By Rady Ananda
“On May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard opened fire into a busy college campus during a school day. A total of 67 shots were fired in 13 seconds. Four students: (L to R) Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, William Schroeder, and Sandra Scheuer were killed. Nine students were wounded.” Kent May 4 Center
Their crime? Protesting the illegal Viet Nam war and President Nixon’s decision to invade Cambodia. The CIA needed product, after all. And that’s where the heroin was.
In this 2007 interview, one of the wounded, Alan Canforah, describes the events of that day, playing the audio tape that captured the order to shoot unarmed civilians:
This horrendous opening to the new decade followed the political assassinations of the 1960s — a clear message from elites that they would use all means necessary to maintain control.
Yesterday, the Columbus Free Press wrote:
“In the first issue of the Free Press, the October 11, 1970 issue, a Free Press opinion …. went on to point out the obvious facts: ‘…a film of the shootings shown on a northern Ohio TV station on the night of May 4th shows the guardsmen retreating up the slope, then turning, kneeling, firing a volley, and rising to fire a few more scattered shots before regrouping and going over the hill. Panic may have aided in the shootings, but it was not the cause. THE GUARDSMEN FIRED ON ORDER, and the men who gave the order and the others who carried it out are free.’
“Of course, the same could be said of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who waged an illegal war against the people of Iraq and murdered over a million civilians, yet still walk free. And the war endures under President Obama. The Kent State precedent of letting known murderers move among us set the stage for the smiley-face pro-torture policies of the Bush years….
“When [Governor] Jim Rhodes died, the Free Press made a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from his FBI file. Here we learned the dirty truth of Rhodes’ ties to the mob and the FBI’s use of that information, some would call it blackmail, to win concessions from the governor. As the Free Press wrote in 2003, a January 14, 1963 memo noted that: “He [Rhodes] is completely controlled by an SAC [Special Agent in Charge] contact, and we have full assurances that everything we need will be made available promptly. Our experience proves this assertion.”
“The FOIA file revealed that the SAC contact was none other than Robert H. Wolfe, publisher of the Columbus Dispatch. Dispatch reporter Bob Ruth had earlier disclosed to the Free Press that Rhodes had run a gambling operation in the OSU campus area….
“The FBI would cut the corrupt numbers man Rhodes all the slack he needed because: ‘He is a friend of law enforcement and believes in honest, hard-hitting law enforcement. He respects and admires [the] FBI.’
“In 2007, the Free Press decried “The lethal media silence on Kent State’s smoking guns” in an article I co-wrote with Harvey Wasserman. When tape-recorded evidence surfaced 37 years after the fact proving the original Free Press editorial to be correct, the mainstream for-profit corporate media, including the Dispatch, ignored it.
“Rhodes’ good friends in the FBI had in their possession a tape that documented that the guardsmen were ordered to fire. Prior to the shootings, Terry Strubbe, a Kent State student had hung a microphone out of his dorm window and captured 20 seconds of sound, including the gunfire. In an amplified version of the tape, a Guard officer is heard shouting: ‘Right here! Get set! Point! Fire!’
“Those, like the Free Press, who argued that there was an order to shoot the students were dismissed per standard mainstream media protocol as ‘conspiracy theorists….’
“Four remain dead in Ohio and justice remains unserved.”
In Analysis of 40-year-old tape may reveal whether Ohio Guardsmen were ordered to fire on Kent State protesters, Plain Dealer writer John Mangles reports:
“The chilling 30-minute tape is the only known audio that captured sounds before the shootings, the 13-second fusillade and its chaotic aftermath….
“Acoustic technology has advanced considerably in the 36 years since the recording was previously examined.
“During that time, Strubbe has kept the tape in a climate-controlled bank vault. ‘He knew it was an historical document and was important,’ said his friend Joe Bendo. ‘He could have sold it. He wanted to make sure it was used in a factual and appropriate way.’
“Bendo, an Akron psychologist and sometime-TV commercial and music producer, is collaborating with Strubbe to have the tape analyzed.
“They have commissioned a Los Angeles film archivist to convert its contents to a digital format, and to reduce background noise. Acoustic forensics experts then will try to determine if a firing order is audible. Bendo said he and Strubbe hope to produce a documentary later this year that will reveal the findings.”
It’s not likely that anyone will ever be prosecuted for the murder of unarmed civilians, given the illegal invasions conducted today by the US government, given the criminal use of torture by those in authority, and given President Obama’s approval that US citizens may be assassinated by the CIA, abbrogating the Rule of Law and our protections under the US Constitution.
Meanwhile, the people remember: