Lawyer, Conspiracy Patsy, Disgraced Former Journalist, Man About Town
Capitalizing on the thirtieth anniversary of JFK’s assassination, Gerald Posner published Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK (1993). He asserted that any evidence which pointed away from Oswald as the proverbial lone gunman — which is arguably most of the evidence — was false. In Posner’s opinion, Oswald could have only acted alone, and Posner made many lucrative laps around the lecture circuit advocating the infamous “lone nut” theory.
Posner also writes about the assassination of Martin Luther King, Nazi war criminals, and what led to 9/11. Given his stance against physical evidence, this is an unsettling array of subjects.
As described by the authors of 70 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time,
Posner’s method of evading evidence that punctured his thesis was to obfuscate with unsupported assertions stated in a tone of unshakable authority. The counterevidence was usually buried in a footnote”(549).
These tactics of ungrounded authoritarian denial are strangely commonplace among people who earn their livelihoods by defining “common-sense” in opposition to logic and evidence.
Posner was accused of many instances of plagiarism as chief investigative reporter at the Daily Beast, and in his 2009 book Miami Babylon. When accused Posner hired attorney Mark Lane, threatening litigation against the Miami New Times on grounds that their exposure of this plagiarism was “tortious interference.”
Posner stated “Although I’m convinced Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President Kennedy, I’ve always believed that had Mark Lane represented Oswald, he would have won an acquittal. That’s why Mark Lane was the obvious choice as my own attorney.” Another ringing endorsement of the power of epistemological truth over propaganda and the manipulation of evidence.
When presented with further, incontrovertible examples of his plagiarism,
Posner resigned his position at the Daily Beast and said it was due to his confusion over his own research methods.
I realize how it is that I have inadvertently, but repeatedly, violated my own high standards.
In 2013, Posner was named in a federal lawsuit brought by author Harper Lee. She claimed that her literary agent’s son-in-law, Samuel Pinkus, tricked the nearly blind Lee into signing away her rights to To Kill a Mockingbird, sending the royalties to a corporation formed by Gerald Posner.
To recap, one of the most prominent best-selling defenders of the official “lone gunman” versions of 20th century political assassinations resigned in disgrace when his false journalism was expose, and he is accused of tricking a blind, deaf old woman out of the revenues for one of the most beloved works of American literature.
Just so we’re clear.