March 5, 1998 Dr. James Fetzer University of Minnesota 10 University Drive Duluth, MN 55812-2496 Dear Dr. Fetzer, I have read your book, Assassination Science: Experts Speak Out on the Death of JFK, made notations, and reread the Zapruder chapters and references. I also consulted Bloody Treason by Noel Twyman, upon which some of your writers' material is based. My recommendation to our Interpretation Department and book store, based primarily on the Zapruder sections, is that we do not carry your book at this time. Mr. Mack, I certainly appreciate hearing from you about ASSASSINATION SCIENCE. Insofar as you have offered REASONS in support of your assessment, I am taking the liberty of pointing out those cases in which they appear to be BAD REASONS, which seem to predominate in this case. Let me ask a few preliminary questions about your book store. It is my understanding that decisions about what is and is not carried are the responsibility of the DIRECTOR, where your opinions serve as recommendations, while he is the decision-maker. Is that right? Moreover, I understand that your bookstore does NOT carry pro-con- spiracy books as a general policy. Thus, you carry books such as CASE CLOSED, MORTAL ERROR, and CONSPIRACY OF ONE, but not RUSH TO JUDGMENT, ACCESSORIES AFTER THE FACT, SIX SECONDS IN DALLAS, BEST EVIDENCE, HIGH TREASON, or even DEEP POLITICS AND THE DEATH OF JFK. Please confirm that this is correct, especially by providing a list of the books that are carried by your bookstore. I would observe that, if this information is correct, by carrying CASE CLOSED, you are endorsing a blatant hoax, which is demonstrably based upon an abuse of principles of reasoning by including only evidence that supports THE WARREN REPORT and thus commits the special pleading fallacy, while excluding books of unquestioned merit, such as RUSH TO JUDGMENT, BEST EVIDENCE, and other books because they argue for positions at odds with those this bookstore finds congenial. But if this is correct--and I await your contention that it is not-- then it was a predetermined conclusion that you would not accept ASSASSINATION SCIENCE for display there. And if that is correct, then the reasons you offer are really a smoke screen for censorship. You must forgive me if I question the sincerity of your protesta- tions that excluding my book is dictated by standards of research! I found several hundred questionable statements and, while I cannot list all the problems, you are certainly due an explanation for my conclusion. Overall, they relate to the following observations: The book runs approximately 480 pages in length, where the number of sentences per page appears to run at least 15 per page. Thus, if it were correct that you had discovered "several hundred questionable statements", that would represent the equivalent of perhaps 2O pages of text out of an 480 page book, leaving approximately 460 pages of the work NOT in the "questionable statement" category, which is an error rate of less than 5% and a success rate of over 95%! That is pretty impressive, by your own standard, given the controversial na- ture of the subject. Indeed, I have found almost no two researchers in this area who do not find the work of others to be "questionable". So I hope you don't mind my evaluation of your rather sweeping con- demnation of the book, which, even if it were true, does not appear to amount to much and, if false, of course, comes to nothing at all. This is especially true given your own degree of expertise (below). 1) Your "experts," for the most part, are not experts in the subjects they discuss and they show little understanding of them; This strikes me as quite incredible. The qualifications of each of the contributors to ASSASSINATION SCIENCE are sketched on pp. 462- 463. Let's go through the list to see if you are right about this. Robert B. Livingston, M.D., is a world authority on the human brain and an expert on wound ballistics. He discusses the authenticity of diagrams and photographs of a brain that are supposed to be the brain of JFK, but explains why they must be of the brain of some- one other than John Fitzgerald Kennedy. He also discusses his per- sonal conversations with James Humes, M.D., on 22 November 1963 and other personal conversations with Richard Dudman shortly thereafter. According to your claim, he is no expert on the subjects he discus- ses and shows little understanding of them. Are you serious? I am astonished that anyone, much less someone who poses as some sort of authority on research in this area, would make such fantastic claims. David W. Mantik, M.D., Ph.D., possesses a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Wisconsin, an M.D. from the University of Michigan, and is board certified in radiation oncology, which involves the use of radiation therapy to treat cancer. He professionally interprets X-rays and prescribes treatments for patients that may make the dif- ference between life and death. He has studied the original X-rays, photographs, and other assassination materials that are kept in the National Archives and has subjected the autopsy X-rays, for example, to meticulous studies using optical densitometry, which has enabled him to establish that several of the X-rays have been fabricated in two different ways. It is difficult for me to imagine anyone who is better qualfied for the study of these X-rays, and it is incomprehen- sible to me that anyone could suggest, as you do, that David does not understand them. Whether or not his credentials with respect to the study of the Zapruder film are judged to be equally impressive, how can you suggest that he is not an expert in the area of the interpre- tation of X-rays, where his understanding appears to be unparalleled? Charles Crenshaw, M.D., was a resident at Parkland when the President was brought in for treatment and, as you know, also attended his al- leged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, when he was brought to Parkland two days later. He is discussing his personal experiences in light of records, documents, and other testimony that is avaiable to the public. In what sense is he not an expert on his subject? In what sense does he show little understanding of the subjects he discusses? Bradly Kizzia, J.D., was Crenshaw's attorney of record in filing and pursuing a law suit against the American Medical Association and its journal JAMA. He thoroughly prepared the suit by extensive investi- gations of its legal and factual basis, including taking a large num- ber of depositions from various related parties. He prevailed over the AMA and accepted a settlement of more than $200,000 on behalf of his client. In his chapter, he recounts the legal action he under- took, its course and its outcome. Who could possibly be better pos- itioned to discuss this? Who could possibly understand it better? James H. Fetzer, Ph.D., is a professional philosopher of science and an expert on critical thinking. He is also a former commission- ed officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he supervised recruit training at the same recruit depot where Lee Oswald received his recruit training and at the same rifle range where Oswald received his marksmanship training. He organized a research groug during November of 1992 in an effort to place the investigation of the assassination on an objective and scientific foundation. As the editor, he was responsible for inviting and editing articles that appeared here as well as for organizing and editing the work as a whole. He has reported his experiences with JAMA, including his personal conversation with George Lundberg, M.D., its Editor-in- Chief, his role in moderating the New York City press conference on 18 November 1993, and his correspondence with the Department of Justice and other responsible parties (such as the publisher and editors of The New York Times), all of which are matters of his personal knowledge. He has also advanced a critique of the work of Robert Artwohl, M.D., in his capacity as an authority on critical thinking, and has elaborated the contents of the work as a whole in various different ways, including introductions for each section of the work and summaries of its findings. It is difficult to imagine how anyone else could have done this in- sofar as these are areas of his personal experience and of his professional competence. So what is the complaint in this case? These individuals are responsible for the first 205 pages of this book (actually, 221 when the front pages are taken into account), which includes the first three of the book's four parts. Indeed, the Postscript is written by Ronald F. White, Ph.D., who holds a Ph.D. in history and who is an expert in the history of medicine, science, and technology. His piece is a study of the background of the case and especially of why professional historians have been reluctant to pursue it, given the uncertain nature of the most basic assassination evidence. As a professional historian, he appears to be highly qualified to undertake this inquiry and the quality of his research seems to be outstanding. So that is another major segment of the book that is invulnerable to your alleged claims of lack of expertise. Indeed, when you consider that the Epilogue is written by me and the Appendices offer no basis for criticism of this kind, it becomes apparent that these parts constitute another 118 pages (pp. 345-463), which added to the first 221, equals 349 pages where the objection that these authors are not experts on the subjects they are discussing are completely and utterly without merit. So where do you come off making this sweeping but groundless accusation? These authors are all experts on their subjects, which they well understand. What remains is precisely Part IV, which concerns the Zapruder film. If you were the least bit more honest, then you should have admitted that the contributors to most of the book--the first three parts, the Epilogue and the Postscript--are highly qualified to discuss the subjects they address instead of mak- ing a false generalization that implies that the "experts" who address their subjects are not qualified to do so. Given the evidence I have outlined above--and the fact that their quali- fications are summarized at various places in the book, such as the Preface and the Prologue--it appears as though the only reason someone would make such a statement is to deliberately mislead others about the qualifications of the book's authors. The only part of the book where such an objection may have any merit whatsoever is with regard to Part IV, which concerns the Zapruder film and indications that it has been extensively edit- ed using highly sophisticated techniques. Even in this instance, I find your objections to the qualifications of the contributors to be a bit much, especially given what I take to be your meager credentials in this area. Is it not correct that your college degree was not in film, film studies, photography, or related technical areas? Is it not correct that your only professional position was in video editing and as film librarian at a local television station? I know you have studied JFK films for many years and are a knowledgeable expert on their history, but does this give you professional expertise greater than other amateur researchers who have also studied JFK assassination films? Every contributor--even to Part IV--appears to possess qualifications equal to or greater than your own, with the possible exception of Mike Pincher, J.D., who is a trial attorney and who assisted Roy Schaeffer on their chapter. Roy, after all, completed a six-year government-sponsored apprenticeship in film development from 1963 to 1969. So his qualifications seem to be better than your own. Jack White has earned near-legendary status within the research community for his work on the photographic evidence, and based up- on what I know of his work, I judge his photographic competence and experience to exceed yours. Jack has done professional photo work for more than 40 years, and I have no indication that your photographic competence is more than minimal. As for Chuck Mar- ler, his work is an outstanding piece of research. Whether or not Ron Hepler's belongs in the same category is another matter, but he was making a case for two shots to Connally on the basis of the available film, not trying to prove it had been edited. That leaves the long chapter by David Mantik, whose very exact and detailed methods combined with outstanding research ability seems to make him very well qualified for undertaking his study. So let us see what you have by way of criticism and then we can evaluate whether you have shown that some of the authors of the chapters of this book are not experts and do not understand the subjects they discuss, because the evidence that I have review- ed here indicates--conclusively, in my view--that you have given a highly misleading characterization of their competence here, a characterization that appears to have been deliberate. So I am complelled to ask, Why did you, Gary Mack, make this statement? 2) Appropriate, recognized experts were not consulted for insight or contrary opinions, leaving a very biased presentation; You had better document claims of this kind, because your credibil- ity, at this point, ranks very low. Moreover, saying that you had "found several hundred questionable statements" without documenting them should not impress any rational and objective student of the case. So far, you have only demonstrated your bias and prejudice. 3) At least one expert on motion pictures and special effects, Oliver Stone, who is undeniably sympathetic to the conspiracy issue, dismissed charges of Zapruder film alteration in 1992; This is silly! That Oliver Stone may have made such a remark only matters if he had considered the evidence that we have discovered. This is akin to the Department of Justice refer- ring me to the HSCA report, when I informed them of the dis- covery of evidence that completely undermined the HSAC inquiry. So how does a remark--a few words, for heaven's sake!--detract from discoveries that we have made during 1996, 1997 and 1998, because further confirmations of the extensive editing of the film continue to be made to this day by other investigators? I certainly hope you can produce better arguments than this. CONTINUED: See "A Response to Gary Mack (2)".