The Absolutely True, Somewhat Spurious and Totally Impossible

CONSPIRACIES BY THE BAY!!!

In Harry Martin's version, the Drug Tug picked up its dope shipment from a mothership in the Pacific. Financing of up to $15 million for the Drug Tug's shipment was laundered through Kenneth Armitage, a British national then holed up on his private Costa Rican island. This same island, which served as the midway point for drug-runners heading north, was used extensively by the CIA as a stopover for its arms shipments headed south. Armitage (now dead) was connected to John Hull, an alleged CIA operative living in Costa Rica, who, in turn, had worked closely with Manuel Noriega and Oliver North, funneling arms from Armitage's island to the contras. You getting all of this?

In 1989, the Costa Rican government reported that its own investigation of the contra-drug connection had found that Noriega and Hull were working for North and the National Security Council. And, of course, as Oliver North testified to Congress, the president knew of and approved everything he did.

The Napa Sentinel dug deeper into the Drug Tug/contra connection than any other publication. And the congressional Iran-contra hearings never touched on the web of drug trafficking that intertwined so inconspicuously with the other nefarious deeds of the Reagan rabble.

Martin concluded his series of articles with a 56-name laundry list, "Who's Who in the Drug Tug Series," which included such dirty socks as Lucky Luciano and J. Danforth Quayle.

Satanic Nazis and Cancer -- The Death of Mae Brussell
We are approaching the outer limits of conspiracy; that gray expanse ahead is no man's land, where conjecture and fact meld into a tumorous lump visible only to the most sensitive X-ray machine.

In the spring of 1988, the Grand Dame of Conspiracy, Mae Brussell, left the radiowaves after 18 years due to a clutch of death threats more graphic than usual. The phone calls she was receiving from someone claiming to be "a fascist and proud of it" had rattled the indomitable Brussell, as had a mysterious break-in at her Carmel home, in which nothing was stolen, but all her furniture had been rearranged. A jigsaw puzzle piece taped to her wall was accompanied by a handwritten note: "We were here." That summer, she developed cancer; by autumn, Brussell, 66, was dead.

It's only fitting that the specter of conspiracy should shroud the death of Mae Brussell. For 20 years, she had been a revered ranter on the conspiracy scene -- patron saint of the paranoid underground. The great-granddaughter of San Francisco clothing mogul Cyril Magnin, Brussell found her life's calling tracking the legacy of the Secret Government and the gaggle of Nazis who ran it. Sure as shootin', behind every political scandal and assassination, Brussell found the telltale footprints of a goose-stepping fascist.

Her thesis was simple: Nazism survived WWII -- not the homespun, skinhead nazism of soccer and oi!, but real bona fide German Nazism. Nazi doctors, Nazi scientists and, most importantly, Nazi spies all successfully escaped the vengeance of the Allies by becoming the Allies.

Though she was often derided as a bag of nuts, some of Brussell's assertions have been substantiated by more mainstream researchers. It was Brussell who first opened the historical closet that hid the story of Nazi spymaster General Reinhard Gehlen. At the end of WWII, Gehlen made a deal with Uncle Sam and was absorbed, along with all of his contacts and data, into the American intelligence community.

And that's what makes the last chapter of Brussell's life so disturbing to hardcore conspiracy theorists like Dave Emory and John Judge, not to mention the conspiracy zine Paranoia (#7). At the time she was forced off the air, Brussell had been investigating those connections between the CIA (read: the Nazis) and satanic cults in the U.S. military. Just as Judge maintains that MKULTRA wasn't stopped in the early '70s, Brussell insisted the mind-control effort didn't die at Jonestown, but metamorphosed into a diabolic satanic conspiracy.

The conspiracy press has spent much time debating the government's ability to induce cancer through the use of microwave radiation or the introduction of cancer "microbes" into a person's body. While there is no definitive proof, many conspiracy theorists and fringe physicians agree that it is possible for The Man to give you the big "C" should he choose to do so. Was Mae Brussell "cancered" because she got too close to the truth ... again?

Operation Mount Rushmore -- The One That Got Away
While most conspiracies orbit nebulously around a nucleus of truth, others float eternally unattached in the ether. One such plot is Operation Mount Rushmore, a conspiracy so dastardly, so heinous, it never happened. But almost ....

Think back for a moment to those heady days of the 1992 presidential campaign. As election day approached, desperate incumbent George Bush became more belligerent, hurling epithets at the young upstart Democratic challenger. It was clear that Bush -- a former head of the CIA, mind you -- would do anything to stay in the White House.

In his vanity-press conspiracy cavalcade, Defrauding America (1994), FAA whistle-blower Rodney Stich asserts that Poppy planned to assassinate Clinton. Codenamed Operation Mount Rushmore, it was allegedly masterminded by the CIA, the Office of Naval Intelligence and Israel's espionage agency, Mossad.

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