From the beginning of writing TSSBP, I consistently railed against two things: idiotic people who believe in unbelievable conspiracy theories and submarines flying "clean sweep" brooms
when returning from 2 day underways for Alpha Trials. Somehow, I missed a post
from the "Israel did it" 9/11 Truther
website with the stunningly deceptive name of "Veterans Today" published a couple years ago that combined both elements: they claim that the "Jimmie" Carter caused the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami by firing "air guns" into the sea floor near the fault line, then bragging about it by returning from their "Alpha Trials" after a couple of months flying the broom. (They actually flew the broom on conclusion of Alpha Trials on 19 November 2004
, but actual facts never stand in the way of conspiracy theorists.)
I've always been amused by those whose worldview would lead them to believe that the government could successfully plan, and keep quiet, conspiracies to deprive American citizens of freedoms just because they secretly work for either Nazi fascist oil companies or Nazi fascist Muslims (depending on which party is in charge). This leads people who apparently have enough on the ball to hold their psychoses in check long enough to get elected to public office to believe, for example, that the government staged the Boston Marathon bombings
and used actors to portray the "alleged" wounded, or that President Bush let 9/11 happen apparently as part of a plot
to build a gas pipeline across Afghanistan.
I'll admit I get concerned rather than amused when I see Submariners on Facebook -- men who've earned dolphins and therefore have shown that they are able to function in a fact-based world -- expressing agreement with conspiracy theories that clearly have no basis in reality. (The current favorite
is that the President had a secret plan to get our Libyan ambassador kidnapped before the election so he could trade him for the "Blind Sheikh" -- as if somehow this would help the President get re-elected.)
Here's the deal... yes, it's clear the government lies to us sometimes. A good example was when we announced
that the reason we had buried OBL at sea right after he was killed was to follow "Muslim practice and tradition", when it is clear to even the most casual observer that we did it to make sure we didn't have custody of the body when court buildings opened on Monday morning on the East Coast, and some lawyer would find some bin Laden family member they could represent and sue for custody of the body -- a suit they would probably win. This is the kind of lie the government can keep secret -- the ones where everyone figures they're doing it anyway, and no one would be surprised if it were to come to light. That's the reason we can keep submarine operations secret -- sure, there would be some hand-wringing by the usual suspects, who would say "I can't believe we're spying on Country Orange", but the vast majority of everyone would say "Good, we should be doing that", or "It would have been a bigger surprise if we weren't" and give a big collective yawn. That's why we don't see submarine ops on the front page of the New York Times; not because there aren't Submariners who would be willing to tell their story, but because the NYT doesn't want to deal with the national security lawbreaking implications of publishing a story that wouldn't really change anything. A story about how the government intentionally killed their own citizens and blamed it on terrorists would make a big enough splash.
Some things, like "rich people get together and talk about how they can make the world economy better for rich people like them" would invite a mass shoulder shrug, so it's not unreasonable to believe that happens; it is unreasonable to believe that they emerge from the meeting and carry out a plan to use chemicals deposited in the upper atmosphere
from airplanes to make people more docile. Other things, like killing President Kennedy or hiding alien spacecraft or packing WTC-7 with thermite
or having the Navy shoot down TWA Flight 800
, are things people would care about, and therefore things that couldn't be kept secret. If you wanted to do something like those things, you'd need smart people to help you do them, and these smart people would also be smart enough to 1) retain proof of what had been done, and 2) know the right people/press to go to such that they wouldn't be killed if they were going to spill the beans. At least one person involved would recognize those points, and also that they'd become a rich celebrity in the process. Conspiracy theorists can't believe this, but it's true. That's just the way the real world works.
1625 06 May: Speaking of Alpha Trials and brooms, here's a pic
of PCU Minnesota (SSN 783) completing her initial sea trials today. I note there is no broom visible. BZ, Minnesota