First the anthrax attacks on Daschle and Leahy, then the political targetting and removal of Cynthia McKinney and Earl Hillard, now the "accidental" death of Paul Wellstone. Do I see a pattern developing?

Foul play suspected in Wellstone death (current top feature at portland indymedia).

Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota was reported dead in a plane crash on Friday morning. He was a member of the state's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and was described on the Twin Cities IMC site as "one of the very few Representatives who had the courage and conviction to speak for those that are so often ignored". Wellstone was among the 23 Senators who voted against a bill granting war powers to Bush. From a progressive point of view, Wellstone's record was not spotless -- he voted in favor of bombing Iraq in 1998, the anti-gay "Defense of Marriage Act", and the xenophobic Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2001 -- but he was generally seen as one of the least of evils on Capitol Hill. From a radical point of view, he fell quite short of any respectable ideal, and showed the pointlessness of electoral politics.

Shortly after the news was announced, speculation broke out on Indymedia that his death was no accident. On a post to the Twin Cities site, the question is asked, "If Bush had died in a plane crash, would there not be immediate open speculation about the possibility of assassination? Wellstone held the balance in the Senate for the Democrats; he was as opposed to Bush policies as any Senator could be, in issues of war, health policy, and labor issues. His death has great political and social significance." So far, corporate media has not raised the possibility of assassination and is pointing to bad weather conditions as the cause of the crash. There is much doubt about this story, though.

One commenter states that local corporate media in Minnesota "reported that at the time of the crash, visibility was 3 to 4 miles, the ceiling was 200 to 400 feet, and the temperature was 34 degrees. The weatherman on this station then plainly said that iceing only occurs when the temperature is between 28 and 31 degrees."

"Paranoid Observer" notes that a key detail in an ABC news story was changed:

A quote:

The pilot had reported no problems before and there was no severe weather in the area at the time, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Now the same story says this:

The cause of the crash was not immediately known, but sources (which sources? - P.O.) told ABCNEWS that during the pre-flight weather briefing, the pilots were told they would have "adverse icing conditions throughout the flight."

"Dr. Watson" observes:

Sherlock Holmes solved at least one case by noticing that something that should be present was missing. In the Hound of the Baskervilles, he solved the case by noticing that no one reported a barking dog. So what's missing in terms of the Wellstone plane crash? For the last 14 months, anytime there has been a plane crash, the media go way overboard in assuming that this must somehow be a terrorist incident. The initial reaction of the media in the first hours of the event is always now "oh my, I hope this isn't happening again. I hope this isn't another terrorist attack." Just a few days ago, there was a news story that Al-Queda may be targeting US Senators. The story referred to the possibilities of sniper attacks on golf courses. Just a few days later, a US Senator dies. So, what's missing? Sen. Wellstone's plane crashes, and there is absolutely no speculation that this is a terrorist attack. Somehow the media immediately knows that this plane crash was caused by bad weather, and this is in no way a terrorist attack. The media dog has been barking "terrorist" steadily for 14 months. Today the dog didn't bark.

It should be clear by now that the corporate media is merely the propaganda arm of the corporate powers-that-be. If it's best for all us sheeple to believe that Wellstone's death was an accident, then that's what they'll report. A permanent People's Investigation is what we need, to dig into 9/11, this incident, and anything else that smells funny. Such an investigation would be constantly busy, and its biggest enemy would not be the fascist rulers of this country, or even the sloppiness that characterizes some "conspiracy" theorizing, but the blindered skeptics who are afraid to question anything and would prefer to keep their heads in the sand. "Cheryl Seal" writes:

This is it, folks, war has been declared on us by those among us who seek to give absolute power to a fascist regime that wants to plunge us and the world into an eternal war to fuel their own lust for wealth and power. If America allows this murder to go unaddressed, uninvestigated by an unbiased, thorough investigators in a search for facts open at every turn to the public, then our nation is doomed. The Nazis are here to stay. Who then, will be next?

What form could a People's Investigation take? Here's one.

Regardless of the circumstances of Wellstone's death, there is a broader perspective, which "Anarcho" captures well:

Paul Wellstone was a nice guy who should be given props for taking some principled stands. It's a shame to hear about the 8 people who died in the plane crash, but we should treat this as a human tragedy, not something that matters just because a famous guy died. The Left may think that Wellstone was their best hope, but in the end, his participation in this corrupt political system only served to legitimize that system. Wellstone was a false hope for the Left. In any case, we need to have a world without politicians, especially one where nice guys aren't having to fly in small planes in bad weather with their families, just to land some lousy ass job.

Paul Wellstone Dies in Plane Crash Foul Play Suspected

Posted on the Independent Newswire on 29 October 2002.