Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Responding to disinformation - a quick template

As I said recently, disinformation season is upon us. The timing makes sense, as we are heading into the 40th and 45th anniversaries of JFK and RFK's assassination next year. Disinformation needs to be in place in advance so the chosen pundits can source and quote their crap from the likes of Posner, Ayton, and most recently, Vince Bugliosi, who wrote a 1600 page defense of the Warren Commission's verdict that Oswald acted alone. But as we all know, as a former prosecutor, Bugliosi is not about presenting both sides, but presenting only the facts that fit his case. WHY he felt the need to devote his later years to this effort remains an exceedingly interesting question.

At any rate, many glowing reviews are appearing in the media, which is really laughable, since I would bet hard money not one of the reviewers read all 1600 pages. Even the review copies have only just become available so that's quite a feat! And if they managed to read 1600 pages in that time, you can bet they had NO time to read any contradictory opinions to inform their coverage.

Roger Petersen, a longtime writer and activist on this case, with a keen eye for sound judgment as well as illogic, took on Edward Wyatt's "review" (i.e., propaganda) and wrote this great response. I'm posting it here with Roger's permission.

Mr. Wyatt:

"It's impossible for any reasonable, rational person to read this book with being satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Oswald killed Kennedy and acted alone," says Bugliosi.

I guess I should give up.

But then I know an MD who also holds a PhD in physics who has proven that the Bethesda X-rays were deliberately faked.

He gives me reasonable doubt.

And another physician looked at all the testimony of his colleagues in Dallas and Bethesda and showed how the Warren Report deliberately summarized that testimony in contradiction to what the physicians actually said.

Black and white.

What did they actually say?

That JFK was hit from the front.

And yet another physician examined the bone fragments and said it was obvious JFK's head was hit twice, almost simultaneously, once from the front and once from the back.

This all gives me reasonable doubt.

And then that claim that Oswald was a sad lone nut who decided to kill the president, and he was a crack shot, it's been said.

So why did he use a beat-up rifle that Italian soldiers said frequently malfunctioned and why didn't Oswald shoot when the limo was coming directly at him in the street below. Much easier shot, even with a bad rifle.

No, he waited instead to shoot through a blinding tree.

That gives me reasonable doubt about those Oswald claims. After all, all other presidential assassins were quick to admit they did it and were proud to say so.

Not Oswald.

Isn't that curious.

And then there's that other lone nut, Ruby, who felt so bad about Mrs. Kennedy having to testify.

So he decided to pull together some sudden moral outrage, put aside his sordid morality in Chicago and Dallas, and do Mrs... Kennedy the favor of taking out Oswald.

Of course, these two guys had nothing to do with each other, the WC [Warren Commission] said, but we still had to lock up all the information on them for 75 years.
That definitely gives me reasonable doubt.

Many witnesses who swore they saw smoke in front of the limo, and heard shots, were never interviewed by the I've met them; they are reasonable and rational people. I doubt such omissions of testimony were reasonable, if a thorough investigation was intended.

And we can't forget a bullet that has zigged and zagged its way into countless comedy routines, including Seinfeld.

Irrationality makes good comedy.

I can't help but have reasonable doubt about why the Dallas police did not stake out the building tops and have the windows closed, standard procedure elsewhere.

Mr. Wyatt, I do not deal in conspiracy theories.

I deal in facts, as researched and presented by physicians, forensic pathologists, engineers, and army intelligence people.

Anyone who dismisses the countless oddities of the government's investigation as mere coincidences can rightly be dismissed as a coincidence theorist.

Roger Peterson

Thank you, Roger. Thank you, all activists who seek the truth and will not suffer fools gladly, especially when their deceptions enslave us all in a false history, and reward liars and punish truth-tellers. No wonder our planet is in trouble, with that mindset in the media.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's my letter to the Atlantic regarding the Mallon review:

Thomas Mallon's review of Vincent Bugliosi's "Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy" (June 2007) is a one-sided, credulous attempt to elevate the "lone-nut" theory of the JFK assassination to the status of a physical law based on a selective use of evidence and an obvious contempt for those who, for good reason, find the official story untenable. Mr. Mallon, like all journalistic defenders of the official truth constructed by the Warren Commission Report, seems to think that any questioning of its official conclusions, irrespective of the weight of evidence and rationality of the analysis involved, must be the result of delusion, paranoia or an inability to handle the truth.

In reality, the theory of the crime that puts the blame exclusively on Lee Harvey Oswald, has no more of a ring of truth about it than what Mr. Mallon would dismiss as "conspiracy theories" (as if there has never been any such thing as an actual conspiracy to murder a high government official - has Mr. Mallon heard of the Lincoln assassination, the plots against DeGaulle or the US-sponsored Castro assassination plots?). The lone-nut theory's only standing is derived from the official imprimatur placed on it by virtue of having been the product of a high government commission that Mr. Mallon naively assumes would have had no reason to want to conceal, or (more accurately) not look too closely for, the actual truth. Despite Mr. Mallon's conviction that the evidence against Lee Harvey Oswald is incontrovertible, Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry admitted that the case against Oswald was flimsy, saying "We don't have any proof that Oswald fired the rifle." And "...no one has ever been able to put him in that building with a gun in his hand."

It may serve Mr. Mallon well to note that the current official conclusion of the United States government, the report of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, is that President Kennedy was, in fact, murdered as the probable result of a conspiracy that may have involved individual members of organized crime and/or the Cuban exile community. As flawed as the HSCA investigation may have been, and as desperate as they may have been to reinforce the conclusions of the Warren Commission, the scientific evidence of a second shooter (and thus a conspiracy) could not be ignored. Furthermore, in the book "Ultimate Sacrifice", co-authors Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartmann cite a secret investigation by the Office of Naval Intelligence that concluded that Oswald was incapable of committing the assassination. Thus, at least two government-sponsored investigations have rejected the lone-nut theory.

It's certainly true that alternative theories about the assassination range from well thought out, meticulously researched criticisms of the lone-nut theory to ludicrous inventions hardly worthy of the supermarket tabloids. However, it is an obvious logical fallacy to assume that because some conspiracy theories are ridiculous that no such theory can be correct. It is an additional logical fallacy to think that the discrediting of some alternative theories reinforces the lone nut theory. Any theory must stand or fall on its own merits with respect to explaining the evidence.

Mr. Mallon, like virtually all mainstream journalists, does not mention the work of thoughtful, scholarly critics such as Sylvia Meagher ("Accessories After the Fact"), Peter Dale Scott ("Deep Politics and the Death of JFK"), John Newman ("Oswald and the CIA"), Gaeton Fonzi ("The Last Investigation") who have shed an enormous amount of light on the seemingly impenetrable mass of documents, physical evidence and testimony, and in so doing have exploded the myths of the lone nut theory. It matters not whether any of these alternative theories have "solved" the crime by identifying the actual conspirators or gunmen. It is sufficient that, in total, they have demolished the case against Oswald as the lone, unaided perpetrator of the assassination.

It's well known by now that the Warren Commission investigation was seriously flawed by 1) not having access to the voluminous documentation concerning Oswald that was held by various intelligence agencies 2) not being aware of the Castro assassination plots and the attendant collusion between the CIA and organized crime in their planning and operation and 3) behind the scenes pressure from the White House and the intelligence community to avoid finding any connections between Oswald and a foreign power (Cuba or the Soviet Union) which might lead to a confrontation with the Soviet Union or to bring about a similar result by exposing the Castro assassination plots.

How can we be so sure of the conclusions of such a flawed investigation conducted by a body that had, to all intents and purposes, been directed to find a specific conclusion and was denied the ability or resources to conduct its own independent criminal investigation instead of relying solely on the rushed report of the FBI (which had prematurely shut down any leads not pointing to Oswald as the lone, unaided assassin)? Certainly the FBI, CIA, military intelligence and the Secret Service all had strong incentives to conceal critical information from the Commission, if only to avoid their embarrassing associations with Oswald and/or Ruby and/or organized crime and their failure to share information or take action that could have prevented the assassination.

With respect to the specifics, Mr. Mallon's assertions concerning the evidence are uninformed and naive. It would require a book to effectively counter all of them (for an excellent study of the medical evidence see http://www.history-matters.com/medcoverup.htm) but let's focus on three items: Jack Ruby's connections to organized crime, Oswald's intelligence activities and the deaths of witnesses.

No one can seriously argue that Jack Ruby had no affiliation with the organized crime. Ruby's apparent role in Mafia-controlled criminal activities and police corruption in Dallas, his association with drug smuggling and role as a narcotics informant, his involvement in Cuban gun-running that supported the Mafia-CIA anti-Castro plots, his association with Lewis McWillie (a gambler who ran mob-owned casinos in Havana) and his visit to the imprisoned Santo Trafficante in Cuba are established facts. Yes, he was not "part of" the Mafia in the sense of being a made man or being a boss, but there is no denying that he spent practically his entire adult life engaged in mob-controlled activities (union corruption, drug smuggling, prostitution) and openly and routinely associated with known mobsters of all ranks. Most importantly, given his many friendships and associations within the Dallas police department, Ruby was perfectly positioned to serve as a cutout for an operation such as silencing a prisoner held in their custody.

As for Ruby's "timing" of his arrival in the basement of Dallas police station, Ruby himself has alluded to the real explanation with his rhetorical question "... who else could have timed it so perfectly by seconds? If it were timed that way, then someone in the police department is guilty of giving me the information as to when Lee Harvey Oswald was coming down." If Ruby's act was spontaneous and he had no prior relationship with Oswald, then what was he doing at the station on the night of the assassination providing an unsolicited correction to the name of the pro-Castro organization, for which Oswald had established a faux chapter in New Orleans, at a news conference?

Mr. Mallon's dismissal of Oswald's intelligence ties ("he never got within a country mile of the [U2s]") is similarly disingenuous. Whether he actually got near the spy planes is beside the point. Documentary evidence makes it impossible for any fair appraisal to seriously doubt the involvement of Oswald in intelligence operations both during and subsequent to his active duty service. Clearly, the intense interest of not only the CIA, but also military intelligence, in Oswald's actions cannot be ignored. If such interest was only because Oswald was a suspected communist, then how would Mr. Bugliosi and Mr. Mallon explain Oswald's stress-free re-entry to the US after "defecting", his subsequent employment in a job in which he had access to classified information, his odd-couple relationship with known CIA asset and anti-communist George DeMorenschildt or his appearance at a meeting with CIA official David Atlee Phillips (witnessed by anti-Castro activist Tony Veciana) at which a plan to assassinate Castro was discussed?

And how can we reconcile Oswald's pro-Castro activities with his seemingly contradictory relationship with the rabid anti-communists Guy Banister and David Ferrie, who had relationships both to intelligence agencies (FBI and ONI for Banister; CIA for Ferrie) and organized crime (Carlos Marcello)? Isn't it more reasonable to conclude that the former was a ruse designed to build a cover to assist Oswald in penetrating domestic pro-Castro organizations (Banister was engaged in precisely that business) than it is to dismiss the contradiction as irrelevant or insignificant? In addition, if Oswald was just a lone nut with no intelligence connections, then why was someone impersonating him (documented by photographs and voice recordings) at the Soviet embassy in Mexico City in the fall of 1963?

As for the mysterious deaths of witnesses, clearly some, or the majority, may be coincidences. However, others cannot so easily be hand-waved away. The deaths of Rose Cheramie (linked to Ruby, the mob and dope smuggling and who evidently had advance knowledge of the assassination), Eladio del Valle, David Ferrie (after they had figured in the Garrison investigation), John Roselli, Sam Giancana and de Morenschildt (just before they would have testified to the HSCA) are certainly suspicious.

Finally, Mr. Mallon fails to mention the little-publicized threats against Kennedy in Chicago on November 2, 1963 and in Tampa on November 18. As documented by Waldron and Hartmann, both threats were considered to be of the gravest nature and were treated accordingly by the FBI, Secret Service, local law enforcement and the Kennedy Administration. The Chicago threat, which was reported to be associated with Cuban exiles, caused a last-minute cancellation of Kennedy's trip. The Tampa threat, reported to be associated with organized crime, was evidently canceled when local law enforcement was tipped off by an informant and Kennedy's trip proceeded without incident (but much anxiety).

More telling, in each city, there was an additional suspect with a profile very similar to Oswald's (Thomas Arthur Valle in Chicago; Gilberto Lopez in Tampa) and similar problems with the motorcade route (a difficult left-turn in front of a tall, difficult to secure building). Isn't a bit too much of a coincidence that the actual assassination took place just three weeks after Chicago and four days after Tampa, along a similar motorcade route and was blamed on an individual with a profile similar to the suspects in Chicago and Tampa? Mr. Mallon should note that Occam's razor cuts both ways.

Mr. Mallon is certainly entitled to his opinion but journalism requires (or should require) one to deal with all of the established facts, not just those that one finds convenient to support his pre-conceived conclusion. I don't purport to know who shot Kennedy or who was behind the plot, but I do know that the lone nut theory of the crime has long since been exposed as a convenient fiction. If Oswald was really a lone assassin, then the facts ought to fit that conclusion a lot better than they do no matter how Mr. Mallon or Mr. Buglioisi may contort them.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very curious about the reasons why this book is being published. I've posted my thoughts on this, based on the two introductory chapters published online, in two postings titled "A Bug in My Bonnet," at peterporcupine.easypournal.com.

Basically, I'm thinking that at root this is not a JFK book so much as it is a defense of the power structure, its institutions and its ideology, against growing public disaffection and mistrust.
And specifically, growing rejection of the official story of 9/11 and the Iraq war.

Recall how when Nixon was forced out there was a clamor to assure the nation that "our institutions work," everything's basically OK;

This mindset virtually leaps from the pages of Bug's introductory chapters. The JFK case is simply a literary vehicle for promoting this view. And a very aggressive promotion it is: JFK "conspiracy theorists" are labeled by Bugliosi as manipulators of evidence, or as liars. Their "dissent" is "irresponsible." Even their mental health is called into question. Bugliosi calls for "debate," but mocks, marginalizes, seeks to discredit, and otherwise trashes his opponents before any debate can begin. So clearly debate is not what he wants.

As I wrote in that blog: "He labels Lee Harvey Oswald 'an emotionally unhinged political malcontent who hated America.' (xviii)Sounds just like our Prez'nint describing mideastern terrorists, doesn't it? Of course it does! It's MEANT to!"

"Reclaiming History" could just as well be titled "Reclaiming Control," part of an all-out effort to reassert political, cultural and ideological control by the power elite.

Jim Folliard

6:50 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home