by Claire Bernish
It could easily be said 2016 has been the year so-called conspiracy theorists were vindicated — and we aren’t yet five months in.
Before explaining why that is the case, make no mistake — the term conspiracy theorist originated with the CIA as an effort to discredit viable theories from credible people who chanced upon the truth.
First revealed by the New York Times in 1976, pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request, the CIA had written a dispatch of its “psychological operations” — disinformation — specifically to “provide material countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries” and to “employ propaganda assets to refute the attacks of the critics.”
That said, 2016 thus far has proven remarkable for the sheer volume of information brought to light by people, events, and the general crumbling of the deep-seated establishment narrative — and it’s no small matter for those whose claims had previously been met with scorn and derision.
Following are just eight items of erstwhile contention, which 2016 has confirmed for posterity — and perhaps to the ultimate detriment of the establishment paradigm.
1. Though trading a pinch of liberty for an ounce of security has never panned out for anyone but government, people continue to allow the fuzzy blanket feel of increased ‘protection’ from terrorism to cloud their perception of possible future outcomes. Such has been the case with the insidious PATRIOT Act, whose repercussions from blanket, indiscriminate surveillance culminated this year in a gloriously horrible way.
In March, it was divulged that domestic law enforcement will now have access to information swept up by the National Security Agency’s broad net of data collection performed on all Americans. Shocking though that may be, global tumult in recent years — which naturally has begun to sweep the U.S. — evidences a paranoid and increasingly fascistic government in decline. Its imperative need at this point wholly comprises self-preservation.
What better way to effect and maintain control than to have its every enforcement arm keen to those who might organize sufficiently to oust said government from its pedestal of power. Of course, when Edward Snowden first revealed the NSA’s dubiously extensive program, privacy rights advocates suspected there would be more to follow — and now we know.
“What does this rule change mean for you?” queried the ACLU. “In short, domestic law enforcement officials now have access to huge troves of American communications, obtained without warrants, that they can use to put people in cages.”
2. While it’s entirely likely eyes will roll at first mention of the name Rothschild, 2016 saw substantiation of theories the notorious banking family claims nearly direct ties with the government — in particular, Hillary Clinton.
Ongoing, sporadic disclosures of Clinton’s ostensible personal email account have been indexed and made searchable by WikiLeaks — and thankfully so, considering the files comprise thousands of documents. An arbitrary search performed by The Free Thought Project for some conspiracy theorists’ ‘favorite’ family names revealed a doting relationship between Clinton and Lynn Forester de Rothschild.
“I remain your loyal adoring pal,” Rothschild penned in one email. Another graciously thanks Clinton for “personally reaching out to us,” and adds, “You are the best, and we remain your biggest fans.” Clinton signs one response to Rothschild, “Much love, H.”
Though, as reported, nothing overtly nefarious jumps out from this search, it’s worth recalling this gushing friendliness was found in mostly non-redacted and unclassified emails — it’s a matter of conjecture what may have been secreted by the government.
3. Mainstream media inarguably functions as the de facto propaganda arm of the State, but recent revelations divulged the Associated Press had capitulated to Hitler’s Nazi Party in the 1930s to maintain its ability to report from Germany.
According to findings by a German historian, the New York-based AP had agreed to report news from a pro-Nazi slant in return for permission to remain in the country while other outlets had been forced to vacate German operations. This comfortable arrangement, The Free Thought Project reported, “created a paradigm in which the AP became virtually the sole hub of information about Nazi Germany being disseminated to the rest of the world.”
Once those other news organizations fled, the AP’s exclusive lock on information held little value other than serving as Hitler’s mouthpiece. As the Guardian noted, the AP was required “to hire reporters who also worked for the Nazi Party’s propaganda division. One of the four photographers employed by the Associated Press in the 1930s, Franz Roth, was a member of the SS paramilitary unit’s propaganda division, whose photographs were personally chosen by Hitler.”
4. Building on voluminous anecdotal reports of cannabis’ success in treating epilepsy in children, three official studies in the last five months have declared cannabidiol oil (CBD) enormously beneficial for curtailing — and in some cases halting — seizures in afflicted youth.
Of countless victims of the State’s insidious and utterly failed war on drugs, perhaps the most inexcusable victims are children living in cannabis prohibition states who suffer dozens, if not hundreds, of seizures daily. CBD, the three studies (of many) found, often halt symptoms in their tracks — and can allow children to live comparatively healthy, typical lives similar to their peers.
Many parents have turned to CBD after myriad pharmaceuticals proved useless to treat their children’s epileptic seizures and — according to just one of these three studies — fully 45 percent experienced “a significant reduction” in frequency.
5. In another ostensible conspiracy theory now validated, Deutsche Bank settled a lawsuit for its part in rigging the gold and silver markets — and agreed to turn on co-conspirators as part of the settlement.
Since 2007, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Société Générale, and Bank of Nova Scotia allegedly harbored no compunctions in taking opportunistic advantage of their position in the daily silver price fix, and, as Bloomberg described, reaped “illegitimate profit from trading, hurting other investors in the silver market who use the benchmark in billions of dollars of transactions.” UBS later found itself added to the list of culpable financial institutions for its role in the silver fix.
As The Free Thought Project pointed out, the “Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the government agency that is supposed to regulate these banks, initiated its own investigation in 2008 and found no wrongdoing.”
6. January saw the revelation, previously touted only in fringe circles, that Western nations had wielded NATO as a tool to oust Libya’s Muammar al-Gaddafi — because he sought to abandon the petrodollar in favor of the gold-based Libyan dinar.
While likely a stunning disclosure to mainstream society, conspiracy theorists everywhere sighed a collective ‘I told you so,’ when Hillary Clinton’s notorious emails provided the information equivalent to a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow — bad pun intended. Falsely premised as a humanitarian mission, the Western nations-backed Libyan intervention, it turns out, had been fueled by French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s insecurity over losing influence in what some consider Francophone Africa.
As the West pulled the collective wool of saving lives over the woefully gullible eyes of the American public, a NATO-led military operation quashed Gaddafi’s attempt to bring monetary independence to African nations via his pan-African currency.
7. Perhaps no other subject in recent years has been as widely dubbed a ‘conspiracy theory’ as the massive effort to reveal the truth behind the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Now, vindication for those deemed tinfoil-hat wearing nutjobs has partly culminated in national media attention to Saudi Arabia’s virtually indisputable complicity in the attacks — albeit to an extent or capacity as yet unknown.
In the course of just two weeks, The New York Times revealed Saudi Arabia threatened to pull its nearly $775 trillion in U.S. investments should Pres. Obama decide to allow passage of a bill designed to aid 9/11 victims’ families in seeking justice. Obama then appeared to side with the Saudis in announcing his plan to veto the bill under the guise of protecting Americans abroad — though, in actuality, it appears his motives lie elsewhere.
Should Obama remove the Saudis’ immunity from prosecution for potential complicity that day, the move would also give breadth to those seeking justice for any U.S. role in both 9/11 as well as any involvement in any terrorist acts worldwide. Appearing to succumb to the pressure of economic and political blackmail, Obama’s veto promise might more accurately amount to a ‘cover your ass’ maneuver. Obama then found himself royally snubbed by the kingdom over the controversy, when King Salman refused to greet his plane upon arrival in Riyadh for an international summit. This story, of course, is still unfolding.
8. Perhaps the only positive outcome of the 2016 electoral chaos has been the sweeping realization the system is, in fact, rigged to install only establishment candidates.
Tumultuous most aptly, if mildly, describes the ongoing primary season, which thus far has found the New York City Board of Elections the subject of an audit.
In fact, in state after state, eligible voters encounter chaos and incompetence at polling sites, if not outright removal from voter rolls. Finally, the American public familiarized itself with the function of superdelegates, contested conventions, winner-take-all states, and closed primaries.
Relative absurdities have been exposed in platitudes such as ‘your vote counts,’ as well as in the futility of supporting an anti-establishment candidate. America, it optimistically appears, may finally have a collective epiphany over elections — it matters not one iota for whom you cast your vote.
The State always wins.
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Contributed by Claire Bernish of The Free Thought Project.