The Power of Disinformation (Oliver Stone)

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    I saw this movie not too long ago. I was curious as to public opinion on the whole thing provided anyone's done any thinking on this. I only included a few excerpts from the relative national archive as the article is somewhat lengthy.

    Studies in Intelligence - The Power of Disinformation
    Garrison Opens His Investigation

    The complex story begins in early February 1967, when the FBI and CIA learned about a striking development in New Orleans. Two years after the completion of the federal inquiry into President Kennedy’s death by the Warren Commission, the local district attorney, Jim Garrison, had opened his own investigation into the November 1963 assassination. Whatever Garrison was up to, he did not seem intent on involving the federal government. So both the Bureau and the CIA simply awaited the next development, believing, like most Americans, that no responsible prosecutor would dare reopen the case unless he truly had something.

    On 17 February, the New Orleans States-Item revealed Garrison’s reinvestigation to the world and ignited a media firestorm. The first legal action, however, did not occur until 1 March 1967, when Garrison ostentatiously arrested an urbane local businessman named Clay Shaw and charged him with masterminding a plot that culminated in President Kennedy’s death. Both the Bureau and the CIA rushed to their respective files and ran name traces on Shaw, a man who had never been linked to the assassination despite Washington’s painstaking investigation. Insofar as the Agency was concerned, only one sliver of information was noteworthy. The businessman now charged with the crime of the century had once been a source for the CIA through its Domestic Contact Service (DCS).

    None of this seemed to matter, least of all to the CIA, until the publisher of Garrison’s memoir thrust a copy into the hands of filmmaker Oliver Stone during an international film festival in Cuba. That chance encounter eventually led to the endorsement of Paese Sera’s disinformation by a major Hollywood film, JFK. In the movie, Garrison (portrayed by Kevin Costner) confronts Shaw (played by Tommy Lee Jones) with an Italian newspaper article exposing Shaw’s role as a CIA operative. The confrontation, of course, never occurred in real life; yet the scene captures a hidden historical truth. The epicenter of Garrison’s prosecution, and the wellspring for his ultimate theory of the assassination, was the DA’s belief in a fantasy published by a Communist-owned Italian newspaper.

    According to one historian who admires Stone, the movie JFK probably “had a greater impact on public opinion than any other work of art in American history” save Uncle Tom’s Cabin. While that may be hyperbole, not many Hollywood films can claim to have generated new legislation. JFK ignited a public clamor for millions of pages of documents that had been “suppressed” as part of the government’s alleged massive cover-up.

    In response, Congress passed a sweeping statute in 1992, the President John F. Kennedy Records Collection Act, which forced open all federal records relating to the assassination and an unexpected amount of state, local, and private records as well—including those of the former Orleans Parish district attorney. The law directed that these documents be catalogued and housed at the National Archives.

    Oliver Stone likes to assign full credit for the legislation to his film, which is something of an exaggeration. The coincidental end of the Cold War also played a critical role in the enactment and implementation of the 1992 law. More disingenuously, Stone claims that while the records declassified by the statute have not produced a “smoking gun,” they have opened “a clear historical record of a cover-up taking place.”

    In truth, one legacy of Stone’s JFK is an altogether ironic one. Far from validating the film’s hero, the new documents have finally lifted the lid on the disinformation that was at the core of Jim Garrison’s unrelenting probe. The declassified CIA records document that everything in the Paese Sera story was a lie, and, simultaneously, reveal the genuine nature and duration of Clay Shaw’s innocuous link to the CIA. These same records explain why the CIA never responded appropriately to the disinformation, as it had in Helms’s 1961 Senate testimony and would later do in swift response to such schemes in the 1980s. Finally, the personal files turned over by Garrison’s family underline the profound impact that one newspaper clipping had on a mendacious district attorney adept at manipulating the Zeitgeist of the late 1960s.

    Max Holland is a Research Fellow at the Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia. His current book project—A Need to Know: Inside the Warren Commission—won the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award for 2001.

  • Leolaia

    Thank you for sharing that. I hadn't read the original article before and it was very interesting to read through. And weirdly enough, as I read it right before going to bed, it gave me a rather interesting lucid dream.

  • wobble


    did your dream involve a grassy knoll ?

  • Leolaia

    No, it involved keeping the CIA second-guessing and one step behind.

  • freydo

    The JFK movie has been pulled from the market - only available from Amazon etc. The bullet tore off the right side of the head forcing a recoil in the oppposite direction. It's the single most important piece of evidence. And it has been completely ignored - blacked out.

    This is the actual "Pristine Bullet". Notice the shine. Does the scale of this bullet match the scale of the bullet in Zapruder Frame 313?

    Kennedy Assassination Discovery? The ‘Death Bullet’ on Film!
    May 28th, 2009
    by johnferrisrobben.

    "The following concept may have never been presented in public until now......5 Days before I was born, November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas, President John F. Kennedy is assassinated. In this image from frame 313 from the Zapruder film shows President Kennedy being hit by a bullet, a gruesome red mist appears above his head. What is the white dashed line that points from above his head to his head in this frame at impact?

    Frame 313 shows the moment of impact with 4 bullet sized white flashes lined in a row and point from JFK's head to the possible location of the shooter. A bullet rotates very quickly and may create a flash on film as it rotates in Sunlight. Bullets are very fast, 8mm film shows a slice of time that is slow, so a bullet or fast object like an hundred MPH fastball will create a blurr. But if an object is moving very fast, rotates and with a shinny surface it could conceivably make a 'dashing' appearance on a single frame of film, as appears here. Oswald evidence has the bullet coming from the rear and the Grassy Knoll theory coming from the right front. This possible trajectory is from the left front. For those who might think of others explanations, here is one: the white dashed lines may be particulate for the President's skull. If this is a small piece of skull why does is resemble the elongated shape of bullet and why has the rotating piece radiated about 5 times further than the pinkish spray. Is this an incoming or outgoing object?"

  • ProdigalSon
  • freydo

    People will believe anything.

  • SixofNine

    People will believe anything.

    lol, apparently so. The level of stupid it takes to believe the following is mind boggling:

    Frame 313 shows the moment of impact with 4 bullet sized white flashes lined in a row and point from JFK's head to the possible location of the shooter. A bullet rotates very quickly and may create a flash on film as it rotates in Sunlight.

  • ProdigalSon

    It's as clear as day, William Greer is left handed and he turns around and hits Kennedy in the right temple, the gun even flashes in the sun.... you are truly blind....and there's no need to call anyone stupid, you jackass.

  • freydo

    If you look at frame 313 - the driver is facing forward. Left handed to boot. DUH

    And note that the "flash" is the top of driver's assistant's bald(or greasy) head. DUH

    So all a jackass has to do, DUH, is explain the flash coming from the left. DUH

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