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"Birds of a Feather: Subverting the Constitution at Harvard Law" by Jim Fetzer

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January 22, 2010

Birds of a Feather: Subverting the Constitution at Harvard Law

By Jim Fetzer


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 Theories" 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" -- including the most historic, like 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, http://assassinationresearch,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 about Assassinations",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 http://jamesfetzer.blogspot.com. In relation to "Conspiracy Theories", however, Paul Craig Roberts has observed that 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."

Joseph Lawler 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.

Author's Website: www.d.umn.edu/~jfetzer/

Author's Bio: McKnight Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota, Duluth; Founder, Scholars for 9/11 Truth; Editor, Assassination Research.

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Comment by James H. Fetzer on January 23, 2010 at 10:15pm
The "Beginning of the End" of the First Amendment?

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This message was sent to me for posting by Doug Horne, INSIDE THE ARRB,
Vols. I-V (2009):

Message:

I find the position taken by Cass Sunstein in his 2008 paper on the danger he perceives
from those who espouse conspiracy theories not only reprehensible, but quite alarming.

His proposals that the U.S. government should not only infiltrate groups that allege
conspiracies as the explanations for various historical events, but actively disrupt
their communications---and that the U.S. government should also counter their claims
through the use of third-party surrogates---are particularly alarming, when they come
from a Harvard liberal who is described as a friend of Barack Obama. When one considers
that he was subsequently appointed as the Head of Information in President Obama's
administration, the positions he expressed in his 2008 paper are downright alarming.

I would have expected such attitudes from the previous administration---from Dick Cheney
or George W. Bush---but to hear these proposals made by a liberal law scholar, who is now
a member of the Obama administration, is downright alarming.

What Mr. Sunstein is advocating is a return to the situation prevalent in the United
States in the late 1960s and early 1970s, in which Army intelligence had penetrated
virtually every anti-war group that opposed the conflict in Vietnam. Civil liberties
meant nothing to the establishment during the Vietnam conflict, and apparently, if Mr.
Sunstein has his way, we will soon return to that climate of active government
surveillance and infiltration. (Perhaps we are already there now, and this is the first
open acknowledgment of it.)

If the courses of action proposed by Mr. Sunstein in his 29-page paper were to be
implemented, it would constitute a crushing blow to First Amendment rights, and could
usher in the beginning of a police state in the nation that for years has prided itself
as "the world's leading democracy."

I will speak here only of the JFK assassination, with which I am familiar, as a former
government official, historian, and author. Sunstein apparently has the arrogance to
assume that any and all conspiracy allegations about the JFK assassination that posit any
government involvement (in either the murder or in a coverup)are incorrect; from this
breathtaking and unproven assumption, he proceeds to advocate disruption and suppression
of any such views. I know, from my former role as a government official on the staff of
the ARRB (from 1995-1998), that there is overwhelming evidence of a government-directed
medical coverup in the death of JFK, and of wholesale destruction of autopsy photographs,
autopsy x-rays, early versions of the autopsy report, and biological materials associated
with the autopsy. Furthermore, dishonest autopsy photographs were created; skull x-rays
were altered; the contents of the autopsy report changed over time as different versions
were produced; and the brain photographs in the National Archives cannot be photographs
of President Kennedy's brain---they are fraudulent, substitute images of someone else's
brain.

I would like to pose a question for Mr. Sunstein: if a medical coverup of JFK's
assassination were proven---and I believe I have done so in my 2009 book "Inside the
Assassination Records Review Board"---do you believe those facts should be made public,
or do you believe those conclusions should be supressed and/or discredited in the
interests of "institutional integrity?"

What is at stake here really is trust in the government, but not in the way that Mr.
Sunstein sees it. If, for example, the Zapruder film of President Kennedy's assassination
was altered immediately following his assassination to hide certain facts about the
shooting (i.e., evidence of shots from the front), does Mr. Sunstein (and the
administration he serves) believe that evidence related to the film's alteration (while
in the hands of the government) should be released 46 years later, or suppressed? This is
no mere hypothetical question. My FOIA request for CIA records pertaining to the Zapruder
film's apparent alteration remains unanswered---indeed, unacknowledged---over four months
after I submitted it in September of 2009. President Obama came into office promising to
show a new respect the Freedom of Information Act and all FOIA requests. Now that I have
learned about Mr. Sunstein's attitude about those who allege conspiracies, I am wondering
anew why I have not yet received a response to my FOIA request.

Sunstein's 2008 article amounts to an assault on First Amendment rights, and in fact has
created a cloud over the White House. The mere fact that this man holds the position of
Chief of Information in the Executive Branch casts doubt upon the credibility of the U.S.
government, and threatens to make President Obama's professed respect for the FOIA
process ring hollow.

Cass Sunstein should resign immediately, and President Obama should publicly renounce the
positions taken in Sunstein's 2008 paper. I do not want to live in a United States of
America where the government infiltrates groups who criticize past government actions,
and uses third-party surrogates to attempt to discredit their views. President Kennedy
was not afraid of the free marketplace of ideas, and in 1962 said: "A nation that is
afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that
is afraid of its people." I hope that the Obama administration is not afraid of the
American people, or of our right to know, or of our ability to discern truth from
falsehood. Retaining Cass Sunstein in his current position sends the wrong message.

Cass Sunstein, I say: "RESIGN NOW."

Doug Horne
Former Chief Analyst for Military Records,
Assassination Records Review Board
Comment by James H. Fetzer on January 23, 2010 at 2:30pm
Yes--and it would be great if anyone here wanted to add a comment about the article right on OpEdNews. Thanks.
Comment by Thoth II on January 23, 2010 at 8:59am
The SBT must be false in light of the correct wounds. The wound to JFK's back was way down the back and it was probed by Humes and it had a dead end, it didn't traverse the body. And the wound to the throat was a small entrance wound. They have that Rydberg artist drawing in WC which is a total misrepresentation of these two wounds, he has the entrance up by the neck, and the bullet traversing , that is an outright lie.

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