Friday, August 11, 2006

Blogosphere's conspiracy nuts have a field day

Ah, there's nothing like a murky international terror plot to get the conspiracy wackos to shift into overdrive. The ink was hardly dry on Scotland Yard's press release (no more liquids!) when bloggers started pumping out their Tinfoil-Hat-Society theories. Here are just a few that have appeared within the first 24 hours after the UK terror plot was busted up:

"It's interesting to see that the discovery of a bomb plot happens at the same time as the Israeli offensive. This effectively knocked the Israel/Hezbollah War off the TV screens," wrote a conspiracy buff under the name of "George Orwell" in a conspiracy chat room, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

"This is just a scare tactic by the Bush-Blair regimes to prop up their rock-bottom poll numbers by convincing the brain-dead that they are being 'protected' from 'terror.' Pay no attention to this Blair-Bush media grab," wrote another conspiracy freak whose screen-moniker is an obscene reference to Bush.

Another blogger wrote: "Quite a coincidence that Heathrow Airport just happened to have on hand tens of thousands of clear plastic bags for passenger carry-on."

"Every time Bush’s or Blair’s popularity sags more than usual, there’s a bombing or an attack foiled, then there’s a temporary rise in their numbers. You’d think real terrorists wouldn’t want that! We’re being played, conditioned and herded. It’s boot camp for everybody but the NeoConorati," said a blog poster with the moniker Gregrandar at

"And it happened right after Lieberman lost. And Ken Mehlman made his speech. After not having their ridiculous color-coded warning system change since about the last election if memory serves. What a coincidence!" wrote Cliff Schecter at the Huffington Post.

"I heard a moonbat call a radio station and say that he thought Bush timed the arrests with the opening of Oliver Stone’s new film on 9/11," a poster wrote at

"The claim that American and British security forces have thwarted a terrorist plot to blow up commercial flights between Britain and the United States should not be accepted uncritically. It is impossible to determine at this point whether or not such an attack was in the offing, although the mass media have, as usual, reported the assertions of the British and American governments as indisputable fact, without bothering to ask for any specific information that would substantiate the official story," said blog Critical Thinking Online. "If it is true that such a heinous crime was being planned, the responsibility for this ultimately rests with policies pursued by Washington and London."

"Is it any surprise that the British intelligence chose to launch yet another absurd publicity stunt at such a critical time? And how long would the Western world believe such alleged “terror” plots uncovered by the secret intelligence agencies?" asked Al Jazeera.

"The latest plot has been known about for weeks and could have been nipped in the bud at any point from two weeks ago to the morning after the Joe Lieberman defeat. ... The latest plot serves the Bush administration’s plan to expand the Patriot Act even further," writes Joy Tomme at the Ratbang Diary.

"Will terrorists get you if you don't believe george and God are the team protect you?How about some speculation?THIS "MAY BE" JUST WHAT bUSH NEEDS! Terror & Fear!!! What a great neo-con opportunity! FEARMONGERING + a distraction from the Israel/Lebanon War (which was a distraction from the Iraq Quagmire) is "just what the doctor ordered". PERFECT," writes Chuck at BushAmerika2.

"Today's red level terror alert in symbiosis with escalation of conflict in the Middle East is the trial balloon for a massive staged false flag terror attack, blamed on Hezbollah or Al-Qaeda, that will light the blue touch paper for World War Three," writes Paul Joseph Watson at


Oh my. These conspiropaths make my head hurt. I tend to agree with The Anchoress, who sees hyperventilating on both the Left and Right, and wrote:

"The news is serious…so why is so much that is being written and spewed forth so wretchedly unserious? Why am I getting such a strong sense that - for some, note, I say some on both the left and the right (and in the media) - this event is an excuse for extraordinarily reckless, demented and self-interested excess? There are people out there who seem too-happily energized by all this - by the thrusty adrenaline-rush of the breaking news, the drama of a credible threat - and who are apparently using the story as an excuse to let not their better selves but their baser ones, shine forth in full glaring (and all too predictable) brilliance?"


Anonymous said...

What the hell is a 'moonbat'???

Ron Franscell said...

It's a slur against the far Left, usually by the Far Right.

According to Wikipedia: "Moonbat is a political epithet coined in 2002 by Perry de Havilland of "The Libertarian Samizdata," a libertarian weblog. It was originally a play on the last name of George Monbiot, a columnist for The Guardian, but now the term enjoys great currency in the libertarian blogosphere as an all-purpose insult for modern liberals, peace protestors, and other ideological opponents. It is similar to the epithets Feminazi or Idiotarian."

To use "moonbat" properly, you must seethe with the same venom that moonbats ooze when they use the words "neocon." It's basically the vernacular equivalent of "mutually assured destruction."

Zlatko Grozl said...

Thanks for visiting

False Flag Terror is something you will never see, or understand. Go, continue selling out your children and grandchildren, by ignoring the ridiculusness of it all.

jason said...

Here's another:

"... even if this "shampoo" explosives tale were true, why does the West react to it as if we are all innocent little lambs minding our own business in our neck of the woods, rather than allies of Israeli mass murder in far-away Lebanon, where we have no business? Do we imagine that we will assist the Israelis in blowing Arab grandmothers and infants out of their beds and there will be no nasty repercussions?" From Michael Hoffman at RevisionistReview

I'm starting worry more about the chronic clinical paranoia among common people more than the terrorists!!

politikalpressure said...

Thanks for reading my 'maiden' post at

There's no surprise that Hollywood is overrun with Far Left Liberals -- they have exceptionally fertile imaginations.

Democracy Lover said...

The very fact that so many people doubt this story is evidence of the distrust most Americans have for the Bush Administration and the US media establishment.

American TV and newspapers simply report the news with commentary by the usual unnamed sources in the White House and Department of Homeland Security. Do we get critical questions asked? No. Do any major media report anything that calls the official account into question? No.

If you want to end paranoid, moonbat thinking, how about doing some real reporting, asking the tough questions, calling the administration liars when they lie, and otherwise building the confidence of your readers and viewers?

Anonymous said...

Considering that Ari Fleischer admitted that the Bush administration uses phony terror alerts in order to shift attention away from the August 5th memo, and in light of the ludicrous invention of a terrorist cell in Miami, how is it paranoid to be wary of the most recent terrorist plot that the US and UK claim to have thwarted?

Certainly we can't know whether this is a bogus terror alert as were so many others, not yet, but it seems reasonable to me to speculate on that possiblity given the Bush administration's track record.

Ron Franscell said...

American newspapers and TV can't win. If they ask tough questions, they are being fanatical partisans for one side or the other; if they don't attack, they are accused of being wimps; if they report facts, they are accused of reporting the "wrong" facts; if they don't reflect the reader/viewer's personal bias, they are biased (which sometimes, regrettably, they are, but not as often as you think) On alternate days, the media is either pervasively liberal or conservative, but it only depends on whose ox is being gored.

But what "known" facts have been left out of the reporting on the terror plot? If you know something crucial, spill it here! Today's newspapers and TV are full of the usual news accounts (mostly named sources) as well as stories about how not everyone thinks this was a genuine terror plot at all, but a political fabrication. Knowledge of any kind doesn't happen instantaneously, but evolves over time, so it's ridiculous to expect the "full" story on almost any major news event within the first news cycle. You must literally stay tuned.

Most reporters I know salivate at the possibility of reporting a big story that blows the communal mindset out of the water, brings down a tyrant president, or exposes a great lie or a serious wrong. Perhaps you're happy when GWBush gets a bad rap in the media, but were ticked when Clinton got his. That shows that the bias is not in the media, but in the consumer.

Real reporting is happening every day in many newspapers around this country and this globe. How much of it do you truly see? An hour of CNN? A quick scan of your local paper and the nearest big-coity daily? A latte and the NYTimes at Starbucks? Your favorite partisan blog's summary of what IT thinks is important?

jason said...

To correct Anonymous, the poster who wants the Media to be more aggressive (so I will), Ari Fleischer DID NOT SAY Bush issued "phony terror alerts." He told the Washington Times that the Bush Administration began issuing more terror alerts after being criticized for not being more pro-active about terror alerts. Seems about right, doesn't it? If people want more and faster terror alerts, shouldn't Bush respond? If he didn't, wouldn't you fry his tail again?

The relevant paragraph of the Washington Times article says:

“The Bush administration issued a spate of terror alerts in recent days to mute criticism that its national security team sat on intelligence warnings in the weeks before the September 11 attacks. The warnings, including yesterday's uncorroborated FBI report that terrorists might target the Statue of Liberty, quieted some of the lawmakers who said President Bush failed to act on clues of the September 11 attacks, although Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle yesterday reiterated his demand for an independent investigation. The latest alerts were issued "as a result of all the controversy that took place last week," said Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer, referring to reports that the president received a CIA briefing in August about terror threats, including plans by Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network to hijack U.S. commercial airliners.”

Anonymous, your "facts" are simply and plainly wrong.

That Cleaning Lady said...

"...This isn't the moment for a politics based on comics turning the president and vice president into joke material. The national mood may not be right now for extended blogospheric daisy chains of smack-the-enemy or cool wordplays with people's names. This isn't a game anymore. Not after yesterday's news. ..."

I am feeling a bit conspired upon, though, Ron, after all, the war isn't popular, gas prices are going through the roof, the popularity polls slip and there's miraculously a NEAR MISS!!! It reminds me of those bye-gone days when the kids would come running in the house holding their boo-boo's that aren't bloody or even really there, sniffling and saying they ALMOST got hurt... to get some attention.

Oh as for salivating reporters, I hear that song playing in my head "We got the bubbleheaded bleach-blonde, comes on at 5
She can tell you about the plane crash with a gleam in her eye
It's interesting when people die, give us dirty laundry".
If It were the truth and IT did indeed happen yesterday and the waters and land were littered with innocents, what song would we be singing today??

Chancelucky said...

I agree that most conspiracy theories come from the tinfoil dog hat fringe, but you also imply that because most are off the wall that none of the conspiracy theories are worth investigating or at least thinking about.
The single biggest thing that's driven the 9/11-war on terrorism conspiracy juggernaut is the simple fact that this Administration has been so evasive about having anyone study it fairly and report on whatever can be documented.

There are things like 7 World Trace Center (I took the time to review FEMA's report) that are unquestionably hard to explain. Does that mean that someone blew up 7 World Trade Center, no. Still it also doesn't mean that the "official" explanation makes sense or the doubts about how the third building fell on 9/11 aren't worth more questions.
Please understand that I'm one of the few people who actually have read Wilhelm Reich, whose notion of Orgone energy is probably the origin of the phrase "tinfoil" hat. Much of what Reich had to say about sexual repression always being a form of political repression actually is quite interesting and worth discussing. At the same time, it doesn't mean I hang out in my garage to make orgone energy collectors.

As for the most recent "foiled" terrorist plot, I suspect the real tin foil hat idea is that it's possible to keep people in the modern world 100% safe and protected from would be terrorists. The technology has just gotten too easy and too available.

Ron Franscell said...

I am in absolute agreement with you, Chance. Not all conspiracy theories are patently ludicrous -- the government's version of the WTC attacks is a "conspiracy theory," too. But on less data than authorities have, many of these nuts are foisting -fast-food conspiracies borne not of facts but of their basic mistrust of the greater world around them, or of the authorities themslves. I'm for skepticism of all facts, but not automatic dismissal. At least in the beginning, if one hears hoofbeats, look for horses ... not the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Anonymous said...


One should not issue terror alerts in response to criticism for past failures rather than in response to actual threats. Also let's be clear that the criticism was not that Bush and company were failing to use the new color coded terror alert system frequently enough, but rather that BUSH HAD FOREKNOWLEDGE OF THE 9/11 ATTACKS AND FAILED TO RESPOND TO THAT KNOWLEDGE.

You quoted exactly the article I was referring to:

The latest alerts were issued "as a result of all the controversy that took place last week," said Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer, referring to reports that the president received a CIA briefing in August about terror threats, including plans by Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network to hijack U.S. commercial airliners.

That's a direct admission that the the "terror alerts" were issued in response to a political controversy, and not in response to actual terror threat.

Jason in order to interpet that statement as a response to being criticized for not being more pro-active about terror alerts one has to engage in doublethink. First one has to conflate the August Memo with the color coded terror alerts the Bush administration uses to terrify the public, then one has to equate responding to the August 5th with issuing color coded terror alerts.

Surely you know better than that. Your facts are fine, they are the same as mine, but your thinking is all messed up.

jason said...

Anonymous, you're still plainly wrong. Ari Fleischer DID NOT SAY the Bush Administration issued phony terror alerts. Period. He admitted that the Adminsitration became more sensitive to the need to issue alerts because of the political and public angst over their less-than-stellar reaction to the August 5 briefing. The result was NOT phony terror alerts, but more sensitized reaction to terror intelligence. We can argue whether they were too sensitive or not sensitive enough, but these alerts were NOT phony. You are just wanting to see evil in any Bush action, so you interpret the facts to suit your bias .... see Ron's post above about media .... I am not a fan of GWBush but I am amazed at how the Left argues that he has masterminded some very, very complex conspiracies right after he's ripped for being the dumbest ass who ever lived. You can't have it both ways, Anonymous.

And as for my thinking .... why do you think anyone who disagrees with you must be stupid? That's the Mark of Cain for the rabid libs and it has been pointed out here many times over the past week. Now it's MY turn!!!

Doug Lain said...

jason: In Orwell's novel 1984 experts in doublethink were the most brilliant members of the political class. By suggesting you were engaging in doublethink I wasn't accusing you of being stupid.

Before I go on I just want to point out that no matter how you slice it Ari Fleischer admitted that the Bush administration began to release more terror alerts in response to a domestic political controversy, now that implies that at the very least they changed their standard of what constituted the kind of threat that required promoting through their ludicrous color coded system in order to improve their image. That is what Ari Fleischer admitted. He did not admit that they completely manufactured evidence of terror threats, but rather that the standard of evidence they used changed due to their political circumstances.

That's quite an admission. And if you consider that this same administration devised similar standards of evidence in order to justify claims that Iraq had WMDs the difference between manufacturing a terror threat and merely reporting on sparce evidence is miniscule.

jason said...

Doug, that's how a democracy works: The people speak directly to the boss or through their various elected or public agencies and the government reacts. Ari Fleischer said the White House's standard for terror alert was one thing before it bore the brunt of criticism after 9-11, then evolved to answer criticism (isn't that what we want our government to do??) It merely decided to lower the threshhold of what constitutes a threat that required a public warning. Thus, more warnings were delivered. It's that simple.

I think the color-coding system was intended to be simple, but I agree that perhaps it hasn't worked as well as DHS hoped. Remember that the great bulk of people who are getting the warning are not rocket scientists (or "rocket surgeons" as my 12 year old daughter says.) But for the life of me I can't think of a better one that would be more understandable and accessible to all Americans, not just college-educated ones. What would you suggest?

Ah, WMDs. I agree with Ron who said in a posting way, way back: Saddam Hussein WAS a WMD .... he killed 350,000 of his own people. It's also worth pointing out that warheads containing sarin gas were found in Iraq stockpiles. Is that what GWBush meant when he delivered his speech? I don't think so, but it's enough for me and I share the opinion of Bill Clinton, who also believed there was more WMD there. I don't believe Bush lied, I merely believe he was wrong. I have criticized him for getting it wrong, I trust him less and I believe he screwed the pooch, but I don't think he lied to me deliberately, such as Clinton did when he said "I did not have sex with that woman." To put a finer point on it .... I don't think Anonymous is LYING about Ari Fleischer (at least I hope he isn't) .... I think he is just wrong. There's a difference between a deliberate lie and an error, thank goodness or I'd be a terrible, terrible liar!!

Ron Franscell said...


Don't get me mixed up in this, buddy!!

jason said...

Ron, uh, you started it!! LOL

Doug Lain said...

jason: I'm anonymous, and I'm not lying about Ari Fleischer. I stand my original comment. Again Fleischer admitted that they released terrorist warnings in response to criticism of a previous failure to respond to warnings of the worst attack on American soil since the civil war.

In order to look like they were doing something they lowered the threshold of what constituted evidence and issued many more alerts.

Again, they issued terrorist alerts for domestic political reasons and not in order to protect the public from terrorist attacks. Also it's worth remember that this isn't a matter of sharing information, but of hyping a threat which is based on information they do not share.

As to Bush lying about WMDs there is ample evidence that the administration knew there were not WMDs in Iraq. The Downing Street Memo, for instance, revealed that the facts were being "fixed around the policy” of invasion. There is plenty of other evidence that Bush lied rather than made a mistake. For instance there is the inclusion of the Niger uranium story in the State of the Union address.

Anonymous said...

For your reading pleasure: