Cognitive Infiltration For the Masses

By James F. Tracy

On March 18, 2014 Cass Sunstein released his latest collection of essays, Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas.[1] Like his other works geared toward a mainstream readership, the prominent Harvard law professor, former Obama administration regulatory czar, and NSA advisor [2] points to numerous alleged dangers posed by even “rational people” who are susceptible to adopting “crippled epistemologies.” What Sunstein fails to explain throughout his most recent medley of gentle authoritarianism is how the “conspiracy theory” term has received vigorous promotion from the editorial practices of certain major corporate news media.

“Conspiracy theory” is not merely a flippant or off-handed water cooler term, but rather a powerful tool of political discourse. “Deployed as a pejorative putdown,” political scientist Lance deHaven-Smith observes,

the label is a verbal defense mechanism used by political elites to suppress mass suspicions that inevitably arise when shocking political crimes benefit top leaders or play into their agendas, especially when those same officials are in control of agencies responsible for preventing events in question or for investigating them after they have occurred.[3]

Along these lines, “conspiracy theory” and its common variants, “assassination buff,” “crackpot,” “wacko,” and so on, were essentially interpolated into news reports and commentary in the late 1960s by CIA media assets as the agency maneuvered to bolster the Warren Commission’s “lone assassin” explanation of John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

When confronted in 2012, Sunstein does not “remember very well” co-authoring a 2008 paper, “Conspiracy Theories,” the namesake of his most recent book.

Only in the past forty years or so has the label become an especially salient discursive technique for channeling political dialogue and inquiry. From the late 1800s through the first half of the 1900s the phrase can seldom be found in news discourse. A search of the Historical New York Times database finds that “conspiracy theory” is used 30 times between 1870 and 1960, often in accounts of criminal court proceedings. Yet from 1960 to 1969 alone there are 46 instances of the term’s usage in Times articles. Since 1970, it is invoked in over 1,700 pieces, with a peak between 2000 and 2009 (728).[4]

Today the pejorative not only acts as a disciplinary measure–journalists and scholars alike fear such a trenchant smear–but also as a technique to shape information and analysis. It serves as a more-than-subtle way of saying, “Look here, not there,” thereby guiding readers and viewers to place their reasoning faculties in abeyance and adopt what are often uncritical and even misleading modes of substantiation and conclusion. While this phenomenon is clearly demonstrable in print news media, it is also widespread in US-based cable and broadcast news.

A LexisNexis search of news program transcripts for the dates March 1, 2011 to March 1, 2014 reveals 2,469 usages of the “conspiracy theory/theories” term. Probing the surveyed time span reveals CNN (586 transcripts) and MSNBC (382) as the foremost purveyors of the phrase, with Fox News (182) a distant third. The US government’s transcript service, US Federal News, comes in at fourth, suggesting persistent strategic usage of the label at federal government press conferences and similar functions to drive home official positions and dispel challenges to them. Programming on National Public Radio ranks fifth, with 115 instances.

The following is a breakdown of the cable or broadcast outlet/program referencing “conspiracy theory” or “conspiracy theories” in transcript text within the aforementioned three-year span.

CNN Transcripts  –  586
Global Broadcast Database (local broadcast transcripts)  –  416
MSNBC  –  382
Fox News  –  182
US Federal News  –  144
National Public Radio  –  116
Australian Broadcasting Corporation  –  71
NBC News  –  67
Congressional Quarterly Transcripts  –  57
ABC News  –  55
CTV TV (Canada)  –  55
CBS News – 54
CNN International  –  48
Imus Simulcast  –  39
Financial Market Regulatory Wire  –  31
PBS News Hour  –  21
Bloomberg: Surveillance Show  –  17
Congressional Quarterly Testimony  –  16
The Charlie Rose Show  –  15
Follow the Money  –  14
Euro News  –  13
Lou Dobbs Tonight – 12
Cavuto – 8

To be more conclusive, the specific contexts in which the term is mobilized might be more fully examined and delineated. An argument may also be waged that this metric is not exactly proper given the dissimilar breadth of content produced by each outlet. After all, a 24-hour cable news channel such as CNN simply has far more “news hole” to fill than a daily one-hour broadcast like PBS News Hour or Charlie Rose.

Image: MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow (Wiki Commons)

Yet even here the variances are telling. For example, when comparing domestic CNN transcripts to those of the channel’s counterpart, CNN International, the former uses the term over twelve times as frequently. Such findings suggest the execution of a clear-cut editorial policy to fulfill certain propaganda-related ends–indeed, not unlike the Central Intelligence Agency’s usage of the term to combat alternative interpretations of President Kennedy’s assassination.

Along these lines, further examination of the data sample distinguishes how even news personalities’ bylines are correlated with frequent employment of the “conspiracy theory” label. Searching within the same data set, transcripts with CNN Anderson Cooper’s byline possess the highest incidence of the expression (81), with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Al Sharpton tied for second place (77), and Piers Morgan (38) ranking third. CNN’s Erin Burnett and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes tie for fourth. Ostensibly conservative Fox News personalities Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity use the expression less frequently.

Anderson Cooper (CNN)  –  81
Rachel Maddow (MSNBC)  –  77
Al Sharpton (MSNBC)  –  77
Piers Morgan (CNN)  –  38
Erin Burnett (CNN)  –  31
Chris Hayes (MSNBC)  –  31
Sean Hannity (Fox News)  –  29
Bill O’Reilly (Fox News) – 19

Image: CNN’s Anderson Cooper (Wiki Commons)

With the exception of ABC (Australia) and CTV (Canada), all of the outlets are US-based, suggesting how the American population, well known for its limited historical comprehension and political sophistication, is expressly targeted with repeated usage of the “conspiracy theory” phrase. A population relying on sensation, caricature, and hearsay to understand national and world affairs has already forsaken its freedom. It is perhaps ironic that CNN and MSNBC in particular cater to audiences that see themselves as open-minded and “liberal”–indeed, the opposite of cunning technocrats such as Sunstein. At the same time, if these two networks’ continually depressed ratings are any indication, the public is becoming more and more skeptical of how it is being patronized.[5]

A most profound political act any individual can undertake may involve adopting a basic regimen of intellectual self-defense that would include an increased awareness of the “conspiracy theory” label itself and a resolve to assess the term’s utilization vis-á-vis the context in which it is employed, in an effort to better determine what it seeks to obscure, legitimate, and redirect attention to.


[1] Cass Sunstein, Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas, New York: Simon and Schuster, 2014.

[2] “America’s Joseph Goebbels to Serve on NSA Oversight Panel,” Liberty Blitzkrieg, August 25, 2013.

[3] Lance deHaven-Smith, Conspiracy Theory in America, Austin: University of Texas Press, 2013, 9.

[4] See also deHaven-Smith, 126-131.

[5] “Key Indicators in Media & News,” Pew Research Journalism Project, March 26, 2014.

Republished at and Activist Post on April 1, 2014.

97 thoughts on “Cognitive Infiltration For the Masses”

  1. The shills and trolls are out in full force using the term to promote the illusion that any narrative by the government is the truth. Those who have evidence of crime by this government need to ignore the smear and carry on with their duty to protect the constitution and future generations.

  2. This is very interesting, thank you! I guess we need another Republican president before liberals will be suspicious of the power structure again.

  3. I think the tide is in fact turning. Recently, I had a solar company doing some work at my house, and the talk of smart meters came up. When I explained the health risks and future surveillance purposes to the technician, he said “you must be one of those conspiracy theorists” and then proceeded to explain that he was as well! It became a pissing contest of who was the bigger conspiracy theorist, as if it were a badge of honor. Haha! We’ve since shared info on pretty much all the current lies of Sandy Hoax, Boston Smoke Bombing, 9/11, geoengineering, weather modification, and of course smart meters. See, there’s hope!

    1. Don’t get too excited about the tide turning. They are driving this ship straight at the biggest ice burg they can find. Unfortunately, only the cooks, cleaners and servants want to do something about it.

  4. Perhaps we can change the negatively charged nomenclature:

    We are: Ebcats (Evidence Based Critical Thinkers) Ok, I doubt that will catch on anytime soon.

  5. I am delighted, James, by this article, because it serves to refocus on your true purpose here.

    I don’t know why some “activists” don’t get it. They want you to be something you have never claimed to be, and probably have absolutely no interest in being: an activist, a guy marching into Connecticut. Or Boston. Or wherever. Leading a mob. Where did they ever get that idea from?

    Perhaps you agree with these activists’ positions, but I never see you indicating it, so how would they know? It is wishful thinking on their parts. One of these keeps insisting that you must debate him about Boston. I challenged him to explain how he would prepare for such a debate, considering that you, James Tracy, have never disclosed what you think happened that day. He never replied.

    That is, your simple presence is not enough for some. What you are doing here is not enough. They want leaders, and assume that no one can simply be present, observing, and that’s all. If you point out the strangeness in the reporting of the press, they think, you must be an “activist.” What it looks like to me is that you examine the press, and wonder about its reporting, and point out the strangeness you observe. How many people are doing that? If you are the only one, or one with a unique way of doing it, who should demand that you add new roles to your self-created job description? Who do these people think they are, anyway?

    Of late, you have produced a couple of updates regarding the strange case of Wolfgang Halbig, who somehow wished to draw you into an activism that you don’t claim to desire. These articles became boffo box office here (why, I have a hard time understanding.) But again, many of those commenting on these pieces think that by bringing your readers up to date on the subject you are somehow by definition offering your opinion. Some even complained that the fact that you did not wade into that morass is somehow troubling. This is very interesting to me.

    Now, maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps I misunderstand what you are trying to do here, and you are indeed an activist, and I’ve been missing something. But I don’t think so. So let’s examine one sentence you wrote today:

    “It is perhaps ironic that CNN and MSNBC in particular cater to audiences that see themselves as open-minded and “liberal”–indeed, the opposite of cunning technocrats such as Sunstein.”

    I like lots of sentences in the piece, but at the risk of it being overly long, we’ll look at this one only. What you are doing here is observing hypocrisy, but not conscious hypocrisy. The people who agree with what those channels produce love the state. It is their god. Sunstein is their representative, in heart and mind; the problem is, the viewers who nod along with Schultz and delight in the smirking jocularity of Maddow, and think that Matthews’ rants about imaginary racism are entirely reasonable, may think of themselves as being opposed to totalitarianism, the world depicted by 1984. They certainly DO think it. They would be astonished to learn that Sunstein’s thought is all that and more. That they themselves are the worker bees creating 1984. They, the audience of CNN and MSNBC, have no idea what they are helping to create. They think they are on the side of the angels.

    Irony, indeed.

    This, as I have argued here many times, is the problem with the left. It is inevitably totalitarian, given enough time. Wishful thinking about the state being the proper agent to dispense charity (with money forcibly extracted from everyone else at the point of a gun, natch) is the purview of children. Sunstein is O’Brian, and he makes no bones about it when he writes Goldstein’s book–the creatures who created Obama love Sunstein–but as the video you embedded makes clear, unless Winston Smith is in the dungeon, Sunstein won’t admit it to him. He pretends to forget that he wrote it. O’Brian, on the other hand, was quite proud of the fact he wrote “Goldstein’s” book–when Smith was entirely in his power. Sunstein lied shamelessly in public because 1984 is not yet fully in place. The day that these creatures proudly tell the truth about their ideas, not in writing, but to our faces, is the day we’ll know that the game is over.

    Of course, James, I don’t speak for you, and if I have inferred anything that troubles you about your intentions regarding your public presence, I would be open to any correction. I don’t mean to be presumptuous. But this article strikes me as a clear reminder of what you are really trying to do here: call out the manipulators of the public mind, and tell the manipulated what is being done to them. I have never gotten the impression that your intent here is to somehow try to make the manipulators stop what they are doing (although no doubt you’d like to help make it stop, if you could). If I’m wrong about that, you can say so. It looks to me that your intent is basic media criticism. And people who wish to make you some kind of crusader they can follow to the barricades are asking for something you do not wish to do.

    1. Patrick you are correct. In establishing this blog I never sought to be a rabble-rouser, and regret being regarded as such. Still, the old adage, Information without action is wasted, and action without information is fanaticism, has continuing relevance. My intent in opening a dialogue on Mr. Halbig’s recent activities was not to “attack” him, as he has elsewhere suggested. There are clearly others who have voiced their criticisms here, and many of the critiques are warranted, at least in my view.

      Also, I tend to agree that lengthy comments are worthwhile if they are in the spirit of genuinely thoughtful exchange–something that cannot be easily accomplished via “tweets” or the equivalent.

      1. Glad to know it.

        Of course, your creation of this forum is in itself “action,” and your ongoing activity, writing updates, adding additional topics to the mix, is in fact very strenuous action. In case your critics haven’t thought of that.

        When Martin King marched on Selma, he was “acting.” But when he was in jail, writing a letter, I contend, his action in doing that was far more powerful.

        We each can be most effective in our own ways. It annoys me when people demand that other people, whom they have not met, prove their worthiness by acting as they themselves think proper. As I said before, who do they think they are?

        If this forum did not exist, we would all be very much poorer for it. Who else is doing it?

        Additionally, if you did not “act” so strenuously in maintaining the high quality of the conversation, by keeping out the trolls, the best among us would have long since left.

        For people to demand that you prove yourself is laughable. MHB is proof enough.

    2. Jacques Ellul, in his works on mass propaganda, writes at length on how “intellectuals” are most prone to propaganda, mostly because they do not think that they are. Most academics — being intellectuals (and asleep) — are therefore also highly susceptible to propaganda.

      Ellul’s writings can be found in .pdf form on the web. Among the many interesting observations he makes, is that any technologic society — such as ours, obviously — must use extensive propaganda to function and grow.

      1. Yes, but he does (did; dead) not look favorably on that. He was an observer. If I remember the book properly. Certainly, I remember The Betrayal of the West very well, and he sure didn’t like it.

        Certainly, it is a great shame that our supposedly “best and brightest” are remote from intellectual honesty. (It’s my opinion that the two Steves, Jobs and Wazniak, were “bester and brightester” than any of the academic fools who have driven this country into the ground.) Sure, they are prone to Ellul’s “propaganda.” Why did James Tracy’s college not immediately circle the wagons around him, when he merely asked questions about the strange media treatment of an emotionally charged story? He is, after all, a tenured professor of media analysis. Why?

        I advise everyone to read Ellul’s The Betrayal of the West (or, for a summary and update, my own book How the West Was Lost, he shamelessly promotes himself). Propaganda is less easy to read (if I remember properly)–but well worth the effort.

        1. Patrick- Personally from my point of view, you do not have to continue to defend James Tracy in post after post on every article posted by him.
          First of all, and I might be wrong but have not seen it, no one is questioning Mr. Tracy’s credibility or stance on these issues. If they are, they are not understanding -Information Vs. Opinion, but it’s still up to him to reply or not.
          You keep saying, ‘I dont speak for you’ but continue to do so. Perhaps begin to speak for yourself, and not what you think others are saying about someone else. That is theirs to deal with.
          This blog is some of the most respectful on the net as to these issues.
          Thats a Tribute to who Mr Tracy is, as himself. He really doesn’t need your defense. But it would be interesting, your take on these matters, from your own heart and mind. Respectfully.

  6. For the record, a major Capstone event is planned soon. It is based on the 1964 9.2 Alaska earthquake, which occurred on Good Friday.

    1. Yes Sandy. I live in one of the cities this drill is taking place in. April 1-3 here. I believe the whole thing lasts a month, and in at least five locations. Funny, I didn’t know it was coming until two days ago, and previous to that I noticed some extra military activity in the form of Chinooks, and Ospreys. Also interesting is our Army Guard facility was mothballed recently and a whole new larger facility opened. Our regional airport has always been used as a stop for fighter jets, but things are getting creepy.

        1. BillFred,
          I have been too sick to leave the house all week. The event was a simulated crash on I-70 between a gasoline tanker and a Nuke convoy. Some heavy rotor craft over the house again(not normal until recently) yesterday( I live right next to I-70 and close to airport). Here is a statement from a local a few weeks back. This is what I mean by creepy:

          “The value of this exercise will truly shine when we have a FEMA qualified incident in Mesa County,” Andy Martsolf, Mesa County Emergency Manager, said. “This scenario helps us practice continuity for future preparedness.”

          Yay! when do we get our FEMA qualified event?!?

          This statement reminds me of Governor Malloy in CT at the press conference where he told us he had been briefed on an event just like Sandy Hook a few days prior.

    2. Find this very peculiar. An FBI source sends out an alert that a recruit scheduled to start 4/7 has told friends he plans on doing a Ft Hood style attack and they are looking for him as reported on 4/1, there are no pictures.

      On 4/2, there is a Ft Hood shooting by a different man who served 4 months in Iraq in a non-combat position and was being treated for mental health issues with psychotic drugs.

  7. It’s good to remember that all the journalists and professors cited above on James list are being well paid for their bad performances and the size of their salaries means they don’t care what they say. If they had any integrity, they would quit. Here’s the wiki definition of how conspiracies went downhill –

    “Acquired derogatory meaning

    Originally a neutral term, since the mid-1960s it has acquired a somewhat derogatory meaning, implying a paranoid tendency to see the influence of some malign covert agency in events.The term is often used to automatically dismiss claims that the critic deems ridiculous, misconceived, paranoid, unfounded, outlandish, or irrational. A conspiracy theory that is proven to be correct, such as the notion that United States President Richard Nixon and his aides conspired to cover up Watergate, is usually referred to as something else, such as investigative journalism or historical analysis. Despite conspiracy theorists often being dismissed as a “fringe” group, polling suggests that people from a wide variety of economic and cultural backgrounds continue to believe in certain conspiracy theories.”

    So if the conspiracy is proven correct, it becomes historical truth.

    1. And being “proven correct” of course means a given account’s confirmation by those with certain institutional authority–in most instances government, journalism, and/or academe.

  8. It has proven that the murder of MLK,Jr., was a conspiracy in 1999; yet, the ‘official’ narrative still cites James Earl Ray.

    I say, don’t allow the whores who have proven themselves complicit in the crimes of the scumbags, time and yet time again, to hold any sway whatsoever over what you know as the TRUTH.

  9. One thing that struck me after watching the video was that Cass Sunstein was subtly practicing cognitive infiltration in that very moment. He smirked and laughed while being questioned and then denied any knowledge of the words that he had written. In the end he allowed “security” to intervene. Leaving the questioner looking like the “crazy person” to casual observers who may have little to no knowledge of what was written. It doesn’t seem that different then calling a person a “conspiracy theorist and/or laughing at them for asking questions that need to be asked. Cognitive infiltration in action.

  10. There is a very simple way to turn this around on an individual basis, if you have taken the time to be familiar with a broad range of fact-based reports that run counter to the party line.

    Go after the person who used that term. Aggressively but calmly call them out on it, preferably in front of others. I have observed that just using the term often paralyzes people; they seem incapable of counterattack.

    Perhaps it is easier for those of us who took some debate or similar class and are used to it. But believe me, most of the time you get about three questions into it and they start sweating. You don’t have to be Clarence Darrow. It requires familiarity with hard evidence and the ability to succinctly recall it, clear thinking…and a killer instinct to dismantle them for all to see. I mean really clean their clock in front of mama.

    The reason the term is such an effective ploy is because so few seem to take the trouble to prepare for it, or to go on the attack when it comes.

    You will be watched and judged by those watching. Your ability and passion in presenting counterarguments to the usually weak and illogical positions you often hear will make an impression. Others will question. Eventually, the gargantuan superstructure of corruption and lies will collapse…and you will have helped it.

    Go forth and conquer.

    1. When in doubt- Well, Wearechange is well up on the facts, and mostly they just get removed from the audience. A Classic example though, was an audience member with Bill Clinton on a 911 Inside job question, where he said ‘ How Dare You! ” several times. Like ‘ I did not have sex with That Woman’. They just run, every time. You can be as prepared as you like, they always run, and the idea is to make You look crazy, and it works, because most people are not informed enough.

  11. The purpose of the “media” is to sell the agenda. Just as we see these news readers becoming “celebrities” and gaining a “following”. In the same way that sports teams gain a fan base, the shows are structured to provide a highly managed, controlled competition to keep their viewer’s interest.

    Basically they are hyping the propaganda and establishing the “limits” of “acceptable” discussion. Namely that there are only two “parties” and the depth and breadth of allowable political discourse resides within.

    The term “conspiracy theorist” is designed to make the recipients “outliers”. Through shame and ridicule the hope is that their victims won’t risk being ostracized and labeled as an outsider.

    Whether they use haughty distain or amused grimaces to characterize anyone who refuses to play by their rules, the certain hope is that all of their efforts further establishes their credentials as arbiters of allowable public discourse.

    When this fails they ratchet it up a notch. That’s where the Sunsteins come into play. Beyond that we have the uniformed thugs. It should not be lost on anyone here that freedom of expression is not in high regard at the moment.

    For those of us who couldn’t care less about what the “kool kidz” think, there’s always the Stasi. They are always ready to deliver a little “touch up”, or worse. It’s all a Delphi project. Manufacturing consensus.

    The sad part is that when we’re all gone our children won’t even be aware of free speech. They will come to accept their roles as “obedient global citizens” and look to their “betters” to instruct them on what thoughts are allowable.

    1. lophatt – that’s the problem, isn’t it – a generational one. If the message is corrupted between even partners to the same marriage or between parent and child – well, then, they have gained ground and truth has lost

      Such thoughts have a tendency to depress one. I would not give in to them. If you personally cannot convince someone, time may sift out the facts from the falsehood. In a generation or two, it might be possible to look back and see that something did not happen as they said it did. Other nationalities begin to tell the story more objectively. I think the moon landings are in for their moment soon enough – not the proof of photoshopping or anything like that, but simply the technical infeasibility at that time and place, which will come to light quite naturally when China attempts to put a man on the moon. It won’t be necessary to provide evidence of past deceit, lack of signs of a 1969 landing, photo analysis of the pictures, only that it is very hard to do even with present day technology in order to have a safe return (let alone several). With time, a propaganda event will become less important (even though echoes of the Cold War have returned). Secret files, all that stuff – far less important to bring forward than the brute, dumb fact of its having been as impossible as E. A. Poe’s Great Balloon Hoax in the 19th century, a feat accomplished in the same basic way by Lindbergh in 1928 – with an airplane rather than a balloon. Even if Poe’s false newspaper account had been believed for decades, eventually it would have been superseded, although it is possible to imagine it as a false postscript to Lindbergh’s triumph, with a little American jingoism thrown in for the rubes.

      1. Sorry – it also appears there was a balloon Atlantic crossing before Lindbergh, but in early 20th century. I must look this up.

    2. From lophatt: “[…]The sad part is that when we’re all gone our children won’t even be aware of free speech. They will come to accept their roles as “obedient global citizens” and look to their “betters” to instruct them on what thoughts are allowable.”

      We are subjected to religious and nationalistic programming from birth; that is my assertion and I wonder if it would be considered proven fact or another conspiracy theory. Around the age of eleven (’62) I developed a fierce resistance to the pledge of allegiance and the lord’s prayer – exercises we were required to perform at the beginning of each school day – and one day simply refused to participate. Long story short…Big Stink!

      Rote repetition of the same message day in and day out cannot be construed as education, yet there it was.

      Not having children, I haven’t paid any attention to our educational system for years other than reading here and there about how far we are falling behind other countries in that area. Today I read about Common Core in our schools.

      Then I clicked a link to what is purportedly a screen shot of “the answer key for a questionable homework assignment from Common Core for 3rd grade grammar” containing sentences like “government officials’ commands must be obeyed by all.”

      For real?

  12. Fox news caught me by surprise a few weeks back, was never able to find the written reports, but the announcers said on multiple occasions, the conspiracy theorists are going to have a field day with these clearly photo-shopped images of the Iranians who used the stolen passports.

    The Malaysian government later explained it was just a photo copying error, but guess your word counting machine will not find these references since they apparently never made it to print.

    Could not help but think, from the gitgo, all those who doubt the credibility of the keystone cops searching oceans far and wide for a missing airline, are just crazy.

    Royles Royce, the owner of that engine, knows exactly where it went down or was parked. They routinely notify pilots of all issues, such as the oil pressure on engine #1 is something to watch…

    What else was going on in the world that they did not want us to pay attention to? Amazingly, CNN, who was dumping in the ratings, saw a bump in viewership as they covered this 24/7.

    1. Wow Kathy, that is some freakishly bad photoshopping! Matching legs and feet? Sure, no one will notice the horizontal line cutting this guy in two, lol.

      The figure on the right, is extremely out-of-focus, but the v-neckline, floral embellishment to the right shoulder,slender arms, and front hip hold of some type of satchel or books, appears to be a female body.

      Funny, after all the recent cooked up events, I’m not even curious.

      1. Believe that means we are getting wiser. Life is too short to dwell in all the minutia that they are scattering from one big ocean to another.

  13. Thank you, Dr. Tracy, that was well written and educational. It’s all about Hearts and Minds isn’t it. Lots of excellent research here, And the commentators on your blog are most wonderful. I always learn something here.Thanks again.

  14. There is no question in my mind that cognitive infiltration is practiced by many powerful groups and individuals who would control the narrative of their particular viewpoint.

    I would like to point out that the metric of counting the number of times a certain term appears in a written or televised account has limited value, on the basis that the account can engage in multiple repetitions with the clear purpose of gaming the results of analysis based mostly on counting systems.

    Note that “limited value” is not the same thing at all to “no value”, which would be the 140 character analysis of a cognitive infiltrator. It’s also true that constant repetition can sway careless minds, which is one of the reasons that politicians and other opinion makers repeat simple phrases over and over.

    Do not ask the metric of counting terms to do more than it can do.

    1. The research overview did not “count the number of times a certain term appears in a written or televised account,” but rather the overall incidence the term is used in individual stories/transcripts. This was pointed out in the discussion, as were the potential drawbacks of such an approach. The purpose of such an inquiry is to detect patterns of the label’s usage in varying venues over a fixed time.

      1. I want to ask you, but you may also treat this as a bad April Fool’s joke and simply pass, whether you are familiar with MIT’s Media Lab and its role in the narrative about the Boston Marathon Bombing.

  15. I went through the comments of the article on the link and noted something confusing about the order of the comments. I know the normal order. When you press reply on some comment your answer is indented and inserted after previous answers to that particular comment. When you dont press reply but simply make a comment its not indented and is put at the end.
    But there seems to be anomalies in the link below, making it confusing. Sometimes it works for a series of comments, but not always.
    One way to deal with it if this mechanism is unreliable is to state clearly to whom the comment applies but in addition a serial number on each comment would help making it easier to make clear references say like so: #257 Mona Lisa , Yo stop giggling!
    I dont know if the problem I described has a simple explanation, maybe I’m paranoid but I was thinking is there some kind of hacking going on.

    1. Peter, have noticed the problem of which you speak. I have come to the conclusion that perhaps when the replies get overloaded on one
      comment, and the following ones move farther to the right–run out of space, so to speak–the “reply” button cuts out which requires you to indeed make a decision:

      Drop down to the comments’ block or identify to whom you are responding.

      Just an observation; am not a computer expert. However, it is a Word Press (is that the ‘server’?) problem and we must deal with it.


    2. Peter
      Believe I have also noticed, occasionally a overly rude or outlandish comment is deleted by the administrator and the ‘orphaned’ replies fall to the bottom. We try not to feed the trolls, but sometimes they really get on your nerves and yes addressing them by name helps the reader understand that ms/mr pia has finally gone too far!

  16. I get absolutely sick to death of being labelled a ‘conspiracy theorist’.
    Sometimes natural tragedies and other terrible events do happen and as such we have to take them at face value. What took place happened as it did so we move on.
    The problem arises when it becomes blatantly obvious that ‘events’ don’t quite transpire in the way that they were first reported in the mindlines. Not a problem if you possess even the slightest bit of awareness, but a nuisance when we try to explain the anomalies to others – which leads to the branding that we have to endure.
    The term itself is out of date, manipulative, dangerous and dumbed down.
    The noise that the herd are hearing, but can’t quite put their finger on is the alarm clock ringing in their minds. It’s getting louder and more persistent but they still don’t wake up. The sleep is too deep and the dream is all to real to them.
    Will they ever awaken from their slumber, or will they sleepwalk unconsciously into into who knows what? What will it take?
    Humanity still has a choice, though the mainstream masses are unable to make that choice, because it was made for them and they willingly accepted it.

    1. You nailed the frustration makky. I agree we still have a choice. I think people are turning away from the mainstream to either ignore it all, or get alternative sourced information. That seems to be the trend.

    2. Makky, well, of course it presents a “choice”. You are to “believe” or be a “conspiracy theorist”. It is presented in such a way as to say “our job is to fill your head with mush. Your job is the believe”.

      As time goes on we increasingly are presented with either/or choices. Of course the purpose of this is to destroy the notion that people are free to think whatever they like. Instead of thinking, they are supposed to “believe” one of the “choices”.

      This naturally involves believing ALL elements of the “choice”. Questioning = bad, belief = good. A disturbing trend I notice among us “conspiracy theorists” is this all or nothing mentality when analyzing events. I see it over and over again. It is this or that, nothing else.

      I notice that they “blend” these events now. It is not as easy to label some as totally fabricated. Some are, of course, but others begin life with an actual event and then get spun into a propaganda piece.

      What may become more important than trying to dissect an event may be looking at what they do with the information. At one point it was easy to spot the hoaxes as they always arrived “fully formed”, complete with journalistic production in the can. Lately they seem to be getting better at letting their story seem to “develop” (almost naturally) over time.

      With regard to the airplane story, it is certainly true that they are lying. That much is beyond doubt. The who, what, why and where is still up in the air (no pun intended). There are lots of plausible guesses out there. Right now that’s all they are, guesses.

      Outside of being a huge distraction at the moment, I haven’t seen much to convince me one way or another as to the purpose of this event. I’ve read a couple that have potential.

      1. Yes, absolutely! Right on the mark, the blending or pushing propaganda during a real event or tragedy is very evident now. Even in natural events, there is the Orwellian double-speak, “resiliency, OSO strong….for example.

  17. I am interested that Cass Sunstein has released his book ‘Conspiracy Theories and other dangerous ideas’ just in time for the mysterious disappearance of the Malaysian airliner. What is the take away meaning of this missing aircraft. That in spite of our need for closure, there are times that we can never know the truth of what happened? That to a sober mind, there are some events which may never be fully explained? Impossible though it seems, I think that we will never know what happened to this plane.
    But I think that this is the whole point. The airliner had to have been visible to the radar at Diego Garcia, and most likely landed there, with the Chinese citizens to be relocated to the country of their choice. But the mystery of the lost airplane still serves as a metaphor for all those questions which’ will never be answered’, like the question of who killed JFK, or what happened on 911, or at Sandy Hook, or at the Boston Bombing etc.. Healthy minds must learn to accept not knowing. Just in time for Cass Sunstein’s book!

    1. Or is it a stretch to ask if the plane ever existed at all? If you say that, it saves almost as much thought as believing everything the media says about it and trying to catch them in an inconsistency.

      There is one pivot point for me that makes me believe it is a diversion, wag the dog, or even the long runway to a fake terror event: that is the involvement of a CNN reporter with the co-pilot in a story that made no sense when it was filmed two weeks before the disappearance of the aircraft, and then it made all the sense in the world and was used to construct a character who let strange people (even Richard Quest) into his cockpit.

      Once I grasped that this was important, because of the way Anderson Cooper changed the subject after Quest gave the recent date (Quest must imagine Americans are even stupider than Brits), I stuck with it as a very important clue, hiding in plain sight.

      Forgive me: I repeat myself here, I know, but perhaps it bears repeating: the flight radar tracker website which shows all planes in the world in the air at any given time (and you can follow a loved one on his or her journey with it) can be blocked out to show only the activity on certain continents, and you realize how very busy Asia is. You will see the sheer beehive of planes, the swarms of them, and then you can ask yourself about a dull little 777 with a future co-pilot of MH370 apparently training in it, the strange Mr. Quest at his very elbow (something which must have required rock steady nerves on the part of young Hamid):

      “Of all the flight decks in all the world, why did he walk into that one?”

      Well, for the same reason Ingrid Bergman walks into Rick’s in “Casablanca” — because that is what moves the plot. It puts the characters together. It’s a drama, and CNN is there to tell it 24/7, with the criminally compromised Richard Quest at the helm, flashing his dentures and mangling his vowels, but very much the story-teller that you cannot stop watching, as his stooge Anderson Cooper feeds him dialogue. A beautiful friendship, I must say.

      1. Musings, of course MH 370 is pure theatre. The whole scenario is taking the realms of deniable plausibility to a whole new level – globally.
        Some of us Brits aren’t quite so dumb though and we’ve had our own share of amateur dramatics in London – twice.
        Some of us are totally with you on Sandy Hook, Boston and all the others. Your comments about living in the area in the aftermath of the ‘bombing’ really touched me as they have given us an understanding of what is like to experience and live through such fraudulent activity at first hand. I know it must not be nice.

        Most here in the ‘United Kingdom’, though will quite happily wave their little plastic Union Jacks at the monarchy and Jimmy Saville’s mate Prince Charlie. Uncle Jimmy used to spend time at Balmoral, received a Knighthood and also got a visit from Charlie at his Glencoe residence by Loch Ness which was supposedly owned by Alaister Crowley.

        Sarah Bajc’s interviews on the ‘lost’ plane have also turned out to be fairly revealing.

        1. Hi. Sorry about dismissing Brits as a credulous lot since I only meant it as a jab at Quest himself. I think we lost a lot of credibility with you all when Bush Jr. was running the show here. It’s always a show, isn’t it? I suppose the Jimmy Saville expose was quite unnerving, since people tend to believe in all these media creations many of whom turn out to be quite unsavory when you look backstage.

          I just forced myself to watch a local program, Greater Boston (on public broadcasting) with Emily Rooney (daughter of 60 Minutes Andy Rooney). Her show was about all the unity that supposedly came out of Boston when we were both victimized as a city (by “bombings”) and learned who the bad guys were (so we could all join in our condemnation of them). Her language was almost like waving the bloody shirt and lynching the alleged perps. I cannot imagine she really believes the story. But she understands that her role is to promote it.

          On her panel was a black man, an editor, who reminded us how murders in the black neighborhood are never treated as such a tragedy, even though in many cases they are of innocent bystanders and children too young to know how to get away from gang violence. Of course this means he is going along with the story – that three people were killed in the BMB. He too has to go along, whatever he may think. He’s a token, sounding a little like an old-fashioned black power advocate from the late 60’s, but more polite. He reinforces the story that it happened at all, getting all irate about not receiving equal time for actual deaths in his own community. The really radical thing for him to have said would have been to shout out: “You white folks don’t even have killings – you have to make them up, while five miles away, we can tell you what REAL blood on the sidewalk looks like. Come over, I’ll give you a lesson and next time you won’t be falling for that red paint sh!%.” But no, he didn’t fancy going the way of some of those truth-tellers.

          She brought on another reporter, an Irish American columnist for the Globe, and he attempted to justify the excessive coverage of the bombing and the bare-bones coverage of the death of some honor student in a crossfire, in the newspaper he writes for. His response was just a hair more civil than the joshing between two men in a club locker room (as I imagine!) over the hopeless, hapless black people of our city. I know how low the conversation can get.

          As I watched these characters sitting together and yet completely skewed in their outlooks (Emily being the most sinister), I felt that Boston seemed to be trying to revert to its stultifyingly parochial past, locked into ethnic neighborhoods, while at the same time attempting to influence the whole world through a spectacle like the BMB.

        2. I dont think you’re so wrong about the brits but I think its more about conditioning. The british are conditioned more than americans to enjoy their participation as smooth coggs in the machinery. To see no evil when something seems to be approved by establishment. Something partcularly present when going through finer schools perhaps?
          I dont mind being put on my place after this little outburst of prejudice…

      2. The phantom plane never took off and the whole thing appears to be a CNN-CIA orchestrated psycho-drama like Sandy Hook. Israel closed its embassies and consulates 2 days prior to the event, which may indicate that a related false flag is/was in the making. The CNN Quest interview, the Iranian patsies, bad Chinese actors, and a clone of the plane in Israel suggest a 9/11 type operation. I am waiting for CNN to announce that passports of the Iranian “hijackers” have been recovered from the Indian Ocean. But this may not be complete fiasco yet, The Malaysian government has been under fire (especially from the Chinese actors) for handling of this fictional hijacking, which may pave way to a government change. Trying to kill two birds with one stone.

        1. Peter, being a Brit..i know quite a few people who have been conditioned.. and they would say.. ” they wouldn’t do that, pull the wool over our eyes”…stiff upper lip and all that, but I feel the younger generation can see through it all.. the pomp and the wigs and the baa baa talk of parliament, who would believe any of what these guys say.?. The media is run by big business – controlled info.. we hear what they want us to hear.. and some people believe what they read and see.. but more and more are coming to see all is not what it seems.. Savile broke the mould with some, so something came out of it… I wondered years ago how people could be attracted by him.. now we know…BBC hiding a lot of what went on..bits and bobs of people being prosecuted… but not the ring behind it.. I wonder why? maybe it goes too far up the chain.. My Father used to say in the 1950’s, One rule for the rich and one for the poor.. and it hasn’t changed in 50 yrs.. We were all shocked after the Boston episode, watching on tv people shouting ‘ USA’.. ‘USA’, when they captured one of the boys… I call them boys, because that’s what they were.. totally a drama of high proportion. obviously media controlled….even my husband seeing the smoke after the run said.. ‘ ‘that looks very strange..”… and what came after was a force for ”control”.. blatantly performed for the world to see,and shameless.
          The missing plane- questions,- questions,- questions, but I suspect something is staring us in the face.. but we are not seeing it..maybe musings has touched on it.. why did Quest pick that plane two weeks earlier?.. a story in the making..

        2. Just to clarify the impression I may have created that Quest was in the particular plane that went missing – it is only that he flew with the co-pilot Hamid who was later assigned to the missing plane. So far as I know, Quest did not sit with the older pilot.

          I have since had another thought about what seemed a very expensive encounter (CNN assigning him to Malaysia for a kind of dull story).

          After watching the Jon Stewart comic send-up of the excessive coverage of the story of MH370 by CNN, I took note of another simulator story which has been played for comic effect where there is yet another reporter in a very sophisticated flight simulator of the 777 with a trained pilot.

          It then occurred to me that it would have been easy for Quest and some actor playing “Hamid” to have created exactly the same impression they did with a mere simulator as well. There is no clue as to where they are, except in what appears to be a cockpit, with a view of a take-off and landing that could be a film of a film – who could tell the difference? Since none of us ever met “Hamid” in our lives, they could show anyone.

          I do not doubt that the encounter was scripted, but now I am equally unsure whether it took place in a real cockpit at all. And if it took place in a simulator of a 777, it could be the same one they are showing and playing with in Toronto, with pilot Mitch Casado and reporter Martin Savidge. How would anyone be able to tell the difference?

          In all this attempt to understand where Quest really was, it is easy to lose sight of the extremely unlikely possibility that his role in all of this was simply random chance. Details are sometimes not our friends. May “the Devil’s in the details” means just that – the more you see, the less you see. Hence, 24/7 coverage.

        3. Precisely! “Who would believe what any of these guys say”. I know I wouldn’t. There are no words for these vermin.

          Some days I find myself going back and wondering why we have such a hard time accepting the fact that evil exists. It is a constant, it is timeless. Our ancestors wrote tomes about it.

          Somehow we became inured of the idea that we were so technologically superior that evil no longer impinged upon our lives. This is rather ironic when you consider that, largely because of the technology, we are more aware of it than ever before.

          There was a time in the not too distant past when it took time to discover what the louts had been up to. By then, all too often, it was too late to do much about it.

          Now we have instant information. I suppose it provides the illusion that if we hurry we can actually do something to change the inevitable. Somehow, it is more difficult to watch them at work than it is to read about what they did years later.

          We should not forget that this sort of activity has been going on a very long time. It just might be possible that one of the reasons for all the hi-tech wizardry is a defensive mechanism to help them mask their activities from us eaters.

  18. “Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas” , well you bet they are more exceedingly dangerous to the PTB these days, since it appears less likely they can get away with the total bamboozling of the public with the technology we have now.
    One thing about the Stats. I think the concurrence of mention of ‘conspiracy theory’ ( which I see as back-peddling when they are caught) seems to me to be symbiotic not only of the newscast itself, but it’s audience. For Ex: most of us out here that researched Sandy Hook and Boston came to the conclusions that CNN was the biggest offender, followed by MSNBC, RT, then on down the line, and since Fox is not a gun control advocate, we get little from them. Our worst Liar in Chief is Anderson Cooper, followed by Rachel Maddow and Piers Morgan, but Sean Hannity did not follow, it was Rt’s Abigail Martin that took the heat for claiming to be alternative, but doing the opposite, especially on that pos fake , Carlos Arredondo.
    What I am saying is, the correlation of conspiracy theorists calling out newscasters and stories for being Fake, also seems to now to correlate to them putting up ‘conspiracy theory’ back peddle stories. Oh about how insane it is, that ‘these people ‘ are saying these horrible things, how Dare they!
    Hahaha, whattf Ever. Dying ratings tell the story.
    There is one hilarious caveat, conspiracy theorists tune in to watch their lies and post them on y/t, so the little remaining audience they have is composed of a bunch of us. What irony.

    1. Fox News may not be as complicit on some recent ones, but I feel it was right in there slugging on 9/11 (when Bush was their king). They’ve definitely been on the landslide story, complete with crisis actor interviews (sure looks like it anyway).

      None of them is a reliable source of actual news, so there are no refuges on the tv where you are safe in settling in and trusting what you hear. Was it always this bad? No, I doubt that they dared what they do now. I think they had a reasonable suspicion of being caught and humiliated for making things up (even if given a script by someone else).

  19. Latest Deanna Spingola news:

    All links and my review of Spingola’s Sunday 3/30 show with guests KJohnson and ‘Wade’:

    Deanna did the first half hour on Sanshilli’s show on Monday.

    Sanshilli’s was the first Deanna interview I’ve heard who’s challenged her on her complete blind faith & reliance on gov’s “official reports” & “news” stories, in supporting her proclaimed S.Hoax beliefs. Deanna gave some quite absurd “responses”, lol. 2nd half hour there, Patrick Henningsen comes on, and they talk a bit of S.Hoax too.

    Apr 1, a deathly-ill sounding Deanna’s AFP show had S.Hoax-friendly guest “Wade” for more unchallenged re-bunking of the S.Hoax anomalies:

    Also if you missed it:

    ^ beginning about 1hr 23mins, Fetcho & Kaminski talk SHoax and the laughably untenable position taken by DS, KJ, MCP & MG; with Fetcho even saying he scratched his head to the point of bleeding, confounded by DS’s position on SHoax. They note the oddity of these 4 prominent alt-media voices, so vehemently trying to prop up gov’s official SHoax story…

    Latest updates at “Spingola Jumps Shark, Supports’s Official Sandy Hook Story” begin here:

    1. Deanna Spingola in her interview with Pete Santilli states that the “Everyone must check in” sign was set up on Tuesday following 12/14/12. That same day everything was back normal, school had resumed and we can see school busses pass by while Gene Rosen is being interviewed. This is her exact statement, listened twice to make sure. So much for Spingola’s credibility.

      1. I’m sure they didn’t open the school after the shooting…like Spingola;said.. Is that what you are saying Anne B.. Oh and thanks Musings -about the cockpit..

  20. History books are filled with conspiracies and so is criminal law. But of course, fraudsters and schemers from the communist cesspool pretend that conspiracies exist only in their opponents’ minds. Stalin locked up such “conspiracy theorists” (also known as the enemies of the people) in psychiatric hospitals and prisons. The current US regime and its propaganda outlets are using the exact same method: If you do not believe our lies, you must be mad! Please kindly remove pictures of pathological liars and freaks Cooper and Maddow from this article, they are nauseating.

    1. The cesspool, well the Russians would never have chosen it by their own free will, or so I believe. It was forced on them by angloamerican oil-men/big finance in order to keep the competitor down, the oil reserves saved underground for later looting and the oil-prices high for those angloamericans. Leaders like Stalin really tried to shake the angloamerican blood suckers off of the control of the country, but then the british (probably) managed to have him murdered. Stalin and Beria were among the few leaders in the world who really tried to do something about the freemasons. So I dont think they were foreign to see REAL conspiracy.
      But I’m not saying there wasnt abuse of power and I dont deny that psychiatry was used like you imply.
      Only be aware about the permanent infiltration of the Sovjet Union by people who wanted it subdued.
      After Stalin they didnt dare try to disobey the foreign financiers but accepted dollar economy and thus lost the opportunity to compete effectively.

      1. Real or imagined infiltration of USSR by the west can never be used to rationalize Stalin’s heinous crimes against Russians and other nations. I don’t know where you get your information from, but Stalin could not compete effectively with the west because a government-run economy (communism) is the antithesis of a free market competition. I do not absolve the western powers of its mistakes and crimes – past and present – but to try rationalize Stalin’s crimes, such as starving to death close to 20 million people, as a reaction to masons or the Brits is plain stupid. Unfortunately, the only real infiltration that has now become more apparent than ever is the infiltration of the west by Soviet-style communists like members of the Obama regime.

        1. Stalin and his regime has never been given any objective treatment in any surviving western literature. Whatever your sources are they are likely to be pure propaganda. 20 million in starvation you say.
          In Ukraine the western figures are on average say 7million. In reality probably a few hundred thousand.
          Fraud, Famine and Fascism The Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to Harvard by Douglas Tottle


          And the reason was that the insanely brutal brittons refused to take payment in gold for their exports. They only accepted payment in grain in order to force Stalin to choose between slowing down the economy by not being able to pay for exports or alternatively to risk food shortage in the hope that he would be hated by the people. And the crops unfortunately turned out to be smaller than hoped.
          In this case economy wasnt just about material things it was about being able to maintain freedom knowing well that the angloamericans posed a deadly threat if they were weak. It was a race against time and they took a chance. However peoples correspondence from that period doesnt seem to corroborate any resemblance with the western propaganda.

          You know how much the angloamericans are lying today, honestly do you think it was any better back then??
          There were so many traitors inside the regime working for the enemy that the purges later in the thirties was about survival as a nation.
          Russian author Nikolay Starikov has one book in english translation Rouble nationalization the way to russias freedom gives some unique insight.

          Those traitors working for their western masters tried to provoke war and their western masters originally intended to use them to start revolutions in Germany and elsewhere so the angloamericans could use it as an excuse to extend the empire.

          No independent successful economic competitor was to be accepted. They had the same opinion of communists as you ie it can never be competitive. That was one part of the reason they backed the bolshevik revolution.

          There is however info from the west about the backing of the bolsheviks and of the transfer of technology during the whole period. And that part is so strange that Gary Allen felt that the americans must have had a very reliable control over them, such as through some of the sovjets own organizations. Allen knew about the transfer of equipment for making their nuclear missiles find the way more accurately.
          He couldnt believe that the US would be suicidal so they must have had insider control.
          From the russian side there is clear evidence about the influence exerted by the middlemen for foreign bankers inside the regime.
          Anthony Sutton called the Sovjet union a technological colony.
          He said most of the technology came from the west. This doesnt mean the Sovjets were incompetent. The angloamericans wanted to handicap them so they didnt become too independent.

          If you want to get to know the true face of the brittons see eg Jim MacGregor and Gerry Docherty’s hidden history. Then you understand why Carroll Quigley blew the whistle about those devils, although of course Quigley was more courteous than I.

          And although it isnt central for the argument, Its funny how some people think the freemasons dont matter. As if an organization having members in high places in virtually every society wouldnt be one hell of an instrument to use by the mighty to undermine and conspire everywhere.

      1. Good point about Bernays. What is fascinating is that he was a close relation (via serial incest) of another Austrian charlatan – Sigmund Freud.

  21. This is just darn good investigative reporting; make no mistake about it. Congrats Dr. Tracy on yet another excellent chapter to your work.

  22. ————————————-

    In an earlier posted comment, I mistook Cass Sunstein for John P. Holdren–Obama’s ‘science czar.’ I suppose the reason for confusing these two men was due to their shared sociopathic tendencies. Sunstein wants to stiffle intelligent inquiry; Holdren in his co-authored book, “Eco Science” goes a step farther; he wants to the stiffle human element on earth. So they work in tandem toward an agenda.

    That agenda is called ‘globalization’ of all resources–both human and natural. They see our species as an impediment to exercising
    domain over the planet. But we all here have come to that realization long ago. The hoaxes are merely a symptom of their fetid minds. And I must say, they need new writers. The plots are feeble at best and ridiculous in execution; in literary circles, that is called ‘cliche.’

    Who is John P. Holdren? A link to his manifesto below. ( And we still question the theories of Karl Marx…go figure.)

    1. Holdren is on leave from the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government Harvard, where he is the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy (she married John Kerry when Sen. Heinz died in a plane crash). Some of his early statements were made when he was quite young and second banana to Paul Ehrlich who was his mentor and trying to alert the world to overpopulation (I can remember some horrendous projections of it in National Geographic – which never came true).

      Of course the Chinese implemented the one child policy in a way which would have endeared them to Ehrlich and Holdren – including with forced abortions. Makes you wonder if the decision was something the Chinese came up with on their own, or whether they were persuaded by some of these think tank types, or worse, bankers.

      Interesting to consider that when the Supreme Court was considering a later case and its validity under Roe v. Wade, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor asked about whether, if the state could exercise the power to forbid abortion, it could also exercise the power to force it. I thought that was a great question. She seemed to be saying that principles can cut two ways.

      Oh yes, and where have we read about the Belfer Center lately? References to the 2008 article about the Boston Marathon conceived as a mass casualty event, which also was published in the Boston Globe. Who knew the Globe published scholarly articles on its op-ed page, five years before they would go live.

      So perhaps we can identify a place where social policy is directed and thrust upon us in a kind of patronizing, extra-legal, unelected way? Oh, but the choice of people like Holdren did come about through the election of those who appointed him. And events which begin as drills come to be lied about for dark policy reasons to which we are not privy, because national security is so broad it covers everything.

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