Conspiracy theories abound, many of which involve the federal government acting alone or in conjunction with others. Now I admit I love to read about conspiracy theories. My bookshelves contain plenty of works on this or that theory (the JFK assassination or 9/11, for example) or compilations of them (Everything Is Under Control or The Sixty Greatest Conspiracies of All Time, to name two). Yet I also try to apply a bit of rational skepticism to them. Still, I don’t know that the website Conspiracy Theories and Misinformation is going to succeed its goal of debunking many of these theories.
You see, the website is produced by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs, as was a “Rumors, Myths and Fabrications” blog that was active from May 2008 until September 11, 2009. (Could that date alone be conspiratorially significant?) But why would anyone take a government at its word when its trying to debunk claims of government conspiracies? And the rationale for the site won’t suggest a different conclusion to those inclined toward these theories. “Conspiracy theories exist in the realm of myth, where imaginations run wild, fears trump facts, and evidence is ignored,” it announces. “As a superpower, the United States is often cast as a villain in these dramas.”
The site lists nine “popular conspiracy theories” with very brief summaries in each area containing links to additional information. The most specific summary by far is 9/11. Not only does it have the longest summary, one of two large links on the site is to debunking911.com, a site whose owner is unknown and who recognizes that alone “is evidence to conspiracy theorists that I’m a ‘government shill’.” (Give the government credit, though, for making the other large link to Snopes.com.) The State Department site also offers a photo gallery of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. The other conspiracy theories are more broad: health, military, outer space, economic, “U.S. Domestic,” U.S. and Islam, U.S. and Latin America and, of course, “Others.” The site also has three short videos on conspiracy theories, “Debunking,” “What, Why and How” and “Consequences.”
As it is produced by the State Department, the site certainly would seem aimed at a foreign audience. But are those inclined toward jihadists, for example, likely to believe what the government says about whether it is waging a war on Islam? Likewise, is anyone outside or in the U.S. who wonders if the government was involved in 9/11 going to rely on this site for information?
I think I have it figured out, though. The site is part of a deeper conspiracy. It must be the work of the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission and their fellow travelers as part of a masterful disinformation campaign to direct attention away from themselves and the shadow government that actually runs the country and the world. And, of course, we all know these groups are themselves only fronts for the evil shape-shifting lizard-people from the 4th dimension that actually control the world.
…the biggest conspiracy has always been the fact that there is no conspiracy. No one’s out to get you. No one even gives a shit whether you live or die. There. You feel better now?
Dennis Miller, I Rant, Therefore I Am