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THE Litmus Test for Historians, Biographers, Journalists


Charles Drago
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Friends,

On another thread ("Legacy of Ashes") which he started, Ron Ecker wrote:

"Saw an impressive-looking book in the bookstore entitled Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA, by Tim Weiner.

"I looked up the JFK assassination in the index. There's a short section, the upshot of which seems to be that Castro did it. From my quick perusal, the notion that the CIA might have been involved is not even considered.

"Morales, who I think probably qualifies as a usual suspect in the case, is not even in the index.

"Just wanted to point this out before any JFK researchers spend their money on this book."

I've performed the same litmus test countless times. To be brief: Since anyone with reasonable access to the evidence in the JFK assassination case who does not conclude that the act was conspiratorial in nature is cognitively impaired and/or complicit in the crime, how can we respect a historian, biographer, journalist, or other self-described "serious" author or academic who embraces the LN lie?

For example, how can we trust Robert Dallek on anything given his idiotic defense of the WC's conclusions? Are we not justified in suspecting the very rationality of the man?

The terms extend to the rejection of so-called "experts" who accept or propose a simple-minded "mob-did-it" or "CIA-did-it"-like conspiratorial interpretation.

I'm reminded of the old joke, "My brother is insane, he thinks he's a chicken. We keep him around, though, because we need the eggs."

Charles

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When it comes to the assassination, some people are just blind--and are unable to see what should seem obvious even though they have no obvious reason to do so. In Dallek's most recent book, he comes to the conclusion that Nixon interfered with the 1968 Peace Talks, and was basically a traitor. In Legacy of Ashes, Weiner gets into the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, and cites a 2001 NSA history (initially withheld by the Bush Administration--I wonder why) admitting that the United States fired first in the first Gulf of Tonkin incident and that the second one never happened. In other words, he holds that the NSA knew our purported reason for escalating the Vietnam conflict was untrue.

As a result of these books, I don't think anyone should assume Dallek and Weiner are right-wing lackeys or water-carriers. They're just wrong about JFK.

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When it comes to the assassination, some people are just blind--and are unable to see what should seem obvious even though they have no obvious reason to do so. In Dallek's most recent book, he comes to the conclusion that Nixon interfered with the 1968 Peace Talks, and was basically a traitor. In Legacy of Ashes, Weiner gets into the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, and cites a 2001 NSA history (initially withheld by the Bush Administration--I wonder why) admitting that the United States fired first in the first Gulf of Tonkin incident and that the second one never happened. In other words, he holds that the NSA knew our purported reason for escalating the Vietnam conflict was untrue.

As a result of these books, I don't think anyone should assume Dallek and Weiner are right-wing lackeys or water-carriers. They're just wrong about JFK.

Pat, I disagree. Dallek knows a lot about JFk. "An unfinished Life" is just filled with information, but, on the assassination Dallek is simply intellectually dishonest, IMHO. "Water carrier" is too kind.

Dawn

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I've performed the same litmus test countless times. To be brief: Since anyone with reasonable access to the evidence in the JFK assassination case who does not conclude that the act was conspiratorial in nature is cognitively impaired and/or complicit in the crime, how can we respect a historian, biographer, journalist, or other self-described "serious" author or academic who embraces the LN lie?

Charles,

May I suggest a corollary: Anyone who has read Gerald McKnight's Breach of Trust

and still regards the JFK final autopsy report as a genuine medicolegal document is both

intellectually dishonest and a participant, witting or unwitting, in the cover-up of JFK's

murder.

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I've performed the same litmus test countless times. To be brief: Since anyone with reasonable access to the evidence in the JFK assassination case who does not conclude that the act was conspiratorial in nature is cognitively impaired and/or complicit in the crime, how can we respect a historian, biographer, journalist, or other self-described "serious" author or academic who embraces the LN lie?

Charles,

May I suggest a corollary: Anyone who has read Gerald McKnight's Breach of Trust

and still regards the JFK final autopsy report as a genuine medicolegal document is both

intellectually dishonest and a participant, witting or unwitting, in the cover-up of JFK's

murder.

Yes, Cliff

Another question is begged: If a Dallek has not read Breach of Trust and other seminal works, what right has he to the mantle of historian?

Charles

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When it comes to the assassination, some people are just blind--and are unable to see what should seem obvious even though they have no obvious reason to do so. In Dallek's most recent book, he comes to the conclusion that Nixon interfered with the 1968 Peace Talks, and was basically a traitor. In Legacy of Ashes, Weiner gets into the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, and cites a 2001 NSA history (initially withheld by the Bush Administration--I wonder why) admitting that the United States fired first in the first Gulf of Tonkin incident and that the second one never happened. In other words, he holds that the NSA knew our purported reason for escalating the Vietnam conflict was untrue.

As a result of these books, I don't think anyone should assume Dallek and Weiner are right-wing lackeys or water-carriers. They're just wrong about JFK.

Pat, I disagree. Dallek knows a lot about JFk. "An unfinished Life" is just filled with information, but, on the assassination Dallek is simply intellectually dishonest, IMHO. "Water carrier" is too kind.

Dawn

Yes, Dawn.

An intellectually disciplined, sane, non-criminal examiner of the JFK assassination case can reach but one conclusion. Conspiracy is the truth.

Dallek is not "wrong." He is crazy, criminal, and/or a fraud.

Nothing else makes sense.

Charles

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I'm currently reading Dallek's bio of LBJ ('Flawed Giant') and it's full of fascinating tidbits about this enigmatic character. Of course, the book covers LBJ's career from 1961 onwards so the author doesn't have to delve into such matters as the deaths of Henry Marshall and John Kinser and other seedy aspects of LBJ's career. Also disappointing is the lack of detail regarding LBJ's relationship with characters like Billy Sol Estes, Bobby Baker and the Senate Rules Committe hearings which threatened to end his career.

It seems to me that LBJ's biographers have given him a very easy ride (earlier writers like Haley and Joesten excepted). They obviously knew that Ladybird and Jack Valenti would be reading with interest.

Edited by Mark Stapleton
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I certainly agree with you on the so-called historians/researchers who accept the Warren Commission's conclusions. I don't even bother reading those books because besides being full of crap, they just make me mad and crabby and I don't like to be mad and crabby. :huh:

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