True Conspiracy Theories
Ever since the Watergate scandal the American people have had a massive distrust for the government. This distrust has been a solid base for conspiracy theories to spring out of, as people accuse the government of covering up all sorts of nefarious deeds. For the most part these are written off as the wild imagination of conspiracy theorists looking for attention, but sometimes the powers that be are exposed and those who railed against them are vindicated. Here are a few examples of when conspiracy theories were true.
Nixon Plotting Assassination of a Journalist: Syndicated columnist Jack Anderson built a career of exposing corruption at the highest level. Being a corrupt person at the highest of high levels, President Richard Nixon was constantly in Anderson’s crosshairs. Everything from his administration’s attempts to deport antiwar activist/rock star John Lennon to Nixon’s infamous list of enemies were brought to light through his work. Nixon had the journalist placed under surveillance as he tried to come up with a more permanent solution. Nixon appointed his two most morally bankrupt cronies, G. Gordon Liddy and Howard Hunt to come up with a way to kill Anderson discreetly. The two agreed poisoning him somehow was the best way to go. It seems as though Jack Anderson was saved by the upcoming election season as both Liddy and Hunt had their attention drawn away by orchestrating Watergate and the rest is history.
Project MKUltra: Nowadays the government may tell us to say no to drugs, but from 1953 and through the 70’s the government was distributing drugs to unsuspecting people. The CIA collaborating with the US Army, began Project MKUltra to test how people reacted to different drugs, most notably LSD, in the hopes of gathering data which could be useful for something. Naturally may innocent people suffered emotional problems, brain damage, and even death as a result of these experiments. MKUltra effected regular people as well as those of celebrity status like tennis pro Harold Bauer and members of the Grateful Dead. The program had little oversight and the agents involved would drug people at random just for kicks in some cases. In the wake of Watergate and a wave of mistrust in the government, CIA director William Colby ordered all files on the subject to be destroyed. He was unsuccessful and the New York Times broke the story that the government had been drugging the American people in secret. Committees were formed and politicians spoke out but it was too little too late for the victims of Project MKUltra.
Poisoned Alcohol: The government was foolish to believe that their ban on alcohol with the 18th Amendment stood chance of actually getting people to stop drinking. The era of Prohibition saw an entire underground network spring up to ensure Americans were able to drink up regardless of legality. Traditional law enforcement struggled to stomp out the; moonshiners, rum runners, and speakeasies that were popping up. The Feds decided at one point to try a different and more dangerous tactic, poisoning the liquor. The US government began to lace spirits with antifreeze and embalming chemicals and dispersed them into speakeasies, killing those unfortunate drink it. This was never going to keep drinkers away and rather it just added an extra danger to the lives of innocent people. By the end of Prohibition over 10,000 were dead due to poison laced drinks so it is safe to say the government has blood on its hands from this period.
Operation Mockingbird: The media’s power to sway public opinion has been discussed ad nauseum for the past several years. It would then make sense that the government would want to have a say over what the public thinks and hears, which is why in the 1950’s the CIA launched Operation Mockingbird. Allegedly the brainchild of high ranking CIA operative Frank Wisner, this project recruited personnel at reputable news outlets like; the Newsweek, CBS News, the Washington Post and others to spread the news on behalf of the government. In 1951, notorious CIA operative Cord Meyer Jr. took over Operation Hummingbird and used pro-government/anti-Soviet media sources to disseminate their messages. In the 1970’s legendary journalist Carl Bernstein exposed the secrets of this operation in the pages of Rolling Stone. Congress put together the Church Committee to investigate ties between the CIA and the media and realized that the connection was far more widespread than originally believed. The power of Operation Mockingbird had even spread to overseas media to push America’s foreign agenda. When George H.W. Bush took over the agency he declared that the CIA would cease using the news media in manipulative fashion, and if this article has taught us anything is that we should definitely believe government officials when they say stuff like this….right?