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Ruling by the Supremes
#1
I suppose everyone knows by now that the Supreme Court
has ruled that a Corporation is a "PERSON".

Doe this mean that Lockheed-Martin Aircraft can
run for president and Walmart for vice-president?
Maybe Citibank as Secretary of Treasury?

Jack
Reply
#2
The ruling opens the door for all sorts of mayhem. Consider what the recipients of the tax-fueled trillion-dollar bailout can do. Consider what has happened in money-laundering of narco-dollars and other trans-national criminal activities. "This legislation has been brought to you by ____." Consider that the national security state apparatus already has its own venture capital firm. Consider how economic warfare is handled by software-driven fiddling-and-diddling. Consider how that security state already has the ability to know, sense, analyze and communicate communications in real time, and that their surveillance has been ruled off-limits to judicial review. :creep:
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
Reply
#3
Jack White Wrote:I suppose everyone knows by now that the Supreme Court
has ruled that a Corporation is a "PERSON".

Doe this mean that Lockheed-Martin Aircraft can
run for president and Walmart for vice-president?
Maybe Citibank as Secretary of Treasury?

Jack

The statement I heard that sums it up best, IMO, was "worst Supreme Court decision since the Dread Scott decision". :five: Halliburton for Secretary of War - I mean Defense. Now there is not much reason for the average person to contribute ANY money to ANY campaign, as the Corporations can spend all they want [and they basically have most of OUR money] - so they will choose the government.....I think that IS the definition of fascism and with this Court ruling we now, IMO, officially have sanctioned it. How nice :dancing:
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
Reply
#4
AMY GOODMAN: We begin our show today looking at yesterday’s landmark Supreme Court ruling that will allow corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to elect and defeat candidates.


In a five-to-four decision, the Court overturned century-old restrictions on corporations, unions and other interest groups from using their vast treasuries to advocate for a specific candidate. The conservative members of the Court ruled corporations have First Amendment rights and that the government cannot impose restrictions on their political speech.


Writing the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy described existing campaign finance laws as a form of censorship that have had a, quote, “substantial, nationwide chilling effect” on political speech.


In the dissenting opinion, Justice John Paul Stevens described the decision as a radical departure in the law. Stevens wrote, quote, “The Court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the nation.” Stevens went on to write, quote, “It will undoubtedly cripple the ability of ordinary citizens, Congress, and the States to adopt even limited measures to protect against corporate domination of the electoral process.”


To talk more about this ruling, we’re joined by Jamin Raskin. He’s a professor of constitutional law at American University and a Maryland state senator. He is the author of several books, including Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court vs. The American People.

Professor Raskin, welcome to Democracy Now! Talk about the significance of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

JAMIN RASKIN: Good morning, Amy.

Well, we’ve had some terrible Supreme Court interventions against political democracy: Shaw v. Reno, striking down majority African American and Hispanic congressional districts; Bush v. Gore, intervening to stop the counting of ballots in Florida. But I would have to say that all of them pale compared to what we just saw yesterday, where the Supreme Court has overturned decades of Supreme Court precedent to declare that private, for-profit corporations have First Amendment rights of political expression, meaning that they can spend up to the heavens in order to have their way in politics. And this will open floodgates of millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions of dollars in federal, state and local elections, as Halliburton and Enron and Blackwater and Bank of America and Goldman Sachs can take money directly out of corporate treasuries and put them into our politics.

And I looked at just one corporation, Exxon Mobil, which is the biggest corporation in America. In 2008, they posted profits of $85 billion. And so, if they decided to spend, say, a modest ten percent of their profits in one year, $8.5 billion, that would be three times more than the Obama campaign, the McCain campaign and every candidate for House and Senate in the country spent in 2008. That’s one corporation. So think about the Fortune 500. They’re threatening a fundamental change in the character of American political democracy.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about President Obama’s response? He was extremely critical, to say the least. He said, “With its ruling today, the Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics…a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.” Yet a number of especially conservatives are pointing out that there was—that President Obama spent more money for his presidential election than anyone in US history.

JAMIN RASKIN: OK, well, that’s a red herring in this discussion. The question here is the corporation, OK? And there’s an unbroken line of precedent, beginning with Chief Justice Marshall in the Dartmouth College case in the 1800s, all the way through Justice Rehnquist, even, in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, saying that a corporation is an artificial creation of the state. It’s an instrumentality that the state legislatures charter in order to achieve economic purposes. And as Justice White put it, the state does not have to permit its own creature to consume it, to devour it.

And that’s precisely what the Supreme Court has done, suddenly declaring that a corporation is essentially a citizen, armed with all the political rights that we have, at the same time that the corporation has all kinds of economic perks and privileges like limited liability and perpetual life and bankruptcy protection and so on, that mean that we’re basically subsidizing these entities, and sometimes directly, as we saw with the Wall Street bailout, but then they’re allowed to turn around and spend money to determine our political future, our political destiny. So it’s a very dangerous moment for American political democracy.

And in other times, citizens have gotten together to challenge corporate power. The passage of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913 is a good example, where corporations were basically buying senators, going into state legislatures and paying off senator—paying off legislators to buy US senators, and the populist movement said we need direct popular election of senators. And that’s how we got it, basically, in a movement against corporate power.

Well, we need a movement for a constitutional amendment to declare that corporations are not persons entitled to the rights of political expression. And that’s what the President should be calling for at this point, because no legislation is really going to do the trick.

Now, one thing Congress can do is to say, if you do business with the federal government, you are not permitted to spend any money in federal election contests. That’s something that Congress should work on and get out next week. I mean, that seems very clear. No pay to play, in terms of US Congress.

And I think that citizens, consumers, shareholders across the country, should start a mass movement to demand that corporations commit not to get involved in politics and not to spend their money in that way, but should be involved in the economy and, you know, economic production and livelihood, rather than trying to determine what happens in our elections.

AMY GOODMAN: This is considered a conservative court, Jamin Raskin, but isn’t this a very activist stance of the Supreme Court justices?

JAMIN RASKIN: Indeed. The Supreme Court has reached out to strike down a law that has been on the books for several decades. And moreover, it reached out when the parties to the case didn’t even ask them to decide it. The Citizens United group, the anti-Hillary Clinton group, did not even ask them to wipe out decades of Supreme Court case law on the rights of corporations in the First Amendment. The Court, in fact, raised the question, made the parties go back and brief this case, and then came up with the answer to the question that the Court itself, or the five right-wing justices themselves, posed here.

There would have been lots of other ways for those conservative justices to find that Citizens United’s anti-Hillary Clinton movie was protected speech, the simplest being saying, “Look, this was pay-per-view; it wasn’t a TV commercial. So it’s not covered by McCain-Feingold.” But the Court, or the five justices on the Court, were hell-bent on overthrowing McCain-Feingold and the electioneering communication rules and reversing decades of precedent.

And so, now the people are confronted with a very serious question: Will we have the political power and vision to mobilize, to demand a constitutional amendment to say that it is “we, the people,” not “we, the corporations”?

AMY GOODMAN: Jamin Raskin, we want to thank you very much for being with us, professor of constitutional law at American University’s School of Law and a Maryland state senator.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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#5
In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations should be treated the same as "natural persons", i.e. humans. Well, in that case, expect the Supreme Court to next rule that Wal-Mart can run for President.
The ruling, which junks federal laws that now bar corporations from stuffing campaign coffers, will not, as progressives fear, cause an avalanche of corporate cash into politics. Sadly, that's already happened: we have been snowed under by tens of millions of dollars given through corporate PACs and "bundling" of individual contributions from corporate pay-rollers.
The Court's decision is far, far more dangerous to U.S. democracy. Think: Manchurian candidates.
I'm losing sleep over the millions — or billions — of dollars that could flood into our elections from ARAMCO, the Saudi Oil corporation's U.S. unit; or from the maker of "New Order" fashions, the Chinese People's Liberation Army. Or from Bin Laden Construction corporation. Or Bin Laden Destruction Corporation.
Right now, corporations can give loads of loot through PACs. While this money stinks (Barack Obama took none of it), anyone can go through a PAC's federal disclosure filing and see the name of every individual who put money into it. And every contributor must be a citizen of the USA.
But under today's Supreme Court ruling that corporations can support candidates without limit, there is nothing that stops, say, a Delaware-incorporated handmaiden of the Burmese junta from picking a Congressman or two with a cache of loot masked by a corporate alias.
Candidate Barack Obama was one sharp speaker, but he would not have been heard, and certainly would not have won, without the astonishing outpouring of donations from two million Americans. It was an unprecedented uprising-by-PayPal, overwhelming the old fat-cat sources of funding.
Well, kiss that small-donor revolution goodbye. Under the Court's new rules, progressive list serves won't stand a chance against the resources of new "citizens" such as CNOOC, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation. Maybe UBS (United Bank of Switzerland), which faces U.S. criminal prosecution and a billion-dollar fine for fraud, might be tempted to invest in a few Senate seats. As would XYZ Corporation, whose owners remain hidden by "street names."
George Bush's former Solicitor General Ted Olson argued the case to the court on behalf of Citizens United, a corporate front that funded an attack on Hillary Clinton during the 2008 primary. Olson's wife died on September 11, 2001 on the hijacked airliner that hit the Pentagon. Maybe it was a bit crude of me, but I contacted Olson's office to ask how much "Al Qaeda, Inc." should be allowed to donate to support the election of his local congressman.
Olson has not responded.
The danger of foreign loot loading into U.S. campaigns, not much noted in the media chat about the Citizens case, was the first concern raised by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who asked about opening the door to "mega-corporations" owned by foreign governments. Olson offered Ginsburg a fudge, that Congress might be able to prohibit foreign corporations from making donations, though Olson made clear he thought any such restriction a bad idea.
Tara Malloy, attorney with the Campaign Legal Center of Washington D.C. says corporations will now have more rights than people. Only United States citizens may donate or influence campaigns, but a foreign government can, veiled behind a corporate treasury, dump money into ballot battles.
Malloy also noted that under the law today, human-people, as opposed to corporate-people, may only give $2,300 to a presidential campaign. But hedge fund billionaires, for example, who typically operate through dozens of corporate vessels, may now give unlimited sums through each of these "unnatural" creatures.
And once the Taliban incorporates in Delaware, they could ante up for the best democracy money can buy.
In July, the Chinese government, in preparation for President Obama's visit, held diplomatic discussions in which they skirted issues of human rights and Tibet. Notably, the Chinese, who hold a $2 trillion mortgage on our Treasury, raised concerns about the cost of Obama's health care reform bill. Would our nervous Chinese landlords have an interest in buying the White House for an opponent of government spending such as Gov. Palin? Ya betcha!
The potential for foreign infiltration of what remains of our democracy is an adjunct of the fact that the source and control money from corporate treasuries (unlike registered PACs), is necessarily hidden. Who the heck are the real stockholders? Or as Butch asked Sundance, "Who are these guys?"
We'll never know.
Hidden money funding, whether foreign or domestic, is the new venom that the Court has injected into the system by its expansive decision in Citizens United.
We've been there. The 1994 election brought Newt Gingrich to power in a GOP takeover of the Congress funded by a very strange source.
Congressional investigators found that in crucial swing races, Democrats had fallen victim to a flood of last-minute attack ads funded by a group called, "Coalition for Our Children's Future." The $25 million that paid for those ads came, not from concerned parents, but from a corporation called "Triad Inc."
Evidence suggests Triad Inc. was the front for the ultra-right-wing billionaire Koch Brothers and their private petroleum company, Koch Industries. Had the corporate connection been proven, the Kochs and their corporation could have faced indictment under federal election law. As of today, such money-poisoned politicking has become legit.
So it's not just un-Americans we need to fear but the Polluter-Americans, Pharma-mericans, Bank-Americans and Hedge-Americans that could manipulate campaigns while hidden behind corporate veils. And if so, our future elections, while nominally a contest between Republicans and Democrats, may in fact come down to a three-way battle between China, Saudi Arabia and Goldman Sachs.
http://www.alternet.org/story/145354/the...age=entire
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#6
Quote:I suppose everyone knows by now that the Supreme Court
has ruled that a Corporation is a "PERSON".

Doe this mean that Lockheed-Martin Aircraft can
run for president and Walmart for vice-president?
Maybe Citibank as Secretary of Treasury?

Jack
Precisely. This decision further illustrates the cynical charade that the "Democratic Process" has become. That is why I became a Principled Non-Voter years ago. But this decision really doesn't change what we already have in this country- just look at who was running our government last administration:
Bush, Condi = Big Oil, Cheny = Haliburton, Rumsfeld = KBR, etc.etc... Put 'em all together and we have the mess we are in now all over the world.

This administration? Banking. Any wonder our entire economic system is being destroyed and rebuilt in someone else's image? No different than what our foreign policy has done to other people for the last 10 years.

It doesn't matter whether corporations are limited in their influence in elections or not because these days no election matters. We get what we are given and the "democratic process" is one of the circuses that our hidden emperors bestow on the us to keep us thinking we are free.

Below I've copied an "open letter" I wrote years ago under a pseudonym,
(explained here... http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/...php?t=1245)

which addresses this issue. Some may not agree with some of my points or conclusions but I appreciate the respect we all show each other here even if there is disagreement.

Dear Candidates,

This campaign season has done me in. Here is one voter who will not be casting a vote for your opponent. Nor for you. And I am now to the point where if I were running for office I wouldn’t even vote for myself. After years duly doing my duty as a citizen in a democracy (we no longer have a Constitutional republic), I have now officially become an ex-voter. I began voting thinking it would make this country better. Then I voted to try to preserve the good things about this country. Then I voted thinking it could change the way things were going. When I saw that wasn’t working, I voted to make a statement. When I realized no one was listening, I voted just because it is a right I thought I should exercise regardless of the fact that nothing, nothing ever changed. I have finally come to grips with what I have been sensing for a long time: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is, well, you know.

Please understand, this is absolutely not due to “voter apathy”. I am so not apathetic about this issue. I'm making this decision after deep reflection, study, and conversation with many people whose opinions I respect. Now I'll feel sorry for the people who I’ll see on Election Day wearing those smiley “I Voted!” stickers. People with those stickers are people who have not yet learned that by voting they are endorsing not a candidate that is the lesser of two evils but a system which is evil in itself. A system which places the legal monopoly of the use of lethal force in the hands of what amounts to the biggest gang.

So if, as a voter, my candidates, issues, and belief system carry the day, I get to impose those views on others legally. If they don’t, I get others’ views imposed on me legally. In either case I don’t consider myself a winner. By participating in the voting process I’m endorsing that kind of system. The only way I can make a statement against that kind of system is by not participating in it. Author Thomas Di Lorenzo makes the point that because the American Government has abdicated any responsibility to the Constitutional limitations on the power of government and today blatantly ignores those limitations, it's downright traitorous to vote.

Beyond the principled arguments for abstaining from voting come a multitude of practical ones:

There is no real choice. The two parties, Dumb and Dumber, are so indistinguishable as to be mirror images. The Republicans are growing government faster today than any Democrat of only a few years ago.

You can't vote for anything important. Did you have the opportunity to vote not to go to war? Can you vote tomorrow to bring the troops home Wednesday? Did you have a say in who was appointed as the new head of the Federal Reserve? To stop printing unbacked currency? Can you vote to decide how much tax you are forced to pay? How about the gun confiscations that government did in New Orleans after Katrina? The Patriot Act? Did you have a chance to vote to keep that from happening? Can you vote to stop wasting $30 billion every year on a failed “war on drugs”? No, the government continues to operate as it has for at least 90 years, unilaterally, in its own interest. And every two years it allows us to go through a charade it calls an “election” to keep the masses thinking they are in control.

Election accuracy is highly suspect. They are increasingly fraught with miscounting, mistakes, ineptitude, and downright fraud:

In 2004, a worker at a Toledo, Ohio, election office found 300 completed absentee ballots in a storage room more than a month after the vote. At least half hadn't been counted, and they affected the result of at least one local contest... In 1998, former congressman Austin Murphy of Pennsylvania, a Democrat, was convicted of absentee-ballot fraud in a nursing home, where residents' failing mental capacities make them an easy mark. Three companies -- Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia -- control 80 percent of the nation's voting and tabulating machines. These companies that we entrust with our franchise operate without public oversight. The software in machines of all three companies are proprietary, and when voters faced with surprising election results have sued to examine the machines, elections officials have claimed they are prohibited by contract from allowing inspection.

Yet with all these reasons to not vote, taking the final plunge into principled abstention is not easy. When I broached the subject with my wife she gave me a response that is not uncommon: “But, you must vote, if for no other reason than to make a statement.” But what kind of statement is it to continuously engage in an exercise in futility that is useless at best and may even be fraudulent? Isn't it a much louder and more thought provoking statement to answer the inevitable question that comes on election day from friends and co-workers, “Did you vote yet?” by saying that you no longer believe in voting? Isn't that a good conversation starter?

William Conger has created what he calls the Anti-Electorate Manifesto. It goes something like this:

We, the Anti-Electorate, do not believe there is a need for "strong leadership" in government.
We are not drawn to "intellectual" authorities and political "heroes."
We are not impressed with titles, ranks, and pecking orders – politicians, celebrities, and gurus.
We do not struggle for control of organizations, social circles, and government.
We do not lobby the State for favors or permission to control those with whom we disagree.
Rather, we advocate freedom.
By its very nature, the State does not.
Exercise your right to say "No" to the warfare-welfare system.
Refuse to vote. Then tell your friends why.

Opting out of the political system entirely is a very liberating feeling. After all, if politics is so good, why do so many people suffer because of it? Butler Schaffer points out that politics managed to kill off some 200,000,000 of our fellow humans in the 20th century alone. With our Constitution and bill of rights securely in place and a free and unfettered market to drive the economy we'd all be just fine. From that point on voting for stuff can only make things worse.

So whats my non-political answer to the futility of politics? How about voting in the only way that really matters- with your dollars. If we foster a society where all interactions are voluntary and based on the bedrock libertarian tenets of no force and no fraud, the market will provide everything we are voting for today. Except corrupt politicians and “leaders” who dictate what we are allowed to do and say and think. And the only way we can bring about such a society is through individual action, activism, evangelism, and the “in-activism” of not endorsing a coercive political process by not participating in it. Just like you can't eat yourself thin or spend yourself wealthy, you sure as hell can't vote yourself free.

Sincerely,
Cato Craft
"If you're looking for something that isn't there, you're wasting your time and the taxpayers' money."

-Michael Neuman, U.S. Government bureaucrat, on why NIST didn't address explosives in its report on the WTC collapses
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#7
Murdock's corporation for FCC Director and appointing Press Secretary!
It's over folks...unless the spineless Congress passes legislation to thwart this...and NOW...all over....pack and report to the nearest Corporate prison camp for slave labor....avoid being beaten up while being forced there....
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
Reply
#8
If corporations are "persons", are they also citizens? Can they vote?

If they are also citizens and can vote, how are they going to put their masses into a voting booth?

Maybe the next Supreme Court decision will make corporations US citizens, or maybe they will just get rid of the whole voting process for everyone...??

And where did the "Gang of Five" go to their respective law schools, or did they go to law school at all???

Humor me, please.

Adele
Reply
#9
Adele Edisen Wrote:If corporations are "persons", are they also citizens? Can they vote?
No, they can't actually vote but they sure can buy plenty of them. Unlimited.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#10
Doug Horne's view, from Jim Fetzer:

.........

Jim Fetzer
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
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