Category Archives: Assassination

Suspect in North Korea killing ‘thought she was taking part in TV prank’

Oliver Holmes reports for The Guardian:

Image result for Suspect in North Korea killingAn Indonesian woman arrested for suspected involvement in the killing of the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s half-brother in Malaysia was duped into thinking she was part of a comedy show prank, Indonesia’s national police chief has said, citing information received from Malaysian authorities.

Meanwhile, Malaysian police said on Saturday they had arrested a North Korean man in connection with the murder.

The man was identified as Ri Jong Chol, born in 1970. He was arrested on Friday night in Selangor state, the police said in a statement. He is the fourth suspect to be arrested.

Indonesia’s national police chief, Tito Karnavian, told reporters in Indonesia’s Aceh province that the Indonesian woman, 25-year-old Siti Aisyah, was paid to be involved in pranks .

He said she and another woman performed stunts which involved convincing men to close their eyes and then spraying them with water.

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25 Years Later: Oliver Stone and Kevin Costner Look Back at the Legacy of ‘JFK’

Kristopher Tapley reports for Vanity Fair:

'JFK' 25th Anniversary: Oliver Stone andOliver Stone didn’t know that “JFK” would define him as it has when the towering political thriller hit theaters on Dec. 20, 1991. But in short order it proved to be at once a source of great pride for the filmmaker — the kind of achievement only possible on a hot streak like the one Stone was enjoying in the late-’80s and early-’90s — and something of an albatross.

“It was a hot potato from the get-go, much hotter than I thought,” Stone says now, reflecting on the film’s 25th anniversary. “I didn’t realize it would hit the central nerve core of the establishment … And it did take its toll. I think it’s changed the perception of me forever. Many now dismiss me as a filmmaker who is political and only into conspiracy theories. It labeled me and I was staggered. I wish, in a way, it had just died off.”

Pity, because what Stone exhibited with the film — which dramatically posits a massive cover-up of president John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination through the eyes of then-New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison — was a staggering command of visual storytelling. An admirer of director Costa-Gavras’ own 1969 political thriller, “Z,” Stone went into “JFK” wanting to make something analogous, a fractured film where “you look at a crime, you accept the first version of it, the official version, then you look at it again,” he says.

The director worked feverishly with screenwriter Zachary Sklar for the better part of 1990 developing the project, much of it conjured while he was finishing post-production on his rock biopic “The Doors.” Spinning off of tomes like Jim Marrs’ meticulously reported “Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy” and Garrison’s own “On the Trail of the Assassins,” with further inspirations like former U.S. Chief of Special Operations L. Fletcher Prouty (who became the basis for Donald Sutherland’s enigmatic “Mr. X” character), Stone cranked out a script so massive he felt it best to pull back on some of the details in the version he submitted to Warner Bros. for backing.

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The Hidden History Of The JFK Assassination

Thom Hartmann speaks to historian Lamar Waldron, author of The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination, about the details surrounding that tragic day in November 1963. (Thom Hartmann Show)

Jo Cox’s Killer Sent To Prison For The Rest Of His Life

David Talbot on Allen Dulles’ Reign as CIA Director: From Guatemala to Cuba to JFK’s Assassination

Amy Goodman recently spoke to author David Talbot about his new book on former CIA director Allen Dulles: The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government. (Democracy Now!)

CIA Director John McCone Was Part of the JFK Assassination Cover-Up

Philip Shenon, author of A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination, writes for Politico:

John McCone came to the CIA as an outsider. An industrialist and an engineer by training, he replaced veteran spymaster Allen Dulles as director of central intelligence in November 1961, after John F. Kennedy had forced out Dulles following the CIA’s bungled operation to oust Fidel Castro by invading Cuba’s Bay of Pigs. McCone had one overriding mission: restore order at the besieged CIA. Kennedy hoped his management skills might prevent a future debacle, even if the Californian—mostly a stranger to the clubby, blue-blooded world of the men like Dulles who had always run the spy agency—faced a steep learning curve.

After JFK’s assassination in Dallas in November 1963, President Lyndon Johnson kept McCone in place at the CIA, and the CIA director became an important witness before the Warren Commission, the panel Johnson created to investigate Kennedy’s murder. McCone pledged full cooperation with the commission, which was led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, and testified that the CIA had no evidence to suggest that Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin, was part of any conspiracy, foreign or domestic. In its final report, the commission came to agree with McCone’s depiction of Oswald, a former Marine and self-proclaimed Marxist, as a delusional lone wolf.

But did McCone come close to perjury all those decades ago? Did the onetime Washington outsider in fact hide agency secrets that might still rewrite the history of the assassination? Even the CIA is now willing to raise these questions. Half a century after JFK’s death, in a once-secret report written in 2013 by the CIA’s top in-house historian and quietly declassified last fall, the spy agency acknowledges what others were convinced of long ago: that McCone and other senior CIA officials were “complicit” in keeping “incendiary” information from the Warren Commission.

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Tupac Shakur: Unraveling the Politics of His Life and Assassination with John Potash

John Potash is an investigative journalist and the author of The FBI War on Tupac Shakur and Black Leaders. In this interview he summarizes his research into the life, politics and what he believes was the assassination of rapper Tupac Shakur. (The Real News)

Who Killed Boris Nemtsov?

Justin Raimondo writes for Antiwar:

Practically no one in the West doubts the murder of once-rising reform politician Boris Nemtsov was the work of Vladimir Putin, and/or his allies in government. If Putin didn’t give the direct order, the pundits say, the Russian leader created the “atmosphere of hatred” directed at the Russian opposition, of which Nemtsov was a half-forgotten yet still active leader. This obviates the need for evidence, while giving the accusers ample room to back off if and when facts to the contrary are uncovered – evidence which can then be easily discounted, because, after all, everyone knows a real investigation is impossible in Putin’s Russia. Thus freed of the facts, our new Cold Warriors can elaborate their conspiracy theories without fear of contradiction.

Funny how political murders in the US – the Kennedy brothers, Martin Luther King – are invariably the work of a “lone nut,” but in Russia it’s always the Putin government. When Dr. David Kelly, a prominent weapons expert and critic of the evidence Whitehall had publicized to justify the Iraq war, committed “suicide” just as he was about to reveal how the British government had doctored up its brief, there were suspicions but these were dismissed as a “conspiracy theory.” An entirely different standard is applied to Russia, and yet, aside from Anglo-American exceptionalism, perhaps there are some good reasons for this. Russia, after all, is a country where contract killings were once a staple of doing business: where gangsterism is widespread, and oligarchs, gorging on the riches of “privatized” companies, are in deadly competition for spoils in a system where government, and not the market, rules.’

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Was Boris Nemtsov killed because in Russia opposition figures are deemed traitors?

Shaun Walker writes for The Guardian:

Flowers were laid at the spot where Russian politician Boris Nemtsov was shot dead on Friday.[…] Nemtsov frequently appeared on lists of “traitors” published online by extremist groups, and given that many radical Russian nationalists have been fighting a war in east Ukraine for the past six months, there have long been fears that the bloodshed could at some point move to the streets of Moscow.

The well-organised hit, in one of the most closely watched parts of Moscow, of a man who was undoubtedly under state surveillance just two days before a major opposition march, does not smack of an amateur job. Assuming a jealous lover or angry fellow liberal would not be able to organise a drive-by shooting in the shadows of the Kremlin towers, the remaining options are disturbing.

If, as Peskov says, it was senseless for the Kremlin to kill someone who posed very little threat, that leaves another option that is perhaps even more terrifying: that the campaign of hate that has erupted over the past year is spiralling out of the control of those who manufactured it.’

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Boris Nemtsov Funeral: Mystery Surrounds Russian Politician’s Death

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Carl Schreck writes for Voice of America:

With the murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, gunned down on a Moscow street, the fiercest critic of President Vladimir Putin has been removed from the political stage.  But it remains to be seen whether, in death as in life, Nemtsov will remain a threat to Putin’s rule.

Already, city authorities have approved a mass march for up to 50,000 people in central Moscow on Sunday. The march, expected to be far larger than the scheduled protest rally it replaces, will provide a powerful platform for Kremlin critics who suspect a government hand in Nemtsov’s death.

Even officials in Putin’s government seem to sense the danger that the former first deputy prime minister’s martyrdom might pose, hinting darkly that Friday night’s drive-by shooting may have been an deliberate “provocation” ahead of the planned weekend rally.’

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Nemtsov Murder: Multiple Lines of Inquiry to Be Pursued

Nemtsov’s murder ‘meticulously planned’ – Investigative Committee

AFP reports:

‘The murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was carefully planned, investigators said Saturday, pointing to details of the weapon used and the killers’ knowledge of his movements.

“There is no doubt that the crime was meticulously planned, as well as the place chosen for the murder,” the powerful Investigative Committee, which has been put in charge of the probe, said in its first detailed statement on the drive-by shooting of the 55-year-old politician.’

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Nemtsov Ally: “It’s a provocation that is clearly not in Putin’s interests, it’s aimed at rocking the situation.”

There are certainly no shortage of “who dunnit? Putin dunnit!” theories flying around the internet at the moment in regards to who is responsible for the killing of Russian opposition figure, Boris Nemstov. Here’s an interesting perspective from one-time close ally of Mr. Nemstov quoted near the bottom of an article published by Talking Points Memo:

Irina Khakamada, a prominent opposition figure who co-founded a liberal party with Nemtsov, blamed a climate of intimidation and warned that the murder could herald a dangerous destabilization.

“It’s a provocation that is clearly not in Putin’s interests, it’s aimed at rocking the situation,” she said in remarks carried by RIA Novosti news agency.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE…

Mystery Shrouds Prosecutor’s Death In Argentina

Did CIA Murder Screenwriter Over Panama Revelations?

Mia De Graaf and Sean O’Hare report for The Daily Mail:

Accident? Devore, a former truck driver, was found dead in the California Aqueduct a year later but his Toshiba laptop contained the finished script was missing from his Ford Explorer, as were his hands‘When the skeletal remains of Hollywood screenwriter Gary Devore were found strapped into his Ford Explorer submerged beneath the California Aqueduct in 1998 it brought an end to one of America’s most high profile missing person cases.

The fact that Devore was on his way to deliver a film script that promised to explain the ‘real reason’ why the US invaded Panama, has long given rise to a slew of conspiracies surrounding the nature of his ‘accidental’ death.

It didn’t help that Devore’s hands were missing from the crash scene, along with the script, and that investigators could offer no plausible explanation as to how a car could leave the highway and end up in the position it was found a year after he disappeared.

Now the Daily Mail can exclusively reveal that Devore was working with the CIA in Panama and even a White House source concedes his mysterious death bears all the hallmarks of a cover-up.

The findings, published in a new documentary The Writer With No Hands, are the first testimonies ever aired that give credence to the theories that surrounded the case in the late 90s.’

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Loggers Assassinating Peru’s Land Defenders: Interview with Kate Horner

Abby Martin interviews Kate Horner, Forest Campaigns Director, about the massacre of four indigenous activists in Peru for standing up for their land, and the trade of illegal logging worldwide.’ (Breaking the Set)

US believed FBI mole passed secrets to IRA in Thatcher murder plot, files reveal

Jon Swaine reports for The Guardian:

‘The US government suspected that a mole inside the FBI was passing secrets to Irish republican militants who repeatedly plotted to assassinate Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s and 90s, files released to the Guardian showed on Monday.

A series of investigations by federal agents into alleged plots to murder Thatcher during visits to the US are detailed in hundreds of pages of FBI files involving the former prime minister, which were made public following a freedom of information request made after her death.

One trusted source told the FBI that a “female, secretary type” in the agency’s New York bureau was giving the provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) “access to computers, name checks and ID” – a claim that agents said tallied with independent allegations of a leak.’

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Emails Show FBI Worked to Debunk ‘Conspiracy Theories’ Following Michael Hastings’ Death

Jason Leopold writes for VICE News:

‘When journalist Michael Hastings died in a car crash in Los Angeles last year, rumors immediately began to surface on social media suggesting his death was tied to a federal investigation into his work.

The claims attracted widespread media interest when WikiLeaks tweeted the day after the crash that Hastings had contacted the anti-secrecy group’s attorney and said that the FBI was investigating him. The FBI was then bombarded by inquiries from journalists who tried to confirm or deny the allegations, and the bureau struggled to come up with a statement to debunk what it referred to as “rampant conspiracy theories.”

[…] VICE News obtained dozens of internal FBI emails that provide a behind-the-scenes look at how the bureau managed the inquiries into Hastings’ death and the rare steps it took to shoot down claims that he was the target of a federal probe. The documents were turned over in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit VICE News jointly filed with Ryan Shapiro, a doctoral candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who specializes in FOIA research.’

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Lesotho’s Deputy Premier Takes Reins After PM Flees ‘Coup’

Voice of America reports:

FILE - Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane attends a European Union-Africa summit in Brussels, April 2, 2014. ‘Lesotho’s Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing is now running the government after the Prime Minister Thomas Thabane fled the country accusing the army of staging a coup, a minister said on Sunday.

Gunfire rang out in the capital, Maseru, on Saturday, according to witnesses, who said soldiers patrolled the streets, occupied government buildings and surrounded Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s official residence.

Thabane left with his family for neighboring South Africa after receiving intelligence that he was the target of a military assassination attempt. He said the military action amounts to a coup.’

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Israeli Spies Once Poisoned Hamas Leader Khaled Mashal

GCHQ codebreaker Gareth Williams “could have been poisoned” says former murder squad detective

From the Gloucestershire Echo:

‘GCHQ worker Gareth Williams could have been poisoned, a retired murder squad detective has said. The MI6 codebreaker’s body was found in a large hold-all in the bath of his flat in Alderney Street in Pimlico, London, on August 23, 2010. The bag was locked, from the outside.

Former Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton was the most senior officer on the scene and he told The Sun newspaper that the flat was unusually warm when he arrived. He claimed the heating was turned up to the maximum, possible to help with decomposition. He said: “If he had been poisoned, then the chemical compounds might have vanished by the time toxicology results were conducted.”’

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Study Finds Global Surge in Murders of Environmental Activists

‘A new reports finds the killings of environmental and land rights activists worldwide has tripled over the past decade. The group Global Witness documented 147 activists who were killed in 2012, compared to 51 in 2002. The death rate is now an average of two per week. Almost none of the killers have faced charges. We air interviews with some of the late activists featured in the report, including José da Silva, a Brazilian conservationist and environmentalist who campaigned against logging and clear-cutting of trees in the Amazon rainforest. In 2011, José and his wife, Maria, were murdered by masked gunmen. “This could be the tip of the iceberg in terms of the scale of the real problem,” says Global Witness campaigner Oliver Courtney, who says details about the murders were nearly impossible to locate.’ (Democracy Now!)

Death Squads Galore: U.S.-Backed Assassinations Wreak Global Havoc

Alex Kane writes for Alternet:

…The U.S. has denied that it has anything to do with the death squads, claiming it has trained Kenyan security to operate in line with human rights. But those claims are dubious. America’s involvement with Kenya’s anti-terror forces is deep. Since 2003, the U.S. has given Kenya $50 million to fight terrorism; the country is one of the five recipients of U.S. anti-terror financing. And the U.S. and the U.K. provide training for Kenya’s fight against al-Shabaab.

The claims of no U.S. involvement are all the more dubious since the U.S. has partnered with Somali militias to hunt down al-Shabaab members, and because of the extensive record of U.S. support for death squads in other countries. Whether in the context of the Cold War or the war on terror, America’s support for death squads has allowed the U.S. to stand back while proxy forces achieve its goals by engaging in the most unsavory of activities: extrajudicial assassinations.

Here are five other countries where the U.S. has supported death squads…

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FBI refusing to hand over documents about sniper plot to kill Occupy leaders

The U.S. Assassination Program in Colombia

Daniel Kovalik wrote in January for CounterPunch:

On December 21, 2013, The Washington Post published a story entitled, “Covert action Colombia,” about the intimate and critical role of the CIA and the NSA in helping to assassinate “at least two dozen” leaders of the Colombian FARC guerillas from “the early 2000s” to and through the present time.   The author of the story, Dana Priest, claims that the story is based on “interviews with more than 30 former and current U.S. and Colombian officials.” While The Washington Post story reads like an advertisement for the CIA and NSA, there are some truths buried in the piece which are worthy of consideration.   The most illuminating statement is that while the CIA and NSA, allegedly in the interest of fighting drug trafficking and terrorism, have assisted the Colombian government in hunting down and murdering Marxist FARC guerillas with U.S.-made smart bombs, “for the most part, they left the violent paramilitary groups alone.”

This is an important point, for as the piece itself acknowledges, the paramilitaries are indeed “violent,” and, with the help of the U.S.-backed Colombian military, have been engaged in a decades-long campaign of terror against the civilian population.    And consequently, the U.S. officially designated the predecessor of the current paramilitaries – that is, the AUC — as a terrorist organization.    Meanwhile, it is well-accepted that both the Colombian paramilitaries and their military allies are major drug traffickers in their own right. In short, the U.S. is aligning with known terrorists and drug dealers in Colombia in the name of fighting terrorism and drugs.   While this may seem preposterous, there is indeed a logic to it.

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Reagan Shooter John Hinckley to Spend Most of His Time on Outside

Arden Dier writes for Newser:

In this Nov. 18, 2003 file photo, John Hinckley Jr. arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington.It’s quite the step up from the series of 10-day excursions he was once allowed to make outside the mental hospital he’s called home since shooting Ronald Reagan in 1981. John Hinckley will now be allowed to stay with his mother in Williamsburg, Virginia, for 17 days per month, up from the 10 days per month he had been granted. A US district judge approved a recommendation from Washington’s St. Elizabeths Hospital in December, Reuters reports, and has now issued the conditions which provide “a giant leap for Mr. Hinckley,” his lawyer says. A sampling: He’ll be allowed out alone, but must carry a GPS-enabled cellphone and can’t visit government buildings.

He and his mother must also call the hospital each day, and the terms of his Internet use, travel, volunteer work, therapy, medication, and even walks within his mother’s subdivision have been laid out for him. Hinckley, 58, will also be able to drive on his own, permitted someone is expecting him. His lawyer adds, “There is no reason to fear him.” The AP notes Hinckley’s visits to his mother’s home have lengthened since he was first allowed there in 2006, with the ultimate goal that he will live there permanently. He’ll have the chance to expand his freedom even further after he’s visited Williamsburg eight times.

Oliver Stone: JFK conspiracy deniers are in denial

From USA Today:

Living through the news media assault of the past few weeks leading up to this 50th year’s commemoration marking the violent end of JFK’s presidency, I’m amazed there is any single adult left in the USA who would not think that Lee Harvey Oswald was the one and only assassin.

Although polls from 1964 on clearly signal the public’s distrust of the official story, the mainstream media have never given up telling us how superstitious or illogical the common people are in this belief. As one of that multitude, the motivating factor for my disbelief has not been my idealistic view of Kennedy or what he might have done had he lived, but the very evidence of the shooting itself, which remains, then and now, dubious.

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The other Kennedy conspiracy

The other Kennedy conspiracyFrom Salon:

Each November, the media recalls the assassination of President Kennedy and its attendant controversies. Rarely, however, is a second Kennedy anniversary acknowledged. Although the mainstream media has been all but silent on this case, the facts scream out for a deeper investigation.

The story of Robert Kennedy’s assassination seems deceptively simple. After winning the California Democratic presidential primary on June 4, 1968, Sen. Robert Kennedy traversed a pantry at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. A young Palestinian Christian named Sirhan Sirhan pulled a gun and fired. Kennedy died roughly 25 hours later. Five others were wounded. Sirhan was tried and convicted. End of story, right?

Not so fast. A crime is like a jigsaw puzzle. You can’t solve the puzzle by forcing a piece where it doesn’t belong. The theory that Sirhan killed Kennedy is an ill-fitting piece not supported by the physical evidence. Here are some facts that are not in dispute.

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Fidel Castro: ‘Oswald Could Not Have Been the One Who Killed Kennedy’

From The Atlantic:

Fidel Castro shares at least one belief with the majority of Americans: He is convinced that the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was not the work of a lone gunman, but was the culmination of a broad conspiracy. According to a recent Gallup poll, 61 percent of Americans believe Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone in Dallas 50 years ago. But Castro suspects that Oswald might not have been involved in the assassination at all. Here is what he told me–to my great surprise–over lunch one day in Havana: “I have reached the conclusion that Oswald could not have been the one who killed Kennedy.” Castro is of course a confident man, but he said this with a degree of surety that was noteworthy.

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