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The Book That Demolishes "Final Judgment"


Tim Gratz
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On your other points, I think you're underestimating the tone of JFK's letters to Ben-Gurion and Eshkol. There were several exchanges and the language become more direct each time. Most commentators I have read (including MCP) say the tone and content went beyond accepted diplomatic protocol and I must agree.

No offense but I don’t think you or Piper are qualified to make such a determination, how familiar are either are either of you with secret diplomatic exchanges? Piper is a bigoted, intellectually dishonest, hypocrite with an “ax to grid” so any analysis he makes is suspect. Who are the other commentators? Since Kennedy hadn’t threatened any specific sanctions it’s hard to believe this disagreement would have been sufficient motive to assassinate him. Many other motives have been suggested for the assassination but in most of those JFK had taken or had indicated he would take specific action (pull out of Vietnam etc). If Kennedy was considering any immediate action it’s odd that none of his advisors or biographers have written about it and that there isn’t any documentary evidence other than the letters.

You should really get Cohen's book and post your opinions. I'd be keen to hear them.

I’ll probably pick up a copy when I’m back in the US but that won’t be until July or August.

Your point about Israel not taking such a risk doesn't wash, IMO. Somebody took a risk, didn't they? Israel took bold risks in the past. They defied the US over withdrawal from the Sinai during the Suez crisis long after Britain and France backed down. The Lavon affair you mentioned was the result of a failed covert operation by Israel against British and US installations in Egypt in July 1954. They sunk the USS Liberty in 1967. They took risks. And the risk is reduced when you can make your presence opaque.

What doesn’t wash are your comparisons. IIRC Israel, Britain and France all withdrew from the Sinai and Suez Canal more less simultaneously in March '57, but even if you’re correct Ben-Gurion did eventually give in to US pressure without getting any concessions from Egypt and this doesn’t come anywhere close to assassinating the President of the US. The Lavon affair doesn’t compare either it involved a few bombs that only caused minor property damage.

As for the USS Liberty, you are obviously less familiar with the case than I am because the ship wasn’t sunk. The US and Israel have always maintained the attack was a case of mistaken identity which fits the evidence. No realistic motive has ever been given as to why the Israelis would intentionally attack a US warship during the Six Day War. The fact that the Israelis eventually cut off the attack, informed the US what had happened and offered to participate in the rescue operations don’t fit with an intentional attack scenario. The US told the Israelis that they didn't have any warships in the area and the Navy told the Liberty not to approach the coast (though it seems they didn't get the message) and an Egyptian ship had shelled the Israelis the day before.

The 2 moles that Israel had recently caught also make it very unlikely that the Israelis would risk getting involved. If they had not been caught both probably would have involved in an operation of that magnitude. They would have to consider the possibility that their was still an unidentified double agent amongst their ranks. For that very reason I’m sure that the CIA etc would have been very leery of working with the Israelis.

The risks for the other suspects was different than for the Israelis because in the case of the former the risks were merely personal and didn’t imply the destruction of the very country they were supposedly trying to save. More so than for the other ‘suspects’ the risks were high and motive was vague.

It’s Carnival now and my city has one of the best in the World so I won’t be posting much till Wednesday.

Len

Len,

I think you're in denial here. The tone of JFK's final two letters is unmistakeable. Do you really think JFK wasn't serious? I would like to know what members think of the tone of these letters. I think JFK was deadly serious but, of course, I might be wrong. Moreover, JFK also issued NSAM 231 on March 26, 1963, aimed squarely at dissuading Israel from nuclear proliferation. There was also his April 2 meeting with Shimon Peres at which he expressed his concern at Israel's reluctance to divulge information about their plans for nuclear weapons. To doubt that JFK was serious about confronting Israel over nuclear weapons is contrary to all the available evidence, IMO.

The Suez crisis also showed that Israel was prepared to defy the US. On October 26, 1956, President Eisenhauer sent the first of two messages to Israeli PM Ben Gurion asking that Israel do nothing to endanger the peace. Israeli forces began attacks on Egypt three days later. The Anglo-French forces began air strikes the following day. The whole thing lasted about one week, France and England agreeing to a cease fire on November 6. However, Israel, which occupied all of the Sinai, was reluctant to withdraw. Eisenhauer threatened sanctions. They withdrew, but only after considerable pressure.

On the issue of the USS Liberty you're wrong. Most of the survivors consider it to be an unprovoked attack. A case of mistaken identity is considered most unlikely. LBJ ordered the rescue mission to be aborted because he didn't want to "embarrass our friends". 34 sailors died, 172 injured. Survivors were threatened with court martial if they spoke about it. The IDF attacked the ship from air and sea and, although it didn't sink, it remains one of the greatest scandals in US maritime history. Survivors and their families are still campaigning for the historical record to be set straight. If you want to argue, why don't you debate the issue with the people involved. There's plenty of sites. See link below:

http://home.cfl.rr.com/gidusko/liberty/

Israel were prepared to take risks, no question. If you don't know that, then you are not familiar with Israel's history and that of its early leaders, like David Ben-Gurion. What about the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946, where 91 died, including many civilians. Do you wish to have a debate about this issue?

Edited by Mark Stapleton
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Have you seen the interview on this thread?

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=6230

Silvia Cattori: It seems that in the 1960s, President Kennedy asked that inspections be carried out in Dimona, Israel. Do you see any links between that request and his assassination?

Mordechai Vanunu: I believe that, at that time, the United States opposed the Israeli nuclear program. Kennedy tried to stop Israel but he was assassinated before he could do it. For me, his assassination had to do with the proliferation of nuclear weapons in Israel and in other countries. Those who killed him were in favour of nuclear proliferation. Thanks to his death, proliferation continued. In fact, presidents Johnson and Nixon, who succeeded Kennedy, saw no inconvenience with that. They let Israel act. We can simply see that there was a change in that direction after Kennedy's assassination.

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John, as I posted in another thread, to the best of my knowledge Vanunu claims no special knowledge of the Kennedy assassination. Therefore, how can he state that the people who killed Kennedy were "in favour of nuclear proliferation"?

Moreover, it is not clear that the US policy toward the Israeli nuclear weapond program changed under LBJ.

The book "Every Spy a Prince" is a highly praised study of Israeli intelligence and it has an interesting segment on the Vanunu story.

But listen to what the book says about LBJ's policy toward the Israeli nuclear program:

In his trips to Washington, [israel Prime Minister] Eshkol reached a tacit agreement with the Johnson administration that Israel would receive stepped up conventional military aid in exchange for slowing down the nuclear project.

Conclusion: Despite what Piper writes, LBJ, like JFK, desired and acted to slow down the Israeli nuclear program.

I hate to use a phrase popularized by Posner, but "Case Closed".

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Have you seen the interview on this thread?

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=6230

Silvia Cattori: It seems that in the 1960s, President Kennedy asked that inspections be carried out in Dimona, Israel. Do you see any links between that request and his assassination?

Mordechai Vanunu: I believe that, at that time, the United States opposed the Israeli nuclear program. Kennedy tried to stop Israel but he was assassinated before he could do it. For me, his assassination had to do with the proliferation of nuclear weapons in Israel and in other countries. Those who killed him were in favour of nuclear proliferation. Thanks to his death, proliferation continued. In fact, presidents Johnson and Nixon, who succeeded Kennedy, saw no inconvenience with that. They let Israel act. We can simply see that there was a change in that direction after Kennedy's assassination.

John,

Yes, I read that. He's still under some kind of house arrest. He's right of course. JFK was determined to stop Israel's proliferation. LBJ looked the other way, and that's not all he did. If you get the opportunity, grab a copy of Avner Cohen's book. I would be very interested in your opinion of it.

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John, as I posted in another thread, to the best of my knowledge Vanunu claims no special knowledge of the Kennedy assassination. Therefore, how can he state that the people who killed Kennedy were "in favour of nuclear proliferation"?

Moreover, it is not clear that the US policy toward the Israeli nuclear weapond program changed under LBJ.

The book "Every Spy a Prince" is a highly praised study of Israeli intelligence and it has an interesting segment on the Vanunu story.

But listen to what the book says about LBJ's policy toward the Israeli nuclear program:

In his trips to Washington, [israel Prime Minister] Eshkol reached a tacit agreement with the Johnson administration that Israel would receive stepped up conventional military aid in exchange for slowing down the nuclear project.

Conclusion: Despite what Piper writes, LBJ, like JFK, desired and acted to slow down the Israeli nuclear program.

I hate to use a phrase popularized by Posner, but "Case Closed".

I'm sorry to disappoint you, Mr. Posner, but no the case isn't closed, not by a long way.

So now we have "Every Spy a Prince" as the new hope of the side. Catchy title. But Tim, what happened to "Support Any Friend", by Warren Bass? (a real mid-east scholar). That's the book that was supposed to demolish Piper, according to your post #1. Don't you want to talk about it anymore. That's not what I call supporting your friend, Tim.

Then there was Len's book, "John F Kennedy and Israel", by Herbert Druks. Reviwed by Jack Fischel (Special to NJ Jewish News). I know Len's on a break at the moment, but I'd like to hear more excerpts from that book, too. Lots more.

This is becoming a more interesting thread every day. The one thing which is fascinating to me though, is the fact that while you never miss an opportunity to rail against Piper, his book, his associates etc, you never seem to criticise Cohen's book. Why is that? Have you read it? I don't suppose so.

You quote the following from "Every Spy a Prince":

In his trips to Washington, {Israeli PM} Eshkol reached a tacit agreement with Johnson that Israel would recieve stepped up conventional military aid in exchange for slowing down the nuclear project

This is rubbish. Israel never agreed to slow down the nuclear project. Two of the main conditions JFK insisted on were never agreed to by Israel and never enforced by LBJ. They were: semiannual visits and permission to pass on information from the inspections to third parties. However, LBJ ramped up the conventional military aid. In January 1964, LBJ and Eshkol came to a "compromise" regarding Israel's nuclear program: (Cohen, p.196)

The parameters of the compromise on Israel's nuclear program that Eshkol and Johnson cobbled together were these: Israel would not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East, while the US would provide Israel with sophisticated conventional armaments so that Israel could defend itself without recourse to nuclear weapons. This compromise was followed by other understandings reached during Johnson's tenure: Eshkol's visit in June 1964 resulted in the supply of hundreds of M-48 tanks to Israel: the Harriman-Komer mission to Israel in March 1965 led to the sale of 48 A-4 Skyhawk planes to Israel: and the understandings concerning visits to Dimona.

There was no quid pro quo for the sale of the weapons because the inspections at Dimona were reduced to farce during the LBJ years, the inspectors eventually complaining that the restrictions made the inspections worthless. They were never allowed to discover the plutonium separation plant Israel had built underneath the Dimona reactor complex. Israel gained a massive increase in conventional weapons, while conceding nothing on Dimona. JFK would not have allowed this, IMO. Israel would also not permit LBJ to give assurances to Nasser concerning Dimona, despite repeated requests from LBJ.

The balance of power relating to negotiations between the US and Israel changed markedly in the aftermath of JFK's death. Israel recieved what it requested and gave no ground in return.

Moshe Dayan stated: "Our American friends offered us money, arms and advice. We took the money, took the arms and declined the advice".

Edited by Mark Stapleton
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The balance of power relating to negotiations between the US and Israel changed markedly in the aftermath of JFK's death. Israel recieved what it requested and gave no ground in return.

Moshe Dayan stated: "Our American friends offered us money, arms and advice. We took the money, took the arms and declined the advice".

__________________________________________

Mark,

"Touche!"

FWIW, Thomas :ice

__________________________________________

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John, as I posted in another thread, to the best of my knowledge Vanunu claims no special knowledge of the Kennedy assassination. Therefore, how can he state that the people who killed Kennedy were "in favour of nuclear proliferation"?

Likewise, you have no discernible "special knowledge" of the Kennedy assassination either, but this doesn't ever preclude you from making numerous unsubstantiated, uncorroborated claims regarding Castro's putative sponsorship for the deed. If Vanunu, who worked within the Israeli political/military establishment long enough to develop an informed opinion, is disallowed from having that opinion, then by what gall do you - whose greatest claims to fame are ratting out Donald Segretti and getting disbarred - claim the right to have yours?

Moreover, it is not clear that the US policy toward the Israeli nuclear weapond program changed under LBJ.

The book "Every Spy a Prince" is a highly praised study of Israeli intelligence and it has an interesting segment on the Vanunu story.

But listen to what the book says about LBJ's policy toward the Israeli nuclear program:

In his trips to Washington, [israel Prime Minister] Eshkol reached a tacit agreement with the Johnson administration that Israel would receive stepped up conventional military aid in exchange for slowing down the nuclear project.

If we bother to look at this book, we once again catch Tim Gratz displaying a few rather underhanded traits.

First, the name John Kennedy appears on a grand total of TWO PAGES. While the book may be highly praised, and rightly, for any number of contributions, an authoritative overview of US-Israeli relations during Kennedy's tenure is not among them.

Second, Tim's quote implies that Israel actually lived up to the "tacit" agreement reached with the Johnson administration, a claim rendered by interim history as closer to fiction than fact.

Third, and more troubling by far, however, is what Tim Gratz knowingly omitted from his quotation. I say "knowingly" because what comes directly before and directly after the plucked quotation reveals an entirely different story than that which Tim has sought to imply.

For example, prior to his pull-quote, we have the authors outlining the suspicion with which Kennedy viewed Israeli assurances that the country was not trying to build a nuclear weapon, and the spasms of paranoia that gripped CIA Chief of Station in Tel Aviv, John Hadden. I have highlighted what Tim omitted in a different colour below, so that all can see the duplicitous technique of selective citation at work here, an intellectual fraud perpetrated so effectively by fellow obfuscator Gerald Posner. To quote:

The words "truth" and "atomic" never went together in Israel. Prime Minister Ben-Gurion had told President Kennedy at the White House in 1961 that the Jewish state was working on nuclear power but not on a bomb. Washington was not buying that story.

In April 1963, Shimon Peres was summoned to the Oval Office by Kennedy, who pressed him for information. "You know that we follow with great interest any development of nuclear potential in the region. That would create a most dangerous situation. For that reason, we have been in close touch with your effort in the nuclear field. What can you tell me about that?

Peres replieid with what would be the repeated refrain of Israel's political tunesmiths for decades. "We will not introduce nuclear weapons into the region," he told the President. "We will not be the first to do so."

The CIA station chief certainly heard a new melody when Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, as a former finance minister, barely concealed his opposition to spending money on developing nuclear arms. In his visits to Washington, Eshkol reached a tracit agreement with the Johnson administration that Israel would receive stepped-up conventional military aid in exchange for slowing down the nuclear project. The Israelis for the first time received advanced Phantom and Skyhawk jets, and the Americans totally supplanted the French as the Jewish state's arms suppliers.

Hadden still detected deception by the Israelis. His most alarming reports to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, concerned Moshe Dayan's attitude toward Israel's so-called bomb in the basement. Dayan, in the US intelligence assessment, had a nonchalant attitude toward the secret project, referring to it as "just another weapon." Red lights began to flash when the Israeli strategist was heard to remark that it could even be the weapon to end all wars in the Middle East.

The book then continues on with additional evidence that Israel did not live up to the "tacit" agreement cited by Tim Gratz, and that CIA knew all of this at the time. To the contrary, CIA's own experts concluded that Israel wasn't just working on a bomb, but a variety of them, with an equally diverse array of delivery systems, including submarine-launched warhead capability. From all of this, Tim Gratz plucked one innocuous line, which read by itself offers a wholly false depiction of what the book presents.

Why am I unsurprised?

Conclusion: Despite what Piper writes, LBJ, like JFK, desired and acted to slow down the Israeli nuclear program.

Conclusion: You have deceitfully presented a single sentence to imply the opposite of what the authors clearly cite in the material they present both prior and after that sentence.

Conclusion: You used that sentence to imply that Johnson was sanguine about this "tacit" agreement and had no reason to suspect Israel failed to live up to its half of the bargain. That is wrong, and you must have known it when you posted it.

Conclusion: You are as trustworthy an historian as you were a lawyer.

Conclusion: When you have in the past repeatedly advised others to read certain books, you no doubt didn't believe that they would do so, only to then expose your fraud in selectively citing from them. Surprise.

I hate to use a phrase popularized by Posner, but "Case Closed".

Given your identical propensity for deliberately ignoring information inimicable to your goals, and using selective quotations in the hopes that nobody will catch your deceit, it is only fitting that you should quote Posner. You're cut from identical cloth. You're both charlatans, and have both been unmasked as such.

As you currently have your knickers in a knot over John Simkin's perfectly accurate observation that you use this Forum to spew "lies," and since the above constitutes just one more in a long list of examples, I do look forward to your repeatedly threatened intention to take legal action against John. I will pay my own way to testify on his behalf, and would love the opportunity to itemize for any court foolish enough to hear the case the lengthy, tedious list of such "lies."

Edited by Robert Charles-Dunne
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John, as I posted in another thread, to the best of my knowledge Vanunu claims no special knowledge of the Kennedy assassination. Therefore, how can he state that the people who killed Kennedy were "in favour of nuclear proliferation"?

Likewise, you have no discernible "special knowledge" of the Kennedy assassination either, but this doesn't ever preclude you from making numerous unsubstantiated, uncorroborated claims regarding Castro's putative sponsorship for the deed. If Vanunu, who worked within the Israeli political/military establishment long enough to develop an informed opinion, is disallowed from having that opinion, then by what gall do you - whose greatest claims to fame are ratting out Donald Segretti and getting disbarred - claim the right to have yours?

Moreover, it is not clear that the US policy toward the Israeli nuclear weapond program changed under LBJ.

The book "Every Spy a Prince" is a highly praised study of Israeli intelligence and it has an interesting segment on the Vanunu story.

But listen to what the book says about LBJ's policy toward the Israeli nuclear program:

In his trips to Washington, [israel Prime Minister] Eshkol reached a tacit agreement with the Johnson administration that Israel would receive stepped up conventional military aid in exchange for slowing down the nuclear project.

If we bother to look at this book, we once again catch Tim Gratz displaying a few rather underhanded traits.

First, the name John Kennedy appears on a grand total of TWO PAGES. While the book may be highly praised, and rightly, for any number of contributions, an authoritative overview of US-Israeli relations during Kennedy's tenure is not among them.

Second, Tim's quote implies that Israel actually lived up to the "tacit" agreement reached with the Johnson administration, a claim rendered by interim history as closer to fiction than fact.

Third, and more troubling by far, however, is what Tim Gratz knowingly omitted from his quotation. I say "knowingly" because what comes directly before and directly after the plucked quotation reveals an entirely different story than that which Tim has sought to imply.

For example, prior to his pull-quote, we have the authors outlining the suspicion with which Kennedy viewed Israeli assurances that the country was not trying to build a nuclear weapon, and the spasms of paranoia that gripped CIA Chief of Station in Tel Aviv, John Hadden. I have highlighted what Tim omitted in a different colour below, so that all can see the duplicitous technique of selective citation at work here, an intellectual fraud perpetrated so effectively by fellow obfuscator Gerald Posner. To quote:

The words "truth" and "atomic" never went together in Israel. Prime Minister Ben-Gurion had told President Kennedy at the White House in 1961 that the Jewish state was working on nuclear power but not on a bomb. Washington was not buying that story.

In April 1963, Shimon Peres was summoned to the Oval Office by Kennedy, who pressed him for information. "You know that we follow with great interest any development of nuclear potential in the region. That would create a most dangerous situation. For that reason, we have been in close touch with your effort in the nuclear field. What can you tell me about that?

Peres replieid with what would be the repeated refrain of Israel's political tunesmiths for decades. "We will not introduce nuclear weapons into the region," he told the President. "We will not be the first to do so."

The CIA station chief certainly heard a new melody when Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, as a former finance minister, barely concealed his opposition to spending money on developing nuclear arms. In his visits to Washington, Eshkol reached a tracit agreement with the Johnson administration that Israel would receive stepped-up conventional military aid in exchange for slowing down the nuclear project. The Israelis for the first time received advanced Phantom and Skyhawk jets, and the Americans totally supplanted the French as the Jewish state's arms suppliers.

Hadden still detected deception by the Israelis. His most alarming reports to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, concerned Moshe Dayan's attitude toward Israel's so-called bomb in the basement. Dayan, in the US intelligence assessment, had a nonchalant attitude toward the secret project, referring to it as "just another weapon." Red lights began to flash when the Israeli strategist was heard to remark that it could even be the weapon to end all wars in the Middle East.

The book then continues on with additional evidence that Israel did not live up to the "tacit" agreement cited by Tim Gratz, and that CIA knew all of this at the time. To the contrary, CIA's own experts concluded that Israel wasn't just working on a bomb, but a variety of them, with an equally diverse array of delivery systems, including submarine-launched warhead capability. From all of this, Tim Gratz plucked one innocuous line, which read by itself offers a wholly false depiction of what the book presents.

Why am I unsurprised?

Conclusion: Despite what Piper writes, LBJ, like JFK, desired and acted to slow down the Israeli nuclear program.

Conclusion: You have deceitfully presented a single sentence to imply the opposite of what the authors clearly cite in the material they present both prior and after that sentence.

Conclusion: You used that sentence to imply that Johnson was sanguine about this "tacit" agreement and had no reason to suspect Israel failed to live up to its half of the bargain. That is wrong, and you must have known it when you posted it.

Conclusion: You are as trustworthy an historian as you were a lawyer.

Conclusion: When you have in the past repeatedly advised others to read certain books, you no doubt didn't believe that they would do so, only to then expose your fraud in selectively citing from them. Surprise.

I hate to use a phrase popularized by Posner, but "Case Closed".

Given your identical propensity for deliberately ignoring information inimicable to your goals, and using selective quotations in the hopes that nobody will catch your deceit, it is only fitting that you should quote Posner. You're cut from identical cloth. You're both charlatans, and have both been unmasked as such.

As you currently have your knickers in a knot over John Simkin's perfectly accurate observation that you use this Forum to spew "lies," and since the above constitutes just one more in a long list of examples, I do look forward to your repeatedly threatened intention to take legal action against John. I will pay my own way to testify on his behalf, and would love the opportunity to itemize for any court foolish enough to hear the case the lengthy, tedious list of such "lies."

_______________________________________

Robert,

BRAVO!

It'll be interesting indeed to see Gratz testify on his own behalf. I'm confident he'll have to be reminded over and over to: (1) Tell the truth, (2) the WHOLE truth, and (3) nothing but the truth........

FWIW, Thomas :ice

______________________________________

Edited by Thomas Graves
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I believe that TG has gotten what he deserves for once again threatening John with legal action, but I will surely miss these near one- sided debates between Tim and the brilliant RC Dunne!!

Dawn

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I believe that TG has gotten what he deserves for once again threatening John with legal action, but I will surely miss these near one- sided debates between Tim and the brilliant RC Dunne!!

Dawn

Dawn,

I must have missed something. Did Tim get the boot? If so, I also will miss his jousts with Robert and I agree they were very one-sided. Tim's dissembling, disingenuous departures from reality where routinely detected and exposed by Robert, with great wit and skill.

Robert,

Great post again. With Tim, I always assume deceptive, selective quotation. His track record requires this assumption.

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With Tim, I always assume deceptive, selective quotation. His track record requires this assumption.

Excerpts from the article

"Internet Trolls"

Copyright © 2001 by Timothy Campbell

July 13 2001 Edition

http://members.aol.com/intwg/trolls.htm

What is an Internet xxxxx?

An Internet "xxxxx" is a person who delights in sowing discord on the Internet. He (and it is usually he) tries to start arguments and upset people.

Trolls see Internet communications services as convenient venues for their bizarre game. For some reason, they don't "get" that they are hurting real people. To them, other Internet users are not quite human but are a kind of digital abstraction. As a result, they feel no sorrow whatsoever for the pain they inflict. Indeed, the greater the suffering they cause, the greater their 'achievement' (as they see it). At the moment, the relative anonymity of the net allows trolls to flourish.

Trolls are utterly impervious to criticism (constructive or otherwise). You cannot negotiate with them; you cannot cause them to feel shame or compassion; you cannot reason with them. They cannot be made to feel remorse. For some reason, trolls do not feel they are bound by the rules of courtesy or social responsibility.

Why does it Matter?

Some people -- particularly those who have been online for years -- are not upset by trolls and consider them an inevitable hazard of using the net. As the saying goes, "You can't have a picnic without ants."

It would be nice if everybody was so easy-going, but the sad fact is that trolls do discourage people. Established posters may leave a message board because of the arguments that trolls ignite, and lurkers (people who read but do not post) may decide that they do not want to expose themselves to abuse and thus never get involved.

Another problem is that the negative emotions stirred up by trolls leak over into other discussions. Normally affable people can become bitter after reading an angry interchange between a xxxxx and his victims, and this can poison previously friendly interactions between long-time users.

Finally, trolls create a paranoid environment, such that a casual criticism by a new arrival can elicit a ferocious and inappropriate backlash.

The Internet is a wonderful resource which is breaking down barriers and stripping away prejudice. Trolls threaten our continued enjoyment of this beautiful forum for ideas.

<...snip...>

The Webmaster's Challenge

When trolls are ignored they step up their attacks, desperately seeking the attention they crave. Their messages become more and more foul, and they post ever more of them. Alternatively, they may protest that their right to free speech is being curtailed -- more on this later.

The moderator of a message board may not be able to delete a xxxxx's messages right away, but their job is made much harder if they also have to read numerous replies to trolls. They are also forced to decide whether or not to delete posts from well-meaning folks which have the unintended effect of encouraging the xxxxx.

Some webmasters have to endure conscientious users telling them that they are "acting like dictators" and should never delete a single message. These people may be misinformed: they may have arrived at their opinion about a xxxxx based on the messages they see, never realizing that the webmaster has already deleted his most horrific material. Please remember that a xxxxx does have an alternative if he has something of value to say: there are services on the net that provide messaging systems free of charge. So the xxxxx can set up his own message board, where he can make his own decisions about the kind of content he will tolerate.

Just how much can we expect of a webmaster when it comes to preserving the principles of free speech? Some trolls find sport in determining what the breaking point is for a particular message board operator. They might post a dozen messages, each of which contains 400 lines of the letter "J". That is a form of expression, to be sure, but would you consider it your duty to play host to such a person?

Perhaps the most difficult challenge for a webmaster is deciding whether to take steps against a xxxxx that a few people find entertaining. Some trolls do have a creative spark and have chosen to squander it on being disruptive. There is a certain perverse pleasure in watching some of them. Ultimately, though, the webmaster has to decide if the xxxxx actually cares about putting on a good show for the regular participants, or is simply playing to an audience of one -- himself.

What about Free Speech?

When trolls find that their efforts are being successfully resisted, they often complain that their right to free speech is being infringed. Let us examine that claim.

While most people on the Internet are ardent defenders of free speech, it is not an absolute right; there are practical limitations. For example, you may not scream out "Fire!" in a crowded theatre, and you may not make jokes about bombs while waiting to board an airplane. We accept these limitations because we recognize that they serve a greater good.

Another useful example is the control of the radio frequency spectrum. You might wish to set up a powerful radio station to broadcast your ideas, but you cannot do so without applying for a license. Again, this is a practical limitation: if everybody broadcasted without restriction, the repercussions would be annoying at best and life-threatening at worst.

The radio example is helpful for another reason: with countless people having a legitimate need to use radio communications, it is important to ensure that nobody is 'monopolizing the channel'. There are only so many clear channels available in each frequency band and these must be shared.

When a xxxxx attacks a message board, he generally posts a lot of messages. Even if his messages are not particularly inflammatory, they can be so numerous that they drown out the regular conversations (this is known as 'flooding'). Needless to say, no one person's opinions can be allowed to monopolize a channel.

The ultimate response to the 'free speech' argument is this: while we may have the right to say more or less whatever we want, we do not have the right to say it wherever we want. You may feel strongly about the fact that your neighbor has not mowed his lawn for two months, but you do not have the right to berate him in his own living room. Similarly, if a webmaster tells a xxxxx that he is not welcome, the xxxxx has no "right" to remain. This is particularly true on the numerous free communications services offered on the net. (On pay systems, the xxxxx might be justified in asking for a refund.)

Read whole article:

http://members.aol.com/intwg/trolls.htm

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Thanks for the interesting xxxxx article, Robert.

It may be that the GANG OF FOUR are just TROLLS instead of PROVOCATEURS.

Jack

Who exactly are "the GANG OF FOUR" Jack?

You are far from above reproach youself.. You accuse people who question your findings of being liars, CIA agents, a$$holes, agent provocateurs etc. what about your "Who is Bill Miller?" stunt?

On other boards people who make assertions on threads and then refused to resond to questions about them are considered to be trolls, you do this repeatedly.

Len

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I believe that TG has gotten what he deserves for once again threatening John with legal action, but I will surely miss these near one- sided debates between Tim and the brilliant RC Dunne!!

Dawn

Tim Gratz has not been "thrown off" the Education Forum. His posts however are subject to administrator preview.

I support John Simkin in taking this action. It is really intolerably difficult trying to run open discussions when members threaten other members with legal action.

I believe that this is not the first time this has happened with this particular individual.

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