07 April 2009

Pittsburgh Conspiracy Theory: Have We a Winner?

On Sunday, while commenting on the Pittsburgh cop killings, I speculated that it would be but a matter of time before someone opined that the suspect was some sort of agent provocateur or government plant, and that the entire incident was staged (as some people believe the 2001 hijackings were) to further some insidious government agenda. My unscientific method of monitoring such an outbreak was to Google the phrase "agent provocateur" and the words "Pittsburgh" and "shooter." The search produced this result: a comment in response to an article on the reactionary Free Republic website, posted yesterday by someone known only as "pnh102." It's the tenth comment on the page.

I can't help but think that the Pittsburgh cop killer was an agent provocateur. Gun control doesn't pass unless there is violent gun crime perpetuated by whiteys immediately preceding it.

On the cockroach principle that, if you see one, there may be hundreds in your home, we could guess that many more people believe something like this.

Meanwhile, the Infowars website, alleged to be an inspiration to the shooter, claims vindication from a study showing that the shooter rarely posted comments on the site and had criticized it for being insufficiently anti-Zionist. But the fact that the shooter felt that Infowars and Prison Planet didn't go far enough in its analysis doesn't mean, as Jones's fans now want to assert, that he opposed the basic agenda of the site. We could just as easily say that they remained in fundamental agreement on the ills plaguing the country ("false flag" attacks in 2001, rule by bankers, etc.) while disagreeing on details of the diagnosis.I don't make the point in order to press any charge against Jones or his sites, but only to suggest that they're not as clearly off the hook as they'd like to think. I will say that if lies contribute to the mindset of a murderer and make him more likely to commit murder as an extreme form of "self-defense," the liars are accountable for lying in the first place, and more so if their lies aggravate other people's pathology to the point of murder. The issue isn't whether anybody programmed a certain person in Pittsburgh to kill people, but whether someone contributed to creating an intellectual environment that made killing more likely. Think about that.


Anonymous said...

Although I fully support the idea of free speech, it really irritates me that people use that as an excuse to spread lies. Seems to me that anyone who is going to post nonsense like Jones, et. al., should be legally forced to prove the truth of what they say or be put out of the public sphere. Same with politiicians, etc.

If Bush had been forced to prove his allegations against Iraq to be true, we would never have invaded and occupied that country.

Samuel Wilson said...

As you well know, Jones and his ilk at least pretend to have already proved everything they assert, while forcing those who disagree into what they think is the more difficult position of proving a negative. Likewise, Bush insisted that he had proved his case against Iraq, even though the only legitimate way to have done so was to let the UN inspectors continue their work. But the Bushies didn't trust the inspectors, just as the conspiracists don't trust any source that doesn't confirm their view of things. The real question becomes what right people have not to trust certain sources. Forcing them to answer that question would probably expose most conspiracy theorists for the nuts that they are.