Corsi Plagiarizes JFK Assassination Book

Posted: November 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

Recently, WND has been running a series of articles promoting Corsi’s new book, Who Really Killed Kennedy? One such piece, published on November 3, 2013, is the unbylined article “CIA hit in 1950s mirrors JFK assassination”. The article discusses the political upheaval in Guatemala in the 1950s, specifically Corsi’s theory that the CIA was involved in both a 1957 assassination of the Guatemalan President and, of course, the JFK assassination in 1963.

Although the article is uncredited and even though it quotes Corsi in the third person, a considerable portion of the article is actually adapted from Corsi’s own book. Of primary interest here is that midway through the article appears an accounting of the 1957 assassination of Guatemalan President Carlos Armas, which is copied almost word-for-word from Chapter 5 of Who Really Killed Kennedy?.

Here is the story as presented in Corsi’s book, starting at the bottom of page 204 and continuing onto page 205, under the subheading “Guatemala 1957: The Assassination and the Patsy”:

On July 26, 1957, President Armas was assassinated at around 9:00 p.m. as he and his wife prepared to enter the dining room of the Presidential Palace. Two bullets were fired, one of which severed his aorta and killed him instantly. The assassin, identified as twenty-year-old Romeo Vasquez Sanchez, was said to have committed suicide immediately, using the same rifle he had used to kill Armas. The Guatemalan government identified Romeo Vasquez Sanchez as a disgruntled soldier dismissed from the military in June 1955 because of his “Communist ideology.” Yet, somehow, Romeo Vasquez Sanchez managed to rehabilitate himself sufficiently to have been a member of the Presidential Palace Guard when he committed the assassination.

The Guatemalan Army claimed to have a forty-page handwritten diary in which the assassin referred to “a diabolical plan to put an end to the existence of the man who holds power.” The diary reportedly read: “I have had the opportunity to study Russian Communism. The great nation that is Russia is fulfilling a most important mission in history…the Soviet Union is the first world power in progress and scientific research.” The Guatemalan government LAO claimed to have evidence that linked Romeo Vasquez Sanchez to Moscow. The evidence produced was a card from the Latin American service of Radio Moscow that read: “It is our pleasure, dear listener, to engage in correspondence with you. We are very thankful for your regular listening to our programs.” No evidence was ever produced to prove Romeo Vasquez Sanchez was ever a member of the Guatemalan Communist Party.

Now compare that account with the one of the same event that appeared in the 1992 book Coup d’Etat in America: The CIA and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, by Alan J. Weberman and Michael Canfield (originally published in 1975, and available online here):

On July 26, 1957, President Carlos Castillo-Armas was shot down at about 9:00 p.m. as he and his wife prepared to enter the dining room of the Presidential Palace. He was struck by two bullets, one of which severed his aorta. A communiqué identified the assassin as Romeo Vasquez Sanchez, 20 years old; it said he immediately committed suicide with the same rifle he had used to kill the President. The first authorities to arrive on the scene after the shooting were all military, including the Minister of Defense. The Guatemalan Government described Romeo Vasquez Sanchez as a”Communist fanatic” who was expelled from the Guatemalan Army six months ago for “Communist ideology,” but had joined the Presidential Palace Guard. Eight days later, the Guatemalan Government said Romeo Vasquez Sanchez had been dismissed from the Army in June 1955, two years ago.

It claimed to have a 40-page handwritten diary in which the assassin referred to “a diabolic plan to put an end to the existence of the man who holds power.” The diary read: “I have had the opportunity to study Russian communism. The great nation that is Russia is fulfilling a most important mission in history…the Soviet Union is the first world power in progress and scientific research.” The Guatemalan Government claimed to have found evidence on the person of Romeo Vasquez Sanchez that linked him to Moscow. The evidence turned out to be a card from the Latin American service of Radio Moscow that read: “It is our pleasure, dear listener, to engage in correspondence with you. We are very thankful for your regular listening to these programs…no evidence ever turned up that Romeo Vasquez Sanchez was a member of the Guatemalan Communist Party.”

As it can sometimes be difficult to compare and contrast text on a screen-sized layout, here is a side-by-side comparison of the two texts:

(Note: twice in the second paragraph, Corsi includes footnotes that cite to the Weberman/Canfield book. However, as seen above, those footnotes refer only to quotations of earlier sources that were similarly quoted in the 1992 book. Corsi is thus citing to the book as his source for those particular quotes, which does not excuse copying two full paragraphs of their original text and presenting it as his own.)

Naturally, this is only one page out of a 300+ page book. At the same time, it’s not merely a sentence or two; it’s two full paragraphs copying both the word choice and the structure of the original, and adding almost nothing new. Only a far more intensive review could determine whether this is an outlier in Corsi’s book, or whether it’s a recurring feature.

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