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Is "Nemesis" A Black Book?
by Lisa Pease

(Rebuttal To: Was Robert Kennedy Killed By A Real
'Manchurian Candidate' Style Assassin?)

Was Robert Kennedy Killed By A Real 'Manchurian Candidate' Style Assassin?

A new book claims to reveal evidence that the CIA,
FBI and Aristotle Onassis hypnotised
a Palestinian man into assassinating Robert Kennedy.

by John Hiscock, January 18, 2005

It happened nearly 38 years ago, but doubts and suspicions have lingered on. Now the circumstances surrounding the assassination of Robert Kennedy are being resurrected and re-examined in an attempt to establish the truth of what happened that night in the cramped pantry of a Los Angeles hotel.

New evidence has emerged and pressure is mounting on authorities to reopen the case of Sirhan Sirhan, who was convicted of the assassination and who remains in the California state prison in Corcoran.

Celebrities and journalists are joining the campaign for a federal investigation, which has been sparked in part by a new book, Nemesis, by the British author Peter Evans. Evans, who spent 10 years researching the book, has unearthed evidence to support Sirhan's contention that he was hypnotised into being the "fall guy" for the murder. Evans identifies the hypnotist, who had worked on CIA mind control programmes and who was later found dead in mysterious circumstances.

In another move to reopen the case, a lawsuit has been filed in Los Angeles Superior Court to stop the pantry at the Ambassador Hotel being destroyed with the rest of the hotel because, it is claimed, bullet holes in the walls and ceiling demonstrate conclusively that more than one gunman fired shots at Senator Kennedy.

Both Evans and Sirhan's lawyer, Larry Teeter, are convinced that the Palestinian activist was chosen to be a Manchurian Candidate-style assassin. In the 1962 film, remade last year, and based on a novel by Richard Condon, a former prisoner of war from the Korean conflict is brainwashed by Communists into becoming a political assassin.

Evans and Teeter believe that while Sirhan fired several shots, none of them hit Kennedy. The assassination, they say, was carried out by a professional hitman who fled immediately, leaving Sirhan to take the blame.

It was only because Kennedy had dismissed his Los Angeles police bodyguards that Sirhan survived and was not gunned down on the spot as his controllers had intended, reports Evans.

The actor Robert Vaughn, who starred in the long-running television series The Man From U.N.C.L.E and who was a good friend of Robert Kennedy's, has sent a copy of Evans' book to Sirhan and his lawyers. In his letter to Sirhan, Vaughn wrote: "It contains important new information about your case that I believe substantiates your claims of having been hypnotised at the time of the shooting and also produces the first credible evidence of motivation and method. I can tell you that, like me, important people in the US media are persuaded by Mr Evans' revelations; some are talking of it opening the door to a long overdue federal investigation into the assassination. I also believe that it could give you the grounds for a new appeal."

The author Dominick Dunne, in his Vanity Fair column last month, described Nemesis as presenting "a startling revision of American history".

Robert Kennedy was the senator for New York, the head of the Kennedy clan and, according to Evans, the occasional lover of his sister-in-law, Jackie Kennedy, when his snowballing presidential campaign rolled into California. He triumphed in the California primary, and around midnight on 5 June 1968 in the Embassy Room of the Ambassador Hotel he thanked his supporters. Then, surrounded by aides, hotel employees and newsmen, with his wife, Ethel, a few yards behind and with the cheers still ringing in his ears, he left for a press conference in the Colonial Room on the other side of the hotel.

The route they took, from the stage to an anteroom and into the service corridors, led them through a narrow serving-kitchen known as the pantry. As the senator approached, a dark, slim young man stepped from behind a tray rack. He raised a .22 calibre revolver and squeezed the trigger. The gunman continued firing, wounding five other people as Kennedy aides and hotel employees wrestled him down on to a table for steaming food, where he was held until police arrived.

On 17 April 1969, after 64 sequestered days and nights, and 16 and a half hours of deliberation, the jury of seven men and five women found Sirhan "alone and not in concert with anyone else" guilty of murder in the first degree. He was sentenced to death in the gas chamber, but the sentence was reduced to life imprisonment when the United States Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional.

Those facts are not in dispute. Nearly everything else is.

"There was no way Sirhan Sirhan killed Kennedy," says Teeter, who has filed the lawsuit to preserve the pantry for further forensic examination. "He was the fall guy. His job was to get busted while the trigger man walked out. He wasn't consciously involved in any plot. He was a patsy. He was unconscious and unaware of what was happening - he was the true Manchurian Candidate.

"He is absolutely innocent. He is not the person who did the shooting. He was out of position and out of range and he couldn't have done it."

Teeter does not know for certain who hypnotised Sirhan, but, he said: "I know it was done. It was consistent with the US government's programme developed by the CIA and Military Intelligence to enable handlers to get people to commit crimes with no knowledge of what they are doing."

Evans goes further and names the hypnotist as a Dr William Joseph Bryan Jnr. He had worked on a CIA mind-control programme called MKULTRA and claimed to have moonlighted as a technical adviser on The Manchurian Candidate. The hypnosis, says Evans, had been done over three months, a period known as the "white fog" when the Los Angeles police task force later investigating the assassination - and trying to construct a meticulous timetable of Sirhan's activities up to the shooting - lost track of him.

Sergeant Bill Jordan, the detective who was Sirhan's first interrogator, told Evans: "We took him back for more than a year with some intensity - where he'd been, what he'd been doing, who he'd been seeing. But there was this 10- or 12-week gap, like a blanket of white fog we could never penetrate, and which Sirhan himself appeared to have a complete amnesia about."

Dr Bryan was found dead in a Las Vegas hotel room in 1978. He had either shot himself or was murdered. The case remains unsolved.

Evans agrees that Sirhan could not have killed Kennedy. "He got off a lot of shots and the panic in the pantry that night was extraordinary. But the angle of the bullet holes are against Sirhan having pulled the trigger," he said. "Sirhan Sirhan was very volatile, very visible and the perfect patsy.

"Unfortunately, some of the physical evidence was destroyed almost immediately because the Los Angeles police department burned the doors to the pantry, which was an extraordinary thing to do."

The recollections of a waiter at the Ambassador at the time add weight to the theories that Sirhan was not the assassin. Phil Elwell, who owns the popular King's Head pub and restaurant in Santa Monica, recalls that his friend and fellow waiter Carl Ucker was in the pantry that night and grabbed Sirhan's gun hand. "He was holding Sirhan Sirhan's wrist, and although Sirhan was firing the gun, Carl said that there was no way that any of the bullets could have hit Kennedy," said Elwell. "Carl told the police this and went on a lot of talk shows saying the same thing, but nobody seemed to take much notice."

Where Evans and Teeter differ is on the question of motive, and there they are at loggerheads.

"The assassination was staged by US intelligence for the purpose of continuing the war against Vietnam and putting the Republican Party in the White House," said Teeter. "The assassination was arranged with the CIA, the FBI and the LAPD. There was a massive cover-up. If he had lived and been allowed to run, Bobby Kennedy would have been elected president and this was a multi-agency task force to make sure that the Democrats didn't take the White House again."

In Nemesis, Evans gives a totally different motive. He has unearthed startling evidence that the assassination was carried out by a Palestinian terrorist named Mahmoud Hamshari.

Evans quotes sources as saying that Hamshari was receiving protection money from Aristotle Onassis to prevent attacks on his Olympic Airlines. Onassis, says Evans, had hated Bobby Kennedy since 1953, when Kennedy was one of the prime movers in scuppering a major deal Onassis was pushing through in Saudi Arabia. In addition, Kennedy stood in the way of his marriage to Jackie. She had promised her brother-in-law not to wed Onassis until after the 1968 election because they both knew how the American public would have reacted. She married Onassis in October 1968.

Dr Bryan was chosen to hypnotise Sirhan because he had links to both Hamshari and Onassis. Hamshari had visited him seeking a cure for migraine headaches, while Onassis had called on the doctor in an attempt to cure his sexual dysfunction, says Evans. It was Onassis's money, says Evans, that financed both the hypnotism of Sirhan and the assassination.

He says that Onassis confessed his complicity in the assassination to one of his lovers, Helen Gaillet De Neergaard, when she was his guest on his private island, Skorpios, in 1974. She confirms this in a letter to Vanity Fair, published in the February issue. "Thank God the truth has finally been told for posterity," she writes.

Teeter scoffs at Evans' research and describes the book as "a soap opera". Said Evans: "I can see Mr Teeter's nervousness about my book because I have shown that Sirhan Sirhan was there, he had a gun and he pulled the trigger. My book is about the conspiracy to murder Bobby Kennedy and it is putting a lot of pressure on authorities to reopen the case. The point of the assassination is not who fired the gun, but who paid for the bullets. Aristotle Onassis paid for the bullets."

The 84-year-old, 500-room Ambassador Hotel, which was the site of six Academy Awards ceremonies and where many celebrities, including the aviator and movie producer Howard Hughes, had permanent suites, was never the same after the assassination. Many believe it died with Robert Kennedy. It became more run down year by year, closing floor by floor until it finally shut its doors to the public on 3 January 1989. Its contents were auctioned off in the 1990s and it now stands empty and derelict behind a chain-link fence on Wilshire Boulevard.

Los Angeles officials want to tear it down and build three schools on the site, while the Los Angeles Conservancy is fighting to save the hotel because of its architectural value and historic significance.

The Kennedy family has argued forcefully against saving the hotel, saying that new schools would make the most fitting memorial to Bobby's life.

The pantry remains in the bowels of the building, a decaying space with bullet holes in the wall and ceiling. An ice machine still drips. Pending the outcome of Teeter's lawsuit, a panel of historians will be appointed to consider if the room ought to be sliced out and shipped whole to another site, preserved as it is, or destroyed along with the hotel.


Is "Nemesis" A Black Book?

Since this article was forwarded to me as
“new evidence in the RFK assassination,”
I feel compelled to speak.

by Lisa Pease, January 18, 2005

I beg forgiveness in advance. I would love to lay out the evidence in scholarly detail to support all I want to say in great detail, and might yet at some future date. But frankly, the ridiculously absurd, ill-supported theory in Peter Evans’ book Nemesis doesn’t deserve it.

I had only to hear the premise to know something was amiss. Onassis had ordered Bobby Kennedy killed? I burst out laughing the first time this was proposed to me, several years ago, by a lawyer in Indiana who claimed “secret knowledge” that Onassis was behind RFK’s assassination. (His scenario, however, was very different from the one put forth in Evans’ book.) When I laughed at this, he got angry and actually threatened me, saying “the Mob will get you” — words to that effect. You heard me right. The Mob. So why would “the Mob” want to “get me” if I didn’t believe some wildass story about Onassis having killed RFK?

I never believed for a second that the people who would “get” me, if anyone, would be from the Mob. But I did believe I was witnessing the birth of a new disinformation campaign, and mentioned it to a few people at the time. Someone was trying to pin the RFK case on Ari Onassis. Now I know who that “someone” is.

You see, the funny thing about this is that the attack laid out in Nemesis, that Onassis ordered the killing of Bobby Kennedy, parallels an earlier CIA disinformation campaign against Onassis.

In 1954, the CIA hired Robert Maheu, whom it would later hire to design Castro assassination plots, to perform a character assassination plot against Ari Onassis. Why? Because Onassis controlled the shipping of Arabian oil, an extremely lucrative market. The CIA was upset because both money and valuable intelligence were being lost to Onassis. According to the CIA’s Inspector General Report on Plots to Assassinate Castro:

“In the 1954-55 time period Maheu was hired by the Greek shipping magnate, Niarchos, to help in a financial tussle Niarchos was having with another Greek shipping figure, Onassis, who had managed to negotiate a pact with King Saud under which Onassis would control 90% of all Saudi Arabian oil shipments. British, American, and German shipping interests opposed Onassis' near monopoly, and the US and UK governments supported Niarchos in his fight to have the agreement canceled. Maheu is believed to have worked at top levels in both the British and American governments, reportedly meeting at least once with Vice President Nixon. Maheu's operations were financed by Niarchos, but CIA became involved in supporting them by request of the Department of State. Agency communications and pouch facilities were made available to Maheu, and he was given help in developing a black propaganda campaign against Onassis. Niarchos, with Maheu's help, won his scrap with Onassis.”

Would it surprise you to learn, then, that this same Robert Maheu was a chief source for author Peter Evans? Would it surprise you to learn that Evans’ other sources included CIA mastermind and Dulles/Helms/Angleton confidante Miles Copeland, as well as the CIA’s best man in Greece, Alfred Ulmer? Evans thanks these three for giving him the introductions and leads to the others in the story.

So what is Evans’ evidence that Onassis ordered Bobby killed? Granted, I’m skimming - but as best I can make it out, a woman said Ari told her he paid to have Bobby killed. THAT’S IT! I’m not kidding!! And 1) we have no way to know if the woman is telling the truth, and 2) even if she has been honest, we have no way of knowing whether she might have misinterpreted what Onassis said. Maybe he made the comment as a joke. We don’t have enough context to accurately assess the seriousness of this comment, if it was even made.

In addition, Evans tries to link Ari to an Arab terrorist who once made a comment about killing an American official. Evans takes the words of a couple of people and strings together incidents that could have had any number of other explanations and that’s his evidence. He makes a big deal of the fact that this terrorist visited William Bryan, the doctor who probably hypnotized Sirhan. But that’s his evidence - the comment and the visit - that this man was directly involved in the assassination plot. Again, I’m not kidding!

Most of his introductions for the sources in the book came, according to Evans’ own acknowledgements, from either proven CIA sources (Maheu, Copeland, and Ulmer) or likely CIA sources such as his much-touted Yannis Georgakis, the prominent Greek man who was the actual instigator for this book. See, Evans had already written a biography of Ari Onassis. Guess what? None of this stuff came up! It took Georgakis to instill curiosity by promising “the rest of the story.” Georgakis was a stellar student in Greece during the years prior to WWII - admitted to law school at the age of 15 and graduating at the age of 20. He studied in Germany where he obtained a doctorate in criminal law, and then returned to Greece at the start of WWII. The CIA was heavily ensconced in Greek politics by the end of WWII as Greece was seen as one of the holdouts keeping the Iron Curtain at bay. It’s not stretching to imagine that such a talented, high-profile individual would be a top recruitment target for the Agency.

Evans’ book simply lays out a theory, and an ill-documented, ill-supported one at that. So just for fun, let’s compare that to my theory.

I propose that the CIA killed Bobby. I propose that they did this because he was pursuing their involvement in the killing of his brother. I propose they knew they would be toast if Bobby ascended to the office of the President. I believe they used Maheu to do this.

I believe that Maheu, concerned perhaps by the growing interest in the RFK assassination, has been looking for an alternate patsy and pulled out his old playbook the CIA gave him and ran it one last time against his archnemesis Onassis.

And let’s look at my evidence.

Maheu had been the CIA’s point man planning the Castro assassination plots. Maheu was directly implicated by Hoover, if John Meier, who talked to Hoover personally, is to be believed. Hoover told Meier, so Meier told me, that “We know this [the Robert Kennedy assassination] was a Maheu operation. But I’m powerless against the CIA” - a comment made believable by the fact that James Angleton had a photo of Hoover with his gay lover Clyde Tolson in a compromising position, and Angleton had provably used that photo to force Hoover’s hand in the case of that other Kennedy assassination, that of President John Kennedy. (See my Angleton articles in The Assassinations for that story.)

After the assassination of RFK, Maheu, for Howard Hughes, hired the cream of the crop of the Kennedy operatives so they would be on his payroll. That’s a nice thing to do - give a job to the folks who might otherwise be interested in finding out what your involvement might have been. It’s always hard to bite the hand that feeds, as any mainstream journalist knows.

Maheu had strong ties to the LAPD, the agency most responsible for the cover-up of the facts proving conspiracy in the assassination of RFK. Maheu had even helped produce a porno film with members of the LAPD to discredit the CIA target and Indonesian leader Sukarno.

Johnny Roselli, Maheu’s close associate, the man who trained Maheu’s would-be assassins for the Castro plots, was involved in a scandal that compromised Grant Cooper, the lawyer who would soon represent Sirhan Sirhan. Cooper was facing losing his license to practice law because some Grand Jury transcripts, stolen by Roselli, ended up on his desk in court. (Cooper was representing an associate of Roselli’s when both were on trial in the Friar’s Club card cheating scandal). Cooper miraculously, amid his own troubles, volunteers to help Sirhan, and equally miraculously, his charges are reduced, payable by a small fine.

I believe Maheu had Roselli compromise Cooper so that Sirhan’s case would never be more than a show trial. It worked. When the LAPD admittedly could not prove the bullets they had in evidence actually came from Sirhan’s gun, Cooper told the Judge in chambers, that’s okay - I’ll stipulate to wherever the cops say the bullets came from. I believe Cooper did this to protect some deal he had made re the sinking of Sirhan’s defense. I mean, what lawyer has his client read from his notebook, “RFK must die, RFK must die” as Cooper had Sirhan do on the stand? Not a lawyer who was trying to help his client. At least, that’s my theory.

See, the thing with my theory is, it’s based primarily on a well-documented record. Not simple assertions by players you’ve never met. Not by statements from spooks told in whispers in dark restaurants. Actual documents. LAPD investigative files. Court records. Stuff like that.

Now you can take your pick. Or make up a theory of your own! Heck, anyone can play this game. But given a choice, I’d rather follow a trail of documentable evidence, rather than a trail laid out by people who lie for a living.

Maybe that’s just me. But I hope not.

I hope that’s you, too.


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