Here is the full text of the 10 Points of Agreement on Political Assassinations reviewed and updated by the research community and at the last COPA meeting in November, 2012. To sign on, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This will be updated online here and also used for press and public distribution in a condensed form.
10 POINTS OF AGREEMENT ON POLITICAL ASSASSINATIONS
Coalition on Political Assassinations and the Research Community
This document is based on a consensus or large majority of the ballistics, forensic, photographic, legal, and medical experts and the academicians, journalists, historians, authors and serious independent researchers who have examined American political assassinations from the 1960s to the present.
We identify these murders as “political assassinations” based not on the target being an elected official, but on the motive and effect of the killing being political. In some cases the motive was the removal and replacement of a leader by opposing forces or by succession, or of a candidate for office. In others the target was a leader in a popular movement for change or social justice who was perceived as a threat to the status quo, both to destroy the movement and the hope of citizens for change. In others the target was a witness to criminal acts or conspiracies or damaging information that would threaten to reveal the actual perpetrators of the crimes.
We have had five decades of research, court cases, released records, official investigations, and independent investigations into the major political assassinations that changed the direction of America since the early 1960s. These statements represent the best evidence and what we now know, on the verge of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, about his murder and others.
They are offered in the hope that the need for justice and the claims of history will prevail in a democratic society that has had democracy stolen by these heinous acts.
WE DO NOT BELIEVE IN CONSPIRACY “THEORIES”, WE WORK WITH FACTUAL EVIDENCE OF CONSPIRACY IN UNSOLVED CRIMES
Our points of agreement are based on the best hard evidence – scientific, documentary, photographic and historic – that has emerged over five decades pointing to the inadequacy of the official explanations of political assassinations, and instead pointing to the existence of criminal conspiracy in politically motivated murders of elected and public figures of historical importance. From Congressional investigations, civil and criminal trials, declassified records, and new investigations over these decades, new evidence continues to emerge supporting these conclusions.
We do not work from speculation or theory, but from serious research into real evidence. Our members and presenters at conferences include former presidents of the American Academy of Forensic Science; leading ballistics, legal and medical experts, respected investigative journalists; former investigators for Congressional panels; academic professors of note; and independent researchers who have spent years examining and compiling the best new evidence. Our standards for these conclusions follow those of academia, professional journalists and criminal courts and investigations.
We use a process of peer review and rational skepticism to distinguish our presentations, as evidence-based, not speculation. We encourage a quality of debate on these issues, and the core of the research community is not at serious odds on these questions. We do not entertain “conspiracy theories” based on guilt by association or imaginative scenarios, but rely instead on association by guilt. We continue to push for the release of all documents, evidence, investigation and information needed to resolve these as yet unsolved crimes that had such an impact on our country.
OFFICIAL INVESTIGATIONS WERE FLAWED: BALLISTICS, FORENSIC, LEGAL, PHOTOGRAPHIC AND AUTOPSY MANIPULATION LED TO FALSE CONCLUSIONS
The official police, coroner, and trial investigations and the examinations by the Warren Commission, the FBI and the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) ignored the best evidence in these assassination cases, or were denied it. These national probes disagreed in their conclusions, since the HSCA ended with a report that a conspiracy was probably involved in the murders of both President Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Yet, both were wrong in their insistence on the perpetrators of the crimes. Both were also lied to and obstructed by other government and intelligence agencies in their work.
The best evidence that has come to light in these cases points to the following errors in the official conclusions:
JOHN F. KENNEDY – Film footage, and the forensic and ballistics evidence are conclusive. There were more than three shots fired from more than one location in Dealey Plaza on November 22. 1963. The fatal shot did not come from behind President Kennedy. The Warren Commission’s single-bullet theory was wrong and has not stood the test of time or evidence. The bullets in the victims did not match the alleged murder weapon. A now admittedly flawed ballistics-matching test was used by the FBI for the first time in this case. There was evidence of tampering. Two different rifles were identified on site. The wounds were never properly examined. The body was removed from Dallas by the Secret Service illegally, since they had jurisdiction for the autopsy.
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING – Ballistics tests are conclusive. The location of the shooter was not in the rooming house to the right and above Dr. King. The bullet in the victim did not match the rifle alleged to be the murder weapon. No autopsy was performed. There was evidence tampering. There is evidence of an additional rifle.
ROBERT F KENNEDY – Autopsy, acoustic and ballistics evidence are conclusive. There were more than eight shots, from back and front, and two shooters. The fatal bullets do not match the alleged murder weapon. Competent autopsy conclusions were ignored. There was evidence tampering. Two different guns have been identified.
SIMILAR PATTERNS IN OTHER POLITICAL ASSASSINATIONS AND ATTEMPTS – President Ronald Reagan, Black Panther members Mark Clark and Fred Hampton in Chicago and many other political figures who were the target of assassinations and attempts are marked with similar discrepancies and errors in the forensic and ballistics evidence.
IMPROPER TRIALS AND WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS OF ALLEGED ASSASSINS; NEW EVIDENCE OF INNOCENCE OR EXONERATION CONTINUES TO EMERGE
In all these cases either innocent people were wrongly convicted for the crime, or additional criminal conspirators were never located or charged. The best evidence that has come to light in these cases proves the following:
JOHN F. KENNEDY – Lee Harvey Oswald did not own the rifle and pistol alleged to be murder weapons, did not fire a gun that day, and was not on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository at the time of the assassination, the alleged location of the shots that killed President Kennedy. There was planted, destroyed and falsified evidence. Oswald claimed his innocence in public and claimed he was “a patsy” in a voice without stress. Oswald was killed in police custody by Jack Ruby, a member of organized crime, preventing a trial. Tremendous pressure was brought by top government authorities to find that Oswald was a “lone assassin,” No trial or fair hearing was ever held.
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING – James Earl Ray did not fire a rifle and was not at the rooming house alleged to be the source of the shot, or at the scene of the crime. There was planted evidence and normal ballistics tests were not performed that day. At Ray’s brief trial, the defense lawyer stipulated his guilt and repressed evidence and testimony of conspiracy. The identity of Ray’s associate “Raoul” was not sought. His attorney prepared no defense, and pressured Ray to make a plea bargain and appeal later. There was interference in his later appeals, including the sudden deaths of two judges during the considerations. Ray died in prison during his final appeal, which had proved that the gun he purchased did not fire the bullet that killed Dr. King. Ray was later found innocent by a jury in a civil trial brought by the family of Dr. King, who heard all the facts that were otherwise ambiguous presented. This trial got scant media coverage.
ROBERT F. KENNEDY – None of the bullets fired from Sirhan Sirhan’s gun hit Robert F. Kennedy. There is clear autopsy and eyewitness evidence of a second gunman who fired the fatal shots. Evidence of other criminal conspirators at the site was not investigated fully. There is emerging evidence of hypnotic programming involved in Sirhan’s actions, a fact agreed to at his trial but claimed as “self-hypnosis”. Sirhan’s defense attorney stipulated his guilt at trial. There was false ballistics testimony at the trial used to convict him. Sirhan continues to bring legal appeals to prove innocence based on new evidence testing. An acoustic test clearly shows that two guns fired at least 13 bullets during the incident.
SIMILAR PATTERNS IN OTHER POLITICAL ASSASSINATIONS – The use of programmed assassins, the framing of patsies, false suicides and evidence of conspiracy have been ignored in the murders or attempted assassinations of Ronald Reagan, John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe and Malcolm X, among others.
OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE AND OFFICIAL COVER-UP BY POLICE, CORONERS, GOVERNMENT AND INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES, GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATORS, DA OFFICES, ATTORNEYS GENERAL MARK TRIALS AND INVESTIGATIONS
The best evidence that has come to light in these cases reveals the following in political assassinations, especially the murders of President Kennedy, his brother and Dr. King:
§ Destruction and alteration of evidence and planted evidence
§ Manipulation and control of national and local media
§ Planning the investigative conclusions in advance
§ Complicity in pressure for false conclusions
§ Lack of investigation of alternative conclusions
§ Secrecy and classification of the historical records and evidence
§ Refusal to examine new emerging evidence or review convictions
§ Lack of due process or legal malfeasance in court trials
§ Direct concealment of involvement in or with the conspiracy or conspirators
JOHN F. KENNEDY – Incoming President Lyndon B. Johnson, Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach and FBI Director J, Edgar Hoover attempted to manipulate witnesses and public opinion to force a conclusion that Oswald was the lone assassin. Local Dallas police, if not complicit in the crime, botched the investigation, destroyed or hid evidence and facilitated the murder of the sole suspect.
Members of the Warren Commission had serious conflicts of interest in their examination of the role of intelligence agencies, the demands of the FBI, and their selection of testimony and evidence for consideration. They were also thwarted by lack of cooperation and direct concealment of information by both civilian and military intelligence agencies. Their investigation was focused on proving a conclusion, to the point that only three evidence folders were prepared in advance of any hearing to contain information about each bullet. Witnesses were intimidated in advance by the FBI, and by the Commission counsel to reach a single conclusion. No proper autopsy or trial was ever conducted. Oswald was provided no real defense, and no cross-examination was allowed at the hearings. President Johnson ordered all evidence not released in the 26-volume Hearings and Evidence of the Warren Commission classified for 75 years.
The House Select Committee on Assassinations was undermined by political pressures that removed the initial homicide investigator and focused its direction solely on organized crime. It continued to support the conclusion that Oswald was the lone gunman in Dallas. Only hard scientific acoustical evidence showing that at least one bullet was fired from the front, forced the HSCA to conclude a “probable conspiracy.” The chairman, Robert Blakey, now concedes that the CIA hid evidence from him that might have steered the conclusion away from organized crime. Congress ruled that the evidence collected by the HSCA would be locked away from the public for 50 years. Only the JFK Records Act in 1992 effected the early release of millions of pages of Warren Commission and HSCA files on President Kennedy’s assassination, many of which are still being withheld.
The only judicial investigation of the crime, conducted by District Attorney Jim Garrison in New Orleans threatened these agencies. He was under attack from the start by both the FBI and the CIA. He was obstructed, denied records and witnesses, and vilified in the media, even though the records declassified later support many of his contentions and conclusions. His own files were ordered destroyed and concealed for decades by DA Harry Connick, who replaced him. Almost all the early critics of the Warren Commission were under surveillance and subjected to FBI and CIA attacks to discredit them.
Even though Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren noted that the case was not closed and that new evidence might emerge that would change their conclusions, the FBI and other agencies have refused to act when just such evidence has come to light. This despite the fact that we now know that many of the Warren Commission members expressed doubts about the conclusions reached, some during the investigation.
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING – Despite testimony and evidence at the murder site of a different location and identity of the shooter, police and the FBI focused on planted evidence implicating James Earl Ray and refused to examine evidence pointing to conspiracy. The FBI did not perform simple ballistics tests on the alleged murder weapon. Local authorities altered and destroyed the crime scene the next day, and no attempt was made to preserve the proximate scene for forensic testing.
Attorney General Ramsey Clark declared there was no conspiracy involved before any evidence had been compiled. Civilian and military intelligence agencies concealed evidence of their role in active surveillance, disruption, placing of informants and attacks on Dr. King and the civil rights movement.
Neither the Memphis medical examiner, Dr. Jerry Francisco, nor the HSCA investigators attempted to determine the direction of the fatal bullet. Ray’s brief trial provided no defense or cross-examination, and the judge and his own lawyer silenced him when he raised the possibility of a conspiracy that had manipulated him. There were attempts to destroy the alleged murder weapon after it was found not to have fired the fatal shot, and a continuing refusal to allow re-testing. There were numerous attempts to undermine Ray’s appeals, including a decision to refuse a medical treatment that might have saved his life.
Emerging new evidence of conspiracy was either ignored or actively and falsely de-bunked by the FBI and the Justice Department.
The House Select Committee on Assassinations failed to examine evidence of Ray’s innocence and pointed to a “probable conspiracy” involving organized crime. The chairman, Rep. Louis Stokes, asked Congress to lock up the HSCA files for 50 years. These files are still not open to the public today.
A civil trial, which presented all the ballistics and forensic evidence and witness testimony under cross-examination to a jury, exonerated James Earl Ray and agreed there was a conspiracy involved, ruling that, “others, including governmental agencies, were parties to this conspiracy as alleged by the defendant” that had killed Dr. King. The testimony and evidence presented at the trial pointed to the involvement of both civilian and military intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
ROBERT F. KENNEDY – The Los Angeles Police Department was active in intimidating witnesses and destroying or altering ballistics evidence in this case. Attorney General Ramsey Clark again declared there was no conspiracy involved before the evidence was considered. Sirhan Sirhan was not given effective counsel at trial and both civilian and military intelligence agencies concealed evidence of conspiracy. As new scientific and autopsy evidence emerged of a second, fatal weapon being involved it was ignored. The police investigative records and evidence were concealed for decades and the DA’s office in Los Angeles resisted attempts to reopen the case.
Definitive forensic evidence of a shot from behind Robert Kennedy from coroner Thomas Noguchi, expert ballistics examination that showed the fatal bullet did not come from Sirhan’s gun, and the testimony of witnesses to that conclusion were ignored or dismissed.
The discovery of an intact audio recording of the assassination provided acoustics and ballistics evidence that now clearly proves that two .22 caliber guns of different make and model fired at least 13 shots, some almost simultaneously, and an appeal on new grounds is being sought for Sirhan.
SIMILAR PATTERNS IN OTHER POLITICAL ASSASSINATIONS – Similar problems beset the trials and official investigations of other political murders, including the use of military custody for suspects like John W. Hinckley, Jr. after arrest. Destruction of evidence, even of whole crime scenes, mark some of the political attacks carried out by local police. The murders of Malcolm X, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, and numerous other political organizers involve police informants, disrupters and provocateurs in conjunction with intelligence agencies that conceal their involvement later. The false accusations of suspects often prevent the arrest and conviction of the actual conspirators. A few cold-case investigations into assassinations of other civil rights leaders and activists have led to the prosecution and conviction of the real killers, but their lessons have yet to be applied in these major cases.
A PATTERN OF UNUSUAL DEATHS, VIOLENT MURDERS, FALSE SUICIDES AND THREATS TO KEY WITNESSES MARKS EACH ASSASSINATION
The best evidence that has come to light in these cases points to the following in political assassinations, especially the murders of President Kennedy, his brother and Dr. King:
JOHN F. KENNEDY – The Dallas police, the FBI and the Warren Commission attorneys threatened many potential and actual witnesses into silence or into altering their statements. For example, one Warren Commission witness was quoted in the record as saying, “I heard one more shot than was actually fired.” Some witnesses who were sounding a warning in advance that President Kennedy would be killed died violently before the assassination.
A series of violent deaths or inexplicable suicides befell key witnesses almost immediately who had known Lee Harvey Oswald, Officer J.D. Tippit, a Dallas policeman killed the day of the assassination, and Jack Ruby. Officer Tippit was shot to death, but the best evidence does not point to Oswald as his killer. Oswald, the suspect, was the next to die, and his shooting was broadcast on national television, shocking the country. Ruby died in prison of a quick acting cancer after complaining he was being given painful injections.
A statistically improbable number of witnesses to key events or associates of suspects died in the intervening years. One listing cites as many as 175 suspicious deaths related to the case. Witnesses to the House Select Committee on Assassinations died violently and strangely before they could be called to testify, including top FBI and CIA agents involved in the assassination plots against Castro and domestic plots against Dr. King and others.
Violent and strange deaths befell other members of the Kennedy family over the years.
Prominent members of the media also died in strange ways following announcements that they had new evidence that would soon break the case open. Though not all may be murders, there is reason to do a more thorough investigation into these numerous “coincidental” deaths.
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING – Memphis police and the FBI intimidated witnesses in the case from the beginning. Violent and strange deaths befell other members of the King family who had seen the wounds on his body, including his mother and his brother. Two court judges, local and federal, died abruptly of heart failure while considering Ray’s first local and final federal appeals. Judge Miller of the 6th Circuit Court had asked questions that upheld a remand of the case and subsequent re-appeal. His vote against Ray was “recorded posthumously by the other justices.” At least one independent reporter and investigator, Louis Lomax, died violently. The circumstances and the timing of these deaths invite further investigation.
ROBERT F. KENNEDY – Robert Kennedy might have been assassinated in part because he told associates that he wanted to re-open the investigation of his brother’s murder once he got into the White House. LAPD intimidated witnesses, some of them associated with CIA operations. The FBI concealed the Robert Kennedy autopsy and photographic evidence and other related materials in a separate filing system under control of Cartha Deke DeLoach, one of the originators of the FBI’s COINTELPRO programs against the peace and civil rights movements.
SIMILAR PATTERNS IN OTHER POLITICAL ASSASSINATIONS – Witnesses to domestic political murders have died strangely, suddenly and violently prior to testimony at trials or official investigations.
THERE IS EVIDENCE OF CIVILIAN AND MILITARY INTELLIGENCE AGENCY INVOLVEMENT IN THE CRIMES AND COVER-UPS
The best evidence that has come to light in these cases reveals the following in political assassinations, especially the murders of President Kennedy, his brother and Dr. King:
JOHN F. KENNEDY – Lee Harvey Oswald was connected to or employed by the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), the FBI and the CIA. There are numerous unexplained anomalies in the files on Oswald in the ONI, the FBI and the CIA, rising to a peak of suspicious intensification of interest in Oswald in the weeks just before the assassination. FBI Director J. Hoover admitted, and the released files show that there was an Oswald “double” in Mexico City prior to the assassination, to create a false link to Fidel Castro. The record also indicates that Oswald was part of a burst of dubious defectors to the Soviet Union, and who arrived and left in the same months. Oswald had a role at Jagger Chiles Stovall, an intelligence subcontractor for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) in the photographic evidence that led to the Cuban missile crisis, and a connection to the development of the U-2 spy plane.
Many of Oswald’s employers and those who helped place him had ties to the intelligence agencies, as did people who met him and surrounded him in New Orleans and in Dallas on his return from the Soviet Union. The White Russian community in Dallas, with extensive ties to the Tolstoy Foundation and the CIA helped to surround the Oswald family, set him up as the patsy and manipulate the evidence and testimony before the Warren Commission. Oswald was also close to many CIA agents and operatives who had been part of the Bay of Pigs operation and later Watergate crimes. Clay Shaw, who evaded prosecution by DA Garrison in New Orleans, was revealed to have been an active informant for the CIA. Top-level CIA meetings were held daily on undermining Garrison’s investigation. Texas official Waggoner Carr revealed information that LHO was an intelligence operative, after his arrest.
Extensive CIA files regarding Oswald are still classified and their release is being obstructed illegally. Allen Dulles, who had been fired as head of the CIA by President Kennedy, had a major role as a member of the Warren Commission investigation and obstructions.
The Secret Service played a role in pulling off security for the limousine at Dallas’s Love Field just before the shooting. At meetings in advance between the Secret Service, FBI and others, a dangerous change in the route of the motorcade and the decision to remove the plastic bubbletop from the limousine were made. According to their testimony, Secret Service agents were not stationed in Dealey Plaza at the time of the assassination, until Forrest Sorrels arrived twenty minutes afterwards. Numerous witnesses, including Deputy Constable Seymour Weitzman, Sergeant D. V. Harkness, and Officer Joe Marshall Smith, testified to accosting people immediately at the scene of the shooting who identified themselves using valid Secret Service credentials. This may be explained by the established fact that the Secret Service recruited extra personnel, including from Armed Forces Reserves, for supplemental assistance during presidential visits. People acting as Secret Service agents in Dealey Plaza immediately after the assassination facilitated confiscation and removal of evidence and suspects from the crime scene.
A large contingent of Dallas police, including those close to Jack Ruby, were also part of an Army Intelligence Reserve unit that played a role in framing Oswald and undermining security for the motorcade. Army Intelligence agents from Ft. Sam Houston were reportedly dropped off at Dealey Plaza with miniaturized cameras to record the events of that day, but the films have never come to light.
Events at the time of the assassination and afterwards that day suggest a role by the top levels of the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, such as Strategic Air Command bomber pilots in the air that hour missing decrypting books for combat and nuclear orders, including the pilot who brought the cabinet members back to Washington. Other examples include the secure communications between the Pentagon and all other agencies going dead at the moment of the assassination for two hours, the separation of President Johnson and the nuclear command “Black Box” for a period following the assassination.
A Dallas based US Army Reserve intelligence unit immediately put out disinformation about Oswald to confuse the American public with the false impression that Oswald was conspiring with the Soviets and Cubans to assassinate Kennedy. American troops were loaded onto transport planes and Navy SEALS were stationed offshore for an invasion of Cuba that day. There was a complete reversal at the Pentagon on the Monday following the assassination of Kennedy’s earlier orders for a full withdrawal from Vietnam, initiating instead a ten-year war with a projected 57,000 troop deaths
The Warren Commission failed to investigate the information provided by Dallas police and legal authorities that Oswald was working for both the FBI and the CIA. Oswald was seen meeting regularly with FBI agents in New Orleans in a garage frequented by anti-Castro Cubans, as well as with CIA agents who were tied to these Cubans. The HSCA similarly avoided any real investigation of this area.
John J. McCloy, who sat on the Warren Commission, had a long history of intelligence connections and a Cold War agenda. Others on the Commission staff worked closely with the CIA or had backgrounds in intelligence operations at the end of World War II in Germany. The CIA sent a memo in April, 1967 instructing press assets on methods to attack and discredit Warren Commission critics.
The role of civilian and military intelligence agencies in thwarting real investigations and hiding or destroying evidence proceeds from the Warren Commission to the Rockefeller Commission, the HSCA and the Assassination Records Review Board’s efforts to release the files. These intelligence agencies played a critical role in framing Oswald for the crime, and have covered up their involvement since.
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING – Files released by the Freedom of Information Act over the years have shown that the CIA’s MK/CHAOS, the FBI’s COINTELPRO and RYBAT, and Army Intelligence’s GARDEN PLOT and LANTERN SPIKE carried out tight surveillance of Dr. King during most of his adult life up to the moment of his death. The CIA was focused on the rise of “militant black nationalist” organizations, and feared the rise of a “black messiah” like Malcolm X or Dr. King. Army Intelligence had been spying on King’s family as far back as his grandfather. J. Edgar Hoover targeted Dr. King as “dangerous” and FBI informants painted him as being under Communist control.
According to evidence presented at the civil trial brought by the King family, Army Special Forces snipers had Dr. King in their gun sights on April 4, 1968, apparently as a backup to the plotters closer to him. Army Intelligence agents were allowed to go to the roof of the nearby firehouse the day of his murder to take photographs, and Army veterans have reportedly seen pictures of the actual killer in the bushes across the street from the motel. The city of Memphis inexplicably ordered the removal of trees and bushes the following day in the area behind the rooming house that would have blocked any shot at Dr. King, misleading press and public about the possible source of the shots.
A well-known photographer in Memphis, who covered the civil rights movement and who was present at the scene of the crime was revealed to have secretly acted as an FBI informant and provocateur for years. Marrell McCullough, an Office of Naval Intelligence operative working for the Memphis Police Department, was the first to get to Dr. King following the shots, cradling him in his arms as he died, and he later worked for the CIA. The sole witness on the balcony level, James Laue, was in Memphis filming Dr. King for a documentary, but secretly worked for the CIA. The Memphis medical examiner, who refused to do an autopsy on Dr. King was called months later to come to Los Angeles to examine Robert F. Kennedy after his assassination.
The intelligence agencies penetrated Dr. King’s movement and his close circle with informants and disrupters. Current and former FBI agents were responsible for the withdrawal of police security around Dr. King before the shooting. Black police agents who had previously been assigned to such work were removed from the scene. The FBI also ignored many death threats and warnings aimed at Dr. King.
ROBERT F. KENNEDY – Robert Kennedy, as Attorney General under his brother, had stood up to the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Cuban missile crisis, blocking escalation to global nuclear war, leading the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Curtis LeMay to storm out of one meeting saying, “We have to get rid of those S.O.B.’s [Kennedy brothers]”. Robert Kennedy had been placed into the CIA Mongoose planning group, and he blocked attempts to assassinate Castro and invade Cuba after being lied to by the CIA about the Bay of Pigs.
He was waging a successful campaign during the Kennedy administration against organized crime and he convicted or deported key Mafia bosses, including Sam Giancana, Jack Ruby’s boss in Chicago. He had given support to Dr. King in his efforts towards civil rights, intervening to affect his release from jail. He stood with his brother in the attempts to end the nuclear arms race, the Cold War and the rise of the Military-Industrial Complex that President Eisenhower had warned about. Both brothers were involved in the plans for a full withdrawal of American troops from the war in Vietnam by 1964. RFK and his brother were also threatening to end the Oil Tax Depletion Allowance which provided billions in federal tax breaks to major oilmen in Dallas and elsewhere.
Robert F. Kennedy was also a target of surveillance by the FBI and other government agencies, and his name appears in files regarding informant information, released by the FBI, that both he and Dr. King were allegedly under the control of the Chinese Communist Party. There are indications that J. Edgar Hoover and organized crime figures attempted to use surveillance and recording devices to collect information that would allow political blackmail of the Kennedy brothers.
In his presidential election campaign, Robert Kennedy raised the same issues that Dr. King had raised in regard to widespread poverty, racism and militarism and called for an end to the Vietnam War. He told close associates that he planned to reopen the investigation into his brother’s death once he got to the White House, and he expressed suspicions privately for many years about the existence of a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy. Thus, he had drawn the enmity of the same elements that had wanted the removal of his brother.
There are indications of manipulation of RFK’s wrongly convicted assassin Sirhan and his family by the CIA and other agencies, and of sophisticated hypnotic programming of the sort tested by both the CIA’s MK/ULTRA and other mind control programs and by the Office of Naval Intelligence for the creation of assassins. Members of the LAPD who worked to obstruct justice and the record in this case had ties to CIA operations abroad.
SIMILAR PATTERNS IN OTHER POLITICAL ASSASSINATIONS – The penetration of local police departments, especially their intelligence units, by agents or veterans of the CIA, ONI, Army Intelligence, the FBI and other covert agencies becomes visible in the murders of Malcolm X, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, and many COINTELPRO operations.An intersection of organized crime, evangelical churches and both military and civilian intelligence played a role in the deaths of Marilyn Monroe and the attempted murders of George Wallace, President Ronald Reagan and others.
THERE ARE UNINDICTED SUSPECTS AND ACCESSORIES AFTER THE FACT
Motive, means and opportunity do not provide a conviction, but they can provide a list of probable or possible suspects and persons of interest in a criminal investigation. In a normal homicide, one must work with the evidence to eliminate or include suspects until the preponderance of solid, not just circumstantial, evidence isolates the most likely culprit. In a criminal conspiracy, the principles are the same, but the evidence may serve to include rather than eliminate perpetrators. Accessories after the fact would include those who destroy or manipulate evidence, those who distort or deceive, those who ignore or provide evidence designed to point to a false conclusion, or those who control the investigation.
The research community has relied on a combination of the existing public records and testimony, related court cases, voluntary confessions, collections of anomalies or contradictory evidence, comparison of the facts to the conclusions, efforts to release more files and records and to examine the forensic evidence, independent scientific testing and logic to attempt to identify suspects and solve the cases. However, we were denied access to files, the power of subpoena, court-directed testimony or cross-examination, assistance from all but a few experts and journalists, and any objective forum in which to present our ideas and evidence for debate and review. Any criticism of well-reasoned theses and alternate solutions by independent researchers must first be applied to the flawed public and legal investigations by official bodies with the power to compel testimony, collect evidence and see classified files, who failed to create a credible or compelling solution that satisfied the public or the facts.
Because the evidence points in many directions with no method of legal resolution at hand and no tools for exhaustive research, the research community cannot be faulted for having a range of suspects and accessories after the fact, some or all of whom may have been involved in some way, be that plotting the crime, carrying it out, or covering it up.
After nearly five decades of work, authors, experts and investigators have discovered a large body of convincing evidence pointing to the need for further scrutiny and full legal investigation, with due process rights, of certain agencies and individuals who would fit an early suspect list based on the criteria mentioned above.
The best evidence that has come to light in these cases of political assassinations identifies the following suspects, accessories and persons of interest in the murders of President Kennedy, his brother, Dr. King and others:
JOHN F. KENNEDY – On the plotting level the prime suspects are the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, and members the ONI, Army Intelligence, the CIA, and the FBI.
On the mechanical level, we identify organized crime, anti-Castro Cubans, CIA agents, Secret Service agents, oilmen from Texas, far right extremists, the White Russian community in Dallas, CIA assets who manipulated Oswald and framed him, and the transplanted international Nazi and fascist criminals who escaped punishment and worked for the goals of the Cold War. The same personnel and operatives fit into the later Watergate and Contragate scandals and other political murders over time.
Deaths of witnesses were usually at the hands of local police, or trained assassins from organized crime, the anti-Castro community, and Army Special Forces, as well as some medical and forensic personnel who caused the deaths or ruled them as accidents or suicides.
Accessories after the fact and those involved in the cover-up include President Johnson, the FBI, the CIA, the Dallas police, examining doctors at Bethesda Naval Hospital, some of the investigative panel members and staff on the Warren Commission and the HSCA and some members of the press.
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING – According to the evidence presented at the civil trial on the assassination of Dr. King and the conclusion confirmed by the jury, the plotting of his assassination involved “others, including governmental agencies, [who] were parties to this conspiracy as alleged by the defendant”, So did the framing of the patsy falsely convicted of the crime, James Earl Ray. Again there is evidence pointing to a role by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army and Navy Intelligence, the CIA and the FBI who were conducting joint surveillance of Dr. King until the moment of his death. All of them saw him and the movement he was leading as a serious threat to national security that had to be eliminated.
On the mechanical level, we identify elements of white-supremacist organizations, organized crime and other criminal elements; and informants and provocateurs inside Dr. King’s organization created, used or paid by the government agencies opposing Dr. King. People close to him arranged details in Memphis that placed him in direct danger and aided in his assassination. Army Special Forces snipers had him in their sights that day, and other Army Intelligence agents were photographing the event from the nearby firehouse roof. Local police and FBI agents were responsible for compromising his security in the hours prior to his death, removing key African-American police who normally guarded him. Police, prison and government agents facilitated and manipulated James Earl Ray’s prison escapes, aliases, financial resources and international movements and planted evidence to frame him for the murder of Dr. King.
Suspicious and untimely deaths of witnesses to the crime and to the evidence point to the involvement of people involved in other covert police actions and provocateur roles, such as Marcus Wayne Chennault, who murdered Dr. King’s mother in their family church in Atlanta.
Accessories after the fact include the Memphis medical examiner who refused to do an autopsy on Dr. King that might have clarified the path and direction of the bullet. City officials in Memphis ordered immediate destruction of trees and bushes at the crime scene that were clearly blocking a shot from the alleged sniper nest in the rooming house bathroom. The FBI never properly performed ballistics tests of the alleged murder weapon. Courts, defense and prosecution attorneys, and the official investigations refused to pursue evidence of any conspiracy or to identify Ray’s mysterious handler, whom he called “Raoul”. When new evidence emerged over the years, it was met with hostile responses and a lack of objective investigation by the FBI and the Justice Department.
ROBERT F. KENNEDY – There is evidence pointing to a role in plotting the political assassination of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy by the Los Angeles Police Department, the FBI, the CIA, military intelligence and elements of the Military-Industrial Complex. His campaign promises and issues threatened the same elements that had a motive and a role in killing his brother, President Kennedy. J. Edgar Hoover had a long and bitter hatred of his former boss, Robert F. Kennedy, knowing that the Kennedy administration planned to replace him as FBI director after the first term. The intersection of the FBI, ONI and organized crime played a role in his murder.
Also, on the mechanical level, organized crime and evangelical ministers seem to have assisted or facilitated in the murder or the placement of the patsy. The most likely suspect, a second gunman present, was employed by a major military contractor, Lockheed Martin.
Accessories after the fact include the Secret Service, which was were assigned a role in the case immediately after the shooting, the LAPD, which attempted to have the Memphis medical examiner who worked on Dr. King come to Los Angeles to examine RFK, This move was successfully blocked by the competent coroner Thomas Noguchi, whose thorough autopsy established conclusively that Robert F. Kennedy was shot from behind by a gun at very close range.
The LAPD destroyed and falsified evidence in the case, and pressured witnesses to change their testimony. LAPD ballistics examiner DeWayne Wolfer gave false evidence and testimony regarding the bullets and the alleged murder weapon. Courts and defense and prosecution attorneys failed to examine the evidence or provide a real defense for Sirhan, leading to a false conviction. The FBI played a role with its own botched investigation and refusal to re-examine emerging new evidence in the case, as well as in concealing key evidence in their own files. Evidence in the LAPD records was hidden from the public for many years, and key acoustic evidence did not surface until May 31, 2004.
New forensic evidenced and expert analysis continue to emerge in the murder of Robert F. Kennedy, leading to calls for a new grand jury investigation by the Los Angeles DA’s office and a new evidentiary hearing in court for Sirhan to appeal his conviction and sentence. The LAPD and court officials continue to block any re-examination despite the clear evidence of two gunmen, false conclusions about the source of the fatal bullet and indications of hypnotic programming of Sirhan.
SIMILAR PATTERNS IN OTHER POLITICAL ASSASSINATIONS – The same civilian and military intelligence and federal investigative agencies, local police departments, and elements of organized crime that intersect with them are implicated by clear evidence in many other political assassinations and attempts using the same methods, operatives and modus operandi as plotters, accessories after the fact and obstructers of justice on both local and national levels.
Inadequate medical examinations, court inquiries, police or other official investigations and destruction or manipulation of evidence continue to lead to false convictions and the immunity and impunity of the real assassins. In many cases the same operatives, coroners or medical examiners, court psychologists and attorneys reappear continuing in the same destructive roles. In a few cases, decades later, convictions are sought without reference to the larger patterns of criminal conspiracy that created the crimes.
This is true in the cases of Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, John Lennon, George Wallace, President Ronald Reagan, President Gerald Ford, and in the convictions of Mark David Chapman, David Berkowitz, Byron de la Beckwith, Squeaky Fromme, and Marcus Wayne Chennault. An example of multiple operations by the same personnel, beyond Watergate and the JFK assassination, would be Naval Intelligence operative Daniel Groth, who lead the Chicago police raid responsible for the murders of Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark as well as COINTELPRO operations against the American Indian Movement and the Black Panthers leadership in California. Groth was also involved in obstructing justice in a plot to kill President Kennedy in Chicago in October. 1963, involving Thomas Arthur Vallee, who was using the alias “Lee Harvey Oswald.”
A PATTERN EXISTS OF POLITICAL ASSASSINATION AS A TOOL OF STATE REPRESSION AND CONTROL AND FOREIGN POLICY
U.S. military and civilian intelligence agencies have carried out a long series of political assassinations both here and abroad under the auspices of the CIA’s MK/CHAOS, and the FBI’s COINTELPRO, which worked to “prevent the rise of a Black Messiah” and counter militant African-American organizations. They also carried out numerous assassinations, coups and overthrows of democratically elected and dictatorial leaders in other countries during wartime and peacetime.
President Eisenhower authorized NSC 5412 in the 1950s, which allowed covert assassinations of foreign leaders for purposes of “national security” and planned for the destabilization of the entire African continent.
During the Vietnam War, the Pentagon’s Operation Phoenix, which used Special Forces, assassinated tens of thousands of suspected “Viet Cong” opponents without trial or real evidence. These military elements and CIA plotters were directly involved in fomenting and arming opposition and carrying out or attempting assassinations and placements of heads of state in Iran, Southeast Asia countries, Central America, and in Cuba, Chile, Nicaragua, and dozens of other countries.
Allegedly these operations had full presidential approval, although the record often fails to verify this or shows clear signs of disapproval. President Kennedy and his brother opposed plans to assassinate Castro and they were reaching out behind the scenes to normalize relations in the wake of the missile crisis. Some of the Joint Chiefs and elements in the CIA were still furious with President Kennedy for refusing to approve American air power during the Bay of Pigs invasion, which had been planned to fail in order to force his hand.
President Kennedy also refused to approve several versions of Operation Northwoods, a joint Pentagon and CIA group plan to create a false incident that could possibly be blamed on Fidel Castro to justify a military invasion of Cuba and to murder Castro. Despite his refusal, and his firing of the Joint Chiefs chairman, General Lyman Lemnitzer, plans were in action on November 22, 1963 to carry out the invasion and assassination in Cuba, once Kennedy himself had been killed and Oswald had been falsely linked to Fidel Castro.
American intelligence agencies have been responsible for putting dictators in power and providing them with lists of hundreds of people to assassinate on their way to power. In some cases, such as in Iraq, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Cuba, these intelligence agencies were responsible for removing the same leaders years later. Congressional committees attempted to unearth these plans in the 1970s and to prevent further crimes, but they were obstructed and not successful.
These operations continue into the present administration, which has openly asserted the authority to assassinate terrorist suspects including U.S. citizens, done remotely by drones without formal charges or trials.
LEGITIMATE QUESTIONS REMAIN: OPEN CASES, CLOSED FILES
The murders and assassinations of major and minor elected officials and public leaders since the end of World War II, and especially since the 1960s are still open cases and the full records on them and the investigations that followed have not yet been released for public review, despite the five decades that have passed and the questions that have been raised.
The evidence that has been compiled by independent researchers and by government investigations has consistently pointed to wrongful convictions of the alleged assassins and to a failure to examine and hold responsible the real agencies and criminals involved.
To dismiss all this evidence as “conspiracy theory” may satisfy the press or the uninformed and indifferent elements of the public or the government, but it does not make the legitimacy and urgency of the real questions raised any less valid. Legitimate unanswered questions and unsolved crimes remain and must be addressed. Despite claims that the files have been opened and the cases closed, exactly the opposite is true.
No amount of vilification of researchers and other experts can dismiss the medical, forensic, ballistics, and photographic evidence and anomalies they have pointed out. For every book written to defend the official versions of these assassinations, hundreds have been written raising questions those few fail to even address, or else address them with obfuscation, dishonesty, sophistry or outright falsification.
When Warren Commission member Representative Hale Boggs suggested printing at least some evidence to support the conclusions of the Warren Report, former CIA director Allen Dulles assented, and said, “Go ahead and print it, nobody will read it anyway.” Commission Chairman Earl Warren hinted that the truth would not be known “in your lifetime”, and that if the truth came out in the next hundred years, it would “destroy the country”.
Some of us read the volumes of evidence released then, the thousands of pages released under the Freedom of Information Act, and the now millions of pages declassified and released under the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act since 1992. We have looked at the FBI records regarding COINTELPRO, and at the LAPD and Memphis police files that still exist on the murders of Robert Kennedy and Dr. King. Forensic experts have been allowed to examine the hard evidence in some of these cases, even though much is still locked away from full public scrutiny, and have reached opposite conclusions from the official versions. Medical experts have examined the testimony, records and released medical results in these murders and have confirmed the innocence of those charged and convicted of the crimes.
The vast majority of the American people remain dissatisfied with the official conclusions reached by the police and government investigations of the major political assassinations of the 1960s. In fact, polls show that the beginning of widespread distrust in the government began with the release of the Warren Report’s flawed conclusions, not with the war in Vietnam or the Watergate scandal. Later events reinforced the indications during the Cold War that our government would lie to us – in the U-2 spy plane incident inside the USSR, the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, the Cuban missile crisis, and the Tonkin Gulf incident in Vietnam.
The Warren Commission and President Johnson made clear that the case was not fully closed and that new evidence coming forward would require re-evaluation. The House Select Committee on Assassinations ruled that there were “probable conspiracies” involved in the murders of JFK and Dr. King, and it called on the FBI and the Justice Department to follow up on the evidence it had gathered to bring criminal convictions. Justice Department attorneys have been pursuing cold-case murders of civil rights leaders from fifty years ago, in some cases indicting those responsible and exonerating those falsely charged. None of this suggests that the critics of the official version should cease and desist in raising new evidence and questions, or that the government should stop pursuing the truth.
The questions raised by government duplicity and covert actions in these events, some of which was only revealed decades later, leave further doubt about the veracity of the history of political murders that profoundly changed the direction and future of America. Evidence of government involvement in many illegal conspiracies reinforces the doubts and requires questions to persist until answered fully and openly. These questions are legitimate and pertinent to understanding our past and our present.
THE CLAIMS OF JUSTICE AND HISTORY MUST BE SATISFIED
There is no statute of limitation for the crime of murder. Unsolved homicide cases are reopened years or decades later in light of new evidence or forensic methods and re-examined to determine innocence and guilt. There is a public interest in any murder or death, which allows the District Attorney and the coroner to require autopsies, control crime scene investigations and forensic and ballistics tests, and disinter bodies if necessary. In the case of politically motivated murders and assassinations, the public has an additional historical interest in objective investigations and full examination of all the evidence that emerges. This is especially true in cases of sitting presidents or candidates for that office, but it applies to murders carried out by government agencies with or without prior approval from the leaders.
Justice cries out to be satisfied in a murder case until it is fully and honestly resolved. History has its claims as well, requiring a further inquiry into events that takes into account all the facts and the full context of the events and their consequences. Democracy demands a level of vigilance and accountability if it is to survive the deaths of elected leaders.
Given what we already know after five decades of independent research, the research community agrees that the following actions are minimally necessary to satisfy the demands of history, democracy and justice:
§ The expedited and full release of all remaining classified and unclassified executive, Congressional, federal, military, intelligence, police, court, state and local records relating to the lives and assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy by the end of 2013, the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination. This release should follow the standard of presumption of release and no further review outlined in the JFK Assassinations Records Act as well as the provisions of President Barack Obama’s executive order for release of all federal records classified 25 years or more in the past. All related records and artifacts should be released for review. This public release should include records of other suspected political murders of public interest, related programs and organizations, and relevant records of foreign governments. Because prosecutors and courts often withhold records from the public used in the active investigation of a crime, this should be the first step taken.
§ These unsolved homicides and cold-case investigations demand a reopening, a thorough, public and honest review of the facts and evidence, a full debate by expert witnesses, retesting using current scientific methods of analysis, and an examination of previous government agency and court intransigence in these political murders.
§ District Attorneys in Dallas, Memphis, Los Angeles, New Orleans and New York City must reopen the cases of JFK, MLK, RFK and Malcolm X based on petitions with the new evidence and allow presentation of new witnesses and facts before a grand jury that can consider new indictments. These officials and courts should also immediately allow an appeal by any living convicted assassins or their families in these cases for a full review of exculpatory and new evidence with a chance for parole or exoneration.
§ A special prosecutor on the federal level should be appointed to lead a truly independent homicide investigation into all the major political assassinations with no interference on access to records or witnesses, to carry out a transparent, objective and credible inquiry into evidence of conspiracy. The Department of Justice should initiate a full review and turn over all evidence in its files to the prosecutor regarding earlier investigations. The goal would be to free the innocent and charge and convict those guilty of plotting, carrying out, or covering up the crime, obstructing justice, destroying evidence, committing perjury, or any wrongful concealment or action in relation to these murders.
§ These convictions and exonerations are not the whole solution needed to punish and prevent political assassinations in America. A more thorough, transparent and accountable process must be developed for use in any future murder for political purpose, with an openness to hearing all evidence and forensic analysis. Public trust in these investigations must be restored by having objective experts, a lack of secrecy, public involvement and appeals and review in each case. In light of this, following full reconsideration and prosecutorial actions in these cases, Congress should hold full and open hearings on all levels of local, state and federal agency abuses and crimes uncovered, and develop policies to prevent the lack of accountability, impunity and corruption that allowed these abuses to take place.
§ A major public conference should be held in Dallas, Texas on November 22-24, 2013, marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, and the 45th anniversary year of the murders of his brother and Dr. King, presenting the best and latest evidence in each case, hosted by the Coalition on Political Assassinations and the research community with the theme – “Fifty Years is Enough! Free the Files – Find the Truth”.
A Moment of Silence will be held on November 22, 2013 on the Grassy Knoll in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas, the site of the murder of the president, at 12:30 pm CST. Similar Moments of Silence should be observed in Memphis, Tennesee at 6:00 pm EST on April 4, and in Los Angeles California at 1:44 pm on June 6 that year to commemorate the deaths of Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy.
This collaborative effort was inspired by COPA board member Joe Green’s original JFK 10 Point piece posted at CTKA – http://www.ctka.net/2009/ten_point_program.html
Warren Commission Report and Hearings and Evidence (26 volumes)
Final Report of the House Select Committee on Assassinations and Hearings and Evidence (13 volumes)
JFK Assassination Records Collection, National Archives
Report of the Rockefeller, Church and Pike Committees of House regarding intelligence agency abuses and political assassinations
Harold Weisberg, Whitewash (4 volumes), Never Again
Penn Jones, Jr., Forgive My Grief (4 volumes)
Josiah Thompson, Six Seconds in Dallas
Joachim Joesten, Oswald: Assassin or Fall Guy?
Mark Lane, Rush to Judgment, Plausible Deniability, Last Word
Howard Roffman, Presumed Guilty
Sylvia Meagher, Accessories After the Fact
Jim Garrison, A Heritage of Stone, On the Trail of the Assassins
Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics in the Murder of JFK (2 volumes), Crimes & Cover-up: From Dallas to Watergate, Assassinations: Dallas and Beyond
Vincent Salandria, False Mystery
Martin Schotz, History Will Not Absolve Us
Robert Groden, The Killing of a President, High Treason, The Search for Lee Harvey
Gaeton Fonzi, The Last Investigation
Dr. Cyril Wecht, Grave Matters
Noel Twyman, Bloody Treason
Philip Melanson, Spy Saga
Joan Mellen, A Farewell to Justice
Jim DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, The Assassinations (with Lisa Pease)
Seth Kantor, Who Was Jack Ruby?
Jim Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable
David Lifton, Best Evidence (book and video)
Doug Horne, Inside the ARRB
Final Report of the House Select Committee on Assassinations and Hearings and Evidence (13 volumes)
Report of the Rockefeller, Church and Pike House Committees regarding intelligence agency abuses and political assassinations
FBI records released regarding COINTELPRO programs and operations
Transcript of the civil trial, King v. Jowers, Memphis, TN – http://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/MLKACT/
Harold Weisberg, Frame-up
Mark Lane and Dick Gregory, Code Name Zorro
Philip Melanson, The Murkin Conspiracy, Who Shot MLK?
Clayborne Carson, The King Papers
Ward Churchill, The COINTELPRO Papers
Jim DiEugenio and Lisa Pease, The Assassinations
Dr. William Pepper, Orders to Kill, An Act of State
LAPD police investigation files in the murder of Robert F. Kennedy
William Turner, John Christian, The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy
Dr. Robert Joling and Phillip van Praag, Open and Shut Case
Jim DiEugenio and Lisa Pease, The Assassinations
Philip Melanson, The Robert Kennedy Assassination, Who Shot RFK?, Shadow Play
Report of the Rockefeller, Church and Pike Congressional House Committees regarding intelligence agency abuses and political assassinations
Karl Evanzz, The Judas Factor
Baba Zak Kondo, Conspiracys: The Unraveling of the Assassination of Malcolm X
Manning Marable, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention
Ward Churchill, The COINTELPRO Papers
Penn Jones, Jr. Forgive My Grief (4 Volumes)
Peter Dale Scott, Ph,D.
John Newman, Ph.D
Andrea Skolnick (JFK Annie)
R. Scott Turner
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