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Stuart Wexler

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  1. David: It is not a matter of intelligence-- it is a matter of maturity. To the extent that the lack of college education reinforces that-- to the would-be employers (often themselves Ivy League elites)-- I think it is a factor. If I had a bunch of examples of 19 year old deep cover agents, I would sign on. I am more inclined to what Larry is describing, a situation where Oswald is "managed" by people from afar, possibly monitored and approached by outside agents. I anxiously await what you have in terms of solid evidence. Is it coming soon? -Stu
  2. David: Do you have rock-solid, new evidence for the assertion that Oswald was "definitely" CIA operative in October 1959. I have gone back and forth over this for 20 years. The problem I always come to is Oswald's age and education. I can't imagine they would send a deep cover operative into the USSR who is 19 w/o a college education. I teach some very bright high school seniors, and I wouldn't have faith they could pull it off for two years. I am much more inclined to believe they became aware of Oswald's desire to defect (for whatever reason) and monitored him to guage Soviet interest. I do think he was something akin to an operative in Mexico City 4 years later, but I, too, am skeptical of 1959.
  3. The Connally Thorax Wound and the Missing Bullet

    I use to be privvy to arguments about this ad nauseum over at the alt. forums. We should credit the best arguments against our side, not the weakest ones or the ones that confirm our biases. So let me make the case for the lapel flip (A) The jacket shows a low exit, but the shirt shows it to be higher-- the more likely bet is that the jacket rode up. That said, it is still not directly over the lapel, however... ( The argument is that there was as much as a jacket bulge as a lapel flip. I think anyone who looks at high quality versions of the relevant frames can see it is not the swift motion we see that caused the lapel flip from Rookstool. I don't particularly admire the following person's approach to the case, but he has the relevant clip isolated: http://www.jfk-online.com/tempz.html ... in short, whatever lapel flip happened, it was a result of the jacket being forced forward. This has also been reproduced in shooting experiments. © You also have what appears to be a flapping of the hat and a sudden movement of JBC's torso. I am not completely sold on it, but I will say that the LN logic on it never made sense either. Even if JBC is hit at 224, it doesn't mean JFK was hit at the same time. JFK is showing a reaction to a wounding, but he is blocked by the sign-- he could have been reacting for several frames. In fact, I believe the most likely JFK hit is between 190-207. Part of why I am so interested in this is because I think James has brought forth one of the more credible cases I have seen that the trajectory has to involve a different frame. The lapel is actually secondary to the point about the limo. Again, I am not doing an Arlen Specter "where did the bullet go" argument in terms of "why wasn't it found?" I am open to the inferences that evidence was deep-sixed in this case, especially given the work by John Hunt. The bigger problem is why there isn't more damage to the limo. A bullet that faces little or no resistance from direct contact with bone and that is not tumbling will retain a large share of its velocity. I can't imagine this not doing serious damage to the limo, in noticeable ways. -Stu
  4. The Connally Thorax Wound and the Missing Bullet

    Hi James, I did read your work and just wanted clarification. This last post goes a long way. I guess there are a few things still confusing to me, that I think would shore up what you are saying. My understanding is that Myers and co. simply play connect the dots between the initial entry and exit wounds. What I am trying to understand is how they could be wrong about where the bullet went if we assume (a) the location of entry and exit are correct and ( the position of the men in the limo is correct. I am not clear on that from reading the piece. If you are saying that their problem is the Z224 location, I think that makes some sense. But you probably have to do more to explain the lapel flip. Secondly, I think the issue of where the bullet went and what it did is paramount to explain. It's one thing to infer that evidence was deleted or added to the record; John Hunt's work adds to your inference. But we have pretty good documentation on what damage there was to the interior of the limo. There is one interesting 6.5mm dent somewhere, and there is the matter of the windshield damage (I don't believe it is thru and thru) but neither seems consistent with what you are describing with the JBC damage. The angle doesn't work for the windshield, and the damage is too minimal for a bullet that would have been going nearly full throttle. Keep in mind I am only trying to play devil's advocate to improve your work. Your analysis of the JBC damage seems convincing on its face. In fact, I would strongly encourage you to find independent medical experts, especially wound ballistics experts, trauma surgeons, and forensic pathologists, to verify what you have. You may want to start with conspiracy minded folks because if you cannot convince a Cyril Wecht, it is problematic. But then I would go cold turkey to experts; I found foreign experts are much more likely to offer opinions. I would be willing to help you on that. You may well have a deal breaker here-- IF you can explain the lapel flap and (more importantly) IF you can account for what happened after. -Stu
  5. The Connally Thorax Wound and the Missing Bullet

    (1) To go a step further, are you saying that Myers is wrong because he does not rotate JBC's torso enough? (2) Side note, what sources are you using for your 3d recreation and what is your margin of error? (3) A comment really... I think you are really going to have to account for what this bullet is supposed to have done when it exited JBC's torso. That is clearly going to be the area you are attacked on. If even a medium velocity round exited JBC without significant deceleration, and even with a dose of it, I imagine it would have done noticeable damage inside the limo. -Stu
  6. The Connally Thorax Wound and the Missing Bullet

    This is interesting stuff, James. Can I ask some points of clarfication. (1) Are you saying that Dale Myers misplaced the actual, initial entry wound in JBC (and/or exit wound) or are you saying the only problem is the path he implies through the body? (2) If we *did* go to 223-224 for a JBC hit... where does that trace back given your analysis? The Dal Tex still? (3) I always thought the report of a 2.5cm entry wound in JBC was a reflection of surgery that Shaw performed, not the actual original size. Am I wrong on that? (4) Relatedly, isn't a 2.5cm wound awfully long relative to just about any bullet? What accounts for that? (5) You mentioned at one point that internal damage seemed to be larger than the exit wound... doesn't that imply tumbling? (6) How does one account for what some say is too little damage to JBC's wrist if a bullet and not, say, a fragment from the head shot, caused the wrist wound? (7) Finally, what do you think happened to the bullet after it transited JBC? Wouldn't it have caused extensive damage within the limo? Just trying to clarify and help you refine. Regards, Stu
  7. Efforts to release files on the King case will be met with a host of political and legal obstacles that are too complicated to explain-- I have been down that path for years now and it may well be a dead end. But adding MLK, Jr's murder to the Justice Department's already-existing Civil Rights Cold Case Initiative should not be controversial. Indeed, the inventory of evidence in the King murder includes dozen of suspect fingerprints never matched to James Earl Ray or anyone else, fingerprints that could be "run" through the FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) for possible identification. This was done in 2000 with the King prints, at a time when IAFIS was far less robust, and it was only linked to Tennessee's independent AFIS, rather than to the databases of all 50 states. More recent, integrated efforts have solved cases as old as 1957. Please sign this petition to get the Obama Administration to force the Justice Department to add King's murder to the queue of cases... http://wh.gov/mFpn

    There is a simple way to find almost all the "Postponed in Full" documents on the NARA database... search for "referred" in restrictions. Beyond that it is important to note that this database is out-of-date. My experience, even a few years ago at NARA, was that many of these files have been released in part or in full. I would suggest to many here to simply ask for the docs they are posting. Many are indeed intriguing. -Stu
  9. There are a host of problems with all sorts of forensic techniques, not the least of which is confirmation bias, which potentially undermines all of them. That is to say, if an analyst is given any clue as to a desired outcome, it can often, even subconsciously, skew their conclusions. Even forensic sciences with firmer grounding than CABL, such as fingerprints, can suffer from the implications of confirmation bias. http://www.psmag.com/legal-affairs/bias-and-the-big-fingerprint-dust-up-3629/ I would argue that Ken Rahn is an example of confirmation bias writ large, or perhaps becoming the mother of one's own theory. Before it was over, he was a self-parody of the very tenets of empirical reasoning he taught to students. In so doing he also exposed a basic problem with his generalizations about the conspiracy community vs. the lone nut community. Rahn would always claim that the lone nuts were data-driven and the conspiracists were faith-based, ideologues. Yet it was the lone nut community that gave Rahn safe haven, circling the wagons and giving him a pass even as the entire analytical field was falling underneath his feet. In contrast, we are more than happy to go after a Judyth ad nauseum. As it stood, Ken didn't face critical reception (from WC believers) even as he dug further and further into a losing cause. I used to spend a lot of time on the alt.assassination forum and still have respect for people there, including lone nuts. But I lost a lot of confidence in that endeavour (trying to learn from others and have them sway you in return) when virtually no one called Ken on his crap.
  10. The problem here is that Bill Miller, in my mind, has come awfully close to debunking the "bullet in the windshield" argument with actual photos. Perhaps he will chime in here if he is around. Much of the argument was on Lancer's forum.
  11. Rifle discussion

    Let me add to some of this here. In terms of the Canadian connections, the HSCA were keenly interested in NSRP members in Canada. One of them was clealry disconnected from NSRP activities at the time, but the other was not. The unfortunate thing is: we don't know *why* the HSCA was turned onto to these individuals. That is probably in the HSCA files, that need to be released by the Clerk of the House of Representatives. In terms of Tarrants, his picture was shown on the first day the FBI visited the Aeromarine Supply store-- it was the only file from FBI files, and the only non-local, as Larry mentioned. When we told this to one of the Jackson FBI guys (Birmingham was the one who showed the pic) he was stunned-- because no one knew who Tarrants was, or at least his significance at that point (Apr 6) as a klan terrorist. Tarrants admits buying a rifle from white supremacist minister Wesley Swift, even now-- but he claims that, unlike his quoted (but uncited) testimony in Jack Nelson's book, he did not buy the rifle to kill King, but to make some kind of statement of loyalty to Swift. As to what is going on here, unfortunately we are left to speculate. My bet, as we put in the book, was the white supremacists attempted a pre-assassination frame-up of Tarrants, which is why his name was so readily available at the first gun-store showing.In other words, they planted information, probably pre-assassination, that Tarrants got a rifle from Swift to kill King. But nothing went according to plan in Memphis. At the point that Ray is arrested, any pre-assassination frame-up would be very bad news for the group that failed to set Tarrants up, as they would be the only people who would even understand his significance circa Apr and May, 1968-- again, Tarrants was a nobody until the Summer. So if the FBI pursued Tarrants's possible MLK connection after his arrest, it could have led to the pre-assassination frameup and the only group that would have had an interest in framing or knowledge of Tarrants, the White Knights of the KKK. So the white supremacists needed a modified, limited hangout-- that is how you get two independent, post-assassination (July/Aug 1968) reports on Tarrants's involvement in the King murder. Everyone esle implicated in the later reports had an alibi, and one was an active FBI informant. So the effect of this later report was to kill any investigation of the KKK (or the white knights) and any further investigation of Tarrants-- at least that was the hoped-for effect. Hope that explains a complicated matter. AGOG goes into much more detail. -Stu
  12. Question for Martin

    That is fair enough. And I appreciate the response. I await the review then.
  13. Question for Martin

    It galls me that someone who telegraphs his (negative) review to someone who slammed our book before it came out could find such tame posts "appalling." Let me be less tame. You are someone who has been given a voice to express his opinions on books. Those books have audiences. It is highly convenient for you that you can do that and no one is allowed to make a response. We put in several years of work on this and have commanded the respect of people who have literally taught courses on the subject. So let me be clear: if you are going to embrace the kind of "mother-of-my-own-theory" reasoning you display in your dialogues with Len Colby, you are going to embarass yourself. I am not trying to foreclose your review. I am trying to get you to consider how it might look, if say, you attempt to discredit our work for using William B. Huie-- even though he is far from foundational for our book-- while you, say, rely exclusively on James Earl Ray for *anything* and embrace *any* of the theories of gullible William Pepper. Keep that in mind because, from the way you argue with Len, it won't be pretty. You have a responsibility to hold yourself to the same standards you hold others. From what I see thus far, I am far from confident. -Stu
  14. Question for Martin

    I anxiously await to see if the "whole lot of people" who lied about Ray include, for instance, Annie Estelle Peters, the piedmont laundry desk clerk who confirmed Ray's presence in Atlanta when Ray claimed he was in Memphis post-gun purchase. The receipt from the laundry corroborates Peters. Nothing corroborates Ray. For instance no one has ever been able to find any record of Ray staying anywhere in Memphis at the relevant time. The normal approach to such an issue would be to see Peters, who has no known reason to lie, and has a receipt to prove her point, as reliable, and to treat Ray-- who has every reason to lie about this and no corroboration for his account-- as being untruthful. I hope your review deals with this basic issue of protocol and research methodology that you yourself are employing. And I hope you are prepared to defend it. Such that if I applied to your own positions on the King case, that they would hold up. Larry and I, for instance, hold the default position that one should be skeptical of what James Earl Ray says unless he (a) had no obvious reason to deceive and ( can be corroborated; we do that because we would apply the same approach to ANY career criminal, convicted of a serious crime, much less one who affirmed his complicity in front of a judge, only to immediately retract it. If you give some default credibiity to Ray then you have to explain why Ray deserves any more benefit of the doubt beyond any other person in a similar position to him. If you can't do that without, more or less saying "he tells me what I want to hear" you better have some compelling reasons for everyone else to believe what you want to hear, independent of Ray. For years I dealt with Ken Rahn, who taught his students a set of reasonably sound empirical principles for figurig out the truth, then consistently and flagrantly violated those principles when it came to his own work on bullet lead. The end result was years of Rahn insisting everyone respect his own authority, begging the question, and overstating his conclusions even as the science around him crumbled to the ground. Let's not go down the same path. -Stu
  15. I have been late to join this discussion, but I wanted to ask Martin something as he is writing his review. Can you list the specific examples where an author said something that Ray himself said was fundamentally at odds with what Ray said? Not where Ray said he opposed the conclusions or direction taken by the author. Not where Ray's attorneys made insinuations about said author. But actual examples, in his many books, many interviews, and actual testimony, where Ray said: "Author X said A, but I said Z." Given that you say this is the focus on your upcoming review, I want to make sure we are talking about the same material. I don't think we need great detail, just a quick bullet list would be fine. -Stu