[Educator-Gold] Conspiracy Theorists: ‘Pizzagate’ Shooting Just a False Flag

 

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Conspiracy Theorists: ‘Pizzagate’ Shooting Just a False Flag

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

December 9, 2016, 2:09 P.M. E.S.T.

New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/12/09/us/politics/ ap-us-gunman-pizza-shop-conspiracy-theories.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/jy47y9u

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WASHINGTON  For conspiracy theorists, the bizarre rumors of “pizzagate” didn’t end when a man brought a gun to a Washington restaurant this week in a misguided attempt to rescue nonexistent child sex slaves. Instead, the shooting sparked discussion that the conspiracy runs deeper.

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There’s no evidence to back up the rumors about the restaurant, a beloved neighborhood institution in the wealthy enclave of Chevy Chase. In the past year, Comet employees have reported a damaged car, a stolen bag and online harassment; otherwise, it’s never been the subject of a police investigation.

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But to true believers, the absence of proof is just another sign of a conspiracy and a well-orchestrated cover-up.

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James Fetzer, a longtime conspiracy theorist who also believes the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax, told The Associated Press that Welch’s visit to the pizzeria was staged to distract the public from the truth of the “pizzagate” allegations.

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“There’s no doubt about it in my mind,” said Fetzer, a former philosophy professor and the founder of a group called Scholars for 9/11 Truth. “You see, this is part of the whole idea to smear the alternative media, which are putting out so much more truth than the mainstream.”

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Once a conspiracy theory gains traction, confronting true believers with facts is pointless, said Michael Barkun, a professor emeritus at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School and the author of “A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America.”

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“When you get to conspiracy theories like this, they’re closed systems of ideas,” Barkun said. “They’re constructed in such a way that there isn’t any evidence you can present to someone who believes them that will lead a believer to change his or her mind.”

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“Pizzagate” believers point out references to pizza in Podesta’s hacked emails, which were published by WikiLeaks, and Comet owner James Alefantis’ ties to Democratic donors. They scour Alefantis’ social-media posts and even his restaurant’s menu for “code words” and “symbols” that supposedly reference child sexual abuse. They jump to incredible conclusions based on Podesta’s and Alefantis’ tastes in art.

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Conspiracy theorists have made similar claims about parents of the 20 children who were killed at Sandy Hook in Newtown Connecticut, in 2012, calling them “crisis actors” pretending to grieve for nonexistent children. Sandy Hook was a false flag meant to promote gun control, the conspiracy theorists said. Just this week, a Florida woman was charged with threatening the parent of a child who died in the shooting because she thought the attack was a hoax, according to federal authorities.

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The ultimate false flag in modern times, according to conspiracy theorists, was Sept. 11, 2001. Some believe the World Trade Center towers were destroyed by the government, using bombs or other means, as part of a plot to justify the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Hagopian said he believes attacks since then  including the mass shootings last year in San Bernardino, California, and this year at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida  also were false flags.

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Hillary Clinton has been linked by conspiracy theorists to child sex abuse since the mid-1990s, Barkun said. Andrew Breitbart, the late founder of right-wing site Breitbart News  later led by President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen Bannon  tweeted in 2011 that Podesta was a “world class underage sex slave op cover-upper.”

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Radio host and Trump supporter Alex Jones, a well-known conspiracy theorist, said in a YouTube video Sunday that he believes the claims about powerful Democrats abusing children, but he wasn’t convinced Comet Ping Pong had anything to do with it.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,

David Dillard

Temple University

(215) 204 – 4584

jwne@temple.edu

http://workface.com/e/daviddillard

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[Educator-Gold] Conspiracy Theorists: ‘Pizzagate’ Shooting Just a False Flag

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