An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory
David Ray Griffin
published 2011 • 6" x 9" • 202 pages
ISBN 9781566568210 • paperback • $18.00 •
“David Ray Griffin has written a devastating critique of Cass Sunstein’s major effort to situate all critics of the official 9/11 story in the garbage pail of ‘conspiracy theory.’ Bringing to bear his formidable philosophical and theological skills, Griffin brilliantly illuminates this cognitive/ political concern, demonstrating that the American people will never find out what really happened on that fateful day until we as citizens insist on considering all available evidence with a fresh and open mind.”
—Richard Falk, professor emeritus, Princeton University
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Griffin's meritorious effort to raise public awareness and understanding
Former Chicago and Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein, who in 2009 was appointed by President Barack Obama to direct an important executive branch office, had in 2008 co-authored an article containing a plan for the government to prevent the spread of anti-government "conspiracy theories." Arguing that such theories are believed only by groups suffering from "informational isolation," he advocated the use of anonymous government agents to engage in "cognitive infiltration" of these groups in order to introduce "cognitive diversity," with the aim of breaking them up.
Noting that Sunstein's proposal has evoked condemnations from across the political spectrum—not least because it, being similar to the FBI's COINTELPRO of the 1960s, would be illegal—David Ray Griffin focuses on the fact that Sunstein's primary target is the conspiracy theory advocated by the 9/11 Truth Movement. Examining Sunstein's charge that this theory is both "harmful" and "demonstrably false," Griffin uses both satire and overwhelming evidence to show that this twofold charge applies instead to what Sunstein calls "the true conspiracy theory" about 9/11—namely, the "theory that Al-Qaeda was responsible for 9/11."
David Ray Griffin is professor of philosophy of religion and theology, emeritus, at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California, where he remains a co-director of the Center for Process Studies. He is the author of over 30 books.
Olive Branch Press
“There should be a book entitled the ‘Courage of David Ray Griffin.’ His continuing efforts to speak truth to power regarding issues of 9/11/2001 are most admirable. Griffin’s Cognitive Infiltration addresses the central denial of key government officials in both parties who, when faced with overwhelming factual evidence of serious problems with the 9/11 Commission’s report, lash out at the very people seeking truth and justice. Cass Sunstein is one of those Harvard ‘insiders’ who not only denies open democratic questioning of 9/11, but overtly advocates the disruption and cognitive infiltration of such groups.”
—Peter Phillips, Professor of Sociology, Sonoma State University, and President of Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored
“Unrestrained and unchallenged combination of top level political power and academic intellectual arrogance can be a dangerous prelude to governmental censorship and potential criminalization of individuals who dare to challenge ‘official’ versions of various catastrophes and major events of a highly controversial nature. Dr. David Ray Griffin exposes and analyses this grave concern in an objective, scholarly dissection of a sociopolitical proposal set forth by Cass Sunstein in 2008. Readers of Cognitive Infiltration will be both shocked and enlightened by this well documented and brilliantly written book.”
—Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D., past president, American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and past president, American College of Legal Medicine
“In 2009, President Obama appointed a Harvard Law School professor, Cass Sunstein, to be head of the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. This was after Sunstein had made a controversial proposal, which would later inflame the internet, for ‘cognitive infiltration’ of the 9/11 Truth Movement, with the aim of ‘breaking up the hard core of extremists who supply conspiracy theories.’ Professor Griffin has responded to Sunstein’s dangerous argument with a patient, point-by-point and much needed refutation. He relentlessly shows how Sunstein himself is guilty of the very mentality he warns against: closed-mindedness and refusal to debate. Those who seek to prevent 2010 from becoming 1984 will want to arm themselves with this valuable book.”
—Peter Dale Scott, professor emeritus of English, University of California, Berkeley, and author of Drugs, Oil, and War
“David Ray Griffin is the preeminent expert on the events of September 11, 2001; his research is consistently careful, thorough, and objective. His previous books are necessary reading for all Americans, and there is no doubt that thousands of Americans in government circles have read them, studied them, and, in some cases, worried about them. In Cognitive Infiltration, Griffin impartially dissects Harvard Constitutional Law Professor Cass Sunstein’s controversial essay, co-written by conservative law professor Adrian Vermeule, entitled ‘Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures.’ Surprisingly, given the sensitivity and potential divisiveness of the topic, Griffin has produced a fair, generously fact-filled, often funny, assessment. Additional interest is provided by the suggestion that Sunstein—far from being an enemy of both the Constitution and the 9/11 Truth Movement—may in fact be a secret supporter and a potential bridge- builder from the current government fictions regarding 9/11 to an improved national consensus about what really happened.”
—Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D., USAF Lt Colonel (retired), member of Veterans for 9/11 Truth
“In the United States today, the phrase ‘conspiracy theory’ functions as a sort of giant cudgel, used to scare us out of talking openly about a broad (and ever-growing) range of scandals that the powerful cannot afford to let the people comprehend. In this new book, David Ray Griffin takes devastating aim at that repressive tactic, exposing it for what it really is. All those who cherish democracy, and intellectual freedom, owe it to themselves to read this brave analysis---and owe its author their sincerest thanks.”
—Mark Crispin Miller, Professor of Culture and Communication, New York University
"Shortly after taking office on January 20, 2009 President Obama appointed Harvard law professor (and personal friend) Cass Sunstein to the post of administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. In June 2009 Sunstein published an essay in The Journal of Political Philosophy entitled ‘Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures,' in which he provided an ‘analysis' of conspiracy theories, viewing them, as his title indicated, as ‘caused' by ‘informational isolation' and requiring ‘cures', i.e., elimination. The article led to an outcry by civil libertarians of all political stripes, who especially singled out for protest Sunstein's call for covert ‘cognitive infiltration' by government agents of organizations the government deems ‘conspiracist.'
In his new book Cognitive Infiltration David Ray Griffin has provided the first truly adequate response to Sunstein's deeply-flawed and legally-questionable arguments. Griffin penetrates the obfuscation and phony scholarship employed by Sunstein to create the illusion of a rational critique of the 9/11 truth movement's alternative account of the events of September 11, 2001. Griffin presents a series of ten theses put forward by Sunstein, and shows that each is fundamentally flawed. Further, he demonstrates that Sunstein is unable to avoid numerous self-contradictions, either explicit or implied, that together amount to an internal, hidden counter-argument to his own position, which Griffin, in a novel and entertaining approach, brings out as an ironic ‘esoteric' meaning of Sunstein's essay."
—The Scientific and Medical Network Review
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