If you know me you know that I have a love/hate relationship with conspiracy theories. On the one hand, they’re really entertaining! They make for great “X-Files” plotlines, and extra bonus points if they can work in The Illuminati! (And keep a straight face.) fnord
But on the other hand, they’re almost always complete bunk. Not to say there haven’t been grand conspiracies in the past: Military radiation testing on civilians, CIA selling crack, Watergate. But here’s the thing about conspiracies: they never stay secret. I think it’s supposed to be an old Sicilian saying, something like: “Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead.”
Someone talks. Someone always talks. Documents are kept. Conspiracies become known, the bigger they are the more certain they’ll be exposed. And, unlike most fringe and popular but unfounded conspiracies, it won’t be some outside group of amateur conspiracy hunters who have all the answers but are frustratingly ignored by so-called scientists and experts, who expose the cover-ups. And the more impossible and absurd the scope of the conspiracy, the more likely the conspiracy is BS. Like 9/11, “Loose Change” khrap. For 9/11 to have been a government planned event, it would have required the cooperation of literally thousands of people.
Occam’s Razor here: What’s more probable? That thousands of military, police, firefighters, and civilians were involved in setting up and carrying out an event so huge and devastating that it would have required unimaginable about of planning, organization, timing, cooperation, and yet no one involved has come forward to say they were a part of it and become the most famous person in the world for exposing the greatest and worst conspiracy ever in the history of human civilization…. or, that several fundamental religious zealots took advantage of holes in air transportation security to fly some planes into buildings?
Like I said, conspiracies are entertaining; reality is often banal in its horrific simplicity.
Anyway,to the point: Here’s a recent news item that goshdarnit, sounds a lot to me like it could be a valid conspiracy-murder:
A tipster close to the McCain campaign disclosed to VR in July that Mr. Connell’s life was in jeopardy and that Karl Rove had threatened him and his wife, Heather. VR’s attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, notified the United States Attorney General , Ohio law enforcement and the federal court about these threats and insisted that Mr. Connell be placed in protective custody. VR also told a close associate of Mr. Connell’s not to fly his plane because of another tip that the plane could be sabotaged. Mr. Connell, a very experienced pilot, has had to abandon at least two flights in the past two months because of suspicious problems with his plane. On December 18, 2008, Mr. Connell flew to a small airport outside of Washington DC to meet some people. It was on his return flight the next day that he crashed.
Now, here’s where critical thinking has to come in. For example, these tips…can they be independantly verified? More importantly, can they be proven to have come before the event? It’s simply amazing how much people just knew something, or state they predicted something, or had a clue to something…in hindsight after an event has happened. Cognitive bias is rife with this kind of post hoc misthinking.
And of course, there’s the reader’s own subjective bias. I, for example, would believe Rove, Cheney, many others in the Bush administration, would kill and eat babies if it meant massive quasi-fascist control of the free world. I don’t think much better of most politicians in general–the neo-cons just happen to be Hitlers in an ocean of SS. Am I more prone to confirmation bias and self-selecting evidence to fit my personal bias? Yep. Guilty as charged. We all are. It takes a lot of work to be fair and unbiased, and argueably, we never can be.
(Which, by the way, to go off on a tangent, the scientific method is vital to get at objective truths. Proper scientific methodology demands blind and double-blind testing to correct for bias, as well as repeated retesting and verification of results by other people. Science: it works, bitches.)
So, I’m going to watch this case of the killed Bush admin. I.T. guy and see what, if anything comes from it. But then, the co-called liberal media, the “4th Estate,” has been horrifically bad the last eight years at following up on and putting to task recent conspiracies, such as Valarie Plame and Scooter Libby/Cheney. And Congress has no interest in investigating Bush or Cheney for impeachable offenses nor is the media interested in investigating the possibility. Nor for the possible war crimes charges againast Rumsfield and Bush that were recently released. Nor for the countless open-for-all-to-see conspiracies of war profiteering (highly illegal by the way) committed by Cheney and Rumsfield and Bush with the help of Haliburton, KBR, BlackWater, and several other contractors in Iraq.
So, while it’s still true that conspiracies are exposed and are rarely huge and complicated, it doesn’t mean there’s always anyone paying attention.