Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Max Holland vs the nation

I wrote this in response to Max Holland's awful piece about last fall's JFK conference in DC, which I also attended and wrote up at Robert Parry's site. Sometimes I write a letter to the editor hoping to get published. Sometimes I write hoping to actually inform someone of something. The latter was my motivation in this particular case. Here it is. I know those of you who share my passion for Real History will agree with the sentiment at the end. (I've also added a few links for the curious.)

Dear Editors,

I was shocked that you allowed Max Holland to comment on the recent JFK Conference. He’s already shown his lack of journalistic integrity on the subject. In the current piece, he made the bald-faced lie that “In point of fact, 99.99 percent of the HSCA’s report improved upon or underscored the accuracy of the Warren Report’s key findings.” It did nothing of the sort, as those of us in the research community who have actually READ the HSCA’s report know very well. Is there no fact checker at The Nation?

When you rightly avoided publishing his article espousing the notion that the KGB caused Americans to suspect CIA involvement in the JFK case, he took it to the CIA, which published it happily, since it exculpated them of any involvement in the Kennedy assassination. But that’s not necessarily a new relationship. Holland got his early start with the Voice of America, a well-known outlet for the CIA’s propaganda during the Cold War.

In fact, that was the pattern at the conference, which I also attended. While most leading researchers on the case believe elements of the CIA were directly involved, those who take the opposite view, like Holland, invariably end up having a cozy relationship with the chief suspect.

It should embarrass you to learn that Holland omitted mention of the most interesting and heated exchange at the conference. Two speakers rose to debate the acoustic evidence on which the HSCA based its conclusion of “probable conspiracy.” The first, Richard Garwin, said the sound evidence was off by a second, and therefore proved nothing. The second, Don Thomas, said that Garwin was using a different copy of the audio tape, proven by the number on the tape, and that the discrepancy was attributed to its being a copy. Thomas then showed how the sound evidence matched perfectly with all the extant video evidence. It was a stunning refutation of Garwin’s weak defense of the non-conspiracy view.

Would it surprise you to learn that Garwin was, as he admitted publicly when challenged, a CIA man? As a conference participant, I found that confession stunning. As a “journalist”, Max Holland didn’t even find that worthy of mention.

Is Max Holland a CIA asset at The Nation? If he is, that’s a tragedy for the nation and The Nation. If he isn’t, he’s simply a guy who, for whatever private reason, is more comfortable repeating the assertions of others than uncovering the truth. And his “99.99%” statement shows he’s willing to lie to do so. So it hardly matters if he’s CIA or not. Whatever he is, he sure doesn’t belong at The Nation.

We continue to learn every day how official lies bring heinous tragedy upon the innocent. His perversions of history do no less damage. We can’t learn the lessons of history when he presents a false version of it.

Lisa Pease

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the current (March 20, 2006 edition) of The Nation, Mark Lane accuses Max Holland of writing regularly for the CIA’s official website and points out that The Nation failed to reveal Mr. Holland’s CIA connections to its readers when publishing Mr. Holland’s ad hominen attack on Mr. Lane and others in his Feb. 20, 2006 The Nation article, “The Lawyers’ Conspiracy.” In the same issue of The Nation, Jim Lesar, president of the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC), writes that Holland was winner of a CIA award for Studies in Intelligence and has been working on a book since 1993 defending the Warren Commission.

In reply to both Mr. Lane and Mr. Lesar, Mr. Holland noticeably fails to deny his CIA connections and admits that he has written for Studies in Intelligence, a CIA publication.

Mr. Lane writes as follows on this point:

"Holland writes regularly for the official CIA website. He publishes information there that he has been given by the CIA. The CIA, on its official website, then states, 'According to Holland...' If you would like to look into this matter of disinformation laundering, enter into your computer 'CIA.gov + Max Holland.' You will find on the first page alone numerous articles by Holland supporting and defending the CIA and attacking those who dare to disagree, as well as CIA statements attributing the information to Holland.
A question for The Nation. When Holland writes an article for you defending the CIA and attacking its critics, why do you describe him only as 'a Nation contributing editor' and author? Is it not relevant to inform your readers that he also is a contributor to the official CIA website and then is quoted by the CIA regarding information that the agency gave him?"

Mr. Holland’s failure to refute these critical facts in his reply to Mr. Lane and Mr. Lesar is truly astounding.
The Nation should be ashamed of itself for assigning Mr. Holland, a CIA apologist, to lambaste CIA critics, while not disclosing Mr. Holland’s CIA affiliations.

The failure to let readers know that Mr. Holland writes regularly for the CIA raises serious journalistic questions, and Mr. Holland’s after the fact admission is even more troubling and badly tarnishes The Nation’s tradition as an independent journalistic voice.

The Nation owes an apology to its readers for this concealment as well as for Mr. Holland’s biased and unfounded venom against CIA critics.

The only way for The Nation to restore confidence in its journalistic integrity is to retract Mr. Holland’s Feb. 20 and March 20 writings on the JFK assassination and fire him as a contributing editor and author so he can go write full time for the CIA.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

Anonymous: Congratulations!...Perfect...

7:00 AM  

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