It is usually very difficult to trace the origins of conspiracies. Much like the way urban legends are spread, finding out how a particular meme gets started is largely a matter of slogging detective work, tracing newspaper articles and wearing out shoe leather interviewing people.
It is believed that the very first hints of conspiracy involving Oswald and the JFK assassination could be traced to
La Figaro Lâ€™HumanitÃ©, the communist party newspaper in France. A KGB defector in 1982 let on that the articles were part of a disinformation campaign designed to throw off suspicion of complicity by Moscow in the crime, something with which Kruschev was very concerned. (The defector’s reliability has been questioned on this and other matters).
A few months later, a small American publication called Ramparts began a series of articles using the La Figaro piece as a template to paste all sorts of conspiracies involving Johnson, the CIA, the Army, and large corporations. Other hard left magazines picked up on these theories and expanded on them. Even before the Warren Report was published, the paranoid left had a slew of conspiracy theories involving the assassination that fingered everyone but Oswald.
I bring this up because paranoia regarding the JFK assassination is one of the few semi- traceable conspiracies in modern history. Others have roots going back hundreds of years to the time of the Knights Templar and Illuminati and their beginnings have been lost to the mists of history. At bottom, all of these conspiracies posit the notion that powerful men using unseen and unknown methods control our destiny.
Today’s nuts inhabit both the right and left sides of the ideological spectrum with the left wing paranoids more prominent if only because of their target; George Bush and his Administration.
No? How’s that military draft coming, guys? And what about that fallout from our attack on Iran? You know, the one that was “imminent” at least three separate times over the last few years? And while we’re on the subject, have you sent your Christmas cards to your friends rotting away in those concentration camps you were so sure were going to be set up to house “regime” opponents?
I could go on, of course. There is no end to the wild nuttiness of the left when it comes to their paranoia about the Bush Administration. To hear them tell it, Bush is both evil genius and incompetent clown – a dichotomy most sane people would find laughable but which the paranoids on the left blithely run off at the mouth coming up with ever more outrageous “warnings” about Bush actions. The closer we get to the end of the Bush presidency, the more we hear of the “manufactured 9/11” where Bush would cancel the election of 2008 and rule by dictatorship.
There are going to be a lot of exploding heads on January 20, 2009 when Bush rides off to Texas.
Where does this idiocy come from? It comes from here:
In a new book alleging a campaign of slander and intimidation orchestrated chiefly by Hillary Clinton, Kathleen Willey points a finger of suspicion at the former first couple for the death of her husband, who was believed to have killed himself.
Willey, who claims she was groped by President Clinton in the White House, acknowledged in an interview with WND today that she stands by the speculation she poses about her husband’s demise in “Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton,” set for release this week by World Ahead Publishing, WND Books’ partner.
Asked if she suspects her husband Ed, a lawyer and son of a prominent Virginia lawmaker, was murdered, Willey replied, “Most definitely.”
There is absolutely no doubt that Bush Derangement Syndrome’s roots can be found in the Clinton Derangement Syndrome of the 1990’s. And if this book is any indication, BDS will continue to run long after George leaves office:
Willey writes that after her husband’s death, her friend Carole in Colorado told her something she had not known. Ed had confided to Carole’s husband that he had taken a briefcase full of cash to Little Rock, Ark., during the presidential campaign.
Willey said she was shocked but acknowledged her husband could have done it. Later she found a reference on a blog that explored illegal fundraising activities by the Clintons and noted Ed Willey was known for “handling large briefcases full of cash” as part of the 1992 presidential campaign.
She speculates: “I have no idea how anyone other than the Clintons would know that Ed might have carried cash in briefcases. So why would he be killed? Because he was carrying illegal money? That’s probably not enough reason. But what if, in his desperation, Ed had ‘illegally borrowed’ from the campaign?”
Willey herself brings up the obvious parallels to the Vince Foster suicide – which in Clinton Derangement Syndrome circles is listed as a “murder” despite numerous investigations by both Democrats and Republicans including independent counsels Fiske and Starr proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that Fosters death was by his own hand.
The money is another issue. Willey wouldn’t be the first to have taken suitcases full of cash to Little Rock. But bribery and campaign financial irregularities are a long way from murder. And while the Clintons have been known to play hardball with opponents, Willey’s accusations are pretty slanderous. They were back then and they are now.
What CDS did was gather the kooks, the loons, and the nuts on the right under one umbrella with the internet as catalyst. Chat rooms and message boards acted as incubators where the latest preposterous theories about the Clintons were born.
And perhaps it’s no accident that BDS was born just when blogs began their rise to prominence. The archives of Daily Kos are full of diaries and posts that posit the most jaw dropping conspiracy theories about Bush. If the largest liberal blog could indulge themselves in such tripe, then clearly the way to fame and fortune in the leftysphere was to outdo the big guys in coming up with even more ridiculous theories of dark doings and evil abroad in the land.
It has culminated in the Rosie O’Donnell-Keith Olbermann axis of celebrity where those worthies feed hundreds of thousands of people a day a steady diet of BDS related claptrap. One wonders what poor Keith is going to do when Bush leaves office. Methinks he’s in for a fall since his “angry man” routine will be difficult to maintain if Democrats control everything.
Frankly, I’m surprised that Hillary hasn’t come in for more CDS than she has. Perhaps the loons are waiting for the general election campaign before letting loose. There are many bad things to be said about Hillary Clinton both personally and politically but what she and her husband were accused of during their tenure in office is so far beyond reality that it gives those of us who wish to critique Mrs. Clinton rationally a bad name. Those on the left who have spent the last seven years realistically critiquing the Bush Administration know what I’m talking about. It is easy to get lumped in with the nuts.
I feel for Kathleen Willey but she is wildly off base in her charges. I suppose I’ll hear it from some of my friends on the right but the fact is, tales of intimidation of witnesses, murder, burglary, and other illegal activities are largely anecdotal and have their origins in internet rumormongering. There is no credible evidence for it and thus, it is safe to dismiss much of CDS as the ramblings of paranoids.
The same could be said of BDS sufferers, of course. And given the polarization of our politics and general political nastiness abroad in the land, both Syndromes will probably be with us for a while.