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Lance Payette

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About Lance Payette

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  • Birthday 03/03/1950

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    "Elvis has left the building."

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  1. Thanks, folks, but I'm not looking for pats on the back or reasons to stay. I'm not just done with this forum but with the JFK assassination as well. I'm happy to say I no longer have a shred of JFK material on my Kindle or in my home. I have enough other interests to occupy my time. I wish you all the best. Yes, Michael, I've found on a number of past occasions with other forums that having my account permanently deleted is the easiest solution. Forums on controversial topics such as this are somewhat like eating peanuts - very difficult to stop even when you're long past the point that you're enjoying them. I've completely moved away from religion and UFO forums for the same reason. They eventually become unhealthy obsessions unless you cut them off. I think 663 posts here is about twice what I've ever accumulated on another forum I take it David is casting one vote for a conspiracy-only forum. I do think that is the only solution. No more non-conspiracy blather! Last post. Adios.
  2. Regarding Kathy’s recent warning about civility and some of the follow-up, isn't it the reality that: 1. The vast majority of participants here adhere to one conspiracy theory or another and would greatly prefer for this to be a conspiracy-only site. 2. To express a non-conspiracy view is the equivalent of waving a red flag in front of a bull. Those who hold non-conspiracy views are as unwelcome as atheists at an evangelical church picnic. 3. The vast majority of rage, insults, ridicule and other varieties of uncivility is to be found in exchanges between those who hold conspiracy views and those who don’t. 4. For the vast majority of participants here, the JFK assassination in general and their pet conspiracy theories in particular are extremely emotional matters, not unlike religious beliefs. Would anyone dispute the above? It isn’t 100% accurate, of course, but it’s surely 95% accurate. I really don’t see this changing, ever. I believe the forum should adopt some equivalent of a religious forum’s statement of faith, making clear that non-conspiracy views are simply not welcome. If you aren’t at least a member of the conspiracy brotherhood, don’t apply. The perspective that I’ve tried to bring – i.e., at least some focus on the epistemology of conspiracy beliefs, the psychological underpinnings of conspiracy beliefs, the dynamics of conspiracy communities and forums, and the need to apply common sense and logic to conspiracy claims – is clearly unwelcome here. It’s a step removed (in the wrong direction) from simply expressing non-conspiracy beliefs; it’s blasphemy. When I've pointed clear factual errors and sloppy research in relation to a number of conspiracy claims, I've been met with a veritable firestorm. That will never change - see points 1-4 above. I suggested to the administrators a strict rule such as the following: Posts and responses shall focus on substance, not personalities. Other members shall be addressed as “you” (or by name) and referred to as “he,” “she,” “him” or “her” (or by name). There shall be no disparagement, ridicule or mockery of another member’s name; appearance; education; professional qualifications, career or skills; intellectual abilities; or views. Substantive discussions shall be respectful and free of sarcasm, ridicule, mockery or insults. Disagreements on matters of substance shall not become personal or disagreeable. Broad characterizations, such as Lone Nutters and Conspiracy Theorists, shall not be used unless they are genuinely relevant to the substantive discussion. Essentially the same rules shall apply to discussions of particular authors, books and theories – they shall focus on substance and be free of disparagement, ridicule, mockery or insults. These rules will be strictly enforced, and a member will receive no more than two warnings before being suspended or banned. But really, what would be the point? It would be “honored” only in the breach, and in a month the culture would be the same old, same old. If you look at the thread on which Kathy issued her warning, you will see it was immediately ignored. I thus believe the only solution is a rule such as the above and a limitation on membership to pledged members of the conspiracy brotherhood. With that, I bid you a not-very-fond adieu. I asked James Gordon a few years ago to delete my account, but he graciously put it into limbo instead. This time, I will ask that it be permanently deleted. Enjoy (?) yourselves.
  3. Is it just me, or do others have the sense that Jim didn't exactly take Kathy's warning seriously?
  4. You just added that to your post, I see. By no means did I "claim I really was not the one responsible." Repeated warnings about membership behavior were issued long before I'd ever heard of this place. I do not claim at all that I do not dish out as good - or better - than I get. I merely point out that you are, IMHO, the Prime Offender, yet you always posture yourself as being above this sort of thing. We are simply going to have to disagree that this is insulting. I say this as a 60-year card-carrying, highly informed member of the UFO community and a UFO experiencer. The parallels between the UFO community and the JFK community are startling. They have been remarked upon by observers from a variety of scientific and academic disciplines. The conspiracy mindset that psychologists and social scientists have documented is prevalent in both communities. Both are fruitful fields for legitimate research - but also veritable magnets for the unbalanced and credulous and the con artists who prey upon them. I daresay that if I were to analogize the UFO community to the JFK community on a UFO board, they would be screaming foul. As I have said repeatedly, I believe that greater familiarity with other "weirdness" communities would be very beneficial for someone whose focus and experience has been limited to a single such community. You would see that the dynamics are essentially identical across all such communities.
  5. Volz was appointed U. S. Attorney in 1977. Marcello and others were indicted in 1981 in connection with the bribery of state officials involving insurance contracts (his conviction was overturned in 1989). This was penny ante stuff in the overall scheme of Marcello's empire. It's not clear to me what relevance anything you are saying has to the point that Rich Pope was making about Marcello's power at the time of the assassination of JFK in 1963. (I am not saying Volz was corrupt. Others suggested as much, as outlined in the article I cited and the book it cites. And that alleged corruption did relate to mob ties.) Oh, you did? I missed that part. I will state, for the umpteenth time, that I not only retired but resigned from the bar two years ago. I am not a lawyer, Prescott or otherwise. As I clearly stated on the other thread, I have not even been in Prescott in almost ten years. Oh, goodness, I'm not weeping. I actually enjoy slinging insults back and forth, provided it is done with some modicum of wit. I was simply acknowledging Kathy's warning and making the point that, to be effective, it must be applied even-handedly and across the board.
  6. Maybe, but I'll bet $5 right now the pretty obvious Prime Offender never finds himself "looking for a new home." I did, however, delete a portion of a recent post that I thought was unduly snarky, even though the Prime Offender had repeatedly referred to me as Peyote, as being the legal equivalent of a used care salesmen, and all the usual ad hominems in which he specializes - on a thread in which I had not even participated, no less. Isn't this about the 50th time this sort of warning has been issued? I remember one "absolutely final last straw" warning a couple of years ago, It will be interesting to see if this one has any more teeth or any more effect on the culture of the forum than the other 49. For it to work, there can't be two or more different standards for offenders on the basis of their views of the assassination (LN vs. CT) or perceived rank within the pecking order. That's too obvious and ultimately self-defeating. I'm not exempting myself. I'm naturally sarcastic and, after 40 years of practicing law, I'm a veritable Ph.D in snarkiness - which is why I generally don't mind the give-and-take unless it's just completely gratuitous, mindless and baseless.
  7. Wait a minute, that was EXACTLY the point of my lengthy post! Of course, knee-jerk reactions without reading or understanding what has been posted are par for the course here, so you should fit right in.
  8. Ah, now I see - Jim Di and I are both full of crap, even though we each think the other is full of crap! Spartacus, however, is not full of crap - is that right? - although I don't see anything on the site that is at odds with anything I posted. This crap stuff is really confusing. The Mafia had the motive (in spades) and means (in spades) as well as the chutzpah (in spades) to assassinate JFK if they had wanted to do so. A Mafia assassination thus has the superficial plausibility that many conspiracy theories have. The problems are (1) the Mafia would not have bothered with a patsy and (2) the Mafia would not have touched a loose cannon like Lee Harvey Oswald with a ten-foot pole (Santos Trafficante, when asked how he would respond if told that Ruby was a Mafia employee: "I'd say the Mafia needs a new personnel director").
  9. Oddly enough, that seems to be the consensus about you! Ergo, does the fact that you think I'm full of crap mean that I am in fact not full of crap? Does the fact that you think I'm full of crap on the matter of Marcello mean that you agree with Jim Di, who thinks you're full of crap on the matter of Marcello? Diagram that out and get back to me, will you? Your insightful comment is the functional equivalent of "neener neener" or "your old lady wears army boots." It makes no substantive point. To be effective, you need to point out the errors in my crap.
  10. Right - I invented it! The basic definition would be "One who milks the JFK assassination for financial gain by peddling himself and his wares to wide-eyed Conspiracy Game enthusiasts, typically purporting to be engaged in legitimate historical research while actually focused almost entirely on self-promotion and serving up as 'research' a potpourri of speculation, innuendo, half-truths and fantasy, all garnished with just enough historical facts to give the dish a superficial veneer of plausibility." Something like that. Sort of the JFK equivalent of a Prosperity Gospel televangelist. You must be absolutely dousing your poor keyboard with spittle. I've read the excellent article by Thompson and Aguilar. In my very first post above, I acknowledged that the provenance of CE 399 is problematical. If someone were going to attempt to introduce it into evidence at a trial, the problems would require satisfactory explanations. Because I am not a Grand Exalted Wizard of the Conspiracy Game or even a rank-and-file Conspiracy Game zealot, however, I recognize that (1) some or all of the seeming problems might well be resolved if the principals were still alive to clarify and explain them - they do not inevitably point in the direction you suggest; (2) CE 399 might well be deemed admissible - what is "obvious" to you is not so obvious to someone such as myself who is actually familiar with trial practice and does not purport to have your clairvoyance; (3) even if CE 399 were deemed inadmissible (which is certainly possible), the effect on the SBT and the determination of Oswald's guilt is simply unknown - I don't see it as necessarily all that significant; and (4) the WC and HSCA were investigative bodies, not the "Oswald defense bodies" that you and people like you wish they had been. I have actually not even been to Prescott in nearly ten years. Nor, for that matter, have I ever exchanged one word with DVP outside the public postings on this forum. There actually was a Darrow of Prescott, Warren, who was related to the famed Clarence Darrow. Before coming to Prescott, oddly enough, he had litigated against Jerry Spence of Oswald Mock Trial fame.
  11. I don't pretend to be a student of the Mafia - although, having grown up in Tucson in the fifties (aka Bonanno Country), I'm practically a junior member of the family just by osmosis. I well-remember how, every now and then, a restaurant would blow up and people would shrug and say "Well, it's not wise to make Joe unhappy." Regarding the Dixie Mafia, http://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/local/story/2013/dec/02/dixie-mafia/295497/: The Dixie Mafia was very active in several cities, including Biloxi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Shreveport-Bossier City, Memphis, Atlanta and Tulsa. There are big scores to be had in larger cities. They are great paces for planning jobs and fencing stolen goods. It’s easy to get lost in the crowds, and there is always plenty of recreation to be had. Some cities they operated in required a bit of caution. In New Orleans, for example, they had to be especially careful not to step on the toes of resident Mafia boss Carlos Marcello, one of the most powerful figures in the history of American crime. Marcello’s organization would sometimes use the Dixie Mafia to collect debts and carry out hits. And the old man was willing to let them do business in his fiefdom as long as they played by Marcello’s rules—don’t bring too much heat from the cops, don’t knock over one of his many legal or illegal enterprises and, most of all, don’t forget to send a piece of any score his way. Every once in a while, a Dixie Mafia figure would fail to show proper respect. Such bad manners carried a terrible penalty. It doesn't sound to me like Marcello's reputation needed much enhancement since even other Mafioso were terrified of him. In any event, Jim's description of "not that powerful, period" is an absurd example of Jim purporting to have "inside information" that is simply wrong. Tell us more about Joe Carolla, Jim. The point of these little exercises on my part is to demonstrate how often these Conspiracy Capitalists who try to wow and overwhelm you with their knowledge are actually serving up a pastiche of sloppy research (by themselves or others whom they uncritically parrot), half-truths, complete fantasy, rank speculation and dark innuendo, all garnished with just enough historical truth to give it a veneer of plausibility, especially if you're too lazy to do your own fact-checking (which in my case has seldom required more than 30 minutes). When you expose them, they just move on as though nothing had happened, as Jim does here.
  12. Marcello? He was nobody - nobody, I tell ya. How do we know this? Because an assistant district attorney under Garrison, John Volz, supposedly told Jim Di he was nobody (to quote Jim, "Marcello was not that powerful, period"). Here in Conspiracy World, that's good enough for us. I'm confident that in the Conspiracy World version of reality tough-guy Jim would've walked up to Marcello, slapped him in the face and said "You're nobody, punk. Get outta my way before my people shove you outta my way." Volz actually did prosecute Marcello. However, there have long been persistent rumors of Volz' own corruption and Mafia ties. They are described here, in an article concerning Volz' mysterious appointment as U.S. Attorney: https://thelensnola.org/2012/12/18/with-letten-gone-tis-the-season-for-intrigue-and-wild-rumors/. In any event, here in the Real World "not that powerful" Marcello was about as powerful as they get. There's a nice four-part summary here that also touches on the JFK assassination rumors, https://gangstersinc.ning.com/profiles/blogs/out-of-africa-the-story-of-new-orleans-mafia-boss-carlos-Marcello. I quote: Within thirteen years, Carlos would be possibly the wealthiest Mafiosi in the United States and most certainly one of the most influential. His criminal organization would be generating between one and two billion dollars each year, making it the biggest industry by far in Louisiana. As the leader of the "first Mafia family" in America, he enjoyed unique privileges; for example, he could "open his books" and "make" men into his organization without the approval of the Commission. His control and dominance of the Louisiana Mafia was incontestable. The late Vincent Teresa, a Mafia thief, and enforcer, working out of the New England mob, said of Marcello's crime family: "It was very tight. They're all in deathly fear of Carlos Marcello because he's got the law, all the politicians in the state, right in his hip pocket. You just can't go against him." The Marcello control of people at all levels was significant to his domination of the Louisiana Mafia. He ruled this as a despot, with independence and insularity that was unique across the twenty-four or so other criminal groups that made up the national syndicate of American-Italian mob families. Joseph Valachi, a former soldier in the Genovese family of New York, was the first "made" 'member of any Mafia family to turn informant and publicly testify as to the inner working of the Mafia in America. When he was asked at the McClellan Hearing what he knew about Marcello, he replied, "Louisiana? I don't know a thing except they don't want visitors. Once I was going to see the Mardi Gras and I checked it out with Vito (Genovese), which I was supposed to do if I took a trip. He said, 'Don't go.' No explanation, just 'Don't go.' They didn't want anybody there. And I was told if I ever had to go to Louisiana, Vito would have to call ahead and get permission. Genovese himself had to get permission. It was an absolute rule." Although he was in federal prison, serving time on drug trafficking charges, Vito Genovese was at this time, allegedly, the most powerful mob boss in America. Yet even he would tip his forelock in deference to "The Little Man in New Orleans." He was in fact, bigger than Ben Hur. By 1966, Carlos Marcello had been the chief executive of his criminal dynasty for almost twenty years. Through bribery, corruption, intimidation and an inherent ability to control situations, he was probably the wealthiest and most influential Mafia leader in the United States. He had succeeded in getting his way, and getting away with everything, all his life. His political acumen was only matched by his judicious public relations. Fount-of-misinformation Jim says the real power in Louisiana was one "Joe Carolla." I have been unable to find any reference whatsoever to a Joe Carolla, but here is a short description of Marcello's connection to the Carolla family, http://www.ocnus.net/artman2/publish/Dark_Side_4/Out-of-Africa-The-Story-of-New-Orleans-Mafia-boss-Carlos-Marcello.shtml: Since the death of Police Chief Hennessey, the Louisiana Mafia had grown and blossomed under at least two, possibly three leaders. Carlo Matranga had undoubtedly led the family into the twentieth century. He ruled until the early 1920's when he stepped down and retired. He died at the age of 86 on October 28th, 1943. At this point, his place was taken either by Corrado Giacona or Sylvestro (Sam) Carolla. ... Carolla, a swarthy, sleepy-eyed hood, had spent a two-year spell in jail for murdering a federal narcotics agent in1932. The sentence had been abruptly terminated with an early release from the ubiquitous Governor O.K. Allen, by appointment, pardoner to the mob. Sam made his fortune smuggling booze and drugs during the 1920s and 30s, and reached a position of such power, he was controlling the municipal government through bribery and corruption. He was low-key and his name did not appear in any newspaper until 1923. Because he had never taken out citizenship, however, he became vulnerable to deportation proceedings. They dragged on for years, but eventually, he was convicted and flown out of the country on May 30, 1947 to relocate in Sicily, his birthplace. As Carolla was counting down his last days in America, Marcello was working the family members, promoting himself as the natural successor. He had emerged among the capis, or crew chiefs, who ran the organization, as the most probable candidate. His wealth was growing at a remarkable velocity. Money was pouring in from narcotics, gambling, the slot machines and his racing wire service. He opened a casino, calling it the New Southport Club on the East Bank at 1300 Monticello Road, off the Mississippi River Road near the New Orleans Jefferson Parish line. It soon became enormously popular and hugely profitable. … Late in the evening of May 5th, 1947, a group of men gathered together in a room at the back of The Black Diamond, on North Galvez Street, a nightclub in a seedy part of New Orleans that catered almost exclusively for black people. The mob used this for a rendezvous in the belief that it would reduce the chance of surveillance. On this particular night, they were wrong and agents of the FBN (Federal Bureau of Narcotics) were checking out the expensively dressed white men who disembarked from limousines at the rear of the club and disappeared inside. Among those noted here that night, were Tom Rizzuto, Nick Grifazzi, Frank Lombardino, Joe Capro and Anthony Carolla, son of Sam; also along were Joe Poretto, Nofio Pecora, and Carlos with brothers Vincent, Joseph, Peter and Anthony. Jake and Nick Marcello, Carlos' nephews were also at the party. Although supporters of Anthony Carolla put forward his name, they were outvoted by Carlos' men, and by the time the meeting was over, he was the newly appointed head of the Louisiana Mafia. Although the Bureau of Narcotics was on his trail, at this point in time, the FBI was not. Sixteen years later, on July 11th, 1963, an FBI report suggests that Marcello was not the boss of New Orleans. Someone else was. His name was Leoluca Trombadore. Born in Corleone, Sicily, in March 1888, he emigrated to America, arriving in New York in 1907 when he was 19. He moved to Louisiana when he was in his mid-twenties, married, had a daughter, was known by everyone as “Mr. Luke,” and lived in New Orleans until he died there, in 1957. He was a second cousin to Giuseppe Morello, the New York-based head of what we know today as the Genovese Crime Family. If Trombadore was the boss, he kept a low profile, and there is little, if any, empirical evidence to support the claim. [Marcello] Brothers Joe and Vincent were made into the family. Joe became the underboss and Vincent was a feared street soldier. The other four brothers may have been Mafiosi or maybe stayed as associates. There is no evidence to confirm this, although a number of sources claim Salvatore “Sammy” Marcello was a soldier in the family and often acted as the bodyguard and driver to his big brother. Fifteen months after Marcelo’s elevation to the head of the Louisiana Mafia, the FBI began to track his activities and his name appears for the first time in an FBI file on October 15th, 1948. Anthony never forgot his displacement from what he obviously believed was his rightful ascension, and nineteen years later would bring his grievance up before a national Mafia Commission meeting at a restaurant in New York. By "Joe Carolla," Jim presumably means Anthony Carolla. Here is a short description of Anthony Carolla's 1966 attempt to gain greater power during Marcello's reign, https://mafia.wikia.org/wiki/Anthony_Carolla. He was unsuccessful but would finally assume control in 1990, after Marcello had been sent to prison, suffered a series of strokes and ceded power to other family members. On September 22, 1966, Carolla and other high ranking Mafia members attended a meeting at an Italian restaurant called La Stella, which was located at 102-111 Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills, Queens, New York. They were gathered around a table in a private dining area in the basement, and while awaiting their first course, New York police raided the building and arrested everyone. There were thirteen of them and all were members of the Mafia. Who had summoned the meeting, and how it was organized and what its purpose was has never been disclosed. The group were all taken to a nearby police station, questioned, searched and then released on personal bail of $100,000 each. Although there has been speculation about why the meeting was called, it has been alleged that it was to resolve matters relating to the New Orleans crime family. Carlos Marcello, the then current boss of New Orleans, sat at the table with his brother Joe, his underboss, along with Carolla and Frank Gagliano, two of his senior family members. Carolla had apparently been seeking a greater share of the New Orleans mob's action, citing seniority within the family and his family birthright. His father had been Sylvestro Carolla, who had run the family until deportation in 1947. Anthony was also apparently seeking approval to take over the New Orleans Mafia when Marcello eventually retired. Apparently the ruling of the meeting favored Marcello. The meeting was referred to by law enforcement and the press at the time as "Little Apalachin." It wouldn't be until the 1990s that Carolla would finally assume control of the New Orleans crime family following that fateful meeting in New York in 1966. So who ya gonna believe, Conspiracy Capitalist Jim's recollections of what a dubious Garrison attorney supposedly told him about a non-existent Joe Carolla or the Real World historical record? Alas, I'm pretty sure I know the answer. Jim asks, "Volz was the late federal prosecutor who was assigned to the Marcello case. He told me that Marcello was not even the leading mobster in the area. That was Joe Carolla. Now if he knew that, then how could Blakey and Billings not know it?" http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/topic/26094-i-dont-think-lbj-did-it-i-know-he-did/?tab=comments#comment-407667 Oh, I don't know - possibly because IT OBVIOUSLY WASN'T TRUE? And so it goes in Conspiracy World.
  13. I am forced to educate you once again. Neither the WC nor the HSCA was a criminal prosecution. I have no idea, and neither do you, as to whether CE 399 would have been admitted into evidence in a criminal prosecution of Oswald in 1964 or a mock criminal prosecution in 2019 - or what effect its inadmissibility would have had on the determination of Oswald's guilt (I suspect the effect would have been nil). There is no such thing as "prosecutorial misconduct" in an administrative investigation such as the WC and HSCA. Even in adversarial administrative hearings, the rules of evidence typically do not apply at all. Hearsay is routinely admitted and the fact-finder is free to entertain any and all evidence it wishes to hear. You can impugn the WC and HSCA and their willingness to consider and rely upon CE 399, but your "pretend lawyer" analysis is simply the uninformed nonsense that typically proceeds from the mouths of pretend lawyers. Like every Conspiracy Game zealot, you confidently assert with 56 years of hindsight that every seeming gap, inconsistency and contradiction in the record is attributable to "lies" when you have no way of knowing this or what plausible explanation or clarification might be offered if the people you so confidently brand with the L word were still alive. Are you so out of control that you're covering your keyboard with spittle as you type this nonsense? That's pretty much what I picture. CE 399 doesn't "prove" that at all. Although I understand that it's de rigueur for the Conspiracy Game, and particularly for a Conspiracy Capitalist with books to peddle and turf to protect, the dogmatic nonsense, uncontrollable rage and ad hominem silliness that flow from your keyboard are not really the hallmarks of someone who is confident about the arguments he is propounding.
  14. I’ve certainly received a lot of attention for a thread on which I didn’t even participate. Since Jim no longer has DVP to bring him to orgasm, perhaps I’m now his inflatable rubber DVP doll? It’s odd how conspiracy theorists, especially non-lawyers, love to play the “courtroom game.” No lawyer thinks ontological truth is the objective in a courtroom. The objective in a courtroom is to win by convincing the judge or jury. OJ is innocent of murder but civilly liable for the same event – so what is the ontological truth of what actually occurred? Rules of evidence aren’t designed to ensure truth. Historically, they developed out of a belief by judges that adversarial lawyers needed to be “reined in” in terms of what they could present and argue. They help ensure that a trial proceeds in an orderly manner and that only the most reliable and probative evidence is heard. Every lawyer knows of cases where the wrong result, ontological truth-wise, was reached because the rules of evidence kept out key evidence or testimony. Whether Oswald might have been found “not guilty” with an able defense team, a favorite topic of discussion on conspiracy boards where everyone thinks he's a defense attorney, is completely irrelevant to whether Oswald killed JFK. Ask OJ. There is a chain of custody for CE 399. It may appear with 56 years of hindsight to be a problematical chain of custody, but it is a chain of custody. How significant the problems actually are will never be known now because the people who could provide clarification are all dead. We'll never know how it would play out, in or out of court, if everyone in the chain of custody were available to be interviewed and given an opportunity to explain what we might now see as concerns. Contrary to what you seem to believe, “problems” with a chain of custody don’t necessarily mean that an item of physical evidence is inadmissible in court. They certainly don't mean that those of us now in search of historical truth can't conclude the evidence is nevertheless reliable. Experts for the WC and HSCA determined that CE 399 had been fired from Oswald’s rifle. No bullet fragment that could not be traced to Oswald’s rifle was found (some fragments, of course, were too small to trace at all.) Identical M-C bullets have been fired through two feet of solid pine and emerged in the same condition as CE 399 (I was astounded). Efforts to duplicate exactly what CE 399 is alleged to have done have been extremely successful. You can find them on YouTube. Moreover, CE 399 isn’t essential to the SBT. Based on the totality of the evidence, one could well arrive at the SBT as the best explanation even if no CE 399 had come to light. Since CE 399 did come to light and CTers think it was either planted or substituted for the bullet that was found at Parkland, one must wonder what sort of inept conspirators would have planted or substituted a bullet in this condition rather than a less problematical one. Once more we have the “geniuses at steps 1-3-5, stumbling fools at steps 2-4-6” syndrome. Is the SBT absolutely essential to the Lone Assassin explanation? What if CE 399 actually did fall out of a shallow back wound as the doctors initially surmised? Is that absolutely fatal to the Lone Assassin explanation? I don’t think so. Maybe you do. Perhaps the hole in the throat was an artifact of a fragment (metal or bone) from the fatal head shot as was suggested at an early stage. Perhaps Connally was hit by the second shot as he insisted. Perhaps no shot missed, notwithstanding James Tague; perhaps a substantial fragment hit the curb and nicked his cheek. We will simply never know precisely what occurred. Knowing precisely what occurred isn’t essential to the Lone Assassin explanation. That explanation is the best fit with the totality of the evidence. If the case as a whole screams Oswald’s guilt, as I believe it does, “reasonable doubt” about precisely how the shots were sequenced and precisely what the bullets (and all the fragments of bullet and bone) did isn’t determinative. There could be reasonable doubt about several different aspects of the case and yet no doubt about the ontological truth of Oswald’s guilt. Conspiracy board defense attorneys never seem to understand this. Conspiracy theorists always overlook that a jury would examine their evidence and inferences with the same care - just as I try to do and you should, too. A jury wouldn’t simply say “Oh, the chain of custody for CE 399 is really dubious. The SBT really seems implausible to me. Bingo, Oswald must be innocent there must have been a conspiracy to frame him.” A jury might say – like me! – “Notwithstanding the problems associated with CE 399 and the SBT, I don't believe they are show-stoppers and the solid evidence of Oswald’s guilt is so convincing that I’m simply going to live with reasonable doubt about CE 399 and the SBT rather than accept an elaborate, convoluted conspiracy theory that is unsupported by any affirmative evidence and seems completely implausible.” (Indeed, much of the speculation and “evidence” on which CTers ground their theories would never reach a jury – it would be excluded by the rules of evidence!)
  15. We would have to agree on a definition of "impersonation." Someone who wasn't Oswald put "Lee Harvey Oswald, USSR, Dallas, Texas" on the visitor log of the obscure Atomic Energy Museum - is that impersonation? I've put goofy names on such things without any sense that I was impersonating Donald Duck or whatever name I put. (No other explanation of the Oswald name and especially the reference to "USSR" on the museum log makes any sense at all - and since almost all the visitors to the museum that week were from Texas and specifically the Dallas area, I have to assume this was indeed some sort of gag or inside joke.) By "impersonating" I mean "pretending to be Lee Harvey Oswald for some substantive reason in furtherance of some sort of conspiracy." Sure, someone with the CIA or another agency may have phoned the Cuban or Soviet embassy pretending to be Oswald in an effort to gain insights into what was going on. That would not fit my definition of impersonation. All the other supposed cases of impersonation - and specifically those that are the lifeblood of H&L, with which I'm very familiar - strike me as falling squarely within the two categories I described in my above post. Most of them make utterly no sense even within the context of H&L. Not that this ever bothers the H&L brigade. They don't care whether it makes sense - they simply want to overwhelm you with supposed anomalies until you give up. But, of course, all that is par for the course for any government with the capability to carry out such actions in what is perceived, rightly or wrongly, as being in the national interest. All that is quite a different matter from assassinating the nation's own leader with gunfire during a parade at high noon in a major city - and exposing yourselves to the massive risks that would entail, especially when the leader is up for reelection in a year anyway and will be around one more term at most. The line of thought you're describing is precisely the way Deep Politics conspiracy hucksters want you to think - i.e., the willingness to overthrow a foreign government, and by assassination if necessary, "equates" to a willingness to eliminate a U.S. President by assassination. The same sort of dubious "logic" applies to the Mafia. As I've said repeatedly, so many powerful persons and groups would have been happy to have JFK eliminated that it's child's play to weave superficially plausible conspiracy theories (H&L, alas, not even rising to the level of superficial plausibility). The challenge is to assess the evidence without falling into this trap. I'm not asking anyone to "blindly believe." I certainly haven't - I was a gee-whiz conspiracy enthusiast and lapped up every new theory that came down the pike. The "meditation" I'm talking about is to take any of the theories - H&L or Best Evidence being prime candidates - and assume it's all true. Assume that every last claim Armstrong and Hargrove make, or that Lifton makes, is absolutely true. Then step back, if you can, and ask yourself "How would that actually have worked? What would that actually have looked like from step A to step Z? What sort of incredible risks would that have entailed? How many of those risks were completely unnecessary? Why would sophisticated conspirators have done that? DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE AT ALL?" If you have a firm grasp on Lee Harvey Oswald, the actual man and his actual life, the steps of the Lone Assassin explanation fall into place from A to Z like the gears of a well-oiled machine. Sure, there is some problematical evidence, but none (of which I'm aware) that cannot reasonably be fitted into the Lone Assassin explanation without resorting to the absurdities that characterize most conspiracy theories. So until something definitive to the contrary comes to light, I'm going with Ockham's Razor. There is simply no reason to hypothesize an elaborate, convoluted conspiracy that defies logic and common sense. Show me a clear and unequivocal photo of Prayer Man and I'll be back to square one - but "Oswald's junior high school records" and "Oswald's molars" are just silly arguments from silly people.
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