, Cognitive Infiltration, and Obama appointee Cass Sunstein

December 5, 2011

Not all conspiracies are created equal. Not all descriptions of conspiracy are theories, though the two words now seem inexorably joined at the hip in the mainstream media. Gerald Posner and Vincent Bugliosi wrote twisted and deceptive accounts of the evidence in the assassination of President Kennedy to uphold the theory that Oswald killed JFK and Oswald alone. Actually, the best evidence shows he was innocent of shooting anyone and was framed as a patsy by both planted and destroyed evidence and a legal system, press and presidential investigation that cared nothing for the truth. Jim Douglass wrote the most definitive book on the matter, JFK and the Unspeakable and I recommend it to anyone interested.

Now, anyone critical of the government or official pronouncements, and anyone who suggests that even revealed illegal or harmful acts by the government or its agents are anything other than mistakes, incompetence or aberrations from a totally benign motive are called conspiracy theorists. All such “theories” whether fact-based historical analysis or wild speculations are lumped together, thus discrediting anyone exposing actual conspiracies and illegal events. The cognitive dissonance about our history is created by a combination of government secrecy, public mis-education and outright distortion and continual propaganda from a compliant mass media that is corporate controlled.

Martin Schotz, author of History Will Not Absolve Us, wrote years ago, “The political paralysis in America is based on the fact that we are allowed to BELIEVE anything, but to KNOW nothing.” When you cannot know, you cannot act. This is the ultimate purpose of Sunstein’s program and the system of Information Warfare and Perception Management (courses taught at several colleges) and propaganda, to dis-empower people through lack of information, the key to real democracy. History and justice have other demands. If they do not want us to suspect conspiracies and illegalities on their part, they must become transparent and accountable enough to allow real debate and analysis based on the facts.

If bullets came from two directions at the same time, as they clearly did in the assassinations of both JFK and his brother Robert Kennedy, then that is a conspiracy, unless you want to accept the absurd proposal of the Washington Post and even Richard Salant of CBS that two lone assassins came to the same place at the same time. The Post even exclaimed that “there is no proof they knew each other”. Nor is there proof they did not, since most people in a covert operation are on need to know and following orders. All this is beside the point. Instead of investigation, competent autopsies, legal probity, protection of evidence and culpability, we get stonewalling, destruction of records and name calling against those few who have the courage to question all of this. In the end, truth will out., Cognitive Infiltration, and Obama appointee Cass Sunstein
Daily Censored Journal (Opinion), Politics, Nov 21, 2011
By – Shawn Hamilton

I first became aware of Cass Sunstein’s ideas for controlling conspiracy theories after seeing several ads for a web site called 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.”

Cognitive Infiltration, and Obama appointee Cass Sunstein.
I clicked through its pages for a while in amazement. The tone sounded like the writer was talking to a five-year-old, and the content played fast and loose with the truth. Alarmed, but intrigued, I went to the section called “U.S. Domestic” and read, “Perhaps more conspiracy theories surround Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated President John Kennedy in 1963, than anyone in American history. The Soviet KGB, Cuba, the mafia, the CIA, and others have been blamed for killing Kennedy, but all evidence indicates that Oswald acted alone.”

I found that curious. It’s common knowledge that the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) concluded in 1979 that there had been a probable conspiracy in the JFK assassination. I remember when it happened. That conclusion was reported for one day then dropped. “Oswald acted alone” was a hyperlink, so I clicked it to read a summary of Oswald based on Vincent Bugliosi’s 2007 book on the JFK assassination, Reclaiming History. It was the only source cited. The writer of the summary was a guy named Todd Leventhal, who I later learned is Chief of the Counter-Misinformation Team for the U.S. Department of State. The site describes Leventhal as “the Department’s expert on conspiracy theories and misinformation—stories that are untrue, but widely believed,” adding—and I found this unintentionally comic—that he enjoys reading obituaries….

This link has since been suspended.

Overall, the site seems to employ several basic strategies of deception. It mixes items that aren’t true with ones that are, draws “evidence” from single sources (and not the most credible ones), provides evidence that proves nothing but is presented as if it does, and presents partial information that fails to tell the whole story. Dan Roggenkamp, an English professor in Taiwan, observed, “I’ve noticed that this government site relies a lot on the ‘it’s simply not true’ line of logic. Maybe if they say that enough, people will believe it.” I note that Hitler believed the same thing about the “Big Lie” (Große Lüge).

Shortly after my initial encounter with, I went to “,” a web site run by John Judge, to check a reference. Judge is a respected researcher, activist and public speaker whose primary focus over many years has been the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “You can call me a conspiracy theorist,” I once heard Judge say, “if you call everyone else a coincidence theorist.” Judge prefers to call himself “an alternative historian.”

I wrote to him asking if he knew the source of, and he responded saying the likely source is White House appointee, Cass Sunstein, who wrote about countering conspiracy theories by infiltrating and confusing what he called “extremist groups” that believe in them. Judge quotes Sunstein as having said, “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.” That seems to describe the site pretty well.

“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,’” Judge continued. “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.’” Judge said some examples Sunstein offers include “The theory of global warming is a deliberate fraud” and “The view that the Central Intelligence Agency was responsible for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.”

I should also note that I tried to post a comment to a page about Oswald on the site, along with only four already there, pointing out the fact that the HSCA had concluded there had been a probable conspiracy in the Kennedy Assassination. According to the site, comments are posted if they are on-topic and respectful. Mine was received but subject to moderation. Then it disappeared.

I posted another with the same result. I mentioned this to Judge, who explained, “Several JFK researchers I alerted to the site could not post there. That alone should be revealed.”

…If it’s not clear by now, Orwell’s future nightmare has become our present reality. Sunstein’s intellectual antics along with propaganda sources like serve the intentions of a government agency that, like the Ministry of Truth in the novel 1984, disseminates lies in the guise of protecting truth. It’s not easy these days resisting the powerful tide of public opinion, especially when those opinions are shaped by deceptive agencies whose agenda is control. At least those who advocate incorrect conspiracy theories believe they are correct even if they’re not. Paid “counter-disinformation” experts know perfectly well when they’re lying.

“There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad” the narrator says in 1984. This is our challenge. We don’t have to accept this kind of manipulation. In fact, it’s our obligation as Americans and global citizens to resist it.

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