By Ed Rippy, 9/23/05

“Conspiracy theories”—a term of derision applied indiscriminately to any and all claims that our government might be working dishonestly, illegally, against us, the people. Some of these claims are wacko—but many others are supported by such mountains of evidence that it is insane to deny them. Let’s take a few examples.

First is the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In 2000 Robert Stinnett published the results of seventeen years of research, supported by thousands of government documents and interviews. There is no longer any doubt that the US Government deliberately provoked the Japanese attack and ensured its success by clearing the path for the Japanese fleet, curtailing reconnaissance flights that would have discovered the fleet steaming toward Pearl Harbor, and holding up crucial intelligence reports to the naval commander there.1  Stung by these rude revelations of the truth, the National Security Agency has been feverishly removing relevant documents from public archives.2

Then there’s the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: in a civil trial in 1999, a Memphis jury found that agents of the City of Memphis, the State of Tennessee, and the US Government conspired, in league with New Orleans mobsters, to do away with King because he was bringing together civil rights issues, antiwar issues, and economic justice issues. King was calling for a general strike in Memphis and a Poor Peoples’ March on Washington. (The government and the Mafia were already on cozy terms, with military spooks stealing weapons from the armories and handing them off to the dockside thugs for sale. Military Intel used its half of the take for covert ops.) 3

In 1985 a Miami civil jury found that old CIA hands Frank Sturgis and E. Howard Hunt, among others, conspired to assassinate President Kennedy (the key witness, Marita Lorenz, had traveled with them to Dallas but had gotten cold feet and left). The right-wing newspaper Spotlight had published an article alleging Hunt’s involvement and he had sued, winning the first trial, but the Spotlight’s publisher won on appeal.4

Another giant conspiracy—actually admitted by the US Government—is the CIA’s protection of its allies’ cocaine smuggling in the 1980s. The late Gary Webb’s groundbreaking series in the San Jose Mercury News detailing this conspiracy caused such an outcry that the CIA Inspector General (IG) investigated.5  In his official report he said that the Agency had cut a deal with the Justice Department relieving it (the Agency) of its duty to report drug dealing by its allies. The report also included two cables from the Drug Enforcement Administration promising to leave the CIA’s friends alone. Cables from CIA Headquarters warned a Central American station not to ask “assets” too many questions about drug smuggling.6

These are only a few of the worst examples with the best documentation. They show clearly that the US Government (or elements of it) will resort to conspiracy when it sees the need. Those who deride all conspiracy theories as such are simply out of touch with reality. Rational thinkers will examine the evidence and see how a given theory fits with known conspiracies. (Here we do not mean a theory of history, i.e. that conspiracies fundamentally drive history, but that they are historically significant along with many other things.)

Given this background, claims that elements of the US Government permitted, abetted, or even instigated the 9-11 attacks take on a new color. It is not so much an individual censored story as an entire frame for reporting that has been censored. We do not (yet) have government admissions or jury verdicts regarding them. We do have several FBI whistleblower accounts of  investigations into al Qaeda being shut down  and investigative reports of multiple military exercises that drew fighter jets away from New York on the fateful day.  Other investigative reports conclude that Mohammed Atta (the “lead hijacker”) had been in the US months before the government says he was (and the FBI is still trying to cover this up!)  Even the “mainstream” press has reported that the war on Afghanistan had been planned months before 9-11,  that the US told the Taliban through back channels that they were going to attack,  and that other countries’ intelligence agencies had sent our government at least two dozen warnings.

There’s more, much more. We cannot treat either 9-11 or the historical context of US government conspiracies in any depth here; it would take volumes. But from the available evidence, we can see that not only individual stories but an entire interpretive frame needs to be dragged into the light.


1.  Robert B. Stinnett. Day of Deceit (New York: Touchstone Press 2000), xiiif, 144f, 149-152, 292-296.
2.  Robert B. Stinnett. “The Pearl Harbor Deception.” The Independent Institute Newsroom 12/2/02 (http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=127).
3.  William F. Pepper. An Act of State (London: Verso Press 2003), 6ff, 76, 96, 107ff, 148.
4.  Mark Lane. Plausible Denial (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press 1991), 1, 296, 303.
5. Gary Webb. Dark Alliance (New York: Seven Stories Press 1998), 470.
6. Central Intelligence Agency Inspector General. ALLEGATIONS OF CONNECTIONS BETWEEN CIA AND THE CONTRAS IN COCAINE TRAFFICKING TO THE UNITED STATES Vol II (http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/cocaine); for a guide to the deeply-buried key passages, see the author’s Guns and Drugs: The CIA’s Admissions (http://erippy.home.mindspring.com/Guns_and_Drugs_The_CIA%27s_Admissions.html).
7.  Greg Palast, “Has someone been sitting on the FBI?” Transcript of BBC Newsnight, 11/6/01 (http://globalresearch.ca/articles/BBC111A.html); James Vicini, Agent Complains FBI Covered Up Moussaoui Case, Reuters 5/24/02 (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/020525/5/mmhq.html); see also James Risen and Davis Johnston, “Agent Complaints Lead FBI Director to Ask for Inquiry,” The New York Times 5/23/02 (http://www.nytimes.com); John Solomon, Agent: FBI Rewrote Moussaoui Request, Associated Press 5/25/02 (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020525/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/attacks_moussaoui_24); James Risen, “FBI Agent Says Superior Altered Report, Foiling Inquiry,” The New York Times 5/25/02 (http://www.nytimes.com); Judicial Watch, News Conference With Robert Wright 5/30/02 (http://www.judicialwatch.org).
8.  Mike Ruppert. Crossing the Rubicon (Gabriola Island, BC, Canada: New Society Publishers 2004), 336ff.
9.  Daniel Hopsicker. “FBI Cover-up of Mohamed Atta’s Last Days.” MadCowMorningNews 4/18/02 (http://www.madcowprod.com/index24a.html).
10. George Arney, US 'planned attack on Taleban' BBC 9/18/01 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/south_asia/newsid_1550000/1550366.stm); MSNBC, US planned for attack on al-Qaida 5/16/02 (http://msnbc.com/news/753359.asp?newguid=BCF6FE46315442A08276E1EFB6391B16&cp); Michael Elliott, “They Had a Plan,” TIME 8/4/02 (http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101020812/story.html).
11. Jonathan Steele, Ewen MacAskill, Richard Norton-Taylor and Ed Harriman, “Threat of US strikes passed to Taliban weeks before NY attack” The Guardian (UK) 9/22/01 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4262511,00.html).
12. David Ray Griffin. The New Pearl Harbor (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press 2004), 68ff.