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That is very helpful -- it is precisely the balance between the demands of accessibility and those of authoritativeness which is difficult.  It requires more inventiveness than I have shown, to date.

Incidentally, my own instinctive preference has been for cock-up explanations, rather than explanations in terms of conspiracies.

But there certainly are conspiracies.  Consider, for example, an
article which appeared on the 'FrontPage' site last January, entitled 'The Putin-Osama Connection'.

This is the same nuclear scaremongering which de Gondi unearthed in the wiretaps of Scaramella's conversations with Paolo Guzzanti, recycled for a U.S. audience, on an influential U.S. neoconservative site -- also the disinformation against Romano Prodi.

And part of the wickedness is that British intel people -- who are probably engaged in a CYA operation -- give this kind of dangerous rubbish credibility by continuing to disseminate the preposterous claims that Litvinenko was the victim of a state-sponsored assassination.  As also does much of the British media -- the only real sceptic about the whole farrago of nonense I have come across is Mary Dejevsky of The Independent.

by djhabakkuk (david daught habakkuk at o two daught co daught uk) on Wed Jun 17th, 2009 at 12:11:45 PM EST
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Almost by definition it is through a cock-up that we learn of a conspiracy.  Wonder how that percentage compares to the number of drug busts vs. the total traffic?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jun 17th, 2009 at 01:44:10 PM EST
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In regard to the Litvinenko affair, it does seem likely that it was through a cock-up that a conspiracy came into public view.  Because when a vessel containing polonium is opened tiny particles are liable to spray out, it is lethally easy to poison oneself with it, which is the most plausible explanation of how Litvinenko died.

Cock-ups can also generate conspiracies.  In the light of the information de Gondi provided about the nuclear scaremongering activities of Litvinenko and Scaramella in Italy, it seems likely that the presence of polonium in London was linked in some way to these.  The most notable use of polonium is as a 'trigger' in relatively primitive nuclear devices.

To have light cast on such murky goings-on would have left many in London with egg on their faces, so it is highly likely that CYA became the order of the day. As a result we ended up with a torrent of preposterous disinformation, designed to pretend that an accident was murder -- one conspiracy to cover up another.

Some very diverse -- and interesting -- people have been exploring disinformation networks, among other matters, on both sides of the Atlantic.  In the UK, much interesting information has appeared on site called Spinwatcha site called Spinwatch, which is linked to a kind of Wiki called Spinprofiles.

by djhabakkuk (david daught habakkuk at o two daught co daught uk) on Thu Jun 18th, 2009 at 04:59:16 AM EST
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