By Gordon Thomas
Copyright Globe-Intel Report
September 4, 2002
California’ Supreme Court is considering ordering a new trial into one of the most sensational crimes in America – the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy, brother of the murdered President, John F Kennedy. The Court has been given explosive new testimony that Robert Kennedy’s assassin, Palestinian-born Sirhan Sirhan, was “programmed through hypnosis and brainwashed to carry out the crime”.
A new trial will seriously embarrass both the CIA and FBI – under increasing fire for the cover-up of their failure in last September’s terror attacks. The most likely date for the trial would fall during President Bush’s run-up to re-election.
His own father was Congressman during the murder of Robert Kennedy and later became CIA director. Its files on the assassination have never been made public.
Sirhan’s attorney, Lawrence Teeter, a respected Civil Rights lawyer, has spent eight years gathering evidence which he described last week, “virtually proves that powerful branches of US government were behind the murder”.
In an exclusive interview at his office on fashionable Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, Teeter said: “When a powerful branch of government commits such a murder it only makes sense if top people are involved. In the case of the programming of Sirhan those involved, either directly or indirectly, are the Los Angeles police department, the FBI and the CIA together with the Pentagon.
“There were good reasons for them to have wanted Robert Kennedy eliminated. He wanted to end the Vietnam war. He wanted to get to the bottom of his brother’s assassination. He wanted to break the power of the Teamsters Union. He wanted to end the wild adventurism of the CIA”, said Teeter.
That “adventurism” included the notorious MK-ULTRA programme – designed by the CIA to see if it was feasible to use drugs and hypnosis to create a “programmed assassin”.
Among the doctors secretly involved in the work was Dr Louis West, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California in Los Angeles and director of its Neuropsychiatric Institute. West’s work for the CIA included using hypnosis to try and programme minds. But his case files were shredded in the wake of Robert Kennedy’s murder on June 5, 1968. Kennedy was in Los Angeles to gather votes for his nomination as the Democratic Candidate for President when he was killed.
West died earlier this year before Teeter could question him. “That is very convenient for those who are trying to block the truth emerging”, Teeter said.
While some 50,000 documents relating to the murder of Robert Kennedy are now stored in an archive at the University of Massachusetts, they do not contain still-closed FBI files. A number of documents were also destroyed after the investigation by the Los Angeles police.
Lawrence Teeter revealed that, when Sirhan was a jockey in 1966, he received a head injury while riding. It happened two years before he assassinated Robert Kennedy. “As a result he may have become one of the most deeply hypnotisable people in the world. It will be part of our case at a new trial that the CIA discovered this when Sirhan was in hospital. We will show that from that point on, he went into the CIA assassination programme. Part of that programme was to ensure that Sirhan would have no recall of how he had been programmed and by whom”.
Support for this theory has come from a key medical expert Teeter intends to call. He is Dr Herbert Spiegal, a New York psychiatrist who teaches at Columbia University. He is regarded as one of America’s leading experts on hypnosis.
In an affidavit to the Supreme Court, Dr Spiegal writes: “Sirhan, being an outstanding hypnotic subject, was probably programmed through hypnosis to shoot Senator Kennedy and to experience a genuine amnesia of the shooting”.
In other documents, Teeter describes what he calls an “assassination network”.
He said last week: “Sirhan said at the trial he “thought” he acted alone. But what Sirhan thought is not important at all when an assassin network was in place.
“When I visit Sirhan in prison, he cannot remember the assassination at all. It is as if a segment of his memory was entirely erased. The last thing he remembers before the shooting is having coffee with a woman”.
That woman – known as “The Lady In The Polka Dot Dress” at Sirhan’s trial – was seen by a number of eye-witnesses to the murder of Robert Kennedy shortly after midnight in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Several people said they saw the woman – “young and beautiful” according to one witness – standing close to Sirhan moments before he shot Kennedy. Then she ran from the hotel. The police and FBI never found her.
Samuel Dash, professor of Law at Georgetown University said that a new trial of Sirhan would have to examine “why the police were so convinced Sirhan acted alone that they were willing to ignore other evidence”. Sirhan is currently held in the high security wing of the California state prison at Corcoran. His cell adjoins that of murderer, Charles Manson.
Now in his mid-fifties, his hair greying, Sirhan spends his day in a fitness regime – ready for the day he hopes he will be driven through the desert to appear before the Supreme Court.