Monday, September 24, 2012

Goonswarm = CIA

I originally intended to ignore the latest claims by Glenn Beck that Goonswarm is a node in the CIA's communications network but I have to get this out of my system.  Glenn Beck is a professional conspiracy theorist.  Some people think it is an act; I don't believe so.  He naturally comes up and believes in conspiracy theories and has turned that talent into a paying career.  And he is a non-partisan conspiracy theorist.  I believe his advice to buy gold came during the Bush 43 administration.

One thing about conspiracy theories is that they do not have to be 100% accurate in all details in order for the conspiracy theorist to get credit for uncovering a hidden truth.  Which is good for Mr. Beck since as far as I can tell everything he said about Sean "Vile Rat" Smith was utter b***s***.  Please tell me if I got something wrong...

1.  Sean was IT support, not security, not an agent looking for missing U.S. weapons.

2.  Sean served six years in the Air Force before joining the State Department.  Last I heard, becoming a Navy SEAL requires being in the Navy.  The Air Force has their own special operations units.

3.  Sean talking to friends via Jabber is totally believable.   If one is in a location where going out at night is dangerous, saying in and talking to the folks back home if the option is available is a natural and understandable activity.

4.  The story about Sean posting to a gaming website originated on TheMittani.com.  Here is the actual quote reported.
(12:54:09 PM) vile_rat: assuming we don't die tonight. We saw one of our 'police' that guard the compound taking pictures
That quote, I believe, came from Jabber logs.  Unless Sean posted on internal Goonswarm forums that I do not have access to or on the Something Awful forums (not a gaming website) then Mr. Beck misrepresented the source and the contents of the quote.

Now, let me make a comment about why conspiracy theories originate and become popular.  Most of them arise when government attempts to hide something and does so badly.  Notice that Mr. Beck did not offer his theory until after UN Ambassador Susan Rice made her rounds of the Sunday morning talk shows on 16 September flat out stating that there was no evidence that the assault on the consulate and the murders of Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith and two former Navy SEALs.  Instead, the events of 9/11/12 occurred because people were upset with a film trailer that was posted on YouTube in June.  Really?  I was writing about possible links to al-Qaeda on 13 September and The Nosy Gamer is a gaming blog.  In fact, the Obama administration repudiated the story Ambassdor Rice peddled to the public a few days later, with White House press secretary Jay Carney stating, “It is self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.”

Instead of coming out and saying the matter was still under investigation, the Obama administration tried to feed the American public an alternative version of reality designed to help his re-election chances.  One of the requirements for modern conspiracy theories is that the government is doing something it does not want the public to know about.  Handing out a story that is unbelievable after someone does a couple of Google searches will draw conspiracy theorists like a moth to a flame.  Or to put the sentiment less politely, b***s*** tends to breed more b***s***. 

Now, for those who think that Mr. Beck will shut up now that Goons have swarmed to his website and pointed out his factual errors, don't hold your breaths.  Yesterday Mr. Beck received some validation for his theories from, of all places, the New York Times.
"The attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans has dealt the Central Intelligence Agency a major setback in its intelligence-gathering efforts at a time of increasing instability in the North African nation. 

"Among the more than two dozen American personnel evacuated from the city after the assault on the American mission and a nearby annex were about a dozen C.I.A. operatives and contractors, who played a crucial role in conducting surveillance and collecting information on an array of armed militant groups in and around the city."

...
"American intelligence operatives also assisted State Department contractors and Libyan officials in tracking shoulder-fired missiles taken from the former arsenals of the former Libyan Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces; they aided in efforts to secure Libya’s chemical weapons stockpiles; and they helped train Libya’s new intelligence service, officials said. "
Mr. Beck's main point in his conspiracy theory is that Ambassador Stevens was in Benghazi in order to help track down U.S. weapons before they fell into possibly unfriendly hands.  The New York Times is now reporting that the consulate was performing exactly that function.  Mr. Beck's story now goes from bats*** crazy to plausible, although requiring a lot of incompetence.  Conspiracy theorists don't need to have all their facts correct if significant potions of their theories are proved true.  They will receive credit and acclaim even if some of the actors are portrayed incorrectly and family and friends of those involved are hurt in the process.

7 comments:

  1. The first intelligent post I've seen on the Beck thread. Well analyzed and written.

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  2. i don't see anything in the linked article calling GS the CIA. It only mentions gaming once.

    Also, of course, Sean was part of the intelligence services. The Diplomatic Corps has many intelligence agents among its number and has since time immemorial. No conspiracy theory here. That is just business as usual. They don't send average IT guys around with two SEALs and the Ambassador. That doesn't mean he was James Bond, it just means that he has all the necessary clearances, training, and expertise.

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    1. Beck said that Sean's message on jabber to his friends was really an encoded message to the CIA to let them know they were in trouble. Because, you know, Goonswarm is full of CIA agents waiting to hear encoded messages on Jabber.

      That's where the "Goonswarm=CIA" came from.

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  3. Very good write up. I thought Beck was off his rocker then the New York Times of all places makes him sound reasonable and correct.

    That said, the CIA is for the most part incompetent and backstabbing agency more than willing to turn on their own and knife an uncooperative president in the back. The rely heavily on intercepting communications for their intelligence work which is something Vile Rat was probably good at.

    Everything about Benghazi was a horrible mess that shouldn't have happened. I hope Sean's family are taken care of. The initial spin about an internet movie was disingenuous.

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  4. A corollary to Occam's Razor: Never ascribe to malice what can be chalked up to incompetence.

    Can our government be that incompetent? Oh LORD yes.

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  5. Well one thing seems to be missing from your drama bomb.

    The only reason Glen Beck cares about libya is because of the republican position of its bad to arm the rebels or support them in taking down ghadaffi.

    Beck said, the CIA were hunting down the weapons that america sold to the rebels(since they can't be trusted). But as you said, they were hunting for Ghaddagi's weapons not america's.

    So Glen Beck is wrong again.

    Who cares about your problems with the government and your fear of conspiracists. You can bend over for them if ya want to though.

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  6. Well.... there's not a whole lot of CIA Intel being issued in GS jabber or chats.... its more porn than anything

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