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Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/american/ihr//press/express.011092

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

                         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

   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."


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