Monday, April 19, 2010

OKC Conspiracy Theory – Why I fell out of love with the Conspiracy Culture.

I have a certain love of the supernatural and conspiracy. It is a nice distraction to either engage in or listen to colorful thinking. Many strange and curious ideas are around, and it can be amusing to partake and learn how they blossom.

I have tried to take in podcasts that go into it for some colorful ideas that may be interesting to be aware of, or good to pepper a story for added color. The trouble is that as I am more aware of facts and more aware of skeptical issues…it is hard to sit through these shows. Often the abuse of science is bad, sure. But the abuse of scientist and critical thinking is worse. And with conspiracy, the abuse of history and the twisting of tragedy and the focusing of hate for no sound reason just disgusts. Listening and reading this stuff starts making one nostalgic to play the old RPG, Paranoia. And it is enough to kill any fun in taking in conspiracy theories.

Oklahoma City offers a clarion call on this, as a bloody and horrible tragedy is turned into an antigovernment call. Happens a lot. It seems every tragic event is a plot. Pearl Harbor - FDR. Lincoln - Rep leaders. Kennedy - LBJ etc., 9/11 - Bush. Time and again, you see the same damn arguments and claims. Over and over again. They are interesting, in an abstract way. Strange tales and flipped historic views. But unsupported, unproven, and treated as gospel truth for those facts. They are conspiracies, the evidence that is missing damns the government. The lack of professional support of the idea shows just how far “it” goes up. It’s a pattern of thnking, rather than plotting politicians, to note and almost marvel at.

But,as noted, there have been many. But Lincoln and Kennedy have the buffer of time to not bother us so much. 9/11 is so close to many and too tied to current politics to fully free and look at it unbiased. But OKC? 15 years today. Another age, most all of us well remember.

Remember? Ruby Ridge? Waco? Janet Reno? The Patriot Movement? Militias? Gun nuts? Monica? ..not that go back one. OKC was a moment amidst anger and promise of violence that was ratcheting. There were faults on all sides. Let’s look at the culminating horror, OKC.

Some claims about OKC.

  • More questions than answers.
  • Many connections?

Sound familiar? Connect the dots, squint your eyes, and imagine what you might see and then remember the government spiked your kool aid. Take in a bunch of conspiracy sites and books and get a tangled web. Rather a tangled mess, that the mind turns into a web. Proof? Where’s the proof? That is the perpetual problem. You will hear stories of this or that, one quote unattributed, or a tape that shows all, unseen.

The ATF and FBI

Always good baddies. One takes your guns and liquor. The other is bugging you and flying over in the UN’s black helicopters.

To look at the OKC conspiracy, let me take you through what I heard on one podcast as they laid out the events. It is odd to listen to these shows. Often they have a humorous side, like they are not taking it seriously. But then they do suddenly. Say what you will of Alex Jones, but he is serious, like death, and as about as fun. So the show starts with the light stories on UFO’s. Then comes OKC. And they start with some history. Good. Conspiratorial history…eh. It builds on the paranoia and fear that militias and gun lovers had in the 90’s. Start with Weaver and Ruby Ridge. In sum, ATF villainy. Saying that sawed off shotgun criminal charge used on was Weaver is unfair. I can’t comment on law, but the ATF are shown as thugs, a new organization out to push people who don’t accept being cowed. It is odd as the ATF and its general duties done by other agency names is pretty darn old. Again, the events of Ruby Ridge, I won’t comment the situation except fault lies on both sides for how that ended, like later events the government could have handled better, but the way it is portrayed, the government is the heavy out to kill and crush. So you know how the story will go on. And they take on the story to make sure the government is truly horrible and cruel. Government fault is clear and continual.

Waco, another conspiracy, mystery sniper rounds fired, etc. And after the Ruby Ridge events, the ATF “needed” a raid. And that is why it happen...really. Again, there is fault to go around. But…please. So the ATF was gung ho to race into Waco, to look better after Ruby Ridge? Not the burgeoning groups buying weapons around the country? Not an apocalyptic cult leader amassing weapons on a compound? Now could the government wanted to prove itself after a debacle? Sure. Could it have wanted to make clear its stand on these growing groups. Yeah. Is it a dark and evil story? No, it's sad. But the word the hosts use is evil again and again.

The point for this is to show a chain of events that leads to a government conspiracy. And it is ironic because they have the basis here to actual show the chain that really lead to OKC. An arrest that lead to a standoff that ended bloodily at Ruby Ridge and a standoff that ended horrendously at Waco, inspired and helped convince Tim McVeigh to act in the murderous way he did. McVeigh went to Waco during the standoff. Chain…of…events. There. But to the conspiracist, that is a smoke screen. No. The government was embarrassed once, it botched it again. It for a horrific event to blot out the failures…really. That is the thinking. And it loses me because it makes no sense to how I think. Could this happen? Yes. You could have a leader with such a disturbed mindset as to plot this. But it is so aberrant, and part of a very public and watched agency, that to even take serious as a worthy thought exercise you need some flippin’ evidence…of some sort!

What is odd is that they do at times say McVeigh did it, and was wrong. But then suggest and argue otherwise. They vacillate but work hard to sell the convincing nature of the conspiracy, the greater conspiracy. As they say McVeigh is the official story. Here are some questions they and others bring up:

  • How getaway car get in place? Interesting. But is logistics a damning point in this?
  • Another person is car with McVeigh? John Doe #2.Aha!
  • Republicans after the events wanted further study of others involved, like international agents (ala WTC ’93) or neo Nazi? Particularly, the international ones after 9/11. They really wanted to find that one. IRAQIS!

Not all unreasonable. They are questions to be answered. Questions left. But are there facts to be delivered up? Was there a second person? Or is that bad info? No other evidence, but eyewitness claims after the fact for it. Was Iraq involved? No indications yet, even after gaining control of said country. But Rep. Rorabacher is a guy who recently said “climategate” was part of the work of the New World Order so… But no concrete evidence on this, one way or another, is around. This points to a more likely idea that the concerns are not supported. Find the evidence to show otherwise and I will be intrigued. (Show that Nichols went to the Philippines to meet al Qaeda, or the Iraqi expatriots were working with the US against itself.) But it is not shown. It is never shown. T

They suggest some coconspirators, like a German with a white supremacist group in OK. Then there is another guy, another white power type named Snell. Talking about him, one of the hosts manages to drag Bill Clinton as governor into the story for a moment (adding another chain to the “link”. It is interesting how eagerly and casually conspiracy folks do this without a second thought.) The point to talking about him is that he was to be executed on murder the day of the bombing. He also once tried to plot the bombing of the Fed building once, and was "possibly in contact with McVeigh. They also talk of a video from a strip club that apparently has strippers talking about meeting McVeigh and him talking about what was coming. I’d like to see the vid (not for that reason), as I have never heard of it outside of conspiracy corner. They point out that it is claimed the gun show circuit types that it was known when and where the bombing would happen. Informants were EVERYWHERE. So the FBI KNEW they whole time. AHA! Cover up time!

Again, if any of this led somewhere, or was supported this might merit interest. But it is not supported. It is claimed after the facts.

Why would fed commit a crime? Massive increase of funding. Militia’s are tarred with the blood of children. AHA!

The” damning” points”:

  • The ATF agents were mysteriously gone that day, so survived…then they debate each other is maybe some were there. Then they suggest they were temps or adjuncts…so they don’t count. Then they were a couple there, with a mysterious tale of survival. Confused by this point yet?
  • Claim that some there were told by ATF friends they were paged to leave early.
  • The bomb claim. Were there more than one bombs? Secondary explosions? The damage is off what expected? Mystery damage? Ah, control demolition. …might be a bit much…but…
  • May have had a weapons cache that exploded. But it then it was illegal.
  • Terry Nichols is sitting in prison spouting different stories to people, like the FBI knew.

And they sum it up by making it clear the government is at fault, one way or another.

So I ask, are these the most likely conclusions to reach? Are they supported? No. Every time they look at a possible answer away from the US government committing mass murder, the find a path that rapidly leads back. Wonder why. Also look at their points how many have been used before on earlier conspiracies? How many do you remember from talk of 9/11? What is old is new again. And conspiracies never die.

On April 19, 1995 168 people died in a planned terrorist assault at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK. The guilty parties were captured. Then tried and imprisoned and executed for their crimes (Nichols is still in prison.). But for some it is the government to blame.

Today, blind government blame (their is plenty to fault government on that isn't mostly fantasy) continues, today, groups are marching and protesting near the capitol, armed. Today, politicians fan the flame for political gain. Some history lessons are not being learned.

And I have trouble enjoying conspiracy theory, as all I see now is twisting history and deaths to fit a tale that generally is used to attack someone’s favorite foe.

Catch MSNBC and Rachel Maddow tonight to get in the mind of a mass murdering zealot.

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