As a regular reader of SHTF Plan and other alternative news resources online, you may at times asking yourself if you’re crazy for thinking that there may be a coordinated effort to control your thoughts, feelings and perceptions.
Glenn Greenwald’s recent Salon.com piece Obama confidant’s spine-chilling proposal should lay to rest any thoughts you may have about second guessing yourself.
Cass Sunstein is a Harvard Law School graduate, the current head of the Office if Information and Regulatory affairs, a potential Supreme Court nominee, and close friend of President Barrack Obama. He recently (January 2008) penned a research report titled Conspiracy Theories, in which he argues that when the government believes social welfare will be improved by doing so, a well motivated government should aim to eliminate conspiracy theories through a variety of means:
“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 those who subscribe to such theories. They do so by planting doubts about the theories and stylized facts that circulate within such groups, thereby introducing beneficial cognitive diversity.“
Mr. Sunstein, currently an appointee of the Obama administration, suggests direct, covert government involvement in response to news reports, stories or ideas that would be considered contrary to the social welfare goals of individuals and organizations in power or are conspiratorial in nature.
According to Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com:
“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.”Â 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).Â Â 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.”
Is this just a research paper, or are these policies of certain political elements within the United States that are being actively managed?
You can probably guess the answer to that.
Mr. Greenwald points out that just in the last few weeks we learned that the administration was making undisclosed payments to MIT professor Jonathan Gruber via the Department of Health and Human Services, a supposed ‘objective’ expert on health care, who heavily promoted President Obama’s health care plan.
This demonstrates that anything could be labeled a conspiracy theory, even if millions of people believe the “conspiracy” to be true. In this case, it seems that the conspiracy was that opponents of the health care bill suggested it would be too expensive, would not provide full coverage for all Americans, would put a burden on small business owners, and would not provide adequate health care in the long run.
This, of course, is not the first time that objective experts have been paid directly by the government to advocate specific ideas or argue against so-called conspiracy theories. In the interest of fairness, we’ll point out that it’s not just the democrat administration that engages in propaganda:
“The Bush Pentagon employed teams of former Generals to pose as “independent analysts” in the media while secretly coordinating their talking points and messaging about wars and detention policies with the Pentagon.Â Bush officials secretly paid supposedly “independent” voices, such as Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher, to advocate pro-Bush policies while failing to disclose their contracts.Â In Iraq, the Bush Pentagon hired a company, Lincoln Park, which paid newspapers to plant pro-U.S. articles while pretending it came from Iraqi citizens.Â In response to all of this, Democrats typically accused the Bush administration of engaging in government-sponsored propaganda — and when it was done domestically, suggested this was illegal propaganda.”
The battle for your mind is taking place on multiple fronts and from many different angles. Everyone wants a piece of it — the government, private industry, independent organizations, even SHTF Plan.
Be aware of what you are reading, what you are watching, what you are listening to, and how and why you react to the information the way you do. Agendas abound.
Hat tip Tom of the North