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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Birth of a Conspiracy Theory

Monday, a pipe bomb was discovered in a backpack left along the route of a Martin Luther King Day unity march in Spokane, Washington. The bomb was described by the FBI as a case of "domestic terrorism."


In an interview on MSNBC cable's The Rachel Maddow Show, Spokesman-Review reporter Thomas Clouse said confidential sources told him that the device was equipped with a remote control detonator and contained shrapnel.

A bomb disposal unit was called in and neutralized the device with a robot. The FBI said in a statement on Tuesday that "the backpack contained a potentially deadly destructive device, likely capable of inflicting multiple casualties."

"You could describe it as an improvised destructive device... or improvised explosive device," Frank Harrill of the Spokane FBI office said. "...the timing and placement of the backpack [along the march route] is inescapable."

But "inescapable" conclusions lead different people to different places. Where the average, non-crazy person would conclude that the bomb was meant to send a message about Dr. King, the marchers, or the type of people who might be those marchers (i.e., liberals and minorities), others come to conclusions far more devious and sinister get stupid.

To view all this stupid, we need only head over to Jim Hoft's Gateway Pundit blog. You may remember Hoft as a clown too dumb to find his butt with both hands, a flashlight, and a map. So you can imagine what his fan-base is like. Of course, we don't have to imagine, do we? We can just meander over and have a little look-see.

Hoft mentions the bomb scare and, perhaps having been burned by his own idiocy so recently, comes up with very little to say about it other than, "Has the media started blaming the tea party yet?" As always, a wingnut plays the victim card right off the bat. I guess they learned the value of the preemptive attack from Bush.

Then he leaves it up to the nutjobs, who get right to work piecing together a conspiracy theory that blames liberals for the attempted bombing.

MrGoodWench commented:

Now who would benefit from this "bomb" and the media publicity following it?
So who would do such a thing?


Taqiyy. commented:

#6 nails it. Who benefits? Alinsky and Obama and the State-run Media. That's who.

Speaking of nails.

And do you know how close Spokane is to Alaska? You know what I'm gettin' at.

To bed with me. Goonight. I blame Miller, a Union-run beer co., for my semi-incoherency.

Still, my spelling is better than our average troll. How the f sad is THAT?!


Tank commented:

Spokane + MLK Day March = False flag.


olm commented:

Nope, not the Tea Party but white supremists/Aryan nation types. Just heard it on the top of the hour newsbreak.
You would think there would be some learning curve here but apparently not.
They are ramping up a Clinton/OKC part 2 darn it. Or something.

Aha! Liberals planted the bomb!

The thought processes here -- if you could call it that -- astound and amaze me. You'd think the mental gymnastics it takes to believe what you want to believe would be more trouble than they're worth. After all, no one else buys this crap, so why even bother to stitch it all together? Still, they seem to have a talent for it. Hoft posted his piece at 10:51 PM and the snakepit had a conspiracy theory all cooked up and ready to serve by 11:11 PM.

This obviously all crackpottery, but let's look at the facts anyway.


In the 1980s and 1990s, individuals with ties to extremist and hate groups were convicted of planting and detonating homemade pipe bombs at various locations in Spokane and nearby Coeur d’Alene and Hayden Lake, Idaho, which served as headquarters of the Aryan Nations.

The FBI released photographs of two T-shirts found in the backpack after it was disarmed Monday.

One of those T-shirts was from a cancer fund-raising event in 2010 in Stevens County, in northeastern Washington. Individuals linked to the earlier bombings in Eastern Washington and North Idaho had ties to militia and Christian Identity groups in Stevens County.

Even in Hatewatch's comment thread, we already see the conspiracy theory spreading. "Sounds more like a left winger setting up a blame-the-right incident," comments user "Mary."

These are the people we're supposed to have a rational, respectful debate with. Frankly, I don't see how that's possible.


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