The JFK War: An Insider’s Guide to Assassination Research II
“Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, here I stand”–with apologies to Stealers Wheel
by Jim Fetzer
Perhaps the most important trait of the human mind turns out to be the capacity to adjust your beliefs to the available evidence. When the available evidence changes, then our own subjective beliefs should follow suit, assuming that we are rational with respect to our beliefs.
Rationality of belief, however, is not the only form of human rationality, which also concerns adopting actions that are appropriate, effective or reliable to accomplish our objectives, aims or goals. When we intend to deceive, mislead or otherwise misrepresent, we may pretend, feign or maintain that we hold beliefs that are contrary to those we actually hold.
There are grades and degrees of deception, just as their are grades and degrees of immorality. When a living wage equals $10 an hour, for example, the employer who pays his employees $9 an hour is less unethical and more moral than the employer who pays his employees only $5.
The case of white lies, which are unimportant but unpleasant, may represent a relatively modest form of deception, where rationality of action leads to the suppression of our actual beliefs for the sake of avoiding inconvenient encounters. Husbands who cheat on their wives are familiar with the problem, but far more serious cases accompany the deliberate deceptions of the American people by their own government, as in the case of JFK and 9/11.
Common forms of misdirection include the fallacies of “special pleading” (by only citing the evidence favorable to your side), “the straw man” (by exaggerating your opponent’s position to make it easier to attack), “popular sentiments” (by citing views that are widely held as though that made them true) and the “ad hominem” (by attacking the person who presents an argument rather than the argument that they present).
Science has proven to be our most reliable method for the discovery of truth and far more successful than crystal ball-gazing, tea-leaf reading, and fortune telling. It is far more successful than random guessing or mere speculation, even though they represent an early stage in hypothesis formation. Those who employ the method of tenacity by adopting a position and maintaining it, come what may, stand in striking contrast to those who pursue the method of science, which proceeds through the four major stages of Puzzlement, Speculation, Adaptation, and Explanation.
As a professional philosopher of science, I am doing what I can to apply the principles of scientific reasoning to the assassination of JFK and the atrocities of 9/11 in order to carry them from “theories” in the weak sense of conjectures and speculations to “theories” in the strong sense of empirically testable, explanatory hypotheses, as I have laid them out in “Thinking about ‘Conspiracy Theories': 9/11 and JFK” (which would appear as a chapter in The 9/11 Conspiracy (2007)) and in “Reasoning about Assassinations”, which I presented at Cambridge and published in an international, peer-reviewed journal.
There I explain how, simply by establishing where JFK was hit in the back, it is possible to refute the “magic bullet” theory and establish the existence of multiple shooters in Dealey Plaza, since the bullet actually hit about 5.5″ below the collar to the right of the spinal column at a downward angle with no point of exit. Since it did not pass through his neck — which turns out to have been anatomically impossible, as David W. Mantik, M.D., Ph.D., has shown—we have to account for the wounds to his throat and to Connally on the basis of other shots and other shooters (as I have explained in “Dealey Plaza Revisited: What happened to JFK?” and “What happened to JFK–and why it matters today”):
We know a great deal about the actual location of the hit to JFK’s back, including the location of the holes in the shirt and the jacket he was wearing, their correspondence with the wound described in FBI and Bethesda autopsy diagrams and the location specified by the president’s personal physician’s death certificate, and even photographs taken during the reenactment of the shooting by the Warren Commission staff, where the JFK stand-in has a small patch on the back of his head (where, according to the “official account”, he was hit by the bullet that killed him) and lower down his back a larger patch for the hit I have been describing.
One of those photographs shows the young Arlen Specter, a junior counselor for the Warren Commission, using a pointer to illustrate the path that the “magic bullet” would have had to have taken but where, below directly below his hand, you can see the large patch, which means that a photograph that is supposed to illustrate the “magic bullet” hypothesis actually refutes it!
Convergence in opinion, even among scientists, requires consideration of the same alternative hypotheses and the same body of evidence evaluated using the same principles of reasoning, but cases like this provide a litmus test for research integrity: those who persist in promoting the “magic bullet” theory when it has not only been shown to be false but not even anatomically possible are either unfamiliar with the evidence, incompetent at reasoning or insincere in their professed beliefs.
Those most expert at doing this qualify as agents of disinformation, because they are deliberately promoting positions they know to be false with the intention of misleading their target audience, which, alas, has become common in the United States today. My purpose here is to offer advice about how to separate real disinformation from simple mistakes and incompetency.
The “Magic Bullet” Theory
When ABC broadcast “The Kennedy Assassination — Beyond Conspiracy” with Peter Jennings in relation to the 40th observance in 2003, for example, the “magic bullet” theory had long since been refuted. Indeed, The New York Times (3 July 1997) had already published an article about a document released by the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) that showed Gerald Ford (R-MI), a member of the commission, had the description of the back wound changed from “his uppermost back”, which was already an exaggeration, to “the base of the back of his neck” to make the “magic bullet” theory more plausible. That it would be a work of fiction was already apparent from ABC’s promotion, “ABC’s simulation: Spectacular disinformation”.
The animator of the ABC simulation, Dale Myers, even refers to it as “the ‘single bullet’ fact”. But claims have to be true to be “facts”, while the “magic bullet” theory is not only false but provably false and not even anatomically possible—which not only refutes The Warren Report (1964) but also The House Select Committee on Assassinations Final Report (1979) and Gerald Posner’s Case Closed (1963), all of which take the “magic bullet” for granted.
The general principle that emerges here is that sources that promote accounts of the assassination that are provably false, especially those that violate laws of nature—in this case, those of anatomy—thereby qualify as promoting disinformation, where those I have cited here would be generally recognized as such by competent students of JFK:
Those would appear to include not only Dale Myers but the program’s executive producer, Tom Yellin, who claims, “It leaves no room for doubt!” He calls the results of ABC’s study “enormously powerful. It’s irrefutable.” Yellin’s declarations not only leave some room for doubt but raise the suspicion that this broadcast was actually an exercise in disinformation on a spectacular scale.
Even in pure mathematics, proofs are only irrefutable relative to an assumed set of assumptions. That the interior angles of a triangle equal 180 degrees, for example, is true in plane geometry but not in spherical or in hyperbolic. As most of us are aware, two wounds were widely broadcast on radio and television the day and evening of the assassination—a wound to his throat and a wound to his right temple, which caused a blow-out at the back of his head—both of which were fired from in front.
Late in the evening, when Frank McGee of NBC was informed that the shooter had been above and behind the president, said, “This is incongruous: How can the man have been shot from in front from behind?” Both the FBI and the Secret Service concluded that there had been three shots and three hits: that JFK had been hit in the back (about 5.5″ below the collar to the right of the spinal column), that John Connally had been hit in the back, and the JFK had been hit in the back of the head, killing him.
When it turned out that a bystander, James Tague, had been injured by a shot that had missed, the Warren Commission was forced to reduce the number of shots that had hit from three to two—which became the impetus for the “magic bullet” theory—and no honest student of the assassination should be found endorsing it.
The scientific findings I summarized in “The JFK War: An Insider’s Guide to Assassination Research I”, provide guidance in other cases as well. One fairly obvious sign that something is wrong would be for a web site to classify another that is chock-full of scientific findings as “a bad web site” and another that supports discredited positions, such as the “magic bullet” theory, as “a good web site”. But that is precisely what has happened with a new web site introduced by Jefferson Morley, JFKFACTS.org, which features a list of the best and the worst JFK web sites.
What I find remarkable about his lists is that they include perhaps the one web site with the most scientific findings as “bad”, But not only does Morley list a very good site as “one of the worst”, but a very bad site run by John McAdams of Marquette University—who is among the most prominent proponents of The Warren Report (1964) and the “magic bullet” theory as “one of the best”! I shall turn to Thompson below, but I am relatively convinced that JFKFACTS is not presenting “facts” but views that qualify as disinformation.
If William Colby spoke the true when he said the CIA owns everyone of significance in the major media, then we are going to find cases that are rather surprising. In addition, however, it links to an article entitled, “RFK: Outing the CIA at the Ambassador”, in which I lay out evidence that suggests Jefferson Morley and David Talbot sabotaged an effort to interview friends and associates of David Sanchez Morales to seek their opinions about the identity of one of three CIA officials who were caught in footage at the Ambassador Hotel shortly after RFK’s assassination.
If I am right about the two of them—and I have republished that study on Veterans Today, where you can judge for yourself—then I would not be surprised if Morley would have been receptive to advice to list mine as “one of the worst” from Josiah Thompson, whom I have regarded as working the wrong side of the street for many years now. This would not be the first time that Thompson has extended his vendetta against me—which he has been pursuing since 1998—for challenging the dogma of Zapruder authenticity. Either way, it raises serious doubts about JFKFACTS.org.
The Zapruder Film Symposium
Not every disagreement about the assassination thereby qualifies as “disinformation”, of course. Michael B. Schweitzer’s “Questions and Answers about the Assassination of President Kennedy”, for example, provides a model of rationality and objectivity, where he has displayed generally excellent judgment in responding to the comments and criticism that have been advanced, where I admire his thoughtful consideration.
An interesting example is the currently-most-recent comment by William Orchard, who offers a link to his reconstruction of the shooting sequence, which, like another student’s analysis of the blood spatter pattern, is based upon the presumption that the home movie of the assassination taken by Abraham Zapruder is unaltered and authentic. That turns out to be a difficult assumption to maintain, since there are multiple proofs that the extant film has been extensively refashioned from the original.
Another point on the spectrum of knowledge and competence would be Wim Dankbaar’s web site, “JFKmurdersolved.com” where, even though he promotes the contention that James Files was the shooter who fired the shot that hit JFK in the right temple, which I very much doubt, there is no good reason to suppose that Wim is promoting disinformation. From my experience with him, I am relatively convinced that he is entirely sincere and wants to solve the crime.
My reservations about Files stem from (1) his failure to mention the limo stop, which set up his shot, and (2) his claim that Chuckie Nicoletti, a notorius hit man for the Mafia, asked him if he would participate in the assassination the morning that it occurred. The first, in my opinion, means that he wasn’t there, but the second is so utterly implausible that I find it difficult to take Files seriously.
Wim, no doubt, who is no expert on the film, could maintain that he has doubt about the limo stop, which we do not see in the Zapruder film, and therefore does not regard that as disqualifying Files’ account. And he is hardly the only one to dispute its occurrence.
In 1996, I organized and moderated the first “Zapruder Film Symposium” to address questions that had been raised about its authenticity. I held a 10.5 hour workshop the day before and selected those I regarded as most highly qualified to present their findings the following day during the symposium. Those who spoke included Noel Twyman, David S. Lifton, David W. Mantik, Jack White, Chuck Marler and me, most of whom would contribute to Assassination Science (1998).
Among the arguments presented by Noel Twyman, who would publish Bloody Treason (1997) the following year, were his observations that the driver, William Greer, had made a head turn backward to watch JFK and then back forward, where both turns were impossibly fast.
When Noel hired a professional tennis player to turn his head in a fashion corresponding to Greer’s head turns, they (Greer’s) turned out to be twice as fast as humanly possible, which was an obvious indication that the film had been altered. To take a simple case, if half of the frames had been removed (say, every other), then the result could have been comparable to what Noel experimentally determined.
Moreover, he hired an expert in special effects, Roderick Ryan, to study the film, where Ryan told him that the blood spray and the “blob” (of brains that appear to bulge out the front of JFK’s cranium) had been “painted in”. When Noel asked why the blur in stationary background figures in frame 302 suddenly disappears in frame 303, Ryan told him that this was because the limo was moving in frame 302 but stationary in 303 (where the camera was following the limo).
In addition, Noel had interviewed Erwin Swartz, a business associate of Abraham Zapruder, who told him he had watched the film in its original state at Eastman Kodak in Dallas and that, while he had not noticed whether the limo had slowed or come to a stop, he had seen JFK’s head suddenly whip to the left (counter-clockwise) and his brains blown out to the left and rear, which is consistent with Motorcycle Officer Bobby Hargis’ report of having been hit so hard by the brains and debris that he initially thought he himself had been shot. One might suppose that this evidence along would be sufficient to create a prima facie proof that the Zapruder film had been altered, but that was not the response that would be forthcoming from Josiah Thompson in 1998.
In “Why the Zapruder film is authentic” (2o November 1998), Josiah Thompson responded, not by confronting the evidence that Noel and others had presented in 1996 but by making an argument about the “official account” of the chain of possession, which, he contended, precluded the film from have been edited. He cites one of the chapters from Assassination Science (1998) by Mike Pincher and Roy Schaeffer, which reported that the film appears to have been in the hands of the National Photographic Interpretation Center already the evening of the assassination, Friday, 22 November 1963.
He attacked me and David Mantik for allegedly misrepresenting a study from Harvard that is cited in a book by Elizabeth Loftus, Eyewitness Testimony (1996), where Table 3.1 reports that, in a study with 151 subjects, when subjects considered what they were viewing to be salient (or significant), they were 98% accurate and 98% complete with regard to their observations, which matters since we have more than 60 witnesses who reported seeing the limousine either slow dramatically or come to a complete halt—including all four motorcycle officers! He even quoted from a letter he had from Loftus stating that,
“It is fair to say that salient details are remembered better than peripheral ones. Also, it is easier to mislead people about peripheral details. . . . It is WRONG [her emphasis], however, to say anything like 98% of salient details are accurately remembered. If that was shown in the Marshall case, it is only with those subjects, with that stimulus material, in that study. We virtually never make claims about absolute percentages because the real percentages in any situation depend on so many other factors.”
Neither David nor I had made any claims about “absolute percentages” or that situations could not vary, but reported the results of the study, which Thompson was doing his best to translate into an attack upon our competence. This was a very strange presentation, combining as it did the fallacies of special pleading, the straw man and the ad hominem in a single package.
He concluded with an ode to “the good old days” when research was done by housewives, lawyers, newspaper editors, and other “little people”, who were contrasted with me and David Mantik, alleging “That community lies at the farthest remove from ‘Assassination Science’ and its promoter”. It was astonishing.
The Thompson Gambit
It was an audacious approach, given that the principal contributions to Assassination Science (1998) included Bob Livingston, M.D., world authority on the human brain and an expert on wound ballistics, who explained how the brain shown in diagrams and photographs in the National Archives could not possibly be the brain of John F. Kennedy, David W. Mantik, M.D., Ph.D., who has a Ph.D. in physics from Wisconsin, an M.D. from Michigan, and is board-certified in radiation oncology, who was demonstrating how he had been able to prove empirically using a procedure from physics known as “optical densitometry” that the JFK autopsy X-rays had been altered to conceal a massive blow-0ut at the back of his head, that there was evidence of a second shot to the head and also proof that a 6.5mm metallic fragment had been added to the anterior/posterior X-ray in an obvious effort to implicate the obscure, 6.5mm Mannlicher-Carcano that Lee Oswald was alleged to have used, as well as a chapter by Charles Crenshaw, M.D., who had been present during JFK’s treatment in Trauma Room #1 and then, two days later, had been responsible for the treatment of his alleged assassin, Lee Oswald.
In addition to multiple chapters offering proof of Zapruder film fakery, Chuck had contributed two diagrams of the throat wound before and after Malcolm Perry, M.D., had made a simple incision through the wound and of the blow-out at the back of the skull from behind and from the side. Combined with the publication of the Parkland Press Conference, during which Perry had described the wound to the throat as a wound of entry three times and of the official Bethesday autopsy report, the book shattered the cover-up and implicated the Secret Service, Navy medical officers at Bethesda, and perhaps even the president’s personal physician of participating in the cover up. It was such a stunning demonstration of the power of science to separate authentic from fabricated evidence that Thompson had to find a way to discredit it, which he tried to do.
I knew something was terribly wrong. Any serious student of JFK should have been celebrating these discoveries, which could not possibly have been made by housewives, lawyers, newspaper editors or other “little people”. The situation was completely absurd. Josiah Thompson was implying that experts who are properly qualified to conduct technical, scientific research in the most complicated but important murder mystery (arguably in history) should be shunted aside because they were not “little people”. In fact, Thompson himself had earned his own Ph.D. in philosophy at Yale and had been an assistant professor at a small college as well as serving in the Navy. He had to know that the arguments he was making were virtually text book examples of elementary fallacies I spent 35 years teaching undergraduates to avoid. We know know the original film was taken to the NPIC on Saturday, 23 November 1963, and that the substitute was brought there on Sunday, 24 November 1963.
Proof of Film Fabrication
As Douglas Horne, the Senior Analyst for Military Records for the ARRB would explain in Vol. IV of his Inside the ARRB (2009), the film brought to the NPIC on Saturday was an 8mm, already split film that had been developed in Dallas; the film brough to the NPIC on Sunday was a 16mm, unsplit film that had been developed in Rochester.
In summarizing some of the key findings in “US Government Official: JFK Cover-Up, Film Fabrication”, he explains that there were five physical differences between the film brought Saturday and the film brought Sunday, where the limo stop was removed, the back of the head wound was painted over in black, and the blood spray and “blob” were painted in, as Roderick Ryan had told Noel Twyman. (Ryan, by the way, would receive the Academy Award for his contributions to special-effects cinematograpy during the Oscar Ceremony in 2000.)
Horne’s new studies thus confirm the previous research reported in The Great Zapruder Film Hoax (2003), supplemented by further research:
(A) “New Proof of JFK Film Fakery” (2007), which demonstrates that Office James Chaney, riding to the right, motored forward during the limo stop to inform Chief Curry that the president had been hit, which is substantiated by multiple witnesses but is not present in the extant Zapruder film, including:
- James Chaney (motorcycle patrolman on right rear of the Presidential limousine): “I went ahead of the President’s car to inform Chief Curry that the President had been hit. And then he instructed us over the air to take him to Parkland Hospital and that Parkland was standing by.”
- Bobby Hargis (motorcycle patrolman on left rear of the Presidential limousine): “The motorcycle officer on the right side of the car was Jim Chaney. He immediately went forward and announced to the Chief that the President had been shot.”
- Winston Lawson (Secret Service Agent in the lead car in front of the Presidential limousine): “A motorcycle escort officer pulled along side our Lead Car and said the President had been shot. Chief Curry gave a signal over the radio for police to converge on the area of the incident.”
- Forrest Sorrels (Secret Service Agent in the lead car in front of the Presidential limousine): “A motorcycle patrolman pulled up alongside of the car and Chief Curry yelled, ‘Is anybody hurt?’, to which the officer responded in the affirmative.”
- Chief Jesse Curry (in the lead car in front of the Presidential limousine): “. . . about this time a motorcycle officer, I believe it was Officer Chaney, rode up beside us and I asked if something happened back there and he said, ‘Yes,’ and I said ‘Has somebody been shot?” And he said, ‘I think so.’”
(B) “Zapruder JFK Film impeached by Moorman JFK Polaroid” (2008), which exposed the lack of foundation for the claim that the “blob” is real because JFK’s head was massively rotated to the left:
The only argument that Tink [Josiah Thompson] and [Bill] Miller and the others put forward against [the "blob" as painted in] this is that somehow JFK’s head is massively rotated to the left in 313 and 314, and that we are seeing the part of his head above his right ear. Ironically, the Moorman Polaroid itself dismisses this idea (if these were all genuine), as it lines up at about Z-315 or Z-316, and shows that JFK’s head is tilted but not spun around as would be required—as you can see from Clip G on my website, his head starts to lift from 314 through to 318 but does not rotate left or right.
Indeed, maybe that’s the point of all this Moorman guff. Forget about the pedestal for the moment, and look at JFK. Place the Moorman next to Zapruder frame 315 or 316, and you have two (allegedly genuine) different views of the same instant of time. That shows you that the “red blob” that explodes out the front of his head in the Z-toon is indeed supposed to be coming out of his right temple. If his head had been rotated massively to the left, we’d be able to see his face in the Moorman—but we don’t.
Clint Hill’s consistent descriptions of having stepped on the rear and moved forward, pushing Jackie (who had come onto the trunk after a chunk of Jack’s skull and brains), lying across their bodies on the back seat and peering down into a fist-sized blow-out at the back of his head and giving a “thumbs down” to his colleagues–all before the limousine reached the Triple Underpass, which Secret Service Agent Roy Kellerman confirmed during his testimony to the Warren Commission.
(D) And, more recently, by “The Two NPIC Zapruder Film Events: Signposts Pointing to the Film’s Alteration” (2012) and “The Two NPIC Zapruder Film Events: Analysis and Implications” (2012), all of which substantiate that the timeline argument had no basis in fact and was merely a gambit. As any philosopher could explain, the actual entails the possible: insofar as the film had been altered, there had to have been time to alter it, where his “chain of possession” chronology was but an elaborate and flimsy charade.
Thompson was not to be deterred, however, no matter how strong the evidence against him. In collaboration with several others—Joe Durnavich, Louis Girdler, James Gordon, Ron Hepler, Barb Junkkarinen, Craig Lamson, and David Wimp—he continued with an assault upon The Great Zapruder Film Hoax (2003), where he entitled his attack, “Assassinated Science”, including in his preface the sweeping dismissal,
“Leaving aside Professor Fetzer’s characteristic modesty, the claim is laughable. In its 496 pages, the book never gets around to making a single direct argument for the fabrication of the Zapruder film. The book is little more than a random collection of observations concerning features of the film which various contributors find odd and therefore label “proof of forgery. They consider these features “anomalies” but make no attempt to link any of them to each other or to show how any of these random claims disclose a process of fabrication.”
which is rather brazen, considering that I offer example after example of photo and film alteration, including these eleven, which illustrate what was actually going on:
(a) the substitution of the spider-crack windshield in lieu of the original with the through-and-through bullet hole, that it can also be seen in frame 225 and elsewhere,
(b) that frame 232 displays optically impossible features if the limo was in motion at the time,
(c) that there are flaws in the introduction of the Stemmons Freeway sign, which apparently had to be replaced because the original had one or more bullet holes,
(d) that the blood spray and the “blob” were added to frame 313,
(e) that frame 330 captures a “solar flare” that appears to have been caused by the shot that missed and hit the chrome strip over the windshield,
(f) that changes in the film were correlated with alterations to the autopsy X-rays,
(g) that you can actually see the blow out in frame 374 (which means that the film is not even internally consistent),
(h) that Greer’s head turns are impossibly fast, that the left turn John Connally described as having taken before he was hit in the back has been removed,
(i) that Erwin Swartz had observed JFK’s brains blown out to the left/rear,
(j) that Secret Service agents had observed brains blown across the trunk, and
(k) that we have sixty or more witnesses to the limo stop, not to mention (A), (B), (C) and (D).
Indeed, John Costella dispatched this silly attack—which was evidently the best that Josiah Thompson and his henchmen could do—with a brilliant critique that makes them look like the pitiful lot they are—attempting to disseminate false information about the assassination of our 35th president–and completely deserving of contempt:
The website attacking The Great Zapruder Film Hoax appears substantial and convincing at a glance. It is nicely laid out and well-written. However, a scratch of the surface shows that it is superficial, and short on substance. In what is now a trademark tactic, the authors ignore the vast bulk of The Great Zapruder Film Hoax, and concentrate their efforts on selected and isolated aspects of the book. (As one particularly important example, they ignore completely the simplest and most powerful evidence of fraud—the missing blur in Frame 232 of the film—which they have later claimed they “overlooked”!)
They assert that errors have been made in these isolated fragments. But a closer examination shows that their “refutations” are overwhelmingly either erroneous, or are simply statements of contrary opinions on points of contention.
Among the latter are several indirect and laborious “scientific” constructions—performed, apparently, because the critics were either unable or unwilling to comprehend the direct scientific proofs demonstrated in The Great Zapruder Film Hoax—with which they convince themselves (as if they weren’t already convinced) that they can find no mistake with the Zapruder film.
This is undoubtedly true. It takes care and scientific skill to construct concise, irrefutable proofs in which the number of unknown variables is minimised; and the best of these have been selected for publication in The Great Zapruder Film Hoax. In contrast, it is quite easy to construct more complicated analyses, with a larger number of uncertain variables, which do not permit one to discern any discrepancies in the film. We are fully willing to accept that this is, indeed, true.
Between his collation of the witness reports, “What happened on Elm Street? The Eyewitnesses Speak”, and his “JFK assassination film hoax” tutorial, which takes the viewer through the evidence internal to the film that it is the product of extensive alteration and fabrication, the simplest proof of film fakery—apart from comparing frame 374, which shows the blow-out, and earlier frames, which do not, is to compare the extant Zapruder film with the extant Nix film, which they also fixed but did not properly correlate (where I am not endorsing the idea that one of the shots may have been captured on the film but only inviting attention to Clint Hill’s actions vis-a-vis Jackie) :
Thus, as Doug Horne has explained, altering the Zapruder entailed altering the other home movies, including the Nix and Muchmore. But they did not quite get it right:
There is also significant disagreement between the Nix film and the Zapruder film. In Harry Livingstone’s 2004 book about the Zapruder film, he discusses differences between the images of Clint Hall and Jackie Kennedy on the trunk of the limousine in the Nix film, versus what is shown in the Zapruder film. Livingstone correctly points out that in the Nix Film, Clint Hill appears to place his left arm around Jackie Kennedy’s right shoulder and push her back into her seat—where as in the Zapruder film, he barely touches her with his right hand, and is not seen embracing her with his left arm at all.
The proof that the film was redone has been demonstrated on the basis of multiple, convergent lines of proof. What this means is that, as in the case of those who defend the “magic bullet” theory, those who defend the authenticity of the Zapruder film are maintaining a position that is inconsistent with the evidence, which refutes it many times over. That requires some explanation.
Because if Josiah Thompson, Bill Miller, Joe Durnavich, Louis Girdler, James Gordon, Ron Hepler, Barb Junkkarinen, Craig Lamson, and David Wimp are defending the indefensible, then insofar as they have studied the film extensively and have made deliberate efforts to refute the arguments that support its fakery, it cannot be the case that they can be excused on the basis of ignorance.
They have to know better, where their rationality of action (by virtue of a commitment to feigning or faking the authenticity of a fabricated film) impugns their rationality of belief, where the presumption that they are engaging in disinformation is overwhlemingly well-founded. And when we turn to “The JFK War: An Insider’s Guide to Assassination Reseach III”, we will discover that there are many others attempting similar ends.
Jim Fetzer, a former Marine Corps officer and McKnight Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth, has published three books on JFK and chaired or co-chaired four national conferences about it (Minneapolis 1999, Dallas 2000, Dallas 2001, and Duluth 2003).
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