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Tink's performance in The New York Times


Guest James H. Fetzer
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you'd not be looking for your own dentist or that of a friend's dentist, but the person who was the dentist of a friend of that friend.

So, the admission - FINALLY - that our star researcher trafficks in wholly unreliable, unverifiable scuttlebutt of wholly unreliable, unverifiable and unknown provenance yet DEMANDS we accept it as probative. To borrow from Tink, that's SO ridiculous, it MUST be true.

Which is more cringe-worthy? The bankrupt LACK of methodology on display here? Or the fact that Lifton is apparently oblivious to how completely foolish this makes him seem, while demanding that we accept as genuine the crud he passes off as probative.

That the same man holds himself out as a paragon of logical analysis and sneers at what he presumes to be lesser mortals is just the icing on the cake. Some people have absolutely no self-awareness.

The imaginary conversations he hears in his head are just sad. He really ought not share them with us. They have no bearing on the case and should remain between he and his therapist.

I've followed this thread from the outset, and have had NO problem following Lifton's line of thought. I am surprised, moreover, by the inability of others to follow his statements without seizing an opportunity to kick him around a bit.

I honestly don't get all this hostility.

Consider the series of events. (If I've got this wrong, please correct me.)

1. Researchers Thompson and Cutler, etc, identify the Umbrella Man as a person of interest.

2. When the HSCA comes into existence, it is decided that the researchers are correct on this one, and an effort is made to identify the Umbrella Man. His picture is posted in newspapers and (if I recall correctly) is even shown on TV.

Pat -- please. They were covering their backsides. The Executive Session transcripts spell it out. They did it to shut the critics up by appearing to take their concerns seriously. In reality, hey had already decided that any theory surrounding TUM was the stuff of fantasy.

3. No one comes forward.

4. Months pass by. During this period... 1) David Lifton hears from an acquaintance that Umbrella Man is Louie Steven Witt, and that Witt has admitted this to his dentist, who is also her dentist. 2) Penn Jones hears a similar story from one of Witt's co-workers.

How are you so certain of your timeline when Lifton won't or can't say when exactly he heard about the dentist?

Here's what the press reported:

"The Umbrella Man remained anonymous until the committee distributed the pictures and issued a public appeal for information about him last July. Witt, a Dallas warehouse manager, saw the pictures and news stories and realized to his chagrin that he was the Umbrella Man. "Having no particular interest in the assassination case, I drifted along all these years without coming across any of these theories. Had you never found me, I would have been far happier than I am at the moment"

Put aside for a second, the entirely unlikely story that a witness to the crime of the century assiduously avoids reading anything at all about the case, avoids discussion about the case and remains oblivious to anything and everything about the case for a solid 15 years. But then, suddenly, he does notice one story: they are looking for an umbrella-wielding assassination witness whose identity is unknown. He realizes this witness is none other than himself. He later regrets being found. But how was he found? Well, apparently, after 15 years of stony silence about the assassination, on top of a complete personal media blackout, he could no longer keep his mouth shut and blabbed to one and all that he was the infamous umbrella-wielder.

Put all that aside. Put aside that we have no evidence that it was a co-worker who contacted Penn Jones. Put aside that he have no names in the chain of Chinese Whisperers presented by Lifton.

What I want to know is how Lifton's story about the dentist helps verify that Witt was TUM. If Witt had told the dentist BEFORE the HSCA released the photos, and that could be verified, you have something. All you have to deal with then is Witt's press statement that he was blissfully unaware of the controversy he caused until he saw the HSCA photo release...

5. Jones and reporter Earl Golz confront Witt, and he admits that he was the Umbrella Man. Golz writes an article on Witt.

Yet no one could ever prove it was him. All he had to do was deny it and say yes, he told co workers it was him, but he was just joking, and he could go back to being anonymous. Please don't try and say he admitted it out of civic duty. It doesn't fit the profile of a witness to a major crime not following any news stories whatsoever about it and not even talking about it in 15 years - with this total blackout having nothing to do with being traumatized, but everything to do with antipathy toward the victim.

6. Witt is then interviewed by the HSCA.

7. Witt is then brought in to testify in a televised broadcast. While his testimony has little substance and is treated as entertainment, this is not surprising given the contentious nature of the HSCA's investigation, where any and every opportunity to show the skeptics that the committee was making discoveries and solving mysteries was seized upon.

? Sorry. Probably just me, but I can't follow what you're getting at there.

Now, given this chain of events, and given that he'd already come to the conclusion that studying the autopsy was the key to understanding the assassination, how can anyone honestly fault Lifton for not following up and interviewing the dentist, etc. Geez, I've had dozens of leads I've failed to follow up on. I'm sure we all do. There's simply not enough time to follow every possible lead, and nail down every detail.

The story is only a problem because it was used to prop up Witt's credibility as a witness. If it hadn't been used in this way, no one would give a toss whether Lifton remembered any names. But the reality is that the story was accepted by Josiah Thompson as is - and used as is. Name one other person who would cite 3rd or 4th hand hearsay where no names are even known, to support a claim they wish to make about the veracity of of a witness. It doesn't happen, and shouldn't happen, and I believe Tink should surface to explain why he used it.

And don't get me started about the Arizona story Witt came up with...

You need to look at it in context. The HSCA was the critics' commission, not the President's commission. No one in the government wanted it. It was created to appease the critics. So...if the critics made it a priority to find Umbrella Man, the committee followed. And if the critics identified a common worker like Witt as the Umbrella Man, the HSCA was more than happy to oblige and broadcast the news of his discovery, if only to justify to those opposing the committee's creation that it wasn't a puppet of...the critics.

Now, could an op have been cooked up to fool the critics into "discovering" Witt? Of course... But what would be the point, when other mysteries like the identity of the Mexico City Mystery Man had been left hanging?

We have NO evidence anyone other than Witt was Umbrella Man.

We have NO evidence Witt was associated with anyone who'd want him to pretend he was Umbrella Man, or lie about any other aspect of his story.

All we have is his story, which no one then or now can refute, other than to say they CHOOSE not to believe it.

And, oh yeah, there's this. Witt looks like Umbrella Man.

Now, the trail is quite cold, but if you feel you can nail that bad guy Louie Witt, go at it. But you shouldn't feel all superior to those who, back when the trail was fresh, felt they had better things to do...

And you shouldn't get all agitated that someone like Thompson--who was there at the creation--now finds the Umbrella Man story he'd helped propagate a silly giggle-worthy diversion...

I have to take exception to the statement that: "We have NO evidence Witt was associated with anyone who'd want him to pretend he was the Umbrella Man or lie about any other aspect of his story."

While I don't think Witt lied, there is evidence that he was associated with those who would want him to, or just to do what he did, including those who he worked with at the office building that also included the offices of the US Army Intelligence, and the immigration office where Oswald is said to have visited, as well as the identity of the dentist - who we'd like to know whether he was affiliated with the Baylor Medical Clinic dentist that the White Russians had Marina go to.

So there's three reasons to question Witt's connections, three reasons that Tink Tompson doesn't deal with in his dismissal of the Umbrella Man as a suspect, and three questions that have yet to be answered.

Is Witt still alive?

BK

'

Edited by William Kelly
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you'd not be looking for your own dentist or that of a friend's dentist, but the person who was the dentist of a friend of that friend.

So, the admission - FINALLY - that our star researcher trafficks in wholly unreliable, unverifiable scuttlebutt of wholly unreliable, unverifiable and unknown provenance yet DEMANDS we accept it as probative. To borrow from Tink, that's SO ridiculous, it MUST be true.

Which is more cringe-worthy? The bankrupt LACK of methodology on display here? Or the fact that Lifton is apparently oblivious to how completely foolish this makes him seem, while demanding that we accept as genuine the crud he passes off as probative.

That the same man holds himself out as a paragon of logical analysis and sneers at what he presumes to be lesser mortals is just the icing on the cake. Some people have absolutely no self-awareness.

The imaginary conversations he hears in his head are just sad. He really ought not share them with us. They have no bearing on the case and should remain between he and his therapist.

I've followed this thread from the outset, and have had NO problem following Lifton's line of thought. I am surprised, moreover, by the inability of others to follow his statements without seizing an opportunity to kick him around a bit.

I honestly don't get all this hostility.

Consider the series of events. (If I've got this wrong, please correct me.)

1. Researchers Thompson and Cutler, etc, identify the Umbrella Man as a person of interest.

2. When the HSCA comes into existence, it is decided that the researchers are correct on this one, and an effort is made to identify the Umbrella Man. His picture is posted in newspapers and (if I recall correctly) is even shown on TV.

Pat -- please. They were covering their backsides. The Executive Session transcripts spell it out. They did it to shut the critics up by appearing to take their concerns seriously. In reality, hey had already decided that any theory surrounding TUM was the stuff of fantasy.

3. No one comes forward.

4. Months pass by. During this period... 1) David Lifton hears from an acquaintance that Umbrella Man is Louie Steven Witt, and that Witt has admitted this to his dentist, who is also her dentist. 2) Penn Jones hears a similar story from one of Witt's co-workers.

How are you so certain of your timeline when Lifton won't or can't say when exactly he heard about the dentist?

Here's what the press reported:

"The Umbrella Man remained anonymous until the committee distributed the pictures and issued a public appeal for information about him last July. Witt, a Dallas warehouse manager, saw the pictures and news stories and realized to his chagrin that he was the Umbrella Man. "Having no particular interest in the assassination case, I drifted along all these years without coming across any of these theories. Had you never found me, I would have been far happier than I am at the moment"

Put aside for a second, the entirely unlikely story that a witness to the crime of the century assiduously avoids reading anything at all about the case, avoids discussion about the case and remains oblivious to anything and everything about the case for a solid 15 years. But then, suddenly, he does notice one story: they are looking for an umbrella-wielding assassination witness whose identity is unknown. He realizes this witness is none other than himself. He later regrets being found. But how was he found? Well, apparently, after 15 years of stony silence about the assassination, on top of a complete personal media blackout, he could no longer keep his mouth shut and blabbed to one and all that he was the infamous umbrella-wielder.

Put all that aside. Put aside that we have no evidence that it was a co-worker who contacted Penn Jones. Put aside that he have no names in the chain of Chinese Whisperers presented by Lifton.

What I want to know is how Lifton's story about the dentist helps verify that Witt was TUM. If Witt had told the dentist BEFORE the HSCA released the photos, and that could be verified, you have something. All you have to deal with then is Witt's press statement that he was blissfully unaware of the controversy he caused until he saw the HSCA photo release...

5. Jones and reporter Earl Golz confront Witt, and he admits that he was the Umbrella Man. Golz writes an article on Witt.

Yet no one could ever prove it was him. All he had to do was deny it and say yes, he told co workers it was him, but he was just joking, and he could go back to being anonymous. Please don't try and say he admitted it out of civic duty. It doesn't fit the profile of a witness to a major crime not following any news stories whatsoever about it and not even talking about it in 15 years - with this total blackout having nothing to do with being traumatized, but everything to do with antipathy toward the victim.

6. Witt is then interviewed by the HSCA.

7. Witt is then brought in to testify in a televised broadcast. While his testimony has little substance and is treated as entertainment, this is not surprising given the contentious nature of the HSCA's investigation, where any and every opportunity to show the skeptics that the committee was making discoveries and solving mysteries was seized upon.

? Sorry. Probably just me, but I can't follow what you're getting at there.

Now, given this chain of events, and given that he'd already come to the conclusion that studying the autopsy was the key to understanding the assassination, how can anyone honestly fault Lifton for not following up and interviewing the dentist, etc. Geez, I've had dozens of leads I've failed to follow up on. I'm sure we all do. There's simply not enough time to follow every possible lead, and nail down every detail.

The story is only a problem because it was used to prop up Witt's credibility as a witness. If it hadn't been used in this way, no one would give a toss whether Lifton remembered any names. But the reality is that the story was accepted by Josiah Thompson as is - and used as is. Name one other person who would cite 3rd or 4th hand hearsay where no names are even known, to support a claim they wish to make about the veracity of of a witness. It doesn't happen, and shouldn't happen, and I believe Tink should surface to explain why he used it.

And don't get me started about the Arizona story Witt came up with...

You need to look at it in context. The HSCA was the critics' commission, not the President's commission. No one in the government wanted it. It was created to appease the critics. So...if the critics made it a priority to find Umbrella Man, the committee followed. And if the critics identified a common worker like Witt as the Umbrella Man, the HSCA was more than happy to oblige and broadcast the news of his discovery, if only to justify to those opposing the committee's creation that it wasn't a puppet of...the critics.

"There are pluses and minuses if we do this [publish the photos] . It might appear to some credible people we are pursuing the umbrella man theory, which lacks a certain credibility." p7 executive session transcript, June 16, 1978. In short, neither the critics nor their theories were credible and any investigation of those theories was mere theatrics.

Now, could an op have been cooked up to fool the critics into "discovering" Witt? Of course... But what would be the point, when other mysteries like the identity of the Mexico City Mystery Man had been left hanging?

The point of NOT producing the Mexico City Mystery man should be obvious. Unlike TUM, we have excellent photos. Unlike TUM, the MC thing could not be laughed off. Unlike TUM, the committee would have to take THAT interview of anyone purporting to be the mystery man very very seriously.

The fact that you're even suggesting this is telling, Pat. I don't believe for a second that YOU believe there is any fair comparison here. THE HSCA was not about to open that can of worms voluntarily, and you know it.

We have NO evidence anyone other than Witt was Umbrella Man.

So he wins by default? Why can't we just say Witt claimed to be TUM, but the evidence supporting that claim is thin and therefore TUM's identity should be left as an open question?

We have NO evidence Witt was associated with anyone who'd want him to pretend he was Umbrella Man, or lie about any other aspect of his story.

Except all those military/intelligence connections which (according to you) can be discounted on the basis that everyone in America had those connections.

All we have is his story, which no one then or now can refute, other than to say they CHOOSE not to believe it.

I CHOOSE to look at the available evidence. And the available evidence is unconvincing. If you CHOOSE to be convinced because he is the only known candidate, that is your prerogative.

And, oh yeah, there's this. Witt looks like Umbrella Man.

And several people looked like Oswald. And unlike TUM, clear photos exist of Oswald for comparison. You're comparing a fuzzy '63 photo with a person in the flesh 15 years later.

Now, the trail is quite cold, but if you feel you can nail that bad guy Louie Witt, go at it. But you shouldn't feel all superior to those who, back when the trail was fresh, felt they had better things to do...

I'm not trying to nail anyone - except those who would pass off crapola like the dentist story as probative. Now you want it both ways: The HSCA was forved by the critics to find and interview TUM, but when the critics located him themselves, they suddenly decided they had better things to do than do a little digging of their own???? Please, Pat. Put your thinking cap on before typing such contradictory nonsense.

And you shouldn't get all agitated that someone like Thompson--who was there at the creation--now finds the Umbrella Man story he'd helped propagate a silly giggle-worthy diversion...

I have no problem with Tink's current position. I have a HUGE problem with what he put forward as the reasons for arriving at that position - especially, as pointed out by a poster at my site, he could influence so many through the exposure of the short film given by the NYT.

To quote from that post: Of course it doesn't debunk a thing. But it provides a simplistic answer to those who have a shallow understanding of the matter and, frankly, just wish we would stop bothering them with complicated details.

And I could not agree more with that.

Edited by Greg Parker
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how can anyone honestly fault Lifton for not following up and interviewing the dentist, etc.

IN THIS GREAT SEASON

it is so nice

to hear the voice

of REASON.

I don't fault Lifton, but I DO think it significant, especially if we know who Marina's dentist was at Baylor Medical Clinic,

and we do know that CIA agents and assets use CIA lawyers and CIA doctors and especially CIA dentists.

So the dentist may not be just a haphazard bystander.

BK

JFKcountercoup

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Pat Speer: Now, could an op have been cooked up to fool the critics into "discovering" Witt? Of course... But what would be the point, when other mysteries like the identity of the Mexico City Mystery Man had been left hanging?

This is wrong.

THe identity of the Mystery Man is in the Lopez Report.

Which was classified by Blakey.

The reason this could not come out at the time is that it proved Anne Goodpasture manipulated the evidence in advance.. She knew this guy was not Oswald.

Much too explosive for Blakey's version of the HSCA.

Is it wrong?

On page 179 of the report it is claimed that "Since the time of the assassination, this man has been identified as Yuriy Ivanovich Moskalev, a Soviet KGB officer. The identification is unconfirmed and comes from only one source." The footnote to this refers back to a "Classified HSCA Staff Summary, 3/15/78." So who was this source? Do we know? Apparently not. In the Russ Holmes file is a 7/13/78 memo from a CIA official named Raymond Warren in which he notes that the ID of Moskalev is "informal and preliminary," and that the material in the attached file is "entirely theoretical and does not constitute an official file or position of this Division or Agency," but that it "may be of interest to Mr. Blakey and Mr. Cornwell of the HSCA."

Is this a positive ID? Doesn't sound like it to me.

And why, if the HSCA was primarily interested in shutting down speculation, wasn't this nailed down via a photo comparison and interview with Moskalev, and reported to the public?

I take from this that they were content to leave it hanging... and/or were scared of a negative public reaction to the man's being a KGB officer.

As far as Goodpasture, on page 178 it specifies that she had argued with others that the man was not Oswald, but that Win Scott and others thought that it could be...

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how can anyone honestly fault Lifton for not following up and interviewing the dentist, etc.

IN THIS GREAT SEASON

it is so nice

to hear the voice

of REASON.

J. Ray, it doesn't bother me in the slightest that Lifton didn't interview Witt. We're all well aware that's when it comes to interviewing witnesses, he channels Sean Hannity interviewing George Bush. Damn good thing he didn't interview him, I say! Keep him away from all witnesses.

What I object to - and I thought I'd made it clear enough - is the USE of his 3rd or 4th generation hearsay as confirming that Witt was indeed, TUM. It should not have been used unless key details could be confirmed (i.e. names and dates and exactly what was said). If those details were available, I would not be critical of those who used it. Pretty simple to understand, no?

Lifton is off the hook on this. In fact, David can pretty much do what he wants from here on without raising my ire. He has become too much of a self-parody to waste any more anger on.

It is Josiah Thompson who needs to man up and explain himself.

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how can anyone honestly fault Lifton for not following up and interviewing the dentist, etc.

IN THIS GREAT SEASON

it is so nice

to hear the voice

of REASON.

J. Ray, it doesn't bother me in the slightest that Lifton didn't interview Witt. We're all well aware that's when it comes to interviewing witnesses, he channels Sean Hannity interviewing George Bush. Damn good thing he didn't interview him, I say! Keep him away from all witnesses.

What I object to - and I thought I'd made it clear enough - is the USE of his 3rd or 4th generation hearsay as confirming that Witt was indeed, TUM. It should not have been used unless key details could be confirmed (i.e. names and dates and exactly what was said). If those details were available, I would not be critical of those who used it. Pretty simple to understand, no?

Lifton is off the hook on this. In fact, David can pretty much do what he wants from here on without raising my ire. He has become too much of a self-parody to waste any more anger on.

It is Josiah Thompson who needs to man up and explain himself.

Mr. Parker:

Why don't you own up to what's on your website, so that readers of this forum can understand just what "point of view" you represent:

1) That some half dozen people in the TSBD were accomplices to JFK's murder, because they somehow escorted a group of shooters out of the building (and kept this a secret)--at least, that's what the writer whose work you publish at your website claims

2) That Oswald has a twin brother and that understanding who is the "twin" and who is Oswald is (in your view) apparently the key to the case

3) That Oswald was not dyslexic (as is established by ample evidence) but rather, has Asperger's syndrome. Of course, the former is a reading disorder; the latter, related to autism.

I have no idea why you think any of these ideas are particularly plausible, or backed by reasonable evidence; but hey, its a free country, and you're welcome. . and now to add Steve Witt (and/or his "op") to your list.

Of course, I have not laid out your own credentials --or lack thereof--as set forth in your own biography.

DSL

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Mr. Parker:

Why don't you own up to what's on your website, so that readers of this forum can understand just what "point of view" you represent:

1) That some half dozen people in the TSBD were accomplices to JFK's murder, because they somehow escorted a group of shooters out of the building (and kept this a secret)--at least, that's what the writer whose work you publish at your website claims

2) That Oswald has a twin brother and that understanding who is the "twin" and who is Oswald is (in your view) apparently the key to the case

3) That Oswald was not dyslexic (as is established by ample evidence) but rather, has Asperger's syndrome. Of course, the former is a reading disorder; the latter, related to autism.

I have no idea why you think any of these ideas are particularly plausible, or backed by reasonable evidence; but hey, its a free country, and you're welcome. . and now to add Steve Witt (and/or his "op") to your list.

Of course, I have not laid out your own credentials --or lack thereof--as set forth in your own biography.

DSL

So, the tripe-meister doubles down. Unwilling or unable to provide the slightest details that might lend credibility to his “dentist” story, he attempts instead to mock those who prod him to do what he knows he must in order to be taken seriously: make good on his tooth-fairy tale by providing the details.

How? By impugning Greg Parker’s website content without even understanding what it contains. By claiming that Greg should "own up" as to its contents, as though what Parker has put on public display is something he is somehow anxious to hide. What utter nonsense. This attribution of such underhandedness is pure projection.

How? By asserting that another writer’s work, which appears on Greg Parker’s website, must represent Greg’s own views. By that illogical standard, John Simkin is a believer in both a lone gunman and a conspiracy; in the Zfilm being genuine and fabricated; in Oswald being both innocent and guilty; ad infinitum.

How? By asserting that Greg Parker is a Harvey & Lee acolyte, which is the precise opposite of what I have known Greg to argue in the past. But why let mere facts get in the way of another pointless Lifton diatribe?

How? By quibbling over whether Oswald was dyslexic or was on the Asperger’s spectrum. Without, however, providing any reason to sway the reader toward or away from either conclusion.

How? By referring to Greg’s “credentials - or lack thereof,” as though such a thing must matter. This is, in particular, an astonishingly stupid move, for Lifton himself has not the slightest credentials necessary to pass judgement on any of the topics covered in his own book. He is not an assassin, a pilot, a forensic pathologist, a detective, a photo-analyst, a Secret Service or FBI agent, et al. He knows precisely nothing that the average poster here doesn’t also know. Other than how "connect the dots" that are invisible to those who hold out for actual evidence, and how to alienate those with whom he should be in common cause, a talent which most here refrain from displaying.

He knows only how to use the fact that he wrote a best selling book - that didn’t solve the assassination - as a cudgel to browbeat others. Neither helpful nor charming, but unintentionally revealing of his twisted methodology and smallness.

Fail.

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Mr. Parker:

Why don't you own up to what's on your website, so that readers of this forum can understand just what "point of view" you represent:

1) That some half dozen people in the TSBD were accomplices to JFK's murder, because they somehow escorted a group of shooters out of the building (and kept this a secret)--at least, that's what the writer whose work you publish at your website claims

2) That Oswald has a twin brother and that understanding who is the "twin" and who is Oswald is (in your view) apparently the key to the case

3) That Oswald was not dyslexic (as is established by ample evidence) but rather, has Asperger's syndrome. Of course, the former is a reading disorder; the latter, related to autism.

I have no idea why you think any of these ideas are particularly plausible, or backed by reasonable evidence; but hey, its a free country, and you're welcome. . and now to add Steve Witt (and/or his "op") to your list.

Of course, I have not laid out your own credentials --or lack thereof--as set forth in your own biography.

DSL

So, the tripe-meister doubles down. Unwilling or unable to provide the slightest details that might lend credibility to his “dentist” story, he attempts instead to mock those who prod him to do what he knows he must in order to be taken seriously: make good on his tooth-fairy tale by providing the details.

How? By impugning Greg Parker’s website content without even understanding what it contains. By claiming that Greg should "own up" as to its contents, as though what Parker has put on public display is something he is somehow anxious to hide. What utter nonsense. This attribution of such underhandedness is pure projection.

How? By asserting that another writer’s work, which appears on Greg Parker’s website, must represent Greg’s own views. By that illogical standard, John Simkin is a believer in both a lone gunman and a conspiracy; in the Zfilm being genuine and fabricated; in Oswald being both innocent and guilty; ad infinitum.

How? By asserting that Greg Parker is a Harvey & Lee acolyte, which is the precise opposite of what I have known Greg to argue in the past. But why let mere facts get in the way of another pointless Lifton diatribe?

How? By quibbling over whether Oswald was dyslexic or was on the Asperger’s spectrum. Without, however, providing any reason to sway the reader toward or away from either conclusion.

How? By referring to Greg’s “credentials - or lack thereof,” as though such a thing must matter. This is, in particular, an astonishingly stupid move, for Lifton himself has not the slightest credentials necessary to pass judgement on any of the topics covered in his own book. He is not an assassin, a pilot, a forensic pathologist, a detective, a photo-analyst, a Secret Service or FBI agent, et al. He knows precisely nothing that the average poster here doesn’t also know. Other than how "connect the dots" that are invisible to those who hold out for actual evidence, and how to alienate those with whom he should be in common cause, a talent which most here refrain from displaying.

He knows only how to use the fact that he wrote a best selling book - that didn’t solve the assassination - as a cudgel to browbeat others. Neither helpful nor charming, but unintentionally revealing of his twisted methodology and smallness.

Fail.

The point is, Robert, that Lifton's failure to follow-up on the "dentist" story is justified by the fact that other researchers had identified Umbrella man in a similar manner. It was not his particular area of interest. He didn't live in Dallas. He stood by while others tracked down Witt, and the HSCA followed their lead. No one can reasonably fault him for this. I highly doubt that anyone on this forum is so thorough they would have done otherwise.

His "dentist" story, IMO, is little more than HIS insight into the matter. The forum benefits greatly by the input of people like Lifton and Thompson--people who were "there" for the bulk of the ride. If you don't want to believe him, don't believe him. But, in both my understanding of Lifton from others, and my own experiences with him, he has shown himself to be honest in his recollections, and not someone to make up some story about a dentist just to mess with others. Now, keep in mind that I disagree with many of his conclusions... But that's not what we're talking about here, is it?

Pardon me if I'm misreading this, but it appears to me that you are questioning Lifton's story in total, that is, you suspect he JUST MADE IT UP. And that is totally unjustified, IMO.

As far as the rest of your post, I pretty much agree. Although I doubt Gilbride's conclusions, he has proven himself to be a serious researcher, IMO, via his acquisition and sharing of the HSCA's interviews of Oswald's co-workers. These are only available on Greg's website. Greg should be complimented for hosting Gilbride's articles and materials, IMO, and not dragged over the coals.

Edited by Pat Speer
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how can anyone honestly fault Lifton for not following up and interviewing the dentist, etc.

IN THIS GREAT SEASON

it is so nice

to hear the voice

of REASON.

J. Ray, it doesn't bother me in the slightest that Lifton didn't interview Witt. We're all well aware that's when it comes to interviewing witnesses, he channels Sean Hannity interviewing George Bush. Damn good thing he didn't interview him, I say! Keep him away from all witnesses.

What I object to - and I thought I'd made it clear enough - is the USE of his 3rd or 4th generation hearsay as confirming that Witt was indeed, TUM. It should not have been used unless key details could be confirmed (i.e. names and dates and exactly what was said). If those details were available, I would not be critical of those who used it. Pretty simple to understand, no?

Lifton is off the hook on this. In fact, David can pretty much do what he wants from here on without raising my ire. He has become too much of a self-parody to waste any more anger on.

It is Josiah Thompson who needs to man up and explain himself.

Mr. Parker:

Why don't you own up to what's on your website,

Done! I fully confess that everything on my website... is... er... on my website!

so that readers of this forum can understand just what "point of view" you represent:

Though various POV can be found there, as they can anywhere, generally what you'll find is discussion and evaluation of evidence and witnesses and other persons and items of interest.

1) That some half dozen people in the TSBD were accomplices to JFK's murder, because they somehow escorted a group of shooters out of the building (and kept this a secret)--at least, that's what the writer whose work you publish at your website claims

Yes. I publish the work of others. And do so proudly.

2) That Oswald has a twin brother

Are you getting Oswald and Elvis confused again?

I know they both had that sneer thing happening... but Oswald was not well-known for his swivel hips.

and that understanding who is the "twin" and who is Oswald is (in your view) apparently the key to the case

In my view? The evidence for it is discussed. But as pointed out by RCD, I am not a supporter of the theory.

The concept can be largely explained away by mistaken identity, wrongly remembered time-frames, Asperger's, and another medical condition which is not up for discussion at this stage.

3) That Oswald was not dyslexic (as is established by ample evidence) but rather, has Asperger's syndrome. Of course, the former is a reading disorder; the latter, related to autism.

A reading disability. Exactly. Now show where Oswald had any difficulty reading.

Oswald was diagnosed with a "personality pattern disturbance" while at YH by Dr Hartogs. Hans Asperger referred to the syndrome bearing his name as a "personality disorder".Research has since shown that because of crossover "symptoms" between personality disorders and AS, incorrect diagnosis is possible. And Hartogs did not have the option of diagnosing AS as it was not recognized in the US at that time.

Despite the battery of tests, apparent access to school records, and interviews with Oswald, one thing not diagnosed was dyslexia.

I have no idea why you think any of these ideas are particularly plausible, or backed by reasonable evidence; but hey, its a free country, and you're welcome. .

You're talking to someone in Australia on a UK website so I hope for the sake of accuracy you are referring to Australia or the UK and not the US.

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population. But it has almost a quarter of the world's prisoners.

Indeed, the United States leads the world in producing prisoners, a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment. Americans are locked up for crimes — from writing bad checks to using drugs — that would rarely produce prison sentences in other countries. And in particular they are kept incarcerated far longer than prisoners in other nations. NYT 4/23/2008

and now to add Steve Witt (and/or his "op") to your list.

My list of what? People of little interest to me, is about the only list I'd put him on. It is what others constitute as valid evidence and to what purpose they put it that interests me in all this. It just happened to be about Witt, but could have been about anyone. If Josiah Thompson considers third or fourth hand hearsay from unknown person or persons to be the Gold Standard in supporting evidence that Witt's story is so weird it "has to be true", then I think he needs to come and explain his rationale for that.

Of course, I have not laid out your own credentials --or lack thereof--as set forth in your own biography.

A search here would tell you I've been nothing less than brutally honest about my "lack of credentials". Among other things, when the subject has arisen I've freely stated I'm not qualified to tie my own shoelaces; that i left school at 14 etc.

What I haven't done to any extent is blow my own trumpet. Maybe I should. I had an IQ test as a teenager. I turned up for it hungover and with a bad attitude and still scored just short of MENSA qualification.

I worked 11 years for the Department of Social Security. During that time, I worked my way up to a position which entailed reviewing client appeals. It meant interviewing appellants, reading their files and then interviewing various staff involved in the original "adverse decision". If my decision went against the client, they had the option of appealing to an independent tribunal, then the courts all the way up. I never had any of my decisions overturned by further appeal. Why? Because I made sure I had all the relevant facts and correctly applied those facts to all the relevant laws.

I know you may have difficulty in comprehending how a school drop-out could be sharper than the average bear and have a knack for finding, evaluating and applying evidence - but it's a fact that not everyone is made from the same cookie-cutter, or is churned through the same diabolical system that produced you.

DSL

Edited by Greg Parker
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The point is, Robert, that Lifton's failure to follow-up on the "dentist" story is justified by the fact that other researchers had identified Umbrella man in a similar manner. It was not his particular area of interest. He didn't live in Dallas. He stood by while others tracked down Witt, and the HSCA followed their lead. No one can reasonably fault him for this. I highly doubt that anyone on this forum is so thorough they would have done otherwise.

His "dentist" story, IMO, is little more than HIS insight into the matter. The forum benefits greatly by the input of people like Lifton and Thompson--people who were "there" for the bulk of the ride. If you don't want to believe him, don't believe him. But, in both my understanding of Lifton from others, and my own experiences with him, he has shown himself to be honest in his recollections, and not someone to make up some story about a dentist just to mess with others. Now, keep in mind that I disagree with many of his conclusions... But that's not what we're talking about here, is it?

Pardon me if I'm misreading this, but it appears to me that you are questioning Lifton's story in total, that is, you suspect he JUST MADE IT UP. And that is totally unjustified, IMO.

As far as the rest of your post, I pretty much agree. Although I doubt Gilbride's conclusions, he has proven himself to be a serious researcher, IMO, via his acquisition and sharing of the HSCA's interviews of Oswald's co-workers. These are only available on Greg's website. Greg should be complimented for hosting Gilbride's articles and materials, IMO, and not dragged over the coals.

Pat, as you know, if people wish to be taken seriously, there are rules for gathering and interpreting evidence. The first such rule of evidence is “provide some.”

Lifton’s sole contribution to this thread has been to say that he allegedly heard third-hand an unverifiable story that Witt allegedly told his dentist. From this, he asserts that it’s case closed. Except that were this any other researcher, he’d be laughed out of the marketplace of ideas for so cheeky a paucity of evidence for his contention. Unattributable gossip isn’t evidence, let alone proof.

You say that I “suspect he JUST MADE IT UP. And that is totally unjustified, IMO.” I suspect no such thing. But I don’t believe anything anyone insists I should just because they insist I should. Call me old-fashioned, but I draw conclusions from evidence, not merely reiteration or vehemence.

I don’t begrudge Lifton’s right to believe whatever he likes; I refuse to grant him the right to insult those who disagree and ask for actual evidence for his contentions. Is there another member here with the audacity to say “I heard something from someone a long time ago about Witt’s dentist,” and thereby expect it to be accepted at face value without providing the necessaries: the name of Witt’s dentist or the names of those who daisy-chained the tale to Lifton’s ears? I don’t fault him for not following it up then; I do fault him for thinking the repetition today of something so meaningless should sway Forum members, most of whom are not gullible idiots.

As already pointed out by me previously in this thread, Lifton has asserted that there is something wrong with people who don’t take Witt’s story at face value, because the umbrella can only refer to “appeasement,” something Witt maintained he heard had angered Kennedy. Evidence presented by Lifton and Witt for these contentions? Zero. Evidence available to those who have searched for it? Zero.

Yet the same Lifton - in this very thread - chided both himself and Tink Thompson for not instantly realizing to what Witt’s use of the umbrella pertained. No researcher can simultaneously assert that he himself didn’t recognize its significance for 15 years, yet now claim to others they are somehow faulty for not instantly realizing what he, himself, didn’t understand until it was explained to him.

Whenever Lifton is pressed for evidence he doesn’t have, he lashes out at others, questions their sanity, puts words into their mouths - with hallucinated dialogues - that they themselves haven’t said, or uses guilt-by association tactics, as he attempted to do with Greg Parker’s website. Needless to say, this self-evident pattern of immaterial insinuations happens only because he wishes to distract attention away from his own gross failings, attempting to impugn others. To the Forum’s everlasting detriment, he is given a pass by its moderators when attacking fellow members this way; Farley and Parker mostly, but not exclusively.

This is not the hallmark of a neutral researcher, or even an ardent advocate. It is the trait of a bully who holds others to a standard which he refuses to apply to himself. When all this fails, he bellows words to the effect: “What’s wrong with all you people? Why can’t you connect the dots?” Were there evidence, there would be no need to read dots like tea leaves.

You say that from your dealings with him, Lifton strikes you as honest. Despite the fact that this is hardly a universally held opinion, I state unequivocally that his honesty is entirely immaterial to the issues at hand.

Lifton is free to dismiss the significance of the Umbrella Man and the Dark Complected Man for whatever reasons he chooses, tooth fairies included.

He is not free to insist that others follow suit on his say-so alone, particularly when it is based upon nothing more than third or fourth party gossip of undetermined provenance. That he ridicules others for not agreeing with so specious an example of “connecting the dots” - to use one of his favorite meaningless phrases - earns him the upbraiding he deserves and gets from fellow members.

You don’t like Lifton being expected to put up or shut up as is expected of all others here? Then why don’t you provide the evidence he hasn’t, and then we’ll see what grounds there are to dismiss Witt’s story as true? If you cannot be bothered, you’ve just joined Tink and Lifton in a club of men who’ll believe what suits them without requiring evidence.

I don’t take such men very seriously precisely because they do not provide reasons to do so. I don’t think that’s so terribly difficult to grasp, no matter how complicated you struggle to make it appear.

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Pat, as you know, if people wish to be taken seriously, there are rules for gathering and interpreting evidence. The first such rule of evidence is “provide some.”

Lifton’s sole contribution to this thread has been to say that he allegedly heard third-hand an unverifiable story that Witt allegedly told his dentist. From this, he asserts that it’s case closed. Except that were this any other researcher, he’d be laughed out of the marketplace of ideas for so cheeky a paucity of evidence for his contention. Unattributable gossip isn’t evidence, let alone proof.

You say that I “suspect he JUST MADE IT UP. And that is totally unjustified, IMO.” I suspect no such thing. But I don’t believe anything anyone insists I should just because they insist I should. Call me old-fashioned, but I draw conclusions from evidence, not merely reiteration or vehemence.

I don’t begrudge Lifton’s right to believe whatever he likes; I refuse to grant him the right to insult those who disagree and ask for actual evidence for his contentions. Is there another member here with the audacity to say “I heard something from someone a long time ago about Witt’s dentist,” and thereby expect it to be accepted at face value without providing the necessaries: the name of Witt’s dentist or the names of those who daisy-chained the tale to Lifton’s ears? I don’t fault him for not following it up then; I do fault him for thinking the repetition today of something so meaningless should sway Forum members, most of whom are not gullible idiots.

As already pointed out by me previously in this thread, Lifton has asserted that there is something wrong with people who don’t take Witt’s story at face value, because the umbrella can only refer to “appeasement,” something Witt maintained he heard had angered Kennedy. Evidence presented by Lifton and Witt for these contentions? Zero. Evidence available to those who have searched for it? Zero.

Yet the same Lifton - in this very thread - chided both himself and Tink Thompson for not instantly realizing to what Witt’s use of the umbrella pertained. No researcher can simultaneously assert that he himself didn’t recognize its significance for 15 years, yet now claim to others they are somehow faulty for not instantly realizing what he, himself, didn’t understand until it was explained to him.

Whenever Lifton is pressed for evidence he doesn’t have, he lashes out at others, questions their sanity, puts words into their mouths - with hallucinated dialogues - that they themselves haven’t said, or uses guilt-by association tactics, as he attempted to do with Greg Parker’s website. Needless to say, this self-evident pattern of immaterial insinuations happens only because he wishes to distract attention away from his own gross failings, attempting to impugn others. To the Forum’s everlasting detriment, he is given a pass by its moderators when attacking fellow members this way; Farley and Parker mostly, but not exclusively.

This is not the hallmark of a neutral researcher, or even an ardent advocate. It is the trait of a bully who holds others to a standard which he refuses to apply to himself. When all this fails, he bellows words to the effect: “What’s wrong with all you people? Why can’t you connect the dots?” Were there evidence, there would be no need to read dots like tea leaves.

You say that from your dealings with him, Lifton strikes you as honest. Despite the fact that this is hardly a universally held opinion, I state unequivocally that his honesty is entirely immaterial to the issues at hand.

Lifton is free to dismiss the significance of the Umbrella Man and the Dark Complected Man for whatever reasons he chooses, tooth fairies included.

He is not free to insist that others follow suit on his say-so alone, particularly when it is based upon nothing more than third or fourth party gossip of undetermined provenance. That he ridicules others for not agreeing with so specious an example of “connecting the dots” - to use one of his favorite meaningless phrases - earns him the upbraiding he deserves and gets from fellow members.

You don’t like Lifton being expected to put up or shut up as is expected of all others here? Then why don’t you provide the evidence he hasn’t, and then we’ll see what grounds there are to dismiss Witt’s story as true? If you cannot be bothered, you’ve just joined Tink and Lifton in a club of men who’ll believe what suits them without requiring evidence.

I don’t take such men very seriously precisely because they do not provide reasons to do so. I don’t think that’s so terribly difficult to grasp, no matter how complicated you struggle to make it appear.

On the back cover of Accessories After The Fact, M. S. Arnoni wrote:

"...the rare combination of traits of Sylvia Meagher's; a sharp-edged logic that unwinds the threads of evidence from the bulky knot of political

conspiracy, expediency and camouflage; and an ethical integrity which precludes any self-serving or partisan favoritism at the expense of truth."

I have similar thoughts about Robert Charles-Dunne's employ of logic virtually every time I read one of his posts.

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The point is, Robert, that Lifton's failure to follow-up on the "dentist" story is justified by the fact that other researchers had identified Umbrella man in a similar manner. It was not his particular area of interest. He didn't live in Dallas. He stood by while others tracked down Witt, and the HSCA followed their lead. No one can reasonably fault him for this. I highly doubt that anyone on this forum is so thorough they would have done otherwise.

His "dentist" story, IMO, is little more than HIS insight into the matter. The forum benefits greatly by the input of people like Lifton and Thompson--people who were "there" for the bulk of the ride. If you don't want to believe him, don't believe him. But, in both my understanding of Lifton from others, and my own experiences with him, he has shown himself to be honest in his recollections, and not someone to make up some story about a dentist just to mess with others. Now, keep in mind that I disagree with many of his conclusions... But that's not what we're talking about here, is it?

Pardon me if I'm misreading this, but it appears to me that you are questioning Lifton's story in total, that is, you suspect he JUST MADE IT UP. And that is totally unjustified, IMO.

As far as the rest of your post, I pretty much agree. Although I doubt Gilbride's conclusions, he has proven himself to be a serious researcher, IMO, via his acquisition and sharing of the HSCA's interviews of Oswald's co-workers. These are only available on Greg's website. Greg should be complimented for hosting Gilbride's articles and materials, IMO, and not dragged over the coals.

Pat, as you know, if people wish to be taken seriously, there are rules for gathering and interpreting evidence. The first such rule of evidence is “provide some.”

Lifton’s sole contribution to this thread has been to say that he allegedly heard third-hand an unverifiable story that Witt allegedly told his dentist. From this, he asserts that it’s case closed. Except that were this any other researcher, he’d be laughed out of the marketplace of ideas for so cheeky a paucity of evidence for his contention. Unattributable gossip isn’t evidence, let alone proof.

You say that I “suspect he JUST MADE IT UP. And that is totally unjustified, IMO.” I suspect no such thing. But I don’t believe anything anyone insists I should just because they insist I should. Call me old-fashioned, but I draw conclusions from evidence, not merely reiteration or vehemence.

[snipped. . . largely irrelevant. . . ]

You can believe--or not believe--what I was told, over 30 years ago, by the woman who had the same dentist as Witt. That's your choice. And no, I did not make up the story. I heard it directly from her. As I have made clear, I wish the HSCA had interviewed and obtained supporting affidavits, from those who knew Witt, whether it was his wife, fellow workers, etc. They did not do so, and they should have. However, what I think this episode demonstrates, more than anything else, is not that Witt was "put up to it," etc etc, but rather, that many people have difficulty giving up a cherished hypothesis. There are--apparently--a number of people "out there" who really do believe that Witt (and his umbrella) somehow were involved in a plot to murder President Kennedy; that he, and his umbrella, were involved in "signaling" that Kennedy "wasn't dead yet" and "calling" for more gunshots to be fired.

First of all, that idea is really silly. Anyone who knows anything about how a sniper works (in tandem with a spotter) would realize this is absurd; yet, in the world of "urban legend," it apparently still has some force. Second: focusing on this false idea draws attention away from the real problem: just how was such a function handled? Just who was in fact performing that function? Because of one thing we can all be certain: this was a very professionally handled shooting,and it was over within just a very few seconds. So someone was performing that function--and in fact, when it was over, Jacqueline Kennedy actually heard a third party shout: "He's dead! He's dead!" And then the car sped off.

Enough said.

Now, about you, Mr. Dunne, and your unremitting hostility towards me, and my work, which can be found in your posts, all over this forum (and elsewhere as well):

When are you going to post a picture of yourself—one that is visible, and not deliberately darkened—as part of your profile?

Perhaps the time has come, for those on this forum, to know a little about you—and since I have had to tangle with you in other venues going back a decade or more, here goes:

1) You are a music producer who lives in London, Ontario

2) You used to post on alt.conspiracy (aka, “the nuthouse”) under the fictional name “BishopM”—a reflection on your focus on David Atlee Phillips (and the alias you suspect he used);

3) As you admitted to an associate of mine—back in the days when I was curious as to who you were, and whom you apparently did not realize was a good friend --BishopM was you alias, your “Alex Hidell. Further, as you explained, you employed that alias in order to adopt a very different, and particularly hostile and aggressively obnoxious persona, on the Internet.

4) You could not then—and perhaps still can not—enter the United States, because of certain, er, legal problems.

5) You were a close associate of John Armstrong, and in fact played a role in editing his manuscript (subsequently published as Harvey and Lee).

Hopefully, enough time has passed—since the days you posted as “BishopM”—that you have mellowed; and perhaps your legal problems have diminished. Perhaps you can even enter the United States today.

Finally, perhaps the time has come where you can post a visible picture of yourself, instead of hiding in the shadows. I don't agree with much of what you have to say, and am turned off by your extreme and very toxic hostility, but perhaps you can at least post a photo of yourself that is visible.

C'mon Mr. RCD--please let us see who you really are.

DSL

12/14/11; 6:45 PM PST

Los Angeles, CA

Edited by David Lifton
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You don’t like Lifton being expected to put up or shut up as is expected of all others here? Then why don’t you provide the evidence he hasn’t, and then we’ll see what grounds there are to dismiss Witt’s story as true? If you cannot be bothered, you’ve just joined Tink and Lifton in a club of men who’ll believe what suits them without requiring evidence.

I don’t take such men very seriously precisely because they do not provide reasons to do so. I don’t think that’s so terribly difficult to grasp, no matter how complicated you struggle to make it appear.

Nice twist, Robert, but it is YOU who'll believe what suits you without requiring evidence. There is NO evidence that Witt was anything but what he said he was, and you know this. And yet you insist on pretending there's something oh so mysterious about some dork acting foolish, and belittle those who accepted his story, and moved on.

Well, if you really think they were wrong to move on once Witt appeared, PROVE them wrong. Do SOMETHING rather than complain about those lazy nogoodniks Thompson and Lifton. Do something rather than pretend they were the only researchers to accept Witt's story. Show us those IN-DEPTH articles by Weisberg, Meagher, Lane, or even Cutler, in which they dug into Witt's background and talked to his neighbors and found out where he really was on November 22, 1963.

Or, even better, show us what YOU have contributed to our understanding of Witt and his motivations...

Or not...

Just quit pretending your problems with Lifton began with this thread... It's clear they did not, and that you jumped in merely to kick some sand in his face.

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