Recently i was sent an email by a conspiracist type asking me how some military exercises conducted during the spring and summer of 2012 weren’t undeniably clear indications of a coming declaration of martial law.
I decided to investigate. To get you up to speed, here are two examples of what he was talking about.
• Miami, Florida (April 2012):
As we would expect, this exercise over Miami prompted the loons over at Alex Jones’ InfoWars to write knee-jerk, alarmist headlines like:
«Coming Martial Law? U.S. military conducts ‘realistic urban training’ exercise in Miami»
• Minneapolis, Minnesota (August 2012):
In response to the Minneapolis exercise, again like Pavlov’s dog, Alex Jones’ InfoWars set off the alarm bells:
«Black Hawk military helicopters are flying low over Minneapolis this week as part of an exercise being overseen by the U.S. Special Operations Command, increasing concerns that Americans are being prepared for a state of martial law.
«As we have previously highlighted, unannounced urban warfare operations of this kind are being used to condition the public into accepting a future declaration of martial law.»
Now to answer my conspiracist’s question, i decided to take a different tact than he expected. He expected me to tackle every example of a military exercise he can throw at me. In conspiratorial circles, trying to overwhelm naysayers with a flood of questions and data is a common tactic called proof by verbosity:
«Proof by verbosity, sometimes colloquially referred to as argumentum verbosum – a rhetorical technique that tries to persuade by overwhelming those considering an argument with such a volume of material that the argument sounds plausible, superficially appears to be well-researched, and it is so laborious to untangle and check supporting facts that the argument might be allowed to slide by unchallenged.»
So if you want to become a conspiracist, be sure to master the art of cut-and-paste. You’ll win every time.
To the conspiracists’ mind, if you can’t answer every one of their million questions or if you just can’t be bothered responding to every anomaly they’ve found in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, your lack of response validates their delusions. This is called argument from ignorance:
«Argument from ignorance, also known as argumentum ad ignorantiam or “appeal to ignorance” (where “ignorance” stands for: “lack of evidence to the contrary”), is a fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false, it is “generally accepted” (or vice versa).»
In other words, if you don’t know the sum of “2 + 2″, the conspiracist believes he is free to declare the correct answer is “666″! Illuminati!!!!
I decided the best way to tackle his question was to turn the tables on him. I have found one of the best ways to combat a conspiracy theory is to pit it against a competing conspiracy theory. This forces the conspiracy theorist to explain to ME why their theory is more valid than the competing theory.
As an example, in my video “9/11: Were Explosives Used?” i show buildings collapsing in identical fashion as the World Trade Centers on 9/11, except the buildings in my video are collapsed without using explosives. This puts the 9/11 truthers in the awkward position of defending their belief that explosives were used on 9/11 in lieu of the method used in my video. Awwwwwwwkward.
When a truther wants to discuss the aircraft used on 9/11, point out the other two, competing theories: no planes were used on 9/11 and drones were used on 9/11. Then ask him why these other competing theores are invalid. Sit back with a bucket of popcorn and watch the brain freeze.
Back to the military exercises during the spring and summer of 2012 …
The first thing i asked myself is, has this ever happend before? The conspiracists played up the significance of these exercises as unique, unusual and shocking and therefore evidence of something panic worthy. So i figured i’d research the history of such exercises. As it turns out, these exercises in April and August weren’t the first exercises of this nature:
• In February – World Net Daily – Kingsville, Texas:
«Some residents said they were terrified when helicopters swooped into town from the Army Special Operations Command, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, last Monday night.
«At least eight helicopters are reported to have participated in an assault exercise using live ammunition and explosives very close to innocent bystanders who were not warned of the planned action.
«The Army Special Operations Command at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, has acknowledged that the event was the kick-off of a series of similar training operations going on in Kingsville, Corpus Christi and Fort Sam Houston, but would not confirm that the group was the Knight Stalkers. Additional training events have been confirmed in the area. »
• In March – The Anniston Star – Oxford, Alabama:
«Friday evening the Williams family sat down in their Oxford living room and popped a movie into the VCR. Then the power went off — a total blackout in all the neighborhoods surrounding the Anniston Municipal Airport in Oxford — and what sounded like a war began outside.
«Residents near the airport heard what sounded like machine gun fire, saw the fiery-red flash of explosions, and saw silhouettes of what looked like paratroopers dropping out of the darkened skies.
«The “invasion” was part of a special training operation conducted in Anniston, at Fort McClellan and at the airport in Oxford from Tuesday until the wee hours of Saturday morning.
«She said the Army does exercises like this “to give the rangers, Air Force special operations and the 160th opportunities to experience training in new and different environments. It adds to the realism of the exercise as real-world missions are in environments unfamiliar to our soldiers.” »
• In May – Richmond, Virginia TIMES-DISPATCH:
«A planned Marine Corps training exercise in Richmond has some Virginians worried about secretive encroachments on civil liberties, accident hazards, and misguided use of the American military. The urban maneuvers, these worried citizens say, may mask preparations for a Year 2000 computer meltdown so great that governments are afraid to discuss it, or plans to confiscate firearms, or the groundwork for a presidential power grab.
«The Marines and governments that have worked with the service on other exercises say the Marines are just getting ready to deal with crises that take them into increasingly dangerous urban areas overseas. . . .
«The bottom line, the Marines’ White said, “is we’re doing this training to save lives, the lives of our Marines. “The allegation that we’re doing anything other than that couldn’t be farther from the truth.”»
See? These kinds of military operations have happened before. But wait! There’s a catch! These three additional military operations – ALL OCCURRED IN 1999!!![a][b][c]
Let The 1999 Alarmism Begin!!!
Just like today, the conspiracists’ reaction to these 1999 military exercises was the same old, tired, over-hyped, alarmist rhetoric from the usual crazies at InfoWars:
Banner from infowars – 1999
1999 alarmism continues: (Click any image to begin viewing)
And of course the panicked alarmism by the loons rolled right into the the year 2000. Here are just a few screen shots from InfoWars in 2000. Click any image to begin viewing:
You see, martial law has been coming for over 13 years now!!!! A herd of turtles could invade a country quicker.
Getting back to my tactic of pitting one conspiracy theory against another, i ask my conspiratorial friend this question:
Was Alex Jones an alarmist 13 years
ago or is he an alarmist today?
I’ll be eating my popcorn awaiting your answer.
- [a] World Net Daily, February 1999:
- [b] The Anniston (Alabama) Star, March 14, 1999:
- [c] Richmond, Virginia TIMES-DISPATCH, May 3, 1999: