The FBI says a member of our government carried out the anthrax attacks of 2001. Alone. Just one guy. If we learn that as few as ONE other person helped Bruce Ivins (a US government employee), this would be, by the legal definition, a “Government conspiracy”. The anthrax attacks would be conspiracy to commit murder and to create a public panic for financial gain.
Even if he acted alone, Ivins was a terrorist. He was a pro Israel religious US republican military citizen terrorist who attacked and killed Americans just after 9/11. Uncomfortable, isn’t it? I find it very difficult, even now. Even worse, Ivins, the supposed anthrax attacker, was on the team investigating the anthrax attacks. That means the anthrax attacks were, as the conspiracy theorists claimed, “an inside job.” Do you get that?
To my faith-based all-trusting republican friends, I say, are you paying attention? Your trust in authority was betrayed. Someone who was on the team supposedly protecting you, turned out to be the perpetrator, the killer. Why is that little computer in your head not melting down? How can you keep trusting the government?
Well, I still trust the government. Lets be reasonable: The 8 million people employed by the US Government (I am one of them, by the way) are not all conspiring to rob, poison, kill or enslave the other 297 million.
Many people are lazy but most are good, most people have good motives. That includes most people in the CIA, most people in the FBI, and most people in the Pentagon, the way I see it.
Individuals and small groups both inside and outside our government, motivated by fear, greed, laziness and illogical thinking, do occasionally manage to pull off some real conspiracies. Evil doings of secret groups sometimes stay hidden for many years, even many decades. We know this because people are caught, tried, and thrown in jail for conspiracy. We know this, because years later, the facts come to light. Here are ten real proven US government conspiracies:
The conspiracy of 1865 to assassinate U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and members of his cabinet.
Tuskegee Syphilis Study ongoing from 1932 to 1972 knowingly killed hundreds of low-income African American men. U.S. Public Health Service wanted to experiment with the effects of untreated syphilis. Low-income African American men were lured into study with promise of free health care. Instead they were intentionally lied to and given placebo treatments. Even when they could have easily been saved by penicillin they were left to die for the benefit of the syphilis study program. Tuskegee Syphilis Study Source
Human Radiation Experiments.1944 to 1974. In 1995 the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments reported that over a 30-year period, the government sponsored, through several different agencies, thousands of human radiation experiments and several hundred intentional releases of radiation. To the question of whether similar abuses could occur again, particularly in the case of intentional releases, the committee gives “a qualified yes.” It notes that some agencies can still invoke national security considerations to waive consent requirements, that agencies are often responsible for their own oversight, and that environmental impact statements relating to classified projects are not available for public scrutiny.
The 1945 Operation Paperclip, the extraction of top Nazi scientists to the US. … the Nazi Intelligence leader Reinhard Gehlen met with the CIA director Allen Dulles. Dulles and Gehlen hit it off immediatly. Gehlen was a master spy for the Nazis and had infiltrated Russia with his vast Nazi Intelligence network. Dulles promised Gehlen that his Intelligence unit was safe in the CIA. As promised, Allen Dulles delivered the Nazi Intelligence unit to the CIA, which later opened many umbrella projects stemming from Nazi mad research. (MK-ULTRA / ARTICHOKE, OPERATION MIDNIGHT CLIMAX) Military Intelligence “cleansed” the files of Nazi references. By 1955, more than 760 German scientists had been granted citizenship in the U.S. and given prominent positions in the American scientific community. Many had been longtime members of the Nazi party and the Gestapo, had conducted experiments on humans at concentration camps, had used slave labor, and had committed other war crimes. –ca
MKULTRA is a CIA experiment where were given to Americans without their knowledge or consent. This involved giving LSD, marijuana, barbiturates, heroine, mescaline, alcohol and more to unsuspecting people. … started in 1950 to mind control and behavior modification. In 1973 Richard Helms head of the CIA deliberately destroyed all the records. MKULTRA Source
Operation Mockingbird was a CIA created to control the domestic and foreign media [beginning in the 1950s.] They bribed well-known writers and journalists to write … slanted propaganda. The goal was primarily to bribe writers to write about the dangers of communism and suppress any left wing political writing. In 1976 George H.W. Bush the director of the CIA announced that this activity will stop but they would welcome the voluntary unpaid cooperation of writers. Operation Mockingbird Source
Project SHAD was created by the United States Department of Defense in 1962. They intentionally exposed our military personnel with biological and chemical agents on 46 different occasions. This was done without the military personnel knowledge or consent. They wanted to experiment on how soldiers can be exposed to dangerous chemicals and continue to fight. This testing was conducted from 1962-1973. The Department of Defense refused to admit SHAD existed until 1998. Project SHAD Source
Operation Northwoods, or Northwoods, was a false flag conspiracy plan, proposed within the United States government in 1962. The plan called for CIA or other operatives to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Castro-led Cuba. One plan was to “develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington”. This operation is especially notable in that it included plans for hijackings and bombings followed by the use of phony evidence that would blame the terrorist acts on foreign governments. Operation Northwoods was drafted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and signed by then-Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer, and sent to the Secretary of Defense.
The Gulf of Tonkin Incident is the name given to two separate incidents involving naval forces of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. On August 4, 1964, the US government lied about war ships engaging North Vietnamese vessels in combat. In 2005, an official NSA declassified report stated. “[I]t is not simply that there is a different story as to what happened; it is that no attack happened that night.” The Gulf of Tonkin Incident prompted the first large-scale involvement of U.S. armed forces in Southeast Asia.
The Watergate scandals 1972 to 1974 during the presidency of Richard Nixon resulted in the indictment of several of Nixon’s closest advisors and ultimately his resignation on August 9, 1974. The scandal revealed the existence of a White House dirty tricks squad, which was behind an orchestrated campaign of political sabotage, an enemies list, a “plumbers” unit to plug political leaks and a secret campaign slush fund associated with CRP, all with high-level administration involvement. It brought into the open the involvement of Attorney General John N. Mitchell in the dirty tricks, funds and cover-up, as well as key White House advisers, all of whom went to prison for these crimes, for sentences of one to four years.
All of these proven conspiracies by people in positions of power in the US government over the span of over 100 years aren’t simply cases of evil. Rather, one group, believing it is serving the greater good, harms or attempts to harm another group and tries to hide it.
One huge blind spot in human logic is that we are terrible with probabilities. Most people wrongly believe that when an event is dramatic it is also frequent. We exaggerate the frequency of dramatic events. Know this, and you can relax a bit. There is not a government conspiracy around every corner.
Look at the evidence, skeptically, case by case. The proven Watergate wire tap conspiracy does not mean that the government is listening right now to everything you say and type, or watching you with satellites that see though buildings. It does not mean that the Apollo Moon landings were faked, that 9/11 was an inside job, that Hoover plotted to get the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor, that AIDS is a US military weapon aimed at population reduction, that FEMA has US concentration camps and secret underground bases, that Fluoride in our water lowers IQ and increases suggestibility, that alien stories are used to cover up Nazi UFO technology, and so on.
On the flip side, my own investigations say that there often is an element of truth, some event or fact (possibly misinterpreted) that sparks the conspiracy theory in the first place. The same could be said of many of myths and stories. Even in this information age, most people don’t check facts… but the tools for you to do so have never been better.
Yes, I still trust the government as a whole, but it is obvious from our history that we need checks and balances. Trust but verify.
[Update 6/18/2014: The above was written before Snowden. It turns out “the government” (NSA, which shares with other agencies) was indeed recording a lot of your activities on the Internet: Email, Web browsing, chats, video conversations, and more. They still have those records on you, as far as we know. Evidence the government is using your home WiFi as radar to watch you move around in your house through the walls has not been released, but this is theoretically possible.]