The scientific method relies upon disproving the impossible: if x, then y cannot be true. As new evidence emerges, old assumptions are tossed out. Occam's full meaning aligns with this search for evidence and with the elimination of assumptions.
Whenever anyone makes a claim, be they the President of the United States, the Deputy Director of the CIA, or your mother, but they are unable or unwilling to prove the truth of their claim with evidence, then the choice to believe what they say is clearly an assumption. Governments rely upon this tendency of the majority to assume that leaders are telling the truth.
Ronald Reagan went on television to tell glaring falsehoods to the nation during the Iran Contra Scandal revelations in the press, but he was soon forced to return to the airwaves and to apologize for it.
"A few months ago I told the American people "I did not trade arms for hostages.' My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not."
--President Ronald Reagan, March 4, 1987
So what is an investigator to do?
Personally, I follow leads and weigh their veracity against known patterns. It's a natural process. Most people lack the time and knowledge to investigate more fully. Professionals dig far more deeply than I could, leaving me somewhere in the middle. It's telling to note which incontrovertible facts are censored by the self-aggrandizing "free press." Censorship is like a bright flashing beacon that lures us to pick up the slack. While it takes no coordination or collusion to investigate an obvious lead, the practice of censoring the truth across a wide swath of the media, numerous entities, numerous newsrooms, numerous channels, must be more deliberate and intentional. Pay attention to the verboten. Pay close scrutiny to what those who are handsomely paid to inform the public will never admit to "on the record." To manipulate a society as large and as varied as ours is a feat indeed. But it's happening, every single day 24/7. The publicly accepted term for this is "spin." Spinning the news works because only 5 or 6 media oligarchies control what the overwhelming majority of the public exposes themselves to daily. Be aware.
A Central Intelligence Agency honcho named Frank Wisner once bragged that he could play the American media like a "Mighty Wurlitzer," one of those ghastly carnival organs. The CIA's Operation Mockingbird had already infiltrated "friendly" US media sources, the owners and the talking heads entrusted to inform the nation. An historical track record of what the CIA did exists and reveals what they wanted to accomplish. Within 6 years of the CIA's founding, already President Eisenhower was setting up a "Special Group" ( 5412 ) to keep the rogue CIA covert operations in check. How can anyone assume that things have somehow changed in the bowels of secret state power? If anything it has gotten more sophisticated with the advent of computers and globalization, not less. The advantage is clearly with those who understand these matters, and not with the primarily ignorant worker class.
Crucial information about the state of the world today flows from top to bottom, and that is by design. An air of distrust surrounds all grassroots journalism, those "bloggers" and worse whom the public is fearmongered into rejecting. Without official blessing, be it governmental or corporate, the public mind is by and large not free to think for itself. As unreliable as both government and corporate media have proven to be, countless times in the past, it is these sources that maintain a strict hold on the public information channels. If it didn't happen on shiny corporate TV News then it didn't happen.
"Information is Power"
So what is the rational response to selective censorship? Clearly what we have is not total censorship, as some facts slip through from time to time. Not all newsrooms are so easily intimidated, particularly at the local level. Foreign desks often report what the entire United States media self-censors across the nation. Some alternative websites collate these news stories, but their reliability and thoroughness are spotty. A variety of sources is recommended, a hedging of bets, a diversification of the information portfolio.
Paul Thompson noted this treasure trove of foreign reporting and uncensored local reports, and so he founded the History Commons website to keep track of the many thousands of reports streaming in concerning this alleged "War on Terrorism." His approach was to use only actual newspaper reports, dated, verified and summarized for ease of research. Slogging through the History Commons site is like diving down Alice's rabbit hole, and can consume a reader for hours. Topics are searchable by names as well as by specific dates.
And so we research, we learn and we use what we have learned to try and understand the things that the current military empire does not want us to know. This can be an ideological affair, or it can be evidence-based, but it can't be both. The ideologue tosses out all contrary facts, no matter how true they may be, as they are inconvenient to maintaining the integrity of his ideology. Thus, ideology is the enemy of truth, the enemy of understanding, and the enemy of reality. That is why I call it a modern plague, for fundamentalist ideology lies at the root of most world problems. The other major underlying root problem is apathy, mass apathy and ignorance.
Beside the smug ideologist and the somnambulant apathetic
couch potato is the realist, the evidence-based thinker. In my view that is the only tenable position.
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