The Corner

Conspiracy Theories

From a reader:

Jonah,

I know what this guy is talking about (the self-proclaimed real-American

dumbass). I asked you once how to deal with consipiracy theorists…thing

is they aren’t democrats and they come at you like an octopus. It is good

to see a guy reveal his anti-semitism pretty openly, something most of these

guys won’t have the guts to do (unless they have a couple of beers).

One wee problem I have with your take…very real jack-booted thugs drove

very real tanks through the houses of citizens during the Clinton

administration, with the flimsiest of evidence of some weapons charges. A

raid was perpetrated on American citizens to retrieve Elian Gonzalez. These

people committed no crime. I won’t claim the trilateral commission or the

U.N. were pulling the strings or some such silly nonsense, but these acts

were committed by the executive branch of the federal government against

it’s citizens.

Me: I’ve gotten quite a few of these sorts of objections. I think they’re fair but miss the point. I don’t pretend that government never does anything wrong or never covers-up its misdeeds. But, the Waco raid is a good case in point. It may have been a “conspiracy” in the sense that various members of the government were in on it. But it wasn’t a conspiracy in the sense that conspiracy theorists mean. We know who was responsible. The raid was outrageous and there should have been more accountability, but it was hardly some secret affair. We saw it on TV. Janet Reno said she was responsible — even if she didn’t actually take responsibility by resigning. Moreover, the intentions of the government agents weren’t diabolical, they were misguided (criminally misguided to some). This 9/11 snake oil is a very different thing, which I think should be obvious to everybody.

Update: We WILL NOT be launching a major thread on Waco. But here’s an email from the other side for balance:

Jonah, in a recent email you posted, it said:

“very real jack-booted thugs drove very real tanks through the houses of citizens during the Clinton administration, with the flimsiest of evidence of some weapons charges.”

Um, you mean other than the dead ATF agent ? These people had massive stores of weapons and the leader was absolutely guilty of child molestation and worse. C’Mon. The way the government dealt with it can certainly be criticized, but these were not innocent people or even people with questionable guilt or danger. They’d already shot people.

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