cj#572> Conspiracy Analysis


Richard Moore

Dear cj,

        One of the terms that most sticks in my craw is "conspiracy
theory".  The term itself is a classic Big Lie, repeated so often that
people assume the hundreds of well-documented, first-person testimony,
actual conspiracies that have come to the public record, are somehow
"theories".  They aren't theories, they are facts.

        On the other hand, there are certainly some notions floating around
that seem highly implausible, have little if any evidence to back them up,
and can only be described as paranoid conspiracy theories.  These are a
different kettle of fish altogether.

        When someone brings a genuine conspiracy into public discussion,
the typical media treatment is to chuckle the phrase "conspiracy theorist"
-- the obvious implication being that the person probably also believes in
UFO abductions and that history is controlled by The Illuminati.  Thus, the
media avoids discussing the actual issue raised, while managing to
discredit the testimony at hand.

        The fact is that most high-level government, corporate, military,
and diplomatic planning is done in secret, in pursuit of un-disclosed
objectives, and then either carried out covertly, or else announced along
with a fabricated, PR-friendly explanation.

        This is simply how our system operates -- we'd be dumbfounded if
the National Security Council were to publish its minutes, or if General
Electric were to announce in advance that it planned to illegaly dump
dangerous wastes.  We expect such folks to act in secret, and to issue
well-crafted PR statements when called for wrongdoing.  If they did
otherwise, we'd doubt their competence and wonder why they were in their

        So we live in a system which makes most of its important decisions
on a conspiratorial basis, and yet discussions of conspiratorial actvity
are dismissed on a blanket basis by the media.  The result is that there is
little public discussion of the real issues behind the events of the day.
To black-out conspiracies, is to black-out news analysis itself.


        We learn, a decade or so later, that the CIA directly trained and
supervised death squads in Central America, and that Reagan was selling
arms to the Ayatollah at the same time he was leaving hostages to rot in
Lebanon because he "wouldn't deal with terrorists".  And yet most of us
don't make the obvious connection: if the government was fooling us
throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s, why should we think things are any
different now?

        Conspiracy theories deserve one helluva lot more respect.  Not that
each one should be believed -- far from it -- but it is only from carefully
considered conspiracy analysis that we have any hope of understanding
what's going on.  Obviously "they're" not going to tell us what they're up
to, they've made that perfectly clear through the years.  And they are
state-of-the-art experts at concealing evidence, often for decades.  Thus
we must think for ourselves.

        What I mean by "conspiracy analysis" is to review government (and
other) actions with the following kinds of questions in mind:  Why might
they be doing this?  What are the actual consequences likely to be?  Who
benefits?  Who suffers?  Why is it being done now?  Which aspects of the
action are being emphasized, and which are being conveniently ignored?
Which obvious alternatives have been passed over?

        From such a perspective, most government actions make a great deal
more sense than one would assume from the political rhetoric.  The Libya
situation is I think a classic current example.

        First of all, is the queston of "Why now?" -- if there's a
chemical-weapons plant about to go active in Libya, our intelligence folks
knew about it a long time ago -- there couldn't be many situations we
monitor with more scrutiny than we do the military activities of Khadafi.
They've obviously been sitting on this story and waiting for the "right
time" to make use of it.

        The story-line (that we "just learned" of the plant and that
therefore "emergency action" is called for) reeks of deception.  The "why
now" question cannot be ignored until the facts come out decades later --
it must be faced now if we as citizens want to understand the direction
U.S. foreign policy is taking.  One place the answer is likely to be found
is in the "solution" which is being offered for the crisis.

        We are told that only a nuclear strike can close the plant down.
Now this is simply absurd.  With our cruise missles, night-flying stealth
bombers, and smart bombs, we could obviously destroy all plant entrances,
power sources, water supplies, transport systems, supporting industry,
etc., with little risk to "our boys" -- even if the plant itself is as
invulnerable as they say it is.  Or we could blockade Libya.  There are
many alternatives to the solution offered.

        The fact is that the U.S. is openly considering use-in-anger of
nuclear weapons without even benefit of a war declaration -- an historic,
momentous, and dangerous shift in international relations -- and we are
being told shallow lies about why.  It is only appropriate that we citizens
try to figure out what's really going on.  Journalists should be asking
these questions in the mainstream press.  But no, expressing doubt about
official government explanations would be by definition a "conspiracy
theory", and would therefore be "irresponsible journalism".

        The only reasonable explanation I've been able to come up with is
that the U.S. wishes to establish a precedent -- to include nuclear weapons
in the list of acceptable weapons that can be routinely used, provided that
an "adequate" justification can be produced in each case (even if based on
undisclosed "evidence").

        And if the goal is to establish such a precedent, then the Libya
scenario is well-crafted indeed, like a carefully selected test-case in the
court system.

        A highly-demonized target (Khadafi) has been selected, so there
will be few objections from the standpoint of sympathy for the victim.  A
heinous crime (chemical warfare) is being allegedly prevented, so there
will be few claims that no action is necessary.  A "clean" weapon is to be
employed, to minimize objections from the environmental wing.


        We should permit ourselves this kind of speculation more often.  It
allows us to get on to the more interesting questions, such as:  Why is the
U.S. so determined to establish the Nukes`R`Nice precedent?  Which conflict
scenarios are being conemplated where nukes would actually be needed?
China?  Russia?  Is there any relationship between the urgency of the
precedent-initiative and the recent close encounters with the Chinese?

        I can't claim to have the definitive answer to these questions, but
I believe this is the level of analysis necessary before any serious
discussion of U.S. policy can occur.  I don't expect such discusion in the
mainstream media, but it is lacking in the alternative press as well.
Doubts will be expressed about the credibility of government statements,
but the fear of "conspiracy theorizing" is so pervasive, that even the
lefties don't go on to analyze what the real story might be.  We need to
wear our Sherlock Holmes hats more frequently.

        These thoughts were sparked by the article below, which summarizes
recent revelations about the CIA, the Contras, and the crack epidemic.
Most of this had been well-documented long before by the Christic Institute
and many others, but now it's in mainstream media as well.

        Let's be clear: nothing discussed in the article has anything to do
with theories of any kind.  These statemets are all about first-hand,
corroborated, testimony that describes in detail actual conpiracies that
WERE carried out at the highest levels of government, involving hundreds of
co-conspirators on the ground -- and it was all succesfully kept from
public view for many years.

        I don't know how many times I've heard the absurd statement made --
by friends, in the media, by people of all persuasions -- that conspiracies
just couldn't be going on:  "You couldn't keep that kind of stuff secret,
it would leak out".   "'They' just aren't smart enough, they don't even
know what they're doing half the time."

        Well folks, the question is now answered, the facts are now in, and
we can stop debating it -- conspiracies ARE possible, they DO occur at the
highest level of government, they CAN involve hundreds of people, they CAN
succeed in achieving their objectives, the information CAN be successfully
suppressed until long ofter the damage is done, and the perps generally go
scott free.  So let's quit talking about "whether" and get on with making
sense of reality, by asking the right questions.

        The article below is not about a single conspiracy, but many
different ones.  There's the conspiracy to fund terrorists (the Contras)
illegally, the conspiracy to import drugs, the conspiracy to infect L.A.
with a crack epidemic, the conspiracy to arm L.A. gangs with automatic
weapons, the conspiracy (in Congress) to ignore evidence during the Contra
hearings -- perhaps you'll notice several others.

        The interesting questions, the ones kept off-limits by the Big Lie
anti-conspiracy conspiracy, may be along these lines:  Why do they want
blacks & latinos to be hooked on crack?  Why do they want gangs to go
around with automatic weapons?  Why do they simultaneously rant against
drugs and crime?  Why do they impose draconian penalties (1-2-3 laws) on
the people buying the drugs they're supplying?  Why are "criminal genes"
suddenly serious science?  Why are they building so many prisons?  Why is
prison labor becoming a big industry all of a sudden?  Have they found a
"final solution" to the "race problem"?

        Answers invited.  Or better, questions.


Date:         Fri, 23 Aug 1996
Sender:       Activists Mailing List <•••@••.•••>
From:         Norman Solomon <•••@••.•••>

Subject:      New revelations about CIA and crack


By Norman Solomon  /  Creators Syndicate

     Sometimes, when a news story is too hot for national media
but too significant to die, it gets buried alive. That's what
happened a decade ago with investigative journalism that linked
the CIA and cocaine trafficking. Now, more information is
surfacing -- with a sizzle that could prove explosive.

     During much of the 1980s, the San Jose Mercury News has just
reported, a drug-dealing operation sold tons of cocaine to street
gangs in Los Angeles and "funneled millions in drug profits to a
Latin American guerrilla army run by the U.S. Central
Intelligence Agency." That army was the Nicaraguan rebel force
known as the Contras -- lauded as "freedom fighters" by President
Reagan and many influential media pundits.

     An extensive three-part series, published Aug. 18-20 by the
Mercury News, maps a CIA drug network that "opened the first
pipeline between Colombia's cocaine cartels and the black
neighborhoods of Los Angeles, a city now known as the `crack'
capital of the world." After a 13-month investigation, staff
reporter Gary Webb has reached some stunning conclusions:

     * Thanks to the CIA's efforts, "the cocaine that flooded in
helped spark a crack explosion in urban America -- and provided
the cash and connections needed for L.A.'s gangs to buy automatic

     * The CIA arranged an alliance between "a U.S.-backed army
attempting to overthrow a revolutionary socialist government" in
Nicaragua and drug-dealers wielding machine guns in ghetto areas
of Southern California.

     * The Contra financiers "met with CIA agents both before and
during the time they were selling the drugs in L.A." -- and
"delivered cut-rate cocaine to the gangs through a young South-
Central crack dealer."

     * Today, "thousands of young black men are serving long
prison sentences for selling cocaine -- a drug that was virtually
unobtainable in black neighborhoods before members of the CIA's
army brought it into South-Central in the 1980s at bargain-
basement prices."

     (The Mercury News stories and a treasure trove of supporting
documents are available on the World Wide Web -- at
www.sjmercury.com/drugs/ -- without charge.)

     Such reporting goes against the established media grain.
While tracing the origins of crack cocaine as an urban blight,
the Mercury News has implicated a U.S. intelligence agency run by
affluent whites. That's a far cry from the usual themes that
castigate poor blacks.

     The new revelations add weight to prior accounts of CIA
drug-running. Back in the mid-1980s, some journalists went out on
a limb to expose CIA involvement while it was underway. Despite
solid evidence, their stories withered on the media vine.

     In December 1985, an Associated Press dispatch by Brian
Barger and Robert Parry provided the first comprehensive look at
Contra drug trafficking. But AP watered down the article before
it went out, and national media follow-up was minimal.

     More than a year later, in April 1987, the now-defunct CBS
News program "West 57th" allowed TV viewers to learn about
American drug pilots -- who flew weapons to Contra base camps in
Honduras and returned to the United States with shipments of
cocaine and marijuana. The broadcast provoked little media

     On Capitol Hill that summer, Iran-Contra hearings avoided
CIA and Contra links to large-scale cocaine smuggling. Yet,
congressional panels had access to handwritten notes by Reagan
administration official Oliver North, whose notebooks contained
543 pages with references to the drug trade. In one notation
about Contra arms supplies, North wrote: "$14 million came from

     Even after such excerpts from North's notes were made
public, most news media bypassed the Contra-CIA-cocaine
connection. The detour around the story became more extreme in
1988: The Senate's subcommittee on terrorism and narcotics,
chaired by John Kerry, released an in-depth report that nailed
the CIA for cocaine trafficking with the Contras. But media
coverage was muddled and fleeting.

     Even now -- more than 10 years after the first reports of
Contra-CIA-cocaine ties -- the story remains largely buried. Lots
of drug money financed the Contras as they killed and maimed
thousands of innocent peasants in Nicaragua. Introduced to urban
America by the CIA, crack continues to take its toll in our
cities. And truth is still trying to reach the light of day.


The above article is this week's "Media Beat" column by Norman
Solomon. "Media Beat" appears in about 20 daily newspapers around
the country and on CompuServe.

If you like what you read, please contact the editorial page
editors at newspapers in your area and urge them to carry it!
Suggestions from readers has been very effective in getting
newspapers to carry "Media Beat."

For more information, send e-mail to <•••@••.•••>.


    Posted by Richard K. Moore  -  •••@••.•••  -  Wexford, Ireland
     Cyberlib:  www | ftp --> ftp://ftp.iol.ie/users/rkmoore/cyberlib