Message #26

Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 23:30:07 -0500
From: Martin Shackelford 
To: "" 
Cc: james fetzer 
Subject: Re: Notes on Some of Howard's Comments

          Speaking of headaches, it's tiresome to read the same lies
over and over again.
          Again, Mr. Fetzer states that I haven't read Assassination
Science. I have read large parts of the book, as I have repeatedly
noted, and commented only on those parts, but apparently until I have
finished reading every page, he will continue to repeat "he hasn't read
the book." Of course, this is "(as I interpret his remarks)," as he says
in reference to Howard.
           As I interpret his remarks, Mr. Fetzer has no hesitation to
repeat a lie as long as he thinks some people will take it seriously, or
perhaps in hope that some haven't seen posts that would give the lie to
his claims.
           Having again told the Lie of Not Having Read the Book, he
builds on it. He should know that a conclusion based on a false premise
is worthless, but he accuses Howard and myself of "introducing a new
kind of scholarship: CRITICISM BY PRESUPPOSITION!" (this is his way of
"avoiding ad hominems," it seems--oh, sorry, he's only interested in
avoiding ad hominem criticisms of HIM). As I HAVE read the portions of
the book that I've criticized, this is a strawman.
           Later, he discusses Howard's argument that the CIA may have
had its own reasons for a cover-up, something consistent with much of
the material presented by John Newman. Mr. Fetzer, however, seeks to
discredit the idea by noting that Newsweek has espoused it, and
comparing it to the idea that "Jack was killed by space aliens."
           To "disprove" it, he cites "the experience of Jean Hill in
being apprehended immediately after the assassination occurred." Those
familiar with the evidence will know this for the nonsense that it is.
After the assassination, Dallas reporter Jim Featherston went looking
for people who might have taken pictures. He was directed to Mary
Moorman and Jean Hill, and took them to the press room at the old
Courthouse, where he sought to get Mary's permission to publish her
photo. There, they were also questioned by other reporters. Later that
afternoon, Jean was also questioned by the Secret Service. As the years
went on, Jean combined the stories into a tale of being grabbed by the
Secret Service in the Plaza, and taken to a room overlooking the Plaza
where she was intimidated by the agents. Fetzer may want to believe this
version; it may even seem to him to be an "inference to best
explanation" or a "reasonable inference," but that doesn't make it true.

           The next myth he espouses is the New Zealand newspaper that
published information on Oswald before it was publicly available.
Everything that appeared in the Christchurch newspaper was on the wire
services in plenty of time for it to appear in the newspaper. The fact
that Oswald hadn't yet been formally charged doesn't mean that he wasn't
trumpeted as the prime suspect. Mr. Fetzer might learn a lot more about
the timing by studying the NBC tapes or "The Kennedy Tapes" of WFAA.
           "There is no evidence at all that Marina took any photographs
of this kind," he says of the backyard photographs. Except, of course,
for her statement that she did, both at the time and since, repeated
when she appeared at the ASK Conferences. The problem is that she was
standing, she said, with her back to the steps, so that although she
took at least one photo "of this kind," it apparently wasn't the photos
in the record.
           After spending most of the post accusing Howard of things
like misdescribing and misunderstanding his posts, Mr. Fetzer has the
chutzpah to invite Howard to help finance further research. This is
clearly the same man who created ""