Assassinations Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Assassinations Media Articles in Major Media
Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions, according to officials. There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House's National Security Council. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate. The panel was behind the decision to add Awlaki ... to the target list. He was killed by a CIA drone strike in Yemen late last month. The White House is portraying the killing of Awlaki as a demonstration of President Barack Obama's toughness toward militants who threaten the United States. But the process that led to Awlaki's killing has drawn fierce criticism from both the political left and right. Obama, who ran for president denouncing predecessor George W. Bush's expansive use of executive power in his "war on terrorism," is being attacked in some quarters for using similar tactics. They include secret legal justifications and undisclosed intelligence assessments. Liberals criticized the drone attack on an American citizen as extra-judicial murder. Conservatives criticized Obama for refusing to release a Justice Department legal opinion that reportedly justified killing Awlaki.
Note: State assassination of a citizen without due process would seem to be the ultimate attack on civil liberties. For lots more on such threats from reliable sources, click here.
Republican presidential contender Ron Paul on [October 5] suggested that the United States could assassinate journalists the same way it targeted Americans with ties to al-Qaida. The Texas congressman again criticized President Barack Obama for approving last week's drone strikes in Yemen against a U.S. citizen who was tracked and executed based on secret intelligence. [Another American citizen] also died in the bombing. Escalating his criticism, Paul told a National Press Club luncheon that if citizens do not protest the deaths, the country will start adding reporters to its list of threats that must be taken out. "Can you imagine being put on a list because you're a threat? What's going to happen when they come to the media? What if the media becomes a threat? ... This is the way this works. It's incrementalism," Paul said. Paul, making his second run for the Republican presidential nomination, has built a die-hard following among the GOP's libertarian wing and has worked to court anti-war conservatives.
Note: For key reports on government corruption from major media sources, click here.
Is it legal for the federal government to kill a U.S. citizen overseas, someone who has never been charged or convicted of a crime? Civil liberties groups are condemning the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, but many legal scholars say it is justified. No U.S. court has ever weighed in on the question, because judges consider these sorts of issues exclusively matters for the president. Anwar al-Awlaki's father, Nasser, with the help of the ACLU, sued President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and CIA Director Leon Panetta a year ago, when it became clear that the U.S. was targeting the younger al-Awlaki. But U.S. District Judge John Bates threw the case out, ruling that federal courts were in no position to evaluate whether someone was a terrorist whose activities threatened national security and against whom the use of deadly force could be justified. The ACLU lawyer who handled the case, Jameel Jaffer, said Friday that the U.S. program that targeted al-Awlaki was a violation of both U.S. and international law. "The government's authority to use lethal force against its own citizens should be limited to circumstances in which the threat to life is concrete, specific and imminent. It is a mistake to invest the president, any president, with the unreviewable power to kill any American whom he deems to present a threat to the country," Jaffer said.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the illegal prosecution of the "Global War on Terror", click here.
New evidence has emerged in one of the most enduring mysteries of United Nations and African history, suggesting that the plane carrying the UN secretary general Dag Hammarskjöld was shot down over Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) 50 years ago, and the murder was covered up by British colonial authorities. A British-run commission of inquiry blamed the crash in 1961 on pilot error and a later UN investigation largely rubber-stamped its findings. They ignored or downplayed witness testimony of villagers near the crash site which suggested foul play. The key witnesses were located and interviewed over the past three years by Göran Björkdahl, a Swedish aid worker based in Africa. The investigation led Björkdahl to previously unpublished telegrams ... which illustrate US and British anger at an abortive UN military operation that the secretary general ordered on behalf of the Congolese government against a rebellion backed by western mining companies and mercenaries in the mineral-rich Katanga region. Hammarskjöld was flying to Ndola for peace talks with the Katanga leadership at a meeting that the British helped arrange. The fiercely independent Swedish diplomat had, by then, enraged almost all the major powers on the security council with his support for decolonisation, but support from developing countries meant his re-election as secretary general would have been virtually guaranteed at the general assembly vote due the following year.
[Attorney-General Dominic Grieve's] refusal yesterday to request an inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly was furiously condemned by campaigners, who are now planning [to] seek a judicial review of Mr Grieve's decision. Dr Stephen Frost, who has led a group of campaigning doctors, said the decision was "deeply flawed" with "no basis in law". Calling the continuing "cover-up of the truth" a "national disgrace", he said they were "perplexed and outraged" and called for Mr Grieve to resign. Dr Kelly's body was found in woods near his Oxfordshire home in 2003, shortly after he had been revealed as the source of a BBC report claiming a government dossier [on evidence for Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction"] had been sexed up. The respected weapons inspector died aged 59, two days after he had faced MPs' questioning. The campaigning doctors ... pointed out the [Hutton] inquiry spent only half a day of its 24 days considering the cause of Dr Kelly's death and insisted no "coroner in the land would have reached a suicide verdict on the evidence". Yesterday Dr Frost added: "This Government has now revealed itself to be complicit in a determined and concerted cover-up."
Note: For much more on government secrecy from reliable sources, click here.
Chile's Communist Party wants a formal investigation into the death of the country's revered poet Pablo Neruda, who officially died of cancer only days after the 1973 coup toppled his close friend, President Salvador Allende. Several witnesses have raised doubts about his death recently, including Neruda's driver, who says he was poisoned by government agents. Neruda died at the age of 69 on Sept. 23, 1973, 12 days after the coup. He had just published a withering criticism of Gen. Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship that eulogized Allende and accused Chile's soldiers of having betrayed their country. He'd won the Nobel Prize for Literature two years earlier, giving him great international prestige. Neruda died, officially of prostate cancer, in the same clinic where former President Eduardo Frei was allegedly poisoned in 1981 by six people, including several Pinochet agents, who were charged last year in connection with his death. Now Neruda's driver, Manuel Araya, has alleged that Pinochet agents injected deadly poison into Neruda's stomach. [There are] similar doubts about the deaths of Allende, Frei and Allende's defense minister Jose Toha, who was found hanged in a closet while in military custody.
Note: For important revelations from major media sources about assassinations of prominent political figures, click here.
“Unlawful Killing,” a documentary about the death of Princess Diana that began to stir up controversy even before it got [to the Cannes Film Festival, was] directed by Keith Allen [and] earned global [comment] for including a graphic image of the aftermath of the car accident that took Diana’s life in 1997, the details of which have historically been distorted in the interest of taste. The photo does appear in “Unlawful Killing,” but only for a moment, and within the legitimate context of Allen’s claim that Diana received tardy and inadequate care immediately after the wreck and that a more timely response would have saved her life. “Unlawful Killing,” which is part of the Cannes “Marche du Film,” or Film Market, and played here ... to a packed house of buyers and critics, will surely raise hackles for the additional ... accusations Allen levels in the film. These include allegations ... that Diana was murdered, most likely by a cabal involving the royal family, the political establishment and the secret services; that she was killed because she was threatening the British arms industry with her work against land mines; and that the inquest into the death ... was little more than a coverup in which the media were ... complicit.
Note: For more on Princess Diana's mysterious death, click here.
Convicted assassin Sirhan Sirhan was manipulated by a seductive girl in a mind control plot to shoot Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, and his bullets did not kill the presidential candidate, lawyers for Sirhan said in new legal papers. The documents filed this week in federal court detail extensive interviews with Sirhan during the past three years, some done while he was under hypnosis. The papers point to a mysterious girl in a polka-dot dress as the controller who led Sirhan to fire a gun in the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel. But the documents suggest a second person shot and killed Kennedy while using Sirhan as a diversion. For the first time, Sirhan said under hypnosis that on a cue from the girl he went into "range mode" believing he was at a firing range and seeing circles with targets in front of his eyes. "I thought that I was at the range more than I was actually shooting at any person, let alone Bobby Kennedy," Sirhan was quoted as saying during interviews with Daniel Brown, a Harvard University professor and expert in trauma memory and hypnosis. He interviewed Sirhan for 60 hours with and without hypnosis, according to the legal brief. The story of the girl has been a lingering theme in accounts of the events just after midnight on June 5, 1968, when Kennedy was gunned down in the hotel pantry after claiming victory in the California Democratic presidential primary.
Note: For many key reports from major media sources on political assassinations in the US, click here.
In his new book, 63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want You to Read, former wrestler turned governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura takes a close and at times disturbing look at major historical events. Ventura draws on public but often overlooked information about such events as John F. Kennedy's assassination and the 9/11 attacks, offering fresh, often intriguing insights. Here is an excerpt: "There is little value in ensuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment." – John F. Kennedy This book is titled 63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want You to Read, lest we forget that 1963 was the year that claimed the life of our 35th President. The conspiracy that killed JFK, and the cover-up that followed, is the forerunner for a lot of what you're going to read about in these pages. In fact, the idea behind this book came out of writing my last one, American Conspiracies. In poring through numerous documents, many of them available through the Freedom-of-Information Act, I came to realize the importance of the public's right to know. Let me begin by saying how concerned I am that we're moving rapidly in the direction President Kennedy tried to warn us about.
Note: Jesse Ventura reveals amazing information in this powerful interview. You might appreciate the video and all 10 pages available at the ABC News link above. For key reports from major media sources that shed light on the unsolved assassination of JFK and other major US political leaders, click here.
More than four decades after Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated, his convicted murderer wants to go free for a crime he says he can't remember. It's been this way almost from the beginning. Hypnotists and psychologists, lawyers and investigators have tried to jog his memory with no useful result. "There is no doubt he does not remember the critical events," said William F. Pepper, the attorney who will argue for Sirhan's parole. "He is not feigning it. He does not remember it." Pepper, a New York-based lawyer who also is a British barrister, is the latest advocate of a second gunman theory. Believers claim 13 shots were fired while Sirhan's gun held only eight bullets and that the fatal shot appeared to come from behind Kennedy while Sirhan faced him. Pepper also suggests Sirhan was "hypno-programmed," turning him into a virtual "Manchurian Candidate." Pepper said ... that he has had Sirhan examined several times by psychologist Daniel Brown of Harvard University, an expert in hypnosis of trauma victims. "There have been substantial breakthroughs. It was very clear to me that this guy did not kill Bob Kennedy," said Pepper. The lawyer notes that he has a personal tie to Kennedy, having been chairman of his citizens' committee when he ran for Senate in 1964. Pepper also represented James Earl Ray, through 10 years of appeals and a civil trial which he said proved that Ray was not King's killer. By then Ray was dead. By all accounts, Sirhan has been a model prisoner. Sirhan is a Christian and had no ties to terrorist groups.
Note: Few people know about the US civil trial in 1999 in Memphis where a jury took only one hour to rule that elements within government were guilty of conspiring to shoot Dr. Martin Luther King. For an astounding six-minute news clip on this little reported trial, click here. For summaries of many other major media articles suggesting a cover-up around the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and MLK, click here.
Today, millions of people on another continent are observing the 50th anniversary of an event few Americans remember, the assassination of Patrice Lumumba. The 35-year-old Lumumba was the first democratically chosen leader of the ... Democratic Republic of Congo. Thousands of Belgian officials who lingered on did their best to sabotage things: their code word for Lumumba in military radio transmissions was “Satan.” Shortly after he took office as prime minister, the C.I.A., with White House approval, ordered his assassination and dispatched an undercover agent with poison. The would-be poisoners could not get close enough to Lumumba to do the job, so instead the United States and Belgium covertly funneled cash and aid to rival politicians who seized power and arrested the prime minister. On Jan. 17, 1961, after being beaten and tortured, he was shot. Stephen R. Weissman, a former staff director of the House Subcommittee on Africa, recently pointed out that Lumumba’s violent end foreshadowed today’s American practice of “extraordinary rendition.” The Congolese politicians who planned Lumumba’s murder checked all their major moves with their Belgian and American backers, and the local C.I.A. station chief made no objection when they told him they were going to turn Lumumba over — render him, in today’s parlance — to the breakaway government of Katanga, which, everyone knew, could be counted on to kill him.
Note: The author of this article, Adam Hochschild, is the author of King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa and the forthcoming To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918.
It started with a fingerprint of a 25-year-old college professor who opposed the Vietnam War and ended with a search for his remains, 32 years later, in a wooded area near Eveleth, Minn. The FBI's files on Paul and Sheila Wellstone [show that] the FBI initially took interest in Wellstone as part of the broader surveillance of the American left ... and, in the end, [sifted] through the wreckage of the fatal plane crash that killed Wellstone and seven others eight years ago. Wellstone's surviving sons declined to comment on the documents, which were obtained in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by MPR News. The FBI did not include 76 pages related to the National Transportation Safety Board, the agency that investigated the crash. A request for those records is pending. Coleen Rowley, the 9/11 whistleblower and former chief legal advisor in the FBI's Minneapolis office, said the documents from 1970 shed light on the FBI's far-reaching efforts to quash political dissent. "I think this really is valuable … because it's basically history repeating what we have right now," she said, noting the recent FBI raids at the homes of several anti-war organizers in Minneapolis. Wellstone's arrest occurred less than a year before the official end of Cointelpro, a series of secret domestic surveillance programs created by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to monitor and disrupt groups deemed to be a threat to national security.
Note: For insights into the deeper implications of Senator Wellstone's mysterious plane crash, click here.
That photo of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. riding one of the first desegregated buses in Montgomery, Ala.? He took it. The well-known image of black sanitation workers carrying “I Am a Man” signs in Memphis? His. He was there in Room 306 of the Lorraine Hotel, Dr. King’s room, on the night he was assassinated. But now an unsettling asterisk must be added to the legacy of Ernest C. Withers, one of the most celebrated photographers of the civil rights era: He was a paid F.B.I. informer. On [September 12], The Commercial Appeal in Memphis published the results of a two-year investigation that showed Mr. Withers, who died in 2007 at age 85, had collaborated closely with two F.B.I. agents in the 1960s to keep tabs on the civil rights movement. From at least 1968 to 1970, Mr. Withers, who was black, provided photographs, biographical information and scheduling details to two F.B.I. agents in the bureau’s Memphis domestic surveillance program, Howell Lowe and William H. Lawrence, according to numerous reports summarizing their meetings. The reports were obtained by the newspaper under the Freedom of Information Act and posted on its Web site. While he was growing close to top civil rights leaders, Mr. Withers was also meeting regularly with the F.B.I. agents, disclosing details about plans for marches and political beliefs of the leaders, even personal information like the leaders’ car tag numbers.
Note: For a fascinating CNN interview with civil rights leader and former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young on this issue, click here. For key reports from reliable sources raising unanswered questions about the assassination of Martin Luther King and other major US political leaders, click here.
Nearly 40 years before the Obama White House denounced the WikiLeaks website for publishing classified documents, another president, Richard Nixon, was even more obsessed with the same phenomenon. Only Nixon and his top aides went to far greater lengths to deal with the problem: They launched an extraordinary campaign to smear and discredit the journalist who, more than anyone else, was bedeviling them by publishing government secrets: newspaper columnist Jack Anderson. The White House obsession with Anderson — whose "Washington Merry Go-Round" column was the WikiLeaks of its day — is detailed in a new book being published this month, Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson and the Rise of Washington’s Scandal Culture, by journalism professor Mark Feldstein. The book relies in part on newly unearthed tapes from the National Archives that document how Nixon’s aides plotted to destroy Anderson by planting forged evidence with him and spreading false rumors about his sex life and that of one of his associates. Feldstein also has uncovered new evidence that documents one of the more outrageous schemes of the Nixon presidency: a plot to assassinate Anderson by either putting poison in his medicine cabinet or exposing him to a “massive dose” of LSD by smearing it on the steering wheel of his car.
Note: For more on the use of LSD and other substances by the CIA for mind control and assassination, click here.
A retired FBI agent from Summit County is making claims regarding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy that go beyond conspiracy theories. Don Adams ... doesn't waiver from his position that Lee Harvey Oswald did not kill President John F. Kennedy in Dallas. "It is a fact," says Adams, and he says he has the FBI documents to prove it. One of Adams first assignments was investigating an extreme right radical, with connections to the States Rights Party and KKK named Joseph Adams Milteer. One week after completing the investigation, President Kennedy was gunned down in Dallas. Agent Adams located Milteer in Quintan, Georgia on November 27, 1963, but according to Adams, the Senior Agent in charge would not allow a proper interrogation. "I said, 'Boss wait a minute, we have an opportunity to elicit tremendous information from him' and he replied '5 questions and nothing more'." Years later, while searching the archives Adams learned that Milteer had threatened to kill President Kennedy November 9, 1963, just weeks before the assassination, and that FBI agents had allegedly lied about his whereabouts immediately following [the] threat. An FBI record states that after the assassination, "a jubilant" Milteer bragged to the informant, "You thought I was kidding when I said he would be killed from a window with a high powered rifle." Adams questions why Milteer appears in a photograph near President Kennedy's limousine before the shooting, but was never mentioned in the Warren Commission Report.
Note: For key articles from reliable sources on many still-unanswered questions about the John Kennedy and other major political assassinations, click here.
From 1960 to 1965, the CIA brainstormed at least eight plots to assassinate Cuba's Fidel Castro. According to a report prepared in 1967 and declassified 36 years later, the CIA thought of using cigars, contaminated air, poisoned pills, fungus and a poison-filled syringe to take out the Communist leader. One plot, which sought only to damage Castro's image, suggested placing thallium salt in his shoes, in the hope that his beard would fall out. But one idea stood out above the rest: the plan to kill Castro with a booby-trapped seashell. You see, the dictator was a fan of skin diving, so intelligence agents plotted to place an especially spectacular shell in a reef Castro was known to frequent. The hope was that the shell would be so beautiful that Castro would pick it up and, by doing so, trigger an explosive. Desmond Fitzgerald, the CIA's head of Cuban operations, went as far as to buy two books on Caribbean mollusks. But the elaborate scheme was deemed impractical.
Note: For more on assassinations as a tool of government policy, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Mafia bosses planned to "compromise" Bobby and Edward Kennedy at a New York party in a plot involving Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe, according to FBI documents. The intention was to work through "associates" of the two stars to lure the Kennedys, as well as Peter Lawford, their British actor brother-in-law and fellow member of Sinatra's "rat pack", into actions they would regret. The plot is thought to have fizzled out, but it is consistent with other accounts of the extraordinary links between [the Kennedys], the country's biggest stars and organised crime. Monroe, who died in 1962, allegedly had affairs with both Bobby Kennedy and John F Kennedy. It has previously been claimed that she passed on pillow talk from Bobby Kennedy to Sinatra who in turn passed them on to his mafia friends. As attorney general Robert Kennedy launched several investigations into the mob which it may have felt warranted a measure of retribution. From early on in his four-decade career in the senate, Edward Kennedy, the youngest of the three brothers, was known for his affairs with women and extravagant drinking habits. Papers released earlier this year the library of former president Richard Nixon showed that in the early 1970s he discussed with the aides the possibility of discrediting Kennedy by leaking news of his infidelities. Agents in Milwaukee took the information from an unidentified source "who had furnished reliable information in the past," according to the memo. However, the informant could not verify the truth of any of the rumor's details.
Only five days before a car bomb planted by agents of the Pinochet regime rocked downtown Washington D.C. on September 21, 1976, [assassinating Chilean exile diplomat Orlando Letelier and his assistant Ronni Moffitt,] Secretary of State Henry Kissinger rescinded instructions sent to, but never implemented by, U.S. ambassadors in the Southern Cone to warn military leaders there against orchestrating "a series of international murders," declassified documents obtained and posted by the National Security Archive revealed today. The instructions effectively ended efforts by senior State Department officials to deliver a diplomatic demarche, approved by Kissinger only three weeks earlier, to express "our deep concern" over "plans for the assassination of subversives, politicians, and prominent figures both within the national borders of certain Southern Cone countries and abroad." "The September 16th cable is the missing piece of the historical puzzle on Kissinger's role in the action, and inaction, of the U.S. government after learning of Condor assassination plots," according to Peter Kornbluh, the Archive's senior analyst on Chile and author of the book, The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability. "We know now what happened: The State Department initiated a timely effort to thwart a 'Murder Inc' in the Southern Cone, and Kissinger, without explanation, aborted it," Kornbluh said.
Note: George H.W. Bush was head of the CIA when Orlando Letelier was assassinated just a few blocks away from the director's office. For the full text of the documents click on the link above. For an analysis, click here.
A highly unusual ruling by Lord Hutton, who chaired the inquiry into Dr Kelly's death, means medical records including the post-mortem report will remain classified until after all those with a direct interest in the case are dead. And a 30-year secrecy order has been placed on written records provided to Lord Hutton's inquiry which were not produced in evidence. Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker, who has conducted his own investigations into Dr Kelly's death, described the order as "astonishing". Dr Kelly's body was found in woods close to his Oxfordshire home in 2003, shortly after it was revealed that he was the source of a BBC report casting doubt on the Government's claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction capable of being fired within 45 minutes. An inquest was suspended by then Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer, who ruled that Lord Hutton's inquiry could take its place. But ... the inquiry focused more on the question of how the BBC report came to be broadcast than on the medical explanation for Dr Kelly's death. Lord Hutton's report in 2004 concluded that Dr Kelly killed himself by cutting an artery in his wrist. But the finding has been challenged by doctors who claim that the weapons inspector's stated injuries were not serious enough.
Note: For a cache of illuminating reports on government secrecy, click here.
Is the Central Intelligence Agency covering up some dark secret about the assassination of John F. Kennedy? For six years, the agency has fought in federal court to keep secret hundreds of documents from 1963, when an anti-Castro Cuban group it paid clashed publicly with the soon-to-be [alleged] assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. The files in question, some released under direction of the court and hundreds more that are still secret, involve the curious career of George E. Joannides, the case officer who oversaw the dissident Cubans in 1963. In 1978, the agency made Mr. Joannides the liaison to the House Select Committee on Assassinations — but never told the committee of his earlier role. That concealment has fueled suspicion that Mr. Joannides’s real assignment was to limit what the House committee could learn about C.I.A. activities. The agency’s deception was first reported in 2001 by Jefferson Morley, who has doggedly pursued the files ever since. Mr. Morley, 51, [is] a former Washington Post reporter and the author of a 2008 biography of a former C.I.A. station chief in Mexico. After losing an appeals court decision in Mr. Morley’s lawsuit, the C.I.A. released material last year confirming Mr. Joannides’s deep involvement with the anti-Castro Cubans who confronted Oswald. But the agency is withholding 295 specific documents from the 1960s and ’70s, while refusing to confirm or deny the existence of many others. The deceptions began in 1964 with the Warren Commission. The C.I.A. hid its schemes to kill Fidel Castro and its ties to the anti-Castro Directorio Revolucionario Estudantil, or Cuban Student Directorate, which received $50,000 a month in C.I.A. support during 1963. In the years since Oswald was named as the assassin, speculation about who might have been behind him has never ended.
Note: For WantToKnow.info team member Peter Dale Scott's analysis of the extraordinary significance of this New York Times article, click here. For two revealing clips suggesting the official explanation of the JFK assassination was manipulated, click here (for a five-minute clip from the History Channel) and here (for a highly revealing documentary from a CBS affiliate).
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.