By Kevin Barrett
Global Research, February 06, 2019
The Unz Review 1 February 2019
A Review of Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas by Cass Sunstein (based on an earlier paper co-authored with Adrian Vermeule); In Defense of Troublemakers: The Power of Dissent in Life and Business by Charlan Nemeth; and Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them, edited by Joseph E. Uscinski
On January 25 2018 YouTube unleashed the latest salvo in the war on conspiracy theories, saying
“we’ll begin reducing recommendations of borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways—such as videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, claiming the earth is flat, or making blatantly false claims about historic events like 9/11.”
At first glance that sounds reasonable. Nobody wants YouTube or anyone else to recommend bad information. And almost everyone agrees that phony miracle cures, flat earthism, and blatantly false claims about 9/11 and other historical events are undesirable.
But if we stop and seriously consider those words, we notice a couple of problems. First, the word “recommend” is not just misleading but mendacious. YouTube obviously doesn’t really recommend anything. When it says it does, it is lying.
When you watch YouTube videos, the YouTube search engine algorithm displays links to other videos that you are likely to be interested in. These obviously do not constitute “recommendations” by YouTube itself, which exercises no editorial oversight over content posted by users. (Or at least it didn’t until it joined the war on conspiracy theories.)
The second and larger problem is that while there may be near-universal agreement among reasonable people that flat-earthism is wrong, there is only modest agreement regarding which health approaches constitute “phony miracle cures” and which do not. Far less is there any agreement on “claims about 9/11 and other historical events.” (Thus far the only real attempt to forge an informed consensus about 9/11 is the 9/11 Consensus Panel’s study—but it seems unlikely that YouTube will be using the Consensus Panel to determine which videos to “recommend”!)
YouTube’s policy shift is the latest symptom of a larger movement by Western elites to—as Obama’s Information Czar Cass Sunstein put it—“disable the purveyors of conspiracy theories.” Sunstein and co-author Adrian Vermeule’s 2008 paper “Conspiracy Theories,” critiqued by David Ray Griffin in 2010 and developed into a 2016 book, represents a panicked reaction to the success of the 9/11 truth movement. (By 2006, 36% of Americans thought it likely that 9/11 was an inside job designed to launch wars in the Middle East, according to a Scripps poll.)
Sunstein and Vermuele begin their abstract:
Many millions of people hold (sic) conspiracy theories; they believe that powerful people have worked together in order to withhold the truth about some important practice or some terrible event. A recent example is the belief, widespread in some parts of the world, that the attacks of 9/11 were carried out not by Al Qaeda, but by Israel or the United States. Those who subscribe to conspiracy theories may create serious risks, including risks of violence, and the existence of such theories raises significant challenges for policy and law.
Sunstein argues that conspiracy theories (i.e. the 9/11 truth movement) are so dangerous that some day they may have to be banned by law. While awaiting that day, or perhaps in preparation for it, the government should “disable the purveyors of conspiracy theories” through various techniques including “cognitive infiltration” of 9/11 truth groups. Such “cognitive infiltration,” Sunstein writes, could have various aims including the promotion of “beneficial cognitive diversity” within the truth movement.
What sort of “cognitive diversity” would Cass Sunstein consider “beneficial”? Perhaps 9/11 truth groups that had been “cognitively infiltrated” by spooks posing as flat-earthers would harbor that sort of “beneficial” diversity? That would explain the plethora of expensive, high-production-values flat earth videos that have been blasted at the 9/11 truth community since 2008.
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This article was first published on March 31, 2017. An earlier version was published in 2015
Lest we forget, one day before the 9/11 attacks [as well as on the morning of 9/11, the dad of the sitting President of the United States of America, George Herbert Walker Bush was meeting none other than Shafiq bin Laden, the brother of the alleged terror mastermind Osama bin Laden.
It was a routine business meeting on September 10-11, no conflict of interest, no relationship to the 9/11 attacks which allegedly were carried out on the orders of Shafiq’s brother Osama, no FBI investigation into the links between the Bush and bin Laden families.
What is presented below is a factual account. Confirmed by the Washington Post, “fellow investors” of the Carlyle Group including Osama’s brother Shafiq bin Laden and Dubya’s dad former President George H. W. Bush met in the plush surroundings of New York’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel on September 10-11, 2001. Their business encounter under the auspices of the Carlyle Group was unfortunately interrupted on September 11 by the 9/11 attacks.
It didn’t help that as the World Trade Center burned on Sept. 11, 2001, the news interrupted a Carlyle business conference at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel here attended by a brother of Osama bin Laden [Shafiq bin Laden]. Former president Bush [senior], a fellow investor, had been with him at the conference the previous day. (Greg Schneider, Pairing the Powerful With the Rich, Washington Post, March 16, 2003)
screenshot Washington Post, March 16, 2003
A timely business meeting on September 10-11 at the Ritz Carlton with Osama’s brother disrupted by the 9/11 attacks: pure coincidence, totally unrelated to the 9/11 attacks.
What was GWB’s Dad “Poppy” doing with Osama’s brother Shafiq on September 10?
Media coverup: the WP report came out 18 months later in March 2003. There was no media coverage of the Shafiq bin Laden – G. Herbert W. Bush meeting in September 2001. The event was known, yet mainstream media editors decided not to provide coverage of this timely 9/11 encounter at the Ritz Carleton.
A day later, on the evening of September 11, 2001, president George W. Bush pronounced a historic speech in which he defined the relationship between “terrorists’ and “state sponsors of terrorism”:
The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I’ve directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them. (emphasis added)
Let’s be clear as to what happened: the dad of the sitting president of the US was “harboring” (to use GWB’s expression) the brother of the alleged terror mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.
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War Criminals in High Office Commemorate the End of World War I
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
November 14, 2018 “Information Clearing House” – In a bitter irony, several of the World’s leaders who were “peacefully” commemorating the end of World War I in Paris including Trump, Netanyahu, Macron and May are the protagonists of war in Afghanistan, Palestine, Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen.
To put it bluntly they are war criminals under international law.
They have blood on their hands.
What on earth are they commemorating?
In the words of Hans Stehling: “As We Honour the 15 Million Dead of 1914-1918, a Demented US President Flies into Paris with Plans to Attack Iran” [with nuclear weapons] (Global Research, November 12, 2018)
Lest we forget: War is the ultimate crime, “The Crime against Peace” as defined under Nuremberg.
The US and its allies have embarked upon the ultimate war crime, a Worldwide military adventure, “a long war”, which threatens the future of humanity.
The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest.
The War to End all Wars???
One hundred years later: What’s happening NOW in November 2018?
Major military and covert intelligence operations have been launched in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The U.S. military agenda combines both major theatre operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states, not to mention economic warfare.
In the course of the last seventeen years, starting in the immediate wake of 9/11, a series of US-NATO led wars have been launched: Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Yemen, resulting in millions of civilian deaths and countless atrocities. These wars have been led by the US and its NATO allies.
It is all for a good cause:
“Responsibility to Protect”(R2P),
“Going after the bad guys”,
Waging a “Global War on Terrorism”.
It just so happens that “Outside Enemy Number One” Osama bin Laden was recruited by the CIA.
And the Bush and the Bin Laden families are friends.
Confirmed by the Washington Post Osama’s brother Shafiq bin Laden was meeting with George W Bush’s Dad, George H. Walker Bush at a Carlyle business meeting at the Ritz Carleton in New York on September 10, one day before 9/11:
It didn’t help that as the World Trade Center burned on Sept. 11, 2001, the news interrupted a Carlyle business conference at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel here attended by a brother of Osama bin Laden. Former president Bush, a fellow investor, had been with him at the conference the previous day. (WaPo, March 16, 2003)
Now does that not sound like a “conspiracy theory”? While Osama was allegedly coordinating the attack on the WTC, his brother Shafiq was meeting up with the President’s Dad, according to the Washington Post.
In turn, according to the Wall Street Journal “The bin Laden family has become acquainted with some of the biggest names in the Republican Party…” (WSJ, 27 September 2001)
Here is a rather “believe it or not” concept: if the US were to boost defence spending to go after Osama bin Laden (Enemy Number One), the bin Laden family would benefit so to speak because (in September 2001) they were partners of the Carlyle Group, one the World’s largest asset management companies:
Waging War on The Bad Guys
Amply documented, the “Bad Guys”, namely Al Qaeda and its various affiliates including ISIS-Daesh are constructs of Western intelligence (aka so-called “intelligence assets”).
In recent developments, the US and Israel are threatening Iran with nuclear weapons. U.S. and NATO ground forces are being deployed in Eastern Europe on Russia’s immediate doorstep. In turn, the U.S. is confronting China under the so-called “Pivot to Asia” which was launched during the Obama presidency.
The US also threatens to blow up North Korea with what is described in US military parlance as a “bloody nose operation” which consists in deploying “the more usable” low yield B61-11 mini-nukes which are tagged as “harmless to civilians because the explosion is under ground”, according to scientific opinion on contract to the Pentagon.
The B61-11 tactical nuclear weapon has an explosive capacity between one third and twelve times a Hiroshima bomb.
Flashback to August 6, 1945, the first Atomic Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Up to 100, 000 people were killed in the first seven seconds following the explosion.
But it was “collateral damage”: In the words of President Harry Truman:
The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians.
What is at stake is a global criminal undertaking in defiance of international law. In the words of the late Nuremberg Prosecutor William Rockler:
The United States has discarded pretensions to international legality and decency, and embarked on a course of raw imperialism run amok.” (William Rockler, Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor)
We will recall that the architect of Nuremberg, Supreme Court Justice and Nuremberg Prosecutor Robert Jackson said with some hesitation:
“We must never forget that the record on which we judge these defendants is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well.”
Does this historical statement apply to Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu and Margaret May?
In defiance of Nuremberg, the US and its allies have invoked the conduct of “humanitarian wars” and “counter-terrorism” operations, with a view to installing “democracy” in targeted countries.
And the Western media applauds. War is now routinely heralded in news reports as a peacemaking undertaking.
War becomes peace. Realities are turned upside down.
These lies and fabrications are part of of war propaganda, which also constitutes a criminal undertaking under Nuremberg.
The US-NATO led war applied Worlwide is a criminal endeavor under the disguise of “responsibility to protect” and counter-terrorism. It violates the Nuremberg Charter, the US constitution and the UN charter. According to former chief Nuremberg prosector Benjamin Ferencz, in relation to the 2003 invasion of Iraq:
“a prima facie case can be made that the United States is guilty of the supreme crime against humanity — that being an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation.”
Ferenz was referring to “Crimes against Peace and War” (Nuremberg Principle VI): which states the following:
“The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
(a) Crimes against peace:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).
(b) War crimes:
Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the Seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.
(c) Crimes against humanity:
Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.”
“(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).”
The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2018
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Julian Borger in Washington
Wed 14 Nov 2018 00.37 GMT
CIA doctors considered using a “truth serum” on suspected terrorists in detention after waterboarding appeared to be ineffective and traumatic for US personnel who witnessed it, according to newly declassified documents.
The proposal to use the drug in a programme codenamed “Project Medication” was revealed in a 90-page report by a senior CIA medical officer, which was released on a judge’s order to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), after a prolonged legal battle. The ACLU published the report by the unnamed officer on Tuesday.
The idea of using drugs on US captives in the “war on terror” was recommended as “probably worth a try” by the CIA’s office of medical services but dropped after the agency’s counter-terrorism centre decided not to ask the Department of Justice in George W Bush’s administration for a legal ruling. The department had previously provided legal memos justifying the use of torture like waterboarding and confinement in small boxes.
The CIA report, which reviews the medical office’s participation in detainee operations from 2002 to 2007, shows that the agency’s medical staff played a key role in interrogations in the days after the 9/11 attacks.
They took part in over 120 rendition flights, taking prisoners to secret CIA detention centres. They helped keep inmates alive and provided the appearance of medical rectitude. The CIA report notes that its doctors were “indispensable” to the effort of “legitimising the programme”.
In the case of Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, the al-Qaida mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks who was waterboarded 140 times, the CIA medical officer said that the torture, which simulates the experience of drowning, “provided periodic relief from his standing sleep deprivation”.
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The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand on June 28, 1914 led to the outbreak of World War I. The Gulf of Tonkin incidents on August 2 and August 4, 1964 enabled what we call the Vietnam War
By Prof. Graeme McQueen
Global Research, March 18, 201
R Editor’s Note
Russi-Gate, Novichok, Eastern Ghouta, False Flags?
This carefully research article by Professor Graeme McQueen presents a timely historical viewpoint which is routinely “censored” by the mainstream media as well by the search engines. The danger of World War III is not front-page news.
Kindly consider forwarding it Professor McQueen’s article to your friends and colleagues, crosspost it on alternative media and blog sites.
The threat of World War III is real, yet there is no anti-war movement in sight. In the US, Canada and the EU, the peace movement is defunct, ignorant of the broader implications of nuclear war.
This is why, dear readers, we call upon your support and endorsement. There is a real “conspiracy” to trigger war. That’s the truth. Establish community networks, spread the word, organize at the grassroots level.
In the words of Prof. McQueen:
“Our task is clear. We must mobilize both our investigative resources and our communication resources to nullify the efforts of those who specialize in the construction and encouragement of war triggers and who wish to keep the war system robust. We lost over 100 million people to war in the 20th century. Are we really going to let this happen again?”
Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research Editor, March 18, 2018
As we watch Western governments testing their opponents – today Iran, the next day the DPRK, and then Russia and China – we hold our breaths. We are waiting with a sense of dread for the occurrence of a catalytic event that will initiate war. Now is the time to reflect on such catalytic events, to understand them, to prepare for them.
The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo led to the outbreak of World War I. The Gulf of Tonkin incidents on August 2 and August 4, 1964 enabled what we call the Vietnam War.
Both events were war triggers. A “war trigger”, as I am using the term, is an event that facilitates an outbreak or expansion of hot war–that phase of the war system in which active killing takes place.
War triggers can lead affected populations to cast aside their critical faculties and their willingness to dissent from government narratives. They can also disable moral values and ideological commitments. At the outbreak of World War I the peace movement, the women’s movement and the socialist movement were all shattered.
Image result for Rosa Luxemburg
While there is debate among scholars today about the extent of the frenzy in Europe as World War I began, it is difficult to dismiss sophisticated eyewitnesses such as Rosa Luxemburg (image on the right), who referred to what she saw as:
“mad delirium”; “patriotic street demonstrations”; “singing throngs”; “the coffee shops with their patriotic songs”; “the violent mobs, ready to denounce, ready to persecute women, ready to whip themselves into a delirious frenzy over every wild rumour”; “the atmosphere of ritual murder”. (Luxemburg, 261)
What Luxemburg described was a subjective state produced by a successful war trigger, in which a population becomes extremely lethal as it readies itself to rush at its foe while simultaneously battering anyone in its own ranks that dares to dissent.
Luxemburg herself dared to dissent. This led to two and a half years in a German prison cell. During this time she wrote the Junius Pamphlet, criticizing Europe’s socialist leaders for having been captured by the spirit of war, and pointing to the consequences of their folly:
“the cannon fodder that was loaded upon the trains in August and September is rotting on the battlefields of Belgium and the Vosges…Cities are turned into shambles, whole countries into deserts, villages into cemeteries, whole nations into beggars, churches into stables; popular rights, treaties, alliances, the holiest words and the highest authorities have been torn into scraps”. (Luxemburg, 261-2)
Luxemburg’s anger had a solid basis in what has become known as “the August madness” that struck Europe. For example, on August 3, 1914, when the war had just begun, the following call went out to university students from the most senior officials in the Bavarian universities:
“Students! The muses are silent. The issue is battle, the battle forced on us for German culture, which is threatened by the barbarians from the East, and for German values, which the enemy in the West envies us. And so the furor teutonicus bursts into flame once again. The enthusiasm of the wars of liberation flares, and the holy war begins”. (Keegan, 358)
In response to this hysterical appeal, the German university students volunteered in large numbers. Untrained, they were thrown into battle. In the space of three weeks 36,000 of them were killed.
Germany was not unique, of course, in its vulnerability. Randolph Bourne, in an unfinished essay generally known as “War is the Health of the State”, described what he saw somewhat later in the United States as that country flipped from anti-war to pro-war and joined in the global disaster. He observed that once the executive branch had made the decision to go to war the entire population suddenly changed its mind. “The moment war is declared… the mass of the people, through some spiritual alchemy, become convinced that they have willed and executed the deed themselves.”
Therefore, the people, “with the exception of a few malcontents, proceed to allow themselves to be regimented, coerced, deranged in all the environments of their lives, and turned into a solid manufactory of destruction.”
It is true that war madness of the kind that accompanied WWI has been less common in the years since then, partly because that war turned out to be an unprecedented catastrophe. But I believe it is entirely wrong to think that in today’s era of high technology and digitalized war the arousing of the spirit of war in a population is no longer sought or needed. A highly influential analysis of American Vietnam War strategy, carried out by one Col. Harry Summers, concluded some years ago that a chief cause of the US downfall was the failure of leaders to arouse their population’s emotions. The American people, said Summers, had been forced to fight that war “in cold blood”, which they found intolerable. In fact, this failure to arouse the war spirit was taken by many US analysts to have led to the “Vietnam syndrome” – a reluctance to intervene in the affairs of other countries militarily. This was a timidity unsuitable, they felt, for an imperial power.
One of the purposes of the September 11, 2001 operation, in my view, was precisely to change that situation – to arouse intense feelings of unity, aggression and support for government in order to banish once and for all the Vietnam Syndrome and to launch with great energy the new global conflict formation (the “War on Terror”) so that the 21st century, with the military leading the way, would become another American Century.
Still, war triggers are not all the same, and we need to create categories. We can distinguish three broad types: accidental war triggers, managed war triggers and manufactured war triggers.
An accidental war trigger is an event that triggers hot war in the absence of intention. The pressure of events, random clashes, the everyday quest to satisfy physical needs – all these may, in the absence of warlike intent, produce a war trigger. After the event occurs it may lead, again without conscious plotting, directly to a hot and violent conflict between contending parties.
No doubt many war triggers throughout history fit the category of accidental war trigger. However, the more I have studied recent human wars the less ready I have become to promote the trigger
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Russians have poisoned Hillary Clinton. Elvis Presley is alive and well. The Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared in the Indian Ocean is the same one shot down over the Ukraine.
These are just a few of the many, many conspiracy theories that flourish in the echo chamber of the internet.
Mick West is a science writer and is dedicated to the art of debunking wild theories that circulate online and helping other people do the same, with his website, Metabunk.
Egyptian state media claims Isis is ‘made up’ and 9/11 was carried out by West to justify war on terror
Isis could have been invented by the US to “justify the devastation, partitioning and occupation” of the Middle East, writes Noha Al-Sharnoubi
A columnist for a state-run newspaper in Egypt has suggested the US invented Isis and set up the 9/11 attacks to justify its military interventions in the Middle East.
“Is it possible to believe the official version, from the US government, of the events of 11 September 2001?” wrote journalist Noha Al-Sharnoubi in Al-Ahram, a major national Egyptian newspaper owned by the government.
Ms Al-Sharnoubi said the World Trade Centre and Pentagon attacks could have been premeditated to “justify the war on terror” in her column, published on 23 August
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