Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Conspiracy Theories: Iran, Libya, the CIA, and Jon Stewart

This is going to be a series of posts. I’ll write them as I can, but I hope to post them on Tuesdays.

Not So Far-Fetched

Some people believe that some of things that happen in RABID are far-fetched, like “Oh, that could never happen in the Real World,” kind of things.

The world is weirder than they know. It’s craftier, it’s wilder, and it’s scarier than they dream. They watch and believe the news programs that piecemeal the world into discrete, unrelated events and never look at the whole picture for various reasons (mostly money, time, and research power.)

The recent movie Argo is outlandish and unbelievable to them. (Amazing movie. Go see it.) It's based on this book, which is flippin' $0.99 for Kindle. 

Okay, so I am talking about the second gunman on the grassy knoll? Probably not. I don’t know what happened there, and I admit that the Jack Ruby stuff is all pretty weird, but I don’t know.

But the world is not as random and is not as clear and simple as any of the blithe, facile news networks would have you believe. The Daily Show, with their amazing research staff, gets more of it right than anybody else because they make the connections that everyone else misses or is too timid to say.

TK Kenyon is a Conspiracy Nut

Okay, so the scales fell from my eyes a long time ago. Here’s some of what I know and how I know it.

When I was in undergrad, many moons ago, I seriously considered working for the CIA. My mom, who she never met a spill-it-all conversation that she didn’t like, told all her friends that I, her daughter, that one over there, wanted to do secret stuff for the CIA.

Now, I didn’t want to go be a secret agent or a clandestine super-spy and ferret out secrets overseas or turn traitors or do undercover stuff. I had no desire to be Jane Bond. I just wanted to be a bookworm in Langley, Virginia. The job title for that is “Intelligence Officer.” I wanted to read field reports and interpret them, put stuff together, mostly about biowarfare, and write more reports. (I was a microbiology major in undergrad.)

One of my mom’s friends, after a long pause, told my mom, “She should talk to [my husband]. He,” and here was another long pause, “knows a lot about the CIA.”

Yeah, he did. Because he had worked for them for thirty years. He really did the clandestine super-spy stuff.

The Spy Who Told Me: Iranian Coup, 1953

(Must be noted: my friend The Spy passed away a few years ago, so I’m not worried about blowing his cover.)

The first thing that The Spy told me about was the 1953 coup d’├ętat in Iran that deposed the democratically elected Prime Minister and installed the Shah. Everyone knows this now, with all its sordid details, including how the CIA used the New York Times like a Bangkok butt prostitute.

The important part that The Spy told me was that the CIA had almost gotten the Shah installed, but then they had some counter-actions from Soviet-based intelligence agents. Basically, Soviet-backed demonstrations and riots in the streets forced the Shah to flee.

The CIA was about to declare the coup a failed attempt, but another agent (though I suspect that it was The Spy himself) went in and arranged counter-counter-demonstrations and riots, and the CIA-backed coup finally succeeded. They did this by influencing and paying off major imams and other leaders who could then produce a certain number of followers in the streets, whipped up to a predetermined level of frenzy.

The Spy noted with pride that the counter-counter-coup came in $100,000 under budget and several days early. 

How the World Works

The part that struck me and has stayed with me was when The Spy said that all these demonstrations that you see on the news, all these riots, at least the ones that get something done, are bought and paid-for by (usually) governments, sometimes other players.  

You talk to and pay the right people, and the crowds show up.

That is how clandestine regime change works. That is how civil wars and coups get started and run. That’s how embassies get attacked.

That’s how the world works.

Here in the US, we have fewer of these influencers, at least violent ones, though some of them include people like black activists (historically) Martin Luther King, Jr. and (contemporary) Jesse Jackson, the Koch Brothers' quiet funding of the Tea Party, or even political satirists Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

If you can convince them or pay them off, you've bought yourself an army.

Imagine 215,000 People Who Can’t Take A Joke

Imagine if the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear had turned into a riot.

It was more of a free concert, but I had an underlying suspicion the whole time that Jon Stewart was restraining himself, dampening the crowd’s emotional instability, and making sure that it didn’t turn into a riot because there were a lot of people there, all of whom were sympathetic to whatever he said.

Imagine if those innocuous rock bands weren’t so innocuous, but they played songs that thumped on people’s heart strings and boiled their blood with indignation. Anything from “Proud to Be an American” to “Won’t Get Fooled Again” to “I Am America” to “The Big Money.”

Imagine if Jon Stewart had gone all Patrick Henry on that crowd of 215,000 people, shouting “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

Then, in the crowd, a hundred men at strategic points yelled, “To the White House! Follow me!”

It was only a few blocks away.

Imagine if some of the crowd, say 50,000 of them, had followed the instigators planted among them and started running through the streets and then scaled that flimsy wrought-iron fence around the White House.

Yes, the Marines have nice guns, but they couldn't shoot all 50,000 of the mob as they poured over the fences from all directions.

What would have happened once the mob was inside the fences?

How long would those pretty doors and windows have held if, say, some of those “spontaneous” demonstrators happened to have brought along lock-cutters or shaped charges that were supplied to them by Jon and Stephen’s friends, who in turn got them from guys they knew, all of whom had funny accents? (Probably Boston or New York accents.) 

Even a mob of 5,000 would have done the job.

Do you think that 5,000 people out of the 215,000 wouldn't have joined in?

Quite honestly, I'll bet that it would have been 200,000 people who converged on whatever the target was. 

That’s how the world works.

That’s how it happens.

That’s How It Did Happen.

And yes, a few months ago on September 11th, 2012, when a crowd of “demonstrators” attacked the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans including US Ambassador Chris Stevens and burning the place to a shell, I thought, “A spontaneous demonstration against a stupid YouTube video, my butt. Who bought and paid-for those crowds? Al Qaeda? Iran? How long has it been planned?”

The Spy would have laughed at that rationale: A YouTube video. 

Now it’s coming out that there were some puppeteers pulling some long strings. I’m not surprised. I don’t know if they’ll ever tell us who it really was. Maybe 20 years from now when it all doesn’t matter any more, they'll tell us. 

More on what I knew and when I knew it next week.