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Old 01-15-2013, 03:36 PM   #1
Diana Hignutt
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On the Evil Conspiracies the US Gov Has Already Done

There's a thread on the rather silly (and yet shockingly distasteful) Conspiracy Theory (CT) that the Sandy Hook tragedy was staged by the government in a bid to force gun control. A couple of our members made comments that I felt the need to respond to, but that I could not, in good conscience post on that thread, as even I find that CT offensive. However, our own Colorado Guy had this to say in general about CT's in that thread:

Quote:
Posted by ColoradoGuy:The incredible disconnect these folks have toward government efficiency is always amazing: government is horribly inefficient at most things (grumble, grumble, Post Office, growl VA) yet fantastically skilled at keeping secret vast conspiracies involving hundreds of participants.
And Opty responded:

Quote:
Posted by Opty: Indeed. The government can cover up things up if it is incredibly intricate and involves dozens, if not hundreds, of people but three people can't keep a Presidential blowjob a secret.
Sadly, history tells another story:

Quote:
1931 Dr. Cornelius Rhoads, under the auspices of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Investigations, infects human subjects with cancer cells. He later goes on to establish the U.S. Army Biological Warfare facilities in Maryland, Utah, and Panama, and is named to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. While there, he begins a series of radiation exposure experiments on American soldiers and civilian hospital patients.
....

1940 Four hundred prisoners in Chicago are infected with Malaria in order to study the effects of new and experimental drugs to combat the disease. Nazi doctors later on trial at Nuremberg cite this American study to defend their own actions during the Holocaust. 1942 Chemical Warfare Services begins mustard gas experiments on approximately 4,000 servicemen. The experiments continue until 1945 and made use of Seventh Day Adventists who chose to become human guinea pigs rather than serve on active duty. ....

1945 Project Paperclip is initiated. The U.S. State Department, Army intelligence, and the CIA recruit Nazi scientists and offer them immunity and secret identities in exchange for work on top secret government projects in the United States. ....

1946 Patients in VA hospitals are used as guinea pigs for medical experiments. In order to allay suspicions, the order is given to change the word "experiments" to "investigations" or "observations" whenever reporting a medical study performed in one of the nation's veteran's hospitals. 1947 Colonel E.E. Kirkpatrick of the U.S. Atomic Energy Comission issues a secret document (Document 07075001, January 8, 1947) stating that the agency will begin administering intravenous doses of radioactive substances to human subjects. 1947 The CIA begins its study of LSD as a potential weapon for use by American intelligence. Human subjects (both civilian and military) are used with and without their knowledge.

1950 Department of Defense begins plans to detonate nuclear weapons in desert areas and monitor downwind residents for medical problems and mortality rates. ....1950 I n an experiment to determine how susceptible an American city would be to biological attack, the U.S. Navy sprays a cloud of bacteria from ships over San Franciso. Monitoring devices are situated throughout the city in order to test the extent of infection. Many residents become ill with pneumonia-like symptoms.
....

1953 CIA initiates Project MKULTRA. This is an eleven year research program designed to produce and test drugs and biological agents that would be used for mind control and behavior modification. Six of the subprojects involved testing the agents on unwitting human beings. 1955 The CIA, in an experiment to test its ability to infect human populations with biological agents, releases a bacteria withdrawn from the Army's biological warfare arsenal over Tampa Bay, Fl. ...1994 Senator John D. Rockefeller issues a report revealing that for at least 50 years the Department of Defense has used hundreds of thousands of military personnel in human experiments and for intentional exposure to dangerous substances. Materials included mustard and nerve gas, ionizing radiation, psychochemicals, hallucinogens, and drugs used during the Gulf War . 1995 U.S. Government admits that it had offered Japanese war criminals and scientists who had performed human medical experiments salaries and immunity from prosecution in exchange for data on biological warfare research. 1995 Dr. Garth Nicolson, uncovers evidence that the biological agents used during the Gulf War had been manufactured in Houston, TX and Boca Raton, Fl and tested on prisoners in the Texas Department of Corrections....
http://rense.com/general36/history.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unethic..._United_States

The MK-Ultra Program took about 6% of the CIA's budget from 1953 to 1971. CIA insiders claim the project is off the books but still goes on.

My point being, don't be too quick to dismiss any and all CT's, because some of them have happened, have been done on American citizens by their own government, in secret, and somehow, most of this stuff didn't come to light until relatively recently. It does happen and it will continue to happen.

There is no reason to trust a government that has and does engage in war crimes on its own people.

I do wish people would allow the facts to get past their mental prejudices and preferences, and accept that your government does engage in conspiracies, all the fucking time. It is not impossible to keep things, even outright evil things secret for a while.

That said, Sandy Hook is just the government and its media lackey's taking advantage of a terrible tragedy, imo.
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Last edited by Diana Hignutt; 01-15-2013 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Hignutt View Post
There's a thread on the rather silly (and yet shockingly distasteful) Conspiracy Theory (CT) that the Sandy Hook tragedy was staged by the government in a bid to force gun control. A couple of our members made comments that I felt the need to respond to, but that I could not, in good conscience post on that thread, as even I find that CT offensive. However, our own Colorado Guy had this to say in general about CT's in that thread:



And Opty responded:



Sadly, history tells another story:



http://rense.com/general36/history.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unethic..._United_States

The MK-Ultra Program took about 6% of the CIA's budget from 1953 to 1971. CIA insiders claim the project is off the books but still goes on.

My point being, don't be too quick to dismiss any and all CT's, because some of them have happened, have been done on American citizens by their own government, in secret, and somehow, most of this stuff didn't come to light until relatively recently. It does happen and it will continue to happen.

There is no reason to trust a government that has and does engage in war crimes on its own people.

I do wish people would allow the facts to get past their mental prejudices and preferences, and accept that your government does engage in conspiracies, all the fucking time. It is not impossible to keep things, even outright evil things secret for a while.

That said, Sandy Hook is just the government and its media lackey's taking advantage of a terrible tragedy, imo.
First, I don't see experiments as conspiracies - how are you getting there? They weren't giant secret operations covered as other things to the public, largely. They were what they were. Secret, yes, but there's a difference, imo.

Also, all that stuff and more is known.

The argument is that the government could not have covered up vast conspiracies (that are stil covered), involving tons of people and an entire fake story and etc. - like the 'Kubrick staged the Moon landing' thing.

That's not a medical experiment done on unsuspecting subjects. That'd have involved people to create the entire false thing, the people pretending they were doing the other thing, the people disseminating the false story and etc., etc. That is a very different group from the group around 'we're conducting an actual medical experiment for an actual purpose, the way one does, just not telling the subjects.' Which, again, these have gotten out, over and over.

The idea that something like 9-11, involving the massess of people that would need to be involved in creating, carrying out, doing things for very questionable purpose, etc., makes it fairly illogical to believe that the people who couldn't even keep some of this stuff from their enemies in war could keep it a secret from the public, the media, the global media, etc., for decades.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:22 PM   #3
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I'm afraid I have to agree with Cornflake. The Sandy Hook/9-11 kind of conspiracy is a different thing to the secret medical experiments you're citing, Diane
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornflake View Post
First, I don't see experiments as conspiracies - how are you getting there? They weren't giant secret operations covered as other things to the public, largely. They were what they were. Secret, yes, but there's a difference, imo.

Also, all that stuff and more is known.

The argument is that the government could not have covered up vast conspiracies (that are stil covered), involving tons of people and an entire fake story and etc. - like the 'Kubrick staged the Moon landing' thing.

That's not a medical experiment done on unsuspecting subjects. That'd have involved people to create the entire false thing, the people pretending they were doing the other thing, the people disseminating the false story and etc., etc. That is a very different group from the group around 'we're conducting an actual medical experiment for an actual purpose, the way one does, just not telling the subjects.' Which, again, these have gotten out, over and over.

The idea that something like 9-11, involving the massess of people that would need to be involved in creating, carrying out, doing things for very questionable purpose, etc., makes it fairly illogical to believe that the people who couldn't even keep some of this stuff from their enemies in war could keep it a secret from the public, the media, the global media, etc., for decades.
I'm not stating that 9-11 was a conspiracy. That's someone else, I guess. My point was that hundreds of people were involved in willingly and secretly experimenting on thousands, if not millions of Americans, with full governmental permission, for sixty years (or more), without the subjects' permission or knowledge...

But, feel free to move the goal posts if it makes you feel better.

And seriously, the Nazi's tried that experiment excuse too, and we didn't buy it from them...
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mirandashell View Post
I'm afraid I have to agree with Cornflake. The Sandy Hook/9-11 kind of conspiracy is a different thing to the secret medical experiments you're citing, Diane
So your saying that it's only a CT if it's not true? I think that's dangerous thinking.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Hignutt View Post
I'm not stating that 9-11 was a conspiracy. That's someone else, I guess. My point was that hundreds of people were involved in willingly and secretly experimenting on thousands, if not millions of Americans, with full governmental permission, for sixty years (or more), without the subjects' permission or knowledge...

But, feel free to move the goal posts if it makes you feel better.

And seriously, the Nazi's tried that experiment excuse too, and we didn't buy it from them...
I'm not moving any goal posts - I didn't set any up to begin with.

I'm saying from my perspective at least, there's a big difference between not telling the subjects they're being used in medical experimentation and conspiracy theories.

The experiments performed were experiments. I don't see the point in you going all Godwin to begin with there but first, it's not an excuse for anything, they were experiments. Should they have been performed on unwitting subjects? No. Is that analagous to performing experiments on kidnapped prisoners? Not really, imo.

More to the point, the Nazis did, indeed perform actual, in some cases valuable-to-science medical experiments. They also did bizarre, sick shit with no scientific value whatsoever. I don't see what any of it has to do with conspiracies, save the basic linguistics of people doing things together.

That pushes any secret government operation or program performed by any agency into the realm of government conspiracy, and I just don't see it fitting at all.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornflake View Post
I'm not moving any goal posts - I didn't set any up to begin with.

I'm saying from my perspective at least, there's a big difference between not telling the subjects they're being used in medical experimentation and conspiracy theories.

The experiments performed were experiments. I don't see the point in you going all Godwin to begin with there but first, it's not an excuse for anything, they were experiments. Should they have been performed on unwitting subjects? No. Is that analagous to performing experiments on kidnapped prisoners? Not really, imo.

More to the point, the Nazis did, indeed perform actual, in some cases valuable-to-science medical experiments. They also did bizarre, sick shit with no scientific value whatsoever. I don't see what any of it has to do with conspiracies, save the basic linguistics of people doing things together.

That pushes any secret government operation or program performed by any agency into the realm of government conspiracy, and I just don't see it fitting at all.
So, taking convicted Nazi war criminals and secretly bringing them to the US to do their sick experiments and mad spy skills to our team isn't a conspiracy? We did the same with Japanese biowarfare scientists. But, that's just good science? No, it's a fucking conspiracy...
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:08 PM   #8
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What CG said that was the basis for this thread:

Quote:
The incredible disconnect these folks have toward government efficiency is always amazing: government is horribly inefficient at most things (grumble, grumble, Post Office, growl VA) yet fantastically skilled at keeping secret vast conspiracies involving hundreds of participants.
The idea there is clear, with regard to the nature of such VAST conspiracies. Now you're citing the supposed hiring of Nazi war criminals as evidence.

Who's moving goalposts?

The government can do wrong--can do evil--and no doubt has done so. And it can do such things in secret, hide them from the light of day, etc. This is true of all governments because all governments are made up of people.

But that's a far cry from massive public events being staged by the government--like the lunar landing, 9-11, and Sandy Hook--in order to advance some nefarious agenda. I'm pretty sure it's things approaching this latter group that CG was referencing.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Hignutt View Post
So, taking convicted Nazi war criminals and secretly bringing them to the US to do their sick experiments and mad spy skills to our team isn't a conspiracy? We did the same with Japanese biowarfare scientists. But, that's just good science? No, it's a fucking conspiracy...
As the poster above, no I don't think that's a conspiracy the way we're talking about conspiracies.

The conspiracies everyone was discussing involved covering up plans to do one thing or to manipulate the public with big, public, fake events.

Hiring scientists from overthrown regimes isn't a conspiracy - it's, well, science and governments trying to keep ahead of each other. I don't think it's ever abated. There are Iraqi scientists who went places, and plenty from other countries before that, etc.

Free-agent top-flight scientists involved closely in government research are going to be desired employees of rival governments. The exact same thing happens in corporations and always has.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:21 PM   #10
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Does the Tuskegee syphilis experiment count?
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:30 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Diana Hignutt View Post
So your saying that it's only a CT if it's not true? I think that's dangerous thinking.
Ermm....no. That's not what I'm saying at all. I have never said that all CTs are untrue. That would be silly.

But as said above, hiring dodgy scientists has always been done. And it's really not the same as the massive cover up by thousands of people (including some that are not friends of America) to pull off the Moon Landings or 9-11 or Sandy Hook.

You're bringing in examples that don't fit the parameters of the CTs we were talking about. Not all CTs are the same.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:35 PM   #12
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If governments were any good at concocting conspiracies then evidence of WMDs would have been found in Iraq.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:38 PM   #13
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I just want disagree that the government is inefficient, especially whoever thinks the post office is. They move millions of pieces of mail daily and get it where it is supposed to be often the very next day. That seems extremely efficient to me.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:28 PM   #14
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I just want disagree that the government is inefficient, especially whoever thinks the post office is. They move millions of pieces of mail daily and get it where it is supposed to be often the very next day. That seems extremely efficient to me.
I agree. I love the Post Office and think they do a pretty damned good job.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:03 PM   #15
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I don't know. There are lots of top secret government facilities (Area 51 being the most famous) and, despite thousands of people working at them, we keep not finding out exactly what goes on inside. Seems like lots of people can keep a secret just fine when they have the proper motivation.

It also seems a little silly to assume that just because some government agencies like the VA and SSA can't find their asses without a detailed map means *every* aspect of the government is that incompetent. Really, if they were, we'd have been invaded and taken over by a foreign power who wasn't completely incompetent a long time ago. Or accidentally nuked ourselves. The government isn't a single homogenous entity, so it seems like rather faulty logic to say that the idiocy of the VA means the CIA must be equally stupid. I feel pretty safe saying that the agencies we deal with on a regular basis (VA, SSA, DMV, USPS etc) don't exactly get the nation's best and brightest.

Which isn't to say that I'm not in total agreement about most conspiracy theories being complete bunk. Most of them are way too complicated to be true. Any experienced liar knows that the best lies are both simple and *almost* true.

ETA: I'll third that the USPS does a great job. Much better at not losing or damaging packages than the private companies that compete with them.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:09 PM   #16
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We've actually almost nuked ourselves so often it's scary.

Here are just six examples.

ETA: And if you want a great example of CIA stupidity, just look at 9/11. It was blowback they themselves predicted and did jackall to really stop, right?
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:13 PM   #17
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I think it counts.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:25 PM   #18
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So your saying that it's only a CT if it's not true? I think that's dangerous thinking.
Depends what definition of "theory" we're using. I don't think conspiracy theories really fall under the scientific method, so...

Yes, once shown to be true, I'd say it ceases to be a conspiracy theory and becomes, simply, a conspiracy.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:27 PM   #19
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As for Opty's original remark...

The bigger and more extravagant the lie, the easier it is to get people to believe it.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:37 AM   #20
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I just want disagree that the government is inefficient, especially whoever thinks the post office is. They move millions of pieces of mail daily and get it where it is supposed to be often the very next day. That seems extremely efficient to me.
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Originally Posted by Diana Hignutt View Post
I agree. I love the Post Office and think they do a pretty damned good job.
Well, not to be a party-pooper, but:
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US Postal Service faces ruin without rescue from Congress, watchdog warns

Inspector general David Williams says cash-strapped service, saddled with debt and low revenues, is in 'very serious trouble'

The chief postal watchdog has warned that the troubled US Postal Service will go out of business this year unless Congress acts to rescue it.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:57 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Diana Hignutt View Post
There's a thread on the rather silly (and yet shockingly distasteful) Conspiracy Theory (CT) that the Sandy Hook tragedy was staged by the government in a bid to force gun control. A couple of our members made comments that I felt the need to respond to, but that I could not, in good conscience post on that thread, as even I find that CT offensive. However, our own Colorado Guy had this to say in general about CT's in that thread:

And Opty responded:

Sadly, history tells another story...
The problem I have with conspiracy theory defenses similar to the argument you're making is that they're essentially examples of a "foot-in-the-door" technique of "Okay, okay. That super crazy thing is obviously not true, but that doesn't mean that a bunch of other super-crazy or nearly-as-super crazy things aren't true. As my proof, I offer this list of totally unrelated situations." In other words, they rely on somewhat orthogonal examples from the distant past as circumstantial proof that such actions (and worse) will definitely happen in the future, while offering no credible, current proof.

It's a very simple argument that blithely ignores established facts as well as the complexities of reality in favor of the simple (and incredibly paranoid) heuristic of viewing the government as a homogenous monolith of nefarious, spooky evil.

As has been done in the past in discussions like this, you cite examples of horrific acts from 60 to 80 years ago (which are unrelated to whatever conspiracy theory is being questioned) as circumstantial proofiness that such things either can still happen or are currently happening and we just don't know about it.

So, do ethically questionable, if not outright evil, things that our government did nearly three quarters of a century ago support the notion that even worse (and oftentimes public) things are happening now or will happen again? Not at all. Why? Because context matters.

Everything you listed was done during the zeitgeist of the early-to-mid 20th century; during the Red Scare of the Cold War, before (or at least at the infancy of) the explosion of modern-day scientific medicine and universally agreed-upon ethical standards, before the Information Age, and during a sociocultural time of incredible bigotry and xenophobic distrust.

Back then, blacks and whites didn't even share water fountains, let alone get married. Today, we have a two-term, mixed-race President and gay marriage is viewed favorably by the majority of the country. Back then, scientists who were poorly educated in true science and ethics could get away with allowing black people in Alabama to suffer with syphillis while thinking they were being helped. Today, ethical restrictions are so tight that a researcher's career will likely be ruined and he/she publicly shamed for something as comparatively trivial as fudging some data.

It was tougher for whistle blowers back then to affect any kind of change because not only were dark actions more acceptable by people (due to the aforementioned sociocultural factors of the time) but the whistle blower's ability to get his/her message out (and confirmed) was much weaker (though atrocities such as Tuskegee were revealed by a whistleblower). Today, we have Sunshine laws, and the Internet, and Twitter, and WikiLeaks, and even groups like Anonymous. As well, social attitudes about injustices have shifted dramatically. So, not only are there more people willing to blow the whistle, when they do expose bad things, the entire world has access to it.

Our government can't even torture people in secret at Gitmo without the entire world not only finding out about it, but having high quality, digital photos of it.

Also, government back then was much smaller than it is today. Today, there are more people and more departments which ensures less ability to effectively control the behavior (and consciences) of those people.

The people running the government today, and those who will run it in the future, are not the same types of people as the ones who ran it decades ago; not socially, culturally, or even psychologically. Society has fundamentally changed in the last century. Gen X and Gen Y are much less tolerant of the types of sinister crap people accepted three-quarters of a century ago. And these are the people moving into positions of power.

To believe that our government is secretly behind public tragedies simply because it did other bad, totally unrelated things 80 years ago is as irrational and foolish as believing that the current Catholic Church has a secret plan of world domination because it was involved in the Crusades centuries ago. That was the Catholic Church of centuries ago, not the Church of today (which, admittedly, has its own problems). Just like the US government from decades ago is not the same as the US government of today. Governments, just like churches, are not static, unchanging/unchangeable machines. They are groups of people and their priorities and initiatives shift as the culture shifts....slowly, but surely.

That's not to say that corruption and secret evils won't still happen because, like Rob, I don't doubt that governments can, have, and probably are doing questionable things. But, I believe those things are likely on a much smaller scale than the nutjob conspiracy theories such as the ones claiming that "9/11 and Sandy Hook were inside jobs" suggest.

What all of the evidence and cultural shifts suggest to me is that the prevalence and severity of such things diminish over time and become outliers and rarities, rather than commonplace products of a larger collective mindset. Because our collective sociocultural mindset has forever shifted and will continue to shift.

So, my skepticism for most outlandish conspiracy theories isn't because I don't think they could possibly be true, but because most of the time they are asserted as certainly true in the absence of credible evidence, in the presence of disconfirming facts, ignoring the context of all the factors I've exhaustively mentioned, and in violation of most tenets of modern-day probability theory.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:04 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoombie View Post
We've actually almost nuked ourselves so often it's scary.

Here are just six examples.

ETA: And if you want a great example of CIA stupidity, just look at 9/11. It was blowback they themselves predicted and did jackall to really stop, right?
In addition, which is not to say I don't believe they've likely pulled off some actual stuff, these are the people responsible for Noriega and attempting to kill Fidel Castro with such innovative methods as an exploding cigar and a poisoned milkshake.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:59 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opty View Post
The problem I have with conspiracy theory defenses similar to the argument you're making is that they're essentially examples of a "foot-in-the-door" technique of "Okay, okay. That super crazy thing is obviously not true, but that doesn't mean that a bunch of other super-crazy or nearly-as-super crazy things aren't true. As my proof, I offer this list of totally unrelated situations." In other words, they rely on somewhat orthogonal examples from the distant past as circumstantial proof that such actions (and worse) will definitely happen in the future, while offering no credible, current proof.

It's a very simple argument that blithely ignores established facts as well as the complexities of reality in favor of the simple (and incredibly paranoid) heuristic of viewing the government as a homogenous monolith of nefarious, spooky evil.

As has been done in the past in discussions like this, you cite examples of horrific acts from 60 to 80 years ago (which are unrelated to whatever conspiracy theory is being questioned) as circumstantial proofiness that such things either can still happen or are currently happening and we just don't know about it.

So, do ethically questionable, if not outright evil, things that our government did nearly three quarters of a century ago support the notion that even worse (and oftentimes public) things are happening now or will happen again? Not at all. Why? Because context matters.

Everything you listed was done during the zeitgeist of the early-to-mid 20th century; during the Red Scare of the Cold War, before (or at least at the infancy of) the explosion of modern-day scientific medicine and universally agreed-upon ethical standards, before the Information Age, and during a sociocultural time of incredible bigotry and xenophobic distrust.

Back then, blacks and whites didn't even share water fountains, let alone get married. Today, we have a two-term, mixed-race President and gay marriage is viewed favorably by the majority of the country. Back then, scientists who were poorly educated in true science and ethics could get away with allowing black people in Alabama to suffer with syphillis while thinking they were being helped. Today, ethical restrictions are so tight that a researcher's career will likely be ruined and he/she publicly shamed for something as comparatively trivial as fudging some data.

It was tougher for whistle blowers back then to affect any kind of change because not only were dark actions more acceptable by people (due to the aforementioned sociocultural factors of the time) but the whistle blower's ability to get his/her message out (and confirmed) was much weaker (though atrocities such as Tuskegee were revealed by a whistleblower). Today, we have Sunshine laws, and the Internet, and Twitter, and WikiLeaks, and even groups like Anonymous. As well, social attitudes about injustices have shifted dramatically. So, not only are there more people willing to blow the whistle, when they do expose bad things, the entire world has access to it.

Our government can't even torture people in secret at Gitmo without the entire world not only finding out about it, but having high quality, digital photos of it.

Also, government back then was much smaller than it is today. Today, there are more people and more departments which ensures less ability to effectively control the behavior (and consciences) of those people.

The people running the government today, and those who will run it in the future, are not the same types of people as the ones who ran it decades ago; not socially, culturally, or even psychologically. Society has fundamentally changed in the last century. Gen X and Gen Y are much less tolerant of the types of sinister crap people accepted three-quarters of a century ago. And these are the people moving into positions of power.

To believe that our government is secretly behind public tragedies simply because it did other bad, totally unrelated things 80 years ago is as irrational and foolish as believing that the current Catholic Church has a secret plan of world domination because it was involved in the Crusades centuries ago. That was the Catholic Church of centuries ago, not the Church of today (which, admittedly, has its own problems). Just like the US government from decades ago is not the same as the US government of today. Governments, just like churches, are not static, unchanging/unchangeable machines. They are groups of people and their priorities and initiatives shift as the culture shifts....slowly, but surely.

That's not to say that corruption and secret evils won't still happen because, like Rob, I don't doubt that governments can, have, and probably are doing questionable things. But, I believe those things are likely on a much smaller scale than the nutjob conspiracy theories such as the ones claiming that "9/11 and Sandy Hook were inside jobs" suggest.

What all of the evidence and cultural shifts suggest to me is that the prevalence and severity of such things diminish over time and become outliers and rarities, rather than commonplace products of a larger collective mindset. Because our collective sociocultural mindset has forever shifted and will continue to shift.

So, my skepticism for most outlandish conspiracy theories isn't because I don't think they could possibly be true, but because most of the time they are asserted as certainly true in the absence of credible evidence, in the presence of disconfirming facts, ignoring the context of all the factors I've exhaustively mentioned, and in violation of most tenets of modern-day probability theory.
That's actually a fabulous and nuanced response. Thank you. It's probably more than I deserved to get. The problem is that while I do accept some CTs (I'm pretty sure the CIA killed JFK, that there are super rich families with a penchant for occultism and quiet world conquest, and I'm still up in the air on the ancient Gnostic conspiracy) but the big events like 9/11, etc. which I saw with my own eyes, I pretty much accept the story as is. Further, crazy people do crazy things, so while lone gunmen in the 60's and 70's could well have been MK-Ultra (like Sirhan Sirhan claimed), I would find it more logical that the occassional crazy with weapons will find a way to commit atrocities on their own.


I just don't trust the damned government.

Thank you again.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:01 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Don View Post
Well, not to be a party-pooper, but:
In fairness, Don, Congress required the Postal Service to prepay its pensions, which no one anywhere else (in government or elsewhere) is forced to do, hence, it was a problem created to force the PO into bankrupcy in order to privatize it, as I understand it.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:30 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Diana Hignutt View Post
In fairness, Don, Congress required the Postal Service to prepay its pensions, which no one anywhere else (in government or elsewhere) is forced to do, hence, it was a problem created to force the PO into bankrupcy in order to privatize it, as I understand it.
Ah, a conspiracy theory I hadn't heard yet.
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The executive of the modern state is nothing but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.~Karl Marx

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