Tag Archives: conspiracy theories

LIONEL PODCAST: Stop Patting the Military on the Head Like Children, Stop Patronizing Them and Stop the Rate of Suicides and PTSD

 

The definition. Patriotism is, generally speaking, cultural attachment to one’s homeland or devotion to one’s country, although interpretations of the term vary with context, geography and political ideology. It is a set of concepts closely related to those of nationalism. Today it means schmaltzy and patronizing references to an obeisance of everything military. A mindless patellar and Pavlovian reflex that claps like barking seals whenever any military venture is considered or contemplated with absolutely no concern for returning vets and their physical and mental conditions. It’s who we are. With our bumper sticker, playbook, cookie cutter, echo chamber drivel. Dime store fealty. John Wayne, Ronald Reagan and a snappy SUPPORT OUR TROOPS bumper sticker for our gawdy SUV. With no concern or care for anything involving the reality of modern warfare.

Suicides? Shhhhhhh. Don’t go rain on our parade. Can’t you see we’re in full Memorial Day mode.

In early 2013, the official website of the United States Department of Defense announced the startling statistic that the number of military suicides in 2012 had far exceeded the total of those killed in battle—an average of nearly one a day. A month later came an even more sobering statistic from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: veteran suicide was running at 22 a day—about 8000 a year.

America Has Been At War 93% of the Time – 222 Out of 239 Years – Since 1776

Since the United States was founded in 1776, she has been at war during 214 out of her 235 calendar years of existence.  In other words, there were only 21 calendar years in which the U.S. did not wage any wars.

  • Pick any year since 1776 and there is about a 91% chance that America was involved in some war during that calendar year.
  • No U.S. president truly qualifies as a peacetime president.  Instead, all U.S. presidents can technically be considered “war presidents.
  • The U.S. has never gone a decade without war.
  • The only time the U.S. went five years without war (1935-40) was during the isolationist period of the Great Depression.

Year-by-year Timeline of America’s Major Wars (1776-2011)

1776 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamagua Wars, Second Cherokee War, Pennamite-Yankee War

1777 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Second Cherokee War, Pennamite-Yankee War

1778 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1779 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1780 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1781 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1782 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1783 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1784 – Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War, Oconee War

1785 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1786 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1787 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1788 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1789 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1790 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1791 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1792 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1793 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1794 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1795 – Northwest Indian War

1796 – No major war

1797 – No major war

1798 – Quasi-War

1799 – Quasi-War

1800 – Quasi-War

1801 – First Barbary War

1802 – First Barbary War

1803 – First Barbary War

1804 – First Barbary War

1805 – First Barbary War

1806 – Sabine Expedition

1807 – No major war

1808 – No major war

1809 – No major war

1810 – U.S. occupies Spanish-held West Florida

1811 – Tecumseh’s War

1812 – War of 1812, Tecumseh’s War, Seminole Wars, U.S. occupies Spanish-held Amelia Island and other parts of East Florida

1813 – War of 1812, Tecumseh’s War, Peoria War, Creek War, U.S. expands its territory in West Florida

1814 – War of 1812, Creek War, U.S. expands its territory in Florida, Anti-piracy war

1815 – War of 1812, Second Barbary War, Anti-piracy war

1816 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war

1817 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war

1818 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war

1819 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war

1820 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war

1821 – Anti-piracy war (see note above)

1822 – Anti-piracy war (see note above)

1823 – Anti-piracy war, Arikara War

1824 – Anti-piracy war

1825 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war

1826 – No major war

1827 – Winnebago War

1828 – No major war

1829 – No major war

1830 – No major war

1831 – Sac and Fox Indian War

1832 – Black Hawk War

1833 – Cherokee Indian War

1834 – Cherokee Indian War, Pawnee Indian Territory Campaign

1835 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War

1836 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War, Missouri-Iowa Border War

1837 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War, Osage Indian War, Buckshot War

1838 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Buckshot War, Heatherly Indian War

1839 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars

1840 – Seminole Wars, U.S. naval forces invade Fiji Islands

1841 – Seminole Wars, U.S. naval forces invade McKean Island, Gilbert Islands, and Samoa

1842 – Seminole Wars

1843 – U.S. forces clash with Chinese, U.S. troops invade African coast

1844 – Texas-Indian Wars

1845 – Texas-Indian Wars

1846 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars

1847 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars

1848 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War

1849 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians

1850 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, California Indian Wars, Pitt River Expedition

1851 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, California Indian Wars

1852 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, California Indian Wars

1853 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, Walker War, California Indian Wars

1854 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians

1855 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Yakima War, Winnas Expedition, Klickitat War, Puget Sound War, Rogue River Wars, U.S. forces invade Fiji Islands and Uruguay

1856 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Puget Sound War, Rogue River Wars, Tintic War

1857 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Utah War, Conflict in Nicaragua

1858 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Mohave War, California Indian Wars, Spokane-Coeur d’Alene-Paloos War, Utah War, U.S. forces invade Fiji Islands and Uruguay

1859 Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Pecos Expedition, Antelope Hills Expedition, Bear River Expedition, John Brown’s raid, U.S. forces launch attack against Paraguay, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1860 – Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Paiute War, Kiowa-Comanche War

1861 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign

1862 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Dakota War of 1862,

1863 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Colorado War, Goshute War

1864 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Colorado War, Snake War

1865 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Colorado War, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War

1866 – Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Franklin County War, U.S. invades Mexico, Conflict with China

1867 – Texas-Indian Wars, Long Walk of the Navajo, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War, U.S. troops occupy Nicaragua and attack Taiwan

1868 – Texas-Indian Wars, Long Walk of the Navajo, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Comanche Wars, Battle of Washita River, Franklin County War

1869 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War

1870 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War

1871 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War, Kingsley Cave Massacre, U.S. forces invade Korea

1872 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Modoc War, Franklin County War

1873 – Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Modoc War, Apache Wars, Cypress Hills Massacre, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1874 – Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Red River War, Mason County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1875 – Conflict in Mexico, Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Eastern Nevada, Mason County War, Colfax County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1876 – Texas-Indian Wars, Black Hills War, Mason County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1877 – Texas-Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Black Hills War, Nez Perce War, Mason County War, Lincoln County War, San Elizario Salt War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1878 – Paiute Indian conflict, Bannock War, Cheyenne War, Lincoln County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1879 – Cheyenne War, Sheepeater Indian War, White River War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1880 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1881 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1882 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1883 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1884 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1885 – Apache Wars, Eastern Nevada Expedition, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1886 – Apache Wars, Pleasant Valley War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1887 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1888 – U.S. show of force against Haiti, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1889 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1890 – Sioux Indian War, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Ghost Dance War, Wounded Knee, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1891 – Sioux Indian War, Ghost Dance War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1892 – Johnson County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1893 – U.S. forces invade Mexico and Hawaii

1894 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1895 – U.S. forces invade Mexico, Bannock Indian Disturbances

1896 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1897 – No major war

1898 – Spanish-American War, Battle of Leech Lake, Chippewa Indian Disturbances

1899 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1900 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1901 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1902 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1903 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1904 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1905 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1906 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1907 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1908 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1909 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1910 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1911 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1912 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1913 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars, New Mexico Navajo War

1914 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico

1915 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico, Colorado Paiute War

1916 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico

1917 – Banana Wars, World War I, U.S. invades Mexico

1918 – Banana Wars, World War I, U.S invades Mexico

1919 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico

1920 – Banana Wars

1921 – Banana Wars

1922 – Banana Wars

1923 – Banana Wars, Posey War

1924 – Banana Wars

1925 – Banana Wars

1926 – Banana Wars

1927 – Banana Wars

1928 – Banana Wars

1930 – Banana Wars

1931 – Banana Wars

1932 – Banana Wars

1933 – Banana Wars

1934 – Banana Wars

1935 – No major war

1936 – No major war

1937 – No major war

1938 – No major war

1939 – No major war

1940 – No major war

1941 – World War II

1942 – World War II

1943 – Wold War II

1944 – World War II

1945 – World War II

1946 – Cold War (U.S. occupies the Philippines and South Korea)

1947 – Cold War (U.S. occupies South Korea, U.S. forces land in Greece to fight Communists)

1948 – Cold War (U.S. forces aid Chinese Nationalist Party against Communists)

1949 – Cold War (U.S. forces aid Chinese Nationalist Party against Communists)

1950 – Korean War, Jayuga Uprising

1951 – Korean War

1952 – Korean War

1953 – Korean War

1954 – Covert War in Guatemala

1955 – Vietnam War

1956 – Vietnam War

1957 – Vietnam War

1958 – Vietnam War

1959 – Vietnam War, Conflict in Haiti

1960 – Vietam War

1961 – Vietnam War

1962 – Vietnam War, Cold War (Cuban Missile Crisis; U.S. marines fight Communists in Thailand)

1963 – Vietnam War

1964 – Vietnam War

1965 – Vietnam War, U.S. occupation of Dominican Republic

1966 – Vietnam War, U.S. occupation of Dominican Republic

1967 – Vietnam War

1968 – Vietnam War

1969 – Vietnam War

1970 – Vietnam War

1971 – Vietnam War

1972 – Vietnam War

1973 – Vietnam War, U.S. aids Israel in Yom Kippur War

1974 – Vietnam War

1975 – Vietnam War

1976 – No major war

1977 – No major war

1978 – No major war

1979 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan)

1980 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan)

1981 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), First Gulf of Sidra Incident

1982 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Lebanon

1983 – Cold War (Invasion of Grenada, CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Lebanon

1984 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Persian Gulf

1985 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua)

1986 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua)

1987 – Conflict in Persian Gulf

1988 – Conflict in Persian Gulf, U.S. occupation of Panama

1989 – Second Gulf of Sidra Incident, U.S. occupation of Panama, Conflict in Philippines

1990 – First Gulf War, U.S. occupation of Panama

1991 – First Gulf War

1992 – Conflict in Iraq

1993 – Conflict in Iraq

1994 – Conflict in Iraq, U.S. invades Haiti

1995 – Conflict in Iraq, U.S. invades Haiti, NATO bombing of Bosnia and Herzegovina

1996 – Conflict in Iraq

1997 – No major war

1998 – Bombing of Iraq, Missile strikes against Afghanistan and Sudan

1999 – Kosovo War

2000 – No major war

2001 – War on Terror in Afghanistan

2002 – War on Terror in Afghanistan and Yemen

2003 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, and Iraq

2004 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2005 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2006 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2007 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen

2008 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2009 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2010 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2011 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen; Conflict in Libya (Libyan Civil War)

In most of these wars, the U.S. was on the offensive. Admittedly, some of the wars were defensive. The data leave out covert CIA operations and other acts which could be considered war.

Let’s update what’s happened since 2011:

2012 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen

2013 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen

2014 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen; Civil War in Ukraine

2015 – War on Terror in Somalia, Somalia, Syria and Yemen; Civil War in Ukraine

So we can add 4 more years of war. That means that for 222 out of 239 years – or 93% of the time – America has been at war. (We can quibble with the exact numbers, but the high percentage of time that America has been at war is clear and unmistakable.)

Indeed, most of the military operations launched since World War II have been launched by the U.S.

And American military spending dwarfs the rest of the world put together.

No wonder polls show that the world believes America is the number 1 threat to peace.

LIONEL PODCAST: My Interview With Sharyl Attkisson, The Brave Investigative Reporter Who Believes in Exposing the Truth

Oh, that H.L., what a card. “American journalism (like the journalism of any other country) is predominantly paltry and worthless. Its pretensions are enormous, but its achievements are insignificant,”  thus spake Mr. Mencken. Well, Ol’ Hank never met Sharyl Attkisson, Emmy award winning investigative journalist and author of the first order. She’s taken on the Obama administration and the torpid and comatose corporate mainstream media, whose very existence depends on waking up and doing its job. Sharyl questions inter alia Benghazi, the (Not So) Affordable Health Care Act [Obama(s)care], Fast and Furious, Ebola, Vaccines and Gardasil, just to name a few.

Can we clone her? And what do these issues all have in common? They’re issues that matter, that are fascinating and that have been for reasons heretofore unknown relegated by many to the ash heap of investigation known as the dread conspiracy theory. She reveals the spiders nest that comprises all to often the corridors of Washington journalism. And yet she certainly has nothing but respect and admiration for her colleagues who share her intrepidity and determination, but they’re few and far between in a timorous world of feckless corporate lackeys and impuissant yes-men (and women) who’ve caved in, sold out and given up.

I do know much about history. (With apologias to Messrs. Adler, Alpert and Cooke.) Phil Graham in 1963, paraphrasing Alan Barth in 1943, noted the following: “So let us today drudge on about our inescapably impossible task of providing every week a first rough draft of history that will never really be completed about a world we can never really understand…” [e.s.] So, think of Ms. Attkisson as providing history’s prolegomenon, it’s proem. She’s a critical component to documenting which all too often this society, who’s the attention span of a gnat, lets lapse into the void while it embraces psychotically #DeflateGate and the latest false prophecy of cosmic snow doom.

Here’s her testimony at the confirmation hearing for Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch:

SHARYL ATTKISSON: In 2013, Reporters Without Borders downgraded America’s standing in the global free press rankings, rating the Obama administration as worse than Bush’s. It matters not that when caught the government promises to dial back or that [FOX News’] James Rosen gets an apology. The message has already been received. If you cross this administration with perfectly accurate reporting they don’t like, you will be attacked and punished. You and your sources may be subjected to the kind of surveillance devised for enemies of the state.

For much of history, the United States has held itself out as a model of freedom, democracy, and open accountable government. Freedoms of expression and association are of course protected by the constitution. Today those freedoms are under assault due to government policies of secrecy, leak prevention, and officials contact with the media, combined with large scale surveillance programs. The nominee if confirmed should chart a new path and reject the damaging policies and practices that have been used by others in the past. If we aren’t grave enough to confront these concerns, it could do serious long-term damage to a supposedly free press. Thank you.

LIONEL PODCAST: Truth Is A Luxury Only When It’s True

Truth is a luxury. This was Tom Wilkinson’s line in 2011’s “The Debt,” a suspense thriller of espionage, morality, courage and patriotism. It’s a remake of the award-winning 2007 film “Ha-Hov” by Assaf Bernstein & Ido Rosenblum. And a fascinating discussion of what happens when the official story that inspires a nation is wrong or, worse, a blatant lie. It inspires me to think about co-opting truth as a symbol and label and meme. Truth. Verity. The absolutely real. Authentic. Accurate.

Truthers. I’m not one per se, though I share many of their points of view, but hats off to those who grabbed the meme as their own. In today’s double-parked attention span, whoever seizes the best label and imagery, wins. Look at the conservatives who nabbed family, flag, Gawd, patriotism, Reagan and the Eagle. (While the progressives took what again as their symbols?)

Verity, anyone? And it all begs the question: What is the truth? The unvarnished and absolute and pure and clean and not subject to obfuscation or the like? Tell me true and pure history without perspective. Tell me the history of the Vietnam War — from the point of view of the Vietnamese. History, like incest, is relative.

This is what I discuss herein.

LIONEL PODCAST: How the CIA Weaponized the Term “Conspiracy Theory”

“CIA Document 1035-960” was released in response to a 1976 FOIA request by the New York Times. The memorandum delimits a detailed series of actions and techniques for “countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries.” It provided the blueprint of discrediting any idea or theory deemed unpalatable or embarrassing with the blanket and dismissive pejorative “conspiracy theory.”

Proem. Nothing will grind to a halt a discussion or disquisition quicker than calling it a “conspiracy theory.” So how did this come to be? Have we always enjoyed this distinction? Or rather, this almost patellar rejection of anything deemed to be the product of an illegal confederation.

It’s the third rail of political discussion. Kryptonite. A mine field. Drop the topic altogether. Don’t go there. Bring up a verboten or sensitive topic and watch what happens if it’s dubbed a conspiracy theory by an audience. All discussions ceases and you are a de facto nut, a loon, whose opinion is baseless and motivation (as well as sanity) is suspect. So where and when did this conspiracy phobia emerge? Was it always a part of our inquiry-killing repertoire? And what exactly is wrong with a conspiracy or theory of one? There are scores of convicted defendants warehoused today for conspiracies. How successful would they have been in seeking to have their convictions overturned by saying “This was just a conspiracy theory!” No, we’ve changed the meaning of the charge. It’s synonymous with insane, baseless, paranoid and baseless. And the transmutation of terminology was deliberate and by design. Courtesy of your CIA.

Your forebears would be livid. Professor Lance deHaven-Smith in Conspiracy Theory in America details “how the Founders’ hard-nosed realism about the likelihood of elite political misconduct—articulated in the Declaration of Independence—has been replaced by today’s blanket condemnation of conspiracy beliefs as ludicrous by definition.” It was ostensibly their deep-seated and well-founded suspicions that gave way to the inspiration and motivation to create our republic, borne from . . . you guessed it, conspiracy theories.

The weaponization of a term. In Conspiracy Theory”: Foundations of a Weaponized Term Professor James F. Tracy explains accordingly. And remember, the CIA under the Allen Dulles was the beginning of the transformation of the agency from intelligence-gathering to that of covert operations. Remember as well that Dulles, no fan of Kennedy, was positioned on the Warren Commission, which today is synonymous with whitewash and distortion.

Conspiracy theory’s acutely negative connotations may be traced to liberal historian Richard Hofstadter’s well-known fusillades against the “New Right.” Yet it was the Central Intelligence Agency that likely played the greatest role in effectively “weaponizing” the term. In the groundswell of public skepticism toward the Warren Commission’s findings on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the CIA sent a detailed directive to all of its bureaus. Titled “Countering Criticism of the Warren Commission Report,” the dispatch played a definitive role in making the “conspiracy theory” term a weapon to be wielded against almost any individual or group calling the government’s increasingly clandestine programs and activities into question.

Sound familiar? But even today the same techniques are employed, specifically this favorite argument: Conspiracy on a large scale would be impossible to conceal in the United States. Its synthetic reasoning and the transmission of such as a potent meme to this day serve to divert, obscure and redirect valid considerations and review of critical issues. And along with knee-jerk and Pavlovian false claims of racism and to a lesser extent homophobia, all discussion stops, valid areas of inquiry are sidelined and shelved, discussion ditched and sanity reevaluated. The history of the construction of his meme is mandatory for any truth-loving American who cherishes historical verity.

The latest introduction of the dread theory. So, do you think that conspiracy theory as pejorative weapon of distraction is limited only to truthers, birthers and vaxxers? Think again. Behold the rudiments of distraction.

LIONEL PODCAST: I’m Not a Conspiracy Theorist. I’m a Conspiracy Analyst.


The inimitable Mr. Vidal. He said it so perfectly and eloquently and succinctly in this troika of brilliance. His quotes were beauteous. About And Warhol he said, “[he] is the only genius I’ve ever known with an IQ of 60.” Perfection. He snarled and growled in that patrician purr, the consummate dentiloquist in a style that’s long gone. He wasn’t afraid to upraid and mercilessly scold, his feuds with Bill Buckley and the quintessential pseudo-intellect, the pimpous boor Norman Mailer, were classic. Wondrous

Dissonant cognition. Leon Festinger (1957) proposed “cognitive dissonance theory, which states that a powerful motive to maintain cognitive consistency can give rise to irrational and sometimes maladaptive behavior.” It’s the parallel component to the dread conspiracy theory. As you see, nothing has to do with facts or truth but the level of discomfort the public feels. When truth or the pursuit of truth is shelved or dissuaded out of fear of ridicule or the deliberate jettisoning of the troublesome, then we have major problems, Sparky.

And were you to continue your studies and efforts in modern history, it’s critical that you come to grips with the notion of the dismissive “conspiracy theory” accusation that you will undoubtedly hear. It’s defined as “an event or situation as the result of a secret plan by usually powerful people or groups.” But what it means today is insane, baseless, paranoid and to be rejected at all costs. To be dismissed. Collective censorship. The old heave-ho en masse. It shunts and shuts and closes thought. It’s a dangerous pejorative that should be isolated and targeted and called out for what it truly is: It’s distracting and kills critical thinking and discovery.

“It is an article of faith that there are no conspiracies in American life.” [Source]

“I’m not a conspiracy theorist—I’m a conspiracy analyst.” [Source]

” Apparently, conspiracy stuff is now shorthand for unspeakable truth.” [Source]

What was that again? Perhaps a video tutorial might be in order, something that’s better able to explicate and limn the specifics. Good, I’ve got just what the doctor ordered.

LIONEL PODCAST: My Interview With A Bona Fide Genius

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Cary Harrison is a genius. Not an exaggeration. Not hyperbole or a well-intended, polite compliment. No unwarranted magnification, puffery or grandiosity here. But there’s more. And he’s more.

He’s a raconteur, radio performer, TV host and American information treasure.

As Henry van Dyke said, “Genius is talent set on fire by courage.” And if you’re in this here alternative news and interpretation biz, you’d better have beaucoup courage and a pair of elephantine, gargantuan,  and Brobdingnagian bawls. All of which, he’s ably and sufficiently possessed.

Enjoy this. Two great friends looking and laughing at the world through the peculiar prism of unmitigated temerity and the aforementioned bawls.

LIONEL PODCAST: There Are Flying Saucers

“There is no doubt in my mind, after 37 years of study and investigation that the evidence is overwhelming that planet Earth is being visited by intelligently controlled vehicles whose origin is extraterrestrial. There are no acceptable arguments against flying saucer reality, only people who either haven’t studied the relevant data or have a strong will not to believe that Earth is at the bottom of the heap sociologically and technologically in our local galactic neighborhood.” — Stanton Friedman, The Case for the Extraterrestrial Origin of Flying Saucers, 1995

It is not subject to debate. The data are everywhere.

“The evidence is overwhelming that the Earth is being visited by intelligently controlled vehicles from off the Earth.”

“There are no good arguments to be made against the conclusion that some UFOs are intelligently controlled vehicles from off the Earth.  Some skeptics may be well intentioned, but they are almost always ignorant of the significant scientific data indicating UFO reality.  They read the newspapers but not the solid information.  They are unaware of the myriad landing-trace cases, the multitude of “critter” reports and Earthling abductions, the numerous large-scale scientific collections of data, the many published scientific studies indicating that trips to nearby stars in our galactic neighborhood are already feasible without violating the laws of physics or invoking science fiction techniques.”

Stanton Friedman, nuclear physicist, premier Ufologist and leading UFO researcher, author of several books and numerous articles on UFOs.

I can think of nothing more fascinating and truly awesome! than the notion of life forms vastly superior to those (us) who think they’re vastly superior, swimming about the multiverse, multidimensionally and anti-gravitically, at inconceivable speeds, surrounded and pillowed by their self-contained personal gravity and inertia fields, destroying our hard-wired notions of space travel absolutes. And it’s been going on since man first slogged from the bog.

Think if it this way. Mother Earth is 4.5B years old. Or 4500M years old. If another planet were 4501M years, they’d have a Mil on us. From 1903 to 1969 we went from Kitty Hawk and the Brothers Wright to Neil Armstrong and his small step for man. In 66 years! Think what a planet can do with 1000 millennia under its belt.

LIONEL PODCAST: America Needs to Grow a Huge Set of C.O. Jones

We’ve become impuissant. Castrated. Geldings the lot of us. Orchiectomied invertebrates. No hits, no runs, no errors. Play it safe. Watch what you say. Get along, move along. Curse the maverick. Chide the revolutionary. Don’t make waves. Pray, be obsequious and obeisant. Be scared and timorous. And vote. Pretend it matters. Know your shibboleths and pat, trite phrases. Disregard history, make it up as you go. Learn the two sides of the coin. The left-right paradigm. The illusion of choice. The perception of option. Your lone voice matters, right? Watch what you say. Offend no one. Blessed be the troublemakers. Here’s to you, Ms. Rivers. You inspire pissed off in so many colors. Join the ranks of Messrs. Bruce, Carlin, Gregory and Hicks. Just don’t bother us. Leave us to our Facebook where we chronicle our oblivion and tag the unsuspecting hostages. Leave us alone on Labor Day to barbecue our charred carcinogenic animal carcasses and flesh slabs. Let us bake melanomas into our flesh. Just leave us alone. We’re busy being busy. “Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.” (Albert “Big Al” Einstein)

LIONEL PODCAST: We’re Living In The Twilight Zone

Barney Fife: “All I’m saying is that there are some things beyond the ken of mortal man that shouldn’t be tampered with. We don’t know everything, Andy. There’s plenty goin’ on right now in the Twilight Zone that we don’t know anything about and I think we oughta stay clear.” “The Andy Griffith Show: The Haunted House (#4.2)” (1963)

Adios, Sheriff Andy. I’ll take Barney over this growing crop of lunatics any day of the week. And I’m tired of hearing the cop apologists weigh in with their drivel about how we citizens don’t understand the necessity of gunning gown the innocent every now and then. I’m a lawyer yet I understand the frustrations people have with the profession. I’m not an apologist. I dig their perspective. I understand the horrors you’ve experienced in the system. I don’t bore you with stories of how you’re unable to understand the big picture or that your take on jurisprudence is de minimis because you’re a civilian. Cops had better wake up, especially their superiors. Because there are more of us than you. You work for us. You’re a public servant. A peace officer. When we insult you or fail to evince the proper scared fealty to you, you have to do what we do. Live with it or join the military which is really what you seem to want to be. A soldier versus a law enforcement professional.

LIONEL PODCAST: Help Me Save Our Country

“My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.” Mitch Hedberg

My simple formula. First and foremost you must vow never to listen, read and/or view anything American as to news for a month. No American mainstream Ted Baxter media. Period.

Next, use the greatest invention of all time the Internet and scour the world for foreign and alternative media, blogs, opinion, anything. And don’t ask where to start. Just start.

Next, reset your values as to what’s best for you and the country. Better yet, take conventional wisdom. And destroy it. Eschew any ideology with a name.

And finally: Think for yourself yourself. Critically think. And that should get you started.