Our Reigning Political Puppets, Dancing to Invisible Strings

by Ron Unz • July 29, 2019

The death of Sen. John McCain last August revealed some important truths about the nature of our establishment media.

McCain’s family had released word of his incurable brain cancer many months earlier and his passing at age 84 was long expected, so media outlets great and small had possessed all the time necessary for producing and polishing the packages they eventually published, and that was readily apparent from the voluminous nature of the tributes that they ran. The New York Times, still our national newspaper of record, allocated more than three full pages of its printed edition to the primary obituary, and this was supplemented by a considerable number of other articles and sidebars. I cannot recall any political figure other than an American president whose passing had ever received such an enormous wealth of coverage, and perhaps even some former residents of the Oval Office might have fallen short of that standard. Although I certainly didn’t bother reading all of the tens of thousands of words in the Times or my other newspapers, the coverage of McCain’s life and career seemed exceptionally laudatory across the mainstream media, liberal and conservative alike, with scarcely a negative word appearing anywhere outside the political fringe.

On the face of it, such undiluted political love for McCain might seem a bit odd to those who have followed his activities over the last couple of decades. After all, the Times and most of the other leading lights of our media firmament are purportedly liberal and claim to have become vehement critics of our disastrous Iraq War and other military adventures, let alone the calamitous possibility of an attack upon Iran. Meanwhile, McCain was universally regarded as the leading figure in America’s “War Party,” eagerly supporting all prospective and retrospective military endeavors with gleeful fury, and even making his chant of “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” the most widely remembered detail of his unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign. So either our major media outlets somehow overlooked such striking differences on an absolutely central issue, or perhaps their true positions on certain matters are not exactly what they seem to be, and merely constitute elements of a Kabuki-performance aimed at deceiving their more naive readers.

Even more remarkable were the discordant facts airbrushed out of McCain’s history.

As the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and two George Polk awards, the late Sydney Schanberg was widely regarded as one of the greatest American war correspondents of the twentieth century. His exploits during our ill-fated Indo-Chinese War had become the basis of the Oscar-winning film The Killing Fields, which probably established him as the most famous journalist in America after Woodward and Bernstein of Watergate fame, and he had also served as a top editor at The New York Times. A decade ago, he published his greatest expose, providing a mountain of evidence that America had deliberately left behind hundreds of POWs in Vietnam and he fingered then-presidential candidate John McCain as the central figure in the later official cover-up of that monstrous betrayal. The Arizona senator had traded on his national reputation as our best-known former POW to bury the story of those abandoned prisoners, permitting America’s political establishment to escape serious embarrassment. As a result, Sen. McCain earned the lush rewards of our generous ruling elites, much like his own father Admiral John S. McCain, Sr., who had led the cover-up of the deliberate 1967 Israeli attack on the U.S.S. Liberty, which killed or wounded over 200 American servicemen.

As publisher of The American Conservative, I ran Schanberg’s remarkable piece as a cover story, and across several websites over the years it has surely been read many hundreds of thousands of times, including a huge spike around the time of McCain’s death. I therefore find it rather difficult to believe that the many journalists investigating McCain’s background might have remained unaware of this material. Yet no hints of these facts were provided in any of the articles appearing in any remotely prominent media outlets as can be seen by searching for web pages containing “McCain and Schanberg” dated around the time of the Senator’s passing.John McCain and the POW Cover-UpSydney Schanberg • May 25, 2010 • 8,200 Words

Schanberg’s journalistic stature had hardly been forgotten by his former colleagues. Upon his death a couple of years ago, the Times ran a very long and glowing obituary, and a few months later I attended the memorial tribute to his life and career held at the New York Times headquarters building, which more than two hundred prominent journalists mostly from his own generation, including those of the highest rank. Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. gave a speech describing how as a young man he had always so greatly admired Schanberg and had been mortified by the unfortunate circumstances of his departure from the family’s newspaper. Former Executive Editor Joseph Lelyveld recounted the many years he had worked closely with the man he had long considered his closest friend and colleague, someone whom he almost seemed to regard as his older brother. But during the two hours of praise and remembrance scarcely a single word was uttered in public about the gigantic story that had occupied the last two decades of Schanberg’s celebrated career.

This same blanket of media silence also enveloped the very serious accusations regarding McCain’s own Vietnam War record. A few years ago, I drew upon the Times and other fully mainstream sources to strongly suggest that McCain’s stories of his torture as a POW were probably fictional, invented to serve as a cover and an excuse for the very real record of his wartime collaboration with his Communist captors. Indeed, at the time our American media reported his activities as one of the leading propagandists of our North Vietnamese foes, but these facts were later flushed down the memory-hole. McCain’s father then ranked as one of America’s top military officers, and it seems likely that his personal political intervention ensured that the official narrative of his son’s wartime record was transmuted from traitor to war-hero, thereby allowing the younger McCain to later embark upon his celebrated political career.John McCain: When “Tokyo Rose” Ran for PresidentRon Unz • March 9, 2015 • 4,200 Words

The story of the abandoned Vietnam POWs and McCain’s own Communist propaganda broadcasts hardly exhaust the catalog of the major skeletons in the late Senator’s closet. McCain was regularly described by reporters as being remarkably hot-headed and having a violent temper, but the national press left it to the alternative media to investigate the real-life implications of those rather suggestive phrases.

In a September 1, 2008 Counterpunch expose later published online, Alexander Cockburn reported that interviews with two emergency room physicians in Phoenix revealed that around the time that McCain was sucked into the political maelstrom of the Keating Five Scandal, his wife Cindy was admitted to her local hospital suffering from a black eye, facial bruises, and scratches consistent with physical violence, and this same situation occurred two additional times over the next few years. Cockburn also noted several other highly suspicious marital incidents during the years that followed, including the Senator’s wife appearing with a bandaged wrist and her arm in a sling not long after she joined her husband on the 2008 campaign trail, an injury reported by our strangely incurious political journalists as being due to “excessive hand-shaking.” It’s an odd situation when a tiny leftist newsletter can easily uncover facts that so totally eluded the vast resources of our entire national press corps. If there were credible reports that Melania Trump had been repeatedly admitted to local emergency rooms suffering from black eyes and facial bruises, would our corporate media have remained so uninterested in any further investigation?

McCain had first won his Arizona Congressional seat in 1982, not long after he moved into the state, with his campaign bankrolled by his father-in-law’s beer-distributorship fortune, and that inheritance eventually elevated the McCain household into one of the wealthiest in the Senate. But although the Senator spent the next quarter-century in public life, even nearly upsetting George W. Bush for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination, only in late 2008 did I learn from the Times that the Phoenix beer-monopoly in question, then valued at around $200 million, had accrued to a man whose lifelong business partner Kemper Marley had long been deeply linked to organized crime. Indeed, close associates of that latter individual had been convicted by a jury of the car-bomb assassination of a Phoenix investigative crime reporter just a few years before McCain’s sudden triumphal entrance into Arizona politics. Perhaps such guilt-by-association is improper, but would our national press-corps have remained silent if the personal fortune of our current president were only a step or two removed from the car-bomb assassins of a nosy journalist who died while investigating mobsters?

As I gradually became aware of these enormities casually hidden in McCain’s background, my initial reaction was disbelief that someone whose record was so deeply tarnished in so many different ways could ever have reached such a pinnacle of American political power. But as the media continued to avert its eyes from these newly revealed facts, even those disclosed in the pages of the Times itself, I gradually began to consider matters in a different light. Perhaps McCain’s elevation to great American political power was not in spite of the devastating facts littering his personal past, but because of them. As I wrote a few years ago:

Today when we consider the major countries of the world we see that in many cases the official leaders are also the leaders in actuality: Vladimir Putin calls the shots in Russia, Xi Jinping and his top Politburo colleagues do the same in China, and so forth. However, in America and in some other Western countries, this seems to be less and less the case, with top national figures merely being attractive front-men selected for their popular appeal and their political malleability, a development that may eventually have dire consequences for the nations they lead. As an extreme example, a drunken Boris Yeltsin freely allowed the looting of Russia’s entire national wealth by the handful of oligarchs who pulled his strings, and the result was the total impoverishment of the Russian people and a demographic collapse almost unprecedented in modern peacetime history.

An obvious problem with installing puppet rulers is the risk that they will attempt to cut their strings, much like Putin soon outmaneuvered and exiled his oligarch patron Boris Berezovsky. One means of minimizing such risk is to select puppets who are so deeply compromised that they can never break free, knowing that the political self-destruct charges buried deep within their pasts could easily be triggered if they sought independence. I have sometimes joked with my friends that perhaps the best career move for an ambitious young politician would be to secretly commit some monstrous crime and then make sure that the hard evidence of his guilt ended up in the hands of certain powerful people, thereby assuring his rapid political rise.

In physics, when an object deviates from its expected trajectory for inexplicable reasons, we assume that some unknown force has been at work, and tracing the record of such deviations may help to determine the characteristic properties of the latter. Over the years, I’ve increasingly become aware of such strange ideological deviations in public policy, and although some are readily explained, others suggest the existence of hidden forces far beneath the surface of our regular political world. This same situation may have occurred throughout our history, and sometimes the political decisions that so baffled contemporaries eventually came to light decades later.

In The Dark Side of Camelot, famed investigative reporter Seymour Hersh claimed that secret blackmail evidence of JFK’s extra-marital affairs probably played a crucial role in having his administration overrule the unanimous verdict of all top Pentagon advisors and award the largest military procurement contract in U.S. history to General Dynamics instead of Boeing, thereby saving the former company from likely bankruptcy and its major organized-crime shareholders from devastating financial losses. Hersh also suggests that a similar factor likely explains JFK’s last-minute reversal in the choice of his Vice President, a decision that landed Lyndon Johnson on the 1960 ticket and placed him in the White House after Kennedy’s 1963 assassination.

As I recently mentioned, in the 1950s Sen. Estes Kefauver shifted the focus of his Organized Crime Hearings after the Chicago Syndicate confronted him with the photographs of his sexual encounter with two mob-supplied women. A decade later, California Attorney-General Stanley Mosk suffered much the same fate, with the facts remaining hidden for over twenty years.

Similar rumors swirl around events much farther back in history as well, sometimes with enormous consequences. Well-placed contemporary sources have claimed that Samuel Untermyer, a wealthy Jewish lawyer, purchased the secret correspondence between Woodrow Wilson and his longtime mistress, and that the existence of that powerful leverage may have been an important factor behind Wilson’s astonishingly rapid rise from president of Princeton in 1910 to governor of New Jersey in 1911 to president of the United States in 1912. Once in office, Wilson signed the controversial legislation establishing the Federal Reserve system in 1913 and also named Louis Brandeis as the first Jewish member of the U.S. Supreme Court despite the public opposition of nearly our entire legal establishment. Wilson’s swiftly changing views on American involvement in the First World War may also have influenced by such personal pressures rather than solely determined by his perceptions of the national interest.

Without naming any names, since 2001 it has been difficult to avoid noticing that one of the most zealous and committed supporters of the Neocon party-line on all Middle Eastern foreign policy matters has been a leading Republican senator from one of the most socially-conservative Southern states, a man whose rumored personal inclinations have long circulated on the Internet. The strikingly-sudden reversal of this individual on a major policy question certainly supports these suspicions. There have also been several other such examples involving prominent Republicans.

But consider the far different situation of Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, who in 1987 became the first member of the Congress to voluntarily admit that he was gay. Not long afterward, a notorious scandal erupted when it was revealed that his own DC townhouse had been used by a former boyfriend as headquarters for a male-prostitution ring. Frank claimed to have had no knowledge of that sordid situation, and his liberal Massachusetts constituents apparently accepted that, since he was resoundingly reelected and went on to serve another 24 years in Congress. But surely if Frank had been a Republican from a socially-conservative district, anyone possessing such evidence would have totally controlled his political survival, and with Frank spending several years as Chairman of the very powerful House Financial Services Committee, the value of such a hold would have been enormous.

This demonstrates the undeniable reality that what constitutes effective blackmail material may vary tremendously across different eras and regions. Today, it is widely accepted that longtime FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover lived his life as a deeply-closeted homosexual and there seem to be serious claims that he also had some black ancestry, with the secret evidence of these facts probably helping to explain why for decades he stubbornly refused to admit the existence of American organized crime or focus his G-men on efforts to uproot it. But in today’s America, he surely would have proudly proclaimed his sexuality and racial ancestry in an New York Times Magazine cover-story, rightly believing that they enhanced his political invulnerability on the national stage. There are lurid rumors that the Syndicate possessed secret photos of Hoover wearing a dress and high-heels, but just a few years ago Rep. Mike Honda of San Jose desperately placed his eight-year-old transgendered grand-daughter front-and-center in his unsuccessful attempt to win reelection.

The decades have certainly softened the effectiveness of many forms of blackmail, but pedophilia still ranks as an extremely powerful taboo. There seems to be a great deal of evidence that powerful organizations and individuals have successfully managed to suppress credible accusations of that practice for very long periods of time if no group with substantial media influence chose to target the offenders for unmasking.

The most obvious example is the Catholic Church, and the failings of its American and international hierarchy in that regard have regularly made the front pages of our leading newspapers. But until the early 2000s and the breakthrough reporting of the Boston Globe as recounted in the Oscar-winning film Spotlight, the Church had routinely fended off such scandals.

Consider also the remarkable case of British television personality Sir Jimmy Savile, one of his country’s most admired celebrities, eventually knighted for his public service. Only shortly after his death at age 84 did the press begin revealing that he had probably molested many hundreds of children during his long career. Accusations by his young victims had stretched back across forty years, but his criminal activities had seemingly been protected by his wealth and celebrity, along with his numerous supporters in the media.

There is also the intriguing example of Dennis Hastert. As the longest serving Republican Speaker of the House in U.S. history, holding office during 1999-2007, Hastert was third in line to the Presidency and even ranked as our nation’s top Republican elected official during some of that period. Based upon my newspaper readings, he had always struck me as a rather bland and ordinary individual, with journalists sometimes even strongly hinting at his mediocrity, so that I occasionally wondered just how someone so unimpressive could have risen to such extremely high national office.

Then a few years ago, he was suddenly thrust back into the headlines, arrested by the FBI and charged with financial crimes relating to what apparently had been his past history of abusing young boys, at least one of whom had committed suicide, with the federal judge who sent him to prison denouncing him as “a serial child molester” at sentencing. Perhaps I’ve led an overly sheltered life, but my impression is that only a tiny sliver of Americans have had a long record of child molestation, and all things being equal, it seems rather unlikely that someone of such a background but who possesses no other great talents or skills would rise to near the absolute top of our political heap. So perhaps not all things were otherwise equal. If some powerful elements held the hard evidence that placed a particular elected official under their total control, making great efforts to elevate him to Speaker of the House would be a very shrewd investment.

At times the unwillingness of our national media to see major stories in front of their very noses reaches ridiculous extremes. During the summer of 2007, the Internet was ablaze with claims that Sen. John Edwards, a runner-up in the 2004 Democratic presidential primaries, had just fathered a child with his mistress, and those reports were backed by seemingly-credible visual evidence, including photos showing the married senator holding his new-born baby. Yet as the days and even the weeks went by, not a whiff of this salacious scandal ever reached the pages of any of my morning newspapers or the rest of the mainstream media although it was a top conversation topic everywhere else. Eventually, the National Enquirer, a notorious gossip tabloid, scored a journalistic first, by receiving a Pulitzer Prize nomination for breaking the story that no other outlet seemed willing to cover. Would our media have similarly averted its eyes from a newborn baby Trump coming from the wrong side of the bed?

Over the years, it became increasingly obvious to me that nearly all elements of our national media were often quite willing to enlist in a “conspiracy of silence” to minimize or entirely ignore stories of tremendous potential interest to their readership and major public importance. I could easily have doubled or tripled the number of such notable examples I provided above without much effort. Moreover, it is quite intriguing that so many of these cases involve the sort of criminal or sexual misbehavior that would be ideally suited for blackmailing powerful individuals who are less likely to be vulnerable to other influences. So perhaps many of the elected officials situated at the top of our democratic system merely reign as political puppets, dancing to invisible strings.

Given my awareness of this remarkable track-record of major media cover-ups, I’m ashamed to admit that I had paid almost no attention to the Jeffrey Epstein case until it exploded across our national headlines earlier this month, suddenly becoming one of the biggest news stories in our country.

For many years, reports about Epstein and his illegal sex-ring had regularly circulated on the fringes of the Internet, with agitated commenters citing the case as proof of the dark and malevolent forces that secretly controlled our corrupted political system. But I almost entirely ignored these discussions, and I’m not sure that I ever once clicked on a single link.

Probably one reason I paid so little attention to the topic was the exceptionally lurid nature of the claims being made. Epstein was supposedly an enormously wealthy Wall Street financier of rather mysterious personal background and source of funds, who owned a private island and an immense New York City mansion, both regularly stocked with harems of underage girls provided for sexual purposes. He allegedly hobnobbed on a regular basis with Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz, and numerous other figures in the international elite, as well as a gaggle of ordinary billionaires, frequently transporting those individuals on his personal jet known as “the Lolita Express” for the role it played in facilitating illegal secret orgies with young girls. When right-wing bloggers on obscure websites claimed that former President Clinton and the British Royals were being sexually serviced by the underage girls of a James Bond super-villain brought to life, I just assumed those accusations were the wildest sort of Internet exaggeration.

Moreover, these angry writers did occasionally let slip that the fiendish target of their wrath had already been charged in a Florida courtroom, eventually pleading guilty to a single sexual offense and receiving a thirteen month jail sentence, mitigated by very generous work-release provisions. This hardly seemed like the sort of judicial punishment that would lend credence to the fantastical accusations against him. If Epstein had already been investigated by law enforcement authorities and given the sentence one might expect for writing a bad check, I found it quite unlikely that he was actually the Goldfinger or Dr. No that deluded Internet activists made him out to be.

Then these same wild, implausible claims previously found only on anonymous comment-threads were suddenly repeated as solid fact on the front pages of the Times and all my other morning newspapers, and the former federal prosecutor who had signed off on Epstein’s legal slap-on-the-wrist was forced to resign from the Trump Cabinet. Epstein’s safe had been found to contain a huge cache of child-pornography and other highly suspicious material, and he was quickly rearrested on charges that could send him to federal prison for decades. Prestigious media outlets described Epstein as the mastermind of a huge sex-trafficking ring, and numerous underage victims began coming forward, telling their stories of how he had molested, raped, and pimped them. The author of a long 2003 Epstein profile that had appeared in Vanity Fair explained that she had personally spoken to some of his victims and included their highly-credible accounts in her article, but that those portions had been stricken and removed by her timorous editors.

As presented by these media outlets, Epstein’s personal rise also seemed rather inexplicable unless he had benefited from some powerful network or similar organization. Lacking any college degree or credentials, he had somehow gotten a job teaching at one of New York City’s most elite prep schools, then quickly jumped to working at a top investment bank, rising to partner with astonishing speed until he was fired a few years later for illegal activity. Despite such a scanty and doubtful record, he was soon managing money for some of America’s wealthiest individuals, and keeping so much of it for himself that he was regularly described as a billionaire. According to newspaper accounts, his great specialty was “making connections for people.”

Obviously, Epstein was a ruthlessly opportunistic financial hustler. But extremely wealthy individuals must surely be surrounded by great swarms of ruthlessly opportunistic financial hustlers, and why would he have been so much more successful than all those others? Perhaps a clue comes from the offhand remark of Epstein’s now-disgraced prosecutor, saying that he had been told to go very easy on the sex-trafficker because he “belonged to intelligence.” The vague phrasing of that statement raises questions about whether the intelligence service may not have been one controlled by the U.S. government.

Philip Giraldi, a highly-regarded former CIA officer, put things very plainly when he suggested that Epstein had probably been working for the Israeli Mossad, operating “honey traps” to obtain blackmail information on all the wealthy and powerful individuals whom he regularly plied with underage girls. Indeed, longtime Canadian journalist Eric Margolis recounted his early 1990s visit to Epstein’s enormous NYC mansion, in which he had barely crossed the threshold before he was offered an “intimate massage” by one of the many young girls there, presumably in a bedroom well-stocked with hidden cameras.

Given my personal lack of interest in the Epstein case, then or now, perhaps a few of these details may be garbled, but it seems undeniable that he was exactly the sort of remarkable renegade often faced by Agent 007 in the movies, and the true facts will presumably come out at his trial. Or perhaps not. Whether he lives to see trial is not entirely clear given the considerable number of powerful individuals who might prefer that hidden facts remain hidden, and the Friday newspapers reported that Epstein had been found injured and unconscious in his prison cell.

When one seemingly implausible pedophilia scandal has suddenly jumped from obscure corners of the Internet to the front pages of our leading newspapers, we must naturally begin to wonder whether others might not eventually do the same. And a very likely candidate comes to mind, one that seemed to me far better documented than the vague accusations being thrown about over the last few years against a wealthy financier once given a thirteen-month jail sentence in Florida a decade earlier.

I don’t use Social Media myself, but near the end of the 2016 presidential campaign, I gradually began seeing more and more Trump supporters referring to something called “Pizzagate,” a burgeoning sexual scandal that they claimed would bring down Hillary Clinton and many of the top leaders of her party, with the chatter actually increasing after Trump was elected. As near as I could tell, the whole bizarre theory had grown up on the far-right fringe of the Internet, with the utterly fantastical plot having something to do with stolen secret emails, DC pizza parlors, and a ring of pedophiles situated near the top of the Democratic Party. But given all the other strange and unlikely things I’d gradually discovered about our history, it didn’t seem like something I could necessarily dismiss out of hand.

At the beginning of December, a right-wing blogger produced a lengthy exposition of the Pizzagate charges, which finally gave me some understanding of what was actually under discussion, and I soon made arrangements to republish his article. It quickly attracted a great deal of interest, and some websites pointed to it as the best single introduction to the scandal for a general audience.PizzagateAedon Cassiel • December 2, 2016 • 3,100 Words

A couple of weeks later, I republished an additional article by the same writer, describing a long list of previous pedophilia scandals that had occurred in elite American and European political circles. Although many of these seemed to be solidly documented, nearly all of them had received minimal coverage by our mainstream media outlets. And if such political pedophile rings had existed in the relatively recent past, was it so totally implausible that there might be another one simmering beneath the surface of today’s Washington DC?Precedents for PizzagateAedon Cassiel • December 23, 2016 • 6,200 Words

Those interested in the details of the Pizzagate Hypothesis are advised to read these articles, especially the first one, but I might as well provide a brief summary.

John Podesta had been a longtime fixture in DC political circles, becoming chief of staff to President Bill Clinton in 1998, and afterward remaining one of the most powerful figures in the Democratic Party establishment. While serving as as chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, his apparent carelessness with the password security of his Gmail account allowed it to easily be hacked, and tens of thousands of his personal emails were soon published on WikiLeaks. A swarm of young anti-Clinton activists began scouring this treasure-trove of semi-confidential information, seeking evidence of mundane bribery and corruption, but instead they came across some quite odd exchanges, seemingly written in coded language.

Now use of coded language in a supposedly secure private email account raises all sorts of natural suspicions regarding what might have been under discussion, with the most likely possibilities being illegal drugs or sex. But most of the references didn’t seem to fit the former category, and in our remarkably libertine era, in which political candidates compete for the right to be Grand Marshal at an annual Gay Pride Parade, one of the few sexual activities still discussed only in whispers would seem to be pedophilia, with some of the very strange remarks possibly hinting at this.

The researchers also soon discovered that his brother Tony Podesta, one of the wealthiest and most successful lobbyists in DC, had extremely odd taste in art. Major items of his very extensive personal collection seemed to represent tortured or murdered bodies, and one of his favorite artists was best known for paintings depicting young children being held captive, lying dead, or suffering under severe distress. Such peculiar artwork obviously isn’t illegal, but it might naturally arouse some suspicions. And oddly enough, arch-Democrat Podesta had long been a close personal friend of former Republican Speaker and convicted child-molester Dennis Hastert, welcoming him back into DC society after his release from prison.

Furthermore, some of the rather suspiciously-worded Podesta emails referred to events held at a local DC pizza parlor, greatly favored by the Democratic Party elite, whose owner was the gay former boyfriend of David Brock, a leading Democratic activist. The public Instagram account of that pizza-entrepreneur apparently contained numerous images of young children, sometimes tied or bound, with those images frequently labeled by hashtags using the traditional gay slang for underage sexual targets. Some photos showed the fellow wearing a tee-shirt bearing the statement “I Love Children” in French, and by a very odd coincidence, his possibly assumed name was phonetically identical to that very same French phrase, thus proclaiming to the world that he was “a lover of children.” Closely connected Instagram accounts also included pictures of young children, sometimes shown amid piles of high-value currency, with queries about how much those particular children might be worth. None of this seemed illegal, but surely any reasonable person would regard the material as extremely suspicious.

DC is sometimes described as “Powertown,” being the seat of the individuals who make America’s laws and govern our society, with local political journalists being closely attuned to the relative status of such individuals. And oddly enough, GQ Magazine had ranked that gay pizza parlor owner with a strange focus on young children as being one of the 50 most powerful people in our national capital, placing him far ahead of many Cabinet members, Senators, Congressional Chairmen, Supreme Court justices, and top lobbyists. Was his pizza really that delicious?

These few paragraphs provide merely a sliver of the large quantity of highly-suspicious material surrounding various powerful figures at the apex of the DC political world. A vast cloud of billowing smoke is certainly no proof of any fire, but only a fool would completely ignore it without attempting further investigation.

I usually regard videos as a poor means of imparting serious information, far less effective and meaningful than the simple printed word. But the overwhelming bulk of the evidence supporting the Pizzagate Hypothesis consists of visual images and screen shots, and these are naturally suited to a video presentation.

Some of the best summaries of the Pizzagate case were produced by a young British YouTuber named Tara McCarthy, whose work was published under the name of “Reality Calls,” and her videos were viewed hundreds of thousands of times. Although her channel was eventually banned and her videos purged, copies were later reloaded to other accounts, both on YouTube and BitChute. Some of the evidence she presents seemed rather innocuous or speculative to me and other elements were probably based upon her unfamiliarity with American society and culture. But a great deal of extremely suspicious material remains, and I would suggest that people watch the videos and decide for themselves.

Around the same time that I first became familiar with the details of the Pizzagate controversy, the topic also started reaching the pages of my morning newspapers, but in an rather strange manner. Political stories began giving a sentence or two to the “Pizzagate hoax,” describing it as a ridiculous right-wing “conspiracy theory” but excluding all relevant details. I had an eery feeling that some unseen hand had suddenly flipped a switch causing the entire mainstream media to begin displaying identical signs declaring “Pizzagate Is False—Nothing To See There!” in brightly flashing neon. I couldn’t recall any previous example of such a strange media reaction to some obscure Internet controversy.

Articles in the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times also suddenly appeared denouncing the entirety of the alternative media—Left, Right, and Libertarian—as “fake news” websites promoting Russian propaganda, while urging that their content be blocked by all patriotic Internet giants such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Prior to that moment, I’d never even heard the term “fake news” but suddenly it was ubiquitous across the media, once again almost as if some unseen hand had suddenly flipped a switch.

I naturally began to wonder whether the timing of these two strange developments was entirely coincidental. Perhaps Pizzagate was indeed true and struck so deeply at the core of our hugely corrupted political system that the media efforts to suppress it were approaching the point of hysteria.

Not long afterward, Tara McCarthy’s detailed Pizzagate videos were purged from YouTube. This was among the very first instances of video content being banned despite fully conforming to all existing YouTube guidelines, another deeply suspicious development.

I also noticed that mere mention of Pizzagate had become politically lethal. Donald Trump had selected Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, as his National Security Advisor, and Flynn’s son served as the latter’s chief of staff. The younger Flynn happened to Tweet out a couple of links to Pizzagate stories, pointing out that the accusations hadn’t yet been actually investigated let alone disproven, and very soon afterward, he was purged from the Trump transition team, foreshadowing his father’s fall a few weeks later. It seemed astonishing to me that a few simple Tweets about an Internet controversy could have such huge real-life impact near the top of our government.

The media continued its uniform drumbeat of “Pizzagate Has Been Disproven!” but we were never told how or by whom, and I was not the only individual to notice the hollowness of such denunciations. An award-winning investigative journalist named Ben Swann at a CBS station in Atlanta broadcast a short television segment summarizing the Pizzagate controversy and noting that contrary to widespread media claims, Pizzagate had neither been investigated nor debunked. Swann was almost immediately purged by CBS but a copy of his television segment remains available for viewing on the Internet.

There is an old wartime proverb that enemy flak is always heaviest over the most important target, and the remarkably ferocious wave of attacks and censorship against anyone broaching the subject of Pizzagate seems to raise obvious dark suspicions. Indeed, the simultaneous waves of attacks against all alternative media outlets as “Russian propaganda outlets” laid the basis for the continuing regime of Social Media censorship that has become a central aspect of today’s world.

Pizzagate may or may not turn out to be true, but the ongoing Internet crackdown has similarly engulfed topics of a somewhat similar nature but with vastly stronger documentation. Although I don’t use Twitter myself, I encountered the obvious implications of this new censorship policy following McCain’s death last August. The senator had died on a Saturday afternoon, and readership of Sydney Schanberg’s long 2008 expose quickly exploded, with numerous individuals Tweeting out the story and a large fraction of our incoming traffic therefore coming from Twitter. This continued until the following morning, at which point the huge flood of Tweets continued to grow, but all incoming Twitter traffic suddenly and permanently vanished, presumably because “shadow banning” had rendered those Tweets invisible. My own article on McCain’s very doubtful war record simultaneously suffered the same fate, as did numerous other articles of a controversial nature that we published later that same week.

Perhaps that censorship decision was made by some ignorant young intern at Twitter, casually choosing to ban as “hate speech” or “fake news” a massively-documented 8,400 word expose by one of America’s most distinguished journalists, a Pulitzer-prize winning former top editor at The New York Times.

Or perhaps certain political-puppeteers who had spent decades controlling that late Arizona senator sought to ensure that their political puppet-strings remained invisible even after his death.

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