Assassinations News ArticlesExcerpts of Key Assassinations News Articles in Media
[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.
“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.
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.
A group of 13 doctors who believe that Dr David Kelly, the Government scientist, did not commit suicide, but was murdered, are launching a legal campaign to demand an inquest. The original inquest into Dr Kelly's death six years ago in woods near his Oxfordshire home was suspended by Lord Falconer, then the Lord Chancellor. He designated the Hutton Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the weapons inspector's death as "fulfilling the function of an inquest". Dr Kelly died shortly after he was exposed as the source for a story claiming the Government "probably knew" that a claim Iraq could attack with weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes was not true. A team of doctors unconvinced by the findings of the Hutton Report has compiled a dossier which claims that a cut to the ulnar artery in Dr Kelly's wrist could not have killed him. The 12-page document concludes: "The bleeding from Dr Kelly's ulnar artery is highly unlikely to have been so voluminous and rapid that it was the cause of death." Among the doctors is ... is David Halpin, 69, a former lecturer in anatomy at King's College, London, and a former consultant in orthopaedic and trauma surgery at Torbay Hospital, who later went into general practice. Dr Halpin said they had argued their case in the legal document in "microscopic" detail and added: "We reject haemorrhage as the cause of death and see no contrary opinion which would stand its ground. I think it is highly likely he was assassinated." The doctors have been working closely with Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat MP, who believes the scientist was murdered by enemies he made in the course of his work as a weapons inspector.
Note: For a trove of revelatory reports on assassinations as a tool of state, click here.
Mystery surrounds the death of a Republican pollster, recently compelled to give evidence about alleged election fraud in the 2004 election in Ohio, after he was killed in a plane crash. Top internet strategist Michael Connell, 45, was the only person in his single-engine private plane that crashed three miles short of the Akron-Canton airport on Friday night as he prepared to land. He had worked on Mr Bush's two presidential campaigns, advised John McCain this year and was also linked to allegedly missing White House emails in the 2006 controversy over a string of firings of US attorneys. The death of the married father of four immediately triggered conspiracy theories amid speculation that he had been about to reveal embarrassing details of the complicity of senior members of the Bush administration in fixing an election and destroying incriminating emails. In a blog posting entitled "One of my sources died in a plane crash last night...", Larisa Alexandrovna of The Raw Story revealed that Mr Connell had been talking to her about the Ohio case alleging that vote-tampering during the 2004 presidential election resulted in civil rights violations. "Mike was getting ready to talk. He was frightened... I am not saying that this was a hit nor am I resigned to this being simply an accident either. I am no expert on aviation and cannot provide an opinion on the matter. What I am saying, however, is that given the context, this event needs to be examined carefully."
Important Note: This death becomes even stranger considering that attorneys had sought protection for Connell against threats from Karl Rove in late July (click here). He also was apparently warned not to fly.
George S. Patton, America's greatest combat general of the Second World War, was assassinated after the conflict with the connivance of US leaders, according to a new book. The newly unearthed diaries of a colourful assassin for the wartime Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA, reveal that American spy chiefs wanted Patton dead because he was threatening to expose allied collusion with the Russians that cost American lives. The death of General Patton in December 1945, is one of the enduring mysteries of the war era. Although he had suffered serious injuries in a car crash in Manheim, he was thought to be recovering and was on the verge of flying home. But after a decade-long investigation, military historian Robert Wilcox claims that OSS head General "Wild Bill" Donovan ordered a highly decorated marksman [named] Douglas Bazata to silence Patton. His book, Target: Patton: The Plot to Assassinate General George S. Patton, contains interviews with Mr Bazata, who died in 1999, and extracts from his diaries, detailing how he staged the car crash by getting a troop truck to plough into Patton's Cadillac and then shot the general with a low-velocity projectile, which broke his neck while his fellow passengers escaped without a scratch. Mr Wilcox told The Sunday Telegraph that when he spoke to Mr Bazata: "He was struggling with himself, all these killings he had done. He confessed to me that he had caused the accident, that he was ordered to do so by Wild Bill Donovan."
Note: For key insights from reliable, verifiable sources into assassination as a political tool, click here.
Forty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot down. The alleged assassin [was] a small time criminal on the run. Some of Dr. King's closest aides believe the full story has yet to be told. From his first days in the civil rights movement, Dr. King lived under the shadow of death - his house bombed in the Montgomery bus boycott, followers killed in Birmingham and Selma. He was stabbed once in Harlem at a book signing. Dr. King's electrifying speech at the March on Washington in August of 1963 had made him the ... the FBI's nightmare, according to the official paper trail. They called him in one of the FBI memos released later "the most dangerous Negro." Pulitzer Prize winner David Garrow ... discovered thousands of these memos while writing his book, "The FBI and Martin Luther King." The memos show an FBI obsessed. Director J. Edgar Hoover sent Attorney General Robert Kennedy [the] warning [that] communists were pulling Dr. King's puppet strings. Fellow minister Ralph Abernathy discovered an FBI bug while speaking at an Alabama church. Hoover ... called Reverend King "the most notorious liar in the country" in a rare 1964 press conference. When Dr. King won the Nobel Prize, the FBI mailed an anonymous package to Dr. King's office [containing sexually explicit recordings along] with an ominous note. There was nothing nervous about him that last day in Memphis. "I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man," King said. He probably never even heard the shot.
Note: Watch clips of this news report and a CNN program on a conspiracy surrounding the Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination. Then watch an excellent six-minute video clip of a Canadian news program giving an excellent overview of the 1999 civil trial in Memphis which found the U.S. government guilty in the assassination.
The Kennedy assassination ... re-entered the spotlight ... Monday, after the Dallas district attorney unveiled the contents of a safe that had been secret for more than 40 years. Inside were clothing worn by Lee Harvey Oswald; a small, tooled leather holster belonging to his killer, Jack Ruby; and piles of typed, old, crackling documents. Perhaps the most intriguing item was what purports to be a transcript of a conversation Ruby had with Oswald at Ruby’s Dallas nightclub, the Carousel, in which they plot to kill Kennedy to satisfy organized crime bosses. The trove of material connected to the assassination was collected by the former district attorney, Henry M. Wade, who prosecuted Ruby and continued in office until 1987. Mr. Wade died in 2001. The documents have not been examined by outside experts. Once the material is cataloged and images scanned into computers, it will be donated to a museum and made available to the public. Although his predecessors had chosen to keep the material in a safe on the 10th floor of the Dallas County Courthouse for decades, [Craig Watkins, who became district attorney last year,] said he saw no reason to do so. “We decided that this information is too important to keep secret,” he said. In addition to the transcript, he displayed two sets of brass knuckles that belonged to Ruby, and a letter from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to the Dallas police chief, contending that Ruby’s sister said her family had somehow obtained a police report on the preparations for Kennedy’s visit to Dallas.
Note: For lots of revealing information on the JFK and other assassinations, click here.
In one of the longest-held secrets of the Cold War, the U.S. Army explored the potential for using radioactive poisons to assassinate "important individuals" such as military or civilian leaders, according to newly declassified documents. Approved at the highest levels of the Army in 1948, the effort was a well-hidden part of the military's pursuit of a "new concept of warfare" using radioactive materials from atomic bombmaking to contaminate swathes of enemy land or to target military bases, factories or troop formations. Military historians who have researched the broader radiological warfare program said in interviews that they had never before seen evidence that it included pursuit of an assassination weapon. No targeted individuals are mentioned in references to the assassination weapon in the government documents declassified in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the AP in 1995. The decades-old records were released recently to the AP, heavily censored by the government to remove specifics about radiological warfare agents and other details. The documents give no indication whether a radiological weapon for targeting high-ranking individuals was ever used or even developed by the United States. They leave unclear how far the Army project went. One memo from December 1948 outlined the project and another memo that month indicated it was under way. The main sections of several subsequent progress reports in 1949 were removed by censors before release to the AP. The broader effort on offensive uses of radiological warfare apparently died by about 1954, at least in part because of the Defense Department's conviction that nuclear weapons were a better bet. Whether the work migrated to another agency such as the CIA is unclear.
Note: For revealing reports from major media sources on government-sponsored assassinations and assassination programs, click here.
In a collision of 21st-century science and decades-old conspiracy theories, a research team that includes a former top FBI scientist is challenging the bullet analysis used by the government to conclude that Lee Harvey Oswald alone shot the two bullets that struck and killed President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The "evidence used to rule out a second assassin is fundamentally flawed," concludes a new article in the Annals of Applied Statistics written by former FBI lab metallurgist William A. Tobin and Texas A&M University researchers Cliff Spiegelman and William D. James. The researchers' re-analysis involved new statistical calculations and a modern chemical analysis of bullets from the same batch Oswald is purported to have used. "This finding means that the bullet fragments from the assassination that match could have come from three or more separate bullets," the researchers said. "If the assassination fragments are derived from three or more separate bullets, then a second assassin is likely." [They] urged that authorities conduct a new and complete forensic re-analysis of the five bullet fragments left from the assassination in Dallas.
Note: For more reliable, verifiable information on the JFK and other assassinations, click here.
When the old spymaster thought he was dying, his eldest son came to visit him. In the CIA, [Howard Hunt] had helped to mastermind the violent removal of a duly elected leftist president in Guatemala and assisted in subterfuges that led to the murder of Che Guevara. But his first-born son, [Saint] was by his side now. For years, he and Saint had hardly spoken. Then Saint came to him wanting to know if he had any information about JFK’s assassination. His father had sworn in two government investigations that he didn’t. But now, in August 2003, propped up in his sick bed, he began to write down the names of men who participated in a plot to kill the president. He scribbled the initials “LBJ”, standing for Kennedy’s vice-president, Lyndon Johnson. Under “LBJ”, connected by a line, he wrote the name Cord Meyer. Meyer was a CIA agent whose wife had an affair with JFK; later she was murdered, a case that has never been solved. Next, his father connected to Meyer’s name the name Bill Harvey, another CIA agent; also connected to Meyer’s name was the name David Morales, another CIA man and a well-known, vicious black-operations specialist. Then his father connected to Morales’s name, with a line, the framed words “French Gunman Grassy Knoll”. So there it was: according to Hunt, LBJ had Kennedy killed. And that Lee Harvey Oswald wasn’t the only shooter in Dallas. There was also, on the grassy knoll, a French gunman, presumably the Corsican mafia assassin Lucien Sarti. A few weeks later, Saint received in the mail a tape recording from his dad. Hunt’s voice on the cassette is weak and grasping, but he essentially remakes the same points he made in his handwritten narrative.
Note: Though this article interesting refers to Saint as a "conspiracy nut," if you take the time to read it, you will find it raises many serious questions about the Kennedy assassination. The History Channel has an excellent documentary series showing beyond doubt there was more than one gunman. To order, click here. For the banned final episode of this series, which presents powerful evidence LBJ was directly involved in the JFK assassination, click here
The investigation into the assassination of Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov, murdered with a poison-filled pellet shot into his leg (possibly with a converted "umbrella gun") at a bus stop in Britain in 1978, was the most unusual and significant case that medical doctor and forensic specialist Christopher C. Green participated in during his twenty year career as an investigative officer with the Central Intelligence Agency. The reason it was so unique, he says, is that "we had pretty much all of the story from a forensic point of view. We had the body, the thing in the body that he was hit with -- the pellet -- and the stuff from the pellet. We knew that the material used to kill him, ricin, had been under development by a foreign service linked to the incident. We also knew that he had been a target of assassination attempts in the past. The story of him being a target was very well known. So we had information on the means, motive, and the opportunity." In the Markov case, "we had 80 percent of the story," says Green, who is now a professor of diagnostic radiology and psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Wayne State University's Detroit Medical Center, where he uses brain imaging techniques to watch how the brain functions as people make decisions. His current work, he says, is a logical outgrowth of his service at the CIA -- where he still serves as a consultant. At the CIA, Green studied how the brain responds to chemicals and neurological agents.
It is disappointing to learn that the Central Intelligence Agency filed motions in federal court in May 2005 to block disclosure of records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy forty-one years ago. The spirit of the law is clear. The JFK Records Act of 1992, approved unanimously by Congress, mandated that all assassination-related records be reviewed and disclosed "immediately." When Morley filed his lawsuit in December 2003, thirteen published JFK authors supported his request for the records in an open letter to The New York Review of Books (www.nybooks.com/articles/16865). Eighteen months later, the CIA is still stonewalling. The agency now acknowledges that it possesses an undisclosed number of documents...which it will not release in any form. Thus records related to Kennedy's assassination are still being hidden for reasons of "national security."
Note: This letter to the editor was signed by Norman Mailer, Oliver Stone, and others. Why isn't the media covering this important development? For two highly revealing videos on the JFK assassination, read here.
At the start of the twisted treasure hunt that is "The Men Who Stare at Goats," the journalist Jon Ronson appears to be looking for furtive, paranoid quacks who play mind games. Take the goats of the title: Mr. Ronson cites a hundred of them. They have been used in top-secret experiments by psychic spies whose existence is not officially acknowledged by the United States Army. Military psychics are so well hidden that they aren't covered by the Army's coffee budget. It makes them cranky to have to bring their own coffee to work. "The damn psychic spies should be keeping their damn mouths shut, instead of chitchatting all over town about what they did." So says retired Maj. Gen. Albert N. Stubblebine III, the first of the many characters redolent of "Dr. Strangelove" who are found in this jaw-dropper of a -- hard to believe, but, yes -- nonfiction story. Some of these experts contend that a goat's heart can be stopped by the intense gaze of a certain kind of supersoldier. "Goat didn't have a chance," one of these tough guys [says]. Mr. Ronson ... describes the effort to deploy a Moscow scientist who had previously sent subliminal messages to Red Army troops ... in the Branch Davidian standoff. This scientist didn't work out because he was unwilling to transmit ... a bogus voice of God. He finds a prologue in MK-ULTRA, the real C.I.A. "Manchurian Candidate" research of the 1950's, which involved the disastrous use of LSD as a potential truth serum. And somehow Mr. Ronson is able to keep his book both light and nightmarish. [He] remains terrifically adept at capturing the horror of these developments without losing track of their lunacy.
James Earl Ray, a drifter and ex-convict, shot and killed the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a single bullet here on an April evening in 1968. That is the official story, the reason Mr. Ray spent the last three decades of his life in prison. Everybody knows it. But not everybody accepts it. Almost as soon as Dr. King was cut down -- and even more so after Mr. Ray recanted his guilty plea -- conspiracy theories abounded. Some said the assassin was an army sniper. Mr. Ray insisted he had been framed by a man named Raul, hired by the C.I.A. There was even a report that one of Dr. King's entourage had helped to kill him. Now ... the conspiracy theories have stirred to life again at the National Civil Rights Museum, in the former Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was shot. The museum recently opened an exhibit in a new $11 million wing primarily to document the assassination and the mystery that still surrounds it, at least in some people's minds. On display are 200 pieces of evidence, freshly unsealed from police archives. The gun. The 30.06-caliber bullet tweezed out of Dr. King's body. A fake passport and guidebook to Rhodesia found on Mr. Ray, curious artifacts for an unemployed ex-convict supposedly working solo. Questions are stamped on the wall, in bold letters. "Did Ray have help? Did someone else do it? Was the Memphis Police Department part of the conspiracy?" The King family believes that Mr. Ray, who died of liver disease in 1998, was not the killer. Dexter King, Dr. King's son, visited Mr. Ray on his deathbed. The government killed my father, Dexter King told him, not you. Mr. Ray's family said they were finally getting the vindication they deserved.
Note: In one of the biggest media cover-ups ever, the government was found guilty of consipiring to murder King in a 1999 civil trial in Memphis. The press strangely boycotted the historic trial. For more on this amazingly well kept secret, click here. For many revealing reports on the major US political assassinations, which consistently cast doubts on the official accounts of how they occurred, click here.
Later this year - unless President Trump intervenes - the American people will get access to the last of thousands of secret government files about a turning point in the nation’s history: the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The National Archives this week released several hundred of the documents, which come from CIA and FBI files. JFK researchers are scrambling to see whether they contain any new clues about the president’s murder. But many more documents remain under seal, awaiting release by this October, the 25-year deadline set by the 1992 Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act. The law gives only one person - the president - the ability to stop the release from happening. He can act only if he certifies in writing that the documents would somehow endanger national security. About 3,150 ... documents remain totally under seal, along with tens of thousands of pages that have been only partially unsealed because intelligence and law-enforcement agencies opposed their release in the 1990s. Those are the documents that Trump could try to keep secret. And sadly, he appears to be under pressure to do so. Congressional and other government officials have warned us in confidence in recent weeks that at least two federal agencies will make formal appeals to the White House to block the release of some of the files. Which agencies? Which files? The officials would not say. Trump ... has a chance to show that he is committed to resolving some of the biggest conspiracy theories in American politics. We hope he welcomes the opportunity.
Note: The above was written by Larry J. Sabato, author of “The Kennedy Half-Century,” and Philip Shenon, author of “A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination.” For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and assassinations from reliable major media sources.
[Thirteen] days before that dark day in Dallas, [police informant Willie Augustus] Somersett elicited a chilling, police tape-recorded threat from a right-wing racist who talked of how the President would soon be shot “from an office building with a high-powered rifle” and how “they’ll pick up somebody within hours after…just to throw the public off.” Extremist Joseph A. Milteer, of Quitman, Ga., made the threat against Kennedy in the kitchen of Somersett’s small apartment in downtown Miami. In the late 1970s, the House Assassinations Committee had experts analyze a photograph taken in Dealey Plaza moments before the first shot of an unidentified motorcade spectator “who bears a strong resemblance” to Milteer. The experts, however, concluded the man was not Milteer, who died in 1974. But now, a retired FBI agent who says that within hours of the assassination he was assigned to locate Milteer has [said] the man in the photograph is indeed Milteer. “I stood next to the man. I interviewed him and spent hours with him,” said Don Adams, who spent 20 years with the FBI before working as a police chief in Ohio. “There is no question in my mind. As soon as I saw that picture I almost fell off of my feet.” Congressional investigators never contacted Adams. Adams, now 82, says he saw the Dealey Plaza photograph for the first time a decade after his 1982 retirement from the FBI. The photograph renewed his interest in the case and ultimately led him to write the book, From an Office Building with a High-Powered Rifle. His insider’s account raises disturbing questions about the FBI’s investigation of Kennedy’s death.
Note: To watch a five-minute video of 20-year FBI agent Don Adams stating he has no doubt there was a major cover-up of the JFK assassination, click here. For more excellent, revealing videos on the assassination, click here and here. For more on the JFK assassination, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
As a federal court prepares to rule on a challenge to Sirhan Sirhan's conviction in the Robert F. Kennedy assassination, a long overlooked witness to the murder is telling her story: She heard two guns firing during the 1968 shooting and authorities altered her account of the crime. Nina Rhodes-Hughes wants the world to know that, despite what history says, Sirhan was not the only gunman firing shots when Kennedy was murdered a few feet away from her at a Los Angeles hotel. "What has to come out is that there was another shooter to my right," Rhodes-Hughes said in an exclusive interview with CNN. "The truth has got to be told. No more cover-ups." The U.S. District Court in Los Angeles is set to rule on a request by the 68-year-old Sirhan that he be released, retried or granted a hearing on new evidence, including Rhodes-Hughes' firsthand account. Prosecutors under the [CA] attorney general are contending that Rhodes-Hughes heard no more than eight gunshots during the assassination. Sirhan's lawyers are challenging those assertions. In a response also filed in federal court in Los Angeles, the defense team led by New York attorney William Pepper contends that the FBI misrepresented Rhodes-Hughes' eyewitness account and that she actually had heard a total of 12 to 14 shots fired.
Note: For key reports from major media sources on hidden facts about the assassinations of political leaders, 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.
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