Thursday, April 28, 2016

Beyonce's 'Lemonade' Was Funded by the CIA, Reasonable Conspiracy Theorists Say

by Bethy Squires,
image [of the author?] from article [original article contains links]

An exploration of one of the most predictable and poorly-researched theories about 'Lemonade.'

Radio host Alex Jones [see] is claiming that Lemonade is Beyonce's CIA-funded attempt to start a race war.

uncaptioned Beyonce image from article

For those not in the know, Jones is the figurehead of conspiracy site InfoWars, and also the first result you get when you search for a stock image to represent "high blood pressure." According to Jones, Beyonce's new visual album isn't a deeply personal statement on black womanhood and how to survive when trust is broken in a marriage, it's a call to arms. In a video, Jones said Beyonce was "making them stand up, burn down your neighborhood, or attack the police." Jones was unclear about who "them" was, but, c'mon.

Meanwhile, according to Jones, "the police then are being federalized and geared up for what's about to happen."

So in Alex Jones' mind, the Black Lives Matter movement is a false flag operation started by Beyonce/the CIA to justify a police state. How did he come to this interesting conclusion? Circuitously! Jones points to two pieces of evidence: the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and a 2015 Senate report stating that the Department of Defense spent up to $6.8 billion on pro-military displays at sporting events.

The 2013 NDAA included an update of the 1948 Smith-Mundt Act, which regulates how "public diplomacy" is funded and distributed both domestically and abroad. "Public diplomacy" is a term used to describe something between PR and propaganda. It's the communication of American ideals and agenda via non-diplomatic channels. The Smith-Mundt Act empowered the State Department to create publicity materials for America in the form of radio broadcasts, brochures, whatever. Until 2013 these publicity materials weren't allowed to be disseminated within the United States, but the 2013 NDAA removed that restriction. Of course, the Internet effectively removed the restriction about a decade before that.

Critics of the bill argue that it allows the US government to push propaganda on its citizens. And since the government has admitted to paying the NFL to do pro-military pregame shows, Jones believes that the 2013 NDAA is responsible for every moment of televised football and obviously it also includes Beyonce's performance of "Formation" in the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show. This performance, you'll remember, was chock full of Black Panther imagery. Jones believes this Black Panther references were planted by the CIA to stir civil unrest.

As adorably bat-shit as this theory is, it doesn't stand up to the great arbitrator of truth: Google. If Jones were to Google he might learn that the CIA doesn't fuck with the US. The FBI does. It is the entirety of their job. The CIA is for foreign intelligence; the FBI is for domestic. In general, the FBI is not super down with a race war to begin with. The FBI took great pains to demolish the Black Panthers in the 60s and 70s because they thought their organizing could lead to the very civil unrest Alex Jones fears. The CIA must also be pretty miffed that it's being accused of such a shitty plan. The CIA would not be pussyfooting around if they wanted to start a race war. They wouldn't be putting messages in songs and hoping that shit goes viral. When the CIA wants to start a war, they buy a bunch of guns and give them to angry people. It's worked several times.

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