Dave McGowan offers here, from the preface to his book Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon, advice not on investigative journalism so much as on proper thinking in general.
Although I am regarded by many people as a “conspiracy theorist,” which is more often than not used as a pejorative term, I do all my research through very mainstream channels. I am a big believer in the notion that ‘the truth is out there,’ but don’t expect it to be delivered to you in a tidy package by any mainstream media outlets. Finding it involves assembling a jigsaw puzzle of sorts, with the goal being to gather up all the bits and pieces of information that other writers tend to present as throwaway facts and/or interesting anomalies. Sometimes those bits and pieces end up being no more than interesting anomalies, but past experience has taught me that if those divergent facts are properly assembled a new picture often begins to emerge that is strikingly at odds with what is widely accepted as our consensus reality.
At the end of the day, its is really all about pattern recognition.
It is a feature of our brainwashed society that critical thinking is ridiculed, often called “conspiracy theory” but just as often relegated to paranoia. But the whole notion that there are no conspiracies to unfold is groupthink, creating an atmosphere in which the most incurious and non-inquisitive people get to parade about as intelligent because they do not question official truth. This creates a society of inert brains, tyranny of the dull. Lord knows as I walk about American news media and blogs that I am struck by how our writers, journalists, comedians and entertainers, talking heads, bloggers and pundits lack basic skepticism, and barely register on the scale of intelligence in public affairs. It’s pretty damned boring.
It is the nature of power to keep secrets. It has to be that way. Powerful people have opportunities others don’t, including the ability to break the law at will, as if there were no such thing. Anyone who, for example, looks at the evidence surrounding the murder of JFK will be struck with the absolute impunity with which the crime was done, in broad daylight, and the inability of our legal system to address the matter. There’s never been a trial or real investigation. The conspiracy is so large that it spans hundreds of jurisdictions, yet only one district attorney ever has brought anyone to trial. (And he, Jim Garrison, is ridiculed as a “conspiracy theorist” by our bright people.)
Law is a tool to keep regular people in line. We can go to jail for shoplifting or smoking weed or driving drunk, while powerful people go about committing mass murders, torturing and terrorizing innocent people, looting our own commons and other countries, railroading innocent people to jail. They pull this off while unhindered by any legal force. They are only stopped by countervailing power. So bad is it that good people fear treading in this territory, and so public service is left to those who thrive in the lawless atmosphere. Out political class is composed of tools and moral reprobates.
“Countervailing power …” there is always hope, of course, and we never know from where it might spring. Our news and entertainment media have demonized the Russian Federation, personified for agitprop purposes as President Vladimir Putin. They have done nothing wrong, but have stopped western imperialist forces in Syria and slowed them in Ukraine. The degree of Russian effectiveness is easily measured by the degree of anger from the usual quarters. Western imperialists are pissed. This is a good sign.
A unipolar world is a dangerous place – the killing spree the US went on in the wake of the fall of the USSR is not unprecedented, but is ugly. In Iraq alone, which once sat protected in the shadow of the old Soviet Union, over a half a million children were murdered by starvation and disease in the 1990’s, and a million more in the 2003 attack. Another two million forced to flee their homes and seek shelter in other countries. The US installed torture facilities, randomly bombed cities and towns, and labeled all resistance to the attack as “terrorism,” to which no one in the cowed Western media objected. That’s genocidal in scope, and done in broad daylight as American leaders, the desk-murdering class, flit about Georgetown cocktail parties.
Iraq was just one country. Add to the list Somalia, Lebanon, Sudan, Yemen, Chechnya, Pakistan and Afghanistan .. it is quite a blood trail. Add to that current ambitions in Venezuela and Ukraine, and the new coalition of old Western-sponsored terrorists called “ISIS” that apparently wants to finish the job Bush the Elder started, that of dismembering Iraq, and we have a record of terror, a trail of blood and tears of historic proportion.
Even Yahweh of the Old Testament is a little miffed, saying “Guys, guys, ease up a little, OK? I’m gettin’ a little queasy here with all the killing.”
Hope: The Russian people know all about fascism, having lived under it in another form, having been attacked by fascists, so that there is a good chance that they are capable of resistance. That could be why Putin is made out to be so evil – that he recognized the evil around him, and is not playing nice with it.
There is always hope.