Conspiracies still swirl around the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Many of those were depicted in Oliver Stone’s 1991 film JFK, and today we’ll dig deep into the true story with historian Marty Morgan.
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[00:02:34] Dan LeFebvre: I’m so excited to dive into this movie because I am a huge fan of conspiracies, and there are so many of them surrounding JFK’s assassination, but before we dig into some of the details, we’re still talking about a movie that can have its own creative license to things, so if you were to give 1991’s JFK a letter grade for historical accuracy, what would it get?
[00:03:42] Marty Morgan: F minus, final answer, next question.
And I’m not kidding. This movie gets absolute F minus because of the purposeful way in which the actuality of the Kennedy assassination was deliberately misrepresented and distorted throughout the narrative of the film.
[00:04:07] Dan LeFebvre: We’ll dig into some of the details there, but I was, I’m really, I was curious about that because there’s multiple layers to the movie because you have a movie, but then on top of it, there’s…
A lot of questions as well. And so that’s why I was curious about that specifically about the accuracy of this one too, because how much creative license around something that there’s already going to be a lot of creative license in the actual true story as well that a lot of people don’t know as well.
[00:04:33] Marty Morgan: Yeah. And I have to admit, of course I watched it again for the millionth time in preparation for this chat with you and I enjoyed it because it’s a great movie because what is it combining? It’s combining, it’s giving the American public. A main course that’s steak, mashed potatoes, and a beer.
It’s giving the American people like everything they just lust for. It’s courtroom drama. It’s solving a crime drama. It’s high conspiracy. And there is no better director that could serve this up the way that Oliver Stone can. And I make this argument that Oliver Stone’s restaurant serves one meal and one meal only.
And that is, it is conspiracy with a side of disillusionment. And I’m only partly being silly and dismissive when I say that. But Oliver Stone prepares things to a certain flavor. And there was a period in American history, about 30 years ago, when that’s all everybody wanted. Everybody absolutely loved tote Vietnam era cynicism.
They loved suspicion. They were absolutely enamored with and intoxicated by anything that provided them an occasion during which they can be suspicious of our government and what it’s up to. In ways that I believe complement our government beyond its actual means. They imagine a government that’s all knowing, all powerful, that’s capable of pulling off.
Something as absolutely outrageous as the assassination of the president And covering it up effectively. That’s catnip. The American people couldn’t get enough of it The big question I kept asking myself when I watched the movie again over the weekend was How would this play today if this movie came out now?
Would it play and my first thought was like first of all, they’re never they would never make this movie now and then secondly if it if they did make it and it came out now Would it be the sensation that it was in 1991? because I remember watching it in the theater in 91 when it came out and Being swept into it because it was as a result of this movie that I rushed out, bought the Warren commission report and read all 888 paid hours of my life that I will not be getting back anytime soon.
But it was because Oliver Stone, the master storyteller, and he’s such excellent storyteller. Within one specific genre of storytelling, the genre that wants to reach in and stimulate my senses of suspicion and disillusionment, these things that were common among almost everyone in that era that followed Vietnam.
And we really weren’t that far from Vietnam way back in 1991. It’s so bizarre to think of it as having been so long ago, but it was, I was. Just finishing my undergraduate degree in history when this movie came out, it came out right in the middle of all of that and I got swept along into it myself. It began this love affair with the JFK assassination.
That stays with me to this very day. It triggered me to do a lot of reading. And at this point I’ve done so much reading about this assassination that there are times where I find myself. Have you seen that meme that shows, Oh God, what’s his name? El Chapo. Is it El Chapo or is it’s one of the big.
South American drug lords, and he’s sitting alone in a party, looking sad and dejected, and I can’t remember who it was, but I have done so much reading into it that from time to time, as a part of my journey, I will encounter someone else. Who is equally as interested and enthusiastic about JFK assassination.
And we just snowball into this love affair of dutching about all the possibilities. And have you read this? Have you read that? Did you see this photo? Did you see that photo? And you know you’re in trouble when it ends up with me going, Hold on, I know right where the photo is. Let’s flip, flip, flip.
Here’s the photo. It often turns into that. And where did all of that enthusiasm come from? I think it came from Oliver Stone. I remember what it was like before this movie. I remember because I had survived all the way through my high school, into my adulthood, and I had finished college. And so I have this memory of what life was like before the movie JFK.
And I now of course have three decades of looking back on what life has been like since the movie JFK. And that movie changed everything. This movie, it created a sensation, and we’re still living in the shadow of this movie to this very day.
[00:09:16] Dan LeFebvre: You mentioned the timeline there. Of course, the movie came out in the 90s, but the movie starts by setting up the situation in the 1960s.
And according to the movie, after JFK narrowly wins the vote to become president, he inherits a secret war against the communist Castro dictatorship in Cuba. That war is run by the CIA and Angry Cuban exiles, and it culminates with a disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion in April of 1961. And then as the movie explains it, Kennedy refused to provide air cover for the exiled Cuban brigade and publicly took responsibility for it.
But then privately, he claimed the C I A lied to him and tried to get him to order an all out invasion of Cuba. Then in October of 1962, the world’s on the brink of nuclear war. The Soviet Union has nuclear missiles in Cuba. Even more were on their way, but then they turn away and then there’s rumors that in Washington that Kennedy made some sort of a secret deal with the Russian premier Khrushchev, and there are more details that the movie shares, but right away, we get this idea of.
There’s a picture being painted by Oliver Stone there in the movie of an internal struggle for power inside the United States government between the intelligence services and the president. Is that a fair interpretation of what was going on inside the U. S. government in the
[00:10:38] Marty Morgan: 1960s? Yes, and it’s fair, I think, also to offer the evaluation that administrations were struggling to deal with The spiraling costs and the spiraling effects of the Cold War and that the Kennedy administration came into office with a bit of a different philosophy.
And that philosophy I should say that the verdict of history has not really been all that friendly toward the Kennedy administration’s change of philosophy and that philosophical change. Was was oriented more toward engagement than confrontationalism. And looking back, it’s, I think a little bit of a fool’s errand to go was that the right thing to do?
Or was that the wrong thing to do? I think all that actually matters purposes of this conversation is that the administration’s interest and engagement would not have been served. By providing direct air support for an American led invasion of Cuba. Full disclosure, I’m speaking to you from Kachapahoa Parish, Louisiana, where many of those people trained before, and they went to the Bay of Pigs because I live in the area around New Orleans and so much of that story and the JFK assassination story are centered around events that unfold right here, where I’m sitting, talking to you now.
But the administration recognized that if I provide this air support, it will represent an escalation of the tensions between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. And the administration chose not to follow that confrontationalist path, choosing instead an attempt to allow these hostilities to set through the process of engagement, and in fact, the Kennedy years would see.
Stepping back from some of the hostilities that had characterized the early Truman era of the development of the Cold War, and then certainly the Eisenhower years of the Cold War, what we would see under President Kennedy would be a reluctance to hurl ourselves into a full commitment and Thank you.
And the Republic of Vietnam, we would see engagement along the lines of the, what would eventually be realized in the form of the nuclear excuse me, the limited test ban treaty in 1962, which would be the ban on atmospheric nuclear testing, which the world, I think, agrees to this very day, it was a step in the right direction in terms of de escalation of Cold War tensions and nuclear tensions.
Then of course with the missile crisis, what we see is that is not so much the perfect example of a president standing firm and staring them down and making them blink, which is how it was sold to me when I was young. It’s not so much that as it is a presidential administration that’s rewarded by back channel engagement.
An administration that is through a back channel working with this opponent toward a negotiated settlement of of of a harsh, potentially harsh confrontation because President Kennedy only deescalated the missile crisis by agreeing to allow the removal of some of the American Jupiter ballistic missiles from bases in Turkey.
And that was done as an, in exchange with the Soviet Union and that exchange, they’re part of that exchange agreement was they would remove the intermediate range ballistic missiles from Cuba. This is not the type of Cold War confrontationalism that we had been seeing previously. And the administration wanted to bring more engagements to the table.
If he had sent bombers in to support the invasion at the Bay of Pigs, that would not have served his objective of engagement. It would have escalated things. At a time when, I think we can all agree now, looking back to that era, escalation did not serve anyone’s interests at all. And that the era that we entered, which was the era of at least limited engagement with the Soviet Union, that was an era that rewarded us all.
Because after all, what was the option for the missile crisis? Was that option an American led invasion of Cuba? That would have been a catastrophe. Was the option… A tactical nuclear strike against ballistic missile sites in Cuba, that would have led to a general nuclear exchange, something that we can all agree would not have served anyone’s interests at all.
And so it was a matter of what do we do? Do we keep holding the line and staring down the dirty red commie bastards, or do we engage and attempt to negotiate our way through these sticking points? The administration wanted to engage, and this was a country that was. Stockpiled about to about 50% with people that wanted to stare down the red peril and the other half interested in such ideas as engagement.
So the people that wanted to stare him down did not vote for John Kennedy and John Kennedy was carried into office. And so there were a lot of people, particularly in the South. That didn’t care for him and didn’t care for this idea of being easy against the communists. He was perceived as being easy against the declared communist enemy, which was not a good way of being portrayed to the American public circa 1961, 62.
And that’s why he had so much opposition around the country. And that’s why he went on a trip to Dallas and Fort Worth. It was election season. He wanted to develop some goodwill. He wanted to remind the people that he was there for them. He wanted to go to a place that was not known for being Kennedy friendly, and look what happened.
[00:16:42] Dan LeFebvre: mentioned New Orleans, and the main character in the movie, Kevin Costner’s version of Jim Garrison, is the district attorney in New Orleans. And according to the movie, the reason why he’s investigating the assassination of President Kennedy that you mentioned there, was, happened in Dallas. Early in the movie, it explains that Garrison got involved because Lee Harvey Oswald spent the summer in New Orleans before the assassination.
Was that really how Jim Garrison got involved with JFK’s assassination then? No. Next question.
[00:17:16] Marty Morgan: I’ll quit being furry, but that is a fundamental distortion. Of the reality of the way that District Attorney Garrison would ultimately open this case, open his investigation in 1967, it would ultimately culminate with this failed attempt to prosecute Clay Shaw in 1969, which would lead to his acquittal after only 50 minutes of jury deliberation, which tells you how the jury was feeling about the whole thing.
Garrison first was first detected the scent of a connection between the city of New Orleans and the Kennedy assassination with some feedback coming from a man named Jack Martin, who brought to Garrison’s attention, the fact that this interesting character Dave Ferry could have potentially been involved and based on that Garrison started snooping around.
a point that I feel like it’s only responsible to make. I’m not very pro Jim Garrison for the record, but, and I’m not just hammering him when I say this, but a point that I feel it’s necessary to make is that this is a man that was in an elected office and paid by taxpayers. And he took the resources of the district attorney’s office and Went after this, he pursued a parade, an absurd parade for reasons that we’ll never know for sure, because of course, in the, his life extended well beyond 1969, which is when the trial occurred.
And in the remainder of his life, he would over and over again say, no, I was looking for the truth. He would ultimately publish this book. What was it on the other trail of assassins? During which, by the way, he never mentions the Clayshaw trial, which should tell you a lot. The 1988, well after the trial.
And the trial, which marked an embarrassing turn in his life, is something that just conveniently not mentioned at all in that book. But Garrison took the resources of an office that had better things to do, and pursued… The potential connections to the assassination. New Orleans has connections to the assassination.
There’s no question about it. Lee Harvey Oswald was from here. Lee Harvey Oswald throughout the trajectory of his life goes away, but then returns to New Orleans. He had roots here. This is where he was from. In fact, I have bored. Hundreds of people in my life and pointing out and driving, going out of our way, making turns so that we can go out of our way.
So I could point out a house where Lee Harvey Oswald briefly lived when he lived in the city of New Orleans. There are five of them that I’m aware of, including one here on the North Shore, only about five miles away from where I’m sitting right now. So there’s a connection here. It’s just that connection was not a secret CIA operative who represented a part of a cell that included three shooter groups.
That set up an ambush that was coordinated by the U. S. intelligence gathering services and the United States military, all operating in one broad conspiracy during which they would assassinate the American president for what reason, from what purpose, so that there then would be an escalation of our involvement in Vietnam.
My question then is, how is it that the military and the intelligence services are directly benefited from that? Yeah, you could say that because there was then a war in Vietnam, that the intelligence services and the military benefited directly from that. And I’m not sure that there was a lasting positive benefit from that.
Yeah, there were lessons learned about how to wage, moderate. Low intensity guerrilla warfare and the American military learned those lessons very painfully over the course of involvement. But in what way was the American military rewarded? And in response to September 11th conspiracies, what I was given to say was, if there, if this movie is correct and accusing Clay Shaw.
And Dave Ferry as having been involved in a coup d’etat. Why is it that then this was followed shortly thereafter by free open democratic multi party elections that resulted in the peaceful transition of power from one party to the other? If the whole point of assassinating John Kennedy in Dallas was so that we could then escalate the war in Vietnam.
Why then did the American people vote for Richard Nixon, who ran on a ticket of a vote for me, will get us out of Vietnam. I’ll pull us out. Vietnam. Why did the American people vote for him in such numbers? And then why did these same people who, who led this Kuta in 1963, why did they just walk away obediently.
in 1969. It makes no sense to me. But then again I have been living in the New Orleans area for 25 years now, and I have been reading a lot of Jim Garrison was dead before I moved here, so I never got to meet him, but I met a lot of people that worked around him. And I have spent the last 25 years trying to make sense of Jim Garrison.
And this thing happened in 1969, this trial, he would base his book on the trial, the trail of assassins on that would then form the basis for this movie. I’m still trying to make a sense of all of that. And I have not managed to do so yet.
[00:23:04] Dan LeFebvre: I’m starting to get a sense for the original F minus there, but you did mention a name.
And there are a lot of names mentioned in the movie. We can. I have an entire series dedicated to just the intricacies of the names and there, but I wanted to mention some of the key people that are shown in the movie. You mentioned Dave Ferry, he’s played by Joe Pesci. He’s according to the movie, he’s a friend of Lee Harvey Oswald, who is seen working at Guy Banisher’s office.
That’s another name that we’ll come back to, but Dave Ferry has connections with the CIA. He has a quick temper, gets very upset at Kennedy for closing down the training camps. I’m assuming Dave Ferry was a real person then, and how was he portrayed in
[00:23:44] Marty Morgan: the movie? I would say this, and this is a blanket statement that I think can be applied to all of the characters that appear in this movie.
Joe Pesci plays a much more interesting Dave Therrien than Mary Blade of himself. Something that I think needs to be said about, the great compliment that I think needs to be paid to this movie is that it’s the cast of this film is magnificent. Some of the greatest living actresses and actors in the 1990s are a part of this movie, and they left us some absolutely amazing performances.
And Joe Pesci, I think, I have a hard time trying to decide who was the best actor in this movie. It’s not Kevin Costner it’s either Kevin Bacon or Joe Pesci or Tommy Riedel is pretty great in this movie. But I also feel like Walter Matthau was great. I think John Candy is spectacular. Even though his role was not big, John Candy was just such a force to be reckoned with as an actor.
And for God’s sake, Joe Pesci. The man is an institution. He is a gift living among us and he plays an excellent Dave Ferry. Dave Ferry was, I think, cut from the same mold that Jim Garrison and Lee Harvey Oswald were cut from in that Dave Ferry was an oddball. He was a misfit. He, we give, we pay him a compliment that he doesn’t deserve when we imagine him being this secret CIA operative, I think.
There’s an innocence to the way that the movie is willing to believe things that wildly insane people said, so that we are taking the Dave Ferry that said things while fueled by alcohol at parties, we’re taking those things at face value in this movie, we’re imagining the world that Dave Ferry wanted us to imagine, the world in which he is centrally involved in substantial events in the world.
The idea of him being a deeply consequential individual, when in reality, I think he was a very troubled guy who didn’t make a big splash in the world and was, and had, was beginning his drift into inconsequentiality when that was interrupted by. The investigation that he would not live to see the end of, he would not live to see the trial that would ultimately fail to convict Clay Shaw.
And in this way, I believe that Dave Ferry was just like Lee Harvey Oswald. He was narcissistic. He was self centered. He was writing his own melodramatic narrative of the world when he was also a deeply troubled person, Dave Ferry, his big problem was that. He keeps getting fired from jobs for inappropriate relationships with young boys.
He doesn’t manage to make it into the priesthood for reasons that are really, that are not officially declared, but they’re probably related to things that would later trouble him when he’s an airline pilot. He was an effective pilot. He was involved in the civil air patrol as ultimately. We now know Lee Harvey Oswald and Dave Ferry were.
The question is, were they all there as a part of some government conspiracy? I don’t believe that 14 year old Lee Harvey Oswald, who is a member of the same Civil Air Patrol wing as Dave Ferry, I don’t believe Lee Harvey was under the employ of the intelligence services of the United States government at the ripe old age of 14.
It looks pretty much like Dave Ferry was involved in that because it gave him access to what he was sexually attracted to, which was young boys. And Dave Ferry, as much as he liked to compliment himself and imagine himself being someone of significant importance and consequentiality, he really wasn’t.
You can’t take what somebody, somebody fueled by a little bit of alcohol at a party, you can’t take what they say at face value. And overlay any degree of seriousness to it. And that’s what this case is built on. It’s absurd to me that this case. is as steeped in hearsay evidence as it is, because when you look at the case that Jim Garrison ultimately brings forward against Clay Shaw, he can’t bring a case forward on Dave Ferry because Dave Ferry is dead by now.
He was alive when the investigation began, he dies during the investigation, and the case that he eventually, that Garrison ultimately brings forward against Clay Shaw is absurd. There’s no smoking gun. There’s no solid evidence. That provides any linkage, any meaningful linkage between this conspiracy between Clay Shaw and Dave Ferry to kill the president of the United States.
Dave Ferry doesn’t have any deep or lasting involvement in the Central Intelligence Agency. Interestingly, Clay Shaw is the one that has that. But his involvement is it’s an adjunct type of involvement. It’s within the orbit of the overall mission of the CIA, but it’s through these, it’s these domestic interviews of people involved in business.
They’re involved in business and hotspots in the America, in the United States, elsewhere in the hemisphere. And so Clay Shaw. I realize you asked me about Dave Ferry, but I’m on to Clay Shaw just for one moment. Clay Shaw had started the New Orleans International Trademark and was therefore involved in international trade, did a great deal of business.
With South America and the CIA came to him periodically to ask him questions about the relationships through business that he had established in South America. And it was because the CIA was interested in what was going on in certain South American countries. And in this way, he’s involved in the CIA, but it’s not a secret or covert.
Program, just for the record, it is, it’s a program the CIA openly discusses, and it is not the cloak and dagger connection that Jim Garrison or Oliver Stone would want us to believe. And Dave Ferry doesn’t even have that involvement. Yeah, sure. At ranted and raved about this or that. But he wasn’t quite as important in the grand scheme of things as he may have thought he
[00:30:53] Dan LeFebvre: was.
You mentioned some of the great actors and another great actor, Ed Asner. He plays Guy Bannister, who according to the movie is a former FBI agent turned private investigator. And there’s a. There’s an interesting kind of tie that the movie has for Guy Bannister, and that is that his office is at 531 Lafayette Street, New Orleans.
And then Garrison looks that up and he finds out that is the same address as 544 Camp Street, which is an address associated with Lee Harvey Oswald. Was Guy Bannister real in this
[00:31:26] Marty Morgan: connection here? My old neighborhood, by the way, from when I lived in downtown. Oh really? One block away from all that.
So yeah, there’s a connection there, insofar as it’s the same building. The argument that I have, that I make, and I have been making for 25 years now about this, is that just because they had offices in the same office built downtown New Orleans, doesn’t mean they were involved in a conspiracy to murder the President of the United States.
A further point I would make there is that there is a lot of obsessive Orientalization of the city of New Orleans throughout this movie, meaning that this movie orientalizes or exoticizes the city of New Orleans, which is basically, if I can get this chip off my shoulder, that’s what all movies do about us.
Every, any movie treatment of the city of New Orleans inevitably involves Mardi Gras parades and being thrown and profits and all of these archetypal things that are just basically caricatures. Of what life is actually like living here. And one of the things I believe that people overlook, certainly something that I had to learn when I moved here is that this is a small town.
This is basically a big, small town and it’s an old town, one of the oldest in the country. And the result is that the class of people that evolved to become business leaders or legal leaders, everyone is very incestuous insofar as everyone knows each other and everyone’s related to each other to some extent.
And back then in the early 1960s, it was even smaller. I’m going to mention this. This sounds like a stupid and silly aside, but there are two high rise office buildings that dominate the downtown city in New Orleans landscape. One’s called Place St. Charles, the other one called One Shell Square. And all of these things happened before those buildings were built.
And to this day, now, if you meet anybody that works for a law firm, their firm is in one of those two buildings. If you meet anybody that’s involved in investments or things like that, they’re in those one of those two buildings or else a building that’s nearby at a time when downtown city centers made sense at a time in our history when downtown city centers.
Actually served a practical purpose. I argue that they no longer serve that purpose and that we’re hanging on to them out of a sense of nostalgia more than anything, but back then you had to have an office in downtown back before the construction of St. Charles and one shell square. There were only a handful of office buildings where you could have an office if you were involved in business in new Orleans.
And so it seems like a howling absurdity to me. For so much of this case to be built on the simple coincidence of a private investigator, Guy Bannister, inhabiting the same office building as the Fair Play for Cuba association that Lee Harvey Oswald was a part of. It’s coincidence. That’s the weird thing about the Jim Pierson case that ends up being made in 1969, is that so much of his case is built on these minor coincidences.
And this is a coincidence that is occasioned to a significant degree on the fact that the city of New Orleans is not big. The number of people involved in the law, the number of private investigators that are, licensed by the state of Louisiana that are here in the city, it’s not many. And this is a very parochial and closed net society.
An experience that I had moving here 25 years ago was that they’re reluctant to welcome outsiders. It’s a small community that has small community qualities associated with it. And that kind of a reality, they’re going to be coincidences. And if coincidences are to be elevated to the level of mass meta narratives, You’re going to find plenty of them in new orleans.
It’s going to be endless The fact that you’ve got guy banister and lee harvey oswald coming and going from the same office building. I think is unimportant and meaningless.
[00:35:46] Dan LeFebvre: That makes sense. Yeah, that makes sense. There are, there’s no such thing as coincidences when it comes to conspiracies.
[00:35:52] Marty Morgan: All her spells involved. Yeah.
[00:35:56] Dan LeFebvre: Yeah. Another character in the movie is Jack Ruby played by Brian Doyle Murray. And the movie says that he worked for the mob, but he’s in on the plot too, because he was let into the police building by some of the guys. Inside so he could assassinate Lee Harvey Oswald as a way of tying up all the loose ends Did the movie do a good job explaining who jack ruby
[00:36:18] Marty Morgan: was?
I don’t think the movie did in fact the jack ruby character of this movie is it’s a secondary character certainly day fairy and clay shaw are more important in this narrative than jack ruby is Which I think is a little bit of an oversight an argument that I find myself making though is that I believe that jack ruby Is cut from st.
Claus As leehart oswald as dave ferry and as jim garrison insofar as he imagined himself There’s an actual name for the disorder. I’m going to struggle to come up with the name, but it’s the Is it the chronic protagonist’s disorder? I think it’s a name to that effect and it’s a disorder psychological disorder in which you imagine yourself as being the lead character of Our protagonist character of a narrative and you imagine that narrative of what you want it to be like the imagined narrative of my life is one in which I’m powerful and successful and profitable and anything that complicates that has obviously been introduced into the plot to make my struggle all the more difficult and challenging.
And that’s the way that they approach this sort of thing. Jack Ruby. Was on record saying and Jack Ruby lived for a long time after he assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald He was on record saying that he wanted to spare the first lady the trauma of a trial And oh boy, did he ever manage to do that? So the question is I should specifically address your question.
Your question is like this. Does the movie do him justice? I don’t think the movie does him justice as a character even if I were to step out of this this very doubtful, unconvinced personality that I actually inhabit and become a true believer and gobble up everything that Oliver Stone has to offer for me, even at that, he doesn’t make much of the Jack Ripley character.
And he doesn’t do much with the story that I think really serves his narrative because his narrative is the assassination of JFK was the part of a coup d’etat, a conspiracy of intelligence services and the military. And if that’s your story, the guy that sent in afterward, if they truly set Lee Harvey Oswald up to be a Patsy and there were three shooter groups and the other two bailed on the mission to leave one so that the entire crime could be parked on top of one person’s shoulder, and then Jack Ruby is sent in to clean up after that by killing him.
I feel like the movie should have made a lot more of him, but this movie is already three and a half hours long. This movie is already pretty darn long. There were moments in it where I would, I was stopping and I was thinking this movie would never exist in the contemporary 21st century social media Thunderdome in which people can’t pay attention to things for more than 10 seconds, because.
Think about it, all this movie is a bunch of white dudes, monologue. The whole movie, the whole damn movie is just a series of white lead characters either I think this is what happened, or, I didn’t say that, I said this, ongoing. The point where… Another one of the just absolute master craftsmen who shows up in this movie is Donald Sutherland, for God’s sake.
And what I think is one of the coolest moments of the movie where Garrison flies to Washington and they’re sitting on a park bench. It’s very cloak and dagger. It’s exactly the kind of thing I want out of a movie like this. It builds all this tension because he is the one that’s describing the extent to which the military is involved in the conspiracy to assassinate the president, and it’s a fascinating moment in the movie and all it is two white guys on a park bench with one of them doing all the talking and I was like, this move would never be made direct.
This movie asked so much of a viewing audience. The way that I can look back at like movies that were made long before this Like movies you and I have even spoken about. We didn’t talk about tour. We did not yet Yeah, that’s the spirit that’s the spirit the answer I was looking for But like the movie the longest day that movie asks it doesn’t ask demands a lot from the audience It demands that the audience, first of all, care, and that the audience then sit there, shut up, and listen for more than an hour and 45 minutes.
And I don’t believe that movie going audiences do that much anymore. And also, this is a movie that, on a couple of occasions, people slam doors. Sissy Spacek slams, for God’s sake, Sissy Spacek, who’s Garrison’s wife in this movie, one of the greatest actresses we’ve ever had. Sissy Spacek slams a couple of doors, and that’s about as exciting as it gets.
And There’s a lot of talking about shooting, but there’s not really a lot of shooting. No explosions at all to be had anywhere in this movie. And so I don’t know that a contemporary viewing audience would weep to it the way that the viewing audience did in 1991, because I remember it very clearly and then this movie, everyone loved this movie and everybody could not get enough of this movie and it created an entire thing.
This movie led to the JFK act, which. relates to the way that information is released about presidential assassinations. It beggars my mind to think that a movie came out. And the Congress passed a law in response to this movie, which is a steaming pile of absurdities.
[00:42:09] Dan LeFebvre: You mentioned Clay Shaw, of course, Tom Lee Jones plays him.
And according to the movie, he also goes by Clay Bertrand, although. Throughout most of the movie. He denies being Clay Bertrand, I think he admits it to a police officer once after he is being arrested. But then Clay Shaw or Bertrand, or whatever his last name
[00:42:32] Marty Morgan: is, or sometimes known as Slim Bertrand too, by the way.
[00:42:37] Dan LeFebvre: They, I don’t know that the movie mentions that alias there
[00:42:41] Marty Morgan: mentioned the Clem Far trend. I don’t want to call it an alias because Clay Shaw was not Clay Bertrand and he wasn’t Clem Bertrand either. There wasn’t yet another name that he supposedly was. Okay. Okay. So
[00:42:56] Dan LeFebvre: according to the movie, of course, that’s the guy that you mentioned earlier that, Garrison brings the official lawsuit against was, were they separate people then was, Clay Shaw, I’m assuming was, as you talked about earlier, he was actually a real person, although not the person that we see necessarily in the movie.
[00:43:14] Marty Morgan: Correct. He wasn’t an actual living person. And this whole idea of him being implicated Garrison’s thoughts on this. Or basically people whispering in Garrison’s ear that Dane Ferry and Clay Shaw were involved in this plot. Garrison then begins this, his witch hunt, which is what I think it was and that witch hunt ultimately identifies these people.
I, I feel like I need to get something off my chest real quick that I find not just problematic or troubling about this movie, but I find offensive about this movie. And that is that this movie is also a little bit of a witch hunt against homosexuals, because the way that homosexuality is depicted as
deviancy. The people who are gay in this movie, they’re not closeted. They’re not quietly gay. They’re over the top. They’re notoriously gay. Meaning that the word on the street or word around town is that Clay Shaw was a homosexual or was bringing young boys in. It was. Homosexuality is treated as an indecency by this film.
Another reason I believe that this movie wouldn’t be made today. It’s, I mentioned earlier, I used the word orientalized and that’s coming from a a book from a professor named Sayeed, I can’t remember his first name right now. Called Orientalism, that imagined a world that treats, it’s a process of othering that you’ll hear referred to frequently in the modern era of the social justice woke agenda.
And this process of othering is often a process of treating them as bizarre and deviant and exotic. And that is definitely something that this movie does to homosexuality. And I believe that the recent re imagining of the way that our attitudes toward homosexuality would have thrown up barriers that would prevent this movie being made today.
Those barriers didn’t exist back in the late eighties, early nineties. And so here we have this movie and these characters who are victimized by Jim Garrison, victimized by this movie, part of what makes them outrageous characters Flamboyant homosexuality and we see that in three characters in the movie.
We see that with joe pashy’s dave ferry we see that with tommy lee jones’s clay shaw and then we see that with a fictitious character That’s played in a memorable way By Kevin Bacon and the characters, Willie O’Keefe, who was not a real person, but a person made up for the purposes of moving this narrative forward because the real person was not flamboyantly homosexual and not currently locked up in Angola prison in Louisiana.
But certainly that sequence of scenes where Garrison travels to Angola prison, though William O’Keefe characters pulled off the work detail to give him the DA a few moments of interview and then as I remember it being memorable because a giggle erupted across the audience on opening night when I saw it would be in 1991 and that giggle was caused by the fact that Kevin Bacon.
And I said, memorable. I’m not going to say he’s necessarily good because in many ways, the way he portrays this character would never float today. You would never get away with portraying a gay man like this today. But as he walks off, he mocks him as Kevin Costner’s walking away. He’s Oh, Mr.
Garrison, you’re a good looking man. When I get out, I’d like to come see you. And the audience had a giggle at that, which is why that character was introduced and made the way he was. Purposely to elicit the audience giggle and this is good storytelling It’s good storytelling that would never float today because it’s making the butt of the jokes Something that we all accept as normal, which is homosexuality and that’s why this movie is such a fascinating journey to go back to it I hadn’t looked at it for about five years until you and I began to talk about it And I watched it again and it’s the movie’s fascinating and I love it and it’s actually extremely entertaining And of course I’m going to say that because I’m a middle aged white guy.
This is middle aged white guy fan fiction is what this is. This was made for a specific audience and it was conspiracy theory inclined middle aged white men. And I would say that Oliver Stone is our sovereign. And he just loves to make the movies that serve up what we want served up. And this movie does it.
And the movie has a little bit of a giggle at african american people. It has a little bit of giggle at southern people because oh for god’s sakes the accents that are in this movie just make me nauseous. It has a little bit of a giggle at gay people which seems very adolescent but that’s the way it works.
And it was fascinating to reacquaint myself with the movie. I think it’s a good movie. It’s weird to look at it through the lens of calendar year 2023. When looking back 30 years ago at what passed for a movie that everyone had to go see, and you had to go see it in a theater, it was a fascinating journey to reacquaint myself with the movie, and also to take note of the cultural changes that have emerged in the past three decades in the American experience.
Because those cultural changes are such that I think this is a movie that
[00:48:56] Dan LeFebvre: wouldn’t happen now in the movie, right? After the assassination, it mentions that chief justice of the Supreme Court or a war and is leading the investigation into the assassination. And then there is this 3 year gap in the movie of the timeline to the rest of the movie throughout it, but it mentions the Warren commission report.
Can you give some historical context around the Warren Commission report and how that fits into the story?
[00:49:21] Marty Morgan: Of course. The Warren Commission was an appointed commission. We call it that. That’s not the official name of the commission but it was the Presidential Commission for the Investigation of the Kennedy Assassination.
Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Earl Warren he chaired the commission. In the movie, he is of course played by Jim Garrison, in a weird turn of casting, but hey, whatever, Garrison was still alive. Garrison didn’t have much longer to live at the time, but, he makes a pretty convincing Earl Warren in the one scene that he appears and has dialogue.
The commission was intended to investigate. The assassination figured out, figure out what happened assemble all of the evidence associated with it and produce a final report, though Warren commission report, which was written publicly on September 21st, 24th, 1964. And when you think about it, it’s not terribly long after the assassination for this to be an official 888 page document.
The Warren commission, the reason that it is memorable because it, it constitutes the U S government’s official understanding of what happened. And from the Warren commission report emerge a couple of stations of the cross, things that as decades would begin slipping by after September, 1964, people would turn back to it.
The Warren commission report would be a seed that was spread out in arable land. That would grow eventually broad conspiracies, but I guess the most important thing coming out of the war commission is the idea of a single shooter, Lee Harvey Oswald committed this crime. He did so by himself. He was not part of a conspiracy.
He was not part of a broader operation. He acted alone. And then most importantly, the single bullet theory, the idea that a single bullet passed through president Kennedy and also through governor Connolly. And the reason that is significant is because. If one bullet does produces the thoracic injury on the president, and then also injures governor Connolly, that means that it’s not an ambush during which six shots are fired, it’s an ambush during which three shots are fired.
And that fundamentally removes conspiratorial possibilities from the equation. It’s memorable because it’s the government’s official position. It’s memorable because it establishes these central elements of the Kennedy assassination narrative. Single shooter, single bullet.
[00:51:56] Dan LeFebvre: They published that publicly, right?
So the public had access to it, or
[00:52:01] Marty Morgan: was that… It was added to the congressional record, and as a result, by extension, it was made a public document. Okay. It was out there. By the time I read it. Cause I saw this movie and I was like, yeah, that was awesome. That movie was great.
I got to find out more about this conspiracy. And I just started reading and it’s been doing that ever since I admittedly was aware of the Kennedy assassination and I was on alive and conscious for some critical developments over the course of that the release of Zapruderfilm public release, and then then ultimately the broadcast of Zapruder, unedited Zapruder.
The House Select Committee hearings on the assassination in 1976. I remember that directly. I was around for all that. I was a kid for most of it, but I became an adult eventually, and my interest in this subject was created in its entirety because this movie is so damn good.
[00:52:59] Dan LeFebvre: You mentioned the Zapruder film, and in the movie, there’s the trial.
We’ll get to the trial itself, but the movie does mention the Zapruder film as being seen for the first time at the trial. Was Jim Garrison kind of the one behind releasing the Zapruder film, like the movie implies?
[00:53:17] Marty Morgan: Yeah, it had not been publicly seen. It was the Zapruder film was purchased by a private news entity immediately after the assassination.
It was subpoenaed by the Warren Commission, and so commission members were able to view the footage, but it was not publicly released. When Jim Garrison staged his trial here in New Orleans in 1969, It was shown to the impanel jury and that constituted the first public viewing of Zapruder footage Which if I could just throw in a quick editorial comment about that fits perfectly the profile that I am developing of Jim Garrison and many people howl about this and do not applaud what I’m about to say, but I believe that this was all done as a part of him.
Grooming his legacy and grooming his own ego and attracting attention. Part of this man’s reputation here in the city of New Orleans was for his flamboyance, for his tough on crime attitude, going after the bad guys and cracking down on moral crime. He had a reputation before this trial for pursuing the degenerate lawlessness.
That and the indecency that was a part of the French quarter, which is why I love to remind anybody who will listen of the fact that it shouldn’t surprise us that people he’s going after in this trial are people who were homosexual. I recognize that as an extension of Garrison’s moral. His moral quest to cure the degenerate immorality that was so abundant on the streets of this city.
And he was known for doing so in a very conspicuously public way. And I would argue that his, his making a jury look at the president’s death in the Zapruder film footage, that was a part of his personality. That he was a little bit of a shock jock. He had to be known publicly. He was flattered by the idea that the newspapers talked about him.
He liked being someone who was known around the city. In other words, he liked having climbed the ranks of hierarchy within the greater milieu of the urban environment of New Orleans to achieve the status of being an elite within this microcosm of a society, he enjoyed that. And anything that he could do to bring attention to himself, he frequently did, which is why he had so many arrests and so few convictions.
He was known for dragnetting people in when he didn’t have evidence to convict them, people that would get dragnet in and then ultimately released or acquitted as was the case with Clay Shaw.
[00:56:21] Dan LeFebvre: Interesting. So it sounds like he had a narrative of his own that is an important thing to keep in mind because there are so many different narratives and, a conspiracy around the assassination of the president that, when Jim Garrison, the real Jim Garrison, had his own narrative to, whether it be, being in the limelight or, getting his name out there or his own legacy and that aspect of it, it’s a lot more than the Jim Garrison of the movie, which just seems to be, I’m here, I want to find the truth.
[00:56:54] Marty Morgan: I am serving the noble cause of the truth.
When. In actuality, part of it, I think, was why should Vincent Bugliosi and the Manson trials get all the attention? What about me? I realized the timing didn’t work out. The Manson murders in the summer of 69, but there was a quality back then when there was no Instagram and no TikTok and there were no influencers and social media didn’t exist.
The way you got your name out there was as, as a. As a public servant, you got your name out there by being tough on crime, being a chief of police or being a D. A. Or being a judge that was known for being tough on crime. And Garrison, from the start, was seeking public office. His first effort was he ran for a judge, and he did not win.
He then ran for district attorney, and he won that, and served as district attorney until 1973. He stepped down, but he stepped down in the middle of a big controversy about embezzlement and bribery, for the record. Of course, because he’s from New Orleans, and that’s what we do here. We embezzle and bribe people.
We have mayors, stretching backs, time immemorial that have been involved in that sort of activity. But then after that, what did he do? He became a judge. So as a person who was after public office, he was after the limelight. He sought attention and he found it when with that trial. He became a bit of a household name.
He was a household name here in New Orleans. She didn’t have to necessarily work too hard to achieve that status around this city because after all wasn’t really a big city Still isn’t yeah, there’s this further incident that I feel like I should just mention it has nothing to do with the movie But it’s something that actually happened in the real world and that is that apparently he had a little bit of an axe to grind And this is all hearsay.
This is stuff that i’ve read about but why the hell can’t I do it? Oliver stone and jim garrison did it? Why can’t I do it too? Why can’t I just talk about a story because somebody told me? They did it. They made movies and books about it. But there was a, there’s a story around town here that, that was very well known that Garrison had gotten sloppy drunk at a restaurant, a famous restaurant in town, slapped his wife and he got tackled by a bunch of dudes, one of which was Clay Shaw and hustled him outside and kicked him out on the street because you’re not going to hit a woman in this establishment, even if she is your wife.
You’re if you’re gonna hit her do the right thing go home and hit her in the privacy of your own home You’re not going to do it in public. And If that did happen, I see no reason to not believe it I find no reason to challenge that piece of evidence if i’m to believe everything that Oliver stone and jim garrison want me to believe that has absolutely no proof Why can’t I believe this story and if that’s the case I can understand why?
Jip Garrison might have a little case of rage when it came to Clay Shaw, this prominent businessman who suspiciously didn’t have a wife or children, but he was also prominent. Nah, and he was involved in business and had a lot going on. Why not go after him? He’s an easy target. Back then it was easy to break down someone for no other reason than they were gay.
They were guilty of being homosexual. We have to remember that this was a little bit of a homosexual witch hunt, because that’s who this. Trial, that’s who was on trial here. Dave Ferry, Clay Shaw, both of whom were gay. And I’m not saying that the entirety of this was built on their homosexuality, but I believe that it was a part of, in Jim Garrison’s mind, Jim Garrison, who was on the self appointed crusade to cure the city of New Orleans of all of its moral degeneracy.
And back then people like Jim Garrison thought that gay men were moral degenerates. Interesting.
[01:00:48] Dan LeFebvre: And if that story did actually happen, Clay Shaw bringing him down to somebody that would have publicly humiliated Garrison in that way. And, at a restaurant like that could be, just something else.
I could see that being. Speculating, of course, but
[01:01:08] Marty Morgan: yeah, it’s all speculation. I don’t mean to interrupt you, but I would just, if I could just make this one powerful point, I think a lot of what this story devolves into is palace intrigues one night out the supposedly Jim Garrison slapped his wife at the restaurant.
Clay Shaw was one of the men that threw him out, helped the others. Haul him out onto the street. And then supposedly there was a party, Dave Ferry was there and this guy, Leon Oswald was there. And and someone overheard Clay Shaw and Lee Harvey Oswald talking about the assassination shortly after it happened.
A part of this story is nothing but this absurd scuttlebutt hearsay and a proper trial very quickly. Eliminates that kind of nonsense. I believe that is to a significant degree Why this jury deliberated for 50 minutes? And came back with a unanimous verdict. Something
[01:02:08] Dan LeFebvre: that’s not here to say though, that we just talked about very briefly, but I wanted to get into a little bit more is the Zapruder film.
And according to the movie, it’s a eight millimeter film taken by Abraham Zapruder who happened to be standing near the grassy knoll shooting the president’s motorcade that shooting with film, I should say, shooting it with film, the president’s motorcade that day. And then what he captured turned into the footage that’s.
According to the movie at least is used to determine the timeline between the shots as being 5. 6 seconds and also mentioned that I’ll do all used a bolt action rifle and then the movie seems to imply that it’s impossible to get off that many shots in that time period with that rifle is that do you think that’s
[01:02:54] Marty Morgan: possible?
The movie does not just imply that. The movie says
[01:02:59] Dan LeFebvre: that’s true. They mentioned, I think, that the FBI sharpshooters tried to redo it and they couldn’t do it. And I think they said Oswald is like a medium shot at best or something like
[01:03:09] Marty Morgan: that. Yeah. Do you want to dig into all of that now or shall we wait
because it is about to hit the fan effectively. Everything that this movie does and presenting and exhibiting anything related to firearms in general. Or the specific firearms involved in this incident. Everything that this movie does is absolute rubbish. Absolute, unquestionable nonsense. Let me just chip at it one by one.
First and foremost, the idea that Lee Harvey Oswald was a poor shot. A big point that is made in the movie is they, when he entered the United States Marine Corps, he had to qualify every Marine’s riflemen. And there are three levels to qualification. And If you qualify expert, you’ve shot a near perfect score and that’s the highest level.
There are two levels below it and if you score lower than the bottom level, you have to re qualify. You have to go over it again. So the lowest level of qualification is still qualification. You’re still a qualified U. S. Marine rifleman. And at recruit training, Lee Harvey Oswald reached that lowest level.
That’s nothing to be ashamed of. Not a lot of Marines qualify expert. Qualifying expert. It’s not something that’s, that is easily achieved. It requires somebody that’s got unique skills with the rifle. And usually what leads you to qualifying expert at recruit training is you’ve got some rifle marksmanship practice to begin with.
So to suggest that Lee Harvey Oswald was a poor marksman is an absurdity. He was a qualified U. S. Marine rifleman, end of story. That means he qualified. Just because he didn’t qualify at the highest possible level, doesn’t mean that he was any less qualified. The Zapruder film, your questions about Zapruder what the film depicts is Abraham Zapruder had positioned himself in Dealey Plaza in such a position where he’s looking from an elevated position down on the, on to Elm Street.
And he films the presidential motorcade. He’s focused on the lead limousine that has. President and Mrs. Kennedy and Governor and Mrs. Koppel and their driver. He is filming through the critical moments of the ambush. He is, unfortunately the limousine was passing behind a sign announcing the right turn for the Stemmons Expressway.
Not necessarily the right turn, announcing that the Stemmons Expressway turn was coming up. As the presidential limousine passed behind that sign, we believe that’s when the thoracic injury struck the president and his back bullet that also then subsequently struck governor Connolly. But then as the vehicle emerges from behind the Stem’s expressway sign, you can see that president Kennedy is putting his mouth toward his throat, which is where his exit learned was.
And you can see that Governor Connolly is also wincing and curling up a little bit as the presidential limousine continues onward with the president in this position, he drops his hands and he slumps forward a little bit with Jackie beginning a process of, she’s got her hand on his back, she’s trying to console him and Zapruder was filming at the point when the president sustains a head wound, we still argue about which wound was fatal.
And it’s irrelevant, both wounds, if they were, either one was isolated and the other didn’t happen, they were fatal. So the president was already dead from his thoracic wound, maybe he still had heartbeat and he still had respiration, but he was dead, he was a dead man, before the head wounds hit him. And you’ve seen it, we’ve all seen it, it’s it’s a graphic depiction of a human being being hit in the head by a bullet from a modern repeating rifle.
Another part of your question was about the timing of the shots. One thing that we do know is that a complete and utter mess has been made about the issue of timing to where this idea has circulated since Warren commission of 5. 6 seconds for the rifleman to have completed. Three shots. Part of what is being argued in the Garrison case is that it was a conspiracy.
There were three shooter teams and there was more than three shots. They were able to conclude that the shots cover a broader period of time, and the timing was arrived at by Zapruder rep, which by the way, there’s no audio on that footage. It’s silent film. In 1976, there was a presidential select our, the congressional the House Select Committee on the assassination.
Which examined audio evidence of one of the city of Dallas mounted patrol officers who had his microphone open throughout the entire emotion. The charlatans came forward and suggested that they could analyze the audio that was recorded in that they came up with more shots. They came up with an idea that of course, disagreed with Warren commission, which of course went forward with a single gunman one bullet theory.
Garrison supports the idea of multiple shooters and more than three shots, house select committee hearings, multiple shooters, potentially more than three shots. What Warren commission came up with was timing based on what they were watching at the Zapruder silent film, based on the president’s reactions to injuries, they interviewed everybody that was in the plaza at that time.
They interviewed all the secret service agents. They developed a timeline and the timeline, it suggests not 5. 6 seconds of elapsed time for three well aimed rifle shots. It indicates a longer period of time. But I want to say that is irrelevant to the purposes of me responding to your question because the central question that exists here I have been living with for over 30 years, ever since this movie came out, was can someone deliver three well placed aimed shots from a military surplus bolt action rifle in fucking with six seconds?
And the answer It’s not just yes, but it is, oh, hell yes, they can because I have done it. I’m not military trained, but I’ve been shooting all my life. I do it all the time. In fact, if you would ever like to go look at any of the evidence of time, me, I have probably two or three dozen videos on my YouTube channel of me firing bolt action rifles and hitting a gong at a range that’s comparable to the assassination range, 88 meters for the third shot, the headshot.
It’s such. And absurdity that this movie tries to make Lee Harvey Oswald out to not being an adequate rifleman. It’s such a complete, miserable, howling absurdity that this movie suggests that someone cannot deliver three aimed shots at a target that’s less than a hundred meters away. With a military bolt action rifle, and they can’t do it in five, one, six seconds.
All of that is such hogwash that I have lost my patience with 30 years of dealing with this. It’s to the point that I went and built an Oswald rifle, and I did it myself. I’ve done it. I do it every single time I do it. But one of the things that this movie does is it wants to take basically empirical evidence and make you question it.
And this movie is doing that at every turn. There is an empiricism here. It is an absolute, we cannot argue the point. Lehard Goswold was a qualified U. S. Marine rifleman. There are no opinions that matter. That is a statement of cold, hard fact. Another statement of cold, hard fact is that a moderately skilled rifleman can connect with a target that’s a hundred meters, less than a hundred meters away with a military bolt action repeating rifle and under 5.
6 seconds. It’s definitely possible. But this movie after it entered the American cultural zeitgeist, it has led now to millions of little experts walking the streets of our fair country who have been taught by a movie, first of all, that Lee Harvey Oswald was a poor right wing and nobody can do that anyway.
One of the evidence pieces that they will frequently point to is that when CBS news and a couple of news agencies set up a course of fire that. Imitated the course of fire that was delivered at Dealey Plaza, November 22nd, 1963. What they love to point out, and the movie says that they brought in military marksmen and they couldn’t complete the course of fire.
And in the example of CBS Evening News, they brought in snipers. God knows what training these guys had. God knows if they were actually snipers or if they were people that, like Lee Harvey Oswald, wore a U. S. military uniform and qualified with a rifle. They could have just done that. Who knows? But they had military members that came in and couldn’t do it.
However, the person that they had used to get the rifle for the CBS evening news test was a world war two veteran by the name of Howard Donahue. And when these military members couldn’t complete the course of fire, and I would argue, there’s a reason for that. And that is that the military members that they use.
They received basic training in the semi automatic rifle era of the American military, which I think is quite a bit different than the old bolt action rifle era of the American military. We were putting people through basic training using five shot manually operated bolt action rifles all the way up through the second world war.
After that, Americans are going through basic training and they’re qualifying at first on the M1 rifle. My father went through U. S. Army basic training in 1959. He qualified with the M1 rifle, semi automatic rifle. After that, there was a transition to the M14 rifle, which was a select fire rifle that could be a semi automatic or a fully automatic rifle.
And then we moved on to the M16 family of rifles. And so I would argue that, yeah, it might be a little bit different for somebody who, as a result of their time in the military, had not really worked with military bolt action rifles. This might be a silly point to make, but it’s a point that I’d convince myself it’s something worth considering.
Howard Donahue though, who is the man that obtained the rifles that were used in the CBS Evening News testing, he watched three military members who couldn’t complete the course of fire, and he said, let me try it. He got up there and smoked. They had him do it a second, smoked it the second time. Howard Donahue, who was a U.
S., a World War II U. S. Army veteran, he was in the U. S. Army Air Forces and is an aerial gunner, but he was somebody that knew how to shoot. And he got out there with the exact type of rifle that Lee Harvey Oswald used. And he smoked it. So this absurdity of over and over again, saying the professional snipers couldn’t repeat it.
It’s nonsense. Yeah. You can find people that couldn’t do it, but you could also find people who could. And we’re currently recording a podcast with one of the people, because I’ve done it and I wasn’t military trained. I can, that’s just, if I can throw this in another editorial comment, those shots. are not just easy, but they are pathetically easy.
Much is made in this movie of nobody could complete these shots and do so in such a condensed amount of time. Yeah, they can. These shots are all under a hundred meters. And with the firearm that was used firing the cartridge that was used, which was a flat trajectory, 162 grain bullet going about 2, 400 feet per second, which is pretty fast.
There’s functionally zero bullet drop less than a hundred meters. So it’s a simple matter of chamber your round, drop your first, your front sight on your target and squeeze the trigger. These shots are not challenging and it is, it has fascinated me, but sure, all the way into my adulthood in the aftermath of this motion picture.
And this motion picture told an entire generation of people, it can’t be done. And these people listen to that. They’re more willing to listen to Oliver Stone than the actual record. And I find that fascinating. That is
[01:16:08] Dan LeFebvre: one of the core things I think that you get out of the movie as well. It’s not possible to get those shots off.
So obviously, there had to have been another shooter or, something else. Obviously, there’s something else going on.
[01:16:22] Marty Morgan: If you’re going to build up a BS case, you got to build that BS on something. Oh, it can’t be done. There’s not enough time. They always… And like a thing that also irritates me to no end is that the movie…
It includes the lines of dialogue with a cheap, poor quality Italian World War II rifle. You haven’t asked yet, but I’m just going to go ahead and throw this in because it feels timely, but the firearm that was used was an Italian Carcano model 9138 infantry rifle. I’m not going to pronounce it Italian, that would be pretentious anyway.
It was chambered for the Italian 6. Rifle cartridge, and that cartridge accelerates a long round nosed 162 grade bullet. And from that barrel, which I believe the barrel length is 18 and a half inches on that firearm, you get about 2, 400 feet per second out of that cartridge. It’s a smaller bullet.
6. 5 millimeter is, what is that? I’ll say 25 caliber. Think of it like that. You’re getting 20, 25 caliber. I had any 25 caliber bullet going 2400 feet per second. So it’s a flat shooting firearm over and over again. People love to call this negative attention to that rifle, the Carcano model 91 38 infantry carbine.
And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that firearm. It’s an excellent firearm. So not only am I going to disagree with what the movie wants to tell you. I am going to say, not only is it not that it’s a bad rifle, it’s, I think it’s a particularly good firearm. What the Italians have done, and there’s a, here’s a detail that I think might edify the listening public understanding of this entire incident.
The Italians recognized that In the aftermath of the First World War, the Italians are a major part of the First World War. They have a lot of troops that are out on the battlefield using the old Italian model 1891 Farcino rifle that had a 32 inch massive barrel. And the Italians realized that the barrel of that weapon made it possible for you to deliver rifle fire accurately.
The sights were graduated to 1, 500 meters on that firearm, maybe even 2, 000, but the Italians quickly realized after World War I, we’re not fighting like that. In the future, it’s going to be mechanized warfare. We’re not going to exchange small arms fire at these broad distances greater than 1, 000 meters.
And so the Italians in 1938 make a couple of critical decisions about what they’re going to do in terms of manufacturing infantry weapons. That is they have, they still have a full length rifle in the form of the model 1941 Parto rifle, and it has an adjustable rear site assembly with GR graduated at to 1500 meters.
They then decide to issue car beads or shorter barrels, firearms, and those car beads do not have adjustable rear sites. They have a fixed site, and the thinking is that we’re gonna fix the site in a 300 meter zero. And so anytime you engage a target, the reality is you’re probably not going to shoot at anything more than 300 meters away.
And if somebody’s going to do that, it’s going to be the infantry armed with the model 1941 rifle with adjustable sights. They have a rifle that is more appropriate for longer engagement distances. But for the closer engagement distances that really characterize modern warfare, they design a rifle with no sight adjustability.
It’s set at the factory, 300 meters zero. That’s the model Perkino model 9138 Infantry Carbine. And that’s what Lee Harvey Oswald used. When that firearm, it was, by the way, it was 9138 Infantry Carbine, serial number C2766. Just for the record, the National Archives has lots of photos of the weapon on the internet.
And on the Wikipedia page, the rifle itself has a Wikipedia page, but when the rifle was imported in the United States the surplus rifles were coming into the U S in the 1950s and into the 1960s. And as these firearms came in, they were finding that people didn’t want the Italian. 9138 carbines because they didn’t have sight adjustability and there was no means to mount a scope on it.
And surplus World War II firearms were being used in the U. S. mainly for deer hunting. And so for somebody that has his sights set on deer hunting, they weren’t buying these Italian model 9138 Carcino infantry carbines. Klein’s Sporting Goods in Chicago, Illinois brought it. quantity of these rifles, mostly from Finland.
And when they came in, they were the 9138 infantry carbine with no rear sight adjustability. And they understood that their market was selling to men that would potentially use this rifle for deer hunt. And it was a little bit less desirable because not only can you not put a scope on it, but you can’t even adjust the rear sight.
And so people weren’t buying it. Client sporting goods dealt with it by reaching out to a company called Ordnance based in Culver city, California, out of a gun store that still exists to this day called Martin B. Redding in Culver city. Martin B. Redding had placed an order with a Japanese factory to manufacture Telescopic sites and the Japanese produced them.
They’re cheap, they’re really garbage. But nevertheless, they came into the country, Klein’s sporting goods in Chicago, which is the company that imported Carcano model 91 38 infantry carbine serial number C2766 when Klein’s imported that rifle. They imported hundreds of others just like it. They then contacted Martin B.
Redding in Culver city, California, and bought scopes for the firearms. And they made a simple pressed steel scope mount. When Klein Sporting Goods reached out to Martin B. Redding and they told them, yeah, we’re going to put these on these Italian 9138 carbines and Martin B. Redding went the way that the mount works is we’ll be able to fit.
We’ll have to make a modification to the mount. To shave off one corner of it, but we’ll do that for you and then we’ll send you the scopes and the mounts and so They were sent and the scope was on the rifle because the rifle has a rear sight That’s not adjustable and that was prime sporting goods Trying to take an old italian military service rifle and make it appropriate for deer hunting by putting a scope on it the reality is that the ordnance optic scopes were just complete garbage and we believe that what happened is that lee harvey famously ordered the rifle from Klein Sporting Goods.
It was delivered to his PO box that was under an assumed name, A. Hedel. And he then apparently used the rifle to take shots at General Alvin Walker at Turtle Creek in Dallas on April 10th, 1963. And then use it again during the assassination in November. A possibility that I’ve considered in dealing with these scopes and dealing with these rifles a lot.
Is that when he shot at general alvin walker on april 10th 63 He scoped he’s aimed the firearm through the scope and he got a broad miss And that when he opened fire at Deley Plaza, he may have gotten missed. That fell short of presidential limousine and that as he racked it, he cited his second and third shots.
Not using the scope, but using the iron sight on the weapon. And those iron sites would be accurate at the ranges involved because the range or the headshot is 88 meters. This rifle was zeroed at 300. So it’s a matter of, it was the quality of this firearm should never be a part of this discussion because the Italian military was a formidable and effective modern military with excellent infantry weapons.
The model 9138 Carcano Infantry Carbine was an extremely effective firearm, capable of delivering these shots effectively. It wasn’t poor in quality. Lee Harvey Oswald was a qualified U. S. Marine Marksman, and he could have completed those shots in the allotted time, just like lots and lots of people have since the assassination took place.
So these matters, which, let’s face it, these are central matters in this movie. Fort Walleney Rifle, he didn’t have enough time, and he was a poor worksman. They’re all complete falsehoods.
[01:24:54] Dan LeFebvre: Speaking of Lee Harvey Oswald, again played by another great actor, Gary Oldman, in the movie. Yes, play the better
[01:24:59] Marty Morgan: Lee Harvey than Lee Harvey did.
And Oldman, it’s so great, and we’re like, I don’t mean to hijack you, but the way Oldman portrays this character is he’s very sharp, he’s very smart, he’s very dialed in. And there’s a point where, famously Lee Harvey Oswald was, I’m gesturing toward Canal Street, which is that way across the street.
I was going to say, is he, is there something? There’s so much to claim there, but 30 miles that way is the Canal Street. But famously Lee Harvey set up on Canal Street. In downtown New Orleans was the lit was distributing paraphernalia are distributing these pamphlets about Marxism about the Communist Manifesto and about free Cuba, independent or Castro’s Cuba, and there’s film footage of that.
Because the local NBC affiliate here, WDSU, sent a reporter out. They got word like, hey, there’s a nutball out here on Canal Street talking, trying to convince people that the Communist Manifesto is a good thing, and that, and he’s a declared socialist, and he wants to talk to people about Marxism. And so this old anchor from WDSU, a man, he’s no longer alive, but his name was Alan Gifford.
And Gifford went down with the camera, and that’s where that footage came from of Lee Harvey in his little white short sleeved shirt with his little black skinny tie, handing out pamphlets to people that don’t want anything to do with him. And Gifford struck up a conversation with him, and invited him back to the studio, and Lee Harvey took the bait, went back to the studio, and sat down, and that’s this famous interview, maybe you’ve heard it, but it’s out there.
Of Lee Harvey is basically given what Lee Harvey wanted most, which was somebody to listen to him rant and raise. And so from three hours, he granted and raved in the studio at WDSU to Al Gifford, and that’s on record. And he’s a certifiable lunatic. That’s who committed this crime. He was a high school dropout, paranoid, schizophrenic with delusions of grandeur.
And I think what the American people have a hard time swallowing is that there are a lot of those out there. Do you remember March 30th, 1981, where one of them attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan? Why? Because he wanted to impress Jodie Foster. The, those people are out there. They’re on our streets.
They live among us. And we have so many mentally ill people in this country. All countries have that. And it is irresponsible, I think, for people like Jim Garrison and Oliver Stump to come forward and to take the attention away from where it should be depart. And that is on the mentally ill person. Who obtained a firearm and used it to kill the President of the United States.
In the movie,
[01:27:43] Dan LeFebvre: he does mention I think they mention like a TV debate or something where he says he’s not a communist, he’s a Marxist Leninist. Being a supporter of Castro, so that kind of ties into the whole Cuba situation and that narrative that’s going on in the film as well. So it sounds it’s pulling at least some bits and pieces from the real Lee Harvey Oswald there in the movie to try to piece him together.
Do you think the movie did a good job of kind of showing
[01:28:07] Marty Morgan: his background? Absolutely. But if anything, what I would have appreciated was a more thorough character profile. I realize this is absurd because Oliver Stone made the movie that Oliver Stone wanted to make. And it’s an extremely good movie.
It’s extremely entertaining And I have every new cast member that would come on I go. Oh my god He was in this I forgot or she was in the look at this movie Look at let me for god’s sakes. John jandy is in this movie and he’s magnificent And I love the movie. I think that full disclosure Living in the new orleans area and being somebody that pays attention to this subject.
You eventually get drawn into Meditations on what Lee Harvey Oswald and who he was, because if you get interested in the subject, you quickly find the houses cause they’re all still standing where he lived around the city. You quickly acquaint yourself with some of the details of the trajectory of his life when he was in new orleans and he was in new orleans one minute and then gone and then Back again and then gone and then back again He’s here in new orleans when he’s born then he goes off to new york with margarita’s mother And then they’re back in louisiana And then they go to fort worth and then back to louisiana.
He’s a truant He’s trouble and he dropped out of high school in louisiana And they moved to texas and dropped out of high school again and then joins the marine corps so he goes away to the marine corps, but he Ends up at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi, not far away. And so then he’s back in New Orleans, but then he gets out of the Marine Corps and what was it?
It was September, 1959. What does he do? He goes to the Soviet Union. By way of France, England, and Finland. And he’s gone there for just under two and a half years. And then he comes back and where does he go? He’s in New Orleans again. And then he goes to Texas. Then he’s back in New Orleans. And then in 63, famously, he goes back to Texas.
And he never leaves Texas again, never comes back to Louisiana. But he’s a part of this metropolitan area. And it’s, I, you end up in the living here having this slant toward understanding his world. And his world was a little bit of a weird world. His mother apparently had, his mother was a sociopath.
I think it’s very clear based on every report that was ever written about her. She had a couple of psych evaluations done. She was clearly an emotionless sociopath, which I believe is where he got some of his sociopathic qualities. He was given absolutely no affection. His father died two months after he was born in 1939.
So he didn’t have a father figure. His mother figure was completely detached, unemotional, and unaffectionate more, most important. And under, and he’s living in a world where he’s a little bit of a transient. I think by age 20, he had lived in 22 different places. And that’s, that, that takes a toll on somebody.
He was a person that I think was inclined, paranoid, schizophrenia, just by birth. And then he was born into an environment that drew out all of that paranoia and blossomed into a very emotionally complex person. And a person who needed help and existed in a world that wasn’t slowing down to give him help.
Much is often made about how he was a devout communist. And he really wasn’t, he, I believe, espoused Marxism and he was espousing it at an early age when he was high school aged, keep in mind, he never finished high school. He never got me on the 10th grade. But he was espousing it why it was at a time in the mid to late 50s When he would have been what we call today on the internet an edge lord somebody that pushes every argument in every discussion toward crossing a line making it borderline inappropriate walking up to the edge And poking people and prodding people lee harvey was a 1950s edge lord because it was edgy as hell in the 1950s as a little kid to be spouting off quotes from Das Kapital, Communist Manifesto, and talking about Marxism at a time when the Soviet Union was the archenemy of the United States of America.
And he was doing it, I believe, because it rewarded him. It rewarded him with attention. And people like him are out there looking for attention at all times. He had delusions of grandeur. And when he presented himself to the Soviet Union during his defection I really feel like the Soviets very quickly sniffed out this guy is nothing.
Who is this bottom feeder? He talked us into thinking he was going to give us all these great secrets about a marine aircraft because that’s what he was doing when he was in the Marine Corps. And they very quickly realized this guy’s nothing. He’s a nobody. He’s a bottom feeder. Why didn’t he do this?
And they tried to send him out of the country a couple of times. At first when he attempted to defect, they told him no, and they didn’t want him, they denied him the visa to enter the country. And he engaged in this little show of an attempt of suicide. That’s when he was still in Finland. Based on that, they eventually let him in.
He eventually had high level meetings and they listened to him during what she promised that he was going to give him all these great secrets, which I believe is part of the average profile of a paranoid schizophrenic. A delusional paranoid schizophrenic. The Soviets, after they realized he was pointless and meaningless and he couldn’t give them anything they wanted, they packed him away working in electronics plant where he harassed one woman and proposed to her until she said no.
And then he eventually met Marina and he married her and eventually they were just so sick of him that they isolated him at this electronics factory because he had nothing to offer. When he decided to leave, his decision to leave was based on the fact his, he, we have his account of him because he had journal notes where he said, they have no bowling alleys.
They have no decent dance halls. There’s nothing to do here. We, I get well paid, but I have no place to spend the money. All we have are these state sanctioned dances once a month, and it’s nothing like what I expected, and it’s because he got over to the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Union ed him, and they showed him the reality of what it was like to be a part of the workers revolution, and that was, you lived in a culture that was characterized by shortage, he got sick of it, and it didn’t take long for him to get sick of it.
You Like most young people who impetuously graduate or gravitate toward Marxist ideas, principles that seem like they make sense. To your very youthful and pragmatic mind, like most people, he then eventually began to back away from it to such an extent that he had technically never officially renounced his U.
S. citizenship. So he was still an American citizen. He asked to come back to the U. S. and he even applied for and received a grant. For a loan by which his travel expenses to come back to the USA were covered by the State Department. And then he gets back here, and what does he do? He takes a trip to Mexico and goes to the Soviet Embassy there and tries to get them to believe what?
I’ve got secrets to tell that I can share with you over and over again. He’s looking for an audience. He’s looking for the consequentiality of the man that’s standing up there sharing ideas that people stop and pay attention to. And more and more, the world was a world that would not stop and pay attention to Lee Harvey Oswald until he figured out how to make the world stop and pay attention once and for all.
The movie puts
[01:35:55] Dan LeFebvre: forward the idea that Oswald was a part of the American intelligence because it talks about like The heart of the U S government intelligence in new Orleans, CIA, the FBI, the office of naval intelligence, all having offices near where this office we talked about, with guy Bannister and Lee Harvey Oswald in that same sort of area.
Do we know if there was a connection between Oswald and American intelligence or was it what you were talking about where he promised that he, coming back from the Soviet union, maybe made some promises, but never really was able to fulfill them.
[01:36:33] Marty Morgan: He was never connected to the American intelligence community.
He might’ve imagined himself as that. But anyone who works in mental health will be quick to tell you that a pattern of delusional paranoid schizophrenia is that people often imagine themselves. Like we, it’s to the point that it’s even part of a joke about mental health. And that is they imagine themselves as Napoleon or they imagine themselves as.
Being a consequential and important figure when they’re really inconsequential and unimportant. So this narrative of him being a secret CIA operative, it’s nonsense. I’m not aware of the CIA working with people who attempted to defect to the enemy side. Particularly when they’re high school dropouts, the image that we are given of Lee Harvey Oswald by this movie, which is why I expressed, when you asked me about how he’s portrayed, I expressed disappointment and I started to say, I believe Gary Oldman plays, he’s one of the best actors in this movie and he plays a great job of making, making me believe Lee Harvey Oswald was capable of being this secret double agent.
When, if you listen to the Allie Gifford interview with Lee Harvey Oswald, you can go, no, this guy isn’t, but he’s not capable of that. He’s definitely not that kind of an undercover operative. He’s not the intelligence community. He’s not involved in espionage. He’s just, he’s, his brain is too crammed full of noise from his mental illness for him to have been the secret operative.
But nevertheless, this movie wants us to believe that this delusional misfit high school dropout Was a CIA operative. And why do we believe that? Because somebody whispered it at some point to Jim Garrison. That’s not a lot to build the story on. You have no proof of it. For the entirety of this narrative comes from someone in the New Orleans area going, Hey, that Lee Harvey guy, just like Dave Ferry, they’re CIA.
They were involved in the Cuba thing. And just because he published pamphlets about Cuba and he stood on the street corner that he’s at canal street. and distributed pamphlets about Marxism doesn’t mean that he’s a spy and it doesn’t mean that he’s working for the CIA. And nevertheless, this movie entered our cultural mainstream to such a powerful degree that I find it very difficult to convince people of otherwise.
I find it very difficult to get, to pull people away from the belief that Oliver Stone threw on them like a sack of rocks. It’s to the point where I think that people continue to believe it because they want to, I think people want to believe it because let’s face it, this is the fan fiction that the audience wanted, what the audience wanted in the 1990s was disillusionment and cynicism, be suspicious of the government, this happened, everything happened in this rapid dizzying succession because our CIA was up out there and up to things, the reason that people were here.
Want to believe that is because those are things that actually happened during the cold war. Project MKUltra happened with absolutely no congressional oversight. So yeah, anything’s believable at this point, but just because anything is believable, doesn’t mean that everything is believable. They want us to think that Lee Harvey was a secret government agent and it created almost like a cottage industry of people spinning off and.
Improvising on that idea. Or I think that the book that I find to be the most laughably hilarious of them all is this book, Dr. Mary’s monkey, perhaps you’re not familiar with it because you’re a normal human being that doesn’t spend in absurdities, but there’s a book called Dr. Mary’s monkey that came out that imagined that there was a woman that worked for the board of health in New Orleans named Dr.
Mary Sherman. And she was murdered under suspicious circumstances in 1964. And this book imagines that she was murdered as a part of a coverup for an accident where what she was working on was the super virus that would ultimately become the AIDS virus and that there was an accident in the laboratory and that a CIA handler was there to protect her and was ultimately given the mission of killing her to cover up the evidence of the CIA’s development of the super virus.
And the handler that killed Dr. Mary Sherman was none other than Lee Harvey Oswald. And my thought is, like, how did that happen? How did he become that? The high school dropout that, was truant so frequently that there were psychological evaluations done of him and his mother when they lived in New York.
The kid that was so nomadic that he couldn’t, barely had… And address that lasted for a year. How is it that this nomad misfit that didn’t even finish high school and apparently had 103 degree, 103 point iq, how is it that he was the c i A operative who in 1964 when he was at the W gold Age of, what was he 64?
Was he was born in 39, so he’s 25 years old. At the ripe old age of 25, with no high school diploma, he is this highly important CIA operative that is sent in to kill this doctor who was working on the AIDS virus. That’s a book out there that I ended up reading it because I had so many people locally ask me about the book, to where I was like what is it?
It’s an art piece? And I ended up reading book and at the end of it I thought part of me wanted to giggle and riff about it and make it stand up comedy, but then part of me was like, this is how serious a cultural phenomenon Oliver Stone’s movie is. Because if it wasn’t for Oliver Stone’s movie, JFK, the book, Dr.
Mary’s Monkey wouldn’t exist. If it wasn’t for Oliver Stone’s JFK, the idea of the Italian service rifle being poor quality, that wouldn’t exist. The idea of Lee Harvey Oswald not being a good shot, that wouldn’t exist. The idea of the magic bullet nonsense would not be a mainstream idea that’s welcomed by more people than dismissed, but this movie.
Did it this movie changed the way that we think of the Kennedy assassination,
[01:43:15] Dan LeFebvre: which is, it’s, which is fascinating. For a movie to be able to do that we talked earlier about the whole 5. 6 seconds and there’s another timeline that I wanted to ask you about in the movie that puts forward some doubts as to Oswald’s involvement in this.
And this is something that Jim Garrison in the movie describes to the court. He says that Lee Harvey Oswald worked at the Book Depository and around 12, 15 p. m. that day, November 22nd, 1963, he was spotted on the second floor snack room. And then a maximum of 90 seconds after Kennedy is shot, A patrolman named Marion Baker ran into Oswald there on the second floor.
Meanwhile, at the same time, there was a witness on the street named Arnold Roland, who said they saw two men in the sixth floor window. Now, on top of that, another worker named Bonnie Ray Williams ate his chicken lunch on the sixth floor at some point between 1215 and 1220. It didn’t see anybody. So in the movie, Garrison says it were to believe the Warren Commission report.
Oswald shot three bolt action shots in 5. 6 seconds. We already talked about that. He left three cartridges nearly side by side in the firing nest, wiped the rifle clean of fingerprints, stashed the rifle on the other side of the loft before sprinting down five flights of stairs past witnesses who never saw him and show up cool and calm on the second floor in 90 seconds later.
And the movie summarizes all of this. It In that summary, at least as far as the movie is concerned, it makes sense to be like how this seems silly to think that this person would be able to do all of this. Is there any truth to that whole theory of
[01:44:53] Marty Morgan: with Oswald there? No, there’s none. It surprises me to this very day and continues to blow my mind that Garrison proceeded with this trial with nothing but this meaningless pile of circumstantial evidence from eyewitnesses.
Eyewitness testimonies are notoriously unreliable. And yeah, you might be able to dig up somebody that says they saw nobody there, but you might also have somebody that saw somebody there. And yeah, if you want to make that timeline seem impossible, you can probably make it seem impossible. By tightening and focusing your examining light on it.
My point is this. So you’ve got a guy that was eating his chicken and said, there’s nobody up there. You have an officer that says, yeah, I saw him in the room. There wouldn’t have been any time. What are those details mean? Do those details tell us anything about the supposed government conspiracy involving the intelligence agencies and military that was a coup d’etat?
All they tell us is that, yeah, you have a couple of witnesses who provide testimony that doesn’t reconcile with the story that we’ve been presented. That’s all that means. When it came time for Garrison to cough up some actual evidence of this supposed coup d’etat, what did he come up with? Nothing. He had no evidence.
What did he have? He had some, he had possibly some evidence that Clay Shaw used an alias. And then lied about it. He had some evidence that maybe Lee Harvey ran very quickly down five flights of stairs. He has no evidence of the actual ctan conspiracy that is supposedly at the heart of this matter.
And that’s why it’s so surprising to me that more people don’t recognize that about this film that people watch the movie. And you and I have discussed this exact matter before, because they saw it in a movie, they are automatically inclined to believe it, even though it is a movie. And this movie loves to do nothing more than take things that really happened and then blend in things that didn’t with them.
To the extent of all, I’ll even focus that point to a moment that, that really caught me off guard when I watched it again just the other day. And that is at the very beginning. You have laying out the historical situation and the geopolitics of the era. And then it moves to the, is showing some actual historical archival film footage from around Dallas from the day of the assassination.
And it’s showing footage in Dealey Plaza. And then I actually paused it, went back and watched it a few more times so that I could pick out okay, that’s actually from 63. That was a scene that Oliver Stone filmed in Dealey Plaza, where he had actors and actresses that were in a costume that were delivering lines of dialogue that people never spoke and that they are intercut.
With scenes from 1963 in Dealey Plaza on the day of the assassination. And that’s at the outset of the film, first five minutes. And it really astonished me because of the way that. Oliver Stone. It’s not like I’m surprised. It’s not like it’s the first time that Oliver Stone has done this, but it really surprised me the extent to which, in an unashamed way, he blended truth and fiction to the point that he filmed.
Dealey, in Dealey Plaza, he had a limousine. He had actors playing the four people in the limousine and playing the secret service agents. He had actors portraying the eyewitnesses. He even had an actor that stood on top of the little plinths where Abraham Zapruder was filming and they filmed him filming as if he were filming from that plinth on November 22nd, 1963, except this was done in 1990.
It’s an historical piece. And it’s entertainment and it’s really caught me by surprise that here we are 30 years later and so many of the things that are presented as part of this movie are things have entered the mainstream, not just to the point of them influencing the American, the complicated American cultural zeitgeist, but to the point where this is what people believe now, just in a lifetime of being around firearms and involved in firearms I can tell you for sure what people believe about the assassination rifle, and that is they do not believe it.
Why? Because Oliver Stone told them not to believe it. That’s why I have to
[01:49:56] Dan LeFebvre: admit there are times where like some of that are the mixture of archival and stuff that’s re recreated sometimes it is helpful that there are so many great actors in here. I’m like, oh, that’s Gary Oldman. That’s not real footage.
I know that’s just something that they’re recreating, right?
[01:50:11] Marty Morgan: Yeah, but I also think that if he if stone gone with a cast that was less star studded, I believe that it would not have leaked into the fabric of our being the way this movie did. But I mean my god this lineup of actors and actresses is amazing and they’re so good The movie came across more of it as a documentary than a theatrical release motion picture that’s based on Jim garrison’s novel which is a novel because it’s fantasy, but you get a bunch of really good actors out there That just knock it out of the park And you love them and you feel an emotional reaction when you see them because I felt it the other day when I Came on.
Like when candy came on I was like, oh my god, I forgot he was in this Pringles and then planes trains and automobiles is here in jfk How awesome is that? And I had my little moment of warm nostalgia about john candy And then I had my moments where I was like guys, she’s basic really she’s so beautiful but she’s a different kind of beautiful and it’s just I felt the way that the movie reached in and tugged on my emotions and That’s what it did for all of us.
The way that Forrest Gump tugs on emotions and Forrest Gump is intended to be over the top and ridiculous. And it’s intended to be a howler. And this wasn’t people think of this movie as a documentary.
[01:51:35] Dan LeFebvre: We talked about Oswald’s timeline in the building there, there’s something else that the movie talks about.
It goes on to say that Garrison, I guess in the movie is saying this and he’s saying he’s using this as a way of suggesting, that Oswald is not the only one involved. And it says that he did not leave the building in a way that you would expect someone who just assassinated the president to do.
He bought a Coke, the vending machine simply strolled out of the building and then returned home where he was seen at 1 p. m. He gets a jacket, his 38 revolver leaves at 1 0 4 p. m. And then at some point between 1 10 and 1 15, he murdered a police officer named Tippett about a mile away. Then Oswald goes to a nearby theater, doesn’t buy a ticket.
Even I think they said it was like a 75 cent ticket and he had 14 in his pocket, but he didn’t buy a ticket. He asked the cashier to call the police and then a fleet of patrol cars respond and arrest Oswald and for the murder of officer Tippett. And then at this point, everybody already assumes that Oswald is guilty.
The next morning, he’s charged with a JFK’s assassination. And then we already talked about Jack Ruby, the nightclub owner, just happened to be able to get in the police building where Oswald was brought out and kills Oswald. Did that happen the way the movie showed it, where Oswald was eventually captured?
[01:52:52] Marty Morgan: The movie only depicts some of that.
[01:52:54] Dan LeFebvre: Yeah, he’s taught, he’s recounting it.
[01:52:57] Marty Morgan: But the Kevin, the Jim Garrison, played by Kevin Costner, version that is, it’s exposition that’s given to the jury it’s not accurate. It’s not entirely accurate. Some of it is, but not all of it. The parts of it that to me seem entirely believable.
If you just shot somebody and they’re going to be looking for you. What are you going to do? Try not to look like you’re up to something or you’re guilty. I ditched the rifle, strolled out, tried to look as nonchalant as possible. It’s the oldest line in the book. Here comes the boss. Everybody looked busy.
He tried to look harmless and like he wasn’t up to anything. But at the same time, part of what was motivating him to do what he did was that he wanted that attention. He wanted some people, he wanted cameras on him. Why did you do it, Lee? And he wanted to use this crime as an opportunity to just let all of the insanity in his head gush So yeah, he left through the front door.
That doesn’t mean anything. That’s not evidence that there was a coup d’etat led by the intelligence services and the U S military. You can filibuster just about anything to a point where it seems unbelievable. You can pick apart a timeline and make it sound like only someone with superhuman strength could dash from the sixth floor down to the second this many seconds.
It’s possible. And a good prosecutor or defense attorney. Can sell just about anything and that’s what jim garrison was doing in that section where he’s presenting to the jury and he’s Making the jury doubt the timeline of lee harvey oswald firing from the sixth floor then being seen on the second floor and then leaving the building and Going across town to get his jacket and then go to the movie theater.
You can make it sound suspicious that he had 14 in his pocket and he didn’t pay per 70 cent 75 cents Movie ticket you can weave all of that and that’s why I think this makes a great courtroom drama, but not a great documentary Because what we’re saying is what Jim Garrison wanted us to see.
We’re thinking what Jim Garrison wanted us to think. And what Jim Garrison wanted us to think was this was a government conspiracy. None of it adds up. None of it makes sense. Absolutely everything has to be doubted because none of it can be reconciled with what truly happened. And I argue that this is the kind of movie that Oliver Stone makes.
I think this is the only kind of movie that Oliver Stone makes. He’s good at it. He’s damn good at it because I tell you what, platoon kicks ass. That movie is awesome. And that is the biggest smoldering pile of nuts I’ve ever sat through in my life. Platoon is a magnificent movie and platoon, I think is excellence in filmmaking and it serves up the same disillusionment and cynicism that JFK serves up.
That’s what Oliver Stone makes. I think Oliver Stone was capitalizing on a type of a theme of storytelling was very popular at the time. And what was popular back in the late eighties, early nineties was we’re still suffering from what happened to Vietnam. We can’t believe it happened to us. The American experience is one that seems to have taken a turn.
We seem to be. Going uphill until we crashed, we collided with Vietnam. And now look where we are because if anything, let’s just face it. The movie JFK is an anti Vietnam movie. It’s an, it’s a courtroom drama. The conclusion, which is we weren’t going to go to Vietnam, but then they killed this guy and a bunch of other people may just go to Vietnam.
So it’s more of Oliver Stallone lecturing us about how bad he thinks Vietnam was, and he served in combat in Vietnam, so he would know how bad it was, but at the same time, I think we have to remember that JFK, the movie, and the movie Platoon, they are serving a very specific set of political beliefs. The way that if you turn on Fox news, or if you turn on CNN, or if you turn on certain other reporting agencies, you’re going to get one side of the story.
That’s not to say that the JFK is a bad movie because it’s not, it’s a great movie and I loved every minute of it. I couldn’t believe that it kept me all the way through more than three hours, but it did. And I’ve watched it so many times. I can’t count, but it is Oliver Stone, filler bustering. The JFK assassination through the lens of Jim Garrison.
[01:58:00] Dan LeFebvre: So did Oswald
actually kill officer Tippett then? And then that was what led to him being arrested.
[01:58:08] Marty Morgan: That’s what led to his arrest. Yeah. He encountered Tippett. Tippett was listening to an APB, or rather Tippett had heard an APB. Tippett, by the way, World War II veteran, U. S. Army Airborne veteran who jumped in Operation Varsity, the largest airborne operation of World War II as a part, as a rifleman in the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division.
But Tippett was responding to an all points bulletin that called out to be on the lookout for a male, an adult male, matching Lee Harvey Oswald’s appearance. Tippett saw him, he was walking suspiciously, if that’s even possible, but Tippett called him over and they had a confrontation. Lee Harvey didn’t, at first, didn’t want to stop, I believe it’s because Lee Harvey knew that they were looking for him and he didn’t want to get arrested there, he wanted to put on a bigger show.
And so he ignored Tippett, Tippett got out of the car, confronted him. And that’s when Lee Harvey shot and killed him. So now there’s two APBs out, one for the present killer, one for the cop killer. And they track him down and eventually bring him in response to pursuing the person that shot Judy Tippett.
[01:59:14] Dan LeFebvre: And then something else that Garrison throws in there. I remember from the movie, he throws in to tell his side of the story, basically of that to lend it to that Oswald was. The one that they decided to paint it all on is that right away, like they had the description of who he was and right away they had this information about who he, who Oswald was, did they know?
Pretty, pretty much right away that he was involved in the JFK assassination.
[01:59:48] Marty Morgan: They certainly did after he shot a cop and there is not a significant amount of time that it lapses between the two events. And they had an idea of who to be on the lookout for. And there were a few people that claimed to have seen somebody.
And this is at a town that just imagine the lockdown, basically anybody who was out on the street would have been a suspect. And then in the middle, initially rolling out that dragnet. This police officer gets shot and killed. And I know we’re not supposed to rise to judgment over such things, but if I had been there then, and we’re looking for a a man that might’ve shot the president and suddenly a police officer gets shot, I’d go, yeah we might, this might be our guy, that’s not blind jurisprudence but that is how law enforcement works.
So much can be made of this idea. Once again, through the voice of the good salesman can filibuster just about anything and make you doubt everything he can, you can be led into considering the possibility that isn’t it convenient that they had his description so quickly. Yeah. That day, a lot of things happened very quickly that day.
And rather than what we don’t see is rebuttal arguments and closing arguments from the defendant’s attorney. We’re not saying that’s not the part that everybody wants to remember. What everybody wants to remember is the show trial and the show trial. Let’s face it. It was a one man show and that was Jim Garrison.
So we get Jim Garrison’s long self-indulgent closing argument. We get his ongoing filibuster of each and every little detail about everything from timing to timing of to go downstairs and timing to get across town and timing for the a p b. We get the way he picks apart everything. And also the, what I think is missing from the courtroom drama aspect of this movie is what.
Must have felt to everyone in the room, like the absurdity of why are you sitting here walking us through step by step what this guy who’s been dead for a few years dead when this living guy who’s sitting right there is on trial and wasn’t in the city that where the president was killed and maybe he had a relationship.
But we’re waiting for you to try to prove that relationship and all of you, all you have managed to give us so far is some hearsay evidence of people that say that they saw them at a party together. It’s all hearsay and it’s inadmissible. Yeah, that’s a
[02:02:42] Dan LeFebvre: good point that he’s focusing on on the assassination there.
But yeah, we need to remember even in the movie, it’s the trial is about this guy, Clay Shaw right here.
[02:02:54] Marty Morgan: And what he, he comes up with this wild idea of this. This coup d’etat, granted, this is only six years after the assassination itself. Yeah. But not quite six years, but he’s coming up with these ideas of this coup d’etat and the coup d’etat provides the linkage to Clay Shaw, the person that he’s attempting to convict.
And he offered absolutely no evidence connecting Clay Shaw to that crime, absolutely no evidence, a whole bunch of hearsay evidence. Is offered up a whole bunch of circumstantial evidence is offered up but this doesn’t mean anything in a trial. This is these are inadmissible and therefore irrelevant facts and to the people in the courtroom I’ve met a few people in that courtroom and the ones that i’ve met were like We were just all sitting there going what the hell’s going on here Why is this guy going on and on about Lee Harvey Oswald and everywhere he went that day?
Clay Shaw is the one that’s on trial, and you have offered no evidence to connect him to this crime. And I don’t believe there was any evidence, and I also… It’s been around some paranoid schizophrenics in my life. And they’re the ones that very quickly will say, look, my offices have been bugged, which is of course, a part of this story.
We never find out who it is that supposedly bugged them, but we’re left with this vague idea, this hovering, lingering threat that government bugged the offices and they’re watching us, which, what does that serve to the mind of the paranoid schizophrenic? It elevates them to the level of consequentiality to which they want to be elevated.
Because they don’t understand the world. They don’t understand just how meaningless and inconsequential they are in a big, scary world. And they can’t cope with it. That’s the nature of that illness. And I believe that Jim Garrison suffered from it just like Lee Harvey Oswald did, and also Dave Ferry. You
[02:05:06] Dan LeFebvre: mentioned the coup d’etat that he tries to do, and we also talked earlier about Donald Sutherland’s character, he’s just X in the movie, right?
He doesn’t give his own name. And that’s how Garrison gets the whole conspiracy. And the impression I got… From the movie, at least, was this is probably somebody at the movie’s putting in to just explain to us how all of this can tie together. Do we know if Garrison had any sort of informants like that or like a deep throat type guy
[02:05:33] Marty Morgan: or anything?
Yeah, old Garrison talked a lot about people that he never offered proof of, just for the record. And you didn’t ask me for my opinion, but my opinion is that Garrison was, would quickly lie. If he didn’t have facts that would support whatever argument he was in the middle of, he told stories of informants that came to him and whispered this or that.
But at the end of the day, he could provide no proof of any of it. He could not offer up a single scratch of evidence. He could not put a single person on the witness stand who could testify. Yes, there was a conspiracy. I was in it. He was at it. He was in it. I, we were all there together. He couldn’t come up with that.
What could he come up with? He could come up with a bunch of these. Loose theories that were based on circumstantial evidence when the investigation began, Dave Ferry over and over again said, no, I never knew Lee Harvey Oswald, never met him, never knew him. And then eventually photographs emerge.
That show Dave Ferry and the same photo with Lee Harvey Oswald, a very young Lee Harvey Oswald, but nevertheless, Lee Harvey Oswald. And all that does is throw enough doubt onto the table that you can go if that’s not true, what is true? Is any of this true that we can, on the basis of a photograph, disassemble an entire narrative?
And the reality was that it was popular to doubt the government back then. I remember it was very popular thing. It was very chic and in fashion to. the government’s line on anything. And there’s a person that ultimately makes a bit of a name for himself within the world of the conspiracy theory for JFK and all these other conspiracy theories.
And when this guy, Jim Mars is now no longer with us, he’s no longer alive, but he was a award winning author that wrote about the Kennedy assassination. And I remember watching, I watched a lot of Jim Mars presentations at these Kennedy assassination they have these annual conventions and I would listen to the proceedings.
I never went to one, but I would listen to all of them. And I listened to Jim Morris, who was like the featured speed speaker at one shortly before his death. And a point I often make about people that are all in all the conspiracy theories is that they’re not all in on just one, they won’t get so yeah.
Kennedy, that was a coup d’etat led by the government. I don’t believe anything about September 11th or any of these other conspiracies. They’re in on all of them. And so this guy, Jim Marsh was speaking to the JFK convention and in it, he began talking about the Anunnaki and how aliens from outer space come down and provided the technology that allowed the construction of the pyramids and that the Anunnaki were descended from this group of peoples that came down from space.
And I just couldn’t help, but recoil at this idea of wow. So you’re not just all in on.
And I’m not meaning this to sound like I’m lampooning these ideas. What I’m meaning to do here is to say that there are people that I believe so desperately want all of these things to exist, that they dive all in on absolutely everything do you remember the documentary Loose Change that came out shortly after September
[02:09:12] Dan LeFebvre: 11th?
No, I don’t. It may have been one that I saw, but I don’t remember,
[02:09:16] Marty Morgan: but yeah. Yeah, it was made by Ruby Young guys that believe the exact same thing about September 11th, that Jim Garrison and so many other people believe about the Kennedy assassination. That, and their argument was that September 11th was used so that the military defense establishment could then use the terrorist attack as an excuse to project American strength beyond our borders, to project American strength far off distant places like Iraq and Afghanistan.
To make war, to expand the military industrial complex for defense contractors, like Callum Kellogg, Brown and Root, who was mentioned in the movie JFK, by the way and these all of these government contractors to become rich off of this war that was built on hyped up ideas. And it was bizarre to me when it came out was that was the idea that a coup d’etat was there so that we can make war against Iraq and Afghanistan.
Kind of quickly went away and you don’t hear much about that documentary now, especially when after eight years, George W. Bush ceased to be president of the United States of America as a result of free, open, multiparty democratic elections that led to the peaceful transition of power to the opposing political party.
And I find that they just love to spin up their conspiracy theories until that happens. And then suddenly you don’t hear so much from him. You’re not hearing from him because if it was a coup d’etat, why didn’t we have a Pinochet or a Francisco Franco? If there was a coup d’etat, where is the solitary authoritarian leader who emerges that runs everything?
Where’s the Vladimir Putin in all of this? Am I to understand that Lyndon Baines Johnson was our Vladimir Putin? And if so, why did he decide he didn’t want to be president anymore in 1968? And why did the opposing political party get their man into office the following year? The point I’m bringing it up, I’m saying that if it was a conspiracy theory, a conspiracy to do what?
Declare war on Vietnam? That’s something that eventually did happen. Yeah. But that doesn’t mean that you’re right. Just because we ultimately then with Johnson in control, with Johnson at the White House, working with McNamara moving beyond 1963. He makes policy decisions that are a little different than what President Kennedy probably would have made, but that doesn’t prove that there was a conspiracy.
They will then argue that because they had the opportunity to destroy all the evidence of that conspiracy. And I was like, so then did Johnson lead this conspiracy only for a set number of years, because what it looks like is what we got out of him was five years. Was he like, all right, I’m going to take over the country, but only for five years.
And then I’m going to step down because I will have I will have become annoyed with having to answer to the free press all the time. It doesn’t feel very much like a true dichotomy. I know that Oliver Stone wants us to see that. And I know that Oliver Stone wants it to look like there was a fiendish plot that made him eventually go to Vietnam, but I don’t think it was a fiendish plot.
I think it was a group of people who approached the idea of taking the American nation to war. They approached it with a great deal of sobriety, and they imagined a war in which we would prevail. And then they got there and started fighting it and we weren’t prevailing as quickly as they liked. And the free press was saying bad things about that war, the way we’re prosecuting it.
It doesn’t look like a coup d’etat. What it looks like is a government that’s populated with human beings. As long as it’s populated by human beings, there are going to be mistakes made. So that the world that I’m presenting, which is very much different than Oliver Stone’s world, is a world in which Lee Harvey Oswald is a narcissistic high school dropout paranoid schizophrenic who has delusions of grandeur and the perfect opportunity drops in his lap when he reads the Dallas Morning Times and it advertised the presidential motorcade route and he decided that he would throw the wild entropy into the system that he did by carrying off this assassination, which was easily cap he was easily capable of doing because he was an experienced marine rifleman.
He had a firearm, was in a very effective infantry, military firearm, and he was able to deliver three shots in the amount of time that the movie says. I think there was even more time between shots, but it can even be done in 5. 6 seconds. And that then a president who had a little bit of a different outlook about the foreign policy course of the nation.
Took over they love to call attention to ideas. Lbj was waiting in the wings lbj immediately had himself sworn in and that they wanted to do it right then and there They quickly call attention to the fact that everything happened rapidly And I my first thought is of course it did because that’s the succession of power For a nuclear capable nation, there will definitely be a swift and clear cut succession and transition of power to the person that power is supposed to go to, the vice president.
They will use that as evidence of there having been a coup d’etat. And to me, it doesn’t seem like it. That’s definitely what has to happen in the event that a president is assassinated. ’cause someone has to have the launch codes and someone has to have the launch codes and all the responsibilities that are associated with them.
And they have to have them
[02:15:11] Dan LeFebvre: immediately. Are you talking about the shots again? And there and I wanna go back to the movie to talk about. Something that Jim Garrison talks about in the trial, the magic bullet, and Garrison says it was accepted by the Warren Commission report, and I’ll give the movie’s explanation for how he explains the magic bullet.
It says that there were three shots. One of them, or a fragment of one of them hit a man named James Tagg, who was standing near the triple underpass. He was the third wounded man, a bystander who was basically at the wrong place, wrong time. Thankfully it was a superficial wound, but we know that had one of the bullets basically.
And then one of the bullets was the fatal headshot that killed Kennedy. And so the theory here is that. That means there’s one bullet left that had to have caused the remaining seven wounds on Kennedy and Connolly. And this is where Jim Garrison’s character explains the theory, the magic bullet theory.
And I’m just gonna pull this direct quote, if you’ll let me, just direct quote from the movie. I paused it to quote this. It says, The magic bullet enters. President, the president’s back headed downward at an angle of 17 degrees. It then moves upward in order to leave Kennedy’s body from the front of his neck.
Wound number two, where it waits 1. 6 seconds, presumably in midair, where it turns right, then left then left, continues into Connelly’s body. At the rear of his right armpit, wound number three, the bullet then heads downward at an angle of 27 degrees, shattering Connelly’s fifth rib and exiting from the right side of his chest.
Wound number four, the bullet then turns right and re enters Connelly’s body at his right wrist, wound number five, shattering the radius bone, the bullet. Exits Connelly’s wrist, wound number six, makes a dramatic U turn and buries itself into Connelly’s left thigh, wound number seven, from which it later falls out and is found in almost pristine condition on a stretcher in a corridor in Parkland Hospital.
So that’s how the movie describes this. Magic bullet theory. I guess my question about that is a two parter. Is the magic bullet theory really something that according to the movie, it’s recommended that, the Warren commission used it in their report. Also, it seems silly, but how plausible is
[02:17:41] Marty Morgan: that theory?
It’s completely implausible because the magic bullet nonsense failed to account for the fact that the president and the governor were not seated. In tandem, perfectly, the president was in a jump seat that was lower than Governor Connolly’s seat, and then the president was slightly outboard of Governor Connolly within the vehicle.
In addition to that, Governor Connolly had turned and was talking to the president over his right shoulder. Ironically, Because there were some crowds out, Governor Connolly apparently was saying to the president, see, Mr. President, Dallas does love you. Because he had some concerns that there were some big opponents of the Kennedy administration in the city.
And ironically, yeah, he said that, ironically, shortly before the fire opened up, that when the when the thoracic cavity wound hits the president in his back, it exits in his throat. It then travels straight in a perfectly straight line forward and strikes governor Connolly, who once again is sitting slightly inboard from the president, and he’s also speaking over his right shoulder.
It strikes him, passes through his body, is deflected off of the bone, and then lodges in his arm. And when you account for the fact that the two men were not perfectly in tandem, but were offset from one another, the trajectory of the bullet lines up perfect and there’s nothing magic going on at all, but if you’re Jim Garrison and you want to introduce.
The shadow of a doubt. What are you going to do? You’re going to make it sound you’re going to go to the absurd lengths To make it sound like this can’t possibly be true. And the movie depicts it in this powerful graphic way in that he has two members of the DA’s office support team sitting perfectly tandem for one another, just like that.
And he’s using a pointer and he is trying, and he’s sarcastically and ridiculously exaggerating. And it makes this turn. It makes that turn. Then it passes through Rick pauses while he collects its thoughts and he, this is the perfect example. Of the way that Jim Gears deliberately filibustered this idea that he was purposely hunting for and on the lookout for any detail that he could call critical attention to.
And if you imagine the two men sitting in tandem, the magic bullet theory seems like an absurdity. If you picture them sitting as they actually were. It’s not another big issue that comes up within the breadth of the context of the movie. Just a few later, it was a lingering thing. And in fact, it was the big takeaway people took away from the movie after it came out the whole up and to the left, up and to the left.
He repeats it several times in the movie to the point that there was a Seinfeld episode that satirized up into the left, up into the left. Up into the left was intended to call critical attention to the idea of if it’s a single shooter and it’s Lee Harvey Oswald and he’s on the sixth floor of the Texas school book depository building, the shots will be coming from behind the president.
And by calling attention to up into the left he’s inviting everyone to consider that. The headshot couldn’t have come from behind. It had to come from in front of it which is the only big evidentiary weakness to the single shooter idea, in my opinion, but Jim Garrison didn’t stop and pause and feel an obligation to say to the jury, I should tell you, by the way, that the men weren’t sitting in tandem to one another.
They were all set. And I should also tell you, by the way, that part of the reason that the president’s body reacts up and to the left, and then he collapses down to the left is Now that day, the president was wearing his back brace, so the president’s torso is braced. So there are certain ways that man’s body would not move.
And because of his back brace, he’s not going to slap back as a result of a bullet. His body is going to behave different than someone who’s not encumbered by a brace. And if the head shot, if a single shooter is what happened, and the head shot. Came from behind instead of in front that headshot, which was a glancing blow.
It was not a direct hit, but a glancing blow of it hit here with the president’s body confined within his back brace. He’s not going to slash forward like he would expect it to as a result of a shot coming from behind, but he’s going to behave differently. And I think what we see is a body that is locked into.
A back brace and he has was already slumped over a little to the left as it was in favoring the left and the bullet hits a glancing blow. His body is reacting within his back brace and then he slumps over left because there’s structure of the vehicle on the right side. He’s not going to slump over to the right because there’s the vehicle.
The only thing between him and the first lady at that point was the empty part of the back seat. And so he slumps over to the left. So his body doesn’t behave perfectly like Jim Garrison wants it to behave. And, oh, no, wait his body does behave perfectly like Jim Garrison wants it to behave because he wants it to look like he’s shot from in front.
Because then if there’s a shot coming from in front of him, that means yet the grassy knoll, that’s true. That means that there were multiple shooters and this was an ambush. Set up by multiple shooters operating as a part of a coherent plan in concert with one another. And that means that the first shooter on the sixth floor delivered his shots and the grassy Noel delivered this kill shot.
And so it gives Jim Garrison what he wants. Jim Garrison had to have known that the president was in a back brace. He just doesn’t mention it. And Oliver Stone doesn’t mention it either. I don’t ever remember that being
[02:24:10] Dan LeFebvre: mentioned. It seems like that would be something. With the level of detail that they’re going to talking about the people that saw Oswald, one of the guys, it goes to the detail of, oh, he was eating his chicken dinner, right?
Or like that, or chicken lunch or whatever, that level of detail. Yeah, you would think, the president wearing a back brace. And having that affects his, what his body does. That would be a pretty big thing to leave out.
[02:24:37] Marty Morgan: Yeah, but it’s a big, it’s a rhetorical technique. It’s a debate technique to in fact, I know I bored you by sending you the Wikipedia late before this started but it’s the gish gallop.
It’s the idea that you dump all this information on your opponent to make it look like I control it all. I know everything. You don’t know nearly as much as I know, because I know everything. And by dumping certain, what seemed like meaningless details, you might have the effect of making the jury think God, this guy sure does seem to know everything.
You dump details in areas where you have them, and then you just conveniently skip over areas that weaken your argument. And this concept of the GISH gallop, which originates from the debate about intelligent design and evolution. Was this man, Gish, who would his, the way that he would approach debating anybody that was pro evolution was he would just bombard them with absurd statements and with statements that were definitely incorrect.
And he would just bombard, he put out so much information that your immediate instinct would begin. Your instinct would kick in to begin a process of responding. And if you dump so much on your opponent. That gives the opponent so much of the momentum because now you’re just responding. You’re not on the attack.
You’re not carrying the football. You are forced into a position of having to respond. First of all, the first thing you said was absurd and here’s why. And second, and you’ll burn all your time responding to absurdities. And it’s a great way of deflecting where your opponent might have some strength.
It’s a standard rhetorical technique. And.
Jim Garrison, just to show you, he was an emotionally ill person, but he wasn’t insane because he possessed the mental faculties, understand how you push, you lean into where you have strengths and you avoid areas where you’re weak. And so that’s why little details like back brace and the orientation of the seats in the limousine, that’s why just gloss over those.
But what do you do instead? You make, put on this big melodramatic bombastic show about a magic bullet where you put two people there and you sarcastically talk your way through something that actually makes a lot of sense and that will get a jury to sway in your favor. That’s why he did what he did.
And the movie, it’s so curious to me because I remember at the time the movie came out, I was already aware of the evidence that was out there about the non tandem seating arrangement. I was already aware of the governor talking over his right shoulder to the president. I was already aware that those men weren’t squared off.
One in front of the other, and yet the magic bullet thing comes out, and it just created a generation of Americans who believes that the Warren Commission was populated by people who were either idiots or people who were in on it. And I believe that lingers to this day.
[02:27:53] Dan LeFebvre: You mentioned the grassy knoll and they do talk about that in the movie.
And of course I have to ask about the grassy knoll. We’re talking about JFK in the movie again, this is Garrison. A lot of this is, Garrison recounting things that he said as monologues, right? We don’t see a lot of it, but, he talks about how there were 51 witnesses that thought they heard shots coming from the grassy knoll and some other key witnesses had absolutely no doubt that one or more shot came from behind the picket fence.
Were there actually witnesses that saw something from the grassy knoll or from some area other than the book
[02:28:32] Marty Morgan: depository? Yes, but they didn’t see another shooter. We have circumstantial evidence that was presented at Warren Commission about people hearing things. An obvious explanation that hardly even needs to be mentioned is that you’re going to get a lot of building slap back and have a downtown urban environment where there are a lot of structures that are going to cause sound to bounce in curious ways.
There were people that specifically remembered the sound of gunfire coming from in front of them. But there were also people that specifically remembered the sound of gunfire coming from behind and above in the direction of the school book depository. So there are. Irreconcilable personal accounts from crime scene and that brings up another subject that Would be wrong for us to ignore and that is this idea that the idea of the eyewitness account being infallible eyewitness accounts Are not nearly as trustworthy as we like to imagine the idea of the person that’s going to say, I was there.
I saw it. And here’s what I saw. And that is going to be 100% reliable count. Especially years
[02:29:48] Dan LeFebvre: later, as the movie admits it, Garrison is doing this investigation years after the event. So people are recalling things, it wasn’t like fresh on their memory.
[02:29:59] Marty Morgan: And the human memory is a perishable item. We have a shelf life, our brains have a shelf life and that shelf life begins a process of timing out. And so just as a result of the natural operation of the aging human body, we will begin to lose data. Then in addition to that, humans are emotional animals.
Humans are emotional animals that will change their story with the passage of time. I worked for a period of a decade where all I did was record personal accounts from veterans in the Second World War. And there were plenty of personal accounts that came from World War II veterans who were either lying or they remembered everything incorrectly.
They’re doing the same thing years later, trying to recall an event that was a sudden frantic event where a lot of things happened very quickly. And I found that some people were pretty good reporters and some were unreliable. So if you pull everyone in that was there and you interview every last one of them, you’re going to have some variations in the form of the story.
This is something that in a trial situation, they take into account. They take into account the fact that the human eyewitness is not completely reliable at all times. And again, This was not really something that was a part of the trial of Clay Shaw, who remembered hearing what at Dealey Plaza, Clay Shaw wasn’t even in Texas that day.
And yet it’s being played out because Jim Garrison wanted it all out because Jim Garrison wanted a stage and a microphone and he wanted some attention because he was notorious for being this flamboyant district attorney that went ahead full, full speed ahead on prosecutions even when he didn’t have evidence.
He was notorious for that even before. The trial of Clay Shaw. And so here he is pulling in and what is he doing? He is curating the eyewitnesses that tell the story that he wants told. He is excluding the eyewitnesses that tell the story that he does not want told. And in this way, he makes it look like everybody that was there that day remembers the shot coming from in front of the president on the grassy North.
Just because you have a couple of people that are willing to testify that they heard a gunshot coming from that direction doesn’t mean it actually happens. And in a proper trial setting, that kind of evidence would be weighted in a different way. It would be a trial as a matter of fact. It would be a fact for the jury to consider.
And the jury in considering that would consider the veracity, the believability of that witness. That person would come, swear the oath, sit there and tell the story. And the jury would then decide whether or not that person would believe. And with this case, that’s all Garrison had. Garrison went forward with an attempt to prosecute this man for being involved in the murder of a president.
And he had literally, I’m not exaggerating, he had no direct evidence. He had some really iffy personal accounts and circumstantial evidence. And that’s all. And that’s why he didn’t get a conviction. So yeah, there were people that testified to hearing a gunshot in front of the motorcade in the area of the so called grassy knoll, which was the central idea of the multi multiple shooters scenario.
And to this day, no proof has been revealed that show that there were definitely people there that were shooting. Yeah. He, even the movie makes a big deal about. The man who was the traffic control officer for the railroad marshaling yard, with the oak masses of Elm street. And they had him and what was he testifying to?
He testified to seeing some people that looked like vagrants that were hovering around this one fence. So when they drove in, they drove out of the parking lot and that was suspicious. And then he saw the suspicious characters there. And that’s one person. And maybe he saw an assassin, but it doesn’t look like he did.
And if he did, maybe somebody got away with it. That is that the grassy knoll issue becomes the central issue of this movie. Because if there was a shot that came from the grassy knoll, that definitely means there was more than one shooter. And if there was more than one shooter, that definitely means that there was a conspiracy.
And if there was a conspiracy, that definitely means that there was a coup d’etat. That’s how the Jim Garrison line of thinking went. It was a very survivor bias type way of thinking a confirmation bias way of thinking, and he was not successful in convincing the jury that this is what happened. I’m sorry, that jury very quickly decided.
There was no evidence here. This trial is a waste of time. Yeah.
[02:34:58] Dan LeFebvre: As you’re saying that I didn’t think about this before, but obviously we’re, witness testimony is suspect like we’ve been talking about, but also to, we’re talking about with Garrison and if he’s known for wanting to be in the public eye, be, be the, be in the spotlight and have there too.
The same sort of thing could be true for some of the witnesses who were there who. Saw the president get assassinated and now all of this stuff is coming in. I have to imagine that some people would on have their 15 minutes of fame or whatever and remember things in a way that may not be entirely accurate.
Not, I don’t know. Some people want to just go ahead and lie about things. Sure. But some people be like, oh yeah, I remember that. Sure. Yeah, I remember that because it helps
[02:35:53] Marty Morgan: them to, I lose track of the way. That people listening to you and paying attention to you can be intoxicating.
I have seen it professionally many times. There’s one case that I’ve been dealing with for a little over a decade now. And it’s this famous moment from the movie, the longest day where this actor red buttons portraying a man named John Steele comes down by barracks shooting snags on the church tower of the church in village of St.
Mary Louise. I have beliefs about that, but that’s not the reason I’m mentioning the story. What I am definitely going to say though, is that John Steele told his story. And the way that he told the story was that he snagged on the bell tower and he was there for an hour. They took him down. He was then a prisoner and in his own words, he describes how before the sun came up, he was a prisoner being held by the Germans.
What then really confused me was how I came up with multiple other. Individuals who came forward, who said, I saw him hanging from the church tower. And. And two examples, one of them is two days later and one of them is four days later, four days after D Day. And these examples, they fascinate me because they do not reconcile with what John Steele himself said, because according to him, he was up there for about an hour, maybe two hours.
And yet there’s somebody who said. Four days later, I came through that town, St. Merigliese, and I saw that guy hanging from the church seat. Why would that’s clearly not the case. That’s definitely not the case. And I know that’s not the case because at about 10 a. m. on D Day, an airplane flew over St.
Merigliese and took photos of that church and there was nobody hanging there by 10 a. m. And so there definitely was nobody hanging there four days later. And yet this guy was. Saying that.
[02:37:51] Dan LeFebvre: Yeah, I remember we talked about that. When we did cover the longest day, I remember you talking about that. And it’s yeah, on a much smaller scale, perhaps in this movie in JFK with witnesses doing that.
And I’m just speculating. I have absolutely no idea whether or not witnesses would have done that kind of thing, but it’s plausible that somebody could do that or might even want to do something like that to be in the spotlight.
[02:38:24] Marty Morgan: We, we cannot overlook the fact that people will deliberately misrepresent and distort facts just for the purposes of having a microphone put in front of them or a camera that turns on to it’s intoxicating to be the center of attention. And there are people who will change the story of what they actually saw, just so that they get some attention from it.
I would be wrong to not suspect that would be at work in the JFK assassination. And I think it is at work here in some cases. Because people begin coming forward and telling these stories. Can I just mention one example? A few minutes ago, I told the story of Dr. Mary’s monkey. Dr. Mary’s monkey was this this idea that Lee Harvey Oswald was a CIA operative that was assigned to protect Dr.
Mary Sherman. Then because of a mistake in the, an accident in the laboratory, he was supposed to kill her and clean up and make it look like somebody broke into her apartment and killed her. A woman ultimately publishes a book that’s called Me and Lee, in which she’s telling the story of how she was Dr.
Mary Sherman’s lab assistant. And she had a torrid love affair with Lee Harvey Oswald while he was protecting Dr. Mary Sherman. And this is a book that a woman has actually written. She’s still alive, and she goes to these symposia events that they have, and she tells the story over and over again. And that story fascinates me.
I’m going to read you the actual name of the book because the name says it all. Coincidentally, she
[02:40:09] Dan LeFebvre: makes a living off of that now, huh?
[02:40:13] Marty Morgan: Of course. I think you’ve put your finger on Operative situation. The book is by Judas Baker and it’s titled, Me and Lee, How I Can Know, Love, and Lose Lee Harvey Oswald.
That book is built on the narrative that was established in the book, Dr. Mary’s Monkey. Is any of it true? These authors would have us believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was the secret CIA agent working in New Orleans, protecting this doctor that was doing this work on the perfect supervirus, and that he then was involved in trying to cover up the lab accident that killed her, and that he had a love affair with this woman.
I, maybe you can tell by my tone that I’m a little reluctant to believe all of this. It’s just that I’ve had… Too many experiences in my life where I weighed a personal account. I gave it a little bit too much weight. I gave it a little bit too much believability. I was willing to accept personal account when I should have been suspicious of it.
And what it has turned me into is somebody that is suspicious of personal accounts. And I treat it as a case by case basis, whether or not the person seems believable because people can tell stories that are false and they can believe themselves, but this is a part of the frailty of the human mind and a part of the frailty of the complex social behaviors that human beings exhibit.
And among that complexity are cases where people will speak a mistruth. Simply because they are getting attention in ways that they had never gotten before. Simply because by telling this story, suddenly they’re consequential. When people are coming to speak to them and they’re on the news, or maybe they’re being talked about on radio, they will stretch and bend the truth just so that they continue receiving that attention.
[02:42:20] Dan LeFebvre: especially in the case for somebody like Jim Garrison being in politics, politicians are pretty good at that kind of thing, cause that helps them in the next, whatever the next thing is that they’re going to be doing.
[02:42:35] Marty Morgan: Yeah. And in a surprising way, I find even here. In the 21st century Thunderdome, where there’s an internet and social media and there’s, you can have, you can conduct immediate fact checking of everything.
Even today, I find that there are people who are willing to buy things hook, line, and sinker. And that surprises me because I would think that they’re doing exactly what I’m doing, which is get phone on tap. That’s not true because right here it says what, but there are people that will do even here in this day and age.
And certainly, 1963, there were crowds of people that were, they had nothing else to go on. That’s this whole the Brandolini principle, this idea that BS is so much more challenging to refute than it is established. It’s very easy BS something into existence, and it’s very difficult to empirically.
For that reason, we see a lot of people out there that are willing to BS their way into prominence are like the case that I think continues to surprise me most was, I think it was 2012, but there was a kid on American idol. And he was one of the featured people that they profiled on American Idol.
And his big claim to fame was that he had been, his quote was, I was blown up in Afghanistan. And that the broadcast, when the broadcast went on the air, during which he’s being profiled within minutes, all these people were coming forward. Going, I remember that kid from Afghanistan. He never got blown up.
He never went outside the wire. He was never on a patrol. He never suffered an injury. That guy overdosed. Purposely overdosed on acne medicine because then it would get you medically evacuated back to Germany because they’re only in Germany at this Lansdale Air Force Base, they have the medical facility that could deal with you after you overdose from that medicine.
And so it was proof to me that the 20th century information Thunderdome has changed everything. But then I was more curious about this kid who was in his twenties who put the lie out there to begin with. And I think it was because he got used to a world where he would say, I got blown up in Afghanistan and everyone would immediately believe it.
No one would suspect it. And it’s just that when it was broadcast television, people could start on the, using the internet. It could start coming out and pointing out the problems with the story, but this kid still put the false story out there. And I guess that allure of being the center of attention and being consequential for people who are inconsequential, that allure is so great that they’re willing to take the chance.
[02:45:32] Dan LeFebvre: And it’s supposed to be something where somebody like Jim Garrison is supposed to be the one that is Finding and doing the fact checking not being the one to put it out there Near the end of the movie though. I do want to know the end of the movie They summarize it all and we’ve talked about a lot of the depth there, but I want to summarize What the movie says is Jim Garrison’s overall theory for what happened that day.
He says it started at 12. 15. There was an epileptic seizure that distracted the police to allow shooters to get into their places. He notes that the epileptic later vanished, never checked into the hospital. And then we talked about it. He’s put forward the theory that there are three teams.
So there’s the A team that got on the sixth floor of the depository, moved into position just minutes before the shooting, the B team, one wire from men, one spotter with the headset access to the building moves into the low floor of the Daltex building. C team moves in behind the picket fence above the grass.
Where shooter and spotter are seen by the late Lee Bowers and watch tower of the rail yard. We talked about that two or three more men are. And the crowd on elm 10 to 12 men overall, three teams, three shooters, and they don’t shoot Kennedy coming up Houston street, which would have been the easiest shot for a single shooter and book depository.
But they wait until he gets into the kill zone with three rifles. The final turn from Houston onto elm Kennedy’s car slows down to 11 miles an hour. The first shot misses completely. And he’s talking about frames, which In the movie, we can see showing like the Zapruder film there. So frame one 61, Kennedy stops waving.
As he hears something, Connelly’s head turned slightly to the right frame. One 93, the second shot hits Kennedy and throat from the front frame two 25, the president emerging from behind the road sign. You talked about that earlier. He’s obviously been hit. He’s raising arms to his throat. The 3rd shot is frame 232, hits Kennedy in the back, pulling him downward, forward, Connelly, in the movie Garrison says, Connelly, you’ll notice, shows no sign of being hit, and then frame 238 is the 4th shot, according to Garrison there, misses Kennedy and takes Connelly in the back.
And then around this time, another shot misses the car strikes team Teague down by the underpass. The car breaks the sixth and final shot. Then it’s frame 313. It takes Kennedy in the head from the front. That’s the key shot according to the movie. And then as we talked about earlier, president going back into his left shot from the front, the right, totally inconsistent with the shot from the depository.
So that is a bullet point summary of the trial that Jim Garrison had the testimony in his court as to that there was that really what his testimony was the summary of what his case
[02:48:17] Marty Morgan: was. Yeah, because his case has to necessarily be built on multiple teams for his case to work for there to have been a grand conspiracy.
For there to have been a coup d’etat, the whole assassination has to just be overkill. Cause if you think about it, three separate shooter teams with all these spotters, if you’ve been to Dealey Plaza, why the hell you need a spotter? 88 meters from the sixth floor to the headshot. You don’t need a spotter for that.
You don’t need three teams for that. You know what you need for that? One person with a decent right.
But for Garrison though, if he’s going to get a conviction on Clay Shaw, there has to be a conspiracy because otherwise Clay Shaw has absolutely nothing to do with this nonsense. And for Garrison, it has to be Lee Harvey up on the sixth floor, Grassy Knoll, team three, God knows where, spotters, completely unnecessary spotters everywhere in the plaza, that for whatever reason, they all wait to get a triangulation of fire.
Why? When one rifleman can do it all. And technically one rifleman can do it all with one shot, one shot. Kills Robert Kennedy, one shot from a little 22 caliber revolver, one shot from a 22 caliber revolver, almost kills Ronald Reagan and he didn’t even get shot, he caught a ricochet and it damn near killed him.
Why one shot from Mark David Chapman kills John Lennon. Why to kill John F Kennedy? Do we have to have a conspiracy involving more than a dozen people? And this highly complicated ambush scenario, that’s what Jim Garrison needs because he’s trying to convict Clay Shaw as he’s trying to convict him being a part of a conspiracy from to commit murder.
And if you can’t prove that there was a conspiracy, you can’t get a conviction on Clay Shaw. It went to jury trial and Jim Garrison was not capable of convincing a jury that there was a conspiracy. And they were, the jury did not believe that Clayshaw had anything to do with him. When the jury retired to deliberate, they spent a grand total of 50 minutes, which I think also involves their bathroom time.
And they came back with a 100% unanimous, not guilty. He was acquitted on all counts, and the matter goes away. It goes away so much that when Jim Garrison writes a book about it in 1988, he doesn’t even talk about that trial.
[02:51:05] Dan LeFebvre: Again, just not, just conveniently not talking about something that didn’t fit the narrative.
[02:51:10] Marty Morgan: Just don’t even mention it. Jim Garrison, the district attorney who was notorious for throwing charges at people that he couldn’t prove, threw charges at Clay Shaw, and he couldn’t prove them. And so Clay Shaw was acquitted. But, we get one hell of a good movie out of the deal.
[02:51:27] Dan LeFebvre: That is true. That is true.
At the very end of the movie though, it does talk about him being not guilty. But then it talks about some documents. Garrison mentions 51 CIA documents pertaining to Oswald and Jack Ruby. It’s not going to be released until 2038. Then text at the end says in 1979, the man who was director of covert operations in 1963 admitted under oath that Clay Shaw did in fact work for the CIA.
It also mentions files of the House Select Committee on assassinations locked away until 2029 congressional investigation from 76 to 79 found probable conspiracy and recommended the Justice Department investigate. But then, as of 1991. When the movie was released they hadn’t done anything you know before we actually hit record we were talking.
There were some New well not new documents necessarily, but more redacted documents But is the movie correct about these documents that are not released yet? What’s the current state of that?
[02:52:30] Marty Morgan: Yeah, we’re still waiting for some documents to be released. Just to show you how this is an alive thing What kind of keeps me coming back for more and keeps me interested in it is that?
Every now and then we will get this new whole of documents that the way that classification of documents went was it was typically gone as a big blanket Oh, we’re going to classify it. And so things would get classified even though they don’t necessarily contain information that is incriminating.
You might find a document that it’s been classified for 25 years, but it’s completely unincriminating. It doesn’t say anything spicy, but it was classified. Why? Because it was a, it was subject of a blanket classification. It’s just easier to do it that way. And then you don’t have to sit through, if you have a document haul of 250, 000 pages, then you don’t have to sit there and go through all every single page.
You go, we’re going to classify all of it just in case we can’t let anything slip out. So there’s some documents that are going to come out. Documents were unredacted earlier this year. I was a part of this podcast that talked about it. It was back in April, right after it happened. And it was exciting because it was.
12, 950 pages that had been released previous previously, but with redactions. And when you get the pages, they’re just blacked out with. My blackout would tape it looks like magic mark, but it’s the tape over the incriminating parts. And so you know that there’s information on that page that you can’t see And the administration authorized their release without the redactions.
And so all of these documents that had been out before were Functionally re released without redactions and everybody got all spun up and very excited about it me included And the big takeaway of it was that the fbi was watching Lee Harvey Oswald Why, and that’s because he was making a lot of noise.
If he was a c i A agent, he sure was one hell of a sloppy c i a agent by doing things like standing on a street quarter in New Orleans in 1962, handing out communist literature and defecting the Soviet Union. If he was a secret agent, why was he making so much noise? The c, the F b I was watching it.
And he had apparently made some threats against the president. So the documents that were. released without redactions earlier this year, they were documents that had been redacted to protect the identities of secret service agents and CIA agents and FBI agents. So the information that came out, it was edifying and we learned some things, but in terms of proving whether or not Jim Garrison was right, the documents, they certainly didn’t do that.
All the documents really did was. Provide an indication that, yeah, the FBI was watching this goofball because they were worried that he might try something, which he eventually did. So I’m, I, I’m not, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke. Pretty careful with what I eat because I want to stick around to 2029 and see what this next document production looks like.
It’s not that far off at this point. I think I can make I, I’m going to start getting more cardio though. In all seriousness, it will be interesting to see if anything is ultimately released that will blow the case wide open. If we will learn something that will vindicate Jim Garrison, I suspect that we will not.
I suspect that he will not be vindicated. Because my belief is that this conspiracy and that this coup d’etat is fantasy. It’s people who want to imagine a more interesting and exciting world than the one that actually exists because the world where the narcissistic high school dropout paranoid schizophrenic with a rifle, the world where that one person can change history.
That’s not the world I want to live in because that’s a scary place. It’s a scary place where one guy can look at the newspaper and go, Hey, the president’s going to pass right by this building tomorrow. I think I’ll kill him. That’s a terrifying place to live. Is it more terrifying than the world where the military and the intelligence agencies that conspire to murder the president?
I don’t know. It feels like a very dark place where the randomness of the person who is completely undeserving of attention. The person like Lee Harvey Goswell, how many times have I said his name today? A hundred. I think that would please him. I think he would love the idea that here we are decades later, still whispering about him, still imagining what his role was, still debating whether or not he was a more consequential person than he really was.
That’s what he wanted. That’s what he was after. The same way that Hinckley was trying to impress. Jody Foster by doing what? By killing a president. We have mentally ill people that walk among us and they will disproportionately direct ire and hostility toward people who are in positions of leadership.
People who have enjoy a more prosperous life than they are. People that they’re jealous of, they may not admit it deep down inside, they will fabricate reasons to hate the person who’s doing better in life than they are. And it’s a dark world where. These petty dark angels will result in murder, but that’s the world we live in.
I’m afraid the world we live in is the one where Lee Harvey Oswald is the single shooter. And I’m afraid that the world we don’t live in is the one in which there’s a conspiracy on the part of intelligence agencies and the military to overthrow a government. I’m afraid that’s not what happened that day.
I’m afraid it was Lee Harvey Oswald. And certainly when Jim Garrison had his five minutes of fame. And he could bring to bear the best possible case to crack open the case of who killed president Kennedy. He fell flat on his face. He failed utterly. He did not even manage to convince a jury that Clayshaw was that Clayshaw had an alias.
And he couldn’t convince them of that because he couldn’t prove it. And if you can’t prove that Clayshaw operated under an alias. You definitely can’t prove his connections to a broad conspiracy. And so Jim Garrison, who assembled the one and only case for murder that has ever been brought forward over the assassination of JFK, he brought that case forward, what did he get?
Unanimous acquittal. I think that speaks more. And more profoundly than any of the words I’ve spoken here today, that shows you that there was no case to begin with. He couldn’t convince a jury in New Orleans in 1969. And I don’t know that I should say this. Jim Garrison couldn’t convince a jury in 1969.
But then I think Oliver Stone went on to convince an entire nation. In 1991, it’s just that I think Oliver Stone was better attorney than Jim Garrison was. But look at all the tools that were available to Oliver Stone. He had story, storytelling and movie making tools at his disposal. And he produced something that was very compelling.
Even when I watched it just the other day again, it’s still a very compelling movie. It’s just a shame that most of that’s not true.
[03:00:27] Dan LeFebvre: Thank you so much for coming on to chat about JFK. I know we did summarize what Jim Garrison had there at the end, and we’ve talked about A lot of the details throughout, but I thought before we wrap up, it’d be a great idea for us to do the same thing.
So before I let you go, aside from anything that we see in the movie, what do you think really happened at Dealey Plaza on November 22nd, 1963?
[03:00:55] Marty Morgan: I think that very, a mentally ill individual who had already attempted to assassinate one person secretly brand a rifle to work, knowing that a presidential motorcade would pass the building where he was working and that.
He could once and for all make the world stop and pay attention to him by assassinating this person who he felt was a declared enemy of Marxism. I feel like. I believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acting on his own, he was crazy enough to act on his own through all of this and that the unfortunate truth behind it all is that you can have a great person like John F.
Kennedy. So from no matter what you have to say about his personal life, he was a great American. He was an elected president of the United States of America. He was a world war two combat veteran and he was wearing a brace that day because of injuries that he had sustained in combat with the enemy during the second world war.
During his service as a naval officer, he was a great American. And I believe that he was turning the country, the ship state was turning in a far more pragmatic direction, the direction of entering an era of engagement with the Soviet Union that I think would have produced a better future, one that would probably have been a little bit better than the one that we ended up with, which was the one where we have war with Vietnam.
And because he seemed soft on the communists. Yeah, there were a lot of people that didn’t like him. Lee Harvey Oswald, over and over again tried to get the world to pay attention to him, and the world continued to disappoint Lee Harvey because he imagined much better things for himself than what the world was giving him, because the world was giving him this sort of mundane, disappointing, and pathetic existence.
Cause the world doesn’t often reward ideologues with very little education. And that’s what he was not even say it was an ideologue. He was a ranting and raving extremist with very little education. The world doesn’t stop and listen to people like that very often. So the only way to make a name for yourself is.
To kill somebody. And that’s what he did.
[03:03:18] Dan LeFebvre: Thank you again so much for your time. I know we’ve talked about a couple of movies throughout this that I’m sure you’ll be back on, but until then, what have you been working on lately that people
[03:03:27] Marty Morgan: can check out, I just got back from California, filming a new series for history channel called history unexplained, and tomorrow I fly to New York and I’m going to be filming at history channel headquarters.
On yet another series I’m working, the one I’m working on tomorrow is with. A show host by the name of Dan Aykroyd. He was not in the movie JFK, by the way. The movie, the show that I worked on last week, History and Life of a District General, has a show host by the name of William Shatner.
But I keep doing television work and I’m also looking forward to it. Getting back overseas. I just got back from a big, long trip to Europe and I’m heading back next week to Europe to lead some tours to places like the Normandy beaches and Hitler’s eagles nest. I stay busy doing this sort of thing.
It’s, it sounds like a lot more fun than it actually is. I continue to lead tours and make television shows. And you’ll be interested to know that the show that I made last week in Los Angeles has really played with William Shatner. They had me talking about the assassination of JFK. Oh, of course they did.
Because this is a show, this is a subject that will never go away.
[03:04:35] Dan LeFebvre: For sure. Yeah. Especially because you’re saying 2029 more documents coming out. It’s just going to come right back around.
[03:04:43] Marty Morgan: Yeah. We got a big anniversary coming up too. So yeah, it’s. The subject’s getting pulled back out of the closet.
It’s going to be a fad again for a little while. And then it’ll get packed away and maybe every year on the anniversary, the movie JFK will show on some cable channel to keep the calories fresh.
[03:05:00] Dan LeFebvre: Yeah, exactly. Thank you again so much for your time, Marty.
[03:05:05] Marty Morgan: Thank you for inviting me on the show. It’s always my pleasure.