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Informed Sources

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Parent Issue
Day
31
Month
January
Year
1975
OCR Text

When Robert Kennedy was assassinated on June 5, 1968 at the Ambassador Hotel n Los Angeles, numbers of eyewitnesses saw Sirhan Sirhan firing a gun at the campaigning Senator. Case closed, right? But now, five and a half years later, evidence no longer seems so clear, and Sirhan's attorney, Godfrey Issac has f i.led for a new trial. The major questions arising from the case involve a contradicción between eyewitness testimony and a coroner's report, and discrepancies in ballistic evidence. At Sirhan's trial, coroner Dr. Thomas Noguchi testif ied that powder burns near Kennedy's ear indlcated the fatal bullet was f red within two or three inches of the Senator. However, the nearest any eyewitness report placed Sirhan was approximately two feet. In addition, conflicting testimony makes it uncertain whether Sirhan was even in a position to have fired a bullet which could hit Kennedy behind the right ear. All eyewitnesses agreed Sirhan was in front of Kennedy when the shooting began. The strongest evidence supporting a possible conspiracy involves the ballistic evidence. At least three experts who have re-examined the evidence found that a bullet which hit a bystander and the bullet which killed Kennedy are differently marked, indicating the bullets clid not come from the same gun. As only one .22 was taken from Sirhan, the possibility exists that someone else may have fired shots in the hotel on June 5. In a statement released last month tay Sirhan's attorney, Sirhan claimed the primary reason the case had not been reopened before this is his nability to remember what happened that night. Sii'han claims to have gone into a trance about a half hour before the shooting, and came out of it as the gun was being wrestled from his hands following the event. A series of mysteries have been dug up by assassination "freaks" surrounding the Kennedy slaying. For example, several eyewitnesses claimed to have seen Sirhan m the company of a woman in a polka dot dress. After the shooting, an elderly couple reponed to a pólice officer that a young couple, including a woman in a polka dot dress, were heard discussing how they had just shot Kennedy. This lead was never followed up, and did not appear in the official reports. A second story is the mysterious bodyguard accompanying Kennedy that night. Sirhan's attorney has named the guard, Thane Eugene Cesar, as a possible suspect in the new case. Cesar was also carrying a .22, and was known to resent the Kennedy's liberal views. Cesar was actually standing to the right of Kennedy during the shooting, the direction from which the fatal bullet came, and of course, was only inches away. 6 DEMS, 5 REPUBS TO PROBE CIA The Senate voted 82 4 last week to launch a new Watergate-type investigaron into the CIA, FBI and the entire intelligence community. The committee will be made up of 6 Democrats and 5 Republicans. Dems on the committee include Senator Gary Hart from Colorado, who managed McGovern's Presidential campaign in 1972, as well as Senator Philip Hart of Michigan, Robert Morgan of North Carolina, Frank Church, Idaho, Walter F. Móndale from Minn. and Walter Huddleston of Kentucky. The f ive Republican Senators are big guns in their own right; Goldwater from Arizona, John Tower of Texas, Howard Baker from Tenn., Charles Mathias of Md., and Richard Schweiker of Penn. The new committee will have a nine month mandate, broad subpoena powers and a S750,000 budget. After Gerald Ford's 180-degree turn on the economy last month, other administration officials seem to be taking the same tact. FBI Director Clarence Kelley did a turn about recently when he admitted that the FBI maintains files on the personal lives of congresspeople, including reports on their "loyalty, character and reputation." This revelation directly contradicts Kelley's previous statements as to the existence of FBI files on members of Congress. Rep. Kastenmeier, D-Wis. said Kelley lied to Congress in the past when asked if the files existed, calling it a cover-up "as insidious as Watergate." Meanwhile, the plot thickens. Jack Anderson revealed that even a committee of Congress is into the spying act by keeping files on fellow members of Congress. The Senate Internal Security Committee, like the former House on Un-American Activities Committee not only maintained folders on Capítol Hill figures but leaked juicy tidbits from the files to right wing publications. The victims were progressive or liberal legislators whom the staff didn't like. Julián Sourwine, chief counsel for the committee flatly denied such activities, but few people believe him. FOOD STAMPS AND EARL BUTZ The US Agriculture Department-which n December, announced plans to raise the price of food stamps for poor people, is building a new, posh, S1 50,000 dining room for Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz. The Department's Information Office says the new dining room will be "equal to our counterparts around town." The Agriculture Department hopes to charge consumers S645 million more for food stamps this year. The denominations in which food stamps are issued are going up too. Beginning in March the smallest denomination of food stamps will be the dollar coupon up from the current 50-cent coupon, the highest denomination will be the S10 stamp, up from the rent largest, the S5 stamp. Butz's plush, panelee) dining room wil I replace a 15 year old special dining facility in the basement of the Department's Washington headquarters. Choke. INDIAN LEGAL BATTLES GO TO STATE DEPT., UNITED NATIONS Out in Lincoln, Nebraska, Federal Judge Gerald Urbom has ruled that US treaties signed with Native American tribes are in effect, nuil and void. "The law is that Native American tribes do not have complete sovereignty, have no external sovereignty, and have only as much internal sovereignty as has not been relinquished by them by treaty or explicity taken by acts of the United States Congress", Urbom wrote in his opinión. The 97 Native American Tribes of the International Treaty Council vowed to take their case to the US State Department, international courts and the United Nations. Commentmg on the ruling, Jim Durham, spokesman for the International Indian Treaty Council, said, "It is absurd for American Indian people or any cplonized people to believe that they can obtain justice from their colonizers." BOYCOTT MOUNTS OFFENSIVE The United Farm Workers Union has launched a nationwide "Bottles Off the Shelves" boycott campaign aimed at forcing Ernest and Julio Gallo Wineries to give up the "sweetheart" contract it signed with the Teamsters Union n 1973 and return to a contract with the UFW. Already picket line activity has hit more than sixty cities across the US. In the f irst weekend of picketing in the SF Bay Area, six out of 50 stores picketed removed Gallo from their shelves. HEFNER CLAIMS HARASSMENT Bunny boss, Hugh Hefner, publisher of Playboy Magazine, sa victim of a pohtically motivated "witch hunt", or so he says. Hefner has been fending off charges that his LA and Chicago lairs are dens of dope and depravity. Federal investigators have been trying to bust the grand daddy playboy for use and trafficking in hard drugs. Recently Bobbie Arnstein, Hefner's personal secretary of 1 1 years committed suicide, because, according to the Playboy pub lisher, "an already troubled girl was pushed beyond her endurance." According to the scène painted by Hefner, Arnstein was given a 1 5 year sentence for conspiracy in a coke deal. The judge said he would "review" the stiff sentence if Bobbie cooperated with the prosecutors. "It's difficult to describe the inquisitional atmosphere of Bobbie Arnstein's trial and the related Playboy probe." Hefner said at a press conference in Chicago. "Cooperating with the prosecutor", in Hef ner's view meant fabricating charges of hard drug use against the publisher. Hefner denies traff icking or using hard drugs, claiming he is on somebody's "enemies list" because of the social philosophy of his magazine anci-its support for liberal causes, particularcontinued on page 20 Informed Sources .11 ly financial aid to marijuana legaiization movements, such as NORML. CHINA WRITES NEW CONSTITUTION The People's Republic of China has just concluded it's second constitutional congress in two decades and adopted a new constitution. Among the changes in the new document are the elimination of the national president and placing control of the army in the hands of the Communist Party through itschairperson. Also written into the new constitution is the right of workers to strike, freedom either to - believe or not believe in religión, equal rights for women "in all respects," the right to vote and holcl office at the age of 18, freedom of speech, press and asseibly, and the exemption from arrest "except by decisión of a people's court or with the sanction of a public security organ". The right to proceed along the capitalist road has been eliminated, though peasants and workers are allowed "to engage in individual labor involving no exploitation of others", and to farm small plots for their personal needs asJong as collective work is given top priority. The general population is encouraged to write critical big-character posters which criticize party and government leaders, and to speak out and write freely. Under socialist discipline, overthrowing of the government is forbidden, of course. ANGOLA TO BE INDEPENDENT IN NOVEMBER '75 Portugal renounced all claims to the last of its three African colonies when t signed an agreement with Angolan representatives on January 16 in Alvor, Portugal. The accord provides a basis for setting up a transitional government which will lead to the formal granting of independence on November 1 1, 1975. Represented n the negotiations with Portugal were the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, the National Front for the Liberation of Angola and Unita. The transitional government will give equal representation to the three groups, a presidential council will consist of a representative from each of the three liberation groups instead of a single prime minister. The transitional government is to guarantee the rights of the whites, only 440,000 out of 5'j million blacks. One half of the armed forces during the transitional period are to be Portuguese, the other half made up of liberation forces. The liberation of Angola is sure to put heat on the already beset regimes in South África and Rodesia, guerilla activity is expected to escatate rt those countries. All is not roses however. Secretary of State Kissinger talks peace out of one side of his mouth while he knashes his teeth on the other side. In a confidencial 1970 report Kissinger wrote, "America's largest interests in central África are to be fou'nd in Angola". Gulf OH, for instance, extracts 150,000 barrels of oil daily from Cabinda, a small enclave near Angola's northern border, and proposes to doublé that amount. ImperiaHsm also has interests in Angola's rich resources of diamonds, copper, iron, uranium and gold, as well as coffee and timber. Big money interests are reported to be jockeying for position during this period of transition. At least one of the liberation groups is at least partially financed and inf iltrated by the CIA. While Ford talks of i cutting government spending at home he asks Congress to increase war I spending abroad. The US already gives 300 miltion dollars a year to S. Vietnam, but Ford wants an emergency 700 million for SV to turn back the people's offensive. Meanwhile, two years after the stgning of the Paris Pèace Accords, the war goes on. The CIA has been caught red handed, up to ts neck in secret military operations. Richard Boyle, the reporter who broke the story of the mutiny of US troops at Firebase Pace on the Cambodian border in 1971, reports from Cambodia of blatant violations by US personnel of the 1972 Accords. Boyle, writing for Pacific News Service reports that he witnessed US Air Forcé Phantom jets flying cover for C-130 cargo planes during massive air drops of arms and ammunition to Lon Nol government troops in the besieged town of Kampot. Boyle was told that a Mr. Monsieur Jacques, a code name for the Cl A's chief of ground operations flew into Kampot n a CIA owned armored helicopter through heavy ground fire to direct ground operations for the battle. Monsieur Jacques is really Chuck Bernard, off icially an employee of the US embassy in Phnom Penh. He has acknowledged that he was the political and psychological warfare expert for the embassy, but denied he was a CIA operative or participates in ground operations. AMERICANS DEMÓNSTRATE IN SAIGON David Harris, who speaks for the Indochina Peace Campaign at Hill Auditorium on Friday, Jan. 31, was among ome of nme US citizens who demonstrated in the streets of Saigon last week for six and a half hours. Passing out leaflets and carrying signs, they were demanding an end to US involvement in Indochina. THE CIA IN CAMBODIA