June 24, 2013 at 11:57 am #82066
Just to aid the quest for intellectual self defence against Unwarranted Conspiracy Theories (a nice term from the paper in the other thread).
1) Government as we know it is a conspiracy: it meets in secret and often perverts its instruments for its own ends. A salient (albeit minor) example was I once heard a Tory ex-Minister crowing how they'd had to cajole the Parliamentary drafting team into allowing the name of some act to include rights or freedom in the title to try and embarras Labour oponents. When every day governance is a conspiracy, a cabal meeting in secret, it's not hard to begin to jump at shadows.
2) That there is distortion in the media means that the Chesterton quote applies: once you cease to believe in [strike]God[/strike] the Media, you'll believe in anything.
3) Related: significant events are often messy, and, as any arcxhaeologfist can tell you, erroneous evidence can land itself in the middle of any investigation. The urge to incorporate them and make sense of them does lead some to discard Occam's razor.
The above demonstrates how we can fall into error, the important thing is to be aware that it is possible.
One useful tool is to assume that the chance of any conspiracy remaining secret is inversely proportional to the number of people who are aware of it. If Conspiracy X requires that the Sherrif of Asshole Indiana is in on it too, you've got too many people.
With that in mind:
1) Oswald was a trained sniper, IIRC reading biographies of his bizzarre life (which only feeds to conspiraloons), he did pass his sniper exams in the Marines.
2) 9/11 Troofers are wrong. The steel melted, and the buildings came down.June 24, 2013 at 1:21 pm #94465EdParticipant
Enjoy your circle jerk gentlemen.June 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm #94466
"Oswald was a trained sniper"Not at sniper level…qualified at the less proficient sharpshooter on basic training then later at the lower level as marksman, the drop in quality put down to as a new recruit he was more keen to prove himself than as a jaded serving marine just going through the motions.The tests included mandatory positions that did not suit his favoured manner of shooting and the one he is presumed to have used in the assassination. Nor are rifle rests permitted on the tests whereas LHO had a box to rest and steady his rifle. His skill at shooting was perfectly adequate for the assassination. Claims to the contrary are not based on factual evidence but hearsay. It wasn't such difficult shots to make and he had sufficient time to make them. The claims that he had no time to take them or would have been too rushed to aim accurately are not correct. Wiki offers a good short concise explanation http//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F._Kennedy_assassination_rifleEd, you previously said "I too have done extensive research and had many debates on the subject….The only real points that can be debated is on the weapon, the bullet and the chosen vantage point from which he supposedly shot. The fact is weapons experts have tried to recreate the shot many times over the years with the same rifle and struggled to reload as fast as Oswald supposedly did. When they have achieved it, it is with no accuracy. That is, with even less than the rifle would usually fire with. Coupled with the fact that Oswald's military record shows he couldn't hit the broad side of a barn door. Maybe he improved in the intervening years, it's possible. But not with that rifle and not from that vantage point. Unless it was a freak one in a million shot. " On this topic i find Wiki a reliable source as if confirms much of what i have myself read. Perhaps you can cite who your own extensive research was based upon. It is not meant to be uncomradely to attempt to point out to another member a mistaken view on a particular subject. I may have been tactless in the tone of my correction and i apologise, however, refusing to accept or denying another's argument without attempting to refute or defend your own differing view isn't particularly a socialistic trait. I'm convinced i am right, but i have often changed my mind about things in the past when i cannot provide an answer or know where to look for one.June 24, 2013 at 3:06 pm #94467
Anyway, I'll add a useful resource, for those of you who don't already know Lobster:http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/Quote:Lobster magazine began in 1983. Its initial focus was on what was then called parapolitics – roughly, the impact of the intelligence and security services on history and politics – but since then has widened out to include:contemporary history and politicseconomics and economic politicsconspiracy theoriescontemporary conspiracist subculture.
Robin Ramsey at least is good for finding the stories (some of them interesting incidents, rather than the fashionable big ticket theories. He also has a column in Fortean Times (He backs the idea, ish, that LBJ did JFK).June 24, 2013 at 3:45 pm #94468EdParticipant
The last thing I have to say on this is to Alan, I hope you realise just how kind and generous I have been with you, especially regarding your blog posts. But seeing as how you started the debate with underhand tricks and attempts to discredit me personally rather than debate the subject I can only say no, I won't bite.June 24, 2013 at 5:54 pm #94469stevead1966Participant
Lee Harvey Oswald was a 'patsy', he was either (delete where applicable) Naval Intelligence or FBI or CIA, all three or just two he expressed 'communist views' while in the Marines (ludicrous), he learnt Russian, he was groomed by US intelligence community, he 'defected' ? to USSR and then returned to the USA ! Worked for Fair Play for Cuba group (pro Castro) which was run from a building that housed organisation training anto-castro cubans, it gets very murky. I could go on and on, there is so much. Check out Jim Marrs book 'Crossfire', Jim Garrison's 'On the trail of the Assassins' and the 1991 Oliver Stone film 'JFK'. An interesting film is 'Executive Action' from 1973. Everything that I have looked at over the last 30 years says that the Italian Martini rifle could not have killed JFK in the time frame given, and there is the 'magic bullet' mystery as well. I honestly believe Oswald was the patsy.June 24, 2013 at 7:04 pm #94470DJPParticipant
All this JFK stuff seems pretty well debunked here:http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/home.htmIt shouldn't be needed to be pointed out but the Oliver Stone film is a work of fiction and has little bearing on the true facts…June 25, 2013 at 1:36 am #94471
Steve, Perhaps you never noticed my remarks on the reliability of Garrison on the other thread. His claims have been proved to be false. But the quality of Garrisons case? Garrison’s scenario is “five or six shots fired at the President from front and rear by at least four gunmen, assisted by several accomplices”. He later added another shooting from the sewer manhole. In all it was a 16 man assassination team. One witness at the Clay Shaw trial would fingerprint his daughter in the morning before she went to university and again when she came back to make sure she was the same person…my, what a credible witness, Garrison produces? No wonder it didn’t take the jury very long to throw out the case. A list of lies in On the Trail http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/jimlie.htm If you believe Stone’s depiction of Garrison as a crusader for justice, you might as well also accept Errol Flynn’s representation of Custer as the definitive one. Citing the movie and Jim Marrs as different sources is a little bit of a cheat since the script is very much based upon Crossfire. But anyways there is plenty on the web to dispute the movie content.http://www.jfk-online.com/jfk100menu.htmlhttp://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/jfkmovie.htm LHO – The Patsy Oliver Stone’s scenario is 3-Gunmen, 6-Shot conspiracy theory would involve the POTENTIAL final results of having the one and only target (JFK) being hit with up to SIX SEPARATE BULLETS fired from the guns of THREE different snipers (one of which was firing from the front, the exact OPPOSITE direction from where the “Patsy” was supposedly firing in the Texas School Book Depository Building, which was located to the REAR of the President’s car). So how on Earth can it be said that one man LHO was going to be used a “Patsy” for the assassination!! Didn’t anyone think…”Hmm…We’re using three different killers to all fire at JFK at virtually the same time and from different locations and angles yet somehow ALL the evidence, somehow or some wayhas to lead back to LHO and the 6the floor book depository and only to LHO’s rifle….hmmm… Are we sure this is the best plan to frame a single patsy?” Jim Marrs is a career conspiracist. He will write on any conspiracy as long as it there’s a market for the books such as he has on extraterrestrials, secret societies, psychic warfare and 9-11. See here for the link between the assassination to Kennedy and UFOs. http://www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc1860.htm.It is perhaps unfair of me to ridicule his views on JFK/LHO by pointing out his other theories. Take all the different and conflicting theories, jumble them up into a stew and serve up as new. Marrs wrote in Crossfire that those with motives in the murder of Kennedy were “Attorney General Robert Kennedy’s attack on organized crime (Mafia motive); President Kennedy’s failure to support the Cuban exiles at the Bay of Pigs (Cuban and C.I.A. motive); the 1963 Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (military-industrial complex, or M.I.C. motive); Kennedy’s plan to withdraw from Vietnam before the end of 1965 (Joint Chiefs of Staff and M.I.C. motive); Kennedy’s talk about taking away the oil-depletion allowance (Texas oil men motive); Kennedy’s monetary policies (international bankers motive); Kennedy’s decision to drop Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson from the ticket in 1964 (L.B.J. motive) and Kennedy’s active civil rights policy (Texas racist billionaires motive). Take your pick. And of course that is not the exclusive list of other speculations on motive. As for the so-called Magic Bullet. I’ll let Wiki once again explain it all to you and you decide for yourself which represents the more scientific and evidence based theory.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-bullet_theory Steve said “Everything that I have looked at over the last 30 years says that the Italian Martini [sic] rifle could not have killed JFK in the time frame given”You’ve just not looked in the right places and who can blame you when we are swamped by misinformation. Did you go to the Wiki entry i linked to?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F._Kennedy_assassination_rifleJune 25, 2013 at 1:46 am #94472
Ed "underhand tricks and attempts to discredit me personally rather than debate the subject "Perhaps someone neutral should refer me to which elements in my posts substantiate Ed's claims. Of course saying someone is wrong and mistaken is personal but is it underhand to do so ? It is not an attempt to discredit the person but to discredit a particular idea held by the person. Perhaps he refers to my use of "not socialistic trait"…i intended that we are materialists who come to conclusions from exchange of views and we support our views on certain principles and that includes it being evidence based, not assertions.June 25, 2013 at 7:42 am #94473
There's always something cropping up in the study of the JFK assassination . Today, because of the recent threads i was looking at some webpages …(not obsessed by it that i constantly research it …and all my books are no longer available to do quick checks…) i came across the LHO-SLP connection. FBI found phone numbers of a fellow named Horace Twiford in Oswald’s address book. Contacting the Twiford household, they found that Mrs. Estelle Twiford remembered Oswald having called her one night, wanting to contact her husband, who was an activist in the Socialist Labor Party. Oswald had sent a request for literature to the SLP in New York, and the request was forwarded along to Horace Twiford in Houston, who duly mailed a copy of the Weekly People, a newspaper published by the Party, to Oswald. Oswald told Mrs. Twiford that he was flying to Mexico, and mentioned his membership in the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Mrs. Twiford explained that her husband, a merchant seaman, was at sea. I wonder if he ever got to read a Western Socialist? Was there ever a New Orleans or Dallas branch of the WSPUS? Of course, the "leftist" credentials of Oswald are presented really as a cover story by the conspiracists to disguise his CIA links and provide a false CV and with the recent revelations about undercover cops in the McLibel case and Animal Rights and the Stephen Lawrence case , it is very easy to sympathise with that analysis.June 25, 2013 at 2:28 pm #94474stevead1966Participant
'Rush to Judgment: A Critique of the Warren Commission's Inquiry into the Murders of President John F. Kennedy, Officer J.D. Tippit and Lee Harvey Oswald' – by lawyer Mark Lane was published in 1966, and there is a film by Emile de Antonio from 1967. The film I saw on British television in 1987. This is the book/film I knew about in the 1980s along with the fictionalised 'Executive Action' (1973), all pre Jim Marrs, Jim Garrison books and Oliver Stone. In fact I was unaware of Garrison until the Stone film.June 25, 2013 at 11:49 pm #94475
As i said you been reading pro-conspiracy books and so basing your rush of judgement purely on LHO defence case, without a cross-examinination, or even hearing the prosecution's full case or listening to their witnesses. The death of LHO deprived many of hearing eye-winess testimony and deciding their worth. How dismissive of Howard Brennan actually seeing the sniper at the 6th floor book depository should a jury have been? Or those watching the president's convoy from window directly below where LHO is alleged to have used, hearing the shots being taken? Or the witnesses who rather than those who claim seeing snipers say they did NOT see a grassy knoll shooter and would have done if there had been one. A jury decides on the credibility and reliability of witnesses from the advantage of them being questioned and re-questioned. Witness statements can, nevertheless, be unreliable and are also to be balanced against other evidence, medical and ballistic, for corroboration. Even among conspiracists, Mark Lane, has something of a reputation of being fast and loose with the facts of the case. Once again, in regards to Jim Garrison, his contribution to truth in the JFK assassination is on par with Joe McCarthy's contribution to the unbiased and objective study of communism. The Garrison charges led to the only actual legal trial into the assassination that did NOT come to a the conclusion that it agreed with and accepted his claim of his particular version of the conspiracy. They made their judgement when the heard the WHOLE case, not just Garrison's side of it in a book or movie.June 26, 2013 at 8:16 am #94476
This article from Lobster makes some good points:http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/articles/l29consp.htmQuote:Conspiracy theories are like black holes–they suck in everything that comes their way, regardless of content or origin…Everything you've ever known or experienced, no matter how 'meaningless', once it contacts the conspiratorial universe, is enveloped by and cloaked in sinister significance. Once inside, the vortex gains in size and strength, sucking in everything you touch.
andQuote:However that may be, real covert politics, although by definition hidden or disguised and often deleterious in their impact, simply do not correspond to the bleak, simplistic image propounded by conspiracy theorists. Far from embodying metaphysical evil, they are perfectly and recognizably human,with all the positive and negative characteristics and potentialities which that implies. At the most basic level, all the efforts of individuals to privately plan and secretly initiate actions for their own perceived mutual benefit –insofar as these are intentionally withheld from outsiders and require the maintenance of secrecy for their success–are conspiracies. Moreover, in contrast to the claims of conspiracy theorists, covert politics are anything but monolithic. At any given point in time, there are dozens if not thousands of competitive political and economic groups engaging in secret planning and activities, and most are doing so in an effort to gain some advantage over their rivals among the others. Such behind-the-scene operations are present on every level, from the mundane efforts of small-scale retailers to gain competitive advantage by being the first to develop new product lines to the crucially important attempts by rival secret services to penetrate and manipulate each other.July 12, 2013 at 12:16 pm #94477
“… we found that conspiracist commenters were more likely to argue against the opposing interpretation and less likely to argue in favor of their own interpretation, while the opposite was true of conventionalist commenters…..conspiracists were more likely to express mistrust and made more positive and fewer negative references to other conspiracy theories. The data also indicate that conspiracists were largely unwilling to apply the “conspiracy theory” label to their own beliefs and objected when others did so, lending support to the long-held suggestion that conspiracy belief carries a social stigma…. conventionalist arguments tended to have a more hostile tone. These tendencies in persuasive communication can be understood as a reflection of an underlying conspiracist worldview in which the details of individual conspiracy theories are less important than a generalized rejection of official explanations………..We argue that in fact, anomaly hunting, or a fixation on errant data, is a manifestation of the way conspiracism is structured as a worldview. In general, conspiracy belief is not based around specific theories of how events transpire, though these may exist as well. Instead, conspiracism is rooted in several higher-order beliefs such as an abiding mistrust of authority, the conviction that nothing is quite as it seems, and the belief that most of what we are told is a lie. Apparent anomalies in official accounts seem to support this, even if they do not point to a specific, well-defined alternative. For many conspiracists, there are two worlds: one real and (mostly) unseen, the other a sinister illusion meant to cover up the truth; and evidence against the latter is evidence for the former.” Full article at http://www.frontiersin.org/Personality_Science_and_Individual_Differences/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00409/full#h3July 14, 2013 at 3:39 am #94478
The other side of the argument – the anti-conspiracists are the conspiracists.http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/07/12/313399/conspiracy-theorists-vs-govt-dupes/
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