Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cognitive Infiltration

By now, Cass Sunstein’s comments on “cognitive infiltration” have made the rounds. A phrase coined by Sunstein, a former Harvard law professor and currently the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Along with coauthor Adrian Vermeule, these characters tackle the issue of conspiracy believers in their article, Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures."

A paragraph from the article, quoted in Marc Estrin’s blog, The Rag Blog is quoted as follows:

[W]e 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. (Page 219.)

Cognitive diversity my ass. It disgusts me of what has become of our public servants. People like Sunstein are playing the role of managing the herd rather than being a servant of the people. The role of government should be the supporting of free speech and ideas rather than the curtailing of it. And then what government agency is supposed to be disrupting these groups? Our Founders would be appalled this is what became of the Republic they founded.

Revolting, but of course this is nothing new. The FBI has used agent provocateurs for years to defame and disrupt everybody from the Black Panthers to the G8 protestors. Lee Oswald was most likely one when he was trying to infiltrate the DRE in the summer of 1963. The CIA went to the trouble to write up a handbook on dealing with Warren Report critics though their shills in the mainstream press. The same song and dance, only now couched in the fancier words of the next generation of lawyers. People like Sunstein treat government pronouncements as if they are the word of God etched in stone, above reproach. Our Founders did not trust government, that is why they sought to limit their powers through a Constitution and Bill of Rights. How far we have fallen...

Ultimately, it shows how afraid they are of free speech and free thought; how desperately they want us to believe them despite the continuous lies and defiance of the rule of law. The only conspiracy theories they are comfortable with is the “official” narratives coming from the Imperial Federal Government. And of course, that is the source of the problem as so many explanations from government investigations for events don’t wash. The JFK/RFK/MLK assassinations and in more recent times, the 9/11 attacks being a case(s) in point.

If their official investigation results are true, then what do they have to fear? As the editor at puppetgov.com said, “I thought they were secure with their “version” of what happened on 9/11?” The same thing they had to fear from Jim Garrison’s little state trial of Clay Shaw which the Feds worked overtime to disrupt. So scared they had to bring in the everybody from the majors to the farm teams to rip that one to shreds.

Further on Cass Sunstein makes the point that conspiracy beliefs are not born in irrationality or mental illness (thanks!) but from a limited amount of sources the believers can trust in. Of course, this is nonsense and shows how out of touch these Harvard elites are. I believe in a conspiracy to assassination JFK but I never limit myself to source materials either pro or con. Notice the idea of people going through the evidence and forming their own ideas has no play here. I guess we are not allowed our own ideas as Father knows best, right?

Sunstein himself is apparently no fan of free speech. In his book, On Rumors: How Falsehoods Spread, Why We Believe Them, What Can Be Done, he shows a distain for bloggers, raising methods of how to contain them and their comments (libel lawsuits). So concerned, he envisions a future where “people's beliefs are a product of social networks working as echo chambers in which false rumors spread like wildfire." If only the 9/11 Commission had this ability! Or the Warren Commission before them. Of course, they did pretty good with shills in the mainstream press (operation Mockingbird) for decades but that is mostly over now with the advent of the Internet giving the public the ability to be a pamphleteer from the comfort of home. Note: This does not apply to anything the government would say, only critics and doubters of the official narratives.

As Rob Balsamo, founder of Pilots for 9/11 Truth, said: “We have not located any independently verified data which confirms the government’s story..." Maybe if they would not hide everything away as a State Secret the people would be more accepting of official explanations of the tragedies that befall us. Sunstein could care less about this as it’s the individual that is at fault here and not the government’s way of explaining things. That is why it is so unique that the Warren Commission released so much data in the 26 volumes of evidence. (A lot of which, contradicts the official report.) Commission member Allen Dulles wasn’t worried about it; he told Hale Boggs that the people wouldn’t bother reading it. Well, they would if given easy access to it, which for years they were not. He never saw the rise of the internet and personal computers and the evidence being available to all. But they learned their lesson as no other official investigation will release their evidence now. They are in effect, their own worst enemy in all of this. It is not us. The Cass Sunstein’s of the world have painted the critics as the enemy. And shame on him.

Sunstein, Cass, Vermeule, Adrian, J. Political Philosophy, 7 2009, 202-227

Marc Estrin’s blog:

Also mentioned at:

Ed Lasky, “Cass Sunstein's despicable ideas on regulating the internet”