CA - Sirhan Sirhan & the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, 1968

Discussion in 'Past Trial Discussion Threads' started by Reader, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/04/justice/california-sirhan-rfk/index.html?hpt=ju_c2

    Los Angeles (CNN) -- A controversial assertion by convicted Robert F. Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan to win his freedom was challenged this week by the California attorney general who said "overwhelming evidence" exists against Sirhan's claims.

    Sirhan's attorneys have said that a second gunman actually assassinated Kennedy in 1968 and that Sirhan was hypno-programmed to fire a gun as a diversion.
    -----

    "The mere possibility that more than one firearm was discharged during the assassination does not dismantle the prosecution's case" against Sirhan, the attorney general said in the latest court documents.

    Harris said Sirhan is relying on acoustic expert Philip Van Praag's analysis of a tape recording of the Kennedy shooting that concludes 13 shots were fired during the murder and "demonstrates the existence of a second shooter because (Sirhan) only fired eight shots."

    The attorney general argues that even if there were a second gunman involved in the Kennedy shooting, Sirhan hasn't proven his innocence.
    ------

    For his hypo-programming defense, Sirhan is relying on Daniel Brown, an associate clinical professor in psychology at Harvard Medical School who has interviewed Sirhan for 60 hours over a three-year period, according to defense attorneys.

    But the attorney general rejected the hypno-programming claim.


    More at link....
     
  2. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Actually, an abundance of evidence exists to prove Sirhan did not fire the fatal shot at Senator Kennedy.
     
  3. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    Don't leave us hanging!
     
  4. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Eyewitnesses and photographs prove Sirhan's gun never was within reach of the back of RFK's head, where the fatal shot struck.

    Actually I could expound upon the fact - a bit more complex, deserves a more thorough answer etc. etc. - but I'm too sleepy right now!

    Another reasonable certainty is that there were more shots fired in the Ambassador Hotel's kitchen than Sirhan's gun could hold.
     
  5. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    Hope you will be able to tell the 'rest of the story' tomorrow...

    Yes, the article does mention the 13 shots and 2nd gun but they still say that doesn't make him innocent.
     
  6. essies

    essies "We're all just walking each other home." Ram Dass

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    Personally, I've always thought Sirhan Sirhan was a Manchurian Candidate!

    [video=youtube;FoRG5cMrfIk]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoRG5cMrfIk[/video]
     
  7. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    I can't get the CNN link to open at the moment, but I hope wfgodot will answer a couple of questions when she returns:

    If someone was able to hypno-program Sirhan to go to the Ambassador and fire a gun, why not just hypno-program him to do the actual killing? Or was it just a matter of sending two killers in the hope that at least one would hit the target? (If so, that isn't much of an argument for releasing Sirhan.)

    Why shoot RFK? Johnson had already announced his retirement, hadn't he? On whose behalf and for what reason would the CIA shoot RFK? (I know we liked to blame everything on Nixon in those days, but Nixon didn't have the nomination yet and, though RFK had just won an important victory in CA, nobody knew for sure who would be the Democratic nominee.)
     
  8. Quiche

    Quiche New Member

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  9. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Attorneys for RFK convicted killer Sirhan push 'second gunman' argument
    lengthy article at link above; ruling out Cesar is an interesting gambit
     
  10. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    Not to put you on the spot, godot, as one can believe the evidence shows two shooters were sent to kill RFK without knowing who masterminded the attack or why.

    But do you have opinions in response to my questions in post #7?
     
  11. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Well, one would be: plenty of war left to profit from - eliminate Bobby and the military-industrial complex would breathe easier per Vietnam with two hawks then to run in November: Humphrey v. Nixon, neither of whom would end that war soon.
     
  12. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    I know that's Oliver Stone's theory re the JFK assassination. But five years later, hadn't military authorities already decided the war wasn't winnable?

    Losing Vietnam to Communism wouldn't have hurt the m-i complex's argument that the U.S. needed a big military. (Hell, even the end of Communism hasn't done much to hurt that industry.)
     
  13. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Quite true. That's not the best of the theories, just one easily dealt out without looking stuff up, lol. I'm not sure what LBJ and the generals thought of the win-ability of that war in June 1968. Another branch of that particular theory is that Johnson thought if RFK were elected, he might get to the bottom of Dallas and, well, find LBJ there.
     
  14. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    I see. I think the big fuss with Robert McNamera a few years was that he admitted the Departments of State and Defense knew the war was unwinnable by the mid-60s. Tens of thousands of young men died after the war was known to be a lost cause.

    But of course an endless war that can't be won or lost isn't necessarily bad for industries that rely on military contracts. As George Orwell so notably pointed out. Nixon managed to prop up the South Vietnamese government until well into his second term (until after he'd resigned and left office, actually).

    I'm just not sure there's any widely accepted evidence that it is possible to "hypno-program" anybody to commit a murder (or even to just shoot at a presidential candidate). The professor whose theories are invoked to support the "hypno-programming" claim has gotten himself in trouble in other court cases with questionable testimony.

    And a public shooting just seems so messy, with a high probability of interference and failure, at a time when the KGB and the British SIS were quietly assassinating people with poisoned umbrella tips and the like.

    I think it's very disconcerting to think that our lives and world events can be completely changed by one angry man with a grievance. By comparison, grand conspiracies are sort of comforting. The world seems less fragile if it takes a widespread conspiracy to alter its course.
     
  15. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    There's also the alternative, "Dick Nixon did it," theory, if one accepts certain premises of Nixon's role in the run-up to the Bay of Pigs failure (and dealing with nefarious characters who compromised his political future, involvement in gun-running, etc. etc., along the way). Some feel strongly that Nixon was the prime mover in the Dallas shooting as JFK would have had knowledge of this. And so would have Bobby. BONUS: an extra incentive - Nixon could not have beaten Bobby Kennedy, who had all but wrapped up the nomination in California that night, in November 1968. Especially if Kennedy revealed what he knew about Bay of Pigs's genesis during the last year of the Eisenhower administration.
     
  16. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    I think we're mixing up our dates here: the general election was in November of 1968, so RFK had to be killed before then. RFK was killed in early June and the notorious Democratic convention was held in late August. (ETA never mind, I see what you meant. I was confused by where the "November" clause fell in the sentence.)

    And while RFK's victory over McCarthy was a major win, 1968 was before nominations were determined mostly by primaries and caucuses. Herbert Hoover had the support of the party bigwigs (who controlled a majority of the delegates) and the nomination was still very much in doubt.

    So RFK didn't even have the nomination; I don't think we can know what would have happened in November and we shouldn't be misled just because RFK became a "saint" in his martyrdom.

    As for the Bay of Pigs, Nixon waited 10 years to kill Robert Kennedy to protect that secret? That seems a stretch to me.

    I know Clyde Tolson (J. Edgar Hoover's friend) was heard to say he wished somebody would shoot RFK, but the very fact he said it aloud in front of witnesses suggest to me it wasn't something he actually expected to happen.
     
  17. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Unclear on my part, sorry; yank out the lengthy middle phrase and the sentence does read, "Nixon could not have beaten Bobby Kennedy in November 1968." The assassination was in June.

    Christ, I remember that morning; I stayed up late listening to my candidate, Gene McCarthy, lose the primary and went to bed right before the shooting was announced. Wake up, RFK near death with a head wound. I was 14 that summer and I and a 15-year-old cohort - who was out in California working on the campaign - had chaired a county "Kansans for McCarthy" chapter. Tons of work. RFK would have been easy to support though - another liberal senator bidding to end the war. But I digress!

    The national convention didn't have the power that year to block a Kennedy nomination. RFK would have rolled in with - at least - almost enough delegates needed for the nomination, and deals would have been made with other candidates if he'd needed more. He was certain to have been the nominee - especially over a tired hack like HHH, the discredited LBJ's VP.
     
  18. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    We are the same age, godot, and I was born in Kansas. But which one of us is the EVIL twin?

    I was living in Florida and I remember being awaken by my grandfather with the words, "They shot Kennedy." I whined in response, "That was five years ago! Let me sleep."

    Like I said, I know California was a big win for RFK: a lot of people thought McCarthy would drop out soon. But since things never got that far and 1968 was such a crazy year in American politics, I don't think we can know what would have happened had any one factor been changed.
     
  19. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    I've been following this interesting exchange...must be about the same age also...remember RFK's assassination well...some interesting theories. I think SS was manipulated into being there and firing his gun. He was a fall guy to me. The Kennedys had so many enemies that it would be hard to say who was behind it but I don't think it was a great conspiracy...just a few who didn't want him to be president because of information he had or changes he planned to make. Some people were afraid of losing a lot of money/influence for sure.

    BTW/BBM...Nova, was waiting for you to catch this since you are usually so precise, but don't you mean Herbert Humphrey? LOL...dont' make us older than we admit to!
     
  20. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Probably accounts for our propensity to visit the old Tate-Polanski place upon arriving in L.A.

    My mom woke me up - can't remember what she said but it wasn't "They shot Kennedy" or I'd have bolted upright and blurted, "Mom, you're down with the conspiracy angle TOO?"

    I got dressed and walked down the block where another McCarthy cohort was spending the night with another friend. Instead of just ringing the bell I stood out in the street and hollered (quite possibly) "They shot Bobby!" They opened the windows and told me I was nuts. "No, he's shot, it really happened!" This went on for some minutes.
     

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