If a lobotomy is out of your price range, there’s no need to worry. If you can afford an internet connection you can terminate any risk of having to think critically about anything controversial as long as you remember to visit snopes.com. Run by David and Barbara Mikkelson, two absolutely unqualified Coincidence Theorists, snopes.com can be relied upon to relentlessly provide a “that’s nothing to worry about” angle on any and every troubling fact brought to light by the now prominent independent media. A good example of the formulaic and dismissive style of Snopes is their entry on the amazingly long list of mysterious deaths associated with the Clinton crime family, commonly referred to as the “Clinton body count.”
They can’t even get through an opening sentence without cynically misrepresenting the claims they wish to refute. Snopes begins by stating what they’d like you to believe is being claimed about the Clinton crime family:
Claim: Bill Clinton has been quietly doing away with those who oppose him.
Snopes apparently wishes to address the claim that Bill Clinton, personally, has been committing murders of his political opponents like some super villain out of a Spider-Man comic. The only problem with this claim is that no one has actually made it. Catering to the adolescent desire to mock and dismiss questions rather than confront them, Snopes hides behind this straw man argument like Gollum hiding behind a rock, hinging their snarky article on the bet that their audience will accept this as a real claim and not look any further.
In reality, the claim being made is that there are nearly 50 deaths associated with the Clinton family, all with varying degrees of suspiciousness. These deaths are not of his political opponents per se, but deaths of individuals likely possessing damning information or evidence about the Clintons’ criminal activity. As should be expected, they make no attempt to deny the long list of deaths connected to the Clintons, but rather immediately begin assuring their audience that this is nothing out of the ordinary, as if every political dynasty has at least 12 bodyguards who’ve been killed.
Instead of making an honest acknowledgement that this body count is, at the absolute least, extremely peculiar and worthy of further examination, they choose instead to nitpick over the choice of the word “mysterious” to describe these deaths. In a stale attempt at sarcasm, they offer a point by point guide to how they believe these wacky accusations are formed. On of their rules is as follows:
Play word games. Make sure every death is presented as “mysterious.”
So let’s review some of the deaths that snopes.com do not find the least bit curious:
James McDougal – Clinton’s convicted Whitewater partner died of an apparent heart attack, while in solitary confinement. He was a key witness in Ken Starr’s investigation.
Mary Mahoney – A former White House intern was murdered July 1997 at a Starbucks Coffee Shop in Georgetown. The murder happened just after she was to go public with her story of sexual harassment in the White House.
Vince Foster – Former white House councilor, and colleague of Hillary Clinton at Little Rock’s Rose Law firm. Died of a gunshot wound to the head, ruled a suicide.
Ron Brown – Secretary of Commerce and former DNC Chairman. Reported to have died by impact in a plane crash. A pathologist close to the investigation reported that there was a hole in the top of Brown’s skull resembling a gunshot wound. At the time of his death Brown was being investigated, and spoke publicly of his willingness to cut a deal with prosecutors.
C. Victor Raiser II – & – Montgomery Raiser, Major players in the Clinton fund raising organization died in a private plane crash in July1992.
Paul Tulley – Democratic National Committee Political Director found dead in a hotel room in Little Rock, September 1992. Described by Clinton as a “Dear friend and trusted advisor”.
Ed Willey – Clinton fund raiser, found dead November 1993 deep in the woods in VA of a gunshot wound to the head. Ruled a suicide. Ed Willey died on the same day his wife Kathleen Willey claimed Bill Clinton groped her in the oval office in the White House. Ed Willey was involved in several Clinton fund raising events.
Jerry Parks – Head of Clinton’s gubernatorial security team in Little Rock. Gunned down in his car at a deserted intersection outside Little Rock. Park’s son said his father was building a dossier on Clinton. He allegedly threatened to reveal this information. After he died the files were mysteriously removed from his house.
James Bunch – Died from a gunshot suicide. It was reported that he had a “Black Book” of people which contained names of influential people who visited prostitutes in Texas and Arkansas.
James Wilson – Was found dead in May 1993 from an apparent hanging suicide. He was reported to have ties to Whitewater.
Kathy Ferguson, ex-wife of Arkansas Trooper Danny Ferguson, was found dead in May 1994, in her living room with a gunshot to her head. It was ruled a suicide even though there were several packed suitcases, as if she were going somewhere. Danny Ferguson was a co-defendant along with Bill Clinton in the Paula Jones lawsuit. Kathy Ferguson was a possible corroborating witness for Paula Jones.
Bill Shelton – Arkansas State Trooper and fiancee of Kathy Ferguson.Critical of the suicide ruling of his fiancee, he was found dead in June, 1994 of a gunshot wound also ruled a suicide at the grave site of his fiancee.
Gandy Baugh – Attorney for Clinton’s friend Dan Lassater, died by jumping out a window of a tall building January, 1994. His client was a convicted drug distributor.
Florence Martin – Accountant & sub-contractor for the CIA, was related to the Barry Seal Mena Airport drug smuggling case. He died of three gunshot wounds.
Suzanne Coleman – Reportedly had an affair with Clinton when he was Arkansas Attorney General. Died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head, ruled a suicide. Was pregnant at the time of her death.
Paula Grober – Clinton’s speech interpreter for the deaf from 1978 until her death December 9, 1992. She died in a one car accident.
Danny Casolaro – Investigative reporter. Investigating Mena Airport and Arkansas Development Finance Authority. He slit his wrists, apparently, in the middle of his investigation.
Paul Wilcher – Attorney investigating corruption at Mena Airport with Casolaro and the 1980 “October Surprise” was found dead on a toilet June 22, 1993 in his Washington DC apartment. Had delivered a report to Janet
Reno 3 weeks before his death.
Jon Parnell Walker – Whitewater investigator for Resolution TrustCorp. Jumped to his death from his Arlington, Virginia apartment balcony August15, 1993. He was investigating the Morgan Guarantee scandal.
Barbara Wise – Commerce Department staffer. Worked closely with Ron Brown and John Huang. Cause of death unknown. Died November 29, 1996. Her bruised, nude body was found locked in her office at the Department of Commerce.
Charles Meissner – Assistant Secretary of Commerce who gave John Huang special security clearance, died shortly thereafter in a small plane crash.
Dr. Stanley Heard – Chairman of the National Chiropractic Health Care Advisory Committee died with his attorney Steve Dickson in a small plane crash. Dr. Heard, in addition to serving on Clinton’s advisory council personally treated Clinton’s mother, stepfather and brother.
Barry Seal – Drug running pilot out of Mena Arkansas, death was no accident
Johnny Lawhorn Jr. – Mechanic, found a check made out to Bill Clinton in the trunk of a car left at his repair shop. He was found dead after his car had hit a utility pole.
Stanley Huggins – Investigated Madison Guarantee. His death was a purported suicide and his report was never released.
Hershell Friday – Attorney and Clinton fund raiser died March 1, 1994 when his plane exploded.
Kevin Ives & Don Henry – Known as “The boys on the track” case. Reports say the boys may have stumbled upon the Mena Arkansas airport drug operation. A controversial case, the initial report of death said, due to falling asleep on railroad tracks. Later reports claim the 2 boys had been slain before being placed on the tracks. Many linked to the case died before their testimony could come before a Grand Jury.
THE FOLLOWING PERSONS HAD INFORMATION ON THE IVES/HENRY CASE:
Keith Coney – Died when his motorcycle slammed into the back of a truck, 7/88.
Keith McMaskle – Died stabbed 113 times, Nov, 1988 Gregory Collins –
Died from a gunshot wound January 1989.
Jeff Rhodes – He was shot, mutilated and found burned in a trash dump in April 1989.
James Milan – Found decapitated. However, the Coroner ruled his death was due to “natural causes”.
Jordan Kettleson – Was found shot to death in the front seat of his pickup truck in June 1990.
Richard Winters – A suspect in the Ives / Henry deaths. He was killed in a set-up robbery July 1989.
THE FOLLOWING CLINTON BODYGUARDS ARE DEAD:
Major William S. Barkley Jr.
Captain Scott J. Reynolds
Sgt. Brian Hanley
Sgt. Tim Sabel Major
General William Robertson
Col. William Densberger
Col. Robert Kelly Spec.
Apparently for Snopes, anything short of a photograph of Bill and Hillary covered in blood while in the process of committing these murders simply doesn’t warrant their attention. If it’s not spelled out explicitly by their father figures in the corporate media, it simply cannot be true. The website constantly appeals to corporate media to shed light on crimes committed by the owners of corporate media. As far as the Mikkelsons are concerned, the term “conflict of interest” may as well be as fictitious as a hyperdrive, or a photon torpedo.
Rather than addressing questions head on, the strategy they employ to bully their readers into submission is to find a bit of peripheral minutiae and to dwell upon it as if it were actually the point in question. For example, after admitting that the Clinton body count is indeed real, they immediately change the subject to whether or not corporate media has ignored these deaths. In a telling display of naivete, they acknowledge that no, the corporate media in fact did not expose these curious deaths at the time of their occurrence. But don’t worry, Snopes fans, they did eventually mention a few of them in passing, years after the fact.
In an overanxious attempt to reinforce the pre-9/11 comfort zone we all remember so well, the Mikkelsons seemingly find comfort in the fact that lip service was eventually and unenthusiastically paid by the corporate media, on the issues of the Clinton body count. Timeliness and context matter not to them. As far as they’re concerned, the corporate media they deify has fulfilled its obligation as long as mention of a topic is made, quality of coverage and extensiveness of coverage be damned.
Particularly cringeworthy is their ridiculous claim that since Clinton was exposed for having “sexual relations” he therefore couldn’t possibly have any larger skeletons in his closet:
If the data doesn’t fit your conclusion, ignore it. You don’t have to explain why the people who claim to have the most damaging goods on Clinton – Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Linda Tripp, Monica Lewinsky, Kenneth Starr – are still walking around unscathed while dozens of bit players have been bumped off. It’s inconvenient for you, so don’t mention it.
It takes a special caliber of naif to believe that the Monica Lewinsky affair was the height of political scandals to be exposed, and not merely a hyper-politicized attack from opposing factions. In an environment such as Washington DC, where everyone lives in a glass house, the fact that no one throws any big stones is apparently a great source of comfort for the anti-thinkers at Snopes.com.
…but conspiracy theories don’t die that easy.
This is correct. “Conspiracy theories” don’t die that easily. In fact, no statements or claims die that easily, since merely appealing to the fact that corporate media “hasn’t found” any evidence is a remarkably shallow and meaningless statement. According to the legendarily insular worldview of Snopes, all that’s required to establish the truth or falsehood of a statement is to turn to corporate media and ask if it’s true or not. And that, friends, concludes the investigative phase of Snopes.com’s research. Imagine the chaos that would ensue if everyday law enforcement was conducted in the same way:
Police: Hey Jeffery Dahmer, some people are saying nasty things about you having body parts in your freezer. Is that true, or what?
Dahmer: Me? Are you kidding? No way!
It’s not hard to understand why promoting this mindset has been so successful for he Mikkelsons. It’s easier to be told a comforting story than to do your own research. And for Snopes and other corporate media lackeys, there’s a stigma attached to doing one’s own research. In order for a fact to enter into their reality, it must first be broadcast through a medium that contains commercials and sponsors. They are gatekeepers in the truest sense of the term.