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Jonathan Demme deserves a medal for doing a film about Lee Harvey Oswald --YEAH A B/S MOVIE...B
Jonathan Demme deserves a medal for doing a film about Lee Harvey Oswald
...........A B/S MOVIE...B:poketongue:
Article by Adrian Mack: a friend sent me the print out...b


A troubled loner? That's how Lee Harvey Oswald is described in the
promo for Stephen King's upcoming book 11/22/63, shortly to be adapted
for the screen by filmmaker Jonathan Demme.

A more accurate portrayal of Oswald would present Kennedy's alleged
assassin as an intelligence operative involved in a false defector
program, a phony Castro supporter who hung with right wing extremists
and anti-Castro groups in New Orleans, a cartoon Marxist befriended by
ultra-conservative White Russians in Texas, and a tragic fall-guy who
was reportedly seen meeting in Dallas with the CIA's head of Cuban

Hell, an accurate portrayal would also tell you that there were at
least two Oswalds running around for the most partanother rather
large indication that Oswald was part man, part weirdo intelligence
operation. Perhaps King and Demme would consider revamping their story
to include two "troubled loners?" That'd be a start, at least.

But Hollywood doesn't traffic in accurate portrayals, especially when
it comes to JFK. Oliver Stone's 1991 film is a notable exception. So
notable, indeed, that it actually stirred up enough public interest to
prompt legislation, even as Stone was being publicly executed by the
pressa fate that sits there waiting for any high profile critic of
the lone nut myth.

Nonetheless, in 1992 the President John F. Kennedy Assassination
Records Collection Act resulted in the release of over five million
classified documents, overseen by an independent agency called the
Assassination Records Review Board. Naturally, the best books that
arrived in the wake of the ARRB have been resoundingly ignored by
major media; books like Gerald McKnight's ferocious dismantling of the
Warren Commission, Breach of Trust, or James Douglass' towering JFK
and the Unspeakable.

Other, disreputable works, such as Legacy of Secrecy or Vincent
Bugliosi's decrepit Warren Commission defense, Reclaiming History,
were met with fanfare and hosannas by the likes of the New York Times.
As is the way with these things, the first is being turned into a
Leonardo DiCaprio movie, while Bugliosi's 10 pound fairy tale is
getting the miniseries treatment from Tom Hanks. Why bother? The whole
comic fable was already made into an entertainingly shitty TV movie.

One of the more rewarding aspects of the JFK Records Act is that Jim
Garrison, the New Orleans DA whose failed case against Clay Shaw in
1969 gave Stone's film its basis, has largely been vindicated. Not
only did it emerge that Clay Shaw was indeed working for the CIA, as
Garrison charged, but a mountain of evidence revealed the amazing
lengths to which the CIA went to infiltrate and neutralize the DA's

This included activating media friends like Walter Sheridan to
spuriously discredit Garrison. In fact, the campaign mounted against
Garrison was so vicious that some years later, after being forced out
of his position as the chief counsel to the House Select Committee on
Assassinations, Richard Sprague would state to journalist Dick
Russell, " ... there is a greater ability to manipulate public opinion
by certain agencies of government than I would have believed possible
... I've become more interested in the media than the assassination."

Sprague was also unseated in part by a negative media campaign. His
crime? He refused to sign non-disclosure agreements with the
intelligence community. Sprague was replaced by Robert Blakey, who
made no such demands on the CIA, while uncomfortably looking away from
the highly suspicious intelligence matters his investigators kept
turning up. Even this farcically compromised government investigation
still had to conclude there was a "conspiracy" to murder Kennedy.
Blakey just remained wedded to a strenuously narrow personal view that
it was a Mob operation.

That changed recently. "We… now know that the Agency set up a process
that could only have been designed to frustrate the ability of the
committee in 1976-79 to obtain any information that might adversely
affect the Agency," Blakey states in an addendum to an interview he
gave to Frontline. "Many have told me that the culture of the Agency
is one of prevarication and dissimulation and that you cannot trust it
or its people. Period. End of story. I am now in that camp."

Blakey's about-face happened when he learned, many years later, that
the CIA's liaison with the HSCA had also been a pointsman in the
Agency's Miami Cuban operations in 1963. George Joannides handled the
Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil (DRE), a Cuban exile group that
had interacted dramatically with the pro-Castro version of Oswald in
New Orleans. In other words, Joannides was implicated in the very
files he was put in charge of. The fox had been hiredtaken out of
retirement, evento guard the henhouse. Nobody at the HSCA was aware
of this duplicity at the time.

You think they'd have been a little more suspicious. Even J. Edgar
Hoover had to admit that the CIA tended to lie about Oswald. In fact,
almost everybody who bothers to look sees that the CIA has acted
anything but innocently regarding its knowledge of the assassination.
Everybody except a lot of well-paid members of the media
establishment, any politicians who value their careers, and useful
idiots like Forrest Gump, the kid from What's Eating Gilbert Grape,
Stephen King, and now Jonathan Demme. Jonathan Demme! The guy who made
Caged Heat! This is a painful development for some of us.

I suppose you could argue that almost 50 years after the event, it's
no big thing to turn the killing of JFK into a little light
entertainment, as in Stephen King's time-travel yarn about a man who
goes back to stop Oswaldthe guy who didn't do itfrom doing it. "Who
cares?" you might shrug, "It was a long time ago, and besides, using
cinema as a political tool to inform, educate, and agitate is the kind
of thing they do in crazy loser countries like France and Argentina."

Or you could take the view that Hollywood's magical power to mold
consensual "reality" is a force better applied to the light of truth
rather than to the ever widening gyre of historical misinformation,
especially if one views the assassination from Stone's horribly
persuasive perspective as a daylight coup brought to you by extremists
in the highest levels of the establishment.

It might seem quaint now, but a smart president looking to avoid a
Vietnam war was actually considered enough of a threat at one time.
JFK's death allowed a monumental heave towards chaos. His killers got
their war, and we've been stuck with this culture of endless conflict
and consensus unreality ever since. Almost half a century later, a
sitting American presidenta Democratdemonstrably supports war,
torture, and the continued malfeasance of the corporate and finance
sectors, and he's considered the good guy.

That, as James Douglass puts it, is why JFK's death still matters. In
this context, one wonders if King and Demme realize the damage they're

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