Assassinations News ArticlesExcerpts of Key Assassinations News Articles in Media
For a quarter of a century, [Eric Olson] has believed that the Central Intelligence Agency murdered his father, a United States government scientist. On Nov. 28, 1953, around 2 a.m. [the] night manager at the Statler Hotel ... in New York rushed out the front door ... to find a middle-aged man lying on the sidewalk. The man had fallen from the 10th floor -- apparently after crashing through a closed window. [In late July, 1975] the C.I.A.'s director, William Colby [provided Olson's] family ... declassified documents relating to Frank Olson's death. Olson had not been a civilian employee of the Department of the Army. He had been a C.I.A. employee working at Fort Detrick. Olson's specialty, it turned out, had been the development of aerosols for the delivery of anthrax. The Colby documents were ... full of unexplained terms like the ''Artichoke'' and ''Bluebird'' projects. These turned out to be the precursors of what became known as MK-ULTRA, a C.I.A. project, beginning in the Korean War, to explore the use of drugs like LSD as truth serums, as well as botulism and anthrax, for use in covert assassination. The documents claimed that during a meeting between the C.I.A. and Fort Detrick scientists ... on Nov. 19,1953, Sidney Gottlieb of the C.I.A. slipped LSD into Olson's glass of Cointreau. Olson, a scientist by training, would have known that he was working for a government that had put Nazi scientists on trial at Nuremberg for immoral experiments on human beings. Now, in the late summer of 1953, [Olson] faced up to the possibility that his own government was doing the same thing. Slipping LSD into Olson's Cointreau was ... designed to get him to talk ... to assess what kind of risk he posed and then eliminate him if necessary.
Note: For those interested in this vital, yet disturbing topic, the entire Times article is well worth reading. For further verifiable information on the CIA mind control programs mentioned in this article, click here.
The CIA is acknowledging for the first time the extent of its deep involvement in Chile, where it dealt with coup-plotters, false propagandists and assassins. The agency [released] a declassified report required by the U.S. Congress. Despite the disclosures, the CIA report admits to no abuses or cover-up by CIA agents. But it chronicles clandestine contacts authorized by then-U.S. President Richard Nixon and other top U.S. officials which it said would violate standards now upheld by the agency. Among the disclosures: The CIA had prior knowledge of the plot that overthrew Allende three years later. The CIA supported a kidnapping attempt of Chile's army chief in October 1970, as part of a plot to prevent the congressional confirmation of Allende as president. The kidnapping attempt failed, and Gen. Rene Schneider was shot and killed. The CIA later paid $35,000 to the kidnappers in what it termed "humanitarian" assistance. The CIA made a one-time payment to secret police head Gen. Manuel Contreras Sepulveda, the head of the military regime's feared secret police. He was sentenced in 1993 for killing Chilean socialist leader Orlando Letelier in Washington in 1976. Contreras has said the CIA was behind the assassination. The report also describes efforts to influence news media in Chile against Allende and to continue anti-leftist propaganda efforts by successor Pinochet, "including support for news media committed to creating a positive image for the military Junta" now accused of an array of abuses during his 17-year rule, including more than 3,000 killings.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency operations news articles from reliable major media sources.
A jury in Memphis decided last month that Dr. King was not the victim of a gunman acting alone, but was instead the victim of a far-reaching conspiracy that included the United States government. This year's national holiday ... comes just weeks after the controversial verdict was delivered. At Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Dr. King preached his gospel of nonviolence, the Rev. Joseph L. Roberts Jr. said the verdict confirmed what he had always suspected: that Dr. King's assassination was a conspiracy. Dr. King's widow and children have long questioned Mr. Ray's 1969 conviction, and hoped that their civil suit would change the legal and historical record of the assassination. And on Dec. 8, a Memphis jury seemed to give them what they wanted. The jury declared that Loyd Jowers, 73, a retired Memphis restaurant owner, was liable in Dr. King's death for purportedly hiring a Memphis police officer, now dead, to kill Dr. King. The jury also found that unnamed others, including government agencies, had been involved, in effect accepting the King family's contention that Mr. Ray was innocent, despite his guilty plea. Mr. Jowers, through his lawyer, has said he participated in a conspiracy but did not know it was a plot to kill Dr. King. The jury awarded the King family members the damages they had sought: $100, which they say they will donate to charity. The Memphis jury was the first to hold someone accountable for playing a role in Dr. King's assassination.
Note: Why haven't you heard about this stunning trail verdict? And why wasn't this front page news? For an excellent, six-minute Canadian news broadcast on this amazing court case and verdict, click here. For the complete transcript of this highly revealing trial, click here. And for dozens of major media articles suggestion that the assassinations of both Kennedys and King were not the work of a lone gunman, click here. For some of the awesome and inspiring quotes and audio and video clips of Martin Luther King, Jr., click here.
The Central Intelligence Agency is getting a very bad press in dispatches from Vietnam to American newspapers and in articles originating in Washington. The agency is precluded from [giving] information to the press, under a seal of confidence, that challenges or refutes the critics ... because to do so would require some disclosure of its activities. Every President since the C.I.A. was created has protected this secrecy. This Presidential policy has not, however, always restrained other executive units from going confidentially to the press with attacks on C.I.A. operations. The peak of the practice has recently been reached in Vietnam and in Washington. This is revealed almost every day now in dispatches from reporters ... with excellent reputations for reliability. One reporter in this category is Richard Starnes, [who] related that, "according to a high United States source here, twice the C.I.A. flatly refused to carry out instructions from Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge ... [and] in one instance frustrated a plan of action Mr. Lodge brought from Washington because the agency disagreed with it." Among the views attributed to United States officials on the scene, including one described as a "very high American official ... are the following: The C.I.A.'s growth was "likened to a malignancy" which the "very high official was not sure even the White House could control ... any longer." "If the United States ever experiences [an attempt at a coup to overthrow the Government] it will come from the C.I.A. and not the Pentagon." The agency "represents a tremendous power and total unaccountability to anyone.
Note: The NY Times requires payment to view the above article in full. You can find it available free of charge on this webpage. Note the date of this article, just weeks before JFK was assassinated. Watch an excellent documentary titled "The Killing of a President," which presents huge amounts of evidence, including eye-witness testimony, which shows that JFK could not have been killed by Oswald. You can find an abundance of reliable resources on the JFK assassination in our information center on this topic.
A memo written by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, released among 2,800 declassified records relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, has shown how in the days after Lee Harvey Oswald was shot, the FBI planned to convince the public that he was the real assassin as soon as possible. In the document, dictated shortly after Oswald was shot by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby, Hoover explains. “The thing I am concerned about, and so is [Attorney General Nicholas] Katzenbach, is having something issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin,” Hoover said in the 1963 memo. The former FBI director went on to explain that establishing which facts could and could not be made public was important because of the possible foreign policy implications. “There are several aspects which would complicate our foreign relations,” Hoover says in the memo. These were namely that the FBI was aware Oswald had contacted both the Cuban embassy in Mexico City and the Soviet Embassy in Washington. Hoover explained that having the interception of these messages - one of them to the “man in the Soviet Embassy in charge of assassinations and similar activities on the part of the Soviet government” - made public would have “muddied the waters internationally.” Roughly 300 documents of the tranche of what would have been 3,100 documents pertaining to the assassination of President Kennedy have been withheld [by] President Donald Trump.
Note: Why are documents related to the JFK assassination still classified over 50 years after that fact? Why did Trump backtrack on his campaign promise to release all of these files? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and assassinations.
“My father was the chief law enforcement officer in this country,” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. recently told The Washington Post. “I think it would have disturbed him if somebody was put in jail for a crime they didn’t commit.” Kennedy’s second oldest son now believes ... that his father was killed by a second gunman. RFK Jr. even visited Sirhan Sirhan, the man convicted of shooting and killing his father, because he was “curious and disturbed by what I had seen in the evidence.” He isn’t the only one. “If you believe the LAPD reports about this case, there is no way that Sirhan did it and did it alone,” Dan Moldea, an investigative journalist and author of The Killing of Robert F. Kennedy, told Boston.com. Kennedy was assassinated ... on June 5, 1968, at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Kennedy was walking through the hotel kitchen pantry [and] was shot from behind at point-blank range. Sirhan approached from the front, on Kennedy’s right. His gun never got closer than about a foot-and-a-half away [and] carried a maximum of just eight bullets. And yet, there’s evidence that suggests more than eight shots were fired. Who would the second gunman have been? Theorists most commonly point to ... Thane Eugene Cesar. Cesar was a security guard who hated the Kennedys. Cesar was also walking with Kennedy when the shooting occurred and ... owned a .22-caliber similar to Sirhan’s gun, which he initially told police he sold before the assassination, but had actually, it was later found, sold three months after the shooting.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing assassinations news articles from reliable major media sources.
Fifty years ago ... Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down in Memphis. The Washington Post is running a series of commentaries. The New York Times ran an emotional editorial. Neither paper will mention that they each denounced Dr. King in his later years. Nor will any outlet today likely mention that King had fallen sharply out of favor with much of the national media ... on April 4, 1967. The offense was a speech in New York. King spoke of the “hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence” abroad, and added that a country as financially and politically committed to war as ours could never fight a “War on Poverty” in earnest. One hundred and sixty-eight newspapers denounced him in the days that followed. These editorials had a peculiarly vicious flavor. In late 1967, King pooh-poohed the “violence” and “extremism” criticisms of the civil rights movement, explicitly saying the excesses of urban rioters were “infinitely less dangerous and immoral” than the cold, corporatized murder of the “American mainstream.” “If destruction of property is deplorable,” he asked, “what is the use of napalm on people?” Yet the “mainstream” King is the one most Americans have been conditioned to believe in. King ... died wanting us to radically change our way of life. But history has sanitized him, turning him into a mainstream leader who accomplished what he could within an acceptable role. That sanitizing continues on each of these anniversaries, and is a sad commentary on our inability to listen to even the best of us.
Note: A recent Corbett Report on the assassination of MKL has some powerful evidence of conspiracy at the highest levels. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.
Despite the Cold War rhetoric of his campaign, JFK's greatest ambition as president was to break the militaristic ideology that has dominated our country since World War II. He told his close friend Ben Bradlee that he wanted the epitaph "He kept the peace," and said to another friend, William Walton, "I am almost a 'peace at any price' president." Hugh Sidey, a journalist and friend, wrote that the governing aspect of JFK's leadership was "a total revulsion" of war. Nevertheless, as James W. Douglass argues in his book JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, JFK's presidency would be a continuous struggle with his own military and intelligence agencies, which engaged in incessant schemes to trap him into escalating the Cold War into a hot one. His first major confrontation with the Pentagon, the Bay of Pigs catastrophe, came only three months into his presidency and would set the course for the next 1,000 days. From the start, JFK recoiled at the caper's stench, as CIA Director Allen Dulles has acknowledged, demanding assurances from CIA and Pentagon brass that there was no chance of failure and that there would be no need for U.S. military involvement. Dulles and the generals knowingly lied and gave him those guarantees. When the invasion failed, JFK refused to order airstrikes against Castro. JFK was realizing that the CIA posed a monumental threat to American democracy. As the brigade faltered, he told Arthur Schlesinger that he wanted to "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds."
Note: For more on the powerful social forces that assassinated JFK, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
It has long been known that the Warren Commission ... was flawed in ways that led to generations of conspiracy theories about what happened on Nov. 22, 1963. A [new] book from former New York Times reporter Philip Shenon digs into exactly what the commission got wrong, both by intentional concealment, or, in Shenon's view, extensive attempts by both the CIA and FBI to withhold just how much they knew about Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. "Much of the truth about the Kennedy assassination has still not been told, [and] much of the evidence about the president's murder was covered up or destroyed - shredded, incinerated, or erased - before it could reach the commission," Shenon writes in the prologue to A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination, which draws its title from the first sentence of the commission's report. Shenon tells the story of how Navy pathologist James Humes threw his blood-stained notes from Kennedy's autopsy into the fire after he transcribed a fresh copy of the report. He said that he wanted to keep the documents from falling into the hands of "ghouls," and gave a similar rationale for ordering that the sheets that covered Kennedy's head wounds in Dallas be laundered during the autopsy. The commission's investigators never even saw the photos and X-rays from the autopsy. Shenon also points to the CIA as having taken great steps to cover up their knowledge of Oswald's visit to Mexico City before the assassination.
Note: As the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination approaches see our powerful JFK assassination information center and the best videos and news articles on the topic. For more on political assassinations, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Newly declassified documents obtained [by] Judicial Watch, are raising questions over the U.S. government's handling of Anwar al-Awlaki, and whether it [recruited] the radical American cleric as an intelligence source in 2002. Director Robert Mueller did not dismiss the possibility. "I am not personally familiar with any effort to recruit Anwar al-Awlaki as an asset -- that does not mean to say there was not an effort at some level of the Bureau (FBI) or another agency to do so," Mueller said. Fox's ongoing reporting ... shows that in 2002 he was released from custody at JFK international airport -- despite an active warrant for his arrest -- with the okay of FBI Agent Wade Ammerman. Within days of his re-entry, al-Awlaki showed up in Ammerman's counter-terrorism investigation in Virginia into Ali al-Timimi, who is now serving a life sentence on non-terrorism charges. None of the information about al-Awlaki's release from federal custody at JFK, a sudden decision by the Justice Department in October 2002 to rescind an arrest warrant for the cleric, nor the cleric's connection to Ammerman was provided to the defense during Timimi’s 2005 trial. Documents ... show the FBI Director was more deeply involved in the post-9/11 handling of al-Awlaki than previously known. One memo from Mueller to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft on Oct. 3, 2002 -- seven days before the cleric re-entered the U.S. and was detained at JFK -- is marked "Secret" and titled "Anwar Aulaqi: IT-UBL/AL-QAEDA." "Why would al-Awlaki get the attention of the FBI Director? Why would a warrant for his arrest be pulled when he's trying to reenter the country?" asked Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Note: Al-Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico and was a US citizen, died in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen nearly two years ago, the first American targeted for death by the CIA, by its own admission. With the confirmation that he had been an intelligence asset for the US government as early as 2002, his assassination takes on new significance. For more on the murky background of Al-Awlaki, click here and here.
Five decades after President John F. Kennedy was fatally shot and long after official inquiries ended, thousands of pages of investigative documents remain withheld from public view. The contents of these files are partially known — and intriguing — and conspiracy buffs are not the only ones seeking to open them for a closer look. Some serious researchers believe the off-limits files could shed valuable new light on nagging mysteries of the assassination — including what U.S. intelligence agencies knew about accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald before Nov. 22, 1963. It turns out that several hundred of the still-classified pages concern a deceased CIA agent, George Joannides, whose activities just before the assassination and, fascinatingly, during a government investigation years later, have tantalized researchers for years. "This is not about conspiracy, this is about transparency," said Jefferson Morley, a former Washington Post reporter and author embroiled in a decade-long lawsuit against the CIA, seeking release of the closed documents. "I think the CIA should obey the law. I don't think most people think that's a crazy idea." But so far, the Joannides files and thousands more pages primarily from the CIA remain off-limits at a National Archives center in College Park, Md. Anthony Summers, a British author whose sequel to his JFK book Not In Your Lifetime will be released this year, [said] "By withholding Joannides material, the agency continues to encourage the public to believe they're covering up something more sinister."
Note: For more on the strange secrecy around Joannides and his checkered past, see the New York Times article summarized here. For more on political assassinations, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Gaeton Fonzi was one of the most relentless investigators on the House Select Committee on Assassinations in the late 1970s, remembered by former colleagues with [awe at] his pursuit of the full story behind the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Mr. Fonzi was also the staff member most publicly dismayed by the committee’s final report, which concluded in 1979 that the president “was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.” Of course it was a conspiracy, said Mr. Fonzi, a journalist recruited mainly on the strength of scathing magazine critiques he had written about the Warren Commission and its conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone in killing the president in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. But who were the conspirators? What was their motive? How could the committee close its doors without the answers? Mr. Fonzi ... nailed those questions to the committee’s locked doors, figuratively, in a long article he wrote the next year for Washingtonian magazine and in a 1993 book, The Last Investigation. In both, he chronicled the near-blanket refusal of government intelligence agencies, especially the C.I.A., to provide the committee with documents it requested. And he accused committee leaders of folding under pressure — from Congressional budget hawks, political advisers and the intelligence agencies themselves — just as promising new leads were emerging. “Is it unrealistic to desire, for something as important as the assassination of a president, an investigation unbound by political, financial or time restrictions?” he asked.
Note: For the government report stating that Kennedy's assassination was like the result of a conspiracy and other revealing reports from reliable major media sources on political assassinations, click here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The murder of President Kennedy was a seminal event for me and for millions of Americans. It changed the course of history. It was a crushing blow to our country and to millions of people around the world. Today, ... profound doubts persist about how President Kennedy was killed and why. My film "JFK" was a metaphor for all those doubts, suspicions and unanswered questions. Now an extraordinary new book offers the best account I have read of this tragedy and its significance. That book is James Douglass's JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters. In his beautifully written and exhaustively researched treatment, Douglass lays out the "motive" for Kennedy's assassination. Simply, he traces a process of steady conversion by Kennedy from his origins as a traditional Cold Warrior to his determination to pull the world back from the edge of destruction. Many of these steps are well known, such as Kennedy's disillusionment with the CIA after the disastrous Bay of Pigs Invasion, and his refusal to follow the reckless recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in resolving the Cuban Missile Crisis. But many of his steps remain unfamiliar: Kennedy's back-channel dialogue with Khrushchev and their shared pursuit of common ground; his secret opening to dialogue with Fidel Castro (ongoing the very week of his assassination); and his determination to pull out of Vietnam after his probable re-election in 1964. All of these steps caused him to be regarded as a virtual traitor by elements of the military-intelligence community. These were the forces that planned and carried out his assassination.
A piece of JFK assassination history now lies buried in the most unlikely of places: a former limestone quarry in Kansas. It is the end – at least for now – in the long and sometimes strange journey of Parkland Memorial Hospital Trauma Room No. 1, where President John F. Kennedy died on Nov. 22, 1963. The entire room was purchased by the federal government 35 years ago, when Parkland officials decided to modernize their emergency facilities. It was dismantled and the contents – all of them, the examination table, clocks, floor tiling, lockers, trash cans, surgical instruments, gloves, cotton balls, even a towel dispenser – were placed in a locked vault in a Fort Worth warehouse run by the National Archives and Records Administration. The artifacts lay undisturbed there until September, when they were moved to an archives facility in Lenexa, Kan., a suburb of Kansas City, Mo. "It's in a secure location," Reed Whitaker, the agency's Central Plains Region administrator, confirmed last week. And in a comment guaranteed to get the conspiracy theorists going, he added: "Basically, it's not to be examined, not to be shown to the press, not to be photographed, not to be exhibited to the public." Under the sale agreement between Parkland and the federal government, archives officials agreed to close the trauma room and its contents to the public, saying that they wanted to shield the pieces from exploitation. A formal request in 2000 from The Dallas Morning News to view and photograph the artifacts was summarily rejected.
Note: For a treasure trove of revealing stories from reliable sources on major assassinations, click here.
A mirror. Two flickering candles. And Sirhan Sirhan. Focusing his mind power on the looking glass, Sirhan soon convinced himself that he could order an inanimate object to move. He rigged a pendulum from a fisherman's weight, and on command, he said, it began to sway. Yet telekinesis—the ability to cause objects at a distance to move through the exercise of will—was a frightening power, and Sirhan feared that he might lose his mind. The candles swayed and changed color. Sirhan insisted that it was no trick of imagination, reported Dr. Bernard L. Diamond. The noted psychoanalyst, who combines professorships in law, psychiatry and criminology at the University of California at Berkeley, was the star witness for Sirhan's defense. His testimony buttressed the diagnoses of five other experts that Sirhan was afflicted with paranoia and schizophrenia. Sirhan professes that he has no recollection of shooting Kennedy. Prosecutor David Fitts peppered the diminutive professor with hostile questions, but he could not blunt the thrust of Diamond's testimony about murder in a trance. After two more psychologists declared that Sirhan suffers from grave mental disorders, avuncular Attorney Grant Cooper rested for the defense. The prosecution faces an uphill struggle to refute contentions that Sirhan was either insane or suffering from diminished mental responsibility.
Note: This article confirms that Sirhan was not mentally competent at the time Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated, but it suggests that Sirhan's "trance state" was self-induced. Other sources, however, have argued that he was a victim of mind control; click here for more information on this possibility.
One of the very first things I was taught when I joined the C.I.A. was that we do not conduct assassinations. It was drilled into new recruits over and over again. Today, it seems that all that is left of this policy is a euphemism. We don’t call them assassinations anymore. Now, they are “targeted killings,” most often performed by drone strike, and they have become America’s go-to weapon in the war on terror. There have been many who have objected, claiming that the killings inspire more attacks on the United States, complicate our diplomacy and undermine our moral authority in the world. Yet the targeted killings drone on with no end in sight. Just counting the campaigns in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, the Bush administration conducted at least 47 targeted killings by drones, while under the Obama administration that number rose to 542. America’s difficult relationship with targeted killing and the dilemmas we may face in the future are beautifully illuminated by the longer story of Israel’s experiences with assassination in its own endless war against terrorism. Israel has always been just a bit farther down this slippery slope than the United States. Americans now have a terrific new introduction to that story with the publication of Ronen Bergman’s “Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations.”
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