One of the top 50 people who influence public and social discourse is a "9/11 Truther".
He is number 41 of the 50, which means that whatever he is doing or has done is getting traction.
Notice what a left leaning British magazine has to say about his efforts:
Conspiracy theories are everywhere, and they always have been. In recent years, one of the most pernicious global myths has been that the US government carried out, or at least colluded in, the 11 September 2001 attacks as a pretext for going to war. David Ray Griffin, a retired professor of religion, is the high priest of the "truther" movement. His books on the subject have lent a sheen of respectability that appeals to people at the highest levels of government - from Michael Meacher MP to Anthony "Van" Jones, who was recently forced to resign as Barack Obama's "green jobs" adviser after it emerged that he had signed a 9/11 truth petition in 2004.(The New Statesman). Some U.S. periodicals wonder why in the world the British press folks put him in the top 50, and attempt to explain why it could be a valid 41:
One of these choices, however, is beyond surprising - it is astounding.(Global Research). Cass R. Sunstein, one of the government's theorists about how to neutralize Dr. Griffin and others, points out in his theory that popularity of the movement will dictate when the government should intervene by:
I refer to the person in the 41st position: David Ray Griffin, a retired professor of philosophy of religion and theology who, in 2003, started writing and lecturing about 9/11, pointing out problems in the official account of the events of that day. By the time the New Statesman article appeared, he had published 8 books, 50 articles, and several DVDs. Because of both the quantity and quality of his work, he became widely regarded as the chief spokesperson of what came to be called “the 9/11 Truth Movement.” It was because of this role that the New Statesman included him in its list, calling him the “top truther” (the “conspiracy theorist” title went to Dan Brown, who was placed in the 50th slot).
(1) Government might ban conspiracy theorizing. (2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories. (3) Government might itself engage in counterspeech, marshaling arguments to discredit conspiracy theories. (4) Government might formally hire credible private parties to engage in counterspeech.(The Empire Strikes Back). Sounds a bit Orwellian no? If they ban conspiracy theorizing many criminal prosecutions will be stopped, since they happen every day in the courts of the land (prosecutors use conspiracy theories: "they conspired to" do thus and such, which is considered to be good law).
Perhaps Obama's privacy official means banning conspiracy theories that are not official government conspiracy theories?
Where are we going when government officials advocate and teach torture, then are promoted to the highest levels in the judicial part of government, but others can not have conspiracy theories?
Some of these guys, like Cass, teach constitutional law at Harvard Law School? They evidently would not have to know the 4th or 1st Amendment now would they?
Here are some of the other people besides Dr. Griffin whose free speech they will be banning if they get all patrioty mavericky and go rogue:
Major General Albert Stubblebine, U.S. Army (ret) – Former Commanding General of U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, 1981 - 1984. Also commanded the U.S. Army’s Electronic Research and Development Command and the U.S. Army’s Intelligence School and Center. Former head of Imagery Interpretation for Scientific and Technical Intelligence. 32-year Army career. Member, Military Intelligence Hall of Fame ...(The Patriots). Both of those intellectuals have literally fought to protect the First Amendment right to be a 9/11 Truther, and both are 9/11 Truthers.
... or Lt. Col. Robert Bowman, PhD, U.S. Air Force (ret) – Director of Advanced Space Programs Development under Presidents Ford and Carter. U.S. Air Force fighter pilot with over 100 combat missions. (PhD in Aeronautics and Nuclear Engineering, Cal Tech). Former Head of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering and Assistant Dean at the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology. 22-year Air Force career. Also taught Mathematics and English at the University of Southern California, the University of Maryland, and Phillips University.
Like Conservative Republican Richard Gage, an architect.
MOMCOM "Momma" Cass, I think that you have bitten off more than you can chew. Time to get real. You can't demonize liberals and conservatives at the same time so as to ban their First Amendment rights.
The next post in this series is here, the first post in this series is here.