Monday, October 7, 2013

What If? A Guide to Conspiracy Theories

By Alan Caruba

When I was a rookie reporter, an editor said, “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” It captures the spirit of skepticism that journalists need if they are to decipher all the things politicians and others in positions of power claim as the truth.

Journalists have to be more than stenographers taking down quotes. They need to connect the dots between what is being said and what is being done with what may or may not have occurred earlier. Do they match up? Do they make sense?

In normal times, there are always a bunch of conspiracy theories floating around, but in times such as we are living through, they multiply like mushrooms in dark, fecund places. They feed on fear.

Who are we to believe? Well, start by applying as much logic as possible. Too much of what the Obama administration has been doing lacks a logical explanation.

Why would the ATF sanction a program of gun-running to Mexican cartels? Why would anyone believe that “a video” was the reason a covert operation in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked? Why would the White House back the Muslim Brotherhood and shut off funds to the Egyptian military when countless Egyptians were in the streets demanding the overthrow of the MB regime?

Why would any President, in the face of overwhelming evidence, believe anything the Iranians told them about their nuclear weapons program? Why has the National Security Agency ramped up its surveillance and capture of every American’s phone calls and emails? If it is so effective, why didn’t the FBI put a phone tap on the Tsarnev brothers after receiving a tip from the Russians that they were potential terrorists?

Why? Why? Why?

Part of the problem is the fact that the President blatantly lies about everything. It is no longer possible to know if he is telling the truth and the odds are very high that he is not. Those around him also put their spin on events. When caught, Lois Lerner, formerly of the Internal Revenue Service, took the Fifth Amendment refusing to testify about a program to deliberately deny tax exempt status to groups that might affect the outcome of an election or question the legitimacy of the Obama regime.

Recall that James Clapper, Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, knowingly lied to a congressional committee and, when caught, explained that he gave “the least untruthful” answer to a question that he had previously been informed would be asked. And, of course, the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, went along with the “video” cover story regarding the Benghazi attack.

The Obama administration is a virtual hornet’s nest of deception that generates conspiracy theories.

The voters were promised that the Obama administration would be the “most transparent” administration. Instead, New York Times reporter, David E. Sanger who broke the story about the US-Israeli cyber-attacks on the Iranian nuclear program, found that twenty years of contacts within the government would no longer talk to him after his phone, text, and emails were examined. “This is the most closed, control-freak administration I’ve ever covered,” said Sanger.

Leonard Downie, Jr., former executive editor of The Washington Post, wrote a report about the regime’s tactics regarding the press, noting how at one point, “The Justice Department secretly subpoenaed and seized from telephone companies two months of records for 20 Associated Press phone lines and switchboards used by more than 100 reporters in four of its news bureaus.”

The D.C. press corps, at this point, must be among the most paranoid citizens of the nation’s capital. However, only the October 4 Washington Post article about Downie’s report suggests that there is a problem. As often as not, it is left to a hodge-podge of pundits and bloggers to cite statements and activities by the administration that suggest that they represent something far more dangerous to liberty than the usual government instinct to keep secrets. The consumer of the “What if?” questions raised has to take care not to be spooked by each new one.

What bothers many observers the most is the immense power of the presidency. It is based on a vast matrix of executive orders and legislation, to declare a national “emergency” and impose martial law. One such executive order gives the President the power to control every aspect of communications, transportation, agriculture, and other normal activities.

At that point, who will have the power to thwart the imposition of a totalitarian regime on Americans? It’s a question that needs an answer.

I, for one, take comfort in knowing that the members of the U.S. military take an oath to uphold the Constitution. It is not, as was the case of Nazi Germany, an oath to the Fuhrer or in our case the President.

© Alan Caruba, 2013


Harry Dale Huffman said...

The President took the same oath, as did John Roberts and the other Supreme Court Justices who "vetted" Obamacare by choosing to call a punitive fine a tax. I take no comfort in their oaths, belied as those have been by their actions--nor in their supposed competence, much less their authority. On Real Science just this morning, I commented:

"Everything they do is push, push, push, now, now, now (before there can be study or debate; before anyone can see what even the most likely and obvious bad consequences are, much less the full damage; before the real enemy(ies) can be identified and understood; and above all, before their base has the chance to think, instead of react emotionally, in knee-jerk fashion, with rote, misdirecting arguments--mostly in the 'we're good, you're bad, we won't listen to you' style). It is a criminal administration, supported by deluded, revenge-minded fools and a thoroughly corrupt media system--in fact, every system (educational, political, and the media) is broken now. And yes, both political parties are to blame--as are the other major divisions in our country and the wider world--it's just that the Left is the one that has gone insane and is determined to exterminate all opposition now. They are the immediate threat, to their own country, but their cult thinking blinds them to this, and they mistake the growing disaster for much-needed 'transformation'."

Alan Caruba said...

Much of what you say is true, but I think we are soon to see real Americans push back. Even Obama supporters are learning their insurance premiums are going through the ceiling...they won't like that. His shutdown of DC is another factor most don't like. He's running out of time.

Dave's Daily Day Dream said...

Alan, you used "conspiracy theories" - well done.

@Harry - stronger letter to follow, as we used to say in USAF report writing.

"revenge minded fools" how could it be stated with more clarity?

Michael J. McFadden said...

Mr. Caruba, two things...

1) I dunno about that "military not taking an oath to the President." Aren't they sworn to obey their Commander in Chief?

2) Re President Obama and truthfulness: He gave himself away six months after being sworn in as President. A lot of presidents "lie" in terms of making campaign promises they don't keep etc, but Obama went on national TV and told a blatant lie in which he swore he hadn't raised taxes on anyone in his first six months in office. He said that just a few months after a grand ceremony in which he signed the SCHIP bill that raised taxes on 40 million American smokers by 150% and on two million Roll Your Own smokers by over TWO THOUSAND percent! A blatant lie, known by millions of people to be a blatant lie, told without a blink, and without even a murmur of dissent from the hostess, Meredith Vieira. See the 30 second video of it at:

So the lying is nothing new. As I noted in TobakkoNacht, “A democratic republic that allows its policies to be built on the basis of lies, and a citizenry that accepts those lies as being the norm, is a republic and citizenry in very deep and serious trouble.” and that's EXACTLY what we've allowed to happen.