The Assassination of Robert Kennedy

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"They can gas me, but I am famous. I have achieved in one day what it took Robert Kennedy all his life to do." Sirhan Sirhan

Robert Kennedy

The Assassination

The Number of Bullets

More than one Gunman?

Pruszynski Recording

CIA Involvement

Robert Kennedy was perhaps the only person in American politics capable of uniting the people in that troubled time of late sixties America where anarchy was on the horizon and often much closer. He wasn't afraid to tackle issues like race and poverty and social injustice and social oppression. Indeed, he campaigned relentlessly against these social scourges and evils and was a committed supporter of the civil rights movement, always keeping these causes high on his political and personal agenda. But of course having progressive policies ensured he had no shortage of potential enemies.

By all accounts Robert Kennedy was a good guy, a man of integrity, someone that would make a difference for the better. We can't say that about too many people past or present in this world we inhabit. And because of the 'dark forces' in the world we will never know for sure about the impact Robert Kennedy would have made.

Robert Kennedy

His impromptu, courageous and considerate speech, when he addressed a racially mixed rally in Indianapolis, on hearing of the assassination of Martin Luther King on April 4 1968 was testament to his quality of character. It's difficult even today to feel unmoved when hearing his heartfelt words, both their delivery and the words themselves. As Indianapolis was at peace that night, largely due to the calming influence of Kennedy's speech, the rest of America burned. It makes one wonder if one man could change the world!

In 1968 Robert Kennedy was reaching the heights of popularity with the black and hispanic communities in America. He had become a hero to them. He promised to heal a divided America. He promised to end poverty and the Vietnam war. However, also in 1968, Kennedy was becoming a real threat to the CIA. They regarded him as been soft on communism. If he became president they knew he would pull America out of Vietnam. They regarded his rise to power as dangerous to their country. And to crown it all, they knew he would probably take control of the CIA and reopen the investigation on his brother's assassination. The CIA had serious misgivings with both Kennedys after they failed to support the Bay of Pigs Cuban invasion in April 1961. Hundreds of CIA backed and trained cuban exiles were either killed, wounded or captured.

The Assassination
Sadly, Kennedy's prophetic words in early 1968, 'I'm afraid there are guns between me and the White House' rang through and his 82 day campaign for the White House came to an end. In the early hours of June 5th 1968, a 24 year old Palestinian, Sirhan Sirhan, assassinated him, in the kitchen pantry in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. He had just given his victory speech after winning the Californian Democratic primary, bolstering his chances and making him the favourite to win the Democratic presidential nomination.

He was an easy target as, unbelievibly, there was no secret service protection for presidential candidates at that time. Did the powers that be learn nothing from November '63 or April '68? He was only protected by his own private unarmed bodyguards and former FBI agent William Barry who was also unarmed. After his victory speech he was to attend a press conference in the colonial rooms of the hotel some 40 yards away from the stage. He exited from the rear of the stage, turned right, down a hallway, and entered the hotels kitchen pantry, where his assassin lay in wait.

Somehow, Sirhan had the time to empty his gun which contained its maximum 8 bullets. Robert Kennedy was mortally wounded. Five bystanders were also caught in the crossfire and injured, but all survived. Through witness interviews, investigations discovered that Sirhan had attended two previous Kennedy assemblies. One person who had recoginised and remembered seeing Sirhan at one assembly and said of him looking "completely out of character…very intense and sinister." And another person placed him at a June 2 speech, three days before the assassination. So presumably Sirhan was just waiting for the opportunity to present itself.

Robert Kennedy - Assassinated

Kennedy's route from the ballroom via the kitchen didn't seem to be part of the original plan. Was Sirhan just 'lucky' to have the opportunity to assassinate him that night? After all he had been identified at two previous functions and maybe he had been present at more for all we know. Who actually guided Kennedy in the direction of Sirhan? It seems Kennedy planned to walk through the ballroom after his speech in the direction of another group of supporters. (But apparently campaign aide and political advisor Fred Dutton overruled this in favour of going to a press conference via the kitchen and pantry area thereby sealing his fate.)

The overall finding of the Special Unit Senator, SUS, set up by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to investigate the Robert Kennedy assassination, is pretty much defined in Lt. Pena’s words (remember he was former CIA): "Sirhan was a self-appointed assassin. He decided that Bobby Kennedy was no good because he was helping the Jews. And he was going to kill him."

As has been said many a time, this case should have been clear-cut, an open-and-shut case. With Sirhan in custody, the LAPD had motive, opportunity and a smoking gun to close the case. However over the years contradictory evidence has emerged which casts doubt over the original findings. It looks like the LAPD ignored evidence of a second gunman and many including the head of the L.A. Crime Laboratory DeWayne Wolfer presented false and misleading evidence to support their ballistic testimony that Sirhan was the only gunman.

It now seems that the LAPD's actions, suppression and destruction of key evidence, discrediting of witnesses, obstruction of justice and ultimate conclusion on Sirhan has itself fueled the conspiracy theory. In fact when we look at the ballistic evidence, the Pruszynski audio analysis and the Autopsy results, the case of Sirhan's conviction of the murder of Robert Kennedy should be re-opened and properly investigated.