Fact check: ‘Parkland’ director overlooks JFK secrecy

Peter Landesman, director of ‘Parkland,” recently spoke in error to the Washington Post about secrecy and the JFK assassination.

Peter Landesman
Peter Landesman, journalist turned director, tackles the JFK story.

“I worked as a journalist for a long time, and I’ve come to realize that acts of violence and war and acts of history are usually unmotivated, arbitrary events and overlooked [stuff] and inertia and bureaucratic intransigence,” Landesman continued. “Not people in dark rooms smoking cigars. And no one keeps secrets.”

This is so broad as to be virtually useless. The September 11 attacks were “unmotivated, arbitrary events?”   Landesman has let what the Post‘s Ann Hornaday calls his “distaste for assassination buffdom” get in the way of his fact finding. When it comes to the JFK assassination story, Landesman is factually mistaken. The CIA does keep secrets.

See: “Top 7 JFK files the CIA keeps secret.” (JFK Facts, Oct. 11)

These are non-trivial records. They concern deceased CIA operations officers who monitored Lee Oswald as he made his way to Dealey Plaza (and who failed to take preventative action), as well as CIA officers who engaged in political assassinations.

In addition, the Pentagon cannot locate a tape recording from November 22, 1963, that it has never made public.

See and listen: “Enhanced Air Force One tapes capture a top general’s response to JFK’s murder.”

These records are part of what Phil Shenon calls “the secret history of the Kennedy assassination.” This history doesn’t interest Landesman, whose movie focuses tightly on events in Dallas. But they are part of the JFK story that has yet to be told.


15 thoughts on “Fact check: ‘Parkland’ director overlooks JFK secrecy”

  1. Look on the bright side. Twenty years ago, “Case Closed” was going to be THE FINAL WORD on the Kennedy Assassination. No one would dare suggest anything other than “Oswald Did It All By His Lonesome Psycho Self” after it hit the bookstores. Today, it’s been almost entirely forgotten (probably kept in print only for propaganda purposes), its author in disgrace. A decade later, “Reclaiming History” was going to do the same thing, almost literally drowning everyone in voluminous detail (I’ll bet Bugliosi was a master of Document Dumping when running the DA’s office) and haughty, sarcastic invective directed against anybody questioning The Official Word. Instead, it put everyone’s feet to sleep, and the attempt to make a blockbuster cable miniseries out of it was the Showbiz equivalent of the Edsel. These shows, annoying in the extreme as they are, will be forgotten. The public’s doubts will remain.

    From the moment Jack Ruby murdered Oswald, the American public has realized there was far more going on than was being acknowledged. Maybe if they’d been willing to admit Ruby was a gangster of some kind (you couldn’t be in the business he was in without having very extensive Mob ties) it would have been different. We’ll never know. But the people who’ve tried to paper this over for half a century have made the same discovery the leaders of the USSR were forced to come to terms with: The Big Lie only goes so far. Use it once too often, people will finally have their fill and reject it, and all the others they’d seem to accept.

  2. How nice that the studio just converted “Parkland” into ten million celluloid guitar picks. You can grab one on eBay.

  3. Another nice whitewash of the assassination by CNN tonight, 50 years and counting now of major media whitewashes. Condescending as hell to the American public.

    Funny to see them use footage of Carlos Bringuier and Oswald in NO — a covert op/propaganda stunt brought to you by the CIA which its still withholding files on (in fact, never volunteered this information to any investigative body).

    No mention, of course, by CNN.

  4. For every director willing to produce a one-sided visual story supporting the government’s original explanation of the murder of President Kennedy there are probably dozens more waiting in the wings for their chance to produce a complete picture of the events that won’t be hired.

    I believe these visual TV efforts are being made for future generations not familiar will aspects of the case. What stands in between accomplishing such a sordid distorted vision are a global public that knows better, courageous websites like Jeff Morley’s actively searching for truthful answers & a lot of the better YouTube videos made by amateurs & pros now online & all the books that were published advocating conspiracy, the flaws in the investigations & supporting hard evidence.

    If we live long enough we may witness the burning of the books & disappearance of the online videos & JFK research websites. The book burning was done before in history.

  5. I have no idea what acts of war and violence Landesman blithely opines as “unmotivated,” but as a student of history my entire life, I’ve found the opposite to be usually the case.
    It’s blatantly obvious that from Nov. 22, 1963 on, government agencies have withheld, refused to investigate, and even destroyed valuable evidence. And the preposterous notion that powerful secrets can’t be kept, is another lie the MIC powers-that-be have tried to shove down our collective throats for 50 years, in order to discredit conspiracy theorists.
    From Landesman’s comments, I’ll have to assume ‘Parkland’ will be another trivial fiction piece on the assassination, which I don’t intend to watch.

  6. “And no one keeps secrets”, says Peter Landesman. Really?

    The fact that the CIA sponsored the DRE was kept secret from the WC and HSCA and the rest of us for many, many years.

    And the fact that George Joannides ( CIA liason to the HSCA )was the case officer to the DRE was also kept secret from the HSCA and the rest of us for many, many years.

    I suppose if you can turn a blind eye to this suspicious behaviour it makes it a lot easier to support the lone nut theory.

  7. Clarence Carlson

    All one has to do is review the information we had (such as it was) in November 1963 and compare it to what we know from government documents that have dribbled out over the decades. There were and still are lots of secrets to be found. What the CIA and FBI, alone, did to obfuscate and actively hide the data clearly points a purpose that was not random, benign or merely “bureaucratic intransigence”. Add in the stuff that hard working researchers have uncovered and one gets the sense there was and still is a coverup.

    “No one keeps secrets”? He apparently doesn’t know very much about the intelligence community. Secrets are their currency.

  8. They are still declassifying documents from WWI. There are still plenty of secret documents from WWII and the early years of the Cold War. And who knows how many documents are so secret that their very existence is known only to a few people? How many of J. Edgar Hoover’s personal files were destroyed or hidden after his death?

    1. Hoover’s personal files were not supposed to exist in the first place, so he would’ve instructed his secretary to covertly destroy them. That does not apply to files related to the Kennedy assassination, of course.

      The only semi-legitimate reason I can imagine to keep any of the JFK related files secret in 2013 is for the US Government or specific agencies to prevent negative publicity.

  9. I think this highlights the importance of approaching historical events with one’s eyes wide open. If you begin by closing doors, such as the possibility of high level conspiracy, you’ve put blinders on. This goes for “conspiracy people” too. Not everything is a conspiracy. If we can take away one thing from the Kennedy assassination, it’s that people investigating this event should leave their biases, their religion, and their preconceived notions at the door.

  10. Landsman is either incredibly naive or being intellectually dishonest.

    It’s plausible that the JFK assassination was a spontaneously planned crime of opportunity executed by a lone assassin. I don’t dispute that.

    What I dispute is the idea that members of organizations which have used violence and deception(ie the Mob, terrorist groups like Alpha 66, or the CIA) wouldn’t be capable of plotting a conspiracy or keeping it secret. If Landsman disagrees, perhaps he could tell us where Jimmy Hoffa is buried…

  11. Mr. Landesman’s comments on war and violence make no sense. Does he realize that 9/11 was an organized conspiracy to attack the United States and not an “unmotivated, arbitrary event”? Ditto Pearl Harbor. And Hitler’s attack on Poland in 1939. And many other acts of war and violence.

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