Friday, June 19, 2009


This is a real story, but -- as I note below -- it's starting to enter the realm of lunatic right-wing fantasy, and it will definitely get synapses firing in the brain of the next von Brunn wannabe.

Case of $134-billion T-bond bust fuels conspiracy theories

For your entertainment, Bloomberg News columnist William Pesek lets his imagination run wild about the strange case of two Japanese men who were allegedly trying to smuggle $134 billion in U.S. Treasury bonds into Switzerland last week:

Two Japanese men are detained in Italy after allegedly attempting to take $134 billion worth of U.S. bonds over the border into Switzerland. Details are maddeningly sketchy, so naturally the global rumor mill is kicking into high gear.

Are these would-be smugglers agents of Kim Jong Il stashing North Korea’s cash in a Swiss vault? Bagmen for Nigerian Internet scammers? Was the money meant for terrorists looking to buy nuclear warheads? Is Japan dumping its dollars secretly? Are the bonds real or counterfeit?

Well, those are fun theories. But there's a new, much more wingnut-friendly conspiracy theory: a thread links to a story at a favorite far-wingnut site, Canada Free Press (warning: CFP might do odd things to your computer), and that story leads to this, from something called the Northeast Intelligence Network. I'll highlight the key bit:

19 June 2009: Good morning America! On June 3, either an attempted attack on the economy of the U.S. on an unprecedented scale was narrowly averted -- or a criminal conspiracy involving the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve that would legitimize the most radical of globalist conspiracies of all time -- was exposed. In either event, a deliberate media blackout was employed in the U.S. When news of the event gained traction in the foreign media, the U.S. media was compelled to report it as well, but only after facts could be changed and damage control employed by the highest levels of the U.S. government, aided and abetted by faceless global powerbrokers.

The event involves the smuggling of $134.5 billion in U.S. government bearer bonds, which by no coincidence, happens to be the exact amount remaining in the U.S. Troubled Asset Relief Program [TARP] as announced by the Department of the Treasury on March 30, 2009....

Bingo! Oh yeah, that's going to get serious traction on the fringe. (I was going to say that Glenn Beck will be all over the story soon, but he's already talking about it, or at least about the initial reports. He apparently hasn't made the TARP leap -- yet.)

The Northeast Intelligence Network story goes on to link the Japanese story to Representative Paul Kanjorski's statement last fall (a conspiracists' favorite) that there was an "electronic run on the banks" one day in September. I'm not sure I understand the alleged connection, but NIN assures me that all of this put together "would provide a great deal of legitimacy to the so-called conspiracy theorists who have suspected such illicit activity involving the U.S. money supply, the Federal Reserve, and the direct involvement or complicity of numerous U.S. administrations over the last 75-plus years." Oh, is that all? (I'll remind you that Rush Limbaugh responded to that Kanjorski statement by speculating that the alleged bank run was something George Soros did to destroy the economy in order to get Barack Obama elected.)

Oh, this has the potential to make a lot of righty heads explode. I think Beck, for starters, is going to make the leap to anti-Obama/TARP/(Soros?) conspiracy talk any day now.

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