By Glenn Greenwald
January 15, 2010
(updated below – Update II – Update III – Update IV)
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… Continue reading
By Daniel Tencer
In a 2008 academic paper, President Barack Obama’s appointee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs advocated “cognitive infiltration” of groups that advocate “conspiracy theories” like the ones surrounding 9/11.
Cass Sunstein, a Harvard law professor, co-wrote an academic article entitled “Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures,” in which he argued that the government should stealthily infiltrate groups that pose alternative theories on historical events via “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine” those groups.
As head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Sunstein is in charge of “overseeing policies relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs,” according to the White House Web site.
Sunstein’s article, published in the Journal of Political Philosphy in 2008 and recently uncovered by blogger Marc Estrin, states that “our primary claim is that conspiracy theories typically stem not from irrationality or mental illness of any kind but from a ‘crippled epistemology,’ in the form of a sharply limited number of (relevant) informational sources.”
By “crippled epistemology” Sunstein means that people who believe in conspiracy theories have a limited number of sources of information that they trust. Therefore, Sunstein argued in the article, it would not work to simply refute the conspiracy theories in public — the very sources that conspiracy theorists believe would have to be infiltrated.
Sunstein, whose article focuses largely on the 9/11 conspiracy theories, suggests that the government “enlist nongovernmental officials in the effort to rebut the… Continue reading
Justice department to accuse FBI of invoking crises to obtain details of more than 2,000 calls, Washington Post reports
by Chris McGreal in Washington
19 January 2010
The US justice department is preparing a report which concludes that the FBI repeatedly broke the law by invoking terrorism emergencies that did not exist to obtain more than 2,000 telephone call records over four years from 2002, including those of journalists on US newspapers, according to emails obtained by the Washington Post.
The bureau also issued authorisations for the seizure of records after the fact, in order to justify unwarranted seizures.
The Washington Post said the emails show how counter-terrorism officials inside FBI headquarters breached regulations designed to protect civil liberties.
The FBI’s general counsel, Valerie Caproni, told the Washington Post that the agency violated privacy laws by inventing non-existent terrorist threats to justify collecting the phone records. “We should have stopped those requests from being made that way,” she said.
Caproni said that FBI’s issuing of authorisations after the fact was a “good-hearted but not well thought-out” move to give the phone companies legal cover for handing over the records.
After the 9/11 attacks, the USA patriot act greatly expanded the government’s ability to monitor American citizens, including increased access to their phone calls with the approval of lower-level officials than previously allowed. But the authorisation had to be tied to an open terrorism investigation.
The Washington Post said two FBI officers had raised concerns. Special agent Bassem Youssef observed… Continue reading
“Treason in America: 911, the Wars & Our Broken Constitution” Conference
March 6 & 7, 2010
Valley Forge Convention Center
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
The Conference . . .
A two-day non-partisan truth conference with speakers, movies & music discussing
what’s really going on in our country. From 9/11, the “wars on terror”
and the private, not public, Federal Reserve to the undermining of the U.S.
Constitution and Bill of Rights via Patriot Acts 1 & 2 . . . Connecting
the dots between different events that go unreported (or under-reported), as
a whole, in our mainstream media. Come learn what many do not know, but what
many are waking up to. Knowledge is power.
Valley Forge Convention Center
1160 First Avenue
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(Please see the interactive “Map” tab for directions.)
The Speakers . . .
Master of Ceremonies (MC) – Jon Gold
Cindy Sheehan, Mother & Activist
Richard Gage, AIA (Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth)
Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer (Able Danger)
Coleen Rowley, Former FBI Agent & Whistleblower, Time Magazine Person of
the Year, 2002
Jack Blood, Radio Host (Deadline Live, American Freedom Radio)
Jon Gold, 9/11 Researcher & Writer
Dylan Avery, Filmmaker (Loose Change series)
Korey Rowe, Filmmaker (Loose Change series)
Daniel Sunjata, Actor (F/X, Rescue Me)
Sander Hicks, Writer & Activist
Jonathan Elinoff, Filmmaker (Core of Corruption series)
Manny Badillo, 9/11 Family Member
Bob McIlvaine, 9/11 Family Member
Kyle Hence – Filmmaker & Activist [TENTATIVE]
Possibly others… Continue reading
What is Citizens’ Broadcasting Cooperative?
January 15th, 2009
In an epoch characterized by international criminality and malfeasance perpetrated
with impunity by those in the highest echelons of society it is imperative that
there exists an objective and uncensored media cooperative to scrutinize such
The mainstream media throughout the world has become infiltrated and compromised
by those who have a vested interest in a global war without end. The failure
of the media, both public and private, to critically analyze the actions of
the global elite and their bought-and-paid-for political spokespersons has compelled
ordinary citizens to innovate, organize and attempt to combat this state-sponsored
war on truth.
The Citizens’ Broadcasting Cooperative represents one front in this global
struggle against the psychological war being waged by elites and their political
representatives against humanity. We at the Citizens’ Broadcasting Cooperative
suspect that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and its twin, the British
Broadcasting Centre (BBC), are being prepared for privatization which we believe
is tantamount to theft from those tax payers and global citizens who have funded,
sustained and benefitted from public broadcasting historically. The Citizens’
Broadcasting Cooperative while having no affiliation with the Canadian Broadcasting
Corporation does identify with the ground beneath its feet, namely the citizens
of Canada for whom the Crown Corporation was founded.
We support public broadcasting. We believe public broadcasting, like public
healthcare exemplifies humanity’s ability to organize efficiently outside
the parameters of the so called ‘free market.’ We recognize that
public broadcasting… Continue reading
January 10, 2010
by Tom Burghart
New revelations about the failed Christmas Day attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 continue to emerge as does evidence of a systematic cover-up.
With the White House in crisis mode since the attempted bombing, President Obama met for two hours January 5 with top security and intelligence officials. Obama said that secret state agencies “had sufficient information to uncover the terror plot … but that intelligence officials had ‘failed to connect those dots’,” The New York Times reports.
The latest iteration of the “dot theory” floated by the President, aided and abetted by a compliant media, claims “this was not a failure to collect intelligence” but rather, “a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had.”
“Mr. Obama’s stark assessment that the government failed to properly analyze and integrate intelligence served as a sharp rebuke of the country’s intelligence agencies,” declared the Times uncritically.
While the President’s remarks may have offered a “sharp [rhetorical] rebuke,” Obama’s statement suggests that no one will be held accountable. Indeed, the President “was standing by his top national security advisers, including those whose agencies failed to communicate with one another.”
While the President may be “standing by” his national security advisers, the question is, are the denizens of America’s secret state standing by him? One well-connected Washington insider, MSNBC pundit Richard Wolffe, isn’t so sure.
Wolffe, the author of a flattering portrait of Obama, Renegade: The Making of a President, when asked… Continue reading
January 11, 2010
By Megan Tady
It feels like any other work day. You drove the same route to work. You ate the same breakfast. Around 11 a.m., you looked longingly out your window imaging yourself swinging in a hammock on a beach. Pretty routine.
But there’s something different about today — about the next four days, actually. Turns out, this is no ordinary week. The FCC has invited your feedback before they rule on Net Neutrality, but the window for commenting is closing on January 14.
You have until Thursday at midnight to tell the Federal Communications Commission how you feel about the Internet. The comments you file with them will help shape the future of the Internet for generations to come. Our responsibility to protect it is a mighty one.
Do you like the Internet as it is — open to everyone to create and find content? Do you like writing blogs, reading alternative media, posting videos, engaging with your communities, connecting with your friends and family? Do you want to see how the Internet keep developing applications and online experiences we’ve never imagined?
Then you have to tell the FCC. The agency is on the on the cusp of creating a final rule that, if done right, will protect Net Neutrality, the principle that safeguards the Internet from corporate control — and allows us to use it like we do.
The FCC is facing intense pressure from giant phone and cable companies that want to strip… Continue reading
BBC Conspiracy Files: Osama Bin Laden Dead or Alive Complete in Six Parts on Youtube
Posted January 12, 2010
Part 1 of 4
January 11, 2010
AE911truth.org blog at 911blogger.com
YOU ARE ENTITLED TO YOUR OWN OPINION, BUT NOT YOUR OWN FACTS.
Richard Gage, AIA, founder of Architects and Engineers for 911 truth, and Ron Craig, explosives and Hollywood special effects expert locked horns in their second live radio debate in two years. The exchange was hosted by Richard Syrett of The Conspiracy Show.
While no data is available yet for listenership numbers, we do know that the show could be heard from Thunderbay Ontario to the Carolinas….from Maine to Minnesota, NYC, Chicago, Washington and all points in between. Also, the program is offered as a podcast, so it will be available on iTunes as a download. It’s the most downloaded show on the radio station — Zoomer Radio from Ontario. The show will also be broadcast on TV – www.theconspiracyshow.com
After brief introductory statements, the debate began right away with two very different views of reality on display. Gage’s comments were based on observations that the three WTC towers did not suffer a natural collapse as a result of plane impacts and fires, but came down due to an engineered explosive destruction. Craig, on the other hand, asserted the belief that the plane strikes delivered three times the kinetic energy that the buildings were designed to withstand, that the construction was faulty, and that there was “no signature of explosions”.
Craig also mentioned that the plane strikes would account for much of the pulverization… Continue reading
January 12, 2010
by James Hufferd, Ph.D.
Founder, 911 Truth of Central Iowa
Barely two weeks ago, on Christmas Day, 2009, a young Muslim man from Nigeria
with a multiple-entry visa to enter the United States was
reported to have attempted to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet bound from
Amsterdam preparing to land at Detroit International Airport by igniting a bomb
hidden in the crotch of his underwear. Passengers aboard the plane prevented
him from succeeding, and potentially from killing all 278 passengers, plus crew.
He was subsequently reported to have trained or received instruction in Yemen
and taken inspiration from an al-Qaeda-connected Islamic mullah who is an American
citizen living in that country and implicated in other terrorist events.
Thus, the incident was construed as a new major case of radical Islamic terrorism
against the United States. Disturbingly, the plot apparently almost succeeded,
for reasons now hotly debated, even though the terrorist’s name and profile
were already in U.S. security service files and on watch lists. Superficially,
it was widely reported
as an open-and-shut case of anti-U.S. Islamic extremism, necessitating a
new round of “security measures” for air travel.
However, almost from the beginning there was another credible source of information
that, when considered alongside other information being reported, substantially
alters the picture and the implication of the collective evidence. Doubtless
for that reason, this second, partially corroborated source has not been thoroughly
exploited or widely examined, but instead has been almost universally ignored
and shunted aside without comment by U.S.…
January 8, 2010
American civilian and military leaders have been creating new terrorists through
(1) Use of torture
(2) Killing of innocent civilians- especially children – in Arabic countries.
A high-level American Special Ops interrogator says that information obtained
from torture is unreliable, and that torture just creates more terrorists. Indeed,
he says that torture of innocent Iraqis by Americans is the main reason
that foreign fighters started fighting against Americans in Iraq in the
A former FBI interrogator — who interrogated Al Qaeda suspects — says categorically
does not help collect intelligence. On the other hand he says that
torture actually turns people into terrorists.
A 30-year veteran of CIA’s operations directorate who rose to the most
senior managerial ranks, says:
“This is not just because the old hands overwhelmingly believe that torture
doesn’t work — it doesn’t — but also because they know that torture
creates more terrorists and fosters more acts of terror than it could possibly
Former counter-terrorism czar Richard A. Clarke says that America’s indefinite
detention without trial and abuse of prisoners is a leading Al Qaeda recruiting
Torture puts our troops in danger, torture makes our troops less safe, torture
creates terrorists. It’s used so widely as a propaganda tool now in Afghanistan.
All too often, detainees have pamphlets on them, depicting what happened at
The Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously found:
“The administration’s policies concerning [torture] and the resulting controversies
… strengthened the hand of our enemies.”
Two professors of political science have demonstrated that torture increases,
rather than decreases, terrorism.…
By Stephen C. Webster
Is Rudolph Giuliani’s political career over?
The former mayor of New York City has been making his rounds in U.S. media this week, trying to explain away his false claim that there were no domestic terrorist attacks on the United States during the Bush administration.
For a man often mocked as “the mayor of 9/11,” that’s an awfully bold suggestion, and one that could spell the end of his relevance in U.S. politics, according to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.
“The whole reason anybody ever thought of Rudy Giuliani as a potential national figure for the Republican party is because of his supposed expertise,” Maddow said during a Friday broadcast. “The supposed expertise he had with terrorism and national security because he had been the mayor of New York City when it was attacked on September 11.”
He later explained that he meant say no domestic terrorist attacks since 9/11.
However, in what Maddow called “a strange colique” with CNN host Larry King, Giuliani dug his hole deeper, suggesting that shoe bomber Richard Reid attempted his act of terrorism before Sept. 11, 2001.
It actually took place in Dec. of that year, well after the attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.
“Rudy Giuliani’s whole brand as a politician is based on 9/11, something he appears to have exploited so much that he’s lost the capacity to deal with it as a factual matter,” Maddow opined.
“Could he have meant that there were no other attacks… Continue reading
by David Edwards and John Byrne
As noted below, a Giuliani spokesman “clarified” the mayor’s statement later in the day, arguing that the mayor meant no attacks after 9/11.
“Whatever the mayor meant, it’s not what he said,” Stephanopoulos wrote on his ABC blog. “All of you who have pointed out that I should have pressed him on that misstatement in the moment are right. My mistake, my responsibility.”
Original story follows below
The former New York City mayor who has sometimes been mocked for using “a noun, a verb and 9/11″ in stump speeches appears to have forgotten — or has mentally reclassified — the worst terrorist attack on American soil. “We had no domestic attacks under Bush,” Rudy Giuliani told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Friday.
Even if Giuliani doesn’t consider the attacks on 9/11 a “domestic” attack then surely he forgot about the anthrax attacks of 2001 or an Egyptian national who attacked the El Al ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport in 2002.
While ABC’s George Stephanopolous let Giuliani get away with his misstatement both during the interview and on his blog, ABC’s Jake Tapper called the former mayor out.…Continue reading
by John Pilger
The New Statesman
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell described a superstate, Oceania, whose language of war inverted lies that “passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’.”
Barack Obama is the leader of a contemporary Oceania. In two speeches at the close of the decade, the Nobel Peace Prize-winner affirmed that peace was no longer peace, but rather a permanent war that “extends well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan” to “disorderly regions, failed states, diffuse enemies”. He called this “global security” and invited our gratitude. To the people of Afghanistan, which the US has invaded and occupied, he said wittily: “We have no interest in occupying your country.”
In Oceania, truth and lies are indivisible. According to Obama, the American attack on Afghanistan in 2001 was authorised by the United Nations Security Council. There was no UN authority. He said that “the world” supported the invasion in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks. In truth, all but three of 37 countries surveyed by Gallup expressed overwhelming opposition. He said that America invaded Afghanistan “only after the Taliban refused to turn over Osama Bin Laden”. In 2001, the Taliban tried three times to hand over Bin Laden for trial, Pakistan’s military regime reported, and they were ignored.
“Hearts and minds”
Even Obama’s mystification of the 9/11… Continue reading
January 08, 2010
by Paul Craig Roberts
What are we to make of the failed Underwear Bomber plot, the Toothpaste, Shampoo, and Bottled Water Bomber plot, and the Shoe Bomber plot? These blundering and implausible plots to bring down an airliner seem far removed from al-Qaida’s expertise in pulling off 9/11.
If we are to believe the U.S. government, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged al-Qaida “mastermind” behind 9/11, outwitted the CIA, the NSA, indeed all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies as well as those of all U.S. allies including Mossad, the National Security Council, NORAD, Air Traffic Control, Airport Security four times on one morning, and Dick Cheney, and with untrained and inexperienced pilots pulled off skilled piloting feats of crashing hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center towers, and the Pentagon, where a battery of state of the art air defenses somehow failed to function.
After such amazing success, al-Qaida would have attracted the best minds in the business, but, instead, it has been reduced to amateur stunts.
The Underwear Bomb plot is being played to the hilt on the TV media and especially on Fox “news.” After reading recently that The Washington Post allowed a lobbyist to write a news story that preached the lobbyist’s interest, I wondered if the manufacturers of full body scanners were behind the heavy coverage of the Underwear Bomber, if not behind the plot itself. In America, everything is for sale. Integrity is gone with the wind.
Recently I read a column by an author who has a “convenience theory” about the Underwear Bomber being a Nigerian allegedly trained by al-Qaida in Yemen.…Continue reading
For Immediate Release
It is with utter disbelief that we listen to the unfolding details of the attempted December 25, 2009 terrorist attack of Delta Flight 253.
Let us remind you, on September 11, 2001, 19 terrorists managed to evade all security measures, hijack four commercial airliners, slam them into three buildings and a field in Pennsylvania, killing 2,976 innocent people, including our husbands.
We responded by strenuously lobbying for an independent investigation to find out how on earth so many agencies could have failed in their duties to protect us, and our loved ones, from such an attack. We asked that they find and fix the loopholes that existed, in order to safeguard our nation.
After the 18-month 9/11 Commission investigation, countless systemic and human failures were uncovered, including: failure to analyze data, failure to share information, human error, failure to follow up, antiquated computer systems, too much information in the system, not enough information in the system, not enough time or people to analyze data, failure to watch list, failure to properly coordinate the watch list with other lists and visa issuance and monitoring failures. Despite all of this, the 9/11 Commissioners simplistically announced that it was a “failure of imagination” that caused the agencies to falter and allowed 9/11 to happen. Additionally, we were told that those in positions to protect us “could never have imagined this type of attack” and that “everyone is at fault, so no one is at fault.”
The 9/11 Commissioners would not… Continue reading
January 5th, 2010
by Maidhc Ó Cathail
Dissident Voice: a radical newsletter in the struggle for peace and social justice
All too often, official inquiries are conducted by the very people who should themselves be under investigation.
In this respect, Britain’s Chilcot Inquiry on the Iraq war bears a distressing similarity to the 9/11 Commission.
In a remarkable symmetry, both inquiries involve a Jewish Zionist historian, who not only advised his country’s leader to go to war against Iraq, but actually provided the ideological justification for that unnecessary war.
Perhaps Philip Zelikow was one of the few people who was not surprised by his appointment as executive director of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, better known as the 9/11 Commission. After all, the Professor of History at the University of Virginia had shown uncanny prescience in foreseeing an event such as 9/11 itself. In 1998, as project director of the Catastrophic Terrorism Group, Zelikow had written:
“An act of catastrophic terrorism that killed thousands or tens of thousands of people … would be a watershed event in America’s history.… Like Pearl Harbor, such an event would divide our past and future into a ‘before’ and ‘after.’”
Yet despite his awareness of an imminent threat of “catastrophic terrorism” against the United States, in the Bush administration Zelikow was instrumental in downgrading the status of the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Richard Clarke.1 Effectively cutting off his direct access to the President, this prevented Clarke… Continue reading
January 6, 2010
by Ray McGovern & Coleen Rowley
Yesterday, a blogger with the PBS’ NewsHour asked former CIA analyst Ray McGovern to respond to three questions regarding recent events involving the CIA, FBI, and the intelligence community in general.
Two other old intelligence hands were asked the identical questions, queries that are typical of what radio/TV and blogger interviewers usually think to be the right ones. So there is merit in trying to answer them directly, such as they are, and then broadening the response to address some of the core problems confronting U.S. counter-terror strategies.
After drafting his answers, McGovern asked former FBI attorney/special agent Coleen Rowley, a colleague in Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to review his responses and add her own comments at the end. The Q & A is below:
Question #1 – What lapses in the American counter terrorism apparatus made the Christmas Day bombing plot possible? Is it inevitable that certain plots will succeed?
The short answer to the second sentence is: Yes, it is inevitable that “certain plots will succeed.” A more helpful answer would address the question as to how we might best minimize their prospects for success. And to do this, sorry to say, there is no getting around the necessity to address the root causes of terrorism or, in the vernacular, “why they hate us.”
If we don’t go beyond self-exculpatory sloganeering in attempting to answer that key question, any
“counter terrorism apparatus” is doomed to failure.… Continue reading