Who’s Delusional, Gannon?
Joe Gannon’s confused and pejorative attack (Letters: “Conspiracies and Actual Conspiracies,” March 13, 2014) on the skepticism of letter writer Charlotte Burns with regard to the government’s Boston Marathon bombing narrative not only bordered on bullying, but was also wrong. Perhaps some information from last Friday’s Boston Globe would provide Gannon some perspective on the value of skepticism—the lifeblood of investigative journalism—to the informed citizenry. As we approach the one-year anniversary, the Globe reports:
“Members of Congress and former security officials are growing impatient over what they consider the slow pace of Washington’s official reviews of how the Tsarnaev brothers avoided scrutiny in the runup to last year’s Marathon.”
The delayed investigation seeks answers to the same “dark” questions Burns had posed, such as: How come the FBI failed to let local and state police know that the Russians had suspicions about Tamerlan at a time that Boston police were investigating a brutal triple murder of his friends? And just who was that man seen by viewers of CNN at 3 a.m. being dragged out of a house, stripped naked, handcuffed and led away? Need I remind Gannon that this is the same Boston FBI division that aided and abetted the Winter Hill Gang in its murderous crime spree through the late ‘70s and ‘80s, and then helped Whitey Bulger evade capture for two decades?
Gannon lists a string of official conspiracies that stretch from the early 1960s to the present, but is confused about how they came to light. But to create this list and not conclude the obvious—that it represents a pattern of conspiratorial behavior and an endemic culture within the highest levels of our security state apparatus—is hardly critical thinking. And to suggest that this meager list represents all the conspiracies in the U.S. to date is, well, delusional—really delusional.
Joe Gannon, if you’re going to toss around the word “delusional” to attack someone expressing an opinion, however ill-informed, I think you’d better look in the mirror. Charlotte Burns may be off the mark with her ideas on this particular case, but if you’re going to pit delusion against relentless critical thinking, then think about this: you clearly accept and believe that there have been actual conspiracies of government.
One of the major goals of a government conspiracy, aside from it having its intended effect, is to keep it a secret. And the government usually does a good job of it. You know, Top Secret, Classified, Interests of National Security, that sort of stuff. What kind of logic or critical thinking allows you to believe that all government conspiracies have now been revealed? This makes no sense at all. You would have made exactly the same argument before the most recent one was revealed, and, of course, you would have been wrong. You would have made the same argument before others were revealed, too. After the next one is revealed, what are you going to say? “Well, now they really have all been revealed?”
Neither you nor anyone else outside these agencies has any idea whether what has been discovered or leaked—or revealed by a dumb mistake, like the Watergate burglary—is the tip of the iceberg, or any other fraction of what remains unrevealed.
Save the Quabbin
The Quabbin is the largest tract of public forest land in southern New England. This is a place of regional and national significance, which provides clean water and air, habitat for sensitive wildlife, carbon storage to fight climate change, scenic beauty and wilderness recreation—a rarity in New England. We should not allow this unique forest to be cut down to benefit selfish industrial forestry interests. We should designate the Quabbin as a National Preserve to ensure its permanent protection for the benefit of all Americans. I hope all concerned Massachusetts citizens will join together in demanding that the state halt its irresponsible logging program and take positive action to save the Quabbin and other state forest lands.