Over the past twenty five years I have studied, researched and written about three murders, the practices of “political” assassination, the investigative practices of the FBI and various police departments and national security practices relating to deniability – both in regard to operations security for cover/clandestine actions and the protection of sources and methods (and careers via CYA) after the fact.
Generally I’ve found career and political CYA to be as significant a historical factor as true security. One of the things I’ve learned in those 25 years is that the blanket term “conspiracy” is very overused, actually explains little and because of that true conspiracies don’t receive the attention they deserve. My friend Peter Dale Scott, a poet by heart and nature, understands intuitively understands the value of words while I wrestle with them in the more clinical context of historical and cultural analysis/synthesis. In an effort to address the problem, Peter coined the term “deep politics”, an immensely important term which describes the interrelationship between commercial/private interests and government decision making – especially at the highest political levels.
Deep politics is the way the world works and has always worked, it would be naive to think that personal and corporate financial interests do not consistently attempt to drive government policies based on their self-interests – and commercial concerns. Stu Wexler and I visited areas of deep politics and their influence on various presidencies in Shadow Warfare. In doing so I began to get a much clearer picture of the fact that deep politics are “complemented” by what I would call “deep crime” and “deep money”. Just as respectable businesses and moneyed individuals try to drive national policy to their own agendas (and yes that includes various “complexes” from the much discussed military/industrial complex to newer associations such as “big pharma” or “big healthcare”) there are groups engaged in illegal activities and individuals engaged in questionable global business transactions who actively suborn individuals and “game” legitimate activities. While “deniability” is key to their activities, it’s really all about making or investing money, rather than manipulating long term national policy or strategic military/trade positions.
Personally I’ve found using the term “conspiracy” to be increasingly unproductive – to some extent because a great number of folks have begun to use it as if it were synonymous with “government conspiracy”. While I have a healthy respect for the ability of both administrations and agencies to engage in deniability and media management, I think calling that sort of activity “conspiracy” not only obscures its actual practices and methods but can cover up actual conspiracies. Unfortunately I don’t have a good phrase to describe it – or not one nearly as good as Peter’s “deep politics” – so I generally fall back on simply calling it “damage control” when I think it’s truly security related or “CYA” when I think it’s primarily career or political.
Which is why I write about the Kennedy assassination conspiracy separately from the national security level damage control and agency CYA that prevented a true investigation of the crime. Stu and I made the same distinction when evaluating the MLK and RFK murders; both which involved true conspiracies and were followed by activities at the national and local law enforcement levels which prevented exposure of the actual conspiracy.
All of which leads me to the point that there are very real and very dangerous conspiracies that need attention. And for what it’s worth that does not include radical Islamist attacks, which would be better termed and addressed as warfare rather than individual acts of terror. What I’m talking about is very real domestic conspiracy, which Stu and I tried to address in The Awful Grace of God and which Stu has gone on to pursue and write about in his new book on the subject. If you want a look at what real conspiracy looks like I encourage you to read the following:
….and if you really want to dig into it, get a copy of Stu’s new book: