Message #8


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
> > 

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