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General News    H4'ed 1/15/10

Obama's Info Chief advocates Disinformation and Domestic Covert Ops

By Mark Crispin Miller  Posted by Josh Mitteldorf (about the submitter)   12 comments
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Cass Sunstein is President Obama's appointed head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Cass Sunstein also authored an article two years ago which advocated covert government infiltration of the 9/11 Truth movement in order to sow confusion and distrust within the movement. -Ed

What that means is (see below), certain "tactics for breaking up the tight cognitive clusters of extremist theories." Specifically, Cass Sunstein has urged that "government agents (and their allies)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."
In short, what this fine liberal mind envisions is exactly what the FBI, and various policedepartments, did for many years (and no doubt still do ow) to dissident grass-roots groups of different kinds--disable them by sowing confusion and/or discord in their ranks, and sabotaging any step toward some "political action."
And this proposal, although hatched by a fine liberal mind, is also very similar to the primarystrategem of Big Tobacco, the climate change denialists and the "intelligent design" movement,all of which have worked--successfully--to cloud the atmosphere by "raising doubts about
[the] factual premises" of "theories" that offend them and/or contradict their interests.
I don't know what's scarier here: such infiltration itself (which may be going on already),or the cool authoritarian mentality that recommended it: Cass Sunstein's own mind seemsto have been crippled, his eyes sealed shut, by his eagerness to serve the powers that be.(He offered his proposal in an essay that came out in January, 2008; and he now enjoysa high position in Obama's OMB, as Director of Information and Regulatory Affairs.)
Notice that, for him, it's just a fact, entirely incontestable, that there's no evidence againstthe Standard Narrative of 9/11; and so he doesn't even think of actually contending withthe evidence, but urges that it be "debunked" covertly-- and pre-emptively, so that thepublic never gets to hear about it, and discuss it for themselves.
Nor, despite the fineness of his mind, can he perceive that the official explanation is itselfa conspiracy theory, and a pretty feeble one at that--which is why more and moreof us are "raising doubts about [its] factual premises, causal logic and implications forpolitical action." Those who've taken issue with that very shaky theory do it openly andhonestly, without dispatching trolls out into cyberspace; and they've been doing so withsome success, which is precisely why Cass Sunstein has suggested a police-state way tointerfere with them.
If Sunstein "(and his allies)" gave a hoot about the truth, they'd try to test those dreaded"theories" in the most effective way--not by setting up a covert force of cyber-moles,but by joining all the rest of us in calling for a new commission to look into 9/11, airingall the evidence that's been so long ignored and/or suppressed, and entertaining all those
questions that the first commission either answered laughably or just shrugged off. Thatwould be the democratic way to deal with it; but these final liberal minds are less concernedwith practicing democracy--and thereby protecting it--than with the feathering oftheir own nests.
And speaking of democracy, let's note that all the questions over 9/11 aren't the onlyones that the Establishment has placed beyond discussion, tarnishing all dissident approachesas "conspiracy theory." We're also not allowed to speak out honestly about the history of
America's elections since 2000, or about the true state of our voting system right this minute;and so it's just as likely that Cass Sunstein would propose (or has by now proposed) thatthose of us who talk about such issues be subjected to the same obstructive "tactics," for the
sake of keeping all of us in line, and types like him in place.
Sunstein's original article
Raw Story coverage
Mark Estrin's research at RagBlog

This isn't an instance where some government official wrote a bizarre paper in college 30 years ago about matters unrelated to his official powers; this was written 18 months ago, at a time when the ascendancy of Sunstein's close friend to the Presidency looked likely, in exactly the area he now oversees.
- from Glenn Greenwald's blog
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Josh Mitteldorf, de-platformed senior editor at OpEdNews, blogs on aging at Read how to stay young at
Educated to be an astrophysicist, he has branched out from there (more...)

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