I found this e mail in my in box this morning. Thought I’d share it, along with my reply:
I am working for the french website hoaxbuster.com (unfortunately for you it is in French !) and I got your name from David Emery from urbanlegends.about.com .
I have read your blog on the fact that Haïti may have been HAARPed (https://arthurgoldwag.wordpress.com/2010/01/16/was-haiti-haarped/ ) and I have begun to write an article for our site.
I have had contact with different kind of people (earthquake specialist, HAARP knowers…) but there are still some questions for which your American view may be helpful :
• Were there Navy ships in the vicinity of Haïti before the earthquake ? I have heard about that but do no find any information.
• Why the US government seems so interested in Haïti after this earthquake ? The normal answer is : just to be. However, some say it may be because there are some mineral resources or oil in Haïti ! I have heard more serious journalist explaining that US were helping Haïti because it was a way to avoid a massive immigration wave in the Sates. Do you have any idea about all this ?
• Why do people focus on HAARP whereas there is a similar system in Europe EISCAT as you also say in your blog ?
Thank you in advance for your answer and your comment,
Here’s what I wrote back to him:
Without looking anything up, I can tell you that there were almost certainly Navy ships in the vicinity of Haiti—Haiti is only 500 miles from Miami so it’s a safe bet that there were US vessels somewhere nearby. But the evidence suggests that they weren’t right off Haiti’s coast—24 hours elapsed before the first military ship, a Coast Guard cutter, arrived. The first naval vessel to be dispatched there was the USS Vinson, an aircraft carrier, which was off the coast of Virginia when the quake struck, 1200 miles to the north. It arrived on the 15th .
I’m just an author and a blogger—I can’t prove or disprove a conspiracy that’s premised on as deep secrecy as a “planned earthquake” would be. If there was a spy ship off the coast of Haiti when the earthquake struck, I wouldn’t know about it. If the US government used its Alaska-based earthquake machine to cripple Haiti preparatory to seizing its vast mineral reserves (or in order to share in the spoils to be made from adopting orphans and harvesting and selling the organs of the dead, as some conspiracists have it, to tap Haiti’s supposed oil riches or to build a military base near Venezuela and Cuba) then obviously it would lie about it. All I can do is point out the inconsistencies in the conspiracists’ narrative—its self-sealing quality, its infinitely recursive unfalsifiableness. Anything that seems to disprove the theory actually proves it, in the conspiracists’ eyes, because the government is so adept at planting disinformation.
Literally hundreds of conspiracy sites have quoted an article that ran on the Nexgov website on January 15, headlined “Defense Launches Online System to Coordinate Haiti Relief Efforts” (Bob Brewin, the reporter who wrote it, blogged about the “truly off the wall comments” his story inspired a week later). Click here for the original story, here for the reporter’s blog comment. Nextgov’s beat is the use of information technology in the federal government; it’s a safe bet that nothing it’s ever published has received this much attention. The story noted that the Defense Information Systems Agency has been developing a system to facilitate information sharing between federal and non-governmental agencies during a crisis, for which it had received backing from SOUTHCOM and the Defense Department’s European Command. The project has been in development for three years. Now here’s the smoking gun:
Jean Demay, DISA’s technical manager for the agency’s Transnational Information Sharing Cooperation project, happened to be at the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command in Miami preparing for a test of the system in a scenario that involved providing relief to Haiti in the wake of a hurricane. After the earthquake hit on Tuesday, Demay said SOUTHCOM decided to go live with the system. On Wednesday, DISA opened up its All Partners Access Network, supported by the Transnational Information Sharing Cooperation project, to any organization supporting Haiti relief efforts…..APAN provides a series of collaboration tools, including geographical information systems, wikis, YouTube and MySpace-like pages and multilingual chat rooms.
The fact that the military was able to set up multi-lingual chatrooms and My-Space pages with such alacrity, clearly indicates foreknowledge of the disaster, claim the conspiracists. I mean, the US military had never been involved in disaster relief in the Caribbean before, right? Um, no—in 2007 alone, SOUTHCOM dispatched personnel and materiel to Peru and Belize in the wake of natural disasters. SOUTHCOM’s website contains FAQs on the subject:
USSOUTHCOM disaster relief quick facts:
• Any U.S. military assistance must be requested by the host nation through the U.S. ambassador. Then, as the lead federal agent, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance fields the request and asks the DoD for military assistance, if needed.
• USAID asks for military help in about 5% of the U.S. foreign disaster relief missions.
• In the past two years, USSOUTHCOM has sent U.S. military forces to seven disaster relief missions in the region.
• Joint Task Force-Bravo (JTF-Bravo) in Honduras, one of the command’s only forward-deployed units, is pivotal piece of USSOUTHCOM’s disaster relief capability in the region. The task force, based at the Honduran Soto Cano Air Base, has 600 troops and 20 aircraft. The troops train year-round for humanitarian and disaster assistance missions. JTF-Bravo has played a key role in almost all of the USSOUTHCOM-directed disaster relief efforts of the past decade.
• USSOUTHCOM has a team that focuses year-round on working with regional governments to improve disaster responses. The Humanitarian Assistance of Disaster Preparedness Program (HAP) (see more on program), in concert with other U.S. agencies, works with nations in the region to improve disaster response capabilities and build all-important relationships with local officials.
• The HAPs preparation can play a critical role in a disaster response. They’ve constructed and donated 16 disaster relief warehouses and pre-positioned supplies across the region that partner nation relief forces can tap quickly. HAP has also established 11 partner nation Emergency Operations Centers throughout the region that serve as the focus point to coordinate nearby disaster responses.
But it’s easy to imagine a conspiracist’s response to that—all of those previous aid missions were 1) Sinister in their own right, or 2) Meant to provide cover for this one. And never mind that. The real reason the Nexgov story is so damning is because similar drills were happening on 9/11. Here’s a typical post from a conspiracist website:
This is unbelievable. So we were doing a mock drill based on a Hurricane hitting Haiti the day before the earthquake hit? Very strange, especially when you consider what Hugo Chavez is claiming that America caused this disaster using HAARP or other means. So now we have 3 incidents in the last ten years where drills were being carried out and Major catastrophes occurred the same day or next. 9/11 NORAD was doing a drill the day of the attacks. 7/7 the London bombings they were doing a drill in the exact same place all 3 bombs went off. Then now we have this drill the day before the Haiti earthquake, Very strange IMO.
Never mind that governments are nearly always planning and drilling for one contingency or another. If they carry out their conspiracies in such secrecy, why leave such obvious clues? Why admit that they were holding a drill? The conspiracist’s ready answer: to make you think that they had nothing to hide.
So why is the US suddenly so interested in Haiti? The US has been in and out of Haiti for much of this century—to stabilize it, to exploit it, for reasons involving both disinterested humanitarianism, corporate and neo-imperialist greed, and anti-Communist real politick.
When the US wanted to invade Iraq, it didn’t use an earthquake machine, it lied to the international community and used overwhelming, albeit conventional, military force. Why would it need a science fiction machine to provide a pretext for invading a country in our own hemisphere that we have occupied many times in the past? Unwanted Haitian immigration has been a persistent problem (there are countless stories in the news about rafts of refugees drowning or washing up in Miami); but the US also has a long history of providing disaster relief in the region, and it’s not unusual that it would use its military’s logistical resources to deploy it.
HAARP is ours, so our conspiracists focus on it. It has a more meme-worthy name than EISCAT too. Jesse Ventura had just visited the facility on his TV show “Conspiracy Theory”—and there’s that quote from then-Defense Secretary William Cohen in 1997, in which he argues that since other nations were developing microwave and electromagnetic and atmospheric weapons, we should too: “others are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves… So there are plenty of ingenious minds out there that are at work finding ways in which they can wreak terror upon other nations… It’s real, and that’s the reason why we have to intensify our efforts.” If they’ve been working on the problem for 13 years then surely we can do all these terrible things now ourselves. Nikola Tesla had perfected the technology for an earthquake machine at the turn of the last century, according to his own memoir. Of course there’s the nagging question as to why we would keep such a terrible weapon a secret—doesn’t a Doomsday weapon give you more leverage if other nations are scared of it?
The Internet doesn’t create conspiracy stories per se, but it accomplishes in seconds what used to take months and years. Rabid racists and anti-Communists used to send their mimeographed pamphlets about the Rockefeller/Rothschild nexus through the mail; now they can reach millions with slickly produced web pages.
Whenever something awful happens, there is a constituency that’s going to blame the government (or the New World Order, the Jews, the Masons, Devil-worshippers). When the Haiti earthquake occurred, the first wave of Conspiracism was old school: televangelist Pat Robertson blamed Haitian devil worship; conservative talk radio star Rush Limbaugh complained that we spend too much money on Haitian aid already and that Obama would exploit the catastrophe because he’s black himself and wants to raise his positives with that demographic. And then the knee-jerk conspiracy-mongers moved in, with their HAARP stories and their theories about the New World Order-planned genocide (and this wasn’t the first earthquake to be blamed on HAARP—if you Google, you can find plenty of stories about how the Szechuan earthquake and even the Kobe earthquake were artificial) and its DISA smoking gun…. 9/11 had given them a narrative, with its False Flag operations and dubious military drills; Alex Jones and David Icke’s and others’ web sites had their zillions of subscribers in which to propagate the thought contagion….Everything was in place except a plausible reason that 1) The US would have needed to create an earthquake (assuming it could) to occupy such a militarily weak country, and 2) What Haiti has that we need so badly. And then Hugo Chavez stepped in to provide an answer to that one. It’s kind of amazing how quickly it all fell into place.