Daily Caller Opinion Page An Embarrassing Spectacle Of Conspiracy Theories

››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

The Associated Press and CNN recently debunked an op-ed featured at The Daily Caller that suggested a recent ammunition purchase by the Social Security Administration evidenced an Obama plot to kill American citizens en masse. The bizarre theory is hardly the first conspiratorial idea to be promoted on the opinion page of The Daily Caller.

The AP And CNN Eviscerate Op-Ed Suggesting Obama's Mass Murder Plot

Regular Contributor Jerry Curry: Each Round Of Ammo Procured By SSA "Represents A Dead American." From an August 17 op-ed published by The Daily Caller discussing the procurement of 174,000 rounds of ammunition by the Society Security Administration for its law enforcement arm:

What would be the target of these 174,000 rounds of hollow point bullets? It can't simply be to control demonstrators or rioters. Hollow point bullets are so lethal that the Geneva Convention does not allow their use on the battle field in time of war. Hollow point bullets don't just stop or hurt people, they penetrate the body, spread out, fragment and cause maximum damage to the body's organs. Death often follows.

Potentially each hollow nose bullet represents a dead American. If so, why would the U.S. government want the SSA to kill 174,000 of our citizens, even during a time of civil unrest? Or is the purpose to kill 174,000 of the nation's military and replace them with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) special security forces, forces loyal to the Administration, not to the Constitution? [The Daily Caller, 8/17/12]

Associated Press: SSA Conspiracy Theory "Illustrates What Can Happen When A Seemingly Salacious Tidbit Gets Amplified And Embellished On The Internet." From a September 4 article by AP reporter Stephen Ohlemacher:

It didn't take long for the Internet to start buzzing with conspiracy theories after the Social Security Administration posted a notice that it was purchasing 174,000 hollow-point bullets.

Why is the agency that provides benefits to retirees, disabled workers, widows and children stockpiling ammunition? Whom are they going to use it on?

"It's not outlandish to suggest that the Social Security Administration is purchasing the bullets as part of preparations for civil unrest," the website Infowars.com said.

Another website, The Daily Caller, said the bullets must be for use against American citizens, "since the SSA has never been used overseas to help foreign countries maintain control of their citizens."

The clamor became such a distraction for the agency that it dedicated a website to explaining the purchase. The explanation, it turns out, isn't as tantalizing as an arms buildup to defend against unruly senior citizens.

The bullets are for Social Security's office of inspector general, which has about 295 agents who investigate Social Security fraud and other crimes, said Jonathan L. Lasher, the agency's assistant IG for external relations.

[...]

The episode illustrates what can happen when a seemingly salacious tidbit gets amplified and embellished on the Internet. [Associated Press via Huffington Post, 9/4/12

CNN: "Blogosphere Is Roiling With Conspiracy Theories Over A Social Security Administration" Ammo Procurement. From a September 5 article:

It all began last month when the agency, which is primarily responsible for distributing benefits to the disabled and retired people, posted an announcement seeking bids for 174,000 hollow-point bullets.

Why? cried some bloggers.

Infowars, a website operated by right-wing talk show host Alex Jones, wanted to know if the agency was preparing for "civil unrest."

"Social Security welfare is estimated to keep around 40 per cent of senior citizens out of poverty. Should the tap run dry in the aftermath of an economic collapse which the Federal Reserve has already told top banks to prepare for, domestic disorder could ensue if people are refused their benefits," it said in a post.

Each bullet potentially "represents a dead American," wrote retired Maj. Gen. Jerry Curry, an Army vet.

"If so, why would the U.S. government want the SSA to kill 174,000 of our citizens, even during a time of civil unrest?" Curry wrote on the conservative website The Daily Caller, founded by commentator Tucker Carlson.

[...]

This is just the latest in a long history of uniquely American anti-government conspiracy theories, said Kathryn Olmsted, a University of California at Davis history professor and author of "Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories in American Democracy."

That another one would surface in the midst of a contentious election cycle and continued unease over the nation's financial future is not all that surprising, Olmsted said Tuesday.

But this one, she said, seems particularly tenuous.

"It strikes me as one of the more extreme conspiracy theories," Olmsted said. "I'm surprised it has any traction." [CNN, 9/5/12]

Daily Caller Op-Eds Promote A Multitude Of Right-Wing Conspiracies

National Rifle Association Chief Lobbyist Chris Cox: United Nations Arms Trade Treaty "Could Seriously Restrict Your Freedom To Own, Purchase And Carry A Firearm." From a July 2 op-ed published at The Daily Caller:

Today begins the most important 26-day period for our Second Amendment freedoms in recent history.

That's because today, representatives from many of the world's socialist, tyrannical and dictatorial regimes will gather at United Nations headquarters in New York for a month-long meeting, in which they'll put the finishing touches on an international Arms Trade Treaty that could seriously restrict your freedom to own, purchase and carry a firearm.

Specifically, the U.N. wants to implement international gun registration requirements, bans on commonly owned firearms, tracking and registration of ammunition purchases, and create a new U.N. gun control bureaucracy.

You might think that something so obviously menacing to one of our enumerated fundamental rights would receive a strong rebuke from our top government leaders. But you'd be wrong. This is President Barack Obama's vision for America, and we're expected to just go along with it. [The Daily Caller, 7/2/12

Media Matters has previously reported on the conspiracy theories related the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. 

Cox: "The Inconceivable Crimes Committed Under Operation 'Fast And Furious' Were Designed To Support The Obama Administration's Gun-Control Agenda." From a June 22 op-ed published at The Daily Caller:

Attorney General Eric Holder's continued refusal to turn over "Fast and Furious" documents to House investigators -- even in the face of being held in contempt by Congress -- is another symptom of the disease of lawlessness that has been rotting our republic ever since President Barack Obama took office.

Moreover, Obama's decision to invoke "executive privilege" to hide these documents from the American people is a tacit admission that what the National Rifle Association has been saying since day one is true. Namely, that the inconceivable crimes committed under operation "Fast and Furious" were designed to support the Obama administration's gun-control agenda.

Americans should not be fooled by Holder and Obama's spin that this is a "partisan" fight. This is an American fight to restore the trust that we deserve to have in our government. The Obama administration's continued cover-up of this deadly scandal is a threat to the lives of our border patrol agents, our rule of law, the accountability we expect from our top leaders, and the sanctity of our U.S. Constitution. [The Daily Caller, 6/22/12

Media Matters has previously reported on the conspiracy theories related to Operation Fast and Furious. 

Curry: Media, Political Parties Show Little Interest In Sorting Out "This 'Birther' Business." From a June 5 op-ed published at The Daily Caller:

The question of whether President Obama is a native born American citizen has been made moot by the cowardice and lack of patriotic concern of the news media and the Democrat and Republican parties. None of the three have demonstrated honest interest in or shown the intestinal fortitude needed to squarely face the challenge of sorting out whether there is deceit and duplicity in this "birther" business, and whether those involved are placing their own comfort, welfare and personal interests above those of the United States of America. In short, it's time to fish or cut bait and let the scraps fall where ever they fall.

Will all the documents, laws, treaties, agreements and executive orders Obama has signed since he was sworn in as President be null and void? If so, what happens then? If he is an illegitimate pretender to the Presidency and not the real thing how does the nation avoid a national calamity, pick up the pieces of what's left of our trembling civilization, and lawfully proceed about our business? Can we proceed? Certainly not, especially with the continued timidity and indifference of political and governmental leadership that has been shown so far in the handling of this matter.

President Obama is toying with America; with its citizens, with the Congress, with the Constitution, and with our nation's future as though this were some kind of electronic game. Politically both parties have become so near sighted that they can't seem to feel the edge of the cliff crumbling beneath the soles of their shoes as they march on toward certain disaster. [The Daily Caller, 6/5/12

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre: Obama's Relationship With Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Indicates Plan For "All-Out War On The Second Amendment." From an April 25 op-ed published at The Daily Caller:

For anyone who doubts President Barack Obama's dedication to a second-term all-out war on the Second Amendment, say just one name--Mayor Rahm Emanuel--the new boss of Chicago machine politics, tapped as the star co-chair for Obama's re-election campaign.

Obama's Chicago-based campaign manager characterized the mayor as key among those who "share the president's vision of a future. ..."

The focus of that Obama-Emanuel shared vision for the nation's gun owners can be summed up in Emanuel's pursuit of gun bans by any means.

This is no honorary job. It is real power linking Obama's re-election with Emanuel's fanaticism for destroying the Second Amendment.

[...]

Guilt by association?  You bet.

With all of the talk about "transparency," one thing is truly clear--the web of lies spun about the president's phony, claimed support of the Second Amendment. Obama's vision of the Second Amendment and the vision of his fellow travelers, Pfleger and Boss Emanuel, is the one that disarmed the citizens of both Washington, D.C., and Chicago--the vision that says there is no individual right to keep and bear arms.

Every gun owner must be "All In" to defeat Barack Obama in the political fight of our generation this November 6--when all of our freedoms are on the line. [The Daily Caller, 4/25/12]

Former Rep. Tom Tancredo Implies Sinister Relationship Between Texas Gov. Rick Perry And Muslim Community. From a September 27, 2011 op-ed published at The Daily Caller:

What is not yet as widely known about Perry is that he extends his taxpayer-funded compassion not only to illegal aliens but also to Muslim groups seeking to whitewash the violent history of that religion. Perry endorsed and facilitated the adoption in Texas public schools of a pro-Muslim curriculum unit developed by Muslim clerics in Pakistan.

Perry's connections to Muslim groups in Texas are well documented. A recent Christian Science Monitor story said, "Perry has attended a number of Ismaili events in Texas, brokered a few agreements between the state and Ismailis (including the legislation introducing Islamic curricula into Texas schools), and even laid the first brick at the groundbreaking ceremony for an Ismaili worship center in Plano in 2005."

The Muslim Histories and Cultures (MHC) project was formalized in 2004 in a signed agreement between the University of Texas at Austin and Aga Khan University in Pakistan. The announcement of the MHC project credited Gov. Perry by name with being "instrumental" in its launch.

The agreement calls for an extensive program of bi-cultural teacher training funded jointly by both parties. More than 200 Texas teachers have been trained in the program, which is ongoing. The project's curriculum units were initially available for viewing on the university's website, but have since been scrubbed from the Internet. It appears Texas officials do not want the curriculum examined by Texas taxpayers.

Islam scholar Robert Spencer, head of Jihad Watch, examined the program and concluded, "The curriculum is a complete whitewash and it's got the endorsement of Perry. It's not going to give you any idea why people are waging jihad against the West -- it's only going to make you think that the real problem is 'Islamophobia.'"

[...]

Perry's close ties to Muslim groups led the political blog Salon to headline a recent story: "Rick Perry: The pro-Sharia candidate?" Evidence in support of that theme comes from Gov. Perry's refusal to support legislation sponsored by Texas Republican legislators to outlaw Sharia law in Texas.

Perry's close alliances with pro-Islamic Republican activists like Grover Norquist give additional cause for concern. [The Daily Caller, 9/27/2011]   

Conservative Pundit Tommy De Seno: "Obama's Refusal To Release" His Birth Certificate "Makes For A Newsworthy Story By Itself." From a February 16, 2011 op-ed published at The Daily Caller:

The question is: Why would President Obama spend thousands if not millions of dollars in court asserting that he shouldn't have to show his birth certificate, when he could win the suit for free by showing it?

You have to admit, even if you are a devout Obama fan, Obama's refusal to release any original documents makes for a newsworthy story by itself.

If he really wants the birthers to shut up, he has the power to do so by releasing the 1961 document. Why not just do it then? It's a simple task. Why not get rid of a conversation that has been with America since the campaign, particularly since the number of people with questions is growing, not shrinking?

I call shenanigans on the straw-man argument that "the birthers still won't believe him." Yes, they will. And so too will others who just don't know where he was born, not because they are kooks, but because Obama himself acts kooky in spending money to win lawsuits he could win for free by showing his birth certificate.

By defending the lawsuits and not showing the 1961 document, Obama feeds the suspicion of those who already think he is lying. That's why this issue has the power to linger, and that's Obama's fault alone. I hope the birthers continue to bite his ankles until he releases the records. He deserves nothing less for making this issue stay with us. [The Daily Caller, 2/16/11]

Citizens United President David Bossie: Repeal Of Don't Ask, Don't Tell Could Lead To Reinstatement Of The Draft. From a December 20, 2010 op-ed published at The Daily Caller:

At Citizens United, we have released a YouTube video to highlight how the very people protesting "don't ask, don't tell" could be subject to a new draft if the repeal is signed into law. This issue has not been talked about much, but is a serious unintended consequence nonetheless. Statistics indicate that retention and recruitment will be a problem if "don't ask, don't tell" is repealed. We are at war, and war is no time to take a chance with our armed forces just to appease the liberal special interests. Unbelievably, Harry Reid tweeted to Lady Gaga, "We did it," after the repeal was passed. I guess we know now that Reid is beholden to Lady Gaga and not those young Marines on the front lines protecting our freedom. [The Daily Caller, 12/20/10]

Conservative Columnist Carey Roberts: Anti-Domestic Violence Advocates Expanding Definition Of Abuse Because They "Don't Want To See Their Generous Paychecks Trimmed." From a December 7, 2010 op-ed published at The Daily Caller:

Domestic violence has been plummeting in recent years. In 1976, the toll of men and women killed by their partners registered 2,944 deaths. Now it's half that number.

But what comes as good news to American families turns out to be a mixed blessing for the domestic violence industry. After all, the Abuse Mavens don't want to see their generous paychecks trimmed!

So a few years ago someone ginned up this grand scheme: Let's exponentially broaden the definition of domestic violence.

And sure enough, the 2005 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act featured this open-ended definition: "The term 'domestic violence' includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence." The law's artful use of the word "includes" sent a clarion signal to lawmakers throughout the country -- an expansive range of conduct could now be considered to constitute abuse.

[...]

Now, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, partner violence also includes "getting annoyed if the victim disagrees" and "withholding information from the victim." If that doesn't suffice, "disregarding what the victim wants" also counts as a punishable offense.

That's right, guys, if your heart-throb thinks she's an abuse victim, you'd better get her that pedicure she's been pestering you about -- and fast! [The Daily Caller, 12/7/10]

Newt Gingrich And Andrew C. McCarthy: Obama Executive Order Allows Interpol To Violate The Fourth Amendment With Impunity. From a January 14, 2010 op-ed published at The Daily Caller:

In the dead of the night on Dec. 16, as Washington wound down for the Christmas holiday, President Obama signed an executive order giving Interpol and its agents in the United States for the first time full diplomatic immunity.  In effect, his action-taken without any explanation-freed Interpol from the constraints that currently bind U.S. law enforcement. Interpol's assets and property are now immune from search and seizure and its archived documents permanently out of reach of American citizens, courts or the Congress. [The Daily Caller, 1/14/10]

Media Matters has previously reported on the conspiracy that Interpol can supersede U.S. sovereignty. 

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