This week's phrase is ''conspiracy theory.'' A conspiracy, according to Webster's, is defined as ''an agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal action.'' Of course, ''sophisticated'' Americans are above such paranoia because, Lord knows, that U.S. government officials are inherently incapable of being party to a conspiracy, unless they're ''liberals,'' i.e., Clinton-Whitewater-Vince-Foster suicide, etc.
But conservatives are much too honorable to ever take part in a conspiracy.
In fact, conservatives are so virtuous that to even talk of conspiracy is beneath them. Hence the word ''theory,'' which conjures up images of some nutty left-wing armchair intellectual who isn't an ''insider'' opining about politics without any evidence.
Years before the invasion of Iraq a ''conspiracy theory'' involving the Bush administration decision to invade Iraq on a WMD pretext first came into circulation. The theory - that the ''straight-talking'' Bush administration lied about the threat Iraq allegedly posed to the world - has new legs.
Unfortunately, the ''liberal'' media who, according to right-wing ideologues, ''hate'' the president and are always on the hunt for ways to discredit his administration, would rather cover ''important'' stories like ''the Runaway Bride.''
The Sunday London Times reported that the head of MI6 (Britain's CIA) told the BBC that he briefed Prime Minister Tony Blair that the case for war against Iraq was being ''fixed'' by the Americans to suit the policy. (For full story, go to www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1533385,00.html.)
''Sir Richard Dearlove, head of MI6, briefed Blair and a select group of ministers on America's determination to press ahead with the war nine months before hostilities began,'' the Times reported.
''After attending a briefing in Washington, he told the meeting that war was 'inevitable,' the 'facts and intelligence' were being 'fixed round the policy' by George W. Bush's administration,'' the story continues.
The BBC documentary quotes from a leaked memo that says: ''There is more work to ensure that the figures are accurate and consistent with the U.S. But even the best survey of Iraq's WMD programmes will not show much advance in recent years.'' The story goes on to say that Robin Cook, the former foreign secretary who resigned over Iraq, told the BBC that ''what was propelling the prime minister was a determination that he would be the closest ally to George Bush...His problem is that George Bush's motivation was regime change. It was not disarmament.''
Ray McGovern, a 27-year CIA analyst who is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, wrote a piece last week, arguing that the leaked memo offers solid ''proof (that) Bush fixed the facts. As long as our evidence, however abundant and persuasive, remained circumstantial, it could not compel belief. It simply is much easier on the psyche to assent to the White House spin machine blaming the Iraq fiasco on bad intelligence than to entertain the notion that we were sold a bill of goods.''
Now, given this latest WMD-hype revelation, coupled with former Bush supporters like Paul O'Neill, Richard Clarke and Scott Ritter trying to warn the American public that something smells fishy, I would say this is one ''conspiracy theory'' that needs an independent investigation.
And aren't Bush-backers the same ones always railing about ''values'' and The Ten Commandments. Interesting that the commandment ''Thou shalt not bear false witness'' doesn't seem to matter much to conservatives when it comes Bush.
No wonder so many young people, according to recent polls, are looking for religion outside the mainline denominations. Our so-called moral leaders lack all spiritual discernment and have about as much moral credibility as an Enron executive managing a pension fund.
Sean Gonsalves is a Cape Cod Times staff writer and a syndicated columnist.
© 2005 Cape Cod Times