Extraits du script de JFK

(un film d'Oliver Stone - 1991)

script intégral

résumé du film

1967 : Jim Garrison (joué par Kevin Costner) est procureur à la Nouvelle-Orléans. Il enquête sur l'assassinat du président Kennedy, survenu à Dallas en novembre 1963. Il rencontre un témoin qui désire rester anonyme (Mr. X, joué par Donald Sutherland).

Washington D.C. - Park.   Jim walks down from the Lincoln Memorial, where he is met unobtrusively by a military man in his 50's in casual clothing, hat on his head, an erect posture. They walk towards the Mall, with the Capitol building looming in the background.

X : Jim Garrison ?

Jim : Yes.

X (shakes hands) : I'm glad you came. I'm sorry about the precautions.

Jim : Well, I just hope it was worth my while, Mr ...

The man doesn't answer. Jim, after his meeting with Miller and loss of Ferrie, is testy and suspicious.

X :
I could give you a false name, but I won't. Just call me X.

Jim : I've already been warned by the Agency, Mr. Whoever. If this is another type of threat, I don't...

X : I'm not with the Agency, Mr. Garrison, and I assume if you've come this far, what I have to say interests you. But I'm not going to name names, or tell you who or what I represent. Except to say - you're close, you're closer than you think...

Something about his manner speaks of authority, knowledge, and above all, old-fashioned honesty - the eyes looking at you straight on. He indicates a bench.

X :
Everything I'm going to tell you is classified top secret... (significant look) I was a soldier, Mr. Garrison. Two wars. I was one of those secret guys in the Pentagon that supplies the military hardware - the planes, bullets, rifles - for what we call "black operations" - "black ops", assassinations, coups d'état, rigging elections, propaganda, psych warfare and so forth. World War II - Romania, Greece, Yugoslavia, I helped take the Nazi intelligence apparatus out to help us fight the Communists. Italy '48 stealing elections, France '49 breaking strikes. We overthrew Quirino in the Philippines, Arbenz in Guatemala, Mossadegh in Iran. Vietnam in '54, Indonesia '58, Tibet '59 we got the Dalai Lama out - we were good, very good. Then we got into the Cuban thing. Not so good. Set up all the bases for the invasion supposed to take place in October '62. Khrushchev sent the missiles to resist the invasion, Kennedy refused to invade and we were standing out there with our dicks in the wind. Lot of pissed-off people, Mr. Garrison, you understand ? I'll come to that later... I spent much of September '63 working on the Kennedy plan for getting all U.S. personnel out of Vietnam by the end of '65. This plan was one of the strongest and most important papers issued from the Kennedy White House. Our first 1,000 troops were ordered home for Christmas. Tensions were high. In November '63, one week after the murder of Vietnamese President Diem in Saigon, and two weeks before the assassination of our President...

Flashback to the Pentagon offices in 1963. X strides down a busy hall and into the offices of one of his superiors, Major General Y, a lean, cold warrior, battlefield handsome, civilian clothes, and several advisors. There's a U.S. flag on the wall. The status of Y is only clear by the sign on the desk, the name blocked by a passing figure.

X : ... a strange thing happened. I was sent by my superior officer, call him Y, to the South Pole as the military escort for a group of international VIP's. This trip had nothing to do with my nine years of work in Special Operations. It was sort of a "paid vacation".

We hear vague ad-lib mutterings on the soundtrack indicating a friendly atmosphere, and we see stock footage of a C-130 transport flying to Antarctica and ice floes on the surface of the sea. Then, at a New Zealand airport, we see X, in a uniform, at a newsstand reading of Kennedy's assassination. The banner headline of an "Extra" edition of The Christchurch Star screams out "KENNEDY SHOT DEAD".

X : It wasn't until I was on my way back in New Zealand that I read of the President's murder. That was 2 in the afternoon the next day New Zealand time, but already the papers had the entire history of an unknown 24-year-old man, Oswald - a studio picture, detailed biographical data, Russian information - and were pretty sure of the fact he'd killed the President alone, although it took them four more hours to charge him with the murder in Texas. It felt as if, well, a cover story was being put out like we would in a black op.

Back at the Pentagon office, we see X returning and meeting Y. The atmosphere is cordial, but Y is slightly different from before - more harried, more nervous. He turns away to light a cigarette, he doesn't want the usual conversation.

X :
Anyway, after I came back I asked myself why was I, the chief of special ops, selected to travel to the South Pole at that time to do a job that any number of others could have done? One of my routine duties if I had been in Washington would've been to arrange for additional security in Texas. The Secret Service is relatively small, and by custom the military will augment them. I checked it out when I got back and sure enough, I found out someone had told the 112th Military Intelligence Group at 4th Army Headquarters at Fort Sam Houston to "stand down" that day, over the protests of the unit Commander, a Colonel Reich.

We see an outdoor shot of the Texas Army Headquarters on a day in 1963. Inside, on the same day, Col. Reich is on the phone, puzzled.

X :
Now this is significant, because it is standard operating procedure, especially in a known hostile city like Dallas, to supplement the Secret Service. Even if we had not allowed the bubbletop to be removed from the limousine, we'd've put at least 100 to 200 agents on the sidewalks, without question! There'd already been several attempts on de Gaulle's life in France. Only a month before in Dallas UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson had been spit on and hit. We'd have arrived days ahead of time, studied the route, checked all the buildings... We never would've allowed all those wide-open empty windows overlooking Dealey... never... We would have had our own snipers covering the area. The moment a window went up they'd have been on the radio. We would've been watching the crowds - packages, rolled up newspapers, a coat over an arm. Never would have let a man open an umbrella along the way. Never would've allowed that limousine to slow down to 10 miles per hour, much less take that unusual curve at Houston and Elm. You would have felt an Army presence in the streets that day, but none of this happened. It was a violation of the most basic protection codes we have. And it is the best indication of a massive plot in Dallas. Who could have best done that ? People in my business, Mr. Garrison. People like my superior officer could've told Col. Reich, "Look - we have another unit coming from so and so providing security. You'll stand down." That day, in fact, there were some individual Army Intelligence people in Dallas and I'm still trying to figure out who and why. But they weren't protecting the client. One of them, by the way, was caught in the Book Depository after police sealed it off.

In Dealey Plaza, 1963, we see an Army intelligence man taking a shot with a Minolta camera.

X :
Army Intell had a "Harvey Lee Oswald" on file, but all those files have been destroyed. Many strange things were happening that day, and Lee Harvey Oswald had nothing to do with them. We had the entire Cabinet on a trip to the Far East. We had a third of a combat division returning from Germany in the air above the United States at the time of the shooting, and at 12:34 p.m., the entire telephone system went dead in Washington for a solid hour, and on the plane back to Washington, word was radioed from the White House Situation Room to Lyndon Johnson that one individual performed the assassination. Does that sound like a bunch of coincidences to you, Mr. Garrison? Not for one moment. The cabinet was out of the country to get their perception out of the way. The troops were in the air for possible riot control. The phones didn't work to keep the wrong stories from spreading if anything went wrong with the plan. Nothing was left to chance. I bet you there were even backup teams and cars on the other side of the underpass in the event that Kennedy got through wounded. They would have moved in with vehicles like they did with de Gaulle. He could not be allowed to escape alive.

The camera is on Jim, listening. This information is much greater than he ever envisioned, and he is stunned. X pauses.

X :
I never thought things were the same after that. Vietnam started for real. There was an air of, I don't know, make-believe in the Pentagon and the CIA. Those of us who'd been in secret ops since the beginning knew the Warren Commission was fiction, but there was something... deeper, uglier. And I knew Allen Dulles very well. I briefed him many a time in his house. He was also General Y's benefactor. But for the life of me I still can't figure out why Dulles was appointed to investigate Kennedy's death. The man who had fired him. I got out in '64. I retired from the U.S. Air Force.

Jim : I never realized Kennedy was so dangerous to the establishment. Is that why ?

X (chuckles) : That's the real question, isn't it - "Why ?" - the "how" is just "scenery" for the suckers ... Oswald, Ruby, Cuba, Mafia, it keeps people guessing like a parlor game, but it prevents them from asking the most important question - Why ? Why was Kennedy killed ? Who benefitted ? Who has the power to cover it up ?... You know in '61 right after the Bay of Pigs - very few people know about this - I participated in drawing up National Security Action Memos 55, 56, and 57. These are crucial documents, classified top secret, but basically in them Kennedy instructs General Lemnitzer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, that from here on forward...

Flashback to the Pentagon offices on a day in 1961. A document is moved by hand into Lemnitzer's office where we see a set of hands holding it while it's read. There's a look of surprise on Lemnitzer's face.

X :
... the Joint Chiefs of Staff would be wholly responsible for all covert paramilitary action in peacetime. This basically ended the reign of the CIA - "splintered it", as JFK promised he would, into a "thousand pieces", - and now was ordering the military to help. This was unprecedented. I can't tell you the shock waves this sent along the corridors of power in Washington. This and, of course, firing Allen Dulles, Richard Bissell, and General Charles Cabell, all of them sacred cows of Intell since World War II. You got some very upset people here.

Documentary image flash on the screen - Allen Dulles, sweet-faced, smiling, at the Warren Commission Hearing and visiting Dealey Plaza ; General Charles Cabell and Richard Bissell...

X :
Kennedy's directives were never really implemented, because of bureaucratic resistance, but one of the results was that the Cuban operation was turned over to my department as "Operation Mongoose", which meant that people like my superior officer, General Y, took over the Cuban personnel that were being trained to invade Cuba - and the bases like the training camp at Pontchartrain in your home state that were closed down by Kennedy... and that's how the "black ops" people, people like General Y, ended up taking the rules of covert warfare they'd used abroad and brought'em into this country. Now they had the people, the equipment, bases and the motivation... check out an old CIA man, Bill Harvey - ran something called "Executive Action", which carried out foreign assassinations. Harvey was also involved with the fake defection program that got Oswald into Russia. Check out the Cabell brothers. Interesting links to this case.

At Arlington Cemetery on the same day, Jim visits the grave of President Kennedy. We see the eternal flame. Jim thinks about what he should do now. The size of it stuns him. He is lost, reeling back to the past in his mind.

Dissolve to documentary footage of Dachau concentration camp : thousands of bodies are piled and bulldozed ... And then back to Jim at Arlington Cemetery reliving it ... only the enormity of past evil can prepare him to confront present evil. In a strange way, it reassures him.

X :
Don't underestimate the budget cuts Kennedy called for in March of '63 either - close to 52 military installations in 25 states, 21 overseas bases, you're talking big money. You know how many helicopters have been lost in Vietnam ? About three thousand so far. Who makes them ? Bell Helicopter. Who owns Bell ? Bell was near bankruptcy when the First National Bank of Boston approached the CIA about developing the helicopter for Indochina usage. How 'bout the F-111 fighters ? General Dynamics in Fort Worth. Who owns that ? Find out the defence budget since the war began. $ 75 going on a hundred billion... $ 200 billion 'll be spent before it ends. In 1950 it was $ 13 billion. No war, no money. Sometimes I think the organizing principle of any society is for war. The authority of the state over its people resides in its war powers. Even Eisenhower - military hero of WWII - warned us about it : "beware the military-industrial complex", he said. Kennedy wanted to end the Cold War in his second term. He wanted to call off the Moon race in favor of cooperation with the Soviets. He signed a treaty with the Soviets to ban nuclear testing, he refused to invade Cuba in '62, and he set out to withdraw from Vietnam. But that all ended on November 22, 1963.

Flashback to the White House, 1963. Lyndon Johnson is with Henry Cabot Lodge. We see them as shadowy figures from a distance across the wide room, or near a veranda with a porch and plenty of light. Johnson, his back to us, talks in a loud, thick Texas drawl (mostly muted) and signs a document.

X :
Only four days after JFK was shot, Lyndon Johnson signed National Security Memo 273, which essentially reversed Kennedy's new withdrawal policy and gave the green light to the covert operations against North Vietnam that provoked the Gulf of Tonkin incident. In that document lay the Vietnam War.

In the park with X, Jim is staggered by all this information. X ceases walking and looks at Jim.

Jim :
I don't... I can't believe it. They killed him because he wanted to change things. In our time - in our country ?

X (shrugging) : Kings are killed, Mr. Garrison. Politics is power, nothing more. But don't believe me. Don't trust me. Do your own work, your own thinking.

Jim : The size of this is... beyond me. Testify ?...

X : No chance in hell, Mr. Garrison. I'd be arrested and gagged, declared insane and hospitalized... maybe worse. You, too. I can only give you background, you got to find the foreground, the little things... Keep digging. Y'know you're the only person to ever bring a trial in the murder of John Kennedy. That's important - it's historic.

Jim : I haven't yet. I don't have much of a case.

X (rising to leave) : But you don't have a choice anymore. You've become a significant threat to the national security structure. They would've killed you already, but you got a lot of light on you. Instead, they're gonna destroy your credibility ; they already have in many circles in this town. You're some kinda ego-crazed southern caricature to many folks. Be honest - the best chance you got is come up with a case, something, anything, make arrests, stir the shitstorm. You gotta hope to reach a point of critical mass where other people will come forward and the government will crack. Remember, fundamentally people are suckers for the truth, and the truth is on your side, 'bubba. I hope you get a break...

Jim watches this mystery man walking away. The figure vanishes in the Washington breeze. Flags flap over some distant memorial to some distant history of the Republic. Jim rises, a decision made.


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