Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone has come out with a new documentary film, JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, which offers excellent evidence of U.S. intelligence’s tragic assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November of 1963.
The film is subtitled “through the looking glass” likely due to its coverage of several other CIA atrocities of that time. The film is intermixed with the great promise JFK held out in bringing about a more peaceful foreign policy and civil rights at home.
Oliver Stone enlisted longtime JFK assassination researcher James DiEugenio to write the screenplay for the film. DiEugenio had written the books Destiny Betrayed: JFK, Cuba and the Garrison Case and, with Oliver Stone, The JFK Assassination. The film, now being presented on Showtime, moves well between physical evidence around the assassination cover-up, and political evidence of how U.S. intelligence set up this assassination in advance with the aid of powerful forces.
JFK’s Great Promise and Shock in the Fall of 1963
JFK Revisited begins with footage of President Kennedy giving a speech about bringing peace to Americans as well as all citizens of the world in 1963. It backs up this speech with JFK’s actions in signing a nuclear test ban treaty in early October of that year. It intersperses the film with positive presidential actions of JFK throughout the film.
JFK’s policies such as these threatened the wealthiest families’ (the “oligarchs”) billion-dollar military buildup that would regularly increase America’s defense budget from $54 billion in 1963 to more than $750 billion today. The film does not have the space to fully discuss these wealthiest families’ power over various industries, but it alludes to their power over U.S. intelligence and mainstream media.
After the film’s opening speech by President Kennedy, it jumps into the assassination via footage of President Kennedy coming to Dallas and then riding in the car with the convertible roof down moments before the assassination occurred. It shows black and white footage from that era’s top newsman Walter Cronkite’s announcement: The footage presented Americans in shock and crying over the news that President John F. Kennedy had been shot and killed on November 22.
JFK Revisited then shows police and FBI agents escorting purported assassin Lee Harvey Oswald that day. The footage has a group of officers or government agents wearing civilian hats and trench coats escorting Oswald past reporters. The reporters, dressed in suits, ask “Did you shoot the president?” and Oswald responds, “I didn’t shoot anybody.”
The Oligarchs’ Public Execution and Warren Commission Cover-up
The film then shows footage from two days later, of Oswald being escorted again in front of reporters in the Dallas police basement. A short man—Jack Ruby—in a suit and hat like the reporters, walks up to Oswald and shoots him.
Various historians labeled JFK’s assassination as the oligarchs’ first coup and cover-up against the White House, at least of the 20th century.
With film and television’s saturation of American households at this time, it is a wonder if the oligarchs made Oswald’s murder so public as a powerful “shock doctrine,” to scare anyone who knew anything about foul play about JFK’s assassination terrorized into silence.
Besides the oligarchs’ motive of reversing JFK’s progressively humanistic foreign policy course, it may have also set the tone that no one is powerful enough to oppose them.
JFK Revisited follows Ruby’s murder of Oswald with the establishment of the Warren Commission, headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren. It further includes two senators and a congressman from the deep south and one northern congressman, later president, Gerald Ford. Most importantly, former longtime CIA Director Allen Dulles sat on the commission, along with former Assistant Secretary of War, John McCloy, President of the World Bank (1947-1949), Chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank (1953-1960) and Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations (1954-1970).
With John D. Rockefeller listed as the wealthiest man in the world in the early 1900s, Allen Dulles’s close friendship and life-long work with sons David and Nelson Rockefeller exemplify his work for the oligarchy.
John McCloy’s credentials included work for Nazi Germany behemoth IG Farben, which was interlocked with Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. IG Farben also received free labor from the Auschwitz mega-concentration camp. The Rockefellers’ Chase Manhattan Bank further employed McCloy as its chairman.
Congressional Committees, Admissions and Physical Evidence Cover-up
With the Warren Commission using U.S. intelligence for its sources, its report marked an extensive cover-up of the president’s assassination in supporting Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone gunman. Still, JFK Revisited presents some of its most poignant revelations from reported admissions from the commission and later congressional committees.
The film provides the first example of dissent with Warren Commission member Senator Richard Russell, Jr. (D-GA), stating that a fourth bullet hitting an overpass so far off from the first three directly hitting Kennedy, was preposterous and contributed to him believing there were multiple shooters.
In the 1970s, Senator Frank Church chaired a committee investigating U.S. intelligence and the Congressional House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) also convened at that time. Church Committee member Richard Schweiker (R-PA) revealed, in news footage shown in JFK Revisited, that Jack Ruby worked for the FBI as an informant at the time he shot Oswald.
JFK Revisited cites French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing saying that former Warren Commission member, President Gerald Ford, told him that more than one shooter assassinated President Kennedy. The French president also said the Dallas assassination was set up by powerful people.
JFK Revisited spends an extensive amount of time on the physical evidence regarding President Kennedy’s autopsy with former American Academy of Forensic Science president Cyril Wecht.
Dr. Wecht highlights the absurdity of the “magic bullet” allegation that one of the three bullets fired into President Kennedy’s car caused seven injuries.
Wecht describes the Warren Commission report’s proposed path of the bullet through President Kennedy in the back seat of the car and Governor John Connally in the front seat, causing seven wounds to the two American leaders.
Oliver Stone intersperses a second doctor, Professor Gary Aguilar, MD, with Dr. Wecht in guiding viewers through JFK’s wounds and other aspects of the assassination. Wecht also discusses how the magic bullet never went through a proper chain of custody. The Warren Commission purported that a maintenance man found the bullet perfectly intact on a stretcher that had moved JFK. Dr. Wecht, and other experts who conducted tests to back their opinions, stated the impossibility of the bullet causing seven wounds and remaining in perfect condition.
Of further importance, the Dallas pathologist who first examined JFK, Dr. Malcolm Perry, countered the Warren Commission Report by saying JFK’s bullet wounds came from the front rather than from Oswald’s position behind JFK. President Kennedy’s personal doctor, George Burkley, also said multiple shooters carried out the assassination.
And finally, attorney Mark Lane—the first and most prominent proponent of the innocence of Oswald—said on film that the paraffin test Dallas police conducted on Lee Harvey Oswald’s cheeks showed that he had never fired a gun on the day of the assassination.
The Oswald Network, Anti-Castro Cubans, and U.S. Intelligence
Some lesser-known evidence appeared in the last section of JFK Revisited regarding Lee Harvey Oswald and U.S. intelligence. First, Oswald had worked for U.S. intelligence as a young adult and researchers presented evidence that included undercover double agent work that appeared to set him up as one of several possible patsies for the assassination months in advance.
JFK Revisited includes footage of Oswald passing out pro-Cuban fliers with an office address for a Cuban group where the House Select Committee on Assassinations reported that former FBI agent Guy Bannister also had an office, as did a CIA-supported anti-Castro Cuban group, the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front (CDRF).
JFK Revisited also presents revelatory information about CIA counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton receiving weekly reports on Lee Harvey Oswald up to the assassination.
U.S. intelligence appeared to try to convince the public that Cuba orchestrated JFK’s assassination as part of a pattern of plans to invade Cuba that included Operation Northwoods. Northwoods included the blowing up of an American passenger plane in flight and blaming pro-Castro Cubans (and reminiscent of the 9/11 events). (in 1976, CIA-trained anti-Castro Cuban exiles blew up a Cubana Airlines passenger flight, killing all 73 people on board).
The film tells how President Kennedy refused to allow Operation Northwoods, while also refusing to send Americans to invade Cuba during the Bay of Pigs. JFK fired CIA Director Dulles following that incident, along with CIA Deputy Directors Richard Bissell, Jr., and Charles Cabell. JFK then threatened to “splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.”
Incoming president JFK also had threatened to stop the CIA’s involvement in assassinating Congo’s first independent President Patrice Lumumba. United Nations Director Dag Hammarskjold had warned President-elect Kennedy about the plot and evidence supports CIA involvement in shooting down Hammarskjold’s plane in September of 1961.
World Mourns As Kennedy’s Life and Idealistic Programs Are Cut Short
Leaders such as President John F. Kennedy, United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold and Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Patrice Lumumba appeared to represent a great hope for the 1960s, foreshadowing the later assassinations of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy.
International leaders such as the Soviet Union’s Nikita Khrushchev, Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser and Cuba’s Fidel Castro mourned the death of President Kennedy. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., tells how his father called the CIA and asked them if they were “involved in causing this horror.”
The last half-hour of the film presents President Kennedy’s increasingly idealistic policies. Before JFK’s assassination, MLK praised the president for his civil rights legislation in film footage. Actors Whoopi Goldberg narrated the first half of the film, and Donald Sutherland the second half. Southerland, a former anti-war activist, narrated how experts detailed JFK’s impending Vietnam War exit.
While the film ends with an excellent civil rights speech by President Kennedy, RFK Jr preceded the speech, stating how countries clearly celebrated John F. Kennedy more than any other president as evidenced by the streets and buildings named after him around the world. These images and JFK’s speech offers a motivational ending to this inspiring film covering such a tragic event in American history.
https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/USA/united-states/military-spending-defense-budget and https://www.defense.gov/News/Releases/Release/Article/2638711/the-department-of-defense-releases-the-presidents-fiscal-year-2022-defense-budg/ ↑
Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (New York: Picador/Metropolitan/Henry Holt, 2007). https://www.amazon.com/Shock-Doctrine-Rise-Disaster-Capitalism/dp/0312427999 ↑
Frances Stonor Saunders, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters (New York: The New Press, 1999) pp. 141, 144-5. https://www.amazon.com/Cultural-Cold-War-World-Letters/dp/1565846648 ↑
Robert Sherrill, “With a Branch at Auschwitz,” The New York Times, August 6, 1978. https://www.nytimes.com/1978/08/06/archives/with-a-branch-at-auschwitz-farben.html ↑
On McCloy’s career, Saunders, The Cultural Cold War, p.141. On IG Farben, Rockefeller and Auschwitz, Antony Sutton, Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler (San Pedro, CA: GSG and Associates, 1976). Also detailed in Sherrill, “With a Branch at Auschwitz.” ↑
Nicholas Horhock, “Panel Studies FBI Links To Oswald and Ruby in ’63,” The New York Times, October 14, 1975. https://www.nytimes.com/1975/10/14/archives/panel-studies-fbi-links-to-oswald-and-ruby-in-63-house-panel.html ↑
Dr. Brian Murphy, “JFK and the Long Shadow of the Bay of Pigs,” TU Dublin, https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2021/0413/1209565-jfk-and-the-long-shadow-caused-by-the-bay-of-pigs/ ↑
Colum Lynch, “U.N. to Probe Whether Iconic Secretary-General Was Assassinated,” Foreign Policy, August 1, 2016. https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/08/01/u-n-to-probe-whether-iconic-secretary-general-was-assassinated/ ↑
UPI “Khrushchev calls Kennedy death a ‘heavy blow,’” November 23, 1963, https://www.upi.com/Archives/1963/11/23/Khrushchev-calls-Kennedy-death-a-heavy-blow/3503214243588/ ↑
On Southerland’s anti-war activism: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2021/mar/04/fta-jane-fonda-donald-sutherland-anti-vietnam-war-film On JFK exiting Vietnam, see https://bostonreview.net/articles/galbraith-exit-strategy-vietnam/ ↑
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About the Author
John Potash is the author of two books: The FBI War on Tupac Shakur (2nd ed), and Drugs as Weapons Against Us: The CIA War on Musicians and Activists.
Both books have been made into films.