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Don Jeffries

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Everything posted by Don Jeffries

  1. I guess I shouldn't be surprised by some of the replies here, but I still am. Why should any American support the imprisonment of a non-violent individual simply because he holds an unpopular opinion and insists on stating that opinion publicly? I maintain that this issue is the ONLY issue that brings out this kind of hard-line reaction in otherwise open-minded people. Well, okay, maybe child pornography; but at least we all recognize the obvious danger to children posed by that. Even there, though, I would venture to bet that the idea of NAMBLA having the right to exist freely in America doesn't bring out the same sort of passions that the whole question of "holocaust denial" does. In fact, how does everyone feel about NAMBLA being a legal organization when many "holocaust deniers" are in danger of losing their freedom? Denis, is there an outfit similar to NAMBLA in Canada? If something like that is permitted freely to exist in the same country where non-violent political "extremists" like Ernst Zundel linger in SOLITARY CONFINEMENT in prison, that's a complete outrage. Is there no one on this forum interested enough in civil liberties, and basic human rights, to just simply state that it is wrong to make the disputing of any part of history illegal? We allow people to claim the likes of Abraham Lincoln as gay, some 140 years after his death. We allow people to claim that the earth is flat. We allow people to question the existence of Jesus, of God himself, and the minute details of every war in the history of mankind, but we cannot permit the "denial" that the Germans exterminated six million jews? What is so special about this one event, that it cannot even be discussed rationally, let alone disputed? Many millions died in WWII, all over the world. The casualty figures from Hiroshima and Nagasaki are still in dispute; have the Japanese the right to claim an "official" figure, and demand the world adhere to that, with no dissention allowed? Would any of you be up in arms if some "extremist" historian came out with a study that said the number of millions killed by the communists during the last century were greatly exaggerated? Of course not; no one on the left or right would dream of imprisoning a historian, or any other citizen, because they espoused a controversial view of any particular part of history. Except one, that is; the nazi extermination program against the jews. I hope some of you will stop focusing on the holocaust, or Zundel's trial. Focus on the fact that you are advocating the imprisonment of a human being because he maintains that a historical event didn't happen the way that most of his fellow citizens say it did. If you don't think that's a "thought crime," then you all better re-read your Orwell.
  2. Ian, You and I both know that if this were any other belief, every person on this forum would be outraged that someone was being imprisoned for stating it. It's irrlevant if a jury found that Zundel couldn't "prove" his opinion; since when should anyone have to "prove" their ideas and opinons? As I stated before, if "denying the holocaust" is a ridiculous and uncredible position, it should be easy to demonstrate that and those advocating it should soon be rendered powerless and obsolete. Censoring them and even throwing some of them into prison doesn't prove they're wrong; in fact, it makes people like me take notice, sympathize with them and further investigate their claims. How far would you carry this Orwellian "thought crime" concept? Should those who think FDR knew of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor ahead of time be imprisoned? Should it be against the law to say the moon flights were a hoax? Should an American be able to talk freely about President Bush's druggie, alcoholic past? Should we outlaw all criticism of the war in Iraq? Finally, should someone be imprisoned for "denying" the "official" reality of the Warren Report?
  3. John, What a thoughtful, refreshing perspective. This is very close to my own views on the subject, except for the fact that I have, as indicated in an earlier post, been persuaded by the Leuchter Report that the revisionists have some very valid points. At the very least, I am apalled at the imprisonment of teacher Ernst Zundel in Canada, and the whole notion of making it illegal to "deny" any part of "official" history. After all, is it that far of a stretch to suppose that what JFK assassination researchers are doing is "denying" the official story of November 22, 1963?
  4. Shanet, The link you left didn't provide any real rebutal to Leuchter. It had a lot of vitriol and character assassination, and little data to refute his research. It reminded me very much of LN rebuttals to the work of Warren Commission critics. And debating the holocaust isn't what I meant to do, anyhow, when I posted a defense of the RIGHT to "deny the holocaust," or the official version of any historical event. Do you think that people should be imprisoned for "denying the holocaust?" How is it fair and just for a teacher like Ernst Zundel to be kept in SOLITARY CONFINEMENT for two years (!) for this "thought crime?" Serial killers aren't treated that harshly! What is so dangerous about a dissenting view on this issue? No belief or idea is dangerous enough to warrant official intimidation or legal repercussions. Making it a crime to "deny" any part of "official" history is antithical to everything this country is supposed to stand for. If an idea or an "extremist" group is kooky and/or uncredible, then an open airing of their evidence, with opposing viewpoints, would quickly expose that and destroy their credibility. If they were, however, not so kooky and even credible, then a public discussion would benefit everyone by permitting us to better understand our past. If John is ever interested in having a discussion of this issue, I'd be happy to participate, although I am not an expert and relatively new to the subject. I think it would be educational, but it's a sensitive subject and totally his call. While I find the arguments of the revisionists persuasive, that is really irrelevant to how I feel about the question of whether or not the topic can be broached in polite society. Even if I had lost loved ones in the nazi concentration camps, I'd like to think that I'd still support the right of individuals and groups to dispute the official facts about WWII in general, including the holocaust. I want to make it clear that I subscribe strongly to the belief that Voltaire and Patrick Henry held, namely that "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to my dying breath your right to say it."
  5. I hesitate to post my comments, at the risk of being branded a "nazi," but here goes. First of all, let me say that this is John's forum, and he certainly has the right to set the rules. I appreciate very much his efforts and value the forum as an educational tool. That being said, I also believe completely in free speech and a free press. The whole issue of WWII has become increasingly sacrosanct, even among those who are willing to debate and discuss the most controversial topics imaginable. This does not merely apply to the holocaust, but to such tangential issues like Pearl Harbor, and the increasingly obvious indications that FDR had advance knowledge and/or goaded the Japanese into attacking us. The level of debate in such cases is best summed up by the reaction of historian Barbara Tuchman, whose idea of rebutal was to state, "Toland is a nazi," after Pulitzer Prize winning historian John Toland wandered into the revisionist waters with his "Infamy" book about FDR's role in allowing the Japanese attack to happen. I had to read "Infamy," after reading Tuchman's vicious and infantile response to Toland's well- researched and thoroughly documented work. It convinced me. If that makes me a nazi, or perhaps a "jap" somehow, then so be it. I am therefore sympathetic to any revisionist claims about any historical incident. It bothers me that so many otherwise open-minded people want to exempt this one particular historical event from free discussion. Why? If the case for the nazis exterminating six million jews is so convincing, then the debate ought to be quick and easy. Calling those who dispute any particular part of history a "nazi" or "anti-semitic" or "racist," or whatever, isn't constructive and frankly diminishes your own credibility. I am still a novice to this whole subject, but I have taken the first step in examining this subject in at least some depth. Many of you may not be aware of the plight of one Ernst Zundel, a former Canadian teacher who is, believe it or not, in his second year of SOLITARY CONFINEMENT in a Canadian prison. His crime; he "denies the holocaust." BTW, what kind of bizarre, Orwellian term is that? That sounds like a term from the middle ages for those who denied the church or something. When I first heard about this, I was appalled, even though I thought he was probably a nut to deny the nazi atrocities. While reading about Zundel's history (he has already been tried twice for this "crime"), I discovered that he had commissioned an expert, during his first trial, to go to Auschwitz and examine the gas chambers, the soil, and anything else what could prove or disprove that the exterminations had taken place. The guy's name was Fred Leuchter, and he was not a nazi, an anti-semite, or political at all. He was considered the nation's foremost expert on capital punishment devices, having consulted with many prisons and advised them about their gas chamber systems and electric chairs. To make a long story short, Leuchter came away convinced that no gassings had taken place at Auschwitz. He wrote the "Leuchter Report" afterwards, and if you are really interested in historical truth, then I urge you to read it. I think it can be read in its entirety (it's not that long) online. If you just use a search engine, you should be able to find it easily. I hope that I will not be banned from this forum for speaking out. I don't know Mr. Astucia at all, but I do support everyone's right to free speech. Unless someone is coming out and advocating the extermination of a particular race of people, or saying that a particular group of people ought to be rounded up and imprisoned because of their race, religion, height, weight, or whatever, and as long as they aren't vulgar or incomprehensible in their arguments, then I think responsible people who hold a different view ought to feel free to engage them in civil discourse. BTW- for the record, I don't admire Adolf Hitler. I don't think the nazis were cool. I don't like heiling anyone and woudn't want a dictator ruling me. That being said, I think the historical revisionists may have some valid points and they shouldn't be thrown in jail, or legally penalized in any way, for stating them. I also think that suppressing these views plays into the hands of real anti-Jewish feeling; if you believe "the jews" control the world, then this feeling will reinforced by name-calling and censorship. Anyhow, those are my feelings. Now please be kind....
  6. Steve, I think we have to be careful when we link together various right wing "extremist" groups. I have always felt that more than "anti-Castro" Cubans, or Minutemen or John Birch Society types, or devoted followers of Gen. Walker were behind the assassination of JFK. I believe this for a couple of reasons. First of all, these groups are not, IMHO, powerful enough to pull off the kind of coverup that has transpired for over 40 years and is still going strong. They are also not powerful enough, IMHO, to compel the likes of the FBI, the CIA, the Secret Service, etc., to cover up their crime. Having studied a lot of "extremist" groups on both sides of the political spectrum, it is my belief that while many of these organizations are harmless discussion groups, they are often infiltrated by undercover government agents. Ironically, this is a role many of us believe Oswald was playing at the time of the assassination. One could even theorize, and I have sometimes done this, that most of the really extreme rhetoric emanating from these groups, and all of the violence, is initiated by undercover agents. Not all "extremist" groups are the same. You mention Liberty Lobby, for instance. This group was a true patriotic outfit, IMHO. Founded by the ex-son-in-law of FDR, it boasted members like John Wayne, Gloria Swanson and writer Taylor Caldwell. Over the years, they gradually drifted away from a hard-right anti-communism into more of a populism. The weekly newspaper they published for many years, The Spotlight, was full of valuable information and broke many stories before the major media ever reported them. In the years before the internet, this was an invaluable source of alternative news. Men like comedian/activist Dick Gregory and the late Col. Fletcher Prouty sat on Liberty Lobby's board of directors. Also, critic Mark Lane was Liberty Lobby's attorney for many years, and defended them in court against the likes of Jack Anderson and E. Howard Hunt. Just food for thought.
  7. To anyone concerned with the other side of the whole Judith Campbell Exner story, I suggest reading a great piece by Jim DiEugenio. This should still be available online, and it was in the archives of either Probe or Fair Play magazines. Exner's story was swallowed whole by almost everyone, with little scrutiny and no delving into the question of her credibility.
  8. I can't believe we're seriously arguing the possibility that Castro was the power behind the JFK assassination. As the always insightful Robert-Charles Dunne has pointed out here so well, everything tells us that Castro would have preferred JFK to any potential successor and had no motive to kill him. I reject this theory on the same basis that I reject the theory, held by many here, that some consortium of "anti-Castro" and extreme right-wing forces were behind the assassination. In each case, I think the nature of the ensuing coverup proves that those who killed JFK were powerful enough to not only control the entire establishment press in the immediate aftermath of the assassination, but powerful enough to control them still, over 40 years later. I have pointed out that no "anti-Castro" group or members of right-wing fringe groups have ever had this kind of power, and obviously Fidel Castro never had this kind of power.
  9. Happy New Year to all from the U.S. The first two witnesses I would love to interview would be Ruth and Michael Paine, who are both still alive and, IMHO, very crucial to understanding the framing of Oswald. Another living witness who undoubtedly knows something is James Hosty, although he's spoken out a lot and is probably not going to tell the truth regardless. I would like to really grill Eugene Boone about the finding of the rifle on the 6th floor, and why both he and Seymour Weitzman signed sworn affidavits identifying it as a German Mauser. I have mentioned a fascination with Weitzman before, and I would also like to speak to any llving relatives who could add some first hand knowledge about what he was experiencing behind the scenes in his personal life in the immediate aftermath of the assassination. I have learned a great deal about the personal impact on the families of those connected to the assassination through my friendship with Dean Andrews III, son of the New Orleans attorney whose WC testimony started Garrison down the Clay Shaw path. I still hope to meet his mother, who is stil alive but, according to Dean, very reluctant to talk about any of this stuff. Dean and I have become good friends, and he is going to try to introduce me to the son of FBI agent Regis Blahut, whom he knows pretty well, to see if he can offer any interesting personal anecdotes. With so many of the witnesses dead, contacting their children or spouses may provide us with some great insight, if not actual eyewitness testimony. Along these lines, Mark Oakes has communicated with the widow of Buddy Walthers (in addition to his large number of wonderful interviews with people in Dallas) and she sounds like she'd have a lot a of interesting things to say. As I understand it, however, she's been reluctant to come on camera thus far. How are things going on that, Mark? Keep up the good work! If I had one wish, however, in connection with this case, I would like to have a personal audience with Ted Kennedy or Caroline Kennedy, to thoroughly brief them on the subject. Of course, I know it's extremely naive to think that they aren't aware of at least some of the more publicized controversies surrounding the assassination, but I guess to personally illuminate them is a fantasy many of us share. Failing that, it would be very nice to see Caroline Kennedy or some other prominent member of the Kennedy clan break silence and speak out about the assassinations of JFK and RFK. One impassioned public speech from any of them would be worth more than all of our collective research. As for other living persons who should be interviewed, I believe E.Howard Hunt is still alive. I'm sure he'd be unlikely to be candid about anything, but he should be deposed in any new investigation. I think Bill Moyers probably knows a lot more than he's saying. The same goes for Jack Valenti, although he'd be even less likely to reveal anything significant.
  10. A friend handed me an obituary for filmmaker Larry Buchanan earlier this week, and he was surprised that I didn't know who he was. While I enjoy wonderfully bad sci-films from the '50s and '60s very much, and this guy directed a couple of real "classics" ("Mars Needs Women" and "The Eye Creatures"), I had no idea of his connection to the JFK assassination. There is a mention in the obituary that Buchanan directed a flim entitled "The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald" in 1964, but it appears to have had limited play and was pretty much suppressed afterwards. Since I haven't heard anything about this film being available in recent years, I was wondering if anyone here can provide additonal info. about Buchanan or his film.
  11. I am intrigued by Seymour Weitzman, the Dallas constable who was in on the discovery of the rifle on the sixth floor of the TSBD, found a piece of the president's skull and made an interesting early report from behind the pickett fence. To my knowledge, Weitzman was never interviewed by any of the early critics. He appeared to disappear from public view after the assassination, and the next (and last) we hear of him is when the House Assassinations Committee wrote a followup report to a lengthy interview with a psychiatrist from a mental institution where Weitzman had been for quite some time. It is only there that we learn of Weitzman's mental problems, which appear to stem from acute paranoia about his experiences related to the assassination of JFK. I believe Weitzman died a number of years ago, but I wondered if anyone here could give me any more information on this tragic figure. What happened to him between the assassination and the late '70s, when the HSCA reported that he was in a mental institution? Has anyone attempted to interview any surviving relatives? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  12. I feel Marina Oswald has been deceptive about almost everything. Without her contradictory but damaging testimony before the Warren Commission, the official fairy tale would have no foundation. Virtually everthing we know (and most of us accept without question) about Oswald's actions during the weeks leading up to the assassination come from two sources; either Marina or the even more suspicious Ruth Paine. I can accept that Marina was coerced to lie before the authorities after the assassination, and out of understandable fear told them what they wanted to hear. However, when she suddenly changed her tune in the mid-'80s and started saying there was a conspiracy, she never addressed the obvious absurdity of much of her testimony. Why didn't she reveal how she was threatened and forced to lie? Why didn't she retract the most obvious of her lies, including things almost no one believes, like her claim that she locked Oswald in the bathroom to stop him from shooting Nxon, for instance? IMHO, believing in the validity of the backyard photos is the same as accepting the single bullet theory. Marina still touts the official line about these obviously fake photographs, and for that reason alone I don't trust her. She also have never retracted her claim about him shooting at Gen. Walker. Without her testimony about this, LHO would never have been connected to this incident. It's interesting to hear that Marina has "done all she could" in this matter. In saying that, for once maybe she's being honest.
  13. I have been researching the JFK assassination since the mid- 1970s. As a teenager, I was the co-chairman of a local chapter of Mark Lane's Citizens' Commission of Inquiry. I communicated several times with Penn Jones during the early 1980, and he published an article I wrote in his fine little newsletter "The Continuing Inquiry" in 1983. I consider myself a populist-ilbertarian hybrid, and have a web site called "I PROTEST," which unfortunately I haven't updated in a few years. One of the pages off that site is my JFK page, "JFK: Murder In The Streets." http://members.tripod.com/bigunreal/IProtest.html
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