barbarity (shades of
Basulto's Brothers to the Rescue). They, and specifically Jeanne
Kirkpatrick, treated the downing as a great propaganda victory.
In his book, The Target Is Destroyed, Hersh ended up siding with
Which brings us to the nineties. Everyone knows that the broad
release of Oliver Stone's JFK in 1992 put the Kennedy
assassination back into play. The pre-release attack against the
film was unprecedented in movie history. That's because it was
more than just a movie. It was a message, with powerful political
overtones that dug deeply into the public psyche: a grand
political conspiracy had killed the last progressive president.
That Vietnam would have never happened if Kennedy had lived. That
JFK was working for accommodation with Castro at the time of his
death. That the country has not really been the same since.
The preemptive strike was successful in slowing up the film's
momentum out of the starting block. But the movie did increase
the number of people who believe the case was a conspiracy into
the ninety-percent range. The following year, in anticipation of
the 30th anniversary of the murder, Gerald Posner got the jump on
the critics with his specious book on the case. The media hailed
him as a truth-teller. The critics were shut out. No nonfiction
book in recent memory ever received such a huge publicity