From David Ray Griffin:
It’s good to have the Huffington Post’s policy on “conspiracy theories” in black and white.
So now someone needs to inform them that they cannot accept any posts that state, or imply, that al-Qaeda was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, for that is a conspiracy theory.
That has been acknowledged by Cass Sunstein, the Chicago-and-then-Harvard professor of law who was tapped by President Obama to direct OIRA, the executive branch’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (which is under the Office of Management and Budget).
In a 2009 article entitled “Conspiracy Theories,” he and his Harvard co-author wrote:
“The theory that Al-Qaeda was responsible for 9/11 is . . . a . . . conspiracy theory.”
(The complete statement is: “The theory that Al-Qaeda was responsible for 9/11 is thus a justified and true conspiracy theory.”) See Cass R. Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule, “Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures,” Journal of Political Philosophy, 17/2 (June 2009), 202-27, at 208.
In pointing out that there are true as well as false conspiracy theories, Sunstein refers readers to philosopher Charles Pigden, who gave this definition: “”[A] conspiracy theory is simply a theory that posits a conspiracy – a secret plan on the part of some group to influence events by partly secret means.” (Charles Pigden, “Conspiracy Theories and the Conventional Wisdom,” Episteme, 4 (2007), 219-32, Sect. 2.)
So, in telling us that the 9/11 attacks resulted from a conspiracy between Osama bin Laden and 19 members of his al-Qaeda organization, Bush and Cheney clearly articulated a conspiracy theory. They and Sunstein, of course, call it a true theory; but all conspiracy theorists claim that their theories are true.
In any case, the HP did not say that it accepted true conspiracy theories and excluded only false ones (and to do this, they would need to do an enormous amount of research). They said they avoid “lending credibility to any conspiracy theories.”
This means, for example, that they cannot allow President Obama say that we are in Afghanistan to “get the people who attacked us on 9/11,” because he’s thereby endorsing the Bush-Cheney conspiracy theory about 9/11.
What the HP policy amounts to is excluding any allegations that our own government has orchestrated any conspiracy. So they would have had to exclude all allegations about Tonkin Gulf being a hoax; ditto about the Watergate break in; ditto for WMD in Iraq (recall “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy”?); ditto for the claim that Saddam helped al-Qaeda with the 9/11 attacks; and so on.
One would hope that the people at HP, being reasonable people, will see that they need to rethink their policy. Reading Charles Pigden’s essay would be an excellent place to start.
David Ray Griffin
Santa Barbara, CA
16 Comments to “HuffPost’s absurd stand on “conspiracy theories” (David Ray Griffin)”
“While We Were Sleeping”
Orwell Rolls In His Grave, featuring MCM – Buy the DVD
About News From Underground
News From Underground is a daily e-news service run by Mark Crispin Miller, a Professor of Culture and Communication at NYU. It is based on his belief that academics, like reporters, have a civic obligation to help keep the people well-informed, so that American democracy might finally work.
If you'd like to receive updates delivered to your inbox daily, sign up for News From Underground Alerts:
Help News From Underground!
Message from Mark: "I am a one-man operation, although assisted greatly by some volunteers, and, now and then, by people paid by others for one-time projects. There is no shortage of skilled, dedicated folks out there who want to help me. There is, however, nothing I can pay them with, unless you decide you can contribute something."
Please donate via the PayPal button above or via PayPal by email to: email@example.com
- “Conspiracy theorists” are more rational than those who smear them, study finds
- GOP must “elect” more governors, so they can (continue to) control “voting mechanisms,” Chris Christie says
- ISIS, Inc. (They’re making out like bandits…)
- NYPD arrests a musician for singing, although he broke no law (VIDEO)
- Greece is losing its free press to fascist violence
- Zack Taylor on Spooks in academia
- susan on Manhattan’s latest giant eyesore will have three floors just for “maid’s rooms”
- blaze doric on Calling Russia “the aggressor,” US is the one that wants a war
- Jonelle on Did Romney cheat as well as lie?
- Die Woche im Rückspiegel betrachtet | Lars Schall on Forbidden Bookshelf
- Don't buy these products from Koch Industries!
- Forbidden Bookshelf
- Where the money goes at NYU
- GOP site offers plan to infiltrate left/liberal sites with trolls posing as "progressives"
- "Conspiracy theorists" are more rational than those who smear them, study finds
- Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
- Talking Points Memo
- William Betz
- Words of Power
- Veterans for Common Sense
- Barry Gordon
- Thom Hartmann
- Mainstream Baptist
- The Existentialist Cowboy
- Cody Lyon
- Writers Voice
- Suburban Guerrilla
- Early America
- Richard Charnin
- The Ostroy Report
- Online Journal
- t r u t h o u t
- The Rude Pudit
Need a bigger font size?
- Your link could be here too, contact us for pricing details.