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Gerald Posner and the Eyewitness Accounts


Guest Stephen Turner

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Guest Stephen Turner

For newcomers to the case.

In the book Case Closed, chapter "I'll never forget it for as long as I live" Postner attempts to rubbish the eyewitness testimony of anyone who casts doubt on the lone nut theory. It is vital to Postners book that he discredits all testimony hostile to the W/C findings. To achieve this he employs several techniques, regurgitation of long disputed FBI reports, as if they were the Holy Graille, glossing over of parts of the testimony that he can't explain, and the repeated trashing of hostile witnesess reputations. This is pretty standard fare, but can appear convinsing to newcomers to this case.

Before we get onto the Dealy Plaza witnesess lets examine postners technique in action on Albert Bogard,the Dallas car sales man who had a strange meeting with a man who called himself Lee Oswald on the 9th of nov 1963. Postner states "He (Bogard) was the Dallas car salesman who claimed Oswald had test driven a car with him, although none of his co-workers supported his story. He was fired shortly after he told the story." Observe the way the trick works, make a bald statement, as if it were uncontested fact, then trash the witness(he was fired shortly after) The facts of this incident though are somewhat different to Mr Postners version. Firstly,Bogards account was corroborated by two fellow workers, one of whom even claimed that "Oswald" returned to the dealership a few days later. Postner also fails to inform us that bogard was not the only employee to be sacked in the weeks following the assassination,far from it, a regular cull ensues. Now, not being familiar with employment laws, practises in Texas, in the 1960's I draw no inference from this, but I find Postners failure to even mention it indicative of his whole approach to this case.

Now lets see how he handles two key Dealy Plaza eyewitnesess, Arnold Rowland, who claims to see TWO men on the sixth floor, one holding a rifle at 12-15. And Carolyn Arnold, who claims to see Oswald in the second floor lunch room also at 12-15. Now if both these witnesess are correct not only is Oswald calmly eating his lunch on the second floor at 12-15, but, at the same time two men,one armed with a rifle, the other dark complected are seen on the sixth floor of the book depository. To be fair there are problems with both witnesess, and Postner battons on these like a Vampire on a virgins neck, but, as per usual fails to point out any positive aspects of their testimony. This behaviour becomes even more self serving when we observe how he treats witnesess supportive of his theory.

Carolyn Arnold was the witness who who told Anthony Summers in 1978 that she had seen Oswald in the second floor lunchroom at 12-15. POstner starts by informong us that Arnold had made a contemporaneous statement, saying she had only glimsed Oswald briefly, Arnold had told Summers that the FBI had misquoted her,Postner then points out that Arnold had signed her statement, and that four other women who accompanied her supported her original statement. So, on the first point, could the FBI, have either on purpose, or by mistake misquoted her? "Hoovers obsession with speed made impossible demands on the field. Many mistakes were made." Asst Director Courtney Evans. Other former agents recall virtually being ordered to avoid leads that might point to a conspiracy. On the second point Postner is vague about which statement the co-workers support, it could well be that they agree to catching a glimse of oswald in the lunch room at this time. Nor does he say when these statements were taken, by whom, or under what conditions.

Contrast this with his treatment of Charles Givens Quote on " I came downstairs and discovered i'd left my smokes in my jacket upstairs, when I got upstairs he (Oswald) was on the sixth floor toward the window the shots were fired from." Unfortunately there's a few things about Mr Givens that Postner fails to inform us of (1) It is impossible for Givens to see Oswald as he testifies unless, without any reason for so doing, he walks to the far east of the elivator. (2) Givens is a known narcotics user, with a long Police record. (3) At 12-00pm Bonnie Ray Williams returns to the sixth floor to eat his lunch, he see's neither LHO, or Givens. (4)Givens was himself sought by the Police following the Assasination because he, like Oswald had left the depository shortly after the shooting. When questioned he at first mentions nothing about seeing Lee upstairs(This only emerges in 1964) He said he had seen Lee in the Domino room,first floor, reading a newspaper at approx 11-50. Mr Givens is poor, Black, a drug user, with a long police record, who had left the biulding following the assassination,Do we need to say more?

But its with the second eyewitness that postner really gets to vent his spleen,Mr Arnold Rowland was a bystander in the Plaza with his wife. He asks her if she wants to see a secret service agent on the sixth floor, he'd seen "A man back from the window, he was standing and holding a rifle, he wasn't in the snipers nest, but in the far left window" He also spotted another man in the infamous right hand window, Rowlands said that this man was "Dark complected" this was at 12-15 exactly the time Carolyn Arnold claims to see Oswald in the second floor lunch room. His testimony is backed up by three other witnesess, (1) John Powell, an inmate on the sixth floor of the Dallas county jail watches two men with a gun on the sixth floor of the TSBD. (2) Mrs Carolyn Walther see's two men with a gun on the fifth, or sixth floor, one is wearing a brown suit coat. (At 12-00, one Richard Carr noticed a man on the seventh floor, who was by chance also wearing a brown suit coat.) (3) Mrs Ruby Henderson, sees two men standing back from a window on the upper floors, she reports that one of the men had darker hair, and a darker complextion than the other. Mrs Henderson, Arnold Rowland, & John Powell all report that one man was of a darker complextion than the other. So how does Postner explain this,Here they come again, FBI reports, buckets of white-wash, omissions, and the usual trashing of witnesess. Rowland is a xxxx, and known fantasist who's own wife doesnt even back him up. John Powell is seen off by the good ole FBI, they conclude that Powell could not have seen the TSBD from his position, and that because of past mental health problems they have "No confidence in any information furnished by him." Carolyn Walther is another fantasist who's friend Pearl Springer sees no gunmen on the sixth floor, and Ruby Henderson is just plain confused because she is not 100% sure which high floor the men she saw were on.

Henderson is a wonderful example of Postner at work, he states " Henderson says the men could have been mexican or Negro's WRONG, Henderson says that one of the men she saw was darker complected, meaning that the second man was of lighter complextion. He continues," On the fifth floor directly below Oswald were three young black men, Bonnie Ray Williams, Junior Jarman & Harold Norman looking out of the window, True, but nowhere does mrs Henderson talk of seeing three, or even two young black men, she is quite specific on this point. TWO MEN STANDING BACK FROM THE WINDOW,ONE A DARKER COMPLEXTION THAN THE OTHER.Postner concludes," Her FBI statement (Again with the Feds) indicates that Henderson saw two of these three young men on a high floor, she was not describing the sixth floor. BALDERDASH SIR, How many more times before it sinks in Henderson "Two men, one more dark complected than the other, first man may have been mexican(Cuban?) Rowland "A man back from the window, standing and holding a rifle,and a second darker man at the snipers window" Powell, "I remember the guys fooling with the scope, quite a few of us saw them"he too remembers one being darker complected than the other. Rowlands, Powell, Henderson, &Walther. All independantly, and spontaneously recall essentially, the same men at the same time, in the same location. Forget Postners spin, misdirection, & name calling, this is good solid eyewitnesess testimony, mostly swept under the carpet by the Warren Commission, and given Postners version of a Stalinist show trial in "Case Closed" next I will look at how he treats L/N star witness Howard Brennan.

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Guest Stephen Turner

If other members have examples of Postner's "Spin & Deny" technique please post them. I started this topic because a nieghbour of mine, knowing of my deep interest in JFK informed me that I should "read this book it solves the case" with that he handed me 'Case Closed'. When I explained to him that I had read it on several occasions, and found it to be deeply flawed, he shook his head and walked away.To seasoned researchers Postners tricks are obvious, but to newcomers they can be seductive and need exposing.

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Guest Stephen Turner

Lets contrast Postner's treatment of Rowlands, Henderson et al with that of witnesess that help to support his view, he cites two Dealy Plaza witnesess, Robert Edwards, and Ronald Fisher as good, consistant testimony, why? because they both describe seeing a single white male, in the snipers position, who superficially matched Oswald. Postner says, "They witnesed this just before the motorcade came." He gives no specific time for this event, and in Postner's twisted world the term "Shortly before"can cover a multitude of options depending on whether the witness is hostile or friendly. Even more starkly partizan is his kid gloves treatment of the L/N star witness Howard Brennan, postner has plenty of witnesess who claim that the shots came from the south east corner of the sixth floor, some even say that they see the rifle, Robert Jackson, Malcomb Couch, James Crawford, Mrs Earle Cabell, James Worrell, Amos Euins, but only one who claims to have got a good look at the sniper. Why is this so important to Postner?Because no other witness to the shooting damages the testimony of Arnold, Powell Walther & Henderson. For Postner's theory to hold Brennan must be whiter than white.

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Guest Stephen Turner

Brennan gave at best a very problematic testimony, he failed to positively ID Oswald in a Police line-up on the 22nd Nov, even though he had seen Oswald's photo on the television beforehand. Only after weeks of "Questioning" by federal agents did he finally ID Oswald. He also insisted that the man he saw in the window

was wearing a light colored shirt or jacket, whilst Oswald wore a brownish shirt to work that day. His boss believed that the agents who interviewed Brennan," Made him say what they wanted him to say" He added that Brennan was repeatedly interviewed by these agents for weeks, and that by the time he returned to work he was a "nervous wreck" The HSC found Brennan's testimony so flawed that they ignored it entirely.

Brennan also claimed to have seen three forths of the rifle protruding from the window, and further that it had no scope, yet, if the rifle was the Carcano, the scope under these conditions would have been plainly visible to Brennan with his "extraordinary vision*

Warren Commission.

Mr Brennan, "After the President had passed me, I really couldn't say how many feet, or how far, a short distance, I heard this crack that I thought was a backfire"

Mr Bellin, "You thought it was a backfire?"

Mr Brennan, "Of a motorcycle."

Mr Bellin," Then what did you observe or hear"

Mr Brennan,"Well, then something right after this explosion made me think it was a firecracker being thrown from the Texas book store(TSBD) and I glanced up and the man I saw previous was aiming for his last shot."

So how many shots does Brennan describe? "A backfire or firecracker" then right after "The man I saw previous aiming for his LAST shot. By my count thats TWO shots. So brennan actually testifies to, A MAN IN A LIGHT COLORED SHIRT OR JACKET, FIRING TWO SHOTS, FROM A RIFLE WITH NO SCOPE. And this is Posners star witness.....................

* Case Closed, Posner G.

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it's "Posner".

B)

Not to detract from your post......

I wouldn't waste my time reading his stuff if I were you, however....

As far as newbies being swayed, anyone who cannot see the lack of brain power Posner suffers from is not someone I care to worry about..

My first experience was seeing him on a documentary made by the CBC (I will lookup which one if it's important..) and Posner just looked and acted like he was reading off cards provided by the Warren Commission.

If someone has a credible lone nut theory that doesn't rely on the magic bullet/Oswald was a grumpy loser, I'll buy twenty copies first day it hits shelves. I'll give anything a chance if the author is sincere with their work, even if i disagree with it.

Posner and his awful "research" don't hold up at all.

His spin is mighty weak as well.

In my opinion, judging by the rest of his work, the man is a stooge who couldn't hold up to a proper line of questioning if you handed him the answers on a plate.

I don't know who I dislike more, Posner or the late David Belin, who both talk out of the sides of their mouths.

Both of those men and their "work" are poison to anyone seriously looking into this case but distilling it for others imho is a waste of your time.

Even reiterating it lends it more value than it deserves.

not trying to jack your thread....

Edited by Blair Dobson
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Guest Stephen Turner

So were there only two shots fired?

From "Mortal Error" page 114.

"One of the shells was dented, and showed many marks from the carrier, the large spring in the Carcano clip that pushed the bullet up the chamber. Howard Donahue (Ballistics and firearms expert) did not believe that this dented shell could have been used to fire a bullet that day, the gun would not have functioned properly he said"

From "Case Closed"

"In experiments by the HSCA (of the dented shell) rapid firing of the Carcano resulted in some shells being dented in the exact same location."

Here is what Donahue said about Posner's claim

"Concerning the case with the damaged lip, Posner claims it could have held a projectile. Let me explain something about Posner, he will tell you anything to make his point, and further his case.THERE WERE NO SHELLS DENTED IN THAT MANNER BY THE HSCA"....

(1) No one inside the TSBD heard more than two shots.

(2) Howard Brennan heard only two shots.

(3) The three men standing directly under the window at first heard only two shots, but eventualy, under pressure, changed their testimony.

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Guest Stephen Turner
it's "Posner".

B)

Not to detract from your post......

I wouldn't waste my time reading his stuff if I were you, however....

As far as newbies being swayed, anyone who cannot see the lack of brain power Posner suffers from is not someone I care to worry about..

My first experience was seeing him on a documentary made by the CBC (I will lookup which one if it's important..) and Posner just looked and acted like he was reading off cards provided by the Warren Commission.

If someone has a credible lone nut theory that doesn't rely on the magic bullet/Oswald was a grumpy loser, I'll buy twenty copies first day it hits shelves. I'll give anything a chance if the author is sincere with their work, even if i disagree with it.

Posner and his awful "research" don't hold up at all.

His spin is mighty weak as well.

In my opinion, judging by the rest of his work, the man is a stooge who couldn't hold up to a proper line of questioning if you handed him the answers on a plate.

I don't know who I dislike more, Posner or the late David Belin, who both talk out of the sides of their mouths.

Both of those men and their "work" are poison to anyone seriously looking into this case but distilling it for others imho is a waste of your time.

Even reiterating it lends it more value than it deserves.

not trying to jack your thread....

Hi Blair, welcome to the Forum. the main aim of these threads is education, not everybody lurking here has the same depth of knowledge on the assasination as your good self. I agree Posner talks crap, and is probably being well paid to do so. (He is house writer at Random House, so as long as he plays pretty he gets to eat at the masters table) All I want to do is expose his little games, deconstruct him if you like, on one thread, so his poison is contained. And whether we like it or not, this guy sells shed loads of books,and either he or a handy clone always gets wheeled out on the TV specials to pass the W/C valium. If we don't take him seriously others, with much less knowledge will.

All the best.....Steve.

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it's "Posner".

;)

Not to detract from your post......

I wouldn't waste my time reading his stuff if I were you, however....

As far as newbies being swayed, anyone who cannot see the lack of brain power Posner suffers from is not someone I care to worry about..

My first experience was seeing him on a documentary made by the CBC (I will lookup which one if it's important..) and Posner just looked and acted like he was reading off cards provided by the Warren Commission.

If someone has a credible lone nut theory that doesn't rely on the magic bullet/Oswald was a grumpy loser, I'll buy twenty copies first day it hits shelves. I'll give anything a chance if the author is sincere with their work, even if i disagree with it.

Posner and his awful "research" don't hold up at all.

His spin is mighty weak as well.

In my opinion, judging by the rest of his work, the man is a stooge who couldn't hold up to a proper line of questioning if you handed him the answers on a plate.

I don't know who I dislike more, Posner or the late David Belin, who both talk out of the sides of their mouths.

Both of those men and their "work" are poison to anyone seriously looking into this case but distilling it for others imho is a waste of your time.

Even reiterating it lends it more value than it deserves.

not trying to jack your thread....

Hi Blair, welcome to the Forum. the main aim of these threads is education, not everybody lurking here has the same depth of knowledge on the assasination as your good self. I agree posner talks crap, and is probably being well paid to do so. (He is house writer at random house, so as long as he plays pretty he gets to eat at the masters table) All I want to do is expose his little games, deconstruct him if you like, on one thread, so his poison is contained. And whether we like it or not, this guy sells shed loads of books,and either he or a handy clone always gets wheeled out on the TV specials to pass the W/C valium. If we dont take him seriously others, with much less knowledge will.

All the best.....Steve.

Steve, as a newbie, a member of the 'don't throw the baby out with the bathwater' school, and posessing an independent brain wired with some degree of discernment, I wonder if you could continue this post. I'm finding it interesting.

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Stephen:

I would like to say I would like to agree also that he is not worth your effort, but I can't, the evidence again, has been soiled in his book deliberatley.. and he has been paid to do so.

He once stated it took him all of I believe 16 months or thereabouts to complete his book.???? Amazing, now there is a quick fix.. these well researched books usually take many years unless, whomever is simply repeating and copying other authors information, from their previously published books..

So IMO, you do not throw the book out, in all books I have found there is some truth, so you use it for your knowledge and to your advantage.. You check all information within out, and see for yourself, it proves one very interesting lesson for us all, and that is that the fix is still in, they are still working on the cover-up...they give themselves away repeatedly..

....This is a good thread, to open the newbies eyes and lead them on the correct path... show him up for what he is and has done..

A paid buffoon...he works very well for the Public Relations of the Warren Commission, and is kept comfortable doing so... the problem is the devil is in the details... and getting those out is like " so dense"..

The media is also a big part of the quick fix, in and out, and so Posner takes the seat for perhaps as much as 15 minutes out of an hour, less commercials, in many of these programs, along with others who trot out to repeat the regular.......... so overdone..

WC correct...lone assassin, "Case Closed"..and ta da......news controlled...that is part of his job and others. Same old.

If you haven't, sometime perhaps, you would read Harold Weisberg's "Case Open"....his rebuttal , he trashes Posner's book..with the truth..

For instance this paid hack never spoke to one Secret Service agent.. He relied on documents ... even though he gives that impression in his book.. he only spoke to some sort of an Administrator of the SS.... nor even Dr. Boswell, let alone James Tague..and on and on.

Thanks, carry on.

B ;)

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Very good thread Stephen. I have added a link to this thread on my page on Posner.

I have been in email contact with Posner for sometime. He constantly promises to join the forum and defend Case Closed. He always claims that he needs to finish off his current book before joining the debate. I am not sure he was ever going to appear on the forum. However, this thread probably guarantees this is the case. As far as Posner is concerned, the case is really closed.

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Hi Blair, welcome to the Forum.  the main aim of these threads is education, not everybody lurking here has the same depth of knowledge on the assasination as your good self. I agree Posner talks crap, and is probably being well paid to do so. (He is house writer at Random House, so as long as he plays pretty he gets to eat at the masters table) All I want to do is expose his little games, deconstruct him if you like, on one thread, so his poison is contained. And whether we like it or not, this guy sells shed loads of books,and either he or a handy clone always gets wheeled out on the TV specials to pass the W/C valium. If we don't take him seriously others, with much less knowledge will.

All the best.....Steve.

I agree. I must apologize .

I reacted a little harshly.

POSNER does that to me because in many cases I have met many diffuse people who seem to think they "know" the WC was "right" and then show up empty handed. I dislike diffuse people in general and even in a social context I avoid them like the plague.

You are correct in the sense that people should understand how information can get spun to paint another picture entirely and yes I agree with you that newbies should be aware of this.

POSNER makes my butt pucker everytime I think of him profiting from all this.

I loathe people who put up a point and then dance around the questions when they can't answer reliably.

Again, this is why people like Belin make my blood boil.

Sorry if I came off like an ass.

Cheers,

Dobson.

(edited the Groden for Posner...what the hell was I thinking..)

Edited by Blair Dobson
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Guest Stephen Turner

No need for apologies, he makes me spit as well. I want to continue to use this thread to deconstruct as much of Mr Posner's work as possible, reading the meisterwork in question, Posner quotes Brennan as having witnessed three shots, anyone know where he gets this from? Its certainly not the W/C report, or has he, as I suspect, made it up from whole cloth.He also describes seeing Oswald for a brief second with a smirk on his face, before pulling back out of sight (what a pantomime villian, If Oswald had grown a moustache no doubt he would have been twirling it.)

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Groden makes my butt pucker everytime I think of him profiting from all this.

I loathe people who put up a point and then dance around the questions when they can't answer reliably.

Again, this is why people like Belin make my blood boil.

Sorry if I came off like an ass.

Cheers,

Dobson.

For clarity's sake, you mean Posner, not Groden, correct?

Posner was hired to defend the lone nut theory after Stone's movie caused too many to doubt. Harold Weisberg wrote a point by point response to Posner's book, entitled Case Open. There are also several websites that take him on.

To me, Posner's low point was in his trying to defend the HSCA's interpretation of the head wound entrance as being in the cowlick. He said that both Boswell and Humes had admitted they were wrong at the autopsy, when they placed it near the hairline. He told the ARRB that Boswell had admitted his mistake in an interview. Dr. Gary Aguilar followed up on this and found out that Boswell had NEVER admitted this to Posner, and that, in fact, Posner had NEVER even spoken to Boswell. Posner just made it up because it fit his theory. If he's ever offered an explanation for this, I'm unaware.

It is to Posner's credit, however, that he signed the letters demanding the CIA release all the info on George Joannides. Maybe he has some respect for the truth after all.

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It is to Posner's credit, however, that he signed the letters demanding the CIA release all the info on George Joannides.  Maybe he has some respect for the truth after all.

But so did John McAdams. One of the reasons why I don't think this is a very productive line of inquiry.

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