Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 16:25:15 -0600
From: jack white
To: james fetzer
Subject: Re: POSTED AT REQUEST OF JIM FETZER
jack white wrote:
> JIM ASKED ME TO POST THIS TO THE NEWSGROUP:
> james fetzer wrote:
> > Howard P. apparently missed my response to Shackelford and also seems
> > to think that the personal exchange between Howard P. and me occurred
> > prior to my response to his earlier post, which is not the case. Con-
> > sequently, some of his comments seem to me to be motivated by misunder-
> > standings about when I received his personal post regarding his back-
> > ground and training. I shall reply--hopefully, for the last time--but
> > this personal stuff is extremely distracting from the contributions to
> > understanding the assassination of JFK made in this book. Howard him-
> > self asserts toward the end of his post that HE IS NOT ADDRESSING THE
> > SUBSTANCE OF THE BOOK! Well, surely he ought to be and the fact that
> > he is not indicates the shallow character of his posts. Ask yourself,
> > would it matter IF I WERE THE WORLD'S GREATEST EGOTIST if the work that
> > I had helped to bring to publication were important and illuminating? I
> > am merely the messenger; the message is what is fundamental. As Jessie
> > Jackson has said on more than one occasion, keep your eyes on the prize!
> > Jim
> > P.S. Readers should refer back to the original post from "Howard. P."
> > I respond in indented lower case text to his comments in CAPS.
> > > Fetzer lower case; Platzman in CAPS
> > >
> > > Debra Conway has forwarded a commentary on ASSASSINATION SCIENCE by
> > > someone identified as "Howard P.", who claims to have a Ph.D. in
> > > philosophy. After reviewing what he has had to say, I can assert
> > > with a high degree of confidence that Howard P. may have studied
> > > philosophy but he obviously mastered very little.
> > >
> > > A CHEAP SHOT BUT ONE THAT EVEN I WOULD HAVE FOUND DIFFICULT TO RESIST.
> > >
> > This was not a "cheap shot" but a rhetorical assertion intended to
> > contrast the writer's background with the poor quality of the post.
> > The blunders he makes here about the role of credentials and appeals
> > to authority are further evidence my initial appraisal was correct.
> > > This review is a transparent hatchet job that is intended to discredit
> > > the work
> > >
> > > SOMEONE SO CAREFUL IN ASSESSING EVIDENCE SHOULD TRY TO GET HIS FACTS
> > > STRAIGHT
> > > BEFORE ARTICULATING A RESPONSE. MY POST WAS NOT A "REVIEW" BY ANY
> > > STRETCH OF
> > > THE IMAGINATION. I VERY CLEARLY SAY THAT:
> > >
> > > (1) I AM MERELY REPORTING AN "IMPRESSION" OF THE "TONE" OF THE BOOK.
> > >
> > The function of your earlier remarks appears to be precisely what I
> > described it as being, "a transparent hatchet job". The description
> > of it as a "review" was intended to categorize it with respect to its
> > content, which offers a brief characterization and evaluation of the
> > book, which is the function of a review. That it is not a "review"
> > in some other sense is consistent with my description and merely re-
> > flects that some "reviews" are more formal than others. The tone of
> > your post, in either case, was grossly unfair to me and to the book.
> > > (2) I DO NOT INTEND TO DISCUSS THE SPECIFIC ARGUMENTS IN THE BOOK UNTIL
> > > I HAVE
> > > HAD A CHANCE TO THINK THEM THROUGH THEM A BIT MORE (AND, PERHAPS, CALL
> > > UPON
> > > THOSE MORE EXPERT THAN I)
> > >
> > I only hope that your readers will understand that the exceptionally
> > strong negative remarks you have made here and in your earlier post
> > are directed at me personally as the book's editor and that they have
> > no significance whatsoever for the evidence, the arguments, and the
> > conclusions that are presented there. (See further comments below.)
> > > (3) I AM PREPARED TO ACCEPT THE TRUTH OF THE Z-FILM TAMPERING THESIS,
> > > BUT NOT
> > > UNTIL I HEAR MORE ON THE SUBJECT.
> > >
> > This, of course, is a personal observation about your own standards
> > of credibility, which might be too high, too low, or just right. It
> > does not follow from the fact that you are presently unconvinced that
> > you or anyone else should NOT be convinced. Since you place so much
> > emphasis upon "credentials", my qualifications for the appraisal of
> > arguments are far stronger than are your's and I not only find these
> > arguments to be "convincing" but explain precisely why they are pro-
> > perly regarded as establishing that the Zapruder film has been edited.
> > > I DON'T REALLY SEE HOW SOMEONE COULD OBJECT TO THESE 3 STATEMENTS, ALL
> > > CLEARLY
> > > MADE IN MY POST. IN FACT, THESE STATEMENTS REFLECT JUST THE SORT OF
> > > CIRCUMSPECTION PHILOSOPHERS ARE TRAINED TO DISPLAY. I SAY THAT I WILL
> > > SUSPEND
> > > JUDGEMENT ON THE SUBSTANCE OF THE ARGUMENT UNTIL FURTHER ANALYSIS
> > > JUSTIFIES MY
> > > TAKING A POSITION -- AND THIS STRIKES YOU AS UNREASONABLE? PROFESSOR,
> > > THOU
> > > DOST PROTEST TOO MUCH.
> > If Howard P. had stated his position this clearly and without all of
> > the fanfare and ad hominem remarks that were so prominent in the ear-
> > lier post, I would have responded my making the remarks I make above.
> > >
> > > without actually discussing its contents, the nature of the argu-
> > > ments it presents or the character of its evidence. No one would
> > > know from this commentary, for example, that the researchers whose
> > > work is reported here include a world authority on the human brain
> > > who is also an expert on wound ballistics, a Ph.D. in physics who
> > > is also an M.D. and board certified in ratiation oncology, an ex-
> > > pert on photographic evidence who assisted the HSCA during its re-
> > > investigation of the case and later advised Oliver Stone in the
> > > preparation of the film "JFK", a physician who assisted in treating
> > > JFK at Parkland and three days later his accused assassin, or a
> > > former Marine Corps officer who is also a professor of philosophy
> > > and an expert on critical thinking and on scientific reasoning.
> > >
> > > AGAIN, I DID NOT WRITE A BOOK REVIEW. I EXPRESSED FRUSTRATION AT THE
> > > ABSENCE OF
> > > CREDENTIALED EXPERTS ON CINEMATIC SPECIAL EFFECTS IN IT - NOTABLE
> > > BECAUSE THE
> > > Z-FILM PIECE IS THE CENTERPIECE OF THE BOOK. I DON'T DOUBT THE
> > > BRILLIANCE OF
> > > ANY OF YOUR CONTRIBUTORS, THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF SUBJECT MATTERS THEY MAY
> > > OR MAY
> > > NOT BE CREDENTIALED, OR THEIR ARGUMENTS (I MYSELF CONTINUE TO HARBOR
> > > SERIOUS
> > > DOUBTS ABOUT THE X-RAYS AND PHOTOGRAPHS). I SIMPLY NOTE THE INSULAR
> > > APPROACH
> > > TAKEN BY THE BOOK. I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT "EQUAL TIME," JUST ABOUT THE
> > > KIND OF
> > > THING YOU DO AS A MATTER OF COURSE IN WRITING FOR A SCHOLARLY
> > > PUBLICATION. YOU
> > > SUMMON THE BEST ARGUMENTS OF THOSE WHO OPPOSE YOUR VIEW AND YOU
> > > CRITIQUE THEM.
> > > WHERE ARE GRODEN'S BEST ARGUMENTS? OR SHACKLEFORD'S? OR THE
> > > CREDENTIALED
> > > EXPERTS'?
> > >
> > The fact is that I have responded to arguments that Shackelford and
> > Groden have made in other places such as THE ASSASSINATION CHRONICLES.
> > Such arguments as Shackelford has advanced are of very poor quality,
> > and Groden has published a rebuttal without bothering to look at the
> > evidence (In DEEP POLITICS QUARTERLY October 1997). I find it odd
> > that you would suggest that this book should include critiques of its
> > arguments that could not properly appear UNITL AFTER ITS PUBLICATION.
> > What you should find more distrubing is that Groden, who claims to be
> > an authority on the film, simply takes for granted the film has not
> > been edited without reading, reviewing, and considering the evidence.
> > (Charles S. Peirce labelled this approach "the method of tenacity".)
> > > THERE MUST BE A REASON WHY DEBATE ON YOUR BOOK HAS BEEN LARGELY ABSENT
> > > IN THIS
> > > NEWSGROUP, COMPOSED LARGELY OF BRIGHT-TO-BRILLIANT AMATEURS ON
> > > BALLISTICS,
> > > FORENSIC PATHOLOGY, AND FILM. THE REASON IS THE SAME ONE I USE IN
> > > CITING MY
> > > DISCOMFORT WITH THE BOOK, I.E., NONE OF US HAS THE SPECIFIC EXPERTISE,
> > > FINALLY,
> > > TO SAY WHAT INFERENCES CAN UNMISTAKABLY BE MADE FROM THE "EVIDENCE"
> > > CITED.
> > >
> > How do you know this is "the reason"? Have you conducted a poll?
> > Are you simply taking for granted that you know without bothering
> > to find out, like Groden on whether the film has been edited? This
> > is a rather substantial book, chock full of evidence and arguments.
> > I would have assumed it was being read and studied before commenting
> > and publicizing opinions, which would be the responsible thing to do.
> > > No one would know from this commentary that the book is divided
> > > into four sections, that the first concerns the medical evidence
> > > in this case and how it has been distorted by the JOURNAL OF THE
> > > AMA,
> > >
> > > A STORY EVERY BIT AS HORRIFYING AS YOU SAY IT IS - BUT NOTHING NEW.
> > > LIVINGSTONE
> > > HAS RAKED THEM OVER THE COALS PRETTY GOOD.
> > >
> > It would have been helpful if you had read my response to Shackel-
> > ford's post, which made a similar remark. KILLING THE TRUTH (1993)
> > included considerable discussion of the intervention of JAMA in the
> > case largely based upon the work of David Mantik, Robert Livingston,
> > Gary Aguilar and--surprise, surprise!--me. Since you make this re-
> > mark, I assume you have not actually read the book or you would know
> > better. (The same, by the way, goes for Shackelford!) Books by dif-
> > ferent authors have different content, significance, and standing. I
> > was covering the case in Part I and Part II from the inside as some-
> > one who had been involved in efforts to inform the trustees of the
> > AMA about the misconduct of the Editor-in-Chief of JAMA and attempts
> > to set the record straight with supporting documents and arguments.
> > ASSASSINATION SCIENCE was written for a general audience in a manner
> > that is intended to make it self-contained. I am of course delighted
> > that Livingstone discussed the matter in KILLING THE TRUTH, but this
> > book make additional contributions that go beyond those it has made.
> > > that the second reports the content of a national press con-
> > > ference during which important findings concerning the medical evi-
> > > dence in this case--including the fabrication of autopsy X-rays of
> > > JFK, the falsification of the "magic bullet" theory, the substitu-
> > > tion of diagrams and photographs of the brain of someone else for
> > > that of JFK--were presented (none of which was reported to the Am-
> > > erican people by our national press),
> > >
> > > AGAIN, NOTHING NEW HERE. I HAVE THE SAME QUESTIONS YOU DO.
> > >
> > Because I viewed the kinds of complaints you had lodged in your
> > first post to be largely non-substantive and ad hominem attacks
> > upon me, I used the opportunity to attempt to convey a somewhat
> > more balanced description of the contents of the book for those
> > who might know no more than your highly prejudicial commentary.
> > > that the third publishes mycorrespondence with the Department of
> > > Justice in
> > > (what turned out to be) a futile attempt to convince it that a
> > > reopening of the
> > >
> > > case was warranted by new evidence,
> > >
> > > AGAIN, I JUST THINK THERE'S TOO MUCH HERE ON YOUR PERSONAL TRAVAILS. WE
> > > ALL
> > > KNOW WHAT A BITCH IT'S BEEN TO GET DOCUMENTS RELEASED AND
> > > INVESTIGATIONS
> > > STARTED. THIS CORRESPONDENCE ADDS NOTHING TO THE DEBATE. BETTER TO USE
> > > THE
> > > SPACE TO PUBLISH ANOTHER EXPERT'S TAKE ON THE EVIDENCE.
> > >
> > This is a nice example of the ad hominem quality of your remarks.
> > It would not have mattered if someone other than I had written to
> > the Department of Justice to inform them of our new discoveries,
> > which completely pull the rug out from under the HSCA inqiury and
> > more than warrent reopening the case, if only someone other than I
> > had done so! Part III was not intended to "add to the debate" (in
> > your sense) but to illustrate what happens when a critizen who has
> > new evidence in this case writes to convey this information to the
> > Department of Justice. It was included to demonstrate that we had
> > taken such measures and the character of the response we received.
> > Every citizen of the United States should find it worth reading.
> > It would have been a mistake to have not reported these efforts
> > to bring these matters to the attention of the Department of Jus-
> > tice and to correct the record being left by The New York Times,
> > because otherwise it might look as though none of these things had
> > been done. It was important that they were done, but my role here
> > again was that of the messenger and not that of the message itself.
> > (It does not take a philosopher to appreciate such a distinction.)
> > > or that the fourth part presents a series of studies of the Zapruder
> > > film,
> > > which "prove" (invarious senses that I explain) that the film has been
> > > massively
> > > edited using highly sophisticated techniques, apparently by the
> > > CIA, which had the film in its possession already Frdiay night.
> > >
> > > AGAIN, YOU SAY IT'S PROOF. I SAY I'VE HEARD THAT SONG BEFORE.
> > > THERE WAS A TIME, LIKE UP UNTIL A YEAR AGO, THAT THE BACKWARD HEAD SNAP
> > > "PROVED" A SHOT FROM THE FRONT. PERHAPS WE WILL FIND ULTIMATELY THAT
> > > THE
> > > CINEMATIC ANOMALIES ARE INNOCENT ARTIFACTS JUST WE ARE NOW BEING TOLD
> > > (TO MY
> > > GREAT HORROR AND SADNESS, I MIGHT ADD) THAT THE BACKWARD HEADSNAP IS AN
> > > ARTIFACT OF FILM DOCTORING. YOU HAVE TAKEN AWAY ONE OF THE FEW
> > > "INDPENDENT
> > > FACTS" POINTING TO CONSPIRACY AND MADE TIED IT INTO A MUCH MORE COMPLEX
> > > CASE
> > > THAT, TO MY MIND, STILL NEEDS TO BE PROVEN.
> > >
> > If the truth about these matters has proven to be elusive, that
> > may be because so much of the evidence has been reprocessed, fab-
> > ricated, and faked. The work I was doing with David Mantik, Bob
> > Livingston, Jack White and others was devoted to determining which
> > of the evidence is and which is not authentic and therefore reliable
> > as a basis for drawing inferences about the assassination and the
> > cover-up. If the head-snap were an authentic phenomenon that ac-
> > tually occurred during the assassination, then of course it could
> > be evidence to support a shooter from the front. In fact, we have
> > a great deal of evidence of a shooter from the front (and more than
> > one, as I view what has been discovered), but we have also found a
> > great deal of evidence that the film has been extensively edited as
> > well. It is ironic, I would agree, that the head-snap should now
> > appear to be an artifact of film editing; but the very fact that it
> > has been extensively edited is vastly more damning as evidence of a
> > cover-up--involving the CIA and its assets already on Friday night!
> > Everyone ultimately has to decide for themselves what has or has
> > not been "proven". I would have thought that, given your emphasis
> > upon credentials, that you would like the fact that my extensive
> > work and publications in the philosophy of science and the theory
> > of knowledge well-position me to address these issues. After all,
> > I am a professional philosopher of science who has been engaged in
> > teaching and research in these areas for more or less thirty years.
> > When I explain the difference between different senses of "proof"
> > as they occur in legal contexts, in mathematical contexts, and in
> > empirical contexts, there is reson to think that I just might know
> > what I am talking about. If credentials matter, then I have them.
> > > Not only does this "review"
> > >
> > > THANKS FOR THE QUOTATION MARKS. PLEASE ASK DEBRA CONWAY TO ACTUALLY
> > > SHOW YOU
> > > MY POST - CLEARLY NOT A REVIEW OF THE BOOK, JUST AS CLEARLY A PLEA FOR
> > > DISCUSSION OF THE BOOK IN THIS NEWSGROUP, AND NO LESS CLEARLY A
> > > STATEMENT OF MY
> > > DISCOMFORT WITH ITS TONE. READ IT BEFORE YOU MAKE THIS MISTAKE AGAIN.
> > >
> > I explained above that the word "review" can be interpred more and
> > less strictly. In the sense I explain above, you were "reviewing"
> > ASSASSINATION SCIENCE. That you may not have thought that was what
> > you were doing is another matter entirely. I have made no mistake.
> > > not begin to describe the chapters
> > > of the book or the qualifications of the individuals who con-
> > > tribute to it but commits several common informal fallacies in
> > > the process. The claim that David Mantik, M.D., Ph.D., is not
> > > an expert on the film ignores the vast amount of research that
> > > he has devoted to the film. He may not have majored in cinema-
> > > tic techniques in a program on film production, but I have no
> > > doubt that, at this point in time, he is the world's leading
> > > expert on the Zapruder film. Moreover, to fault his research
> > > on the ground that he does not carry the title "film expert"
> > > is to commit the genetic fallacy.
> > >
> > > PLEASE DON'T TRY THIS PHILOSOPHER'S GAMBIT ON ME . YES, I KNOW I WOULD
> > > BE
> > > COMMITTING A "GENETIC FALLACY" IF I ASSERTED THAT MANTIK WAS NOT HIGHLY
> > > KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THE FILM, BUT I DO NOT. I MERELY ASSERT THAT THERE
> > > ARE
> > > CREDENTIALED EXPERTS HE SHOULD BE DISCOURSING WITH WHO MIGHT HELP GUIDE
> > > HIS
> > > RESEARCH PROGRAM AND PREVENT HIM FROM WASTING HIS TIME, YOUR TIME, AND
> > > MY TIME
> > > ON SPECULATION AS TO WHETHER SOMETHING IS AN ARTIFACT OR NOT.
> > >
> > I wonder how carefully you have read this or any other part of the
> > book. David proceeded with great care and caution and took pains-
> > taking steps to insure his research was well-founded. He welcomes
> > --as do I--the involvement of others in this research. Indeed, he
> > has stuck a bonanaza with respect to indications of alteration, a
> > number of new discoveries about which have been made by others in-
> > dependently since the publication of this book. I have no doubt at
> > all that he has made a lasting (landmark!) contribution to the case.
> > Whether you can appreciate what he has done is a separate question.
> > > BY THE WAY, A PHILOSOPHER'S BOOK ON JFK RESEARCH IS A WELCOME ADDITION
> > > TO THE
> > > FIELD. I WISH I HAD THE TIME TO WRITE IT.
> > This remark is so nasty that I am compelled to observe that you are
> > not a philosopher. You have an advanced degree in philosophy, but
> > so far as I am aware, apart from a few courses you may have taught
> > in an adjunct capacity, you have never held an academic position or
> > published articles or books on philosophical subjects. And while I
> > would agree that some philosophers do not hold academic positions,
> > they have accomplishments to substantiate their claims. It is in
> > fact a gross and inflated misrepresentation to call yourself by that
> > name, especially given the poor quality of your analytical ability.
> > You are a Ph.D. in philosophy with an interest in various subjects.
> > YOU ARE TO BE COMMENDED FOR
> > > TRYING
> > > TO EXPLAIN THE RIGHTS AND WRONGS OF REASONING ABOUT THE ASSASSINATION
> > > (OR ABOUT
> > > ANYTHING ELSE, FOR THAT MATTER), AND SOME OF IT YOU DO QUITE WELL. THE
> > > SUMMARY
> > > CHAPTER IS, HOWEVER, QUITE SILLY. YOU MIX UP PROOFS OF A CONSPIRACY TO
> > > KILL
> > > WITH PROOFS OF A COVER-UP, WHICH, INDEEED, IS ACTUALLY POSSIBLE WITHOUT
> > > A
> > > CONSPIRACY TO KILL (YOU KNOW, RELATED SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET, E.G.,
> > > CIA-MAFIA'S ANTI-CASTRO ESCAPADES). WORST, THOUGH, ARE THOSE "IF X IS
> > > WELL-FOUNDED, THEN THERE MUST BE A CONSPIRACY."
> > I don't know what I am supposed to be "mixing up". If you mean the
> > ten proofs I originally sent to John Ring, M.D., they were explicitly
> > described as proofs of conspriacy or of cover-up! If anyone is get-
> > ting things "mixed up", it would seem to be the author of this post.
> > SYLLOGISMS, WHICH GLOSS
> > > OVER
> > > ANY EVIDENCE THAT MIGHT BE SUMMONED TO ARGUE THAT X MIGHT NOT BE
> > > WELL-FOUNDED.
> > > YOU JUST RUN PAST ALL DEBATE TO SUMMARIZE YOUR CONCLUSIONS. WHAT DO YOU
> > > GAIN,
> > > REALLY, BY PUTTING THEM INTO KINDERGARDEN-LEVEL SYLLOGISMS? IT IS HAS
> > > THE TONE
> > > (I'M SURE NOT THE INTENT) OF CONDESCENSION.
> > >
> > Just for the record, none of the arguments that appear here have
> > the logical structure of syllogisms, which exemplify several dif-
> > ferent forms, but not those of the arguments given here. (Take a
> > look at any standard logic text if you do not know this; certainly,
> > no one who is competent in logic or criticial thinking or even phil-
> > osophy generally would call them "syllogisms".) Moreover, the aim
> > of these arguments was to place the emphasis where the emphasis be-
> > longs, namely: on the evidence that these authors had unearthed.
> > Unless something is wrong with their evidence, the conclusions I
> > drawn about film alteration logically follow and cannot be false.
> > I would have thought a Ph.D. in philosophy would appreciate this.
> > > His blatant ad hominem at-
> > > tacks upon me take matters out of context. Most obviously,
> > > he judges a book by its cover, even faulting the appearance
> > > of a photograph of the editor on the back! If there could
> > > be a more superficial criticism, I cannot imagine what it is.
> > >
> > > I NEVER SAID YOUR ARGUMENTS ARE UNSOUND BECAUSE YOUR PICTURE IS ON THE
> > > COVER
> > > (AND, I BELIEVE, BETWEEN THE COVERS). NOW THAT WOULD BE AN AD HOMINEM
> > > ARGUMENT!
> > > I ONLY SAY THAT THESE PICTURES, LETTERS, ETC. ARE IRRELEVANT TO THE
> > > CORE
> > > ARGUMENTS IN THE BOOK. THEY ARE A DISTRACTION.
> > >
> > There is ample justification for every document, record, letter
> > and photograph that appears in this book. I make no apologies.
> > You, of course, may be more easily distracted than most readers.
> > > YOU ARE A RESEARCHER WITH THE HIGHEST LEVEL PHILOSOPHICAL TRAINING AND,
> > > I'M
> > > SURE, AN EXCELLENT REPUTATION AMONG YOUR PEERS: THAT IS PRECISELY WHY
> > > YOU
> > > SHOULD STICK TO THE ARGUMENTS AND THE EVIDENCE -- AND LET YOUR
> > > PUBLISHER DO THE
> > > SALES JOB.
> > >
> > I don't quite get the point. I did "stick to the arguments
> > and the evidence", which is precisely what you have not done.
> > > Indeed, although you would not know it from listening to this
> > > reviewer, there are comments that appear on the jacket from
> > > four different individuals, whose comments are as follows:
> > >
> > > "ASSASSINATION SCIENCE is a watershed. Past and future
> > > assassination studies will have to be read through the
> > > painstakingly logical lens with which it scrutinizes the
> > > murder of John Kennedy. The contributors collectively
> > > offer an exhaustively documented and tightly reasoned
> > > argument bound to give the most loyal defender of the
> > > Warren Commissioners or Gerald Posner pause for thought.
> > > There is no sentimentalism or sensationalism here, even
> > > though the web of bureaucratic roadblocks and deceit
> > > encountered by Fetzer in his investigations would make
> > > for an exciting thriller. Instead, the cool clinical
> > > breeze of rigorous thinking blows throughout."
> > > --KERRY WALTERS
> > > Distinguished Professor,
> > > Gettysburg College
> > >
> > > "ASSASSINATION SCIENCE--particularly Dr. David Mantik's
> > > chapter on the Zapruder film--constitutes a significant
> > > addition to me literature on the JFK assassination. Those
> > > who believe that the Zapruder film (characterized by some
> > > as the closest thing to 'absolute truth' when it comes to
> > > the shooting) is unimpeachable are in for a surprise. In
> > > addition, the publication of certain documents (such as
> > > the full text of the Dallas doctors' 11/22/63 press con-
> > > ference) as well as Fetzer's musings about what is knowable
> > > and the record of his jousting with the establishment (from
> > > THE NEW YORK TIMES to the Justice Department) make for in-
> > > teresting reading.
> > > --DAVID LIFTON
> > > Author of BEST EVIDENCE
> > >
> > > "Although certain to provoke further controversy, this
> > > book supplies important scientific assessments of the
> > > medical evidence laid before the Warren Commission, to-
> > > gether with a valuable narrative account of the American
> > > Medical Association's entry into this contentious field.
> > > I was particularly gripped by compelling new arguments
> > > that the Zapruder film had been altered, along with
> > > related documentation concerning the Warren Commission's
> > > re-enactment of the shooting in Dealey Plaza.
> > > --PETER DALE SCOTT
> > > Author of DEEP POLITICS
> > > AND THE DEATH OF JFK
> > >
> > > "Every serious student of the Kennedy assassination
> > > should read this excellent compilation of articles,
> > > which dissect and destroy the Warren Commission Re-
> > > port in a meticulous, objective, and analytical man-
> > > ner. The authors are all accomplished professionals,
> > > and their investigative studies unquestionably shift
> > > the evidentiary burden to those who through ignorance,
> > > naivete, or conscious pro-government bias continue to
> > > defend the Warren Commission Report, the greatest hoax
> > > ever perpetrated on the American people."
> > > --CYRIL H. WECHT, M.D., J.D.
> > > Past President, American
> > > Academy of Forensic Sciences
> > >
> > > GOOD BOOKS HAVE BLURBS, BAD BOOKS HAVE BLURBS. THAT'S HARDLY THE POINT.
> > > IF YOU
> > > ARE SUGGESTING THAT THESE BLURBS, AND THE MENTIONS OF ALL THOSE
> > > ADVANCED
> > > DEGREES, SOMEHOW CONFERS MORE CREDIBILITY ON YOUR TEXT, THEN YOU'VE
> > > COMMITTED A
> > > LOGICAL FALLACY YOU WELL KNOW THE NAME OF: APPEAL TO AUTHORITY. AS
> > > JACK WEBB
> > > MIGHT SAY: "JUST THE FACTS, SIR."
> > Of all your offensive remarks, this is the most telling. Any
> > competent student of philosophy could explain that there are
> > two kinds of appeals to authority, those that are fallacious
> > and those that are not. When an authority in one field is cit-
> > ed as though he were an authority in another field (Einstein on
> > religion, for example), then a fallacious appeal to authority
> > has been committed. When an authority in a field is cited in
> > relation to that field (Einstein on physics, for example), then
> > that is a non-fallacious appeal to authority. Since this point
> > has escaped your grasp, I truly do not understand why you are
> > placing so much emphasis upon "credentials" here and elsewhere.
> > >
> > > Now if anyone wants to judge this book by its cover, then
> > > they may want to consider the comments of Kerry Walters,
> > > David S. Lifton, Peter Dale Scott, and Cyril H. Wecht
> > > which appear there. They may also want to consider why
> > > the remarks that have now been advanced by "Howard P."
> > > appear to diverge so drastically from their appraisals.
> > >
> > > WHY ARE YOU APPEALING TO THEIR STATUS AS EXPERTS (WHETHER CREDENTIALED
> > > OR NOT)?
> > > THAT'S A PRETTY CLEAR APPEAL TO AUTHORITY.
> > Kerry Walters is a professor of philosophy who teaches a crit-
> > ical thinking course that focuses on the assassination of JFK.
> > The three others have all spent a great deal of time and have
> > substantial accomplishments to their names in relation to the
> > study of the assassination of JFK. These are individuals who
> > might well be expected to be appropriately situated to review
> > and appraise the contributions that are found in this book. I
> > suggest that their opinions are better founded, better founded
> > and more responsible than those that you, for example, advance.
> > NEWSGROUP MEMBERS SHOULD
> > > KNOW THAT
> > > YOU SENT ME AN E-MAIL ENTITLED "WHO IS HOWARD P.?" -- WHICH, AFTER
> > > READING THIS
> > > PASSAGE, SOUNDS VERY MUCH LIKE YOU ARE CALLING UPON ME TO PRODUCE MY
> > > "CREDENTIALS."
> > After reading your post, I was puzzled how someone with a Ph.D.
> > in philosophy could offer such blatant ad hominem attacks upon
> > me with so much emphasis upon credentials and so little on the
> > substance of the book. So I wrote to inquire. I wanted to have
> > a better idea what might motive someone to present such a baised
> > and unwarranted attack to a list devoted to assassination research.
> > >
> > > I RESPONDED TO YOU AT LENGTH, SO NOW THAT YOU HAVE MY LIFE STORY, WHAT
> > > IS IT
> > > THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SAY ABOUT "WHO I AM"? THAT BECAUSE I'VE SPENT
> > > THE PAST
> > > 15 YEARS OUTSIDE THE IVIED WALLS, BECAUSE YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF ME, YOU
> > > CAN
> > > SAFELY DISMISS NOT MERELY COMMENTS ABOUT SUBSTANCE (WHICH, I POINT OUT
> > > AGAIN, I
> > > DO NOT MAKE) BUT EVEN MY COMMENTS ABOUT TONE? SURELY YOU COULDN'T BE
> > > INTENDING
> > > THAT. THAT WOULD BE AN AD HOMINEM ARGUMENT, WOULDN'T IT? A LITTLE
> > > CONSISTENCY
> > > ISN'T TOO MUCH TO ASK FROM SOMEONE WHO'S TAKEN AND PERHAPS TAUGHT A FEW
> > > COURSES
> > > IN LOGIC.
> > Indeed, since 1970, when I received my Ph.D., I have taught more
> > courses in logic and critical thinking than in any other subject.
> > I think it is telling that you concede that YOU ARE NOT ADDRESSING
> > THE SUBSTANCE OF THE BOOK--the evidence, the arguments, the conclu-
> > sions--apparently because you do not consider yourself to be an ex-
> > pert in these matters. There are no advanced degrees in assassina-
> > tion research. When he wrote SIX SECONDS IN DALLAS, Tink Thompson
> > was a professor of philosophy. BEST EVIDENCE was written by a grad-
> > uate student in physics. CASE CLOSED was (allegedly) written by a
> > Wall Street lawyer. DEEP POLITICS AND THE DEATH OF JFK was written
> > by an English professor. None of them is an "expert" in the sense
> > you have employed, yet each of them (with the possible exception of
> > Gerald Posner) is an expert in their areas of assassination inquiry.
> > Would you at least agree that, if the evidence is as strong as the
> > contributors imply, then the conclusions I assert do indeed follow?
> > >
> > > Better yet, why not get a copy of the book and read it
> > > for yourself to see whether this reviewer has given it
> > > a fair shake? It should not be very difficult to tell.
> > >
> > > BY ALL MEANS, READ IT! AND PAY FULL PRICE LIKE I DID, IF YOU CAN
> > > AFFORD TO.
> > >
> > I don't understand why encouraging people to actually read the
> > book for themselves is inappropriate or should be discouraged.
> > It would certainly allow them to judge for themselity of Minnesota
> > Duluth, MN 55812