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Saw Judyth's book advertised


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...so I clicked on it and read the following interesting review:

..............

 

6 of 13 people found the following review helpful:

An Interesting Tale, but ..., January 20, 2007

By  Herbert L Calhoun "paulocal" (Falls Church, VA USA) - See all my reviews

  

Mrs. Baker has spun a very interesting tale, indeed. But after careful reading, it is clearly a product of both "retroactive fact production" and some "fancy fictional footwork." So, to use Barr McClellan's (author of Blood, Money & Power: How L.B.J. Killed J.F.K) term, "faction," "Oswald a True Story" appears to be a blend of both "faction" and "fiction." And while one cannot dismiss it out of hand, as is customary with most of the JFK assassination literature, one has to tread carefully and have a very refined and finely tuned "crap detection system" in order to sort what is "faction" from what is "fiction."

In this regard, it must be said from the start that Mrs. Vary-Baker's story has so many twists and turns that it quickly overwhelms a linear mind. It is a detail-filled microcosm, loaded with names, dates, receipts, recollections, mental recreations, and improbable events -- few of which can be independently verified. In short, it is a unverifiable scatological laundry list that converges, often improbably and always too neatly, with most of New Orleans based JFK assassination lore. But as an integrated whole, these disparate parts seem to add up to much less than the sum of their parts. Put simply, as a self-contained whole that is devoid of her unverifiable "factions," which appear to be a heavily edited memory dump of her stream of consciousness of those times, her story does not hold together very well.

It is strong (excruciatingly so) on inessential and often inane romantic details that supposedly occurred between she and Lee, and weak on everything else - especially on connecting the dots between the motives she attributed to her overseers, their involvement in her own clandestine activities, and their ultimate (perhaps unknown) objectives and roles in any of the plots, including in the possible plot to assassinate JFK.

Basically her story is a chronology of her roughly five-month romantic relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald. According to her, they met accidentally and then discovered together that they were being used as clandestine operatives in larger schemes above their heads - to wit: to develop a "galloping cancer" that Lee would then "hand deliver" to Cuba to kill Castro. Mrs. Vary-Baker alludes to the fact that, at the time, Lee was working on a clandestine project for RFK, although the purpose of this critical mission is never made clear or further elaborated upon. Then, due to a serendipitous event, hurricane Hugo, the "kill Castro" mission was apparently aborted and Lee was reassigned or redirected (or "turned" to either kill JFK or) to "stop" a developing plot to kill JFK. According to Vary-Baker's version, Lee was then double-crossed by his cloak-and-dagger cohorts and became the "pasty" in the crime of the century.

While it is entirely possible that Mrs. Baker could have met such an enormous cast of important players many of whom were implicated in the JFK assassination and the Cuban intrigues. And while it is also possible that she could have been involved in several critical events in the clandestine war against Castro, it is extremely unlikely that they could have all come together in her life, and "on cue," as they repeatedly did in the tale she spins in this book. It may also seem plausible to some that Mrs. Vary-Baker operated under the clandestine control of a coalition of Texas politicians and oil barons; that she worked hand-and-glove with renegade CIA and FBI operatives; that she was a junior (fresh out of high school) researcher in a clandestine and illegal underground research lab with world-class medical experts engaged in leading-edge cancer discoveries; that she moved about on the margins of the Carlos Marcello arm of the Louisiana mob as well as within the circles of anti-Castro fanatics; that she met and had dinner with Jack Ruby; partied at Clay Shaw's residence; worked on cancer research with David Ferrie and renown surgeons Drs. Alton Oschner and Mary Sherman; and that she also met and engaged in a clandestine romance with accused Presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

Yes, it is possible that Mrs. Vary-Baker was indeed a virtual "Agent Zero" at the center of gravity of the New Orleans wing of the JFK assassination intrigue, but how plausible is it? Can such a story really be independently verified? And most of all can it be as pristine and as "pat" as she has made it out to be?

Where her story gets murky is on "ALL" of the essential details and explicit connections, which she glides over effortlessly. That is, whenever her plot demands direct and explicit connections between the people who she thinks are controlling her, their motives, and her and Lee's relationship to these people and those motives, each time she comes up excruciatingly empty. The reader is left to fill-in these very essential blanks himself, by making the necessary logical leaps in inference based on what her trail of "facts" insinuate. If it were any other issue but the JFK assassination, it would be easy enough to let these matters slide, but since it IS the JFK assassination, it is all the more reason that such connections must be made, and made explicit.

Thus a great deal of her plot is indistinguishable from one that has been created by working backwards from known facts and composing a story to fit the facts retroactively. As a result her facts always dovetailed "just a bit too neatly and too exactly" with known events, known decisions, known personalities, and their known movements during the periods in questions.

Since she has appeared on "60 Minutes," to some, all this must have seemed plausible, but to those like myself willing to suspend judgment and give her the provisional benefit of the doubt (pending substantiation of facts), her tale still stretches credulity.

Alarm bells keep going off in my "crap detection system" to the effect that there is a big problem here with the "retroactively reconstructed and neatly dovetailing pre-determined facts;" never deviating even once from what was previously known. How can this be? And even though her facts are always carefully lined up, the reader is still left to insinuate the connections between them and the larger events and motives that eventually unfolded and which she claims her "facts" are so intimately associated with and attached to.

For instance, although she supposedly works closely with Dr. Mary Sherman, the book reports only one conversation between the two of them, the rest of the connections are to be inferred through insinuations and extrapolation. The same is true with Lee. Although she claims to be in a deep love affair with him, there is little substantive dialogue between the two of them about what Lee himself, was up to. Why for instance did Lee come all the way from Dallas to work for Bannister? Why was Lee such a willing tool of such an obviously evil cabal? Why did he not extricate himself in time to avoid being "played" as a patsy? Did he ever report what he learned to his legitimate authorities? Etc. And the same for her: If she and Lee knew at the time that the JFK assassination was "going down" why not sound an alarm? Go to the newspapers, etc.?

I remain unconvinced that there is any meat here. Two stars.

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Absent the serious study of books like Baker's, there can be no true understanding of the case.

Whether positive or negative in nature, these templates MUST be appreciated for what they reveal of the agendas of friends and foes.

Charles

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It seems to me that there are 'acceptable' areas of conspiracy and also unacceptable ones. Nothing about Judyth falls into an 'acceptable' area. From my standpoint, it seems that Judyth has been considered almost as 'dangerous' as Jim Garrison, and has unfortunately been accorded at least the same depth of character assassination.

The situation in NOLA prior to the assassination is very dangerous territory. The WC managed to conveniently look away from it. No matter what anyone says about Judyth's statements or her book, the fact is that she is documented to have been smack in the middle of things there. So was Dr. Mary Sherman. We're not supposed to figure out what happened to her either.

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It seems to me that there are 'acceptable' areas of conspiracy and also unacceptable ones. Nothing about Judyth falls into an 'acceptable' area. From my standpoint, it seems that Judyth has been considered almost as 'dangerous' as Jim Garrison, and has unfortunately been accorded at least the same depth of character assassination.

The situation in NOLA prior to the assassination is very dangerous territory. The WC managed to conveniently look away from it. No matter what anyone says about Judyth's statements or her book, the fact is that she is documented to have been smack in the middle of things there. So was Dr. Mary Sherman. We're not supposed to figure out what happened to her either.

Pamela...this is a rather broad observation I cannot agree with.

Few topics have been as widely researched by JFK historians as

Jim Garrison and Judyth Baker. Unfortunately there is tons of info

on Garrison, but a paucity on Baker.

My observation is that different researchers draw opposite conclusions

from the same set of information. I do not consider that the New

Orleans information has been understudied.

However, I agree with you about Mary Sherman, Oschner, and

Tulane Medical. I believe that some covert operation was going on

there which has been obfuscated by trying to link it to LHO, JVB

Ferrie, etc.

I believe Haslam is onto something, but a well known technique

for discrediting good info is to link it to nutcases...like "woman says

fatal JFK shot came from UFO". Linking Haslam to Judyth has a

like effect.

Jack

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