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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads on CIA Involvement in Plot against de Gaulle

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed. misleads viewers by alleging the CIA was involved in a plot against the life of French President Charles de Gaulle. Here is an excerpt from a transcript: (25:24 in the first episode)

Donald Sutherland: Beyond a coup, in fact, there were at least six attempts to assassinate de Gaulle by the OAS, and others that continued even after he agreed to grant Algeria its independence.

Scene from The Day of the Jackal

[Clip started when that narration did.]

Screen shot from JFK: Destiny Betrayed

(25:36 - 25:50: clip continues; shooting at a car, no voiceover]

Donald Sutherland: In one of these plots, there is evidence that French dissidents and the CIA conspired to poison de Gaulle.

JFK: Destiny Betrayed briefly shows the top of page one of the June 15, 1975 edition of the Chicago Tribune:

The alarmist headline belies the text in the body of the article;

In the outline presented to the congressional leaders, there is no hint of what the CIA's actual role might have been had the plot reached fruition. Also, there is no indication whether the CIA was to have arranged the assassination, provided the ring, or merely given its unofficial sanction to the killing thru financial or other support.

JFK: Destiny Betrayed misleads viewers by leaving the impression that the CIA was involved in assassination attempts on de Gaulle. But the CIA had absolutely nothing to do with the 1962 plot against de Gaulle in the fact-based but fictional film, The Day of the Jackal. Right after the clip, the film quickly transitions to the Chicago Tribune story.

As you can see from the Tribune article, the text doesn't really match the headline. There are very few specifics and there is no indication that the CIA initiated or did anything in this supposed plot.

And, of course, all of this followed the segment about supposed CIA involvement in the 1961 coup attempt on de Gaulle. You can read more about what really happened in the coup attempt here.

This never turned into a CIA embarrassment because nothing really happened. The producers of JFK: Destiny Betrayed thought the Chicago Tribune headline could serve their purposes, without informing the audience of what really happened.

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