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Is 'Cognitive Infiltration' Justified?

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Post Post subject: Is 'Cognitive Infiltration' Justified? Reply with quote

Those who question the official narrative that underpins war have been
- ignored by mainstream media or
- painted as crazy; their work conflated with other irrational, racist or violent statements which have nothing to do with the subject.

This year - 2010 - is the first time the state has publicly reacted to the nine-year-old 911 research movement. Obama official Cass Sunstein*, followed by UK think tank Demos, made statements about the need to infiltrate and undermine this movement.

*Cass Sunstein is married to key Obama administration 'Libya interventionist' Samantha Power. It's a small world.

Paul C Roberts: "Cass Sunstein, an Obama regime official, has a solution for the 9/11 skeptics: Infiltrate them and provoke them into statements and actions that can be used to discredit or to arrest them. But get rid of them at all cost.

"Why employ such extreme measures against alleged kooks if they only provide entertainment and laughs? Is the government worried that they are on to something?

"Instead, why doesn’t the U.S. government simply confront the evidence that is presented and answer it?

""If the architects, engineers, firefighters, and scientists are merely kooks, it would be a simple matter to acknowledge their evidence and refute it. Why is it necessary to infiltrate them with police agents and to set them up?" ....

"Before we yell 'conspiracy theorists" we should be aware that [the serious 911 researchers] offer no theories. They provide evidence that challenges the official theory."
[Quotes from Road to Armageddon essay, Feb 2010, P Craig Roberts]

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

This year a couple of serious American researchers (from groups that have specifically announced their peaceful, scholarly intentions and adherence to scientific methodology) found this missive in their inboxes, from a UK think tank.

Subject - The Power of Unreason:
Conspiracy Theories, Extremism and Counter-Terrorism

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am from the British think-tank, 'Demos', and work on their violence and extremism research project. We recently published a report on the role of conspiracy theories in extremist violence that may be of real interest to you, entitled "The Power of Unreason: Conspiracy Theories, Extremism and Counter-Terrorism". You can download it for free from our website here: Please feel free to get in touch with any thoughts or comments you may have, the authors are more than happy to discuss this report with any interested parties.

Kindest regards,
E McLagan.

Make of it what you will. A thought: if you respond to Demos's missive on counter-terrorism, do you rubber-stamp yourself a 'terrorist'?

Recently, this meeting took place... Part of the "open infiltration" into the 911 movement Demos called for last month?

DEMOS meets 911 Truth

Genies have been flying out of their bottles and it is the task of people like Demos to manage and subdue dangerous ideas and invent strategies and a plausible language that can be adopted by the political class in order to restore our trust in the authority of the state..

The authors of the report, Jamie Bartlett and Carl Miller were present. Obviously Oxbridge graduates, these were two very clever young men, demonstrating an extraordinarily sophisticated vocabulary. I'm sure I heard Miller utter a forty-two syllable sentence containing only seven words.

Their opening spiel, from Bartlett .. emphasised the "genuine independence" of Demos. Apparently Demos advises Labour, Conservative AND The Liberal Democrats. Now there's independence.

Comment: "The meeting appeared to be a training exercise for DEMOS with the 911 group as an example of what to expect and how to spin doctor around the questions which might arise. Jamie Bartlett later admitted that there were "around ten" Demos employees in the audience... lots of note-taking.."

Interesting comments follow entry at DEMOS blogspot

Demos on 'Conspiracy Theories Corroding Society' - The Guardian

DEMOS on the 'basic standards of journalism'...

The Demos paper calls for agents to “openly infiltrate” websites and chatrooms in order to “plant seeds of doubt”. Basic standards of journalism??

Well, good luck with all that, I guess. Of course, the discussion was infiltrated a long time ago. All that lizard/hologram/alien/illuminati/David Shayler nonsense that drowned out the serious conversation between 2001 and 2007? What do you think all that was about? Funny how that noise faded when it became clear people didn't buy it; some of the nonsense advocates were exposed to the light of day and researchers organised their websites into moderated venues where rational discussion could take place.

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Post Post subject: Reply with quote

Reader Comments from the Demos Blog:

- "If this paper was not concerned with 9/11 campaigning, which is a totally peaceful movement, why feel the need to include it all? Or did you want to subtly imply an association? Just asking really. The BBC were not so subtle in the report on their website."

- "[Demos don't] .. want to face the truth because they know full well it would cause a global paradigm shift. I suspect events will overtake you and your very desultory efforts to defuse the now overwhelming press for truth. Would it not be better for your soul to admit an international inquiry has become a global imperative?"

- And from Demos' own Carl Miller, a mini-lecture on how to keep an open mind when looking for the truth, ending on this little homily: C.M: "If you really want to find the truth, you won’t find it in the mutually consolidating echo-chambers of conspiricist chat rooms."

To Miller I would say: "If you really want to find the truth, you won’t find it in the mutually consolidating echo-chambers of establishment think tanks and the corporate media, so it behoves all of us to remain duly sceptical." - marc

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Post Post subject: BOOK CLUB Reply with quote

Book Club:
On the same page

DEMOS think tank recommends a book to the truth movement: "So please read ..."The Looming Towers", write Miller and Bartlett at their Demos Blog.

The title caught my eye, because an aggressive official story defender over at BBC journalist Mike Rudin's blog [Conspiracy Files: 911] repeatedly recommended the same book during 2009.

The title comes from a Quranic verse: "Death shall come to you even in the looming towers" Shocked To be fair, I have not read it but found a review which describes the book's "thrilling, seductive narrative" and "filmic, pulsating style"; not my preferred style for non-fiction.

It appears to be bolstering back story to the official explanation: 19-rookie-Egyptian and Saudi-pilots-conspire-to-control-US-skies-for-90-unchallenged-minutes-allowing-them-to-simultaneously-hijack-four-airliners-and-perform-manouevres-of-pinpoint-precision-in-order-to-first-strike-NY-and-then-one-hour-and-twenty-minutes-later-without-a-single-jet-scrambled- to-take-out-the Pentagon-at-their-leisure. recommends the same book over at The Intelligence Officers Bookshelf.

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Post Post subject: SMOKING CRACK WITH THINK TANKERS * Reply with quote

Demos think-tank is keen for people to focus attention on more pointless, dead-end discussion about the Pentagon. Why is this a dead end? Because the Pentagon itself holds all the cards about what hit it and how; and most people are not willing to second guess military prerogative.

Interrogation of the 911 event has been smeared and ignored for so long that when a high-profile think-tank with all kinds of important clients pops its head around the 911 corner, so to speak, one waits with bated breath to hear what it has to say.

Demos Blog:
Carl Miller of Demos: .

[conspiracy theorists are characterised by] 'asymmetry of skepticism:... selective presentation of evidence and deliberate distortion' ...
'For those of you who are conspiracy theorists, I ask you to constantly be as prepared to challenge your own version of events as you are to challenge the official account. Surely, the key premise of conspiracy theories is to ‘keep an open mind’; to ‘ask questions’; ‘seek the truth’. This is exactly what you should do... We’ve all read the “anomalies” over the pentagon crash. How many of you have read the report by the American Society of Civil Engineers ( '

So Demos wants us to study (again) that non-peer-reviewed Army HQ building performance report, authored in part by govt-payroll engineers from NIST and US Defence?

Thanks, but no thanks.

It's revealing that Demos chooses to kick off its newly-launched engagement with 'the troof movement' by choosing the Pentagon hit, the topic that has
(a) stirred up the most mud over the years;
(b) disrupted and divided with pointless, time-wasting discussion
(b) very recently been firmly set aside by serious researchers.

For example, Richard Gage Completely Withdraws Support From CIT
(CIT being a group that encourages speculative Pentagon discussion)

Demos arrives late at the party. That issue has been thrashed out and put to bed. The Pentagon chat is over, thank goodness, for the following reasons:

- Who cares what hit the Pentagon? Who cares how the HQ of the most richly-resourced army in the world shaped up under attack within its highly-secured grounds, considering it had an hour's pre-warning of rogue kamikaze planes?

- The more fundamental question is this: why was this highly-defended military hub hit at all?

- Why was not a single jet scrambled from the nearby air base even though Rumsfeld had over an hour's warning that hijacked planes with malicious intent were roaming eastern seaboard skies? Why was air defence non-functional during the exact 90-minute window on the exact September morning hijackers required clear sky for their high-precision, four-plane operation?

- Rather than read a b.p. report, investigators should look at this unprecedented US military air defence paralysis (war game) of 11/9/01 and the thrice-changing, mutually-contradicting military statements to the 911 Commission.

- The Pentagon holds all the cards as to what hit it. The authorities could easily release CCTV tapes and other info to show what happened but they choose not to, despite FOI requests. "That they choose not to provide this info must be because [it] serves [a] purpose'', concludes Australian researcher Dr Frank Legge.

- Why does Demos kick off dialogue by pointing us towards the opaque Pentagon building? Why not engage on the transparent Building Seven affair?

- In contrast to the lack of Pentagon video, Building Seven video is in the public domain. Raw footage of that rapid implosion is a rich source of data for expert and layman alike.

- Lucky for us, we are not reliant on pleading with information-blocking military staff for access to video when it comes to examining what went down at Building Seven.

- WTC 7 building performance can be measured by anyone who has access to a stop-watch, a pen and the back of an envelope.

Pentagon = video evidence held by US military
Building 7 = video evidence in public domain.

Physicist David Chandler and engineer Jonathan Cole have recently made this very important statement on the Pentagon:

The Pentagon: a joint statement by Chandler and Cole

The entire statement is worth reading, but this section is so important I highlight the entire piece bold:

'Those INSIDE the Pentagon have all the physical evidence and all the confiscated videos. They undoubtedly have the definitive proof of what hit the Pentagon, and how it was done, but they are not saying.

'The problem with focusing on a protest of the Pentagon cover-up is that the population at large attributes to the military the right to keep secrets. Secrecy in wartime is understandable, if it is in furtherance of military objectives. It is not reasonable that the military should be allowed to extend this privilege to the cover-up of evidence of a monstrous crime, but the fact is, they can get away with it.

'The population is not willing to second guess military prerogative in matters like this. Therefore despite the absolutely blatant cover-up of the facts of 9/11 at the Pentagon, there is no public outrage, and there is no reasonable possibility that the public can be aroused on this issue.

'Therefore the Pentagon is a dead-end for research. The puzzle of the Pentagon might be fascinating or intriguing, but as an avenue to determining the truth, it seems doomed to failure. The ones who want it covered up literally hold all the cards.

'Fortunately the evidence at the World Trade Center makes the investigation at the Pentagon almost irrelevant. If anything essentially new (and verifiable) can be discovered at the Pentagon, fine, but the sparseness of information and the thoroughness of the cover-up at the Pentagon makes it an unlikely venue for significant new findings.'

911 discussion is a litmus test. The results are revealing.

Dr Frank Legge on Misinformation & the Pentagon

Jim Hoffman on the Psychology and Propaganda of the Pentagon discussion

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Post Post subject: in house investigations Reply with quote

Army engineer has form when it comes to less-than-transparent investigation

Why does Demos think tank want us to pay attention to the work of US Army engineer Paul Mlakar?

Why is a UK think tank advising people to read an American ACSE report on the 2001 Pentagon hit, authored in part by Paul Mlakar, a member of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)?

Engineering staff from the universities of Berkeley and Maryland have voiced their concerns about this soldier's work. Read more about him:


In October of 2007, Professor Raymond B. Seed of the of the UC Berkeley department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, wrote to Dr. William F. Marcuson, President of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Prof Seed was very concerned about the ASCE and obstruction of the investigation into the breakage of levees in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. That obstruction was coordinated by Dr. Paul Mlakar of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), who claimed that his assignment was to "spar" with the independent investigators.

Mlakar is well known by independent investigators, as he was one of the four engineers who conducted the FEMA "investigation" into the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City in 1995...

Mlakar also led the ASCE investigation at the Pentagon after 9/11, along with Sozen [Mete Sozen has been a leading spokesman for the official story about the WTC].

Prof Seed, who led one of the independent investigations into the breaking of the levees in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, claimed that Paul Mlakar obstructed his investigation. Below are some relevant quotes from the letter, but the entire letter is well worth reading.

"These past two years, both the USACE and ASCE have been dishonored by the unacceptable, and even unfathomable, actions of a few. These are two of the most important civil engineering organizations in the world. If that cannot be reversed and repaired, and if recurrence cannot be prevented, then the ethics and the very soul of the Profession are in peril."

"Two of the Corps field team escorting us around were different, however; their role was to keep the Corps personnel from speaking too openly with the rest of us and thus potentially spilling any beans."

"The problem was: the “deal” between them and the Corps was such that our field teams were not permitted to have learned anything while in the field."

"In the end, Larry and John, along with Dr. Mlakar, put their foot down; if we did not all “play ball”, then the further planned field work of the “week two” teams already beginning to arrive would be cancelled. A direct threat to the two investigations."

"Cover-up!!...A bit later, the active ASCE members in that room considered resigning (from ASCE) in protest."

"Larry Roth explained to me back in September that ASCE had been ingloriously kicked out from the 9/11 investigation of the World Trade Centre, and that they had learned their lesson and would never again make those same mistakes.

"At the end of the session, Sen. Collins leveled her formidable stare nearly directly at poor Paul and said something very close to the following: “Dr. Mlakar, I understand that you have been sent here to tell us nothing. As a good soldier, you have done that admirably. I want you to go back and tell those who sent you, however, that this committee will not tolerate that, and that we will also not tolerate continued failure on the part of the Corps to provide requested documents and data to these other investigation teams.”

"It was also during this period that we learned more than we wanted to know about ASCE’s being expelled from the 9/11 World Trade Center put an end to what they viewed as a cover-up masquerading as an investigation."

"I have met personally with faculty from our Civil Engineering Department here at Berkeley, and also with faculty at the University of Maryland, who had NSF grants for investigations of the World Trade Center disaster and who assure me that this was, at several stages, a very bad business indeed.""


"[Mlakar] had told them that a significant portion of his assignment was to “spar” with the two independent investigation teams....“Sparring” or otherwise obstructing the independent investigations was inexcusable behavior in my view....And shame on Dr. Mlakar, and those that apparently continued to send him."

"Indeed a coordinated campaign appears to be still underway to partially re-write history and to downplay some of the key issues. And ASCE (at least at the HQ level) appears to be deeply involved in this still ongoing effort."

'There is no way that I can simply do nothing, and allow the worst of the actions of the past two years to pass, and appear to be condoned at the highest of levels within two of the most important civil engineering institutions in the world....People depend on engineers to get it right, and nothing less than full effort, and dedication to public safety above all else, is acceptable."

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Post Post subject: Konspiracies Reply with quote

Carl Miller of Demos (NuLab's favourite think tank) asks:
Will the web always be a hive for conspiracy theories?

The net seethes with conspiracies, apparently, ‘lawless arenas where peer-review, journalistic standards, and source attribution are largely absent’ (sic).

Of course the main hive for the biggest, most lethal conspiracy theories [WMD in Iraq; Saddam-Al Qaeda link; military-grade anthrax supposedly mailed by Arabs] was not the internet but the mainstream media-political nexus, as one S. Hughes rightly points out in the comments section.

From S Hughes:

Demos are asserting that conspiracy theories are daft and dangerous ideas found on the fringes, in the “unregulated” world.

They seem to ignore the fact that the most successful conspiracy theory of our time – the theory that there was a conspiracy between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda to threaten the West with biological, chemical and nuclear weapons - [was developed by officials and the mainstream media]

This had all the elements of a classic conspiracy theory – Public enemies being secret friends, secret meetings in shady places between Iraqi intelligence and Al Qaeda, suggestions that Iraqi’s trained 9/11 pilots at a secret base in Iraq, that Iraqi intelligence gave their Anthrax to terrorists , who then posted it around America.

The Saddam-Al Qaeda conspiracy theory even sounded line an “Area51″ type story, with endless tales of underground bases and the like. And it was completely untrue, and based on the scantiest of evidence.

And this conspiracy theory was certainly used “to justify violent acts and to maintain an ideology that sees violence as the answer to the world (Miller)“.

But it wasn’t pushed by people on the fringe, in chatrooms or in the “unregulated” internet. rather the details of this conspiracy theory appeared in the Sunday Times, Telegraph, Mail The Observer, the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal. It appeared in dossiers and presentations made by two of the most powerful governments in the world.

Demos seem to want to divide the world between the establishment , with its sensible ideas, and the fringe, with its weird conspiracy ideas, but as the Iraq example shows, the most effective and most dangerous conspiracy theory of our times was not tucked away in “lawless arenas where peer-review, journalistic standards, and source attribution are largely absent “.

And here's yet another piece on conspiracies from the Demos employee, with yet another request for us to look at the dubious Pentagon honey-pot [see previous posts on this thread].

Conspiracy Theories are an Issue Progressives Can No Longer Ignore - Carl Miller.

Again, comments below the article reveal many don't buy it...

Is Demos aiming to build an astro-turf of citizen volunteers to 'infiltrate' chat rooms and seed discussion in order to correct what Demos terms 'the epistemological' deficiencies of the grassroots transparency movement? If they are, they will need to get their definitions on 'conspiracies' and 'theories' straight, taking into account that we all believe in a generic conspiracy theory about what went down on 11/09/01 because, clearly, crack operatives of one stripe or another conspired among themselves to carry off that successful event.

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Another article supportive of 11/9 research is published in a mainstream academic journal:

Is Infiltration of ‘Extremist Groups’ Justified?

Submitted by Kurtis Hagen, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, State University New York (SUNY).

International Journal of Applied Philosophy 24:2, pp. 153-168. (Fall 2010).

ABSTRACT: Many intellectuals scoff at what they call “conspiracy theories.” But two Harvard law professors, Cass Sunstein (now working for the Obama administration) and Adrian Vermeule, go further.

They argue in the Journal of Political Philosophy that groups that espouse such theories ought to be infiltrated and undermined by government agents and allies. While some may find this proposal appalling (as indeed we all should), others may find the argument plausible, especially if they have been swayed by the notion that conspiracy theories (or a definable subset thereof), by their nature, somehow or another, do not warrant belief.

I will argue that Sunstein and Vermeule’s proposal not only conflicts with the values of an open society, but is also epistemically indefensible. In making my case, I will adopt their favored example, counter-narratives about 9/11. (p. 153)

It should be noted that, according to [Sunstein and Vermeule’s] definition, the notion that the Nazis were systematically exterminating Jews would have, at some point in time, clearly counted as conspiracy theory—one that turned out to be true. This is an important example. It shows that one cannot simply reject a conspiracy theory because it seems too extreme in the brutality it attributes to powerful figures, or because of the scale of complicity that would be required, or because of the industrial efficiency with which it is said to be carried out. Shocking though a theory may be, so too are known precedents. (p. 155)

Regarding the destruction of World Trade Center Twin Towers and Building 7, Sunstein and Vermeule might be tempted to point to the official reports of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). However, there are reasons a rational and well-informed person might be less than fully convinced by those reports as well. While there are many technical issues that have been raised by others, I will just list four that can be stated briefly.

- First, the Bush administration has been credibly accused of politicizing science—that is, corrupting science for political expediency. And, NIST was, after all, an arm of the Bush administration.

- Second, representatives of NIST were evasive about key issues, such as checking for explosives.

- Third, John Gross, a lead engineer involved the NIST report, denied being aware of any eyewitness accounts of molten steel at the WTC collapse sites, implied that he is unaware of any suggestive evidence, and expressed doubt that the necessary temperatures could have been reached. And yet there are many well-documented eyewitness accounts of molten steel (which may have actually been iron), as well as video footage of what looks like molten steel flowing from the South Tower, supported by corroborating evidence of various kinds. (Indeed, [there is] evidence of temperatures sufficient to melt steel.. There should be an unbiased scientific discussion regarding how such temperatures were achieved, or at least a reasonable and open discussion of the evidence in question.) **

- Fourth, in the “draft for public comment” version of their report on the collapse of Building 7, NIST asserted that the collapse rate was about 40% slower than freefall. David Chandler, a high school physics teacher, demonstrated in an online video that for over 100 feet the building collapsed at very close to freefall acceleration, and he challenged NIST publicly on the matter.

In the final version of their report, NIST conceded the point. Having been forced by clear and incontrovertible evidence into this astonishing concession, NIST then simply pretended that it doesn’t matter.

This shows that there can be a kind of “self-sealing” quality to official stories too. Officials can deny or ignore evidence, just assert that their results are scientific, and then end the discussion, refusing to have open and fair dialog or debate. And this is precisely what NIST has done. (pp. 156-157)

A common non sequitur response to [the issue of molten metal] is to suggest that it is not necessary to assume that the columns actually melted in order to explain the collapse. But the issue here is not at all about explaining the collapse. It is about the multifaceted independent evidence that there was in fact a large amount of melted steel (or iron).

But how can that be? How can the official story account for that? And yet a common counter-narrative does account for it: Molten iron is the byproduct of a thermite reaction. So, on the theory that thermite of some kind was used to help bring down the towers (and building 7), molten iron is to be expected. Indeed, when comparing video of thermite reactions with video of the orange liquid substance flowing from the South tower shortly before its collapse, the similarity is striking. This is direct prima facie evidence of the use of thermite. But it is the combination of this kind of prima facie evidence with scientific studies documenting significant quantities of iron-rich spheres in the dust, and so on, that makes casual or flippant denials inappropriate. (p. 165, footnote 21)

Now, Sunstein and Vermeule could quibble by saying that although these theories have not been demonstrated to be false, they are nonetheless demonstrably false, that is, capable of being demonstrated to be false.
But if that is the case, then, especially given their commitment to maintaining an “open society,” should not Sunstein and Vermeule be calling for such a public demonstration?

Should they not join the chorus of voices calling for a new, more robust, subpoena-empowered, and open inquiry, which, if Sunstein and Vermeule are right, would shed such light on the relevant issues that those espousing crazy and untenable theories would scatter like cockroaches?

This is the cure that would be most compatible with democratic values. If they are so sure about where a thorough, open and unbiased inquiry would lead, why not support that, rather than petty infiltrations? (p. 157)


Sunstein and Vermeule state that their recommendation of infiltration is to apply only to demonstrably false (and potentially harmful) theories. Their chief example of demonstrably false theories is the set of theories that posit insider complicity in the events of 9/11. What is the proof that settles this issue once and for all?

My challenge to Sunstein and Vermeule is this: Can you prove, in a fair forum, that the theories in question are false? (“Proof” in an unfair forum, of course, is no proof at all.) The fact of the matter is this: They cannot prove it. So they wish to enforce their belief through epistemically illegitimate means. Their proposals exemplify intellectual cowardice. To adapt the bitingly critical remarks of the Chinese sage Laozi: “The man of ‘reasonableness’ makes his case, but when no one responds, rolls up his sleeves and resorts to persuasion by other means.” (p. 162)

Of course, the point transcends this issue of what to do about alternative theories about 9/11. The point is that we cannot engage in the kind of epistemic shenanigans that Sunstein and Vermeule recommend and, at the same time, credibly assert that alternative-to-mainstream theories (about whatever) may be dismissed on account of our fair and unbiased structures and organizations that adjudicate truth. (pp. 162-163)


In mid-January, 2010, a draft of this article prompted writer Marc Estrin to blog about the topic. An Internet buzz immediately ensued, including, within a couple days, blogs by Mark Crispin Miller, Glenn Greenwald, and many others.

This buzz caught the attention of David Ray Griffin, who quickly developed an impressive book-length critique, entitled Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory, to which interested readers are hereby directed. (p. 163)

(end of quotations from the article)

I have also written a second paper criticizing the Sunstein article that is currently under review at another philosophy journal. In addition, I have written a review of DRGs book, Cognitive Infiltration, that will be published this summer in Florida Philosophical Review (this one will be freely available on-line).

However, despite pleas for fair consideration, both “Is Infiltration of ‘Extremist Groups’ Justified?” and my second critique were refused peer review at the Journal of Political Philosophy, the journal in which the Sunstein article appeared.


Kurtis Hagen

**FEMA metallurgical studies on extremely high temperatures

Extremely high temperatures during the World Trade Center destruction
Dr. Steven E. Jones, Dr. Jeffrey Farrer, Dr. Gregory S. Jenkins, Dr. Frank Legge, James Gourley, Kevin Ryan, Daniel Farnsworth, and Dr. Crockett Grabbe (Journal of 911 Studies, Volume 19 - January 2008)

Source Related to Exceptionally High Temperatures, and/or to Persistent Heat at Ground Zero; Disinformation Regarding the Phenomena of "Molten Steel"/ Exceptionally High Temperatures/Persistent Heat at Ground Zero; Pre-Collapse Pressure Pulses [PDF] Appendix [PDF] by Andrea Dreger
This paper provides detailed rebuttals to attempts to explain the extreme and persistent high temperatures in the Ground Zero rubble piles as the results of fires rather than of energetic materials used to demolish the buildings. [ ]

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Post Post subject: Solomon Hughes on Demos and Aaronovitch Reply with quote

Voodoo History, Freaky Scared Hicks and Demos

Solomon Hughes has penned the best article I've yet read on Demos's conspiracy paper, noting the strong parallels with David Aaronovitch's 'Voodoo Histories'...

Marilyn Monroe and the Iraq war
Fringe conspiracy theories are often irritating or plain daft, but when peddled by governments and media they can lead to the slaughter of thousands

Hughes in The Morning Star:

"A secret committee of powerful but faceless men has met in their hidden HQ and ordered an attack on conspiracy theories. Establishment figures are queueing up to do their bidding. Or maybe it's just a fashion in mainstream circles, but either way there is a little surge of conspiracy-theory-knocking.

"Think tank Demos recently put out a pamphlet claiming conspiracy theories "can lead to extremism and can turn extremism to violence." .....

"Demos gets some of its arguments from journalist David Aaronovitch's recent book on conspiracy theories Voodoo Histories. Aaronovitch does not try to tie "conspiracy theory" and "terrorist" together like Demos. But he does otherwise inspire its pamphlet.

"Aaronovitch argues that conspiracy theories are the crazy ideas of little people who don't understand the world. They are disoriented people suffering "status anxiety" - freaky scared hicks, suffering hysteria and paranoia and unable to trust the authorities. Conspiracy theories are "history for losers," politically and socially defeated, bewildered by modernity, in "a kind of historical revolt against the official version."

"It's a "sensible centre" argument with a load of psychology thrown in.

"But there is a big problem that Demos and Aaronovitch carefully step around. The biggest, most successful and dangerous conspiracy theory of modern times does not come from the fringe.

"According to this conspiracy theory Saddam Hussein developed WMD to give to his friends in al-Qaida.

"All the classic conspiracy theory features were in place - enemies who are secretly friends, a hidden plot against society, undercover meetings between Iraqi agents and September 11 hijackers in Prague, Iraqis training hijackers at a secret airfield, Iraqi anthrax spread by al-Qaida agents in the US, Smersh-style underground bases and mobile bio labs.

"But none of it was true.

'No WMD, no link between Saddam and Osama, no Prague meeting, no terrorist training at Iraq's Salman Pak compound, neither Iraqi nor al-Qaida involvement in the US anthrax attacks.

Evidence Ignored by Journalists:
Envelope scrawled with this note, containing weaponised anthrax, was traced by FBI to
a US military lab. This anthrax, manufactured and sent by Americans, killed other
Americans, but was fraudulently attributed to conspiring Arabs

"This theory wasn't peddled by small-time losers but by leading politicians and national newspapers in Britain and the US - with support from Aaronovitch himself who promised the Iraq war would stop "a future conjunction between anthrax and terrorism."
....[edit - see link for full article]...

"What Aaronovitch calls conspiracy theories are just propaganda based on falsehood. We need to use some judgement, to try and separate truth from lies.

"We also need to see conspiracy theories don't just come from the tinfoil hat brigade - many are professional jobs backed by governments or powerful right-wing media corporations.

"Government or media backing helped the Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion, the red scares, the WMD plots and the wild claims that Barack Obama was some kind of secret Muslim terrorist. And then there are a few amateur efforts about Kennedy. I know which kind is more dangerous."

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Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:30 pm
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[removed by marc]

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Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:33 am
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Demos think tank and the CIA Intelligence Officers Bookshelf website both recommend "The Looming Towers: Al Qaeda and the Road to 911" by Lawrence Wright.

Now the new 911 Memorial Museum, New York, reveals it's also a fan. The Museum - which aims to become a 'moral authority' on 911 - showcases a multi-part video interview with Wright on their site as "a guide to teaching and learning". It seems Wright's work informs museum content.

Wright's been an omniscient fly on the wall, throughout the Hindu Kush and beyond. Ninety-nine percent of it may be god's honest truth - most of us have no way of really knowing. But one author's perspective and scripting talents are never a substitute for due process, forensics and wide open debate among a broad range of experts, facilitated by a democratic press.

A little more on Lawrence Wright:
Wright co-wrote the script for The Siege - the 1999 violent drama that depicted Arab terrorists hitting New York. The American Arab Anti -Discrimination Committee found this movie to promote 'offensive', 'hateful stereotypes'.

Here's a Mondoweiss review of some of Wright's other work:
Lawrence Wright Plays It Safe on Gaza

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Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:35 am
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"Part of the role of think tanks is to take people with a specific ideological viewpoint and transform them into 'experts' (at least in the eyes of the media and the public) on the cheap, without having them go through the hard work of studying a subject for a long time, doing original research, and publishing in peer-reviewed academic research journals" - Mano Singham

Is this a fair assessment? Unfair? If one takes a 911 research community point of view, think tank commentators seem uninformed. Have they studied the official reports that form the pillars holding up the official narrative, as well as the full critique from credentialed academics? Done any referenced investigation of their own?

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Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:13 am
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Further critique of the Demos think tank's report Power of Unreason , addressed to co-author Carl Miller.

"Mr Miller claims that conspiracy theories lead to a breakdown of trust between government and communities.
I suggest he considers which came first – lack of trust in government, or a renewed interest in conspiracy theories.

"When he is able to refrain from patronising “conspiracists” and pauses to consider that it was the government’s own conspiracy theories about WMD, leading to the slaughter of untold innocent civilians in Iraq, then he might realise that his thesis is in fact precisely the wrong way around. And suggesting greater transparency in the intelligence services whilst advocating COINTELPRO-style infiltration of dissenting groups, is nothing less than grimly ironic.

"In summary, this attempt to demonise and thought-police is far more dangerous than the conspiracy theories it attempts to ridicule and silence."

"Mr Miller argues that “conspiracy theories” must be confronted because, he asserts, some of them are dangerous. I argue that Mr Miller’s attempt to silence and ridicule alternative voices must be confronted, as it threatens free thought and speech, and the very democratic ideals he presumably believes he is defending.

"The biggest problem with Mr Miller’s report is that it fails to properly define what a “conspiracy theory” is – and worse, labels everyone who believes in these (undefined) theories as “conspiracists”. If I were to use blanket terms like “Muslims” or “blacks”, I would quite rightly be challenged, as I would be massively generalising and conflating a whole range of different people and beliefs into one, indistinguishable mass. Mr Miller is guilty of constructing the very straw man he mocks a minority of “conspiracists” for assembling; a flimsy misrepresentation that is easily knocked over. Similarly, Mr Miller references the tired old “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” conspiracy theory, a belief held by only a minority of “conspiracists” but which is often used to falsely discredit all..." continued/....

Example of officially-touted conspiracy theory:

Who conspired to distribute this chemical WMD?: These envelopes contained weaponised anthrax. Manufactured and sent by Americans, it killed other Americans, but was fraudulently attributed to conspiring Arabs.

"These images, linking the anthrax attacks to "radical Islam" were dutifully shown, in endless-repetition mode, on the mainstream media to the already shocked and awed US public. Coming right after 9/11, an event already linked to Muslims before any investigation had happened, the anthrax attacks were also linked directly to Muslims.... and the preconditioned US public eagerly lapped this "information" up without question. When it was discovered that the anthrax originated, not from some clandestine "al Qaeda" mobile laboratory, but instead from the bioweapons research facility at Ft. Detrick, MD, what happened? The media, in "all anthrax, all the time" mode, dropped the story at a stroke

White House staff were ordered, days before the mailing, to take Ciprofloxacin, the powerful antibiotic specifically prescribed to treat anthrax infections.

Vital unresolved anthrax questions and ABC News - Glenn Greenwald

Saddam involved with 911 hijackers: Iraq 'behind US anthrax outbreaks' War on Terrorism: Observer special

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The authors of the Demos report on conspiracy theories, "The Power of Unreason", announced they wanted to engage people on the 911-war-trigger subject at their blog late last year ... [see the link at "fierce reaction"] ...
but the Demos authors abruptly ended their participation and have not returned to the thread to date.

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Graeme MacQueen: "I would say the term conspiracy theorists has been an extremely powerful and useful term for those who want to prevent any questioning of what happened on September 11, 2001, and I think it doesn't survive scrutiny. I think its a thought stopper and a silencer."

When you call someone a conspiracy theorist "everyone breathes a sigh of relief and says 'good, we don't have to look this, this is just a conspiracy theory, we don't have to look for evidence, we don't have to use our critical faculties' and it operates that way, it prevents people from thinking. . .If I wanted to denigrate you I can say you're an idiot, but calling you a conspiracy theorist is much more effective because it's a sophisticated term."

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Mr Power's Perfectly Pernicious Plan
[to 'cure' people of their 'crippled epistemologies']

Mr Power, a.k.a. Cass Sunstein, is married to fellow Obama Appointee, Samantha Power. It's a small world. Mrs Power-Sunstein is 'considered a lead figure in persuading Obama on the Libyan war' and she heads up his newly-formed 'Atrocities Prevention Board' as 'anti-genocide' adviser.

Sunstein and co-author Vermeule propose that the US government and its allies infiltrate groups that promote 'conspiracy theories' deemed (somehow) to be “demonstrably false” and attempt to "cure" thinkers of their "crippled epistemology". They take non-official theories about September 11 as their “running example.”

GLEN GREENWALD wrote about law professor Cass Sunstein, author of "Conspiracy Theories: Causes And Cures" in this article:

Obama Confidant's Spine-Chilling Proposal

GREENWALD: "Cass Sunstein has long been one of Barack Obama's closest confidants. 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.

"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.'."
continues at link

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ADDENDUM: Sunstein's plan has been dissected here:

Cognitive Infiltration:
An Obama Appointee's Plan
Olive Branch Press (2011).

Author D. R. Griffin shreds Sunstein's thesis in this slim volume.

and also here:

From Dr Kurtis Hagen of State University New York:

"Review of Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan"
Florida Philosophical Review Volume XI, Issue 1, Summer 2011

"September 2011 | Conspiracy Theories and Stylized Facts"
Journal for Peace and Justice Studies 21.2 (Fall 2011)
See 911 in Academia:

"Is Infiltration of ‘Extremist Groups’ Justified?"
International Journal of Applied Philosophy 24:2, pp. 153-168. (Fall 2010).

Reviews of Griffin's book "Cognitive Infiltration":

PETER DALE SCOTT, University of Berkeley, California.

"[...] 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 ... arm yourself with this valuable book."

More Reviews from amazon -

"Can it be wise to sanction ... “government agents or their allies” to decide which historical accounts are to be allowed, and which are to be undermined by covert operations?" - Kurtis Hagen.

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UPDATE: Cass Sunstein co-author of a book - "Nudge' - admired by David Cameron

David Cameron seeks to 'Nudge' people in right direction

David Cameron has met Richard Thaler, co-author [with Cass Sunstein] of 'Nudge', a book on encouraging people to behave properly without being forced to do so

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Playing conspiracies off against each other.
Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:09 pm
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