American Nuremberg: Holding the U.S. Accountable For Its Actions


Back Row: C. Rice, J. Brennan, B. Obama, D. Petraeus
Front Row: R. Cheney, G. Bush, D. Rumsfeld, Fill-In #1, Fill-In #2

Challenging the legitimacy and further perpetuation of the “Global War on Terror” has never been more vital and necessary for the future of humanity than it is today. Rebecca Gordon’s latest book: American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial For Post 9/11 War Crimes (Hot Books: New York, 2016), provides critical perspectives on confronting war crimes committed by both U.S. presidents since September 11, 2001.A good introduction podcast is Jeff Blankfort’s radio program Takes on the World interview with Rebecca Gordon, American Nuremberg Trial Needed. Blankfort goes way back with Gordon as he describes at the beginning of the program. The recording of the program is all of 34 minutes. Start with this to get a sense of the significance of this book.From American Nuremberg’s Introduction:

“To this day, the people of the United States have never had a full accounting of all that has been done in our name as part of an apparently endless war on terror. After years of struggle, we finally have the heavily redacted 500-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 6,000-page report on the torture allowed by the CIA. But it contains only a partial accounting of the actions of a single US agency among the many security branches involved in the war on terror. Nor has there been any real public reckoning for those officials, including men (and a few women) at the highest levels of the government who are responsible for all these deeply troubling actions undertaken by Washington since 9/11. This impunity all but guarantees that the next time our country is seized by a spasm of fear, we can expect more crimes committed in the name of national, and our own, security....

“There is a pressing need to bring the United States into the legal community of nations, where it must be held accountable for its actions. Let us be clear: the scale of US crimes in the war on terror comes nowhere near the genocidal war-making of the Nazis. But ever since World War II, the American empire has put its heavy boots on every continent. Even in imperial decline—after disastrous wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and facing long-term challenges from China and Russia—it remains the world’s preeminent military and economic power. If the most powerful country in the world—a country that still, decades after the end of the Soviet Union, calls itself “the leader of the free world”—can violate international laws of war and human rights with complete impunity, then why should any other nation be constrained? For the sake of the victims of the war on terror, for the sake of our national soul, but even more for the future of humanity, we need a full accounting and real accountability for American war criminals. We need an American Nuremberg.”

Rebecca Gordon, writing in

The conclusion of Exhibit One in Any Future American War Crimes Trial (April 24, 2016):

And so, the case against the man who was waterboarded 83 times and contributed supposedly crucial information to the CIA on al-Qaeda plotting was oh-so-quietly withdrawn without either fuss or media attention. Exhibit one was now exhibit none.

Seven years after the initial filing of Zubaydah’s habeas petition, the DC District Court has yet to rule on it. Given the court’s average 751-day turnaround time on such petitions, this is an extraordinary length of time. Here, justice delayed is truly justice denied.

Perhaps we should not be surprised, however. According to the Senate Intelligence Committee report, CIA headquarters assured those who were interrogating Zubaydah that he would “never be placed in a situation where he has any significant contact with others and/or has the opportunity to be released.” In fact, “all major players are in concurrence,” stated the agency, that he “should remain incommunicado for the remainder of his life.” And so far, that’s exactly what’s happened.

The capture, torture, and propaganda use of Abu Zubaydah is the perfect example of the U.S. government’s unique combination of willful law-breaking, ass-covering memo-writing, and what some Salvadorans I once worked with called “strategic incompetence.” The fact that no one—not George Bush or Dick Cheney, not Jessen or Mitchell, nor multiple directors of the CIA—has been held accountable means that, unless we are very lucky, we will see more of the same in the future.

The conclusion of Crimes of the War on Terror – Should George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Others Be Jailed? (June 7, 2016):

Seeing “the truth established” was the purpose behind South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Torturers and murderers on both sides of the anti-apartheid struggle were offered amnesty for their crimes—but only after they openly acknowledged those crimes. In this way, a public record of the horrors of apartheid was built, and imperfect as the process may have been, the nation was able to confront its history.

That is the kind of reckoning we need in this country. It started with the release of a summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s torture program, which brought many brutal details into the light. But that’s just the beginning. We would need a full and public accounting not just of the CIA’s activities, but of the doings of other military and civilian agencies and outfits, including the Joint Special Operations Command. We also would need a full-scale airing of the White House’s drone assassination program, and perhaps most important of all, a full accounting of the illegal, devastating invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Justice would also require—to the extent possible—making whole those who had been harmed. In the case of the “war on terror,” this might begin by allowing torture victims to sue their torturers in federal court (as the U.N. Convention against Torture requires). With one exception, the Obama administration has until now blocked all such efforts on national security grounds. In the case of the Iraq War, justice would undoubtedly also require financial reparations to repair the infrastructure of what was once a modern, developed nation.

We’re unlikely to see justice in the “war on terror” until that cruel and self-defeating exercise is well and truly over and the country has officially acknowledged and accounted for its crimes. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another 40 years.

Dr. Martin Luther King's 1967 Anti-War Speech & Today

adapted by E. Martin Schotz
with assistance from David Ratcliffe
20 June 2016

MLK-at-RC-4Apr1967-detMartin Luther King speaking at Riverside Church, NYC, 4 Apr 1967

Almost fifty years ago Martin Luther King gave a major speech against the Vietnam war and US militarism in general. In that speech he tied together our militaristic and repressive response to the movements of national liberation throughout the world that were threatening certain economic interests. He called for a revolution in our values from an orientation toward wealth and physical things toward a concern with others and particularly the poor. He warned that history did not stand still, that if we did not seize the opportunity, the tides that seemed to be rising against injustice might recede. Looking back we can see that his warning was all too true. The lessons of the movement against of the Vietnam War were not learned by us. We allowed ourselves to be mesmerized by the manufactured drama of Watergate. We allowed our revulsion over the Vietnam War to be labeled our “Vietnam Syndrome”, something to be cured by another more successful First War against Iraq.

Now fifty years later we are in darker times. The military industrial intelligence complex, the national security state, the corporations and their media are all more entrenched. We find ourselves living inside a monster to which we have a parasitic relationship, a monster which progressively threatens the environment upon which life on our planet depends.

January 18 was Martin Luther King Day. Is this really a day of celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.? Or is it a day designed to further consign him to history and truncate his message? In an effort to explore this, let’s go back to his speech at Riverside Church of 49 years ago on April 4, 1967, a year to the day before he was assassinated, and, re-working it, take from it what we can for today. Perhaps this can help us come closer to truly resurrecting Martin Luther King, Jr in ourselves. In the following 2016 re-work, Dr. King’s original words are set in italics and bold.

Read 2016 re-work

Nuclear War - An Unrecognized Mass Extinction Event Waiting To Happen

The Helen Caldicott Foundation Presents

Steven Starr

Symposium: The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction

The New York Academy of Medicine, 28 February - 1 March 2015

It is time for the leaders of the nuclear weapon states to publicly acknowledge that nuclear arsenals threaten continued human existence.

In 1945, Albert Einstein said, “The release of atomic power has changed everything except our way of thinking.” In 2015, seventy years later, we are still stockpiling nuclear weapons in preparation for nuclear war. Our continued willingness to allow huge nuclear arsenals to exist clearly shows that we have not fundamentally grasped the most important truth of the nuclear age: that a nuclear war is not likely to be survived by the human species. A war fought with 21st century strategic nuclear weapons would be more than just a great catastrophe in human history. If we allow it to happen, such a war would be a mass extinction event that ends human history. There is a profound difference between extinction and “an unprecedented disaster,” or even “the end of civilization,” because even after such an immense catastrophe, human life would go on.

But extinction, by definition, is an event of utter finality, and a nuclear war that could cause human extinction should really be considered as the ultimate criminal act. It certainly would be the crime to end all crimes.

Nuclear war fought with US & Russian strategic nuclear arsenals would leave Earth uninhabitable; Radioactive fallout from bombs, ruined nuclear power plants, and destruction of ozone layer

The world’s leading climatologists now tell us that nuclear war threatens our continued existence as a species. Their studies predict that a large nuclear war, especially one fought with strategic nuclear weapons, would create a post-war environment in which for many years it would be too cold and dark to even grow food. Their findings make it clear that not only humans, but most large animals and many other forms of complex life would likely vanish forever in a nuclear darkness of our own making.

The environmental consequences of nuclear war would attack the ecological support systems of life at every level. Radioactive fallout, produced not only by nuclear bombs, but also by the destruction of nuclear power plants and their spent fuel pools, would poison the biosphere. Millions of tons of smoke would act to destroy Earth’s protective ozone layer and block most sunlight from reaching Earth’s surface, creating Ice Age weather conditions that would last for decades.

Yet the political and military leaders who control nuclear weapons strictly avoid any direct public discussion of the consequences of nuclear war. They do so by arguing that nuclear weapons are not intended to be used, but only to deter.

Remarkably, the leaders of the Nuclear Weapon States have chosen to ignore the authoritative, long-standing scientific research done by the climatologists, research that predicts virtually any nuclear war, fought with even a fraction of the operational and deployed nuclear arsenals, will leave the Earth essentially uninhabitable.

Existential Threat of Nuclear War is Unrecognized--Leaders of Nuclear Weapon States do not publicly recognize or discuss the threat their nuclear arsenals pose to continued human existence

Some of the more recent of these scientific studies appeared in print almost 9 years ago. Yet their predictions have not been publicly acknowledged or discussed by any American or Russian President, nor by any of their top military leaders. In fact, none of the current leaders of any of the nations that possess nuclear weapons have ever made such a public acknowledgment.

It is not clear that these leaders are even aware of the findings of this research, since they have consistently refused to meet with the scientists who did the studies.

No Nuclear Weapon State has ever attempted to evaluate what consequences the detonation of their nuclear arsenals would have upon the global biosphere and ecosystems.

The existential danger of strategic nuclear arsenals is not part of the global debate on nuclear weapons

As a result, the grave threat to continued human existence posed by existing arsenals of nuclear weapons is a subject not included in the global debate on nuclear weapons.

The existential danger of nuclear war has not been mentioned during American presidential campaigns or debates for more than 40 years. Such considerations have never been included in any military planning or as part of any national strategic review of US military force requirements.

The existential danger of strategic nuclear arsenals is not part of the global debate on nuclear weapons

Why is this? According to our best scientists, the deployed arsenals of nuclear weapons pose a clear and present danger to the survival of our species. How is it that our leaders are unable or unwilling to even talk about this grave danger?

Absence of public education and awareness of nuclear war: American public schools do not teach about the effects of nuclear weapons or the consequences of nuclear war; public is no longer aware of the grave danger posed by nuclear war; American political leaders are also generally uninformed about the size and capabilities of the US nuclear arsenal

In the 1980s, the American public was generally aware of the existential threat posed by nuclear war. That awareness no longer exists today.

This is in part because US public schools do not teach students about nuclear weapons. A couple of generations of Americans have grown up with essentially no knowledge of the effects or consequences of nuclear war.

This may be why our political and military leaders continue to focus upon the numbers of nuclear weapons rather than the consequences of their use. This makes no sense when a single ballistic missile now carries almost three times more nuclear explosive power than all the bombs that were detonated during World War 2.

A universal ignorance of basic nuclear facts ultimately creates a very dangerous situation, because leaders who are unaware that nuclear war can end human history are likely to lack the gut fear of nuclear war that’s needed to prevent them from leading us into a nuclear holocaust.

I teach an online class on nuclear weapons at the University of Missouri [Nuclear Weapons: Environmental, Health and Social Effects], and I get smart students but virtually none of them that come into my class know anything about nuclear weapons; they don’t know the difference between an atomic bomb and a strategic nuclear weapon, they don’t know that large arsenals of strategic nuclear weapons even exist.

Without this basic knowledge, it is almost impossible for anyone to understand the immense dangers posed by nuclear war. Thus I am now going to take some time to explain these facts, to try to insure my message today is clear.


The History of United States Settler Colonialism

Colonization, Dispossession, Genocide Forms the Core of US History, the Very Source of the Country’s Existence

Will It Be The Future As Well?   The Choice Is Ours

American Progress

An 1872 painting by John Gast called “American Progress” shows a white woman floating across the plains of the United States. The female figure is a depiction of Columbia. She wears the Star of Empire on her forehead, carries a School Book under her right arm, and is the herald of techno-logic perceptional reality, driving Indigenous people, bison, and other animals out of the picture and into oblivion. Historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, writing in An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (Beacon Press, 2014), describes the significance of the Columbia persona:

The Columbus myth suggests that from US independence onward, colonial settlers saw themselves as part of a world system of colonization. “Columbia,” the poetic, Latinate name used in reference to the United States from its founding throughout the nineteenth century, was based on the name of Christopher Columbus. The “Land of Columbus” was—and still is—represented by the image of a woman in sculptures and paintings, by institutions such as Columbia University, and by countless place names, including that of the national capital, the District of Columbia.

Within the theology of Western civilization’s industrial progress—and belief in its intrinsic goodness that indoctrinated generations of Europeans—rests the justification for the wanton destruction of the great civilizations existent in the Western Hemisphere long before the arrival of Columbus. Throughout her book, Dunbar-Ortiz explores the driving process of settler colonialism that was and continues to be the global foundation of this destruction and how “To learn about this history is both a necessity and responsibility to the ancestors and descendants of all parties.”

A compilation of segments from An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States are at: <>. Excerpts from this compilation follow:

What historian David Chang has written about the land that became Oklahoma applies to the whole United States: “Nation, race, and class converged in land.” Everything in US history is about the land—who oversaw and cultivated it, fished its waters, maintained its wildlife; who invaded and stole it; how it became a commodity (“real estate”) broken into pieces to be bought and sold on the market.

US policies and actions related to Indigenous peoples, though often termed “racist” or “discriminatory,” are rarely depicted as what they are: classic cases of imperialism and a particular form of colonialism—settler colonialism. As anthropologist Patrick Wolfe writes, “The question of genocide is never far from discussions of settler colonialism. Land is life—or, at least, land is necessary for life.”

The history of the United States is a history of settler colonialism—the founding of a state based on the ideology of white supremacy, the widespread practice of African slavery, and a policy of genocide and land theft. . . .

Writing US history from an Indigenous peoples’ perspective requires rethinking the consensual national narrative. That narrative is wrong or deficient, not in its facts, dates, or details but rather in its essence. Inherent in the myth we’ve been taught is an embrace of settler colonialism and genocide. The myth persists, not for a lack of free speech or poverty of information but rather for an absence of motivation to ask questions that challenge the core of the scripted narrative of the origin story. How might acknowledging the reality of US history work to transform society? That is the central question this book pursues.

The above excerpts are reprinted with permission from An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Beacon Press, 2014, pages 1-2 and 4.

Speaking about the book in December 2014, Dunbar-Ortiz describes connections between the centuries-long genocidal program of the settler-colonialist regimen and the US military today. It is critical to understand the continuity between the unrelenting frontier wars that began in the early seventeenth century and which moved overseas after the Wounded Knee Massacre in December 1890, symbolizing the end of Indigenous armed resistance in the continental US.

The next chapter is called “Bloody Footprints” and it’s about how the U.S. Army was formed in the wars against native people east of the Mississippi. This is a quote from a military historian, John Grenier, in a book called The First Way of War:

For the first 200 years of our military heritage, then, Americans depended on arts of war that contemporary professional soldiers supposedly abhorred: razing and destroying enemy villages and fields; killing enemy women and children; raiding settlements for captives; intimidating and brutalizing enemy non-combatants; and assassinating enemy leaders. . . . In the frontier wars between 1607 and 1814, Americans forged two elements—unlimited war and irregular war—into their first way of war. [ The First Way of War, American War Making on the Frontier, 1607-1814, John Grenier, Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 5, 10]

I make throughout the book, connections between the U.S. military today and its foundation in these unrelenting wars that actually went up through 1890 and then moved overseas to the Philippines and the Caribbean with the same generals in the Philippines who had been fighting the Sioux and the Cheyenne in the Northern Plains. And interestingly enough, also, who were called in (one division of them) to fight striking workers in Chicago. So I think there [are] very interesting interconnections with the use of the military in the United States that we don’t always put together.

The Second Amendment and the irregular warfare, these were mostly settler militias who could organize themselves. Andrew Jackson started that way as the head of the Tennessee Militia. [For] his militia’s war against the Muskogee Creeks, driving them out of Georgia, he was made a Major General in the U.S. Army. So it was a career builder as well to start a militia. But these were also used, especially after U.S. independence, as slave patrols, these militias, self-appointed militias. These militias would form to police – free – they weren’t paid to do it – and we still see the ghosts of this performing, actually today.

Recording of Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz at Green Apple Books in San Francisco on 4 December 2014. Produced by Time of Useful Consciousness Radio in Parts One and Two.

Detailing the ways in which the conquest of lands that are today called the United States came to be claimed and owned by European men, reveal the processes and characteristics of settler colonialism. This specific brand of colonial usurpation is founded upon institutionalizing extravagant violence through unlimited war and irregular war. Extreme violence was carried out by Anglo settlers against civilians to cause the utter annihilation of the indigenous population. The goal of this extermination was to enable the settlers’ total freedom to acquire land and wealth.

To say that the United States is a colonialist settler-state is not to make an accusation but rather to face historical reality. (p. 7)

Settler colonialism, as an institution or system, requires violence or the threat of violence to attain its goals. People do not hand over their land, resources, children, and futures without a fight, and that fight is met with violence. In employing the force necessary to accomplish its expansionist goals, a colonizing regime institutionalizes violence. The notion that settler-indigenous conflict is an inevitable product of cultural differences and misunderstandings, or that violence was committed equally by the colonized and the colonizer, blurs the nature of the historical processes. Euro-American colonialism ... had from its beginnings a genocidal tendency. (p. 8)

In the beginning, Anglo settlers organized irregular units to brutally attack and destroy unarmed indigenous women, children, and old people using unlimited violence in unrelenting attacks. During nearly two centuries of British colonization, generations of settlers, mostly farmers, gained experience as “Indian fighters” outside any organized military institution. Anglo-French conflict may appear to have been the dominant factor of European colonization in North America during the eighteenth century, but while large regular armies fought over geopolitical goals in Europe, Anglo settlers in North America waged deadly irregular warfare against the indigenous communities....

The chief characteristic of irregular warfare is that of the extreme violence against civilians, in this case the tendency to seek the utter annihilation of the indigenous population. “In cases where a rough balance of power existed,” observes historian John Grenier, “and the Indians even appeared dominant—as was the situation in virtually every frontier war until the first decade of the nineteenth century—[settler] Americans were quick to turn to extravagant violence.”

Many historians who acknowledge the exceptional one-sided colonial violence attribute it to racism. Grenier argues that rather than racism leading to violence, the reverse occurred: the out-of-control momentum of extreme violence of unlimited warfare fueled race hatred. “Successive generations of Americans, both soldiers and civilians, made the killing of indian men, women, and children a defining element of their first military tradition and thereby part of a shared American identity. Indeed, only after seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Americans made the first way of war a key to being a white American could later generations of ‘Indian haters,’ men like Andrew Jackson, turn the Indian wars into race wars.” By then, the indigenous peoples’ villages, farmlands, towns, and entire nations formed the only barrier to the settlers’ total freedom to acquire land and wealth. Settler colonialists again chose their own means of conquest. Such fighters are often viewed as courageous heroes, but killing the unarmed women, children, and old people and burning homes and fields involved neither courage nor sacrifice. (p. 58-9)

US history, as well as inherited indigenous trauma, cannot be understood without dealing with the genocide that the United States committed against indigenous peoples. From the colonial period through the founding of the United States and continuing in the twenty-first century, this has entailed torture, terror, sexual abuse, massacres, systematic military occupations, removals of indigenous peoples from their ancestral territories, and removals of indigenous children to military-like boarding schools. The absence of even the slightest note of regret or tragedy in the annual celebration of the US independence betrays a deep disconnect in the consciousness of US Americans. (p. 9)

Robert Williams is an author, legal scholar, and member of the Lumbee Indian Nation. In his 2012 book, Savage Anxieties: The Invention of Western Civilization he discusses the anxiety-producing imagery of the “savage” from the time of Greek colonizers to its influences today. Anglo settlers projected their own inner savagery outside themselves onto Indigenous people whose way of life was perceived to be so different that they could be branded as “other” and then destroyed. One instance of the savagery practiced by Anglo settlers was in the way scalp hunting came to be practiced. The roots of scalp hunting pre-date the Settler Colonialism project in North America.

During the early 1600s the English conquered Northern Ireland, and declared a half-million acres of land open to settlement; the settlers who contracted with the devil of early colonialism came mostly from western Scotland. England had previously conquered Wales and southern and eastern Ireland, but had never previously attempted on such a scale to remove the indigenous population and “plant” settlers. The English policy of exterminating Indians in North America was foreshadowed by this English colonization of Northern Ireland. The ancient Irish social system was systematically attacked, traditional songs and music forbidden, whole clans exterminated and the remainder brutalized. A “wild Irish” reservation was even attempted. The planted settlers were Calvinist Protestants, assured by their divines that they had been chosen by God for salvation (and title to the lands of Ulster). The native (and Papist) Irish were definitely not destined for salvation, but rather the reverse, both in the present and hereafter.

The “plantation” of Ulster followed centuries of intermittent warfare in Ireland, and was as much the culmination of a process as a departure. In the sixteenth century, the official in charge of the Irish province of Munster, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, ordered that:

The heddes of all those (of what sort soever thei were) which were killed in the daie, should be cutte off from their bodies and brought to the place where he incamped at night, and should there bee laied on the ground by eche side of the waie ledying into his owne tente so that none could come into his tente for any cause but commonly he muste passe through a lane of heddes which he used ad terrorem...[It brought] greate terrour to the people when thei sawe the heddes of their dedde fathers, brothers, children, kindsfolke, and freinds. [Francis Jennings, The Invasion of America: Indians, Colonialsim, and the Cant of Conquest (New York: W. W. Norton, 1975), 168.]

Bounties were paid for the Irish heads brought in and later only the scalp or ears were required. A century later, in North America, Indian heads and scalps were brought in for bounty in the same manner. Native Americans picked up the practice from the colonizers. The first English colonial settlement in North America had been planted in Newfoundland in the summer of 1583, by Sir Humphrey Gilbert.

From “The Grid of History: Cowboys and Indians, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Monthly Review, 2003, Volume 55, Issue 03 (July-August).
Reprinted for Fair Use Only.

In Chapter 4 Dunbar-Ortiz explains more about how scalp hunting became routine amongst Anglo settlers starting in the mid 1670s and cites John Grenier making the point that with settler authorities offering bounties for scalps, “they established the large-scale privatization of war within American frontier communities.” Understanding the savagery visited upon the nations and communities of Indigenous peoples at the hands of Europeans bent on taking their lands by extirpating them provides a more holistic understanding of how the commonplace violence expressed today throughout the United States has its historical roots in the founding centuries of this settler colonialist state.

Indigenous people continued to resist by burning settlements and killing and capturing settlers. As an incentive to recruit fighters, colonial authorities introduced a program of scalp hunting that became a permanent and long-lasting element of settler warfare against Indigenous nations. [Grenier, First Way of War, pp. 29-34, 36-37, 39.] During the Pequot War, Connecticut and Massachusetts colonial officials had offered bounties initially for the heads of murdered Indigenous people and later for only their scalps, which were more portable in large numbers. But scalp hunting became routine only in the mid-1670’s, following an incident on the northern frontier of the Massachusetts colony. The practice began in earnest in 1697 when settler Hannah Dustin, having murdered ten of her Abenaki captors in a nighttime escape, presented their ten scalps to the Massachusetts General Assembly and was rewarded with bounties for two men, two women, and six children. [Taylor, Alan. American Colonies: The Settling of North America. New York: Viking, 2001, p. 290.]

Dustin soon became a folk hero among New England settlers. Scalp hunting became a lucrative commercial practice. The settler authorities had hit upon a way to encourage settlers to take off on their own or with a few others to gather scalps, at random, for the reward money. “In the process,” John Grenier points out, “they established the large-scale privatization of war within American frontier communities.” [Grenier, First Way of War, pp. 39-41.] Although the colonial government in time raised the bounty for adult male scalps, lowered that for adult females, and eliminated that for Indigenous children under ten, the age and gender of victims were not easily distinguished by their scalps nor checked carefully. What is more, the scalp hunter could take the children captive and sell them into slavery. These practices erased any remaining distinction between Indigenous combatants and noncombatants and introduced a market for Indigenous slaves. Bounties for Indigenous scalps were honored even in absence of war. Scalps and Indigenous children became means of exchange, currency, and this development may even have created a black market. Scalp hunting was not only a profitable privatized enterprise but also a means to eradicate or subjugate the Indigenous population of the Anglo-American Atlantic seaboard. [Ibid. pp 41-43.] The settlers gave a name to the mutilated and bloody corpses they left in the wake of scalp-hunts: redskins.

This way of war, forged in the first century of colonization—destroying Indigenous villages and fields, killing civilians, ranging and scalp hunting—became the basis for the wars against the Indigenous across the continent into the late nineteenth century. [Ibid. p 52.]

It follows that the commonplace violent nature of today’s culture in the United States would have as its roots, generations of US Americans who were raised within a tradition of killing indian men, women, and children as part of the genesis of a shared American identity as well as the shared experience of engendering profitable privatized enterprises resulting from such extravagant violence.


Atomic Energy: Origins Of The Fallacy In A Risk-Free Radiation Dose

URANIUM: ITS USES AND DANGERS, by Dr. Gordon Edwards, 25 Sep 2014
URANIUM: ITS USES AND DANGERS, from a talk by Dr. Gordon Edwards, 25 Sep 2014; Photograph by Robert Del Tredici[1]

The ability to tap energy at the level of the atom is something new to our species. Atomic or nuclear energy is of a profoundly different order than energy that was previously released exclusively through chemical means.

Let’s begin with the word, nuclear. What is nuclear? Why do we use this word? Basically, a simple answer is, nuclear energy is energy that comes from the nucleus. The nucleus being the core of an atom. Every atom has a tiny core called the nucleus—very massive. And it’s surrounded by one or more orbiting electrons. These electrons are negatively charged and the nucleus itself is positively charged.

Chemical energy involves only the outer electrons. So every chemical reaction you’ve ever seen portrayed on television—big explosions—tanks firing things or cooking in the kitchen—all the changes that take place, all the industrial changes that take place in chemical plants—all of it involves only the electrons. It doesn’t involve the nucleus. Nuclear energy is energy that comes directly from the nucleus and it is typically millions of times more powerful than any chemical energy. And that’s why it’s rather difficult sometimes to grasp the scale of nuclear energy because things which are extremely tiny can be giving off an incredible amount of energy.

There are two types of nuclear energy in particular to discriminate between. The first one is called NUCLEAR FISSION and that’s the splitting of uranium atoms, for example. That’s what really gives the juice in a CANDU nuclear reactor, that’s what really produces the bulk of the heat that’s used to produce steam to generate electricity. But, there’s another form of nuclear energy, radiation, RADIOACTIVITY, specifically.

Now it’s very important to understand that these are different things. Nuclear Fission is a process which can be controlled. It can be speeded up, it can be slowed down, it can be stopped, it can be started. Radioactivity cannot be controlled that way. Nobody knows how to speed it up, how to slow it down, how to stop it. You can’t shut it off. And that’s why we have a nuclear waste problem because this radioactivity—enormous amounts of radioactivity—cannot be shut off.

There’s the problem in a nutshell. Nobody knows what to do about it. Although some people think they have an answer, we’re not sure if that answer is correct or not.

— Dr. Gordon Edwards [2]

Beginning in 1940, with the project to create an atomic bomb, a new technology based on the ability to manipulate the chemistry of uranium, was established with profound consequences unforeseen at that time. From that beginning, what came to be known as nuclear power was inextricably linked with nuclear weapons.

The nuclear power industry grew out of the nuclear bombs that decimated two Japanese cities in August 1945. These two industries are still inextricably entwined and will never be separated. The enrichment technology to make new uranium fuel is identical to that needed to make the uranium bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, while the plutonium stripped from spent nuclear fuel at reprocessing plants like Rokkasho is identical to the plutonium used in the plutonium bomb that destroyed Nagasaki.

— Chiho Kaneko [3]

In the past 7 decades, the increasing generation of vast amounts of man-made radioactive matter, inimical to all life on Earth, is unprecedented.

Long-lived radionuclides, such as cesium-137, are something new to us as a species. They did not exist on Earth, in any appreciable quantities, during the entire evolution of complex life. Although they are invisible to our senses, they are millions of times more poisonous than most of the common poisons we are familiar with. They cause cancer, leukemia, genetic mutations, birth defects, malformations and abortions at concentrations almost below human recognition and comprehension. They are lethal at the atomic or molecular level.

They emit radiation, invisible forms of matter and energy that we might compare to fire, because radiation burns and destroys human tissue. But unlike the fire of fossil fuels, the nuclear fire that issues forth from radioactive elements cannot be extinguished. It is not a fire that can be scattered or suffocated, because it burns at the atomic level – it comes from the disintegration of single atoms.

— Steven Starr [4]
Disaster Creep: “Safe Radiation Doses” Belief Began Post-1895

The events that developed in the late 1930s to early 1940s, becoming the Manhattan Project during World War II, resulted in the creation of two different designs of atomic bombs detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan on August 6 and 9, 1945. These events were preceded by a half-century of mistaken belief that low dose radiation was not harmful.

In 1895 Wilhelm Röntgen (pronounced rênt′gən) was studying the phenomena accompanying the passage of an electric current through a gas of extremely low pressure. On November 8, 1895, he discovered what he called X-rays as their nature at that time was unknown.[5] In 1898 Marie and Pierre Curie announced their discovery of radium, an element more radioactive than uranium.[6]

Use of xrays and what was termed "therapeutic irradiation for non-malignant conditions" became very popular among physicians even before the turn of the century. Marking the one hundredth anniversary of Röntgen’s discovery in 1995, Dr. Ronald G. Evens described some of the enthusiasm of those early days:

By the time of the appearance of the first American clinical diagnostic radiograph [also called roentgenograph and skiagraph], made at Dartmouth College by Dr. Edwin Frost on February 3, 1896, physicians were becoming increasingly aware of the extraordinary potential for the new discovery. By April, “xray mania” had seized the United States. Xray studios had opened for “bone portraits,” and countless photographers and electricians had set up shop as “skiagraphers.” Thomas Edison became an enthusiast in 1896, and attempted to xray the human brain “at work”.... Soon, the appearance of xray machines in general practitioners’ offices across the United States would underline the notion that a new technology was available to diagnose any and every ailment. Some physicians even thought it would eliminate the need for laboratory analysis in medicine.[7]

Medical practitioners believed xrays might cure almost every affliction. In 1906 Dr. George MacKee, a dermatologist, wrote about the runaway enthusiasm looking back at the first ten years:

During those years the rays, to a large extent, were empirically used and they were tried out on nearly every chronic disease. The literature was misleading, as it was full of case reports of wonderful cures, the occasional paper from the pen of a good man being ignored or overlooked by the average xray operator of the period and in spite of repeated warnings from capable men, the “radiomaniacs” held the reins.[8]

In 1963 Dr. John W. Gofman was asked by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to found and become the first Director of the Biomedical Research Lab at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. As a graduate student at UC Berkeley, where he received his PhD in Nuclear/Physical Chemistry in 1943, Gofman worked with Glenn Seaborg (his graduate advisor and co-discoverer of Plutonium) and Robert Oppenheimer on the Manhattan Project, eventually becoming the leader of the plutonium group at UC Berkeley. He received his M.D. from UCSF in 1946.

While working in the plutonium project at UC Berkeley, Gofman met Ernest Lawrence, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics 1939, “for the invention and development of the cyclotron and for results obtained with it, especially with regard to artificial radioactive elements.” In 1952, Lawrence successfully lobbied the AEC to establish the University of California Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in Livermore, California. In 1954 Lawrence invited Gofman into his office to discuss a matter of concern. As Gofman recounts their meeting,

We were good personal friends. “I’m worried about the guys out at Livermore,” he said. “I think they may do some things to harm themselves. You’re the only person who knows the chemistry and the medicine and the lab structure. Could you do me a favor and go out there a day or two a week and just roam around and see what the hell they’re doing, and see that they do it safely? If you don’t like anything they’re doing, you can tell them that your word is my word, that either they change, or they can leave the lab.”[9]

Lawrence understood and valued the fact that Gofman was especially qualified in both the hard (nuclear physics) and soft (medical) sciences.

In 1995 Gofman was interviewed in a program on Human Radiation Experiments Oral Histories conducted by the Department of Energy.[10] In addition to the interview, he submitted the following supplement, providing context regarding how, in the five decades preceding the Manhattan Project, the dominant biomedical community erroneously believed that exposure to low dose ionizing radiation was of no consequence. Once this bias of missing the boat concerning cancer induction had been adopted over decades, the imperative to continue operating with the “no problem from exposure to low-dose radiation” mindset predominated. This overrode all voices urging caution or that the medical community’s prior guidance was wrong.

Supplement to the Oral History of John W. Gofman
March 20, 1995
An Overview in Retrospect of the “1945 + Human Radiation Experiments”

It is my opinion based upon some major studies I have accomplished in the past year that it is a grave mistake to consider “human radiation experiments” as a phenomenon peculiar to the advent of large-scale atomic energy.

In fact, the really significant events were in 1895 (Roentgen’s discovery of the X-Ray), and 1898 (the Curie’s discovery of radium). The true era of massive human radiation experimentation began very shortly after Roentgen’s work, and by the 1940-1945 period, all the features were in place that ASSURED we would have precisely what has been found to have been the case in the post-1945 period. But there really was nothing special about the human experiments beginning after 1945.

Two Major Facts of Life Which Must Be Conceded Here

1. Humans in recent decades (last couple of hundred years) operate on the technological imperative. Whatever is discovered must be applied immediately. There has been no thought, until recently, about DISASTER CREEP which can occur as a result of looking only at the short span of time for consequences of exposure to new technologies.

2. A special example of disaster creep is the inordinately long latent period before the full flowering of cancers following exposure to carcinogens such as ionizing radiation. The time is clearly at least 50 years and it may really be 60 or more years.

THE RESULT: The bulk of cancers from x-radiation and radium gamma rays simply were not seen, partly because of the long latency and partly because the idea that long-term follow-up was essential was clearly dismissed in the half-century after the Roentgen discovery.

THE FALSE CONCLUSION: Doses of 200, 400, 600, and even over 1000 Roentgens of exposure to partial body radiation were erroneously exonerated as cancer producers. Millions of cancers were set in motion in the populations receiving ionizing radiation in the half-century before the A-bomb.

And this set the stage for all the events recently receiving notice. How?

Radiation below 500 to 1000 roentgens of exposure was ridiculed as being of no consequence by failure to look at the follow-up of persons exposed.

When the post-Hiroshima era resulted in the massive Atomic Energy Bureaucracy, with all the biases built-in from 50 years of having missed the boat concerning cancer production, WHO WAS PUT IN CHARGE OF THE PROGRAM ON HEALTH EFFECTS? THE VERY PEOPLE WHO HAD A TOTAL BIAS IN FAVOR OF “No Problem from Low-Dose Radiation.” Although there should have been more thoughtfulness over the uranium miners and dial painters, somehow the idea became accepted that beta particles and electromagnetic radiation simply had shown themselves not to be a worry. Alpha particles, grudgingly yes.

Not that these people were correct. THEY WERE NOT. But I am describing the atmosphere in which these individuals came to be the dominant forces in setting up the post-war era of biology and medicine of irradiation. The bias was overwhelming, and with their short-sighted look at the problem, it seemed as though they really believed there was no harm.

That was the EARLY phase post-war. But once the bureaucracy was set up and the movers and shakers were told, “No problem with health issues,” the door was opened wide for all sorts of proposals from nuclear power, massive uses of radionuclides in medicine and elsewhere, and even all the “Plowshare” ideas.

This set up a new phase. Once the biologists had told the high moguls there was no problem with health effects, all kinds of wheels were in motion and from there on out, the biomedical people had to try to have biology conform to their erroneous view of what the real truth was.

And all hell would break loose if the moguls had been embarrassed by the poor biological guidance from an inept biomedical community. And that community, seeing this golden goose of unlimited funds for research and grants, simply was not in any mood to say, “Go Slow,” or that our prior guidance was wrong.

We are now slowly coming off that erroneous mountain—but because so much prestige and so much funding have gone into the enterprise, the easiest path is denial that any problem exists at doses of a few rads. After all these same people just a couple of decades earlier were telling the Congress and the public that 500 to 1000 rads were “Safe” exposures. I have recently found even more evidence that this was the prevailing view at the bureaucratic top.

There is a fundamental rule that exposing persons to a potential poison, with an assurance of safety when that cannot be assured, is fraudulent. At the very least, this constitutes human experimentation, with its Nuremberg connotations. Such experimentation is commonplace today, with so-called safe standards being set for “tolerance” doses. The idea of safe doses was much much more in error for the 50 year period before the atomic bomb.

Now we can go into the Oral History, but I think failure to appreciate the 50 years before the a-bomb completely confuses the persons looking into the ethics of so-called “human experimentation.” The outcome WAS CRADLED long before the post-bomb period, and was an inevitable expectation.

End of Prologue

I have felt these conclusions needed to be here. They have resulted from an in-depth year-long investigation of the extent to which ionizing radiation, primarily medical x-rays and radium gamma rays, accounts for the current level of breast-cancers. We estimate that 75{61cfed9bfd5d1099fe4565cd35b02734a85b61aaff86c4ca27fbe4b79001e9ab} of all breast-cancers were and are induced primarily by medical irradiation. Most of that was in the horrendous use of fluoroscopy and the equally questionable uses of radiation in the therapy of benign diseases—from dermatologists to rheumatologists. There is some REAL human experimentation.

Given the above, the dangers from further increases of low dose radiation exposure by official rulings is of concern to all. Raising the levels of “permissible” radiation exposure limits are occurring in the U.S. and Japan.[11] It becomes an ever more urgent necessity to inform ourselves and others about the true consequences of creating nuclear weapons and power.

A very positive process to be informed by, sign on to, and promote is the Montreal Declaration for a Nuclear-Fission-Free World. As stated in its opening two paragraphs,

As citizens of this planet inspired by the Second Thematic World Social Forum for a Nuclear-Fission-Free World, conducted in Montreal from August 8 to August 12, 2016, we are collectively calling for a mobilization of civil society around the world to bring about the elimination of all nuclear weapons, to put an end to the continued mass-production of all high-level nuclear wastes by phasing out all nuclear reactors, and to bring to a halt all uranium mining worldwide.

This call goes out to fellow citizens of all countries worldwide who see the need, whether as an individual or as a member of an organization, for a nuclear-fission-free world. We are committed to building a global network of citizens of the world who will work together, using the internet and social media to overcome isolation, to provide mutual support and to coordinate the launching of joint actions for a world free of nuclear fission technology, whether civilian or military.

  1. Photograph by Robert Del Tredici, “Monument to the Splitting of the Atom, Chelyabinsk,” which commemorates Igor Kurchatov, the father of the Soviet atomic bomb. It shows the splitting of a uranium atom. Large semicircles depict the energy given off at the moment the atom splits. Two hemispheres represent broken pieces of the atom; they are newly formed radioactive materials called `fission products'. Slide Number 4 from “Uranium, Its Uses and Dangers,” (PDF), Presentation by Dr. Gordon Edwards, President, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (, presented at Wendake, Quebec, on September 25, 2014 for the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec & Labrador.[]
    See Also: “Born Again: Denial and Eternally Recurring Surprise in Nuclear Waste Management,” a slide presentation by Robert Del Tredici, “in order to capture the human meaning of what we’re dealing with.” May 12, 2011, Naropa University, Boulder Colorado from Rocky Flats, a Call to Guardianship a lecture series on the sterwardship of nuclear waste sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center and the Environmental Studies Department of Naropa University.
  2. High Level Nuclear Waste, film presentation by Dr. Gordon Edwards, president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, made in Schreiber, Ontario, February 11, 2015. []
  3. Chiho Kaneko, member of Fairewinds Board of Directors; “Demystifying Nuclear Power: Nuclear IS Atomic, Fairewinds Energy Education, 18 Oct 2015. []
  4. Steven Starr, Director, University of Missouri Clinical Laboratory Science Program, Associate, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, former board member and senior scientist for Physicians for Social Responsibility;
    The Implications of Massive Radiation Contamination of Japan with Radioactive Cesium,” Helen Caldicott Foundation Symposium, “The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident,” Co-Sponsored by Physicians for Social Responsibility, March 11 and 12, 2013. []
  5. Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen received the Nobel Prize in Physics 1901in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by the discovery of the remarkable rays subsequently named after him”. []
  6. See “Dec. 21, 1898: The Curies Discover Radium,” by Tony Long,, 12/21/09 []
  7. Ronald G. Evens, “Roentgen Retrospective: One Hundred Years of a Revolutionary Technology,” J. American Medical Assn. Vol.274, No.11: 912-916. September 20, 1995, pp. 914, 915. []
  8. George M. MacKee, XRays and Radium in the Treatment of Diseases of the Skin, Third Edition. 830 pages. Several chapters have co-authors. (Lea & Febiger, Malvern PA 19355 USA.) 1938, p. 16. []
  9. Chapter 4. John W. Gofman, Medical Physicist. from Leslie Freeman, Nuclear Witnesses: Insiders Speak Out (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1981, 1982), p. 86. []
  10. Human Radiation Studies: Remembering The Early Years, Oral History of Dr. John W. Gofman, M.D., Ph.D., conducted December 20, 1994, United States Department of Energy, Office of Human Radiation Experiments, June 1995 []
  11. See, for example:[]


What Was The Phoenix Program?

The Phoenix Program in Vietnam in many ways provides a blue print for our own times. Assassinations and torture are the essence of the war on terror. As are death squads and false flag terror attacks. As are mass surveillance of the populace.

douglasvalentineThanks to the work of Douglas Valentine in his nonpareil book The Phoenix Program we have an extremely detailed account of the Phoenix Program, exposing a classic example of the brutality of the CIA’s counter insurgency wars. By studying the Phoenix program one gains a great deal of insight into the wars in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.

What was the Phoenix Program?

From the perspective of a Bureaucrat like Bill Colby it was merely an attempt to coordinate a number of pre-existing programs.  Sort of like the Department of Homeland Security or more precisely its fusion centers where military, police, and intelligence agencies pool information on their enemies the American people. Phoenix sought to provide cooperation between various Vietnamese and American agencies so that they could coordinate their war on the Vietnamese people. What was the Phoenix program? A massive campaign of torture and assassination aimed at destroying what the CIA called the VCI the Viet Cong Infrastructure.  Amusingly this term was as confusing to Vietnamese as it probably is to you.

Read Hugo Turner’s full review of The Phoenix Program here:

Hugo Turners Full Review

The documentation of The Phoenix Program includes an archive at wherein is published, “over 8GB's of audio recordings that Mr. Valentine collected throughout his personal interviews with former CIA and U.S. Military Officers while researching for his book, The Phoenix Program. The Phoenix Program for the unacquainted was a CIA generated operation that sponsored mass arrests, terrorism, torture, murder and lies during the war in Vietnam. Many of the players went on to walk the halls of the Pentagon, Congress, the Department of Homeland Security, and major National Security Corporations. The recordings are just as Cryptocomb received them, in the raw, not edited or redacted. Cryptocomb would like to thank Douglas Valentine for preserving these recordings and providing them to Cryptocomb. It's only through his hard work and diligence that everyone benefits from the truth.”

Doug Valentine writing in “How I Came to Understand the CIA ” (counterpunch, 12-23-16):

I’ve been researching the CIA for over 30 years and I’ve interviewed over 100 CIA officers. So naturally, people often wonder how I prepare myself. In one of the interviews that’s included in my new book, James Tracy asked me how I know where to look for information that’s pertinent to a given story.

I told James that’s it’s complicated, that my experience is different from most other CIA researchers and writers. I didn’t follow the usual career course. I didn’t go to the Columbia School of Journalism. I’m a college dropout who climbed trees for a living for ten years. But I did want to be a writer, and my philosophy of life is based on the study of language and literary criticism. I take a very broad approach. When I went to college, I studied Greek and Roman literature, read the Norton anthologies of English and American literature, and took courses in classical myth and the Bible.

Very early in my studies I was introduced literary critics like Robert Graves, poet and author of The White Goddess, and Sir James Fraser who wrote The Golden Bough. Fraser brought a socio-anthropological way of looking at the world of literature. That led me to Mircea Eliade, Carl Jung, Eric Newman, Northrop Frye and a few other people who approached literature from a variety of different perspectives – psychological, political, anthropological, sociological, historical, philosophical. All those things were of interest to me. So when I look at a subject, I look at it comprehensively from all those different points of view, plus my blue collar, working class perspective.

Literary criticism teaches the power of symbolic transformation, of processing experience into ideas, into meaning. To be a Madison Avenue adman, one must understand how to use symbols and myths to sell commodities. Admen use logos and slogans, and so do political propagandists. Left or right; doesn’t matter. The left is as adept at branding as the right. To be a speech writer or public relations consultant one must, above all, understand the archetypal power of the myth of the hero. That way you can transform Joe the Plumber, or even a mass murdering politician, into a national hero.

When I decided to research and write about the CIA’s Phoenix program, that was how I thought about it. I went directly to William Colby, who’d been Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. I didn’t know enough to be intimidated, it was just the smart

thing to do. Colby was the person most associated with Phoenix, the controversial CIA “assassination” program that resulted in the death of tens of thousands of civilians during the Vietnam War. No one had written a book about it, so I wrote Colby a letter and sent him my first book, The Hotel Tacloban, which is about my father’s experiences in combat and as a POW in World War Two.

Tacloban was key to unlocking the CIA’s door, for two reasons. First, it demonstrated that I understood what it means to be a soldier, which was essential in terms of winning the trust of CIA officers, most of whom think of themselves as soldiers. The CIA is set up like a military organization with a sacred chain of command. Somebody tells you what to do and you salute and do it.  Colby himself had parachuted behind enemy lines in France during World War Two.

On a deeper level, Tacloban showed that I could bridge the “man” gap that divided my frag-happy, draft-dodging generation from Colby’s “saved the world for freedom and democracy” generation. I felt that “father-son” dynamic with Colby and several of the senior spooks he referred me to. Some of them even acknowledged that I was attempting to reconcile with them in a way their own sons never had.

So I told Colby I wanted to write a book that would de-mystify the Phoenix program, and he was all for that. Colby liked my approach – to look at it from all these different points of view – so he got behind me and introduced me to a lot of senior CIA people. And that gave me access from the inside. After that it was easy. I have good interview skills. I was able to persuade a lot of these CIA people to talk about Phoenix. I approached it from an organizational point of view, which is essential when writing about bureaucracies like the CIA or the DEA. You have to understand them as a bureaucracy, that they have an historical arc. They begin somewhere, they have a Congressional mandate, they have a purpose, and organizational and management structures. And in that regard I really lucked out. One of the first people I interviewed was the CIA officer, Nelson Brickham, who organized the Phoenix program in 1967 in Saigon. Brickham graduated magna cum laude from Yale and was something of an organizational genius. He explained to me how he organized Phoenix. He also explained the different divisions and branches of the CIA so I’d be able to understand it. All of that went into my book The Phoenix Program.

So I lucked out. Through Colby I had access to the CIA people who created the Phoenix program and its various components. I was able to find out what was on their minds and why they did what they did. That never would have happened if I had gone to the Columbia School of Journalism, or if I’d been working for mainstream media editors for many years. I’d have had a much narrower way of going about the thing. But the CIA officers I spoke with loved the broad view that I was bringing to the subject. They liked me asking them about their philosophy. It enabled me to understand the subject comprehensively. I related to them on a very personal level, and when the book came, they reeled. Colby was furious.

So the New York Times killed the book in its cradle. As Guillermo Jiminez noted in one of our interviews, the book didn’t take off until Open Road Media republished it 25 years later as part of their Forbidden Bookshelf series. Guillermo asked me why my book was chosen for the series, why there was new-found interest in Phoenix, and what the CIA is up to, generally, nowadays.

As I explained, when the book came out in 1990, it got a terrible review in The New York Times. Morley Safer, who’d been a reporter in Vietnam, wrote the review. Safer and the Times killed the book because in it I said Phoenix never would have succeeded if the reporters in Vietnam hadn’t covered for the CIA.

Several senior CIA officers told me the same thing, that some correspondent “was always in my office. He’d bring a bottle of scotch and I’d tell him what was going on.” The celebrity reporters knew what was going on, but they didn’t report about it in exchange for having access.

I said that in the book specifically about The New York Times. I said, “When it comes to the CIA and the press, one hand washes the other. To have access to informed officials, reporters frequently suppress or distort stories. In return, CIA officials leak stories to reporters to whom they owe favors.” I told how, at its most incestuous, reporters and government officials are related. I cited the example of Charles LeMoyne, a Navy officer who ran the CIA’s counter-terror teams for a year in the Delta, and his New York Times correspondent brother James. I said that if Ed Lansdale hadn’t had Joseph Alsop to print his black propaganda in the US, there probably would have been no Vietnam War.


Read more about Doug Valentine and his work here: <>

Army Feared King

US Army Intelligence
Spied on King Family for 3 Generations

MLK Family Tree back 3 generations
Martin Luther King Family Tree

Contrary to what is presented in corporate state media, the United States Intelligence-Surveillance State is not a recent phenomenon. A penetrating article written by Stephen G. Tompkins in 1993 investigates a level of institutional racism that directed multi-generational decision-making by authorities in U.S. Army Intelligence.

The article reveals what was, in 1993, “the Army’s largest-ever espionage operation within the United States.” The complete article is available here. The beginning is quoted below.


Army feared King, secretly watched him
Spying on blacks started 75 years ago
Stephen G. Tompkins
The Commercial Appeal, Memphis Tennessee
Sunday, March 21, 1993

The intelligence branch of the United States Army spied on the family of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for three generations. Top secret, often illegal, intrusions into the lives of black Americans began more than 75 years ago and often focused on black churches in the South and their ministers.

The spying was born of a conviction by top Army intelligence officers that black Americans were ripe for subversion – first by agents of the German Kaiser, then by Communists, later by the Japanese and eventually by those opposed to the Vietnam War.

At first, the Army used a reporting network of private citizens that included church members, black businessmen such as Memphis’s Robert R. Church Jr., and black educators like the Hampton Institute’s Roscoe C. Simmons. It later employed cadres of infiltrators, wiretaps and aerial photography by U2 spy planes.

As the civil rights movement merged with anti-war protests in the late 1960s, some Army units began supplying sniper rifles and other weapons of war to civilian police departments. Army Intelligence began planning for what some officers believed would soon be armed rebellion.

By March 1968, King was preparing to lead a march in Memphis in support of striking sanitation workers and another march a few weeks later that would swamp Washington with people demanding less attention to Vietnam and more resources for America’s poor.

By then the Army’s intelligence system was keenly focused on King and desperately searching for a way to stop him.

On April 4, 1968, King was killed by a sniper’s bullet at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.

In the 25 years since, investigators have focused on the role the FBI and other police agencies played in King’s life. Few have paid attention to the Army’s activities.

Some of the Army’s spying against anti-war and civil rights groups became public knowledge in 1971 congressional hearings. But key intelligence officers avoided testifying, leaving the full story untold.

The Commercial Appeal’s 16-month investigation of the Army’s secret spy war with black citizens provides a first-time look inside the Army’s largest-ever espionage operation within the United States.

Much of the story was pieced together from a trail of memos, memoirs, diaries and meeting notes scattered around the country in military archives, the Library of Congress, presidential libraries and private collections. Some of the documents are still classified. Other pieces came from interviews with nearly 200 participants, including the recollections of several dozen Army agents still living in this country and in Mexico.

This newspaper’s investigation uncovered no hard evidence that Army Intelligence played any role in King’s assassination, although Army agents were in Memphis the day he was killed.

But the review of thousands of government documents and interviews with people involved in the spying revealed that by early 1968 Army Intelligence regarded King as a major threat to national security.



Who Killed RFK?

Sirhan Sirhan Did Not Kill Robert Kennedy
48 years Later His 15th Parole Application Is Denied in 2016

Sirhan Sirhan, convicted of the 1968 murder of Robert F. Kennedy, came face to face with man who testified at his trial and has long advanced the argument that Sirhan fired shots that night—but not the ones that killed Kennedy.
Sirhan Parole Hearing, 02-10-16Sirhan Parole Hearing, 02-10-16Sirhan Parole Hearing, 02-10-16Sirhan Parole Hearing, 02-10-16Sirhan Parole Hearing, 02-10-16Sirhan Parole Hearing, 02-10-16
Sirhan Sirhan, convicted of killing Robert F Kennedy, during his Feb 2016 hearing in San Diego where he was denied parole.
Photograph Credits: Gregory Bull/AP

Sirhan Bishara Sirhan has been denied parole for the 15th time after telling a board that he could not remember shooting John F Kennedy’s brother in 1968 and was therefore unable to confess.

In the highly charged atmosphere, a witness in the 1969 trial of Sirhan Sirhan came forward at the hearing to call for the convicted man’s release. Paul Schrade, now 91, who was also shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, apologized for missing Sirhan’s previous 14 parole hearings. He told Sirhan: “I should have been here long ago and that’s why I feel guilty for not being here to help you and to help me.” After the hearing, while Sirhan was being taken away, Schrade shouted, “Sirhan, I’m so sorry this is happening to you. It’s my fault.”

Parole commissioners, however, were unmoved. “This crime impacted the nation, and I daresay it impacted the world,” commissioner Brian Roberts said. “It was a political assassination of a viable Democratic presidential candidate.”

Mr Schrade was alongside the candidate when five people were injured in the June 5th shooting. Mr Schrade was shot in the head.

The two men faced each other at the parole hearing for the first time since Mr Schrade testified at Sirhan’s 1969 trial.

Mr Schrade pleaded for the release of Sirhan at the hearing and apologized to him for not doing more over the years to secure his freedom.

A 2008 update to Shane O’Sullivan’s 2007 documentary film, RFK Must Die featuring new audio evidence
that suggests a second gunman fired the shot that killed Bobby Kennedy.


What follows is the testimony of Paul Schrade
By Paul Schrade, Reader Supported News, 11 February 2016
Full text of Paul Schrade’s prepared remarks for delivery at Sirhan Sirhan’s February 10, 2016 Parole Suitability Hearing.
Transcription provided by Brad Johnson, Concept Producer for Rob Beemer, Interesting Stuff Entertainment, Los Angeles (Rob accompanied Paul Schrade to Sirhan’s parole hearing, acting as Mr. Schrade’s support person).
Sirhan Parole Hearing, 02-10-16Sirhan Parole Hearing, 02-10-16Sirhan Parole Hearing, 02-10-16Sirhan Parole Hearing, 02-10-16
Sirhan Parole Hearing, 02-10-16Sirhan Parole Hearing, 02-10-16Sirhan Parole Hearing, 02-10-16
Paul Schrade giving testimony at Sirhan Sirhan’,Feb 2016 parole hearing
Photograph Credits: Gregory Bull/AP

Good Morning, Gentlemen:

I am Paul Schrade of Los Angeles. I am 91 years old. And back when I was 43, I was among six persons shot at the old Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles at just after Midnight on June 5th, 1968.

I was shot along with Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who had just won California’s Democratic Primary Election for the Presidency of the United States. Five of us survived our wounds. And as history knows, Senator Kennedy was fatally wounded.

I am here to speak for myself, a shooting victim, and to bear witness for my friend, Bob Kennedy.

Kennedy was a man of justice. But, so far, justice has not been served in this case. And I feel obliged as both a shooting victim and as an American to speak out about this – and to honor the memory of the greatest American I’ve ever known, Robert Francis Kennedy.

Sirhan Bishara Sirhan was originally scheduled for release in 1984 but, after intense political pressure, his parole date was rescinded and he has since been denied 14 times.

In order for you to make an accurate determination of Sirhan Sirhan’s parole, you need to know my feelings on this case and the full picture of what actually happened.

Sirhan, I forgive you.

The evidence clearly shows you were not the gunman who shot Robert Kennedy. There is clear evidence of a second gunman in that kitchen pantry who shot Robert Kennedy. One of the bullets – the fatal bullet – struck Bob in the back of the head. Two bullets struck Bob literally in his back. A fourth bullet struck the back of his coat’s upper right seam and passed harmlessly through his coat. I believe all four of those bullets were fired from a second gunman standing behind Bob. You were never behind Bob, nor was Bob’s back ever exposed to you.

Indeed, Sirhan, the evidence not only shows that you did not shoot Robert Kennedy but it shows that you could not have shot Robert Kennedy.

Gentlemen, the evidence clearly shows that Sirhan Sirhan could not and did not shoot Senator Bob Kennedy.

Several days ago, I made sure that several documents were submitted to this board for you to review. If you have not done so as yet, I would ask you to please review them very carefully during your deliberation. I will be glad to re-submit these documents to you, here today.

I believe, after you review these documents, that it should become clear to you that Sirhan Sirhan did not shoot – and could not have shot – Robert Kennedy. What I am saying to you is that Sirhan himself was a victim.

Obviously there was someone else there in that pantry also firing a gun. While Sirhan was standing in front of Bob Kennedy and his shots were creating a distraction, the other shooter secretly fired at the senator from behind and fatally wounded him. Bob died 25 hours later.

Gentlemen, I believe you should grant Sirhan Sirhan parole. And I ask you to do that today.

Along with what Sirhan’s lawyers have submitted to you, the following are the documents that I made sure were submitted to you and which should also be factored into your decision today.

First, I want to show you this. It’s a letter written in 2012 by my good friend, Robert F. Kennedy Junior[1]. Bobby wrote this letter to Eric Holder, who was then the Attorney General of the United States. In his letter to Mr. Holder, Bobby requests that federal authorities examine the Pruszynski Recording, the only known audio recording made of his father’s assassination at the Ambassador Hotel. The recording was uncovered in 2004 at the California State Archives by CNN International senior writer Brad Johnson.

This next document is a federal court declaration from audio expert Philip Van Praag,[2] who Johnson recruited to analyze the Pruszynski Recording.

In this document, Van Praag declares that his analysis of the recording concludes that two guns were fired in the Robert Kennedy shooting.

Van Praag found a total of 13 gunshots in the Pruszynski Recording.[3] Sirhan’s one and only gun at the crime scene held no more than eight bullets and Sirhan had no opportunity to reload it.

Van Praag also found what he calls “double-shots” – meaning two gunshots fired so close together that they could not both have come from Sirhan’s Iver Johnson Cadet revolver. Van Praag actually found two sets of these “double-shots.”

Additionally, he found that five of the 13 gunshots featured a unique audio resonance characteristic that could not have been produced by Sirhan’s gun model, meaning those five shots were fired from a second gun of a different make.

Van Praag further found that those five gunshots were fired in a direction heading away from Pruszynski’s microphone. Since the microphone was about 40 feet west of the Kennedy shooting, those five shots were fired in an eastward direction, which was opposite the westward direction that Sirhan is known to have fired his eight-shot Iver Johnson Cadet.

These documents are statements from two witnesses to the Robert Kennedy shooting, both of them assistant maître d’s for the Ambassador Hotel. These two men, Karl Uecker[4] and Edward Minasian,[5] escorted Robert Kennedy into the kitchen pantry immediately after the Senator delivered his victory speech in a hotel ballroom for having won the California Primary. Both Uecker and Minasian say Sirhan was in front of Bob Kennedy as the Senator walked toward Sirhan, meaning that Bob and Sirhan were facing each other. Both witnesses say Sirhan was still in front of Bob as Sirhan fired his gun. And both say that after Sirhan fired his first two shots, Uecker quickly pushed Sirhan against a steam table, placing Sirhan in a headlock while grabbing hold of Sirhan’s firing arm, forcing the tip of Sirhan’s gun to point away from where Bob Kennedy was and causing Sirhan to fire blindly his remaining six bullets.

In other words, Sirhan only had full control of his gun at the beginning, when he fired his first two shots, one of which hit me. Sirhan had no opportunity to fire four precisely-placed, point-blank bullets into the back of Bob Kennedy’s head or body while he was pinned against that steam table and while he and Bob were facing each other.

This document is the official Robert Kennedy autopsy report summary.[6] It shows that all bullets directed at Senator Kennedy were fired from behind him at point-blank range. As the autopsy states, and as these drawings show, the bullets traveled from back-to-front at steep upward trajectories. One bullet struck Senator Kennedy at the back of the head, two bullets at the right rear armpit and a fourth bullet at the right rear shoulder of his jacket, which passed harmlessly through his jacket.

Again, Sirhan’s bullets could not have struck the back of Bob Kennedy’s head or the back of his body or the back of his jacket’s right shoulder, as the autopsy clearly shows took place, because Sirhan was never in a position to administer any of those four Kennedy shots. The prosecution never placed Sirhan in that location and position.

These are documents from the Los Angeles Police Department that reveal LAPD misconduct in the police investigation of the Robert Kennedy murder.[7] They detail evidence that was destroyed while Sirhan’s appeal was still pending as well as a photograph that was acknowledged by the LAPD to be “effective rebuttal” but was withheld from the defense team.

Indeed, the LAPD and L.A. County District Attorney knew two hours after the shooting of Senator Kennedy that he was shot by a second gunman and they had conclusive evidence that Sirhan could not – and did not – do it. The official record shows that the prosecution at Sirhan’s trial never had one witness – and had no physical nor ballistic evidence – to prove Sirhan shot Bob Kennedy. Evidence locked up for 20 years shows that the LAPD destroyed physical evidence and hid ballistic evidence exonerating Sirhan – and covered up conclusive evidence that a second gunman fatally wounded Robert Kennedy.

This document is a memo written by Criminalist Larry Baggett, who investigated the Robert Kennedy shooting for the LAPD. The Baggett memo states that the bullets that hit Senator Kennedy and William Weisel, another shooting victim in the pantry, were not fired from the same gun. The memo also states that the bullet that traveled upward through Bob Kennedy’s body and into his neck was not fired from Sirhan’s revolver. Such a finding would be proof that Sirhan did not shoot Robert Kennedy.[8]

Mr. Deputy District Attorney, based on all of this information and more, I ask that you inform Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey that I am formally requesting her to order a new investigation of the Robert F. Kennedy assassination. I will also be making the same request of Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck.

Please note, Mr. Deputy District Attorney, that I am using the word “new” here. I am not requesting that the old investigation simply be re-opened. For that would only lead to the same old wrong conclusions. I am requesting a new investigation so that after nearly 50 years, justice finally can be served for me as a shooting victim; for the four other shooting victims who also survived their wounds; for Bob Kennedy who did not survive his wounds because his were the most grievously suffered in that kitchen pantry; for the people of the United States who Bob loved so much and had hoped to lead, just as his brother, President John F. Kennedy, had led only a few years before; and of course for justice, to which Bob Kennedy devoted his life.

Furthermore, Mr. Deputy District Attorney, I ask that you please also tell the District Attorney, Ms. Lacey, that I would appreciate the opportunity to personally meet with her in Los Angeles at her earliest convenience. Would you please convey my message to her?

I hope you will consider all of the accurate details of this crime that I have presented in order for you to accurately determine Sirhan Sirhan’s eligibility for parole. If you do this the right way and the just way, I believe you will come to the same conclusion I have: that Sirhan should be released. If justice is not your aim, then of course you will not.

Again, Sirhan was originally scheduled for release in 1984 but after intense political pressure, his parole date was rescinded and he has since been denied 14 times.

The best example of this can be found in this statement of Los Angeles District Attorney John Van de Kamp.[9]

Again, gentlemen, I believe you should grant Sirhan Sirhan parole. And I ask you to do that today in the name of Robert F. Kennedy and in the name of justice.

Thank you. That concludes my remarks.

*     *     *     *     *
Sirhan Bishara Sirhan: trained by coercive persuasion techniques to serve as a distractor at RFK’s assassination
from: “The Full Story of the Sirhan Sirhan Parole Hearing

Another important document submitted to the parole board two days before the hearing was a new declaration by Dr. Daniel Brown,[10] a psychologist from Harvard Medical School. Since May 2008, Dr. Brown has spent over 100 hours with Sirhan, including a two-day visit last September.

The aim of these sessions was threefold: to “conduct a detailed forensic psychological assessment” of Sirhan’s mental status; to allow Sirhan “to develop a more complete memory...for the events leading up to and of the night of the assassination”; and to determine whether or not Sirhan was the “subject of coercive suggestive influence” at the time of the shooting and if this accounted for his amnesia.

The declaration states that, in Dr. Brown’s expert opinion, Sirhan is normal, does not have a psychiatric condition or personality disorder and shows no evidence of any violence risk if released (the primary consideration for any parole panel).

In his sessions with Sirhan, Dr. Brown found “a variety of personality factors that are associated with high vulnerability to coercive suggestive influence: an extreme dissociative coping style; hypnotically-induced altered personality states; extremely high hypnotizability; and high social compliance”:

Mr. Sirhan is one of the most hypnotizable individuals I have ever met, and the magnitude of his amnesia for actions not under his voluntary [control] in hypnosis is extreme. This unusual combination of personality factors makes Mr. Sirhan the type of individual extremely vulnerable to coercive social influence [and accounts for his] uncharacteristic behavior and strong amnesia for that behavior on the night of Senator Kennedy’s assassination...

Dr. Brown’s declaration traces the seeds of this “coercive suggestive influence” back to his experiences at a local race track, where,

Mr. Sirhan regularly practiced self-hypnosis with fellow stable boys...Mr. Sirhan was observed to quickly enter a very deep state of hypnotic trance state and to then respond compulsively and uncritically to suggestion the [sic] behave in certain ways for which he subsequently became amnesic....

After a fall from a horse at a ranch in Corona in 1966, Sirhan was briefly hospitalized but, as Dr. Brown notes,

The medical record of the hospital shows that he was treated for a minor eye injury and discharged the same day. His mother and best friend both states [sic] that he was missing for two full weeks. Mr. Sirhan recalls being in the hospital for several weeks. Sometime thereafter he was taken to a military firing range and trained to shoot upon command at vital human organs while in an hypnotic state.

Dr. Brown notes that Sirhan’s “dissociative vulnerability” causes him “on rare occasions to shift self-states”:

On more than one occasion I was able to find the cue to induce “range mode,” wherein upon hypnotic cue, Mr. Sirhan takes his firing stance, hypnotically hallucinates that he is shooting at circle targets at a firing range, automatically starts shooting, and subsequently is completely amnesic for the hypnotically induced behavior. This altered personality state only occurs while Mr. Sirhan is in a hypnotic or self-hypnotic state, and only in response to certain cues. This state never spontaneously manifests. While in this altered personality state, Mr. Sirhan shows both a loss of executive control and complete amnesia....[T]his distinctive self-state is cue-specific and state-dependent...and is likely the product of coercive suggestive influence and hypnosis.

On the night of the assassination, Sirhan recalls being led in the Ambassador Hotel pantry by a girl in a polka-dot dress. As Robert Kennedy was approaching him, Dr. Brown writes, “this same woman taped [sic] him on the elbow twice (a common hypnotic cue) following which he immediately went into ‘range mode,’ and believed he was shooting at circle targets at a local firing range.”

Given the new evidence of a second gunman found on the Pruszynski recording, it is Dr. Brown’s expert opinion “that Mr. Sirhan was trained through a variety of coercive persuasion techniques to serve as a distractor on the night of the assassination, so that a second professional shooter could render the fatal shot.”

Sirhan fired his gun on cue, carrying out an involuntary post-hypnotic suggestion and his “strong dissociative coping style...would cause him to be ‘out of it’ and be confused and amnesic for such actions”:

Given the likelihood that Mr. Sirhan was in such a state at the time of the assassination, it should not be assumed at the parole hearing that he should manifest either knowledge of, remorse for, or clear memory for an event wherein his behavior was likely compulsively induced, involuntary, and for which he still has little memory.

portion of most famous page from Sirhan's notebook
Portion of the most famous page of Sirhan Sirhan’s notebook
Photo credit: California State Archives

The self-incriminating writing in Sirhan’s notebooks has always been cited as primary evidence of premeditated murder. The most famous page begins: “May 18 9.45 AM – 68 My determination to eliminate R.F.K. is becoming more the more of an unshakable obsession.” Underneath it are a series of concentric circles that bear a strong resemblance to targets at a firing range.

After exploring Sirhan’s “responsiveness to automatic writing in hypnosis,” Dr. Brown concluded that the automatic writing in his notebooks was “a product of coercive persuasion by a third party”:

Mr. Sirhan was an avid enthusiast of short wave radios. He had a short wave radio in his bedroom, and spent most nights before the assassination communicating on his short wave radio to third parties. Mr. Sirhan frequently entered a hypnotic state while communicating with other parties on the short wave radio. While in trance Mr. Sirhan would automatically write down what was communicated to him, and subsequently was amnesic for the content of his automatic writing in the spiral notebooks.

Dr. Brown compares the notebooks to “a coerced internalized false confession” and claims they should have been ruled inadmissible at trial. He concludes:

Mr. Sirhan has been in prison for over four decades for a crime that he is unlikely to have committed. Extensive psychological testing by me and others shows no evidence for any clinically significant psychiatric condition and low evidence for violence risk, combined with the new evidence that raises reasonable doubt that Mr. Sirhan was the assassin of Robert F. Kennedy, and also reasonable doubt about his previous written and verbal self-incriminating statements being voluntary and reliable, there is, in my opinion, no justifiable reason to deny his parole. Since he has spend [sic] all of his adult life in prison for a crime that he may not have committed, nor has volition about, knowledge of, nor memory for, the compassionate response would be to let Mr. Sirhan live the remainder of his life free. There is little risk here.

*     *     *     *     *
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS: Petition for a Writ of Certiorari by counsel for Mr. Sirhan to the US Supreme Court

The following was filed by attorneys Dr. William F. Pepper, Esq. and Laurie D. Dusek, Esq., counsels for Mr. Sirhan, with the Supreme Court of the United States., July 2016 (23 pages):

In The
Supreme Court of the United States



On Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the
United States Court of Appeals,
For the Ninth Circuit


. . .

Petitioner, Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, a prisoner in the California State Prison system, subsequent to being arrested and charged with the murder of Robert F. Kennedy, has not only been previously denied, on appeal his petition for a new trial, on his habeas corpus petition for an evidentiary hearing but also he has been denied a Certificate of Appealability even in the force of powerful new forensic evidence.

Petitioners, respectfully prays that a Writ of Certiorari issue to review the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

. . .


Subsequent to being arrested and charged with the murder of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Appellant was represented at trial by his lead counsel, Grant Cooper. Appellant, to his detriment, never understood the degree and effect of the conflict, which would totally compromise his opportunity for a fair trail and compel ineffective assistance of counsel. Grant Cooper, the head counsel, during the entire trial was under a federal criminal indictment and subject to all the leverage and intimidation that imposes.

. . .


It is hard to conceive of a more blatant, textbook, example of ineffective assistance of Counsel. Defense counsel’s acts and omissions in this capitol case - Petitioner is only still with us because the California Legislature abolished the death penalty - ensured that a guilty verdict and a sentence to death was obtained.

Needless to say, the pending indictment against defense counsel Cooper went away after his performance.

The Petition for a Writ of Certiorari should be granted.


  • Robert F Kennedy’s killer loses 15th parole bid,” The Irish Times, Feb 11, 2016
  • The Full Story of the Sirhan Sirhan Parole Hearing,” by Shane O’Sullivan, Who.What.Why, Feb 16, 2016
  • Transcript of Complete February 2016 Parole Hearing (212 pages)
  • B.C.-based actress Nina Rhodes-Hughes speaks of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination (with video),” by Denise Ryan, Vancouver Sun, May 7, 2012
  • Petition for a Writ of Certiorari by counsel for Mr. Sirhan to the US Supreme Court, July 26, 2016 (23 pages)
  • Sirhan’s Researcher website is Rose Lynn Mangan’s highly detailed compilation where she presents her “own research on the RFK assassination, which focuses on the ballistics evidence of the case, and the subsequent mishandling and falsification of that evidence in the attempt to cover up a conspiracy to assassinate RFK.” As she writes (beginning two-thirds of the way down on the site’s home page):

    I am Rose Lynn Mangan, the person whom Sirhan Bishara Sirhan designated, along with his brother Adel, to be his authorized researcher. I have been acting in that capacity for many years, and Sirhan has confirmed this in two authorization letters, one on September 20, 1993, and one on December 26, 1993.Statement of Conclusions and Beliefs about the RFK Assassination

    After nearly four decades of research into the RFK assassination, numerous personal meetings and interactions with Sirhan and his family, interaction with criminalists and other researchers involved in the case, interaction with the Los Angeles Police Department, the California criminal court system, and the California State Archives, I have come to the following firmly-held conclusions and beliefs:

    1. Sirhan was a psychologically-manipulated patsy in a much larger scheme to kill RFK. His true role, unbeknownst to him, was that of an attention-grabbing diversion. He did not fire the bullet that killed RFK.
    2. Sirhan was firing blanks! His ammunition had been switched by his handlers prior to the assassination. This theory, first suggested by criminalist William Harper, corresponds with the statements of several eye witnesses who saw “bits of paper” and other residue consistent with the use of blanks coming from Sirhan’s gun. It is my firm belief that Sirhan’s handlers put blanks in Sirhan’s gun because they did not trust that Sirhan would hit his intended target.
    3. There were two separate “firing positions”, according to William Harper’s measurements of ballistics evidence using a Hycom camera (see discussion below). According to Harper, one position was in line with Sirhan’s position, and one was behind RFK. There were other people besides Sirhan who were in an in-line position to shoot the bystanders. Harper’s ballistics measurements were in fact corroborated by the LAPD’s own independent tests years after the Sirhan trial, as documented in the Baggett memo mentioned below.
    4. Ballistics and other evidence was intentionally mishandled, mislabeled, and misappropriated by the L.A.P.D.  My report on Special Exhibit 10 documents this. It is my belief and conclusion that the L.A.P.D. did so at the behest of a higher Federal authority (see references below for more details).

    What you will find on this website

    On this website you will find documents, court testimony, analysis and reports on the weapons and bullets used and not used in the RFK assassination. You will see evidence of multiple guns, of the substitution of guns in the chain of evidence, of the destruction of records related to the guns, and of tampering of ballistics evidence of the bullets involved in the RFK assassination. My own research is covered in the Special Exhibit 10 Report that I presented to a meeting of the International Association of Forensic Sciences in Montpelier, France, in September, 2002. Overall, there are 424 pages of materials, which have been divided into logical pieces so that they may be more easily viewed and downloaded.




The first nine endnotes are documents Paul Schrade referenced during his testimony as well as observations he shares here:

  1. Letter from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., September 25, 2012. PDF and text formats. []
  2. Exhibit C, Declaration of Philip van Praag, November 14th 2011 in support of a new evidentiary hearing for Sirhan.
    See Also: “The Assassination of RFK: A Time for Justice!,” by Frank Morales, Global Research, Jun 16, 2012. []

  3. The Only ‘Picture’ of the Fatal Shooting of Robert Kennedy” []
  4. Karl Uecker Statement, 6-5-68: PDF and text formats []
  5. Edward Minasian Statement, 6-5-68; PDF and text formats []
  6. To Be Added: Official Robert Kennedy Autopsy Report Summary []
  7. To Be Added: Documents revealing LAPD misconduct in the police investigation of the Robert Kennedy murder []
  8. The Baggett Memo: PDF and text formats.
    This Baggett memo is from the LA Police SUS files, the Special Unit Senator unit set up to control the investigation of the RFK case in June 1968. This is evidence the LA Prosecutors had that proved the RFK neck bullet did not match Victim Weisel’s bullet from the Sirhan gun therefore proving Sirhan did not shoot RFK and the 2nd Gunman did. There is no date on it or file source. The first page does show the name of LA Police Deputy Chief John A Mc Allister and the initials of the person who wrote this report. This first page also questions and thinks “Wolfer and the investigator should go...”. For some time I thought the initials at the bottom were WEP but now think they look like MEP. They could be for Manuel Emmanuel Pena (Manny Pena) of the LA Police and head of SUS. This Baggett memo is undated and despite the connection with the Deputy Chief and maybe Pena it could stand more validation. []

  9. To Be Added: Statement of Los Angeles District Attorney John Van de Kamp exemplifies how political pressure forced Sirhan’s parole date to be rescinded []
  10. Declaration of Daniel Brown, Ph.D., 796 Beacon St., Newton, MA 02459, to Legal Dept., Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, 480 Alta Rd., San Diego, CA 92179, Re: The February 10, 2016 Parole Hearing of Sirhan B. Sirhan. PDF and text formats. []

Peter Dale Scott Examines the Deep State

Peter Dale Scott is one of the leading experts on what is called the “deep state”, the shadow government behind the visible one. Scott, a professor emeritus of English at Berkeley and former Canadian diplomat, is considered the father of “deep politics”, the study of hidden permanent institutions and interests.

In The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on U.S. Democracy Scott takes a compelling look at the facts lurking behind the official histories of events to uncover the real dynamics in play (purchase thru: In this exclusive excerpt, “The Deep State and the Bias of Official History,” (Oct 26, 2014) the first of several featured on WhoWhatWhy ~ Scott looks at the revolving door between Wall Street and the CIA, and what that demonstrates about where power truly resides.

See Also:


Who Killed Malcolm X?

In the 1960’s. Roland Sheppard regularly attended Malcolm X’s meetings in Harlem. He is one of the few people still living who personally witnessed the assassination of Malcolm X in the Audubon Ballroom. His gripping account of the events of that day – February 21, 1965 – begins on Page 6 of his pamphlet, Why the Government Assassinated Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr..

Shephard describes the chaos that ensued in the ballroom when two (or was it three?) men ran toward Malcolm, firing a pistol at him, and then ran out the exit doors by the stage. He then watched helplessly as a black man in a navy blue trench coat fired a fatal shotgun blast at Malcolm. On a later visit to the Harlem police station, Sheppard finds the man he saw shoot Malcolm X and realizes he cannot tell the police since by doing so, he too would be a dead man.

Sheppard’s pamphlet presents an analysis of Malcolm X’s power and influence, why he was a threat to the establishment, and articulates discrepancies he uncovered in the various accounts of Malcolm’s assassination.

Excerpts from the pamphlet:

Malcolm X speaking at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem on Feb. 15, 1965. Six days later, he was assassinated as he was about to speak again.Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘Dream’ is not possible under the ‘Nightmare’ of capitalism. The system of capitalism is based on the exploitation of Labor, and racism is required to divide and weaken the working class. As Malcolm X said: “Racism is profitable. If it was not profitable, it would not exist.”

The previous Civil Rights Movement offers valuable lessons for today: if we don’t let them divide us; if we keep our politics independent of the Republican and Democratic Parties and the Government; if we rely only upon our own power in the streets, in the schools, and at work; if we take up the struggles of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the many other heroes of the movement – we can win.

Further Reading:

Reviews of Why the Government Assassinated Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.:

58 Admitted False Flag Attacks

Do you have an enemy that you want to make people hate? One way to make this happen is to carry out what are called "false flag attacks," and place the blame on your enemy. In the account which follows, 58 such false flag attacks are identified. In all of these cases, the perpetrators of the attacks admit to having planned them or carried them out. Check out attacks done by many regimes and agencies, including:

  • the Nazis
  • the Japanese government
  • the Soviets and the KGB
  • the Israelis and Mossad
  • the FBI, CIA and NSA
  • the British, Saudi and U.S. governments
  • NATO
  • the Quebec police
  • the Turkish, Macedonian and Burmese governments
  • the Algerian, Indonesian and Colombian armies

False Flags Are Just a Conspiracy Theor … Admitted Fact, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Congressmen, Generals, Spooks, Soldiers and Police ADMIT to False Flag Terror, WashingtonsBlog (2016)

See Also: NATO’s Secret Armies. Operation GLADIO and the Strategy of Tension by Dr. Daniele Ganser. Excerpt:

JC:  So, in this case, you have an extreme right-winger, Vinciguerra, a member of Ordine Nuovo, carrying out a false-flag attack; that’s one strategy. But wasn’t there also another strategy of infiltrating left-wing groups and getting them to commit acts of terror?

DG:  That’s true; that’s another idea. Simply infiltrate a left-wing group that you think is not sufficiently violent, and push it to do something violent, such as to kill somebody. Then you have created a so-called domestic emergency that you can exploit by saying: “We need more money for the military and NATO, and more power for the Secret Service to guarantee your freedom and liberty. We have proof that these communists are evil and dreadful.” In 2000, the Italian Senate (one branch of the Italian Parliament) investigated the spate of terrorist attacks in Italy, and published their conclusions in a report. Let me quote this one sentence. The Italian Parliament writes:

Those massacres, those bombs, those military actions had been organised or promoted or supported by men inside Italian State Institutions and, as has been discovered more recently, by men linked to the structures of the United States Intelligence.


That is a very revealing quote. (And just to be clear, the terrorist attacks in Italy –  Straggia, as they’re called in Italy – such as Bologna, Piazza Fontana and Peteano, are undisputed and well-established facts of the Cold War.) So, here we have the Italian Senate admitting, some fifteen years ago, that men inside Italian State institutions – such as the Italian Defence Ministry and Military Intelligence units (the secret services) – were linked to these attacks. Furthermore, people from the American secret services – such as the CIA, and possibly the DIA (Defence Intelligence Agency) – were also linked to these acts of terrorism. It is very saddening to realise that your taxes (which are already hard enough to pay) are being used so that your country’s own defence department and its secret services can attack, kill and maim their own citizens. When I discuss this with people, they react with disbelief: “Oh no, that’s impossible”, and I reply: “No, it is possible; look at the data.”

Eisenhower’s Warning: “A Permanent Armaments Industry Of Vast Proportions”

The Pentagon, looking northeast with the Potomac River and Washington Monument in the distance


In his Farewell Address on January 17, 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower expressed his concerns regarding the unprecedented scale of military and industrial influence over society:

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.[1]


At the close of his presidency Eisenhower relayed to the public what he had seen develop throughout his two terms of this new unwarranted influence. However, on April 27, 1946, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, chief of staff of the Army, issued a “Memorandum for Directors and Chiefs of War Department General and Special Staff Divisions and Bureaus and the Commanding Generals of the Major Commands” on the subject of “Scientific and Technological Resources as Military Assets.” As John Bellamy Foster and Robert W. McChesney write in “Surveillance Capitalism”:

Seymour Melman later referred to this memo as the founding document of what President Eisenhower—in his famous January 17, 1961 farewell address to the nation—was to call the “military-industrial complex.” In this memo General Eisenhower emphasized that a close, continuing contractual relationship be set up between the military and civilian scientists, technologists, industry, and the universities. “The future security of the nation,” he wrote, “demands that all those civilian resources which by conversion or redirection constitute our main support in time of emergency be associated closely with the activities of the Army in time of peace.” This required an enormous expansion of the national security system, bringing civilian scientists, industry, and contractors within this expanding and secretive arm of government. “Proper employment of this [civilian] talent requires that the [given] civilian agency shall have the benefit of our estimates of future military problems and shall work closely with Plans and the Research Development authorities. A most effective procedure is the letting of contracts for aid in planning. The use of such a procedure will greatly enhance the validity of our planning as well as ensure sounder strategic equipment programs.” Eisenhower insisted that scientists should be given the greatest possible freedom to conduct research but under conditions increasingly framed by the “fundamental problems” of the military.

A crucial aspect of this plan, Eisenhower explained, was for the military state to be able to absorb large parts of the industrial and technological capacity of the nation in times of national emergency, so that they become “organic parts of our military structure.... The degree of cooperation with science and industry achieved during the recent [Second World] war should by no means be considered the ultimate;” rather, the relationship should expand. “It is our duty,” he wrote, “to support broad research programs in educational institutions, in industry, and in whatever field might be of importance to the Army. Close integration of military and civilian resources will not only directly benefit the Army, but indirectly contribute to the nation’s security.” Eisenhower therefore called for “the utmost integration of civilian and military resources and...securing the most effective unified direction of our research and development activities”—an integration that he said was already “being consolidated in a separate section on the highest War Department level.”[2]

Eisenhower’s emphasis in 1946 on an organic integration of the military with civilian science, technology, and industry within a larger interactive network was not so much opposed to, as complementary with, the vision of a warfare economy, based on military Keynesianism, emanating from the Truman administration. The Employment Act of 1946 created the Council of Economic Advisers charged with presenting an annual report on the economy and organizing the White House’s economic growth policy. The first chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers was Edwin Nourse, famous for his role in the 1934 publication of the Brookings Institution study, America’s Capacity to Produce, which pointed to the problem of market saturation and excess productive capacity in the U.S. economy. The vice chairman was Leon Keyserling, who was to emerge as the foremost proponent of military Keynesianism in the United States. In 1949 Nourse stepped down and Keyserling replaced him. Meanwhile, the National Security Council was created with the passage of the National Security Act of 1947[3] (which also created the CIA). Together, the Council of Economic Advisors and the National Security Council were to construct the foundation of the U.S. warfare state. Truman formed the ultra-shadowy National Security Agency (NSA) in 1952 as an arm of the military charged with conducting clandestine electronic monitoring of potential foreign (and domestic) subversive activities.[4]

As President, Eisenhower witnessed the increasing reach of military spending and its influence on all sectors of the U.S. economy. It is more accurate to extend the term military-industrial complex to include a third sector — intelligence — into its name given the extent to which military operations require the data provided by military and civilian intelligence entities making up the United States Intelligence Community. These include, but are not limited to:

  • the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI),
  • US Army Military Intelligence Corps (MIC),
  • Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM),
  • the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA),
  • the National Security Agency (NSA),
  • the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),
  • the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA),
  • the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO),
  • and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).

Within Eisenhower’s 1961 Farewell statement, the assumption was implied of the necessity of creating “a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.” More than a half-century later, we are the inheritors of this acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial-intelligence complex. This segment of the Hidden History Center includes reference materials to inform visitors about this complex that forms the heart of United States society.

  1. See The Farewell Address set of files online available at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas. See Also He Told You So: President Eisenhower’s Military-Industrial Complex Speech - 55 Years Later, Ike’s Scary Warning Looms Larger Than Ever, The WhoWhatWhy Team, January 17, 2016 []
  2. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, “Memorandum for Directors and Chiefs of War Department General and Special Staff Divisions and Bureaus and the Commanding Generals of the Major Commands; Subject: Scientific and Technological Resources as Military Assets,” April 1946. Published as Appendix A in Seymour Melman, Pentagon Capitalism: The Political Economy of War (New York: McGraw Hill, 1971), 231-34. []
  3. See overview of the National Security Act of 1947 from U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian. See Also: complete text of the law.[]
  4. Surveillance Capitalism - Monopoly-Finance Capital, the Military-Industrial Complex, and the Digital Age,” by John Bellamy Foster and Robert W. McChesney, Monthly Review, 2014, Volume 66, Issue 03 (July-August)[]