Friday, June 3, 2022

The Assassination and Mrs. Paine-Earl Warren


Filmmaker Max Good tries to give the viewer the impression that his documentary, The Assassination and Mrs. Paine, tells both sides of her unique story. While Good does let Ruth Paine speak (and she frequently counters his assertions) he uses a mixture of standard conspiracy myths and his own misrepresentations to support the notion that Mrs. Paine and her husband Michael, who befriended Lee Harvey Oswald and his wife Marina, were working for the CIA. This shows that Good believed he had no marketable film without catering to die hard conspiracy believers, the majority of whom believe the men of Langley were behind JFK's murder. This series of articles will document the inaccuracies of the Good film and the sometimes mean-spirited way that Ruth Paine is represented.

Earl Warren

Good presents archival footage of Earl Warren and his fellow Warren Commissioners delivering their final report to President Johnson in September of 1964 (9:40). “In 1964,” Good intones, “Earl Warren was asked if the commission’s documents would ever be released to the public.” Good continues, “His answer? ‘Yes, there will come a time. But it might not be in your lifetime.” The uninitiated viewer is left with the impression that Warren made this statement at the time the report was issued and his remarks were indicative of his intention to withhold material. But that is not the truth.

Warren actually made his remark after the first day of testimony in February of 1964—not after the September release of the report. Warren’s full remark was “Yes, there will come a time—but it might not be in your lifetime. I am not referring to anything especially—but there may be some things that would involve security. This would be preserved but not made public.” Warren also indicated that nothing like this had yet turned up in the testimony of Marina Oswald who was then appearing before the commission. Author Vincent Bugliosi summed up the matter as follows in his landmark tome Reclaiming History:

This one remark, always quoted out of context, is the source of the belief that Earl Warren, knowing all the testimony and evidence that had been heard and gathered by the Warren Commission during its ten months of existence, had come to the conclusion that certain evidence should not be revealed to the American public for seventy-five years, and that he therefore ordered the sealing of the records for the subject period.

But Warren ordered no such sealing of records. Bugliosi noted that the Chief Justice wrote to Attorney General Katzenbach asking for “fullest possible disclosure of the materials” which were under jurisdiction of the National Archives. As early as July of 1966, approximately 80 percent of the records from federal agencies that had been turned over to the archives by the commission had been released. Today, the number of JFK documents released, including those identified as assassination records in the nineties by the ARRB, totals in the millions.


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