More grief for my inclusion of Professor John McAdams’s website on my list of best JFK Web sites.
“Case Closed on Jefferson Morley,” says Len Osanic. That epitaph suggested with Posnerian certainty (and credibility) that I am somehow unreliable as a source of information about the JFK story. Then Professor Jim Fetzer fingered me on Facebook as a shifty character, which did not overly concern me. He’s expert at those sorts of things and entitled to his opinions.
But now comes Lisa Pease, a writer who has added to my understanding of the CIA, to read me the Riot Act about McAdams. I respect Lisa for her wisdom and passion, so I listened carefully.
“McAdams has been blatantly dishonest,” she writes. “Were you aware that he gave an interview to a reporter under a fake name (“Paul Nolan”), claiming a fake profession? He hasn’t even denied doing that.”
No, I wasn’t aware of this.
“McAdams made up a terrible lie about Gary Aguilar…. ”
I’ll skip the details but I didn’t know this either. I’ll assume its true.
Pease goes on:
“I once got McAdams to accept that he was mistaken in an online forum years ago. You know what he did? Went to another forum and took up the point he admitted he was wrong about as if the thread with me had never happened.”
Imagine that. An irrational male commenter haunting the JFK chat boards.
“You are losing credibility in the community with your defense of a guy who has been so provably dishonest, Jeff.”
Case conceded! My defense of McAdams was not a review of his character nor an endorsement of his views. I wrote once, in a now-notorious email, that in my experience, he had not been dishonest. That was true. Perhaps I was giving the man the benefit of the doubt that he didn’t deserve. I try to do that, not because it is wise but because it makes life more pleasant. If that harms my credibility, so be it.
What I have said (and will say again) is, students of the JFK assassination should go to his website. I’m not vouching for the man. I’m providing a link.
Lisa doesn’t see it that way. She sees a moral issue.
“I respect your work. But your desire not to raise McAdams’ ire is not going to win you fans from ANY quarter. You have to side with the truth, and the truth isn’t always palatable. … McAdams is a proven, admitted liar. If you ever claim again he has not been dishonest, I will reference this email.”
Please do. I mean, sure, I can subscribe to the statement “John McAdams is dishonest” and, if forced, I will adduce evidence to prove it.
That is all the more reason for people interested in the JFK story to look at his website. Only there can one begin to rebut his false claims.
Lisa complains that John is persistent and rigid in an unseemly way. He is. Yet his persistence has built a highly-trafficked website with serious Google rankings and thus a degree of online credibility. That is a fact that JFK researchers are free to ignore.
I prefer not to. What I can do is try to reach the many people who believe Professor McAdams’s tendentious and misleading assertions about the JFK story. It is a matter of social media common sense that anybody who cares about the online discussion of JFK’s assassination should be prepared to rebut McAdams and to engage in civil discussion with people who think like him.
That’s not a betrayal of the truth. That’s a method for expressing the truth.