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margo

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Reply with quote  #16 
"All the theories about 911 are conspiracy theories"
-- Dr Daniele Ganser

LINK > http://www.aftenbladet.no/english/englishcomment/All-of-the-theories-about-911-are-conspiracy-theories-2369639.html

excerpt:

 

Quote:

Ganser's premise is that conspiracies are nothing unusual or new in the field of historical research. At least since the assassination of Julius Caesar in classical Rome more than 2000 years ago, conspiracies have been an element of the political fight for influence and power.

He defines a conspiracy as, «a secret agreement between two or more persons to engage in a criminal act.»

He continues: «As 9/11 was a criminal act which was definitively not planned and carried out by one single person alone but by at least two or more persons who agreed on the plan before it was implemented, 9/11 must be classified as a conspiracy.»

margo

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Reply with quote  #17 
ZNET > "Conspiracies or Institutions: 911 and Beyond" (June 2002) by Stephen Shalom & Michael Albert
https://zcomm.org/zmagazine/conspiracies-or-institutions-9-11-and-beyond-by-stephen-shalom/

ZNET > "911 Conspiracy Theories"  by Noam Chomsky
http://zcomm.org/zblogs/conspiracy-theories-by-noam-chomsky/

ZNET > "911 Conspiracy Theories are A Cowards Cult" by George Monbiot
http://zcomm.org/znetarticle/the-9-11-conspiracy-theories-are-a-cowards-cult-by-george-monbiot/

ZNET > "911 Institutional Analysis vs Conspiracy Theory" by Noam Chomsky
http://zcomm.org/zblogs/9-11-institutional-analysis-vs-conspiracy-theory-by-noam-chomsky/

ZNET > "The 911 Conspiracy Nuts" by Alexander Cockburn
http://zcomm.org/znetarticle/the-9-11-conspiracy-nuts-by-alexander-cockburn/

Nafeez Ahmed replies to ZNET's Conspiracy Section
http://www.mediamonitors.net/mosaddeq37.html#_edn1

Does the "structuralism vs. conspiracy theory" dialectic amount to gate-keeping, by pre-emptively shutting down open-ended discussion? Does it give an air of intellectual legitimacy to thought-policing? Does it turn out to have its own logical contradictions and blind spots?
 
cognitive dissonance reminiscent of that episode of Star Trek where Kirk causes a super-computer to self destruct by presenting it with a Godelian paradox - See more at: http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2014/02/13/processing-distortion-with-peter-b-collins-a-critique-of-noam-chomsky/#sthash.cIlE79Za.dpuf

cognitive dissonance reminiscent of that episode of Star Trek where Kirk causes a super-computer to self destruct by presenting it with a Godelian paradox - See more at: http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2014/02/13/processing-distortion-with-peter-b-collins-a-critique-of-noam-chomsky/#sthash.cIlE79Za.dpuf

Myers

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Reply with quote  #18 
Znet fail.

The dialectic of "structuralism vs. conspiracy theory" is a false one, plain and simple. Peter Dale Scott:

Quote:
I have always believed, and argued, that a true understanding of the Kennedy assassination will lead not to `a few bad people,’ but to the institutional and parapolitical arrangements which constitute the way we are systematically governed. The conspiracies that I see operative, in other words, are part of our political structure, not exceptions to it. . . The deep-politics paradigm . . . is essentially an extension of conventional political investigative methods to consideration of a much larger field of evidence, including, but not restricted to, the unacknowledged processes and events which conventional decorum excludes from our current “political science” textbooks.


With the exception of Nafeez Ahmed, these articles on zcomm show a sorry collection of logical fallacies that reveal the taboo.

In case you missed it, a good post in Tarzie's site back in summer:

https://ohtarzie.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/conspiracy-and-class-interest/

[read the comments]


and an article on Chomsky's logic breakdown and general duplicity when it comes to deep events here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/244079597/Chomsky-and-the-Broken-Kettle

margo

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Reply with quote  #19 
"There are conspiracies"

Manufacturing NeoLiberalism: How the Council of Foreign Relations Marketed Global Capitalism

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/09/22/manufacturing-neoliberalism-how-the-council-of-foreign-relations-marketed-global-capitalism/
Myers

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Reply with quote  #20 
That was a well balanced article. Especially interesting were the stats on references to the CFR in academic literature. That such an influential and central organisation can escape scrutiny kind of makes a mockery of the political science disciplines.
We do need some clearer typology though. 'Conspiracy' has a clear meaning involving secrecy. The CFR is not best understood as a 'conspiracy'. The maintaining of the media's and academia's silence may involve conspiracies amongst powerful office holders, or the effect of cognitive filters, or a combination of the two. 'Conspiracy theory' refers to belief forming strategies, not to events or institutions directly. Writers should be clearer.

Arundhati Roy's article from 2012 deserves a mention ; http://www.outlookindia.com/article/capitalism-a-ghost-story/280234



margo

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Reply with quote  #21 
The 'Conspiratorial Thinking' Smear / OpEd News

LINK > http://www.opednews.com/articles/Increasing-Threats-To-The-by-Bill-Willers-100610-885.html


'The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering' / Patrick Cockburn

LINK > http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-truth-about-conspiracy-theories-is-that-some-require-considering-9616863.html
Myers

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Reply with quote  #22 
[Posted on message board 02/11/15]

I hope that Everyman calls in and reads that article because it is a classic example of the conspiracy filter at work, and what is more, it is at work in the writing of a leading left/ liberal writer.

Cockburn's arguments are familiar to anyone who has read Aaronovitch's 'Voodoo History', and they are so philosophically flimsy that they betray a deep confusion.

The basic contention that I have, and that is laid out so clearly in this paper by Charles Pigden, is that the argument is a straight forward tautology which serves to mask a hidden political assertion. There is confusion about what the term 'conspiracy theory' is referring to. Aaronovitch and Cockburn admit that conspiracies do happen, and so distance themselves from asserting that conspiracy theories per se are irrational, but they then work from the premise that the term is only referring to irrational theories that involve conspiracies. So irrational theories are irrational, a self confirming statement -thanks for that guys. The question of who or how it is determined what constitutes a 'rational theory' is left for us to assume (the fact that it appears written by an articulate journalist in an authoritative broadsheet newspaper is often the implied standard of verity).
Unpicking further we see that the subtext is that although conspiracies do happen and that accepted history is full of examples of them, conspiracy theorizing as a belief forming strategy is fundamentally irrational - it is epistemologically 'unclean'. However, as Pigden points out, this is not only untrue, it is absurd, as we would render ourselves historically 'self-mutilated' if we really followed that strategy. There is an unacknowledged proposition underneath this term 'conspiracy theory', it is that we should only question powerful people so far, and no further, regardless of any evidence brought to the table. "The term 'Conspiracy theory' is invoked whenever we ascribe conscious intent to the powerful" Michael Parenti.

Cockburn's article is full of strange sentences, which I think reveal his confused thinking:

'Greeks and Greek Cypriots had been too prone to see politics in terms of plots and conspiracies and forgot the over-riding strategic fact that Cyprus is 600 miles from Athens and 40 miles from Turkey.'

-Does this really make sense. Firstly, I am sure that Turks must have conspired (plotted in secret) to invade Cyprus, (or did they just wake up one morning and find themselves getting into boats with weapons and heading out across the Mediterranean) ? I don't see how the strategic blunder of not guarding a distant island somehow undermines the wisdom of suspecting and trying to uncover plots against your interests.

'Conspiracy theories are damaging because they enable individuals, communities and governments to divert attention from their real problems and shift the blame for their failures elsewhere. '

-Elsewhere ? where elsewhere? This is the point, such theorizing can lead to dangerous scapegoating, but also to uncovering real hidden networks of power and Machiavellian plots, so you have to consider both not just the former in your conceptualizing.

'Conspiracy theories often stem from joining up dots that are really quite separate... '

-Dots are separate by the mere fact of them being 'dots'. Joining dots is what is called thinking. We are presented with a barrage of sensory and conceptual data in our consciousness, and we make sense of it, we put it into meaningful patterns through the process of thinking. Sometimes that thinking is later shown to be wrong, sometimes people self deceive and refuse to accept that theories are wrong (or right), but you cannot make a statement about theories around conspiracies as being some special case where 'people join up dots that are separate' as that is what all theories do.

'...This is done by asking "cui bono?" or "who benefits" from an event and then assuming that the beneficiary must be secretly behind whatever has happened.'

-What about investigating whether the beneficiary is secretly behind whatever has happened? Is that irrational? Is asking Cui bono? in the first place irrational? Cockburn is confusing the issue.

'Politics is largely about taking advantage of the mistakes and opportunities made by an opponent.'

-It is also largely about planning, scheming, plotting, and above all lying repeatedly. I would say that such 'taking advantage' takes place within a general background atmosphere of intentional planned actions, that power is best considered essentially active before it is considered re-active. Plans are adjusted according to circumstance, but the powerful are not devoid of human agency.

'Consider the demented scenarios claiming that the White House was secretly behind the 9/11 destruction of the twin towers. In so far as this has a sub-stratum of reason, it is because the attack was to the political advantage of the Bush administration, enabling it to pose as defender of the nation, thereby persuading some that it must be complicit in the al-Qa'ida plot. This nonsense masked the fact, culpably concealed or played down by the White House, that there was strong evidence linking 9/11 to supporters and sympathisers in Saudi Arabia.'

-The crux, almost as if the whole article is a setting for this gem of restating the myth of our era. The 'demented scenarios' also have a 'sub-stratum' of reason, the reason being that the attacks benefited the Bush administration (note : not the US military industrial complex). But this Cui Bono basis was what Cockburn rubbished earlier in the piece, now it is the 'sub-stratum of reason'. Aside from that, anyone who actually reads the material on the WTC will immediately see that the researchers involved are led to their inquiries by the actual empirical evidence of the towers' demise, not by cui bono or a priori positions. This is just spinning a line from Cockburn.
Cockburn then goes on to try and pitch the questioners of the WTC events against those who point out that KSA was evidently involved in the plot, whereas the fact is that it has been the self same independent investigators and researchers who have pushed for disclosure on both these (and many other) aspects of the controversy for well over a decade. Again Cockburn is being deeply dishonest.

'Purveyors of conspiracy theories have at least four other powerful motives: a natural human delight in complicating matters and telling a good story; proving that an enemy is not only bad but demonically cunning; making money – think of all those profitable articles, books and films about the Kennedy assassination that could not have been sold if the official version of the shooting was correct.'

-The usual pejorative nonsense, blah blah, making money, getting attention. Although this does go on, it is insignificant compared to the work of genuine researchers. These tropes from Cockburn are real insults to the professionals, academics and ordinary Joe's who have given their time and put their reputations on the line to expose lies and huge crimes.
Also the inference here is that the official story of the Kennedy killing(s) is not true. Seeing as this was the event that coined the term 'conspiracy theory' and laid out its conceptual framework (thanks to a CIA memo) it is telling that Cockburn is suggesting that the official story is not correct.

Amazing how consistent these transparently ridiculous articles are, and across the spectrum of journalistic output. They repeat same bullet points of unreason now as those of forty years ago, and are still so easily shot down by one simple thing: evidence.


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