Tag Archives: Gore Vidal

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realism about the likelihood of elite political misconduct—articulated in the Declaration of Independence—has been replaced by today’s blanket condemnation of conspiracy beliefs as ludicrous by definition.”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.

An Open Letter to My Facebook Friends

Entitleist

I penned the following to the sincere yet deluded Facebook friends and I thought it’s an idea that should be shared with you, the less-deluded.

If you’re reading this you’re most probably of the belief that there’s a right and a wrong. A good and an evil. It’s Manichaean, apodictic. You’re certain. And you use the word crazy to dismiss those you disagree with. You cannot dissect pearls of truth from anyone you’ve thrown into the do not listen to pile. You’re pigheaded, closed-minded, historically ignorant and you’re only conversant with pop culture politics. You’ve no ideology or core belief. You’re an empty vessel who sports philosophy like the latest cosmetic suturing or blast of emotion-destroying toxin.

If you’re the Fox News type you want to bomb Iraq or Syria or anyplace you’re told houses ISIS, a group you’ve recently learned of but were unaware were beheading Christians. But ignorance is your middle name. You’re unaware that the US and the West and NATO trained them. But when it comes to saber rattling and your my dick’s bigger than yours blather you’re all in. Because you’re tough and right and Murican! You have a flag fetish, support troops in word only. You’re a walking bumper sticker. You’re an echo chamber who thinks the left wing hates freedom or whatever your latest memorized article of faith is.

If you’re the MSNBC type you’re an Obama acolyte. You possess a diluted support of a vacuous progressive agenda that no one has yet to decipher. You hate the right wing and that’s the extent of your ideology. You’ll decry Bush’s bombing a country but will swoon when your beloved Barry takes out a wedding party in Pakistan with a drone. You think the right are uneducated, uncultured Neanderthals.

In conclusion, you’re probably a great friend but l laugh at you behind your back because your politically nescient and organically clueless. Stick to sports or whatever you’re moderately familiar with because when it comes to how the world and country are run, you’re beyond pathetic.

But I love you. Discuss.

Did someone say left-right paradigm?

LIONEL PODCAST: The Ted Baxter Media Simply Can’t Understand #Ferguson

Expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed. It is organically and fundamentally impossible for Americans and the Ted Baxter sockpuppet echo chamber bumper sticker play book mainstream media to digest and distill and parse and analyze the complexity of issues that are Ferguson and ISIS. Critical thinking abilities and skills went the way of ten antimacassar. It’s been reduced to a Manichaean left-right apodictic axiomatic world. And it ain’t so.

The mainstream media have abandoned anything resembling and you must turn to alternative sources who embrace the complexity of the world and moreover question without fear the usual stories as to the relevant players involved.

Herein is my latest indictment against the aforementioned as well as a break down of the salient issues that you must attend to and orient towards. You thrive on complexity. It’s who we are.

LIONEL PODCAST: We’re a Police State and Nobody Gives a Shite!

The hyper-militarization of police brought to you by the Pentagon and the systematic habituation of a sheeple public with no earthly knowledge of historical antecedents.

Lucy, what happened? Simple, Ricky. 1033, that’s what. And as is usually the case the public has nary a clue of what’s happening. The ACLU reported that 80% of SWAT raids are in conducting search warrants. And with public support for the mysterious and fictive War on Drugs at an all time low the police are using militarized techniques in connection with a war that’s been long lost.

And the NDAA is to blame. Again.

Faced with a bloated military and what it perceived as a worsening drug crisis, the 101st Congress in 1990 enacted the National Defense Authorization Act. Section 1208 of the NDAA allowed the Secretary of Defense to “transfer to Federal and State agencies personal property of the Department of Defense, including small arms and ammunition, that the Secretary determines is— (A) suitable for use by such agencies in counter-drug activities; and (B) excess to the needs of the Department of Defense.” It was called the 1208 Program. In 1996, Congress replaced Section 1208 with Section 1033.

The ACLU provides a most thorough review of the horrors. War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Police – Report

And let’s not forget the oft-forgot, little known posse comitatus hat I commend to you for review. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, still in effect, was passed to prevent U.S. military personnel from acting as law enforcement agents on U.S. soil. Today, Posse Comitatus has taken on a different meaning from the one that it had in 1878 but the basic and precepts remain intact. No longer associated with Reconstruction, “it is a useful way to prevent the U.S. armed forces from directing their efforts against U.S. dissident groups. Public sentiment in favor of the Posse Comitatus Act is so strong that a 2006 law permitting an exception to the Act in cases of public disasters (in response to Hurricane Katrina) was repealed a year later.” [Source]

The text of the Posse Comitatus Act, which is still in effect (as 18 U.S.C. Section 1385), reads:

Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

This isn’t arcane history. This is real and happening before our very eyes.