Robert Charles-Dunne Posted June 16, 2013 Share Posted June 16, 2013 (edited) Robert, I think you miss the point. For instance, if I were to say that Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK, some might call me a xxxx. That would be based on my saying what they believe to be untrue. However if I were to say that beliving it to be the truth, I am not telling a lie, I am merely wrong. John's rule regarding that is meant to, amongst other things, stop such an accusation. It is also meant to stop such an accusation when the two parties are in disagreement. For example, if I were to say that President Obama was a secret agent for the forces of the antichrist and you believed he was a step forward for the forces of good, could you call me a xxxx when I said something that I said - untrue and misguided as it may be - beliveing it to be correct? If you believe someone is incorrect then you say that they are incorrect and present your evidence to support your case; readers will make their own judgments. If you believe someone is deliberately saying things they know to be untrue then you contact th moderators, present your case, and ask that you call accuse them. If you case is strong enough then an exemption will be made otherwise you just have to be satisfied with showing that what someone has said is wrong. I haven’t missed the point, Evan; I believe you may have missed mine. There is much evidence open to debate, because it can be construed more than one way. That’s fair game. It’s a difference of opinion that makes a horse race, they say. However, just as a recent example, Paul Trejo asserted that there were 20 witnesses to Oswald’s abuse of his wife Marina. Were he merely ignorant of the actual facts - which is a recurring pattern with him, as I’ve demonstrated - that doesn’t make him a xxxx; it merely means he’s wrong and needs to be corrected. In order to correct his blatant misrepresentation of the facts, I meticulously searched through the testimony and demonstrated beyond doubt that most of the people Paul Trejo included in his “20" figure had no such direct first-hand knowledge and did not testify as he said they did. Nevertheless, and despite acknowledging the "20" figure was overstated, Paul Trejo thereafter still contended there were twenty witnesses. At this point, it is no longer a mistake - because he’s been shown and admitted the error of his ways - and is an outright falsehood. Fairly clear instance, wouldn’t you think? I raise the point because I think there is a parallel with the Janney episode. A few observations which I’ll try to keep brief. From the little bit of correspondence we’ve had during the eight years I’ve been a member here, I believe John Simkin to be a liberal egalitarian who felt he could construct the single best and most effective JFK site by inviting the best researchers and authors. A laudable goal, and one he achieved I think. (It is a measure of his liberalism that he has granted membership to persons such as Jim DiEugenio, who had written some unflattering things about John prior to joining here.) Because authors were invited by John, he no doubt hoped that they’d be treated with civility by the Forum membership. Contrary to the analogy offered, I don’t think this is John’s living room, but his classroom. He has invited visiting lecturers, through whom we might benefit by learning more, and they might benefit by selling some books. Unfortunately for some of those authors, the membership here proved to be as well versed - or more so - than the authors who presume to educate us. Fireworks is predictably inevitable, particularly if authors expected deference rather than civility. Haughtiness ensues, due to wounded pride. But whom should we fault for this? The authors, whose case has not been made beyond a reasonable doubt? Or the members who point out that failing on the authors’ part? This is multiply true in the case of Peter Janney’s book. John Simkin not only invited Peter here, but I believe provided him with some material aid in preparing his book (please correct me if I’m wrong on this), and subscribes to the book’s central premise that CIA murdered Mary Pinchot Meyer. (As it happens, I am inclined to concur with that assertion. That does not require me - or anyone - to accept Janney’s scenario for the crime if compelling evidence is not presented.) Both the ousted members found reasonable fault with Janney’s book and demonstrated that some of the evidence presented was underwhelming at best, incorrect at worst. In fact, ex-moderator Tom Scully seemed to have located the man Janney accused of being Mary Meyer’s murderer, a man whom Janney himself claimed he was unable to find. Most of the comments made by the ousted members seemed fair game to me. But then, I don’t have a personal relationship with Peter Janney. I believe that John has inadvertently admitted that he put his thumb on the scale in Janney’s favour: “The main reason I did not act on this was because I was part of the argument. If I had tried to restrain these attacks I would have been accused of being biased and interfering with free speech. Even so, it was no real excuse for not protecting a friend.” If a friend has been proved wrong, as I believe Janney had been by the ousted members, he doesn’t need protection; he needs correction. If he is unwilling to be corrected when shown persuasive evidence by forum members, a true friend shares some harsh truth with him. The alternative is to allow said friend to flail fruitlessly with a demonstrably flawed scenario, an allowance that does no favor to the friend, or the truth. Those who persist in pushing data they know to be wrong are no longer merely mistaken; they are trafficking in falsehoods. It is a disservice to this Forum’s raison d’etre to remain silent in such a case, irrespective of who the trafficker may be. Those who refused to remain silent were the ones made to pay the price of excommunication, well after Janney ceased to post here. I have written the foregoing to respond to something directed specifically to me. If DiEugenio and Scully are not re-instated as members, it will be my last post here, for reasons I think I have made sufficiently clear. (Edited for typo) Edited June 16, 2013 by Robert Charles-Dunne Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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