I got hooked, lined and sinkered into the the whole conspiracy theory camp after seeing Oliver Stone’s JFK the movie. It aligned with my world view and the whole ‘masters of war’ rhetoric.
Thankfully, I did a bit of my own research and found that this movie was actually as biased and misleading as it accused others of being like the US Government.
I’m not insinuating there wasn’t some form of cover up, but what I am purporting is that JFK the movie has done more harm in hindering people from understanding what really happened than the suppression of information has by the US Government. A movie leaves a powerful imprint on the minds of viewers yet a lot of what is detailed in that movie are clearly great miss-truths. I feel quite embarrassed that I let myself fall for Stone’s conspiracy bullshit for so long.
Probably the best documentary I found which explains just how far fetched Stone’s version of the events is ‘Peter Jennings Reporting: The Kennedy Assassination – Beyond Conspiracy‘. It was originally broadcast in the UK on 23 November, 2003 on the BBC. The full video can be viewed at the end of this article.
I found the documentary so informative I felt compelled to write excerpts in an attempt to internalize the information. Most of what is written below is verbatim, however some of it is partially redacted to be more reader-friendly.
The Single Bullet theory
For most Americans, the idea of a lone assassin could kill the president, a man so widely revered – was simply too much to bear. For such a monstrous act, there must be a monstrous plot. It had to be a conspiracy. Yet the Single Bullet theory of the second shot which hits both men in a perfect trajectory from the book depository (as clearly seen on the zapruda film – frame 223) is not a theory at all. It is a fact. The fanciful Magic Bullet theory alluding to more than one gunman, hence a conspiracy is simply misleading and in a word – wrong. The bullet did not hang in air or zig zag. It went straight through. Both Kennedy and Connelly reacted at exactly the same time. In the Stone film it has Connelly sitting directly in front of the President rather than where he actually was 6 inches in board and turned sharply to his right after hearing the first shot. The Governor was also seated 3 inches lower than the President. When the men are seen in their correct positions it becomes clear. No magic about this bullet. The bullet found in a stretcher wasn’t in pristine condition as the Stone film states, but it was flat. It is also conclusively the same bullet fired from the LHO’s rifle and not planted by Jack Ruby as shown in the Stone film.
Lee Harvey Oswald
Over the last 50 years it’s as though the American people have lost almost all idea of who Lee Harvey Oswald (LHO) was; his history, background and motives. His brother who knew him best, stated that if he had the facts that LHO was innocent he would be ‘out there’ shouting for his innocence. It’s his conviction that no one but Lee was involved. He further states, ‘People need to look at what transpired before that, everything. You have go all the way from childhood and all the way up, especially that last year of his life to understand what transpired in his life.’
It is uncanny the amount of people that knew Lee who say that he fantasized about who he was, and that nobody was paying attention that he was important. He spent the latter half of his life trying to be a revolutionary and make his mark on the world. In April 1963 he was ready to be a political assassin by killing Edwin Walker. He photographed Walker’s home and had a an escape route. He even left his wife instructions about what to do in case he didn’t return. This was the Rosetta Stone of the Kennedy assassination. Oswald had previously reached the grade of sharp shooter in the marines. He was able to fire rapidly and accurately at a target 200 yards away.
After he was rejected by the Cuban and Russian embassies in Mexico he had no place to turn. He definitely wasn’t changing the world as he had envisaged. Then the opportunity came. He ventured to the book depository building, his workplace with a long object wrapped in brown paper telling another worker, ‘it was curtain rods’. Later that day he would finally be somebody.
First words out of Jack Ruby’s mouth to a friend were, ‘I am a hero’. Like LHO he wanted to be important. Gangsters didn’t want anything to do with Jack. His temper was his trademark. Because Jack dined Police at his establishment, he could come and go at Police headquarters. Just hours after the JFK assassination, Jack closed his club. He was hysterical. He said he would shoot the son of a bitch if he gets a chance. If Jack Ruby knew something, he would let the whole world know. Over the weekend he was visibly upset, mumbling, not making sense. In his distorted mind, he did the right thing – This man killed his president. In less than 48 hours the president had been murdered and his assassin silenced. The floodgate on conspiracy were wide open.The people that knew Ruby didn’t think he was part of a conspiracy, but millions of Americans did.
Jim Garrison and the JFK The Movie
No book or TV program has done more to promote conspiracy theory than the JFK movie.
‘The most powerful historians of the 20th Century are filmmakers. It is those images that we remember…Most Americans know of the Kennedy Assassination through Oliver Stone’s mind…’. Robert Goldberg, Enemies Within
The film makes a hero out of Jim Garrison. Yet it is purported by many who knew him that he was unethical and cruel and obsessed with proving a conspiracy regardless of the evidence. When a public official like Garrison says something, people assume he knows what he is talking about. Garrison promoted himself as brave enough as facing a Government bent on burying the facts on what really happened. He said he was discovering a web of conspiracy, but in the end he put just one man on trial. But Garrison never explained why Shaw would want to kill the President. Garrison tried to put Shaw in the same apartment with LHO and David Ferrie, but the only witness Perry Russo stated at the lie detector test to Ed O’donnell, ‘I don’t know’ and later stated Shaw wasn’t there which incensed Garrison who was riding on his testimony and went into a rage. It took just 54 minutes for the jury to decide that Shaw was innocent.
As Shaw’s defense attorney stated, ‘It is possible that Jim Garrison’s charge was one of the greatest injustices of the legal system of the US’. Yet Oliver Stone’s film resurrected him as a hero. In reality the film is a package of unfathomable lies. A blending of real and fictional video emerged together which made audiences unable to tell the difference. But the film dispute s many facts. It purports THE GUY couldn’t do the shooting. NOBODY COULD.
FACT. The time of the fatal shot, LHO was just 88 yards away. For a former marine sharp shooter the shot was well within his capability. He was a highly competent marksman. He scored 48 out of 50 (or better) at 200 yards on multiple days. The Stone film states there being 6 seconds to get the shots off. But as per the Zapruda film 3 shots were fired in 8.3 seconds which for Oswald was plenty of time.
‘Back and to the left’, ‘Back and to the left’ is another Stone argument that there was another gunman, but this in no way indicates where a bullet came from. The entry wound is definitive of which direction the bullet came from and in this case it came from the back. The autopsy photos and xrays show the cratered wound on the back on Kennedy’s skull.
Most people believed everything in the movie and that is sad. It has put certain myths into the American bloodstream that abide to this day.
At the end of the day you just have to say, despite how much you want a conspiracy, there just is NO evidence. People want to believe that things are just not that random and things are just not that chaotic. Something larger and bigger was at stake here. How could someone as inconsequential as Oswald kill someone like the President?