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Return to the Charles A. Thomas Papers (KSU May 4 Collection)

MISSION BETRAYED: Richard Nixon and the Scranton Commission Inquiry into Kent State.

An e-book by Charles A. Thomas (partial work)

CHAPTER ONE: Nixon Cunctator.

According to the Memoirs of President Richard Nixon, the early afternoon of May 4, 1970 was quiet. He was planning a vacation for the coming weekend in Florida. He took a nap after lunch and then called in his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, to discuss plans for the trip. He noticed that “Bob” looked uneasy. “Something just came over the wires about a demonstration at Kent State,” Haldeman explained, “The National Guard opened fire and some students got shot.” “Are they dead?” Nixon asked.

“I’m afraid so. Nobody knows why it happened.”[1

According to Nixon’s account, written eight years after the fact, this was all that was said. Haldeman, as usual, took notes during the conversation and wrote them up in journal form that evening. According to his version, the President had quite a bit more to say – and was less concerned with the human implications of the bloodshed than with the political ramifications for his administration. The journal entry also betrays more than a hint that he hoped this show of force might help achieve a primary goal of his presidency: to crush the student antiwar movement that had driven his predecessor Lyndon Johnson from office:

He…kept after me all day for more facts. Hoping rioters had provoked the shooting…

There’s an opportunity in this crisis as in all others – but it’s very hard to identify & know how to handle it. Main need right now is to maintain calm & hope this serves to dampen other demonstrations rather than firing them up.[2]

At 5:30 p.m. – after Wall Street, already on the decline since the President’s invasion of Cambodia four days before, closed on its single worst day’s finish since the Kennedy assassination – White House press secretary Ronald Zeigler read the official administration statement on the killings in Ohio:

This should remind us all once again that when dissent turns to violence, it invites tragedy. It is my hope that this tragic and unfortunate incident will strengthen the determination of all the Nation’s campuses – administrators, faculty, and students alike -- to stand firmly for the right that exists in this country to dissent and just as firmly against the resort to violence as a means of such expression.[3]

The statement’s callous tone struck some as a verbose paraphrase of the reflexive response of Nixon’s Middle American supporters: “They had it coming.” Some of the younger White House staff members “refused to believe that the president had seen the statement before it was issued, much less written it.”[4] Actually, Nixon had personally dictated it, in even more brutal terms than the official issuance used:

every Am feels deepest sympathy for families of those who died in these incidents

This should give added impetus to the efforts of resp. ldrs in coll and U fac & stud. to stand firmly for princip & right of peaceful dissent & just as firmly against the resort to violence.Violence can only result in tragedy.[5]

"Violence can only result in tragedy" hmmm that's an interesting notion.

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Some theorise that the Kent State massacre was a government, possibly FBI COINTELPRO, conspiracy with the aim of creating a pretext for widespread control of the SDS and other Anti Vietnam War groups and individuals by intimidation and with beefed up campus security.

"Antiwar protests in Kent had erupted following President Nixon's TV speech on April 30 that U.S. forces had invaded Cambodia, thus enlarging a war he had once pledged to end. The next day Nixon derided antiwar students everywhere as "bums." Protests on the campus and in the neighboring town of Kent had erupted resulting in some vandalism and property damage. The college ROTC was set ablaze on May 2nd. No one has ever determined who set the fire, though students were falsely blamed. On May 3, Ohio Governor James Rhodes, a Republican conservative running for the Senate (he lost) called antiwar students "worse than brownshirts and the Communist element and also the night riders and vigilantes. They are the worst type people that we harbor in America."

On May 4th, then, Ohio guardsmen fired their M-1 semiautomatic rifles, a .45 pistol and a shotgun for 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others.

We do know that, according to a government memo dated October 9, 1973, "undercover federal narcotics agents were present on the Kent State University campus on May 4, 1970." Also an armed federal agent was present on that day though no one was able to prove that his weapon was ever fired. It has never been shown that the agents were tied to the shootings, though there have been allegations of a government conspiracy."

The result went both ways, the Anti War movement spread, but also the authorities:

"By now the Education Commission of the States had completed a survey that indicated that, in addition to the Draconian laws passed that summer, twenty-two states were now drafting “even tougher measures”. Oklahoma was in the lead; there any person assembling on campus for the purpose of “rioting” with four or more others, or remaining in a place after being told to disperse, faced imprisonment for five years, or a fine of $ 15,000, or both. The Commission’s executive director predicted a new round of repressive law-making would begin after the first of the year.[326] The Reverend Theodore Hesburg told the faculty of Notre Dame that almost every state in the Union has considered in its legislature some punitive legislation against faculty and students – about half of which has been enacted into law. Trustees and Governors have practically forced the resignation of a number of presidents,for instance in Texas, Oklahoma, and California. Feeling is running high against many visible universities and the witch hunters are out and at work.[327]"[/b]

"The students had no ally left, covert or otherwise, in the Executive Branch. John Ehrlichman was once again in a state of disgrace. During the middle two weeks of October – ostracized by the inner circle, shunned by the President, unable even to get his memos answered – he daily had to consider whether to resign. Then he sent the President a memo commenting on a column by Phillips, which took the form of a series of domestic policy recommendations. It included:

Paragraph 4. Scranton Commission.

RECOMMENDATION: That you refer to the Report in a campaign speech, say you’ve read it and had it analyzed. Quote a couple of passages critical of students and administrators “that everyone will agree with”. Finesse the question of blame because indictments are now outstanding in Ohio... Then never comment on the report again and don’t see Scranton again.[328]"

"Nixon liked it. It fit his thinking and his attitude toward the Commission. Suddenly Ehrlichman was restored to favor, and free to join his comrades on the road to disgrace and prison."

"Nor was there help in Academe in the halls of elected officials. “Local developments in large states like California, New York, Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois tend to confirm the thesis that liberalism is on the wane within the Republican Party.”[329] From the far right perspective of columnist Joseph Alsop, it was a “scramble to the center,”[330] with formerly progressive Democrats renouncing their former words and beliefs with the fervor of recanting heretic Ehrlichman – defensive at their boldest, frantically disassociating themselves with the “radicals”.[331]"

"Dead in the middle of the last month of the campaign,

Big excitement this aft. as Kent State grand jury indicted 25 students & no nat’l guard. Totally refutes Scranton conclusion. P. comes up w/ all kinds of ideas for follow-thru – w/ candidates, etc. New way to attack those who took students’ side, etc…"

I just hope we’ve taken the right course cause he’s really committed now.[332]"

"Everything that had happened on the Kent State campus, the grand jurors had decided, was the fault of “weak” college administrators who had not been tough enough on “radical” faculty and students. Their report lamented that there had been too much challenging of traditional values, too much criticism of existing institutions, in Academe. Worst of all, its tone implied, some of the students had used four-letter words. There was not a syllable of condemnation regarding the taking of human life, let alone the lives of citizens freely assembled."

"Haldeman’s misgivings were as justified as Nixon’s elation was not. The grand jury findings elicited revulsion in many ordinary citizens and a number of commentators. Again, some of the most succinct of those commentaries came from the editorial cartoonists.

John Fischetti, in the Chicago Daily News, showed the grand jurors wearing dark glasses, standing beside four graves, reading their report:

“We find that the students did attack National Guard bullets with their bodies…”

Bill Mauldin’s, in the same city’s Sun-Times, had them pinning medals on the Guardsmen and reading the citations:

“For conspicuous gallantry in the face of four-letter words…”

Edited by John Dolva
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http://alancanfora.com/23.html

Troop G – green guardsmen or experienced "death squad"?

A May 18, 1970 story in Time magazine on the shootings reported, "Though the units had served in riot situations before, most of the lower-ranking enlisted men had no war experience. The Guardsmen at Kent had apparently not paid much attention to whatever training they had been given. 'Some in my platoon,' said one of the troopers, 'have never handled a rifle and hardly know how to load it.'"

This information is contradicted later in the article by then Kent State journalism professor Charles Brill, who said the Guard looked like a firing squad.

"An Army veteran who saw action in Korea, Brill was certain that the Guardsmen had not fired randomly out of individual panic," said the Time article. "They were organized," he said. "It was not scattered. They all waited and they all pointed their rifles at the same time. It looked like a firing squad."

Alan Canfora corroborates this view with what he has learned about Troop G, the ones who fired the shots on May 4. Canfora cites an anecdote he didn’t learn of until years after the incident.

"In 1987 or so, I met a guy who was in the Ohio National Guard in the '60s," says Canfora. They struck up a conversation about May 4 and the former guardsman asked Canfora if he had ever heard of Troop G. "Of course,” Canfora remarked, “that was the death squad!"

Canfora's new acquaintance confessed to being a former member of Troop G, who was kicked out of the Guard in 1969. But the man told Canfora that he was a part of Troop G during the ghetto riots in the Hough and Glenville areas of Cleveland in 1965-66.

"The same guys that shot you guys at Kent State were the ones that shot the people in Cleveland," said the ex-guardsman. "They were experienced killers."

The fact that Troop G had controversial involvement in quelling the Cleveland riots is corroborated by a quote from U.S. Senator Stephen Young in the Akron-Beacon Journal on July 27, 1966 where he referred to the Guardsmen involved as being, "trigger happy." Troop G's presence at the Cleveland riots was confirmed in a sidebar story noting they had been dispatched for the assignment.

Another piece of little known evidence comes from Charles A. Thomas, who worked for twelve years at the National Archives and was selected to study films of the Kent State shootings. In "Kent State/May 4", edited by Scott L. Bills (KSU Press), Thomas reported that, "it looked very much as if someone had doctored the evidence to minimize any impression of the Guard's brutality and to plant the spurious notion that the soldiers had been confronted with a raging student mob."

The debate has raged on for 35 years with many pundits weighing in on both sides of the conspiracy issue. The highly respected, late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson chimed in during his 1994 post-mortem for Nixon, when Thompson wrote, "He was a cheap crook and a merciless war criminal who bombed more people to death in Laos and Cambodia than the U.S. Army lost in all of World War II, and he denied it to the day of his death. When students at Kent State University, in Ohio, protested the bombing, he connived to have them attacked and slain by troops from the National Guard."

At this point, the debate is likely to rage on indefinitely, unless a former guardsman or government official decides to come forward with revealing testimony upon their deathbed."[/b]

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Haldeman (notes):

"He(Nixon)…kept after me all day for more facts. Hoping rioters had provoked the shooting...There’s an opportunity in this crisis as in all others – but it’s very hard to identify & know how to handle it. Main need right now is to maintain calm & hope this serves to dampen other demonstrations rather than firing them up.[2]"

"At 5:30 p.m. – after Wall Street, already on the decline since the President’s invasion of Cambodia four days before, closed on its single worst day’s finish since the Kennedy assassination – White House press secretary Ronald Zeigler read the official administration statement on the killings in Ohio:

This should remind us all once again that when dissent turns to violence, it invites tragedy*. It is my hope that this tragic and unfortunate incident will strengthen the determination of all the Nation’s campuses – administrators, faculty, and students alike -- to stand firmly for the right that exists in this country to dissent and just as firmly against the resort to violence as a means of such expression.[3]"

*in this instance: Dissent that threatens the status quo WILL be met by violence, ie a firing squad.

The way that Nixon handled the events right from the start shows a desire to find any reason that will absolve the Government, or authorities from ANY responsibility. The end result appears to be just that. WC all over again.

As a result freedom of expression was restricted, and security measures were implemented, on campuses throughout the USofA, rather than restraining the Presdiential powers in any way. IOW even if it was not a conspiracy (for which a good one can be made) : "There’s an opportunity in this crisis as in all others".

As a result, the extreme miltancy of the Weathermen, the Symbionese Liberation Army and others became more a path choosen by a few. Thus the opposition became more marginalised.

The way Nixon handled it shows that nothing had changed since the WC period. Except in this relatively "microcosmic" event the coverup seems more provable. There are clear documented statements of intent right from the start in what the official outcome of an investigation should be. Basically a steroptyping of the Anti War Movement persona, and 'they got what was coming to them'.

Irrespective of whether the Tech shooter official version in its finality shows no MKULTRA, or other covert actions of any nature, the situation now exists without doubt in the mind of potential students considering revolt against war escalation, or even the war in the middle east as it is, that it will be a dangerous time. Hence the likelyhood of a united Anti War movement growing in the USofA is stymied. Further, security measures will be put in place that will quickly deal with any such emerging.

What way forward for the students? I'd suggest: be defeated before the event? or:

One: reject any exremist action. reject provocation in any form.

Two: read about the lessons of the non-violent movements of the 60's. Methods and Strategy.

Three: network.

Four: ?

Edited by John Dolva
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MISSION BETRAYED: Richard Nixon and the Scranton Commission Inquiry into Kent State.

An e-book by Charles A. Thomas

Excerpt:

Another Monday morning brought another poll, and this was not one of the ones that reassured the President. This one was doubly vexing in that it had been requested by his own advisor, Chancellor Heard, from the American Council on Education, and it bore out his warning of a rising generation at risk:

78%: agree: “the real trouble with US society is that it lacks a sense of values -- it is conformist and materialistic.”

60%: disagree: “communism is still our biggest threat.”

70%: agree: “America will be in trouble as long as it continues its arrogant, imperialistic policies.”

65%: agree: “our troubles stem from making economic competition our way of life.”

81%: agree: until the older generation understands the changed viewpoints of younger, “serious conflict is going to continue.”

The majority of respondents, students in four-year colleges, did not think that their parents would agree with their answers. Asked to rate the performance of leading political figures, they ranked Mayor John Lindsay, and a team of Senate Democrats – Muskie,. Fulbright, McGovern, and Kennedy – at the top, Nixon in the low middle range, and John Mitchell, Spiro Agnew, and Senator John Stennis at the bottom.[109] This could be interpreted as an ill omen for the fall election. But the President and his aides told themselves that this poll must be wrong, and looked for others that would confirm what they believed.

"K. Phillips in for latest in series of consultations re campaign. Re: ‘Derge Poll’. Also very interested in Rope poll re: Student unrest – exactly opp. findings from those of Harris poll Heard is peddling.

More emphasis on basing all sched. & other decisions on political grounds. Esp. emphasize Italians, Poles, Elks & Rotarians – eliminate Jews, blacks, youth."[110]Haldeman (J), July 13, 1970, p. 133.

On Wednesday the 15th, at ten a.m., the two versions of the state of America went head to head in Room 1202 of the New Senate Office Building, with the gavel opening the first of the Scranton Commission’s public hearings. The opening statement went to the Republicans, in the person of Senator Hugh Scott (R., Penna.). Although the administration might have considered him a safe witness – his patronage empire included the U.S. General Services Administration, through which the administration was able to control the National Archives (influence which in the long term would be of the utmost importance to Nixon and the intelligence agencies) – Scott was no Neanderthal. He belonged to that wing of the party the President seemed to detest more than he did the Democrats, the moderates. And thus his testimony tiptoed right down the middle of the national divide.

He paid lip service to the idealism of the young, but added that “At the same time, one feels that students are more aroused than informed, and more often frustrated than constructively involved.” (Transcript,[111] pp. 8, 9). When Rhodes asked him about the relation of the unrest to the Vietnam War, Scott replied, “I think it is more fashionable than reasonable to argue that the cause of this summer of our discontent is directed solely to the war.” (13) But when Ortique asked him if the protestors relied on outside sources of support, Scott sidestepped the chance to back this cornerstone of the Nixon credo. “The Communist Party would be missing a bet if it were not frantically running around the edge trying to penetrate. But I see no evidence of this.” (29)

Senator Edward Kennedy was the first voice for the opposition. As noted (June 5th, above), Nixon was eager to let Kennedy speak out for the young protestors and then face the political consequences. This eagerness seemed overdone in that Nixon himself had declared Kennedy politically dead (“it marks the end of Teddy”)[112] on hearing of his involvement in a fatal auto accident the preceding summer. Kennedy might have agreed about his prospects, and thus felt less constrained to talk like a politician and more like a man:

" The first and most important point is that we cannot treat the problem of campus unrest in isolation, divorced form its central relation to the war in Southeast Asia… It is no coincidence that the killings at Kent State came hard on the heels of our invasion of Cambodia. (33)…There can be no solution to the problem of campus unrest until there is a solution to the war in Vietnam. (35)"

He freely acknowledged that students had committed acts of violence – if they were students. (The Post the previous morning had carried an extensive story on Thomas “Tommy the Traveler” Tongyai, an itinerant “radical” who had repeatedly incited violence during demonstrations and who had proven to be a government undercover agent).[113] But, even allowing for the provocateurs, Kennedy stipulated that

"the most destructive campus violence has not been student violence. It has been official violence… Who of us, seeing American students slain on the playing fields of their university, does not also see My Lai, with its defenseless Vietnamese civilians cut down by the official violence of American troops? (38)"

In fixing the blame for Kent State, Kennedy rhetorically turned to look up Pennsylvania Avenue:

"Who gave the order for military rifles to be fired at unarmed civilians?… What effect on young Americans and their feelings of frustration and alienation did the statements about them from high government officials have? What was the impact of such statements on the Guardsmen in their attitudes toward the demonstrating students? (39; EMPHASIS ADDED)."

Edited by John Dolva
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MISSION BETRAYED: Richard Nixon and the Scranton Commission Inquiry into Kent State.

An e-book by Charles A. Thomas

Excerpt:

The Post ran the Beacon-Journal story with a bonus: the report, along with supporting memos, of the President’s long-ignored advisor on academic affairs and the young, Dr. Alexander Heard. As the summary had been unequivocal to the effect that there was no way to justify the killings, so Heard left no doubt as to what had generated the turmoil that had led directly to them:

"Cambodia provoked and exposed antiwar and social discontents among large numbers of students of normally moderate and conservative political viewpoints. Before Cambodia, many of us on the campuses believed that deep dissatisfaction afflicted only a small minority of students. Now we conclude that May triggered a vast pre-existing charge of pent-up frustration and dissatisfaction.[149]"

These reverses left Nixon in a truculent mood as he departed on a Western pre-campaign swing. On the plane to his San Clemente retreat after touch-downs in Fargo, N.D., and Salt Lake City, he demanded his aides resort to tactics debased even by the standards of his old Red-baiting and witch-hunting of the late 1940s, and which prefigured the excesses of the 1972 campaign that would bring him down:

[DOCUMENT WITHDRAWN BY NATIONAL ARCHIVES]

our cands. need better guidance

re taking on student protestors directly

make the opponents on side of the protestors

get a goon squad to start roughing up demos.

VFW or Legion – no insults to P.

use hard hats

get some stuff out that Commies are doing the demonstrations[150]Haldeman (N), July 24, 1970.

________________________

"get a goon squad to start roughing up demos.

VFW or Legion – no insults to P.

use hard hats

get some stuff out that Commies are doing the demonstrations"

This is a remarkable document. Here we have a senior Governement official basically outlining the modus operandii of the COINTEL and CHAOS programs. Watregate was a drop in the bucket that compared to the similar that had been carried out for years against the ordinary Citizens.

The more one studies this event the more similarities to the handling of the official Kennedy assassination investigations stand out. It seems the whole system, irrespective of what event one chooses to look at, ultimately has one purpose. To quote Haldeman "There’s an opportunity in this crisis as in all others."

This helps (IMO) to clarify what the WC and the other Kennedy assassination investigations are all about. To take events as they are and to maximise a desirable outcome. Not to find the truth, but to mould a version of 'truth' that is (hopefully) acceptable, while more covertly instigate actions that serve to support that 'truth'. Obfuscation and Provocation, Divide and Rule.

It also muddies the water as far as discerning the perpetrators. Are the seemingly automatic "let's make a version that is acceptable" also a sign that the 'water muddiers' are also the perps. The 'coverup' mentality seems endemic. No wonder that hard on the heels follow a conspiracy theory. It is almost given that there will be a conspiracy of some sort.

Wonder what the world would be like where only the truth is spoken? Reminds me of a chapter in one of the "Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy" series describing how when a witness was called and swore 'to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth' on planet xyz and actually went ahead and did just that. Within a year the planet was completely empty with the witness still blabbing away in a deserted courtroom and the whole planet evacuated and quarantined from the rest of the Galaxy.

Edited by John Dolva
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In summary:

When I started this topic, my primary intention was to look at other shootings on Campuses in order to see if there was some answer to why Virginia Tech happened. One thing that struck me about the interviews with students after the Virginia shootings was how they seemed so disillusioned, with still arms hanging down the side body language, no demands. Of course it is a great tragedy. That's given. Because I choose to try to approach the issue in an analytical way, I suspect that the fact that I feel the tragedy also, as well as the tragedy of the countless other unreported victims of violence in a violent world doesn't come across.

Like Evan has said elsewhere, there is evil.

my take: If ones government cannot be depended on to deal with it effectively and as this thread shows, even seeks any way to absolve authority from any complicity and instead look for and even where none is found, fabricate 'the guilty', one has a problem.

As a christian I must also empathise with the soul of the perpetrator. Another tragedy is the repetitive airing of this sick persons opinions and imagery which seem to make the disregard for human life an isolated event only harboured by deranged individuals. This externalising of the 'enemy' which is so natural, serves as absolution, at times where it is not warranted. Who thought of the lives of others? It seems all ran for cover, except for one old man, a Jew, an immigrant and Holocaust survivor. (and meanwhile during this 2 hour period some 2500 children died of starvation, ie almost a Twin Towers attack every 3 hours.)

This dissolutioned, disorganised description mirrors the descriptions of the students that descended on the White House to protest after the Kent state shootings to be met by a completely locked down White House with the national Guard and the Army bivouaced on site. The whole of the White House grounds was ringed by buses locked bumper to bumper.

Whatever the reason behind the Virginia Tech shootings was, there seems there is a student body that will certainly think twice before taking on the authorities in any future Anti War Movements. Had this happened in 1969-70, possibly the shooter would have been attacked early on by motivated and politically conscious students. The freedom rider experiences and leaders like RFK and MLK provided a courageous non-violent role model. Huge numbers of people confronted guns without carrying guns, knowing that they might, (and often did) die.

As Haldeman cynically wrote "there is an opportunity in these crisis". What that opportunity is and how things play out is perhaps a litmus test. More overt and covert 'security' or less reasons for discontent.

The students at Kent state threw pebbles and four letter words at Troop G (cleveland death squad). They were met by a martialed firing squad.

IMO this is a possible hindrance in identifying the murderers of the great leaders of the USA in the 1960's. It must be a lone nut, or failing that it must be a communist, or an anti-communist Cuban, a mafia, but never, heaven forbid, never a local, and if a local then certainly not one like me. Let any scrambling for a profile ID an 'outsider', never an aspect of me, my friend or close neighbour.

The fact is that the early suspicious deaths and disappearances, threats and silence, happened to locals. This, to my mind, is significant.

The Kennedy case in Texas Law remains open. The perpetrator, if alive and identified, can expect a death sentence. These two factors are a hindrance, as, in an open case, documentation kept on file marked as 'open case' can be out of bounds, or not even revealed as existing, to FOI applictions. The perpetrator traditionally is also the accomplice. A non-solution is arguably guaranteed.

This is also arguably significant.

Suggestions (I know 1 and 2 are largely 'dreams') :

1. Close the case. It's treated as such anyway by the authorities.

2. Repeal the death penalty.

3. Read and follow and participate with William Kelly's and John Geraghty's writings on taking charge of the prosecution.

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  • 4 weeks later...

German Color Newsfootage

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1H6DSzBlVk

Edited by John Dolva
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The reason I keep at this topic is because there is a history of the sixties that is largely buried. In the light of Bugliosis somewhat narcissistic books: Mansons 'flower children' were a-typical, not representative of the youth at all.

I read his Manson book many years ago and have hesitated to comment on a vague memory, but given the comments by others who have also read it, I think my memory is not too bad. I rmemeber the only portion that seemed to give some answers was the portion on Mansons childhood which was not Bugliosis opinions but a recounting of a series of facts. On the whole my memory seems to be the book was about Bugliosi.

Yet it is aberrations like them (Mansons 'Family') that have an unwarranted prominence.

________________

day one she places a flower in a guardsmans barrel saying: flowers are better than bullets...

next day she is shot dead...

This was America. And this is just a tiny slice of the sixties.

EDIT:: The governor speaking on the youtube clip is also the one who was blackmailed to submission by Hoover over early century illegal gambling issue. He characterises the students as worse than Nazis and the KKK. He also harboured Novel from Garrison extradition.

Edited by John Dolva
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The reason I keep at this topic is because there is a history of the sixties that is largely buried. In the light of Bugliosis somewhat narcissistic books: Mansons 'flower children' were a-typical, not representative of the youth at all.

I read his Manson book many years ago and have hesitated to comment on a vague memory, but given the comments by others who have also read it, I think my memory is not too bad. I rmemeber the only portion that seemed to give some answers was the portion on Mansons childhood which was not Bugliosis opinions but a recounting of a series of facts. On the whole my memory seems to be the book was about Bugliosi.

Yet it is aberrations like them (Mansons 'Family') that have an unwarranted prominence.

________________

day one she places a flower in a guardsmans barrel saying: flowers are better than bullets...

next day she is shot dead...

This was America. And this is just a tiny slice of the sixties.

EDIT:: The governor speaking on the youtube clip is also the one who was blackmailed to submission by Hoover over early century illegal gambling issue. He characterises the students as worse than Nazis and the KKK. He also harboured Novel from Garrison extradition.

John, the Kent state shootings occurred on my birthday and have always intrigued me. I recently picked up I. F. Stone's The Killings at Kent State. It includes the FBI's summary report on the shootings. Amazingly, the FBI concluded that the Guardsmen were never in danger, and that the majority of victims were innocent observers a hundred feet or more away. Even so, the state of Ohio and its Givernor James Rhoades did its best to blame the students for the incident.

I suspect the FBI cooperated with the cover-up in at least one respect. Their report said it would be impossible to determine which bullets were fired by which Guardsmen. I don't think they wanted to know.

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John, the Kent state shootings occurred on my birthday and have always intrigued me. I recently picked up I. F. Stone's The Killings at Kent State. It includes the FBI's summary report on the shootings. Amazingly, the FBI concluded that the Guardsmen were never in danger, and that the majority of victims were innocent observers a hundred feet or more away. Even so, the state of Ohio and its Givernor James Rhoades did its best to blame the students for the incident.

I suspect the FBI cooperated with the cover-up in at least one respect. Their report said it would be impossible to determine which bullets were fired by which Guardsmen. I don't think they wanted to know.

If we forget or ignore Kent state, Jackson State, and Cleveland etc, it will only happen again.

Troop G was a Deathsquad. Tested in action in Cleveland.

Not the green recruits they were made out to be, by the powers to be. Nixon was a foul coward IMO, as was Ford in pardoning him.

Ted Kennedy, unbridled by expectations following Chappaquiddic, said at the hearing that followed:

" The first and most important point is that we cannot treat the problem of campus unrest in isolation, divorced from its central relation to the war in Southeast Asia...It is no coincidence that the killings at Kent State came hard on the heels of our invasion of Cambodia...There can be no solution to the problem of campus unrest until there is a solution to the war in Vietnam...the most destructive campus violence has not been student violence. It has been official violence....Who of us, seeing American students slain on the playing fields of their university, does not also see My Lai, with its defenseless Vietnamese civilians cut down by the official violence of American troops?...Who gave the order for military rifles to be fired at unarmed civilians?... What effect on young Americans and their feelings of frustration and alienation did the statements about them from high government officials have? What was the impact of such statements on the Guardsmen in their attitudes toward the demonstrating students?"

(This was also the time I lost a certain interest in US politics. I was only 12 or so, still living in Sweden. I had high hopes in Ted before Chappaquiddic, and at the time felt there was something odd about it, and I think Ted is still an untapped source of positive action (many at the time of Kennedy's assassination spoke very highly of his future).

To forgive Nixons' Hypocricy and Criminality and Bush's likewise, and relegate Ted to a footnote in history is unbalanced to say the least.

(RFK jr today seems a bright light in an otherwise bleak landscape In that sense, I think, too young to understand, those like me allowed the bad guys to win a war of minds, not by joining them, but by withdrawing. I sense a new wave coming. This time...)

_____________________

Kent state findings:

The Kent State hearings are in line with the WC hearings. Preserve the status quo, forget about truth. To quote Haldeman's writings of the time:

"He(Nixon)…kept after me all day for more facts. Hoping rioters had provoked the shooting...There’s an opportunity in this crisis as in all others – but it’s very hard to identify & know how to handle it. Main need right now is to maintain calm & hope this serves to dampen other demonstrations rather than firing them up...At 5:30 p.m. – after Wall Street, already on the decline since the President’s invasion of Cambodia four days before, closed on its single worst day’s finish since the Kennedy assassination..."

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"The grand jury findings elicited revulsion in many ordinary citizens and a number of commentators. Again, some of the most succinct of those commentaries came from the editorial cartoonists. John Fischetti, in the Chicago Daily News, showed the grand jurors wearing dark glasses, standing beside four graves, reading their report:

“We find that the students did attack National Guard bullets with their bodies…” (from a distance of a hundred or more feet)

"Bill Mauldin’s, in the same city’s Sun-Times, had them pinning medals on the Guardsmen and reading the citations:

“For conspicuous gallantry in the face of four-letter words…” "

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The war on Terror, or rather the war OF terror, can be won/defeated, and it won't be by the Military, but by heart driven actions of John and Jane Doe, address: Planet Earth.

Edited by John Dolva
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