Talk:Joseph A. Cafasso

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To add material to this article, please use good quality references, otherwise, material that is unsourced or poorly sourced, or that constitutes original research, will be deleted. See biographies of living people. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 04:08, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Working on it. The article at is read before I started my edits was a whitewash of the controversy surrounding this guy. I'm well aware of NPOV, but facts are facts, which is why I elaborated more on his discredited record. As for other allegiations, namely the $8,000 judgement against him, I can't find any verifiable source at the moment. In addition, many of the links were either incorrect or not valid. Alcarillo 19:04, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Interview in "Outfoxed"[edit]

I removed the reference to this documentary which was highly critical of Fox News because Cafasso's presence in it is really small. This is his contribution verabim from transcript.[1]


The Christian fundamentalist movement believes in “we’re
right, [00:34:48 JOSEPH CAFASSO 100% LOWER THIRD: Joseph
Cafasso, Former FOX News, Military & Counterterrorism
you’re wrong, no matter what.” And I saw a lot of that at

Fox, “we’re right, you’re wrong, no matter what.”

Sounds like he was trying to counter the impact of him leaving the network after being discredited. Regardless, I don't believe it contributes substantially to the article. Alcarillo 03:35, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I forgot to mention that the text from Cafasso in the book is different than what they use in the film. You can pull up the page in the book through the Amazon Search Inside this book feature. Pleasantville 20:10, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, there may be some useable stuff there. I'll look into it. Alcarillo 22:52, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

The discussion of Outfoxed had been cut a while back. I just restored it, since Cafasso's Outfoxed appearance and the accompanying book contain the only professional publications of photos of Cafasso easily available to the public. The NYT did publish a photo but that is not easily available via its original venue and he weighs 70 lbs less as of 2007 (ref: private correspondence with John Johnson, a board member of Mendenhall Ministries, April 07) and so does not resemble the NYT photo because he has slimmed down. --Pleasantville 12:15, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

I just noticed that. Good catch. And the person who removed it last month provided no justification except that it was "small beer." Uh... whatev. More to the point, the "Outfoxed" appearance is also notable in that Cafasso seems to have succeeded in deceiving the doco's producers as well. Otherwise, why even bother interviewing a fraud? Alcarillo 20:02, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Cafasso on the web[edit]

User:Jossi has taken umbrage with some of the content I added regarding how negatively the blogosphere views Cafasso, considering it possibly defamatory. However, the article as it stood accused him of nothing, yet it apparenly warranted a WP:BLP warning in Jossi's mind. Making a point of it here first would have been a more reasonable response. I think my Wikipedian record speaks for itself as one who does not pursue an agenda here, and hopefully this can be resolved without restorting to a fistful of admin warnings. Sheesh. Alcarillo 22:55, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

That was my second warning. See my comment at top of this page in which I advised you about the need to be cautious given that this is an article about a living person and it should comply with the policy of WP:BLP. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 23:58, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
So, I've providced links to aforementioned pro-Jonathan Idema sites that are routinely critical of Cafasso in support the paragraph as it now reads. Also, I refrained from linking to individual blog posts in which specific allegations are leveled at him. A search for his name on any of these sites will pretty much show their disdain for him and their support for Idema. I'll try to find as many as I can, but believe me, there are quite a few. Whether they're all from the same author is another matter. Alcarillo 00:42, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
... but that is exactly the problem, Acarillo. These sources are blogs and such blogs and personal sites cannot be used in articles about LPs. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 02:32, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
The only way we can add such material is if there are reputable, published sources that describe that disdain. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 02:34, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
So you're saying that the evidence of blog criticism of Cafasso isn't reputable because it's actually on the blogs themselves? That makes absolutely no sense. How else would any "reputable, published" source describe that disdain unless it actually referred to the content of those blogs? The blogs are the evidence to a simple statement that he has detractors, not that what's being said is true or not. Alcarillo 02:54, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
I would invite you to read WP:ATT and WP:ATT/FAQ. As editors we cannot take sources that are considered unreliable (such as blogs, personal pages, anonymous websites, and the like) and make a deductions about what these blogs say. On the other hand, if a peer reviewed article, book, or other reputable publication such a mainstream newspaper publishes a story in which they say that "there are blogs such and such that are highly critical of Mr. X", then, and only then, we can refer to that source when describing these blog's criticism of Mr. X. You may want to explore the difference between primary sources and secondary sources as presented in WP:ATT/FAQ, for further clarification. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 03:27, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
I read it. Shoulda known: 2+2=5. Alcarillo 18:52, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

I am of two minds about whether to comment here, since I am not a neutral observer. It is notable and fairly well established that Cafasso and Jack Idema have a feud going. Here are few pieces of evidence that can be cited: Idema is known to have co-written Robin Moore's book The Hunt for Bin Laden (Idema even appers on the cover). (As I recall this is discussed in Robert Young Pelton's Licensed to Kill.) The book contains an unfavorable discussion of Cafasso. Idema quotes from the book, using it as a reference on his official website ( concerning Cafasso. HOWEVER, if you check the text of the passages Idema quotes, he has rewritten them to claim that Cafasso tried to get him killed. Also, Cafasso was a defendent in one of Idema's lawsuits. The documents concerning the existence of the law suit are public record on the site of a Los Angeles court. Quotng from public record court docs would be a more appropriate way to document the feud than Caosblog.

Though, in general, I disagree with Jossi's stance on blogs, Caosblog and its cousins (Tracking Cafasso etc.) are intentionally defamatory of Cafasso. While some of what they have to say about Cafasso is true and sourced, they co-mingle it defamatory nonsense with fact and like Idema they sometimes rewrite material that seems sourced.

Also, I wanted to explain the importance of the Outfoxed footage of Cafasso: until very recently there was only one photo of Cafasso in general circulation: the one from the New York Times. Cafasso lost about 75 lbs after his personal disaster with the NYT's outing him, such that he no longer bears much resemblance to the NYT photo. He is extremely camera shy. The key thing about the Outfoxed footage is not what he says but rather that it is a properly sourced record of his appearance. You amy or may not want to include it for that reason, but that is the significance of the footage.Pleasantville 14:41, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

You say "I disagree with Jossi's stance on blogs". Well, that is not my stance, rather, well established Wikipedia policy. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 15:29, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
But then, there's also this rule: WP:IAR, which should come up more often in discussions like this. Pleasantville 19:07, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
We can IAR, but we cannot bypass policy. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 20:40, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Images of Cafasso from "Outfoxed" footage are likely copyrighted anyway and cannot be reproduced here. Although, I think the fact that he was used by the documentary to issue a rebutall of sorts might warrant mention. I'll have to think how to present that info. Alcarillo 16:19, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
If anything, his appearance reflects poorly on the documentarians behind "Outfoxed" as they seem to have failed to check his background as well. Alcarillo 16:46, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Some of the Idema fan blogs seem horribly offended that I failed to side with Alcarillo , who mentioned the Idema fan blogs in the entry in the first place, regarding ≈ jossi ≈ 's insistence that mentions of them must be deleted because references to blogs are not permitted here.

They have made multiple loopy blog posts about this attacking me, including a couple of comment section cameos by Jack Idema insulting my 9-year-old son and in which he threatens to sue me (presumably all this emanating from from Idema's new 10 ft. jail cell in Kabul). I guess they have nothing better to do.

I, however, have other fish to fry and so will not try to parse this, especially since the Idema fan blogs think they've outed Alcarillo asJoseph A. Cafasso. Their world is a very strange place. --Pleasantville 22:15, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I've been accused by one of the pro-Idema bloggers to be Cafasso. An immesely silly assertion. However, should anyone here question whether or not this is true, my wikipedia edit history speaks for itself. Alcarillo 23:46, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Dallas Morning News source[edit]

In the section "Political activities", a mention about Cafasso campaigning for Pat Buchanan is sourced as:

Gilliam, Todd J.. "Buchanan secures Texas spot for Reform in presidential bid", The Dallas Morning News, May 9, 2000. “Joe Cafasso, the campaign worker who coordinated the statewide effort from an Irving hotel room, said he had expected to need 'body armor' when he arrived in Bush territory but found the Texans highly receptive.”

User:Pleasantville had provided the reference with a link to a search result on the DMN website. These kinds of search results often expire after awhile and are hard to verify, so I searched their main archives [2]] for "Joe Cafasso" and for the quote cited (in its entirety and using specific phrases), which returned the same result. Alcarillo 16:01, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

I forgot to mention that I included the DMN archive page in the reference's URL, not any link to the actual article. Following the search parameters above will turn up that article in the search result. Alcarillo 16:03, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

The source was initially found via a Google News Archive search. I paid the money and bought a copy of the article. I doubt the link will expire. However, the mention of Cafasso is not in the unpaid summary. Cafasso is also mentioned in the web archives of the Buchanan campaign tax forms. Link can be provided if desired. Pleasantville 20:41, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

I think a link to the tax forms might be useful as further record of his involvment in the campaign. Alcarillo 21:01, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
[3] lists a number of disbusements from the campaign to Cafasso. I'm not sure how to word a bibliographic citation.Pleasantville 21:17, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll add it in when I get a minute. Alcarillo 23:15, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Why were references to his parentage cut?[edit]

It is pretty easy to verify via publicly available sources that the late Joseph Anthony Cafasso, Sr. (1924 - 1995; Brown University class of 1950) and the late Giovanna "Jenny" Mosca Cafasso (1923-2006) are the parents of Joseph A. Cafasso, Jr. There are many public records (directory listings, etc.) showing them at the same Carteret address from which Joseph A. Cafasso, Jr. published The Broken Arrow. Both parents are listed in Carteret, NJ in the Social Security Death Index. JA Cafasso, Sr. is listed at the Swarthmore Dr. address in 1990s phone directories, etc. Cafasso Sr.'s Brown University obit.

So why were references to his parentage supported by his parents' obits deleted? Mr. Cafasso, Jr. is in the habit of borrowing aliases and bios from other members of his extended family when convenient. So the fact that his mothers maiden namer is Mosca and also the names of his siblings are of some importance.Pleasantville 20:59, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

The names of his parents could be put in. As far as the details about them, I don't think it's germaine to this article. Alcarillo 23:20, 5 April 2007 (UTC)[edit]

Have advised (who also edits as of WP:AUTO. --Pleasantville 11:00, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Cafasso has now registered an ID. See User talk:Peppetters.--Pleasantville 15:08, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

How do you know it's the same person? -Will Beback · · 17:22, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
That Peppetters is Cafasso is pretty obvious from what he has to say. Also, he repeats material from a private email to me threatening legal action. And there is some repetition of material from the unregistered edits and those under his new ID. Pleasantville 17:57, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

New article[edit]

There's a new article out on Cafasso from a paper so small it doesn't have a web site. More detail later. I have ordered a print copy and sent in my $3.00 check. --Pleasantville 23:08, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Jossi inappropriately removed a link to a print source from the main article. I will restore the link once I have the hard copy in hand. I have ordered it from the publisher who's name Jossi deleted.--Pleasantville 01:42, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

I have added a section entitled "Religious Activities" based on a new article. I have a copy of the newspaper in question and can provide the full text of the article should anyone like to see the full text. --Pleasantville 17:04, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Restored cut of portion of Religious Activities.[edit]

Entire paragraphi is sourced from same article. Image of printed article avilable upon request. --Pleasantville 16:33, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

I suggest you post the scanned image of the article on an image hosting site (or some other webpage), with the publisher and date of publication clearly visible, and inlcude a link to it in the footnote. Alcarillo 15:22, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

That would violate the publisher's copyright. I have applied for reprint permission, however my permission form has not been returned. --Pleasantville 15:38, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Articles with unsourced statements Category[edit]

Is there any real reason for the Articles with unsourced statements category label here? The only "unsourced" statement concerns the mission and purpose of the Flight 800 group Cafasso was formerly affiliated with, and the "unsourced" phrase is pretty much exactly what the groups's website claims is its mission and purpose. That seems an awfully silly reason to include it in this category.

Or was something else intended?

Cafasso "administratively separated" rather than "honorably discharged"[edit]

The US armed forces do not issue honorable discharges to persons such as Cafasso who wash out of initial entry ("basic training" or "boot camp"); such persons receive an "administrative separation" that does not entitle them to any veterans benefits.

If Cafasso was a PFC when he was separated, then he was a PFC from the time he enlisted, most likely because he had 30 or more hours of college credits. The Army does not promote trainees to higher grades while in basic training.

Short version: Cafasso washed out of basic after no more than 6 weeks of training. Probably less, since he likely spent at least a week in an inprocessing {"Reception") company before starting basic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:31, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

Possible deletion[edit]

There is a noted lack of WP:PERSISTENCE in the news and other secondary source regarding Cafasso since his outing and separation in 2002, aside from his assorted criminal activities, which everyone stopped caring about since 2009. I cannot find anything particularly notable about him enough to warrant his own article, since the primary matter of interest is covered in Fox News Channel controversies. His crimes also do not warrant notability, per WP:PERP. I'm considering AFD unless someone can offer a compelling reason not to.Legitimus (talk) 17:47, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Joseph A. Cafasso/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

In the wikpedia discussion on cafasso

You say "The book contains an unfavorable discussion of Cafasso. Idema quotes from the book, using it as a reference on his official website ( concerning Cafasso. HOWEVER, if you check the text of the passages Idema quotes, he has rewritten them to claim that Cafasso tried to get him killed."

That is wrong, Idema did not rewrite anything, nor does he write the website, we do. As to the quoted text, you obviously checked the wrong book. Random House took out those sentences in the first book, after they were provided taped conversations as evidence, Random House and McMillan put them back in the British book (Task Force Dagger) and the paperback (Hunt for bin Laden). So you need to get your facts right folks. -- 23:44, 20 March 2007

Superpatriots, perhaps you could provide page citations? --Pleasantville 11:38, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 11:39, 15 April 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 20:30, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

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