Course INTL 414 – The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy

Course INTL 414 – Intelligence & Assassination – The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy Power Point Presentation 

Main Points

  • Assassination happened around midnight at the Ambassador Hotel on 5th June, 1968
  • Turner, William W, and John G. Christian.
  • The victim was Robert F. Kennedy and the assassin was Sirhan Bishara Sirhan
  • Unlike Sirhan, Kennedy was sympathetic to the Zionist cause
  • Sirhan, on own motion, thought it was essential to kill Kennedy as he was markedly pro-Israel

The assassination happened around midnight at the Ambassador Hotel on 5th June, 1968, just a few minutes after Robert F. Kennedy had finished addressing his supporters in California at the hotel’s ballroom. He left the ballroom through the hotel’s kitchen passageway to address a press conference (Turner and Christian 1978, 9). The victim was Robert F. Kennedy and the assassin was Sirhan Bishara Sirhan (Turner and Christian 1978, 312). Kennedy was seeking the presidential ticket of the Democratic Party and was a keen supporter of Israel’s actions against Palestine and Zionism in general.  Unlike Sirhan, Kennedy was sympathetic to the Zionist  cause. Sirhan had marked feelings against Zionism (Turner and Christian 1978, 55).   Sirhan, independently, thought it was essential to kill Kennedy as he was markedly pro-Israel and possibly dissuade the US from supporting the Zionist cause.

Main Points

  • Sirhan was alone at location to assassinate
  • The execution of the assassination was systematic
  • Kennedy did not live to support Israel as president but the US has continued supporting Israel
  • Assassination attained tactical but not strategic objective

Sirhan did not act in concert with others with shared sentiments in assassinating Kennedy. The was no evidence that his motivation to kill Kennedy was externally persuaded. The execution of the assassination was systematic. Sirhan was so clinical in its planning that he managed to shoot Kennedy thrice (Turner and Christian 1978, 162). Kennedy did not live to support Israel as president but the US has continued supporting Israel. That means that the assassination attained its tactical aims but not its strategic objective.

The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy

  • Time: just after midnight
  • Location: The Ambassador Hotel located in Los Angeles
  • Date: 5th June, 1968

The assassination happened around midnight at the Ambassador Hotel on 5th June, 1968, just a few minutes after Robert F. Kennedy had finished addressing his supporters in California at the hotel’s ballroom. He left the ballroom through the hotel’s kitchen passageway to address a press conference. He was shot by Sirhan within the passageway (Turner and Christian 1978, 208).

Players

  • Victim: Robert F. Kennedy
  • Assassin: Sirhan Bishara Sirhan
  • The Assassination Sponsor:
  • Sirhan Bishara Sirhan was not sponsored to assassinate Kennedy

On the day he was shot by Sirhan, Robert F. Kennedy had just won a primary convincingly in California. He came off as a stronger contender for the US presidency. The others who were wounded by the assassin’s fire were Paul Schrade, William Weisel, Irwin Stroll, Ira Goldstein, and Elizabeth Evans (Turner and Christian 1978, 381). Then, Sirhan was 24. He is of a Palestinian extraction. Then, he had string feelings against Zionism (Chin 2002, 31). The assassination was Sirhan’s personal initiative, it was not sponsored.

Policy Issues

  • Beliefs of Kennedy
  • sympathetic to the Zionist cause
  • supported Israel against Palestine
  • Beliefs of Sirhan Bishara Sirhan
  • had strong anti-Zionist beliefs
  • supported Palestine in its struggle against Israel

Sirhan was averse to Kennedy’s support for the Israeli cause in Middle East. Sirhan had the delusion that Kennedy was keen sending tens of bombers to destroy Palestine and Palestinians in support of the cause.

Agenda

  • Sirhan assassinated Kennedy to end his support for Israel
  • strategic objective was to end the US’ support for Israel against Palestine
  • tactical objective was stop Kennedy from helping the Israeli cause as president

Sirhan was keen on ending Kennedy’s support for the Israeli cause in Middle East (Turner and Christian 1978, 15). As noted earlier, Sirhan had the delusion that Kennedy was keen sending tens of bombers to destroy Palestine and Palestinians in support of the cause. His overall strategic objective was stop the US from supporting Israel in its struggle against Palestine. His tactical, or operational, objective was to kill Kennedy.

Agenda

  • It was essential to kill Kennedy as he was markedly pro-Israel
  • The assassination was a personal action
  • Only approved the assassination
  • He approved the assassination as he thought it was in support of the Palestine cause

Sirhan thought it was essential to kill Kennedy to eliminate every possibility of him supporting Israeli and Zionism. He thought it was essential to kill him to keep Palestine free of American bombers. He planned and approved the assassination of Kennedy all alone over time. As noted earlier, his desire to keep Palestine free of American bombers motivated him to approve the assassination.

Setup

  • Location – Ambassador Hotel
  • There was a lone assassin, Sirhan
  • Anticipated problem – challenge is determining where Kennedy would pass
  • Rehearsals – Sirhan was at the scene on June 3 studying layout
  • Adequacy of Preparation –preparation was adequate since Sirhan shot Kennedy

Kennedy was assassinated with the Ambassador Hotel’s kitchen passageway where Sirhan had positioned himself strategically. He planned, approved, and executed the assassination of Kennedy all alone over time. During his rehearsal, he was worried that he would missed a vantage position in the area where Kennedy would have passed. He was not certain of the route the victim would have taken after exiting the ballroom. Sirhan rehearsed in readiness for the killing of Kennedy on June 3rd at the hotel. Clearly, his preparation was adequate since he managed three shots at the target

Execution

—Step 1- Kennedy addresses supporters at The Ambassador Hotel ballroom

—Step 2 –leaves the ballroom enters the kitchen passageway

—Step 3 –Sirhan fires at him, hitting him thrice

—Step 4 – Sirhan wrestled to ground and disarmed

—Step 5 – Kennedy taken to hospital and dies following day

The assassination happened around midnight at the Ambassador Hotel on 5th June, 1968, just a few minutes after Robert F. Kennedy had finished addressing his supporters in California at the hotel’s ballroom. He left the ballroom through the hotel’s kitchen passageway to address a press conference. He was shot thrice by Sirhan within the passageway. Sirhan shot him using a .22 caliber revolver. The others who were wounded by the assassin’s fire were Paul Schrade, William Weisel, Irwin Stroll, Ira Goldstein, and Elizabeth Evans. Sirhan was wrestled to the ground and disarmed  by Rosey Grier, Rafer Johnson, and George Plimpton. Kennedy was rushed to Central Receiving Hospital. He was then transferred to Good Samaritan Hospital where he passed on the following day.

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