The only problem with the term is the meaningless use of it as a pejorative, writes Caitlin Johnstone.
By Caitlin Johnstone
Plutocratic propaganda outlet MSNBC has run a spin segment about the medical examiner’s determination of the cause of Jeffrey Epstein’s death “pending further information.”
“Our sources are still saying that it looks like suicide, and this is going to set conspiracy theorists abuzz I fear,” said NBC correspondent Ken Dilanian. “NBC News has been hearing all day long that there are no indications of foul play, and that this looks like a suicide and that he hung himself in his cell.”
Dilanian, who stumbled over the phrase “conspiracy theorists” in his haste to get it in the first soundbite, is a known asset of the Central Intelligence Agency. This is not a conspiracy theory, this is a well-documented fact. A 2014 article in The Intercept titled “The CIA’s Mop-Up Man” reveals email exchanges obtained via Freedom of Information Act request between Dilanian and CIA public affairs officers which “show that Dilanian enjoyed a closely collaborative relationship with the agency, explicitly promising positive news coverage and sometimes sending the press office entire story drafts for review prior to publication.” There is no reason to give Dilanian the benefit of the doubt that this cozy relationship has ended, so anything he puts forward can safely be dismissed as CIA public relations.
When I mentioned Dilanian’s CIA ties on MSNBC’s Twitter video, MSNBC deleted its tweet and then re-shared it without mentioning Dilanian’s name. Here is a screenshot of the first tweet followed by an embedded link to the current one (which I’ve archived, just in case):
FYI Ken Dilanian is a known CIA asset.https://t.co/9e7B7rstSz
— Caitlin Johnstone ? (@caitoz) August 11, 2019
After autopsy, NYC chief medical examiner says office's determination on the investigation into Jeffrey Epstein's death is '"pending further information."
Multiple people briefed on the investigation tell @NBCNews that suicide remains the presumed cause of death. pic.twitter.com/3Sg5MCB1Iw
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 12, 2019
Up until the news broke that Epstein’s autopsy has been unable to readily confirm suicide, mass media headlines everywhere have been unquestioningly blaring that that was known to have been the cause of the accused sex trafficker’s death. This despite the fact that the FBI’s investigation has been explicitly labeling it an “apparent suicide,” and despite the fact that Epstein is credibly believed to have been involved in an intelligence-tied sexual blackmail operation involving many powerful people, any number of whom stood to gain plenty from his death.
Berating by Mass Media Narrative Managers
So, things are moving in a very weird way, and people are understandably weirded out. The response to this from mass media narrative managers has, of course, been to berate everyone as “conspiracy theorists.”
“Jeffrey Epstein: How conspiracy theories spread after financier’s death,” reads a BBC headline. “Epstein Suicide Conspiracies Show How Our Information System Is Poisoned,” reads one from The New York Times. “Conspiracy Theories Fly Online in Wake of Epstein Death,” warns The Wall Street Journal. “Financier Epstein’s Death Disappoints Victims, Launches Conspiracy Theories,” reads the headline from U.S.- funded Voice of America.
These outlets generally match Dilanian’s tone in branding anyone who questions the official story about Epstein’s death as a raving lunatic. Meanwhile, normal human beings all across the political spectrum are expressing skepticism on social media about the “suicide” narrative we’re all being force-fed by the establishment narrative managers, many of them prefacing their skepticism with some variation on the phrase “I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but…”
“I’m not a conspiracy theorist but there are an awful lot of very powerful people who would like to see this Epstein thing go away. Is anyone investigating the guard on duty?” tweeted actor Patricia Heaton.
I’m not a conspiracy theorist but there are an awful lot of very powerful people who would like to see this Epstein thing go away. Is anyone investigating the guard on duty? #JeffreyEpsteinSuicide
— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) August 10, 2019
“I am not into conspiracy theories. But Epstein had destructive information on an extraordinary number of extraordinarily powerful people. It is not easy to commit suicide in prison. Especially after being placed on suicide watch. Especially after already allegedly trying,” tweeted public defender Scott Hechinger.
Journalist Abi Wilkinson summed up the silliness of this widespread preface very nicely, tweeting, “ ‘I’m not a conspiracy theorist’ is such a weird assertion when you think about it, the idea there’s a binary between believing all conspiracies and flat out rejecting the very concept of conspiracy in all circumstances.”
Indeed, I think it’s fair to say that we are all conspiracy theorists if we’re really honest with ourselves. Not everyone believes that the official stories about 9/11 and the JFK assassination are riddled with plot holes or what have you, but I doubt that anyone who really sat down and sincerely grappled with the question “Do powerful people conspire?” would honestly deny it. Some are just more self-aware than others about the self-evident reality that powerful people conspire all the time, and it’s only a question of how and with whom and to what extent.
The word “conspire” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or an act which becomes unlawful as a result of the secret agreement.” No sane person would deny that this is a thing that happens, nor that this is likely a thing that happens to some extent among the powerful in their own nation. This by itself is a theory about conspiracy per definition, and it accurately applies to pretty much everyone. Since it applies to pretty much everyone, the label is essentially meaningless, either as a pejorative or as anything else.
The meaningless of the term has been clearly illustrated by Russiagate, whose adherents react with sputtering outrage whenever anyone points out that they’re engaged in a conspiracy theory, despite the self-evident fact that that’s exactly what it is: a theory about a band of powerful Russian conspirators conspiring with the highest levels of the U.S. government. Their objection is not due to a belief that they’re not theorizing about a conspiracy, their objection is due to the fact that a highly stigmatized label that they’re accustomed to applying to other people has been applied to them. The label is rejected because its actual definition is ignored to the point of meaninglessness.
The problem has never been with the actual term “conspiracy theory;” the problem has been with its deliberate and completely meaningless use as a pejorative. The best way to address this would be a populist move to de-stigmatize the label by taking ownership of it. Last month Cornell University professor Dave Callum tweeted, “I am a ‘conspiracy theorist’. I believe men and women of wealth and power conspire. If you don’t think so, then you are what is called ‘an idiot’. If you believe stuff but fear the label, you are what is called ‘a coward’.”
I am a "conspiracy theorist". I believe men and women of wealth and power conspire. If you don't think so, then you are what is called "an idiot". If you believe stuff but fear the label, you are what is called "a coward".
— Dave Collum (@DavidBCollum) July 19, 2019
This is what we all must do. The debate must be forcibly moved from the absurd question of whether or not conspiracies are a thing to the important question of which conspiracy theories are valid and to what degree.
And we should probably hurry. Yahoo News reported earlier this month that the FBI recently published an intelligence bulletin describing “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists” as a growing threat, and this was before the recent spate of U.S. shootings got establishment narrative-makers pushing for new domestic terrorism laws. This combined with the fact that we can’t even ask questions about extremely suspicious events like Jeffrey Epstein’s death without being tarred with this meaningless pejorative by the mass media thought police means we’re at extreme risk of being shoved into something far more Orwellian in the near future.
Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on Facebook, Twitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a book “Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.”
This article was re-published with permission.
Before commenting please read Robert Parry’s Comment Policy. Allegations unsupported by facts, gross or misleading factual errors and ad hominem attacks, and abusive language toward other commenters or our writers will be removed.
Archie, thank you so very much!
Well, let’s call it assisted suicide then.
The term “conspiracy theory” should always serve as red flag to any astute reader concerning what follows.
The term was reportedly coined by a CIA disinformation guy in the late 1960s to counter and discredit efforts to get at the truth of the Kennedy assassination.
It’s amazing the way it has hung around.
The mainline press loves the phrase, and you’ll find it somewhere in their output weekly trying to discredit this or that matter.
The autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein is reported to have shown that his neck was broken, “in several places. “The coroner stated that she “is confident the cause of death is suicide by hanging.”
I don’t know. I ‘m certainly not an expert. In traditional capital-punishment hanging, as in a prison by an executioner, the neck is indeed broken, but as I understand it, cleanly, not “in several places.”
That is how a hanged person dies, not by strangulation, something that is the result only of botched hangings.
Virtually all self-hangings are botched hangings.
Individuals hanging themselves almost never possess information about how it is done. Typically they either hurl themselves off something like a staircase or kick away something they are standing on, as a chair or stool. Neither of those approaches has much probability of producing the classic executioner’s result, although the first can certainly break neck bones or even behead someone. Epstein, we know, used neither of those methods. Indeed, he couldn’t, given the small, deliberately-bare cell he was in.
What is required to achieve the instantly-broken neck, and in just the right place for quick death, is a drop of a certain amount plus a certain positioning of the rope. Those conditions generally are not possible with efforts like hanging by bedsheets.
Sheets, incidentally, as I’ve previously noted, not even available to inmates at this institution. They sleep on special paper sheets.
Newspaper reports of how Epstein killed himself say that the six-foot man tied a bedsheet to the top of the bunk bed in the small cell and then kneeled towards the floor, strangling himself. It is not easy to see how doing that could result in a neck broken “in several places.”
I think the autopsy result, at least to a non-expert, only increases doubts.
“Medical Examiner Rules Jeffrey Epstein Death Was Suicide by Hanging.”
The image that comes far more readily to mind is of strong killer quickly strangling him, breaking his neck in several places, and then leaving his body positioned in a sheet tied to the bed, a sheet inmates do not have. All done, of course, while guards slept and cameras weren’t working.
The term ‘conspiracy theory’ appears to have first been used by the CIA in the 1960s about those who did not believe the findings of the Warren Commission report on the JFK assassination.
Some people, apparently, thought that LBJ might have had something to do with it.
Fancy thinking that the person who was facing being dumped as vice president and who had spent so much time trying to get JFK to visit his home state might have had something to do with it!
By any proper investigative standards, Johnson should have been seen as a suspect. And yet he was able to appoint his own panel of investigation and to determine its membership. Absolutely unbelievable!
People who run around slinging terms like “conspiracy theorist” are more than just empowered by psychiatry – it is literally what brought this plague of all the stigma against all dissent and doubt being more than just a mere slur. People come up with some flat out absurd nonsense all the time — but so what.
If it’s absurd, ignore it. Argue against it if you think they aren’t trolling and weren’t just conditioned to be a self unaware sockpuppet – but don’t comdemn for it, or you destroy the one thing that stands in the way of this country becoming a tyranny on a level that will make “1984” sound like the Teletubbies.
See Whitney Webb’s three part (and more to come) series on the Epstein saga at Mint Press News, but be sure do fasten your seatbelts.
The assertion that Epstein’s death cannot be questioned without accusations of ‘conspiracy theory’ seems contradicted by the fact that many people, in and out of government, including AG Barr have found the circumstances in need of an investigation. Has anyone yet accused Barr of being a conspiracy theorist for finding the Epstein death questionable?
I have no doubt that Barr is about to launch another investigation that will be long on theatrics, but short on convictions. I assume you have overlooked the uncanny coincidence of Donald Barr’s appointment of an unlettered Epstein at Dalton.
Given Barr’s history, I have little faith in him. I think he may actually be in there to squelch any real investigation while pretending to support one. And yes, it is ALL theater.
A glaring non-sequitir should be corrected: “There is no reason to give Dilanian the benefit of the doubt that this cozy relationship has ended, so anything he puts forward can safely be dismissed as CIA public relations.”
Because a journalist had a cozy relation with the CIA does NOT mean “everything” s/he writes IS dismissable as “CIA pulbic relatiions”.
The article about the ‘cozy relationship” did not prove “everything” he wrote was “CIA public relations” in the past, so there is no reason to believe “everything” he writes in the future is either!
This is one way conspiracy theories work – a part is taken for the whole, a suspicion becomes a proof.
Please edit your statement to something that does follow, like “Since there havbe been well-documented instances of this author writing distorted stories to serve the CIA’s interests, anything he writes “could be” the same.
You have written that is should be dismissed without scrutiny. Never a good idea.
It should be a civic duty to be a consriacy theorist considering how our rogue government has never once told us the truth about anything and has consistently shown itself as the world’s leading aggressor.
It should be a civic duty to be conspiracy theorist, considering that we live in a nation which has consistently shown itself to be the world’s leading aggrssor state and has never once told us the truth about anything.
When the “Conspiracy Theorist” sirens are blaring, you can be certain that an elite crime has just been openly committed and they are triggering the populace to suppress any questioning of the narrative; it is all very Pavoliavian.
This will then be followed by an endless set of dead-end inquiries which trains are minds to focus on the trivial. Were sheets in Epstein’s Prison? Why were the prison guards too exhausted to monitor the prisoner? Or, my favorite – Why were the cameras off, I think a 5-year-old child could answer that question.
If you ever wonder how Intelligence Agencies spend their day, with their budget the size of Bulgaria’s GNP, I say, look no further.
I have this gut feeling that no one is asking the right questions about this case, I respect Caitlin as a journalist, so I’m really surprised she didn’t “go there”. So let me tighten up my tin foil hat, and dive in.
The first thing I’ve noticed is everyone and every “news” organization has come to the conclusion that Epstein is dead, why? We have no proof of this, the one photo I’ve seen has discrepancies of this fact, right off the bat I noticed there was no backboard under the patient on the stretcher. No official EMT would perform CPR on a patient, on a padded stretcher without one. The EMT wasn’t positioned to be performing chest compressions properly on the patient (fake?).
Next we are to believe the total breakdown in the prison surrounding this incident was a coincidence and/or failure of the staff. Now I believe in coincidences, but the more there are for a given incident, the less likely that was the cause. Given the high profile of this prisoner, it becomes even less likely. Epstein had the ability to take down many high profile people, why wasn’t he under 24/7 surveillance?
No one is questioning the supposed visit to Epstein from AG Barr, why? How often does the AG of the US visit a prisoner, especially one with ties to the prisoner (Barr’s father was OSS during WWII, and hired Epstein to teach without a college degree at a prestigious school in NY in the early 1970’s)?
Now we get to the big one, why did Epstein return to the US when he had to know an arrest warrant had been issued? This one bothers me the most. Epstein had the money and the means to live in many countries without extradition to the US. Why come back if you didn’t have a guarantee of basically getting “off the hook” with a “slap on the wrist”, like in south Florida? It makes no sense. If someone in power wanted him dead, it would make more sense to do it before all of the attention, not after he’s arrested. The only way it makes sense, is if you(Epstein) knew you’re handlers could pull this operation off, you become “dead” to the world, and the issue never comes up again.
My best guess, Epstein is sitting in a safehouse somewhere, waiting for everything to quite down, and be transported somewhere to live out his life in comfort.
There’s much more to this story than can be written here, and a good background is referenced in, Whitney Webb’s series on Mint Press News, I encourage everyone interested, to check it out.
OK tin foil hat loosened.
I am with you, at least in pointing out this option as a worthwhile scenario not being considered adequately.
Since I have dipped my toes in water, why not suggest that the undisclosed location is in occupied Palestine?
Is there no body in a morgue somewhere?
Always ground your tinfoil hat. Otherwise, it just concentrates the rays.
“So let me tighten up”
Perhaps “widening” in conjunction with increased “rigour” would prove more illuminating ?
“If someone in power wanted him dead, it would make more sense to do it before all of the attention, not after he’s arrested. ”
Evaluation is a function of perceived purpose and hence it is always a strategic error to perceive purposes as shared/synonymous.
As Mr. Angleton was aware perception facilitating framing facilitating perception is a process of some merit to facilitate purpose – considerations of Mr. Schroedinger and his cat aiding/undermining such endeavour.
“Secrecy” is a function of time which can be extended/truncated through processes outlined above.
“My best guess….”
Evaluation is also a function of significance assigned in relation to perceived purpose, although some do resort to bridging doubt by belief to attain “comfort” akin to Mr. Achilles- a process of guessing best left to opponents.
All options/opinions will be put forward in order to properly obfuscate the truth and the truth might never see the light of day. Much too much at stake for too many .It will probably go down as another event left for the conspiracy theorists .Move on folks ,nothing to see here .
Here’s what Uncle Ray had to offer about “conspiracy theorists”:
“That epithet has a sordid history in the annals of U.S. intelligence. Legendary CIA Director Allen Dulles used the “brand-them-conspiracy-theorists” ploy following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy when many objected — understandably — to letting him pretty much run the Warren Commission, even though the CIA was suspected of having played a role in the murder. The “conspiracy theorist” tactic worked like a charm then, and now. Well, up until just now.”
Undoubtedly conspiracy theories can be correct or they can be false. An example is 9/11, where a conspiracy between the largely Saudi attackers certainly existed. Some have argued that further conspiracies must have taken place. To have made the accurate decision about exactly where the planes that flew into the twin towers should hit would have required highly sophisticated knowledge about the building’s construction, about the amount of fuel the planes should carry, which floor to hit, etc. It is reasonable to suppose other knowledgeable people were in on the conspiracy. There are further more speculative theories, some that are worth pursuing, others not.
The question should be about evidence for or against any conspiracy theory. Which among various conspiracy theories are supported by the evidence?
In the Epstein case there is a very strong motive, by very powerful interests, to have him gone.
There was a very strange lapse in the watchfulness of the prison where Epstein was kept.
There has to be an inquiry.
Great article. Here’s a quote from Adam Smith about the elites – Smith calls them the masters – combining. “We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combination of masters; though frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and every where in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labour above their actual rate. To violate this combination is every where a most unpopular action, and a sort of reproach to a master among his neighbours and equals. We seldom, indeed, hear of this combination, because it is the usual, and one may say, the natural state of things which nobody ever hears of. “
Isn’t it strange how all the corporate media are in lock step on ‘conspiracy theories’ and Epstein?
Part of the use of this ‘conspiracy theory’ term is an effort by mass, established (corporate) media to discredit and dismiss alternate media. They are aiming to protect their market by intimating that they report the truth (TM) while over there, the internet is full of hyperventilated, wild and rediculous trash.
They are choosing to report that these myriad of views exist, but mainly as a warning their readers/viewers not to bother going there because there is nothing but these ‘conspiracy theories’.
Yet, the corporate media seem to echo the same shallow reporting on Epstein.
If the narrative doesn’t feel right in your gut then it probably isn’t…
The people running the system can never admit Epstein’s death was due to anything other than suicide. If such evidence exists, it will be suppressed. If it were admitted that the guy was knocked off, those in control would be held to account. Nothing could be more un-American than that.
Outside hit men did not just fortuitously waltz in, enter his cell and off him under the noses of the American security state. They would need as much inside assistance as Mr. Phelps had to deviously arrange on a weekly basis in “Mission Impossible.” Such sources of help would be limited to rather few suspects and their superiors in the chain of command.
Heads would roll.
So I say, the guaranteed finding of any committee “investigating” this will be that the guards assigned to check on Epstein periodically were remiss (overworked, don’t ya know?), offering him the small window of 0pportunity to strangle himself with the single-ply Charmin substitute he meticulously hoarded for weeks until it could support the weight of a 200-lb man 2-ft above the floor near his bunk.
It’s either the above scenario, or an anorexic double-jointed ninja climbed the outside wall of the building, removed the glass from the 4-inch wide window overlooking the courtyard below, squeezed into Epstein’s cell as he slept and strangled him in his bunk. Don’t bother dusting for prints, he was wearing latex gloves. Even Mark Furman will never come up with a “plausible” alternative to Epstain’s suiciding, no matter who killed him.
It is legitimate to be suspicious about the circumstance of Epstein’s death. But it is also atrue that most if the conspiracy stories people like to repeat are fantasy fiction. Lizard men from Zeta Reticuli do not rule the world.
It’s done it’s job – now this event event is dominating all the headlines.
Makes me wonder what it is that isn’t supposed to be noticed?!
“[C]onspiracies do exist. If we define conspiracy as planning in secrecy for illicit purposes while misleading the public as to what is happening, then there have been conspiracies aplenty.”
– Michael Parenti
“No social order of any complexity exists without the application of conscious human agency. Ruling elements must intentionally strive to maintain the conditions of their hegemonic rule. The social order of a society does not operate like a mystical abstracted entity. It is directed for the most part by people who deliberately pursue certain goals, using all kinds of power, including propaganda, persuasion, fraud, deceit, fear, secrecy, coercion, concessions, and sometimes even concerted violence and other criminal ploys…. we might consider how conspiracy [by which most people seem to mean secret, consciously planned programs by persons in high places] is one of the instruments used by the dominant interests in political life. Some conspiracies are imagined; some are real.”
“Allegations unsupported by facts, gross or misleading factual errors and ad hominem attacks, and abusive language toward other commenters or our writers will be removed.”
Good to know the president can’t sully the site with his comments.
The invariable responses from everyone ever associated with “high-society”, sex-addicted, global criminal pimp for the wealthy-and-powerful Jeffrey Epstein, – on his scandalous and disgusting activities across many years, and finally Epstein’s world-record-setting-mystery death:
Relax folks. There is nothing to get alarmed about. Trustworthy Attorney General William Barr has sleepily assured us in his quiet droll words that he will dig deep into the matter and investigate it with all the force he can muster which is not much. We can relax knowing that the investigation will be thorough like a fresh coat of whitewash on a rotting fence and completed in just a few days or weeks and it will be an open and shut case that some prison guard didn’t do his or her job very good like he or she was supposed to. Then the case will be closed as an unfortunate event due to the poor performance of some bad prison guards. Somebody will be suspended for not doing their job real good but real bad and the matter will be officially closed leaving everyone else with questions that persist labeled as supporters of a conspiracy theory A.K.A. a lunatic.
Whew, that was a close one and we are all soon to be glad that the investigation resulted in fingering incompetent prison guards case closed. Move along folks, nothing to see here.
This is quite a good discussion of the irresponsible and tendentious use of the phrase “conspiracy theory.” I think you should point out that in the case of 9/11 every explanation presupposes a conspiracy, at least by the Merriam-Webster definition of the term. The only exception would be the claim that the hijackers acted independently and that the fact that all of these events occurred on the same day is a coincidence. But who ever offers this non-conspiracy-theory explanation?
from Michael Parenti:
excerpt from a transcript of Parenti’s comments:
Whenever you ascribe conscious intent and pursuit of self interest at the top, you will hear someone say: ‘What are you, a conspiracy theorist?’ You can say farmers consciously organize to pursue their interests and everybody will say ‘Uh huh, farmers are organized.’ You can say machinists or auto workers are organizing and everybody will say ‘Uh huh, they’re consciously organizing and pursuing their own interests,’ or school teachers, and other people. But if you say the people who own most of America and most of the world – if you say they consciously organize and pursue things to get what they want, then you hear people say ‘Oh, you have a Conspiracy theory? You think they really do that?’
The alternative to a conspiracy theory is an Innocence theory. That is, they do all of this stuff but they’re not pursuing self interest. They just do it, you know. The other alternative is a Somnambulist theory. Somnambulism is the tendency to walk in your sleep. David Rockefeller gets up in the morning and says, ‘What am I going to do, to advance and protect my interests? No, no, that would be conspiratorial.’ Another alternative would be Coincidence theory: it’s just coincidence that this happened. A variation of coincidence theory is Uncanny theory. Then there’s Stupidity theory and Incompetence theory. There’s also Stochastic theory. It means everything happening by random… there’s really no causality, as such. Stuff just happens. History is just these eventualities that tumble down on top of each other.
That one of the biggest prisoners in history was being guarded by a person who wasn’t a prison guard makes me think that he was either killed in his cell or removed from it to go into the never lands never to be seen again.
Why wouldn’t they have taken every possible step to make sure he stayed alive? If they wanted him to testify they would have. I think that this is an in your face and blatant show that the PTB are running on us. “Sure we know that you don’t believe the official story, but what can you do about it?”
Caitlin, as you have often remarked, “who controls the narrative controls the world”.
I have already suggested to Ray that we should concentrate on discrediting and undermining the FAITH in the benevolence of these controlling agencies. We might then deal later with the “truth” (discrediting their narrative).
“Everyone’s a Conspiracy Theorist
The only problem with the term is the meaningless use of it as a pejorative “
“who controls the narrative controls the world”
“Doubling down” in self-absorption obfuscates that who chooses the narratives frames perception, thereby obviating the “need to control” whilst encouraging extrapolations of resort to belief to bridge doubt, sometimes known as “conspiracy theories”.
Welcome to the O.K. Corral.
There are so many unanswered questions and conflicting information regarding Epstein’s ? that I thought it was very telling that the press of the powerful was worried about conspiracy theories. Why would that be where they put all their energy?
The press of the powerful would be much better engaged in trying to get as much actual information as possible out to the public. Instead it’s all unnamed sources say this or that contradictory thing. The strange thing is, in this case there is documented information. The prison has cameras in the hallway which can be reviewed. This might answer the question as to whether there were screams coming from Epstein’s cell, what time that occurred, who was around, etc.
Further, there are names of actual people who signed off on taking him off suicide watch, removing his cell mate, and telling the guards to not worry about checking in on Epstein that night. Those are all strange things which should have an answer if a reporter with the resources of the powerful behind them cared to know.
Clearly, the message is, don’t ask questions. That’s exactly the opposite of what everyone should be doing who wants to understand what has happened. Many of the questions have (or should have) answers. I believe the press of the powerful should attend to getting those answers and quit being concerned about what anyone believes. If the answers to knowable information show that a conspiracy took place, that is simply what happened. Berating people for wanting to know what actually happened, for demanding answers to questions that are knowable, is called propaganda. It most certainly is not journalism.
Jill – yes, I for-one agree. I gave up watching any of those news-discussion programs because, among other things, they’re mostly conjecturing by mostly conservative sources. It’s a little like barroom BS’ing — long on theoretical opinionating, but short on hard-facts.
A Fitbit or equivalent on Epstein with preset alarms monitored at a guard station ( or , for that matter , by his family or lawyers over the web ) could have prevented Epstein’s death , but in 2019 , that’s a big ask , I suppose. Maybe in a few decades.
Not that it WOULD have prevented Epstein’s death. There’s always a workaround.
Apparently “pending further investigation” is now code for “national security”/”classified.” Come on. They’ve had the body since Saturday morning. What are the results of the medical examination? This question under FOIA auspices and principle.
Good points, very good points. The fight is for clarity and precision. The brainwashing machinery is working very hard to demonize whatever opposes its will. So a legitimate phrase “conspiracy theory” is pejorated or demonized.
The entire Russia-gate hoax is a conspiracy theory. What we need then, in advance of the Gestapo on the Doorstep, is to define conspiracy theory properly as either a) founded in facts and logic or b) founded in spin and deceit. We could then apply for Conspiracy-A permits, and have them sitting in our wallets with the rest of our cards. Again, we should be reminded of 1918 and Eugene Debs.
This was meant as a reply to Vivek Jain’s quote from Michael Parenti, above.
The term “conspiracy theory” is used so often and so casually that it’s worth exploring its history and meaning.
Right off the bat, when we hear that something is a “conspiracy theory,” we’re expected to understand that people are talking about a crackpot idea. That much is clear, as Spock says in Star Trek IV.
But if we analyze the term, we can see it’s a bit strange. Are conspiracies so unusual?
– Every organized crime operation is a conspiracy, and many are charged as such.
– Watergate was a conspiracy–in fact, it was a collection of conspiracies. (Let me count the ways … )
– Iran-Contra was quite an elaborate conspiracy that no one would have believed if the participants hadn’t been busted. Tu parles!
– The CIA’s overthrow of Allende in Chile in 1973 was a conspiracy.
– The CIA’s overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 1953 was a conspiracy.
– The CIA’s many assassinations of foreign leaders around the world for decades are all conspiracies.
– All of the CIA’s operations in partnership with Mossad or MI6 are and have been conspiracies.
– September 11 was a conspiracy. It’s just a question of which version (or “conspiracy theory”) you wish to believe–there are many.
– The concoction of “evidence” to rush to war in Iraq was a conspiracy.
– The concoction of “evidence” for the Gulf of Tonkin resolution was a conspiracy,
– LBJ’s coverup of Israel’s deliberate attack on the USS Liberty was a conspiracy.
I’m tired of coming up with examples. You get the point.
Now, what’s a “theory”?
A theory is an explanation for phenomena in the world for which there is actual evidence. A theory is well on the way to being considered fact, though it may not be established fact without further evidence. A theory is distinct from a hypothesis in that a hypothesis is an explanation that has not received evidence leading to its acceptance or confirmation as fact.
Here are some examples of theories:
1. The Theory of Evolution–Who doubts that apart from evangelical Protestants or people with little education? We aren’t 100% sure of all the details, but we accept the overall theory as fact.
2. The Theory of Gravity–Does anyone doubt it? Of course, like evolution, gravity is a lot more complex than most of us know.
3. The Theory of Relativity–This one many people might doubt, but it’s generally accepted as fact, and you probably don’t doubt it yourself.
4. Newton’s Theories (or Laws) of Motion–Most people don’t even know them, but they’re (all three of them) accepted as fact.
5. Genetic theory–This is vast and complex and certainly subject to modification upon the introduction of new evidence, but we all (mostly) accept that we have genes that determine our physical characteristics at the very least. Genetic determination of intelligence is much more subject to caution (nature vs. nurture).
6. Language Acquisition theory–This is much more subject to change and hard to accept as plain fact, given the very fluid nature of the evidence for and against the various ideas that theory involves.
What about borderline theories, or theories that might better be called “hypotheses”?
The main “theory” that comes to mind is String Theory in Physics. Since there’s evidence neither for nor against it and physicists have stated that it is unfalsifiable (or impossible to prove or disprove by experimentation), it might be better to call it “the String Hypothesis.”
There is so much mathematical theory, all of which has a solid underpinning of irrefutable proof. By the standards of modern physics, a major concept in mathematics, the Riemann Hypothesis, would be called “Riemann Theory,” since all available evidence appears to confirm it. However, that’s not good enough for mathematicians. No proof currently exists (or has yet been verified, but see Attiyah), so it’s still considered a “hypothesis.”
HISTORY OF THE TERM “Conspiracy Theory”: The term was coined by Allen Dulles, the ex-head of the CIA, fired by John Kennedy for having lied to him about the Bay of Pigs. Dulles was the effective head of the Warren Commission, although the titular head was Earl Warren, who was actually a mere figurehead. (See Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable.)
LONG STORY SHORT: The term “conspiracy theory” is strange but typical shorthand for telling us which ideas are taboo to believe or even entertain, but an examination of the term shows just how ridiculous it is.
“However, that’s not good enough for mathematicians. No proof currently exists (or has yet been verified, but see Attiyah), so it’s still considered a “hypothesis.”
Many including Mr. Feynman were aware of many causal networks, developments and consequences in and of “Cargo cult science” and hence it’s still considered a (indefinite article) “hypothesis” and illustration of resort to belief to bridge doubt to attain “comfort/confort/confront” by many practitioners not restricted to mathematicians.
Among the consequences of “Cargo cult science” are the “practices and other outcomes” of Boeing and Microsoft not restricted to patching as functions of many causal networks in illustration of decay as a process of fertilisation, akin to doubt as a catalyst in “Science”.
“Among the consequences of “Cargo cult science” are the “practices and other outcomes” of Boeing and Microsoft not restricted to patching as functions of many causal networks in illustration of decay as a process of fertilisation, akin to doubt as a catalyst in “Science”. “
where the cargo cult is encouraged through conflation of attempt with achievement and lets-move-on-ism of belief when expectations/hopes and outcomes diverge.
Mr. Achilles had two heels where as the opponents have many.
Or c) founded on fantasy and prejudice.