Conspiracy theories seem to be in fashion concerning the 2016 campaign and election. I remember the good ol’ days when conspiracy theorists focused on the JFK assassination and UFOs. Now we have right-wing nutjobs like Alex Jones and others of his ilk espousing ridiculous claims that are only fit for tabloids like The Weekly World News. Amazingly, he has his followers.
But some conspiracies are real. Take the Watergate conspiracy and NSA surveillance. And right now Trump’s rise to the office of president (or the decline of the office to Trump) is proving to be a target-rich environment for the conspiracy theorist. The thing is, in Trump’s case these wild allegations are becoming more and more plausible. Trump’s circle is lousy with shady characters and goings-on. Here are some highlights from last week:
Michael Flynn was a foreign agent all along
Looks like Trump’s former national security advisor and two-time loser Michael Flynn was paid over half-a-million dollars working for the government of Turkey while at the same time working to get Donald Trump elected. There are also indications that Trump’s transition team may have had at least some knowledge of this.
Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort may have been involved in protester deaths in Ukraine
A Ukraine lawyer is calling for an investigation of hacked text messages between two of Manafort’s daughters in which they discuss their father’s involvement in the death’s of Ukrainian protestors and anger at his “blood money.” Paul Manafort is also currently under investigation by the FBI for his connections with Russia and Ukraine.
Julian Assange’s pro-Trump angle
Let’s see…Trump accuses Obama of spying on him. A couple of days later Wikileaks spills a bunch of secret CIA documents showing the myriad ways the CIA can do that. Coincidence? While this article at Business Insider doesn’t seriously propose that the two events are connected, it makes a point. Julian Assange’s role in the DNC hacks last year is suspicious at best. His claim that his source was “not the Russian government” and “not a state party” doesn’t tell us much and seems evasive. After all, you wouldn’t expect the Russian government to hand the info over itself; of course, they’d use go-betweens. As for Assange himself, I think it a mistake to think of him as an altruistic seeker of truth at this point. He is no Snowden. He is no Manning. The point is, we don’t know what he is, or what his motives are. Until we do, or until we know more about the nature of the CIA leaks, the possibility that there could be a tie between Russia and Wikileaks remains plausible.
Even if there is no Russia connection, there does seem to be a pro-Trump bias in this. If Russia is not the real culprit, as those who distrust public statements by US intelligence agencies say, then perhaps pro-Trump elements within the US are at play. Whatever the case, the timing of the Wikileak CIA leak is suspicious.
The extreme right keeps talking about the “Deep State,” as if Trump and his circle aren’t up to their necks in it. There are more and more dots appearing. Now’s the time to start connecting them.