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Saturday, 01 May 2010 17:44

Von Pein/Colbert Replies, and the Comedy Continues?

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As Gil Jesus has noted, Von Pein is a lost and silly person. He likes to call Commission critics "kooks" and "nuts" to disguise his own imbalances. Namely, that he is in denial of the evidence, writes Jim DiEugenio.


Predictably, since we advertised it on the Billboard, David Von Pein was waiting for my article about him to appear. And the very day it was posted, Von Pein made one of his patented silly replies. Then, when I went on Len Osanic's Black Op Radio on April 15th to discuss the essay, Von Pein replied again. It is hard to determine which response is more silly, but since the second one brings up more issues, let us use that one.

  1. Von Pein starts out by criticizing me for mispronouncing his name. To which I reply: "Excuse me!" Like this really matters in what is under discussion. DVP then tries to deny the fact that any initial criticism he made of Reclaiming History was negligible. This is ridiculous. In his first press release he relegated the "errors" he found in the book to a special section of his multi-sectioned review. He excused them with two qualifications: 1.) In such a huge and heroic undertaking, anyone could have made them, and 2.) The ones he listed were so minor that they in no way impacted on the worthiness of the volume. And Von Pein's list was minor. None of Bugliosi's major errors of commission or omission noted by either Rodger Remington or myself are there. Von Pein has to deny all this today because after the numerous, comprehensive and compelling polemics that have leveled Bugliosi's book, his first press release looks so biased that it has no credibility. Which, of course, it did not in the first place. It was nothing but PR.Von Pein's next point may be a valid one. Which, for him, is a real achievement. (For DVP, 1 in 17 is a good batting average.) He says that he has only reviewed two of the Discovery Channel JFK cover-up specials. So, accordingly, I will change the wording here.As per his pointing out any errors in Inside the Target Car, see point two above. As with Reclaiming History, they were so negligible as to be worthless. In fact, he actually got angry at me for coming up with so many errors that my review ended up being three parts long. His other point, about the front shot exploding the head, is misguided. The ammunition used here was a different type of round than the others. And therefore with the "replica heads", which were not replicas, the explosion was bound to happen. This is nothing but obfuscation by Von Pein. Which is why he never answers the question of why the program's military jacketed bullets did not fragment. Yet in the JFK case, the bullets did.Unlike what DVP maintains, if one reads any of the scholarly literature on the history of the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, one will see that the 36 inch version was called a carbine, and the 40 inch version-which was a cut down of a longer rifle-was usually referred to as a short rifle. (See John Armstrong's fine discussion in Harvey and Lee, p. 439) I don't think a mail order sales ad calling both versions carbines qualifies as scholarly dissertation for anyone but Von Pein. In fact the use of the word "scholarly" in the same sentence with Von Pein is an oxymoron.The next point indicates the time warp that Von Pein is in. He actually scores me for not accepting all the old discredited Warren Commission evidence against Oswald. You know, like the palm print that did not arrive in Washington until a week later; the unbelievable CE 399; the dented shell that could not have been dented that day; the Walker bullet that somehow altered its caliber and color while in transit from the rifle; the shells from the bullets fired at Tippit that are missing the officer's initials etc etc. These deceptions were all exposed decades ago by Harold Weisberg, Sylvia Meagher, Mark Lane, Josiah Thompson and others. Yet, with Von Pein, its like those books do not exist. Which shows his denial problem. Because they are the main reason that the public lost faith in the Warren Commission.He actually says that Victoria Adams and Sandra Styles could not have been on the stairs with Oswald after the shooting since they only descended a minute or two later. This is a perfect illustration of Von Pein's denial problem. For Adams had to correct the transcript of her testimony because it lied about this specific point. She said she was on the stairs about 15 seconds after the shots. So if Oswald was descending, she would have had to have seen or heard him. She did not. (See Gerald McKnight, Breach of Trust, p. 399) Von Pein wants to revivify the lie.Von Pein tries to obfuscate his howler about Kennedy and John Connally reacting to the same shot at Z-224. So what does he do? He shows us frames Z-223, and then Z-224. You can see very little, if anything, of Kennedy in Z-223. Which is why I did not mention it. In Z-224 you can see a sliver of his hands going upward toward his neck in reaction to being hit. While Connally is sitting serenely in front, untouched. So Von Pein was wrong about both men reacting simultaneously and is now trying to cover up his error. The proof of that is this: Why didn't he show us frames Z-224, 225 and 226?As per his celebrated departure from JFK Lancer, Von Pein tries to say that one person actually called him polite. But this was a purely relative statement. It was made in comparison to another troll named Nick Kendrick. To me, this is like differentiating between a flea and a louse.Von Pein tries to say that the quote I used by Gene Stump does not actually refer to his almost insane frequency of posts, which flooded the JFK Lancer Forum board. He says it refers to Nick Kendrick. Actually, in the copy I have of that, it is not clear if Stump is referring to Von Pein or Kendrick. But it's irrelevant to the main point. Von Pein himself refers to the well over 2,000 posts he made at Lancer. And even a rather conservative Commission critic like Jerry Dealey noted about Von Pein that, "I did get tired of his responding to every single thread repeatedly, and always repeating the same things over and over." (Post of 7/28/05, italics in original.) Von Pein was flooding the board to distract everyone.In his next nonsensical point, Von Pein shows his sensitivity and warm camaraderie with propagandist John McAdams. He tries to say that McAdams does not dominate alt.conspiracy.jfk and that someone like me would feel at home there. John McAdams posts at that site regularly, and it's always to ridicule Commission critics. In fact, he is joined there by both Von Pein and Dave Reitzes. It is their home away from home-since all three have their own web sites that support the Commission and the Single Bullet Delusion. McAdams, Reitzes, and Von Pein have made that forum a flame pit since they have polarized the debate there because of their constant ridicule and invective against any kind of Commission critiques. In fact, in Lisa Pease's appearance on Black Op Radio on May 13th, she discusses McAdams' techniques in this endeavor. (She begins at the 41:20 mark.) I would never set foot there because of this point: there is no real debate, it is more like mud wrestling. Which is why I call it the Pigpen. And it's why Von Pein is at home there.Von Pein tries to obfuscate the fact that one of the reasons he was booted from John Simkin's Spartacus forum was his failure to produce a photo of himself. He says that this was not a foolproof way to keep trolls out anyway. Duh, no kidding Dave. But unless Simkin was going to run full background checks on applicants and then make them sign an oath in advance, there really is no foolproof way to become troll-proof. But the picture was one easy step in that direction. Von Pein then tries to say that he had no picture on his computer to upload. This is almost surely a lie. There IS a photo taken in 1991 of Von Pein selling chicken at what looks like Kentucky Fried Chicken. And it is on the web. Why couldn't he have uploaded a cropped version of that photo?Von Pein tries to defend the London trial that Vincent Bugliosi participated in. I repeat what I said: it was nothing close to a real trial. You can make that judgment just on the fact that none of the three autopsy doctors were there. Secondly, the Assassination Records Review Board had not declassified the hidden records. Finally, because no actual exhibits were used, and the three pathologists were absent, the real rules of evidence could not be followed.Both Von Pein and Bugliosi ignore the 8 questions I posed at the end of my essay which prove that CE 399 was not found at Parkland Hospital. They can't directly answer them since they pose compelling proof that the FBI lied about the provenance of the Magic Bullet. So Von Pein does what his master Bugliosi does in his book: 1.) He ignores this direct evidence and 2.)Blows smoke by countering with senseless comments and questions. Bugliosi has honed this technique to a science. In essence it asks the respondent to demonstrate exactly how the conspiracy actually worked in each and every detail. Which is ridiculous. Why? Because it shifts the burden of proof from the prosecution to the defense. In other words, it Is not enough to prove a conspiracy happened. The defense now has to demonstrate exactly how it was implemented. Which is a preposterous standard. And it implicitly shows that Bugliosi cannot uphold his own standard of proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Those 8 questions prove that Oswald was framed. Period. If they did not, then Bugliosi and DVP would either show that the facts I used are wrong or they would answer them. They do neither.Von Pein now really gets his dander up. He says that it is a dirty lie to state that he reviewed Rodger Remington's book Biting the Elephant for amazon.com. This is more Von Peinian silliness. . And a diversion from the real point. While technically true, it ignores the fact that this is the only book by Remington that Von Pein has not reviewed at amazon.com. Rodger has written four books on the Warren Commission, Biting the Elephant is the most recent. Von Pein has reviewed the other three at Amazon. Incredibly, he either forgot this or does not think it's important. But the real diversion is this: He reviews the books without reading them! Nothing in his reviews reveals any knowledge of the subject matter in the books. All they consist of is general boilerplate arguments against the Commission critics. But he then gives the books he has not read, and disagrees with, five star reviews! Evidently he hopes that people will then be more apt to read his propaganda. If that is not fraud, I don't know what is.

    Von Pein says I was wrong to state that he has been promoting Reclaiming History since 2005. He says he has been doing it since 2003. In other words, promoting what was published in 2007 in 2005 isn't good enough for DVP. He was promoting it back in 2003. He then says he is proud of that fact and that Reclaiming History will be the Bible on the JFK case for generations to come. Hmm. Sounds like Gerald Ford talking about the Warren Commission in 1964. But, alas, Reclaiming History did not even last that long.

  2. My last point here is one that absolutely typifies Von Pein and his almost embarrassing obeisance to Vincent Bugliosi. I have scored Bugliosi by saying that it appears he wrote Reclaiming History from his office. That is, he did all his interviews and investigation over the phone. Which is remarkable considering he had 21 years and a huge advance to spend. Von Pein tries to salvage this practice by saying that this does not matter since the same conversations would have taken place in person as over the phone. But if that is so, the question then becomes: Why do investigators go to crime scenes or interview witnesses and suspects face to face at all? For instance, if Bugliosi would have gone to Chicago and looked at the planned parade route there, he would not have written that the failure to fully investigate this assassination attempt had no impact on what happened in Dallas. The scenarios, as Jim Douglass found out by going there, were almost the exact same thing: an attempt by crossfire below, while a patsy above in a warehouse was elevated over the motorcade route. Incredibly, Bugliosi never went there to see that. Also, he evidently never went to the National Archives to see that, contrary to what he wrote, FBI agent Elmer Lee Todd's initials are not on CE 399. But also, one can get a feel for a witness more readily in person than one can over the phone. For instance, when I talked to FBI agent Warren DeBrueys at his house north of New Orleans, he told me that he did not read any books on the JFK assassination. But in a break during the interview, I walked a bit around his house. Sitting on a shelf in his office were 15 books on the JFK assassination. That discovery could not have happened with a phone interview. So Von Pein is wrong.

As is the sum total of Von Pein's reply. But everyone should know that about Von Pein now. As Gil Jesus has noted, Von Pein is a lost and silly person. He likes to call Commission critics "kooks" and "nuts" to disguise his own imbalances. Namely, that he is in denial of the evidence. And of his own myopia and solipsistic personality. Therefore, he uses the psychological device of projection. That is, the cognitive failing is not actually his, the problem lies with the rest of the world.

It's not everyone else Dave. It's you. Which is why you are the only one still relaying messages to Bugliosi's secretary Rosemary Newton. And you will only get better once you admit that truth about yourself.

Last modified on Saturday, 22 October 2016 21:28
James DiEugenio

One of the most respected researchers and writers on the political assassinations of the 1960s, Jim DiEugenio is the author of two books, Destiny Betrayed (1992/2012) and The JFK Assassination: The Evidence Today (2018), co-author of The Assassinations, and co-edited Probe Magazine (1993-2000).   See "About Us" for a fuller bio.

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