Score one for Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone makes his case.

The combative Hollywood director takes on anti-conspiracy theorist Cory Franklin in a piece for the Chicago Tribune.

Score one for Stone. When the two pieces are compared, Stone’s argument is more precise and factual.

Franklin, by contrast, offers a wide-ranging attack on JFK conspiracy theories, in which he lumps Stone’s deeply researched movie with the ludicrous “bodyguard did it” yarn. That is intellectually careless.

Franklin succumbs to the tempting but illogical argument that because there are a lot of stupid JFK conspiracy theories, the official theory of a lone nut must be correct. Logicians call this a non-sequitir.

See: “Setting the record straight on the assassination of President Kennedy”  — Chicago Tribune.

40 thoughts on “Score one for Oliver Stone”

    1. Of course. As does anybody who actually has observed the appearance of fired full metal jacketed rounds. Particularly rounds that have been slowed down by passing through tissue and are tumbling.

      1. How did CE 399, in near pristine condition after breaking two bones, wind up under a stretcher mat that Connally reportedly was never on?

        1. Cyril Wecht explains how CE399 couldn’t have done the damage it was alleged to have done to both Kennedy and Connelly:

          By the way, Governor Connelly stated up until his death that he still had bullet “fragments” in his arm from that day, which the Warren Commission told him was wrong! These fragments would have had to come from CE399, another impossibility to the lone gunman firing the single bullet scenario that the Warren Commission was peddling.

          1. Dr. Wecht was apparently referring to HSCA exhibit F-294. Larry Sturdivan explained why Wecht was wrong:

            The bullets that were more deformed than CE399 hit bone at full speed. Imagine the damage to a car hitting a brick wall at 60mph in contrast to one hitting the wall at 30mph after plowing through a haybale. Damage to car and wall depends on the speed. This is what Wecht didn’t get.

            Wound ballistics experts like Martin L. Fackler, Duncan MacPherson, and others who testified to the HSCA and Rockefeller Commission seem to have no problem with the condition of CE399 and the SBT.

            Dr. John Lattimer reproduced the Connally wrist x-rays using an amount of lead that could’ve come from CE 399.

          2. A car hitting a wall at 30 mph, even after driving through a haybale first, is still damaged. CE399 is not damaged.

          3. Jean,

            Even if you can bend logic to try to account for CE399 not having any blood, tissue or clothing fibers in any traces on it, and even if you can somehow bend logic to say it hit Governor Connally’s wrist AFTER hitting his rib and breaking it, you can’t convince a reasonable person who doesn’t have a political agenda that CE399 travelled in the path that it did. It couldn’t do it. It’s impossible. Any claims that it could are just “magic.”

            I also agree with jeffc: most cars hitting a wall at 30 mph sustain quite a bit of damage. Try it sometime, by driving your car at that speed into a tree, a guardrail, wall, or other solid object.

        2. Actually it was Connally’s gurney. Perhaps you could go over to Theda Clark and see how trauma centers handle gurneys and other medical transportation devices. It isn’t that mysterious.

          1. Jean, CE399 was deformed at the base, which indicates that the bullet was fired from a gun. The word “pristine” is used merely as a descriptive term regarding the nose and majority of the bullet body, which is so clean as to lead any REASONABLE person to wonder if it actually passed through all of the bones and tissue that is has been alleged to have done. The magic bullet (single bullet story peddled by Arlen Specter for the government) is completely UNreasonable. It’s an article of faith and not logic that ties lone nutters to the magic bullet. It’s like goofy theories that man didn’t really land on the Moon (we did) or that carbon dioxide doesn’t create a greenhouse effect (it does). Any non-partisan (i.e. non knee jerk pro-CIA political agenda person) looking at this case should be able to see where lies replaced reality. The Warren Commission was a POLITICAL body. Their role was to shut down debate, and quickly, before the 1964 election. It’s so obvious, when you look at this case with an open mind.

          2. At least you can prove that the gurney was in Dallas Nov. 22, 1963-which is more than you can say for your “witness” Gordon Arnold.

          3. Photon,
            Where’s your proof that Gordon Arnold wasn’t where he said he was? Please direct me to photos so I can see. Otherwise, it’s just your word against mine. I just love how everyone who raised any doubts about the Lone Nutter position is either wrong, misinformed, not telling the truth, or psychologically unfit. But all of your witnesses are on the level. Give me a break.

          4. So the standard of proof is that if you can’t prove that someone never was where they claimed to be, they must have been there? You made the allegation that Arnold was a witness- shouldn’t the burden of proof that he actually was there be yours? No picture taken at the time Arnold claims to have been a witness shows ANYBODY where he claimed to be.
            The mound of dirt that he claimed to have stood on to see the Assassination was not present on Nov. 22,1963- but instead the same spot was occupied by a 2 person bench on that Friday in 1963.

          5. How do you explain this then, Photon?

            If this guy, Arnold, is lying, I don’t get it. WHY would he go to all this trouble to lie in this situation? Every time somebody shows that your belief in the Warren Commission version might have flaws, you confidently slap them down. Every time! Instead of acknowledging that there might be some discrepancies, of holes in the WC position, you blindly defend them. Why is that? Do you have some kind of agenda? Will you ever address that question, or will you keep dodging it?

  1. Oliver Stone has obviously researched the facts and feels strongly about the conspiracy aspects of the assassination as does Roger Stone. After 50 years it is reasonable to expect to hear the truth about the assassination. For several months now, we have learned that Roger Stone has written a book with his unique perspective having been in the Nixon White House. Stone absorbed a great deal of hub-bub in those post LBJ years and now he spills the beans in his book which the National Enquirer describes as “history changing.” I have no doubt we will see several books and TV documentaries that echo the notion that LBJ was behind the event but none more authoritative, detailed or as well researched as the information about to be released in the Stone book.

  2. The only work of art in American history to prompt a Congressional bill that was approved unanimously, was Stone’s “JFK.” For that alone, history will hold him high. He was called every name in the book by sycophants like Jack Valenti, but it has stood the test of time. Americans had to rely on its artists and its citizen journalists since the country’s media was – and remains – in the hands of the 1% who do not want to discover the illegitimacy that cuddles them still.

  3. Stone – just like Hanks – is an entertainer.
    Neither has scholarly importance in the case.
    It must be accepted that the gullible will lap up “entertainment-as-history” : there is only so much that can be done to save such people from their susceptibility to influence.

    Never mind LNs – even plenty of CTs reject Stone’s repetition of the #7 “back and to the left” mantra as “proof” of a frontal shot.
    A medically-untrained Average Joe will likely still cling to it,though.

    Hollywood movie producers do not merit any serious attention,positive or negative,in the Kennedy case. Their purpose is to entertain,not inform. If Stone – or Hanks – think they are serving some more noble purpose for the cause of historical truth,they are wrong.

  4. S.R. "Dusty" Rohde

    How to respond to this?

    I could just put it this way. You could take the worst of the Conspiracy theories, and there are some bad ones, and that theory would be no worse then the “Lone Nut Theory”.
    On the other hand, take the best of the Conspiracy theories, and they are supported by the evidence far more than the WC conclusion ever will be. A case built upon lies is a lie, it’s that simple.
    There is a difference between an intelligent debate and an attack.

  5. Ever one of the eight points Stone purports to claim as facts are false- except #8; and that only because of an 11th hour conclusion based on acoustic evidence that actually happened after the assassination and has been proven not to have come from the source used to make the 95% claim.

    1. Here’s what ex-Marine sniper Craig Roberts had to say about Dealey Plaza and which I think counters what you say about Stone’s points #s 2-4 as being as you say, “false”:

      (1) Unlike Oswald, who failed to qualify on the rifle range in Boot Camp, and who barely qualified “Marksman”-the lowest of three grades-on a later try, I was a trained and combat-experienced Marine sniper. I had spent a year in Vietnam, during which time I had numerous occasions to line up living, breathing human beings in the crosshairs of my precision Unertl scope and squeeze the trigger of my bolt-action Model 70 Winchester and send a .30 caliber match-grade round zipping down range.

      Here I was, a professional police officer and writer, looking down at the most famous ambush site in history through the eyes of a sniper. A strange feeling came over me. A feeling of calm, dampening my anger. The trained investigator inside me surfaced and took over my emotions. I began to scrutinize what my senses were absorbing.

      First, I analyzed the scene as a sniper. In the time allotted, and in the distance along the street in which the rounds had impacted the target from first report to final shot, it would take a minimum of two people shooting. There was little hope that I alone, even if armed with the precision equipment I had used in Vietnam, would be able duplicate the feat described by the Warren Commission. So if I couldn’t, I reasoned, Oswald couldn’t.

      Unless he had help.

      I looked at the engagement angle. It was entirely wrong. The wall of the building in which the windows overlooked Dealey Plaza ran east and west. By looking directly down at the best engagement angle-which was straight out the window facing south-I could see Houston Street. Houston was perpendicular to the wall and ran directly toward my window. This is the street on which the motorcade had approached and would have been my second choice as a zone of engagement. My first choice was directly below the window, at a drastic bend in the street that had to be negotiated by Kennedy’s limousine. It would have to slow appreciably, almost to a stop, and when it did, the target would be presented moving at its slowest pace. The last zone of engagement I would pick would be as the limo drove away toward the west-and the Grassy Knoll. Here, from what I could see, three problems arose that would influence my shots. First, the target was moving away at a drastic angle to the right from the window, meaning that I would have to position my body to compete with the wall and a set of vertical water pipes on the left frame of the window to get a shot. This would be extremely difficult for a righthanded shooter. Second, I would have be ready to fire exactly when the target emerged past some tree branches that obscured the kill zone. Finally, I would have to deal with two factors at the same time: the curve of the street, and the high-to-low angle formula-a law of physics Oswald would not have known.

      Even if I waited for the target to pass the primary and secondary engagement zones, and for some reason decided to engage instead in the worst possible area, I still had to consider the fact that Oswald made his farthest, and most difficult shot, last. I estimated the range for this shot at between 80 and 90 yards. It was this final shot that, according to the Warren Commission, struck Kennedy’s head.

      As an experienced sniper, something else bothered me. Any sniper knows that the two most important things to be considered in selecting a position are the fields of fire, and a route of escape. You have to have both. It is of little value to take a shot, then not be able to successfully get away to fight another day. Even if the window was a spot that I would select for a hide, I had doubts about my ability to escape afterwards. According to what little I had read, the elevator was stuck on a floor below at the time in question, and only the stairway could have been used as a means of withdrawal. And there were dozens of people-potential witnesses-below who would be able to identify anyone rushing away from the scene. Not good.

      But Oswald was not a trained or experienced military sniper. He was supposed to be little more than some odd-ball with a grudge. And for whatever reason, had decided to buy a rifle and shoot the President of the United States. Or so the Warren Commission would have us believe.

      (2) Knoll and the Picket Fence, which I had purposely saved for last. I walked up the slope and around the fence, arriving in a parking lot that was bordered on the northwest by train tracks. I walked the length of the fence, stopping at a spot on the eastern end.

      I looked over the fence at Elm Street and froze. This is exactly where I would position myself if I wanted the most accurate shot possible considering the terrain I had explored. It had some drawbacks-it was close to witnesses, and prone to pre-incident discovery-but the advantages far outweighed the disadvantages for a determined assassin. The target vehicle would be approaching instead of moving away, thereby continually decreasing the range; the shot would be almost flat trajectory, making the down-angle formula a mute point; the deflection (right/left angle) would change little until the car passed a freeway sign on the north curbline; and finally, it offered numerous escape route possibilities. Behind me, to the north and west, was a parking lot full of cars, a train yard full of boxcars, and several physical terrain features to use as cover during withdrawal. It was by far the best spot.

      Looking almost due east, across the grassy open park-like Plaza, I could see two multi-story office-type buildings approximately the same height as the Depository. The roof tops of either building would be excellent firing positions for a trained rifleman with the proper equipment, and would be the places I would select if I wanted the best possible chance of not being detected in advance. Without going to the roofs of each, I could not determine the accessibility of escape routes. But for firing platforms, they were ideal.

      Then, considering the possibility of multiple-snipers (which meant a conspiracy), I had to ask myself how I would position the shooters to cover the kill zone in front of the Grassy Knoll?

      My military training once again took over. I would use an area within the Plaza that would afford the best kill zone for either a crossfire or triangulated fire. Simply put, I would position my teams in such a way that their trajectory of fire converged on the most advantageous point to assure a kill. In the military, single snipers are seldom used. Normally, the smallest sniper team consists of two men, a sniper and his spotter/security man. Even in police SWAT teams, a marksman has an observer who is equipped with a spotting scope or binoculars to help pick and identify targets and handle the radio communications.

      In this case, I would position at least one team behind the Picket Fence (more if I wanted to secure the rear against intruders), another on one or both of the two office buildings (which I later found to be the Dallas County Records Building and the County Criminal Courts Building), and possibly a team on a building across the street north of the Records Building known at the time as the Dal-Tex building. I would have never put anyone in the School Book Depository with so many locations that were much more advantageous unless I needed diversion. If I did, it would be a good place for red herrings to be observed by witnesses.//

      –from “The Kill Zone: A Sniper Looks at Dealey Plaza” by Craig Roberts,
      available for purchase from here:

      1. So we come full circle. Earlier this year I documented the truth about the fraud that is Craig Roberts. He was never a Marine sniper, never was trained by the Marine sniper community and he made up claims about Carlos Hathcock out of whole cloth . Gullible people who have never been to Quantico may believe his crap, but I can refer you to several bars on Jeff Davis Hwy where you can actually meet people who knew Carlos and are disgusted by this guy’s attempt to latch on to a real American hero. To say that Oswald didn’t qualify on the range in boot camp is absurd. If he was such a crummy shot how did he get the Sharpshooter badge? The same award that Charles Whitman had- the Texas Tower shooter.
        The falsehoods that keep popping up on this site are getting so bad that some folks have to resort to recycling sources that have already been debunked.

        1. So now you are attempting to smear Craig Roberts? What he says about how Dealey Plaza worked as a sniper set up makes perfect sense. Your Magic Bullet belief and faith in Oswald acting alone, and firing off shots (by the way ignoring James Tague) don’t make any sense.

          What I want to know is, what’s your angle? I’d like to know what your area of expertise is, Photon. The question is a relevant one, because you seem to say that only if people have expertise can they then make a point about this case. Are you a doctor? A trained pathologist? CIA agent? You keep name dropping locations in Northern VA, like you’re living as some ex-spook with the witness protection program or something.

          1. Craig Roberts is fraud. He was never a Marine sniper, he never went to the U.S.M.C. Sniper training facility, he never was a sniper in Vietnam. Period.
            He made up false stories about Carlos Hathcock in an attempt to embellish his book, stories that have been debunked by real members of the U.S.M.C. Sniper community. I posted the truth about this months ago after another poster fell for the same nonsense. Roberts never had any formal military training in sniping techniques; his comment of being an experienced sniper is a joke, as he never fired a shot as a sniper- by his own admission!

    2. I will let others who have better command of the facts that me respond to this if they so desire, but to say that 1-7 are all absolutely false is silly. Some of the points may be a little overstated or imprecise, but they are mostly factual.

      The federal attack on Jim Garrison is understated, however. Even after the trial ended, the federal government retaliated against Garrison massively, making the recent Obama IRS “scandal” look laughably tame in comparison. There is no doubt that the federal government targeted him, and it’s another piece of indirect evidence in federal complicity in the JFK assassination. If CIA/national security state involvement was so innocent and the cover up was related to “means and methods,” then why the massive retaliation against Garrison?

      1. I would agree with you about the facts they list.

        But their discussion of Garrison leaves an inaccurate picture.
        So, for example while it’s true that Garrison’s request for the autopsy X-rays and photos was denied, he did pursue them in court and may have prevailed in federal court or at least exposed the deficiencies of the autopsy in that court, had he not made the decision to drop out of the case.
        Many respected critics of the official theory were also critical of Garrison’s approach including Sylvia Meagher and Howard Roffman, author of the fine book, Presumed Guilty. Harold Weisberg told members of Garrison’s legal team before the Shaw trial that they’d lose and they ought to lose because they had no case against Shaw. Professor David Wrone went so far as to tell a Wisconsin Public Radio audience—Dec. 23, 1991–after the film JFK came out, that Garrison perhaps should have been disbarred for the way he handled himself.
        As Wrone put it and I’m quoting from a transcript of the broadcast: “He bribed witnesses; he used hypnosis to induce information in them before they would come into court. He used proverbial liars, known, confirmed liars as witnesses in court.
        He should have been disbarred, perhaps even imprisoned for the monstrosity he created.”

  6. (re-transmission):

    When a person was picked up by police, taken to the station & beat to a pulp, that used to be called ‘taking a trim’ or ‘trimming’. Oliver Stone not only survived a media ‘trimming’ he survived its crucifixion of him. Websites that appeared to counter the insinuations made in Stone’s film, ‘JFK’ still operate today, over 20 years later.

    Oliver Stone set the bar high, but not so high that it can’t be surpassed by those educated with facts he didn’t have when he made his blockbuster film (ARRB & Freedom Of Information disclosures, global ambush visuals & medical re-analysis, release of audio tapes Stone never heard plus investigative efforts of courageous researchers like Jeff Morley in his crusade for transparency with the CIA). Thus far not one Hollywood or TV investigative documentary producer has dared to tread into the space Oliver Stone created a visual highway.

    It would seem that it’s up to Mr. Stone to pave new highway himself, since apparently no one yet has stepped up to the plate with the courage or backup to try it on their own.

  7. Caution: This is speculation on my part. Read it as noted; Unlike when I cite facts in other posts, I’m not saying I can prove editorial intent here. So here goes:
    Where did the Trib get that terrible clown mask image of Oliver Stone? It isn’t a very flattering image. I wonder if that was done on purpose to make him look bad? The picture of him looks REALLY creepy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top