Conspiracy-minded movie director Oliver Stone believes domestic spying under President Obama is more intrusive than the internal surveillance carried out by the ruthless secret police in the former communist East Germany.
Stone is currently promoting his new film, Snowden, the biopic starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the title role about the National Security Agency whistleblower who has been hiding out in Russia for several years.
Snowden has received mixed reviews from movie critics and has so far bombed at the box office.
The Oscar-winning director of Platoon and a Vietnam War veteran, Stone told the Agence France Presse news agency that he originally considered Obama “a man of great integrity,” but he no longer feels that way.
“On the contrary, Obama has doubled down on the [George W.] Bush administration policies. [Obama] as created… the most massive global security surveillance state that’s ever been seen, way beyond East Germany’s Stasi, way beyond that. In the name of one thing — terrorism — to change all the rules is not a marginal response, it’s an extreme response. Let’s beware of fascists and tyrants who tell us ‘we are going to protect you.’ I don’t want that.”
Stone, 70, who also directed JFK among other movies, has called upon Obama to pardon Snowden before he leaves office in January, although he acknowledged that it is a remote possibility.
In a review of Snowden, LifeZette claimed, “And [Stone is] not necessarily a fan of Barack Obama, who comes off as a complete buffoon. There was more affection displayed for George W. Bush in Stone’s W. Keep in mind that Obama promised to change Bush’s surveillance programs, labeling them abusive — and Stone wants you to remember that during this film. They’ve only gotten worse.”
During an interview with Wired, Oliver Stone added that Obama had done nothing to curb the influence of the “military-industrial complex,” which has taken control in a “coup.” A self-described Jill Stein voter, he also revealed that he enjoyed Donald Trump on TV and praised him as “the only Republican in history who has said the Iraq war was a disaster, except for maybe Ron Paul,” and Trump is someone unlikely to get the country involved in more wars overseas.
A separate AFP account quotes Oliver Stone as likening the U.S. election to a choice between a “warmonger” (Hillary Clinton) and a “charming madman” (Trump).
As reported in Salon, Oliver Stone also scolded the news media for completely missing the story on the DNC hacks, which was really about how Democrat insiders undermined Bernie Sanders insurgent primary campaign against Hillary Clinton.
“Stone blasted media reports implying that Russia was behind the recent hacks of Democratic National Committee computer systems, without any solid evidence. ‘They talk about the Russians ‘breaking into the DNC.’ It’s crap; they don’t know…There has been no statement pointing out specifically that they did this. It’s easy to say, ‘possibly,’ ‘suggests,’ all that crap.”
“Stone observed how during a recent TV interview he had discussed that the DNC had sabotaged Sanders’ campaign only to have the host dismissed his comments as a ‘conspiracy’ theory. ‘Come on, talk about what happened: Bernie Sanders and the DNC — that’s a story!’…It’s not about the Russians. This is impossible to prove, but they keep making these accusations. This is where the next war is going to come from.'”
The JFK director and Scarface screenwriter also dismissed the U.S. presidential election as superficial and irrelevant in part because neither Trump nor Clinton “has addressed the surveillance state.”
As of this writing, the total U.S. box office for Snowden is about $15 million since its September 16 release, with its opening weekend earning a disappointing $8 million.
[Featured Image by Alvaro Barrientos/AP Images]