Wednesday, 12 January 2022 16:40

Gerald Posner vs Oliver Stone’s JFK Revisited

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Gerald Posner recently emerged from obscurity to try to counter Oliver Stone’s JFK Revisited documentary by hawking digital copies of his 1993 book Cased Closed, so Jim DiEugenio yet again demonstrates to Stone’s detractors how the documentary uses evidence released by the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), which cannot be refuted by a dated Warren Commission apologia based on an obsolete evidentiary record.

As could have been predicted, JFK Revisited is knocking the deniers sideways, to the point that people like Max Boot, and now Gerald Posner, cannot tell time. On January 8th, Posner tried to counter the smashing success of Oliver Stone’s appearance on Joe Rogan and the ringing endorsement given to him by Glenn Greenwald. Together, Rogan and Greenwald reached an audience of well over 3 million people. This is what Posner posted on his Facebook page:

Confused by Oliver Stone’s latest ‘documentary’ mishmash on the JFK Assassination? Today only, Open Road Integrated Media, has all digital CASE CLOSED on sale. It was a Pulitzer-finalist for History + a national bestseller. Get a dose of sanity for less than $2.

Underneath that post, he pictured the poster of JFK Revisited and placed a label on it as “brain fog.” Next to that was a photo of the cover of Case Closed with the label “the cure.”

On his page, there are posts you can comment on. There was no way to comment on this particular post. He had closed them down., for good reason. It’s an inane, carnival barker type of post. Sort of like Max Boot, Posner has lost his space/time moorings. Recall, Boot had John Kennedy trying to topple Patrice Lumumba in Congo, when, in fact, Lumumba had been killed before JFK took office. Well, Posner published his book in 1993. The Assassinations Records Review Board was appointed and began work in 1994. They stayed at work until 1998. They declassified 60,000 documents, making up a repository of 2 million pages. JFK Revisited is largely based on their work product. So how the heck could Posner’s book be used to counter the discoveries in the film based on the work of the ARRB? If anyone has “brain fog”, it’s Posner.

Let us use some examples of Posner’s brain fog:

  • In perusing the index to his book, Posner does not mention Dorothy Garner. How could he? Her interview with Justice Department lawyer Martha Stroud was discovered in 1999 by author Barry Ernest. It corroborates the alibi evidence supplied by Vick Adams and Sandy Styles, who worked at the Texas School Book Depository. That document destroyed the Warren Report’s false presentation of the Adams and Styles time frame for being on the stairs after the assassination, one which Posner dutifully recites on page 263 of his book. Barry clearly demonstrates this in the film. (See also The Girl on the Stairs, pp. 214–18). What makes it worse is that Barry proves that the Chief Counsel of the Warren Commission knew of the Garner interview in the summer of 1964.

  • Posner mentions the name of John Stringer in his book. Quoting chief pathologist Jim Humes, he says that Stringer’s autopsy photos were never touched and, therefore, Posner writes, “they provide proof positive of the President’s wounds…” (Posner pp. 300–01) He then says that Stringer verified the autopsy photo inventory in 1966. What he cannot write is that Stringer denied that the 1966 photographic inventory was intact before the ARRB, as Humes did before both the HSCA and the ARRB. Stringer said that he knew the 1966 inventory was not intact, but he was told to sign it. So, he did. (Stringer ARRB Interview, 7/16/96 pp. 136–37; Humes’ ARRB interview of 2/13/99 p. 97)

    Because of the ARRB, this record now gets worse. Doug Horne was in the room when the ARRB’s Chief Counsel Jeremy Gunn conducted his landmark deposition with Stringer. As Doug describes in JFK Revisited, under Gunn’s questioning, official photographer Stringer ended up denying that he photographed the extant pictures of President Kennedy’s brain and he did this on no less than five evidentiary grounds. Two of them were that he did not use the film utilized in the present National Archives pictures and he also did not use the photographic technique used to take these extant photos. (Horne, Inside the ARRB, pp. 803–10) Therefore, once this is established, the film asks the logical questions: Who did take them, and why? How could one ask those questions before the Gunn/Stringer deposition?

  • In discussing the so-called Magic Bullet, that is Commission Exhibit 399, Posner used Vincent Guinn’s Comparative Bullet Lead Analysis test to argue for both its authenticity and its trajectory through both Kennedy and Governor John Connally—who was in front of the president. In Case Closed, Posner rhapsodized about Guinn’s work. He called it “indisputable evidence” that CE 399 had not been planted and “it had traveled through Connally’s body…” (pp. 340–42) This has turned out to be pure bunk. The entire scientific underpinning of that test has been shown to be utterly false, so much so that the FBI will not use it in court again for fear of its agents being indicted for perjury. This was done by the team of metallurgist Ric Randich and statistician Pat Grant. (Federal Lawyer, Nov/Dec, 2007, pp. 66–68)

    But beyond that, in Posner’s discussion of CE 399, I could not locate the names of Bardwell Odum or Elmer Lee Todd. These two men are crucial in exposing the fraud of CE 399 and the fact that the FBI misrepresented the provenance of this bullet. As JFK Revisited demonstrates with new evidence, the FBI lied when it said that agent Bardwell Odum had shown CE 399 to the two men who first encountered it at Parkland Hospital: Darrell Tomlinson and O. P. Wright. Odum told Gary Aguilar and Josiah Thompson that he did no such thing. And, in fact, Wright previously denied to author Thompson that CE 399 was the bullet he turned over to the Secret Service. (The Assassinations, edited by James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease, pp. 282–84) JFK Revisited also proves, through the work of the late John Hunt, that unlike what the FBI states in the Commission volumes, agent Elmer Lee Todd’s initials are not on the bullet. And since he was the agent who delivered it to the FBI lab on the night of the assassination this is inexplicable. What is even more inexplicable is the fact that the lab already had the “stretcher Bullet” and hour and twenty minutes before it was allegedly delivered by the Secret Service to Todd. As Dave Mantik asks in the film: How is that possible? (James DiEugenio, The JFK Assassination: The Evidence Today, pp. 248–50) If all these discoveries by Hunt, Aguilar, and Thompson came after 1993, then how does Posner’s book counter this new evidence? With people like Odum, Todd, and O. P. Wright not even in the index of his book?

    JFK Revisited demonstrates all the above about CE 399 through Gary Aguilar, who interviewed Odum, and with documents that people like Aguilar, Thompson and Hunt produced. In other words, it is all done with primary sources. So, the questions then become: Why did the FBI lie about the identification of the bullet? Why did the FBI lie about Todd’s initials being on CE 399? How could CE 399 be delivered to the FBI lab after they already had it? And the ultimate question: who planted the bullet? And likely on the wrong stretcher. (Don Thomas, Hear No Evil, pp. 392–99) And make no mistake, CE 399 is utterly crucial to the Warren Report.

What makes all of the above even worse is the fact that Posner is a lawyer! Therefore, he has to know what the rules of evidence are. He was educated at a California law school, so he knows what a 402 hearing is. This is a pre-trial procedure where the defense has the opportunity to challenge the evidence the prosecution is going to present. There is simply no chain of custody for CE 399. And if in fact it would be presented at trial, it would be destroyed upon cross-examination.

Posner also has to know that if a photo or illustration is to be presented at trial, the person who took it would have to testify that this is the picture he took. Well, Stringer’s testimony would show that the pictures of the brain in evidence were not taken by him, which would open the door to a line of questioning that would likely get the prosecution’s case thrown out of court. For if someone else took the pictures, then that would lead to the questions of who did so and why? To use one example, which is described in JFK Revisited, ARRB witness Sandy Spencer did see other autopsy pictures which were different than the ones in evidence today. (William Matson Law, In the Eye of History, pp. 429–33) As Jeremy Gunn told Doug Horne, he thought Spencer was the best witness the ARRB had. Again, Spencer’s name is not in the index to Posner’s book. How could she be?

Finally, as any lawyer will tell you, when one has an independent alibi witness like Garner, it makes it hard to disprove time and place. The Commission knew this, which is why their Chief Counsel, J. Lee Rankin, buried the evidence of Garner’s interview with Stroud. Does it get much worse than that? See if that bit of information is in Posner’s book.

For Posner to either ignore or completely discount the above is simply preposterous and it reduces his book to rubble. But it’s even worse than that. As an attorney, he has to know its value in court. In all probability, this much fraud would have gotten the case against Oswald thrown out. On that basis, let me extend a challenge to Gerald. I will agree to debate him at a public venue in either Los Angeles or San Francisco and he can bring former Commission attorneys Howard Willens, Burt Griffin, and David Slawson with him. I would only ask that I be allowed to choose one other person. In other words, it would be 4–2 in their favor.

Gerald can contact me through Oliver Stone’s office or the website. I eagerly await his communication. In my view, the interest is this would be so high it would be broadcast on radio and TV.

I predict that call will never come, because if they did show up they would be shown to be, at best, clowns, at worst, charlatans. And their books, Case Closed and the Warren Report should be in the fiction section of any library.

Last modified on Wednesday, 12 January 2022 19:52
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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