New York Times Warning: Trust Authorities on Boston Bombing, or You’re Nuts - WhoWhatWhy

New York Times Warning: Trust Authorities on Boston Bombing, or You’re Nuts

Reading Time: 10 minutes

CaptureA huge story can set off alarm bells everywhere, but somehow, with ever increasing frequency, we note the silence of the mainstream media. Having avoided doing its job, it then protects its flank by denigrating those who call for inquiries.

This Is Your Brain on CT

A recent example is this Times article : “Why Rational People Buy Into Conspiracy Theories.”  It is illustrated with a Victorian diagram of the brain, updated to show the conspiracy theorist’s brain–with a flying saucer inside.  The message is unmistakable: if you believe in any conspiracy (i.e.,  organized but deliberately hidden effort or operation) at all, you also believe in flying saucers carrying little green men.

The article reinforces this implication.

Here’s how it begins:

In the days following the bombings at the Boston Marathon, speculation online regarding the identity and motive of the unknown perpetrator or perpetrators was rampant. And once the Tsarnaev brothers were identified and the manhunt came to a close, the speculation didn’t cease. It took a new form. A sampling: Maybe the brothers Tsarnaev were just patsies, fall guys set up to take the heat for a mysterious Saudi with high-level connections; or maybe they were innocent, but instead of the Saudis, the actual bomber had acted on behalf of a rogue branch of our own government; or what if the Tsarnaevs were behind the attacks, but were secretly working for a larger organization?

Crazy as these theories are…..

The essay, by Times magazine columnist Maggie Koerth-Baker, implicitly suggests the public should immediately halt speculation once law enforcement officials “leak” information intended to shape our perceptions. No matter that these leaks are not the same thing as evidence presented at trial, that the leaks themselves serve an agenda, and that law enforcement has a long history of attempting to persuade the public of false narratives. No matter that the latter is a practice repeatedly, if often belatedly, chronicled by the Times itself.

Science Orders You: Stop Thinking Rationally

The author goes on to say that “recent scientific research” tells us that people who believe there’s more to a story may actually accept several competing theories as plausible. And because they are open to competing theories, they’re basically wacky. Such an ecumenical orientation to mysteries, akin to tolerating various conflicting religious faiths, is supposed to show that there’s something wrong with you.

However, another study might find that those who prefer pat explanations from the authorities are equally irrational.

For example, when the Tsarnaevs were first identified by the public from video footage released by the FBI, the Bureau told us the Tsarnaevs were previously unknown to it. Then the Bureau was forced by the Russians to admit it had known the brothers for quite some time. In fact, the Russians had briefed the Bureau on its concerns several years ago, and at that time, in response to the Russian information, the FBI had begun interacting with the Tsarnaev clan. This unexplained about-face was, according to establishmentarians, just fine. No questions, your honor.

Here’s another doozy. We were initially told that MIT police officer Sean Collier was killed in an altercation April 18 with the Tsarnaevs—perhaps at a convenience store. Later, the authorities said Collier was actually assassinated completely unaware—shot point blank in the head while sitting in his patrol car—at an odd spot in between buildings on the MIT campus—and by unknown assailants. This switcheroo was also A-OK with outfits like The Times. Nothing to investigate, no reason to be suspicious.  

On April 19, the authorities told us that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev shot it out in a long gun battle with police before being apprehended. Later we learned, from the same authorities, that the young man, lying seriously wounded inside a boat parked in a suburban driveway, actually did not even have a gun with him.  In fact, he was nearly executed in a totally one-sided gun battle. This fabulous flip-flop also raised no red flag with the establishment media.

On May 22 the authorities told us the FBI had to kill Tsarnaev’s acquaintance in Orlando, Florida, Ibragim Todashev, because he lunged with a knife and stabbed an agent several times. Later, it emerged that, well, maybe he didn’t have a knife at all, but maybe at some time he brandished a broomstick, or, at article press time, something else. And that was OK too, by gosh, for the journalistic glitterati.

Let’s face it: If a suspect in an interrogation room told this many contradictory stories, he or she would be locked up, and later probably prove eminently convictable by a jury.  But a person who sees something sinister in such official confabulations gets lumped together with the people who see little green men from Mars floating in their soup.

Swami Says

Anyone who has ever written for outfits like the Times knows that sucking up to authority will always serve one well professionally. Consider the eagerly establishment-pleasing Koerth-Baker, a “science editor” who scrupulously follows the journalism-school rules of the road: She dredges up the perennial “academic” so that it appears that her reporting has no agenda—she’s just sharing what some “expert” thinks.

To prove what idiots her fellow Americans are, she turns to her expert, Dr. Viren Swami, a psychology researcher at a university which, we discovered, ranked 70th out of 106 UK universities on “research standards.”

Swami’s expertise to judge a large part of the population fantasists when it comes to security-state ops seems questionable. His doctorate is in “Body Size Ideals across Cultures”. His post-doctoral study was on “men and masculinities.” He has investigated such issues as “Why do hungry and stressed men idealize a heavier body size than do satiated and unstressed men?” and “the impact of body art (tattoos and piercings) on interpersonal perceptions.”

But more recently, he says, he’s been studying“why some people are more likely than others to accept and disseminate conspiracy theories.”  Swami, in his picture, looks barely out of his twenties. Surely too young to remember all the security-service perfidy and cover-ups revealed by official investigations in both the United States and the UK.  But Koerth-Baker assures us that Swami does include “conspiracy belief” in his many studies, and shares his wisdom with us:

“The best predictor of belief in a conspiracy theory is belief in other conspiracy theories,” says Viren Swami, a psychology professor who studies conspiracy belief at the University of Westminster in England. Psychologists say that’s because a conspiracy theory isn’t so much a response to a single event as it is an expression of an overarching worldview.

Turning the Eye Chart Upside Down

Koerth-Baker invokes a tired and overused Wikipedia-style meme from the late historian Richard Hofstadter on the “paranoid style” (also invoked by a rabid if purportedly liberal Los Angeles Times writer to dismiss a book by yours truly on connections between the Bush clan, their circle, and improperly understood American tragedies, while managing to ignore the book’s massive documentation—including more than a thousand footnotes). Koerth-Baker then says that:

Since Hofstadter’s book was published, our access to information has vastly improved, which you would think would have helped minimize such wild speculation. But according to recent scientific research on the matter, it most likely only serves to make theories more convincing to the public.

Perhaps that is because, of the many hundreds of books on the JFK assassination, about 95 percent of the best written and researched volumes, from credentialed academics, journalists and researchers, conclude that John F. Kennedy was not killed by a lone kook, but by real, powerful people who actively endorsed and sponsored overthrows and murders of elected leaders around the world, No matter. The author continues:

Perfectly sane minds possess an incredible capacity for developing narratives, and even some of the wildest conspiracy theories can be grounded in rational thinking, which makes them that much more pernicious. Consider this: 63 percent of registered American voters believe in at least one political conspiracy theory, according to a recent poll conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Her assumption is that, in a country perennially employing tens of thousands of top-secret covert operatives, homicide-trained assassins and “special forces” enthusiasts, no one has any reason to suspect that any event involving some kind of death or mayhem was ever engineered on an organized basis.


In 2010, Swami and a co-author summarized this research in The Psychologist, a scientific journal. They found, perhaps surprisingly, that believers are more likely to be cynical about the world in general and politics in particular. Conspiracy theories also seem to be more compelling to those with low self-worth, especially with regard to their sense of agency in the world at large. Conspiracy theories appear to be a way of reacting to uncertainty and powerlessness.

We are thus supposed to accept there is something essentially wrong with people who lose hope after seeing, time and time again, the most idealistic, reformist leaders inexplicably snuffed out, and their crusades dashed. This loss of hope and faith in a clearly dysfunctional system is seen as illness.

And, by the way, that article in “The Psychologist” (for which she provides no link or citation) was only three pages long.

Put the Blame on the Brain

“In these moments of powerlessness and uncertainty, a part of the brain called the amygdala kicks into action. Paul Whalen, a scientist at Dartmouth College who studies the amygdala, says the amygdala jump-starts the rest of the brain into analytical overdrive — prompting repeated reassessments of information in an attempt to create a coherent and understandable narrative, to understand what just happened, what threats still exist and what should be done now. This may be a useful way to understand how, writ large, the brain’s capacity for generating new narratives after shocking events can contribute to so much paranoia in this country.”

 On the other hand, there is no mention of what part of the brain causes some people to reflexively–if illogically–trust just about anything published in establishment media like the New York Times, The Atlantic, or stated on PBS. Even after they get so very many things wrong time and again.

Avoid Knowledge!

Koerth-Baker invokes the “backfire effect” to explain why conspiracy theorists are supposedly resistant to official narratives. But that effort actually, well, backfires.

 In 2006, the political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler identified a phenomenon called the ‘backfire effect.’ They showed that efforts to debunk inaccurate political information can leave people more convinced that false information is true than they would have been otherwise.

True, but the “inaccurate political information” being debunked was not a lunatic conspiracy theory–it was government disinformation, some of which was the product of conspiracy—for example, prewar disinformation that Iraq had WMD, or claims that tax cuts increase federal revenue.  Refutation of these false assertions resulted in their reinforcement, the “backfire effect.” The authors suspect “Republicans might be especially prone to the backfire effect because conservatives may have more rigid views than liberals: Upon hearing a refutation, conservatives might ‘argue back’ against the refutation in their minds, thereby strengthening their belief in the misinformation.”

Koerth-Baker then tries to give Swami’s theories a piggyback ride on the work of Nyhan and Reifler:

“Nyhan isn’t sure why this happens, but it appears to be more prevalent when the bad information helps bolster a favored worldview or ideology.

In that way, Swami says, the Internet and other media have helped perpetuate paranoia. Not only does more exposure to these alternative narratives help engender belief in conspiracies, he says, but the Internet’s tendency toward tribalism helps reinforce misguided beliefs.

What worldview or ideology is held by Koerth-Baker and Swami?  Is it bolstered by what they read in the New York Times?

Conspiracy Theories Approved By the Establishment

Koerth-Baker then quotes a historian at the University of California saying that conspiracies do exist. Don’t get too excited: she quickly supplies examples (Watergate, Iran Contra) where the conspirators were supposedly vanquished by an effective system in which the establishment media and Congress got to the bottom of things. In other words, don’t worry, everything is OK.

Except that a growing body of evidence indicates that the real conspiracy in Watergate wasn’t Nixon’s—but that of corporate and national security elements seeking to frame and force from office an uncooperative president. (If all you read is The New York Times, you wouldn’t know that there are at least three impressive best-sellers out there that make this argument persuasively.)

The point is that the establishment will always be consistent. By definition, if the goal is to prevent the public’s waking up to the degraded state of democracy, then the only “real” conspiracies we will be encouraged to worry about will be propagandistic constructions designed to send us off in hopelessly wrong directions. Thus, allowing the Republican establishment to create hysteria around a “socialistic, secretly Muslim president,” while the president and almost all other top officials are in the thrall of a real conspiracy by financial interests to dominate our system. Or vilifying an entire religion as bent on destroying our way of life to the point that we must give up our civil liberties for the protection of the state.

We recognize there is a kind of conspiracy fever in America, and that much of the speculation is groundless. But the authorities have brought this on with decades of deception, unnecessary secrecy, endless cover-ups and real crimes against the public interest. No wonder we can’t distinguish between plots on every corner and a skeptical attitude toward disturbing behavior from authority.

A Farrago

The beauty of Koerth-Baker’s article, published in the Times magazine where supposedly well-educated people get their ideas before going forth to repeat them at dinner parties and on talk shows, is that it is itself inherently irrational—the stuff of editorial and intellectual fogheadedness.

It take a very broad group of people who have little in common, and condemns them all, with the message that anyone who asks questions about official narratives should be considered delusional, albeit not necessarily clinically insane. The truth is, some people have been driven a bit, or more than a bit, crazy by repeated exposure to deeply disturbing real events (assassinations, mass murder, false-flag war-mongering), so that they begin to see a plot and a lie behind everything. This unfortunate strain of OTSD (On-going Traumatic Stress Disorder) is abetted by a substantial industry among radio, website and publishing personalities, who profit off the gullibility of their audiences by selling them bomb shelters and home canning equipment and other products of mass delusion.

But there is another group, to which we proudly belong: people who live in the real world and are not blind to nuance, people who don’t buy what the kook machines have to sell, but also recognize that the establishment media (compromised by, among other things, its financial dependency on the corporate elites) can’t be trusted to get to the real bottom of things.

To lump these different groups together and tar them all with the same brush amounts to a kind of willful journalistic malpractice.

By definition, an analysis involves the separation of a whole into its component parts.  Rather than separating this complex subject into its parts, Koerth-Baker, Swami, et al do just the opposite.  What they have created is a farrago which is, according to Mr. Webster, a confused mixture, a hodgepodge – as in, “a [farrago] of half-truths intended to put the party line in the best light.”

Along these lines, Koerth-Baker notes that ”Americans have always had the sneaking suspicion that somebody was out to get us — be it Freemasons, Catholics or communists.” No mention of the people that most people think are “out to get us” – members of the American aristocracy, without whom the New York Times would not even exist.

Fortunately, a bunch of articulate “nuts’ have challenged this Times piece. Guess who? Times readers. The response comments are full of thoughtful rebuttals. (By the way, we think New York Times readers who abhor that kind of manipulation would welcome the work we do at WhoWhatWhy but perhaps have not heard of our site. When you post intelligent, measured comments over on the Times site, feel free to mention and link to us.)

A Simple Solution

In order to understand who is a crazy conspiracy theorist, you first have to understand which theories are crazy, and which are valid—and that requires a knowledge of current events and history apparently beyond the ken of the likes of Koerth-Baker. Without such knowledge, you’re in no position to assess whether a perceived conspiracy might be real or not.  Example: if you don’t know that John Wilkes Booth had accomplices in the death of Abraham Lincoln, you would judge as bonkers a statement that at least one American president was in fact killed by a conspiracy.

It is not clear whether Koerth-Baker is truly ignorant of these issues—or just wants to help the New York Times keep you ignorant. In any case, when it comes to understanding how the powerful stay powerful, we clearly need fewer critiques of members of the public who ask questions—and a lot more studies of the facts themselves.

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138 responses to “New York Times Warning: Trust Authorities on Boston Bombing, or You’re Nuts”

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  2. Avatar psi2u2 says:

    “Law enforcement has a long history of attempting to persuade the public of false narratives. ”


  3. Avatar colinjames71 says:

    Wish i saw this when it came out. I would have gladly linked to WWW, and given the NYT a well earned rhetorical one finger salute. Also it should be noted that TPTB seen to be in overdrive trying to condemn CT enthusiasts, and CTs in general… guess they’re deathly afraid if the public waking up. Good job picking apart an apparently terrible article with third rate academics and easily refuted memes, since even NYT readers were keen enough to see thru the BS.

  4. Avatar Karen M. Roderick says:

    Our country President who is not from America but Kenya loves to blow things up so he can show his cousins who live in huts hey look what I did. He also is addicted to the flashbulbs in his news meeting room and he feels lonely when he doesn’t get the flashbulbs so he calls Richard Jewel the Olympic Park Bomber and the Oaklahoma Federal Building bombing with felliw Christian falwalk Tim McVey. President Obama likes Jewel and McVey for bombs because they don’t ask for pay. They instead get to do whatever they want and then if they get in a jam one of the President’s can call and say I am the President of the United States and let me tell you this man is innocent and the person gets out of jail because the President used a potion number nine made by Sandra Bullock as scientist b for CIA froleking. Hey Clinton did you get Lisa Ling’s sister and her companion out of South Korea. He faked the video footage but wanted the fame so he said he got the two women out of prison and never did. I need my Embassy money that they The President’s want for themselves to split. I help the world out with a crises. Aquarius. Can I get paid for this. I want credit for this.

    • Avatar marvin nubwaxer says:

      well, since i couldn’t figure out the point of this article after 5 minutes of reading i see at least in the comment section that’s it’s sweet bait for conspiracy theory crackpots. it’s like a circle jerk of the delusional.

  5. Avatar Frank von Winkhorst says:

    They’re called stooges.

    Considering that on any given day 70-80% of the American people don’t believe the Warren Report, perhaps this is a clue to why papers like the New York Times and the Washington Post have trouble making a profit. Like, accuse your readers of having something wrong with their brains. Good plan!

  6. Avatar DM says:

    Anybody who still thinks Oswald acted by himself needs a good lesson in physics, not to mention history! LOL

    • Avatar Frank von Winkhorst says:

      No, anybody who still thinks Oswald “acted” at all needs a good lesson in how coverups work.

    • Avatar oatwillie says:

      Good God! That shot was impossible from the sixth floor. I’ve shot too many deer to know what happens when you’re shooting down at a target. The bullet rises and you have to shoot LOW to to hit the target. You have a dicky scope and a moving target. You have to lead the target, and shoot low. Give me a break! The Warren Report was a coverup from start to finish. Warren was terrified that it might be a Soviet/Cuban plot when LBJ showed him the CIA Mexico City reports of “Oswald’s” visits to the Cuban/Soviet embassies .,.Warren refused twice to participate in this farce, only acquiescenting when shown the CIA reports.

  7. Avatar DM says:

    God bless you, Russ Baker! That NYT article was shameful, through and through. There were similarly shameful articles to the same effect in the New Yorker and the Atlantic, all of them similarly shocking and dismaying. And where did I read all that guff about fangirls? LA Times? Using the worst kind of sexism to label and denigrade anybody with a different opinion is really one of the lowest lows around.

    • Avatar Frank von Winkhorst says:

      The Times article reminds me of a recent debate on 9/11 with Webster Tarpley at the National Cryptographic Museum. Tarpley based his presentation on facts and analysis. The opposition did an amateur psychoanalysis of Tarpley. Fortunately, Tarpley had enough fans in the audience to make it obvious what was going on.

  8. Avatar Antonia Ydal says:

    Keep it up, is a real good read.

  9. Avatar Truth is.. says:

    Russ Baker you did it again! Thank you so much for keeping my faith going that unbiased journalists DO exist out there in the propaganda jungle and DO take their job serious. I kind of lost it scrolling through all the media stories that systematically present this particular point of view of the Boston Marathon and the alleged bombers.

    Great read. And I don’t believe in green men, only the Hulk ;-)

  10. Avatar Major Martin says:

    Following a massive wave of ‘flying saucer’ sightings in 1952, a CIA panel chaired by physicist and scientific intelligence expert Dr. H.P. Robertson, called for a “covert mass media program of training and debunking” to strip the subject of all credibility and thus reduce public interest and press coverage. The NYT was quick to toe the line, so it is hardly surprising that it uses the flying saucer image as the epitome of irrational thought.

    Not everyone fell for it, however.

    “I do know that the CIA and the U.S. government have been concerned over the UFO phenomenon for many years and that their attempts, both past and recent, to discount the significance of the phenomenon and to explain away the apparent lack of official interest in it have all the earmarks of a classic intelligence cover-up.”
    – Victor Marchetti,
    former executive assistant to the deputy director, CIA (1979)

  11. Avatar Guest says:

    Questioning the sanity of those who question the official explanation of these violent, game-changing political events is a decades-old CIA strategy.

    Here’s proof: The agency issued a template for attacking Warren Commission critics in a 1967 dispatch, classified as “secret,” to chiefs of “Certain Stations and Bases.”

    The document’s title is “Countering Criticism of the Warren Report.” It was released in full in 1996, 20 years after it was submitted for FOIA review, according to markings on the cover page.

    The stated aim of the CIA dispatch was to “provide material for countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists.”

    The CIA outlined talking points to be fed to the agency’s assets — identified as “elite” politicians and editors — presumably in foreign countries.

    The CIA memo suggests that Warren Commission critics have personality or cognitive disorders; dark political motivations, i.e., they’re left-wingers and Communists who hate America; or have financial motives, i.e., they’re fast-buck artists exploiting the assassination to sell books.

    The CIA offers other intellectually dishonest conspiracy rebuttals we’ve seen many times over the decades, including the asinine assertion that a conspiracy of this sort couldn’t have been kept secret — the someone-would-have-talked argument.

    The American power elite and the cretins, cowards, and collaborators in the news media have been following this script ever since, attacking the character, credibility, and mental competence of the skeptics rather than following the evidence.

    The New York Times, whose history of collusion with the CIA is well-documented, adopted this approach even before it was codified in the CIA memo. In fact, the memo applauds a 1966 “parody” of conspiracy theory, written by a Herbert Mitgang and published — where else? — in the New York Times Magazine.

  12. Avatar Bull says:

    Is the FBI busting terrorist plots—or leading them? The CIA and FBI have been doing this for decades. Counterintelpro 2.0 :

    FBI’s Reliance on Paid Informants Raises Questions about Terrorism Cases:

  13. Avatar A. Patriot says:

    Big deal. People who believe in conspiracy theories tend to believe in new ones because of their world-view. 63% of Americans believe in one or another. The brain tends to generate new narratives after new events. They have said nothing as to if they are actually true or not. Who the hell do these fake psychologists think they are, to go around accusing people of imagining it, when they haven’t event made the slightest blithe sideways reference that demonstrates they aren’t real. They haven’t engaged in any facts of the cases in question. They deserve only to have their own credentials questioned. Psychologists who lie about who is imagining things are the shames of their profession.

    • Avatar DM says:

      Not to mention, they drop any pretense of the presumption of innocence in order to spew nonsense guised as science, which is deeply offensive.

    • Avatar Frank von Winkhorst says:

      First of all, “psychology” has never been much more scientific than the Medieval “science” of detecting witches. There are even psychiatrists (Thomas Szasz for one)–who are held to a higher standard–who think that mental illness is a myth.

    • Avatar ewastud says:

      One of these pseudo-scientists who particularly offends me is Michael Shermer, the editor of the Skeptics magazine and a columnist at the Scientific American magazine. Not surprisingly, Schermer confidently affirms his support for the conclusion of the Warren Commission report – a conclusion that requires a belief in the supernatural (that preposterous “magic bullet”) than any other theory put forward by its detractors.

    • Avatar Frank von Winkhorst says:

      The government stooges at the Times have run out of evidence that hasn’t been completely debunked by the critics, so now they are reduced to calling people names, of which the so-called article is simply a rather complex example. And then the owners can’t figure why nobody wants to spend any money buying their newspaper. You would think the financial geniuses in the front office would finally figure out that their CIA assets are about to put them out of business.

  14. Avatar philconl says:

    If we trust their story and view those many times changing “facts” along with internet available solid evidence videos and pictures, the logical answer is: We don’t know why epic failure at every node of the multiple incidents from drill across from library bombing Craft International backpacks to L&T blur/shoplifting to campus cop dead to 711 robbery to street fight runover escape to live fire boat million city lockdown to cannot speak throat suicide to uncle CIA house marriage guest is absolutely apparent.
    EPIC FAILURE at every node, totally convenient, yes that is in fact nutty, indeed.

  15. Avatar geepers says:

    I guess I’m nuts, because I know Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is an innocent young kid who is now languishing in prison for what looks like a government operation that went awry.

    The NSA spying thing is another thing I’m questioning. That is not new News. I’m a nobody and knew they were cracking into email, phone conversations, and much much more for several years now.

    So, I am looking into why they are reporting this 24/7 in all the mainstream crackpot media outlets, as if it was just found out yesterday for the first time. Looks like a distraction from the Boston Bombing scandal.

    The biggest news story since 9/11 IS Boston and it’s accompanying side stories, like the FBI blowing away an unarmed man in his house, and the 2 FBI agents that died from “falling out of a helicopter” during training exercises 12 miles off the coast of VA. Those 2 FBI agents were at Dzhokhar’s arrest at the boat scene. (they find a message in the boat AFTER a month of the it being in their custody that shows he wrote he “did it”…this is the kind of nonsense that has been riddling this Massive Story that is going un-told).

  16. Avatar jay says:

    Great article. Always amuses me when conspiracy deniers argue that people who believe in conspiracies do so because it makes them feel safer to order the chaos of the world in this way, giving them a sense of control over random events. Oh yeah, it makes me feel much safer and in control to believe, after much research, that elements within the US elite murdered a president, or that they conspired to take us into a war based on a pack of lies, leading to the death of over a million fellow human beings, or that they conspired to snoop on all our emails, phone calls etc. I feel so safe and reasured.

    Only criticism of an otherwise excellent piece, is the marginally disparaging remark regarding home canning. I like a spot of canning myself and, Mr Baker, I’m sure if you tasted my home made and canned mulberry jelly/syrup you might like a spot of it too – bloody marvellous it is.

    • Avatar ewastud says:

      Living in a “fool’s paradise” is certainly more comforting and makes one feel more secure than knowledge that all is not right with the world, but it is a false sense of security. Although the conclusions that come from researchers who have pondered the evidence of political assassinations such as JFK and MLK raise profoundly disturbing questions about who really has political and economic power, the path towards changing the status quo starts by understanding what it is and not turning your back on it.

  17. Avatar Thomas Roberts says:

    Good article. Yes, it’s terribly unfortunate when those entrusted with the noble duty of helping to defend, uphold and safeguard democratic principles (i.e. the media) allow themselves to succumb to sycophancy for one reason or another; personal stupidity, cowardice, career ambition/money, misguided sense of patriotism, ego/establishment prestige, personal elitist agenda/ political ideology and so forth. It parallels a soldier on watch falling asleep, deserting his post, accepting an enemy bribe or being a flat out traitor. It parallels an officer practicing negligence and flagrantly disregarding the welfare of his troops or their mission. The consequence is also the same. Invasion and defeat by the enemy. It spells the end of hard won freedom and democracy. To their own peril, mainstream media, their sycophants and cohorts (which includes the NYT as this article so well identifies) facilitate the incursion either wittingly or unwittingly. I’m thinking, witting-lessly.

    At the end of the day who really wants the blood on their hands?Better to at least try to get & tell the full truth in the first instance; to at least try to have some self-respect for doing your job properly.

  18. Avatar TycheSD says:

    More people warning us not to take conspiracy theories seriously.

  19. Avatar Dr. Dann says:

    When my fiancée sent me the link to that deplorable Times piece, I launched into a frenzied screed, and managed to calm down long enough to look at the reader comments – by which I was tremendously heartened. I added my own to Ms. Koerth-Baker, but one wonders if she will get the message at all. If a young, totally ignorant, aspiring journalist like her is not smacked down by an editor, she will go right on putting out such tripe. The editors at the NYT must not be much older than she is, and nearly as stupid. I so appreciate your taking the time to systematically shred this NYT article. I’ve sent your piece to my fiancée, and I hope she will become an avid WhoWhatWhy reader.

    • Avatar Frank von Winkhorst says:

      Thanks for this.

      In exchange, you may want to check out Lots of up-to-date news on what these nazis are up to.

      By the way, the description of the Tippit killer DID NOT match Oswald.

    • Avatar oatwillie says:

      Oswald didn’t have gunshot residue on his cheek. (pariffin test)). The shell casings found at Tippit’s death site were automatic rather than casings which would fit Oswald’s revolver.

  20. Avatar a registered nurse says:

    “the land of shattered paradigms – is admittedly a scary place to be…a place that requires us all to remain calm and rational even as we try to reassemble our world.” -guest

    Agreed. And in doing so, we need to
    keep pressing for the truth.

    George Zornick of the Nation recently wrote:
    “Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall have repeatedly raised … concerns, specifically regarding how the government and the FISA courts have interpreted Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. While not able to reveal the classified information they are privy to, the two senators have suggested that massive and improper surveillance of
    Americans is continuing.”

    It is. And it goes way beyond “mere” surveillance.

    The very recent revelations by Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian are just the tip of it. There’s more to come.

    “Zersetzung” is alive and well… and has come to the U.S. We have an American Stasi — it’s Operation TIPS, on steroids. The mentally ill, “undesirables”, and
    “troublemakers”, among others, are being targeted with the same techniques as those employed by the secret police, in what was formerly East Germany – techniques
    that are currently utilized by the FSB, as well. When victims approach law enforcement for assistance, they are quickly labeled “delusional” or “paranoid schizophrenic”. (Some of these folks probably are, but others pretty darn “normal.” The lives of some very good people have been destroyed by this program and its effects are ongoing, for many.

    Some of the programs victims refer to this program as “gang stalking” – an unfortunate choice of terms, IMO. Mental
    illness provides cover for this operation, which runs well under the radar of most people – one will see plenty of crazy, wacky ramblings and videos about it. But buried in them, one will find kernels of truth.

    It sounds crazy and unbelievable and those running the show intend to keep it that way. Who would believe it? And so, the program marches on. It’s written off as CT when, in fact, it’s the real deal. It’s a toxic social program that has taken the lives of many, in a myriad of ways.

    When it comes to light, as it eventually will, it will “shock the
    conscience” of any decent person.

    The following website is still under construction:

    FOIA documents, posted to the following site, support the claims of victims. Responsive documents reveal
    that victims number in the hundreds of thousands.

  21. Avatar onetree says:

    Good article. Thank you.

    The New York Times article and others, along with commentary from people like Rachel Maddow, is part of a war on critical thinking. It’s practically right from Orwell’s 1984. It’s propaganda and mind control that seeks to kill our brain’s natural logic, i.e. what you see is not really what you see.

  22. Avatar James Godbe says:

    OK, Russ . . . I’ve read your excellent book on the Bush’s and Kennedy (and others by others) . . . etc. . . . so when are you going to go on record re. 9/11?

  23. Avatar TwelveOhOne says:

    A theory is a hypothesis with data behind it. So, a “conspiracy theory” is much closer to the truth than random speculation.

    Of course, when one side (government) devolves to name-calling instead of logic, it’s also pretty clear who is doing wrong.

  24. Avatar IDon'tCareWhatYouThink says:

    Kind thanks for real journalism.

  25. Avatar John Blunt says:

    The same sort of article came out after the anthrax doctors all started dying a few years ago.

  26. Avatar LeslieFish says:

    Heheheheheh. I’ve worked for three magazines, two newspapers and a radio station, and I would go further; *all* the news we get, from whatever source, is always in some way censored. Partly, this is inevitable; there’s only so much print-space in a periodical and only so much broadcast-time on a radio or TV program, and no matter what the reporter thinks is an important story, the editor has to decide what gets that valuable but limited time or space. The editor’s decisions are at least partly shaped by what the publisher/station manager thinks is “important for the public to know”, and the publisher/station manager’s decisions are influenced by what the owner(s) think the public needs to know. The only defense against this is to have as many independently-owned media sources as possible. This is why it’s so troubling that more and more of our pubic media are owned by fewer and fewer corporate giants. Bless the Internet, which makes it possible for anyone to become his/her own owner/publisher/manager/editor, and thereby is returning democracy to the media!

    –Leslie < Fish

    • Avatar LItchfield says:

      RE: *all* the news we get, from whatever source, is always in some way
      censored. Partly, this is inevitable; there’s only so much print-space
      in a periodical and only so much broadcast-time on a radio or TV
      program, and no matter what the reporter thinks is an important story,
      the editor has to decide what gets that valuable but limited time or

      This standard editorial function of prioritizing news stories and allotting space or time in any medium is NOT censorship, and the two really should not be confused. Censorship is when this standard editorial function is perverted so that important stories or information are actively suppressed instead of being prioritized, as they should be.

    • Avatar LeslieFish says:

      And do you think that isn’t a widespread — if ot universal — practice in American media?

  27. Avatar Carmen says:

    Political scientist and Florida State professor Lance deHaven-Smith just (April of this year) published a book called Conspiracy Theory in America, wherein he makes the case that the term “conspiracy theory” was weaponized by the CIA in a deliberate manner in order to socially alienate and discredit those who dare question the official story.

    After the (laughable) Warren Commission Report came out concerning Kennedy’s assassination, the CIA was disturbed by public opinion polls showing that people weren’t sufficiently buying in to the report’s conclusions. This public skepticism compelled the CIA to issue a detailed directive to all of its
    bureaus entitled “Countering Criticism of the Warren Commission Report” (CIA Document 1035-960).

    This document defends the commission and its report, (poorly) and lays out strategies (two pages of them) to combat criticisms. One of the more pointedly ironic suggestions is to assert that “parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists.”

    They also urge their co-conspirators to “employ propaganda assets to negate and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and FEATURE ARTICLES [emphasis mine] are particularly appropriate for this purpose.”

    So essentially what we have here is a document written by a secretive organization that lays out their plans to manipulate and deceive the public into believing there’s no such thing as people secretly organizing to manipulate and deceive the public. And clearly they did a bang-up job, otherwise Maggie Koerth-Baker wouldn’t have embarrassed herself so blithely by typing those ridiculous words.

    My first instinct, upon reading this deliciously snarky piece about her shameful article, was to wonder if it was meant to counter any traction deHaven-Smith’s book might manage to gain. But then I realized that was probably just my jumpy amygdala backfiring again, and got right back to my Martian soup.

    • Avatar planckbrandt says:

      British public school boys are trained to use the expression on anybody who asks too many questions, too. No doubt the CIA weaponized it. But, the method has been around a while. It must be a tool of statecraft.

    • Avatar Litchfield says:

      Yes, One of the earlier renditions of the term/concept: “heretic”.

    • Avatar Frank von Winkhorst says:

      Remember that highly placed and supposedly religious people used to burn their fellow humans at the stake for the horrendous crime of not believing that the world was flat. Reminds me of what Mark Lane says to people who argue with him about the Kennedy assassination: “It’s round!”

    • Avatar Carmen says:

      We also have the even more microcosmic example of duplicitous familycraft: dysfunctional families stigmatizing the child who acts out or tells the truth about abuse that goes on behind closed doors as “crazy.”

      So I guess we chalk it up to human nature and keep fighting the good fight to expose the perpetrators’ deflections and defamations. And of course support the hard work of folks on the front lines, like our intrepid Russ Baker.

    • Avatar WarDepartment says:

      I posted about the CIA memo before I saw that Carmen had addressed the subject days ago. So, I revised my post and put it here, under Carmen’s. However, I can’t seem to delete the original, which is now credited to “Guest.” I apologize for the duplication.

      Carmen, thank you for alerting readers to the 1967 CIA dispatch, “Countering Criticism of the Warren Report.” Also, for acknowledging the pioneering work of Lance deHaven-Smith, who, with other university-based researchers, is working to establish the study of State Crimes Against Democracy as a respectable academic discipline.

      The CIA dispatch continues to be the template for attacking anyone who questions the official version of violent, game-chancing political events, from the JFK assassination to 9-11 to the Boston Marathon scenario.

      The CIA memo suggests that Warren Commission critics have personality or cognitive disorders; dark political motivations, i.e., they’re left-wingers and Communists who hate America; or have financial motives, i.e., they’re fast-buck artists exploiting the assassination to sell books.

      The CIA document offers all the intellectually dishonest conspiracy rebuttals we’ve seen many times over the decades, including the asinine assertion that a conspiracy of this sort couldn’t have been kept secret — the someone-would-have-talked argument.

      Its sadly ironic that the CIA memo makes an argument, which, for those who know the facts, undermines the shoddy Warren Commission case against Lee Oswald the CIA defends: “Oswald would not have been any sensible person’s choice for a co-conspirator.” Precisely, CIA. There was a criminal conspiracy, but he wasn’t in on it.

      The cretins, cowards, and collaborators in the news media have been following the CIA script ever since, attacking the character, credibility, and mental competence of the skeptics rather than following the evidence.

      The New York Times, whose history of collusion with the CIA is well-documented, adopted this approach even before it was codified in the agency’s memo. In fact, the memo applauds a 1966 “parody” of conspiracy theory, written by a Herbert Mitgang and published — where else? — in the New York Times Magazine.

    • Avatar Carmen says:

      As they say across the pond, “two great minds with a single thought!” A document that damning deserves all the air time our team can muster, in my humble opinion.

    • Avatar Frank von Winkhorst says:

      The amazing thing is, the very fact that they issued such a statement, about an event that they continue to deny any involvement with, is a virtual admission that they have something to lose if the truth comes out. One wonders whether one should chalk this up to stupidity or whether it’s just another symptom of their pathology.

  28. Avatar planckbrandt says:

    Conspiracy “theory” is a known and useful device to throw the public off the trail of the real conspiracy. If NYTimes were serious (it isn’t and can’t be especially now that Carlos Slim owns a big stake), they would do a story of the conspiracy theory business itself. And, they could got back to the documentary evidence of theories deliberately perpetrated and perpetuated by spy agencies and private enterprises like banks or law firms paying shills to spread disinformation. NYTimes wants to denigrate people who believe the theories carefully planted, but not the planters. Or, the funders of the planters.

  29. Avatar Logan5 says:

    I heard you on the Rockwell show.. Glad to have found your website. Keep up the good work!

  30. Avatar hegesias says:

    From the “news”paper that brought you Judith Miller.

  31. Avatar Litchfield says:

    Ugh. The NYT embraces the quackery of the mid-19th century. Labeling as mentally ill skeptics who consider nonofficial hypotheses and take solid forensic evidence seriously in the search for solutions to crimes large and small—for the truth— is on a par with positing that slaves who tried to run away were suffering from the disease of drapetomania. Yes, a certain Dr. Samuel A. Cartwright discovered, in 1851, that these poor souls who tried to escape the perversion of slavery were *sick* and needed “help.” A good lashing was the preferred cure:for a desire for freedom (

    What an embarrassment for the NYT, engaging openly and with no hint of shame in exactly the same kind of pseudoscience. whereby a search for the truth is labeled a mental illness. This would be purely ludicrous were it not so sinister. Bringing the power of the mental health authority structures to bear against dissenters who persist in asking inconvenient questions sounds a heck of a lot like the Soviet Union. What is the next step? Prescribe a stay in a looney bin, where skeptics’ brains can be blasted with shocks to “cure” them of their “conspiracy theorist” disease, a la whippings to cure “drapetomania”?

  32. Avatar Num Izi says:

    How many facts are required to take it from being a theory and it a possibility? and then how many are needed to make that into a probability? and how many more facts to make it a real con s piracy ? would just one fact, a real genuine fact, be enough to be able to remove the “theory ” moniker ? i think so ! the juxtaposition of these two words C T should really be used with caution, especially when hard facts have come to light regarding the “theory”… but they are banded about, willy nilly by.. virtually everyone.. blatantly disregarding any and all facts . Thanks num

    • Avatar planckbrandt says:

      Spy agencies use real facts and mix them up with lie facts. Half-truths are the best lies. This method is officially documented in spy craft books. This is what they do. This is the best way to perpetrate lies. It is best not to make up complete lies. That will be too easily disproved. It is best to mix them up with real facts. And, Plato observed these practices. This stuff goes back a long way. There is no reason we are still caught unawares by all this.

  33. Avatar Casey W. says:

    Amusing and comprehensive critique, you are an inspiration.

  34. Avatar Independent says:

    How naive are you if you blindly trust mainstream media and official explanations?

  35. Avatar Millhouse says:

    Very interesting all the different outlooks and media yahoo about the Boston bombing, one in fact kinda scared me a little…The Family Guy episode 3 weeks before depicting murder and not one but 2 BomBs at that upcoming event and then it happens. Your good old friends (American media) has the writer of the show calling it a hoax and trying to tell us” We Never SAW that…”. That’s pretty freaky if you DVR every episode. I dont think he was a part, or knew anything but quite frankly a victim of copycat cartoon killer’s. Three weeks time and the right whack jobs smoking some good shit watching a little Tele could pull it off, am I wrong? If u dont believe me try finding it on youboob or anywhere copyright is enforced and see how many people tried to get that message out and how many got Shut DOWN. I’d like to hear your thoughts on all that. I’m new to your site but I like how you think.


  36. Avatar Dave Dave says:

    Excellent work, as usual. The conspiracy fearists need to be slapped down at every photo opportunity. How could you get more conspiracy theoretical than The Russians Are Coming, the Sandanistas Will Bring Communism North, They Got WMD and Mushroom Clouds, and It’s All Part of an Axis of Evil? Meh. I did some background on Viren Swami (Arm Vise Win) and got so far as his Mirror Mirror segment on LubeTube and his YouBeauty site, where he is an “attraction expert” and where pop-ups kept promising to help me lose my muffin tops, before I gave up with a decidedly derisive snicker. I don’t care what people say about me behind my back (of course!), beauty is only skin deep.

  37. Avatar GeoH says:

    A friend tells me quite plainly that he (we are in our mid fifties and have middle class jobs) is in the establishment now. I told him I have a cure for that: get with a hundred or so Walmart activists and march up and down their aisles demanding for respect and dignity. It’s a great action!

  38. Avatar whatwaysup says:

    “On the other hand, there is no mention of what part of the brain causes
    some people to reflexively–if illogically–trust just about anything
    published in establishment media like the New York Times, The Atlantic, or stated on PBS. ”
    hahaha. yeah exactly. Turn it around and look under MSM hood and you see Crippled Epistemology ‘Sunsteinian’ eugenics script all ready to go identify the mad people.
    Frum and Kay are at it again .

    • Avatar Frank von Winkhorst says:

      Just one quibble. With a little serious eugenics we could consign these idiots to the dustbin of evolutionary history.

  39. Avatar hvaiallverden says:


    Sorry, muhahahaha
    charf, charf.

    The morronic and utterly corrupted sinece is crawling before the Gov. and delivers something close to absolut drivel packed in something I have no idea about but its not Sience.
    And then to the issue and I will ONLY focus ON ONE item, the 9/11.
    And contrary to the NYT and to this morronic drivel about “beliving” and whats “normal” to belive in and also to an extent about comon sense(spiced with some mathematical paradoxes, witch I am a fan of and this is a Goood one.

    2 planes = 3 buildings(wtc1-2 and Building 7)

    wtf happened
    Whom is delivering drivel and faudelent scams about Reality and whats considered “normal” to “belive” in.

    I belive You dont have neither the guts nor the cojones to even answer this eqation.



  40. Avatar Suze O says:

    I happen to think that skepticism is a function of the complex brain that we obtained through evolution, and was undoubtedly a factor in our survival as a species. Much has been made of “women’s intuition” for instance. I have heard from several men that their wives were highly suspicious of their husband’s new friends or business partners, which the men thought was unwarranted until something happened to prove their wives were right. This I chock up to evolution – women, not having men’s physical strength to deal with dangerous developments, were constantly looking for subtle clues to tell them whether they should trust a person or circumstance.

    I can’t say that I necessarily believe everything about particular conspiracy theories, but I do keep an open and questioning mind. What happened on 9/11, for instance, may not be explained fully by any of the theories, but there are unanswered question, odd circumstances, and there was SOME reason why the Bush Administration did not want an investigation. In the absence of good explanations for all the questions, I think it is NORMAL that people speculate, not crazy or paranoid. Such tendencies, I believe, are healthy human nature.

    My father was a scientist, a field full of theories about all kinds of things. His definition of science was that “it is the closest thing to the truth that we have at the present time.” That it may not BE the truth is open to revision with any new evidence. This man shaped my childhood education, my personality, and the way I look at the world. I owe my skepticism to him.

  41. Avatar polfilmblog says:

    Real evidence:

    Is This the Man Who “Radicalized” Dzhokhar Tsarnaev?

    Article (PDF) investigates BRIAN GLYN WILLIAMS, who should be investigated fully, including all communications with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and all past and ongoing associations with CIA and JAMESTOWN FOUNDATION.

    Georgian State Security reported TAMERLAN TSARNAEV receiving training at JAMESTOWN FOUNDATION / CAUCASUS FUND in nation of Georgia early in 2012.
    Please also see this piece on the Tsarnaev uncle RUSLAN TSARNI:

    Uncle Ruslan Tsarni’s Organization May Have Funded Terrorists

    Investigate terrorist links to CONGRESS OF CHECHEN INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS set up by Ruslan Tsarni in 1995.

  42. Avatar Drdetroitdanchap says:

    Tuskeegee experiments, Gulf of Tonkin, Agent Orange, Live POWs left in Korea, Gulf War Syndrome, ……….. yeah, they n-e-v-e-r lie ……. ask the American Indians

  43. Avatar Dianne Foster says:

    Swami is an interesting name for the phrenologist talking about a faulty amygdala.

    Maybe this is what is up: We live in an other-directed society. Long ago, Americans needed to be inner-directed. They had a good chance of losing parents before they were grown, as well as siblings. They often found themselves in alien environments where they needed to cobble together solutions to their daily living. They may have been running things on remote farms and ranches without constant input from media. They had to invent labor-saving devices and fix them in an emergency. This is what forced them to have that inner compass which actually worked for them. It started working before they ever showed up at school, because it had to.

    I am not advocating a return to the bad old days, just an awareness that letting someone else chew up your facts for you will make you a sucker. Most people are suckers and they just don’t care and don’t think it is going to harm them. I think they are wrong.

  44. Avatar Deep Space says:

    Any zombies who believe the whorporate media need to be put down immediately.

  45. Avatar Woody Box says:

    The NY Times goes so far to misrepresent a crime scene (Forum Restaurant, second bomb site):

    Here’s the original URL:

    1) There were far more injured people lying or sitting on the sidewalk

    2) There were numerous injured people inside the restaurant, blown inside by the blast

    3) The glass of the Forum entrance door was shattered

    4) The little tree at the roadside is missing

    All these omissions are highly relevant for the determination of the epicenter of the second bomb and for the question for the prepetrators.

    • Avatar public_servant_watch says:

      Those are some strange pictures. Please look at the second and third. I see people entering a door so clearly only seconds had passed between shots yet there are more victims in the third than the second. Look at the dude on the ground behind the fence just behind Bill Richard and then the additional person in the middle between the leg injury person next to Bill and the lady down by the mail box. Again, we are talking seconds! Thanks for posting these because pictures from the second blast site have not shown up very much. Do you know the date when you found these pictures?

    • Avatar olballcoach says:

      I’d be interested to know when you found these. I’ve periodically looked through cryptome and getty images and there have been the same sets of piks for weeks???

    • Avatar Woody Box says:

      The third picture was apparently shot only one second before the second – watch the guy in the blue raincoat hurrying inside.

      It only looks like the third picture shows more victims than the second. It’s just that they are better visible on the third. Take a look again. The two pictures corroborate each other, and they show that there were injured people all over the sidewalk.

      Inside the Forum, there were also several injured – you can’t see them on the photos, but I know at least five witnesses.

      Only the patio is empty.

      When did I find the pictures? Look at the date – most of them I found on April 24, 25, with a simple google picture search. I quickly saved them because they deemed to me most important for the epicenter question.

    • Avatar public_servant_watch says:

      These may have been presented as authentic but they are not. I did look again and I see the middle person more clearly. Perhaps you have an answer for how the mailbox appears to have moved to the other side of the brick entrance and far side of Starbucks; it was directly in front of the Forum. You will also note the lady in the grey sweat shirt with the distressed look is frozen in time with both shots as is the man in front of her.

      Sadly the picture with the Officer and the little boy right in front of the Forum is more than apparently photo shopped.They made the cover of Time but did not include the background; people voiced concern about the little guy being exploited with the more benign shot and having him placed directly in the carnage is exploitation and Time did include the full photo shopped photo. I guess we have a question for the man who took the shot but I will not put his name here in case he did not do the photo shopping.

      It is highly unlikely that the Officer picked the child up at the Forum and made a straight shot or even a bit backward progress crossing the street; he would not have wasted time with a goal to head toward the ambulances.

      Then there is the lady I have circled with white; she is standing in one shot and then highly compromised physically next to the mail box in another shot.

      Further, the man we are told is Bill Richard is no where in the video I just found which is of the second blast site after the blast!

      We cannot trust anything– the agenda prevails!!

    • Avatar public_servant_watch says:

      Your assessment of Bill Richard being there is an assessment of the picture I am telling you is photo shopped. The officer never stood in front of the Forum with the young child. The officer traveled the opposite side of the street because he had a kid in his arms and would not take a chance transporting him on the side the blast were coming from and he certainly was not going to expose him to all the gore.

      I am not going to address the opening to your reply:
      “[“Photoshop” is simply a word. It is a sound that means nothing without context, explanation, motive or proof.]” other than my observation which is you appear to be slipping into cognitive dissonance; consider taking a break from all this very disconcerting crap and then come back with a fresh eye.

    • Avatar olballcoach says:

      Umm okay. But until you can offer up more than “take my word for it,” there isnt much to say.

    • Avatar Lynn Ertell says:

      Since when is “photoshop” just a “sound bite” ? Fraud is fraud. Hoax is hoax. Deception is deception. And photoshopping potential evidence for release to the media likely constitutes perjury, obstruction of justice and conspiracy (RICO?).

    • Avatar public_servant_watch says:

      Exactly and when the news media does the “shopping” or puts out photos without validation of authenticity it is straight up propaganda; yet, these corrupt people who have abandoned the principles of journalism then turn around and label the people who are onto them as folks with psychiatric issues which is another arm of the propaganda!! All of it, in my opinion, is aiding and abetting treason because when they falsely accuse Muslims they are emboldening any who do have radical views and setting us up for retaliation by those who may not be radical at the start but turn because they see the lies by whom they perceive to be the actual terrorist.

    • Avatar olballcoach says:

      Look most of us commenting on this site agree, something is weird about the pictures. But, I dont trust you or take your word for it anymore than I do the government, or the media. Moreover, I wouldnt expect you to believe anything I said without having me provide reasoned analysis (as I have) for my conclusions and having checked it out yourself. And you can still agree to disagree as Woody and I do. Nuff said.

    • Avatar public_servant_watch says:

      No one asked you to take my word or trust me. If you do not trust your own eyes, I do not know what to tell you.

      You have a video in which the woman is not by the mail box and the video shows the officer to be across from Starbucks at the very start of the video. The picture that Woody found shows the officer across the street from the Atlantic/Forum and the woman is not by the mail box; however, the same woman by the mailbox in the other pictures that Woody found appears in this picture with the officer holding the child.

      There is no physical way that could have happened. If you look at the picture you can see they overlaid the officer with the child right over the woman who was standing; her hair and glasses are visible.

      These people are so boldly corrupt that they have no problem with sloppy work. The proof is the video and the pictures which you are capable of analyzing with your own eyes but chose not see the obvious which is an unquestionable photo shop job exploiting this small child in a propaganda scheme by what used to be a very trusty worthy publication.

    • Avatar Woody Box says:

      I respectfully disagree. I don’t see photoshopping in pictures #2 and #3 (let alone a reason why to do this).

      The mailbox only APPEARS to be moved. Don’t underestimate the effect of perspective. In both pictures, the mailbox is in front of the Forum.

      The lady in the grey sweat shirt and the man in front of her (in the black jacket?) are not frozen. Take a close look at the lady’s right hand. It’s just that the two photos are shot within 1, mostly two seconds. Keeping in mind this timely difference, they match each other 100%.

      To the contrary, the picture with little Martin and DT in the background are clearly photoshopped. DT’s head is clearly copied from another photo.

      And again, the Richard family was at the finish line bomb site, not at the Forum.
      Bill Richard was not a spectator, but a participant of the Marathon. Just google Martin Richard+finish line.

    • Avatar Woody Box says:

      These photos are out now since six weeks, alongside the information to understand their significance. For DT and his lawyers, they are paramount for the epicenter question.

      Certainly the lawyers know the photos meanwhile (not saying from my blog). That’s why I’m actually not interested in discussions about their authenticity.
      I’m not trying to convince someone here – just informing.

      Apart from being used as evidence at court, the photos also have the effect to encourage the many witnesses of the Forum explosion to tell what they remember and not what the FBI wants them to say.

    • Avatar olballcoach says:


    • Avatar olballcoach says:

      Okay I googled as you suggested and this is what I found.

      ” Two members of the Richard family were also seriously injured in the second of the two deadly bombings near the finish line of the 26.2-mile race…….
      The family of five had just gotten ice cream and were on the sidelines trying to identify friends running by, Rep. Stephen Lynch, a friend of the family for 25 years, told the Associated Press.
      After hearing the first blast, the Richards were scrambling over barriers to get to the street when the second bomb went off.
      Martin was killed — one of three people who died in the explosions that were described Tuesday by President Obama as an “act of terror.”

      you can see this was dated April 16th and 17th.

      Please see this as well – I will comment on it later.
      You can see this reporter was sloppy calling it “returns-finish line…” when the article clearly pictures him in front of the Atlantic Fish Company and says he was injured by the second blast.

    • Avatar Woody Box says:

      The man who you can see in all of three pictures is NOT Bill Richard. Here you can see this man’s face – he’s embracing his son, probably.!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/usa-boston-marathon-blast.jpg

      And here’s Bill Richard:

      It’s okay to question pictures for possible photoshopping, but it’s a mistake to see photoshopping in every picture.

    • Avatar olballcoach says:

      We disagree on Bill Richards. That IMHO appears to be the same man.
      We agree photoshopping does not occur on every pik as suggested by. I assert it is only done on the two piks offered by the FBI initially. My jury is out on any others.

  46. Avatar Jeff Grotke says:

    i see problems in reporting the boston bomber story. I don’t see any motive for a broader conspiracy, however, unless that conspiracy consists of a link to al qaeda or some other group.

    • Avatar Bilbo says:

      Hi Jeff,

      I suspect that the Boston Bombing was a diversion for the Fertilizer Plant Explosion in West, Texas. Few people, even among conspiracy theorists, have paid much attention to the investigation going on there.

    • Avatar public_servant_watch says:

      ALWAYS follow the money!! Its easier to control poor people!

  47. Avatar public_servant_watch says:

    A real conspiracy is evidenced by provable facts and when provable facts exist we are no longer dealing with theory! The MSM is full of lost souls that have sold out their country for self-enrichment. Projection involves psychically expelling one’s negative qualities onto others, and is a common psychological process. The United States of America has suffered a coup d’état with intrinsic corruption at every level and OUR NATION is now being managed by criminal psychopaths supported by psychopaths in the main stream media.

    The media is simply a propaganda machine; interestingly, legislation opened the door for the government to legally lie to the American people while we were preoccupied with Sandy Hook:

    At this next link a reporter reveals that she lost her job because she refused to lie to the public:

    Prejudice is a covert weapon that dulls the senses, and melts the common decency expected of civilized societies; the media shoots the deadly bullets. The course of the Boston Marathon Bombing defines Treason. The inflammatory propaganda promoted by the state run MSM has established cause for any who do hold extremist views and has set us up for retaliation during this “war on terror”. Clearly MSM and those involved holding state and federal government positions are aware that they failed miserably in pulling off a False Flag and are in defense mode because at a point in the near future ALL who have acted or aided and abetted this Treason where they have emboldened the enemy will be taken to task!! The sudden flurry of scandals in DC are simply distractions!

    In the mean time the focus is to ensure any objectors get labelled with psychological deficits while fraudulent charities and the House Appropriations Committee rob us blind. Massachusetts just received millions in mark ups with a 60% increase in federal money for their home land security needs based on the bomb they set off in Boston. The Boston Hospitals are working very hard based on their “actions” during the Boston Marathon Bombing to get back $250 million in recent federal cuts.

    • Avatar Illini2 says:

      If you want an interesting insight into the MSM read: Into the Buzzsaw which demonstrates the MYTH of a FREE PRESS. Published 2002 by Prometheus Books.

  48. Avatar gregorylent says:

    what about the india-origin kid who was initially named as a suspect, then found dead in a river … when did he die, and how? any follow up?

    • Avatar Woody Box says:

      Absolutely legitimate questions. The death circumstances of Sunil Tripathi were foggy. I don’t recall that a murder was considered, so this runs presumably as a suicide.
      Would be intersting to look after.

  49. Avatar olballcoach says:

    I wonder what category of mental illness right wing Christian fundamentalists would fall under? Aren’t they beholden to the “Grand Daddy” of all conspiracy theories? I am not arguing theology here – just saying, consider how the conservative right wing in Congress approaches governance. Every major public policy debate begins and ends relative to their end of the world eschatology. As a result serious public policy in this country has virtually ground to a halt. In the meantime, while they wait for history’s next “Act” – the rest of the country is held hostage and left to wonder why their government is conspiring against them.

  50. Avatar Missie Baker says:

    Hi Russ: Actually, I’m a flaming old liberal Democrat and wondering why I’m here, but can’t help but agree that respectfully questioning authority about seeming inconsistencies doesn’t equate with being a conspiracy-theorist nut. On the other hand, shouting “false flag” (a term I’ve just learned courtesy of the Marathon bombings) for every newsworthy event does suggest a certain degree of nuttiness (to me, as least.) What I find deplorable is what I personally perceive (perhaps incorrectly) as a drop in the level of impartial, “facts-only” style reporting. Did Ted Turner foresee what chaos the 24 hour news cycle would wreak on the world of journalism? Doubtful, but while everyone deserves a voice, those given access to the media with the sole purpose of seeking attention or inciting the weak-minded sicken me. (I’ll only use her initials here–A.C.) So, Russ, how do you characterize yourself? I’m just curious–I can’t really tell from the titles of the articles, and I’ve only read your Rosebud and a couple of other Marathon-related stories.

    • Avatar mijj says:

      > .. On the other hand, shouting “false flag” ..

      shouting “false flag” automatically for an event is essentially no different from asserting that a suspect .. or any current favorite hate target (muslims) .. “did it”.

    • Avatar olballcoach says:

      Agreed. But I thing what Ms Baker is alluding to is that the leaders of current mainstream conspiracist theorizing are nothing more than jackasses being paid to muddy the waters – and discredit legitimate inquirey.

    • Avatar Missie Baker says:

      Ollball coach–yes, they cry wolf over everything and color the debate for everyone else–“oh, it’s just those nutball conspirators at it again.”

      On the other hand, my filter (or agenda) is NOT conspiracy–evil government–secret plots. I’m sure such things go on, because governments are made up of humans and we daily engage in varied behaviors–good & bad–with mixed results. In terms of the Marathon bombings, which is why I was drawn here, the disconnects are disconcerting. I found Obama’s speech on Ending the War on Terror & closing Guantanamo to be interesting timing. Right after a “terrorist” attack one might have expected something different.

      To everyone else who made a legitimate comment, I sincerely thank you for the information. (Some of it was indeed new to me.) I’m still interested in any response Russ Baker would like to make.

    • Avatar guest says:

      I’m sure Russ can tell you himself how he thinks he ought to be characterised, but I would suggest that the answer is fairly obvious and that you will find it by reading his book, Family of Secrets. If you do take the time to read it you might find that what sickens you the most isn’t the opportunism of charlatans but the hijacking of our country 50 years ago starting with the Kennedy assassination. It is all hiding in plain sight — you need only try to inform yourself.

      Google, for example, “Operation Northwoods” and be astonished to learn that the Joint Chiefs were proposing false flag events in this country in the early 1960s to justify an invasion of Cuba. Google “Operation Mockingbird” to learn about the CIA mission to penetrate and control all significant news media outlets in the U.S. Google “MK-Ultra” to learn about the CIA program of mind-controlled assassins, which many researchers believe explain the bizarre circumstances of the Robert Kennedy assassination far better than the official narrative. As for 9/11, read Mike Ruppert, Philip Marshall, and Architects/Engineers/Pilots for 9/11 Truth. As for JFK himself, the sources are legion, but why don’t you start with Jim Douglass’s “JFK: Why he died and why it matters.” Read also “Thy Will Be Done” by Colby and Dennett.

      If you inform yourself by reading even a little in the alternative press, I think you will double over in sickness at the coverups by the MSM. You will still remain an old-fasioned liberal Democrat (yeah! in my view), but I’m afraid your paradigms will be shattered. And that – the land of shattered paradigms – is admittedly a scary place to be…a place that requires us all to remain calm and rational even as we try to reassemble our world.

    • Avatar public_servant_watch says:

      This is an excellent response! The truth hurts which is why it is so difficult to wake people up; however, Missie now has good strong cup of coffee in hand.

    • Avatar guest says:

      Thank you.
      Yes, Missie now has a good strong cup of coffee in hand. Now she only need drink it. With hope she will not be like many of my relatives: derisive and dismissive of alternative explanations yet utterly uncurious when it comes to reading the sources that set forth the evidence for the alternative explanations. To such people I say: Put aside your NYT, New Yorker and NPR for 3 months and read instead (and listen to) the alternative media. Then see where you are in terms of being prone to believe the official narrative.
      I forgot to add one or two sources that Missie (and others) should consult in order to inform themselves: the investigative reporting of Wayne Madsen (Boston Bombing; Obama’s background) and James Fetzer (JFK; 9/11). I find both men to be extremely lucid and thorough. Fetzer has a blog with detailed posts and links to many of his speeches. Madsen can be seen on Youtube and has a website that one can subscribe to to access. For the RFK assasination the book by Turner & Christian (“The Assassination of RFK”) is a good place to start.
      One last point: There undoubtedly are some concerned citizens who have lost the plot and run screaming into the night of paranoia. Their paradigms having been shattered, they can’t find the traction of trust to look at events calmly and with perspective and on a case-by-case basis. But let’s not be too critical of such people. Let’s not forget who/what is responsible for the paranoia: the people and entities who betrayed our paradigms to begin with. They are the ones who should sicken us the most. And of course they are the ones who desperately need to be called to account.

    • Get back in your bubble.

    • Avatar public_servant_watch says: Operation Mockingbird, CIA Media Control Program

    • Avatar Dawn Meredith says:

      I suggest you continue to read Russ Baker’s fine publication and your question will be answered.
      You might get his book as well- Family of Secrets.
      Russ is a very careful researcher/reporter who digs beyond the lies we are told by MSM.
      Best of luck in your study.
      I have found over the decades that, sadly, most liberal Democrats are not interested in learning the truth. I hope you will fall into the “curious” category
      Attorney Dawn Meredith
      Austin. TX..

  51. Avatar PeaceFrog says:

    Perhaps a better name for the establishment MSM is “government paparazzi”. They are about 2% investigative journalism and 98% sounding board for “high ranking government official[s]” (who are routinely quoted as unnamed or anonymous).

    • Avatar Twitch says:

      Great term. Washington’s Blog, The Corbett Report with James Corbett and Russ Baker’s WhoWhatWhy are where real journalism exists.

  52. Avatar olballcoach says:

    Very well said and needed in this time of bizzare contradictions. I would add however, that their is some legitimacy to the conspiracy critque, IF you consider how truly weird the “mainstream” of the conspiracy culture has become. Poster boys Jones, Beck, and lets not forget the “ladies” – Geller, notwithstanding; there are many that immediately come to mind, who’s main purpose is to out crazy the next learned pundit of the extreme and dump toxic sludge into the news stream to cloud the water. The effect is not to add to the debate but simply to erode it down 4rth grade reasoning and discredit anyone who cares enough question, to wonder and seek explanations.
    This morning, might be hopeful. I am beginning to see that MSM types on the outer edges are starting to wrinkle their nose at the continuing comedy that is your F.B.I.. I wonder if Swami thinks some great societal epiphanic moment is occuring across the land, or if we are all descending into madness. Either way, he gets to be right.

    • Avatar Jeff Grotke says:

      Alex Jones, in particular, is so crazy on any topic that his credibility is zero. He may be a gov’t stooge designed to muddy the waters, or it may be that he is a crazy person and at some point the CIA et al decided it makes sense to let characters like this rant on, because then the legitimate researchers like Russ get lumped in with him or put on Coast to Coast, and have no other real press outlets. The end result is an appearance of “free speech” but with the caveat that the mainstream press classifies you as a nut or a good storyteller.

    • Avatar mijj says:

      > Alex Jones, in particular, is so crazy on any topic that his credibility is zero.

      no one should be listened to on the basis of their “credibility”. Alex Jones is worth listening to exactly *because* he has little credibility. Ie. if you are listening to what he’s saying, you’re very cautious and critical of the content. On the other hand, if you have someone who is “credible”, that’s where the danger is, because you’ll likely swallow whole any garbage he may decide to throw your way.

  53. Avatar sgtdoom says:

    Great article, Mr. B.
    The scholar I follow on this particular subject is Lance DeHaven-Smith and his recently published book (University of Texas Press), Conspiracy Theory in America where he takes on the mindless talking points and mantras of those conspiracy deniers, as well as Cass Sunstein’s “cognitive infiltration” agenda.

    A most interesting, albeit a bit dense reading, but worth the effort, elucidating text.

    A perfect recent example is all the blather surrounding President Obama’s recent neocon of neocons choices for FBI director, James Comey, possessor of the perfect uber-neocon background, yet all we are bombarded in the McNews is how Comey “saved the constitution” during the first Bush administration (2000-2004) — what an absolute crock!!!!

  54. Avatar Orangutan. says:

    We all need to send our fellow compatriots this way to read Russ’s work and to see what real journalism is all about. Thanks Russ for standing up brave in a world full of too many sheep. Let’s do what we can to support this type of work.

  55. Avatar another guest says:

    This should be required reading in U.S. schools. Thank you.

  56. Avatar The Walrus says:

    Excellent post Russ, thank you. A few related points I’d like to mention:

    – The phrases “Conspiracy Theorist” and “Conspiracy Theory” are now effectively used to stop any meaningful questioning of official news stories. Anyone questioning the official version of any event is automatically labelled a “Conspiracy Theorist” with the implication that they are not to be taken seriously. This has the intended effect of reinforcing the official story and stifling any inquiry into the official “facts” being presented. Being labelled a “Conspiracy Theorist” is the kiss of death to any mainstream journalist.

    – Most of the people I know who question official news accounts have high IQs and are definitely not crazy.

    – I also believe that there is a concerted effort/campaign to discredit “Conspiracy Theorists” by planting outrageous theories (no planes in 9/11, no bombs in Boston, no moon landing, etc.) so that the entire community of people who question the official stories are smeared and discredited.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Avatar me says:

      Have you looked at those “outrageous conspiracies”? Or are you just dismissing them without examination of the facts. I THINK THE LATER

    • Avatar The Walrus says:

      Well, you are wrong. I have spent countless hours “examining the facts”. To imply, as several commenters at this site have, that there were no real bombs in Boston is insulting to the many who were injured, maimed or killed in that event and detracts from the many legitimate questions abut what really happened.

  57. Avatar JimmyGranger says:

    The NY Times staff should watch this video, and then tell us why we should trust authorities!

  58. Avatar Jack1234 says:

    That was perfect Russ!!

  59. Avatar hepburn says:

    Media have been gagged – it is scary the silence

    The role of the deputy director director of FEMA Richard Serino needs to be thoroughly investigated – see here plans from 2008 from his presentation for using the Boston Marathon as a mass casualty event for multi agency training – talks about how to use the media for the purposes.

    • Avatar The Walrus says:

      The media have not been “gagged”. Gagging implies that their silence is involuntary. The mainstream (and many “alternative”) media are willing participants in a fully functioning propaganda operation. They are by no means being “gagged” – they are voluntarily censoring themselves.

    • Avatar Weetam says:

      Regardless . Surely it amounts to the same thing

  60. Avatar guest says:

    An outstanding comment, Russ. Thank you.
    Surely Koerth-Baker values a free and robust press, but she is obviously too intellectually limited to understand why she values it. The simple fact is that our centuries-old commitment to Freedom of the Press RESTS ON THE ASSUMPTION that Governments lie and that their narratives need to be unmasked as lies. The “Watchdog Press” doesn’t even need to exist if official versions can be trusted. It is precisely because Governments can’t be trusted to tell the truth to their citizens that the freedom and vigilance of the press has historically been so important.
    And when the press (and others) challenge an official version for lack of evidence or consistency, they are not being “conspiracists;” they are being “alternativists.” They are in effect saying: The known reliable evidence does not support the official government version, but it does seem to suggest an alternative version.
    I am a proud “alternativist” because I believe the history of our country during the last 50 years (i.e. the EVIDENCE) requires me to be highly skeptical of official narratives.

  61. Avatar mijj says:

    So, according to NYT: Scientists would say Galileo was crazy.

  62. Avatar mijj says:

    ie. if you value evidence over faith in authority: in the eyes of authoritarian types, you’re nuts.

  63. Avatar Eric says:

    Awesome deconstruction, Russ. I actually posted a comment on that article a week ago, and included a link to whowhatwhy. Just before I posted, I separated my comment into two parts because I suspected they might throw mine out due to the link. Sure enough, one of my posts was published and the other discarded. The establishment sucks.

  64. Avatar Gary Welsh says:

    Nobody explains it better than you, Russ. As someone who spent a half dozen years working for the Illinois legislature and sitting in on dozens of high-level meetings with legislative leaders, I witnessed conspiracies in the making all the time behind closed doors by the same leaders who would publicly ridicule those who saw something more than what was being presented publicly as nut cases. If the people only knew what was really happening was quietly murmured behind closed doors more times than I can count by those wielding the power. People in power instinctively seek to marginalize those who can’t be fooled because they are the people they fear most. Most reporters today seek the adoration of the people in charge or prejudicially viewed as the ones holding the higher ground in a public policy debate. On cue, reporters will attack those against whom aspersions are being cast to win favor in a results-oriented fashion from the persons from whom they seek affirmation, casting aside the basic rule of journalism along the way–check it out.

    • Avatar olballcoach says:

      Bingo! I wouldnt be surprised if many of us attuned to alternative inquiry, didnt cut our teeth in those backrooms and late nights.

  65. Avatar JED says:

    Thanks again for calling out the Times with what can only be described as anti-intellectualism….pathetic drivel. Same sort of stuff mr skeptic, Michael Shermer sells.

    Besides sources like WWW, a growing grass roots analysis is evolving. Folks like Sibel Edmunds, David Ray Griffin, Robert Parry, Marcy Wheeler, to name a few, are blazing a trail in the darkness of the public information sphere.

    A new way to describe these events was nicely captured in the new term known as SCADs….State Crimes Against Democracy.

    Lance Dehaven-Smith has a new book refuting the latest NY Times view called “Conspiracy Theory in America”.

    • Avatar Eric says:

      Don’t forget James Corbett, Ben Swann, and Abby Martin!

    • Avatar JED says:

      yes and of course……Prof. Jones, Kevin Ryan, Richard Gage, Graeme MacQueen, James Douglass, Jim DiEugenio and Len Osanic to name a few more….

  66. Avatar itsjustaride says:

    It’s unfortunate to hear even well-educated people spout off talking points about conspiracies. For example, if there was a conspiracy to kill JFK, then someone would have talked (of course people have talked, but this gets overlooked). I’ve pointed out to some of my liberal, progressive friends that perhaps Nixon wasn’t quite the monster he’s been made out to be, and that he was probably the victim of a silent coup. I get some laughs and strange looks about this bc the myth of Watergate has been so entrenched in our country’s official narrative. And one more thing: I happen to think our government as well as other world governments know much, much more about UFOs than they admit. I’m not delusional for thinking this, and am joined in my belief by astronauts, pilots, and many military personnel. The usual response by debunkers is about the impossibility of any beings getting here from wherever because of the speed of light. I suggest any inquiring minds watch some of the 30+ hours of compelling testimony at the Citizens’ Hearing on Disclosure which took place at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Back at the end of April.

    • Avatar dennisbohner says:

      If you witness a UFO and say, “I do not have to justify what I saw.”, responses will rain upon you. ‘You must justify it!’ ‘You can not believe that is true!’
      I can only encourage them to take a dump in their hats. I am not insane and the scene was not explainable. It was lengthy enough that it wasn’t a trick of light.
      I had a fairly heavyweight amateur astronomer press an explanation upon me that did not fit, in any effing way, my sighting.
      So, who’s goofy?
      The witness or the critic?
      I happen to believe the critics are attempting to justify their stances because the world is scary to them. They insist on believing, without a shred of evidence, that Building 7 just fell down and that the Pentagon was struck by a large passenger plane.
      These skeptics are beyond myopic. The governments of this world will conduct false flags as it suits them. They will kill you, harass you and marginalize you. They wish to dictate the terms of your existence and act to pursue that objective.
      How do I KNOW(!!!!)? I saw a UFO and the governments lie about these objects. Why would they tell the truth about anything else? They will lie at their convenience and to suit there purposes. I KNOW this.

  67. Avatar sfulmer says:

    Good thoughts, Russ. Thank you, again. Your writing skills have eased at least one person’s urge to ring the neck of the next person who uses the term “tin foil hat”.