Author Topic: Killing Oswald  (Read 8620 times)


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Killing Oswald
« on: December 29, 2013, 10:14:17 AM »
I recently bought the new Shane O'Sullivan documentary Killing Oswald and here is the review I wrote on Amazon:

This is a very strong, though not perfect, two-hour collection. It collects just about every bit of film footage we have of Oswald (except for some color film of him on a New Orleans street which surfaced in the last few years), and excerpts from the New Orleans radio interview. It demonstrates what an intelligent and articulate young man Oswald was, going against the official stereotype of him as an uneducated nobody.

There is a bit too much reliance on David Kaiser, who believes that Oswald killed JFK and that the "backyard photos" are genuine. Dick Russell discusses the Richard Case Nagell story and John Newman talks about Mexico City. Antonio Veciana tells about seeing Oswald meeting with an agent he knew as Maurice Bishop in Dallas. A caption reveals that Veciana recently disclosed that "Bishop" was CIA officer David Atlee Phillips. Also included is a brief color clip of Phillips at Win Scott's wedding in December 1962.

The Sylvia Odio and Mexico City incidents are examined from different angles.

There is an old interview (looks like late 1960s) with Loran Hall that I'd never seen before where he talks about being briefly jailed in Dallas before the assassination. I was amazed that he doesn't have the slightest trace of a Cuban accent. He sounds like he's from California. An excerpt from a phone interview from the late 70s is misused by Kaiser to link Hall and Santo Trafficante to the assassination. However, during his testimony to the HSCA in 1977, Hall makes it clear that he is referring to the Bayo-Pawley raid rather than the killing of Kennedy.

There is vintage footage of an Allen Dulles interview in 1965, and a 1968 George de Mohrenschildt interview. He is asked whether Oswald was a friend or an enemy of President Kennedy. De Mohrenschildt replies, "He definitely was not an enemy. He was an admirer of President Kennedy. From his point of view, he was an excellent President and his ideas corresponded very well with President Kennedy's ideas and vice versa." At one point he refers to him as "Harvey Lee Oswald," as so many people did (government documents before the assassination, Clay Shaw, even Robert Kennedy). De Mohrenschildt laughs at the government's idea that a lunatic killed a lunatic who killed the President, and now another lunatic (Jim Garrison) is reopening the investigation - are there really so many lunatics in America?

There is also 1964 film footage of a Ruth Paine interview. As with all her interviews, they reveal (like Oswald) a serious, disciplined, intelligent person who stays on message. I'd never seen the film of Gen. Walker being interviewed right after the "assassination attempt," and he appears to be almost smirking as he describes it.

There are many samples of Oswald's writings, his evolving political views, his rejection of capitalism, communism and socialism, and his attempts to find another social-democratic alternative. He talks about the possibility of a military coup overthrowing the US government, possibly being organized by the Marines. Oswald also talked about how much Russia and the US needed to work out their differences "because our two countries have too much to offer each other than to be tearing at each other's throats in an endless Cold War."

Since this is a documentary about Oswald, there is a bit too much footage of Jack (and Jackie in Spanish) talking hawkishly about Cuba from the 1960 campaign, without any discussion of the back-channel talks JFK was having with Castro in late 1963 about normalizing relations with Cuba. There is only a brief mention of JFK's tensions with the military leadership (some clips from the film Seven Days in May and discussion of Gen. Edwin Walker are included - no mention of Generals Lemnitzer and LeMay, Admiral Anderson and SAC Commander Thomas Power).
« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 10:16:04 AM by TLR »