Tom Hanks’ take on the JFK story is advancing. The actor/producer’s feature film, Parkland, about the events of November 22, 1963, has signed on A-list actors, Billy Bob Thornton, Paul Giamatti, and Jackie Weaver. The producers say the talented thespians will bring VIncent Bugliosi’s 2007 book, “Reclaiming History” to life. That will be a challenge.
Bugliosi’s tome is a flabby 1,600 page doorstop of polemic that managed to win uncritical acclaim while avoiding most of the new evidence that has emerged since Oliver Stone’s “JFK.” By systematically debunking the oldest and least credible interpretations of the JFK assassination story, Bugliosi (big surprise) found no credible evidence of a conspiracy.
I count Vince as friendly acquaintance. He is an independent thinker (witness his case against George W. Bush for war crimes) but when it comes to JFK he failed to consult the newest best evidence. He didn’t challenge his own assumptions. He avoided the hard questions. IMO
He averted his eyes from the new evidence of CIA negligence, which has actually grown stronger in the last decade. Thanks to a pregnant CIA cable not fully declassified until 1998, we now know that Oswald, the accused assassin, was well-known to five top CIA officers working for deputy director Dick Helms and counterintelligence chief Jim Angleton just six weeks before JFK was killed. They assured the CIA station in Mexico City and the FBI in Dallas that Oswald’s two year residence in communist Russia “had a maturing effect on him.
Six weeks later, the “maturing” Oswald allegedly killed Kennedy.
According Bugliosi and Hanks, the fact that the CIA knew about the psychopathic Oswald and badly underestimated him is no cause for concern.You don’t need to worry about such things on your way to “Parkland.”
Hank’s star vehicle seems sure to be reassuring about national security politics. But will it be faithful to history?