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Rants, Raves, Interesting Science & Awful Puns
February 1, 2004

Nick Herbert's Tribute To David Irving

Courage Rare In These Times

     Nick Herbert is probably best known for his fascinating book Quantum Reality, which I'd recommend as a readable and entertaining introduction to quantum weirdness and the various schools and theories of attempts to interpret what it means. He is also the author of a number of physics books and a three-line proof of Bell's Inequality Theorem.

     More recently, however, he came to my attention in connection with another subject of which there is less general awareness these days, mainly because it is shunned or distorted as a result of the intimidation and political pressure inflicted on the media and other sources. I grew up in London in the wartime and postwar years (World War 2 for those for whom history began with the Beatles), and the history-book account we were raised on, of the heroism, sacrifice, and moral justification, proved a great source of pride and comfort in earlier life. It therefore took some considerable personal adjustment to find that, as is doubtless the case with the victors' version of any war, a lot didn't happen in the way we were told. How many are aware that in a number of European countries right now, France, Switzerland, and Germany being examples, it is a criminal offense to dispute the officially dispensed version of history? Journalists, historians, authors, including visiting Americans, have been arrested, fined, and imprisoned simply for stating in public what they believe to be true.

     David Irving is a British historian whose work is rare on account of the extent to which it uses original documents, researched in the original languages, in many cases retrieved from archives and examined for the first time. This much alone sets Irving apart from the stable of "establishment" authors, safely dispensing the approved line and for the most part repeating each others' assertions drawn from second-hand sources. The other thing is that when his conclusions challenge the official story, he isn't afraid to say so.

     Irving recently lost a major court case in England that pitted him, conducting his own case, against a small army of top-price lawyers and paid witnesses fielded by his opponents. The background, facts, and obvious bias of the judge make interesting reading to form an opinion on how justice was served and which side the truth was really on. Herbert's piece Why I Admire David Irving at Rumor Mill News sums it all up well. It's also an introduction to a far vaster subject that deserves a wider public forum instead of censorship

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