Message #25

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 02:30:29 -0500
From: Martin Shackelford 
To: "" , 
Subject: A Response to James' MEA CULPA

I see that Jim's "tentative conclusion" that I am a "disinformation
agent" has turned into a "belief."
        Although he and Jack have both indicated that Jack sends him the
posts relating to Assassination Science, and although I have posted many
specific critiques on the newsgroups about issues in the book (and
discussed many alteration issues in detail with him in a series of
e-mails a year ago), he continues to claim that my assertions don't flow
from any "supporting evidence" (clearly, I wouldn't repeat all of it in
each subsequent post). This allows him to suggest that I have been
involved in a campaign of abuse against him. Actually, I've spent
hundreds of pages discussing the book and the issues, rarely even
mentioning Mr. Fetzer, until he chose recently to personalize the
discussion. I invite any doubting readers to examine my newsgroup posts
on Deja News to confirm this.
           Mr. Fetzer, of course, says that "Martin has been highly
abusive toward me from scratch." He, of course, defines "scratch,"
omitting all history beyond a week and a half ago, and defining
criticism of the book as abuse of him personally.
          The "slimeball tactics" I referred to included things like
switching a paragraph to make it appear as though I had responded to one
thing, when in fact I had responded to something else. I don't consider
such tactics ethical.
          Mr. Fetzer last year defined "proof" for us. Now he defines
"liar" so that we don't believe he is one. He also quotes me as calling
him "a goddamned liar," and couldn't even get that right--I called him
"a damned liar." He accused me of being "an agent of disinformation,"
knowing that is a serious charge in the research community (and one
which even Lisa Pease seldom makes) and implied that I wasn't really a
social worker, based on a mental exercise, when factual information was
available, had he taken the time to seek it out--a bio which preceded
the 96 Lancer conference is on Startext.jfk; an even older one can be
found in Who's Who in the Midwest; there are biographical notes in the
programs of conferences at which I've spoken in the past; there are 23
years of my writings on the case available in the literature and (to
some degree) on the Internet. Perhaps it is true that the worst that can
be said of him is that he made a false charge with reckless disregard of
the truth.
         He claims that I misrepresented his website, but fails to note
that I provided its address and encouraged readers to examine it for
         Several alterationists on the newsgroups have claimed that
Robert Groden defends the Zapruder film as authentic only because of his
financial interest in the promotion of the film and his videotapes, so
it is interesting that Mr. Fetzer implies that "The charge of financial
interest" is a CIA tactic, as though that must be the reason I noted his
financial interest, rather than the fact that he included ordering
information for Assassination Science at the end of his post (the same
thing Jerry Organ has been criticized for on alt.conspiracy.jfk, using
his posts to advertise his book rather than discuss issues), and the
fact that on a website devoted to Assassination Science, he includes
three pages of his other books, none assassination-related, with instant
ordering links (a feature I've never seen on another website). I doubt
if the proceeds from THOSE books "are going into a non-profit foundation
for the funding of assassination research." This is another example of
Mr. Fetzer relying on "inference" rather than evidence.
        Back in the 1960s, the CIA disagreed with the Pentagon analysis
of the Viet Nam, feeling the war was being lost. The anti-war movement
believed the same thing, but no one in their right mind would draw from
that the conclusion that the anti-war movement was a creature of the
        I've been a strong critic of the CIA and government secrecy for
more than three decades. Anyone who knows me is aware of this. Mr.
Fetzer hasn't bothered to resort to research, investigation or genuine
evidence in making his absurd charges, and I predict that you won't see
any sign of real evidence in any future posts he may do on the subject.
Perhaps he should return to posting on subjects about which he actually
knows something, instead of those on which he merely "infers" knowledge.
Sound inference is based on solid evidence, not a substitute for it.
        So far, this has been his fourth "last post." Wonder how many
more there will be?