Sunday, 02 December 2018 20:44

The Crimes of Quillette

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Carrying forward his response to Fred Litwin on Garrison, Jim DiEugenio turns his unrelenting critical eye on Quillette, an organ of the alt-right which not only published an article based on Litwin's book, but also a follow-up piece with a similar title by one its editors, Jamie Palmer.

I’ll say this for Fred Litwin: He knows where to go to advance his cause.

On Steve Paikan’s Ontario TV show The Agenda, Litwin stated that nothing in the declassified files of the ARRB indicated anything about a conspiracy in the JFK case. This is simply and utterly false. As I wrote about Litwin’s essay on Jim Garrison, this statement proves one of two things: 1.) He did not read any of the declassified files, or 2.) He did read them and is deliberately misrepresenting them. In my review I proved that such was the case with several specific examples. This exposure reduces Litwin to the level of Leslie Nielson as Lt. Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun: proclaiming to a gatheringcrowd there was nothing to see as, behind him, bombs explode a fireworks factory. But this is the kind of poseur that Litwin is, except he is not nearly as funny as Nielson.

In addition to his interview, Litwin has also done an article for an online journal. That online journal is something called Quillette, which I never knew existed until someone pointed out the Litwin article. I would have never found this journal on my own, and I would not have been missing anything.

Quillette is a libertarian inspired anti-PC, anti-liberal journal founded by one Claire Lehmann. Journalist Bari Weiss grouped Lehmann as a member of the Intellectual Dark Web, along with the likes of Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro. (See this article for info on Peterson) Shapiro is the snarky right-winger who went on MSNBC to defend gun rights by handing the host, Piers Morgan, a copy of the constitution. Unfortunately Morgan, a Brit, did not reply with, “Ben, do you also believe that African Americans should count as 3/5 of a person for census purposes? Because that is what this document says. Should they, and also women, be allowed to vote? Because under this document they were not.” As Alice Dreger wrote, opinions are not scholarship, and that is what the members of this group generally offer. (“Why I escaped the ‘Intellectual Dark Web’’’, Chronicle of Higher Education, 5/11/2018) She could have added that snark does not denote intelligence. As with the Shapiro exchange, it’s often just an excuse for being a smartass. Quillette published the so-called “Google memo” by James Damore, in which he accused that company of practicing reverse discrimination which somehow hurt Asians and whites and males. The right loves this kind of thing since it is a way to repudiate the affirmative action policies originated by President Kennedy. Except, by reading some of their articles concerning JFK, I would be willing to wager than no one at Quillette even knows that JFK started that policy. The Intellectual Dark Web is really the cover layer for the rise of the Trumpian alt-right. If the reader understands all that, then everything that follows is as natural as water running over a rock.


On September 27, 2018, Quillette published an article by Litwin based on his book I Was a Teenage JFK Conspiracy Freak. That article tried to make the case that somehow the KGB was involved in fostering JFK conspiracy thinking in the USA by planting disinformation stories. Litwin, not the most original researcher, largely based his piece on the work of Max Holland. He labels Holland an historian—which he is not. Two of the three pieces that Holland says are KGB produced disinformation are not disinfo at all. I dealt with them in my critique of Holland’s original article that The Daily Beast was dumb enough to print. As I noted there, the late Mark Lane did not get secret donations from the KGB. And he proved this in his book, The Last Word. (pp. 92-96) As I showed in my critique of Litwin’s essay on Jim Garrison, the last thing in the world that Permindex was was a creation of the KGB. And Shaw’s association with it was something he himself acknowledged. I demonstrated this, not just in my previous essay on Litwin, but also in my lengthy exposure of Holland.

The third piece of alleged KGB mischief that Litwin brings up is the famous “Dear Mr. Hunt letter”. In book form this was first produced in Henry Hurt’s volume Reasonable Doubt. It is a note dated November 8, 1963, and addressed to a Mr. Hunt. It is written in cursive and reads, “I would like information regarding my position. I am only asking for information. I am asking that we discuss the matter fully before any steps are taken by me or anyone else. Thank you.” Oswald’s signature follows. (See HSCA Vol. 4, p. 337) Again, Litwin says this was part of a Russian intelligence operation codenamed Arlington.

One of the problems with that pronouncement is that the Dallas Morning News ran a story saying they had three handwriting analysts look at the note: Mary Harrison, Allan R. Keon and Mary Duncan. They compared it to samples of Oswald’s writing. All three concluded it was genuine. (NY Times, April 4, 1977) The trio belonged to a professional organization called the Independent Association of Questioned Document Examiners. Harrison said she would be comfortable going into court and presenting her analysis. Litwin gets around this problem by saying that the NY Times wrote of the note’s possible authenticity. As the reader can see, that is not what the Times reported. The HSCA did not make a conclusive judgment about the note because it was a photocopy. (Henry Hurt, Reasonable Doubt, p. 236) On this point, Ms. Harrison stated that reproductions are often presented in court.

Most of the Litwin/Holland material was produced by KGB defector Vasili Mitrokhin. Making the Mitrokhin case look even worse on this matter is the work of researcher Greg Doudna. Doudna did his best to track down the evidence Mitrokhin had purloined from the KGB showing the note was a forgery. In Mitrokhin’s book, The Sword and the Shield, there is a footnote referencing some original papers at a British university. (Mitrokhin and Christopher Andrew, pp. 228-29) Greg got in contact with the curator at Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, and part of the University of Cambridge. To cut to the chase, there is no evidence for this forgery in the Mitrokin collection. All there exists to back up that footnote is a typed draft of the book. This is the kind of scholarship Litwin offered and Quillette accepted. (E-mail communication with Doudna, 11/28/2018)

Mitrokhin was a former KGB archivist who became a defector. Apparently, neither Litwin, nor anyone at Quillette, ever read Amy Knight’s coruscating review of his role in the wave of alleged Soviet defectors finding their home with Anglo-American publishers and newspapers owned by the likes of Rupert Murdoch. As she points out, when first drafts by these defecting authors were not sensational enough, they were spiced up. And presto! They now included information like, well, how about Niels Bohr, Enrico Fermi and Robert Oppenheimer were giving atomic secrets to the USSR? And Oppenheimer recruited Klaus Fuchs—who actually was a spy—to Los Alamos, the location of the Manhattan Project. Knight, a real scholar in the field of Soviet studies, had some fun with that one. (“The Selling of the KGB”, Wilson Quarterly, Winter 2000) She had more fun with the source for both Holland and Litwin. The idea that an archivist did not have access to a copier for 12 years and therefore had to scribble down notes from documents, instead of copying the documents themselves, this simply strains credulity. But if one sees this new field of exchange as a marketable continuation of the Cold War—with impoverished KGB agents finding a way to make mucho bucks from an American/British Establishment that has a lot invested in the justification of that Cold War—then it makes sense. Somehow, the anti-PC Quillette fails to acknowledge that angle. Which indicates what their political correctness is all about.

In fact, on the matter of the JFK case, Quillette is Establishment to the hilt—and beyond. On the 55th anniversary of the murder of President Kennedy, they gave Litwin an encore. They ran an echo to his book. One of the editors, Jamie Palmer, penned a piece called “My Misspent years of Conspiracism”. All I can say to Mr. Palmer is that if this was an audition for the big-time MSM, he should be getting a few calls from the Fox network in the near future.


In Litwin’s book, he says that what originally convinced him there was a conspiracy in the JFK case was ABC TV’s public showing of the Zapruder film in 1975. In Palmer’s Bildungsroman, it was his viewing of the film JFK. But even in describing that experience the reader can see why, as with Litwin, Palmer ended up being a Warren Commission shill. He writes that somehow the Mr. X character in that film turned out not to be credible. That character is based on Fletcher Prouty, and virtually everything he related from his own experience at the meeting in Washington with the Jim Garrison character has turned out to be accurate. That Mr. X/Garrison conversation on a park bench concerning Vietnam has revolutionized our thinking about that entire conflict. It inspired several books that have advanced the film’s thesis even further. Namely, that President Kennedy was not going to escalate the Vietnam quagmire any further, that no combat troops would be sent into theater, and the advisors America had there were going to be recalled. From what I have seen of Quillette, they would not print scholars like David Kaiser or Gordon Goldstein or James Blight. That’s not what they are about. Litwin is.

Palmer is unintentionally funny when he gets to the turning point of his personal saga. He says that his original beliefs about the case were reversed when he watched the 2003 program on the assassination that was produced by Peter Jennings at ABC and broadcast in England by the BBC. This site carries an entire section consisting of 16 critical articles demonstrating why Jennings’ show was a three-ring circus. From Jennings’ hiring of Gus Russo as his main consultant, to the “computer simulation” of the Magic Bullet, the program was a set up to revivify the corpse of the Warren Report. Our articles expose that agenda in gruesome detail. Somehow, Palmer swallowed it whole. In fact, he calls this program “a masterpiece of methodical argument”.

Palmer goes on to describe certain parts of that “methodical argument” for an entire section of his long essay. What is incredible about his recitation is that, with one exception, it is all recycled Warren Commission drivel used to convict Oswald in 1964. Are we to believe that in over ten years of his belief that Oswald was innocent Palmer never read any of this material? Not even in books critical of the Commission? For he now says that he sees that Stone was remiss by not including the shooting attempt at General Edwin Walker in his film. Palmer writes, “Oswald had tried to assassinate someone else in April 1963.” The case against Oswald in the Walker shooting has been well examined by, among others, Gerald McKnight in his fine book Breach of Trust. That book is 13 years old, so if Palmer wanted to check up on that incident, he could have.

First off, the Walker shooting was investigated by the Dallas Police for over seven months and Oswald was never a suspect. Why? For one, the best witness was Kirk Coleman. He ran out of his neighboring house right after hearing the shot. He saw two men escaping, in two separate cars. Further, when he was shown pictures of Oswald by the FBI, he failed to identify him as either man. (McKnight, p. 57) But beyond that, a cursory look at the Warren Report reveals that Oswald did not drive, or own a car. Another witness, Robert Surrey, told the police that two nights before the shooting he had seen two men casing Walker’s house. They left in a Ford. Again, he said that neither man looked like Oswald. (McKnight, p. 58) Tough to go into court when the two eyewitnesses deny the defendant was there.

But it’s worse than that. The bullet recovered from the scene of the crime, which missed Walker from about 25 feet away, was not the correct ammunition for the alleged Oswald rifle. In newspaper and police accounts it was reported as a 30.06 projectile, not 6.5 mm. Plus, it was steel jacketed, not copper jacketed as was the ammunition used for the Oswald rifle, and therefore was a different hue. (James DiEugenio, The JFK Assassination: The Evidence Today, p. 100) The reason the FBI and the Warren Commission had to pin the Walker shooting on Oswald was because there was next to nothing in his past to connect him to such an outburst of murderous violence as occurred in Dealey Plaza, and later, with the killing of Patrolman Tippit. In the Marines, Oswald accidentally injured himself when a derringer went off as he opened a locker. He then had a dispute with an officer and threw a drink in his face. (James DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, second edition, p. 130) What makes that sum total even weaker is that Oswald liked and admired President Kennedy. (Dick Russell, On the Trail of the JFK Assassins, p. 206)

The one exception to his warmed over Warren Commission refuse is contained in Palmer’s final and thunderous J’accuse against Stone. The author concludes his conversion story by praising the ABC-produced Dale Myers computer simulation of the Magic Bullet done for the Jennings program. That simulation was supposed to show the Warren Commission was correct in saying that one bullet went through both John Kennedy and Governor John Connally, making seven wounds, smashing two bones, and emerging from its journey in pretty much unscathed condition, missing only 3 grains of its original mass. There have been several devastating critiques of this simulation. All Palmer had to do was search the web and he would have found them. In our section on this site, we feature three full-scale dismantlings of Myers and his cartoon. The Single Bullet Theory, the sine qua non of the Warren Report, simply did not happen. And when one has to cut as many corners as Myers does in order to create a Rube Goldberg contraption to say it did, then such is the proof of the plot. That Mr. Palmer did not consult any of these critiques says a lot about his personal bias and also his honesty with his readers. He actually writes that he found Myers’ simulation “too convincing to dismiss”.

Robert Harris showed how easy it was to dismiss. He demonstrated that Myers deliberately misplaced the positions of Kennedy and Connally in the car for ABC. Harris proved this was the case by using actual images from the Zapruder film to demonstrate that Myers had jammed the two victims much closer together than they were, thereby foreshortening the firing trajectory. Myers also changed the position of the two men and altered the image of the car within the same traveling shot. He did this in order to conceal the fact that when placed in their proper perspective, the Magic Bullet comes in way too low to strike Connally in the right rear shoulder. In spite of all this, Palmer concludes this section of his essay by saying that if this same technique would have been used to demonstrate a frontal shot, he would have considered it “decisive and final”. I would like to inform Quillette that by using these techniques, one could simulate a sniper hitting Kennedy and Connally from the top of the Hertz sign in Dealey Plaza. But for Palmer and Quillette, in keeping with Mr. Litwin’s approach, it’s not the accuracy of the presentation that matters, it’s the result. Or to use an old realpolitik adage: the ends justify the means.


But Palmer has to maintain his whole “personal saga” pretense. So he now shifts gears into the New Orleans aspect of Stone’s film and also to Garrison’s book, On the Trail of the Assassins. But, like Litwin, Palmer refuses to acknowledge an important aspect of the overall calculus: the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB). Litwin simply misrepresents the discoveries of that body. Palmer simply ignores them. As I noted in my review of Litwin, this tactic is convenient for Warren Report shills since so much of what Garrison was talking about back in 1967 has turned out to be accurate. In fact, because Garrison was correct on much of what he said, the FBI and CIA had to cover up the facts, and the CIA had to launch subversive operations against him.

Part of the subversion was to launch infiltrators into Garrison’s camp. As Garrison describes in his book, one of them was a man he called Bill Boxley, his real name being William Wood. In Stone’s film, he and co-screenwriter Zach Sklar named him Bill Broussard. Palmer actually calls the character, “a composite of various Garrison staffers” and “is allotted the role of the villain in Stone’s film”. Wrong again. From talking with co-screenwriter Zach Sklar, Broussard was based upon Boxley. And if anything, Stone and Sklar underplayed the damage Boxley did to Garrison. This author spent several pages dealing with the havoc the man unleashed, and also the investigative files he stole—some of which were never recovered. (DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, pp. 278-85) If you can believe it, Palmer actually tries to make the guy some kind of hero. What is even more bizarre is that Palmer also relies upon Tom Bethell, the man who was supposed to be in charge of Garrison’s archive. On the eve of the Shaw trial, Bethell turned over the DA’s trial brief to Shaw’s defense. Through research into the Garrison files declassified by the ARRB, Peter Vea discovered that, unlike what Bethell tried to imply years later, he did not admit this to Garrison. Lou Ivon, Garrison’s assistant, conducted an investigation and found out Bethell was the culprit. According to Peter’s work, Bethell broke down and wept upon discovery. Before Garrison could decide what to do with his case, he fled to Dallas. As stated to this author in a conversation he had with the late Mary Ferrell’s estranged son, for whatever reason, Bethell ended up at her doorstep. With touchstones like this, you can do a lot to downgrade Jim Garrison.

And Palmer cannot let go of Litwin’s false idea that somehow Garrison’s witness Perry Russo was drugged and fed leading questions to get him to identify Shaw as Bertrand. In my review of Litwin I showed this was not the case. It was a trick set up by Shaw’s lawyers with the aid of compromised journalist James Phelan. They rearranged the two sodium pentothal (truth serum) sessions to make it appear that this is what occurred. When read in their true order no such thing happens. Russo introduced the character of Bertrand on his own without being coached. The two best exposures of this charade are by Lisa Pease (Probe Magazine, Vol. 6 No. 5, p. 26), and Joe Biles in his book on Garrison entitled In History’s Shadow (pp. 43-47). Both have been available for over 15 years.

But Palmer goes beyond Litwin. He says that Perry Russo flunked his polygraph test according to the administrator. The administrator he is referring to is one Ed O’Donnell. O’Donnell was a policeman who Garrison had tried to draw up on charges for police brutality against African American suspects. Both he and Ray Jacob, another technician used by the DA, were intent on unsettling Russo in order to get the wrong indications on the test. (Joan Mellen, A Farewell to Justice, p. 147) When Russo complained to Garrison about these tactics, Garrison called O’Donnell into his office. He asked him if he had a tape of Russo denying that Shaw/Bertrand was at a gathering at Ferrie’s apartment. The policeman said no he did not. Yet he had told Russo he did. Garrison terminated his services upon hearing this. (Clay Shaw trial testimony of 2/26/69) The proof of who O’Donnell really was is that he ended up being an advisor to Shaw’s defense team at the trial. (Mellen, p. 309)

If you continually and falsely smear the DA’s investigation, and then assume that Oswald shot Kennedy—which we know today did not and could not have happened—then you can characterize Garrison’s inquiry as “inconsequential”. But you would have to add that the Richard Schweiker/Gary Hart investigation for the Church Committee was also meaningless, and the Richard Sprague/Robert Tanenbaum phase of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) was also adrift. The problem with saying that is you are now dismissing two fine senators and two excellent prosecutors. Between them, Sprague and Tanenbaum prosecuted about two hundred homicide cases. The combined record was one loss in well over twenty years. Sprague was the lawyer who prosecuted the famous Jock Yablonski murder conspiracy case and convicted corrupt labor leader Tony Boyle. (DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, p. 326) According to Tanenbaum, when he was privately briefed on the Church Committee inquiry by Schweiker, the senator told him that, in his view, the CIA had killed Kennedy. He then handed him a research file compiled by his chief investigator Gaeton Fonzi. (Probe Magazine, Vol. 3 No. 5, p. 24) Need I add that this was the same conclusion that Garrison had come to a decade earlier? But Dale Myers and ABC have magically made this information “inconsequential”. And with a stroke of his pen, or keyboard, Palmer has made Schweiker, Hart, Sprague, Tanenbaum and Fonzi all disappear. In fact, from his perspective, they never existed.

Without that backdrop, and without the relevant discoveries of the ARRB about New Orleans, then you may as well be writing about Jim Garrison from the viewpoint of some MSM hack journalist in 1968. For instance, like Litwin, Palmer wants to discount the fact that we can now prove that the mysterious Clay Bertrand, who called Dean Andrews, was really Clay Shaw. (DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, pp. 385-86) He fails to mention that we know today that it was Shaw and his friend David Ferrie who were escorting Oswald around the villages of Clinton and Jackson 100 miles north of New Orleans in the late summer of 1963. They were trying to register Oswald to vote in a parish far away from where he lived so he could get a job at a mental hospital. (Bill Davy, Let Justice be Done, pp. 101-17) Shaw lied about all these matters: that he knew Ferrie, or Oswald, that he used the Bertrand alias, and that he was in Clinton-Jackson with those two men that summer. Shaw also knew Guy Banister. (Davy, pp. 93-94) Oswald spent many days of that fateful summer of 1963 in Banister’s office preparing his Fair Play for Cuba Committee flyers and pamphlets, with Banister’s address on the early copies. (Davy, pp. 37-42)

Somehow, Palmer does not understand that it was these activities in New Orleans that summer that were injected into the media within hours of President Kennedy’s murder and did much to convict Oswald in the public mind as the sociopathic communist who killed the president for ideological reasons. It thus makes sense that Shaw would call his acquaintance Andrews to go to Dallas to defend Oswald—not knowing Oswald was going to be killed within 48 hours of his apprehension. Shaw would know that Andrews could be compromised, or be used as an incompetent lawyer.

This is where, as they say, the plot thickens, and again, Palmer leaves it out. Through the ARRB, we know today that Oswald was not a sociopathic communist. He was very likely working through Banister as a CIA agent provocateur. The CIA had set up an anti-FPCC campaign under the tutelage of David Phillips, who was one of the men running that operation. (Davy, p. 286) Further, a man fitting the description of Phillips was in Banister’s office in 1961 trying to arrange a citywide telethon for the Cuban exile cause. (Davy, pp. 21-24) Phillips’ was also seen in film made of one of the nearby New Orleans CIA training camps, a film which the HSCA temporarily had in their possession. Along with Oswald and Banister, witnesses also identified him as being in the film. (Davy, pp. 30-31)

With this background now filled in a bit, Palmer may want to ask himself if it explains the curious provenance of Oswald’s pamphlet, “The Crime Against Cuba” by Corliss Lamont. Oswald stamped it with 544 Camp Street, Banister’s address. Oswald’s version of the pamphlet was printed in 1961. It had gone through at least four more printings by the time Oswald was leafleting with it in 1963. Yet his was from the first edition. The CIA purchased 45 copies of the original edition in 1961. Is this how Oswald got the outdated version, perhaps through Phillips who was running the subversive program against the FPCC? To make it all a bit more curious, Oswald wrote about his altercation with the Cuban exiles, which got him arrested and the pamphlet confiscated, before it happened. (Davy, p. 38)

As the reader can see, these are the provocative questions that Oswald’s activities in New Orleans pose when they are presented with the full information we have today. Much of it was available at the time of the Jennings special. Mr. Jennings was not going to touch it. We explain why in our special section reviewing that very poor and unethical documentary. In a nutshell, in 1984, ABC Nightly News did a report on the exposure of a CIA front company in Hawaii and the Agency’s involvement in a possible murder plot. It was a fascinating two-part installment. CIA Director William Casey was very upset by that reporting. So he arranged to have some of his friends and colleagues at Capital Cities buy the network. Jennings, the host of the program, got the message. After Casey and Cap Cities bought the network, Jennings, who had originally stood by the story, now said he had no problem with the CIA’s denial of it.

Palmer closes his essay with a reference to Litwin’s book, saying that somehow the technical panels set up by the HSCA on things like forensic pathology, photographic evidence and the rifle tests sealed the deal against Oswald. By now, one really wonders just what Palmer was doing in those ten years he doubted the Warren Commission. He certainly was not reading the journals on the subject. Because if he had been, he would have known that people like Dr. Gary Aguilar, Dr. David Mantik and this author completely took apart these very flawed tests made by the HSCA. And, in fact, the chair of the HSCA, Robert Blakey, also took one of them back, the one he relied upon as the lynchpin of his case against Oswald, namely the Comparative Bullet Lead Analysis (CBLT). He has now termed it junk science. (For a full scale, in-depth analysis, see The Assassinations, edited by James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease, pp. 69-85; pp. 250-91) Those 58 pages simply devastate the so-called findings that Litwin, in four pages, trumpets. And one will find evidence in those pages indicating that the HSCA simply and knowingly misrepresented some of their forensic findings.


At the end of Palmer’s article, he sourced a previous piece in Quillette from 2017. This was from one Craig Colgan. Colgan fits right in with Quillette’s agenda. He once wrote an article about the National Museum of African American History and Culture and complained that although there was an exhibit for Anita Hill there was none for Clarence Thomas. Anita Hill was the first woman who actually brought the issue of sexual harassment into national consciousness. The fact that she was an African American testifying against the Establishment-backed Thomas made what she did even more courageous. (See this article)

The title of Colgan’s November 25, 2017 piece was “Are the JFK Conspiracies Slowly Dying?” He begins his article with a reference to Dylan Avery and his film on 9-11 called Loose Change. He then says that since Avery has backed away from some of his more extreme statements, perhaps those who attack the Warren Report should also. Toward the end of the piece, he says he would allow a kind of Robert-Blakey-inspired Oswald-did-it-with-some help concept. And that is what the JFK critical community should be aiming for.

I don’t know very much about the 9-11 controversy. But I do know that the official investigating committee issued a report without an accompanying set of volumes of evidence. The Warren Commission issued an over-800-page report with 26 volumes of testimony and evidence. The incredible thing about the early critics is this: some of them actually read those volumes. They came to a clear conclusion: the evidence in the volumes did not support the tenets of the report. The late Maggie Field wrote an unpublished book in which she reproduced pages from the report”s conclusions, then juxtaposed to them extracts from the supporting volumes of evidence that directly contradicted them. One could similarly refer to Sylvia Meagher’s classic study Accessories After the Fact. Unlike with 9-11, then, in the case of President Kennedy’s murder, there is nothing to retreat from. In fact, as tens of thousands of declassified pages have later been released, Field’s book has not just been ratified; it has been shown to be too mild, for we know today certain agencies were concealing evidence that would have indicated how parts of the plot and, even moreso, the cover-up, worked. (For example, see section III of this essay and the discoveries about David Phillips and New Orleans.)

At this point, one must accentuate the fact that even though Quillette is known as a scientific and technically oriented journal, that is what is completely missing from any of its articles on the JFK case. For instance, Colgan mentions a conversation he had with Gary Aguilar about his critique—co-written with Cyril Wecht—of the PBS special Cold Case JFK which aired at the 50th anniversary of the JFK murder. But he does not devote a single sentence to the total demolition of that series that Aguilar and Wecht performed—in a peer review journal on ballistics! And he does not link to the two-part review. Nor does he note that, although Gary offered to pay for both their flight and hotel accommodations, the father and son team who were featured on that program refused to debate him in public.

Colgan also notes the decline in the public’s belief that there was a plot behind Kennedy’s murder. This is accurate. At the fiftieth anniversary of Kennedy’s death, Hart Associates did a poll for Larry Sabato’s book, the Kennedy Half Century. It statedthat 75% of the public did not believe the Commission’s lone gunman verdict. This was down from the over 90% during the time that Stone’s film JFK premiered. (Sabato, p. 416) The reason for this is simple to discern. Due to Stone’s film, for about one year—from 1991-92—there was actually an open discussion in the media about Kennedy’s murder. And there were actually programs and front-page stories in magazines that addressed it in an even-handed way. The Power Elite was quite upset by that hubbub. They did three things to counter it. Random House, through editor Bob Loomis and publisher Harold Evans, decided to recruit Gerald Posner and give his book one of the most massive publicity barrages in recent publishing history. We know this from the lawsuit the late Roger Feinman launched against Random House concerning that book.

Secondly, they decided that there would be no more open debate on the issue in the media—and there has not been. We know this from written communications between researcher Walt Brown and Loomis as well as from Alec Baldwin’s speech in Houston last year at a dinner during the JFK mock trial. Baldwin said he had approached NBC with a proposal for a documentary program on Kennedy for the 2013 anniversary. It was rejected without a hearing, with words to this effect: We have reconciled ourselves to the official version. Another example would be what happened in Dallas at the fiftieth anniversary. With the world’s media on hand, Mayor Mike Rawlings completely controlled and cordoned off Dealey Plaza so that no critic could be heard by them. (See our report on the subject as well as this one at

Third, virtually every single program since—and there have been more than a few—has endorsed the Warren Report, specifically the Single Bullet Fantasy and the no-frontal-shot concept. The problem with these productions is that each one has falsified the facts of the case. (See this video or read this essay)

Judging from their articles, Quillette is really more of a politically oriented journal than a scientific or technical one. At that, they should have understood the politics of the Warren Commission. The policies of the most active member of that body, Allen Dulles, were opposed to those of President Kennedy. But from this review, the reader can see that both Litwin and Quillette were more in sympathy with Dulles than JFK.

Last modified on Wednesday, 05 December 2018 15:24
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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