In a lengthy academic paper, President Obama’s regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein, argued the U.S. government should ban “conspiracy theorizing.”
Among the beliefs Sunstein would ban is advocating that the theory of global warming is a deliberate fraud.
Sunstein also recommended the government send agents to infiltrate “extremists who supply conspiracy theories” to disrupt the efforts of the “extremists” to propagate their theories.
In a 2008 Harvard law paper, “Conspiracy Theories,” Sunstein and co-author Adrian Vermeule, a Harvard law professor, ask, “What can government do about conspiracy theories?”
“We can readily imagine a series of possible responses. (1) Government might ban conspiracy theorizing. (2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories.”
In the 30-page paper â€“ obtained and reviewed by WND â€“ Sunstein argues the best government response to “conspiracy theories” is “cognitive infiltration of extremist groups.”
Continued Sunstein: “We suggest a distinctive tactic for breaking up the hard core of extremists who supply conspiracy theories: cognitive infiltration of extremist groups, whereby government agents or their allies (acting either virtually or in real space, and either openly or anonymously) will undermine the crippled epistemology of believers by planting doubts about the theories and stylized facts that circulate within such groups, thereby introducing beneficial cognitive diversity.”Â
Read more about Cass Sunstein’s agenda in “Shut Up, America!: The End of Free Speech”
Sunstein said government agents “might enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine percolating conspiracy theories by raising doubts about their factual premises, causal logic or implications for political action.”
Sunstein defined a conspiracy theory as “an effort to explain some event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role.”
Some “conspiracy theories” recommended for ban by Sunstein include:
- “The theory of global warming is a deliberate fraud.”
- “The view that the Central Intelligence Agency was responsible for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.”
- “The 1996 crash of TWA flight 800 was caused by a U.S. military missile.”
- “The Trilateral Commission is responsible for important movements of the international economy.”
- “That Martin Luther King Jr. was killed by federal agents.”
- “The moon landing was staged and never actually occurred.”
Sunstein allowed that “some conspiracy theories, under our definition, have turned out to be true.”
He continued: “The Watergate hotel room used by Democratic National Committee was, in fact, bugged by Republican officials, operating at the behest of the White House. In the 1950s, the CIA did, in fact, administer LSD and related drugs under Project MKULTRA, in an effort to investigate the possibility of ‘mind control.’â€
Sunstein’s paper advocating against the belief that global warming is a deliberate fraud was written before November’s climate scandal in which e-mails hacked from the Climatic Research Unit at East Anglia University in the U.K. indicate top climate researchers conspired to rig data and keep researchers with dissenting views from publishing in leading scientific journals.
Sunstein: Ban ‘right wing’ rumors
Sunstein’s paper is not the first time he has advocated banning the free flow of information.
WND reported that in a recently released book, “On Rumors,” Sunstein argued websites should be obliged to remove “false rumors” while libel laws should be altered to make it easier to sue for spreading such “rumors.”
In the 2009 book, Sunstein cited as a primary example of “absurd” and “hateful” remarks, reports by “right-wing websites” alleging an association between President Obama and Weatherman terrorist William Ayers.
He also singled out radio talker Sean Hannity for “attacking” Obama regarding the president’s “alleged associations.”
Ayers became a name in the 2008 presidential campaign when it was disclosed he worked closely with Obama for years. Obama also was said to have launched his political career at a 1995 fundraiser in Ayers’ apartment.
‘New Deal Fairness Doctrine’
WND also previously reported Sunstein drew up a “First Amendment New Deal” â€“ a new “Fairness Doctrine” that would include the establishment of a panel of “nonpartisan experts” to ensure “diversity of view” on the airwaves.
Rob! This describes exactly what, I have believed for some time now, you are doing here. “Cognative diversity” sounds like something you would say. I think you’ve been outed dude!
Yep, you got me Neil…. owww, right between the eyes too! I don’t know what “cognative diversity” is but that’s exactly what I’ve been torturing you with! I ADMIT it !!
Dare I use my name? Let the arse’s come I say. This brought the “Scot” out of me! Where is this country going with people with hidden agendas that can take you down for thinking and questioning? Circa 1938!!!!
Wow, I’m Shocked, Shocked I say!!! To think an elitist would consider such things, and in writing no less!! Um, guys… there’s nothing, absolutley nothing, shocking about this. The elitists talk like this all the time, they all do, Bush and his cronies did too for crying out loud. Get a grip. Not only that, the part about OUR government infilitrating groups suspicious to the “American Way of Life” is happening today, it will be happening tomorrow, and it did last year, and the year before that, and the decade before that, and…well you get the idea. Where have you guys been living all this time? In caves, under large rocks, what???!!! Sheeesh!!!
Oh – it’s happened before? Well I guess it’s OK, then…
Uh, no, of course not.
The 24/7 deluge of falsely manufactured issues has done more than detract from comprehension of the real and life or death issues at hand. Over a couple of generations, it has rendered us incapable of ever grasping the real ones and what is at stake. The ability to do so dies out, as each subsequent generation is conditioned by the reality (or state induced non-reality), it comes up in.
Important as they look and feel because we have lived our entire lives amid these so-called national debates, they have nothing to do with our freedom. Freedom itself was always, and will always be The Issue. The only issue. Everything else follows. The Big Lie is that it does not.
Lies for the sake of generating emotion enough to destroy reason have been a mainstay of American politics from the beginning. Jefferson spread lies about Madison. Madison returned the favor. The lies served the purposes of two ambitious individuals.
Now they serve the purposes only of those forces who can afford to buy politicians. Nor are they the simple sort of lies told by fallible human beings such as Jefferson or Madison, but rather the lies of massive faceless, deathless entities subject to no man, only the accounting regimen of postindustrial capitalism. They have not become pathogenic; they are pathogenic by nature and from the outset to society. To the world too, given what our nation is doing and willing to further do not just to ourselves, but also to the world. It is increasingly said, and not unreasonably, that the United States has reached the same level as those malevolencies” that poisoned Nazi Germany. You may not believe folks who say that. The Germans did not believe it was happening to them either.
Re: Top Obama czar: Infiltrate all ‘conspiracy theorists’
In effect the Obama Government intends to infiltrate and spy on Americans, their groups and organizations to obstruct Free Speech, disrupt the exchange of ideas and disseminate false information to neutralize Americans that question government.
The fact isâ€”government has already laid the groundwork for the covert infiltration of Americans. Since 9/11 federal government has established across the nation more than 112 Fusion Centers. Fusion Centers were originally established to improve the sharing of anti-terrorism intelligence among different state, local and federal law enforcement agencies. But has since expanded with encouragement of the federal government to pursue all crimes and hazards. Fusion Centers now pursue for analysis not just criminal and terrorist information, but any information that can be derived from police, public records and private sector data about Citizens. Fusion Centers increasingly are involving the Military in addition to other government entities. Fusion centers heavily rely on local informants for information about Americans to share with local, State, and federal police agencies. Recently the Department of Homeland Security began sharing more classified Military information with local Fusion Centers: historically local police have not kept secrets well. Because approximately 40 Fusion Centers appear to operate more independently, it is not possible to generalize the mission of Fusion Centers. Fusion Centers take advantage of ambiguous lines of authority to manipulate differences in federal, state and local laws to maximize information collection. Increasingly private security companies and their operatives, work so closely with law enforcement and Fusion Centersâ€”providing and exchanging information about Americans, they appear to merge with police. Fusion Centers exchange information with select private sector companies and continue to evade accountability and public oversight.
While the press has on occasion discussed Fusion Centers invading the privacy of Citizens, media missed Fusion Centersâ€™ involvement in criminal and civil asset forfeitures. Just prior to the establishment of Fusion Centers, Rep. Henry Hydeâ€™s bill HR 1658 passed, the â€œCivil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000â€ and effectively eliminated the â€œstatue of limitationsâ€ for Government Civil Asset Forfeiture. The statute now runs five years from when police allege they â€œlearnedâ€ that an asset became subject to forfeiture. With such a weak statute of limitations and the low standard of civil proof needed for government to forfeit property â€œA preponderance of Evidenceâ€, it was problematic law enforcement and private government contractors would access Fusion Center data to secure evidence to arrest Americans and or civilly forfeit their homes, inheritances and businesses under Title 18USC and other laws to keep part of the assets. There are over 200 U.S. laws and violations mentioned in the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 and the Patriot Act that can subject property to civil asset forfeiture.â€ Under federal civil forfeiture laws, a person or business need not be charged or convicted of a crime for government to forfeit their property.
Under the USA Patriot Act, witnesses can be kept hidden while being paid part of the assets they cause to be forfeited. The Patriot Act specifically mentions using Title 18USC asset forfeiture laws: those laws include a provision in Rep. Henry Hydeâ€™s 2000 bill HR 1658â€”for â€œretroactive civil asset forfeitureâ€ of â€œassets already subject to government forfeitureâ€, meaning “property already tainted by crime” provided â€œthe propertyâ€ was already part of or â€œlater connectedâ€ to a criminal investigation in progress” when HR.1658 passed. That can apply to more than two hundred federal laws and violations.
Holy long comment post, Batman! I didn’t even read this whole thing, so I hope there aren’t any profane or personal remarks in there. In future, please try to keep comments more succinct. My usual rule of thumb is a comment shouldn’t be longer than the original article.
I lost all trained thought after the first para. What was that again Ross? Please don’t repeat it.
Now I don’t look so crazy…huh? Anyway, I want to post a small series of things re: the middle class and how we are governed. Thanks for the indulgance.
When asked exactly what constitutes being middle class, most typical Americans, which is to say working class Americans, talk in terms of income. Better educated and more erudite Americans mumble some vague litany about college and home ownership, etc., then attach an annual income number about twice as high as the average working mook’s. Neither of them ever comes close to a real definition. Nevertheless some 300 million Americans fancy themselves as middle class, chiefly because they: (A) own microwaves and a car with plastic bumpers; and (B) live in perpetual hock to MasterCard and Visa. Debt, stress and insecurity being the only observable characteristics of middle class America, they rally round those things in a show of class solidarity. “Hell no! Our pointless stressful lifestyle is NOT NEGOTIABLE! No goddamned socialist is gonna take away my constitutional right to medical bankruptcy. God bless the middle class!”
In essence, preservation of the American middle class is an assertion we are entitled to waste as least as much of the earth’s limited vital resources as their fathers and grandfathers did, preferably more. Political assurances of the sanctity of the middle class come down to promising that the six percent of the world’s population called Americans may continue to rip through 36 percent of the earth’s resources in its endless pursuit of obesity and carcinogenic intake. Not to mention taking everybody else out with us in the process through ecocide.
Nobody but an unmitigated psychopath would even make such a case, much less hawk it to the American people as being in their best interests. In their best interests to wipe out our dwindling planetary sustenance and to piss off the rest of the world enough that a significant number are willing to strap on explosives and buy a plane ticket for the States.
Unfortunately, the psychopaths are in charge, and have been in charge for a long long time now.
And your point is? Middle class is you and I my friend.
For the first time since the Great Depression, the United States experienced zero job growth in a decade. Zero. And zero is actually worse than it sounds since none of the preceding six decades registered job growth of less than 20 percent.
By comparison, the 1970s, which are often bemoaned as a time of economic stagflation and political malaise, registered a 27 percent increase in jobs. Yet, in part because of that relatively slow rise in jobs â€“ down from 31 percent in the 1960s â€“ American voters turned to Ronald Reagan and his radical economic theories of tax cuts, global â€œfree marketsâ€ and deregulation.
Reagan sold Americans on his core vision: â€œGovernment is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.â€ Through his personal magnetism, Reagan turned taxes into a third rail of American politics. He convinced many voters that the governmentâ€™s only important role was funding the military.
Yet, instead of guiding the country to a bright new day of economic vitality, Reaganâ€™s approach accelerated a de-industrialization of the United States and a slump in the growth of American jobs, down to 20 percent during the 1980s.
The percentage job increase for the 1990s stayed at 20 percent, although job growth did pick up later in the decade under Democrat Bill Clinton, who raised taxes and moderated some of Reagan’s approaches while still pushing “free trade” agreements and deregulation.
Hard-line Reaganomics returned with a vengeance under George W. Bush â€“ more tax cuts, more faith in â€œfree trade,â€ more deregulation â€“ and the Great American Job Engine finally started grinding to a halt. Zero percent increase.
Despite the painful statistics of the past three decades, Reaganomics remains a powerful force in American political life. Anyone tuning in to any TV news or picking up any mainstream newspaper would think that these economic policies had enjoyed unqualified success.
Go back and re-read your history. You sound like Keith what’s his name on MSNBC. A real winner. You write just like he talks. No wonder his ratings are always in the tank. People are waking up to dribble passed on as “the truth”. You must read the “Daily Kos” as well I assume?
What history books are YOU reading? The ones from right-wing hacks who just make sh**t up? I’ve seen those in stores, usually nobody buys them, and the sit there. Like Saruh Palin’s book. She’s practically giving them away.
But I don’t need any books for much of the above- I LIVED IT, EVERYDAY AND PAID ATTENTION.
I feel sad for USA, with a president like Hugo ChÃ¡vez and a population that believe nobody could take away their freedom, your country is going into the same BS Cuba is.
Rob, I see Alinsky is alive and really having a good time. Enjoy your day. I know I will, what say you?
I don’t enjoy anything about the unstoppable demise of the America I grew up to believe in. It’s almost totally gone. It is BOTH parties that are ruining it.
I’ve been around for a good many elections, now. Experience *shoulda* taught me to be utterly cynical about the horribly-misnamed “Public Servants” we send to DC. Nonetheless, in 2008, smelling blood in the water from the total catastrophe of the W dysAdministration, I eagerly jumped on the Obama bandwagon.
I *knew* going in, that BO was a centrist – a radical centrist, even – and I admired his attempts to restore civility to the American Political Process. I even admired his trying to include the Repugnicans in the legislative process when the Democratic majorities in both chambers did not require it – and the Repugs were disinterested in participating.
BUT, GOODGODALMIGHTY!!! Concerning the US misadventure in the Middle East, and the Department of Defense(also horribly misnamed!) $$Budget, BO is living out W’s third goddamn term!! As regards actively assisting the Wall Street robber barons to have their way with the American Public, BO is ZERO CHANGE from W – Hell, the GreedHead bonuses are larger than ever!! With this recent Health Care Reform Fiasco, which shoulda been a no-brainer in a civilized democracy, BO conceded everything the Repugs asked, and STILL falls short, despite his still-sizeable majorities in Congress. This was/is fucking INCOMPREHENSIBLE to me!!
So, yeah. I’m humiliated that I gave BO several hundred $$$; and worked my ass off for him here in GA and also in the NC primary. And I’m humiliated that I thought little ol’ me in northeast GA, in combination with several other millions of citizens across America could ever strike a meaningful blow – or even a glancing blow – against America’s Corporate Overlords and their legions of Lobbyists.
ALL HAIL THE CORPORATE OVERLORDS!!!
Never be ashamed of backing your beliefs. At least you actually backed up your statements by actions and not words for that I have respect. Right, wrong or indifferent.
Bye the way, I don’t buy your last para . It is more than likely “B as in B and S as in S.” That said, my statement stays as is. With the two/three jobs you profess to always have along with your wife, I cannot fathom you going all over the country for BO unless that is, you actually were a paid employee??? Either way I respect commitment even though I differ. No argument here.
That was from a friend- wasn’t me who did that. But I did give a small amount of money and voted for him. The main point is that they’re all crooks now and a new system of election financing needs to occur. The fascist heavy Supreme Court rule din favor of Big money, again, surprise surprise! At least now numbskulls like you guys will hopefully start connecting the dots in the next decade or so re: Corporate power and control. And then maybe in the decade after that something real and good and get accomplished… You all have to wake up to real reality though, not the crazy fantasy world you currently live in. I won’t bet my pension what little there is of that, on you that’s for sure.
You finally admit that you have enablers. Always Thought so. What a fake you are. Talking to the DNC? may as well talk to a wall! You confirmed my sixth sense and I was right. “That was from a friend – wasn’t me” Yeah right. Go back to your left wing hole in the wall and find some light. It may “Enlighten you.”