Obama and Confirmation Bias

Well-respected investigative journalist Sheryl Attkisson, probably best known for her stint with CBS News and by her allegations that the Obama administration is one of the least transparent in modern history, is now reporting that the president refuses to even entertain intelligence briefs about various organizations if he ideologically disagrees with their respective classifications as terrorists.

Says Attkisson:

I have talked to people who have worked in the Obama administration who firmly believe he has made up his mind.  I would say closed his mind, they say, to their intelligence that they’ve tried to bring him about various groups that he does not consider terrorists, even if they are on the US list of designated terrorists.  He has his own ideas, and there are those who’ve known him a long time who say this dates back to law school.  He does not necessarily – you may think it’s a good trait you may think it’s a bad trait – he does not necessarily listen to the people with whom he disagrees.  He seems to dig in.  I would suppose because he think he’s right.  He is facing formidable opposition on this particular point.

This latest characterization appears to at least notionally marry with previous reports indicating President Obama does not even attend most of his Presidential Daily Briefings and the growing hints that in the United States Central Command, real intelligence data has been altered to suit predetermined political narratives (in similar fashion to “climategate”).

Escalation of commitment to a given cause or point of view in the face of unsupportive/conflicting information, and the commission of confirmation bias in general, are both key hallmarks of someone who is incapable or unwilling to think, particularly critically.

President Obama’s liberal supporters, at the very least, should be especially attentive to his administration’s terrorism/foreign policies.  Modern terrorists in general – and ISIS in particular – tend to pick large cities in which to enact their plots.  And the last time I looked, America’s larger cities are not exactly bastions of the political Right.  I hope for their sakes the irony is not lost on them amidst the hero worship.


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