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This is an amazing discussion. Thanks MakkaMakka and Arthur for being very articulate. I just would like to make one comment before the horse can be given to the europeans to put in their frozen lasagna.
What I found so hard to believe, was not the confirmation of my own biases in the direction of government conspiracies, but the apparent reality that this news was not sufficiently reported on for me to have heard about it before this MOC episode. There is something wrong with this picture.
It is clearly impossible to prove the guilt of specific types of criminals. Criminals who convince people to commit crimes, even crimes against them-selves are impossible to convict. Derren Brown has non-scientificaly shown how people can be manipulated into doing things they would not “normally” do, even criminal things https://vimeo.com/1677179. Who is the real criminal in this crime?
Lee is not a lawyer (as far as I can tell) his job is to draw attention to the absurdity we are living as a society in right now. He has poetic license to exaggerate, blow things out of proportion, he has an obligation to do this. He is not selling his opinion as “the truth” and ironically his rants are more honest and true than what the most of the people who’s job it is to seek the truth are.
Why are entertainers (comedians and magicians) providing this service? Maybe its just me.
This is a very intesting discussion here. I, personally, have no problem believing in conspiracies, as in my humble opinion, our society and civilization was built on them.
However for all you skeptics, I would suggest watching the documentary “The Art of the Steal”, which gives you an interesting, play by play, description of how politicians, government officials and the rich and powerful managed to break Mr. Borne’s trust (which specifically tried to save his collection of art, which is worth billions, from the institutions he hated) and tranfer it to the City of Phildelphia to the museum he hated the most.
This being a less emotional topic, might make it easier to understand how the system manipulates situations to get any outcome they deisre.
I guess I should go into specifics of why I find the DOJ article suspect given the evidence I provided.
The DOJ conclusions are based on the idea that the FBI and other agencies were actually operating in a legitimate matter and doing their official jobs. However as “Lies the FBI told me” explains, the FBI operated essentially like a mafia at the time. And it is implicated in the murder of community organizers of the time, namely Fred Hampton as referenced in the podcast and more specifically this documentary that Corbett references:
Eyes on the Prize – 12 – A Nation of Law?, 1967-1968
Then add to that the known systemic corruption of the FBI Crime Lab as experienced by Dr. Whitehurst during his time there where he learned that it had been status quo for longer than he was there to falsify and doctor or misrepresent evidence to implicate otherwise completely innocent people in crimes they did not commit or were used as patsies for. You start to see why I do not trust the DOJ’s conclusions.
At any point in that article that I read about evidence coming directly from federal investigations I didn’t have much choice but to consider that evidence suspect as it fit with the known methods of the time. Then on top of that because we know that the DOJ had to have known that the FBI was feeding it bullshit by 1999 when the case was held (Again as per DR. Whitehurst) yet still accepted the evidence with out question I also have to doubt the conclusions the DOJ as a whole come to.
Although its true that there are inconsistencies in the personal stories of Ray and Jowers and even that ex-FBI agent I’m sorry but I can’t just take those at face value. A very plausible alternative explanation is that the FBI and/or other agencies used Jowers and Ray as patsies just like the people in the “How to foil your own terror plot” video because once again it fits with known operating procedure. Because we also know that /sometimes/ they don’t arm the patsies with fake weapons and “pretend” to bust them, they just go all the way and let the crime happen for real. As per another Corbett link:
WTC 1993 was an FBI job
So even though in this one instance there is not a wealth of hard physical credible evidence implicating the government it is still quite legitimately plausible because we can see how they have operated n other similar cases around the same time and match that even to current cases where the standard operating procedure does not appear to have changed very much.
Is it 100% proof and does it actually mean its true, no, but in this case I’d say that’s a minor technicality.
But by all means decide for yourself, but right now for this case plopping down a DOJ investigation is simply not going to be absolute proof of one claim or another by any stretch of the imagination.
You told Lee to be skeptical as we need informed activists and said that its easy to buy any evidence of a conspiracy theory when you’ve already decided its true. But that also works in reverse, Cultural Infrastructure, its easy to dismiss any evidence when you’ve already decided its not true.
I decided that I do not have enough evidence one way or the other, however the likelyhood that the government was involved is simply much higher than the idea of it being just some crazy racist. And that’s all I can legitimately say.
And now Lee has a bunch of links he can go through for a future MOC…. maybe xD
And NOW the horse is dead…. I hope… I think I saw it twitch a little.
Sorry Arthur I did not clarify my position properly. I was speaking about the general methodology of how a conspiracy functions. Not the specific MLK conspiracy. I was using that one as a staging point though. This will also be long so… enjoy.
The irony is that you and good ole Hitch are right, if it lacks evidence it can be easily dismissed. Hence why its an effective plausible deniability tactic. Other parts of the tactics are things like tampering with evidence or misrepresentation of evidence. These things are both easier and harder to overcome depending on the nature of the incident. And in those more difficult cases its often stopped via the aforementioned cultural and organizational infrastructure.
Cultural Infrastructure being things like what Lee mentioned in MOC 200 where people just consider the idea that anything called a conspiracy theory is guaranteed to be ridiculous and thus are extra skeptical about them even if their skepticism and personal threshold of “acceptable” evidence begins to border on Descartian level impracticality. Because as we should know by now evidence is actually subjective and considered valid based on choice and nothing else. Or on the flip side considering it normal that the government would do such things. Either way the function of this is to make people not want to pursue an investigation out of a belief system such as American Nationalism or to disbelieve and therefore not act upon otherwise credible evidence.
Organizational infrastructure are things like accreditation. Or rather the manipulation and exploitation therof. As in making it so “Expert” opinions matter more than any other opinion. Even if math, evidence, and even the laws of physics directly contradict their claim. This is the idea that the word of a cop has more weight in court than the word of another eye witness. Or that the word of a demolitions “expert” has more weight than math and physics. Then you get things like cops able to get away with police brutality and abuse and M.D holders like that Texas Senator I think he was who claimed that “The flu doesn’t kill people.” And isn’t that douche getting indicted into the Texas Science hall of fame or something like that? The function of this is to make otherwise credible evidence uncredible by bringing in an expert that has agreed to basically say what he’s told even if he himself knows its wrong. In other words to give the “in group” priority over the “out group.”
And then there’s physical infrastructure. These are things like physical textbooks, airport body scanners, internal combustion engines and the like. Anything that is physical and has a specific physical function. Increasingly you find that these physical things will only work under certain, sometimes invasive, conditions with few if any override’s. The body scanners at an airport are a prime example as are other biometrics collecting devices. Or an internal combustion engine that /only/ runs on finite gasoline and has no alternative for things like solar, etc. Or a textbook that fails to mention certain details about the relationship with the aboriginals. The function of this is to make the ability to gather evidence controllable by the in group. These are things like the FBI’s S-Drive, seizure of video camera footage, biometrics scanners, etc.
Naturally all three of these facets work in concert with each other.
I read through the article you presented. I agree that it is a lot of useful and substantiated data, I disagree with the credibility of some of their conclusions. and I have a link below that in explains why.
Interview 502 – Dr. Frederic Whitehurst on the FBI Crime Lab
Add to that known modus operendai of government agencies such as the FBI at the time (and to this day) shows a clear pattern and history of going after community level people simply because they didn’t like that they were affecting real change at the community level. That last one I have another Corbet link later on below.
That alone makes it far more logically likely that they were involved despite the lack of hard physical proof because it flows with their pattern of the time. Makes it more likely, but doesn’t prove it. And that technicality is all important.
To say that because this one case, the only case that was ever held on this murder did not “Technically” prove the government guilty is kinda laughable in itself. In the same way that the guy who “accidentally” left the antifreeze on the floor can only /technically/ be found “Culpible” for the death of the dog instead of directly responsible for its murder. And using the reasoning that “Well, its not like he poured the antifreeze in a clearly marked dog bowl and called the dog over to it and waited while he drank every drop is it? Not Guilty! *Slam*” is a cop out.
The ability to get out on “Technicalities” is what allows the plausible deniability strategy to function at all. This was demonstrated with the “How to foil your own terror plot” video. The FBI created the terrorists, they are the ones at fault. But because they themselves did not do the deed they can claim plausible deniability based on that technicality and get off scot free as heros to the witless masses.
Jame Corbett is among the best I’ve seen at investigative journalism like this so here’s one of his compilations that deals with our subject. He explains how the FBI started under J. Edgar Hoover, how it progressed, and what its like today. Short version is that they have done hits on people trying to enact real change at the community level around the time of MLK presumably because they ran out of any real enemies to thwart by that point. He includes all necessary citations and sources:
“Lies the FBI Told Me”
It ensures that no matter how much someone might want to prove it right, and no matter how much soft evidence, statistics, or logical reasons and motives they have such as a persons individual character, habits, things they might’ve said, possible related events, etc it will /never/ ever be legitimately proven. Because someone like you will come along and point out exactly what you’ve pointed out. This is EXACTLY what I mean when I say the basis of the tactic is to use the very flaws of current empirical methodology to cover your tracks.
In closing, nitpicking MOC as a whole because of such a minor technicality does not help anyone. Even if he is /technically/ wrong in what he said I bet the mere fact that he said it and got the idea out there will have more of a positive impact than an argument overtechnicalities in a PDF document.
I was going to include an example of a real court case where they did actually construct and win a murder case via soft evidence but unfortunately I do not remember the specific name of the case or those involved so its kinda pointless.
And now the horse is dead.
I’m sorry but how can you have Balki No. 4 on the list of great Americans?!?!? He’s clearly No. 1 and there’s no excuse for you to put him any lower, unless you’ve just forgotten the implications of what he did on that show.
This is going to be lengthy. so please bare with me.
@leecamp: “You’re using my failure to use the word “culpable” instead of “guilty” (or whatever word is technically accurate) as a reason to claim the entire MOC was wrong. ”
This is more than just a semantic disagreement. Your title states and your MOC further supported that James Earl Ray was found not guilty and that the government had been found guilty of murder. There is a world of difference between ‘government agencies found culpable in the death of…’ and ‘The US government found guilty of the murder of…’ and trying to say that they are the same thing just worded differently is flat wrong. Words are important and if you are going to make such extraordinary claims then you should be precise.
@leecamp: “And then I love that you believe every word the government says when it’s quite clear that they would not want the truth to come out. I’m not saying the government’s words shouldn’t be considered, but if you’re going to say that Jowers’s words are worthless, then you have to at least realize the words of the government are even more worthless.”
Is it quite clear? It certainly seems clear if you assume the conspiracy proposition true from the start. If you assume the null hypothesis, though, and consider the testimony of Jowers, et al, and compare that with the *unanswered* and *referenced* refutation presented by the DOJ, then it becomes far less clear. I wasn’t assuming anything about either testimony. I heard your claim, evaluated the positions of the plaintiffs and the DOJ and found that the DOJ quite handily dismantled not only Jowers testimony, which the plaintiffs case hinged on, but also the testimonies and affidavits of every other witness. Could this response from the DOJ be a complete fabrication? I suppose it’s possible, but “It’s just what they want you to believe” is hardly compelling evidence of this.
@leecamp: “Stop making the great the enemy of the good. And start being a little more cynical.”
Misinformation is the enemy of reason. Start being a little more skeptical. I’m a fan and I appreciate your work. You can’t afford to be gullible. Between drone strikes, Wall Street, the Patriot Act and fucking Mitch McConnel we have enough reasons to be pissed off at our government agencies and elected representatives that we don’t need to make shit up.
@MakkaMakka: “Although I fully admit that I have no hard evidence to back up the MLK claim that is KINDA the point of a conspiracy isn’t it? Not to be able to prove it?”
Thus making them indistinguishable from myth. If something is falsifiable, why is it more likely to be true? In this case, even the specific testable claims made by witnesses for the plaintiffs are found lacking, so even as a conspiracy this fails.
@MakkaMakka: “Circumstances such as independently proving that an undercover CIA agent who’s officially not in a certain area at a certain time was indeed in that area at that time and is indeed a CIA agent. Explain to me actual credible hard evidence you’d likely be able to find and trust to definitively prove something like that.”
So because something is difficult to prove means that we should relax our standard of evidence? Lack of evidence isn’t necessarily evidence of lack, but as my man Hitch used to say: “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”
We need smart, skeptical activists to call out our representatives on their bullshit and not get distracted by this sort of infowars crap.
And to help make mt point I give you “How to Foil Your Own Terror Plot” by The Corbett Report (not to be confused with Stephen Colbert)
The one good thing we as the public have on our side is that those at the top are incredibly intellectually average and thus more prone to make amateur mistakes along the way. This is likely because nowadays all the physical, organizational, and cultural infrastructure has been in place long enough they no longer need to outsmart the public on anything more than a kindergarten level and thus those skills and practices have begun to deteriorate. That is at least my theory.
Ok Arthur I gotta ask this…… how BAD do you really think the government is at conspiracies? I’m reading through your links on the refutal and it just makes me laugh because I’m well aware of the mechanics behind plausible deniablility tactics.
Although I fully admit that I have no hard evidence to back up the MLK claim that is KINDA the point of a conspiracy isn’t it? Not to be able to prove it? Let me explain a bit of logic to you.
The current system of empirical thinking relies completely on hard evidence at the expense of soft evidence and certainty at the expense of logical justification. There’s nothing actually wrong with this method of thinking and it is quite effective at discerning truth from fiction. However the gross imbalance does cause it to rather conveniently fail under certain circumstances. Like how a landmine is completely harmless unless you happen to push that little button on the top of it. As long as you don’t do that you can use them as wall decorations or party platters or even frisbees if that’s what you’re into.
Circumstances such as independently proving that an undercover CIA agent who’s officially not in a certain area at a certain time was indeed in that area at that time and is indeed a CIA agent. Explain to me actual credible hard evidence you’d likely be able to find and trust to definitively prove something like that. A badge? Papers? Well they wouldn’t very undercover if they had things like that on them would they?. Your best evidence is probably going to be in the form of hunches, guesses, hearsay and odd feelings. In other words things that don’t stand up very well in court. How convenient. This is kinda like the philosophical question of “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it…. does it make a sound?”
Reason to believe there’s no agent? More like reason to believe that agents going to get a good performance review. It’s very simple really, you rely on the inherent flaws of the current scientific method itself to cover your tracks.
Hell this works even better when you don’t even do the deed yourself but rather manipulate conditions to make the outcome more likely. Like “accidentally” spilling some anti freeze on the floor while you go inside to wash your hands after working on your car in the hope that the dog you hate comes by, licks it up and dies before you get back.
You’re using my failure to use the word “culpable” instead of “guilty” (or whatever word is technically accurate) as a reason to claim the entire MOC was wrong. And then I love that you believe every word the government says when it’s quite clear that they would not want the truth to come out. I’m not saying the government’s words shouldn’t be considered, but if you’re going to say that Jowers’s words are worthless, then you have to at least realize the words of the government are even more worthless. Stop making the great the enemy of the good. And start being a little more cynical.
Wow, I misspelled my own name…
Something is indeed wrong with this picture and it turns out that it’s the presentation. James Earl Ray was not acquitted of anything and this was not a murder trial. This was a wrongful death suit. The transcripts of the trial can be found at http://www.thekingcenter.org/tkc/trial/Volume1.html. The US DOJ investigated the various testimonies offered, particularly the key statements of Jowers regarding conspiracy and found them to be completely without merit. This isn’t just handwaving, the full text of the investigator report is available at http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/crm/mlk/part1.php. This is a line-by-line examination and refutation of the case presented at the civil suit and it hasn’t been answered by Jowers or anyone else. To say that the US Government was found guilty of murdering MLK as is presented in this MOC is grossly misleading at best. Passion can’t be the enemy of reason and claims this extraordinary should be investigated before being presented as fact.
I just can’t fathom why I’m hearing this for the first time from a freaking comedian!
Something is very wrong with this picture. (Nothing agains you Lee)
It seems this was the norm for that period of time. I found this quote from Sean Lennon:
Sean Lennon: “He was a countercultural revolutionary, and the government takes that shit really seriously historically. … He was dangerous to the government … These pacifist revolutionaries are historically killed by the government, and anybody who thinks that Mark Chapman was just some crazy guy who killed my dad for his personal interests is insane, I think, or very naïve, or hasn’t thought about it clearly. It was in the best interests of the United States to have my dad killed, definitely. And, you know, that worked against them, to be honest, because once he died his powers grew. So, I mean, f*** them. They didn’t get what they wanted.”
Now they use slander and character assination more than murder. Still, you should be careful.
It’s underneath the video if you go to YOUTUBE. Not here. Just go to http://www.YouTube.com/LeeCamp2. It’s also quite easy to find articles if you just google “MLK civil trial 1999.”
Hey, at the end of the MLK Jr video you said there would be links for further information on the topic listed …. forgive me, but i don’t see them 🙁 i am presenting on this role of government power during the 20th century tomorrow evening and this would be amazing to add in. . i just need to cite my sources (and have some that are considered more credible than a web blog).
That’s the political paradox Lee. If you come up with some smart ideas like…not bombing the crap out of other people’s countries for profit, creating and regulating sound currency and banking, curtailing the damaging greed of corporations through charters, sharing ideas and creating sound mutual relations through business, and creative innovation, punishing corruption wherever it may be; they say…’You know what, you’re doing such a swell job buddy and people think you’re the best thing since thanksgiving turkey. We’re going to hold this massive parade in your honour and we will stick you in this big convertible car and drive it real slow so everyone can see and wave at you. Now wouldn’t that be nice?’ The rest is just another media manipulation of history.
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