Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, and the Naval War College

(WMR)—President Obama has played a cruel joke on critics of National Security Agency surveillance by naming to his Review Committee on NSA Programs his former chief of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Cass Sunstein. Also known as Obama’s “information czar,” Sunstein, who is married to UN Ambassador Samantha Power, left the administration to return to Harvard Law School. Sunstein also works out of the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress in Washington, DC.

Sunstein is an advocate of using sock puppets and infiltrators to disrupt what he calls “conspiracy” websites critical of the U.S. government and its policies. However, what constitutes a “conspiracy” website is open to interpretation in Sunstein’s world. In 2012, it was revealed that a California firm, Leonie Industries, targeted two USA Today journalists in a campaign because the two had written about the Defense Department’s “online persona management” operations. Leonie Industries was under contract to the Defense Department.

In 2009, the U.S. Air Force initiated a program to counter bloggers and websites that were critical of the Obama administration and the Air Force. Some of the 27 teams under the U.S. Cyber Command, NSA’s collateral activity and also headquartered at Fort Meade, Maryland, employs offensive bloggers who can employ multiple screen names and identities to post government propaganda and personal smear articles on blogs and comments sections of news websites.

Palantir Technologies, the firm that is believed to have developed the PRISM meta-data collection program for NSA, also developed persona management software and other offensive information warfare programs for use by the government and private sector.

It now appears that the U.S. Navy has also joined the government’s cognitive dissonance, social engineering, and counter-blogging program by permitting such operations to be centered at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. There, a professor on staff, named John Schindler and who operates as “20 Committee” on Twitter with his Naval War College affiliation on clear display, is at the center of a smear campaign that targets journalists who have exposed various facets of NSA surveillance. Schindler’s targets range from Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald and author James Bamford to McClatchy’s Jonathan Landay and this editor.

From Schindler’s non-stop Twitter activities, his network of media accomplices, all supporters of the NSA, can clearly be discerned. They include Joshua Foust of The Atlantic; The Week’s Marc Ambinder; The Daily Beast’s Michael C. Moynihan, John Avlon, and Joshua Rogin; Bob Cesca, who runs The Daily Banter and a one-time intern for the adolescent humor Don and Mike Show in Washington, DC; Paul Szoldra of Business, founded by Doubleclick executive Kevin Ryan; and The Tampa Bay Times’ Joshua Gillin. “Schindler’s List” has so many Joshuas, it called also be called the “Joshua Tree,” no disrespect to Joshua Tree, California.

Schindler has recently been given the green light by his cognitive dissonance masters to appear on the ratings-plummeting “All in with Chris Hayes” on MSNBC, BBC Radio 4, and Israeli National Radio.

WMR has complained to the Naval War College in an e-mail referring to Schindler’s Twitter messages that have contained anti-French, anti-Roman Catholic, anti-Greek, and anti-Italian slurs. On August 13, we received the following reply:

We received your email. The Naval War College administration is aware of your concerns and is taking appropriate action.

Naval War College Public Affairs

A WMR colleague in the media also sent an e-mail of complaint to the office of Rhode Island U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a Marine Corps veteran. The following was the response from Reed’s office:

I have forwarded your request to our Press Secretary, Chip Unruh.
Thank you for your email.

Rosanne Haroian
US Senator Jack Reed
728 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Obama administration’s acquiescence to such cognitive dissonance campaigns while naming their godfather, Sunstein, to the panel reviewing NSA’s abuses is yet further proof that Barack Obama is a mere tool of the U.S. intelligence community and as every day of his administration passes, his actual “other first,” the “first CIA test tube baby” installed in the Oval Office, becomes more apparent.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright © 2013

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).

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