Max Holland. What an irritant. And that's because he's a fool, but a very pompous fool, which is the most irritating kind. But, you know what irritates me even more? The editors of Newsweek who publish crap like this. And they've been doing it for 53 years. Newsweek is supposed to be a news weekly, but, it also contains a lot of opinion. But, when it comes to the JFK assassination, they only publish the opinions of people like Max Holland. Would it kill them publish an alternate view once in a while, say by James Douglass? or David Talbot? or Vincent Salandria? or Mark Lane? (when he was alive, of course) Why do they doggedly and exclusively keep trying to sell us the official story of the JFK assassination? They're not a branch of the government. Are they?
But, there's one silver lining in this, and that is the fact that they still feel the need to keep selling it. The JFK assassination is like an election campaign that never ends, where the candidate (who is running unopposed in the mainstream media) still can't garner enough votes to win, even after 53 years.
And for some reason, Max Holland has become quite the leading spokesman to defend the official story of the JFK assassination. Why him? Why not, say, John McAdams? Or Gerald Posner? Is it because of his ability to write? It's sure not because of his ability to think.
I am going to review his article, and there's not much to it; meaning that there's a lot of fluff and hyperbole in it which doesn't amount to a hill of beans. And I like beans.
He starts with the unsubstantiated assumption that the reason why the Warren Commission failed to win the day is because they didn't correctly decipher Oswald's shots. Ah ha. So, Max just skips right over the question of whether Oswald actually did it. I guess he figures that that is a foregone conclusion. Instead, he thinks that doubt exists only because the WC didn't determine the timing of the shots correctly.
Well, the fact is that the vast majority of people who dispute the Warren Report do so on the basis of Oswald not having fired any shots at all. The number of Oswald-guilty CTs is very few, and the number of Oswald-guilty CT books is extremely minute. What is there? Robert Blakey? That idiot from the HSCA? Who thinks that Oswald killed Kennedy on behalf of the Mafia? So, Oswald was the best shooter the Mafia could get, a guy who practically failed his last shooting test in the Marines, and the only shooting he did after that was to shoot at rabbits with a shotgun in Russia, for which, we are told, he never could hit one. David Lifton talked to a Russian guy who said that someone would always shoot a rabbit for Oswald just so he'd have. And whether you believe that or not doesn't matter because the fact is that Oswald had no experience as an assassin, as a sniper, and very little as a marksman, really. He only did the minimum that the Marines required. Nelson Delgado said that Oswald really didn't like guns. It is really crazy to think that the Mafia would have picked him. But, let me tell you something about Blakey: he replaced someone who was getting a little too close to the truth, and he was chosen by the HSCA for the same reason that Robert Groden was chosen by the HSCA: because he's an idiot.
But, I digress; the point is that Max Holland starts by totally misconstruing the nature of the resistance community in the JFK world. They are not arguing about the specifics of Oswald's shots; they are denying that he took any. Get it, Max?
Next, Max gets into the Zapruder film, which he claims led people astray from Day 1. He claims it was LIFE magazine who first asserted that the film caught and displayed all the shots that Oswald took. Hmmm. Could Max be an even bigger fool than I thought? He talks about LIFE magazine as if they were running the show. He says that even the FBI was "mesmerized" by LIFE. Seriously, the idiot said that "the Bureau accepted LIFE's claim..." Max: whatever LIFE published came from the FBI and was approved by the FBI. You're getting the cart before the horse.
Then Max gives credit to the Warren Commission which realized that JFK and Connally were shot too close together in time that it would have been impossible for Oswald to pull off another shot that fast. This, of course, was before the Single Bullet nonsense, and it led to the Single Bullet nonsense.
Max next makes the claim that the bullet that entered Kennedy's back at 1900 feet per second exited his throat at 1800 feet per second. Is that accurate? How does Max claim to know that? A bullet's velocity is the full measure of its energy. Does he really think that a bullet traversed the body of a man and lost only 5% of its energy? Most of the time, bullets don't traverse bodies at all, and about a year ago a guy from a gun club went hunting with a Carcano, just like Oswald's, and using similar ammunition, and when he shot a sow, and it did not traverse the body at all, which means it reached a velocity of 0 feet per second inside the body. So, I want to know what basis Max Holland claims to know that the bullet that entered JFK's back exited his throat still going 1800 feet per second? And, I also want to know why he wasn't smart to realize that such an exorbitant claim demanded evidence. Do you see what an irritating, pompous pr__k this guy is?
Then, he says that you have to believe the Single Bullet Theory because otherwise: where did the bullet go which exited Kennedy's throat? Answer: it didn't go anywhere because it didn't exit his throat. The bullet that entered Kennedy's back did not exit. This is a case of Max assuming the very thing he is trying to prove.
Next, Max claims that once the WC settled on the Single Bullet Theory, it left them with no clear indication of when the first shot (which missed) was fired. He said they never did assign a Zapruder frame to that shot. And that was their great failing, according to Max. Their big mistake was in not realizing that the Zapruder film did NOT capture all of the shots.
Next, Max elaborates on the positions of the ejected cartridge shells in the Sniper's Nest- as if the authenticity of those shells and where they were found is beyond doubt, as if it's bankable.
So, Max, you're saying that there is no chance that somebody put them where they were found? How do you know?
But, moving on, Max claims to know from the location of those shells that the first shot was fired just about straight out the window, and the other two: down the block. He rounded it off. He claimed to know that the first shot was taken perpendicular to the building's face, and the second two "nearly" parallel with the buildings face. Nearly parallel? Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! That's impossible! It's not like Oswald was left handed, and even then, it wouldn't amount to being nearly parallel with the building. You try it from a 6th floor window, Max. And, the fact is: if the rifle was nearly parallel with the face of the building, it could not have been aimed at Kennedy. The nerve of this guy.
Max claims that the first ones to realize that the first shot is the one that missed was CBS in 1967. Now, keep in mind that the whole idea of a missed shot goes back to James Tague being injured. If that hadn't happened, or if it hadn't been discovered, there is no telling what the official story would have been.
Then, Holland gets into his traffic light mast arm bull shit- a refinement of Gerald Posner's idea that the bullet bounced off a tree branch. Holland found something harder to blame. The first time Holland brings it up, he just states it matter-of-factly, as if his idea, which hasn't been accepted and endorsed by hardly anyone, is as certain as the sun rising in the east.
"The only reason this first shot missed was because it hit the only obstacle (apart from the tree) blocking Oswald’s line of sight during the entire procession: the traffic mast arm."
Note that this was the basis of Holland's 2011 program on National Geographic, The Lost Bullet, which I destroyed, and it may be the most widely read thing I have ever written. It's called: Lies, Damn Lies, and National Geographic.
Holland got his wish and got to play with the mast arm. It was tricky to get the bullet to ricochet the way he wanted. But, if he got the angle just right, it would do it, leaving just a "slight indentation barely discernible to the touch." Oh really, Max? Well, in that case, since it was no direct hit, I'd like to know the angle of ricochet. It's not enough for you to get it to ricochet. You have to to show that it would ricochet and then go down the entire length of Dealey Plaza and hit the curb where it did.
Max claims that the bullet, which did very little damage to the mast arm (barely discernible) caused the jacket to strip from the bullet. And then:
"Finally, calculations based on the bullet-deflection measurements revealed that a glancing bullet strike on the mast arm in the right circumferential location could deflect a bullet downstream to the turf adjacent to the concrete skirt on the south side of Elm Street."
Calculations, Max? Calculations? You don't know much about Science, do you, Max? In this case, a calculation is nothing more than a speculation. Why didn't you have the Dallas Police close Dealey Plaza for a few hours and test it? After all, the history of the country is at stake, is it not? Haven't we been wrestling with this and agonizing over it for over half a century? Isn't that long enough? Don't you think it would be worth it to close Dealey Plaza for a few hours, and shoot some bullets into a properly placed mast arm and see if they ricochet down the length of Dealey Plaza, in accordance with your "calculations"?
But no, you don't want to do that, do you, Max? You just want to go with the "calculations," as is, don't you? Of course.
Then, Max admitted that he has NO evidence:
The test also yielded the sobering realization that definitive evidence of a bullet impact could not be obtained. Within the 30-inch area deemed critical, DeRonja did find a shallow surface disturbance and rusted area approximately 22 inches from the signal end of the mast, but rust corrosion resulting from the mast’s long exposure to the elements obliterated the possibility of a telltale bullet footprint.
No, Max. It's not that you have no "definitive" evidence. You have no evidence. Period. None. A fanciful theory is all you have.
Then, Max rejoices in the idea that Oswald had not 6 seconds to get off 3 shots, but 11. Of course, he hasn't established that, but still, he's rejoicing. But really, he has nothing to rejoice about. And that's because it doesn't turn it into a situation in which Oswald had 11 seconds to get off 3 shots. The proximity of the second two shots still remains- even within Holland's fanciful and preposterous paradigm. It would still be an incredible shooting feat for Oswald to have taken the second shot, and then lowered the rifle and recycled it, and then found his target again- which had moved- and squeezed off a third shot and done it within the designated and accepted time frame. Holland's childlike imagination doesn't help the case that much.
It's funny that repeatedly, Holland disparages the Warren Commissioners for being "lawyers", as if, what do they know about bullets and ballistics, etc. But, it was a lawyer who came up with the Single Bullet Theory: Arlen Specter. You're biting the hand that feeds you, Max.
Max finishes by saying that Zapruder 133 shows evidence of Secret Service agents in the Queen Mary reacting to the first shot:
I tell you, Old Max would make a hell of a Rorschach test subject. He sees all kinds of things. He thinks Hickey, in back on the right, is reacting to the shot looking where he's looking. Either that, or he thought he spotted a quarter on the ground. Clint Hill, standing on our right, looks downright lackadaisical to me. That's the word. But, others were also reacting according to Max.
But, let's be adult about this: If you're a Secret Service agent, and you think you heard a shot being fired at the President, and you're in a car with other Secret Service agents, wouldn't the very first you would do be to alert the other agents? "Did you hear that? It sounded like a gunshot to me?" Why would you keep it to yourself? Why wouldn't you start by getting everybody involved?
Max: The first shot was taken from the Dal-Tex building at a low elevation, probably the 2nd floor. It missed. It sailed right over Kennedy's head. And it traveled down the length of Dealey Plaza because that was the direction it was going. It was traveling nearly parallel with the ground. And it took a long time to hit the ground, partly because the ground was descending. That is the correct derivation of the first shot, the missed shot, and your theory is nonsense. And Oswald was standing in the doorway of the Book Depository throughout the shooting spree, and we have a photographic image of him there in which we can confirm his person and his clothing.
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