Archive/File: orgs/american/ihr express.011092 Last-modified: 1993/05/12 XRef: ihr express.011792 contains Mark Weber's reply to this article East Bay EXPRESS [Transcribed and republished to UseNet with permission] (P.O. Box 3198, Berkeley, CA 94703) January 10, 1992 Cityside Sticks & Stones by Paul Rauber Conspiracy of Dunces Remember the scene in JFK where Kevin Costner reads the Warren Commission Report? While poor Sissy Spacek sulks outside the bedroom, Costner/Garrison bounces on the bed, paging through the official report on the Kennedy assassination with increasing annoyance. "Ask the question!" he mutters. "Ask the question!" Listeners to KPFA December 20 were yelling the same thing at their radios, as the station's conspiracy czar, Dennis Bernstein, interviewed conspiracy theorist Mark Lane on the subject of his new book on the Kennedy assassination, 'Plausible Denial.' At one point the conversation turned to Fletcher Prouty, yet another conspiracy theorist who served as consultant to Oliver Stone and who also wrote the introduction to Lane's book. "Let's be very clear," interjected Bernstein, "because we ahve a very astute audience here, Mark Lane." Bernstein went on to explain that Prouty had written a "very good book," originally published by Prentice-Hall and later reissued by Noontide Press. Yet, he added, "This is the press that suggested that the Holocaust didn't happen." (Noontide Press is an imprint of the Liberty Lobby, an organization founded by one Willis Carto). "Well, let me tell you about that," said Lane. "They have never, never said the Holocaust was a hoax. They have never said the Holocaust didn't happen." Lane went on to characterize a recent court case in Los Angelese between Mel Mermelstein, a Holocaust survivor, and Willis Carto and the Liberty Lobby. "In it Mr. Mermelstein said that this is the organization which says the Holocaust is a hoax, that it never happened. The judge in the case, Superior Court Judge Stephan Lachs, who is also Jewish, listened to the evidence and then he ordered the lawyers for Mr. Mermelstein to never, ever again say in court that any of these organizations ever said the Holocaust was a hoax or it didn't happen." Astute listeners sat with bated breath waiting for Berstein to ask the question. Who is Willis Carto? What is the Liberty Lobby? And what exactly is Mark Lane's connection to them? Alas, the listeners got no more satisfaction than Kevin Costner; the conversation wandered off into a discussion of George Bush. For the record, Willis Carto is the most notorious anti-Semite in the country, the Liberty Lobby the most notorious anti-Semitic organization, and Mark Lane their lawyer. Carto was exposed as early as 1966 by columnist Drew Pearson, who published a damning letter by Carto which said that "Hitler's defeat was the defeat of Europe. And of America. How could we have been so blind? The blame, it seems, must be laid at the door of the international Jews. It was their propaganda, lies, and demands which blinded the West to what Germany was doing... If Satan himself, with all of his superhuman genius and diabolical ingenuity at his command, had tried to create a permanent disintegration and force for the destruction of the nations, he could have done no better than to invent the Jews." As for the Noontide Press, its character can be judged from the contents of its catalogue: 'The Six Million Reconsidered,' 'The Testament of Adolf Hitler,''Germany's Hitler' ("a portrait of a man dedicated to his people and the vision of the National Socialist philosophy, as well as a man who in private life showed a very human side"), and of course the classic anti-Semitic text, 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.' Willis Carto is a busy man. He founded the Populist Party, whose 1988 presidential candidate was Nazi David Duke. Carto also started a Costa Mesa, California-based organization called the Institute for Historical Review, which is dedicated to proving that the Holocaust never happened. In 1980, IHR offered a $50,000 reward to anyone who could prove that Jews were gassed at Auschwitz. Holocaust survivor Mel Mermelstein took him up on the offer and submitted proof. IHR refused to pay, so Mermelstein took it to court, eventually winning the $50,000, plus $40,000 more for pain and suffering. In the course of the trial, Willis Carto was deposed. "Certainly there were no Jews gassed at Auschwitz," he said, "because there were no gas chambers. There were no Jews gassed at any of the German - any of the camps in Germany." Mark Lane's assertion that Judge Lachs ordered Mermelstein's attorneys not to make the claim that Carto, IHR, et al. denied the Holocaust is contested by Memmelstein's lawyer, Peter Bersin; since the transcripts of the trial have not yet been released, the matter cannot be conclusively settled. The question appears to turn on IHR's Humpty-Dumpty game with the word "Holocaust." According to Mark Weber, associate editor of IHR's 'Journal of Historical Review,' "If by the 'Holocaust' you mean the political persecution of Jews, some scattered killings, if you mean a cruel thing that happened, no one denies that. But if one says that the 'Holocaust' means the systematic extermination of six to eight million Jews in concentration camps, that's what we think there's not evidence for." That is, IHR dosen't deny that the "Holocaust" happened; they just deny that the word "Holocaust" means what people customarily use it to mean. "Some people say Mark Lane is crazy," Berstein intoned at the end of his softball interview. "Some peole say he's a member of the Liberty Lobby. Some people say he's a pepetual liar. Other people think that his work is very solid and believable. We leave it up to you. We're here to hive you the information, let you consider it, and make some of your own descisions." Following the Lane interview, Bernstein spoke to Jeff Cohen of the media-watch organization Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting on another matter. Towards the end, Cohen tried to get in a word about Mark Lane. "The question that you should ask Lane," Cohen said, "is, How can he defend the Liberty Lobby and how can he pretend that he doesn't know... Liberty Lobby's involved in a lot of these conspiracy theories, from a far-right, anti-Semitic viewpoint? How come Lane doesn't know that the Liberty Lobby is anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi? That's the question. There's so many people coming at these conspiracy theories from so many different directions. The issue that we've tried to point out is some people are driving ideological axes from the far right. When they attack the CIA, they're doing it in some ways because they think the CIA didn't fight communism tough enough." Bernstein: "All right, Jeff, I'm sorry we're right against the clock. We did get into that a little bit earlier." Cohen: "I just..." (fade out) Bernstein: "Jeff Cohen, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, we're smack out of time." =30=
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