From the archives: JFK is a 1991 political thriller directed by academy award-winning director Oliver Stone. It examines the events leading to the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy and the alleged cover-up through the eyes of former New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison, played by Kevin Costner.

Co-founders of CovertAction Magazine, Bill Schaap and Ellen Ray, encouraged and assisted Jim Garrison to write On The Trail of the Assassins and document his investigation and prosecution of the murder. In 1988, after publishing the book with their publishing company Sheridan Square Publications, Inc., Ray and Schaap ran into Oliver Stone in an elevator at the Havana Film Festival. They handed Stone the book and said: “Make a film about this book!” Stone did not sleep that night. He read the book cover to cover and this film is the result.

The scene above is the moment when Garrison meets with so-called “Mr. X.” Fletcher Prouty, the inspiration for the character, served as Chief of Special Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President John F. Kennedy. A former colonel in the United States Air Force, he retired from military service to become a bank executive. He subsequently became a critic of U.S. foreign policy, particularly the covert activities of the Central Intelligence Agency about which he had considerable inside knowledge.

Was JFK’s assassination part of a U.S. coup d’état? Many questions remain unanswered conclusively, including why was JFK assassinated. While many secret U.S. government documents have been released, the nation’s intelligence community continues to urge for the withholding of remaining secret documents until 2021, for their exposure, according to them, could harm “identifiable national security, law enforcement, and foreign affairs concerns.”

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