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Tink's performance in The New York Times


Guest James H. Fetzer
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I would like to echo another's sentiments in this thread. It would have been well advised for Tink to have clarified his current position (LN or CT) notwithstanding his evaluation of this particular evidence. His failure to do so (at least in the available clip) is more than troubling because it tends to create the appearance of equivocation on his part. If he did make such a clarifying statement that was edited out of the clip, then there are other forces in play. On the other hand, if he failed to mention his existing position or failed to demand that his position be included "for the record" then he owns the failure in its entirety. Perhaps such a statement will appear in another segment? If not, the responsibility to speak unequivocally was his and he should have required its inclusion.

Now, there is a "price to pay" for making such demands, I know. But, under the circumstances such a price is cheap at twice the cost! I have personally withdrawn from 3 television specials in the past for their refusal to allow me to state my position. One such case was a special in which I was asked to debunk "ice bullets" in general, and then more specifically, as they may have been used to inflict JFK's shallow back wound. Upon debunking "their particular ice bullet scenario", which I might add was quite weak, I wanted to make it clear that the exploration of such evidence does not constitute forensic quackery; that even if "ice bullets" (as they defined them) were not used in Dealey Plaza that does not mean JFK was killed by a lone gunman...etc.

They refused. I withdrew. End of show. I have never regretted that decision, nor similar subsequent decisions. The more visible a member of this community has become the more important it is for them to make their BIG PICTURE position clear. If not, our work becomes farcical and just one more target for the disingenuous.

It is my understanding, based on what Morris wrote in the article referenced and quoted in the opening post of this thread, that this first article by Morris is based on just a mere snippet of his 6 hour long interview with Tink Thompson. Morris said:

Last year, I finally got to meet and interview Tink Thompson. I hope his interview can become the first part of an extended series on the Kennedy assassination. This film is but a small segment of my six-hour interview with Tink.

It would seem to me, that unless you, Mr. Fetzer and a couple others here have somehow seen the entirety of the SIX HOUR interview, that Thompson is being rather prematurely pilloried for what he did or did not say. Thompson also is not the author of the NYT times article ... Morris is. What Morris chose to include in this first article lays at his feet, not Thompson's. And, unless Thompson or Morris chooses to disclose any info about the particulars of their arrangement, there is nothing to criticize or compare there either.

It might seem to many, imo, that the intent of some, and I am not saying you are one of those, is to denounce Tink, call his beliefs and intentions into question, and, initially, at least subject him to ridicule and suspicion based on his opinion of Witt. Of course when it became apparent that the originator of the thread, who was critical about how Tink had it all wrong on Witt, was unaware of Witt's actual testimony, there was a marked flip-flop ... notably about Witt, but not about Thompson. The criticism of Tink Thompson, based on this small snippet a writer chose for an initial article, somehow continues.

Personally, I just don't see any reason or logic in that. Unless, of course, you or others have seen the entire 6 hour interview and can support the suspicions being cast about Thompson.

As Kathy Becket pointed out, all CTs do not believe the exact same things. There is no "ten commandments of CT" test of which I am aware, and the very notion is nonsense. Like all of us who have studied the case, Thompson is entitled to his own considered opinions. Ultimately, whether this, that or the other of us agrees with him or not, it is to our benefit to listen to what such a well known, highly and widely respected, accomplished and long time part of our community has to say. At the very least, denouncing Thompson before having even heard it all fails on even a basic honest research level, imo.

Bests,

Barb :-)

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I think that you have made some very valid observations, Cliff. Indeed, there is overwhelming PHYSICAL evidence (everything from the alleged weapon, to JFK's clothing, to the MBT, and much more) that indicates the event was of a SINISTER nature. Tink's demeanor towards indications of same appears to be one of dismissal.

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Guest Robert Morrow

"Establishing that STRANGER THAN FICTION offers a similar account of the origins of WWI and WWII to that found in Hitler's volume does not show either of them is false."

Jim Fetzer, 2010

Correct. "Winners" write history. "Losers" don't because they are the ones who are dead. Just because Adolf Hitler had some theories on how WWI and WWII started does not mean he was wrong. The "winners" wrote the history of WWII. Pat Buchanan has been writing some really good revisionist history on WWII. The "winners" have been writing the history of the JFK assassination for a long time in the MSM, the NY Times and in academia. It does not mean that they are right. In fact, they are wrong.

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I would like to echo another's sentiments in this thread. It would have been well advised for Tink to have clarified his current position (LN or CT) notwithstanding his evaluation of this particular evidence. His failure to do so (at least in the available clip) is more than troubling because it tends to create the appearance of equivocation on his part. If he did make such a clarifying statement that was edited out of the clip, then there are other forces in play. On the other hand, if he failed to mention his existing position or failed to demand that his position be included "for the record" then he owns the failure in its entirety. Perhaps such a statement will appear in another segment? If not, the responsibility to speak unequivocally was his and he should have required its inclusion.

Now, there is a "price to pay" for making such demands, I know. But, under the circumstances such a price is cheap at twice the cost! I have personally withdrawn from 3 television specials in the past for their refusal to allow me to state my position. One such case was a special in which I was asked to debunk "ice bullets" in general, and then more specifically, as they may have been used to inflict JFK's shallow back wound. Upon debunking "their particular ice bullet scenario", which I might add was quite weak, I wanted to make it clear that the exploration of such evidence does not constitute forensic quackery; that even if "ice bullets" (as they defined them) were not used in Dealey Plaza that does not mean JFK was killed by a lone gunman...etc.

They refused. I withdrew. End of show. I have never regretted that decision, nor similar subsequent decisions. The more visible a member of this community has become the more important it is for them to make their BIG PICTURE position clear. If not, our work becomes farcical and just one more target for the disingenuous.

It is my understanding, based on what Morris wrote in the article referenced and quoted in the opening post of this thread, that this first article by Morris is based on just a mere snippet of his 6 hour long interview with Tink Thompson. Morris said:

Last year, I finally got to meet and interview Tink Thompson. I hope his interview can become the first part of an extended series on the Kennedy assassination. This film is but a small segment of my six-hour interview with Tink.

It would seem to me, that unless you, Mr. Fetzer and a couple others here have somehow seen the entirety of the SIX HOUR interview, that Thompson is being rather prematurely pilloried for what he did or did not say. Thompson also is not the author of the NYT times article ... Morris is. What Morris chose to include in this first article lays at his feet, not Thompson's. And, unless Thompson or Morris chooses to disclose any info about the particulars of their arrangement, there is nothing to criticize or compare there either.

It might seem to many, imo, that the intent of some, and I am not saying you are one of those, is to denounce Tink, call his beliefs and intentions into question, and, initially, at least subject him to ridicule and suspicion based on his opinion of Witt. Of course when it became apparent that the originator of the thread, who was critical about how Tink had it all wrong on Witt, was unaware of Witt's actual testimony, there was a marked flip-flop ... notably about Witt, but not about Thompson. The criticism of Tink Thompson, based on this small snippet a writer chose for an initial article, somehow continues.

Personally, I just don't see any reason or logic in that. Unless, of course, you or others have seen the entire 6 hour interview and can support the suspicions being cast about Thompson.

As Kathy Becket pointed out, all CTs do not believe the exact same things. There is no "ten commandments of CT" test of which I am aware, and the very notion is nonsense. Like all of us who have studied the case, Thompson is entitled to his own considered opinions. Ultimately, whether this, that or the other of us agrees with him or not, it is to our benefit to listen to what such a well known, highly and widely respected, accomplished and long time part of our community has to say. At the very least, denouncing Thompson before having even heard it all fails on even a basic honest research level, imo.

Bests,

Barb :-)

As I said in my post: IF Tink clarified his current position in subsequent segments, then it should, hopefully, speak for itself. If not, I stand by the criticism I made of his "performance" in this film. And, BTW, I am not casting suspicion about Tink. I am unequivocally denouncing his position as currently presented because of the reasons stated.

I long ago suspected that Gary Mack would, one day, debunk Badge Man himself. So far, he has not. Perhaps Tink remains a Conspiracy Researcher as opposed to a Lone Nut Advocate. I just couldn't tell from his presentation. A pity...

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Cliff is mistaken, Jim. Tink never claimed there is a valid, non-sinister explanation for every seemingly sinister fact in the case. He said merely that we are incapable of anticipating every possible explanation for something that seems sinister. And he's 100% correct.

Tink's "cautionary tale" is not a "cautionary tale" telling people not to try to figure out what happened, it is a "cautionary tale" telling people to keep an open mind and not get high on their own supply, as something that seems sinister may be nothing more than a weird guy out for a walk.

There is nothing sinister about the film. It was not designed to shut down assassination research, as some here seem to think. It was an attempt to humanize it, and show how one researcher named Tink Thompson encountered a red herring and was humbled by it.

Excellent, Pat. Taking one person's characterization of what another person said, and using it to denounce that other person without actually knowing and citing exactly what *was* said is beyond poor, imo.

Well said, Pat.

Bests,

Barb :-)

Since when does "forget it, man" translate into an appeal for an open mind?

Tink made a blanket statement neither he, nor you, nor Pat, nor John Hunt can ever back up.

Tink's conclusions do not well apply to the JFK assassination.

Thanks for posting the video clip of what Tink actually said in your post #227. Here is what Tink says in that snippet ... of course, from this, we have no way of knowing what led up to this comment, and context, is everything.

QUOTE TINK THOMPSON [all emphasis mine-bj]

If you have any fact which you think is really sinister, it's really obviously a fact that can only point to some sinister underpinning, hey, forget it man, because you can never. on your own, think of all the non-sinister perfectly valid explanations for that fact. That's a cautionary tale.

END QUOTE

I understand the context of what he is saying. It's about weighing and evaluating evidence and not being so cock sure of what we believe about any particular fact that we don't check it out to see what else that fact could possibly mean and fail to get the perspective of others on it.

What I do NOT see is any part of this that someone reading it, complete and in context, can take to mean that Tink is saying there is not a single sinister fact in the case that cannot be explained away.

That is selective, shortsighted nonsense, in my opinion. He is calling it "a cautionary tale" because too many fall headlong into the pitfall he described. And there are many who fall into that pit regularly. Ironically enough, there are examples of exactly that even in this thread.

Please.

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Guest Robert Morrow

Russ Bakers responds to NY Times "Umbrella Man:"

http://whowhatwhy.com/2011/11/28/ny-times%e2%80%99-umbrella-man-exposed/print/

Posted By Russ Baker On November 28, 2011 @ 8:00 am In Politics,Quick Takes | 18 Comments

“Umbrella Man” Does His Thing at JFK Assassination Scene

More and more, one is struck by the extent to which the New York Times is disassociated from reality. One might judge the paper’s publishing of official falsehoods as the occasional and accidental byproduct of the pressure to produce so many articles, were it not for the consistency and rigidly sclerotic way it loyally foists patently untrue material upon the public.

I say this as someone who still reads the Times, still has friends working there, and still retains some isolated pockets of fondness for it.

But it is hard to overlook these constant transgressions. As we note here at WhoWhatWhy, these range from ignoring the real reasons for the invasion of Libya [2] to apologizing for fraud perpetrated by its favorite Afghanistan propagandist (and the author of Three Cups of Tea [3]). It surely includes the paper’s failure to share with its readers overwhelming and constantly refreshed documentation of an organized coup that resulted in the death of President John F. Kennedy and the end of meaningful reform in America. I addressed that latter issue in the article, “NY Times’ Ostrich Act on JFK Assassination Getting Old.” [4]

Far from proper journalistic curiosity, the paper sees its job as enforcing orthodoxy, and shutting down consideration of anything untoward. According to the New York Times’s peculiar brand of journalism, coups and plots happen with regularity abroad, but never, never, in the United States.

It is important to include the pejorative phrase “conspiracy theorist” in every article, even acknowledging concern about the health of democracy in America. It is important to have a good laugh at the expense of those poor souls who trouble themselves inquiring into the darker precincts of this country’s history.

So it is with the 48th anniversary of Kennedy’s death. Instead of assigning a single reporter to scrutinize the hundreds or thousands of meaningful, documented facts that do suggest more than “the lone nut did it,” the Times gets busy with the disinformation business.

Here are two Times “contributions” on this occasion:

UMBRELLA MAN

On the 48th anniversary of Kennedy’s murder, the Times ran an op-ed piece [5] and short film by documentary maker Errol Morris about another man’s research into “umbrella man.” Umbrella Man is the nickname for a fellow who famously brought an umbrella on a sunny day for the president’s visit to Dallas November 22, 1963, stood on the “grassy knoll,” and, just as the president’s car passed, he opened the umbrella and pumped it in the air. Many have speculated as to the significance, or lack of significance, of this strange behavior. Some wonder if Umbrella Man was part of the assassination scenario, perhaps signaling to shooters. There was even the September 1975 Senate intelligence committee testimony by Charles Senseney, a contract weapons designer for the CIA, that the agency had perfected an umbrella that shoots undetectable poison darts that can immobilize and kill, raising questions about whether this was in play that day. (See P. 168 in the Senate committee testimony [6], where Senseney explains specifically about the agency’s use of a toxin and the ability to fire it from a modified umbrella.)

The self-described Umbrella Man, Louie Steven Witt, came forward to offer his testimony [7] in 1978, or three years after the CIA expert provided this now forgotten testimony on umbrellas as weapon. Umbrella Man came forward just as a special House Select Committee on Assassinations was focusing on the possibility of a conspiracy (which, it concluded in its final report…was likely.) (You can order a video [8] of a report on Witt’s testimony, by then ABC News reporter Brit Hume, here)

The counsel for the Assassinations Committee, remarkably, does not mention the prior Senate testimony by the CIA weapons expert that such an umbrella device did exist, and instead quotes a more shaky claim by an “assassinations critic” regarding such a device.

Mr. GENZMAN. Mr. Witt, exhibit 406 is a copyrighted diagram

drawn by assassinations critic Robert B. Cutler which shows two

umbrellas with rocket and flechette attachments. Mr. Witt, do you

know what a flechette is?

Mr. WITT. I do now. I did not prior to our interview yesterday

evening.

Mr. GENZMAN. Did the umbrella in your possession on November

22, 1963, contain a flechette, or a rocket or a dart?

Mr. WITT, No, It did not.

Mr. GENZMAN. Has exhibit 405, the umbrella, ever contained -a

flechette, rocket. or dart?

Mr. WITT. No. Not since it’s been in my possession.

Mr. GENZMAN. Did the umbrella in your possession on November

1963; contain a gun or weapon of any sort?

438

Mr. WITT. No.

Mr. GENZMAN. Has exhibit 405 ever contained a gun or weapon

of any sort?

Mr. WITT. This umbrella?

Mr. GENZMAN. Yes.

Mr. WITT. No.

Mr. GENZMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Witt.

Mr. Chairman, I have no further questions.

Is the Times at all interested in the credibility of this purported umbrella-bearer? Absolutely not.

Instead, the Morris video presents the idea that sometimes, the most ridiculous scenarios are the truth. And so it presents the ridiculous, and asks us to believe it. Cutting to the chase, the man seen opening an umbrella comes forward to explain why he did it. Reason: in 1963, he was still mad at Britain’s pre-war Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and his appeasement of Hitler, and held JFK’s father to blame as US ambassador to England in that period. Chamberlain was famed for carrying an umbrella. So—get this—Umbrella Man, hoping to make a statement about what happened in the late 1930s to JFK in 1963, pumped his umbrella at the time the fatal shots were fired…only for this obscure purpose.

The Times passes the responsibility for this travesty to Morris, who passes it along to Josiah Thompson, a former Navy underwater demolitions expert turned Yale philosophy professor turned private investigator, who appears on-screen to ruminate about “Umbrella Man.” He is happy to accept the Chamberlain story as “delightful weirdness.”

Watching this, one gets the sense that Thompson believes there was no conspiracy in JFK’s death. But what the Times implies with this little piece is false. In fact, Josiah Thompson is known for documenting the exact opposite. He wrote a serious investigative book in 1967, “Six Seconds in Dallas,” full of evidence and specifics, in which he concluded there was a conspiracy to kill JFK—involving three different shooters. But the New York Times is not interested in that, only in this new, droll dismissal of another piece of the puzzle.

I called Thompson to ask him about the Morris video, and he pronounced himself delighted with it. I asked him how he knew that the man who came forward to identify himself as Umbrella Man and present the Neville Chamberlain story was actually the same man in the fuzzy photo of many years earlier. By way of explanation, he mentioned hearing a story from a well-respected JFK researcher who in turn had heard that Umbrella Man had told his dentist years earlier that he was umbrella man. Pressing Thompson, I learned that the man who came forward as Umbrella Man never provided proof that he was in fact the man with the umbrella. Even the dentist story is third, fourth, or perhaps fifth hand, not verified by Thompson or his researcher friend. All of which proves nothing, and all of which suggests that maybe, just maybe, the man’s improbable, “delightful” story of Neville Chamberlain is, indeed, fabricated.

Just because Errol Morris is a master of the documentary art does not make him any kind of authority on what should be the province of careful investigators. Just because a story is absurd does not make it real, or “delightful”, as the Times video would like us to consider—and many did, with thousands emailing the Times piece to friends. This is something well understood by the game-players of the covert operations house of mirrors: the jesuitical contortions that can be made to twist any credible scenario.

Here are some things you should know about the man who came forward to identify himself as Umbrella Man and tell this ludicrous Neville Chamberlain story:

His account of his activities that day don’t track with what Umbrella Man actually did, raising questions as to whether this man who volunteered to testify to the assassination inquiry is even the real umbrella-bearer, or someone whose purpose was to end inquiries into the matter [9].

The man who came forward, Louie Steven Witt, was a young man at the time of Kennedy’s death. How many young men in Dallas in 1963 even knew what Neville Chamberlain had done a quarter-century before?

In 1963, Witt was an insurance salesman for the Rio Grande National Life Insurance company, which anchored the eponymous Rio Grande Building in downtown Dallas. It’s an interesting building. Among the other outfits housed in the building was the Office of Immigration and Naturalization—a place Lee Harvey Oswald visited repeatedly upon his return from Russia, ostensibly to deal with matters concerning the immigration status of his Russian-born wife, Marina. Another occupant of the Rio Grande Building was the US Secret Service, so notably lax in its protection of Kennedy that day, breaking every rule of security on every level.

A major client of Rio Grande was the US military, to which it provided insurance.

It’s worth considering the roles of military-connected figures on the day of the assassination. These include Dallas Military Intelligence unit chief Jack Crichton operating secretly from an underground communications bunker; Crichton’s providing a translator who twisted Marina Oswald’s statement to police in a way that implicated her husband; and members of military intelligence forcing their way into the pilot car of Kennedy’s motorcade, which inexplicably ground to a halt in front of the Texas School Book Depository (where Lee Harvey Oswald’s employer, a high official with the local military-connected American Legion, managed to find a “job” for Oswald at a time when his company was otherwise seasonally laying off staff.) Oh, and it’s worth contemplating JFK’s titanic, if under-reported, struggle with top Pentagon officials over how the US should interact with Russia, Cuba, and the rest of the world. You can read more about all this in my book Family of Secrets. [10]

Is this concatenation of facts too crazy to consider? More crazy than that Neville Chamberlain story?

THE JACK AND JACKIE LOVE STORY

Not content with having Morris, who is no Kennedy expert, put out this misleading video on Umbrella Man, the Times earlier featured Morris’s book review of Stephen King’s novel imagining Lee Harvey Oswald. So now you have a man who knows little about the real story, getting people to read the imaginings of one who also knows little of the real story. Another way to look at this is that the New York Times is really, really interested in an occult novelist’s take on the death of a president, but just totally uninterested itself in looking into that death.

You must read Errol Morris’s review [11] of King’s book, and please explain to me what he is talking about, because I have no idea. One of the few things that registered at all from this confusing mess is a comment about Jack and Jackie:

King has said that he struggled with the idea for this book for more than 30 years. One can see why. In fiction, we can decide who did or did not kill Kennedy. Writer’s choice (and King chooses). But he pays his debts to history in other ways — by showing the machine and, at the same time, the simplest human knots, the love stories behind history: Sadie and George[characters in the novel], Jack and Jackie.

Um, “the love stories behind history…Jack and Jackie”?

This is part and parcel of the Times’s approach: to maintain a feeble, People Magazine-like focus on the JFK-Jackie Camelot love story—which never actually existed. Anyone who has read any of the books featuring interviews with close friends of the couple know that the marriage was a political match for the reticent JFK, never for a minute a fairy tale romance, and that by 1963 the duo could barely stand to be in each other’s presence. If this is news to you, come out of your New York Times cave and read….practically anything else. (One worthwhile account—including Jackie explicitly ignoring JFK’s request that, for appearances’ sake, the First Lady not take off to cruise on the yacht of the caddish Aristotle Onassis in the fall of 1963—can be found in Peter Evans’s book, Nemesis [12]. By the way, Onassis hated—and I mean hated—the Kennedys; RFK had blocked a big Onassis business deal years earlier.)

Or read in Family of Secrets how, since childhood, Jackie had been a friend of George de Mohrenschildt, the “father figure” to Lee Harvey Oswald, or how, the night after de Mohrenschildt’s testimony to the Warren Commission, Oswald’s best friend was invited to dinner at Jackie’s mother’s house, along with the Machiavellian intriguer Allen Dulles, whom JFK had fired as CIA director and whom Johnson so shockingly appointed to the Warren Commission investigating Kennedy’s killing—a man who surely is at the top of most people’s lists of those behind the assassination.

If you appreciate these sorts of things, it is striking to learn that Onassis was a business partner in oil deals in the Caribbean prior to Castro’s revolution, with….Oswald’s best friend George de Mohrenschildt, and that Onassis’ brother-in-law was the cover employer of CIA coup plotter Al Ulmer, who just happened to be visiting the Dallas area the week of Nov 22 1963 from abroad.

So, please, can we get past this “love story” pabulum and at least do just a teensy bit of investigating these odd and flagrantly suggestive connections? Maybe they’re all odd coincidences, but at least they seem, intuitively, worth pursuing, at least as much as those “delightfully weird” Neville Chamberlain umbrella stories.

The real danger of a video like the one about the Umbrella Man is that it encourages people to stop questioning, stop investigating. Just laugh it all off. There’s no trouble here in the land of the free, the home of the brave. Nothing to see here, folks, move along, move along.

***

It’s time to stop treating the New York Times as the slightly daffy uncle who is hard of hearing. There’s something more insidious going on, and every single person who works there and refuses to care bears some responsibility. Ditto with the rest of the media, which still takes this institution as its guide on what to cover—and what not to uncover.

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Oh, gimme a break!!!

Look, here's the deal. The New York Times newspaper and their "other media interests" reach MILLIONS of "everyday" folk each day. They reach millions of people who are not well versed in this subject, but who are VERY interested in it. By viewing this film, these uninitiated folk might be exposed to this information for the VERY FIRST TIME.

This film is not primarily for researchers, it is for public consumption!

THAT IS THE ONLY "CONTEXT" WORTH CONSIDERING!

Now, in that context, his performance is weak. Very damn weak.

Cliff is mistaken, Jim. Tink never claimed there is a valid, non-sinister explanation for every seemingly sinister fact in the case. He said merely that we are incapable of anticipating every possible explanation for something that seems sinister. And he's 100% correct.

Tink's "cautionary tale" is not a "cautionary tale" telling people not to try to figure out what happened, it is a "cautionary tale" telling people to keep an open mind and not get high on their own supply, as something that seems sinister may be nothing more than a weird guy out for a walk.

There is nothing sinister about the film. It was not designed to shut down assassination research, as some here seem to think. It was an attempt to humanize it, and show how one researcher named Tink Thompson encountered a red herring and was humbled by it.

Excellent, Pat. Taking one person's characterization of what another person said, and using it to denounce that other person without actually knowing and citing exactly what *was* said is beyond poor, imo.

Well said, Pat.

Bests,

Barb :-)

Since when does "forget it, man" translate into an appeal for an open mind?

Tink made a blanket statement neither he, nor you, nor Pat, nor John Hunt can ever back up.

Tink's conclusions do not well apply to the JFK assassination.

Thanks for posting the video clip of what Tink actually said in your post #227. Here is what Tink says in that snippet ... of course, from this, we have no way of knowing what led up to this comment, and context, is everything.

QUOTE TINK THOMPSON [all emphasis mine-bj]

If you have any fact which you think is really sinister, it's really obviously a fact that can only point to some sinister underpinning, hey, forget it man, because you can never. on your own, think of all the non-sinister perfectly valid explanations for that fact. That's a cautionary tale.

END QUOTE

I understand the context of what he is saying. It's about weighing and evaluating evidence and not being so cock sure of what we believe about any particular fact that we don't check it out to see what else that fact could possibly mean and fail to get the perspective of others on it.

What I do NOT see is any part of this that someone reading it, complete and in context, can take to mean that Tink is saying there is not a single sinister fact in the case that cannot be explained away.

That is selective, shortsighted nonsense, in my opinion. He is calling it "a cautionary tale" because too many fall headlong into the pitfall he described. And there are many who fall into that pit regularly. Ironically enough, there are examples of exactly that even in this thread.

Please.

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Guest Robert Morrow

I have "fallen into traps" before on the JFK assassination. Then when I see the error of my ways I try to get out of that hole as quick as possible. That means I change my mind when the weight of evidence changes direction.

As for this this NY Times - Josiah Thompson - Umbrella Man thing ... it looks like it is yet more generalized lone nutter propaganda given an NY Times platform. Really, instead of debunking one probably fallacy - that Umbrella Man was part of the assassination, they could have used that valuable air space/print space to document a THOUSAND things that point to a coup d'etat.

So we have yet another pathetic performance by the NY Times. Perhaps not an error of commission, but a thousand errors of ommission. How about an article on Fletcher Prouty's and Victor Krulak's identification of Maj. Gen. Edward Lansdale at the TSBD and what that probably means? Spend a little time on that photo and the backgrounds of Lansdale and what Prouty has to offer.

That is but one mere example.

As for Josiah Thompson - count me extremely unimpressed with his smug attitude and *performace* and that is exactly what he was doing *performing* as the JFK expert for the NY Times, playing along with their lone nutter agenda, much in the way "conspiracy theorist" Gary Mack constantly does.

Edited by Robert Morrow
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I have "fallen into traps" before on the JFK assassination. Then when I see the error of my ways I try to get out of that hole as quick as possible. That means I change my mind when the weight of evidence changes direction.

As for this this NY Times - Josiah Thompson - Umbrella Man thing ... it looks like it is yet more generalized lone nutter propaganda given an NY Times platform. Really, instead of debunking one probably fallacy - that Umbrella Man was part of the assassination, they could have used that valuable air space/print space to document a THOUSAND things that point to a coup d'etat.

So we have yet another pathetic performance by the NY Times. Perhaps not an error of commission, but a thousand errors of ommission. How about an article on Fletcher Prouty's and Victor Krulak's identification of Maj. Gen. Edward Lansdale at the TSBD and what that probably means? Spend a little time on that photo and the backgrounds of Lansdale and what Prouty has to offer.

That is but one mere example.

As for Josiah Thompson - count me extremely unimpressed with his smug attitude and *performace* and that is exactly what he was doing *performing* as the JFK expert for the NY Times, playing along with their lone nutter agenda, much in the way "conspiracy theorist" Gary Mack constantly does.

In my opinion, this is the most valuable post you have ever made, Robert!

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Oh, gimme a break!!!

Look, here's the deal. The New York Times newspaper and their "other media interests" reach MILLIONS of "everyday" folk each day. They reach millions of people who are not well versed in this subject, but who are VERY interested in it. By viewing this film, these uninitiated folk might be exposed to this information for the VERY FIRST TIME.

This film is not primarily for researchers, it is for public consumption!

THAT IS THE ONLY "CONTEXT" WORTH CONSIDERING!

Now, in that context, his performance is weak. Very damn weak.

In full context, Greg, of the complete "Umbrella Man" video, this "performance" as you call it, is just an example being given of the pitfall of evaluating evidence and leaping to conclusions too quickly and without any substantiation. Pretty simple stuff really, imo. And I think that context may be more clear, actually, to the general public than to some researchers with preconceived notions who are looking for ... or expecting ... too much from one short simple snippet of a six hour interview ... of which one has no idea of what came first, or what came later.

We can disagree, but that is how I see it, and why. :-)

The entire video segment, which I think makes the comments in the shorter clip Varnell provided more clear, can be found here:

http://video.nytimes.com/video/2011/11/21/opinion/100000001183275/the-umbrella-man.html

Cliff is mistaken, Jim. Tink never claimed there is a valid, non-sinister explanation for every seemingly sinister fact in the case. He said merely that we are incapable of anticipating every possible explanation for something that seems sinister. And he's 100% correct.

Tink's "cautionary tale" is not a "cautionary tale" telling people not to try to figure out what happened, it is a "cautionary tale" telling people to keep an open mind and not get high on their own supply, as something that seems sinister may be nothing more than a weird guy out for a walk.

There is nothing sinister about the film. It was not designed to shut down assassination research, as some here seem to think. It was an attempt to humanize it, and show how one researcher named Tink Thompson encountered a red herring and was humbled by it.

Excellent, Pat. Taking one person's characterization of what another person said, and using it to denounce that other person without actually knowing and citing exactly what *was* said is beyond poor, imo.

Well said, Pat.

Bests,

Barb :-)

Since when does "forget it, man" translate into an appeal for an open mind?

Tink made a blanket statement neither he, nor you, nor Pat, nor John Hunt can ever back up.

Tink's conclusions do not well apply to the JFK assassination.

Thanks for posting the video clip of what Tink actually said in your post #227. Here is what Tink says in that snippet ... of course, from this, we have no way of knowing what led up to this comment, and context, is everything.

QUOTE TINK THOMPSON [all emphasis mine-bj]

If you have any fact which you think is really sinister, it's really obviously a fact that can only point to some sinister underpinning, hey, forget it man, because you can never. on your own, think of all the non-sinister perfectly valid explanations for that fact. That's a cautionary tale.

END QUOTE

I understand the context of what he is saying. It's about weighing and evaluating evidence and not being so cock sure of what we believe about any particular fact that we don't check it out to see what else that fact could possibly mean and fail to get the perspective of others on it.

What I do NOT see is any part of this that someone reading it, complete and in context, can take to mean that Tink is saying there is not a single sinister fact in the case that cannot be explained away.

That is selective, shortsighted nonsense, in my opinion. He is calling it "a cautionary tale" because too many fall headlong into the pitfall he described. And there are many who fall into that pit regularly. Ironically enough, there are examples of exactly that even in this thread.

Please.

Edited by Barb Junkkarinen
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I would very much appreciate it if Doctor Tink would tell us, for the record, WHERE HE STANDS TODAY regarding JFK's assassination. Does he believe it was a conspiracy or a lone nut?

If the former, I would like to respectfully submit that he has a responsibility to the general public, as a visible public personality, to remove any doubt as to where he stands on the BIG PICTURE.

There is an argument to be made that the damage has already been done. We shall see.

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I would very much appreciate it if Doctor Tink would tell us, for the record, WHERE HE STANDS TODAY regarding JFK's assassination. Does he believe it was a conspiracy or a lone nut?

If the former, I would like to respectfully submit that he has a responsibility to the general public, as a visible public personality, to remove any doubt as to where he stands on the BIG PICTURE.

There is an argument to be made that the damage has already been done. We shall see.

Tink Thompson has already publicly re-confirmed his belief there was a conspiracy, in post 24 of this very thread.

In case you missed it, this is what he said:

"When Professor Fetzer loses an argument he calls the other party an “op” or stupid. Since he’s lost numerous arguments to me over the years, his claim is old and tired. In the good professor’s infinite wisdom, he also claims to know what I am going to do in the future. This too is a bit old and tired. According to him, I’m going “to proclaim there was no conspiracy after all.”

Thank you, Professor. Once again you’ve given me the opportunity of proving you categorically, irredeemably WRONG!!

For the last six months, I’ve been working on a new manuscript. I found in Washington at the AARC all my old transcripts of Dallas witnesses. They are quite wonderful. In addition, I went to Dallas and spent two afternoons looking at the MPI transparencies. They too are quite wonderful. The consequence of this work is that I think I can now correct some mistakes I made forty years ago. JFK’s head did not dramatically move forward between 312 and 313 and that means we are seeing the impact of a bullet from the right front, not the exit of a bullet from the rear. The last forty years have made certain aspects of the assassination much clearer. Although I cannot as yet come up with a complete reconstruction of what happened, I think I’ve made good progress on part of it. It’s appearance will prove once again that the Professor is not just wrong but silly. So what else is new."

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Thanks for posting the video clip of what Tink actually said in your post #227. Here is what Tink says in that snippet ... of course, from this, we have no way of knowing what led up to this comment, and context, is everything.

QUOTE TINK THOMPSON [all emphasis mine-bj]

If you have any fact which you think is really sinister, it's really obviously a fact that can only point to some sinister underpinning, hey, forget it man, because you can never. on your own, think of all the non-sinister perfectly valid explanations for that fact. That's a cautionary tale.

END QUOTE

I understand the context of what he is saying. It's about weighing and evaluating evidence and not being so cock sure of what we believe about any particular fact that we don't check it out to see what else that fact could possibly mean and fail to get the perspective of others on it.

"Not being so cock sure" -- I like the way you and Pat Speer are re-writing what Tink said. Unfortunately, it doesn't bear on either Tink's words or his tone. "Not being so cock sure" is a qualifying phrase, and there are no such qualifications in what Tink said.

The contempt the man exudes with the phrase "really sinister" betrays an inappropriate, condescending attitude.

There are lots and lots of "sinister facts" in the JFK assassination with no "valid non-sinister explanation". I notice Tink never goes near them. I think this video needs to be appreciated in the context of Tink Thompson's life-long dismissal of the root facts of the case -- JFK was shot in the back at T3, and shot in the throat from the front.

There are no "perfectly valid, non-sinister explanations" for the root facts of the case. If Tink thinks there is, let him make a fact-based case for it.

And we all know that such will never be forthcoming.

Edited by Cliff Varnell
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"Look, here's the deal. The New York Times newspaper and their "other media interests" reach MILLIONS of "everyday" folk each day. They reach millions of people who are not well versed in this subject, but who are VERY interested in it. By viewing this film, these uninitiated folk might be exposed to this information for the VERY FIRST TIME.

This film is not primarily for researchers, it is for public consumption!

THAT IS THE ONLY "CONTEXT" WORTH CONSIDERING!

Now, in that context, his performance is weak. Very damn weak."

I strongly agree with this assessment.

Tink's performance was another snickers bar thrown to those who want to dismiss the whole thing.

He may well be cooking more nutritious fare.

But how many will even get the change to smell it.

We need to wake up to the communications verities. Those who work to dismiss when millions are watching and then claim to still be researchers before an audience of 22 ... well they have much to answer when our communications environment has become so moated and mined.

Thompson knows damn well proponents of the historical fact of conspiracy are not given a second on Wide audience media. He chose to take the slingshot from David and give it to Goliath. He chose glibness before a corrupt lens over opportunity.

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