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Freed Before Church Committee: The SLA-CIA Connection

Freed Before Church Committee: The SLA-CIA Connection image
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Donald Freed, author of the film Executive Action, and currently working with the Campaign for Democratic Freedoms on investigations of the deaths of John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, is scheduled to testify February 3 before the Church Committee on CIA links to the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), the famed kidnappers of Patty Hearst.

Freed was one of three West Coast investigators whose research on the SLA helped provide extensive documentation of the so-called "liberation army's" creation and development by various government agencies- including the CIA, the FBI, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the California Department of Corrections. Dick Russell's special report on this complex and shocking scenario, "Who Ran the S.L.A.?", appeared in the January 22 SUN.

Freed, contacted in Los Angeles, told the SUN he was prepared to reveal to the Church Committee the work of known CIA agent Colston Westbrook with the California prison groups that helped engender the SLA, as well as the identity of a suspected Southern California CIA agent provocateur who allegedly supplied the "liberation army" with weapons, money, and plans for future terrorist operations. Freed says this agent has been active in prison reform, black liberation, American Indian, and Chicano liberation groups on the West Coast.

Freed will also offer testimony concerning alleged FBI involvement in the New Haven murder which led to the indictment and unsuccessful prosecution of Black Panther Party leaders Bobby Seale and Ericka Huggins.

Russell's SUN article revealed that SLA leader Donald "Cinque" DeFreeze was an experienced pólice informer and provocateur who often represented himself as a Panther member.

DeFreeze, according to the SUN article, was allowed to operate freely for several years despite a long series of felony convictions across the country. According to sworn affidavits from fellow inmates, DeFreeze was permitted private prison visits with Patty Hearst and other future SLA "soldiers," where he discussed plans for kidnapping Patty's two younger sisters.

Finally, according to the SUN account, DeFreeze and others were allowed to escape from prison and recruit SLA members for the organization's terror campaign. After the kidnapping of Patty Hearst, DeFreeze apparently broke away from his "control" and was marked for death.

(For those who missed the SUN's special report on the SLA, copies are still available by sending 25 cents to the SUN, P.O. Box 7217, Detroit, MI 48202.)