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by Stephen Lendman
Shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968, Robert Kennedy was shot, The New York Times headlining:
"Kennedy is Dead, Victim of Assassin; Suspect, Arab Immigrant, Arraigned; Johnson Appoints Panel on Violence"
Sirhan Sirhan was the alleged assassin, convicted, and serving a life sentence at (no pun intended) Pleasant Valley State Prison, CA, despite convincing evidence of his innocence.
In his October 17, 2008 article "The Assassinations of the 1960s as 'Deep Events,' " Peter Dale Scott discussed the killings of both Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King, saying:
"The more that I look at these deep events comparatively, ranging over the past five decades, the more similarities I see between them, and the more I understand them in the light of each other."
With respect to both Kennedys and King, official accounts obscured the events, suppressed key facts, enough to question the guilt of the alleged suspects, concealing the real culprits and why men of this stature were assassinated - what Scott called "some continuing and hostile force within our society..."
In his June 13, 2010 article titled, "JFK and RFK: The Plots that Killed Them, The Patsies that Didn't," James Fetzer debunked the official accounts, saying:
"we are looking at staged events that fit into a recurrent pattern in US and world history where innocent individuals (or 'patsies') are baited and framed for cover-up purposes," RFK's killing "in part intended to prevent a reinvestigation into his brother's death....The assassinations of RFK and JFK were both conspiracies. Both involved the destruction of evidence. Both involved the fabrication of evidence. Both involved framing their patsies. Both involved complicity by local officials. Both involved planning by the CIA. Both were used to deny the American people (their) right to be governed by leaders of their own choosing." Both put a myth to the rule of law, judicial fairness, and democratic freedoms.
Both crimes and MLK's assassination eliminated figures dark American forces wanted silenced, blaming innocent "patsies" for the killings, Sirhan Sirhan for RFK's. Fetzer's article explains numerous important facts:
-- multiple shots targeted him, more "than could have come from Sirhan Sirhan's gun" that was also the wrong caliber;
-- "RFK was shot behind the right ear from about 1.5 inches, but Sirhan was never that close and always in front of him;"
-- the coroner and LAPD reports were contradictory;
-- LAPD "engaged in massive destruction of evidence from the pantry of the hotel because 'it would not fit into a card file,' " as part of an official cover-up to blame Sirhan for a state-sponsored assassination, evidence suggesting CIA involvement in both Kennedy brothers and MLK killings;
-- Sirhan's gun was a ".22 caliber, eight-round revolver (serial number H-53725);"
-- he "emptied his weapon from a location in front of Bobby Kennedy;"
-- Dr. Thomas Hoguchi's autopsy "showed RFK was hit by four bullets, all of which were fired from behind at upward angles;
-- five others were wounded by separate shots;"
-- as many as 13 shots were fired;
-- Dr. Noguchi's autopsy "did not point to Sirhan as the killer;"
-- an eyewitness, DeWayne Wofler, "testified that the bullets fired at RFK had come from an entirely different gun," not Sirhan's;
-- a security guard, Eugene Cesar, standing right behind RFK, had a drawn gun of the same caliber as the murder weapon; it was never examined nor was he charged; and
-- "a woman in a polka dot dress" left the scene hurriedly, "shouting, "We shot him! We shot him! We shot Kennedy!"
In their book, "The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy," Jonn Christian and William Turner made a convincing case "indicting Cesar for the crime," concluding "that Sirhan may have been firing blanks."
Fetzer's article has detailed information on both JFK and RFK assassinations, accessed through the following link:
Below, Sirhan gives his own account of what happened that night and why he was at the Ambassador Hotel.
"My Morning with Sirhan"
On January 21, 2010, Academic Prison Teacher, Gerald B. Reynolds, spent time with Sirhan and wrote it up in detail. An account below follows.
At the Delta Facility library, a prison guard let him in. His ID said Sirhan Sirhan. "He looked at me in a calm way with a half-smile. I looked at him....There was an eerie, prolonged silence." He's now 66 years old, 42 of them in prison for a crime he didn't commit.
After another "calm silence....I swiveled in my chair to face Sirhan Sirhan and asked, 'Did you do it?' "
"Did I do what," he responded.
Reynolds: "You know."
Sirhan: "What do you want to know?"
Reynolds: "Did you kill Robert F. Kennedy?"
Sirhan: "No, I did NOT kill Robert F. Kennedy!"
Reynolds: "I know you didn't."
Sirhan: "How do you know?"
Reynolds explained that he studied the details of his case, learned that RFK was killed at point blank range by a bullet to the back of his head.
"The real assassin appears to be Kennedy's 26 year old Ace Security Company bodyguard....Thane Eugene Cesar. At least one eye witness claims to have seen Cesar with a smoking gun in his hand immediately after Kennedy fell to the floor. An audio recording made during the assassination indicates that there were at least 11 shots fired (perhaps more) from possibly three different guns."
"The conclusion is that Kennedy was shot three times from behind with a fourth bullet passing through his suit coat. The fact that you (Sirhan) were standing in front of Kennedy is undisputed and yet according to the coroner's report not one bullet entered Robert F. Kennedy from the front of his body."
Sirhan: "Oh my! I knew this morning when I woke up that God was telling me he had something great in store for me today and this is it! God has sent you to me!....I was beginning to lose hope so you were sent to lift my spirits. Now I can be hopeful again. Thank goodness somebody else knows."
Reynolds: "Have you ever talked to anybody else in prison that knows the truth of your case?"
Sirhan: "Yes. One person, that's all....He was one who drives a truck around and empties the dumpsters....I had a job where I had to take the garbage out of the kitchen....to the dumpster....once in a while he would talk to me. He told me he believed I was innocent."
Reynolds: "Did you talk to this guy often?"
Sirhan: "Actually no. He and I only talked maybe about three times and each time it was only for about five minutes or so."
He explained that he never met anyone in prison, besides him, who knows. He said friends on the outside set up a web site for him - rfkmustdie.com, with information about him, RFK, and whether CIA operatives killed him, framing Sirhan for the crime.
Reynolds: "Do you have an appeal on file right now?"
Sirhan: "Not now. Everything has run its course. I had a great attorney named Lawrence Teeter....He was a wonderful man and a great attorney. He tried several times to win me an appeal and even just to get a new evidentiary hearing but the courts seemed biased against me. The judges wouldn't budge....Teeter died in 2005, and I haven't really tried to work on any appeal since then."
Yet he feels, one day, he can be cleared and set free. "The truth will win out," he believes. Earlier he was on San Quentin's death row for three years. "They thought they were rid of me but then something happened they didn't plan on."
Led by Chief Justice Rose Bird, "the California Supreme Court intervened and ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional. The ruling was retroactive and my sentence was commuted to life in prison. They thought I was dead and yet after 41 and a half years I'm still alive!" Now it's over 42.
But "they stole my life!....I've been rotting in that stinking prison for (over four decades) for nothing!....The bastards stole my life....I have been denied parole 13 times. I am scheduled for another parole hearing in 2011. (Against long odds), Maybe if there was a grassroots movement, like perhaps millions of people finding out how the authorities have buried me unjustly, and coming together in demonstrations all over the country they would have to reconsider and let me go."
Saying to Reynolds, "You do it for me. Become a guest speaker at colleges and universities and speak on my behalf....I hereby give you my permission....I will notify the press of your name and mission."
Reynolds: "Ah, no, not my name. My name can't be attached to this. I could get in big trouble. You know the monsters that run this place."
Sirhan: "OK, I understand. We will keep you anonymous."
Reynolds offered to make this conversation available to anyone "responsible enough to appreciate it." Sirhan suggested sending to magazines and newspapers. Reynolds said he'd try, sent it to one on the progressive left that wouldn't publish it, one reason for discussing it here.
Sirhan also explained he's Palestinian, born in Jerusalem in 1944, "alive during the turmoil that erupted when the United Nations stole our country and gave it to the Jews."
In fact, its 1947 Partition Plan (General Assembly Resolution 181) gave them 56% of historic Palestine, placing Jerusalem (declared a corpus separatum, a separate body) under UN trusteeship as an international city, binding to this day. At the time, Palestinians comprised two-thirds of the population, owning 93% of the land, most of it now stolen. All of it occupied illegally.
Ever since, Israelis treated "my people....like dogs. (They) shoot rockets and tank fire into the West Bank (and Gaza) killing everyone, including women and children. They drop bombs and spray machine gun fire into crowded marketplaces. They are treating my people the same way they were treated by the Nazis....It breaks my heart to see how my people are suffering."
Reynolds: "So, then, you're a Muslim?"
Sirhan: "No....I am a Christian. My whole family is Christian....We have been Christians for at least 800 years. We are Palestinian Christians."
He came to America at age 11, moved to Los Angeles, and settled in Pasadena, attending Altadena's Eliot Junior High School, graduating from John Muir High School, then completing two years of junior college..."
Reynolds asked if he had any connections to Middle East or organized terrorists?
Sirhan: "No. No way! I am alone. I am by myself. I do have a few people in the West Bank that I correspond with but they are just regular people. I have a brother in Los Angeles. But I definitely do not have any terrorist connections and I am not a member of any groups, any groups at all."
Spurious prison information circulated that on 9/11, he "gleefully clapped (his) hands and (was) delighted" to see the twin towers collapse, adding that he had confidential information of the impending attack "by a Middle Eastern terrorist organization whose members revere you as an icon and a hero and do everything they can to honor you."
Sirhan: "Oh my God, that's ridiculous. I've never had anything to do with any terrorist groups. Who said this about me?"
Reynolds: "It was Chief Deputy Warden James Mattingly."
Sirhan said he'll sue him for libel and slander, adding he wants to see his evidence. Reynolds asked what he thought of the incident, Sirhan explaining that he cried because his country was attacked and "felt sadness and anger and wanted to punish the people responsible...."
Reynolds: "Sirhan, what were the events that led up to you being in the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel on the night" JFK was shot there?
Sirhan: "In the evening, I had something to eat at Bob's Big Boy. Then later in the evening, I decided to drive downtown....The Jews were going to be having a big party to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Israel's" Six Day War victory."
Reynolds: "What did you intend to do once your got there?"
Sirhan: " I don't know exactly but I wanted to protest. The Jews should not have been allowed to fill the streets in celebration of stealing more of our land. I can remember driving down Highway 5 with my 22 caliber hand gun lying next to me on the passenger seat."
Reynolds: "Why did you have a gun with you in the car?"
Sirhan: "I had been shooting at the range earlier that day."
Reynolds: "Was the gun....out in the open?"
Sirhan: "No, it was in the plastic box it came in, you know, with the cloth, the cleaning rod, and oil."
Reynolds: "and what did you do when you got downtown?"
Sirhan: "I realized that I was a day early and that the event was to take place the next night. So I just drove back up the freeway."
Reynolds: "Why did you stop at the Ambassador Hotel?"
Sirhan: "I don't know. I can't remember parking and going in there but I must have because I was there."
Reynolds: "What did you do when you got there?"
Sirhan: "It was hot that night and I was very thirsty. I remember that....I went to the bar and had four drinks within about 15 minutes. I couldn't seem to get enough to drink....They were Tom Collins's....(but) I wasn't drunk. I felt drugged. I think somebody slipped something into my drinks. My legs and arms became rubbery. I remember standing by my car but I couldn't drive so I went back inside and got some coffee."
Reynolds: "How did you get downstairs to the pantry?"
Sirhan: "Somebody guided me. I don't know who."
Reynolds: "Did you have your gun with you?"
Sirhan: "Yes. When I was in the pantry, the gun was in my hand."
Reynolds: "Did you know Robert Kennedy was going to be walking toward you?"
Sirhan: "No. I didn't know where I was and I don't know how I got there. I was in a state of blackout."
Reynolds: "You were a Manchurian candidate....It's something the CIA uses. They assassinate a president, or senator, or anyone they wish, and make it look like some crazed, lone-nut assassin did it. But he has been heavily drugged, possibly with LSD, and undergone intense brainwashing followed by reprogramming. Everything you're saying about yourself follows the established pattern of the drugged, duped, CIA patsy."
Sirhan: "They used me, framed me, and they set me up to die."
Reynolds: "Do you remember firing the gun that was in your hand?"
Sirhan: "I can't remember. I was blacked out. I remember feeling woozy and it felt like I was falling down....I don't remember the things that happened that night."
Reynolds: "Do you remember being led in handcuffs out of the Ambassador Hotel and made to sit in the back seat of a police car?"
Sirhan: "I remember being led away but I didn't know why they were doing this to me. Nobody told me anything."
He was interrogated by the police for about 24 hours, detectives telling him he murdered JFK. "They yelled at me. They kept shoving papers at me demanding that I sign...They were documents saying I killed Kennedy. Confession. They insisted I had murdered Robert F. Kennedy and they demanded I confess and sign the papers....At first I resisted, but later I confessed and signed the papers. They broke me down and I told them I would do anything they wanted me to do. I just wanted it to stop."
After he confessed, he was taken to a cell and allowed to sleep. A court trial followed where his "interrogators convinced me to plead guilty and ask for the death penalty....I told the judge I was guilty and wanted the death penalty," explaining he was ashamed.
"They made me believe I had murdered Robert Kennedy in cold blood and I was remorseful and ashamed. Everyone said I was guilty. They said I would get the death penalty....no matter what I said or did. They said it was an open and shut case and that I might as well give up. I just wanted to get the whole thing over with and if it meant me being dead, so be it. I didn't have anything left to live for anyway."
A trial followed, Sirhan represented by attorney Grant Cooper, a man he called "crooked. He had mafia and CIA connections," Sirhan explaining what he knew and his mob involvement. "He was (picked) to make sure I was convicted and sent to my death, and Cooper complied because they were planning to kill him" otherwise.
Reynolds asked him to portray what he remembered doing at the Ambassador Hotel. Sirhan stood up, swayed, his arms gently rising, looked straight ahead, then made a gun shape with his right hand, his arm parallel to the ground pretending to shoot, saying:
"At a specific moment, and I can't remember when or why, I shot my 22 caliber pistol three times. My arms were unsteady but level with the ground. Two of the shots missed. I saw them miss. One of the shots may have bounced off him like a BB. All of a sudden people were grabbing me. They were forcing me down....Did anybody say I reached around behind and shot Robert Kennedy in the back of the head?"
Sirhan: "But that's what I would've had to do" to kill him....So, what do you think of me now? Do you think I am crazy like they say?"
Not at all, said Reynolds, Sirhan adding "I am just a man. I am a man just like you. I am trained never to allow an inmate to touch me."
In parting, he embraced Reynolds, both of them now "secret friends in a desolate place."
A Final Comment
Evidence strongly suggests that Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray, and Sirhan Sirhan were patsies, blamed for state-sponsored assassinations, likely carried out by CIA operatives or hired guns they enlisted.
Jack Ruby, with known mob and police connections, fatally shot Oswald on November 22, 1963. Incarcerated without trial, James Earl Ray died in prison on April 23, 1998, proclaiming his innocence. Sirhan Sirhan has been imprisoned since 1968, despite no evidence proving his guilt.
In these and hundreds more cases in US courts, justice was denied, revealing the myth of the rule of law, under a system absolving high-level crime, getting patsies punished for offenses they didn't commit, the major media always going along, supporting official accounts without question.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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