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There were 138 results from your search for keyword(s): 'Conspiracy'.
- "A charade, with Andreotti, the then prime minister, helping to cover it all up, and those who ended in jail were minor players. The point is, everything we heard was false or distorted, and for twenty years we've been living a lie."
Source: Numero Zero, p. 204
- "Heidi, tell me again about the Montauk Project."
"Been around since the eighties, part of the American vernacular by now. Next year they'll be opening the old air station to tourists. There's already companies running tour buses."
"Another form of everything ends up as a Broadway musical."
"So nobody takes the Montauk Project seriously anymore, you're saying."
A dramatic sigh. "Maxi, earnest Maxi, forensic as always. These urban myths can be attractors, they pick up little fragments of strangeness from everywhere, after a while nobody can look at the whole thing and believe it all, it's too unstructured. But somehow we'll still cherry-pick for the intriguing pieces, God forbid we should be taken in of course, we're too hip for that and yet there's no final proof that some of it isn't true. Pros and cons, and it all degenerates into arguments on the Internet, flaming, trolling, threads that only lead deeper into the labyrinth."
Source: Bleeding Edge, p. 197
- "I mean to say, first, that there's but poor comfort in being able to declare that any given act of violence -- damaging property or destroying life -- is not the work of anarchism at all, but of something else altogether -- some species of authorized scoundrelism. This, I fancy, is much more frequent than we suppose...[T]he existence of these spies amongst the revolutionary groups which we are reproached for harboring here, does away with all certitude."
Source: The Secret Agent, p. 93
- "I should like," Huddleberry was saying, "I should like to write a detective story -- a mystery story...But one in which no one should know what crime had been committed -- nor who had committed it..."
"That's true of all crimes, isn't it, rather?" asked Charles and watched himself inject a careless laugh, like a hypodermic, into the man's mind. But:
"No one...There should be a dream quality about it all..." His eye lighted; a rising enthusiasm informed his customarily level tones and he waved his long thin hands in wider gestures -- "A dream quality, yes; a brooding sense of Something -- no one quite knowing what -- but Something dread, and menacing, and terrible. A Something that sets all the boasted power of civilization at naught --," he raised his hand as Charles gave evidence of being about to speak, "--at naught, and mocks the puny strength of men..."
Source: The Eater of Darkness, p. 142
- "In other words, we have to say to our owner: this is how Domani would have been had it appeared yesterday. Understood? And, if we wanted to, even if no one had actually thrown the bomb, we could easily do an issue as if."
"Or throw the bomb ourselves if we felt like it," sneered Braggadocio.
"Let's not be silly," cautioned Simei. Then, almost as an afterthought, "And if you really want to do that, don't come telling me."
Source: Numero Zero, p. 32
- "It could be argued that conspiracy itself revolves around a contestation over the presence and/or verifiability of an explanatory, or causal point of origin. Paranoia, to use one obvious example, becomes a relative category of description based in part upon the question of whether in fact there is something 'out there,' or whether the paranoiac is simply delusional." In the domain of paranoia within reason that we are probing here, there is no question that there is something "out there." The paranoia arises from expert desire or duty toward knowledge in the absence of compass. With just enough of the facts missing, what is speculative in every project of reason, as Hunt's essay argues, becomes distorted, even playful, and stays this side of delusion. In paranoia within reason, more play is given to what is finally constrained in every reasoning process.
From chapter: Introduction
Source: Paranoia Within Reason: A Casebook on Conspiracy as Explanation, p. 5
- "It's the era of nice monsters, Käthe, and we must count ourselves among them. They're all nice, Veronica's nice too, Beverloh was nice, he was a regular paragon of niceness..."
Source: The Safety Net, p. 114
- "Men, women, statesmen, courtesans, plotters...and yet, in the mind of each the dread questions are constantly impending -- 'What is it that threatens?' -- 'And for whom?' -- 'If Death, then who shall be the victim?' -- 'Who the murderer?' -- 'Where the scene of the tragedy?' -- 'Shall it be I who will strike the fatal blow?' -- 'Or shall I receive it?' ..."
He paused again, staring dramatically at the corner of the ceiling. "And the end -- dramatic, inevitable, but veiled in mystery....'Was there a murder?' -- 'Who was the victim?' -- they shall ask, my characters. And as each sinks shudderingly to sleep -- 'Was it I who killed, last night as I thought I slept?' -- 'Am I, even now, am I dead?'... Ah! Yes! It shall be my greatest work, that. It would go well in the American Mercury, don't you think?"
Source: The Eater of Darkness, p. 144-145
- "No offense," his smirk indicating otherwise, "but what's disturbing about this Promis software is that there's always a backdoor built in, so anytime it gets installed on a government computer anywhere in the world -- law enforcement, intelligence, special ops -- anybody who happens to know about this backdoor can just slip in through it and make themselves at home -- wherever -- and all manner of secrets get compromised. Not to mention there's a couple of Israeli chips, highly sophisticated, which Mossad have been known to install at the same time, without necessarily informing the client. What these chips do is scavenge information even while the computer's turned off, hold it till the Ofeq satellite comes over, then transmit everything out to it in a single data burst."
Source: Bleeding Edge, p. 104
- "No, Sir Ethelred. In principle, I should lay it down that the existence of secret agents should not be tolerated, as tending to augment the positive dangers of the evil against which they are used. That the spy will fabricate his information is a mere commonplace. But in the sphere of political and revolutionary action, relying partly on violence, the professional spy has every facility to fabricate the very facts themselves, and will spread the double evil of emulation in one direction, and of panic, hasty legislation, unreflecting hate, on the other. However, this is an imperfect world -- " [The Assistant Commissioner to the Secretary of State]
Source: The Secret Agent, p. 92
- "Only in 1984 does an investigating judge, Felice Casson, discover that the explosive used at Peteano came from a Gladio arms depot...And you understand that if a military secret service has three policemen blown up, it won't be out of any dislike for the police but to direct the blame at far-left extremists."
Source: Numero Zero, p. 210
- "Phantom ware countermeasures."
"Wait, you're supposed to be pro-phantomware, what's with this 'counter'?"
"We built it, we disable it. You're frowning. We're beyond good and evil here, the technology, it's neutral, eh?"
Source: Bleeding Edge, p. 89
- "So better to stay deep," Vyrva sez. "After a while it can get to be an addiction. There's a hacker saying -- once you've gone Deep, never get back to sleep."
Source: Bleeding Edge, p. 78
- "The Montauk Project."
"The...Oh, wait, Heidi's mentioned that...She teaches it, some kind of...urban legend?"
"You could say." Beat. "You could also say, the terminal truth about the U.S. government, worse than anything you can imagine."
Mike shows up with the food. Maxine sits peeling her banana, slicing it over the cereal, trying to keep her eyes wide and unjudging while March digs in to her high-cholesterol eats and is soon talking with her mouth full. "I see my share of conspiracy theories, some are patently bullshit, some I want to believe so much I have to be careful, others are inescapable even if I wanted to escape. The Montauk Project is every horrible suspicion you've ever had since World War II, all the paranoid production values, a vast underground facility, exotic weapons, space aliens, time travel, other dimensions, shall I go on?"
Source: Bleeding Edge, p. 117
- "The point is that newspapers are not up there for spreading news but for covering it up. X happens, you have to report it, but it causes embarrassment for too many people, so in the same edition you had some shock headlines -- mother kills four children, savings at risk of going up in smoke, letter from Garibaldi insulting his lieutenant Nino Bixio discovered, etc. -- so news drowns in a great sea of information. I'm interested in what Gladio did in Italy form the 1960s until 1990. Must have been up to all kinds of tricks, would have been mixed up with the far-right terrorist movements, played a part in the bombing at Piazza Fontana in 1969, and from then on -- the days of the student revolts of '68 and the workers' strikes that autumn -- it dawned on someone that he could incite terrorist attacks and put the blame on the Left."
Source: Numero Zero, p. 194
- "Wait here till I get the morning editions," said the stranger. They were full of all the details about the Nine Prominent Critics Die By X-Ray Bullet, and it went on to relate how reason shuddered when the city waked up today to find that such men as Harry Hansen, William Soskin, Heywood Broun, Bruce Gould, Waldo Frank, Henry Seidl Canby, Asa Huddleberry and James Thurber and George Jean Nathan were made the victims of a dastardly attack late last night and the police were hopelessly at sea because no motive could be imagined for the murders unless by the Communists from Moscow. The stranger looked worried. Then his brow cleared.
Source: The Eater of Darkness, p. 165-166
- 'Has it ever occurred to you, Oedipa, that somebody's putting you on? That this is all a hoax, maybe something Inverarity set up before he died?'
It had occurred to her. But like the thought that someday she would have to die, Oedipa had been steadfastly refusing to look at that possibility directly, or in any but the most accidental of lights. 'No,' she said,' that's ridiculous.'
Fallopian watched her, nothing if not compassionate. 'You ought,' quietly, 'really, you ought to think about it. Write down what you can't deny. Your hard intelligence. But then write down what you've only speculated, assumed. See what you've got. At least that.'
Source: The Crying of Lot 49, p. 129
- 'Sure this Koteks is part of some underground,' he told her a few days later, 'an underground of the unbalanced, possibly, but then how can you blame them for being maybe a little bitter?'
Source: The Crying of Lot 49, p. 66
- 'You know what a miracle is. Not what Bakunin said. But another world's intrusion into this one. Most of the time we coexist peacefully, but when we do touch there's cataclysm.'
Source: The Crying of Lot 49, p. 91
- 18 U.S.C. § 241...criminalizes conspiracies intended to injure any person in his "free exercise [and] enjoyment of any right...secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States. Like other federal criminal conspiracy statutes, section 241 punishes the conspiracy agreement per se and does not require an actual violation of the victim's federal rights.
Source: Montana Law Review, Vol 57, p. 10
- Why trust instruments anyway? A telling detail in Kim Fortun's essay on the Gulf War syndrome asks as much. The Department of Defense admits that their sensors for chemical warfare agents have a high rate of "false positives." This is a peculiar and murky observation. It seems to be an admission that instruments are as inventive in their identification of empirical certitude as humans. The sensor detects the invisible agents; however, we know that the sensor is mistaken. If indeed these agents are undetectable by human actors, how precisely do we justify that conclusion? It is difficult not to conclude that a "false positive" is the aporia that marks the limits of instrumental certitude. For what could be more conspiratorial than a scientific instrument that deceives?
The conceptual black hole of the "false positive" is radically unthinkable; indeed, it is incommensurable with scientific reality. It is, I would argue, the aporia that produces the willies. Its incommensurability suggests an alternate reality, a different explanatory model. It is this radical doubt that fuels conspiracy and feeds the willies.
From chapter: Jamer Hunt, Paranoid, Critical, Methodical, Dali, Koolhaas, and...
Source: Paranoia Within Reason: A Casebook on Conspiracy as Explanation, p. 27
- A final characteristic of the paranoid style is related to the quality of its pedantry. One of the impressive things about paranoid literature is the contrast between its fantasied conclusions and the almost touching concern with factuality it invariably shows. It produces heroic strivings for evidence to prove that the unbelievable is the only thing that can be believed. Of course, there are highbrow, lowbrow, and middlebrow paranoids, as there are likely to be in any political tendency. But respectable paranoid literature not only starts from certain moral commitments that can indeed be justified but also carefully and all but obsessively accumulates "evidence." The difference between this "evidence" and that commonly employed by others is that it seems less a means of entering into normal political controversy than a means of warding off the profane intrusions of the secular political world. The paranoid seems to have little expectation of actually convincing a hostile world, but he can accumulate evidence in order to protect his cherished convictions from it.
Source: The Paranoid Style in American Politics, p. 85
- A good deal of academic ink has also been spilled studying 9/11 as a "conspiracy theory" phenomenon. The scholars who author this literature -- many of whom practice in the social sciences, but there are a few lawyers as well -- regard those who question the official version of 9/11 as "conspiracy theorists" who should not under any circumstances be engaged on their evidentiary claims but rather objectified and studied in an effort to ascertain the cause of their distemper.
Source: 9/11 As False Flag: Why International Law Must Dare To Care, p. 6
- A remark -- actually a lyric -- comes to bear: "There is a war / Between the ones who say there is a war / And the ones who say that there isn't." (It's from a Leonard Cohen song.) Paranoid art says, basically, there is a war. Between the one who is looking to find something to change your mind, and the mind that doesn't want to be changed; between the sleepers and those awake, between you and the air and the animals; possibly between heaven and earth. Paranoid art insists on tracking lines (drawn on paper, perhaps): lines of force and influence, force fields of motivation, codes of power. It reinscribes the image of something at stake that others may prefer to obscure. This art traffics in interpretation, and so beckons interpretation on the part of its audience.
Source: Fear of Music, p. 108-109
- A second secret element is the clandestine headquarters, which should consist of a 'tiny number of men' who were willing and prepared to undertake 'more or less concerted action' (Mariën, 1989: 67). As a first task, the group should produce a basic liquid capital required for initiating the campaign. To this purpose, Mariën’s (1989) envisages 'real' terrorist acts:
"[T]he single opportunity to procure that money obviously consists in getting it there, where it is. [...] A blade against the throat, the threat of some Asian torture as well as hostage-taking would make each bank manager a precious and entirely compliant auxiliary tool. [...] Employees and customers [...] are not at all prepared to resist the onslaught of machine pistols, hand grenades, teargas or, if necessary, flamethrowers." (pp.122, 127)
Source: Surrealistic communication as symbolic terrorism: The example of Marcel Mariën’s theory of political campaigning, p. 197
- Although Stone [in Damascus Gate] analyzes the psychology of the true believer, he seems much less interested in those traditional subjects of the realistic novel, middle-class people who live in families and go to work. As a result, the novel's politics are also skewed toward extremism...Stone's Israel itself seems more of an idea, or a system, than a country where real people live.
This derealization of so much of Israel makes it rather too easy for the novel to espouse a conspiratorial view of Israeli politics. In The Mandelbaum Gate, the discovery of a spy is still a major plot development; our inability, in Operation Shylock, to be sure of having penetrated the spy's last disguise, is still a source of mystery. But Damascus Gate starts out with the assumption that Mossad routinely encourages Palestinian terrorist factions; even Hamas is an Israeli operation that got out of control. It is an easy assumption that "Palestinians" beating up informers are really Israeli soldiers beating up their more effective opponents, or that the government encourages gunrunning and drug running in the Occupied Territories. On the political plane, distinctions between legitimate and illegitimate force are not just obscured -- they have ceased to exist. The novel suggests that believing in an apocalyptic cult or a revolutionary underground is quite understandable but hardly imagines anyone delusional enough to take electoral politics seriously.
Having lived with Watergate, the Iran-Contra scandal, and Monica Lewinsky, a contemporary American can hardly find this cynicism strange...
Source: Plotting Terror, p. 135
- An act of terrorism in the name of government; a work of destruction so expressive it is incomprehensible; an event so strategic that it appears to be insane. It is a matter of a phantom event. This paradoxical state of affairs is precisely what Privy Councillor Wurmt, the Chancelier d'Ambassade at the London embassy of a 'great power', invokes as a means of sorting out the affairs of state within England in his meeting with Adolf Verloc, agent provocateur: 'What is required at present is not writing, but the bringing to light of a distinct, a significant fact', in order to exacerbate national 'unrest'. The central terrorist action of [Joseph Conrad's] The Secret Agent (1907), based on the actual self-detonation of the Anarchist Martial Bourdin in Greenwich in 1894, is thus prefigured as state 'propagande par le fait' -- 'propaganda by deed', as it is translated in English, though it could equally be rendered 'propaganda by fact'. The term was officially introduced in 1876 at the Anarchist International to inaugurate a policy of political violence that would assert a radical materiality for overturning metaphysics and the state in one blow. Yet in The Secret Agent it is to be put to wholly different ends. Provocation is necessary, Verloc is told by Wurmt, because of the 'general leniency of the judicial procedure' in Britain, a point Mr Vladimir, the First Secretary of the embassy, reiterates: 'This country is absurd with its regard for individual liberty'.
Source: Terrorism and Modern Literature, p. 34
- And with the end of the Holy Roman Empire, the fountainhead of Thurn and Taxis legitimacy is lost forever among the other splendid delusions. Possibilities for paranoia become abundant. If Tristero has managed to maintain even partial secrecy, if Thurn and Taxis have no clear idea who their adversary is, or how far its influence extends, then many of them must come to believe in something very like the Scurvhamite's blind, automatic anti-God. Whatever it is, it has the power to murder their riders, send landslides thundering across their roads, by extension bring into being new local competition and presently even state postal monopolies, disintegrate their Empire. It is their time's ghost, out to put the Thurn and Taxis ass in a sling.
Source: The Crying of Lot 49, p. 127
- Antitrust law is an arena from which political conspiracy theorizing could learn a few lessons. The possibility, indeed the probability of conspiracy -- that powerful interests will have every incentive to act in a coordinated and illegal fashion for their own benefit -- is one of the cornerstones of antitrust law. A theory of conspiracy in this area is not grounds automatically to smirk condescendingly and presume the theorist is some sort of irrational lunatic or deluded simpleton with an insufficient grasp of the laws of probability. Rather, the law recognizes that conspiracies are one likely outcome and that what is needed are methodologies of determination.
The procedures begin with the observation of "parallel conduct". "Since Matsushita, Circuit Courts have put forward somewhat distinct formulations of the summary judgment test, yet the formal structure of the tests is remarkably consistent across jurisdictions. Each test contains the following elements. First, in a section 1 conspiracy case in which the plaintiff lacks direct evidence of an agreement, the plaintiff must show plus factors in addition to parallel conduct. Plus factors are discussed, circularly, as that class of evidence necessary to transform evidence of parallel conduct into a viable conspiracy case where the plaintiff lacks direct evidence of an agreement. Second, defendants can provide counter-explanations of such evidence to rebut the inference of conspiracy in favor of an inference of independent conduct. Third, the Matsushita/Monsanto 'tends to exclude' metric operates as the final standard by which the entirety of the evidence is evaluated. The totality of the plaintiff's plus factor and parallel conduct evidence must be sufficiently probative that, based on the record at summary judgment, the inference of conspiracy is stronger than the inference of independent conduct.
"A possible formalization of these tests, utilizing the helpful concepts and notation of Bayesian probability, is as follows. Where the plaintiff lacks direct evidence of conspiracy, she must present circumstantial evidence -- plus factors -- that would revise the probability of conspiracy upward from the prior baseline that a fact-finder would infer from mere evidence of parallel conduct. Denote the baseline probability of conspiracy (C) given only evidence of mere parallel conduct (PC) as P(C|PC). A plaintiff must assert at least one plus factor (PF) such that the probability of conspiracy given the parallel conduct and the plus factor is greater than the probability of such conspiracy given the parallel conduct alone
P(C|PC&PF) > P(C|PC).
"That is, the plus factor is any evidence that would make a rational trier of fact revise upward her estimated probability that the defendants engaged in concerted, conspiratorial action. A defendant can rebut the presumption that this evidence is sufficient to show conspiracy by proffering counter-explanations of the evidence to show that the plus factor is equally (or more) consistent with independent conduct.
"To expand this Bayesian formalization, we need to recall that P(C|PC&PF) will be greater than P(C|PC) if and only if the plus factor is the sort of event or activity that is more likely to be present with parallel conduct when and where defendants have formed a conspiracy (C) than where defendants have engaged in independent conduct (I). Note that:
P(C|PC&PF) = [P(PC&PF|C)*P(C)] ÷ [P(PC&PF|C)*P(C) + P(PC&PF|I)*P(I)].
Here P(C) is the prior probability of conspiracy before anything is known about the defendants. It is the likelihood attached to conspiracy without information about the defendants' products or their behavior or the market(s) in which they operate. The prior probability can be based on a legal presumption or on economic logic about the likelihood of conspiracies to form and be stable, or empirical guesses about the frequency of conspiracies across the full panoply of markets. Correspondingly, P(I) is the prior probability of independent conduct, and since under our working definitions C and I are mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive states, P(I) = 1 - P(C). To emphasize, because P(I) and P(C) are Bayesian priors, their values are not determined by anything specific to the defendant firms in the case or the particular market at issue.
"Whether or not the plus factor leads us to revise the probability of conspiracy upward from its level given only parallel conduct depends on whether or not the plus factor in combination with parallel conduct is more lily to be associated with conspiratorial or independent action. The second stage of the Matsushita assessment thus allows defendants to contest the relative values...The court then applies the 'tends to exclude' standard as requiring that the totality of the plaintiff's proof rise to a substantive level at which the inference of conspiracy is stronger than the inference of independent conduct.
Source: Random Thoughts, p. 224
- As Breton writes, Soupault too had explored such ways of instigating a "conversation with the unknown" through a similarly decided strategy of random strikes. Breton continues: "Similarly, in 1919 Soupault went into any number of impossible buildings to ask the concierge whether Philippe Soupault did in fact live there. He would not have been surprised, I suspect, by an affirmative reply. He would have gone and knocked on his door." The results of this investigation are irrelevant, except insofar as they produce the opportunities that create an environment whereby, in Walter Benjamin's words, "every square inch of our cities" is a crime scene and "every passer-by a culprit."
Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 48
- As terrorists grew more savvy about television, they threatened to take control away from broadcasters. A German television journalist noted that during the Baader-Meinhoff organization's kidnapping of Peter Lorenz in 1975, "We lost control of the medium. We shifted shows to meet their timetable..." Terrorist acts, argues N.C. Livingstone, are custom-made for the medium; they are relatively concise, dramatic, and "not so complex as to be unintelligible to those who tune in only briefly...terrorism is so ideally suited to television that the medium would have invented the phenomenon if it had not already existed".
Source: Plotting Terror, p. 12-13
- Ask today for the legal basis of fighting a global "War on Terror" against groups that were not even in existence in 2001, and you will be handed a copy of the law passed just seven days after 9/11 authorizing the President to use force against the perpetrators and abettors of 9/11 (i.e., Al-Qaeda and the Taliban). Challenge the wisdom of fighting a "War on Terror" to the end of a second decade, and you will likely be chided for inviting a terror attack on par with, or even worse than, 9/11. From the standpoint of international law and international political morality, then, 9/11 presumes to shoulder the heaviest of loads: A monumental amount of war to date, with apparently a good deal of war still to come. We would do well to remind ourselves, however, that this shouldering is only as strong and effective as the claim of self-defense on which it is based.
Source: 9/11 As False Flag: Why International Law Must Dare To Care, p. 3
- At about the same time that behavioralism was coming into vogue, another movement in philosophy and social science was taking hold in the study of ancient and modern political philosophy. Politically conservative, scholars in this movement advocated elite political intrigue in modern representative democracies to shore up mass patriotism and foster popular support for a vigorous confrontation with authoritarian rival nations. There is more than irony in the fact that scholars in one field were actively discouraging mass suspicions of elite political intrigue while scholars in another field were teaching elites that such intrigue is necessary. These unfortunately complementary movements in the academy, when combined in the larger society, may have made America preternaturally vulnerable to elite political conspiracies.
Source: Conspiracy Theory in America, p. 77
- Both Popper and Strauss suggested that candor about such matters [elite plots] could unleash distrust, intolerance, and authoritarianism in liberal societies, but Popper said this was because such theories are always false, while Strauss suggested it was because they are often true.
Source: Conspiracy Theory in America, p. 82
- Both [Popper and Strauss] suggested that modern liberal democracies were vulnerable to totalitarianism because of societal tensions caused by scientific erosion of traditional beliefs that otherwise reinforced established laws and norms.
Source: Conspiracy Theory in America, p. 79
- But, more importantly, the arrested suspects had been under close police surveillance since 1989...As extensively documented by Robert Friedman in his article "The CIA's Jihad," the CIA's involvement with the World Trade Bombers "is far greater than previously known." The CIA campaigned to set up several jihad (holy war) offices across the United States. The most important was called Alkifah -- Arabic for "the struggle" -- and was established in Brooklyn where the sheik had settled. One of the visitors to Alkifah was a Green Beret from the US Special forces at Fort Bragg, Ali Mohammed. He came regularly from North Carolina to train the sheik's followers in the use of weapons, as well as tactical, reconnaissance, and survival techniques. The sheik's followers fought in a war that cost the United States $10 billion.
After examining the evidence it is hard not to conclude that "the CIA has inadvertently managed to do something that America's enemies have been unable to: give terrorism a foothold in the United States." [emphasis added]
Source: Terror and Taboo, p. 26-27
- By 1964, when the Warren Commission presented its dubious account of the assassination of President Kennedy to a stunned nation, U.S. mainstream social science, with its Popperian devotion to mid-range theory and behavioral research, lacked conceptual resources to recognize a possible coup or purge. Hence American scholars, unlike their European counterparts, voiced no criticisms of the Warren Commission's report.
Source: Conspiracy Theory in America, p. 80
- Certain elements of truth and reality there may have been in these views of Masonry. What must be emphasized here, however, is the apocalyptic and absolutistic framework in which this hostility was commonly expressed. Anti-Masons were not content simply to say that secret societies were rather a bad idea. The author of the standard exposition of anti-Masonry declared that Free-masonry was "not only the most abominable but also the most dangerous institution that ever was imposed on man...It may truly be said to be HELL'S MASTER PIECE."
Source: The Paranoid Style in American Politics, p. 79
- Charles Beard argued throughout his career that American democracy had been repeatedly manipulated by political insiders for personal gain or to serve hidden agendas. He put forward three major theories alleging elite intrigue to rig political institutions. In 1913 he became famous among academics, and infamous among political and economic elites, with the publication of An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. In it, he applied Marxian class theory to American government by tracing key features of the U.S. Constitution to the framers' economic backgrounds and personal financial interests.
Source: Conspiracy Theory in America, p. 89
- Conspiracy theory in the tort context frequently passes under another name. In contemporary torts nomenclature, the civil liability that results from mutual agreement among defendants is often described as "concerted action" rather than conspiracy.
Source: Montana Law Review, Vol 57, p. 7
- Dismissing suspicions of elite political criminality as harebrained "conspiracy theories" is an alarming development in modern American history. For it not only signals a shift in American civic culture away from the nation's traditional distrust of power, but also may mark the end of America's historic reliance on the political science of the nation's Founders when confronting new challenges in democratic governance.
Source: Conspiracy Theory in America, p. 53
- During his second term as president, Jefferson voiced his belief that Burr was leading a conspiracy to form a separate nation by breaking away western lands from US control. Fortunately for the nation's future, Jefferson was not dismissed as a harebrained lunatic...Burr was tried for treason [but] acquitted on the basis that he had not committed an overt act to aid America's enemies...but the trial vindicated Hamilton's allegations that Burr was dangerously ambitious and untrustworthy and Burr's reputation was ruined.
Source: Conspiracy Theory in America, p. 64
- Either Trystero did exist, in its own right, or it was being presumed, perhaps fantasied by Oedipa, so hung up on and interpenetrated with the dead man's estate. Here in San Francisco, away from all tangible assets of that estate, there might still be a chance of getting the whole thing to go away and disintegrate quietly. She had only to drift tonight, at random, and watch nothing happen, to be convinced it was purely nervous, a little something for her shrink to fix.
Source: The Crying of Lot 49, p. 82
- For an individual social operator, moving through realms of gossip, through pecking orders and cliques and workplace water-cooler herds, or the even more intimate sphere of requited or unrequited love or friendship, paranoia's not much more attractive or serviceable:...That figure's a universally comic or pitiable one -- the jealous husbands of Shakespeare's Othello or Preston Sturges Unfaithfully Yours, or the Zoonoidal narrator of "Animals."
Source: Fear of Music, p. 108
- For the most part, lower courts have not analyzed the issue of governmental liability differently from that of private corporate liability, and as a result government has consistently enjoyed an immunity from claims of conspiracy. Yet, Supreme Court precedent under section 1983 makes clear that governmental entities are not fungible with private corporations when determining liability under civil rights law.
Source: Montana Law Review, Vol 57, p. 32
- For the next hundred years [after the Burr trial], American statesmen regularly voiced suspicions regarding antidemocratic conspiracies when circumstantial evidence suggested hidden intrigue. Nineteenth-century conspiracy theories included, among others, Andrew Jackson's allegations of a "corrupt bargain" between John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay to give the presidency to Adams in 1824; Abraham Lincoln's charge, made on the floor of the House of Representatives, that President Polk had fabricated a reason to initiate the Mexican-American War; claims by the chief prosecutor that the assassination of President Lincoln had been organized and financed by top leaders of the Confederacy; the theory that the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution was intentionally drafted by railroad-connected Congressmen to precipitate court rulings granting the rights of individuals to corporations; and suspicions that, contrary to the government's claims in launching the Spanish-American War, the U.S. battleship Maine had not been sunk by a Spanish mine but had been deliberately sunk by U.S. or Cuban operatives to precipitate the war.
Source: Conspiracy Theory in America, p. 64
- From ancient times the witches had danced in the cavern through wars and persecutions; many a time when I was pursued I would hide with the witches, and was always received with courtesy and kindness. As you are no doubt aware, my mission through the ages has been to carry uncensored news to the people, without consideration of either rank or status. This has made me unpopular with the authorities all over this planet. My object is to help human beings to realize their state of slavery and exploitation by power-seeking beings.
Source: The Hearing Trumpet, p. 145
- From the start of the Cold War through to the present day, international political and legal bodies have had to deal with many dodgy claims of self-defense. However, almost all such claims have involved acts of either anticipatory self-defense or collective self-defense/counter-intervention. This can obscure the fact that during a more distant time period -- namely, the twenty-year interregnum of the inter-war period and the immediate aftermath of World War II -- international concern was focused to a large extent on pretextual claims of self-defense based on false flag attacks.
Source: 9/11 As False Flag: Why International Law Must Dare To Care, p. 10
- Governmental entities are potentially liable for conspiracies if some form of "policy" can be established under Monell Among the forms of policy recognized under Court precedent are: (1) decisions of a government's legislative body; (2) decisions of governmental officials gavin "final authority" in the matter decided; and (3) customs thin the governmental entity.
Source: Montana Law Review, Vol 57, p. 34
- Having no access to political bargaining or the making of decisions, they find their original conception that the world of power is sinister and malicious fully confirmed. They see only the consequences of power -- and this through distorting lenses -- and have no chance to observe its actual machinery.
Source: The Paranoid Style in American Politics, p. 86
- He pressed the button. With a dull roar the building swaying, swept up in a spraying fan of light and Pragman: the old gentleman and: as the explosion shattered: McDowell tap-tapping smiling and: it settled in a crumpled steaming dusty pile of rock and masonry.
Source: The Eater of Darkness, p. 223
- Hitler...felt he needed to create a veneer of self-defensive indignation before sending his already-primed army over international borders. Thus ensued what has come to be known as the "Gleiwitz Incident." To create the appearance of Polish aggression against Germany, Hitler's lieutenants had German troops dress up as Poles and attack German installations along the German-Polish border...The Gleiwitz Incident was not forgotten by the United States or its allies during the course of World War II. In fact, after the war they specifically included it in the bill of particulars on the conspiracy charge levied against the major Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg, and the Nuremberg Tribunal heard affidavit testimony regarding it.
Source: 9/11 As False Flag: Why International Law Must Dare To Care, p. 13
- How did the existing literature on conspiracy theories, not to mention the many public officials and pundits who deploy the conspiracy-theory label in public discourse, manage to overlook the conspiratorial suspicions of the nation's Founders, especially when the Founders' fears of antidemocratic plots were stated in the Declaration of Independence, elaborated in the Federalist Papers, and written into the U.S. Constitution? How could the literature fail to notice that the Allied powers after World War II prosecuted and convicted Nazi leaders for conspiring to subvert representative democracy in Germany and wage wars of aggression? The literature attacking conspiracy theories has been blind to all this because most conspiracy deniers have accepted the conspiracy-theory label and its pejorative connotations uncritically. It would probably be too much to expect greater awareness of the CIA's conspiracy-theory propaganda program, even though it was made public in 1976, but many scholars and journalists still deserve criticism for failing to ask when and under what conditions norms against conspiracy belief emerged in elite discourse. Instead, generally they have embraced these norms and have simply assumed that conspiracy theories are patently irrational and pernicious. This has led journalists and scholars alike to search for the historical roots, not of contemporary elite norms against conspiracy theorizing, but of the supposedly delusional, conspiratorial mind-set.
Source: Conspiracy Theory in America, p. 74
- I do not know of anything more 'rational' than a well-conducted critical discussion.
Source: Popper Selections, p. 114
- I do not wish to imply that conspiracies never happen. On the contrary, they are typical social phenomena. They become important, for example, whenever people who believe in the conspiracy theory get into power. And people who sincerely believe that they know how to make heaven on earth are most likely to adopt the conspiracy theory, and to get involved in a counter conspiracy against non-existing conspirators. For the only explanation of their failure to produce their heaven is the evil intention of the Devil, who has a vested interest in hell.
Conspiracies occur, it must be admitted. But the striking fact which, in spite of their occurrence, disproves the conspiracy theory is that few of these conspiracies are ultimately successful. Conspirators rarely consummate their conspiracy.
Source: Popper Selections, p. 351
- I'm not a conspiracy nut but a conspiracy expert. 'Conspiracy' as I'd describe it in a courtroom is nothing more than an agreement between two or more parties, acting in secret, acting in concert, who know their scheme is going to hurt someone.
Source: Vulture's Picnic, p. 261
- If the courts are correct in recognizing conspiracy claims under section 1983, that section would provide an important contribution to the law of conspiracy. First, conspiracy liability would apply in governmental litigation to enforce claims that require no allegation of class-based discrimination -- in First and Fourth Amendment claims, for example. As well, section 1983 would shore up conspiracy law for claims of non-racial discrimination in the event that the Court eventually limits section 1985(3) to race-based violations.
Source: Montana Law Review, Vol 57, p. 16
- If, after our historically discontinuous examples of the paranoid style, we now take the long jump to the contemporary right wing, we find some rather important differences from the nineteenth-century movements. The spokesmen of those earlier movements felt that they stood for causes and personal types that were still in possession of their country -- that they were fending off threats to a still established way of life. But the modern right wing, as Daniel Bell has put it, feels dispossessed: America has been largely taken away from them and their kind, though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion...Their predecessors had discovered conspiracies; the modern radical right finds conspiracy to be betrayal from on high.
Source: The Paranoid Style in American Politics, p. 81
- In an extreme way, Britain's paradoxical stance on political violence is what Mr Vladimir is attempting to match with his plan of creating a terrorist 'outrage' in order to elicit more stringent policing. His idea takes on an absurdist tone, though, when he explains to Verloc his 'philosophy of the bomb': 'A bomb outrage to have any influence on public opinion must go beyond the intention of vengeance or terrorism', he argues: 'it must be purely destructive. It must be that, and only that...'. Attacks on property, religion, and churches fail to disturb the quiescence of the everyday, he states, for insurrection has become a mere media phenomenon: 'Every newspaper has ready-made phrases to explain such manifestations away'. An act without authorship is thus required, he argues, an epiphanous devastation irreducible to the familiar: 'what is one to say to an act of destructive ferocity so absurd as to be incomprehensible, inexplicable, almost unthinkable; in fact, mad?' [emphasis added by Houen]
Source: Terrorism and Modern Literature, p. 36-37
- In reality, none of the a priori assumptions about modern-day America noted above are justified on the known facts. Indeed, by any standard of measure, the reality of modern-day America differs strikingly from what these intellectual elites posit. There is very good evidence to suggest, for example, that the U.S. Government is no longer subject to popular, majoritarian control and is, for all intents and purposes, an unaccountable oligarchy. There is very good evidence that, far from being subject to the control of its citizens, the U.S. Government successfully employs extreme measures to control them. Finally, there is very good evidence that the U.S. Government has an immense ability to keep official crimes hidden from public view for very long periods of time.
Source: 9/11 As False Flag: Why International Law Must Dare To Care, p. 25-26
- In such fashion there is blurring of the line between fact and fiction in ostensibly objective journalistic reporting, particularly since it is the very nature of covert operations and intergovernmental confidentiality to place a premium more upon "deniability" -- a fancy expression for mendacity -- than upon veracity. Hence the novel's plot of intrigue and the journalist's political discourse collapse into the monolithic frame that we have labeled contemporary terrorism discourse.
This blurring of genres is further exacerbated by the propensity of some journalists and counterterrorism specialists to author terrorism novels (e.g., Robert Moss, Arnaud de Borchgrave, William Buckley Jr., Brian Crozier). Thus, at terrorism conferences it is not uncommon for the experts to discuss their next fiction project!
Source: Terror and Taboo, p. 48
- In the 9/11 context, the key taboo claim is that the government is not well-intentioned toward its citizenry. Importantly, this claim is no more entertained by the establishment today than the claim that workers lacked equal bargaining power was entertained by the Lochner-era establishment. It is not entertained because it impugns a formidable paradigm, according to which government officials and agencies in the First-World West uniformly and consistently work to advance the welfare of the citizenry at large.
Source: 9/11 As False Flag: Why International Law Must Dare To Care, p. 23
- In the context of criminal law, commentators have observed that "[c]onspiracy is usually defined as an agreement between two or more persons to achieve an unlawful object or to achieve a lawful object by unlawful means. The gist of the crime is the agreement itself rather than the action pursuant to it." [quoting Developments in the Law, Criminal Conspiracy, 72 Harv. L. Rev. 920,922 (1958)
Source: Montana Law Review, Vol 57, p. 6
- Indeed, we believe that there are at least two broad contexts or conditions of contemporary life that make the paranoid style and conspiracy theories an eminently reasonable tendency of thought for social actors to embrace. The first derives from the fact that the cold-war era itself was defined throughout by a massive project of paranoid social thought and action that reached into every dimension of mainstream culture, politics, and policy. Furthermore, client states and most regions were shaped by the interventions, subversions, and intimidations pursued in the interests of a global conspiratorial politics of the superpowers. The legacies and structuring residues of that era make the persistence, and even increasing intensity, of its signature paranoid style now more than plausible, but indeed, an expectable response to certain social facts. That is, the effects of decades of paranoid policies of statecraft and governing habits of thought define a present reality for social actors in some places and situations that is far from extremist, or disturbingly fundamentalist, but is quite reasonable and commonsensical...
The other important and perhaps more subtle way to take note of the present paranoid style as a kind of pervasive cold-war legacy is to indicate the extent to which highly influential frameworks of social theory have this potential within their conceptual rhetorics. Frameworks that have at their core notions of game, self-interested motivation, fields of contest and struggle, and generally a valuation of cynical reason as the most reliable posture from which to interpret human action are ones in which the reality of conspiratorial activity is well within reach of their common sense.
From chapter: Introduction
Source: Paranoia Within Reason: A Casebook on Conspiracy as Explanation, p. 2-3
- It is not necessary to reconcile the varying interpretations of case precedent to arrive at a conclusion that illuminates the issue of conspiracy liability. All courts, it appears, would find liability where an official has consented to and encouraged a plan of unlawful conduct. Conspiracy liability requires not only that the conspiring official "know" of the wrongful conduct intended, but that he agree -- expressly or tacitly -- to the achievement of that conduct.
Source: Montana Law Review, Vol 57, p. 22
- It is one thing for an undertaking to be possible and another for it to be just. Knowledge is no longer the subject, but in the service of the subject: its only legitimacy (though it is formidable) is the fact that it allows morality to become reality. This introduces a relation of knowledge to society and the State which is in principle a relation of the means to the end. But scientists must cooperate only if they judge that the politics of the State, in other words the sum of its prescriptions, is just. If they feel that the civil society of which they are members is badly represented by the State, they may reject its prescriptions. This type of legitimation grants them the authority, as practical human beings, to refuse their scholarly support to a political power they judge to be unjust, in other words, not grounded in a real autonomy. They can even go so far as to use their expertise to demonstrate that such autonomy is not in fact realized in society and the State. This reintroduces the critical function of knowledge. But the fact remains that knowledge has no final legitimacy outside of serving the goals envisioned by the practical subject, the autonomous collectivity.
Source: The Postmodern Condition, p. 36
- It is sobering to recall that the first major crisis to strike the U.N.'s predecessor organization, the League of Nations, was an international invasion by one state of another based on a highly dubious claim of having been attacked. In 1931, Japan invaded the northeastern Chinese province of Manchuria, claiming that Chinese nationalists had sabotaged portions of a railway line controlled and operated by it near the city of Mukden. Though the explosion was so weak that it failed to destroy the track, the Japanese Army immediately accused Chinese dissidents of the attack and responded with a full-scale invasion that led to the occupation of Manchuria, and the installation of a puppet regime, within six months. Historian Walter LaFeber makes short work of any doubts as to what actually occurred:
"[Japanese]...officers claimed that the bomb had been set by the Chinese and even conveniently spread several Chinese bodies around the explosion site. But authorities in Tokyo and other world capitals quickly concluded that the army had blown up its own railway tracks as an excuse to conquer Manchuria."
Upon China's complaint of illegal aggression by Japan, the League of Nations seized itself of the matter and sent a commission to Manchuria to investigate. [T]he Lytton Commission left no doubt, despite its gentlemanly language, that the Japan's [sic] claim of having had its railroad attacked was false.
Source: 9/11 As False Flag: Why International Law Must Dare To Care, p. 11
- It was then that the most bizarre incident I've experienced to date with this story occurred. O'Meara and I had driven up to New York from Washington in her car. We had arrived late at night and parked on the street right in front the building we were staying in. We decided to take out our bags and leave everything else in the trunk.
"Everything else" included our TWA documents, O'Meara's computer, a movie camera, a tool chest, and some tennis rackets.
The next morning, we went to the car, and O'Meara opened the trunk. Everything was there, except for the TWA 800 documents and O'Meara's computer. The trunk lock itself looked untouched and worked perfectly. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, these things do happen in the United States of America. I would never have believed it if I hadn't experienced it myself.
From chapter: Kristina Borjesson, Into the Buzzsaw
Source: Into the Buzzsaw, p. 312
- It's brave to pursue truth, and brave to pursue and expose tricky and well-hidden bad guys (Nazi doctors, Pentagon intelligence-distorters, etc.). It's not brave to think tricky, well-hidden bad guys are the whole truth of what's out there. It might even be bravery's opposite. Or maybe it should go under the name "religion."
Source: Fear of Music, p. 108
- Jim Garrison, the New Orleans prosecutor who for years tried to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy, once remarked, "I'm afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security." He was, perhaps, closer to the truth than he realized, for it was during the Kennedy Administration that senior U.S. military officials proposed a false-flag terror operation...called Operation Northwoods...Northwoods included proposals for false-flag acts of sabotage of the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; the sinking of a U.S. Navy ship in the Guantanamo Bay harbor (casualty lists for which, it was hoped, "would help cause a helpful wave of national indignation"); the blowing up of John Glenn's rocket ship during his historic space flight; and a highly elaborate deception for simulating the shooting-down of civilian airplanes which involved the retrofitting of aircraft by the CIA, secret landings and disembarkation of passengers, and the surreptitious substitution of drones for aircraft. On behalf of the Joint Chiefs, Lemnitzer submitted the Northwoods plan to President Kennedy's Seret of Defense, Robert McNamara, whereupon it was summarily quashed.
Source: 9/11 As False Flag: Why International Law Must Dare To Care, p. 16-17
- John Dickinson, a militia officer during the Revolution and a delegate to the US Constitutional Convention of 1778 explained in one of his letters to friends in Parliament that, as wrongs against the colonies accumulated, americans began to connect the dots and recognize ulterior motives in the pattern of Great Britain's actions. "Acts that might, by themselves, be excused," began to be regarded "as parts of a system of oppression." This is the essence of conspiratorial suspicion, which reconstructs hidden motives from confluent consequences in scattered actions.
Source: Conspiracy Theory in America, p. 56
- Kafka was the greatest writer on bureaucracy because he saw that this structure of disavowal was inherent to bureaucracy. The quest to reach the ultimate authority who will finally resolve K's official status can never end, because the big Other cannot be encountered in itself: there are only officials, more or less hostile, engaged in acts of interpretation about...the big Other's intentions. And these acts of interpretation, these deferrals of responsibility, are all that the big Other is.
Source: Capitalist Realism, p. 49
- Leroux's detective mystery appealed to the surrealists for its suggestion that the novel's mechanics were designed to manufacture evidence and false trails as forms of literary experience which the locked room apparatus set in play.
Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 44
- My main contention is that, however long Americans might domestically be prepared to live with a no-decision regarding the official 9/11 account, international law can no longer tolerate it. The core mission of the premier public international body -- the United Nations -- is to perform its "jury" function of determining whether an act of aggression has occurred...I will argue that officialdom and scholars appear to be in the grip of an intellectual formalism every bit as vise-like as the "Lochner-era Formalism" American law students are taught to frown upon and deride from the very first moment of their studies. This formalism functions in the nature of a gate-keeper, letting some ideas, issues and facts into our minds and (from there) into the public domain, whilst sternly barring others. As for what lies back of this formalism, lending it its terrible strength, two sadly plausible guesses emerge: fear and its handmaiden, corruption.
Source: 9/11 As False Flag: Why International Law Must Dare To Care, p. 8-9
- Nice? Yes. The terms "nice" and "niceness" said nothing, nothing whatever, about what a person was capable of. It was just that one shouldn't trust nice people too much.
Source: The Safety Net, p. 37
- Nuremberg marked the first application of the legal concept of conspiracy to crimes of the state and of political organizations. The International Military Tribunal (IMT) was authorized by its charter to try the Nazi defendants for "participating in the formulation or execution of a Common Plan or Conspiracy" to wage aggressive war. Adopting the legal concept of conspiracy, the tribunal's charter stipulated that everyone who had been a party to the plan or conspiracy was responsible for all crimes committed in the plan's execution...The IMT did not use the term "state crimes" or "crimes against democracy," but its jurisdiction and judgments prefigured the SCAD construct. The indictment said the defendants intended to use false-flag terrorism, faked invasions, and similar tactics to turn democratic Germany into a police state by fomenting social panic and mobilizing mass support for authoritarian government and war.
Source: Conspiracy Theory in America, p. 71
- Of course this term is pejorative, and it is meant to be; the paranoid style has a greater affinity for bad causes than good. But nothing really prevents a sound program or demand from being advocated in the paranoid style. Style has more to do with the way in which ideas are believed and advocated than with the truth or falsity of their content.
Source: The Paranoid Style in American Politics, p. 77
- Osama bin Laden...offered similar interpretations:
'...America has been filled with horror from north to south and east to west, and thanks be to God that what America is tasting now is only a copy of what we have tasted.' [quote from Audrey Gillan, 'Bin Laden Appears on Video to Threaten US', The Guardian, 8 October 2001; emphasis added by Houen]
...The attacks are thus simultaneously hyperbolized and diminished through being explained as figurative events. As imitations, the effects, in reality, are nothing compared to American precedents; as iconic attacks their material impact extends to more than the destruction of the buildings and people involved.
Source: Terrorism and Modern Literature, p. 3
- Paranoia has its downsides as an agency in daily life, or in the political sphere of collective action, which finds itself beset everywhere by the nightmarish influence of conspiracy thinking (they call it theory, but theories exist to be tested, and conspiracy thinking exists never to be tested, and globally ignores the results of tests imposed by others). The suspicion that malign operators are responsible for every one of the injustices and heartbreaks of existence is a consoling view, a balm to bleak glimpses of the void behind our reality.
From chapter: Is Fear of Music a Paranoid Record?
Source: Fear of Music, p. 107
- Perhaps above all, paranoid art is usefully confused about what is on the inside and what is on the outside of the container. Which is the place the war is to be fought?...Paranoid art is where Copernicus goes to be persistently overthrown, for it has noticed that consciousness is itself a permanent conspiracy theory, and one that is ipso facto correct. I think, therefore I am at the center of this story. Even if I don't want to be. Even if I'd rather sleep. While paranoia in everyday life asks questions it believes have terrifying answers, paranoid art knows the more terrifying (and inevitable) discoveries are further questions. For paranoid art, unlike paranoid persons, also distrusts itself. And so, paranoid art is the ultimate opposite, the urgent opposite, of complacent art.
Source: Fear of Music, p. 109
- Perhaps it would have been better for the contemporary history of civil rights had "conspiracy" renamed itself. The term still suggests something more diabolical, or more risible, than the rule of causation it represents.
Source: Montana Law Review, Vol 57, p. 48
- Perhaps one reason why no one believed Hitler at the time regarding his claim of Polish aggression, and why after the war some statesmen seemed preoccupied with the issue of false flags justifying aggression, was because people remembered the occurrence of a notorious false-flag event early in the Nazi reign, to wit, the Reichstag Fire of 1933. The story is relatively straightforward: The Nazis set fire to the German Parliament (the Reichstag) but blamed the crime on a group of communists in order to justify a mass political witch hunt of the German left, the termination of political and civil liberties for the citizenry at large, and the seizure of totalitarian political control over Germany. What is important about this false flag for our purposes is the extent to which it was viewed (both at the time and years later at Nuremberg) as an act of state terror having international ramifications...The feeling was ripe that the international community -- in some way, shape or form -- had to become involved in litigating the facts of the Reichstag Fire.
Source: 9/11 As False Flag: Why International Law Must Dare To Care, p. 14-15
- Politics and fabulation overlap further towards the end of Part Five of How German Is It in a section entitled 'The purpose of an antiterrorist film'. According to Wurtenhberg's chief of police, the purpose of such a film amounts to constructing a complete terrorist profile that identifies 'their slang, their gestures, their preferences, their way of dressing...their weapons, their techniques, their political rhetoric...' in order to 'Depict as accurately as possible the threat they pose to the stability of this society'. However, as the narrative voice points out, presenting an authentic picture of the threat is fundamentally a matter of deciding how to 'minimize' or 'exaggerate' the terrorists' 'strength' and 'callousness'. Determining a special-effect of realism appears to be the only way the desired political effects can be realized: 'In order to clarify, to make evident a terrorist threat, the film has to distort, fabricate and often lie. But no matter how great these flaws are, the need for the film is self evident'...That this whole procedure requires that the distinctions between events and representations, facts and fictions, 'terrorism' and counter-terrorism, become totally unclear in order to manipulate the public is no doubt why there is 'always a possibility' that it will not succeed.
Source: Terrorism and Modern Literature, p. 227-228
- Popper is largely responsible for the mistaken idea that conspiracy theories are modern variants of ancient superstitions and nineteenth-century social prejudices, and that, thus rooted in irrationality and paranoia, are the seeds of authoritarian political movements.
Source: Conspiracy Theory in America, p. 78
- Robison seems to have made his work as factual as he could, but when he came to estimating the moral character and the political influence of Illuminism, he made the characteristic paranoid leap into fantasy.
Source: The Paranoid Style in American Politics, p. 78
- San Narciso was a name; an incident among our climatic records of dreams and what dreams became among our accumulated daylight, a moment's squall-line or tornado's touchdown among the higher, more continental solemnities -- storm-systems of group suffering and need, prevailing winds of affluence. There was the true continuity, San Narciso had no boundaries. No one knew yet how to draw them. She had dedicated herself, weeks ago, to making sense of what Inverarity had left behind, never suspecting that the legacy was America.
Source: The Crying of Lot 49, p. 137
- Scholars specializing in international law or international relations, for example, have generated hundreds, if not thousands, of articles and books on 9/11, but almost all such studies assume the correctness of the core U.S. claim of self-defense and then proceed to nibble on issues that lie around its perimeter. Do the Laws of War apply to a "War on Terror" that features (on one side) non-state actors? Can the 9/11 attacks support a paradigm shift away from anticipatory self-defense to preventative self-defense? Can the torture of terror suspects be justified on a "warfare" approach to counterterrorism as opposed to a "crime" approach (and vice versa)? All good questions these, but they uniformly assume a (U.S.-Government-friendly) answer to the most pressing question of all: Was the United States the victim of attacks by others, or was 9/11 a false flag? If the latter, then these scholars are not merely feeding on downstream phenomenon; they are boxing at shadows projected onto the cave wall by a calculating and highly dangerous criminal elite.
Source: 9/11 As False Flag: Why International Law Must Dare To Care, p. 6
- Second, in 1927 Beard and his wife Mary put forward a theory of how political insiders had rigged the Constitution to benefit corporations. Wtihin the academy, the theory came to be called the "conspiracy theory of the Fourteenth amendment." The Beards claimed that railroad interests manipulated the amendment's drafting to open the way for the courts to say it granted the rights of individuals to corporations.
Source: Conspiracy Theory in America, p. 89
- She could, at this stage of things, recognize signals like that, as the epileptic is said to -- an odour, colour, pure piercing grace note sounding his seizure. Afterwards it is only this signal, really dross, this secular announcement, and never what is revealed during the attack, that he remembers. Oedipal wondered whether, at the end of this (if it were supposed to end), she too might not be left with only compiled memories of clues, announcements, intimations, but never the central truth itself, which must somehow each time be too bright for her memory to hold; which must always blaze out, destroying its own message irreversibly, leaving an overexposed blank when the ordinary world came back.
Source: The Crying of Lot 49, p. 71
- She glanced down the corridor of Cohen's rooms in the rain and saw, for the very first time, how far it might be possible to get lost in this.
Source: The Crying of Lot 49, p. 72
- She moved through it carrying her fat book, attracted, unsure, a stranger, wanting to feel relevant but knowing how much of a search among alternate universes it would take. For she had undergone her own educating at a time of nerves, blandness and retreat among not only her fellow students but also most of the visible structure around and ahead of them, this having been a national reflex to certain pathologies in high places only death had had the power to cure, and this Berkeley was like no somnolent Siwash out of her own past at all, but more akin to those Far Eastern or Latin American universities you read about, those autonomous culture media where the most beloved of folklores may be brought into doubt, cataclysmic of dissents voiced, suicidal of commitments chosen -- the sort that bring governments down.
Source: The Crying of Lot 49, p. 77-78
- Since Matsushita, Circuit Courts have put forward somewhat distinct formulations of the summary judgment test, yet the formal structure of the tests is remarkably consistent across jurisdictions. Each test contains the following elements. First, in a section 1 conspiracy case in which the plaintiff lacks direct evidence of an agreement, the plaintiff must show plus factors in addition to parallel conduct. Plus factors are discussed, circularly, as that class of evidence necessary to transform evidence of parallel conduct into a viable conspiracy case where the plaintiff lacks direct evidence of an agreement. Second, defendants can provide counter-explanations of such evidence to rebut the inference of conspiracy in favor of an inference of independent conduct. Third, the Matsushita/Monsanto 'tends to exclude' metric operates as the final standard by which the entirety of the evidence is evaluated. The totality of the plaintiff's plus factor and parallel conduct evidence must be sufficiently probative that, based on the record at summary judgment, the inference of conspiracy is stronger than the inference of independent conduct...
Where the plaintiff lacks direct evidence of conspiracy, she must present circumstantial evidence -- plus factors -- that would revise the probability of conspiracy upward from the prior baseline that a fact-finder would infer from mere evidence of parallel conduct...A plaintiff must assert at least one plus factor (PF) such that the probability of conspiracy given the parallel conduct and the plus factor is greater than the probability of such conspiracy given the parallel conduct alone...
That is, the plus factor is any evidence that would make a rational trier of fact revise upward her estimated probability that the defendants engaged in concerted, conspiratorial action. A defendant can rebut the presumption that this evidence is sufficient to show conspiracy by proffering counter-explanations of the evidence to show that the plus factor is equally (or more) consistent with independent conduct...
Whether or not the plus factor leads us to revise the probability of conspiracy upward from its level given only parallel conduct depends on whether or not the plus factor in combination with parallel conduct is more likely to be associated with conspiratorial or independent action. The second stage of the Matsushita assessment thus allows defendants to contest the relative values...The court then applies the 'tends to exclude' standard as requiring that the totality of the plaintiff's proof rise to a substantive level at which the inference of conspiracy is stronger than the inference of independent conduct.
Source: Research Handbook on the Economics of Antitrust Law, p. 224
- Strauss did not use the term "conspiracy theory," but he advocated state political propaganda and covert actions to protect a society's traditional beliefs and ongoing illusions about its origins and virtues from unrestrained inquiries or, in other words, conspiratorial theorizing.
Source: Conspiracy Theory in America, p. 78
- Strauss' thinking differed from much of Popper's analysis but saw scientific criticism of official accounts of important historical events as a precursor to totalitarianism because it undermines respect for the nation's laws and traditional beliefs; it ushers in, with philosophy and science, the view that nothing is true; and it unleashes tyrannical impulses in the political class as top leaders compete for popular support. Although Popper and Strauss arrived by different routes, they agreed that conspiracy theories can fuel totalitarian political movements that threaten respect for human dignity, popular sovereignty, and the rule of law.
Source: Conspiracy Theory in America, p. 78
- Terrorism insists that everyday randomness shall be transformed, shall be made to express overwhelming political certainty: the personal is the political, terrorism declares with a vengeance. The insistence makes everything which is casual and random, everything which is indefinite, speak the univocal definiteness of political conviction, or religious conviction too. Like writing that uses multiple meanings to disclose a new single determination of thought or reality, terrorism's disruption of what is quotidian insists that we grasp reality in the shocking light of a novel all-unifying determination.
Source: G.K. Chesterton and the Terrorist God Outside Modernism, p. 157
- The 1662 book La logique, ou l'art de penser (often called just Logic or Port-Royal Logic, after the Jansenist convent of Port-Royal) by Antoine Arnauld and Pierre Nicole included a criticism of the principle of 'probabilism'. This referred to how issues should be decided by appealing to authorities. The book also included one of the first usages of the word 'probability' in a more modern sense. In this single book, we can see the transition from medieval notions of truth derived from authority to scientific notions of truth derived from evidence.
Source: The Improbability Principle, p. 63
- The criminalization of conspiracy agreements per se serves special purposes that may not be addressed when conspiracy laws require ultimate commission of illegal conduct. First, when it is difficult to establish judicially that unlawful conduct has occurred, pure conspiracy laws facilitate the punishment of suspected wrongdoers. Second, pure conspiracy laws permit early intervention by government so as to preempt the implementation of unlawful schemes.
Source: Montana Law Review, Vol 57, p. 7
- The criminalization of conspiracy agreements dates back to the 17th century and the infamous Star Chamber, when the body announced that an unlawful agreement would be punishable even prior to its implementation. Since that time, the criminal laws of England and America have proscribed illegal conspiracy agreements, although many authorities -- including Congress -- usually require the commission of some "overt act" in furtherance of the conspiracy. This act requirement, while requiring a de minimus showing of conduct beyond a mere agreement, nonetheless imposes liability regardless of whether the agreement culminates in the commission of a legally-cognizable wrong.
Source: Montana Law Review, Vol 57, p. 6
- The foundation for developing conspiracy liability under section 1983 need not rest solely on the literal characterization of the task. On numerous occasions, both the Supreme Court and lower courts have "interpreted" section 1983 so as to develop rules governing causation and the liability of persons with lesser participatory roles. Thus, the Court has announced rules governing such matters as:
1) the liability of municipalities whose policies have allegedly "caused" the violation of federal rights;
2) the causal role of unconstitutional motives in assessing the liability of governmental officials;
3) the liability of officials whose conduct constitutes a "remote" causal factor in the deprivation of life; and
4) the liability of supervisors for the constitution wrongs of their subordinates.
Source: Montana Law Review, Vol 57, p. 18
- The great philosopher David Hume had something relevant to say about miracles. He wrote that 'no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish.' In other words, the evidence for a miracle is convincing only if alternative explanations are less probable -- and these alternative explanations include fraud, mistakes and so on. Hume went on to say:
'When any one tells me that he saw a dead man restored to life, I immediately consider with myself whether it be more probable that this person should either deceive or be deceived, or that the fact which he relates should really have happened. I weigh the one miracle against the other; and according to the superiority which I discover I pronounce my decision and always reject the greater miracle.'
Source: The Improbability Principle, p. 44
- The higher paranoid scholarship is nothing if not coherent -- in fact the paranoid mind is far more coherent than the real world. It is nothing if not scholarly in technique.
Source: The Paranoid Style in American Politics, p. 86
- The legislative history of section 1985(3) is also replete with reference to the involvement of complicity of government officials in civil rights violations committed in the reconstruction South. As one commentator has observed, the gravamen of conspiracy liability under section 1985(3) is the deprivation of civil rights "through the channels of government."...Indeed, prior to the Court's 1971 decision in Griffin v. Breckenridge, section 1985(3) was thought limited to conspiracies involving some form of governmental action.
Source: Montana Law Review, Vol 57, p. 23
- The lesson that Americans, Germans, and others should have drawn from the evidence presented at Nuremberg is that modern liberal democracies are vulnerable to being hijacked by authoritarian leaders willing to carry out ruthless conspiracies. When leaders claim to need extraordinary powers to deal with threats, citizens should look carefully at the threats and consider the possibility that the threats are contrived.
Source: Conspiracy Theory in America, p. 73
- The music-industrial-complex is like the military-industrial-complex:
- The faces of the things are just puppets manipulated behind the scenes by power players in the shadows.
- It's all about image, playing to the media.
- Sometimes the artists start to believe their own hype and get carried away with themselves, often with disastrous results.
- The master manipulators work both sides of the game, e.g., the same star-makers that created Backstreet Boys created N'Sync.
- Post-9/11 the music industry returned to the "comfort music" of pure pop, only served up with the mean-spiritedness of Simon Cowell. It's a bit like the supposed comfort of Homeland Security, served up with threats and violence against dissent.
- Hit-making, like covert operations, is highly compartmentalized, with specialists responsible for discrete aspects of a project, and nobody accountable for the whole.
- In both arenas it's easy to get carried away and exaggerate the omnipotence and control of the drivers of events.
If this kind of manipulation is to be expected with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, why not when hundreds of billions are at stake?
Source: Random Thoughts, p.
- The notion that government might be "conspiring" to violate the rights of citizens is more apt to invite derision than concern. From Oswald to Elvis, from Ollie to O.J., allegations of conspiracy have become the stuff of tabloid journalism and have the ring of a slug coin. The history of conspiracy, it has been observed, evidences the "tendency of a principle to expand itself to the limit of its logic."
Yet, when conspiracy is understood simply as an agreement to do wrong, the possibility that government might conspire against citizens is not only plausible but likely.
Source: Montana Law Review, Vol 57, p. 1
- The paranoid spokesman sees the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms -- he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization. He constantly lives at a turning point...As a member of the avant-garde who is capable of perceiving the conspiracy before it is fully obvious to an as yet unaroused public, the paranoid is a militant leader. He does not see social conflict as something to be mediated and compromised, in the manner of the working politician. Since what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil, what is necessary is not compromise but the will to fight things out to a finish. Since the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated -- if not from the world, at least from the theatre of operations to which the paranoid directs his attention. This demand for total triumph leads to the formulation of hopelessly unrealistic goals, and since these goals are not even remotely attainable, failure constantly heightens the paranoid's sense of frustration. Even partial success leaves him with the same feeling of powerlessness with which he began, and this in turn only strengthens his awareness of the vast and terrifying quality of the enemy he opposes.
Source: The Paranoid Style in American Politics, p. 84
- The revival of section 1985(3) commenced in 1971 with the United States Supreme Court's ruling in Griffin v. Breckenridge. The Court reversed precedent and concluded that section 1985(3) addressed private conspiracies, even those which lacked governmental involvement...The resurgence of conspiracy actions under section 1985(3) was not limited to private actors. Within a decade of the decision in Griffin, conspiracy claims became commonplace in civil rights actions against governmental actors.
Source: Montana Law Review, Vol 57, p. 11
- The tortious form of conspiracy has common origins with the criminal form, but differs from its criminal counterpart in one significant respect: "it is clear that the mere agreement to do a wrongful act can never alone amount to a tort, whether or not it may be a crime; and that some act must be committed by one of the parties in pursuance of the agreement, which is itself a tort." Stated alternatively, "[t]he gist of the action is not the conspiracy charged, but the tort working damage to the plaintiff."...
Although he will not incur liability if the tortious purpose of the conspiracy remains unfulfilled, the conspirator becomes vicariously liable for all torts actually committed pursuant to the conspiracy, regardless of his degree of participation in the tortious conduct. This is in contrast to criminal conspiracy doctrine, where a conspirator is rarely found vicariously liable for the substantive offenses of his co-conspirator.
Source: Montana Law Review, Vol 57, p. 8
- The value of warfare in Mexican society cannot mislead us: It was not a military society. Religion remained the obvious key to its workings. If the Aztecs must be situated, they belong among the warrior societies, in which pure, uncalculated violence and the ostentatious forms of combat held sway. The reasoned organization of war and conquest as unknown to them. A truly military society is a venture society, for which war means a development of power, an orderly progression of empire. It is a relatively mild society; it makes a custom of the rational principles of enterprise, whose purpose is given in the future, and it excludes the madness of sacrifice. There is nothing more contrary to military organization than these squanderings of wealth represented by hecatombs of slaves.
Source: The Accursed Share, p. 54-55
- Then what is up the lane?
I cannot say. If he said that eternity was up the lane and left it at that, I would not kick so hard. But when we are told that we are coming back from there in a lift -- well, I, begin to think that he is confusing night-clubs with heaven. A lift!
Surely, I argued, if we concede that eternity is up the lane, the question of the lift is a minor matter. That is a case for swallowing a horse and cart and straining at a flea.
No. I bar the lift.
Source: The Third Policeman, p. 109
- There is no question that Carrington was in need of some treatment; she had become convinced that parts of Europe were becoming hypnotized by agents of Hitler. Although this doesn't seem very far off the mark for the people who experienced it, Carrington believed that magical forces were at work and repeatedly singled out certain Nazi figures (a man named Van Ghent in Spain, for example) as targets for assassination. She was ultimately committed to an asylum for constantly badgering the British Embassy that Van Ghent should be eliminated.
Source: Disruptive Testimonies: The Stakes of Surrealist Experience in Breton and Carrington, p. 100
- Third, the allegations that Roosevelt lied to the public and manipulated the United States into World War II were presented by Charles Beard in President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941: Appearances and Realities. The book says President Roosevelt withheld intelligence about the impending attack from U.S. commanders in the Pacific until it was too late for them to act, and then set an investigation in motion that blamed the commanders for being unprepared while it absolved the president and other officials in Washington of any responsibility.
Source: Conspiracy Theory in America, p. 89
- This nonfiction fable has a moral to it: 'Power, Crime, Mystification, Mr. Palast,' Etok said. 'That's how they do it. Power, Crime, Mystification.'
Etok walked me through the three steps on 'How to Take Oil That Isn’t Yours.'
1. POWER: The expression of the conqueror's strength or, more often, the weakness of the conquered. It's not wild coincidence that Bob Malone, who headed BP's Alaska and Gulf operations, was simultaneously co-chair of the George W. Bush re-election campaign.
2. CRIME: Making promises you don't intend to keep is fraudulent inducement. Do it three times and it's racketeering.
3. MYSTIFICATION: The web of rituals, usually legalistic -- including treaties, land deeds, and laws -- imposed by conquerors to legitimize their crime. In the fog of legalismo, the victims often acquiesce to the terms imposed.
Source: Vulture's Picnic, p. 285-286
- This type of image-making and image-dependent historiography is also the subject of a pointedly eccentric contribution to the twentieth-century Western European theory of social revolution, namely Walter Benjamin's concepts of redemptive criticism and dialectical images. In his youth, in 1914, Benjamin argued for just the kind of historiography as is exhibited in the image-making provoked by the Virgin of Caloto. Contrary to the view of history as a progressive continuum, the young Benjamin advanced the notion that "history rests collected in a focal point, as formerly in the utopian images of thinkers. The elements of the end condition are not present as formless tendencies of progress but instead are embedded in every present as endangered, condemned, and ridiculed creations and ideas." The historical task, he went on to say, "is to give absolute form in a genuine way to the immanent condition of fulfillment, to make it visible and predominant in the present."
Source: Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man, p. 199
- We are all sufferers from history, but the paranoid is a double sufferer, since he is afflicted not only by the real world, with the rest of us, but by his fantasies as well.
Source: The Paranoid Style in American Politics, p. 86
- We in Washington are accustomed to the petty scandals of Washington politics. However, there is another category of offenses, described by the French poet Andre Chenier as "les crimes puissants qui font trembler les lois," crimes so great that they make the laws themselves tremble.
[W]hen the Iran-Contra scandal exploded in 1986, both the Congress and the national mainstream media pulled up short. . . . The laws trembled at the prospect of a political trial that threatened to shatter the compact of trust between the rulers and the ruled, a compact that was the foundation upon which the very law itself rested.
The lesson was clear: accountability declines as the magnitude of the crime and the power of those charged increase.
Source: October Surprise: America’s Hostages in Iran and the Election of Ronald Reagan, p.
- When the Supreme Court eventually re-examines conspiracy law in the context of civil actions against government, it should recall that the Reconstruction Congress had governmental conspiracies in mind even as it labored over its power to regulate private ones. It would be a dispiriting turn of fate if conspiracy law loses its historical connection to governmental action at the very time when government's capacity to conspire has increased to dimensions beyond the imagination of the 19th century mind.
Source: Montana Law Review, Vol 57, p. 48
- When you inflict punishment on someone who is not guilty, when you fill rooms with innocent victims, you begin to empty the world of meaning and erect a separate mental state, the mind consuming what's outside itself, replacing real things with plots and fictions. One fiction taking the world narrowly into itself, the other fiction pushing out toward the social order, trying to unfold into it.
Source: Mao II, p. 200
- You don't choose to have the kind of experience I had while trying to report on the demise of TWA Flight 800. It happens to you. You fall into it. At CBS, I'd recently picked up an Emmy for investigative reporting when I was assigned to investigate the crash. I had no idea that my life would be turned upside down and inside out - that I'd been assigned to walk into what I now call "the buzzsaw."
The buzzsaw is what can rip through you when you try to investigate or expose anything this country's large institutions - be they corporate or government - want kept under wraps. The system fights back with official lies, disinformation, and stonewalling. Your phone starts acting funny. Strange people call you at strange hours to give you strange information. The FBI calls you. Your car is broken into and the thief takes your computer and your reporter's notebook and leaves everything else behind. You feel like you're being followed everywhere you go. You feel like you've been sucked into a game of Dungeons and Dragons. It gets harder and harder to distinguish truth and reality from falsehood and fiction. The sense of fear and paranoia is, at times, overwhelming.
Walk into the buzzsaw and you'll cut right to this layer of reality. You will feel a deep sense of loss and betrayal. A shocking shift in paradigm. Anyone who hasn't experienced it will call you crazy. Those who don't know the truth, or are covering it up, will call you a conspiracy nut. The word "conspiracy" is commonly used now (either as an adjective or part of a phrase) to malign those who raise unpopular questions about sensitive issues. The fact is, conspiracies do exist. There are laws on the books addressing them and Justice Department officials deal with them all the time. However, in the case of the TWA Flight 800 disaster, I don't know of anyone who disagrees with the government's conclusions who describes the official investigation as a conspiracy. Incompetent. A cover-up. These are the descriptions most skeptics use to characterize the official investigation. Not "conspiracy."
From chapter: Kristina Borjesson, Into the Buzzsaw
Source: Into the Buzzsaw, p. 284
- [A] proposal can, we hope, be rationally criticized; and if we are rational agents we will want it to survive, if possible, the most testing criticism we can muster. But such criticism will freely make use of the best tested scientific theories in our possession. Consequently any proposal that ignores these theories (where they are relevant, I need hardly add) will collapse under criticism. Should any proposal remain, it will be rational to adopt it.
Source: Popper Selections, p. 114
- [B]ear...in mind that, on the one hand, taboos can be functionalized by a society to strengthen its identity (cf. the scapegoat), that they can create security since they exclude objects, actions and persons viewed as threatening and thus produce, albeit ex negativo, a legal sphere in which certain topics are precluded from being openly discussed, but that, on the other hand, this function can also be interpreted as a highly effective means of social control, that is as a collective system of repression and negative conventions that draw borders and help secure authority along the temporally and culturally specific axes of the sacred and the profane, the pure and the impure...[T]he concept of taboo...can be understood as an arena of contestation in which a society negotiates not only its values and beliefs...but also its borders and power structures.
From chapter: Stefan Horlacher, Taboo, Transgression, and Literature: An Introduction
Source: Taboo and Transgression in British Literature from the Renaissance to the Present, p. 13
- [C]learly...not all consequences of our actions are intended consequences; and accordingly...the conspiracy theory of society cannot be true because it amounts to the assertion that all results, even those which at first sight do not seem to be intended by anybody, are the intended results of the actions of people who are interested in these results.
Source: Popper Selections, p. 352
- [D]espite the impressive body of serious literature that has emerged since 9/11 challenging the official version of the attacks and strongly suggesting that they were either perpetrated by elements of the U.S. Government or allowed by them to happen, neither the U.N. nor NATO has ever bestirred itself to re-visit the crucial issue of responsibility/authorship. This reluctance to ask hard questions in the halls of international institutions that are charged with the duty to "go there" and vet claims of national self-defense has unfortunately been matched -- non-discourse for non-discourse -- by the silence of scholars.
Source: 9/11 As False Flag: Why International Law Must Dare To Care, p. 5
- [Following fascism and Communism] Now it is terrorists who lurk in every shadow, images of terrorist attacks that fill our television screens, and fears of new varieties -- nuclear, biological, cyber-terrorism -- that drive calls for increased surveillance and larger defense budgets. If such Orwellian transformations in the identity of the enemy do not make us skeptical, an element of construction in political and journalistic rhetoric about terrorism, even in terrorist acts themselves, seems inescapable. Bombings and hijackings begin with a few people plotting violence for maximum exposure, come to us on television, where distinctions between news and entertainment are ever more tortuous, and quickly pass into the popular imagination, into blockbuster movies and paperback thrillers.
Source: Plotting Terror, p. 1
- [Georges] Sadoul's essay is by far the most paranoid, arguing that the popular appeal of magazines like Detective extended the reach of the powerful right-wing police chief Jean Chiappe....For Sadoul, the law was merely the pretext for a conspiracy of police forces, whether professional, amateur, or journalistic...[H]is intent is to suggest the complicity of even this widely read magazine...with the ideological function of police activity. This function is fascist, Sadoul argues, to the extent that participation in the surveillance and pursuit of so-called criminals is less a question of desire than an automatic function of the state...the sensationalism Sadoul decries represented not a liberation of desire or an explosion of perversity but, as Aragon similarly expresses in his "Introduction to 1930," the "revenge of censorship on the unconscious."
Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 156-157
- [I]n this version of the crisis of representation the plausibility of the paranoid style is not so much in its reasonable ness, but rather in its revitalization of the romantic, the ability to tell an appealing, wondrous story found in the real.
From chapter: Introduction
Source: Paranoia Within Reason: A Casebook on Conspiracy as Explanation, p. 5
- [N]ot even the critics of intracorporate immunity doctrine apprehended its extension to governmental entities.
Source: Montana Law Review, Vol 57, p. 29
- [O]nce the attempt to understand natural physical laws was no longer regarded as blasphemous, it would also no longer be blasphemous to see through chance events to predict likely outcomes, even if they were regarded as representing the hand of a divinity.
Source: The Improbability Principle, p. 70
- [S]ince the 1951 decision in Collins v. Hardyman, conspiracy law has shifted from the position that only governmental actors are subject to civil liability to the position that virtually none is.
Source: Montana Law Review, Vol 57, p. 30
- [S]uits alleging governmental conspiracy remain far more numerous than suits against private actors.
Source: Montana Law Review, Vol 57, p. 4
- [The Founders] expected factions to plot to subvert the constitutional order because they considered human beings prone to collusion for financial gain and power. If tyranny came, Madison warned, it would be in the form of a consolidation of legislative, executive, and judicial powers in the hands of a single individual or group. The Founders worried most about the potential for power to become concentrated in the executive because of real or pretended threats to national security. Hence the Constitution includes numerous provisions designed to restrain the executive from entangling the nation in international conflicts.
Source: Conspiracy Theory in America, p. 58
- [The Founders] thought representative democracy was vulnerable to, in their language, "conspiracies against the people's liberties" by "perfidious public officials," and to "tyrannical designs" by "oppressive factions."
Source: Conspiracy Theory in America, p. 55
- [T]he 'conspiracy theory of society'...[is] the mistaken theory that, whatever happens in society -- especially happenings such as war, unemployment, poverty, shortages, which people as a rule dislike -- is the result of direct design by some powerful individuals and groups. This theory is widely held; it is older even than historicism (which, as shown by its primitive theistic form, is a derivative of the conspiracy theory). In its modern forms it is, like modern historicism, and a certain modern attitude towards 'natural laws', a typical result of the secularization of a religious superstition. The belief in the Homeric gods whose conspiracies explain the history of the Trojan War is gone. The gods are abandoned. But their place is filled by powerful men or groups -- sinister pressure groups whose wickedness is responsible for all the evils we suffer from -- such as the Learned Elders of Zion, or the monopolists, or the capitalists, or the imperialists.
Source: Popper Selections, p. 351
- [T]he idea of the paranoid style as a force in politics would have little contemporary relevance or historical value if it were applied only to men with profoundly disturbed minds. It is the use of paranoid modes of expression by more or less normal people that makes the phenomenon significant.
Source: The Paranoid Style in American Politics, p. 77
- [T]he Nuremberg Tribunal rejected the Nazis' claim that Germany's judgment was conclusive on the matter of her need to invade Poland and Norway in self-defense, noting that "whether action taken under the claim of self-defense was in fact aggressive or defensive must ultimately be subject to investigation and adjudication if international law is ever to be enforced."
Source: 9/11 As False Flag: Why International Law Must Dare To Care, p. 37
- [T]he still unbroken interest of a broad public in this...topic of taboo [is] paradoxical because the concept of taboo has become a taboo in itself, because taboo is generally accepted as drawing the fundamental borders between the sacred and the profane, whereas a critical glance shows that these borders can scarcely be drawn unproblematically, since not only the concept of taboo as such, but also the concept of the sacred turns out to be polysemic, if not aporetic. While in most civilized societies the use of violence is strongly tabooed, it nevertheless remains inherently if not inextricably bound up with the notion of taboo. This does not only hold true for the cultivating potential inherent to relinquishing drives, but, as Christoph Türcke argues, "above all for the fatuousness of a specific ban on thinking that individuals en masse subject themselves to in order to be able to endure a society they did not choose themselves and yet allow to remain as it is.".
From chapter: Stefan Horlacher, Taboo, Transgression, and Literature: An Introduction
Source: Taboo and Transgression in British Literature from the Renaissance to the Present, p. 4-5
- [With reference to Eoin McNamee's Resurrection Man] In 1971, William McGrath -- the figure on whom Billy McClure is loosely modeled -- was hired as a social worker at Kincora, where he molested "perhaps dozens of school-aged boys"; in spite of numerous complaints filed by the residents of the home, he was not arrested until 2 April 1980...
What has caused endless speculation about this all-too-familiar story of abuse, however, is that McGrath was also the founder of a right-wing Protestant organization called Tara, whose members saw themselves as a shadow government preparing to take over in the event of a "doomsday" scenario...More spectacular allegations followed: Chris Moore, author of a book on McGrath and Kincora, interviewed several intelligence agents and civil servants who claimed that McGrath had actively worked for MI5, the British Security Service, and that Tara had been conceived by British intelligence as a means of gathering information about, and then manipulating, Protestant extremists...Evidence that British intelligence, or at least what the Irish Times story characterizes as its "rogue right-wing agents," worked hand in hand with a Protestant extremist organization certainly confirms the worst fears of Northern Ireland's Catholics, who have often suspected the British Army and Unionist politicians of abetting Protestant violence.
Source: Plotting Terror, p. 40-41
- [With reference to Stone's Damascus Gate] For a long time, in politics and literature, it was plausible to believe in the rebel, the creative genius, the powerful individual imposing a personal vision on the collective. But when the terrorist plot is conceived in the government office, when the prophet is as useful to the bureaucrat as the soldier, we cannot be surprised that the writer's heroics lead only to the end of a maze where a bogus bomb goes up in chemical smoke.
Source: Plotting Terror, p. 138