The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The CIA and Conspiracy Theories

Posted on | December 24, 2019 | 1 Comment


For most of my adult life, the Central Intelligence Agency featured prominently in the paranoid worldview of the Left. After all, it is a matter of fact that the CIA fomented coups against pro-Communist governments in various Third World countries, so why shouldn’t the Left — which during the Cold War was always supportive of America’s Communist enemies — fear the shadowy influence of the CIA everywhere?

During the 1970s, for example, some radical feminists cited the fact that Gloria Steinem had once been involved in a CIA “front” group as evidence that the Women’s Liberation Movement had been “infiltrated” by government agents. That kind of Nixon-era paranoia persisted into the Reagan/Bush years, because hadn’t Bush the Elder once been CIA director? Also, “Skull and Bones” at Yale? And what about Cointelpro, huh? Remember Fred Hampton! Free Huey Newton!

The paranoid tendencies of the Left have, however, taken a different turn lately, and now they are convinced the CIA is their friend:

Ever since the impeachment bandwagon got rolling in September, anything said in defense of President Trump is automatically dismissed by Democrats and their media allies as either (a) “Republican talking points,” (b) “Russian propaganda” or (c) a “conspiracy theory.” The self-evident purpose of this rhetoric is to delegitimize the president’s defenders as either dishonest partisans, agents of a foreign enemy, or purveyors of paranoid delusions. It is impermissible, by the rules of the game as played on CNN and in other “mainstream” media outlets, to ask whether such accusations are more properly directed at Democrats. Are they never guilty of partisanship? Didn’t Democrats spend three years promoting a “collusion” conspiracy theory? And why is it that Russia is the only foreign power whose influence deserves our vigilance?
The near-universal loathing of Trump in the N.Y./D.C. media axis has made it difficult to get a fair hearing for the evidence that points to the role of the so-called “Deep State” in creating the circumstances that have led us to this impeachment circus. With few exceptions — notable among them Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone — journalists on the Left have completely abandoned their traditional skepticism toward our national security apparatus and the foreign-policy elites in Washington. Some of us are old enough to remember the 1970s and ’80s, when left-leaning media sought to expose the shadowy machinations of the State Department, the CIA, and the FBI. Now that opposition to Trump has become the media’s idée fixe, however, every journalist is expected to celebrate former FBI Director James Comey’s honesty and patriotism, and none of them seem interested in asking questions about why former CIA Director John Brennan’s fingerprints seem to be everywhere on the effort to destroy Trump. . . .

Read the rest of my latest column at The American Spectator.



One Response to “The CIA and Conspiracy Theories”

  1. Friday Links | 357 Magnum
    December 27th, 2019 @ 11:00 am

    […] Again from The Other McCain – The CIA and Conspiracy Theories. […]