Kenneth A. Rahn obtained a B.S. in Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1962. He also has a
Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Michigan (1971). Rahn is currently Professor Emeritus of Oceanography Center for Atmospheric Chemistry Studies at the University of Rhode Island.
Rahn is also interested in the assassination of John F. Kennedy and is the author of the The Academic JFK Assassination Website. As Rahn points out: "takes its "academic" name from the fact that it attempts to approach the assassination in a way that is as scholarly, dignified, and rigorous as possible."
The website presents a great deal of material on all sides of the JFK assassination. However, according to Rahn: " This site shows that the proper investigative techniques lead inevitably to the strong conclusions that JFK was almost certainly killed by a lone gunman firing from the Texas School Book Depository, that he was almost certainly acting alone, and that he was almost certainly Lee Harvey Oswald."
This first essay considers what I will call, for lack of a better name, "The Central Fallacy of JFK Research." In effect, this fallacy is a misuse of the Argument ad Ignorantiam - the Argument from Ignorance - by many JFK researchers of all persuasions. The Argument ad Ignorantiam is the fallacy of reasoning that a proposition is true simply because it has not been proven false, or the converse, that a proposition is false simply because it has not been proven true. A simple example might be the deduction that extraterrestrials have not landed on earth because we have no hard proof of it. The proposition is that extraterrestrials have landed on earth; the deduction is that it is false because no physical evidence has been found for any such landings; the fallacy is that lack of physical evidence does not mean that it does not exist or that they could not have landed without leaving physical traces...
Thus the continuing lack of strong evidence specific to conspiracy makes it an increasingly untenable proposition. Slowly but surely, the probability of nonconspiracy is climbing ever-higher. Every tick of the clock raises it inexorably, as does every national meeting where reams of inconclusive and irrelevant "evidence" are presented at great length and their significance greatly exaggerated.
Let us be clear one critical point. Nothing in this argument prohibits conspiracy. Perhaps tomorrow the smoking gun will be found and conspiracy will be proven. But for 36 years nothing like this has happened - that history of nonaccomplishment must count for a tremendous lot.
Again, this is less an argument against conspiracy per se than an argument against demonstrated conspiracy. All of us devoted to this case must learn to operate on two mental tracks simultaneously - keeping our minds open to all future possibilities while properly recognizing the meaning of the current probabilities.
Meaghers leftist leanings can be seen in quotes from her. For example, the dedication to her book reads: This book is dedicated to the innocent victims of a society which often inflicts indignity, imprisonment, and even death on the obscure and helpless. She wanted an end to the cold war and a beginning of genuine peace, for equality and mutual respect among men, for the rule of law and an end to brute violence. A passage on page xxiii of her Foreword also shows her leanings: On the day of the assassination the national climate of arrogance and passivity in the face of relentless violence - beatings, burnings, bombings, and shootings - yielded in some quarters to a sudden hour of humility and self-criticism. The painful moment passed quickly, for the official thesis of the lone, random assassin destroyed the impulse for national self-scrutiny and repentance. Thus, the climate of cruelty and barbaric hatred was restored after what was scarcely an interruption, and it was possible for Cuban émigrés - virtually with impunity and without regard for the hundreds of people who might be killed or injured - to fire a bazooka at the United Nations Headquarters building to express displeasure at the presence there of Che Guevara. Thus it was possible for American Nazi thugs to assault peaceful citizens assembled at a public meeting in Dallas at Christmas 1965. This it is possible for Americans to look upon the napalmed children of Vietnam and listen to their terror nightly over the television tubes, and to go about their daily business as usual.
From the minute the assassination was announced, it seemed improbable to her, and she became instantaneously skeptical of the official explanation. She was convinced that the governments story was false and that they (including the Dallas authorities) would try to pin it on a Communist. This suspicion was reinforced when Oswalds name, background, and guilt was announced. She felt that the Dallas authorities piled evidence on Oswald too fast. In response, she started to read on the assassination and save every article she could find on it. She attended several of Mark Lanes lectures in NYC but reserved judgment until the Warren Report appeared. Feeling that she could not possibly understand the Report as is, she created her own index, a work that took several months and 152 pages. The results convinced her that the Warren Commissions detailed evidence contradicted its general conclusions. Three years of study convinced her that she had been right.