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Dale Banham

Student Question: Link Between Assassinations

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My Year 10 (aged 14-15) are now starting on a piece of coursework: 'Why is JFK remembered so positively?'. I have attached the questions they came up with in groups. Answers and different views from experts would be great for when we start back in September or for pupils to look at over the Summer.

Question: Is there any link between the assassinations of JFK, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy?

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Background details of the people answering this question can be found at:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=1169

There are several similarities between the JFK and MLK assassinations.

*Both acts were supposedly committed by a lone gunman

*Both "assassins" allegedly left their weapons very near to the crime scene with evidence incriminating the assassins (Oswald's rifle supposedly had a palm print and several fingerprints on it and Ray's rifle was found in front of a shop next to the boarding house in a bundle with some of his belongings including a few beer cans he used).

*Police informant Williams Sommersett got word of a plot to kill both Kennedy and King but was ignored.

*Several witnesses complained that the FBI ignored their accounts because they indicated a conspiracy.

*The House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that there was probably a conspiracy in both cases.

*Many witnesses in the King and Kennedy cases thought they heard a shot or shots coming from an area different from where the alleged assassins were.

*In both cases, several witnesses thought that they heard shots coming from a "bank of trees."

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The 60's were a turbulent era, a decade of assassinations. Many in government as well as other organizations felt the country was being torn apart at the seams. Plus there was the Red Scare which had increased after the Cuban Missle Crises. One can only imagine if these assassinations were related. Certainly fear had a lot to do with it, as well as insanity. I personally don't believe that there is a connection as far as the same group being responsible. However, I do believe that a lot of covering-up goes on after the incidents for one reason or another. Since there is a seal on the information on JFK's assassination for 75 years (some has been released under FOIA during the Clinton Administration). I doubt we will ever get the truth, as the government keeps it's secrets well.

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Eugene Brading is alleged to have been present at both assassinations. He was arrested in the Dal-Tex building after the murder of JFK (see posting on this site 'Braden? Maybe not') and is suspected by some of having been at the shooting of RFK, disguised as a police officer, and standing behind him when he was shot. RFK's head wound as you may know, was said by Coroner Thomas Noguchi, to have been fired from behind at point blank range.

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Question: Is there any link between the assassinations of JFK, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy?

This has long been a question, but no definite link has ever been established, despite being frequently theorized. An individual being in both Dallas (JFK) and Los Angeles (RFK), theories about CIA involvement in the assassinations of JFK, RFK and Malcolm X, talk about Army intelligence involvement in the JFK and King assassinations, etc. So far, however, no real evidence linking them. One of the things I always thought more than a bit of a coincidence was that King and RFK weren't killed when they came out against the Viet Nam War, but they were killed after both had come out in support of a campaign of economic justice, the Poor People's Campaign. And Malcolm X wasn't killed when he was spouting anti-white rhetoric, but when he began talking about inter-racial coalition-building. In each case, organizing the powerless against the powerful. So there are, at least, thematic links in those cases.

Martin Shackelford

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One of the things I always thought more than a bit of a coincidence was that King and RFK weren't killed when they came out against the Viet Nam War, but they were killed after both had come out in support of a campaign of economic justice, the Poor People's Campaign. And Malcolm X wasn't killed when he was spouting anti-white rhetoric, but when he began talking about inter-racial coalition-building. In each case, organizing the powerless against the powerful. So there are, at least, thematic links in those cases. Martin Shackelford

This is a very interesting point. J. Edgar Hoover is on record of being very concerned about these “socialistic” tendencies in these leaders. I also think it is significant that at the point when they were assassinated, JFK, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were analysing America’s problems in terms of the overall economic system. I believe that charismatic leaders pose a serious threat to the capitalist system when they do this. Especially when they began to question the real reasons for the Vietnam War (economic rather than political). The same is true today when you consider the reasons why Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq (economic rather than political). This connects up to the theory that the Military Industrial Complex were behind the assassinations of these men.

What about Robert Kennedy? Where does his death fit into this? Would he really have brought an end to the Vietnam War. Would he have continued JFK’s work in negotiating an end to the Cold War?

Is there any truth in the claim he would have ordered an investigation into the assassination of JFK? If so, it seems strange that Edward Kennedy has not called for a re-investigation into the case. Has he ever shown any real interest in the real reasons for the killing of Robert?

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