Oliver Stone responds to our Oliver Stone piece in totally Oliver Stone style

Picture: Michael Campanella/Getty Photos

A couple of week in the past, I printed the article “Oliver Stone’s JFK Made Me A Creepy Child, And Now A Upset Grownup.” In it, I wrote about my teen years as a “JFK assassination buff,” a nascent fascination that Stone’s 1991 movie stoked right into a barely morbid obsession. It was a chunk about how my adolescent hours of pondering CIA-mob ties and post-mortem pictures had, inevitably, result in an anticlimactic letdown when the federal government lastly declassified 1000’s of assassination information, whose revelations and telltale clues I used to be already largely aware of. And it was about my dismay to find that, all these years later, my antiauthoritarian paranoia had put me within the firm of Donald Trump, Alex Jones, and Roger Stone, et al., who’d championed the recordsdata’ launch by the use of sowing the confusion and suspicion of the U.S. intelligence neighborhood they depend upon to function. It was about me, in different phrases, and my relationship to this film I cherished, and the bizarre pressure of fandom it impressed in a child who may have been enjoying video video games like everybody else.

However in fact, that’s the official story. So naturally, Oliver Stone disagrees with it. The director learn my piece and—upholding a convention that’s continued because the movie’s launch—he then despatched me a three-page letter to counter its many specious claims about my life, which he’s requested me to publish in full. Right here it’s.

For about the final two weeks, the general public has been inundated with nothing however misinformation, disinformation and simply plan nonsense concerning the assassination of President Kennedy. A lot of this has been as a result of the truth that the MSM has relied upon a set of so-called specialists who, actually, usually are not specialists in any respect. The event was the tried last launch of the postponed paperwork that had been delayed for launch by the Assassination Information Evaluate Board. That physique closed its doorways in 1998. It was at work for 4 years and declassified 2 million pages of paperwork both partly or full. It additionally created a welter of latest proof because it was allowed to carry out restricted investigations the place an issue existed within the file.


In Mr. O’Neal’s six pages of snide dismissal it will have been good had he acknowledged any of the Evaluate Board’s discoveries. Since many strike on the coronary heart of the Warren Report’s conclusions. However he doesn’t. As a substitute he refers to an article from, of all locations, The Washington Submit. That article was partly primarily based on the work of Edward Epstein, a longtime buddy of the late James Angleton. As John Newman and extra lately Jeff Morley have proven, Angleton was the person in charge of the Oswald file at CIA from 1959-63. (For an knowledgeable have a look at Epstein click on right here.)

I additionally don’t think about a reference to Richard Linklater’s movie Slacker to be an knowledgeable touch upon both the homicide of President Kennedy, the quilt up that ensued, or my 1991 movie JFK.

That film was primarily based upon the memoir of Jim Garrison, On the Path Of The Assassins—together with Jim Marrs’ Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy. Garrison had been the DA of New Orleans whereas Lee Harvey Oswald was dwelling there in the summertime of 1963. Throughout that point interval, Garrison was one of many two or three strongest politicians within the state. He determined to gamble all that with the intention to reopen the Kennedy case. Throughout his inquiry, he obtained no assist in any respect from any regulation enforcement physique. On high of that, his subpoenas for witnesses and proof had been turned down, with assist, we now know from CIA counsels who visited judges within the Virginia space. (See Memo from Company counsel Dennis O’Keefe dated Could 15, 1967)


In reality, each the FBI and CIA illegally spied on him and his workplace. The scene in my movie the place an assistant uncovers a listening gadget in Garrison’s workplace was primarily based upon reality. In actuality this was achieved to Garrison not as soon as however twice. A person who labored for the FBI revealed this to Garrison’s chief investigator after the inquiry ended. (See memo to Jim Garrison by Lou Ivon 5/11/73) His workplace was additionally wired by Gordon Novel, who was on project for NBC on the time. Novel admitted this in a authorized deposition whereas underneath oath. (See Probe Journal, Vol. four No. 5, p. 26)

On high of this Garrison was ridiculed and caricatured within the press by each CBS and NBC, and by some main magazines like Newsweek and Saturday Night Submit. When the Assassination Information Evaluate Board was in session from 1994-98, they declassified many paperwork exhibiting that the authors of these journal articles, just like the late Jim Phelan, had been intelligence informants on Garrison, one thing Phelan at all times denied whereas he was alive. (April three, 1967 FBI memo from R. E. Wick to Cartha DeLoach)

Contemplating all of the above, and far more, it’s shocking that Garrison completed what he did. We’ll by no means know precisely what Garrison had in his recordsdata as a result of when the Evaluate Board visited New Orleans, it was revealed that his found that his successor, Harry Connick, had a lot of what Garrison left behind incinerated. This was revealed throughout an area TV phase by correspondent Richard Angelico broadcast through WDSU TV again on July 11, 1995.

However what Garrison did unveil about New Orleans and the JFK case was significantly expanded upon by the unique work of the Evaluate Board. A lot vital info was declassified by that physique about David Ferrie, Man Banister and Clay Shaw. For that new info one solely has to take a look at the pages of William Davy’s fantastic e-book, Let Justice Be Accomplished.  There one will see that, opposite to his denials, Clay Shaw did work for the CIA and held a covert safety clearance. (See web page 195) Additional declassified recordsdata have proven that Shaw was thought-about a extremely valued and compensated CIA contract agent. (Joan Mellen, Our Man In Haiti, pgs. 54-55) And that an INS agent adopted Ferrie to Man Banister’s workplace in the summertime of 1963 and found that Oswald was working there. (Click on right here for that info.) These are issues that I might have included in my movie if they’d been declassified on the time. But it surely took the controversy provoked by that movie to get the Washington to lastly cough these supplies up. I actually hope Mr. O’Neal understands the importance of all of it. Simply because details about the JFK case doesn’t seem within the pages of The Washington Submit or Mr. Linklater’s movie doesn’t imply it doesn’t exist. It does exist if you happen to take the time to search for it in declassified recordsdata.

If I may remake my movie at this time, it will be that a lot stronger due to these paperwork. Additionally as a result of the fabric that has surfaced from the ARRB on the post-mortem proof, and thru different sources on the ballistics, has additional impeached the decision of the Warren Fee. As an example, throughout a deposition earlier than the Evaluate Board, official post-mortem photographer John Stringer denied he took the photographs of President Kennedy’s mind that at the moment are within the Nationwide Archives. This was not primarily based on reminiscence. It was primarily based on the truth that he by no means used the movie that these photos had been taken with, nor did he use the method utilized to take them. (Douglas Horne, “Contained in the ARR,” p. 806.)

Secondly, the alleged ballistics check that the Home Choose Committee on Assassinations used as their so-called “lynchpin” to tie collectively the bullet proof to the rifle allegedly used within the assassination has now been discredited. This was achieved, not as soon as, however twice by two completely different groups of scientists. Each groups included a metallurgist and a statistician. This was achieved a few years in the past, as one can see by studying this text.


I may go on and on with this topic. As a result of that’s how a lot has been achieved on the JFK case by the declassified file of the Evaluate from the nineties. However let me add, Mr. O’Neal can also be improper in describing what occurred this previous October 26th. On that Thursday there have been solely 52 paperwork that had been previously withheld in full that had been declassified. And a few of these nonetheless had been in redacted type. There have been many, many extra than simply 300 that had been deferred as soon as extra till April. There will likely be an extended and detailed article on this topic popping out at Bob Parry’s precious website Consortium Information quickly from Jim DiEugenio, who wrote the important Reclaiming Parkland (2013, Skyhorse Publishing). Mr. O’Neal ought to learn that relatively than the Washington Submit for his info. Then he can truly unfold information and never simply snarky opinion in your readers.

As to Mr. O’Neal’s dismissal of my Putin Interviews, I’ve the identical form of response. Mr. O’Neal ought to depart behind his modern sense of cynicism and look once more with an open thoughts (assuming he checked out all) at Mr. Putin’s detailed responses within the four hours we introduced (obtainable on Showtime Anytime). It’s additionally obtainable in a transcript type from Skyhorse Publishing, which covers the 20-plus hours Mr. Putin and I spoke.

—Oliver Stone

Anyway, offered you’re not already down your individual rabbit gap of supplementary analysis, only a few issues so as to add:


– My snide dismissal and snarky opinions had been largely directed at me and what a bizarre child I used to be by taking this on as a “interest.” In case it wasn’t clear from all of the carefree, teenaged daylight I burned poring over it, I’m a reasonably fervent believer on this stuff myself.

– However, come on, man. I find it irresistible, however there’s lots about JFK that’s form of stuffed with shit, and that’s by Stone’s self-admitted design. The concept it has a number of fabrications and shiny fudges of the reality isn’t the invention of The Washington Submit, spun out of some huge conspiracy of friendship. “I’ve taken dramatic license. It’s not a real story per se,” Stone himself mentioned. In any case, it’s a film, not a e-book report. So look, he changed some troublesome witnesses with some “composite characters,” and he took Jim Garrison—a man with a fame for cynical publicity-seeking, and whom Stone himself noticed as a “Southern buffoon, a Huey Lengthy kind”—and he made him a morally irreproachable, Kevin Costner kind. He bent it a bit of right here and there, as a result of it’s a film, and it’s a greater story this fashion. And nevertheless doubtful JFK could be as a piece of journalism—which, once more, it by no means claimed to be—it’s an artfully made, highly effective work of political theater, whose worth as a way of beginning a bigger nationwide dialog can’t be overstated. And, once more, I actually prefer it! Costner, Gary Oldman, and Tommy Lee Jones are all nice. John Sweet can also be improbable. I want that scene with John Larroquette hadn’t been lower, however actually, good things throughout. It additionally prompted Congress to take precise authorized motion in releasing the recordsdata! That’s unbelievable in and of itself.

– Though they had been admittedly maybe not as detailed as The A.V. Membership reader deserved, I did contact on a number of of the Evaluate Board’s discoveries in my concluding paragraphs, as a part of the litany of stuff I’ve lengthy identified—largely due to Stone! However I confess that, in my bid to put in writing about myself, I did fail to say these now-debunked ballistics studies. I did additionally examine my very own JFK obsessiveness to a man in Slacker, which I now notice was not significantly contributive to critical JFK assassination analysis. I hope these omissions and distortions don’t dissuade anybody from investigating the recordsdata additional.


– Lastly, you possibly can certainly watch Stone’s Putin Interviews on Showtime, the place you possibly can see him fawn over Putin’s large mansions, horse stables, and hockey abilities whereas giving him all of the latitude he needs to spew his personal propaganda roughly unchallenged. In addition they watch Dr. Strangelove collectively. On the threat of upsetting Mr. Stone additional, I believe that’s an amazing film, too.

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