CONSPIRACY THEORIES / LAS VEGAS SHOOTER
Sorry Brady, I think I misread your initial questions. Let me reiterate my point in more detail, then hopefully provide a bit more clarity on what I think about the whole Las Vegas conspiracy theory situation.
Let’s define “Conspiracy Theory” - Wikipedia has it listed as “an explanation of an event or situation that invokes an unwarranted conspiracy, generally one involving an illegal or harmful act carried out by government or other powerful actors.” I will base my answers off of that definition.
CONSPIRACY THEORIES OVERVIEW
For starters, there is a lot to be gained by conspiracy theories in general. Some groups use them to push an agenda. The Nazis used the Reichstag fire to push a political agenda, and strengthen their hold on Germany against the Communists. The Nazis publicly blamed Dutch communist Marinus van der Lubbe, who was tried, and eventually beheaded. Hitler then used this event as a ‘pretext to suspend civil liberties and establish a dictatorship’*. German historians have since concluded that the Nazis probably started the fire, and have pardoned van der Lubbe of wrongdoing.
Others perpetuate conspiracies for political gain. Trump’s continued use of the ‘Birther Movement’ help solidify him with a conservative base, even though (time and time again) the faked birth certificate idea has been proven false.
After the “foiled” events of the underwear bomber (2009), all sorts of theories where being thrown around. Some directed at the government, and other directed at terrorism as a whole. The government drove the narrative, and turned this national fervor into a theory about Islamic fundamentalists. This called for improved “safety measures”, which lead to an increase in security all around the country, slowly conditioning us to become more comfortable with a new state of surveillance.
The government gained a more conditioned public, while the Vice President gained cold hard cash. In the aftermath of the bombing, Dick Cheney’s former company, Halliburton was coincidentally awarded the government contract to make these airport screening machines (and profited in the $100s of millions), with Cheney rumored to receive a $34 million payout for his part in the deal. Also note that information shows the underwear bomber may have actually been working with the CIA in other capacities (though that’s kind of a conspiracy theory in itself, but kind of not).
Note: To learn more about the extent that the US government has gone to dredge for information, check out Das Spiegel’s continued coverage of the situation. One link below.
Again, Alex Jones (human trash fire, and dude-who-is-not-as-fit-as-he-thinks-he-is) prospers immensely from these kind of events. It has been shown that his viewership spikes after national tragedies. This translates to ad dollars, which translates to actual dollars. With over a million unique visitors to his site a day, he is clearly profiting immesnley from these fake stories. His net worth is estimated to be over $10 million.
For the events in Las Vegas, Jones claimed very early on, that the shooter was heavy Antifa (he was not), and that police found “Antifa crap everywhere”. He said that the event had been “scripted by deep state Democrats and their Islamic allies using mental patient cut-outs.” He then invited a right-wing guest who said “I think that this guy is a hardcore leftist with Antifa connections who became radicalized through ISIS.” She said, “You see a lot of these leftists who are embracing Islam.” (a baseless claim, used completely out of context, but furthered the narrative through association).
While Jones benefits financially by preying on scared viewers, he also benefits socially by associating with politicians. He fraternizes with certain libertarians, has had Dennis Kucinich on his show, and has the backing of none other than… the POTUS! Trump is said to be an avid watcher, said Jones’ “reputation is amazing”, and has since given Jones White House credentials.
If you were wondering if Alex Jones is a good source for news, here are a few of his hits:
- Sandy Hook was a false flag
- The Government controls the weather
- Bill Gates is a eugenicist trying to wipe out minorities
- There is a child-trafficking ring on Mars
- Government creates homosexuals by giving kids juice boxes, which will slow, and eventually reverse the population. (Google the video “Turning the freaking frogs gay”, sit back and enjoy)
- The classic “Bush Did 9/11”
- And, my personal favorite: Hilary Clinton smells like sulfur, and people around her say she is possessed by a demon.
Another thing to note is that, while it’s easy to get carried away by fantastical tales of puppet governments, and illuminate lizard men, some conspiracy theories actually turn out to be true. That’s part of the reason that they are so appealing. Some real life conspiracies include:
- MKUltra - The CIAs illegal use of drugs on humans for mind control experiments.
- Bilderberg - The secret meetings of the worlds elite
- Cointelpro / Operation Mockbird - The US attempted to manipulate news media for propaganda purposes
- False Flag attacks to start military action in Vietnam and Cuba
But for every turn conspiracy theory, there are 10 more that probably aren’t true, such as:
- HAARP - an ionospheric research program NOT used to control the weather or people’s minds
- Fake Moon Landing - Since debunked many times over
- Pizzagate - I’m not even going to dignify this one with a description
- Everything said by one-man human centipede Alex Jones (a human with a whale’s blowhole for a mouth).
As for there being a conspiracy behind this Las Vegas shooting, my answer is… I don’t know, and that’s kind of a problem. I don’t believe that a shadow government activated a sleeper agent, and had him unload on unsuspecting victims, in an attempt to push for greater security measures. I do, however, believe that there has been a “conspiracy” to stop the actual story from coming out, and that story is about the ineptitude of local and federal law enforcement.
Yes, the first responders, the officers on the ground are real heroes. It is very likely that their actions saved the lives of countless other concertgoers. They put themselves in the line of fire, to help total strangers, and some lost their lives doing so. They performed a selfless act, and should be valued as the brave and courageous people that they are.
However, I also think that the coordination between police and hotel was probably lacking, the response times were longer than expected, and the emergency services needed to treat such an event were pushed to the limits. This doesn’t bode well for the frail illusion of a safe America. We think of ourselves as impervious to danger, but we continue to find that we are just as vulnerable as the rest of the world. When living in a democratic first world society, those thoughts can have very dangerous reproductions if gone unchecked.
Since the shooting, there has been very little in terms of definitive answers, there have been severe transparency problems, big questions still remain, and media coverage has pretty much halted (though we can partially blame the news cycle for this). I think that this event was a kind of stress test that showed how unprepared we are for mass shootings, and the “coverup” is not being told the whole truth, because officials don’t think the public can handle it. Also, I think it also shines a light on how we need some form of gun control (gun owner here, so don’t freak out on me).
For me, there are also a number of lingering questions like: How did he get so many guns into a room? How did he accumulate so many guns with his family knowing? Did a lady really tell the crowd they were going to die?
But, to play devils advocate, this is all pure intuition. I have little to back this up, thus making it just another conspiracy theory.
As someone who doesn’t believe that the government has our best interests in mind (especially this administration, but that’s another conversation), I always approach these events with a bit of caution. While initial reports can cause confusion, misinformation can have a lasting effect on the publics perception. This whole post has really just been a long winded attempt at asking you to read your news more carefully. Visit trusted sources, and dig deeper than the headlines.
So, to (finally) answer your question as to what I think about Las Vegas conspiracy theories:
- I don’t believe it was a giant false flag / coverup.
- However, law enforcement does benefit by keeping the specifics under wraps, and not publicly airing their mishandlings.
- Alex Jones benefits through more viewers (and thus more money).
- The government benefits by lobbying for increased security measures. Note that I’m talking about airport scanners, not the much needed gun reform or mental health help.
- The President benefits by pandering to his evangelical base by injecting scripture throughout his response statement. (You really think this guy is a Christian?). However, I will say that even though I think Donald Trump is the worst thing to happen to America since W Bush, his response speech was the most presidential I’ve heard him sound. He is still piece of shit though).
- Nobody benefits from the continued mass shootings in this gun happy country.
- * Quote - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/jan/12/secondworldwar.germany
- Alex Jones Article - http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/10/trump-supporters-are-promoting-insane-conspiracy-theories-about-the-vegas-shooter/
- Alex Jones Claims - https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2017/02/08/104-typical-headlines-alex-jones-infowars/215218
- Alex Jones Viewership Numbers - https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/infowars.com
- Rolling Stone Alex Jones Article - http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/lists/alex-jones-mis-infowars-7-bat-sht-conspiracy-theories-w467509
- True Conspiracy Theories - http://listverse.com/2017/08/18/top-10-conspiracy-theories-that-were-actually-true/
- True Conspiracy Theories - http://www.businessinsider.com/5-conspiracy-theories-that-turned-out-to-be-true-2015-6
- HAARP Video - https://news.vice.com/story/the-truth-behind-this-big-alaskan-conspiracy-theory
- Pizzagate Snopes - https://www.snopes.com/pizzagate-conspiracy/
- Alex Jones "Turning the Freaking Frogs Gay" - https://youtu.be/_ePLkAm8i2s
- FBI Terrorism - http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/opinion/sunday/terrorist-plots-helped-along-by-the-fbi.html
- Cheney / Halliburton - http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/28/us/a-closer-look-at-cheney-and-halliburton.html?_r=0
- Stop Asking “Who Benefits” (The Guardian) - https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/may/31/conspiracy-theorists-who-benefits
- Reichstag Fire - https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/true-story-reichstag-fire-and-nazis-rise-power-180962240/
- Das Spiegel “Inside the NSA's War on Internet Security’ - http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/inside-the-nsa-s-war-on-internet-security-a-1010361.html