The Kent State "Massacre" stands out as one of the most divisive events in American History.
On April 30th (1970), President Nixon announced on national television that a massive American-South Vietnamese troop offensive into Cambodia was in progress. "We take these actions," Nixon said, "not for the purpose of expanding the war into Cambodia, but for the purpose of ending the war in Vietnam, and winning the just peace we all desire." These were familiar words to a war-weary public. Some felt that this decision was essential for attaining a "just peace" and sustaining America's credibility in the world. Yet others, particularly students, believed that this action represented an escalation of the war and a return to ex-President Johnson's earlier hopes for a military victory. (source)
On May 1st Student Protests erupted at Kent State University:
At noon, about 500 students gathered around the Victory Bell on the Commons, the traditional site for rallies. A group of history students, who organized the protest, buried a copy of the Constitution, which they claimed had been murdered when the U.S. troops were sent into Cambodia without a declaration of war by Congress. Three hours later,Black United Students held a rally, which had been scheduled before Nixon had made his announcement. Some 400 people gathered to hear black students from Ohio State University talk about the recent disorders on their campus with the Ohio National Guard...(Ibid)
That night, in the nearby city of Kent, Ohio, riots broke out in the bar and commercial district.
"The upheaval that enveloped the northeastern Ohio campus actually began three days earlier, in downtown Kent. Stirred to action by President Nixon's expansion of U.S. military operations in Cambodia, a roving mob of earnest antiwar activists, hard-core radicals, curious students and others smashed 50 bank and store windows, looted a jewelry store and hurled bricks and bottles at police.
Four officers suffered injuries, and the mayor declared a civil emergency. Only tear gas dispersed the mob." (source)
This was a riot by any measure of the word. Even more sinister is the newly released evidence that it was a riot that was actually instigated by radicals that had infiltrated the Student Movement and wanted to provoke a violent confrontation with police.
"But the FBI's investigation swiftly uncovered reliable evidence that suggested otherwise. Among the strongest was a pre-dawn conversation — never before reported — between two unnamed men overheard inside a campus lounge later that night. Their discussion was witnessed by the girlfriend of a Kent State student and conveyed up the FBI chain of command 15 days later.
"We did it," one man exulted, according to the inquiry. "We got the riot started." (ibid)
On Saturday, May 2, the protestors turned their focus on the ROTC Building on the Kent State University Campus:
"Shortly after 8pm, about 300 people gathered on the Commons, where a few anti-war slogans were chanted and a few brief speeches given. . . The now 2,000 marchers swarmed down the hill, moved across the Commons, and surrounded the ROTC building, an old wooden World War II barracks that was scheduled to be demolished. Windows were broken, and a few persons eventually set the building on fire.
The firemen arrived on the scene but their actions were impeded as some of the crowd attacked the firemen and slashed the hoses. The firemen eventually gained control and the fire died out. The building was ignited again. This time, however, firemen arrived with massive police protection. Police surrounded the building and dispersed the students with tear gas. The firemen again got the fire under control. The crowd then moved to the front of the campus and was astonished to see units of the Ohio National Guard arriving on their campus.
The students then retreated to the Commons to find the ROTC building smoldering at both ends. Within minutes, the building was fully ablaze. The crowd then assembled on the wooded hillside beside the Commons and watched as the building burned. Many shouted anti-war and anti-ROTC slogans. In the first two weeks of May, thirty ROTC buildings would be burned nationwide. Armed with tear gas and drawn bayonets, the Guard pursued students--protesters and bystanders alike --- into dormitories and other campus buildings. Some stones were thrown and at least one student was bayoneted." (source)
The fact that there were three attempts to burn the ROTC building to the ground, along with the previous night's rampage, are conveniently under-reported by most history texts and the media. They would have us all believe that the National Guard showed up and started shooting at flower girls placing long-stemmed roses into their M1-garands. Again, recently released FBI documents point to an agent provacateur:
"The second man expressed disappointment at being excluded from the riot's planning. "Wait until tomorrow night," the leader replied excitedly. "We just got the word. We're going to burn the ROTC building."
This was 20 hours before the ROTC headquarters on the Kent State campus, an old wooden frame building, was, in fact, burned to the ground.
"What about the flare?" the second man asked before the leader spotted the coed listening to them and abruptly ended the conversation. Dozens of witnesses later told the FBI they saw a flare used to ignite the blaze."
Again it appears that Marxist organizers sympathetic to Hanoi and Beijing were behind the protests. Yet, it also appears that the FBI also the played the role of antagonist:
"According to recently released FBI reports, one part-time student, Terry Norman, was already noted by student protesters as an informant for both campus police and the Akron FBI branch. Norman was present during the May 4 protests, taking photographs to identify student leaders, while carrying a sidearm and wearing a gas mask.
In 1970, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover responded to questions from then-Congressman John Ashbrook by denying that Norman had ever worked for the FBI – a statement Norman himself disputed. On August 13, 1973, Indiana Senator Birch Bayh sent a memo to then-governor of Ohio John J. Gilligan suggesting that Norman may have fired the first shot, based on testimony he [Bayh] received from Guardsmen who claimed that a gunshot fired from the vicinity of the protesters instigated the Guard to open fire on the students." (source)
To further muddy the waters of what really happend that day, we have the recently released recording which states:
On May 1, 2007, various news agencies reported the claim of a former student who was injured in the shooting to have uncovered new evidence that the guardsmen had been ordered to fire upon the crowd. Terry Strubbe, a student who lived in a dormitory overlooking the anti-war rally site, placed a microphone at a windowsill and recorded nearly 30 minutes of the event on reel-to-reel tape. He sent a copy of the tape to the FBI and kept a copy in a safe deposit box. The government copy has been archived at Yale University. According to Alan Canfora, who was injured in the wrist that day by a gunshot, a voice can be heard on the tape yelling, "Right here! Get Set! Point! Fire!" before the 13-second volley of gunfire. Canfora said he has obtained a copy of that tape and that he plans to release it on CD. He wants the government to reopen the investigation. (ibid.)
So, what really happened in the first week of May in 1970? This is what we know:
1. Peaceful student protests turned into a riot in downtown Kent.
2. Another riot took place on Kent State University in which a publicly owned building was burned to the ground.
3. The National Guard was called in to subdue the rioters.
4. Someone started the shooting. We don't know who. That is the question that needs to be answered.
What we do know is that agent provocateurs were present. They inflamed the crowd to violence in the city of Kent. They inflamed the crowd to riot and burned the ROTC building down on campus. Why wouldn't they fire the first shot to trigger a massacre? In searching for the villain we need to take a closer look at who benefitted from the outcome.
That would be the Communist regimes in China and North Vietnam in case anyone was wondering. It sure as heck wasn't the National Guard, Nixon, Rhodes or the dead students.
Consider the words of Karl Marx: "Democracy is the road to socialism."
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