Thursday, 21 November 2013

Send In the Clowns: Fetzer and Lifton Embarrass Themselves, Again!

Dr. Cyril Wecht is a courageous and highly intelligent man. There are few "famous faces" in JFK assassination research for whom I have equal respect. He is a world-renowned forensic pathologist and a former President of both the American Academy of Forensic Science and the American College of Legal Medicine. For the better part of 50 years he has been a vociferous critic of the Warren Commission's investigation, most especially the linchpin of its case against Lee Harvey Oswald, the Single Bullet Theory. And he was the one member of the House Select Committee on Assassinations forensic pathology panel who had the courage to say the king was nude and offered a spirited dissent to the panel's findings.
Jim Fetzer on the other hand is a someone for whom I have little respect. For someone who claims to have taught "critical thinking" for decades he is ridiculously gullible. From Zapruder film alteration to the claims of Judyth Baker, there are few wacky claims and crackpot ideas he doesn't endorse. But beware, if you should dare to publicly disagree with any one of his many, many paranoid beliefs, he'll remind you of his credentials and how much smarter he is than you. And if you still disagree then, well, you're obviously a CIA asset or some kind of government shill.
David Lifton is worse. He's not gullible, he's a fabricator of insane and entirely baseless theories that do nothing but obscure the truth about the assassination and make it easy for Establishment defenders to lump the rest of us in with UFO spotters and other tin foil hat wearing kooks. It has been suggested that Lifton is not and never was a real critic of the official story and is in fact a deliberate disinformationist and it would not surprise me in the slightest if this were true. On top of this, he's a horrible human being. Anyone who has attempted to conduct a civil debate with him online can attest to what an arrogant, condescending, and thoroughly unlikeable soul he is. Earlier this year, I quit the Education forum when two people I respect were unfairly ejected without cause by forum owner, John Simkin. I very much enjoyed being a member and didn't really want to leave but felt I had to out of principle because what he was doing was simply not right. Ultimately, I was standing up for two people who did not deserve to be treated that way. Hours after I did so, Lifton felt the need to send me a message titled "Your X-tra large size self image" which said in total, "You are so totally self involved, over-inflated and mis-informed." That was the whole message. He didn't explain why he felt that way and I didn't ask. I just did what everybody else in JFK research should have been doing for the last 50 years and ignored him.
Now these two clowns are, quite ridiculously, gunning for Dr. Wecht and embarrassing themselves in the process. In a recent online piece, The JFK War: The two Cyril Wechts, the "magic bullet", and the HSCA, Fetzer and Lifton seem to suggest that Dr. Wecht has made some kind of about-turn, and imply that he is now endorsing a three-shot scenario and a "version of the 'magic' bullet theory". In so doing, they completely misrepresent what Dr. Wecht actually said in the interview they have gotten themselves so worked up about. Nowhere in the interview does Dr. Wecht claim that only three shots were fired. Nowhere. What actually happened was that the interviewer asked, "So, how many times was the President shot?" and Dr. Wecht responded "The President was shot three times". This was a specific answer to a specific question. It's doesn't account for the shot to Governor Connally or any shots that missed because Dr. Wecht wasn't asked about them nor was he at any point asked how many shots were fired in total. It is beyond me to believe that Fetzer and Lifton have such poor comprehension skills that they didn't really understand this fact. Which leaves us with the inescapable conclusion that they are being deliberately disingenuous.
And they continue to do so when they falsely claim that Dr. Wecht "maintains...that none of the doctors at Parkland observed the wound to his [JFK's] throat." [their emphasis] This is absolutely nothing like what Dr. Wecht said and they have to know it. What he actually said was that the throat wound was "completely missed by the doctors who did the autopsy that night. They never knew there was a gunshot wound of any kind in the front of the neck because the doctors at Parkland had done a tracheostomy..." [my emphasis] Completely contradicting Fetzer and Lifton's bullshit claim, Dr. Wecht then follows this up by pointing out that Dr. Malcom Perry had stated in 1986 that "there was no question in his mind...that the wound was a wound of entrance"! So not only was Dr. Wecht correctly pointing out that the throat wound was missed at the autopsy in Bethesda but he goes out of his way to point out that at least one of the doctors at Parkland saw the wound and insisted it was an entrance. So what the hell are Fetzer and Lifton harping on about? Why are they attacking Dr. Wecht for things he never said? What's this all about?
I think the answer to these questions lies within their article. Dr. Wecht's interview was, of course, conducted at his 50th anniversary conference in Pittsburgh. It was a pretty prestigious affair with talks from top drawer writers and researchers like Mark Lane, Jim DiEugenio, Oliver Stone, Jim Lesar, and Josiah Thompson. As Dr. Wecht noted, "...we have been fortunate, to be able to bring together, all of the top critic researchers, who have been working on this case—some going back 40, 45 years; others, more recently. But we have essentially all of them." Apparently, Fetzer and Lifton weren't happy with this remark. "...that is obviously false", they write. "He did not invite David S. Lifton, the author of Best Evidence (1980). He did not invite Jim Fetzer, the editor of Assassination Science (1998), of Murder In Dealey Plaza (2000), and of The Great Zapruder Film Hoax (2003)... He knows who we are and that we are not at his conference. So how can he (with a straight face) make such a blatantly false claim?"
And there it is, what this is all about: Jealousy and slighted egos. Poor little Jim and Dave, the other kids just don't want to play with them. How childish. How utterly pathetic. What an embarrassment to themselves these clowns really are.

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