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Thu Aug 22, 2013, 10:41 AM

Obama taps "cognitive infiltrator" Cass Sunstein for Committee to create "trust" in NSA

This is an interesting development. Not sure how smart this is on the part of the White House/NSA/Clapper because it could undermine faith in pro-NSA voices and reinforce the perception that those advocating for weakened privacy and security are not independent.


http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/08/22/advocate-of-secret-infiltration-cass-sunstein-on-obamas-committee-to-make-us-trust-the-dragnet/


Advocate of Secret Infiltration, Cass Sunstein, on Obama’s “Committee To Make Us Trust the Dragnet”
Posted on August 22, 2013 by emptywheel

ABC reports that, along with former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morrell, former Homeland Security Czar Richard Clarke, and former Obama special assistant for economic policy Peter Swire, the White House (or James Clapper — who knows at this point) has picked Cass Sunstein for its Review Committee on NSA programs.


(snip)

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. The paper’s abstract can be read, and the full paper downloaded, here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1084585

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.” He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called “independent” credible voices to bolster the Government’s messaging (on the ground that those who don’t believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government). This program would target those advocating false “conspiracy theories,” which they define to mean: “an attempt to explain an event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role.”


And remember, a big mandate for this committee is not to review the programs to see if we can make them more privacy-protective, but simply to increase our trust in them. Which goes to the core of what Sunstein was talking about in his paper: using covert government propaganda to, in this case, better sell covert government spying.

Well, if Obama and Clapper’s rollout hadn’t already discredited this committee, Sunstein’s selection sure does.

- See more at: http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/08/22/advocate-of-secret-infiltration-cass-sunstein-on-obamas-committee-to-make-us-trust-the-dragnet/#sthash.HGsvq7ua.dpuf


Link to Greenwald's 2010 reporting on Sunstein:
http://www.salon.com/2010/01/15/sunstein_2/

Link to ABC news report on appointments:
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/08/white-house-picks-panel-to-review-nsa-programs/

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Reply Obama taps "cognitive infiltrator" Cass Sunstein for Committee to create "trust" in NSA (Original post)
nashville_brook Aug 2013 OP
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BrotherIvan Aug 2013 #14
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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 10:51 AM

1. Oy. Nt

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Response to xchrom (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 03:00 PM

114. Perfect - oy indeed!

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 10:52 AM

2. They should just hire an ad agency

Maybe find out who does the high-fructose tv commercials

DURec
scary

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:15 AM

14. How many times have we heard "We just need better messaging?"

From both Ds and Rs. They have no intention of changing course. They just want the plebs to STFU about it.

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Response to BrotherIvan (Reply #14)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:42 AM

31. messaging is the one thing that actually gets funding

if no one is buying it, there might be a problem with the basic message.

ETA -- there's also very little effort put into grassroots organizing anymore. the belief is that people who are out of work and dealing with foreclosures and bankruptcies will pay for memberships in community orgs. it's quite insane. so what you have it a lot of top-down messaging and an absence of real people involved in the discussion.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #31)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:18 PM

56. But on the other hand

The Obama campaign won Ad Age's Marketer of the Year award in 2008. They were certainly selling something and more that anyone spoke to the deep heart of progressives and liberals. I believe that's why the BOGers have such a romantic relationship with President Obama.

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Response to BrotherIvan (Reply #56)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:31 PM

67. oh hell yeah -- the 2008 branding campaign knocked it out of the park

and we do become quite attached to our brands. Coke vs Pepsi, Ford vs Chevy, etc...people project all kinds of personal involvement in branded consumables.

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Response to BrotherIvan (Reply #56)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:42 PM

73. He even beat Nike, Apple and Coors

okay, the Coors isn't saying much

Obama Wins! ... Ad Age's Marketer of the Year
At ANA Gathering, Marketing Pros and Agency Bigs Tap Barack Over Apple, Zappos
By:Matthew Creamer
Published: October 17, 2008


ORLANDO, Fla. (AdAge.com) -- Just weeks before he demonstrates whether his campaign's blend of grass-roots appeal and big media-budget know-how has converted the American electorate, Sen. Barack Obama has shown he's already won over the nation's brand builders. He's been named Advertising Age's marketer of the year for 2008.
Mr. Obama won the vote of hundreds of marketers, agency heads and marketing-services vendors gathered here at the Association of National Advertisers' annual conference.
Mr. Obama won the vote of hundreds of marketers, agency heads and marketing-services vendors gathered here at the Association of National Advertisers' annual conference.

Mr. Obama won the vote of hundreds of marketers, agency heads and marketing-services vendors gathered here at the Association of National Advertisers' annual conference. He edged out runners-up Apple and Zappos.com. The rest of the shortlist, selected by Ad Age's editorial staff, was rounded out by megabrand Nike, turnaround story Coors and Mr. Obama's rival, Sen. John McCain.

From unknown to presidential nominee
"I think he did a great job of going from a relative unknown to a household name to being a candidate for president," said Linda Clarizio, president of AOL's Platform A, the sponsor of the opening-night dinner attended by 750 where the votes were cast.

"I honestly look at campaign and I look at it as something that we can all learn from as marketers," said Angus Macaulay, VP-Rodale marketing solutions "To see what he's done, to be able to create a social network and do it in a way where it's created the tools to let people get engaged very easily. It's very easy for people to participate."
http://adage.com/article/moy-2008/obama-wins-ad-age-s-marketer-year/131810/

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #73)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 05:58 PM

144. and who knew it would be so easy to dismantle the social network post-election!

to the veal pen!

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #31)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:26 PM

62. "an absence of real people involved in the discussion"

That's exactly what is the matter.

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 01:14 PM

89. "Maybe find out who does the high-fructose tv commercials"

This is all very disturbing, but that made me laugh!

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Response to deurbano (Reply #89)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 02:46 PM

108. "sugar ... is sugar" *extremely self-satisfied smirk*

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Response to MisterP (Reply #108)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 03:24 PM

117. "spying in moderation can't hurt you"

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #117)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 03:25 PM

118. "spying...in moderation..can't HURT you" *smarm smarm smarm*

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Response to MisterP (Reply #118)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 04:03 PM

123. "i only look at kitteh pictures and justin bieber youtube videos"

and so should you.

and by all means, DU should be the *full extent* of your political contact. period. all else is just "asking for it."

also, ixnay on the ornpay.

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 02:47 PM

110. ...

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 10:53 AM

3. smack!

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 10:54 AM

4. DOA, Infant Mortality.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 10:55 AM

5. So the plan was to create a conspiracy

to fight conspiracy theories.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #5)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 10:59 AM

6. when this is your strategy, it proves you're working with "bad facts."

i've been more than willing to cut the administration slack on this -- that, surely the president has better things to do than administrate intelligence protocol. I've also harbored the notion that somewhere deep down inside he's still a Constitutional scholar who intends to "right the ship" and just needs the space and resources to do so.

wowser, but this has me rethinking that.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #6)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:02 AM

9. It's mindboggling

It's like announcing to the public "We're going to make sure we tell you better lies from now on!"

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Response to Aerows (Reply #9)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:13 AM

12. was Sunstein was tapped in order to implement his "infiltration" strategy?

aren't domestic propaganda programs illegal?

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #12)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:15 AM

13. Apparently, not anymore

I seem to recall that there was a law that was passed that allowed the government to spread propaganda to the American public. I guess they are going to use it, now.

National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013

That's the one I was looking for. Yep, it's apparently legal.

"The 2013 NDAA overturned a 64-year ban on the domestic dissemination of propaganda (described as "public diplomacy information") produced for foreign audiences, effectively eliminating the distinction between foreign and domestic audiences. Amendments made to the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 1987 allow for materials produced by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to be released within US borders."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Defense_Authorization_Act_for_Fiscal_Year_2013

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Response to Aerows (Reply #13)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:22 AM

18. you can't fight distrust in govt with lies and paid propagandists

this is exactly what fuels distrust in government.

i remember that now...jeez. totally legal, huh? convenient.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #18)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:28 AM

23. OMG I had missed this one.

All the veils are falling away.

Zappa was right.

“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #23)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:52 AM

38. gee -- i wonder what the pro-NSA response will be.

waiting to see how one might move these chairs and tables around.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #38)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 12:30 AM

177. My Theory? The Koolaid Brigade© is feeling slighted and underappreciated right now.

They are too depressed to post about this just yet.
Who can blame them?
With Cass in charge of the propaganda, the U.S. Government will 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.

Talk about stepping on toes!!! Our dedicated group has been doing this work for free without so much as a thank you from the likes of Sunstein for nearly 5 years now!! Is that fair? His teams will be payed well and will likely receive full government benefits.

Yet these dedicated volunteers have been doing it at least as well as these teams will for free out of nothing but the kindness of their hearts and an unshakable belief that Obama is infallible and born without the gene to make mistakes (of course they idolize the best President that has ever lived and likely ever will live!)

It's just not fair to them that are PROs yet work for free (the have all told us they are not paid) and a professional cognitive infiltrator would never lie in the performance of their duty so we know their claim to be absolutely true about each and every one of them.

We should show some love to our DU altruists and start a petition to have them considered first for employment in the field they already have such expert experience in. The should get those good paying American jobs! After all, they have already earned those paychecks and have done so as unpaid volunteer interns.

Fair is fair.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #177)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 11:29 AM

196. my theory

is since manning announced his transgendered status they are all meeting to figure out a way to continue to smear him without the danger of a ppr for their obvious homophobia and transphobia
notice who isn't posting the last day or so? when people post 24/7 suddenly stop even logging in it smells funny
but as I said note who hasn't been posting and do the math
2 of them have been exposed up in Canada as posting from an anti gay anti Obama blogsite and now they are I am sure looking hard to find another secret trove of right wingery to post here until it is exposed

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Response to SwampG8r (Reply #196)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 09:06 AM

210. "two from Canada" ?

A little help please as I can only think of one.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #177)

Sun Aug 25, 2013, 11:08 AM

213. should at least get first dibs

all the hard work deserves to be rewarded at some point.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #5)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:25 AM

21. Not all conspiracy theories are false. n/t

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #21)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:29 AM

24. Sunstein defines CT as "reference to the machinations of powerful people"

to influence events.


good luck in convincing people that power doesn't move things.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #24)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:49 PM

76. I wouldnt trust Sunstein on about ANYTHING.

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Response to 7962 (Reply #76)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 03:35 PM

120. +1

I'm simply amazed and disappointed that Obama would have someone like this as on of his "closest confidants."

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #21)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:29 AM

25. Oh, boy, do I know that!

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #21)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:05 PM

47. It can no longer be deemed "conspiracy theory"

 

When the conspirators have laid out the nuts and bolts of their plan & acknowledged them. Denigrating it as "conspiracy theory" at this point would be like saying it's only a nutty "theory" that the Koch Brothers are conspiring to buy up the US media.

Conspiracy is a word that's perfectly capable of standing on its own.

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Response to Ocelot (Reply #47)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 01:19 PM

93. good point - perfect example.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #5)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:21 PM

57. It's like a Mobius strip ... made of conspiracy


I've heard of Sunstein's thesis before. A dark, malicious conspiracy ... to discredit the entire idea of dark, malicious conspiracies.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #5)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:35 PM

70. it's very meta isn't it

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #5)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 02:26 PM

105. Yes, that is the irony of his proposals. And if someone in one of the threads notices something

fishy about one of the Government Infiltrators, the beauty of it is, the Government Agent can call them a CT! Brilliant, more lies, more deceptions, and people wonder why a majority of the people have completely lost trust in this government.

Btw, that scenario I just described seems very familiar. I guess that makes me a CT. Our Government would never do something like that. Lol

Except that Sunstein has advocated for it.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #105)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 02:32 PM

106. There have been stories like this going back to the 60's.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #106)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 03:06 PM

116. Yes, and now we have someone who is going to watch out for our privacy, actually

proposing having Government agents infiltrate our hang outs online without identifying themselves in order to manipulate the discussion to the Government's liking. And to judge what is permissable for us to discuss and what is not. That is disgusting.

I guess they can't just prove people wrong, or they would, wouldn't they? These tactics are despicable, deceptive, and just plain wrong in a country, and especially an administration that claims to be 'transparent'.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #116)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 10:49 AM

192. They're here.

I mean right here on DU. Best thing is to ignore them since calling them out is against DU rules.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:00 AM

7. In other words

"We don't want anything to change at the NSA, we want to manipulate the public to accept and embrace the spying done by the NSA."

This is just as bad, if not worse, then when he tried to appoint Clapper to oversee himself.

Awful, awful decision - and this isn't a "hate on Obama" type comment, either. This is truly one of the LEAST trustworthy people he could have picked to regain the people's faith that the NSA has oversight. Just freaking unreal. Does no one advise the man?

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Response to Aerows (Reply #7)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:58 AM

43. Please remember, Obama surrounds himself with Republicans.

 

Does no one advise the man?

So there is your answer.

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Response to RC (Reply #43)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 04:49 PM

134. I'm pretty sure Sunstein isn't a Republican. I just have a hard time believing that anyone

would appoint Cass Sunstein to something like this knowing his track record.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:01 AM

8. Kick and Rec.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:07 AM

10. Oy. It just gets worse. n.t

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Response to myrna minx (Reply #10)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:11 AM

11. Some people in Washington need to get out of the bubble

before it implodes on them. Or maybe just have their heads removed from their posteriors.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #11)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:22 AM

17. I'm so crestfallen from all of these revelations.

I can't believe we voted for this.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:16 AM

15. This is jaw-droppingly bad stuff.

The thing that worries me the most is the possibility that Obama is just as good at his job as he seems, and he knows exactly what's happening here.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #15)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:20 AM

16. And thanks to the NDAA

It's perfectly legal! Doesn't that just make you feel the trust in your government?

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #15)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 11:47 AM

197. It's not a possibility. It's a reality that "Obama is just as good at his job as he seems,"...

In that regard, let's take a look at what William Blum, author of Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, and most recently, America's Deadliest Export: Democracy, has to say about Obama's possible ties to the intelligence community:

In his autobiography, Dreams from My Father, Barrack Obama writes of taking a job at some point after graduating from Columbia University in 1983. He describes his employer as 'a consulting house to multinational corporations' in New York City, and his functions as a 'research assistant' and 'financial writer.'

Oddly, Obama doesn't mention the name of his employer. However, a New York Times story of 2007 identifies tha company as Business International Corporation.

snip>

In his book, Obama not only doesn't mention his employer's name; he fails to say exactly when he worked there, or why he left the job. There may well be no significance to these omissions, but inasmuch as Business International has a long association with the world of intelligence, covert actions, and attempts to penetrate the radical left - including Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) - it's reasonable to wonder if the inscrutable Mr. Obama is concealing something about his own association with this world." (America's Deadliest Export..., pp. 292-294)



Mr. Blum goes on to note that Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, had, over time, been associated with at least five organizations "with intimate <emphasis the author's> CIA connections during the Cold War: the Ford Foundation, the Agency for International Development (AID), the Asia Foundation, Development Alternatives, Inc., and the East-West Center of Hawaii." (ibid.)


* * *

Given the above, I think it's a plausible assumption that Obama isn't going to cut the People any slack when it comes to putting pressure on the Intelligence Community for more transparency, because he is one of them.

As has been observed, here, many times....We are screwn!





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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:24 AM

19. Why not get Karl Rove and Ollie North, then? Why screw around?

What hilarious stupidity this NSA mess is -- it's like a clown car with unlimited power and money.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #19)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:29 AM

27. Couldn't get much more blatant, could it? "Hey, we hiring professional liars


... to assuage your concerns about professional liars."







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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #19)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 12:11 AM

173. "it's like a clown car with unlimited power and money."



Thanks, there went my beer.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:25 AM

20. I am beginning to suspect that Obama knows, at most, 30 people

The same names keep coming up for everything.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #20)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 04:26 PM

132. When Republicans do it, it's called cronyism. n/t

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:27 AM

22. That they'd hire PROfessionals to infiltrate forums makes a lot of SENSE. n/t

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #22)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:30 AM

28. cleaning coffee off screen...

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #28)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:49 AM

34. Can you please clean mine too?

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #22)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:56 AM

40. Naughty Naughty!

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #22)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:00 PM

45. Yer bad...

...and I like that.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #22)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:05 PM

48. i see what you did there

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #22)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:22 PM

59. Snork!!!

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #22)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 01:04 PM

84. *BWAH!*



Well Played, Sir...

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #22)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 01:07 PM

87. Ha!

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #22)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 01:18 PM

92. Very juvenile -- and making a very baseless accusation

That poster has been here since at least 2005 and has been very consistent in her positions. I guess because you can't compete intellectually, you have gone to childish attacks that your playmates were amused by. It really does not help any real discussion of this - or any issue.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #92)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 02:19 PM

103. "That poster has been here since at least 2005 and has been very consistent in her positions."

Just stay with that message, mmkay? Perhaps you'll convince someone:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=132x2461323

ProSense Wed Feb-15-06 08:53 AM
Original message
Bush is spying on Americans: opponents and activist groups. The law can't

Edited on Wed Feb-15-06 08:53 AM by ProSense
be changed to make that legal. The Republicans are trying to pull a fast one with this "law change" tactic by framing the illegal spying as warrantless spying on terrorists; therefore, the law is being changed to give Bush the authority to spy on terrorist. Spying on Americans was, is and will still be illegal. Bush committed crimeS by illegal spying on Americans and breaking existing FISA laws.

I'm sure all criminals would love to have a law passed that retroactively absolves them of their crimes.


I defy anyone to read that thread without two lines from Orwell's 'Animal Farm' going through their heads-
recall how "Four legs good, two legs bad" became "Two legs good, four legs bad"...

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #22)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 01:22 PM

94. My iPad is pretty insightful ...

it autocorrects to poor sense.

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #94)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 02:46 PM

109. LMAO! n/t

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #22)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 12:20 AM

174. Clever, but I'll stnad up for her here

ProSense has been a member of DU for about eight years and has thousands of posts, unlike many establishmentarians/authoritarians here who have been members of DU since about the time Greenwald wrote his first piece on the Snowden and the NSA and have dozens of post and all have similar talking points. While it wouldn't surprise to learn that some of the pro-snooping sentiment here is organized by forces unsympathetic basic human rights, whether inside or outside or even hostile to the Democratic Party, I do not suspect ProSense or any other long time DUers of being part of any organized effort tp disrupt the board or otherwise attempt to bully those of us who aren't buying it that the National Security State is the wave of the future -- and doing a dreadful job of it.

ProSense, Sid Dithers and others may be wrong, buy they're wrong on their own terms and we owe them the benefit of that doubt.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:29 AM

26. Another shallow, ignorant tool who is going to explain things to us.

And if that is not an authoritarian mindset at work, I don't know what is.

This program would target those advocating false “conspiracy theories,” which they define to mean: “an attempt to explain an event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role.”


So a secret program to target people who don't like secret programs. How tranparent and open.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #26)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:41 AM

30. and the conceit that they can make people believe that POWER doesn't affect change

it's just insulting.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:31 AM

29. is there such a problem with doing the right thing?

omfg

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Response to G_j (Reply #29)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:45 AM

32. Yes, it appears so

when it affects defense and security contractor's profit margins.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:46 AM

33. Trust them? .....................................................LMFAO ....pathetic. n/t

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #33)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:50 AM

35. well you know...journalists are terrorists, so if you knew what's good fer ya...

you'd get with the program and ignore those pesky people telling you otherwise.



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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #35)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:58 AM

42. Damn journalism jihadists!

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #42)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:59 AM

44. clutching with their AP Style books like the Koran!

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #44)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:21 PM

58. Preaching about the 1st Amendment

Like that is something sacred, or something.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #58)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:25 PM

61. with protected status or something!

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #61)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:38 PM

71. Read that link that I have at the bottom of the thread as a response

to you. I had forgotten about it, but it seems as though it might shed some light on the attitudes concerning privacy and spying.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:50 AM

36. Hey - That's not a reform committee, It's a propaganda panel like the Creel Committee !

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:51 AM

37. The Guardian was reporting a similar story back in 2011

 

Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media
Military's 'sock puppet' software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda


http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

In the story a Centcom spokespan claims that only foreign social networking sites are targeted. The question is, after they've already been caught lying, is there reason to trust/believe in them at this point?

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Response to Ocelot (Reply #37)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:56 AM

41. "on-shoring" of previously exported programs: Naomi Klein on China's All-Seeing Eye

http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2008/05/chinas-all-seeing-eye


China's All-Seeing Eye
By Naomi Klein - May 14th, 2008
Published in Rolling Stone

With the help of U.S. defense contractors, China is building the prototype for a high-tech police state. It is ready for export.


(snip)

Now, as China prepares to showcase its economic advances during the upcoming Olympics in Beijing, Shenzhen is once again serving as a laboratory, a testing ground for the next phase of this vast social experiment. Over the past two years, some 200,000 surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the city. Many are in public spaces, disguised as lampposts. The closed-circuit TV cameras will soon be connected to a single, nationwide network, an all-seeing system that will be capable of tracking and identifying anyone who comes within its range — a project driven in part by U.S. technology and investment. Over the next three years, Chinese security executives predict they will install as many as 2 million CCTVs in Shenzhen, which would make it the most watched city in the world. (Security-crazy London boasts only half a million surveillance cameras.)

The security cameras are just one part of a much broader high-tech surveillance and censorship program known in China as "Golden Shield." The end goal is to use the latest people-tracking technology — thoughtfully supplied by American giants like IBM, Honeywell and General Electric — to create an airtight consumer cocoon: a place where Visa cards, Adidas sneakers, China Mobile cellphones, McDonald's Happy Meals, Tsingtao beer and UPS delivery (to name just a few of the official sponsors of the Beijing Olympics) can be enjoyed under the unblinking eye of the state, without the threat of democracy breaking out. With political unrest on the rise across China, the government hopes to use the surveillance shield to identify and counteract dissent before it explodes into a mass movement like the one that grabbed the world's attention at Tiananmen Square.

Remember how we've always been told that free markets and free people go hand in hand? That was a lie. It turns out that the most efficient delivery system for capitalism is actually a communist-style police state, fortressed with American "homeland security" technologies, pumped up with "war on terror" rhetoric. And the global corporations currently earning superprofits from this social experiment are unlikely to be content if the lucrative new market remains confined to cities such as Shenzhen. Like everything else assembled in China with American parts, Police State 2.0 is ready for export to a neighborhood near you.

(snip)

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #41)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:27 PM

65. Thanks for the link, this looks like good reading!

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #65)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 06:25 PM

146. it's really eye-opening...the problem with spying is as bad or worse when it's

done for the corporate owners as when it's done for govt.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:54 AM

39. LOL!

Nice try, but epic FAIL!

Not gonna trust them. Ever.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:00 PM

46. Hmm...I actually think this has already started...

It's not in the theoretical stages.

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Response to joeybee12 (Reply #46)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:06 PM

49. probable cause to question overt pro-NSA messaging...

seems reasonable given this. it's probably naive to believe that Sunstein's proposal hasn't been implemented since 2008 when he first published it.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #49)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:07 PM

51. I bet Sunstein's proposal was not unique in the sense others were

considering it also...I know the right does it...just go to Yahoo.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #49)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:08 PM

52. Absolutely-- if not by government agencies themselves, then outiside PR

firms and think tanks.

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Response to Marr (Reply #52)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:10 PM

53. it's the definition of a "think tank" --

only now with more trolling?

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Response to joeybee12 (Reply #46)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 01:57 PM

96. I think so too. I just don't know what to say about this latest development...nt

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Response to Mojorabbit (Reply #96)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 02:58 PM

112. Yeah, it's disconcerting that a person like this would be given

any type of oversight,,,

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:06 PM

50. The administration's position and agenda here is pretty clear.

They've stated it flatly-- their idea of 'reform' is better PR for their unconstitutional programs.

This guy doesn't even rank as "disappointing" anymore. He's just horrible.

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Response to Marr (Reply #50)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:26 PM

63. A bit of "Stick it in Greenwald's Eye"

going on there, too?

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 08:16 AM EDT
Obama confidant’s spine-chilling proposal
Cass Sunstein wants the government to "cognitively infiltrate" anti-government groups
By Glenn Greenwald

Topics: Cass Sunstein, Washington, D.C., Politics News
Obama confidant's spine-chilling proposal
Glen Greenwald--Salon

Cass Sunstein has long been one of Barack Obama’s closest confidants. Often mentioned as a likely Obama nominee to the Supreme Court, 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. The paper’s abstract can be read, and the full paper downloaded, here.

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.” He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called “independent” credible voices to bolster the Government’s messaging (on the ground that those who don’t believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government). This program would target those advocating false “conspiracy theories,” which they define to mean: “an attempt to explain an event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role.” Sunstein’s 2008 paper was flagged by this blogger, and then amplified in an excellent report by Raw Story‘s Daniel Tencer.

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Response to KoKo (Reply #63)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:29 PM

66. it goes the other way too...confirming that this was significant.

not the "hair on fire" dismissal that some would like it to have.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #66)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:55 PM

80. Good Point...but, you will never see an admission of that....

because... Well we know why.

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Response to KoKo (Reply #80)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 01:53 PM

95. indeedydoodoo.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:11 PM

54. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:17 PM

55. no better way to prove conspiracy theorists wrong

than with a government conspiracy.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:23 PM

60. I eagerly await the palace guard's rhetorical gymnastics on this, should be amusing.

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Response to KG (Reply #60)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 01:14 PM

90. They're conspicuous by their absence.

Their silence speaks volumes...

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #90)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 09:35 PM

161. Sunstein must be having a cognitive infiltration kickoff meeting.

They're at local Holiday Inns, getting trained via videoconference.

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Response to KG (Reply #60)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 05:55 PM

142. I smell burning gears

The Big Black Computer of Talking Points is spinning away but can't come up with an answer

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Response to LondonReign2 (Reply #142)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 09:01 PM

155. Warning! Warning! Does not compute!

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:26 PM

64. I keep waiting for the alarm clock to go off

so I can wake up from this nightmare.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:32 PM

68. The stench is overwhelming.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:33 PM

69. Since we are bringing things to light

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_International_Corporation

How many of you were aware of this, and who was an employee of a company that fronted for the CIA?

I'll just let you read that. I've known this for a long time, and I forgot about it for a while, but since we are discussing spying, it's probably at least tangentially relevant.

That would be Barack Obama.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:38 PM

72. Yea, better propaganda will reform NSA's illegal spying.


Obama is truely a master of one-dimensional chess....he has a hammer, and every problem looks like a nail.
If this doesn't work, is he going resort to SWAT teams? They have been effective in shutting down organic farms and food co-ops....

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #72)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 02:37 AM

179. Maybe we should all claim we have pot....

BRB: Someone's at the door.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #179)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 02:44 AM

181. Hmmm...I like that!

If 50 or 100 million Americans made sure to include a bunch of marijuana references in every text, email, and phone call...we might be able to overload the NSA's servers, and cause them to overheat and melt down.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #181)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:53 AM

183. I'm already picturing the NSA is going down...

The Wiki entry will start with, "The National Security Agency (NSA) was,..."

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #183)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 11:17 AM

194. I certainly hope so.

I dont think it can be reformed... even if a President was committed to reform. However in this day there is a need for electronic surveillence as a part of national security. So I think the best solution is to just blow up the NSA (figure of speech, Agent Mike), and start afresh. Create a new agency that doesn't have decades of secrecy institutionalized, that has all the oversight, checks, and balances, in place so we don't have to revisit the problem later should a WH occupant decide to embrace an imperial presidency.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #194)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 12:42 PM

198. My experience is that once an agency is seen as "bad" it's gone....

Go to individual congress critters and say, "Do you support funding this?" and watch it go bye bye.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #198)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 01:05 PM

200. I think usually they get absorbed into other agencies.

I cant recall one being totally shut down...though that should be an option. CIA was reformed after Church Investigation... at least superficially. But I think NSA has gone too far over the cliff to be worth saving. Better to start anew.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:44 PM

74. Obama should just come clean, tell us the truth and stop spying on us

A committee of spooks isn't going to get me isn't going get me to trust spooks any more than I already do, which is to say not at all.

This isn't a good idea. The President needs to restore his credibility (yes, I really want him to do that). It's not going to be done with a bunch of chefs assigned to make a pastry out of a McDonald's greaseburger or a bunch of professional sophists infiltrating DU in order to bully us into supporting this crap.

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Response to Jack Rabbit (Reply #74)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 04:12 PM

126. notice the absence...

of sophists today?

so weird how it's either 20+ all at once, or none at all.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #126)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 04:27 PM

133. No, not at all

I just answered this post with this reply.

Have you ever noticed how most of these -- how should I put this? -- posters who live under bridges crossed by three billy goats -- have three-digit post counts?

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:44 PM

75. "Cass Sunstein has long been one of Barack Obama’s closest confidants"

From http://www.salon.com/2010/01/15/sunstein_2/

OK, that freaks me the fuck out. And I'm not even American.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #75)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:51 PM

77. It explains a lot, doesn't it? nt

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Response to bemildred (Reply #77)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 01:01 PM

82. Sadly, yes it does. nt

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #75)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 01:09 PM

88. Come again??



Freaks me the fuck out too. Totally explains things, doesn't it?

"Maybe we shouldn't be doing this..."
"Don't worry Mr. President...if they object, we can just dismiss them as nutbars."
"...We can do that?"
"Absolutely."

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #75)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 12:00 AM

170. That link should be required reading.

This man is frightening and should be kept as far from government as humanly possible. That he is a close confidante to the President of the United States is even more frightening.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:52 PM

78. Well isn't that special?

Hey if 9/11 mind fuck engineer Philip Zelikow has the president's ear, why not this creep?

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:55 PM

79. The left wing Robert Bork is someone we can all trust to protect our privacy!

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 12:57 PM

81. NSA has been part of a decades lonjg spy on us

Mainly they did it to the Left. No cries back then.

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Response to RedCloud (Reply #81)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 01:04 PM

85. there's been outrage about domestic spying since Cointelpro become known

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 01:02 PM

83. K&R


Everybody already nailed it. All I can do is .

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 01:06 PM

86. What the fuck?!

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 01:15 PM

91. K & R !!!


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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 02:00 PM

97. Why does President Obama often pick the wrong people?

Splain that.

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #97)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 03:02 PM

115. He unwittingly trusts the wrong people, he's threatened by the wrong people, or...

he is the wrong people.


edit: typo

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Response to polichick (Reply #115)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 04:09 PM

125. He doesn't just

pick the wrong people, he is the wrong people! These are his soulmates.

The Obama book has a beautiful cover but inside it's a literary mess.

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #97)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 12:46 PM

199. Because from a slightly different point of view the're not "wrong" at all.

And that idea should be making all of us double-plus unhappy.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #199)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:19 PM

203. Oh, I'm double-plus unhappy

with it.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 02:08 PM

98. I guess I am one they would target b/c I KNOW OUR GOVERNMENT IS TOTALLY BOUGHT AND

PAID FOR!!! Democrat or Republican, it makes no difference. The 1% get/keep them in office, or on the Bench. They are the shadow government who actually makes/passes the laws and Court decisions. Is it so hard to believe? Ever wonder why Democrats act "spineless," it's not because of. A congenital defect! They were paid to roll over! They go from fundraiser to fundraiser getting their usual checks from the same big donors and corporations on a regular basis. This keeps them bought! If they vote for their constituents they are gone unless they have high name recognition like an Elizebeth Warren or Bernie Sanders.
This is insane that someone would even propose something so detrimental to U.S. citizens. To quash any dissenting voices on the Internet is something you would expect from China or Russia! The Internet is the last media that is not completely under their control. Look for these attacks on our Internet freedom to increase. They will never give up access to our communications. They do not wish to be surprised again like they were with OWS.
They will fight any move we make for Publicly Funded Elections b/c that would take away their control and give it back to the people! Lets fight for publicly funded elections. I will not stop doing what I can to return representative Democracy to the people!

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Response to Dustlawyer (Reply #98)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 02:15 PM

100. to add on to what you're saying...a particular Rep/Sen doesn't even have to be "bought"

himself or herself. if those in leadership positions are bought they can (and DO!) pressure the lower ranking members.

we see this in plain sight in the Florida legislature on the GOP side.

i will say, though, that with my state reps on the dem side, of the entire dem delegation in the House, there's only a couple who are have obvious problems.

when i look at the Congressional Dem delegation it's more problematic and there's too much inside baseball crap to go into. at least we have Alan Grayson! he's not only true BLUE independent statesman...he actively goes out of his way locally to carry the message that our "outsiders" are not to be dismissed or messed with. he's amazing. we need more like him.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #100)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 05:17 PM

135. I agree. As to Alan Grayson, I love him. Everyone loves to bash us Plaintiff lawyers as ambulance

chasers and such, but we fight these big corporations on behalf of the 99% to make things safer. Grayson has made his money and now chooses to truly serve his country doing the right thing, and I for one am grateful!
My firm has been fighting BP since March 23 2005, when they killed 15 and injured 6,000, and again for the 11 killed and over 1 million economically injured. I have watched them control Obama, Congress, the Judge, the Plaintiff's Steering Committee and the media. These big companies have so much money that most people cannot comprehend what they are able to do with it.
At the risk of going too far off on a tangent, the McDonalds coffee case was another example of big corporation power. They got the media to sell that case as a frivolous case pushed by trial lawyers. "Woman spills hot coffee, sues McDonald's and gets millions." Stella Liebeck almost died b/C Mickey D's realized they could get twice as much coffee from the same amount of beans if they super heated it. Worldwide the savings were huge even after settling some 2nd and 3rd degree burn cases confidentially. She was awarded 1 days profits from coffee sales, 2.3 million I think. The Judge thought that was excessive just for having her labia and clitoris burned off and reduced it down to $900,000.
These corporations bend our whole set of laws and institutions to their will. They have the Representative government, not We the People! I say fuck that, lets fight to get it back! I just wish more of the Democrats and Progressives here would stop and think about the root cause of why we cant pass even background checks for assault rifles when 90% of the people want them. Why cant we give gays the same rights as the rest of us. Add to that voter ID laws that only a small fraction of us would want. The list would go on and on (like I have here, sorry), but tackling the root cause, the corruption of our election process, gets overlooked. The last example is the lack of security of our electronic voting. They already found that enough votes were switched by a "King" computer to give Bush Ohio or Pennsylvania, I cannot recall. One of Rove's IT guys was linked to it but died in a mysterious plane crash right before he could be deposed. Did the Democrats demand electronic voting protection, NO they didn't! There is only one reason I know of to explain and that would be that their bosses wanted to be able to do it again when needed. They could put in the same protections that the credit card companies have had for years and we would be good to go. We are a deluded, lazy electorate, brainwashed and hung out to dry!

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Response to Dustlawyer (Reply #135)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 05:46 PM

140. i know a little bit about how difficult it is to do that kind of law

Plaintiff's lawyers have always been heroes of mine even before i understood how hard the business is. you've got everything stacked against you. you have to make your own name and build your brand. it's no picnic, and it's far from a guaranteed paycheck!

the McD's case is classic -- that woman was critically injured by a product that was served too hot for the convenience of the store. people who use that to bludgeon torts get it both barrels from me.

i'm aware of the plane crash you mention, and have worked on voting issues on and off for years in different capacities. i'm in a position now to see some of it from an angle that is sort of, kind of insidery...at least, inside the reform side. no one even mentions electronic voting anymore. the focus is on education and local SOEs. it's a pity.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 02:10 PM

99. I've been referring to "them" as "catapulters"

for a while now, and, of course, you know why

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Response to rusty fender (Reply #99)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 02:16 PM

101. i can barely think of the word 'propaganda' without

also having the word "catapult" also pop into mind.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 02:16 PM

102. Sunstein's Wikipedia entry is fascinating.

He's a weird kind of "lefty." Prolific and all over the map in some ways. Animal rights good, government-sanctioned marriage bad. In favor of tweaking First Amendment law to eschew the "marketplace of ideas" to tailor it guide mostly just political speech.

There's an overall theme of a right of the (self-selected) intellectual elite to dictate, by whatever means necessary, to the "irrational" intellectual proles.

It's a mirror of the attitude of economic elites who believe that by dint of their wealth, they should be the decision makers for everyone. Sunstein appears convinced he and others like him have a similar entitlement to rule everyone, based presumed superior thinking. Presumed by them, of course.

For example, Sunstein is in favor of government "guiding" people's decision-making processes, to ensure the "right" results. For people's own good. He espouses something he calls "libertarian paternalism," wherein coercion is okay, provided it has an asymmetrical impact on "irrational" behavior. For example, people need "nudging" to invest more in their 401(k)s. (Gee, thanks -- those 401ks are working out so well for everyone, Cass).

He's going to help people learn to help themselves.

I see where he gets from there to secret infiltratration by government agents into public discussion to attempt to discredit "conspiracy theories." It's okay to lie, he suggests, if you're doing it to undermine other things you believe to be more destructive lies.

The immediate problem, of course, is that "conspiracy theory" is really a completely subjective perjorative term applicable to anything deemed destructively wrong-headed. By him, or by government, which he also incidentally thinks should be guided by the President's specific desires, and not particular bound by, say, the law or the federal courts.

The fact that such infiltration is dishonest and in bad faith in terms of people misrepresenting their actual motives is all okay, apparently for people smugly assured their view is the only correct one. A convenient conceit with something like, say, government intrusion into privacy. Why engage with the "little people" as to their objections, when you can simply manipulate the public discourse? After all, government KNOWS its policies are correct.

Again, a sort of leftward facing mirror of Bush / Cheney. Same elitist entitlement to power; slightly different justification. Of course, they all go to the same schools and play squash at the same clubs. Sunstein is an accomplished squash player.

Bottom line: He's a shitty intellectual with a God complex. F*ck this guy.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #102)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 02:26 PM

104. Recommend.. "libertarian paternalism"

Yes.

and:

"He's a shitty intellectual with a God complex."

Yes.

Everything I've read about him supports your summation. Sadly.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #102)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 03:40 PM

121. Should be an OP

Perfect analysis!

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #102)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 03:46 PM

122. reminds me of sophomores reading The Republic...

they all go thru a phase where they pine for "philosopher kings" until it's pointed out how reliance on these paternalistic critters always leads to bad things...and it horribly undemocratic.

gotta say, i'm damn sick and tired of this elitism and contempt toward average American voters. so he thinks it's okay to lie to us because he knows better than us what's good for us.

nothing could be more detrimental to "the republic." to quote Ike Reilly:

Take the promise keepers, yeah, those righteous creeps
The legend seekers of the ivy league
Let's put 'em on a ship


Take the vulgar boatmen and the drunken showmen
And the Willy Lomans rock-and-roll
And put 'em on a ship

I'll give you a kiss on your big fat lips
Lets have a drink before we ship
We're getting loaded
We're getting loaded
We're getting loaded
We're getting loaded
Yeah

...

And when it sails away, you'll hear people say
'You'll never get no play from the cheap seats.
Boys, we're getting loaded'

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #102)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 05:33 PM

137. I don't think he can be dismissed as a shitty intellectual

and who the fuck cares if he's an accomplished squash player?

He's also a huge advocate for FDR's "second bill of rights".

He's definitely a mixed bag but he's hardly the one dimensional figure of the OP.

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Response to cali (Reply #137)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 06:01 PM

145. i don't think anyone is dashing his smarts -- it's on the subject of NSA that he's questionable

it would be nice if a second bill of rights were the commission he was appointed to. or...if one existed. or even imagined.

but the "one-dimensionalness" is intentional with regard to NSA b/c that's what he'll be charged with assessing and "improving." nothing else really matters.

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Response to cali (Reply #137)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 06:38 PM

148. He's a fucking elitist. They play squash. Haha?


I guess the metaphor and the humor escaped you.

The OP deals with one dimension of Sunstein's paternalistic bullshit, which is his thesis suggesting government infiltrate public discussion under false pretenses.

It's the most relevant to the NSA scandal, because one of his predicted responses would be to quash public outcry about government conspiracy with disingenuous infiltration of the debate in order to discredit complaint as "conspiracy theory."

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 02:33 PM

107. Gosh. The hits just keep coming.

Glenn Greenwald vs. Cass Sunstein -- Battle Royal, in their own words!



In this July 2008 interview with Amy Goodman, they discuss Telcom immunity, domestic spying and prosecuting Bush Jr.'s criminality:

How Should the Next President Deal with the Bush White House Crimes?

A debate between two progressive legal experts on the FISA bill and the idea of prosecuting of Bush and White House officials for criminal acts.

The whole article is worth reading. Thanks to "Fair Use" here are a few excerpts...

In this corner, Glenn Greenwald:



The idea that this wasn't a reversal is just insultingly false. Back in December, Senator Obama was asked, "What is your position on Senator Dodd's pledge to filibuster a bill that contains retroactive immunity?" And at first, Senator Obama issued an equivocal statement, and there were demands that he issue a clearer statement. His campaign spokesman said -- and I quote -- "Senator Obama will support a filibuster of any bill that contains retroactive immunity" -- "any bill that contains retroactive immunity." The bill before the Senate two weeks ago contained retroactive immunity, by everybody's account, and yet not only did Senator Obama not adhere to his pledge to support a filibuster of that bill, he voted for closure on the bill, which is the opposite of a filibuster. It's what enables a vote to occur. And then he voted for the underlying bill itself. So it's a complete betrayal of the very unequivocal commitment that he made not more than six months ago in response to people who wanted to know his position on this issue in order to decide whether or not to vote for him. That's number one.

Number two, the idea that this bill is an improvement on civil liberties is equally insulting in terms of how false it is. This is a bill demanded by George Bush and Dick Cheney and opposed by civil libertarians across the board. ACLU is suing. The EFF is vigorously opposed. Russ Feingold and Chris Dodd, the civil libertarians in the Senate, are vehemently opposed to it; they say it's an evisceration of the Fourth Amendment. The idea that George Bush and Dick Cheney would demand a bill that's an improvement on civil liberties and judicial oversight is just absurd. This bill vests vast new categories of illegal and/or unconstitutional and warrantless surveillance powers in the President to spy on Americans' communications without warrants. If you want to say that that's necessary for the terrorist threat, one should say that. But to say that it's an improvement on civil liberties is just propaganda.



In the other corner, Cass Sunstein:



Well, I speak just for myself and not for Senator Obama on this, but my view is that impeachment is a remedy of last resort, that the consequences of an impeachment process, a serious one now, would be to divide the country in a way that is probably not very helpful. It would result in the presidency of Vice President Cheney, which many people enthusiastic about impeachment probably aren't that excited about. I think it has an understandable motivation, but I don't think it's appropriate at this stage to attempt to impeach two presidents consecutively.

In terms of holding Bush administration officials accountable for illegality, any crime has to be taken quite seriously. We want to make sure there's a process for investigating and opening up past wrongdoing in a way that doesn't even have the appearance of partisan retribution. So I'm sure an Obama administration will be very careful both not to turn a blind eye to illegality in the past and to institute a process that has guarantees of independence, so that there isn't a sense of the kind of retribution we've seen at some points in the last decade or two that's not healthy.

SNIP...

Well, there has been a big debate among law professors and within the Supreme Court about the President's adherent authority to wiretap people. And while I agree with Senator Feingold that the President's position is wrong and the Supreme Court has recently, indirectly at least, given a very strong signal that the Supreme Court itself has rejected the Bush position, the idea that it's an impeachable offense to adopt an incorrect interpretation of the President's power, that, I think, is too far-reaching. There are people in the Clinton administration who share Bush's view with respect to foreign surveillance. There are past attorney generals who suggested that the Bush administration position is right. So, I do think the Bush administration is wrong -- let's be very clear on that -- but the notion that it's an impeachable offense seems to me to distort the notion of what an impeachable offense is. That's high crimes and misdemeanors. And an incorrect, even a badly incorrect, interpretation of the law is not impeachable.



So. Who demonstrates INTEGRITY in the above example?



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Response to Octafish (Reply #107)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 02:54 PM

111. oh my! thanks for posting this!

good piece of history.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #107)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 03:26 PM

119. +1

Thanks for this

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Response to Octafish (Reply #107)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 04:06 PM

124. Thanks for posting.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #107)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 04:15 PM

129. That's a great juxtapositioning.


Greenwald, with his trademark self-righteous fervor and unapologetic abrasiveness, lasering in on facts and principle.

Sunstein, framing carefully and equivocating as necessary to protect power.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #107)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 05:34 PM

139. cognitive infiltrator

just another term for MIND FUCKER...but we have our own MFs and can play that game too!

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Response to Rex (Reply #139)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 05:53 PM

141. or psyops, even. these are dark waters for someone so close to the president.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #107)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 07:18 PM

151. Thank you for posting this. Am so looking forward to barrage of Linkosaurus-Blue links

in attempt to spin it.

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Response to idwiyo (Reply #151)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 09:23 AM

188. Deafening silence, isn't it?

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Response to hatrack (Reply #188)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 11:18 AM

195. I thought I was going deaf. Not even a cricket chirping...

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Response to Octafish (Reply #107)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 10:03 AM

189. Recommend Read..

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 02:59 PM

113. Thanks for the links

Not really surprised to hear this. It's startling to see that so many people think the rich and powerful who rule this country would undermine their own power. That's like expecting the corporations and banks - who heavily invest in candidates and politicians to work for them as we should know by now - to to be less greedy and corrupt and to give up their power. Why would you expect any change if you have "politicians" in charge of preventing future financial crisis who themselves caused the crisis or were appointed by the same people who were complicit in the crisis?
It's shocking to see how much the wealthy and powerful are out of touch with reality. I think people from Mars would be more able to relate to - and to understand - the general population than our politicians do.
"Trust us, there is no conspiracy."

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Response to Dack (Reply #113)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 05:30 PM

136. welcome to DU -- no one mentions the "team of rivals" anymore

that was a pretty lame frame to begin with...but i'm sure it will be trotted out to describe this team.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 04:14 PM

127. Interesting that he never lifted a finger to market the benefits of Obamacare

But protecting the security state -- that's a different story.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #127)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 05:57 PM

143. amen...and don't get me started on ACORN.

that the lie about that community organization was allowed to fester and grow is atrocious. "ACORN" is still used as a smear against community organizers, as if there was any wrongdoing on the part of anyone but Breitbart. and that could have all be avoided if someone in the White House would have stood up for them. but no...and here we are now with a broken community base trying put the pieces back together.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 04:15 PM

128. Sounds like a tacit admission that the NSA is inherently untrustworthy. n/t

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 04:17 PM

130. NDAA: It is legal for the government to lie to your face.

 

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 04:20 PM

131. Everyday some new

revelation into the depths of their deception, their lies, their greed. Inside I weep for what we lost.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 05:34 PM

138. "cognitive infiltrator"

Shit they should have asked me, I know a lot of them and we call them MIND FUCKERS. One again, he shoots and he misses by a mile!

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 06:29 PM

147. Havent you heard? The Spy Committee Report has been leaked.

Most is redacted but the bottom line is, "Everything is fine and legal." The signatures are also redacted.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 07:04 PM

149. There's much here with links that folks might want to go back to...K&R

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Response to KoKo (Reply #149)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 07:15 PM

150. add this link: CASS SUNSTEIN: Meet the new Obama elite, or "all the president's middlebrows"

http://exiledonline.com/all-the-president’s-middlebrows/2/

It's classic Mark Ames...acerbic and tangential, but somehow enlightening.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #150)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 07:39 PM

153. Fascinating...for background...before Cass was Cass as we know him today?

http://exiledonline.com/all-the-president%E2%80%99s-middlebrows/

Cass Sunstein: Meet The Horrible New Obama-Era Elite, or “All The President’s Middlebrows”
By Mark Ames

Last week, Obama moved another step closer to creating the ultimate retro-70s Middelbrow-ocracy when he appointed a loathsome overachieving hamburger-head named Cass Sunstein to a little-known but highly-powerful government post: director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs—otherwise known as the “Regulation Czar.” Before the financial crash, we wouldn’t have thought much of how powerful a post like this is, and how it can shape our lives and help decide whether we have retirement money, a home mortgage, and a plutocracy-led society.


Since it’s the behind-the-scenes activity that is defining our lives, I took a trip into the Heart Of Blandness that is Cass Sunstein’s life story, and the men and women who’ve helped define him. Conclusion: a new set of horrible ghouls are moving in to rule us, and it won’t be perty. The best you can say about the Cass Sunstein-ocrats is that they aren’t Bush-era apemen, who were so savage and destructive that it never seemed quite real.

But as the awful memory of the Bush Era fades, we have to face a more immediate threat: The New Elite, who are taking up their places in power and preparing to rule over us. Anyone who has even a faint childhood memory of the 1970s will understand immediately what’s wrong with the new crew moving into Washington. Cass Sunstein offers a perfect, nauseating example of this Man of the 70s returning to America in the new millennium after having been frozen for the past 30 years like Encino Man.

The 70s, in case you were lucky enough to have missed it, wasn’t about whacky mustaches and zany platforms—it was about ponderous middlebrows concealing their old-fashioned pursuits of sex, money and power underneath a new set of secular lies for the secular 60s generation, because the old lies stopped working in America’s big cities.

So let’s up a few years to 2007 or so—and we focus on Cass Susntein, a law professor at the University of Chicago, still happily “partnered” to Martha Nussbaum, a self-described “daughter of the WASP elite” from the east coast, now a philosophy professor also at the University of Chicago.

http://exiledonline.com/all-the-president%E2%80%99s-middlebrows/

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Response to KoKo (Reply #153)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 09:57 PM

163. oh ouch

Good read. Thanks for posting.

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Response to KoKo (Reply #153)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 01:51 PM

211. "ponderous middlebrows concealing their old-fashioned pursuits"


Yep. Meet the new elitists.

Very similar, although more dense and verbose in their cognitive rationalizations for obtaining and defending power, than the previous elitists.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 07:20 PM

152. K&R

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 08:22 PM

154. K&R

Even the sycophants can't figure out how to spin this one

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 09:04 PM

156. unbelievable!

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 09:06 PM

157. Also on the review committee is Richard Clarke. I like Richard Clarke.

I don't think Obama has tapped him before. I'm not a fan of Sunstein's lack of understanding of the REAL government conspiracies that have crippled this country for at least 50 years. Once you see it, you can't NOT see it ever again.

I think a lot of posters are being extremely myopic about Obama. He's not a bad guy. He's the best guy since Jimmy Carter. Jimmy Carter was cheated out of reelection. If Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Lil George didn't crack the national security state or even touch it during their years in office, why do you blame Obama so harshly? Seems to me we're talking about the secret government out in the open and in the media ... it's not going away. The monolith has been struck. And while Barack Obama is POTUS, by the way.

Wake up and smell the big picture.

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Response to Zen Democrat (Reply #157)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 09:21 PM

158. "And while Barack Obama is POTUS"

And COMPLETELY against his will. Let's not make believe for a second that Obama is FOR revealing the slightest thing about the surveillance state or reining in the NSA in any way whatsoever.

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Response to LondonReign2 (Reply #158)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 05:39 PM

204. And you know just how much power the general do and don't have at NSA?

They've been doing this for decades. I'm not so sure Obama isn't secretly very very happy about this. This game isn't played out in the open.

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Response to Zen Democrat (Reply #157)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 10:11 PM

164. it will be interesting to see how Clarke comes out of this...

will he be able to steer it in a better direction, or will he be tarnished with having to rubber-stamp the opinion of Obama's close confidant.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #164)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 05:42 PM

205. Obama's "close confident" is also the husband of Obama's Ambassador to the United Nations.

Samantha Powers is Mrs. Cass Sunstein, who was castigated for being too liberal in the 2008 campaign. That's when they got married.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 09:31 PM

159. I lost faith in the President long ago.

 

I am in "give up" stage with him.


I don't even follow what he does or proposes any more. I just assume it is all bad.

That is what happens when you take it in the chin over and over and over again.

I have not read a word of his proposals for the NSA. I have not looked into any of his choices for oversight.

If he chose them, I'm against them.


This is where I'm at with our President.

A complete loss of faith. A complete lack of trust.

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Response to mick063 (Reply #159)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 05:42 PM

206. So you joined the Tea Party?

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Response to Zen Democrat (Reply #206)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 05:48 PM

207. Holy shit

 

Honestly.

How old are you?

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Response to mick063 (Reply #207)

Sun Aug 25, 2013, 11:06 AM

212. +1

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 09:33 PM

160. "Cognitive infiltrator": resume-speak for "buillshit artist". n/t

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 09:41 PM

162. Kick! n-t

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 10:22 PM

165. The committee is useless. It's only purpose was to fool the public.

It won't work.

I think I have seen at least one of these botters on DU. Nobody with a half a brain is fooled by this impersonator puppet.

He spews blue links like excess beer that has no room in his tummy.

A boring bloke. Never had an original or creative thought from what I can guess.

I love conspiracy theories. They reveal the community mind. Repress them, and you repress people's ability to think through problems and find solutions. They are a necessary part of that process even though they are often very wrong.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #165)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:04 PM

166. it's actual, stated purpose is to influence our opinion

fooling by any other name.

agree 100% with all you say.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:08 PM

168. Kind of like how Priebus says Repuke policies are fine; they just need better messaging

to sell those policies to minorities.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2013, 11:38 PM

169. K & R

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 12:02 AM

171. Thanks for the info.

Sunstein's paper is like some demented Orwellian fantasy concocted by RW nut jobs.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 12:11 AM

172. Fools?

A quote attributed to President Lincold about fooling some of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but you can not fool all of the people all of the time, comes to mind. As laughable as having Clapper be the overseer of this intelligence gathering programs and operation, selecting this Sunstein to be involved with this review process is just attempting to do nothing more that fool as many of the American people as possible, to the extent that we believe some effective action has actually taken place.
" ...sent out Swarms of Officers to harass..." sort of comes to mind in thinking about this Sunstein and his idea to use " infiltrators " which to come to a predetermined conclusion that collecting all the data on as many Americans is a good thing, they just need to be convinced by advertising that it is.
I have had the idea that the Intelligence Committees of the Senate and House should review these programs and determine their appropriate responsibilities and scope of duties. Clapper should not be involed in any way as he has already lied to Congress and should be charged and presecuted.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 12:21 AM

175. The crowning insult to this affair is that Sunstein and the other apparatchiks

 

will report to a self-confessed perjurer, DNI James Clapper.

I swear, you cannot make this shit up. Obama continues to show his utter contempt for his base, the 99%. Un-friggin-believable that Clapper is still employed.

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Response to HardTimes99 (Reply #175)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 10:07 AM

190. His "base" isn't Dems who voted for him....it's the "Fusion" he is about...

The Democratic Party merges in with the Republican Party in that Middle Right...he so loves.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 12:27 AM

176. We are so f**ked. n/t

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 02:35 AM

178. I guess this proves Obama isnt "out of the loop".

Not only is he in the loop, hes calling the shots. And hes doubling down on an out of control unconstitutional program by trying to re-brand it. Hopefully enough people call bullshit to sink the ship before it pulls away from the pier.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 02:43 AM

180. I respect Clarke. He has always done his job honestly and to the best of his ability.

 

I suspect he might be difficult on a personal level, but then the best often are.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:30 AM

182. You can trust your government!

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:25 AM

184. Transparent

bullsh!t

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 08:23 AM

185. It just keeps getting creepier.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 09:06 AM

186. I think Obama misread that old saw as, the best disinfectant is ...

Sunstein.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 09:16 AM

187. truly a brave new world,. now propaganda trumps policy, pathetic.

 

The corporate-military 1% clearly have no intention of altering their corporate takeover,. so instead of changes in policy, we get expansion of the propaganda machine, nice.

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Response to Civilization2 (Reply #187)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 01:12 PM

201. Yes, a dangerous course.

The only mitigating factor in this case is the attempt is so obvious and incompetent that it will be subject to much ridicule.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 10:37 AM

191. I log on to DU w/the Dorothy Parker question: "What fresh hell is this?"

Every morning, with a feeling of dread, I log on - braced for some news of/ latest development from the Obama administration, or some federal agency reporting to Obama, that further destroys our Constitutional rights and/or pushes the limits of disappointment for progressive Democrats. This post about Obama's selection of Sunstein certainly qualifies as the "fresh hell" of the day.

For younger readers, Dorothy Parker was member of the Algonquin Round Table.
http://algonquinroundtable.org/
]The Algonquin Round Table was a group of journalists, editors, actors and press agents that met on a regular basis at the Algonquin Hotel in New York. The group began lunching together in June 1919 and continued on a regular basis for about eight years. There has never been another group quite like them in American popular culture or entertainment.

The group contributed to hit plays, bestselling books and popular newspaper columns. Their impact is still felt today. This site is a testament to that. Many know of the core group -- Dorothy Parker, Alexander Woollcott, Robert Benchley, and Edna Ferber -- however, there were about 24 members of the Round Table.


http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-algonquin-round-table/about-the-algonquin/527/

November 8th, 1998
The Algonquin Round Table
About the Algonquin

The period that followed the end of World War I was one of gaiety and optimism, and it sparked a new era of creativity in American culture. Surely one of the most profound — and outrageous — influences on the times was the group of a dozen or so tastemakers who lunched together at New York City’s Algonquin Hotel. For more than a decade they met daily and came to be known as the Algonquin Round Table. With members such as writers Dorothy Parker, Harold Ross (founder of THE NEW YORKER) and Robert Benchley; columnists Franklin Pierce Adams and Heywood Broun, and Broun’s wife Ruth Hale; critic Alexander Woollcott; comedian Harpo Marx; and playwrights George S. Kaufman, Marc Connelly, Edna Ferber, and Robert Sherwood, the Round Table embodied an era and changed forever the face of American humor.

It all began with an afternoon roast of the NEW YORK TIMES drama critic, Alexander Wollcott. A number of writers met up at the Algonquin Hotel on 44th street and had such a good time that the event was repeated the next day, and the day after that, until the lunch table at the Algonquin was established as a ritual. The core group of friends was sometimes joined by others who attended for short periods or drifted about the periphery of the group, including such notables as actress Tallulah Bankhead and playwright Noel Coward. The Round Table was made up of people with a shared admiration for each other’s work. Outspoken and outrageous, they would often quote each other freely in their daily columns.

Round Tabler Edna Ferber, who called them “The Poison Squad,” wrote, “They were actually merciless if they disapproved. I have never encountered a more hard-bitten crew. But if they liked what you had done, they did say so publicly and whole-heartedly.” Their standards were high, their vocabulary fluent, fresh, astringent, and very, very tough. Both casual and incisive, they had a certain terrible integrity about their work and boundless ambition. Some of the most notable members of the Round Table came together to work on significant collaborative projects. George Kaufman teamed up with Edna Ferber and Marc Connelly on some of his best stage comedies, including DULCY and THE ROYAL FAMILY. Harold Ross of THE NEW YORKER hired both Dorothy Parker as a book reviewer and Robert Benchley as a drama critic.

By 1925, the Round Table was famous. What had started as a private clique became a public amusement. The country-at-large was now attentive to their every word—people often coming to stare at them during lunch. Some began to tire of the constant publicity. The time they spent entertaining and being entertained took its toll on several of the Algonquin members. Robert Sherwood and Robert Benchley moved out of the hotel in order to concentrate on and accomplish their work. In 1927, the controversial execution of Sacco and Vanzetti, whose case had divided the country and the Round Table for six years, seemed to cast a pall over the group’s unchecked antics. Dorothy Parker believed strongly in the pair’s innocence, and upon their deaths she remarked “I had heard someone say and so I said too, that ridicule is the most effective weapon. Well, now I know that there are things that never have been funny and never will be. And I know that ridicule may be a shield but it is not a weapon.”

As America entered the Depression and the more somber decade of the 1930s, the bonds that had held the group together loosened; many members moved to Hollywood or on to other interests. “It didn’t end, it just sort of faded,” recalled Marc Connelly. A decade after it began, the Algonquin Round Table was over. Not forgotten, the Round Table remains one of the great examples of an American artists’ community and the effects it can have on its time.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 11:09 AM

193. Kick

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 02:18 PM

202. kick

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 02:53 AM

208. In case anyone missed it . . . .

The Gentleman's Guide To Forum Spies (spooks, feds, etc.): http://pastebin.com/irj4Fyd5 .

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 04:06 AM

209. It gets worse, and we pray for a reprieve from the betrayal,

and it gets worse.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Aug 25, 2013, 11:20 AM

214. get ready for the ensuing media blitz

to care the government message

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 09:39 AM

215. It's odd that, in his paper, Sunstein attributes....

... belief in conspiracy theories to a LACK of civil rights.

Those who hold conspiracy theories do so because of what they read and hear. In that sense, acceptance of such theories is not irrational from the standpoint of those who adhere to them. There is a close connection, we suggest, between our claim on this count and the empirical association between terrorist behavior and an absence of civil rights and civil liberties. When civil rights and civil liberties are absent, people lack multiple information sources, and they are more likely to accept conspiracy theories.


http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1084585


The short section on "Cognitive infiltration" (page 21) is supportive of the basic principle of free speech, that the remedy to falsehoods and fallacies is not less speech, it is MORE speech:

Our main suggestion is just that, whatever the tactical details, there would seem to be ample reason for government efforts to introduce some cognitive diversity into the groups that generate conspiracy theories. Social cascades are sometimes quite fragile, precisely because they are based on small slivers of information. Once corrective information is introduced, large numbers of people can be shifted to different views. If government is able to have credibility, or to act through credible agents, it might well be successful in dislodging beliefs that are held only because no one contradicts them. Likewise, polarization tends to decrease when divergent views are voiced within the group. Introducing a measure of cognitive diversity can break up the epistemological networks and clusters that supply conspiracy theories.

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