Excellent post at DemocraticUnderground.com on the "Conspiracy Theorist" label

Like recent posts at the Daily Kos, there are glimmers of hope at websites like DemocraticUnderground.com (DU). DU used to allow 9/11 posts in the General Discussion area of the website, but eventually moved all 9/11 discussion to the "September 11" forum, which tends to get a variety of other topics thrown in the mix as well. Nonetheless, great posts by user "Time for change" do roam freely at DU, and get a lot of postive feedback and "greatest" votes. Check out TFC's journal at DU here. I also highly recommend the DU journal of user "Octafish", who blogs where angels fear to tread.

(excerpts from TFC's post: The Need to Question Conventional Wisdom and “Official” Version of Events - Some Personal Experience below the fold.)

"History is full of examples of powerful people conspiring to increase their wealth and power at the expense of the masses. When they do that, they almost invariably try to cover up their misdeeds by establishing “official” stories to hide the truth. And our country has by no means been immune to this phenomenon, as I have discussed in several previous posts.

Because DUers are in general much more informed and open minded about these things than most Americans, they are usually much more inclined than most Americans to be skeptical of “official” stories propagated by their government, corporate news media, or other sources of elite opinion.

Given both the motive and capacity of the powerful to increase their own power at the expense of everyone else, our country and the world need people who have the capability of being skeptical of “official” government accounts. Indeed, that is the main reason why our Founding Fathers created the First Amendment to our Constitution. We need a free and independent press who refuse to take government (or any powerful institution or corporation) at its word, but rather that will routinely take what the powerful say with a grain of salt and investigate their claims in an attempt to find the truth.

William Rivers Pitt made a similar point in his book, “The Greatest Sedition Is Silence”. In that book he discusses a grave conspiracy theory (not to be discussed in this post) that involves the U.S. government. He notes that people who voice ideas like that tend to be excoriated as “unpatriotic”. But in reality it is those who are willing to question our government when it is wrong who care most about our country and constitute some of the most valuable resources that our nation has.

These are some of the reasons why it is very frustrating to me when those of us who challenge the accepted, “official” view of events are excoriated as “conspiracy theorists” in the most pejorative sense of the word. Those who excoriate us in this way define “conspiracy theorist” as those who are exceptionally inclined to believe alternative accounts of the “official story”, in the absence of any credible evidence to support those beliefs, because they are paranoid, gullible, or stupid.

In support of the pejorative definition of a “conspiracy theorist”, some have said that our exceptional beliefs or claims demand exceptional proof. But my contention is that many of our “exceptional” beliefs or claims for which we are labeled “conspiracy theorists” are in reality not so exceptional. In the lead up to the Iraq War, the claim that the Bush administration lied to the American people to justify that war was deemed an exceptional claim (and unpatriotic or treasonous). And many people today still feel that a belief that our government was complicit in President Kennedy’s assassination is an exceptional belief. But why should such beliefs be considered exceptional – and therefore demanding of substantially more proof than the “official” story? Given a good familiarity with history, it seems to me that a benign motive for the invasion of a sovereign country, or a lone assassin of a popular leader should be considered the more exceptional beliefs...


Vincent Bugliosi as an archetypical example of anti-“conspiracy theorist” bias

I have a great deal of respect for Vincent Bugliosi because of his stands on both the Bush v. Gore Supreme Court decision, which made George W. Bush president in 2000, and on Bush’s lies that got us into the Iraq War. Bugliosi is more outspoken on those issues than any other prominent writer, going so far a to advise that the Supreme Court justices responsible for the Bush v. Gore decision be tried for treason and that Bush himself be tried for murder for leading us into a fraudulently based and completely unnecessary war.

Bugliosi’s excellent book, “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder”, drips with contempt for Bush on almost every page, as he argues vehemently that George W. Bush should be prosecuted for murder, for purposely and with malice aforethought, lying our country into a needless war against a nation that posed no danger to us whatsoever.

Bugliosi’s disparaging of those who question the official 9/11 story

Yet, surprisingly, Bugliosi disparages those whose opinion of Bush is just a teeny bit worse than his own. Referring to George W. Bush’s statement that “Had I known that there was going to be an attack on America, I would have moved mountains to stop the attack”, Bugliosi writes:

But other than some nuts on the far left who were loony enough to actually believe that Bush was complicit in 9/11, shouldn’t this go without saying?

I find it so weird that he should toss out a gratuitous insult at us on the “loony left” in the midst of his accusations of mass murder against George Bush. On the one hand he accuses Bush of the murder of thousands of American soldiers in his effort to advance his fraudulently based war, and yet at the same time he says that it should “go without saying” that Bush “would have moved mountains” to stop an attack that served to justify his war. Why should that “go without saying”? Because the attack killed thousands of Americans? Bugliosi already accused Bush of maliciously murdering thousands of Americans. Yet, so certain is he that Bush wouldn’t purposely allow a few thousand additional Americans to die, that anyone who disagrees with him on that point is “loony”.

And then, Bugliosi goes on to rant about how “unbelievable” the official story of 9/11 is, while at the same time giving no indication that he doesn’t believe it. After using the word “unbelievable” several times to describe Bush’s lack of effort to prevent or respond to the 9/11 attacks, Bugliosi says:

It wouldn’t have been possible for Bush to have been more remiss, negligent, lazy, and irresponsible. Not possible… So these points I have mentioned reflect the policy of Bush and his administration to almost look the other way when it came to fighting terrorism…

Why can’t there be more powerful words in our lexicon to describe special, yes, unique situations like this other than this tired terribly overused adverb (unbelievable)?

But why complain that “unbelievable” isn’t a strong enough word to describe the official story if he actually believes it? And if unbelievable is too weak a word to describe the situation, then why show contempt to those of us who actually don’t believe it? Like Bugliosi, many of us on the “loony left” think that the official 9/11 story is “unbelievable”. But unlike him, many of us actually don’t believe it.

Bugliosi’s anti-“conspiracy theorist” bias regarding the JFK assassination

I have been attacked on DU for discussing the assassination of JFK without having read Bugliosi’s supposedly definitive debunking of the alternative versions to the official story. Here again we run up against the double standard that the official story adherents wish to impose on those who hold alternative views. I’ve read five and a half books on the JFK assassination and have formed a pretty solid conclusion (discussed in some other posts) that the bullet that killed him came from the area of the grassy knoll in front of him, rather than the Texas School Book Depository behind him, from where Oswald presumably shot him. Why should not having read Bugliosi’s book disqualify me from discussing the issue, when those same people, who vigorously support the Warren Commission version of the events, haven’t read David Lifton’s book, “Best Evidence”, and are unable to counter his arguments? And anyhow, Bugliosi has given plenty of evidence of bias against alternative versions of the event. For example, here is a quote of his from a recent interview on the subject:

The principle argument that the conspiracy theorists use is that such-and-such a group had a motive, ergo they must have killed the president. That’s a child-like non sequitur, because if you buy into that, then in our society if the president is doing something that some particular group doesn’t like – like Wall Street or the unions or the CIA – then they simply kill him.

That is such a gross over-simplification and so off-target as to be ridiculous. If there are any books on alternative versions to the official story that argue what Bugliosi says they do – let alone use that as their principle argument – I certainly haven’t seen them. If those are the only arguments for alternative versions that Bugliosi has seen, then he certainly has no business writing a book on the subject.

There are other statements in his interview that I find almost as bad, but I won’t go into them here. Suffice it to say that Bugliosi has done plenty enough to show his bias against those who hold views that deviate from the official line. In light of his outspoken views of the Bush v. Gore decision and George Bush’s Iraq War, the only sense I can make of his disparaging of so-called “conspiracy theorists” is that he feels he needs some cover in order to make himself appear somewhat mainstream..."


Brilliant post. If you are a member of DU, please vote him up.

History is replete with conspiracies.

G. Edward Griffin breaks this down really well in his Quigley Formula lecture.


the term "conspiuracy theory"

For a journalist to use the term "conspiracy theory" , they are essentially admitting to having no integrity. Anyone who puts someone down as a "conspiracy theorist" implies they don't believe it's possible for those in power to abuse their power. That's the primary reason for journalism: to protect the public from abuse of power.

The term conspiracy theory

«Conspiracy theory» means a theory about power abuse/corruption/falsehood/criminality that we refuse to consider at all, because we a priori consider it impossible, fantasy, crap. As soon as we take it seriously, it is not longer a «conspiracy theory», even if some kind of conspiracy is assumed.
Proof: The theory that a group rather than one person robbed a bank is never labeled conspiracy theory. Never. Why? Because conspiracy theory means something else. The officially accepted narrative about the Watergate is never labeled conspiracy theory. Never. Why? Because conspiracy theory means something incredible.
Conspiracy theory means a stupid theory about conspiracy, which is begging the question.
The message of the c-word is: Don't waste your time on this, because there is nothing to find.
Five years after 9/11 – until September 18th 2006 to be precise – I didn't check the official narrative, because I was – and I am – no conspiracy theorist.
I remember when I first learned by the German magazine Der Spiegel that there were conspiracy theorists who doubted the official narrative. Well, I always look where I expect to find something and I don't expect to learn something from crackpots. I would not waste my time on X-Files stuff like that. And I knew my Umberto Eco. By that time I did not know about any of the far out theories and urban legends so instrumental to discredit 911 truth, I knew nothing about «pods» and «no planes» and «Jews at WTC warned», but I immediately felt that Der Spiegel was addressing stuff like that, and I wasn't even interested in reading the debunking… So I skipped the article about the conspiracy theories.
The term conspiracy theory is a mixup:
The generic sense is the theory that a crime is committed by a group rather than one single person. In the JFK case that made sense. Lonely nut vs. conspiracy.
From cultural history however, we know another sense of the term, a paranoid world view in which outsiders are considered a danger to society: The grandiose conspiracy theories, like the Templars, the Rosicrucians, the Illuminati, the Elders of Zion, the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Center etc. were all theories about «subversive» groups conspiring against the establishment, not at all theories about power abuse and corruption by the establishment itself.
«Conspiracy theories» like the CIA killed JFK, the CIA is running drugs, the government arranged 9/11 however, are all about power abuse/corruption on top level of the society, not about subversive groups dangerous to the establishment.
Please notice this change: We all agree that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was a conspiracy theory. How then label our own theory that the protocols was a hoax document fabricated by the Czarist secret police in the early 1900s to divert grievances caused by an oppressive monarchy toward the scapegoat of Jews? Would the term fabrication theory do?
But now this: I am pretty sure that the Osama bin Laden confession video of Dec 2001 – «fatty bin Laden» – is a hoax document fabricated by the US secret services to justify endless wars and the security state. The confession video is then a conspiracy theory, i.e. the official one, the theory of an islamist conspiracy against our freedoms. But surprisingly, it is the doubt about its authenticy which is labeled conspiracy theory... So now the fabrication theory is labeled conspiracy theory. Of course the Czarist secret police also «conspired» to fabricate evidence, i.e. they conspired to produce a conspiracy theory... But that is never labeled a conspiracy theory.
So I suggest that we refuse to accept this term until any theory that a group rather than one person robbed a bank is labeled conspiracy theory. Which means never.
I am a fabrication theorist, a power abuse theorist, not a conspiracy theorist.


It is perhaps ironic, but the event that will transform the longterm popular semantics of "conspiracy theory," will most likely be the 9/11 tragedy itself.


perhaps you are right, but I don't understand what semantics that will be. As I see it, the term is void of meaning.
If a theory about a conspiracy is sound, why label it conspiracy theory? Nobody does.
If a theory about a conspriacy is silly, what will popular semantics do?
For the time being, I will not use it. Nafeez M. Ahmed refuses the term, as does Richard Gage and Niels Harrit (the only conspiracy theory we relate to is the official one). I follow their example.

I also....

would highly recommend DrDebug's DU journal.

Lending credence

It seems to me that the purpose of “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder”, is to lend credence to Bugliosi's other work, such as his magnum opus: "Reclaiming History" about the JFK assassination. Bugliosi worked harder to cover up the murder of JFK than the Warren Commission. How can you ever have the slightest of respect for such a man? Is he trying to claim such respect by attacking an easy target like Bush / Iraq?

The enemy of my enemy does not automatically become my friend, so it really doesn't matter what Bugliosi's opinion on Bush is. His life's work is the falsification of history and that is what he will be remembered for. His books are a waste of trees, his words a waste of breath, the man himself a waste of space.

My take on it, based on the article

Bugliosi is, at one level or another, a liar. He discounts 9/11 skeptics, but doesn't seem to have studied the matter in any depth. He has skimmed through some debunker literature and not bothered double-checking to the earnest science of Jones, Legge, Ryan, Hoffman, Grabbe, and others.

His quotes put his ignorance on center stage: not all 9/11 skeptics are "some nuts from the far left." There are significant numbers of centrists and conservatives in the crowd.

And what's with his projecting into our minds that we think Bush is the mastermind or primary agent of 9/11, such that its execution devolved from his competence? We do not know GWB's role. Do you got that, Mr. Bugliosi? I say that to you not so much in anger as exasperation. Please do not project into my mind something that isn't there. It is only human to do so, I know; but if you're going to put it into a book read by millions, could you please research a little better?

Also, maybe something's missing from the context, but "unbelievable" is an adjective in its common usage, not an adverb. That's nitpicking, but it seems Bugliosi should nitpick a little more.

On the matter of glimmers of hope, it is welcoming to see the DU article. Neurologists report that the brain changes as we learn new things, new attitudes, new outlooks; the neural structure can modify in certain ways. In that light, it's promising to discover more thoughts and writings about 9/11 to be flourishing at different blogs and such. May the brains keep progressing toward the truth.