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Sunday, May 19, 2002

national insecurity

"If Hollywood has made one concrete contribution to democracy, it's the strong but little understood impact that movies have had on the U.S. intelligence community. A prime example is Oliver Stone's JFK. Denounced as fast-and-loose fiction by many historians, the movie nonetheless indirectly forced the CIA and other secretive agencies to fork over documents that had been hidden for decades. Incited by the film, constituents flooded Capitol Hill with letters and phone calls demanding full disclosure of government records on the president's death. As a result, in 1993 Congress mandated the mass declassification of files that might have a bearing on the assassination. The millions of secret papers that were made public didn't reveal Kennedy's killer or killers, but they did detail covert operations in Cuba, Vietnam and other early 1960s hotspots."