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View Diary: Morning Feature: Conspiracy Theory 103 - Conspiracies of Convenience (Plus Kossascopes) (178 comments)

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  •  It's very difficult to prove specific intent. (0+ / 0-)

    And that's why most crimes are not specific intent crimes.  If you shoot someone in the commission of a bank robbery and the victim does, the prosecutor does not need to prove that you planned to shoot anyone in the process or the robbery, or that you planned to kill the victim when you fired.  It's still "felony murder," a homicide committed in the furtherance of another felony.

    Specific intent crimes - especially where the intent element is "willful and premeditated" - are the most difficult to prove.  Very often the state will take a plea bargain to a lesser offense, which is to say an offense with a lesser intent element, to avoid the burden of proving that the defendant's actions were "willful and premeditated."

    The charge you described, of a concerted strategy to foster terrorism in order to precipitate an attack on the U.S. and use that attack as a pretext to invade a Persian Gulf nation, carries a "willful and premeditated" specific intent, and you bear the burden of proof.  That cannot be proven by a mere sequence of events.

    •  Once again you seem to require (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NCrissieB

      absolute proof as a precondition to investigation which is rediculous. We average worker bee's are expected somehow to dig up evidence that is protected behind official secrecy acts the exposure of which is a federal crime in and of itself not to mention gaining access to such information would probably require criminal action in the first place.

      Further I'm not a prosecutor trying to gain a conviction in a court of law. I'm a citizen trying to figure out wtf is going on.

      Then again if prosecutors had to reach the burden of proof you are requiring no investigations would even be made into criminal action.

      Circumstantial evidence while not a specific proof of a crime is most certianly a sufficient level of "proof" to warrant further investigation.

      Conspiracies of the level we're talking about here would require far reaching powers to invetigate access to classified materials, supena power the ability to cease records and detain subjects for questioning you know the kind of thins the police and prosecutors use when prosecuting us peons for crimes.

      All we have access to as normal everyday lay people is the secondary evidence. but you know what that counts too. No one has ever seen an atom but that doesn't mean we don't know they are there.

      We as human beings can't see x-rays or any other non-visable spectrum of light yet we can see it's secondary effects and make obsservations and predictions of its behavior based on that secondary evidence.

      I'll say this I don't know that certain factions in our government engineered the situations and circumstances that made the 9/11 attacks possible. But I do know that such a thing is not outside the realm or posibility.

      Those who hold power in this country have a long bloody record of being willing to do just about anything to maintain their power.

      Deathsquads in South America the school of the America's we're fomented coup d'eta's and insurgents in many countries including Iran, Venusuala, Haiti, Nicaruagua, Afganistan, and Iraq just to name a small sampling from the last 50 years.

      We know that the MIC has engaged in False Flag operations in the past, look up Operation Gladio. And plans for others that never came to fruition have been exposed as well look up Operation Northwood.

      We know that these same organizations have engaged in campaigns against American citizens go read up on cointelpro see how the Panthers were dealt with by the FBI. There is a diary today about prosecutors in Michigan charging protestors as terrorists.

      And yes it's true that circumstantial evidence is not sufficient to make a claim of conspiracy with certainty but it is sufficient to bear further consideration.

      The fact is that in both the cases we're talking about 9/11 and the financial meltdown coincidence has been stretched past the point of credulity.

      Now I agree that it is unlikely that the specific events that transpired were planed out. There was no meeting in a smoke filled room somewhere where Dick Cheney said "We will engineer a terrorist attack on Sept 11 2001 to give us a justification to carry out our evil plans muhahahhaha."

      No most likely it was more along the lines of a hypethetical like the one in the PNAC paper. Maybe Chenney and Rumsfield were sitting around smoking cigars one day and one of them said. "You know the American people just don't take geopolitics seriously enough pictures of embassy's being attacked in Yemen just doesn't hit close enough to home." the other replied "yeah imagine how much better they'd understand it if it happened in an American city."

      Then over the next couple weeks or perhaps years later Rumsfield is looking over deployments and says "why are we wasting a Submarine watching Bin Laden so what if he attacks it might wake those fucking liberals up." when asked about scheduling a meeting of his Terrorism Task force Cheney tells his aid to piss off he's gotta meeting with Ken Lay to get too. Condi comes in and says "hey the outgoing secretary was really concerned about this Al Qeda threat" Cheney and Rumsfield are like "screw that Clinton shit he was an idiot our contributors want to secure funding for their SDI projects we need to bring up North Korea's Nuke program".

      That is all that was required. Full plausible deniability nothing documented anywhere no smoking gun to be found not even a true conspiracy. Was it incompetence or intent? Does it matter?

      I do think that one error that conspiracy theorists make is over indulgence in fantasy they get too caught up in the details and as such they end up biting off intentional disinformation which aids in efforts to discredit them.

      Look at the "truth" movement. They get caught up in all sorts of nonsense about controlled demolision and remote control aircraft or missiles and other minutia which can be discredited easily rather than sticking to what is certian.

      I know from an engineering perspective that the towers shouldn't have collapsed but a lot of that engineering is pure theory after all its not like many tests have been performed on gigantic skyscrapers having fully fuel laden aircraft crashed into them.

      I suspect that if a real investigation had been done that it would have been found that substandard materials were used in the construction of the towers. Which seems a far more plausible explanation for the obvious cover-up and don't fool yourself there was a cover-up, than to hide a controled demolision.

      As I said I suspect I don't know I can't prove it. I'm not a structural engineer and I don't have access to the evidence since it was removed as fast and as slopily as they could.

      But I have to wonder. Why was the evidence removed so rapidly? Why weren't structural engineers brought into check for that specific posibility?

      Maybe it was all coincidence and incompetence but at what point does that stretch beyond the level of credulity and bring one about to the fundamental question "are they hiding something?"

      The Bush administration is the most secretive in the history of this nation re-clasifying formerly unclassified documents, preventing disclosure of information that is mandated by law to be disclosed (Presidential records act)

      At some point when people go through such extreme efforts to hide something you have to ask what the hell are they hiding?

      The standard that you and some others in this discussion seem to want to apply is that I have to show you what they are hiding before we can even ask what it is.

      Once again I reiterate the point that you investigate to get the evidence you don't get the evidence in order to investigate.

      •  Don't file charges before investgating. (0+ / 0-)

        Neither prosecutors nor police file charges and then investigate.  They investigate and then file charges.

        Naomi Klein spent three years doing the research for The Shock Doctrine before she came out with the book detailing her charges and the evidence for those charges.  But she's the exception rather than the rule for journalistic or citizen investigation, as most seem to prefer publishing their charges and then demanding someone else do the investigating.

        •  Give me a budget and supena powers (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NCrissieB

          and I'll investigate.

          Then again we have a congress with these powers who's supposed to do exactly that so damned right I demand they do their job.

          Listen we can argue about 9/11 until the sun goes Nova but it won't do one bit of good unless someone with the authority to actually compel testimony and supena records looks into the matter.

          It's that failure that leads to people engaging in "Conspiracy Theory"

          Look we know that the Bush administration lied and conspired to get us into a way in Iraq. That's an open conspiracy that pretty everyone see's.

          Yet there have been no official investigations into the matter. No hearings no impreachment no nothing and even though we've handed the Democrats 2 consecutive massive election wins and have given the control of 2 of the 3 branches of government we're still not getting any action on that.

          And we wonder why people have no faith in the official investigations?

          Iran-Contra has been mentioned multiple times in this discussion as an example of a conspiracy that was exposed. But the only person who actually spent any time in jail related to that conspiracy was a guy who stole a street sign from a street named after John Poindexter.

          That's our example of a failed comspiracy one where none of the actors spent any time in jail or paid any price for their misdeads while accomplishing their aims. If that's a failed conspiracy the successful ones are even more frightening in potential. If I failed like that in my job I'd a be the CEO of the company.

          I've been attacked on this thread because I don't trust the official investigations. Seriously considering the outcome of the Iran-Contra investigation how can anyone have any faith in any official investigation of conspiracy?

          Even the co-chairs of the 9/11 commission didn't buy that bullshit. They were so frustrated with the limmitations and bullshit they wrote a book saying that the commission was "set up to fail".

          A ringing endorsement like that from the authors of the report really increases it's credibility with me I'll tell you what.

          And look at Naomi's book it's already being attacked as a conspiracy theory you yourself are accusing her of over reaching and engaging in falacious arguments.

          I'll tell you right here right now why people engage in Conspiracy Theory. Because they never see the people in power being held responsible for their misdeads. Period it just doesn't happen. Even Ken Lay ended up getting away with his crimes by virtue of getting dead.
          Steven's is getting off because the prosecutors harpooned their own case.

          Pelosi took Impeachment "off the table" the Republican's and the Supreme court got away with stealing an election in 2000.

          3000+ dead on 9/11 and not one person took got fired after the biggest single security failure in the history of the nation.

          The investment banks sink the economy and the executives get bailouts and bonus's while the workers get pink slips and forclosure notices.

          That's why you get conspiracy theories because shit couldn't get this fucked up on accident. Just the law of averages says that at some point we should catch a break.

          But according to some no one is ever responsible well except for the poor schmuck who took the bankers word that he could afford that 0 interest loan on the quarter of a million dollar house with his 30k a year job.

          •  The "law of averages" doesn't work that way. (0+ / 0-)

            As to this:

            That's why you get conspiracy theories because shit couldn't get this fucked up on accident. Just the law of averages says that at some point we should catch a break.

            The "law of averages" doesn't work that way, because the average person doesn't have anything close to an even chance against conspirators of convenience.  If they can benefit by 98% of the events that can happen, while you only benefit by some smaller range of events, in fact the "law of averages" suggests it should be exceedingly rare that you catch up to them.

            Moreover, the "law of averages" - more properly the Strong Law of Large Numbers - only works for large numbers.  History is a single run of a stochastic process, where events never do exactly repeat.  As Mark Twain said, "History doesn't repeat, but it does rhyme," and we often mistake the "rhymes" for exact repetitions and expect the "law of averages" to play out where it simply doesn't apply.

            But as to the meat of your comment, I understand your frustration.  I've tried to make clear that not all conspiracy theories are false and that even false ones flourish for the reasons you mentioned: poor investigations, stonewalled by people who want to hide their own mistakes (at least), in a culture of secrecy and disinformation that combine to make it extremely difficult to sift fact from fiction.

            There are real government conspiracies: military research is a widely known example.  We all know there's a lot of classified military research.  We also know the government uses disinformation to mask tests they can't perform in complete secrecy.  But when they use disinformation so freely, the information base becomes corrupted to a point that almost any theory can gain traction, and often cite an official source, and still be wrong.

            But we can't take that as a license to make claims for which there is no evidence.  With conspiracies of convenience - which are real conspiracies - I'm offering a way to moderate our claims, so we don't have to claim intentional causation where we don't have enough evidence to prove it.  You can prove a conspiracy of convenience by examining the system that enables a given group to benefit by whatever events may happen, and then presenting evidence of cases where the conspirators use in secrecy and/or disinformation to conceal how they're working to benefit by those events.

            Because you don't claim they caused those events, you don't need to prove causation ... only their cynical opportunism.

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