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The Conspiracy Theory Nexus of Glenn Beck, Glenn Greenwald and Alex Jones

My Tuesday column begins like so:

If you see any remaining daylight between the rapidly converging spheres of the Glenn Greenwald Left and the Alex Jones Right, you’ll have to point it out to me because not only have those two factions begun to merge, but they’re locked together in what could be a permanent Venn diagram overlap.

Over the weekend, the U.S. government issued a travel alert and the State Department temporarily closed a lengthy roster of U.S. embassies and consulates in response to intercepted communications between Ayman al-Zawahiri and Yemeni al-Qaida on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader Nasir al-Wuhayshi that included “clear orders.” Officials have credited NSA’s usage of Section 702 powers contained with the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which is the section of the law that spawned the controversial PRISM database.

And so the State Department pulled the trigger and, out of “an abundance of caution,” closed upwards of 25 diplomatic facilities. By the end of the day Monday, however, a number of the embassies were reopened while several other closures were extended.

I’ve always been hesitant to pay too much attention to officials who abuse the “terrorist threat” panic button. After a while, it not only sounds disingenuous, but it also serves to desensitize us in classic Chicken Little fashion, thus undermining serious threats. For more than a decade, I’ve been writing about the astronomically long odds of you personally being killed in a terrorist attack (your odds of dying in an airborne terrorist attack is roughly one in 10 million), and I stand by this assessment. It’s not a matter of denying the existence of terrorists, but more of what I consider to be a rational view of the threat, rather than remaining permanently on alert without a legitimate cause for alarm.

Nevertheless, this administration hasn’t bombarded us with the same serialized fear-mongering about terrorism — at least not with the same histrionic Mukasey-cried-on-stage melodrama of the previous gang.

But that’s not what The Guardian‘s Glenn Greenwald wants you to believe.

With predictable form, Greenwald not only attributed the actions of the State Department to a nefarious “Wag the Dog” false flag scenario as a convenient real-world means of tamping down the anti-NSA, anti-surveillance debate that’s gurgled to the surface this Summer, but he also exploited the embassy closures and travel alert as a means of scolding Democrats who, during the Bush years, criticized the suspicious timing of Homeland Security orange alerts and the like, but who currently endorse the embassy closings… [CONTINUED HERE]

  • Judah Frito

    One more time for the back row:

    Ignorance is the playing field of charlatans. The ball and bat are paranoia and contrived community [as in “wow, I belong somewhere… why, who knows, but heck, darn I am special”]

    Conspiracy is a strategy for control of the ball.

  • trgahan

    Wanna talk conspiracy?

    Since the President’s re-election, House Republicans have been trying to use the words Obama and Conspiracy in the same sentence every day. After the Boston Marathon, in a hand tipping headline Drudge declares it the “Year of Conspiracy!” Alex Jones gets his 15 minutes followed by Greenwald/Snowden when all early 2013 “conspiracies” fall flat. Suddenly the professional left are experts of the 4th Amendment and nothing is more important than civil liberties for upper middle class white people who use the internet (sorry, but if you follow their logic (and that of their trolls)). The very demographic of swing voter that the Republicans have ANY chance of peeling away from Democrats ahead of the 2014 and likely 2016 elections… And the whole the mainstream “liberal media” won’t call bullshit on any of it.

    If embassy closings as fear mongering make sense, than this makes even more sense….

  • Mike Huben

    Yet more tired rant about your bete noirs.

    Why don’t you address important ideas, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s:

    What Should, and Should Not, Be in NSA Surveillance Reform Legislation

    But I suppose some people live to oppose enemies, not to do what’s right.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      Passive aggressively whine much, asswipe?

  • Username1016

    If Obama doesn’t manage to head off a terrorist attack on an embassy, the nut-jobs start screaming about Benghazi-gate. If he does manage it, well, the threat wasn’t real.