Monday, January 28, 2008

A Genius, A Saint, and SCOTUS Agree: Conspiracies Exist!

The right wing spent the 1950s trying to convince the nation that it was threatened by a vast world wide communist conspiracy. Now the right wing is trying to convince the nation that conspiracies don't exist at all! Right wingers have targeted Tin Foil Hatters for ridicule when it was not so long ago that the term applied better to them! Nevertheless, a Catholic saint, the world`s greatest physicist, and hundreds, possibly thousands of SCOTUS decisions and scholarly, legal articles all say: conspiracies exist!

The right wing, in fact, loves "conspiracy theories": the world wide communist conspiracy, the world-wide conspiracy of secular humanists, the world wide conspiracy of evolutionists, darwinists, and materialists, the world-wide conspiracy of terrorists (al Qaeda), the world wide conspiracy of labor and trade unionists, the world wide conspiracy of abortionists, the world wide conspiracy of nattering nabobs of negativism. In the fifties, we were expected to believe that there was a world wide conspiracy to add fluoridation to municipal water supplies. It was about the same time that proto-Ron Paul types were warning of a world wide conspiracy of international bankers. There is still a dire threat to our "children" by those evil, secular humanists! Gasp!

We are expected to believe in al Qaeda but not to believe that there was a conspiracy of robber barons to seize monopoly control of railroads leading west. We are expected to believe that a rag tag conspiracy of failed, Arab pilots perped 911 but not that there was a conspiracy by J.P. Morgan et al to control US banking, or John D. Rockefeller to control US oil production, or a conspiracy by Andrew Carnegie to control US steel production. We are expected to believe that Saddam Hussein had conspiratorial connections to 911 terrorists, but we are not expected to believe that the GOP stole the elections of 2000 and 2003 or that the GOP had anything do with the gang of "brownshirts" who were, in fact, financed by the Bush campaign. Only the right wing gets to indulge conspiracy theories.

A "Saint" in death, St. Thomas More was in life Chancellor of England during the reign of Henry VIII. A lawyer and a scholar, More is read and analyzed today. If More were time warped to the present time, he would look around him and find in the Military/Industrial complex a familiar cabal of liars, graft-takers, and conspirators.
So God help me, I can perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men procuring their own commodities under the name and title of the commonwealth.

They invent and devise all means and crafts, first how to keep safely, without fear of losing, that they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the work and labour of the poor for as little money as may be.

-Of the Religions in Utopia, St. Thomas More

The bolding is mine. More, some 400 years on, leaves us an accurate description of the Military/Industrial complex, most certainly, a certain conspiracy of rich men procuring their own commodities under the name and title of the commonwealth.

The GOP must now think this brilliant genius, this Saint by Catholic reckoning, a "tin foil hatter". But it was not so long ago that rabid righters had a different view of More. It was in the late 90s that these wing-nuts, hell-bent on impeaching Bill Clinton, dragged out the corpse of St. Thomas More. It would give their witch hunt an imprimatur of legitimacy and scholarship, lipstick on a pig! Mssrs Henry Hyde and David Schippers, were fond of quoting More but only as he was portrayed in an admittedly great film, A Man for All Seasons by Sir Robert Bolt. Here's an example of how Kenneth Starr mangled More and, in the process, proved himself a mediocre intellect. The following excerpt from Starr's interview with Diane Sawyer:

Kenneth Starr:
Well, I love the letter and the spirit of the law, but it`s the letter of the law that protects us all. And, you know, St. Thomas Moore, Sir Thomas Moore put it so elegantly, you know, in A Man For All Seasons. He took the law very seriously and said, `That`s what protects us. It`s not the will of a human being. It`s not Henry VIII`s will. Henry VIII is under the law. We are all equal under the law.`
Sorry, Mr. Starr, no where in the play A Man For All Seasons did the character of Sir Thomas More say anything resembling that.

In fact, More defended the obedience to "...man`s law, not God`s" [that makes More a secular humanist] and never made reference to either Henry VIII's law by name or description. The actual exchange that both David Schippers and Starr are both so fond of misquoting is as follows:

Roper: So now you`d give the Devil benefit of law!

More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get at the Devil?

Roper: I`d cut down every law in England to do that.

More: Oh! (advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you --where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? (He leaves him) This country’s planted thick with laws --man's laws, not God's [emphasis mine]--and if you cut them down --and you’re just the man to do it --d`you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I`d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety`s sake.
And, in yet another memorable exchange:
Margaret More: Father, that man's bad.

Sir Thomas More: There's no law against that.

William Roper: There is: God's law.

Sir Thomas More: Then God can arrest him.
Of course, the dialogue above was written by Robert Bolt. But if you want to read the original More you will find comments equally biting, equally witty that will most certainly curl the hair of modern right wing reactionaries and intellectual gnomes! More, they will charge, is a liberal, a socialist, and (gasp!!!!) ---a liberal!

But other brilliant folk, specifically, the greatest physicist since Newton, spoke eloquently and absolutely beyond the piss poor abilities of right wing idiots to refute:
The men who possess real power in this country have no intention of ending the cold war."

--Albert Einstein

Conspiracy theories are most vociferously denounced by conspirators. Conspirators exist if conspiracists do not. Conspirators have a lot riding on this issue --their very lives if they get caught! Traitors to this nation's Constitution, right-wing subversives who have, in fact, waged war on the citizens of this nation are subject to prosecution under the laws of this nation which recognize --as a matter of law --that conspiracies exist! High treason exists! War Crimes exist! Crimes against humanity exist! I have the laws of this nation, the Constitution, the Geneva Conventions, the Nuremberg Principles to prove it! Moreover, I know and have already named the culprits on this blog!

Now --let's put this issue to rest. Here is a specific example of how the topic of how the concept of "conspiracy" is handled by US Codes, in particular "conspiracy" in a political sense.
Section 2384. Seditious conspiracy

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

Section 2383. Rebellion or insurrection

Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

US Codes

Who remembers the "Brooks Brothers Riot" that had the effect of stopping a court-ordered recount of votes in the state of Florida in the year 2000? That "riot" had been transported to Florida, all-expenses paid by the Bush campaign. It was the intention of this retinue to "attack" the recounters. The strategy was obvious: stop the recounts before Al Gore could pull ahead. This conspiracy of the Bush campaign was, in effect, a coup d'etat, a violation of US Codes, a conspiracy against the lawful, constitutional and orderly transfer of executive power. A case of Seditious Conspiracy? I believe that case should be made.

Conspiracies exist, OK? There is much more at: Findlaw: Cases and Codes> Supreme Court Opinions [if, for any reason, these links don't work, search: Cases and Codes, choose "supreme court opinions", search terms: conspiracy or conspiracies. Same below]

When you are done there, check Findlaw: Legal Articles re: Conspiracy

That’s a helluva lot of ink, time, and labor about something that does not exist.

A book pushed on the internet proposes to teach you how to "Outwit, outmock and outrage conservatives this election season!" I cannot recommend this book. Consider the following "don't" from the book:
It’s tempting to believe there are sinister conservative forces engaged in grand, diabolical schemes (e.g., the Bush administration orchestrated 9/11, bin Laden is a CIA operative, and Dick Cheney is an evil cyborg). Don’t bother going there. There are plenty of good arguments to make without bringing in the vast conspiracy of little green men on the grassy knoll. And besides, as anyone who has worked in government will tell you, the government isn’t competent enough to pull off a decent conspiracy.

Outwit, outmock and outrage conservatives this election season!

With "liberals" like this --who needs enemies? The quote misstates every charge made against Bush, Cheney or the "vast right wing conspiracy" in general. It trivializes real crimes for which there is evidence that would stand up in court. It diminishes the magnitude of real, specific and provable violations of US Codes --capital crimes --for which there is probable cause to try George W. Bush right now! It obscures real issues by misstating them, the strawman fallacy. Normally, I ignore crap of this sort, and if I had not been so sick of fuzzy, fallacious, stupid thinking on this point, I would not bother. Whoever wrote this drivel is trying to be cute --but isn't . For example, I have never, ever --in my life --heard anyone, at any time put forward the idea that there were "little green men on the grassy knoll".

Now --let's consider just one of the many holes in Bush's official conspiracy of 911, a failed theory because it violates Occam's Razor, raising more questions than it answers. Following is a story about how the government's own cover up raises more questions. If the Government's "official conspiracy" of 911 were true, the FBI would have no reason to cover up flight data from Flights 77, the Pentagon crash, and Flight 93, the flight said by Donald Rumsfeld to have been shot down by a missile.
FBI Conceals Flight Data Recorder Info That Could Confirm Registry ID's Of 2 9/11 Planes


A December 8, 2007 Freedom of Information Act request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, seeking the release of all data contained by the Solid State Flight Data Recorders recovered from the crash scenes of American Airlines flight 77 and United Airlines flight 93, has been denied. The data sought, would presumably confirm the commercial flight histories and thus the federal registry identifications of N644AA (AA 77) and N591UA (UA 93), already provided by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, obtained by a December 28, 2007 FOIA release. (See BTS release letter)

The FDR data requested of the FBI, was that which would presumably reveal the identity of flights occurring just before the final 9/11 flights (presumably matching flight history data provided by the BTS, for the said aircraft), carried out by N644AA (AA 77) and N591UA (UA 93), 2 of the 4 federally registered aircraft reportedly used to carry out the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. An appeal indicating that the requested records are unrelated to the events of September 11, 2001 and thus cannot interfere with 9/11 enforcement proceedings (indicated in refusal notice), is pending.

Addendum: several other cites have picked up this article. On at least one, the Findlaw searches above did not work. They work here for me. If, for any reason, they don't work for you, please leave a comment and I will try to track down the problem.

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