JFK was ‘fighting with the military on all fronts”

Oliver Stone talks to Amy Goodman of Democracy Now about JFK and the untold history of the United States.


An excerpt:

AMY GOODMAN: On our Facebook page, Ronan Duggan posted this question to you: “Would you agree that much of the history of JFK has been romanticized and he has been transformed into a sort of liberal hero? The truth is he was a horrific warmonger,” said this person on Facebook.

OLIVER STONE: No, no. Kennedy, on the contrary, he did — had to — you could not become president in 1960, I mean, by being soft on communism. You had to be a hardliner. It was the only way to get elected. Yeah, he went to the right of Nixon at that point, true, and — but he did not know the missile gap. He believed the missile gap existed, that was being talked about. When he got into office, within six weeks, he hired Bob McNamara, an outsider from Ford, to be his defense secretary. He had McNamara go into the Pentagon and find out where we were. And he found out that it was all a myth, that in fact we were way ahead of the Soviets, on every level — on every level — and that we could have, unfortunately, a first strike against the Soviet Union.”

“He realized, in that atmosphere, that his generals were up to — were really gearing up for a war, because if they didn’t fight the Soviets in 1960, their thinking was that the Soviets are going to catch up, and we’re going to have these crises in Berlin, Vietnam, Laos for the rest — it will — there will be a war sometime in the near future, by 1970. So they’re thinking about let’s do it, let’s do it now. And you remember the ‘Dr. Strangelove’ movie about the whole thing about the retaliation? You remember Jack Ripper, the Sterling Hayden character? That’s based on Curtis LeMay, who was the chief of staff of the Air Force, and Thomas Power also, who was later the chief of staff. He was an Air Force general. These people wanted war. Or Arleigh Burke of the Navy, Lemnitzer, who was the chief of the—the head of the whole thing, chief of staff at the beginning.

“This new book, Bob Dallek, who’s an establishment historian, doesn’t agree with our assassination concept, [but] he goes into detail in ‘Camelot’s Court,’ this new book, about how Kennedy was fighting, for those years, with the military on all fronts.”


3 thoughts on “JFK was ‘fighting with the military on all fronts””

  1. Could someone please share this with the participants in this discussion?
    “Can we possibly AGREE….”

    Transcript, Roswell Gilpatric Oral History Interview I, 11/2/82, by
    Ted Gittinger

    RG:…….No one can say what he
    would have done, but my view is that consistent with everything he did do and said
    before his death, he would have been very reluctant to involve ourselves to the extent that the country did after President Johnson took over.
    TG:I’m not sure if you’ve told the story of where you were and what your thoughts were at the time of the assassination.

    RG:I was meeting with McNamara, [David E.] Bell, the director of the budget, Jerry Weisner, and a group of others in the conference room in the Pentagon, going through the budget
    figures which were going to be presented to the President that weekend in Hyannis. And
    sometime around twelve-thirty my military assistant came in
    –my office was nearest to the conference room–and
    handed me a note that the President had been shot, no
    indication how seriously. And I just felt unable to utter the words so I passed the piece of paper around the table, and McNamara got up abruptly and left. No one felt enough in

    Roswell Gilpatric — Interview I —
    control of himself to say anything, so the group just sort of dispersed and disappeared.
    The group in the White House went back, and in another half an hour I went in to see
    McNamara in his office and we were sort of in a state of shock or trauma. Finally the
    telephones began to ring and things had to be done, and my assignment was to go over to
    the CIA and meet with John
    McCone and start putting together whatever we could on
    [Lee Harvey]
    Oswald and others, while McNamara took over the preparations for the
    return of the President’s body and the internment in Arlington and so forth. That was all
    a matter of some hours after this message came through.
    TG:So you had learned, or at least
    Oswald had already been apprehended when this meeting
    between you and Director McCone took place.
    RG:Yes. …

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