Monday, 02 August 2021 20:47

Oliver Stone to «Paris Match»: It was the CIA that shot Kennedy

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Oliver Stone’s interview with Paris Match, translation provided courtesy of Bill Simpich via Google translate.

Oliver Stone: "It was the CIA that shot Kennedy"


Paris Match | Posted on 07/31/2021 at 5:25 a.m. | Updated 07/31/2021 at 7:08 p.m. From our correspondent in New York Olivier O'Mahony


In 1991, in "JFK", director Oliver Stone tackled the Dallas conundrum. Today, he relies on declassified documents to revive the thesis of the CIA-led operation. For “JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass”, which he just presented at Cannes, he couldn't find funding in America. He tells Paris Match about his fight to transmit this appetite for truth to young people.

PARIS MATCH: Why go back to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, almost thirty years after the release, in January 1992, of your film "JFK"?

OLIVER STONE: Because what happened in November 1963 was a monstrosity that changed America forever. It wasn't until the late 1980s, reading the book by Jim Garrison, the prosecutor who inspired my film, that I got involved in this investigation. The immense success of "JFK" subsequently led to the declassification of a number of documents. With this new documentary, I do not pretend to achieve the same result, but I hope to inspire the younger generation - to which it is dedicated - to take up the torch.

What more do we learn from this new documentary?

I rely on documents declassified after the release of "JFK", and on interviews with members of the latest Commission of Inquiry [Assassination Records Review Board, ARRB] charged with revisiting the tragedy. Forty people are reported to have seen JFK's corpse at Parkland Hospital immediately after the assassination that the official photos shown do not match him, which means they have been tampered with. Forty people! All claim to have seen a gaping wound in the back of the skull, caused by a bullet coming from the front and not from the back. This calls into question the thesis of the lone killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, posted on top of a book depot behind the president's car …

You say Lee Harvey Oswald may not even have fired a bullet …

Yes. According to the official thesis, he used a sniper rifle he had just bought at the Klein's store. Except that the one found on the spot, in Schoolbook Depository, does not correspond to the model in question. Oswald's fingerprints should have been found there as well, but there were none.

What was Oswald’s role in this case?

The documentary sheds light on his personality and behavior on November 22. Lee Harvey Oswald was actually a patriot and admirer of John F. Kennedy. He made contact with pro and anti-Castro circles; he was both on the side of the Communists and on the side of troubled far-right figures like Guy Banister, a CIA agent.

A double agent?

Rather a provocateur, whom the CIA hired in the demonstrations to distribute leaflets …

According to the official thesis, he fled immediately after the assassination.

Except that we found witnesses who said the opposite. Three of his female colleagues, who feature in the documentary, say they were on the stairs right after the drama. However, they did not meet him there. And Oswald always claimed he was on the second floor, not the sixth. Before being killed by Jack Ruby, two days after the assassination, Oswald denied everything. He claimed to be the patsy of the case, the one who was going to be blamed.

Do you believe in this version?

Yes. He was not alone. There were several “Oswalds” scattered all over the United States. We tell that, before Dallas, John F. Kennedy was targeted by at least two failed assassination attempts [one in Chicago, the other in Tampa, Florida] and quite similar from an “operative” point of view, each time with a patsy with a profile strangely resembling that of Oswald. In the case of the Chicago attempt, the person in question was Thomas Arthur Vallee. In Tampa, it was a Cuban exile, Gilberto Policarpo Lopez.

There is also the infamous "magic bullet" which is said to have first hit JFK before hitting John Connally, the governor of Texas, who was also in the limo. Are you questioning this assumption?

This bullet is in direct contradiction with the results of the autopsy, which show that JFK was hit in the third vertebra from the neck. In the Warren Commission report, that same bullet suddenly "shot up" at the back of the neck to match the path you want it to take, through the throat. At the autopsy, it is mentioned that Kennedy was hit at this point by a "penetrating" bullet. In reality, it was an “in” bullet, coming from the front. The Warren report holds that three bullets were fired. I think there were at least five, some coming from the front.

You maintain that JFK's doctors were asked to be silent after his death…

Yes. I found the testimony of JFK's personal physician, Dr. George Burkley, who said he was ready to testify, before retracting …

How did you come across him?

After investigating the autopsy. It was the members of the ARRB commission who raised the hare, in particular one of them, Douglas Horne, who testifies with exemplary precision in the documentary. He explains that the autopsy was "made up" and that John Stringer, the official photographer, supposed to have taken the photos of JFK's brain which are in the file, did not recognize the images that were shown to him, nor even the type of film used … From there, the investigators, intrigued, sought to approach Doctor Burkley, who had seen it all and signed the death certificate. He agreed to cooperate at first, before changing his mind. After his death, his daughter did exactly the same. And this doctor is not the only one. We also bring to mind Dr Perry, who years after the tragedy told a friend of his that he was “absolutely convinced” that the wound in his throat was from a bullet coming in, and therefore coming from the front. He began by testifying in this sense before saying the opposite …

JFK's nephew Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whom you interview, doesn't believe in the lone killer thesis either.

Yes, just like his father, JFK's Attorney General, who lost all power in the aftermath of the assassination. The first thing Lyndon Baines Johnson, the new president, does is appoint the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination. Among its members, Allen Dulles, ex-director of the CIA. Fired by JFK after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, he had every reason to hate him.  Remember that John F. Kennedy, after the Bay of Pigs disaster, decided to bring the CIA to heel.

In your opinion, Gerald Ford, a member of the Warren Commission before becoming President of the United States, also did not believe in the Oswald trail.

Indeed, he opened up to Valéry Giscard d´Estaing, which was revealed in 2013. “We were sure it was a set-up,” he said. But we didn’t find out who rode him. ”

You're clearly pointing the finger at the CIA. On what basis?

It should be remembered that John F. Kennedy, after the disaster at the Bay of Pigs, had decided to bring the CIA in line with, in particular, frank cuts in its budget. All of his foreign policy was against the interests of the CIA.

What do you mean?

JFK was a man of peace. He is the last American president to have sincerely acted in this direction. In this case, we are focusing too much on one question: how could all this be possible? My documentary reveals why it happened. JFK, this veteran, decorated for his acts of bravery during the Second World War, was going to change the world. He had seen the horrors of war, the disastrous role of the CIA in action at the Bay of Pigs, and then that of the US military during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was not impressed by the generals who advised him to attack the Soviet Union or Laos in 1961 or Cuba in October 1962. Not only did he resist their wartime spirit, but he signed, in 1963, an unprecedented agreement with the Soviets. John F. Kennedy did not want a "pax americana" imposed on the rest of the world. He wanted genuine peace. A bit like General de Gaulle who preferred to see France leave Algeria rather than endless conflict, which earned him an assassination attempt by the OAS, possibly supported by the CIA … Everyone claims that JFK started the war in Vietnam; This is not true, he wanted to repatriate the "military advisers".

You give the CIA a lot of influence!

I note that Lyndon Johnson did the opposite of JFK. He bolstered the CIA and increased American engagement in Vietnam. He did nothing to fight colonialism, which Kennedy opposed. It is also this truth that I wanted to reestablish: everyone claims that JFK started the war in Vietnam; This is not true, he wanted to repatriate the "military advisers".

How do you explain that your documentary was refused by Netflix?

The country has become very conservative. I had to look for funding abroad, in Great Britain. Already, my film about Edward Snowden, a hero in my opinion, could only be made with money from France and Germany. So I came to the Cannes Film Festival to promote this documentary in a Europe more open to such projects. But I am convinced that I will eventually find an independent platform that will allow me to broadcast it in the United States.

Is this lack of interest due to weariness over an over-rehashed subject or, rather, a truth America does not want to see?

There is no weariness. Simply put, America is a country on the decline and on the defensive. George W. Bush was probably our worst president. Obama was just a transitional president: he did nothing to turn the tide, and Joe Biden is in his wake. Censorship has imposed itself. I'm shocked by the way that social media has silenced Trump.  Kennedy was killed by forces which exceeded him and which, since, frightens all his successors.

You have been accused of pro-Russian sympathies for asking soothing questions of Putin in one of your films. Your answer?

I don't need to hate anyone: I'm a director, I have my own signature. No one scares me. Neither Putin, nor Castro, nor Chavez. In my films, I transcribe what they feel and think. I had no reason to tell Putin, who confided in me his views on Syria, Bush or Iran, among others, that he was wrong. Especially since nothing was wrong …

Do you think the truth about the JFK assassination will ever be known?

But we already know the truth! It was a conspiracy. He was killed by forces which exceeded him and which, since, frightens all his successors. The culprit was a Communist, a typical scenario of a "black op" set up from scratch by the CIA.

Trump had promised to declassify the archives but did not. Are you going to ask Biden to do it?

I should, but it's a waste of time. If Robert F. Kennedy Jr. writes the letter for me, it might have more impact. What is certain is that there is nothing more that can be done for the people who still believe in the Oswald Lone-Assassin Thesis. They live in Disneyland!

Last modified on Tuesday, 03 August 2021 00:53

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