By Michael Hoffman
Richard Hofstadter's shopworn tome, The Paranoid Style in American Politics (1964) is dusted off whenever the Establishment wants to discredit a consiracy theory that comes too close for comfort concerning its own crimes and treachery.
George W. Bush's Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, recently used Mr. Hofstadter’s book to discredit Edward Snowden. One might gather from Mukasey’s disinformation and that of another penman in this field, Cass Sunstein, author of Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas (2014), that, to be consistent, these Establishment factotums would pour just as much derision on conspiracy theories when they are circulated about enemies of the Establishment.
(Mr. Sunstein's book seeks to discover why "perfectly rational people sometimes believe crazy conspiracy theories." The insinuation being that if you believe in conspiracies you're crazy).
Actually, it's this premise itself which is “crazy." Establishment-approved history is replete with thousands of claims of conspiracies, from the genuine one that killed Julius Caesar, to the dogmatic one that a bunch of Arabs from the caves of the Third World were solely responsible for destroying part of the Pentagon and three skyscrapers, while killing thousands of Americans on Sept. 11, 2001.
What Sunstein, Hofstadter, Mukasey and now Andrew Kramer of the New York Times are trying to assert are the prerogatives of royalty. These Establishment-anointed spokesmen are telling us, the peasants, not to believe conspiracy theories about the U.S. System, but that we should definitely believe conspiracy theories about the Russian government. Take the example at hand. Here below is Mr. Kramer, foreign correspondent for the NY Times, writing in the June 13 online edition:
Ukraine Claims Control of Port City
By Andrew E. Kramer
June 13, 2014
"...Over the long term, Ukraine, with its far larger though badly equipped and poorly trained army, has more forces, and it is unclear how long the separatists can hold out without more support from Russia. That is something Moscow cannot offer openly without risking more severe Western sanctions. The result is misdirection and sleight of hand, and a conflict of endless puzzles and mind games.” (End quote)
Here is a copy of an e-mail which we sent to Kramer June 13:
Dear Mr. Kramer,
You wrote concerning alleged Russian government acts in Ukraine: “...The result is misdirection and sleight of hand, and a conflict of endless puzzles and mind games.”
This statement of yours would be denounced as conspiracy theory if written about the United States government's operations in Iran, Syria or Kiev. It’s interesting to observe how alert you are to alleged machinations by Moscow. I haven’t read anything similar from you about CIA actions in Ukraine. Perhaps “our side” is always above board and devoid of “mind games”?
As of June 16 Mr. Kramer had not replied.
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