Cercle Zetetique

Frenchman Against Conspiracy TheorieS

VOLUME 2, NUMBER 1 January 1999

par François Carlier, du Cercle Zététique du Nord

Vous pouvez réagir à ce dossier dans son forum en ligne associé.


Dear reader, you are now holding (or seeing on your computer screen) the second issue of F.A.C.T.S., a JFK assassination research journal. Among the people who received the first issue, only two of them decided not to keep receiving it. Some of you even praised this journal! (what more could I hope for?) In this issue, I will focus on a few subjects that have been talked about at length in the past months. I will also talk about a new book published in France, and which I find appallingly useless. As always, I will try to apply critical thinking methods, as well as reason and honesty. I hope you will all enjoy reading this new issue. As always, you are invited to reply if you disagree with me. Any comments and suggestions are welcome.

And remember;
always call a spade a spade!

Was the Zapruder film altered? The definitive answer!

The first time I heard that some people talked of the Zapruder film possibly being altered was when I was at the JFK-Lancer-November-in-Dallas conference in 1996. Prior to that time I had not been aware that it had been an issue. There, two people I had never heard about were scheduled to speak: James Fetzer and David Mantik. On November 22, 1996, Fetzer was the moderator to the Zapruder film symposium. As I was also attending the COPA conference I took the opportunity of asking Robert Groden for his opinion. He was very adamant that the Zapruder film was genuine and had not been altered. I did not share Groden's conclusions regarding the assassination, but I sure considered him to be an authority on the Zapruder film. So I came back to the Dallas Grand Hotel and talked to Mantik and Fetzer. The three of us met across the corridor from the conference room. Fetzer did most of the talking. He looked a very excited man. He talked at length listing all the reasons why he believed the Zapruder film had been altered. At that point, I had no opinion, and although I was approaching the subject with suspicion I had an open mind and was ready to believe whatever was presented before me with sound arguments made by experts. Fetzer was more impressive when he talked about the alteration of the film than when he tried to explain why the film would be altered at all! As I did not consider myself as an expert on this (I was in Dallas to learn and listen, not to teach and speak) I suggested Fetzer and Mantik should accompany me to Groden's lecture that he was to give at the COPA conference. I explained to Mantik and Fetzer that I was attending both conferences and therefore I was aware of all the scheduled lectures in both conferences. I was looking forward to Groden's lecture for COPA, and I advised Fetzer to come and attend it, since Groden had told me that morning that the Zapruder film had never been altered. It was my opinion that it would be a good idea to confront Groden and Fetzer. I was sure the audience would be interested. Fetzer and Mantik told me they would come. I went back to tell Robert Groden that I had seen Fetzer who had assured me that he had proof that the Zapruder film had been altered and that he had given a lecture on that at the JFK-Lancer conference. In the evening, when the COPA conference began, Groden was going to show us some films. I told my neighbor that two men were going to interrupt the lecture. And sure they did. As Groden was saying publicly that even if some people were talking about the alteration of the Zapruder film, that was completely wrong, Fetzer burst and sprang off his chair. He challenged Groden. And then, I was impressed: Robert Groden had the courage, the guts and the intellectual honesty to tell Fetzer to come forward and although it was Groden's lecture, he said he was willing to give his time to Fetzer who was free to talk and give his arguments to prove the Zapruder film was altered. Now, I take my hat off to Groden for that. But Fetzer backed off. He said it would take too long to show the Zapruder film was altered, and he had not enough time. Groden replied that he was open and willing to listen to everything Fetzer would say, and that it would only take one minute, and it would be easy, to prove an alteration of the film; “Just show me the alteration”.. But Fetzer and Mantik had nothing to say and they left the room. I was disappointed. It took me little time to understand Fetzer can blow a gasket easily but doesn't dare proving his case when he is offered a royal opportunity! So I went back to France not knowing whether the film was altered or not, but willing to read all I could on that issue, because I knew that if indeed the film had been tampered with, that would be proof that there had been a conspiracy. I read all I could, and one day I found an article by Fetzer in The Assassination Chronicles (Vol.2, Issue Winter 1996, p.40) "The Zapruder film and the language of proof". As far as the part of the article about the meaning and the language of "proof" is concerned, I can only say that to anyone familiar with the writings of people such as Martin Gardner, Paul Kurtz, William D. Gray or Terence Hines (see references in the previous issue of F.A.C.T.S.). Fetzer's writing is very low quality. I was surprised, but I felt I was beginning to see Fetzer for what he was. The more this guy talks, the less people will believe him! Anyway, a debate between Fetzer and Martin Shackelford started on the following issue of The Assassination Chronicles. It was very interesting, as Shackelford tore to pieces everything Fetzer said. It was clear that informed researchers like Shackelford were not impressed by Fetzer's research. At that point, at least it was interesting to know that some people knew about Fetzer's research and had listened to his arguments carefully, only to find flaws in his reasoning. It showed that Fetzer's evidence was not as convincing as he wanted us to believe. It soon became clear that it was low quality. I quote Shackelford's summary: "In summary an examination of the points offered by Fetzer indicates one point doubtfulanother point in considerable dispute among careful researchers, and the remaining four specific points dead wrong." UNQUOTE. The Assassination Chronicles (Vol.3, Issue 1, Spring 1997, p.4). Then, in the two following issues, Fetzer, and then Shackelford continued their debate. I found Martin Shackelford's letters far more convincing than Fetzer's. By that time, Fetzer's style itself had made the issue of Zapruder film alteration very doubtful to me. But I was willing to read more about it. When the book Assassination science came out, I was looking forward to reading it, all the more so since Cyril Wecht had praised it. Being a proponent of the scientific approach to the Kennedy assassination mystery, that was the book that was bound to please me, or so I thought. I was in for a big disappointment. Again, I know each person you meet is good at something. I thought Fetzer must be good at scientific reasoning. But as far as "science" and "scientific reasoning" are concerned, a book like Assassination science is a disgrace. For someone like me who is used to reading good-quality books (by Martin Gardner, for example, to mention only him) Fetzer's book seems more focused on make-believe than on proper evidence. Anyway, what I am getting at is I will not spend any more time trying to argue against Fetzer's belief that the Zapruder film had been altered. In point of fact, all I could do is repeat, and not nearly as well, what I found on a very, very good Web site: http://www.pe.net/~atd/zapr-2.htm. It is Clint Bradford's site, in which he has made available lots of very good articles by several researchers about the issue of alteration of the Zapruder film. Anyone who reads these articles will go away convinced that indeed Fetzer was wrong. I know of no better debunking work (in whatever area of JFK assassination research) than that of Clint Bradford. I urge anyone interested in this side of the case to go immediately to Bradford's page. See also http://www.pe.net/~atd/moot1.htm (the page called "The Zapruder Film is Authentic"). You'll find lots of technical articles (very impressive) by such people as Martin Shackelford, Anthony Marsh, Roland Zavata, Dr. Josiah Thompson, etc. which prove beyond any doubt (I know this expression has often been misused by some researchers, but here it applies fully) that the Zapruder film is authentic and has never been altered. Let me quote from Anthony Marsh: "The Zapruder film proves itself to be authentic. There is no possibility that any frames could have been cut out of the film When you consider that no one else, not even the best camera experts in the world, realized the mechanism which caused the ghostlike images for over 34 years, it seems highly unlikely that the conspirators would know about this characteristic of Zapruder's camera and be able to duplicate it within a few hours". Unquote. All the so-called discrepancies in the film that Mantik discovered have been technically adequately explained. There was no place where the alleged tampering could have been done, and more important yet, there was no time when it could have been done, as we now know very well that Abraham Zapruder always had the film with him, when, on 11/22/63, alterationists claim the film was being tampered with. Not to mention the 600 page technical report and documentation released by Roland Zavada, an expert from Kodack, which actually destroyed the claims of the "alterationists". Still more proof; Abraham Zapruder himself when shown his film in New Orleans in 1968 at the Clay Shaw trial declared that was the one he shot! So there you are, with the following elements:
1. There are no "inconsistencies" in the film that can't be explained by the mechanism and normal running of the Bell & Howell camera.
2. In 1963, nobody had the technical knowledge or ability to alter the film the way Mantik and Fetzer claim!
3. At no time could the tampering have been done, for Abraham Zapruder never left his own copy of his film.
4. Abraham Zapruder stated that the film he was shown at the Shaw trial was indeed the one he had shot and watched in Dallas on 11/22/63.
5. What we see on the Zapruder film corresponds exactly to what we see on other films or photographs taken in Dealey Plaza (see, for example, Robert Groden's video The assassination films, New Frontier Productions).
Well, to anyone who can use common sense, that is convincing enough. But again, I urge everybody to read the whole of Clint Bradford's web page. It is exhaustive and very high quality. You'll learn everything you've ever wanted to know on that issue.

But to me this is not over. I mean, you have somebody like Jack White who keeps on claiming that the Zapruder film was altered. He has just put out a new video purporting to prove his claim. It is convincing? I suggest you go and see http://www.pe.net/~atd/jackvid1.htm and http://www.pe.net/~atd/mshack2.htm). My point is the research community as a whole (if it is indeed an entity) should do something about it, such as putting out a public statement that the alteration idea is unsound, has been proved so, and whoever claims otherwise is wrong. I mean, the fact that Jack White keeps along that line shows that he is a very poor researcher. He can be taken in by nonsense. No amount of evidence will be enough to show him what's right. He has decided the film was altered and he will keep on believing that, no matter what more knowledgeable people will say. He has showed himself to be absolutely unreliable. It is time to state it publicly. Whoever follows Jack White or believes anything he says is wrong , mistaken and misled. To put it simply: Jack White misleads his readers.. So when JFK-Lancer picks him as an expert or speaker at their conferences, they are rendering a disservice to themselves! I hope Mrs. Debra Conway will understand. Likewise, when British researcher Ian Griggs writes in his article about the JFK-Lancer November 1998 conference "Dallas '98", I quote: “The UK visitors were also greeted enthusiastically by respected members of the research community such as Jack White, ”, it shows Griggs's lack of judgement! No matter how farfetched and ridiculous Jack White's claims may be, and despite the fact that his theory has been completely debunked, he is still regarded as a respected researcher by Ian Griggs! It kind of says it all!! (see that article at http://home.rmi.net/~jkelin/lancer_ian.html).
So, to get back to the title of this article, the definitive answer is NO, the Zapruder film was never altered!

Let me end with a quote from Anthony Marsh (from http://www.boston.quik.com/amarsh/zapruder.htm).. "It is time for everyone who has doubted the authenticity of the Zapruder film to realize that the Zapruder film is genuine and authentic, and now move on with their research." UNQUOTE.

I agree!

Is it true that Gerald Ford lied and forged a WC document?

Among the JFK-assassination research journals is The Assassination Chronicles.. In Volume 3, issue 2, Summer 1997, the cover story was: "The Rankin documents: Gerald Ford's big lie". Boy! My mouth was watering already. An ex-President of the United States? His lie proven in a document published in the magazine I was holding? I couldn't wait any longer; I went straight to page 33. Title of the article: "Gerald Ford's terrible fiction", by George Michael Evica. Now that is what I call an accusation! Come on George Michael, show me that so-called terrible fiction. Well, I was in - as always - for a disappointment! For there is no such fiction at all

Ä On page 35 was the reprint of a Washington Post article saying that - I quote: “As a member of the Warren commission that investigated the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Gerald R. Ford suggested that the panel change its initial description of the bullet wound in Kennedy's back to place it higher up in his body. The initial draft of the report stated: ‘A bullet had entered his (Kennedy's) back at a point slightly below the shoulder to the right of the spine.’ Ford wanted it to read: ‘A bullet had entered the back of his neck slightly to the right of the spine.’ ”.
The implication is clear. In order to make the single bullet theory possible (a downward trajectory) Ford had to edit the text to move the back wound higher. So he changed the expression "entered his back at a point slightly below the shoulder to the right of the spine" to "entered the back of his neck at a point slightly to the right of the spine".
Well, I can understand that doing this (i.e. moving the wound upward) is reprehensible and should be condemned. But - and this is a big but - Gerald Ford never did that! Indeed, when I read the document, it was very obvious that the sentence was not "below the shoulder" but "above the shoulder". Yes, anybody can see that for themselves; the sentence that was edited said: "above the shoulder". Which means that there was already a downward trajectory in the first place and neither Gerald Ford nor anybody had any need to change the trajectory to make the single-bullet theory work. So the document was misquoted, and the accusation against Ford was absolutely unfounded, totally groundless. So I wrote George Michael Evica about that mistake. He replied in an e-mail message that it was not him who wrote that, but the Washington Post, and if I ever said that he wrote it, he would sue me. All right, fair enough. I understand he doesn't want to be misquoted. And it is true that Evica didn't write much in this "article", which, rather, is a compilation of documents. But hey, what difference does it make, Mister Evica? You did not write the Washington Post article, but you chose to print it in an article written by you and supposed to show that Gerald Ford lied when in fact he did not. And aren't you the one who wrote in that article: ‘The single bullet theory and the lone assassin fantasy are only possible if we believe Gerald Ford's terrible fiction’? I mean, Mister Evica, you think you are doing a good job, but you are writing an article attacking somebody's integrity while misquoting a document that anybody can see says the exact opposite of what you claim! In other words, your article is a zero. You are implying that Gerald Ford lied, but the document that is printed on page 34 of The Assassination Chronicles shows very clearly that in fact Ford did not do what you accuse him of.. Again, I want to state very clearly that there is no such thing as "Gerald Ford's terrible fiction". So my point is, regardless of the whole case, regardless of the fact that indeed some things may have been hidden, for whatever reason, by the Warren Commissioners, it is very bad to accuse somebody by mistake, based on a quote he never made!
I say this only shows how eager you are to accuse the government and try to prove there was a conspiracy. It also shows that The Assassination Chronicles is not so good quality a journal after all.

Let me quote from the Washington Post article: ‘My changes had nothing to do with a conspiracy theory, [Ford] said, My changes were only an attempt to be more precise’.

In August 1974, Gerald Ford became President of the United States. I recently saw the footage on the MSNBC program "Time and Again". It was very moving. Seeing and hearing the guy, you knew - yes, it's a human feeling; you know when somebody is a good person - that he was innocent from the accusations you had read in The Assassination Chronicles!

Let me finish by saying that I never found any article where the editor of The Assassination Chronicles apologized or corrected their mistake.
What kind of intellectual attitude is that?
So, to get back to the title of this article, the definitive answer is again NO.

Two Oswalds? What about the Armstrong theory?

As everybody will acknowledge, there are a lot of conspiracy theories out there! Some people think that Oswald's backyard photos are fakes, other people don't. Some people (I understand they are getting fewer and fewer) believe that the body was altered between Parkland Hospital in Dallas and Bethesda Hospital in Washington. Other people don't. And so on, and so forth. But rather recently a new conspiracy theory has been talked about: Armstrong theory of "two Oswalds". Well, at the outset of this short article, I would like to make clear that I have read that Armstrong does not claim to have a new "conspiracy theory", rather, he says he has uncovered evidence that there were two Oswalds, and unless someone can explain that away, he claims he has proven something fishy was going on.

At the beginning of my little discussion, I would like to make clear that I do not claim to have investigated the matter thoroughly. For this reason, unlike in my two previous articles I will not give a definite answer here.

But there are a few things that need to be said. Indeed common sense should be applied here as well as in any other area. Armstrong claims he has uncovered evidence that shows that there were two Oswalds - Harvey and Lee - and that it was never disclosed to the American public because, quote: “if Oswald's dual identity was discovered, it would link the intelligence agencies - those who create dual identities - directly with the assassination”.. All right. So Lee Harvey Oswald was essentially a creation of U.S. intelligence! As readers know Armstrong has spent his time (years) researching the Oswald area. But he is not the only one. Another man has spent years researching the Oswald area: David Lifton. He is known to be completing a book on Lee Oswald and to have become an expert on him, having studied all the documents pertaining to Oswald extensively. And what does Lifton tell us? He tells us that there is no such thing as "two Oswalds" and that Armstrong is wrong. All right. About three months ago, on alt.conspiracy.jfk there were a few posts by David Lifton in which he gave his opinion on Armstrong's work and his arguments against him. At least, these posts showed that Lifton knew what he was talking about and had lots of knowledge in that area. To me, he sounded convincing enough that Armstrong's research was not that good and that he had misinterpreted the documents he had seen. But more to the point, I knew both Lifton and Armstrong would go to the JFK-Lancer conference and I was hoping they would debate publicly. Indeed there was a good opportunity to settle the argument by confronting both men face to face. Then we would have the answer. But as always I was in for a letdown. As I could not go to Dallas and attend the conference I asked what had happened between Lifton and Armstrong on alt.conspiracy.jfk. Mrs. Debra Conway replied, in substance, that the two did not debate, as no such debate had been scheduled. Well, that's too bad. The JFK-Lancer organizers missed a good opportunity. I always criticize them for not organizing debates.. They haven't changed! Instead of going to the crux of the matter and find the answers to the questions raised once and for all, they just let people keep talking each in their corner.
à I mean, on the one hand you have Armstrong who claims there were two Oswalds, based on the years he spent investigating Oswald's life, and on the other hand you have Lifton who claims there was only one Oswald, based also on the years he spent investigating Oswald's life! One of them must be wrong! But when there is an opportunity for them to debate publicly, nobody seizes that opportunity! How sad!

Now what I would like to see is a debate like, for example, a confrontation between Uri Geller and James Randi. You would have Uri Geller bend a spoon or a key without touching it and pretending he does it with his paranormal powers, his psychic ability, you know, the "mind over matter" stuff. Then James Randi would explain that in fact Geller uses conjuring techniques such as sleight-of-hand and misdirection to bend the key like anybody else and make people believe he never touched it. And Randi would show you how it is done. And then, convinced by Randi's presentation, you would go back to Geller and ask him (while making sure he cannot use trickery) to bend the key with his psychic powers if he really has some, and you would be waiting for hundreds of years before he could! Now, that is what I call a healthy debate where every speaker can say whatever they want to say, and the public can then reach a conclusion, based on the evidence presented in front of them. The public can weigh the evidence presented, and see who has done a better-quality job! That's what I was expecting from JFK-Lancer, with Lifton and Armstrong. But it did not happen. Too bad for those of us who are looking for an answer.

But anyway, even without a debate, we can still begin to analyze Armstrong's work. And it is fair to say it is not very impressive. All Armstrong can do is pile up loads of elements he heard about or read about, and try to pinpoint the inconsistencies. But those were bound to happen. I mean, the investigation was carried out by dozens and dozens of people (the Dallas police, the FBI, Warren Commissioners, Secret Service agents, etc. were involved, at some point or another, in one way or another). It is perfectly normal to find statements that don't match, mistakes made, pieces of evidence lost, etc. And reading Armstrong's presentation at the Lancer 1998 conference, it is obvious he repeats dishonest errors that have already been debunked (for example, he says that Ruby corrected Henry Wade in the Dallas police station, which proves Ruby knew Oswald. à Well, that only proves that Armstrong would be well advised to visit http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/ruby.htm and should try to avoid spreading incorrect ideas!) Also, his list of things the FBI supposedly hid from the public is all but convincing!

One thing surprised me. Let me take one example of Armstrong's "evidence". He seems at a loss to explain why, when Oswald was in custody at police headquarters at 2:00 p.m. on 11/22/63, someone by the name of Mr. TF White saw him (or, rather, saw a man he later identified as Oswald) sitting in a car in the El Chico parking lot! To Armstrong, this is evidence of two Oswalds! Likewise, while Oswald had been in police custody for one day, on Saturday 11/23/63, a Mary Lawrence saw him in a restaurant talking with Jack Ruby! And to Armstrong, again, this is evidence of two Oswalds! I mean, how gullible can you get? Hasn't it occurred to Armstrong, that these witnesses were simply wrong? And he even has the guts to accuse the FBI of conspiracy, because they did not tell the public about those witnesses to a second Oswald? I mean, how ridiculous can you get? For one thing, if there had really been a second Oswald, he would not prominently go out on 11/22/63, when Lee Harvey Oswald was on TV, being in custody as all the world watched! If Armstrong sees a conspiracy each time the FBI fails to report every idiotic statement made by every lunatic in town, boy, no wonder he is convinced by his own research! What else? Armstrong finds suspicious that the FBI told the public that Oswald took a seat on the lower level in the Texas theater, whereas witness Julia Postal had stated that Oswald was on the balcony. So there were two Oswalds in the Texas theater? What do you think? Two Oswalds, in the same city, sometimes even in the same room, and nobody would have noticed? Come on. It is even more farfetched than the body-alteration hypothesis! Armstrong commits fallacy upon fallacy in reasoning!

As I said at the beginning of my little discussion, I have not investigated the matter thoroughly. That's why I am not saying Armstrong is wrong. (Well, I'm not saying it for the time being).
But I urge the "research community", and especially the JFK-Lancer team, to make everything possible to let us have a definitive answer as soon as possible. So who's wrong? Lifton or Armstrong?

What about all that was written against Gerald Posner?

CAUTION: These pasts months I have written numerous posts on Internet newsgroups, and particularly on alt.conspiracy.jfk. As I tried to argue that conspiracy writers must be wrong, I soon became known as Gerald Posner's defender. I had a few long and heated debates with people who obviously didn't like my posts and arguments. After a while, thinking it was time to get things straight as to what my position was, I decided to post a summing-up article. It is reprinted below:

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

December 26, 1998.

A message to everybody.

These past months I wrote several posts on this newsgroup, trying to defend the official version of the Kennedy assassination, in which I firmly believe, and obviously defended Gerald Posner, the author of the book "Case closed", for which I have praise. I have been attacked and asked several times to defend Gerald Posner openly and try to counterattack the criticisms made against his book.... so much so that the headers to my posts became "Frenchman's defense of Gerald Posner" (which is quite revealing!)........

I think that the time has come, once and for all, to prevent any misunderstandings, and make myself perfectly clear:
Make no mistake: I am not Gerald Posner's spokesman. Gerald Posner has to speak for himself. He is not aware of my posts, and if he was, he may even disagree with what I write!

Having said that, let me sum up my views:

---> # 1]
I think there is one big mistake that critics make. They spend lots of time criticizing Gerald Posner, claiming he took credit for other people's research. I say I am not convinced he really did that. On the contrary, I find him to be more honest and unbiased than conspiracy writers. But my point is: even if he was indeed biased and his methodology was dishonest, what change would that make regarding the evidence and the facts? I mean, even if it was proven that the book "Case closed", written in 1993, was a sham, that in itself would not make any difference as to what the evidence shows! And the evidence points to Oswald's guilt. Let's put it this way: on November 22, 1963 John Kennedy was assassinated. A suspect was arrested. There was a police investigation and it soon became clear that Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin. Indeed his rifle was found at the sniper's nest, etc, etc (everybody knows what the evidence linking Oswald to the crime is). Then a presidential commission was appointed to tell the story (Nicolas Katzenbach reminded them to be persuasive enough to allay fears, for the evidence was so strong that there was no doubt as to who had done the killing). So what is important is this: over the years lots and lots of people have confirmed that indeed Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy from behind and with three shots (read the JAMA articles, read Jim Moore's book, visit John McAdams's Web site, and there are lots of other sources, all clever, sensible and reasonable). So it is quite clear to me that the official version is true. But then Gerald Posner writes a book he calls "Case closed", in which he tells the story again. And critics find all kinds of faults in that book. What I mean is that I am not convinced by the critics, for I can't see the faults they are referring to. But even if there were such faults in "Case closed", that would not change my opinion a bit, because I already have all the evidence I need, and that was uncovered way back in 1963. Now, if Gerald Posner had written a book photocopying whole chapters of Jim Moore's book and the Warren report, I would surely agree to say his methodology was reprehensible, but that would not change my opinion on the assassination!
+++ >> Bottom line: We already knew that Oswald had killed Kennedy before Gerald Posner wrote his book. So it does not really make a difference what "Case closed" says or how it was written. So critics who spend their time trying to show that Gerald Posner is a dishonest writer are wasting their time. Because it is not relevant. How a book was written in 1993 surely won't change the facts of 1963! Think of any newcomer, wanting to know the truth about the Kennedy assassination. They would learn the facts by going back to the evidence available on November 22, 1963. And they would want to learn about the evidence uncovered afterward. They would read the Warren report, and realize that it was an open and shut case. Three shots from the rear, three hulls, one assassin. Surely, if a critic came to them warning them "Be cautious; thirty years after Kennedy's death someone wrote a dishonest book", they would go: "So what?". Again, as I said, even if Posner's book was a zero (and it is not, I want to be perfectly clear about that!), that would not prevent anybody from getting at the truth! The truth lies in the facts. Science has proved - beyond any doubt - that Lee Oswald killed JFK. Common sense as well as critical thinking will strengthen that conclusion. I thank Posner for repeating that in a readable manner in his book. But again, he only repeats what we already knew (and he also debunks ludicrous theories). So when critics spend their time writing articles against Posner, they are not dealing with the evidence of the case, they are dealing with somebody's attitude. They are not moving a bit in their research. After reading almost all that's available on the Kennedy assassination (every book written on the conspiracy side and all the rest) I say that on the one hand, you have Gerald Posner, talking about facts, using reason and logic, and on the other hand you have conspiracy theorists who resort to nothing but ad hominem attacks against Posner! Well what else could they do? The facts prove Posner is right! But conspiracy theorists, who earn money thanks to their theories and don't want them to be debunked, falsely claim Posner is wrong. But if you look at the facts yourself, without taking anything for granted at the start of your own investigation, and using such tools as critical thinking, logic, reason, and above all honesty, you will have no choice but to acknowledge that indeed Oswald fired the shots.

---> # 2]
Let's talk about "testimony", shall we? When one reads conspiracy books, it becomes clear that the great failure of the conspiracy theorists has been their ignorance (or unwillingness to accept the fact) that human perception and memory are not only unreliable under a variety of conditions but that they are also constructive. Human memory is fallible. Scientists have conducted experiments that have shown that what we remember about an incident can actually be changed after the fact. When this happens, the witness truthfully testifies to remembering something that never happened. Indeed memory can be changed after the fact by new information, and the resultant memory may be very different from what actually took place. And yet, the person will swear that his or her memory is accurate. In some sense, it is. The witness is not lying in the usual sense of that word. The reported memory is really a memory, but due to the nature of memory, the reported memory differs greatly from what actually happened. (from Terence Hines's book: "Pseudoscience and the paranormal, a critical examination of the evidence", Prometheus Books, 1988). My point is the following; an eyewitness account cannot be taken at face value. But that is precisely the mistake that conspiracy theorists make: they rely too much on eyewitness testimony. During my research for my book, I have talked to policemen, and have visited them at work. It is a well-known fact among law enforcement agents that whenever something happens (a car accident, a robbery, etc...), there will be as many recollections as there were witnesses. And I was shown depositions; it is very revealing. For instance; one day there was a burglary in a bank here in the North of France. Less than two hours later, all of the 10 witnesses were giving their depositions at the police station. None of them agreed with one another. The discrepancies in recollections were huge. The witnesses couldn't even agree on the number of burglars (who yet were all together in the same room - the bank - for almost two minutes). Did the burglars wear glasses, a beard, a coat, a knife, a gun, etc...? Well, it depended on what witness you chose!!! Some said yes, some said no. And all of them were adamant! This phenomenon happens all the time! That's expected. Human memory is fallible! So when such an unexpected event as the killing of a president takes place, and in no more than twenty seconds, and in a car that moves, it is to be expected that everybody will remember the event in their own way. Everybody will have personal recollections. None of them will add up! Even before the shooting, say at 12.15 in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963, it would have been a sure thing to any knowledgeable man that should anything happen, nobody would remember the same thing! We were bound to have almost as many "stories" as witnesses! So it is easy for conspiracy theorists to take whatever piece of testimony they like to support their own theory! Anybody can find a sentence (out of context, mot of the time) or paragraph in a witness deposition which will "prove" any theory! Because lots of witnesses have said lots of different things! Even worse, lots of witnesses have changed their story over time. So really any researcher can come up with a witness account, or several, that will "show" whatever point he will want to make. Then conspiracy theorists pick up a sentence (or a whole paragraph) in a particular witness's testimony and challenge Gerald Posner or me to explain it. But that's ludicrous. It cannot be done. If you took for granted every eyewitness accounts, then the shooting would have to have happened thirty different ways! This is nonsense. It only happened one way. But witnesses were, and are, confused.
+++ >> Bottom line: It is wrong to rely on eyewitness testimony. In order to reach a conclusion on the Kennedy assassination - or any other mystery - you have to rely on hard evidence and facts, and certainly not on eyewitness accounts. For example, when Jack White or David Lifton rely on eyewitness testimony to argue that the Zapruder film was altered (implying that since the Zapruder film does not show what some eyewitnesses remember seeing, then it must have been altered!), they are simply wrong! Their explanation: if the film does not show what such witness remembers seeing, it proves the film was altered. My explanation: if the film does not show what such witness remembers seeing, it proves the witness is like all human beings; his memory is fallible!
Again, all conspiracy theories that are based solely (or mostly) on eyewitnesses' accounts, can be safely discarded! The point is, to my mind, all of them are! Indeed, hard evidence such as photos, the medical reports, police conclusions based on facts, etc... show Oswald did the shooting. But when you think about it, what the conspiracy theorists rely on are only witnesses' recollections. If you watch Lifton's video "Best evidence", you will see clearly that all he has is conflicting eyewitnesses' accounts! But, as I said earlier, that was to be expected. Indeed, think about it, it would have been very strange if all the witnesses had agreed! So many people were involved in a short period of time in so emotional events. They were bound to give conflicting accounts after the facts. And they did. But relying on these "natural", and perfectly "human" discrepancies to claim there was a conspiracy is a very big mistake!

---> # 3]
Now let me give you my opinion on the conspiracy theorists' attitude. I have two major criticisms against them. First of all, it is a plain fact that the research community doesn't exist at all. I mean, yes, of course, you have a group of people around the world (90% in the US, plus Ian Griggs and his friends in the UK, plus a few researchers in Germany, Australia, France, who can be seen on the Internet) who are still spending time and money "researching" the case and exchanging messages. Some of them are even friends. But the group is hardly a community. So many people really dislike so many! On the newsgroups you find more ugly exchanges and name calling than anything else. I have had the opportunity of talking to people like Robert Groden, David Lifton, James Fetzer, and lots of others... they told me more about other people's supposed faults than about the JFK assassination. Everybody knows that. But doesn't it seem strange to you? Should I remind you that conspiracy theorists are on the same side, i.e. against the official version. How is it that none of them agrees with any other? How is it that there are almost as many theories as "researchers"? If indeed there was a conspiracy to kill Kennedy, if indeed it was so obvious that Oswald was not the killer, shouldn't it be easy to show it, and to show what happened instead? But it looks to me like you have, on the one hand, the official version of Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone killer with three shots, and on the other hand dozens of versions, depending on who wrote them! I mean, if indeed there was a conspiracy, which conspiracy was it? Lifton's conspiracy? Groden's conspiracy? Garrison's conspiracy? White's conspiracy? Reitzes's conspiracy? Marrs's conspiracy? Brown's conspiracy? Lane's conspiracy? Oglesby's conspiracy? etc... etc... All those conspiracy theories are incompatible with one another! There is something wrong here! Conspiracy theorists are quick to pinpoint the mistakes made by other conspiracy theorists, but they don't see their own! All of this is not very serious, not very professional! Secondly, most of what is written is very low quality! The proof is lots of what is written by a conspiracy theorist gets debunked by another! Take Garrison's belief in a conspiracy.... debunked by Reitzes; Jack White's belief that the Zapruder film was altered... debunked by Clint Bradford; Marrs's belief in mysterious deaths... debunked by Reitzes again (I think); Lifton's belief that the body was altered... debunked by everybody else! I mean, you have theories that are so farfetched (should I say "stupid"?) that even conspiracy believer can't buy them! It kind of says it all. This is a good example --> it has been proven beyond any doubt (source: Clint Bradford's page
http://www.pe.net/~atd/zapr-2.htm) that the Zapruder film is authentic (well, common sense was enough to know it is authentic, but nonetheless Bradford and others have done a great job giving powerful arguments to prove it is indeed authentic). But people like Jack White continue to claim it is a forgery. I mean, isn't he being ridiculous? But he is still regarded as an expert by critics.. What I say is simple: it is ridiculous to keep on claiming that the Zapruder film was altered. But it is as ridiculous to keep on claiming that Jack White is an expert. The same could be said about a lot of people among the conspiracy theories. My point is so much has been debunked (and sometimes even by conspiracy theorists themselves - but never their own theories, always other people's) that the pattern becomes perfectly clear: there's nothing left!

---> # 4]
Trying to debate on this newsgroup has not always been agreeable to me! I have tried hard to give arguments, when all I received was ad hominem attacks and sarcasm. But no one has shown themselves to be as close-minded and arrogant as Dave Reitzes. He has been very dull on top of that. For instance, this is the kind of answers I received from him over the weeks:
>Posner, like Jerry Lewis, is very popular among the French. Posner, like Jerry Lewis, is not funny.

to which I replied:
[.....] But it seems you are only able to talk about Jerry Lewis! People like Posner and I talk about the evidence. You talk about Jerry Lewis! It kind of says it all!

---> # 5]
Let's finish by repeating the obvious, one last time! Below are some extracts from all my previous posts. Hope you'll find the answers to your questions in there! (sorry if I repeat myself sometimes).
- A) Why always resort to farfetched theories? Why not apply Occam's razor for a change? Gerald Posner looked at all the evidence. And the evidence shows that Lee Oswald killed Kennedy.. Period. Then he looked at the conspiracy theories, and he saw that they all contradict one another. After 35 years of research, the conspiracy theorists have not been able to come up with any likely scenario. Instead, they fight one another (some of them say the Zapruder film was altered, others don't.... one of them says there was no shot from the rear, others disagree... etc. you all know the discrepancies that exist, and that are irreconcilable). The truth of the matter is, when you look at the evidence, it points to Oswald's guild. So Gerald Posner, who - contrary to so many people here - can call a spade a spade, did just that! He looked at the evidenceYou are all angry. You all resort to insults and sarcasm against Posner (and against me, since I also believe in the official version). But to no avail. I am writing a book claiming Oswald did it. And the CIA has nothing to do with my book, I swear! I just looked at the evidence. Just like Gerald Posner did years before me!
+++ >> Bottom line: the facts speak for themselves. Oswald did it. Gerald Posner can analyze the situation. Conspiracy theorists seem not to be able to

- B) You see, I read "Best evidence" and talked to David Lifton in 1990 for the first time. And I gave conferences in France to make "Best evidence" known, and I even wrote articles in a research journal claiming there had been a conspiracy to kill Kennedy. That was before I did my own investigation, based on critical thinking skills I had learned. Then I had to acknowledge I had been wrong, because I had trusted people who did not deserve to be trusted. They were incompetent. I had overestimated them. They were not as good as I had thought! I came to Dallas and talked to almost all the critics. I own their books and videos. But the more I look at the evidence with logic, reason and no bias, the more I realize critics err and Oswald did pull the trigger. So anybody who repeats that (be it Warren or Posner or McAdams), whether with humility or not, is certainly on the right track, to my mind

- C) Although I am not an American living in the US I nonetheless own dozens of books, videos and documents on the Kennedy assassination. I even have on video tapes programs recorded for myself or by friends visiting the US, such as David Lifton on "Hard copy" in 1990, or Marina Oswald on NBC in 1993, and so on. Besides, I have a file dedicated to criticism of Posner's book, and it is full of documents and articles, some of which sent to me by Doctor Wecht (for whom I have great respect and who has always been very kind to me). I also have printed all the articles against Posner's book that I saw on the Internet, most of which appear in "The assassination Web" a site that I have bookmarked. Of course, I own and have read carefully Harold Weisberg's book "Case open". So you see, when you write, I quote, "any credible student of Posner's will know exactly what each refers to", don't worry, I know too. I claim to have an extensive collection of articles written against Gerald Posner's book "Case closed".. Having said that, I must at once tell you that none of that was very convincing! In actual fact, it is precisely those articles against Posner, or, more accurately, their lack of any real arguments, that made me realize that Posner was right. But let me go into more details. In fact, as I have already written in one of my previous articles, the first time I read "Case closed" I was angry. Indeed I had been reading conspiracy books for years, and I had been strongly influenced, if not convinced, by them. There were lots of elements that I took for granted. So the first time I read "Case closed", which seemed to me to be very good quality, I was disturbed. But I felt confident at the time that knowledgeable people (not me, I considered myself as only a student in the case) would be able to bring convincing arguments, or even proof, that Posner was wrong. And I waited anxiously for them to reply. But I was in for a terrible disillusion, which started the process of my changing from a conspiracy believer to a official version defender. Indeed, the first step was the book "Case open", by Harold Weisberg. I mean, very seldom have I read such an appalling book. It is completely empty. Weisberg is angry, and it shows. It is no more than an ad hominem attack. But it is empty. All Weisberg manages to do is show that Posner took credit for someone else's work. But so what? That's not the point. I mean, in our search for the truth, only facts are important, not who takes credit for being the first one to discover them! So as a reader, especially from France, I am concerned with the facts, and the arguments. I really do not care who found such document first, who thought of a particular theory first, and things like that. Weisberg is trying to make fun of Posner, but nowhere, and I stress the word "nowhere" in his book does he give any adequate reply to Posner. And after reading "Case open" twice, I began to realize that, although it was hard for me to acknowledge that fact, Gerald Posner may have been right, and I had been wrong in believing conspiracy theories. Before I go on, let me tell you this briefly. I started researching the Kennedy assassination in 1989, as an amateur. I bought "Best evidence" (the book + the video). At the time I was a living in the US. I even phoned David Lifton (I taped our conversation). I spent hours in a library reading the 26 volumes. I went to Dallas in 1990, met Robert Groden for the first time at the JFK Assassination Research Center(West End Market place) (which is now closed). From then on, I read all that I could on the case, gathering documents, writing letters to researchers, and so on (like most people). At the time, I was influenced by "Best evidence", I thought Lifton must be a competent investigator. I was wrong! At the time, in France, I would give a lecture every year trying to show that there had been a conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination. In a nutshell, I was a French CT. Anyway, as you well know, for I have talked about it at length on this newsgroup, I am a follower of the scientific method of investigation. I have read books on critical thinking methods, and I know that only by following those guidelines can anyone get to the bottom of any particular case. Therefore I tried to apply critical thinking methods (an open mind, no bias, objectivity, and so on) and I have done so ever since. Applying this method is the way to move forward, discard wrong theories, and get to the truth. What matters is not the people who write theories but the arguments and the facts. What matters is not passion but reason. So I had to undertake that endeavor, and apply the good advice to myself. And although I had claimed publicly that there had been a conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination, I soon had to acknowledge I had been wrong! I had to admit I had been influenced by people such as David Lifton, but they had led me in the wrong path. They were mistaken. I realized that. I opened my eyes. But I didn't mind changing sides. Granted, I had been wrong. But it is better to admit having been wrong and correct oneself for the future than being stubborn and too proud to admit having been wrong and remain mistaken all the time! (sorry but I lack the vocabulary to really express my ideas here, but I'm sure you understand what I mean). To make myself clear, here is a quote that I like very much and says it all: "if a man deceive me once, shame on him. If twice, shame on me". Now, for the important part. It is not so much "Case closed" as "Case open" that opened my eyes! Indeed, after reading Posner's book the very first time I was still leaning (or willing to lean) on the conspiracy side. But reading "Case open" (and all the articles against Posner) definitely made me realize that Posner was right. It took time. I opened my eyes little by little, over a few months. But the more I read, the more I was convinced Posner was right. And even better – I think – than Posner's book is John McAdams web site. I mean, even if at first I was reluctant to read it, I now must acknowledge that It is very well done. And it helped open my eyes even better than anything else. It is the best site, by far, on the Kennedy assassination. Very factual, very bright. But let me give you an example (I could give you dozens of them, but one will do, as I believe that would be redundant since they are all alike). There is an article against Posner's book called "the Posner report" (Electronic Assassinations Newsletter, Issue #1, "Case Closed or Posner Exposed?", THE POSNER REPORT: A Study In Propaganda: One Hundred Errors in Gerald Posner's Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK, by David Starks, Copyright 1997, Imagi-Vision, Inc.,
http://home.cynet.net/jfk/ecc.htm). This is probably the worst-quality article I have ever read on the Kennedy assassination. It is almost a typical example of a useless and non-convincing article. Let me give you an example. Take item 11. I quote “Posner seems to have a great trouble getting names right..Posner misspells Declan Ford as Delcan Ford”!!! I mean, what appalling writing! Who cares? This shows that the author doesn't have the faintest idea what critical thinking is, nor weighing evidence, distinguishing between what is important and what is not. I personally don't care if Posner misspelled a few names. He could misspell my name for all I care. That is not relevant. I took that example, but I could have taken any other; they are all of the same vein! Criticizing Posner for his writing style or his alleged misspellings is not only irrelevant, it is ludicrous! It shows you can't attack him on the evidence. I remember writing an article at the time, in which I concluded that if this was all the evidence critics could muster for attacking Posner, their articles were a sad reinforcement of anything Posner had to say! Broadly speaking, my point is the following. As an outside reader, somebody who is interested in the truth and who is not involved in the research community, what matters are the facts, and only the facts. And it is true to say, whatever your beliefs, that Gerald Posner, whatever his failings, talks about the evidence. Let me make myself clear. What matters is the evidence, not what Gerald Posner says about the evidence. I want to make an opinion based on the evidence, pure and simple. And I thank Posner for talking about the evidence. Let me give you an example.. I exchanged letters to Jim Marrs, I read his book "Crossfire" and even talked to him when I was in Dallas in 1996 and taped the interview. He claims the backyard photos were altered. What evidence does he have? Jack White's research! Fine. But Gerald Posner will tell you that experts, and I mean, several very good experts, had a thorough look at the backyard photos, the studied them for the HSCA, and they all concluded that they were genuine. I should add that Marina confirms she took them. What other evidence do you need? Indeed, if you look at McAdams site, you will realize that Jack White is not as knowledgeable in photography as the HSCA experts (see: "Photogrammetry?" What's That?" at http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/experts.htm#JWHITE). So who, between Marrs and Posner, is rendering a disservice to readers? Who is hiding the evidence? I say Posner is telling the truth; the backyard photos are genuine, the government studied them, and only gullible conspiracists (like Jack White) resort to farfetched theories like that one. I thank Posner for having the honesty to let readers know about the HSCA results. Anybody who keeps on saying the backyards photos are fakes, in spite of the HSCA conclusions, is not only wrong, but is misleading readers. So, in that particular instance, I sure am happy that people like Posner tell the truth. And I could go on and on. Let me be perfectly clear. I do no need anyone to tell me what to think. The point is the evidence shows that indeed Oswald pulled the trigger. I mean, I do not need Gerald Posner's or anyone else's coaching to know that. I just need the evidence. The evidence was distorted by the conspiracy theorists whom I had trusted. Thanks to Posner I learned what the evidence was, and now I can see for myself that indeed Oswald fired the shots. I must add that Jim Moore, in his book "Conspiracy of one" did also a marvelous job in debunking lots of conspiracy theorists falsehoods! And what I like with Moore and Posner is that they tell you to look at the evidence for yourself. And unlike the conspiracy books, which give only a distorted side to the story, they let you know the true facts! Conspiracy books give you theories, Posner gives you facts! That's why I respect and thank him. Bottom line: the Zapruder film is genuine (see Clint Bradford's excellent job on the Internet; his page: http://www.pe.net/~atd/zapr-2.htm is a must-see). The backyard photos are genuine. The autopsy X-rays and photos are genuine (again, read JAMA and all). Clay Shaw was not involved in a conspiracy (that's what you yourself stipulate on this newsgroup), etc, etc. To sum up my point (because I can see my post is rather long, although I have lots more to say). I say conspiracy theorists talk about theories, when Gerald Posner talks about the evidence and the facts. Posner said Oswald killed Kennedy simply because he looked at the evidence and it showed Oswald had killed Kennedy. It's that simple! If the evidence had showed there had been a conspiracy, be sure that Gerald Posner would have said so. But hey, Mister Reitzes, you can't possibly be angry with a man who repeats what the evidence shows! The evidence shows Oswald did it, like it or not. So Posner, in an attempt to enlighten the American people, let them know that the truth is that the evidence indeed points to Oswald's guilt, unlike what conspiracy theories had claimed. That's all there is to it! I must add that by now I know very well the conspiracy community, for I taped interviewed lots of researchers. When I was in Dallas, I learned more about the quarrels between researchers than about the evidence (so and so is a thief, so and so is a liar, so and so is stupid, etc.). Critics to the Warren Commission never stop spitting at one another, and the newsgroups are full of useless posts where no evidence whatsoever is to be found, to say the least! It gets ugly more often than not (see the recent arguments between Lifton and Aguilar, which made me sad, as I have much respect for David Lifton the man, even if I disagree with David Lifton the critic, most of all because he never had the open mind or the guts to answer the criticism raised by such people as Artwohl, Wecht, Moore, etc.). Overall, it is poor quality and Posner's work is so good quality compared to that! My final point. I believe critics are jealous of Posner. Just think, they spent ten, twenty, thirty years, chasing shadows, doing research, trying to prove a theory (and some of them working very hard), and then comes a guy who in a few months gather as much knowledge as they have in thirty years, and does a better job at getting at the truth. This must be very frustrating. Indeed the media were quick to spot the best-quality work. If the media all go to Posner as an authority, it is simply because he has as much knowledge as anybody regarding the facts, but on top of that he has no bias (or, to be precise, far less bias) than anyone else. So he is the most sensible, reliable, reasonable person to interview. Now ask yourself; if a national media (say CNN) would invite a Kennedy assassination expert, who would you like them to invite and question? Jack White, saying the Zapruder film was altered? (I don't think Clint Bradford would appreciate!). Or David Lifton, saying the body was altered? (I don't think Robert Groden would appreciate!). Or Jim Marrs, saying Clay Shaw is Clay Bertrand? (I don't think you, Mister Reitzes, would appreciate!).. I mean, Posner talks about the evidence, that's why I would invite him if I were a journalist. But CT's talk about their own theories (which, for that matter, are not accepted by other critics), so inviting them is like – I dare say – inviting UFO buffs, whose claims cannot be checked. Not very serious! I understand the media considering Posner as an expert! But I also understand how hard to swallow it must be for the critics who have been considering themselves as experts for so many years to admit not only that they had been wrong, but that one man have proved himself to be better at analyzing the evidence. But hey, people are rarely grateful for a demonstration of their credulity. That's human nature. I guess pride is something you must take into account!

- D) I looked at the evidence, and I saw that Lee Oswald killed Kennedy. That is why he left the building, came back to his rooming apartment, took his gun, and ran away (would he have done so if he was truly innocent?).

- E) Regarding the American Bar association mock trial of Lee Harvey Oswald, and all that. The controversy is talked about at length in "Case open" and elsewhere. But what is the problem? First of all, as I said, it doesn't really matter who takes the credit between Posner and Failure analysis. But just think. Failure Analysis did a computer model of the possibility for Oswald to have fired the shots, right? And indeed they were able to show that it was possible for him to shoot. Case closed! I mean, critics had been claiming it was a complete impossibility for Oswald to have fired. But Failure Analysis – and not Posner, think of it – managed to show that indeed it was a physical possibility. That in itself does not prove that Oswald did it. But it shows that it can have been done from the sniper's nest. That is very important! It proves the critics were wrong in claiming it was not possible for Oswald to have fired. Failure Analysis showed it was possible. So, now, is anyone going to claim Failure Analysis are in the conspiracy to frame Oswald? Now, Posner uses that as an argument to destroy the critics' claim that Oswald could not do the shooting. But that's not all that he has; he has lots of other evidence to bolster his claim that Oswald was the assassin!

- F) Let's talk about Doctor Perry, for example, who said on November 22 that he thought Kennedy was shot from the front, and now says he believes JFK was shot from the rear, based on the evidence he has. Well, why not believe Perry after all? I mean, what you have is the surgeon who worked on JFK to try to save his life. An American citizen, intelligent, mature, and very well situated to see what happened in actuality. Well that person, with all his knowledge, says he believes the autopsy report and the official version (and he wrote to me last year saying so). Well why not believe him? All you are doing is taking half of what he said over the years, rejecting it, and keeping the other half because it suits you. Well, Posner does the same with the other half. What can I say? Both of you will have to back that part of the testimony you choose to keep with solid evidence. Obviously taking only a piece of testimony that suit your theory won't help, because it is not enough to prove any particular point. I know there is also the problem of the cerebellum that doctors saw and talked about in their deposition in the Warren Report. Well, for one thing it shows the Warren commissioners did not conspire to hide the doctors' depositions that may add fuel to the critics' theories! And for another, well, I don't know. I have read Crenshaw's book and article "Let set the record straight". Indeed it can seem impressive when you read it as a single piece of evidence, on its own. But when you look at the whole case, you have to have a broader view. And follow Lifton's advice to seek the best evidence. Because anybody can go to the thousands of eyewitness depositions over the thirty years and find one sentence that can prove any theory, really. But that's out of context. What I know is that Doctor Perry says he was mistaken on November 22, 1963 when he said that he thought the shot came from the front, and that was because he had no time to take a good look at the president's wounds. He was in such a rush to try to save his life that he didn't really see the wounds. To me, that's all there is to it! Doctor Perry says the autopsy report stands. I believe him! I mean on the sixth floor of the book depository was Oswald's rifle (the same as the one in the picture taken by Marina). Oswald lied to the police during his weekend in custody. He had tried to shoot a policeman with his gun in the theater less than two hours after Kennedy had been shot (hardly the behavior an innocent man working in the depository would be expected to show), etc. Clearly he is guilty. I do not believe that "selective use of eyewitness testimony" - whoever does it - can alter that fact!

- G) If you believe the conspiracy theorists, the body was altered, the backyard photos were altered, the autopsy X-rays were altered, the autopsy photos were altered, the Zapruder film was altered, there were two Oswalds, ....etc. What else? I can't help it! If they really believe that, there is nothing I could do to dissuade them!

- H) - I happen to believe that the American government is a good one.
- I happen to believe the CIA and FBI would never ever even think of killing the President of the United States.
- I happen to believe that the evidence is overwhelming that indeed a guy named Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots and killed John Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963.
- I happen to believe that an American citizen named David Lifton who spent all his life trying to show that Kennedy's body had been stolen and tampered with is mistaken and wrong. I find it sad to waste so much time in dead end issues. (I mean, you only live once, and there are lots of sides to life far more interesting and exciting than trying to prove a logical impossibility).
- I happen to believe that an American citizen named Jack White, who spent loads of his time trying to show the Zapruder film had been altered is both mistaken and wrong. (+ same as above). Some people on this newsgroup insult me just because I have those beliefs! It's up to them! I am convinced, nonetheless, that sane and mature people will agree with me

- I) Many conspiracy theorists have a reconstruction of the shooting that happened only in their dreams! If no one dares tell them, then I, for one, am willing to call a spade a spade in front of them! I'll tell you what: conspiracy theorists suffer from PARANOIA!

- J) Contrary to what was seen in several posts on this newsgroup, Gerald Posner acknowledged the Oswald-Ferrie Civil Air Patrol photo and that they apparently knew each other during Oswald's CAP days (see his updated paperback edition of "Case closed", 1994). But the question then becomes whether they rekindled any relationship in the Summer of 1963, only months before Kennedy's death. For that period, Gerald Posner still finds no credible evidence that they had renewed any acquaintance. Now, that is what I call scholarship, humility and honesty. But angry conspiracy theorists won't be satisfied with that!

- K) Below is a citation I like mentioning. Please read it carefully. It surely applies to lots of "researchers" here!
"A psychiatrist was consulted by a patient with a very peculiar delusion. He was convinced that he was dead, and nothing could be done to dissuade him of this. The psychiatrist tried to reason with him. "Tell me", he said, "do dead men bleed?" "No, of course not!" cried the patient. "That is a stupid question!" The psychiatrist pricked the man's finger with a needle, and a drop of blood appeared. "And what do you conclude from that?" asked the psychiatrist. The patient paused for a few seconds to examine the wound. "Obviously I was wrong", he murmured quietly. "Dead men do bleed..."
(from James Randi's book "The truth about Uri Geller", Prometheus Books, 1982, p61)

To sum up:
1. Lee Harvey Oswald fired shots at President Kennedy on 11/22/63.
2. The Dallas police department reported it, as it was obvious!
3. The Warren Commission repeated it.
4. Jim Moore repeated it.
5. Gerald Posner repeated it.
6. John McAdams repeated it.
7. and I am repeating it now!

[François Carlier]

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I received some comments after that article was posted on the newsgroups. Some people agreed with me, others didn't. That was to be expected.

Let me quote below a nice comment I was pleased to receive from author Dale Myers:
"I found your recent post to be most refreshing. Thank you for a lucid and carefully thought-out analysis of the case. There is hope yet, that the world will come to terms with the truth.[Dale Myers]."

Also some people, like David Reitzes, a well-known poster on the alt.conspiracy.jfk newsgroup who has made lots of enemies by being very sarcastic and unpleasant, could only resort to insults against me. They do not deserve to be quoted here.

But I also received a reply by Martin Shackelford. He does not agree with me, and his reply is a criticism against me and my article. But F.A.C.T.S. is an open forum. And Martin Shackelford's article is well-written and may help my readers making a better opinion by having another point of view and reading an article pinpointing the mistakes I may have made. So Martin, you have the floor:

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[Article by Martin Shackelford,
reprinted from alt.conspiracy.jfk

It seems like only yesterday that I was picking apart the false arguments put forth by Jim Fetzer in his defenses of Assassination Science and Zapruder film alteration. Now, it's your turn. You're right: Posner's dishonest 1993 brief is a side issue. By the time it was written, critics had been dissecting the official case for 30 years, with varying degrees of soundness. The fact that Posner agreed with the Warren Commission, Jim Moore and others, however, doesn't make him any more right than they were. Posner is only one of the more recent foci of criticism--there have been others before (David Belin, John Sparrow, Charles Roberts, Stephen White, Jean Davison, Jim Moore, Albert Newman, etc.) and since (Gus Russo, Norman Mailer, etc.). You say that "Science has proved - beyond any doubt - that Lee Oswald killed JFK," which seems to ignore:
1) There were no fresh prints on the rifle.
2) There is no firm evidence that Oswald was on the 6th floor at the time of the shooting, and contradictory testimony on the matter, with only one witness belatedly identifying him as being up there.
3) A paraffin test showing no evidence Oswald had fired a weapon.
4) PSE (Psychological Stress Evaluator) processing of Oswald's statement, "I didn't shoot anybody, no sir," by a former CIA employee, George O'Toole, trained in PSE, found no evidence of deception.
If you can't put Oswald on the 6th floor with the rifle in his hand, none of the other scientific evidence is probative of his guilt--to use a little "common sense and critical thinking," which you seem not to be applying to the Warren Report and its "supporting" evidence.
Although you say Posner is irrelevant, you seem to spend a lot of time yourself talking about him. I've critiqued his book--without "ad hominem attacks":
Your next statement, about "conspiracy theorists, who earn money thanks to their theories and don't want them to be debunked," is an old, oft-repeated, and tedious falsehood. Very few conspiracy theorists have earned any money from this case, and some who have ploughed it back into further research, adding more of their own money to that. This is not a profitable line of research, François. There are no grants, no big advances, very few bestsellers.
The idea that people were reacting to Posner, rather than doing research, in an insult to the many researchers who spent three decades studying this case before Posner ever appeared on the scene. There had been other Warren Commission defenders--Posner just got more of a reaction because of his book's fundamental dishonesty, and the way the media embraced it like The Gospel, treating an inept newcomer (with whom they agreed) as though he were the ultimate expert on the case. For those to whom his sloppiness and deceit were obvious, this grated.
Your discussion of eyewitness testimony is very good, and over-reliance on eyewitness testimony is indeed a failing of some conspiracy theorists. It was also a failing of the Warren Commission, which relied in part on the testimony of Howard Brennan, who didn't identify Oswald until after he saw him on television, and may originally have reported only seeing the end of a rifle sticking out a window (see testimony of James Jarman, which seems to describe Brennan's first account in front of the TSBD). His testimony contradicts that of EVERY OTHER witness who saw someone in a 6th floor window. When you have a number of conflicting witnesses, you look for common elements--in this case, the common elements didn't match Oswald. It is also misleading refer to this aspect of the case as happening "in 20 seconds," as some witnesses had been observing men in the 6th floor windows on and off for as long as 15 minutes by the time shots were fired. It is true that later statements may be less reliable than earlier ones (why, then, does Posner rely so much on later statements?; why do you do the same thing in the section of your post regarding Dr. Perry?). Most criticism of the Warren Report was initially based on the earliest statements, contained in the 26 volumes and in witness interviews from the media that first day. It is also true that statements are taken out of context by less than scrupulous researchers--including Posner (who does worse--he blends the statements of two witnesses--Linnie Mae Randle and Buell Wesley Frazier-- into something neither said).
You say "Bottom line: It is wrong to rely on eyewitness testimony." I would say "It is wrong to rely ONLY on eyewitness testimony." It is also wrong to ignore it. The fact that David Lifton and Jack White misuse or misinterpret such testimony (for which they have been criticized by other conspiracy researchers) doesn't mean it CAN'T be used properly. And you focus on David Lifton's video rather than his much better-documented book, because it makes your point better--but it's another very misleading tactic. Next you leap to the statement that "all conspiracy theories are" based solely ("or mostly") on eyewitness statements, "to my mind." If that's true, you haven't read (or retained) as many conspiracy books as you claim. Some books rely heavily on the photographic evidence you suggest using as a test of eyewitness testimony (not Posner, though--he often refers vaguely to "the photographic evidence" without specifying what he's talking about--and when the film or photograph is discernible, it often fails to support what he's saying). You refer to "hard evidence," and describe it as "photos, the medical reports and police conclusions based on facts, etc." This is a slippery little sentence. A photo is hard evidence. A medical report is secondary evidence unless fully supported by documentation, rather iffy in this case. "Police conclusions" are NOT hard evidence at all--"based on facts" is meaningless unless there is general agreement on what the facts are. And a false conclusion may be "based on facts," if only some facts are available, and other relevant facts are concealed--as in this case.
Your third point argues that there is no research community. You falsely suggest that the JFK newsgroups are representative of the research community (most of the best researchers don't post); you note factional conflicts as though "real" research communities don't have them (they do--and some of the conflicts are legendary); you equate disunity with error (there is no one "conspiracy theory," but there is only one "official theory," so more conflict would be expected among conspiracy theorists); you say that conspiracy theorists "are on the same side" (since when are persons with severely conflicting theories "on the same side"?); you say "none of them agrees with any others," which is quite false; you say "there are almost as many theories as there are researchers," which is also false, as the number of generally accepted possible theories has dwindled to a handful (from a high of 66, as Esquire calculated three decades ago); you say "all these conspiracy theories are incompatible with one another," but you fail to note that many of them overlap and are not that far apart. You continue with the "hot news" that conspiracy theorists are more likely to spot someone else's errors than their own--this is human nature, and extends far beyond conspiracy researchers, and back to the Bible--with its mote in the eye--if not farther. You say "all of this is not very serious, not very professional." I would agree that some of what it claimed is not very serious--but that's no excuse to ignore what is serious. True, many of us are not professionals, but some are, and in studying matters relating to their own fields, they, too, find conspiracy. You say that "most of what is written is very low quality"--again, no excuse for ignoring the quality research. This is not a new point. Conspiracy researchers often say there are no more than ten or a dozen or so significant conspiracy books--and their lists often overlap, and sometimes agree fully, another indication that there is less conflict than you suggest. You say that Jack White "is still regarded as an expert by critics." That should be "some critics," as you imply that this is true of all critics, or even most critics, but even some who believe in Zapruder alteration doubt his expertise. Others grant him expertise in some respects, and not in others. He himself has admitted he's not an expert in film. Your conclusion that, after the infighting, "there's nothing left" is unwarranted. The debunking within the research community is a vital process which has helped narrow down the theories--something you earlier sound like you would support, but here you use as a criticism.
Another false claim is that "all I received was ad hominem attacks and sarcasm" on this newsgroup. You really need to re-read some of the responses to your posts (unless you think that this one is also nothing more than an "ad hominem attack," in which case you simply don't know what it means). Dismissing Dave Reitzes' posts with a reference to a comment about Jerry Lewis ignores the many well-documented and well-argued posts he has written (some of which you would agree with), and is a cheap shot. Your point five is just a repetition of earlier misleading claims, and a statement that you are writing a book without the CIA. Of course, people can be dead wrong WITHOUT the help of the CIA, so this is perfectly credible. The fact that you once believed in conspiracy (and got burned by "Best Evidence") and no longer do doesn't mean that you're right--it just means that (like before) you still think you are. Then, you thought you were right when you believed in conspiracy, now you think you are right when you don't. THAT'S the "bottom line." You say that "Case Open" raised your suspicions that Posner might be right. Apparently, you were unaware that the publisher only used a portion of a much longer manuscript Weisberg wrote critiquing Posner. You falsely dismiss all criticisms of Posner as being comparable to noting that he seems to be a sloppy speller of names ("they are all of the same vein"). This is nonsense, and I suspect that even you are well aware of that. By misrepresenting this (the false premise), you go on to the false conclusion that "It shows you can't attack him on the evidence," but many have done so. You say "Gerald Posner, whatever his failings, talks about the evidence." One of his failings, in fact, is that he talks falsely about the evidence. Another is that he retreats to vague references rather than specific cites when the evidence doesn't support his argument. In addition, he ignores inconvenient evidence, as some of the sloppier critics also do. So the backyard photos are probably authentic. Like yourself, I once believed them fakes, and no longer do. Unlike yourself, I haven't thrown the good evidence out with the bad. You ask "who, between Marrs and Posner, is rendering a disservice to his readers?" I would say both, but at least Marrs tells his readers not to trust his book without checking things out themselves. "I sure am happy that people like Posner tell the truth"--very humorous. "I don't need anyone to tell me what to think," you say, yet you post a ten-page essay instructing others what to think. Apparently you think that most of us need YOU to tell them what to think. You say of Jim Moore and Gerald Posner that "they tell you to look at the evidence for yourself." This is essentially true of Moore, but Posner often doesn't tell you what evidence he is referring to, thus making it hard to look at it yourself. Also, he has declined to make his interviews available, unlike Harrison Livingstone, David Lifton and Vince Palamara, among others. Repeating multiple times that "Posner gives you facts" doesn't make it so. Another oft-repeated falsehood follows: "critics are jealous of Posner." They may be jealous of the media attention he receives, but not of the man, and certainly not of the book. Most regard him as a weasel, not something they wish to emulate. As for the media attention, you attribute it to "the media were quick to spot the best-quality work." Is that why they were so quick to take Mark Lane and David Lifton seriously initially? The media was superficial then, and they remain superficial. They rely too often on others for "the truth," and are often careless about who they rely upon (Extra! magazine has often commented on the "regular stable of experts" used by the major media, often on subjects about which they have no specific background at all). On the assassination, they have relied on historians like Stephen Ambrose and Michael Beschloss, neither of whom has studied the evidence in this case (ignoring historians like Michael Kurtz, David Wrone and John Newman, who have). The Detroit papers rely on a Wayne State University professor who knows next to nothing about the case. And so it goes. Posner has "no bias"? You're joking again, aren't you? Posner believes Robert Kennedy is to blame for the cover-up--that isn't a bias? And that is only one of many. After the assassination, you say, Oswald went home, got his gun, and "ran away." Going to his neighborhood movie theater is "running away"? Not very effective, I'd say. I often go to a movie after work. I don't take a gun, but then I haven't suspected that someone has set me up for a murder, either. Regarding Failure Analysis, you participate in the same distortion as Posner. You fail to mention that Failure Analysis was hired to make up graphic material for BOTH SIDES of the argument--conspiracy and no conspiracy; that their "defense" graphics raised doubts whether it WAS possible for Oswald to have fired the shots as described, but that Posner ignored the "defense" material altogether, and pretended that Failure Analysis had done an objective study of the case and came out against conspiracy. Perhaps your most deceptive discussion focuses on the medical evidence. You single out Dr. Perry's initial statement that the bullet entered JFK's throat from the front, note that he now believes the official version, and leave it at that.. Talk about "selective use of eyewitness testimony"!!!! You fail to address the large exit wound in the rear of the head that was reported by most of the witnesses at Parkland--AND at Bethesda! You take the easy way out, and use tactics you accuse critics of adopting. At least you were right about one thing: people "are quick to point out the mistakes made by other" researchers, "but they don't see their own!" Your next deception lumps all "conspiracy theorists" together in believing:
1) the body was altered (most don't).
2) the backyard photos were altered (some don't)
3) the autopsy X-rays were altered (many don't)
4) the autopsy photos were altered (many don't)
5) the Zapruder film was altered (most don't)
6) there were two Oswalds (this one remains in dispute)
then uses this supposed "agreement" to dismiss them all. Very Posnerian. You learned a lot from reading Case Closed--unfortunately, you didn't learn much from it about the assassination. I would agree with you that the American government is essentially good; that the FBI and CIA, as institutions, would be unlikely planners of a presidential assassination; that Lifton and White have been wrong about some key points--but I don't agree that "the evidence is overwhelming" for Oswald's guilt. And if YOU believed it, you wouldn't have spent such a small percentage of your post talking about the evidence. You accuse your critics of being paranoid, but you've just defined everyone who disagrees with you as other than "sane and mature people." Perhaps you're delusional, François.

[Martin Shackelford]

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Thank you for a good article, Mister Shackelford. But let me correct you; I never said I had ever believed the backyard photos were fakes. Reading your article, I feel you are not correcting me, rather you are refining my points. Like it or not, Oswald was running away when he left the TSBD and rushed to the theater after having picked up his gun at his rooming house. Don't tell me you think he went to the theater just like that! Also, you are accusing me of falsely suggesting that the JFK newsgroups are representative of the research community. Well, you're right, that's not the case (although, hey, the JFK newsgroups are a community of people who are interested in, if not "researching", the Kennedy assassination), and if I gave you the impression that I meant it, I'm sorry. Now, to address your specific point, regarding Gerald Posner's alleged blending of the statements of two witnesses--Linnie Mae Randle and Buell Wesley Frazier-- into something neither said. Well, I can only say bluntly and clearly that blending the statements of witnesses - for whatever reason - is a technique that I reject and totally disagree with! This should never be done, although it does not make any difference as to what the evidence shows. So, I agree with you on that, no question! But Gerald Posner has to speak for himself and I hope he will answer you on that specific point, and I am eager to know what his reply will be. As to the first three points you raise, they have been answered at length elsewhere, and you haven't brought anything new. You're saying that there is "no firm evidence that Oswald was on the 6th floor at the time of the shooting". Well, what do you need? I bet if we had a clear, color picture of Oswald shooting from the 6th floor, you wouldn't be convinced. It's not a question of evidence in this case, it's a question of your will to admit it or not! In fact, I say that your article is a commentary, and by no means a rebuttal.

My final reply:
I stand by my statements, which can be summed-up very quickly:
- I say, good researchers should be able to reach a conclusion just by looking at the evidence in the case, regardless of what anybody may have written thirty years after the events.
- I say, the evidence shows that Lee Harvey Oswald fired the shots.
- I say there are lots of people among critics who claim to be experts but whose work is appalling and ludicrous and as far from the truth as can be.
- I say, since the evidence shows that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin, it is time to acknowledge it once and for all.
- I say, Gerald Posner wrote a good book. He is just a human being, like all of us, and it follows that his book is not perfect. But Posner hit the mark. Like it or not, for all his supposed failings, he has understood that the case was indeed closed. His book is a healthy antidote to all the crap written by self-proclaimed conspiracy experts. Like it or not, (and there was a time when I myself was upset at Gerald Posner's conclusions) Posner's conclusions are right, in that he tells the story that actually happened (Oswald did it), and no amount of talking and arguing will ever change that fact!

A new book published in France.

A new book hit the stands in France at the end of 1998. Its title: "JFK, autopsie d'un crime d'Etat". Its author: William Reymond. Reymond is what we call a conspiracy theorist. Some of you might know him, since he attended the 1997 JFK-Lancer November in Dallas conference and can be seen on Jack White's latest video "The Great Zapruder Film Hoax".
As most of you know by now, there is a French skeptical organization like the American C.S.I.C.O.P. (Committee for the Scientific Organization of Claims of the Paranormal); it is called the Cercle Zététique; I belong to it (see our web site:
http://www.zetetique.ldh.org/).. Well, our president, Paul-Eric Blanrue, has himself studied the Kennedy assassination mystery with an open mind and his critical-thinking skills. He has written and published articles that are online (see: http://www.zetetique.ldh.org/kennedy.html), and his unbiased approach to the case has been helpful to me. Blanrue read William Reymond's new book and wrote a critical appraisal, which I found very good, and which I have decided to reprint here (Unfortunately for most of my readers, this article is in French. Some of you may have to ask for some help to translate it. Well, I may try to translate it later on for those of my readers who ask me to do so). In his article, Paul-Eric Blanrue, who is not about to be taken in by nonsense and believes in the official version of the assassination, makes it plain that Reymond's work is not worth the paper it is printed on!

"Rien de neuf à Dallas"

Il y a 35 ans, le 22 novembre 1963, le Président Kennedy était assassiné à Dallas. Pour commémorer le tragique événement, un livre vient de paraître aux éditions Flammarion (les éditions de Trottinette et de l'Encorné): JFK, autopsie d'un crime d'État.. Son auteur : William Reymond, un journaliste français qui s'est déjà illustré en "revisitant" l'affaire Dominici.
Autant le dire d'emblée, ce livre est consternant.

Reymond ne se contente pas d'y défendre la thèse à la mode, celle de la conspiration, il accomplit le tour de force de fondre en un seul livre, la plupart des thèses conspirationnistes qui ont cours outre-Atlantique. Alchimie qui ne transforme pas ces presque 500 pages en un cocktail explosif, comme espéré par le lecteur, mais plutôt en bouillie indigeste.

Selon le journaliste, c'est bien simple, ils sont tous coupables, ils ont tous participé de près ou de loin à l'élaboration, à la mise en œuvre du complot assassin et à la disparition subséquente des "preuves". "Ils" : des extrémistes cubains anti-castristes, des membres marginaux de la CIA, des membres du Secret Service, du DPD, d'anciens tueurs de l'O.A.S., le FBI, la police de Dallas, des compagnons de route de la mafia, des milliardaires texans, le propriétaire du Texas School Book Depository, l'agent Tippit, le futur président Lyndon Johnson, le gouverneur Connally...! Le point commun des tueurs : la "haine viscérale du communisme" - ou plutôt, écrit Reymond : le "fascisme". Pardi!
Pour Reymond, toutes les pièces du dossier ont été truquées. Les photos montrant Oswald posant sa MC en main, les photos de l'autopsie, les radiographies, le corps même du Président ont été maquillées. Le film de Zapruder (celui que nous connaissons tous et qui a fait le succès de Garrison) a été trafiqué. Le "journal intime" d'Oswald est un faux. Les complotistes étaient infiltrés partout. Ils avaient la haute main sur tout. Point d'orgue du livre : Oswald lui-même n'a pas vraiment existé! Ou plutôt, ils étaient deux, depuis leurs naissances (Lee Oswald de Forth Worth et Harvey Oswald de New York). Par la suite, ils se sont démultipliés, pour que nous n'y comprenions plus rien - sauf, bien sûr, Reymond, qui a l'œil! L'aigle nous assène d'ailleurs que l'homme enterré sous le nom d'Oswald n'est pas le vrai Lee Harvey... bien que les analyses effectuées sur le corps exhumé aient prouvé le contraire.

La pierre angulaire de l'édifice : les témoignages, des tonnes de témoignages, une avalanche de témoignages! Pris pour argent comptant lorsqu'ils entrent dans le jeu complotiste, dédaignés lorsqu'ils l'infirment, soigneusement sélectionnés lorsqu'ils permettent un "effet" avantageux. Un exemple, la première "preuve" de complot brandie par Reymond. Mise en présence des photos montrant Oswald avec les armes qui ont servi aux meurtres de Kennedy et de l'agent Tippit, la femme du "tueur présumé", Marina, les reconnaît et affirme les avoir prises elle-même. Gênant, puisque ces photos accréditent qu'Oswald possédait bien les armes du crime. Pour contrer ce fait dérangeant, Reymond reprend l'argumentation complotiste traditionnelle : Marina a dû céder aux pressions exercées par les officiels, car, Soviétique d'origine, elle craignait d'être renvoyée dans son pays. Seul problème, non évoqué par l'auteur : Marina continue aujourd'hui, alors même qu'elle ne croit plus à la culpabilité de son défunt mari, alors que manifestement elle ne risque plus d'être expatriée, de revendiquer ces prises de vue. Ce qui ruine irrémédiablement toute la démonstration précédente. Pour faire bonne mesure, Reymond a également été obligé de "taire" le fait que les analyses faites sur ces clichés prouvaient qu'ils étaient absolument authentiques et non retouchés, contrairement à l'idée habilement répandue par les "chercheurs indépendants". Des omissions, des approximations de ce genre courent par centaines dans le livre de Reymond.

Hypercritique avec la thèse de la Commission Warren ("l'hypercriticisme étant à la critique ce que la finasserie est à la finesse", comme disaient Langlois et Seignobos), Reymond se révèle étrangement souple avec les contradictions des témoins qu'il cite à la barre. Citant les quelques rares personnes qui ont cru entendre des tirs provenant du Grassy Knoll, il "oublie" par exemple que l'énorme majorité des témoins a désigné le Book Depository. Un témoin affirme qu'il a vu Oswald à un stand de tir, alors que le même jour, à la même heure, ce dernier se trouvait en famille? Rien de plus normal, pour le sagace Reymond : il y a eu embauche d'un sosie! Mis devant des impossibilités physiques radicales (bilocation), il préfère accumuler les Oswald, plutôt que d'envisager l'éventualité que des gens se soient trompés ou aient menti. Pour lui, d'ailleurs, un témoignage produit 20 ans après les faits est aussi valable que celui enregistré dans les jours suivants. Jamais, le journaliste ne s'étonne des précisions et des détails qui apparaissent avec le temps. Jamais, il ne se demande ce qui peut pousser des gens à agrémenter leurs récits d'enjolivements divers (c'est pourtant le b-a ba de la critique de témoignages). Une danseuses du Carrousel prétend que, deux semaines avant l'assassinat, Ruby lui a présenté Oswald en lui disant : " Voici Lee Oswald de la CIA ". Et il faut la croire! Car les seuls qui mentent, ce sont, toujours, quoi qu'ils fassent, les "autres", les méchants! Un peu facile!
Côté matériel, la situation est aussi critique. Evoquant plus d'une dizaine de fois l'existence de photos confondantes pour la "thèse officielle", le journaliste est incapable d'en produire une seule qui emporte l'adhésion. Pour cause, il suffit de les regarder attentivement (dans les livres où Reymond va les dénicher, celui de Groden entre autres) pour s'apercevoir que ces documents ne valent rien, que les "évidences" alléguées n'en sont pas, que les agrandissements des pseudo-tueurs sont tout sauf convaincantes. Ce n'est pas un hasard si Reymond n'a pas osé les produire! Résultat, son dossier iconographique est inconsistant : sur les quelques malheureuses photos qu'il présente, il ne se rend pas compte que si les visages d'Oswald semblent parfois différer, c'est tout simplement à cause... de l'angle de la prise de vue! Il a beau jeu d'expliquer que les photos d'autopsie divergent, et qu'elles contredisent les radios... alors qu'un panel d'experts a démontré que les unes et les autres étaient parfaitement authentiques! (ce dont le lecteur ne sera pas tenu informé).

La seule photo truquée du livre est en fin de compte celle de la couverture!

Le plus grave est peut-être d'avoir emprunté à Lifton, sur un chapitre entier ("La Grande manipulation"), une thèse tellement abracadabrante (le maquillage du corps de Kennedy dans Air Force One), que son auteur lui-même a été contraint de la désavouer! (ce que personne ne saura non plus). Passons.

Une chose est certaine : tout ceci n'est pas très professionnel, ni très "déontologique", pour employer un mot à la mode. Ces erreurs et ces torsions de faits s'expliquent peut-être parce que, malgré les apparences, Reymond n'a quasiment mené aucune enquête personnelle. Il est allé à Dallas? Peut-être. Mais pour y faire quoi? Pour copier-coller les livres complotistes américains (pratique qui explique sans doute que les documents présentés ne soient quasiment jamais référencés), le déplacement ne valait pas la peine.
Bref, le livre de Reymond, qui n'apporte aucune nouveauté, aucune originalité, et n'offre aucun recul par rapport aux délires complotistes classiques, est la meilleure preuve qu'il n'y a rien de neuf sous le soleil fatigué d'Elm Street.

[Paul-Éric Blanrue].

Very good indeed!
As a point of fact, William Reymond adds up all the conspiracy theories into one bunch. According to him:
the Zapruder film was altered, the backyard photos were altered, the autopsy X-rays were altered, the autopsy photos were altered, the body was altered, there were two Oswalds, etc. Everything was altered!
The FBI + the CIA + the DPD + the Mafia + Texas oilmen + the French intelligence + anti-Castro Cubans + Lyndon Johnsonetc. Everybody did it!
When you read Reymond's book, you think all the conspiracy theorists agree with each other. He never tells his readers that many conspiracy theorists do not agree with each other and that lots of theories just don't add up. I know that, as I wrote in the previous issue of F.A.C.T.S., Robert Groden says that Lifton's theory of body alteration is wrong, David Lifton says that Armstrong's theory of two Oswalds is wrong, Clint Bradford says that Fetzer's theory of Zapruder film alteration is wrong, and so on and so forth. But William Reymond makes it appear that everybody agrees and everybody is right! Everybody has a theory that works! And all of them add up to prove there was a conspiracy!
It is utter nonsense.
William Reymond seems to be very gullible! He sure doesn't seem to have checked his data. He has bought everything he read and went on to print all he could!

As for me, I challenged William Reymond several times. I suggested we could have a public debate, me and him, over specific points on the Kennedy assassination, and we would publish our debate online (on the Cercle Zététique's site), for everybody to read and make their own opinion based on our arguments. Reymond found a lame excuse after several weeks to back out. He will never dare challenge me. His book is full of mistakes that any beginner could debunk! He knows everything I write, since I always send him this journal. Of course, he is welcome to have his say, should he agree with my open challenge. But I am not holding my breath!


It may seem to some people that I am being too blunt and that I have quite a nerve when I criticize American researchers and writers. Well, let it be known that I find it quite sound to apply a healthy dose of critical thinking to any area of interest and particularly to such a controversial and much-talked-about issue as the Kennedy assassination. I have often stated that I am willing to call a spade a spade, and if I read a book that is a sham, you can rely on me to let people know that indeed it is a sham! I am not fighting people, I am fighting bad arguments and low-level writings! I am fighting errors, regardless of who makes them. I am trying to fight for the truth, nothing more! Cold realities, evidence, facts and actual events are my work foundation. Theories, suppositions, wishful thinking, subjectivity self-promotion, half-truths, bias, stupidity and the twisting of facts to suit pre-conceived theories are the enemies I fight against. But again, I do not fight people. For example, I have talked at length in F.A.C.T.S. against David Lifton's theory of body alteration, and I have vehemently criticized him for not having the guts or the intellectual honesty to answer all the pertinent questions raised by knowledgeable people against his book. I maintain what I wrote. But having said that, it is true to say that Lifton did a very impressive job. He showed great courage and perseverance and his book "Best evidence" is very factual and informative. His video tape is moving, at that. I am not, and will never be making fun of David Lifton. I attack his reasoning, and I criticize his lack of critical thinking skills and open-mindedness. But his achievements, albeit in the wrong direction, cannot be overlooked or laughed at.

There is a point I would like to develop in another issue of F.A.C.T.S., but which I'll mention briefly here. It is the issue of the harm done by the conspiracy theorists. My point is that critics to the Warren Commission, or "conspiracy theorists" do more harm to the U.S. than any conspiracy would. They paint an ill-disposed U.S. government, and a CIA ready to kill its commander-in-chief and lie to the American public at will. I dare say: "it's too bad to be true!". There is a newspaper article I came across that I would recommend every American citizen to read. Its title is "Troops obey Clinton despite disdain", and it was printed in USA Today, Thursday, November 19, 1998. It is a fine article that shows that yours is a fine country. Although Bill Clinton is not popular at all with the military, I quote: “No one should confuse the military's distaste for the man with disrespect for the office he's keeping warm. Service members understand implicitly that our constitutional system demands subordination to civilian authority, of which Clinton - flawed as he is - is the embodiment”. To the conspiracy theorists
think about it!

8 Next November, I'll be in Dallas. I really wish to attend the last conferences before the year 2000. So I'll attend both the COPA and the JFK-Lancer conferences. My goal is to talk directly to researchers, and make myself available by the same token, to all those who debated with me on the Internet newsgroups. I'll try to represent the official version among conspiracy-oriented thinkers.
Hope you'll show up!

See you there!

God grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom always to tell the difference!

This journal of research on the Kennedy assassination is sent free, either by electronic mail or by snail mail, to the following people:

Cyril Wecht, David Lifton, Gary Aguilar, Jim Marrs, Robert Groden, Ian Griggs, Gerald Posner, Clint Bradford, John McAdams, Debra Conway, George Michael Evica, Jack White, John Judge, Anthony Summers, Walt Brown, Henri Hurt, Michael Kurtz, Michael Griffith, Ed Dolan, Jim Moore, Carl Oglesby, Craig Roberts, Robert Harris, Anthony Marsh, Gary Mack, Jerrol Custer, David Scheim, Mark Oakes, David Reitzes, Barb Junkkarinen, William Reymond, Martin Shackelford, Gary Shaw, Jo Backes, Sam McClung, James Fetzer, Tony Pitman, John Kelin, Greg Jaynes, Gaeton Fonzi, Larry Charbonneau, David Starks, Thierry Lentz, Gerard MacNally, Leo Sgouros, David Stager, Vern Pascal, James Crary, Sophie Rougevin-Baville and Paul-Eric Blanrue.

(Some people have asked to have their name removed from the mailing list. I have respected their decision. The names are crossed.)

[About the author: Frenchman François Carlier, who likes to call himself a freelance researcher and writer, has spent the last ten years doing research on the JFK assassination and writing a book. You can send him your messages at : F-Carlier@wanadoo.fr]