There were only two men who stood in their way, and once the Kennedys were assassinated the gates of hell would swing open wide. It was the president's plans for Vietnam that prompted his murder. By 1963 (the assassination year), the United States was becoming more and more involved in the Vietnam war. The U.S. had already sent supplies, arms, and several thousand advisers and instructors.
But the president wanted to go no further in aiding South Vietnam. He was ready to stop sending aid, even though South Vietnam claimed to have a democratic government and Generals eager to wage war against North Vietnam. The president said that Vietnam was too far away from the United States, that South Vietnam's claim to democracy was false, and that the U.S. had no business sending American troops to fight in what was really a local war. There would have been no death mill called Phoenix.
Phoenix was, among other things, as an instrument of counterterror, a grim reminder of the tactics that were, and perhaps still used against the Native Americans. A horrendous psychological warfare tactic in which VCI members were brutally murdered along with their families or neighbors as a means of terrorizing the neighboring population into (a state of submission). Such terror acts were, for propaganda purposes, often made to look as if they had been committed by the enemy. Compromise and discreditation operations are a tried-and-true method used in America, too. For example, CIA officer Howard Hunt forged State Department documents showing that President John Kennedy ordered the assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem. And the FBI discredited, through the use of forged documents, Martin Luther King, Daniel Ellsberg, and Jean Seberg. Among others.
President Nixon backed his words with actions. He ordered one of his aides, a former Army intelligence specialist and president of the Young Americans for Freedom, Tom Huston, to devise a plan to surveil, compromise, and discredit his domestic critics. The Huston Plan was called evidence of a "Gestapo mentality" by Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina.
What Ervin meant by the "Gestapo mentality" was Phoenix in its conceptual sense -- the use of terror to stifle dissent. Reflecting Nixon's "Gestapo mentality," offensive counterintelligence operations were directed against dissenters in America: blacks, leftists, pacifists, the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), and American Indians. Today as we look at our nation, we may ask, how much are they doing it to us now? Be that as it may, it is a fact that the CIA has long sought to neutralize its domestic opponents, using illegal means, in the name of national security .The fear of surveillance being as effective as surveillance itself, the result was that many Americans refrained from writing letters to their representatives or otherwise participating in the democratic process, knowing that to do so was to risk wiretaps on their phones, FBI agents' reading their mail, being blackmailed for past indiscretions, made victims of vicious rumor campaigns, losing their jobs, or worse.
Moreover, the suppression of dissent in America was championed by the same people who advocated war in Vietnam. And when it became apparent that America had been defeated in Vietnam, these reactionaries -- like the Germans after World War I -- vented their bitterness and anger on the disparate groups that formed the antiwar movement. Using Phoenix "offensive counterintelligence" tactics, the security forces in America splintered the antiwar movement into single-issue groups, which were isolated and suppressed during the backlash of the Reagan era. Today the threat of terrorism alone remains, pounded into the national consciousness, at the bequest of big business, by abiding media.
Indeed, without the complicity of the media, the CIA could not have got away with killing President Kennedy or of implementing Phoenix, in either Vietnam or America. A full disclosure of the facts and of the Province Interrogation Centers and the Provincial Reconnaissance Units would have resulted in its demise. But the relationship between the media and the government is symbiotic, not adversarial. The extent to which this practice existed was revealed in 1975, when William Colby informed a congressional committee that more than five hundred CIA officers were operating under cover as corporate executives and that forty CIA officers were posing as journalists. Case in point: reactionary columnist and TV talk-show host William Buckley, Jr., the millionaire creator of the Young Americans for Freedom and cohort of Howard Hunt's in Mexico in the 1950's.
When it comes to the CIA and the press, one hand washes the other. In order to have access to informed officials, reporters frequently suppress or distort stories.
Colston Westbrook, according to Mae Brussell in a July 1974 article in . The Realist, was a CIA psywar expert. An adviser to the Korean CIA and Lon Nol in Cambodia, Westbrook from 1966 until 1969 reportedly worked (undercover as an employee of Pacific Architects and Engineers) as an adviser to the Vietnamese Police Special Branch. In 1970 Westbrook allegedly returned to the United States and was gotten a job at the University of California at Berkeley. According to Brussell, Westbrook's control officer was William Herrmann, who was connected to the Stanford Research Institute, RAND Corporation, and Hoover Center on Violence. In his capacity as an adviser to Governor Ronald Reagan, Herrmann put together a pacification plan for California at the UCLA Center for Study and Prevention of Violence.
As part of this pacification plan Westbrook, a black man, was assigned the task of forming a black cultural association at the Vacaville Medical Facility. Although ostensibly fostering black pride, Westbrook was in truth conducting an experimental behavior modification program. Westbrook's job, claims Brussell, was to program unstable persons, drawn from California prisons, to assassinate black community leaders. His most successful client was Donald DeFreeze, chief of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). It was West- brook who designed the SLA's logo (a seven-headed cobra), who gave DeFreeze his African name (Cinque), and who set Cinque and his gang on their Phoenix flight to cremation, care of the Los Angeles SWAT Team, the FBI, and U.S. Treasury agents. While it might sound like something out of the wildly fictitious world of James Bond movies — or at least the world of “Get Smart” — MKULTRA was in fact a real-life, top-secret program that ran throughout much of the 1950s and ’60s in which the CIA attempted to master brainwashing techniques and hypnotize ordinary people into doing its dirty work. The question is not whether the program existed, but whether it was ever taken beyond the experimental phase and into directing its hypnotized subjects into committing assassinations and other such activities.
Those who believe that Sirhan Sirhan was an unwilling and unwitting accomplice to the program believe that government agents spotted him while they attended live hypnotist shows to look for MKULTRA subjects and saw that Sirhan was a particularly easy person to put under a spell.
“They were spending millions going to universities around the country looking for subjects. In December ’63, the CIA was thinking about getting rid of it, but their deputy director Richard Helms issued a memo asking to keep it alive. It’s believed he had just used the program to get away with the murder of JFK,” explains Michael Calder, the author of the investigative book “JFK vs. CIA,” who developed that book from his master’s thesis at UC Berkeley. “They found new drugs that in combination with hypnotism are able to create amnesia for events prior to and during killing. I thought that sounds like Sirhan, and I’ve been reading LAPD documents for the past year trying to draw all the connections together.” That’s just the tip of the iceberg concerning the inconsistencies that riddle the official account of the night of Robert Kennedy’s death. Sirhan allegedly fired eight shots from a gun that could only hold five bullets. He didn’t have time to reload before being tackled by famed NFL player Rosie Grier. Those eight bullets supposedly managed to hit RFK three times and graze him a fourth while also managing to injure six other people that night.
The so-called “Magic Bullet” that Lee Harvey Oswald was said to have used to kill Robert Kennedy’s older brother five years earlier had nothing on Sirhan Sirhan’s acrobatic ammo.
Add in the other bullet holes found in the pantry after the shooting, which were never fully investigated, and, even more importantly, the fact that RFK’s own autopsy said he was killed by a bullet to the back of the head that was fired at such close range that he had powder burns in his flesh. This would mean that the shooter would have to have been behind RFK basically jamming the gun into his head and also the two places in his back that were shot.
Yet every eyewitness describing Sirhan Sirhan’s actions said he shot at RFK from the front and from at least one to five feet away.