Madison, WI (OpEdNews) --As someone who has promoted the investigation of political events that appear to have involved "pulling the wool" over the eyes of the public, I must say that I have never read a more corrosive approach toward the Constitution than "Conspiracy
by Cass R. Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule of the Harvard School of Law. The massive blunder at the core of their conception is to take for granted that virtually all "conspiracy theories" -- and certainly the most historic, such as JFK and 9/11 -- are obviously false! That is about as gratuitous a begging of the question as I have ever encountered -- and I taught logic, critical thinking, and scientific reasoning for 35 years. No one can know which theories are true or false without investigating them. That this is coming from faculty at Harvard Law is simply stunning.
Conspiracies only require two or more persons collaborating together to bring about an illegal end. An obvious point apparently escaped their attention, since the official account of 9/11 posits that 19 Islamic fundamentalists hijacked four commercial airliners and outfoxed the most sophisticated air defense system in the world under the control of a guy in a cave off in Afghanistan. So the official account of 9/11 posits a conspiracy! If we follow their advice, we cannot even discuss 9/11 -- the pivotal event that changed the world, according to "W" -- since, whether the official account is true or false (because more was going on behind the scenes), it involved a conspiracy, which shows the absurdity of their position.
As a student of conspiracy theories ("Thinking about "Conspiracy Theories': 9/11 and JFK", http://assassinationscience.com
, and http://911scholars.org
), the misconception at the heart of their position is to suppose that conspiracy theories-- virtually without exception -- are incapable of empirical investigation and hence beyond the scope of rational evaluation. This contention acquires a certain degree of plausibility by trading upon an equivocation between "theories" as mere rumors, guesses, or speculations and "theories" as empirically testable explanatory hypotheses. To appreciate the difference, consider the use of that term in relation to the atomic theory of matter, the theory of evolution, or the theory of relativity. Perhaps news of the existence of "scientific theories" hasn't made its way to Harvard Law!
They contend that conspiracy theories are "self-sealing" and products of (what they call) a "crippled epistemology". But while there may be some conspiracy theories that satisfy that description, it is certainly not true of all. My purpose in creating a JFK research group in 1992 was to take rumor and speculation out of the case and place its study on an objective and scientific foundation. Even Vincent Bugliosi, who has written a massive work, RECLAIMING HISTORY (2007) defending THE WARREN REPORT (1964), has described them as "the only exclusively scientific books ever published on the assassination", which he has exactly right, but I am still dismayed that he disregards
our objective and scientific findings, which contradict the "official account" of the assassination.
The members of this group included a world authority on the human brain who was also an expert on wound ballistics, a Ph.D. in physics who is also an M.D. and board-certified in radiation oncology, a physician who participated in the treatment of JFK at Parkland Hospital and, two days later, was responsible for the care of his alleged assassin, a legendary photo-analyst who testified before the HSCA during its reinvestigation of the case in 1977-78 and later advised Oliver Stone in the making of "JFK", and another Ph.D. in physics, this time with a specialization in electromagnetism. We have discovered that the autopsy X-rays had been altered, that someone else's brain had been substituted for that of JFK, and that the Zapruder film was extensively altered to mislead the American people.
Those who may not have time to read the books I have edited, ASSASSINATION SCIENCE (1998), MURDER IN DEALEY PLAZA (2000), and THE GREAT ZAPRUDER FILM HOAX (2003), might benefit from the overview presented in my chapter, "Dealey Plaza Revisited", which appears in JOHN F. KENNEDY: HISORY, MEMORY, LEGACY (2009), which can be downloaded here
. Our research has been corroborated by the five-volume study, INSIDE THE ARRB (2009), by Douglas Horne, who was the senior analysis for military affairs for the Assassination Records Review Board, which was created by an act of Congress with the authority to declassify documents, records, and studies held by the CIA, the FBI, the Secret Service, and other governmental entities, where its work has made an enormously important contribution of information about the assassination.
Insofar as THE WARREN REPORT (1964), THE HSCA FINAL REPORT (1979), and Gerald Posner, CASE CLOSED (1963), are all predicated upon the "magic bullet" theory -- of a single bullet entering the back of JFK's neck, traversing it without hitting any bony structures, and exiting at the throat to enter the back of Governor John Connally -- if that hypothesis is false, then, as Michael Baden, M.D., the chair of the medical panel for the HSCA has observed, there had to have been at least six shots from three different directions -- it may be even simpler to understand how we know the "magic bullet" theory is a fantasy.Try "Reasoning
,a paper I presented at Cambridge, which was published in an international peer-reviewed journal, if you want to see scientific reasoning in practice.
More studies of the assassination are found at Jamesfetzer.blogspot.com
. In relation to "Conspiracy Theories", however, Paul Craig Roberts has observed that the the rule of law
--- perhaps humanity's greatest achievement -- has been lost. Sunstein,who is now Obama's head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, even recommends "that the U.S. government create a cadre of covert agents to infiltrate anti-war groups and groups opposed to U.S. government policies in order to provoke them into actions or statements for which they can be discredited and even arrested", as Roberts observes. "That this proposal comes from a Harvard Law School professor demonstrates the collapse of respect for law among American law professors themselves, ranging from John Yoo at Berkeley, the advocate of torture, to Sunstein at Harvard, a totalitarian who advocates war on the First Amendment."
has observed the profound irony
of attacking conspiracy theories by proposing a conspiracy to defeat them! That Cass Sunstein is a member of the Obama administration in a regulatory capacity and has even been mentioned as a possible nominee for the Supreme Court reflects an astounding example of cognitive dissonance. Like other officials of the government, that would entail an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Given his position on the First Amendment, not only could he not swear such an oath without committing perjury but his role in subverting the principles upon which this country was founded make him one of those who qualifies as an enemy of the document he was swearing to uphold.
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McKnight Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota, Duluth; Founder, Scholars for 9/11 Truth; Editor, Assassination Research.
Source: OPED News.com
, Jan 22 2010
By: Jim Fetzer