By Jonathan Elinoff, New World Order Report
Most people can't resist getting the details on the latest conspiracy theories, no matter how far-fetched they may seem. At the same time, many people quickly denounce any conspiracy theory as untrue ... and sometimes as unpatriotic or just plain ridiculous. Lets not forget all of the thousands of conspiracies out of Wall Street like Bernie Madoff and many others to commit fraud and extortion, among many crimes of conspiracy.
Conspiracy theory is a term that originally was a neutral descriptor for any claim of civil, criminal or political conspiracy. However, it has come almost exclusively to refer to any fringe theory which explains a historical or current event as the result of a secret plot by conspirators of almost superhuman power and cunning. To conspire means "to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or to use such means to accomplish a lawful end. "The term "conspiracy theory" is frequently used by scholars and in popular culture to identify secret military, banking, or political actions aimed at stealing power, money, or freedom, from "the people".
To many, conspiracy theories are just human nature. Not all people in this world are honest, hard working and forthcoming about their intentions.Certainly we can all agree on this.So how did the term “conspiracy theory” get grouped in with fiction, fantasy and folklore? Maybe that’s a conspiracy, just kidding. Or am I?
Skeptics are important in achieving an objective view of reality, however, skeptism is not the same as reinforcing the official storyline. In fact, a conspiracy theory can be argued as an alternative to the official or “mainstream” story of events. Therefore, when skeptics attempt to ridicule a conspiracy theory by using the official story as a means of proving the conspiracy wrong, in effect, they are just reinforcing the original “mainstream” view of history, and actually not being skeptical. This is not skeptism, it is just a convenient way for the establishment view of things to be seen as the correct version, all the time, every time. In fact, it is common for "hit pieces" or "debunking articles" to pick extremely fringe and not very populated conspiracy theories. This in turn makes all conspiracies on a subject matter look crazy. Skeptics magazine and Popular Mechanics, among many others, did this with 9/11. They referred to less than 10% of the many different conspiracy theories about 9/11 and picked the less popular ones, in fact, they picked the fringe, highly improbable points that only a few people make. This was used as the "final investigation" for looking into the conspiracy theories. Convenient, huh?
In fact, if one were to look into conspiracy theories, they will largely find that thinking about a conspiracy is associated with lunacy and paranoia. Some websites suggest it as an illness. It is also not surprising to see so many people on the internet writing about conspiracy theories in a condescending tone, usually with the words "kool-aid," "crack pot," or "nut job" in their articulation. This must be obvious to anyone that emotionally writing about such serious matter insults the reader more than the conspiracy theorist because there is no need to resort to this kind of behavior. It is employed often with an "expert" who will say something along the lines of, "for these conspiracies to be true, you would need hundreds if not thousands of people to be involved. It's just not conceivable."
I find it extremely odd that the assumption is on thousands of participants in a conspiracy. I, for one, find it hard to believe any conspiracy involving more than a handful of people but the fact remains that there have been conspiracies in our world, proven and not made up, that involved many hundreds of people. It's not a matter of opinion, it's a matter of fact.
One more thing to consider, have you noticed that if the conspiracy is involving powerful interests with the ability to bribe, threaten or manipulate major institutions (like the mafia, big corporations or government) then don't you find it odd when people use one of those as the "credible" counter-argument? What I mean is, if you are discussing a conspiracy about the mafia, and someone hands you a debunking article that was written by the Mafia, it doesn't seem like it would take rocket science to look at that with serious criticism and credibility. This is the case with many conspiracies. In fact, I am handed debunking pieces all the time written in many cases by the conspirators in question. Doesn't this seem odd to anybody else but me?
While intelligent cynicism certainly can be healthy, though, some of the greatest discoveries of all time were initially received (often with great vitriol) as blasphemous conspiracy theories -- think of the revelation that the earth was not the center of the universe, or that the world was not flat but actually round.
What follow are some of the most shocking modern conspiracy theories that turned out true after thorough investigation by our society. Some of them were proven through congressional hearings; others, through investigative journalism. Many, however, were just admitted to by those involved. There is a long list, of which just 33 appear below.
1.The Dreyfus Affair: In the 1890s in France, Jewish artillery officer Alfred Dreyfus was wrongfully convicted of treason based on fabricated government documents and sentenced to life in prison. The French government covered this up for several years, but Dreyfus was eventually pardoned after the affair was made public (an act that is credited to writer Émile Zola).
2.The Mafia: This secret crime society was virtually unknown until the 1960s, when member Joe Valachi first revealed the society's secrets to law enforcement officials.What was known was that organized crime existed, but not that the extent of their control included working with the CIA, politicians and the biggest businesses in the world.
Many people do not realize that J. Edgar Hoover, the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States, was appointed director of the Bureau of Investigation—predecessor to the FBI—in 1924 and was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director until his death in 1972. Hoover is credited with building the FBI into a large and efficient crime-fighting agency, and with instituting a number of modern innovations to police technology, such as a centralized fingerprint file and forensic laboratories. For the majority of his time as FBI Director, there were numerous Mafia shootings as a result of Prohibition. Hoover continued to deny the very existence of organized crime. Many figures in politics and media denied the existence of the Mafia, which had no official title. Gangsters like Gambino and Capone were thought of as Street Kings only, just running local operations. It was not until the 1960's until people began to learn that a very organized system of superiors and control existed within the organized crime world.
Throughout the entire time the media and the FBI denied the mafia existed, in reality, not only did it exist, but it operated in multiple territories. Each region had a boss and underboss, with soldiers underneath them. Above the boss was a Don and even above a Don was more figures. As it went up, regions got larger. It was extremely organized, down to the books. In the 1950's, crime bosses from around the United States met to centralize their power and organize their system. All this time, the public was told that the organized crime world didn't exist, and that all the crimes were committed by local gangsters...
Even with all we knew about how organized the mafia was during prohibition, people still laugh at the idea of organized crime conspiracies taking place in politics. Usually the excuse people wll give you is something along the lines of, "I just don't think people are that organized..." Funny how easy it must be to get away with stuff these days, no one believes its possible....
3.MK-ULTRA: MK Ultra was a code name declassified in the 1970's Church Committee and other lawsuits brought against the government where the public was informed that thousands of people, patients from hospitals, mental health patients, prisoners in the... justice system, and even public citizens were selected for testing without their consent. Testing was conducted int he 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. Some claim they still go on today and provide evidence. The testing includes torture, drugs and exotic hypnosis experiments in an effort to explore the mind, propaganda and other related patterns. One sub department of the operation included a group of lunatic scientists who were looking to create an assassins program, to see if it was possible to kidnap someone, say an enemy in a country, conduct hypnosis and other techniques learned in Mk Ultra, and send them back to the country with a plan to assassinate their leaders. That plan is what scares people most. MK Ultra was carried out by the CIA illegally and in the 1970s, hundreds of patients sued the federal government for damages, and the government settled and paid millions of dollars.
Now here is the really trippy, scary info. Some of these patients where MK Ultra was used include Ted Kazinsky (the unabpmber), mark David Chapman (the man who shot Lennon), Sirhan Sirhan (the man who shot Bobby Kennedy) and even Lee Harvey Oswald is rumored to have attended a base in japan before heading to Russia where MK Ultra experiments were taking place. David Ferrie, Oswalds boss for a long period of time, is said to have been an MK Ultra specialist and specialized in hypnosis and believe it or not, sexual molestation to mess with his patients heads. David Ferrie was a convicted child predator who left the Catholic Church to train Black Operations hitmen for the invasion of Cuba. David Ferrie taught the Louisiana Civial Air Patrol where both Lee Harvey Oswald and Barry Seal joined as 15 year old children. Barry Seal became the primary operative in Iran-Contra who ran drugs for the CIA and was an active contract hitman, Oswlad was accused of killing John F Kennedy. David Ferrie was murdered, made to look like a suicide, the night before his testimony in a trial Jim Garrison brought against the CIA where he accused Ferrie and others of using Oswald as a patsy...
In the 1950s to the 1970s, the CIA mind-control project was aimed at finding a "truth serum" to use on communist spies. Test subjects were given LSD and other drugs, often without consent, and some were tortured. At least one man, civilian biochemist Frank Olson, who was working for the government, died as a result of the experiments. The project was finally exposed after investigations by the Rockefeller Commission.
4.Operation Mockingbird: Also in the 1950s to ’70s, the C.I.A. paid a number of well-known domestic and foreign journalists (from big-name media outlets such as Time, The Washington Post, The New York Times, CBS, and others) to publish C.I.A. propaganda. The C.I.A. also reportedly funded at least one movie, the animated Animal Farm, based on the novel by George Orwell. The Church Committee finally exposed these activities in 1975.
In 1953, Joseph Alsop, then one of America's leading syndicated columnists, went to the Philippines to cover an election. He did not go because he was asked to do so by his syndicate. He did not go because he was asked to do so by the newspapers that printed his column. He went at the request of the CIA.
Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past 25 years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Some of these journalists' relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services -- from simple intelligence-gathering to serving as go-betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring-do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full-time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America's leading news organizations.
The history of the CIA's involvement with the American press continues to be shrouded by an official policy of obfuscation and deception for the following principal reasons:
The use of journalists has been among the most productive means of intelligence-gathering employed by the CIA. Although the agency has cut back sharply on the use of reporters since 1973 (primarily as a result of pressure from the media), some journalists are still posted abroad.
Further investigation into the matter, CIA officials say, would inevitably reveal a series of embarrassing relationships in the 1950's and 1960's with some of the most powerful organizations and individuals in American journalism.
Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were William Paley of the Columbia Broadcasting System, Henry Luce of Time Inc., Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times, Barry Bingham Sr. of the Louisville Courier-Journal, and James Copley of the Copley News Services. Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include the American Broadcasting Company, the National Broadcasting Company, the Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald-Tribune.
By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc.
Appropriately, the CIA uses the term 'reporting' to describe much of what cooperating journalists did for the Agency. "We would ask them, 'Will you do us a favor?'" said a senior CIA official. "'We understand you're going to be in Yugoslavia. Have they paved all the streets? Where did you see planes? Were there any signs of military presence? How many Soviets did you see? If you happen to meet a Soviet, get his name and spell it right....Can you set up a meeting for us? Or arrange a message?'" Many CIA officials regarded these helpful journalists as operatives: the journalists tended to see themselves as trusted friends of the Agency who performed occasional favors -- usually without pay -- in the national interest.
Two of the Agency's most valuable relationships in the 1960's, according to CIA officials, were with reporters who covered Latin America -- Jerry O'Leary of the Washington Star and Hal Hendrix of Miami News, a Pulitzer Prize winner who became a high official of the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation. Hendrix was extremely helpful to the Agency in providing information about individuals in Miami's Cuban exile community.
A note about Hendrix - he was the one who Seth Kantor, reporting on the JFK assassination, was told to call for 'background' on Oswald after Oswald's arrest. Hendrix, from Miami, had all the info on Oswald's pro-Castro leafleting activities in New Orleans, details about Oswald's defection to the Soviet Union, etc.
Only years later did Kantor realize the significance of a guy like Hendrix, CIA, having so much info on Oswald so soon after the assassination.
"The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media."
--William Colby, former CIA Director, quoted by Dave Mcgowan, Derailing Democracy
"You could get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month."
--CIA operative, discussing the availability and prices of journalists willing to peddle CIA propaganda and cover stories. Katherine the Great, by Deborah Davis
"There is quite an incredible spread of relationships. You don’t need to manipulate Time magazine, for example, because there are [Central Intelligence] Agency people at the management level."
--William B. Bader, former CIA intelligence officer, briefing members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, The CIA and the Media, by Carl Bernstein
"The Agency's relationship with [The New York] Times was by far its most valuable among newspapers, according to CIA officials. [It was] general Times policy ... to provide assistance to the CIA whenever possible."
--The CIA and the Media, by Carl Bernstein
"Senator William Proxmire has pegged the number of employees of the federal intelligence community at 148,000 ... though Proxmire's number is itself a conservative one. The "intelligence community" is officially defined as including only those organizations that are members of the U.S. Intelligence Board (USIB); a dozen other agencies, charged with both foreign and domestic intelligence chores, are not encompassed by the term.... The number of intelligence workers employed by the federal government is not 148,000, but some undetermined multiple of that number."
--Jim Hougan, Spooks
"For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government.... I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations."
--former President Harry Truman, 22 December 1963, one month after the JFK assassination, op-ed section of the Washington Post, early edition
5.Manhattan Project:The Manhattan Project was the codename for a project conducted during World War II to develop the first atomic bomb. The project was led by the United States, and included participation from the United Kingdom and Canada. Its formal designation, the Manhattan Engineer District (MED), refers specifically to the period of the project, 1942–1946, when it was under the control of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, under the administration of General Leslie R. Groves. The scientific research was directed by American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. The project’s roots lay in scientists’ fears since the 1930s that Nazi Germany was also investigating nuclear weapons of its own.
Born out of a small research program in 1939, the Manhattan Project eventually employed more than 130,000 people and cost nearly US$2 billion ($22 billion in current value). It resulted in the creation of multiple production and research sites that operated in secret. The total involved makes it one of the largest few conspiracies in history. Entire towns were built for short periods, employing people all under secrecy—and top national secrecy at that. The government never admitted to it, the media never reported on it, and for more than 25 years the public had no idea of it.
Project research took place at more than thirty sites across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The three primary research and production sites of the project were the plutonium-production facility at what is now the Hanford Site; the uranium-enrichment facilities at Oak Ridge, Tennessee; and the weapons-research and -design laboratory now known as Los Alamos National Laboratory. The MED maintained control over U.S. weapons production until the formation of the Atomic Energy Commission in January 1947.
6.Asbestos: Between 1930 and 1960, manufacturers did all they could to prevent the link between asbestos and respiratory diseases, including cancer, from becoming known, so that they could avoid prosecution. American workers in fact sued the Johns Manville company as early as 1932, but it was not until 1962 that epidemiologists finally established beyond any doubt what company bosses had known for a long time: that asbestos causes cancer.
7.Watergate: Republican officials spied on the Democratic National Headquarters from the Watergate Hotel in 1972. Whilst conspiracy theories suggested that underhanded dealings were taking place, it wasn’t until 1974 that White House tape recordings linked President Nixon to the break-in and forced him to resign.
8.The Tuskegee Syphilis Study: The United States Public Health Service carried out this clinical study on 400 poor African-American men with syphilis from 1932 to 1972. During the study, the men were given false and sometimes dangerous treatments; adequate treatment was intentionally withheld so that the agency could learn more about the disease. The study, which was initially supposed to last just six months, continued for 40 years. Close to 200 of the men had died from syphilis or related complications by its end.
9.Operation Northwoods: In the early 1960s, American military leaders drafted plans to create public support for a war against Cuba, to oust Fidel Castro from power. The plans included committing acts of terrorism in U.S. cities, killing innocent people and U.S. soldiers, blowing up a U.S. ship, assassinating Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees, and hijacking planes. The plans were all approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but were reportedly rejected by the civilian leadership. They were kept secret for nearly 40 years.
10.1990 Testimony of Nayirah: A 15-year-old girl named Nayirah testified before the U.S. Congress that she had seen Iraqi soldiers pulling Kuwaiti babies from incubators, causing them to die. The testimony helped gain major public support for the 1991 Gulf War, but—despite protests that the dispute of this story was itself a conspiracy theory—the testimony was was later proven false.
The public-relations firm Hill & Knowlton, then in the employ of Citizens for a Free Kuwait, had arranged Nayirah's testimony. It turned out that Nayirah had taken acting lessons at the request of the C.I.A. and was actually Nayirah al-Sabah, the niece of a major politician in Kuwait and daughter of Saud bin Nasir Al-Sabah, Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S.A.
The Congressional Human Rights Caucus, of which Congressman Tom Lantos was co-chairman, had been responsible for hosting Nurse Nayirah, and thereby popularizing her allegations. When the girl’s account was later challenged by independent human rights monitors, Lantos replied, “The notion that any of the witnesses brought to the caucus through the Kuwaiti Embassy would not be credible did not cross my mind… I have no basis for assuming that her story is not true, but the point goes beyond that. If one hypothesizes that the woman’s story is fictitious from A to Z, that in no way diminishes the avalanche of human rights violations”. Nevertheless, the senior Republican on the Human Rights Caucus, John Edward Porter, responded to the revelations by saying that if he had known that the girl was the ambassador’s daughter, he would not have allowed her to testify.
11.Counter Intelligence Programs Against Activists in the 60s:COINTELPRO (an acronym for Counter Intelligence Program) was a series of covert, and often illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at investigating and disrupting dissident political organizations within the United States. The FBI used covert operations from its inception, however formal COINTELPRO operations took place between 1956 and 1971. The FBI's stated motivation at the time was "protecting national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order."According to FBI records, 85% of COINTELPRO resources were expended on infiltrating, disrupting, marginalizing, and/or subverting groups suspected of being subversive, such as communist and socialist organizations; the women's rights movement; militant black nationalist groups, and the non-violent civil rights movement, including individuals such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and others associated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Congress of Racial Equality, the American Indian Movement, and other civil rights groups; a broad range of organizations labeled "New Left", including Students for a Democratic Society, the National Lawyers Guild, the Weathermen, almost all groups protesting the Vietnam War, and even individual student demonstrators with no group affiliation; and nationalist groups such as those "seeking independence for Puerto Rico." The other 15% of COINTELPRO resources were expended to marginalize and subvert "white hate groups," including the Ku Klux Klan and National States' Rights Party. The directives governing COINTELPRO were issued by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who ordered FBI agents to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" the activities of these movements and their leaders.
Main Core is the code name of a database maintained since the 1980s by the federal government of the United States, which contains personal and financial data of millions of U.S. citizens believed to be threats to national security. The data, which comes from the NSA, FBI, CIA, and other sources, is collected and stored without warrants or court orders. The database's name derives from the fact that it contains "copies of the 'main core' or essence of each item of intelligence information on Americans produced by the FBI and the other agencies of the U.S. intelligence community."
The Main Core database is believed to have originated with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 1982, following Ronald Reagan's Continuity of Operations plan outlined in the National Security Directive (NSD) 69 / National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 55, entitled "Enduring National Leadership," implemented on September 14, 1982.
As of 2008 there are reportedly eight million Americans listed in the database as possible threats, often for trivial reasons, whom the government may choose to track, question, or detain in a time of crisis.
The existence of the database was first reported on in May 2008 by Christopher Ketcham and in July 2008 by Tim Shorrock.
Rex 84, short for Readiness Exercise 1984, is a plan by the United States federal government to test their ability to detain large numbers of American citizens in case of civil unrest or national emergency.
According to scholar Diana Reynolds:
The Rex-84 Alpha Explan (Readiness Exercise 1984, Exercise Plan; otherwise known as a continuity of government plan), indicates that FEMA in association with 34 other federal civil departments and agencies, along with other NATO nations, conducted a civil readiness exercise during April 5-13, 1984. It was conducted in coordination and simultaneously with a Joint Chiefs exercise, Night Train 84, a worldwide military command post exercise (including Continental U.S. Forces or CONUS) based on multi-emergency scenarios operating both abroad and at home. In the combined exercise, Rex-84 Bravo, FEMA and DOD led the other federal agencies and departments, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Secret Service, the Treasury, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Veterans Administration through a gaming exercise to test military assistance in civil defense.
The exercise anticipated civil disturbances, major demonstrations and strikes that would affect continuity of government and/or resource mobilization. To fight subversive activities, there was authorization for the military to implement government ordered movements of civilian populations at state and regional levels, the arrest of certain unidentified segments of the population, and the imposition of martial law.
Existence of a master military contingency plan, "Garden Plot" and a similar earlier exercise, "Lantern Spike" were originally revealed by journalist Ron Ridenhour, who summarized his findings in "Garden Plot and the New Action Army."
Rex 84 was mentioned during the Iran-Contra Hearings in 1987. The Miami Herald wrote subsequently on July 5, 1987:
Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and the Federal Emergency Management Agency ... had drafted a contingency plan providing for the suspension of the Constitution, the imposition of martial law, and the appointment of military commanders to head state and local governments and to detain dissidents and Central American refugees in the event of a national crisis.
The basic facts about Rex 84 and other contingency planning readiness exercises—and the potential threat they pose to civil liberties if fully implemented in a real operation—are taken seriously by scholars and civil libertarians.
Exercises similar to Rex 84 happen regularly. Plans for roundups of large numbers of persons in the United States in times of crisis are constructed during periods of increased political repression such as the Palmer Raids and the McCarthy Era.
For example, from 1967 to 1971 the FBI kept a list of over 100,000 persons to be rounded up as subversive, dubbed the "ADEX" list. This list contained many labor leaders, scholars, and public figures of the time.
In 2008, for the first time an active military unit has been given a dedicated assignment stateside for civil unrest containment. It is assigned to Northcom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.
To read a more comprehensive breakdown of HR 645, Rex 84 and this matter of FEMA Camp debates, read the article on that subject matter here at New World Order Report:
12.The Iran-Contra Affair: In 1985 and '86, the White House authorized government officials to secretly trade weapons with the Israeli government that were then secretly traded with Iran in exchange for the release of U.S. hostages held in Iran. The funds from the trades were then used to help finance the illegal war in Nicaragua. The plot was uncovered by Congress in 1987. The documentary series, Core of Corruption, will be exploring details on the Iran Contra conspiracy in greater detail. The series if 5 seperate films written and directed by Jonathan Elinoff, investigative journalist and reporter for the New World Order Report. During Iran Contra, drug smuggling by the CIA was uncovered and to this day the United States population is largely unaware of the findings of this information. Both posts on CIA drug running in this article of 33 conspiracies that turned out to be true are about this very topic of drug running during Iran Contra.
13.The BCCI Scandal: The Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) was a major international bank founded in 1972 by Agha Hasan Abedi, a Pakistani financier. The Bank was registered in Luxembourg. Within a decade BCCI touched its peak, it operated in 78 countries, had over 400 branches, and had assets in excess of US$ 20 billion making it the 7th largest private bank in the world by assets. In the late 1980's BCCI became the target of a two year undercover operation conducted by the US Customs Service. This operation concluded with a fake wedding that was attended by BCCI officers and drug dealers from around the world who had established a personal friendship and working relationship with undercover Special Agent Robert Mazur. After a six month trial in Tampa, key bank officers were convicted and received lengthy prison sentences. Bank officers began cooperating with law enforcement authorities and that cooperation caused BCCI’s many crimes to be revealed. BCCI came under the scrutiny of regulatory bodies and intelligence agencies in the 1980s due to its perceived avoidance of falling under one regulatory banking authority, a fact that was later, after extensive investigations, proven to be false. BCCI became the focus of a massive regulatory battle in 1991 and was described as a "$20-billion-plus heist". Investigators in the U.S. and the UK revealed that BCCI had been "set up deliberately to avoid centralized regulatory review, and operated extensively in bank secrecy jurisdictions. Its affairs were extraordinarily complex. Its officers were sophisticated international bankers whose apparent objective was to keep their affairs secret, to commit fraud on a massive scale, and to avoid detection."
14.CIA Drug Running in LA: Pulitzer Prize Award winning journalist Gary Webb exposed this alongside LAPD Narcotics Officer turned whislteblower and author Michael Ruppert, CIA Contract Pilot Terry Reed, and many others. In August 1996 the San Jose Mercury News published Webb's "Dark Alliance", a 20,000 word, three-part investigative series which alleged that Nicaraguan drug traffickers had sold and distributed crack cocaine in Los Angeles during the 1980s, and that drug profits were used to fund the CIA-supported Nicaraguan Contras. Webb never asserted that the CIA directly aided drug dealers to raise money for the Contras, but he did document that the CIA was aware of the cocaine transactions and the large shipments of cocaine into the U.S. by the Contra personnel. "Dark Alliance" received national attention. At the height of the interest, the web version of it on San Jose Mercury News website received 1.3 million hits a day. According to the Columbia Journalism Review, the series became "the most talked-about piece of journalism in 1996 and arguably the most famous—some would say infamous—set of articles of the decade."
15.Gulf of Tonkin Never Happened:The Gulf of Tonkin Incident is the name given to two separate incidents involving the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. On August 2, 1964 two American destroyers engaged three North Vietnamese torpedo boats, resulting in the sinking of one of the torpedo boats.This was also the single most important reason for the escalation of the Vietnam War. After Kennedy was assassinated, the Gulf of Tonkin gave the country the sweeping support for aggressive military action against the North Vietnamese.
The outcome of the incident was the passage by Congress of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted President Lyndon B. Johnson the authority to assist any Southeast Asian country whose government was considered to be jeopardized by "communist aggression".In 2005, an internal National Security Agency historical study was declassified; it concluded that USS Maddox had engaged the North Vietnamese on August 2, but that there may not have been any North Vietnamese vessels present during the engagement of August 4. The report stated “It is not simply that there is a different story as to what happened; it is that no attack happened that night…”In truth, Hanoi's navy was engaged in nothing that night but the salvage of two of the boats damaged on August 2.In 1965, President Johnson commented privately: "For all I know, our Navy was shooting at whales out there."
In 1981, Captain Herrick and journalist Robert Scheer re-examined Herrick's ship's log and determined that the first torpedo report from August 4, which Herrick had maintained had occurred—the "apparent ambush"—was in fact unfounded.In 1995, retired Vietnamese Defense Minister Vo Nguyen Giap, meeting with former Secretary of Defense McNamara, categorically denied that Vietnamese gunboats had attacked American destroyers on August 4, while admitting to the attack on August 2.In the Fall of 1999, retired senior CIA engineering executive S. Eugene Poteat wrote that he was asked in early August 1964 to determine if the radar operator's report showed a real torpedo boat attack or an imagined one.In October, 2005 the New York Times reported that Robert J. Hanyok, a historian for the U.S. National Security Agency, had concluded that the NSA deliberately distorted the intelligence reports that it had passed on to policy-makers regarding the August 4, 1964 incident. He concluded that the motive was not political but was probably to cover up honest intelligence errors.
16.The Business Plot:In 1933, group of wealthy businessmen that allegedly included the heads of Chase Bank, GM, Goodyear, Standard Oil, the DuPont family and Senator Prescott Bush tried to recruit Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler to lead a military coup against President FDR and install a fascist dictatorship in the United States. And yes, we're talking about the same Prescott Bush who fathered one US President and grandfathered another one.Smedley Butler was both a patriot and a vocal FDR supporter. Apparently none of these criminal masterminds noticed that their prospective point man had actively stumped for FDR in 1932.Smedley spilled the beans to a congressional committee in 1934.
Everyone he accused of being a conspirator vehemently denied it, and none of them were brought up on criminal charges. Still, the House McCormack-Dickstein Committee did at least acknowledge the existence of the conspiracy, which ended up never getting past the initial planning stages.Though many of the people who had allegedly backed the Business Plot also maintained financial ties with Nazi Germany up through America's entry into World War II. In 1934, the Business Plot was publicly revealed by retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler testifying to the McCormack-Dickstein Congressional Committee. In his testimony, Butler claimed that a group of men had approached him as part of a plot to overthrow Roosevelt in a military coup. One of the alleged plotters, Gerald MacGuire, vehemently denied any such plot. In their final report, the Congressional committee supported Butler's allegations of the existence of the plot, but no prosecutions or further investigations followed, and the matter was mostly forgotten.
On July 17, 1932, thousands of World War I veterans converged on Washington, D.C., set up tent camps, and demanded immediate payment of bonuses due them according to the Adjusted Service Certificate Law of 1924. This "Bonus Army" was led by Walter W. Waters, a former Army sergeant. The Army was encouraged by an appearance from retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler, who had considerable influence over the veterans, being one of the most popular military figures of the time. A few days after Butler's arrival, President Herbert Hoover ordered the marchers removed, and their camps were destroyed by US Army cavalry troops under the command of General Douglas MacArthur.
Butler, although a self-described Republican, responded by supporting Roosevelt in that year's election. In a 1995 History Today article Clayton Cramer argued that the devastation of the Great Depression had caused many Americans to question the foundations of liberal democracy. "Many traditionalists, here and in Europe, toyed with the ideas of Fascism and National Socialism; many liberals dallied with Socialism and Communism." Cramer argues that this explains why some American business leaders viewed fascism as a viable system to both preserve their interests and end the economic woes of the Depression.
17.July 20, 1944 Conspiracy to Assassinate Hitler:Among another 20 some odd attempts, this one was one of the largest conspiracies involving hundreds of loyalists in the highest echelons of Hitler’s inner circle.Near the end of WWII, things were rapidly going south for Germany and the time seemed ripe for guilt-ridden Nazi officers to assassinate Hitler and overthrow his government. Colonel Henning von Tresckow recruited Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg to join the conspiracy in 1944.The plot to take out Hitler and then all of his loyal officers was called Operation Valkyrie.
The plan was to use the Continuity of Government Proceedings during an assassination on Hitler’s life to take over full control of the government in Germany.The assassination would be blamed on the Nazi SS and therefore allow Stauffenberg to take full control of all aspects of the government.It almost worked.In July 1944, Stauffenberg was promoted so that he could now start attending military strategy meetings with Hitler himself. On more than one occasion Stauffenberg planned to kill Hitler at such a meeting with a briefcase bomb, but he always held off because he also wanted to take out Hitler's two right-hand men, Hermann Goering and Heinrich Himmler. On July 20, he went for it anyway and exploded a bomb inside Hitler's conference room with a remote detonator. Hitler survived only minor injuries.
18.Operation Ajax: For years, Britain had a spiffy trade deal with Iran regarding their prodigious oil fields. The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company was basically a giant money machine for the Anglo half, while the Iranian half got shafted. That all changed in 1951 when Iran nationalized the AIOC and the Iranian parliament elected Mohammed Mossadegh as Prime Minister. Mossadegh was relatively secular, something that pissed of Iranian clerics, but he was also very nationalistic.He was a democratically elected, pro American figure but the West saw his nationalizing of the oil fields a communist move(something Mossadegh thought was the right of the people to profit and pay for services in the country with).Those oil fields were under the control of British Petroleum, but unfortunately Mossadegh overruled this long standing business control.The United States sent Kermit Roosevelt, FDR’s nephew and CIA coordinator in to figure out the mess.