I’ve been wrestling with how to deal with my response to these newly released files on the JFK assassination. Many people have asked me about my reaction to this release, and I’ve gleaned what I can from a very complicated release.
1. Trump got rolled. I think he truly wanted a release of all files, but as with everything else in the “Deep State,” the Chief Priests told him, “You can’t do that” and cited as cause “national security,” etc.; the et cetera going back to 1963.
2. The release was designed to be a mess. The rollout of deleted/undeleted/no longer redacted, and often illegible materials is meant to assure us that “you see, there’s nothing here.”
3. But some “stuff” has come to the surface like scum on a pond; the CIA/Angleton/Oswald file clearly goes back to 1959, and [former CIA head of counterintelligence James] Angleton clearly had a special interest in Oswald.
Jeff Morley, who’s written a new biography of Angleton (“The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton,” St. Martin’s Press, 2017) and also works as the editor of JFK Facts, explains Oswald as a “marked card” in the game, i.e. a soldier/pawn to be used as needed, which, to my mind, very well fits the Oswald profile.
4. [JFK assassin Lee Harvey] Oswald in Mexico City remains still a mystery. Was he or wasn’t he there? No photos of him exist. Angleton, it seems, intended for Oswald to go to Cuba and used his stay in New Orleans to gain his bona fides as a pro-Cuba agent. The CIA’s plan was set back when the Cuban Government turned down Oswald’s application for visa.
5. Beyond this matter is the general absence of complete files on key players such as Howard Hunt, William Harvey, David Atlee Phillips (CIA, Mexico), Anne Goodpasture (CIA, Mexico City) and George Joannides (CIA, Miami). These files are unreleased. Overall, there are too too many blank pages. For example, the CIA apparently has 11 pages on [former New Orleans DA Jim] Garrison, but 8 pages are blanked out completely.
6. Illegible documents are “declassifiable,” but according to James DiEugenio (“Reclaiming Parkland,” “Citizens for Truth about the Kennedy Assassination”), even if these pages were to be put through an OCR machine, they still wouldn’t be recognizable.
At other times, “NOT BELIEVED RELEVANT” becomes another category of document. People of great interest such as Earle Cabell, mayor of Dallas in 1963 and brother of Deputy Director General Charles Cabell, the high-level CIA operative who was fired by Kennedy along with Allen Dulles and Richard M. Bissell Jr. after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, is not considered relevant, although he played a huge part in laying out JFK’s motorcade route.
Also considered not relevant was Yuri Nosenko, the Soviet spy who defected but had a different view on the assassination than Angleton, who was trying to cover it up. Nosenko was a victim of Angleton’s terrifying mole hunt (see “Wilderness of Mirrors” and Morley’s new biography on Angleton); unfortunately, a screwed-up movie, “The Good Shepherd,” touched on this with Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie, but prevented other movies from being made on this subject.
7. In the same vein, it can be said from this document that the Soviets — Nikita Khrushchev and the KGB — clearly thought the assassination was a right-wing coup taking place, with hardline elements coming to power in the United States. This turned out to be unfortunately true, as Lyndon Johnson brought on a new regime with hardline policies all over the world, starting with the military dictatorship in Brazil and most disastrously the sending of 525,000 combat troops to Vietnam. President de Gaulle of France concurred in this view, but was not part of this declassification.
I would say overall that this is a disappointing release of information. But as I said in opening, it’s meant to be that way. One loses interest as one is cycled from illegible document to “Not Believed Relevant” document to a less but not entirely redacted document. Anything of value must be weighed in the detail only, and it is those who know detail who can best interpret this ponderous deceit.
16 Actors Who Played JFK, From Patrick Dempsey to Michael C Hall (Photos)
Cliff Robertson, "PT 109" (1963) •
Oscar winner Cliff Robertson ("Charly" and "Spider-Man" 1 and 2) portrayed JFK during his military years as a U.S. Navy officer in command of Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109 touring the waters of the Pacific amidst World War II.
William Devane, "The Missiles of October" (1974) •
Devane ("Knots Landing," "24") portrayed JFK in this made-for-TV offering, which depicted the drama in the 1962 White House while the President's administration decided the best course of action during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Martin Sheen, "Kennedy" (1983) •
Jed Bartlet on "The West Wing" wasn't the only Democratic president Sheen has portrayed on screen. In 1983, he played JFK in the miniseries "Kennedy." Nine years earlier he played "Jack's" younger brother Robert opposite William Devane in "The Missiles of October."
Steven Weber, "The Kennedys of Massachusetts" (1990) •
The "13 Reasons Why" star played a young JFK in the ABC miniseries, which focused on the 54-year marriage on the family patriarch and matriarch, Joseph and Rose, the expanding of their family and Joseph's wandering eye.
Stephen Collins, "A Woman Named Jackie" (1991) •
Long before his stint as Rev. Eric Camden on "7th Heaven" (1996-2007), and even before he beguiled a young Keri Russell in "The Babysitter's Seduction," the actor played Kennedy. Collins did so opposite Roma Downey as Jackie Kennedy in the TV miniseries that focused on the FLOTUS.
Patrick Dempsey, "JFK: Reckless Youth" (1993) •
Believe it or not, Dempsey had other roles before he became McDreamy on "Grey's Anatomy." This includes his performance as America's dreamiest Commander-in-Chief during his early years before the presidency in this two-part TV miniseries, which aired on ABC.
Jed Gillin, "Forrest Gump" (1994) •
Audiences didn't see the actor in Robert Zemeckis' Oscar-winning drama, but they did hear his voice when Gump (Tom Hanks) met the president at the White House after drinking 15 bottles of Dr Pepper. The picture features Gillin on film before the John F. Kennedy's head was superimposed.
Tim Matheson, "Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis" (2000) •
The "Animal House" star played Kennedy in the TV movie starring Joanne Whalley as his First Lady, a woman of many names and facets, as the title implies.
Bruce Greenwood, "Thirteen Days" (2000) •
This Cuban Missile Crisis drama also starred Kevin Costner as Kenny O'Donnell, a top aide to JFK and the movie's protagonist.
Brett Stimely, "Watchmen" (2009) •
The actor makes a quick appearance as Kennedy when the White House extends its thanks to Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup) for quickly ending the Vietnam War in Zack Snyder's superhero movie. Stimely also made brief appearances as the same president in "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and "Parkland."
Greg Kinnear, "The Kennedys" (2011) •
Kinnear played JFK opposite Katie Holmes as Jackie Kennedy and Barry Pepper as Bobby Kennedy on the eight-episode miniseries that aired on Reelz Channel. The piece went on to win four Primetime Emmys.
James Marsden, "The Butler" (2013) •
The "X-Men" actor played one of the many powerful Commander-in-Chiefs in Lee Daniels' civil-rights movement drama. The film centered on a White House butler who served eight presidents over the course of his career.
Rob Lowe, "Killing Kennedy" (2013) •
The former "Parks and Recreation" star played the title role in Nat Geo's adaptation of the nonfiction best-seller by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard.
Caspar Phillipson, "Jackie" (2016) •
The Danish actor who is most noted for his work in theater, played JFK in the critically acclaimed feature film that starred Natalie Portman as the First Lady during her husband's presidency and immediately following his assassination.
Jeffrey Donovan, "LBJ" (2017) •
The actor best known for the TV series "Burn Notice" appeared as JFK in the Rob Reiner-directed film "LBJ," starring Woody Harrelson as Vice President Lyndon Johnson, who stepped into the role of commander-in-chief after Kennedy's assassination.
Michael C. Hall, "The Crown" (2017) •
In the second season of the Netflix series about Queen Elizabeth II, the "Dexter" star appears as a philandering American president who's addicted to painkillers. “He was very much a functional addict," Hall told Entertainment Weekly of his warts-and-all-portrayal. "And his relationship with women was certainly a well-kept secret back then.”
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Yes, the former ”Grey’s Anatomy“ star once played America’s 35th president, John F. Kennedy
Oliver Stone is an Oscar-winning filmmaker whose works include "Platoon," "Born on the Fourth of July," "Wall Street" and "JFK" -- a re-examination of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy starring Kevin Costner as New Orleans DA Jim Garrison. He most recently directed "The Putin Interviews," a four-hour Showtime documentary recording his sit-down with Russian President Vladimir Putin.