoid; it's creative, but bound to be too creative by half. I think it might lead readers to have more fun than's good for learning.

    First, if you are at all interested in esotericism, I cannot recommend highly enough Philosophy Between the Lines by Meltzer. The only thing critical I can say about this book is that, if one is really an expert in one of the thinkers that Meltzer treats, one will read the passages on that thinker that Meltzer cites and say “So what? I’ve known that for years. He’s shed no new light.” Which is true. But irrelevant to what he’s trying to do. The book presents an unassailable case that philosophy has been esoteric since Plato. Esotericism long predates Spinoza and has been discussed since ancient times. Strauss simply revived a concept that had been forgotten. Toland (who I am not that familiar with) wrote before esotericism as it were “lapsed.” Strauss says that Goethe and Lessing were the last to write this way. When Strauss revived knowledge of esotericism in the late 1930s with the first Xenophon article, he was considered nuts.

    Strauss’s Machiavelli book is my favorite and I think his best. It is totally “original” in the sense that he took a wildly new path from all previous scholarship. It has basically defined the debate to this day. All subsequent scholarship either follows him, opposes him, or tries to ignore him.

    I would recommend in addition Strauss’s book on Spinoza and especially the much later preface that he wrote when he felt he finally understood Spinoza’s esotericism.

    Yes, the Prince (and the Discourses, and Art of War, and Florentine Histories) are esoteric. It’s too complex to argue in a comment thread. Suffice it to say for now that the outrageous “kill that dude” teachings serve and exoteric purpose.

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    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus

    Strauss’s Machiavelli book is my favorite and I think his best. It is totally “original” in the sense that he took a wildly new path from all previous scholarship. It has basically defined the debate to this day. All subsequent scholarship either follows him, opposes him, or tries to ignore him.
     
    Nonsense.

    Maurizio Viroli has dedicated his life to scholarship on Machiavelli. He reads and understands The Prince (and Machiavelli's other works and life) in the context in which they were written, taking account of the finest details of Machiavelli's human, psychological, and spiritual evolution in the course of career and writing. Viroli walks in Niccolo's footsteps; like Machiavelli, he "puts on the garments" of 15th century Florence, and Rome, and the French and Germanic cities where Machiavelli traveled to represent Florence.

    Strauss may satisfy those inclined to engage in exercise in Talmudic argument, but Machiavelli was Italian, Florentine, and Roman; Dante was his constant companion; he was also conversant in Old and New Testament literature and, less extensively, with the relatively newly rediscovered Greek philosophers.

    Strauss does not understand Machiavelli's thoughts on religion because he fails to separate Niccolo's Christian, Danteian spirituality from his disgust with the corruption of the Roman Catholic papacy and institutional church.

    If you want intellectual showmanship and hair-splitting, Strauss on Machiavelli's your man. If you want to understand the soul of Niccolo Machiavelli and the complexities of political life in the Florence, Italy he lived in and loved, you can't do better than Maurizio Viroli.

    Machiavelli and Republicanism
    http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/history/history-ideas-and-intellectual-history/machiavelli-and-republicanism?format=PB

    Redeeming the Prince
    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/681223

    For Love of Country: An Essay on Patriotism and Nationalism
    http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/0198293585.001.0001/acprof-9780198293583

    (Strauss twists Machiavelli's love of country into an evil act because it is not universal. Yet, as one reviewer noted of Strauss, "I would make the case that the best defense of Strauss lies in an understanding of Aristotle and Israel." https://www.amazon.com/German-Stranger-Strauss-National-Socialism/dp/0739147382 )
    , @Pat Casey
    Steve weighed in on this a while back and made the point that what we have, what has been handed down to us, that probably is the esoteric stuff. I don't think he even mentioned in the piece how interesting it is that what we have of Aristotle seem to be lecture notes. I suspect that is just because: Aristotle taught Alexander---the teacher knew no felt need to live on as a writer like Plato did. One thing we can say about those lecture notes, we can pretty well imagine they were not written in his prime, hence we're still learning how much good stuff is there; if you know your stuff, you know as late as the late Richard Taylor that the philosopher was yet outdoing us moderns in a point he makes like an afterthought but could not matter more. But so anyways, what we have is the distilled Aristotle probably from his golden years; if we also had it in any other form, it might read comparatively mercilessly for being too esoteric. As we know him it is impossible to imagine Aristotle writing dialogues, debating other voices; one need not name rivals when one has none and he was the King's philosopher. What you can't say is no he was being disorganized on purpose to be esoteric, right?

    But take Plato. I assume if you could read ancient Greek as well as Plato could, you would find many a double meaning at crucial turns but I really have no idea save the gut instinct that the man was an inspired writer when he wrote which is to say a poet. And what a poet does is let the muse speak and summon such nice lines as "The Beauty is not the Madness/ Though my errors and wrecks lie about me/and I am not a demigod, I cannot make it cohere." The errors that lie about him strewn about him as it were, they lie about how good he was when he was at his best. A tongue like a double-bladed sword says the Bible. I imagine some of Ezra Pound's radio rants need a second listen with less tense nerves; they say the Italians suspected he was transmitting code. Anyways. Imagine how much can be said for the stories we tell ourselves....how many former selves does any one wind up with? you have to ask your self.

    Scholasticism, well you could almost say that's all about no secret handshake shit. Make sure them key words get nailed down and no tricks or to the tower you got cause to go.

    Spinoza, oh we know exactly where his mystery lies. Edwin Curley said:


    “In responding to this objection, I think I had best begin by confessing candidly that in spite of many years of study, I still do not feel that I understand this part of the Ethics at all adequately. I feel the freedom to confess that, of course, because I also believe that no one else understands it adequately either”
     
    What objection? The one that says, nothing of the mind should remain eternal after the body has been destroyed if there is only one substance! We could have gone to grad school on this paper is what the man said, but first pay respects to what that meant to him personally, cause he probably escaped with his life when he did, but he knew his disciples would keep his mind alive. But seriously I should touch this up and send it somewhere:

    It must be said that the elegance of this deduction is striking. God’s idea of the human body corresponds with the mind’s idea of the human body. The crucial move that turns the correspondence into a startling claim is that God’s idea expresses the essence of the body, while the mind’s idea expresses the essence of the mind. Through the initial correspondence, God’s eternal essence expressed as an idea of the body adopts the essence of the mind. Thus, when the body dies, something of the essence of the mind remains eternal. With that, Spinoza culminates his masterpiece.
     

    “…Since what is conceived, with a certain eternal necessity, through God’s essence itself, is nevertheless something, this something that pertains to the essence of the mind will necessarily be eternal.” Besides being an Eternalist, Spinoza is also an Idealist. It fits then that he should leave something of the mind remaining eternally, rather than what a strict Eternalist would leave, that is, something of the mind and body. But recall that Spinoza’s something that pertains to the essence of the mind is the idea of the body. In the final analysis, his system coheres.
     
    That's terribly poignant too, because it shows he went back to his roots in the end: "The soul will blame the body for its actions."

    Anyways I've spent myself and who wants to talk about Nietzsche, really. That guy was an antenna for a frequency that was broadcasting Noh drama directly into his soul while he wrote his Zarathustra, and I don't believe he ever came back from that---he had all the inside jokes he could tell to himself in perpetuity. But I gotta say, one time I ran into this guys blog who had let Nietzsche drive him insane, and he had comprehensively worked out to an absolute end the thesis his whole philosophy was to understand that a formal Matriarchy was what's good and here's why that's the necessity. If that is true its too hysterical to ever argue with no hint of mania. So I felt bad for the guy.

    But what the other guy said rings truest to me. And I'd just add that Paul Gottfried's observation that Strauss winds up treating a text a lot like the Deconstructions do does not entirely fail Strauss for me. The fundamental truth to them is something every one of us around can understand: these words we type, the ain't alive on quick lips, which is what gets some of us into more trouble than others.

    I definitely check out the book, but one must be cautious when resurrecting phantoms.

  136. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    deHaven Smith is not that impressive on several counts.

    one example: book opens:

    “Although most Americans today reject the official (lone gunman) account of the Kennedy assassination, they also have doubts about conspiracy theories and those who believe them.
    This means the CIA program was successful, for its aim was not to sell the Warren Commission, but to sow uncertainty about the commission’s critics. Today, people are not only uncertain, they have given up ever learning the truth. “

    At least one high-profile person and an entire community that supports him does not have doubts, has not given up.

    Cyril Wecht blasted holes in Arlen Specter’s “one bullet” theory in 1965. He’s still at it. In 2013, the fiftieth anniversary of JFK’s assassination,

    “about 500 people gathered at Duquesne University for a JFK symposium sponsored by the university’s Institute of Forensic Science and Law, which is named for Wecht. Appearances by Stone and a doctor who tended to Kennedy brought national attention.

    People sneered when they mentioned Specter’s name or the single-bullet theory.

    Across the state, the Single Bullet exhibit opened on Oct. 21. It’s the first exhibition in Philadelphia University’s Arlen Specter Center for Public Policy. Willens, the former Kennedy aide, delivered a speech.

    The center’s coordinator, Karen Albert, said he was looking forward to defending his conclusion on the 50th anniversary. ” http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5017529-74/wecht-commission-specter

    Smith did not even mention Wecht or Specter and the single-bullet theory in his book. The omission is important insofar as its inclusion would have demonstrated that for many years the populace has been aware of the dishonesty of the US government and some have been raising their voices against and continue to do so.

    That knowledge should give encouragement to activists such as those who demand accountability for Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty and the deliberate killing of 34 US sailors and other personnel.

    (Specter has been useful to the deep state in other ways: he protected Zalman Shapiro, former head of NUMEC, from prosecution for his part in smuggling uranium to Israel. http://israellobby.org/numec/ 0

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  137. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @exiled off mainstreet
    I didn't notice Gleiwitz was mentioned in another posting before I mentioned it. I tend go along with you and suspect incompetence rather than purpose was the cause of the Pearl Harbor disaster, though the incompetence may have included failure to adequately warn those on the ground at Pearl Harbor. Personally, I don't back the "truther" version of the twin towers because that would have required a broader conspiracy than I think could have succeeded. My guess is that the neighboring building was destroyed as part of the cleanup effort. I do think, however, that the authorities knew something was up, didn't believe it could ever succeed and used it as a sort of Reichstag Fire incident to brush aside constitutional democracy in the US. I also suspect that the Mossad knew more than they let on. My guess is that if Gore rather than Bush had been in power that history would have been far different. I suspect that the anthrax thing was more likely started by the yankee regime as a home-grown conspiracy.

    My guess is that if Gore rather than Bush had been in power that history would have been far different.

    Joe Lieberman was Gore’s running mate.
    Lieberman had the Patriot Act on a shelf waiting for an opportunity —

    While holding the chair of the “Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs,” Lieberman introduced on October 11, 2001, Senate Bill 1534, to establish the US Department of Homeland Security.

    Anticipating the bill’s certain passage, Lieberman gave himself automatic chairmanship after he changed the name of his committee to, “The Senate Committee of Homeland Security and Government Affairs.”

    Since then, Lieberman has been the main force behind legislation such as:
    -1- The USA Patriot Act
    -2- Protect America Act
    -3- National Emergency Centers Establishment Act
    -4- The Enemy Belligerent Interrogation Act
    -5- The Terrorist Expatriation Act, and the proposed
    -6- Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act.

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  138. @Wizard of Oz
    I have a problem with the idea of likeminded elites who all move in srep together.

    They don’t move in lockstep-(I assume you meant) together.
    They do however have a series of identical interests:

    Lower taxes on Capital Gains and Dividends than on Earned Income.

    No barriers to entry to low-wage unskilled workers for jobs that need to be performed in the US.

    No barriers to goods produced from low-wage countries, no matter what the conditions they are produced in.

    Control of the Federal Reserve.

    Tax-payer bailouts of failing institutions.

    etc, etc.

    If you want to get into it, I’m happy to.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I think that is a more illuminating approach than talking about elites. As Lenin very likely said "Who? What?". The devil is indeed in the details and in details you see priorities and trade offs.
  139. Thank you Mr. Unz, for this excellent- and circumspect and salient- article.

    His main problem with “conspiracy theories” was not that they were always false, but they might often be true, and therefore their spread was potentially disruptive to the smooth functioning of society. So as a matter of self-defense, elites needed to actively suppress or otherwise undercut the unauthorized investigation of suspected conspiracies.

    I’ll just add that from what I’ve glimmered, (I’m definitely no expert on Leo Strauss), Strauss’ philosophy contained more than just a careful consideration of ‘conspiracy theories’ and how they should be handled, but that what he advocated was a small group of highly motivated elite zealots (Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, et al) who would not just use power to control the narrative vis-a-vis conspiracy theories, but more to the point, would be the men who would conspire to alter the realities that required a mocking of “conspiracy theories” in the first place.

    From what I understand, one of his motivating themes was that his acolytes would come to understand that they shouldn’t be guided by trite, pedestrian notions of morality when being the agents of change in the world. And that rather, they should use his teachings as a way to see the world as exceptional men, who would boldly do things others might shrink from, out of hackneyed notions of probity.

    Perhaps the best quote I know of to describe Straussianism (as I understand it) was made by a man who wasn’t one of his actual students, but who certainly would have been well acquainted and worked closely with others who were; Karl Rove, when speaking to an aid:

    “That’s not the way the world really works anymore.” He continued “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    that quote for me, describes Straussianism to a T. And if so, certainty dovetails with what happened during the reign of Bush-the lesser. Especially with something as audacious as 911.

    That at least, is how I’ve seen it…

    As for the control of the media, I think most of your readers are certainly aware of that particular conundrum and its consequences. It is literally impossible to be too cynical as regards our media and government and CIA and other shenanigans, IMHO.

    Thanks again sir.

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    • Replies: @Pat Casey
    Nice job. You roped the quote that ran across my mind--- I swear these things are in the air. How do you say, the ghost of Leo Strauss was moving men to do what you can't pin on his memory? Well you said it and that settles it. Thank goodness.
  140. @whorefinder
    No Oswald Hypothesis Denier has ever presented a falsifiable alternative hypothesis to Kennedy's murder.

    The Oswald Hypothesis---as subtly admitted by Oliver Stone---passed the who, what, when, where, why, and how test. It answered all the questions and was plausible according to physics, motive, means, and opportunity. The Deniers try things like "the pristine bullet" and "magic bullet" nonsense, but those criticisms don't stand up to criticism (for example, the bullet was not pristine at all, and the bullet's tragectory was not magic at all, but followed a predictable downward path through the elevated Kennedy to Connolly).

    But more tellingly---no alternative plausible falsifiable hypothesis has been offered. No who, what, when, where , why, and how. Lots of speculation and casting aspersions (LBJ! CIA! ), but no one offers a concrete hypothesis that could be tested or researched to see as plausible.

    If you have a falsifiable alternative theory to the Oswald Hypothesis that satisfies the five w's and h, please offer it here. Until you do so, the only plausible hypothesis is that Oswald acted alone.

    It's been more than 50 years people. Give us something besides that some people disliked Kennedy (all politicians have enemies) and "eye witnesses" who keep changing their stories.

    *Oh, and the KGB worked to spread Kennedy Conspiracy theories because they undermined faith in the U.S. government and took the heat off communists for the killing. They funded some of the conspiracy theorists and promoted them.

    Hey Whorefinder, are you one of Cass Sunstein’s boys, by any chance.

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  141. @The Alarmist
    I personally think they did land on the moon, but am paying devil's advocate here ....

    "Not to be arch, but, even with the repeater on the moon, what about the bounce echo from the tight-beam signal coming from Earth carrying the deceptive info? "
     
    First, you could transvert from one range to another, so an interested party would have know where to look for the reflection. You could uplink in another range of S-Band, or go lower to L-band if you don't mind a little faraday rotation. Your link-budget would be just sufficient to get a signal from the lunar repeater to Earth, but that would most likely not be enough enough for a full round-trip of the terrestrial signal. Most of your tight beam would still pass fairly wide abeam the moon, and that which was reflected back to Earth would be further degraded by libration fading.

    How do you get Astronauts bouncing and hammers falling in Slo-Mo? Film at 60fps, replay at 30. Ah, but you have to have a really good clean-room to keep dust off the film. Maybe that is why videotape technology took off in the early seventies ;)

    How do you get Astronauts bouncing and hammers falling in Slo-Mo?

    Yeah, the gravity effects are a BIG job. Just slo-mo-ing won’t do it, because you have different curvature of falling profile, and acceleration of gravity is different because moon-mass is less (and non-linear ref 30fps v. 60fps.)

    There would also be additive propagation delay in the radio signals. Pure delay, too — no compensation would fix that in 1969.

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  142. @Anonymous
    Edgar Mitchell, who was an astronaut on Apollo 14 and is purported to have spent 9 hours on the moon, claims that there are aliens who are visiting and observing us, and that this has been covered up by the government for decades going back to Roswell.

    So which is it? Did Mitchell and other astronauts actually make it to the moon, and are there aliens out there and being covered up by the government? Or did Mitchell and other astronauts never even make it to the moon?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhxxHxIEmO4

    There is a much more prosaic explanation of Mitchell’s theory than you suppose. He was most likely suffering from schizophrenia, and like the Nobel Prize winner John Nash, came, under the influence of that illness, to believe in little green men, or whatever.

    Incidentally, Anon, you’re not the same guy as Whorefinder, are you?

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  143. @Decius
    First, if you are at all interested in esotericism, I cannot recommend highly enough Philosophy Between the Lines by Meltzer. The only thing critical I can say about this book is that, if one is really an expert in one of the thinkers that Meltzer treats, one will read the passages on that thinker that Meltzer cites and say "So what? I've known that for years. He's shed no new light." Which is true. But irrelevant to what he's trying to do. The book presents an unassailable case that philosophy has been esoteric since Plato. Esotericism long predates Spinoza and has been discussed since ancient times. Strauss simply revived a concept that had been forgotten. Toland (who I am not that familiar with) wrote before esotericism as it were "lapsed." Strauss says that Goethe and Lessing were the last to write this way. When Strauss revived knowledge of esotericism in the late 1930s with the first Xenophon article, he was considered nuts.

    Strauss's Machiavelli book is my favorite and I think his best. It is totally "original" in the sense that he took a wildly new path from all previous scholarship. It has basically defined the debate to this day. All subsequent scholarship either follows him, opposes him, or tries to ignore him.

    I would recommend in addition Strauss's book on Spinoza and especially the much later preface that he wrote when he felt he finally understood Spinoza's esotericism.

    Yes, the Prince (and the Discourses, and Art of War, and Florentine Histories) are esoteric. It's too complex to argue in a comment thread. Suffice it to say for now that the outrageous "kill that dude" teachings serve and exoteric purpose.

    Strauss’s Machiavelli book is my favorite and I think his best. It is totally “original” in the sense that he took a wildly new path from all previous scholarship. It has basically defined the debate to this day. All subsequent scholarship either follows him, opposes him, or tries to ignore him.

    Nonsense.

    Maurizio Viroli has dedicated his life to scholarship on Machiavelli. He reads and understands The Prince (and Machiavelli’s other works and life) in the context in which they were written, taking account of the finest details of Machiavelli’s human, psychological, and spiritual evolution in the course of career and writing. Viroli walks in Niccolo’s footsteps; like Machiavelli, he “puts on the garments” of 15th century Florence, and Rome, and the French and Germanic cities where Machiavelli traveled to represent Florence.

    Strauss may satisfy those inclined to engage in exercise in Talmudic argument, but Machiavelli was Italian, Florentine, and Roman; Dante was his constant companion; he was also conversant in Old and New Testament literature and, less extensively, with the relatively newly rediscovered Greek philosophers.

    Strauss does not understand Machiavelli’s thoughts on religion because he fails to separate Niccolo’s Christian, Danteian spirituality from his disgust with the corruption of the Roman Catholic papacy and institutional church.

    If you want intellectual showmanship and hair-splitting, Strauss on Machiavelli’s your man. If you want to understand the soul of Niccolo Machiavelli and the complexities of political life in the Florence, Italy he lived in and loved, you can’t do better than Maurizio Viroli.

    Machiavelli and Republicanism
    http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/history/history-ideas-and-intellectual-history/machiavelli-and-republicanism?format=PB

    Redeeming the Prince
    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/681223

    For Love of Country: An Essay on Patriotism and Nationalism
    http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/0198293585.001.0001/acprof-9780198293583

    (Strauss twists Machiavelli’s love of country into an evil act because it is not universal. Yet, as one reviewer noted of Strauss, “I would make the case that the best defense of Strauss lies in an understanding of Aristotle and Israel.” https://www.amazon.com/German-Stranger-Strauss-National-Socialism/dp/0739147382 )

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    • Replies: @Decius
    First, you are wrong that Strauss thinks Machiavelli's patriotism is in itself evil. Strauss says the exact opposite at several points. But he also says that recourse to patriotism does not in itself excuse Machiavelli's recommendations to do evil. Strauss himself comes up with the most persuasive justifications (which are higher than excuses) for Machiavelli's evil sayings. But to understand Strauss's arguments, you would have to read the book and spend a lot of time with it because it is hard.

    Viroli is a scholar I respect for a lot of reasons, but not for philosophic depth. The argument about "context" diminishes Machiavelli (and all great thinkers) by presupposing that their thought is time-bound or that they could not think past the horizon of their time. The greatest minds transcend their times and even create new times. There aren't very many such, but Nick was one.
  144. @biz

    you are too quick to conflate 9/11 and the moon landings
     
    Actually, it was Unz himself who stated a while back that if we admit that one of them is possible, then all are possible, or something more or less to that effect.

    In an case, the 9/11 controlled demolition / missile / flight 93 is in a hangar in Cleveland stuff is just as implausible as faking the moon landings. Too many people and organizations and countries needing to be in on it, etc.

    biz, you obviously missed it. Bill Jones, above, debunked your argument even before you made it.

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    • Replies: @biz
    lol, "The Mahattan Project was kept a secret."

    No it wasn't. Stalin knew about the Manhattan project before Truman did. Learn some history.
  145. @Rurik
    Thank you Mr. Unz, for this excellent- and circumspect and salient- article.

    His main problem with “conspiracy theories” was not that they were always false, but they might often be true, and therefore their spread was potentially disruptive to the smooth functioning of society. So as a matter of self-defense, elites needed to actively suppress or otherwise undercut the unauthorized investigation of suspected conspiracies.
     
    I'll just add that from what I've glimmered, (I'm definitely no expert on Leo Strauss), Strauss' philosophy contained more than just a careful consideration of 'conspiracy theories' and how they should be handled, but that what he advocated was a small group of highly motivated elite zealots (Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, et al) who would not just use power to control the narrative vis-a-vis conspiracy theories, but more to the point, would be the men who would conspire to alter the realities that required a mocking of "conspiracy theories" in the first place.

    From what I understand, one of his motivating themes was that his acolytes would come to understand that they shouldn't be guided by trite, pedestrian notions of morality when being the agents of change in the world. And that rather, they should use his teachings as a way to see the world as exceptional men, who would boldly do things others might shrink from, out of hackneyed notions of probity.

    Perhaps the best quote I know of to describe Straussianism (as I understand it) was made by a man who wasn't one of his actual students, but who certainly would have been well acquainted and worked closely with others who were; Karl Rove, when speaking to an aid:

    "That's not the way the world really works anymore." He continued "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."


    that quote for me, describes Straussianism to a T. And if so, certainty dovetails with what happened during the reign of Bush-the lesser. Especially with something as audacious as 911.

    That at least, is how I've seen it...

    As for the control of the media, I think most of your readers are certainly aware of that particular conundrum and its consequences. It is literally impossible to be too cynical as regards our media and government and CIA and other shenanigans, IMHO.

    Thanks again sir.

    Nice job. You roped the quote that ran across my mind— I swear these things are in the air. How do you say, the ghost of Leo Strauss was moving men to do what you can’t pin on his memory? Well you said it and that settles it. Thank goodness.

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    • Replies: @Decius
    Wait, a quote from Rove that doesn't even mention Strauss explains everything about Strauss? Are you serious?

    I gather you just need a boogeyman and Strauss is the one you've selected. Or, more accurately, have allowed others to select for you.
    , @Rurik
    now this..

    Now, however, Europhysics Magazine, the respected publication of the European physics community, has published a report by four experts who say “the evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that all three buildings were destroyed by controlled demolition.”


    http://www.wnd.com/2016/08/911-conspiracy-gets-support-from-physicists-study/

    .
    .

    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.

    ~ Buddha




  146. after snowden, every conspiracy theory got a 99% boost in credibility. he confirmed the big bad boogeymen watching and spying on us all.

    nothing else is impossible, nothing. every theory is now possible, everything.

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  147. @Pat Casey
    Nice job. You roped the quote that ran across my mind--- I swear these things are in the air. How do you say, the ghost of Leo Strauss was moving men to do what you can't pin on his memory? Well you said it and that settles it. Thank goodness.

    Wait, a quote from Rove that doesn’t even mention Strauss explains everything about Strauss? Are you serious?

    I gather you just need a boogeyman and Strauss is the one you’ve selected. Or, more accurately, have allowed others to select for you.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pat Casey
    Don't miss my longer reply, in the cue, plus this one, but put the boogeyman business to bed and put your defenses down.... I can't say it any other way: I think the spirit of Leo Strauss may well have moved men to move mountains and mountains otherwise called federal bureaucracies and divisions of armies. It might explain not "everything" about Strauss but indeed whats essential about Strauss, which is that you are right, I suspect he was special. Step back for a second and forget that those Bush bastards were bastards and just estimate the nerve it takes to pull off 9/11 and then go into Afghanistan and Iraq. We can all at least agree, that's somthin.
  148. @SolontoCroesus

    Strauss’s Machiavelli book is my favorite and I think his best. It is totally “original” in the sense that he took a wildly new path from all previous scholarship. It has basically defined the debate to this day. All subsequent scholarship either follows him, opposes him, or tries to ignore him.
     
    Nonsense.

    Maurizio Viroli has dedicated his life to scholarship on Machiavelli. He reads and understands The Prince (and Machiavelli's other works and life) in the context in which they were written, taking account of the finest details of Machiavelli's human, psychological, and spiritual evolution in the course of career and writing. Viroli walks in Niccolo's footsteps; like Machiavelli, he "puts on the garments" of 15th century Florence, and Rome, and the French and Germanic cities where Machiavelli traveled to represent Florence.

    Strauss may satisfy those inclined to engage in exercise in Talmudic argument, but Machiavelli was Italian, Florentine, and Roman; Dante was his constant companion; he was also conversant in Old and New Testament literature and, less extensively, with the relatively newly rediscovered Greek philosophers.

    Strauss does not understand Machiavelli's thoughts on religion because he fails to separate Niccolo's Christian, Danteian spirituality from his disgust with the corruption of the Roman Catholic papacy and institutional church.

    If you want intellectual showmanship and hair-splitting, Strauss on Machiavelli's your man. If you want to understand the soul of Niccolo Machiavelli and the complexities of political life in the Florence, Italy he lived in and loved, you can't do better than Maurizio Viroli.

    Machiavelli and Republicanism
    http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/history/history-ideas-and-intellectual-history/machiavelli-and-republicanism?format=PB

    Redeeming the Prince
    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/681223

    For Love of Country: An Essay on Patriotism and Nationalism
    http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/0198293585.001.0001/acprof-9780198293583

    (Strauss twists Machiavelli's love of country into an evil act because it is not universal. Yet, as one reviewer noted of Strauss, "I would make the case that the best defense of Strauss lies in an understanding of Aristotle and Israel." https://www.amazon.com/German-Stranger-Strauss-National-Socialism/dp/0739147382 )

    First, you are wrong that Strauss thinks Machiavelli’s patriotism is in itself evil. Strauss says the exact opposite at several points. But he also says that recourse to patriotism does not in itself excuse Machiavelli’s recommendations to do evil. Strauss himself comes up with the most persuasive justifications (which are higher than excuses) for Machiavelli’s evil sayings. But to understand Strauss’s arguments, you would have to read the book and spend a lot of time with it because it is hard.

    Viroli is a scholar I respect for a lot of reasons, but not for philosophic depth. The argument about “context” diminishes Machiavelli (and all great thinkers) by presupposing that their thought is time-bound or that they could not think past the horizon of their time. The greatest minds transcend their times and even create new times. There aren’t very many such, but Nick was one.

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  149. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @exiled off mainstreet
    The Israelis learned their false flag lesson from the Nazis, who used concentration camp inmates dressed as Polish soldiers as part of a phony attack on the frontier radio station "Sender Gleiwitz" a day or so before they invaded Poland.

    If Nazis didn’t exist zionists would have to invent them — or maybe they did. Nuland’s use of Nazis in Ukraine is sure making it look more and more likely that Hitler was an Osama bin-Laden like creation of Jews and/or the Roosevelt admin.

    1. The British were past masters of all sorts of dirty tricks. Moshe Dayan learned about house demolitions from the British when they were in charge of Mandate Palestine — pre-1939. http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.657167

    2. Jews in Poland were active participants in killing fellow Poles; from the late 1920s into the mid-1930s Jews in Soviet participated in serious numbers in Stalin’s slaughter of several million Russians, Ukrainians, Poles. Some of the killed were Jewish. They didn’t need Germans to teach them how to kill on a mass scale, Trotsky, Lenin & Stalin were able tutors.

    3. By early in 1938 The Haganeh had created Mossad al Aliyeh-bet — zionists planted in Germany and other European cities to shepherd Jews out of their home countries and into Palestine. Francis Nicosia writes about it in Zionism and Anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany

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  150. The CIA’s Project Mockingbird had all the network news anchors using the words “conspiracy theory” like the brainless parrots that they were. And Americans remain well brainwashed, although it’s actually hard to get anything significant done without a “conspiracy.”

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  151. @Decius
    First, if you are at all interested in esotericism, I cannot recommend highly enough Philosophy Between the Lines by Meltzer. The only thing critical I can say about this book is that, if one is really an expert in one of the thinkers that Meltzer treats, one will read the passages on that thinker that Meltzer cites and say "So what? I've known that for years. He's shed no new light." Which is true. But irrelevant to what he's trying to do. The book presents an unassailable case that philosophy has been esoteric since Plato. Esotericism long predates Spinoza and has been discussed since ancient times. Strauss simply revived a concept that had been forgotten. Toland (who I am not that familiar with) wrote before esotericism as it were "lapsed." Strauss says that Goethe and Lessing were the last to write this way. When Strauss revived knowledge of esotericism in the late 1930s with the first Xenophon article, he was considered nuts.

    Strauss's Machiavelli book is my favorite and I think his best. It is totally "original" in the sense that he took a wildly new path from all previous scholarship. It has basically defined the debate to this day. All subsequent scholarship either follows him, opposes him, or tries to ignore him.

    I would recommend in addition Strauss's book on Spinoza and especially the much later preface that he wrote when he felt he finally understood Spinoza's esotericism.

    Yes, the Prince (and the Discourses, and Art of War, and Florentine Histories) are esoteric. It's too complex to argue in a comment thread. Suffice it to say for now that the outrageous "kill that dude" teachings serve and exoteric purpose.

    Steve weighed in on this a while back and made the point that what we have, what has been handed down to us, that probably is the esoteric stuff. I don’t think he even mentioned in the piece how interesting it is that what we have of Aristotle seem to be lecture notes. I suspect that is just because: Aristotle taught Alexander—the teacher knew no felt need to live on as a writer like Plato did. One thing we can say about those lecture notes, we can pretty well imagine they were not written in his prime, hence we’re still learning how much good stuff is there; if you know your stuff, you know as late as the late Richard Taylor that the philosopher was yet outdoing us moderns in a point he makes like an afterthought but could not matter more. But so anyways, what we have is the distilled Aristotle probably from his golden years; if we also had it in any other form, it might read comparatively mercilessly for being too esoteric. As we know him it is impossible to imagine Aristotle writing dialogues, debating other voices; one need not name rivals when one has none and he was the King’s philosopher. What you can’t say is no he was being disorganized on purpose to be esoteric, right?

    But take Plato. I assume if you could read ancient Greek as well as Plato could, you would find many a double meaning at crucial turns but I really have no idea save the gut instinct that the man was an inspired writer when he wrote which is to say a poet. And what a poet does is let the muse speak and summon such nice lines as “The Beauty is not the Madness/ Though my errors and wrecks lie about me/and I am not a demigod, I cannot make it cohere.” The errors that lie about him strewn about him as it were, they lie about how good he was when he was at his best. A tongue like a double-bladed sword says the Bible. I imagine some of Ezra Pound’s radio rants need a second listen with less tense nerves; they say the Italians suspected he was transmitting code. Anyways. Imagine how much can be said for the stories we tell ourselves….how many former selves does any one wind up with? you have to ask your self.

    Scholasticism, well you could almost say that’s all about no secret handshake shit. Make sure them key words get nailed down and no tricks or to the tower you got cause to go.

    Spinoza, oh we know exactly where his mystery lies. Edwin Curley said:

    “In responding to this objection, I think I had best begin by confessing candidly that in spite of many years of study, I still do not feel that I understand this part of the Ethics at all adequately. I feel the freedom to confess that, of course, because I also believe that no one else understands it adequately either”

    What objection? The one that says, nothing of the mind should remain eternal after the body has been destroyed if there is only one substance! We could have gone to grad school on this paper is what the man said, but first pay respects to what that meant to him personally, cause he probably escaped with his life when he did, but he knew his disciples would keep his mind alive. But seriously I should touch this up and send it somewhere:

    It must be said that the elegance of this deduction is striking. God’s idea of the human body corresponds with the mind’s idea of the human body. The crucial move that turns the correspondence into a startling claim is that God’s idea expresses the essence of the body, while the mind’s idea expresses the essence of the mind. Through the initial correspondence, God’s eternal essence expressed as an idea of the body adopts the essence of the mind. Thus, when the body dies, something of the essence of the mind remains eternal. With that, Spinoza culminates his masterpiece.

    “…Since what is conceived, with a certain eternal necessity, through God’s essence itself, is nevertheless something, this something that pertains to the essence of the mind will necessarily be eternal.” Besides being an Eternalist, Spinoza is also an Idealist. It fits then that he should leave something of the mind remaining eternally, rather than what a strict Eternalist would leave, that is, something of the mind and body. But recall that Spinoza’s something that pertains to the essence of the mind is the idea of the body. In the final analysis, his system coheres.

    That’s terribly poignant too, because it shows he went back to his roots in the end: “The soul will blame the body for its actions.”

    Anyways I’ve spent myself and who wants to talk about Nietzsche, really. That guy was an antenna for a frequency that was broadcasting Noh drama directly into his soul while he wrote his Zarathustra, and I don’t believe he ever came back from that—he had all the inside jokes he could tell to himself in perpetuity. But I gotta say, one time I ran into this guys blog who had let Nietzsche drive him insane, and he had comprehensively worked out to an absolute end the thesis his whole philosophy was to understand that a formal Matriarchy was what’s good and here’s why that’s the necessity. If that is true its too hysterical to ever argue with no hint of mania. So I felt bad for the guy.

    But what the other guy said rings truest to me. And I’d just add that Paul Gottfried’s observation that Strauss winds up treating a text a lot like the Deconstructions do does not entirely fail Strauss for me. The fundamental truth to them is something every one of us around can understand: these words we type, the ain’t alive on quick lips, which is what gets some of us into more trouble than others.

    I definitely check out the book, but one must be cautious when resurrecting phantoms.

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  152. @Decius
    Wait, a quote from Rove that doesn't even mention Strauss explains everything about Strauss? Are you serious?

    I gather you just need a boogeyman and Strauss is the one you've selected. Or, more accurately, have allowed others to select for you.

    Don’t miss my longer reply, in the cue, plus this one, but put the boogeyman business to bed and put your defenses down…. I can’t say it any other way: I think the spirit of Leo Strauss may well have moved men to move mountains and mountains otherwise called federal bureaucracies and divisions of armies. It might explain not “everything” about Strauss but indeed whats essential about Strauss, which is that you are right, I suspect he was special. Step back for a second and forget that those Bush bastards were bastards and just estimate the nerve it takes to pull off 9/11 and then go into Afghanistan and Iraq. We can all at least agree, that’s somthin.

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  153. @Decius
    At any rate it's sort of absurd to watch you people chase your tails. All that you "know" or think you know is that Strauss is bad. But Schmitt is good. But Strauss is derivative of Schmitt. Doesn't that make Strauss good, or Schmitt bad?

    Schmitt is famous for arguing in favor of the essential particularity of politics--i.e., against alleged neocon universalism. So if Strauss is derivative of Schmitt, how can he be a neocon universalist?

    Strauss in fact agrees with Schmitt on the essential particularity of politics and says so, but finds a deeper source, with deeper arguments, in Plato. Schmitt admitted that his own attempt to fortify his particularism was build on the quick-sandy foundation of modern rationalism, which Strauss taught him to see through.

    When you can pin Strauss down to a definite meaning, it is false, banal or both. He is usually too obfuscatory to be pinned down. Schmitt is easy to understand and shows you true things you had not thought of before.

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  154. My favourite historical conspiracy is the so-called “Gunpowder Plot,” which is still, despite all of the evidence that has been discovered in more modern times, represented in history books, as being exclusively the work of disgruntled Catholic noblemen and their Jesuit confessors. It was actually a government projection of the Cecil ministry, completely riddled with moles who nurtured it along, right up until the point when it could be revealed to the public for maximum political effect, and to the King, so that he would become more terrorified, and, thus, more dependent upon the Cecils and their “constitutionalist” Puritan proteges. The “evidence” has, indeed, always been in plain sight, and it has been dealt with in numerous books, such as The Gunpowder Plot, Faith and Treason, by Antonia Fraser, and another book, entitled “God’s Secret Agents,’ but, still, to this day, the myth of conspiring priests is still propagated in atavistic anti-Catholic British history.

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  155. @Decius
    Schmitt disagreed with you.

    This way of arguing, too, is redolent of an academic personality cult, not of actual scholarship.

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  156. @Wizard of Oz
    Fascinating. A reminder that one should five lives lived to 120 so one can lots of stories right....

    Oops! Sorry but I’m sure the typis were obvious.

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  157. @whorefinder
    No Oswald Hypothesis Denier has ever presented a falsifiable alternative hypothesis to Kennedy's murder.

    The Oswald Hypothesis---as subtly admitted by Oliver Stone---passed the who, what, when, where, why, and how test. It answered all the questions and was plausible according to physics, motive, means, and opportunity. The Deniers try things like "the pristine bullet" and "magic bullet" nonsense, but those criticisms don't stand up to criticism (for example, the bullet was not pristine at all, and the bullet's tragectory was not magic at all, but followed a predictable downward path through the elevated Kennedy to Connolly).

    But more tellingly---no alternative plausible falsifiable hypothesis has been offered. No who, what, when, where , why, and how. Lots of speculation and casting aspersions (LBJ! CIA! ), but no one offers a concrete hypothesis that could be tested or researched to see as plausible.

    If you have a falsifiable alternative theory to the Oswald Hypothesis that satisfies the five w's and h, please offer it here. Until you do so, the only plausible hypothesis is that Oswald acted alone.

    It's been more than 50 years people. Give us something besides that some people disliked Kennedy (all politicians have enemies) and "eye witnesses" who keep changing their stories.

    *Oh, and the KGB worked to spread Kennedy Conspiracy theories because they undermined faith in the U.S. government and took the heat off communists for the killing. They funded some of the conspiracy theorists and promoted them.

    I ask only because you may have the JFK assassination stuff well organised in your head and up to date. What do you make of the update by Colin McLaren on the humanly plausible conspiracy theory that the bullet which killed Kennedy was fired accidentally by a Secret Service man standing in the car behind? Are there any knock down arguments against it? Or big holes?

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    • Replies: @whorefinder
    The argument has surface plausibility merit, and would seem to resolve a lot of the problems Oswald Deniers have with Kennedy's head movement. However, I haven't heard the physics argument about it, or any other evidence. So I'm neutral.

    That said, it isn't a popular theory because it offers nothing nefarious---just the SS screwing up big time. So even if it were true---and I'm open to it being true---the Oswald Deniers are far too invested in making this a deliberate mass-government coverup to listen.
    , @CanSpeccy
    I love the idea that JFK was killed by a stray bullet accidentally fired by a secret service agent. It's so obvious once the truth has been pointed out.

    Probably the same sort of balls-up explains 9/11. You know, missiles intended to shoot down simulated highjacked planes in a drill on 9/11 accidentally wamming into the Pentagon and Twin Towers.

    Then Norad had to make up that stuff about 19 hijackers and Bin Laden to cover their arse.
  158. @Miro23
    Being smart has nothing to do with it.

    For example the government says that WTC7 completely collapsed in 7 seconds due to fire. You don't need to be smart to see something is wrong here (hint: most of the structural pillars were untouched by fire).

    I see the biggest problem about a conspiratorial explanation for the WTC 7 collapse is motive. How does it make sense for those who wanted the big splash that hitting buildings 1 and 2 would give? The other major difficulty is the video footage of fires burning all day which had to have heated the steel and therefore potentially weakened it to a critical point. Where’s the mystery?

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    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    There must be hundreds of millions of words accessible on the Internet discussing the collapse of WTC Building 7. Why then foul up this discussion with the reiteration of arguments that anyone with an interest in the specifics of 9/11 will already know or can find out elsewhere?
  159. The biggest conpiracy, which most fail understand, is that the reason that there is all of economic termoil and wars, is due to one reason and one reason only. There is no money and what we use for transactions is the invertion of money, created by an entry of a computer. Its main purpose is to make the issuers rich and everyone else in debt to them..Countries who don’t want to go into their debt become enemies and are villified. This illusion is reinforced by films, media. Tax authorities. the government.
    THIS IS THE BIGGEST CONSPIRACY on which all of the others are constructed. Including the socialist satanist society built upon it. To make it work markets have to be manipulated, which they all are.
    Get rid of money and you get rid of god. liberty, personal property and everything else of value because all values are based on nominal debt and this debt is not repayable because it has to be borrowed to be repayed and the method of repayment doesnt exist. Fereral reserve notes are counterfieted to create debt.

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  160. @Connecticut Famer
    "But the author of the “Open Society” had an open mind and I suspect he’d find the thesis reasonable that real conspiracies can both be uncovered and largely ignored because so many simply opt to ignore them. In such cases, evidence and “not taking arguments seriously” often reflects “intellectual groupieism,” emotions, professional insecurities as well as venal collective interests."

    Possibly as in the JFK case? I actually watched Lee Harvey Oswald get drilled by the man who was later identified as Jack Ruby (real surname "Rubenstein") live on television. The minute it happened and even at age 16 at the time I smelled a rat. Who was ultimately behind it all is something which I can't answer and care not to speculate upon, but to this day I remain suspicious about the circumstances surrounding Oswald's death and Ruby's subsequent dissembling.

    I don’t dismiss your intuitions as such but you hardly present a great case for affording them much weight. What you immediately felt at age 16 watching a screen? Nope. The fact that Jack Ruby dissembled?

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    • Replies: @AnotherLover
    I think dismissing intuition is for suckers. What successful businessman would offer such advice? Intuition assembles all the information available to the organism, and it is rarely wrong in my experience. I appreciate when people are willing to offer their gut reaction to an event, especially knowing they are doing so in a society which trains its members to pounce on them that would have the temerity to do so.

    Present company excluded, of course...
  161. @Bill Jones
    Nice try.

    The Manhattan Project was successfully kept secret despite its scope and the fact that it consumed 17% of the electricity production of the entire US.

    So, there is a counter example – an exception???

    Actually not such a good case. It was wartime in a pre Internet era and keeping their mouths shut was emphasised as a patriotic duty for everyone. The work was carried out at remote locations with vast resources behind it. The work was so new and esoteric that the best outsiders might have managed was that something was going on that they didn’t understand. And of course it wasn’t kept secret from our Soviet allies thanks to their spies.

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  162. @Bill Jones
    They don't move in lockstep-(I assume you meant) together.
    They do however have a series of identical interests:

    Lower taxes on Capital Gains and Dividends than on Earned Income.

    No barriers to entry to low-wage unskilled workers for jobs that need to be performed in the US.

    No barriers to goods produced from low-wage countries, no matter what the conditions they are produced in.

    Control of the Federal Reserve.

    Tax-payer bailouts of failing institutions.

    etc, etc.

    If you want to get into it, I'm happy to.

    I think that is a more illuminating approach than talking about elites. As Lenin very likely said “Who? What?”. The devil is indeed in the details and in details you see priorities and trade offs.

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  163. @whorefinder
    No Oswald Hypothesis Denier has ever presented a falsifiable alternative hypothesis to Kennedy's murder.

    The Oswald Hypothesis---as subtly admitted by Oliver Stone---passed the who, what, when, where, why, and how test. It answered all the questions and was plausible according to physics, motive, means, and opportunity. The Deniers try things like "the pristine bullet" and "magic bullet" nonsense, but those criticisms don't stand up to criticism (for example, the bullet was not pristine at all, and the bullet's tragectory was not magic at all, but followed a predictable downward path through the elevated Kennedy to Connolly).

    But more tellingly---no alternative plausible falsifiable hypothesis has been offered. No who, what, when, where , why, and how. Lots of speculation and casting aspersions (LBJ! CIA! ), but no one offers a concrete hypothesis that could be tested or researched to see as plausible.

    If you have a falsifiable alternative theory to the Oswald Hypothesis that satisfies the five w's and h, please offer it here. Until you do so, the only plausible hypothesis is that Oswald acted alone.

    It's been more than 50 years people. Give us something besides that some people disliked Kennedy (all politicians have enemies) and "eye witnesses" who keep changing their stories.

    *Oh, and the KGB worked to spread Kennedy Conspiracy theories because they undermined faith in the U.S. government and took the heat off communists for the killing. They funded some of the conspiracy theorists and promoted them.

    Oswald never fired a shot! A hidden witness for over 35 years had proof positive that Oswald was never on the sixth floor, and therefore couldn’t be a shooter. Barry Ernest has found Victoria Adams, a witness to Kennedy’s murder, on the fourth floor back staircase of the TSBD. She testified to the Warren Commission that she and her co-worker, Sandra Styles saw nobody come down the stairs, after she heard the final shots. Also with them was her supervisor, Dorothy Garner, making three witnesses (or non-witnesses in this case) that totally destroy the lone nut idea that Oswald was doing any shooting there. Adams was badgered and she felt threatened by the Warren Commission and fearing for her life, vanished for decades until Barry Ernest found her.

    So, that ends and totally disproves for all time the formerly plausible hypothesis (theory) that Oswald killed Kennedy.

    The Girl on the Stairs: The Search for a Missing Witness to the JFK Assassination by Barry Ernest (hardcover) April 2, 2013
    https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Stairs-Missing-Witness-Assassination/dp/1455617830

    http://garyrevel.com/jfk/girlonstairs.html
    “The Bob Wilson Interview with Author Barry Ernest ‘The Girl on the Stairs: The Search for a Missing Witness to the JFK Assassination’ ”
    Feb. 18, 2014 (New York, NY)

    #7

    “There is no evidence that definitively places Oswald in the second-floor lunchroom as the shots were being fired. If you believe what Oswald is quoted as telling police during his interrogation sessions (12 hours that went unrecorded and without a stenographer being present), he was eating his lunch in the first-floor domino room when the shots occurred, and then went to the second floor to purchase a drink. This is perhaps why Vicki Adams did not see him on the stairs, why he was so calm during the lunchroom confrontation, and why [Officer Marrion] Baker first described Oswald as entering the lunchroom from a direction other than the back staircase. Certainly Vicki Adams saying she was on the stairs during this critical period presented an obvious problem to the Warren Commission’s scenario, which might explain why she was the only person excluded from time tests regarding Oswald’s escape, and why corroborating witnesses to her story were ignored.”

    #13

    “Lee Harvey Oswald was labeled as a loner, and malcontent. From what you have learned of him, can you describe a bit about who he seems to have actually been?

    He was definitely an odd fellow. But he was also smart, capable, for instance, of beating others more advanced than he was at chess and, if you believe the official record, able to teach himself Russian, one of the most challenging languages to learn, especially on your own. He liked the opera and was a vociferous reader, knowledgeable in a lot of subjects. His actions in both his military and civilian lives seem consistent with someone having a far deeper complexity than what we have been told. Oh, and he was also a rather poor shot!”

    As for the pejorative term conspiracy theory, that was conjured up by the CIA in 1964, to counter the growing threat to the insiders’ desire to promote the sole assassin idea, discredit doubters, and shut off debate. https://projectunspeakable.com/conspiracy-theory-invention-of-cia and http://www.jfklancer.com/CIA.html

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/0292757697

    “In 2013 Professor Lance Dehaven-Smith in a peer-reviewed book published by the University of Texas Press showed that the term “conspiracy theory” was developed by the CIA as a means of undercutting critics of the Warren Commission’s report that President Kennedy was killed by Oswald. The use of this term was heavily promoted in the media by the CIA.

    It is ironic that the American left is a major enforcer of the CIA’s strategy to shut up skeptics by branding them conspiracy theorists.”

    The public has never believed the official story that Oswald acted alone ever since the first Gallup Poll was taken in early Dec. 1963, and continuing to this very day.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/165893/majority-believe-jfk-killed-conspiracy.aspx
    “Majority in U.S. Still Believe JFK Killed in a Conspiracy” by Art Swift (Nov. 15, 2013)

    Dec. 1963: 52% Conspiracy, 29% One man
    1976: 81% Conspiracy, 11% One man
    1983: 74% Conspiracy, 11% One man
    1992: 77% Conspiracy, 10% One man
    2001: 81% Conspiracy, 13% One man
    2003: 75% Conspiracy, 19% One man
    2013: 61% Conspiracy, 30% One man

    http://22november1963.org.uk/lee-harvey-oswald-marksman-sharpshooter

    “…According to his Marine score card (Commission Exhibit 239), Oswald was tested twice:

    In December 1956, after “a very intensive 3 weeks’ training period” (Warren Commission Hearings, vol.11, p.302), Oswald scored 212: two marks above the minimum for a ‘sharpshooter’.

    In May 1959, he scored 191: one mark above the minimum for a ‘marksman’.

    “…Colonel Allison Folsom interpreted the results for the Warren Commission:
    “The Marine Corps consider that any reasonable application of the instructions given to Marines should permit them to become qualified at least as a marksman. To become qualified as a sharpshooter, the Marine Corps is of the opinion that most Marines with a reasonable amount of adaptability to weapons firing can become so qualified. Consequently, a low marksman qualification indicates a rather poor “shot” and a sharpshooter qualification indicates a fairly good “shot”.(Warren Commission Hearings, vol.19, pp.17f)

    Folsom agreed with his (not her) questioner that Oswald “was not a particularly outstanding shot” (Warren Commission Hearings, vol.8, p.311).”

    Phlilip F. Nelson’s hardcover 2011 book, a fascinating insight into LBJ’s warped and sociopathic (also suffering from bi-polar disorder) personality hidden from the public, 1960-2011,

    LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination
    https://www.amazon.com/LBJ-Mastermind-Assassination-Phillip-Nelson/dp/1616083778

    His 2013 paperback update:
    https://www.amazon.com/LBJ-Mastermind-Assassination-Phillip-Nelson/dp/1620876108

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  164. @Laurel
    The best strategy is to foster implausible conspiracy theories to create a cloud of disinformation. This technique was used very effectively after 9/11, such that it's very hard to discuss a coverup without being labeled a truther.

    Thank you for inserting the word “truther” into the conversation. It has always fascinated me that someone searching for the truth about a political issue is now automatically considered a conspiracy theorist.

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  165. @Bill Jones
    Nice try.

    The Manhattan Project was successfully kept secret despite its scope and the fact that it consumed 17% of the electricity production of the entire US.

    I did not say it was impossible for Americans to keep secrets, just “difficult.”

    The Manhattan Project was in a bygone era — one in which near total war prevailed. Yet even in that case, the Soviets knew early on what was going on. And stories appeared in the US press early on posing prying questions about Los Alamos, a “forbidden city” where there were reports of “ordnance and explosives” being developed and “tremendous explosions have been heard.”
    http://blog.nuclearsecrecy.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/1944-Cleveland-Press-Forbidden-City.pdf

    Main point however, is that even when conspiracies become obvious they are often largely ignored.

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  166. @CanSpeccy
    biz, you obviously missed it. Bill Jones, above, debunked your argument even before you made it.

    lol, “The Mahattan Project was kept a secret.”

    No it wasn’t. Stalin knew about the Manhattan project before Truman did. Learn some history.

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    • Replies: @CanSpeccy

    lol, “The Mahattan Project was kept a secret.”

    No it wasn’t. Stalin knew about the Manhattan project before Truman did. Learn some history.
     
    Your point misses the point. Putin probably knows as much or more about the mechanics of 9/11 than Stalin knew about the mechanics of the atom bomb and the Manhattan Project. But the issue is public knowledge, not what some individuals may know or have known.
  167. @Rehmat
    There are more so-called "conspiracy theories" claimed by the US government, CIA, and organized Jewry than the Jews may have been killed by the Nazis. The "conspiracy theorists" like the "terrorists" are chosen by the Zionist-controlled mainstream media.

    Like the September 11, 2001 attacks, the lie that Iran's president Ahmadinejad called, WIPE ISRAEL OFF THE MAP, is still kept alive by the Organized Jewry even though Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor admitted that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad never said Iran wanted to "wipe Israel off the face of the map" in an interview with Al Jazeera in April 2012.

    American investigative writer and author, Robert Parry, claimed on September 19, 2009 that Ahmadinejad never denied Holocaust. He just challenged Israel and the western powers to allow an open debate to find the truth behind the Zionist Holy Cow, “Six Million Died”.

    In reality, the only country that has been 'wiped off the map' is the 5,000-year-old Palestine by Europe's unwanted Jews.

    Iran's current president Dr. Hassan Rouhani like Dr. Ahmadinejad, is also blamed for denying the Zionist Holy Holocaust as parroted by Wiesel, which he never did, saying it's up to historians to decide who's lying.

    https://rehmat1.com/2013/09/28/holocaust-the-word-rouhani-never-uttered/

    If the Zionists can lie so much about Israeli history (e.g. The Arabs encouraged Palestinians to flee, that the Arabs were about to attack Israel in 1967, land without a people for a people without a land, etc.), one can only wonder about the official holocaust narrative of 6M dead, gas chambers, etc.).

    I’ve not read Elie Weisel’s book Night, but I understand that no where does he mention gas chambers in Auschwitz….

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    • Replies: @Rehmat
    Without GAS CHAMBERS the SIX MILLION DIED Holy COW becomes a HOUSE OF CARDS.

    On June 29, 2016, Boston-based publishing company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) announced that it will publish Adolf Hitler’s ‘antisemite’ book Mein Kampf to fund needy Jewish survivors of Nazi era.

    “The proceeds from sale of Mein Kampf will be donated to Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Boston,” said Andrew Russell, the publisher’s director of corporate social responsibility.

    The publisher had been donating money to organizations that combat anti-Semitism since 2000. Since publication of Mein Kampf is banned in France, the job was given to HMH. The publication of the book was opposed by several Jewish groups as result of company’s recent announcement that in the future, it will provide funds to some non-Jewish NGOs. HMH caved-in to Jewish pressure and decided to bribe them by donating proceeds from the book to the ‘evergreen’ Holocaust Industry.

    In September 2001, the company filed a law suit in a New York court against Jews for Jesus, accusing the pro-Israel Evangelical group of infringing the company’s copyright on its popular children’s storybook character, Curious George, which the company had been publishing for 70 years.

    Interestingly, HMH is a subsidiary of Vivendi Universal, a multinational mass media company in Paris, whose CEO is Arnaud de Puyfontaine (Jewish).

    By now, hundreds of millions people around the world including some honest Jews know that Holocaust has become a tool of the Organized Jewry to rob western nations and individuals to nurse Israel’s military machine. Germans and the 65 million American Evangelists are the biggest suckers of this Zionist Mafia. Organized Jewry has sucked over $93 billion from German taxpayers since the 1960s.

    https://rehmat1.com/2016/07/02/hitlers-mein-kampf-to-fund-holocaust-industry/
  168. I find it quite amusing how, in an article supporting of the existence of conspiracy theories, so many comments consist of hurling insults at people making skeptical comments about what are obviously very sacred cows.

    People need to remember than by definition, the ratio of what you don’t know to what you do know is infinity to one. Be more open minded.

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    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    "They shall find it difficult, they who have taken authority as truth rather than truth for authority".

    Gerald Massey
  169. @Rehmat
    There are more so-called "conspiracy theories" claimed by the US government, CIA, and organized Jewry than the Jews may have been killed by the Nazis. The "conspiracy theorists" like the "terrorists" are chosen by the Zionist-controlled mainstream media.

    Like the September 11, 2001 attacks, the lie that Iran's president Ahmadinejad called, WIPE ISRAEL OFF THE MAP, is still kept alive by the Organized Jewry even though Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor admitted that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad never said Iran wanted to "wipe Israel off the face of the map" in an interview with Al Jazeera in April 2012.

    American investigative writer and author, Robert Parry, claimed on September 19, 2009 that Ahmadinejad never denied Holocaust. He just challenged Israel and the western powers to allow an open debate to find the truth behind the Zionist Holy Cow, “Six Million Died”.

    In reality, the only country that has been 'wiped off the map' is the 5,000-year-old Palestine by Europe's unwanted Jews.

    Iran's current president Dr. Hassan Rouhani like Dr. Ahmadinejad, is also blamed for denying the Zionist Holy Holocaust as parroted by Wiesel, which he never did, saying it's up to historians to decide who's lying.

    https://rehmat1.com/2013/09/28/holocaust-the-word-rouhani-never-uttered/

    The only conspiracy with legs is the 70 year old Zionist one,and the only one that matters today.
    And only fellow travelers or their duped concern trolls disagree on that obvious truth.
    Today’s lying times says latent racism by the Danes is behind their resistance to their nation being inundated by the refugees of the zionists war of terror.
    Coming from the malevolent racist scum in history,it sure wreaks of total hypocrisy,and another nail in divide and conquer.
    Can one point out one synagogue or rabbinical statement condemning the 70 years of CCs and the imprisonment of Gaza?
    The only Jewish opponents(outside of a few dissidents),the ultra Orthodox are considered self haters,as are the dissidents.

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  170. @Connecticut Famer
    "But the author of the “Open Society” had an open mind and I suspect he’d find the thesis reasonable that real conspiracies can both be uncovered and largely ignored because so many simply opt to ignore them. In such cases, evidence and “not taking arguments seriously” often reflects “intellectual groupieism,” emotions, professional insecurities as well as venal collective interests."

    Possibly as in the JFK case? I actually watched Lee Harvey Oswald get drilled by the man who was later identified as Jack Ruby (real surname "Rubenstein") live on television. The minute it happened and even at age 16 at the time I smelled a rat. Who was ultimately behind it all is something which I can't answer and care not to speculate upon, but to this day I remain suspicious about the circumstances surrounding Oswald's death and Ruby's subsequent dissembling.

    I was 12 and had the same feeling.
    Lanskys mob member shoots down any investigation into just what happened that day.
    And remember Arlen Spector came up with the magic bullet theory,and was rewarded with Congress.

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  171. @Wizard of Oz
    I see the biggest problem about a conspiratorial explanation for the WTC 7 collapse is motive. How does it make sense for those who wanted the big splash that hitting buildings 1 and 2 would give? The other major difficulty is the video footage of fires burning all day which had to have heated the steel and therefore potentially weakened it to a critical point. Where's the mystery?

    There must be hundreds of millions of words accessible on the Internet discussing the collapse of WTC Building 7. Why then foul up this discussion with the reiteration of arguments that anyone with an interest in the specifics of 9/11 will already know or can find out elsewhere?

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    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    But if you really want a short, clear, definitive, irrefutable and conclusive debunking of 9/11 Truther theories here it is:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuC_4mGTs98
    , @Wizard of Oz
    And why doesn't that apply precisely to just about everything you have posted and how come you can't see it - or think you can get away with others not noticing?

    And where have you complained about the constant reiteration of the symmetrical fall alleged impossibility, the particles of thermite, the steel couldn't have been melted nonsense (it wasn't melting that was the point), the forewarning to the BBC and, not least, the failure to account for the videos of the fires burning all day in WTC 7 and what that could have resulted in.

    My particular analysis of motive I have neither seen emphasised by anyone else nor answered on UR at all. Have you? Or seen it dealt with elsewhere as you imply?

    As it happens there is now an exception. Just about the first UR commenter to doubt something like the official 9/11 story that has not only a respectably functioning intellect but has deployed it on the issue. See posts by CalDre on this thread and my conversation with him.

    Acttually there is indeed a question of motive on WTC 7 (if it was demolished by explosives) left well unanswered by anything but the supposition that there was something within that needed to be destroyed of which there were no copies.
  172. @biz
    lol, "The Mahattan Project was kept a secret."

    No it wasn't. Stalin knew about the Manhattan project before Truman did. Learn some history.

    lol, “The Mahattan Project was kept a secret.”

    No it wasn’t. Stalin knew about the Manhattan project before Truman did. Learn some history.

    Your point misses the point. Putin probably knows as much or more about the mechanics of 9/11 than Stalin knew about the mechanics of the atom bomb and the Manhattan Project. But the issue is public knowledge, not what some individuals may know or have known.

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  173. @Decius
    What is a liberal? That's not a troll question. Strauss was above all a Socratic and Socratic philosophy begins with "what is" questions. One of Strauss's books is entitled Liberalism Ancient and Modern.

    Strauss was apparently a liberal in the US context in that he mostly voted for Dems. He also wrote one acerbically critical letter to National Review.

    However, a mid-20th-century American liberal may have been many things, but unpatriotic or nationalistic they were not. When liberalism turned with McGovern, Strauss looked elsewhere, and then died a year later, so we don't know how his political outlook would, or would not, have changed longer term. But at least in the 40s-60s, he was quite OK with Cold War American liberals. That's perfectly consistent with the nationalist sentiment expressed in the letter to Lowith. Also, Strauss was appalled by the dissoluteness of Weimar--and would become appalled by the dissoluteness of the late 1960s. But America prior was not yet dissolute. And he was appalled by Weimar's weakness. But America pre-Vietnam was not weak. Again, perfectly consistent with the letter.

    Strauss supported the Cold War because he thought the USSR was a real threat in the near term and because he feared, on a higher plane, the imposition of "the universal and homogenous state." He was opposed to that, whereas those to his left were for it. So was he conservative?

    Strauss transcends all these distinctions. That's not to say that they are meaningless. Indeed, he would be the first to say that they are meaningful. But, like Tocqueville, Strauss aimed to see not differently but further than the parties.

    Liberals used to say,I might not agree with what you say,but I’ll defend you right to say it.
    Today they want to implant Citizenchips.
    Moon landings a hoax?I doubt that,but does it matter to today’s terrible times other than a sign of American dominance in space race propaganda?
    Today we send up zionist satellites(when they don’t explode) and fund their citizens efforts in militarization of space that threatens all,including US.
    Unbelievable but true.

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    • Replies: @utu
    "Today we send up zionist satellites(when they don’t explode) and fund their citizens efforts in militarization of space that threatens all,including US." - Few days before that failed launch Zuckerberg on NPR was talking much about FB in Africa and providing internet. I was wondering what else was on this payload? How many satellites Israel already has?
  174. @Wizard of Oz
    I ask only because you may have the JFK assassination stuff well organised in your head and up to date. What do you make of the update by Colin McLaren on the humanly plausible conspiracy theory that the bullet which killed Kennedy was fired accidentally by a Secret Service man standing in the car behind? Are there any knock down arguments against it? Or big holes?

    The argument has surface plausibility merit, and would seem to resolve a lot of the problems Oswald Deniers have with Kennedy’s head movement. However, I haven’t heard the physics argument about it, or any other evidence. So I’m neutral.

    That said, it isn’t a popular theory because it offers nothing nefarious—just the SS screwing up big time. So even if it were true—and I’m open to it being true—the Oswald Deniers are far too invested in making this a deliberate mass-government coverup to listen.

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  175. @Pat Casey
    Nice job. You roped the quote that ran across my mind--- I swear these things are in the air. How do you say, the ghost of Leo Strauss was moving men to do what you can't pin on his memory? Well you said it and that settles it. Thank goodness.

    now this..

    Now, however, Europhysics Magazine, the respected publication of the European physics community, has published a report by four experts who say “the evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that all three buildings were destroyed by controlled demolition.”

    http://www.wnd.com/2016/08/911-conspiracy-gets-support-from-physicists-study/

    .
    .

    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.

    ~ Buddha

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    • Replies: @El Dato
    Pretty weird that 28 pages have had to be sat on. Maybe someone DIDN'T tell the Saudis that they didn't need to go all Allah Uakbar (as they were planning to since the lat 80s actually) as we were ready to blow shit up anyway? I dunno. Missing of memos can occur.
    , @CanSpeccy

    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.

    ~ Buddha
     
    That was before the mainstream media
  176. @exiled off mainstreet
    I didn't notice Gleiwitz was mentioned in another posting before I mentioned it. I tend go along with you and suspect incompetence rather than purpose was the cause of the Pearl Harbor disaster, though the incompetence may have included failure to adequately warn those on the ground at Pearl Harbor. Personally, I don't back the "truther" version of the twin towers because that would have required a broader conspiracy than I think could have succeeded. My guess is that the neighboring building was destroyed as part of the cleanup effort. I do think, however, that the authorities knew something was up, didn't believe it could ever succeed and used it as a sort of Reichstag Fire incident to brush aside constitutional democracy in the US. I also suspect that the Mossad knew more than they let on. My guess is that if Gore rather than Bush had been in power that history would have been far different. I suspect that the anthrax thing was more likely started by the yankee regime as a home-grown conspiracy.

    Gore chose a likudnik as VP.Anyone thinks the response to 9-11 would have significantly different under those 2 needs further education.
    I notice the Wiz always deflects Israeli involvement.Of course they were aware,the dancing Israelis knew it was a terror attack by dancing before the 2nd plane hit.
    And what govt has been the only beneficiary of 9-11?
    If one can’t see that answer,they have been ziocained and lobotomized.

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  177. @CanSpeccy
    There must be hundreds of millions of words accessible on the Internet discussing the collapse of WTC Building 7. Why then foul up this discussion with the reiteration of arguments that anyone with an interest in the specifics of 9/11 will already know or can find out elsewhere?

    But if you really want a short, clear, definitive, irrefutable and conclusive debunking of 9/11 Truther theories here it is:

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    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
    wow, that video should be mandatory for every american.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    I love it!
    , @I. MALLIKARJUNA SHARMA
    What do you mean by debunking. It is in fact concisely and clearly explaining 9/11 Truth theories castigated as conspiracy theories by the criminal rulers.
  178. @dahoit
    Liberals used to say,I might not agree with what you say,but I'll defend you right to say it.
    Today they want to implant Citizenchips.
    Moon landings a hoax?I doubt that,but does it matter to today's terrible times other than a sign of American dominance in space race propaganda?
    Today we send up zionist satellites(when they don't explode) and fund their citizens efforts in militarization of space that threatens all,including US.
    Unbelievable but true.

    “Today we send up zionist satellites(when they don’t explode) and fund their citizens efforts in militarization of space that threatens all,including US.” – Few days before that failed launch Zuckerberg on NPR was talking much about FB in Africa and providing internet. I was wondering what else was on this payload? How many satellites Israel already has?

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  179. @Paul Jolliffe
    Mr. Unz,

    Here is a link to Carl Bernstein's definitive 1977 Rolling Stone article "CIA and the Media" in which he addresses - and confirms - your worst fears. You are very right, and no less a figure than Bernstein has said so for nearly four decades . . .



    http://www.carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php

    No coincidence that all the CIA agents involved in the JFK assassination are known to be experts in ‘black ops’ and news media specialists. Jim Angleton, Cord Meyer, David Atlee Phillips and E. Howard Hunt, who confessed his involvement, all made their names in black propaganda or news management.

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  180. @exiled off mainstreet
    The Israelis learned their false flag lesson from the Nazis, who used concentration camp inmates dressed as Polish soldiers as part of a phony attack on the frontier radio station "Sender Gleiwitz" a day or so before they invaded Poland.

    Not forgetting the Manchurian Incident, staging events to justify a war is nothing new.

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  181. @Lot
    Given how easy it is to create a conspiracy theory, most of them will be crazy.

    Another problem with elite conspiracies is that elites usually do not have to act in secret because they already are in control. For Kennedy, a centrist cold warrior, his views already reflected those of elites, maybe even more so than Johnson.

    The other problem is that actual criminal conspiracies by elites quite often are discovered, such as Watergate and Iran Contra.

    Given how easy it is to create a conspiracy theory, most of them will be crazy.

    A statement that appears straight out of the CIA’s playbook.

    Another problem with elite conspiracies is that elites usually do not have to act in secret because they already are in control.

    Such control does not imply they have nothing to hide, particularly when exposure of the deed would have damaging repercussions for them.

    For Kennedy, a centrist cold warrior, his views already reflected those of elites, maybe even more so than Johnson.

    It didn’t reflect that of Israel’s elites.

    After JFK’s assassination, American foreign policy vis a vis Israel was completely reversed under Johnson, who hung the crew of the USS Liberty out to dry.

    The other problem is that actual criminal conspiracies by elites quite often are discovered, such as Watergate and Iran Contra.

    How is this a problem?

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  182. @CanSpeccy
    But if you really want a short, clear, definitive, irrefutable and conclusive debunking of 9/11 Truther theories here it is:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuC_4mGTs98

    wow, that video should be mandatory for every american.

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  183. @biz
    Actually, there is no symmetry in conspiracy theories as you imply.

    The definition of a conspiracy theory is an explanation of events that traces them to a secret network, and when presented with contradictory evidence, simply enlarges the network of supposed conspirators rather than modifying the explanation.

    So, just to cite one example, all of the 9/11 controlled demolition stuff is a conspiracy theory because at first it had the government and maybe the property owners in on the secret, but then the circle of supposed conspirators was enlarged to include the editors of Popular Mechanics after they did their study. Or take the moon landing, which involved 'only' thousands of NASA people until you point out that the astronauts left mirrors on the surface of the moon in a precise location, for which astronomers around the world use laser ranging to determine the distance to the moon down to the centimeter level. So then the astronomers who claim to do this had to be added to the list of conspirators and liars for this theory to stand. Then of course the more you point out, the more people who have to get added to the conspiracy, which eventually becomes all of the television industry, and even the Soviets!

    That is the reason why the so-called alternative explanations for 9/11, the moon landing, the various assassinations, the safety of vaccines, etc, are conspiracy theories, while the mainstream explanations are not.

    but then the circle of supposed conspirators was enlarged to include the editors of Popular Mechanics after they did their study

    Nice attempt to conflate the planners and executors of the 9/11 attacks with those who run interference for the “official” history of what happened that day. PM editors aren’t “conspirators” of the deed, they’re just a mouthpiece for NIST.

    Here’s a link to Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth’s evisceration of Popular Mechanics hit piece against skeptics of the NIST whitewash:

    http://www1.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/604-debunking-the-real-911-myths-why-popular-mechanics-cant-face-up-to-reality-part-1.html

    Let’s see how you rationalize this one. If you have the cajones, that is.

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  184. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Buzz Mohawk
    I was a boy watching those transmissions you helped bring us. Thank you, Sir!

    Apollo is one of the greatest human achievements, my absolute favorite historical event. I consider myself lucky to have been alive and old enough to witness and understand it.

    I even built a model of the Saturn V and the attached spacecraft. I used these in lectures my teachers invited me to give to our fifth and sixth grade science classes! I knew the flight plans and hardware backward and forward, and my teachers recognized my enthusiasm and aptitude. At age ten I was making smarter presentations about Apollo missions than Walter Cronkite (seriously).

    I salute you!

    Fake landing nut jobs and idiots are just background noise fuzzing up what you helped bring us. And I believe there has been in fact some conspiratorial effort over the years to promote their idiocy, a conspiracy on the part of those who would weaken American pride and reputation.

    I was a boy watching those transmissions you helped bring us. Thank you, Sir!

    Apollo is one of the greatest human achievements, my absolute favorite historical event. I consider myself lucky to have been alive and old enough to witness and understand it.

    And I believe there has been in fact some conspiratorial effort over the years to promote their idiocy, a conspiracy on the part of those who would weaken American pride and reputation.

    Sure, it’s certainly possible that there’s been a conspiracy to promote the notion that the moon landing was a hoax.

    But it’s also true that people with deep emotional attachments to things, especially inculcated in childhood, have trouble considering and questioning certain things. And it’s well known that propaganda deliberately tries to inculcate these sort of emotional attachments in order to be more effective.

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    • Replies: @5371
    I admit it.
    I have a deep emotional attachment to the idea that water is wet. It was inculcated in childhood. I have trouble considering and questioning it. And it’s well known that propaganda deliberately tries to inculcate these sort of emotional attachments in order to be more effective.
    , @Buzz Mohawk
    You apparently have trouble accepting an accomplished fact that contradicts your pathetic, childish idea of what is possible or was possible at that time.

    You must not have much aptitude for physics or engineering or any hard science. I grasped it when I was age ten in ways you still can't. It wasn't childhood wonder, as you assume. It was a real understanding of what was being done. It was, at age ten, beyond what you even possess now.

    No one who has an understanding of physics and engineering principles thinks as you do. Yet you write such an insightful sounding piece of armchair psychology.

    The Apollo program was so far beyond your comprehension that you just have to write crap like what you wrote to me. We are now half a century after the fact, and fools like you fall for this garbage.

    Pathetic.

    For whatever reason, maybe ones Ron describes here, a conspiracy theory about Apollo has been floated for decades. Scientifically illiterate fools fall for it.

    Yes, as Ron implies, these things might be created just to drag more probable conspiracies into the same mental swamp in the public mind.

    This one conspiracy theory you fell for lies squarely in the category of the blindingly stupid.
  185. @NoseytheDuke
    I have a DVD that presents a case that the US men on the moon story was indeed faked and never happened. It goes on to allege how various "evidence" for the landing was faked and it makes a pretty convincing case. Nothing is more convincing though than the clear discomfort of the three astronauts on what would normally be an occasion to celebrate.

    Not one person that I've loaned it to has ever come back and not been astounded by it.

    It’s pretty sad that people are so entirely lacking in basic knowledge of engineering, engineering management and history of engineering so as to believe “fake moon landing” crap (“I saw it on DVD”. Yeah so what, I saw OJ Simpson in a “fake Mars landing” thriller, big deal) They also probably believe that computers don’t really exist and iPhones are created ab initio by dragooned peasants in Chinese factories.

    These are probably the same people that are ready to continue a high-tech, high-capital civilization after a nuclear war.

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  186. @Rurik
    now this..

    Now, however, Europhysics Magazine, the respected publication of the European physics community, has published a report by four experts who say “the evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that all three buildings were destroyed by controlled demolition.”


    http://www.wnd.com/2016/08/911-conspiracy-gets-support-from-physicists-study/

    .
    .

    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.

    ~ Buddha




    Pretty weird that 28 pages have had to be sat on. Maybe someone DIDN’T tell the Saudis that they didn’t need to go all Allah Uakbar (as they were planning to since the lat 80s actually) as we were ready to blow shit up anyway? I dunno. Missing of memos can occur.

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  187. @Anonymous

    I was a boy watching those transmissions you helped bring us. Thank you, Sir!

    Apollo is one of the greatest human achievements, my absolute favorite historical event. I consider myself lucky to have been alive and old enough to witness and understand it.

    ...

    And I believe there has been in fact some conspiratorial effort over the years to promote their idiocy, a conspiracy on the part of those who would weaken American pride and reputation.
     
    Sure, it's certainly possible that there's been a conspiracy to promote the notion that the moon landing was a hoax.

    But it's also true that people with deep emotional attachments to things, especially inculcated in childhood, have trouble considering and questioning certain things. And it's well known that propaganda deliberately tries to inculcate these sort of emotional attachments in order to be more effective.

    I admit it.
    I have a deep emotional attachment to the idea that water is wet. It was inculcated in childhood. I have trouble considering and questioning it. And it’s well known that propaganda deliberately tries to inculcate these sort of emotional attachments in order to be more effective.

    Read More
  188. @Decius
    Kristol is a Straussian because he got a PhD in PolPhil from Harvard under Mansfield, who is a Straussian. There is no necessary connection between Strauss's thought any of the main tenets of Neo-conservatism. I've said, and you've all ignored, that Strauss attacked data-driven social science, which is the original hallmark of neo-conservatism. A later hallmark (which emerged after Strauss's death) was foreign policy hawkism. Unless you want to say that Strauss's opposition to the USSR makes him a neo-con, in which case every Cold War liberal going back to Truman was a neo-con. At which point the term has no meaning.

    Strauss addresses scholars and potential philosophers. He has almost nothing to say about the transient issues of his age. Based on his comments on what other thinkers had to say about war (Thucydides above all) I believe we can infer that Strauss was generally in favor of preparedness and wariness but otherwise anti-war in the general sense. If we may analogize the Iraq War to the Sicilian Expedition we may say that Strauss probably would have opposed the former as imprudent, just as he tacitly endorses T's judgement that the latter was imprudent.

    Strauss openly characterizes Machiavelli's approach to philosophy as a conspiracy, using that word, but does not say it about any other thinker. However, his teaching that philosophy is an inherently elite and very small enterprise may be fairly characterized as a "conspiracy." however, before modernity, the nature of the conspiracy was to protect the conspirators and the philosophic life, not a reform campaign. that's what it becomes under modernity, which Strauss opposes. One of Strauss's aims in writing was to revive the ancient idea of philosophy, its proper scope, and its proper relationship to society, which he believed modernity had corrupted.

    It is unfortunate that Strauss became a bogey-man to so many who have no idea what he said or why. It happened rather recently and based on some very thin scholarship. Most of the thing people try to pin on him are things that I and my friends oppose too. We just know they don't trace to Strauss. In fact, the opposite is often true.

    You are right that Strauss’s culpability for the neocons has been vastly exaggerated. You are wrong that he is worth reading.

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  189. Ron Unz says: