Obama nominee: infiltrate "conspiracy" groups, take organs without consent, censor internet, ban guns for individuals
Apparently, this guy was even on the shortlist to be nominated to the Supreme Court.
In a 2008 academic paper, President Barack Obama’s appointee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs advocated “cognitive infiltration” (What a nice word) of groups that advocate “conspiracy theories” like the ones surrounding 9/11.
Cass Sunstein, a Harvard law professor, co-wrote an academic article entitled “Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures,” in which he argued that the government should stealthily infiltrate groups that pose alternative theories on historical events via “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine” those groups. (Have fun infiltrating enough groups to spy on 36% of Americans)
As head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Sunstein is in charge of “overseeing policies relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs,” according to the White House Web site.
Sunstein’s article, published in the Journal of Political Philosphy in 2008 and recently uncovered by blogger Marc Estrin, states that “our primary claim is that conspiracy theories typically stem not from irrationality or mental illness of any kind but from a ‘crippled epistemology,’ in the form of a sharply limited number of (relevant) informational sources.”
By “crippled epistemology” Sunstein means that people who believe in conspiracy theories have a limited number of sources of information that they trust (Ha, imagine that). Therefore, Sunstein argued in the article, it would not work to simply refute the conspiracy theories in public — the very sources that conspiracy theorists believe would have to be infiltrated.
On taking out people's organs without consent.
Cass Sunstein, President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), has advocated a policy under which the government would “presume” someone has consented to having his or her organs removed for transplantation into someone else when they die unless that person has explicitly indicated that his or her organs should not be taken.
Under such a policy, hospitals would harvest organs from people who never gave permission for this to be done.
[...]“The major obstacle to increasing [organ] donations is the need to get the consent of surviving family members,” said Sunstein and Thaler.
This problem could be remedied if governments changed the laws for organ donation, they said. Currently, unless a patient has explicitly chosen to be an organ donor, either on his driver’s license or with a donor card, the doctors assume that the person did not want to donate and therefore do not harvest his organs. Thaler and Sunstein called this “explicit consent.”
On internet censorship.
Sunstein's book is a blueprint for online censorship as he wants to hold blogs and web hosting services accountable for the remarks of commenters on websites while altering libel laws to make it easier to sue for spreading "rumors."
Smith notes that bloggers and others would be forced to remove such criticism unless they could be "proven". The litigation expense would be daunting; the time necessary to defend a posting (or an article) would work to the benefit of the public figure being criticized since the delay would probably allow the figure to win an election before the truth "won out". The mere threat of retaliatory actions would be enough to dissuade many commentators from daring to issue a word of criticism or skepticism.
And how does he feel about the 2nd Ammendment?