You asked, "you refer to a few books by minor authors who appear to me to have an extremely narrow world view - what makes you so certain that these books contain the truth?"
What you look for is corroborating evidence. For years I have read about what the CIA did to Iran. The game during those years could have been to claim that "minor authors" are making it up. BUT, as of 2000, it is official because the U.S. State department has admitted that "In 1953 the United States played a significant role in orchestrating the overthrow of Iran's popular Prime Minister." The internal logic is that the U.S. admitting it corroborates it because it doesn't make sense to say that the U.S. State department is lying when it admits to wrong doing by the U.S. Once you see a dramatic wrong that has evidence to back it up, and the 1953 coup against Iran is a perfect example because the State Department has admitted it, then you can see that these things are possible and that powerful interests in the U.S. are not only capable of these things but often seek to obscure the fact that these things happened.
I have looked into many of the things that have been written about and they do check out. When Chomsky points out that the division of Vietnam was not supposed to create two countries you can look into it yourself and see that he is telling the truth, the 1954 Geneva agreements did not "partition" Vietnam "the military demarcation line should not in any way be interpreted as constituting a political or territorial boundary." 1954 Final Declaration of the Geneva Conference You can read about the provision for a election. When you look into the facts, without a chip on your shoulder, when you stop with the subservient fanaticism of desperately making excuses for those in power, you can start to see what has been, and what is, going on. If you get it into your head that government officials are like your daddy and daddy would never lie to you then you will never learn the truth and be truly free. Thomas Jefferson warned that a nation cannot be ignorant and free.
When it is former U.S officials who spill the beans, it is something to take seriously because the internal logic demands it. You can't irrationally dismiss everything you don't want to hear. When former National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, admits that the CIA's intervention in Afghanistan preceded the 1979 Soviet invasion, this is something you should take seriously. The story we have been told is that the U.S. responded to the Soviet invasion but that is a lie. Brzezinski said, "According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention."
Notice too that mainstream media is not eager to make any of these things clear to the general public.
There are dramatic examples by the way. You can look into International Law and the UN resolutions and see violations that MSM is unwilling to make clear to the public. Remember these Presidents turn a blind eye to the continued expansion of the illegal settlements in the occupied territories. (and the mainstream media basically refuses to report that the settlements are illegal) Here is something that happened in August 2005 when I confronted a reporter named N.J. Burkett: I was in the lobby of WABC-TV in NY and I overhear a guy saying, "I just got back from Gaza!" gleefully to N.J. Burkett.
I couldn't resist confronting these bastards. I walked over and I asked, "How come you never report that the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are illegal?"
"Everyone knows the settlements are illegal," Burkett say to me. "No they don't," I said. Burkett says, "Sure, it is common knowledge just as there are 10 Amendments in the Bill of Rights."
These guys are such miserable dishonest bastards. These sick minds must concoct lame excuses for not reporting BASIC important facts to the public. "The BBC must be crazy then," I pointed out because they report that the Israeli settlements are illegal. "The BBC manages to report this basic fact to their audience," I said, demolishing Burkett's asinine argument. "Your network doesn't report it, why do American TV networks refuse to report it?" I demanded.
Searching for an excuse why ABC is not reporting basic facts to the American people, the first guy tried, "Americans don't care." Burkett leaves at this point. These guys are such vulgar betrayers of the public trust.
When you read about this and see what the MSM has been up to, it is time to stop mindless falling aver yourself trying to make excuses for people that get into positions of power within our government. The idea of America was never supposed to be "follow the leader!" WE THE PEOPLE are supposed to have self rule, anything less betrays the Spirit of '76.
Media is key to the solution. Control is the issue. You get the maximum control with ownership so there must be a competitive media system that is free from private control and is instead controlled by the general public. The old media can of course be free to do what they do but it is a necessity that a new media system be established that will be in competition with the MSM. Part of that mission is to advocate for a Representative Media, a media system which will be controlled by the American people and not special interests. A system that can compete with the power of the current mainstream media.