It’s not valid week in America if we don’t have… a new conspiracy or two.

This story is convoluted and absurd at points. But, it’s the conspiracy genre, that’s what you get.

Here come the Edward Snowden truthers –

Some think he’s a CIA plant, others say he’s a useful idiot. But they all agree: Something stinks to high heaven!

Is he a hero? A co-conspirator? A plant from the “police state”? A government stooge? A pawn? A hacker? A UFO conspiracy operative? I can’t keep track!

Misunderstandings and mistakes are fueling this wild speculation. I’m not sure what can be done about it. Is America just in a contrarian, rebellious phase where we TRUST NO ONE? It’s exhausting, all the mystery mongering and constructing imaginative narratives.

  5 comments for “It’s not valid week in America if we don’t have… a new conspiracy or two.

  1. spookyparadigm
    June 21, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    1. Spygames are going to inherently have this mood. Hell, his ex-gf called him her “International Man of Mystery.” It is indeed a world of double agents, conspiracies, etc.. One could argue that a good way to think of conspiracy theory is that it takes the somewhat justifiable element of paranoia in the black world, and tries to use it to understand why a tornado strikes, or why a car crash happened, or why you don’t feel happy with your job.

    2. I’ve read more than a few serious sources that think Snowden himself is pumping himself up in terms of his claims, that one could not do all of what he says, etc.. This in itself is making him look less than honest (the whole flee to HK thing did not help matters).

    My guess is somewhere in the middle. That policywise, the powers he describes are prohibited, but that this scandal has less to do with purposeful abuses by government policy, but instead the side effects of the massive expansion, transformation, and privatization of the intelligence community. In the wake of 9/11, the Bush administration not only (unsurprisingly) dramatically expanded the size of the intelligence community, it also (as it did with the military, but far more so here) privatized it. The majority of people working in the black world now are private contractors (like Snowden), and not full-time government agents. This was a horrifically bad idea because of the potential for disorganization, lack of institutional memory, room for abuse due to the revolving door nature, room for abuse due to protections that apply to government agents that may not apply in the private sector, and so on.

  2. spookyparadigm
    June 21, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    And I had read (or started to read, I didn’t finish it) Naomi Wolf’s essay. It was garbage.

  3. Chris Howard
    June 21, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    “Is he a hero? A co-conspirator? A plant from the “police state”? A government stooge? A pawn? A hacker? A UFO conspiracy operative? I can’t keep track!”

    In the world of conspiracy theory all of these are true, ESPECIALLY if they contradict each other.

  4. meamoi
    June 21, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    When you enter into the world of spygames, its guaranteed you’re dealing with a conspiracy *somewhere*. Claiming there is no conspiracy anywhere when intelligence (the political term, not the thing that makes us human), is like claiming there is no oxygen in our air. So to be fair, watching for conspiracies in an area traditionally rife with conspiracies, is a valid thing to do. Although there’s a very significant difference between wild speculation and trying to put the pieces together in one of the most logical ways. When “truth games” are on the line, considering multiple options (especially in a field where people try to mislead observers) is a good thing.

    FYI, on the topic of conspiracies, if you ever got a chance to look at the wikileaks awhile back when it released the government espionage cables, one of the leaked emails was a communication with Area 51 talking about their purpose. An interesting read, but made area 51 seem a lot less ‘cool and interesting’, and a lot more obnoxious. In essence, the best way to sum it up was, “the peacetime pentagon, with the goal of ‘winning’ peacetime.” Basically it is/was a research facility into intelligence and social manipulation tactics. The whole “alien landing” was an experiment on manipulating the media. (Give them a huge sensational story, retract it as false the next day, see how people react.) Drugs, psychedelics, spying equipment, secrecy tools, etc. That’s what Area 51 was all about. Not surprising considering it was born out of the cold war though.

  5. June 28, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    Dude, the “alien landing” was a crashed weather balloon, that stuff has been declassified for years. They let a few useful [*] delude themselves about space aliens because they hoped it would throw the soviets off the scent that they were putting spy cameras on those balloons.

    I don’t know if we have any indication it worked from the Soviet side, however. I sort of doubt it.

    *Editor removed.

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