Perhaps you've seen all the reviews (pro, con, and just plain incomprehensible) about Oliver Stone's movie, JFK. You've probably also seen our ad (on this very page, where it has run for a couple of weeks) offering a deal on our Coup D'Etat Trading Cards if you send in your JFK movie ticket stub. By now, especially if you were born after the assassination or are too young to remember it, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about.
To put it as simply as possible, the fuss is about the fact that all the records relating to the assassination of a well-loved President of the United States were locked up, by Executive Order of the man who inherited his job, for reasons of "national security." And since there are unresolved questions regarding the assassination -- primarily questions raised by the release of the so-called Zapruder film, a home movie of the entire killing -- some people (among them filmmaker Oliver Stone) think these sealed records should be opened by Executive Order.
I happen to agree with this. My reasoning is that if there was a conspiracy (which, by law only means that two or more people had to work together to commit the crime), it would be in the best interests of "national security" to find out all about it, rather than to idly speculate that the entire government, from the FBI and the CIA down through the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was in on some massive plot.
The truth cannot hurt America worse than all this theorizing has done. And now that the KGB has released its secret files on Lee Harvey Oswald, it seems that the CIA and FBI (not to mention the IRS, which sealed his tax records -- his tax records, for god's sake! -- "in the interests of national security") should let us know what they know about this supposed "lone nut." (The KGB says, by the way, that they knew Oswald was a phony defector [i.e. a US spy] and not a real Communist sympathizer, that they kept him under surveillance the whole time he was in the USSR, and further, that they do not believe he acted alone in shooting JFK.)
Okay, so since the records were sealed by Executive Order, they can also be unsealed by Executive Order. That means that whoever is the President can order the records opened. (Whether or not there's going to be anything valuable left in them is another question, but they would be opened and could no longer be the object of wild speculation.)
George Bush is not all that likely to order the records unsealed. He is aware that pressure is building, though (based in part on Stone's movie) because while he was in Australia, he said that he felt no need to re-open the investigation of JFK's death (this despite a 1970s House Select Committee on Assassinations recommendation that the inquiry be re-opened).
Well, at least he knows that the public is interested and wants some action. All you can ask of him, you know, is that he listen to the public. (I know, i know, his record at listening is not so great -- that's why i won't be voting for him myself -- but he's our Chief Executive now, so he's the one to ask about this matter.)
And he does have a telephone, you know, a White House Comment Line, staffed by a corps of friendly people who will write down your message and actually give it to him.
That's the number. Phone and tell the President that you want the JFK assassination records opened by Executive Order, now. Or tell him anything you want. This is our country, even though parts of its history are being hidden from us. And our President is working for us. Let's let him know what we want him to do.
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