Is the Government Holding Back Crucial Documents? Would you like to know what the government really knows about the death of JFK? About 9/11? Other big mysteries? It’s “eat your broccoli time!” Here’s why you should pay attention to federal policy on releasing—and not releasing—documents.
By Russ Baker on May 30, 2012
Next year will be a half-century since the death of JFK. And the Obama Administration thinks we need to keep secret the records on the matter….a little longer yet.
Believe it or not, more than 50,000 pages of JFK assassination-related documents are being withheld in full. And an untold number of documents have been partially withheld, or released with everything interesting blacked out. But why?
Since the government and the big media keep telling us there was no conspiracy, and that it was all Lee Harvey Oswald acting on his own, why continue to keep the wraps on?
We don’t have an answer, but in understanding this and any number of other mysteries, we can begin looking for patterns in the way the administration handles information policy.
Posted by Luke Rudkowski on May 1, 2012
In a rare public appearance, The Obama Administration’s Information Czar Cass Sunstein gave a lecture at the NYU Law School in NYC yesterday, prompting Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange to attend. Watch as Luke confronts Sunstein multiple times on an academic paper he co-authored back in 2008 entitled “Conspiracy Theories” in which he called for cognitive infiltration of conspiracy groups by the government.
You can download the paper for free here: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1084585
SALON article that appears in video: http://www.salon.com/2010/01/15/sunstein_2/
Warning: This Site Contains Conspiracy Theories
Does Google have a responsibility to help stop the spread of 9/11 denialism, anti-vaccine activism, and other fringe beliefs?
In its early days, the Web was often imagined as a global clearinghouse—a new type of library, with the sum total of human knowledge always at our fingertips. That much has happened—but with a twist: In addition to borrowing existing items from its vast collections, we, the patrons, could also deposit our own books, pamphlets and other scribbles—with no or little quality control.
Such democratization of information-gathering—when accompanied by smart institutional and technological arrangements—has been tremendously useful, giving us Wikipedia and Twitter. But it has also spawned thousands of sites that undermine scientific consensus, overturn well-established facts, and promote conspiracy theories. Meanwhile, the move toward social search may further insulate regular visitors to such sites; discovering even more links found by their equally paranoid friends will hardly enlighten them. Is it time for some kind of a quality control system?
Conspiracy Theories and Stylized Facts
Journal for Peace and Justice Studies 21.2 (Fall 2011)
ABSTRACT: In an article published in the Journal of Political Philosophy, Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule argue that the government and its allies ought to actively undermine groups that espouse conspiracy theories deemed “demonstrably false.” They propose infiltrating such groups in order to “cure” conspiracy theorists by treating their “crippled epistemology” with “cognitive diversity.” They base their proposal on an analysis of the “causes” of such conspiracy theories, which emphasizes informational and reputational cascades. Some may regard their proposal as outrageous and anti-democratic. I agree. However, in this article I merely argue that their argument is flawed in at least the following ways: (1) their account of the popularity of conspiracy theories is implausible, and (2) their proposal relies on misleading “stylized facts,” including a caricature of those who doubt official narratives and a deceptive depiction of the relevant history.
[NOTE: I have included extended excerpts below, believing this to be within the scope of fair use.]
Includes interviews with John Judge and David Ray Griffin:
"I first became aware of Cass Sunstein’s ideas for controlling conspiracy theories after seeing several ads for a web site called America.gov run by the State Department. It’s a complex, well-funded site with more avenues than I’ve cared to examine, but what caught my attention was the section under International Relations: Peace and Security called “Conspiracy Theories and Misinformation” with the astounding caption: “Conspiracy theories exist in the realm of myth, where imaginations run wild, fears trump facts and evidence is ignored.”
Read entire article here: http://dailycensored.com/2011/11/21/america-gov-cognitive-infiltration-a...
Book Review of Griffin's 'Cognitive Infiltration'
A Noble Lie: http://tiny.cc/4828d
I was recently interviewed on a public access TV show called "Vermont Today" (for 90 minutes). We discuss an exchange of letters between four concerned citizens (including myself) and NIST. Credit for the revealing NIST correspondence goes especially to Wayne Coste of AE911Truth for drafting our letters for us, and to Jerry Carpenter for taking initiative locally.
The discussion may seem to start off a bit slow, as we were trying to get some legal analysis from a local prosecutor who is now running for Mayor of Burlington. He takes a very diplomatic position, and then excuses himself. In the later parts of the interview we discuss Cass Sunstein's paper and my critique of it, as well as "foiled terrorist plots" led by informants. Near the end I also discuss Barry Jennings. The most significant part--the only part where really new information is presented--is the discussion of NIST's response to our letters (which starts around minute 25). It is the particulars of NIST's evasions that I think are very telling.
And from Starbucks, I went down the rabbit hole. I found myself at a conference on Walker Street called 'How The World Changed After 9/11'. It was packed, but I managed to slide in at the back, to hear a guy called Webster Tarpley chant his own list of names. The names of the 46 military exercises and hijack drills (called things like 'Vigilant Guardian') that were actually taking place on the morning of September 11. "The greatest density of drills in US military history," Tarpley said.
What I heard, from speaker after speaker, was a heartfelt desire to turn away from the path of destruction, militarism and lies that America has been set upon after 9/11. Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst, mourned for Iraq: "One million dead, 4m displaced, and that's a victory?" He sees the failure of Americans to comprehend the scale of the destruction wrought under their flag as nothing less than racist.
Alissa C. Johnson
As 9/11’s tenth anniversary approaches, the issues surrounding that seminal event are just as relevant today and a lot more urgent. Despite the change of management, we still bomb, still rendition, still torture, still illegally wiretap, still detain indefinitely without habeas corpus and without counsel, among other international crimes. These days we can add a few more items to that list like irradiate children, feel up grandma at the airport, and throw people in jail for not paying their credit card bills. Another thing we still do in America: obstruct the truth when it conflicts with the official 9/11 storyline.
Another article supportive of the 9/11 Truth Movement is published in a mainstream academic journal:
“Is Infiltration of ‘Extremist Groups’ Justified?” International Journal of Applied Philosophy 24:2, pp. 153-168. (Fall 2010). By Kurtis Hagen, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, SUNY Plattsburgh. (Yes. That would be me.)
Website for the International Journal of Applied Philosophy: http://secure.pdcnet.org/pdc/bvdb.nsf/journal?openform&journal=pdc_ijap
Unfortunately the article is not freely available, but here are some highlights:
ABSTRACT: Many intellectuals scoff at what they call “conspiracy theories.” But two Harvard law professors, Cass Sunstein (now working for the Obama administration) and Adrian Vermeule, go further. They argue in the Journal of Political Philosophy that groups that espouse such theories ought to be infiltrated and undermined by government agents and allies. While some may find this proposal appalling (as indeed we all should), others may find the argument plausible, especially if they have been swayed by the notion that conspiracy theories (or a definable subset thereof), by their nature, somehow or another, do not warrant belief. I will argue that Sunstein and Vermeule’s proposal not only conflicts with the values of an open society, but is also epistemically indefensible. In making my case, I will adopt their favored example, counter-narratives about 9/11. (p. 153)
It should be noted that, according to [Sunstein and Vermeule’s] definition, the notion that the Nazis were systematically exterminating Jews would have, at some point in time, clearly counted as conspiracy theory—one that turned out to be true. This is an important example. It shows that one cannot simply reject a conspiracy theory because it seems too extreme in the brutality it attributes to powerful figures, or because of the scale of complicity that would be required, or because of the industrial efficiency with which it is said to be carried out. Shocking though a theory may be, so too are known precedents. (p. 155)
Guns and Butter - "Cognitive Infiltration" with Tod Fletcher
January 26, 2011
Guns and Butter - "Cognitive Infiltration" with Tod Fletcher
We discuss David Ray Griffin's newest book, Cognitive Infiltration, which is a deconstruction and debunking of Obama appointee, Cass Sunstein's, paper, "Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures", in which Sunstein proposes a new government COINTELPRO type infiltration of groups which research and promote ideas and explanations that run contrary to US government narratives, most specifically about the events of September 11th. First aired in part on fund drive, today we air the entire show.
Although many people read the reviews of new books at Amazon.com, it's likely that most people stop reading reviews of a book after it has been out for a few months. But sometimes some of the best reviews have appeared late. I have here reposted three excellent recent reviews of David Ray Griffin’s “Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory.”
A Case for the High Court, January 14, 2011
By Rev. Dr. Ronald David
Cass Sunstein is a highly regarded, pedigreed constitutional scholar and lawyer. He graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude, clerked for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and taught at arguably two of America's most prestigious law schools, the University of Chicago and Harvard. Mr. Sunstein is now the Adminisrator in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for President Barak Obama.
By Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 6, 2010; 12:41 AM
The Pentagon's new Cyber Command is seeking authority to carry out computer network attacks around the globe to protect U.S. interests, drawing objections from administration lawyers uncertain about the legality of offensive operations.
Cyber Command's chief, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, who also heads the National Security Agency, wants sufficient maneuvering room for his new command to mount what he has called "the full spectrum" of operations in cyberspace.
Offensive actions could include shutting down part of an opponent's computer network to preempt a cyber-attack against a U.S. target or changing a line of code in an adversary's computer to render malicious software harmless. They are operations that destroy, disrupt or degrade targeted computers or networks.
Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory
Review of David Ray Griffin's Book
The Principles of Democracy: A Shocking New Low in Official Comprehension
David Ray Griffin v. Cass Sunstein
by Stephen Lendman
Griffin is Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Theology, Emeritus, Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA where he's still co-director of the Center for Process Studies.
He's authored and/or edited three dozen books, mainly in his field, but notably and heroically on 9/11 truth, Osama bin Laden, and his newest titled, "Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory." More on it below.
Cass Sunstein is a well-known University of Chicago and Harvard Law School Professor before being appointed Obama's Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, in charge of "overseeing policies relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs," among other duties.
Dear 9/11 Truth Community,
As many in the 9/11 truth community know, David Ray Griffin has been in the hospital. He is recovering from major back surgery and serious complications from it. He will recover completely and be able to return to the cause, but his recovery will require a rather long time. At present he needs rest and therapy and he is not able to do the many things that he would be doing were he well.
One of his main concerns right now is that his new book, Cognitive Infiltration: an Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory, successfully make the impact that it should. As many in our community already know, it is a response to legal scholar (and now Obama appointee) Cass Sunstein's highly deceptive argument for a new Cointelpro-like operation to be directed against the 9/11 truth movement. Griffin utilizes all his own remarkable capabilities to thoroughly deconstruct and expose the fraudulent nature of this prominent legal scholar's call for an illegal operation. Griffin's book was just published, at the beginning of September, and there hasn't yet been time for many to have read it.
Shortly after taking office on January 20, 2009 President Obama appointed Harvard law professor (and personal friend) Cass Sunstein to the post of administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. In June 2009 Sunstein published an essay in The Journal of Political Philosophy entitled "Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures," in which he provided an "analysis" of conspiracy theories, viewing them, as his title indicated, as "caused" by psychological conditions and requiring "cures", i.e., elimination. The article led to an outcry by civil libertarians of all political stripes, who especially singled out for protest Sunstein's call for covert "cognitive infiltration" by government agents of organizations the government deems "conspiracist".
June 16, 2010
Increasing Threats To The 9/11 Truth Movement
By Bill Willers
(I'm bolding the part which was news to me as I read it. - Adam)
David Ray Griffin comes to Drake University on April 23 to tell us why the official explanation for the 9/11 attack on the United States doesn't hold water.
A theologian, philosopher of religion and professor emeritus at California's Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University, Griffin has been at it for about seven years now and says he won't stop until the government conducts a new, impartial, independent investigation.
As opposed to the 9/11 Commission probe. He calls that exercise a charade.
Griffin has written eight books on the subject with another on the way: "Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory."
Cass Sunstein, a Harvard Law Professor and Confidant of Obama was appointed to be Obama's head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
He became infamous within this movement for writing a paper on how to best to combat "Government Conspiracy Theory Groups," including by covert infiltration, as described by Glen Greenwald.
And now rumor has it that he's on a short list to replace John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court.
That's great - Eh? A real Constitutionalist there who will stand up for the Bill of Rights, including dissent and free speech.
He would be a shoe in for confirmation - what with his Neocon, Big Brother Street Cred with Republicans and Obama's support. If Obama nominates this guy it will be one more in a long list of Obama sell-outs to the Security State.
Good article here, quite germane to the work that we are trying to accomplish.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Towards a Theory of Conspiracy Theories
Cass Sunstein, confidante of Obama, Harvard Law professor, current head of the federal Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, potential Supreme Court nominee - and the latest crusader against those dastardly conspiracy theories
Recently, there was quite a hullabaloo in the blogosphere over a reprehensible academic paper Sunstein co-wrote in 2008 (available for download here), which argued for a Cointellpro-type program of government infiltration of conspiracy theorists, online and in person. Given the incredible scope and flexibility of the powers of his office, as enunciated in this September 30, 1993 executive order signed by Clinton, his proposal should certainly give us pause.
An attack piece was posted today by one of the editors at Op Ed News. It is primarily a denigration of the mental competence of those people who form the 9/11 Truth movement. Can Shreve actually believe the nonsense that he spouts?
".... February 17, 2010 at 15:29:41
Promoted to Headline (H3) on 2/17/10:
Infiltrating the Truth Movement
For OpEdNews: Richmond Shreve - Writer
An academic treatise on conspiracy theories has provoked howls of outrage among those who call themselves the truth movement. The paper can hardly be considered news, it was first released as a draft in January of 2008. But when one of its authors, Cass Sunstein, became part of the Obama administration, the appointment alarmed conspiracists because his paper advocates "cognitive infiltration of extremist groups" both foreign and domestic.
Obama advisor Sunstein's "Conspiracy Theory" : Proposals for Silencing Dissent, Misrepresenting the 911 Truth Movement
inalienable |inˈālēənəbəl| adjective unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin
Just when you thought America and her citizens had suffered enough abuse from federal fraudsters demanding that We The People must give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, an ominous doom-cloud looms to further cheat Americans of those sunny rays that are freedom in America - the cloud's name? Cass Sunstein. In this post we will examine his paper "Conspiracy Theories" and contrast some snippets from the paper with videos demonstrating the misrepresentations the paper portrays regarding the 911 Truth Movement and what it stands for.
Obama staffer wants ‘cognitive infiltration’ of 9/11 conspiracy groups By Daniel Tencer Raw Story Jan 13
Obama staffer wants ‘cognitive infiltration’ of 9/11 conspiracy groups
Original Content at http://www.opednews.com/articles/YOUR-GOVERNMENT-APPOINTEES-by-Marc-Estr...
January 10, 2010
Your Government Appointees at Work
By Marc Estrin
Cass Sunstein is President Obama's Harvard Law School friend, and recently appointed Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
In a recent scholarly article, he and coauthor Adrian Vermeule take up the question of "Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures". (J. Political Philosophy, 7 (2009), 202-227). This is a man with the president's ear. This is a man who would process information and regulate things. What does he here propose?