Hit Piece on Gus Russo

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Re: Hit Piece on Gus Russo

Postby James Carlson » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:45 pm

Keep in mind that, while I'm critical of what I've thus far read, I also recognize my own general ignorance of the topic, as well as the need to absorb more information -- the idea being that perhaps the topics of these articles may depend on previous works that I'm not familiar with. In any case, the below is a first impression of what I've looked at so far, but you should realize that it's only a first impression, one based on suppositions established by the authors in 1992. I haven't reached any strong conclusions, although I have noted a few details regarding the conclusions reached by others that tend to bother me a bit.

I finally finished reading "JFK: How the Media Assassinated the Real Story" and I found it a chore as a result of the assumptions made without taking into account the actual context of the times. You need to understand that I may not see things the way many others do, because my knowledge isn't as thorough as that of many folks who believe in such a high-level conspiracy. That being said, the authors of this particular piece have reached a number of conclusions that they have refused to explain with anything even approaching a full understanding of the issue, and they did so while ignoring many of the facts associated with the environment the story is located in. The result is an overly paranoid bit of writing that they've either been unable to support with actual facts or are unwilling to do so. While I'm admittedly less nowledgeable regarding the various players in the conspiracy theme, I also pride myself on the well-versed and accurate consideration of historical context. I think it's without doubt the single most important factor to consider when attempting to understand an event, and it's this point of view I rely on most when considering such matters.

The first problem I've noted is one that places the paranoia evinced in exactly the same ballpark as that of the UFO conspiracies and any other fringe theories that have not been properly supported: the mainstream media is lambasted while public opinion is praised. No offense, but none of that is relevant to this case. The press has ethical guidelines to follow, which those resources with higher-minded reputations like The New York Times or The Washington Post are very careful to abide by -- ethical guidelines that are most often ignored not by the resources castigated by Hennelly and Policoff in their article, but by the very "alternative weeklies, monthly magazines, book publishers, and documentary makers" they praise.

As for the American public, 77-percent of which allegedly reject the Warren Report's conclusions, so what? They also believe in UFOs; they re-elected Presidents Richard M. Nixon and George W. Bush; they overwhelmingly accepted Reagan's "trickle-down theory" as a verifiable fact of human economic nature; they believe that American freedom cannot exist if there are any conditions applied to the sale and ownership of explosive-based projectile weapons; they consider the Rapture to be a factual element of Christian prophecy, when the idea was only introduced in the 19th century by an American cult leader who insisted that God wouldn't be so cruel as to punish his true believers and other ethically-minded followers by forcing them to experience Armageddon first hand; they also believe that while God made sex the single most enjoyable act most humans are capable of experiencing first-hand, and supposedly commanded man to "go forth and multiply", "good" humans aren't supposed to seek it out for themselves unless they're married -- and even then, only when actively trying to create more little humans to reach opinions of their own someday. The American public is so far from being the ultimate arbiter of human truth and decency, that it is not surprising to me at all that most reject the Warren Report's conclusions. Most also reject the consideration that the free-market system should be regulated for the health and benefit of the nation. My primary reaction is so what?

The authors state that from "the first reports out of Dallas in November of 1963 to the merciless flagellation of Oliver Stone's JFK over the last several months, the mainstream media have disgraced themselves by hewing blindly to the single-assassin theory advanced by the FBI within hours of the murder", failing to note that (1) years passed by in many cases before other theories and layers of evidence were introduced, so the press wasn't necessarily at fault here, (2) JFK was an admitted work of fiction, not a documentary, that got many facts wrong, did not accurately portray Garrison's book in regard to he events that took place, sacrificed numerous explanations and introduced numerous fictional elements for the sake of streamlined storytelling that even Oliver Stone defended with claims that "it makes a better story" and "we were looking at it from an artistic point of view", and (3) "the single-assassin theory advanced by the FBI within hours of the murder" was the end result of a very standard and inclusive investigation that the press had nothing to do with. In 1963, moreover, the relationship between press and government was very different than it is today, and the press was not inclined to conduct investigations of anything at the level being discussed here. You can't disgrace yourself by acting in the manner accepted and often demanded within the corporate structure of contemporary professional norms.

The press didn't "disgrace" themselves -- they acted within the accepted bounds of their profession under additional guidelines requested -- not demanded -- by the FBI and the State Department in order to prevent the sort of mass panic the could very well force the government to consider if not take military action against the Soviet Union. The Cuban Missile Crisis had terrified the population of the entire world, and Oswald had recently left the Soviet Union. He was considered a traitor by most of the American populace, and many people thought he should have been arrested on espionage charges the second he stepped back onto U.S. territory. This fact alone necessitated a little more careful handling than the press today would be inclined assert. But in 1963, the press was very different, and the entire world was very aware that a nuclear war had only barely been avoided. A more delicate touch was absolutely necessary. The press acted admirably in the face of such an environment. Since then, the "alternative weeklies, monthly magazines, book publishers, and documentary makers" who have reached different conclusions have been derided by the press for reaching their conclusions by ignoring the context of their claims, and by refusing to acknowledge the mediocrity of the evidence they have uncovered -- exactly as the UFO controversy has also been handled by the press of today. This derision is not evidence of a conspiracy between the press and the government; it's basis originates primarily within the media's contempt for such sources as unethical and unsound.

As for the language used in this article, it's just disgraceful, manipulative, and overbearing rhetoric in my opinion. The Village Voice "has discovered a pattern of collusion and co-optation that is hardly less chilling than the prospect of a conspiracy to kill the president"? Seriously, gimme a break. In any case, that charge certainly isn't backed up by the contents of the article -- only the fiery language that's been used throughout the article. That's just my opinion, true, but I don't think the case was even suggested by the evidence proposed, let alone made. In my opinion, the historical context alone gives the FBI and the State Department good reason to control the story as it developed over the following months, and the fact that the national media tried to maintain an independent survey in the midst of those attempts to control the story is to their credit -- it's not something to find fault in. There was a presence of mind indicating, or at least belief in, a very real danger that any over-reaction could have started a war, and that's what everybody was so concerned with. I think they were absolutely right to be so concerned, and I'm thankful that the national press took such care to avoid inciting an already volatile populace.

I also don't like the way the authors of this piece failed to explain how they reached some of their conclusions. They say, for instance, that "The Voice has discovered that: Within days of the assassination, the Justice Department quashed an editorial in The Washington Post that called for an independent investigation; within two weeks the FBI was able to crow that NBC had pledged not to report anything beyond what the FBI itself was putting before the American people", implying that the editorial was quashed because it called for an independent investigation, when it was more probably quashed for calling for an independent investigation to determine whether the Soviet Union or Cuba was involved in the assassination, the sort of claim that could very easily have resulted in calls for an immediate invasion of Cuba, followed by insistent demands for missile defenses extending into Turkey -- either of which would have been disastrous. NBC's pledge wasn't a pledge to hold back on the story -- it was a pledge not to publish dangerous and misleading conjectures or suspicious presumptions that could have led to public demands for retaliation. Nearly all of the evidence discussed in that article can very easily be interpreted as smart business practices, unsuspicious reliance of inside information, or corporate productions that reached the same independent conclusions as the Warren Report, not necessarily reaching the same conclusions as the Warren Report under orders to do so by government agents.

The whole "Dad says" memo is nothing more than a red-herring tossed into the fray after being reinterpreted as some kind of conspiratorial reflection of dictatorial powers that have yet to be established. Maybe other articles and stories substantiate these claims better, but this one does not -- it establishes hidden secrets and dangerous designs on the command and control of the nation in exactly the same way the UFO maniacs try to establish ET taking out our missile defense systems -- and they fail just as dramatically. If CBS accepted the truth of the Warren Report's findings, than of course they would have tied additional evidence supporting it. That's what people do to support their individual beliefs. It doesn't mean they were bought and sold by the government if they can actually make a valid case -- and they were able to do so. The Voice might not agree with their claims, but they were certainly not able to prove that anybody knowingly lied. And their labeling of this practice as "unethical and immoral" shows a leap to that conclusion without presenting sufficient evidence to back it up.

The article charges that "the media completely relinquished its usual skepticism and opened the door for the government to do whatever it found most expedient", yet fails to prove the point, and neglects to mention that in 1963 the media could not be characterized as skeptical of government in the first place. Americans, for the most part, trusted their government throughout the 1950s and that trust continued into the sixties, only falling apart as a result of the far more obvious interferences of the Vietnam War. Skepticism was NOT usual -- it developed along with all of our other doubts in government motivations throughout and as a result of the political environment that came about after the assassination. The press became skeptical of government because of Vietnam, the Pentagon, Watergate, and other travesties of government operation -- and it wasn't in practice and typical until then. More importantly, what government found expedient after Kennedy's murder was necessary. It was trying to keep us out of a very dangerous war in the western hemisphere that could have very easily annihilated everything. The national security debates that continued from Eisenhower's administration make it very clear that almost everybody in government was scared to death about provoking the Kremlin into taking the nuclear initiative, even in a limited way. They weren't trying to protect the American people from learning the truth of Kennedy's murder; they were trying to protect the American people from a very early nuclear winter. It represents a war on rhetoric, not a war on facts.

I've got to be a bit frank with you -- there are also a number of assertions that are just offensive. "Many of the editors who were calling the shots on assassination coverage had come out of World War II. Their country took precedence over the truth; the CIA and FBI were entitled to the benefit of the doubt; the "free press" was sometimes confused with the Voice of America", all the while presenting nothing to back up those ridiculous claims. This is also the primary strategy of UFO proponents.

The Justice Department's Katzenbach memo is characterized as an immoral strategy, but every prosecution of crimes in the United States establishes similar strategies -- in a case so complex, it isn't strange at all that such matters would be discussed and shared with other offices. Oswald was dead, so it's perfectly understandable that in the absence of a trial, the Justice Department would want the public to be satisfied with that closure; anything less was incapable of preventing very real problems that nobody needed, especially after a few years had gone by and very real controversies were capturing the attention of the public. The fact that the Justice Department didn't want people associating Oswald's motivation with "a Communist conspiracy or (as the Iron Curtain press is saying) a right-wing conspiracy to blame it on the Communists" was understandable; anything less carried with it the potential for a disastrous war or, at the very least, heightened adversity between the US and the USSR -- which was already bad enough. It doesn't mean that they were preventing such speculation because it was true. " Unfortunately the facts on Oswald seem about too pat—too obvious (Marxist, Cuba, Russian wife, etc.). The Dallas police have put out statements on the Communist conspiracy theory, and it was they who were in charge when he was shot and thus silenced" is an outline of concerns, not an admission of deceit. I'm personally very happy they were concerned -- that's their job. And the fact that the Warren Report supports the needs outlined in the memo is not proof that the Warren Commission was purposely manipulated to reach those conclusions. In fact, every member of the Commission has responded to such suggestions with derision, as well they should have, since suggestion without evidence is pretty insulting to anybody trying to reach a judicial assessment of a crime. Regardless what side of the issue you may align yourself with, Katzenbach's suggestion that a "Presidential Commission of unimpeachable personnel" be appointed to examine evidence and reach conclusions is an appropriate one.

The FBI materials were very well covered by the authors, I thought. But even within this point of view, the eventual conclusion that "top FBI officials were continually concerned with protecting the Bureau's reputation", in conjunction with Katzenbach's concession that J. Edgar Hoover would never "let the agency be embarrassed by any information on the bureau itself" isn't an admission that is contextually relevant to conspiracy, but one which Katzenbach explains under terms evincing innocence and ignorance in regard to Hoover's predelictions: "He just would never show it. But how would you know it? What could you do?" Nobody was aware that Hoover was more interested in protecting the FBI than in properly investigating the murder of the President. But even here, Katzenbach's insistence that nobody was aware of this peculiar quirk characterizing Hoover's administration of the matter (and I do understand that this description tends to lessen the severity of Katzenbach's charge), it still doesn't indicate that the FBI's investigation was one-sided to such an extent that justice was subverted; it shows only that Hoover's character was sufficient to suspect such a conclusion. UFO proponents very often reach conlusions on the same basis, e.g., the USAF is lying about UFOs, because the conclusions the USAF reached in regard to UFOs is that they pose no danger, their representation has no effect on national security, and there is no compelling reason for the USAF to continue investigating them; or the USAF is hiding proof of UFO interference with nuclear missile facilities, because many aspects of nuclear missile technology and administration is highly classified. These are fallacious arguments. Definitive conclusions are not supposed to be reached on the basis of possibility, but real evidence indicating proof or even probability.

Even Katzenbach's admission that "the Department of Justice seriously hoped that the Washington Post would not encourage any specific means by which the facts should be made available to the public", noting that such an act would merely "muddy the waters, creating further confusion and hysteria", is an understandable reaction to the murder of the President. In addition, the expressed need for "a presidential commission to investigate the assassination" essentially advocated a premature interference with the FBI's investigation, the completion of which would determine whether or not such a commission would even be necessary. It's a justifiable reaction based on the need to gather facts and witnesses without interference. Even Hoover's FBI memo stating "I called Mr. Walter Jenkins at the White House and advised him that we had killed the editorial in the Post" is absent of conspirancy. It's not triumphant boasting to inform the White House that a point of concern no longer qualifies as a point of concern.

As for the teletype to J. Edgar Hoover indicating that "NBC had given the bureau assurances that it would "televise only those items which are in consonance with bureau report [on the assassination]", the fact that NBC had already developed leads they were considering for publication is the only motivation needed to explain the above acts; publication would enable public debate in regard to issues that had not yet been fully investigated or analyzed. Even today this practice is a common resort used to limit public assessments of open cases; any such debate can very easily change its outcome, in that it would influence the testimony of witnesses. The need reflects the necessity to protect the investigation, not to influence the public to reach premature conclusions of a conspiracy.

The whole New York Times discussion is pretty sad. Publication of the Warren Report does not indicate complicity in a plot to withhold the truth from the American public. After all, they published The Pentagon Papers as well. In addition, the fact that they may have left out statements by those with stories contrary to what other witnesses testified to is not necessarily a fault; they had no intention of ever publishing anything other than an abridged version of the original report, so leaving out witnesses who gave testimony that could not be confirmed and did not match other testimonies isn't exactly problematic. And the claims that "any vigorous critical evaluation of the Commission's findings at this juncture would have jeopardized this great relationship" is nonsense. Chief Justice Earl Warren merely facilitated a publishing venture of a singular document; any "great relationship" needs to be substantiated first, and even then, there's no indication of a conspiracy.

The magic bullet discussion is old news -- I don't buy the authors' conclusions. Many recreations of the assassination have been completed, and there are consistent assessments that the assassination took place just as the Warren Commission found -- shots from behind. There are numerous unanswered questions, but the question alone do not signify a conspiracy -- they tend to pop up in many homicide investigations. In any case, demands for another investigation by some, with contrary assessments and demands is not an indication of conspiracy -- only of differing opinions.

To a great extent, all of the controversy involving the Zapruder film is focused on copyright violations -- not hiding the truth from Americans. Even here, the authors' reach conclusions on the basis of evidence that has yet to be presented. In any case, the growing cynicism of the public is also not an indication of a conspiracy. In the late 1960s, growing cynicism was universal, but it had no bearing on the facts; what it did do, however, is create a market for ever-more sensational accounts and publications. As a result, both the American public and the authors of books holding a cynical viewpoint fed off of each other, creating an audience that had no need to examine the claims being made by authors who in turn failed to consider contrary opinions or the evidence supporting them; most neglected any attempt to examine the evidence in favor of a single shooter. It even took about twenty years for anyone to publish a thorough biography of Oswald. For years, people did whatever they could to publish evidence suggesting a wide-ranging conspiracy. With the exception of the Warren Report, most ignored entirely any attempt to prove otherwise, and their acts are just as prejudicial as anything authored by those supporting the Warren Report. From what I can tell from the CTKA webite, this characer of the controversy on both sides has established a complete mess of facts and figures that left me feeling disgusted with the entire investigation. I have yet to see any comprehensive work that actually measures the strongest cases inherent to both sides of the matter. To be blunt, I found it very tiring. Even CBS's attempts to conduct such an investigation was plagued by ignorance and a desire to prove pet theories. Due to that, nothing productive was actually obtained -- at least that's how it appeared to me.

It seems apparent, however, that the press did at times neglect further investigation and, in some cases, actively suppressed the results of their investigations. Whether you blame this on ratings, a desire to support those holding stock options, or a concern to elicit closure-based conclusions, there's nothing but speculation to support any theories defining a conspiratorial link between press and government. It's either not there, or I haven't yet found the evidence establishing it. Seriously, it's a huge mess regardless of the position you take, and both sides are responsible for it, a quality that is once again shared with UFO-based controveries.

The whole John J. McCloy discussion can be easily interpreted as an action intended to correct errors in CBS's investigation of the case -- none of it suggests attempts to control the investigation. In addition, most of it is barely suggestive of a conspiracy, being almost irrelevant to that conclusion.

To close, I find the quote stating that while "Stone's film does take serious liberty with history, the virulence with which the film has been attacked seems to say more about a defensive press that missed and continues to miss a major story than it does about any flaws in JFK" is another case of misleading rhetoric that's irrelevant to the real issues. The same reaction was garnered from The Last Temptation of Christ, The Life of Brian, and The Human Centipede, and nobody tried to blame the press for being overly "defensive" because they not only missed the story that Christ was a man, they also missed the story establishing the biological basis of the The Human Centipede. Maybe it's because I don't have enough knowledge to properly argue the controversy, but I honestly don't see anything that convinces me of the authors' affirmations. I'll keep looking through the articles on the CTKA website, but so far it's kind of a bust. In any case, I'll start working on the Gus Russo pieces next, primarily because I don't know who he is.

Thanks,
James
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Re: Hit Piece on Gus Russo

Postby SM Coogan » Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:58 pm

Thanks for your appraisel JC. It takes a person of real integrity to admit they know little of the case and wade in as
you have done lol. You might wanna look at some of the evidence either way, but you have jumped in boots and all. So I have to say cheers buddy. I really could sit here and have a good back and forth with you. But I am bloody busy. Further as you go through some of the opinions you have expressed may well change.

I agree that we need not look for 'conspiracy' at every turn but legal questions also need to be examined. For example the Zap film was owned by Time life and they did publish frames of it. Its only been in recent times that questions of ownership have arisen. I seriously suggest you look into Operation Mockingbird, Allen Dulles and Frank Wisner. That's very scary stuff. Gus Russo's buddy Dave Perry is another interesting guy. Not to mention he bay sits Hugh Aynesworth. Sheesh, that guy actually applied to work for the CIA before the assassination lol.

Sure the relationship with the press was different then. I explain as much in the MJ-12 stuff. Further that the original researchers, were extremely conservative with their theories in fact they didn't really offer any. They spent most of the time going over the accumulated evidence in the commission and kept on tripping over all kinds of stuff. Lane's book Rush to Judgement was made as a defence brief of Oswald. It offered no real theories, nor did Harold Weisbergs stuff.

I found your comments on JFK refreshing. Though I don't neccessarily agree with you, I strongly agree with what you seem to be saying. The presses reaction helped feed the frenzy surrounding it in much the same way other controversial movies have. Stone's directors cut is superb. His commentary on how much he would have changed his direction and why he did what he did was brilliantly done. Hey, I mean Braveheart was totally full of s^~t lol.

Oh yes before I flee, I have to say, that I saw your piece on Hastings. Phew, I take it you don't like him lol. I think that he's actually one of the better UFO's as alien craft guys out there. Indeed, I'm interested in getting your guys opinions on that angle. Who is a good UFO as aliens advocate in fact are there any around. I've just seen far worse than him out there. Dick Dolan for one. But it's an interesting take on the use of press sources for sure.
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Re: Hit Piece on Gus Russo

Postby James Carlson » Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:54 pm

SM Coogan wrote:Thanks for your appraisel JC. It takes a person of real integrity to admit they know little of the case and wade in as
you have done lol. You might wanna look at some of the evidence either way, but you have jumped in boots and all. So I have to say cheers buddy. I really could sit here and have a good back and forth with you. But I am bloody busy. Further as you go through some of the opinions you have expressed may well change.

I agree that we need not look for 'conspiracy' at every turn but legal questions also need to be examined. For example the Zap film was owned by Time life and they did publish frames of it. Its only been in recent times that questions of ownership have arisen. I seriously suggest you look into Operation Mockingbird, Allen Dulles and Frank Wisner. That's very scary stuff. Gus Russo's buddy Dave Perry is another interesting guy. Not to mention he bay sits Hugh Aynesworth. Sheesh, that guy actually applied to work for the CIA before the assassination lol.

Sure the relationship with the press was different then. I explain as much in the MJ-12 stuff. Further that the original researchers, were extremely conservative with their theories in fact they didn't really offer any. They spent most of the time going over the accumulated evidence in the commission and kept on tripping over all kinds of stuff. Lane's book Rush to Judgement was made as a defence brief of Oswald. It offered no real theories, nor did Harold Weisbergs stuff.

I found your comments on JFK refreshing. Though I don't neccessarily agree with you, I strongly agree with what you seem to be saying. The presses reaction helped feed the frenzy surrounding it in much the same way other controversial movies have. Stone's directors cut is superb. His commentary on how much he would have changed his direction and why he did what he did was brilliantly done. Hey, I mean Braveheart was totally full of s^~t lol.

Oh yes before I flee, I have to say, that I saw your piece on Hastings. Phew, I take it you don't like him lol. I think that he's actually one of the better UFO's as alien craft guys out there. Indeed, I'm interested in getting your guys opinions on that angle. Who is a good UFO as aliens advocate in fact are there any around. I've just seen far worse than him out there. Dick Dolan for one. But it's an interesting take on the use of press sources for sure.

Just a couple of short comments for right now: the opinions and observations I've noted above are basically critical of the first article on my list, and I'm certainly not finished reading everything; there's still a lot to go through and I may very well adjust those opinions further down the road, as you've suggested. I'm very cognizant of the fact that you can't learn everything about such a complex subject by reading one person's point of view, and that's why I was very careful to outline that characteristic of the issues involved.

In regard to JFK: I own a copy of the "Director's Cut" (on laserdisc of all things!), and purely from an entertainment point of view, it's a brilliant film. I love it very much, as does my wife (who studied film in college), and we both think that in regard to its ultimate value as a work of art, it deserves a very high status review. From a purely critical standpoint, it's just a brilliant piece of work; given that, I still don't think it can be applied to the issue of "is it real or not", but it's definitely worth watching. It's a suspenseful, aggressive, and very, very fun movie, but I honestly don't think it's worth the effort to include it in a list of resources establishing the controversy. Garrison's first book on the subject of the trial of Clay Shaw should definitely be included, but not Oliver Stone's work, which is nonetheless not a petty work, but one that deserves high marks.

I actually read Garrison's work on the trial some years ago, but I didn't find it very convincing from a legal point of view. On the other hand, I've very recently found copies of "American Grotesque", and "Killing the Truth", both of which are now on my list of books to read in the short term; I also picked up a copy of The New York Times edition of the "Warren Report", so with some luck -- and some free time that I probably won't get much of -- I do intend to look a little deeper than I had originally intended to do. If nothing else, you can thank the website you've pointed me to for that. I don't know how long it will take, but I promise you I am looking at the issues in more depth than I've been inclined to in the past, and that inclination is entirely a result of your recommendations. It certainly wasn't my intention around the Halloween time frame.

As for Hastings, I think he's an abomination. I know for a fact that he has lied in regard to many issues, and I believe that had we not released the letters and emails from Col. Walt Figel when we did, he would have created a number of additional fictions to hide the fact that Figel has never been inclined to accept his thesis of UFO involvement. His lies, his subterfuge, and his reliance on dishonest "strategies" is a matter of record, and I'm very pleased to have played a part in establishing that record. He makes claims that cannot be supported even by those "witnesses" of his who are willing to accept without much fuss his interpretation of their claims, and I find it an absolute joke that he insists so strongly that he has uncovered over 120 ex-military witnesses who support his claims. The fact that only 7 were willing to make public those assertions at his little press club review speaks volumes, in my opinion. He refuses to attempt any sort of explanation for the faults that many people have noted in regard to his claims, and prefers to slander the authors of those faults instead. If you want a quick review of his more recent assertions, you might check the comments at http://www.collegiatetimes.com/stories/ ... lear-sites and at http://cnufos.ning.com/profiles/blogs/r ... oses-james -- the last one is actually out of order, so you should read the comments from the bottom going up (in other words, the first comment you come to after the article is actually the last comment posted). He's proven quite handily that he has no understanding of classified materials protocol or military procedure, and yet has the temerity to make claims in regard to both that simply cannot stand up to critical review.

There's absolutely no doubt that he is a conniving liar who is willing to make the most ridiculous comments to hide the many faults in his thinking processes, and I'm not the only one who feels that way. Many critics of his work have castigated me both in public and in private for calling him out and referring to him as a liar and a fraud, but I'm very confident that I'm correct, that I've been able to prove it, and that this opinion is becoming more brazenly typical of general public opinion regarding his "work" every day. The main problem with Hastings is that he lacks the intelligence and the honesty to promote himself and his theories without relying on the dishonesty so characterisitic of his personality. He ALWAYS relies on the lie first, and should be roundly called out for doing so by any honest person, whether they believe in UFOs or not. As you've noted, I don't like him at all. He's boorish, insulting, dishonest, and repeatedly makes claims he cannot back up. His lies are a matter of record; if he were an honest man, he could easily back up his claims by simply having these doubtful "witnesses" he supposedly speaks for come out and report what they believe occurred, in their own words, but he refuses to do so. His insults eventually motivated me to contact Col. Figel myself, and as soon as I did, Figel immediately told me in no uncertain terms that both Hastings and Salas are frauds and liars who refused to correct the record he established with them, and outright lied when it suited their purposes. I believe that if others would attempt to contact his other supposed "witnesses", many more examples of his dishonesty would very likely be found.

As you can see, I have nothing good to say about the man; I'm quite confident that his hoaxes and frauds -- like those of Robert Salas' -- have been soundly and publically confirmed, and that the very best thing he could do for UFOlogy as it stands today is to disappear completely. He has injured grievously the cause he claims to be a spokesman for, and I suspect that opinion will become far more generalized during the remainder of his life as his alleged "work" becomes more publically accessible. He's garbage, and the only reason his own peers have refused to support that opinion, is because they believe that in the absence of "peer review" -- which is exactly what we're talking about here -- a more general reaction to such fraudulent studies necessitates critical "silence". They believe that any actual honest review of such behavior is injurious to the study of UFOlogy, and would inhibit the honest attempts of others to address more scientific concerns or methods to address the controversy. Such individuals are, however, wrong in this assessment, primarily because they are confusing "peer review" with "public relations". Any scientific inquiry worth the time to invoke will always address the issue of fraudulent claims, and the fact that those most interested in promoting the worthiness of UFOlogy as a scientific venture refuse to address such issues at all indicates the ultimate weakness of their arguments. They want the world to address the issue of UFOs scientifically, yet they refuse to apply that science -- which is supposed to be an absolute discipline -- to the notable frauds and hoaxers and liars making claims that outwardly support their own opinions. That's not science, and it's not discipline -- it's just the refusal to conduct an assessment with the intensity and discipline demanded by science. In the midst of such behavior, it's a little difficult to accept as honestly presented any claims whatsoever that scientific assessments are necessary and have indeed been applied to this particular field. It has not. It's simply additional evidence that those most concerned with promoting the issues aren't willing to apply the discipline they demand of those who are skeptical of such claims. That's not science -- it's merely public relations, and as such, it doesn't deserve any of the higher inquiry that's being demanded.
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Re: Hit Piece on Gus Russo

Postby SM Coogan » Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:16 pm

Interesting stuff. I had to have a laugh JC when you mentioned even critics of Hastings giving you grief for your stance. I've often had much the same experience before with certain people. That just advocate the most banal conspiracy crud available. Yet I fear I may have been over zealous lol. Like I say I've seen far worse UFO guys out there in the ether. Like I say are there better sources for ET based UFO's in your opinion?

His early work on Doty and getting the confession out of Tim Cooper as to the MJ-12 documents being fake I felt was really good stuff. It's the sort of stuff a bloke would in essence agree with in someway?

Harrison Livingstones Killing the Truth is actually okay as far as a run down with the medical evidence is concerned. He really takes out kooks like Lifton and Fetzer. Aside from that, I have some real problems with his over all analysis of the conspiracy behind the case. Indeed a lot of researchers do. A good place to start for a conspiracy book is Anthony Summers 'Conspiracy' or 'Not in your life time' it was a good one. When I got started years back I recall picking up a copy of Case Closed, then going through it using all the contemporary sources Posner had utilised page by page. Needless to say, what a nasty lying little fellow he was. He eventually got done for plagerism by the way.

As for Kirklands American Grotesque. I'd check out Perry Russo who reckoned Kirkland talked total and utter crap about him in his book. Now coming from a gobshite like Russo, this is really something. All the BS they tried to say Garrison tried to co-erce Perry with is BS. The guy was pretty staunch in his opinions. Even if you don't believe him. http://www.jfklancer.com/Perry3.html. It was what these guys were trying to get Russo to say which is an eye opener. Walter Sheridan what a piece of work that guy was. As for the JFK stuff. I'd go and read Jim DiEugenio's 'Destiny Betrayed' and Bill Davy's 'Let Justice be Done' and tracts of Joan Mellens books. Not to worry, these are not neccessarily glowing reviews as people like to make them out to be.

Garrison himself said he made a lot of mistakes in the case. Further that Stone, DiEugenio, Davy, Mellen and those more supportive of Garrisons efforts have also said that he was far to trusting of dishonest individuals and potential disinfo sources. Indeed, individuals like Harold Weisberg grew bitterly dissapointed with him. In hindsight with the release of materials from the ARRB, there is a far clearer picture emerging of what was arrayed against Garrison, not to mention how they may have exploited some of his less restrained ideas.
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Re: Hit Piece on Gus Russo

Postby ryguy » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:20 am

It's important to keep in mind, as well, that in all of these cases - whether you're talking JFK or Ufology - you're dealing with topics that have so many unknowns it's ridiculous. A lot of the disagreements that might come up between researchers usually center around those unknowns.

It's a fragile balance - to keep an open mind and at the same time avoiding stepping over into that slippery slope of belief.

For example, in reference to "disinfo sources" - I do not believe that there is any government interest in any official or heavily funded capacity in the field of Ufology. I'm more certain of that than I am about the field of JFK cover-ups...I'm not quite so certain there, because there are certain government agencies that would have more to lose. I've seen how they've worked very hard in many FOIA cases to keep documents covered up that make the Agency look bad.

A good example are the Pentagon papers - a nearly 40 year cover-up. Insane.

So, while I wouldn't fault anyone for thinking there could be government involvement in trying to hide or block information from being publicized, I personally have a pretty high level of evidence required before that can be true. Far too many people jump that assumption.

What I'm saying with this long-winded post (sorry), is that please be careful about getting too centered upon the disagreements - for the most part, I see more agreements in this thread than anything else. Don't get hung up on the minor things.

I think we can make great strides with all of these subjects if we are open-minded enough to dive in deeply - all the while keeping our wits about us.

Anyway - that's my soapbox diatribe, thanks for listening. :-)

-Ryan
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"Only a fool of a scientist would dismiss the evidence and reports in front of him and substitute his own beliefs in their place." - Paul Kurtz

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Re: Hit Piece on Gus Russo

Postby RICH-ENGLAND » Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:00 am

@ryan

the government really dont need to employ anyone to give disinfo on ufos as not only are they probably very happy for the ufo stories to cover any secret plane testing they may be doing or have done but theres so many deranged and deluded lunatics discrediting the field that it would be a waste of time, money and resources paying any type of intelligence agent to do such work when the ufology field already destroys itself.

thats why it always makes me laugh when idiots over at ats claim any and every skeptic to be a disinfo agent as if the world governments have thousands of people in employment just sat on the net all day destroying ufo stories, it also makes me a little sad that theres so many stupid gullible people on the planet.

thanks

rich
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Re: Hit Piece on Gus Russo

Postby Luck » Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:17 am

Wow, this thread has really jumped around a bit. I just wanted to jump back in for a bit and say apparently I wasn't being (that) paranoid about the Ron Paul army co-opting the Occupy movement.
http://www.alternet.org/occupywallst/153821/how_right-wing_libertarians,_john_birchers_and_conspiracy_freaks_are_trying_to_hijack_the_occupy_movement/?page=1

Ron Paul supporters dominated the conversation in the public forum on OccupyWallSt.org, the movement’s unofficial Web site, throughout the fall. A December post on the forum complained about the Paul-partisan spammers, and warned against forging an alliance with “Wall Street's religious fanatics, the libertarians, espousing their predatory free-market religion.”

A few weeks ago, the forum’s anonymous moderator finally banned Paul’s supporters from propagandizing:

“We do not support an election campaign for 2012. At all. We have removed election material for Obama, Paul, Warren, Paul, Cain, Paul, Perry, Paul, the green party, Paul, Nader, Paul, and did I mention Paul?”

At the same time, the forum mod announced a ban of “conspiracy theories, including any attempt to spam material by David Icke, Lyndon LaRouche, David Duke or Alex Jones.”


Amen.

As for conspiracies, I have spent the week researching the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Turns out they are responsible for the voter-suppression and anti-collective bargaining legislation that has been passed in some states recently. Partially supported by the Koch brothers, it is an extreme conservative organization that gives corporations direct access to sympathetic members of state legislatures. All events supported by ALEC are private and not open to the public.
People I know are finding that legislative members do not like to discuss ALEC and will either clam up or change the topic, but it is a sad fact that much of the model legislation proposed by ALEC ends up being enacted almost word for word.
What is really galling is the fact that taxpayers have to pickup the dues for legislative members and that ALEC hosts events at very lavish resorts and pretty much pays the tab for any attending legislative members. Many states, including mine, have few real financial disclosure laws, so even if members of my state legislature attend, there is no real impetus for them to disclose.

Seamus,
I did like your piece on Icke, but I always feel like I need to take a shower after reading about him. As far as JFK, I just can't rally much if any interest on the topic, but I have become that way with 9/11 and most UFO stories, too. Except when James Carlson is beating up on Hastings.

Ryan,
We have a Monsanto working group and I pointed some of the members to some resources, including TSW. So far nobody has complained. :)

James,
I have been meaning to tell you... I like your new avatar, but it looks like the hybrid offspring of an extraterrestrial and a possessed cat. Alarming and funny as hell! :lol:
I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)
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