Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory
David Ray Griffin

Former Chicago and Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein, who in 2009 was appointed by President Barack Obama to direct an important executive branch office, had in 2008 co-authored an article containing a plan for the government to prevent the spread of anti-government “conspiracy theories.” Arguing that such theories are believed only by groups suffering from “informational isolation,” he advocated the use of anonymous government agents to engage in “cognitive infiltration” of these groups in order to introduce “cognitive diversity,” with the aim of breaking them up.

Noting that Sunstein’s proposal has evoked condemnations from across the political spectrum-not least because it, being similar to the FBI’s COINTELPRO of the 1960s, would be illegal-David Ray Griffin focuses on the fact that Sunstein’s primary target is the conspiracy theory advocated by the 9/11 Truth Movement. Examining Sunstein’s charge that this theory is both “harmful” and “demonstrably false,” Griffin uses both satire and overwhelming evidence to show that this twofold charge applies instead to what Sunstein calls “the true conspiracy theory” about 9/11-namely, the “theory that Al-Qaeda was responsible for 9/11.”

David Ray Griffin is professor of philosophy of religion and theology, emeritus, at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California, where he remains a co-director of the Center for Process Studies. He is the author of over 30 books.

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14 Comments to “A great new book by David Ray Griffin”

  • I’ll fully concede that Sunstein’s plan was ridiculous. It proves that 9/11
    Rationalists–particularly those with access to power–can be almost as crazy as 9/11 Truthers. But was the plan actually put into action?

    David Ray Griffin has a right to gloat…about this and nothing else.
    The silliness of the Obamanistas doesn’t make Griffin’s 9/11 arguments any more valid.
    The book has a nice cover and I’m sure that’s the best part of it.

    Speaking of the cover–does Griffin now refer to his own work as “the 9/11 conspiracy theory” or did the publisher use the phrase without Griffin’s consultation? I thought Truthers resented being referred to as “conspiracy theorists.”

    Any scholar who embraces Griffin’s work has no credibility. I am disappointed again.

    John P. Garry III
    Los Angeles, CA

  • Me too, since you don’t deal with a single point in Griffin’s book, which you haven’t even read.

    At no point in it does he “gloat,” and there is nothing “silly” in his arguments—unless you’ll deign to point it out to us.

  • Allow me to be specific. I recently heard Griffin on KPFK’s “Counter Intelligence Digest” program (archived). Griffin explains how he first came to doubt the official story of 9/11: other Truthers claimed that World Trade Center 7 fell at “free-fall speed” for two seconds and this convinced him the official story must be a lie.

    Griffin doesn’t identify who measured the speed of the collapse or how they determined the speed. He doesn’t explain how this factoid contradicts anything specific in the “official story.” He assumes it without any further proof. This doesn’t even constitute a full argument.

    If the observed speed of the collapse indicates pre-planned explosives (what I assume Griffin’s larger argument is), then how fast should the building have fallen under different circumstances? If the buildings (including the Twin Towers) fell at the “wrong” speed then what was the “right” speed? No one ever says. The crucial part of this argument is always missing.

    Numerical claims of any sort must be made within some context or against some fixed, known standard. If you claim something happened “too quickly” you have to say what the “normal” speed is or your statement is speculative, unprovable and/or meaningless.

    I find most Truthers simply lack the ability to logically analyze an argument in depth. When I try to explain the above to them they stare at my like I was speaking a foreign language—which, in a sense, I am.

    The fact that a Truther could claim—as was claimed on this site—that no planes actually hit the Twin Towers, that it was all an illusion of some kind, indicates that Truthers’ powers of fabulation and self-deception are formidable. Who needs totalitarianism when people can brainwash themselves?

    9/11 Truth, like all conspiracy theories, doesn’t have to withstand deep analysis because it is essentially a literary and ideological discourse. Such discourses appeal to audiences because of their dramatic and political content, not their verifiability. Literary or ideological statements don’t need proof or depth, they merely need to stimulate emotion or resonate with already-held political beliefs.

    That’s why conspiracy theories often coincide with politics. Conservatives were really into the POW/MIA conspiracy theory (because it supported their belief in the rightness of the Vietnam War). Liberals who opposed the war (like myself, albeit from a safe distance) resisted this theory. Likewise, 9/11 Truth is overwhelmingly on the left—although some Tea Party conservatives (who dislike Bush almost as much as liberals do) have given it some credence.

    That the Twin Towers were destroyed by fire and structural damage caused by airplane impact is clear from the fact that the towers disintegrated at exactly the point where the planes hit them. The motion of buildings demolished by pre-planned explosives is very different.

    John P. Garry III
    Los Angeles, Ca

  • John, forgive me, but this is just a lot of smoke. If you were serious about rebutting Griffin’s evidence, you’d take the trouble to examine it. But all you know is what you heard him say once in an interview on KPFK. So are you faulting him because he didn’t _document_ his statement on the air?

    Now, Griffin also wrote a long, detailed and fully documented BOOK on the collapse of Building 7. If your purpose really were to offer up a serious critique—as opposed to using Griffin’s “archived” statement as another opportunity to jeer at “9/11 truthers”—you would read that book, and _then_ say what you think is dubious about its evidence. THAT would be a “specific” criticism.

    Here’s the URL for THE MYSTERIOUS COLLAPSE OF WORLD TRADE CENTER 7. Although I’m pretty sure that you won’t bother reading it, I’m confident that others would be interested in seeing what Griffin really has to say about that mystery:
    http://www.amazon.com/Mysterious-Collapse-World-Trade-Center/dp/1566567866/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1284754122&sr=8-1-fkmr2

  • Prof. Miller,

    I’ve heard Mr. Griffin say many unsupportable things on the radio over the years. He is consistently implausible and illogical. I have no confidence that his books are any better, despite your urgings to read them.

    I notice that you never bother to respond directly to my challenges to Truther claims (save one, the “no planes hit the towers” claim, which was too much even for you). You always waltz around them, criticizing my attitude or something else.

    I suspect that you don’t actually understand or believe Mr. Griffin’s claims, but support them for other reasons (presumably political). You actively criticize the critics of Griffin, which is not the same thing as defending Griffin’s actually arguments.

    John P. Garry III

  • The claim that no planes hit the towers is absurd. So is the claim that “the Jews were warned” before the attacks. And so are many other wild claims out there in the blogosphere.

    None of that makes any difference to the question as to whether Griffin’s work is sound or not. His work has to stand on its own merits; and it does. To lump it in with all the crackpot stuff out there is merely to provide yourself with frequent opportunities to jeer the whole inquiry.

    You can insult me all you want, but the fact is that you’re the one who’s doing the waltzing here. I’m waiting for you to come up with _any_ criticism of Griffin’s book on WTC 7—or any of his other books (which, believe me, I do understand, and do find wholly credible,
    unless you, or anyone else, can point out where he goes wrong).

  • Yes, the claim that no planes hit the towers is absurd. We agree on that. But so is the claim that the US Government (or anyone for that matter) would plant explosives in buildings AND fly hijacked airliners into them.

    The idea that any group of Americans could be persuaded by the government to dynamite the WTC–with not a single person exposing the plot or confessing afterwards–is beyond absurd.

    I lump Griffin’s work with “the crackpot stuff” because Griffin’s work is “crackpot stuff” as well. Griffin differs in style. He has a degree and his rhetoric may be more refined and technical-sounding than others.

    I’ve already pointed out where Griffin goes wrong. The distinction between what he says in speeches, on the radio, or in books is meaningless to me. I don’t have to read his books to perceive how wrong he is. Do you claim that his books are somehow better than his speeches?

    If you understand his theories, please explain briefly how the collapse speed of WTC 7 or the Twin Towers indicates the presence of explosives?

    John P. Garry III

  • This is getting a little absurd. Do your homework and stop bothering Prof. Miller. Watch Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth DVD “Blueprint for Truth” on You Tube. Read the essays in “9/11 and American Empire:Intellectuals Speak Out”, or “The Hidden History of 9/11” edited by Paul Zembeka, or if you are too lazy and in too much denial, watch “Loose Change 9/11: Final Cut” to get the basics. You know, almost 1,000 ground zero workers and residents have either died or have have cancer because the Bush administration forced Chrisine Todd Whitmen and the EPA to lie and say the air was non- toxic and safe to breath. This number of people could rise up to 50,000. What makes you think they wouldn’t kill 2,800 people in order carry out a pre-existing agenda that big oil amd military contractors have made TRILLIONS of dollars off with no end to their pig out in sight?

  • Also, let’s not forget expanding American Empire, reshaping global geopolitics drastically, controlling the bulk of this planets known oil and natural gas reserves, and crushing any and all criticism and dissent by turning America into an Orwellian surveilance society. If you now do something like question my patriotism or call me some other name, I lost relatives and friends at the WTC and fully expect to have future respitory problems as I live barely a mile from ground zero.

  • I am Ex US Army Engineer. I have worked with explosives. I also worked in construction. I have seen a Controlled Demolition of Buildings. When I saw the events unfold on 9/11 and watched those 3 buildings come down, there was and still is no doubt in my mind that explosives were used. Fire can not pulverize concrete in to dust, nor can fire cut the structural I-beams necessary to bring down a building the way those 3 buildings came down.

  • Mr. Kinores,

    Fire didn’t pulverize into concrete dust. The collapse of the buildings caused it. Fire doesn’t have to “cut” structural I-beams. Steel beams don’t have to melt for a structure to collapse–they only have to soften, which happens at a lower temperature than melting. If steel softens and bends, the structure loses its integrity and can collapse.

    You also forgot to mention–like most Truthers do–that the buildings did not collapse because of fire alone. The towers collapsed because of a combination of fire and structural damage caused by the plane impacts.

    I-beams can be “cut” by the mass of a flying jet plane–that’s how the holes in the exterior walls were created.

    Nothing in your background indicates a knowledge of actual engineering. “Worked in construction” can mean many different things, so I doubt you know anything about building collapses. When you “worked with explosives” did you demolish any skyscrapers? I didn’t think so.

    Mr. Schneidman,

    If you don’t contract respiratory problems in the future…will you be greatly disappointed?

  • John, no plane struck WTC 7.

    And please try not to be so snotty in your answers to the others here. Surely you can argue without jeering. (Can you?)

  • Prof. Miller,

    Thank you for that clarification. Now, if only Truthers had as good an airplane-memory about the Twin Towers–that would be a breakthrough.

    I can argue with Truthers with or without jeering, but the result is the same: non-comprehension.

    I have no patience for people who brag about victimizations they haven’t yet experienced.

    But I’ll adopt a nicer tone, out of respect to the author of “End of Story.”

    BTW, how did the 9/11 conference go?

    JPG

  • I somehow have a feeling that Dr. Miller doesn’t really want to answer that question or further engage with you in any way because you’re such a snotty, egotisticial asshole. All I’m hearing is a lot of denial, hubris, and you being so full of yourself that you can’t be bothered to read any of Dr. Steven Jones’s papers, Dr. David Ray Griffin’s book on WTC 7, or view any of the work of Richard Gage and A&E for 9/11 Truth.

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