Archive for the ‘conspiracy theories’ Category

“Never attribute to malice, what may be attributed to incompetence.” ANONYMOUS SALT


Analysis c/o David Rothscum reports

The terms “conspiracy theories” and “conspiracy theorists” are thrown around a lot these days.

According to Wikipedia, “Conspiracy theory is a term that originally was a neutral descriptor for any claim of civil, criminal or political conspiracy. However, it has become largely pejorative and used almost exclusively to refer to any fringe theory which explains a historical or current event as the result of a secret plot by conspirators of almost superhuman power and cunning.”

::MORE HERE::

BTC – Typically the joy of Thursday mornings comes with the radio magazine piece we do called, Waking Up Orwell. This week’s guest, William Lewis, had piles of documented dirt and background on the American intelligence machinery. His documentaries are intense and informative.

However – the broadcast outputs were mysteriously cut shortly after the intro. Neither myself or William could be heard over BlogTalkRadio.com. The show ran for 60 minutes, but less than 5 minutes were broadcasted live over the internet last Thursday.
BeatTheChip.org recently posted 2 pieces on Cass Sunstein declaring open season on “conspiracy theorists” as qualified intelligence targets. This is where it get’s complicated. “Conspiracy” is a government term which is being twisted to sonoymously dispose of another word – dissent.
Think for yourself.
The U.S. government’s universal targeting on dissent comes down to documenting their wrongdoings. For example, a Philadelphia reporter was arrested for photographing a GITMO protest and charged with “criminal conspiracy”. Her photos were confiscated. Here’s the good news – the charges were proven to be bogus and they were dropped. However “conspiracy” is now being redefined with treasonous meaning against The Establishment.
Below is the rest of the show after we aired a short clip from an interview with Aaron Russo. I’ll be the first to admit, if the government wants me to stop doing something that isn’t illegal and is in the range of my Bill of Rights – I’m going to test it.
William Lewis, whose mic is routinely cut during interviews to promote his films, didn’t tell me that he was doing his own recording of the program. This episode will go down in Waking Up Orwell’s history as sort of a media actvism bootleg.
WAKING UP ORWELL featuring Filmaker William Lewis
The reasons why my mic was cut are currently ascribed to “technical glitches” on behalf of BlogTalkRadio.com. We sincerely hope that is all that it was.

Cass Sunstein has long been one of Barack Obama’s closest confidants. Often mentioned as a likely Obama nominee to the Supreme Court, Sunstein is currently Obama’s head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs where, among other things, he is responsible for “overseeing policies relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs.” In 2008, while at Harvard Law School, Sunstein co-wrote a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-“independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites — as well as other activist groups — which advocate views that Sunstein deems “false conspiracy theories” about the Government. This would be designed to increase citizens’ faith in government officials and undermine the credibility of conspiracists. The paper’s abstract can be read, and the full paper downloaded, here.

Sunstein advocates that the Government’s stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.” He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called “independent” credible voices to bolster the Government’s messaging (on the ground that those who don’t believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government). This program would target those advocating false “conspiracy theories,” which they define to mean: “an attempt to explain an event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role.” Sunstein’s 2008 paper was flagged by this blogger, and then amplified in an excellent report by Raw Story‘s Daniel Tencer.


Your government appointees at work:

Cass Sunstein seeks ‘cognitive’ provocateurs
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?

[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.)

Read this paragraph again. Unpack it. Work your way through the language and the intent. Imagine the application. What do we learn?
* It is “extremists” who “supply” “conspiracy theories.”
* Their “hard core” must be “broken up” with distinctive tactics. What tactics?
* “Infiltration” (“cognitive”) of groups with questions about official explanations or obfuscations or lies. Who is to infiltrate?
* “Government agents or their allies,” virtually (i.e. on-line) or in “real-space” (as at meetings), and “either openly or anonymously,” though “infiltration” would imply the latter. What will these agents do?
* Undermine “crippled epistemology” — one’s theory and technique of knowledge. How will they do this?
* By “planting doubts” which will “circulate.” Will these doubts be beneficial?
* Certainly. Because they will introduce “cognitive diversity.”
Put into English, what Sunstein is proposing is government infiltration of groups opposing prevailing policy. Palestinian Liberation? 9/11 Truth? Anti-nuclear power? Stop the wars? End the Fed? Support Nader? Eat the Rich?
It’s easy to destroy groups with “cognitive diversity.” You just take up meeting time with arguments to the point where people don’t come back. You make protest signs which alienate 90% of colleagues. You demand revolutionary violence from pacifist groups.
We expect such tactics from undercover cops, or FBI. There the agents are called “provocateurs” — even if only “cognitive.” One learns to smell or deal with them in a group, or recognize trolling online. But even suspicion or partial exposure can “sow uncertainty and distrust within conspiratorial groups [now conflated with conspiracy theory discussion groups] and among their members,” and “raise the costs of organization and communication” — which Sunstein applauds as “desirable.” “[N]ew recruits will be suspect and participants in the group’s virtual networks will doubt each other’s bona fides.” (p.225).
And are we now expected to applaud such tactics frankly proposed in a scholarly journal by a high-level presidential advisor?
The full text of a slightly earlier version of Sunstein’s article is available for download here.

BTC HUMOR – For every grip of Liptony teabagging liberty mongers there are a few patriots who entertain themselves by shocking eachother with what they heard on the Alex Jones show. You can usually identify them quickly. They are the broke posers without a bullhorn sporting the tri-cornered tin foil hats. Easy to make! Watch and learn…