There is much sound and fury in the comment section over Professor McAdams’s review of Richard Belzer’s book. The purpose was to stimulate debate and 36 comments and counting shows success on that score at least.
Besides the usual fulminations of Jim Fetzer (published without editing), there were many useful links, including Ronnie Wayne’s bibliography of CTKA.net reviews of McAdams’s work. Andrew sent along this this unusually thoughtful Politico interview with Belzer, which I missed when it came out.
The best way to advance the debate here is to let Belzer speak.
[Editor's note; Note the byline on this story. It is not written by Jefferson Morley. JFK Facts welcomes contributions from readers, which are published every Saturday. Articles should be 750 words or shorter and should deal with recent developments or publications about JFK's assassination, presidency or related issues of secrecy and national security.. If you want to contribute, email me your submission here.]
Imagine you are a high school student and you are writing a paper on some contentious historical issue — say, whether Barack Obama was born in Kenya, or whether Dick Cheney mounted the 9/11 attacks. And imagine you simply surf the web for information and believe pretty much anything you find on a web page. One can imagine the results. Read more
Picking up on a story first reported in JFK Facts, CNN reporter Jake Tapper aired dramatic conversations from the reconstituted Air Force Once tapes from November 22, 1963, capturing the real-time reaction of U.S. government officials as the news spreads that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas.
But Tapper’s otherwise compelling report also illuminates the unfortunate power of JFK denialism in major news organizations.
One of many fascinating features of the debate about the causes of the JFK’s assassination is the evident anxiety of some people who defend the theory that one man alone killed the president for no reason. As the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, their anxiety is growing.
Exhibit A: Dale Myers and Gus Russo attack me for having the temerity to say that the CIA is obligated to release all of its JFK-related files.
Exhibit B: Professor John McAdams is in a tizzy by my review of the trailer for “Parkland,” the new JFK film produced by Tom Hanks, that will be released on October 4. In my post, I predicted that “Parkland” will not deal with the troubling issue of an October 10, 1963, CIA cable in which five senior CIA operations officers said Lee Harvey Oswald was “maturing.”
This is “buff stuff,” writes McAdams in an email. Read more
Thanks to Lisa Pease and everybody else who participated in the debate about whether it appropriate for JFK Facts to include John McAdams’s JFK Assassination Page in its list of “Best JFK Web Sites.” WIth one exception, nothing I have read persuades me to change anything on the site.
Reader Clarence Carlson expressed my point of view precisely when he commented:
“In any important intellectual activity it is important, even essential, to explore and understand dissenting viewpoints. Likely we might find little to agree with, but will be “armed” , as it were, with more information and knowledge as we continue to explore the truth.”
The clinching argument came from Pease herself when she acknowledged she had learned from McAdams.
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.
When taking on the JFK assassination story many authors inflict massive tomes on the reading public. These epic volumes often come with majestic names (“Breach of Faith” and “Reclaiming History”) that explicate complex forensic theories (“Crossfire” and “Best Evidence”) and pronounce definitive judgments (“Case Closed” and “High Treason”) that beget equally confident rejoinders (“Final Disclosure” and “The Last Investigation”).
Some of these books are good and others bad. But they are all B-I-G. Nothing wrong with that. Its a big story. Maybe too big.
Todd C. Elliott, an investigative journalist with The Eunice News in Louisiana, has chosen a humbler JFK topic: a woman who was a known prostitute and drug courier.
In the Comments section, Marquette University professor John McAdams accuses me and a host of other JFK authors, including G. Robert Blakey, Norman Mailer, Gerald Posner, Anthony Summers and others, of signing a public letter about JFK assassination that was “speculative and poorly sourced.”
"Our Man in Mexico" is a true thriller that recounts the remarkable life of Win Scott, the charismatic CIA spymaster who had a unique insider's perspective on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
"Enthralling"--Wall Street Journal
"A first-class detective story"--Tim Weiner, author of the Legacy of Ashes, The HIstory of the CIA.
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