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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Cass Sunstein On Conspiracy Theories

Cass Sunstein is pictured in the White House in March 2011, when he was Director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget. (AP)

Cass Sunstein is pictured in the White House in March 2011, when he was Director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget. (AP)

Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein says pick your topic — the tragic disappearance of the Malaysian plane, Ukraine, the NSA, the economic crisis, even the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays — and you can find a conspiracy theory.

Sunstein himself has faced hate mail and threats after his time in the Obama White House, and for his articles on topics such as FDR and the rights of animals. Glenn Beck repeatedly described him as “the most dangerous man in America.”

The experience has led Sunstein to take a deeper look at the topics, including why apparently rational people can believe in crazy conspiracies. He writes in Bloomberg:

Remarkably, people who accept one conspiracy theory tend to accept another conspiracy theory that is logically inconsistent with it. People who believe that Princess Diana faked her own death are more likely to think that she was murdered. People who believe that Osama bin Laden was already dead when U.S. forces invaded his compound are more likely to believe that he is still alive.

Conspiracy theories, says Sunstein, can lead to violence, but they can also be harmless, such as the popular belief of children that a secret group of elves make presents that the mysterious “Santa Claus” distributes on Christmas Eve.

He joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss why “rational people end up believing crazy things,” as he writes in his new book “Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas” (excerpt below).

Read More

Book Excerpt: ‘Conspiracy Theories’

By Cass R. Sunstein

Book jacket image of Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas by Cass Sunstein

Preface

Why do intelligent people believe conspiracy theories, even when they are utterly baseless? Why does false information spread and sometimes incite violence? What rights do human beings have? Do we have a right to education or health care? What makes people happy? Do animals have rights? Is there a right to marriage? If so, who gets to marry? Does the United States owe poor nations compensation for climate change? Amidst the most fundamental disagreements— not least on these questions—how can we proceed?

And just who are minimalists and trimmers, anyway?

Of the hundreds of academic articles I have written, the most controversial appear in these pages. Academic articles do not usually get a lot of attention, but many of the chapters here escaped anonymity. Some of them even achieved a modest degree of public notoriety. One reason is that on dozens of occasions, Glenn Beck, the television and radio personality, described me on national television as “the most dangerous man in America”—apparently because of the essays here, especially those involving Franklin Delano Roosevelt, conspiracy theories, and the rights of animals. I don’t know how many people actually read those papers, but I do know that they helped produce a lot of hate mail (and a few death threats).

The unexpected notoriety was a product of the fact that from 2009 to 2012, I was privileged to serve as the administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). The OIRA administrator is often called the nation’s “regulatory czar,” and while the United States has no czars, the administrator does have a good deal of authority. To get that particular job, you have to be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. At least in the current period, the writings of Senate-confirmed presidential appointees are subject to intense scrutiny. And if someone with a lot of writing is fortunate enough to be confirmed, the scrutiny is likely to continue, certainly while he serves, and perhaps even after. I didn’t quite anticipate this. I certainly didn’t anticipate the degree of animosity that would be generated by some of the articles in this book.

In many nations, rational people end up believing crazy things, including (false) conspiracy theories. Those crazy thoughts can lead to violence, including terrorism. Many terrorist acts have been fueled by false conspiracy theories, and there is a good argument that some such acts would not have occurred in the absence of such theories. The key point—and, in a way, the most puzzling and disturbing one—is that the crazy thoughts are often held by people who are not crazy at all.

The essay on conspiracy theories was written in the aftermath of the attacks of 9/11, but the lessons are far more general. It was originally coauthored with Harvard law professor Adrian Vermeule, but it has been significantly revised and updated for this book. The focus is on threats—especially terrorist threats—that arise when people in other nations believe false conspiracy theories about the United States. Its central goal is to explore how information tends to spread, even to go viral, among like-minded people. And while some people think that the topic of conspiracy theories is narrow and specialized, the discussion bears on the spread of false information of many different kinds, not least in the internet era.

Excerpted from the book CONSPIRACY THEORIES AND OTHER DANGEROUS IDEAS by Cass R. Sunstein. Copyright © 2014 by Cass Sunstein. Excerpted with permission by Simon & Schuster, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Guest

Transcript

ROBIN YOUNG, HOST:

It's HERE AND NOW.

Malaysia's top police official asked for patience today, saying investigators are looking into every little thing in the investigation into the disappearance of Flight 370, including the people who prepared food for the flight, a comment which will probably only add to the conspiracy theories. Among them: the plane was captured by terrorists who are hiding it to use for attacks, the whole thing was a life insurance scam, or a new Bermuda Triangle, that the plane is in North Korea, that aliens are involved, that if it's never found, it means an entirely new and powerful force is at work on the planet.

Admit it. Did at least one of these occur to you? Why are people attracted to conspiracy theories? And what is the difference between a conspiracy theory and one that proves true? Couldn't terrorists have taken the plane? Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein addresses all of this in his new book, "Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas." He also served in the Obama White House and joins us from the studios at Harvard University. Cass, welcome.

CASS SUNSTEIN: Thank you so much. Glad to be here.

YOUNG: And what are you thinking as you listen to these theories about the plane?

SUNSTEIN: Well, the first thing is just sadness for the people who've been lost or who've lost loved ones, so it's a tragic event. The second is just notice that conspiracy theories are often a reaction to a tragic event or an event that scares people. The human mind often gravitates to trying to figure out some kind of agent or force that's behind it all.

YOUNG: Yeah. It's a feeling of powerlessness because there's nothing we can do, so the ideas filled that vacuum. And they did in the past. You talk about Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, disappearing in 1937.

SUNSTEIN: Yeah. So the conditions for conspiracy theorizing are, first, uncertainty or at least arguable uncertainty, and second, an acute emotional state. It can get worse if people feel powerless, so people who are drawn to conspiracy theories often feel particularly powerless.

YOUNG: Yeah. But as you point out, some conspiracy theories happened. Republican officials did bug the Democratic National Committee headquarters, leading to Watergate. The U.S. did not cause AIDS. That's another theory. But the government did give African-Americans syphilis in an experiment decades ago. The Gulf of Tonkin, which launched the Vietnam War in full was a so-called false flag. There is a thin line between a conspiracy theory and the truth sometimes.

SUNSTEIN: Yes. I would use the word conspiracy theory, the term, just as a description and not build into it another word, false. So Watergate, as you say, that was a conspiracy theory that turned out to be true. And so we need to have a general category, aware that often false conspiracy theories go viral, and sometimes they can create tragedy or political polarization. But it's good in a free society for people to have their ears pricked and to be alert to the possibility that something that you can't quite see is behind it.

YOUNG: Stay with the tragic consequences of false conspiracy theories. Jewish conspiracy theories helped drive the Holocaust.

SUNSTEIN: No question that sometimes there's an other that's posited to be pulling the strings like a marionette. And a contemporary example that's alarming is the idea that there's a conspiracy to deny the association between autism and vaccines, or even there's a conspiracy to create autism through vaccines. And what makes that one far from innocuous is there are a lot of people in the United States who are hesitating before vaccinating their kids or declining to vaccinate their kids because they think that they'll increase the risk that their kid will get autism and that - there's no evidentiary basis for this conspiracy theorizing and the fact that a bunch of people believe it actually endangers kids.

YOUNG: We maybe also want to distinguish between a conspiracy theory and paranoia. And paranoia often turns out to be, you know, just because you think everyone is listening to you, maybe they are. I mean you are a member of the panel that recommended changes to the National Security Agency after the revelations from Edward Snowden about what the NSA was doing. And this is a case where people might say, see, I wasn't so crazy to think that the government is listening to people.

SUNSTEIN: Yes. So the fact is that the president and many others, including our review group, believe that the NSA's current practices deserve a significant reform. And the idea that the government is holding a ton of data, even if it's so-called metadata, which means not the content of your call but when you called and who you called, we believe and the president believes that that's not good, that the government holds that. It should be held by a nongovernmental actor.

YOUNG: Well, but see, I guess to the other point that it is proof to people that it's worth investing in a conspiracy theory because no matter what you think, whoever could have thought there was that much eavesdropping. And I'm just - in your own personal life, you have faced hate mail and threats after you joined the Obama White House for some of your writing. Glenn Beck described you as the most dangerous man in America. By the way, what are some of the strangest conspiracy theories about yourself you've heard?

SUNSTEIN: Well, the striking thing in Glenn Beck's comment, most dangerous and most evil, and evil is a pretty strong term, so to be called the most evil man in America - there are a bunch of people behind bars - that's a - that was interesting to be subject to that. For me, the one that was most noteworthy, I guess, was - my job in government was to help oversee government regulation, to make sure that it didn't have excessive cost and actually to oversee the Paperwork Reduction Act, reduce the paperwork burdens on the American people, a work in progress to be sure.

There were a lot of rumors out there that I was involved in government propaganda and that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which I ran, information meant somehow manipulating people through covert tactics. And, of course, the job doesn't involve that at all. I wasn't involved in that at all. And so to see that held by apparent - that view held by apparently reasonable people, that was surprising.

YOUNG: Well, you know what, Cass Sunstein, I'm betting that there is a conspiracy forming right now. Again, you worked in the White House, as did your wife, Samantha Power. I'm sure there are people saying you are writing about conspiracy theories as a way to preemptively offset criticism of the Obama administration and to characterize it as a conspiracy theory. I can bet it's happening right now.

SUNSTEIN: Well, the U.N. ambassador and I did have at least two conspiracies. One was to create our son and the other is to create our daughter. But aside from that, what you see is what you get.

YOUNG: Well, one last thought about people who do really, are compelled towards conspiracy theories. You point out that they will often believe competing theories.

SUNSTEIN: Yes. So the best predictor of whether someone is going to believe a conspiracy theory is whether they believe another conspiracy theory. And sometimes people believe ones that are logically consistent. Like those who believe that Princess Diana is still alive are more likely to believe that she was murdered. That suggests some people have a real predisposition to believe these theories, and they do tend to suffer from a sense of personal powerlessness.

YOUNG: Cass Sunstein. The book is "Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas." Thanks so much.

SUNSTEIN: Thank you.

YOUNG: You're listening to HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • loyal listener

    Care to explain why Glen Beck said he was the “most dangerous man in America? ”
    Or are you just going to skip over the fact that this man was a huge proponent of government propaganda campaigns. He advocated using fake groups, designed to look like grassroots organizations, to affect policy changes. And wanted to fund the groups with taxpayer money.
    Kind of like what NPR does, but a little more creative.

    • dialyn

      Glen Beck is certainly an authority on spreading false ideas as if they were actual information. Not sure why I should believe anything Glen Beck says, and I don’t.

      • jonathanpulliam

        Glen Beck embarrassed himself with his fraudulent revelations regarding George Soros’ Petrobras stock purchases and sales.
        Want to make a small fortune? Just invest a large fortune the way George Soros did with the market timing of his Petrobras purchases. Only an idiot finds Glenn Beck to be credible after such a reporting debacle.

        • GhostOfToby

          typical for liberals and others who are devoid of facts. Because Beck said one thing that proved to be false, everything else he said must be false as well.

          By that logic, your messiah Obummer has clearly lied about a vast number of things that were later proven lies – so we should not believe a single word he utters. Right?

    • PoliticsWatcher

      Great conspiracy theory, bro.

  • PoliticsWatcher

    Rational people don’t end up believing crazy things. That’s what “rational” means.

    A better headline: Why Are So Few Of Us Rational?

    • John

      Good point, but most people (incl plenty of seemingly rational folk) end up believing whatever their govt tells them–as vectored thru the primary media–and yet who says they ‘believe’ most politicians?

      It’s a bit like folks keep electing the same politicians even while they denounce Congress..with approval ratings down around 12% last I heard. Yet very little turnover.

      And of course many scientists believe in some religion.. and many of us who love science essentially *believe* in Science–because there’s no way any one of us can actually do all the thousands of experiments to prove the bulk of what Science claims.

      So perhaps the most rational way to think is to think sceptically of all things. And still try to live/enjoy life ; )

  • Guest

    The most disturbing conspiracy theory I’ve heard on many right wing message boards and radio shows was that the Sandy Hook massacre was a “false flag attack” orchestrated by the Obama administration as a justification for confiscating guns. The level of irrationality of this theory is scary, yet many gun nuts will swear it is true is you ask them.

  • Duane_Dibbley

    The most disturbing conspiracy theory I’ve heard on many right wing
    message boards and radio shows was that the Sandy Hook massacre was a
    “false flag attack” orchestrated by the Obama administration as a
    justification for confiscating guns. The level of irrationality of this
    theory is scary, yet many gun nuts will swear it is true if you ask
    them.

    • PoliticsWatcher

      No surprise. Who becomes a gun nut? The pathologically fearful.

      • GhostOfToby

        Or perhaps the pathologically aware.

        One might have been done well to become a “gun nut” in any number of historical situations where an innocent populace was savagely murdered by their own government (or by invading soldiers).

    • brettearle

      There are those who know it’s not true– but choose to perpetuate the sick myth, anyway, so as forge ahead their distorted political agenda.

    • Brad Solomon

      What ever you do, don’t actually look into it or do independent research outside of the msm. Just call it disturbing and dismiss it out of hand

    • jonathanpulliam

      One glimpse of Conn. U.S. Rep. Rosa deLauro and no Sandy Hook conspiracy theory seems too far-fetched, in my view. This woman is a satanic succubus.

    • GhostOfToby

      What does “irrationality” have to do with anything? Since when has the Obama administration behaved in a rational manner? The bigger and more absurd the lie, the more likely that gullible sheep (like yourself) will believe it. That is rule number one in the propaganda game – obviously you know nothing about how governments operate.

  • PoliticsWatcher

    I find it amusing that the death threateners are so self-defeating without even realizing it. They have threatened death over anything and everything, and never carried out their threats.

  • Illy

    Exactly which conspiracy theories are baseless and crazy? Was the idea that Gulf of Tonkin incident was a false flag “crazy?” What about evidence that FDR allowed the attack on Pearl Harbor to occur as a provocation? How about CIA operations like MKUltra? NSA spying? Let’s look at specifics, or is that too much to ask of NPR journalists?

    • PoliticsWatcher

      OK, so the NSA spying one was true (thanks for proving it, Snowden!) but the rest?

    • loyal listener

      Anyone who questions the Obama administration or the liberal agenda (promoted every day by NPR) believes in conspiracy theories and is crazy. That is what they’re trying to say.

    • John

      Consider the FBI, tasked with building a case against Usama bin Laden re 9/11. And yet after a Decade, with all the hundred+ agents assigned, $27 million reward for info, videos purported to be him, etc–they still couldn’t make any reference to 9/11 on their Most Wanted poster of him..i.e, no hard evidence linked UBL to 9/11.

      And yet Bin Laden was clearly assassinated without any pretense of providing solid evidence. One would surely think that it would’ve been Far wiser to capture Bin Laden and interrogate him–as the supposed Mastermind & Moneybags of numerous terror events–for info re future attacks..names, connections, etc.. but no, the official story is that the U.S. busted in & summarily murdered him–no questions asked.

      Insanely foolish if true–especially when sooo much has been made of the vital need to engage in illegal surveillance for….information re potential attacks.

      link to FBI’s former Most Wanted Terrorist poster of UBL (taken down after his execution, after briefly indicating ‘Deceased’)
      from Apr 27, 2011 — just prior to UBL’s execution:
      http://web.archive.org/web/20110427154314/http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/wanted_terrorists/usama-bin-laden

      also curious, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsibility_for_the_September_11_attacks
      ” ..In May 2002, FBI Director Robert Mueller noted that his organization had not uncovered a single piece of paper, “either here in the U.S. or in the treasure trove of information that has turned up in Afghanistan and elsewhere”, that linked the hijackers to the attacks, let alone bin Laden.[70] .. ”
      footnote [70] United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary (8 May 2002). “Reforming the FBI in the 21st Century: Reorganizing and Refocusing The Mission: Testimony of Robert S. Mueller”. fas.org. Retrieved 16 March 2014. ref:
      http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2002_hr/050802mueller.html

      In 2006, WaPo publishes this piece re the omission of any ref to 9/11 on FBI’s Most Wanted poster of UBL:

      Bin Laden, Most Wanted For Embassy Bombings?http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/27/AR2006082700687.html

      read that short WaPo piece carefully and critically..see if it makes good, rational sense.. so even after 10 yrs they still couldn’t come up with 9/11 criminal charges? -even tho that’s the basis for his execution?

      Meanwhile, more than 2,000 Professional Architects & Engineers (incl 50+ Structural Engineers) have signed a well-vetted petition demanding a new, independent investigation into how (3) towers (incl WTC7) all collapsed spontaneously, rapidly, and completely on 9/11.
      ref:
      http://www.ae911truth.org
      No conspiracy theorizing here.. just hard facts and scientific method.

  • Frog

    As I always say, “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the conspiracy”

  • Dave

    The human need for certainty.
    Make up an answer to have resolution to a problem, a question and feel better.
    Religion, god, is an example of a conspiracy theory run amok.
    Why did that terrible thing happen, god’s will.
    No, the tree fell on him.

    • John

      Yes, the need for certainty is exactly what those in authority count on when creating their fabrications, their myths.

      Rulers need citizens to feel certainty in order to follow laws and commands–even when told to kill or torture others. And never hold those in power accountable for their crimes (IF uncovered) because *maybe* those war-crimes/torture/surveillance were necessary–to prevent terror attacks!

      Recall how a few months back, Obama & various hi-level officials claimed that 50 ‘terror’ attacks were prevented due to (illegal) surveillance.. but then–curiously–the President’s own commission found that most likely Zero attacks were prevented due to NSA surveillance. How damning can you get?

  • ANONYMOUS

    Don’t believe public interviews like this: THIS MAN IS A PROVEN LIAR.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2Aw3UVUogU

  • Joseph Ciolino

    Yeah. 9/11 conspiracy theories are baseless and crazy. Right. More accurately, the government’s explanation of the events of 9/11 are baseless, crazy, and completely transparent. Why would an intelligent person believe them? Eh, Cass? And what kind of name is “Cass’ anyway?

    Jesus, I hear that name and think of a member of the Mamas and the Papas. Cass. No wonder he’s a bit. . . confused.

  • Joseph Ciolino

    The Oklahoma City Bombing, the first WTC bombing (93), Gulf of Tonkin, the attack on the Liberty, 9/11, 7/7, why are any of these less disturbing or more believable than Sandy Hook? Sandy Hook may be the MOST transparent.

    • TJtruthandjustice

      Because there is absolutely NO EVIDENCE to indicate that Sandy Hook was anything other than one of dozens of mass shootings by young people armed with semiautomatic weapons that have occurred in the past several decades.

    • trsdek

      Joseph, there are the bodies, the hundreds if not thousands of witnesses, the grieving parents. But of course people like you will take the most insane approach and say the whole thing is an act. Sadly, there are many like you that are just too paranoid.

      • Joseph Ciolino

        Cass, there are NO bodies, no one has seen any. Parents were not allowed to see them. Grieving parents? Show me ONE. You speak in such simplistic, frightened terms, as if NOTHING has ever been faked before, and you are completely incapable of thinking beyond your narrow world-view. Of course, you know better, but your investment in the lie is obviously, overwhelming.

        So, then, Oswald acted alone, eh, Cass? Unfortunately, too many people like you, duplicitous criminals, have too much power in the world.

  • John

    The word ‘conspiracy’ quickly conjures emotions–usually negative (thus often used as a pejorative to stifle debate), so would be helpful to consider the actual definition, simply:
    “a secret plan made by two or more people to do something that is harmful or illegal.”
    – that’s it, something that happens millions of times daily in a world with 7+ Billion highly social & competitive people. Consider how many millions are in jail due to conspiring with others to do something bad..almost any drug-related crime involves conspiracy, for ex. Who among us has Never conspired in some way (if only with a friend or relative) to do something generally deemed ‘bad’?
    So we need to get past the notion that ‘conspiracies’ are the rare exception.. especially when there’s massive money/power at stake. If we readily believe some kid will conspire with a friend to steal $5, imagine what some would do for $5 million–or $5 Billion.

  • John

    Cass may be a wonderful friend & family man, but even he knows he’s a tool–and trying to profit off his position in society with a book that tries to quell questioning of authority in lame & shameful ways.

    But kudos to Robin Young for challenging him with historical examples once believed to be nothing more than conspiracy theories.

    Consider the wretched results of the ‘Gulf of Tonkin’ -how that fabricated event led to so much death & destruction. Consider what the Pentagon Papers revealed re the actuality of Vietnam post-WWII. Meanwhile, President after President lied to the American People re Vietnam. If you have any doubt re Gulf of Tonkin & how America was engaging in provocative attacks to provoke a response..listen to Pres. Johnson himself describe what ‘we’ were doing in the lead-up to full-scale war.. http://millercenter.org/presidentialclassroom/exhibits/gulf-of-tonkin-1964-perspectives

    Then you have the Church Committee (aka, United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities — chaired by Senator Frank Church) which revealed extensive abuse by several govt agencies (incl NSA, CIA, FBI) which of course meant extensive & long-standing conspiracies..
    http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Committee

    Scores of other now-proven conspiracies, but one more recent would be the Bush admin’s claims that Iraq/Saddam was at least partly behind 9/11 & later the WMD claims–all lies..all leading to a decade-long war in which many thousands of Americans died or severely wounded, and more than a million (according to All scientific mortality surveys) Iraqis killed as a result of US invasion/war.

    Cass may sound like a nice guy, but he is simply a tool lacking a moral compass when it comes to citizens questioning war-mongering authority. Does one even need to mention the massively-profiteering Military-Industrial-Complex? -term first used as a warning by none other than Republican Supreme Allied Commander & 2-term President Eisenhower.

    Was he, of all people, wrong to warn US against the dangers of such a Power-&-Profit oriented complex?

  • jonathanpulliam

    Cass Sunstein as “regulatory czar” — that’s a good one!

    Did he prevail upon the SEC to regulate HSAT, high-speed algorithm trading, so as to prevent illegal “front-running” of equity trade orders on Wall St.? No he did not. Did ol’ Cass lean, czar-like on SEC regulators to rein in rampant “naked short selling” of equities? Of course not. Cass Sunstein is a tool designed by Obama executive policy to be incompetent and ineffectual, and by gosh he fits the bill.

  • GhostOfToby

    He is an absolutely horrible human being who has no place in public discourse. Just a pathetic, petty little man who should never have been anything more than an insurance salesman.

  • Tiggy

    ‘sometimes people believe ones that are logically consistent. Like those
    who believe that Princess Diana is still alive are more likely to
    believe that she was murdered.’ That’s just a ridiculous way to suggest that anyone who believes a so called conspiracy theory is stupid. Someone who believes one theory may well be open to suspecting another, but that doesn’t mean they believe opposite things about the same event. None of his replies were very impressive, were they? And this is the view of a reader who’s not even particularly a believer in these theories.

  • TJtruthandjustice

    The problem with Sunstein’s blanket approach to conspiracy theories is that they are not all created equal. Anybody who professes that they are is either ignorant, delusional, or has ulterior motives.

    Some conspiracies are proven beyond a reasonable doubt – the Reichstag fire, FDR’s knowledge of the impending attack on Pearl Harbor, the Golf of Tonkin. Some are very likely: the JFK, RFK and MLK assassinations. Others are quite plausible and worthy of more investigation: 9/11, 7/7, allegations of the death of Osama bin Laden in 2001. And some are completely nuts: Sandyhook, AIDs being spread deliberately by the government, “actors” faking injuries at the Boston Marathon bombings. To Sunstein, however, they are all the same, as are all of the people who believe in any of them. This indicates to me that Sunstein himself is either ignorant, delusional, or has ulterior motives.

    In 2014, it is an act of political dissidence to question officially sanctioned government narratives in cases like these. Political dissidents in the former Soviet Union were commonly accused of suffering from mental illness. In his approach, Sunstein and others like him mirror the former Soviet Union. To these authorities, professing doubts about the government’s versions of events is never based in reality, but all in one’s head.

    Any reasonable, informed, independent-thinking person would argue otherwise.

  • Oh bummer

    Thank God this individual in is out of government, and no longer receiving a check courtesy of the US tax payer. His wife, Samantha Power, is a war monger and a war criminal who should not be employed in any capacity by the US federal government.

  • http://www.examplesofglobalization.com/ Gary Anderson

    This moron is a conspiracy. He is part of the conspiracy. Go back to Harvard, Cass. People have you figured out you putz.

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