While it can be easy to dismiss some of the more outlandish conspiracy theories floating around on the Internet, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that the U.S. government has conspired against its own citizens on more than one occasion.

It’s well known that the U.S. government has targeted its own citizens for assassination with drones in recent years, yet it’s far from the only time Americans have suffered at the hands of their leaders, elected or otherwise. Here are seven actual, documented conspiracies created by the government or its agencies:

Alcohol Poisoning

The U.S. government hoped to scare people away from drinking by deliberately poisoning industrial alcohol supplies, which were frequently stolen and resold by bootleggers. Doctors were accustomed to alcohol poisoning by then, the routine of life in the Prohibition era. The bootlegged whiskies and so-called gins often made people sick. The liquor produced in hidden stills frequently came tainted with metals and other impurities. But Christmas Eve 1926 outbreak was bizarrely different. The deaths, as investigators would shortly realize, came courtesy of the U.S. government.

Frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people.

According to TIME, Seymour M Lowman, assistant secretary of the treasury in charge of Prohibition, even said 1927, that drunks were “dying off fast from poison ‘hooch’” and “a good job will have been done” if America became sober because of it.

Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

The Tuskegee Study was an infamous clinical study conducted between 1932 and 1972 by the U.S. Public Health Service studying the natural progression of untreated syphilis in rural African-American men in Alabama under the guise of receiving free health care from the United States government.

After funding for treatment was lost, the study was continued without informing the men they would never be treated. None of the men infected were ever told they had the disease, and none were treated with penicillin even after the antibiotic became proven for the treatment of syphilis.

By the early 1970s, 128 of the original 399 men had died of syphilis and syphilis-related complications, 40 of their wives had the disease and 19 of their children were born with congenital syphilis.

Revelation in 1972 of study failures by a whistleblower led to major changes in U.S. law and regulation on the protection of participants in clinical studies.

Proposed Top Secret plan from 1962 stating intent among the Joint Chiefs of Staff to stage terrorist attacks, including killing innocent civilians, to provoke war with Cuba

Proposals include use of drone aircraft to stage foreign attacks, staging hijackings, staging attacks on U.S. vessels and facilities, staging riots, as well as the creation of “terror campaigns” on U.S. soil

MK Ultra

In the 1950s to the 1970s, the CIA ran a mind-control project aimed at finding a “truth serum” to use on communist spies. It’s so true that in 1995 President Clinton actually issued a formal apology on behalf of the US government.

Afraid of being left in the enemy’s pseudo-scientific dust, the CIA quickly jumped on the mind control bandwagon. However, they got their procedures wrong in one crucial aspect; instead of experimenting on enemy prisoners that the national media wouldn’t miss, they decided to go ahead and start jamming probes and shooting drugs into unwitting United States citizens.

Essentially, MKUltra used numerous methodologies to manipulate people’s mental states and alter brain functions, including the surreptitious administration of drugs (especially LSD) and other chemicals, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, verbal and sexual abuse, as well as other forms of psychological torture. The program subcontracted hundreds of these projects to over 80 different institutions, including universities, hospitals, prisons, and pharmaceutical companies.

During Operation Midnight Climax, agents dosed sex workers and their clients with LSD to observe their reactions, but government agents also frequently dosed each other. While the agents were certainly able to effectively disturb a target — an Army doctor named Dr. Frank Olson committed suicide a week after he was served a drink laced with the potent psychedelic — useful intelligence was another matter, and the program was canceled in the 1970s.

Most of this was uncovered in 1977 when a Freedom of Information Act exposed 20,000 previously classified documents and triggered a series of Senate hearings. However, in 1973, with the government-wide panic caused by Watergate, the CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MKUltra files destroyed.

Given the CIA’s purposeful destruction of most records, its failure to follow informed consent protocols with thousands of participants, the uncontrolled nature of the experiments, and the lack of follow-up data, the full impact of MKUltra experiments, including deaths, may never be known.

COINTELPRO

COINTELPRO (a portmanteau derived from COunter INTELligence PROgram) was a series of covert, and at times illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting and disrupting domestic political organizations. The FBI used covert operations from its inception, however formal COINTELPRO operations took place between 1956 and 1971.

FBI records show that COINTELPRO resources targeted groups and individuals that the FBI deemed subversive, including anti-Vietnam War organizers, activists of the Civil Rights Movement or Black Power movement (e.g., Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Black Panther Party), feminist organizations, anti-colonial movements (such as Puerto Rican independence groups like the Young Lords), and a variety of organizations that were part of the broader New Left.

The acts committed against them included psychological warfare, slander using forged documents and false reports in the media, harassment, wrongful imprisonment and, according to some, intimidation and possibly violence and assassination.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover issued directives governing COINTELPRO, ordering FBI agents to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, neutralize or otherwise eliminate” the activities of these movements and especially their leaders Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy personally authorized some of these programs. Although Kennedy only gave written approval for limited wiretapping of King’s phones “on a trial basis, for a month or so”, Hoover extended the clearance so his men were “unshackled” to look for evidence in any areas of King’s life they deemed worthy.

Government Spies on Us

Conspiracy theories are often considered to the span from paranoia: the idea that an omnipotent shadowy organising is watching your every move is a common theme, and, of course, a feature of countless dystopian tales. The theory has been easy to dismiss: how could governments possibly have the resources to monitor so many people so much of the time?

It’s the reason why the leaks by Edward Snowden, a former US security contractor, had such resonance across the globe. His disclosures in 2013 revealed that over 60 countries were targeted by the US’s NSA and Britain’s GCHQ. That European leaders, including Germany’s Angela Merkel, were spied on became one of the headline stories, but the mass vacuuming of citizens’ data was the more important point.

Thanks to revelations about the NSA and their Prism project, we know that the scope of the NSA’s eavesdropping is even beyond what we originally believed.

In early June of 2014, the Washington Post reported that almost 90% of the data being collected by NSA surveillance programs is from Internet users with no connection to terrorist activities. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, this is in clear violation of the constitution.

Operation Fast and Furious

Obama-administration scandals never resolve. They just vanish — usually, under a new scandal. So it was with one of this president’s earliest embarrassments, “Operation Fast and Furious,” designed to help the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) dismantle drug cartels operating inside the United States and disrupt drug-trafficking routes. Instead, it put into the hands of criminals south of the border some 2,000 weapons, which have been used to kill hundreds of Mexicans and at least one American, U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

In November 2009, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives launched an operation in which guns bought by drug-cartel straw purchasers in the U.S. were allowed to “walk” across the border into Mexico. ATF agents would then track the guns as they made their way through the ranks of the cartel. At least, that was the theory. In reality, once the guns walked across the border, they were gone. Whistleblowers reported, and investigators later confirmed, that the ATF made no effort to trace the guns.

Some ATF agents became concerned the weapons were being used for crimes. On Dec. 14, 2010, U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed during a gunfight. Two of the guns involved in the shootout were traced back to Fast and Furious, which continued for another six weeks.

The operation started to fall apart inside as U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, who headed the Phoenix office, became angry with Special Agent John Dodson for reporting on the bungled program before Congress. Burke, who was later forced to resign in 2011, leaked information about Dodson’s activities in the operation to Fox News. An inspector general’s report cited Burke’s actions in violation of Justice Department policy.

It has been alleged by the National Rife Association and the New American that the killing of hundreds of Mexicans and even some U.S. law enforcement officers because of the Fast and Furious program was going to be used by the Barack Obama administration as an excuse for more gun control.

It is difficult to overstate both how stupid and how incompetent were the whole host of federal officials involved in this fiasco, who first thought it was a swell idea to traffic thousands of guns to Mexican criminals, then blithely forgot about them. Under “Operation Fast & Furious,” the U.S. government became a de facto arms dealer to Mexican drug cartels and Islamist criminals.

It remains to be seen what will happen if Trump release all the Operation Fast and Furious documents.

Foreign Countries Involved in US elections

As the numerous Democratic supporters yelling about the unfair 2016 election results Hillary Clinton herself, Obama Administration and even CIA blame a foreign country for interfering in the elections process. And you know what? We totally agree with them.

It is illegal in the United States for foreign countries to try to influence the outcome of elections by funding candidates. 

Sounds good. However, that appears not to have stopped the… Saudis.

In June 2016, the Petra News Agency published what it described as exclusive comments from Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman which included a claim that Riyadh has provided 20 percent of the total funding to the prospective Democratic candidate’s campaign. The report was later deleted and the news agency has not responded to requests for comment from Middle East Eye. However, the deletion took place too late, as the Washington-based Institute for Gulf Affairs managed to capture the report and has re-published the original Arabic Petra report, which quoted Prince Mohammed as having said Saudi Arabia had provided with “full enthusiasm” an undisclosed amount of money to Clinton.

“Saudi Arabia always has sponsored both Republican and Democratic Party of America and in America current election also provide with full enthusiasm 20 percent of the cost of Hillary Clinton’s election even though some events in the country don’t have a positive look to support the king of a woman (sic) for presidency,” the report quoted Prince Mohammed as having said.

According to the US Federal Election commission, over the past two years Clinton has raised a little more than $211.8 million. 20% of this sum is $42.4 million.

Saudi Arabia is not the only country to put money in Hillary Clinton’s hands either, with the best selling book Clinton Cash detailing several companies that “payed to play” – or bribed – the Clintons.

As result, we can say that yes, a foreign country interfered in the US election process. But the only criminal that ran for president is Hillary Clinton and this is one more reason to put her behind bars.