I’ve gotten some useful comment on my question, “Did Richard Nixon know Jack Ruby?”
1) David Kaiser of the Naval War College says the disputed document cited by Roger Stone looks “peculiar” based on his experience with similar records.
“Unless some one can locate a copy of this document in an archive I would see no reason to think that it was genuine,” Kaiser writes.
2) Gary Mack of the Sixth Floor Museum sent two objections to passages that referred to him.
I wrote, “Mack says a Chicago newspaper reporter debunked the story that Nixon knew Ruby a long time ago.”
Mack says: “The newspaper article I saw didn’t suggest the two knew each other, only that Dallas Ruby was not the same man as the HUAC Rubenstein.”
Comment: If that’s all the article says, it won’t clarify much. Thanks to Jean Davison’s research we know that there was another man named Jack Rubenstein whom Nixon and HUAC might have wanted to get information from in 1947. We know he was different from the Jack Rubenstein of Dallas who called himself Jack Ruby.
I wrote: “Unless Davison and Mack have some evidence that the communist Jack Rubenstein lived in Chicago in 1947, I doubt he is the person referenced in the note.”
Mack says: “The article noted only that, based on records and interviews, they were not the same person, which means the doc IS fake.”
I don’t follow that logic, which just means that we need more information.
3) When I cited Occam’s Razor in my reasoning about why I think the document is authentic, Paul Hoch snatched said weapons out of my hands.
In an email he wrote:
“According to an anonymous but reasonable person, Occam’s Razor is a methodological statement, not a veridical one; a statement about how inquiry ought to be conducted, not about the truth-value of its results.’ Looking at the HUAC part of the document, I would say that the simplest explanation, pending other evidence, is that it refers to some other Jack Rubenstein.”
Hoch then expressed more doubt about the more important–and less documented–part of Roger Stone’s “LBJ Did It” conspiracy theory. He questioned my reporting that:
“Stone also said he has “a direct quote from Nixon who acknowledged in 1989 that his aide Murray Chotiner brought Ruby to him in 1947 and told him LBJ wanted Ruby hired as an informant for the House UnAmerican Activities Committee,” otherwise known as HUAC.”
Hoch asked “Does anyone here other than Jeff believe that could have actually happened, with The Jack Ruby?”
Comment: Is it possible that Murray Chotiner, a hard-boiled lifetime aide to Nixon who specialized in political dirty tricks, knew a character like Jack Rubenstein a.k.a. Jack Ruby in 1947? That doesn’t seem impossible.
Is it possible that Chotiner brought Rubenstein/Ruby to HUAC as an informant? If the document is authentic, then somebody brought “Jack Rubenstein of Chicago” to the attention of HUAC. Chotiner who began working for Nixon in 1946, according to Wikipedia,
Did Chotiner know LBJ? Its possible. They both worked in Washington in the 1940s but I see no evidence of acquaintance.
Did LBJ know Jack Ruby? That seems less likely and there is no evidence of it.
I’m not saying Stone’s story is true but Murray Chotiner’s alleged role in it is not, on the face of it, implausible. Chotiner died suddenly in 1974 and does not seem to have given an oral history or sat for many interviews.