Article 6573 of alt.conspiracy:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dick Parshall)
Subject: JFK/Oliver Stone's position
Date: 31 Dec 91 15:32:54 GMT
Organization: Comshare - Austin Development Center
ARTISTS ALSO HAVE THE RIGHT TO QUESTION HISTORIC 'FACTS'
By Oliver Stone
Special to the New York Times
(reprinted without permission)
The media establishment gets upset when art gets political,
especially when it disagrees with the politics and fears the
When this priesthood is challenged as the sole or priveleged
interpreters of our history, it bludgeons newcomers, wielding
heavy clubs such as "objectivity" and charging high crimes such
as "rewriting history".
The leading detractors of my film, JFK, have not been film
critics but political journalists such as Tom Wicker of The New
York Times, George Lardner of The Washington Post, Dan Rather of
CBS News and Kenneth Auchincloss at Newsweek, all of whom covered
events of that period.
I think what is clear from their efforts to destroy my film's
credibility is that history may be too important to leave to
newspeople. And that artists certainly have the right - and
possibly the obligation - to step in and reinterpret the history
of our times.
Was it not Dan Rather who, upon viewing Abraham Zapruder's film
of the assassination, reported that the fatal shot to the head
drove President Kennedy "violently forward"?
Years later, when the film was shown to the American people, it
was clear that Kennedy's head was going backward.
My critics are outraged that I pose the view that Kennedy's
desire to wind down the Cold War and the Vietnam War is a
possible motive for the murder.
When a leader of any country is assassinated, the media normally
ask: "What political forces were opposed to this leader and would
benefit from his assassination?"
It seems a little strange to me, 28 years later, that such a
question was rarely asked once.
In its stead, the dramatic cover story, with Lee Harvey Oswald as
sole assassin and Jack Ruby as earnest vigilante, was immediately
substituted and accepted by almost the entire American media.
Whether or not there was a fundamental difference between
Kennedy's and Johnson's Vietnam policies deserves more debate.
For years most historians assumed there was no basic difference.
But people such as John Newman, an Army major in intelligence who
has written a book on the subject, Fletcher Prouty, a former Air
Force colonel who served as director of special operations at the
Pentagon in the early '60s, and Peter Dale Scott, a professor at
the University of California at Berkeley, should have their day
A basic chronology underlies their view. In June 1963, in a
speech at American University, Kennedy envisions a world without
the Cold War and arms race. He sets the stage for detente.
Kennedy and Khrushchev have already negotiated the first step: a
modus vivendi on the Cuban problem (no Soviet missiles, no U.S.
In July 1963, they install the nuclear hotline and in August sign
the first-ever nuclear test-ban treaty.
In September, Kennedy states that the war is Vietnam's, not ours,
In October, the White House forecasts that 1,000 men would be
withdrawn from Vietnam by the end of 1963 and that the U.S.
military mission would be over by the end of 1965.
That same month, Kennedy authorizes the pullout in a national
security action memo - NSAM 263.
Kennedy is killed Nov. 22.
Two days later, Lyndon Johnson meets with Henry Cabot Lodge and
the Joint Chiefs of Staff about the Vietnam "crisis".
Four days after the assassination Johnson overrides NSAM 263 with
NSAM 273 - step one in reversing Kennedy's direction.
Finally, in August 1964, Johnson uses the bogus Tonkin Gulf
incident to start the air war and win a congressional mandate to
do as he sees fit in Vietnam.
By March 1965, less than 15 months after Kennedy's death, the
first combat troops are sent.
Was there no difference between Kennedy and Johnson on Vietnam?
With the nexus of interest - military, business, political -
standing to profit from the hundred-billion-dollar war, there's
ample reason to believe that therein lies the motive.
Jim Garrison, though some have tried to discredit him, sought
that motive and in suggesting the possibilty of a nightmare
unacceptable to our official historians, he has been vilified
The failure of his case against Clay Shaw cannot be equated with
a full vindication of the Warren Report.
The real issue is opening all the files of the House Select
Committee on Assassinations, embargoed until 2029, today. All of
them - without the crucial parts blacked out.
Only then can we start to have a real democracy. JFK strikes a
blow for that open debate.
Dick Parshall UUCP: ...!cs.utexas.edu!execu!dickp
Comshare Incorporated Internet: email@example.com
Austin Development Center
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