Wednesday, May 2, 2012

San Francisco Examiner gets the RFK assassination - Nina Rhodes-Hughes story wrong

Jim Hagerty

An ill informed dufus, Jim Haggerty,  has muddied the waters, perhaps deliberately, on the story of RFK assassination witness Nina Rhodes-Hughes.  In a headline, "RFK assassin Sirhan Sirhan hopes to be freed based on new witness testimony," Haggerty makes many errors and claims that are easily contradicted if you know this case,  even if you've only been paying attention to what Nina Rhodes-Hughes said recently to CNN.

Haggerty is billed as the "media and culture examiner," apparently no reporters were available.

Haggerty inserts himself into the story implying he spoke to Sirhan and knows that Sirhan "hopes to be freed."

I don't think he spoke to Sirhan.

He also claims that Hughes wants Sirhan to be freed.  Hughes has not stated this.  In fact, she's said exactly the opposite to CNN.  Haggerty inserts Hughes into the notion of Sirhan being freed in mentioning "reports" from Tuesday, May 1st.  These "reports" he does not properly cite, name the originator of, nor elaborate on further.  Were these media reports, or reports coming from Sirhan's defense team, or were they coming from the judge in the case, or prosecutors? Or did Haggerty just pull them from his butt?

In quoting Hughes, Haggerty literally cuts her off in mid-sentence.  "There were more than eight shots."  That is the quote he should use.  Sirhan's gun held only eight bullets.  If there were more than eight shots fired then someone else was also shooting at Senator Robert Kennedy.  It's that simple in explaining a conspiracy.  Haggerty doesn't do that, instead he has this, "'There were more than eight shots and its interesting that you read whatever the FBI issued,' Rhodes-Hughes said." We are not allowed to know what the full sentence was that Hughes spoke to him. Where Rhodes-Hughes was going with that?  Well done, Mr. Haggerty.

Somehow Haggerty thinks that if the judge in the case believes Hughes story is credible then Sirhan could be released.  What a schmuck.  He is as ignorant of the law as he is of the basic facts in  this case.  In no way would Sirhan be released based simply on whether or not a judge thinks Rhodes-Hughes story is credible.

Haggerty then does what I expect all lazy media morons will do, he cites an FBI report to say that Hughes said one thing back then, and now is saying something new,  "According to an FBI report Hughes testified that Sirhan Sirhan was the lone gunman, standing to her left.  She now says there was also a shooter to her right."

If he read the CNN report, or even better William Klaber & Phil Melanson's book "Shadowplay," he would know that Hughes denounced the FBI report as not accurately reflecting what she said.

It cannot be overemphasized that the LAPD Summary Report on the RFK assassination was not released until 1986 and the investigation files were not made public until 1988. Klaber & Melanson wrote, "Thus no witness was in a position to know whether his [or her] statements had been accurately represented in the interview summaries or the Summary Report.  Also, no witness, and no one else, were in a position to know exactly how many others had seen another man with a gun or Sirhan with possible accomplices. " (Shadowplay p. 134.)

Hughes was not shown her 1968 FBI report until 1992.  Nina Rhodes Hughes took issue with at least fifteen items in that one report.  FIFTEEN!

Haggerty then moves on to encapsulate in one paragraph that Sirhan's lawyers never challenged his guilt or that Sirhan alone killed Senator Robert Francis Kennedy.  Books have been written about this case.  Haggerty should read some.  It would take a book to correct the lies by omission told in his one sentence paragraph.

Haggerty then decides to speculate that if there was a conspiracy, maybe it involved the CIA, which would mean Sirhan worked for the CIA.  "To say the CIA was involved in killing Robert F Kennedy would likely include the claim that Sirhan Sirhan was working for the agency.  After all there's little doubt Sirhan was involved."

Umm, no.  No one has ever posited the notion that Sirhan knowingly worked for the CIA, until Haggerty.  What Haggerty cannot fathom is that the CIA as an agency, or individuals from, or rogue elements of, or former CIA employees, can control and manipulate people into doing things without any direct contact just as any skilled manipulator can.  Any fairly decent soap opera shows how easily this can be done.  Sherlock Holmes, Dick Tracy, Batman, or any decent detective show has shown again and again how intermediaries are used to create a protective barrier and a chain of command between the master criminal and the person who actually commits the crime.

Ironically, Haggerty then writes about how Sirhan was easily influenced.

I, for one, do not believe that Sirhan Sirhan ever knowingly worked for the CIA.

Haggerty even gets the basics of the shooting wrong.  Sirhan did not work his way towards RFK.  RFK was coming through the kitchen pantry towards where Sirhan already was.  Sirhan was in front of RFK, several feet in front of Kennedy when he started shooting.  But, people were on him like white on rice after the first shot.  Sirhan did empty his revolver.  But, none of his shots hit RFK.  RFK was shot from behind.

The bullet paths were fired from a gun in a downward position shooting up, down to up, back to front and right to left.  RFK's assassin was behind him and slightly to the right of him.

Haggerty muddies the waters when he writes that Sirhan began the shooting, "from the front of Kennedy."  That should say IN FRONT of Kennedy.

Haggerty could have written that the fatal shot hit RFK in the back of his head near his right ear.   Instead Haggerty merely writes, "The fatal bullet hit RFK in the head from close range." Well, really, why be accurate?

Haggerty again, incorrectly states that "After shooting a total of six people [then] Sirhan was wrestled to the floor." No.  People didn't just stare at Sirhan waiting for him to finish firing.  They were on him from the moment of the first shot.  He was nearly bent in half on top of a steam table, his outstretched hand still holding the gun and firing.  I never heard of Sirhan being wrestled to the ground.  Haggerty is so lazy he doesn't even bother to try to understand the layout of the kitchen pantry.

We will have to stay on top of this and respond rapidly.  This case may produce something positive, or it may blow up in our faces like the Ray case did.  If this judge goes on a vacation at a critical time when parties involved are awaiting a decision what happened to Judge Joe Brown could happen here.

I imagine Wexler and Hancock are busy on a book trying to tell us that The People's Front of Judea were really behind it.

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