Bad news leads to bad theories

A comment posted to the Nick Berg beheading video thread reminded me that conspiracy thinking is alive and well. The anonymous commenter asserted -- without any evidence at all -- that the beheading of Nick Berg was a "false-flag" operation by the U.S. government.

Absurd as it initially seemed, eventually I remembered that many people believe that the entire Osama bin Laden operation is run by the U.S. government. That Osama and George W. Bush are partners in a vast global consiracy. That 9-11 was an elaborate hoax contrived by evil Neocons who wanted to invade the Mideast, and kept alive by mind control forces. That no Boeing ever crashed into the Pentagon. That the Twin Towers could not have collapsed absent controlled demolition by forces other than jet planes full of fuel. (Never mind science!)

The CIA working with the MOSSAD did all of it! Even that which they didn't do, they did!

Looking for extravagant alternative explanations is understandable when news is painful, or hard to accept. It also makes it easier to cope with the huge volume of information that's out there. How many of us are expert enough in physics to state conclusively how hot steel must be to bend, or how much weight it would take to make a building fall straight down? Because these things take expertise, work and study, and because there's such an enormous amount of material, it's quite easy for half versed tricksters to get their foot in the door by spouting lots of facts not capable of being readily refuted.

There's always a void waiting to be filled.

And there's always someone waiting to fill it.

UPDATE: The paragraph spaces I had originally written were lost when I posted this on the road via my T-Mobile Sidekick, so I had to correct it.

posted by Eric on 05.16.04 at 10:56 AM







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Comments

I still fall into the trap of thinking everyone can be reasoned with and that every disagreement is grounded in an honest difference of opinion. I cannot quite resolve myself to the idea that people should choose an X-Files safety blanket over trying to come to grips with the world. My cousin once observed to me that every manner of rogue, scoundrel and fool was catalogued in the writing of William Shakespeare hundreds of years ago. What on earth, he asked me, has changed in human nature since then?

Ghost of a flea   ·  May 16, 2004 9:15 PM

The problem is that you overshoot your interpretation of what a conspiracy is. It's true that some conspiracies are so out in left field they border on science or psychological thrill fiction, but conspiracies do exist and the most effective ones are simply based on gray area executions. Don't you think there were skeptics and believers of a Watergate conspiracy before it became mainstream realization?

Dave
http://www.davidpinero.com/perblog

David Pinero   ·  May 16, 2004 9:47 PM

"Looking for extravagant alternative explanations is understandable when news is painful, or hard to accept."

It's worse than that. Ask anyone who's ever worked in law enforcement and they'll tell you that people will lie to feel important. Lying to the cops is how it starts, and it just kind of snowballs from there.

Doesn't help that there are idjist willing to buy the books and go to the lecture tours, either.

David,
JUst because there have been conspiracies in the past doesn't mean that everything's a conspiracy now. That's hardly proof. And, when the facts point to an explanation that doesn't need a conspiracy, that's almost certainly the correct explanation.

James

James R. Rummel   ·  May 17, 2004 12:19 AM

The French did it in order to get us to eat more meatballs.

Meatballs are good for your eyes. Eat lots of meatballs.

The video contains unexplained anachronisms. It's the Zepruder film, man! (Just like 911 was the burning of the Reichstag - sort of)

Why is there an edit in the tape just before the beheading? Why is a woman's scream dubbed in at this point?

It appears that Berg was already dead when the beheading took place. There should have been spurting blood everywhere; instead, it leaked out in a pool. If he was alive, the heart would still be beating when the cutting took place, thus causing vigorous spurts. (Or didn't you see "Kill Bill"?)

Finally, what is up with the masked guys? They look awfully well-fed for terrorists who've been living underground for almost three years. There's also the gold ring thing (forbidden by Islam). ... and the fact that they are all WHITE!
(look at the hands)

WFT?! There are so many unanswered questions, it pays to look at the video critically.

Plus, there's the fact that Berg showed up on a hit list on Free Republic, plus his connection to Moussari, plus his wearing of a US civilian prison uniform in the video.

I'm waiting patiently for the Nazi-Soviet pact, the invasion of Poland, the Night of the Long Knives, Pink Triangles, and FEMA ... er.. I mean...Concentration camps.

BTW: he's a Jew. Of COURSE this is NOT about Israel!

SixFootPole   ·  May 20, 2004 9:16 PM

I guess you can see anything in the film if you look hard enough, and want to believe the worst about the evil United States or the Jewish Neocons who really run everything.

I think it's a real strain to declare on the basis of this film that the killers (whom you apparently want to believe are not killers but perpetrators of a hoax) are white. I cannot tell the race of the hands. (Here's the Wikipedia picture of Zarqawi, who's got a lot of pink in him.) Have you ever seen pictures of Ayman al Zawahiri? He's pudgy and his hands look as white as any typical white American. Don't know if he has a ring though. I have seen animals slaughtered, by the way, and the blood didn't explode but ran down. With the poor quality of that film, it's hard to see whether there's pulsating observable in the blood, but declaring the man is dead is a stretch. If he was really dead, the blood would be coagulating very quickly and would not run.

Why also, would anyone be cutting the head off a dead man? I mean, even if you assume the evil Zionists are responsible, why would they be so kind as to kill him first? If they really were engaged in a plot, wouldn't they think about such details and maybe give the man anesthesia so he'd spurt blood according to your Hollywoodish demands? (The evil Zionists run Hollywood; surely they could produce a more skillful film!) And wouldn't they think to remove the rings, use only skinny executioners to evoke proper images of a starving "underground" -- and certainly remove his "US civilian prison uniform"?

Hey, and how do we know that the sheet of paper the guy's reading is really in Arabic? He flips it around too much; obviously this was all dubbed.

A woman's scream? Have you ever heard a high pitched male scream? I've heard many.

Try watching the crudely made Daniel Pearl video "critically" too. No doubt the hand of the Mossad can also be found there.

Clearly, someone should contact Nick Berg's father and ask him how much the CIA paid him to not demand an autopsy.

I appreciate your comment, but I don't think you've made a convincing case, and I think it's a long way to the Nazi-Soviet pact, the invasion of Poland, the Night of the Long Knives, Pink Triangles, and FEMA at this point.

Eric Scheie   ·  May 21, 2004 2:19 AM

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