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Critics Still Attacking Oliver Stone's "JFK" Film With Same Old "Factual Deviancies" Crap.

Joe Bauer

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4 hours ago, Michael Griffith said:

But Prouty was a fraud and he was a crackpot. It's not vitriol if it's true. I am astounded that anyone in this forum is still defending him after all we now know about him. Are you folks just unwilling to process the fact that even Oliver Stone has repudiated Prouty's claims about Lansdale? 

We're not talking about "minor details." Give me a break. "Minor details"? Falsely accusing Lansdale of involvement in the Lumumba and Trujillo murders is not a "minor detail." Falsely accusing Lansdale of hating JFK, when in fact Lansdale liked JFK and grieved over his death, is not a "minor detail." Making the outrageous claim that Lansdale helped strip of JFK of security in Dallas by sending Prouty on a sinister diversionary trip to the South Pole is not a "minor detail." 

I fear it won't do any good, but let's just review some key facts about Lansdale:

-- He opposed sending large numbers of American troops to South Vietnam. He had no problem with military and economic aid, but he believed that placing large number of American troops in South Vietnam was the wrong approach. 

-- He opposed bombing North Vietnam.

-- He criticized the excessive use of force by some American military units in South Vietnam. 

-- He opposed the Bay of Pigs invasion.

-- He even opposed most of the recommendations in the Taylor-McNamara report. 

-- He was bipartisan in his politics. He was neither a diehard Republican nor a diehard Democrat. 

-- In the Philippines, he opposed the massive use of force against Communist insurgents, just as he later did in Vietnam. 

Ed Lansdale was one of the last people on Earth who would have wanted any harm to come to JFK. He liked and admired JFK. He spoke with JFK at some length. And he grieved over JFK's death.

It is crazy talk, downright reckless crazy talk to accuse Lansdale of having played any role in JFK's death. People who continue to peddle this slander are doing harm to the case for conspiracy and are making everyone who posits a conspiracy look bad. 

Again, Oliver Stone himself has repudiated Prouty's charges against Lansdale. 

Go read Prouty's ARRB interview. Prouty himself repudiated the claim that his mission to the South Pole was sinister or unusual. BTW, not once in his ARRB interview did Prouty claim that Lansdale was the one who sent him to the South Pole. Prouty himself admitted he had nothing to do with presidential protection. Prouty himself admitted that he could not name who in the 316th FD/112th MI Group called him, or whom he called in the 316th/112th, and he even seemed to admit that the call was probably "not authentic." And when asked to produce the notes of his call with the 316th/112th, he blandly said he no longer had them but didn't explain why (and he was lucky the ARRB interviewers did not press him to explain why in the world he would not have safeguarded notes that would have been of great historical importance if they had in fact existed).

Prouty actually entertained the idea that Churchill poisoned FDR. Prouty made the bogus claim that we should stop building the F-16 because it was far inferior to the MIG-25 (the reverse was true). Prouty said Nixon was in Dallas during the assassination, when in fact Nixon left Dallas hours before the motorcade. Prouty said that a secret team may have assassinated Princess Diana. Prouty made bogus claims about George Bush and the Bay of Pigs, such as that one of the ships in the invasion was renamed "Barbara" after Bush's wife Barbara, when in fact none of the ships were renamed for the operation. Prouty claimed that KAL Flight 007 was not shot down by the Soviets but was blown up by a CIA-planted bomb. And on and on and on we could go about this crackpot.

“Loon” “nutty” “crackpot”. - these are all boiler-plate playground insults. Linguistically, they represent the expression of an opinion, or a prejudice. So basically, in your run of posts, you have somewhat crudely expressed a personal animus towards Fletcher Prouty. Fine. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. However, you have also thrown around terms such as “fraud”, which is more serious, as it amounts to a determination of deliberate deception, and this is where your posts veer into irresponsibility and character assassination. If you feel that Lansdale’s reputation was sullied during a particular sequence in a Hollywood motion picture made 30 years ago, then make your case (as you have been doing). But your posts drip with visceral anger and repeated insults which suggest something else is being triggered here.

Again, your list of minor details - or as you put it “false accusations” -  are taken from the screenplay of a Hollywood motion picture, from a sequence which the creators openly describe as relying on dramatic licence. Prouty did not write the screenplay, so your anger is misplaced. Here’s a tip - Garrison never made the closing courtroom speech either! Sound the alarm!  Why not then move on to Shakespeare’s “Richard III” - it is filled with historic inaccuracies! Can you feel the weight of western civilization crumbling because of this? Or let’s get more contemporary:  John Adams’ opera “Nixon in China” (1987) - “WTF Nixon never sang aloud. Kissinger wasn’t a tenor.”

The majority of criticism directed at “JFK” centered on a) defence of the Warren Commission and b) a rejection of the concept that Kennedy was removing the US armed services from Vietnam. If anything, the declassification of documents from the era have bolstered the basic premise of the film and undercut the critic’s arguments. You have greatly exaggerated a supposed centrality  of “Mister X” and “General Y”, and correspondingly have wildly overstated the relevance of Prouty’s 1997 ARRB appearance let alone Stone’s recent and obviously objective observation that a positive ID cannot be derived from the Tramp photo in question. Nether event can be spun as a “repudiation” other than in the minds of those already convinced. In turn, you have repeated standard out-of-context slurs directed at Prouty which originate from a list compiled by John McAdams thirty years ago as part of the attack on the “JFK” film, and which cannot be described as adhering to any scholarly standards. Posting insults on an Internet forum does not adhere to such standards either.

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For the record, the following is the primary documentation which informed the General Y aspect of the "JFK" screenplay. It appears in a private letter sent by Prouty to Jim Garrison, dated October 2 1985 (emphasis added):

"As a strange aside, and perhaps no more than a coincidence, I was sent to the South Pole leaving early in Nov 1963. Now here I was the Chief of Special Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and I had been in that work for 9 consecutive years in the Pentagon...and they send me for a VIP vacation to the South Pole. Was that on purpose? The man who sent me was Ed Lansdale. He said I had been working hard and would benefit from the change. He made all the arrangements and I went as "the escort for a VIP group" I was in New Zealand when JFK was killed and the man in the first picture of the Tramps, just outside the Texas School Book Bldg. just after JFK was murdered, the man who is walking in the opposite direction from the Tramps and the phony police, is none other than Ed Lansdale! I have had this verified by high-ranking close associates. Why was he in Dallas that day?"

As can be determined, this brief "aside" contains two certainties: a trip to the South Pole and an ID based on a photograph. Otherwise, it is uncertain and speculative. The flood of insults presumes definitive conclusions, which obviously do not appear in this letter. The flood of insults, exemplified by particular posts on this thread, is based on a poor and biased reading of the primary material and a failure to account for the concept of "dramatic licence" as was applied in the screenplay.

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