Executive Action (1973) Movie Script

Never before in American history...
...has one family held such an enormous
concentration of political power.
The plan is perfectly plain.
To return and perpetuate this power
for decades.
Two terms for JFK, two for Bobby
and two for Ted.
And in each administration,
the brothers who are not president...
...would take over
the most powerful cabinet posts.
They have several
hundred million dollars...
...and some of the best brains
on Earth to carry it through.
They have put together a powerful
coalition of big-city machines-
Labor, Negroes, Jews, liberals...
...and the press.
- that will make him
unbeatable in 1964.
Wait a minute, professor.
He's appointed Republicans
to the Treasury, to the Navy.
Another's head of the CIA.
Brother Bobby worked
on Joe McCarthy's committee.
The old man is farther to the right
than I am.
Ancient history, Harold.
Man's come out for cuts
in oil-depletion allowance.
He's stopping mergers
under the Antitrust Act.
He promises to close down 52 domestic
and 25 overseas military bases.
Foster, since when do you believe
the promises of politicians?
- Especially in an election year?
- Times have changed, Mr. Ferguson.
And tactics along with them.
In the next few months,
you're going to see JFK do the following:
One, he is going to lead
the black revolution...
...instead of fighting it.
Now we all know what that means.
Damn right, a white backlash.
Federal troops backing up the blacks.
Blood in the streets.
Two, he's going to try to put across
a test-ban treaty with the Russians.
Three, he's going
to try to pull out of Vietnam...
...and turn Asia
over to the Communists.
Ridiculous, the American public
would never stand for that.
Come on, Harold.
The American public will stand
for what it has to stand for.
What it's told to stand for
or what it's educated to stand for.
Done effectively, the public would soon
be disenchanted with the war.
Which would make action imperative.
- What kind of action?
- Executive.
I'll take it from here, Bob.
- Let's all go in the other room.
- Why in the other room?
Just a short walk. Do you good.
- Nothing wrong with my heart, James.
- He's got you there, Jim.
Tell me, sir, to what do you ascribe
your great, good health?
Hard liquor and soft women.
Southern gentlemen.
This country was not made...
...by people who sat
in their own community...
...and followed
their own private interests.
Instead, it was made...
...by the men who recognized
that change means progress.
And progress means
the welfare of our people.
That's what makes this a great country.
How are you?
In Europe, heads of state always die
at the hands of conspirators.
Our presidents are killed by madmen.
The pattern is remarkably consistent.
Abraham Lincoln, April 14th, 1865.
Target: sitting and stationary.
Range: six inches. Successful.
James Garfield, July 2nd, 1881.
Target: walking
at two-and-a-half miles per hour.
Range: three feet. Successful.
William McKinley.
September 6th, 1901.
Target: standing and stationary.
Range: one foot.
Theodore Roosevelt,
October 14th, 1912.
Target: standing and stationary.
Range: six feet.
Wounded, survived.
Franklin D. Roosevelt,
February 15th, 1933.
Target: sitting and stationary.
Range: 23 feet.
Five shots, five misses.
In no case was the killer
an expert marksman.
In every case,
the Secret Service was unprepared.
In every case,
the assassin was a political fanatic...
...willing to die to get the president.
No professional can be expected to
lay his life on the line for such a cause.
So we've determined that our action
can best be carried out...
- ... during a motorcade.
- How so?
Because they're scheduled
well in advance.
They give you a chance
to fire from cover...
...and get away in the confusion.
- How do you select your operatives?
- I can tell you, Harold.
Now, you used to have to train
your own men from the ground up.
Keep them on your payroll
the rest of their lives.
No more.
Do you know many men were fired
by the CIA after the Bay of Pigs fiasco?
There's a small army
of anti-Castro Cubans.
They're all ready. They're all available.
And they can do anything
from picking a lock...
...and bugging an embassy
to taking care of an ambassador.
- How many of them do you need?
- A team of three men.
I've had two teams in the field
for over a month.
- Why two?
- One team will be selected for action.
The other for backup and getaway.
These are all men
I've used before, Harold.
Trained, reliable, professional.
Now, one man firing from long range
at a moving target is out of the question.
Even with two, we found
the percentages of failure are too high.
The only possible scenario
is three rifles with triangulated fire.
Two firing at a retreating target.
And the third firing
as the target advances.
Three misses, three hits.
Take the target back.
Stand by to go again.
Start the target.
Stand by to fire.
While there's a climate of violence
in the country now...
...in which anything can happen,
the people won't protest it...
...or even fight it
for fear of becoming involved.
What about the Secret Service?
They give the president less protection
than any other head of state on Earth.
De Gaulle travels
surrounded by 47 motorcycles.
Kennedy with eight, sometimes 10.
And none between him
and the crowds on the sidewalk.
When a Soviet motorcade
passes a 10-story building...
...there's a separate agent
to watch each floor.
Now, in Jack's motorcades...
...the agents often travel
inside of closed cars.
- They can't see a damn thing.
- And they're paid less than the FBl.
They only have target practice
twice a year.
And they're often used
as White House errand boys.
And most of their intelligence
comes from other agencies.
Which means they get very little.
The FBl doesn't give much to anybody.
And Hoover, he doesn't like Kennedys
any more than we do.
The CIA?
After the Bay of Pigs, its director
and his deputy were forced to resign.
The mood of the agency
may best be described as bitter.
Are you trying to tell me
people in the CIA and FBl...
...are going to help with this project?
No. James, how many
government intelligence agencies...
...do you have personal knowledge of?
Fifteen. Maybe 17.
And how many private companies
act as fronts for American intelligence?
- Private? Maybe three or 400.
- Including six or seven of your own?
What one agency
finds inconvenient to do...
...may be very simple for another one
in the same area.
So you see, there aren't nearly as many
secrets as an outsider might imagine.
I can see how that could happen.
Even after a man leaves
the government service...
...he still has ongoing relationships...
...with the various intelligence outfits
he's left behind.
Yes, I can see that too.
It's that ongoing relationship
that gives him access to information.
He receives it because he's trusted.
And that's the way we receive ours.
Yes? Oh, Charlie.
Is that so?
I see.
Yes, of course
that would have worked out.
- Yeah.
- Thanks very much, Charlie.
- Quite all right.
- Bye.
A conspiracy will make us
look like a banana republic.
We don't have them.
That's what we pay
our intelligence agencies to prevent.
They'll deny a conspiracy
down to the last man...
...lay the whole thing off...
...on some crazy damn fool
who did it all on his own.
- Who is the crazy damn fool?
- He'll be provided.
Charlie McCadden
just called from El Paso.
Governor Connally
just left the president.
And they made a private agreement...
...that he will make a political pilgrimage
to Texas to woo votes.
Probably in the fall.
There ought to be a better way
of settling things like this.
Have you researched the man's
private history?
- Thoroughly.
- Letters from the State Department?
Harold, if you'll forgive me...
...we're way ahead of you.
If we could find some way
to discredit him...
...believe me,
we would have done it by now.
Gentlemen, the hour is getting late.
Well, I'm sorry, gentlemen,
I'm still unconvinced.
I agree with you
that the welfare of this country...
...is worth any man's life,
even the president's.
My advice,
for what it's worth to you, is wait.
I'll see you to your car.
Oh, before I took over
Transjordanian oil...
...my own intelligence men
had to eliminate a little local opposition.
I understand these things.
I just don't like them.
They're tolerable
only if they're necessary...
...and permissible only if they work.
Good day.
I was in charge
of that Transjordanian operation.
The hell.
Arranged it through
the German intelligence.
My technician on that job
is out there right now training Team B.
Okay, Lee, take her up.
Okay, Chris, take it up.
Okay, Jess. Take it up to 15 feet.
Hold it. That's good.
Okay, hold it. That's good.
Okay, that's good. Lock it off.
Start the action.
I got three hits on target.
One hit on Number 2. A miss.
Seven seconds and two misses.
It's probably a kill,
but we're two seconds over time...
...so we'll have
to slow the target down.
With the most accurate rifle
on Earth...
...we've still got a two-inch spread
on either side for every hundred yards.
So at 20 miles an hour,
it's too much.
Let's get a beer.
Commencement exercises
at American University...
...gained world significance
when President Kennedy reveals...
...two major decisions
on Western relations with Russia.
Addressing the graduates...
...Mr. Kennedy makes a stirring plea
for world peace and says:
First, Chairman Khrushchev...
...Prime Minister Macmillan
and I have agreed...
...that high-level discussions
will shortly begin in Moscow...
...looking towards early agreement
on a comprehensive test-ban treaty.
I now declare that the United States...
...does not propose to conduct
nuclear tests in the atmosphere...
...so long as other states
do not do so.
This generation of Americans
has already had enough-
More than enough.
- of war and hate and oppression.
Jim, sit down.
- Are you hungry?
- Thanks, I've eaten.
How's the team?
Well, it can be done
in five or six seconds...
...but only if we slow the target down
to 15 miles an hour.
Otherwise, you take chances.
All right, we'll work on that.
- Any cover problems?
- No. No problems.
Supposed to be hunters and I take it
that's what we actually are.
Here's your expense money.
Say, when you gonna throw
a little light on this play?
It's not quite a standard operation.
I may run as tight as you are.
You mean is that each of us
knows only his own job?
Put it in any words you like.
The company must be running
other teams then. Are we number one?
Two teams only...
...and there's a good chance
that you'll see action.
Maybe before Thanksgiving.
How soon will we find out
what the options are?
The probabilities for success
are almost 100 percent.
Yeah, like the Bay of Pigs.
You're a high-risk man,
you're on contract.
Your men are all experienced
in black operations.
You take your chances
and you get paid for it and damn well.
Okay, Jim.
I'll tell you this much.
I've never seen a better cover plan
in all my life.
Every man jack will be
out of the country within 36 hours.
New passports, new identities...
...plus $25,000 each
just for spending money.
I like that. Tell me more.
You'll stay out of the country
for two years.
You'll receive $25,000 a year
via Switzerland for the next five years.
All of us?
I said every man jack
involved in the operation.
And five years from now,
on January 2nd, 1968...
...provided no one
has broken security...
...each man will find $ 100,000...
...in his own personally numbered
Swiss bank account.
You just told me who we're gonna hit.
This nation was founded by men
of many nations and backgrounds.
It was founded on the principle
that men are created equal...
...and that the rights
of every man are diminished...
...when the rights of one man
are threatened.
My fellow Americans,
this is a problem which faces us all...
...in every city of the North
as well as the South.
there are Negroes unemployed...
...two or three times as many
compared to whites.
Inadequate education,
moving into the large cities...
...unable to find work,
denied their equal rights.
We cannot say
to 10 percent of the population...
...that "You can't have that right.
Your children can't have the chance
to develop whatever talents they have.
The only way that they'll get their rights
is to go in the street and demonstrate. "
I think we owe them and we owe
ourselves a better country than that.
The computer threw out
Or sponsors, as we like to call them.
A young man named Lee Harvey Oswald
seems the best.
Born in New Orleans, 1939.
Father dead.
Mother remarried and divorced.
Boy was in an orphanage for a while...
...then shunted about with his mother
till he was 17.
You can start now, Tim.
He has remarkably muddled
political record...
...that can be steered
strongly to the left.
On October 24, 1956,
seven days after his 17th birthday...
...subject enlisted
in the United States Marine Corps.
Aviation Fundamental School...
...at Naval Air Station
in Jacksonville, Florida...
...studying basic radar theory,
map reading...
...and air-traffic-control procedures.
Began studying Russian language
and taking pro-Communist attitudes.
Fellow Marines called him
"Oswaldavitch" and "Russki. "
In the Marine Corps?
Not a chance.
Preparing a cover for him.
- Naval Intelligence?
- Either that or CIA.
Go ahead, Tim.
Arrived in Yokosuka, Japan
aboard the Bexar...
...for assignment at Atsugi,
Isn't that where we monitored
the U-2s over China?
And a lot of other stuff.
Court-martialed on June 27th...
...for pouring a drink over
a non-commissioned officer's head...
...and use of insulting language.
Confined 28 days at hard labor.
Only 28 days?
Not only giving him a cover,
they're fixing him a phony.
On August 17, 1959,
he requested a dependency discharge...
...on the ground
that his mother required his support.
- Discharge was granted September 11.
- Well, that was easy.
Easier than you think. Watch this.
To get the discharge,
he needed a doctor's affidavit.
Otolaryngologist Marvin Danvers
gave him one...
...saying he started treating
Oswald's mother on September 5...
...even though his letter is dated
September 3.
Well, I'll be goddamned.
On the same day, September 4...
...Oswald applied for
and received a passport.
Quote, "In order to attend
the Albert Schweitzer College," unquote.
Passport granted.
Good for European travel,
including U.S.S.R.
Arrived in Moscow, October 16.
Ordered to leave U.S.S.R. by 8 p. m.,
October 21.
- The Russkies weren't buying.
- Slashed his wrists same day.
Taken to Botkinskaya Hospital,
released a week later.
Visited U.S. Embassy on October 31.
Stated his determination
to revoke American citizenship...
...and turn classified data
over to the Russians.
Can find no record that embassy
tried to dissuade him...
...from handing over
classified material.
How much did he actually have?
Location of all bases
on the West Coast...
...radio frequencies for all squadrons...
...all tactical call signs,
strength of squadrons...
...number and type
of aircraft in each...
...names of commanding officers...
...and the authentic code
for entering and exiting...
...the ADIZ radio and radar ranges.
On January 4, 1960...
...Oswald receives permission
to remain in the U.S.S.R. for one year.
They're beginning to buy.
On January 5, he is given 5000 rubles
and assigned to work...
...at the Belorussian
Radio and Television Factory in Minsk.
They've bought.
In 1961, he writes a series of letters
to the embassy...
...concerning possible return
to the United States.
When was Powers shot down
in that U-2?
May 1, 1960.
He was there, all right.
But I'm not sure
there was any connection.
They've been spotting our U-2s
for a long time.
- Thanks, Tim, I'll take it from here.
- Right, Mr. Farrington.
On March 17, he met a young lady,
a graduate pharmacist.
Six weeks later, they were married.
As a result of Oswald's letters...
...the State Department
informed embassy...
...that for security reasons,
Oswald should be given a passport.
There was a wrangle with the Russians
about exit visas for his wife...
...but everything on our side
was as smooth as silk.
The embassy issued a passport.
They lent him $435
in traveling expenses.
And he passed through Immigration
June 13th, 1962 en route to Fort Worth.
Did anyone meet them at Immigration?
A representative
of the Concerned Travelers' Society...
...named Ralph P. Waterford.
To help them through customs,
or so he said.
Is that name familiar?
There's a Ralph P. Waterford known
in Taiwan as the secretary-general...
...for the World Campaign
Against Communism, Inc.
- Now, who would have sent him?
- God knows.
You get into that,
there are so many triple-headers...
...you can't count them all. Tim.
All the intelligence agencies
have files on him.
He was interviewed twice last year
by the FBl that we know of.
And there's a report out
that the state attorney general...
...and the Dallas district attorney...
...have got him labeled
as FBl informant Number S-172.
He could be. Defecting, coming back,
running into no trouble at all...
...he could be anything.
CIA, Office of Naval Intelligence,
Lowest possible echelon, of course.
A few dollars here, a few there,
possibly a little doubling.
On January 27th of this year...
...he bought a mail-order
Smith & Wesson. 38...
...under a phony name.
And in March he bought a mail-order
In May, he was distributing Fair Play
for Cuba literature in Dallas.
Can we rely on a character like this?
We're not relying on him.
We're using him.
I've got someone placed
very close to him.
Get a little air.
Go ahead. I wanna check
the stock market, of course.
The real problem is this, James.
In two decades...
...there will be 7 billion
human beings on this planet...
...most of them brown,
yellow or black.
All of them hungry,
all of them determined to love.
They'll swarm out of their breeding
grounds into Europe and North America.
Hence Vietnam.
An all-out effort there...
...will give us control of South Asia
for decades to come.
And with proper planning, we can
reduce the population to 550 million...
...by the end of the century.
I know.
I've seen the data.
We sound rather like gods reading
the Doomsday Book, don't we?
Well, someone has to do it.
Not only will the nations affected
be better off...
...but the techniques
developed there...
...can be used to reduce
our own excess population:
Blacks, Puerto Ricans,
...poverty-prone whites and so forth.
Raise your right hand, please.
Do you swear that the statements
in the application are true?
I do.
Do you swear your allegiance
to the United States?
I do.
For 24-hour service, it's $2.
George Bernard Shaw
speaking as Irishman...
...summed up an approach to life:
"Other people, " he said,
"see things and say, 'Why?'
But I dream of things that never were
and I say, 'Why not?"'
The problems of the world
cannot possibly be solved...
...by skeptics or cynics...
...whose horizons are limited
by the obvious realities we need-
- Twenty-four hours?
- Not only that...
...he stated on his application that
his previous passport had been lifted...
...and that he intended
to travel to Russia.
He can't be just crazy on his own.
He defects, they lift his passport...
...and on 24 hours' notice he gets
another one to travel back to Russia?
Somebody must be behind him.
Oh, yes, indeed.
Worth his weight in gold.
We call this our Cubanization process.
Here our sponsor distributes
Fair Play for Cuba leaflets...
...on Canal Street in New Orleans.
Who's the other man?
Picked him up in an employment office,
$2 an hour.
We've repeated this process four times
in the last 10 days.
The address on the leaflets
is 611 Karp Street.
Howard Grimm's building.
You remember him.
Special agent
in charge of the Chicago FBl office.
We used him in '61 as equipment
purchaser for our Cuban friends.
Grimm has an office
in that building himself.
- Was that wise?
- Well, no matter.
Grimm's organization
is on LaFollete Street.
The Anti-Communist League
of the Caribbean.
I like that.
They cancel each other out.
And no one's been able
to put them together yet.
I don't like it, but it's done.
- When are you him getting into Dallas?
- Not for another month.
Our New Orleans scenario calls
for a street corner fight and an arrest.
Possibly some radio interviews,
TV if we're lucky.
He doesn't know he's being handled?
That's being taken care of by someone
who's known him for years.
- Heard anything from the old man?
- Not yet.
Go ahead without him?
Difficult to say. Very difficult.
In the meantime, we'll push on and hope
that Kennedy makes up his mind for us.
Just a little water.
I still have a dream.
It is a dream deeply rooted
in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day...
...this nation will rise up...
...live out the true meaning
of its creed:
We hold these truths
to be self-evident...
...that all men are created equal.
I have a dream...
...that my four little children
will one day live in a nation...
...where they will not be judged
by the color of their skin...
...but by the content
of their character.
I have a dream today.
Orders from God?
What the hell would they be sending us
to Montana for?
Help fight American imperialism.
Join the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.
I know you, dirty bastard.
You spy for Castro.
You came to our office
of Cuban Students in Exile.
Took some material.
And here you are handing out this crap.
Why don't you go to Cuba
and stay there?
Take him away now.
A full-scale nuclear exchange...
...lasting less than 60 minutes...
...with the weapons
now in existence...
...could wipe out
more than 300 million Americans...
...Europeans and Russians...
...as well as untold millions elsewhere.
That's why I support
the test-ban treaty.
Not because we're going to be easier
in our lives...
...but because we have a chance
to avoid being burned.
The reason that I'm worried
about this treaty...
...is because I believe
that this treaty...
...is a step away from safety...
...possibly a step toward war.
A pact, hailed by a hopeful majority
as signaling peace in our time...
...actually turns out to be a first step
on the path to disaster.
This treaty is not the millennium...
...but it is an important first step.
A step towards peace.
Let history record that we,
in this land...
...at this time, took the first step.
Man's creating
the perfect climate for his death.
They sometimes do, you know.
Caesar did.
In that event, what do you hear
from our elderly Brutus?
Ferguson says in effect,
"Don't call me, I'll call you. "
- How's yours stand-in for Brutus doing?
- Oh, he's doing fine.
Heading up a Fair Play for Cuba
Committee that doesn't exist.
Writing letters to the Communist Party
in New York.
And after that street brawl...
...he demanded that an FBl man
come down to see him.
When will he be in Dallas?
Between the 3rd and 5th of October.
His wife's there now,
living outside of the city with a friend.
Well, why wait so long?
Well, he wants to go to Mexico City
to try to get a visa to go to Cuba.
- Was that your idea?
- No.
But there's no way to stop him without
making him angry with our connection.
I don't see any harm in it, do you?
The man's a genius.
He'll have the FBl watching the CIA
and the CIA watching the Bureau.
Before he's through,
nobody will know whose man he is.
Meanwhile, I'll schedule
two live target rehearsals.
- One for each team.
- Good.
And one more thing, Robert.
When this operation is finished,
it's my last.
Why, of course.
We all have our failures of nerve.
If we didn't,
none of us would be worth a damn.
- George, in one, you shaded him a bit.
- Yeah, I know.
I only printed up the hits.
None of them were really far off.
Look at that. Right on target.
- Front angle shot's wide open.
- It's gonna work.
Sure it is.
Okay. Now, we're supposed to be
on the road before 9. Destroy these.
Tim, show them the pros and cons
of that motorcade.
The most direct route
from Love Field...
...to the Trade Mart,
where the lunch will be...
...is either
by Stemmons Freeway here...
...or Harry Hines Boulevard,
which is here.
To get to the biggest crowds,
...the best route would be straight down
to Main Street...
...down Main Street
and through Dealey Plaza.
Where did you say
you placed your sponsor?
Texas School Book Depository.
Elm and Houston.
- I went to work there yesterday.
- Here's the depository.
In order for the motorcade to pass it,
they'd have to make a jog.
Right on Houston Street
and left on Elm here...
...and then through the underpass
to Stemmons Freeway.
Isn't that a long way around
to nowhere?
It's the perfect place
for triangulated gunfire.
A man in the records building here.
Another man in the depository.
A third man here on the grassy knoll
where he has excellent cover.
They'll have to slow down
to 10 to 12 miles an hour...
...to make this turnoff.
And when they've reached this point,
they've walked right into the trap.
And there's no way
they can get out of it.
If that's where you want the parade
to go, why, that's where it will go.
I can think of
a dozen arguments now...
...and a dozen people
who'll listen to them.
But let me handle it.
Where will you start, in Washington?
President's there
to please people, isn't he?
Businessmen, bankers,
merchants, so forth.
They do the deciding
on where he goes.
When it comes to those fellas, I know
where the bear sits in the buckwheat.
Dealey Plaza. I'll guarantee it.
That leaves us with just one problem.
Ferguson's got to be convinced
in the next week or two.
Tonight, the news from Saigon
is grim indeed as riots sweep the city...
...and the government
of courageous President Diem...
...hangs in the balance.
Radical students and Buddhist activists
are demonstrating in the streets...
...while government troops
battle desperately to subdue them.
In protest, another Buddhist monk
has burned himself to death.
And what is our president doing
to support Diem?
This from Washington:
Is there any speedup
in the withdrawal from Vietnam?
You know, when Secretary McNamara
and General Taylor came back...
...they announced that we would expect
to withdraw thousands of men...
...from South Vietnam
before the end of the year.
Reliable sources inform us...
...that Kennedy plans to withdraw
all United States forces...
...from Southeast Asia in 1965.
A vital region which will inevitably
fall to the Communists...
...should our president's
suicidal no-win policy prevail.
Yes, Robert, I can see your point.
I'm in complete agreement.
By all means, go ahead.
Page 499, verse 10.
"He shall return no more
to his house...
...neither shall his place
know him anymore. "
- Chris.
- What?
Open up for a minute.
Jesus, I got somebody in here.
Okay, you come out here.
It'll only take a minute.
I'll be back in a minute.
- What?
- Close the door.
You got something, huh?
It's our job.
For sure?
- Start packing. Tell the boys.
- Right.
We picked up this film
in New Orleans.
It's a TV interview
after he got in that hassle...
...passing out the pro-Castro leaflets.
No matter what you say, Jim...
...the point of it is
you must be remembered.
Ten days from now,
if they hear you described...
...they must say,
"Oh, yes, I saw him. He was here. "
- Do you understand?
- I've got it.
It's equally important
that we set him up planning the event.
He owns a rifle with a scope,
but he's never used it.
Give him visibility in a gun shop.
We'll provide you a rifle similar to his.
We also want to see him practicing.
Can't you arrange to borrow his rifle?
That's programmed for later
when we're certain he won't miss it.
Let's do some more homework.
That does not mean, however,
that I'm a Communist.
What is the difference
between the two?
There is a great deal of difference,
such as several American parties...
...in several countries are based
on Marxism, such as Ghana.
Ghana. Certain countries have
characteristics of a socialist system...
...such as Great Britain
with its socialized medicine.
These, then, are the differences between
an outright Communist country...
...and countries which adhere
to leftist or Marxist principles.
In your work
with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee...
...what are you advocating?
We advocate restoration
of diplomatic trade...
...and tourists relations with Cuba.
Hi there.
Now, what can I do for you?
Well, could you drill this
to mount a telescopic sight?
- Sure can.
- How soon?
I'm gonna need it any day now.
Well, be ready in a couple of days.
What's the name?
Lee Harvey Oswald.
- Good.
- Thanks.
Got it. I'll let you know.
All yours.
It's a 6.5 Mannlicher-Carcano.
Jesus Christ, the Italians
stopped making this in 1941.
That's 22 years ago.
Let's go.
She's a real fine piece of weaponry,
isn't she?
The Italians in World War ll called it...
...the rifle that never hurt anybody
on purpose.
The bolt sticks,
it's got a two-stage trigger...
...and the scope is off 0.02 to the left
and it has a 9.5-inch drop.
- Well, can you adjust to it?
- Oh, sure.
I'm gonna need a hell of a lot more
practice before countdown.
That's one hell of a buy, friend...
...in case you're looking
for first-class transportation.
- Won't cost you an arm and a leg.
- How much?
Nineteen ninety-five.
Radio, heater, whitewalls included.
Well, if it's such a hell of a buy,
why haven't you sold it?
Only been here
the last couple of days.
I saw this car on the lot last Monday.
What you saw here last Monday
was the same model...
...but it wasn't this car.
- What did you get for it?
- Hundred dollars more than I'm asking.
Jesus. You mean you'd do that
to some poor dumb Texas burr picker?
What the hell are you
talking about Texas like that for?
Because if I was a doctor...
...and I wanted
to give the world an enema...
...I'd stick the nozzle
right here in Dallas, Texas.
Before I kick you in the ass, can you
tell me a better place than Texas?
Yeah, Russia. They make a car
called the Volga that would-
You Communist bastard, get out of here.
Get off my lot.
Who the hell do you think you are,
The name's Oswald. Lee Oswald.
If you ever learn how to spell, you can
have a lot of fun trying to write it down.
It will come in handy at the right time,
to leak to the press.
The face doesn't look enough like him
to pass muster with me.
Get a picture of the sponsor himself
and tip it in. Can do?
- Apple pie.
- Tim.
Give him a pistol with a holster.
And a telescopic sight
for the rifle too.
- Everything in order?
- So far.
Hey, buddy, you're firing
at the wrong target.
That's my target.
Hey, mister,
you're firing at my target.
Hey, would you mind?
Just fire at your own.
Why don't you take a flying screw
at the moon and charge it to me?
I'll be glad to, you son of a bitch.
You just tell me your name.
Lee Oswald.
Hey, Ralph!
Outside the Dallas municipal auditorium,
a large number of pickets...
...gave U.N. ambassador Adlai Stevenson
a hot reception last night...
...when he came to give a speech
in honor of United Nations Day.
And the audience inside
wasn't a bit more friendly.
Surely, my friend,
I don't have to come from lllinois...
...to teach Texas manners, do I?
But I do hope all the pickets
will come in and sit down-
Go home.
- because I believe in
the forgiveness of sin...
...and the redemption of ignorance.
Stevenson told friends that he was
going to advise President Kennedy...
...not to make
that forthcoming trip to Dallas...
...because of the hostile atmosphere
in that city.
Do you see your position?
Yeah, behind that fence on top.
Okay, let's take her down.
"On November 22nd, the only important
officials remaining in Washington...
...will be McNamara
and Robert Kennedy.
The secretaries of state, treasury,
interior, commerce and labor...
...will be in the air en route to Tokyo.
The president and vice president
will be in Dallas. "
To confuse matters and give your men
as much time as possible...
...a code will be removed
from the Tokyo-bound cabinet plane...
...and the Washington telephone system
will suffer a temporary blackout.
- That will help.
- Secret Service are under orders...
...to stay with the president
no matter what happens.
Once they get him to the hospital,
they'll probably filter back.
But for at least a half-hour,
you should be entirely free of them.
I'll have six men with Secret Service
credentials in Dealey Plaza.
Their insignia for this trip, incidentally,
is double white bars on red.
I forgot to mention that
the chief of the White House detail...
...has decided to stay in Washington.
Now to the intelligence agencies.
In going through
Oswald's address book...
...our contact man came across
the name and telephone number...
...of somebody called Fred Hastings.
Now, Hastings is an FBl man
working out of the Dallas office.
You know him?
Oswald has his telephone number?
I was about to mention Mr. Hastings.
He's visited Mrs. Oswald once
and her landlady twice...
...since the first of the month.
He knows that Oswald works
in the book depository.
And we must assume he also knows...
...that the president's motorcade
will pass the book depository.
Yet neither the local
nor the Washington office of the FBl...
...has reported that
to the Secret Service.
What about other Oswald files?
The Office of Naval Intelligence
is watching him.
The CIA regularly monitors his mail.
No one has reported anything
to the Secret Service.
They don't even know
that Lee Harvey Oswald exists.
His name appears nowhere
in their files.
Let's have a drink.
Dallas has one of the highest
murder rates.
In two years, the Secret Service
has established 149 threats...
...against Kennedy's life
from Texas alone.
Yet they send him into hostile territory
with no more protection...
...than you and I would arrange
for a favorite dog.
What would you say if I told you
that as of November 8...
...Secret Service files
find not one individual...
...in the entire
Fort Worth-Dallas territory...
...who represents a threat
to the president's security?
I'd believe it.
Also there will be no search
of the buildings in Dealey Plaza.
And there will be no Secret Service men
stationed in Dealey Plaza.
Not one.
The lead car will carry
the chief of police, the county sheriff...
...and the two top-ranking
Secret Service agents.
It'll be a closed car.
- They won't be able to see a thing.
- Oh, well.
Soon be over.
Then there'll be...
...nothing we can call our own
but death.
That small model of the barren earth...
...which serves as paste
and cover to our bones.
For God's sake,
let us sit upon the ground...
...and tell sad stories
of the death of kings.
The president John F. Kennedy is getting
a warm welcome here in Fort Worth...
...the third stop in his whirlwind trip
through our state.
After this meeting with the Fort Worth
Chamber of Commerce...
...the president and first lady
will fly to Dallas.
This is from one of our people
in Fort Worth.
"Last night in Fort Worth,
nine Secret Service agents...
...went to the Fort Worth Press Club
for drinks.
Seven of the nine remained
till 2 in the morning.
All three night guards left the hotel
and went to the Cellar House.
Secret Service rules state
that use of intoxicating liquor...
...is strictly prohibited
while agents are on travel status"...
...as these agents were.
Four of the nine
who violated rules last night...
...have key responsibilities
in the Dallas motorcade.
Air Force Number 1,
ladies and gentlemen...
...carrying the president
of the United States.
With the seal on the side.
Beautiful sight. Beautiful sight.
Did you hear those shots?
- What are you doing here?
- It's all right.
- What happened?
- Secret Service.
Hey, you. Come here.
- Who are you?
- Hell, I work here.
- He work here too?
- Yeah.
We have just arrived
here at Parkland Hospital.
It's hard to tell what's really going on.
People here with dazed looks
on their faces.
Police are keeping everybody out.
Very difficult to believe
this has happened.
We understand they're giving
the president blood transfusions...
...and fighting very hard
to save his life.
Word just came through
on Secretary Rusk's news ticker.
The president's been shot.
Get me Defense.
Something's happened
to my codebook.
Hello? Hello?
Defense Department? Is this the...?
- Hello?
- Have you called him yet?
There's no answer, senator.
The line went dead.
I'm sorry, our lines
are temporarily out of order.
I'm sorry, our lines are out of order.
Sorry, sir, our lines
are temporarily out of order.
Ladies and gentlemen,
the president is dead.
We've just been given word
that President John Kennedy is dead.
They've administered the last rites
of the Catholic Church...
...to President John F. Kennedy.
Nothing about Oswald.
Dallas police have arrested a man
whom they suspect of being involved...
...in the assassination
of President Kennedy.
He was apprehended
in the Oak Cliff area...
...after allegedly killing a policeman.
This side.
- Did you shoot the president?
- I didn't shoot anybody, no, sir.
I'm just a patsy.
I'm just a patsy.
Oh, knock it off, bub.
This wasn't in the scenario,
was it, Mr. Farrington?
No scenario's perfect, Tim.
Probably realized
the position he'd been placed in...
...slipped out of the depository,
stopped by his room for the gun...
...and then ran into the policeman
and panicked.
- Find out what's happened to him.
- Okay, Mr. Farrington.
Identified as Lee Harvey Oswald,
an employee...
I'll have to leave Dallas.
...of the Texas Book Depository
overlooking Dealey Plaza...
...where the president was shot.
So far, the police are releasing no...
It's terrible, Hymie, terrible.
No, you don't understand.
I gotta get out of this town.
I'm thinking of coming back to Chicago.
One thing I can tell you:
This case is cinched.
That this man killed the president.
There is no question in my mind about it.
Chief, can you tell us in summary...
...what directly links Oswald
to the killing of the president?
Well, he was on the floor
where the shots were fired from...
...immediately before
the shots were fired.
He was seen carrying a package
to the building.
Ballistic tests,
we haven't had a final report.
But it is-
I understand will be favorable.
If we can put his prints on the rifle...
...I am certain
that we can connect him.
Are there any other suspects
linked with Oswald?
Thank you.
Is there any indication
that this was an organized plot...
- ... or was it one man?
- There's no one else but him.
Stuttgart, Gate 12.
Thank you. Let's go.
Jack. Where is everybody?
The joint's closed.
Didn't you see the sign?
No, I came through the back way.
What's wrong?
What's wrong? You stupid bitch,
don't you read the newspapers?
They killed Kennedy this afternoon.
Sure, I know that, Jack,
but why are we closing down?
Because it looks good, that's why.
Now get out of here.
Go on home.
Hey, wait a minute.
I gave your number to a guy.
A guy named Burger. Henry Burger.
He's a new cop.
He may get lonesome,
give you a call tonight.
If he does, you fix him up, huh?
Sure, I'll fix him up.
May I bring you a drink, sir?
Drink, sir?
Yeah, vodka rocks.
I really don't know
what this situation is about.
Nobody has told me anything
except that I'm accused...
...of murdering a policeman.
I know nothing more than that.
I do request
someone to come forward...
...to give me legal assistance.
Did you kill the president?
No. I have not been charged
with that.
In fact,
nobody has said that to me yet.
The first thing I heard about it...
...was when the newspaper reporters
in the hall asked me that question.
How did you hurt your eye,
Mr. Oswald?
A policeman hit me.
- You okay?
- Considering I hit the wrong guy, yes.
- Here he comes.
- Here he comes.
Here comes Oswald
down the hall again.
Did you buy that rifle?
Dispatches you people have been given,
but I emphatically deny these charges.
- What will he tell them?
- Very little.
Police revealed no further information
since their first statement.
Sergeant Nelson, you say he was
interrogated yesterday at 4:30, right?
- And again at 6:20, right?
- Yes.
And once more at 7:40.
How many hours of interrogation
did that come to?
I don't rightly know, because I'm not sure
when the last interrogation ended.
Was the interrogation
taped or recorded?
No, sir.
Was it taken down by a stenotypist?
No, sir.
Was it taken down by a secretary
in shorthand?
No, sir.
Well, has Captain Fritz
had any of his notes transcribed?
- No, sir.
- Well, why not?
No, sir, didn't keep any notes.
How do you know what he said
in those three interrogations?
Oh, we got a pretty good idea
what he said, all right.
What time are you transferring him
to the county jail tomorrow?
We haven't decided
on what time yet...
...but when we do,
you boys will get a break on it.
You always have. Haven't you, now?
- Wait, wait.
- Just one more question.
In Washington, a silent crowd
has gathered outside the White House...
...on this grim and somber Saturday,
maintaining a patient vigil...
...while high government officials
and ambassadors of many nations...
Stan? Jack Ruby.
Have you gotten any word when they're
gonna transfer him to the county jail?
Yeah? Okay.
Why do you think
he would want to kill the president?
Was it...?
The only thing I do is take the evidence,
present it to jury...
...and I don't pass on why he did it
or anything else.
We're just asked to prove that he did it,
which I think we have.
How many cases
have you been involved in...
...where the death penalty is involved?
Since I've been district attorney...
...I've asked the death penalty
in 24 cases.
- How many times have you attained it?
- Twenty-three.
There is Lee Oswald.
There is the prisoner
being led out by Captain Fritz.
He's been shot. He's been shot.
Lee Oswald has been shot.
There's the man with a-
It's absolute panic.
Absolute panic here in the basement
of Dallas Police Headquarters.
Detectives have their guns drawn.
Oswald has been shot.
- Did you see it?
- No.
Get them out of the way.
Try to keep the press off.
Please clear the way.
- Stand back.
- All right.
As for what kind of charges,
I can't tell you that.
Would you be willing to say it was,
with all this evidence-
That it is now beyond
a reasonable doubt at all...
...that Oswald was the killer
of President Kennedy?
I would say that, without any doubt,
he's the killer.
The law says, beyond a reasonable
doubt and to a moral certainty.
Which there's no question that he was
the killer of President Kennedy.
- That case is closed in your mind.
- As far as Oswald's concerned, yes.
It's so unlikely, I don't see
how anyone can believe it.
Everyone will believe it.
They wanna believe it.
They have to.
People, the government, everyone.
Even his brother?
He's the attorney general,
for God's sake.
But he's not thinking
as attorney general tonight.
He's grieving for a murdered brother.
By the time his grief subsides,
all the power will have passed.
It'll be too late.
That's right.
Hold the body there.
Make arrangements in the morning.
That's right. Thank you. Good night.
That was Tim.
James Farrington...
...heart attack.
Parkland Hospital.