Saturday, December 5, 2015

Government Conspiracies Are Impossible

by Greg Passmore

No, there is no mistake in the title. Before all the tin foil hat nutters rush from the woodwork with citations about Operation Paper Clip, Northwoods, Mockingbird, the Gulf of Tonkin incident and of course JFK, 9/11 and the plethora of media events that crop up on what seems to be a daily basis, we should start with definitions and context.

Let us tackle them in order of difficulty.

By difficulty, I mean the ability to achieve clarity about the terminology, which may be in stark contrast to the terminology as it is currently understood in common parlance.

Wickipedia defines conspiracy thusly:

Conspiracy (civil), an agreement between persons to deceive, mislead, or defraud others of their legal rights or to gain an unfair advantage Conspiracy (criminal), an agreement between persons to break the law in the future, in some cases having committed an act to further that agreement Conspiracy (political), an agreement between persons with the goal of gaining political power or meeting a political objective

The common thread between the various types of conspiracies is that they are defined in terms of legality. Although the third definition does not use the words legal or law, politics exists only within a legal framework.

Merriam-Webster defines conspiracy as:

“a secret plan made by two or more people to do something that is harmful or illegal” Although, it may be argued that the government could conspire to do something harmful, governmental adjudicators will be the arbiters of what constitutes harm, so we are still conspiring within a framework of legality.

Moving on to the second definition, that of government. What exactly is government? There are a great number of people who identify themselves as government: postal workers, police, military, legislators, public service agencies of every stripe.

To reference Wickipedia:

A government is the system by which a state or community is controlled. This is still a bit ambiguous as the words community and state are not clear. The word control is operative, yet not concise.

Merriam-Webster defines the term as: the group of people who control and make decisions for a country, state, etc. a particular system used for controlling a country, state, etc.

Once again, we see the words control (not concise) and state.

Wickipedia has this to say:

"A state is an organized political community living under a single system of government"

Here we are faced with a tautology, where synonymous words are used to define one another. We may gain some understanding by introducing those that comprise the state, the citizens, into the equation (although this is also unclear, as the state is both simultaneously comprised of and separate from, the citizens).

Merriam-Webster has this to say about citizens:

“a person who legally belongs to a country and has the rights and protection of that country”

Some may take exception to the idea of legally “belonging” to a country (I certainly do) so Merriam-Webster’s alternative definition below may offer something more palatable:

“a native or naturalized person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it”

This may seem more equitable if not for the fact that in every single instance where the failure of the state to protect has been challenged, the state courts have ruled, unsurprisingly, in favor of the state.

The fact of the matter is, that there are no such things as a states, countries or governments. The ground does not change alchemically when one steps across the imaginary line between the USA and Mexico. Borders exist in the imagination, along with the supposed countries bounded by them.

I prefer to understand government in terms of the way those identify themselves as such operate and provide funding for themselves, which was elocuted in a rare moment of candor by Barack Obama here.

Whatever our desires and expectations are regarding government and the state, and to whatever degree those expectations and desires are met, it is always important to understand that those services are funded by violence or the threat thereof. Those identifying themselves as the state may build roads (or direct funding to private contractors who build roads) whether you have requested them or not, and you will pay for them whether you like it or not. There may be a net benefit, but it will be unmeasurable, as the benefit will have come at the expense of something that may have been more beneficial had it been consented to by all the concerned parties.

A great number of so-called government conspiracies have been involved with the idea of spurring the government into protective action in response to some perceived threat, be it real or fabricated. What is often overlooked is that there is no such thing as protection by government in the first place regarding life, liberty and property, as we are coerced into relinquishing these on a regular basis by the very same entity tasked with providing protection for them.

As far as the law goes, is it possible for those in government to break laws? A broken law is not analogous to a broken vase, where the evidence of the infraction is obvious and inescapable. A law breaker is simply one who is not acting in accordance with what someone else proscribed as acceptable behavior. If no one is there to witness the contrary behavior, that is as far as it goes; the only evidence of the law being broken is the degree to which the proscribed consequences of breaking it are enforced. If there is a law against jaywalking at a particular intersection and someone walks through it in opposition to the signal in full view of enforcement officers on a regular basis with no reaction or response, it is the same as if the law does not exist.

Similarly, it is important to understand that all laws are selectively enforced and do not apply equally to everyone. This is wholly compatible with something that is conjured by an imaginary entity to begin with. Anyone with any familiarity with the legal system knows that there is a great deal of latitude and discretion in how laws and their consequences are applied. In fact, the entire system is based on the idea that the laws cannot and should not apply equally to everyone. So, in terms of conspiracy, if those identifying themselves as government were to conspire to break the law, some other person or group of persons would have to observe the infraction and impose consequences. This may or may not happen, but there are absolutely no mechanisms in place to insure that it does happen. There are by contrast a number of mechanisms in place to make sure that certain “governmental” types are impervious to the consequences of breaking laws, such as sequestering of evidence, national security restrictions, FOIA requirements, etc.

If it is a bridge too far to imagine that the government would prosecute itself, surely public outrage over governmental lawbreakers would provide the impetus for the “honest” government types to sanction the bad actors - provided the public were aware of the blatant and willful violation of the laws created by some government types by other government types.

This is where we pay homage to the ever watchful and objective media, who exist to inform the public and corral the rogue elements.

Or do they?

While we are questioning fundamental assumptions, such as the fundamental nature of government and/or the state, we should also question the assumption of whether the forms of mass communication that are commonly referred to as “the Media” exist to inform. Considering the vast number of people in the world, as well as those no longer with us (today’s media accounts are tomorrow’s history books, after all) who are constantly engaging with one another and creating their own current and historical narratives, the very act of deciding which stories are worthy of the focus and mighty distribution apparatus of the media is in itself a filter or lens.

For the filter or lens to have any merit as a disseminator of truth, it must first and foremost be objective (inasmuch as objectivity is possible, which it isn’t, as focusing the lens creates bias) and disinterested. There are numerous examples that point to the symbiotic nature of government and media. Any cursory examination of any major newspaper will reveal this particular bias simply by the sheer number of pages devoted to government related issues.

Deciding where not to focus the lens is also of similar importance where credibility is concerned as is evidenced by David Rockefeller when speaking at the June, 1991 Bilderberger meeting in Baden, Germany (a meeting also attended by then-Governor Bill Clinton and by Dan Quayle), who had this to say about the subject:

"We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years."

He went on to explain:

"It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries."

Another example of how media is less invested in the role of watchdog than facilitator can be illustrated here by Walter Cronkite when he said the following when accepting the 1999 Norman Cousins Global Governance Award:

“It seems to many of us that if we are to avoid the eventual catastrophic world conflict we must strengthen the United Nations as a first step toward a world government [emphasis mine] patterned after our own government with a legislature, executive and judiciary, and police to enforce its international laws and keep the peace. To do that, of course, we Americans will have to yield up some of our sovereignty. That would be a bitter pill. It would take a lot of courage, a lot of faith in the new order. But the American colonies did it once and brought forth one of the most nearly perfect unions the world has ever seen.”

The Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California receives federal grant money to promote government agendas:

"We know from research that when people watch entertainment television, even if they know it's fiction, they tend to believe that the factual stuff is actually factual," said Martin Kaplan of the University of Southern California's Norman Lear Center, which received the grant.

Every branch of the US military is open to negotiation for featuring components of its arsenal in films and television programs in exchange for promotional content as can be ascertained by the viewing of any recent blockbuster action offering.

The repeal of the Smith-Mundt Act removes a hurdle to domestic propaganda, which may have been an obstacle to some if such laws were applied and enforced, although no more.

And of course, there is the simple fact that there are no real obstacles to the media in regard to presenting false information as real.

According to the FCC:

As public trustees, broadcasters may not intentionally distort the news. The FCC has stated publicly that "rigging or slanting the news is a most heinous act against the public interest." The FCC may act to protect the public interest when it has received documented evidence, such as testimony from persons who have direct personal knowledge of an intentional falsification of the news. Without such documented evidence, the FCC generally cannot intervene.

They MAY intervene? When those who have perpetrated the lie come forth with documented evidence of the lies they themselves perpetrated? Fox (CNN, NBC, ABC, et al.) and the henhouse, I say.

Aside from questioning the fundamental assumptions surrounding government, conspiracy and the media, there is one final objection that is often cited by those who cling to official stories, which is the “there would be too many people involved, someone would talk” objection. It is generally accepted that there are secret government programs operating in the present, as well as those that have fulfilled their secret objectives in times past for some “legitimate” purpose. The Manhattan Project is an example of a supposedly large number of people, somewhere in the neighborhood of half a million, who kept their mouths shut as directed, for as long as they were directed to do so. This is an entirely different subject which deserves its own detailed examination in terms of so-called conspiracy, but that is better left for another time.

Of course, this assumption is based on the idea that there would be an outlet that would welcome such information.

It may be instructive to examine the success ratio of Serpico types of individuals who have attempted to report the misdeeds of their fellow police officers to see an example of this type of whistle blowing in action. Of course, failing corrective action being taken by the enforcement apparatus of the organization being exposed by the whistle blower, he would have the option of going to the state supported and funded media outlets. Once again, a comparison of the infractions committed by police officers available at Copblock.Org or FilmingCops to those reported by mainstream media outlets is instructive.

So, in consideration of government conspiracies, fundamental assumptions must be evaluated. Governments and states do not exist, except in the imagination. By extension, neither do their laws, which have only as much power as deterrents as do their interpretation and application, which rely on the same people that are committing the infractions to be the enforcers. The assumption that government is tasked with protection is purely a result of public relations, as it should be obvious that safety cannot be provided by the entity that has a mandate to violate it. Finally, in regard to public relations, this is the primary purpose of the media, whether in creating the current narrative or reprising the historical one, always with the aim of promoting the sanctity of the state. Sure, there may be some bad apples, but rest assured the system is working tirelessly and effectively to root them out and keep us safe.

The government/media apparatus surely is working tirelessly and effectively (sadly) through a near continuous parade of manufactured narratives that have all the narrative creation tools of Hollywood at their disposal. Although it is no conspiracy, the mainstream version of the narrative presented by the media has as much to do with reality as any Hollywood production and probably less.

In the immortal words of Mark Twain:

“The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible.”


The Media Can Legally Lie

Promises, Promises; OR, It’s Legal to Lie to Voters

Police have no responsibility to protect individuals (reference)

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