I found Professor Smith's beliefs to be so bizarre that I had to read and re-read the introduction at least a half dozen times. I even made a copy of it for myself, so I could highlight in red his most unbelievable beliefs. Nearly every paragraph seems to argue something that I see as totally crazy.
Professor Smith's primary belief seems to be that it is the duty of every American to be suspicious of everything the government does, and to call for investigations of everything that seems suspicious. And, anyone who disagree is UN-American. He appears to argue that suspicions alone are enough to start an investigation of a government official, and, since there is no way to prove a politician is NOT corrupt, every "investigation" must therefore either find proof of corruption or be deemed a failure because the investigators obviously didn't look in the right places or look hard enough. Or maybe the investigators joined the conspiracy.
Professor Smith somehow believes that "the United States was founded on a conspiracy theory." He claims the Declaration of Independence argues that King George was conspiring against the people of America. Reading the Declaration of Independence, however, clearly shows that it presents a long list of evidence proving that King George was acting like a tyrant. No conspiracy. Just a list of facts showing injustices ordered and directed by the King.
The craziest part of Professor Smith's theory may be his belief that people who did as he suggests are the kind of villains he wants stopped. Nixon and his aids suspected the Democrats of doing things that were illegal, so Nixon's aides set out to find evidence of it. They committed crimes during their search, resulting in the Watergate scandal. Bush-Cheney suspected Saddam Hussein of having connections to al Qaeda and being somehow responsible for 9/11, so they set out to find evidence of it. That led to an unnecessary war and the finding NO evidence of a connection between Hussein and 9/11 or al Qaeda.
The Introduction to Professor Smith's book also includes some truly crazy beliefs about the anthrax attacks of 2001. Professor Smith argues that as soon as investigators found that USAMRIID may have had a connection to the anthrax attacks, the investigators should have assumed that the U.S. Military may also have been behind 9/11. Why? Because Professor Smith has a crazy belief that governments are the same as individual criminals. If individual criminals can be caught by looking for patterns in their crimes, then investigators should look for the same thing when they suspect governments of crimes. Professor Smith wrote:
It is routine police protocol to look for patterns in burglaries, bank robberies, car thefts, and other crimes, and to use any patterns that are discovered as clues to the perpetrators’ identity and the vulnerabilities to crime that are being exploited. This method of crime analysis is shown repeatedly in crime shows on TV. It is Criminology 101. There is no excuse for most Americans, much less criminal investigators, journalists, and other professionals, to fail to apply this method to assassinations, election fiascos, defense failures, and other suspicious events that shape national political priorities.Evidently Professor Smith cannot see any difference between administrations or eras. He feels that, if President Nixon helped cover up an illegal break-in at the Watergate Hotel, it should be assumed that President Obama is currently helping cover up a U.S. Government plot that Professor Smith believes was behind 9/11 and the anthrax attacks of 2001.
Professor Smith's book won't actually be published until April. When it is, I hope there will be some discussion about it. I hope it won't just be ignored the way the recent conspiracy theory paper by Professor Martin Hugh-Jones, Dr. Barbara Hatch Rosenberg and Dr. Stuart Jacobsen was ignored. I think Professor Smith's book could be a very fascinating look into the workings of the mind of a true conspiracy theorist.
Meanwhile, on this forum last week, I had a long discussion with R. Rowley who seems to truly believe that he knows who sent the anthrax letters, and it wasn't Dr. Bruce Ivins. Mr. Rowley doesn't think the FBI "bungled" the investigation, he just thinks they didn't understand evidence, they used wrong investigative techniques, they used invalid reasoning, and they came up with the wrong suspect. Mr. Rowley plans to write a book in which he'll show why the FBI was wrong, and he'll explain his theory about the art of linguistics and how it shows someone other than Dr. Ivins was the culprit. But, when you get to the end of Mr. Rowley's book, you'll find he doesn't name the real culprit. You just have to trust that he's right. That seems like a practical joke to me, but it appears Mr. Rowley has high hopes for the book.