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David Ray Griffin v. Cass Sunstein

By Stephen Lendman - Posted on 30 September 2010

David Ray Griffin v. Cass Sunstein - by Stephen Lendman

Griffin is Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Theology, Emeritus, Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA where he's still co-director of the Center for Process Studies.

He's authored and/or edited three dozen books, mainly in his field, but notably and heroically on 9/11 truth, Osama bin Laden, and his newest titled, "Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory." More on it below.

Cass Sunstein is a well-known University of Chicago and Harvard Law School Professor before being appointed Obama's Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, in charge of "overseeing policies relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs," among other duties.

Distinguished Law Professor, activist, and international law and human rights expert Francis Boyle said this about both law schools and the University of Chicago's political science department, steeped in neo-con Straussianism:

"Do not send your children to the University of Chicago where they will grow up to become warmongers like (Paul) Wolfowitz and (John) Ashcroft. The University of Chicago is an intellectual and moral cesspool," referring to its political science department and law school. Its extremist economics department is much the same, indoctrinating students with predatory capitalist ideology.

Boyle's "Harvard's Gitmo Kangaroo Law School: The School for Torturers" article advised:

"Do not send your children or students to Harvard Law School where they will grow up to become racist war criminals! Harvard Law School is a Neo-Con cesspool."

"Harvard is to Law School as Torture is to Law."

Commenting on Sunstein when he was mentioned as a possible Supreme Court nominee, Boyle, calling him a "Neo-Con," said he'd be a "lethal" choice.

Professor Emeritus James Fetzer, Founder, Scholars for 9/11 Truth, took sharp issue with Sunstein's attempt to discredit its proponents, saying his "Conspiracy Theories" report (discussed below) is a "corrosive approach" and "massive blunder" to believe they're "obviously false!" In fact, "No one can know which theories are true or false without investigating them." That a Harvard Law professor would suggest it "is simply stunning," yet unsurprising given the source.

Sunstein is a notorious neo-con, abhorrent of First Amendment and other democratic freedoms, believing the rule of law is best served by subverting it.

Glen Greenwald's "The Horrible Prospect of Supreme Court Justice Cass Sunstein" article said:

"From the beginning of the War on Terror, Cass Sunstein turned himself into the most reliable Democratic cheerleader for Bush/Cheney radicalism and their assault on the Constitution and the rule of law." He also supports military commissions, illegal surveillance, and "mock(ed) the notion that Bush had committed crimes while in office."

One of his former students added:

"I think (he's) an extremely ambitious man (who'd) run over his grandmother for a seat on the Supreme Court."

Apparently over the country as well, trashing it and the public interest for power, clearly the aim of his "Cognitive Infiltration" proposal.

In January 2008, he and Adrian Vermeule published a controversial report titled, "Conspiracy Theories," they define as "an attempt to explain an event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role."

"Many millions of people hold (them); they believe that powerful people have worked together in order to withhold the truth about some important practice or some terrible event."

Citing 9/11 truth, the reason for their report, they say believers "may create serious risks, including risks of violence....rais(ing) significant challenges for policy and law....The existence of both domestic and foreign conspiracy theories, we suggest, is no trivial matter, posing real risks to the government's antiterrorism policies, whatever the latter may be."

His solution - debunk and undermine them by "cognitive infiltration of extremist groups," his modern-day version of COINTELPRO, the FBI's infamous 1960s and 1970s counterintelligence program to neutralize political dissidents, including the American Indian Movement, Black Panthers, and communists, as well as anti-war, human and civil rights activists, among others.

Rebranded, COINTELPRO flourishes more than ever against new targets, including Muslims and others in the "war on terror;" environmental and animal rights activists, and supporters of democratic freedoms over despotism and imperial wars, among others.

Sunstein wants conspiracy advocates neutralized, using "independent groups to supply rebuttals, and by cognitive infiltration designed to break up the crippled epistemology of conspiracy-minded groups and informationally isolated social networks." In other words, destroy them by conspiring against them from within, using illegal and extralegal tactics.

"Government agents (and their allies) might enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine percolating conspiracy theories by raising doubts about their factual premises, causal logic or implications for political action."

In June 2009, Sunstein and Vermeule updated their scheme in The Journal of Political Philosophy titled, "Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures." The cause - psychological conditions. The cure - elimination by cognitive infiltration, including with "independent experts with information and perhaps prod(ding) from behind the scenes....(but not) too close (to avoid being) self-defeating" if exposed.

In fact, what Sunstein proposed is illegal under statutes prohibiting internal government propaganda, aimed at the public, though legal technicalities have never before been a deterrent.

Nonetheless, according to a March 21, 2005 Congressional Research Service report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) defines "publicity or propaganda" as either official self-aggrandizing, partisan activity, or "covert propaganda," the latter government-originated, disguised to appear otherwise, including by enlisted journalists, corrupting their profession by accepting cash to cooperate, a practice used by the Bush and earlier administrations as well as the CIA and perhaps FBI.

Griffin's New Book - A Powerful Truth Antidote

His new book is an invaluable analysis of Sunstein's proposal to undermine democratic freedoms, airbrush truth, impose censorship, and criminalize individuals who challenge official versions of patent lies, specifically 9/11, the seminal one of our time.

Critics agree, including Professor Peter Phillips, President of the Media Freedom Foundation and Project Censored saying:

Griffin's book should be "entitled 'the Courage of David Ray Griffin' (for) His continuing efforts to speak truth to power regarding issues" as vital as 9/11. Project Censored strongly recommends it at a time our democratic freedoms are at risk, including dissent, what Howard Zinn called "the highest form of patriotism."

Professor Emeritus Peter Dale Scott called Griffin our "preeminent (9/11) expert....his research....consistently careful, thorough, and objective." His new book provides "a patient, point-by-point and much needed refutation" of Sunstein's dangerous proposal. "He relentlessly shows how (he's) guilty of the very mentality he warns against: close-mindedness and refusal to debate. Those who seek to prevent 2010 from becoming 1984" must read this invaluable book.

Professor Emeritus Richard Falk said Griffin wrote "a devastating critique, (using) his formidable philosophical and theological skills."

Cyril H. Wecht, past President, American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American College of Legal Medicine called the book "brilliantly written....a scholarly dissection of (Sunstein's) sociopolitical proposal....," one essential to expose and oppose.

Discussing Sunstein's 10 theses, Griffin deconstructs their flaws, contradictions, and dangers to a free society. He also explains the legitimacy of 9/11 truth, and Sunstein's inability to refute it by disinformation, lies, suppression of facts, stifling debate, and attacking proponents.

What Obama did on September 23, calling Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's 9/11 truth comments to UN General Assembly:

"hateful (and) inexcusable, particularly for him to make the statement here in Manhattan, just a little north of Ground Zero, where families lost their loved ones, people of all faiths, all ethnicities who see this as the seminal tragedy of this generation...."

Others attacked the comments as "abhorrent and delusional," no matter that millions around the world share them (including Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth), calling the event a crime, debunking the official account as deceitful, untrue, and destructive to democratic freedoms.

Ahmadinejad, in fact, suggested "three (possible) viewpoints:"

1. "That a very powerful and complex terrorist group" successfully circumvented US intelligence, Washington's position.

2. "That some segments within the US government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order to save the Zionist regime."

He said most Americans "as well as other nations and politicians agree with this view." European polls suggest it. US ones vary and have largely ducked the issue by not asking precise questions.

3. "It was carried out by a terrorist group but the American government supported and took advantage of the situation."

Ahmadinejad "proposed that the United Nations set up an independent fact-finding group...." He also criticized Washington for using the attack as a pretext for war against Iraq and Afghanistan. These views are verboten in the West, those expressing them pilloried as unpatriotic or worse.

Griffin is one, the preeminent 9/11 truth proponent and consummate scholar. Using his masterful skills, he demolishes Sunstein's arguments, ones based on disinformation, deceit, and bad analysis, not up to the standards of an accomplished liar, and no match for Griffin.

Thomas Fletcher summed it up saying:

Griffin's book "is a lucid and compelling exposure of the contempt held by the official (9/11 myth) defenders for dissenters who have seen through their Big Lie." They also fear truth that reveals their ugly agenda. "These officials expect that no one will be able to penetrate the murk of Sunstein's latest defense of the pretext for the US wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq, now covertly expanding" globally. Truth is a powerful disinfectant, what government conspiracists most fear.

Some Final Comments

On September 12, Professor Denis Rancourt titled an article, "Why we love to hate conspiracy theories: 911 Truth as threat to the intelligentsia," saying:

Many on the left share guilt with the right by "vehemently attack(ing) and ridicul(ing) 'conspiracy theories' such as the present 911 Truth movement."

Why, he asks? "Is that not the modus operandi of power? Is it so difficult to believe that (the 911 attack) was not orchestrated by....religious zealot(s)? Or that those who measurably benefitted" had everything to gain? "What ever happened to 'war is a racket' and 'follow the money?' "

At issue is that "power owns the media, (and) more importantly....our jobs" and lives in other respects. Even more important than truth is how it's used - to "rebel, actually rebel and individually take back power over (our) lives." Instead, too many of "the intelligentsia" protect themselves and "the system" by being "a visceral opponent of 911 order for power to save face."

Let others fight the good fight they may feel, but unless enough do, putting a lot on the line, wrong will prevail over right and squeeze harder for even more of what they want.

Perhaps the next "9/11" will be a mushroom-shaped cloud or other comparable state-sponsored "disaster," again blamed on foreign adversaries as a pretext for more war. Why not, given America's permanent war agenda, a topic addressed in an earlier article, accessed through the following link:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Very good article, btw!

Re. Professor James Fetzer:

It's good to see that he doesn't only say nonsensical things with respect to 9/11, and I hope that there are more; however, he is among some, if not many, "9/11 truthers" who warrants that people be very wary. He has said and perhaps still supports things that are provably untrue and some other things that are blatantly nonsensical. And he's said and/or done some things that evidently are even worse than only being untrue and nonsensical. is one of Jim Hoffman's excellent resource websites on 9/11 and people can learn of other good websites, including one or two more of his own, through his Recommended Websites or Links page and articles at any of his 9/11-related websites.

"ERROR: 'Nuclear Devices Were Used to Destroy the Twin Towers'"


Promoters of the mini-nuke idea have suggested that such weapons were needed to produce the thorough pulverization of concrete observed at Ground Zero, and other aspects of the destruction.

Dr. Steven E. Jones has refuted this idea repeatedly, including in the following short essay.

title: Testing the Hypothesis that Mini-Nukes Were Used on the WTC Towers
author: Steven E. Jones

# Several months ago, I tested WTC dust samples and a solidified metal sample for radioactivity using a Geiger counter: I found ZERO RADIOACTIVITY. ...
# I also tested some sand gathered from a nuclear-bomb test site decades ago for comparison – and the Geiger counter showed hundreds of counts per minute. ...
# Note that concrete pulverization is often achieved in controlled demolitions with chemical explosives, e.g., the Seattle Kingdome demolition.
# Mini-nukes are not needed for pulverization nor for “top-down” demolition as observed for the WTC Towers.


Despite the scientific refutation of the mini-nukes idea by Jones and others using simple scientific arguments, James Fetzer continued to promote the idea on the website -- a site that purports to represent the group of scholars that includes co-founder Steven Jones.

Another debunking of the nuclear attack "theory" is provided by a Finnish author:


page last modified: 2010-04-08

"Dissembling Websites"



Here we review just three websites -- a list which just scratches the surface of the broad array of websites that appear to be part of a campaign to discredit the case for official complicity in the attack:



The website illustrates, perhaps better than any website, how disinformation both exploits and neutralizes some of the best work of 9/11 Truth researchers and activists. The website presents several potent assets:

* The scholarly and meticulous work of members Steven Jones and David Griffin.
* The impressive list of Scholars For 9/11 Truth members, including such distinguished contributors to the 9/11 Truth cause as Kevin Ryan, Don Paul, Andreas Von Buelow, Robert M. Bowman, Kevin Barrett, Ian Woods, and Victoria Ashley.
* The concept of a group of scholars bringing together their expertise to challenge the government's account -- a first in the history of the 9/11 Truth Movement.

However, through the energetic spokespersonship of James Fetzer, exploits these assets to increase its profile and thereby promote the Pentagon no-jetliner theory featured on its "Resources" page.

The association of the junk science typified by the's resources page with the competent work of Jones and Griffin featured on the home page functions both to advance the former, and discredit the latter through association. In an essay examining, Jim Hoffman concludes that the website may sabotage the work of Steven Jones.


title: Muddling the Evidence
authors: Jim Hoffman


page last modified: 2010-05-10

People can also learn more important information about Prof. James Fetzer's balony theories in the following article; and I don't mean his theory about how junk balony people eat in sandwiches came to be invented.

"Flying Elephant or Routine Takeoff?
Evidence for Involvement of a Third Jet in the WTC Attacks
Evaporates Under Scrutiny"

by Jim Hoffman, Version 1.1, March 22nd, 2007

It's interesting that President Ahmadinejad and the Iranian government have publicly stated their theory on 9/11, because Iran rather supports the war on Afghanistan, more-or-less being thankful that the U.S. and NATO have overthrown the Taliban. If the Iranian leadership had their way, then every Taliban will be killed in this war of aggression; from what I've gathered so far about the Iranian leadership hating the Taliban anyway.

Re. Prof. Griffin:

Some people have strongly criticized his activism, claiming that he's taking credit for everything he says. That's something that I find to be doubtful. While he does seem to not name people who are to be credited for facts that he states in public presentations or talks, or not always anyway, he surely must do so in his books. F.e., regarding the Twin Towers having been destroyed using controlled demolition techniques, which certainly would not have been the work of Osama bin Laden or Al Qaeda, especially with the very high security in the towers or whole WTC, except during some days in the Twin Towers and which was rather never supposed to happen; he surely credits Professor Steven Jones as well as some other scientists, who include a Danish university chemistry professor named Niels Harrit, and Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth,

What he's done is to have very or else thoroughly considered the findings of people like the above ones and then compiled the information or findings, after which he's presented the information in public talks and his books and articles. And he surely includes his own analyses.

We don't need to be scientists, architects, et cetera:

Dr Griffin is not a scientific expert, but we don't need to be one in order to be able to realize that these scientists, architects, engineers, and common sense analysts, those of the competent and honest 9/11 Truth researchers and students, that is, are either wholly or else extremely right. We don't need really more than sound common sense and the willingness to consider the darkest possible causes for the 9/11 attacks in order to be able to realize that the "official story" on 9/11 is extremely bogus and to then be able to realize that this bogusness [had] to be [intentional]. It could not be otherwise.

I haven't read any of his books, but have viewed videos for some of his lengthy talks on 9/11, as well as having read some of his articles posted at, where people can find these copies through the Authors' Index. These have been very good or excellent, even if there might have been one, two or three things I didn't believe in what he said and/or wrote. Note, however, that I haven't read any of his articles for some years now, and I'm not sure if there was anything he said or wrote that I disagreed with. It's possible that I came across nothing of the like.

But I did view a video for a full one-hour talk that he gave at some location in Ontario, Canada last spring or earlier in March and this was very good. Again, I'm not sure if I agreed with absolutely everything he said, but it was an excellent talk even if I did disagree with one or two things.

He's definitely been a leading 9/11 Truth representative in terms of the research and analyses other people performed, as well as his own analyses. He's been very good or excellent at compiling all of this information.

More on bogus "official story":

There are too many gross falsehoods in the "official story" for these to be accidental or mere mistakes. They had to have been intentionally fabricated. We need to be [realistic]! One or two mistakes might very well be due to some negligence, but there are [many]. Some of them are falsehoods by omission, but others are really grotesque insults upon our intelligence.

It's not by accident that [many] critically important questions that have been well defined for many years remain unanswered by official Washington, which has always and clearly had much to hide.

The "Jersey Girls":

The "Jersey Girls", four women who lost their husbands in the attacks on the WTC Towers on 9/11, opposed the war on Afghanistan from the start; having been keenly alert and having said that they could not support this war because many important questions about 9/11 were unanswered and would need to be answered before these women could ever consider supporting this war.

They were absolutely right then and have been right ever since. The organization called "9/11 Families" adopted the questions, or at least the very considerable number of members of this organization who have been part of the "9/11 Truth" movement for at least several years have anyway.

Washington has definitely known about the questions from when these four women first publicly stated their united position and not one Washington official has answered any of the questions; or, if any officials have publicly done so, then it must surely have been with lies, for the questions, many or most of them anyway, remain unanswered and still need to be answered. They're critically important!

These women did not take the position that 9/11 was an inside job, but they definitely knew that many critically important questions about the 9/11 attacks were unanswered and needed to be answered, so they demanded answers.

We are not likely to get the answers from leadership pols, and there's a "good" reason for this. The leadership was not innocent in the 9/11 attacks.

Re. organizations for 9/11 Truth:

There are several, or more, in the U.S., and there are more worldwide, in many countries; including Canada and Europe.

The U.S. has, which includes architects and engineers from other countries, among other websites linked in the following web page of Jim Hoffman's website.

With some Web searches people will also be able to find Politicians, CIA or U.S. Intelligence, U.S. Military, Firefighters, and so on, for organizations for 9/11 Truth. There is also Pilots for 9/11 Truth, but I recommend searching Jim Hoffman's website, the above one, about this organization, before using it. There are some aspects of it that are important to know about, preferably first. There's good there, but there're also negative or bad aspects.

That's true of many 9/11-related websites, and people can get a very good idea of things to be wary of through his website, the above one. (He has more than one on 9/11 and people can learn of both through the above one.) He also provides important reviews of 9/11 so-called documentaries to be warned about and wary of. And he has excellent arguments that back up his critiques.

Note: Jim Hoffman has written up one or more short critical reviews of Loose Change and some other 9/11 "truth" documentaries, but wherein referring to Loose Change (LC, for short), his criticisms were for LC 1 and 2, while clearly saying that 2 was better than 1. I'm not sure if he's written anything about LC 3 and Final Cut, which I think is aka 4, yet, but like 2 was better than 1, 3 was definitely better than 2, and Final Cut would be the best; based on what I've read about these LC editions. And if recalling correctly, LC 3 is the edition or the first edition that Professor David Ray Griffin provided consultation for, so 3 definitely is better than 2.

Even if all of the documentaries he clearly did correctly criticize have newer editions he'd approve of, what Jim Hoffman wrote about the initial versions provides information that can help readers to learn of "theories" to be very wary of. Reading these reviews can also help people to wake up to the fact that the "9/11 Truth" movement definitely hasn't been and isn't uniform in terms of beliefs and claims. The leading good researchers and analysts also wrote up one or more articles to debunk and expose "theories" that definitely did look like plants from the imperialist elites trying to discredit the whole and real "9/11 Truth" movement, which nevertheless doesn't consist of only one uniform set of theories and beliefs.

There are still nonsensical beliefs or theories among people who really believe to be and wish to be of "9/11 Truth", but all they need to do is to learn from websites like Jim Hoffman's and others he recommends in order to be able to get a very good idea of theories to definitely not believe and the reasons for these theories being bogus.

Variabilities in beliefs and theories vary in any large group of people. We can surely find examples in any large organization. We do in religious groups, churches, et cetera; politics; law; anti-war and peace activists; and so on. So there's nothing surprising about beliefs varying among people of the overall and worldwide "9/11 Truth" movement. Some people actually proved that they were among "9/11 Truthers" while denying this and UK MP George Galloway is one example. He was doggedly against admitting that he was a "9/11 Truther" and this had to have been because of bogus theories from some "truthers", I suppose anyway. A tv interviewer finally got him to admit that he's a "9/11 Truther" through getting him to grasp on to the fact that beliefs vary among "9/11 Truthers".

As previously said, further above, the "Jersey Girls" didn't adopt the "inside job" theory, but they have always been true "9/11 Truthers" from before the war on Afghanistan was launched. It's clearly illustrated in what I said about them further above.

Many of us, however, do believe "inside job" is, minimally, highly likely and there're very strong, solid reasons for this belief. A lot of Americans might still be ignorant of the reasons, but they are very strong. And there really is no evidence for 9/11 not having been an "inside job".

One serious reason which might not be as strong as others, but which nevertheless is certainly serious and which perhaps hasn't been mentioned by others yet is that no real evidence of 9/11 not having been an inside job has yet been brought forward.

Heh, "bring it on", if such evidence exists and its whereabouts are known.

"Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory
Review of David Ray Griffin's Book"

by Elizabeth Woodworth, Sept. 30th, 2010

One funny thing she points out about Dr Griffin's book is that he "examines Sunstein’s one-sided definition of “conspiracy theory” as pointing only towards powerful people as suspects. He analyses Sunstein’s purpose in choosing this limited definition – and then turns the tables by citing one of Sunstein’s own referenced authors, Charles Pigden, who wrote that “it is a common ploy on the part of politicians to dismiss critical allegations by describing them as conspiracy theories.”".

And she clearly recommends Dr Griffin's book.

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