COPA censors Baker

Judyth Vary Baker, conspiracy author, and a scientist

 

I want to address a recently reported decision made by the Coalition on Political Assassinations, or COPA. Listed among speakers for the upcoming November 22-25 Dallas conference, is Judyth Vary Baker. This author of Lee and Me, a well-documented account of her romance with Lee Harvey Oswald, has much to offer on the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. But Baker was told last week there is “no room” for her at the meeting.

She reports sending email asking for details on her time slot, only to be told she has been dropped. The online list continues to show her name on COPA’s home page, but this list “was formed last year,” Baker learned.  Further, since she spoke by Skype in 2012, she’s “already spoken,” a conference leader said.

 Judyth asks why everyone else on the list, who has “already spoken,” has been invited back. Further, this author has something new to say. This past year, she has written a compelling account of David Ferrie, a man who lived in the shadows of the assassination of JFK, and who like Oswald, has been villainized.

Is there room at COPA for new ideas? For Baker? Is the problem that she has spoken out against some of the books written by other invited guests?

Such a decision by COPA—to ban her from speaking— would be insulting to academic freedom, she believes. And so do I.

 

COPA is known for its scientific approach in helping us learn more about the JFK assassination. Among the group are many bright academics who also are typically cautious of taking political risks—tenure must be at the back of one’s mind whenever presenting academic papers on controversial issues, such as this. For example, I would hate to be a history professor at Purdue University this year! If you don’t know the story, this prestigious university’s new president once tried banning the works of a famous and liberal historian in high school text books. But he didn’t stop there.

Dozens of Purdue University professors recently questioned his commitment to academic freedom, and in an open letter to President Mitch Daniels, they’ve said they are more troubled by his continued criticism of Howard Zinn's writings since becoming Purdue's president than they were by the emails he sent as governor more than three years ago.

"However much we disagree with your past statements, we are more troubled by the fact that you continue to express these views today, especially since you are now speaking as the chief representative of Purdue University with the responsibility to embody the best of academic inquiry and exchange," the professors wrote.

This public questioning of a powerful university president took balls! Does COPA have any?

Surely those men and women who started COPA were risk-takers, but as most such radical organizations grow, has COPA followed the model and moved to the center?  Centrists don’t rattle cages. And centrists don’t cause change. Is this where COPA wants to be? Viewing political assassinations from a safe place? Where there will be less criticism of COPA’s agenda?

People who are edgy and extreme are the ones who create change. Look back at the Weather Underground and the original Black Panthers. These men and women were anything but centrists; and they made their points.

 

Judyth has something more than “just data” to offer at this important fiftieth anniversary event. She has a first-hand story that is significant. She slept with the man who has been blamed for killing the president. She does not believe Oswald is the villain he’s been made out to be by the Warren Commission and all of the investigators from the FBI, intelligence agencies, and even the compromised U.S. press. You know, journalists like Chuck Todd who don’t believe it is their duty to ask questions when politicians lie to the public. She believes Oswald even tried to save JFK’s life.

Judyth is not a quiet, cautious person. She can appear flaky. She types in all caps—shouts online—when she gets attacked. She acts frantic when she’s called names. Sometimes she says things that make her Facebook followers upset. Some ask if she’s in her right mind. I think of several other assassination conspiracy writers who have been targeted for shunning because they sometimes appear to lose control. Does this behavior make them wrong? Or are they reacting to continued attempts to harass and censor?

Whenever a “Judyth” is banned from speaking in important arenas, one has to ask if the organization’s membership truly reflects its stated goals. Stated less politely, has COPA’s leadership been compromised by some who do not want truth to be known? Could there possibly be some influence by CIA or FBI or military assets doing their job by making sure people like Judyth are silenced? If you answer no, I have a bridge to sell you. This happens frequently and all of us can think of people and situations that must be questioned.

Judyth is an easy target; she’s easy to rattle. Years of hiding out in foreign countries, fearing she is a potential target and the loss of her family have taken their toll. Maybe she suffers from PTSD. Would you suffer, under these bizarre circumstances?

COPA needs to invite this significant author to speak; otherwise this organization could go the way of Purdue University when it comes to teaching and reporting history. Thank God there are professors at that Indiana institution willing to speak out on free speech. Willing to defend a brilliant mind from the likes of a TeaJadist ruler.

COPA has nothing to lose by letting Judyth Vary Baker speak on this fiftieth anniversary; the organization has everything to lose if Judyth is banned.

So, I double-dog-dare COPA to invite Judyth as a major speaker this November. Otherwise I am right about all of the above (and more).

*****

Susan Klopfer, MBA, is a graduate of Hanover College and Indiana Wesleyan University. The former journalist and Prentice Hall acquisitions and development editor, is the author of three nonfiction books on Mississippi civil rights: The Emmett Till Book; Where Rebels Roost, Mississippi Civil Rights Revisited; and, Who Killed Emmett Till. Her new book, The Plan, is set to be published at the end of September. Ties to the Ku Klux Klan, Militia, Neo Nazis, Chile's Colonia Dignidad, NSA,FBI,CIA and the assassinations of two famous civil rights leaders and President John F. Kennedy keep the pace moving in this HISTORICAL FICTION PARANORMAL NOVEL, first of a crime action adventure series.  - See more at: http://ebooksfromsusan.com/.