The CIA’s Invention of the “Conspiracy Theorist”: Smear Campaign to Discredit Dissenters

The CIA’s Invention of the “Conspiracy Theorist”: Smear Campaign to Discredit Dissenters

Why do Good People Become Silent About the Documentable Facts That Disprove the Official White House Conspiracy Theory About 9/11? – Part Two

By Dr. Gary G. Kohls
Global Research, September 24, 2014

In his 2013 book, Conspiracy Theory in America, author Lance deHaven-Smith traced the term “conspiracy theory” back to a CIA propaganda campaign that was designed to discredit doubters of the Warren Commission’s fake search into who assassinated President Kennedy in Dallas. In this light, the use of this pejorative term is obviously a tactic to shame and humiliate those who saw through the ulterior motives of the commission, and thus effectively censor out or even banish anyone who questions official government accounts.

The Warren Commission, to its eternal shame, ignored the testimony of a multitude of eye witnesses to the crime that proved that there were shooters both behind and in front of Kennedy’s motorcade. Many witnesses, none of whom were called to testify, had heard shots coming from the grassy knoll in front of the motorcade.

One of those eye-witnesses was an emergency room physician that attended Kennedy’s dying body. He would have testified to the commission that there was a tiny entry wound in JFK’s throat as well as a large exit wound that blew off the back of his head (depositing a chunk of his brain on the trunk of the limousine – which Jackie was shown retrieving in the famous film of the assassination by Abraham Zapruder).

Anyone with discerning eyes saw JFK’s head being violently thrown backwards from the head shot, thus proving that that shot had come from the front (as did the neck shot), thus disproving the single shooter theory and proving that the assassination of the president was indeed a conspiracy (i.e., more than one entity plotting an evil deed).

Hence the CIA’s cunning ploy (with the pejorative “conspiracy theorist” label) to discredit those who had taken on as their duty to be skeptical of what was indeed another of the Big Lies that regularly come from political entities that want our trust and votes; from advertising campaigns from corporations that want our trust and money; from government and military entities that want our trust and support; and from the for-profit media entities that want our trust and money. All those entities had to be involved in the crime and cover-up of the events of 9/11/01.

Both the Warren and 9/11 commissions were, in effect, saying “Hey you American idiots, listen up. How many times do we have to tell you that this case is closed? We got our crazed lone gunman; now just be obedient children and resume your shopping, brain-numbing amusements. celebrity worship and vegetating on the couch cheering for your favorite professional football, baseball, hockey or basketball teams.”

Or they may try to reassure us a bit more diplomatically by saying “trust us when we say that those heinous crimes were simply committed by lone gunman like Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray, Sirhan Sirhan, Osama bin Laden or Adam Lanza (despite all the evidence to the contrary) – and those cases have been neatly wrapped up (by hook or by crook).” “So just move on – there is nothing more to see here; and, should you continue to have doubts about our official stories, just be sure to remember what happens to conscientious whistleblowers like Martin Luther King, Chelsey Manning, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange when they go poking around where they’re not wanted.”

There have been many America military/government/corporate conspiratorial dirty tricks that were initially denied by the propagandizing powers-that-be but which were later admitted to – after diligent and courageous whistle-blowing investigative journalists proved the conspiracies. In every case the powers-that-be had been, in effect, calling the truth-seekers “conspiracy theorists”.

Such a list could mention hundreds of examples, including the following short list that occurred during recent presidential administrations:

1) Of significant note was the 1934 fascist conspiracy to overthrow FDR. The plot was conceived of and funded by Republican Party financial elites who hated FDR and admired (and wished to replicate) Hitler’s “economic miracle” that had resulted in tremendous growth and profits for German corporations (preparing for war in Germany’s rapidly developing armaments industries). The plot was foiled by two time Congressional Medal of Honor winner Major General Smedley Butler, who had been secretly approached by the Wall Street titans of industry to lead the coup;

2) The Eisenhower-era’s U2 spy plane that was shot-down over the USSR;

3) The Kennedy-era’s Operation Northwoods (the US Joint Chiefs of Staff plot to start a war against Cuba by blowing up innocent US citizens and blaming it on Castro);

4) The Johnson-era’s Gulf of Tonkin episode and the cover-up of the Israeli Air Force’s attack on the USS Liberty; the My Lai Massacre cover-up;

5) The Nixon era FBI’s anti-leftist COINTELPRO; the Watergate conspiracy; the CIA’s MK Ultra mind control program; the secret bombing of Cambodia;

6) Ronald Reagan’s lies about trickle-down economics; the illegal wars that devastated Central America; the Iran-Contra scandal (selling weapons to Iran in exchange for US hostages);

7) George Bush the Elder’s encouraging Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait; the lies about the Kuwaiti baby-killing that encouraged Congress to start Gulf War I; the CIA’s drug-running operations;

8) The Clinton-era’s secret negotiations that fast-tracked NAFTA, which encouraged corporations to ship manufacturing jobs overseas;

9) The George Bush the Younger and Dick Cheney era’s CIA Black Sites for purposes of torture; lying about Weapons of Mass Destruction; lying about the illegal wiretapping of Americans;

10) The Bush and Obama-era’s use of – and denials about – the drone program to ambush and extra-judicially massacre terrorism “suspects”; and denying the simultaneous “collateral murder” of many innocents – (google ”collateral murder”);

11) And of course the mother of all conspiracies that has been lied about and denied by all living presidents, vice presidents and major party leaders: the proven fact that steel-reinforced skyscrapers cannot be brought down by jet planes or by fires but were instead brought down by pre-planted computer-controlled demolitions (thus exonerating Osama bin Laden and the 19 mostly Arab Muslims – six of whom are alive and living in the MidEast). And thus the deaths of the 300 plus New York firefighters and most of the 3000 other victims occurred not because of plane impacts and fires but because of the explosive demolitions, thus also proving that the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were begun on the basis of a false flag operation.

So – back to the title question – why do so many average American citizens prefer to think that our government would be telling the truth about the events that led America into a series of military misadventures and the current quagmire that never ends?

Admittedly, many citizens have been effectively brain-washed and many have been too busy, too distracted, too exhausted, too TV-addicted, too mesmerized by entertainment or sports to have even bothered to look at the abundance of evidence that overwhelmingly disproves much of what the powers-that-be want us to believe about world or domestic affairs. And there are many folks who don’t have the internet access or computer power to be able to view what 911 truth-seekers have been asserting.

There are many citizens who may be cognitively unable to separate truth from fiction and have succumbed to the continuous barrage of the Big Lie propaganda that is so rampant in the media (with no balancing information allowed that would expose the real truth). In other words, many good folks simply believe what they have been told. Without good information, it is hard to see clearly.

Lack of critical thinking skills and borderline intelligence can be factors in accepting untruths as can just being unable to think clearly because of the chronic use of brain-altering psychiatric drugs or mind-altering illicit drugs or alcohol.

Many Americans only get their news and opinions from pseudo-patriotic, pro-corporate sources, which operate under water-tight political agendas that prohibit the publication of any information that would expose official secrets.

Even here in northern Minnesota, the only print media outlet that has allowed discussions about 9/11 is the courageous alternative newsweekly, the Duluth Reader. Over the past 13 years, the commercial daily papers in my region have consistently refused to print letters to the editor or commentary articles that offer alternative views about 9/11 that have been censored out by our government.

My particular daily paper is politically and economically very conservative. In its defense, it can be said that its policies are not unlike most of the corporate-owned and corporate-controlled mainstream media outlets when it comes to running away from unwelcome points of view that seem “unpatriotic”, too progressive, anti-war or “anti-empire”. Any information about taboo subjects, if it is printed at all, is muted and placed on the back pages. Censorship abounds.

One has to wonder: “what motivates a newspaper to willingly become part of a censorship campaign against 9/11 truth-seekers that 30 – 40 % of Americans (much higher in New York City) know is just cunning propaganda?” The evidence that casts doubt or disproves the official theories is so over-whelming that many clear-headed foreigners, whose media aren’t consciously trying to hid the truth about 9/11, regard us Americans as being idiots or dupes when it comes to 9/11 issues.

One clue about what might be behind the press censorship about 9/11 was revealed in a rejection letter that a fellow 9/11 truth-seeker received back in 2010 from the editorial page editor of my daily newspaper after she had sent in a letter to the editor about 9/11. Her well-written piece had outlined a few of the many reasons why the official story about 9/11 could not possibly be true. I print the rejection letter that she received below.

To: ______ ___;

Subject: RE: Advice

You’re probably going to find this offensive and maddening, and I’m sorry for that, but we’ve been quite reluctant to publish letters espousing conspiracy theories. Even if you got this down to 300 words, I doubt we’d publish it at this time. The claims you’re making aren’t unknown; entire books have been written about them. But they’re also not widely accepted or proven.

My regrets and apologies,

_____ _________,

Editorial Page Editor

This weak explanation came from a newspaper that has published a large range of provably false or very questionable opinion pieces and letters to the editor from, for example, deniers of climate change; people who claim that the planet is actually getting colder – in spite of all the evidence; believers in the coming Rapture theory; pro-war types proclaiming that America is winning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; those who believe that our military is doing God’s work; and deniers of the torture, rapes, murders and assorted other atrocities that the Pentagon has admitted to, apologized for and paid reparations for. And that is a short list.

What if our Editors and Publishers had been in the Newspaper Business in Germany in the 1930s?

One can’t help but wonder what would be the editorial stances of the owners and editors of our mainstream American newspapers if they had time-traveled back to the pro-war, pro-empire, racist, fascist, militarized, police state that was Germany 70 years ago. Would they have willingly printed Hitler’s “widely accepted” stories (often printed in letters to the editor) that irrationally promoted the imprisoning and extermination of minorities like Jews, Slavs, Gypsies and homosexuals on the basis of the popular pseudoscience of genetic and white racial superiority (which was also popular with white physicians and geneticists in the United States during the 1920s)?

Would our time-traveling newspaper publishers and editors have courageously accused Hitler, his fascist government and his loyal soldiers of conspiring to start World War II by their blatant false flag attack against Poland on 9/1/39? I think not. The costs of doing good journalism would have been too high for them. And the potential costs of doing good honest journalism exploring what was obviously a false flag operation 9/11/01 – in order to start a war – has apparently been too high as well.

The questions above are entirely appropriate for those of us trying to survive in our racist, militarist, corporate-controlled and morally/financially bankrupted American Empire where corrupt crony capitalism is unregulated and ruthless; where the media is under the control of mega-corporations and their assorted sociopathic billionaire owners who don’t give a damn about the survivability of the planet; where poverty, economic inequality, oppression and climate disasters are crushing people everywhere; where the punitive politicians of the far right (Tea Party, GOP) are trying to achieve total control of all branches of our government; and where a militarized police state is emerging that undemocratically protects excess luxury wealth, the corporate state and the unaffordable perpetual war machine.

The editorial page editor quoted above is likely just parroting what his bosses in the mainstream media have ordered him to say. The notion that only “widely accepted or proven” opinions are printed is patently untrue – or is being applied very selectively. What is really scary is the fact that the news and opinion pages of most of America’s mainstream newspapers and talk shows are adhering to a similar fear-based, blacklisting mentality that raises its ugly head from time to time, most memorably for us in the US, during the paranoid, hard right-wing GOP politics of the paranoid McCarthy era where American fascism prospered for a while and then went temporarily dormant. There is another agenda at work here in 21st century America, and it isn’t democracy in action.

Addendum: Over the past few years, I have provided to readers many internet links to some of the sources that reveal the truth about the 9/11 conspiracy and cover-up, any of which effectively debunk the official conspiracy theories that have so successfully brain-washed the average US citizen. Some of this video evidence that proves that 911 was an inside job is widely available on the internet. Start your exploration and edification by going to YouTube and typing in “9/11 Truth” and then following the many links. Some of the best videos are currently being screened on PACT-TV here in the Duluth area, including the newest documentary film “Anatomy of a Great Deception” as well as “The New American Century” and “Plunder”. If you are in the Duluth, MN area, check out PACT-TV’s cable channels 189, 188 or 180 for show times.

Dr Kohls writes regularly about a variety of issues that includes corporatism, militarism, economic oppression, racism and fascism. He is a member of Medical Professionals for 911 Truth.

One comment

  • theunhivedmind

    January 20, 2013

    CIA Document 1035-960: Foundation of a Weaponized Term 52

    “Conspiracy theory” is a term that at once strikes fear and anxiety in the hearts of most every public figure, particularly journalists and academics. Since the 1960s the label has become a disciplinary device that has been overwhelmingly effective in defining certain events off limits to inquiry or debate. Especially in the United States raising legitimate questions about dubious official narratives destined to inform public opinion (and thereby public policy) is a major thought crime that must be cauterized from the public psyche at all costs.

    Conspiracy theory’s acutely negative connotations may be traced to liberal historian Richard Hofstadter’s well-known fusillades against the “New Right.” Yet it was the Central Intelligence Agency that likely played the greatest role in effectively “weaponizing” the term. In the groundswell of public skepticism toward the Warren Commission’s findings on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the CIA sent a detailed directive to all of its bureaus. Titled “Countering Criticism of the Warren Commission Report,” the dispatch played a definitive role in making the “conspiracy theory” term a weapon to be wielded against almost any individual or group calling the government’s increasingly clandestine programs and activities into question.

    This important memorandum and its broad implications for American politics and public discourse are detailed in a forthcoming book by Florida State University political scientist Lance deHaven-Smith, Conspiracy Theory in America. Dr. deHaven-Smith devised the state crimes against democracy concept to interpret and explain potential government complicity in events such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the major political assassinations of the 1960s, and 9/11.

    CIA Document 1035-960 was released in response to a 1976 FOIA request by the New York Times. The directive is especially significant because it outlines the CIA’s concern regarding “the whole reputation of the American government” vis-à-vis the Warren Commission Report. The agency was especially interested in maintaining its own image and role as it “contributed information to the [Warren] investigation.”

    The memorandum lays out a detailed series of actions and techniques for “countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries.” For example, approaching “friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors)” to remind them of the Warren Commission’s integrity and soundness should be prioritized. “[T]he charges of the critics are without serious foundation,” the document reads, and “further speculative discussion only plays in to the hands of the [Communist] opposition.”

    The agency also directed its members “[t]o employ propaganda assets to [negate] and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose.”

    1035-960 further delineates specific techniques for countering “conspiratorial” arguments centering on the Warren Commission’s findings. Such responses and their coupling with the pejorative label have been routinely wheeled out in various guises by corporate media outlets, commentators and political leaders to this day against those demanding truth and accountability about momentous public events.

    *No significant new evidence has emerged which the [Warren] Commission did not consider.
    *Critics usually overvalue particular items and ignore others.
    *Conspiracy on the large scale often suggested would be impossible to conceal in the United States.
    *Critics have often been enticed by a form of intellectual pride: they light on some theory and fall in love with it.
    *Oswald would not have been any sensible person’s choice for a co-conspirator.
    *Such vague accusations as that “more than ten people have died mysteriously” [during the Warren Commission’s inquiry] can always be explained in some natural way e.g.: the individuals concerned have for the most part died of natural causes.

    Today more so than ever news media personalities and commentators occupy powerful positions for initiating propaganda activities closely resembling those set out in 1035-960 against anyone who might question state-sanctioned narratives of controversial and poorly understood occurrences. Indeed, as the motives and methods encompassed in the document have become fully internalized by intellectual workers and operationalized through such media, the almost uniform public acceptance of official accounts concerning unresolved events such as the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building bombing, 9/11, and most recently the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, is largely guaranteed.

    The effect on academic and journalistic inquiry into ambiguous and unexplained events that may in turn mobilize public inquiry, debate and action has been dramatic and far-reaching. One need only look to the rising police state and evisceration of civil liberties and constitutional protections as evidence of how this set of subtle and deceptive intimidation tactics has profoundly encumbered the potential for future independent self-determination and civic empowerment.

    Republished at on January 22, 2013.

Leave a Reply