UN To Decide If J Edgar Hoover Killed the Kids at Kent State
Gwen Ifell and Oliver Stone are at Kent State this weekend to commemorate the May 4, 1970 shootings at the university which claimed 4 lives and wounded 9 others. The celebrities will share their thoughts on what happened 43 years ago as the university dedicates it's new May 4 visitor center. Among the visitors dropping by to hear them speak and scrutinize the new center is Laurel Krause, sister of Allison Krause, the 19 year old freshman honor student, who was killed that day by members of the Ohio National Guard. The soldiers shot her where she stood - 343 feet from away from them - on the campus lawn.
What was the climate like the day Allison and the others were shot?
Well aside from the fact that it was the first beautiful day after weeks of rain, the political climate was anything but clearing. Just 4 days earlier President Richard Nixon announced the U.S. invasion of Cambodia. He struggled to justify his decision to further escalate the conflict in south east Asia even as he worked to conceal the fact that he had authorized the illegal bombing of Cambodia for more than a year.
Domestically the clouds were gathering as well. Two years and one month earlier Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated after turning his attention on the evils he perceived were associated with the Vietnam War. His voice had added to the growing number of young voices speaking out across the nation calling for an end to the war and an elimination of military conscription, better known as the draft.
FBI director J. Edgar Hoover had compiled surveillance tapes and documents on everyone from the Kennedy family to MLK, Jr. and while his top secret files were destroyed upon his death, there is no reason to believe he did not run a series of intelligence programs based at monitoring and curtailing the efforts of young people on campuses all across the nation who he felt " seek to destroy our society."
For these and other reasons Laurel Krause and her organization,The Kent State Truth Tribunal (KSTT), filed a petition on Feb 9, 2013 with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), asking them to review their claim that Vietnam War protesters were intentionally targeted by Hoover's FBI and the Department of Defense. On April 5th, the UNHRC agreed to hear the case.
Laurel and the other members of the KSTT have a lot to say on what they believe has been a 43 year cover up and spin job. From the time headlines broke that called the shooting victims " bums" and portrayed them as an unwashed violent rabble of questionable morality until this year when the UN became the first governing body willing to dig a little deeper into the official story, Laurel has keenly remembered the details of the day her sister died.
Time will tell what will come of Laurel's struggle to get justice for her sister and the other victims. And justice for Laurel means that the government will one day acknowledge the truth. Until that day comes and on this anniversary of Allison's death, it's illuminating to know exactly how the day unfolded for the rest of the Krause family.
At 12:24 p.m. 28 Ohio National Guard soldiers - after hearing what they later called sniper fire - opened fire on unarmed protesters at Kent State University. Most of the protesters were more than the length of a football field from the soldiers. The soldiers had live rounds in their guns and must have been cautioned that they may need to shoot to kill the college kids.