(ANTIMEDIA)In recent years, the mere notion of the conspiracy theory has increasingly been stigmatized and ridiculed by mainstream news outlets, internet trolls, and “rational” thinkers. Yet, with powerful revelations by Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, WikiLeaks, and generations of intrepid journalists, we now know that many outlandish geopolitical and domestic “conspiracy theories” were and are cold-blooded truths of the modern world. Here are 10 that are well-documented and profoundly disturbing…
1) The Gulf of Tonkin Incident
The Gulf of Tonkin incident, a major escalator of US involvement in the Vietnam War, never actually occurred.
It’s true. The original incident – also sometimes referred to as the USS Maddox Incident(s) –involved the destroyer USS Maddox supposedly engaging three North Vietnamese Navy torpedo boats as part of an intelligence patrol. The Maddox fired almost 300 shells.
President Lyndon B. Johnson promptly drafted the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which became his administration’s legal justification for military involvement in Vietnam. The problem is the event never happened.
In 2005, a declassified internal National Security Agency study revealed that there were NO North Vietnamese naval vessels present during the incident. So, what was the Maddox firing at? In 1965, President Johnson commented: “For all I know, our Navy was shooting at whales out there.”
Worth pointing out: The NSA’s own historian, Robert J. Hanyok, wrote a report stating that the agency had deliberately distorted intelligence reports in 1964. He concluded: “The parallels between the faulty intelligence on Tonkin Gulf and the manipulated intelligence used to justify the Iraq War make it all the more worthwhile to re-examine the events of August 1964.”
2) Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment
Between 1932 and 1972, the US Public Health Service conducted a clinical study on rural African American men who had contracted syphilis. The Public Health Service never informed these men they had a sexually transmitted disease, nor did they offer treatment, even after penicillin became available as a cure in the 1940s.
Tragically, it’s true. Rather than receiving treatment, the subjects of these studies were told they had “bad blood.”
When World War II began, 250 of the men registered for the draft and were only then, for the first time, informed they had syphilis. Even then, the PHS denied them treatment.
By the early 1970s, 128 of the original 399 men had died of syphilis and syphilis-related complications, 40 of their wives had the disease and 19 of their children were born with congenital syphilis.
Worth pointing out: A similar experiment conducted on prisoners, soldiers, and patients of a mental hospital in Guatemala actually involved the PHS deliberately infecting the patients and then treating them with antibiotics.